Sunshine George Cross twice came from behind to share the spoils with Richmond in this Round 5 clash which saw coach Chris Taylor hand debuts to Fidel Richards and Mark Draycott.
SUNSHINE GEORGE CROSS 2 (NECESKI 47' pen, WATERSON 83')
RICHMOND 2 (BENI 7', VISEVIC 80')
LINE UP: John,Muscat(c),Azzopardi,Kovacevic,Gauci-Seddon,Delic,Gilmour, Neceski(Draycott 64’),Filipovic(Cvetanoski 76’),Waterson,Richards (Platt 74’) Sub not used: Ivkovic(GK)
Sunshine George Cross and Richmond had to be satisfied with a share of the points, in conditions more suited to going to the beach instead of playing football. With the temperature hovering around the 37 degree mark throughout the game, it is a credit to both sets of players for the effort in producing such a fine contest.
Richmond was on the board very early in this game, when after only 7 minutes a long free kick deceived Sunshine keeper Martin John to find the head of James Baskerville at the far post. His header across the goal found the energetic Brendan Beni who had the easy task of heading in from under the post.
Richmond dominated for long periods in the first half without creating too many goal scoring chances. Some of the long balls played out of defence by Steve Burton often had the Georgie defence caught out of position. During the first 45 minutes Sunshine Georgie players played like complete strangers with no cohesion and a lack of understanding.
Even simple passes went astray much to the disgust of the home fans. The second period began sensationally when Tony Neceski played in new recruit Fidel Richards with a pass inside the penalty area. Richards was brought down by Josip Rajher and referee Jim Ouliaris had no hesitation pointing to the spot. Neceski brought the game level to set up a rousing second half.
The Georgies should have been in front after 51 minutes when Richards’ pass found Dusko Delic who wasted a golden opportunity by blasting over the bar from 10 yards out. It was a different Georgie outfit in the second half with the players coming out fully recharged and on the attack. Trent Waterson tested the Richmond defence by taking them on, but his shooting let him down. Waterson's battle with Beni was the feature of the second half with the Georgie youngster giving a good account of himself against his more experienced opponent.
Richmond got their game going again and began testing the Cross back line. After having a lucky escape in the 76 minute, Richmond regained the lead after an incisive run and cross by Sava Rusmir on the left wing. Rusmir's pass was perfectly met first time by Daniel Visevic to put Richmond 2-1 in front after 80 minutes.
The Cross response was prompt as within 2 minutes the scores were level once again. A high centre from Dusko Delic was headed home by Trent Waterson much to the relief of the George fans. Those same fans had heir hearts in their throats in the 87 minute, when a long range free kick by Beni landed on the cross bar. The ball fell at the feet of James Baskerville, who in turn saw his goal bound shot cleared off the goal line by Cross captain Manny Muscat.