Road Warriors take the points as Sheppard shines

It is often said ‘a week is a long time in football’ and perhaps with good reason. For the combatants at Broadmeadows on Easter Saturday evening, the battle could not come soon enough.

The two teams were lacking not just in confidence – but that other precious footballing commodity – points on the table. Bottom placed Hume City, with just two draws from eight matches, hosted a Heidelberg United outfit smarting from three successive home defeats. Hume had parted ways with their coach and club stalwart just seven days earlier, and the visitors equally felt the heat as a club collectively – a recipe for a feisty battle.

Hums skipper Bingham provided an opening salvo forcing White into action, but it was the ‘Bergers who struck first through Sheppard. The striker pounced on a precise through ball to ease ‘Berger anxieties. Sheppard doubled the advantage after just 20 minutes, combining deft touch with sublime finishing, evading the advancing Hume ‘keeper and defenders alike to fire home.

For a brief time, Hume – sensing another game slipping from its grasp – turned up the pressure approaching the main break. However, a clumsy foul on Sheppard inside the penalty area undid any challenge it was mounting. Sheppard coolly slotted home the spot kick to complete a first half hat-trick, giving his side a seemingly firm grip of the vital three points.

The second half saw Hume City lift the physicality rating, putting Heidelberg more on a back footing scenario. The home side’s increased intensity paid off with substitute Walker bundling home an early second half goal to raise hopes of an unlikely revival. However, despite relying more heavily on counter attacks, the ‘Bergers comfortably ran out deserved 3-1 winners on the night.

The attention turns the Preliminary Round 5 Football Australia Cup match at 7:30pm on Tuesday (April 19) at Paisley Park, Altona, when the ‘Bergers take on Altona East Phoenix.

Match Details:

Hume City 1 (Walker 52’) – Heidelberg United FC 3 (Sheppard 11’, 20’, 39’ P)

Line Up

1.  Brendan White (GK)

4. Mallan Roberts

5. Ajdin Fetahagic

6. Joseph Franjic

7. Reuben Way (c) – (18. Anthony Theodoropoulos 46’)

8. Domenic Falla

10. Ivan Franjic

12. Deion Nicolaidis (9. Adrian Zahra 64’)

14. Kaine Sheppard (20. Luka Ninkovic 81’)

15. Brian Summerskill

21. Eoin Ashton (22. Kazuki Okada 71’)

Subs not used

63. Nick Eres (GK)

24. Hussain Al Sharifi

Written by John Fotinos