Stallions Stumble in Opener


The last time Macarthur Rams played at this level Marconi was a powerhouse in the old National Soccer League, but the gap in the last few years between them has well and truly narrowed.
In the end though it was Marconi who were left licking their wounds after the Rams, thanks to a stunning goal in the second-half from Daniel McCann, managed to spoil the Stallions? party in the opening round.
Marconi coach David Barrett was philosophical after game stating: ?I think Macarthur are fairly happy, but we are disappointed.
?The goal they scored was very good, so all credit to them.
?We had eight or nine players out tonight [through injury and suspension], but hopefully six of these will be available next week against Sydney United.
?That?s always a very tough derby; it?s a big game and it will be well and truly a test for us.?
Meanwhile, Barrett?s counterpart Paul Carter, ironically a Marconi stalwart in his playing days, expressed his delight afterwards:
?The result is fantastic and it?s good for our confidence,? Carter said.
?It?s great to get a point behind us rather than have to go searching for something in the first few weeks.
?We showed that we are not just going to lay down… we could easily have lost confidence especially going 1-0 down, but we didn?t.
?We played with a lot of guts and we showed it tonight.?
After a rather lacklustre start to the game Marconi took the lead in the 24? minute thanks to a precise header by Nathan Moulds who latched onto a Matthew Gordon corner.
It was all too easy for a player returning to football in NSW after an overseas sojourn with mixed results.
Macarthur?s best chance of the first stanza of play fell to Jason Lewis but his free-kick didn?t really seem to trouble James Chronopoulos in the 30? minute.
Marconi could well have doubled the scoreline in the 39? minute when Stefan Donevski took aim, but Adam Wither courageously put his body on the line and dove in-front to block the powerful shot.
In the second-half Lewis failed to latch properly onto a header in the 53? minute as the Rams went searching for that elusive equaliser.
However, another 20 minutes were to pass, during which time neither side looked dangerous before the goal arrived in the 73? minute.
Daniel McCann scored and it may well be remembered as one of the best of the season as he beautifully fired the ball into the top corner of the net.
There was nothing that Chronopoulos could do and the Marconi crowd was stunned into silence.
The majestic equaliser seemed to spur the Stallions into action, but in the end they had only themselves to blame.
Poor finishing in-front of goal in the end proved the difference.
In the 82? minute Tallan Martin fired a ball across to Nahuel Arrarte, but his powerful shot on the run was off target.
The best of the chances for the Stallions fell to Martin himself, a second-half replacement for Donevski.
It was in the 87th minute, Ante Deur managed to find an unmarked Martin only metres from goal but, the normally reliable striker, fired his shot over the crossbar with only the goalkeeper to beat.
It summed up Marconi?s night.
Match Stats
Marconi Stallions 1 (N. Moulds 24?)      
Macarthur Rams 1 (D. McCann 73?)
Marconi Stallions: 1 James Chronopoulos, 3 Vuko Tomasevic, 5 Nathan Moulds, 6 Luke Casserly, 7 Ben Gough, 11 Matthew Gordon, 12 Stefan Donevski (8 Tallan Martin 66′), 13 Ante Deur, 17 Sean Mitchell (18 Jason Trifiro 73′), 26 Nahuel Arrarte, 32 Ben Bronnberg.
Yellow Cards: B. Gough 59′
Macarthur Rams: 1 Brody Crane, 4 Jason Lewis, 5 Michael Brown, 6 David Gardner,  7 Matt Toogood, 11 Sam Mort (21 Renato Jelen 59′), 14 Daniel McCann, 16 Steve Baveas, 17 Adam Wither, 18 Hugo Coronel (12 Shannon Hankin 66′), 19 Paul Crisp. 
Yellow Cards: A. Wither 35′, H. Coronel 40′, D. McCann 42′
Referee: Attila Stibinger
Corners: 4-2 to Marconi
Player Ratings
3 ? Nathan Moulds (MS)
2 ? Daniel McCann (MR)
1 ? Nahuel Arrarte (MS)
-By Joe Russo