The original game was postponed because of Sydney?s recent deluges, but the Tigers may have been wishing that the heavens had opened up today as well.
The heavens didn?t ? it was a spectacular Saturday afternoon ? but the ground might as well have opened for many of the home players. It would be safe to assume that they may have been looking for a cavernous opening to hide in.
Rockdale were methodical and clinical, but where they really won the game was in the detail. It was the little things that they did which set them apart from A.P.I.A. Leichhardt.
After the game Rockdale?s relatively new coach Wally Savor was understandably delighted with his team.
?To come to Lambert and score three goals against A.P.I.A. and to keep a clean sheet is a good thing,? he stated.
?I was definitely impressed with the way the defence held out, the way we kept a clean sheet and with the boys in the midfield.
?Also, to score three goals is great because I think it has been while since the club scored three goals.?
Savor, who himself was an excellent player in the old NSL and for the Socceroos, said that he was delighted to be in the coach?s seat when asked about the role given that he is only three games into the job.
?The blood pressure has probably gone up a few times and it?s certainly different to playing, but I?m enjoying the role because it?s a good bunch of players and the club is enthusiastic and it?s great to work here.?
Rockdale City Suns supporters didn?t have to wait too long for the opening goal as it duly arrived in the 3? minute. Adem Kir crossed from the right but it was poorly defended by A.P.I.A. and Jason Naidovski couldn?t believe his luck.
The ball arrived at his feet in the middle and all he had to do was put it in the back of the net. Too easy for the former Marconi player.
A very short time later the visitors should have been further ahead when somehow Marino Musumeci, against his former club, couldn?t steer the ball in from close range.
A.P.I.A. Leichhardt replied with a free-kick in the 10? minute through Robbie Younis who narrowly failed to curl the ball in as it flighted beautifully around the wall.
However, after this early action, both sides reverted to a tight midfield game for approximately the next half hour. It was football for the purist rather than for the casual observer looking for some goal-mouth action.
In the 40? minute A.P.I.A. should really have scored when a triple chance went begging.
It was all started by Younis who had his shot cleared off the line by Paul Dee. The ball then made its way to David D?Apuzzo who, too, had his attempt cleared off the line, before finally Nick Rizzo forced Ben McNamara into a spectacular diving save.
It hardly seemed possible that the ball didn?t end up in the goal after such a glorious chance.
Nevertheless, as football ebbs and flows, the play made its way down to the other end of the field where Rockdale scored.
Kir?s pass split the Tigers defence and found Paul Dee who, despite being in the twilight of his brilliant career, had enough pace and know-how to square a wonderful ball into the middle for Shay Spitz to score.
Late in the first stanza of play a cross from the right by Younis found Rizzo who volleyed first time but was thwarted by a diving save from McNamara.
In the second half there wasn?t as much goal-mouth action, but both teams certainly had their chances.
In the 58? minute a free-kick by Younis hit Marton Vass and then deflected back to Rizzo who fired over the crossbar.
Rockdale?s reply arrived midway through the second half when a Spitz cross made its way to Monie who forced Jose Bello-Amigo into a good save.
The same two players, in reverse roles, were involved again for Rockdale some minutes later but nothing much changed, with Spitz this time off target after a Monie cross.
Late in the game Rockdale scored a tremendous goal when Kir?s cross found Sash Tirovski who glanced a quality header into the back of the net. It was no more than the visitors deserved as they capped off a very sound display of football.
After the game A.P.I.A. defender Michael West was still in a positive frame of mind despite recent losses by the Tigers.
?Definitely a disappointing result today but we only have ourselves to blame,? he said very honestly.
?The first goal was an unlucky bounce for John Kelso as the ball bounced over him and went to the bloke who wasn?t first to the ball; there was not much we could have done about that one.
?For their second goal, there was some miscommunication by us and a good run by Dee who kept running and he made a goal out of it.?
When asked about what has gone wrong in recent weeks in the team, as expected, he was somewhat at a loss to single out a reason.
?It?s really hard to put your finger on and if we knew the reason, it probably wouldn?t be happening,? he said.
?Look, there is no magic watermelon juice and there?s always next week because that was a catch-up game, so technically we are not losing any ground on anyone this week,? he stated.
Meanwhile, in the Grade 20s A.P.I.A. Leichhardt Tigers and Rockdale City Suns played out a 1-1 draw.
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers 0
Rockdale City Suns 3 (Naidovski 3?, Spitz 43?, Tirovski 87?)
Saturday, 9th July, 2011
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: Kevin Peddie
Assistant referees: Nathan Motton and Thomas Lee
4th Official: Alex Long
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers: 1.Jose Bello-Amigo; 2.Mark Byrnes (7.Stephen Kayes 72?), 3.John Kelso, 4.Cole Tinkler, 5.Michael West, 6.Marton Vass (16.Damir Prodanovic 86?), 13.David D?Apuzzo, 15.Adam D?Apuzzo, 11.Nicola Rizzo, 10.Franco Parisi (23.Chris James 28?), 9.Robbie Younis.
Substitutes Not Used: 40.Stefan Giglio, 20.Neal Keane
Yellow Cards: D. D?Apuzzo 60?
Red Cards: Nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Ben McNamara; 13.Giorgio Speranza, 16.Josh Lawson, 2.Paul Dee (10.Sash Trajcevski 70?), 23.Askin Oygur, 3.Shay Spitz, 17.Sash Tirovski, 19.Marino Musumeci (7. Peter Apolevski 80?), 11.Adem Kir, 18.James Monie, 9.Jason Naidovski (14.Hisuki Hasegawa 43?).
Substitutes Not Used: 5.Rob Speranza, 22.Dion Shaw
Yellow Card: Kir 54?
Red Cards: Nil
-By Joe Russo