Ray Miller’s second half strike led struggling Bonnyrigg White Eagles to a shock 1-0 victory over PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition leaders APIA Leichhardt Tigers in a tight encounter at Bonnyrigg Sports Club.
The White Eagles midfielder slotted the winning goal midway through the second half to snap a three match losing streak for Brian Brown’s side and inflict a potentially damaging result on premiership chasing APIA Leichhardt.
The visitors held plenty of possession as they searched for a sixth consecutive victory.
APIA struggled to create clear cut chances and were unable to break down a well-organised and dogged Bonnyrigg outfit.
The result means Blacktown City can leapfrog the Tigers into first position with a draw or win against Wollongong Wolves on the South Coast tomorrow afternoon.
Danial Cummins’ side arrived into the encounter in tremendous form having won five in a row with just a single goal conceded, and with Bonnyrigg struggling for results the hosts were intent on stifling the ladder leaders early on.
Despite a solid block from White Eagles gloveman Ryan Norval from Matthew West’s snapshot early on, neither goalkeeper was brought into action inside the opening 45 minutes as both outfits slogged out a drab first half stalemate.
After a series of half-openings at either end the deadlock was finally broken in fine style by Miller who curled a gorgeous finish past Ivan Necevski after a fantastic turn from Shervin Adeli on the edge of the box.
The visitors had earlier seen a Sean Symons free kick easily gathered by Norval and came close to restoring parity from the dead ball immediately after Miller’s opener but Tasuku Sekiya’s effort curled wide of the post.
Bonnyrigg manager Brian Brown lauded a fantastic triumph for the White Eagles following the match.
“In terms of how we set up tonight the boys followed it through perfectly, the effort and commitment was fantastic,” he said.
“We wanted to stop them playing through the middle and we wanted to get our wide players one on one.
“We knew we would get one chance and we took the one we had.”
Danial Cummins lamented the dropped points after the match but was full of praise for the White Eagles.
“Credit to Bonnyrigg, it was a tough night on a bumpy pitch and they rolled their sleeves up and were hungrier,” he said.
“It makes us that little bit hungrier to bounce back next week.”
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Miller 69’)
APIA Leichhardt Tigers
Saturday 17th June 2017
Bonnyrigg Sports Club, Bonnyrigg
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 37. Shervin Adeli, 8. Howard Fondyke, 16. Samuel Gallaway, 12. Mun-Soo Gil, 21. Hassan Jalloh, 13. James Mckenzie (14. Taylor Mcdonald 29’), 15. Raymond Miller (18. Asmir Kadric 79’), 40. Ryan Norval, 19. Jacob Ott, 11. Benjamin Spruce, 36. Nikola Zonjic
Substitutes Not Used: 27. Luke Ivanovic, 20. Stevan Savicic, 17. Leon Faria
Yellow Cards: 19. Jacob Ott 22’, 37. Shervin Adeli 76’
Red Cards: N/A
APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 13. David Dapuzzo (10. Franco Parisi 60’), 3. Paul Galimi, 19. Brandon Lundy, 2. Nathan Millgate, 15. Themba Muata-Marlow, 1. Ivan Necevski, 7. Sean O’Connell (18. Adrian Ucchino 81’), 20. Tasuku Sekiya, 16. Sean Symons (11. Jordan Murray 70’), 17. Adrian Vlastelica, 9. Matthew West
Substitutes Not Used: 4. Joshua Symons, 22. Luke Turnbull
Yellow Cards: 2. Nathan Millgate 57’, 16. Sean Symons 66’, 7. Sean O’Connell 71’
Red Cards: N/A
-By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Jacob Windon