Match Preview-Round 28: Richmond SC vs Dandenong Thunder

With the final match of the season upon them, Richmond SC are facing certain relegation. In spite of this, both they and their supporters will be hoping to end the year on a slightly more positive note with a victory against Dandenong Thunder at George Andrews Reserve this Saturday afternoon.
Untill 3 weeks ago, the Eagles had exhibited some promising displays under the leadership of Coach Brian Vanega. Players and supporters alike, were beginning to feel hopeful of at least a mid-table finish.
However, their demoralising 2-0 loss to the Eastern Lions resulted in a loss of momentum for Richmond and they followed it up with equally disappointing performances against Moreland City and the Goulburn Valley Suns in round 26 and 27 respectively. This being the case, even in the event of a win this week, Richmond will not be able to avoid finishing at the bottom of the NPL2 East table and their future in the NPL remains unclear at present.
Last week, the Eagles played their final home game and found themselves on the back foot from the start against the Goulburn Valley Suns. Although they were able to answer their opposition’s first goal with an equaliser early in the opening half, the Suns were able to get the lead back only minutes later and managed to hold on to it for the remainder of the match. The final margin was 5-3.

Richmond defender Scott Hilliar and top scorer Valli Cesnik were their team’s best performers, scoring 3 goals between the two of them. Cesnik played particularly well, scoring the first goal for the Eagles and assisting Hilliar to score the second.
However, The Eagles have a highly daunting clash ahead of them in their final week as they will be taking on NPL2 East table toppers Dandenong Thunder. The last time the two teams met was in round 15 at Kevin Bartlett Reserve.
In that clash, Richmond performed well and although they narrowly missed out on pulling off an upset, they were able to achieve a 2-2 draw against their formidable opponents. They will be hoping for an even better performance this week in order to achieve a win and have something to celebrate at the end of what has been a highly disappointing year for Richmond.
Meanwhile, Dandenong Thunder will be equally keen for a victory. In spite of their position in the league, they have not had a victory for 3 weeks. Last week’s match ended in a 2-2 draw against Melbourne City Youth, following an unfortunate 1-0 loss against Sunshine George Cross. This being the case, Dandenong Thunder will be hoping to end their successful season on a high with a home ground victory.
This Saturday afternoon at George Andrews Reserve, the under-20s will begin proceedings at the usual time of 1 PM, while the seniors will take to the field at 3 PM.