Bankstown City and Sydney United draw blanks at Jensen


Sydney United ? unbeaten in their opening two fixtures ? was provided with some stern opposition, as title contenders Bankstown City failed to convert their dominance of possession into goals.
Without the services of suspended stars Peter Tsekenis and Danny Slaveski, Tsekenis and Assistant Peter Papoythis were forced to also make-do without play-maker Robbie Mileski.
Sydney United boss Ivan Petkovic had the luxury of fielding the same starting eleven for the second successive weekend, though the opening stages of the Saturday evening clash did not reflect the fluid attacking play of the Capitol Hill Estate Cup one-week earlier.
The home-side was quick of the blocks with Shane Webb stretching his legs early. Webb?s fine burst down the left-flank inside of the first-minute produced an opening for Paul Harries ? the former Sutherland Sharks striker hooked his volleyed effort over the cross-bar.
The Jensen Park crowd was left confused after 4? minutes, as referee Strebre Delovski approached the Sydney United bench.
Clarification of the incident arrived moments later when Sydney United goal-keeper Vedran Janjetovic changed his jersey ? the red-coloured jersey clashed with that of Bankstown City and, somewhat unbelievably, was not picked up prior to kick-off.
Bankstown City almost found the opener after 9? minutes.
Harries was the provider, his cross from the left met Stefce Soleski?s left-footed volley ? the midfielder?s effort was not clean off the boot, though Janjetovic pulled off a remarkable save with his right foot as he had already committed to his left.
The home-side held a monopoly of possession, though Sydney United would hit Bankstown on the counter-attack.
Todd Brodie and Ivo Bosnar were the main outlets for the visitors – their vision out of midfield, along with the quick interplay between Luka Glavas and Elsid Barkhousir, kept the Bankstown rear guard alert.
In the 15? minute, Steve Liavas and man-of-the-match James Monie combined well on the right-flank ? the latter sending the speedy winger into space, though Liavas? attempted cut-back across the face of goal was judged to have crossed the byline.
Two-goal hero for Sydney United, against Marconi Stallions, last weekend Luka Glavas rallied his troops when he controlled well and found a yard of space inside the Bankstown half, though his long-range shot ended well-wide of the goal.
George Nohra had arguably the best chance of the encounter in the 28? minute when Steve Liavas? cross from the right ? missed by Paul Harries ? fell to Nohra.
The Bankstown central midfielder ? who was not a certain starter until minutes before kick-off due to a groin injury ? failed to hit the target from close-range.
James Monie came to life in the 31? minute with a slalom effort from the half-way line.
The attacking midfielder, who played the role of lynch-pin to the strikers to perfection, evaded the challenges of no-less than three adversaries, before earning his side a free-kick from a central position.
Phillip Makrys? free-kick summed-up the home side?s evening, moments later ? the low-driven effort found its way past the wall though finished well-wide of goal.
Janjetovic closed out the half with a brave save at the feet of Monie. Steve Liavas? dangerous cross was claimed by the Reds? shot-stopper, despite the challenge of the Bankstown midfielder.
The midfield battle rolled-on into the second-half as neither side was capable of gaining the ascendancy.
Sydney United did come out of their shell after a counter-attacking first 45? minutes, with the best chances arriving via the quick feet of youngster Andrija Petkovic on the left-flank.
Shane Webb had Bankstown City supporters out of their seats on 54? minutes when he met a through ball on the left-flank.
Webb?s effort ? a cross-turn-shot ? certainly woke Janjetovic in the Reds? goal with a dipping effort as the shot-stopper saved at the first attempt.
Glavas continued to battle away against a solid Bankstown back-line, he was rewarded for his perseverance with a half-chance after skipping past two Bankstown defenders.
Glavas volleyed the ball goal-wards, though the effort failed to test Zlatko Josevski.
James Monie seemed the most likely outlet for Bankstown with his interplay out of midfield, though chances to Soleski, and debutant Matthew Borg, were not converted.
Sydney United introduced A-League side Sydney FC team-member, Ben Vidaic, his first appearance for this club this season, and his physical presence was immediately felt.
Despite the great battle in the centre of the park though, supporters ? from both sides ? would not be treated to a final-minute decider as Sydney United scuffed a free-kick in the dying minutes of the encounter, from the boot of Ivo Bosnar.
Following the match, Bankstown City Assistant coach Peter Papoythis expressed his disappointment as his side remains win-less after three TeleChoice Premier League starts:
 ?Tonight was a re-cap of the story of our season so far ? pre-season included. We created chances and dominated possession for large spells, though failed to find the back of the net. It?s the way things are at the moment.
?We did some things well tonight; Paul Harries started and did well despite tiring towards the end.
?Obviously I am not happy with the result, though with the amount of possession we manage to hold onto, we hope to start finding the back of the net.?
Sydney United boss Ivan Petkovic accepted the point from the match, though believed his side could have snatched the win:
?We played a strong side tonight and managed to take a point away from them.
?I think the result was a fair one, and I believe that not too many teams will come to this ground Jensen Park and get points from Bankstown City ? they are a very good side.
?Even though we should be happy with one-point, I did think that we could have been a little bit more direct, and precise, tonight.
?Our final passes were not accurate and we really could have got a win if we managed to play those final passes better.?
Match Stats
Bankstown City 0
Sydney United 0 
Bankstown City: 1. Zlatko Josevski; 2. Ibrahim Haydar, 3. Shane Webb, 5. Richard Luksic, 7. Steve Liavas, 8. George Nohra (C), 9. James Monie, 11. Phillip Makrys, 12. Stefce Soleski, 16. Tayfun Devrimol, 19. Paul Harries (36. Matthew Borg 69?)
Substitutes not used: 15. Jonathan Jackson, 18. Omar Saadi, 27. W. Angel, 20. A. Bozi
Yellow Cards: Nil.
Sydney United: 30. Vedran Janjetovic; 3. Josip Moric, 5. Damon Collina, 6. Joe Vrkic (C), 21. Sash Trajcevski, 7. Todd Brodie, 14. Petar Markovic, 23. Ivo Bosnar, 18. Andrija Petkovic (19. Mitchell Thompson 60?), 16. Elsid Barkhousir (13. Ben Vidaic 51?), 11. Luka Glavas (22. Dennis Cutura 89?)
Substitutes not used: 24. Antony Golec, 1. Michael Turnbull
Yellow Cards: Nil
Ground: Jensen Park
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Assistant Referees: Adam Dayeian, Dale Fuda
Fourth Official: Adam Weir
Crowd: Approx. 600
Player Ratings:
3 ? James Monie (BC)
2 ? Petar Markovic (SU)
1 ? George Nohra (BC)
-By Joseph Carlucci