Division 1 Round 13 Review


All games that is, except for Hills Brumbies versus Dulwich Hill, which was washed out and will be played at a date in the not too distant future.
Spirit FC remain unbeaten following their 3-2 home victory over Blacktown Spartans at Christie Park. The league?s top marksman, McPherson, scored his 11th goal of 2008 after just 15 minutes to put the Spartans in front against the league leaders.
Peatey replied for Spirit FC, equalizing just 7 minutes before the break to make it 1-1 at half time. Burly striker Papanicolaou then scored in the 60th minute to put Spirit 2-1 up, and Simpson made it 3-1 with his 8th goal of the season.
Todd made it 3-2 when he pulled a goal back for the Spartans on 75 minutes, but Spirit held on to stay four points clear at the top of the ladder.
Inter Lions kept up the heat on the league leaders with a comfortable 3-1 home win against Hurstville City Minotaurs. Vizzari put Inter in front just before the break at Concord Oval, before a goal from young Paras on 63 minutes made it 2-0 to the home side. Iliopoulos pulled one back for the Minotaurs in the 73rd minute, but Paras restored his side?s two goal margin with his second goal on 86 minutes, giving Inter Lions the win to keep them second on the ladder on 28 points.
At CSI Sports Ground, Schofield Scorpions stayed 4th on the ladder despite being held to a 1-1 home draw by Hurstville ZFC.
An own goal put the Scorpions in front after just 9 minutes, before Kraljevic equalized for Hurstville just before the break, and that?s the way it stayed until full time.
UNSW jumped off the bottom of the ladder with a resounding 5-1 victory over the inconsistent Mounties FC.
All the goals came in a frenzied second half at David Phillips Field, with Janov opening the scoring in the 56th minute for UNSW, before Groth made it 2-0 just four minutes later. Claridge (67th) and Luca (73rd) made it 4-0 to UNSW before Tomich pulled a goal back on 81 minutes for the visitors.
Aspland finished off the scoring in the second minute of injury time, grabbing the home side?s 5th goal of the game as they seized a welcome three points.
Match of the Round
Inner west Arlington Oval played host to a Division One match between Stanmore Hawks and Sydney Wanderers on Sunday afternoon, with the home side hoping to consolidate their position in the top three, and the visitors hoping to move away from the base of the ladder.
The playing pitch at Arlington this time of year is not conducive to free flowing football, with a mostly dirt strip down the centre surrounded by tufts of grass towards the flanks, and the greenery on the grandstand side of the pitch being almost ankle deep and moist.
Add the early afternoon sunshine, and a cool wind blowing across the pitch, and you could see why the players found the going tough, a football spectacle the game was not.
But it was the visitors who settled quickest, and they had numerous half opportunities early on to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
As early as the 4th minute, Bourke from the Sydney Wanderers won a block tackle in the Stanmore half, the ball spooning high into the box, with Ramirez beating Stanmore keeper, Tolios, to the bounce, but his header was cleared off the line by Yildiz.
In the 18th minute, Wanderers? midfielder Elrich then slid in to win possession in the attacking third, slipping a ball to Mansueto, who turned and shot over the bar from the edge of the box.
Just four minutes later and Elrich was at it again. Receiving a ball inside the box with his back to goal and heavily marked, he casually flicked it up and hooked a shot over his head, the ball just clearing the crossbar as Tolios watched carefully.
Stanmore Hawks were really struggling with the conditions and the playing surface, but they were not even venturing anywhere near the Wanderers goal because the visitors were playing a very effective offside trap, catching the Hawks attackers time and time again.
On 29 minutes came the breakthrough, and even though it took a stroke of luck, Sydney Wanderers deserved their lead.
Ramirez hit a free kick from 20 yards which took a wicked deflection off the head of a defender in the wall, veering away from the Stanmore keeper Tolios and into the net, to give the Wanderers a 1-0 lead which they held onto until the break.
But hold onto it they did only just, as Stanmore had two wonderful opportunities to equalize just before half time.
The concern with playing an offside trap is that it can work 9 times out of 10, but it?s the one time that it doesn?t work that it can cost you a goal. Stanmore finally broke the Wanderers? offside trap on 35 minutes, a clearance from Yildiz sending Theodosiou away, but his lack of ball control gave Wanderers keeper Rizzo an easy gather in a one-on-one situation.
The second opportunity for Stanmore arrived on 42 minutes, when Chavez darted away from the centre circle on a quick counter attack, and played a crisp one-two with Gomez as they entered the penalty area.
But Wanderers keeper Rizzo was reading from the same page, and came off his line to brilliantly intercept the pass, tapping the ball away before it was cleared to safety by his defence.
So referee, Mr M.Tedone, brought the first half to an end, having tried to let the game flow, but the blistery conditions and uneven surface having a major impact on the quality of play.
The Division?s second top marksman, diminutive Stanmore striker Chavez, was starved of service in the first period, but almost brought the sides level with his first real opportunity on 59 minutes. He latched onto a bouncing ball at the edge of the penalty area to hit a fierce volley, only for Wanderers? kepper Rizzo to parry the shot with his body.
The rebound was crossed straight back to the far post, where Theodosiou took a touch, before snapping his shot low and wide, when he really should?ve done better from the corner of the six yard box.
Stanmore were made to pay for the miss when Sydney Wanderers made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute. Soane was rewarded for his opportunism when he picked up a loose Stanmore pass just outside the penalty area, weaving past two would-be defenders into the box before slipping a low shot past the helpless Tolios.
Chavez almost pulled one back for the Hawks in the 82nd minute when he played a great one-two with Katsoulas, before unleashing a piledriver from 20 yards that flew inches past the left hand upright.
Stanmore did finally give their fans something to cheer about with a goal in the 85th minute. Substitute Alilovic played a beautifully weighted pass through the Wanderers defence to ex-A League star Gibson, who raced away unattended to face Rizzo in a one-on-one. The keeper won the duel with a great save, but in the ensuing scramble it was Theodosiou who tapped into an empty net after beating the Wanderers? defenders to the loose ball.
In the final minute of play Stanmore almost got an undeserved equalizer, Chavez sending Theodosiou away, but as he attempted to round Rizzo, the ball bounced up and hit him on the hand, the referee Mr Tedone correctly awarding a free kick for hand ball.
Full time blew, and the Wanderers had breached the best defence in Division One, not once, but twice, as they went home with a valuable three points in an upset 2-1 away victory.
Stanmore coach, and ex-NSL star, Nick Orlic, was disappointed with his team?s effort, ?We just didn?t show up to play today? said Orlic.
?Our passing was dreadful, our decision- making was off, and we seemed to lose most of our one-on-one battles all over the field. Having said that, the pitch is a real leveller, and we tend to play better away from home on better playing surfaces?, continued Orlic.
Best for Stanmore Hawks were ; defenders Yildiz and Maropoulos, who commanded the backline with authority, and were vigorous in their tackling ; and substitute Alilovic, who made a real difference when he came on just after half time, showing composure on the ball, and creating some opportunities for his attackers.
Best players for the victors, Sydney Wanderers, were ; striker Soane, who worked hard up front, and was rewarded for his efforts with a great goal ; midfielder Ramirez, who made some great in roads down the right flank with his pace and effective crosses ; and midfielder Goodwin, who many a time won possession with his stinging tackles, keeping the Hawks on the defensive by controlling the midfield.
Match Stats
Division One
Round Thirteen
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Arlington Oval, Dulwich Hill
1st Grade
STANMORE HAWKS     1 (Theodosiou 85?)
SYDNEY WANDERERS 2 (Ramirez 29?, Soane 62?)
STANMORE HAWKS ; 1. Tolios, 5. Yildiz, 12. Scicluna, 3. Maropoulos,13.Theodosiou, 16. Katsoulas, 15. Phillips-Treby (31. Kambos 76?), 18. Theodorakopoulos ? , 11. Gomez (17. Alilovic 54?), 9. Chavez, 2. Doney (38. Gibson 46?).
Subs not used; 22. Becerra.
SYDNEY WANDERERS ;  20. Rizzo ? , 4. Soane (17. Wakim 90?), 6. Pannowicz (7. Cooper 66?), 8. Ongle, 9. Ramirez, 11. Dwyer, 18. Mansueto,14. Goodwin, 16. Elrich, 15. Bourke (19. Hurtado 28?), 2. Ciampa.
Subs not used; RGK. Biega.
Division One Top Goalscorers  (as at June 22, 2008)
11 ? McPHERSON (Blacktown Spartans)
10 ? CHAVEZ (Stanmore Hawks)
  8 ? SIMPSON (Spirit FC), KOSTANIC (Hurstville ZSC)
  7 ? DELANEY (Blacktown Spartans), EEDY (Schofield Scorpions)
  6 ? PARAS (Inter Lions), PARADISIS (Dulwich Hill), BIVIANO (Dulwich Hill), DE KELLY (Spirit FC), PAPANICOLAOU (Spirit FC)
 -By Frank Speranza