Unanderra Hearts snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Fernhill Foxes in a Round 10 catchup match at Ray Robinson Field on Thursday night.
The hosts took an early lead five minutes in through Kyle Del before Christian Plakias put the Hearts level in the 17th minute.
A freak own goal gave Unanderra the lead heading into halftime and Scott Bridge’s goal towards the end of the game finished off the match.
It was an action-packed opening 20 minutes as both sides had several chances early on.
The Foxes got off to a fast start when in the fifth minute, a ball across the box from the left dropped to Del who from close in lashed a shot that bounced off the crossbar and over the goal line.
Unanderra looked to respond straight away with Plakias forcing Foxes’ keeper Kiel Zerner into a save three minutes after the goal before poking a shot wide of the left post seconds later.
Fernhill almost added a second in the 10th minute when Daniel Jorge’s freekick from the right met a sliding Djukic whose shot was held on to by Blake Coad in the Hearts’ goal.
A couple of minutes later, Unanderra’s Valentino Merxhushi drove towards goal from the right skipping past a challenge on the edge of the box, but the shot rolled straight to Zerner.
14 minutes in, Fernhill tested Coad again with Del’s shot from the edge of the box saved onto the crossbar.
The rebound fell to Jordan Hughes in the left of the box, but the midfielder’s shot was blocked.
The hosts would be left to rue missed chances as three minutes later, a mix-up in the side’s own box allowed Heart’s player Dominic Magill to square the ball to Plakias.
Plakias receiving the ball inside the box and passing a first-time shot into the net to put Unanderra level.
Just two minutes after their first goal, the away side could’ve taken the lead.
Bridge was played through one-on-one with Zerner aiming to roll the ball into the far left corner but the shot lacked the power and direction to trouble the keeper who made a comfortable save.
However, just after the half-hour mark, the side did go in front as a ball from halfway towards the Foxes’ goal inexplicably rolled past Zerner and into the net.
The Hearts continued to press on; pursuing more goals before halftime.
The visitors were awarded a corner 36 minutes in after Zerner had tipped a shot over the bar and from the right-sided kick, Tatsuki Nagatsuka headed onto the right post before the ball was scrambled away.
Fernhill went down the other end with Nelson Mcleod who sent a shot from the right edge of the box narrowly over the crossbar.
Unanderra’s Bridge had another chance with seven minutes to play in the first half going through one-on-one but clipped his effort just wide of the left post.
A resurgent Unanaderra team had turned around an early deficit to lead at the break.
The Hearts began the second period the way they finished the first with Merxhushi twisting and turning in the right of the box before arrowing a shot straight at Zerner two minutes in.
Five minutes later, Fernhill’s Del was played in behind on the left dribbling into the box before Coad cut it out.
Midway through the half, the away side began to step up their attacking attempts as Nagatsuka delicately slid a ball into the path of Bridge who prompted Zerner to save from close range.
Not long after, Magill dragged a shot wide from the left corner of the box wide of the right post.
The pressure finally told in the 77th minute as Bridge drove into the left of the box before shifting the ball on his right foot and calmly stroking an effort into the far corner.
Unanderra started to pick up space in behind the Foxes’ defence as Fernhill committed more numbers forward with Bridge having a couple more opportunities in the remainder of the game.
With three minutes to go, a scooped pass from Nagatsuka on the right of the box met the forward on the other side whose shot bounced wide of the right post.
A minute later, Bridge picked up the ball after it had been deflected into his path on the left of the box sending a shot from a narrow angle off the left post.
Unanderra Hearts went on to secure a 3-1 victory against Fernhill Foxes.
After this match, Rod Williams’ side has six home fixtures in a row starting with Thirroul next Saturday who they beat 2-0 earlier on in the season.
As for Fernhill, this makes it two defeats in a row after last week’s 4-1 loss to Helensburgh.
The side travels to Judy Masters Oval next week to take on Balgownie Rangers.
Fernhill Foxes 1 (Kyle Del 5’)
Unanderra Hearts 3 (Christian Plakias 17’, Kiel Zerner OWN GOAL 31’, Scott Bridge 77’)
Fernhill Foxes: 1. ZERNER Kiel, 2. JORGE Daniel, 3. CALDER Lachlan, 4. DJUKIC Dejan, 5. OLIVER Anthony, 6. PASSLOCK Mattias, 7. HUGHES Jordan, 8. GALANTI Matt, 9. DJUKIC Daniel, 10. DEL Kyle, 11. MCLEOD Nelson
Substitutes: 12. MINDZAS Tom (GALANTI 68’), 13. KOTRIC David (OLIVER 79’), 14. DE FEITAS Luke, 21. HACLAYA Yacoub, 16. JAGNJIC Danilo (MINDZAS 82’)
Yellow Cards: Daniel Djukic 15’
Red Cards: Nil
Unanderra Hearts: 20. COAD Blake, 23. MOREIRA Bradley, 2. KYRIAKOUDES Peter, 4. GOLDSMITH Jason, 5. DEBROT Luke, 9. BRIDGE Scott, 7. PLAKIAS Christian, 6. DELBANCO Robert, 10. NAGATSUKA Tatsuki, 11. MERXHUSHI Valentino, 17. MAGILL Dominic
Substitutes: 14. MARTIN Lachlan (PLAKIAS 74’), 8. CHAPLAIN Byron, 15. LAMACCHIA Daniel (BRIDGE 90+2’), 24, DI GENNI Zachary, 1. SAWADA Kenji
Yellow Cards: Scott Bridge 90+1’
Red Cards: Nil
Date: 30 June 2022
Venue: Ray Robinson Oval
Referee: Steven Payne
Assistant Referees: Warwick Davidson and Lachlan Davidson
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_