Lights out at George Andrews
By Rory Flanagan (@rory_flanagan)
Dandenong Thunder looks to have succumbed to a second round PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria defeat at the hands of Bentleigh Greens on Saturday night, subject to the result being confirmed by FFV officials.
The match was abandoned at 85 minutes due to a floodlight power failure, with the scoreline 2-1 in favour of Bentleigh, thanks to a sublime double by Matt Thurtell. While confirmation is required, it is expected that the result will stand as more than 80 per cent of the match had been completed.
After a frenzied opening in which Veton Korcari and Thurtell both spurned chances, Stuart Munro’s disciplined side set out to frustrate the FFA Cup semi-finalists.
The tactic paid off after 20 minutes.
A lack of awareness from the Greens midfield allowed unmarked Thunder striker Korcari to pick his spot from 18 yards and fire past Al Bray, triggering a monstrous roar from the home faithful.
With Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau in attendance, the Greens replicated the Spanish tactician’s game plan to brilliant effect for the equaliser.
A long switch of play from Jack Webster allowed Daniel Visevic to find Thurtell in the box and the young striker did the rest himself, turning inside out and skipping past a defender before tucking away his second in as many games as Gombau stood and applauded.
Although Dandenong improved in the second half via the likes of Michael Gerace, Adam Petko and Brendan Elmazovski, Thurtell remained the most prominent threat on the park with some brilliant movement in the final third but lacked a clinical finish.
Dandy pressed forward in search of a winner when Jack Webster was dismissed for a second bookable offence, but were put to the sword once more by the impressive Thurtell.
Collecting Dion Kirk’s cross, the former Brisbane Strikers forward again made his own space and finished with aplomb as Melbourne’s south-east was bombarded by inclement weather.
The Green’s second goal could not have come at a better time when just three minutes later George Andrews Reserve was engulfed in darkness courtesy of a thunderstorm, forcing the referee to abandon play.
Dandenong Thunder 1 (Korcari 20’) v Bentleigh Greens 2 (Thurtell 37’, 81’) at George Andrews Reserve [HT 1:1] (ABANDONED AFTER 85’)
Bentleigh Greens: 21. Al BRAY (GK), 5. Jack WEBSTER, 36. Steven TOPALOVIC, 24. Luke PILKINGTON, 11. Dion KIRK, 8. Wayne WALLACE (C), 10. Tyson HOLMES (6. Liam MCCORMICK 70’), 19 Daniel VISEVIC, 18. Matthew THURTELL, 9. Chris LUCAS (7. Jamie DE ABREU 64’), 2. Tom MATTHEWS
Unused Substitute(s): 1. Ryan SCOTT (GK), 4. Troy RUTHVEN,, 15. Kobbie Boahene
Yellow Card(s): Webster 23’, 77’, Wallace 66’, Matthews 69’
Red Card(s): Webster 77’
Dandenong Thunder: 1. Zaim ZENELI (GK), 2. Jarryd BARNES, 3. Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLU, 4. Adam PETKO, 16. Gideon SWEET, 12. Brendan ELMAZOVSKI (C), 8. Lewis FOSTER (Ari RITZ 65’), 23. Micheal GERACE, 9. Vetan KORCARI, (Adbirahman AHMED 83’) 7. Yusef AHMED (Dillon JAKUPI 65’), 11. Ayodeji OMOBOYNE
Unused Subs: 20. Sermin SADIKOVSKI (GK), 5. Faisal SAKHIZADA,
Yellow card(s): Petko 42’, Barnes 70’