Peter Tsekenis? side finally recorded their second consecutive win of the season, following a season of inconsistencies in-terms of results to-date.
The home-side delivered a consistent display in-front of their supporters, annulling the positive counter-attacking display of the Tigers inside of the first 10? minutes of play.
Christian Care initiated the visitors counter-attack after only 2? minutes, sending Franco Parisi clear on the right-flank. The Tigers? Number 10 delivered a perfectly floated ball into the path of Marton Vass, though Zlatko Joseski in the Lions? goal diverted the ball out for a corner ? both players required attention following the collision.
Moments later, Joseski was again in the wars as he collided with Mark Byrnes following another Tigers attack on the right-flank ? both players dusted themselves off and persevered.
Bankstown?s first effort on goal arrived in the 17? minute via the boot of defender Brett Studman. The effort from thirty-metres out was on-target, though timid, allowing Matthew Nash in the Tigers goal to parry with little fuss.
Studman?s effort seemed to spur the home-side into action, and moments later, Bankstown was again piling the pressure on A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt.
A tremendous counter-attack ? started inside the Lions own half ? by George Nohra in midfield allowed Andre Gumprecht and Steve Liavas on the right-flank some room to test the defence; the A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt rear-guard covered in numbers to thwart the brilliant offensive move from the home-side.
Two-minutes later, the same three men were involved in what produced the opening goal of the afternoon. Nohra was again the instigator, providing James Monie and Liavas with a precise pass. Monie and Liavas played a perfect interchange of passes before releasing Gumprecht ? who in-turn played a clever one-two with Robert Mileski ? one-on-one with Matthew Nash, the Tigers goalkeeper left with no option but to foul the former Central Coast Mariners? player.
The referee had no choice but to award the home side a penalty, coolly converted by Phillip Makrys who sent the A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt goalkeeper the wrong way with a low-driven effort to Nash?s right.
Andre Gumprecht continued to impress in this his second ?home match? of the season for his new club. Gumprecht hassled well on the edge of the penalty-area in the 24? minute ? the experienced midfielder created some space on the right-side of the area before sending a floating effort into the penalty area.
Robert Mileski was the intended target, though the Bankstown City Number 10 could not bring the ball under control two-metres out from goal.
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers? were certainly ?under the pump? despite the brave efforts of Christian Care and Marton Vass in midfield.
Coach John Romeo was forced to call upon his leading goal-scorer Robert Younis earlier than he would have wanted. Younis started the match on the bench following an ankle injury sustained in midweek, though the injury suffered by Peter Peralta called for the change to be made.
Younis? presence on the field was immediately felt upon his entrance onto the field of play. After picking up a yellow card for a poorly timed challenge on Studman, the Tigers? striker made some room for his fellow striker Franco Parisi with a perfectly timed run off the ball allowing the latter to unleash a venomous long-range effort that finished just wide of the target.
Shane Webb?s incursions on the left-flank constantly troubled the A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt defence, meanwhile Steve Liavas and Gumprecht were troubling the Tigers on the right.
At the other end, Peter Tsekenis and Richard Luksic marshalled the home-side?s rear-guard to perfection with an assertive display.
Any slight hopes the Tigers had of challenging for a result ended in the first minute of first-half injury-time following the dismissal of midfielder Ian King for a late challenge, leaving the referee with no choice but to give the Tigers? man his marching orders.
Tigers? coach John Romeo was forced to replace his captain Michael Galluzzo at the start of the second-half, creating an even bigger obstacle for the visitors.
Despite the odds piling against the Tigers, Robert Younis very nearly got the Tigers back into the contest with a 50? minute free-kick. Younis? swinging effort took a heavy deflection off the Bankstown City wall ? leaving Joseski in the Bankstown goal stranded as he watched the ball ricochet off the top corner of his goal.
James Monie had a chance to put the result beyond doubt in the 57? minute as he was through on goal. Monie?s volleyed effort from the edge of the penalty-area failed to force Nash into making a save.
Phillip Makrys then got the local crowd singing following his ?slalom? effort ? the midfielder weaved his way past three defenders before delivering a tantalising pass to Gumprecht who, from the edge of the penalty-area, forced Nash into producing a great reflex save.
Robert Younis had another chance for the Tigers via a free-kick on the hour as his dipping effort ? from the right ? failed to dip enough to finish underneath the crossbar.
Bankstown City substitute Ibrahim Haydar put forward his claim for a starting spot in future weeks with a clever run down the right-flank in the 84? minute, before cutting the ball back into the path of James Monie who failed to cleanly hit the ball towards goal.
The home-side?s afternoon was complete in the 90? minute as substitute Paul Harries made it 3-0 ? securing Bankstown City three vital points at home.
Following a parried effort from Nash ? from a Gumprecht effort ? Mileski was on hand to win the ball back on the right byline. Mileski cleverly played a low-pass across goal into the path of Harries who easily converted from three-metres out.
Following the match, Bankstown City Coach Peter Tsekenis and his Assistant Peter Papoythis expressed their content for the result, though warned much more work would be required by their side to reach the final season objective.
?It was a great result today, the boys played well and we are very happy to have taken the points in the manner we did,? commented Tsekenis.
?We have played some great football, though have lacked a bit of luck in-front of goal. Today, it went well for us, though we do need to continue to improve and perform if we are to make a challenge for the finals ? a good performance nevertheless.?
Peter Papoythis added:
?We will take it one week at a time. We?ve played well in defence and we are starting to click in-front of goal.
?However, we cannot get too far ahead of ourselves ? we?ll take one match as it comes.?
Bankstown City 3 (Phillip Makrys 21?, Robert Mileski 43?, Paul Harries 90?)
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers 0
Venue: Jensen Park, Sefton
Referee: Kris Griffith-Jones
Assistant Referees: Murray Wilson, Scott Edeling
Fourth Official: Daniel Dewhurst
Crowd: Approx. 1,000.
Bankstown City Lions: 1. Zlatko Joseski (C); 3. Shane Webb, 4. Brett Studman, 5. Richard Luksic, 6. Peter Tsekenis, 7. Stefanos Liavas (2. Ibrahim Haydar 80?), 8. George Nohra, 9. James Monie (19. Paul Harries 85?), 10. Robert Mileski, 11. Phillip Makrys (16. Tayfun Devrimol 78?), 13. Andre Gumprecht
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Andrew Bazi, 21. Hussein Akil,
Yellow Cards: Andre Gumprecht 18?
Red Cards: Nil
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers: 1. Matthew Nash; 2. Mark Byrnes, 3. John Kelso, 5. Michael Galluzzo (C) (4. Daniel Clifford 46?), 13. David D?Apuzzo, 7. Stephen Kayes, 8. Ian King, 23. Christian Care (11. Jamie McMaster 58?), 10. Franco Parisi, 12. Marton Vass, 18. Peter Peralta (9. Robert Younis 33?)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Zain Zannelli, 14. Joe Bruni,
Yellow Cards: Matthew Nash 21?, Robert Younis 34?, David D?Apuzzo 48?, Jamie McMaster 80?, Marton Vass 74?
Red Cards: Ian King 45?+1?
3 ? Andre Gumprecht (BC)
2 ? Phillip Makrys (BC)
1 ? Marton Vass (ALT)
-By Joseph Carlucci