By Roanna Sanelli
Photo: Dion Fountas
The St Albans Saints have succumbed 3-1 to Murray United at Churchill Reserve on Sunday afternoon.
After a few tied contests, the Saints were looking for a victory to bolster their NPL2 campaign.
Indeed, the hosts welcomed Nana Yaw back into the left-back position following his gradual return to form after a long-term injury.
Dinamo’s intent was clear from the opening exchanges, in which the playing group as a unit played high up on the pitch.
The momentum and possession were firmly in favour of the host squad and it was Matthew Cundari whose header from a Michael Grgic cross which nearly found the back of the net.
Several minutes later, it was the midfielder whom again attempted to give his side the lead yet his strike from the edge of the area travelled over the cross-bar.
Unfortunately for the visitors, their passes and plays were continually intercepted in the midfield by the Saints whose strong focus on group communication seemed to be paying dividends.
In fact, Murray appeared to rely on long balls to get the play into the final third which did not phase a consistent Dinamo backline.
The hosts continued to keep their plays simple and quick with Grgic missing two separate scoring chances prior to the end of the half.
Murray commenced the second term much like in the first and continued to not actively seek out balls.
It was with a touch of luck that their first goal arrived following confusion in the box following a corner.
Coach Kruni Razov took immediate action by bringing on both Adrian Barresi and Juso Julardzija yet a second goal soon arrived for the visitors.
A lone Murray player surged forward on the counter to slot home and give his side a two-nil advantage.
Despite having majority of the scoring chances, it was Dinamo whom cut a frustrated figure on the pitch with their final balls somewhat lacking in efficacy.
The Saints did manage to get onto the score sheet and it was Barresi who lifted the spirits of the hosts when he drilled his shot into the back of the net.
Yet, the visitors immediately responded with a third to secure the three points.
The Saints will next square off against Nunawading City on Saturday.