A dramatic Round 16 of the National Premier Leagues 4 NSW Men’s competition has concluded with numerous surprising results.
Hurstville and Camden played out an exciting draw in the Match of the Round that saw Anthony Krkovski bag a late equaliser.
Elsewhere, Parramatta left it late to draw with South Coast, Newcastle put ten past Western NSW, Hawkesbury upset Fraser Park at home, UNSW extended their unbeaten run whilst Prospect defeated Nepean
Match of the Round
Hurstville FC 1-1 Camden Tigers FC
Camden and Hurstville have played out a thrilling draw at Rockdale on Saturday night which has preserved Camden’s spot in third.
Both sides played rapidly for the entirety of the game, leading to an entertaining affair going to the final whistle.
Camden found their opener in the 20th minute through Danny Martinez giving them a much earned reward for their strong start to the game.
The sides went back and forth for the remainder of the game, tussling for possession in either final third.
Hurstville were determined to gain a result from this game, pushing hard until the final seconds.
They were rewarded in the 92nd minute of the game as Anthony Krkovski neatly finished a classy attacking run from the hosts, levelling the scores with just moments remaining.
Both sides will be disappointed to not off walked away with the win as they both saw several chances go agonisingly wide of the posts.
Camden looked set to double their advantage before the break after Matthew Lane played a perfect ball to Jayden Russell who narrowly sliced his effort wide
The hosts came within inches of an equaliser moments later as Julian Bitter skilfully made his way into the box and sent a perfectly placed ball across the face of goal to Anthony Krkovski, with a near open net ahead of him his shot was outstandingly denied by Michael O’Rourke.
The Tigers looked more likely as the second half began, Blake Brooker picked out an oncoming Cormack Stevens, with the Hurstville defence stranded Stevens had an open header but sent it wide.
Hurstville began to push hard for their equaliser in the later stages of the game, Jaefar Al Khulaifawi came closest in this period after Caleb Bartier slipped a ball through to him, after cutting in on his defender he slithered past O’Rourke leaving him with an open net, however his off-balance shot went past the posts.
The hosts were left stunned minutes later as they saw another golden chance denied. Elvir Catovic’s curling effort was denied by the posts as the rebound fell directly to Krkovski, after being met by a barrage of orange shirts his effort sailed inches over the bar.
As the game went towards the dying moments, Camden had their chance to seal the three points. Steven’s picked out the imposing Jordan Cracknell from a set-piece at the back post, his forceful header smashed against the side-netting.
Hurstville had their minds set on an equaliser as they threw numbers forward. They were rewarded in the final seconds of the game as Jesse Gagro perfectly played a ball across to Krkovski who made no mistakes levelling the scores.
They continued their press as they searched for a second and were left with their hands on their heads as they missed the final chances of the game.
Camden coach Dean Bradley was disappointed with the result but gave his side credit for continuing their unbeaten run.
“In my opinion we dominated, we spoke before the game and said that it was gonna be one chance that will hurt us, we don’t put them away and they do that”. He said
“End of the day we had chances to win that game in the second, for us it’s three draws in a row but nine unbeaten, we just have to roll into Monday night training and away we go”.
Hurstville FC 1 (Krkovski 90+2’)
Camden Tigers FC 1 (Martinez 20’)
Western NSW FC 1-10 Newcastle Jets FC
Newcastle have returned to their rampant scoring ways, hitting double digits in a game for the second time this season this time at the expense of Western NSW. The Jets punished the mistakes of the hosts as they sent a reminder to the competition of how deadly their attack can be. The visitors netted five goals in either half in a comprehensive victory, Archie Finn bagged a hat trick whilst Sascha Montefiore and Bailey Wells managed braces, Patrick Bond, Sam Donnellan and Adam Zervas rounded out the scorers.
Steven Long got his side’s constellation in the first half before the Jets firmly ran away with it. Western NSW’s miserable season isn’t getting any easier and they’ll hope to salvage some points from their remaining games. Newcastle will look to keep up their rampant form against a tough UNSW side who kept them scoreless last time out.
South Coast Flame FC 2-2 Parramatta FC
Parramatta have crushed the hearts of the South Coast faithful as they converted a last minute penalty to secure a draw. Cody Waller opened the scoring on the hour mark shortly before Charlie Abou Serhal converted a penalty to level the scores. The Flame thought they had won it through Joel Dowling in the dying stages of the game before Michael Fakiye stunned the hosts with his late equaliser.
Parramatta displayed their fighting spirit to remain level with Camden in third, The Eagles will need to continue their form as they now sit two points above the red-hot UNSW side and will not want to be dragged back into to the tough battle for fifth. The Flame under Darren Jones are playing a good brand of football and will feel gutted to not have all three points to show for their improvement on and off the pitch.
Hawkesbury City FC 2-0 Fraser Park FC
The Hawks are flying once again, after a dramatic turn of events which saw the goal scorer Ben Gibson forced to play in goals as they managed to upset the reigning premiers. Gibson netted a goal in both halves to see out the result before being forced to put on the gloves for the injured Daniel Schwarzer. It seemed to all fall apart for the hosts as they were reduced to ten-men, with Kwadwo Boamah-Addai sent off for a second yellow as they pulled off the impressive result.
Fraser Park weren’t at the races in this matchup, falling victim to a clinical Hawkesbury attack that punished their mistakes. Fraser now find themselves four points behind Newcastle in first who have a game in hand. They’ve been through a rocky patch of form and will hope to get themselves back on a winning streak as they head into a tough finals campaign in the weeks coming. Hawkesbury must be credited for their outstanding performance considering the circumstances and now find themselves right back in the fight for finals.
Western Rage 0-1 UNSW FC
UNSW have fought off a tough Western Rage outfit to advance their unbeaten run to nine, whilst securing fifth spot for another week. Noah Hunt netted the lone goal for the visitors as they extended their gap on Nepean in sixth to three points. UNSW were dominant in their attack, but were met by an ever-tough Rage defence who displayed their fighting spirit to keep their hopes of a result alive.
It wasn’t the Rage’s night as their rollercoaster season continued. The Rage now face a tough trip to Bensons Lane to face Hawkesbury next Saturday afternoon. For UNSW they will be feel confident of a result heading into their next matchup as they host Newcastle, they were denied of an upset win last time out but will be eager to right their wrongs of their last fixture. Importantly for Uni another win and more results going their way could see them secure their hold on fifth place.
Prospect United SC 1-0 Nepean FC
Prospect ended Round 16 with an impressive victory over Nepean on Sunday afternoon. It was a much improved display for Prospect who now re-join the stacked race for finals. Prospect were ecstatic to see 16-year-old Thomas Knez find the back of the net as they turned around from their poor run of form. Nepean had a disallowed goal early in the first half which easily could of affected the outcome of the game.
After their dominant display last week, Nepean will have to go back to the drawing board as they look to regain ground on fifth placed UNSW. Nepean head to Bathurst next Saturday afternoon whilst Prospect face a tricky matchup away to Camden, both sides will have to see every game from now on as a must win in their pursuit for finals.
By NPL 4 NSW Men’s Reporter, Dominic Criniti (@DominicCriniti)