Sharks stumble at home to soaring Eagles


For the second time this season, the Eagles got a win over the Sharks, this time coming from behind twice to secure a 3-2 win.
Aaron Peterson came close for the Eagles in the 2? minute when receiving the ball on the left and firing across the face of Nathan Denham and wide of the far post.
Andy Matloub wasn?t far away for the visitors in the 10? minute but in the swirling wind was unable to make decent contact with the ball that eventually ran away for a goal-kick as the Eagles were piling on the pressure.
Sutherland responded in the 14? minute when Panni Nikas took a free-kick that whistled narrowly over the crossbar, even though goalkeeper Matthew Nash probably had covered.
The reaction was immediate as Klim Gjoreski needed to clear off the line in a madhouse goalmouth scramble, not once but twice as the Sharks were forced to hold on but went straight up the other end to force a corner.
Parramatta were playing out from the back but not averse to slipping the long ball over the top and it was paying dividends in that they were creating chances.
The visitors were caught out in the 24? minute when Nikas went on a solo run and unleashed a shot that Nash was only able to parry with Gjoreski following up. The young left sided midfielder fired home off a defender from an acute angle to give the Sharks the lead.
At the other end, Akiyoshi Saito warmed the hands of Nathan Denham with the Eagles playing controlled football and, with more than an hour to play, cool heads were being shown by Lee Sterrey?s men that earlier in the season wasn?t so apparent.
Nicholas Napoli made way for Luke Grima in the 35? minute as Sterrey rang the changes. The striker appeared none too happy about the decision, and they could count themselves lucky to not be further behind when Hayden Morton was alone in the box but headed way over the bar with only Nash to beat.
With the rain coming down in sheets and playing against the gusting winds, Parramatta were making the Sharks work hard for every ball although the home side looked by far the more comfortable on the park.
Yianni Fragogiannis let fly for the home side when he slipped the ball from Nikas from a free-kick from fully 35-yards out that was straight at Nash as Sutherland tried their luck from distance.
There were plenty of positives to take for both sides who were battling the often appalling conditions as well as each other in a very entertaining 45? minutes with the promise of more to come.
Wandi Jajaw replaced the Eagles number 9 Aaron Peterson at the break as the visitors looked to use the wind to their advantage in the second period and put away some of the chances their first-half play had produced.
Sutherland thought they had doubled the lead in the 51? minute when Chris Price looked to have beaten Nash to the ball as it bobbled over the line only for the goal to be wiped for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Sharks captain George Souris gave away a free-kick on the left-hand side of the box that was floated over to the back stick that amounted to yet more subdued goalmouth action but no end result for the Eagles as the rain continued to pour down.
A defensive mix-up between Souris and Denham saw Parramatta draw level when Luke Grima seized upon the chance to put the ball away in the 57? minute, and once again it was game on.
For both it was now a matter of desperation, particularly for Sutherland as they needed the points if they were to realise the dream of finals football but with many players quiet on the night it was a tough uphill battle with much credit going to Parramatta for making it so.
The best move of the game came in the 63? minute when Nikas played the ball out wide left to Gjoreski who centred for Chris Price who squandered the opportunity from right in-front.
Nick Tsattalios sent over a cross from the right as Sutherland upped the ante but Matt Bailey, having a much quieter match than usual, sent his diving header wide of the mark.
Nash was out sharply to snuff out the danger when Bailey was put through on goal but needed two attempts to gather as the Sharks forced Parramatta to defend deeper into their own half and hit on the break.
However, the Eagles took the lead when Akiyoshi Saito latched onto a poor clearance and rifled a left-footed shot past Denham with 77? minutes on the clock, though the lead lasted less than a minute when Panni Nikas got the merest of touches to steer the ball past Nash and lock up the scores once more.
This Parramatta side is made of stern stuff in recent weeks and regained the lead through a Daniel Rezo free-kick that left Denham no chance to leave the Sharks playing catch-up football for the second time in the space of 5? minutes.
Sharks coach Robbie Stanton stated afterwards:
?We had control of the game for the majority of it I thought, though we didn?t utilise the wind enough in the first-half and probably needed to score twice, and in the second we became a bit complacent and paid the price for it.
?We were in total control and basically handed it to them with a couple of the goals when we switched off in the second 45? minutes but that?s football.
?Credit to them, they were hungrier and worked hard and not that I believe in luck but not much has gone their way this season.?
Lee Sterrey almost cracked a smile afterwards when adding:
?It was an arm wrestle and we knew it would be from the start.
?We knew they would have a lot of possession in certain areas and are good at bombing the quick lads down the flanks and we had to block them up with the resources at our disposal and we managed that tonight.
?Panni Nikas floats around and gets loose and we allowed that to happen once in the first-half and got punished for it so we were expecting a tough match, but during the first 45? minutes they had a lot of possession and worked it down the park well but their front third let them down a bit and that was partly through the way we choked them up a bit.
?Our release out the middle wasn?t good enough in the first period but we addressed that a little in the second and we showed what a young squad we are and how naive when after taking the lead we were immediately pegged back, but the only thing that disappointed me was the fact we dropped off in intensity in the last 15? minutes of the first-half.
?Sutherland stepped up and smelt blood in the water and already being the one up it was a nervous time for us and could have killed us off during that period.
?After the break we were able to life our intensity again and it paid off in the long run but we still have a long way to go to get where we want to be.?
Match Stats
Sutherland Sharks FC 2 (Gjoreski 24?, Nikas 77?)
Parramatta FC 3 (Grima 57?, Saito 76?, Rezo 81?)
Saturday 11th August, 2012
Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Assistant Referees: Samuel Grasso and Alex Long
Fourth Official: John Lalic
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Nathan Denham; 2.George Souris (C), 4.Yianni Fragogiannis, 5.Paul Cotte, 6.Matthew Gordon, 8.Chris Price, 10.Matt Bailey, 12.Hayden Morton, 13.Nick Tsattalios, 16.Klim Gjorseski (7.Jim Bakis 73?), 23.Panni Nikas
Substitutes Not Used: 3.Tyson Rhodes, 18.Michael Stuart, 17.Pat Savor, 22.Simon Jaeger
Yellow Cards: Souris 54, Tsattalios 87
Red Cards: Nil
Parramatta FC: 1.Matthew Nash (C); 3.Andy Matloub, 4.Domenic Trimboli, 5.Mark O?Reilly, 18.Nicholas Napoli (17.Luke Grima 35), 15.Masaki Nomoto, 7.Patrick Dixon, 8.Bryan Soane, 19.Daniel Rezo, 9.Aaron Peterson (14.Wandi Jajaw 46?) (16.David Han 82?), 10.Akiyoshi Saito
Substitutes Not Used: 12.Devante Clut, 23 Michal Sakowicz
Yellow Cards: Matloub 48?, Saito 89?, Dixon 90?
Red Cards: Nil
-By Micky Brock