In a match that only came to life in the final 25? minutes, neither side was able to overcome their opponents rear-guard as many talking points would come out of Seymour Shaw following the scoreless draw.
Player conduct has come under the microscope, and referees have been instructed to caution players who use foul language ? something Sutherland Sharks goalkeeper Phillip Zabaks was to discover following his 70? minute straight red card for foul language.
In the end, a result that does very little for the Stallions positioning on the table ? the Bossley Park side still languish in the bottom places as the heat has reached ?boiling point? for their coaching staff.
For the Sharks, the draw is another set-back to their remarkable season to-date. The side has lost four-points ? from a possible six – at home in recent weeks, in-front of yet another strong turnout of over 1,500 spectators.
The opening stages of the match provided some promising signs for the Stallions who found themselves with a good share of possession.
Jason Trifiro unleashed a long-range snap-shot inside of the 1? minute, though Zabaks was not to be caught out.
Before the 5? minute, the Stallions again pressured the Sharks? defence with some good build-up play on the right ? the resulting cross from Christopher Nunes did fall into the path of Jason Trifiro, though again Zabaks would intervene.
Sutherland?s first goal scoring attempt fell to Nick Stavroulakis, who picked up a poorly cleared free-kick by the Stallions defence, though the hardworking midfielder?s shot-turn-pass amounted to nothing.
The half played out to be a scrappy affair, with many poor first touches ? from both sides ? summing up the first 45? minutes.
Sutherland took control in the closing stages of the first period with one of the better chances falling to the Sharks top-scorer, Brad Boardman.
The tall striker latched onto an exquisite through ball from Ben Spruce ? sending the striker one-on-one with James Chronopoulos ? though the Stallions? defence was very quick to react and thwart Boardman?s chance.
Jim Bakis played an exceptional floating pass across the park into the path of a lunging Boardman in the last play of the half, though the striker failed to get direction on his brave attempt.
The second forty-five minutes continued with the same speed that the first period ended, and again the Stallions created the first chance of the half.
Vuko Tomasevic?s long-range free-kick was driven hard and low into the penalty-area, though amidst the crowded bodies, the chance went begging for Marconi.
Sutherland Sharks did have extra vigour about their counter attacks in the second-half, and Shane Lyons and Brendan Gan became far more involved for the home-side.
It was Gan?s silky skills on the left that provided the Sharks Number 3 with some space to cut-back a low pass across the face of goal. The ball fell to Jim Bakis who with the goal at his mercy dragged his low-driven effort wide of Chronopoulos? right-hand post.
Sutherland looked the goods for a goal at this point, and Shane Lyons then produced some wonderful skill on the left wing, dribbling his way to the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a venomous low-drive ? an effort that the Stallions managed to survive only thanks to Chronopoulos? finger nails with his outstretched effort.
With many tackles flying in from both sides at this point, the half came alive in the 72? minute when Sutherland Sharks? goalkeeper Phillip Zabaks received a straight red card for foul language.
The referee had no hesitation to brandish the Sharks shot-stopper the red card, sparking scenes of discontent from both the Sharks bench and the supporters ? following Tallan Martin?s yellow card moments earlier for dissent..
Reserve goalkeeper Michael Brandalise, who kept goal for the Sharks? Under 20 side earlier in the evening, entered the fray ? Jim Bakis the unlucky player making way for his entrance.
The Stallions? introduction of Tolgay Ozbey did provide David Barrett?s men with some additional strength up-front, and Ozbey made his presence felt immediately.
Ozbey?s ability to hold-up play provided the Stallions with some additional time in their opponents half, though not even Ozbey?s turn-and-shot on 80? minutes was enough to raise the hopes of the Stallions? faithful.
With Sutherland still looking dangerous ? even with the numerical disadvantage ? Marconi was provided with a huge opportunity in the 81? minute.
A long searching ball from midfield was misjudged by Michael Katz, allowing Matthew Gordon a look-in on goal from the left side of the penalty-area ? Gordon?s rushed snap-shot effort though failed to force Brandalise to make a save.
Brandalise was called upon moments later as Gordon found himself with the ball at his feet on the edge of the area. The Stallions? midfielder hit a low-driven effort, though the Sharks? reserve shot-stopper was up to the task, and he produced a world class save down to his right.
The final chance of the match fell to the home-side as a lively Matthew Hall, who had replaced Nick Stavroulakis earlier, found some space after rounding two players on the right flank.
Hall?s cut-back effort across goal failed to pick out a free team-mate, and the chance went begging.
Following the match, Sutherland Sharks? boss Brian Brown expressed his disappointment at dropping more points, though spoke praises of his players? efforts:
?It is disappointing to drop more points tonight, I thought the boys played a good match and we created a lot of chances.
?I was expecting Marconi to come at us a lot more, though they did surprise me a little that they didn?t do that from the start,? commented Brown.
?My players are creating chances, though the ball just won?t go in at the moment ? but we?ll get there.?
Asked about the prospect of falling further behind to League leader Manly United, Brown was not fussed:
?I only look at my team, and we can?t stop to look at the others. We must concentrate on the matches we have at hand and ensure that we approach these matches as best we can.?
Sutherland Sharks 0
Marconi Stallions 0
Venue: Seymour Shaw
Referee: Matthew Gillett
Assistant Referees: Gareth Askham, Sarah Ho
Fourth Official: David Morris
Crowd: Approx. 1,500.
Sutherland Sharks: 99. Phillip Zabaks; 2. George Souris (C), 3. Brendan Gan, 4. Pedj Bojic, 6. Shane Lyons, 7. Jim Bakis (21. Michael Brandalise 72?), 8. David Huxley, 9. Bradley Boardman, 11. Ben Spruce (38. Michael Robinson 90?), 15. Michael Katz, 14. Nick Stavroulakis (10. Matthew Hall 70?)
Substitutes not used: 39. Neil Jablonski, 16. A. Derazkala
Yellow Cards: David Huxley 40?
Red Cards: Phillip Zabaks 72?
Marconi Stallions: 1. James Chronopoulos; 2. Wade Oostendorp, 3. Vuko Tomasevic, 6. Luke Casserly (C), 8. Tallan Martin, 9. Kain Rastall (10. Tolgay Ozbey 55?), 11. Matthew Gordon, 57?), 18. Jason Trifiro, 23. Christopher Nunes (15. Timothy McGowan 61?), 32. Ben Bronneberg, 38. Umut Tokdogan
Subs not used: 20. Cem Akilli; 5. Nathan Moulds, 16. Glen Trifiro.
Yellow Cards: Jason Trifiro 58?, Tallan Martin 67?, Vuko Tomasevic 68?
Red Cards: Nil
3 ? Brendan Gan (SS)
2 ? Pedj Bojic (SS)
1 ? Jason Trifiro (MS)
-By Joseph Carlucci