The gap at the top of the Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues 2 has been reduced to the barest of margins after leaders Sydney FC lost just their second game of the season, this time at Marconi, while Western Sydney Wanderers overpowered Mounties Wanderers 4-1.
Match of the Round
North Shore Mariners v Spirit FC
How Spirit managed to lose this one is anyone’s guess.
A vastly improved performance from that last week, there were glimpses of the Spirit of old as they visited North Shore Mariners at Valentine Park on Sunday. Positive from the outset, and with new signing Reuben Agyei-Danso forging away up front, Spirit FC took little time in taking the game to North Shore. Jake Harris was a welcome return out wide on the left, and with Henry Wells showing dash down the right, there was plenty of intent and desire.
But truth be told, few clear chances for all that as North Shore doggedly kept Spirit out. Harris’ free kick after ten minutes drew attention, Stefan Giglio tipping over the shot, while Wells was denied by Giglio towards the end of the half. Sandwiched in between was a great chance to Joshua Mbakwe for North Shore Mariners, but Lowery smothered the shot well, in what was North Shore’s best chance of the half.
But if the first stanza was quiet by comparison, the second saw chances galore. Mostly to Spirit, who were knocking on the door for considerable time before they got their deserved reward.
Immediately after the turnaround, Alexander Doyle was put through for the visitors but he had his shot rebound off the keeper before a harried clearance off the line, Agyei-Danso set up Wells who goal bound shot was deflected around for a corner before Agyei-Danso himself shot over the top after a neat pass from Mark McAlpine.
Spirit were getting closer and it seemed just a matter of time before that particular dam broke.
And it came with just over twenty minutes to go. Substitute David Mavisa crossed with purpose to Agyei-Danso who slammed his shot into the roof of the net first time, giving Giglio no chance.
It was a fine goal, and on debut, and it seemed from that moment that Spirit would take the points that their game deserved.
Chances continued to follow for Spirit and a likely second didn’t seem too far away. McAlpine had a chance but a rebound came at him too quickly while Nathan Jagleman, on for Agyei-Danso with ten to go, had a close header flash over, Mavisa again providing the assist.
But North Shore are nothing if not determined. For all Spirit’s chances, they still had only the one goal and North Shore were not out of it for as long as the deficit was just the minimum.
And the equaliser came with seven minutes to go. Some quick passing on the edge of the box, and a shot was parried by Lowery but only to the feet of Marley Petersen, who had the simple task of tapping away the leveller.
If conceding an equaliser wasn’t bad enough for Spirit, the afternoon turned even worse when they conceded another in time added on. And how it must have stung when Chris Lindsay floated in a ball from out wide on the right, it evaded all including the outstretched fingertips of Lowery, and in off the far post it went, for 2-1 North Shore.
It was a cruel blow for Spirit who must surely have felt that a thief in the night, snatching away all three points, had just visited.
North Shore Mariners 2 (Marley Petersen 83’, Chris Lindsay 90+1’) v Spirit FC 1 (Reuben Agyei-Danso 68’)
Sunday 22 May 2016
at Valentine Park, Glenwood
Referee: Kurt Ams
North Shore Mariners: 36. Stefan Giglio 3. Chris Lindsay 4. Jack Grant (37. James Scott 46’) 6. Ricky Woodward (c) 8. Michael Cole 12. Nicholas Chapman 13. Marquin Smith 20. Zac Sfiligoi 23. Joshua Mbakwe 26. Chris Desa (17. Lachlan Everett 70’) 38. Addison Sayan (21. Marley Petersen 63’)
Subs not used: 1. Anthony Zecchinati 16. James Goldsmith
Yellow Cards: Marquin Smith, Zac Sfiligoi
Coach: Joe Haywood
Spirit FC: 51. David Lowery 2. Daniel Cunningham (c) 3. Henry Wells (11. David Mavisa 63’) 4. Michael Streeter 5. Andrew Robertson 7. Jake Harris (10. Kim Changyu 46’) 8. Grant Cornwell 15. Alexander Doyle 16. Mark McAlpine 17. Robbie George 21. Reuben Agyei-Danso (20. Nathan Jagelman 80’).
Subs not used: 1. Murray Nelson 14. Jayden McLeod
Yellow Cards: Grant Cornwell, Kim Changyu
Coach: Mark McCormick
Fraser Park v Northern Tigers
It was a somewhat changed Fraser Park lineup who took to the field against Northern Tigers, and when Ben Vidaic, previously with Fraser of course, put them in front in the first half, the portents were looking good.
But just ten minutes after the restart the Tigers were level when top scorer Liam McConaghy equalised and with a quarter of an hour left, Lucas Dawson put Northern Tigers in front, a lead they would hold to the final whistle.
A red card to Davide Talone with three minutes remaining was an unfortunate finish for Fraser Park, still seeking to end their run of outs.
Fraser Park 1 (Ben Vidaic 13’) v Northern Tigers 2 (Liam McConaghy 55’, Lucas Dawson 76’)
Referee: Chris Young
Fraser Park: 1. Wayne Estavao 2. Rocci Gabey 3. Davide Talone 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos 6. Aleksandar Todoroski 7. Gabriel Rodriguez 14. Nikola Todoroski (19. Joseph D’Elia 58’) 15. Jordan Simpson (18. Alvaro Malmierca 63’) 16. Benjamin Vidaic (4. Peter Crevani 44’) 17. Nathan Sansom 20. Jordan Roberts.
Subs not used: 13. Pat Cappuccio 21. John Dimitrakis
Yellow Cards: Jordan Simpson, Davide Talone, Jordan Roberts, Joseph D;Elia
Red Card: Davide Talone
Northern Tigers: 1. Matt Nemes 2. Russell Farrell 3. Jamie Craig 6. Paul Davies 7. Joel Hardwick 9. Liam McConaghy (5. Max Glanville 87’) 10. Lucas Dawson 11. Mitchell Smith (13. Jun Arima 82’) 12. Braden Cheng 14. Julian Lim 18. Diren Katal
Subs not used: 17. Harry McAlister 19. Alexander Brown 20 Riley Keayes
Yellow Cards: Jamie Craig
Bankstown Berries v Bankstown City
There must have been a sense of déjà vu for the Lions after a horror run over the past fortnight threatened to enter a third week. Visiting The Crest to meet local rivals Bankstown Berries, they went down to a two goal deficit after strikes from Kyle Ewart and Tai Smith.
But Leo Carle’s charges dug in and goals to Gerard Ouffoue, Steven Veleski and Mato Lucic overturned the Berries, preventing another potential defeat and sending a sigh of relief through the Lions.
Bankstown Berries 2 (Kyle Ewart, Tai Smith) v Bankstown City 3 (Gerard Ouffoue, Steven Veleski, Mato Lucic)
Marconi v Sydney FC
Sydney FC looked to be heading for an eleventh straight win as they entered the final stages a goal to the good against Marconi, after a first half lead was established by Chris Zuvela.
But those hopes were obliterated when they conceded two goals in the final five minutes, as Sam Perre and Sean Rooney kept the points at Bossley Park.
It was an all important victory on many levels, not just in the race for the title but also keeping that Club Championship challenge open. They may well receive some congratulations from out Western Sydney way too.
Marconi 2 (Sam Perre, Sean Rooney) v Sydney FC 1 (Chris Zuvela)
Western Sydney Wanderers v Mounties Wanderers
Western Sydney Wanderers drew to within a point of Sydney FC at the top after a 4-1 defeat of Mounties. The first of the night came from Alusine Fofanah with a long range strike before Shayne D’Cunha was brought down in the box, giving Liam Youlley the chance to make it 2-0 from the spot.
Just before half time Reid Taylor brought it back to 2-1 giving Mounties a good opportunity for a second half revival. But as the Wanderers have done so often this season, late goals stretched the scoreline out with Lachlan Scott knocking in two goals in the final ten minutes.
Coupled with Sydney FC’s defeat, the stage is set for a crackerjack top of the table clash next Saturday against the Sky Blues.
Western Sydney Wanderers 4 (Alusine Fofanah, Liam Youlley pen, Lachlan Scott 2) v Mounties Wanderers 1 (Reid Taylor)
Central Coast Mariners v Mount Druitt Town Rangers
Mount Druitt Town Rangers’ good run of results continued coming away from Pluim Park with a 2-1 win, helped no doubt by the Mariners being reduced to ten after just a quarter of an hour.
Central Coast took an early lead through Lachlan Wales but it all unraveled for the home side when Nathan Verity brought down Kuag Reec inside the area just ten minutes later. Verity received a red card for his troubles while Reec dusted himself off to strike home the equaliser.
Ryan Johnstone then put Rangers in the lead, scoring from well outside the area, and the ten men of Central Coast were always going to find it tough from there.
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Lachlan Wales 7’) v Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2 (Kuag Reec 16’ pen, Ryan Johnstone 40’)
Macarthur Rams v St George
St George brought Macarthur back to earth after their astonishing result at Bankstown City last week by handing the Rams their first home defeat of the season.
Debutant Yuta Konogaya scored the only goal in the second half, but the Saints were made to sweat the final minutes after Peter Vassilis was dismissed for a second yellow.
Macarthur Rams 0 v St George 1 (Yuta Konogaya)
Source FNSW - by Peter Rowney, Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men's Reporter