Second half goals from Liam Kearney
and Nate Foster, along with an unfortunate own goal from Ersin Kaya were enough to keep Dandenong three points clear on top of the VPL table.
The loss also cemented Moreland’s position on the bottom of the VPL table as the only team without a point this season.
Prior to kick off there was a minute silence for former Brunswick Juventus great from the 1950s Walter Zavattieri who had passed away earlier this week.
The game began as a tight affair with both teams looking for midfield dominance.
Stuart Nicholson had the first opportunity on goal after he was able to break through the Thunder defence and rounded goalkeeper Stuart Webster
to narrowly shade his shot across goal from an acute angle in the 15th minute.
Dandenong didn’t wait too long to create their own chance as a long clearance from a Zebras corner was met by Nate Foster in the middle of the field.
Foster easily passed the Moreland defence but was denied an opening goal from a terrific Griffin McMaster save who correctly read the strikers shot.
As the first half came to an end Moreland had a golden opportunity in the 43rd minute as a Nicholson pass found Vincent Faherty who blew his shot over the crossbar.
Moreland introduced former Melbourne Heart midfielder Kliment Taseski early in the second half and the 2009 Jimmy Rooney Medalist looked lively when he came on but could not affect the game.
Dandenong’s Luke Sherbon
almost opened the scoring in the 59th minute as he headed his shot past McMaster but also past the right post from a Mathew Theodore
Dandenong hit the lead three minutes later as a swift clearance from a corner found Foster who broke through the Moreland rear guard to create a four on two counter attack in favour of the Thunder.
Foster played the ball through to Kearney who placed the ball into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
With ten minutes remaining in the match rain began to pour down with the traveling Thunder fans heading into the stands as Moreland attacker Faherty attempted a lob from the edge of the penalty area which forced Webster to parry to ball away from the goal.
As the rain continued to poor down so did the Zebras’ chances to get back into the game as a Liam Kearny cross was deflected by youngster Ersin Kaya into the back of the net in the 84th minute.
Influential striker Nate Foster tripled the lead a minute later after a slip up in the hapless Moreland defence allowed the Canadian to find the back of the net for the fourth time this season.
There is no VPL action next week as VPL and State League one sides enter the State Knockout Cup.
When the VPL returns, Moreland Zebras travel to Green Gully Reserve to face reigning Champions Green Gully on Saturday May 5 while Dandenong Thunder visits Northcote City at John Cain Memorial Park on Sunday May 6.
Dandenong Thunder: Stuart Webster
, Andrew Mullett
, Bryan BRAN, Liam Kearney
(Shpetim MALA 89’), Mathew Theodore
, Veton KOCARI (Sean MC ILROY 80’), Shane Rexhepi
, Craig Elvin
, Iqbal JAWADI, Nate FOSTER, Luke Sherbon
Unused Subs: Zaim Zaneli
, Enis SIVIC.
Goals: Kearney 62’, Kaya (OG) 84’, Foster 85’.
Moreland Zebras: Griffin MCMASTER, Chris GROSSMAN (Ersin KAYA 80’), Ray LALLY, William ABBOTT (Nace KOSMAC 70’), Stuart NICHOLSON, Carl RECCHIA, Vincent FAHERTY, Daniel VASILEVSKI, Steven WEIR, Jungho KIM (Kliment TASESKI 53’), Reardo LUKA.
Unused Subs: Phil PETROVSKI, Kole DELEV.
Yellow Cards: Weir, Luka, Taseski.
Courtesy of FFV Website