Bankstown roar to first victory for 2010


This game won by the Bankstown City 5- 1 has demonstrated that Bankstown is a side to watch in the coming rounds, playing exceptional football in attack and defence, and more than capable of causing problems for any team who underestimate their abilities.
Bankstown had the added burden coming into this round of not yet winning a game in the NSW Premier League, and for many pundits the belief was that their chances of winning against a strong side like the West Sydney Berries would be another tough ask.
In the opening minutes Bankstown City showed their strength in attack with players such as Robbie Mileski, Stefanos Liavas and Brett Studman combining to create movement and opportunities in the midfield. The Berries allowed Bankstown to have control of the ball, used wisely by the home-side, to spread the ball wide and to attack both flanks, continually testing the Berries defensive mechanisms.
One player in particular who was determined to chase down every ball was the Lions? Stefanos Liavas,  who was looking for space and drawing players to him, leading to David Gardiner for the Berries committing the first offence of the night and receiving a yellow card for his efforts.
Moments later, Robbie Mileski broke away down the Berries left flank and drew Berries goalkeeper Hamish McLean well out of his box. Mileski?s effort needed only a solid header from Scott Thomas to give Bankstown their first goal, but unfortunately for the Lions, he was unable to control the ball as it sailed well over the crossbar. 
The physicality of the game grew as both sides intensified their raids across the park, but it was Bankstown City in control of the midfield and in defence.
The Berries to their credit continued to resist the attacks and produced many opportunities in front of the Bankstown goal, only for goalkeeper Zlatko Joseski to thwart any shots on target.
A turning moment in the game happened when Berries player David Gardiner once again committed another yellow card offence, resulting in his second of the game and therefore a red card send off – the Berries were down to 10 men.
On 18? minutes, a well constructed piece of play started from Bankstown City player Robbie Mileski, whose quick vision saw him glide the ball across and into the Berries area, picked out Richard Luksic who made no mistake in heading home for Bankstown City?s opener.
The West Sydney Berries seemed shell-shocked by this quick orchestrated goal as Bankstown looked determined to find another. The foul count at this point was also climbing with challenges from both sides making the game a stop-start affair.
The Berries decided to attack and did so with the likes of Sash Tirovski, Kosta Lagoudakis and Omar Saadi, as at times the equaliser seemed certain to arrive, however this physical encounter was taking its toll and both sides soon became frustrated as more cards were shown to the West Sydney Berries.
Set plays were increasing for Bankstown City and in the 40? minute a free-kick was awarded to Bankstown where Robbie Mileski produced an amazing shot on target floating over the West Sydney defensive wall and landing in the top left-hand corner for the Lions second goal.
The first-half slowed into the dying minutes as Bankstown City maintained the pressure on the Berries, but more importantly West Sydney gained some composure to ensure a third goal would not be conceded prior to the break.
The intensity of the second-half was physical again, as the Berries were determined to get back in the game and create opportunities, and this was helped with substitute Stefan De Jesus who replaced Sash Tirovski. De Jesus was working like a work-horse chasing down every ball and trying to create space, while the defensive line of Bankstown held their own.
In the 50? minute playmaker Robbie Mileski created Bankstown?s third goal by drawing the Berries defence to him while quickly, before perfectly slotting a pass to an unmarked Hussein Salameh who shot the ball across goal and into the left side of the Berries net.  
The Berries were not deflated but more determined to peck a goal back, and moments later broke free with Kosta Lagoudakis shooting on target only for the goalkeeper to save the ball in his chest.
The home-side slowed the game down, taking control but still looking for opportunities to move it forward while creating positive efforts on goal from every angle.
This tactic was wearing down the West Sydney defence and eventually a foul was committed on Bankstown player Robbie Mileski in the penalty box. Mileski took his opportunity for his second goal of the evening, shooting low in the bottom left corner only for Berries keeper Hamish McLean to stop the ball in motion but for it to trickle over the line for Bankstown City?s fourth goal in the 62? minute.
The game seemed lost for the Berries at this point, however they continue to press on and find that illusive first goal to which their fortunes would turn, and that opportunity came with Stefan De Jesus for the Berries, finding himself in the 70?minute in-front of the Bankstown City goalkeeper and making no mistakes as he slotted the ball in the back of the net.
In the 78?minute a sickening challenge was made on Berries player Jack Sobczyk who was stretchered off the park reducing the team to 9 players and making it increasingly difficult for any attacking play to be formulated, as they resisted continual attacks from their counterparts.
In the 79?minute the final goal of the game arrived from Bankstown City player Robbie Mileski who headed the ball from a cross via the right-flank, securing a hat-trick for the Lions playmaker.
After the game Bankstown City coach Peter Tsekenis said:
?We are very happy the way the boys played as it is very hard against 10 players, we played very cohesively and we structured our play as tonight we wanted the intensity to be there and we took the advantage.
?We made the extra man count. I am very happy in the way the boys applied themselves and we took our chances, we could have taken a few more. The berries are always a very tough opposition and we needed to get ahead early and we did.?
Asked about the physicality of the game and the amount of card in it Tsekenis responded by saying that:
?We expected it to be a physical game, it up to the referee to judge it as he sees it.?
Match Stats
Bankstown City Lions 5 (Robbie Mileski 41′, 62 pen’, 81′, Richard Luksic 19′, Hussein Salameh 50′)
West Sydney Berries 1 (Stefan De Jesus 70′)
Sunday, 21st March, 2010
Jensen Park, Sefton
Referee: James Lewis
Assistant Referees: Thomas Klein and Alison Flynn
Fourth Official: Steve Nguyen
Crowd: 400
West Sydney Berries: 1.Hamish McLean;  2. David Gardiner, 6.Jack Sobczyk, 4.Daniel Clifford, 3.Omaar Saadi, 7.Peter Peralta,15.Ryan Walsh, 16.Kosta Lagoudakis, 17.Sash Tirovski (12.Stefan De Jesus), 19.Dimitri Zakilas, 10.John Tsironis
Substitutes Not Used: 22.Cem Akilli, 13.Shayne Morrisey, 14.Liam Austin, 24.Brad Bartels
Yellow Cards: D. Gardiner 7?, 17?, O. Saadi 39?, R. Walsh 55?
Red Cards: D. Gardiner 17?
Bankstown City Lions: 1.Zlatko Joseski; 6.Peter Tsekenis (11.Almir Dizdaric 73?), 10.Robbie Mileski, 20. Hussein Salameh, 23.Tallan Martin (8.George Nohra 58?), 4.Brett Studman, 14.Suad Ameti, 2.Scott Thomas, 5.Richard Luksic (C), 3.Shannon Burgin, 7.Steve Liavas (18.William Angel 63?),
Substitutes Not Used: 22.Robert Napoleone, 99. Christopher Godoy Bascur,
Yellow Cards: P. Tsekenis 22?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 – Robbie Mileski (BC)
2 – Stefanos Liavas (BC)
1 – Stefan De Jesus (WSB)
-By Peter Chiodo