Avondale have been forced to share the points after a frustrating 0-0 draw with Dandenong City at Avenger Park on Saturday.
The Avengers were looking to bounce back after their first defeat of the season but failed to break down a resilient Dandenong side that was bolstered by new A-League recruits Brendan Santalab and Adrian Leijer.
But despite dominating possession and creating excellent goal scoring opportunities, the home side were held scoreless for the first time this season.
Things looked promising for the home side early – Jonathan Germano seemed certain to open the scoring in the sixth minute when he volleyed a shot from close range, only for City’s keeper Damir Salcin to make a great save on the goal line.
Stefan Zinni soon followed the early chance up with an effort of his own, the speedster made a great run into the box but failed to capitalise on the chance when his shot soared over the bar and into the car park.
The attacking signs were definitely there for Avondale, an encouraging sight after they struggled at times against Heidelberg and Bentleigh.
The Azzurri were looking dangerous from set pieces, Germano’s lovely curling free kick beat the wall and the keeper but thundered into the crossbar, while Liam Boland’s effort crept just wide of the top corner.
Avondale’s chances continued after the break with Yusuf Ahmed coming close to giving Avondale the dream start just seconds into the second half, but his one-on-one shot was again well saved by the City keeper Salcin. Ahmed then had another chance only minutes later, but his shot skewed wide of the target.
The Avengers were desperate to find a goal late but were left to rue their wayward finishing, Stefan Valentini and Boland both had opportunities to score a winner but couldn’t get their shots on target.
Poor finishing would haunt the Azzurri, having been ruthless in front of goal this season they could only manage two shots on target against second-from-bottom Dandy City and were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw.
But despite being winless in their last three games, Avondale still sit for points clear on top of the table after Bentleigh’s loss to South Melbourne.
Avondale won’t have long to linger on the disappointing result, they face a quick turnaround as they square off against the Melbourne Knights in the FFA Cup on Tuesday night before facing Port Melbourne this weekend.
By Bransen Gibson