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HEIDENHEIM DROUGHT CONTINUES

Heidenheim remains an unhappy hunting ground for the Boys in Brown, who recorded their fifth reverse in five matches there on Easter Sunday. First-half goals from Marc Schnatterer and Nikola Dovedan (2) set the home side on the road to victory. A brief rally after the break failed to usher in the turnaround and the 73rd minute dismissal of Finn Ole Becker put the seal on the defeat.

In the run-up to the game, head coach Jos Luhukay announced that his team were aiming to carry on where they left off against Arminia Bielefeld. His starting lineup underlined that intent, as it contained the same eleven players who started the second half last week. That meant Marvin Knoll began in place of Mats Møller Dæhli, who was ruled out by a calf problem. Heidenheim coach Frank Schmidt recalled St. Pauli bogey player Marc Schnatterer (nine goal involvements in nine appearances against the Boys in Brown) along with leading scorer Robert Glatzel, who missed two training sessions during the week due to illness.

When the game kicked off in the bright sunshine, it was the home side who made the better start. Sebastian Griesbeck tried his luck from range with just two minutes on the clock, and Schnatterer followed suit on five. Both efforts missed the target by some distance, however. At the other end, the Boys in Brown went much closer in the ninth minute when Ryo Miyaichi found Christopher Buchtmann just outside the box and Kevin Müller had to dive low to his left to tip the shot round the post for a corner. Part four of a series of long-range efforts in a lively opening period was authored by Heidenheim midfielder Robert Andrich, but he too struck his shot wide.

The home side finally took the lead at the fourth attempt after 18 minutes, Schnatterer taking advantage of the space he was given outside the penalty area to beat Himmelmann with a crisp drive into the bottom left-hand corner. Four minutes later, Ryo Miyaichi was sent on his way by a long ball from Justin Hoogma but wrongly flagged offside when in a promising position. Heidenheim were not content to sit on the one-goal lead, and Dovedan extended their advantage with two goals in three minutes. The first came after Andrich and Glatzel had combined to tee up the Austrian on 26, the second when Niklas Dorsch provided the assist. There was nothing Robin Himmelmann could do to stop either pinpoint effort.

It was a half to forget for Jos Luhukay’s side, who were left chasing the ball most of the time and could count themselves lucky when Dovedan missed out on a hat-trick in the 36th minute, his shot from inside the box flashing past the angle of post and crossbar. Not until the closing stages of the first period did Heidenheim drop down a couple of gears. Some wayward passing by the Boys in Brown meant they were unable to seize the initiative, however, and they therefore went in three goals down at the break.

At the start of the second half, Finn Ole Becker was handed the opportunity to gather more professional experience after his cameo appearance against Bielefeld last time out. Christopher Buchtmann was the player to make way. With less than 60 seconds gone, the youngster hit the ground running with a shot that flew straight to Müller in the Heidenheim goal. The first few minutes after the restart raised the hopes of the 1,600 travelling fans and Knoll was the next to go close from a free-kick on 48 minutes. Schnatterer is the man for the set pieces for the home side and his 50th-minute attempt fizzed just past the right-hand upright. There were to be further efforts from Andrich on 55 and Becker on 59, but neither was able to trouble the respective keepers.

The game was 64 minutes old when goalscorers Schnatterer and Dovedan were allowed to knock off early and replaced by Robert Leipertz and Denis Thomalla. Luhukay also made a change, throwing on Richard Neudecker for Jeremy Dudziak, having already introduced Ersin Zehir for Florian Carstens six minutes earlier. With the result in little doubt, the pace of the game began to drop. Heidenheim were largely content to manage the scoreline, while St. Pauli lacked the means to trouble the home defence in any meaningful way. A disaster of a day was made even worse in the 73rd minute when Becker was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

A man to the good, Heidenheim stepped up their attacking efforts again and Leipertz came close to adding a fourth on 79 minutes, his shot from a narrow angle flying just past the far post. And with the Boys in Brown seeking to keep the damage to a minimum, the home side comfortably saw out the rest of the game. Leipertz would have made it 4-0 on the stroke of full time had fellow substitute Richard Neudecker not cleared the ball off the line. Referee Benjamin Cortus had no reason to add any more time and promptly blew his whistle to end the game. The win means Heidenheim remain in contention at the top, while the Boys in Brown would appear to have bowed out of the promotion race.

FC St. Pauli

Himmelmann - Park, Carstens (Zehir 58’), Hoogma, Dudziak (Neudecker 68’) - Flum, Knoll - Miyaichi, Allagui, Buchtmann (Becker 46’) - Meier

Head coach: Jos Luhukay

 

FC Heidenheim

Müller - Busch, Mainka, Theuerkauf, Beermann - Schnatterer (Leipertz 64’), Andrich, Griesbeck, Dorsch - Glatzel (Skarke 77’), Dovedan (Thomalla 64’)

Head coach: Frank Schmidt

 

Goals: 1-0 Schnatterer (18’), 2-0 Dovedan (26’), 3-0 Dovedan (28’)

Yellow cards: Becker

Red card (second yellow): Becker (73’)

Referee: Benjamin Cortus

Attendance: 13,500

 

Photos: Witters

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