Our local NPL teams are well underway in their shortened competition, let’s recap how they went on the weekend.
NPL WOMEN ROUND 5
Macarthur Rams 1-3 Illawarra Stingrays
The Stingrays hit the front in some style as Michelle Carney scored an absolute screamer after only two minutes on the clock from a free kick. Six minutes later, Carney did it again! Another perfect set piece, this time placed into the top corner had Sham Khamis watch the ball fly into the back of the net. Patty Charalambous added another goal to her tally after some excellent work by Leena Khamis. Illawarra’s first win of the season was safe 10 minutes from full time as Carney turned provider for Eden Stoddard who tapped the ball home.
NPL 2 WOMEN ROUND 5
UNSW FC 2 drew with Marconi Stallions 2
The Students produced a marvelous defensive effort to draw 2-2 against Marconi Stallions this afternoon at Seymour Shaw. It was a performance full of credit for UNSW FC. They opened up the scoring through Francesca Fernandez who timed her run to perfection to round the goalie. In a small dose of deja vu, Marconi Stallions equalised from a Joanna Martino free-kick to make it 1-1 at the break. Both sides pushed forward to find the winner and Fernandes looked to have sealed the points for UNSW FC when she pounced on an error in the 82nd minute. Danielle Bishop produced a stunning 30-yard effort for the Stallions to snatch a point. Post match Stallions coach Andy Severin praised the “defensive effort” from UNSW FC who were clinical in the contest and converted their chances. He also was happy with the work rate of his side to claw back the result twice. For UNSW FC coach Steve Greenwood, he paid tribute to custodian Nadine Knight for her saves to keep the Students in the contest. A point will be welcome relief for UNSW FC after a lean few weeks before this game.
St George FC 0 defeated by SD Raiders FC 1
SD Raiders FC edged a tense and close contest 1-nil against St George FC on a bright afternoon down at St George Stadium on Sunday afternoon. For weeks, SD Raiders FC have been gallant in defeat. Today, they turned into worthy winners after a Sarah Mandile poacher’s finish was the difference between the two sides. SD Raiders FC moved themselves into eighth with that result. St George FC will lament another game which got away. The home side fell to back-to-back defeats and coach Mark Cuppit will want them to arrest this slide next weekend down in Nowra as they chase a finals appearance. SD Raiders FC coach Terry Gray was delighted with the result and the quality of football the visitors played in the success. The side was “patient and persistent” with their build up and put together an excellent performance in tough conditions.
NPL MENS ROUND 3
Wollongong Wolves FC 0 – Marconi Stallions FC 1 (Frangie 71′) at Albert Butler Memorial Park
A second-half strike from Anthony Frangie has helped Marconi Stallions claim a 1-0 win against Wollongong Wolves at Albert Butler Memorial Park on Sunday afternoon. Frangie’s 71st-minute finish helped the visitors snap Wollonong’s unbeaten start to the season and claim the Stallions second victory of the rebooted season. Windy conditions made the going tough for both sides as they struggled to move the ball upfield. Mitch Mallia was a constant threat for Marconi in the opening stanza creating chance after chance for the visitors. Wolves shot-stopper kept the home side in the game after the restart denying Marconi with a handful of quality saves. However, the Stallions finally found the breakthrough with 20 minutes left to play as Martin Fernandez set up Frangie to score after some neat footwork on the byline. Wollongong pushed hard for an equaliser but it wasn’t to be as Marconi secured a hard-earned three points on the road. It’s believed former 2019 Player of the Year and Golden Boot award winner Thomas James will be rejoining his Wolves teammates shortly following a short term contract stint with Perth Glory.
Sydney United 58 FC 2 (Bilic 44′, Maia 83′) – Manly United 0 at Sydney United Sports Centre
It is back to back wins for Sydney United 58 after they claimed a 2-0 victory against Manly United at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday. The home side scored a goal in each half courtesy of Matthew Bilic and Tarik Maia to claim all three competition points. With the game seemingly headed to the interval locked scoreless, a moment of Matt Sim brilliance in the 44th minute broke the game open. The veteran midfielder unleashed a looping cross into the back post for Bilic to tap into the back of the net unobstructed. Manly pushed for an equaliser but struggled to get the best of the United defence and an in-form Thomas Manos who played arguably his best game of the season so far. Sydney United secured the result in the 83rd minute when Maia found the back of the net from just inside the penalty area after some determined dribbling from Michael Ruhs. The result moves Zjelko Kalac’s side level with Marconi Stallions on six points after three games.
NPL 2 MENS ROUND 5
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Asmir Kadric 14’ 62’) Hakoah Sydney City East 1 (Dominic Cox 11’)
Bonnyrigg prevailed in a tight contest against Hakoah to record their third consecutive victory at home. It was however the away side who drew first blood as Dominic Cox raced onto Jack Green’s long pass, beating Stefan Giglio with a lovely outside-of-the-foot strike. The White Eagles didn’t wait long to draw level: Aaron Peterson and Jack Armson combined to find Richard Darko, and when his shot was saved Asmir Kadric had the simplest of finishes from a yard out. Hakoah could have gone into halftime with the lead, but Giglio made a sharp save from Jordan Koton’s first time effort. The ever-dangerous Armson had a great chance early in the second period when he latched onto a flick on, but he fired over under pressure from Hakoah goalkeeper Niki Loe. Ray Miller and Peterson then linked to set up Kadric for what would prove to be the winner with just under half an hour left – Kadric sprinted away and sent a low shot into the net. Loe’s next involvement was to save efforts from Armson and Kadric, while substitute Radovan Pavicevic blasted a shot wide in the closing stages. There was late drama (in NPL 2 NSW Men’s? Surely not?) when Dominic Cox won a penalty in the 88th minute. Giglio literally saved the day for Bonnyrigg, getting his palms to a Harry Jones spot kick and ensuring his side came away with all three points.
Blacktown Spartans 2 (Connor Eldridge 84’, Andre Carle 90+3’) SD Raiders 2 (Milan Parenta 74’ 88’)
On a night where substitutes made a huge impact, the Spartans and the Raiders shared the points at Blacktown Football Park. It was a goalless opening period, but not because of any caution shown by either team. For SD Raiders, Mathew Barkho and Matias Toro Suazo had early chances saved by Mitchell Evans. The home side’s best first half moment came when Michael Rutherford caught Lachlan Rose’s 25 yard strike, while Joshua Orchard and Nathan Separovic fired wide from long range. Just before the half hour, Anthony Proia made a bustling run into the area and forced Evans into another stop, then couldn’t direct his follow up effort goalwards. A similar fate befell Proia’s strike partner Noah Chianese, who shot over the crossbar when a Toro Suazo cross was deflected into his path. Orchard threatened again after the break, trying from distance and forcing Rutherford into a diving save. At the other end, Charles Abou Serhal and Barkho linked to find Proia, but Evans was able to push the shot wide. The teams were getting closer to finding the net: Mason Ireland found space just outside the area and stung Rutherford’s palms, then Daniel Bittar couldn’t beat Evans from an acute angle. After the attacking intent shown by both sides, it was inevitable that the goals would start to flow and that’s exactly what happened in the final 20 minutes. Raiders forward Milan Parenta had only been on the field for about a minute when he received Chianese’s pass and found the bottom corner to put SD Raiders in front. However, as we have discovered over the past two seasons, when you need a goal at Blacktown Football Park there’s one player who usually answers the call. Connor Eldridge equalised with six minutes of normal time left, rising highest to head Christian Nascimben’s free kick past Rutherford. This contest had now truly come alive as Rose and Dau Akol had chances, but it was the visitors who scored next. Alvaro Malmierca, another Raiders substitute, hit the post with a speculative effort and Parenta was in the right place to tap the ball home. Parenta would however not be the only goalscoring substitute. Andre Carle had already been denied when his fierce volley was blocked by Adrian Valenti, but there was no stopping Carle in the 93rd minute as he flung himself at Malcolm Ward’s long diagonal pass, heading the ball into the top corner. The result preserves the Spartans’ unbeaten record, while SD Raiders finish the weekend in sixth place.
NPL 3 MENS ROUND 5
Stanmore Hawks FC – Bankstown City FC 2-3
Stanmore Hawks fell to a 3-2 defeat against Bankstown City at Arlington Oval on Saturday night. It was Stanmore who broke the deadlock with a bomb of a free kick from Conor Quilligan. However, the home side went down a man shortly after when centre back Ollie Stickland was dismissed for a last-ditch challenge. Ante Tomic compounded the Hawks’ woes when he stepped up to convert the resulting free kick. The reigning 2019 Premiers regained their lead after the interval through another peach of a free kick, this time from the boot of Gabriel Lopez. Once again Bankstown drew level as Tomic turned provider for Jonathan Grozdanovski as his cross found his teammate in space at the back post. The visitors then went on to score the winning goal in the final five minutes of the match through Grozdanovski after he slotted the ball past Stanmore’s goalkeeper after being played in by Nikola Todoroski. The three points puts Bankstown on nine points as they leapfrog Dunbar into 4th spot on the league ladder while the Hawks drop down one position into 3rd with 10 points to their name. Stanmore will be hoping to return to winning ways when they meet Dunbar next round whilst Bankstown will be going in search of back-to-back wins when they host Magic next Sunday.
Bankstown United FC – Dulwich Hill FC 2-2
Bankstown United and Dulwich Hill could not be split with 2-2 the full-time score at Jensen Park on Saturday night. It was Bankstown who drew first blood in this contest when they opened the scoring in the 3rd minute thanks to a Mitch Cross penalty. The hosts threatened again and were unlucky not to double their lead with Kallie Bangura and Mitch Edmunds failing to capitalise on their chances. Dully made them pay on the half hour mark when Daniel Fornito headed home a corner to restore parity for his side. It was the home side who regained the lead after the interval, this time via Bangura after he capped off a well worked play with a pinpoint finish. However, once again Dully rained on Bankstown’s parade as Aaron Pessego popped up with the equaliser as he headed in a corner at the far post. Both sides have now secured back-to-back draws in their respective fixtures and will be desperate to take all three points from their next outings. Bankstown take on the Rams in Macarthur next Saturday while Dully have a meeting with league leaders Rydalmere at Arlington Oval.
Gladesville Ryde Magic – Macarthur Rams FC 3-0
Gladesville Ryde Magic enjoyed a routine 3-0 victory against Macarthur Rams on Saturday night. A diving header from Aaron Khan opened the scoring for Magic and gave them a 1-0 lead as they headed into the sheds. Chris Gaitatzis doubled the home side’s lead after he slotted the ball into the net before Genki Kohyama made sure of the points when he weighed in with the third goal of the contest. Magic are now undefeated in the last three rounds and move up into 6th on the ladder with seven points. They travel to Jensen Park next Sunday to face off against Bankstown City. The defeat sees the Rams remain in 10th position with 3 points to their name. Next up for Macarthur is a home fixture against Bankstown United.
NPL 4 MENS ROUND 5
Camden Tigers 0-5 Fraser Park FC
Boys against men. Fraser Park taught Camden Tigers a football lesson out at Ron Dine Stadium Saturday night. The visitors took control of the fixture early on and never took their foot of the pedal eventually putting on five goals. Indeed, it only took eight minutes for Frank Calgano to score his first of the season, pouncing on a Anthony Musumeci through ball. Frustrated the week before, Fraser Park were in no mood to let their chances slip on this occasion, Cam Philpot finding a way in behind the hosts defense to double the advantage. Two became three ten minutes after that one, Shu Torihara receiving a fine cross, before driving low into the “onion bag”. The dominance continued after the break, Musumeci finishing off into an open net, the keeper occupied by Philpot. And the win was round off with a minute to go. Jonathon Green tapping home after Camden keeper did well to deny Lionel Glorieux and Philpot in the buildup.