The Adelaide United Youth Team defeated Adelaide Raiders 3-2 in Round 20 of the National Premier League on Saturday.
Nearing the end of the 2016 National Premier League season, the Adelaide United Youth Team were determined not to allow their opponents any chance to raid their territory and steal the three points.
Following a good first half and goals from Blake Carpenter and Joshua Mori, the game had changed pace in the second half. The Young Reds had to fight under pressure, but the class and composure of Carpenter’s second goal got his team back in the lead after Zack Doyle of the Raiders found the back of the net twice.
The physicality of the Raiders did not deter the Young Reds, as they had countless chances towards Raider’s keeper, Francesco Tropiano’s goal in the first half. Alec Maiolo did not waste time to attack, as he gave Apostolos Stamatelopoulos a first attempt on goal.
Carpenter was dangerous in his position, a goal scorer, but also a creator of chances, his first cross was unfortunately intercepted in the box before any of his teammates could win the ball.
Joshua Mori also played a pivotal role in the match, as he had plenty of possession and chances, his first in the 8th minute was a promising shot but was blocked. The Raiders then came out to play through Alex Cosmidis but United keeper, John Hall was too strong.
In the 19th minute Stamatelopoulos produced a magnificent through ball to Dylan Smith, but was saved. It was in the 25th minute when Carpenter volleyed the ball in for the first goal of the game, after a brilliantly taken corner by Riley McGree.
After chances on either end, another goal for Adelaide United came through Mori with a calm shot to beat Tropiano, following an expert assist by Smith.
The Young Reds were full of confidence heading into the second half, but as the pressure built, a win became more of a mountain to climb as the half progressed.
Raiders started to close in, and minutes in to the second half, Doyle’s shot slipped out of the hands of Hall, over the goal line. Stamatelopoulos strived for some insurance, but his shot was off target.
As the immense pressure continued, Nicholas Budin was almost clear on goal, but Carpenter cleared the ball out to midfield.
Maiolo had a perfect chance, but his shot was claimed by Tropiano. In the 63rd minute, Doyle got his second to level the game up again.
Minutes after, both Smith and Mori had chances to get their team back into the lead, but were denied. In the 74th minute, Yasmin Sudic attempted a shot, but was wide.
After an intense half an hour, Carpenter scored his second, and as the Reds held on, they were rewarded the three points and a 3-2 win after a desperate fight to the finish.
Following the match, United Youth Team Head Coach, Mark Jones, was pleased with the win, but insisted that his team could have won by more if they took their chances and not switched off in the second half.
“We needed to play for 90 minutes, and if we don’t, teams will punish us,” Jones said. “We also needed to take more of our chances, and we could have scored 6,7,8 goals.
“To play at the next level of football, they need to be composed enough to score those goals.
“In the first half we really should have been four-nil up, but we did play good football and dominated play but there are those things to work on as we want winners at the club.
“This will all be taken into consideration as we move on to Campbelltown City next week.”
Echoing his Coach’s thoughts, goal scorer Blake Carpenter agreed that his team need to keep focus for 90 minutes and not take their opponents lightly in future games.
“In the second half, we went a bit casual about it, but we can’t take things too lightly and just keep working hard every minute of the game,” Carpenter continued.
“But we pushed on for the win, and I managed to keep composed and get the third goal, but we should have won by more as we had many chances.
“We’ll work harder and take that on for our next match, remaining positive and determined."