Apollo 1 d Naracoorte 0
APOLLO claimed a 1-0 win over Naracoorte in icy conditions for the closest Round 7 result of Limestone Coast soccer.
The final score did not necessarily reflect the game, as Apollo struggled with accuracy against a depleted Naracoorte side.
Apollo controlled the play throughout most of the 90 minutes but failure to capitalise left the scoreline at a risky 1-0 at half time.
While there were no shortage of opportunities, Gay Nay Say Ler was the only player who found their mark, scoring after a good team build up in the opening term.
Apollo coach Jamie Stephenson was happy to come away with the points in the end, despite a performance which did not reflect his team’s best.
“We didn’t play badly – we passed around and did things well, but we just couldn’t finish,” he said.
“Naracoorte did a fantastic job considering how many players they had out.”
There were moments which Stephenson was pleased with and he remained positive, but understood the lift which will be needed in its coming clash with ladder-leader Gambier Centrals.
“We had passages of play that were good and nice combination plays, but we just couldn’t finish,” he said.
“There was one particular period in the second half in a probably 10-15 minute span where we would have had six or seven one-on-ones with the keeper.
“We hit the post three times and sprayed over the top.
“In that 10 minutes we could have scored five or six goals.”
In the end Apollo was fortunate not to share the points, as Naracoorte found a few late chances in attack.
“The last 10 or 15 minutes Naracoorte did look threatening when they were playing counter-attacks and playing long ball,” Stephenson said.
“To be honest it was just nice to get the win.
“We are a young team, so we are still learning.”
Brett Stephenson found himself in unfamiliar territory as goal keeper for the match, after both Jesse Widdison and Ben Morris were unavailable.
He made a few good saves, while Stephenson said overall it was a team effort.
“No one really played bad, but no one really played well,” he said.
“It was just a second/third gear type of game for every player.”
Apollo will hope for improved accuracy and intensity when it faces Centrals this weekend in an anticipated rematch.
International 7 d Blue Lake 2
With a loss to Apollo still fresh on the minds of International players, a strong win away from home boosted moral against Blue Lake on Sunday.
Matt Bueti and captain Christian Cella dominated up forward, with the former adding another four goals to his league-leading tally.
He sits at the top of the scorer’s list with a total of 19 from seven matches, ahead of Centrals’ Cameron Saint on 14.
Cella finished off two goals, while an own goal rounded out Inter’s 7-2 victory.
For the Rangers it was Si Pler Htoo and Shar Ku Htoo who converted, in another tough outing against the boys in black and blue.
Gambier Centrals 6 d Millicent 0
Millicent provided little resistance as Gambier Centrals hosted the side for a six-goal win at MGA Park.
The Lions roared to life once again and wasted no time showing why they were on top of the Limestone Coast Football Association ladder.
For Millicent it was another tough day at the office, as Centrals captain Cameron Saint continued to lead by example with a three-goal haul.
He was joined by usual culprits Sam Shoemark and Christian Fleetwood with two and one goal respectively in another solid outing.
After a couple of convincing wins, the Lions will match up against Apollo at Webb Street this weekend in a battle between first and third.
Last time the sides met it was Centrals which held the upper hand, but since then Apollo has proved itself with a good win over Inter.
It will be the undeniable match of the round, while Naracoorte hosts Blue Lake in what could be another close fixture, should the home team welcome the return of players.
Inter travels to Millicent for a match which should hand it a handy percentage boost as we enter the second half of the season.