A Nathan Millgate goal in the closing stages has helped APIA Leichhardt to a 2-1 win against Wollongong Wolves during their round 16 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Lambert Park.
Millgate’s 85th minute strike wrapped up the result for APIA after the match was locked at 1-1 for more than an hour of play.
Wollongong will rue not taking advantage of their early lead after Patrick Antelmi struck in the 34th minute.
However moments later the scores were tied when Jordan Murray headed home and after a red card to Nicolas Bernal in the 66th minute the Wolves were forced to battle on with 10 men.
Wollongong fought hard but it wasn’t to be with only five minutes left the home side secured a hard earned three points.
In the 16th minute a wonderful shot from outside the box by Adrian Ucchino sailed wide of the goal in what was the first real chance of the game.
There were very few chances for either side in the first stanza of play but the best was arguably an audacious shot from 30 metres from Tasuku Sekiya in the 27th minute. It was a dipping volley that almost caught goalkeeper Justin Pasfield off his mark but the Wollongong custodian held his nerve and a great goal never eventuated.
In the 34th minute Wollongong Wolves opened the scoring against the run of play. Patrick Antelmi hit a left footed shot from outside the box that surprised all and sundry and ended up in the bottom corner of the net.
There was almost an immediate reply a minute later from APIA Leichhardt. A long David D’Apuzzo speculator reached Jordan Murray in the box and he headed the bouncing ball over the out-coming goalkeeper.
Wollongong Wolves coach Jacob Timpano could hardly believe his bad luck and his frustration was clear on the bench.
The first chance of the second half was from Corey Biczo in the 53rd minute but his shot was comfortably neutralised by Pasfield who held his nerve.
In the 66th minute Nicholas Bernal was shown a straight red for a foul on Adrian Vlastelica in an off-the-ball incident. Wollongong Wolves were now forced to play with ten players.
In the 70th minute a dangerous shot from David D’Apuzzo from distance ended up as easy prey for Pasfield, but he would have expected a lot more from himself with that one.
A header by Matthew West found Sekiya unmarked in the box in the 77th minute but the Japanese idol of Lambert Park should have really found the back of the net. His shot was saved by Pasfield who stuck out a leg at the right moment and the golden chance for the Tigers vanished.
APIA Leichhardt took the lead in the 85th minute when a short corner made its way to Sekiya who thumped the ball against the post and the fortuitous rebound was put into the back of the net by Nathan Millgate.
After the game APIA Leichhardt’s coach Danial Cummins was happy to have secured the points.
“Three points were critical today for us and we knew that Wollongong were a tough team,” he said.
“They beat us in the first round but we did our homework and I thought that we controlled the game.
“I would have been disappointed if we had have got a draw. I was very happy with our attitude and we kept the ball well, so it’s all good for us as we face Blacktown on Wednesday night.”
Over in the Wollongong Wolves sheds their coach Jacob Timpano was also satisfied with his team despite walking away empty handed.
“I was proud of our boys’ effort tonight because we are down on some troops at the moment,” he said.
“To get beat by APIA and only with ten men, I can’t fault what we did tonight. It just shows that we were there against the top team of the competition with ten men and I was delighted with our effort and resilience.”
APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 2 (Murray 35’, Millgate 85’)
Wollongong Wolves: 1 (Antelmi 34’)
Sunday 25th June 2017
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Assistant Referees: Daniel Stack, Matt McCorist
Fourth Official: Amel Verma
APIA LEICHHARDT TIGERS: 22. Luke Turnbull, 2. Nathan Millgate, 8. Corey Biczo (7. Sean O’Connell 87’), 11. Jordan Murray (9. Matthew West 68’), 13. David D’Apuzzo, 15. Themba Muata-Marlow, 16. Sean Symons, 17. Adrian Vlastelica, 18. Adrian Ucchino (10. Franco Parisi 72’), 19. Brandon Lundy, 20. Tasuku Sekiya
Substitutes not used: 4. Joshua Symons, 26. Christian Theuma
Yellow Cards: Ucchino 7’, Millgate 88’
Red Cards: Nil
WOLLONGONG WOLVES FC: 1. Justin Pasfield, 4. Hayden Morton, 6. Nick Montgomery, 7. Christopher Price, 8. Brendan Griffin, 14. Joshua Macdonald, 15. Michael Robinson, 16. Patrick Antelmi (9. Peter Simonoski 64’), 17. James Markovic (11. Jack Lombo 86’), 18. Nicholas Bernal, 23. Steven Hayes.
Substitutes not used: 10. Mitchell Ferraro, 12. Luke Kairies, 20. Ethan Kambisios
Yellow Cards: Markovic 81’, Morton 89’
Red Card: Bernal 66’
-by Joe Russo, PlayStation®National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Reporter, at Lambert Park, Leichhardt