Penrith-Nepean pick-up first win


Both sides had plenty of opportunities but it was Penrith Nepean who made the most of theirs to take out the win.
On a very spongy surface it was Penrith Nepean who started the strongest, and early opportunities fell to Carl McNaughton.
He made the most of his fourth minute chance by firing home from the right after great lead up work by Erick Anabalon on the edge of the area. Penrith Nepean had a couple more chances denied by good scrambling defence by the Tigers before the match turned as possession fell A.P.I.A.?s way.
After the 20? minute A.P.I.A. put more pressure on their opponents and played some good football as they held onto the ball for longer periods.
In the 26? minute good lead up play down the left led to a great ball into Christian Cevenini who tried a fantastic overhead kick but unfortunately for his side the ball went well wide.
Then the ball managed to conjure a way of staying out of the net as Jimmy Nikas had a shot blocked by Chad Taylor in the Penrith-Nepean goal, the follow up header from Cevinini came back off the cross bar and the final shot was struck over the top by the same player.
In the 33? minute A.P.I.A. had their just desserts in the form of an equalising goal. Penrith Nepean lost the ball in their defensive area, Robert Younis was denied a shot from it by a great Luke Boyd tackle but the ball fell to Cevenini who fired the ball goalwards.
He was denied by Taylor but the deflection from the keeper fell to Jason Garido who fired the ball back through traffic onto the base of the far post and into the back of the net.
Just before the break A.P.I.A. nearly got to the front as Stephen Kayes, showing glimpses of his form from last season, put in a ball to Robert Younis who curled a fantastic shot just over the bar.
Two minutes after the break and it looked as if it would be the same momentum continuing as a Younis effort was blocked by Stewart Van Bentum.
A.P.I.A. applied more pressure and on the hour a Peter Peralta cross from the right was flicked on by Younis but fell to his opposing keeper.
In the 63? minute Penrith started to gain the upper hand as first Javier Mancino was denied by a scrambling defence after a big run up the centre of the park and then Carl McNaughton made a break but was well tackled by a quickly recovering defence.
It was end to end stuff as Younis back heeled the ball into the path of Cevenini but Taylor managed to intercept the ball first.
Then Tayfun Buyykkopru, impressing in the middle of the field, laid the ball to Anabalon on the edge of the area, and as he did in the first half he held the ball up until help arrived.
This time it was in the form of Shannon Burgin, who was debuting for the club. Burgin took the most of this opportunity and placed the ball into the back of the net, putting on the icing on the cake of a superb debut.
The match was not over yet as A.P.I.A. had a hand ball claim against their opponents denied and they piled on the pressure, trying to put the ball into the ever dangerous Younis, who looked to be the man most likely to put the Tigers back on level terms. However Penrith held strong and had chances of their own.
In the 82? minute Joseph Bruni was given a straight red card for an elbow and this did not help A.P.I.A.?s cause. Two minutes before time the dangerous Nathan Ralph broke through but was brought down in the area by Peralta. A penalty was awarded, and successfully converted by Anabalon, to secure the win for Penrith-Nepean United.
Stand-in A.P.I.A. coach Mark Brady was philosophical about the defeat:
?We had more opportunities than they had and the game was certainly on a knife edge but we needed to take more control of it. We did not do that and they came away with the result.
?We had nine players injured, which was obviously not a help. Today was not to be our day. During the season we have to work a lot harder and smarter than we did today to get the right result.
?With John Romeo coming back next week we look to things improving, and with the younger boys doing well today I will certainly be mentioning their names once he has returned.?
His counterpart, Abbas Saad, was delighted but realistic about the result:
?I thought we had a lot of good individual play today and we finished the game well. Our attacking is going well but our defence still needs focus, our defending as a team needs work.?
-By Stuart Jones
Match Stats
Penrith Nepean United 3 (Carl McNaughton 4?, Shannon Burgin 70?, Eric Anabalon 88?)
A.P.I.A.- Leichhardt Tigers 1 (Jason Garido 33?)
Hajduk Stadium
Crowd: 400
Penrith-Nepean United:Chad Taylor, William Stuart, Ante Juric, Luke Boyd, Stewart Van Bentum, Javier Mancino, Devrim Huseyin, Carl McNaughton, Eric Anabalon, Nathan Ralph, Michael Cromer.
Substitutions: Daniel Schwarzer, Tayfun Buyykkopru, Panny Nikas, Ben Wright, Shannon Burgin.
Yellow Cards: Panny Nikas 40
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers: Milan Udvaracz, Buddy Farah, Daniel Clifford, David D?Apuzzo, Peter Peralta, Jason Garido, Stephen Kayes, Joe Bruni, Jim Nikas, Robert Younis, Christian Cevenini.

Substitutions: Franco Parisi, William Thom, Anthony Barletta, Zain Zeneli, Noudello.

Yellow Cards: Buddy Farah 38, Peter Peralta 86
Red Cards: Joe Bruni 82

  • 3 – Erick Anabalon (PNU)
  • 2 – Robert Younis (ALT)
  • 1 – Shannon Burgin (PNU)