Bankstown and Bonnyrigg shoot blanks in entertaining Jensen Park encounter


Both sides are in serious need of points to avoid losing sight of the front-runners and at the conclusion of this match, perhaps White Eagles coach Brian Brown would be happiest with the point, despite the side still languishing in the bottom-half of the League ladder.
Bankstown City opened proceedings with a Robert Mileski free-kick from the right-flank ruffling Bonnyrigg shot-stopper Ali Akbal?s net; the ball though found the side-netting.
The visitors responded in the 6? minute via a quick counter-attack down the left-flank via speedy striker Antonio Faria. Faria crossed a perfectly weighted effort into the penalty-area, though Richard Luksic was on hand to divert the danger for Bankstown.
Player/coach Peter Tsekenis created his side?s best chance of the half with one of his forward ventures up-field. Tsekenis? low cross to the edge of the penalty-area met Shannon Burgan who hit a shot on the turn, leaving Akbal routed to his spot, though the effort finished on the wrong side of the upright.
Hussein Salameh displayed his eagerness throughout the match, constantly playing off target-man James Monie; the understanding between the two players seems certain to grow, however on this evening the final pass was constantly off target.
The White Eagles, who have had a little more than a week to work with new boss Brian Brown, had their better chances of the half carved out by Milorad Simonovic and Fredrick Graham. The latter provided Almir Dizdaric with a golden chance to open the scoring, however his headed effort, with only the goalkeeper to beat, was easily captured by Andrew Bazi in the Lions goal.
A quick Phillip Makrys free-kick on 34? minutes played Robbie Mileski into the penalty-area. The Lions number 10 saw his fierce low-driven effort diverted from danger by the scrambling Bonnyrigg defence.
At the other end Andrew Bazi was quick off his line to thwart a dangerous cross from Faria that was bound to pick out an unmarked Dizdaric.
Bankstown City created the last chance of the half following Mileski?s tantalising through-ball into the penalty-area for Stefanos Liavas on the byline. Liavas? low-driven cross was played at by Monie in the area, though a lunging Salameh managed an effort on goal, only to be denied by a scrambling save by Ali Akbal?s left leg.
Following the break, the Lions were dealt some additional bad news following Ibrahim Haydar?s first-half injury. Phillip Makrys, who made his return from a hamstring injury, was forced to leave the field after re-aggravating the same hamstring.
The loss of their central midfielder did not deter the Lions hunger as Shane Webb and substitute Suad Ameti continued to call the shots in the middle of the park.
On 52? minutes, the White Eagles nearly took the lead following a somewhat fortuitous counter-attack on the right-flank.
A cross-turn-shot from Ilkay Gurbuz caught Andrew Bazi completely unawares as the ball was heading for the back of the net if not for a deft touch by the Lions shot-stopper. The ball fell into the path of a lunging Faria, though the White Eagles? striker saw his attempt finish wide.
Bankstown?s best chance of the half came via the feet of Salameh. The Lions? talent picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty-area before unleashing a dipping effort that had goal written all over it; Ali Akbal got his fingernails onto the ball to divert over the crossbar.
Despite dominating the majority of possession in the final stages, it was the visitors that threatened with two quick counter-attacks involving Faria. A poor final pass brought the first chance to an end, though Daniel Willoughby?s corner picked out an unmarked Faria at the back post, though the White Eagles striker failed to get his head onto the ball.
Following the match, Bankstown City Lions player/coach expressed his disappointment with the final result:
?We played another strong match, dominating possession and creating a number of chances,? Tsekenis commented.
?As has been the story for us this season, we have failed to score goals, and this was again the problem tonight.
?I am happy with the effort of my players, they followed the instructions well enough though we just failed with the final pass tonight.
?Football is about confidence and we have a few players that need to get the confidence back up, especially in-front of goal.?
New Bonnyrigg White Eagles Brian Brown was optimistic after his side?s showing:
?I am quite happy with the way the team has played. We have been together only for a little while and tonight was really the first match I have seen a lot of these players take part in.
?We?ll need to improve though signs were promising, especially against a team like Bankstown City who are very difficult to beat when they are at home.
?I think we gave a good account of ourselves tonight, and we probably created the two best chances of the match,? ended Brown.

In the Grade 20 division, Bankstown City annihilated Bonnyrigg White Eagles 5-0 in an exhilarating performance in-front of their home supporters. The win sends Bankstown City into second-spot, one-point adrift of League leader Blacktown City Demons.
Match Stats
Bankstown City Lions 0
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0
Sunday, 19th April, 2009
Jensen Park, Sefton
Referee: Matthew Gillett
Assistant Referees: Gareth Askham and David Lockeridge
Fourth Official: Jason Blackwood
Crowd: 700 Approx.
Bankstown City Lions: 20.Andrew Bazi; 2.Ibrahim Haydar (7.Stefanos Liavas 14?), 3.Shane Webb, 4.Brett Studman, 5.Richard Luksic (C), 6.Peter Tsekenis, 11. Phillip Makrys (14.Suad Ameti 49?), 15.Hussein Salameh (99.Chris Godoy-Bascurt 77?), 10.Robert Mileski, 9.James Monie, 32.Shannon Burgan
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Zlatko Joseski, 29.Hussein Akil
Yellow Cards: Brett Studman 39?, Hussein Salameh 54?, Peter Tsekenis 90?+2?
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 23.Ali Akbal; 2.Paul Cotte, 5.Mark D?Alessandro, 6.Ilkay Gurbuz (15.Domenic Cutrie 90?+2?), 7.Nikola Zonjic, 10.Fredrick Graham (8.Daniel Willougby 46?), 11.Almir Dizdaric (13.Nathan Rivera 73?), 19.Antonio Faria, 17.Milorad Simonovic, 18.Tayfun Devrimol (C), 20.Milan Zoric
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Nenad Vekic; 4.David Petrovic
Yellow Cards: Almir Dizdaric 14?, Tayfun Devrimol 83?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Shane Webb (BC)
2 ? Milorad Simonovic (BWE)
1 ? Hussein Salameh (BC)
-By Joseph Carlucci