Hume City’s incredible FFA Cup run saw them enter the Dockerty Cup at the semi final phase of the competition to face a promising Moreland Zebras side pushing for NPL promotion. Both sides made the trip down to Jack Edwards Reserve which was the neutral ground selected for the highly anticipated clash.
It was Hume City who created the opening chance of the game after Danny Dixon’s brilliant run and lay off to Theo Markelis, which saw Markelis fire from distance that failed to trouble Jack West-Astuti. Moments later at the 4th minute, a corner swung in by Stevie Hewitt saw the ball fall to Ben Bowler who blasted a shot over the bar from point blank range. At the 10th minute it was Hume who almost took the lead through Theo Markelis, but the attempted volley went wide. At the 16th minute it was the Zebras who almost pinched the lead, after Michael Weier parried a shot from distance and the follow up attempt was blasted over the bar by the Zebras. At the 23rd minute Matthew Lazarides’ defensive interception at halfway saw Marko Delic dribble and fire a dangerous shot from distance, but it went over the bar. At the 27th minute Zebras’ low freekick from close range saw Hume’s defence stand its ground, after Harry Monaghan’s last-ditch interception was cleared to safety by Hayden Tennant. At the 29th minute an interception by Zebras at halfway saw a shot from point blank range tipped over the bar by an alert Michael Weier. At the 37th minute Michael Weier’s early ball forward saw Hume begin a counterattack via Marko Delic, who faced three Zebras defenders alone. Delic had his initial cross blocked on the edge of the box before floating his second effort shot over the head of West-Astuti to give Hume the lead (1-0).
Hume City went into the halftime break leading 1-0 but it was far from over at Jack Edwards Reserve. Moreland Zebras had shown plenty of promise throughout the opening half and could have arguably been leading at halftime had they converted their missed chances. However, Nick Hegarty’s side hold the highest number of clean sheets in the 2019 NPL campaign, after showcasing numerous defensive masterclass performances throughout the season.
The Zebras created the first chance of the second half at the 60th minute, after firing a dangerous cross but the headed effort went wide. At the 63rd minute the Zebras nearly equalized after firing a shot from close distance, but it was Michael Weier yet again who came to Hume’s rescue. At the 65th minute some brilliant combination plays by Hume saw Theo Markelis fire a shot directly at Jack West-Astuti. At the 69th minute the Zebras fired a shot from outside the box that was inches away from levelling the scores. At the 76th minute Danny Dixon’s ball to the back post found Marko Delic, but the headed effort went over the bar. At the 80th minute the Zebras sent numerous crosses into the box but failed to breach Hume’s defence and eventually earned a corner. The resulting corner saw a headed effort saved on the line by none other than Michael Weier. Hume managed to see out the remainder of the game thanks to a brilliant defensive display from Michael Weier, Mark Ochieng, Hayden Tennant, Paul Wilson and Danny Dixon.
The referee signaled full time at 90+6 minutes which has seen Hume City go through to a final for the first time in the club’s history. Hume will be facing the winner out of the Melbourne Knights Vs Bulleen Lions game. However, Hume City now have their sights set on Round 21’s NPL clash with league leaders Avondale FC on Saturday the 13th of July.
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