Melbourne Knights and Hume City have played out a 0-0 draw in an otherwise pulsating encounter at ABD Stadium on Saturday night.
Neither side could break the deadlock, with both goalkeepers on task to see off any potential danger.
Stipo Andrijasevic showed good intent from the first whistle, with his cross looking for Marijan Cvitkovic scrambled clear by City in the opening stages of the match.
On the counter, Hume looked deadly and it took a foul and a yellow card for Milan Batur to halt the attack in its tracks, as Jai Ingham and Nick Hegarty applied pressure to the back four.
Andrijasevic continued to hustle as Knights drew confidence via the wings in the opening periods.
The strong midfielder was able to control the tempo of the game, yet at times lost his cool at the vital moments.
Cvitkovic’s efforts in the first half were not forgotten either. A cheeky nutmeg drew a foul on the edge of the box, but the whipped in free kick wasn’t enough to trouble Oldfield in the Hume goal.
A vital point of the first half was Chris May’s influence on his fellow team mates following a stunning save which began a list of stops that would highlight his importance in the Knights lineup this season.
Jai Ingham’s lofted ball from deep was not dealt with, and found Nick Hegarty through on goal, with metres ahead of him, and defenders chasing him down.
May came off his line and forced Hegarty wide, followed by a huge save to deny what looked a certain goal.
The two corners that followed from Hume were cleared twice. First by McGarry and the second from Andrijasevic who seemed to be everywhere on the pitch.
City grew in confidence, and it was May to the rescue again moments later.
A scramble in the box saw Deng Aguek and Nick Hegarty exchange passes, only for the ball to drop to Joey Franjic.
Franjic’s effort from metres out was blocked by a big hand from May, which concluded the chances for the first half.
Deng Aguek was replaced by Marcus Schroen at halftime from Lou Acevski, as Hume looked to capitalise on the confidence that grew within the opening period.
Schroen was quickly in the thick of the action, and his ball to the dangerous Hegarty was too long, with the latter failing to get a shot on target.
Zahra helped in trying to inspire his teammates. Robbing the ball off Hume, his ball looking for Anderw Barisic was too long.
Hume fans felt hard done by as they were up in arms over a penalty call, after the substitute Schroen threw himself at the ground after minimal contact from Milan Batur, who stood strong alongside captain Uskok in a defensive test for the pair against a powerful front three.
May’s man of the match performance was typified in the final stages of the game as the goalkeeper kept his side from losing all three points on the road.
Hegarty, who looked dangerous all night rose the highest following a late free-kick was headed back across goal.
The ball was destined to hit the back of the net, and the ooh’s and ah’s of the crowd were quickly replaced by groans as May’s big glove got to the effort before it rippled the back of the net.
The referee would quickly blow for full time, as Hume would wonder how the final effort didn’t see them take all three points.