Charity Wins at Seymour Shaw Park


Saints hustled and bustled in the opening moments with Tanju Balabanal making a severe nuisance of himself but no clear cut openings became available.
The closest the Saints came were via a free-kick and a couple of corners that were well handled by the Sharks ?keeper Jordan Nikolovski before the home side finally found an opening in the fifth minute when Blake Powell sent over a teasing cross for Chris Price but his header was weakly met and misdirected.
George Souris, as ever the lynchpin at the heart of the Sharks defence, was called into action on a number of occasions but wasn?t found wanting as he led by example and settled a somewhat makeshift defence, on paper, but grew in confidence as the game went on.
In the 18? minute it was Michael Robinson who found himself with time and space in the Saints? box but a horribly mis-hit shot meant another chance went begging for the opening goal.
Brad Boardman was back for the Sharks and looked hungry and at something approaching his best; not something the rest of the TeleChoice Premier League sides would be wanting to hear and although he chased down and led the line it wasn?t often the ball came to him but he gallantly battled away against the likes of Kyle Fifield and Nick Theodorakopoulos who looked to have a good understanding together at the back.
Huss Rachid looked lively down the left for the Saints and linked well with Balabanal and Reuben Lagos also showing well in midfield for the visitors.
Panny Nikas finally opened the scoring in the 33? minute when latching on to a loose ball and slamming it home to give the Sharks the lead after Boardman was bundled over in the box.
The second wasn?t long in coming when two minutes later Blake Powell headed home powerfully for the home side a 2-nil lead as by now they had gained the ascendancy and were beginning to stretch and rip the Saints? defence apart almost at will.
A flick pass by Boardman saw Nikas clean through and goal number three with a deft little dink over the ?keeper as the Sharks started to show some real class against a disorientated defence and it was almost four when Boardman again sent the ball through, this time for Neil Jablonski, but Tolios was quick off his line to thwart the effort as half-time came with the Sharks 3-goals to the good.
St. George had no option but to begin the second-half playing catch-up football and it almost brought them undone when a cross from the right was met by Chris Price header only for Murphy to fling himself full length to palm the effort around the post as the Sharks began to assert greater pressure.
Aaron Tayebi entered the fray replacing two-goal Panny Nikas for the Sharks in the 54? minute and slipped into midfield with a roving role down the left in linking up with Ben Spruce.
Esali Ali stung the palms of Nikolovski after a weaving run shot him shoot from the edge of the area as the Saints finally put together a worthy move as the frustration mounted for the visitors.
Ben Spruce was replaced by Laurence Braude two minutes later as the Sharks experimented with a little more youth.
Brad Boardman was played in by the impressive Blake in the 68? minute and a sweetly hit left-foot shot went under Murphy but grazed the wrong side of the post for the home supporters as the lanky striker must be wondering where his next goal is coming from, although he didn?t put a foot wrong all evening
St. George battled hard and gave a good account of themselves with a never-say-die attitude but on the night they simply didn?t have the pace, strength nor luck in front of the sticks to get a result however they did keep the Sharks scoreless in the second period.
Robbie Stanton said afterwards:
?We are always happy to support charity events such as this and it was a good opportunity to blend some younger players and see how they shape up.
?They managed to close us down early in the match but once we broke the shackles we started to play some good football and blend as a side.?
St. George coach Nick Orlic replied:
?It could have been better. The game was played in the right spirit but we didn?t get into it after they scored.
?We kept them scoreless in the second-half though so there are some positives to take from the game.?
In the earlier game Sutherland Sharks defeated St. George by two goals to nil.
Match Stats
Sutherland Sharks 3 (Nikas 33?, 40?, Powell 35?)
St. George Saints 0
Saturday 11th of April, 2009
Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Referee: David Ward
Assistant Referees: Nick Deldin and Adam Dow
Sutherland Sharks: 17.Jordan Nikolovski; 2.George Souris, 4.Michael Robinson (48.Rocci Gabby 84?), 22.Yianni Fragogiannis, 3.Srecko Mitrovic (33.Ryan Emerton 73?), 11.Ben Spruce (20.Laurence Braude 62?), 98.Blake Powell, 9.Brad Boardman, 23.Panni Nikas (21.Aaron Tayebi 54?), 6.Chris Price, 12.Neil Jablonski
Substitutes Not Used: 1 Nathan Denham
St. George Saints: 28.Steve Tolios (1.Glen Murphy 46?); 2.Kyle Fifield, 3.Nick Theodorakopoulos, 5.Simon Verrender, 7.Mitch Keen, 9.Tanju Balabanal (24.Peter Crevani 46?), 11.Juan Chevez, 12.Huss Rachid, 6.Reuben Lagos, 15.Peter Katsoulas, 21.Esali Ali
Substitutes Not Used: 8.Lee Royston, 22.Gus Faraj, 27.Nick Mouzovrakis, Glen Murphy (Trialist)
Match Ratings:
3 ? The Charities
2 ? The Teams
1 ? The crowd for their support ? well played.
-By Micky Brock