Bonnyrigg brought back down to earth by hungry Bankstown


Nathan Elasi?s second-half equaliser for Bonnyrigg appeared to have salvaged a draw for the NSW Premier League leaders after Richard Luksic had headed Bankstown into an early lead, though the home team responded on 84? minutes when George Nohra scored to seal the dramatic victory.
A physical opening period set the tone for the match, with neither team holding back in their tackles as both sides chased an early advantage.
Bankstown won the early battle by opening the scoring on 11? minutes when Richard Luksic steered his powerful header into the back of the net from Robert Mileski?s free-kick.
Bradley Boardman looked to pull a goal back minutes later, however his 25-yard drive struck the frame of the goal and bounced clear with Zlatko Joseski well beaten in the Bankstown.
Mileski?s ability from the set piece caused headaches for Bonnyrigg throughout the match, and he was unlucky to see his 30-yard free-kick fly inches over Ali Akbal?s crossbar on the half hour mark.
Jamie Mcmaster spurned a great opportunity on 42? minutes when he volleyed straight at Joseski after receiving a pinpoint cross from Shane Webb.
Bankstown could have double their advantage just before half-time when Steve Liavas burst into space on the edge of the box; however his shot was blocked by the well-positioned Akbal to keep Bonnyrigg in the contest.
Liavias was denied once again early in the second period, this time by the crossbar, after Mileski had laid the ball off for the midfielder on the edge of the box.
Bonnyrigg stepped up their game in the second-half, and only determined defending from Bankstown prevented Boardman from grabbing an equaliser after receiving Daniel Severino?s delicate chip into the box.
Boardman missed another chance shortly after when he rounded Joseski only to see his shot deflected off Ali Haydar and cleared to safety.
Bonnyrigg finally scored the equalising goal on 73? minutes when Boardman headed Severino?s brilliant corner over Joseski for Elasi to head into an open goal from point-blank range.
The White Eagles should have hit the lead minutes later when Boardman rounded Joseski for a second time and crossed for the unmarked Chris Tadrosse, who headed wide from the penalty spot with the open goal at his mercy.
The league leaders were made to rue the miss on 84? minutes William Angel held off the challenge of Milan Zoric to burst into box from the left wing. Angel then cut back for Nohra to slot the ball past Akbal and restore Bankstown?s lead, much to the delight of the home fans.
McMaster looked to have set up a late equaliser for Bonnyrigg when he darted through the Bankstown defence and set up Elasi for the simplest of finishes, however the linesman correctly flagged for offside to disallow the goal and ensure the home team held onto their hard-fought victory.
Bankstown coach Peter Tsekenis was notably happy with the victory and put the result down to the hard work of his squad:
?The boys lifted, were positive, really chased the result, and we got it,? said Tsekenis.
?I think it was well deserved and I?m proud of the boys.?
With five rounds remaining Tsekenis believes Bankstown have the ability to keep up their momentum and qualify for the finals.
?I?m confident they can beat anyone on their day, it?s just a matter of consistency and taking their chances,? said Tsekenis.
?Mathematically we?re right in there,? Tsekenis added.
Bonnyrigg coach Brian Brown, who holds onto top spot despite the loss, credited his opposition with a well earned victory:
?I thought Bankstown thoroughly deserved to get the victory, they outfought and outbattled us,? said Brown.
?From the start they were the more physical team and seemed to want the game more than we did.?
Brown was notably disappointed with his team?s performance, especially at this defining stage of the season.
?There was an opportunity for us to go a bit further away from everyone else (in the table),? said Brown.
?Five games left and every match is going to be tough as this, so if our boys aren?t up for it we?re going to have problems.?
?Until today I was pretty comfortable, we were going well, however this is tough place to come,? Brown concluded.
In the afternoon?s early Grade-20 fixture, Bankstown City Lions secured a 2-0 victory over Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
Match Stats
Bankstown City FC 2 (Richard Luksic 11?, George Nohra 84?)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Nathan Elasi 73?)
Sunday, June 20th, 2010
Jensen Park, Sefton
Referee: Gerard Parsons
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields and Bachar Alam
Fourth Official: Nicholas Tragousti
Crowd: 1000 Approx.
Bankstown City FC: 1.Zlatko Joseski; 2.Scott Thomas, 3.Shannon Burgin, 5.Richard Luksic, 7.Steve Liavias (9.Hassan Akil 60?), 8.George Nohra, 10.Robert Mileski, 12.Bill Tsanidis, 18.William Angel (99.Chris Godoy Bascur 89?), 23.Tallen Martin (20.Hassan Salameh 72?), 80.Ali Haydar
Substitutes Not Used: 26.Ibrahim Haydar, A.Mercuri
Yellow Cards: Tallen Martin 6?, Shannon Burgin 33?, Ali Haydar 57?
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Ali Akbal; 2.Paul Cotte, 20.Wade Oostendorp, 12.Chris Tadrosse, 7.Nikola Zonjic (5.Milan Zoric 53?), 8.Milorad Simonovic, 9.Bradley Boardman, 10.Daniel Severino, 11.Shane Webb, 17.David Gullo (15.Nathan Elasi 53?), 19.Jamie McMaster
Substitutes Not Used: 90.Nenad Vekic, 14.Kengo Takushima, 3.Graeme Forbes
Yellow Cards: David Gullo 15?, Jamie McMaster 38?
Red Cards: Nil
-By Michael Shoolman