Bankstown City claimed the honours in their top of the table clash against Western Sydney Wanderers, a 2-1 victory moving the Lions to the head of the Playstation® 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition, where only Mounties Wanderers, also 2-1 winners, keep them company.
Marconi’s poor start continued with their third straight loss while Spirit FC moved off the bottom with a narrow win at Mount Druitt Town Rangers.
Bankstown City v Western Sydney Wanderers
Bankstown City Lions continued their spectacular start to the year with a gritty 2-1 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers at Jensen Park on Saturday night.
After the kickoff was delayed by half-an-hour due to floodlight problems, the two sides turned on an entertaining clash that had equal amounts of dash, skill and physicality.
The match started off in a flurry with Bankstown’s Dean Bereveskos blasting into the side-netting after six minutes, while Wanderers’ Kyle Cimenti failed to control a wicked bounce, first-timing the ball over the bar from close range.
Western Sydney stroked the ball around confidently from the back, and with elusive playmaker Liam Youlley pulling the strings, the youngsters gained some early ascendancy in the midfield. But it didn’t last long, with the home side’s experience and physicality gradually taking its toll. Confronted by a combination of vigorous pressing and robust tackling, the young Wanderers found themselves backpedalling and on the defensive.
Bankstown defender Todd Halloran sent a great through ball to speedster Huseyin Jasli, but his attempt at goal merely ricocheted off Wanderers goalkeeper Matthew Symes before bouncing away to safety. The home side then launched a relentless wave of attacks, with Grant Lynch, Christopher Gomez and Dominic Hudap all going close to opening the scoring.
With momentum on their side, it seemed inevitable that Bankstown would score first. And they did in the 26th minute when Gomez struck home a lucky but thoroughly deserved goal that ricocheted into the net. Lucky or not, the goal was a just reward for the Lions’ sustained dominance and pressure.
In the 27th minute, Wanderers’ Mario Shabow skied an opportunity to equalise over the bar and a minute later, former Wanderers fullback and Socceroo Michael Beauchamp crudely cut down Mathieu Cordier, rightfully earning the Bankstown skipper a yellow card.
Meanwhile, Bankstown’s dominance continued, with Huseyin’s pace down the left flank and uncanny crossing ability, creating all sorts of bother in the Wanderers’ defence. Well-drilled and creative, Bankstown bombarded the Wanderers goal, a great 35th minute save by Symes keeping his side in the game by the skin of their teeth. Bereveskos and Gomez had further opportunities to score– a volley and one-on-one with Symes respectively – but both came to no avail.
In the last five minutes of the half, lanky striker Gerard Ouffoue, Bereveskos and Gomez again failed to capitalise on an abundance of missed opportunities, their final touch deserting them in front of goal.
Bankstown led by just one goal at the break, a scoreline that not only flattered their opponents, but also did little justice to the Lions’ dominance in the opening 45 minutes.
The Bankstown offensive continued in the second half, but the Wanderers had their moments, with Liam Youlley’s guile and the pace and industry of Josh Macdonald causing some heartache.
In the 51st minute, Jackson Bandiera sent in a low, hard cross from the left, only to see Mario Shabow’s effort clear the crossbar.
But despite Western Sydney’s efforts, Bankstown slowly gained the ascendancy, turning the screws with their superior teamwork, physicality and, in Jasli’s case, lightning pace. Centre forward Ouffoue’s size and ability to hold up the ball proved to be an effective weapon, while man of the match Jasli’s speed down the left flank caused havoc whenever he touched the ball. It came as no surprise when Bereveskos extended City’s lead to two goals in the 57th minute, a brilliant finish created by a superb run and cross by Jasli.
A minute later, tempers boiled over as Hudap and Jasli received yellow cards, Alusine Fofanah’s resultant freekick narrowly missing the target.
Bankstown continued to rush and harrass their young opponents, Jasli again showing the afterburners and crossing dangerously in the 68th minute, only to see Ouffoue’s tepid effort fail to breach the net.
Slowly, the Wanderers fought back, gaining some parity, but Bankstown’s well-marshalled defence proved to be a tough nut to crack. To their credit, Western Sydney not only continued to play to their structure with a calm belying their years, but they also dominated the final five minutes, providing a rip-roaring finish for the bumper crowd.
Macdonald whipped in a cross and Shayne D’Cunha scored brilliantly in the 89th minute. Suddenly, a vibrant Wanderers were in with a sniff of an unlikely draw. Two gilt-edged opportunities followed in injury time but the acrobatic brilliance of Lions’ goalkeeper Dion Shaw kept the hounds at bay, assuring his side of a well-deserved victory.
Not surprisingly, Bankstown coach Leo Carle was delighted with the win and encouraged by his side’s performance.
“Western Sydney are a good side and we knew they’d be tough,” Carle told Football NSW. “I felt we dominated the match and should have scored more goals but we didn’t make the most of our opportunities in front of goal. But I can’t fault the boys’ commitment. Taking the three points gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
Wanderers coach Trevor Morgan was happy too, believing the loss would provide a great learning experience for his team of precociously talented teenagers.
“Tonight showed just how invaluable it is for our boys to play in this competition,” Morgan told Football NSW. “We faced a very good team and there were some heavy tackles and a hostile crowd, things they’re not used to when playing in their own age-group. So from an experience perspective, it was great. Sometimes you learn more from a loss than a win and I think tonight was a perfect example of that. We faced an excellent, experienced side that tackled hard and played with commitment, yet there was only a goal in it at the end and we were unlucky not to snatch a draw. That’s encouraging and we’ll definitely be better for the experience.”
Bankstown City 2 (Christopher Gomez 26’, Dean Bereveskos 57’) v Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Shayne D’Cunha 89’)
Saturday 26 March 2016
at Jensen Park, Sefton
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Assistants: Danny Horstead and Patrick Telecki
Bankstown City:1. Dion Shaw 2. Todd Halloran 5. Michael Beauchamp (c) 8. Domenic Hudap 9. Gerard Ouffoue (12. Steven Veleski 86’) 10. Chris Gomez (20. Alvaro Malmierca 89’) 11. Huseyin Jasli 13. Dhari Alsaad 14. Dean Bereveskos 16. Kojiro Hori 23. Grant Lynch.
Unused Substitutes: 26. Nicholas Carosi 22. Kyohei Kimura
Coach: Leo Carle
Yellow Cards: Michael Beauchamp 29’, Domenic Hudap 58’, Huseyin Jasli 58’
Western Sydney Wanderers:18. Matthew Symes 3. Henry Davies (8. Cameron Devlin) 5. Jackson Bandiera 6. Keanu Bacchus 7. Kyle Cimenti (33. Joshua Macdonald), 9. Lachlan Scott 11. Mathieu Cordier (32. Daniel Alessi) 23. Shayne D’Cunha 31. Alusine Fofanah 34. Mario Shabow 36. Liam Youlley.
Unused Substitutes: 10. Tariq Maia 30. Daniel Axford.
Coach: Trevor Morgan
Match of the Round report by Derek Royal
Central Coast Mariners v Bankstown Berries
A smooth passing Central Coast Mariners claimed the early Easter points on Good Friday, comfortably defeating the Bankstown Berries 3-1.
They had keeper Thomas Heward-Belle to thank early in the piece though when a triple save denied Gavin Forbes, Nicholas Paras and then Joel Ansomb in rapid fire strikes on goal.
But just after the half hour mark, the Mariners took the lead that their play, on balance, deserved. A quick one-two in the box saw Lachlan Wales deftly strike into the roof of the net, to put the home side 1-0 up.
They doubled the score moments before half time, a short corner, then cross giving Liam O’Dell an unchallenged header on goal.
Any hope that the Berries would mount a comeback after the break evaporated almost immediately. Barely thirty seconds had elapsed before Trent Buhagiar latched onto a deep ball, his speed too much for the Berries defence, and his lob over Chris Becerra pushing the score out to 3-0.
Paras with a direct freekick outside the box brought one back with just over fifteen minutes to go, and a late Berries flourish threatened another. Paras was close on a couple of other occasions but without the required result.
Central Coast Mariners 3 (Lachlan Wales 33’, Liam O’Dell 45’, Trent Buhagiar 46’) v Bankstown Berries 1 (Nicholas Paras 73’)
Referee: Jerry Bitas
Central Coast: 20. Thomas Heward-Belle 2. Brian Jamba 3. Reece Papadimitrios 5. Daniel Tuddenham 6. Liam O’Dell (c) 7. Lachlan Wales 10. Ryan Peterson (9. Cooper Buswell) 11. Christopher Hurley 12. Trent Buhagiar 14. Nathan Verity 18. Cade Mapu (8. Jayden Laugwitz 51’)
Bankstown Berries: 40. Chris Becerra 2. Andrew Vitucci 4. Alex Becerra 5. Liam McKenna (c) 6. Peter Dimitropoulos (7. Kyle Ewart 46’) 8. Joel Anscomb 9. Gavin Forbes (19. Dimitri Zakilas 67’) 10. Nicholas Paras 11. Tai Smith 14. James Ralston 15. Ricardo Milano (16. Stephen Stavropoulos 76’).
St George v Marconi
This game had everything and but for an unfortunate finish to the game, when a broken leg to St George substitute Alexander McCracken saw the youngster transferred to hospital, it was a result which the Saints will relish.
Marconi, looking to get their season on track, took the lead through Sean Rooney midway through the first half, finding himself with plenty of room and time to pick his spot.
But the lead lasted just three minutes before Bruno Pivato snapped up a loose ball to slide past Kristian Sekutkoski to make it 1-1.
Moments before half time, St George gained the lead when Stevan Ilic, with a neat ball from Pivato, turned in the box, shooting low into the corner.
A controversial penalty awarded ten minutes after the restart gave the Saints the chance to go further in front. Pivato, at the near post and readying for a corner, was pushed down by Karamo Kamara, and while the referee may have missed the infringement and play continued for a moment, the near side linesman didn’t. A raised flag, a brief discussion and a penalty went the way of the Saints. Up stepped Ilic, who converted but not before Sekutkoski guessed the right way and just failed to stop.
At 3-1, St George were looking good, but as they did last weekend, Marconi staged a spirited comeback. Within five minutes, Mirjan Pavlovic got it back to 3-2 and four minutes later, a handball by Sam Cornish gave Pavlovic the equaliser from the spot.
3-3 and game back on. But for all Marconi’s effort in getting back on level terms, the winner went to St George
Pivato, who had influence in all four St George goals, was pulled back by Kamara when clear on goal. A second yellow, a red card, and Marconi were down to ten. The pain didn’t end there either, as Ilic’s resultant freekick cannoned off the post, only for Jacob Sullivan to turn in the rebound.
It was going to be tough for Marconi from there on, but they rallied once more. There was always the chance of another goal and they certainly applied the pressure. And it seemed it would be 4-4 when another penalty was awarded to Marconi, with still fifteen minutes to go. Pavlovic stepped up again, but this time George Bouropoulos was equal to the task, diving low to his left to deny an equaliser.
Deep into time added on, came the injury to McCracken, and the game was delayed for in excess of thirty minutes. With three minutes still to play, it eventually restarted. But without further goals.
St George 4 (Bruno Pivato 27’, Stevan Ilic 45’, 55’ pen, Jacob Sullivan 67’) v Marconi 3 (Sean Rooney 24’, Mirjan Pavlovic 60’, 64’ pen)
Referee: Michael Weiner
St George: 1. George Bouropoulos 2. Daniel Kamel 4. Johnathan Kontalis 5. Billy Darwich 8. Tarik Ercan (6. Reuben Lagos) 9. Stevan Ilic 10. Nicholas Rouco (20. Alexander McCracken 70’) 16. Thomas Menton 17. Bruno Pivato 18. Sam Cornish 38. Jacob Sullivan (3. Ali Nasreddine 83’).
Marconi: 21. Kristian Sekutkoski 2. Karamo Kamara 4. Simon Valastro 7. Mirjan Pavlovic 8. Sean Rooney 10. Marko Jesic 12. Bright Appiah 16. Noah Chianese (11. Sam Perre) 18. Brandon Vella 23. Christopher Nunes 25. Phillip Makrys (13. Shivan Swamy)
Red Card: Karamo Kamara 67’
Mounties Wanderers v Fraser Park
Mounties made it four from four with a 2-1 win over Fraser Park, consigning Fraser to their fourth successive defeat of the season.
All goals came in the second period as Matthew West, his third in as many weeks, and Patrick Gatt gave Mounties the all-important advantage. Jordan Roberts got on the scoresheet for Fraser Park, but the lone goal was not enough.
Mounties Wanderers 2 (Matthew West, Patrick Gatt) v Fraser Park 1 (Jordan Roberts)
Referee: Adam Susz
Mounties Wanderers: 1. Daniel Sadaka 5. Patrick Gatt 6. Aleksandar Tomic (2. Joshua Viera) 7. Neftali Gonzalez 9. Matthew West 11. Juan Chavez (28. George Codrea) 17. Milorad Simonovic 20. Reid Taylor 22. Wade Oostendorp 23. Glen Downey 29. Jake Ingle (Emmanuel Elali).
Fraser Park: 1. Wayne Estavao 3. Davide Talone 4. Peter Crevani 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos 8. Zac Ribeiro 9. Jeffrey Issa (19. Daisan Kim) 11. Jordan Roberts 13. Pasqualino Cappuccio 16. Aleksandar Todoroski (12. Adem Kir)17. Nathan Sansom 18. Askin Oygur.
Macarthur Rams v North Shore Mariners
A first half double to Elsid Barkhousir saw the three points stay at Lynwood Park after the Rams proved too strong for North Shore Mariners.
North Shore replied through Ricky Woodward but for the second time in two weeks, the visitors had to play a large portion of the game a man short. Julian Aguirre given a straight red card not long after half time. Macarthur also finished with ten, but Ben Cornish’s send off, in time added on, had little effect to the end result.
Macarthur Rams 2 (Elsid Barkhousir 2) v North Shore Mariners 1 (Ricky Woodward)
Referee: Ben Abraham
Macarthur Rams: 20. Jair Fernandez 2. Craig Cooley 3. Mitchell Thompson (14. Haydar Jasim) 4. Ben Cornish 5. Elsid Barkhousir 8. Cristian Leiva Martinez 9. Anthony Schmidt (8. Eli Squillacioti) 10. Eros Bergamin 12. David McMurray 13. Daniel Carrozza 16. Mason Versi
Red Card: Ben Cornish 93’
North Shore Mariners: 1. Anthony Zecchinati 4. Jack Grant 6. Ricky Woodward 12. Nicholas Chapman 13. Marquin Smith 17. Michael Cole 18. Callaghan Sharpe 19. Jacob Esposito 20. Zac Sfiligoi 35. Julian Aguirre 37. James Scott.
Red Card: Julian Aguirre 53’
Mt Druitt Town Rangers v Spirit FC
There would have been some satisfaction out Spirit way after the reigning premiers finally got their first win of the season. To do so at Popondetta may have added gloss to the result too, after having lost five of the squad during the off season to their rivals this weekend.
But in a close game, the points were decided by a single goal by Nathan Jagelman, enough to lift Spirit off the bottom of the table.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 0 v Spirit FC 1 (Nathan Jagelman)
Northern Tigers v Sydney FC
Sydney FC continued with their goal fest, knocking in four against Northern Tigers to move into third on the table.
Goals to regular scorers Bai Antoniou and Charles Lokolingoy were complemented by one each to Daniel Araujo and Chris Zuvela, while two second half goals to Liam McConaghy kept the Tigers within striking distance. At no stage though could the Tigers quite draw level leaving them in the unusual position of a lower half league standing.
Northern Tigers 2 (Liam McConaghy 2) v Sydney FC 4 (Bai Antoniou, Charles Lokolingoy, Chris Zuvela, Daniel Araujo)
Source FNSW website- by Peter Rowney, Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men's Reporter