Sutherland remains unbeaten – only just

a man with a football ball on a field

On the stroke of half-time David Reid was shown a straight red card for dissent by referee Kurt Ams when the home side were well on top in a game of strong tactical defence shown by the visitors.
As Demons coach Ken Schembri said after the game: ?We like to build patiently and set out to do so as we know the Sharks are about the best in the league to hit a side on the break and we made sure we were not caught off guard.?
However, caught off guard they were on several occasions during the opening 20-minutes where they weathered the home side?s very own storm as firstly Brad Boardman flicked wide from a Pedj Bojic cross and then Brendan Gan had an effort blocked from his shot from the edge of the box.
Blacktown not enjoying the best of luck this campaign, endured an early set-back when Ryan Walsh pulled up lame with a hamstring injury after just 11-minutes to be replaced by Tyler Simpson but that is not to say they didn?t have chances of their own.
Man-of-the-match Brian Vanega had an effort in the 24? minute that whistled past the upright but after that it really did become pretty much one-way traffic as the home side surged forward.
Jimmy Bakis floated over a cross that Boardman was just unable to touch home at full stretch before Ben Spruce accepted an interchange of passes to put Gan through but again it was an opportunity squandered as the Demons continued to ride their luck.
Then came the moment of madness as Reid received his marching orders for the Sharks which left the match at nil-all at the break.
The Sharks didn?t lie down and could have taken the lead in the 47? minute after Gan laid on the perfect ball for Boardman. Ivan Necevski brilliantly blocked his powerful strike but the ball fell for Lyons whose shot was also blocked before the danger was cleared.
The Demons came on strongly after that but for profligate finishing could and probably should have taken the lead on a couple of occasions which may come back to haunt them later in the season, especially after Tyler Simpson saw his effort blocked on the line by Bakis.
It was at this point they knew it wasn?t going to be their night.
?We could have and probably should have collected all the points tonight,? said a rueful Ken Schembri after the game.
?I thought we built our way into the first-half and finished quite strongly.
?We knew we had to be patient against a very good outfit and if you had said to me at 10am this morning we would get a point from the game I would have gladly accepted it but I am a little disappointed we didn?t get all three after the way we exerted so much pressure in the latter stages.?
Brian Brown, Sharks coach, was phlegmatic in his appraisal of the match: ?I have to be happy with the point after we went down to 10-men but as ever I thought we did enough to get all three.
?We went at them early on and could have scored one or two and perhaps on another night we may have but we showed resilience tonight and mental toughness.
?We could have dropped our heads and conceded but we kept going against a side that really is in a false position on the ladder, as were Blacktown last weekend.
?That said, we still created the better chances and perhaps could have won the match but we remain unbeaten and upbeat about the result.
A thrilling contest between two teams who left nothing on the pitch in their efforts to secure the win.
Match Stats
Sutherland Sharks 0
Blacktown City Demons 0
Referee: Kurt Ams
Attendance: 949
Venue: Seymour Shaw Park
Sutherland Sharks: 99. Phillip Zabaks, 15. Michael Katz, 2. George Souris, 4. Pedj Bojic, 11. Ben Spruce (38. Michael Robinson 56?), 8. David Huxley (39. Neil Jablonski 86?), 7. Jim Bakis (14. Nick Stavroulakis 69?), 3. Brendan Gan, 22. David Reid, 6. Shane Lyons, 9. Brad Boardman
Subs not used: 1 Matt Brandalise, 10 Matt Hall
Yellow Cards: Ben Spruce 53
Red Cards: David Reid 45
Blacktown City Demons: 1. Ivan Necevski, 2. Matt Pressello, 3. Paul Karbon, 4. Daniel Wilkinson, 5. Ryan Walsh (7. Tyler Simpson 11?), 9. Bruno Salas, 10. Leo Carle (6. Ken Chun 78?), 16. Adam Biddle, 19. Brian Vanega, 13. Ben Ellis, 25. Jordan Simpson (8. Chris Bedzo 86?)
Subs not used: 20. Matt Nemes, 11. Nicholas Roucco
Yellow Cards: Paul Karbon 88
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Brian Vanega (BCD)
2 ? Adam Biddle (BCD)
1 ? George Souris (SS)
-By Micky Brock