We have a new leader! Stanmore Hawks FC return to the summit of the National Premier Leagues 3 Men’s competition after playing second fiddle to Bankstown City FC for the past six rounds.
The Hawks sit pretty at the top of the table, courtesy of Inter Lions victory against Bankstown City. Parramatta were able to snap out of their four-game winless streak while wins for Camden Tigers and Hawkesbury City has made for a very congested midtable with only a point the difference between 7th and 10th spot on the table.
Arlington Oval was where this week’s match of the round took place as Stanmore Hawks entertained Granville Rage on a freakishly cold Saturday night in the inner west.
Stanmore Hawks FC 3 Granville Rage 2
Stanmore Hawks pipped Granville Rage to the finish line, winning 3-2 in the end, in what was a tense finale to a heated contest at Arlington Oval on Saturday night.
There was plenty drama on the pitch in this encounter after a late Rage comeback forced the Hawks to dig deep to score the winner, however it was the floodlights that were ultimately the centre of attention.
It was the hosts who conjured up the first opportunity in this tie after Jovan Blagojevic’s looping header went the wrong side of the post after he was picked out by Jonah Caragher’s pinpoint ball.
A much-improved Rage attack was on display this time around as Brandon Vegas and Jackson Warwick stretched the Hawks’ defence with the former coming close on 13 minutes after his effort from the left-hand side of the box, stung the palms of Stanmore goalkeeper Nick Carosi.
However, it was the hosts who were able to get on the scoreboard first as Blagojevic capped off an excellent run down the left wing with a low driven effort which found its way into the bottom right hand corner of the net on 17 minutes.
Three minutes later and they found themselves two up after a signature corner from Spaniard Alberto Perea Henche was headed into the goal by an airborne Conor Quilligan.
We were soon rocked by the sudden descent into darkness after the floodlights switched off.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, Arlington Oval went pitch black which led to half time being pushed forward as players and spectators alike, waited for the lights to turn back on.
The whole fiasco lasted a total of 20 minutes and completely changed the complexion of the game when the players returned.
Referee James Lewis played the remaining five minutes of the half and it was the Hawks who were unfortunate not to extend their lead to three goals after Peter Yannopoulos’ effort rattled the crossbar after he was teed up by Blagojevic on the edge of the six-yard box.
For most of the second half, neither side were able to carve out any notable chances of their own and it was not until the final twenty minutes that the game well and truly came alive.
Granville’s Justin Ivanovic troubled Carosi with his effort on the 70th minute mark after he connected with Vegas’ ball into the box before they got one back four minutes later thanks to Alan Lajin.
Lajin bundled the ball over the line from point blank range after Carosi failed to deal with Warwick’s stinging strike.
It did not take much longer for the visitors to restore parity as Neram Yalda arrived on the scene on 78 minutes after he chipped it over Carosi who had come off his line in attempt to win the ball just outside the 18-yard-area.
However, all of Rage’s hard work came undone from yet another Perea Henche corner, this time finding Blagojevic unmarked to head home the all-important winner with five minutes remaining.
Defensive heroics from Hawks’ Angus Chance, saved the home side in the final minute of the encounter after he sprinted back to make a spectacular goal line clearance to deny the visitors a share of the points.
The win and subsequent three points moves the Hawks to 35 points, rising to the summit of the NPL 3 NSW Men’s ladder.
National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s
Saturday, June 22, 2019
STANMORE HAWKS FC 3 (Blagojevic 17’, 85’, Quilligan 20’)
GRANVILLE RAGE 2 (Lajin 74’, Yalda 78’)
STANMORE HAWKS FC; 1.N.Carosi(gk), 2.T.Wohlfiel, 3.O.Stickland, 5.H.Brown, 6.A.Perea Henche, 7.P.Yannopoulos, 8.N.Niski(12.S.Awad 79’), 9.J.Blagojevic, 10.J.Caragher(17.A.Caragher 81’), 11.C.Quilligan, 16.A.Chance.
Substitutions Not Used – 15.J.Seib, 21.F.Worrall, 31.D.Vaccaro.
Yellow Cards – 17.A.Caragher 87’, 7.P.Yannopoulos 90+4’.
Red Cards – N/A.
GRANVILLE RAGE; 1.S.Bortolazzo, 2.M.Luc, 4.S.Homer, 5.A.Lajin(16.R.Elrish), 6.R.Sadler, 8.D.Bortolazzo(19.M.Takizawa), 9.N.Yalda, 13.J.Warwick, 17.J.Ivanovic, 20.B.Vegas, 21.M.Zafirov.
Substitutions Not Used – 3.M.Joseski, 15.T.Raftopoulos.
Yellow Cards – 20.B.Vegas 16’, 13.J.Warwick 90+3’, 2.M.Luc 90+5’.
Red Cards – N/A.
Hawkesbury City FC – Dunbar Rovers FC 2-1
Hawkesbury City extended their unbeaten record to five games as they overcame Dunbar Rovers 2-1 at David Bertenshaw Field on Saturday night.
An even first half saw both sides chip away at each other as they looked to gain the upper hand, however it was not until after the restart that we were able to see the ball ripple the back of the net.
Hawks’ Kwadwo Boamah-Addai put his name on the scoresheet on 55 minutes after Brad Gibson’s cross from the left wing found him free at the back post for a relatively straightforward tap in.
Boamah-Addai popped up with his side’s second after 74 minutes when he headed home from a corner.
A horror mistake at the back saw Dunbar pull one back with ten minutes to go after Steven Chester capitalised on a poor goal kick from the hosts.
The win sees Hawkesbury retain 10th position on the ladder, with 20 points, while the loss sees Dunbar drop to 9th, on the same amount of points as their hosts.
Parramatta FC – Sydney University SFC 2-0
Parramatta were able to recall that winning feeling after they registered their first win in four games with a 2-0 victory against Sydney University at Melita Stadium on Saturday night.
Ahmad Elrich scored with a cracking effort from outside the box on the 40th minute mark after he beat two defenders before smashing the ball into the back of the net.
The Eagles continued to dominate in the second half and were 2-0 up after 50 minutes thanks to the boot of Mark Symington.
The win and three points that comes with it sees Parramatta go up to 12th spot on the table, with 12 points, while the defeat means that Sydney University remain in 11th position, on 15 points.
SD Raiders FC – Bankstown United FC 2-1
Bankstown United were sent crashing back to reality as they were dealt a 2-1 defeat at the hands of SD Raiders at Ernie Smith Reserve on Saturday night.
In form Daniel Bittar missed a sitter for the Raiders after eight minutes or so after he sprayed wide from only seven yards out.
United’s fast paced style of play caused quite some damage for the home side’s defence however it was a defensive mix up that led to them conceding first in this encounter.
The ball fell to the last person that they would have hoped for in Anthony Proia, the league’s leading goal scorer dispatched his effort to give his side the lead 30 seconds before the break.
Raiders’ advantage did not last for long as the ever-reliable Mitch Cross put his side back on even terms 10 minutes into the second half.
It was a case of being in the right place at the right time for the United striker after the ball fell to his feet after the Raiders’ backline failed to clear their lines.
The visitor’s equaliser sparked a response from the hosts, and they were soon back in control of the affair after James Raiti was first to react to the loose ball in Bankstown’s six-yard box.
Proia appeared to have made it 3-1 with a header on 80 minutes, however he was adjudged to be offside.
Bittar and Damien Smith spurned their one-on-one opportunities in the final minutes, so the score remained at 2-1 when the full-time whistle blew.
The win and subsequent three points pushes SD Raiders onto 33 points however they fall to 4th position on the table while the defeat sees United drop to 6th spot on the ladder, with 27 points to their name.
Bankstown City FC – Inter Lions FC 1-2
Bankstown City’s reign at the top of the table came to an end as Inter Lions ran out 2-1 winners in their clash at Jensen Park on Saturday night.
Inter found themselves ahead on the quarter hour mark through Steven Ilic after he played a slick one-two with Fikret Berisha before smashing the ball into the bottom corner.
The hosts returned to equal terms after 30 minutes thanks to a well taken shot from Marko Filipovic.
Filipovic was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons five minutes later after he was given his marching orders after he was deemed to have intentionally kicked out at an Inter player who was on the ground injured.
The visitors took the game by the scruff of the neck after the restart; however, it was not until the 80th minute that they were able to penetrate the Bankstown rear-guard for the decisive goal.
Julian Rinaldi’s effort from outside the 18-yard-box nestled into the net after some inspired lead up play from Stephen Stavropoulos.
The massive result for Inter Lions sees them leapfrog Bankstown United into 5th spot on the ladder, moving to 29 points, whilst City forfeit top spot with their 33 points putting them in 3rd position on the table.
Camden Tigers FC – Dulwich Hill FC 2-1
Camden Tigers triumphed yet again at home with Dulwich Hill their latest victim as they registered a 2-1 win at Ron Dine Stadium in arctic conditions on Saturday night.
Dean Mugridge set his side on their way when he broke the deadlock on 44 minutes before Blake Brooker weighed in with his third goal in two weeks five minutes after the restart.
The Tigers appeared on course for the three points until Andreas Gomez clawed one back with 20 minutes or so left on the clock.
This made for a nervy finish, but Camden were ultimately able to hold on in the end as they rise to 8th position on the ladder, moving to 21 points, while the loss means that Dully stay where they are, in 7th spot with 21 points.
Gladesville Ryde Magic – Western NSW Mariners 6-3
A high scoring affair took place in the sole fixture on Sunday as Gladesville Ryde Magic put six past Western NSW Mariners in a 6-3 goal fest at Christie Park.
Magic’s latest signing, Greek star Dimitris Sialmas stole the show as the former AEK Athens attacker weighed in with a hat trick for his new side.
He scored the first goal of the encounter before he was awarded a penalty later in the half which he stepped up to convert.
Chris Gaitatzis got his customary goal for the hosts before the Mariners pulled one back to make it 3-1 as they went into the sheds.
The scoring spree continued in the second half as Christos Tomaras and Aaron Khan added to their lead while Sialmas also completed his hat trick to make it six goals to the good for the home side.
Two goals in the last five minutes salvaged a more respectable result for the visitors but once again, it is back to the drawing board for the men from the west.
The win puts Magic up to 34 points as they climb to 2nd on the ladder while the loss sees the Mariners continue to prop up the table with 6 points so far this season.
-By NPL 3 NSW Men’s Chief Writer Samuel Greco Schwartz (Twitter handle: @SamuelGS97)