The Northern Demons were forced to share the spoils in its away game against Gawler Eagles last Saturday at Karbeethan Reserve where the Reds led at halftime and then led until the 89th minute of the round 18 State League 2 encounter only to see the home team level up twice in what rates a likely damaging 2-2 draw for the Byrne Park team.
Saturday’s game provided two penalties awarded by the referee, one to each team, and one that Demons gloveman Nigel Young brilliantly saved in the first half and the other that the visitors scored to take the lead with twenty minutes of the contest remaining. In the meantime Saturday’s results again saw major changes to the top four with both the Demons and Eastern United dropping points where the once league leaders seem to have surrendered to Seaford, and while the Reds keep third place it is Fulham United that continues its rise and now into second spot.
There’s no doubt the Demons last two week’s results and Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Gawler hurts the Andrew McMillan-coached Reds’ wish to finish top even though the locals can still regain it but only if all next four weeks results fall their way and the Northern Demons win every single game.
Reports from Karbeethan Reserve describe the game as being a scrappy one played on below par and boggy pitch that referee Kim Massinis control on the contest never helped the two teams and more so the Demons who did play the better soccer, but again suffered due to their final touch with the ball at crucial stages. Nonetheless it was the Northern Demons that took advantage of Gawler’s missed penalty kick just before the half hour mark that then went onto see Marco Balsamo score goal at the opposite end at the 38th minute mark giving the Demons a 1-0 lead at the halftime break.
In the second half the Demons only had to match the home team and stop it from scoring to win the game and the visitors opened the new half sharply with an impressive ten minute burst before the Gawler Eagles caught the Demons back four napping allowing an easy Cameron Gliese goal and the game back on even terms. From that point the Demons lost concentration to allow the home team to control the game for a period until Reds captain Daniel Cox injected some excitement back into the contest when he won the ball, dribbled into the box and fouled that quickly had referee Massinis point to the spot for a Demons penalty.
And there was no mistake from the well-slotted Marco Balsamo kick that beat Gawler goalkeeper Michael Gomez and at the 75th minute the Demons had regained the lead and with a 2-1 lead seemed they would win the game. But in very similar fashion to the previous week against Seaford, the Demons again faltered and again from a set piece free kick that saw Gawler’s Anthony Gbojueh nicely head into the visitors net at the 88th minute to snatch victory away from the Northern Demons for another disappointing end result.
Best players: Gawler – A.Gaye, M.Gomez, J.Macckintosh, A.Gbojueh. Demons – N.Young, James Capurso, D.Cox, M,Balsamo. Goal scorers: Gawler - C.Gliese, A.Gbojueh. Demons - M.Balsamo 2.
RESERVES & UNDER 18s
It was mixed results for the Northern Demons away against Gawler with the Reserves winning 2-1 and the Under 18s losing 1-3 in the two early games at Karbeethan Reserve and Saturday’s two results mirrored the two teams previous against the Eagles. In the Reserves game it was Slade Petry’s two second half goals that enabled the Reds to overcome a 1-0 deficit at halftime to run out winners, whereas in the first game the young Under 18s could not build on its 1-1 long break score line as Gawler went onto score two unanswered goals to run out winners.
Demons Winning Priority
After two wrecking results the Northern Demons should defeat the 10th-ranked Modbury Vista this Saturday afternoon back at home in what begins a quartet of State League 2 fixtures that will close the minor round. The Demons will follow up with a tough away game against Eastern United then back home against Playford City and again away to Mount Barker United where winning results are now a real priority for the locals. And even though the Demons did defeat Vista 4-0 back in round 8 after a commanding 3-0 halftime lead on the synthetic surface of Jet Park there is every reason to suggest that the McMillan-coached outfit has not been convincing of late. Playing at Byrne Park gives the Demons big advantage against the Richard Walker coached Vista who unfortunately have not improved as one would expect over the season and a modest win is expected by the home combination in Saturday’s encounter.
When the two teams last met it was the busy Demons forwards that confused the young Modbury Vista defence where the Reds scored three first half goals that led to tipping a big second half display by visitors. It never occurred and the Demons could only score one more goal against a keen Vista team that matched the Reds throughout the second period. A similar starting Demons 11 is expected against Vista where winning this game is a must as well as going about fixing the ongoing set piece dilemmas that has seen the locals concede goals that should be avoided. The Demons should win this game where twin 15 goal apiece scorers Jaylan Capurso and Marco Balsamo could feature strongly in.
RESERVES & UNDER 18s
Both Demons teams in the Reserves and Under 18s won their last games against Modbury Vista earlier in the season with identical 2-1 wins at Jet Park and both Reds outfits are tipped to win the two early games at Byrne Park. And it’s been quite sometime where the two teams have won double games on the same day and the two fifth-placed Demons teams get their big opportunity against the two bottom ranked Modbury Vista outfits.