Round Four of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition saw the return of a full set of fixtures. And with it, we saw the usual twists and turns as well as everything in between.
Featured in this review, St George bragging rights were decided at Ilinden Sports Centre. Hakoah and Western Sydney Wanderers scored impressive victories and two score draws were played out in Sydney’s south west.
Match of the round: St George FC 0 v St George City FA 2 (Jason Romero 55’, Keremelevski 90’)
This one counts! After having their sole derby victory wiped away last year. St George City claimed bragging rights after a two-goal victory over St George FC.
The visitors had to remain patient though with their two goals coming in the second half. Jason Romero opening the scoring five minutes into the second half. Before substitute Joshua Keremelevski put the icing on the cake during injury time.
For home side St George FC. It was a solid first effort under the tenure of Jane Talcevski with positives to be found from the contest before their meeting with Northern Tigers next weekend.
As proceedings got underway, it wasn’t long before the pattern of the fixture emerged. With the visitors doing a good job at gaining a territorial ascendency as evidenced by a high corner count. However, they struggled to create a clear-cut chance to cap it off. In fact, their best chance came from a near own goal when a cross delivered from the left saw Jacob Bandur hit the frame of the goal with his defensive header.
At the other end, chances were at a premium. Bruno Pivato going close from an angle right side of the box after a Liam McConaghy flick on.
The game then became stretched, as Jason Romero and Nathan Roberts combined to cut through the hosts defense after the half hour mark, Roberts seeing his curling effort saved by Jacob Madden.
Despite that Roberts chance, the hosts were having their best period of the match. And Emmanuel Gonzalez popped up with a chance of his own before half time, a nice turn allowing him to shoot with his left. However, that shot was blocked on its way to goal.
Any fears of a scoreless draw were soon put to bed shortly into the second half courtesy of Jason Romero who popped up to score from a set piece with a right footed finish against his former club, Troy Danaskos with the assist.
A goal to the good, confidence was flowing in the City camp, with numerous chances falling their way, Nathan Roberts and Jordan Morfitis on the end of a few.
However, hearts would’ve been in mouths when Gabriel Lopez’s shot nearly turned into a cross, Anthony Morabito just barely missing out on an equalizer after the hour mark.
But it wasn’t to be for the home side and St George City FA made sure of their victory in stoppage time, Joshua Keremelevski producing a spectacular scissor kick finish from close range.
Emmanuel Gozalez nearly made things interesting shortly after, but his effort rattled the woodwork.
St George FC host Northern Tigers next weekend, whilst St George City FA travel to Ernie Smith Reserve for a midweek fixture against SD Raiders.
St George FC: 1 Jacob Madden, 3. Tony Spaseski, 4. Bradley Bartels, 5. Jacob Bandur (16. Max Glanville), 7. Gabriel Lopez, 8. Bruno Pivato, 9. Emmanuel Gonzalez, 11. Anthony Morabito, 15. Conor Quilligan, 17. Angus Chance, 19. Liam McConaghy (20. Brandon Stojcevski)
St George City FA: 1. Mackenzie Syron, 2. Dominic Brischetto, 3. Troy Danaskos, 7. Nathan Roberts, 8. Paolo Mitry, 10. Jason Romero, 11. Jordan Morfitis (16. Ethan Dosanjh), 12. Stephen Athanaseris (4. Joshua Orchard), 14. Christopher Arditti (10. Juan Carlos Heras Romero), 19. Jordan Gomez, 24. Alexander Kyriacou.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 1 (Taouil 63’) v Hills United FC 1 (Koudakpo 39’)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Hills United played out a hard-fought draw in Sydney’s south west, Saturday night.
In an even contest, the game came down to particular moments throughout the contest. The first falling to the visitors through Alexander Vlismas who missed a one-on-one opportunity early. Indeed, most of the first half chances fell to the visitors and they were to capitalize before the break. Wade Giovenali slipping through Adolph Koudakpo for a one-on-one opportunity which the striker finished.
The hosts needed a response, and it came after the break. Aidan Taouil scoring a long-range effort via deflection on its way past Hills United keeper Joel Tinker. One nearly became two for the home side with Asmir Kadric going close shortly after.
Whilst at the other end Darcy Ellem and Jordan Parfait both came close with respective chances.
But it was not to be for either side, having to settle for a point at the final whistle.
SD Raiders FC 2 (Proia 2’, Chianese 28’) v Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (Tsekenis 25’ 76’)
Call it a surprise? SD Raiders FC held Central Coast Mariners to a point in their round four clash at Ernie Smith Reserve.
The hosts got off to a flyer courtesy of an Anthony Proia goal inside the first five minutes. Proia finding himself in a good position to capitalize on an early cross into the area from the left wing.
Unfortunately for the hosts though, an in-form Damian Tsekenis was lining up against them, and he equalized the scores on twenty minutes.
It’s at this point, that I break the play-by-play description to pay tribute to the goalkeepers on the night, cause both Mario Aleksik and Zenden Hart had good games to prevent even more goals being scored.
Anyway, back to the action, SD Raiders once again pulled out to a lead before the break, this time through Noah Chianese who created a chance for himself which he then scored.
But once again Tsekenis and the Mariners responded, equalizing with fifteen minutes left before hitting the bar twice late on.
SD Raiders next host St George City midweek whilst Central Coast Mariners face Spirit FC next weekend in our Match of the round.
Northern Tigers FC 2 (Adeli 78’ 87’) v Blacktown Spartans 0
You know the story by now, Northern Tigers left it late but ultimately prevailed over Blacktown Spartans at North Turramurra, Saturday night.
However, it was the Spartans who started the contest the better, creating multiple chances within the first half hour. The most notable of which fell to Mason Ireland who missed both a free header and a one-on-one opportunity.
But as the minutes ticked on, the hosts came back into the contest themselves. And unlike the visiting side, they took their chances when they came. Both goals scored by the returning Shervin Keshavarz Adeli.
The first coming from a Bailey Rule cutback after 75 minutes, before a well weighted Nick Drummound through pass set him up for his second.
Northern Tigers travel to face St George FC next weekend. Whilst Blacktown Spartans host Bonnyrigg.
Mounties Wanderers FC 0 v Western Sydney Wanderers 5 (Auglah 7’ 43’, Lopane 21, 66, Badolato 34’)
Western Sydney Wanderers made it two wins in a row with an impressive showing against Mounties Wanderers, Saturday night.
The “visiting” Western Sydney Wanderers got out to a four-goal lead before half time and put in a mature second half too take the three points. With the first and third goals being the pick of the bunch, Ali Auglah scoring his first into the top corner from the edge of the box, before Badolato contributed himself with a great one touch finish on the end a cross. Auglah then went on to secure a brace along with Alessandro Lopane who picked up two goals of his own.
However, coach Patrick Zwaanswijk was just as/if not more impressed with the work Lachlan Constable, Dean Pelekanos and Isaac Hovar who all had great games, respectively.
For Mounties Wanderers, it was a case of not taking a first half opportunity. Of which you cannot afford to do against a young and hungry Western Sydney Wanderers side who were too good on the night.
Both teams hit the road next weekend, Mounties to face St George City. Whilst Western Sydney Wanderers face Hills United
Hakoah FC 3 (Demetriou 21’, Mendes 45’ 78’) v NWS Spirit FC 1 (Konestabo 89’)
Not for the first time in 2021, Hakoah FC showed they have got what it takes to challenge the top teams with a comprehensive victory over NWS Spirt FC at Hensley Athletic.
Possessing the potent front four of Bruno Mendes, Jordan Koton, Luiz Lobo and James Demetriou, the hosts laid out their intentions less than a minute in, Koton firing a shot wide right.
Kmowing that they were in for a harder time than last week, Spirit then clicked into gear (well sort of), Goffry Lino threatening on occasion for the visitors.
But the main chances were coming at the other end. Mendes going close with two chances in quick succession, one cleared off the line before a right footed volley couldn’t be controlled properly shortly after.
Hakoah did get their reward shortly after though from the penalty spot Demetriou stepping up from the spot after Koton was brought down.
But with such oppurtunities against a top side, you sensed Hakoah needed more than one goal, and it came through Bruno Mendes after Luiz Lobo’s initial shot was palmed into his path.
Putting to bed any fears of a two-goal lead cause apparently that is the most dangerous lead in football. Hakoah made it three after 75 minutes, Mendes poking home from a Dominic Cox cross.
Whilst at the other end, Spirit missed a chance to make it 2-1 beforehand, Mitchell Davidson seeing his penalty saved by Hakoah keeper Nikolas Loe. But they weren’t to leave scoreless, Michael Konestabo popping up to score a wonderful consolation just before added time.
Hakoah FC travel to meet SD Raiders next weekend whilst NWS Spirit host Central Coast Mariners.
By NPL2 NSW Men’s reporter Justin Smith (Twitter: @smiththejustin)