It was a positive start to the PS4 NPLSA Finals Series at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre on Saturday as Adelaide City established a two goal lead heading into next weekend’s return match of the two-leg Major Semi Final by defeating Campbelltown SC 2-0.
By Luca Cetta
The visitors went ahead through Nikola Mileusnic after only eight minutes and doubled the advantage just past the half hour mark with a Lewis Farquhar strike to grab an aggregate lead.
Adelaide City midfielder Joel Allwright was thrilled to claim a first leg lead.
“We are very happy. It’s always nice to go to the first leg away and get a clean sheet, and score twice too,” he said.
“It was a tough game. We got the early goals and from there defended well. We had a lot of players behind the ball and they kept coming at us. But it’s only the halfway mark and we look forward to next week.
“This result gives us a lot of confidence, especially as we are at home next week. We think we can hold Campbelltown and reach the Grand Final.
“There are a few things to sort out, but overall we did well and got the result. Nothing major will change.”
Campbelltown City boss Joe Mullen lamented his side’s luck in front of goal.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” he said.
“Adelaide City defended well, they got players behind the ball and we couldn’t turn possession into goals.
“We were a bit hesitant in the first half, but had more of the play in the second. We just couldn’t score.
“Next week we must take our chances, because that was the difference on the day. They took theirs and ours hit the woodwork. But without a doubt there was enough there to suggest we can get back into the tie next week.”
The Black and Whites grabbed an early lead as Allwright chipped in a cross for Mileusnic to head unmarked into the far corner past Nicholas Harpas.
Campbelltown came close to equalising in the 31st minute as Adam Piscioneri guided Anthony Ture’s centred ball on to the crossbar.
Adelaide City doubled its advantage less than two minutes later. The visitors charged forward following a midfield turnover and Farquhar lashed home with a superb finish from just inside the penalty area.
It was nearly three before the break as another counter-attack saw Mileusnic cross for Anthony Costa, who was denied only by a fine Harpas save.
The Red Devils could hardly believe their luck in the 65th minute as Luigi Ditroia’s deflected shot looped over Ben Moore and on to the post.
And two minutes later it was Ture’s turn to feel the frustration as his rasping drive from distance got the better of Moore, but not the frame of the goal.
Campbelltown captain Iain Fyfe headed over the top as Moore misread the flight of an 87th minute corner, ensuring Adelaide City takes a healthy advantage into the second leg.
Written by Luca Cetta, courtesy FFSA