THE Gawler Eagles’ first team could not get the job done against Cobras in round six of State League 2 soccer at Karbeethan Reserve on Saturday, going down 1-2.
Both teams were on equal points heading into the match, making it a must-win contest to stay in touch with the top sides.
The Eagles had a strong line-up and the home ground advantage, but that did little to help their chances after the opening whistle.
Cobras had the upper hand early, creating chances and forcing Gawler onto the back foot, before linking up, finding space, and burying their first goal.
However, it was Iradi Baragomwa that gave the home crowd something to cheer about shortly after, working his way through the Cobras’ defence to score the equaliser, and celebrate in his trademark style.
Both teams exchanged blows after the kick off that followed, but the Eagles switched off and sloppy defending gave the Cobras a penalty shot – which was duly converted, despite the efforts of Gawler goalkeeper Michael Gomes.
The game pressed on, and Gawler chased the equaliser but came up short, which sees the team stuck in eighth position on the ladder.
The Eagles have an even tougher test this week against top-placed Northern Demons.
Meanwhile, Gawler’s reserves also lost to Cobras, 0-1.
The Eagles started strong, creating opportunities, but frustration set in and chances were wasted.
Gawler also had to cope with the loss of Marc Burrows, who came off with an injury.
Both teams exchanged heavy tackles, but the referee called a penalty in the 65th minute against the Eagles, which was slotted home by the Cobras.
Gawler could not find that crucial opportunity, but continued to battle until the final whistle.
Finally, Gawler’s under 18s side scored the club’s only victory for the day, beating Cobras 3-1.
The Eagles hit the ground running and, soon enough, Feyai Banyankindagiye took an early opportunity, finding space at the back post, from a cross, to scored his first league senior goal.
Gawler controlled the game and was unfortunate not to extend its lead on many occasions, after strong attacks by Dylon Johnston in his first senior 18s start for the season.
The Eagles’ defenders kept the Cobras at bay, before Tapanon Chapipat and Alun Crockford each beat the opposition goalkeeper to give their team an unassailable lead and, subsequently, a strong victory.
The team now sits equal top on the ladder.
The Gawler Eagles also wishes to send their condolences to the family of club person Tony Shepherd – may he rest in peace.