It remains unchanged at the top of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW competition with Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers claiming wins to retain the top two spots on the ladder.
Bankstown City, despite losing to St George, stay third but ominously, Marconi move into fourth on goal difference, after taking their unbeaten run now to six.
Marconi v Mounties Wanderers
In a hugely entertaining game at Bossley Park, Marconi overcame a determined Mounties Wanderers 3-1, in a result which was in doubt until the very end.
This was match in which attack was the name of the game, and both sides did themselves credit in pursuing goals right to the final whistle, the numbers of goals scored matched by either the number of near misses, or brilliant saves.
An opening salvo in the second minute, by Marconi’s Sam Perre, was the first sign of things to come, quickly matched by the Mounties Wanderers’ Christian Torelli who tried an audacious bicycle kick before five minutes was up.
Perre again, and Reid Taylor matched strikes but it was a save by James Stojcevski, tipping away a strike from Brandon Vella, which was to catch the eye.
Both Marconi and Mounties, successful in the FFA Cup midweek, had rested players nonetheless last Wednesday, with similar outcomes. Both Rooney and Matthew West had started on the bench for their respective sides in the Cup, Rooney coming on to knock in the Stallions’ third against St George, while West notched a hatrick in their 5-3 extra time win over Mosman FC. Both started here of course, and with good reason. Rooney was always a threat, as was West, who threatened Marconi each time he touched the ball.
The opening goal in this exciting encounter fell to Marconi, who, after the initial exchanges, had started to dominate the half. It came after a free kick by Mirjan Pavlovic was only parried by Stojcevski, and Christopher Godoy Bascur gratefully collected the rebound from close range. Godoy Bascur’s interest in the game didn’t last much longer, leaving the field injured ten minutes later, but a goal to give the Stallions the lead was a job well done.
Down 1-0 at the break, Mounties came out all guns blazing after half time. And it took an absolute point blank save from Chad Taylor to keep Marconi in the lead. It was nothing less than a brilliant save, denying a forceful West header from such close range, it beggars belief how it didn’t go in.
Ten minutes later and West had another golden chance. The commanding striker ran hard at the Marconi defence, made sufficient space for a left foot strike on the edge of the area but the opportunity went just over the bar. A close shave for Marconi but an even closer one occurred a few minutes later when Neftali Gonzalez hit the upright from a free kick. It just wasn’t going Mounties’ way.
Thoughts of a point seemed further away after Stojcevski misjudged a long clearance by Marconi. Out of his area to clear away a long ball, the young keeper could only watch in horror as the ball bounced over his head, into the path of the onrushing Rooney, who had the simplest task indeed.
If a 2-0 lead, with twenty to go, seemed it, it was far from the case. Within a minute, the industrious Gonzalez had brought a goal back, flicking in from inside the six yard box to reduce the deficit back to one.
On came noted goalscorer Juan Chavez, to add further to the attack, and Mounties went hard at it, throwing everything at Marconi it seemed, except the kitchen sink. Chavez struck well, which was deflected for a corner, and Marconi charged down numerous attempts.
But with time running out, it went the other way for what seemed a certain goal. As Mounties pushed forward, a quick clearance fell to Rooney who could have sealed the match, but sliced his shot wide when clear on goal.
That didn’t matter in the end. Rooney got another similar chance two minutes after that, and this time he made no mistake.
Marconi 3 (Chris Godoy Bascur 27, Sean Rooney 72’, 90’) v Mounties Wanderers 1 (Neftali Gonzalez 73’)
Sunday 8 May 2016
at Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Marconi: 1. Chad Taylor 4. Simon Valastro 5. Peter Pelekanos 6. Raimond Coletta 7. Mirjan Pavlovic (25. Philip Makrys 70’) 8. Sean Rooney (3. Jacob Carluccio 90+2’) 11. Sam Perre 12. Bright Appiah 18. Brandon Vella 23. Christopher Nunes (c) 24. Christopher Godoy Bascur (17. Steven Drewery 37’).
Subs not used: 21. Kristian Sekutkoski 2. Yasser Al-Taay
Coach: Jeff Suzor
Mounties Wanderers: 30. James Stojcevski 5. Patrick Gatt (c) 6. Aleksandar Tomic (34. Joshua Viera 86’) 7. Neftali Gonzalez 9. Matthew West 17. Milorad Simonovic (11. Juan Chavez 76’) 20. Reid Taylor 22. Wade Oostendorp 24. James Letta 25. Christian Torelli (28. George Codrea 60’) 29. Jake Ingle
Subs not used: 21. Daniel Sadaka 8. Emanuel Elali
Coach: David Perkovic
St George v Bankstown City
St George finally got the points that their recent efforts deserved with a 4-1 win over Bankstown City, putting in what was one of their best games of the season.
The win didn’t come without a little share of good fortune however, with Reuben Lagos’ opener taking a deflection before evading Dion Shaw. Grant Lynch equalized ten minutes before half time, his momentum carrying him into the area before unleashing a left foot strike.
Both sides had good chances to score more than just the one in the opening half. Bruno Pivato skied over the bar while George Bouropoulos did extremely well to firstly tip away an effort from Gerard Ouffoue before denying Michael Beauchamp twice in quick succession.
The Saints went ahead for the second time after Johnathan Kontalis was brought down in the box five minutes after the restart. Stefan de Jesus struck with sufficient power to put St George 2-1 up.
It all went south for the Lions from then on. Three minutes after going behind Chris Gomez struck out at Tarik Ercan, earning himself a red card and reducing Bankstown City to ten.
On sixty five minutes, it was almost three to St George. Pivato collected the ball in midfield, put through to de Jesus who smashed his shot against the inside of the upright, before the ball sped back across the goal into play. That may not have gone in, but five minutes later, the two combined once more, this time de Jesus setting up Pivato, who made no mistake, squeezing his shot between Shaw and the post.
It didn’t end there. Wassim Hijazi had a header which flew over before Nicholas Rouco made it 4-1, knocking in at the far post. There was even time for substitute Anthony Morabito to hit the upright in injury time.
Not the best of nights for the Lions, who were well in the game despite being reduced, until that third goal went in but it was a fine night for St George, collecting just their third win of the season.
St George 4 (Reuben Lagos 14’, Stefan de Jesus 50’ pen, Bruno Pivato 70’, Nicholas Rouco 83’) v Bankstown City 1 (Grant Lynch 34’)
Referee: Jerry Bitas
St George: 1. George Bouropoulos 3. Ali Nasreddine 4. Johnathan Kontalis 5. Billy Darwich 6. Reuben Lagos 7. Stefan de Jesus (30. Jacob Sullivan 80’) 8. Tarik Ercan 10. Nicholas Rouco 13. Peter Vassilis (c) 15. Nicholas Perez (11. Wassim Hijazi 73’) 17. Bruno Pivato (35. Anthony Morabito 85’).
Subs not used: 32. David Ilic 33. James Togias
Yellow Cards: Billy Darwich 90+3’, Anthony Morabito 90+5’
Bankstown City: 1. Dion Shaw 2. Todd Halloran 5. Michael Beauchamp (c) 8. Domenic Hudap 9. Gerard Ouffoue 10. Chris Gomez 11. Huseyin Jasli (4. Mato Lucic 85’) 13. Dhari Alsaad (14. Dean Bereveskos) 16. Kojiro Hori (12. Steven Veleski) 22. Kyohei Kimura 23. Grant Lynch.
Subs not used: 41. Samuel Benton 15. Alessandro Pecora
Yellow Cards: Domenic Hudap 62’
Red Card: Chris Gomez 53’
Macarthur Rams v Northern Tigers
Macarthur’s fine home form continued with a 3-1 victory over Northern Tigers.
Still yet to be defeated at Lynwood Park, the Rams ran in three goals to the Tigers’ sole reply. Elsid Barkhousir, with his sixth of the season, Kevin Ly and Eli Squillacioti all got on the scoresheet for the Rams while Liam McConaghy answered for Northern Tigers.
The win leapfrogs Macarthur over their matchday opponents into the top six.
Macarthur Rams 3 (Elsid Barkhousir, Kevin Ly, Eli Squillacioti) v Northern Tigers 1 (Liam McConaghy)
Macarthur Rams: 20. Jair Fernandez 2. Craig Cooley 3. Mitchell Thompson 4. Ben Cornish 5. Elsid Barkhousir (14. Hayder Jasim) 6. Kevin Ly 7. Eli Squillacioti 9. Anthony Schmidt 12. David McMurray (11. Regan Suters) 13. Daniel Carrozza 19. Damian Travis (17. Anthony Nicola).
Subs not used: 1. Nikodin Matic 8. Christian Leiva Martinez.
Yellow Card: Daniel Carrozza
Coach: Lee Sterrey
Northern Tigers: 1. Matt Nemes 2. Russell Farrell 6. Paul Davies 7. Joel Hardwick 9. Liam McConaghy 10. Lucas Dawson (13. Jun Arima) 11. Mitchell Smith 12. Braden Cheng 14. Julian Lim 15. Josh Ward 19. Alexander Brown (5. Max Glanville)
Subs not used: 20. Riley Keayes 3. Jamie Craig 16. Steven Baveas
Yellow Card: Julian Lim
Coach: Steve Hurd
Fraser Park v Spirit FC
The season didn’t get any better for Fraser Park when they tackled Spirit FC on Saturday. Up against their closest rivals on the ladder, they succumbed 2-1, conceding an unfortunate own goal along the way.
Mark McAlpine put Spirit ahead six minutes before half time, easily tapping in, but Fraser Park equalized almost immediately when Nikola Todoroski scored his fourth of the season
Just after half time, Spirit got their noses back in front when Peter Crevani put into his own net, defending a Spirit corner and the result stayed that way to the end. A disappointing result for Fraser Park, who now find themselves five points adrift at the bottom.
Fraser Park 1 (Nikola Todoroski 42’) v Spirit FC 2 (Mark McAlpine 39’, Peter Crevani own goal 47’)
Fraser Park: 1. Wayne Estavao 3. Davide Talone (3. Pasqualino Cappuccio) 4. Peter Crevani 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos 6. Alexander Todoroski 8. Zac Ribiero (9. Jeffrey Issa) 11. Jordan Roberts 14. Nikola Todoroski 16. Nicholas Mouzourakis (20. Gabriel Rodriguez) 17. Nathan Sansom 19. Joseph D’Elia.
Subs not used: 15. Aaron Midon 21. John Dimitrakis
Yellow Cards: Zac Ribiero 22’, Nikola Todoroski 67’
Coach: Branko Culina
Spirit FC: 51. David Lowery 3. Henry Wells 4. Michael Streeter 5. Andrew Robertson 8. Grant Cornwell 10. Kim Changyu 11. David Mavisa 13. Phillip Reiily (20. Nathan Jagelman) 14. Jayden McLeod 16. Mark McAlpine (15. Alexander Doyle) 17. Robbie George.
Subs not used: 1. Murray Nelson 9. Marwan Amin 32. Jaylan Reiher
Yellow Cards: Nil
Coach: Mark McCormick
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
The league leaders continued on their merry way with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Central Coast Mariners, stretching their winning streak now to nine matches.
While it was 0-0 at the turnaround, a second half blitz saw the Sky Blues collect another win. Christian Gonzalez put the visitors in front just after half time before Bai Antoniou’s left foot strike doubled the lead just before the hour.
The league’s leading scorer, Charles Lokolingoy then got his 15th of the season with a quarter of an hour remaining, before Mani Gonzalez made it 4-0 with nine minutes left.
Central Coast Mariners 0 v Sydney FC 4 (Christian Gonzalez, Bai Antoniou 58’, Charles Lokolingoy 75’, Mani Gonzalez 81’)
Bankstown Berries v Mount Druitt Town Rangers
Dimitri Zakilas, in a rare start, didn’t take long to make an impression. Having scored the winner for the Berries in the Westfield FFA Cup on Wednesday, Zakilas scored early to give the Berries the lead, one they held until half time.
But a second half equalizer by Kuag Reec ensured a share of the points, Rangers now three games without defeat.
Bankstown Berries 1 (Dimitri Zakilas) v Mount Druitt Town Rangers 1 (Kuag Reec)
North Shore Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers
Western Sydney Wanderers left it late to take the points at Northbridge Oval, as North Shore Mariners continued their good form.
It was only in the final twelve minutes that the Wanderers gained the victory against a resilient North Shore. Lachlan Scott was the one who got the goal that mattered, the close win enough for the Wanderers to keep a close eye on Sydney FC at the top.
North Shore Mariners 0 v Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Lachlan Scott 78’)
Source FNSW - by Peter Rowney, Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men's Reporter