R1 Wrap: South Adelaide v Raiders
A double from debutant Guy Miller helped pull South Adelaide to a 4-1 win over Raiders in Round 1 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League (NPL) South Australia.
Jonathon Rideout and Josh Hawker also added goals to the scoresheet for the Panthers, while Alex Cosmidis hit the back of the net for Raiders.
South Adelaide could not have asked for a better start to their season, sending a message to the rest of the league that they are not to be underestimated in 2016.
The loss for Raiders heaped pressure on Coach Joel Porter, as he looks to turn the fortunes around at the Croatian Sports Centre.
South Adelaide Captain Chris Reed praised a team effort in a comfortable opening round win.
“It was a great result for us, good to kick off Round 1 with a win.
“We won pretty comfortably in the end and everyone played well, there were no passengers in the team and we were good enough to get the result.”
Reed said that the club was on its way to winning the respect from the rest of the NPL.
“I think slowly we’re starting to win the respect of the league, I think everyone recognizes our ground is a hard place to come to and get three points but its Round 1 and nothing to get carried away with.”
Justin Bralic said the loss for Raiders was a reality check for a lot of the new additions to the team.
“It was a reality check for a lot of the new players that we’ve got, but South was very good at doing what South do which is very hard on the second ball, aggressive in the tackle.
“I thought our fight back after the first goal was good, we had a good half an hour patch there in the middle that we can build on but that’s all the positives we can take out of it.
“I just don’t think we showed up on Saturday.”
Rideout put the home side ahead inside the opening five minutes with an easy one-touch finish past keeper Deale Chamberlain after a back pass was under-hit straight into the strikers path.
South’s early domination saw them with chance after chance, until Cosmidis managed to even up the scores in the 21st minute with Raiders first real look on goal.
Captain Michael Paleka floated a perfectly weighted ball to Vincenzo Talladira at the back post, who then played back to Cosmidis who made no mistake on the volley.
Elation for the visitors did not last for long, as Miller restored the home side’s lead 10 minutes later with a neat finish into the far corner on a tight angle.
Raiders had numerous chances to even proceedings up once again through Justin Bralic, but he could not find the back of the net on his return down south.
The visitors barely got a look-in in the second half, as South continued their early dominance despite the contest turning scrappy.
The clubs best and fairest for last season, Daniel Sullivan, continued his strong form by threading a defence splitting through ball into the path of Hawker who cut inside and finished at the near post.
Miller capped off the performance with his second after Sullivan was again involved in the play, collecting the ball near the halfway line and carrying towards goal before dinking to Miller arriving to an open net.
Written by Brendan Simpkins