Spirit FC have skipped five points clear in the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 2 competition, almost unnoticed, after another win on Saturday, this time at Macarthur Rams.
The value of two midweek wins in the past fortnight shooting them well ahead of a chasing pack of three clubs, Central Coast, Hakoah Sydney City East and Northern Tigers.
St George v Fraser Park
A second half overflowing with five goals saw St George return to the winner’s circle with a hard fought 4-2 win over Fraser Park.
After having lost to Spirit FC midweek, the Saints desperately needed the result to not lose touch with the bulk of the competition above them. They made a number of changes from the side that lost to Spirit, Emmanuel Elali being ruled out through injury while Michael Yarnold and Wassim Hijazi started from the bench. Instead, St George began with Johnathan Kontalis, Joseph D’Elia and Stevan Ilic as replacements, as they looked to lift themselves out of the bottom three.
Fraser Park were unchanged from the side that beat Bankstown City last Sunday, no doubt confident that that result augered well for this. They certainly started the better, dominating St George in an opening period in which the Saints found it difficult to settle. The visitors controlled possession and territory for large parts of the half, harrying St George relentlessly. They looked dangerous particularly down the right hand side, where Nikola Todoroski was showing nice touches. But despite their possession, Fraser Park’s decent chances were few, most of the opportunities being half chances at best. A slice from Adem Kir, across the face of goal was really the opening salvo, and that didn’t occur until the 26th minute mark.
A flurry of similar chances fell Fraser’s way in the ensuing minutes, Stefan Jovanovic lining up right in front before Ali Nasreddine blocked, potentially saving a goal, while Alex Veljanovski shot over a minute later.
As so often happens though, a chance to St George saw them take the lead, with one of their few shots all half. It came out of the blue too, a one-touch blasting strike from Stefan Ilic, well outside the area, curling and swerving high past Terry Lardis.
Cruel for Fraser Park it might have been as they headed into half time 1-0 down. And it might have been a half not terribly full of goal mouth action but that certainly changed in the second forty five.
It took just five minutes for St George to double their lead. A strike from Tarek Ercan was parried by Lardis, before the ball fell neatly into the path of Joseph D’Elia. D’Elia still had some work to do though, doing well to sneak the ball in from a tight angle.
The second goal deflated Fraser Park a little, as St George started to control their possession a lot better than they had previously. Even so, in a game in which goals would start to be traded blow by blow, Fraser Park pulled one back. There could be little excuse for the Saints’ poor marking in this one as Nikola Todoroski, upfront, found himself totally unmarked on the edge of the area. A swift ball, a simple control, and the shot was swept past David Hamilton.
2-1 and the game was back on. But within two minutes, St George regained their two goal buffer. A shirt pull in the area on Johnathan Kontalis saw the referee point to the spot without hesitation, David Wilson, on for Tarek Ercan only a few minutes earlier, scoring from the penalty.
It looked safe for St George then, until with twenty minutes to go, a straight red card to Daniell Zeleny for fouling as the last man, gave Fraser Park renewed hope. While nothing may have come from the free kick, Fraser Park weren’t done. When they brought the game back to 3-2 with twelve minutes to go, via Alexander Todoroski, a grandstand finish looked on the cards.
With Andrija Petkovic having dropped into the back line after Zeleny’s red, one could be excused for thinking that St George would look to protect their lead, precarious it might now have been looking. But on came Wassim Hijazi, well known for his goals.
And within two minutes, and with his first touch, Hijazi struck. With the ball having fallen loose, an onrushing Hijazi struck from well outside the area, smashing home from twenty five metres, a low shot into the bottom corner. Once again, not much the keeper could do with that one.
It ended that way, 4-2 to St George, the result lifting them above their opponents on goal difference, and just that little bit further away from the bottom, but still within touching distance of the five. Fraser Park showed intent, but would surely be unhappy with conceding so soon on two occasions, after having just scored themselves.
St George 4 (Stevan Ilic 38’, Joseph D’Elia 50’, David Wilson 64’ pen, Wassim Hijazi 80’) v Fraser Park 2 (Nikola Todoroski 61’, Alexander Todoroski 78’)
Referee: Rob Nieuwenhuis
Assts: Jack Bell and Chris Hughes
St George: 17. David Hamilton 4. Johnathan Kontalis (11. Wassim Hijazi 78’) 5. Daniell Zeleny 6. Ali Nasreddine 8. Tarek Ercan (20. David Wilson 57’) 12. Lenox Tweneboa 14. Andrija Petkovic (c) 15. Peter Pelekanos (10. Michael Yarnold 62’) 16. Joseph D’Elia 18. Anthony Abi-Arrage 19. Stevan Ilic.
Subs not used: 21. Lachlan Kerr 40. Alexander Kontellis
Yellow Cards: Peter Pelekanos 40’, Tarek Ercan 50’, David Wilson 73’, Stevan Ilic 83’
Red Card: Daniell Zeleny 70’
Coach: David Perkovic
Fraser Park: 18. Terry Lardis 2. Rocci Gabey 3. David Talone 4. Alex Veljanovski 5. Nick Dimitropoulos (c) 7. Kevin Oliviera 11. Stefan Jovanovic (8. Hussein Akil 65’) 12. Adem Kir 14. Suad Ameti (9. Jeffrey Issa 49’) 16. Alexander Todoroski 17. Nikola Todoroski.
Subs not used: 13. Pat Cappuccio 18. Keiran Gorgievski
Yellow Cards: David Talone 40’, Adem Kir 72’
Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Mile Todoroski
Northern Tigers v Mount Druitt Town Rangers
A late strike by substitute Osadolor Edosomwan made sure that Mount Druitt Town Rangers didn’t leave Mills Park empty handed, the striker equalising for 2-2 with just a minute left in the match.
The day had started well for the Rangers, who opened the scoring though Shayne Ardle nine minutes in. A penalty, awarded against Nathan Ralph, was put away by Tai Smith just before the break to bring it back to 1-1 before Smith netted again twelve minutes after half time to put the Tigers in the lead.
Both sides had chances in a frenetic second period, with Rangers hitting the woodwork, before that equaliser in the nick of time.
Northern Tigers 2 (Tai Smith 43’ pen, 57’) v Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2 (Shayne Ardle 9’, Osadolor Edosomwan 89’)
Sunday 17 May 2015
at Mills Park, Asquith
Referee: B Abraham
Assts: L David and P Liaros
Northern Tigers Starting XI: 1. Matt Nemes 2. Samuel Ryder 3. Lucas Dawson 5. Samuel Porter 6. Paul Davies 9. Liam McConaghy 10. Shervin Adeli 12. Russell Farrell 14. Julian Lim 6. Steven Baveas 18. Tai Smith.
Subs: Rgk Harrison Devenish-Meares 7. Matthew West 13. Jamie Craig 17. Braden Cheng 19. Daniel Stuart.
Yellow Cards: Shervin Adeli 68’, Samuel Ryder 76’
Coach: Steve Hurd
Mount Druitt Town Rangers Starting XI: 1. Justin Biega 2. Brian Griffin-Colls 5. Ryan O’Shea 7. Luke Clifford 8. Shayne Ardle 9. Bryan Soane 11. Kojiro Hiro 13. Patrick Crane 14. Daniel McCann 15. Rainer Smahel 16. Nathan Ralph.
Subs: 10. Daniel Vellonio 12. Osadolor Edosomwan 18. Luke Jenner 21. Joel Tinker
Yellow cards: Brian Griffin-Colls 26’, Shayne Ardle 50’
Coach: Aiden Desmond
Macarthur Rams v Spirit FC
A single goal by Henry Wells was enough to ensure that Spirit FC retained their lead at the top of the ladder after defeating Macarthur Rams 1-0 at Lynwood Park.
The goal, in the second half, was Wells’ second of the season, as Spirit continue on their merry way, winning for the sixth time in a row. They have the chance to extend that record midweek when they travel to Popondetta Park for their rearranged round seven clash against Mount Druitt Town Rangers.
Macarthur meanwhile, will welcome Central Coast, also on Wednesday.
Macarthur Rams 0 v Spirit FC 1 (Henry Wells)
Bankstown Berries v Hakoah Sydney City East
Hakoah Sydney City East won for the first time in three, and it should come as no surprise as to who were the goalscorers.
After the first half ended all square at 0-0, the league’s leading scorer Neil Jablonski netted to put Hakoah ahead before a late penalty converted by Michael McCrory made the points safe.
Bankstown Berries 0 v Hakoah Sydney City East 2 (Neil Jablonski, Michael McCrory pen)
Mounties Wanderers v Central Coast
Mounties Wanderers picked up their second point of the season, holding second placed Central Coast to a 1-1 draw at Cook Park, bringing themselves to within a point of Sydney University.
Goals to Gongjun Lee for the Mounties and Trent Buhagiar for the Coast, both in the second half, helped share the spoils.
Mounties Wanderers 1 (Gongjun Lee) v Central Coast 1 (Trent Buhagiar)
Bankstown City v Sydney University
Bankstown City moved back into the five for the first time in over a month, putting four past Sydney University to record a 4-1 victory, at Jensen Park.
A double to Chris Gomez and one each to Huseyin Jasli and Alvaro Malmierca set the Lions up for a comfortable win, the ever reliable Nathan Sansom recording Uni’s sole goal in reply.
Bankstown City 4 (Chris Gomez 2, Huseyin Jasli, Alvaro Malmierca) v Sydney University 1 (Nathan Sansom)
Source FNSW Website- by Peter Rowney, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 2 Reporter