With Rockdale City still an outside chance to break into the top five before kick-off, Sutherland dented their aspirations in the first-half with goals to Jim Bakis and Neil Jablonski. Sam Awad pulled a goal back late in the match only for Ben Vidaic to seal the contest for the Sharks minutes later.
After a slow start to the match, the Sharks were first to build any attacking momentum and were rewarded with a penalty after 12? minutes when Pece Cvetanovski clipped the ankle of Ben Spruce as he burst into the box from the left wing.
Bakis stepped up to take the ensuing spot-kick, sending Ben McNamara the wrong way and firing the ball inside the left post to open the scoring.
The home-side could have doubled their advantage within a minute as Spruce?s inch-perfect cross was met by Jablonski, who sent his glancing header harmlessly wide.
Soon after, a short corner by the Sharks caused havoc in the Rockdale box, leading to shots from Ben Vidaic, Spruce, and Chris Price, with the latter flagged for offside after missing the target.
The Suns? first real chance came after 19? minutes when Almir Dedzic flicked on Joshua Lawson?s long throw. The ball fell to Marino Musumeci, whose volley was spectacularly saved by Nathan Denham before being pulled back by the assistant referee for offside.
Musumeci let another chance slip on the half hour, with his turn-and-shoot effort easily gathered by Denham.
Spruce split the Suns defence open with a penetrating through ball shortly after, finding Paul Kohler who turned past Akin Oygur and showed great composure to tenderly clip the ball into the top corner. The goal was however ruled out for offside despite intense celebrations on the pitch and in the stands.
Sutherland did however grab their second goal just before half-time when poor defending from Rockdale allowed the unmarked Neil Jablonski to run onto a long ball and tuck the ball inside the near post.
The Suns fought their way back into the match early in the second-half; however their efforts were limited to hopeful long-range shots, with only Dominic Hudap?s low 30-yard drive troubling Denham in the Sutherland goal.
Vidaic should have scored Sutherland?s third goal on 57? minutes when Jablonski?s pass found him unmarked in the box, however his finish lacked conviction and was saved by McNamara.
Sam Awad went within inches of pulling a goal back for Rockdale shortly after when he squeezed through the Sutherland defence and beat Denham with a shot that struck the inside of the post and bounced clear.
Rockdale were awarded a penalty of their own on the hour mark when Adem Kir?s cross struck the arm of George Souris. Denham stood tall in the Sharks? goal, sharply diving to his left to save Kir?s spot-kick much to the delight of the home fans.
Denham was almost embarrassed shortly after when Awad beat him to a cross and forced his header goalwards, however Souris saved the day by clearing off the line.
Awad finally bagged his goal and set the tone for an interesting end to the match when he again beat Denham to the ball to head home Kir?s cross on 81? minutes.
Any hopes of a comeback were dismissed shortly after when Vidaic beat McNamara in the air outside the 18-yard box to head the ball into the back of the net and seal all 3 points for the Sharks.
Sharks coach Robert Stanton was happy with both the win and the overall performance of his squad, despite missing out on the finals by one spot:
?I just wanted to finish on a good note with a win at home for our last game and we did that,? said Stanton.
?We set ourselves high standards and expect to play in the finals.
?We missed out by one spot but in terms of the players? effort and commitment it?s been sensational.
?I thought that when we were at our lowest point we responded and got ourselves back into contention for the playoffs, and in the end we?ve just missed out but I think it was a reasonable season,? Stanton added.
Rockdale?s goal scorer Sam Awad was also happy with the performance of his team-mates, finishing seventh after starting the season as newcomers:
?We had to give more than 100% to get to where we are today,? said Awad.
?The boys have got better capability and who knows if we can go one step better next year,? Awad concluded.
Sutherland Sharks 3 (Jim Bakis 13? (pen), Neil Jablonski 45?, Ben Vidaic 83?)
Rockdale City Suns 1 (Sam Awad 81?)
Sunday, August 1st, 2010
Seymour Shaw, Miranda
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: Matthew Sampson and Mike Robinson
Fourth Official: Nicholas Tragoustis
Crowd: 500 Approx.
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Nathan Denham; 2.George Souris (C), 4.Michael Robinson, 6.Chris Price, 7.Jim Bakis (16.James Lawrence 84?), 9.Ben Vidaic (33.Brendan McLean 84?), 11.Ben Spruce, 12.Neil Jablonski, 14.Nick Stavroulakis, 20.Paul Kohler, 22.Yianni Fregogiannis
Substitutes Not Used: 30.Misha Hardwick, 31.Hussein Tasci, 24.Jack Duncan
Yellow Cards: Jim Bakis 73?, Yianni Fregogiannis 82?
Red Cards: Nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Ben McNamara; 2.Paul Dee (C), 3.Almir Dizdaric (18.Robert Di Meglio 64?), 6.Josh Lawson, 8.Dominic Hudap, 11.Adem Kir, 13.Baturay Akin (21.Sam Awad 36?), 16.Steven Bozinovski (10.Stefan Donevski 75?), 17.Pece Cvetanovski, 19.Marino Musumeci, 23.Akin Oygur
Substitutes Not Used: 5.Jeffrey Issa, 40.James Cain
Yellow Cards: Baturay Akin 15?, Stefan Donevski 92?
Red Cards: Nil
-By Michael Shoolman
Archives for July 2010
But on Sunday that dream became a reality.
The club celebrated its first premiership in 10 years with an inspiring 5-1 win against West Sydney in front of a vocal crowd at Bonnyrigg Sports Club.
When Brian Brown was appointed as coach mid way through 2009, the club demanded one thing ? results.
?There were three things we had in mind when we got here,? Brown said.
?One was to get players who were hungry and the second part was to get them fit.
?The third part was to go and win something, and we?re half way there.?
A huge off-season in the player market saw the likes of Shane Webb, Daniel Severino, Brad Boardman and Jamie McMaster join a club that wasn?t prepared to settle for anything short of a championship.
The star-studded team failed to live up to expectation in the preseason and as a result the knockers and doubters came out in force.
?There was a little bit of panic going on around the club in the preseason because we didn?t win games,? Brown said.
?But I could see things were developing.?
And develop they did, as the White Eagles went on to win 13 of their next 22 games to claim the premiership by five points ahead of Blacktown City.
The club lost the likes of Vuko Tomasevic along the way, but they developed young superstars like David Gullo and welcomed A-League players Nathan Elasi and Chris Tadrosse to the club.
Like those who joined the White Eagles in the off-season, they too took very little time to settle into Brown?s plans.
?The type of players we got gelled together pretty quickly,? Brown said.
?I think we brought in the right players at the right time.?
Captain Paul Cotte was instrumental at the back and was one of the reasons why Bonnyrigg ended the regular season as the best defensive team in the competition, conceding just 20 goals.
At the other end, Brad Boardman and Severino did their part to ensure the White Eagles would be crowned the best attacking team, playing a large role in the side?s 45 goals.
Despite leading the Premier League for the most part of the season, it took until round 18 for Brown to realise his team was the real deal.
?We played Marconi, Blacktown, Sydney United and Sutherland in the space of five weeks,? he said.
?To come through that and win every game, I knew we were going to be hard to stop.?
The White Eagles lost just three games during the season and will come up against some quality opposition in the coming weeks, but Brown believes the biggest obstacle is a mental battle.
?I really think our biggest threat is ourselves,? he said
?If we turn up on the day I think we?re a big chance.
?But it?s about turning up with the right mindset.?
– By Michael Chammas
Lee Sterrey?s team had slipped on a banana skin in their last outing at home to Manly United and against Rockdale City it was a case of more of the same.
Credit though must also go to the home side in front a very healthy home crowd in their last outing at Bicentennial Park for the season.
There?s even an outside chance that Rockdale could be playing finals football if Marconi lose at home and they overcome Sutherland Sharks next week away at Seymour Shaw Park in the last round of the regular NSW Premier League season.
Given this mathematical possibility, the three points therefore that Rockdale earned against Marconi were worth their weight in gold.
After the game, a brimming Peter Apolevski summed up the mood in Rockdale?s dressing room.
?We are very delighted actually because we have the three points in the bag in our last home game,? he said.
?It?s our first season back in the NSW Premier League and, like I said to the boys, we have achieved a lot this year.
?It?s perhaps more than we even expected and if we make the top five, then it?s even better again.?
Ironically, Apolevski will miss his side?s next encounter away against Sutherland Sharks because he has an appointment down the aisle ? the affable Rockdale City Suns captain is getting married and has been preparing for the big day for over a year.
?Unfortunately I can?t be there next week for the club, but I will be there definitely next year and we have a solid bunch of boys who should do well,? he stated not wanting to get too carried away with the prospect of playing finals football.
The early action belonged to Rockdale City Suns with a number of half chances that kept Marconi under pressure.
Marino Musumeci charged dangerously into the box after only a few minutes of play but he couldn?t steer his shot on goal.
Shortly afterwards a square ball reached Dominic Hudap in the box but, under pressure from the Stallions defence, he rushed his shot and fired just over the crossbar.
A Rockdale City Suns corner taken by Adem Kir in the 12? minute could have caused a lot more worry for Marconi had Musumeci directed his shot on goal rather than into the side of the netting.
After these early glimpses of attack from Rockdale City Suns there wasn?t much goal-mouth action to light up the healthy crowd. Both teams kept a tight rein on proceedings.
The last real chance of the first stanza of play in the 44? minute fell to the home side when a long throw in avoided all and sundry until reaching Apolevski in the box, but unfortunately for Rockdale he missed the target as he was probably surprised to have received the ball in the first place.
As the external winter afternoon temperature started to drop, it could be said that both teams were glad to see the warmth of the dressing room to recharge the batteries during the half-time break after a first 45? minutes of football that lacked any real spark.
In the 54? minute Steven Bozinovski did the all the hard work as he created space on the right flank and headed towards goal, but his tremendous finish was beautifully saved by Jose Bello-Amigo with one hand.
A few minutes later a fortunate bounce of the ball saw Musumeci end up with the ball on his chest but Bello-Amigo was right behind him to deny him any chance of netting.
In the 67? minute Rockdale took the lead with a grand goal from Kir. He seemed to be running out of space down the left flank when he somehow chipped or crossed back into the middle ?it?s a matter of perspective whether it was intended or simply fluked ? and the ball majestically flew into the net from the almost impossible angle.
The crowd was stunned and so too were both his team-mates and the Marconi players.
It was indeed a spectacular goal that may well make the highlights reel at the end of the season for great goals.
Nahuel Arrarte had probably the best opportunity for the Stallions in the 79? minute when his shot on goal was deflected just wide of the post by a well positioned defender.
However, Rockdale doubled their lead just a minute later when a Bozinovski cross found Almir Dizdaric who had his shot blocked but the ball rebounded for the perfectly positioned Musumeci who headed home. It was a clever and alert goal by a clever and alert striker.
After the game Lee Sterrey, who watched the game from outside the perimeter fence given that he was suspended for one week, was still upbeat about many facets of play from Marconi.
?It was always going to be a scrap down here on this surface and we knew that before the game,? he said.
?Rockdale sit deep behind the ball and play well out wide on the break, but until a player of theirs scores with an attempted cross ? that?s the type of thing that is happening to us at the moment ? we were in it.
?We have a lot of young players and sometimes they needed to pick up some loose balls which they didn?t today but that comes with experience.
?As for the finals, we want to get in there on our own merit. We have young players who have ability, strength and know-how, but unfortunately today we didn?t hold up a ball all day.
?Credit to Rockdale and especially their defence because they handled us really well and the bottom line is that we were simply not good enough on the day.
?It looked like being a scoreless draw until they scored, but I am still proud of what we have done today and this year,? Sterrey said.
?We are not AC Milan, we do have a very young side and in many ways it?s a learning curve for them as players in first grade.?
Meanwhile, in the Grade 20s Marconi Stallions defeated Rockdale City Suns 1-0.
Rockdale City Suns 2 (Kir 67?, Musumeci 80?)
Marconi Stallions 0
Sunday, July 25th, 2010
Bicentennial Park South, Rockdale
Referee: Peter Vrtkovski
Assistant Referees: Christian Mehl and Lee Corey
Fourth Official: Leigh Pigram
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Benjamin McNamara; 2.Paul Dee, 3.Almir Dizdaric (21.Sam Awad 81?), 6.Joshua Lawson, 7.Peter Apolevski, 8.Dominic Hudap, 11.Adem Kir, 16.Steven Bozinovski, 17.Pece Cvetanovski, 19.Marino Musumeci (13.Baturay Akin 82?), 23.Askin Oygur.
Substitutes Not Used: 10.Saso Trajcevski, 20.Andrija Petkovic, 40.James Cain
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Marconi Stallions: 21.Jose Bello-Amigo; 2.Brenton Rhodes, 5.Adel El Jamal, 11.Matthew Gordon (16.Jason Naidovski 54?), 17.Laurence Braude (39.Sean O?Connell 65?), 18.Jared Lum, 23.Christopher Nunes, 26.Nahuel Arrarte, 31.Mitchell Mallia, 34.Nathan Jagelman (9.Erick Anabalon 79?), 42.Giorgio Speranza.
Substitutes Not Used: 22.James Chronopoulos, 4.Umut Tokdogan
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
– Joe Russo
The premiership trophy appeared to be moving across town from Sydney United to Bonnyrigg Sports Club, but when goalkeeper Ali Akbal was caught with his hands on the ball outside the penalty area, the scene was set for a dramatic final minute.
The White Eagles led 1-0 courtesy of a second-half goal to striker Brad Boardman, but Adem Kir stunned the Bonnyrigg faithful when his well executed free-kick found the back of the net in the 95? minute.
The White Eagles now sit five points ahead of Blacktown with two games remaining in the regular season.
In front of their home fans at Bonnyrigg Sports Club, the table-topping White Eagles controlled the tempo for the first 15? minutes, but after a chanceless opening, Rockdale finally brought the Bonnyrigg keeper into the match.
A charging Robert Di Meglio had the first real opportunity of the match, but his powerful drive was thwarted by Akbal, who was fortunate to deflect his save away from the advancing forwards.
Daniel Severino tried his best to bring the modest home crowd to life, but his free-kick curled right into the waiting arms of Suns keeper Ben McNamara.
Chris Tadrosse, who was creating havoc down the left flank, almost supplied Brad Boardman with the perfect cross, but Boardman was unable to direct his header and was forced to watch the ball sail into the stands.
It seemed Bonnyrigg were in control of possession for most of the half, but poor execution on the final pass let the home-side down on several occasions. A dour first-half struggle forced both teams into the sheds with the scores locked up at 0-0.
The game appeared to have lifted in intensity when the players returned for the second-half, and it was Rockdale who had first crack at breaking the deadlock.
Almir Dizdaric did well to hold two players up at the corner before laying back a ball to Adem Kir.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Kir?s powerful shot was deflected by a Bonnyrigg defender and sailed into the crowd.
But it didn?t take long for the White Eagles to hit back. A Severino corner found the head of Nathan Elasi in the box, but the former Melbourne Victory striker?s effort went narrowly over the top of the crossbar.
Milorad Simonovic was the next to try his luck, but his shot from outside the box lacked the direction to trouble McNamara.
But the White Eagles put one hand on the premiership trophy when they celebrated their first goal of the night in the 65? minute.
A low and well directed cross from Tadrosse was too much for the Suns defence to handle, deflecting the ball straight to Boardman who made no mistake belting home from close-range to send the Bonnyrigg faithful into raptures.
The Suns pushed forward in an attempt to keep their season alive, but the White Eagles had an answer to everything the visitors threw at them.
Ali Akbal gave Rockdale one last chance to clinch an equaliser when he was fouled for catching the ball outside the penalty-area, and Adem Kir made him pay when he slotted his free-kick to share the spoils.
Bonnyrigg coach Brian Brown was a dejected man after the match:
?I?m disappointed with the way it finished because I thought we played well,? Brown said.
?The sad part is if we won the premiership tonight, we would have had two weeks to get over suspensions and injuries, but we have to make sure we get the result next week.?
When asked if his side were ready to play finals football, Brown was adamant they could handle the step up:
?I can?t fault the effort or the way we?re playing,? he said.
?Apart from the Bankstown game a few weeks ago, our form has been sensational.?
In the opposition shed Mile Todorovski was experiencing a familiar feeling after his side?s twelfth draw of the season:
?We probably didn?t deserve to win the game, but we didn?t deserve to lose the game,?
?In 18 years I?ve never seen a team with 12 draws.?
After making the move up from Super League to Premier League this season, Todorovski said his team had proved they deserved to remain in the state?s top competition:
?If we could finish some goals we would definitely be in the top five,? he said.
?We?re good enough to be here again next year, but that?s up to the committee.?
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Brad Boardman 65?)
Rockdale City Suns 1 (Adem Kir 90? + 5?)
Bonnyrigg Sports Club, Bonnyrigg Heights
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Crowd: 1000 Approx.
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Ben McNamara; 2.Paul Dee, 3.Almir Dizdaric, 15.Josh Lawson, 8.Dominic Hudap, 11.Adem Kir, 13.Baturay Akin, 17.Pece Cvetanovski, 18.Robert Di Meglio, 19.Marino Musumeci, 23.Askin Oygur
Substitutes Not Used: 10.Sash Traicevski, 14.Jeffery Issa, 16.Steven Bosinovski, 21.Sam Awad, 24.James Cain
Yellow Cards: Askin Oygur 44?, Lawson 88?
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Ali Akbal; 2.Paul Cotte, 12.Chris Tadrosse, 20.Wade Oostendorp, 14.K.Takushyma (3.Graeme Forbes 84?), 10.Daniel Severino (17.David Gullo 84?), 11.Shane Webb (4.Michael Brown 87?), 8.Milorad Simonovic, 19.Jamie McMaster, 15.Nathan Elasi, 9.Brad Boardman
Substitutes Not Used: 7.Daniel Laiman, 90.Nenad Vekic.
Yellow Cards: Jamie McMaster 90?+1?
Red Cards: Nil
– Michael Chammas
After round 19 the Suns first year in the NSW Premier League, they have only had 3 losses and a record setting 11 draws which leaves them in the middle of the competition ladder.
Highlighting the importance of the game, Branko Cullina’s Newcastle Jets will be using the clash against Rockdale City Suns in preparing themselves for their first
A-League match of the 2010 season when they take on Adelaide United on the 6th of August.
Rockdale City Suns coach Mile Todoroski will be looking forward to the clash as it represents the first A-League game for the Suns and players such as Pece Cvetanovski and Ben McNamara will be sure to impress on the night.
Entry is $10.00 adults / $5.00 Concessions and Children Under 16yrs Free.
The Gates will be open from 6pm.
– Rockdale City Suns Press Release