R19 Wrap: White City v Para Hills Knights
Strugglers White City and Para Hills played out a one all draw in Round 19 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia as the battle for survival heats up.
Steven Ward opened the scoring for the visitors with a calm finish, after Alex Mullen collected the ball inside his own half and went on a surging run down the right wing before whipping in a low driven cross into Wards path.
White City began working their way back into the contest after conceding, and pushed hard for an equalizer.
It eventually came, courtesy of veteran Chad Bugeja somehow managing to poke the ball into his near post after a scramble on the edge of the 18 yard box.
Both sides had ample opportunities to get the go ahead; Bugeja guiding an easy header over the crossbar shortly after getting the equalizer, Jacob Williams somehow managing to pull his shot wide of the post after picking up a poor back pass and going 1 on 1 with Josh Negrean.
The Knights went down to 10 men in the 77th minute after Captain Matt Marchioro was shown a second yellow, but City was unable to capitalize on the numerical advantage.
The night turned sour after Knight’s man Frank Marafioti was carted off in the back of an ambulance following a collision with City Keeper Negrean.
Marchioro made contact with Marafioti, and said he was doing okay.
“I spoke to him last night and this morning, he seems to be doing okay and hopefully he won’t be out for too long.
“He’ll be a big loss for us, he’s been playing really well the last couple of weeks so he’ll be a bit of a loss but it gives a chance now for someone else to step up.”
Marchioro said the result didn’t turn out the way they wanted given the importance of the fixture.
“It was a big game for us leading in, we really felt we needed the three points to start a bit of a revival.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game for us and that’s what White City gave us.”
He added that Para Hills’ struggles in front of goal was something that the team needed to address this week.
“I think that’s something that we have lacked for a while now, to take our chances when they’re presented to us.
“We probably don’t create a huge amount of chances every week, but the ones we do we really need to convert.”
White City captain Michael Keens was also disappointed with the outcome, given South Adelaide’s surprise win over West Adelaide now provides a buffer.
“We got the draw, but that’s pretty disappointing really, we needed a win. Where we are on the ladder we really needed the points.
“South Adelaide was a surprise result really, I didn’t think they would beat West Adelaide.
“We played West Adelaide the week before, they’re a good team and we drew with them, so it’s not ideal given where we are on the ladder.
“We need to get wins and get results to help us out as well.
Keens said the team felt unlucky not to come away with the three points given the amount of chances they had, and echoed the sentiments of his Para Hills counterpart in Marchioro.
“We feel unlucky, but it’s been a similar story all season, we’ve had our chances to win all the games we’ve drawn.
“We’ve drawn 8 or 9 games this season and every one of them we’ve had chances to win them, but haven’t put the chances away and we’ve only got ourselves to blame.
“This week was better, we signed Kyle Markham from Hallet Cove this week and he really helped us out and did well, but we still didn’t take our chances and that’s what wins you games.”
White City will travel to MetroStars in Round 20 in a repeat of the high scoring affair earlier in the season, while Para Hills host South Adelaide in another relegation battle.
Article by Brendan Simpkins