Twenty weeks into this State League Men’s 2018 edition and we are no closer to knowing whose going up. When you put it that way, you wonder what we’re doing with our lives. However, this competition never fails to entertain across the board, oh and the finals teams are essentially confirmed. Let’s dig in!
Match Report: Bankstown United v Central Coast United.
Bankstown United have produced a remarkable late comeback scoring twice in the last five minutes of normal time to overcome competition leaders Central Coast United in a thriller.
Having been behind after conceding earlier in the second half, a last push from Bankstown United couldn’t be contained with a goal coming from super sub Nathan Paull in the 85th minute opening the door for Toshihisa Saikawa to finish it off just before the end of regulation.
It is the first defeat for visitors Central Coast United who had a rough day as they came away with nothing from all three grades. They took a lead through Josh Swadling just after the 60th minute but couldn’t hold on to effectively clinch promotion. Instead the race is on with both clubs equal after 20 rounds of action.
The first half, well was something and it wasn’t exactly entertaining in terms of chances. Bankstown United had their first opportunity when Steve Wright’s header couldn’t find the net from an expertly placed Shane Webb delivery.
Both teams had their patches with the opportunity to create chances. Having struggled to settle, the visitors looked to take the lead when Josh Swadling saw his effort narrowly miss the far bottom corner after Cade Mapu found room down the far side.
Swadling was looking in the mood as he had another chance just before the 40th minute, with an effort almost identical to his previous effort. However, it wasn’t to be and the score would remain untroubled at half time.
The scoring was opened shortly after the break as Central Coast United staged a perfect counter attack. Cade Mapu controlled a headed clearance from his own side before playing in Josh Swadling who had too much pace for the home sides defence therefore having time to place it in the bottom right corner.
From that point on, the visitors had a good spell with Cade Mapu hitting the crossbar, Adam Woodbine missing a pin point header from inside the six-yard box, Swadling rolling it wide of the right post and Tom Mallet putting it right of the goal after being set up for a shot well from inside the box.
It was looking like the hosts would be in for a frustrating night when Graham Toope who produced a stunning goal line clearance from a Mitch Cross shot. The equalizer did finally come when Toshi Saikawa delivered a ball into the box from just inside the attacking half. It was met by Nathan Paull who under pressure finished well with his head.
It’s the most pressure we’ve seen Central Coast United under in a long time and they cracked as captain Mcfarlane soon got a straight red. The resulting freekick was punched by the Central Coast shot stopper into the path of Toshi Saikawa who produced an outrageous first-time volley to send the Crest into raptures. Game on in the promotion race!
Bankstown United coach Scott Belgre, “Tonight was one of the biggest nights in our club’s short history. Every player in the squad performed their role perfectly.”
“I’m super proud of the boys who have a never say die attitude and resilient character, which is vital in any successful team. We celebrate tonight and prepare for a tough away trip to Nepean.”
Central Coast United coach Stu Davis rued some missed chances but remains positive. “Anything worth winning doesn’t come easy. we deserved to get a point out of the game but that’s what happens when you don’t take your chances”.
“Congratulations to Bankstown United, they had a good day”.
Bankstown United: 2 (Paull 86’, Saikawa 89’)
Central Coast United: 1 (Swadling 51’)
The Crest Athletic Centre, Georges Hall
Saturday 4th August, 2018
Referee: A. Manson
Assistant Referees: J. Garen & N. Djakovic
Bankstown United: 99. David Hamilton, 3. Stephen Tomasich, 4. Steven Wright, 5. Andreas Kartsioulis, 7. Jovan Miladinovic (29. Futo Ihara), 10. Mitchell Cross, 20. Ryota Oketani, 23. Daniel Ramirez (84. Nathan Paull), 25. Toshihisa Saikawa, 70. Matthew Sadler (8. Sean Robertson), 79. Shane Webb.
Subs Not Used: 62. Daia Nakano, 6. Joseph Ninnes
Yellow Cards: Miladinovic, Paull
Central Coast United: 1. Jack O’Mally, 2. Scott Mcginley, 3. Adam Blunden, 4. Geordie Howe, 6. Jack Ragen, 9. Adam Woodbine, 13. Cade Mapu (10. Alexander Arbelo), 14. Tom Mallett, 15. Graham Toope, 23. Joshua Swadling, 24. Daniel Mcfarlane.
Subs not used: 99. Thomas Lyons, 5. Nathan Blunden, 8. Dean Heffernan, 20. Thomas Marsh.
Yellow Cards: Mapu, Mcfarlane, Howe, Mallett.
Red Cards: Mcfarlane, Mallett.
Around the Grounds
Wagga City Wanderers 0-3 Prospect United
Prospect United have re-found a way to win as they went to Wagga on Saturday afternoon and won. The visitors had goals from Joel Bayubahe, Benjamin Lam and Mitsuya Kaziwa to thank in a three-nil victory over the hosts.
It was a day where success wasn’t exactly measured on the field though as the Wanderers raised an impressive total of $6500 for Make-A-Wish. Call it wishful thinking, but they would have hoped they could have taken one or two of their chances cause until the end, they were right in the contest.
Prospect United were in a ruthless mood early and opened the scoring impressively through Bayubahe who hit a dipping shot from outside the eighteen-yard box. It was a case of two mistakes from the hosts, two goals as they were punished soon after when a free-kick caught the home keeper by surprise with Lam right on the spot to tap home. The wait for the third was longer and came in the second half, with Mitsuya Takizawa taking advantage of plenty of time late on to place an effort from outside the box into the net.
South Coast Flame 1-2 Western Condors
Well this result seemed to mean something for two hours there on Saturday night before the Nepean result came through. Western Condors rallied well in the second half to keep their season alive… momentarily.
Despite not playing the best in the first half, the Flame found themselves ahead at the break courtesy of a Matt Mazevski penalty, the make shift defender put in a club man of the match performance.
Football is a funny game and having found themselves on the front foot for the duration of the first half the Condors were behind at the break. When the game evened out though with Flame putting together sections of good play, the Condors scored two goals, Funny game. The goals for the visitors came from a little bit of magic from Gaston Roy producing a Cruyff turn inside the box before slotting the ball home before a last-minute winner from Henry Yau who went through one on one before rounding the keeper. Memorable scenes for the visitors, if only they had done it earlier in the season.
UNSW FC 2-4 Nepean FC
Please refer to my round 10 report here or at least pretend there’s a link because this was a case of the same between the two sides. Nepean FC have compounded a few UNSW woes and showed their intent with a win over another top five side.
The visitors raced out to a two nil advantage early on through an early goal to Paul Chester pouncing on a deflected shot in the area before a penalty was converted by David Adjassou. In a brief resurgence, the hosts hit back as Nima Beik cushion volleyed it over the keeper. However, it was soon sucked out of them when Christian Soares was shown a red card.
Nepean didn’t take the foot of the gas from that point on with Paul Chester then completing his hat trick with two goals in the second half. One from a cross which was headed home and the other a break away finishing off a one on one opportunity. UNSW FC didn’t die wondering with Luiz Lobo scoring a goal only Luiz Lobo can from 25 yards.
FC Gazy Auburn 0-4 Hurstville FC
Well this played out how you would expect it too. One team with little motivation, finals hopes long gone, the other still with a shot and something to prove. It is another thing to go out and perform in such a situation and Hurstville FC did that.
Perhaps tricked by the unseasonably warm weather (during the daytime at least, I feel you people who went to the Crest), FC Gazy Auburn struggled to put in a full ninety-minute performance perhaps rather preferring to be on the beach.
It didn’t help that they ran into a refreshed Hurstville FC side who put in their best performance since their Prospect game all those days ago. A Cristian Di Meglio hat-trick as well as a Daniel Kocina highlighted their contribution however coach John Gagro was keen to emphasize how much of a team effort this game was. Football is about goals though and strikers always seem to get the credit so hats off to Di Meglio, I haven’t scored 3 goals in my life.
Balmain Tigers 2-2 Hurstville City Minotaurs
The saying goes “Lightning never strikes the same place twice”, the Hurstville City Minotaurs and I question this now as they played a part in their third two-all draw in a row. The Minotaurs took the lead twice but were pegged back twice in another late thriller in this round.
Balmain Tigers on the other hand come away in somewhat content mood having come back from a deficit twice in the fixture. The visiting neighbours opened the scoring within early when Angelo Vagenas found Kushaal Ram with a long goal. Ram then rammed the ball into the net for the lead.
They held that lead for a substantial period of the game before an own goal threw the spanner in the works as a clearance at the back went horribly wrong. They therefore needed another goal and it came in the 88th minute through Hassan Abdul. A goal in the 88th minute would usually be the winner however there was something strange in the water and Gee Kangeir equalised late on with the assist going to Johnathan Kontalis.
We go again next week
By Justin Smith