Balcatta stymied by armoured Armadale
Armadale put on a show of steadfast defence and solidarity in their quest against the inconsistent Balcatta SC, coming away with a draw at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
Moe Atak was the sole goal scorer for Balcatta, whilst Joey Tavernese broke through with the equaliser for the visitors.
Balcatta would be disappointed with the result, as they largely dominated play and had plenty of action attacking forward. However, Armadale defenders Mitch Castrilli and Nathan Costello did an excellent job in containing David and Daniel Micevski.
The Micevski brothers did their best to orchestrate a breakthrough early, and David, in front position of Castrilli, was able to receive the ball from Daniel and turn and shoot in the tenth minute, but he pushed the shot just wide of the far post.
This set in motion a frenzy of attacks from Balcatta. Tong picked out David Micevksi with a long ball up front but he was stopped by offside. Daniel Micevski tried walking it in along the backline, but was promptly stopped by Costello. Atak fed numerous balls through from out wide but there was generally no one home to get behind it. Over this time, the Balcatta box started to look extremely crowded as Armadale were ruthless in defence.
Armadale had limited opportunities in front of goal but gave the hosts a scare in the 16th minute, when Alan Darlington and Darren Francis combined, resulting in a narrow miss.
Hot headed Armadale Keeper, Cyril Sharrock, as vocal as ever, enjoyed the support of his resolute defenders, led by Castrilli. Signs of frustration were clearly evident from the home side as they continued to attack but just couldn't find the way through. David Micevski came close with his shot from a free kick in the 41st minute, which was parried by Sharrock. Even the assistance of a tall Adam Tong up front didn't eradicate the Balcatta duck egg.
As the half time break approached, Armadale had the hosts shell shocked with their considerable defensive effort as well as their spontaneous but impressive movement in front of goal.
Clearly desperate to advance and take hold of the 2nd half, Jason Barrera devised a play, involving Nunes, who crossed the ball to an unchecked Atak. He took his first chance and struck the ball with confidence through Sharrock and into the goal.
The addition of John Mills to the mix of Barrera and Atak saw an increase in cohesiveness and innovation in the attacking effort, but it was still not enough to find a way through Armadale's Castrilli, Costello and Nick Viaggio who was also impressive defensively.
Amazingly, Armadale were able to equalise in the 69th minute when Balcatta keeper Bobson Koroma didn't deaI well with a ball from versatile Castrilli, saving but stumbling to his near post, the ball spilling into the path of Tavernese, who was able to maintain composure and tap the ball home in an open goal.
Balcatta, sensing the reality of the situation, went into attacking overdrive again, trying numerous combinations to try and again take the lead. But there seemed to be a connection missing as well as a general lack of communication as Mills, Micevski, Barrera, Tong, Atak and Migas were all involved in some way but never in a cohesive or terribly convincing manner. It was more a panicked response that wasn't strong enough to get past the Armadale defence who were unwilling to back down after all their hard work.
Next week's All Flags State League round should bring interesting challenges for both sides. Armadale will need to maintain their confidence and step it up another notch against Inglewood United, whilst Balcatta will need to bounce back in order to compete against a determined Stirling Lions.
Balcatta SC 1 (Atak 52')
Armadale SC 1 (Tavernese 69')
Saturday, 23rd June 2012
Grindleford Reserve, Balcatta
Local kick-off: 3:00pm
Referee: Joe Fusari
Balcatta SC: GK. Bobson KOROMA, 4. Julian MADASCHI, 5. Adam TONG, 7. Daniel MICEVSKI, 8. Chris THACKRAY, 8. Jason BARRERA, 10. Mustafa ATAK, 13. John MIGAS, 14. David MICEVSKI (6. John MILLS 46'), 15. Paul VATISTAS (2. Simon ELTON-BOTT 89'), 19. Shane NUNES, 20. Chris THACKRAY
Substitutes not used: RGK. Simon MADASCHI, 22. Genaveo HUMAN, 16. Jovo PAVLOVIC,
Yellow cards: Genaveo HUMAN
Red Cards: Nil
Armadale SC: 1. Cyril SHARROCK (GK), 4. Wief DINSDALE, 5. Nick VIAGGIO, 6. Nathan COSTELLO, 7. Ravi KUPPUSAMY (3. Sean NICHOLLS 76'), 8. Allan CLAXTON, 9. Darren FRANCIS, 10. Alan DARLINGTON (11. Blake ADAMS 86'), 13. Sam LOVELESS, 14. Mitch CASTRILLI, 15. Joey TAVERNESE
Substitutes not used: 2. Brandon CATCHPOLE, 12. Jackson BEALEY, 20. Jack ADAMS
Yellow cards: Allan CLAXTON, Mitch CASTRILLI, Cyril SHARROCK
Red Cards: Nil