Sharks smash 9-man Tigers in stunning opener


The Shire boys got off to the best possible start under Brown against the Tigers, who played the majority of the second half with nine men as Josh Lawson and Christian Cevenini were given their marching orders for the away side.
It was John Romeo?s side that struck first in the 13th minute when Sharks defender Ben Spruce up-held Tigers striker Robbie Younis in the box.
Referee James Lewis had no choice but to award the penalty as Younis stepped up, Sharks keeper Phillip Zabaks saved brilliantly but the ball fell straight to the feet of Younis who calmly slotted it giving the away side a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers lead was short-lived as rising young gun Brendan Gan equalised for the home side in the 27th minute.
Shane Lyons played a delightful ball to the feet of Gan as he tucked home a neat finish that sent the Sharks faithful into raptures.
Gan has been the talk of the town in the Shire thus far after he took the Johnny Warren Cup by storm having put through a number of commendable performances for Brown?s squad.
Suspense then hit Seymour Shaw Park in the 33rd minute as the home side thought they?d taken the lead courtesy of a Jimmy Lawrence goal, however referee James Lewis spotted an infringement on Tigers keeper Matt Nash that cancelled out that effort.
The game slowly fizzled prior to the half-time whistle going but the terraces were almost sent alight after Sharks defender Pedj Bojic saw his smashing 25-metre pile-driver whisk over the bar in the 44th minute.
Bojic was at it again a minute later when he missed a golden opportunity to extend the Sharks lead but his shot inside the box failed to hit the back of the target as the half-time whistle blew.
In ideal football conditions on a balmy Saturday evening, it was the second half that sparked the game into life as goals and two send-offs were soon to take place at Seymour Shaw.
Bojic again made a nuisance of himself for the Sharks as his free-kick from outside the Tigers box almost hit the target in the 50th minute but fell wide at the last second.
The home side continued to press and went close in the 60th minute as Lyons was one-on-one with Nash but the Tigers keeper held his nerve and thwarted the attempt by the Sharks high flyer.
Bojic was in the thick of the action once more in the 64th minute as yet another free-kick from 25-yards thumped the post, much to the dismay of the home crowd.
It was all Sutherland in the opening exchanges of the second half as things got worse for the Tigers in the 65th minute when Josh Lawson was shown his second yellow card of the evening which resulted in the A.P.I.A. player receiving his marching orders.
Down to ten-men, the Tigers tried desperately to keep the score tight but were dealt with a massive blow in the 72nd minute when Sharks? new striker Brad Boardman expertly slotted the ball home beyond Nash that put the home side into the lead.
Sutherland?s momentum was growing by the minute and the home side saw their lead extend to 3-1 in the 75th minute when Bojic played a wonderful pass to Jimmy Lawrence inside the box who made no mistake by scoring, which all but assured the three points for the Sharks.
Matters were made even worse for the Tigers as in the 83rd minute Christian Cevenini was given a straight red which saw A.P.I.A. reduced to nine men with only minutes before full-time.
Brown?s squad then continued the bombardment as Gan almost grabbed his second of the evening in the 86th minute when a decisive 40-yard ball by Bojic fell to the feet of the rising star, but his effort smacked the up-right of the Tigers post.
It was game, set and match for the Shire boys as substitute Matthew Hall completed the drubbing with an easy finish in the 89th minute that all but compiled more misery for Romeo?s side.
Hall made an immediate impact on the match after only coming on two minutes earlier putting in a good impression on Brown for winning more match time next week.
The full time whistle blew along with the three precious points that fell to the home side in front of what was a boisterous crowd at Miranda.
Star of the match Bojic was delighted to have kicked off season 2008 with a first up victory.
?It was a great showing by the lads tonight, everyone put in 100% and the rewards fell our way.
?It is always important to start off the season with a win and we?re thankful that this has happened as now we can work towards our next game against Penrith Nepean United.?
While it was a different feeling across the opposing dressing sheds as striker Franco Parisi lamented on what was a tough evening for the Tigers.
?Things just didn?t go our way tonight but we?re not going to put ourselves down from this loss as it is up to all of us to build from this and get back to winning ways next week.?
Match Stats
Sutherland Sharks 4
(B Gan 27?, B Boardman 72?, J Lawrence 75?, M Hall 89?)
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers 1
(R Younis 13?)
Venue: Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Crowd: Approx 1,000
Referee: James Lewis
Assistant Referees: Murray Wilson & Wayne Lenardon
Sutherland Sharks: 99 Phillip Zabaks, 15 Mike Katz, 2 George Souris, 37 Pedj Bojic, 11 Ben Spurce (16 Mike Robinson 47?), 5 David Abel, 20 Jimmy Lawrence (10 Matthew Hall 87?), 8 David Huxley, 3 Brendan Gan, 6 Shane Lyons, 9 Brad Boardman
Subs Not Used: 12 Joel Snellenberg, 21 Matthew Brandalise, 19 B Powell
Yellow Cards: D Huxley 22?, M Katz 37?, P Bojic 80?
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers: 1 Matt Nash, 3 John Kelso, 4 Daniel Clifford, 5 Michael Galluzzo, 6 Buddy Farah, 10 Franco Parisi, 9 Robert Younis, 15 Josh Lawson, 13 David D?Apuzzo, 17 Christian Cevenini, 18 Peter Peralta
Subs Not Used: 40 Milan Udvaracz, 22 Julian Borgiani, 16 Simon Ryan, 24 William Thom, 23 Christian Care
Yellow Cards: R Younis 46?, J Lawson 62?, 65?, D Clifford 63?
Red Cards: J Lawson 65, C Cevenini 83?
Player Ratings
3 ? Pedj Bojic (SS)
2 ? Brendan Gan (SS)
1 ? Franco Parisi (ALT)