A brace from Alec Urosevski has helped Rockdale City Suns snatch a 2-1 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s victory against Bonnyrigg at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
A goal in each half from Urosevski helped the home team claim an unlikely victory after Bonnyrigg failed to turn their domination of the match into goals.
Former Socceroos shot stopper Ante Covic delivered an inspired performance for Rockdale making save after save to deny a relentless White Eagles attack.
Shervin Adeli gave the visitors hope when he struck from the penalty spot, but Bonnyrigg could not break down Covic and the Suns defence.
The win moves Rockdale into outright third on the ladder with only three rounds remaining until the playoffs.
Bonnyrigg exploded out of the gates right from the opening whistle and pinned Rockdale deep in their own half.
The home side were on the back foot as the White Eagles sent wave after wave of attack.
Rockdale keeper Covic was called into action early when he saved a Ray Miller strike from just inside the box.
Covic made another quality stop only moments later to deny Adeli from a similar position but Rockdale were unable to move the ball out of their own half.
However, the home side’s luck was soon set to change courtesy of a slick counter attacking move.
Midfielder Harris Gaitatzis delivered a cutting pass into the box and to the feet of Urosevski, who turned his marker before firing into the back of the net.
The goal failed to stifle the Bonnyrigg attack and Covic was the home team’s saviour again in the 28th minute when he parried a powerful shot.
Bonnyrigg was finally rewarded for their attacking efforts in the 32nd minute, albeit in controversial circumstances, when they were given a penalty.
Adeli stepped up to the spot and finally got one past Covic when he fired home to level the scores at 1-1.
Rockdale remained pinned deep in their half desperately holding off Bonnyrigg but were given a golden chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty after a rare trip up field.
Gaitatzis stepped up to take the spot kick but Bonnyrigg shot stopper Ryan Norval was more than up to the challenge saving low to his right.
It was a narrow escape for the visitors who would’ve been delighted to have not gone into the half time break behind despite dominating the first 45 minutes.
It was more of the same from Bonnyrigg to start the second stanza as the visitors went on the attack from the restart.
However, Rockdale were better prepared this time and stifled the visitors chances.
Trent McClenehan went inches away from giving Rockdale the lead in the 57th minute but an acrobatic save from Norval flicked the ball onto the crossbar when it looked like a sure goal.
The match opened up as the half progressed with both sides trading chances on goal.
Against the run of play Rockdale took the lead in the 60th minute when Urosevski smashed a long drive from 25 yards out into the net to make it 2-1.
Figon should’ve made it 3-1 moments later but he was denied by Norval who saved low at the striker’s feet.
Bonnyrigg pushed hard late in the match to steal a point and Adeli thought he had equalised when he out jumped his marker to head on goal, but the ball sailed narrowly wide.
Blake Ricciuto missed the chance to make it 3-1 in the final stages of the clash but it didn’t matter in the end as the referee called full-time confirming victory for Rockdale.
A relieved Rockdale player coach Paul Reid felt it was a lucky escape for his side after being pinned deep in their own half for long stretches of the match.
“It was just one of those games. We were lucky and took the lead when I don’t think we really deserved to be in front, but we fought hard and managed to stay in the match after they equalised,” he said.
“We knew we didn’t play well in the first half but I told the boys to stay composed and when the match opened up in the second half we were able to find a match winner.
“At this time of the season it’s not about playing pretty it’s about getting the three points and thats exactly what we did today.
Bonnyrigg coach Brian Brown was forthright after the match and rued what could’ve, and should’ve, been a morale boosting away win.
“At the end of the day football is about scoring goals and we failed to do that in this match. I’m happy with the performance but not so much with the result,” Brown said.
“The past five or six weeks we have performed much better and once again today we played well but just lacked the finishing touch required.
“Losing Ray Miller at the start of the second half to injury really hurt us, but it is what it is.
“From the way we played today we didn’t deserve to lose.”
Rockdale City Suns: 2 (Urosevski 19’, 63)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1 (Adeli 32’)
Sunday, July 23 2017
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: Steven Lucas
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields & Danny Horstead
Fourth Official: Nathan McOrist
Rockdale City Suns: 22. Ante Covic, 2. Daniel Petrovski, 3. Steven Hesketh, 4. Trent McClenahan, 5. Paul Reid, 6. Blake Ricciuto, 7. Alec Urosevski (11. Jonathan Grozdanovski), 8. Aleks Canak, 10. Harris Gaitatzis (17. Toufic Alameddine), 19. Daniel Saric, 23. Jordan Figon (12. Idriss El Hafiane)
Substitutes not used: 1. David Bradasevic, 16. Isaac Savor
Yellow Cards: Reid, Covic
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 40. Ryan Norval, 3. David Vrankovic, 7. Greg Kondek, 8. Howard Fondyke, 10. Martin Lo, 11. Benjamin Spruce (21. Hassan Jalloh), 12. Mun-Soo Gil, 14. Taylor McDonald, 15. Ray Miller (18. Asmir Kadric), 16. Sam Gallaway, 37. Shervin Adeli
Substitutes not used: 1. James Chronopoulos,, 13. James McKenzie, 27. Luke Ivanovic
Yellow Cards: Fondyke