Berries content as Stallions display donkey-like traits


However, Marconi?s night can be summed up with two late chances ? both to Stefan Donevski ? from close range. The ball sailed over the crossbar when, arguably, it was harder to miss than to score.
It certainly wasn?t Donevski?s fault that the Stallions didn?t win because the team, as a whole, continues to display a lack of ideas and a heavy reliance on good fortune.
West Sydney Berries provided that good fortune by conceding two soft goals before levelling the balance sheet on the stroke of half-time. And Cem Akili?s performance in goal for the Stallions was also most praiseworthy as he kept his side in the contest with some very good saves.
After the game West Sydney Berries? coach Scott Baillie was pleased with his team and the determination that they showed:
?To go down 2-0 on set pieces is disappointing especially as both of those lads [Tallan Martin and Ante Deur] aren?t the tallest,? he said. ?But to score two goals within a minute in response to that shows really good character from my boys and we went into half-time at 2-2 feeling pretty good overall.
?We could have lost it and we could have won it, but I?ll be happy with a point in the end,? Baillie stated.
His counterpart Dave Barrett of Marconi was as always most honest and forthright with his post-match summation of proceedings:
?I don?t actually think that we played that well in the first-half and we probably didn?t deserve to be 2-0 up but, in saying that, we got ourselves in front and we didn?t take responsibility for the lead,? he said.
?The second-half was like a basketball match: just up and down. We lacked a bit of composure, but it just wasn?t good enough from us tonight,? Barrett said.
In the 5? minute John Tsironis made a nice break down the left, but his final shot didn?t trouble Akili between the sticks.
In the 16? minute Christopher Nunes failed to clear the ball from his own penalty area but, instead of pouncing on the loose ball, Nicolo Sama had a rather weak shot that didn?t worry Akili.
In the 24? minute Scott Thomas tried his luck from outside the penalty box, but once again Akili wasn?t to be caught out.
At this point, West Sydney Berries had the better of play and the better of the chances.
Marconi, however, took the lead in the 30? minute with what appeared to be an all too simple goal: a Donevski corner found Martin in the box who simply outjumped all to head in for the Stallions.
In the 35? minute another set piece for the Stallions was most successful: Vuko Tomasevic swung in a free-kick from the right and an unmarked Deur headed the ball into the far corner of the net.
In 44? minute the Berries came right back into the contest when Nicolo Sama, arguably the best player for his side, scored.
Sama did it all himself as he was given far too much space by the Marconi defence and ended his charge towards goal with a deadly finish that beat the outstretched hand of Akili.
Right on half-time, West Sydney Berries were good enough to catch Marconi once again napping in defence when Ryan Jones put a cross in from the left and Tsironis, with an outstretched boot, managed to steer the ball in off the post.
In the second-half, as the rain started to tumble down, in the 56? minute it was Nathan Moulds who lost the ball to Tsironis who in turn found Sash Tirovski, but his shot ended up straight into Akili?s waiting hands.
In the 61? minute a Tsironis corner was met by a clever Josh Sama header which forced Akili to brilliantly turn it over the crossbar for another corner.
Marconi?s reply three minutes later by Tolgay Ozbey was superb because his powerful drive from outside the box rattled the Berries? crossbar.
In the 75? minute Nicolo Sama, brilliantly set up by his brother Josh Sama, avoided two defenders and an outcoming Akili only to hit the side netting with his shot.
In the 85? minute Ozbey found replacement Jason Trifiro who forced Hamish McLean into a reflex save, but only as far as Donevski who shot over from close-range.
In the 89? minute Ozbey set up Donevski and, in what was almost a replay of his shot just minutes earlier, the ball sailed over from close-range.
The last opportunity fell to the Berries right on the stroke of full-time when Con Paradisis found Jones, but his powerful shot was once again superbly saved by Akili.
Marconi Stallions 2 (Tallan Martin 30?, Ante Deur 35?)
West Sydney Berries 2 (Nicolo Sama 44?, John Tsironis 45?)

Venue: Marconi Stadium

Referee: Stebre Delovski
Referee Assistants: Daniel Dewhurst, Wayne Lenardon

Marconi Stallions: Cem Akili, Wade Oostendorp, Vuko Tomasevic, Nathan Moulds (Zac Cairncross 74?), Tallan Martin, Kain Rastall, Matthew Gordon, Stefan Donevski, Ante Deur (Tolgay Ozbey 57?), Christopher Nunes, Nahuel Arrarte (Jason Trifiro 46?).
Subs not used: James Chronopoulos, Christopher Gomez
West Sydney Berries: Hamish McLean, Jack Sobczyk, Scott Thomas, Johnny Fotiadis, Nicolo Sama, John Tsironis (Dimitri Zakilas 66?), Archie Kotsopoulos, Ryan Jones, Sash Tirovski (Con Paradisis 88?), Josh Sama, Angelo Petratos.
Sub not used: Johnny Frangeskou and Sargon Georges.
Yellow Cards: Tomasevic, Rastall (Marconi); N. Sama, Thomas and Petratos (West Sydney)
Player Ratings:
3 – Nicolo Sama (WSB)
2 – Jack Sobczyk (WSB)
1 – Cem Akili (MS)
-By Joe Russo