Dylan Smith powers AIS win in Adelaide


A first-half Dylan Smith brace and three second-half strikes have helped the AIS stun Adelaide 5-3 in Saturday’s Foxtel National Youth League clash at Thebarton Oval.

A first-half Dylan Smith brace and three second-half strikes have helped the AIS stun Adelaide 5-3 in Saturday’s Foxtel National Youth League clash at Thebarton Oval.

The Baby Reds looked like shoring up their top-two prospects when they responded to Smith’s double-strike with three first-half goals to enter the sheds at half-time ahead 3-2.

But the AIS came out breathing fire after resumption, with early goals to Marc Marino and Mark Ochieng in the space of three minutes, followed by Bai Antoniou’s effort late sealing a deserved victory.

Smith had the visitors buzzing early when, seemingly from out of nowhere, he swiveled and launched a long bomb which swerved viciously in the air and lobbed into the back of the net in the 14th minute.

The AIS almost had another one on the board when Marino played Bright Appiah through, who made United goalkeeper John Hall work hard for the save.

Adelaide weathered the early storm and equalised in the 21st minute when Jack Bladen, closing and drawing AIS gloveman Lucas Spinella in, flicked a pass to Nathan Konstandopoulos, who finished truly.

Barely two minutes later, the Reds hit the front when Bruce Kamau curled a rifle past Spinella, after being played through nicely by Matthew Bouzalas.

The momentum was back with the home side but the AIS held firm and drew level when, on the back of a free kick and Adelaide’s defence unable to clear, the ball landed in the danger zone at the feet of Smith, who smashed it through for his second goal in the 38th minute.

Deep into stoppage time, United took the lead when Kamau got on the end of a centring ball and goaled with an athletic forward slide, deflected off AIS captain Alexander Gersbach for a looping own goal, giving the hosts a 3-2 half-time edge.

AIS emerged switched in the second half and proceeded to boss the Baby Reds out of the contest.

In the 48th minute, Marino found a small opening and whacked a low thunderbolt for a superb goal before Ochieng, three minutes later on the counter, found himself one-out with Hall and used his pace to register the visitors’ fourth, the Reds custodian caught high again and with no chance.

Adelaide tried desperately to equalise, their best second-half chance coming when Bouzalas forced Spinella to pull off a magnificent right-hand poking reflex stop in the 74th minute, AIS with all the answers in defence and generally looking more potent in attack.

The visitors added to United’s pain when substitute Antoniou, at ground, level pickpocketed Hall, who had a forgettable day at the office, and punched it into the vacant goal to give the victorious AIS their fifth goal and third of a dominant second half.

Adelaide United 3 (Konstandopoulos 21, Kamau 23, Gersbach 45og)
AIS 5 (Smith 14, 38, Marino 48, Ochieng 51, Antoniou 85)
@ Thebarton Oval, 4/1/2014

Adelaide United: 1. John Hall (GK), 2. Dion Kirk, 3. Shaun Harvey (C), 6. Jack Bladen, 7. Bruce Kamau (19. Luigi Ditroia 60′), 8. Nathan Konstandopoulos (17. Jordan O’Doherty 60′), 10. Ryan Kitto (5. Anthony Ture 60′), 11. Nikola Milesunic, 15. Matthew Bouzalas, 16. Jacob Melling, 22. Jake Monaco
Yellow cards: Anthony Ture

AIS:2. Darcy Madden, 4. Benjamin Warland, 10. Dylan Smith, 11. Marc Marino (24. Bai Antoniou 58′), 12. Mark Ochieng, 15. Liam Youlley (16. Jordan Pudler 58′), 18. Alexander Gersbach (9. Todd Norris 58′), 19. Bright Appiah, 22. Liam Rose, 23. Rocco Pizzata, 30. Lucas Spinella (GK)
Yellow cards: Darcy Madden, Liam Youlley