Heidelberg United hosted St Albans Saints in Round 7 of the NPL Victoria men’s on a gloomy Sunday afternoon, looking to rebuild after a defeat in the previous round.
The Warriors made only one change to the squad with Chudiar Tharjiath back into the starting XI and Mallan Roberts returned to the bench, with Ivan Franjic not on the team sheet.
It was a tight contest early on between the two sides, including a chance to Kaine Sheppard controlling it nicely with the chest to hit it on the volley but the shot was saved by Hayden Browne.
Another chance had gone begging for the Warriors, as the corner kick came in with Sheppard’s shot blocked by the keeper. Heidelberg creating opportunities alike is one of their many strengths but not finishing them off has become an area that will need to be crafted sooner rather than later.
A great cross from Kazuki Okada found Sheppard for a golden opportunity for a free header but the effort skimmed wide of the goal.
Heidelberg not taking their chances had come with a price, as moments later as the corner kick was flown into the box and a header won by Zander Guy gave the away side the lead.
Yet again Sheppard was in the middle of a chance, in what was a genuine opportunity to equalise. He connected with the ball perfectly, but a great header is denied by Browne who saved well.
Down the other end, Guy was sent through on goal and Warriors’ keeper Nick Eres made an amazing save of his own, only for the rebound to comes off Joseph Franjic that ends up being an unfortunate own goal.
Heidelberg United will need to put this result behind them and look ahead to the last of three consecutive games at Olympic Park next Sunday when they go up against Port Melbourne Sharks, where a crucial three points is needed.
Heidelberg United 0 – St Albans Saints 2 (Z. Guy 72’, J. Franjic OG 90’)
63 – Nick Eres (GK)
5 – Ajdin Fetahagic
6 – Joseph Franjic
7 – Reuben Way (c)
8 – Dominic Falla
9 – Adrian Zahra (15 – Brian Summerskill 46’)
12 – Deion Nikolaidis (18 – Anthony Theodoropoulos 81’)
14 – Kaine Sheppard
19 – Sean Ellis (22 – Kazuki Okada 66’)
20 – Luka Ninkovic (21 – Eoin Ashton 66’)
23 – Chudiar Tharjiath
Subs not used:
1 – Brendan White (GK)
4 – Mallan Roberts
Written by Alex Bagdasarian