Round 21 Review – PS4 NPL 3 NSW Men’s

A cool night for a hot night of football. Each team managed to take a point each at the end of the match wiht the scores locked at 5 all.

Football never ceases to produce the unexpected, and a full moon must have been out over the weekend following some surprising results in Round Twenty One of the 2017 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s competition.

Gladesville Ryde Magic picked up a valuable three points at David Bertenshaw Field by overcoming Hawkesbury City 1-0 in a ‘six-pointer’ on Saturday afternoon; SD Raiders continued their undefeated second round form by beating Fraser Park 2-1 at Ernie Smith Reserve; the Western NSW Mariners produced the boilover of the season by toppling league leaders, Rydalmere Lions, by the odd goal in five; St George City FA produced a methodical 3-1 victory over Granville Rage to consolidate their position in the top four on the ladder; Sydney University took home the spoils in a 3-1 win over Inter Lions at the Uni Football Ground; Balmain Tigers picked up a valuable win by overcoming Stanmore Hawks 2-0 at Wentworth Park in the round’s solitary Sunday match.

Dulwich Hill devoted Saturday, July 29, to support the McGrath Foundation, and conducted a range of festivities aimed at raising funds for the worthwhile charity. Football NSW visited the iconic Arlington Oval to help support the cause, including a close up, first hand viewing of quite a remarkable match between Dulwich Hill and Dunbar Rovers.


On the back of a day of festivities supporting the McGrath Foundation, Dulwich Hill and Dunbar Rovers continued the carnival atmosphere by sharing a ten goal thriller that had absolutely everything – ten goals, three penalties, a hatrick, seven yellow cards, three send offs including a coach, as well as plenty of goalmouth action and disallowed goals.

Dulwich Hill raced to a 4-0 inside 21 minutes, before two Tod Bamber penalties within sixty seconds on the half hour mark dragged Dunbar Rovers back in to the match. A penalty scored by Tommy Bentham gave Dully a 5-2 half time lead that was quickly erased by the 62nd minute of the second half by Dunbar, at which point Tod Bamber netted his third to bring the match back to 5-5!

Dulwich Hill must be congratulated for the overall event, a fantastic initiative in support of the McGrath Foundation. Spectators were able to donate funds at the gate, purchase an array of food at the canteen with a distinct pink flavour, as well as purchase pink playing gear which went on auction at half time. Dunbar Rovers played their part as well to accommodate the cause, and the ground swelled in numbers as the fans were treated to a ‘legends’ game between the two clubs – with Dunbar Rovers victorious 3-2 over Dulwich Hill – as well as the ten goal extravaganza that followed in the first grade spectacle.

Dulwich Hill absolutely exploded out of the dressing rooms and were 4-0 up after just 21 minutes.

The fans had barely taken their seats when Dully edged themselves in front in only the second minute.

Luke Giverin played a superb 30-yard diagonal pass from right to left, which Angus Chance collected near the corner flag before he sent in a deep far post cross. Ethan Bardsley got on the end of it to head Dully in to the lead from close range.

Giverin was at it again on eight minutes, testing Dunbar goalkeeper, Dylan Wilson, with a curling 20 yard effort that Wilson did well to divert for a corner.

But that just delayed the inevitable for Dunbar, as Dully extended their lead to 2-0 from the ensuing corner, with Nathan Bowden-Haase slotting home from close range following a scramble inside the box.

Dunbar Rovers were missing influential midfielder, Andrew Doddy, as well as experienced goalkeeper, Stephen Deasy, and Dully were taking advantage of their absence.

It became 3-0 in the 14th minute, with Tommy Bentham delivering a delicious cross field pass from the left touchline that swerved in behind the retreating Dunbar Rovers defence.

Henry Wells pounced on the cross to smack the ball home from close range to send the home fans into raptures.

Dunbar Rovers were rattled at this stage, and couldn’t handle Dulwich Hill’s intensity, succumbing to a fourth goal in the 21st minute.

Tommy Bentham and Angus Chance were involved in a swift counter attack where the latter ended by cutting the ball back near the penalty spot. Dunbar Rovers keeper, Dylan Wilson, spilled the ball under pressure, and Henry Wells took advantage by cracking home from close range to grab his second of the match.

After being on the receiving end of an initial flurry of blows, it took an entire 30 minutes for Dunbar Rovers to muster their first real opportunity. Ryan Shaughnessy curled a superb effort from the top of the box that hit the bottom of the cross bar, bouncing down on the line before being cleared by a Dully defender.

Shaughnessy’s effort gave Dunbar Rovers the impetus to go at the home side, and they managed to pull two goals back within as many minutes shortly afterwards.

Dully’s centre back, Bowden-Haase, was having a ding dong duel with Dunbar’s big striker, Tod Bamber, and it came to a head in the 31st minute when Bowden-Haase fouled Bamber inside the penalty area, earning a yellow card for his trouble.

Bamber converted confidently into the bottom corner to make it 1-4.

Within sixty seconds, Dunbar Rovers had their second penalty.

Rovers’ recently signed Colombian import, Cristian Garces, received the ball out on the left wing, and drew a foul from Ethan Bardsley by slicing inside the Dulwich Hill defender inside the box.

Michael Frost is known as one of the competition’s best penalty stoppers, but he could do nothing to stop Bamber netting his second spot kick by again cracking it low and confidently in to the bottom corner for 2-4.

Not to be denied, Dulwich Hill earned a penalty of their own in the 38th minute, when Dunbar skipper, Hezio Silva Neto fouled Dully striker Tommy Bentham.

Bentham’s initial spot kick was well saved down low by Dunbar keeper, Dylan Wilson, but the officials adjudged the keeper to have moved off his line before the kick was taken.

Bentham made the most of the retake, sending Wilson the wrong way to make it 5-2 at half time.

The half time brought a reprieve for everyone – players and fans alike – as the first half was a consistent flurry of goalmouth activity which kept the healthy crowd on the edge of their seats. The fans were treated to a series of mini games across the artificial pitch from energetic juniors as the 1st grade players took a well earned rest.

Whatever it was that Dulwich Hill had taken before the start of the game must’ve found its way into the Dunbar Rovers dressing room at half time, because Dunbar came out like a house on fire and turned a 2-5 deficit into a 5-5 scoreline by the 62nd minute.

Dunbar Rovers pulled a goal back in the 50th minute when Cristian Garces guided home a near post header following a great corner by captain, Hezio Silva Neto.

5-3 became 5-4 in the 52nd minute when Dylan Deep-Jones stabbed the loose ball home from close range as Dully really began to panic.

Shaughnessy then almost pulled the visitors level in the 59th minute, blasting a 20 yard effort inches wide of the upright when he got on the end of a swift passing counter attack by the visitors.

Dulwich Hill did not heed the warning, and three minutes later Dunbar Rovers had completed a remarkable comeback to make the score 5-5.

Another Silva Neto corner was this time flicked on, and in the ensuing scramble, Tod Bamber guided the ball into the net from a few yards to restore parity.

Incredibly, within his joyous celebrations, Tod Bamber’s tongue got him in trouble with the referee, who presented him with his second yellow card, and subsequently sent him from the field.

The intensity was too much for Dunbar coach, Mike Dixon, who followed his centre forward, Tod Bamber, off the park in the 78th minute for some indiscretions on the sideline.

Both teams kept at it and were keen to turn one point in to three. Dulwich Hill thought they did just that on 80 minutes, when Tommy Bentham took advantage of a slip up by Dylan Wilson in the Dunbar goal to tap home into an empty net, but the officials dragged the play back for offside.

On 85 minutes Dunbar Rovers were incredibly reduced to nine men, with Shaughnessy receiving his second yellow card for a foul on Wells as Dulwich Hill attempted a swift counter attack.

But the Rovers rallied and held on with two men – and a coach – less than Dulwich Hill, to record an inspirational 5-5 draw.

The solitary point puts Dunbar Rovers on 21 points, and they retain tenth position on the ladder. But more than the point gained, Dunbar showed plenty of the true character we have come to expect from them, fighting back from 4-0 and 5-2 down, and finishing with two men less on the park, to record a remarkable fighting draw.

Tod Bamber was his usual handful in the front third, holding up play for his team mates with his strength, and staying calm to use all of his experience when converting two successful penalty kicks on the way to a hatrick. Cristian Garces showed some nice touches and footwork in support of Bamber in attack.

The draw moves Dulwich Hill to 38 points on the ladder, as they retain third spot, but the three teams below them all won over the weekend to move that little bit closer, especially St George City FA who are now just two points adrift.

Dully looked frighteningly dangerous in the opening half hour or so, scoring at will, and creating chance after chance with plenty of movement in the front third. But dropping points after having a four goal lead, via the capitulation which saw them concede five goals in just over half an hour, would be a concern for the coaching staff.

Tommy Bentham was a mobile, strong target man throughout, effective with the ball at his feet, and at the centre of all of Dully’s attacks. Wells was quick on his feet on the flank, supporting the ball carrier, sending in dangerous crosses throughout as he helped himself to two well taken opportunistic goals.

Match Stats

PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s

Round Twenty One

Saturday, July 29, 2017

DULWICH HILL 5 (Bardsley 2’, Bowden-Haase 10’, Wells 14’ / 21’, Bentham pen 38’)

DUNBAR ROVERS 5 (Bamber pen 31’ / pen 33’ / 62’, Garces 50’, Deep-Jones 52’)

Arlington Oval, Dulwich Hill

Referee – Alex Goodhew

Assistant Referees – Wayne Lenardon and Amir Hosnani

DULWICH HILL1.M.Frost (capt), 28.E.Bardsley (62.D.Erideras 85’), 9.T.Bentham, 5.N.Bowden-Haase, 13.S.Burke, 36.A.Chance (11.S.Ardle 73’), 10.L.Giverin, 15.D.Han, 12.N.Stanojevic, 22.A.Vitucci, 17.H.Wells.

Substitutes Not Used – 23.B.Needham, 18.Z.Coulson, 14.D.Filipe.

Yellow Cards – 5.N.Bowden-Haase 30’, 28.E.Bardsley 31’.

Red Cards – Nil

DUNBAR ROVERS; 1.D.Wilson, 7.T.Bamber, 18.D.Deep-Jones, 5.C.Garces (20.A.Taleb 68’), 19.S.Hardingham, 6.H.O’Kelly (23.D.Watson 46’), 13.N.O’Sullivan, 10.R.Shaughnessy, 12.H.Silva Neto (capt), 14.M.Te Rata, 16.M.Wood.

Substitutes Not Used –24.A.Pokharel, 25.J.Stevanja, 17.R.Meneses.

Yellow Cards – 10.R.Shaughnessy 39’ / 85’, 7.T.Bamber 39’ / 62’, 23.D.Watson 81’.

Red Cards – 7.T.Bamber 62’, 10.R.Shaughnessy 85’.

Hawkesbury City – Gladesville Ryde Magic 0-1

Gladesville Ryde Magic overcame Hawkesbury City on Saturday afternoon in a real ‘six-pointer’, catapulting themselves over the Hawks on the competition ladder as a result of the victory.

Magic had the first effort in anger as early as the 9th minute, when Johnny Martinez fired over after collecting a clearance following a Chris Tomaras free kick.

David Gardner responded for Hawkesbury with a similar effort in the 13th minute, shooting wide as a free kick rebounded into his path.

Hawkesbury’s James Mawein then got in on the act in the 26th minute, but shot straight at Gladesville’s keeper, Kyriakos Tohouroglou, after playing a neat one-two with team mate, Santiago Pallares Palomeque.

Pallares Palomeque then tested Tohouroglou on 31 minutes, but the experienced Gladesville custodian diverted the well struck free kick around the upright.

Gladesville Ryde Magic were playing their part in the evenly contested battle, and they went even closer in the 36th minute, when Peter Voukidis hit the woodwork after getting on the end of a sweeping passing movement.

Drama ensued a minute before half time, when Gladesville’s youngster, Nicholas Ioannides, was brought down inside the penalty area.

In a face-off between the two skippers, Hawkesbury’s Daniel Schwarzer parried Johnny Martinez’s penalty kick to keep the scoreline at 0-0 at half time.

But the match did not remain scoreless for too long, with the visitors edging themselves in front 5 minutes into the second half.

Gladesville’s playmaker, Tomaras, showed his technique amongst a flurry of Hawkesbury defenders before slotting home to give his team the lead.

Both sides had additional chances to find a goal, but there was no further addition to the scoreboard, and Gladesville Ryde Magic had the win they so desired.

The loss sees Hawkesbury City remain on 32 points but drop to 7th on the ladder, whilst their match day opponents, Gladesville Ryde Magic, climb to 34 points in 5th spot.

SD Raiders – Fraser Park 2-1

SD Raiders continued their recent positive form on Saturday night, retaining the Ramsin Shamon Memorial Cup by overcoming the might of Fraser Park 2-1 at Ernie Smith Reserve, and in the process, remaining the only undefeated side in the second round.

Both teams produced a frantic opening half with opportunities at either end, but the game remained scoreless at the break.

The opening goal came on 65 minutes, and it was swift counter attack following a Fraser Park corner.

Mirza Sehic cleared the danger for the Raiders, and the ball eventually found its way to Mark Symington, who carried it forward before unleashing a powerful drive from distance that beat Fraser Park keeper, Chris Becerra, to give the home side the lead.

It only took 4 minutes for Fraser Park to equalise, with Chris Hatfield cutting inside from the right flank to drill a left foot shot into the net for 1-1.

SD Raiders found the winning goal in the 81st minute through substitute, Tyrone Gatt, who smacked home a volley to give the SD Raiders a 2-1 triumph.

After being undefeated two weeks ago, Fraser Park have now lost two matches in succession, but remain in second spot on the ladder on 50 points, five points behind and with a game in hand on leaders, Rydalmere Lions.

SD Raiders have now gone eight matches unbeaten during a fantastic second round, with this latest triumph moving the club into 6th position on the ladder on 34 points.

Rydalmere Lions – Western NSW Mariners 2-3

After the euphoria of last week’s 2-1 victory over the previously undefeated Fraser Park, league leaders Rydalmere Lions came back down to earth with a thud on Saturday night, losing 2-3 at home against the Western NSW Mariners.

It was a very competitive opening half hour with opportunities at both ends, but it was Rydalmere who edged themselves in front just on the half hour mark, with skipper, Matthew Mayora, stroking home from close range following an Ahmad Elrich corner.

The Mariners restored parity minutes later with a firm Duncan Logan header finding the mark, following a great run and cross from the right flank by Matthew Hobby.

Rydalmere snuck back into the lead on the stroke of half time, and what a goal it was. Zac Elrich let fly from 25 yards with a left foot pearler that beat Mariners’ keeper, Brock Logan, as it nestled into the top corner of the net.

Rydalmere came out after half time intent on extending their lead, and went close on a number of occasions, with Brock Logan repelling the Lions’ efforts on a couple of occasions.

The Mariners drew level however when Duncan Logan laid the ball back for John Henry to slam home from close range, and all of a sudden it was game on again.

Rydalmere threw caution to the wind and pushed men forward in numbers in search of a third goal, but it was the Mariners who hit them with a sucker punch in the final moments.

After retrieving the ball out on the right flank, John Henry sent over a deep cross into the Rydalmere penalty area. Mariners’ skipper, Adam Scimone, brought it down via his chest, and hit a left foot half volley that raced across the face of the goal inside the far post to give the visitors a 3-2 win.

It was Rydalmere’s second loss of the season, but they do remain first on the ladder on 55 points, whilst the win and subsequent three points for Western NSW Mariners puts them up 12th spot, ahead of Inter Lions on goal differential.

St George City FA – Granville Rage 3-1

St George City FA maintained fourth position on the competition ladder, climbing to 36 points courtesy of a 3-1 triumph of Granville Rage on Saturday night.

But City didn’t have things their own way, and were 1-0 down at the break.

Daniel Bortolazzo netted a well-executed goal in the 16th minute to give Granville Rage a 1-0 lead that they would hold onto until after half time.

St George City FA came out with a lot more energy and purpose after half time, and eventually equalised via the penalty spot.

Rage goalkeeper, Samuel Bortolazzo, brought down St George flanker, Sam Messam, and Jordan Janic converted from the spot to make it 1-1 after 54 minutes.

Sam Messam was in the midst of the action again on 63 minutes, capitalising on a defensive lapse to slot past Bortolazzo in the Granville goal and give St George City a 2-1 lead.

St George City FA wrapped up the three points in the 81st minute, when 18-year-old Tivon Megase – making his starting debut for the unavailable Juan Chavez – cleverly turned his marker just inside the penalty area before finishing with a clinical left foot strike.

The loss sees Granville Rage remain on 17 points in 11th spot, whilst St George City FA hold onto 4thposition on the ladder, moving to 36 points, just 2 points behind 3rd placed Dulwich Hill.

Sydney University – Inter Lions 3-1

Sydney University returned to the winner’s circle on Saturday night, overcoming Inter Lions to win 3-1.

The ‘students’ dominated possession in the opening quarter of an hour, and duly took the lead when Daniel Mifsud threaded a pass to Domemic Di Mento, who in turn laid in into the path of Matthew Akehurst. The young striker didn’t need an invitation, and he slotted home to give Sydney Uni a 1-0 lead.

In fact, Daniel Mifsud looked to have made it 2-0 shortly afterwards, but his header off Domenic Di Mento’s free kick was ruled out due to an offside decision.

Sydney University went close once more just before the break, when Di Mento raced down the line and cut the ball back towards the six yard box. Matthew Akehurst blasted a shot goalwards, but Inter’s goal keeper, John Soulios, parried the effort to keep his team in the game.

Inter Lions dragged themselves back into the match after half time when they were awarded a penalty for a handball inside the box. Lachlan Wright converted to make the score 1-1.

But parity didn’t last too long, with Daniel Marjanovic getting on the end of a Di Mento cross to slam an effort into the top corner, edging Sydney University into a 2-1 lead.

The pendulum seemed to swing in Inter’s favour shortly afterwards, when Sydney Uni substitute, Adriano De Moraes, was sent from the field shortly after entering the fray, for two quick fire yellow card cautions.

But Sydney University defied their numerical disadvantage by grabbing a third goal to wrap up the match late on, with Matthew Akehurst racing into space to beat Soulios in the Inter goal, grabbing his brace to make the final score 3-1.

The loss sees Inter Lions remain on 16 points, but drop to 13th position on the ladder, whilst Sydney University move to 26 points, holding down 8th spot.

Balmain Tigers – Stanmore Hawks 2-0

Balmain Tigers continued their improvement of late with a solid 2-0 victory over Stanmore Hawks on Sunday afternoon at Wentworth Park.

And it was the experienced marksman, Rosario Occhipinti, who netted a brace to bring home the spoils, scoring his fifth and sixth goals of the campaign thus far.

After a scoreless, fairly even opening stanza, and much of the same at the beginning of the second, Occhipinti got his head to a long free kick from Frank Calcagno on 75 minutes, with the ball nestling into the top corner to give the Tigers the lead.

Merely a couple of minutes later and Balmain extended their lead to 2-0, following good lead up play by Rentaro Osa, who fed Frank Calcagno in the attacking third.

Calcagno cracked an effort which rebounded off the woodwork, with the ball falling to the predatory Occhipinti, who took a touch before slotting home a clinical right foot shot.

The loss sees Stanmore remain on twenty-three points in ninth position, whilst Balmain’s second win of the season moves them to double figures on ten points as they continue their ascent up that ladder.