Round 13 Review – State League Men’s


It rained at Ilinden Sports Centre this weekend, but not only water wise with plenty of goals being scored to accompany raindrops in the State League Men’s competition.

Yes, we promised much and it was delivered upon with three fixtures that were match of the round worthy across the weekend.

Match of the Round: Hurstville City Minotaurs vs Nepean FC

The most important win of the weekend? Nepean FC have claimed a vital 3 points and some revenge against Hurstville City Minotaurs in the final match at Ilinden Sports Centre over the weekend.

A lot on the line, tense atmosphere. That means several goals in the opening 15 minutes, right? Hey, one can dream but in reality, it was a scrap with the best opportunities early on coming courtesy of a set piece.

Twenty minutes in and the first major opportunity of the game came when Hayden Pronin hit a powerful low shot which was saved well by the Minotaurs shot stopper before being cleared out of danger desperately.

As time ticked on, Nepean were gaining more and more control over the fixture. Ten minutes after Pronin’s effort Jayden Young broke down the left but his teammates weren’t on the same wavelength. The attack fizzled out when Rory Mcgeown hit his shot into Bicentennial Park behind the northern goal.

Inroads were being made by the visitors down the left wing. And Nepean FC have too much talent to not take advantage. And they did when Darryl Watson found Naruyuki Kato whose shot was blocked. Unfortunately for the Minotaurs, the ball fell to Hayden Pronin who finished off.

A response was needed by the hosts and it eventually came with them applying some pressure late on in the half highlighted by a spectacular effort from Riad Agnache who forced Tom Hamilton to tip the ball over the bar.

Once again, it was the hosts who started the better of the two after the break courtesy of the attacking combination of Agnache and Juan Botero. Agnache was running the show for the Minotaurs attack and should’ve scored three minutes into the second half with a shot inside the 18-yard box. He looked to make up for it shortly after setting up Thiago Rabinovich but he couldn’t trouble the net either.

The second half was beginning to look really familiar when Nepean once again dragged themselves back into control of the contest. And as always Naruyuki Kato was instrumental particularly in his combination with Daryl Watson on the left. The two combining for a chance of which Kato couldn’t get enough power on his first time shot.

It was a frustrating night for the Minotaurs overall but particularly for Rabinovich who was marked out of the contest for the most part. One of his few chances of the match came next with a shot from a very narrow angle flashing across goal.

And unfortunately for them, they were punished by their visitors with Kyle Jones claiming his first goal for Nepean FC from a corner delivered in from the left. The defender made no mistake in finishing off the contest for the visiting team.

Minotaurs did continue to push forward but to no reward and will now face an uphill battle to qualify for finals football.

Nepean FC coach Magdy Andrawes was delighted with the three points. “Good to get a win, it was scrappier than our last couple of games. But it was good to finish the job. Second half they came out stronger and we did well to not lose our way like we have done this season.”

We’re taking things day by day and seeing where things end up. Delighted for Kyle getting his first goal for the club as well.”

In contrast Minotaurs coach Peter “The General” Sarikakis rued his teams’ inability to not find the net. “I think we played well and didn’t get reward for it. I’m not upset because they put the effort in just, we didn’t score the goals we needed too.

Match Stats

Hurstville City Minotaurs: 0

Nepean FC: 2 (Pronin, Jones)

Hurstville City Minotaurs: 1. James Law, 4. Nicholas Mouzourakis (2. A. Brakatselos), 7. Angelo Vagenas, 13. Juan Botero, 14. M. Martinovich (11. Cory-Jnr Sharma-Constance), 16. Matheus Pontes, 17. Thiago Rabinovitch, 18. Shin Takahashi, 23. Keifer Dotti, 30. Riad Agnache, 35, Mate Balazs (15. Seyfullah Eser).

Subs: RK. Dean Vagenas, 10. Bojan Srbinovski.

Nepean FC: 1. Thomas Hamilton, 3. Daryl Watson, 4. Kyle Jones (44. Andrew Mekhail), 5. Naruyuki Kato, 8. Nathan Ralph (22. Thomas Bird), 10. David Adjassou, 14. Rory Mcgeown, 15. Jayden Young, 28. Michael Fakiye, 77. Hayden Pronin (11. Jack Hoban), 98. Paul Chester.

Subs: 23. Jake Senior, 20. Alex Moore

Around the Grounds:

UNSW FC 2-3 Central Coast United

Say what you like about Central Coast United, but they know how to get a result despite not being at their best. It was heart in mouth stuff for the away side who took away the points despite being pushed hard late in the fixture.

UNSW FC are in a bit of a rut but that’s not for the wanted trying. In fact, this was one of their better performances of the season. They took the lead early through a Michael Leahy header from the penalty spot taking advantage of a Christopher Phillips cross.

Central Coast United equalizer came 15 minutes later from a corner. The was swung in from the left-hand side and Alex Arbelo did enough to cause chaos at the near hand post whilst getting the final touch to open their account.

Football can be a game of margins and it certainly didn’t look like there were nine positions between these two sides. In saying that, you certainly don’t want to give the ball away to Daniel Mcfarlane, the United attacker taking advantage of a defensive slip-up (literally) finishing with a left footed strike.

Jarred Steen’s pace continues to cause problems to teams around the league. And the next goal came from that and a lack of defensive awareness. The young winger breaking free on the right side before squaring it to the feet of Alex Arbelo who claimed his second with his effort flying into the top left facing corner.

The goal of the game belonged to the hosts though as they looked to stage a comeback in what can only be described as torrential conditions. Nima Beik showed the quality we all know he has creating space for himself off the right wing, before his left footed found the far top corner of the net.

Despite further chances for UNSW and a late penalty attempt for the visitors. The score remained 3-2 in the favour of Central Coast United

UNSW FC: 2 (Leahy 11’, Beik 77’)

Central Coast United: 3 (Arbelo 25’ 61’, Mcfarlane 57’)

Balmain Tigers 4-3 Western Condors

Balmain Tigers resurgence continues… But didn’t they do it the hard way in a victory over the Western Condors early Sunday afternoon.

The home side got out to a two-goal advantage mid-way through the second half but looked to have blown it when scores were drawn level.

Meanwhile for Western Condors, the slide continues despite their best efforts to bring it to a halt. After scores were brought level, you would’ve backed them to go on and win it but it wasn’t to be.

Balmain started as they finished last weekend looking composed in their play and were rewarded on twenty-five minutes. And who else but Frank Calgano who received the ball with his back to go before finishing with finesse into the far side of the net for the opener.

Dropping leads has been a problem for Balmain this year, but not usually before half time. But a defense splitting ball from midfield allowed from Jay Takahashi to get in behind on the right wing. Takahashi then squared the ball to Chun Him Yau who finished into an empty net.

The action was just beginning at Ilinden Sports Centre as the second half included five goals. The first of which came from Manuel Angelopoulos who headed home a Miki Bisceglia cross.

Let’s talk about offside traps, when they work, they look good. When they don’t work, it looks really ugly and Calgano took advantage. As the Condors defense shut down, Calgano finished off.

It’s getting desperate for the We stern Condors and a reaction had to happen. And it came through two goals. The first from …. And second a beautiful strike from Christian Martinez, the ball flying into the near side netting.

Remarkably though, the drama was just about to escalate further. With a minute to go, an initial Balmain Tigers shot hitting the crossbar, a follow up remarkably saved by the goalkeeper lunging forward. Another shot saved before Frank Calgano scored his third goal of the match, a looping header into the net to give them a statement victory.

Balmain Tigers: 4 (Calgano, Bisceglia)

Western Condors: 3 (Yau, Muller, Martinez)

Prospect United 0-1 Fraser Park

It was tough, it was tight, it was a terrific feeling for Fraser Park as they took all three points from their game with Prospect United at the death.

He doesn’t score too often these days but when he does its an important goal. Indeed, Christian Soares will get the headlines in this one. The captain popped up to score from a Luiz Lobo corner with two minutes of regular time to go which in turn keeps Fraser Park in first position at the conclusion of round 13. Elsewhere on the park, coach Renato Jelen was quick to mention the efforts of Eric Tomesek on the right flank labelling him ‘man of the match’.

Performance wise, it was a welcome change for Prospect United. In fact, from all accounts it was back to the gritty fighting Prospect United we all know and love. The hosts got out to a fast start having three glorious chances to open the scoring within the first twenty minutes. From there on in, the match turned into a wrestle with chances going back and forth only for a late heartbreaker to occur.

FC Gazy Auburn 1-1 South Coast Flame

The weather played havoc across games on the weekend but no more than in this one between FC Gazy Auburn and South Coast Flame. The game was moved to the South Coast with a changed kick off time. Maybe that’s why it took a while to get going? But sure, enough when it did there was drama aplenty.

South Coast Flame struggled to adapt early on in the contest and could’ve been punished with good opportunities falling to the usual FC Gazy Auburn suspects. It wasn’t to be though and the teams went into the half scoreless.

Familiarity with the conditions was gained so the second half (particularly the last quarter brought the action with it). And the hosts (South Coast Flame) opened the scoring with just over ten minutes to go. Yuki Mandai found Justin Smith with a cross and the midfielder with just an awesome name finished off from around 10 yards.

But just when they thought the three points were staying put in Wollongong. A long ball was controlled well by Haydar Al-Ameri and the striker was good enough to finish off scoring in the 4th minute of injury time.

By Justin Smith (@smiththejustin)