Rockdale City shine in Belmore


Despite the greater share of possession siding with Sydney Olympic, the visiting Suns used the counter-attack to perfection, securing the 1-0 win courtesy of Baturay Akin?s 75? minute match-winner.
Sydney Olympic had the early running with much of the possession held down the right-flank. Peter McPherson provided the first cross of note, as Phillip Makrys rose highest to get his head to the ball, though the glancing header finished wide of the mark.
Rockdale City?s response arrived on 7? minutes as George Lagoudakis received an exquisite long-ball from deep on the left-flank. Lagoudakis cleverly brought the ball down before unleashing a well-driven drive across the face of goal, though no Rockdale City teammate was waiting inside for the tap-in.
Sydney Olympic continued to hold the greater share of possession though it was the visitors that seemed most efficient on the counter-attack. Baturay Akin, in almost identical fashion to that of Lagoudakis moments earlier, flashed his effort across the face of goal failing to pick out the touch of a teammate.
The visitors replied via Adem Kir who tried his luck via a set-piece from distance, though Sydney Olympic shot-stopper Zaim Zanelli watched the ball whistle past his left-hand upright.
The home-side responded with playmaker Chris Triantis collecting the ball out on the left-flank. Triantis weaved his magic to bring the ball onto his right-foot, though his final effort collected a big deflection from a Suns defender, and the ball finished between goalkeeper Ben McNamara?s arms.
James Monie and McPherson combined well on 23? minutes on the edge of the penalty-area, though some scrambling defence by the visitors thwarted the latter?s drive on goal.
Rockdale City again used the counter-attack to good effect with a swift move down the right initiated by Peter Apolevski. The Suns captain provided Lagoudakis with a shooting chance from the edge of the penalty-area, though some scrambling Sydney Olympic legs managed to diffuse the situation.
The Sydney Olympic supporters were on their feet as Matthew Mayora cleverly picked out Triantis at the back post with a floated cross from the right: Triantis? first time volley, with only the goalkeeper to beat, ricocheted off the crossbar from point-blank range with the ball finishing over the goal line for a goal kick, much to the disbelief of the home crowd.
After the break, the home-side continued to call the shots with possession, though the Suns created the better chances on the counter-attack. Marino Musumeci latched onto the end of a cross from deep, though failed to get the execution right to test Zanelli in the Blues goal.
Sydney Olympic replied on 55? minutes with Mayora causing a nuisance in the Suns penalty-area. The Blues striker?s snap-shot failed to draw the goalkeeper into a save, with the ball finishing over the crossbar.
The Blues target man tried his luck from a set-piece moments later, though his low-driven effort failed to force Ben McNamara into a save.
Rockdale City?s response was immediate, and following a poor clearance by the Blues defence, Dominic Hudap tried his luck from distance, taking the paint off the top of the crossbar with his powerful effort.
The momentum remained with the Suns and Musumeci showed his class and composure with a smart run to the byline, before cutting the ball back into the path of Sam Awad who was denied by a last-ditch challenge.
The Sydney Olympic crowd got behind their team and the players? response was immediate. First, Mayora latched onto a Jerry Kalouris cross from the left, though failed to keep the ball down to hit the target. Anthony Doumanis and Iain Ramsay then combined well with a neat interchange of passes sending Ramsay through on goal; the winger?s cutback across goal though failed to pick out a teammate and the chance went begging.
On 75? minutes, Rockdale City took the lead against the run of play. A fine forward foray by Mark Bariamis created the space for Baturay Akin on the left side of the penalty-area. The attacking midfielder, with only the goalkeeper to beat, blasted the ball into the roof of the net much to the delight of the many travelling Rockdale City supporters.
In the closing stages, some sloppy play in the Blues defence saw Apolevski steal the ball and release Awad. The speedy striker beat his marker before laying the ball off to Akin. The match-winner fired his effort inches wide of the upright.
The Blues saw one final chance go begging with the last kick of the match. Following a goalmouth scramble, Cedric Ramirez?s attempted shot on the turn was not clean, and the ball was easy pickings for McNamara.
Following the match, the disappointment on the face of Sydney Olympic boss Pat Marando was obvious:
?Not at all the result we were looking for,? commented Marando.
?Rockdale came here and made it hard for us. They got all their men behind the ball, and it was impossible for us to play, so I guess it was well done by them, even though it isn?t the most attractive football to play.
?We created a huge chance in the first-half with Chris Triantis hitting the crossbar. We score on that occasion, and then Rockdale has to come out and chase the game ? it would have been a totally different situation.
?We conceded a silly goal, again from a pass that we probably didn?t need to make. We lost the ball and they scored.
?There will be definitely be changes this week. Some players have taken advantage of their spots and haven?t fought hard enough. There will be a chance for some of the other players to come in and have a go,? ended Marando.
Victorious Rockdale City Suns coach Mile Todoroski was full of praise for his team:
?I am very happy with the result, definitely. We planned to come here and be organised, and I think that we did it very well, so we are happy.
?In saying this, we did risk a lot with the crossbar Sydney Olympic hit? A goal there and we would have been in a different situation, though I am glad that we managed to keep a clean sheet and get a result against a team that is always a strong team, even though the results do not show this,? ended Todoroski.
In the Grade 20 division, Sydney Olympic completed an impressive display with a 5-1 defeat of Rockdale City Suns.
Match Stats
Sydney Olympic 0
Rockdale City Suns 1 (Baturay Akin 75?)
Monday, 5th April, 2010
Belmore Sports Ground, Belmore
Referee: James Lewis
Assistant Referees: Matthew Samson and Sarah Ho
Fourth Official: Jason Blackwood
Crowd: 1000 Approx.
Sydney Olympic: 1.Zaim Zanelli; 4.Josh Lawson, 21.Ricky Perinich, 18.Jerry Kalouris, 22.Emmanuel Giannaros (16.Steven Tibbetts 50?), 11.Phillip Makrys, 7.Peter McPherson (17.Iain Ramsay 36?), 8.Chris Triantis, 10.Anthony Doumanis, 9.James Monie (12.Cedric Ramirez, 90? + 1?), 15.Matthew Mayora
Substitutes Not Used: 24.Mitchel Stamatelis, 20.Luke Turnbull
Yellow Cards: Phillip Makrys 49?
Red Cards: Nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Ben McNamara; 2.Paul Dee, 3.Mark Bariamis, 7.Peter Apolevski, 18.Robert Di Meglio (9.Pece Zaikovski), 16.George Lagoudakis (21.Sam Awad 61?), 19.Marino Musumeci, 23.Askin Oygur, 11.Adem Kir, 8.Dominic Hudap (20.Andrija Petkovic 90? + 4?), 13.Baturay Akin
Substitutes Not Used: 12.Stefan Donevski, 22.Chad Taylor
Yellow Cards: Baturay Akin 75?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Baturay Akin (RCS)
2 ? Peter Apolevski (RCS)
1 ? Marino Musumeci (RCS)
-By Joseph Carlucci