Wollongong end Bankstown’s Finals hopes

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As has been the case throughout the campaign to-date, Bankstown City played another entertaining match with all the flair and creativity of a top-ranked football side.
Unfortunately for Peter Tsekenis? side, finding the back of the net has not been their fort?, and once again, Bankstown City was left to rue a number of missed chances and lapses in defence to come away with a home loss.
The Wolves were without Osagie Ederaro and new signing Dez Giraldi, meanwhile George Nohra was out again for the Lions ? his frustrating run has continued with the skillful midfielder picking up an injury last weekend against Sutherland Sharks after he returned from suspension.
From the opening whistle, both sides signalled their intent with an open-minded approach.
Wollongong FC captain Ben Blake had the first-chance of the match ? a half-chance at that. The Wolves skipper picked-up a loose ball following a poor clearance from the Lions? defence, Blake?s half-volley though, failed to trouble the Bankstown rear-guard.
Andre Gumprecht was full of energy on the right-flank and on 7? minutes, his venture into the middle of the park allowed him to off-load a ball to Shane Webb on the left ? the Bankstown left-back drilled a venomous effort that deflected on its way through to Turnbull, the shot-stopper had no problem thwarting the effort.
Paul Harries managed to get behind his marker on the right-flank moments later before driving a low effort across Turnbull?s goalmouth ? though no Bankstown City player was on hand to convert.
A second successive corner in the 12? minute from Andre Gumprecht caused confusion in the Wolves penalty-area. Steve Hayes? clearance fell to James Monie who hit a first-time volley against the cross-bar with the goalkeeper beaten ? the ensuing scramble was ended by the referee who spotted an infringement by a Bankstown City player.
Both sides exchanged long-range efforts between the 18? and 20? minute ? Monie?s effort finished well off-target, before the Wolves? Michael Hawrysiuk hit his effort well-wide of the mark.
On 35? minutes, the home-side finally took advantage of their possessional dominance as Tayfun Devrimol hit Bankstown City ahead.
A great counter-attack, played out with touches from five different Bankstown players, saw Paul Harries play a great lay-off for Devrimol who, from the left-side of the penalty-area, picked his spot inside the right-hand post.
Despite the goal, and the dominance of possession, Bankstown City were punished following their first lapse in concentration in defence. Ilija Prenzoski latched onto a through ball on the left-flank played over the defence. Prenzoski?s first touch took him towards goal before he shot powerfully against an outstretched hand of Zlatko Joseski. Matt Bailey was on hand to ensure the ball would finish in the goal.
The momentum swung into Wollongong?s favour and Mitchell Long took advantage of the shell-shocked defence. Long dribbled his way past two defenders before unleashing a low-driven effort that finished just wide of Joseski?s goal.
Bankstown City had the final chance of the half when Phillip Makrys touched on a ball into the path of Monie, the Lions? number 9 took one touch before volleying just wide of Turnbull?s goal.
The second-half started as the first ended, with James Monie stinging the palms of Michael Turnbull with a powerful shot that was claimed at the second attempt by the Wolves shot-stopper.
In the 52? minute, trickery on the left-flank by Ilija Prenzoski caused confusion amongst the Bankstown defenders. Prenzoski?s cut-back pass fell into the path of Balla Conde who had his shot blocked by Joseski ? the rebound fell to Matt Bailey who hit goalwards only for Shane Webb to head off the goal-line.
Robert Mileski attempted to pull all responsibilities onto his shoulders in the 65? minute as he turned sharply on the edge of the penalty-area and hit his effort towards goal ?Turnbull produced an easy save.
Substitute Chris Godoy-Bascurt latched onto a perfectly floated long-ball over the Wolves defence moments after entering the fray. Godoy-Bascurt cut a low pass across the face of goal and into the path of Devrimol who failed to beat Turnbull from close-range.
Michael Turnbull thwarted another Devrimol chance moments later, saving low from his effort on the edge of the penalty-area.
Wollongong FC coach John Turner made a big call in making all three of his substitutions in the 74? minute; Matt Bailey, Michael Hawrysiuk and Balla Conde were replaced by Lachlin Cahill, Alfredo Esteves and Samet Haynak.
And ?JT?s? brave gamble proved to be a real master?s stroke ? not before Godoy-Bascurt spooned a one-on-one effort over the cross-bar.
On 83? minutes, Lachlin Cahill grabbed the winner with an exceptional diagonal hit effort from the left side of the penalty-area that finished inside the right-hand post. Prenzoski was again involved for the Wolves in a swift counter-attacking move as Cahill took care of the rest with a tremendous effort that sealed the three-points for Wollongong.
The loss ended any slight hope Bankstown City had of reaching the Top-Five, despite their dominant display for much of the encounter. Peter Tsekenis commented following the match:
?The story of our season was summed up with the match tonight. Once again we played good football, and have failed to take the win.
?We have played so well throughout the season though we have failed to score goals and win matches.
?Tonight we created the chances, though the ball would not go in for us. I can?t ask too much more from the players as I believe we did really well, and Wollongong somehow are going home with three-points.
?It is disappointing ? unfortunately you are judged on whether you win or not and we have failed to collect points here tonight.?
Wollongong FC coach John Turner was visibly happy with his side?s second win against Bankstown City this season:
?Great result for my team ? we have a young group of players and we really dug deep tonight and collected a great result.
?Not many sides can boast having taken six-points from Bankstown City in one season ? we have achieved this.
?Bankstown City played some good football tonight, though I thought they were impatient at times going forward. This gave us a chance to hit them on the counter-attack ? that was the reason I made the three changes at once to catch them out.
?I?m glad Lachlan (Cahill) ? who was one of those substitutes ? got on the score-sheet.
?We are in a good position with three home matches coming up, so we?ll be fighting to go as far as possible.?
Match Stats
Bankstown City 1 (Tayfun Devrimol 35?)
Wollongong FC 2 (Ilija Prenzoski 40?, Lachlin Cahill 83?)
Venue: Jensen Park
Referee: Daniel Dewhurst
Assistant Referees: Stephen Duckitt and Adam Weir
Crowd: Approx. 400.
Bankstown City: 1. Zlatko Joseski (C); 3. Shane Webb, 4. Brett Studman, 5. Richard Luksic, 6. Peter Tsekenis, 9. James Monie (12. Stefce Soleski 87?), 11. Phillip Makrys, 19. Paul Harries (99. Chris Godoy Bascurt 64?), 10. Robert Mileski, 16. Tayfun Devrimol, 13. Andre Gumprecht
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Andrew Bazi, 21. Hussein Akil, 29. Daniel Slaveski
Yellow Cards: James Monie 14?, Shane Webb 26?
Red Cards: Nil
Wollongong FC: 20. Michael Turnbull; 5. Steve Hayes, 6. Ilija Prenzoski, 7. Michael Hawrysiuk (2. Alfredo Esteves 74?), 8. Mitchell Long, 10. Balla Conde (15. Samet Haynak 74?), 12. Chris Price, 13. Tynan Diaz, 14. Danial Cummins, 17. Ben Blake (C), 19. Matt Bailey (3. Lachlin Cahill 74?)
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Bryce Derenell
Yellow Cards: Michael Turnbull 90? +1?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Andre Gumprecht (BC)
2 ? Ilija Prenzoski (WFC)
1 ? Richard Luksic (BC)
-By Joseph Carlucci