Big games… Big moments!
As we enter single digits in games remaining. It’s time to stand up in the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition.
In round thirteen of the competition, we had two local derbies decided by a single goal, an upset at Wanderers Football Park and the Central Coast community came together to support one of their own. With nothing further to add, let’s get stuck in!
Match of the Round: NWS Spirit FC 1 (Lino 3’) v Northern Tigers FC 2 (Adeli 28’ 90’)
Northern Tigers crashed the NWS Spirit party with an injury time penalty at Christie Park, Saturday night.
Best described as a workmanlike performance, the visitors frustrated their hosts throughout before breaking the hosts spirit with a late winner. Shervin Adeli bagging both goals with a brace from the penalty spot.
For NWS Spirit, it was a night to remember everywhere else but on the park. Drawing a big crowd to Christie on a chilly night, Geoffry Lino opened the scores early on but they couldn’t find a crucial second goal from then onwards.
On a milestone night for the hosts which saw Grant Cornwell play his 350th game for the club. They started in the best possible fashion. Opening the scores through Geoffry Lino who slotted his penalty past Elliot Carwardine in the Tigers net.
Not wanting to give the hosts and inch, Northern Tigers were patient in waiting for their moments throughout the match. But they didn’t have to wait long for their first chance of note. Shervin Adeli on the end of a Lachlan Lloyd cut back. Adeli skying his effort from the penalty spot.
Michael Konestabo was next to create a chance for himself, showing some good feet to create some space before his left footed effort went wide left of the target.
But Spirit’s most likely outlet was through Andrew Robertson down the left, playing apart in the earlier penalty before finding Geoffry Lino with a cross just inside twenty minutes. Lino heading over from close range.
Spirit were in the ascendency but as the old cliché goes… “goals change games” and it proved to be true once again in this one. The tigers winning a penalty of their own just after twenty minutes. Shervin Adeli stepping up to finish into the bottom right corner of the net.
From there on out, it was the visitors who took the ascendency, not that the possession stat would agree with me. Adeli once again having an opportunity before the half hour mark after Sam Wilson and Oliver Scott combined in the lead up.
At the other end, Grant Cornwell looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck, the milestone man bursting through midfield before playing in Konestabo out wide who couldn’t square it to a player of his own. But the score wasn’t to change before the half time whistle, the sides going in level.
And it took a little while for the teams to warm up for the second half. The first fifteen minutes of the second period resembling a game of chess, with Spirit trying to unlock a stoic Northern Tigers defense.
But in true NPL2 Men’s fashion, both teams starting creating chances at either end. Shervin Adeli, Jamie Glover and Alexander Brown (who was great throughout his stint) all having chances for the visitors. While Cornwell, Konestabo and Anthony Vastag went closest for the home side.
However, the game was waiting for a moment, and it came deep into injury time in favor of the visitors. A cross from the right finding Shervin Adeli in the middle whose effort from just wide of the penalty spot was saved spectacularly by Luke Cotten. Unfortunately for his team though, a penalty was conceded in the follow up. Adeli once again stepping up to send the keeper the wrong way and win it for the visitors!
NWS Spirit FC travel to face Mounties Wanderers next weekend. While Northern Tigers welcome the other Wanderers of the competition, hosting Western Sydney at North Turramurra next Saturday night.
NWS Spirit FC: 12. Luke Cotten, 3. Musashi Kokubo, 4. Kota Odakura, 5. Andrew Robertson, 6. Abuzar Awaz (22. Ahmed Sweedan), 7. Geoffry Lino (16. Aaron D’Mello), 8. Grant Cornwell, 11. Mitchell Davidson (15. Dominic Johns), 14. Sean Eve (9. Anthony Vastag), 21. Brian Jamba, 23. Michael Konestabo.
Northern Tigers FC: 1. Elliot Carwardine, 3. Jamie Lobb, 4. Lachlan Mcgrath, 8. Alexander Brown (7. Dominion Nasrabadi), 9. Oliver Scott (23. Jamie Glover), 10. Shervin Adeli, 13. Sam Wilson, 14. Rhys Williams, 16. Lachlan Lloyd, 17. Joseph Fox, 24. Bailey Rule.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 3 (Pavicevic 11’ 52’, Peterson 64’) v SD Raiders FC 2 (Chianese 39’, Barkho 46’)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles retained local bragging rights with victory over SD Raiders in an epic in Sydney’s South West.
The hosts had to do it the hard way having traded blows with their local rivals before striking with twenty five remaining to take the three points. Radovan Pavicevic and Aaron Peterson found the net for them.
For SD Raiders, it’s a defeat but an honorable one having come from behind. They thought they had won it early in the second half courtesy of goals to Noah Chianese and Matthew Barko but it wasn’t to be.
Opening the game in positive fashion, Asmir Kadric was first to have a chance of note. Hitting the crossbar with a powerful effort early.
The host then went on scoring through Radovan Pavicevic who was on the end of a team move which started in their own area.
To their credit, the visitors responded in positive fashion themselves, striking through quick counter with Noah Chianese on hand to finish at the back post after a Matias Toro Suazo charge forward.
And they then went on to take the lead early in the second half. Nick Carle’s working the ball right too left before Matthew Barko finished off with his right foot inside the box.
But that lead didn’t last long, Bonnyrigg striking back in quick fashion. Pavicevic poking home after the visitors failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Momentum behind them, the home side then grabbed the eventual winner through Aaron Peterson who headed home from close range after David Vrankovic played a key role in the lead up.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles face Hakoah FC next weekend in our match of the round. While SD Raiders have a date with the league leaders St George City FA.
St George City 3 (Roberts 10’ 45’, Romero 20’) v Blacktown Spartans FC 2 (Separovic 5’, Jeffrey 90’)
St George City continued their winning streak overcoming a brave Blacktown Spartans outfit at Peakhurst Park.
Scoring three first half goals, the hosts were given a late scare by their vistiors but ultimately survived to go outright first. Nathan Roberts picked up a double and Jason Romero contributed with their second.
Blacktown Spartans on the other hand put in a respectable performance. Missing a few regulars, Nathan Separovic and Michael Jeffrey found the net to score the first and last goals of the game.
As forementioned, Blacktown Spartans took a surprise lead in this one early, Nathan Separovic scoring a superb free-kick, five minutes in.
But that advantage didn’t last long as five minutes later Nathan Roberts capitalized on a poor back pass to level things.
The hosts second goal came ten minutes after that and was described as the best of the lot. Jason Romero, Stephan Athanaseris and Paolo Mitry combining to put City into the lead. Romero picking up his 16th goal of the season.
With their tails up, that lead was doubled later in the half through Nathan Roberts, whose bending shot was beyond the reach of the Spartans keeper.
But instead of taking the game away from the visitors in the second half, the hosts squandered opportunities to close the game out. Giving the visitors some hope late in injury time, Michael Jeffrey pulling one back.
St George City welcome SD Raiders next weekend in their third game of a four-game home stand. While Blacktown Spartans travel up the M1 to face Central Coast Mariners.
Hills United FC 1 (Kelshaw 22’) v Hakoah FC 4 (Sapsford 17’, Mendes 32’, Lobo 45’, Spyrakis 54’)
Hakoah FC produced a season best away performance to run out victors over Hills United, Saturday night.
The visitors from Sydney’s Eastern suburbs were at their clinical best in a first half which saw them open up a two goal advantage, before proving effective on the counter later on to secure their third victory on the road this season with four different goal scorers.
For Hills, their home ground woes continue, Glen Kelshaw equalized for the hosts to give them hope but they couldn’t match it with their visitors.
Fresh after a good victory over Northern Tigers last Sunday. The visitors got off to the start they desired. Zachary Sapsford opening the scoring with an individual effort.
Their second came from an unlikely source. That being directly from a corner kick, Bruno Mendes the player to pull off such a feat.
Whilst at the other end, Glen Kelshaw netted for the home side, Kelshaw on the end of a team move down the left side.
But just when it looked like they were going to hold the deficit to one going into half time. Luiz Lobo made it three goals for the away side scoring from the spot.
Possessing a two goal advantage, Hakoah were then happy to play out the remainder on the counter, and captain Yianni Spyrakis popped up to score his sides fourth ten minutes into the second half.
Hakoah FC host Bonnyrigg White Eagles in our round fourteen match of the round. Whereas Hills travel to Sydney’s south to play St George FC.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0 v St George FC 1 (Morabito 46’)
Speaking of… St George FC secured a statement win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Wanderers Football Park.
It’s an impressive result for the Saints who kept pace with the teams above them on the table whilst becoming the first side to claim victory from the hosts at Wanderers Football Park. Anthony Morabito scoring the sole goal of the fixture just after the half time break.
For the Wanderers, its their first slip up at their home this season and they’ll be looking to bounce back next weekend in a big fixture against Northern Tigers.
From the outset the visitors set about disrupting the home sides play, which turned much of the opening half into a scrappy affair. However, Brad Bartels and Anthony Morabito both had chances to break the deadlock. But it was to remain scoreless until the break.
Not much longer though as the visitors finally put away an effort of their own, forcing a mistake with a high press. Leading to Anthony Morabito finding the bottom left corner with his effort to give the visitors the advantage.
With a goal lead, they were then happy to sit back and make it tough for the Wanderers. A task they succeeded in with the exception of a Kosta Grozos chance in which he couldn’t finish a cut back shortly after the first goal.
St George FC host Hills United next weekend. While the Wanderers prepare to face Northern Tigers at North Turramurra.
Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (Reec 86’) v Mounties Wanderers FC 0
Central Coast Mariners overcame a dogged Mounties Wanderers side in Sunday afternoons lone fixture at Pluim Park.
Returning home after a five game winless streak, the win may have not been the prettiest for Nick Montgomery’s side, but it could be one of the most important. Jing Reec scored their winner deep into the contest.
Didn’t believe me when I said this side have improved? Well… Here you go! Mounties Wanderers pushed the reigning chances all the way in this one, and you can see a win on the horizon if they keep their efforts up.
Controlling possession throughout, the Mariners had to wait till a late set piece of which Jing Reec who pounced to claim his seventh of the season.
Central Coast Mariners continue their run of home games next Sunday, Blacktown Spartans the opposition. While Mounties Wanderers face NWS Spirit at Wanderers Football Park.
Sometimes the action on the field takes a back seat though with the Mariners hosting a “Fit for a King” fundraiser in tribute to youth player Archie King who tragically passed away at age 12 in a car accident on his way to a game.
You can donate to that cause here: Fundraiser by Paul Chapman : Help the King Family (gofundme.com)
By NPL2 Men’s Reporter Justin Smith (Twitter: @smiththejustin)