It was a long trip to the other side of Melbourne for Green Gully on a cold, wintery afternoon at Dandenong City. Relocating to Pitch 2 at Dandenong added to the difficulty of the task, with potholes galore and a breeze blowing across the pitch making football tough for both sides.
Neither team really took control in the opening quarter of an hour, with possession being gifted up by both teams. Disaster then struck after approximately 20 minutes with Nick Giarizzo receiving two yellow cards in quick succession after a tussle in the centre of the park. The task was now tougher for another young Gully side that saw Simon Zammit making his senior debut at Left Back.
Gully continued to fight until half time and looked dangerous at the set pieces; a positive sign after some work done on the training track during the week. There were a couple of good sighters on goal from corners, but a lack of composure inside the box we were unable to convert. Likewise, Dandenong weren’t able to muster any real chances and both teams entered the break scoreless.
HALF TIME 0 – 0
Gully knew the second half would be a battle without the ball for the most part, with the instructions from coach Ted Latomanski to keep it tight at the back. Dandenong were allowed a shot from the edge of the box that nestled into the bottom corner of Damian Barbanera’s goal.
Green Gully huffed and puffed, yet again were not able to create any chances, other than set pieces. The coaching staff tried all they could, even changing formation to a Back 3 in the final 15 minutes, but it wasn’t to be. As Gully tried in vain to find an equaliser, Dandenong broke forward and scrambled to a 2-goal advantage.
It was a long drive home with nothing to show for their efforts on an unfortunate afternoon for the Green Gully Under 21 side.
FINAL SCORE 2 – 0
Report by Asst. Coach Ian Burke
Photo by Mark Avellino Photography