Hume City has come away with the points in a fifth straight match in the National Premier League – with one eye on the FFA Cup.
At the start of a period that will see Hume play three matches in the space of seven days, the side got off to a perfect start against Altona Magic on Saturday night.
Neither side scored in the first half, with Hume opening its account through Stevie Hewitt in the 60th minute.
Hume doubled its score in the 88th minute through Marko Delic – the sealer in the 2-0 win.
Hume coach Nick Hegarty said the players had done everything asked of them.
“It was a pretty good performance from the whole team,” he said.
“We deserved what turned into a comfortable win. We were able to get goals at good times.
“It was important, with another game on Tuesday night [FFA Cup against Oakleigh Cannons] – with such a big game coming up, you can often be distracted.”
The win keeps Hume sitting comfortably in the top six, with an 8-4-4 record. Hume’s last defeat came back at the start of May.
Hegarty said that with a big month coming up, so continuing to gain points was important.
While NPL remains the main focus, Hume is one win away from another appearance on the national stage in the FFA Cup.
Having made that stage three times before, Hegarty and Hume knows what it is all about.
Hegarty said when juggling the two competitions, it was about enjoying the process.
He said having been there before, the club was making sure it was doing what it could to help the players prepare.
“When you have these games back to back and not having a lot of time to train, you ride the wave and embrace what is going on,” he said.
“You’ve got to keep your mind on what has got you to where you are
“It’s great having three games in a week if you win them all. There are a few sore bodies, but come Tuesday they will all be forgotten about.
‘”We know we won’t get knocked out of the cup through a lack of effort.”
A win for Hume against Oakleigh Cannons on Tuesday night would also seal a spot in the Dockerty Cup semi-finals.
Hume and the Cannons faced each other two weeks ago in the NPL, with a draw the result.
Hegarty said he expected the FFA Cup game to be tight.
“Oakleigh is a quality unit who are undefeated in their last six to seven games as well,” he said.
“They’ll be full of confidence and know a bit about us, like we will know about them.
“We’re happy to be playing at home and it will be an advantage for us.”
While Hume is focused this week on the FFA Cup, one of its stars has been focusing on helping Vanuatu.
Mitch Cooper is part of the Vanuatu national team, which is playing three international friendlies.
Hegarty said Cooper was rapt to be representing his birth country, where he lived until he was eight.
It’s the first time he’s represented Vanuatu, having played for Australia at under-17 and under-20 level.
“He’s getting back to his roots and giving back to the local community,” Hegarty said.
“It’s close to his heart to help the local boys.
“Hopefully, he’ll come back fit to us.”
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