Western Sydney Wanderers, Mounties Wanderers and Bankstown City lead the way at the top of the Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition, with all three sides maintaining their perfect record.
Sydney FC loom ominously though after another comprehensive victory while North Shore Mariners got on the board with their first point of the season.
Sydney FC v Mount Druitt Town Rangers
Sydney FC comfortably defeated Mount Druitt Town Rangers 5-1 on Saturday evening, a win which never looked in doubt.
After taking an early lead after nine minutes, Bai Antoniou sliding the ball under Rangers keeper Chris Moore, the Sky Blues dominated this game from go to whoa, rarely allowing Mount Druitt Town a look in.
Had it not been for the saves of Moore, making his first team debut for Rangers, the scoreline may have been greater. As it was, Sydney FC would be well satisfied with the five they did get, coming fast on the heels of the 6-0 victory they enjoyed last weekend.
Three minutes after having taken the lead, Sydney FC almost made it two, as Charles Lokolingoy attempted a neat chip over the keeper after a strong run at the Rangers defence. But maybe the try was a bit too clever, as Moore safely collected.
Lokolingoy then put through Antoniou whose chance was again saved by Moore. It could have been three inside a quarter of an hour.
The lead was finally doubled after Lokolingoy headed home a rebound, following Antoniou’s strike against the post, the ball playing pinball in the area.
Two minutes after the lead was increased, it was almost three. Abraham Majok sliced down Daniel Araujo just outside the box, collecting a yellow card for the privilege. From the ensuing free kick, Cristian Gonzalez was unfortunate to land his strike on top of the bar, just centimetres shy of the net.
Antoniou then struck the bar before a free kick from the lively striker brought a diving save from Moore once more.
It was just 2-0 at the break, but it could, and probably should, have been more, in a half dominated almost exclusively by the home team.
After the interval, it was time for Mount Druitt’s first real chance on goals. Just two minutes after the restart, Luke Clifford drew a good save from Mitchell Evans, and then Daniel McCann showed direction with his shot but lacked the power. A couple of strikes then, which would have given Rangers some confidence, but it didn’t take Sydney FC too long to reassert their pressure.
Lokolingoy had two good chances within a minute. First he was blocked by Moore, the keeper advancing well to deny the chance, but then the tall striker beat Moore but not the post.
Finally, Sydney FC got their third which their play deserved. Just after the hour, Araujo put through to Antoniou, free inside the box, who had the simple task for his second of the game.
Three soon became four, Lokolingoy having a tap in after a quick home attack saw three attackers versus a sole defender. Little doubt to that end result.
With four minutes to go, it became 5-0 when Yianni Spyrakis headed home at the far post, after a free kick awarded after Araujo had again been brought down.
Despite the margin, Mount Druitt Town found enough to have the final say on the night, Clifford letting loose with a sharp strike from well outside the area, nicking into the bottom corner.
But it was Sydney FC’s night, the movement, and speed on the ball, causing too much trouble for Rangers, who no doubt will look forward to a change of pace, in the truest sense, in the coming weeks.
Sydney FC 5 (Bai Antoniou 9’, 62’, Charles Lokolingoy 25’, 73’, Yianni Spyrakis 86’) v Mount Druitt Town Rangers 1 (Luke Clifford 87’)
Saturday 19 March 2016
at Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: Adam Susz
Assts: Alex Long and David Haslett
Sydney FC: Mitchell Evans 2. Brendan Curtis 3. Patrick Flottman 4. George Timotheou 5. Yianni Spyrakis 6. Nicola Kuleski 7. Daniel Araujo (7. Emanuel Gonzalez 83’) 9. Bai Antoniou 12. Charles Lokolingoy (10. Aaron Avery 74’) 14. Cristian Gonzalez (16. Tom Slater 65’) 17. Chris Zuvela.
Subs not used: 8. Matt Green 22. Aidan Munford
Yellow Cards: Brendan Curtis
Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Robert Stanton
Mount Druitt Town Rangers: 41. Chris Moore 2. Lord Darkoh 3. Brian Griffin-Colls 5. Ryan O’Shea 6. Nick Trimble 7. Luke Clifford 9. Kuag Reec 11. Abraham Majok 14. Daniel McCann 16. Scott Goodwin 21. Ryan Johnstone (23. Shayne Ardle 46”)
Subs not used: 1. Justin Biega 8. Matthew Clowes 12. Jamie Dib 15. Samuel Hawthorne
Yellow Cards: Ryan Johnstone, Abraham Majok, Brian Griffin-Colls, Scott Goodwin.
Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Aidan Desmond
Marconi v Bankstown City
In a phenomenal game at Marconi, which lived up to all its promise, Bankstown City stretched out to a 4-0 lead before five crazy minutes saw Marconi pull three back in quick succession, the game ending in an absolute grandstand finish.
After Kojiro Hori and Chris Gomez had put the Lions 2-0 up at the break, it was a somewhat shell-shocked Marconi that went in to the sheds, having been fortunate not have been further behind, Gerard Ouffoue and Huseyin Jasli also having missed great chances.
When Dean Bereveskos made it 3-0 just after the restart, and then Hori again made it 4-0, Marconi seemed to have no response. That was until Alvaro Malmierca tripped Brandon Vella in the box, allowing Marko Jesic to slam home the first from the spot.
Jesic quickly scored a second within a minute as the Bankstown defence, solid as a rock till now, suddenly turned nervy. When Noah Chianese brought it back to 4-3 four minutes later, the seemingly impossible was a distinct chance.
But Bankstown held on, though not without spurning glorious opportunities to regain their margin. Gomez, twice in four minutes, being the main offender.
But what a game it was, unless you were the respective coaches watching their sides leak goals.
Marconi 3 (Marko Jesic pen 66’, 67’, Noah Chianese 71’) v Bankstown City 4 (Kojiro Hori 13’, 65’, Chris Gomez 25’, Dean Bereveskos 48’)
Referee: Khodr Yagi
Marconi Stallions: 21. Kristian Sekutkoski, 4. Simon Valastro (5. Peter Pelekanos 20’) 7. Mirjan Pavlovic 10. Marko Jesic 12. Bright Appiah 14. Peter Markovic (17. Steven Drewery 35’) 15. Robert Perre (25. Phillip Makrys 55’)16. Noah Chianese 18. Brandon Vella 22. Emmanuel Giannaros 23. Christopher Nunes (c).
Subs not used: 11. Sam Perre 20. Michael Figuera
Bankstown City: 1. Dion Shaw 2. Todd Halloran (2. Kyohei Kimura 70’) 5. Michael Beauchamp (c) 8. Domenic Hudap (20. Alvaro Malmierca) 9. Gerard Ouffoue 10. Chris Gomez 11. Huseyin Jasli 13. Dhari Alsaad14. Dean Bereveskos 16. Kojiro Hori 23. Grant Lynch.
Subs: 12. Steven Veleski 26. Nicholas Carosi
Western Sydney Wanderers v Northern Tigers
In the clash between two of the leading lights, Western Sydney Wanderers claimed victory with a 2-0 win over Northern Tigers, keeping their lead at the head of the table.
Goals to Mario Shabow and Liam Youlley were enough to secure the three points, as the Tigers suffered their first defeat in ten competitive matches.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Mario Shabow, Liam Youlley) v Northern Tigers 0
Spirit FC v Mounties Wanderers
Mounties Wanderers’ fine start to the league continued with a 2-1 away victory at Spirit.
Matthew West put Mounties ahead on the half hour and it was a lead they would hold for much of the game.
When Phillip Reilly equalised four minutes from time, Spirit’s first goal of the season, it seemed that the home side would get off the mark, but a winner from Juan Chavez, deep into injury time, cruelled those hopes.
The win keeps intact Mounties’ 100% record, one of only three clubs to maintain the perfect start.
Spirit FC 1 (Philip Reilly 86’) v Mounties Wanderers 2 (Matthew West 30’, Juan Chavez 94’)
Fraser Park v Bankstown Berries
After Wally Savor’s departure from Bankstown Berries midweek, Mile Todoroski followed suit, resigning from the coaching role with Fraser Park. With Branko Culina filling the vacancy on Thursday, how this result panned out was always open to question.
With just the one goal, it fell the way of the Berries, caretaker coach Robert Harmat claiming the kudos with their first win of the season.
Ricardo Milano, on the end of a Nicolas Paras freekick, got the Berries over the line, condemning Fraser to a third straight loss.
Fraser Park 0 v Bankstown Berries 1 (Ricardo Milano)
Central Coast Mariners v Macarthur Rams
The Mariners claimed their second win on the trot, defeating Macarthur Rams 2-0 with goals by Adam Berry and Lachlan Wales.
After an opening round loss, the Mariners have now taken six from six while this was the Rams’ first defeat of the season. The Mariners will be at home once more when the Berries visit next Saturday. Macarthur return to Lynwood Park for the visit of the Mariners’ namesake, North Shore.
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Adam Berry, Lachlan Wales) v Macarthur Rams 0
North Shore Mariners v St George
North Shore Mariners gained their first point of the season, but it was a backs to the wall job for the majority of the second half, as the ten men, reduced following the send-off of defender Chris Lindsay after thirty minutes, strived to hang on to their narrow lead.
The home side took a well-deserved lead after eighteen minutes when Marquin Smith, ever dangerous, scored but when Lindsay was given a direct red card for bringing down a St George attack as last man, it was always going to be an uphill battle.
But they held on for longer than could be expected, St George trying hard to get onto the scoreboard, but generally failing at the vital moment. That was until Reuben Lagos, on as a substitute for his first appearance of the season, equalised with a long drive, helped by a deflection.
The Saints pushed forward relentlessly, seeking the winner but North Shore held on, relying on the break to try and pinch a second. They almost did so too, right at the death, a shot in the final seconds being cleared off the line.
St George were reduced to ten also, deep into injury time, when Nicholas Perez received a second yellow card.
North Shore Mariners 1 (Marquin Smith 18’) v St George 1 (Reuben Lagos 71’)
Source FNSW- by Peter Rowney, Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues2 NSW Men's Reporter