IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Grade 20s Final Series Week 1 Review

Action during Grade 20 Qualification Final of 2014 IGA National Premier Leagues NSW Men between Bonnyrigg v APIA at Blacktown International Sports Park, Rooty Hill, NSW on August 24, 2014. (Photo by Gavin Leung)

Sutherland Sharks looked to be tough opposition heading into the final series after their brilliant run home, but their season has come to an end after they went down 3-0 against Blacktown City FC on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile APIA-Leichhardt Tigers FC will battle it out with Manly United FC next weekend after their 1-0 victory to Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC.

Blacktown City FC 3-0 Sutherland Sharks FC at Lambert Park

IT IS all over for Sutherland Sharks, who went down 3-0 in the first semi final to Blacktown City at Lambert Park.

The fifth placed Sharks bow out but the scoreline probably flattered fourth placed Blacktown City, who countered effectively in the second half as Sutherland threw players forward.

Sutherland started brightly without ever really testing Blacktown City goalkeeper Blake Tuxford, as the rain drove down and turned the synthetic surface into a slick billiard top.

Blacktown City grew into the match though and began to test Sutherland keeper Andrew Depta with some decent efforts in and around the area, but the Sutherland keeper repelled them with aplomb.

That is, until the 39′ minute.

A free kick from the left found John Grozdanovski unmarked and he calmly side footed past Depta on the volley to open the scoring. It was a soft goal and coach Giancarlo Maisano admitted as much in the wash-up.

The second half saw Sutherland come out firing and Kostandinos Nikas, a half time substitute, was bright and lively.

Nikas comes with great pedigree as his brother is none other than the Sharks’ first team star Panny who starred with Sutherland this year.

But Blacktown City played it cool and counter attack with relish when the opportunity presented itself.

Eoin Montford doubled their lead with 12′ minutes to go, finishing well when he made a good run inside the channel and beat Depta with ease.

Then, Blacktown City Brian Jamba scored with his first touch.

A hopeful ball down the inside left channel saw Jamba away, but that he scored owed much to the misfortune of Depta than anything else.

He slipped as he tried to come off his line, and then slipped again as he tried to regain his footing. By the time he was able to right himself, Jamba was bearing down on goal and he slid the ball home with ease.

Sutherland had no answers and so Blacktown City live to fight another day.

Blacktown City coach Ken Schembri was pleased with the performance.

"The first half was very solid. We played the ball well and it was a fairly strategically game," Schembri said.

"We were smart in the second half and we countered well. It’s a very young side and they’re doing very well, I’m very pleased."

Sutherland coach Giancarlo Maisano lamented a performance that was out of character for his side.

"Conceding a soft goal just before half time changed our game plan," he said.

"We were like rabbits caught in headlights at times. I’m pleased with the season, but not with the performance today."

Match Stats

Blacktown City FC 3 (John Grozdanovski 39′, Eoin Montford 78′, Brian Jamba 81′)

Sutherland Sharks 0

Saturday August 23, 2014

Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Referee: James Tesoriero

Assistant Referees: Craig Fisher and Danny Horstead

Blacktown City FC: 13.Blake Tuxford; 15.Marco Travaglini, 20.Joel Hardwick, 21.Sam Perre, 22.Peter Pelekanos, 23.Jonathan Grozdanovski, 24.Eoin Montford, 27.Nicola Kuleski, 30.Lewis Beumie (33.Brian Jamba), 34.Kieren Paull, 35.Daniel Araujo (32.Keenan Gibson )

Substitutes not used: 1.Thomas Heward-Belle, 25.Patrick Flottman, 31.Matt Stewart

Yellow Cards: Daniel Araujo 17′

Red Cards: Nil

Sutherland Sharks: 22.Andrew Depta; 17.Jordy Roberts, 18.Jayden Koulizakis, 26.Jarrod Benham (42.Nathan Blake), 28.Jacob Bandur, 30.Spiridion Kakavelis, 32.Jordan Hughes (33.Cameron Belle), 35.Lachlan Hughes (34.Vincent Giannini), 36.Christopher McStay (41.Kostandinos Nikas), 37.Daniel Loe, 38.Jeremy Cox

Substitutes not used: 31.Jayden McLeod

Yellow Cards: Jarrod Benham 53′, Christopher McStay 56′, Lachlan Hughes 62′, Kostandinos Nikas 65′

Red Cards: Nil

Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 0-1 APIA-Leichhardt Tigers FC at Blacktown Football Park

Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC lost to APIA-Leichhardt Tigers FC on Sunday afternoon.

Zac Ribero scored the winning goal.

-By Anneliese Scenna