Round 22 saw Hume City FC welcome South Melbourne FC ABD Stadium. The home side were certainly looking to bounce back after their 3-0 defeat against league leaders Avondale FC in Round 21 and have not beaten South Melbourne at home since 2013.
Theo Markelis looked lively for the home side in the opening minutes after his ball down the left flank saw a returning James Brown earn Hume a corner. The resulting corner by Stevie Hewitt was cleared but fell into the path of Markelis, who fired a low shot from distance that had Roganovic scrambling across his line before seeing the ball go wide. At the 21st minute Marko Delic’s pace saw him earn a freekick in a dangerous spot for the home side and up stepped Danny Dixon who opened Hume’s scoring account for the night (1-0), after his shot cleared the wall and found the bottom corner of the net. At the 31st minute South were presented with a brilliant opportunity to equalize after Peter Skapetis’ cross found Nicholas Krousouratis at the back post, but the shot went wide. At the 32nd minute it was South who had another chance to equalize through Melvin Becket, who fired a headed effort into Hume’s shot stopper Michael Weier. At the 39th minute Hume turned defence into attack, after Matthew Lazarides’ defensive tackle saw Stevie Hewitt put Marko Delic through on goal. Delic’s vision saw him lay a perfect pass for Theo Markelis whose shot forced Nikole Roganovic into a reflex save. As the first half entered added time, Paul Wilson showed everyone why he is known as “Blocker” after blocking Gerrie Sylaidos’ shot from inside the box and then preventing Giuseppe Marafioti from equalizing for South before the referee signaled the halftime whistle.
Halftime saw Hume City leading 1-0 courtesy to Danny Dixon’s incredible freekick, accompanied by a defensive masterclass further highlighting why they lead the NPL with the highest number of sheets.
The second half saw Stevie Hewitt’s brilliant footwork earn the home side a freekick in a dangerous spot at the 49th minute. The resulting ball into the box by Hewitt saw Marko Delic’s header find the back of the net but was ruled offside, although Delic was onside by half a meter. Delic continued to be a menace for the home side and his chase down effort saw South concede a cheap corner at the 54th minute. The resulting corner taken by Hewitt saw Paul “Blocker” Wilson’s acrobatic effort double Hume’s lead (2-0) at the 55th minute. At the 68th minute Matthew Lazarides’ clearance saw Marko Delic’s offensive pressure force South into a defensive turnover. Delic’s selfless effort saw him set up Thomas Harris who drilled home first Senior NPL goal to put Hume up 3-0. At the 73rd minute Hume conceded a corner off a dangerous South attack. The resulting corner saw South fire in their first goal of the night past Michael Weier who couldn’t do anything but watch the ball go in. At the 77th minute Marko Delic’s pace down the right flank saw South concede another cheap corner off his cross. The resulting ball into the box by Stevie Hewitt found Paul “Blocker” Wilson, who fired a headed effort directly into Nikola Roganovic. At the 83rd minute a South freekick was fired into the box before being cleared by Stevie Hewitt at the front post. Hume continued to show off their high defensive pressure after forcing South into a turnover at the 88th minute, which saw Marko Delic dash down the right flank before finding Theo Markelis whose shot forced Nikola Roganovic into a fingertip save at the left post. As the game entered added time it was debutant Koray Cekic who was onside and found Theo Markelis on the edge of the box who was fouled for a Hume freekick. Up stepped Danny Dixon at 90+2 minutes and almost scored his of the night after Nikola Roganovic watched the ball miss the crossbar by an inch.
The referee signaled full time at 90+4 minutes which saw the fans and Hume’s red and white army erupt with applause at ABD Stadium. Hume City now have their sights set on Friday the 26th of July, as they travel to CB Smith Reserve to face Pascoe Vale FC.
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