R20 Wrap: Adelaide Blue Eagles v West Adelaide

Ten-man West Adelaide returned to the top of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia ladder following a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 20 at Marden Sports Complex on Saturday.

West started strongly, but after Mitch Nicholson’s dismissal the home side took the ascendency without finding the back of the net.

The Blue and Whites returned to first place ahead of West Torrens Birkalla on goal difference, but its winless streak extended to three matches. Nonetheless Paul Pezos was satisfied.

“It was a tough contest and obviously it got harder for us after the red card. We are happy with the point,” the coach said.

“I thought we played well in the first half. We had some very good chances, but didn’t put them away. We were still good after the break, then the red card changed the game.

“It’s a tough league, there are no easybeats. From now we need to focus on what we do, stay positive and try to be ruthless in front of goal.”

Blue Eagles drop to fourth, but Fortunato Filletti is not overly concerned.

“It was a tough game, very physical. After the red card I thought we could have taken our chances a bit better than we did,” he noted.

“I think we just lacked that finishing touch and maybe we were impatient with our passing against 10 men.

“It’s [dropping a place] not a concern at this stage as it’s still very tight at the top. The next six games are critical for us and our season.”

West’s Nathan Andijanto saw his fifth minute header from Alex Rideout’s corner glance just wide of the far post.

At the other end Damien Crettenden drilled a shot over the top of Lewis Moss’ goal.

Tom Briscoe drew a good save from Blue Eagles shot-stopper Pedram Sourjani with a free-kick that needed to be dealt with.

The game swung in Blue Eagles favour on the hour mark as Nicholson was sent off for a second bookable offence against his former club.

Anthony Dimas was introduced and nearly grabbed the crucial opening goal, going around Moss only to see his shot hooked off the line by Lewis Vallelonga.

Filletti’s shot was beaten away by Moss, but the rebound fell for Yvan Boyokino who centred for Dimas to steer his attempt just past the upright.

West’s goalkeeper was the busier of the two in the final stages and had to knock Kym Harris’ low shot from distance behind for a corner.

Moss saved the best for last, tipping Dimas’ injury time header from Boyokino’s cross on to the crossbar to preserve the draw.

Article by Luca Cetta - @l_cetta


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