The Lions, who faced the proposition of being ruled out of a finals-series place in case of a loss against Sydney Olympic, played some of that exceptional football that has so often been put on show for their supporters though has failed to deliver wins ? against the Blues though, the home-side calculated the right formula.
Peter Tsekenis had to make-do without the services of midfield genius George Nohra through suspension, opting for Phillip Makrys to partner Tayfun Devrimol.
Sydney Olympic?s hectic campaign in recent weeks has shown a definite drop in form for the pre-season favourite, the Blues performance against Bankstown was a far cry from the side that lifted the Johnny Warren Cup trophy earlier in the season.
With tensions always high between these two staunch rivals, Anthony Doumanis was the first to be on the receiving end of a strong challenge after only 30?? seconds.
Bankstown City found their feet first as Andre Gumprecht led the first attack. Playing in a wider position on the right, the Lions? counter-attack fell to the feet of the newest Bankstown signing ? his effort though was deflected wide.
The home-side had a monopoly on possession as Steve Liavas took control of the right-wing. The ?speedster? was in great touch throughout the encounter, offering precise passes and solutions in attack whilst always tracking back to cover when defence was required.
In the 10? minute, Bankstown City was again dangerous via the counter-attack. An exquisite flick-on by Robert Mileski played Gumprecht one-on-one with the goalkeeper from the right-side of the penalty-area. The former Central Coast Mariner hit his effort directly at Michael Herbert in the Blues goal and the chance went begging.
Sydney Olympic replied moments later with their first venture forward. James Kovas found some space in the attacking third and unleashed a powerful shot goal-bound.
Bankstown?s Zlatko Joseski was up to the challenge and he parried the effort to safety.
Bankstown City did take the lead one minute later following another quick counter-attack by the home-side.
A corner by Andre Gumprecht on the right was met by a mighty scramble inside the penalty-area. Mileski was quickest to re-act and, amidst a sea of legs, drove the ball past a helpless Michael Herbert from close-range.
The goal spurred the Lions forward and Shane Webb tried his luck from distance moments later, though he failed to test Herbert.
Liavas and Gumprecht played a quick interchange of passes on the right-flank before the latter delivered a precise cross to the edge of the area. A wonderful ?feign? by Shane Webb saw the ball trickle into the path of Tayfun Devrimol who from close-range hit his effort way over the cross-bar.
Sydney Olympic responded with some trickery from Anthony Doumanis and Peter Zorbas on the right. Iain Ramsay latched onto the cross played from that wing to the back post, though his effort back across goal finished over the goal-line.
Sydney Olympic had a counter-attack of their own in the 35? minute via the feet of James Kovas. Kovas had some space inside the Lions? half with Peter Tsekenis the last man to beat.
The Bankstown City player/coach put all his experience on show, producing an exceptionally well-timed tackle to thwart the danger.
Robert Mileski should have double his side?s lead on the Lions? next venture forward. A moment of madness in the Sydney Olympic defence saw the Bankstown number 10 latch onto a through ball before being Michael Herbert thwarted the danger as he came off his line ? the Sydney Olympic shot-stopper did exceptionally well to pick his time and smother the ball at Mileski?s feet.
Mileski would not be denied his second on 42? minutes though. The Lions? play-maker found himself, again, one-on-one with Herbert from a slightly decentralised position. Mileski?s effort with the outside of his boot found its way underneath the on-coming Herbert, and the Lions had their two-goal lead at half-time.
Sydney Olympic started the second-half with more purpose and should have really been back in the contest on 51? minutes.
Iain Ramsay?s good play on the left-flank allowed the midfielder space to progress into the Lions? half with a four-against-two situation opening in favour of the Blues. Ramsay?s decision to go at goal alone saw Joseski respond with a great reflex save down to his right from Blues player?s effort.
Moments later, Carlo Musumeci tried his luck from the edge of the penalty-area after finding some space to turn and shoot ? his effort was again claimed by Joseski.
Anthony Hartshorn?s introduction to the match in the 66? minute almost paid immediate dividends.
The former A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers player latched onto a perfectly floated cross from the left. Hartshorn?s header back across goal ? with Joseski beaten ? hit the cross-bar and was cleared from danger.
Shane Webb almost found a spectacular third for the home-side in the 80? minute when another precise Andre Gumprecht cross from the right picked out the ?speedy? winger. Webb?s left-footed volley attempt had goal written all over it, if not for a late deflection by a Sydney Olympic defender.
The home-side did find a third goal in injury-time as substitute Chris Godoy Bascurt made his presence felt with a great run on the left. Bascurt?s pass across the face of goal had Herbert beaten, and it picked out Tayfun Devrimol who was lurking at the back post for the easiest of tap-ins.
Following the match, Bankstown City player/coach Peter Tsekenis was considerably happy with his side, though warned that there is still work to be done for a Top-Five finish:
?I am very happy with my players tonight, we played a great match and we deserved the win.
?I think we have played this well many times this season, though we have not had the luck to find the goals to win matches. Tonight, we managed to play well and score goals, so I am very happy with the result.
?In terms of reaching the Finals, it is certainly possible. We?ll await some of the other results too, though if we can win the remaining matches (five matches remaining) I think we will be there, though we will need to retain this confident form in-front of goal.
?We?ll look at it one match at a time for now without looking too far forward,? ended Tsekenis.
Bankstown City 3 (Robert Mileski 13?, 42?, Tayfun Devrimol 90? +2?)
Sydney Olympic 0
Venue: Jensen Park
Referee: Matthew Gillett
Assistant Referees: Nick Backo and Lance Greenshield
Fourth Official: Miles Allen-Scott
Crowd: Approx. 500.
Bankstown City Lions: 1. Zlatko Joseski (C); 3. Shane Webb, 4. Brett Studman, 5. Richard Luksic, 6. Peter Tsekenis, 7. Stefanos Liavas, 19. Paul Harries (9. James Monie 76?), 10. Robert Mileski (99. Chris Godoy Bascurt 90?), 11. Phillip Makrys (2. Ibrahim Haydar 83?), 16. Tayfun Devrimol, 13. Andre Gumprecht
Substitutes Not Used: 29. Daniel Slaveski, 20. Andrew Bazi,
Yellow Cards: Zlatko Joseski 70?, Phillip Makrys 76?, Robert Mileski 85?
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney Olympic: 1. Michael Herbert; 16. Nathan Sherlock, 8. Paul Wither, 4. Mirko Jurilj, 11. Carlo Musumeci, 22. Peter Zorbas (9. Anthony Hartshorn 66?), 7. Milorad Simonovic, 18. Chris Triantis, 10. Anthony Doumanis, 17. Iain Ramsay, 12. James Kovas (37. Siraj Al-Tall 56?)
Substitutes Not Used:, 6. Roger Galayini, 15. Matthew Mayora, 20. Sam Emmanouil
Yellow Cards: Mirko Jurilj 24?, Paul Wither 49?
Red Cards: Nil
3 ? Stefanos Liavas (BC)
2 ? Robert Mileski (BC)
1 ? Shane Webb (BC)
-By Joseph Carlucci