The roundabout that is the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s continued over the weekend with Sydney FC returning to the top of the table after a comprehensive 4-1 win over Central Coast Mariners, while previous leaders Western Sydney Wanderers dropped points in a 1-1 draw with cellar dwellers North Shore Mariners.
Meanwhile, Northern Tigers took back sixth spot from Mount Druitt Town Rangers after a late goal saw off Macarthur Rams, and Rangers drew 1-1 with second from bottom Bankstown Berries.
Match of the Round
Northern Tigers v Macarthur Rams
Northern Tigers returned to sixth spot on the ladder after a very late winner against Macarthur Rams, a goal in time added on by substitute Harry McAllister claiming all the points.
But even the Tigers must feel they were fortunate to take the win, with Macarthur Rams having numerous chances to take victory themselves, but spurning the lot, before suffering that cruel blow right at the death.
With the last of the top six spots up for grabs, and being fought out between a host of clubs, neither the Tigers or the Rams could afford a loss, and it was the visiting Rams who started the brighter. As early as the fourth minute they hit the post, Yotara Hagiwara striking against the upright.
It was looking good for Macarthur in this impressive opening period, and Craig Cooley was finding ample room out on the right, his trademark runs down the flank creating a number of chances, and causing problems for the Tigers defence.
In the 19th minute, Cooley drew a fine save from Matt Nemes, the keeper tipping the goalbound strike over for a corner, and a later attempt from David McMurray, a longer range effort, was the result of some persistent Rams pressure.
But it was Cooley’s attempt four minutes before half time, which was the most impressive of the first half. A quick Rams attack commenced deep in their own half, and it took only four sharp passes for the ball to find its way to Cooley on the right. In plenty of space, the right back had the Rams’ best chance for the opener, but again, just failed to score.
Northern Tigers hadn’t been on the back foot though, and their best chance of the game came not long after Cooley’s opportunity. Good combination play between Braden Cheng and Joel Hardwick set up Hardwick for a strike, but this time it was the turn of Macarthur keeper Nikodin Matic to impress, smothering the shot superbly.
But no goals before the break, despite the chances, and it seemed that there would be none after either.
It looked to be much of the same with the best chances falling to Macarthur with sporadic opportunities for Northern Tigers.
Cooley again, in the 54th minute was instrumental in another Rams attack. This time his charge down the right resulted in a neat cross straight to the diving head of Cristian Leiva Martinez, but Nemes, in good form tonight, again showed a safe, clean pair of hands.
On fifty five minutes, the Tigers were forced into a change after Max Glanville aggravated a hamstring injury, and on came Harry McAllister. Little did the Tigers know at that stage, that the substitute would prove to be the match winner.
A fine chance fell to the Tigers, and Mitchell Smith, who nipped in on a long through ball, getting in first ahead of Matic, but from a tight angle blasted wide.
With time running out, and the Rams still unable to make it count, Lee Sterrey made a double substitution, bringing on Damien Travis and the returning Elsid Barkhousir.
And it looked to be a substitution which would provide the breakthrough, especially when Travis got the better of his defender, and bore down on goal, five minutes after coming on. But again Nemes was to the rescue, denying Travis in a 1 v 1.
As anybody can attest, so many missed chances can come home to roost and that is exactly what happened next.
In time added on, as Paul Davies slung over a high ball to the far post, it was a last ditch effort. With the ball then knocked back across to goal, McAllister made it count.
Northern Tigers 1 (Harry McAllister 90+1’) v Macarthur Rams 0
Saturday 6 August 2016
at Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood
Referee: Roberto Mattei
Assts: Joon Park and Bashaal Prasad
Northern Tigers: 1. Matt Nemes 2. Russell Farrell 4. Michael Rolston (c) 5. Max Glanville (17. Harry McAllister 55’) 6. Paul Davies 7. Joel Hardwick 10. Lucas Dawson 11. Mitchell Smith 12. Braden Cheng (13. Jun Arima 90+2’) 15. Josh Ward 19. Alexander Brown.
Subs not used; 8. Sebastian Bendall 18. Diren Kartel 20. Riley Keayes
Yellow Cards: Nil
Coach: Steve Hurd
Macarthur Rams: 1. Nikodin Matic 2. Craig Cooley (c) 4. Ben Cornish 6. Kevin Ly 7. Eli Squillacioti (5. Elsid Barkhousir 75’) 8. Cristian Leiva Martinez (19. Damien Travis 75’) 9. Anthony Schmidt 12. David McMurray 13. Jordan Cracknell 15. Yotara Hagiwara 17. James Ralston.
Subs not used: 3. Mitchell Thompson 11. Reagan Suters 20. Jair Fernandez
Yellow Cards: Nil
Coach: Lee Sterrey
Western Sydney Wanderers v North Shore Mariners
The league leaders stumbled against bottom placed North Shore Mariners, only taking a share of the points in a match they would have been expected to win comfortably. But after taking an early lead through Remy Najjarine, an impressive strike into the top corner, the Wanderers were unable to increase their advantage, and North Shore responded nicely.
A penalty awarded after a handball in the area provided Michael Cole with the chance to equalise, a chance not spurned, and North Shore might even have taken a win, some second half pressure giving the Wanderers plenty to think about.
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Remy Najjarine 14’) v North Shore Mariners 1 (Michael Cole pen 47’)
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
It was a fine night for 17 year old debutant John Iredale, making his first appearance in the NPL2 first team, scoring a second half double as he helped lift the Sky Blues back to the top of the table.
A twice taken early penalty to Nikola Kuleski set Sydney FC up for the night, with Chris Zuvela doubling the lead just prior to half time, Kuleski this time turning provider.
Central Coast, who returned to the finals mix midweek, drew a goal back through Trent Buhagiar on the hour, but Iredale’s double, after coming on as sub, stretched Sydney FC’s lead out to an ultimately comfortable margin.
Sydney FC 4 (Nikola Kuleski pen 12’, Chris Zuvela 44’, John Iredale 74’, 83’) v Central Coast Mariners 1 (Trent Buhagiar 62’)
Mount Druitt Town Rangers v Bankstown Berries
With full points needed by both teams for differing reasons, the 1-1 end result between Mount Druitt Town and Bankstown Berries did not really satisfy either.
With Rangers being chased by a raft of clubs for sixth, the dropped points ensured that they forgave the advantage in the race for the finals while the Berries are still looking behind them at the tail end of the club championship ladder.
Gavin Forbes had given the visitors the lead in the first half but Nathan Ralph quickly drew Rangers level ten minutes before the break.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers 1 (Nathan Ralph) v Bankstown Berries 1 (Gavin Forbes)
Mounties Wanderers v Marconi
For the second time this season, Marconi have rallied to overturn a large pending defeat, this time scoring five against Mounties Wanderers after being 3-0 down into the second half.
Mounties had gone in at the break 2-0 to the good, after first half goals to Patrick Gatt and Mitchell Davidson. When Reid Taylor duly made it 3-0 early in the second half, it seemed that Mounties would take a comfortable victory but an amazing five goal blitz left the home side stunned as Mirjan Pavlovic with three and Sean Rooney with two saw the Stallions race away with the game.
The comeback rivals the 4-4 draw of a month ago when Marconi had come from 0-4 down to share the points with Bankstown Berries.
Mounties Wanderers 3 (Patrick Gatt, Mitchell Davidson, Reid Taylor) v Marconi 5 (Mirjan Pavlovic 3, Sean Rooney 2)
Referee: Tim Danaskos
Mounties: 21. Luke Kairies 5. Patrick Gatt 6. Aleksandar Tomic 7. Neftali Gonzalez 9. Matthew West (35. Alex Boyadjian)11. Mitchell Davidson 13. Pat Cappuccio 19. Ben Ansah 22. Wade Oostendorp 28. George Codrea (20. Reid Taylor) 32. Tayfun Devrimol (17. Milorad Simonovic).
Marconi: 1. Chad Taylor 2. Jarrad Ross 5. Peter Pelekanos 7. Mirjan Pavlovic 8. Sean Rooney 10. Marko Jesic (9. Kenta Hasegawa) 11. Sam Perre 14. Peter Markovic 17. Steven Drewery (24. Christopher Godoy Boscur)18. Brandon Vella 23. Christopher Nunes.
Spirit FC v Fraser Park
Fraser Park almost got away with yet another win but a late Henry Wells goal, deep into injury time, ensured that Spirit FC didn’t leave Pennant Hills Park empty handed.
After taking a first half lead through Michael Streeter, Spirit turned over the advantage in an eight minute spell midway through the second period. Ben Vidaic brought Fraser level before Nikola Todoroski put the visitors in the lead not long after.
It seemed that Fraser Park may secure their eight win in ten, but Wells’ late goal put paid to that.
Spirit FC 2 (Michael Streeter 29’, Henry Wells 90+4’) v Fraser Park 2 (Ben Vidaic 57’, Nikola Todoroski 64’)
Referee: Jerry Bitas
Spirit FC: 51. David Lowery 2. Daniel Cunningham (3. Henry Wells) 4. Michael Streeter 5. Andrew Robertson 6. Alexander Doyle 8. Grant Cornwell 11. David Mavisa 13. Phillip Reilly 16. Mark McAlpine 19. Tom Lovell 21. Reuben Agyei-Danso (18. Brad Gibson).
Fraser Park: 1. Wayne Estavao 2. Rocci Gabey 4. Peter Crevani 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos 6. Alexander Todoroski 8. Zac Ribeiro 9. Jeffrey Issa (18. Alvaro Malmierca) 14. Nikola Todoroski 16. Ben Vidaic (11. Gabriel Rodriguez) 17. Nathan Sansom 20. Jordan Roberts.
Bankstown City v St George
Source FNSW - by Peter Rowney, PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men's Reporter