Adelaide United were unable to claw back against Para Hills Knights, falling 2-1 in Round 5 of the PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues at The Paddocks on Saturday.
Adelaide United grabbed the ascendency early, with a lead through striker, Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, but it was a gallant Yohei Matsumoto who netted two goals for the hosts, which were enough to secure their first win of the season.
It was an evenly sided affair, judging by their positions at the foot of the NPL ladder, it would have been expected.
There were countless chances on either end throughout the first half, with Adelaide United Captain, Josh Mori getting off to a flying start, along with Lachlan Brook, who had his first attempt on goal off target.
Matsumoto and Alex Mullen were also lively, a delivery put Mullen through on goal, only to lob it over the crossbar from close range.
It took 11 minutes for United to gain an explosive lead, with an anticipating Stamatelopoulos who sliced through defence to fire past Knights ‘keeper, Timothy Ramsey, in galvanising fashion.
The Para Hills cavalry were able to set up an alacritous Matsumoto, who equalised within four minutes of the opener, with an expertly weighted shot to beat Reds goalkeeper, Isaac Richards.
A great pass by Alex Mullen graced Dylan Centrone with an opportunity to lead, but that effort would be his last of the match, as he received his marching orders in the 44th minute.
Seconds before the half time whistle, Matsumoto fired a piercing shot from the wing, into the top left corner, in which United had no armour to defend against.
A hat-trick for Matsumoto looked certain when the second half commenced, but his goal was ultimately ruled offside.
Sparking the bravery within the Adelaide side, Brook and Ryan Strain had two close chances, merely missing the target to get themselves back on level terms.
United were also forced down to 10 men, after defender, Zak Waters received his second yellow card.
In the latter moments of the match, Stamatelopoulos was eager to find the desired equaliser, with an acute turn, his shot went wide of the left post. Brook then hit past a flurry of Knights defenders, only for his shot to go wide once more.
Despite coming close to finding their first win of the season, the Reds were unable to down the Knights, in what was a crucial bottom-two battle, but will move onto facing West Adelaide in the Riverland on April 1st.
Adelaide United 3
Para Hills 0