Hume City played host to the Melbourne Knights in windy and wet conditions at Broadmeadows Valley Park on Sunday afternoon, with the match finishing in an entertaining one all draw, marred by some contentious refereeing decisions.
The visitors were without captain Ben Surey for this match with Josip Kozic taking the armband, while Hume City welcomed back Erdogan in their otherwise unchanged line up.
It was the home side that created the first chance of the game in the opening minutes when Andy Vlahos delivered one of his trademark crosses that narrowly missed Dusko Delic in a good position.
However it was the Knights who dominated possession and looked more threatening to open the scoring, and in the 13th minute they had a good shout for a penalty after it appeared Pir handled the ball in the box, only for the referee to wave the appeal away.
Minutes later Craig Sweeney tested Acevski from 20 yards and found the goalkeeper equal to the task, and after a flurry of corners for the visitors Adam Zilic headed wide after finding himself in a good position at the back post.
Dubios showed some crafty skills by skipping past two markers and creating space inside the box, but his shot was mishit and flew harmlessly wide, whilst the Hume City player/coach Vlahos tried to lift his side with a powerful strike that fizzed past the upright.
The Knights had the best chance to open the scoring in the 32nd minute after some good work form Dragicevic on the right flank set up Magdic inside the box in space, Magdic’s shot beat the keeper but some desperate defending from Riccobene on the line saved his side from going a goal down.
This sparked the home side into action, and after the Knights failed to clear a corner, a cross found Zoran Petrevski unmarked in the 18yard box who finished superbly on the half volley.
However this would be Petrevski’s last impact on the match after he was forced off with a hamstring injury, joining Steven Pace on the bench who had been subbed just minutes earlier for the same injury.
It took the Knights just over ten minutes into the second half to equalize after Craig Sweeney found himself on side and one on one the keeper, but while his shot was well saved by Acevski, Josip Magdic was on hand to slam home the equalizer and make it two from two for the midfielder.
Steven Weir had a great chance to put his side back in front after a mistimed header from Junior De Camargo saw the ball fall to Weir, but the UK import’s shot was wide of the target.
Acevski again had his defenders to thank when Craig Sweeney’s drive was blocked on the line and when substitute Yusuf Yusuf struck the upright with a stunning effort, it looked as if the Knights were the most likely to snatch all three points.
Some questionable refereeing decisions marred and ruined what was turning out to be an exciting finale to the match, twice booking Knights players for some very soft challenges, not awarding Hume City a clear as day corner, and awarding two very controversial free-kicks on the edge of the Knights penalty area in the last five minutes of the clash.
The first of these free-kicks saw Richie Cardozo strike the upright, whilst the second free kick was awarded after Ofli seemed to go to ground very easily and clearly inside the box, only for the referee to award a free kick on the edge of the area which Steven Weir hit into the wall. But the referee wasn’t stopping there, and made another controversial decision to book Yusef for a dive on the edge of the penalty area, for what looked like an obvious foul.
Lupce Acevski had a ‘Gomes’ like moment in stoppage time, when a routine save from a Kozic shot slipped though his hands and rolled towards goal, before the keeper recovered to save his blushes.
Next week Hume city play host to cellar dwellers St Albans Saints, whilst the Knights travel to face top of the table Dandenong Thunder next Saturday night.
Report: Andrew Fisher (Goal Weekly)
SHOTS: HC 5 MK 10, TARGET: HC 1 MK 5, CORNERS: HC 8 MK 5
Hume City Line Up: Acevski, Pace (Bosevski 32’), Petrevski (Ofli 40’), Delic (Pistininzi 75’), Riccobene, Vlahos, Erdogan, Pir, Cardozo, Dilizia, Weir.
Yellow Cards: Cardozo, Delic
Goals: Zoran Petrevski 37’
Melbourne Knights Line Up: John, Filipovic (Stefanou 70’), A. Colosimo, Junior De Camargo, Zilic, Kozic, Magdic, S. Romein, Sweeney, Dubios (Welmont 78’), Dragicevic (Yusef 75’).
Yellow Cards: Dubios, Romein, Junior De Camargo, Yusef.
Goals: Magdic 56’.
MoM: Josip Magdic (MK)
Crowd: Approx 300 @ Broadmeadows Valley Park