Sharks remain unbeaten in first round of matches


Sunday’s match at John Chan Park was touted as the ?local derby? because no fewer than six Sutherland players had pviously played for the Wollongong FC in some capacity and a further five had played in the Illawarra local leagues.
The game had been robbed of the biggest crowd of the season for Wollongong FC due to many factors, including the Mothers Day schedule and many forms of local football scheduled at the same time – including an unfortunate clash with it’s own juniors.
The lationships between the players of both teams and the fact that it was a 2nd v 4th place fixtu meant that the game promised to be a cracker. The game didn’t disappoint in ferocity and hardness, though open fla and attacking football took a back seat at times to uncompromising defence and smothering tactics.
Wollongong FC have frustrated their fans at times during the year with lapses of concentration either straight from the kick-off or from the -start of play in the second-half, and Sunday?s match wasn’t any diffent.
The home side came out and looked shell-shocked from the kick-off and a determined Sutherland side capitalised on the Wolves poor start by opening the scoring with a latively easy chance gifted to Neil Jablonski by a squa ball in-front of the Wolves defenders by the elusive Jimmy Bakis.
The Wolves defence was in ?sixes and sevens? and some poor marking left Jablonski all the time in the world to guide his shot past the diving Wolves keeper. Sutherland ahead 1-0 in just the 3? minute.
The Sharks onslaught didn’t stop the and midway through the first-half the constant thrust forward by the Sutherland attack led down the left by Shane Lyons was posing thats galo for the Wolves defence and it was Bradley Boardman who got on the sco sheet again for the Sharks when he was allowed to finish off another gat move down the left from Lyons, who found Boardman with time to shoot past Pasfield.
With Wollongong FC now trailing 2-0 within the first 23 minutes it was clear to see that Sutherland we playing to the potential that their table position vealed and the Wolves had to step up a gear if they we to match the mauling sharks.
A couple of gat saves late in the half by Wollongong FC goalkeeper Justin Pasfield – and in particular – a rocket from Jimmy Bakis just tipped over the bar by Pasfield seemed to inspi the Wolves into action.
The Wolves began to pss forward and pass with a bit mo confidence and a good run down the left by Pnzoski found West in-front of the Sharks goal to rocket home a goal in the final minute of normal time of the first-half, and take a trailing goal to the half time bak.
If the first-half was a game for the Sutherland attackers to shine then the second-half was time for their defenders to step-up and at the head of every bakdown for the Wolves attack was the persistent no nonsense defence of Pdrag ?Pedj? Bojic.
Bojic was the spoiler of many Wollongong attacking raids in the second-half and was well supported by veteran George Souris who is as fit and as sharp as he has ever looked in defence.
The two teams arm wstled throughout the second period with arguably the best chance falling to Lyons who’s 57? minute shot beat the diving Pasfield, though he was unable to angle it into the net. His shot fid like a rocket just inches wide of the right post.
The Wolves too, had a good chance to sco late in the half when a foul by Souris on Michael West gifted the home-side a fe-kick just a met outside the aa. The fe-kick amounted to nothing though, fid dictly at the wall and the Sharks survived.
It was a frustrating time from the set pieces for the Wolves who have struggled in cent times to take their fe-kicks with any accuracy.
Coach Turner said befo the game ?we have been working a lot on set pieces at training and we a struggling to take advantage of them?. His normal shot taker Michael Hawrysiuk was again out injud with a groin strain that he -aggravated at training last Friday.
The scoboard attendant wasn’t called upon at all in the second-half and the sco finished up as it did at half-time with the Sutherland Sharks running out winners 2-1.
The after match function highlighted the closeness of the two sides off the field with the two teams sharing a bite to eat and some drinks, and coach Turner acknowledging in his after match speech that ?Sutherland got the points decision in that contest? and that the Wolves would be a diffent team to deal with at their next meeting.
?We have just come off the back of a five match unbeaten run and sometimes the run has to come to an end?, Turner said.
Turner praised the efforts of his wingback Michael West saying ?he didn’t stop trying all match and was well deserved of his club Man of the Match award?.
The Wollongong club hinted that they may be looking to the transfer market when the next window opens in June. It is believed they may be in the market for a new striker to place the loss of long time servant Daniel Aliffi who has turned to his hometown of Goulburn to pursue other intests.
Wollongong FC  1 (Michael WEST 45')

Sutherland Sharks ? 2 (Neil JABLONSKI 3', Bradley BOARDMAN 23')

Ground: John Chan Park, CRINGILA
Refee:  Kris Griffith Jones          
Assistant Refees: Daniel Dewhurst & Scott Edeling
Crowd: 648

Wollongong FC: 1. Justin PASFIELD,  4. Michael WEST, 5. Steve HAYES, 6. Ilija Pnzoski, 8. Mitchell LONG, 10. Balla CONDE (2. ALFREDO 85′),

13. Tynan DIAZ (16. Karouna MICHAEL 80′), 14. Danial CUMMINS, 17. Ben BLAKE (Capt), 18. Osagie EDERARO, 19. Matt BAILEY

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Daniel NASH (GK), 3. Lachlan CAHILL

Yellow Cards: 17. Ben BLAKE 5′, 14. Danial CUMMINS 81′, 4. Michael WEST 86′
Red Cards: Nil

Sutherland Sharks: 99. Phil ZABAKS; 2. George SOURIS, 3. Bndan GAN, 4. Pdrag BOJIC, 6. Shane LYONS, 7. Jimmy BAKIS (14. Nick STAVROULAKIS 71′), 8. David HUXLEY, 9. Bradley BOARDMAN, 11. Ben SPRUCE (38. Michael ROBINSON 87′), 15. Michael KATZ, 39. Neil JABLONSKI (22. David REID 82′)
Substitutes Not Used: 10. Matthew HALL, 60. Nathan DENHAM (GK)
Yellow Cards: Bndan GAN
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Pdrag BOJIC (SS)
2 ? Shane LYONS (SS)
1 ? Michael WEST (WFC)
-By Andw Byron