There is be no such thing as an easy game in NPL Victoria, but Heidelberg United was rarely troubled in a dominant display against Dandenong City in a game that showed there gap is between the top and bottom sides opening up this season.
A struggling Dandenong City was no match for the ‘Bergers, and despite some consolation efforts – it ended up as comfortable 5-2 victory for the home side.
Reigning champion Heidelberg was refreshed after a ten day break following a comfortable FFA Cup Qualifier win, and the ‘Bergers came out firing to demonstrate their very best goal-scoring prowess.
With an even spread of scorers, the constant attacking threat going forward was always unpredictable and more than a handful for Dandenong City.
Les Doumbalis’ speculative long-range strike, which looped over the ‘keeper via a deflection, set the tone for the night, with Adrian Zahra and Sean Ellis both on the scoresheet to cap off a dominant first half. The only blot on the copybook was a miss from the penalty spot by Zahra following a foul on Reuben Way.
Dandenong City gave its supporters some hope, as they tried its best to trouble the ‘Bergers after the break with two goals of their own. Their physicality also seemed to lift an extra gear to try and rattle a Heidelberg side that was by this stage in cruise control.
The ‘Bergers countered by continuing their free scoring in fine style, as Ellis secured his brace and Steven Pace popped up with a timely header.
With high-flying Avondale still undefeated, this ‘Bergers win at least keeps them within striking distance of top spot.
As players return from injury and recapture their best form, there are ominous signs emanating from Catalina Street.
“In a few days I think we get everybody back, which will make it really interesting,” said coach George Katsakis.
“Long-term, for the duration of the season, it’s exciting to see that we’ll have a full squad to pick from in a week or two. It’s healthy pressure for each player to need to perform well each week.”
Heidelberg United FC 5 (Doumbalis 19’, Zahra 32’, Ellis 43’ 59’, Pace 69’) – 2 Dandenong City SC (Poljak 47’, Pilkington 71’)
Under 20s result:
Heidelberg United FC 0 – 3 Dandenong City SC