Hakoah FC vs Spirit FC | Saturday 28 March
1ST GRADE: 3-1
The home fixture started with a minute silence to honour and pay respect to club legend Billy Murphy.
Top of the table Spirit FC came to Hensley full of confidence with 3 wins from 3 under their belt.
The opening stanza was a tight affair until Bruno Mendes ignited the game in the 8th minute with some sublime skills to cut through the Spirit defence and his resultant shot just cleared off the line. Clearly he was in the mood to make a difference, which proved to be the case as the game unfolded.
In the 18th minute, a long ball upfield from Niki Loe found Luis Lobo, who then provided a clinical pass to Jordy Koton who broke behind their line of defence. His run was foiled by a foul in the box and the resulting penalty was powerfully put away by James Demitriou.
Hakoah started to played with more momentum, but on a counter attack Spirit nearly scored but for a great save from Niki Loe. Shortly after another threatening attack from Spirit was thwarted by Connor Shaddock, who put his body on the line to block a certain goal.
Luis Lobo was causing havoc on the Spirit defence throughout the half. A very good Hakoah high press late in the half caused a turnover of ball, and Lobo was able to break through and shoot for goal, only for the parried shot finding incoming Mendes, who was in and scored the second just before the break.
Spirit came out in the second half with intent and had moments that threatened the Hakoah goal. In one of those attacks, Hakoah conceded a penalty in the 65th minute, however Niki Loe anticipated brilliantly to save the spot kick.
Hakoah responded with some fresh legs coming off the bench with 20 minutes to play, and with this injection of energy came the decisive goal, scored by Bruno Mendes in the 78th minute after a great build up play.
Spirit scored a consolation goal at the end of the game but it was Hakoah that came up triumphs with a deserved 3-1 win.
It was good to hear the winning song bellowing out loud and proud from a packed home change room.
Round 4 saw Hakoah U20s play host to Spirit FC.
It would be Hakoah with all the chances in the first 20 min but uncharacteristically failed to capitalise.
The turning point came on the 23rd minute mark when Zach Sapsford stepped up for a penalty. Unfortunately for us Zach hit the crossbar. Moments later Spirit counter attacked and scored.. Hakoah a little shell shocked conceded again minutes later and in a blink of an eye 2-0 down..
Hakoah battled hard and again failed to put away further chances.
The second half saw our Strikers replaced to warm the bench for first grade.. Hakoah being Hakoah dug deep and in the 50th minute were awarded another penalty. Michael Vakis stepped up, but his shot was thwarted by the keeper, Pauli Aurilio being Pauli raced into the box and scored of the rebound. Hakoah 1-2. Hakoah had several more chances and again were unable to score. Credit to the Spirit keeper who had a good game as well as Spirits 12th man.
Full time 1-2