Clark can’t do it again as Thunder falls short

An error from Thunder defender Daniel Alessi led to South Melbourne's pivotal goal. 408997 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Marcus Uhe

Lighting threatened to strike twice in two weeks for Dandenong Thunder goalkeeper Pierce Clark, who came centimetres away from levelling proceedings at the death in his side’s clash with South Melbourne on Sunday night in the National Premier League (NPL).

Circumstances were almost identical the previous week’s drama, with Clark meandering forward deep into stoppage time to contest a Thunder set piece, his side trailing 1-0.

Clark’s opposing number got a fist to the initial cross, but the Thunder gloveman was there to contest the rebound and got a clear head to the ball.

With the South Melbourne ‘keeper off his line and only defenders protecting the goal, players and spectators held their breath as the ball looped high into the night sky, only to land on the top side of the net, having cleared the crossbar.

It would be the final act of the match, as Thunder dropped another three points, but put in a strong showing against the ladder leaders, finishing the contest with more shots on target than their highly credentialed opponents.

The decisive moment came in the 26th minute of the contest, when Daniel Alessi was dispossessed in the defensive half the competition’s leading scorer, Harrison Sawyer.

With only Clark to beat, the talisman made no mistake, calmly slotting the chance.

Thunder next faces Port Melbourne at home on Saturday night.