Reds Rally Home Against Rams


Following the wet conditions of last weekend, the players were greeted with dry and sticky weather, a heavy challenge for both sides so early on in their pre-season preparations.

Sydney United fielded a formidable strike-force comprising former A-League striker Luka Glavas and Football NSW Silver medalist Elsid Barkhousir, with fine overlapping play by Christopher Boyle and Petar Markovic.

Paul Carter?s new boys were equal to the challenge, with Captain Dave Gardiner leading his troops from the back-line.

The early exchanges saw both sides resort to set-pieces, with both Sydney United and Macarthur Rams testing each other in defence.

Mathew Toogood caused some havoc on the right-flank for the Rams, though he was continually cut out by a strong Sydney United back-line led by Joseph Vrkic.

In the 13? minute, Sydney United striker Luka Glavas was through on goal, after a cheeky touch from Barkhousir sent the striker one-on-one with Rams? shot-stopper Brody Crane.

Glavas? effort was tame, and Crane was equal to the task as he parried the effort away.

Christopher Boyle picked up the rebound though his effort was deflected by a defender for a corner.

The Rams relied on Jason Lewis marshalling the midfield and the timed movements of his colleague Daniel McCann, though Paul Carter?s side could not find a way past the United defence.

Craig Cooley weaved some magic for the Rams on the right-flank in the 17? minute, though was disposed by Josip Moric who quickly turned defence into attack.

The Reds hit the attack following the Rams foray forward, and the swift move that included a perfectly touched pass from Markovic through to Barkhousir had the striker clear on goal.

Barkhousir did not need a second-chance, and he buried his first goal for his new club.

As the conditions started to take its toll midway through the half, Todd Brodie showed his class from a defensive third.

Brodie?s passing was precise, as Sydney United held that upper-hand in attack.

Just before the break, referee Adam Weir failed to award the Rams a free-kick for what seemed a clear foul inside their own half. Barkhousir received the ball from the ensuing attack, and he played a low cross into the path of Glavas who, one-on-one with the goalkeeper, took too long and had his effort thwarted by the Rams? shot-stopper.

Dave Gardiner?s impressive start to the match for the Rams took a step backward, as his loose pass in defence one-minute later sent Christopher Boyle through toward goal. The Reds winger was brought down inside the penalty-area, though was shown a yellow card for simulation.

Following the break, Macarthur looked to Steven Baveas and Daniel McCann for inspiration, though the good movement in midfield could not be translated into goal scoring opportunities for the new NSW Premier League outfit.

Sydney United had the extra drive on the left-flank with Josip Moric pushing forward throughout the half, meanwhile Rams? substitute Hugo Coronel added some extra flair in the creativity stakes for Macarthur.

The Rams best chance of the half fell to Jason Lewis following a corner by Coronel.

Mathew Toogood?s corner fell to Lewis on the edge of the penalty-area, though Lewis could not take a clean strike on goal ? his effort was deflected wide.

Daniel McCann had a chance on 68? minutes, though his low driven effort was expertly saved by the Reds Vedran Janjetovic.Sydney United did make the result safe in the 74? minute, as substitute
Dennis Cutura scored a screamer of a goal.

The Reds player picked up the ball just outside the penalty-area and unleashed a venomous drive past the helpless Brody Crane.

Sydney United?s second goal ?took the legs? from the Macarthur players who were running on empty.

Macarthur Rams boss Paul Carter echoed the sentiment on his side?s first official match:

?Our boys were tired towards the end. We aren?t at our best fitness that is for sure,? Carter commented.

?We played well for spells throughout the match, the players seemed to be nervous early though we did well once we got into the match.

?Our objective though is to use this tournament to get into some good form come the start of the season.

?Despite the loss, I am happy with the start, and obviously we will be looking to improve with each match,? concluded the Rams boss.

Sydney United boss Ivan Petkovic was pleased with his chargers showing, though did not expect his side to get too carried away with the win:

?We have a good group of players, and I am happy that we got a good result.

?At the moment though, the results are not that important, what I am looking at is the performances of the players, and this is what is important at the moment.

?We want to play our way into good form for the start of the season, that is the objective,? concluded Petkovic.

Match Stats

Sydney United v Macarthur Rams
Sydney Athletic Centre ? 5:30 pm kick-off.

Sydney United  2 (Elsid Barkhousir 18?, Dennis Cutura 74? )
Macarthur Rams 0
Sunday, 27th January 2008
Sydney Athletic Centre.
Referee: Adam Weir
Assistant Referees: Dale Fuda and Cameron Bruce
Crowd: 500 approx.

Sydney United: Vedran Janjetovic; Josip Moric, Joseph Vrkic, Sash Trajcevski, Todd Brodie, Ivo Bosnar, Andrija Petkovic, Christopher Boyle, Petar Markovic, Luka Glavas, Elsid Barkhousir.
Substitutes: Damon Collina, Milan Bosnar, Ricky Perinich, Dennis Cutura, Steve Minovski
Yellow Cards: J. Moric 36?, C. Boyle 44?, S. Trajcevski 60?.
Red Cards: Nil

Macarthur Rams: Brody Crane; Craig Cooley, Jason Lewis, Michael Brown, Dave Gardiner, Mathew Toogood, Shannon Hankin, R Jelen, Daniel McCann, Adam Wither, Paul Crisp.

Substitutes: Adel El Jamal, David Lagudi, Steven Baveas, Hugo Coronel, Mathew Kasbarian

Yellow Cards: A. El Jamal 78?.

Red Cards: Nil

3 ? Elsid Barkhousir (SU)
2 ? Christopher Boyle (SU)
1 ? Daniel McCann (MR)