TORRENS Valley opened its 2012 Amateur League season with a hearty performance, despite a cruel 3-0 loss to Flinders University on Saturday.
The result echoed the score from the exact fixture from last season, but this year the Rams could consider themselves unlucky not to leave with at least a draw.
After a wet first half with no goals and both sides with plenty of encouraging possession, it was the home team that went ahead early in the second stanza after a defensive mix up.
The second goal came after a delicious through ball slit through the heart of the Rams’ defence and a Flinders University striker finished neatly past goalkeeper John Vyden.

Matt McLoughlin should have pulled one back for the visitors, but his soft left-footed shot drifted wide of the goal.
This chance and the frantic final fifteen minutes summed up that it was never going to be Torrens Valley’s day.
Rams’ fans were outraged when a dangerous studs-up sliding challenge on the only standing leg of McLoughlin failed to incur the ire of the referee.

Then, captain Simon Rose then had his 20 yard thunderbolt strike brilliantly saved by the opposition goalkeeper.
The Rams had a glimmer of hope when a Flinders defender handled the ball in the penalty area, but Shane Parker saw his powerful penalty kick superbly saved by the legs of the outstretched ‘keeper.
To add salt to the wounds, the referee controversially judged Craig Bibby to handle the ball in his own penalty area seconds later.
Flinders scored from the resulting spot kick to swat any hope of a Torrens Valley comeback.

Reserves
The Torrens Valley Reserves team also showed a positive start to the 2012 season, but went down 2-0 to the home side.
The Rams had an appeal for a goal waived away on the quarter hour, replays inconclusive of whether the ball crossed the line. The resultant scramble saw Shaun Byrnes’ left-footed shot sail agonisingly wide of the post.

Flinders scored in the 23rd minute with a low shot across the goal after a deft through ball that caught the defenders off guard. Goalkeeper Chris Brittian pulled off an important penalty kick save in the second half after a poor hand ball decision went against the Rams.

Brittain was unlucky with the Flinders’ second goal, as he parried a shot from the right into the path of an attacker who finished from close range. Torrens Valley had valid calls for a penalty late in the second half refused when the Flinders goalkeeper punched a Rams attacker as he attempted to clear the ball.

This Saturday, six of the seven Torrens Valley teams play at home at Birdwood Park from 8.30am.