Adelaide United Youth has let a first-half lead slip on its way to a 2-1 loss to Sturt Lions at West Beach Parks on Saturday.
Jonny Yull scored his fourth goal of the season in impressive fashion.
However, the goal would be rendered inconsequential as the Lions struck twice in quick succession after the hour mark to inflict a third consecutive setback on the Young Reds.
After a cagey start to the match with chances few and far between, the Young Reds controlled the match and broke the deadlock in the 36th minute through an intricate attacking move.
Yull received the ball on the edge of the box and played a quick one-two with Binyam Kebede before continuing his run and slotting his finish from close range.
Five minutes later, Ethan Cox reacted swiftly to smother Gonzalo Rodriguez’s attempt after getting on the end of a defence-splitting through ball.
Despite United Youth’s dominance, Sturt equalised in the 61st minute when substitute Samuel Voigt tapped home after the visitors were caught in possession in midfield.
United Youth’s recent tendency of conceding in clumps manifested itself again as Voigt made it 2-1 with a clinical snap-shot; his half-volley flying into the net.
The Young Reds tried to throw everything they could at Sturt but their efforts were in vain.
Speaking after the defeat Airton Andrioli was largely happy with his team’s performance regardless of the result.
Andrioli added fatigue may have also set in in the final stages given it was the Young Reds’ third game in seven days.
“I was very pleased with the way the boys performed on the weekend,” Andrioli said.
“If you look at the whole game, we dominated the majority of the game. We had a spell of seven or eight minutes where Sturt scored a couple of goals and apart from that, I think I couldn’t ask more from the boys.
“They completely dominated the first-half and tried to create. It’s difficult because we play against teams that defend deep and bringing our players down and doing everything they could to block our passing game.
“But I think the boys did really well, scored a good goal and it was just that spell in the second-half where we probably dropped our guard a little bit and conceded a couple of goals.
“But then again we came back in the game and did as much as we could. We just couldn’t penetrate.
“It’s again men against kids sometimes – that experience makes a difference and the fact that we’ve come from that heavy schedule as well maybe played a part in the end.”
Andrioli said while they need to rectify conceding goals in short intervals, it is something that can only be fixed in time and with more experience.
“The number one thing to look at is experience,” he explained.
“Understanding the moments of the game and the more you play the game, the more you become game smart and street smart.
“So when you face those situations more often than not, then you develop that understanding; this is a moment that we might become a bit vulnerable and the opposition might be pushing. So we need to find other ways of stopping them from scoring the goals.
“It’s not that we don’t talk about it, but we don’t focus too much on because it’s something that will come with time.
“You have to understand the game and you have to understand the moments and that’s something that if you look at the teams we’ve played in the last two games like (Adelaide) City, and Campbelltown (City) players have been playing NPL for 10 or 15 years – a lot of experience – so that makes a difference.
“So again, it’s another step in the right direction. Play the football we want to play, on the front and try to dominate games and we’re going to continue to do that.”
Adelaide United Reserves
Sturt Lions Reserves 2-1 Adelaide United Youth Reserves