A James Andrew hat trick and a dominant second half performance has helped PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s league leaders Blacktown City to a 4-0 victory over Sydney Olympic at Lily’s Football Centre on Sunday afternoon.
The former Sutherland attacker was brought on at half time in a double substitution and laid on the opening goal for Joey Gibbs before claiming a fifteen-minute treble to keep City six points ahead of second-placed APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
The result is Blacktown’s seventh league victory in a row and leaves the Seven Hills outfit in pole position to claim their ninth premiership with Mark Crittenden’s side likely to seal their first trophy of the season with a win over APIA Leichhardt Tigers when the two challengers meet in round 21.
Opponents Sydney Olympic will rue their second half collapse after matching the competition frontrunners for much of the contest prior to Gibbs’ opener on the hour mark.
The Blues enjoyed several promising moments in Gorka Etxeberria’s second match at the helm but were unable to contend with the pace of Andrew who sliced through the visitor’s backline with ease in the second half.
A late penalty miss from Yianni Spyrakis added insult to injury for Olympic who drop into fifth position as a result of Manly United’s 2-0 victory over Rockdale.
The visitors came into the encounter with the league’s best defensive record and made a promising start to the match with Jinya An and Yu Kuboki drawing early saves from Tristan Prendergast.
Olympic created back to back opportunities after the break with Prendergast forced into a good reaction save at the near post to repel an effort from Jason Madonis, while An and Kuboki continued to cause problems for the City rearguard.
However sweeping changes made at half time by Crittenden, who replaced Connor Evans and Lewis Beumie with Andrew and Grant Lynch while also switching to a back four, paid dividends on the hour mark when Gibbs slotted his tenth goal of the season past Henderson after an Olympic turnover on halfway.
The floodgates promptly opened for the hosts who added a second when Andrew raced onto a clipped ball from Lynch before burying the ball past Henderson one on one.
Olympic survived another scare after Andrew failed to round Henderson in a replica chance moments later and were thrown a lifeline when City skipper Zachary Cairncross was penalised for a handball inside the box.
Spyrakis saw his spot kick comfortably gathered by Prendergast and the Blues were punished further when Andrew swept home Pete Cejka’s cutback for Blacktown City’s third.
Andrew completed a fifteen minute hattrick shortly after racing onto another ball from Lynch before firing past Henderson at the near post to bring his tally for the campaign to 11.
The City speedster trails Rockdale frontman Jordan Figon by one in the race for the golden boot with four rounds remaining.
Crittenden’s men take on Manly United in next Saturday’s match of the round clash at Cromer Park, while Sydney Olympic host APIA Leichhardt at home on Sunday evening.
Blacktown City 4 (Gibbs 60’, Andrew 64’, 77’, 79’)
Sydney Olympic 0
Sunday 16th of July 2017
Lily’s Football Centre, Seven Hills
Blacktown City: 8. Daniel Araujo, 17. Lewis Beumie (5. Grant Lynch 45’), 19. Zachary Cairncross, 10. Connor Evans (12. James Andrew 45’), 9. Joey Gibbs, 6. Matthew Lewis, 14. Mitchell Mallia (23. Pete Cejka 67’), 1. Tristan Prendergast, 16. Mark Rodic, 3. Giorgio Speranza, 4. Roberto Speranza
Substitutes: 20. Tomislav Rodic
Yellow Cards: 8. Daniel Araujo 36’, 19. Zachary Cairncross 83’
Red Cards: N/A
Sydney Olympic: 11. Jinya An (9. Radovan Pavicevic 83’), 7. William Angel (19. Darcy Burgess 72’), 24. Christopher Gligor, 1. Paul Henderson, 12. Yu Kuboki, 8. Jason Madonis (33. Nikolas Tsattalios 72’), 14. Mohammad Rahimi, 5. Yianni Spyrakis, 6. Mitchell Stamatellis, 16. George Timotheou, 4. Thomas Whiteside
Substitutes: 20. Ezequiel Consoni, 99. Paul Katsetis
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
-By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Jacob Windon