Forced to play almost the entire second-half with a man down following Adem Kir?s second yellow card, the Suns went for broke, attacking Blacktown City meanwhile keeping a well-balanced, well-organised, defensive third intact.
The opening chance fell to the visitor?s via a set-piece swung in by Lachlan Cahill on the right-flank in the 3? minute. The midfielder?s effort was headed on by Mitchell Long though the ensuing scramble in the Suns penalty-area failed to reap reward for Blacktown City FC as the Suns cleared the ball to safety.
Tyler Simpson?s back pass to Luka Dukic had the visitors in a scramble as Marino Musumeci quickly closed in, though the Blacktown City defenders efficiently brought calm to the situation.
At the other end, Luke Roodenburg and Mitchell Long combined nicely for the latter to drive an effort on target. The striker?s first-time effort flashed inches wide of Ben McNamara?s right-hand post.
Domenic Hudap?s brilliance in the middle of the park set Stefan Donevski free on the counter-attack on 17? minutes for the Suns. Despite the room on the left-flank for the former Marconi Stallions? player, his ?square pass? into the penalty-area failed to pick out a teammate and the chance went begging.
Lachlan Cahill then stung the palms of Ben McNamara with his long-range drive; the Suns shot-stopper did exceptionally well to divert the ball around his left-hand post.
The home-side held their own in the middle of the park and continued to pressure Blacktown City with Peter Apolevski and Musumeci combining well on the half-hour to get in behind the visitors defence ? the final pass though was always missing.
Blacktown City?s best chances in the closing stages of the half arrived via set-pieces, though both efforts by Cahill and Mirko Jurilj failed to trouble the Suns defensive line.
Suns goalkeeper McNamara ensured the scores would remain level at the break when he bravely left his line to anticipate Luke Austin?s run-in on goal with a brave save at the midfielder?s feet.
The second-half started in the worst possible way for the home-side as Adem Kir was shown his second yellow card for the afternoon following a late challenge on Cahill. The referee had no choice but to send the Suns? defender from the field, leaving the Suns to fend with 10-men for the remaining 40? minutes.
Blacktown City quickly put the foot on the accelerator with a fine counter-attacking move moments later. Joel Chianese was picked out on the right-flank before delivering a tantalising cross into the penalty-area. Skipper Luke Roodenburg only just failed to get his head to the ball with the goal at his mercy.
Roodenburg did get his head to a Lachlan Cahill cross 2? minutes later, though his effort was easily dealt with by McNamara.
Despite the possession all with the visitors, Hudap did capitalise on a loose ball from Mirko Jurilj to create some space in the attacking third. Hudap closed in on the penalty-area before unleashing a ferocious low-drive on target, denied by a fine save, down to his left, by Matt Ryan.
The Suns again hit Blacktown City on the counter-attack as Hudap released target-man Sam Awad free down the right-flank. Awad cleverly awaited the run of Apolevski before releasing his captain into the penalty-area, Apolevski?s lunging effort hit the target, though was a routine save for Ryan in the Blacktown City goal.
Despite the numerical advantage, the visitors were limited in the attacking third due to the well-organised Suns defence. Joel Chianese though, in the 65? minute, dribbled his way through to goal. The youngster cleverly dispossessed Askin Oygur on the edge of the penalty-area before rounding McNamara in the Suns goal. With the goal at his mercy, albeit from an acute angle, Chianese drove his effort into the side-netting.
New signing Almir Dizdaric almost got his name on the scoresheet with his first touch as a Suns player in the 80? minute. The lanky striker latched onto a loose ball, though with his first-time volley failed to hit the target.
Moments later, Jeffrey Issa, with his back to goal and only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to slot home from close-range with his shot on the turn. Much to the disbelief of the home supporters, the chance went begging as the Suns were forced to again retreat in defence to combat the constant threat of Blacktown City attacks.
Blacktown City?s quick ball movement in the Suns half failed to hurt Rockdale City as the defenders got behind the ball to frustrate Ozbey and Co. At the other end, another Suns counter-attack saw Apolevski released on the right side of the penalty-area. The captain?s powerful effort on goal looked destined for the top corner, though only just finished wide of the mark.
In the 88? minute, Kain Rastall was on the edge of the penalty-area to pick up a loose ball for the visitors, though his powerful drive thumped against the body of a Suns defender and the attacking raid evaporated.
The Suns players were applauded by their home supporters as they left the field, a sentiment echoed by team boss, Mile Todoroski:
?I am very proud of my players today because they did a very good job.
?Today, I would say we played better than Inter against Barcelona? We remained organised, and we still created some chances even with 10-men, and I am proud for the achievements of the players, even though maybe we could have got something more from the match,? ended Todoroski.
Blacktown City FC boss Aytek Genc was far from impressed with his side?s showing:
?Very disappointed, it is an awful result today.
?The conditions were tough, though we just failed to move the ball quickly enough in the final third. Rockdale is a defensive side and they closed up well, though we were too slow with the ball movement and the players need to take a good look at themselves with this showing.
?The last few results have been far from good, though a lot of these sides we have played against have limited us from playing football with their approach, though we need to be better than this,? Genc ended.
In the Grade 20 division, Blacktown City FC defeated the Rockdale City Suns 3-1 with all goals arriving in an action-packed second-half.
Rockdale City Suns 0
Blacktown City FC 0
Sunday, 30th May, 2010
Bicentennial Park South, Rockdale
Referee: Peter Vrtkovski
Assistant Referees: Nick Backo and Paul Faithfull
Fourth Official: Matt Colquhon
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Ben McNamara; 2.Paul Dee, 7.Peter Apolevski (C), 8.Dominic Hudap, 11.Adem Kir, 12.Stefan Donevski (5.Jeffrey Issa 71?), 16.Steven Bozinovski, 18.Robert Di Meglio, 19.Marino Musumeci (6.Joshua Lawson 55?), 21.Sam Awad (3.Almir Dizdaric 76?), 23.Askin Oygur
Substitutes Not Used: 15.Daniel Pejovski, 22.Chad Taylor
Yellow Cards: Adem Kir 34?, 49?, Robert Di Meglio 37?
Red Cards: Adem Kir 49?
Blacktown City FC: 20.Matt Ryan; 2.Tyler Simpson (3.Daniel Wilkinson 68?), 4.Mirko Jurilj, 5.Luka Dukic, 7.Luke Roodenburg (C) (16.Ante Deur 83?), 9.Kain Rastall, 11.Mitchell Long, 13.Lachlan Cahill (19.Tolgay Ozbey 63?), 17.Joel Chianese, 18.Travis Major, 23.Luke Austin
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Matt Nemes, 12.Bernie Ibini
Yellow Cards: Luke Roodenburg 32?, Mitchell Long 34?, Travis Major 77?
Red Cards: Nil
-By Joseph Carlucci