NSW Premier League Round 8 Review


Aytek Genc?s men were held to a scoreless draw by Marconi Stallions on Saturday evening, allowing a red-hot Sydney United to move to within a point of the League leader following their defeat of A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers.
In the top-of-table clash, the Stallions and Blacktown failed to score goals though still provided much entertainment for those present at Marconi Stadium. Despite a long list of absentees through injury and suspension, the Stallions managed to frustrate Blacktown City with some well-organised defending and a strong show of commitment. The visitors had the better of the chances with Tolgay Ozbey twice coming close to finding a way past James Chronopoulos, before Jordan Simpson missed a positive chance late-on. The Stallions best opportunities arrived in the opening period via Matthew Gordon and Jason Naidovski ? the latter culprit of missing a double chance in the space of seconds, as the Blacktown City defence thwarted the first attempt before Naidovski skewed his second effort inches wide of the mark.
At Bonnyrigg Sports Club, the White Eagles were denied maximum points by an impressive Manly United FC showing. Trailing at the break following Daniel Severino?s late first-half effort, Manly United drew level 15? minutes from the end courtesy of Robbie Cattanach. The visitors squandered numerous chances throughout the match, denied on almost each occasion by Phillip Zabaks in the White Eagles goal.
Best wishes are extended to Zabaks who was forced to leave the playing field on the hour after a sickening head injury left the Bonnyrigg shot-stopper unconscious. Zabaks remains in hospital following the incident and remains in the prayers of all teammates, colleagues, family and friends for a speedy recovery.
At Seymour Shaw, Sutherland Sharks fell against Bankstown City following a very disappointing showing. Played in-front of a large home crowd, the Sharks were not their usual selves, and fell behind on 33? minutes via a Robbie Mileski penalty. The Lions have been struggling for form and Tallan Martin?s goal moments prior to the break calmed their nerves for the second-half. Peter Tsekenis? men administered proceedings in the second period and even added a third goal 9? minutes from the end courtesy of Bill Tsandis. The win keeps Bankstown City?s hopes of challenging for finals football this season alive.
On Sunday afternoon, Sydney United moved into second-spot with a comfortable 2-0 win against a 10-man A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers. Leading 1-0 after 10? minutes courtesy of John Kelso?s own goal, the Reds task at hand was slightly assisted when the Tigers were reduced to 10-men following Stephen Kayes? straight red card for handling on the goal-line. Elsid Barkhousir failed to convert the resulting penalty, though the Reds did find their second goal of the afternoon on 27? minutes as Barkhousir?s cross was headed home by Mirjan Pavlovic, securing the Reds maximum points and a hold on second-spot, one-point adrift of Blacktown City FC.
At Belmore Sports Ground, Sydney Olympic returned to the winner?s list with a 2-0 defeat of West Sydney Berries. Ian Ramsey and Matthew Mayora scored a goal apiece in the closing minutes of the first-half, much to the delight of the Sydney Olympic faithful following a very difficult start to the season. To the Berries credit, John Calleja?s men fought tooth and nail in the second-half, though the home-side managed to control proceedings and grind out the result.
At WIN Stadium, Rockdale City Suns? phenomenal start to the season continued with a very impressive 2-1 defeat of South Coast Wolves.  Marino Musumeci had the Suns ahead on 34? minutes as he cleverly entered the penalty-area before side-footing the ball past Brody Crane in the Wolves goal. Despite Mark Picciolini drawing his side level prior to the break, the Suns regained the lead moments after the restart. Sam Awad headed home a George Lagoudakis? cross from the left-flank to seal the win and a sole hold on fifth-spot on the League ladder.
-By Joseph Carlucci