SOUTH COAST UNTD 0, SAVOY 3
MaiwandFC 5, Macedonia Untd 1
Para Hills Untd v Rowe Park (called off a/c wet pitch)
Angle Vale 2, Adelaide Croatia 4
Adel Great Wall 3, SBS 3
SAVOY v Adelaide Croatia
MAIWAND FC v Rowe Park
Macedonia Untd v South Coast Untd
Angle Vale v SBS
Adel Great Wall v Para Hills Untd
Savoy have put together two straight wins but did not help its goal difference with main contender and league leaders Maiwand FC who the Green and Whites defeated two weeks ago in its return to Savoy Park.
In an encounter played on their own terms at Hackham against a Coast outfit in the first of two Saturday games the locals should have won much better than it did on a climatic and testing afternoon for soccer. With just four games remaining the hot interest remains with goal difference.
Savoy win but miss on goals
Savoy has returned to its winning habits when it defeated eighth-ranked South Coast United 3-0 to complete back-to-back wins this season against the Coast in the round 14 cold and damp away fixture at Hackham to post its 11th win in Division 3 soccer and safeguard a top two position on the league ladder. However, with Maiwand FC defeating Macedonia United 5-1 after being just 1-0 up at halftime and the Rowe Park v Para Hills United game called off due to a wet pitch the Green and Whites remain in second position.
On Saturday against South Coast United which Savoy had defeated 5-0 at home earlier in the season saw the Green and Whites miss out on a golden opportunity to win big considering the description and reports received about the contest. And Savoy coach Vincent DeGioia could rue Saturday afternoon's winning score line when the Green and Whites should have scored two penalties but never converted in an encounter that the visitors should have scored probably in excess of some seven goals as the visitors peppered the Coast goals without building its goal difference nor having a score on the board at the long break.
However, with the Hackham pitch being heavy due to the constant rain the state has experienced it was right midfielder Leo Habonimana who backed his previous impressive game against Maiwand at Savoy Park with an even better display of slick passing and offensive flair. In Saturday’s game, DeGioia was unable to have Sam Salvemini on his playing list due to his hand injury and also had Kynan Crouch out, but where both should be right for another Saturday scheduled game against Adelaide Croatia at Savoy Park.
There were no jitters this time in the Savoy defence, but missing penalties was not taken too lightly especially when AJ Sabimana was gifted a shot at goals when Ben Higginbottom was tripped but missed the targets altogether. Yet Savoy who had completely dominated play against the Coast team could show nothing for their efforts whatsoever in a bizarre first half of soccer.
However, the second period proved much better for the visitors when coach Vincent DeGioia made telling moves sending Habonimana forward and Sabimana into midfield and after just two minutes in it was the on-song Habonimana who opened the scoring for 1-0, before Carlo Librino had a point blank shot well saved by the home keeper.
Much better thinking and composure came into the Savoy game and at the 65th minute it was Ben Higginbottom with a well struck side footed curler into the right side giving Savoy a 2-0 lead as the busy Green and Whites surged - it was 10 minutes later that Habonimana turned his defender inside-out to score a brilliant third goal. Savoy were now coasting against the home team and more goals beckoned amid DeGioia making substitutions with Jayden Gonzalez replacing Darren Murphy and the move quickly worked well as the new sub hit the right post before being tripped and a second penalty.
AJ Sabimana got the chance of making up, but after converting the referee made him retake the spot kick that he then smashed onto the crossbar at the 85th minute and a game that he would want to forget as far as penalties go.
BEST PLAYERS – Savoy: B.Higginbottom, L.Habonimana D.Clinton, C.Librino. GOAL SCORERS – Savoy: L.Habonimana 2, B.Higginbottom.
The Savoy Reserves as expected faced some tough opposition last Saturday afternoon and after being 1-3 down at the long break the well balanced and more experienced second top team South Coast United was able to really put the issue beyond doubt to win 6-2 at the Hackham venue. The Coast team led 3-0 at one stage with Savoy finding the net before the break, but it had been the forced selection of coach John Smith that had somewhat weakened the Green and Whites. Savoy leaked further goals in the second half, while Riley Proctor kicked both goals for the Green and Whites.
Savoy set to host Croatia
Savoy will be attempting its third straight ‘back to back’ completion of wins in another Saturday afternoon Division 3 fixture at Savoy Park when it hosts seventh-placed Adelaide Croatia who last week had a 4-2 win over bottom team Angle Vale. And while the emphasis is on the second-placed Green and Whites to embark on a serious scoring splurge because of its four goal inferior goal difference to top team Maiwand FC another afternoon of dominance without results must be avoided.
The Vincent DeGioia coached Savoy outfit must take all chances that are present to the team and there are only four games remaining to the end of the season and that realistic opportunity to be first or second past the post after the round 18 and final game in September. But the ‘week by week’ philosophy is the way to go as it’s been prove in the past, whereas a strategy can come into play that links to Savoy’s next quartet of opponents who the Green and Whites have already defeated and in doing so kicking 16 goals and conceding eight.
However, games can be different and Savoy’s run home needs to be carefully monitored especially if you look at last week’s game against South Coast United where the home team frustrated the visitors and Savoy failed to convert before the DeGioia led team scored three second half goals, but did miss two penalties on its way to winning game. The Savoy coach will be hoping he can play Sam Salvemini this Saturday afternoon who will automatically give his team different avenues in attack with his offensive wizardry in the box always troubling opposition defenders.
And while Leo Habonimana's game against South Coast was the highlight for the Green and Whites game last week as well as kicking two goals now gives DeGioia a new pivotal player in his team, but AJ Sabimana needs to return to his dangerous best by doing the simple things right in the game. Last time the two teams met in round six at State Sports Park on a rainy rainy and wet afternoon Savoy did not get it all its own way and although it won 5-3 and opened the scoring inside five minutes Croatia quickly levelled before the Green and Whites took a 2-1 lead at halftime.
The game was close throughout the afternoon until Savoy extended its lead with three goals in 20 minutes in the second period in a game it needed to play well in against a skilled and well coached Harry Orlovic Adelaide Croatia outfit. The consistent form coming from key Savoy players in skipper Darren Clinton, Carlo Librino and Ben Higginbottom continues to steady the locals game week in week out and with all three also scoring goals repeatedly.
Nevertheless, this Saturday’s game at Savoy Park is another that DeGioia and his team must tick off its bucket list before following games against SBS (ninth) away, Para Hills United (sixth) at home and finish off the season with an away fixture against fifth-ranked Adelaide Great Wall away.
The John Smith coached Savoy Reserves struck a tough opponent last week when it lost convincingly to South Coast United and this Saturday back at Savoy Park the locals will try to bounce back against an Adelaide Croatia team that defeated the Green and Whites 6-4 in round 6 earlier in the season.
Saturday’s early game sees the fourth and fifth ladder teams go head to head, however, the two had contrasting results last week with Savoy losing 2-6 against South Coast and Croatia thrashing Angle Vale 12-0 suggesting it may be another difficult assignment for the home combination.