With the NPL season well passing the halfway stage, let’s recap how our local teams went.
Macarthur Rams 0-6 Sydney Olympic
It was one-way traffic at Lynwood Park on Sunday night as round seven wrapped up. Sydney Olympic controlled proceedings from start to finish and ran away 6-0 winners over the Macarthur Rams. It all started through Cortnee Vine, latching onto a long ball and lobbing Sham Khamis in the Rams goal. Soon after it was two as Courtney Nevin took advantage of a loose ball in the box following a Teresa Polias corner. Vine had her second of the night from the penalty spot making it 3-0. It was four before the break as Mackenzie Hawkesby beat two defenders before placing a perfect show into Khamis’ bottom corner. The second half started with Sarah Yatim getting in on the act, using her speed to get into the box before toe poking the ball passed Khamis. Polias got herself on the scoresheet against her former club with a sublime free kick rounding off the rout. Olympic are now well in the hunt for the Premiership but face a difficult run home.
NPL 2 WOMENS
Inter Lions 1 defeated by Marconi Stallions 8
The Marconi Stallions warmed up for their top of the table clash next weekend with an 8-1 thrashing of Inter Lions this afternoon at Majors Bay Reserve. It was one-way traffic from the opening whistle as the Stallions were ruthless in their pursuit of goals and led the contest 6-1 at the break. The visitors added a further two goals in the second half to confirm the rout. Ceyda Cambaz took the headlines for Marconi. Cambaz piled in four goals in the contest to take her tally for the season to seven. Danielle Bishop got a hat-trick with Tania Baban scoring the other in the one-sided contest as coach Andy Severin called it a “well drilled performance as the front three got some rhythm and worked tirelessly in the heat.” Inter Lions did find the back of the net in the first half but it was another forgettable afternoon for the home side. For the Stallions, they move onto a mouth-watering top of the table clash with North Shore Mariners next weekend.
SD Raiders FC & Gladesville Ravens had the bye
Blacktown City 0 – Marconi Stallions 3 (Frangie 11′, Jesic 42′, Fernandez 70′) at Lily Homes Stadium
Marconi Stallions crashed Blacktown City’s party as they cruised to a dominant 3-0 win at Lily Homes Stadium on Friday night. It was supposed to be a night of celebration for Blacktown captain Matt Lewis who broke the club appearance record in what was his 305th appearance for the Seven Hills-based outfit. However, coach Peter Tsekenis’ men didn’t get the memo easing to victory in a scintillating performance. The Stallions unleashed an attacking onslaught from the opening whistle with Shaun Catlin forced to make two early saves to deny Anthony Frangie and Marco Jesic. However, Marconi would soon take the lead with Frangie heading home from close range from a corner kick in the 11th minute. Jesic would find the back of the net in style in the dying seconds of the first half as the former A-League striker volleyed off the turn to find the top corner. It was one-way traffic in the second half from Marconi with Blacktown struggling to slow down their opponents. The fans witnessed a moment of pure brilliance in the 70th minute as Martin Fernandez scored a sublime solo effort. The mercurial midfielder dribbled past four defenders after picking the ball up on halfway before he sidefooted the ball across the keeper and into the net. Lewis had a chance to score a consolation goal during his milestone match, but Nenad Vekic saved his penalty effort in the 75th minute as Marconi held on for the victory.
Sydney United 58 3 (Macdonald 33′, Antelmi 44′, 58′) – Wollongong Wolves 1 (Juach 69′) at Sydney United Sport centre.
The return of star striker Patrick Antelim has inspired Sydney United 58 to a 3-1 win against Wollongong Wolves at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday. Fresh from a maiden A-League stint with Western United, Antelmi was at his clinical best in his Sydney United return scoring twice to guide the Zjelko Kalac coached side to victory. It was a brilliant bounce-back performance from United 58 who took the lead in the 33rd minute through Joshua Macdonald after a fast-paced opening to the match. Antelmi claimed his first of the contest on the cusp of the half-time break to stretch Sydney United into a 2-0 break at the interval. The striker had a taste for goals and doubled his tally in the 58th minute when he tapped home at the far post after breaking free of his marker. Wollongong managed to break through the United 58 defence 20 minutes from time when a determined Bul Juach put his body on the line to bundle the ball over the line. However, the goal came at a cost with the Wolves rising star carried from the field on a stretcher sustaining a severe injury after colliding with United keeper Thomas Manos. Wollongong tried to find their way back into the match, but it wasn’t to be as United 58 held on for all three points.
NPL 2 MENS
Northern Tigers 5 (Ally Brown 32’ 90+2’, Shervin Adeli 53’, Ollie Scott 61’ 71’) SD Raiders 0
Northern Tigers were on the prowl in the Saturday afternoon game, recording their biggest victory since the 2014 Finals Series. Milan Parenta nearly gave the Raiders the lead in the opening minute, and Elliot Carwardine needed strong hands to parry the shot to safety. As the Tigers worked themselves into the game, lively youngster Oliver Scott had their first chance – he tried to catch Michael Rutherford off his line but his lobbed effort didn’t have enough height. On the half hour, the assistant’s flag stopped Shervin Adeli from opening the scoring, however the hosts didn’t have to wait much longer as soon afterwards Ally Brown received a switch of play and beat a defender before coolly rolling the ball into the net. Anthony Proia then had a couple of chances to equalise, while at the other end Rutherford made a sharp save from Scott. Northern Tigers shifted up several gears after the restart. Adeli fired just over from 40 yards and Brown was denied in a one on one by Rutherford, so the second goal seemed inevitable. It duly arrived when Ollie Wiggin danced around an opponent before cutting the ball back for Adeli, who picked out the bottom corner. Raiders substitute John Fahmi then went close with a 25 yard free kick, but this was to be the Tigers’ afternoon. Scott continued his dream start to life as a 1st Grader by making it 3-0: he blocked a clearance, dribbled around Rutherford and found the open goal. He wasn’t done though: with just under 20 minutes left Scott doubled his tally for the game when he got a toe to Brown’s low cross. To their credit, SD Raiders didn’t give up, as there were late chances for Daniel Bittar and Charles Abou Serhal. However, the Tigers finished strongly, creating chances until the very end. Sam Wilson drew a fine save from Rutherford, William Foristal had a goal ruled out for offside and Andrew Head’s goal line clearance prevented Scott from grabbing a hat trick. The final goal came in time added on when Brown broke free of the defence and sidefooted home to complete his brace.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0 Newcastle Jets 1 (Archie Goodwin 78’)
Newcastle Jets soared to their first ever NPL 2 Men’s win on Saturday night. Bonnyrigg were out of the blocks quicker than their opponents, with Asmir Kadric and Aaron Peterson having chances in the early minutes. Both goalkeepers made brilliant stops in the first half: James Chronopoulos saved low in a one on one against Maki Petratos, and Noah James was at full stretch to keep a Ray Miller strike away from the net. Peterson looked dangerous again when he rose highest at a corner kick, however the header was off target.Chronopoulos was needed again in the second half, getting his angles right when Maki Petratos pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area. Maki Petratos would also go close to setting up a goal as his cross was headed inches wide by Jack Simmons. White Eagles substitute Joshua Okan headed one off the crossbar after being set up by Miller, however it would be two Jets substitutes combining for the game’s decisive moment – Adam Zervas won a 50-50 challenge and the ball fell for Archie Goodwin, who made space in the area and slotted the ball in the bottom corner. Bonnyrigg threw everything at Newcastle and could have equalised when Bradie Smith played the ball through for Kadric, but his shot was straight at James. The visitors were made to sweat right up until the final whistle, and with the last action of the game Mun-soo Gil headed wide from a Jack Kuipers knockdown.
NPL 3 MENS
Central Coast United FC – Macarthur Rams FC 0-1
Macarthur Rams posted back-to-back wins for the first time this campaign after they saw off Central Coast United 1-0 at Pluim Park on Saturday night. Both sides were trying their best to play smart, fluid football in the first half which made for quality viewing for all the spectators. It was the home side who created the first threat on goal after they hit the woodwork on the stroke of halftime. Stu Davis’ side continued to dominate after the restart however they were unable to find the back of the net. The crucial goal arrived on 70 minutes via Stephen Lloyd after he capped off a masterful six pass sequence with a killer finish from 18 yards out. The Pirates pushed men forward for the remainder of the game which ultimately left them exposed defensively. If it were not for the outstanding form of reserve goalkeeper Josh Ferragamo then the visitors could have added another two or three to the score line. The three points means that Macarthur rise to 8th on the league table with a home fixture against Inter Lions awaiting them next round. The defeat for the Pirates sees them drop down one place into 10th as they prepare to do battle with fellow bottom half outfit Dulwich Hill next Saturday.
Rydalmere Lions FC – Bankstown United FC 4-2
Rydalmere Lions made it seven wins on the bounce on Saturday after they registered a 4-2 win against Bankstown United at home. It was the home side who struck first in this contest after an own goal gave them the early advantage. However, United levelled the scoring only two minutes later thanks to Kallie Bangura after he volleyed home Alex Salgueira’s early cross into the box. Scott Belgre’s side went ahead on 22 minutes when Mitch Cross stepped up to convert the spot kick after Mitch Edmunds was brought down in the area. The Lions were an entirely different proposition in the second half as they came out firing and it was not too long before they equalised via Matt Clowes after he tapped home Lee Jones’ cross in the 55th minute. Jones was on hand to provide another assist, this time it was Scott Tonkin who benefited from the pinpoint set piece delivery. With 12 minutes left on the clock, the visitors were given a glimmer of hope after Rydalmere’s Ricky Woodward was dismissed for his second bookable offence. However, Matt West put the game to bed after he finished off a slick piece of interplay between Dillan Kahale and Luca Frasca which resulted in a tempting ball into the box for West to finish off. The victory means that Rydalmere retain top spot with maximum points collected from the first seven rounds whilst the loss sees United drop down one place into 9th with six points. The Lions will be playing out of Rydalmere Park again next weekend when they entertain Berries while United go head to head against Magic at Jensen Park.
Sydney University SFC – Bankstown City FC 0-3
Bankstown City cruised past Sydney University with 3-0 the fulltime score at SUFG on Saturday night. Ante Tomic opened the scoring for the hosts with a fine individual effort which found its way into the top right corner of the goal after making light work of the Uni defenders on the left wing. Peter Triantis doubled the lead after halftime when he combined well with brother Chris with some skilful interplay before curling his shot into the Uni goal. The third and final goal of the contest arrived from Nikola Todoroski after he slotted the ball near post after being played in by Chris Triantis. Bankstown’s latest victory places them on a three game winning streak as they retain 3rd spot on the ladder with 15 points. The defeat means that the ‘students’ stay rooted to the bottom of the table with just one point to show from their seven fixtures. Bankstown travel to Heffron Park to take on Dunbar next weekend while Uni have a meeting with Stanmore at Arlington Oval.
NPL 4 MENS
Parramatta FC 2 v Camden Tigers 1
Parramatta FC have recorded a much-needed win in edging past Camden Tigers on Sunday afternoon. Goal’s to Clement Waoci and Ali Dulleh either side of half time saw them take away the spoils and cancel out a Cornack Stevens equalizer for the visitors. Out of the blocks, the visitors Camden Tigers were sharp whilst Parramatta were content to pounce on the counter. The first clear cut chance fell to the Tigers on five minutes. Nathan Bertolissio not getting enough contact on a set piece header, seeing the ball dribble wide right of the net. Stevens would prove to be a headache all afternoon, firstly delivering that set piece before having a (tame) effort himself. Anyway, more on him later. At the other end, Strikers Clement Waoci and Ali Dulleh were establishing themselves as the main threats for the hosts. Waoci both missing the goal over the bar and wide left within the space of a minute. And you guessed it, it was him again who had the best chance of the opening 25 minutes. Seeing his effort denied on the goal line by Mitchell Green. Fourth times a charm! Waoci finally found the net minutes later, the striker showing tenacity in beating his defender before finishing into the top left-hand facing corner. That goal saw the hosts find their swagger, with another goal saving tackle required from Camden defender Matthew Harvey denying Dulleh from close range. Where once Camden will have folded, the visitors were tenacious and soon clawed their way back fashioning a chance of their own. Captain for the day Jordan Cracknell’s shot going over the bar. After the whistle blew to open the second half, the game opened up, both sides finding more space than prior to the break. But it was from a set piece that the next goal came. A foul in the box meaning Cornack Stevens had a chance from the spot. His effort seeing a good save from Parramatta keeper Nikola Bratic before reacting first to tap in the scraps. That only served to wake up the host though. Waoci first going close forcing a good save from the visiting shot stopper. But It was strike partner Ali Dulleh who was to find the net though, the striker pouncing on a failed clearance. Before cutting inside onto his left foot, the strike finding the near top corner of the net from twenty yards. And despite the visitor’s best efforts in the final ten minutes, they were unable to equalize again. Parramatta FC travel to Nepean FC next weekend (spicy) whilst Camden Tigers host the Granville Rage.