Stallions end the Johnny Warren Cup on high


Ageless skipper Luke Casserly led by example with a composed performance from the back and winger Matthew Gordon was also very impressive as the former NSL heavyweights flexed their muscles ahead of their stoush with Macarthur in their season opening clash at Marconi Stadium this weekend.
In a cagey opening it was Sydney United who took the lead on 20 minutes after Elsid Barkhousir expertly finished a brilliant cutback from Chris Boyle.
Barkhousir, who caused the Stallions plenty of problems with his searing runs and intelligent distribution, almost doubled his tally five minutes later following a calamitous mistake from Marconi custodian James Chronopoulos.
The shot-stopper miscued a chest height back pass and watched in horror as his hashed clearance rebounded off Barkhousir and trickled goalwards.
He was the most relieved man in Miranda when the ball flashed past the post despite Barkhousir?s best efforts to scramble the ball home.
Luka Glavas then tested Chronopoulos with a stinging drive on 36? minutes but the talented gloveman was quick to snuff out the danger with a sharp save at the near post.
Despite looking the more threatening of the two teams, Marconi found it difficult to penetrate the United back four and were fortunate to equalise in first-half injury time.
Industrial midfielder Stefan Donevski reacted first to Nahuel Arrarte?s freekick from the edge of the area following a foul on Christopher Nunes.
Donevski peeled away from his marker to deftly head home past United keeper Vedran  Janjetovic to delight the travelling Stallions faithful.
Dave Barrett had the luxury of calling on Kain Rastall, Tolgay Ozbey and Tallan Martin at the interval and Martin showed why he should be in Barrett?s starting eleven next week after brilliantly giving the Stallions their match winning lead on 59?minutes.
The ex-Bankstown City striker out-jumped United man mountain Joe Vrkic to convert Matt Gordon?s whipped in cross in what was truly a goal poacher?s finish.
Marconi then began to assert their authority across the midfield with Rastall in particular adding some much needed bite in front of his defence with a series of crunching tackles and purposeful headers.
They took a choke hold on the match with eighteen minutes left on the clock after Sydney United substitute Stephen Tresoglavic was given his marching orders for head-butting Marconi defender Nathan Moulds.
Referee Strebre Delovski had no hesitation in brandishing a straight red for the petulant act and Tresoglavic will now front the judiciary this week to determine his stint on the sidelines.
Stallions coach David Barrett was happy with the second half performance and feels his team is slowly coming together as match fitness begins to kick in.
?It hasn?t been an ideal start for us, we have had a cluster of games then a couple of weeks off with the rain so the boys aren?t quite where I want them to be in terms of sharpness,? he said.
?Our first-half was pretty average but I felt we turned that around once guys like Kain Rastall and Tallan Martin came on.
?We gave young seventeen year old Ben Bronneberg a start at left back tonight and I felt he was outstanding as was Matty Gordon.
?We have a few boys out at the moment so at this stage I have a fair idea of who I want out on the park each week but it is pleasing to see the depth we have at the club so I can keep my options open when it comes to selections.?
His counterpart Ivan Petkovic was concerned at the fashion in which his team plateaued in the second-half and will look to address that ahead of their game away against Blacktown this Saturday .
?We weren?t anywhere near full strength and we looked flat at times which concerns me,? he said.
?Obviously the send off didn?t help and I will be speaking to Stephen to find out exactly what happened.
?It looked like a bit of pushing and shoving and then he chose to take the matter into his own hands.
?I am sure the boys will have a spring in their step at training this week and will be ready for Blacktown come Saturday night.?
Match Stats
Marconi Stallions 2 (Stefan Donevski 45? Tallan Martin 57?)
Sydne United 1 (Elsid Barkhousir 20?) 
Seymour Shaw Park
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Assistants: Murray Wilson, Daniel Dewhurst
Marconi Stallions: 1.James Chronopoulos, 3. Vuko Tomasevic, 4. Ante Deur, 5. Nathan Moulds, 6. Luke Casserly 7. Chris Nunes 11. Matthew Gordon, 12. Stefan Donevski, 17. Sean Mitchell, 19. Ben Bronneberg, 26. Nahuel Arrarte
Substitutes: 2. Wade Oostendorp, 8. Tallan Martin, 9. Kain Rastall 10. Tolgay Ozbey, 51. Cem Akilli
Sydney United: 1. Vedran Janjetovic, 3. Joe Moric, 5. Damon Collina, 6. Joe Vrkic, 7. Todd Brodie, 14. Peter Markovic, 15. Chris Boyle, 9. Elsid Barkhousir, 12. Ivo Bosnar, 38. Sash Trajcevski, 11. Luka Glavas
Substitutes: 2. Ricky Perinich, 4. Milan Bosnar, 8. Stephen Tresoglavic, 16. Andrija Petkovic, 30. Steve Minovski
Cautions: Ivo Bosnar (SU) 60?, Andrija Petkovic (SU) 83?
Red Card – Stephen Tresoglavic ?  (SU)72?
Crowd ? 800 (approx)
Player Ratings 

  • 3 ? Matthew Gordon (MS)
  • 2 ? Ben Bronneberg (MS)
  • 1- Nathan Moulds (MS)

 – By Andrew Hurrell