MATCH REPORT - ZEBRAS V ST ALBANS

Senior Match Report
Moreland Zebras v St Albans

Saints boost promotion hopes

By Marc Sudholz (@marc014)...

St Albans Saints extended its unbeaten run to 10 matches with a 2-0 victory against Moreland Zebras at Clifton Park on Saturday.

Moreland was looking to climb as high as fourth with a game in hand with a victory, but goals to Nick Cullen and Tedros “Teddy” Yabio ensured that St Albans kept its promotion hopes well and truly alive.

In a physical game in chilly conditions, both teams created chances, but it was the travelling Saints who left with the three points.

St Albans started the game with the more attacking intent of the two sides, with Brodie Paterson particularly influential, firing wide a couple of times, before forcing Nikola Kostadinovski into two simple saves from range.

Midway through the first half, Moreland started to flex its attacking flair, going close from a counter attack.

Joel Nikolic played a through ball to James Papadimitriou, who cut back for Scott Robson, but he could only put his shot wide.

Following this attack, Moreland very nearly took the lead. Papadimitriou played in Daniel Sweeney on 28 minutes, who had Stuart Webster in goals beaten but dragged a golden chance with his left foot wide of the far post.

Moreland would be made to pay for the miss, and dearly.

In the shadows of half-time, the Moreland defence failed to clear a corner from Paterson, and after bouncing around in the box, the ball fell kindly for Cullen who volleyed home with his right foot into the top left corner, giving Kostadinovski in the Zebras’ goal no chance.

On the balance of play it was a deserved lead for St Albans, which had been arguably the better side in the first half.

The second half was a more tactical affair, with neither team able to create many clear-cut chances and both guilty of not being able to find a final pass.

Moreland created its best chance in the 60th minute, with Robson at the end of a good team move, but he was unable to test Webster.

Both teams made changes, striving to find the next goal, and it would be one of St Albans substitutes who would provide the spark for the second and decisive goal of the game in the 85th minute.

Yusef Yusef, who had replaced the scorer Cullen, found himself in space on the right wing, and delivered a cross to the back post for Yabio, who headed home from three yards to send the Saints’ bench into raptures.

St Albans coach Toby Paterson was very pleased with the “terrific performance” of his team.

“I’m pleased with the way the boys adapted to the synthetic pitch,” Paterson said.

“Everybody’s chipping in in all areas.”

Despite the loss, Moreland Zebras coach Danny Gnjidic was pleased with the way his team played.

“I couldn’t be happier with the performance,” Gnjidic said.

“A crucial goal at half-time changes things a little bit. We didn’t convert, that was the difference St Albans had.”

Match Details

Moreland Zebras 0 lost to St Albans Saints 2 (Cullen 44’, Yabio 85’) at Clifton Park [HT: 0-1]

Moreland Zebras: 21. NIKOLA KOSTADINOVSKI (GK), 2. SIMEON SYMEOY, 3. JOHNNY CRIVELLI (NICKOLAS KALAMBOKIS 77’), 5. NICHOLAS SYMEOY, 7. SCOTT ROBSON (JOSHUA MCGONAGLE-IHASZ 71’), 8. DANIEL SWEENEY (DANILO BONILLA-OSPINA 63’), 9. JOEL NIKOLIC, 14. JAMES PAPADIMITRIOU, 16. MILE MEDJEDOVIC, 18. ADAM CENTOFANTI, 19. BRADLEY MURRAY.
Unused Sub(s): 1. FRANCESCO GRECO, 17. JACK TURNER.

Yellow Cards: Papadimitriou 57’

Red Cards: None.

St Albans Saints: 1. STUART WEBSTER (GK), 2. RYAN MCGUFFIE, 4. BARRY DEVLIN, (9. SEAN MCILROY 78’) 5. FELIX ROSMAN, 18. TEDROS YABIO, 8. ROSS HARVEY, 10. BRODIE PATERSON, 17. ADAM NAKIC, 15. KONRAD DOBRASZKICWICZ, (16. AJAK PANEK 90’) 13. NICK CULLEN (YUSEF YUSEF 81’).

Unused Sub(s): 21. TONIO BARESIC, 12. CHOL NYOK

Yellow Cards: None.

Red Cards: None.



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