Reds fall to second straight loss as Murdoch University Melville pounce on defensive errors

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
David Condori attempts to cut off a Murdoch cross
Camera IconDavid Condori attempts to cut off a Murdoch cross Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Ugle Fabrications La Fiamma finally managed to complete their first home game in season 2023 but they did not put in the performance or get the result they wanted as they lost 2-1 to Murdoch Melville.

The Reds were coming off a shootout loss to Spearwood and were hoping to turn things around in front of their home crowd as they looked to find some rhythm in a stop-start season.

They would have to do it without captain Lachlan Gray, with experienced midfielder Williams Cable strapping on the captain’s armband.

But he did not enjoy what he saw in the opening 20 minutes as the Reds looked all over the place to start their match.

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Athallah Aman was struggling at left centre-back and on more than one occasion missed his targets passing straight to the opposition or losing possession in transition.

The Reds were lucky Murdoch didn’t score, with Nicholas Humphreys missing a one-on-one with the keeper.

Then on the right side, David Condori played a risky ball back towards the goal which Murdoch picked off and again nearly scored off, prompting groans from the crowd and fury from coach Keegan Roos who called on his team to get in line.

But then against the run of play, the Reds played the ball out the back along the right flank where a long ball found Jadyn Brown between two Murdoch defenders.

He controlled the ball beautifully and turned, putting him a couple of steps in front of the Murdoch defenders who got sucked up the ground.

With the Murdoch keeper resting at a slightly higher line, Brown fired off a shot off that beat the keeper who didn’t even bother to put in a dive as he watched the ball roll into the bottom corner.

It was a terrific bit of skill but the joy was short-lived as a few minutes later Humphreys whipped a ball into a dangerous area where Mathew Shakespeare headed home from close range.

Aman picked up a yellow for a slightly late challenge but the Reds would’ve taken 1-1 given their start.

The Reds had fixed up the egregious defensive errors towards the end of the first half but were still struggling to pass the ball through the midfield.

Instead, they relied on balls over the top to link up with either Tom Mitic or Brown to try and catch out Murdoch who were playing with a high line.

However, Murdoch once again broke through to go up 2-1 after which they dropped back slightly to better cover the long ball as they held on for a tough away victory.

The loss drops the Reds to 10th, although they still have two games in hand.

The Reserves remain 10th after a 5-0 loss.

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