FFA Cup Round 6 Review: Hume City progress to Round 7 of FFA Cup, after Howard’s heroics against Bentleigh Greens

Round 6 of the FFA Cup saw Hume City welcome Bentleigh Greens to ABD Stadium. Round 14 of the NPL saw the home side dominate Dandenong Thunder at ABD Stadium in an impressive 3-0 win. However, Bentleigh Greens were looking to redeem themselves after a 3-2 defeat to South Melbourne at Lakeside Stadium. The only notable changes Nick Hegarty made to his side involved Marko Delic and Harry Monaghan coming in for George Howard and Mitch Cooper.

Both sides continued to show off their impressive form and it was Futa Nakamura’s shot at the 7th minute that called both Michael Weier and Gideon Sweet into action. Weier parried the ball and Sweet’s alertness at the back post allowed him to clear the ball for a Bentleigh corner. At the 12th minute, Stevie Hewitt slipped the ball through to an onrushing Matthew Lazarides who fired from distance, but the shot was a tad wide. At the 13th minute, Mark Ochieng’s run down the right flank saw him put in a dangerous cross aimed at Lazarides, but Bentleigh’s defence spoiled Lazarides’ effort. At the 27th minute, Hume’s high tempo football saw Ben Bowler square the ball back to James Brown who fired wide. The 34th minute saw James Brown fly down the right flank, then cut the ball back to the lively Lazarides who’s shot was blocked by Bentleigh’s defence. Lazarides continued to look dangerous for the home side, and Stevie Hewitt’s cross from the left side at the 40th minute saw Lazarides’ headed effort miss by inches.

After an entertaining first half, the halftime break saw the score at level pegging (0-0) but there was an absolute certainty that the second half would produce some goals. Nick Hegarty’s rejuvenating halftime talks have seen his side come out to finish the job throughout Hume’s impressive 2019 NPL campaign, and he’d be hoping for the same in this game.

The second half saw Bentleigh fire a low shot from distance at the 49th minute, which didn’t seem to trouble Michael Weier. At the 60th minute, an early throw in by Stevie Hewitt saw James Brown cut the ball back to Matthew Lazarides, but the ball was behind Lazarides’ forward run. At the 63rd minute, Valentino Yuel fired a dangerous cross into the box for the away side, but Bentleigh failed to capitalize on the chance. At the 65th minute, Stevie Hewitt’s corner saw Hume City fire a header directly into Ryan Scott. At the 67th minute, some brilliant combination play from the home side saw substitute George Howard fire in a dangerous cross to the back post, earning the Hume a corner. At the 69th minute, Velibor Mitrovic fired a shot from distance which wasn’t far from troubling Michael Weier. At the 70th minute, a brilliant chase down and tackle from Matthew Lazarides allowed Paul Wilson to lead a Hume counter attack, which earned the home side a valuable corner. At the 73rd minute, James Brown found Matthew Lazarides’ run down the left flank which saw Lazarides’ brilliant cross find the head of George Howard, who put the home side up 1-0. It was déjà vu all over again at the 75th minute, after James Brown’s cross skimmed off Lazarides’ head and George Howard was at the back post to fire home his second goal of the night. At the 79th minute, Futa Nakamura’s low cross saw a Bentleigh shot cleared by an alert Hayden Tennant. Valentine Yuel then managed to miss from point blank range at the 83th minute, for the away side.

The referee blew the final whistle at 90+5 minutes which lead to an uproar from the home side and their crowd. Hume City have now defeated both Heidelberg United and Bentleigh Greeens in Round 5 and 6 of the FFA Cup. Hume City now have their sights set on the 2nd of June, as they travel to Jack Edwards Reserve to take on an in-form Oakleigh Cannons. Seniors kick-off at 4:15pm after the Under 20’s at 1:30pm. 

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