Parramatta FC denied by resilient Wolves


Wollongong Wolves have recorded a priceless 1-0 victory thanks to a late Josh MacDonald goal at Sydney United Sports Centre on Saturday that all but ended Parramatta FC’s top five finals series aspirations.
The victory has helped the Wolves in their fight for survival and also served as a nice warm up to their Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 game against Hyundai A-League outfit Sydney FC on Wednesday at WIN Stadium.
It was a cagey opening to the contest as both teams kept the ball well but it was confined mostly between the midfields.
Kota Kawase produced the first effort on goal for the Wollongong Wolves but he failed to test Luke Turnbull in the Parramatta goal.
For most of the first half – it was Parramatta FC who dominated possession and the shots statistic. David Gullo snapped a shot wide in the 11th minute in a busy first half for Justin Pasfield of the Wolves.
Pasfield had to produce an acrobatic tip over the bar to deny Parramatta once again in the 14th minute before he showed his leg strength to deny an in-form Marco Sama.
Joshua MacDonald almost ghosted behind the Parramatta defense in the 29th minute but couldn’t stretch a limb to prod the ball home.
Sama was once again free in the box for Parramatta in the 37th minute but his header looped over the bar as both teams headed into the break deadlocked.
The pattern of the first half continued five minutes into the second half, as Ante Tomic squirted a free-kick wide of Pasfield’s goal.
Blade Richards was almost on the end of a neat interplay from the Parramatta side but the defender snatched at his chance and failed to get it on target.
Wollongong Wolves continued to be a danger on the counter as Ben Zucco produced a strike that was blocked for a corner. Wolves couldn’t convert but it was a warning for the Parramatta side.
Joshua MacDonald could’ve broken the deadlock in the 73rd minute but for a determined block from Joshua Symons in the box.
As the game opened up, both sides tried to find that elusive goal which would likely be the winning strike on a cold night in Sydney’s West.
Tomic found some space in the otherwise compact Wolves defense and Pasfield could only watch as he crashed the effort against the bar and out.
Parramatta’s misfortune would turn into Wollongong’s golden fortune as they put the ball in the back of the net.
It was a mistimed volley from MacDonald at the edge of the box which deflected off a defender and snuck into the goal for the 1-0 lead.
Parramatta continued to push for an equaliser into stoppage time but the Wolves stood firmly and recorded a valuable three points in their fight for survival.
Afterwards Wolves coach Jacob Timpano was happy to see his side’s effort turned into maximum points for once.
"We’ve played a lot better throughout the season and not come away with anything. We had to dig deep with a lack of numbers and an early sub made it difficult"
"It is a weight off the shoulders to pick up some points and inch to safety. The PlayStation 4 National Premier League NSW Men’s season is the most important and the Sydney FC game is a bonus for us," finished Timpano.
Timpano also remained coy on the prospect of Ronaldinho lining up for the Wolves during the week.
Parramatta FC coach Franco Consentino was disappointed not to take all three points.
"It has been the story of our season but credit to the Wolves as they all got stuck in and worked hard. The result makes it hard but we will regroup and try to finish the season off on a high,” lamented Censentino.
Match Stats
Saturday 6th August 2016
Sydney United Sports Centre
Parramatta FC: 1. TURNBULL Luke, 2. JOHNSTONE Ryan (REZO ’71), 3. RICHARDS Blade, 4. SYMONS Joshua, 6. GULLO Daniel, 7. GULLO David, 10. SAMA Marco, 11. TOMIC Ante, 17. GERSBACH Joshua, 20. HAYDAR Ibrahim and 23. TAYEBI DERAZKALA Adam
Unused Subs: 12. BOROVIKIC Tomislav, 15. CARBONI Christopher, 19, CHYMIAK Nicholas and 33. FINCH Corey
Yellow cards: David Gullo ’85 and Symons ’76

Wollongong Wolves Football Club: 1. PASFIELD Justin, 2, KAWASE Kota, 3. MADDEN Darcy, 5. BALDACCHINO James, 7. PRICE Christopher, 8. GRIFFIN Benjamin (IVANOVIC ’38), 10. STOJIC David (ORCHARD ’87) 14. MCGINN Blake (LOMBO ’76), 16. ZUCCO Ben, 18. BERNAL Nicholas and 19. MACDONALD Joshua
Unused Subs: 11. DIMOSKI Stefan and 12. COLLISON Daniel
Yellow cards: McGinn ’18, Price ’35 and MacDonald ’88
-By Justin Davies, Playstation4NPLNSW Men’s 1 reporter @ Sydney United Sports Centre