Photo: Mark Avellino
Round 20 saw a rampant St Albans Saints side score three to secure all three points against sister-club North Geelong Warriors, in what was a massively important clash for both sides.
A penalty and blistering freekick from captain Michael Grgic were capped off by a solid Joseph Monek finish near the death, to cap off the three-nil win.
The clash looked as if it would go downhill from the 28th minute as Deji Omoboye was sent-off due to alleged off-the-ball contact with a Warriors player.
With ten-men on the pitch and the match still scoreless, the Saints unified and set out to run out the first half. It was a moment of fortune however for the hosts, when David Simms was struck by the fist of Hamish Flavell on the brink of half-time to award Razov’s men a penalty.
It was Grgic who converted the penalty, striking to the left, sending Flavell to the right. This ensured the one-nil lead heading into half-time for the hosts.
The Saints played out most of the second half with the intention of doubling their lead, however, did well on the defensive end to deter the likes of Darius Madison and Jamie Noggler from finding the back of the net.
Heading into the final ten minutes, Grgic was awarded another dead ball opportunity to show his excellence and with no mistake converted a beauty. Setup 25-yards away from the goal, Grgic cleared the wall and found the inside netting of the goal to double Saints’ lead and send Churchill Reserve into a frenzy.
In the final minute of regular time, David Stojic found Monek at the back post. Monek took on the man in front of him and struck a shot across the face of goal to secure Saints’ third and the three points which put the Saints back on the winners list after a challenging month.
Looking forward to Round 21, the Saints have the most important match of the season tonight against league-leaders Moreland Zebras. The last time the two sides faced back in March at Churchill Reserve, it was a two-one win for the Saints.
After a scoreless first half, Jakob Williams found the back of the net in the 72nd minute to give the Zebras a one-nil lead. Monek equalised converting a penalty with four minutes to go and Anthony Katiforis secured the three points with a stoppage time winner.
The Zebras are the first team in NPL Two West to reach 40-points after collecting 23-points at home and 17-points away from home. The Zebras have won seven, drawn two and lost two at home this season.
The Saints trail the Zebras by four points in third position. A win will bring the Saints within one- point of the rivals whilst a loss will extend the gap to seven-points. The Saints have won five, drawn two and lost three away from home this season.
Zebras’ danger men include Thomas Barforosh, Nicolas Niagioran and Davide Cardamone, Barforosh has netted nine this season whilst Niagioran has netted three in their last three matches which were all wins.
Saints will need Adam Hodor to be on fire alongside Monek and Grgic with the likes of Matthew Cundari and David Stojic looking to get back on the scoresheet. CB Smith Reserve is the venue, with kick-off set for 20:30. It’s a must-win Saints fans…