Green Gully Cavaliers super sub Steve Hatzikostas has turned a teammate’s misfortune into his own moment to savour.
Hatzikostas rose high to head in the match-winning goal for the Cavaliers in a stirring 2-1 win over Oakleigh Cannons in the National Premier League at Green Gully Reserve on Saturday night.
His feat would not have been possible save for the departure of teammate Wade Dekker, who came from the ground moments earlier after sustaining a knock above the knee.
“He scored the goal as soon as he came on,” Cavaliers football operations manager Raymond Mamo said. “It was a great header after a corner.”
Green Gully was dominant in the first half, taking the lead through Sami Nour.
It was a deserved goal for Nour, who was one of the Cavaliers’ best on the night and was made to earn every possession.
“He was a hard worker and once he’s got the ball it’s difficult to get the ball off him,” Mamo said.
Nick Krousoratis and Alex Caniglia were the other attacking stars for Green Gully. But it was the Cavaliers’ defenders who shone in the second half, with Jeremy Walker, Daniel Jones and Matthew Reid needing to be at the top of their games to snuff out the Oakleigh threat.
Green Gully has solidified its spot in the top six, despite still missing key players Josh Brindell-South, Callum Richardson and Luke Walker through injury.
Mamo said it was testament to the side’s depth.
“These are all big-name players, but we’re able to have them replaced,” he said.
Green Gully has a short four-day turnaround to its FFA Cup clash with Altona Magic tomorrow night (Wednesday) at Green Gully Reserve.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Knights had a frustrating 2-2 draw with Heidelberg United at Knights Stadium on Friday night.
The Knights went into second-half stoppage time with a 2-1 lead after goals to Tom Cahill and Elvis Kamsoba, but United’s Ken Athiu broke their hearts with his second goal of the game.
The Knights will face Banyule City in the FFA Cup at Eltham North Reserve on Thursday night.