Red-hot Sharks knock Blacktown off top-spot


The match started with Sutherland attacking down the right-flank. Jim Bakis? deliveries though, were easily intercepted by Michael Herbet.
In the 7? minute Yianni Fragogiannis looped around Bakis and crossed the ball over to the other side of the goal where Nick Stavroulakis headed the ball back into the area. As Ben Vidaic was about to pounce the defence intercepted the ball and it was cleared away for a corner.
Despite their early dominance it was to be Sutherland?s only really clear chance from that period.
In the 10? minute Tyler Simpson headed a corner goalwards but the ball went over the crossbar. 2? minutes later Tolgay Ozbey rounded the Sutherland defence and shot on target, though Nathan Denham did an outstanding job to deny the home-side.
Then a minute later Sutherland were almost caught napping as Luke Roodenberg flicked on a throw-in and Ozbey had a header from point-blank range parried by an exceptional Denham reflex save.
On 18? minutes, Panagiotis Nikas slipped through unmarked in-front of goal but his shot was off the mark.
Luke Roodenberg then had a shot from distance but it too was wide of the mark.
In the 23rd minute Blake Powell sprinted through on the left and beat Matthew Pressello in defence but as he tried to shoot he slipped and the ball looped over the crossbar.
Sutherland replied via Jimmy Bakis who ran through the defence before attempting to feed the ball to Nikas, rather than drive goalwards himself. The chance went begging for the Sharks.
Blacktown had much of the ball in the first-half hour but the back four for Sutherland played well as a unit and reduced any opportunities the home-side had in the attacking third.
In the 32? minute they consolidated this when they took the lead. George Souris played a long ball over the top and Ben Vidaic beat Michael Herbet to the ball and headed the ball over the Blacktown City custodian and into the back of the net.
Blacktown City attempted to respond immediately, though their efforts again came to nothing in terms of efforts on goal. Michael Robinson was continually marking Ozbey strongly and was keeping his threat to a minimum.
For a while after the break it looked as though the locals were a different team.
For the opening 5? minutes Mitchell Long reminded the crowd of the form he had been in during the last home match two weeks prior. However, a combination of Neil Jablonski and the defence of Sutherland denied turning this improvement in effort into shots on goal.
The best effort in that regard arrived in the 55? minute as a corner from Roodenberg was headed down but again Denham was there to cut off any danger. The ball then quickly went to the other end of the field and was collected by Ben Vidaic. The defence stood still as they waited for an offside flag but it never came and Vidaic rounded the goalkeeper and scored his second goal of the night.
Four minutes later he nearly had his hat-trick as Pressello tried to play the ball back to his goalkeeper, though Vidaic intercepted it only for Herbet to get down low and deny his shot.
In the 63? minute Powell ran past the defence and looked to be honing in on goal but Lachlan Cahill did an amazing job in running down the Sutherland speedster and tackle him.
Joel Chianese came on as a late substitute for Blacktown City and tried to change the game but even his runs did not lead to efforts on target for the home-side.
In the end, the last quarter of the match saw much of the ball in the middle of the park but little action at either end. Robinson and Souris continued to link strongly at the back, with Robinson able to make a couple of attacking raids forward.
The defence for Blacktown was also strengthening with Tyler Simpson pulling off a great tackle on Steve McConalogue to deny him as he drove forward down the left. Four minutes later McConalogue shot was saved by Herbet after great lead up work from Stavroulakis, who was linking strongly with Jablonski in the middle of the park, a strong return to form for both.
In the 89? minute Tolgay Ozbey finally got Nathan Denham back involved in the game, but his shot was easily handled by the classy Sutherland shot-stopper. The visitors, as a whole, had down well in defence, but the back four of Price, Souris, Robinson, and Fragogiannis were particularly excellent.
After the match Blacktown City coach Aytek Genc was disappointed with the technical aspects of the game from his players:
?A bad defensive error cost a goal and Sutherland put a lot bodies behind the ball after that. ?They were committed in defence and we had to chase the game. We allowed two soft goals, the second one very controversial, on the counter and we could not come back today as we let ourselves down technically.?
Robbie Stanton was happy enough with the result, but was already looking to next week:
?We picked up three-points against a good team today, they were not first for any reason. In the end today is just three-points and will not mean anything unless we get a win from next week?s match at home to Manly United.?
Match Stats
Blacktown City FC 0
Sutherland 2 (Ben Vidaic 32?, 55?)
Sunday, 25th April, 2010
Lily Homes Stadium
Referee: Andrew BEST
Assistant Referees: Sarah HO and Greg MCLOUGHLIN
Fourth Official: Matthew SAMPSON
Crowd: 300
Blacktown City FC: 1.Michael HERBET; 2.Tyler SIMPSON, 5.Luka DUKIC (17.Joel CHIANESE 58?), 6.Matt PRESSELLO (4.Mirko JURILJ 82?), 7.Luke ROODENBERG, 11.Mitchell LONG (8.Chris BEDZO 76?), 18.Travis MAJOR, 19.Tolgay OZBEY, 13.Lachlan CAHILL, 9.Kain RASTALL, 10.Jordan SIMPSON
Substitutes Not Used: 40.Matt RYAN, 35.Bernie IBINI
Yellow Cards: Rastall 1?, Ozbey 28?, J Simpson 39?
Red Cards: Nil
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Nathan DENHAM; 2.George SOURIS, 4.Michael ROBINSON, 6.Christopher PRICE, 7.Jim BAKIS, 8.Blake POWELL, 9.Ben VIDAIC (10.Steve MCONALOGUE 73?), 12.Neil JABLONSKI, 14.Nick STAVROULAKIS, 22.Yianni FRAGOGIANNIS, 23.Panagiotis NIKAS
Substitutes Not Used: 36.Tyson RHODES, 16.James LAWRENCE, 37.Michael SVIRCEVIC 24.Jack DUNCAN
Yellow Cards Robinson 68?, Nikas 70?, Price 86
Red Cards Nil
Player Ratings:
3 – Michael ROBINSON (SS)
2 – Ben VIDAIC (SS)
-By Stuart Jones