A very youthful looking Heart XI, primarily consisting of National Youth League triallists, was defeated 1-0 by the reigning Victorian Premier League champions Green Gully on Wednesday night at Green Gully Reserve.
By David Manuca
A very youthful looking Heart XI were defeated 1-0 by the reigning Victorian Premier League champions Green Gully on Wednesday night at Green Gully Reserve.
The match was the second of five friendly matches in the Club’s Grassroots Tour that will take place around Victoria.
In a side consisting mainly of NYL triallists, Melbourne found it difficult to find a way past the mature and experienced squad of Green Gully.
Brent Fisher was the only scorer of the game with a goal just minutes remaining, slotting the ball past Griffin McMaster with a calm and collected finish after a great first touch set him up.
Melbourne Heart captain Simon Colosimo was impressed with the triallists in the squad but was disappointed with the end result.
“The youngsters were good.” said Colosimo. “It was a great opportunity for them to show what they can do.”
“It’s no secret that we’re looking to fill our squad and for them to get a run out with the older boys is good.”
“We’re always going to look towards playing the young players. We go into these games to try different things such as different formations and set plays but that doesn’t take away the fact that we want to win every game”
“I’m always disappointed when we lose. I think we can say we had youngsters out there but in the end we’re representing Melbourne Heart and we should be looking to win these sorts of games.”
Colosimo joined Mate Dugandzic, Kristian Sarkies, Aziz Behich, Brendan Hamill and Jason Hoffman in the starting XI with the rest of the spots being filled up with NYL triallists.
Melbourne Heart had the better of the opening exchanges creating a number of goal scoring opportunities.
Twelve minutes in Mate Dugandzic had a fantastic chance to open the scoring. After a through ball over the top of the defence, Dugandzic attempted to poke the ball past the keeper with his first touch but Roganovic came off his line well to deny him a goal.
Dugandzic had another chance a minute later when Roganovic-s clearance went straight back to the Heart player but he blasted a strike from outside the box high and wide.
Brendan Hamill nearly got himself on the scoresheet when he found some space inside the box but he fired his shot narrowly wide of the far post.
Heart-s dominance of the first half was shown when it took Green Gully until the 38th minute for them to register their first shot on goal but Hamid Basma-s shot was never any threat to Griffin McMaster-s goal.
At the break five changes were made to the Heart side with five triallists given a half to show their potential.
Five minutes into the second half and Kristian Sarkies had a chance to give Heart the lead from a free-kick but he couldn-t capitalize on the situation sending it just wide.
On the hour mark Green Gully created their best chance of the match when Graham Hockless squared a ball to Jason Hayne who was waiting in the middle but hit his shot over the bar.
The closing stages of the match saw the contest become very sloppy with both sides guilty of giving away possession on numerous occasions.
The game appeared to be heading for a stalemate but in the last few minutes of normal time Brent Fisher stepped up to break the dead-lock with his well-taken goal which proved to be the match winner.
A floating through ball was played over the Heart defence and Brent Fisher controlled the ball exquisitely with his first touch before slotting the ball into the net to give Green Gully the win.
Johnathon Muñoz had the opportunity to add a second in stoppage time but his cracking effort from outside the box only rattled the side netting.