Stallions suffer setback as Sutherland storm to victory


The Sharks, under the guidance of former Marconi stalwart Robbie Stanton, had previously lost to Bonnyrigg White Eagles and were out to show the Bossley Park faithful that they had travelled from The Shire with winning intentions.
?They [Marconi] are a very, very good team and there is a reason why they have been first or thereabouts all year,? Stanton said after the game.
?They are very compact, very fast and they play good, entertaining football and we showed them respect.
?We can now maybe see a little bit of light where we can jump [up the ladder] if we can keep the wins coming.
?However, in saying that, I have set out how many points I think we need [to make the finals] and we are getting closer, but obviously injuries will play a part.
?The main thing is that I feel we are in control of where we are heading, but I am not getting carried away because there is still a lot of football to play and anything can happen,? he said philosophically.
In fact it was in the 10? minute that the visitors took the lead when Marconi lost the ball and Stephen McConalogue delightfully found Chris Price who beat a stranded James Chronopoulos in the Marconi goal with a very well placed finish.
Blake Powell almost made it two when from close range he managed to really test Chronopoulos who pulled off a neat reflex save.
However, the Sharks didn?t have to wait too long to double the lead because in the 22? minute a quickly taken free-kick made its way to McConalogue who turned quickly and fired the ball into the back of the net.
Marconi?s coach Lee Sterrey was certainly disappointed about conceding this second goal.
?The second goal tells you a story,? he said. ?We were simply not at the races in the first half.
?They [Sutherland] get a free kick 35-yards out, the striker [McConalogue] is standing on the edge of the box unmarked and unattended, so when they take it quickly to him he turns, shoots and scores. I mean that?s just laughable.?
In the 33? minute Giorgio Speranza from close range saw his shot deflected wide for a corner in what was arguably Marconi?s first real chance of the opening half.
McConalogue almost made it three when he headed over after receiving a nice cross from Paul Kohler but Marconi responded almost immediately with a goal to get back into the game.
Mitchell Mallia sent his cross across the face of goal to Laurence Braude on the other side of the pitch and when he skewed his attempt it fortuitously fell to Matthew Hall who made sure the ball ended up in the back of the net.
?We changed shape at 2-0 down ? not many coaches in this league change shape at anytime ? and went to 3-5-2 formation,? Sterrey said.
?When we started to play the ball through the midfield areas, at the right time and to the right players, we hurt them a bit.?
Mallia could have equalised for Marconi just prior to half-time but was denied by Nathan Denham and right at the death of the first period of play McConalogue flicked his header over the crossbar.
The second-half didn?t offer too much to write home about especially as Sutherland pushed players behind the ball in order to protect the valuable lead. And, with so much at stake, who could really blame them.
In the 55? minute Brenton Rhodes headed just over the crossbar and at the other end in the 69? minute McConalogue, on the end of a lovely ball from Jim Bakis, couldn?t beat an alert Chronopoulos.
The last real goal-mouth action occurred in the 89? minute and Nathan Jagelman ? a second-half substitute for the Stallions ? came very close indeed to equalising the ledger only to be denied by a brilliant save by Denham from close range after a series of near and desperate misses in front of goal.
?Its? very disappointing because we were up for the game and before the game the attitude was right around the [dressing] room,? said a disappointed Lee Sterrey.
?The two goals we gave them were absolute gifts for this level of football. If you give away two goals like that to a good team like Sutherland, then you are going to get hurt.
?Our turnover in the middle of the park was poor but, at the end of the day, the defence should be goal-side of the runners and [Chris] Price can?t just ghost in there and be goal-side of defenders and it happened several times.
?We [Marconi] chased the game and got back into it; we made plenty of clear-cut chances and had plenty of possession but didn?t do a lot with it.
?We fell on our sword because we gave them two Christmas presents and then we chased the game. You can?t give a top five side in this league a two-goal start,? Sterrey concluded.
In the Grade-20 division, Marconi Stallions defeated Sutherland Sharks 2-1. 
Match Stats
Marconi Stallions 1 (Hall 39?)
Sutherland Sharks 2 (Price 10?, McConalogue 22?)   
Saturday, June 12th, 2010
Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Referee:  Andrew Best 
Assistant Referees: Adam Coombes and Darren Richards
Fourth Official: Matthew Samson
Marconi Stallions: 22.James Chronopoulos; 2.Brenton Rhodes, 5.Adel El Jamal, 8.Alex Canak, 15.Matthew Hall, 7.Tim McGowan (9.Erick Anabalon 81?), 17.Laurence Braude (18.Jared Lum 72?), 23.Christopher Nunes, 26.Nahuel Arrarte, 31.Mitchell Mallia (34.Nathan Jagelman 72?), 42.Giorgio Speranza.
Substitutes Not Used: 21.Jose Bello-Amigo, 10.Graziano Trimboli
Yellow Cards: Speranza 32?, McGowan 47?, Arrarte 60? 
Red Cards: Nil
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Nathan Denham; 2.George Souris, 4.Michael Robinson, 6.Chris Price, 7.Jim Bakis, 8.Blake Powell, 10.Stephen McConalogue (9.Ben Vidaic 84?), 11.Ben Spruce, 12.Neil Jablonski, 14.Nick Stavroulakis, 20.Paul Kohler.
Substitutes Not Used: 24.Jack Duncan, 16.James Lawrence, 22.Yianni Fragogiannis, 31.Huseyin Jasli
Yellow Cards: Kohler 74?, Jablonski 86?
Red Cards: Nil
-By Joe Russo