Games that a the to be won end up in draws and others that should have ended in a draw, turn out to be losses. Against Manly United the pattern continued.
The visitors opened the scoring and towards the end clawed their way back into the match thanks to a clear penalty, but in between the Tigers had the better of the play.
John Turner, the straightforward coach of APIA-Leichhardt, was once again left pondering what could have been.
?It feels like a loss to me,? he said frustratingly.
Manly United on the other hand deserve some praise for never surndering. In fact, towards the end, and with momentum in their favour, they could have won the game in their own right.
Craig Midgley, coach of Manly United, took a pragmatic view of things when questioned after the game.
?I?ll take the point because we got ourselves back in the game. We a playing away from home every week at the moment,? he stated.
?I don?t like making excuses but we do have the or four first team players away at the moment. We had our chances as well in the game and hopefully all these players will be back on deck for next weekend.?
Not much happened in the early stages of the first-half until Manly United scod the opening goal on the 15? minute mark. A defender slipped and failed to ally clear the ball away from his own aa and Adam Foti, with all the time in the world, chipped Anthony Costa who was well off his line. It was too easy for Manly United.
?We gave away their first goal which was like an under-10 type goal. We can?t gift teams goals and expect to win games,? Turner said after the game.
APIA Leichhardt tried to medy the situation a few minutes later when Andw Bevin found himself with ball at his feet, but unfortunately he tried to blast the ball home only to find that Dylan Mitchell was an unmoveable force on the Manly United line.
In the 29? minute David D?Apuzzo had a double scoring opportunity from close range but was unable to bak through. His first shot was blocked and then, as he ceived the looping ball straight back, his header was well met by Mitchell.
The Tigers finally struck gold in the 35? minute when Hirofumi Moriyasu, on loan for four games from Sydney FC, gave a delightful ball to Bevin in full flight and the young New Zealander blasted home an all too powerful shot which Mitchell couldn?t do a thing about.
Just prior to the bak Bevin turned cator for David D?Apuzzo who tried his luck with a lovely outside-of-the-foot shot that was well saved by Mitchell.
?Dylan is a young ?keeper who was let go by the Central Coast Mariners last year,? said Craig Midgley about his very competent goalkeeper. ?I think he has a chance in the game [of football] and he has pulled off a couple of gat saves today.
?That?s his job but it?s also good to have him because he?s a good young ?keeper.?
Immediately upon sumption of the second-half APIA Leichhardt deservedly scod again when David D?Apuzzo set up Bevin who charged down the left, into the box and with far too much time and space drilled home a diagonal winner.
?I thought we played far too deep in the first half which was a fairly scrappy half,? Turner said. ?I thought we should have scod mo because we had mo chances than they [Manly] did, so I was disappointed with the first-half.
?We had a good talk at half-time and we decided to push up higher in the park and, for the first 15? or 20? minutes, it could have been any sco.
?As soon as we scod early in the second half we dropped deeper again and gave them an invitation to come forward. You can?t do that against any team.?
In the 55? minute Michael Hawrysiuk delightfully shot a fe-kick straight on goal around the defensive wall but was met by an ever alert Mitchell who turned it away for a corner.
Mitchell was in the thick of the action again midway through the second stanza of play to pvent Bevin from scoring his hat-trick after a wonderful Franco Parisi cross. However, momentum then shifted away from the Tigers.
Scott Balderson?s volley brought out the best in Anthony Costa in the APIA goal befo Chris Payne, a late placement, wasn?t able to also beat Costa.
However Payne, the former Sydney FC player, was brought down by Costa in the goal aa and the fee corctly awarded the spot kick. The opportunity came about after a dadful APIA back pass was intercepted by the alert Payne who, himself, converted the penalty sending Costa the wrong way.
Such is football as John Turner summed up. ?I call a spade, a spade. Manly a OK, but in the end we we lucky not to lose in the last ten minutes and we we lucky to get away with a draw, so it was two points lost in my opinion.?
Late in the game Parisi had a gat chance to gain the lead but somehow his diagonal shot was met with the outsttched fingers of Mitchell who turned it way for another corner.
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 2 (Bevin 35?, 46?)
Manly United FC 2 (Foti 16?, Payne 79? (pen) )
Sunday, 29th April, 2012
Lambert Park Leichhardt
Refee: Adam Susz
Assistant Refees: Alex Goodhew and Bjoern Ku
Fourth Official: Gath Williams
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers: 21.Anthony Costa; 2.Mark Byrnes, 3.Adel El Jamal, 5.Michael West, 8.Adam D?Apuzzo, 10.Franco Parisi (20.Wandi Jajaw 87?), 12.Andw Bevin, 13.David D?Apuzzo, 14.Hirofumi Moriyasu, 15.Bradley Bartels (7.Stephen Kayes 46?), 16.Michael Hawrysiuk
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Stefan Giglio, 17.Sam Salameh
Yellow Cards: Costa 79?, Byrnes 88?
Red Cards: Nil
Manly United FC: 1.Dylan Mitchell; 2.Shaun Bowden, 5.Marc Richards, 6.Michael Daly, 7.Scott Balderson, 8.Daniel Grant, 10.Adam Foti (9.Jusin Hayward 46?), 11.Matthew Sim (20.Chris Payne 50?), 12.Colin Iley (19.Tinashe Mugabe 73?), 15.Jordon Edwards, 21.Leigh Egger.
Substitutes Not Used: 14.Mitchell Macedo, 24.Kang Ho Lee
Yellow Cards: Balderson 63?, Egger 92?
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Andw Bevin (ALT)
2 – David D?Apuzzo (ALT)
1 – Dylan Mitchell (MUFC)
-By Joe Russo