Dominant Blacktown City denied victory by gutsy Parramatta FC


Incessant rain throughout the 90? minutes made conditions difficult for both sides, though Parramatta FC and Blacktown City certainly did go out from the opening whistle to put on a good show.
Mitchell Duke?s go-ahead goal for Blacktown City midway through the second-half was cancelled out by Chris Camilleri?s penalty 12? minutes from the end, in a match that saw Blacktown City hit the woodwork three times, along with a number of chances denied by some last-ditch Parramatta FC defending.
Patrick Gatt took to the field for Blacktown City against his former club, meanwhile Anthony Costa retained his spot in goal for Parramatta FC following last weekend?s loss on the South Coast.
Travis Major returned to the starting line-up for the visitors and he was his usual lively self from the opening whistle, beating his marker down the right-flank before delivering a pin-point cross onto the head of Luke Roodenburg at the back post. The Blacktown City captain got in behind the ball well, though from a tight angle failed to beat Anthony Costa in the Parramatta FC goal.
Blacktown City kept their foot down on the accelerator in the early stages with Milorad Simonovic and Roodenburg pulling the strings out of midfielder. The duo combined to release first Major, then Mitchell Duke, down the right-flank, though both deliveries into the penalty-area failed to find a teammate.
On 7? minutes, Roodenburg returned the favour to Major as his cross from the left-flank was headed against the up-right by the young Blacktown City midfielder.
Parramatta FC?s first forward foray arrived on 10? minutes via the feet of Bryan Soane. The midfielder created the yard of space in midfield to release Almir Dizdaric, though the Blacktown City defence was more than ready to clear their lines and thwart the home side?s effort.
Kain Rastall got the visitors forward at the other end as he released Simonovic on goal. The midfielder?s shot on the turn had Costa back peddling, though the ball finished well-wide of goal.
Fabien Iacovelli got his first look on goal in the 15? minute as he latched onto Ben Delicata?s cross from the left. Iacovelli?s shot on the turn was clean, though lacked accuracy as the ball finished wide.
Parramatta FC were almost made to pay for a lapse in concentration inside their own penalty-area. A loose ball fell to the feet of Roodenburg, though the home-side managed to throw bodies behind the ball and clear the ball to safety.
At the other end, the home side gained some confidence in the final third, stringing some positive passes out of midfield for the front pairing of Dizdaric and Kataiba Elrich. The latter, with space to turn inside the penalty-area on 17? minutes, forced David Bradasevic into a good save down to his right.
Blacktown City used the weather to their advantage in the 20? minute as Bradasevic?s long goalkick got in behind the Parramatta FC defence, courtesy of some assistance from the wet surface and strong wind. The searching ball released Roodenburg, who with a lunging effort, managed to chip the oncoming Anthony Costa, though the ball carried over the crossbar.
The visitors nearly opened the scoring in the 22? minute from a rehearsed move. A short corner from the right cleverly opened some space for Simonovic on the byline. The experienced midfielder cut back a fierce drive across goal into the path of Major who drove first-time on goal, denied only by Anthony Costa?s left-hand post.
Chris Camilleri had the Parramatta FC supporters on their feet moments later with a well hit free-kick from outside the penalty-area. With the goalkeeper seemingly beaten, the ball failed to dip enough, instead finishing inches over the crossbar.
Travis Major carved out yet another goalscoring opportunity just after the half-hour mark from a very promising position. A loose clearance by the Parramatta FC defence saw the ball fall into the path of Major who took his time to place his powerful effort, though a strong deflection by a defender sent the ball behind for a corner.
At the other end, Bryan Soane replied forcing Bradasevic into another save down low in the 36? minute ? the midfielder?s first-time effort lacked the power to really challenge the visiting shot-stopper.
The home side closed the half on the front foot as Chris Camilleri showed his composure, and good vision, with a sensational searching ball from deep into the path of Iacovelli. The Parramatta FC left winger played a first time cross into the path of Dizdaric, though the striker was denied by some desperate Blacktown City defending.
Early exchanges after the re-start occurred in the middle of the park as both sides failed to gain any ascendency in the attacking third. The visitors, via Travis Major, managed to breach the Parramatta FC defensive line first, though his cross from the right failed to find the head of Mitchell Duke in the penalty-area.
Parramatta FC replied via the feet of Camilleri, though the midfielder?s attempted volley with very little space around him on the edge of the penalty-area failed to cause any concern for Bradasevic and his defence.
Blacktown City were denied again by the upright in the 69? minute as Tyler Simpson?s looping header across goal smashed against the post. Simpson beat the offside trap and latched onto Michael Brown?s centre, though the post again came to the aid of the home side.
Moments later, Simonovic was denied an almost certain goal inside the penalty-area. The Blacktown City midfielder lined up his effort, though some exceptional defending by Karim Reda ? who was instrumental for the home side today ? thwarted another chance.
Parramatta FC?s desperate defending failed to save the side in the 71? minute as the visitors did find their goal. A cross from the left fell into the path of Mitchell Duke at the back post as the striker picked his spot with a diagonal effort driven across Anthony Costa and inside the shot-stopper?s right-hand post.
Parramatta FC immediately switched attentions to getting forward, and Iacovelli got in behind the defence.  With the close attention of Patrick Gatt, and the oncoming Bradasevic, Iacovelli toe-poked his effort wide of goal.
The home side?s perseverance reaped reward in the 76? minute as Kataiba Elrich?s slalom effort inside the penalty-area was cut short by a mistimed challenge by the Blacktown City defence. Chris Camilleri stepped up to take the spot-kick and coolly converted past Bradasevic to restore parity.
Chances were created at both ends in the closing 10? minutes, though the persistent rain did make ball control difficult for both sets of players.
Blacktown City?s best efforts arrived via the right-flank, though the final cross into the penalty-area failed to pick out a player.
Michael Brown nearly stole all the headlines with a long-range effort forcing Costa into a good save. Brown was very consistent for the visitors throughout the 90? minutes, the midfielder full of running all over the park.
Travis Major carved out a final chance in the 90? minute following some trickery on the edge of the penalty-area. Major beat his marker and delivered a cut-back effort across the face of goal, though no teammate was available for the finish.
Deep into injury-time, Major again was the provider ? this time picking out Biddle ? who stung the palms of Costa with a vicious strike, though the resulting effort finished wide.
Following referee Kris Griffiths-Jones? full-time whistle, Parramatta FC coach Brian Dene was extremely happy with the final result:
?We were up against it, they dominated the match hit the post numerous times and we have managed to come out of the match with a point so I am very happy,? Dene explained.
?We?ve picked up points against Bonnyrigg and Blacktown City now, which is great, and we really need to pick up as many points possible early in the season, so I am really happy with the start we have made.
?Today was difficult, we were really up against it in the first 30? minutes as they (Blacktown City) dominated us. I thought though that when we did get the ball and play it out from the back that we did get forward and created a few chances.?
One of the home side?s stand out players was youngster Karim Reda, who despite his young 19-years of age played like a true ?veteran?, displaying composure and finesse well and truly beyond his young years:
?Karim is a great young lad who showed he can mix it with the big boys and I am very happy with his efforts. He is still young, though this is a club that likes to promote young players and give them a real springboard in the football world,? ended Dene.
Blacktown City FC coach Mark Crittenden was visibly disappointed that his side returns to Lily Homes with only a point to show for today?s performance:
?Much better performance today, very happy with the intensity levels shown by the boys, though the disappointed is really big considering all the chances we created.
?We did dominate throughout the match, despite the conditions, and we still created the chances to score.
?I don?t believe they (Parramatta FC) really created any good goalscoring opportunities, though they did enough to salvage a point.
?I am disappointed we conceded the penalty? We dropped off the pace a little, and gave them the look in, which cost us the three-points.
?With Roodenburg leaving the field, we did lose his leadership out there, and that is where the penalty, and their goal, arrived.
?We?ll now look to next weekend against A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt and we?ll look to improve further on the performance today,? Crittenden ended.
In the Grade-20 division, Parramatta FC secured maximum points with a very hard fought 1-0 win over Blacktown City FC.
Match Stats
Parramatta FC 1 (Chris Camilleri (pen) 78?)
Blacktown City FC 1 (Mitchell Duke 71?)
Sunday 10th April, 2011
Melita Stadium, South Granville
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referees: Sarah Ho and Christian Mehl
Fourth Official: Steve Lucas
Crowd: 400 Approx.
Parramatta FC: 21.Anthony Costa; 3.Daniel Borg, 6.Thomas Wilson, 8.Bryan Soane (20.Evangelos Petratos 90?+2?), 9.Kataiba Elrich, 10.Chris Camilleri, 11.Peter Crevani, 13.Karim Reda, 14.Fabien Iacovelli, 15. Ben Delicata (C) (16.Jonathan Castano-Acero 66?), 18.Almir Dizdaric (7.Shayne Ardle 66?)
Substitutes Not Used: 23.Tomislav Romic
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Blacktown City FC: 40.David Bradasevic; 2.Tyler Simpson, 3.Mitchell Duke, 4.Travis Major, 5.Patrick Gatt, 7.Luke Roodenburg (C) (16.Adam Biddle 73?), 9.Kain Rastall, 11.Milorad Simonovic (12.Sean Mitchell 83?), 13.Matt Lewis, 14.Michael Brown, 17.Adam Jenner
Substitutes Not Used: 6.Matthew Pressello, 1.Symon Jaeger
Yellow Cards: Travis Major 24?, Sean Mitchell 84?  
Red Cards: Nil  
Player Ratings:
3 ? Travis Major (BCFC)
2 ? Michael Brown (BCFC)
1 ? Karim Reda (PFC)
-By Joseph Carlucci