Sydney FC were held to a scoreless draw by North Shore Mariners but increased their lead at the top of the Playstation 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition, thanks to a Marconi victory over closest rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers once again swapped places with Northern Tigers in the race for the semis, but there is a raft of clubs ready to step into the breach should either falter.
Despite the respectable draw, the wooden spoon is headed over the Bridge to North Shore Mariners.
Match of the Round
Marconi v Western Sydney Wanderers
A vibrant and experienced Marconi were too strong for Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday, taking out a close result 2-1 but in fairness, the narrowness of the scoreline didn’t really give a fair indication of the Stallions’ dominance in this game.
It was possibly Marconi’s best game of the season, starting off like a house on fire, and creating chances from the opening whistle. They looked sharp and with a clear intent in mind, and that was simply to win. And with results going their way this weekend, the win they gained has given the race for the title a real shakeup. The match was entertaining too, giving the larger than normal NPL2 crowd a game to enjoy.
As early as six minutes in, they had their first clear chance and a superb cross by Sam Perre met the rising head of Mirjan Pavlovic inside the six yard box, but the effort was just too close in, and the header powered over the bar. Immediately after, within seconds, Sean Rooney had a strike which was just wide. Rooney then crossed superbly across the face of goal but Brandon Vella could not quite get on the end of the tantalising ball.
Three good chances but no goals, yet.
The Wanderers retaliated and almost scored themselves when Brenton Fox got on the end of a cross from the left but struck over from close range.
It wasn’t long before Marconi did get the lead their start deserved.
A corner was not quite cleared and it fell neatly to Peter Markovic who drove home from outside the box, with fifteen minutes gone.
How Marconi didn’t increase their lead is anyone’s guess. Perre had another sweet cross just evade Rooney, Marko Jesic hit the side netting and Matthew Symes pulled off an excellent save to deny Rooney, after Pavlovic set him up in space.
But it remained just the one, and the Wanderers did make them pay. They issued a warning when a Peter Pelekanos header back to keeper Chad Taylor fell short, and Fox nipped in to toepoke towards goal but luckily for Marconi, just wide of the post.
But with a minute to go before half time, the equaliser came. A quick break after Marconi turned over possession inside the Wanderers half, and Moudi Najjar struck low under Taylor.
That might have been just an aberration as Marconi started the second half as they did the first. Two clear chances fell their way, as firstly Pelekanos blasted over from close range when unmarked, after Pavlovic created the opportunity, and then Perre did likewise, from a Rooney cutback.
But they didn’t go in, and it seemed for much of the rest of the half that it would a game, for Marconi, that got away.
The young Wanderers did well, never failing to compete, and they weren’t without their own chances. Lawrence Hanna had a good strike, as did Tariq Maia, and it was clear that if Marconi were going to win, it wasn’t going to be given to them.
But win they did, and deservedly so, it must be said. It may have come from the spot, after Pavlovic was brought down by Abdelrahman Kuku, but after Jesic converted the spotkick, the game was safe.
It sets up an intriguing last fortnight, not to mention Round 25, with Marconi travelling to Sydney FC next Saturday for another blockbuster.
Marconi 2 (Peter Markovic 15’, Marko Jesic 77’ pen) v Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Moudi Najjar 44’)
Sunday 14 August 2016
at Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assts: Vishaal Prasad and John Lilac
Marconi: 1. Chad Taylor 2. Jarrad Ross (4. Simon Valastro 46’) 5. Peter Pelekanos 7. Mirjan Pavlovic 8. Sean Rooney 10. Marko Jesic 11. Sam Perre (9. Kenta Hasegawa 82’) 14. Peter Markovic 17. Steven Drewery (24. Chris Godoy Boscur 86’) 18. Brandon Vella 23. Christopher Nunes
Subs not used: 21. Kristian Setkukoski 6. Raimond Coletta
Yellow Cards: Mirjan Pavlovic, Brandon Vella
Coach: Tony Candy
Western Sydney Wanderers: 18. Matthew Symes 2. Tate Russell 3. Henry Davies 4. Abdelrahman Kuku 6. Keanu Bacchus 7. Kyle Cimenti 10. Tariq Maia 12. Lawrence Hanna 14. Brenton Fox (16. Jordan Morfitis 82’) 19. Malcolm Ward 33. Moudi Najjar (24. Tacettin Kumsuz 46’).
Subs not used: 1. Nicholas Suman 35. Lachlan Campbell 42. Matthew Lecce
Yellow cards: Nil
Coach: Trevor Morgan
North Shore Mariners v Sydney FC
North Shore Mariners are certainly fighting every step of the way, taking valuable points off Sydney FC, as they held the league leaders to a 0-0 draw at Northbridge Oval.
They were points which keeps them in touch of Fraser Park in the all important club championship, even though the draw confirms the wooden spoon is headed their way.
For Sydney FC, who battled for over half the game with ten men, following the first half send off to Bai Antoniou, it might have been worse, but the loss by Western Sydney Wanderers now gives the Sky Blues a one point advantage.
North Shore Mariners 0 v Sydney FC 0
Fraser Park v Mount Druitt Town Rangers
Fraser Park came unstuck against the visiting Mount Druitt Town Rangers, a rare recent loss swinging the top six back in favour of the team from the west.
A twenty five yard strike from Daniel McCann which went right into the top corner gave Rangers the advantage midway through the first half and when Kuag Reec doubled the score from close range right before half time, a tough second half was in store.
Fraser did pull one back ten minutes before time, Jordan Roberts scoring from a direct free kick after Ben Vidaic had been fouled, but it wasn’t enough and Fraser still have a fight on their hands over the final two weeks.
Fraser Park 1 (Jordan Roberts 79’) v Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2 (Daniel McCann 24’, Kuag Reec 45’)
Fraser Park: 1. Wayne Estavao 2. Rocci Gabey 4. Peter Crevani 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos 6. Aleksandar Todoroski 8. Zac Ribeiro 14. Nikola Todoroski (13. Sang Ho Lee) 15. Jordan Simpson (18. Alvaro Malmierca) 16. Ben Vidaic 17. Nathan Sansom 20. Jordan Roberts.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers: 1. Justin Biega 3. Brian Griffin-Colls 6. Nicholas Trimble 7. Luke Clifford (23. Frank Martey) 8. Mathew Clowes 9. Kuag Reec (12. Nuno Soares Gomes) 10. Goncalo Paradanta (2. Lord Darkoh) 11. Abraham Majok 13. Nathan Ralph 14. Daniel McCann 16. Scott Goodwin.
St George v Mounties Wanderers
St George claimed their third win in a row, the first time this season they have done so, with a 2-0 win over Mounties Wanderers.
Missing leading scorer Matthew West through suspension, Mounties nonetheless came close a number of times in the first half with Reid Taylor having a shot blocked on the line by Billy Darwich while Alex Boyadjian and Taylor, again, had shots flash over in the opening half.
But the Saints, who still showed good form throughout, responded with Bruno Pivato coming close with his angled shot just curling wide, before Jayden McLeod forced home the opener after some desperate Mounties defending, from a Stefan de Jesus freekick.
De Jesus was the provider for the second as well, with Darwich powerfully heading a corner over the line, which Mounties keeper Luke Kairies could not quite prevent going in.
St George 2 (Jayden McLeod 68’, Billy Darwich 72’) v Mounties Wanderers 0
St George: 1. George Bouropoulos 3. Ali Nasreddine 5. Billy Darwich 7. Stefan de Jesus (17. Tayfun Buyukkopru 90’) 8. Tarik Ercan 10. Bruno Pivato 13. Peter Vassilis 16. Thomas Menton 18. Yuta Konagaya 19. Dimitri Zakilas 20. Jayden McLeod.
Mounties Wanderers: 21. Luke Kairies 5. Patrick Gatt 6. Aleksander Tomic (2. Joshua Viera) 7. Neftali Gonzalez (28. George Codrea) 13. Pat Cappuccio 17. Milorad Simonovic 20. Reid Taylor 22. Wade Ostendorp 32. Tayfun Devrimol 34. Mitchell Davidson 35. Alex Boyadjian (29. Jake Ingle).
Macarthur Rams v Bankstown City
Macarthur Rams did to the Lions this week what they should have done to the Tigers last week, coming away with a comfortable victory, to keep their slim finals hope alive by the barest of margins.
Elsid Barkhousir put the Rams in front after twelve minutes, with the lead doubled just after half time through Cristian Leiva Martinez. A late strike to Ben Cornish finished off a strong result for Macarthur.
Macarthur Rams 3 (Elsid Barkhousir 12’, Cristian Leiva Martinez 47’, Ben Cornish 94’) v Bankstown City 0
Macarthur Rams: 1. Nikodon Matic 2. Craig Cooley 4. Ben Cornish 5. Elsid Barkhousir (15. Yotaro Hagiwara) 6. Kevin Ly 7. Eli Squilllacioti (19. Damian Travis) 8. Cristian Leiva Martinez 9. Anthony Schmidt 12. David McMurray 13. Jordan Cracknell 17. James Ralston.
Bankstown City: 1. Dion Shaw 2. Todd Halloran 5. Michael Beauchamp 9. Gerard Ouffoue 10. Chris Gomez 11. Huseyin Jasli (7. Joshua Brookes) 13. Dhari Alsaad 14. Dean Bereveskos 16. Kojiro Hori (20. Nicholas Mouzourakis) 23. Grant Lynch 25. Shayne Ardle (15. Alessandro Pecora).
Bankstown Berries v Northern Tigers
The Berries are proving to be a thorn in the side of the top six challengers after defeating Northern Tigers 2-0 on Saturday night, a week after taking points off Mount Druitt Town Rangers.
They didn’t take long to take the lead with Gavin Forbes putting them ahead within a couple of minutes of the game’s start, a lead they held until an own goal by Paul Davies towards the end of the match confirmed the result. It was a good night for the Berries, with keeper Tonu Liiband also denying the Tigers from the spot.
Bankstown Berries 2 (Gavin Forbes, Paul Davies own goal) v Northern Tigers 0
Central Coast Mariners v Spirit FC
Central Coast Mariners celebrated their first win in seven games with a 2-0 victory over Spirit FC, a nice way to finish their home fixtures. It may have been only their third win at Pluim Park this season, but it would have given the Mariners supporters an enjoyable afternoon all the same.
Goals to Josh Bingham and Lachlan Wales secured the result, sending Spirit back down the F3 emptyhanded.
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Josh Bingham, Lachlan Wales) v Spirit FC 0
- by Peter Rowney, Play Station 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men's Reporter