Sunday, 20 April 2008

AIS crash 3-0

AIS suffered their third loss in a row when they went down to Green Gully 3-0 yesterday.

Read Neil Zimmerman's match report below:

Green Gully racked up their fourth consecutive win with a 3-0 victory over the AIS at a sun drenched Green Gully Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

A brace to second half substitute, Campbell Banks saw the home team run out comfortable winners over an AIS side that failed to make its amount of possession count on the scoreboard.

The match started off in a very cagey manner with the majority of play taking place in the midfield with both teams guilty of wasting their final ball.

The match finally sprang to life in the 19th minute when a heavy challenge by Green Gully's Joel Nikolic on Matthew Theodore saw the AIS player sprawled on the turf and his team mates incensed.

Nikolic received a yellow card for his trouble and the young AIS playmaker had to be helped from the field for treatment. Not long after Jason Naidovski produced the first shot on goal for the match, which was easily saved by the Cavaliers 'keeper Steve Tilovski. This chance proved to be the best opportunity for the half although in the dying moments of the half, the visitors had a series of corners but failed to make any headway.

Having dominated possession and taken control of the midfield, the AIS would have left the field at the break a little disappointed not to taken more from the half.

The second half saw a rejuvenated home side as Green Gully coach, Ian Dobson replaced an ineffective Joel Nikolic with Matthew Sanders.

The AIS almost took the lead ten minutes into the second half as Cavaliers' midfielder, Andy Vargas got his head to a free kick from the AIS' Richard Greer.

Fortunately the home side, the ball hit the top of the crossbar and out for a corner after looping over the head of Tilovski in the Green Gully goal.

Not long after, the home side took the lead as Koce Delev broke his scoring drought for the Cavaliers after rifling home a shot from close range after the AIS failed to clear the ball from their area.

AIS coach, Ray Junna responded quickly to the goal with the substitution of Matthew Theodore, who wasn't his usual influential self after that earlier clash, which had seen him leave the field of play. Coming on as his replacement was Peter Cvetanovski.

Looking to get back on equal terms the visitors kept the Cavaliers in their own half for a number of minutes and created a number of chances for themselves. The best of these were long range effort from Richard Greer which was tipped over the bar, and a deflected shot from AIS captain, Luke DeVere, which was cleared off the line via the head of Steve Burton.

The home side soon doubled their advantage as Campbell Banks, who had recently replaced goalscorer, Delev, deflected a long range effort from Emanuel Muscat past a despairing Birghitti in the AIS goal.

Four minutes later Banks, put the game beyond doubt as he scored his second goal and the Cavaliers' third after calmly slotting the ball past an onrushing AIS 'keeper after being put through on goal via a pinpoint pass from Matthew Sanders.

After the game Cavaliers' coach, Ian Dobson admitted that he thought in the first half the Cavaliers' midfield was being overrun and the forwards weren't working hard enough but after making some changes at half time it was pleasing to see the team come out in the second half and play a lot better.

He also commended his back line whom he thought defended very well for the entirety of the match, keeping the AIS attacking threats in check.

After three weeks on the road, next week the AIS will host fellow top six contenders, the Melbourne Knights, whilst Green Gully will be at home for the second week in a row as they play host to the Preston Lions.

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