Round 3 RESULTS
SAVOY 1 West Beach 1
Seaford 3 Southern Knights 2
Macedonia Utd 1 Munno Para 2
Noarlunga Utd 2 WA.Raptors 6
Rowe Park 0 Para Hills East 3
Round 4 FIXTURES
SAVOY v WA.Raptors
West Beach v Rowe Park
Munno Para v Seaford
Southern Knights v Noarlunga Utd
Para Hills East v Macedonia Utd
SAVOY BOW TO LATE EQUALIZER
Savoy could not get its third straight Division 2 win on Sunday afternoon and instead bowed to a late West Beach equalizer at the Pirie West Oval and was made to settle for a 1-1 draw in its round three encounter played in perfect conditions and in front of a strong and excited crowd.
Sunday's pre-game coin toss saw old Port Pirie soccer stalwarts Mario Turci and Nick Capurso start the round three SAASL senior game and Savoy's debut at their new headquarters.
By all accounts the Vincent DeGioia coached Green and Whites dictated Sunday's game for a huge majority but could not add to a Ben Higginbottom 25th minute goal and kept the Lee Grogan coached Beach outfit in the game to an extent that in the final 10 minutes the visitors challenged the home side strongly that resulted in conceding a stoppable goal.
The Savoy starting 11, and especially offensively, was weakened when Leonard Habonimana who has scored in every game was unable to play against West Beach, but with the home team taking the lead and looking good most of the afternoon there was no excuse about being caught late by the Adelaide team.
But it was the West Beach bench that did the trick when late in Sunday's game at the Pirie West Oval coach Lee Grogan introduced all of his substitutes and new energy that forced the Green and Whites on their back foot somewhat before a harmless left cross in the Savoy box could not be dealt with allowing a header to beat keeper Nathan Brook for 1-1 at the 87th minute mark to stun Savoy.
With Savoy progressing through the round three encounter in control mode and then going about it the same way right until the last 15 minutes where West Beach was seen at its best for the first time in a game you would not think DeGioia's outfit was going to concede a goal.
Meanwhile with Habonimana ruled out of Sunday's game, Jayden Gonzalez got his chance up forward and once again it was John Librino that impressed most, while Domenic Keain and Rhys Gillett were strong in defence.
And without Leonard Habonimana playing it was AJ Sabimana that seemed a little lost but tried valiantly for the winner as the game entered the last half hour in Savoy's opening game at the new Sports Precinct.
Sunday's result probably was not the one Savoy had gunned for but playing against a hardened Division 2 warrior and having been the better of the two teams on the day the Green and Whites should now respond appropriately when it visits West Adelaide Raptors this Sunday at Kingston Gardens.
FFA Cup quarter finals will be played during the weekend also but the second ladder placed Savoy should reflect on the one that got away!
Savoy was on its way to another win last Sunday at the precinct, but the cautious factor escaped it against West Beach when it was pegged back in the closings minutes of the game for a 1-1 result.
Savoy: J.Librino, D.Keain, R.Gillett, AJ.Sabimana. West Beach: C.O'Sullivan, J.Rolston, S.McGeough.
Savoy: B.Higginbottom. West Beach: S.McGeough.
The Savoy Reserves lost its third straight game on Sunday afternoon when it went down to the visiting West Beach team 1-5 after trailing 1-3 at halftime. The Adelaide outfit was a good and strong soccer combination that the John Smith Green and Whites could not hold out heavily last time out when it was belted 8-0 by Para Hills East in a second round game following a good 3-4 loss in the opening game of the season.
SAVOY EXPECT TOUGH RAPTORS
The second-placed and undefeated Savoy comes up against one of the few best teams in Division 2 soccer going on reports from other clubs and this was assured when NPL club West Adelaide's amateur arm and third positioned Raptors defeated Noarlunga United last week 6-2 in an away game at Wilfred Taylor Reserve.
But for Savoy, who never should have lost last week, can take some inspiration into this round four fixture after the Raptors lost to Para Hills East 1-3 in the opening season game with the locals then defeating the Hills 2-0 the following week.
However, it's not an easy formula especially when West Beach managed to draw with the Green and Whites just last week at the Precinct 1-1 but was well beaten by the pronounced Greek and experienced John Pires coached combination 4-1.
There's no doubt that Savoy badly missed Leonard Habonimana in attack last week in a contest that the home team just could not find a second goal and a third victory
WA Raptors have always been an adversary to Savoy in previous seasons and in three separate seasons the Adelaide team command the stats winning five and losing just once and this needs to be better controlled even though Savoy claimed its first premiership in one of those soccer seasons.
FFA CUP - Quarter Finals
Only amateur teams and draw detailed - this weekend
Adelaide City (NPL) v Elizabeth Vale (Am1st)
Elizabeth Downs (Am1st) v Vipers FC. (SL2)
All above amateur teams from Premier Divs Sat and Sun Leagues
Amateur Teams in FFA CUP - Round 2
The FFA Cup quarter finals will be played this weekend and it's hard to see amateur premier team Elizabeth Vale take a cup win over NPL opponent Adelaide City, however Elizabeth Downs at home can take another step in the FFA Cup by defeating Vipers FC. But the improving State League 2 team Vipers will be hard to beat after three straight wins in league soccer.