Heart power past Mariners
by Tomasz Ng
Foxtel National Youth League 2013/14, Round 18
3:00pm, Sunday 2 March – Epping Stadium, Melbourne
Melbourne Heart FC 4
(O’Dea 4’, 10’, Retre 73’, Dao 74’)
Central Coast Mariners FC 2
(Trifiro 6’, Dixon 90+2’)
Melbourne Heart capped off their season with four wins in a row after a 4-2 win over the Central Coast Mariners at Epping Stadium.
Luke O’Dea scored an early brace either side of Glen Trifiro’s 6th minute equaliser to hand the hosts a lead, which was then extended in the second half by Paulo Retre and Alexander Dao.
Patrick Dixon did grab a goal in stoppage time for the Mariners but it was too little too late.
With 26 goals in the last 3 games played at Epping Stadium, the streak continued early in the game with a flurry of goals.
The first of the contest came from the penalty spot after Josh Bingham, playing at right back, was adjudged to have tripped Dao in the area after just three minutes.
Luke O’Dea stepped up confidently and sent Justin Pasfield the wrong way, handing Heart the lead.
The Mariners replied instantly to the early setback, with Dillon Vorster doing well on the right wing before crossing in for Trifiro to blast a shot into the back of the net.
They then had half a chance to go ahead a couple of minutes later when Dejan Pandurevic got on the end of a defensive clearance, but only managed to shoot wide.
Heart took note of the warning sign and went ahead once again through O’Dea, when he was played in beautifully by Ersin Kaya.
He was left with the simple task of finishing past the keeper to restore the home side’s advantage.
The two combined again a couple of minutes later when Kaya floated a cross to the back post, but this time O’Dea’s header was poor and went well wide.
There was a highly entertaining end to end nature of the game, and the Mariners had chances to score more goals of their own.
Tom Slater was a spark in midfield and whipped in a great cross for Pandurevic in the 16th minute, but the forward swung at fresh air, wasting the opportunity.
Slater was involved once again five minutes later with another firm cross, this time the ball was only cleared to Nathan Verity who only managed to shoot straight at the keeper.
Frustrated by his teammates’ inability to finish, Slater took matters into his own hands in the 25th minute and unleashed a drive hard and low from 25 yards, but Philip Petrovski just managed to get his fingertips to the ball and force a corner.
Vorster was the next to spurn a good chance, once again shooting straight at Petrovski.
The action then calmed down as half time came along, but it kicked off again soon after the break.
Heart were the team that came out hungry for a goal and should have extended their lead when Marcus Schroen got free inside the box.
He only succeeded in shooting straight at Pasfield, who pulled off an unorthodox save to beat the ball away.
Kaya then continued the trend of shooting straight at the keeper, failing to pick a corner with a drive on the edge of the box.
Andrew Mullett came the closest to scoring in this burst after half time, heading a corner towards goal and forcing Pasfield to tip over the bar.
After a bit of a lull following the raft of substitutions, Philip Petreski almost got himself a rare goal when he scuffed a volley that trickled it’s way to goal, hitting the post as everyone stood and watched.
Substitute Retre then pulled off a splendid finish in the 73rd minute when he got on the end of a Joseph Katebian flick on, dummying two defenders and curling in a finish to the far post.
Heart then made it four a minute later after a moment of sheer madness from Pasfield.
Having come out to the edge of his area to win the ball, the goalkeeper then attempted to dribble past Jeremy Walker, losing the ball and finding himself stranded well out of his area.
The fullback then swung in a cross, which Retre headed down for Dao to slot home a finish past a sea of bodies protecting the goal.
It seemed like Pasfield had been affected by his mistake, and pulled off another unconvincing save from a powerful effort by Petreski, almost scooping the ball out from under and away.
Mullet then made Pasfield make another save after being played through by Katebian, but the keeper threw a fist at the shot to beat the ball away.
Central Coast then threw a spanner in the works late on, scoring through Dixon in stoppage time after Stevanja did well to parry a long shot,
It proved to be the final goal of the National Youth League 2013/14 season, and meant that Heart secured a fifth placed finish.
16. Philip Petrovski [GK] (1. Marko Stevanja [GK] +46’), 2. Jeremy Walker, 3. Philip Petreski (c), 4. Andrew Mullett, 5. David Vrankovic, 6. Alexander Dao, 7. Hernan Espindola (8. Paulo Retre +60’), 9. Luke O’Dea, 10. Marcus Shroen (11. Stipo Andrijasevic +60’), 14. Ersin Kaya (13. Joseph Katebian +60’), 15. Sam Mitchinson
Yellow Cards: Petreski 66’
Red Cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners:
1. Justin Pasfield [GK], 3. Joshua Forbes, 4. Adrian Vlastelica, 6. Jesse Curran (2. Lachlan Wales +60’), 7. Dillon Vorster (14. Steve Whyte +60’), 8. Nathan Verity, 10. Dominic Ferguson, 11. Josh Bingham (c), 15. Glen Trifiro, 16. Tom Slater, 17. Dejan Pandurevic (9. Patrick Dixon +55’)
Unused Substitutes: 12. Tonu Liiband [GK]
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Greg Gontscharow
Assistants: Wilson Brown, Jordan English, Harley Natis
Pitch Rating: 6/10
Game Rating: 9/10
Ones to watch: Alexander Dao, Luke O’Dea, Philip Petreski (MHT), Tom Slater, Joshua Forbes, Dejan Pandurevic (CCM)
By Tomasz Ng