TeleChoice Premier League Round 17 Review


Phil Moss? men brought to an end a win-less streak that extends all the way back to Round 13, and more importantly for Manly, cuts Sutherland Sharks? lead at the top of the ladder to five-points following the Sharks? draw away against Macarthur Rams.
Manly United scored an impressive 4-0 win at West Sydney Berries, reviving their hopes of maintaining the fast pace set by the Sharks.
Bradley Groves hit Phil Moss? side ahead in the 34? minute with a well taken goal, before Joey Schirripa doubled their lead moments before the interval.
Proficient strike-partners Craig Midgley and Robbie Cattanach added another goal each in the second-half, securing the win and cutting the Sharks lead to five-points.  
Sutherland Sharks were 3? minutes away from their eleventh win of the Premier League season though had to settle for only a point as the Rams equalised from a set-piece.
Following a stupendous long-range effort from midfielder Nick Stavroulakis, David Gardiner drew the Rams level with a powerful header from a Matt Toogood free-kick.
The result presented the chasing pack with a chance to close the gap on the League leader, an opportunity Manly United took with both hands on Sunday.
At Marconi Stadium the ?Italian Derby? delivered an energetic encounter with Marconi Stallions producing a ?Houdini-like act? to seal a point against A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers.
Following Stefan Donevski?s ?go-ahead? goal for the Stallions before the half-time break, the home-side lost Umut Tokdogan in the 59? minute with a straight red-card for a challenge on Paul Kohler.
Matters worsened for the Stallions two minutes later as Vuko Tomasevic conceded a penalty ? converted by Jamie McMaster ? though picked up a yellow card firstly for the foul and a second yellow card for his protests.
Worse still, Marconi was reduced to eight men in the 63? minute when Kain Rastall was also shown a straight red-card.
The Tigers took advantage of the numerical advantage and hit the lead via the boot of their best player on the field, Marton Vass.
Miraculously though, the team with eight-men managed to take a point from the encounter as captain Luke Casserly converted a penalty 14? minutes from the end to maintain Marconi?s impressive unbeaten run over the past two months.
At Jensen Park, Bankstown City Lions confirmed their serious challenge for a Top-Five spot with an impressive home win against Sydney Olympic.
Two first-half goals by play-maker Robert Mileski set-up the win as Tayfun Devrimol added a third in injury time with virtually the last kick of the match.
Sydney Olympic?s heavy fixture list and long list of injuries hurt the side?s chances on the night, though Bankstown City?s performance stands Peter Tsekenis? side with a more realistic chance of securing finals football.
On Sunday afternoon at Gabbie Stadium Blacktown City Demons and Penrith-Nepean United fought out a goalless draw in what was an uninspiring performance by both sides ? especially in the attacking third of the field.
Blacktown City Demons almost snatched the win with the last kick of the match as youngster Chris Bedzo drove an effort from three-metres directly into the body of Penrith-Nepean goalkeeper Chad Taylor who was recovering from a point-blank save moments earlier.
The final scheduled match for Round 17 between Wollongong FC and Sydney United was re-scheduled in-order to avoid a clash with the Socceroos World Cup Qualifier against China.
The fixture between Wollongong FC and Sydney United will be played on John Crehan Park with a time to be advised by FNSW shortly.
-By Joseph Carlucci