Round 15 – State League Men’s Review


Well we promised you a great match of the round, and we delivered! Round 15 of the State League Men’s competition as Fraser Park kept their premiership hopes intact.

Elsewhere teams just keep taking points off each other and there’s just 8 points between 3rd place and bottom in a very close competition for finals places. Bring on Round 16!

Match of the Round: Nepean FC 2-3 Fraser Park

Throughout my time reporting on this competition, I’ve seen some remarkable things. We can now add this game to the list. Fraser Park FC have come from a seemingly hopeless position to score three goals in the last twenty minutes against Nepean FC to seemingly keep their premiership hopes alive.

Yes, it’s a win that shows the team from Sydney’s eastern suburbs will not let their fellow premiership contender go away. Luiz Lobo struck first just before the 75-minute mark, before new signing Cam Philpot opened his club goal tally to bring things level. Then in time added on, Shu Torihara finished things off.

Now that’s such a Nepean thing to do. Sounds harsh I know but they do have a good throwaway loss in them. Goals from Clement Waoci and Michael Fakiye put them up by two goals before the momentum turned rapidly. Only thing they can do is get their head down and focus on righting their wrong next time these two sides meet.

Now having said all that, things could have turned out a whole lot differently. In an encouraging start for Fraser Park, striker Matthew Nezval was brought down having escaped the hosts defense. The resulting free kick from Lobo went just wide of the left-hand facing post.

Nepean FC slowly brought themselves back into the match and ten minutes later were rewarded a penalty. Of which returning striker Clement Waoci confidently stepped up, stunting his run up before sending the keeper the wrong way. With the ball going into the bottom right of the net.

Chances of note were few and far between in a stop start kind of fixture. That combined with some good sweeping work by either keeper meant I’m including this paragraph in a report.

You won’t be surprised if you’ve seen the state of Cook Park to note, Nepean’s second goal came from a set piece. Paul Chester floated a ball in from the left which found the feet of Michael Fakiye. The centre back made no mistake finishing off in style, his shot from the far post flying into the opposite side of the net. 2-0.

Nepean then had a few chances either side of half time to make it a three-goal lead. Before the break Waoci just couldn’t quite reach the ball, instead squaring it to Daryl Watson who shot was scrambled away from the goalmouth. Before goal-scorer Fakiye missed a free header from the top of the six-yard box with twenty-five minutes to go.

And honestly that seemed to swing the momentum in the away side’s direction. Not that they weren’t creating a few of their own chances, most notably from usual suspect Matthew Nezval.

Almost exactly ten minutes after that Fakiye opportunity, Luiz Lobo struck like a thief in the night. Lobo cut in off his left-wing position and just hit the ball as sweetly as possible with it flying into net with some assistance from the crossbar.

If it wasn’t known beforehand, Fraser Park aren’t a side you want to let back into a fixture like this and from this point on, it was relatively one-way traffic. The second coming five minutes after through Cam Philpot who was in the right place at the right time to finish off a save which was directed into his path. 2-2.

Like any good story, this one also has a thrilling crescendo. Into added time, Nepean were perhaps unlucky to not be awarded a penalty through a handball. Seconds later the ball found its way to the other end and suddenly it was the away side taking three points home. How? Shu Torihara found himself in plenty of space just outside the box on the right wing. And he was good enough to launch a low drive which caught the inside of the far post before rolling into the net. 2-3.

Fraser Park coach Renato Jelen was really pleased with his side’s comeback. “Very proud of the comeback. It was a very even game, on a field where it was very hard to play football.”

“They were used to the field; I think that was the difference between the two sides first half. At half time, we changed plans more to our normal plan and we turned it around.”

Match Stats

Nepean FC: 2 (Waoci 18’, Fakiye 35’)

Fraser Park: 3 (Lobo 73’, Philpot 78’, Torihara 90’)

Nepean FC: 1. Thomas Hamilton, 3. Daryl Watson, 4. Kyle Jones, 5. Naruyuki Kato, 6. Masudi Elongo, 9. Jayden Young (20. Alex Moore), 10. Clement Ebahece Waoci (17. Farres Aoun), 14. Rory Mcgeown (14. Jack Hoban), 15. Thomas Bird, 28. Michael Fakiye, 98. Paul Chester

Subs: 23. Wit Sohembri, 45. Kazundri Masuda

Fraser Park: 1. Ian Johnson, 2. Talon Myers, 3. Lionel Glorieux (15. Jun Arima), 4. Alexis Wenzel (42. Cam Philpot), 7. Christian Soares, 8. Dominic Siu, 10. Luiz Lobo, 11. Shu Torihara, 13. Rodrigo Cataldi. 16. Eric Tomesek, 45. Matthew Nezval.

Subs: 41. Thomas Alston, 5. Edilson Farias, 18. Kaito Tokumoto.

Hurstville City Minotaurs v Hurstville FC

When it rains it pours… Hurstville FC have rediscovered their scoring touch and in turn blown away their neighbours in a one-sided affair.

After a tense opening to the match, the visitors broke through after the half hour mark. Jesse Gagro played Michael Di Meglio through. He then squared it to the back post where Adrian Livio scored with an easy finish.

The margin didn’t remain at one for long though. A miscommunication at the back for the Minotaurs resulted in Jesse Gagro getting to the right byline before his cross found Livio who finished off. Hurstville FC smelt blood having scored twice and they weren’t going to take their foot of the pedal.

Adrian Livio seemed to have space on demand down the right-hand side. His decision making was on point as well squaring it to 4 who placed the ball through the keeper’s legs.

They weren’t ready to go to half time either. A fourth was soon added from the exact same route, Adrian this time playing it to Jesse Gagro who gave them a 4-0 half time lead.

Surprisingly though, it was the hosts who opened the second half scoring with Mattheus Pontes scored from the spot. And with the momentum back on their side, Nicolas Rouco doubled their tally with a long-range effort after some sloppy keeping.

Despite having further chances, Hurstville FC couldn’t add to their first half tally in a game where they really could’ve racked up more goals.

Central Coast United 2-1 South Coast Flame

Bit of a contrast in comparison to the first clash between these two sides. Central Coast United have come from behind to sneak a win past South Coast Flame at home.

Yep, if you recall the first clash of the season between these two, it still stands as the biggest margin of the competition yet at 9-0. So, this is just the latest in a series of encouraging losses/draws for South Coast Flame. After a tight first half in which both sides had their periods of possession. Louis Connell opened the scoring with a goal for the visitors. And what a goal it was, one which can only be described as an absolute stunner. His volley from the top right corner of box, flying into the far corner of the net.

The lead didn’t last long though as the opener sparked a response from the home side. Their first came from Scott Mcginley who scored his fourth of the season. An Adam Woodbine free kick was floated in and Mcginley made no mistake from a header at the top of the six yard box.

Then in a cruel blow to the visitors, Central Coast United finished their comeback victory from the spot. A cross was whipped in from a deep right position which was met by Woodbine header seconds before been taken out by the Flame goalkeeper. Mcfarlane then stepped up with a cheeky finish down the middle to secure yet another lead for the table-toppers.

UNSW FC 3-1 Balmain Tigers

It’s been a month and a half, but UNSW FC finally have their fourth win of the season. This one coming up against an in-form Balmain Tigers. And the win even surprised them.

Coming into the fixture with no fit strikers, you honestly wouldn’t have known as the scoring was opened by a self-confessed fluke/screamer from Ilan Kessler. The temporary striker beating the keeper from around 30 yards (maybe more) on the left wing.

They couldn’t see it out till half time though as a Balmain Tigers corner was whipped in and Miki Bisceglia finished off after a scramble inside the box.

However, the more things change, the more they stay the same right? And a five-minute period within the second half meant that any Balmain momentum was snuffed out.

Back to the hosts then and Kessler was settling into his new role well playing a part in the second. He backheeled the ball to Jakub Buris who found Daniel Cooper. Cooper picking up his first goal in first grade.

This was followed up by what was described to me as a distinctly 2018 UNSW Goal. Jakub Buris once again played his part winning the ball off a Balmain centre-back before finding Florim Binakaj who finished.

The win means there’s just 8 points separating 3rd from last place. What a run in we have ahead of us.

Prospect United 0-2 FC Gazy Auburn

FC Gazy Auburn needed a response after last weekend. And they delivered in style as they beat Prospect United on Sunday afternoon.

It was a tough week for FC Gazy Auburn having to back up after a 9-1 defeat to Central Coast United. However, this week was a different story and the Gazy boy’s put in a performance which left everyone at the club extremely proud.

In a half in which they had three of four chances previous. They opened the scoring through Esoghume Dominic. The goal coming after Javier Diaz saw his shot hit the post, only for it to fall to Dominic who blasted it into the roof of the net.

The striker would then go on to collect a double in the second half through another counterattack. From there on in, despite having to do some defensive work in the final minutes, they came away with a comfortable win.

For Prospect United, it was simply a tale of being out-enthused and out-muscled in a contest. They will have to put this loss behind them quickly though as a tricky fixture against Central Coast awaits them next week.

By Justin Smith (@smiththejustin)