Bonnyrigg White Eagles has closed out their 2017 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues Men’s season with a gritty 2-0 win over Parramatta FC at Melita Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A goal in either half from Asmir Kadric and Jacob Ott handed the visitors all three points in their final match of the season.
Both teams struggled for fluency on a rough pitch, but Bonnyrigg were able to carve out chances for Ott ten minutes before the break and ten minutes before full time; the forward proving to be a calm finisher, and the difference in an otherwise tight match.
The first real attempt on goal came after ten minutes, as Samuel Gallaway drifted inside his man and skewed a shot wide of the near post – a sign of Bonnyrigg’s attacking intent, even though it never troubled Stefan Giglio.
The visitors should have taken the lead a minute later when Ott scampered down the right wing before cutting the ball back for Shervin Adeli, but the striker couldn’t keep his volley from floating over the bar. Ott might have opened the scoring himself soon after when he rose unmarked at a corner, but he drove his header just over the bar.
Parramatta struggled to create much going forward as Bonnyrigg dominated possession through the half. They continued to push for a breakthrough: Adeli held the ball up well before turning his man and firing off a low shot, which Giglio got down quickly to push around the post for a corner.
Ten minutes before halftime, Adeli burst down the right and whipped a cross in for Kadric at the far post, who duly opened the scoring with a simple finish into an unguarded goal. Bonnyrigg were well worth their lead at the break, and looked to build on their lead early in the second half, as Raymond Miller broke through on the left and poked a shot at goal as the ball ran away from him, but Giglio rushed out to make a block.
The game grew increasingly aggressive, and a series of stoppages, combined with an uneven and dusty pitch, served to sap the game of much of its momentum. It would be almost twenty minutes before either side managed another shot; Marcus Donatiello’s looping volley more a lesson in optimism than a serious attempt at bringing his team back into the game.
For the few chances they had through the second half, Bonnyrigg were still able to make their shots count. Ott picked up his first of the match with a little over ten minutes remaining, slotting the ball into the bottom left corner, and leaving Giglio standing and starting.
The match suddenly came to life with chances at both ends in quick succession: Miller tested Giglio with a curling shot from the left side of the box but the goalkeeper was able to stretch to tip the ball over the crossbar, before Parramatta’s Nikita Andricopoulos grazed the bar with James Chronopoulos stranded.
Nathan Tsiolous picked up a second yellow card, and subsequently a red, for an altercation with Chronopoulos as both sides counted down the final few minutes of their respective seasons. Bonnyrigg deservedly ended 2017 on a high, running out 2-0 winners against a determined Parramatta FC.
“It’s a disappointing result in the respect that we always go out to play for all three points,” said Parramatta FC’s Marshall Soper. “But we’ve been competitive in the last few games of this season.”
“We’re looking towards next year. We played with a lot of young guys today, and we know what we need, we know which players we want. We’re going to bring some of those guys in to strengthen where we need to strengthen. We’re always looking towards the future.”
Bonnyrigg coach Brian Brown was happy with the win but his focus was already on putting his feet up after a long campaign.
“We end on a high today, but it’s probably the first time ever I’m glad the season’s finished,” he said.
“We’ll start again and get ready for next year.
“The conditions were very difficult today, for both teams. I think both teams put on a decent show considering the pitch.”
Parramatta FC: 0
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC: 2 (Kadric 34’, Ott 79’)
Sunday August 13, 2017
Melita Stadium, Sefton
Referee: J. Mcfarlane
Assistant referees: D. Horstead, J. Park
Fourth official: B. Wright
Parramatta FC: 1. GIGLIO Stefan, 11. ANDRICOPOULOS Nikita, 7. BLAKELEY Ryan, 18. COCARO Adrian, 12. DONATIELLO Marcus, 19. ELLUL Dylan (8. HASANZADAH Ahmad 45′), 20. GALBRAITH Hamish, 10. KONTOS Johnny(17. ANYIMBA Victor 59′), 4. PLATANIOTIS Marcus (2. ABOUCHAAYA Camil 52′), 5. SAMBA Yuya, 3. TSIOULOS Nathan
Substitutes not used: 40. VELJOVIC Justin
Yellow cards: Tsioulos 68’, 90’, Anyimba 73’
Red cards: Tsioulos 90’
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC: 1. CHRONOPOULOUS James, 37. ADELI Shervin (10. LO Martin 85′), 8. FONDYKE Howard, 16. GALLAWAY Samuel, 12. GIL Mun-Soo (13. MCKENZIE James 18′), 18. KADRIC Asmir, 14. MCDONALD Taylor, 15. MILLER Raymond, 19. OTT Jacob, 11. SPRUCE Benjamin, 3. VRANKOVIC David
Substitutes not used: 28. KRLJAR Nikola, 7. KONDEK Gregory
Yellow cards: Ott 65’, Chronopoulos 90’
Red cards: Nil
-By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues Men’s reporter Max Grieve