Wollongong Wolves kept their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s playoff push on track with a comfortable 3-0 win against a youthful Sutherland Sharks at Butler Memorial Park on Sunday.
The home side took charge early on with striker Peter Simonoski finding the net twice in the first twenty minutes.
A 60th minute penalty from star man Yuzo Tashiro wrapped up the result for the Wolves.
The win keeps Wollongong in a three-way battle for the competition’s final playoff spot with three rounds to play.
A youthful Sutherland side battled throughout the first half to keep pace but the visitors really didn’t look like troubling the Wolves.
The South Coast side started in clinical fashion when Simonoski beat the onrushing Sutherland shot stopper Niki Loe before placing the ball into the net after a cross from Tashiro.
It didn’t take long to double that lead when a long ball from Steve Hayes released the same man into the clear. The striker then cleverly caught the keeper off his line and chipped him well.
The visitors experienced their best period of the game in the final stages of the first half. Striker Kevin Lopes was unfortunate to see a sharp effort off a Kajiyama cross go wide of the left post.
The Sharks would’ve been cursing their luck when another cross was headed onto their own cross bar by James O’Rourke.
Sutherland’s best chances came just before the break. A Kajiyama cross was cleared off the line well by Hayden Morton. Pasfield produced a magnificent save to deny Jeremy Cox from scoring.
Sutherland weren’t as sharp after the break and were lucky to survive a few warning shots with the offside flag their biggest ally in stopping the Wolves.
Wollongong pounced on a lapse in concentration from the visitors shortly after when an on-rushing Darcy Madden was clumsily caught from behind. Tashiro converted the penalty with a drive into the bottom right corner of the net.
Sutherland responded well threatening Pasfield’s net mid-way through the second stanza.
A Lopes header went into the side-netting just after the 65th minute before a flick on from Patrick O’Shea went straight across the face of goal.
However, the home side held on and claimed another vital 3 points.
Wolves coach Jacob Timpano praised his players after the match.
“We had a job to do today, The boys stayed disciplined and finished the game off,” he said.
“Today reminded me of the old days at Brandan Park. It was a good day for the club and the supporters.”
Sutherland coach Grant Lee rued his side’s lapses in concentration.
“Story of our season, We went to sleep and didn’t deal with situations. We we’re then chasing it and we’re hapless,” he said.
Wollongong Wolves FC: 3 (Simonoski 10’18’, Tashiro 60’)
Sutherland Sharks FC: 0
Sunday 23rd July, 2017
Albert Butler Memorial Park, Primbee
Referee: K. Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referees: M. McOrist & J. Adabjou
Fourth Official: T. Plasto
Wollongong Wolves FC: 1. Justin Pasfield, 8. Brendan Griffin, 23. Steven Hayes, 3. Darcy Madden (16. Patrick Antelmi 65’), 6. Nicholas Montgomery, 4. Hayden Morton (11. Hristijan Tanoski 80’), 17. James O’Rourke, 7. Cristopher Price, 15. Michael Robinson, 9. Peter Simonoski, 30. Yuzo Tashiro.
Substitutes Not Used: 12. Luke Kaires, 5, Ethan Kambisios,18. Jack Lombo.
Yellow Cards: O’Rourke
Sutherland Sharks FC: 21 Nikolas Loe, 13. Jeremy Cox, 10. Joshua Da Silva, 11. Nathan Elasi, 19. Callum Fitzpatrick, 9. Tomohiro Kajiyama, 4. Stephen Kayes, 15. Kevin Lopes (6. Matthew Gordon 69’), 3. Takuya Murayama, 14. Patrick O’Shea, 25. Wade Oosdendorp.
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Nathan Denham, 12. Blair Brown, 5. Matias Da Silva Santos, 8. Christopher Mcstay.
Yellow Cards: Murayama
-By Justin Smith, PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Reporter