Lions FC 1 (Madle 52′)
Olympic FC 0
Marek Madle’s second half goal on his Lions debut proved the difference in a tightly contested clash against league leaders Olympic FC who saw defender Matt Mundy sent off deep in added time.
Madle’s slightly fortuitous strike on 52 minutes came after a stalemate in the first half that saw few chances fall for either side but Olympic coach Ben Cahn will no doubt be furious with his defence who failed to clear Mitch Hore’s cross to the edge of the six yard box which somehow evaded two Olympic defenders before Madle stuck a foot out and stabbed the ball beyond Olympic keeper Nicholas Mooney.
Lions almost opened the scoring inside the opening five minutes when veteran Michael Butters was played in on goal but Mooney blocked well at his feet.
It took over half an hour before Olympic had their first effort on goal with Costa Psaros flashing a shot across the face of goal with Lions keeper Luke Borean scrambling.
A minute later Madle should have found the back of the net when meeting Jheison Macuace’s floated ball into the box but with only Mooney to beat, his header drifted wide.
Following the hosts taking the lead, Olympic battled back and forced Lions on the back foot but it was Lions who went closest to extending their lead on the hour mark.
Another Macauce cross from the left was met at the near post by Madle who’s header was superbly saved by Mooney when the Czech looked destined to score.
Olympic continued to apply pressure but whatever they threw at Lions was absorbed as the visitors became more and more frustrated.
It was the hosts again who went closest to scoring late on when Shaun Carlos stole the ball in midfield, surged forwards and fed the ball out to Macuace who’s curling effort from the edge of the box cannoned back off the bar with Mooney looking on.
Macuace was a little fortunate to avoid the ire of referee Alex King for a string of fouls that many referees would have issued a second caution for but King gave him a stern warning and that allowed coach Warren Moon to replace him shortly after.
Olympic’s woes were compounded deep in added time as frustration boiled over when defender Matt Mundy who was shown a straight red for elbowing Lions substitute Chris Maher.
Soon after Referee King signalled time as Olympic fell to just their second defeat of the season as Lions put major pressure on the top two with games in hand.
Attention turns to the FFA Cup next weekend with the final preliminary round 7 game at home to FQPL league leaders Peninsula Power. The winner to progress to the national Round of 32.
“I thought we were good but I also thought Olympic were good too.”
“Lots has been said in the media about them with a lot of confidence in their ability, but they back it up. They’ve got some very good players and they’re well coached and tonight was a truer reflection on two good sides in this league as opposed to the first game between us. We found the key moments in the game though and probably deserved our win in the end.”
Borean (gk), Alexander, Jarrard, Simic, Hore, Kim, Brindell-South, Macauce, Madle, Carlos, Butters.
Subs: Cuminao (rgk), Reardon, Glockner, Maher, Shepherd.
Mooney (gk), Stefanutto, Waters, Whyte, Mundy, Ito, Byrne, Sanders, Lofthouse, Psaros, Nazary.
Subs: Cuminao, Edgar, Lasm, Smith, Sprange (rgk).