Safe to say round one had everything, yeah? Football NSW League One Men’s is back with vengeance as we witnessed everything you would want from a round of football!
Last minute goal? We got that. Blowout score-line? Check. Upsets? Definitely, Red Cards? Yep. Anything else? Yes, read on to find out.
So, join us as we recap this weekend and start the countdown to round two.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 3 (Swibel 30’ 80’, Webber 90’) NWS Spirit FC 0
Western Sydney Wanderers scored three unanswered goals to secure three points in their match against NWS Spirit FC, Saturday night.
A Jordan Swibel brace highlighted the clash before Jesper Webber rounded out the scoring in injury time.
The home side got off to the better start, looking threatening from the outset with Connor Rose setting up Swibel for the first opportunity of the contest. That opportunity was followed up shortly after when Aiden Mostofi sent a ball across the face of goal on fifteen minutes, which was followed by a Mark Natta header from the resulting set piece which went wayward.
That’s not to say the Spirit didn’t have their periods of possession in their attacking half. But unlike their hosts, they struggled to create chances for themselves early.
Wanderers went close again just before 20 minutes when Marques was forced into a point blank save from his own defender after Mostofi sent another ball across the face of goal.
Spirit soon were able to notch their first shot on target. Konestabo with a first time shot from distance which didn’t cause Warshawsky much trouble. Which was followed by an effort from Dominic Johns who took a shot on the turn which forced the Wanderers shot-stopper into a diving save.
But just as it was looking like they were gaining some control of the fixture, Wanderers struck. Swibel getting on the end of a piercing through ball from Nectarios Triantis before slotting it home.
The half concluded with Spirit mounting pressure on the hosts defence, but the Wanderers back four stood strong.
Once again, it was Western Sydney Wanderers who made the first opportunity of the second half, Aiden Mostofi missing the target at the near post after a scintillating burst forward. Which was shortly followed by Swibel going close from a set piece.
Spirit on the other hand threatened next with a swift counter which saw Konestabo link up with Louis Bozanic, Bozanic on his right missing the target to the right. It was a game of chess and once again Spirit warmed up to the contest as it went on.
But it wasn’t the Spirits night and Western Sydney grabbed another couple late in the piece. The first seeing substitute Jesper Webber link with Swibel who took the ball on the edge of the area with his right foot. The striker then launching an effort into the bottom right corner beyond the diving keeper. 2-0 Wanderers.
Which was followed up by a goal of his own for Webber to cap off a debut to remember. Webber winning the ball wide right before taking it towards goal and finishing convincingly.
Western Sydney Wanderers face Hills United at home next week. While NWS Spirit host Blacktown Spartans at Christie Park.
St George FC 0 Hakoah FC 1 (Lobo 64’)
A piece of Luiz Lobo magic gave Hakoah the bragging rights as they beat a brave St George FC side at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre.
Lobo who’s always a threat from a set piece was able to hit his free kick over the wall before dipping into the bottom left corner with twenty five minutes to go.
Before that, the game was divided into three thirds. St George FC controlling the opening half hour before Hakoah showed their experience, clawing things back before the break and showing some good game awareness to walk away with the three points.
With a largely youthful and fresh looking squad, Mark Milligan’s St George FC showed some promising signs in the opening half hour. Despite this, they struggled to get a shot on target despite the efforts of Angus Chance, Yu Hasegowa and Anthony Morabito who went closest, hitting the base of the left hand facing post with his effort 25 minutes in.
As the first half ended, Hakoah began to play their way into the contest, creating a few chances of their own before the half time whistle. Lobo going closest with a left footed strike at the near post making sure Ryan Norval was alert.
Pressure was mounting on the hosts, with the visitors beginning to take control of the midfield. Milligan’s side having to rely on counter attacks in their effort to open their account. Mcgowan their main threat in the attacking third.
So often you in football, it comes down to the little things and a couple of chances after the hour mark would decide the match. At one end, Cam Philpot was denied by Hakoah keeper Nikolas Loe from a set piece header. Before Hakoah countered, winning a free kick in a dangerous position in which Luiz Lobo converted.
With time ticking away, the onus was on the hosts to find a leveler against a defense who are tough to break down at the best of times. And unfortunately for Milligan’s men, they were unable to trouble Loe further.
St George FC travel to Ernie Smith Reserve to face SD Raiders. While Hakoah face a second consecutive away game, taking on Mounties Wanderers.
Northern Tigers FC 8 (Kawaguchi 8’, Scott 22’, Fulton 47’ 50’ 63’, Brown 67’, Rule, Tachjian) v Blacktown Spartans FC 2 (Lamberton 24’, Bangura 45’)
Northern Tigers showed their teeth in defeating Blacktown Spartans with a ruthless second half carrying them to a six goal victory at North Turramurra Recreation Area.
Believe it not looking at the scoreline, the first half was a close affair with Spartan’s keen to prove they can match it with the better sides in the division. Mason Ireland missing a guilt edged chance six minutes into the contest. Ireland firing over from point blank range after Suleyman Bangura found him with his ball low ball across.
That miss proved costly two minutes later when Kawaguchi found the target on debut. Bailey Rule finding him with a precise pass inside the box on the left side, Kawaguchi powering it home at the near post.
The Tigers one became two on the twenty minute mark. Oliver Scott chasing down a through ball before finishing through the legs of Hugh Brown to give them a two goal lead.
From that position the Spartans reacted well to bring the scores level before half time. The first coming when Bangura won the ball in an advanced position before feeding Hamish Lamberton who finished tidily. Before Bangura picked up one for himself, Lamberton finding him inside the box on the right. His finish taking a deflection? before floating into the far bottom corner.
That comeback was thwarted soon into the second half. Alexander Brown pouncing on an errant pass in central midfield before sending a through ball for Oliver Scott. Scott then finding Jack Fulton in a central area who grabbed his first of the night.
Goals in quick succession were a theme at North Turramurra, and Fulton grabbed his second just two minutes later, Kawaguchi intercepting a pass on their left before finding Scott with the cross who headed back for Fulton to slot home from close range.
And there was no stopping the Tigers from there on in. Grabbing another couple after the hour mark. Jack Fulton completing his hat trick after the ball fell to him inside the box. Before Ally Brown made it six, Scott once again the provider squaring it into his path.
Not convinced the Tigers will be contenders this season yet? They went on to grab another couple, Bailey Rule and Liam Tachjian finding the back of the net in the last ten minutes. While Spartans went down to ten with Suleyman Bungura seeing red after 80 minutes.
Northern Tigers host St George City next weekend. While Blacktown Spartans will be looking to bounce back
Hills United FC 1 (Mansueto 34’) SD Raiders FC 2 (Cindric 11’ 59’)
SD Raiders overcame Hills United in a battle of the new coaches, Saturday evening.
A brace for new Raider’s recruit Mark Cindric was separated by an Alexander Mansueto goal after the half hour.
The game started in lively fashion with both sides having an early chance, Noah Chianese for the away side inside five minutes, while Andre Takimi replied at the other end. But it was the away side who started the game better when it came to number of chances, and they were rewarded with a goal on ten minutes. A lovely low cross from James Letta on the right finding Mark Cindric in a central area who finished with a right footed finish on his second attempt leaving Shaun Catlin no chance.
At the other end, Parfait was next to go closest. His left footed effort from the edge of the area going inches wide after a swift passing move. But it was the away side who were looking the most dangerous with a number of opportunities falling their way over the next ten minutes.
Goals change games though, and Hills found themselves back level just before the 35th minute. Alex Mansueto finishing with a superb header from an Andre Takimi corner. The first half then concluded with both sides exchanging chances before the referee’s whistle. Most notably of which, a chance for Jamal Belkadi who came out second best in a one on one opportunity with Mario Aleksik.
After the break saw a ten minute period without a clear cut chance as both teams set about doing their work. But that drought was ended in some style, Mark Cindric unleashing a powerful left footed volley into the top right corner. A goal worthy of winning any match.
Both sides then rung the changes and as such the game lacked the fluidity of the first half. With five minutes remaining, Raider’s substitute Franco Maya saw red making the final five minutes tense as the hosts piled on the pressure. And the game was almost stolen at the death, Darcy Ellem seeing his right footed effort from a corner cleared off the line by James Letta.
SD Raiders return home to face St George FC next weekend in hopes of continuing their winning ways. While Hills United make the short trip to Wanderers Football Park to face Western Sydney Wanderers.
Mounties Wanderers FC 1 (Bartels 85’) Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 0
Mounties Wanderers shocked the competition with a surprise victory over Bonnyrigg White Eagles, Sunday afternoon.
After one hell of a defensive effort, the Mounties finished strong creating a few chances before Brad Bartels landed the killer blow.
The opening to this one was tense as you would expect in a local derby, with both sides feeling out each other.
But it was eventually the visitors who took control in terms of possession with Asmir Kadric and Gauthier proving to be the main threats. But it was temporary captain Sam Gallaway who had the best oppurtunity of the first half, the ball falling to him from a set piece, which he couldn’t get his feet around.
The best chance of the first half fell at the other end though. Brad Bartels involved forcing Bonnyrigg keeper James Chronopoulos into a good save before Matthew Khalil skied his effort from point blank range.
With the referee’s whistle, the second half saw Bonnyrigg White Eagles pile on the pressure on their hosts notching up countless set pieces in attack. Yet the hosts were stoic in defense putting in an impressive defensive performance.
In hopes of getting that goal, Pavicevic went close eight minutes into the half, an air swing disappointing the Bonnyrigg faithful after finding himself in space at the back post. And frustrations continued to mount as the half progressed.
And wouldn’t you know it, they were made to pay on the counter with Matthew Perry and Brad Bartels creating a few chances. Bartels having the better going one on one with the keeper before unfortunately putting his effort over the bar, perhaps taken by surprise by the opening.
But Bartels wasn’t going to squander a second opportunity, on hand to finish as the Wanderers came home the stronger. Placing it past James Chronopoulos after Bruno Pivato’s initial effort was blocked.
Mounties Wanderers host their round two match up with Hills United next week. While Bonnyrigg welcome Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast Mariners FC 1 v St George City 2
There’s always drama when they two sides meet! St George City claimed a round one victory deep into injury time triumphing over Central Coast Mariners.
A late Joshua Keremelevski penalty secured victory after Reuben Awaritefe equalized earlier in the half. This after Matthew Hatch opened the scoring from the hosts earlier.
Opposed to the other Sunday afternoon kick off, this started in intense fashion with chances at either end inside the opening 20 minutes. St George City were first off the mark, fashioning a chance three minutes in. Paolo Mitry playing a beautiful ball into Reuben Awaritefe who had two efforts, one blocked by a teammate before the second was sprayed wide right. This was followed up by a chance from the resulting corner in which Mitry had a tame shot on target blocked on its way towards goal.
After the early scare, the Mariners began to find their way into the contest, getting their feet onto the ball for periods of possession. Their best chance coming right on 20 minutes, Dor Jok finding himself with a one on one opportunity which he couldn’t convert with the keeper beating him to the ball.
Reuban Awaritefe then thought he had the go-ahead goal, heading home from a Troy Danaskos cross. Only for it to be ruled out due to an offside call.
The only thing this match was lacking in the opening half was goals and they flowed in the second period. The aforementioned opener scored by Matt Hatch. Hatch finishing off from close range after contributing to the build up alongside Segreto.
However, it was St George City to prevail on the day coming home strong akin to opening DRS on a formula one car. Scoring their first through Awaritefe after the hour mark. Awaritefe finishing after Paolo Mitry did the hard work, squeezing past his defender on the byline before playing it to Awaritefe’s feet.
And the victory fell their way with a last minute penalty, denying the Mariners of what they would feel as a deserved point. Keremelevski stepping up and blasting it down the centre to give the visitors victory in a close contest.
Central Coast Mariners travel to face Bonnyrigg White Eagles next weekend, while St George City join them on the road to face Northern Tigers.
By FNSW League One Men’s reporter Justin Smith (Twitter: @smiththejustin)