This was not a classic match and the only reason it remained interesting was that one goal was going to be clearly enough to win the match as both sides spurned opportunity after opportunity in-front of goal.
The home side started the match strongly but the Penrith-Nepean defence, led by Ozgur Kanyilmaz, defended well as a group and prevented a shot on target in that opening frantic period. In the 10? minute, danger was averted by Carl McNaughton as he chested the ball to his goalkeeper with Blacktown attackers all around him. 8? minutes later, Matt Lewis finally broke free of the defence around him in the area but he sprayed his shot wide from a really good position.
In the 20? minute it was the visitors who should have gone ahead as McNaughton ran down the right-flank and put in a cross onto Jason Browne?s head. Browne headed the ball wide when it should have been at least on target. In the 27? minute, Chris Gomez fired the ball goalwards after good lead-up work by Devrim Huseyin, but Ivan Necesvski saved well in the Blacktown goal.
A minute later Tyler Simpson had the ball on the edge of the area but instead of playing it across to a man free on his left he had a shot that amounted to nothing.
Ken Schembri would later blame poor decision making in the front third as the reason Blacktown did not win this match. However the Blacktown defence continued holding firm at the back, exemplified by Paul Karbon?s classy tackle on Panny Nikas at the near post when any ball from Nikas into the goal area would have been dangerous.
In the 38? minute Jordan Simpson saw his header get intercepted before the goal-line after a great corner from the right saw him rise above the defence at the far post and head the towards the target. Three minutes from the break Bruno Salas was played a quick ball to his feet and he tried to catch Chad Taylor off his line but his effort went well wide.
Shortly after the break Blacktown were at it again, this time Jordan Simpson played a short ball to Salas in the area. His shot deflected off a defender, beat Taylor in goal, but went just the wrong side of the post.
Then Tyler Simpson met another superb cross from Matt Lewis but his free header at the far post also went wide.
In the 53? minute Lewis had a speculative shot that was well saved by Taylor before Luke Austin, having another fine game in defence, went on an attacking raid and chipped the ball over to a team-mate who could not make the most of the opportunity instead firing an effort off target. Three minutes later and Ivan Necevski in the opposite goal almost handed his opponents the lead when he played the ball out to Jason Browne. Fortunately for the home side the ball was delivered with pace and Browne lost his footing as the chance went begging.
After the hour Tyler Simpson saw another of his shots go millimetres wide before Luke Boyd put a penetrative ball through the heart of the Blacktown defence – Necevski getting to the ball just before Nathan Ralph was able to pounce.
In the 71? minute Tyler Simpson?s best chance arrived as he headed a ball that just looped over the cross bar after good lead-up work down the left by Lewis. The ball broke quickly the other way from this chance and substitute Javier Mancino played a pass to Jason Browne but his effort on target was weak and Necevski cleaned up easily.
Minute 79? saw Carl McNaughton play Panny Nikas into a dangerous position only for Nikas to play it out to his midfielder rather than have a go himself. The resultant effort from out wide was easily cleaned up by Necevski.
Four minutes later and still more poor decisions were being made in the attacking third of the field, this time by Blacktown. Tyler Simpson had Chris Bedzo free on his right at the top of the area but instead shot wide of the post himself.
Luke Austin again made an attacking raid in the 85? minute and this time tried to chip Taylor himself. He did this successfully but the ball just crept over the intersection of the post and cross bar.
The ball was immediately transferred to the other end of the field and the home fans held their breath as Michael Cromar put a great cross in from the byeline on the left, only for no-one to be at the far post to convert for Penrith-Nepean United.
Right on full-time, the game was presented to Blacktown City on a platter. As they did the week before, Penrith-Nepean left players unmarked in the area and the ball was squeezed towards goal. Chad Taylor managed to deflect that one away but he was left prone on the ground.
The ball fell to Chris Bedzo about three-metres from goal but his shot went straight into the stomach of Taylor who was still on the ground. With the ball placed anywhere else in the goal mouth, Penrith-Nepean would have conceded a goal with the last kick of the game for two weeks running.
After the match both coaches were disappointed. Abbas Saad said:
?It was a hard match and we are disappointed not to win. We defended well and it was probably a fair result but we were wasteful in front of goal.?
Ken Schembri had similar thoughts, reflecting the same kinds of things he has said after each of Blacktown?s matches in recent weeks:
?If you don?t score you don?t win. We made lots of good positions but bad decision-making in the final third let us down once again. It is the same every week.?
Blacktown City Demons 0
Penrith Nepean United 0
Venue: Gabbie Stadium
Referee: Nathan Rice
Blacktown City Demons: 1. Ivan Necevski; 16. Luke Austin, 29. Matthew Lewis, 19. Akwasi Agyei (18. Jesse Pinto 76?), 3. Paul Karbon, 7. Tyler Simpson, 25. Jordan Simpson (8. Chris Bedzo 76?), 17. Graeme Forbes, 11. Daniel Wilkinson, 9. Bruno Salas, 12. Brendon Maroney
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Matt Nemes, 13. Ben Ellis, 15. Ray Kaawi
Yellow Cards: Tyler Simpson 68?
Red Cards: Nil
Penrith Nepean United: 1. Chad Taylor; 2. William Stuart, 28. Ante Juric, 5. Luke Boyd, 17. Ozgur Kanyilmaz, 13. Nathan Ralph, 29. Panagiotis Nikas, 3. Christopher Gomez (7. Javier Mancino 55?), 19. Jason Browne (16. Michael Cromar 74?), 9. Carl McNaughton, 23. Devrim Huseyin (11. Erick Anabalon 81?)
Substitutes Not Used: 15. Angelo Martino, 42. Daniel Schwarzer
Yellow Cards: Devrim Huseyin 28?, Panny Nikas 41?, William Stuart 44?, Ozgur Kanyilmaz 60?
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Matt Lewis (BCD)
2 – Ozgur Kanyilmaz (PNU)
1 – Chad Taylor (PNU)
-By Stuart Jones