Reds re­cover in time to beat City

Geraldton Guardian - - Sport - Justin Fris

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.

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