Round 1 of the National Premier League saw Northern Tigers take on Bankstown Berries at Mills Park in Asquith.
Berries were fresh from winning the pre-season cup and were full of confidence and they had the Northern Tigers under pressure right from the start.
Very quickly the Berries had a good shot on goal, but a stray Tigers arm got in the way, resulting in a penalty within five minutes of the first whistle. Berries scored piling the pressure on to the Tigers.
The Tigers struggled string together consistent passages of play, instead making long, hopeful passes which were consistently picked-off by Berries.
During first half Berries have had a lot more opportunities to shoot for goal, but simply couldn’t get over the ball, so their attempts spayed wide and high.
After 30 mins, much of Berries fire has run out and Tigers started to show their skill.
Right on half time Tigers had their first real opportunity on goal, but the striker and goalie clashed. No penalty was given, much to the displeasure of the Tigers fans.
Half time 1:0 to Berries.
First play of the second half resulted in a Berries corner, but again sprayed wide off the head of Ouffoue.
The speed of the Tigers attack was no match for the size and power of the Berries defence. They were stringing together decent plays in the second half, but simply break through the Berries defence.
Off a set play Berries fired a ball in to the goal which hit the arm of another defender inside the 18 yard box. The Berries centre forward Gerard Ouffoue made no mistake hitting the penalty in to the lower left of the goal.
Tigers responded quickly with a great move up field only to be thwarted on the final shot by another great defensive tackle.
Finally a big build up from Tigers looked like a goal was on, but the Berries goalie took the legs out from the Tigers striker, earning them a penalty which was slotted right for a goal by Paul Davies.
With the score a 2:1, there was seventeen minutes left and everything to play for.
Berries tried to slow things down too much off a throw-in, which earned them a yellow card. As it was a second yellow for Kyle Ewart, he was sent off.
The game changed with the Tigers pushing forward and stringing together some good passages of play, creating lots of opportunities with lots of back-up, but it was too little too late and the score-line remained unchanged.
Berries beat Tigers 2:1