SHANE Parker fired in an 86 minute winner as Torrens Valley powered to a 3-2 triumph over East Adelaide at Birdwood Park on Saturday.
The Rams appeared in total control after leading 2-0 within 15 minutes through Simon Rose’s intelligent finishing up front, but defensive lapses allowed the visitors to draw level by halftime.
Parker shanked his 83rd minute penalty kick after Rose was brought down in the box; however, he made amends three minutes later when he rifled in a shot from outside the box.
Looking to continue its good pre-long weekend form, the Rams came into the game knowing a win would put them level on points with their opponents in the division four amateur competition.
They made the perfect start on 11 minutes when Rose latched onto a bouncing ball in the box and drilled past the vulnerable goalkeeper.

Three minutes later, pin-up boy Rose was again on target as he latched on the end of a perfectly weighted long ball over the East Adelaide defence from Parker and finished clinically past the ‘keeper.
Rose should have taken home the match ball on 20 minutes as some Matthew McLoughlin wizardry resulted in a beautiful through ball into Rose’s path, but the resultant shot arrowed into the flat-footed ‘keeper who somehow parried to safety.

But just as the rain and thunder started to rumble in the skies over Birdwood, momentum began to swing. The East Adelaide midfielders started to pull the strings and poured forward time and again, scattering the maroon shirts like laundry torn from a washing line.
A stranded Andrew Liddemore was stripped of the ball in his own half and the loose ball was collected by an opponent who rounded Rams’ goalkeeper John Vyden for the visitors’ first goal.

Three minutes later they snared an earned equaliser, as again poor communication led to Parker fritter away possession in the middle of the park, leaving Vyden no chance against another venomous counter attack. The Rams’ first half defence resembled a crippled war zone at times as the visitors bombed it with long balls through to its soldiering centre forward.
Forced to drop deep and cover rather than playing the offside trap, the Rams managed to hold off the offensive threat before an energetic half time spray from player-coach Parker.

Fresh off his two goal road trip to Mount Compass last game day, Brody Short replaced a hurt McLoughlin at half time. The Rams started stronger in the second stanza than they finished the first and found themselves on top in central midfield thanks to the fiercer presence of a resolute Andrew Fowler.

The home side applied plenty of pressure, but its constant barrage forward failed to trouble the scoresheet.

However, persistence was rewarded seven minutes from time as the referee judged an East Adelaide defender to lash out at Rose as he attempted to control a header in the box. The ‘keeper then strolled across goal to save Parker’s poor penalty kick easily with his feet and some desperate defensive work forced the follow-up shot on goal to sail fractions wide of the upright.

The Rams accelerated forward in search of a second chance for a famous late winner and their perseverance paid-off as Parker went from zero to hero in a matter of three minutes. The attacking minded central defender drifted inside his marker and fired a rocket from 18 yards past the outstretched East Adelaide ‘keeper.

East Adelaide then made a rare second-half foray forward and could have pinched a point, but the attempt on goal sailed agonizingly wide allowing Vyden to breathe easy.

In the early fixture, the Reserves continued its unbeaten run under new manager Jeremy Byrnes as East Adelaide could not field a side.

Torrens Valley expects a tough encounter when they head to Grange this Saturday to face USC Lion. The Rams will look to continue its winning momentum after a difficult start to the season.