If there was one thing round one of the National Premier Leagues 4 Men’s competition lacked, it was upsets. But fear not! Round two provided its fair share of them and more.
In our match of the round, Fraser Park traveled out to the always tricky Cook Park and came away with a win. Whilst elsewhere, Parramatta FC and UNSW secured their second win of the season, Western NSW secured their first point. But perhaps the main story was Hurstville FC taking all three points at home against Newcastle Jets.
So, sit back, take your mind of things and enjoy our round two recap of the 2020 NPL4 competition.
Match of the Round: Nepean FC v Fraser Park
Against the odds, Fraser Park have maintained their positive record over Nepean FC in a tight contest at Cook Park.
The visitors controlled the early periods of the game and claimed an early goal through midfielder Cam Philpot. But were then made to hang on after a 21st minute red card to Anthony Musumeci. They successfully did so and will take the three points with open arms after a frustrating round one fixture.
On the other hand, Nepean FC struggled to create chances throughout despite having a man advantage for over an hour. A late red card to Matthew Viera summed up a frustrating night for the hosts.
The match started with a sustained period of pressure from Nepean in which they won three corners on the bounce. However, they were unable to turn it into a meaningful effort.
It was the visitors who looked the sharper early doors though, and they were rewarded when Shu Torihara and Cam Philpot combined in the front third. Finding space in the oppositions box, Torihara showed some good awareness committing the keeper before laying it off to Philpot to finish into a nearly open net.
The lead was nearly doubled ten minutes into the contest when midfielder Florent Indalecio tried his luck from range, the shot forcing keeper Thomas Hamilton into a good save down low.
Hamilton then set the home side into motion which resulted in Nepean’s best chance of the first half. A quick transition found Matthew Crossley who made sure Fraser Park shot stopper Patrick Ferrara was alert at his near post from a 45-degree angle.
After Anthony Musumeci was given a red, the match then became a midfield grind with Nepean unable to break down a tightened Fraser Park defense before the half time whistle.
The second half began as the first finished, Nepean enjoying good periods of possession without breaking down their opposition.
Their two best chances in the second period came from one man. Nepean’s Brendan King was proving to be a handful down the left. Firstly, seeing a headed effort deflected wide five minutes into the half.
Before a ball floated high to the back post, was headed narrowly wide by King who perhaps saw a desperate defense scrambling towards him.
However, it wasn’t to be for Nepean, who just didn’t create enough chances to trouble a resilient Fraser Park, with a late red to captain Matthew Viera summing up a frustrating night.
Fraser Park coach Alex Araujo was pleased with his teams’ character and ability to adapt.
“Today showed the importance of going a goal up in football, they had to come at us, and they couldn’t break through.
“We came in with a plan but that had to change when we went down a man early. It then became about character, grinding the result out and battling through.”
Nepean FC coach Joe D’Ermilio rued his team conceding the early goal whilst paying tribute to the opposition.
“We went down early to a poor goal on our end and didn’t show the spark we needed to pick ourselves up after it.
“Credit to Fraser Park who kept their foot on the pedal and didn’t let us back into the game.”
Nepean FC: 0
Fraser Park FC: 1 (Philpot 5’)
Saturday 14th March 2020
Cook Park No.1, St Mary’s
Referee: D. Richards
Assistant Referees: G. Roberts & S. Adabjou
Nepean FC: 1. Thomas Hamilton, 4. Matthew Viera, 7. Brendan King, 8. Paul Chester (11. Jack Hoban), 9. Mitchell McLintock (15. Jayden Young), 10. Matthew Crossley, 13. Joshua Viera, 16. Michael Borazio, 19. Edward Stewart, 20. Mitchell King, 31. Richard Stewart
Subs Not Used: 2. Kurt Machut, 18. David Scott, 21. Brendan Allen.
Fraser Park: 1. Patrick Ferrara, 4. Alexis Wenzel, 5. Christian Desa, 7. Cam Philpot (18. Jun Arima), 8. Dominic Siu (14. Alexandre Coelho), 10. Anthony Musumeci, 11. Shu Torihara, 13. Rodrigo Cataldi, 15. Florent Indalecio, 16. Nico Muscio, 20. Miki Bisceglia
Subs Not Used: 2. Harry Fasch, 17. Luke Allen, 21. Thomas Alston.
South Coast Flame 0-2 Parramatta FC
They were made to fight for it, but Parramatta FC came away with the spoils against a spirited South Coast Flame outfit.
The first half was a tail of two of the better keepers in the competition keeping things even. Louis Connell had the home sides best chance forcing visiting goalkeeper Nikola Bratic into a stunning reactionary save down low. Whilst Jamie Nicolaou had the visitor’s best chance, flame keeper Matthew making a good save down low at his near post.
South Coast Flame then started the second half the better of the two sides, creating multiple chances within the first fifteen minutes. But it was Parramatta who opened the scoring through an unfortunate Carlos Stella own goal, the defender failing to clear a Masudi Elongo cross.
That one goal lead became two when Neram Yalda continued his goalscoring form with a long-range effort flying into the roof of the net.
South Coast Flame now face a crucial clash away to Western NSW whilst Parramatta will look to make it three from three in their first home game of the season against Camden Tigers.
UNSW FC 2-0 Hawkesbury City FC
Win your home games! Cliché? Yes. But UNSW FC have down just that with two home victories in a row, this time overcoming a perhaps rusty Hawkesbury City FC.
It was the home side who started the better of the two sides, continuing their momentum from last weekend. And in turn they were rewarded for it in some fashion! A stunning Naruyuki Kato free kick found the far top right corner of the net collecting the woodwork on the way past.
The game then settled down for the remainder of the first half.
The second half started off a more open affair, with either side creating chances of their own. A goal however did come late on in the second half through UNSW striker Kevin Lopes. Lopes produced a looping header from just inside the box after a Kato cross found him. Hawkesbury City continued to push but couldn’t get on the end of a couple of balls sent flashing across the box.
UNSW FC face a Sunday night trip to Newcastle next up whilst Hawkesbury will welcome Hurstville for their first home game.
Camden Tigers FC 2-2 Western NSW
Points shared. In the rounds only draw. Camden Tigers and Western NSW played a see-sawing contest at Ron Dine Stadium.
After a tight opening to the game, it was the visitors who opened the scoring. A switch from Matt Beatie found Josh Brown on the opposite wing. He then outpaced his defender before superbly chipping the keeper.
Slowly Camden began to bring themselves into the contest and claimed a goal of their own, Lachlan Rixon heading in from a Rajniel Chand corner.
As the game evened out, Western NSW were to go out to another advantage. 17-year-old Matthew Beattie finding the bottom corner from a free-kick thirty yards out to put them ahead at HT.
It was a tight contest throughout, so it was perhaps fitting that Camden came back once again to level things. Cornack Stevens pouncing on a loose ball in the area, setting up Nathan Bertolissio to score.
Western NSW did have one last chance to score through Tom Miller, but it wasn’t to be for them. They face South Coast Flame next.
Whilst Camden have the tricky task of halting Parramatta’s charge.
Hurstville FC 2-1 Newcastle Jets FC
Upset of the season so far? Hurstville FC turned a few heads with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.
Hurstville FC coach John Gagro labelled the first half, “the best his side have played in a long while”. The home side made a concerted effort to get the ball forward quickly and were rewarded with two first half goals. Pedro Almeida opened the scoring with a left footed drive into the top corner, assist going to Caleb Bartier. Before Almeida turned provider setting up striker Jesse Gagro for his first of the season.
Determined to prove a point after the break, Newcastle came out for the second half a much-improved side. Controlling possession for long periods, and they were rewarded with a goal of their own to Jack Simmons. After which they continued to push but the host held firm for their first three points of the campaign.
Hurstville travel to Hawkesbury next week whilst Newcastle return home to host UNSW FC.
Prospect United v Granville Rage
Concluding the round, Prospect United put on a show for their home faithful blowing their opposition Granville Rage off the park.
Yes, the hosts were in no mood to leave it to luck this time out and quickly grabbed the ascendency. In a half where they created “plenty” of chances, Stephen Vukovic gave the hosts the lead with a free kick sent over opposition the wall into the net. Yet somehow the Rage went in equal, their goal coming from Alen Lajin against the run of play.
But there was no stopping this Prospect side, scoring three unanswered goals in second half. The first coming from Henry Yau (his first for the club) from close in. Before substitutes Nic Valjak set up by Cristian Martinez and Bryce Maxwell got themselves on the scoresheet late on which in all honesty was just rewards for the home side.
Granville Rage will look to bounce back against fellow round two losers Nepean net weekend. Whilst Prospect face their first big test of the season against Fraser Park.
By Justin Smith (@smiththejustin)