There is a new leader at the top of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition after Western Sydney Wanderers took advantage of GHFA Spirit’s first loss of the season, opening up a two point buffer following its 2-0 win over Rydalmere Lions.
Wins to Hills United and North Shore Mariners helped them retain a top four spot while Bonnyrigg White Eagles, Central Coast Mariners Academy and Mounties all improved their positions following respective victories.
Match of the Round
Western Sydney Wanderers v Rydalmere Lions
Western Sydney Wanderers moved two points clear at the top of the table after what, in the end, was a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory.
It may have taken some time for the Wanderers to break the deadlock with two second half goals inside eight minutes, and there was certainly some danger from Rydalmere, especially in an open first half, but there can be little doubt that the three points were well rewarded.
This game was open from the off, and the Wanderers could even have taken a lead within a minute, but Mohammed Adam’s point blank shot was well saved by Lions keeper Harrick Sinpraseuth, who not long after, also denied Fabian Monge, tipping away a well-directed shot.
But the Lions were able to respond with a great chance of their own, and one from which they really should have opened the scoring. The speedy Hassan Jalloh raced onto a long clearance, and was first to the ball ahead of Wanderers keeper Jack Greenwood, before rounding and shaping up for a strike on the open goal. But Jalloh was only able to put wide, a gilt edged chance which the Lions would come to rue.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, just two minutes later, Rydalmere had a second chance to take the lead. A perfect cross from Christopher Nunes met the head of the rising Frederick Ankumah-Sey but his free header went wide, once more for the Lions.
Tate Russell then tried from distance, Jalloh continued to look dangerous, and Monge was always looking to create, as both sides searched for the advantage.
But on this hot autumnal afternoon, so hot in fact that a drinks break was enforced, it was not until the second half that the deadlock was finally broken.
Roberts tried in the 50th, Monge laid off rather than shot in the 53rd, but it was from that ensuing corner that a goal finally came. A short corner, an inswinging cross by Daniel Wilmerring and Adam rose to flick past Sinpraseuth.
That lead was doubled eight minutes later, Sinpraseuth parrying a stinging shot after good work down the left by Adam, but Roberts was on hand for the rebound, netting for 2-0.
From that point on, the Wanderers looked in control, dominating possession and territory, although Ankumeh-Sey almost reduced the arrears with header which flashed over the bar, and Jalloh also missed from close range after Greenwood had parried a rasping shot.
But the sense was the points were heading the way of the Wanderers, despite these close calls, and that was to prove the case.
The final act of the game was a second yellow to substitute Luke Grima, a subsequent red not even providing time for a restart.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Mohammed Adam 54’, John Roberts 62’) v Rydalmere Lions 0
Sunday 7 April 2019
at Sydney United Sports Centre
Referee: Sebastian Brennan
Assts: Paddy Reynolds and Logan Jones
Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. Jack Greenwood 2. Tate Russell 3. Matthew Cordier 4. Mohammed Al Taay 6. Fabian Monge 7. John Roberts (16. Lochlan Constable 69’) 9. Marley Peterson (22. Thomas Aquilina 89’( 12. Andrea Agamemnonos 14. Mohammed Adam 15. Noah Pagden 19. Daniel Wilmerring (26. Ali Auglah 71’).
Subs not used: 18. Elliot Carwardine 25. Jarrod Carluccio
Yellow Cards: Nil
Rydalmere Lions: 21. Harrick Sinpraseuth 2. Alistair McKie (33. Luke Grima 59’) 4. Simon Valastro 5. Abuzar Awaz 7. Aaron Avery (17. Dillan Kahale 75’) 8. Mitchell Gibbs 9. Hassan Jalloh 11. Frederick Ankumah-Sey (22. Dalibar Malesevic 66’) 14. Edward Stewart 23. Christopher Nunes (c) 58. Matthew Pombart.
Subs not used: 1. Luke Cotton 15. Alhaji Bangura
Yellow Cards: Mitchell Gibbs, Edward Stewart, Luke Grima
Red Card: Luke Grima
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Richie Darko 64’) v GHFA Spirit 0
Bonnyrigg White Eagles have imposed the first defeat of the season on league leaders Spirit after a closely fought 1-0 win, a second half strike by Richie Darko enough to take all three points, in what was a game of few chances.
After a slow start to the season, the White Eagles are starting to gain the results that many expected prior to the season, and with this, the second of four home games in a row, Bonnyrigg might yet see a further rise up the table.
Spirit were kept scoreless for the first time this season, a credit to the solid Bonnyrigg backline.
Canterbury Bankstown 1 (Jake Bradshaw 90+1’) v Central Coast Mariners Academy 5 (Peter Kekeris 1’, 53’, Dylan Ruiz-Diaz 60’, 86’ Jordan Smylie 79’)
Central Coast Mariners certainly didn’t take long to atone for their midweek mishap.
A 0-4 reverse against St George City FA on Wednesday was erased from their memory in double-quick fashion with a thumping 5-1 victory over Canterbury Bankstown.
It took just one minute for the Mariners to take the lead, Peter Kekeris notching his first of two for the night.
There may have been no change before half time, but as the second half swung into action, the floodgates opened. Kekeris doubled the lead eight minutes after the restart, before Dylan Ruiz-Diaz made it 3-0 on the hour.
There was no coming back from this for the Berries, who conceded a fourth, to Jordan Smylie, before Ruiz-Diaz made it 5-0 four minutes from time.
A late consolation by Jake Bradshaw for Canterbury was just that, a result which the leaves the Berries anchored to the bottom of the table.
Northern Tigers 2 (Josh Swadling pen 19’, own goal 76’) v St George City FA 2
Northern Tigers had to come from behind twice, to snare a share of the points against the visiting St George City FA.
Going a goal down after sixteen minutes, the Tigers were able to draw level within three, Josh Swadling sending the City keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.
But City weren’t perturbed, taking the lead for the second time midway through the opening half.
Just when it was looking that City might take two wins in four days, an own goal with a quarter of an hour left ensured the game finished even.
Hills United 1 (Daniel Fogarty 18’) v Blacktown Spartans 0
Hills United have continued with their impressive early season form with a narrow single goal victory over neighbours Blacktown Spartans.
A goal by Daniel Fogarty after eighteen minutes was enough to seal the victory, his third of the year.
Particularly pleasing will be that this was Hills’ first clean sheet of the season, something coach Patrick Zwaanswijk will take some pride in.
Macarthur Rams 1 (Matthew Trotter) v Mounties Wanderers 3 (Theo Kofinas, Tai Smith, Matthew West)
Mounties Wanderers have made it two wins on the trot with a vital 3-1 victory at Macarthur Rams, the victory lifting Mounties into the top half of the table for the first time this season. And with a game up their sleeves, their rise may not be over yet.
Goals to menacing defender Theo Kofinas, Tai Smith and Matthew West sent the Mounties on their way, while the Rams replied too little too late, a Matthew Trotter goal with four minutes left, a sole response.
North Shore Mariners 1 (Mitchell Smith 32’) v St George 0
In a tight game at Northbridge Oval, North Shore Mariners did enough to take all the points against the visiting St George, a goal on the half hour by Mitchell Smith doing the damage. It was Smith’s sixth goal of the season, a tally which sees him just one goal shy of the league’s top marksman Duncan Stewart.
The win helps North Shore retain third spot, while the reigning champions, with three losses now in a row, sit uncomfortably in twelfth.
Source FNSW website