Reds recover in time to beat City
La Fiamma held on for a nailbiting 2-1 win over bottom-placed Melville City in their Consolidated Energy amateur division 3 clash on Saturday night in Perth.
Mark Gray’s Reds started the game against relegationthreatened City in the worst way possible, conceding a goal in the opening five minutes and looking well off the pace. The visitors eventually forged their way back on course, dominating possession and creating several genuine goalmouth chances.
Even though they headed to the dressing room trailing, Gray told his men the tide would turn if they continued to press and create.
The advice came to fruition in the 65th minute, with Adrian Rossi converting from the penalty spot.
After receiving a telegraphed pass in the middle of the box, Reds marksman Kris Gough was brought down in a clumsy challenge by the City defence.
Rossi coolly slotted his spot kick into the net and the Reds appeared to have momentum on their side.
And they did — for three minutes. Much to the disbelief of the travelling Reds faithful, German talent Seb Davids was sent off for a second bookable offence.
It meant the Reds would play the final stanza of the match a man down, but they took it in their stride. Pushing to find a winner, Rossi curled home a fine effort with only a minute left of normal time.
City chanced their arm in stoppage time, with a hasty Tom Mitic clearance ensuring the Reds returned home with three precious away points. Post-game, Gray said he was delighted with how his men responded after conceding early.
“It was really great to get the win,” he said. “The lads were really jovial after the game and they really seemed to enjoy themselves out there today.
“We played a nice, solid brand of football and I really think we seem to play better at night under lights.”
City’s loss means their chances of avoiding relegation from division 3 appear slim at best, while the Reds have taken another big step away from the drop.