Pittwater RSL FC head coach Adam Israel has slammed his side’s second half following their 2-0 loss to St Augustine’s at Grahams Reserve on Saturday.
“I am absolutely gob-smacked by what I saw in the second half,” Israel said. “It was nearly embarrassing. Really good first half. It’s the story of our season – hot one week, cold the next. You can’t continue to do it.
“Everything we spoke about at half-time we did the opposite. And we were punished. Two goals, two mistakes. I’m just gob-smacked. And so, so disappointed.”
Assistant coach Paul Martin agreed. “You can’t play for 45 minutes. The second half was so disheartening. It’s not what this club is about. We need to be better. Simple as that,” Martin said.
They’ll be better next week though, right?
“We can’t be any worse,” Israel said. “Put it that way.”
St Augustine’s coach Sam Panetta was understandably more upbeat.
“I was very pleased by the passion and perseverance shown by the boys,” Panetta said. “It was a great team performance in a very even game. Pittwater had more of the ball in the first half.
“However our work-rate without the ball in our front third and midfield set us up to capitalise in the second half.”
After the teams were tied 0-0 at half-time Saints pressed through Tallon Zahra and Aaron Peters, and in behind through Dominic Marrocco and Oscar Casteight. There were chances early including a shot by Peters and a header wide by Zahra.
After 60 minutes Saints’ work was rewarded when Marrocco pressure won him the ball before he slipped through and finished clinically.
Rather than shut up shop, Saints wanted more.
“Our reaction following that goal was fantastic,” Panetta said. “There was strong desire to keep playing football and look for a second.”
After some great lead up play by Zahra, Casteight found himself near the penalty spot and was able to get Saints’ second with a cool finish.
A major turning point came when, after sustained pressure by Pittwater they were able to win a penalty. However it was brilliantly saved by keeper Lachlan Kerr, “just reward for a fantastic game in goals by Lachie,” according to Panetta.
“The unselfish work by several players, with and without the ball, was pleasing and several performances were key in getting the result against one of the league’s best teams.”
Other Men’s Premier League results:
CC Strikers 1 drew Harbord 1
Brookvale 2 d Manly Vale 1
Curl Curl 4 d BTH 1
Wakehurst 2 d Mosman 1
Narrabeen 4 d Seaforth 1
By Matt Cleary