The Sharks relinquished top-spot on the ladder to Manly United two-weeks ago, though the Brian Brown coached side was eager to get ?that winning feeling? back ? and this they certainly did against West Sydney Berries.
An eager start by the home-side provided the Berries with the first chance of the match after only 30?? seconds. John Tsironis was fouled on the edge of the penalty-area following a collision with the high-boot of George Souris.
Both players required attention, though the Berries players did little to capitalise on the promising position, failing to hit the target from the free-kick.
The Sharks response was immediate with a great counter-attack on the left-side. Ben Spruce was the instigator for Sutherland, his speed and strength resulted in an early corner for the visitors, though the chance amounted to nothing.
Good build-up play by the Berries followed, involving arguably the better Berries players from a disappointing all-round display – Nicolo and Giosue Sama. The brother pairing gifted Tirovski with some space to shoot goal-wards, though goal-keeper Nathan Denham ? playing his first match for the Sharks ? thwarted the attempt.
The Sharks first chance fell to the right-foot of skilful midfielder Nick Stavroulakis. A poorly cleared Berries defensive effort fell into the path of Stavroulakis who?s first attempted effort was charged down by the defence – the rebound fell nicely for Stavroulakis who hit a venomous snap-shot only to find the side-netting.
Neil Jablonski was next to go close for the Sharks in the 11? minute when a sublime through ball from the left-flank met Jablonski?s run ? the Sharks midfielder hit his effort with a well-hit volley, though Berries shot-stopper Hamish McLean pulled off an equally impressive point-blank save.
In the 14? minute, Jim Bakis ended the Sharks ?goal draught? with an exceptional free-kick ? one of ?Beckham-esque? proportions. The right-sided midfielder?s effort left McLean helpless as he swerved the ball into the top right-hand corner.
On 22? minutes, the Sharks doubled their advantage with another swift counter-attack. Pedj Bojic and Brendan Gan were again the instigators, though the Sharks were helped by some slack Berries defending.
The defence was at ?sixes-and-sevens? as another poor clearance fell into the path of Brad Boardman; the striker did not need a second invitation to drive his effort – from the penalty-spot mark ? past a crowed defence and out of reach of a helpless McLean in goal.
Berries Captain Archie Kotsopoulos attempted to get his team back in the match, though his long-range driven effort failed to cause Denham any concern in the Sutherland goal.
Nicolo Sama provided a brief spark of life for the home-side as he chipped a through-ball over the Sharks defence and into the path of John Tsironis; the Berries number 10 was immediately thwarted by the Sharks shot-stopper.
Prior to the interval, the Sharks produced another swift counter-attacking move. Stavroulakis won the ball in the middle of the park and unleashed the front pairing. Jim Bakis? good movement on the right opened some space on the edge of the penalty-area; his well hit drive was parried by an out-stretched McLean, Brad Boardman was on-hand to hit a second effort goal-wards, though the Berries rear-guard managed to clear and survive with only a two-goal deficit going into the break.
Sutherland Sharks continued to dominate a sluggish Berries outfit from the word ?go? in the second-half as Nick Stavroulakis sent further shivers down the spines of the home-side and their supporters.
Some fine one-touch passing released Stavroulakis through on goal on the left-side of the penalty-area. The Sharks number 14 was unable to convert as his left-footed half-volley finished over the cross bar.
Pedj Bojic, who was again in great form for the Sharks, missed one of the easiest of chances he will face in his career. The talented Bojic latched onto a miscued effort by Shane Lyons, though the Sharks player turned the ball over the cross-bar with only the goalkeeper to beat.
The Berries first chance of the half arrived on 61? minutes when the midfield was finally able to string three passes together. The good build-up though amounted to nothing as John Tsironis? poor cross from the left was ?easy pickings? for the Sharks goalkeeper.
The Berries did add some spring to their stride at this point as Jack Sobczyk firstly ? although not the most likely of sources ? and then Kotsopoulos went close to pulling the Berries back into the contest.
Kotsopoulos? mazy run was first class, though his effort finished just wide of goal after rounding three Sharks defenders.
The spurned opportunity ended any last hope West Sydney Berries had, to salvage at least a point from the match.
Sutherland hit their third goal in more than impressive fashion via the right-boot of Brendan Gan.
A sloppy Angelo Petratos pass was picked up by Gan in his own half, the speedy Sharks player teased his marker Petratos as his run took him to the edge of the penalty-area before unleashing a tremendous right-footed pile-driver into the top right-hand corner.
The Berries drubbing was ended in the 90? minute as Pedj Bojic showcased his speed ? and quick thinking ? to round goalkeeper McLean before delivering a low cross into the path of Adam Derazkala for the easiest of tap-ins to make it 4-0.
Following the win, Sharks boss Brian Brown was ecstatic with his side?s showing:
?Very happy with the result today, I am glad for the boys as we have been battling away in recent weeks and haven?t had the wins on the board.
?I thought that today we did so many good things out there, and above all we took our chances ? with some very nice goals included ? Brendan Gan?s effort and Jim Bakis? free-kick especially. But really, it was a big performance from the boys today.?
West Sydney Berries player/coach Scott Baillie was far from impressed with his side?s showing:
?I am extremely disappointed with the teams showing today. The players? minds weren?t on the job and we did not stand a chance of winning this match with that attitude.
?I feel that Sutherland played well, though our performance was so far below what we require, that we made our opponents look even better.
?Following the win last weekend (against Bankstown City) we said to the team ? and re-emphasised the importance during the week at training ?that the win against Bankstown City would amount for nothing if we cannot add another strong performance, and build on gaining consecutive victories. As a group we failed today,? concluded Baillie.
West Sydney Berries 0
Sutherland Sharks 4 (Jim Bakis 15m, Bradley Boardman 22m, Brendan Gan 70m, Aram Derazkala 90m).
Venue: Sydney Olympic Athletic Centre
Referee: Peter Vrtkovski
Assistant Referees: Steven Lucas and David Christie
Crowd: 800 Approx.
West Sydney Berries: 1. Hamish McLean; 6. Jack Sobczyk, 7. Scott Thomas, 8. Johnny Fotiadis, 9. Nicolo Sama, 10. John Tsironis (29. Eli Squillaciotti 70?), 11. Archie Kotsopoulos (C), 15. Ryan Jones (19. Dimitri Zakilas 57?), 17. Sash Tirovski, 18. Giosue Sama, 20. Angelo Petratos (32. Patrick Polistina 78?).
Substitutes not used: 4. Scott Baillie, 69. Johnny Frangeskou
Yellow Cards: Angelo Petratos 60?
Sutherland Sharks: 22. Nathan Denham; 15. Michael Katz, 2. George Souris (C), 3. Brendan Gan, 4. Pedj Bojic, 6. Shane Lyons (10. Matthew Hall 85?), 7. Jim Bakis (16. Aram Derazkala 88?), 39. Neil Jablonski (38. Michael Robinson 83?), 9. Bradley Boardman, 11. Ben Spruce, 14. Nick Stavroulakis
Substitutes not used: 21. Michael Brandalise, 27. Ashley Brown
Yellow Cards: Neil Jablonski 65?, Pedj Bojic 77?
3 ? Jim Bakis (SS)
2 ? Brendan Gan (SS)
1 ? Nicolo Sama (WSB)
-By Joseph Carlucci