Penrith-Nepean United almost put their disastrous result ? last weekend against A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers – behind them until a last minute goal to Wollongong FC wiped out all their good work.
The opening was all about Wollongong FC as they started strongly and threw everything they had at the locals. However, this was not converted into shots on, or off, target. Penrith then responded with strong raids down the left-flank through debutant Frank Romeo but like their opponents this was not turned into goal-bound efforts.
In fact it was not until the 22? minute that either team had a shot and that went to Osagie Ederaro who fired it well wide.
Ederaro was the big danger in a lack lustre first-half, raiding down the left and through the middle of the park but he was not allowed to set-up his team-mates by the defence and Chad Taylor in the Penrith goal.
In the 32? minute Romeo stole the ball off the defence and charged in on goal only to be denied by a tackle from the defence that dispossessed him in the area.
Atila Stibinger, who had a fine game in-charge letting the game flow, correctly identified that it was not a penalty.
The closest Penrith came to a shot in the first-half was a dangerous corner which was punched away by Justin Pasfield in the Wollongong FC goal.
A long ball to Wollongong?s Ederaro was only just intercepted by Chad Taylor before the Wollongong player could strike. The first-half had been poor but Ederaro, Taylor and Romeo stood out for their respective teams.
Wollongong FC was forced to make two changes at half-time as Hayes and Prenzoski were both injured, with Esteves and young 15-year old Corey Jameiro replacing them. Again Wollongong FC started the stronger team and this time it was much more effective.
Tynan Diaz shot the ball just over the bar just three minutes in. Then a Michael West free-kick was punched away by the goalkeeper.
There was then some question of a ball hitting the arm of a Penrith player in the area but the Wollongong FC appeals were dismissed by the referee.
Wollongong had a great chance in the 9? minute of the second-half when Matt Bailey raided down the right and laid the ball back to youngster Jamiero – his shot went straight into the arms of Chad Taylor.
Ten minutes later, and after misfires from Michael West and Mat Bailey, Chris Price struck the woodwork before the Penrith defence cleared from danger.
A minute later, Ederaro had a shot but was denied once more by the outstanding Chad Taylor.
At the other end Penrith had a free-kick in a dangerous area awarded to them but the danger came to nothing. Minutes 73? and 74? saw two more Ederaro efforts saved by Taylor.
In the 85th minute Wollongong finally ?wrong footed? Taylor but the header looped just over the bar. Three minutes later Ederaro was free in the area and also finally beat Taylor only to see his effort calmly cleared off the line by Devrim Huseyin.
After 180 minutes of action – neither side had scored against each other this season – there was a twist in this tale.
In stoppage time Tynan Diaz crossed the ball in from the right and at the far post Chris Price headed the ball home to give his side the victory.
Abbas Saad was disappointed with the result but pleased with the effort:
?It was a super effort from the young kids. We played well in the first-half but in the second-half we ran out of troops. It was a bitter pill to swallow, the last minute goal.?
John Turner was pleased to come away with the three points:
?I was struggling for players but those out on the park responded and we came away with the full points. The boys just needed to keep changing things to keep the opposition guessing and the goal finally came, all be it very late.?
Penrith-Nepean United 0
Wollongong FC 1 (Chris Price 90?)
Venue: CUA Stadium
Referee: Atila Stibinger
Penrith-Nepean United: 1. Chad Taylor, 9. Carl McNaughton, 23. Devrim Huseyin, 7. Javier Mancino (15. Anglo Martino 75?), 5. Luke Boyd, 13. Nathan Ralph (20. Brenden Semenikow 90?), 8. Stewart Van Bentum (10. Tayfun Buyukkopru 53?), 2. William Stuart, 28. Ante Juric, 30. Shannon Burgin, 18. Frank Romeo
Substitutes Not Used: 42. Daniel Schwarzer, 4. Ryan O?Shea
Yellow Cards: William Stuart 47?
Red Cards: Nil
Wollongong FC: 1. Justin Pasfield; 4. Michael West, 5. Steve Hayes (2. Alfredo Esteves 46?), 6. Ilija Prenzoski (16. Corey Jameiro 46?), 8. Mitch Long (3. Lachlan Cahill 75?), 12. Chris Price, 13. Tynan Diaz, 14. Danial Cummins, 17. Ben Blake, 18. Osagie Ederaro, 19. Matt Bailey
Substitutes Not Used: 15. Josh Price, 20. Daniel Nash
Yellow Cards: Danial Cummins 30?
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Chad Taylor (PNU)
2 – Osagie Ederaro (WFC)
1 – Chris Price (WFC)
-By Stuart Jones