NPL Round 17 Review: Hume City steal 3 points at Olympic Village after second half comeback

Round 17 saw Hume City travel to Olympic Village to face 2018’s reigning NPL Champions, Heidelberg United FC. Round 6 of the FFA Cup produced one of the greatest games in FFA Cup history, with Hume City progressing to Round 7 after a 5-4 win in 120 minutes and they’d certainly be looking to produce another upset at Olympic Village. Nick Hegarty’s side were still without captain Harry Monaghan and Mitch Cooper but were glad to see James Brown return to the starting 11 and George Howard make it to the bench.

Hume City were dealt an early blow in the opening minutes of the game and were forced into an early substitution at the 11th minute, which saw Danny Dixon enter the game for Paul “Blocker” Wilson. The first chance of the game fell to Hume City at 15 minutes, after James Brown dribbled towards goal before laying the ball off to Theo Markelis, whose shot was blocked by a Heidelberg sliding challenge. The resulting clearance by Heidelberg saw Mark Ochieng deliver a dangerous cross into the box that saw James Brown head over the bar. At the 23rd minute, Sean Ellis had enough time to cut in and fire a dangerous cross towards Tom Cahill whose miskick saw the ball go over the bar. At the 26th minute Theo Markelis had enough time to fire a shot from distance, which saw Chris Theodoridis’ parry allow James Brown to fire a low ball back into the box that was caught by Theodoridis. At the 28th minute a freekick won by Theo Markelis and taken by Danny Dixon forced Theodoridis into a fingertip save, which almost saw Hume City take the lead. The away side continued to apply pressure on Heidelberg’s defence and at the 30th minute, Theo Markelis’ ball into the box saw Matthew Lazarides’ volley catch Theodoridis off guard, but the shot went over the bar.

At the 32nd minute Hume City’s failure to clear Josh Wilkins’ cross into the box, saw Paul O’Brian turn and volley the ball into the net to give Heidelberg the lead (1-0). Heidelberg almost doubled their lead at the 33rd minute after Harry Noon’s interception forced Michael Weier into a fingertip save. At the 36th minute Sean Ellis’ shot from the 18-yard box failed to test Michael Weier, as the Hume City shot stopper claimed the ball with ease. At the 37th minute Matthew Lazarides had enough time to deliver a dangerous ball to the back post, which saw Marko Delic’s header hit the side netting. At the 39th minute Michael Weier’s brilliance was on full display yet again, after his reflex save on the line denied Heidelberg from doubling their lead.

The halftime break saw Heidelberg leading 1-0 after what was a fairly even contest throughout the opening half. Hume City knew if they were to salvage anything from this game, they needed to maintain their high intensity and finish their chances.

The 47th minute saw a Sean Ellis fire his freekick directly into Michael Weier’s path. Ellis was at the center of attention again at the 57th minute, as his curling shot was also denied by another incredible save by Weier. Weier continued to keep Hume City in the match and was called into action once again at the 64th minute, after denying Adrian Zahra’s shot from point blank range. At the 76th minute Hayden Tennant’s ball down the line to an onside Stevie Hewitt, saw Hewitt deliver the perfect ball to Matthew Lazarides who equalized (1-1) for Hume City. The 84th minute saw Luke Byles’ cross into the box find Tom Cahill, who fired the header directly at Michael Weier. As the game entered its dying minutes, Heidelberg’s failure to clear Gidi Sweet’s cross at 90+2 minutes saw Mark Ochieng fire the ball in for the away side to complete the comeback (2-1), despite Luke Byles’ attempted handball on the line which saw referee Adam Bavcar brandish the central defender with a yellow card. 

Adam Bavcar signaled full time at 90+5 minutes which Hume City completed their second comeback at Olympic Village in 2019. Hume City now have their sights set on Friday the 21st of June, as they welcome Bentleigh Greens to ABD Stadium for Round 18. Kick off will commence at 7:45pm.

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