Sutherland Sharks recovered a three point lead of the competition after defeating Marconi Stallions, while Blacktown City and Sydney FC dropped points in an entertaining affair at Lily’s Football Centre.
Match of the Round
Blacktown City 4-4 Sydney FC, Saturday 5.00pm at Lily’s Football Centre
Blacktown City conceded two late goals to draw 4-4 with Sydney FC in a drama-packed top of the table encounter at Lily’s Football Stadium on Saturday evening.
After trailing the Sky Blues 2-0 after 20 minutes following goals from competition top scorer Hamish Lamberton and Finn Ballard-Mcbride, Blacktown clawed their way to parity before the break through Lachlan Campbell and Adolph Koudakpo.
John Carnevale’s side looked to have completed a remarkable turnaround when Koudakpo and Campbell netted their second goals of the match early in the second stanza but a late double from Jordan Swibel saw the Sky Blues snatch a draw in an end to end finale.
The draw leaves second-placed Blacktown in striking distance of leaders Sutherland Sharks who hold a three point buffer over Blacktown and a further six over third-placed Sydney. With the halfway mark of the NPL NSW Men’s 20’s season closing in, both Blacktown and Sydney remain the only genuine challengers to Sutherland’s title defence.
But on a night where both sides wasted their chance to make a statement of championship intent after each squandering two-goal buffers, it was clear that the pair of competition heavyweights have plenty of work to do in order to prevent Sutherland from claiming back to back titles.
Blacktown will get an opportunity to do exactly that and make up for their late collapse against the Sky Blues when they face the Sharks next Saturday afternoon at Seymour Shaw.
However, the visitors will likely emerge from Saturday’s contest with the greater regret after surrendering their two goal lead before half time and conceding three of Blacktown’s four goals from corners.
The Sky Blues opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Lamberton tucked away Ballard-Mcbridge’s cross for his 13th goal of the campaign and doubled the lead ten minutes later when the Sydney winger’s shot deflected off City defender William Salinas and squeezed past Stevan Savicic at the near post.
Blacktown clawed their way back into the encounter when skipper Campbell planted a superb header home from John Azar’s corner and restored parity on the stroke of half time when Lachlan Rose’s acrobatic effort fell to the feet of Koudakpo who duly dispatched his first of the game from close range.
The City attacker clinched his fifth goal of the season after looping a header over Sydney goalkeeper David Malishev from Azar’s corner and it was another superb delivery from the Blacktown midfielder that led to the hosts’ fourth, with Benjamin Parkinson smashing the crossbar before Campbell prodded in the rebound.
Carnevale’s men appeared to be heading for a crucial win but the match swung with the arrival of late substitute Marco Tilio who was awarded a penalty after a challenge from Mark Rodic, allowing Swibel to place the resulting spot kick past Savicic low to the left.
And Tilio played a starring role in his side’s 88th minute equalizer after a sensational darting run from deep inside the Blacktown half before rifling a shot across goal that deflected of Swibel and in to salvage a share of the points.
Sydney take on Rockdale City Suns next Saturday lunchtime and will hope that both Blacktown and Sutherland drop points when the top two face off at Seymour Shaw later in the afternoon.
Blacktown City 4 (Campbell 26’, Koudakpo 43’, 48’, Campbell 60’)
Sydney FC 4 (Lamberton 9’, Ballard-Mcbride 19’, Swibel pen. 79’, Swibel 88’)
Saturday 12th of May 2018
Lily’s Football Centre, Seven Hills
Blacktown City: 43. Dakota Askew, 28. John Azar, 42. Daniel Bragg, 26. Lachlan Campbell, 39. Adolph Koudakpo, 25. Benjamin Parkinson, 29. Mark Rodic, 31. Lachlan Rose, 32. William Salinas (30. Malcom Ward 73’), 20. Stevan Savicic, 24. Jack Stewart (35. George Panayi 83’)
Substitutes not used: 34. Jarrod Dodds, 38. Lewis Fraser, 36. Anthony Gallo
Yellow cards: Rodic 78’
Red cards: N/A
Sydney FC: 21. Finn Ballard-Mcbride (29. Thomas Fay 69’), 24. Daniel Blachura, 28. Paolo Bonnani (32. Evan Tsakos 82’), 25. Mason Ingram (17. Marco Tilio 73’), 27. Hamish Lamberton, 40. David Malishev, 5. Patrick Scibilio, 13. Jordan Swibel, 19. Giuseppe Tilio, 23. Nikola Ujdur, 26. Ben Van Meurs
Substitutes not used: 1. Mitchell Evans, 31. Ryan Teague
Yellow cards: Van Meurs 66’
Red cards: N/A
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1-0 APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 5.00pm at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Mohammed Shah’s strike saw Bonnyrigg White Eagles defeat APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1-0 in their match at Bonnyrigg Sports Club on Saturday afternoon.
Shah opened his account for the campaign in timely fashion and proved the difference maker between the two sides after a fiercely contested encounter.
The result moves Bonnyrigg into seventh place and level on points with APIA Leichhardt with the sixth-placed Tigers’ marginally superior goal difference keeping them one spot ahead of the White Eagles.
Franco Consentino’s side have now lost two in a row following a midweek 3-2 loss to Marconi Stallions and will need to establish some consistency in the second half of the campaign in order to maintain their bid for the premiership.
Manly United 2-1 Sydney United 58, 5.00pm at Cromer Park
Manly United are up to eighth after defeating Sydney United 58 2-1 at Cromer Park on Saturday evening.
It’s the highest United have been on the competition ladder so far this season, with Adam Griffith’s side looking re-energized after their shock 1-0 upset win over Wollongong Wolves last weekend. The Cromer Park outfit are now only two results shy of breaking into the top five and face a big match against fellow finals hopefuls Bonnyrigg next Saturday.
The defeat for Sydney United deepens the form slump for the Reds who have now lost six in a row and slip into ninth position. Mohammed Rahimi netted the only goal for United who desperately need to stop the rot against Sydney Olympic next Saturday.
Marconi Stallions 0-2 Sutherland Sharks, 5.00pm at Marconi Stadium
Sutherland Sharks bounced back from last weekend’s shock defeat to Sydney Olympic with a comfortable 2-0 win over Marconi Stallions at Marconi Stadium.
Nick Dimovski’s side produced their worst performance of the season last round but were back in form against the Stallions and cruised to victory thanks to James Temelkovski’s seventh goal of the season and a Marconi own goal.
The Sharks hold a three point buffer over second placed Blacktown City with the pair set to face off at Seymour Shaw next Saturday afternoon.
After a brilliant midweek victory over APIA Leichhardt Tigers, the loss leaves Marconi in tenth position with the Stallions set to travel to WIN Stadium next round to take on high-flying Wollongong Wolves.
Sydney Olympic 1-1 Wollongong Wolves, 12.40pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic moved off the bottom of the ladder at the expense of Rockdale City Suns thanks to a hard fought 1-1 draw with Wollongong Wolves at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues netted their goal through Dylan Wozniczka and have now collected five points from their last three fixtures – all of which have come against top five opposition. Olympic are now only a couple of wins away from mounting a serious challenge for finals football and with just over half the campaign remaining Anthony Harb’s side will look to build upon their improvement in recent weeks.
Tory Musumeci was the goalscorer again for Wollongong after the attacker fired in his seventh of the campaign to salvage a point for the Wolves. The draw sees the Wolves slip into fifth position ahead of their home clash with Marconi Stallions next Sunday afternoon.
Rockdale City Suns 2-3 Hakoah Sydney City East, 3.00pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Hakoah Sydney City East moved into fourth place after a 3-2 comeback win over Rockdale City Suns at Ilinden Sports Centre in the final fixture of round 10.
Goals from Joshua Orchard, Finley Hayhurst and Connor Eldridge were enough for Paul Hubbard’s side to claim their sixth win from their last seven matches, and a victory that sees the side leapfrog Wollongong Wolves into fourth place.
Hakoah welcome APIA Leichhardt Tigers to Hensley Athletic Field next Sunday aiming to continue their excellent recent form and throw their name in premiership discussion.
The defeat for Rockdale, who found the back of the net on the day through Jonathan Grozdanovski, sees the Suns fall into last place for the first time this season. Rockdale take on Sydney FC at Lambert Park next Saturday.
-By Jacob Windon