Round 19 Review – State League Men’s


It’s that time of the season again, every game in the State League Men’s competition has so much riding on it.

So, what was it for your team this week?

A positive or negative result, only one way to find out. Let’s sink our teeth into Round nineteen action.

Match Report: Hurstville FC v Prospect United

Don’t be fooled by the score line, Hurstville FC and Prospect United have played out an entertaining draw to conclude round nineteen of the State League Men’s competition.

But perhaps it will be the hosts who walked away from this one thinking ‘what if?’ They controlled much of the second period only to be denied by the crossbar and a tremendous save from Mario Farias.

For the visitors, it’s a point but not a helpful one. They started off decently enough but struggled to get out of their own half for much of the second period.

Much like the lighting at Seymour Shaw Park. The game took a while to get going with the first chance coming ten minutes into the contest. That chance came through Pedro Almeida who was dynamic throughout. Almedia got to the byline before squaring it across goal only to be cleared well by the Prospect defense.

Both teams were getting the ball into the right positions, but desperate defending way the rule of the day as Stephen Vukovic was denied a shot on the break soon after at the other end.

Vukovic was proving once again to be Prospect’s main outlet to goal and he had a chance on twenty minutes. Unfortunately though for the striker, Hurstville keeper Matthew Massarotto did well to smother the opportunity from close range.

Chances in the first half we’re few and far between, which potentially explains why Paul Gagro was surprised when a cross found him at the far post. His effort flying over the bar. No further chances were created before the break and both sides went in level.

The second half was a whole different ball game. Hurstville FC looked like they had a point to prove, controlling territory and possession.

And you thought they had the lead when Jesse Gagro lined up a shot from inside the box ten minutes into the half. However, he was denied by a stunning stop from Mario Farias who got down quickly to his right.

Jesse Gagro once again had an opportunity a minute later when a squared ball from the right-hand side looked to have found his feet. Unfortunately though, the striker he was wrongfooted and the chance went begging.

Chances were few and far between at the other end, but Stephen Vukovic wouldn’t stop popping up for the visitors. On the hour mark he controlled a long ball well before cutting onto his left foot, his shot however couldn’t match his earlier effort as it was comfortably saved.

The game now had an established pattern, Hurstville just couldn’t seem to unlock a desperate Prospect defense. That was until with three minutes to go, when Almeida hit the crossbar.

Paul Gagro in a more central position showed quick feet to play through Almeida. He then took one touch before launching a right footed effort which rattled the cross bar leaving Hurstville players and fans alike with their hands on the back of their heads. Two points dropped.

Hurstville FC coach John Gagro was pleased with the effort, just not the finishing. “It was a great effort and performance tonight. And probably one of our best second halves of the year, the pressing was fantastic and we moved it forward well.”

“Got three games to go, we haven’t lost in the second round. We just need to turn some draws into wins.”

Prospect United coach Darren Camilleri, “In the situation we’re in it’s definitely two points lost however given the second half it’s a point gained. We did well the first half tonight matching it with the third placed sides then lost control.”

“However on the positive side, that’s our first clean sheet in a year and a player like Daniel Mihajlovic has stepped up for us and been one of our best.”

Match Stats

Hurstville FC: 0

Prospect United: 0

Hurstville FC: 1. Matthew Massarotto, 4. Sebastian Coello, 6. Koichi Ohtomo, 7. Pedro Almeida, 8. Dario Borovickic, 9. Jesse Gagro (11. Adrian Livio), 10. Paul Gagro, 14. Daniel Maras, 15. Nicholas Kougious, 18. Cristian Di Meglio (13. Daniel Kocina), 20. Rhys Turner.

Subs: 12. Raul Carrizo, 17. Aleks Tronoski, 21. Anthony Vrinat.

Prospect United: 1. Mario Farias, 2. Daniel Mihajlovic, 4. Thomas Kasunic, 5. Jack Wrightson (12. Richard Lee), 6. Poda Da, 10. Daniel Vukovic, 11. Stephen Vukovic, 13. Ibrahim Kerem (9. Benjamin Lam), 15. Matthew Morosin, 16. Andrew Cotten, 19. Simon Zahra (3. Troy Sullivan).

Subs: 20. Jordan Winckle, 14. Joshua Roffaell.


Central Coast United 4-1 Balmain Tigers

It’s within touching distance. Central Coast United have retaken the premiership lead and almost sealed club championship honours after defeating Balmain Tigers in the earlier Saturday kick off. Two goals from Adam Woodbine highlighted the contest whilst Scott Mcginley and Daniel Mcfarlane also got on the scoresheet.

For Balmain Tigers, Alessandro Macri opened his account for Balmain Tigers this season but apart from that, there’s not much to write about. They have a massive clash against Nepean FC next weekend.

The home side opened the scoring after twenty minutes when Oscar Torres whipped in a right footed ball from the left which was met perfectly on the head by Adam Woodbine into the near corner of the net.

Once Central Coast United get going, they’re hard to stop as proven by their second goal just seven minutes later. A well worked team move down the right was finished off by Scott Mcginley with a left footed strike.

A three-goal lead was attained before half time with Woodbine doubling his tally. The striker playing a one-two with Mcginley before following in an initial strike to poke home with his left foot.

Three goals became four just before the hour with an outrageous team goal which involved a touch from every outfield player. However, it was captain Daniel Mcfarlane who got the final touch finishing from close range.

Balmain Tigers managed to get a consolation with Alessandro Macri finishing off inside the box with a right footed effort.

UNSW FC 2-2 Fraser Park

The tale of their season. UNSW FC were valiant and unlucky not to claim priceless victory over Fraser Park at Ilinden Sports Centre. The hosts put in one of their better performances (at least from what I’ve seen) however couldn’t hold on/claim a winner when it mattered most.

For their opponents Fraser Park, this is a significant blow to their premiership chances with Central Coast United having a game in hand mid-week and a significant goal difference advantage.

UNSW FC took the lead twice in the fixture and both times through the same route. Nima Beik has been a reliable route to goal in recent weeks and that continued this week. He found some space in the left-hand side of the box and finished powerfully into the net from the angle.

That shot the visitors into action and they equalized shortly after courtesy of some Shu Torihara brilliance. Torihara zig-zagged his way around a few defenders on the left wing before squaring it at the byline to Cam Philpot who easily finished from the penalty spot.

It was one of the better half’s we’ve seen from UNSW FC and they took the lead before the fortieth minute. The hosts were having luck down the left side and Des Ford took advantage pouncing on a mistake before squaring it to Beik who scored off the left post.

Frustratingly for them however they didn’t go into the break with the lead. Having failed to clear the ball they were punished by Christian Soares when the ball fell perfectly to him inside the box. The midfielder finishing in typical composed fashion.

South Coast Flame 4-1 Hurstville City Minotaurs

Welcome back to the winners circle South Coast Flame. Yes, it’s been a while, but a win comes at just the right time to push for a possible finals spot. They found the scoresheet through four different players in Hiroaki Ushijima, Alex Boardman, Matthew Mazevski and Yuki Mandai.

It’s the latest of a poor series of results for this Hurstville City Minotaurs side who now sit outright last. Kiefer Dotti found the scoresheet for the visitors.

The main damage in this contest was done during a seven-minute period mid-way through the first half. Hiroaki Ushijima was the first to find the scoresheet taking advantage of a cut back from Jayden Smileski.

Heads then dropped for the visitors and the Flame smelt blood in the water. And so it was, the lead was double when Alex Boardman was in the right spot to tap home a Mazevski effort which hit the post. Two then became three when Mazevski found the net himself with a powerful effort capitalizing on a Louis Connell cut back.

By this point, the game was as good as done. However, the Minotaurs rallied coming out after half time and were rewarded with a penalty of which Dotti converted. That momentum was halted once again by Matt Mazevski who was the best on park. His one on one opportunity was saved before Mandai was on the spot to finish off.

FC Gazy Auburn 3-0 Western Condors

In what stands as a big win for the Western Condors, they convincingly defeated FC Gazy Auburn to throw the finals race wide open with three weeks to play. In this contest however it was goals to Gustavo Maya Valiente, Kaito Ikarimoto and Alejandro Arregin.

FC Gazy Auburn however will be disappointed too drop their second game in a row but will have a chance to rebound midweek in a catch-up fixture against Nepean FC.

Progress Park is an enviable venue to play football on with both teams struggling to gain any control over the contest. Western Condors were the side to open the scoring when Gustavo Maya Valiente scrambled home a finish.

Both teams were playing a direct style so attacking breakthroughs were hard to come by. Midway through the second half the lead was doubled courtesy of Kaito Ikarimoto who lined up a shot from twenty-five metres and finished to the keepers right.

The Condors would then rubber stamp the victory and make it two in a row when substitute Alejandro Arregin tapped home with the assist coming from Joshua Obeng.

By Justin Smith (@smiththejustin)