APIA Leichhardt Tigers may have missed the start of the 2016 PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 competition but the side from Lambert Park are seemingly intent on making up for lost time and were once again the big movers in an action-packed Round 8.
Elsewhere, competition leaders Manly United dropped points at Blacktown Football Park, whilst Sydney Olympic hit their stride with a demolition of Hakoah Sydney City East.
The Match of the Round was at Bonnyrigg Sports Club where the White Eagles continued their excellent recent run of form.
Match of the Round
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2-1 Parramatta, Saturday 5pm at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Bonnyrigg White Eagles continued their surge up the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 competition ladder with a gritty 2-1 victory over Parramatta at Bonnyrigg Sports Club.
The White Eagles entered the encounter with the last-placed visitors as one of the competition’s in-form outfits and second half goals to Jake Douglas and Andre Guzman secured an impressive fourth win from five for Stephen Sigmund’s side.
It was another afternoon of regrets for Parramatta who netted a consolation through Nicholas Chymiak in what was the last kick of the game.
Despite surrendering the bulk of field position and possession, the visitors were largely untroubled throughout and were left to rue two defensive lapses that spoiled what was otherwise a well-organised defensive performance.
And to add insult to injury, the visitors could have easily emerged victors themselves had forward Andreas Vais not spurned a golden chance after the half-time break.
Bonnyrigg started on the front foot in front of their home faithful with former Western Sydney Wanderers product Martin Lo pulling the strings for the White Eagles.
Although the home side played much of the first-half on the cusp of the Parramatta box, they were unable to forge genuine goal scoring opportunities, instead reduced to hopeful snapshots from outside the area.
This meant the visitors enjoyed several chances on the transition, and Andreas Vais went closest to breaking the first half deadlock following a quick counter but only managed to pull his shot wide of the far post from a promising scenario.
The second half began to open up for both sides and it wasn’t long until the matches best chance fell to Vais, who steered Matias Da Silva Santos’ cross over the bar from close range.
It would be the affairs turning point with Bonnyrigg opening the scoring through Jake Douglas who gleefully tapped home after Asmir Kradric had escaped the shackles of the Parramatta rearguard.
The momentum was now with the White Eagles who probed for long periods and eventually doubled their advantage through a fine moment of individual quality.
As it eventually did for Bonnyrigg on the day, it was perseverance that paid off for Andre De Guzman who looked to have taken one touch too many after breaking clear but recovered to nick the ball past Parramatta centre-half Michael Davidson and bury an unstoppable shot into the top left corner.
Nicholas Chymiak added a late consolation in what proved to be the final kick of the game to cap another frustrating afternoon for Mark Zecchin’s side.
The Parramatta manager remained upbeat despite the latest instalment in a series of tough defeats.
“It wasn’t our strongest performance of the season today yet we were in the contest throughout and created the matches best opportunities. That tells you a lot about the season we’re having.
“If that one goes in its 1-0 and we have a lead to build on. There’s still a long way to go in the season and we have a couple of high class players arriving soon”.
Although Bonnyrigg custodian Stephen Sigmund was elated with his side’s fourth win from five, he warned his side to avoid complacency.
“I was disappointed with the late goal”, he said.
“We need to be more clinical in the final third but I’m happy with how we’re performing at the moment and we’ll only get better”.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Douglas 59’, Kradric 74’)
Parramatta 1 (Chymiak 90’)
Saturday 30th April 2016
Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 22 H. Bagot, 23 D. Cupac, 24 L. Debrot, 18 J. Douglas, 25 L. Faria, 27 A. Guzman, 28 L. Guzman, 29 Z. Kolundzic, 31 M. Lo, 65 A. Parashis, 32 J. Rose, 20 S. Savicic, 8 H. Tucker, 35 K. Zarafetas, 36 A. Kradric, 37 N. Krljar
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Parramatta: 34 A. Awaz, 31 A. Boyadijan 38 C. Carboni, 28 N. Chymiask, 21 M. Da Silva Santos, 39 M. Davidson, 25 D. Di Ruocco, 33 J. Diacono, 37 A. Gioiosa, 26 B. Lu, 35 J. Taunton, 36 A. Vais, 22 P. Katsetis, 27 M. Jackson, 29 G. Cerasoli
Yellow Cards: 21 M. Da Silva Santos
Red Cards: Nil
Blacktown Spartans 1-1 Manly United, 5.00pm at Blacktown Football Park
A late equalizer from Mitchell Rooke earned competition frontrunners Manly United a point against Blacktown Spartans at Blacktown Football Park.
Blacktown led for the majority of the half thanks to Alex Mooy’s seventh strike of the season but weren’t able to hold on for what would have been a hugely important three points.
Samuel Jacob’s side are now without a win in their last three but remain in fourth place with a tantalising derby fixture against Blacktown City to come in Round Nine.
Manly United meanwhile open up a six point gap over the Spartans with their first draw of the season.
Hakoah Sydney City East 0-4 Sydney Olympic, 5.00pm at Hensley Athletic Field
A brace from Sebastian Melfara helped Sydney Olympic on their way to a resounding 4-0 victory over Hakoah Sydney City East at Hensley Athletic Field.
Michael Loupis and Stephen Athanaseris were also on the score sheet for John Theodoropoulos’ side who enter the top six in grand style.
It was the perfect response the Olympic side needed having suffered a midweek 4-2 loss to APIA Leichhardt Tigers, extending an increasingly inconsistent run of results for the Belmore club.
It’s back to the drawing board for Hakoah Sydney City East who appeared to have resolved their defensive issues after their 1-0 triumph at Sutherland in Round Eight, but with just one win in six there’s a lot of work to be done to arrest the slide.
Rockdale City Suns 0-1 Blacktown City, 5.00pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Blacktown City remain hot on the heels of leaders Manly United after a gritty 1-0 victory over Rockdale City Suns at Ilinden Sports Centre.
Although it wasn’t a performance to savour from Ben Wright’s side it was a huge three points that places the side within striking distance of the competition frontrunners, who dropped points at Blacktown.
And it was once again Jonathan Grozdanovski – golden boot winner for Blacktown during last season’s championship winning campaign – who applied the finishing touch with a neat first half strike, the forward’s sixth of the season.
It was a fourth loss in a row for Rockdale who will need to rescue their faltering season at Sutherland in Round Nine.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3-0 Sydney United 58, 2.15pm at Lambert Park
APIA Leichhardt Tigers stormed into the top three of the PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 competition after cruising to a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Sydney United 58 at Lambert Park.
Duncan Stewart, Cameron Stephan and Samuel Gulisano were amongst the goals in what was the side’s fourth win in a row, a result that places the Lambert Park outfit in the top three despite having played two games less than Manly United and Blacktown City in first and second place respectively.
Having undertaken a mini-revival of their disappointing season to date in the last fornight, Sydney United 58 remain in 11th position and will look to Round Nine’s home fixture with Bonnyrigg as a potential make or break affair for Davor Bajsic’s side.
Wollongong Wolves 0-3 Sutherland Sharks, 3.00pm at WIN Stadium
A first half blitz from Sutherland Sharks stunned Wollongong Wolves at WIN Stadium with Allan Edmonson’s side running out comfortable 3-0 victors.
It was the perfect response from Round Seven’s disappointing showing at home to Hakoah Sydney City East, and the result will be more than enough vindication for their 1-0 loss last Saturday.
Marcus Beattie, Michael Kouta and Nathan Roberts were on the scoresheet for the visitors who leapfrog Wollongong into seventh place.
–By Jacob Windon