Late first half show seals points for Sydney Olympic


Two goals in the final 3? minutes of the first-half provided Olympic the much needed three-points.
Sydney Olympic started on the front foot attacking from the opening whistle. After Matthew Mayora won a challenge, Cedric Ramirez found space on the right hand touch line but his low cross was well picked by Hamish McLean.
The first clear chance however came in the 4? minute as Andre Gumprecht took control of the ball in shooting range. A clever ball to the feet of Ramirez saw the striker turn well but could not control his shot as it went well over the crossbar for a goal kick.
The West Sydney Berries tried hard to get into the game as George Lagoudakis lobbed the ball into the box in the 7? minute, only for new Sydney Olympic goalkeeper Paul Henderson to claim and thwart the minor chance.
The home-side continued to pile the pressure on the Berries defence, and could have had the lead in the 8? minute.
Gumprecht took the ball in the middle of the park and played a sublime through ball into the path of Ramirez. The Blues player went one-on-one with the goalkeeper, only for the striker to fail to round Mclean and the chance went begging.
 Sydney Olympic?s majority possession continued to pester the Berries as they struggled to string passes together in the opening quarter of the match.
The Berries almost stunned the big crowd at Belmore on 18? minutes, as a floating corner found Henderson leaping backwards. Luckily for the former North Queensland Fury shot-stopper his defence stood tall and blocked two incoming shots to keep the scores level.
The Berries counter-attack football continued to shock Olympic as they produced another chance in the 24? minute. After winning a corner, Jesse Pinto sent an out-swinging kick that found David Gardiner free to head the ball goal bound, though the effort finished just over the crossbar.
In the 27? minute however, Sydney Olympic cleared the ball out of their defensive third to find Ramirez with an acres of space to run into. As he closed in on goal, Berries defender David Gardiner did well to close his angle as Mclean came off his line and win the ball cleanly.
As the game wore on, the Berries slowly gathered momentum in the middle of the park, making their presence felt and increasing their possession. The Berries then had the best chance to open the scoring in the 34? minute. After a great one-two between Lagoudakis and Zakilas, Stefan De Jesus was found in the middle with his well timed volley exceptionally well saved by a diving Henderson.
A mistimed pass by Matthew Mayora in the 38? minute gave the ball directly to Sash Tirovski, with the attacker trying to chip the ball over Henderson but misguiding his shot as Olympic?s day began to worsen.
The Blues however did take the lead in the 42? minute. After a through ball from their own half, Iain Ramsey pulled the ball down and calmly placed it in the bottom right-hand corner of the Berries net to give his team a 1-0 lead.
And only 3? minutes later Olympic made it 2-0. Following a huge miskick by Daniel Clifford, Matthew Mayora shot the ball past an oncoming Hamish McLean and into the empty net give his side a two-goal half-time lead.
After the break, both teams struggled to keep the ball and create any clear-cut chances, with last ditch defensive efforts thwarting any attempts on goal.
The first chance finally arrived for the berries in the 54? minute. After winning a free-kick, Lagoudakis floated a cross across Olympic?s goal only for his attack to miss the chance to guide the ball into the net.
The chances then continued to come for the Berries as they searched to peg the 2-0 deficit back, and only 2? minutes later, Dimitri Zakilas headed the ball wide from a Pinto cross.
Zakilas continued to be a menace in the air, and again had a header go inches wide of the mark in the 62? minute.
With Olympic holding a two goal lead, they seemed to climb into a shell as they played a defensive game with few attacking options.
In the 65? minute, Berries winger Jesse Pinto had a great shot on goal from out wide, only for Henderson, who was having a fantastic game on debut, to get down well and regathered the strong shot.
4? minutes later and the Berries changed tactics as Sash Tirovski had a shot from 40-yards out but was easy pickings for Henderson.
The Blues seemed to be playing with a man short as they were continually left wanting across the park, with their Berries counterparts holding the majority of possession but struggling to find the back of the net.
The final ball became a problem for the home-side as well in the 78? minute as Anthony Doumanis attempted to play a one-two with James Monie, his ball was too long and went directly to the waiting McLean.
As the game drew to a close, Sydney Olympic won more of the ball and began more attacking tirades at the Berries goal with all to no avail though, as the Blues settled for their second win of the season.
Following the match Sydney Olympic coach Pat Marando said he was pleased with the result:
?I am definitely happier than the past two weeks.
?The boys worked hard throughout the week and I think I a little bit of confidence in themselves goes a long way.?
Berries coach John Calleja was upset to not have taken any points away from Olympic after dominating play in the second-half:
?I was very happy the way we were playing up until the 40? minute mark.
?I thought we were knocking the ball around creating opportunities.
?But we defended poorly for two minutes and it cost us.?
In the Grade 20 encounter, Sydney Olympic ran away with a 3-1 victory over a tough West Sydney Berries side.
Match Stats
Sydney Olympic 2 (Iain Ramsey 42?, Matthew Mayora 45?)
West Sydney Berries 0
Sunday, 18th April, 2010
Belmore Sports Ground, Belmore
Crowd: 700 approximately
Sydney Olympic: 13.Paul Henderson; 4.Josh Lawson, 6.Andre Gumprecht, 8.Chris Triantis (10.Anthony Doumanis 30?) (24.Mitchell Stamatellis 81?), 11.Phillip Makrys, 12.Cedric Ramirez (9.James Monie 75?), 15.Matthew Mayora (C), 16.Steven Tibbets, 17.Iain Ramsey, 21.Ricky Perinich, 23.Luke Gearin
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Zaim Zanelli, 7.Dimitrios Petratos
Yellow Cards: Makrys 21?
Red Cards: Nil
West Sydney Berries: 1.Hamish McLean; 2.David Gardiner, 4.Daniel Clifford, 5.Ryan Walsh (Omar Saadi 75?), 7.Peter Peralta, 8.Jesse Pinto, 12.Stefan De Jesus, 15.Ryan Jones (21.Damir Prodanovic 61?), 16.George Lagoudakis (C), 17.Sash Tirovski (32.Leon Pirrello 69?), 19.Dimitri Zakilas
Substitutes Not Used: 22. Cem Akilli
Yellow Cards: Zakilas 67?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 – Paul Henderson (SO)
2 – Andre Gumprecht (SO)
1 – Kosta Lagoudakis (WSB)
-By Christopher Georges