The 2018 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW competition is moving towards an exciting crescendo as teams continue to shuffle for positions, especially in the top half of the ladder.
SD Raiders made it a fruitful trek to Mudgee by taking all three points in a 5-1 thumping of the Western NSW Mariners; Hawkesbury City left it late to grab the spoils in a narrow 1-0 triumph over Granville Rage on Saturday evening; Dulwich Hill made it back to back wins by beating Camden Tigers 4-2 at Arlington Oval on Saturday night; leaders, St George City FA, left it very late to overcome cellar dwellers Fraser Park 2-1 and maintain their lead at the summit; Sydney University’s semi final hopes hang by a thread following their 3-2 triumph over Gladesville Ryde Magic at Christie Park; Inter Lions picked up a well overdue win when they defeated Stanmore Hawks 4-2 at Fraser Park in the late game on Sunday night.
FNSW ventured out to Hensley Athletic Field for this week’s Match of the Round between Top Six combatants, Dunbar Rovers and Bankstown City Lions.
MATCH OF THE ROUND
DUNBAR ROVERS – BANKSTOWN CITY 4-1
Dunbar Rovers have all but secured their position in the Top Six with a 4-1 victory over a hapless Bankstown City at Hensley Athletic Field on Saturday afternoon.
The win and three points mean Dunbar move to 43 points on the ladder in 6th position, and the gap to 7th placed Sydney University is now at 5 points. What that means is that Sydney Uni need to win both of their two remaining games, and hope Dunbar lose both, in order for the ‘students’ to squeeze past the Rovers.
Back to the match at hand at Hensley, where both sides came in to this clash minus some key personnel.
Dunbar were without suspended skipper, Andrew Doddy, as well as Ruben Mendes, striker Yoel Silvestre, Bradley Karpin, and experienced keeper, Stephen Deasy, amongst others.
Bankstown themselves were missing the suspended Jacob Boutoubia, Ante Tomic, and central defender, Nathan Lopino, who succumbed to a hip injury in the pre-match warm up, having received the knock at training, and had to be replaced in the starting line up by Ante Markovic.
A dust storm from a nearby industrial site reflected the strength of the wind that was howling throughout the encounter, playing havoc with any ball that left the turf as both sides struggled to settle in to any sort of rhythm.
Dunbar skipper, Ryan Shaughnessy, struck the first effort on goal in the 9th minute, his 30 yard lob clearing the cross bar with Carl McMahon back pedalling in the Bankstown goal.
Bankstown twice hit the woodwork around the quarter of an hour mark, and they would rue both opportunities given the end result.
Firstly, Lawrence Hanna, swung over a fiercely struck corner on 15 minutes that swerved before cannoning off the near post, and just 2 minutes later, Nikola Todorovski stabbed at a shot inside the Dunbar penalty area, with the ball smacking against the upright before being cleared by the Rovers defence.
Dunbar rode their luck and then took the lead in the 19th minute with a well-executed goal.
Receiving the ball in the centre of the Bankstown half, Ryan Shaughnessy spread it wide to the left to the feet of Henry Kamleitner, who in turn sent over a delightful cross to the far post.
The ball was laid out on a platter by Kamleitner for Cristian Garces, who gratefully accepted the opportunity by heading home at the back stick to edge Dunbar Rovers in to the lead.
Garces in fact could’ve doubled Dunbar’s advantage in the 26th minute, but he headed over from another fantastic delivery, this time off the boot of Paul Orgad from a corner.
Bankstown were having trouble creating any sort of impact in their front third as the Dunbar defence held firm, now having a lead to protect.
Just before the break the Rovers went close again, with a patient build up involving a number of passes across the Bankstown half that resulted in a fierce 20 yard snap shot from defender Gil Swartz, with the effort flying across the face of goal and past the far upright.
The second half began similarly to the first, very cautiously, with Bankstown clearly needing to show more impetus in attack given they were behind on the score board.
But Dunbar broke their hearts with an opportunist goal in the 56th minute.
It was a real goal poacher’s effort by Henry Kamleitner, seizing on a loose ball in the middle of the Bankstown half before using his body to shrug off two defenders as he entered the Bankstown penalty area.
Kamleitner then unselfishly squared the ball for Alex Crane, who struck home from close range to give the Rovers a 2-0 lead.
Bankstown were really struggling to put Dunbar goal keeper, Terry Dal Broi, under any real pressure at this point.
But Ante Markovic did go close on 73 minutes, swinging over a free kick from wide on the right that ended up cracking against the cross bar before being cleared.
Mirza Sehic did one better on 79 minutes, heading home from Ante Markovic’s cross, and all of a sudden, Bankstown had a lifeline at 1-2.
The home side had been good for their lead, but at 2-1 they needed someone to step up and finish off proceedings by snuffing out any glimmer of a Bankstown come back.
Skipper, Ryan Shaughnessy, did just that, with two late goals to kill the contest.
After some hesitation on the edge of the Bankstown penalty area in the 86th minute, Shaughnessy sprung in to action like a jack in the box, shrugging his way past a couple of challenges before poking the ball home from close range past a stranded Carl McMahon in the Bankstown goal.
Just three minutes later it was 4-1, with Bankstown losing possession near their own box, and Shaughnessy made them pay, taking a touch before blasting in off the underside of the cross bar from close range.
The result at Hensley just provides that little more congestion within the top six.
Dunbar retain 6th spot, moving to 43 points, but are now only 2 points behind both Bankstown City and SD Raiders who are both on 45 above them.
Bankstown looked a far cry from the team that started the season, and were especially devoid of any penetration in the front third. Having said that, the Lions are still well placed to make a push for glory in the coming weeks, and have proven themselves against the other sides in the Top Six, so will back themselves to come home strong.
It was a strong performance by the home side, with Swartz defending fiercely, Orgad instrumental across the middle, and Shaughnessy and Kamleitner intelligent and effective in the front third. With some key players looking to return in the coming weeks, look out for an even better showing by Dunbar as we approach the business end of the season.
National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s
Round Twenty Four
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Hensley Athletic Field, Eastgardens
DUNBAR ROVERS 1 (Garces 19’, Crane 56’, Shaughnessy 86’ / 89’)
BANKSTOWN CITY 1 (Sehic 79’)
Referee – Kris Griffith-Jones
1.T.Dal Broi, 14.A.Crane, 20.C.Garces (7.M.Sealy 67’), 3.J.Hampson, 11.H.Kamleitner, 15.L.Neville (2.M.Karagiannis 87’), 12.P.Lloyd (5.C.Welham 50’), 23.P.Orgad, 10.R.Shaughnessy (capt), 4.G.Swartz, 6.M.Te Rata.
Substitutes Not Used –111.L.Del Vecchio, 17.Y.Silvestre.
Yellow Cards – 7.M.Sealy 74’.
Red Cards – Nil
20.C.McMahon, 8.A.Berg, 10.L.Hanna, 7.J.Issa, 3.A.Markovic, 5.T.Markovski, 25.K.Pace, 14.J.Press (18.J.Douglas 52’), 16.M.Sehic, 9.N.Todorovski (capt), 32.L.Willmore (31.A.Do Pao 65’).
Substitutes Not Used – 17.A.Savetta, 58.A.Serdoz.
Yellow Cards – 16.M.Sehic 62’.
Red Cards – Nil
Western NSW Mariners – SD Raiders 1-5
SD Raiders confirmed their place in the Top Six with two games to spare, thumping the Western NSW Mariners 5-1 at Glen Willow Stadium in Mudgee.
It was a welcome three points on the road, and continues the Raiders positive form of late, being their 5th win of an eight-match unbeaten run that has seen them steadily climb up the ladder.
The Raiders lead 5-0 before conceding a late consolation to the Mariners – netted by Kenny McCall – with the three points taking them above Bankstown City in to 4th positon on 45 points, ahead of next week’s show down with the Lions.
Hawkesbury City – Granville Rage 1-0
Hawkesbury City left it late but grabbed all three valuable points in a scrappy 1-0 victory over Granville Rage at David Bertenshaw Field on Saturday evening.
Cold windy conditions played havoc with the fluency of the match, and opportunities were far and few between.
Hawkesbury did step it up a little after the break, but Rage goal keeper, Samuel Bortolazzo, was up to the task, parrying a Matthew Liddall free kick on 55 minutes, as well as denying Daniel Morsillo and Bradley Gibson.
But the Hawks kept at it, and it was Daniel Morsillo who struck on 80 minutes – goal number 14 for the campaign – giving the home side the spoils.
The loss ends a six game unbeaten run for Granville, who remain 10th on the ladder on 27 points. Hawkesbury climb back in to 2nd positon on 48 points in what has become the weekly reshuffling of the top six, and are five points adrift of St George City FA at the top.
Dulwich Hill – Camden Tigers 4-2
Playing for not much more than pride, Dulwich Hill made it back to back wins on Saturday night at Arlington, overcoming Camden Tigers 4-2 after the scores were locked at 2-2 with less than 20 minutes remaining.
Stephen Lloyd got things going for Camden, edging the Tigers in front on 33 minutes, but Dully equalised on the stroke of half time, with Gosue Sama setting up Harry Browell to score.
Dulwich crept in to the lead in the 50th minute, with Henry Wells this time providing the assist for Sama to make it 2-1, but Jayden Russell restored parity in the 67th minute, as Camden scrambled to keep their season alive.
But Dulwich Hill responded with two goals to take the points, with Sama netting his second on 71 minutes from a Browell assist, and Henry Wells putting the icing on the cake with a long range strike in the 81st minute.
The win means Dully retain 9th position, moving to 30 points on the ladder..
The loss means Camden Tigers are eliminated from this season’s finals series – they drop to 8th on 36 points, with the gap to 6th placed Dunbar now an unassailable at 7 points with 2 matches remaining.
St George City FA – Fraser Park 2-1
St George City FA have placed one hand on the NPL 3 Premiership Trophy following their 2-1 victory over Fraser Park on Saturday night.
The pundits had St George City FA winning this one easily over last placed Fraser Park, but the league leaders were made to fight all the way as they secured a valuable three points.
Emanuel Koumis edged St George City in to the lead after just 11 minutes, seizing on to a through ball before despatching the leather.
Diogo Andrade equalised for Fraser Park just after the break, but St George City snatched all three points with a late winner.
James Spanoudakis swung over a perfectly weighted free kick in the 82nd minute for Koumis to snare his second goal of the match, the young striker rising highest to head home the winning goal.
The win and subsequent three points moves St George City FA to 53 points at the top of the competition ladder, and they are now 5 points ahead of second placed Hawkesbury with just two matches remaining.
Gladesville Ryde Magic – Sydney University 2-3
Sydney University kept their slim finals hopes alive for at least another week when they overcame Gladesville Ryde Magic 3-2 at Christie Park on Sunday afternoon.
The win and subsequent three points has put Sydney University on 38 points in 7th position, and they are now 5 points behind Dunbar Rovers, who are in 6th spot on 43 points, with two regular rounds of football remaining.
Sydney University actually lead 3-0 at one stage as they hammered home their ascendancy from the outset.
Conor Quilligan put Sydney Uni in to a 14th lead, before Samuel Mehmet doubled their advantage in the 26th.
When Jovan Blagojevic extended Sydney Uni’s lead to 3-0 in the 50th minute, it looked all over bar the shouting.
But Abanoub Mickael and a Michael Gaitatzis free kick brought Gladesville Ryde Magic right back in to the contest, although the ‘students’ held on for a deserved 3-2 win.
Magic’s fortunes weren’t helped with the sending off of Chris Triantis, who was marched in the 86th minute.
The loss sees Gladesville drop to 3rd on the ladder on 46 points, just one ahead of both SD Raiders and Bankstown City.
Inter Lions – Stanmore Hawks 4-2
It’s been a long time between drinks for Inter Lions – six weeks in fact since they tasted victory, so it was a sweet triumph on Sunday night when they defeated Stanmore Hawks 4-2 in the late game at Fraser Park.
The match was evenly poised at 2-2 at half time, but Inter stepped it up after the break to score two more goals and win 4-2 in blistery conditions.
Juan Chavez and Nicholas Sullivan both scored a goal for Inter, whilst young attacker, Julian Rinaldi, managed to grab a brace on a winning night for the Lions.
Nicholas Stenzel and Heo Wookbum grabbed Stanmore’s goals.
The win closes the gap between the two clubs – Stanmore remaining 11th on 22 points, whilst Inter Lions move to 19 points in 12th spot.