Finals quickly approaching, the National Premier Leagues 4 NSW Men’s competition had a few things to sort out leading into Round 10.
And so it did, with a change at the summit, whilst Hawkesbury and Nepean both secured Semi Finals football with respective draws. One week to go!
Nepean FC v Western NSW FC
Nepean FC and Western NSW played out a see-sawing affair at the foot of the mountains, Saturday night.
In the end though, the result suited neither team, Western NSW goals from Matthew Hobby and Jesse Boness either side of a brace to Mitch Mclintock meant both teams had to settle for a point.
Sometimes you got to take the good with the bad, and the first half saw both sides have control of the fixture at different times.
The visitors, Western NSW FC were first to have their “good” period. Seemingly catching their hosts by surprise for a good twenty minutes.
Rewarded just after ten minutes, through a Matthew Hobby volley. Hobby sticking out a foot to connect with a ball which fell perfectly to him. The ball dipping into the net leaving Thomas Hamilton helpless.
And it nearly got better for the visitors after being awarded with a penalty five minutes later. But Hobby could not apply the finish, hooking the ball low and wide of the left-hand facing post.
That miss seemed to swing the momentum, with the hosts finding their feet (not an easy thing to do on a tricky Cook Park surface) before creating a flurry of chances before the break.
Up to the task though was Western NSW keeper Jordan Bruce who produced several good saves to deny the hosts throughout, including a magnificent double save five minutes before the break.
However, the home side were not going to be denied when Mclintock finished off a one on one opportunity right on the half time whistle. Mclintock fed by Shane Pasad.
That momentum continued into the second half, Nepean taking the lead two minutes in. Paul Chester racing down the right before crossing to the back post. Mclintock on hand once again to finish off at the near post.
It is often said that one is most susceptible to a goal after scoring. And so, it proved to be on this occasion, Ryan Campbell winning the corner which was cleared into the path of Jesse Boness. Boness finishing on the volley from just outside the area, taking a touch off the crossbar on its way in.
With a draw helping neither team, both teams went looking for a winner. However, things just did not seem to click for either team in the final third.
The home side going closest forcing Jordan Bruce into a double save on two separate occasions. The first falling to Mclintock after Majid Eslami delivered a peach of a to him from the left. Followed by counterpart Matthew Crossley testing him from inside the box soon after.
Ultimately though, the game petered out regardless of the desperation of both sides leaving both sets of players and supporters frustrated.
Nepean FC: 2 (Mclintock 45’,47’)
Western NSW: 2 (Hobby 10’, Boness 51’)
Prospect United SC 2-2 Granville Rage
Prospect United became the first team to round of their 2020 campaign, playing out a score draw with Granville Rage at Blacktown Football Park.
The hosts got off to the worst possible start, conceding within the first five minutes, Maldeini Yousif finding the net three minutes into the contest.
Slowly but surely the hosts brought themselves into the contest and they were able to score twice before the half time break. Alex Gorgievski with the first, a curled shot from twenty-five yards finding the bottom corner. Before Benjamin Lam doubled the home sides account, reacting first to a saved shot in the six-yard box, poking home.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first. Granville Rage having the best of the opening twenty-five minutes, rewarded with a goal of their own. Asheem Thapa beating Prospect keeper Jade Jonnson at the near post.
Spurred into action once again, Prospect then had two or three chances to secure a winner, but Granville keeper Samuel Bortolazzo pulled off several saves. The game finishing two goals apiece.
Hawkesbury City FC 0-0 UNSW FC
Well not every game is a memorable one, case in point this fixture between Hawkesbury City and UNSW FC on Saturday night.
The result is a costly one for UNSW FC who dropped to second place following Fraser Park’s victory elsewhere. Their best chances came from Kevin Lopes in the first half. Lopes taking a snapshot from twenty-five metres, the ball catching the outside of the post with the keeper beaten. And Maison Mcgeechan in the second, his shot from thirty-five metres saved well by Hawkesbury City keeper Craig Morley.
At the other end, Hawkesbury City will take confidence from the result being their first against a top four team this season. They threatened on two separate occasions in the first half, Daniel Morsillo forcing a one on one save from Connor Winn and a Callum Elliot strike from twenty metres saved as it headed for the top corner.
UNSW FC will be hoping that Nepean FC get a result against Fraser Park next week. Whilst Hawkesbury City travel down the South Coast to face the Flame.
Camden Tigers FC 3-1 South Coast Flame FC
Two consecutive home victories, things are looking up for Camden Tigers after defeating South Coast Flame at Ron Dine Stadium.
The hosts, despite an early scare looked assured in their victory. Finding the net through a brace to Lachlan Rixon and second half sealer to Nathan Bertolissio.
For the visitors, it is another disappointing result for George Kulcsar’s side. They opened the scoring through Sandy Lowcock but were unable to capitalize.
Indeed, it took only eight minutes for the visitors to open the scoring, Lowcock taking a nice touch before finishing from a corner.
That lead did not last long though. The hosts equalizing three minutes later. Anthony Haddad finding Rixon with a ball over the top, Rixon finishing tidily.
Rixon, confidence flowing through his veins then doubled the lead before the half time break, with a great left footed finish finding the net.
The win was then capped off before the hour mark, Bertolissio making the Flame pay for a poor clearance to give the hosts a valuable buffer.
Fraser Park FC 2-1 Hurstville FC
And just like that, in the space of five minutes. The premiership race has flipped on its head, Fraser Park securing a late victory over Hurstville FC.
But it was the hosts Hurstville FC who came out of the gates the quickest. Midfielder Pedro Almedia and Jaefar Al Khulaifawi had chances of their own. Before they took the lead from a free kick. Almedia from a byline position finding Jesse Gagro at the near post who scuffed his chance. Fortunately, the ball fell to Davide Gritti whose shot took a few deflections before finding the net.
The second half saw the hosts come out with a vengeance, controlling the game whilst creating multiple chances. The best of which fell to substitute Shu Torihara who missed two headers before seventy minutes. And it looked like those misses would prove costly until late scenes transpired. Firstly, a late freekick from wide left was flicked on by Cam Philpot to Torihara who finished off. 1-1.
Then as Hurstville pushed forward in the hopes of finding a response. Fraser hit a 1-2-3 punch on the counter. Torihara again central, breaking the line to pounce on a Nico Muscio pass. Before squaring it to Matteo Pandolfo who finished superbly from just inside the box. A goal which could prove crucial in deciding the premiership.
Parramatta FC – Bye
By Justin Smith (Twitter: @smiththejustin)
Photo Credit Mick Goddard (MickG Photography)