No fairytale for Murray as Box Hill steals win
Box Hill United has come from behind twice to secure its first points in the PlayStation 4 NPL 1 East, defeating Murray United 2-3 in the regional side’s first competitive fixture.
Goals from Murray United’s Adam Waters and Zac Walker weren’t enough to send the 1021-strong crowd home happy, with goals from Box Hill’s Estonian import Stanislav Goldberg, and Alex Schroen cancelling them out, before a late goal from substitute Lucas Johns securing the points.
Box Hill saw much more of the ball in the opening stages, but it was Murray United who opened the scoring in the sixthminute.
Captain Josh Fluss’ goal kick was flicked on by Zac Walker, allowing speedster Adam Waters to race through and finish past Box Hill keeper Alex Connell.
Murray looked comfortable in their lead from that point. Box Hill dominated possession but were unable to convert that into anything meaningful.
Soon after, former Estonian youth international Stanislav Goldberg was shifted from the right to the left wing, which paid dividends shortly after the half hour mark.
Franc Carafa’s shot was scuffed well wide, before Goldberg collected it on the left wing, dribbled past 3 Murray defenders in succession en route to goal before finishing into the bottom right corner.
Murray threatened soon after to regain their lead, as Waters broke down the right and crossed low for Walker, but the striker just couldn’t meet it.
But it was that combination which again broke through the Box Hill defence on the stroke of half time.
Kade Rixon won the ball in midfield and found Waters, who flicked through a first touch pass in behind for Walker, cooly finishing low to Connell’s left.
Box Hill made a half-time substitution, bringing on Lucas Johns for Carafa.
Johns’ introduction seemed to energise Box Hill, who came out after the break playing with much more speed and purpose; in the 51st minute their pressure paid off.
Goldberg elusively cut inside and passed to Caleb Ludlow, whose through ball found Alex Schroen. Schroen’s finish was professional, coolly curling his shot low past the outstretched hand of Fluss into the far post.
Box Hill wasn’t finished there. The visitors’ pressure over the next 10 minutes was relentless, with Fluss repeatedly called in to action. But the momentum shifted back Murray’s way on the hour.
Murray’s pacey front three of Walker, Waters and James Coutts forced the Box Hill defence to pass back to Connell, who inexplicably picked the ball up resulting in an indirect free kick. Coutts’ resulting shot was blocked by the wall on the goal line.
Fatigue was setting in for both teams in the heat, with few chances being created in the closing stages.
The decisive blow came though in the 83rd minute, when Johns wasn’t closed down on the edge of the Murray area and fired a left footed shot into the bottom right corner.
Murray wasn’t going down without a fight: the first chance for salvation came with a Fluss goal kick bouncing to Walker, whose shot was saved instinctively by the on-rushing Connell.
Then substitute Matthew Hasler’s cross ricocheted around in the area. This time Walker rounded Connell, but his shot was saved on the line by Schroen.
It was a gut-wrenching conclusion for the new boys, but a well earned and hard fought victory for the visitors on an entertaining afternoon.
Murray United 2 (Waters 6’, Walker 45+3’) defeated by Box Hill United 3 (Goldberg 32’, Schoren 51’, Johns 83’)
Murray United: 1. Josh FLUSS, 23. Ben CHAFFEY, 8. James COUTTS, 30. Angus KELLY, 34. Daniel MILLYNN, 4. Hussein NTAKIRUTIMANA, 16. Sean PYE, 10. Kade RIXON, 7. Zac WALKER, 14. Adam WATERS, 33. Alex WEST
Substitutes: 9. Matthew HASLER, 12. Michael JESSUP, 13. Josh O’BRIEN, 29. Darcy PAWLIK, 21. Ben RUSSELL
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Box Hill United: 1. Alex CONNELL, 2. Nikola SURDINOSKI, 25. Michael GODFREY, 26. Aaron PORCARO, 8. Caleb LUDLOW, 11. Sebastian BARRERO, 23. Stanislav GOLDBERG, 5. Alex SCHOREN, 10. Franc CARAFA, 7. Patrick THIAKANE, 21. Travis CHALK-HATTON
Substitutes: 16. Christian LAR, 15. Jerome COSTANZA, 22. Sev GHAZARIAN, 14. Lucas JOHNS, 35. Hamid KAMALI
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None