Heart notch NYL win over Wanderers

Sunday, 21 October 2012 5:32 PM

Heart notch NYL win over Wanderers

Goals to Evangelos Batsis and Joshua Groenwald either side of half time have handed Melbourne Heart a 2-0 victory over the Western Sydney Wanderers in their National Youth League clash at Cook Park on Sunday.

Despite showing good structure and promising build-up play, for the majority of the game, Western Sydney were unable to create meaningful chances in front of goal and the visitors made them pay by converting their two best chances.

The first half was a nervous affair with neither team able to carve out too many clear-cut opportunities.

It wasn't until the 13th minute that a shot was fired in anger but Stipo Andrijasevic's strike was well wide of the mark for Melbourne.

The Wanderers looked dangerous on the flanks through Kwabena Appiah-Kubi on the right and Tahj Minniecon on the left. The two swapped sides throughout the first half constantly, giving the Heart defenders several headaches.

On the half hour mark, this nearly paid dividends for the home side when some clever footwork from Minniecon freed him up to put in a dangerous cross that was well dealt with by Alastair Bray in the Heart goal.

Just when it looked like the teams would head into half-time break locked up, Heart struck as Batsis latched on to a chipped pass to volley past Jerrad Tyson in the Wanderers goal and give the visitors the lead.

Western Sydney looked to respond and some clever lead-up work found Minniecon in some space in the Heart box in the opening minutes of the second half, but the ball would not fall for him and he was unable to finish.

On the hour mark, Joshua Groenwald extended Melbourne's lead with a fine piece of individual skill.

The Heart captain flicked a ball over the head of one opponent and turned past a second defender before firing a shot past Tyson into the top right-hand corner.

The Wanderers were able to create several chances in the closing minutes but Bray was on-hand to make sure his clean sheet remained intact.

How far will Western Sydney go in the AFC Champions League?