Parramatta FC stun defending Champions


A single goal to Luke Grima was enough for his side to take out the match and put some impetus into their bid to get off the bottom of the table.
The first-half lacked highlights as both teams slugged it out in this battle of the west. More often than not good moves through midfield broke down in the attacking third as players failed to find their team mates because of either a poor pass or a lack of a team mate making an appropriate run.
For Parramatta, Shayne Ardle did his best to manufacture something from nothing and could have picked up a couple of goals in the first-half, whilst for the home side Mitchell Long was denied by the crossbar as Milorad Simonovic came off second best when going one-on-one with Parramatta custodian Anthony Costa.
Some early runs from Parramatta, especially by Nic McInerney, and an early shot, albeit off target (into the side netting), from Shayne Ardle, were warnings to the home side that things were not going to go all their own way in this match.
Blacktown responded through a couple of dangerous runs from Mitchell Duke and Travis Major but neither came to anything with their cutbacks from the byline easily cut out by the Parramatta defence, ably led by veteran Angelo Petratos.
In the 17? minute Parramatta was awarded a free-kick on the edge of their attacking area after Daniel Fogarty was played into space by George Strogylos but was felled by Patrick Gatt. Matthew Osman lined up the free-kick but fired it just over the crossbar.
3? minutes later, Luke Roodenberg stole the ball from his opponent and played a neat pass through to Duke on the left. Duke slowed in the penalty area and the Parramatta defence scrambled and blocked his shot comfortably.
McInerney then made a great run in the attacking third but his cross went to no one.
Again the away side had made a good run but the final pass was poor or there was no one running onto the ball, mistakes the home side would soon catch as well.
Ardle then came as close as anyone after having his first shot blocked, he pounced on the rebound and attacked the goal before shooting to the near post only for Symon Jaeger to drop to the ground quickly and deny the Parramatta flanker with a great save.
4? minutes later a Major free-kick was flicked on by Duke at the near post to Mitchell Long who turned on the ball and looped the ball goalwards, only for the ball to drop on to the top of the crossbar.
Then Milorad Simonovic combined with Major to set up Duke on the left only for Duke to miss hit the ball and see it go the wrong side of the far post.
Ardle again warned Blacktown by getting the ball up to the attacking half and just missing with another strike on goal before chasing the ball down once more even though most would have given up.
In the 36? minute, Blacktown were presented their best chance of the opening half when Duke set Simonovic one-on-one with the Parramatta goalkeeper. In this circumstance it was the custodian who got to the ball and the home team were denied by a great piece of goalkeeping. It was to be the best, and last clear, chance of the first-half.
38?? seconds into the second-half and Parramatta?s Daniel Fogarty found himself free inside the penalty-area on the right, but his shot went wide of the post in what looked to be the away side?s best chance of the game.
Indeed, Blacktown City went down to the other end of the park where a Duke pass just missed the feet of Roodenberg in the centre of the goal area that would have seen the home side take the lead.
Instead it was Parramatta who would hit the lead. It looked as though Luke Grima had been cordoned away from goal by his opponents when he stepped in from the byline on the left, past his markers, and chipped the ball over everybody and into the back of the net at the far corner. It was a terrific piece of skill and one that would allow the visiting supporters to believe a possible three points were attainable.
Again, Roodenberg and Duke combined for the home side in a desperate search for an equaliser, though once more the shot was off target.
Then McInerney and Grima combined well at the other end but the striker also fired the ball off target.
In the 58? minute McInerney was able to deny a Mitchell Long shot by getting his foot to the ball that was goal bound.
On the hour, Ardle demonstrated his prowess once more with a dangerous cross that neither Grima, nor Kutaiba Elrich, could get to.
Blacktown?s chances were becoming few and far between though, and their best were coming to half chances. Roodenberg nearly pounced on a ball meant for his custodian opponent, however the hance would again go begging for the home side.
However the game changed as Blacktown brought in the substitutes. Ray Miller played Long into space in the area but the Parramatta defence, so ably led by Petratos, and so well supported by Tom Wilson in his ever reliable role as the screen in midfield, was able to shut the chance down.
With 15? minutes remaining, Zac Cairncross was yellow carded for the second time in the match and it became all the more difficult for the home team to finish the clash with a numerical disadvantage.
The Parramatta side was demonstrating the strength of character needed to overcome this challenge and they even had chances to double their lead.
In the 74? minute an Elrich free-kick on the edge of the area came off the wall and was cleared away to safety.
2? minutes later Miller, Simonovic and Duke reminded their opponents the game was still alive but again neither Simonovic nor Roodenberg could make the best of the chances offered.
At the other end Ardle found himself on the left alone but his shot was well stopped by Jaeger.
The Parramatta defence became increasingly nervous and could only boot the ball up-field and back into the possession of Blacktown City. However, the team with a man down were unable to make the most of their possession.
In the 82? minute another Duke run was only dampened by him slipping as he took the shot.
On full-time Gatt nearly scored an equaliser from a free-kick but it was metres the wrong side of the far post.
For Parramatta FC?s new coach Manny Spandounakis it was a great start, but it is only the beginning.
?Today was a good win but it is only day one, there is a long road ahead but it is a great start!?
For Blacktown City FC coach Mark Crittenden it was the warning not heeded by his players that hurt him:
?I warned the boys before the match of the danger of today?s game, the situation which Parramatta find themselves in.
?We were out-enthused today, they wanted it more than us. They never get belted, in any of their games, they always compete and they competed very well against us today.?
Blacktown City FC had a much better result in the Grade-20 clash where they defeated Parramatta FC 4-1.
Match Stats
Blacktown City FC 0
Parramatta FC 1 (Grima 48?)
Lily Homes Stadium
Sunday 26th June, 2011
Referee: Nick Waldron
Assistant Referees: Christian Mehl and Nick Vander Salm
Fourth Official: Leigh Pigram
Blacktown City FC: 1.Symon Jaeger; 19.Zac Cairncross, 5.Patrick Gatt, 13.Matt Lewis, 16.Luke Austin, 4.Travis Major (15.Ray Miller 63?), 7.Luke Roodenberg (17.Adam Jenner 78?), 11.Milorad Simonovic, 3.Mitchell Duke, 10.Mitch Long, 14.Matt Brennan
Substitutes Not Used: 40.David Bradasevic, 6.Matt Pressello, 18.Bruno Pivato
Yellow Cards: Zac Cairncross 31?, 75?
Red Cards: Zac Cairncross 75?
Parramatta FC: 21.Anthony Costa; 2.Nicholas McInerney, 4.Daniel Fogarty 5.George Strogylos, 6.Tom Wilson, 7.Shayne Ardle (8.Bryan Soane 82?), 9.Kutaiba Elrich (18.Almir Dizdaric 85?), 17.Matthew Osman, 20.Evangelos Petratos, 28.Ben Jurman, 33.Luke Grima (11.Peter Crevani 90?)
Substitutes Not Used: 11.Peter Crevani, 12.Marc O?Donell, 23.Tomislav Romic
Yellow Cards: Luke Grima 34?, Nic McInerney 45?, Daniel Fogarty 73?
Red Cards: Nil
-By Stuart Jones