Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Suns beat odds and almost Greens

Goulburn Valley Suns didn't have the greatest start to their day on Saturday with injury and illness, but they put up a determined fight to draw with Bentleigh Greens.

MATTHEW GALEA August 4, 2014 3:15am

Goulburn Valley Suns overcame all odds and adversity on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Kingston Heath Reserve to earn a 2-2 draw against Bentleigh Greens.

Even before kick-off, things were going wrong for the Suns.

Antonio Barbaro suffered a knee injury that forced him to go to hospital during the warm up, while Zac Foxhoven and Simon Colosimo were battling a case of gastro. Foxhoven and Colosimo played despite illness and made crucial contributions to the result.

The draw means senior coach David Davkovski has already doubled the Suns’ points tally from five to 10 since taking over, but he was the first to admit his side underperformed in the first half.

It was no surprise then as the Greens opened the scoring through Ryan Devries after 13 minutes.

The striker got himself on the end of a lovely through ball after losing Riley Hamilton and directed a lovely curled effort beyond Suns keeper Phil Petrovski.

The Suns levelled on 38 minutes when Foxhoven eventually scored after his first attempt at a penalty was saved.

Greens striker David Stirton restored his team’s lead barely a minute later with a fine shot after breaking through the Suns’ defence to make it 2-1 at the break.

The Suns started the second half in a similar vein to the first, but soon became the dominant force when Davkovski brought on 18-year-old Joey Hogarty for his third senior appearance.

Fellow teenager Matt Gleeson, 17, was also handed his senior debut off the bench after a full game in the under-20s’ 2-0 loss.

Hogarty’s invention on the ball immediately unlocked the Greens’ defence and his cutback did well to find Ben Clarke, but the pacy winger could only force his shot at the keeper.

The Suns then had a series of shots blocked or saved in quick succession when Bryan Vanega, Clarke, Colosimo and Hogarty were involved in a goalsquare scrap before the Greens eventually cleared the ball.

Clarke finally got the equaliser after 78 minutes when Colosimo produced a lovely, lobbed-through ball and did well to control it before dispatching it past the onrushing keeper.

He might have even won the game when another late shot was saved, but it was up to Hamilton at the other end to produce an amazing match-saving, last-ditch block on the line to ensure the Suns took at least one point.

‘‘I thought we had more chances to win the game after a poor first half,’’ Davkovski said.

‘‘To finish with three under-18 players on the park was a dream come true for me. I’m so happy right now because I wanted to get the young guys in the side and we’ve done that today.

‘‘They might start next week. The team that finished was great, so maybe I don’t have to change it. We’ll see.’’

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