Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)
Rochedale Rovers have capped off an amazing seven days where they have defeated both the NPL and BPL’s reigning Premiers in a 1-0 defeat of Lions at Lions Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Despite being camped in their defensive territory for a majority of the match, particularly in the second half, Scott Sargent’s goal just before the half hour proved to be crucial for Rovers.
Rochedale had the first opportunity for the match when Greg Cheshire attempted a cross for Jose Mojica-Rodriguez but Lions keeper Phil Zabaks cut that out at the near post.
Like his effort last week against North Pine in scoring directly from a corner, Tynan Diaz almost accomplished the same feat but was denied by Seiji Shizuno who headed off the line.
Kenya Takahashi had two chances for Lions midway through the half, the best of which was a deflected shot after a patient Lions buildup that was tipped over the bar by Brandon Cuminao.
Lions had been having the better of the play but all that changed on the half hour when Sargent was able to put a shot across the face to the far post and beat Zabaks for Rochedale’s lead.
The goal provided the visitors with plenty of confidence and they almost doubled their advantage minutes later but were foiled by Zabaks who made a sharp save.
Lions Danyon Mollee was forced off with injury after a bad clash with Mojica-Rodriguez. New recruit Sekou Jomandy who featured in the midweek FFA Cup win against Moggill came on as his replacement.
On the stroke of half time Jomandy attempted a cut back for Diaz but Rochedale were able to maintain their 1-0 lead at the break.
Goal scorer Sargent was replaced at halftime by Ryan Faichnie but it was again Takahashi who continued to provide spark for his side, putting just wide of the post just after the restart.
Lions again grabbed hold of possession in their final third but were constantly thwarted by a dogged Rochedale defence anchored by Uryu Nagata and Luke Howell.
With fifteen minutes remaining, it was Cuminao’s turn to chime in and repel Lions advances as he punched away strongly from a Diaz opportunity.
With just over five minutes remaining, Diaz’s free kick was blasted into the wall with the rebound falling Nathan Shepherd’s way who then played in Michael Butters inside the box but his shot was saved by Cuminao.
Ultimately Rochedale killed off all of Lions advances to claim the three points.
Lions 0 v Rochedale 1 (Scott Sargent 29’)
Shots on target 6-3
Shots off target 7-0
Lions: Phil Zabaks, Michael Butters, Ajdin Fetahagic, Kenya Takahashi, Josh Ahern (Mattheus Spiandorello 83’), Nathan Reardon, Nathan Shepherd, Marco Jankovic, Tynan Diaz, Danyon Mollee (Sekou Jomanday 38’), Shoheel Khan (Tim Morgan 68’). Sub not used: Declan Murphy.
Rochedale: Brandon Cuminao, Phil Davies (Nick Wilson 55’), Daryll Grant, Seiji Shizuno, Scott Sargent (Ryan Faichnie 46’), Greg Cheshire, Lewis Cameron, Jose Mojica-Rodriguez, Paul Mooney, Luke Howell, Uryu Nagata. Subs not used: Adnan Jakupovic, David Floyd.
Referee: Martin Krenes