Spirit FC made it eight wins in a row to stay two points clear of the challenging Central Coast as the top four all won. Hakoah Sydney City East and Mount Druitt Town Rangers retain third and fourth respectively while at the bottom Mounties Wanderers and Sydney University face a tough second half to the season after further losses this weekend.
Match of the Round
Spirit FC v Mounties Wanderers
There seems no stopping the Spirit steamroller at the moment. Another weekend, another match and another win. Eight games in a row it is now that Spirit have taken all three points with Mounties Wanderers the latest to succumb to the Christie Park juggernaut. Not since 2007 when St George won seven straight has there been such a run in the Men's 2.
It was a full strength Spirit who took on Mounties, who were without their injured recent signing Dragan Savic. Not the time to be without your new striker, the task of taking on the strongest defence is a tough one at the best of times.
It took just eight minutes for Spirit to take the lead. Kuag Reec got the better of Mark D’Alessandro and found space. Out came Mounties’ Ali Akbal, but the lanky Reec was able to round the keeper before firing into the empty net.
Three minutes later it was almost two. A corner from the left ended with Nick Trimble smashing a shot against the post before rebounding to safety. A close call for the Mounties, who were under some pressure early on. They responded with a couple of chances, Gongjun Lee hitting a nice strike from outside the box while a D’Alessandro freekick was deflected just wide of the upright.
But it was Spirit who looked the more likely. Reec and his cohort Abraham Majok were fast and strong, and very difficult to control. Majok tested Akbal and a Reec header was on target as Spirit sought that second goal. Henry Wells should have netted five minutes before half time, after a fine layoff by Reec, but with the goal at his mercy, he put it wide.
It was another escape for Mounties, who, for as long as it was only the one goal deficit, were always capable of pulling level. Neftali Gonzalez was instrumental in the middle of the park, always looking for that chance to set up Gongjun Lee or Nathan Attard. Lee was a source of hope, displaying some good pace and skill down the right, but despite best efforts, the tall timbers in Spirit’s backline, assisted by sheer numbers, made it very hard work.
To Mounties credit, they fought all the way and were still just the one goal in arrears with fifteen remaining. They had perhaps their best spell midway through the second half, Gonzalez and Shane Webb directing most of their play. But no matter what they tried, whether free kicks, corners, or from open play, they couldn’t get that vital breakthrough.
Then Reec sealed it for Spirit. Set up by Majok, Reec hit low into the bottom left to secure the points with twelve minutes remaining.
For their efforts, John McLafferty gave them both an early mark, the two coming off with ten to go, their job done. On came Brad Gibson and Andrew Robertson, some fresh legs for a heavy pitch, and Gibson almost provided for a third. Into stoppage time, Gibson was clear down the left, cut back for Gosue Sama, but the former Golden Boot could only watch his shot sail over the bar.
Not to worry, another three points were in the bag.
Spirit FC 2 (Kuag Reec 8’, 78’) v Mounties Wanderers 0
Sunday 31 May 2015
at Christie Park, Marsfield
Referee: Adam Weir
Assts: Sebastien Brennan and Andreas Lyndon
Spirit FC: 41. David Lowery 2. Daniel Cunningham (c) 3. Henry Wells (10. Osama Zaki 72’) 4. Nick Trimble 8. Grant Cornwell 11. Abraham Majok (5. Andrew Robertson 83’) 13. Lord Darkoh 14. Ryan Johnstone 19. Tom Lovell 21. Kuag Reec (12. Brad Gibson 83’) 22. Gosue Sama.
Subs not used: 1. Murray Nelson 6. Ross Kethel
Yellow Cards: Abraham Majok 20’, Lord Darkoh 39’, Daniel Cunningham 87’)
Coach: John McLafferty
Mounties Wanderers: 21. Ali Akbal 3. Neftali Gonzalez 6. Aleksandar Tomic 11. Daine Merrin (7. Jacob Carluccio 80’) 12. Brendan King (9. Nathan Attard 38’) 15. Shane Webb 16. Scott Goodwin 18. Mark D’Alessandro (c) 24. Mitchell King 27. Gongjun Lee 29. Jake Ingle
Subs not used: 1. James Stojcevski 8. Edward Stewart 28. Rory McGeown
Yellow Cards: Jake Ingle 14’, Aleksandar Tomic 67’, Mark D’Alessandro 73’
Coach: Lou Contigiani
St George v Sydney University
St George gained their third win in four matches after defeating Sydney University 2-1, but only after surviving some strong Uni pressure.
St George took only five minutes to take the lead, Wassim Hijazi connecting first time to a Matt Sadler cross to score high into the net. It was an opportune goal for Hijazi, initially listed as a substitute but making the starting lineup after a late injury to Stevan Ilic in the warmup forced his withdrawal.
Uni equalised just after the half hour as Ammar Alyssan took advantage of a slip in the Saints defence to score past David Hamilton, They could have had another too when Nathan Sansom scrambled just wide.
Within a minute of the restart though, a rocket from Hijazi struck the cross bar leaving Sadler the chance to pick up the rebound, to put St George ahead for the second time. It proved enough to claim the three points.
It was also a good night for St George’s new signing Tom Slater, most recently with Central Coast Mariners, who made his first team debut, coming on as sub with twenty five minutes to go, after having earlier scored a hatrick in the Under 20s.
St George 2 (Wassim Hijazi 5’, Matthew Sadler 46’) v Sydney University 1 (Ammar Alyssan 33’)
St George: 17. David Hamilton 3. Emmanuel Elali 5. Daniel Zeleny 7. Matthew Sadler 10. Michael Yarnold (Tarek Ercan) 11. Wassim Hijazi (9. Tom Slater) 13. Lenox Tweneboa 14. Andrija Petkovic 15. Peter Pelekanos 16. Joseph d’Elia 20. David Wilson (Johnathan Kontalis).
Subs not used; 6. Ali Nasreddine 21. Lachlan Kerr.
Sydney University: 1. Marko Bozic 3. Nathan Sansom 4. Gyubeom Kim 7. Ammar Alyssan 12. Dario Borovickic 13. Alexander Sopina 16. Adrian Porcu 17. Stefan de Jesus 33. Adrian Lara 36. Thomas Keenan 44. Peter Crevani.
Subs (changes not noted): 8. Khushaba Khushaba 11. Jake Bradshaw 21. Patrick Ferrara 38. Thomas Echesortu.
Macarthur Rams v Northern Tigers
There were no goals at Lynwood Park, as the Rams and Tigers fought out a scoreless draw.
Not a result that either would be too keen on, as it does little improve their current standings, but it at least stops those recent run of outs.
Macarthur Rams 0 v Northern Tigers 0
Macarthur Rams: 1. Chad Taylor 2. Craig Cooley 5. Calum Fleming 9. Shannon Hankin (Daniel Willoughby) 10 Eros Bergamin 11. Aaron Farringdon 12. David McMurray 13. Daniel Carrozza 14. Mark Symington (Blake Brooker) 15. Joel Craig (Ben Cornish) 18. Gavin Forbes.
Subs not used: 3. Andy Matloub 40. Conor Irwin
Northern Tigers: 1. Matt Nemes 3. Lucas Dawson (Julian Lim) 4. Michael Rolston 6. Paul Davies 7. Matthew West (17. Braden Cheng) 9. Liam McConaghy 10. Shervin Adeli 12. Russell Farrell 13. Jamie Craig 16. Steven Baveas 18. Tai Smith.
Subs not used: 2. Samuel Ryder 5. Samuel Porter 21. Harrison Devenish-Meares
Central Coast v Fraser Park
While Spirit may be making the headlines, not far behind is Central Coast FC. Just two points behind the leaders, the Coast remain five points ahead of third.
Their eighth win of the season came courtesy of two first half goals, one each to Jake McGing and Jayden Priest. Hussein Akil scored once more, but his second half strike was not enough on the day.
Central Coast 2 (Jake McGing, Jayden Priest) v Fraser Park 1 (Hussein Akil)
Central Coast: 1. Blake Tuxford 2. Liam O’Dell 5. Brian Jamba 7. Jayden Priest (Lachlan Wales) 8. Joel Hardwick 10. Alexander Arbelo (6. Matthew Crowell) 12. Trent Buhagiar 16. Daniel McFarlane 18. Jake McGing 19. Josh Bingham 28. Christopher Hurley.
Subs not used: 40. Beyham Irmako 4. Nathan Verity
Fraser Park: 1. Wayne Estavao 2. Rocci Gabey 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos 6.Suad Ameti (19. George Issa) 7. Kevin Oliviera 8. Hussein Akil 9. Jeffrey Issa 12. Adem Kir 16. Stefan Jovanovic (13. Pat Cappuccio) 17. Nikola Todoroski 18. Aleksandar Todoroski.
Subs not used: 40. Benjamin Needham 10. Paulo Oliviera 20. Kim Daison.
Bankstown Berries v Mount Druitt Town Rangers
Mount Druitt Town Rangers are showing their best form in years, certainly at this level.
They claimed another victory this weekend to retain fourth spot on the ladder, with goals from Luke Clifford and Elsid Barkhousir. Bankstown Berries had drawn level midway through the second half but a late winner to Rangers gave them their fourth win in five.
Bankstown Berries 1 (TBA) v Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2 (Luke Clifford, Elsid Barkhousir)
Bankstown City v Hakoah Sydney City East
Hakoah Sydney City East produced one of their best results of the season, downing Bankstown City 2-1 at Jensen Park.
Goals to Deklan Gilmartin and Remy Wolanski secured the points, with Dean Heffernan once again on the scoresheet for the Lions.
Bankstown City 1 (Dean Heffernan) v Hakoah Sydney City East 2 (Deklan Gilmartin, Remy Wolanski)
Source FNSW Website- by Peter Rowney, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 2 Reporter