Spirit FC and Central Coast are starting to draw away from the remainder of the competition, the two clubs the only ones of the top five to win this weekend.
There is now a five point gap between second and third placed Hakoah Sydney City East.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers v Macarthur Rams
It has been a good few weeks for Mount Druitt Town Rangers and it got even better on Saturday night after they defeated Macarthur Rams 2-1, despite playing the entire second half with just the ten men.
Fullback Daniel Vellonio was given a second yellow card moments before the half time break, for simulation, and although the Rangers were 1-0 up at the time, it didn’t auger well for the second period.
The game had started evenly, Mount Druitt Town Rangers starting with Elsid Barkhousir on debut, while Macarthur’s own signing midweek of Gavin Forbes, led the Rams up front. The visitors remained without captain Craig Cooley and Daniel Ramirez, still to recover from injury.
A strike by Calum Fleming was the first in the opening exchanges, the shot barrelling into a Rangers defender, who went down for the count, but the scoreboard was unchanged until Kojiro Hori exploded into life, after a quarter of an hour. It was a brilliantly taken goal, the young midfielder controlling well out on the right, before taking on his defender, cutting in onto his left boot, and sweetly shooting into the bottom left. It was a wonderful strike, taken with excellent technique.
Ryan Marchant tried to immediately reply, without success, but it was Rangers who were flying high, Barkhousir almost getting his name on the scoresheet, a shot from distance just going over the bar.
Barkhousir had a couple of chances in fact to open his account for Mount Druitt, but was also denied by a fine Chad Taylor save, while a further speculative lob wasn’t too far away. A second goal might have been deserving for Rangers, but they had to be satisfied with just the one, a buffer that might not have seemed sufficient following Vellonio’s send off.
The start of the second half suggested a tough period for the home side. It seemed that they would be content to protect their lead, slight though it was, and apart from Barkhousir left to roam alone up front, Rangers packed their defence, setting out their stall clearly.
That made it difficult for Macarthur, who though they had a numerical advantage, trying to work their way through eight outfield players in the final third led to little headway. Daniel Willoughby hugged the right touchline, working his crosses in, while the Rams also, at times, attempted to play their way through, but Rangers were to have none of that. They battled and scrapped, working hard to protect their one goal advantage.
Amazingly, as Rangers relied solely on breaks, they almost gained another. It was all down to Luke Jenner, who won the ball on the half way, worked past Willoughby, who later received a belated yellow for his shirt pull, skirted another, and was clear before he knew it, into the six yard box. His final shot though, perhaps understandably after such an effort, lacked power, Taylor coming to the Rams’ rescue.
On the hour, Macarthur had their best chance to that point for an equaliser, a Willoughby cross to the far post being met by Forbes, but his downward header was safely collected by Justin Biega.
The siege on the Rangers goal hadn’t ceased but that all changed with just under half an hour to go. Shayne Ardle came on for Bryan Soane, and just a few minutes later, after Barkhousir had done enough, ploughing a lone furrow up front, one came the fresh legs of Osadolor Edosomwan,
The duo immediately caused havoc, the pace and control of Edosomwan creating danger for the Rams, and the lead was almost doubled with twenty to go, Taylor again saving the Ram’s blushes, denying the substitute a likely goal
But Macarthur didn’t take heed of that near miss, and two minutes after that, Ardle won loose possession on half way, charged forward and astonishingly, with the Rams having pushed upfield, Rangers found themselves with a two on one advantage. A neat ball by Ardle found Edosomwan, who got there just before Taylor, and whose cross back to Ardle left him with the relatively simple task of scoring the second.
It seemed safe now for Rangers, but a lifeline was sent Macarthur’s way with five minutes to go. A handball in the area by Luke Clifford gave referee Khodr Yaghi no option but to award a spotkick. But as if to prove that this just wasn’t Macarthur’s night, Willoughby’s penalty was saved by Biega. There went any thoughts of a late comeback.
A goal to the Rams well into time added on, David McMurray scrambling home after a pinball effort, might have made the scoreline a little more acceptable, but did little else.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2 (Kojiro Hori 15’, Shayne Ardle 71’) v Macarthur Rams 1 (David McMurray 90+4’)
Saturday 23 May 2015
at Popondetta Park, Emerton
Referee: Khodr Yaghi
Assts: Christopher Wells and Stephen Ellemore
Mount Druitt Town Rangers: 1. Justin Biega 2. Brian Griffin-Colls, 6. Elsid Barkhousir (12. Osadolor Edosomwan 68’) 7. Luke Clifford 9. Bryan Soane (8. Shayne Ardle 63’) 10. Daniel Vellonio 11. Kojiro Hori (17. Daniel Embleton 90+3’) 13. Patrick Crane 14. Daniel McCann 15. Rainer Smahel 18. Luke Jenner.
Subs not used: 9. Samuel Hawthorne 21. Joel Tinker
Yellow Cards: Daniel Vellonio 7’, 45’, Rainer Smahel 22’, Shayne Ardle 89’,
Red card: Daniel Vellonio 45’
Coach: Aiden Desmond
Macarthur Rams: 1. Chad Taylor 3. Andy Matloub (6. Blake Brooker 82’) 5. Calum Fleming 8. Ryan Marchant (14. Mark Symington 63’) 10. Eros Bergamin 11. Aaron Farringdon 12. David McMurray 13. Daniel Carrozza 15. Joel Craig (9. Shannon Hankin 66’) 18. Gavin Forbes 19. Daniel Willoughby
Subs not used: 4. Ben Cornish 7. Mitchell Brooker
Yellow cards: Daniel Carrozza 40’, Daniel Willoughby 58’, Mark Symington 90’
Coach: John Sopina
Sydney University v Fraser Park
Peter Crevani made his return to Sydney University and got on the scoresheet but couldn’t prevent Uni from falling to their ninth defeat of the season.
Crevani, last season’s equal top scorer for Uni with the recently departed Gavin Forbes, and captain Nathan Sansom once more, scored but Fraser Park were too good on the night, putting away four of their own.
A double to Hussein Akil, and one each to Nikola Todoroski and Adem Kir, helped lift Fraser two spots to eighth on the ladder.
Sydney University 2 (Peter Crevani, Nathan Sansom) v Fraser Park 4 (Hussein Akil, Nikola Todoroski, Adem Kir)
Hakoah Sydney City East v Mounties Wanderers
There has been plenty of movement out Mounties way, both in and out, as the club looks to shore up their prospects of avoiding the wooden spoon.
Notably Shane Webb from Sutherland Sharks, along with Dragan Savic and Neftali Gonzalez, most recently with Hills Brumbies and Macarthur Rams respectively, have headed to Cook Park.
The Mounties will therefore view the point at Hakoah Sydney City East as a point well-earned, and promise for the future, against a leading opponent. Gongjun Lee again getting on the scoresheet for Mounties.
Michael McCrory scored from the spot for Hakoah, who stay third, but have now drifted seven points behind the leaders.
Hakoah Sydney City East 1 (Michael McCrory pen) v Mounties Wanderers 1 (Gongjun Lee)
Spirit FC v Bankstown Berries
The Spirit FC steamroller continues to trundle on, another three points picked up, this time at the expense of Bankstown Berries.
Kuag Reec, Abraham Majok and Gosue Sama all scored to send Spirit to a 3-0 lead before a late Gerard Ouffoue effort reduced the arrears. There seems no stopping Spirit at the moment, this their seventh win on the trot.
Spirit FC 3 (Kuag Reec, Abraham Majok, Gosue Sama) v Bankstown Berries 1 (Gerard Ouffoue)
Central Coast v Bankstown City
Young gun Trent Buhagiar did the damage for Central Coast, his second half strike being enough to see off Bankstown City.
The Coast remain the closest challenger to the leaders Spirit FC, still just two points behind, as Hakoah Sydney City East and Northern Tigers both dropped points to drift further afield.
Central Coast 1 (Trent Buhagiar) v Bankstown City 0
Northern Tigers v St George
St George put on one of their most impressive performances of the season, coming away from Mills Park with a 3-0 win.
Two goals early in the second half put them on the road to victory, the first struck home by Stevan Ilic after a tremendous combination between Matt Sadler and Lenox Tweneboa set up the opportunity, while a defence splitting pass by Michael Yarnold put through Joseph D’Elia for number two.
Ilic turned provider for the third, his tenacity earning reward when his work set up Wassim Hijazi, who lined up from right in front, two minutes from time.
Northern Tigers 0 v St George 3 (Stevan Ilic 55’, Joseph D’Elia 60’, Wassim Hijazi 88’)
Source FNSW website- by Peter Rowney, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 2 Reporter