The opening round of the PlayStation4 NPL2NSW Men’s saw huge results, surprise results and an individual headline act from West Sydney Wanderers’ Lachlan Scott, who put five past last season’s Premiers Spirit FC, in a 6-0 rout.
Mounties Wanderers defeated Sydney FC 2-0 away in perhaps the most surprising result while Marconi also hit the winners list with a close win over Mount Druitt Town Rangers.
Stevan Ilic, of St George, hit a first game hatrick, as the Saints won 3-0 against Fraser Park.
Reigning champions Northern Tigers had a good day overall, claiming a win across all grades against North Shore Mariners.
North Shore Mariners v Northern Tigers
It was tough work but last season’s Grand Final winners, Northern Tigers, got their new season off to a winning start eventually overcoming new boys North Shore Mariners 2-0.
North Shore had started the game enthusiastically, against a Tigers side who took some time to get going. A free kick, as early as the third minute, by North Shore’s Chris Lindsay drew a diving save from Matt Nemes.
The scrappy nature of the opening period was perhaps indicative that both clubs were still clearly finding their feet, with the Tigers’ normally fluid football missing early on.
A couple of strikes, in quick succession, in turn by Liam McConaghy and then Joel Hardwicke lacked the power to really trouble Stefan Giglio, but there were enough signs to show that a goal could be forthcoming.
It did come, but not until midway through the second half. The introduction of Max Glanville, off the bench, added some spark for the Tigers and his charge down the left provided the impetus for the opener.
His initial pass fed McConaghy, who was denied by Giglio but Braden Cheng, loitering close by, was able to put away the parry.
McConaghy almost had a spectacular effort go in, just going wide before Glanville, once more, charged upfield direct on goal. Glanville’s dashing run was brought to a halt by North Shore, but not without conceding a free kick just on the edge of the box. Perhaps a worthwhile foul, as they say, Lucas Dawson’s subsequent free kick flying well over.
Any lingering doubt that perhaps North Shore might snag an equaliser was removed two minutes from time, when Hardwicke scored nicely, after turning inside and slotting under Giglio.
A deserved win, if hard fought, and the Tigers are off and running. But North Shore who battled all game, will let teams know they are in a match.
North Shore Mariners 0 v Northern Tigers 2 (Braden Cheng 65’, Joel Hardwicke 88’)
Sunday 6 March 2016
at Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assts: Andreas Lyndon and Ray Osborne
North Shore Mariners: 36. Stefan Giglio 3. Chris Lindsay 6. Ricky Woodward (c) 12. Nicholas Chapman 14. Jake Mavin (13. Marquin Smith 77’) 17. Michael Cole 19. Joseph Esposito (16. James Goldsmith 72’) 20. Zac Sfiligoi 21. Marley Peterson 28. Gianni Fabro 37. James Scott.
Subs not used: 10. Lachie Everett 18. Callaghan Sharpe
Coach: Matt Wiggins (Asst)
Northern Tigers: 1. Matt Nemes 2. Russell Farrell 3. Jamie Craig 4. Michael Rolston (c) 6. Paul Davies 7. Joel Hardwicke (18. Keenan Gibson 90’) 9. Liam McConaghy 10. Lucas Dawson 12. Braden Cheng 13. Jun Arima (5. Max Glanville 57’) 14. Julian Lim (17. Robert Carollo 78’).
Subs not used: 19. Alex Brown 20. Riley Keayes
Coach: Steve Hurd
Central Coast Mariners 0 v Bankstown City 3
Bankstown City drew first blood as the season kicked off, a midweek change seeing this fixture switched to Saturday night, thereby avoiding a clash with the Mariners A-League match on Sunday.
And it was a well struck ball by Dean Bereveskos from the edge of the box that put the visiting Lions 1-0 up four minutes before half time, after good work down the left by Grant Lynch.
Lynch turned from provider to scorer midway through the second half, powering home a header at the far post, connecting to a Huseyin Jasli free kick.
The score became 3-0 ten minutes before time, when Jasli, who was one of the game’s stand out players, converted a spotkick after Domenic Hudap was brought down in the box by Liam O’Dell.
Central Coast Mariners 0 v Bankstown City 3 (Dean Bereveskos 41’, Grant Lynch 72’, Huseyin Jasli 80’ pen)
Central Coast Mariners: 20. Thomas Heward-Belle 2. Brian Jamba 3. Reece Papadimitrios 6. Liam O’Dell (c) 7 Lachlan Wales 8. Adam Berry 10. Ryan Peterson 11. Christopher Hurley 12. Trent Buhagiar 14. Cooper Boswell (4. Joshua Forbes 46’) 18. Steve Whyte.
Bankstown City: 1. Dion Shaw 2. Todd Halloran 5. Michael Beauchamp (c) 8. Domenic Hudap 9. Gerard Ouffoue 10. Chris Gomez (20. Alvaro Malmierca 70’) 11. Huseyin Jasli 13. Daniel Alsaad (7. Joshua Brookes 83’) 14. Dean Bereveskos (22. Kyohei Kimura 83’) 16. Kojiro Hori 23. Grant Lynch.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Spirit FC
The Wanderers have Lachlan Scott to thank for a second half blitz which pummelled the reigning premiers into submission.
Scoreless at the break, Scott came off the bench early in the second half to notch a hatrick within seven minutes before finishing with a remarkable five goals in a twenty-two minute period.
Scott collected a parry to put away the first midway through the second half before doubling the score five minutes later after connecting to a Mathieu Cordier cross.
Scott’s third came just two minutes after that, combining with Tariq Maia to slot past David Lowery.
But it wasn’t over just yet, as Scott got his fourth five minutes before time and remarkably, his fifth with three to go.
Maia then got his name on the scoresheet in time added on, giving the West Sydney Wanderers the perfect start in their inaugural state league season.
Western Sydney Wanderers 6 (Lachlan Scott 65’, 70’, 72’, 85’, 87’, Tariq Maia 91’) v Spirit FC 0
Fraser Park v St George
A second half hatrick to Stevan Ilic helped see off the challenge of Fraser Park, as the Saints came over the top of their closest neighbours.
The leading scorer for St George last season, Ilic has certainly started the season impressively, the result also giving the Saints confidence for the year ahead.
Fraser Park 0 v St George 3 (Stevan Ilic 3)
Sydney FC v Mounties Wanderers
One of the more eyebrow raising results of the weekend was this one. A largely new Mounties team under a new coach, could have had excuses but rather, an impressive 2-0 victory away at Sydney FC has given the Mounties the perfect start.
Both goals came in the opening half, and both were scored by two of the handful who remain from last year. Reid Taylor and Neftali Gonzalez sealed the result, a great start for the club after the horrors of last season.
Sydney FC 0 v Mounties Wanderers 2 (Reid Taylor, Neftali Gonzalez)
Macarthur Rams v Bankstown Berries
The only draw of the weekend saw the Rams and Berries finish 1-1, a result which would probably satisfy both sides, avoiding a loss on the opening day.
The Rams had taken a first half lead through Haydar Quays but the Berries drew level courtesy of a volley from Nicholas Paras.
Macarthur Rams 1 (Haydar Quays) v Bankstown Berries 1 (Nicholas Paras)
Marconi v Mount Druitt Town Rangers
Former PS4 NPL NSW Men’s giants Marconi Stallions had to work hard to overcome a defiant Mount Druitt Town but eventually gained the three points with a lone goal from Mirjan Pavlovic in front of a healthy crowd at Marconi Stadium.
In a game littered with nine yellow cards, Pavlovic’s second half strike was enough to see Marconi gain the win the club desperately wanted, a vital start in the opening round.
Marconi 1 (Mirjan Pavlovic) v Mount Druitt Town Rangers 0
Source FNSW website - by Peter Rowney, Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 2 Reporter