PS4®NPL 2 Mens Round 15 Review

Sydney FC reclaimed first place in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition via a 4-2 victory over Spirit FC and a loss suffered by arch-rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, who suffered a 4-3 setback to Mt Druitt Town Rangers.

Bankstown City edged further up the ladder with a routine 1-0 win at North Shore Mariners while Marconi kept their hopes of promotion back to NPL 1 alive by outlasting Northern Tigers 3-2. Meanwhile, Fraser Park snatched a rare win, 3-1 over Macarthur Rams.

Western Sydney Wanderers 3 Mt Druitt Town Rangers 4

IN AN ABSORBING PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s Match of the Round, Mt Druitt Town Rangers upset league leaders Western Sydney Wanderers with an extraordinary 4-3 victory at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday night.

The visitors raced to a 3-0 lead after 30 minutes, their direct and physical style of play causing the Wanderers’ defence plenty of dramas. Time after time the robust Rangers launched the ball deep into Wanderers territory in an attempt to capitalise on the height, strength and speed of their big forwards Abraham Majok and Kuag Reec.

The tactic worked a treat but it was the classy Luke Clifford who opened the scoring in the tenth minute. Running onto a great ball headed on by Majok, Clifford unleashed a brilliant long range volley past Wanderers goalkeeper Matthew Symes to open the scoring. Symes simply saw a piece of leather flash past him and into the back of the net.

In the 22nd minute, Majok smashed home Mt Druitt’s second after some great leadup work down the right flank, with Symes again well beaten. Eight minutes later, Majok’s partner in crime, dreadlocked Number 9, Reec, was cut down in the penalty area after chasing yet another penetrating long ball. Referee Nash had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and Reec duly stepped up to convert the opportunity for a shock 3-0 lead.

The small crowd looked on in disbelief.

Western Sydney struck back in the 40th minute, with Kyle Cimenti slotting home a classy finish from inside the box. But it was Mt Druitt who went to the sheds holding a commanding, yet unexpected, 3-1 lead.

During the break, Wanderers coach Trevor Morgan told his players not to panic and to ignore the score. “I just think the important thing is you can’t play the scoreline,” he said. “We have to try and play the way we want to play. The lesson for us is obviously to improve and not to be in a position where we’re behind but also to keep to our style of football regardless of how the game’s going.”   

The Wanderers did just that after the interval but in the 64th minute Mt Druitt’s Luke Clifford again showed his class. In a single movement, he controlled a long range pass with his chest, beat his man and dashed down the right flank before whipping a dangerous shot across the face of the goal. With nobody on hand to touch the ball home, Mt Druitt missed a golden opportunity to extend their lead, while the Wanderers breathed a huge sigh of relief for a lucky escape.

The Wanderers continued to play their brand of stylish and swift possession-based football and in the 73rd minute they reaped the rewards when Lachlan Roberts was cut down inside the box. Cimenti slotted home from the spot and reduced the deficit to 3-2. Suddenly Western Sydney had Mt Druitt on the ropes, and in the 75th minute, Roberts again caused problems for the Rangers’ defence, forcing a great save by goalkeeper Justin Biega. Five minutes later Western Sydney’s Jordan Morfitis beat the Rangers’ keeper, only to see his shot bounce off the post. So close for the young Wanderers, yet so far.

Just when it looked like Western Sydney was gaining the upper hand, Mt Druitt’s Clifford set off on a mesmerising run down the left flank and unleashed a rasping shot past Symes, only to see the ball clatter against the post. Majok reacted first to slot home the rebound and to give his side a handsome 4-2 lead. With just minutes remaining, it looked like Mt Druitt had the game in the bag.

But nobody told the courageous young Wanderers, who, even at this late stage of the match, refused to raise the white flag. With just two minutes remaining, Cimenti grabbed his hat-trick, calmly slotting home from an angle to reduce Mt Druitt’s lead to 4-3.

The atmosphere at the ground suddenly turned electric as the locals sniffed a comeback of epic proportions. But it wasn’t to be. The final opportunity fell to Cameron Devlin, who looked on in dismay as his last-gasp effort sailed harmlessly over the bar. The referee blew the final whistle and it was the raised arms of the visitors and the slumped heads of the young Wanderers that told the ultimate story.

Mt Druitt coach Aidan Desmond admitted that his side had planned to use his team’s size against the young and inexperienced Wanderers team. “We stuck to the plan and we got the result,” he said.

“Wanderers were very, very good with the ball and moved it around but we hung in there defensively. Our defensive structure was really, really good tonight and we managed keep them one goal less than us and we’ll take the three points.

“We rode our luck but that’s the difference between the Wanderers who do five (training) sessions a week and us who do less sessions. It shows at the back end of both halves (which were dominated by the Wanderers).

“I’m very proud of the players’ work ethic and their desire and will to win.”

Meanwhile, Wanderers coach Trevor Morgan was encouraged by his young side’s efforts.

“Obviously the result didn’t go for us but there are a lot of encouraging signs,” Morgan said. “It’s a completely new squad and starting against a highly motivated and experienced opponent, I think we showed a lot of positive signs of what’s going to come in the next few weeks.

“They (Mt Druitt) played similar in round one and I think they knew we had some changes to our squad. They have a lot of pace going forward, they have size and they tried to play a fairly direct method early on and got some good results.

“I just think the important thing is you can’t play the scoreline, we have to try and play the way we want to play. I think from 3-0 down, the game ended up 3-1 our way after that, so the lesson for us is obviously to improve and not to be in a position where we’re behind but also to keep to our style of football regardless of how the game’s going.”   

Match Stats

Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Kyle Cimenti 40’, 73’, 90’)

Mt Druitt Town Rangers 4 (Luke Clifford 10’, Abraham Majok 22’, 89’, Kuag Reec 30’)

Saturday 11 June

Blacktown Football Park, Rooty Hill

Referee: T Nash

Western Sydney Wanderers

18. Matthew Symes (GK), 20. Charles Abu Serhal, 6. Keanu Baccus, 7. Kyle Cimenti, 8. Cameron Devlin, 12. Lawrence Hanna (24. T Kumsuz 70’), 4. Abdel Kuku, 10. Tariq Maia (16. Jordan Morfitis 55’), 15. Rami Najjarine, 2. Lachlan Roberts, 27. Tate Russell (33. Moudi Najjar)

Unused Subs: 1. Daniel Axford (GK), 35. Lachlan Campbell  

Yellow Cards: Matthew Symes 30’, Tariq Maia 52’, Abdel Kuku 90’

Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC

1. Justin Biega (GK), 10. Patrick Dixon (6. Nicholas Trimble 75’), 3. Brian Griffin-Colls, 7. Luke Clifford, 8. Matthew Clowes, 9. Kuag Reec (12. Anthony Nicola 68’), 11. Abraham Majok, 13. Nathan Ralph, 14. Daniel Mccann, 15. Rainer Smahel, 16. Scott Goodwin

Unused Subs: 12. Jamie Dib, 18. Conner May, 21. Joel Tinker

Yellow Cards: 9. Kuag Reec 68’, 10. Patrick Dixon 73’

Coach: Aidan Desmond

Fraser Park 3 Macarthur Rams 1

FRASER PARK scored a rare victory when they defeated Macarthur Rams 3-1 at Sydenham on Saturday night. The win didn’t move Branko Culina’s side off the bottom of the ladder but it did instill confidence in a side that hasn’t been playing as badly as their lowly position would suggest.

“This has been coming for a while,” Culina said. “We’ve been losing games that have been very close. In many games we’ve been very unlucky and we’ve played sides that are well above us on the table and we’d say ‘why are they sitting so high and we’re sitting so low?’ It’s the odd goal, the odd mistake that has cost us, but we’ve picked up a couple of good players in the transfer window and we’re slowly getting there.

Jordan Simpson, Ben Vidaic, Rocci Gabey - who has returned to the club – have added more depth at Fraser Park, but not only that, they’ve also lifted the spirits of their teammates, who have for some time, been looking for on-field leadership.

“I also think that the message that I’ve brought to the club has been pretty consistent: work on our structure and work on our discipline and organization, all the things that make a football team,” Culina said. “In fairness to the boys, they’ve done it for a long period, but they just haven’t had the quality to do it for longer periods.

“Last night’s result was good but it’s nothing to get carried away with, and we’ve got to now get results in the next few weeks to make sure we’re on the road to better things because we’re obviously not where we want to be and where we feel we belong. But that’s the way it is. We’ve got a midweek game against St George and we’ve got Bankstown Berries next week. These are teams that are close to us on the table and if we can get positive results in these games then that will give us the confidence and self-belief to keep going.”

Fraser Park has been scoring plenty of early goals at home and Saturday night’s effort proved to be no different, with Jordan Roberts slamming home a well-timed volley in the fourth minute. “We’ve been scoring a lot of goals at home in the first minute or two which is something we work on because we want to put pressure on the opposition very early in the game because when confidence is low the last thing we want is to start slowly,” Culina said. “But unfortunately we haven’t been good enough to hold onto the lead. This time we started off really well and scored in the fourth minute.”

The home side then extended their lead to 2-0 in the 39th minute when Jordan Simpson picked out Nathan Sansom who made a long run and finished the movement with aplomb. At 2-0 Culina and his side started to believe in themselves but a serious lapse in concentration allowed the Rams to pull one back two minutes later. “Credit to them but again we didn’t defend which has been a problem for us all year and so it was 2-1.”

Culina said that Sansom had an excellent second half and in the 57th minute finished off a good move to put his side ahead 3-1. “At 3-1 you could see the boys beginning to believe that they could win the game and after that we played some really good football,” Culina added. “You score goals and everyone just lifts and become more confident, belief becomes greater and I was quite pleased with the way we finished the game off.”

While Culina was pleased with his side’s efforts, Macarthur coach Lee Sterrey was filthy with the Rams’ defence.

“Out of the three goals two were just absolute schoolboy defending,” Sterrey said. “Really all three to be honest. Our defending was as poor as you can have it. I mean you go away from home and you cop a goal after four minutes, you’re up against it to start with.

“There’s no excuses from us, but we had more players unavailable for this match than we have for any match this season. We had three important players absent which hurt us a bit. But there’s no excuses from our side.

“We got back into it at 2-1 and in the first half we had about 70 per cent possession. We were running them around and controlling the game and I was happy with our movement. But we copped a goal after four minutes and the second one was just as bad. We really controlled the game in possession, in movement, in play overall, (and while) our last pass wasn’t great around the box, we probably had four chances to score in the first half and walked into the sheds 2-1 down. I was reasonably happy at halftime but then we gave away another cheap goal early in the second half through poor defending.”

So were there any positives to come out of the game?

“We’ve got a new Japanese player (Yotaro Hagiwara) who’s 20-years-old and it was only his second game for the club, but he played really well,” Sterrey said. “He plays around Elsid (Barkhousir) up front and looked really good at times. He’ll take time to settle in but he showed he’ll fit in quite well to our mix.”

Sterrey added that while other clubs have gone out and bought players to strengthen their clubs, he has a different plan for Macarthur. “I want to build Macarthur and bring in young players from our 18s and 20s,” he said. “That’s the sort of club Macarthur should be. I think the first grade side should be 75 per cent home grown talent.”

Fraser Park 3 (Jordan Roberts 4’, Nathan Sansom 39’, 57’) Macarthur Rams 1 (Elsid Barkhousir 41’)

Saturday 11 June

Fraser Park, Sydenham

Referee: A Weir

Assistants: A Verma, L Ledden

Fraser Park

1. Wayne Estevao (GK), 2. Rocci Gabey, 3. Davide Talone, 4. Peter Crevani, 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos (C), 6. Aleksandar Todoroski, 8. Zac Ribeiro, 14. Nikola Todoroski (16. Benjamin Vidaic), 15. Jordan Simpson (18. Alvaro Malmierca), 17. Nathan Sansom, 20. Jordan Roberts

Unused Subs: 16. Norval Tobis, 21. John Dimitrakas

Yellow Cards: 4. Peter Crevani 10’, Nicholas Dimitropoulos (C) 42’, 6. Aleksandar Todoroski 90+3

Coach: Branko Culina

Macarthur Rams FC

20. Jair Fernandez (GK), 2. Craig Cooley (C), 4. Ben Cornish, 5. Elsid Barkhousir, 7. Eli Squillacioti, 9. Anthony Schmidt, 12. David McMurray, 13. Daniel Carrozza (16. Mason Versi), 15. Yotaro Hagiwara, 17. James Ralston, 19. Damien Travis

Unused Subs: 8. Cristian Leiva Martinez, 10. Bergamin Gros, 14. Mark Filipovic, 40. Nikola Bratic

Yellow Cards: 16. Mason Versi 81’

Coach: Lee Sterrey

Bankstown Berries 1 Mounties Wanderers 1

IN A TALE of two halves, Bankstown Berries and Mounties Wanderers shared the spoils in a one-all draw at The Crest Athletic Centre on Saturday night.

Berries goalkeeper Tonu Liiband pulled off a brilliant penalty save in the first half and while his side had a couple of chances in the opening 45 minutes, it was Mounties who dominated and went to the break ahead 1-0 after poacher Matthew West gave his side the lead.

Despite the setback, Berries coach Rod Williams was pleased with his side’s first half effort, especially considering he had five of his regular starting eleven unavailable.

“I just signed young Alex Tomahiro from Blacktown Spartans at left back and him and Perry Fotokopoulos, Daniel Di Ruocca and Matthew Trotter formed a very, very young backline,” Williams said. “In the second half we opened the game up and scored early through Tai Smith and from there we played some really good quality football and were unlucky not to grab the points. Mounties were probably the better side in the first half and we weren’t really creative enough in the final third. But in the second half the boys turned it on and played some really nice football. It was great to watch.”

Williams added that he had a few standout performers, including goalkeeper Liiband and the entire back four. “Forbesy (striker Gavin Forbes) never stopped trying, while Jake Bradshaw and Tai Smith worked hard. If they could play like that week-in, week-out, we’d be hard to beat. It’s coming, the football’s starting to get played. We’re not knocking long and aimless balls now, we’re actually starting to play out and it’s looking tidy. The past month or so has been a big turnaround.”

So what was the difference between the two sides?

“To be honest, Mounties have got a potent front third,” Williams replied. “Westy (Mounties striker Matthew West) scored a cracker for them and didn’t put a foot wrong all night. His touch is incredible but I thought our back four done well to contain him. They’ve got a pretty decent side. But if that game had gone on another five or six minutes, barring something catastrophic, we would’ve won that game.

“We used to be capable of playing 60-70 minutes but now we’re putting in 90 minutes and doing well. When you consider that I had no (captain) Liam McKenna, no Alex Becerra at the back, no Kyle Ewart, and he’s a big influence for us whether he’s in the middle or out wide, that was a great effort. We’ve got five players out and three are first eleven starters, so you can imagine not too many people gave us a hope in hell of pulling off something against Mounties. But they really dug in and played some really good football. I’m really proud of them.”   

Meanwhile, Mounties coach David Perkovic suggested that a draw was probably a fair result.

“It was quite an intense match,” Perkovic said. “We missed a penalty at nil-all and not long after that Westy scored a nice goal off his left foot from outside the box to give us a 1-0 lead. I think we created a lot in the first half and were probably deserved halftime leaders. But unfortunately, straight after halftime the Berries equalised, which I was very disappointed about, because it was a really soft goal we conceded. The rest of the game was probably fairly even although we were a little wasteful in the final third with some poor decision making. A draw was probably a fair result.”

Perkovic added that he was impressed with new signing Tayfun Devrimol, who, in only his second match for the side, put in a solid 90-minute performance. The coach was also happy with goal scoring ace Matthew West. “Westy always gets goals for us but I’m quite tough on him actually because I think he can do a lot more for himself and for the team. I’m tough but you can never put a downer on a guy who scores goals. I have high expectations for him because he’s quite a quality player and I want him to be even better. His goal was a good finish, very clinical.

“I thought Mitchell Davidson was quite good, he made good decisions and was always a threat. He probably could’ve had a goal or two in the first half. We gave Pat Cappuccio his debut off the bench and he got himself into some good positions. As he develops with the team he will do well. My new goalkeeper Luke Kairies also did well, making a couple of crucial shot saves. That was only his second game and he has been a good addition to our squad.”

One thing Perkovic is thankful for is the absence of midweek Cup commitments. “We struggled during the Westfield FFA Cup because I’ve only got 14 outfield over-age players, so it was really difficult to balance the squad. So now that it’s all over we’ve had a solid two weeks of training and hopefully we can start seeing the results of that hard work in matches”.

Bankstown Berries 1 (Tai Smith) Mounties Wanderers 1 (Matthew West)

Saturday 11 June

The Crest, Georges Hall

Bankstown Berries

1. Tonu Liiband (GK), 16. Alex Tomahiro, 3. Daniel Di Ruocco, 6. Perry Fotakopolous, 15. Matt Trotter, 18 Jake Bradshaw, 14. David Han, 8. M Rahimi, 11. Tai Smith, 10. Nicholas Paras (C), 9. Gavin Forbes,

Subs: 2. Andrew Vitucci, 17. Harry Feller, 20. Nathan Rayner, 21. T Bradshaw, 44. Michael Skourtis (GK)

Yellow Cards: 3. Daniel Di Ruocco

Coach: Rod Williams

Mounties Wanderers FC

1. Luke Kairies (GK), 29. Jake Ingle, 5. Patrick Gatt, 8. Emmanuel Elali, 6. Aleksandar Tomic, 17. M Simonovic, 32. Tayfun Devrimol, 28. George Codrea, 9. Matthew West, 20. Leigh Taylor, 11. Mitchell Davidson

Subs: 2 C Torrelli, 4. G Bah, 7. N Gonzalez, 11. M Davidson, 13. Pat Cappuccio, 20. R Taylor

Yellow Cards: 5. Patrick Gatt, 6. Aleksandar Tomic, 8. Emmanuel Elali

Coach: David Perkovic

Northern Tigers 2 Marconi Stallions 3

STRIKER SEAN ROONEY grabbed two goals and proved to be the difference as Marconi Stallions fought off a brave Northern Tigers to win 3-2 at Valentine Park on Saturday night.

The Stallions led 1-0 at the break after an early Marko Jesic goal but the Tigers struck home an equaliser through Mitchell Smith in the 52nd minute. Rooney scored his second in the 76th minute, a classy, well-judged lob from distance. But the Tigers refused to back down and again levelled the scores through Steven Saveas. Marconi’s match-winner involved new signing from APIA Leichhardt, Kenta Hasegawa. The Japanese linked up with Mirjan Pavlovic who squared the ball to Rooney for the striker to calmly tuck home the winner. The Tigers’ goals came from a set piece and great finish from outside the box, respectively.

“It was an important win,” said Marconi coach Jeff Suzor. “But it’s difficult playing these Cup games midweek and then backing up on the weekend. But we responded fairly well to our Waratah Cup win over Wollongong, taking an early lead through Marko Jesic. But unfortunately we missed a lot of opportunities, including numerous one-on-ones to put the game away.

“Northern Tigers, being the team they are, never let up and just came back at us. In the end we were pretty lucky to get away with the result.”

When asked what the difference was between the two sides, Suzor replied: “Sean Rooney. He scored two good goals, especially when we needed them and the new boy we signed from APIA Leichhardt, Kenta Hasegawa, came off the bench and set up the winner, which I was happy with. It was a good team performance but Sean Rooney was definitely the difference.

“We made life hard for ourselves and the game should’ve been put to bed at halftime. The teams in this league just don’t let up, they fight to the end. We’ve shown a lot of character in games this season, and while I say that our opponents never stop, neither do we. Like them, we don’t know when we’re done as well.”

Northern Tigers 2 (Mitchell Smith 52’, Steven Saveas 84’) Marconi Stallions 3 (Marko Jesic 4’, Sean Rooney 76’, 88’)

Saturday 11 June

Valentine Park, Glenwood

Referee: Daniel Stack

Assistants: Peter Liaroe, Jack Casey

Northern Tigers FC

1. Matt Nemes (GK), 2. Russell Farrell, 5. Max Glanville (12. Braden Cheng 60’), 6. Paul Davies, 9. Liam Mcconaghy, 10. Lucas Dawson (C), 11. Mitchell Smith, 14. Julian Lim (13. Juan Arima 81’), 15. Josh Ward (18. D Kartal 87’), 16. Steven Saveas, 3. Jamie Craig

Unused Subs: 19. Alexander Brown, 20. Riley Keayes, (GK)

Yellow Cards: 9. Liam Mcconaghy 25’, J Craig 69’, 6. Pau; Davies 85’, 11. Mitchell Smith 92’  

Coach: Steve Hurd

Marconi Stallions FC

1. Chad Taylor (GK), 4. Simon Valastro, 5. Peter Pelekanos, 7. Mirjan Pavlovic, 8. Sean Rooney, 10. Marko Jesic, 11. Sam Perre (9. Kenta Hasegawa), 17. Steven Drewery, 18. Brandon Vella (25. Philip Makrys), 22. Emmanuel Giannaros (14. Peter Markovic), 23. Christopher Nunes (C)

Unused Subs: 16. Noah Chianese, 21. Kristian Sekuthoski (GK)

Yellow Cards: 22. Emmanuel Giannaros 33’, 5. Peter Pelekanos 35’

Coach: Jeff Suzor

Sydney FC 4 Spirit FC 2

SYDNEY FC took full advantage of Western Sydney’s loss to Mt Druitt to climb back on top of the competition ladder with a 4-2 victory over Spirit FC at Lambert Park on Saturday night.

The old firm of Bai Antoniou and Charles Lokolingoy grabbed a goal apiece, while skipper Yianni Spyrakis scored a double. Spirit’s David Mavisa struck twice to keep the score respectable.

FC coach Robbie Stanton would have been pleased with the win after a rare run of consecutive defeats to Marconi and Western Sydney Wanderers in their last two outings. The 3-1 setback at home to their crosstown rivals would have especially hurt, but now the Sky Blues can look ahead to the remainder of the season with confidence and renewed vigor.

Spirit on the other hand, lie in second-last place on the table, just five points ahead of Fraser Park. The club has endured a dreadful season and will need to start picking up some points in order to address their position and dubious distinction of boasting a goal difference of minus-20, the worst in the league.

Sydney FC 4 (Bai Antoniou, Yianni Spyrakis 2, Charles Lokolingoy) Spirit FC 2 (D Mavisa 2)

Saturday 11 June, 16

Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Sydney FC

1. Mitchell Evans (GK), 2. Brendan Curtis, 3. Patrick Flottmann, 4. George Timotheou, 5. Yianni Spyrakis (C), 6. Nicola Kuleski, 7. Daniel Araujo, 8. J Zapata, 9. Bai Antoniou, 10. Aaron Avery, 12. Charles Lokolingoy, 14. Cristian Gonzalez, 16. W Mutch, 17. Chris Zuvela, 19. E Gonzalez, 20. N Sorras

Yellow Cards: Mitchell Evans (GK), W Mutch, Yianni Spyrakis

Coach: Robbie Stanton

Spirit FC

1. M. Nelson (GK), 2. D. Cunningham (C), 3. H. Wells, 4. M. Streeter, 6. L Maait, 7. J Harris, 8. G. Cornwell, 10. K. Changyu, 11. D Mavisa, 13. P. Reilly, 15. A. Doyle, 16. T Porter, 17. R. George, 18. B. Gibson, 21. R Agyie-Danso, 51. D. Lowery (GK)

Yellow Cards: D Cunningham, R George

Red Cards: G Cornwell

Coach: Mark McCormick

North Shore Mariners 1 Bankstown City 0

BANKSTOWN CITY kept their championship hopes alive with a 1-0 victory over North Shore Mariners at Northbridge Oval on Sunday.

First half we started ok, boys created some good chances. Scored a goal Jasli, good combination play, Chris Gomez played in the last pass and Jasli buried it in the far post in the 32nd minute.

I think we could’ve gone into the break with two or three goals. We held them at bay and they didn’t really have a clear chance. Second half we came out and Chris Gomez missed a sitter with no-one in goal and no-one in front of him. I don’t know how he missed.

We faced an opponent that played a lot of aerial balls, which obviously doesn’t suit us. At times it got a little bit scrappy. However, we did enough to win the game and we were the better team, there’s no doubt about that. The pleasing stat was that we didn’t concede a goal so it was good to get the three points at the end.

Who were the standouts?

“I think it was a level playing field. Michael Beauchamp was good again, young Jack Musgrave played well but I think that because of the midweek game we felt a bit jaded towards the end. So everyone put in a shift and everyone to the result.”   

“We lost the game but overall we’re making steps in the right direction as a club and as a squad,” said Mariners coach Joe Haywood. “You know we had a couple of 17-year-olds who made their debuts today but despite the positives, we’re still disappointed with the result.

“Realistically we switched off when we had chances and they took theirs. Two of our players lost concentration and Bankstown have got some quality in their ranks where they can take advantage of you. Our boys unfortunately didn’t create any clear-cut chances, we created some half-chances, three-quarter-chances and just didn’t quite take those today. On a positive note, the last time we played Bankstown we lost 4-1, this time we lost 1-0 so we’re progressing.

“We’ve got some good talented youngsters coming through and that’s a transition of where we are as a club at the moment.”

North Shore Mariners 0 Bankstown City 1 (Huseyin Jasli)

Sunday 12 June,

Northbridge Oval, Northbridge

North Shore Mariners

36. Stefan Giglio (GK), 39. A Sayan, 26, C Desa, 20. Zac Sfiligoi, 6. Ricky Woodward, 28. Gianni Fabbro, J Stanison, 12. Nick Chapman, 8. Michael Cole, 7. Tadhg Purcell, Josh Blackwood, 1. A. Zecchinati, 4. J Grant, 17. L Everett, 21. M Peterson, 23. J. Mbakwe, 37. J Scott

Yellow Cards: 6. Ricky Woodward

Coach: Joe Haywood

Bankstown City

1. Dion Shaw, 2. Todd Halloran, 5. Michael Beauchamp, 30. Jack Musgrave, 23. Grant Lynch, 11. Huseyin Jasli, 20. Nicholas Mouzourakis, 14. Dean Bereveskos, 16. Koji Hori, 10. Chris Gomez, 9. Gerard Ouffoue, 7. J Brooks, 12. Steven Veleski, 13. Dhari Alsaad, 41. S Benton, 22. Kyohei Kimura

Yellow Cards: 5. Michael Beauchamp, 2. Todd Halloran

Coach: Leo Carle

Central Coast Mariners 3 St George 4

ST GEORGE journeyed north to the Central Coast and came away winners after a convincing 4-3 victory over the Mariners at Pluim Park on Sunday.

The home side opened the scoring in the third minute through striker Trent Buhagiar, who has been in terrific form this season. But despite the early lead, the young Mariners lost concentration and allowed St George to score four goals in a remarkable period between the 26th and 50th minutes, with De Jesus, Konagaya (2) and Pivato raining down the goals. Trailing by 4-1, the Mariners were forced to throw caution to the wind and almost pulled off an amazing second half comeback through Steve Whyte and Cooper Buswell. But ultimately it was a case of too little, too late.

Mariners coach Ben Cahn was bitterly disappointed with his side’s performance.

“It was another frustrating week for us, we again controlled more than most of the game and wasted numerous opportunities,” Cahn said. “We were fragile and naïve defensively and it cost us again.

“Based on the balance of the game we were a better team than them. We just gifted them goals. There were a couple of decisions, including one that led to their penalty, that were very dubious. But we have to look at ourselves because we’re conceding too many goals. It’s okay to say that we’re young and developing but ultimately we’re well into the second round of the competition and if some of these players are serious about progressing then they need to take some responsibility for their performances.”

Central Coast were 1-0 up in the first couple of minutes and had quite a bit of control before having what Cahn described as a flustered period of 10 minutes where his side conceded three goals. “To be honest it was all a bit of a blur,” Cahn said. “I don’t want to be over critical of the players and the team because again the majority of our performance was very good. But at key moments in the game we were let down by individual errors and individual decision making. At the moment I feel we’re okay structurally, we control large amounts of the games we play. We always create more chances than the opposition but struggle to convert them and we’re making costly errors at the other end and gifting teams opportunities to score. In our last two games we’re probably responsible for five of the seven goals we’ve conceded.

“On a positive note, structurally we were a better side than them. There were some okay individual performances and new players like Shelford Dais showed a good work ethic. Trent Buhagiar, with the A-League season around the corner, is scoring one or two a game which is an excellent confidence builder. He’s that dangerous at the moment that he’s getting four chances a game. Those are the positives on what was a really disappointing game.”  

Central Coast Mariners 3 (Trent Buhagiar 3’, Steve Whyte 54’, Cooper Buswell 85’) St George 4 (S de Jesus 32’, Y Konagaya 26’ & 50’, B Pivato 33’)

Central Coast Mariners FC

1. Andrew Pearce (GK), 9. Shelford Dais, 4. Josh Forbes, 14. Nathan Verity, 11. Chris Hurley, 3. Reece Papadimitrios, 8. Adam Berry, 10. Ryan Peterson, 18. Steve Whyte, 12. Trent Buhagiar, 7. Lachlan Wales

Subs: 16. Cooper Buswell, 5. Daniel Tuddenham, 2. Cade Mapu, 20. Jack O’Mally (GK)

Yellow Cards: Trent Buhagiar 42’, Josh Forbes 30’

Red Cards: Reece Papadimitrios 73’

Coach: Ben Cahn

St George FC

1. George Bouropoulos (GK), 3. Ali Nasreddine, 4. Jonathan Kontalis, 5. Billy Darwich, 6. Reuben Lagos, 7. Stefan De Jesus, 9. Stevan Ilic, 10. Nicolas Rouco, 11. W Hijaz, 13. Peter Vassillis, 16. T Menton, 17. Bruno Pivato, 18. Y Konagaya, 19. D Zakilas, 50. M. Stivic (GK), T. Buyukkopru

Yellow Cards: Johnathan Kontalis, T Menton, Bruno Pivato

Red Cards: B Darwich 42’

Coaches: Nass Martino and Ivo De Jesus

Source FNSW -By Derek Royal


In no way do we agree with the report and we understand that the above report is a coaches view that has just lost, to a team "Not as good as his" , here are a few things I find funny. He forgot to mention we had a player sent off in the 42nd min and until the 73rd min of play they had one more player than us on the field, the hand ball was that clear I seen it without my glasses on,the first paragraph sums it up, we" came away winners after a convincing 4-3 victory". The Winners had smiles all the way back down the M1 and the losers look for excuses.