A goal either side of half time helped Bonnyrigg White Eagles to a crucial 2-0 victory over Sutherland Sharks in a Saturday evening PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Seymour Shaw.
The visitors controlled possession for much of the first stanza but struggled to break down a resilient Sharks side.
Goals from Zac Mackenzie and club captain Ray Miller ensured Bonnyrigg went home happy.
The home side struggled to create chances and when they did get them, were wasteful.
Ray Miller created a quality chance for the visitors when he pounced on a Jacob Ott cutback only for Sutherland keeper Nikolas Loe to make a sharp save.
The game settled down through the middle of the half and the chances dried up creating a midfield battle.
The Sharks young sides best chance were on the counter attack and Matias Santos had his shot fly over the crossbar from range.
It was Bonnyrigg though who was able to lift their performance with ten minutes of the half to go.
Both Howard Fondyke and Shervin Adeli tested the keeper with respectable efforts with the later resulting in a corner.
Mackenzie made sure his teammates’ header went into the net.
The visitors continued their dominance after the half time break keeping the ball well and pushing players forward.
It was the home side who nearly equalized on two separate occasions through Santos.
He had two close range efforts denied by some solid keeping from shot stopper Norval.
Ray Miller missed a golden opportunity to score when he scuffed his shot around the penalty area midway through the second half.
The veteran was quick to bounce back when some good pace allowed him to get behind the defence before calmly launching a powerful shot into the net.
The home side then enjoyed their best spell of the game with Bonnyrigg content to sit back.
Sutherland were only able to create half chances, the best of which fell to Nathan Elasi.
The full time whistle was music to the ears of the Bonnyrigg players as they picked up a confidence building three points.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles Head Coach Brian Brown was delighted with his team’s performance.
“We played like a team tonight, like the old Bonnyrigg,” he said.
“We’ve played the last four games and haven’t conceded a goal. Everything starts from the back and we’re doing well.”
Sutherland Sharks Coach Grant Lee lamented lapses in concentration.
“There’s good signs there, we go to sleep at crucial moments however and you need to chase a game,” he said.
“The young players did well, Santos took his chance well, just need some older lads to complement them.”
Sutherland Sharks FC: 0
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC: 2 (Mckenzie 43’, Miller 64’)
Saturday July 15th 2017
Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Referee: B. Abraham
Assistant Referees: L. Greenshields & N. Wotton
Fourth Official: H. Carwardine
Sutherland Sharks: 21. Nikolas Loe, 3. Takuya Murayama, 4. Stephen Kayes, 6. Matthew Gordon, 10. Joshua Da Silva, 11. Nathan Elasi, 13. Jeremy Cox (15. Kevin Lopes 79’), 14. Patrick O’Shea, 5. Matias Das Silva Santos, 25. Wade Oostendorp, 31. Robert Watson (19. Callum Fitzpatrick 65’)
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Nathan Denham, 8. Christopher Mcstay.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 40. Ryan Norval, 3. David Vrankovic, 6. Zac Mackenzie (13. James Mackenzie 85’), 8. Howard Fondyke, 11. Benjamin Spruce, 12. Mun-Soo Gil, 14. Taylor Mcdonald, 15. Raymond Miller, 16. Samuel Gallaway, 19. Jacob Ott (7. Gregory Kendek 45’), 37. Shervin Adeli (18. Asmir Kadric 90’)
Substitutes Not Used: 10. Martin Lo,
Yellow Cards: Kondek
-By Justin Smith, PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Reporter