Tomic goal on return steals Dandy a point from Werribee
By Damir Kulas (@DamirKulas)
Dandenong Thunder and Werribee City have played out a pulsating 2-2 draw at George Andrews Reserve on Saturday night.
New signings James Goulopoulos and Archie Tomic made immediate impacts at their new club with debut goals as did Deng Aguek of Werribee with veteran Simon Colosimo also getting on the scoresheet.
The Thunder came into the relegation six-pointer on the back of a humiliating 6-1 home defeat to Heidelberg while the Bees were looking to continue their impressive form and get their third win on the bounce.
Stuart Munro was still without the services of injured youngster Yusef Ahmed but welcomed into the starting line-up four new faces with the returning Tomic lining up alongside Brodie Paterson, Tim Purcell and Nelson Salvatore.
A late injury to first-choice goalkeeper Zaim Zeneli saw youngster Anthony Saric make his debut between the sticks for Thunder and he was nearly caught out when a shot from distance from Simon Zappia saw him nervously scatter the ball onto the post and out.
Up the other end, former Ballarat attacker Salvatore had two good chances at the back-post but was unable to trouble Frano Saric in Werribee goals.
It would prove costly as Salvatore’s former Red Devils teammate Aguek scored in the 23rd minute to give City the lead in what was his second goal of the season – his first coming against Thunder for Hume at the same venue earlier on in the season.
Thunder did its best to find an equaliser before the break with Veton Korcari’s cutback to Tomic failing to materialise into anything genuine as his weak shot was cleared away by the City defence.
After the conclusion of second-half proceedings, Tomic once more came close to finding a leveller for the hosts as his long drive went narrowly wide of the post.
Werribee’s task of holding onto the lead was made the more difficult when Rob Naumoski picked up his second caution reducing Nino Ragusa’s side to ten men.
A handball in the box presented the home side with the opportunity to level the scoring but Veton Korcari saw his spot-kick saved by Saric after converting the initial effort only to have to re-take it for encroachment by his teammates.
But the home crowd needed not to worry as almost immediately after new signing Goulopoulos was played through before converting past Saric to swing the momentum back in Thunder’s advantage.
The lead did not last long as a Christopher Cristaldo cutback to Aguek saw his effort diverted wide for a corner before former Socceroo Colosimo rose highest to give City a priceless lead with just over ten minutes on the clock remaining.
Dandenong appeared to blow their final genuine chance off the game when Purcell’s goal bound shot was cleared off the line while Paterson’s long-range efforts failed to test Saric.
Just when it appeared Werribee had done enough to secure all three points, Paterson’s cross into the box with seconds remaining was met by a fierce header from the returning Tomic who marked his second stint with the club with a memorable equaliser as both sides settled for a point.
Dandenong Thunder 2 (Goulopoulos 75, Tomic 90+4) drew with Werribee City 2 (Aguek 23, Colosimo 77) at George Andrews Reserve
DT: 20. Anthony Saric (GK), 3. Ramazan Tavsancioglu, 4. Adam Petko, 6. Archie Tomic, 9. Veton Korcari, 11. Tim Purcell, 12. Brendan Elmazovski, 14. Brodie Paterson, 15. Nelson Salvatore (24. Jarod Blackbourn 69’), 16. Gideon Sweet, 23. Michael Gerace (22. James Goulopoulos 55’)
Unused Subs: 5. Faisal Sakhizada, 8. Lewis Foster, 21. Chris England (GK)
Yellow Card(s): None
Red Card(s): None
WC: 1. Frano Saric (GK), 3. Ryan Filipovic, 4. Simon Colosimo, 6. Anthony Ragusa (5. Kobbie Boahene 86’), 7. Simon Zappia, 8. Daniel Chaabani, 9. Deng Aguek (9. Evan Batsis 85’), 10. Christopher Cristaldo (16. Angus Martin 79’), 11. Bobby Vidanoski, 19. Rob Naumoski, 23. Steve Cudrig
Unused Subs: 2. Michael Sims, 25. David Thomson (GK)
Yellow Card(s): Colosimo 12, Naumoski 37, 64, Vidanoski 73
Red Card(s): Naumoski 64