Following the thrilling derby victory against South Melbourne, Heidelberg United came going into the Oakleigh match high on confidence, with an unchanged starting eleven, and already with raised the expectations for the season ahead.
The Warriors got the ball rolling early on as James Demetriou played a wonderful long ball to Sean Ellis, who netted with a sublime top corner finish after cutting in onto his left foot.
Lachlan Barr was there to the rescue as he had a headed goal line clearance off the line, and it was that good he broke the net, with the crowd seeing the humour in that delay.
Leading up to stoppage time, Dusan Bosnjak did well by going past a player and through on goal, but a heavy touch prevented him from a shot on goal as the keeper had managed to come out quell the attack.
In the second minute of first half stoppage time, an Oakleigh free kick was floated into the box, forcing Chris Theodoridis into action for the first time in the first half, as he made an astonishing save.
Just before the main break, and into the seventh minute mark of stoppage time, Oakleigh managed to even up the score, with Theodoridis unable to fend off White’s headed effort.
A defensive lapse early in the second half cost the ‘Bergers dearly with Guest putting the home side 2-1 up. Just minutes later, an unfortunate Demetriou hit the post with a low strike from outside the box.
With the ‘Bergers pushing for an equaliser, Oakleigh took advantage with Knowles firing home to make it 3-1 with a little over ten minutes to play. Just two minutes later, substitute Harry Noon grabbed a goal back for the Bergers, setting up a grandstand finish.
The final minutes was replete with the Warriors huffing and puffing, hoping to extract at least a point from this contest, with a couple of shots on target including a wallop from Ellis from long range.
Heidelberg United will take positives from this exhilarating match up, despite coming up a goal short. Considering the team rebuild, it may take several weeks before they settle on what is their best line up once again.
Oakleigh Cannons 3 (White 45+6’, Guest 47’, Knowles 79’) – 2 Heidelberg United (Ellis 15’, Noon 80’)
Under 20s Result:
Oakleigh Cannons 1 – 1 Heidelberg United