By Roanna Sanelli
The St Albans Saints have won their first game of the season defeating the Oakleigh Cannons one nil at Churchill Reserve on Sunday afternoon.
Defeats had become very much commonplace for the Saints despite patches of excellent play in all their matches.
Yet Dinamo were determined to prove their critics wrong, with new recruits Caleb Mikulic and Anthony Katiforis both securing starting eleven positions after impressing on their debuts.
The hosts were keen to take early control of the game which they made clear in the opening exchanges.
Dinamo appeared to be resetting into shaper and tracking back quicker than in previous matches.
Michael Grgic was slotted into the midfield as Oakleigh utilised the flanks with the aim of out-running the Saints.
A few communication and positioning problems for the hosts saw their opponents have several goal scoring opportunities including a diving header which travelled wide of the near post.
Yet Dinamo made a point of being aggressive when coming forward and it was Grgic whom had the best chance for the half.
His strike from distance forced a stretch from the opposition goalkeeper, but the shot hit the post and bounced away from danger.
The hosts entered the break with a renewed confidence hoping their continual efforts would be rewarded.
Indeed, Mikulic heralded the start of the second term with a shot saved by the keeper.
Dinamo appeared energised as they came forward to attack in continual waves with Daniel Chaabani’s shot on goal forcing the keeper to make another save.
Oakleigh continued to play quickly to frustrate the rhythm of Dinamo yet it had an adverse effect with the visitors mistiming several scoring chances.
Coach Kruni Razov sought to heighten the intensity and made two changes, bringing on Jean Carlos Solorzano and Joseph Monek, with the inclusion of the latter proving to be crucial.
The momentum shifted definitively with the hosts as the winger threatened the Oakleigh goals and on one occasion catching the keeper off-guard but the eventual shot travelled over the bar.
He was of course the catalyst moments later when his cross into the area found an un-marked Matthew Cundari whom slotted home to secure Dinamo’s first three points of the competition.
Oakleigh were left to ponder on the chances not taken after being dealt their first loss of the season.
The Saints will next square off against Kingston City on Monday evening.