The Adelaide United Youth Team fell to a 2-1 loss against Campbelltown City in Round 10 of the National Premier League at Elite Systems Football Centre on Saturday.
In a tantalising match, countless chances were made at both ends of the field, testing keepers Daniel Margush and Nick Harpas relentlessly. But it was Thomas Strain of Campbelltown City who broke through Adelaide United’s solid defence with two goals.
United Captain Dylan Smith got one back for his team in a strong performance by the Young Reds, but it wasn’t enough to claim any points.
Five minutes into the match, Adelaide’s Samed Altundag found space to cross to Blake Carpenter whose diving header just goes wide of the post. Carpenter did well again to get past Jake Monaco, five minutes later, but his firm shot was hit wide.
United defended solidly, despite Campbelltown’s pressure when their first chance came through Luigi Ditroia 16 minutes in, his effort from outside of the box sailed over the crossbar.
The game continued on with much of the same, the ball seen at the feet of both teams evenly.
United’s work on the ball did not stop as they created chances and showed attacking flair, especially when Smith put in a delightful ball for Jordan O’Doherty who came close to score the first of the match in the 20th minute, but it was cleared off the line.
With 34 minutes on the clock, Campbelltown were able to fashion a chance that Strain tapped past Margush.
United did not give Campbelltown time to breathe as Altundag almost answered back with an equaliser a minute later. But Strain doubled his side’s lead when he pounced on some casual defending close to half-time.
The second half commenced and it didn’t take long for United to find a deserved goal, Smith’s powerful shot reducing the deficit to 2-1.
The Young Reds pushed forward in search of a late equaliser and when Carpenter went down in the box, the hosts thought they had secured their chance to level the match, but the referee waved all penalty claims away.
Adelaide United’s Youth Team Head Coach, Mark Jones, believed that the performance was his team’s best, but claimed his squad needs to focus on performing for the full 90 minutes to secure results.
“It was the best we have played by far,” Jones said. “We just switched off twice with those two goals, it was unfortunate and we just need to work that fraction harder.
“It was the least opportunities we have given another team, and Campbelltown literally just took those two opportunities to score.
“We scrambled well, prevented shots, good on set pieces, made space and got in beyond in attack.
“You really don’t deserve to lose when you play like that, but I was very happy with the performance and happiest I have ever been with the way we’ve played.
“We will go forward now and if we continue to play like that, we will win more games.