NPL Round 19 Review: Hume City own goal gifts Dandenong City 3 points

Round 19 saw Hume City travel to Frank Holohan Soccer Complex to face an in-form Dandenong City. The away side will certainly be looking to bounce back from Round 18’s home defeat against Bentleigh Greens. Mitch Cooper and George Howard both returned to the starting 11 for Hume City as Nick Hegarty looked to shake things up.

The first chance of the game fell to Dandenong City at the 10th minute, which saw a dangerous cross into the box cleared away by an alert Hayden Tennant. At the 11th minute, a dangerous ball delivered by Stevie Hewitt saw Damir Salcin rise above the pack to punch the ball to safety. At the 12th minute, Michael Weier kept Hume City in the game after Samuel Sibatuara’s shot forced the shot stopper into a reflex save. At the 24th minute, a Brendon Santalab freekick was blasted over the bar. At the 29th minute, a Dandenong City corner found Zac Thompson’s head which forced Michael Weier into another brilliant reflex save off the line. At the 35th minute, a freekick won by Mitch Cooper and taken by Stevie Hewitt forced Damir Salcin into a brilliant save. The resulting ball saw a penalty claim by Hume City, after Shayan Alinejad fouled Matthew Lazarides inside Dandenong’s box but referee Jack Morgan waved play on. At the 44th minute, some brilliant footwork by Stevie Hewitt saw his dangerous ball into the box find George Howard who headed wide. At the 45th minute, Samuel Sibatuara had enough time to cut in on his left foot before firing a shot directly at Michael Weier. As the first half entered added time, a freekick by Liam McCormick was blasted over the bar.

Despite a scoreless first half, there were plenty of talking points for both sides as they entered the halftime break at 0-0. Nick Hegarty knew that if his side were to walk away with the win, they needed to have an electric second half.

Hume City almost took the lead in the opening minutes of the second half, after Danny Dixon’s long ball found Mitch Cooper’s run but Damir Salcin prevented the goal bound shot. At the 60th minute Brendon Santalab had enough time to turn and fire a shot, but Michael Weier’s diving save prevented the home side from taking the lead. At the 62nd minute, a short freekick by Hume City saw Ben Bowler’s ball to the back-post fail to connect with a player. The away side continued to pile on the pressure and at the 63rd minute, Mitch Cooper’s lay off to an onrushing Stevie Hewitt saw the shot fired over the bar. At the 70th minute, it was Dandenong City who took the lead (1-0), after a cross into the box saw the ball come off a Hume City head before finding the back of the net. Dandenong nearly doubled their lead at the 76th minute, after Steven Topalovic’s volley from distance skimmed off the crossbar. At the 81st minute, a freekick won by Mitch Cooper and taken by Danny Dixon was shot over the bar.

Referee Jack Morgan signaled the full-time whistle at 90+3 minutes which Dandenong City defeat Hume City. Hume City now have their sights set on Saturday the 6th of July, as they welcome Port Melbourne to ABD Stadium for Round 20. Kick off will commence at 5:30pm.

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