Campbelltown Quake 16 boys had to draw upon all their qualities to outlast a much improved Western Raiders side to win a thrilling encounter 3-2 at the Blacktown Leisure centre.
The Quake got off to a great start when after 2 minutes the ball was quickly laid back for Jake McGing to drill the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The Raiders came close when Justin Miller sped around the Quake defenders down the left but his shot was saved by Jake Belford in goal
Quake were well organised and having the majority of possession but the Raiders were in no mood to rollover and leveled the game when Daniel Campbell collected the ball inside his own half and ran across the defence to the right corner and hit a brilliant shot from the byline that squeezed between the keeper and the post to tie the game at 1-1.
The pace was frenetic but The Quake were shading possession and chances, Raiders keeper Michael Hudson did well to block a Jack Teseski close range shot and Daniel Vellonio took on the defence but his shot flashed just wide.
The Raiders nearly took a surprise lead when young Hagi Gligoro was put through, his lob managed to avoid the keeper but the ball just went over the crossbar.
Michael Hudson was having a fine game and made a great reaction save with his foot to deny a certain goal for Nicholas Colantonio.
2 minutes before half time Campbelltown grabbed the lead they’d been threatening to do when Jake McGing emulated Daniel Campbell’s goal from earlier when he stepped down the right touchline and smashed a shot from the corner that squeezed between the keeper and the post to make it 2-1.
Into the second half and frenetic pace just continued as before. Daniel Vellonio shot just wide for Quake, the Raiders Jesse Galayini shot just wide and Daniel Campbell was put through but Jake Belford blocked the shot.
Much to the delight of the home crowd the Raiders drew level when skipper Justin Miller seized the ball in his own half and took off down the left side and confidently drove the ball across the keeper to make the score 2-2.
The Raiders had their tails up and came at the Quake as immediately after the goal Michael Omeros shot across goal and Justin Miller had a long range shot that was saved.
The pace of the game was unrelenting as Quake’s Daniel Vellonio shot against the post and Raiders Daniel Campbell shot just wide.
The Quake hit back and should have taken the lead when Vellonio passed to Daniel Rees who crashed his shot against the post the ball quickly rebounded out to Vellonio who put the ball over.
Daniel Vellonio was in the thick of the action and for the second time struck his shot against the post.
The Quake were increasing the pressure more and eventually took the lead when Daniel Vellonio took a freekick from the left side that deflected off the wall and into the net to make the score 3-2 with 6 minutes to go.
Both sides were putting on a great display in the heat as Quake went for the win and the Raiders desperately went in search of an equaliser.
Nick Colantonio nicely turned inside his marker but his shot hit the side netting and keeper Michael Hudson again came out to smother an effort from Vellonio.
Another Justin Miller long range shot was saved well by Jake Belford and from a freekick Daniel Vellonio agonisingly struck the post for a third time and Quake keeper Jake Belford made a great stop to deny Daniel Campbell.
In the last minute the Raiders thought they’d leveled the score when Jesse Galayini chased a ball into the right corner then lobbed the defence for Michael Omeros to come rushing through but under pressure from the keeper volleyed his effort agonisingly against the post and away to safety.
Raiders coach Peter Akers was disappointed for his side not to have gotten something from the game but was upbeat about the teams performance today and in recent games.
It was a great display from both sides and a real fighting performance from the Raiders that should give them plenty of encouragement. In the end it was the Quake who’d struck the post 4 times in the game that held on to win a thrilling match 3-2 and maintain their position near the top of the table.
Western Raiders : Justin Miller, Daniel Campbell
Campbelltown Quake : Jake McGing 2, Daniel Vellonio
1. Michael Hudson
7. Justin Miller
6. Michael Omeros
5. Ali Nasreddine
4. Adam Khan
10. Jesse Galayini
8. Daniel Campbell
3. Hagi Gligoro
12. Jake Belford
2. Elrich Mattos
5. Jake McGing
7. Daniel Vellonio
9. Daniel Rees
10. Nicholas Colantonio
3. Nicholas Ortega
11. Jack Teseski
6. Nathan Clissold
Fouls – Western Raiders 8, Campbelltown 5
Yellow Cards – Western Raiders 2
Red Cards – Nil
Officials – Darius Turner, Sam Buck