City's finals chances already hanging by a thread

Football

West Griffith ............... 4

Griffith City ............... 0

GRIFFITH City’s finals chances took a potentially fatal blow yesterday as West Griffith consigned them to their fourth consecutive loss at a freezing Exies Oval.

The young Magpies were simply a class above, passing and moving their way to an impressive 4-0 win.

It was Wests’ first of the year but on yesterday’s evidence, there’s plenty more where that came from.

Zac Fattore opened the scoring 15 minutes in, putting the finishing touch on a fantastic passing move that cut the City rearguard to shreds.

Substitute Dean Cappello made it 2-0 late in the second half, tapping in a cross from Steve Zalunardo, before Mick Walker added the last two goals in the dying stages.

The win keeps West Griffith in touch with the Billabong Cup’s leading pack, while City already have a mountain to climb if they are to even avoid a wooden spoon battle.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got two or three really good teams in the comp and you’re only playing everyone twice,” Wests coach Frank Portolesi told The Area News.

“If you’re too far away you’re playing catch-up for the whole year.

“We needed that – that was already Griffith City’s fourth loss so that gives us a bit of an advantage over those teams we’re jostling with in mid-table.”

Wests did well to even stick to their gameplan against an aggressive, physical City outfit that rarely looked close to scoring.

City’s best chance was in the second half, when the impressive Nathan Battocchio tore up the right wing and then broke into the penalty box, appearing to be brought down.

He got up expecting a spot kick to be awarded but instead he was issued with a yellow card by referee Diego Menegazzo, presumably for simulation.

Aside from that moment it was all West Griffith - and if the Magpies can continue to dictate terms as they did against City, then their calm, possession-based style will trouble any side in the competition.

“The young blokes have so much technical ability and skill,” Portolesi said.

“All they lacked was a bit of confidence.

“Even last year they weren’t that far off.

“You can see it’s a little bit different this year - they have the confidence and they know they can play.”

“We played to our strengths of having a bit of pace in the corners and we scored some pretty good goals.

“They weren’t scrappy goals - we created them.”

Import stopper Jack Nodder has helped in that department, with the Englishman one of West Griffith’s best yesterday.

Portolesi said Nodder “leads from the back” with his non-stop talk ensuring the side’s defensive players have their minds on the job at all times.

Nodder was, however, responsible for City’s only other clear-cut chance when an attempted clearing header fell into the path of all-action striker Pat Rose, who blasted his attempt well wide of the mark.


IN THE AIR: West Griffith's Matthew Stirland and Griffith City's Daniel Bergamin contest this loose ball yesterday.

IN THE AIR: West Griffith's Matthew Stirland and Griffith City's Daniel Bergamin contest this loose ball yesterday.

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