SELECT Futsal Premier League round-12 results saw Northside stun leaders Inner West Magic 4-2, Dural overcome Mountain Majik 4-1, Enfield hold off Mascot 3-1 and Campbelltown down South Coast 4-2.
The results not only pulled Warriors (24 points) alongside Magic (24) at the top of the table with two rounds remaining, including a final-weekend blockbuster between the two arch rivals, but they also brought Quake (21) and Allstars (20) back into premiership contention (they have a Feb 8 catch-up scheduled and Enfield also have a postponed Taipans match lingering).
The only other side in contention is UTS (18) who can still finish as high as third; the Mountaineers (11), Coasters (10) and Vipers (6) now out of the playoff picture.
On the scorers chart Quake’s Mark Symington (11), Taipan Ricky Goodchild (11) and Warrior Glen Kelshaw (11) head Allstar duo Shervin Adeli (10) and Michael Kouta (9), Viper Joel Flores (8) and Quake’s Dean Lockhart (8) in an exciting Golden Boot race.
History also beckons for Majik who are in a commanding club championship position over nearest chasers Magic and Vipers, and Mountain face bottom-clubs UTS (111) and Taipans (80) in the last two weekends – the coveted trophy destiny in their own hands.
South Coast Taipans 2 (Russell Crighton, Ricky Goodchild) Campbelltown Quake 4 (Anthony Haddad, Marko Filipic 2, Harrison Bagot)
UTS Northside 4 (Nathan Amore 3, Mason Ireland) Inner West Magic 2 (Chris Zeballos 2)
Dural Warriors 4 (Glen Kelshaw 3, Wade Giovenali) Mountain Majik 1 ()
Enfield Allstars 3 (Charles Abou Serhal, Daniel Goni, Noah Chia) Mascot Vipers 1 (Joel Flores)
Campbelltown take Coast
Campbelltown Quake accounted for South Coast Taipans 4-2 at the University of Wollongong Sports Hub on Saturday afternoon in yet another sizzling away performance.
Despite missing a number of key senior players Campbelltown an Anthony Haddad goal followed by a double Marko Filipic strike raced Quake to a controlling 3-0 lead by the interval, but the Coasters roared back into it with Russell Crighton and Ricky Goodchild goals narrowing the deficit to 3-2 before the visitors sealed the deal late through Harrison Bagot.
A sixth road-win cemented Campbelltown’s best-ever season away from Minto (eclipsing a 15-point haul from 2013/14). It has been countered by just one win in four home matches but Quake remain in the premiership mix just three points behind leaders Magic and Warriors with a game in hand, and they can thank handy contributions across the board – 10 different players have added more than a goal this summer.
Club manager Carlos Martinez said the second half was certainly interesting when two Taipans goals brought the margin back to one, and he praised his young custodian for ensuring a hardfought victory.
“Our keeper Conor Irwin kept us in the game before we scored a fourth to seal it,” he said. “Three good points but we made hard work of it.”
The Southerners had beaten Campbelltown in their last two meetings and a poor start this time round cost them the hat-trick.
Coach Bobby Mazevski expressed admiration for a young team that continued to impress. “We found ourselves 3-0 down in the first half where, to be fair, Quake dominated possession and chances,” he said.
“We refined a few things at the break and pulled two goals and had a couple of good looks for an equaliser. But we were unable to take the chances… and [at 4-2 down] just didn’t have the time or energy to challenge any further.
“Tired legs due to several availabilities doomed us in the end I thought. Hats off to my players who never gave up against a quality side.”
The Taipans have definitely been good value in a season that has seen them smash several club records, and they’re on track to break a few more before a possible relegation.
One more win (against either Vipers or Majik) would set a new points high (bettering last summer’s club-best dozen), their minus-13 goal-differential is 16 goals more than last season’s -29, they’re currently six goals short of the 39 benchmark set in 2015/16 and have conceded 14 goals fewer than 2017/18.
And while the team has really developed into a strong unit, plenty of plaudits must go to young Ricky Goodchild who has banged in 11 goals in a remarkable summer that already pegged him level with Coast legends Peter Gaffney and Daniel Ferraro for number of club goals. Matt Mazevski (27) has pocketed the most Taipans goals followed by David Stojic (13).
Northside shock Inner West
UTS Northside came from a goal down at the break to stun competition leaders Inner West Magic 4-2 at PCYC Dee Why on Saturday evening.
The home side got off to a perfect start when Nathan Amore bagged a sixth-minute goal before premier league veteran Chris Zeballos restored parity two minutes later and then scored again to put Magic 2-1 up at halftime.
But an inspired UTS second-half performance saw them charge back to the front on the back of an Amore hat-trick to win 4-2 and keep their playoff hopes alive ahead of a final-round match-up with fourth-placed Enfield.
Amore’s treble moved into second place on the club’s all-time scorers list with 19 goals six behind captain-coach Grant Lynch, but it’s an overall team effort and strong home record that’s given Northside its elevated position.
UTS have collected a dozen points at home this season, already more than the nine accumulated in 2014/15 with two hosting duties to finish the summer. They are also already equal with their highest-ever points haul (18) and would smash through the ceiling should the club land a maiden finals spot.
“I’m happy with the result as the team was excellent, particularly when defending,” Lynch said. “It was also a great game to bounce back from last week and we’re looking to end the season strong against Mountain Majik and Enfield to try to sneak into finals.”
“A special mention again to Lucas Rainbird who has been outstanding the past two weeks.”
Magic master Matteo Maiorana praised Northside for their tenacity.
“Full Credit to UTS, Lynchy has them well drilled. We were understrength again, [coach Steve] Knighty was overseas doing a coaching course and three key players were missing for a variety of reasons and it’s just not good enough if we want to win the premiership,” he said.
“With such a small squad and in that heat we were up against it.
“The most disappointing thing about the loss is that the premiership is no longer in our hands,” Maiorana continued.
“We have two massive games leading into the finals and a Cup game on Wednesday night; once we get all hands on deck we will be ok.”
Warriors cast off Majik
Dural Warriors played out a comfortable 4-1 win over Mountain Majik at The Centre on Saturday evening to move into joint first place with Inner West.
A second Glen Kelshaw hat-trick in three weeks provided the scoreboard difference but in truth Dural were always in control despite being held 1-1 midway through the contest, Kelshaw converting a second-half penalty before further Wade Giovenali and Kelshaw goals underlined the three-goal victory and 10th straight ‘W’ versus Majik.
Warriors coach Rob Varela still wants more from his chargers. “A solid performance, always in control, but we need to improve a lot to do well in the coming weeks,” he said.
A lot can be made from Dural’s summer. It says a lot about Varela and even more about his players that a side can churn out their worst-ever season figures and still be challenging for the premiership.
No Dural side has lost three in a row let alone the four-straight games dropped at the end of last year, a goal-difference of +13 is 20 less than a previous club ‘low’ of +34 last season, they’re 14 short of the ‘low’ 61 goals posted in 2014/15, three concessions off the 37 goals leaked back in 2011/12, and Warriors need to beat both Enfield and Inner West in the final two weekends to avoid a new low points haul (they accumulated 30 points in 2011/12)… and yet here they are, challenging for the premiership.
Kelshaw’s second triple is the fifth time a Warrior has scored two hat-tricks in the same season, and he probably wishes he could play Majik every week – he’s now tallied nine goals in their last six meetings.
Enfield beat Mascot
Enfield Allstars defeated a stubborn Mascot Vipers 3-1 at Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday night to suddenly eye off a possible premiership steal.
Mascot’s Joel Flores lifted the visitors to a 1-0 halftime edge before Enfield turned it around through goals from Charles Abou Serhal, Daniel Goni and Noah Chia to win 3-1 – it’s been three years since the margin was any more than two goals between the rivals.
Weekend outcomes positioned fourth-placed Allstars four points behind leaders Magic and Warriors with two catch-up games (versus Quake and Taipans) in their pockets – and a current roll of six unbeaten matches (the club’s second-best run) would have them pumped!
Coach Ernie Bivona wasn’t giving much away as he’s been around long enough to see just about everything, but he must be thrilled to see the club’s young brigade produce some mature performances.
“I was very happy with the result considering the amount of senior players missing,” he said. “We played very well with a very young team.”
“I thought we created a lot of chances but their keeper had a blinder, one of the best performances from a keeper I’ve seen in a long time.
“[Regarding the tight table and race to the flag] These last couple of game weeks are going to be very interesting and exciting for the league.”
This weekend’s matches
SELECT Futsal Premier League round-12 Saturday matches (January 27) has South Coast Taipans versus Campbelltown Quake at the University of Wollongong Sports Hub (4.50pm), UTS Northside against Inner West Magic at PCYC Dee Why (6.40pm), Dural Warriors host Mountain Majik at The Centre (6.50pm), and Enfield Allstars tackle Mascot Vipers at Morris Iemma Indoor Sports Centre (8.05pm).
-By Dan De Nardi