Warriors aim to break home hoodoo

Joseph Franjic

By John Fotinos

It’s a tale of one team that’s had difficulty winning its home matches against a team that has troubles in winning at all when Heidelberg United hosts Eastern Lions at the Olympic Village. The Round 13 clash marks the half-way point of the 2022 season, and the ‘Bergers will be desperate for all three points in a bid to keep pace for a top six spot.

The Warriors have found their mojo on the road winning seven of ten NPL and Cup matches. The story at headquarters does not nearly come close to equating the away results – with the ‘Bergers only win at Catalina St in 2022 coming on an emotional day (farewelling two club legends) against Oakleigh. Its last three home matches have ended in three successive losses – a statistic that everyone involved is aiming to reverse against the bottom placed Lions.

Fresh from a comfortable midweek Cup win over Ballarat City, Heidelberg United will again look to the dynamic duo of Kaine Sheppard and Eoin Ashton to provide the goal scoring prowess of recent games. Sheppard has been in fine fettle since his return to the ‘Bergers, netting 13 times in just 15 appearances, with Ashton netting twice in the 3-1 away win at Avondale, continuing his recent rich vein of form.

With a new series of injuries to several key players, George Katsakis will again be forced to juggle his starting line up. However, in positive news, forward Josh Pin got some game time in the midweek Cup match, which also saw the return from injury of Ivan Franjic.

The ‘Bergers will be up against an increasingly desperate Eastern Lions – a team that has tasted defeat in its last seven NPL matches – with a mountain to climb if it has any hope of avoiding the drop.

Whilst the ‘Bergers will start as firm favourites to take all three points, they will need to bring home all their great recent away form to succeed in this game.

Kick off is at 3:00pm on Sunday May 15 at the Olympic Village. The game will be streamed live on the club website on www.hufc.com.au