The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 2 has a new leader after Western Sydney Wanderers defeated challengers Bankstown City 3-2 with the winner coming in the final seconds. Sydney FC handed over the lead after going down 1-0 at home to Northern Tigers.
Bankstown Berries slumped to bottom on the ladder for the first time this season after a second consecutive home defeat, this time to Central Coast Mariners.
Bankstown Berries v Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast Mariners made it two wins on the trot with a narrow 2-1 defeat of Bankstown Berries at an icy Crest Oval on Saturday night.
With both teams missing regular starters, the suspended Trent Buhagiar and Reece Papadimitrios for the Mariners, and central defender Liam McKenna for the Berries, it could be expected that both teams may have taken a little time to slot into gear.
But once more, as they did against Macarthur Rams last weekend, the Mariners came out of the blocks in quick smart fashion, and it was Buhagiar’s replacement, Cooper Buswell who showed he needed little time at all.
After just eight minutes, a low hit free kick from the left was sent into the Berries area, and Buswell was first to connect, sneaking in the ball at the near post. It was another fine goal from the youngster, having also scored the winner as sub last weekend.
Not the best of starts for the Berries, but any thoughts of a quick comeback were damaged when the Mariners doubled their lead ten minutes later. A cut back from the left and Ryan Peterson received the ball outside the box. One touch to control and then Peterson let fly with a low strike which evaded everyone to nestle into the corner.
The lead may have been a healthy one but by no means was it conclusive. The Berries were spurred into action and recovered well to create quite a few chances, the best of which were either repelled by a quick defence or the confident keeping of Thomas Heward-Belle.
Nathan Rayner was the first to try his luck, his shot drawing a good save from Heward-Belle, before Tai Smith crossed from the left, providing Gavin Forbes with an opportunity. But Forbes maybe took one touch too many, and the Mariners defence smothered the chance.
It wasn’t long after the turnaround that the Berries did reduce the deficit, just five minutes in. And it was Forbes who took advantage of a rebound in the Mariners box, the ball falling sweetly into his path. There was no chance that Forbes would miss from here, the piledriver slamming into the roof of the net.
Now just one behind, the Berries began to dominate the territory and had their best period of the game. Just six minutes after scoring, Forbes had another chance when receiving the ball wide of the defence. It was a good chance for 2-2 but the shot went just wide.
Perry Fotakopoulos had a chance, which Heward-Belle collected, while the keeper also denied Mohammad Rahimi, who long goal bound drive was plucked out of the air.
Nicholas Paras, on the bench for this one, came on with twenty to go, and it looked to set up a grandstand finish. The chance of a second spurred on the Berries home support, and the travelling Mariners faithful, maybe finding a way to keep warm in the frigid conditions.
But some last ditch defending by Central Coast, always managing a get a foot in when it mattered, kept the Berries at bay.
With two minutes to go, it was almost a third by the Mariners which would have ended all doubt. A slip at the back presented Lachlan Wales with the chance to make it 3-1, but a hurried shot perhaps was blasted over the bar, with just Chris Becerra to beat.
It was the final act in a match which sees the Mariners climb above their nearest rivals while the Berries drop to bottom after points gained by Fraser Park and Spirit FC. The Berries will have the chance to fix that when they take on Macarthur Rams on Wednesday night.
Bankstown Berries 1 (Gavin Forbes 50’) v Central Coast Mariners 2 (Cooper Buswell 8’, Ryan Peterson 17’)
Saturday 25 June 2016
at The Crest Bass Hill
Referee: Michael Weiner
Bankstown Berries: 40. Chris Becerra 2. Andrew Vitucci 4. Alex Becerra 6. Perry Fotakopoulos 8. Mohammad Rahimi 9. Gavin Forbes 11. Tai Smith 14. David Han (18. Jake Bradshaw 82’) 16. Hyams Tomohiro 17. Harrison Fellers (10. Nicholas Paras 71’) 20. Nathan Rayner.
Subs not used: 1. Tonu Liiband 15. Matthew Trotter 19. Panni Gotsis
Yellow Cards: Nil
Coach: Rod Williams
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Thomas Heward-Belle 2. Cade Mapu (4. Peter Kekeris 70’) 7. Lachlan Wales 8. Adam Berry 9. Shelford Dais 10. Ryan Peterson 11. Chris Hurley 13. Joshua Forbes (12. Zachary Thomas 78’) 14. Nathan Verity 15. Cooper Buswell (5. Sean Pratt 85’) 18. Steve Whyte.
Subs not used: 20 Jack O’Malley 3. Matthew Lee
Yellow Cards: Shelford Dais
Coach: Ben Cahn
Spirit FC v Mount Druitt Town Rangers
Spirit FC ended Mount Druitt Town’s run of eight games without defeat with a 2-0 win at Christie Park.
Goals in the second half to Alexander Boyle and substitute Brad Gibson were sufficient to secure the points, as Rangers were held scoreless for the first time in eleven games.
After being bottom prior to the weekend, the win lifts Spirit two places to twelfth.
Spirit FC 2 (Alexander Boyle, Brad Gibson) v Mount Druitt Town Rangers 0
Referee: Tim Danaskos
Spirit FC: 51. David Lowery 2. Daniel Cunningham 4. Michael Streeter 6. Alexander Doyle 7. Jacob Harris (9. Luke Maait) 8. Grant Cornwell 10. Kim Changyu 11. David Mavisa (3. Henry Wells) 13. Phillip Reilly 19. Tom Lovell 21. Reuben Agyei-Danso (Brad Gibson).
Mount Druitt Town Rangers: 1. Justin Biega 3. Brian Griffin-Colls 7. Luke Clifford 8. Matthew Clowes 10. Patrick Dixon 11. Abraham Majok (4. Frank Martey) 12. Nuno Soares Gomes 13. Nathan Ralph 14. Daniel McCann 15. Rainer Smahel (5. Garang Awac) 16. Scott Goodwin.
Fraser Park v Mounties Wanderers
Fraser Park and Mounties fought out a 1-1 draw but it seemed for a time that Fraser’s recent run of wins would be continuing.
With just five minutes left on the clock, Jordan Simpson put Fraser 1-0 up and it looked like they were heading for the fourth win in a row.
But with only one minute remaining, it was Mitchell Davidson, against his former club, who made sure that Mounties didn’t go home empty handed.
Fraser Park 1 (Jordan Simpson 85’) v Mounties Wanderers 1 (Mitchell Davidson 89’)
Fraser Park: 1. Wayne Estavao 2. Rocci Gabey 3. Davide Talone 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos 6. Alexandar Todoroski 8. Zac Ribeiro (4. Peter Crevani) 14. Nikola Todoroski 16. Benjamin Vidaic 17. Nathan Sansom 18. Alvaro Malmierca (15. Jordan Simpson) 20. Jordan Roberts
Mounties Wanderers: 1. Luke Kairies 5. Patrick Gatt 6. Aleksander Tomic 7. Neftali Gonzalez 8. Emanuel Elali 9. Matthew West (28. George Codrea) 11. Mitchell Davidson 13. Pat Cappuccio 20. Reid Taylor (17. Milorad Simonovic) 29. Jake Ingle 32. Tayfun Devrimol.
Marconi v St George
Marconi pinched a point against St George right at the death, a penalty from Marko Jesic in the fifth minute of injury time, ensuring a 2-2 result.
The Stallions had gone ahead in the 17th minute, after Jesic had scored his first of the afternoon, heading in a Sean Rooney cross at the far post.
But the Saints drew level six minutes later when Yuta Konagaya scrambled home the equaliser, following excellent work from Peter Vassilis out wide.
George Bouropoulos produced a superb save to deny Mirjan Pavlovic, keeping the score at 1-1 at the break, but it was the visitors who would hit the front ten minutes into the second half. A shot from Bruno Pivato took a sharp deflection, the ball looping over substitute keeper, Kristian Sekutkoski.
St George put on a classy second half display and could have extended their lead with Pivato coming close more than once, but for a side netting and a Sekutkoski save.
Marconi looked to draw level when Rooney set up Pavlovic on the hour, but somehow the shot was blasted wide.
Despite being under heavy pressure in the final minutes, it seemed that St George would hang on for the win, and not undeserved, but a high footed challenge in the final moments, gave Jesic the chance. It was literally the last kick of the game.
Marconi 2 (Marko Jesic 17’, 90+5’ pen) v St George 2 (Yuta Konagaya 23’, Bruno Pivato 54’)
Referee: Roberto Mattei
Marconi: 1. Chad Taylor (21. Kristian Sekutkoski 13’) 4. Simon Valastro 5. Peter Pelekanos 6. Raimond Coletta (11. Sam Perre 58’) 7. Mirjan Pavlovic 8. Sean Rooney 10. Marko Jesic 16. Noah Chianese (9. Kenta Hasegawa 58’) 17. Steven Drewery 18. Brandon Vella 23. Christopher Nunes.
St George: 1. George Bouropoulos 3. Ali Nasreddine 4. Johnathan Kontalis 6. Reuben Lagos (19. Dimitri Zakilas 93’) 7. Stefan de Jesus (11. Wassim Hijazi 83’) 8. Tarik Ercan 9. Stevan Ilic (5. Billy Darwich 88’) 13. Peter Vassilis 16. Thomas Menton 17. Bruno Pivato 18. Yuta Konagaya.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Bankstown City
In a thriller at Blacktown Football Park, Western Sydney Wanderers returned to the top of the table with a last gasp winner over a defiant Bankstown City.
Gerard Ouffoue had the put the visitors in front midway through the first half but an equaliser was not long in coming, Keanu Bacchus drawing the Wanderers level just after the half hour.
In a tight and exciting game, Tariq Maia poked the Wanderers noses in front ten minutes after the restart, collecting the ball in his own half before slaloming his way upfield, and striking home from the edge of the area.
It looked bleak for the Lions when Domenic Hudap was given a second yellow card for a foul on Tacettin Kumsuz, but that wasn’t to be the end of it. Remarkably, despite being a man short, the Lions drew level in the final few minutes through Jack Musgrave, seemingly gaining a well deserved point.
But a last-second goal by Maia cruelled those hopes, his second of the night helping to lift the Wanderers clear at the top.
Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Keanu Bacchus 34’, Tariq Maia 54’, 90 +3’) v Bankstown City 2 (Gerrard Ouffoue, Jack Musgrave 87’)
Sydney FC v Northern Tigers
Northern Tigers came away from Lambert Park with all three points, courtesy of an own goal, and a Sydney FC opposition which finished with only nine men.
The Tigers won’t care about that though, as the win keeps them safely within the six in what was an important victory. The own goal to Patrick Flottman in the 21st minute gave the Tigers in the lead and while Sydney FC worked hard to draw level, it was not to be.
Any chance of a comeback was crushed by the sendings off to firstly, George Timotheou in the 59th and then Daniel Araujo in the 74th.
Sydney FC 0 v Northern Tigers 1 (Patrick Flottman 21’ own goal)
North Shore Mariners v Macarthur Rams
North Shore Mariners recovered somewhat from last week’s hammering at St George to collect a point against the visiting Macarthur Rams.
The Rams had taken a first half lead through Elsid Barkhousir, but a share of the points were made certain when Chris Lindsay netted.
With one game still up their sleeve, Macarthur will travel to The Crest on Wednesday night.
North Shore Mariners 1 (Chris Lindsay) v Macarthur Rams 1 (Elsid Barkhousir)
SourceFNSW- by Peter Rowney, Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men's Reporter