TeleChoice Premier League Round 18 Review


The Sharks ensured their unbeaten run continued against an impressive Bankstown City at Seymour Shaw, even though Brian Brown was forced to sweat it out on the side-lines.
The Sharks were far from impressive over the first 45? minutes against the Lions, though despite the visitor?s dominance, the top goal-scorer Brad Boardman converted a clever assist by Brendan Gan to put the Sharks ahead before the interval.
After the break a goal for Gan, and a second strike for Boardman, put the game beyond the Lions? reach, even though there was enough time for Robert Mileski to hit an exquisite free-kick into the top right-hand corner.
Second placed Manly United FC all but lost hope of catching the Sharks following their 1-0 loss at Lambert Park against A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers. Tactically, both sides played a tremendous match for the football purist though, as a spectacle, the match lacked the end-to-end goal-scoring opportunities. A Robert Younis free-kick from the edge of the penalty-area in the end secured the points for the Tigers, keeping alive their brave hopes of clinching a Top-Five finish.
Blacktown City Demons collected their second win of the season, and ironically it arrived against the same team ? Marconi Stallions.
A Ben Bronneberg own goal 6? minutes into the second-half secured the Demons the three-points, keeping alive their bid to avoid the wooden-spoon. For the Stallions, the loss was their first since the Round 7 encounter at Gabbie Stadium ? a remarkable unbeaten run despite the below-par season to-date.
Macarthur Rams continued to ?annoy? the League?s ?big boys? holding Sydney United to a 1-1 draw at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Ben Vidaic headed the Reds ahead against the run of play after 34? minutes, though Shannon Hankin deservedly had the Rams on level terms moments before the break. As was the case last weekend against Sutherland Sharks, the Rams denied another title contender the ?three-points? with a spirited performance in-front of their home crowd.
The draw sees Sydney United drop to fifth-spot on the ladder, though the Reds do have one-match in hand against Wollongong FC.
Wollongong FC made the most of Manly United and Sydney United?s slip-ups, ensuring they snuck into third spot ? one point behind Manly United and with a match in hand ? after their win against West Sydney Berries.
Second-half goals to Dez Giraldi and Ilija Prenzoski ensured John Turner?s men the three-points, leaving Shamon Ramsin win-less since taking over the reigns as first-team boss.
Sydney Olympic put-aside their indifferent run of late to keep a hold on a Top-Five spot with a ruthless 4-2 defeat of Penrith-Nepean United.
Olympic welcomed back a number of first-teamers – Shannon Cole and Matthew Mayora above all ? the latter scoring a double for the Blues.
Sydney Olympic rushed to a four-goal lead with goals to Emmanuel Zunino and Anthony Hartshorn before conceding two second-half goals that re-opened the contest.
Nathan Ralph and Carl McNaughton grabbed a goal each to set-up an exciting final 20? minutes, though Sydney Olympic ?rose above it? to grind out the win.
-By Joseph Carlucci