Round 7 Review – PS4 NPL 3 NSW Men’s


There were some surprise results over the weekend following the completion of Round Seven of the 2017 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s competition.

League heavyweights, Rydalmere Lions and Fraser Park, shared the points in an entertaining 2-2 stalemate on Saturday night, Stanmore Hawks completed a miserable week for Dulwich Hill by winning the Arlington Oval derby 3-1, Hawkesbury City put Sydney University to the sword at Richmond on the back of four goals to Santiago Pallares Palomeque, Dunbar Rovers grabbed an important 2-0 victory at SD Raiders, St George City FA catapulted themselves to 3rd position on the ladder by overcoming Inter Lions, Gladesville Ryde Magic won on the road against the Western NSW Mariners, whilst Granville Rage grabbed back to back wins by defeating Balmain Tigers at Wentworth Park.

Rydalmere Lions – Fraser Park 2-2

The competition’s two undefeated front runners, Rydalmere Lions and Fraser Park, remain just that – undefeated – when they traded blows at Rydalmere Park on Saturday evening like prize fighters to record an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Rydalmere Lions had Ahmad Elrich, Alistair McKie and Matthew Mayora missing from the starting lineup, but showed plenty of enthusiasm and energy from the get go, eager to take the ascendancy early on.

Fraser Park suffered a setback in the 10th minute when one of their best players in recent weeks, goal keeper, Anthony Costa, landed awkwardly from attempting to take the ball from a corner, and rolled his ankle. His substitute, Chris Beccera, was called in to action, and he didn’t disappoint with some telling saves throughout.

A couple of opportunities went begging for Rydalmere in the first half hour, whilst Fraser Park looked dangerous as always from set pieces.

Russell Farrell broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute to give Rydalmere a 1-0 lead in to the half time break. The right sided defender took possession and raced down the inside right channel in the Fraser Park half, and as his team mates made runs around him, Farrell took advantage of the space that was afforded, sneaking inside the box before rifling a shot in to the roof of the net.

Fraser Park equalised minutes after the break when Tai Smith directed his header past Harrick Sinpraseuth in the Rydalmere goal, following on from a great run and cross from the left flank by Alex Euripidou.

Rydalmere were not to be denied, and restored their one goal advantage in the 70th minute, courtesy of Zac Watters, who snapped an angled shot in to the far inside netting after cutting in from the right flank.

But Fraser Park came back to equalise once again, this time in the 85th minute, when yet another Tai Smith header deflected off a Rydalmere defender this time on the way in to goal.

The 2-2 draw and subsequent point each sees both Rydalmere and Fraser remain equal first, on 16 points each and with a game in hand, with the Lions hanging on to top spot courtesy of a 2 goal better goal differential.

Dulwich Hill – Stanmore Hawks 1-3

Stanmore Hawks won the local derby at Arlington Oval on Saturday afternoon, winningntheir second match of the 2017 campaign to the tune of 3-1.

The loss completed a miserable week for Dulwich Hill, who have now lost three matches within seven days after starting the season with four consecutive victories.

Dully playmaker, Luke Giverin, was missing from the lineup with an injury picked up midweek, and his absence was felt more so during a frantic second half when Dulwich Hill were looking to drag themselves back in to the match.

Stanmore Hawks took the lead on the quarter hour mark, when Michael Toscano intercepted a stray cross field pass near the halfway line, racing away to beat Dully keeper, Michael Frost, in a one-on-one.

Nathan Bowden-Haase looked to have drawn Dully level just before the break, but his effort was ruled offside, much to the angst of the fans.

Dully’s James Townsend put the ball in to the net early in the second half, but again it was ruled off side, however the speedy flanker would not be denied, and on the hour, Townsend got on the end of a Callaghan Sharpe through pass to slip the ball under the Stanmore keeper.

With the scores locked at 1-1, Dulwich got the wind in their sails, and were looking more likely to score again, but Stanmore had other ideas, and the Hawks managed two late goals to take the points.

Lloyd Owusu was fouled on the edge of the box in the 80th minute, and Ian Hillier edged Stanmore in front courtesy of a well struck direct free kick. Michael Toscano wrapped up proceedings late on, slotting home in the 88th minute to give Stanmore Hawks a much needed 3-1 win.

Dulwich Hill remain on 12 points but drop to 4th spot on the ladder, whilst Stanmore Hawks move to six points in 12th position.

Hawkesbury City – Sydney University 6-1

Hawkesbury City made it two wins on the bounce at David Bertenshaw Field on Saturday afternoon with a resounding 6-1 victory over Sydney University.

After a mediocre start to the 2017 season, the Hawks have started to come good with the return of some missing personnel, and have moved up to 10th spot on the ladder with 7 points, and still have a couple of games in hand on teams around them.

The Hawks lead 3-0 at the break, and went on with it in the second half, with Santiago Pallares Palomeque the chief destroyer, nabbing four goals to take his season tally to seven.

Ben Gray and James Mawein grabbed the other goals for the Hawks, whilst Jeremy Butnaru scored Sydney University’s consolation.

SD Raiders – Dunbar Rovers 0-2

Dunbar Rovers grabbed an all important three points on the road and registered their second win of the competition in the process when they defeated SD Raiders 2-0 at Ernie Smith Reserve on Saturday night.

Dunbar opened the scoring as early as the 14th minute with a superbly taken goal from striker Alex Nicolosi. Nicolosi got past his marker on the right hand side of the field before  he drove in a shot from a tight angle to give the Rovers a 1-0 lead.

The SD Raiders kicked in to gear with Dylan Stivala and Daniel Bittar at the centre of their exploits, but it was to no avail as Dunbar doubled their advantage just before the half hour mark.

A long ball downfield was expertly headed on by target man, Tod Bamber, into the path of Alex Nicolosi, who raced away from the retreating Raiders’ defence to fired an unstoppable shot past the keeper, Matthew Massarotto.

Despite a frenetic second half where both teams threw some caution to the wind, Dunbar hung on for the three points, moving up to 8th spot on 8 points.

St George City FA – Inter Lions 2-0

St George City moved ominously in to 3rd position on the competition ladder with a workmanlike 2-0 victory over Inter Lions at Fraser Park on Saturday evening. 

Both sides were backing up after midweek responsibilities – St George City producing a solid display in overcoming Dully on Wednesday night, whilst Inter Lions had an arduous 120 minutes in losing their Westfield FFA Cup match to Playstation NPL 1 side, Hakoah Sydney City East.

St George City took the lead just before the break with a well worked team move on 43 minutes.

Right fullback, Sean Thomas, played the ball in to the feet of Juan Chavez, who released Sean Richardson in to space in the right flank.

Richardson’s ball in to the box was well controlled by James Spanoudakis, who took a touch before drilling a low shot in to the bottom corner to give City a 1-0 lead at half time.

Inter tried valiantly to stay in the match, and looked dangerous a number of times on the back of Daniel Fogarty’s speed in the front third, but the St George City backline stayed solid.

Alex Jovovic made it 2-0 to St George City in the 68th minute, beating a couple of Inter players across the edge of the penalty area before firing a left foot shot into bottom corner.

Despite the loss, Inter Lions remain 6th on the ladder on 9 points, whilst St George City FA climb to 3rd position on 13 points, just three shy of the top two who have a game in hand.

Western NSW Mariners – Gladesville Ryde Magic 0-1 at Proctor Park @ 7-00pm Sat

Gladesville Ryde Magic managed to take all the points on offer in a scrappy affair against the Western NSW Mariners at Proctor Park, scoring late to register a 1-0 triumph.

The playing surface was not conducive to good football, and both defences held fort in a dour first half devoid of any clear cut opportunities.

The yellow card made intermittent appearances during a second half that had some increased intensity, as both teams tried to make a fist of it.

It was Gladesville Ryde Magic who would the score the all-important winning goal, with Lachlan Harte getting on the end of a goal mouth scramble to usher the ball in to the net in the 75th minute.

Despite having flanker Heo Wookbum sent off minutes later, Magic hung on for the spoils, moving up to 11th spot on the ladder on 7 points.

Balmain Tigers – Granville Rage 1-3 

Granville Rage made it two wins on the bounce when they overcame Balmain Tigers 3-1 at Wentworth Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Rage opened up the scoring at the quarter hour mark when Tobias Elliott-Orr latched on to Patrick Gatt’s through ball, before clipping it over Balmain’s keeper, Pat Ferrara.

Balmain equalised before the break through a bullet from outside the penalty area, with Matthew Casali doing the honours, the skipper restoring parity for his team.

Granville upped the tempo in the second period, and managed to find the net on two more occasions to register a 3-1 triumph.

Daniel Bortolazzo got on the end of a ball chipped in to the Balmain penalty area to edge Granville in front, before Charbel Haddad finished off proceedings towards the end, tapping home from close range after Balmain failed to clear a Granville corner.

Balmain’s plight wasn’t helped when Raffaele Moniaci was sent from the field late on, and Granville played out time to capture a valuable three points.

Dulwich Hill v St George City FA Rescheduled Fixture

Football NSW ventured out to 5Sports at Caringbah to watch the rescheduled Round Three clash between Dulwich Hill and St George City FA.

Dulwich Hill knew that a victory in their rescheduled match against St George City last Wednesday evening would put them on top of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s competition, but a well-structured and focussed St George City produced a comprehensive display on the night to run out well deserved 3-0 winners.

Recent on field disciplinary events meant that Dulwich Hill were without David Han, Sean Burke and Phillip Reilly, but having tasted their first defeat of the season on the Saturday at the hands of Granville, they came in to the match eager to turn things around immediately.

St George City had a couple of longer term, experienced absentees, with Sam Messam out until mid-season after injuring his elbow five minutes in to Round One, whilst David Dascal won’t return in 2017 after suffering a serious knee injury.

The artificial pitch surface at 5Sports at Caringbah provided a great surface to play football on, although it took some adjusting given the rain that had fallen prior to and throughout the evening.

Dulwich Hill had a great opportunity to open proceedings as early as the 10th minute. A cross field diagonal ball was brought down by Vic Koutsoufis on the right side of the St George penalty area, and he cut the ball back into the path of on the oncoming Luke Giverin.

Giverin did everything right, cracking a low shot first time with the instep, but St George keeper, Marko Bozic, responded by throwing himself at the shot to parry the danger.

Within sixty seconds we had a replica situation down the other end of the pitch, with this, St George’s number 10, James Spanoudakis, latching on to Sean Richardson’s cross, with his snapshot from inside the box being deflected just wide by a desperate Dully defender.

St George City FA did open the scoring on 18 minutes, and what a goal it was.

Nicholas Napoli had the ball at his feet some 30 yards from goal, choosing to ignore the runs being made around him from both friend and foe to unleash a thunderbolt that flew in to the top corner of the net, leaving Dully’s keeper, Michael Frost, grasping at thin air.

St George City FA  doubled their advantage just four minutes later. Left back Jordan Janic retrieved a Dully clearance out near the left touchline, and he swung over a delicious out swinging cross towards the back stick. James Spanoudakis timed his run in to box to perfection, side footing a first time volley past Frost in the Dully goal to give his side a 2-0 lead.

Dully kicked in to gear almost immediately, knowing they had to grab a quick goal before half time to drag themselves back into the match.

Luke Giverin took matters in to his own hands in the 28th minute, the Dulwich Hill playmaker effecting a one-two on the edge of the box before unleashing a left foot drive that was tipped on to the cross bar by the ever-alert St George keeper, Marko Bozic.

From the ensuing corner, the ball was played in low to the big target man, Gerard Ouffoue, whose snapshot on the turn was deflected wide by a St George defender.  

But things would get worse for Dulwich Hill, when St George City extended their lead on the half hour mark, coming following another set piece, an area of their game they do work on relentlessly. 

It was yet another left foot cross from Jordan Janic, from the right this time, and Nicholas Napoli showed more desire than anyone to connect with the ball and stab it over the line from a few yards.

3-0 at the 30 minute mark, and remarkably, St George had a few more opportunities to put the game to bed before half time.

James Spanoudakis was literally pulled down inside the penalty area in the 36th minute, and Nicholas Napoli spurned the chance for a first half hat trick, cracking his spot kick against the cross bar on the way out of play.

Then Chris Lawson directed a point blank header wide of the upright when he connected with another swerving corner kick from James Spanoudakis in the 43rd minute, whilst Dully keeper, Michael Frost, was called in to action in the 44th minute, getting down low to save a point blank shot from St George’s Sean Richardson when the two faced off in a one-on-one.

The half time break came at a good time for Dulwich Hill, who needed to regroup and revisit their tactics if they were to salvage something from the game.

But St George City came out after the break intent on not letting their opponents in to the match, working even harder defensively and strangling the life out of the encounter.

Dulwich Hill coach, Mark Strachan, threw on the livewire Tom Bentham on the hour mark, and regular scorer, Henry Wells, minutes later, in an attempt to give his side some impetus in the front third, but St George City remained resolute.

Bill Tsanidis and Chris Lawson were impenetrable in central defence, ably supported by Sean Thomas and Jordan Janic out wide, as Dully found it very tough in the attacking third.

James Townsend got on the end of a sweeping passing movement from Dully in the 70th minute, but his low shot from inside the box fizzed inches wide of the far upright.

Jordan Janic almost topped his excellent performance with a goal in the 78th minute, but Dully keeper, Michael Frost, got his finger tips to Janic’s swerving free kick just as it looked like venturing in to the top corner.

The yellow card made its appearance late on when the game became a little feisty as it drew to a close, but in the end St George City did well to register a solid shift at the office.

St George City coach, Manny Spanoudakis, was a satisfied man post match.

“I was very happy with our collective effort, no one shirked their duties, and we had no weakness in any line,” said Spanoudakis.

He added, “We have great ability and speed going forward and have always got goals in us. At half time I told the team to increased our work rate to a higher tempo, and it laid the platform for our win.”

For Dulwich Hill, it’s been tough to endure two losses within a few days, but they will bounce back no doubt with the return of some of the missing personnel. St George City FA, on the other hand, lead by Nicholas Napoli’s dominating performance in the centre of the park, made a statement in this match that they do have the capability on and off the park to make a real impact on this league this season 

Match Stats

PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


ST GEORGE CITY FA 3 (Napoli 18’ / 30’, Spanoudakis 22’)

5Sports Caringbah    

Referee – Danny Horstead

Assistant Referees – Jarryd Cowan and Joon Park

DULWICH HILL: 1.M.Frost (capt), 4.N.Bowden-Haase, 10.L.Giverin, 14.V.Koutsoufis, 11.M.Mcalpine, 8.G.Ouffoue (17.H.Wells 75’), 6.A.Pessego (9.T.Bentham 61’), 2.C.Sharpe, 12.N.Stanojevic (3.J.Duvcevski 81’), 7.J.Townsend, 22.A.Vitucci.

Substitutes Not Used – 25.J.Conaghan, 16.J.Mbakwe.

Yellow Cards – 4.N.Bowden-Haase 85’, 10.L.Giverin 87’.

Red Cards – Nil

ST GEORGE CITY FA: 1.M.Bozic, 9.J.Chavez (32.K.Bangura 63’), 19.J.Janic, 21.A.Jovovic (20.Z.Coulson 75’), 15.M.Kamara, 4.C.Lawson, 8.N.Napoli, 13.S.Richardson, 10.J.Spanoudakis (5.D.Webster 85’), 2.S.Thomas, 3.B.Tsanidis (capt).

Substitutes Not Used – 18.J.Seib.

Yellow Cards – Nil

Red Cards – Nil