Tigers silence Jensen Park with defeat of Bankstown City


The win sets the Tigers up for a real shot at the ?top sides? as we approach the midway point of the season and the defeat of the Lions was certainly deserved, despite Bankstown City dominating different spells throughout the match.
Following Younis? early slalom effort past two defenders that resulted in a corner for the visitors, it was Bankstown City that settled first, playing with a high intensity over the opening 15? minutes. Daniel Slaveski had Tigers goalkeeper Jose Bello-Amigo ? who was a standout performer on the night ? stretching when he drove his effort inches wide of the goal following some fine build up play by Steve Liavas.
On 12? minutes, Salameh latched onto a neat through ball out of midfield before driving on goal. The striker?s effort packed a punch, though a heavy deflection made it a routine save for Bello-Amigo.
Salameh should have opened the scoring 1? minute later following a very swift Lions attack. From the opposite end of the field, Bankstown City had the Tigers stretched as Frederick Graham released Salameh through on goal. With only the goalkeeper ahead of him, the Lions number 10 failed to hit the target.
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt got moving in the 19? minute as Nicola Rizzo, Franco Parisi and Anthony Hartshorn played a splendid triangle to get forward. The Lions, playing with a lot of intensity, managed to thwart the defence with some organised defending.
Moments later, Mark Byrnes picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty-area and sent a low drive across the face of goal. The defender?s effort only just finished on the wrong side of the Zlatko Joseski?s up-right.
Bankstown City responded in the 24? minute with Graham playing a short square pass into the path of Slaveski. The midfielder took an extra touch, allowing the Tigers defenders to line up and thwart any real danger.
The Tigers? Mark Byrnes got forward again moments later ? this time via a set-piece. The defender rose highest to head goalwards though Joseski was well positioned to make a good save.
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt found their opening goal in the 30? minute as Younis was played through on goal with a tantalising through ball by Stephen Kayes. The burly striker, who will miss the next three weeks due to his upcoming wedding, kept his cool to turn his marker and unleash a pin-point effort past the oncoming Joseski and inside the post.
Bankstown City responded with a forward foray only moments later, though Graham?s shot on the turn inside the penalty-area failed to beat Bello-Amigo.
The visitors closed the half on the front foot with two positive chances. Hartshorn showed his flair with a well-timed run to the byline before squaring the ball into the penalty-area. The Tigers strikers closed in well, though failed to find a touch to guide the ball home.
Tigers captain Franco Parisi then showed his touch and trickery on the ball, cutting in from the left-flank before curling an effort on goal. Parisi?s attempt was goal bound though some lunging Bankstown City defenders got their bodies behind the ball to guard Joseski?s goal.
Despite dominating the early stages following the re-start, the home side could not transform their possession into goals. Steve Liavas? 46? minute effort across the face of goal finished inches wide of the target before Graham failed to unleash an attempt on goal following a positive counterattack.
Aman Hadid came to life moments later as he combined with Graham, Shannon Burgin and Salameh, though the Lions best efforts were constantly thwarted by a well marshalled Tigers defensive line led by John Kelso and Cole Tinkler.
The spirit of the Lions players and supporters was broken on the hour as an exceptional piece of play by the visitors brought about the Tigers second goal of the evening.
Kayes and Rizzo played a delightful exchange before releasing Michael West down the left-flank. West, under the close attention of his marker, picked his cutback into the penalty-area to perfection, as Parisi blasted his initial effort against the crossbar. With the ball still in play, Hartshorn did well to centre back across goal into the path of the Tigers captain who this time powerfully headed the ball into the back of the net.
The goal was richly deserved by the Tigers for their neat passing game out of midfield, though the side was under the pump over the closing half-hour.
The Bello-Amigo show started in the 73? minute as the Tigers shot-stopper produced a fine save down low to deny Hadid.
Salameh did find a goal in the 83? minute as he shot cleverly on the penalty-spot past an outstretched Bello-Amigo, which made the closing minutes of the match ever more nerve wracking for the Tigers bench.
David Gardiner then thought he had found the equaliser 3? minutes later as he climbed highest to head on goal, though Bello-Amigo produced another gem of a save to salvage the result.
Bello-Amigo earned his applause with another save late-on, denying Graham once more to ensure A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers three-points to set themselves up for a strong run towards finals football.
Following the match, victorious captain Franco Parisi expressed his delight at his side?s showing:
?Very happy with the win tonight, the three points were needed and I thought the boys really did lift tonight.
?During the week we were disappointed with our form. We felt as though we played like a pilot that couldn?t find the landing strip.
?Tonight however, despite them (Bankstown City) creating some good chances, we managed to remain compact and played some good football to find the goals and get the win.
Asked about Robbie Younis? absence over the coming three weeks, Parisi remains confident the Tigers players will continue to get the job done:
?Without Robbie is going to be tough, I?m not sure exactly how we will approach the next few matches, though whoever comes in to the starting team will do a great job no doubt, so we will be looking to use this win as a launching pad for the remainder of the season,? Parisi ended.
Bankstown City coach Blagoja Kuleski was disappointed with the final outcome on the night, though proud of his players? efforts.
?It isn?t the result we wanted, though I am happy with my players? efforts tonight.
?We did play some good football and we created some very good chances, even before A.P.I.A. scored tonight. If we took one of those chances before they scored, then the match would have been a different story.
?I feel sorry for my players because they did play with a lot of heart.
?In the end, I think that we lack some experience in midfield. I would like to add some more experienced midfielders to help this team, as a number of the players are very young. We will need to keep working hard in the meantime, show the same intensity like tonight and look to make less errors,? concluded Kuleski.
In the Grade-20 division, A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers sealed an impressive 3-0 victory over Bankstown City.
Match Stats
Bankstown City 1 (Hussein Salameh 83?)
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers 2 (Robbie Younis 30?, Franco Parisi 60?)
Saturday 21st May, 2011
Jenson Park, Sefton
Referee: Khodr Yaghi
Crowd: 350 Approx.
Bankstown City FC: 1.Zlatko Joseski (C); 5.David Gardiner, 6.Daniel Slaveski (14.Nathan Ristevski 64?), 7.Steve Liavas, 8.Peter Peralta, 9.Shannon Burgin (30.Suad Ameti 55?), 10.Hussein Salameh, 18.Lenox Tweneboa, 20.Frederick Graham, 21.Aman Hadid, 25.Daniel Zeleny
Substitutes Not Used: 17.Jordan Nikolovski, 2.Omar Saadi, 19.Steven Krstevski
Yellow Cards: Daniel Zeleny 35?, Frederick Graham 36?
Red Cards: Nil
A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers: 1.Jose Bello-Amigo; 2.Mark Byrnes, 3.John Kelso, 4.Cole Tinkler, 5.Michael West, 7.Stephen Kayes, 8.Anthony Hartshorn, 23.Chris James, 11.Nicola Rizzo, 9.Robbie Younis (14.Sam Messam 74?), 10.Franco Parisi (C) (16.Damir Prodanovic 90?+3?)
Substitutes Not Used: 15.Nathan Milgate, 17.Wand Jajaw, 40.Stefan Giglio,
Yellow Cards: Chris James 59?, Robbie Younis 64?, Franco Parisi 90?
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 ? Jose Bello Amigo (ALT)
2 ? Frederick Graham (BC)
1 ? Franco Parisi (ALT)
-By Joseph Carlucci