The Mothers’ Day weekend round 10 encounter at Ramsay Park started as a rude shock for league leaders Northern Demons with a dismal first half performance that copied the previous week’s home loss effort before some controlled halftime grooming saw the visiting Reds turn the game on its head and be 5-1 runaway winners.
The Demons’ early approach on Saturday’s game was its worst display against what is now a weak Playford City list, and it was the home team that made the visitors look second rate especially when the Colin Bajkusev-coached outfit had their skipper Jayden Kirk convert a 27th minute penalty even after the ball had already found the Demons net.
However the appalling first half display by the Andrew McMillan-led Demons was rated a hangover from its loss to Eastern United who on Saturday defeated Seaford 1-0 and presenting local league leaders breathing space and a three point buffer.
Last Saturday Playford City dictated play in that opening period, but it was to be much different in the next half where the Northern Demons sliced through the Ramsay Park team in what was a stunning exhibition of powerful attacking soccer.
The dressing sheds message found the mark on the Demons players and in a rapid fire six minute stint the Demons hit Playford’s net three times to lead 3-1 with Jaylan Capurso kick-starting the scoring at the 50th minute followed by goals to Antony Introna and Marco Balsamo putting the contest now strictly on the Reds’ terms.
The rest of the half seemed one way street with the McMillan coached combination who again was without Chris Mara, James Capurso out with a groin and McMillan on the bench himself made way for Egibe Sabimana return to league soccer, while Gaeten Anesse was back for the Demons.
In the meantime as the Demons gathered momentum, Playford City crumbled as they fell behind as the visitors fully dominating play in last Saturday’s game.
The Demons went onto make the scoreboard look strikingly better when Marco Balsamo and Jaylan Capurso scored their second personal goals in the final five or so minutes to make it quite an eventful 5-1 away win to the Reds. Nevertheless for the Northern Demons, Saturday’s contest sounded warnings, before a perfect response when generally players believed in themselves developed a transition that it killed off any silly thought about Playford causing an unlikely upset.
Best players – Demons: A.Introna, E.Sabimana, M.Balsamo, G.Anesse. Playford City: J.Kirk, D.Maguire, G.Hulls.
Goal scorers - Demons: Jay Capurso 2, M.Balsamo 2, A.Introna. Playford City: J.Kirk (pen).
RESERVES & UNDER 18s
The Northern Demons Reserves drew 2-2 in a nail biting draw against Playford City last Saturday afternoon at Ramsay Park after the home team went to a 2-0 lead that included a penalty with just 20 minutes of soccer played and a score Playford held at halftime. In the second period the Demons were awarded a penalty that Nathan Introna converted at the 50th minute making it 2-1 favouring Playford before Andrew Cox scored to level the seesawing game to 2-2 as both teams settled for an exciting draw result.
In the first game of the afternoon the Demons Under 18s lost 2-3 after a goalless first half between the two teams that then went onto kick 5 goals between them in another very entertaining game at Ramsay Park. Both Demons goals were scored by young Bailey Biedenweg who put the Reds in front and then also equalized before Playford kicked the winner.
Demons Top at Midseason
This Saturday’s Byrne Park midseason round 11 should see the Northern Demons get another three points when it takes on third to bottom team Mount Barker United in a home encounter the Reds will have little to worry about.
And who would have thought the Demons would be in dominant leading spot on the State League 2 ladder after poor previous seasons suggesting the McMillan-coached Reds have improved so significantly and become the obvious favourites to return to finals soccer at season end.
However the last few weeks has seen a consistent team push for major ladder spots with unlikely losses by the Demons and then Seaford to Eastern United in some abnormal displays in consecutive weeks that sees the Demons leading the Vipers, Cobras and Eastern United all by three points.
But last season the Northern Demons had win and then a loss against Mount Barker United and the locals cannot show any more signs of unreliability in games as shown in their previous three halves of soccer both home and away.
McMillan will probably play against Barker United on Saturday and will stiffen the backline, while he will hope James Capurso can also play or the likes of young defender James Pisani and Demons visiting signing Dahamon Kalamaras who were given some time on the park last week can will make the first eleven.
The Demons will win this game before embarking on two straight tough away games in the weeks following, while last week Mount Barker United lost 0-3 to the Adelaide Cobras at home to date so far have won only one game and drawn two.
RESERVES & UNDER 18s
The Northern Demons are expected to win all three games at Cornerstone College this Saturday after the two Mount Barker United easily to Fullham United last week. And the Demons Reserves and the Under 18’s played top games against Playford City to draw 2-2 while and the Under 18s lost 2-3 in a close affair in their away games with the two games described as typical contests that could have gone either way. But two Demons opponents lost 0-3 in the Reserves and 0-9 in the Under 18s suggesting the travelling Reds are strongly tipped to win.