Conference League Northern Round 9 Review


Merlino made it nine goals for the season by scoring both for Balmain, in the 9th and 28th minutes respectively. Nastoulis pulled one back for Magic on 75 minutes, but the league leaders held on, keeping them one point ahead of Roosters FC on the ladder.
On Saturday, Springwood made their trip up the coast worthwhile by grabbing all three points in a 7-3 away hammering of Penang FC.
Halse put the visitors in front on 10 minutes, before Henderson doubled the score just five minutes later.
Penang hit back with a goal to Forsberg on 37 minutes, but Halse restored Springwood?s two goal advantage merely a minute before the break.
The second half produced six goals, but to the home side?s dismay, four of them were added to the Springwood side of the scoreboard.
Penang did, however, open and close the second half proceedings, with goals by Woodbridge (53?) and Cohen (89?).
But in between there were strikes for Springwood by Hunter (63?), Small (66?), Densley (78?) and Halse (87?), the latter finishing up with a well deserved hatrick.
On Sunday afternoon at Luddenham Oval, Bathurst ?75 burst into the top four with a 10-0 destruction of the Luddenham.
Bathurst striker, Dowling, lead the way with five goals, scoring in the 11th, 12th, 34th, 54th and 58th minutes, taking him to the top of the goalscorers list on 13 goals this season.
The other goals for Bathurst came from Miljkovic (6?,30?) and Lamberton (41?,87?), who both grabbed a brace, and Vestwick.
Prospect United had the rest this week courtesy of the bye. 

Match of the Round


As the fans embarked upon Mona Park on Sunday afternoon, I could hear the excitement in the air, an expectation, if you like, that their beloved Roosters FC would return to the winning list, and put on some entertainment to boot.
Following their first loss of 2008 last week, a 0-4 drubbing at the hands of Balmain, the Roosters were keen to put that hiccup behind them, and consolidate their position at the top end of the ladder.
In their way stood a formidable opponent, the unbeaten Hawkesbury City FC, a team which themselves lead the competition until recently, when a couple of draws saw them drop to third. The Hawks could ill afford a loss as they would drop to four points behind the top two.
Sunday afternoon provided an overcast day, and rain fell intermittently throughout the match to add to the thrills and spills. Mona Park is a reasonably flat playing field, but the area in the middle, a cricket pitch in the summer, was nothing more than a slippery mud patch, often being the culprit of many slips. But the pitch is the same for both teams, and it was the home side that adapted quicker.
Roosters FC opened the scoring after just four minutes of play. Big striker Hatipoglu, who proved to be a menace all day for the Hawks, received the ball in the centre circle, and took a touch before sending strike partner Rashid away down the right flank.
After reaching the corner of the penalty area, Rashid sent an early cross towards the middle of the goalmouth that reached Girgin. He laid it back for Hatipoglu, who had continued his run up field, and he hit an absolute screamer of a half volley from 20 yards that flew into the top corner of the net to put his team 1-0 up.
The two Roosters strikers repeated the dose just ten minutes later with a swift interchange of passes, but this time Rashid chose to shoot from a wide angle and the ball skewed off his boot to safety.
Hawkesbury received an unexpected gift on 20 minutes, when a series of defensive mishaps provided them with an equalizer.
Two consecutive attempts at clearances by Karaman and Orhan were charged down by Hawkesbury?s strikers, Jones and Sluiter respectively, with the latter the beneficiary of the loose ball, strolling into the penalty area unchallenged to stroke the ball past Roosters keeper, Gurbuz. 1-1, and it was game on.
Just three minutes later and after a one-two with Hatipoglu, Celik was upended in the penalty area, but referee, Mr Elkordy, correctly waived away Roosters FC protests.
Cooper almost put Hawkesbury in front after 25 minutes, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area was brilliantly tipped around the post by Gurbuz.
After 31 minutes the Roosters fans went delirious when their side took a 2-1 lead with a breathtaking goal. Hatipoglu received the ball on the left touchline, and split the defence with a through pass into the penalty box for Rashid to run onto. With Hawks defender Larnach on his tail, Rashid feinted one way, before turning inside to curl a shot into the far corner of the net, leaving Alvarez grasping at thin air. Rashid raced away and completed a somersault in celebration of a great strike.
Five minutes out from half time and Larnach was fortunate to stay on the park, when his dangerously high challenge on Hatipoglu earned him a yellow card, much to the relief of the Hawkesbury side.
Hawkesbury almost equalized again, just three minutes from half time, but Cooper scuffed his shot after Hartge had played him behind the Roosters defence with a great chipped through ball.
The half time whistle blew just as the heavens opened up with a downpour, and as the home fans scurried for cover, the players left the field for a well earned breather, Roosters FC in front by 2 goals to 1.
Conspicuous by his lack of usual authority during the first half, was the Roosters little number 10, Topal. The slippery conditions and the tenacious Hawkesbury midfield kept him reasonably quiet early, but he stamped his mark on the game in the second half, starting with his party piece free kick in the 49th minute.
A free kick was awarded on the edge of the side of the penalty box, and where 95% of players would cross the ball, Topal threw caution to the wind, and brilliantly whipped the ball over the Hawkesbury wall and inside Alvarez?s near post. The goal put Roosters FC 3-1 up and sent the home fans into a frenzy.
Roosters were on a roll and on 55 minutes, the speedy Rashid raced past Chircop and hit a cracker of a shot from 25 yards. Hawkesbury keeper Alvarez spilled the hot potato, and did extremely well to save at the feet of Topal who had followed up the rebound.
A minute later and Hatipoglu almost scored his second, this time with a downward header after a great long cross from Orhan, but again Alavarez saved.
On 58 minutes, Hawkesbury coach Gary Lewis tried to stem the tide with a double substitution, introducing Vanderburg and gun stiker George. But they could do little as the Roosters almost scored twice within minutes, firstly via another Topal free kick, and secondly via a great low shot by Girgin after he beat three defenders with a mazy run.
On both occasions it was the acrobatic Hawkesbury keeper Alvarez who produced brilliant saves to keep his team in the match.
On 79 minutes Hatipoglu made a typically forceful run down the left, crossing for Celik to lay back for Topal, whose cracker of a shot was tipped over the bar by the determined Alvarez.
Hatipoglu was at it again just minutes later, turning Larnach inside out as he entered the box, and his low near post shot was parried by Alvarez once more.
Hawkesbury kept at it, but their day was reflected by Vanderburg?s sitter, missing the ball from a couple of yards after some great lead up play and cut back by George.
As darkness descended, the referee blew his whistle, and the Roosters fans cheered as their heroes returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-1 victory.
Hawkesbury coach Gary Lewis accepted the defeat graciously ? ?I thought the Roosters wanted it more than us today, and even though we matched in some areas of the park, the early goal in each half killed us and they deserved their win?, said Lewis.
Roosters FC striker, and man-of-the-match, Hayati Hatipoglu, was thrilled with his team?s performance ?.. ?After missing them in our loss last weekend, we got some of our players back today, and our coach Saim Turan prepared us mentally, and pumped us up for a big game. We really wanted it today, and we are very happy with the win ? we feel we can go on and win the competition from here!? exclaimed a confident Hatipoglu.
For Hawkesbury City, the best were ; captain Hartge, who toiled tirelessly all day, trying desperately to get his troops going, and lead by example with his work rate ; sweeper Larnach tried valiantly to repel the Roosters FC attack all day ; and keeper, Alvarez, whose brilliant and acrobatic saves kept his team in the match, keeping the score respectable.
Best for the victors, Roosters FC ; captain Karaman was a tower of strength in the heart of defence ; Girgin had stamina to burn as he powered up and down the right flank, joining in his team?s attacks as well as helping out defensively ; Rashid was deceptively quick, his pace and close ball skills proving very effective ; and man-of-the-match Hatipoglu, a tall robust striker with great ball skills, effective at holding the ball up, scoring a cracker of a goal, and being instrumental in just about every attack the Roosters mustered.
Match Stats
ROOSTERS FC 3 (Hatipoglu 4?, Rashid 22?, Topal 49?)
HAWKESBURY 1 (Sluiter 20?)  
Roosters FC ; 1.Gurbuz, 6.Karaman ?, 12. Omari, 3. Ors, 39. Girgin, 55.Orhan (20. Yagci 87?), 15.Celik, 11.Avsar, 9.Hatipoglu (44. Ozkose 90?), 22.Rashid, 10.Topal (13.Ugur 87?).
Subs not used; 8. Dogan, RGK. Gunalp.
Hawkesbury City FC; 1. Alvarez, 2. Vassilou (15. Balantincz 52?), 3. Knight, 4. Chircop, 5. Larnach , 6. Carle, 7. Hartge ?, 8. McGregor, 9. Cooper, 10. Jones (14. Vanderburg 58?), 11. Sluiter (12. George 58?).
Subs not used;  RGK.Garrow.
-By Frank Speranza