Super League Round 7 Review


St George take outright second with their third win in four games while Granville Rage jump to third with an impressive win over FC Bossy, who drop from second to fifth. Sydney Uni, after a very hard match against Spirit, take fourth spot.
Central Coast and Fraser Park play leap frog again, with the Coast now dropping to last spot after Fraser Park?s 3-0 victory over Northern Tigers. 
Match of the Round
Spirit FC v Sydney University
In a fantastic game for supporters of both sides, and neutrals alike, Spirit FC and Sydney University played out an enthralling 1-1 draw in which the intensity remained at the highest level from start to finish.
This was clearly a game which both sides wanted to win and the push for goals never wavered until the final whistle.
Spirit were looking to recover from their heavy loss last week while Uni, sitting third in the table, have put together some excellent results in recent weeks, including that over Bossy last Saturday, so there was high expectation of good, enterprising football.
And the game certainly provided that.
University perhaps started the smarter, taking the game to Spirit early on, but chances were kept to a minimum by both sides. Martin Havern for Uni having the best chance of the initial stages, his direct free kick just going wide of the mark.
Ben Gough had a speculative strike, in return, but his shot was well held by Jonathan Faerber.
There were plenty of hard challenges and plenty of fouls, indicating the high intensity in which this game was played.
And ultimately, it was Spirit who snuck in a lead. A high free kick from the left was flicked on in the area, falling to the feet of Uni?s Simon Turner. But the captain, wrong footed, could only bundle the ball into his own net. It was literally the only foot he put wrong all night.
Turner was exemplary, shadowing Leo Papanicolaou for the majority of the match, rarely giving the Spirit striker a look in. Partnered in defence by the lanky Clive Delaney, Uni held firm against both Papanicolaou and Ben Gough, who was limited to half chances.
While 1-0 down at the break, it took only two minutes of the second half before Uni drew level. Christian Soares executed a perfect strike after receiving the ball at a difficult height, and struck across goal into the far side.
The goal roused Spirit, clearly not happy in losing their lead so soon after the return. On the hour mark, they seemed to have got their reward too, when Delaney brought down Gough inside the area. There was little argument and Daniel Cunningham stepped up for the penalty.
But to his horror, his shot was pushed onto the post by Faerber who quickly gathered the loose ball. 
A reprieve for Uni then and what would turn out to be a crucial miss for Spirit.
As the game ebbed and flowed, Havern had the ball in the net to the joy of the Uni supporters but the flag was already up for offside. It was a common sight for Uni, being called back on numerous occasions.
Jason van Blerk threw on Stuart Meney with twenty minutes to go, pushing three up front in an effort to gain an advantage and the three points while John Caruana did likewise, bringing on Carlos Villazon as his third attacker.
Then Tim Simpson came on, for Papanicoloau, as time was running out and Caetano Lima then entered the fray for Uni, as both sides searched for the winner in the final frantic minutes.
But despite the best of intentions, and no lack of effort, there were to be no further goals, a 1-1 draw a fair result considering the effort of all 22 players.
?I am very happy with the result,? said Uni coach John Caruana.
?I always thought that we had the better skill level and I told my team to keep everything on the deck. I felt that Spirit would only score from a set piece or penalty and I think they only had a couple of shots throughout the game?.
?Last season when we played Spirit, we didn?t know them and were intimidated. But tonight we weren?t intimidated at all?.
Caruana was also content with the result, considering his injury toll.
?I only had thirteen fit players tonight and could only make two subs. Robert Morrison is out, so is Ihsan Savran and Daren Vujovic, and the rest of my bench had a full game in the Under 20s. So it is a good result?.
Jason van Blerk couldn?t fault his team?s effort.
?It was a good ninety minutes and I can?t fault the effort of my side. A few decisions could have gone our way, I felt, but it was a good game?.
Of Uni, van Blerk felt that they would have been happy with the draw.
?I expect that they would have been happy with the point. They were mainly working off our mistakes and they seemed to come to get a point?.
Spirit FC 1 (Simon Turner 28? o.g.) v Sydney University 1 (Christian Soares 47?)
Date: 1 May 2010
At Christie Park
Referee: Sandro Perticarini
Assts: Greg McLoughlin and Thomas Lee
Spirit FC: 1. Murray Nelson 2. Daniel Cunningham 3. Lachlan Harte 4. Paul Nicolaou (c) 6. Matthew Peatey 7. Ben Gough 10. Leo Papanicolaou (9. Tim Simpson 80?) 12. Brendan Griffin 14. Ashley Balcombe (8 Evan Daglis 80?)) 16. Glen Maundrell (11. Stuart Meney 70?) 20. Scott Wright.
Subs not used: 5. Glen Littlebury 18. Adam Peatey
Yellow Cards: Paul Nicolau, Ben Griffin.
Sydney University: 20. Jonathan Faerber 2. Alexander Bit 6. Clive Delaney 4. Simon Turner (c) 3. Joseph Savor 21. Daine Merrin 5. Paul Medulla 16. Chris Hayton (15. Carlos Villazon 80?) 11. Liam Delaney (23. Caetino Lima 86?) 7. Martin Havern 10. Christian Soares.
Subs not used: 1. James Lowery 18. D McMurray 17. Sebastian Kalos.
Yellow Cards: Clive Delaney, Simon Turner, Joseph Savor, Liam Delaney, Paul Medulla.
Macarthur Rams v Dulwich Hill
Macarthur Rams got back on the winning trail win a 3-1 home win over Dulwich Hill with Sam Messam scoring twice for the Rams against his former club.
But it was Dully who got on the scoresheet first, with Tony Faria giving them the lead not long after half time. It was probably the Hill?s best period of the match but when Messam got his first just before the hour to draw the Rams level, the home side took control.  
Messam headed in his second and then Alvaro Malmierca, via a ricochet, gave the Rams a two goal buffer just three minutes later.
It was a difficult game for Dulwich Hill, who are undergoing something of a major injury crisis.
?I feel like I am going to war with a toothpick,? says coach Mark Strachan.
?We have nine players missing, all through injury, and quite a few of them are long term. Our squad would be one of the smallest in the league with just seventeen players so we really need to strengthen our numbers as soon as the transfer window opens. So, definately, I am on the lookout for players?.
?At the moment, I am sticking players in spots which are not their natural positions, like putting square pegs in round holes. So we need reinforcements?.
?As far as the game goes, I thought it was a fairly even first half and we looked slightly better at the start of the second. But for the final thirty minutes, we just weren?t there,? he finished.
Macarthur Rams 3 (Sam Messam 58?, 68?, Alvaro Malmierca 71?) v Dulwich Hill 1 (Tony Faria 52?)
Fraser Park v Northern Tigers
Fraser Park had their first home win of the season, defeating Northern Tigers by 3-0 to climb back above Central Coast and off the bottom of the table.
Nicolo Sama got Fraser off and running with a neat header after 25 minutes to give the home side a 1-0 half time lead.
Stiven Kostanic got the second two minutes after the break after receiving a nice cross from Leigh Gunn. Kostanic was then involved in the third goal when, one on one with Tigers keeper Stuart Page, he was brought down in the area. Page was duly red-carded for the offence.
Alex Smith stepped up, scored but had to retake the penalty after encroachment. Smith had no problem in putting the ball away a second time.
3-0 down, and down to ten men, there was never going to be a comeback for the Tigers.
?We made some poor mistakes?, said coach Jason Eager. ?We traded enough chances but it wasn?t going right for us. To be fair to Fraser Park, they wanted to win the game and a couple of my players seemed to have their mind on other things?.
?I will be without Stuart Page next week, so it gives another keeper a chance to put some pressure on?.
Fraser Park 3 (Nicola Sama 25?, Stivan Kostanic 47?, Alex Smith pen 64?) v Northern Tigers 0
Central Coast v Parramatta Eagles
Parramatta continued to show the way, gaining their sixth clean sheet in seven matches as they defeated Central Coast 3-0 at Pluim Park.
But while the scoreline may have looked comprehensive, the result perhaps flattered the visitors.
It was an own goal which put Parramatta in front, just before the half hour although Parramatta did feel that the goal belonged to Kutaiba Elrich.
It remained 1-0 until the 72nd minute when against the run of play, as the Coast sought an equaliser, Shayne Ardel popped up with a header to make it more comfortable.
Then Chris Camilleri, with just six minutes left on the clock, made absolute sure of the points for the Eagles.
Brian Dene admitted that it was not their best performance.
?We turned over the ball too many times in the first half. The surface was slippery and we just didn?t control the ball at all.?
?But in the second half we were a lot more clinical and we held our nerve. Central Coast are not a bad side and I am pleased that we got three goals against them?.
It was the sixth time this season that Parramatta have not conceded.
?We are very focused about that and we want to keep clean sheets. We are working very hard to maintain that and it is something we are very proud of?.
Peter Preston felt that the scoreline didn?t do justice to his side.
?We looked better than the score suggests. We missed a couple of great chances and a bad mistake cost us a goal. We played well but a couple of sucker punches hit us?.
?Parramatta were more clinical than us at both ends but we took it to them right from the start and I am really proud of the team. If we continue to play like that, we will get results. The performance was pleasing and I am confident that we will get results?we just need a bounce or two to go our way.?
Central Coast 0 v Parramatta Eagles 3 (o.g. 28?, Shayne Ardel 72?, Chris Camilleri 84?)
St George v Mount Druitt
St George jumped to outright second spot on the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over Mount Druitt at St George Stadium.
And once again, it was the 16 year old, Jordan Figon who did the damage, netting for the third game in a week just before half time.
But despite numerous chances, St George couldn?t get a second past Rangers? keeper Nick Jelic who denied Ryo Maekawa and Peter Crevani on more than one occasion.
That was until five minutes to go, when Maekawa just got the better of James Thurtell, and slotted the ball under Jelic to make the points safe.
St George 2 (Jordan Figon 43?, Ryo Maekawa 85?) v Mount Druitt Town 0
FC Bossy v Granville Rage
Nick Porrecca will need to think twice before he heads overseas again during the season as his Granville Rage side overcame FC Bossy Liverpool by 3-0 to take third spot and push Bossy down to fifth in the process.
The only two games that the Rage have lost this season both came while Porrecca was overseas on business and since his return, the Rage have gained maximum points.
Pat Carpuccio got the ball rolling in the 20th minute and then got his second twelve minutes from time. It was the second week in a row that Carpuccio got a double.
Jonathan Ekehov, in the dying moments, made the scoreline a very respectable one indeed for the Rage.
FC Bossy 0 v Granville Rage 3 (Pat Carpuccio 20?, 78?, Jonathan Ekehov 94?)
-By Peter Rowney