R16 Wrap: Campbelltown City v West Adelaide
It took some Tommy Strain magic and a solid work rate on and off the ball for Campbelltown City to get maximum points over West Adelaide with a 3 – 2 victory at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre in their Play Station 4 National Premier League South Australia round 16 encounter.
West Adelaide toiled throughout the match to stay in touch with Campbelltown, but they couldn’t break the solid structures put in place by Campbelltown’s coach Joe Mullen. Campbelltown had total control through the midfield, especially in the first thirty minutes where they stamped their authority on the game.
Campbelltown opened the contest on a full press forward, and the attacking game mode paid immediate results when in the third minute Vasilis Parhas sent a long ball forward to Tommy Strain who brilliantly chipped the keeper from the edge of the eighteen-yard box for the opening goal.
The goal seemed to give Strain some early confidence as he became a dangerous target in Campbelltown’s forward half. The dangerous striker could have had a hat trick by the quarter hour, only to be denied by some good goal keeping and poor finishing in front of goal.
Campbelltown’s midfield trio Adam Piscioneri, Keita Minomura, and Parhas dominated proceedings through the midfield starving their West Adelaide opponents of the ball. But numerous missed chances cost them dearly, as they failed to hurt West Adelaide on the scoreboard. for all their efforts
So much was Campbelltown’s midfield dominance that it forced West Adelaide’s coach Paul Pezos, who could see the game slipping away, to restructure his side. Mitch Nicholson was sent forward with Tommy Briscoe and Perry Mitris was moved into a left back position. The reshuffle paid dividends in the shades of halftime when against the run of play John Karatzis played a neat through ball to Hikaru Tanaka who executed an elegant blind turn and blasted a low shot past a diving Nicholas Harpas in the Campbelltown goals. The visitors wrestled back the momentum going into the halftime break on parity.
West Adelaide opened the second half with a lot more purpose, and looked more fluent with their ball movement. Nicholson, Da Silva, and Tanaka looked threatening, but the finishing in their forward half let them down.
Campbelltown’s defence was rock solid. Shaun Harvey, Iain Fyfe, Jake Monaco and Jake Halliday repelled the West Adelaide advances all day, and set up attacks from defence.
A dazzling 53rd minute free kick by Piscioneri from long range found the back of the net to give Campbelltown the lead. There was another touch of class from Strain in the 71st minute when he collected a pass from the substitute Lui Ditrioa and neatly back heeled the ball into the back of the net from close range to give Campbelltown their third goal.
West Adelaide kept pressing high and was rewarded with a consolation goal in the 86th minute when a Tanaka strike on the edge of the eighteen-yard box caught Harpas stranded on his line. They nearly had an equaliser right on full time when Karatzis fired a long range shot, but his attempt hit the upright.
Adam Piscioneri said after the match that West Adelaide made them work hard for the win.
“West Adelaide are a good side and you have to be on your game for the full ninety minutes or they will hurt you” Piscioneri said
“They made us earn our win today, it was a hard contest on the ball and they just kept coming right to the end.”
Piscioneri admitted that they went into a defensive mode late in the game which gave the visitors an opportunity to press high and put pressure on the defence.
“With the cup last week we were a little flat towards the end of the game which gave them an opportunity to push forward in numbers and put us under pressure. But we were good enough to hold them out and take the points.”
Mitch Nicholson who had another good game for West Adelaide lamented on another missed opportunity, after working hard to get themselves back in the game.
“We had a slow start to the game but we worked hard to win back the momentum and it paid off with a goal before the break.” Nicholson said
“A few lapses in concentration hurt us today, and that’s the story of our season. When we put it altogether we are a pretty good side.”
“They took their chances today and when we had our opportunities we failed to convert. I think we fought it out well with little luck going our way.”
“There were three vital points up for grabs today, but we let them slip. Every game from now on will be of great importance if we are to play finals.”
It was a good solid performance all round by Campbelltown as they continue their hunt for the League Premiership.
While for West Adelaide the mathematical numbers for them making a finals appearance are diminishing quickly.