Young Reds held despite Toure brilliance

Adelaide United’s Young Reds played out a second consecutive draw in the RAA NPL, despite a Musa Toure goal and assist.

Adelaide United’s Young Reds played out a second consecutive draw in the RAA NPL, despite a Musa Toure goal and assist.

The Reds fought a spirited West Adelaide outfit, who could have gone ahead after 19 minutes following an un-marked set-piece.

It was instead United’s top goalscorer, Toure, who gave the visitors the advantage, with an emphatic finish from close-range after West Adelaide failed to clear.

Toure was a handful for Hellas and, after scoring his sixth for the season, he turned provider for Nathan Amanatidis to slot home his fifth of the year from a tight angle.

He could have made it two shortly after, with a half-bicycle kick that was plucked out of the top corner by West Adelaide goalkeeper, Jackson O’Donnell.

Head Coach Airton Andrioli hopes his Reds return to the ‘winning habit’ soon.

“It’s interesting,” he reflected.

“We don’t normally find ourselves with a lot of draws come the end of the season, so I hope we don’t make it a habit.

“Everyone that goes and plays at Adelaide Shores tends to find that very difficult with the conditions so close to the beach, and we spoke about that going into the game.”

United’s Reserves found their match much more comfortable, running out 0-2 winners thanks to second-half goals from James Carrocci and Patrick McGregor.

Standing tall:
Gloveman, Ethan Cox, has certainly stood up in recent times to ensure his Reds leave with a point at the very least.

Cox, 20, extends South Australia’s plethora of goalkeeping talent, and is growing with each game he plays for the Youth Team and in his training with the A-League squad.

Along with Toure, Andrioli will need to call on the entirety of the youth system for the remainder of the season.

“We’ve known Ethan for years now, coming through the NTC ranks, and I’ve seen him grow and come along way,” he said.

“This is probably the first season he’s had a consistent run and you can see that it has benefitted his game and the team greatly.

“And with Musa, we know his ability and his quality, and with some refinement and development, which is the same with a lot of the boys, have very bright futures.”

The halfway point:
The NPL season has now reached its midway mark and United is sitting equal second alongside Campbelltown after the last two draws, with MetroStars at the summit of a congested table.

Meanwhile, the Reds’ reserves sit sixth in their standings with five wins and a draw after the first 11 games.

Andrioli is mindful of the challenges that the second half of the season presents, with sides out to reverse their first result against the Reds, and players unavailable due to the Isuzu UTE A-League off-season break, after extended time in United’s first team.

There is also the strong chance United will lose a handful of players to the Joey’s squad to be announced later this month, which will be a stern test of Andrioli’s stocks.

“It will be difficult not having some of those more experienced players at times, including those who have played at this level for a while now,” he said.

“But at the same time, we look forward to the younger players coming through and seeing what they can do, and we are seeing them feature more and more at the higher levels.

“It’s a great opportunity to get them ready for next year and prepare them to take anything head on, so I’m really eager to see what comes of this second half of the season this time around.”

Panthers under lights:
We talk about challenging fixtures all throughout the NPL competition, and Friday night under lights in South Adelaide is right up there.

Jonathon Rideout is one of those to watch, and Andrioli is well aware of the threat that the attacker poses, among others in the team.

“We must raise the intensity from the start against South Adelaide because again, they are very dangerous and will be boosted with some strong home support on Friday night,” he said.

“It feels already like it will be a great occasion for football and a great atmosphere, and I hope we find the response that we need to get back to winning ways.”

United’s Seniors will play at 7:30pm on Friday night at O’Sullivan Beach Sports and Community Centre, while the Reserves clash on Saturday at the same venue from 12:45pm.

Upcoming match details:
2023 RAA NPL SA – Round 12
South Adelaide vs Adelaide United
Friday, 12 May April 2023, Kick-off: 7:30pm (ACST)
O’Sullivan Beach Sports and Community Centre