West Adelaide continued its unbeaten start to the PlayStation4 National Premier League South Australia season with a 3-1 success over Croydon in Round 12 action at Polonia Reserve on Saturday.

Yudai Yamaguchi opened the scoring on the hour mark, with Tom Briscoe netting West’s second. Rocky Visconte gave Croydon hope, but an injury time own goal sealed the points.

West Adelaide coach Paul Pezos got the response he was looking for after last week’s elimination from Westfield FFA Cup Qualifying.

“It was a good game for us. Croydon were very organised, but my boys were disciplined and patient enough to break them down,” Pezos noted.

“We are a side that likes to play football. Sometimes we might rush things, but I thought we were composed in our build-up play.

“We were more clinical in the final third. We didn’t try to force the situation, but waited for the right openings.”

Croydon falls out of the top six with this result and Visconte believes West was the more consistent side.

“It was scrappy in the first hour, an even game with chances at both ends. Then we had a 20 minute lapse, they scored twice and we had to play catch-up. That’s always hard against a good side and although we got better at the end it wasn’t to be,” he said.

“Our coach [Mark Brazzale] demanded more from us at the break. We conceded sloppy goals. West, who were the better side on the day, kept going and were consistent throughout.

“Good teams can play for 90 minutes. At the moment we aren’t doing that.”

The visitors threatened early as Briscoe was thwarted by Nick Munro’s reflex save from close range.

Lewis Moss was then called into action to tip Shaun McGreevy’s shot behind for a corner.

West Adelaide should have taken the lead just before half-time when Johnny Koutroumbis found space inside the penalty area but fired straight at Munro.

Croydon captain Luke Klimek won possession and fired a shot over the bar just prior to the hour mark.

The Blue and Whites then went forward and opened the scoring. Matthew Bouzalas’ shot turned into an assist for Yamaguchi, who arrived late at the back post and slotted West ahead.

Briscoe extended the lead with 15 minutes remaining, grabbing his 14th goal of the campaign as he smashed a left-footed shot in at the near post.

Croydon was handed a reprieve in the 88th minute as Visconte’s shot took a deflection off Mitch Nicholson and looped over a stranded Moss.

Despite late Croydon pressure the visitors maintained the lead at the top of the table with a 94th minute counter-attack. Yamaguchi’s shot was saved by Munro, but ricocheted off a defender and went in.

Article by Luca Cetta – @l_cetta

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