Just one more round before we turn around and do it all again in the second half of the season in the State League Men’s competition.
And it’s safe to say some emphatic statements were made!
Indeed, maybe this is finally the week where we found out the pretenders as opposed to the contenders. Really, the action speaks for itself this weekend so let’s get into it!
Nepean FC v Hurstville FC
Well this was the Nepean FC we expected. Yes, I’m confused as well as 10th place came away with a five-goal victory over Hurstville FC who were in equal 2nd coming into the fixture.
Once one goal went in through Jayden Young, there was no stopping them. As Naruyuki Kato went on to pick up a double, with Kuag Reec and Mubarak Saeed also getting on the scoresheet.
Where did this form come from for Hurstville FC? Suddenly their season is at risk of derailment after two games in which they have conceded a total of ten goals. The visitors started the fixture positively with their best period of the match coming early but from then on, this game was one-way traffic.
Hurstville’s most dangerous player on the night (Paul Gagro) opened the game in terms of chances before the fifth minute when a switch of play found him on the right wing. Gagro then cut inside before seeing his shot deflected wide (not that the defender knew much about it).
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for the visitors as Nepean FC opened the scoring just five minutes later. Jayden Young came into the game having scored in his last three appearances and that run now continues. The wide attacker taking advantage of a Kuag Reec lay off with a powerful drive from the left side of the box.
That lead became two shortly after. In terms of individual performances this season, we haven’t seen many better than that of Naruyuki Kato in this one. The attacking midfielder pulled many of the strings in midfield for the hosts and in turn picked up a double. His first coming from a header at the back post after a beautiful Daryl Watson delivery from the left wing.
At the other end, chances were few and far between, mostly coming through a single source. And Paul Gagro nearly halved the deficit but his left footed first-time effort trickled frustratingly wide of the far post.
Despite many efforts before the half time break, the home side couldn’t take the advantage to three goals.
They weren’t made to pay though and the win was signed, sealed and delivered shortly into the second period when Kuag Reec picked up his first goal this month. The imposing front man heading home from a Paul Chester cross.
It became a question of how many at this point and the hosts showed no signs of letting off despite featuring in cup action earlier in the week. The next goal coming through the involvement of Reec again as he played through Kato into open space. Kato then slid the ball under the keeper with the class you would expect.
And it was to be five goals when Mubarak Saeed made the most of his minutes off the bench in both winning and scoring a penalty with six minutes or so to go.
Overall, it was a impressive performance from Nepean FC, who look to be gaining in confidence with each minute on the pitch.
Nepean coach Magdy Andrawes. “Happy with the result, the way we played today we got what we deserved! That’s what we are capable of doing, how we should be playing and what we have got to keep doing, we got to stay focused, got to stay grounded.”
On Naruyuki Kato’s performance, “He did really good today, he was able to stay in the game for the whole time he was out there and came up with some important goals.”
Nepean FC: 5 (Young 10’, Kato 16’ 66’, Reec 53’, Saeed 84’)
Hurstville FC: 0
Nepean FC: 1. Thomas Hamilton, 2. Kurt Machut, 3. Daryl Watson, 5. Naruyuki Kato (24. Simon Ly), 8. Nathan Ralph, 9. Kuag Reec (7. Mubarak Saeed), 10. David Adjassou, 14. Rory Mcgeown (14. Farres Aoun), 15. Jayden Young, 28. Michael Fakiye, 98. Paul Chester.
Subs Not Used: 23. Jake Senior, 44. Abdul Mohseni.
Hurstville FC: 21. Anthony Vrinat, 4. Sebastian Coello, 5. Stephan Perak, 6. Raul Carrizo (20. Rhys Turner), 8. Dario Borovickic, 9. Jesse Gagro, 10. Paul Gagro, 11. Adrian Livio, 14. Michael Di Meglio (13. David Pavey), 15. Nicholas Kougious, 17. Aleks Trenoski (12. Michael Martins).
Subs Not Used: 22. Joseph Sposari.
Western Condors 1-4 Central Coast United
A month ago, after tasting defeat to Fraser Park, Central Coast United set a target of winning their last four matches before the bye weekend. Well that target has now been achieved and they sit comfortably atop the club championship standings. In this one, they came away with a victory over Western Condors thanks to a confident second half performance in which they scored three goals.
That wasn’t before the challenge was laid out to them during the first period with the consensus being that Condors probably edged the first period despite not creating much to trouble Jack O’Mally and the Central Coast defense. In fact, the home side went into the shed behind courtesy of a Daniel Mcfarlane goal before the half hour mark.
Some adjustments were made for the visitors and it paid off soon after the break when Jarred Steen continued his good form finishing on the volley when a Mcfarlane shot was saved into his path. And it was that man again as two became three, Steen finishing from a tight angle after Mcfarlane played him in.
The win was capped off through another Mcfarlane assist, playing in Tom Lyons who showed and composure to finish from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Then came probably one of the best consolation goals you will ever see when Chun Him Yau chipped the keeper from outside the eighteen-yard box on the right wing crossing the line on the full.
Fraser Park 4-0 South Coast Flame
It was a night for blowouts as Fraser Park simply proved too good for South Coast Flame. The hosts remain unbeaten at home for season 2019 and coach Renato Jelen was pleased with the effort his whole team put in.
Coaches will tell you, it’s crucial to remain switched on throughout the whole 90 minutes of a fixture and unfortunately the visitors South Coast Flame were unable too.
The game started off a fairly even contest with both teams prepared to see what each other have got. Then in a blink and you’ll miss it moment, Fraser Park raced out to a two-goal advantage. The first coming through Luiz Lobo before in form striker Matthew Nezval doubled the advantage pouncing on a stray back pass.
Fraser Park made the advantage three before half time with Nezval scoring again. But to their credit South Coast Flame cane out after the break reinvigorated putting the hosts defense under significant pressure.
However, the scoring was rounded off with a hat-trick goal to Nezval scoring a spectacular volley goal twenty minutes into the second half with a magic touch and finish from downtown.
South Coast Flame looked once again to score but were unable to beat Ian Johnson and his defense for a consolation.
FC Gazy Auburn 3-2 UNSW FC
Six games undefeated and now FC Gazy Auburn find themselves in a finals position. The hosts came out on top of UNSW FC in a hard-fought contest at Progress Park on Sunday afternoon.
UNSW FC took the lead ten minutes into the game through a goal to Nima Beik. The visitors started the game well controlling the opening twenty-five minutes but as with other games this season, things just didn’t go their way from that point on.
Having worked their way into the contest, FC Gazy Auburn equalized with ten minutes to go in the first period through a Sanel Hodzic Mehic header. They only then went and took the lead before the break as Haydar Al-Ameri scored a tap in.
A reaction from UNSW FC was inevitable, just would it be positive or negative? The answer was positive as they pushed forward and equalized through an Aaron Richmond goal from a shot inside the box.
However, that equalizer unfortunately would mean nothing later on in the fixture. FC Gazy Auburn were awarded a corner in the dying stages of which Haydar Al-Ameri managed to scramble the ball home from three yards out to give the hosts another victory in their run. In turn condemning their visitors to another loss.
Hurstville City Minotaurs 1-4 Prospect United
A much-needed victory for Prospect United! They came into the clash with Hurstville City Minotaurs having lost their past couple of fixtures. However, the slide has now being halted with a comfortable win over Hurstville City Minotaurs.
It wasn’t always looking that way though as they conceded early on as Thiago Rabinovitch got on the scoresheet for the “home” side. Prospect responded positively, toiling away to bring themselves back into the fixture. And they were rewarded from the spot after Nick Valjak was brought down, Simon Zahra converting.
After the break, it was a quick one two punch between the 55th and 60th minute for Prospect United which saw the visitors take the ascendency. The goal scorers being Joel Bayubahe and Nick Valjak from good combination play in the lead up.
The win was sealed off with ten minutes remaining, with Nick Valjak capping off a brace with a finish from inside the box.
It’s a handy win and Prospect United now find themselves just a solidary point outside the top five position ahead of a crucial clash against Nepean next weekend.
By Justin Smith (@smiththejustin)