Sydney United move into top spot after defeat of Bankstown City


The Reds scored three unanswered goals in the space of 8? minutes ? a brace to Elsid Barkhousir and a goal to Mirjan Pavlovic – to kill off the brave challenge from the home-side, before administering the closing stages of the match with complete ease.
Faced with a number of absentees due to injury and suspension, Sydney United player/coach David Zdrilic opted for Peter Zorbas to pull the strings in midfield with Sean Mitchell, as Mirjan Pavlovic held the weight on his shoulders in the front-third with Zdrilic and Barkhousir playing off the burly striker.
Peter Tsekenis too had to make some late changes with Tallan Martin pulling out following the warm-up due to injury, meanwhile defender Ali Haydar was handed his debut with the first team at right-back.
Sydney United opened proceedings with the first chance of the match on 7? minutes as the skillful youngster Ante Tomic played a pin-point corner onto the head of Elsid Barkhousir at the back post. Despite the striker?s best efforts, Barkhousir failed to keep his header down.
The home-side?s response arrived on 15? minutes as Peter Tsekenis cleverly started a Lions counter-attack.
Having won possession inside the Lions? half, Tsekenis released Robbie Mileski before continuing his run up the field. Mileski played an exquisite through ball into the path of Tsekenis on the edge of the penalty-area, though the Bankstown City player/coach was brought to ground by Shane Lyons.
The former Sutherland Sharks and A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers player picked up a booking for his troubles, as Robbie Mileski failed to find the target with the resulting free-kick.
Sydney United turned their attentions back to attack and Petar Markovic picked out Pavlovic with a floated cross from the right-flank, though Pavlovic?s diving effort was well-parried by Zlatko Joseski in the Lions? goal.
Richard Luksic nearly found the opener for the home-side as he leapt highest to meet Shane Thomas? floated free-kick. Luksic?s glancing header had all the power required, though lacked the accuracy as the ball finished over Vedran Janjetovic?s crossbar.
Tomic, at the opposing end, had a golden chance to hit the Reds ahead moments later as he picked up a loose ball at the back post following a cross from the right. Tomic?s diagonal effort across the face of goal only just finished wide of the left-hand post much to the despair of the vocal group of travelling supporters.
Tomic was again in the thick of the action on 35? minutes as the Reds hit Bankstown City on the counter-attack. Markovic?s delicate ball over the top of the Lions defence picked out Tomic who attempted a first-time volley that packed a real punch, though failed to dip enough as the ball finished over the crossbar.
Bankstown City closed the half on the front foot, though Mileski scuffed the final chance. The Lions number 10 received a pass on the edge of the penalty-area and hit the ball on the half-volley, though again failed to hit the target as the referee called an end to first-half proceedings.
After the break, Sydney United set-out to put the pressure on the Lions as Pavlovic showed his strength on multiple occasions in the opening 6? minutes. The best chance for the former Newcastle Jets striker arrived on 51? minutes as he weaved his way past three defenders before forcing Joseski into a point-blank reflex save, as the scores remained level.
At the other end, Hassan Akil wasted a promising chance when his shot from distance lacked power and was easily thwarted by the Reds defence.
Bankstown City kept the pressure on Sydney United as George Nohra firstly, then Steve Liavas both had efforts blocked by some solid Sydney United defence.
Sydney United immediately returned attentions to attack as Zdrilic forced Joseski into another fine save, this time denying the former Socceroo?s volley on the turn with a save down to his right.
The visiting Reds did find the breakthrough on the hour as Barkhousir headed home Ante Tomic?s cross at the back post. With the Lions? down a man as Peter Tsekenis was receiving treatment on the sideline, Sydney United played a two exceptional passes out of midfield to release Tomic down the left-flank before the youngster delivered on a platter the opener for Barkhousir.
Sydney United doubled their lead 6? minutes later as Tomic again played a huge part in the goal. Tomic showed all his class with a sensational piece of skill to beat two defenders on his way to goal. The youngster?s final attempt on goal was parried by Joseski with the rebound falling to Pavlovic who slotted the ball home with aplomb from close-range.
Despite the home-side?s best efforts, the Reds added a third to ?kill off? the contest on 68? minutes. Substitute Shannon Burgin was disposed by Pavlovic who used his strength to maintain possession of the ball before playing a square-ball into the path of Barkhousir who converted into an empty net for this second goal of the night.
Sydney United player/coach David Zdrilic was pleased with his side?s progress:
?I am very happy with the result tonight as we have taken three-points from a strong side, away from home, and we did it convincingly,? Zdrilic said.
?I thought the opening half was very even, though we really stepped it up in the second-half.
?Our three goals were brilliant, with Ante?s (Tomic) cross for Elsid (Barkhousir) just brilliant. I am happy with the way we played. We have a big squad and everybody understands the system we play, so even with some absentees, the players that come in know exactly what is expected of them and they do the job.
?Next weekend we have a big match against Blacktown City, so we will be preparing as best we can for that one,? Zdrilic ended.
Bankstown City?s Peter Tsekenis was less impressed with the final result:
?It wasn?t a good result, and I am disappointed with certain errors that we made tonight.
?Sydney United scored three great goals, and went about their business with a very strong performance.
?We conceded the first goal as I was off the field receiving treatment, so it wasn?t ideal, though the through ball played over our defence by Sydney United was just brilliant.
?Our team is capable of much better, and I say that without any hesitation, as I know what these players are capable of.
?To-date though, we haven?t all as a team stepped up together. We?ve had individuals, like tonight, that step up and work really hard, though until each player does that together, we will continue to fall short of achieving our goals.?
Tsekenis left the playing field early due to injury:
?It is a rib injury, though I can?t be sure what it is exactly at the moment, I will have to have it checked out over the next few days,? ended Tsekenis.
In the Grade 20 division, Bankstown City came from a goal down to secure a 2-1 win against Sydney United.
Match Stats
Bankstown City 0
Sydney United 3 (Elsid Barkhousir 60?, 68?, Mirjan Pavlovic 66?)
Saturday, 25th April, 2010
Jensen Park, Sefton
Referee: Adam Weir
Assistant Referees: Murray Wilson and Steven Ngyuen
Fourth Official: Thomas Klein
Crowd: 700 Approx.
Bankstown City: 1.Zlatko Joseski; 2.Scott Thomas, 5.Richard Luksic (C), 6.Peter Tsekenis (3.Shannon Burgin 67?), 8.George Nohra (18.William Angel 79?), 9.Hassan Akil, 7.Steve Liavas, 10.Robert Mileski, 12.Bill Tsandis, 20.Hussein Salameh, 80.Ali Haydar (99.Chris Godoy Bascur 73?)
Substitutes Not Used: 22.Robert Napoleone
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney United: 1.Vedran Janjetovic; 5.Damon Collina, 6.Joe Vrkic (C), 8.Shane Lyons, 14.Petar Markovic, 7.Peter Zorbas, 21.Sean Mitchell, 9.David Zdrilic (27.Adam Jenner 90?), 16.Elsid Barkhousir, 25.Mirijan Pavlovic, 32. Ante Tomic (11.Luka Glavas 79?)
Substitutes Not Used: 20.Roy Bell, 10.Steve Wright, 23.Steven Veleski
Yellow Cards: Shane Lyons 14?, Joe Vrkic 14?, Damon Collina 30?, David Zdrilic 44?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Elsid Barkhousir (SU)
2 ? Ante Tomic (SU)
1 ? Mirjan Pavlovic (SU)
-By Joseph Carlucci