New boys Parramatta FC denied famous victory at the death


Leading 2-1 with less than 60?? seconds of injury time remaining, the defending Premiers scored a last ditch equaliser via the feet of Nathan Elasi to ensure Bonnyrigg would return home with at least one-point.
Played for large spells inside the Parramatta FC defensive half, Bonnyrigg White Eagles were constantly frustrated by the well-organised rearguard set out by Parramatta FC coach, Brian Dene.
Fabien Iacovelli was the hero with a brace for the home-side, meanwhile Brad Boardman opened his account for the season with a well taken goal, before Elasi?s last ditch effort denied the passionate Parramatta FC supporters what would have been a very memorable afternoon at Melita Stadium.
The visitors carved out the first real opening as Elasi centred for Wely Al-Rikaby in the centre of the penalty-area, though the new White Eagles? signing failed to get a shot on target.
Despite Bonnyrigg?s powerful start in their opponent?s half, Parramatta FC secured some decent possession via the feet of captain Ben Delicata in the middle of the park. Delicata?s composure and quick feet allowed his team mates to get forward, though the White Eagles defensive line, marshaled expertly by Wade Oostendorp, left very little for the likes of Almir Dizdaric and Kutaiba Elrich.
On 17? minutes, a fine overlapping run by Daniel Severino down the left opened up space for a delivery to Nikola Zonjic at the back post. Zonjic?s first-time header back across goal was destined for Brad Boardman, though some scrambling defence by the home-side thwarted the opportunity.
1? minute later, Elasi picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty-area and shot first-time only inches over Tom Romic?s goal.
Against the run of play, Parramatta FC found the opening goal in the 18? minute. A poor back pass by Chris Tadrosse was intercepted by Dizdaric who in-turn laid the ball off to Bryan Soane. The midfielder?s first time cross, from the right, towards the back post picked out Fabien Iacovelli who finished past Phil Zabaks with aplomb for the opener.
Bonnyrigg regained the monopoly on possession immediately following the goal as Ben Spruce nearly caught Romic off his goal-line with a shot-turn-cross from the left-flank only just clearing the crossbar.
Romic was quick off his line moments later to thwart Brad Boardman?s attempted chipped? effort inside the penalty-area, the shot-stopper showed composure to deny the burly striker.
Boardman did get one over Romic in the 32? minute though, as the home-side failed to deal with Nathan Elasi?s cut-back effort from the right-flank. Boardman was on-hand to pick up the scraps and drill the ball into the back of the net from the penalty-spot mark with a powerful left-foot drive.
The goal was certainly deserved by Bonnyrigg who called most of the shots with a mountain of possession, though the home-side regained the lead with their next forward foray. Iacovelli latched onto a fine searching ball out of midfield to go one-on-one with Phil Zabaks. Despite the close attention of David Vrankovic, Iacovelli maintained his composure to nicely place his effort into the back of the net.
Bonnyrigg kept their foot on the accelerator as Boardman laid the ball off to Severino first, then Elasi, only for the scrambling Parramatta FC defence to clear their lines with some desperate defending.
Tom Romic ensured Parramatta FC would go in at the break with their one-goal lead intact as he was lightning quick off his line to claim the ball at Elasi?s feet with a brave dive to deny the White Eagles striker.
The last play of the half almost saw Parramatta FC add a third goal as Dizdaric?s lunging attempt at Zabak?s feet saw the goalkeeper?s clearance ricochet off the striker and over the crossbar.
After the break, Parramatta FC opened up a little and pushed men forward in search of a third goal. Bryan Soane tried his luck with a low driven effort inside the penalty-area, though his effort finished on the wrong side of Phil Zabak?s left up-right.
Nathan Elasi tried to get some momentum going for his side as he cleverly cut in from the right-flank onto his left foot. Despite creating the space, the striker blasted his effort well wide of the target.
In the 55? minute, Elasi again got forward with displaying some silky touches to get into a promising position. From an acute angle, with only the goalkeeper to beat, Elasi failed to hit the target with his powerful effort finishing over the crossbar.
The home-side continued to frustrate the White Eagles with some very compact defending. The likes of George Strogylos kept the defensive line in order, with Delicata and Chris Camilleri scrambling in midfield to keep Zonjic and Severino from playing for the visitors.
In the 62? minute, Severino cleverly danced off the challenge of a defender to play a one-two with Al-Rikaby, though a return pass inside the Parramatta FC penalty-area was not forthcoming and the chance amounted to nothing.
The home-side responded immediately with a searching ball from Delicata thrusted forward towards Dizdaric. The lanky striker used his pace to chase the ball down, though Zabaks was first on the scene, clearing his lines neatly to send the White Eagles on the attack.
Bonnyrigg thought they had found their second equaliser of the afternoon in the 67? minute when Elasi?s low-driven effort was parried by Romic into the path of Boardman. The striker?s first-time blast on goal was blocked by no less than two defenders, putting their bodies on the line to keep their lead intact.
Kutaiba Elrich was denied at point-blank with a fine save by Zabaks following a Parramattta counterattack, though the home-side?s clearest chance to put the result beyond Bonnyrigg?s reach arrived in the 76? minute via the feet of Iacovelli. On a hat-trick, Iacovelli received an inviting square ball across the face of goal. With only Zabaks to beat, Iacovelli tentatively hit his effort over the crossbar, much to the disbelief of the vocal Parramatta FC supporters.
In a last ditch attempt, Bonnyrigg White Eagles found their equaliser. A short corner from the left was poorly dealt with, as the resulting ball left fell into the path of Elasi who stabbed the ball into the back of the net for a share of the spoils.
Following the match, Parramatta FC coach Brian Dene expressed his disappointment at conceding a late goal:
?The boys are heartbroken in the dressing rooms,? Dene stated.
?We knew our job at hand was going to be a tough one, so we set out to work as hard for each other as possible. We kept things tight at the back, and really frustrated them as we didn?t let them play their free-flowing game.
?I am very happy with the attitude and performance of the team, even though we did panic a little in the final minutes, which led to the equalising goal,? ended Dene.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles coach Brian Brown was relieved at securing the point, though is quietly confident his side will be back in the winner?s circle very soon.
?A very tough match today, we knew it was going to be.
?The surface was very difficult for our boys, and we also needed to reshuffle our lines with a number of our key guys missing through suspensions that were carried over from last year.
?Leaving that aside, I was happy with the attitude and commitment of my players as the boys kept pushing throughout the match searching for the goal, and this is a very important sign for me.
?We did concede a slack goal, defensively speaking, though we did move the ball around and did create the chances to win the game.
?I am looking forward to next weekend?s match with A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt back on our home surface,? ended Brown.
In the Grade 20 division, Parramatta FC recorded an impressive 2-0 win with a dominant second-half display against the White Eagles.
Match Stats
Parramatta FC 2 (Fabien Iacovelli 18?, 35?)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Brad Boardman 32?, Nathan Elasi 90?+3?)
Sunday 27th March, 2011
Melita Stadium, South Granville
Referee: James Lewis
Assistant Referees: Christian Mehl and Bachar Allam
Fourth Official: Tom Klein
Crowd: 850 Approx.
Parramatta FC: 23.Tomislav Romic; 2.Nicholas McInerney, 5.George Strogylos, 6.Tom Wilson, 8.Bryan Soane, 9.Kutaiba Elrich, 10.Chris Camilleri, 11.Peter Crevani, 14.Fabien Iacovelli (7.Shayne Ardle 77?), 15.Ben Delicata (C), 18.Almir Dizdaric (20.Angelo Petratos 87?)
Substitutes Not Used: 16.Jonathan Castano-Acero, 17.A. Attaee, 21.Anthony Costa
Yellow Cards: Tomislav Romic 71?
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 99.Phil Zabaks; 3.Nikola Zonjic, 4.Wade Oostendorp, 5.Chris Tadrosse, 6.Ben Spruce (11.John Chine 77?), 7.Nathan Elasi, 9.Brad Boardman, 10.Daniel Severino, 15.Wely Al-Rikaby, 16.David Vrankovic (23.Jae Cho 83?), 17.Michael Robinson
Substitutes Not Used: 12.Aleksandar Draca, 14.Denis Jevtic, 20.Thomas Hamilton
Yellow Cards: David Vrankovic 23?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Fabien Iacovelli (PFC)
2 ? Ben Delicata (PFC)
1 ? Phil Zabaks (BWE)
-By Joseph Carlucci