We showed we aren’t afraid of anybody: Andrioli

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It was a successful weekend overall for Adelaide United’s Young Reds who faced MetroStars in thrilling encounters at ServiceFM Stadium.

The Reserves kicked off proceedings with a much-needed 3-1 win, thanks to the heroics of James Carrocci who arrived at the double.

Bae Versace added the icing on the cake in the 71st minute to complete a mature performance for the ‘second strings’, and they now remain four points adrift of Sturt Lions in that sixth and last finals position.

Youth Head Coach, Airton Andrioli beamed it was a good day out for his Youth Reds, who remain ‘one team’ regardless of results over the two matches.

“We’ve always maintained that we are the same team and Club with players moving up and down and available for what we need on the day,” he said.

“So in this way it was a great day for us, and we’ll take so much confidence from mixing it with the best in this competition.

“I don’t think they were ready for what we brought them, and we showed we didn’t fear them, which is what the coaching staff are most pleased about.”

Meanwhile the Seniors made it difficult all day for a Metro side flying at the top of the table, and with a recent Australia Cup win to boot.

Metro’s Michael Cittadini scored first in the 34th minute, before returning Joeys forward, Nathan Amanatidis hit back just six minutes later.

A Hamish Gow goal in the 70th minute proved to be the decider, and it was sandwiched between dismissals of United’s Ryan White and Patrick McGregor, as they finished the game with nine men.

Amanatidis has continued his stellar goal-scoring form after shining at Joeys level, and Andrioli hopes he and his returning team-mates can continue to make an impact for United ahead of the finals countdown.

“We were asking a lot from our young boys who had just got back from the Joeys, but Nathan and the guys showed why they are starting to reach those high levels,” Andrioli said.

“They are full of confidence and with Bailey (O’Neil) coming back into the XI as well gave us more options and we got back to our usual, successful shape.

“Even looking back and analysing Harry Crawford’s data on the weekend, it was just incredible the effort he put in for 90 minutes, and he didn’t stop chasing even when we had nine men.

“This is exactly what we want, and we will manage them and hope they can help us consolidate the finals position we are holding onto.”

Beograd Beckons

United’s next assignment is poised as a fierce Seniors clash against FK Beograd away under lights this Friday night, in which Andrioli hopes can signal a return to winning ways.

Despite the loss for United’s first team on the weekend, there was a palpable air of positivity as it truly felt like they hadn’t lost the game, such was the intent and the focus of the squad on the day.

“We came back into the rooms after the Metro game and it really didn’t feel like we lost that one, and that was the sentiment directly from the players,” he said

“It was good to see the boys recognised that and the resilience within themselves, so we’re in a great place ahead of Friday night.

“We want to go and get a result and we will be firmly focused on returning to winning ways – I think we’re due.”

United and Beograd will kick off this weekend’s RAA NPL action at 7:30pm at Frank Mitchell Park on Friday night, while their Reserves will clash on Saturday at 12:15pm at the same venue.

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