How the wheels seem to have fallen off the normally reliable Blacktown City Demons bandwagon is hard to believe, but full credit must to go the Tigers for their determination and never-say-die attitude.
After the game, though, A.P.I.A. coach John Romeo wasn?t getting carried away with the win. It is always an A.P.I.A. policy to remain humble after a victory.
?We?ve got a great team but unfortunately we haven?t been lucky this season,? he said.
?Today, we had the luck and the boys were able to finish off some good chances and 3-0 is a great result.
?Every week is a tough proposition in the TeleChoice Premier League and full credit must also go to Blacktown City because we knew that today we were going into a very hard game.
?It was a battle out there and all of our players were good; up front we took our chances, in defence we did our job and our goalkeeper [Matthew Nast] kept a clean sheet and he again showed why he is a quality ?keeper.?
In the 27? minute Robert Younis opened the scoring for A.P.I.A. when he neatly latched onto a long ball and cleverly beat Ivan Necevski in the Blacktown City goal.
A.P.I.A.?s second goal came in the 35? minute when a nice long ball found Franco Parisi, who along with David D?Apuzzo was one of the best for the Tigers, and he brilliantly controlled the ball, beat a defender and scored past an oncoming Necevski.
In the 39? minute Stephen Kayes found Younis but his diagonal shot was only a little off target.
After going into the break at half-time up by two goals it was clear that A.P.I.A. were not about to let the Demons sneak back under their guard.
Blacktown City’s first real chance of the game came in the 55? minute when Salas received the ball from the right but shot just over the crossbar in a rushed attempt at goal.
In the 58? minute Parisi was back at it again when he was beautifully set-up by Younis and then he spectacularly curled the ball into the top right hand corner of the net for a very classy goal through a myriad of defenders.
In the 66? minute Nick Ruoco had a chance for Blacktown City before A.P.I.A. replied in the 70? minute with a neat move: Marton Vass charged away with the ball from the halfway line and close to goal hesitated before finding Parisi but, unfortunately, for the Tigers the normally reliable striker stumbled and conceded possession at the crucial moment.
After the game Blacktown City’s coach Ken Schembri, back in the hot seat after a number of years in administrative roles, was very honest in his team?s appraisal.
?We were poor and got what we deserved quite frankly,? he said. ?The game was over early for me because they were more committed than us.
?They wanted to win more and we didn?t fight the fight and therefore we didn?t win the battle; it sums it up pretty well really.
?We were not in the game at all and 3-0 is a fair scoreline; we?ve had two good games and two bad performances so far this season and today was a bad one, last week we played okay.?
Schembri has long been synonymous with Blacktown City Demons. So how is he enjoying his return to the coaching circles after taking a back seat away from the daily on-field matters in recent years?
?It?s great and I?m really enjoying it,? he said. ?However, it is a bit unusual at the moment because we are not where we would like to be on the table.
?It?s all about experience, but at the end of the day we?ve got a job to do and we?ll certainly show that we can do it.?
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt 3 (Franco Parisi 35′,58′, Robbie Younis 27?)
Blacktown City Demons 0
A.P.I.A. Leichhardt: Matthew Nash, John Kelso, Michael Galluzzo, Stephen Kayes, Daniel Clifford, Ian King, Robert Younis (79? Simon Ryan), Franco Parisi, David D?Apuzzo, Christian Care (35? Marton Vass), Christian Cevenini (67? Jimmy Nikas).
Coach: John Romeo
Blacktown City Demons: Ivan Necevski, Matthew Pressello, Paul Karbon, Brendan Maroney, Nick Ruoco (70? Ken Chun), Bruno Salas, Jordan Simpson, Tyler Simpson, Brian Vanega, Chris Bedzo, Ryan Walsh.
Coach: Ken Schembri
REFEREE: Dom Filipovic
ASSISTANTS: Steve Alexander and David Christie
YELLOW CARDS: D?Apuzzo, King and Younis (A.P.I.A.)
3 – David D?Apuzzo (ALT)
2 – Franco Parisi (ALT)
1 – Matthew Nash (ALT)
-By Joe Russo