Inglewood regain form with gutsy victory
Report by Kane Sutton
Photo courtesy Vince Caratozzolo
Inglewood United are back in form and have climbed to within two points of ladder-leaders Bayswater City after a tough win against Balcatta on Saturday.
The home team took out the game 2-1 with centre-back Adam Tong scoring both goals for his side in what was a strong first half performance.
Winning coach Taki Nicolaidis was happy to shirk off any outside doubt of the team's credentials, which he admitted had come due to several games in a row without a win in the lead up to this game.
“Full credit to our guys, from where we've been the last few weeks - a lot of people have written us off - I think we showed some really good character,” he said.
“Every player stood up today, and with the three points, hopefully that gets us back on a winning run.”
Inglewood took a hold of the game early, the first goal coming in the second minute with Tong successfully converting a headed effort into goal from a cross.
Balcatta's woes grew when Feisal Zaw was forced off the ground early in the game with what looked like a tweak in the hamstring.
Inglewood had control of the play for most of the half, keeping the ball down their attacking end and denying Balcatta a clear chance on goal.
It was frustrating 45 minutes for the away team, and it was emphasised when Balcatta striker Cameron Teece was booked for pulling back on the shirt of his opponent.
Tong doubled his and Inglewood's goal tally in the 37th minute after an attempt to clear the ball from Balcatta saw it fall directly to his feet, which he fired into the net from just outside the box.
Balcatta lifted significantly in the second half, however, and Teece capitalised with a goal-of-the-season contender: a volleyed shot into the net from a lobbed through-ball by Conor Kavanagh.
The last third of the game was exhilarating to watch as the aggression by both teams lifted and Balcatta continued to create chances.
Inglewood's tall defenders saved the day though, continually clearing the ball from their box in the final minutes until the whistle was blown.
Balcatta’s Marc Anthony said it was going to be difficult to fight back after conceding two goals in the first half, especially considering the strength of the opposition's defence.
“They've got a lot of big lads, and Tong's had the game of his life, hasn't he?” he said. “He's scored two and won a few headers. It was a big game for us today and we just never turned up to play in the first half.”
The loss was also soured by the strong possibility of Teece missing matches with suspension for accumulating too many yellow cards.
“Cameron will probably miss the next two games,” Anthony said,
“It's a massive loss. [Teece's goal] will be a goal of the year contender … I've said it all along, he's only 16, and he's the most exciting player in this state by a country mile.
“We're still in the mix … we'll keep going and try to get a result next week.”
Inglewood United SC 2 (Tong 2min, 37')
Balcatta FC 1 (Teece 65min)
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Referee: Tom Dowle
Assistant Referees: Amit Hosany, Oliver Allen
Inglewood United SC: 1. Alex DUNN, 5. Adam TONG (5', 37'), 6. Calum O'DONNELL, (7. Kenny KEOGH), 8. Jason BARRERA, 9. Brian WOODALL, 10. Ash ROSINDALE, 11. John MIGAS, (12. Scott WITSCHEGE), (13. Josh PEREIRA ), 14. Mark PRITCHARD, 17. Tim ROBERTSON, 18. Jason COLLI, 21. Slobodan VULIN
Substitutes not used: 19. Ryan SARDI, 20. Scott WALLIS
Yellow Cards: 12. Scott WITSCHEGE 93'
Red Cards: Nil
Balcatta FC: 1. Clint DAVIES, 2. Hanafi GHAZALI, (3. Keiron STALLARD), 4. Alexsander SULESKI, 5. Conor KAVANAGH, 6. John CORNESS, (9. Carlo COELHO), 10. Zelfy NAZARY, 11. Feisal ZAW, 12. Eamon MCNELIS, 13. Cameron TEECE (65'), 15. Kyle MURRAY, (16. Daniel MOSS), 17. Kieran COLWELL, 19. Alan CARROLL, (23. Gomo DUKULY)
Substitutes not used: 22. James GORDON, 40. Adrian VACCA
Yellow Cards: 13. Cameron TEECE 34', 17. Kieran COLWELL 51'
Red Cards: Nil