The Preliminary Final promised to be a ?straight forward? encounter for the White Eagles who were defeated by PCYC Parramatta one-week earlier, though FC Bossy Liverpool played an intelligent brand of football to subdue their more fancied opponent.
Without top goalscorer Alex Canak, FC Bossy?s ?goal a game scorer? missed the encounter through suspension, the onus of finding the goals would fall on the shoulders of Sam Mort and Sam Awad.
For the home side on the other hand, coach Blagoja Kulevski brought Giovanni Leuzzi into the starting line-up for Lenox Tweneboa, meanwhile Ilkay Gurbuz was again given the reigns of the White Eagles midfield.
From the outset, Bonnyrigg seemed quite composed on the ball, though their forward forays were cleverly marshalled by a patient FC Bossy Liverpool side.
In fact, FC Bossy were not made to wait too long to hit Bonnyrigg on the counter-attack. Sam Mort, on 2? minutes, was played clear on goal with only goalkeeper Ali Akbal to beat; the striker?s toe-poke to the shot-stopper?s left though, finished wide of the post.
An immense midfield battle ensued from this point on, though the well-organised FC Bossy rearguard, led by captain Mirza Sehic and Askin Oygur, answered all questions posed by a frustrated White Eagles attack.
Bonnyrigg did manage an attempt on goal on 15? minutes via the head of Giovanni Leuzzi, though the midfielder?s attempt lacked precision and finished wide of the mark.
Goran Subara had the home fans on their feet on 25? minutes as his ?super run? down the right-flank saw the White Eagles? number 17 beat two opponents before crossing hard and low into the FC Bossy penalty-area. Giovanni Leuzzi?s lunging effort failed to meet the cross, though Mark D?Alessandro at the back post met the ball cleanly, firing a venomous drive against the top of the crossbar; the ball finishing over.
FC Bossy continued to hit their opponents on the counter-attack and, despite the White Eagles dominance of possession, seemed the more likely to open the scoring.
On 28? minutes Adem Kir picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty-area before unleashing a powerful snap-shot; well-wide of the intended target.
In an almost carbon-copy counter attack as that in the 2? minute of play, Sam Mort was again through on goal, one-on-one, with goalkeeper Akbal. With additional pressure from a defender ?nipping? at his ankles, Sam Mort calmly poked the ball past the on-coming Akbal inside the right-hand post and sent the boisterous travelling supporters into song.
The goal spurred the visitors forward again moments later as an exceptional combination of passes between George Issa, Sam Awad and Adem Kir saw the latter play Suad Ameti through on goal; though the final pass was slightly over hit, favouring goalkeeper Ali Akbal as he left his line to thwart the chance.
Bonnyrigg finally made something of their possessional dominance as they got in behind the FC Bossy defence moments later. Ilkay Gurbuz cleverly picked out Steven Bozinovski with a tantalising pass over the last line of defence. Bozinovski spotted goalkeeper Ivan Kovacevic had left his line and played a delicate ?chipped effort? over the shot-stopper; only to be denied by the retrieving FC Bossy Liverpool defence that cleared the ball to safety.
Sam Mort nearly doubled FC Bossy?s lead moments prior to the break as he cleverly dribbled past two defenders on the by-line inside the White Eagles penalty-area. Only some desperate defending by David Petrovic prevented the striker from unleashing another effort on target.
The second-half produced much the same rhythm as that of the first period as the home side again made much of the running with FC Bossy Liverpool patiently denying the White Eagles time and time again.
On 55? minutes, a scramble inside the FC Bossy penalty-area nearly provided Bonnyrigg with an equaliser. Steven Bozinovski?s pace down the right gave the White Eagles? midfielder the space he needed to deliver a cross into the box, though a sea of legs challenged for the final touch before goalkeeper Ivan Kovacevic bravely left his line to anticipate Goran Subara who was preparing to unleash an effort on goal.
Daniel Willoughby then missed a golden chance as he latched onto a shot-turn-cross from the left-flank, only to miscue his effort wide of an almost completely open target.
On the hour, FC Bossy Liverpool nearly caught Bonnyrigg out following a long-range free-kick from the half-way line. A partially cleared effort by the White Eagles defence saw the ball fall onto the foot of Adem Kir, the midfielder took an extra touch before firing an effort from the edge of the penalty-area, though Kir?s contact with the ball was not clean and it was an easy save for Ali Akbal.
A J. Long free-kick from the left touchline created grief for the Bonnyrigg supporters as another loose clearance provided Wayne Gibson with a snap-shot effort at the back post. The right-sided midfielder did not get a clean strike on the ball though very nearly caught out the goalkeeper at the back post.
With time running out, Bonnyrigg coach Blagoja Kulevski introduced attacking players Leo Carle and Domenic Cutri into the fold, though again it was the visiting side that controlled each Bonnyrigg attack.
Sam Awad almost made Bonnyrigg pay following another FC Bossy counter-attack. Awad beat two players on the right-flank before cutting inside onto his left foot and unleashing a fierce drive goalwards; the final effort a let down following brilliant lead-up play, as the ball finished well-wide of the intended target.
On 90? minutes, another goalmouth scramble inside the FC Bossy Liverpool penalty-area ensured the Bossy supporters would be made to suffer a little while longer. Bodies, from both sides, were put on the line as the defence managed to clear the ball away from danger.
Bonnyrigg?s final chance of the match arrived in the third minute of injury-time as another penalty-area scramble saw a loose ball fall to the feet of substitute Domenic Cutri. Cutri took one touch to his right before firing goalwards from the edge of the penalty-area with Ivan Kovacevic off his line; the FC Bossy shot-stopper produced an exceptional point-blank save, salvaging his side?s win and securing FC Bossy Liverpool a Grand Final spot next Sunday against PCYC Parramatta Eagles.
Venue: Bonnyrigg Sports Club.
Referee: Peter Vrtovski
Crowd: 3,000 Approx.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0
FC Bossy Liverpool 1 (Sam Mort 30?)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 23. Ali Akbal; 4. David Petrovic (C), 5. Mark D?Alessandro, 6. Ilkay Gurbuz, 7. Nikola Zonjic, 8. Daniel Willoughby, 14. Giovanni Leuzzi (12. Domenic Cutri 84?), 11. Gary De Broi, 15. Steven Bozinovski, 17. Goran Subara, 20.Milan Zoric (19. Leo Carle 75?)
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Daniel Holmes (gk), 3. Damir Prodanovic, 10. Lenox Tweneboa
Coach: Blagoja Kulevski
Yellow Cards: Goran Subara 75?, Steven Bozinovski 76?
Red Cards: Nil
FC Bossy Liverpool: 1. Ivan Kovacevic; 19. George Issa, 3. Abel El Jamal, 23. Askin Oygur, 5. Mirza Sehic (C), 17. Sam Awad, 18. Wayne Gibson, 8. Suad Ameti (6. Daniel Duarte 84?), 4. J. Long, 7. Adem Kir, 9. Sam Mort (15. Kasey Brown 57?)
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Mamou (GK), 20. Sasa Drca
Coach: Mile Todorovski
Yellow Cards: Kasey Brown 74?
Red Cards: Nil
3 ? Sam Awad (FCB)
2 ? Sam Mort (FCB)
1 ? Ilkay Gurbuz (BWE)
-By Joseph Carlucci