Sutherland Sharks in seventh heaven

a group of young men playing a game of football

Indeed, Penrith had merely two chances of note and the first of those was in the opening seconds of the match when Phil Zabaks was forced into a save from a Nathan Ralph effort, but after that is was almost a one-man show as the home side steam-rolled the visitors into submission.
Brendan Gan, playing at his sparkling best, set up the first goal when collecting a ball from Shane Lyons – he jinked his way into the box by sending the defence one way, the crowd the other and slipping through the middle.
Shaping to shoot twice he drew the defenders before slipping the ball neatly into the path of Brad Boardman to net his – and the Sharks ? first, but credit to the artistry of Gan, who had a header cleared off the line merely sixty seconds earlier.
Two minutes later, in the 22? minute, he could have increased the lead further but for a fine athletic save by ?keeper Chad Taylor who managed to palm the ball around the post for a corner.
Just prior to the interval and the wheels finally fell off after sustained pressure by the Sharks saw first Ben Spruce find the net with an elegantly taken effort and then Boardman adding his second of the evening two minutes later to make it three-nil at the break and it wasn?t to get any better for the beleaguered Penrith.
Boardman netted his third after 49? minutes after neat interplay between Lyons and Jim Bakis ended with a Gan cross that was bread and butter for the lanky striker to nod home.
David Huxley was next to put his hand up in attempting to trouble the Fourth Official as he saw his curling shot clip the angle of bar and upright to skim the wrong side of the post for a goal-kick but the party wasn?t over for the Shire boys.
On 65? minutes it was George Souris who took a quick free-kick into the area and the path of the omnipresent Gan who was clattered inside the box by the goalkeeper. As this played out the ball bobbled past both and rippled the net via the upright for Souris to claim.
It was Gan?s last action in the game as the head clash he suffered saw him prostrate for a few minutes, much to the concern of all present, but was able to walk off the pitch, albeit unsteadily, unaided.
With the score now at 5-0 credit must be given to Penrith-Nepean for at last showing some spirit and attempting to salvage some pride in a match that in all honesty was a night where they could have played by themselves and not found the net as nothing seemed to fall their way.
Lyons found himself on the score-sheet in the 75? minute when he curled a left-footed free-kick into the goalkeeper?s top left-hand corner and Boardman collected his fourth in the 81? to give the final scoreline a very lopsided 7-nil win to the Sharks.
Abbas Saad, Penrith coach, simply summed it up after the match:
?Too big, too strong, too good- (The Sharks).
?We were second to the ball all night and when that happens you are going to lose the game although we did gift them the first three goals,? he said wryly.
?Sutherland was far hungrier than us tonight and wanted to win more than we did.
?We have a few players out but no excuses, we were simply out-played by a very, very good side and we need to work a lot harder on the basics.?
Brian Brown was obviously in a far happier mood after the match:
?Some of our one-touch play was exceptional this evening and no-one can accuse the guys of not ?wanting it? tonight.
?We?ve had a few games recently where we couldn?t find the net but on this showing I don?t think we need to be too worried about that.
?We?ve had a few games lately where we couldn?t buy a goal, as was the case for Penrith tonight, but take nothing away from the guys as they were magnificent out there and don?t be fooled by the scoreline, Penrith didn?t play badly, we just worked harder for the result.?
If one word could describe the game it would simply be ?outstanding?.
Match Stats
Sutherland Sharks 7 (Brad Boardman 20?,43?,49?,81?, Ben Spruce 41?, George Souris 65?, Shane Lyons 75?)
Penrith-Nepean United 0
Venue: Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Referee: Ryan Shepheard
Assistant Referees: Daniel Dewhurst, Lee Corey
Fourth Official: Andrew Best
Crowd: 1,004
Sutherland Sharks: 99. Phil Zabaks; 15. Michael Katz, 2. George Souris, 4. Pedrag Bojic, 7. Jim Bakis (22. David Reid 58?), 37. Neil Jablonski, 8. David Huxley, 3. Brendan Gan (14. Nick Stavroulakis), 11. Ben Spruce, 9. Brad Boardman (38. Michael Robinson 82?), 6. Shane Lyons.
Substitutes Not Used: 10. Matthew Hall, 21. Michael Brandalise
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Penrith-Nepean United: 1 Chad Taylor; 23. Devrim Huseyin, 11. Erick Anabalon, 5. Luke Boyd, 13. Nathan Ralph, 17. Ozguk Kanylmaz, 8. Stewart Van Bentum, 2. William Stuart, 28. Ante Juric, 14. Allan Wawi (29. Penny Nikas 46?), 9. Carl McNaughton.
Substitutes Not Used: 42. Daniel Schwarzer, 4. Ryan O?Shea, 20. Matt Liddell, 10. Tayfun Buyukkopru
Yellow Cards: William Stuart 78?, Ante Juric 89?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Brad Boardman (SS)
2 ? Shane Lyons (SS)
1 ? Brendan Gan (SS)
-By Micky Brock