By Josip Zilic
North Geelong Warriors will have plenty of fire in the belly to carry on with after being put to the sword courtesy of a terrible refereeing decision in it’s 2-1 loss to South Melbourne last Sunday.
The Warriors have a home Easter Saturday clash against Oakleigh, who come to Elcho Park after themselves losing 2-1 away to Green Gully.
Oakleigh haven’t had a bright start to 2017 and much like the Warriors are in need of points to gain traction for their campaign.
Talismen Dusan Bosnjak and Dean Piemonte will be the ones to watch out for as Oakleigh’s key to scoring.
Terrible conditions met North Geelong last Sunday at Lakeside, with driving rain and wind that had the corner flags at full reach all evening were a big enough test, let alone the opponent in South Melbourne.
Unfortunately for the Warriors they fell behind early in the 11th minute when Matt Millar was on hand to slide in a cross from the left to slip under Marko Stevanja’s reach.
The Warriors – true to their name – battled and grinded out opportunities after absorbing some of South Melbourne’s switch play through the middle of the park.
In the 38th minute the Warriors got their reward and evened the ledger after Andrew Doig’s long range drive was unable to be absorbed by Zaim Zenelli in goals leading to Ivan Grgic slamming the ball home and making a real contest of the occasion.
For all their endeavour and significant rise in work rate from last week, the Warriors were left confused – as too were most of South Melbourne’s men – when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty in the 62nd minute.
Despite the ball being won fairly and outside the area, referee Ioannis Zisis – who wasn’t sure himself initially – made a late call and pointed to the spot much to the ire of players and fans alike.
Milos Lujic stepped up to the spot and buried the winner home.
Without a win to their name in 2017, the Warriors are going to need to call in their inner strength more than ever this week in front of their faithful if they want to resurrect their season, never more timely than Easter to do this.