Last weekend it was raining, this weekend it was raining goals in the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition. The league that always provides the goods has done it again, with an incredible 33 goals scored in five games.
Blacktown Spartans 5 (Mason Ireland, Connor Eldridge, Alex Gollan, Lachlan Rose x 2) Newcastle Jets 0
The Spartans were in sparkling form at Blacktown Football Park and have moved to the top of the table.
Newcastle had a good spell early on, with Jack Simmons and Bailey Wells both having chances. However, it was the hosts who would take the lead when Mason Ireland showed his knack for being in the right place at the right time – the attacking midfielder making it 1-0 when he capitalised on a loose ball in the penalty area.
Brett Hewit’s side stepped it up several gears in the second half, getting their reward for an aggressive approach with four goals in the final quarter of the match. Blacktown Football Park goal specialist Connor Eldridge grabbed his second goal in two games, and Lachlan Rose netted a double to follow up on his late goal in last weekend’s game. The Spartans’ free flowing football can be best summed up by Alex Gollan’s strike: the central defender won possession and continued his run into the penalty area, finishing off a cross at the far post.
Northern Tigers 3 (Shervin Adeli 14’, Nick Drummond 18’, Lachlan Lloyd 58’) Hills United 3 (Nick Kalogerou og 60’, Jacob Basden 79’, Adolph Koudakpo 80’)
Hills United overcame a 3-0 deficit to rescue a point in an exhilarating game at North Turramurra Recreation Area.
Just under a quarter of an hour had been played when Tigers winger Ollie Wiggin, who had a fantastic game, won a penalty. Set piece specialist Shervin Adeli stepped up, blasting the spot kick low past Jordan Geddes to open the scoring. Those two players would be involved in the second goal as well: Wiggin took a pass from Adeli and broke through the defence, when his effort was saved Nick Drummond was on hand to score from the rebound. Wiggin was at it again for the Tigers’ third goal as he cleverly backheeled to Lachlan Lloyd, with the midfielder finishing clinically past Geddes.
However, that was only the start of the drama. Hills opened their account on the hour when Nicholas Kalogerou unluckily put the ball in his own net. It was 3-2 after a beautiful passing move – Alex Vlismas and Daniel Fogarty combined to set up Jacob Basden, who drove the ball through a crowd to score from 20 yards out. The comeback was complete a minute later when Adolph Koudakpo scored with a diving header off a killer cross from fellow substitute Glen Kelshaw.
Neither side wanted to settle for a point and the game finished with plenty of attacking, but there were no more goals and 3-3 was the final score.
SD Raiders 3 (Anthony Proia 22’, Noah Chianese 25’, Alvaro Malmierca 45+2’) Hakoah Sydney City East 2 (Bruno Mendes 32’ 45+3’)
The Raiders earned their second 3-2 win in as many weeks, sneaking past Hakoah after an entertaining encounter.
The visitors had an early chance when Jordan Koton was denied one on one by Joshua Glasson, however it was Nick Carle’s side that took the lead. Charles Abou Serhal, Noah Chianese and Daniel Bittar linked in a swift counter attack, Anthony Proia getting on the end of the move to put his team ahead. Chianese then doubled the Raiders’ lead a few minutes later, volleying home after another quality set piece from Alvaro Malmierca.
Hakoah got on the scoreboard just past the half hour when the ball was switched to Jordan Koton, his first time cutback finished by Bruno Mendes. The goals kept coming in first half stoppage time: first Malmierca made it 3-1 direct from a free kick, and then a minute later Koton assisted for Mendes in what was nearly a carbon copy of Hakoah’s first goal.
Luka Hrzina’s team had the majority of play after the interval, but a makeshift SD Raiders backline (they have three centrebacks out due to injury) stood firm, James Letta and Adrian Valenti performing admirably for the Raiders. Despite the defeat, Hrzina can take a lot of positives from the game – Hakoah played some good football and will be a threat for any side in this division.
St George City FA 2 (Jason Romero 29’, Hiten Satoh 80’) St George FC 4 (Juan Carlos Romero 76’ 90+5’, Bruno Pivato 78’ 83’)
St George FC marched to a Derby victory after a late flurry at Arncliffe Park.
They had to do it the hard way though, as despite good chances in the opening period for Anthony Morabito and Manny Gonzalez, it was City who opened the scoring via Jason Romero’s powerful finish.
It looked like it might be one of those days for St George FC when Bruno Pivato hit the post in the second half, but the momentum swung when Jason Romero was red carded, and things started falling the way of the Saints in the final 15 minutes. Spanish goal wizard Juan Carlos Romero scored the equaliser (his 50th goal in this competition) following nice linkup play between Pivato and Hussein Akil. Two minutes later, Pivato put the Saints in front when he beat two players and stuck the ball in the top corner.
City’s response was immediate: Hiten Satoh got on the end of a through ball, held off a defender and found the net to make it 2-2. However, this would be St George FC’s day. Akil and Juan Carlos Romero combined to set up Pivato, and the curly-haired midfielder made no mistake to put the Saints up 3-2. Juan Carlos Romero then finished off a counter attack with the last kick of the game for his side’s fourth of an eventful afternoon.
Central Coast Mariners 8 (James Bayliss 24’ Matthew Cahill 27’, Max Balard 34’, Harry McCarthy 47’ 57’, Michael Katsoulis 62’, Harrison Steele 76’, Damien Tsekenis 84’) NWS Spirit FC 3 (Kota Odakura 7’, Lewis Beumie 16’, Jacob Harris 81’)
The spectators at Pluim Park saw an extraordinary contest, with Central Coast once again showing their ability to recover from conceding the first goal.
Spirit FC raced out of the blocks. They opened the scoring after winning the ball high up the field, Kota Odakura finishing off a nice passing move. It was 2-0 just after the quarter hour when Lewis Beumie headed in from a corner.
However, just as they did last week, Nick Montgomery’s side responded brilliantly to being 2-0 down. James Bayliss started things for the Mariners with a coolly taken penalty, and they were level when Matthew Cahill scored off the rebound from a Bayliss shot. Max Balard then put his side in front after profiting from another loose ball in the penalty area.
Harry McCarthy made it 4-2 just after the interval when he picked out the bottom corner from the edge of the area, then grabbed his second of the afternoon ten minutes later by getting on the end of a left wing cross and sidefooting home. It was Michael Katsoulis’s turn to get in on the goalscoring fun five minutes later as he won a penalty and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot.
Not even a second yellow card for McCarthy could slow down Central Coast’s momentum, as Jordan Smylie set up Mariners substitute Harrison Steele for their seventh of the game with a lovely dink to the far post. Jacob Harris would grab a late consolation goal for Spirit with his own far post finish, but the Mariners still had the last laugh as Damien Tsekenis raced onto a through pass and made no mistake with the one on one situation.
Bye: Bonnyrigg White Eagles
By Eric Subijano (@eric_subijano)