Super League Wrap Round 1
posted by Artie on March 19, 2012
Northern Tigers claimed the first scalp of the new season, defeating Bankstown City Lions 1-0 on Sunday in a round which saw four of the six matches postponed. The only other fixture to evade the adverse weather resulted in a share of the points after a 1-1 draw between Bankstown Berries and St George.
Feature Match of the Week
Bankstown Berries v St George
In the only match of the night to go ahead, out of five scheduled, it was a point apiece as Bankstown Berries and St George fought out a 1-1 draw, a result identical to that which also opened last season.
But if either side were feeling these were points lost, it would most likely be the visitors, St George, who despite playing against ten men for thirty five minutes, couldn’t get that second goal, despite a number of decent chances.
The Berries will certainly feel they were good value for the draw though, and could have gained the win themselves in the dying minutes.
They had taken the lead in the eleventh minute when Dimitri Zakilas received a pass inside the penalty area, and turned well, quickly, to slot past Daniel Nash. But St George drew level within ten minutes, with the strong running Sam Messam, after being put through superbly by Matt Sadler, being clipped down by Nestor Tsioustas. There was some hesitation before the spotkick was awarded before Juan Chavez stepped up for the equaliser.
There were few other chances in an even first half, the Berries defence being well marshalled by Liam McKenna while the Saints backline thwarted the Berries frontline.
Within six minutes of the restart though, St George looked to have gained the upper hand. Chavez was brought down in the box by Steve Wright, with a straight red the result. But this time, Tsioustas was equal to the task, and parried the spotkick, before the ball was scrambled away. It was a rare penalty miss by Chavez, and it gave a lifeline to the Berries.
Down to ten, the home side defended stoutly during a period of St George dominance. Sadler came close, more than once, one effort being just tipped over by Tsioustas. But St George just couldn’t make their numerical superiority count and as the match ticked down, the Berries created their own chances. Zakilas almost got a second but was wide though perhaps the best chance of them all fell to Brad Gibson. Nash did well to save an initial shot and when Gibson picked up the rebound, a goal seemed certain. But the shot was blasted over, and the chance gone.
The Berries kept coming late, some desperate defending by Michael Smith saving the Saints, while Nash got down well again to deny Zakilas.
“We stuck to our guns”, said Nass Martino after the game. “I certainly can’t fault them”.
“We played thirty five minutes with only ten, and to get a point like that against a side coached by Kory, we have done well. We didn’t lose tonight and that’s the most important thing”.
For Kory Babington, it was perhaps an opportunity lost.
“It wasn’t our day. We may have been happy with a point before the game as the Berries have had a smoother match preparation, and they have a good quality squad. But we created enough chances to win”, he said.
“It was disappointing not to get the three points. In a competition like this which will be very competitive, dropping these types of points can make a difference at the end of the season”.
“But our discipline was good and we could have ended up empty handed as it turned out, if they had got one of those chances at the end”, he finished.
Bankstown Berries 1 (Dimitri Zakilas 11’) v St George 1 (Juan Chavez 20’ pen)
Saturday 17 March 2012
at Crest Reserve
Referee: Adam Weir
Assts: Adam Coombes and Nathan Roberts
Bankstown Berries: 1. Nestor Tsioustas 3. Steve Wright 5. Liam McKenna 2. David Gardiner 13. Andrea Russo 6. Peter Crevani 8. Matthew Clowes (21. Ben Delicata 25’) 7. Peter Peralta (23. Jordan Figon 80’) 9 Ante Deur (16. Brad Gibson 65’) 12. Stefan de Jesus 19. Dimitri Zakilas.
Subs not used: 10 John Tsironis Rgk George Bouropoulos
Coach: Nass Martino
Yellow Cards: Nestor Tsioustas, Liam McKenna, Stefan de Jesus, David Gardiner.
Red Card: Steve Wright.
St George: 1. Daniel Nash 16 Jason Tack 4. Mirko Jurilj 14. Mark Bariamis 2. Michael Smith 7. George Lagoudakis (8. Michael Yarnold 87’) 5. Simon Verrender 3. David Smith 12. Matt Sadler (9. K C Brown 75’) 10. Sam Messam 11. Juan Chavez.
Subs not used: 6. Daniel Fallico 18. Zac Sampson 33. J Madden
Coach: Kory Babington
Yellow Cards: Simon Verrender