Parramatta FC clinch point at Blacktown


Parramatta FC has secured a hard-earned PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition point with a 2-2 draw against Blacktown City at Lily’s Football Centre.

The visitors clung on for the draw after captain Ibrahim Haydar headed an equaliser only minutes into the second half.

It was a frustrating result for Blacktown who fought back after conceding an early goal to Jordan Crighton thanks to strikes from Joey Gibbs and James Andrew.

Although Mark Cittenden’s side would have preferred to have gone home with a win, the result means Blacktown hold onto their unbeaten start to the season.

It was a shaky start to the match with neither Blacktown City or Parramatta settling on the ball.

Sloppy errors in the middle of the park hampered both teams early on and it wasn’t until the 10th minute for the first true chance of the match when Mitch Mallia fired wide of the post.

Blacktown started to find their footing and it led to a quality chance for Joey Gibbs who forced a diving save from Parramatta ‘keeper Ryan Norval with a well placed header.

Parramatta’s Gosue Sama wasted a gilt-edged chance in the 20th minute when he stole the ball from City defender Shayne D’Cunha before firing into the arms of shot stopper Tristan Prendegrast.

Against the run of the game Parramatta took the lead after a slick counter attack capitalised on another Blacktown defensive error.

A raking ball across the penalty area fell at the feet of winger Crighton who fired into the bottom corner of the net from just inside the box.

The home side fired straight back into action and it didn’t take long for them to find an equaliser.

Andrew’s lighting pace was too much for a scrambling Parramatta defence, and the winger latched onto a Zach Cairncross long ball before tapping the ball around the advancing keeper to set up an easy finish.

On the cusp of halftime it was Andrew again who proved to be the danger man for Blacktown.

The winger beat his marker and delivered a low ball from the byline which Gibbs managed to poke home from three yards out to give Blacktown a 2-1 lead at the break.

Parramatta returned from the interval determined to make up for conceding so late in the first stanza.

It took them only three minutes to get back to level pegging when Haydar headed home a curling set piece from Daniel Rezo.

A frantic City rushed forward in attack to regain the lead and brought on Danny Choi, a man with plenty of experience scoring key goals for Blacktown, to lead the charge.

Parramatta were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure of Blacktown’s waves of attack.

Choi went inches away from finding the back of the net in the 70th minute when he was unable to angle his header under the crossbar from Mallia’s rocketing cross.

Connor Evans tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area in the 84th minute but it was saved by Norval.

Mallia had the final chance of the match when he volleyed a curling corner kick. However, the winger sent it over the bar as Parramatta clung on for a 1-1 draw.

The result was seen as an opportunity lost for Blacktown City assistant coach Luke Roodenburg.

“We were disappointed to come away with only a draw and to concede so soon after the half time break,” he said.

“You can’t fault the boys effort but our execution was off tonight.

“We had set some targets we set for this point in the season and we felt we haven’t quite met them. We have dropped four points we feel we probably shouldn’t have.

“Next week we have Sydney Olympic and we hope to bounce back from this result and come away with all three points.”

Parramatta coach Franco Consentino was delighted with the mettle of his side to hold on against the reigning PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Champions.

“You’re always happy to take a point away from any game with Blacktown, especially away from home,’ Consentino said.

“I think we were very good in the first half and held out nerve late in the match. We played a really good game today.”

“It was disappointing to concede right on half time but we didn’t even mention it at the break. The boys did well to fight back.”

Match Stats

Blacktown City FC: 2 (Andrew 39’ Gibbs 45’)   

Parramatta FC: 2 (Crighton 30’ Haydar 48’)

Saturday, April 15 2017

Lily’s Football Stadium, Seven Hills

Referee: Tim Danaskos

Assistant Referees: Nathan Wotton & Matthew McOrist

Fourth Official: Hassan Jomaa

Blacktown City FC: 1. Tristan Prendergrast, 3. Giorgio Speranza, 4. Roberto Speranza, 6. Matthew Lewis, 8. Daniel Araujo, 9. Joey Gibbs, 10. Connor Evans, 12. James Andrew (11. Danny Choi 63’), 14. Mitchell Mallia, 15. Shayne D’Cunha, 19. Zach Cairncross

Substitutes not used: 5. Grant Lynch, 17, Lewis Beumie, 22. Yuta Konagaya

Yellow cards: Mallia 86’, R Speranza 87’

Red Cards: N/A

Parramatta FC: 1. Ryan Norval, 4. Howard Fondyke, 5. Tomislav Mijic, 8. Daniel Rezo, 9. Gosue Sama, 10. Marco Sama, 11. Ryan Johnstone, 17. Josh Gersbach (3. Chris Carboni 83’), 18. Tom Mallett, 20. Ibrahim Haydar

Substitutes not used:12. Marcus Donatiello, 14. Luke Grima, 15. Jordan Crighton, 21. Corey Finch

Yellow Cards: Sama 90’ Haydar 88’

Red Cards: N/A

Player Ratings

3 – James Andrew (BC)

2 – Ibrahim Haydar (PFC)

1 – Connor Evans (BC)

*Photo by Fiona Strachan