Man of the Match: Rob Farquharson
The season got off to a very shaky start with East Adelaide putting the Blacks under pressure right from kickoff. With the home team unable to maintain possession for any length of time it didn’t take long for Easts to score their first goal, a penalty awarded from Saville’s heinously mistimed tackle just inside the box. The advantage was doubled when the Blacks defence failed to deal with a ball across the face of goal, resulting in an easy tap-in for the East Adelaide striker.
Unfazed with being two soft goals down, the Blacks started to settle down and get a foothold in the game, with the central defensive pairing of Rob and Nic tightening up the backline and the midfield able to control much more of the ball. Reward came midway through the second half when a cross from Dooley fell to substitute Kyle, who controlled the ball well on his chest and volleyed home. The equalizer came soon after from another substitute, Westy Fozz, who pounced like a tiger on a poorly-cleared corner, sending in a curler from outside the box which miraculously evaded a crowd of players and the Easts goalkeeper to end up in the back of the net.
In the dying minutes of the game it looked like East Adelaide would take home all three points as Nic gave away another heinous penalty, fouling an Easts player who was shielding the ball in the penalty box (albeit while lying on the ground). Despite protests the referee upheld his decision: “You kicked him right up the backside, man, you can’t do that!” Things were looking perilous for the home team but when the penalty taker sent his shot wide the result was sealed – a well-earned point for both teams to kick the season off.