After a three week lockdown absence from the NPL, football returned to Catalina St. as Heidelberg United took on Green Gully on a sunny afternoon at Olympic Village. However, in line with COVID-19 restrictions, there were no spectators on hand to witness the ‘Bergers push for a spot in the upper echelons of the league table.
An early opportunity for the Warriors saw Zahra pressuring the Gully backline before unleashing a powerful shot on goal, which was parried away to safety by Tyson.
The away side had a chance through on goal, but the bravery of Ajdin Fetahagic prevented them from scoring, as he put his body on the line to clear the shot off the line.
With the Warriors on the back foot, Ashton fed an excellent through pass to Lino, whose marauding run and subsequent deflected shot ended up coming back into play off the post.
Still in the first half, Falla’s pass through the defence to Ashton saw the latter cross it back into the middle, ending with a Bosnjak bouncing shot which was saved.
The decisive moment of the match came midway through the second half. A wonderful pinpoint long ball from Burgess found Lino in space. Lino was able to spot up a late run into the box by Ashton, who calmly slotted the ball home to give Heidelberg the lead.
The ‘Bergers once again showed their defensive capabilities and stood firm despite mounting pressure towards the end of the game. The crucial win and three points sees Heidelberg United still just three points behind table toppers Avondale.
HUFC TV caught up with a satisfied George Katsakis in his customary post-match interview.
“Three weeks without a competitive game, just trying to keep the players focused and tuned in to adapt to their style of play. Credit goes to the boys, even though it was very scrappy by both sides, they never gave up and kept
going at them, until eventually we broke through and got a quite well worked goal.”
Heidelberg United will be striving for consecutive wins when it goes up against Dandenong City on Friday (June 25) at 8:30pm at Frank Holohan Soccer Complex.
Heidelberg United 1 (E. Ashton 69’) – Green Gully 0
GK – 1 – Chris Theodoridis
2 – Josh Wilkins
4 – Mallan Roberts
5 – Ajdin Fetahagic
8 – Dusan Bosnjak (6 – Lewis Hall 71’)
9 – Adrian Zahra (C) (20 – Luka Ninkovic 84’)
10 – Takeru Okada (11 – Tom Strickland 58’)
15 – Luke Burgess
21 – Eoin Ashton
22 – Dominic Falla
33 – Jackson Lino (14 – John Roberts 84’)
Subs not used:
GK – 63 – Nick Eres