Feature Game of the Week
Bankstown City Lions v Hills Brumbies
There was plenty of action at Jensen Park on Friday night as Bankstown Lions overcame a poor start to eventually overrun the Brumbies.
Six goals, eight yellow cards and three reds gives an indication of the intensity of this match, the end result somewhat of a relief for the Lions.
It did not look pretty early on for the home side who found themselves 2-0 down inside twenty minutes. While they had the majority of the play, the Lions were unable to break down a resilient Brumbies defence. They certainly had their opportunities though, Anthony Doumanis missing one gilt edged chance, after ten minutes.
The Brumbies meanwhile looked dangerous on the break, and it was from one such attack that they took the lead. A neat through ball to Keunike Maralit saw him clear, and, keeping a cool head and composure, tucked the ball around Zlatko Joseski.
If that lead was a surprise, seven minutes later, the Brumbies doubled it. A corner was not satisfactorily cleared, and after the ball pinballed inside the area, it was finally swept home by Terry Pannowitz.
2-0 down and the Lions had the job ahead of them. They did have the ball in the net after half an hour, but only because of Gosue Sama?s handball effort. Mileski set up Chris Godoy-Bascur who failed to beat Josh Barrett and it seemed that the Lions just couldn?t score.
It was somewhat fortuitous then that they managed to pull a goal back though an own goal by Justin Ciampa. There was little either Ciampa or Barrett could do to prevent it, the ball rebounding off Ciampa and rolling gently across the line, past the wrong footed keeper.
But once they got the one, you sensed that the Lions would get another. Peter Vassilis was sharp down the left, and came close before Barrett tipped his effort onto the bar. And the intense pressure told when Mileski had the easiest of tap ins, after receiving a pass across the face of goal. The equaliser was hotly disputed by the Brumbies bench, a claim for offside being dismissed by the officials.
Bankstown Lions resumed the pressure after the break, clearly a point shared not on the agenda. Sama had a fine chance with a header, but put that wide, after a good cross from Steve Liavas. Mileski it was, though, who gained the Lions the chance for the lead. A surging run into the area saw Mileski upended, and with little argument, the referee pointed to the spot.
It was keeper against keeper, as Zlatko Joseski stepped up. There was no chance that this would be missed, the ball slamming into the net.
From here, the proceedings threatened to boilover, the temperature rising. After the first set to, the Brumbies? Russell Farrell was shown a straight red and with just twelve minutes to go, it was now an uphill task for the visitors.
The Lions almost gained another, Shannon Burgin over with a header but it was a further send off which cruelled any chance of a third Brumbies goal.
Anthony Abi-Arrage of the Brumbies and Liavas of the Lions were the recipients of the referee?s wrath. Abi-Arrage having pulled the hair of Liavas, who responded with an elbow to the face. With just two minutes to go, it was now ten v nine.
The final goal, and action, of an entertaining game, came just moments before the end. Some crisp passing by Bankstown, using the space, resulted in Burgin slotting home in time added on.
It was a composed George Nohra after the game.
?We knew it would take us about four weeks to get going?, he said.
?Last week, we knew it would be a difficult game, and the Tigers impressed, especially in the first half. But we are here to achieve and it is all good?.
For the Brumbies, it was a tough result, though Mark Abi-Arrage was proud of his team.
?We have been working hard since October and I am very proud of the side. But even with the two goal lead, it never looked safe?.
?And being down to nine, it is hard enough on this pitch with eleven?.
Bankstown Lions 4 (Justin Ciampa o.g 35?, Robert Mileski 41?, Zlatko Joseski 68? pen, Shannon Burgin 93?) v Hills Brumbies 2 (Keunike Maralit 11?, Terry Pannowitz 18?)
Friday 23 March 2012
at Jensen Park
Referee: Kevin Peddie
Assts: Alex Long and Steven Nguyen
Bankstown Lions: 1. Zlatko Joseski 4. Peter Vassilis 2. Matthew Presello 5. Richard Luksic 7. Steven Liavas 24. Domenic Hudap 6. Reuben Lagos 23. Anthony Doumanis (9. Shannon Burgin 61?) 99 Chris Godoy Bascur (22. Zac Vallorani 88?) 10. Robert Mileski 11. Gosue Sama.
Subs not used: 17. Jordan Nikolovski 3. Chris Petrovski 21. Steve Krsteski.
Yellow Cards: Gosue Sama 30?, Robert Mileski 68?, Richard Luksic 94?
Red card: Steve Liavas 88?
Coach: George Nohra and Bill Pilovski
Hills Brumbies: 1. Josh Barrett 2. Daniel Ramirez (3. Marc Gane 67?) 18. Justin Ciampa 12. Michael Noro 15. Brad Robertson 11. Anthony Abi-Arrage 6. Terry Pannowitz 10. Eros Bergamin 8. Keunike Maralit (4. Jovan Mladinovic 74?) 13. Ahmad Khan (17. Pablo Alcantara 67?) 5. Russell Farrell.
Subs not used: 21. Harrick Sinpraseuth 16. Jordan Mbakwe
Yellow Cards: Anthony Abi-Arrage 32?, Brad Robertson 35? Josh Barrett 38?, Justin Ciampa 53?, Pablo Alcantara 77?
Red cards: Russell Farrell 78?, Anthony Abi-Arrage 88?
Coach: Mark Abi-Arrage
Dulwich Hill v Mounties Wanderers
A double to Fabio Ferreira, the ex Portuguese U19 international was a highlight of Dulwich Hill?s 4-2 victory over newly promoted Mounties Wanderers. In a six goal goalfest, Ferreira put Dully in front after a rapid counter attack. A Mounties corner was quickly quelled and after a surging run by Robbie Shields, the ball was swiftly passed to Rob Morrison, whose square pass across goal gave Ferreira a simple tap in.
Shields himself doubled the lead, on thirty four minutes, scoring from an acute angle, before the goal of the night by Ferreira put Dulwich Hill three goals to the good. Another breakaway by Shields, a sweet ball to Ferreira, whose one touch control resulted in a bullet like shot into the back of the net.
Mounties Wanderers weren?t beaten though, and worked hard to bring the scores back to 3-2. A Daniel McCann flick gave Daniel Willoughy the chance to bring it back to 3-1, and then Scott Goodwin drilled home a free kick from outside the area to bring Mounties within a goal of Dully.
It was a tense final ten minutes and it wasn?t until the closing minutes that the points were safe, when Ryo Kono got Dully?s fourth.
Paul Carter was complimentary of the night?s opposition.
?We played a very good side and I can see why they went seventeen games or so last year without losing. To go 3-0 down, you could expect that a team would fold, but the Mounties fought hard to get back into it, and it wasn?t until we got the fourth, that we were safe?.
?If you are not on your game, they will get you?.
?But credit to my guys too. We showed the same fighting spirit and it is good to continue on from where we left off last season. We were a bit slow to start last year and so it is very nice to get a win and off to a good start in this?.
And while Carter acknowledged the class of Fabio Ferreira, he was quick to recognise his whole team?s effort on Saturday night.
?It was not just down to one player. We played very well as a team and the chances only come about through the effort of the whole side,? he finished.
Mounties? Glenn Lockhart was disappointed in how the goals were conceded but mindful not to be disheartened about the result.
?We gave up two goals early on and that was a little bit distressing. It knocked our confidence a bit and we had a few issues to address at half time. We had to get our composure back, and even after going three down, and then getting back to 3-2, I thought we could still win?.
?But Dulwich Hill are a class act, and well coached, and we know that stepping up a division, we have to earn respect. And Super League is a tough competition with quality players, those who have played at a high level, or young players coming through. And while in division one, you could make some mistakes and perhaps get away with it, in Super League, you will be punished?.
As far as the season goes, Lockhart has consolidation in mind.
?We want to build up the club and be competitive in Super League. We want to have a good blend of juniors and seniors, and play attractive football. We want to establish ourselves in this league firstly. If we were to make the semis, that would really be a bonus?.
Dulwich Hill 4 (Fabio Ferreira 23?, 66?, Robbie Shields 34? Ryo Kono 89?) Mounties Wanderers 2 (Daniel Willoughby 76? Scott Goodwin 79?)
Fraser Park v St George
A hatrick to Wassim Hijazi was the highlight of Fraser Park?s win over St George as the home side took all three points in a 3-2 win.
With the fixtures being reversed on Friday due to floodlight difficulties at St George Stadium, it was Fraser Park who hit the ground running, Hijazi getting on the scoresheet as early as the first minute. His pace caught out the Saints defence, though Hijazi still had some work to do, scoring from a tight angle.
St George recovered and worked towards an equaliser, and though Fraser Park keeper Michael Frost denied Sam Messam once, the tall striker drew the Saints level with a strong drive under Frost, just after the half hour.
But ten minutes after the break, Hijazi put Fraser ahead for the second time, shooting across Daniel Nash into the far corner.
Within ten minutes it was 3-1, Hijazi again to the fore, slamming in from close range.
The points looked safe, and despite a very late goal to Marwan Aman, a long range strike over Frost, it was Fraser Park who claimed a well earned victory.
?It was a tough win?, stated Fraser Park?s David Perkovic, ?but we made it tough on ourselves too, with that late goal. We really invited the pressure onto ourselves at the end.
?St George were probably in a better situation than us, with that first game under their belts. But we were very hungry to play, even more so after last week?s game was postponed?.
?Our overall performance was good, although we were a little afraid to open up, once we scored our first and we wanted to protect ourselves at the back a little bit too much. And of course, they got a very good equaliser. But we definitely dominated the second half and played some good football in patches?.
Fraser Park 3 (Wassim Hijazi 1?, 56?, 67?) v St George 2 (Sam Messam 31?, Marwan Aman 90+2?)
Sydney University v Spirit FC
Sydney University got their season off to a winning start defeating Spirit FC 2-0 with two first half goals doing the damage.
Aaron Morley, on his first team debut, notched the first with a back post header, following a corner, with eighteen minutes on the clock.
The second arrived from the spot, right before the half time whistle. Good lead up work between Matt Demetriou, Mushi Mohebbee and Jason Garrido eventually saw Garrido brought down inside the area. Mohebbee made no mistake with the spotkick.
A second half send off to Spirit?s Slaven Ljuboja didn?t help matters for the visitors but although they tried gamely, Spirit couldn?t breach the Uni backline.
?It was a bit of a battle,? said Uni?s John Calleja. ?It was a little scrappy too, especially when it fizzled out towards the end. But it is good to get the win, Uni haven?t won their first game of the season in something like four years, so to get the points is the main thing.?
?It will give us confidence, too, going into next week?s game against the Berries?.
Sydney University 2 (Aaron Morley 18?, Mushi Mohebbee 45? pen) Spirit FC 0
Macarthur Rams v Northern Tigers
It didn?t take long for Tom Spencer to get back on the scoresheet after his move back to the Tigers. Just over a week after rejoining from Blacktown Spartans, Spencer helped gain a point for Northern Tigers at Lynwood Park, his second half goal cancelling out a third minute Shannon Hankin lead.
Macarthur Rams 1 (Shannon Hankin 3?) Northern Tigers 1 (T Spencer 51?)
Granville Rage v Bankstown Berries
There were plenty of goals at Garside Park, but unfortunately for the Rage, they were all in favour of the visiting team.
Five goals went the way of the Berries with Stefan de Jesus getting on the scoresheet ten minutes in. Liam McKenna doubled the score just before half time but then a third to Alex Becerra erased any doubt where these points would end up.
John Tsironis made it 4-0 on the hour before Dimitri Zakilas got his second of the season minutes before the end.
Granville Rage 0 Bankstown Berries FC 5 (Stefan De Jesus 10?, Liam McKenna 44? Alex Becerra 57?, John Tsironis 59? Dimitri Zakilas 89?)
-By Peter Rowney