“Hat-trick Marko” sinks Waverley Old Boys O35B’s
On a barmy sunny day with temperatures in the mid-20s, it was more like summer than the depths of autumn as Dunbar O35Bs took on Waverley Old Boys 35Bs at the newly opened Moore Park Synthetic arena.
With just 13 players to choose from, the conditions required both teams to let the ball do the work, rather than chasing down long passes. Lining up again with a 4-5-1 formation, Dunbar quickly got into their stride with several good efforts on goal from Marko Vukovic, playing up top again as the solo striker.
Comfortable letting Waverley play out from the back, Dunbar were patient and worked hard to shut down their passing options. With the back four again tight and playing possession football, Dunbar’s midfield five were seeing plenty of the ball, so it was no surprise when we opened the scoring.
With some neat football down the right channel, a first time pass from Graham White got Marko in behind and he finished with aplomb driving powerfully into the corner of the goal.
Dunbar continued to play nice possession football, and Marko again found himself bearing down on goal, this time from a delicious Giggsy through ball. This time though the Waverley keeper guessed right and managed to get something on the shot and deflect it for a corner.
That was a warning for Waverley and just a few minutes later Marko was in again, this time picking up another White pass. Cutting in from the left wing, Marko looked odds on to score, but again the keeper made an excellent save, steering the ball away for another corner. Perhaps it was going to be third time lucky for Marko, when he won a free kick on the edge of the box. Picking himself up and telling those around him it was his kick, it looked like the right decision. Lifting the ball over the Waverley wall with pace, the keeper was beaten but luckily for him the shot smacked the crossbar and Waverley got to the rebound first to clear.
Waverley only mustered a couple of shots from distance throughout the first half, so it remained 1-0 at the interval. With both teams keen to re-hydrate, it was the home team the happier with the score line as Dunbar should have been out of sight and three points in the bag.
With Mark Hodgson having to leave at half time, Dunbar had few options to give the lads a breather, so again the game plan was to keep moving the ball around the park and pick off Waverley when the chances presented themselves.
Dunbar didn’t have to wait long for that first chance with White going very close driving across goal after a great pass from Alex Lopez.
Despite that miss, the second goal soon arrived and it was one worth waiting for. Again it came from the same combination as the first goal, with White picking up the ball in midfield and sending a pinpoint pass for Marko to get in behind the centre half. With just the keeper to beat, Marko was patient and passed the ball into the net to give the Waverley keeper no chance this time around.
Now in the ascendency, Dunbar continued to control the game but were suddenly reduced to the bear 11 players at the 60 minute mark when Nick Bond withdrew with a sore Achilles. After a quick re-shuffle, Dunbar needed to kill the game with a third goal.
So, it was no surprise that goal would come from the boot of Marko, who completed a well-deserved hat trick from what was Dunbar’s most direct move of the game. A Taggy goal kick was flicked on by Boris Garelja in to Marko. Out on the left wing, Marko changed gears to easily get round the Waverley right back and driving into the box from a tight angle he delayed on his shot, before neatly beating the keeper at this near post from six yards. That goal took Marko’s tally to eight for the season.
But with no substitutes to call on, the conditions began to take their toll as Dunbar began to tire against a slightly younger Waverley squad. As the game headed into the last 10 minutes, Waverley enjoyed their best spell of the game, creating a number of chances and eventually a consolation goal.
Scott Sadler made a great goal line clearance after Taggy got down well to get something on a low drive. But sensing something, Waverley continued to press and got in behind Dunbar with a neat pass into the box. Looking a tad offside the ref waved play on and Chris Tangye, who put in another excellent performance, blocked the first shot. But fortuitously the ball fell into the path of the Waverley winger and his first time shot deflected off Kenny Keussen’s outstretched leg to loop over Taggy and find the bottom corner. There was almost a second Waverley goal in stoppage time when, from a pinpoint cross, the striker himself unmarked eight yards out only to send his header wide with just Taggy to beat – so 3-1 it finished.
That’s now three in a row for Dunbar 35Bs, and with bottom of the table Waverley Old Boys O35As up next, the team will be keen to make that four.