‘Keeper Jacob Davey starred as his team challenged league leaders One Tree Hill away from home.
SAASL Division 3 Round 7
Adelaide University Black 1-2 One Tree Hill
Goal: Mitch Coleman
The weather was erratic at Elizabeth in the Blacks away match against One Tree Hill.
The first chance of the match came as the One Tree Hill ‘keeper scampered out to claim a heavy through-ball but Luke Urban found the ball first and crossed it for Mitch Coleman to score in an open net to give the Blacks the lead.
One Tree Hill responded with their own attack from the restart and had a chance that forced the Blacks to concede a corner, but the chance was cleared.
Just after the 10-minute mark, One Tree Hill had a slew of chances that the Blacks couldn’t clear until a One Tree Hill attacker turned the ball into the net, but experienced official Lucas Barsby raised his flag on the sideline.
One Tree Hill continued to press their opponent as confusion in the Blacks defence led to a lobbed through-ball finding its way to their attacker who shot with force to level the match at one-all.
The Blacks had found a successful strategy by exploiting the space in behind the defence with through-passes.
At the end of a back and forth opening 15 minutes, a through-ball to Kevin Ugalde was dragged wide and the subsequent shot on his left foot was saved.
At 24 minutes, a lofted pass to their striker in the box resulted in a looping header at goal but ‘keeper Jacob Davey held the ball with ease.
One Tree Hill were relentless in their search for the lead as a ball to the back post led to their attacker making scissor-kick shot in the box that was sliced across the face of goal to their striker and Davey made a spectacular save with an outstretched right hand.
A minute later, Davey was forced to make another save from a shot inside the box.
At 35 mins, indecisiveness in the Blacks defence led the One Tree Hill striker to a clear opportunity which he put away for 2-1 to the home team.
In the next attack, a One Tree Hill through-pass over tumbled over the top of the Blacks defenders’ heads and their player at the back post finished the chance.
However, Barsby as the linesman saved the day once more with a correct offside call.
In the 41st minute, a tussle with Blacks defender Lucas Bragagnolo and his opposing attacker resulted in the striker through on goal and the Blacks defender on the ground but the referee deemed that a foul was committed.
In the last chance of the half, a Blacks counterattack from the left led to a Coleman shot that sailed over the bar.
The half ended 2-1 to One Tree Hill.
Ten minutes into the second half, a corner followed by a header ricocheting off the post in the Blacks defence was a let off for the away team.
A minute later and this time a One Tree Hill header ricocheted off the crossbar from a pass into the box from the left.
At 57 minutes, a counterattack played between Coleman and Urban led to a chance, but the resulting corner was cleared.
Fifteen minutes later, One Tree Hill players were shuffling the ball around the edge of the box before taking a shot that Davey matched with a save.
One Tree Hill were taking control of the match in attack with more shots on goal, but none troubled Davey.
At 77 minutes the home team took a short corner, their player whipped the ball to the back post and their attacker headed it just over the crossbar.
With 10 minutes to play, One Tree Hill played a through-ball to their striker but Lucas Bragagnolo hunted him down and made an accurate sliding tackle to win a Blacks goal kick.
Late in the match, Blacks resources were wearing thin as Tom Macura’s boot gave way and his coach flung his own shoe from his foot in an exchange to keep the match moving.
In the last minute, One Tree Hill played a lofted through-ball that left their striker one-on-one with Davey but the attacker skied the ball.
The match ended 2-1 to One Tree Hill.
‘The team played well in the second half but small mistakes cost us again,’ Blacks coach Mohan Karthigeyan said after the match.
Main Photo: William Chau