Conference League Northern Round 11 Review


Round Eleven in the Northern Conference League could not be completed as the Hawkesbury City-Penang FC match fell foul of an unplayable pitch, and will be played at a venue and date to be announced.
The only other Saturday game was played at Birchgrove Oval, and saw Balmain SC consolidate their position at the top of the ladder by annihilating Luddenham United 11-0.
Buonavoglia was the chief destroyer with four goals, taking him to the top of the goalscorers list with 14 for the season thus far, one ahead of Bathurst ?75?s Dowling, who had the weekend off.
Hot on his heels is team mate Merlino, who grabbed a brace, taking him to third on the list with 11 goals.
Balmain?s other goals came from Gothe-Snape(2), and one apiece from Andrews, Pettenon and Deasey.
The remaining match in the Northern Conference was played at Mona Park on Sunday afternoon, and Gladesville Ryde Magic backed up last week?s impressive victory over Hawkesbury with a 4-1 drubbing of the high flying Roosters FC.
Magic did it the hard way as Omari put Roosters in front after 18 minutes, and it stayed that way until the break.
But Gladesville came out firing in the second half, scoring four goals in a blazing 21 minute spell to take the three points.
Firstly Gatt equalized on 50 minutes, before Arima scored a double on 60 and 71 minutes, sandwiching Belobrajdic?s strike in the 69th minute. The win puts Magic on 12 points in 5th place on the ladder, two points behind Springwood with a game in hand on them.
Bathurst ?75 had the bye for this week.

Match of the Round

Springwood Spring to life at the death

Prospect United played host to Springwood in an early evening clash at William Lawson Reserve on Saturday, with both teams hoping for a win and the chance to move away from the middle of the competition ladder.
The sun dropped very early in the afternoon, and with that so did the temperature, forcing the floodlights to be switched on in time for the 5pm kickoff, with beanies and blankets the order of the day for the fans that braved the cold.
Prospect had the first real chance of the evening when Georgy whipped in a vicious cross in the 5th minute, the ball cleared straight to midfielder Pejic who cracked his half volley from the edge of the box well over the crossbar.
Three minutes later and Prospect should?ve taken the lead with a wonderful opportunity.
As the Springwood defence tried to play the ball out from the back, Prospect?s quick fire striker Sofiak dispossessed last man Agius, racing into the box before his shot was brilliantly saved by Springwood?s custodian, Richardson.
Springwood seemingly had the better of possession early on without creating any clear cut opportunities, although Densley?s volley from fully 25 yards threatenend the Prospect goal as it flew over the bar.
On 29 minutes and Prospect again came close to opening the scoring. Miralles went on a slalom run down the middle of the park, fending off three challenges before slipping his pass into the box to Georgy, who took a touch before smashing his shot across the face of the goal from a tight angle.
Springwood replied in the 31st minute as midfielder Kelly took off on a overlapping run down the left, reaching the by line before sending in a great cross which was headed over from six yards by Halse.
Then just two minutes later and it was that man Kelly again, this time working hard to win the ball near the left touchline off Prospect?s defender, Stead, passing inside to Densley, who in turn kept the ball moving by squaring to Davies, but his fierce shot ballooned over the bar.
Springwood kept up the pressure and Densley had a shot blocked from just inside the penalty area after beating a couple of would be defenders, when it seemed easier to pass to his team mate Henderson who was unmarked in a better position.
Scoreless at the break as both teams took a breather, Prospect with the better of the chances, but both teams hoping to come out rejuvenated for the second half and take the game to their opponents.
Prospect?s Georgy had the first great chance as early as the second minute after the break, when he expertly shielded a throw in, turning sharply inside the box only to crack his shot over the bar.
Prospect?s busy long haired midfielder, Maxwell, then whipped over a great cross in the 54th minute, only for Miralles to this time clear the goal posts with his crisp header.
A minute later and the home side threatened again, with Miralles putting Georgy into  a gap on the edge of the box, and his shot under pressure from a couple of defenders was superbly tipped around the post by Springwood?s keeper, Richardson.
Over the next ten minutes, Prospect?s coach, Brian Vella rained in the changes, making three substitutions in an attempt to take the game up a notch and secure a victory.
That was, however, his final contribution to the match, as he was sent from the playing arena on 62 minutes for dissent as the frustrations on the pitch reached feverish levels with the tackles flying in.
As the game seemed to be heading for an inevitable scoreless draw, Springwood?s little midfielder Small took matters into his own hands to effectively win the match for his side.
On 82 minutes, Springwood?s defender Agius played a long speculator of a ball down the pitch. Small controlled the ball, darted between two defenders across the edge of the penalty box, before unleashing a low left footed drive inside the near post to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Just two minutes later and Small doubled the advantage, picking up a stray ball 25 yards out, and racing unattended into the box before slipping his shot past the helpless Keane in the Prospect goal.
Then five minutes into injury time, Small almost had his hatrick, heading a corner goalwards before striker Henderson flicked it on, and into the net off the underside of the crossbar, the scoreboard surprising Springwood with a scoreline of 3-0 in their favour.
Prospect United coach, Brian Vella, was furious with his team ? ?We were very ill-disciplined tonight, not following the game plan, and some players doing their own thing.
Their keeper made a great save early in the second half, which was the turning point as they ended up out muscling us to grab the win,” said a despondent Vella.
Springwood?s captain, Davies, was understandably happy with the three points.
?Our performance was reasonable today, but the win was built around our defence, who were fantastic. This win will give us confidence, and we can consolidate a spot in the semis if we continue to play like that,” said Davies.
Best for Prospect in front of their home fans were ; defender Stead was firm in the tackle and was rarely beaten by his opposing strikers ; midfielder Maxwell, who worked up and down the park all day, a real box-to-box player with effective link up play ; and little striker Sofiak, who until his injury was proving a real menace for the Springwood defence.
Best for the victors, Springwood, were ; burly defender Agius, tough in the tackle and a real hurdle to get past for Prospect; captain Davies, a strong centre midfielder who kept the control of the centre of the park; and midfielder Small, who of course finished off a polished display with two late goals and had a hand in the third.
Match Stats
SPRINGWOOD    3 (Small 82?/84?, Henderson 90?+5)
PROSPECT UTD ? 1.Keane, 2.Viera, 3.Stead, 4.Keane, 5.Pejic (12.Testore 56?), 6.Maxwell, 7.Georgy, 8.Lewis?, 9.Miralles, 10.Sofiak (14.David 64?),
11.Isbister (13.Amin 61?).
Subs not used : 19.Rogers.
SPRINGWOOD ? 1.Richardson, 2.Agius, 3.Stanford, 4.King, 5.Davies?, 6.Densley (12.Lynch 74?), 7.Small, 8.Kelly (13.Haberman 83?), 9.Hunter, 10.Henderson,
11.Halse (14.Hunter 78?).
Subs not used : 16.Seal.
-By Frank Speranza