Rams defeat Penrith for first win of the season

a football player on a field

Goals to Shannon Hankin, debutant James Young and substitute Renato Jelen saw off the home team.
Despite starting strongly Penrith-Nepean United were not to have the opening clear-cut chance. That chance fell to David Gardiner of the Rams from a Michael Brown corner but Gardiner?s header at the near post was squeezed away by the local defence.
In the 12? minute Penrith?s William Stuart took a shot from a very difficult angle but it was cleared away by the Macarthur defence on the line.
In the 17? minute Shannon Hankin ran through onto a long ball, and with Daniel Schwarzer caught off his line, he had a great chance to score. However Hankin?s chip went the wrong side of the post.
Two minutes later the dominant possession game of the locals was almost capped off with a goal but, as Javier Mancino tried to convert a Stewart Van Bentum cross from the left, Paul Crisp slid in and took the ball away from him.
In the 22? minute Mancino and Carl McNaughton both went close to converting crossed from Van Bentum?s boot. Again five minutes later, more could have been made of another Van Bentum cross but Ralph?s shot went well over the bar.
Despite the dominance of possession for the locals it was Macarthur who finally broke the dead-lock. In the 36? minute Brown got the ball on the left and was able to play it into Hankin who slotted home with minimal fuss.
Three minutes later the Rams almost doubled their lead as Hankin took the ball off the defence and played it to striking partner James Young who was pressured off the ball by the recovering defence.
Just before the break, another cross from Van Bentum was headed at the near post onto the crossbar by Penrith-Nepean.            
Inside of the opening 2? minutes of the second-half, Macarthur had doubled their lead with a goal taken, once more, on the break. James Young broke just the other side of the half-way line with a hint of offside, but he took his opportunity well and slid the ball past Schwarzer and into the back of the net.
Penrith-Nepean tried to respond but things looked desperate as Erick Anabalon fired over the bar in the 53? minute from some distance.
The home-side did get back into the encounter moments later when Panagiotis Nikas collected the ball and fired the ball through traffic and into the goal.
It looked as if it would get even better as Anabalon played the ball to Nathan Ralph in the penalty area – Ralph tripped over the ball and it spilt out towards team-mate William Stuart but before Stuart could pounce on the spoils the Macarthur defence cleared it out of his path.
Just after the hour substitute Shannon Burgin fired over the top as Nikas made a dangerous break down the left and laid it back to his young team-mate. Penrith now came forward in waves but Macarthur was holding on well.
There were warning signs for the locals not to get too over committed in attack.
In the 74? minute Ante Juric had the ball stolen by Daniel McCann and McCann then laid the ball into Hankin who fired just wide of the post.
McCann again caused the home-side concern when he went one-on-one with Schwarzer, though his shot cannoned off the post.
In the 78? minute the equaliser looked to have arrived as Anabalon turned in the area and laid the ball across the face of goal for Mancino to fire home ? a telling intervention by Brown protected the Rams lead.
In the 90? minute, as Penrith-Nepean continued to look for an equaliser, the home-side was punished as Renato Jelen capitalised on some confusion in the Penrith-Nepean defence, latching onto the ball and striking home at the near side of the advancing Schwarzer, who had been left stranded by his own defence once more.
Abbas Saad was extremely disappointed with the result:
?How can you have that much possession and not score more than one goal? We needed to do more with the ball and take our chances.?
A delighted Paul Carter was pleased that finally luck had come his side?s way:
?A lot of luck has gone against us this season but tonight things happened for us. We broke away well and could have scored a number of other goals on the break. The players did what I asked of them tonight.
“Overall I am pretty happy with our away form with three draws and now a win. With the two Kiwi boys able to play for us we can build on this success and make things tougher for those who come and play us at home.?
Penrith Nepean United 1 (Panagiotis Nikas 55?)
Macarthur Rams 3 (Shannon Hankin 36?, James Young 49?, Renato Jelen 90?)
Venue: CUA Stadium
Referee: Nathan Rice
Crowd: 450
Penrith-Nepean United: 42. Daniel SCHWARZER; 11. Erick ANABALON, 7. Javier MANCINO (10. Tayfun BUYUKKOPRU 88?), 13. Nathan RALPH, 4. Ryan OSHEA (15. Angelo MARTINO 79?), 2. William STUART, 28. Ante Juric, 9. Carl MCNAUGHTON (30. Shannon BURGIN 45?), 23. Devrim HUSEYIN, 8. Stewart VAN BENTUM, 29. Panagiotis NIKAS
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Chad TAYLOR, 6. Jack LONG
Yellow Card: Nil
Red Card: Nil
Macarthur Rams: 40. Roy BELL; 2. Craig COOLEY, 4. Jason LEWIS (17. Adam WITHER 88?), 5. Michael BROWN, 6. David GARDINER, 7. Matt TOOGOOD, 12. Shannon HANKIN, 14. Daniel MCCANN, 18. Hugo CORONEL (21. Renato JELEN 83?), 19. Paul CRISP, 27. James YOUNG (16. Steve BAVEAS 60?)
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Brody CRANE, 23. Josh FORD
Yellow Card: Michael Brown 71?
Red Card: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 – Shannon Hankin (MR)
2 – Michael Brown (MR)
1 – Stewart Van Bentum (PNU)
-By Stuart Jones