Suns burn Lions at Jensen


Played on a cold and wet afternoon at Jensen Park, Peter Apolevski?s wonder-strike on 15? minutes ? along with a well-organised performance across the park by the Suns ? secured Rockdale the 1-0 win, sending the Suns seven-points clear of the Lions on the League ladder.
The early signs were positive for the Lions as Hussein Salameh created an opening on 2? minutes down the right-flank. Salameh cleverly beat the challenges of two defenders before three Suns defenders closed down the speedy striker?s run on the edge of the penalty-area.
The Suns responded with a swift counter-attack down the left. Dominic Hudap created the space before crossing the ball to an unmarked Marino Musumeci inside the penalty-area. The Suns midfielder took a second too long on the ball and the Lions defenders retreated quickly to dispossess Musumeci of the ball.
Salameh was again in the thick of it for the Lions moments later as he picked up a loose ball outside the Suns penalty-area. Salameh?s venomous drive really did pack a punch, though the effort failed to hit the target.
On 9? minutes, Bankstown City appeared to make the breakthrough when Hussein Akil?s cross from the left was handled by a Suns defender inside the penalty-area. Robbie Mileski stepped up to the spot for the penalty though a casually hit effort was well saved by the outstretched leg of Suns goalkeeper Ben McNamara.
The save spurred the Suns into action and on 15? minutes, Rockdale City had the lead. Captain Peter Apolevski found the back of the net with an exceptional diagonal drive across the face of goal. Released into the penalty-area with a finely floated through ball out of midfield, Apolevski?s effort was all class, beating Zlatko Joseski?s diving efforts to save the ball.
Sam Awad nearly doubled the Suns lead in the 20? minute when he rose highest at the near post to meet Adem Kir?s floated corner from the right. Awad?s header carried a lot of weight though finished inches wide of Joseski?s right-hand post.
Bankstown City squandered a golden chance on 26? minutes when McNamara?s poor clearance fell into the path of Salameh. The Bankstown City striker?s reaction was a little casual, though he did manage a long-range effort on target. With the ball seemingly goal-bound, McNamara quickly retreated to claim the ball and kill off the Lions? hopes of an equaliser.
The Suns went closest late in the half via the boot of Hudap. The Suns midfielder combined well with Awad on the edge of the penalty-area before forcing Joseski into a fine save with a very powerful effort on goal.
After the break, Dominic Hudap again forced the Suns onto the front-foot. The midfielder tried his lack from distance, denied only by a slight deflection by a Lions defender.
Bankstown City?s domination of possession midway through the second-half failed to reap any sort of reward ? or clear-cut scoring chance for that matter ? as the final pass in the final third continued to go astray.
On the hour, Mileski and Luksic combined well in the penalty-area before the latter?s effort on goal finished, harmlessly, wide of the target.
Rockdale City created another counter-attack in the 63? minute involving Awad, Musumeci and Steven Bozinovski, before Awad fired his effort from the edge of the penalty-area well-over the crossbar.
Bankstown City?s reply arrived via a Scott Thomas free-kick down the right-flank. Thomas managed to pick out Lions? captain Richard Luksic, though the tall defender failed to keep his header down ? heading the ball over the crossbar.
In the closing stages, the Lions frustrations took its toll as Steve Liavas received a straight red card for a foul deemed to be last man by the referee.
Following the match, Suns coach Mile Todorovski was very pleased with the efforts of his team:
?I am very very happy for the boys, the club and the supporters because today we did very well.
?We were organised, and we kept our concentration up which is important. We need points and our objective is to avoid relegation, so we will continue to do as best as we can.
?We are unbeaten against Bankstown City (pre-season matches included) and to come here and win is fantastic ? I am very happy tonight,? ended Todorovski.
Lions coach Peter Tsekenis was less than impressed with the result:
?I am disappointed obviously, as I know what my players are capable of, yet we didn?t see any of that tonight.
?I thought we started well and played to our game plan early, though after we missed the penalty, all heads seemed to go down.
?At the break, we tried to lift the players morale, though it didn?t work in the second-half as we just failed to get into the match,? ended Tsekenis.
In the Grade 20 division, Bankstown City took maximum points with a 1-0 defeat of Rockdale City Suns.
Match Stats
Bankstown City 0
Rockdale City Suns 1 (Peter Apolevski 15?)
Sunday, 23rd May, 2010
Jensen Park, Sefton
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: Mike Robertson and Bachar Allam
Fourth Official: Chris Wells
Crowd: 750 Approx.
Bankstown City FC: 1.Zlatko Joseski; 2.Scott Thomas, 4.Brett Studman, 5.Richard Luksic (C), 7.Steve Liavas, 8.George Nohra (16.Damien Brosque 77?), 20.Hussein Salameh (99.Chris Godoy Bascur 72?), 23.Tallen Martin, 12.Bill Tsanidis, 9.Hussein Akil, 10.Robert Mileski (11.Almir Dizdaric 82?)
Substitutes Not Used: 18.William Angel, L. Thomas
Yellow Cards: Brett Studman 12?, Hussein Salameh 30?, Hussein Akil 34?, George Nohra 59?, Richard Luksic 90?, Damien Brosque 90?+3?
Red Cards: Steve Liavas 90?
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Ben McNamara; 2.Paul Dee, 7.Peter Apolevski (C), 8.Dominic Hudap, 10.Saso Trajcevski (5.Jeffrey Issa 73?), 11.Adem Kir, 12.Stefan Donevski, 16.Steven Bozinovski, 19.Marino Musumeci (18.Robert Di Meglio 82?), 21.Sam Awad (3.Joshua Lawson 85?), 23.Askin Oygur
Substitutes Not Used: 40.James Cain, 15.Daniel Pejovski,
Yellow Cards: Sam Awad 61?, Jeffrey Issa 81?, Stefan Donevski 88?
Red Cards: Nil
*Note – Player Ratings will now be hidden until the end of the NSW Premier League season with the overall standings to select the 2010 NSW Premier League All-Stars line-up
-By Joseph Carlucci