By Roanna Sanelli
Photo: Dion Fountas Photography
The St Albans Saints were narrowly defeated two one against the Bulleen Lions at Churchill Reserve on Sunday afternoon.
A determined Dinamo were keen to have a positive start to the match following a demoralizingly close loss to Green Gully on Easter Saturday.
Jean Carlos Solorzano returned to the starting line-up with Captain Ryan McGuffie starting on the bench.
Michael Grgic and Ben Shaper anchored the defence as the Saints began the match with a heightened intensity unmatched by the Lions.
Following two minutes of play, it was Matthew Cundari who again gave his side the advantage, after finding himself un-manned and striking the loose ball home from outside the edge of the area.
However, the elation was short-lived as the opposition capitalised on several Dinamo errors to weave past goalkeeper Chris May and easily equalise the proceedings.
The goal emphasised the pace and physicality of the hosts with the visitors being unable to maintain prolonged periods of possession.
Indeed, Dinamo had several opportunities to regain the lead, including a half volley from Daniel Slovacek which narrowly missed the inside of the right post.
Joseph Monek was key to the creativity of the side, utilising his pace on the left flank to weave around the opposition while also tracking back at the same speed and tucking into the back line.
The break allowed the hosts to recharge and re-focus in the second despite the apparent injury to May whom was replaced by Aaron Romein.
His concentration was immediately tested by Bulleen with a diving, left-hand save as the hosts took time to settle.
Yet, unfortunately for the Lions the midfield turnovers were consistent and it was not long before Dinamo began to take control of the match, maintaining their attacking momentum and prowess.
Both Rodrigo Covarrubias and Cundari forced saves from the opposition keeper, with the visitors doing the bare minimum to avoid conceding again.
Yet, an opening did eventually arise with a Grgic foul awarding the visitors a free kick in the final minutes of normal time.
A scramble in the box resulted in a last gasp goal for the visitors, gifting them the three points.
While both sides made errors, the final score did not accurately reflect the result with Dinamo having to again cut their losses and focus on their upcoming match against the North Geelong Warriors on Saturday.