Inner West Allstars 2 Western Raiders 1
Inner West Allstars kept in touch of a finals berth with a come from behind win in an enthralling and physical encounter against the Western Raiders.
Western Raiders had the better of the opening exchanges showing a greater willingness to generate a good tempo and work on their passing and possession game. While the Allstars side are a team that likes to run with the ball, keep the tempo very high and hit fast on the break.
The Western Raiders opened the scoring when a fast counter down the left side saw a perfect pass slid across goal to Miller looming in support. With the keeper out positioned he made no mistake from close range to give the Raiders a deserved lead.
The pace continued to be frenetic and the contest for the ball was fierce. Although the Allstars keeper was the slightly busier the Allstars were having plenty of chances also with Eren Demiroz and Sherwin Adeu going close and Kelly for the Raiders nearly doubling their lead when his low shot hit the base of the post.
As the first half neared the end the possession started to swing back to the home side as the Allstars frantically went in search of an equaliser before half time. But the Raiders defence held firm to lead 1-0 at half time.
The Allstars drew level near the start of the second half when Eren Demiroz slammed the ball past the keeper to finish off a smart three man move to make it 1-1.
The Raiders hit back and went on the attack immediately but the Allstars defence repelled their rally. Then the Raiders keeper Herceg came out to make a great save from Zac Elrich and keep the game on level terms.
With the game sweeping from end to end it was the Allstars who grabbed the decisive break with a three man move that was a carbon copy of their first goal. In a swift counter attack Shervin Adeli held off the Raiders defence slipped the ball wide to Zac Elrich who brilliantly passed back across court to Jordan Crighton who trekked forward to slam the ball past the out positioned keeper to give the home side a 2-1 lead.
The pace and contest for the ball continued unabated with Dominic Tripodi making constant runs forward and Demiroz and Adeli going very close for the home team while Nakatani in goal saved well from Kelly and Fitzharris.
Then to sum up the Raiders game they hit the woodwork for a second time when Miller passed to Jordan Fitzharris but his shot grazed the crossbar and went wide.
In the last few minutes the Raiders applied heavy pressure on the Allstars goal with their defence making last ditch tackles to save the game. Shintaro Nakatani made one more great save denying Freeburn the chance to equalise before the final whistle.
In a game that probably deserved a draw the Allstars held on to win a highly competitive and enthralling match 2-1.