Park opening victory

RIBBON CUTTING: Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock cuts the ribbon to unveil the Northern Demons' Byrne Park upgrade.
RIBBON CUTTING: Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock cuts the ribbon to unveil the Northern Demons' Byrne Park upgrade.

The Northern Demons seemingly made Saturday night a one act affair as far as the scoreboard suggests when it defeated visiting Playford City 3-0 in the club’s special twilight State League 2 game where the local club opened its new-look Byrne Park venue featuring the state-of-the-art synthetic soccer pitch and keep top spot on the ladder after another strong start to a new season.

With all the modifications happening at “Demons Land” there are plenty of reasons to smile for everyone at the club and with the Demons winning back-to-back games a very similar soccer mission looms for the Reds.   

Meanwhile, with the Demons going to a 2-0 lead after halftime the introduction of playing coach Joel Porter was made at the 77th minute. He went onto score the Reds’ third goal six minutes from the end.

The Demons have won their first two games of the season with a degree of natural improvement still in store for the Byrne Park team, while a second win to the Adelaide Cobras sees the Plympton-based outfit in second spot on goal difference.

On Saturday evening at Byrne Park, the Demons made one alteration with new Japanese signing Sho Fugimoto, an attacking midfielder, coming into the team with Chris Annese unable to play, but where Moonta-based player Jaicob Sakoulidis was judged the Demons’ best player against Playford. Demons coach Porter, who sat on the bench before having a run late in the game, described Playford City as a similar opponent to Modbury Vista and played some decent soccer and got scoring chances mainly due to his team’s conceding the ball in bad areas, however Porter also made the point that his team was never going to lose the round two home fixture.      

It was consistent goal scorer James Capurso that opened the scoring via a 35th minute penalty kick after a handball in the box that referee Nick Elagin was quick to point to the spot for a 1-0 halftime lead to the Demons.

The locals were quick off the blocks in the new half and Mateusz Marcuzuk scored the best goal of the night after a great build up before unleashing a savage shot into the top right corner of new Playford goalkeeper Anthony Capaldi’s net for a 2-0 lead as the Demons started to dictate the contest. 

Reds coach Joel Porter then came off the bench with 13 minutes remaining and scored the Demons third and final goal to complete a sound 3-0 Byrne Park winning effort.

Best players – Demons: J.Sakoulidis, D.Introna, S.Spadavecchia, C.Mara. Playford City: M.Oliver, B.French, C.Wel. Goal scorers – Northern Demons: J.Capurso, M.Marczuk, J.Porter.

RESERVES/U18s

There was only one early game at Byrne Park for the Demons as the Reds Under 18s game was postponed due to heat, however the Reserves game went on as usual before the main game with the Demons losing its second straight game when it went down 1-2 to Playford City.

In the Reserves game, ace striker Marco Balsamo who has been injured returned to a new-look soccer ground and kicked the Reds’ only goal at the 68th minute in a contest that Playford City held 2-0 at halftime. It was the visitors Dalton Melis that scored two first half goals for the Patriots to set up the visitors win.  

Demons staring at three straight wins

The Demons are staring at three straight wins in another great start to a new State League 2 season on Saturday afternoon when it plays against the Milan Ivanovic coached Adelaide University team at War Memorial Drive in the city and the Reds second away round 3 game.

Coach Joel Porter looks like mustering what may be a prominent combination at Byrne Park with different players getting on his best players list already after just two games and last week’s inclusion of Sho Fugimoto adding to new players Steve Pepper, Mateusz Marczuk and Jaicob Sakoulidis. Last season the Demons won 1-0 at home in round 3 and then lost 2-3 in round 14 in league soccer against the University outfit that can pick the best players available from several teams aligned to them.

However, while the Demons had a 4-2 win against Modbury Vista and last week’s 3-0 over Playford City already to sit in prime position on the ladder, the ‘Blacks’ have lost both games, a 1-3 loss to Adelaide Hills and a 2-3 loss to Vipers FC and right now especially results certainly favour the Demons.

The likelihood of some forced changes hitting the Reds this weekend across the board suggests the Porter-mentored locals should take care with Adelaide University having troubled the Demons seriously last season in all three games played between the two teams. The former Socceroo, Adelaide City star and also brief Demons player, Milan Ivanovic, is a clever and shrewd coach as he was when he played and with top team player Mohammed Al Azri who kicked 16 goals last season, Axel Perez, Dylan Rolston-Howard, Michael Tedesco, Nick Tsikinis and Therry Folly make up the key group.       

For the Demons, there’s no doubt James Capurso is invaluable to the team while the former Gawler player Mateusz Marczuk who played just nine games last season for the Eagles looks a huge pickup for the Reds.

In the meantime, should the Demons repeat last season’s 16 wins and again play finals, there will be many other Reds notables, and this Saturday Porter will look closely at his latest signing Sho Fugimoto who made his debut last week. It’s only round three and teams are still trying to settle, but the Demons are expected to be better than the current cellar dwellers unless there’s an unlikely upset this Saturday.

RESERVES/U18s

The Demons Reserves need to open their winning account after two consecutive losses when they play Adelaide University on Saturday who also have lost both, while the Reds Under 18s are also looking for a win their first win.

And with sections this week being tricky with several players probably being unavailable due to circumstances, winning both games against University would be good challenge to positively achieve in Adelaide. Demons Reserves lost to Playford 1-2 last week while the Under 18s game was cancelled – in week one both teams lost to Vista 0-1 and 1-2. University lost both to Adelaide Hills and Vipers.

       - JOHN BELLIFEMINI