Round 16 Review – State League Men’s


Have we just witnessed the greatest goal scored in the Men’s State League Competition? Round 16 was one that will live in the memory of football fans for years to come.

Prospect United (5) vs Hurstville City Minotaurs (2) – Match of the Round

Prospect United continue their assault on a top four spot with a stellar performance over Hurstville City Minotaurs.

It was a match that will live long in the memory of Prospect fans, after an incredible performance from new striker Wilter Jajaw, as well as a genuine goal of the year – scratch that – goal of the decade contender from Troy Sullivan.

Sitting alongside each other on the table and in similarly rich veins of form, many predicted a tight tussle between two teams who were both clinging to faint finals’ hopes.

However, Prospect dominated the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead through Efosa Amegor on 16 minutes.

Alexander Bit, who looked composed bringing the ball out of defence all night, expertly picked out the run of the towering striker, who showed a brilliant turn of pace for a big man, latching onto the loose ball, before cutting inside and firing off a low shot which pinballed off the keeper, back into Amegor and into the goal.

Hurstville City looked to hit straight back but their attacks were crippled by misdirected final passes as they looked to unlock the Prospect defence.

And minutes later Prospect would double their lead with a stroke of pure Jajaw genius. The recently acquired striker pounced on a bouncing ball on the edge of halfway, took it under his spell with deft control before looking up and seeing the Hurstville City keeper off his line. Jajaw shifted his body and wrapped his foot around the ball, firing off a half volley from around 45metres out which soared through the air, over the stranded Minotaurs’ keeper, and into the roof of the net.

The writing was on the wall for Hurstville City at half-time as they trudged off the field, frustrated by their profligacy in possession and stunned by the dominance shown by Prospect in the opening 45 minutes.

With memories of their recent second half comeback against UNSW fresh in their minds, Hurstville City came out with renewed optimism in the second period.

But their optimism was short lived as Prospect continued their dominance, adding their third goal of the game in the 54th minute.

Luke Mesiti, who brilliantly combines explosive running and silky skills, cut inside from the right wing and lofted a pass through the heart of the Minotaur defence, finding Wilter Jajaw who had timed his run to perfection. One on one with the keeper, Jajaw kept his composure to mercilessly chip the ball over the onrushing keeper and into the back of the net.

It was a case of Déjà vu for the Minotaur’s defence just 10 minutes later as Mesiti and Jajaw combined again to score Prospect’s fourth of the game. Another expert through ball from Mesiti who found Jajaw in a pocket of space in-behind the defensive line, and the deadly striker converted to score his third goal of the game, leaving the home fans exclaiming, “Joel who?” as the new striker ran away to the cheers of the adoring crowd.

A quick fire double from Nicholas Nisbet had the home fans looking nervously at their watches as the Minotaurs threatened a dramatic late comeback.

But all thoughts of a comeback were extinguished when Troy Sullivan scored perhaps the greatest goal William Lawson Park has ever seen. A cross was headed clear by the Minotaur’s defence but the bouncing ball fell at the feet of an expectant Sullivan, 35 yards from goal, who thundered a venomous first-time shot, which began low and then rose with equal power and height, like an impressive jet surging for take-off, and rocketed into the absolute top corner of the net. Unstoppable.

The Hurstville City keeper looked on in disbelief as Sullivan was swarmed by ecstatic teammates.

The game ambled towards full-time as both sides bowed to inevitability.

A result which sees the Hurstville City season come to an end as their chances of stealing top four spot evaporate.

Prospect claim an important three points to keep their finals’ hopes alive, but with fixtures against UNSW and Hurstville FC to come, there is still plenty of work for Darren Camilleri’s side to do if they are going to make an appearance in this season’s finals series.

Match Stats

Prospect United – (Efosa Amegor, Wilter Jajaw x3, Troy Sullivan)

Hurstville City Minotaurs – (Nicholas Nisbit x2)

William Lawson Park, Saturday 29th July

Prospect United: E. Amegor, C. Barbera, A. Bit, D. Embleton, M. Farias, W. Jajaw, T. Kasunic, B. Lam, P. Malecki, L. Mesiti, N. Niski, N. Pavic, M. Pritchard, T. Sullivan, N. Valjak, E. Vuciri.

Hurstville City Minotaurs: M. Balazs, E. Dominic, L. Fatica, J. Gonzalez, A. Karabetsos, B. Luate, S. Mehana, N. Nisbit, C. Theodosiou, A. Vagenas, D. Vagenas, A. Villazon, M. Zezovski.

Bankstown United (6) vs UNSW (2)

In football, you can’t give teams a 3-0 lead and expect to get anything from the game.

UNSW scored two second half goals to bravely fight back from the three-goal deficit they endured at halftime, but a red card midway through the second period meant any hopes UNSW had of getting anything of the match vanished.

Bankstown were relentless, scoring three more goals as the half wore on to add an exclamation mark to their impressive attacking performance.

In a match that had massive consequences for the makeup of the competition table, Bankstown collected a crucial three points to cement their place in the top for and maintain pace with fellow ladder leaders, Camden.

UNSW, after Hurstville FC’s victory, drop out of the top four. Just four weeks ago, they looked invincible off the back of an incredible 8-game winning streak. But their recent woes have left them bereft of confidence and enduring their worst run of results all season – at a time they cannot afford to drop points.

They will be boosted by the fact their next two fixtures are very winnable matches against FC Gazy and Western Condors, whilst their top four rivals Hurstville FC and Prospect must play each other in the last round of the season.

Wagga City Wanderers (0) vs Hurstville FC (3)

A sun-bathed Gissing Oval welcomed in-form Hurstville FC to town as they looked to take of advantage of any potential slip ups from UNSW in their clash with Bankstown later in the evening.

Wagga City often threaten to be a banana-skin match for visiting teams, and they caused Hurstville FC a few early headaches in this match.

However, it was Hurstville who opened the scoring through Tomislav Borovickic on 7 minutes.

Bravely, both sides threw caution to the wind and attacked with purpose and regularity as the half wore on.

With chances falling to both teams, the next goal would be crucial in ultimately deciding the result of the match. And that goal came in the 32nd minute, as experienced striker Paul Gagro grabbed his first goal of the match with a clever finish.

Boosted by a 2-goal cushion, Hurstville FC began to assert their dominance in the match, stroking the ball around calmly, looking to stifle the enthusiasm of the young Wagga side.

Hurstville FC eventually killed the game off with their third and final goal in the 70th minute, as Paul Gagro snared his second of the game.

3 goals and 3 points for Hurstville FC as they jump UNSW on the ladder and find themselves inside the top four for the first time since Round 5.

Western Condors (3) vs Camden Tigers (3)

The script said Camden would win this match and win it comfortably.

But somebody forgot to tell Western Condors.

The unfancied home side shocked Camden as they took the lead inside the first minute of the game.

And the nightmare start continued for the Tigers, when Western Condors amazingly doubled their lead on the half-hour mark.

In a game that always promised plenty of goals, Camden struck back almost straight away through their leading goal scorer, Jayden Russell.

And the goal feast continued 5 minutes later when Stephen Lloyd scored on 37 minutes.

Dean Bradley used the half-time break to reassert how important claiming three points in this match was as they look to overtake Bankstown atop of the competition table.

However it was Western Condors again who looked to spoil the party, as they took a shock lead midway through the second period.

As the clocked ticked away and Western Condors continued to defend relentlessly, it looked like they might hang on for an unlikely victory.

But with just 7 minutes left in the game, Camden’s shining star, Jayden Russell, stepped forward to rescue a desperate point for his team.

A frustrating night for Camden as they let slip the opportunity to claim top spot on the table. They will now be hoping Bankstown drop points in their remaining two fixtures if they are to have any chance of securing the premiership.

For Western Condors, it was a reminder of their lethal attacking threat and a warning to Nepean FC and UNSW, their opponents in the final two matches of the season, that they have the potential to cause a catastrophic upset.

FC Gazy Auburn (0) vs Nepean FC (4)

Magdy Andrawe’s will be all smiles this weekend after his side’s comprehensive 4-0 rout of FC Gazy has given his Nepean team much needed breathing space in the race for the top four.

With a cluster of teams chasing a prized finals’ position, Nepean could ill-afford to come away from this match with anything other than three points.

And an impressive hat trick to goal scoring machine, Joel Bayubahe ensured that’s exactly what the mountain men did.

FC Gazy battled hard throughout the match, Mory Konateh led the defensive line admirably but came unstuck against a slick and speedy Nepean attack.

In truth, it was a dominant performance from Nepean, but they must ensure a repeat performance against Western Condors next round to confirm their finals’ position for season 2017.

– By Ryan Latty