Rams salvage point against Sharks in last ditch effort


Despite the late equaliser, Macarthur was outplayed for most of the night with Sutherland the first to cause any kind of threat.
Once again in-form players Brendan Gan, Nick Stavroulakis and Predrag Bojic were in the thick of it. In the 3? minute Brendan Gan latched on to a right side cross from Michael Katz heading the ball past Macarthur goalkeeper Brody Crane, however David Gardiner was quick to re-act and cleared the line and keeping the score level..
Macarthur was finding it difficult to get out of their own half. Glen Trifiro was the stand out along with Michael Brown, as the two tried desperately to motivate their side in the centre of the park.
However despite their best efforts, the Sharks nearly opened the scoring in the 23? minute. Brendan Gan with his second chance of the game, again from a set- piece play, brought out the best of Rams shot-stopper Brody Crane who produced a great save from his powerful header.
Jim Bakis and Nick Stavroulakis were holding possession well in the first-half and it nearly led to the opening goal in the 26? minute when Bakis made a sensational individual burst through the middle and connected to a sensational shot, however Brody Crane was well alert and made a confident diving save.
In the 28? minute the best chance of the game fell to Sutherland midfielder Neil Jablonski, after a sensational right side cross was delivered by Michael Katz into the centre to leave the forward on his own. Jablonski?s headed effort however finished wide to the right of goal and the chance went begging – it ended goal-less at the break.
Brendan Gan and Predrag Bojic showed why they are considered two of the stand-out performers in the TeleChoice Premier League to-date with their consistent passing game and link-up play creating good quality football. Stavroulakis and Matthew Hall were also moving the ball well with their gripping runs, which ultimately led to the opening goal.
In the 67? minute Sutherland was spreading the ball wide through Bojic who provided a centre pass to Nick Stavroulakis who found himself 25-metres out from goal when he slotted away a thunderous right-foot thunderbolt to put the Sharks up 1-0.
Stavroulakis? effort was well-welcomed by the Sharks? midfielder who has been in impressive form recently following gradual return from injury early-on in the season.
In the 80? minute Sutherland could have scored a second when Bakis found himself one-on-one with Brody Crane, however the Rams goalkeeper cleaned up before Bakis could get a touch on the ball.
Despite the consistent football played by the Sharks, late substitute for Macarthur Renato Jelen tried to fire up his side as he linked-up well with other substitute Craig Cooley and defender Michael Brown ? their attempt amounted to nothing though.
The late surge for an equaliser was realised in the 88? minute when Macarthur was given a free-kick on the right side of the field just outside the 18-yard box. Trifiro provided the perfect ball in the centre for David Gardiner who slotted his header to the right of Sutherland goalkeeper Phillip Zabaks, leveling the score at 1-1.
Macarthur could have snuck in a surprising late winner when a sensational cross from Craig Cooley found Michael Brown lurking on the left side of goal trying to attempt a volley, however the shot drifted wide of goal and the match ended 1-1.
Macarthur coach Paul Carter was delightful with the draw for his side after a disappointing performance last week:
?I thought we were very disappointing last week (against Bankstown City), the way we played didn?t show what our true side is about. I was pleased with today because we didn?t give up after finding ourselves 1-0 down.
?I have to agree that Sutherland dominated the game throughout, however our strong determination and hard work paid off and we now have something to dwell on before our crucial game against Sydney United next week,? continued Carter.
?It?s been tough at times for us, we?re suffering with injuries and our squad number is now limited, so we?re finding it difficult each week, but in saying that I?m very proud of the group of players I have,  They?re always showing improvement each week, and they always strive to give there best for the club,? concluded Carter.
Macarthur Rams 1 (David Gardiner 88?)
Sutherland Sharks 1 (Nick Stavroulakis 67?)
Venue: Campbelltown Sports Ground
Referee: Ryan Shepheard
Crowd: 600 approx
Macarthur Rams: 1. Brody Crane; 5. Michael Brown, 6. David Gardiner, 7. Matt Toogood (2. Craig Cooley 71?), 12. Shannon Hankin (21. Renato Jelen 81?) 13. Kostas Barbarouses (27. James Young 81?) 14. Daniel McCann, 17. Adam Wither, 22. Glen Trifiro, 23. Josh Ford.
Substitutes Not Used: 8. David Lagudi, 20. Jessie Bunt

Yellow Cards: 5. Michael Brown 61?
Red Cards: Nil
Sutherland Sharks: 99. Phillip Zabaks; 2. George Souris, 3. Brendan Gan (22. David Reid 78?), 4. Pedj Bojic, 6. Shane Lyons, 7. Dimitri Bakis, 9. Brad Boardman, 10. Matthew Hall (Jimmy Nikas 78?), 14. Nick Stavroulakis, 15. Michael Katz, 39. Neil Jablonski
Substitutes Not Used: 20. James Lawrence, 21. Matt Brandalise, 27. Ashley Brown
Yellow Cards: 4. Pedj Bojic 71?, 7. Dimitri Bakis 90?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Nick Stavroulakis (SS)
2 ? Brendan Gan (SS)
1 – Glen Trifiro (MR)
-By Johnny Casni