For the Berries, the opportunity to silence the doubters was taken whilst the loss took a little of the shine off Olympic?s win in the pre-season Johnny Warren Cup competition.
In the first-half it looked as though Sydney Olympic would run riot. Led ably by new acquisitions Paul Wither and Matthew Mayora, Olympic was often on the break and carving out golden opportunities.
The opening minutes saw a few chances come at either end but it was in the 16? minute that Olympic made their mark.
A throw in from Mayora was not dealt with by a confused defence and the ball hit the side of Michael Cindric?s head and floated over the goal keeper and into the back of the net.
With Olympic in the lead the Berries were shaking at the back and chance after chance fell to the Blues, with Cole, Mayora and Galayini all going close.
The closest Olympic came to doubling their lead was in the 32? minute when Withers laid the ball off to Mayora in the area only for Mayora to smash his shot against the cross bar.
At half-time all the talk was about Olympic and by how many they would win.
The second-half would see Sydney Olympic rue their missed chances of the first stanza.
The home side came out with a new passion, and having countered the long ball attacks of the visitors they pushed forward more often.
In the 53? minute Ryan Jones pounced on the ball just left of the near post and shot low across the face of goal, past the keeper and into the far side of the net to equalise.
Sydney Olympic then had a couple of free kicks that Shannon Cole came close to converting but not close enough.
The Berries continued to push and went to the lead for the first time just after the hour as John Tsironis headed the ball home from a Ryan Jones corner.
Then with less than ten minutes to go Cole conceded a free kick just outside his own penalty box and the resultant free kick was missed by all and fell to Sasha Tirovski – who had master minded many of the attacks in the Berry midfield.
Tirovski stepped inside the defence and placed the ball into the far side of the back of the net to consolidate his side?s lead.
Sydney Olympic coach Milan Blagojevic was disappointed with the performance of his players:
?We were not competing in all the right areas tonight. We were out enthused by the Berries. There were some good things that happened in the first-half but we cannot afford to put in a second-half effort like that if we want to win games.
?You cannot miss all the chances we had in the first-half and expect to not be punished, and we were punished tonight.?
Western Sydney Berries player/coach Scott Baillie was ecstatic with his chargers.
?We started off well but then it turned around with Cindric scoring for them. We were lucky we did not concede another three goals and lucky to get into the break only a goal down. I did not see us doing too much wrong at half-time so I kept things the same and the boys won out in the second-half.
?Tirovski and Jones were some of the fittest players out there tonight and helped us enormously. Overall I think the better team one, we deserved our goals and we proved a lot of people wrong tonight with this victory.?
-By Stuart Jones
Western Sydney Berries 3 (R Jones 53?, J Tsironis 61?, S Tirovski 84?)
Sydney Olympic 1 (M Cindric 16?)
Sydney Athletic Stadium 8.15pm 22nd February 2008
Western Sydney Berries: 1 Hamish McLean; 5 Michael Cunico, 6 Jack Sobczyk, 8 Johnny Fotiadis, 10 John Tsironis (12 Neil Philippou 79), 11 Aheleas Kotsopoulos, 15 Ryan Jones, 16 Kosta Lagoudakis (4 Scott Baillie 82), 17 Sash Tirovski, 18 Giosve Sama (2 Con Paradisis 82), 20 Angelo Petratos
Substitutes not used: 69 Johnny Frangeskou
Yellow Cards: Cunico 16?, Tsironis 61?, Jones 83?
Sydney Olympic: 1 Michael Herbert; 4 Mirko Jurilj, 5 Michael Cindric, 6 Roger Galayini (22 Peter Zorbas 76), 14 Shannon Cole, 25 Emmanuel Giannaros, 18 Chris Triantis, 17 Ian Ramsay (7 Milorad Simonovic 82), 15 Matthew Mayora (9 Anthony Hartshorn 68), 19 Marino Musumeci, 8 Paul Wither
Substitutes not used: 16 Nathan Sherlock, 20 Sam Emmanouil
Yellow Cards: Trianis 19?, Cindric 45?, Mayora 50?, Cole 81?
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
3 – Sash Tirovski (WSB)
2 – Matthew Mayora (SO)
1 – Ryan Jones (WSB)