R11 Wrap: Campbelltown City v Adelaide Blue Eagles

A lone second half Campbelltown City goal was the difference that separated them from their Eastern suburbs rivals Adelaide Blue Eagles, in their PlayStation 4 National Premier League Round 11 encounter at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre on Saturday. 

In front of a large crowd in perfect conditions for football, the crowd turned out in anticipation of a good contest and both teams didn’t disappoint as they put on a great exhibition of football for their respective supporters. 

Blues Eagles were forced to make a late change to their line-up when Samuel Tesfagabr was ruled out of the match due to an injury. The reshuffle saw Damien Crettenden moved to the right fullback position, which robbed the midfield of his services. Mathew Dawber was asked to take up the midfield work load and he put in a good performance with his hard running, leaving nothing left in the tank at the final whistle. Crettenden was superb in defence. 

The first half was a fiercely contested encounter, with both defences keeping their side in the contest. Adam Harris with a best on ground performance and Christopher Atsikbasis were impenetrable in the Blue Eagles back half, while Vasilis Parhas, Jordan Maricic, Jake Halliday and Jake Monaco were giving Campbelltown plenty of forward movement out of defence.   

The battle in the middle of the park was being played on level terms, with neither side able to get any early ascendancy from their midfield playmakers. Alemayo Kebede was being forced to play deep nullifying his influence on the game, while teammate Fortunato Filletti was having a good duel with Jake Halliday. 

The speed in transition of the ball from end to end was keeping the crowd engaged. Blue Eagles were prepared to sit deep in defence and try to catch Campbelltown on the counter attack. Both teams were guilty of wasting scoring chances. 

The first real opportunity for a score in the game fell to Campbelltown’s left winger Jacob Williams, but his first time shot flew over the cross bar. Moments later Dawber sent Yvan Boyokino on a run through the left channel, his shot on goal from a tight angle shaved the upright post. 

As the time elapsed in the half Campbelltown began to get on top in the midfield, Kieta Minomura, and Adam Piscioneri began to find plenty of the ball. 

Campbelltown nearly had the opening score of the game when Thomas Strain, who was being double tagged, eluded his markers and ran into the box for a great one on one contest with Blue Eagles keeper Pedram Sourjani. The keeper pulling off a great save at the feet of Strain to deny the talented striker a shot on goal. 

In the shades of halftime Blue Eagles forward Evan Kounavelis, who was becoming prominent in the game, set up Anthony Dimas with a beautifully weighted cross but the shot on goal went wide. The teams would go into the break on level terms on the score board. 

After the break Campbelltown came out with a little more urgency, Lui Ditrioa, Anthony Ture and Piscioneri were full of running. And it was no surprise that Ditrioa was involved in the goal scoring play in the 52’, with a great through ball to Williams who blasted a low shot past a diving Sourjani. 

Both teams continued setup attacking forays, Blue Eagles not as fluent moving forward as their hosts. Tom Strain was finding it hard to break Harris’ shackles, as the Blue Eagles defence repelled the Campbelltown advances.

Campbelltown defender Vasilis Parhas said after the match, that he was expecting a tight hard challenge from Blue Eagles and that’s how the match was played out. 

“We knew it was going to be tight and hard on the ball because that’s the way Blue Eagles like to play,” Parhas said. 

“They kept challenging us and it was great to see the younger players in the side show a lot of maturity in the way they handled the flow of the game. 

“We highlighted some of the players we needed to keep in check before the game and I think the boys did a good job, particularly Jake (Monaco) who played a good game on Boyokino.” 

The win keeps Campbelltown within striking distance of Adelaide City in top spot, with their next outing against an inform W.T. Birkalla to be a pivotal point in their season. 

Blue Eagles although on the losing end, showed enough with a depleted squad to suggest they will be in the mix come finals time. 

Written by:   Joe Pangallo 5RTI Sports - 531AM


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