NSW Super League Round 13 Review


Twenty five goals at an average of more than four per game certainly got players and fans hearts pumping over the chilly long weekend.
Match of the round
Granville Rage spring back against Central Coast
After clearly putting the frustrations of the McDonalds Cup semi-final loss midweek well behind them Granville Rage showed just too much experience and attacking power for Central Coast Lightning, ending up with a very solid 5-1 scoreline.
The score eclipsed Rage’s 3-1 win away at Lisarow in round 2  but the same culprits did the damage, with Nenos Bobo again netting two against Lightning and Kris Holbrook keeping his end up as well.
With the ‘grand old lady’ of FS Garside Park looking a bit more spritely with her new look and the pitch having stood up well to the recent weather, the scene was set – as expected the early pressure came from Granville.
Lightning ‘keeper Josh Barrett started his very busy evening by coming out fast to clear the ball off the feet of Kris Holbrook just two minutes in. The Coast did push up quick however only to see a shot from Darren Cooper blocked.
In the 4th minute the quick passing game of the visitors paid dividends when an early ball played from a move down the left found the rising head of Ben Glachan, who steered the ball into the top left corner of the net, stunning the crowd. 0-1
Lifted by the goal the Coast pressed, and four minutes later a free-kick picked out Matt Mitchell inside the area on the left, but his volley was sent over the bar.
Stung by the situation Granville raised the tempo of their game and in the 10th minute a quick through ball found Kris Holbrook away down the middle – the Coast’s custodian was again called on to come-out and spread himself to block the shot and to quickly gather the rebound.
Inevitably Rage got back level in the 18th minute when Nathan Rivera lobbed the defence and Nenos Bob was there to send it over the advancing ‘keeper; and to see it bounce into the net despite a desperate lunge by a defender. 1-1
From that point on the visitors struggled to impose their own play and, despite continuing to pressure when they could, had instead to deal with a fast counter-attacking style with interchanging strikers never giving them much respite.
In the 27th minute Brady Smith looked like he had penetrated the Rage defence but in hesitating to ‘pull the trigger’ he was jockeyed expertly off the ball.
Kris Holbrook took the lead for Granville Rage in the 31st minute when after a header from a team-mate had cannoned off the left upright he was on the spot to steer it into the net past the hapless Coast ‘keeper. 2-1
Just before the break the scoreline was moved along to 3-1 when Fred Graham ghosted into the area from the right and slotted the ball home off a pinpoint pass.
The second half opened more evenly with first Calum Edge and then Holbrook getting into dangerous places; and then Matt Mitchell for Coast hitting a shot across the face of goal, followed by a Nathan Byrn attempt.
The Coast’s fortunes continued to sink after Brady Smith hit a corner from the left onto the left upright in the 59th minute and despite getting some chances, notably to Ben Glachan and Matt Mitchell, they just couldn’t hold possession.
In the 66th minute ‘that man’ Nenos Bobo hit a volley in the net after good one-two work by Fred Graham down the right. 4-1
Play opened right up but the Rage’s composure was at risk as they questioned decisions and thus picked up cards, breaking the flow of play.  Even Jason Holmes was at fault as he came well out of the penalty area and allowed the ball to ‘collect’ his hands.
Byrn and Mitchell worked hard down the left for Lightning but to no avail, as the home side extended their scoreline to 5-1 – with a 90 minute goal by Kris Holbrook.  The striker broke the off-side trap, and despite protests, he was free and rounded Coast gloveman Barrett on the left to steer the ball into the net from an acute angle.
The win moved Rage very clearly into second place on the ladder, with a game in hand over the Rams, and they will continue to have Parramatta looking over their shoulder.
Coast struggle to get points consistently despite playing some nice one-touch football and need to plug their weaknesses if they want to end the two-horse race with Fraser Park for the wooden spoon.
After the game a surprisingly chirpy Central Coast coach Peter Preston was very honest in his assessments. “We struggled with [their] three up front, and clearly they were dominant”, he stated.
“We did have our chances though, and they just weren’t taken”. “We will have to work on that!” He did believe that earlier in the game things could have been different, as “three of the goals looked off-side” and “its hard to keep going after that”, he added.
He conceded however that that Rage were just too experienced.  A view share by this chilled but entertained correspondent.
Match Stats
Granville Rage 5 (Kris Holbrook 31′, 90′, Nenos Bobo 18′, 66′, Fred Graham 44′ )
Central Coast Lightning 1 (Ben Glachan 4′ )
Date: Saturday 12 June 2010 (7:30pm)
Ground: FS Garside Park, Granville
Crowd: 67
Referee: James Barnes
Assistants: Michael Robertson, Robert Warry
Granville Rage: 1. Jason Holmes (gk), 2, Jonathon Ekehov, 5, Mauricio Islas (19. A. Bakmaz +74′), 7, David Harding, 8,. Phillip Pyliotis, 9. Kris Holbrook, 10. Fred Graham (21. K. Appiah-Kubi +81′), 11. Nenos Bobo, 16. Calum Edge, 17. Nathan Rivera, 18. Pasqualino Cappuccio
Subs not used: 22. Craig Morley (rgk)
Yellow Cards: Pasqualino Cappuccio 83′, Jason Holmes 87′
Central Coast Lightning: 1. Josh Barrett (gk), 2. Paul McGinley (7. Keenan Crum +74′), 3. Jamie Lobb, 4. Darren Cooper (8. Alex Burrell +84′), 6. Matt Mitchell, 9. Brady Smith, 10. Nathan Byrn, 12 Graham Troope, 13. Scott McGinley (11. Tim Knight +84′), 15. Ben Glachan
Subs not used: 5. Aemon Akarmarmoi, 36. Jake Purches (rgk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Grade 20:  Granville Rage 0 – Central Coast Lighnting 1
Rest of the Super League matches
Sydney University  0 –  Dulwich Hill 1 (Tony Faria 31′ )
In a closely contested game it was a first half-half strike by the livewire Tony Faria that proved the only difference and earned Dulwich Hill the three points. Dully did themelves a lot of good with this win, on top of picking up a point last week away. Edging into the play off zone margins, and overtaking the ‘students’ in doing so, they will draw confidence from the game before facing a bigger test next weekend.  Sydney University are falling off the pace a bit and coach John Caruana will be working hard with his team this week in training.
Macarthur Rams  3 (Sam Messam 69′, 73′, Craig Cooley 81 )-  Fraser Park 0
The momentum of the Rams, as identified as a key focus by coach Claudio Canosa, certainly continues with this solid win and they keep presure on the top two.
Fraser Park, after making the long trip to the south west were well organsied and did well to hold the home side for 68 minutes but once the flood-gates opened they had no answer. Sam Messam’s brace moves him up into leading scorer after round 13 and captain Craig Cooley bagged his first for the season. 
Fraser Park will have to back up next Tuesday night for their washed out round 11 game versus Mt Druitt Town.
St George Saints  1 (Ivo De Jesus 94′ pen )- Parramatta Eagles  3 (S Ardle 49′, M Clowes 83′ )
Who can catch the Eagles? Well the Saints may well have had thoughts in that direction, especially at home, but after going two goals down, one in each half to Parramatta’s Shayne Ardel and stalwart Matthew Clowes, they could only muster a stoppage time consolation through the penalty spot by Ivo De Jesus.
FC Bossy Liverpool  2 (Alex Asanovic 38′, E Popal 43′ ) –  Spirit FC 1 (Tim Simpson 86′ )
Spirit had another let-down after success in the McDonalds Cup widweek, going down again to FC Bossy, and only getting a late consolation goal. 
With two games in hand this moves FC Bossy back into contention for the business end of the table. It also means Spirit FC have now lost two games in  arow against close rivals.
This is always a tough encounter and it wasn’t until the 38th minute that FC Bossy got a lead through Alex Asanovic, and 5 minutes later extended the lead. Tim Simpson grabbed a late consolation goal.
Northern Tigers  6(Paul Davies 13′ pen, Tom Spencer 27′, Park Sung-yun 35, 73′, Max Glanville 77′, Brendan Salameh 88′ ) –  Mt Druitt Town Rangers 2 (Chris Lima 3′, Luciano Berbis 22′ )
After last weekend’s scoreless draw for Northern Tigers at Mills Park, Asquith, this was a goal-fest, adding greatly to the tally between the sides – having scored 12 goals in two clashes.
Rangers defender Chris Lima shocked the home side with a goal in the 3rd minute before an early penalty taken by Paul Davies set Tigers back on track. Luciano Berbis came back with an answer for Town which was quickly met by one from Tom Spencer.
Tricky Korean Park Sung-yun grabbed a quick brace in both halves to settle the matter, but two more late goals by the Tigers took it well beyond reach of the visitors. Tigers leap up the table into fourth.
Rangers will have to now back up Tuesday night for their washed-out round 11 game.
Top scorers (to R13):
Messam, Sam               Macarthur Rams                      12
Gough, Ben                  Spirit FC                                   10
Ardel, Shayne               Parramatta Eagles                     7
Bobo, Nenos                Granville Rage                           7
Cappuccio, Pat             Granville Rage                           7
Soares, Christian           Sydney University                     7
Holbrook, Kris               Granville Rage                           6
Lucas, Jay                    Dulwich Hill                               6
Maekawa, Ryo               St George (ex)              6
Simmonds, Michael       Northern Tigers                          6
Faria, Tony                    Dulwich Hill                               6

By Chris Dunkerley