The National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s competition supplied yet another round of intriguing results, with four teams managing to win away from home, whilst two of the top five came unstuck.
Dunbar Rovers snatched a very welcome three points at Hensley Athletic Field with a narrow 2-1 win over Camden Tigers on Saturday afternoon; Hawkesbury City condemned Bankstown City Lions to their third consecutive defeat with a 3-0 triumph at David Bertenshaw Field; SR Raiders picked up the spoils in a rudimentary 2-0 away win at Garside Park against Granville Rage; Parramatta FC gave Stanmore a scare before succumbing 1-3 to the Hawks at Melita Stadium; Gladesville Ryde Magic put Inter Lions to the sword in a devastating first half display winning 4-1 at FNSW headquarters; whilst Dulwich Hill eagerly earned the points in a 2-0 success over Sydney University at Arlington Oval.
FNSW took our seats at Jensen Park on Saturday evening to watch the home side, Bankstown United, entertain the Western NSW Mariners.
MATCH OF THE ROUND
BANKSTOWN UNITED – WESTERN NSW MARINERS 2-0
Bankstown United made reasonably light work of the Western NSW Mariners on Saturday night, dominating throughout to register a 2-0 victory at Jensen Park with a brace of goals from their top marksman, Mitchell Cross.
The scoreline did not reflect the amount of possession that United controlled, but they did what they had to in order to acquire the three points, and the win has pushed them in to a healthy 5th positon on the ladder on 30 points.
Bankstown United took the game by the scruff of the neck from the get go, pushing the Mariners back in to their own half as they searched for an opening.
Joshua Spina was the first to threaten for the home side on 5 minutes, the midfielder meeting a corner that was cleared to him on the edge of the Mariner’s penalty area, striking a volley that was deflected wide of the mark.
Within a minute it was Luke Willmore’s turn, his angled shot tipped around the near post by the alert Mariners’ keeper, Brock Logan.
United’s midfield triangle of Spina, Willmore and Eros Bergamin were really taking a stranglehold on the match at this point, linking well in the Mariners’ half as they continued to search for openings.
Bankstown kept at it, and it was Willmore once more who went close in the 20th minute, this time hitting his shot too straight at Logan, the Mariners keeper, after receiving a neat lay off from Mitchell Cross.
Cross himself provided a cheeky flick at goal in the 26th minute after receiving a pass inside the box from Joshua Spina, the ball taking a slight deflection as it whisked past the upright. From the ensuing corner, the ball fell nicely to central defender, Mathew Cook, who curled a shot inches wide of the far upright.
Still scoreless after half an hour, and in fact, the Mariners could’ve stolen the lead with their first real dangerous attack in the 31st minute.
Jackson Fuda supplied a superb cross field pass from the left back position in to the path of Matthew Hobby on the right flank. Hobby took a touch and cracked a fierce shot from all of 25 yards that stung the hands of Bankstown’s keeper, David Hamilton, who regathered at the second attempt.
Spina’s shot in the 34th minute flew over the cross bar, the Bankstown midfielder receiving a swift cut back from the right by Bergamin following a corner that had been cleared back out to the Bankstown number 10.
Bankstown in fact reached double figures on the corner count, and looked dangerous on almost each occasion, with skipper, Steve Wright, desperately throwing his head at the ball a couple of times. It was a credit to the Mariners that they continuously repelled the danger given how many times they had to face Bergamin’s outswinging set pieces.
Brock Logan did just that once more in the 36th minute – the Mariners keeper springing upwards to tip a Mitchell Cross header over the bar after yet another corner.
The home fans were screaming for a goal, and it eventually told when Bankstown United took the lead in the 43rd minute.
A very patient build up involving a host of Bankstown players and a series of short passes ended with Mitchell Cross receiving the ball in the right channel with his back to goal. Cross used his body to shrug off the challenge of a Mariners’ defender, before taking a quick touch around keeper, Brock Logan, and striking the ball in to the empty net from a tight angle.
The Mariners would’ve been content to have hung on for that long, although no one could deny a deserved lead for Bankstown given the glut of possession they entertained.
The break did nothing to deter Bankstown’s determination to keep at it, and they doubled their advantage as early as the 5th minute of the second half.
Mariners captain, Nikki Spice, was adjudged to have grappled with Bankstown’s striker, Mitchell Cross, as the ball was played in to the mixer.
Referee, Mr Roberto Mattei, pointed to the spot, as Spice earned himself a yellow card for his troubles.
Mitchell Cross picked himself up, dusted himself off, and struck the penalty firmly to the keeper’s left, sending Brock the wrong way as he gave Bankstown United a 2-0 lead.
Matthew Sadler then almost made it three in the 55th minute, his snapshot from 20 yards cannoning off the cross bar with Brock Logan, the Mariners keeper, grasping at thin air.
It became an interesting affair thereafter, with the Mariners forced to throw some caution to the wind, whilst Bankstown knew they could put the result beyond reach with a clinical counter attack.
Both coaches emptied their respective benches with three substitutes each, with Dalibor Malisevic looking particularly spritely with the ball at his feet on Bankstown’s left wing.
The Mariners kept plugging away, and were almost rewarded a couple of times late on, which would’ve made for an interesting final ten minutes or so.
Thomas Berg connected perfectly inside the Bankstown penalty area on 80 minutes after a cutback from the goal line, but alas, United defender, Luke Mesiti, blocked the close range shot with his body before the ball was cleared.
Jeremy Judge went even closer for the Mariners in the 87th minute, belting a superb left foot drive from the edge of the box that rebounded off the Bankstown cross bar, with United keeper, David Hamilton, scrambling.
We had time for one more effort in the 89th minute, and it fell to Mitchell Cross with an opportunity to nab his hatrick. Eros Bergamin almost topped off his fantastic game with a goal, his long range drive saved – but spilled – by Brock Logan in the Mariners goal. Cross reached the rebound first, sliding his shot past Logan, but also across the face of the goal and agonisingly past the far upright.
Referee, Mr Roberto Mattei, blew his final whistle, but his officiating wasn’t quite yet over.
A fracas of sorts ensued after full time involving players and officials alike, with Bankstown’s Mark Kamara seeing red, whilst Mariners’ captain, Nikki Spice, earned himself a second yellow card, and subsequent red.
In review, the Mariners did well to keep the home side at bay, scrambling well in defence, and in keeper Brock Logan, had a shot stopper who managed to keep his side in the match with some telling saves. They lost the game and the points, but showed enough character to be able to threaten teams in coming weeks and attempt to move away from the base of the ladder.
Bankstown United dominated the ball from outset, and looked efficient and effective on the synthetic pitch at Jensen Park. Eros Bergamin played the role of the conductor, the number 10 spraying long range passes at will, dropping the leather on the feet of his wide men, whilst looking dangerous from set pieces. Joshua Spina played the holding midfielder role to the job description, linking well and showing himself whenever his team mates looked for options, his tackling stopping the Mariners from venturing down the middle. Mark Kamara and Kallie Bangura hugged the touchlines with great effect, whilst Mitchell Cross played as a strong target man, the number 9 holding the ball up well for his team mates, whilst netting both goals, his 15th and 16th goals of the season respectively.
The win continues Bankstown United great form of late, with the subsequent three points moving them in to 5th spot on the competition ladder on 30 points.
National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s
Saturday, June 29, 2019
BANKSTOWN CITY 2 (Cross 43’, pen 50’ )
WESTERN NSW MARINERS 0
Jensen Park, Sefton
Referee – Roberto Mattei
Assistant Referees – Owen Ferguson and Peter Opacic
BANKSTOWN UNITED; 3.L.Mesiti, 4.S.Wright (capt), 6.L.Willmore, 9.M.Cross, 10.E.Bergamin, 17.M.Sadler (11.N.Paull 90’), 22.M.Kamara, 23.K.Bangura (21.D.Malesevic 70’), 27.M.Cook, 31.J.Spina (7.J.Miladinovic 80’), 99.D.Hamilton.
Substitutes Not Used – 1.T.Singh, 2.S.Jirjis.
Yellow Cards – Nil
Red Cards – 22.M.Kamara 90’ + 2’.
WESTERN NSW MARINERS; 1.B.Logan, 2.D.Logan, 3.N.Spice (capt), 6.B.Collins, 7.M.Hobby (31.S.Long 76’), 11.T.Berg (26.T.Rankmore 86’), 14.D.Bell, 18.J.Judge, 21.J.Fuda, 23.J.Culbert (27.B.Morgan 62’), 36.A.Brady.
Substitutes Not Used – 20.J.Jonsson, 29.T.Rooke.
Yellow Cards – 3.N.Spice 50’ / 90’ + 2’, 6.B.Collins 59’, 18.J.Judge 73’,
Red Cards – 3.N.Spice 90’ + 2’.
Dunbar Rovers – Camden Tigers 2-1
Dunbar Rovers eagerly gobbled up a welcome three points on Saturday afternoon when they accounted for Camden Tigers 2-1 at Hensley Athletic Field.
Although Dunbar dominated the first half, they only had the one goal to show for it, and what a strike it was, Tadhg Purcell producing a sublime free kick to edge the Rovers on front on the scoreboard.
Dunbar’s recent acquisition, Steven Chester, extended the Rover’s lead in the 65th minute to 2-0, but Dean Mugridge reduced the deficit for Camden on 75 minutes, which made for a very interesting final quarter of an hour.
Dunbar brought on some fresh legs, including Gabriel Rodriguez for his first grade debut, and did well to play out the ninety minutes and give the home fans something to cheer about.
The loss sees Camden Tigers remain on 21 points but drop to 10th, whilst the win and three points moves Dunbar Rovers above their match day opponents up to 23 points in 8th spot on the competition ladder.
Hawkesbury City – Bankstown City 3-0
Hawkesbury City inflicted more pain on Bankstown City Lions at David Bertenshaw Field on Saturday afternoon, beating the previous league leaders by 3-0 in front of a boisterous home crowd.
The match commenced reasonable evenly, but the Hawks broke the deadlock on the counter in a sign of what was to come. Joaquin Velizcoccolo chipped the Bankstown City goal keeper, Carl McMahon, from some distance to give Hawkesbury a 1-0 lead they would carry until the half time break.
The Lions came out after the rest with renewed intensity, and looked to have drawn level on 65 minutes, however the goal was ruled out.
Hawkesbury City took full advantage of their reprieve, doubling their advantage on yet another lethal counter attack, this time Kwadwo Boamah-Addai finding the net.
Bankstown City stepped up their intensity to try and drag themselves back in to the contest, creating numerous opportunities, but Hawkesbury City continued to thwart the Lions, with keeper, Daniel Schwarzer and defender, Kyle Walker, in the thick of the Hawks’ defensive wall.
As is often the case in football, one team throws caution to the wind and the other manages to score on the break, and it was Hawkesbury flanker, Majid Eslami, who took advantage of the extra space, putting the game to bed with Hawkesbury’s third goal on 89 minutes.
The score was a bitter pill for Bankstown to swallow given their application to the task, especially when they fell behind on the scoreboard, but their third loss on the bounce sees the Lions drop to 4th position on the ladder, remaining on 33 points.
Hawkesbury on the other hand stretch their unbeaten run now to six games with this huge scalp, and the three points sees them jump Camden Tigers in to 9th spot, climbing to 23 points.
Granville Rage – SD Raiders 0-2
SD Raiders came away from Garside Park with all the points when they defeated Granville Rage 2-0 on Saturday evening.
It completed the double for the Raiders, who also beat Rage in the corresponding fixture back in March by 4-0.
The loss sees Granville Rage remain in 13th position on just 10 points, whilst SD Raiders have climbed to 36 points on the back of this victory.
Even though the Raiders sit in third position on the ladder, they are just two points from the summit, and are positioned perfectly to take advantage of any slip up from the two sides above them, Stanmore Hawks and Gladesville Ryde Magic.
Parramatta – Stanmore Hawks 1-3
The league leaders, Stanmore Hawks, got a fright at Melita Stadium on Saturday night, needing to come from behind to grab the points against a determined Parramatta FC side.
Despite the difference between the sides on the ladder, the first half was evenly matched, with neither side giving an inch in their quest for a win.
The home fans, however, didn’t have to wait long after the break to break the deadlock, with Alusine Fofanah finding the mark on 52 minutes to edge Parramatta in front, and a boilover was on the cards.
But Stanmore are made of sterner stuff, and the Hawks regrouped, netting three unanswered goals within a twenty minute spell to take the points on offer.
Jovan Blagojevic scored a goal, whilst Conor Quilligan managed a brace, as Stanmore consolidated their position at the top of ladder, moving to 38 points, just one in front of Gladesville Ryde Magic.
The loss keeps Parramatta FC in 12th position on 12 points.
Inter Lions – Gladesville Ryde Magic 1-4
Gladesville Ryde Magic did all the damage in a devastating first half spell when they overcame Inter Lions 4-1 at Valentine Sports Park No.3 on Saturday evening.
The full time score was also the half time score, with Magic setting a strong foundation before the break which proved too difficult to break down for Inter in the second half.
Just like he did in the first round when these two clubs met, Domenic Di Mento showed all his experience to score once more against Gladesville, but Magic also replicated the winning outcome from their first encounter, with a brace of goals each to captain, Chris Gaitatzis, and attacking midfielder, Chris Triantis, giving them the spoils.
The loss sees Inter Lions drop to 6th position on the ladder having been hurdled by Bankstown United, whilst the victory and subsequent three points keeps Gladesville Ryde Magic on the heels of the leaders Stanmore Hawks, with Magic one point behind and occupying second spot on 37 points.
Dulwich Hill – Sydney University 2-0
Dulwich Hill snatched a valuable three points at Arlington Oval on Saturday night with a 2-0 victory over Sydney University.
Following a scoreless first period, Dully upped the ante and netted both goals in the second half, with Harry Browell scoring on 69 minutes, with Emanual Ponce wrapping up proceedings in the 83rd minute to make it 2-0.
The loss keeps Sydney University in 11th position on 15 points, whilst Dulwich Hill remain in 7th, climbing to 24 points, and are now just five points from 6th placed Inter Lions.