Adelaide University Soccer Club
by T Gissing
Sturt Marion (2) vs. (0) Adelaide University
Adelaide Uni managed only one win from three at the Marion Club ground on Saturday as the Uni As slumped to a second loss in as many weeks. The Bs also struggled to get the best of their game going and went down by two goals without managing to get on the score sheet. Conversely, the Cs put two past a decent Sturt Marion side and continued to push for the top of the table.
Starting Line up Bench
There’s a bit of a southerly wind today and Uni will be kicking with the breeze in the first half, but conditions are otherwise cool and clear. The game begins with Ali showing his characteristic courage and winning a jumping header in the Blacks defensive half. The Uni are showing a good intensity from the start and are getting the better of the action. 7′ minutes in and the ball finds its way to Mike with his back to goal, who holds off his defender and lays off to Cameron near the edge of the box. Cameron unleashes a powerful shot to the keepers right but the Sturt Marion keeper makes a solid save and sends the ball out for a corner. Mike whips in a ball to the back post from the resulting corner which finds Russ at the back post, who heads toward goal, only to be thwarted by the crossbar. Minutes later Barry is the next to get a shot off on goal but it’s a scuffed effort from inside the box and it fails to trouble the keeper. Sturt Marion get up the other end minutes later and put in the first of what will be many crosses throughout the 90 minutes. The ball bobbles dangerously across the Uni goal mouth but no Sturt Marion attackers can get a shot away as Chris gathers the ball at the far post and clears down the line. As the game passes the 20 minute mark the Blacks are really pegging Sturt Marion back and pressing high up the pitch. Matty and Mike are chasing down well at the front and making it difficult for Sturt Marion to play out from the back. Uni have another great chance with some fantastic short passing down the left flank between Mike and Barry, Matty makes the final lay off to find Mike near the middle of the park who fires a shot away. The deflected shot hits the post and ricochets out toward the Uni corner flag and is gathered by a Uni player and the cross is sent back into the penalty area. Ali lashes at a shot from close range which is cleared off the line by the resolute Sturt Marion defence. 28′ minutes gone now and more work down the left flank results in Cameron getting another shot away from a similar position from which he made his first effort. This time though, he hits well over the bar. The next clear chance falls to the Uni right back, Olly, who is set up by Mike, but his left foot shot is skied over the bar. The Uni have created a lot here in the first half but they simply aren’t finding the back of the net. Sturt Marion are beginning to come back into the game towards half-time and have a number of chances themselves, particularly with crosses coming in from wide. The game seems to be turning and an exclamation point is put on the momentum shift when Barry is sent off after the referee claims he stomped a downed Sturt Marion opponent only moments before half time in an off-play incident. It’s nil all going into the break and it will be interesting to see how the second half shapes up with the one man disadvantage.
Sturt Marion (0) vs (0) Adelaide University
Both teams begin the second half in huddles. It seems that neither team is willing to concede the three points here and will fight to the final whistle. No changes in personnel for Uni but they’ll need to work hard to maintain their midfield shape in Barry’s absence. Sturt Marion come off the post when a header from a long ball beats the Uni keeper Andy. Sturt Marion have been more effective immediately after half-time and take the lead before 10 minutes have elapsed when a long throw into the box isn’t cleared by the Uni defence and is tapped in from close range. There’s two more good chances for Sturt Marion in as many minutes and Uni need to gather themselves here or the game will be out of their grasp all together. Blacks manager Dave Baker decides to make a switch with 60′ minutes gone, which sees Dimitri on for Matty, who takes up position at right back while Olly is moved into the hole behind the strikers. Olly manages to get away down the right hand side to send a cross across the Sturt Marion area but there’s no-one there for Uni to capitalise. It’s a flat period of play as the game hits the 75′ minute mark. The Uni are struggling to hold shape in the mid-field and can’t seem to build play through the centre without hitting a wall of blue shirts. With 10 minutes remaining, Alistair is cramping up after fighting hard in the Blacks defensive half. He makes way for Rodney who will hope to give the Uni a lift in the middle of the park. The Blacks search for a point is almost certainly thwarted now though as Sturt Marion convert a shot from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 to the home team. With just 5 minutes left Uni go tantalisingly close to getting on the score sheet when Rodney works hard to put a ball in from the right to Chris inside the Sturt Marion area. Hewey manages to wrong foot his man and the keeper and side foots towards goal, but manages to pick out the Sturt Marion defender on the line. Olly has a shot in the dying moments of the game but the Blacks won’t be getting anything out of today’s game in terms of points.
Sturt Marion definitely deserved the 3 points today. The Blacks might have been dominant for the first 25 minutes but once Sturt Marion composed themselves and Barry saw red, Uni really had their backs against the wall. It’s rough on Uni to fail to put at least one goal past the Sturt Marion keeper but it’s fair to say that the home side could have put more than 2 past Andy as well.
As: Sturt Marion (2) vs. (0) Adelaide University
Bs: Sturt Marion (2) vs. (0) Adelaide University
Cs: Sturt Marion (0) vs. (2) Adelaide University