Young Thunder dominates Northcote City with 6-1 win
By DAMIR KULAS (@DamirKulas)
Dandenong Thunder has rolled back the years with a dominant 6-1 trashing over Northcote City at George Andrews Reserve on Saturday night.
A hat trick to youngster Jarod Blackburn, a double to wunderkind Yusef Ahmed and another one from his brother Abdirahman Ahmed sealed the three points while an Evan Kounavelis goal proved to be nothing more than a mere consolation to the disappointing City.
Thunder came into the contest looking to grab all three points and move away from the bottom two while Northcote had collected four points from six and were looking to get back into the finals rice with an away win.
The match kicked-off in frantic fashion as a neat one two between Michael Gerace and veteran Veton Korcari saw the former launch a forceful shot straight into Northcote goalkeeper Chris Theodoridis before firing the follow-up over the bar.
City would not be so lucky two minutes later when a pin-point perfect cross from right-back Brendan Elmazovski found the grateful Jarod Blackburn who volleyed home to give Thunder an early lead.
The visitors almost levelled the scoring immediately afterwards when Mitchell Bissinger met a corner but his header went just wide of goal.
The great interplay between Korcari and Gerace continued when the striker supplied the former Box Hill United midfield with a sublime ball into the area but the he failed to get the right contact on it to trouble Theodoridis.
Northcote came close to an equaliser when a James Kalifatidis free-kick was deflected over the bar by the wall as Goran Lozanovski’s men began to settle into the contest.
However their good work was outdone on the stroke of half-time when a good team move from Thunder saw the inspired Blackburn find Yusef Ahmed with the teenager left with the simple task of tapping the ball into the net.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first with a fine Gerace cross finding Blackburn as the Rowville Sports Academy product smashed his volley into the post.
Aron Handakas almost pulled one back for City when his back-post header missed the target but the guests would not be denied a couple of minutes later when Kounavelis flicked on a cross past Zaim Zeneli to reduce the deficit.
Minutes later and the scores were almost level when Kalifatidis played a nice one-two with Marino Gasparis before the club stalwart’s stinging shot breezed past the post n what was a piece which came back to haunt City.
Thunder coach Stuart Munro went to the bench and brought on the youthful Abdirahman Abdul for the experienced Veton Korcari and the youngster made an immediate impact as he was played in through on goal before calmly placing his strike in between the sticks and past the goalkeeper in what was his first involvement of the game.
Barely five minutes after that moment of brilliance, the crowd was once more treated to a goal of the highest quality as a Yusef Ahmed cross from the right was acrobatically hit on the volley by Blackburn who had done well to adjust himself for the perfect shot.
Yusef made it 5-1 soon after when the birthday boy latched onto a loose ball on the wing before taking it forward into the box and turning his defender before curling it into the net for his second.
The rout was completed in stoppage time when Blackburn claimed the match ball with his third thanks to a smart finish to leave the home faithful in dreamland in a blistering display from the Thunder boys.
Dandenong Thunder 6 (Blackburn 4, 69, 90, Y.Ahmed 45, 77, A.Ahmed 64) defeated Northcote City 1 (Kounavelis 57) at George Andrews Reserve
DT: 1. Zaim Zeneli (GK), 3. Ramazan Tavsancioglu, 4. Adam Petko, 5. Faisal Sakhizada, 6. Alan Mulcahy (8. Lewis Foster 75’), 7. Yusef Ahmed, 9. Veton Korcari (19. Abdirahman Ahmed 63’), 12. Brendan Elmazovski (2. Jarryd Barnes 81’), 16. Gideon Sweet, 23. Michael Gerace, 24. Jarod Blackburn
Unused Subs: 18. Ariel Ritz, 20. Chris England (GK)
Yellow Card(s): Petko 33'
Red Card(s): None
NC: 22. Chris Theodoridis (GK), 3. Mitchell Bissinger, 4. Jacob Eliopoulos (2. Hayden D’Agostino 77’), 5. Gregory Lombardo, 7. Jason Hayne (19. Ryan Go 88’), 8. James Kalifatidis, 10. Marino Gasparis, 11. Evan Kounavelis, 12. Jordan Wilkes, 18. Aron Handakas (14. Anthony Ramzy 83’), 20. Nick Kokolakis
Unused Subs: 1. Mason Interlandi (GK), 21. Phillip Vaiopoulos
Yellow Card(s): Kounavelis 34'
Red Card(s): None