It was an Easter weekend to remember in the League One Men’s competition as round six gave us a little bit of everything on the holiday weekend.
Central Coast Mariners, Northern Tigers, Mounties Wanderers and St George City all took home the chocolates in their fixtures. While the likes of Bonnyrigg, Hakoah, NWS Spirit and St George FC shared the spoils in their outings.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 1 (Peterson 75’) v St George FC 1 (Souris 70’)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles and St George FC played out a tense yet entertaining affair at Bonnyrigg Sports Club, Saturday night.
In a repeat of last week, St George FC once again took the lead but were pegged back having to settle for a draw. Evangelo Souris scored for the visitors, while Bonnyrigg replied with an Aaron Peterson equalizer.
As reflected on the scoreboard, there wasn’t much to separate the sides throughout the night with neither team having sustained periods of dominance and both creating chances.
Jay Mcgowan was first up for the visitors who controlled it on the left before attempting to curl it into the far corner. James Chronopoulos up to the task in saving it. The two locking heads again ten minutes later when Marcus Mendes played Mcgowan through, the attacker’s low shot forcing a tougher save for Chronopoulos.
At the other end, it was Joshua Karantz providing the main threat. A long range effort from distance saved by Ryan Norval in the Saints goal as it was heading for the top corner.
A chance which was soon followed by their best of the opening stanza. Sean Eve rattling the cross bar with his effort from the penalty spot after a Jarrad Wiley ball into the box. This coming after Marie Gauthier won the corner with his shot on the angle.
Mark Milligan’s side started the second period positively, creating a good chance with twenty-five minutes left. Yu Hasegawa whipping in a ball from the right which fortunately fell to Harry Jones in the box, his shot producing a world class save from substitute keeper Michael Figueira.
The deadlock was broken minutes later though, Jordan Wang delivering a free kick to the back post which was headed down to a pocket of space inside the area. Evangelo Souris on hand to finish low into the bottom left of the target through a sea of legs to give the visitors the lead.
Peterson was proving to be the main man for the hosts once again and he equalized on seventy-five minutes. Substitute Radovan Pavicevic pouncing on an errant pass working out from the back, before playing in Peterson who finished after taking a touch inside the 18 yard box.
The visitors were struggling to work it out from the back now, as Gauthier was next to draw a save from Norval. Norval diving to his left to deny a goal bound shot heading for the bottom corner.
Overall, though, a draw was probably a fair result. Bonnyrigg White Eagles face Western Sydney Wanderers in round seven action, while St George FC host a confident Mounties Wanderers.
Central Coast Mariners FC 4 (Skataric 14‘, Bayliss 65‘, Palombini 74‘, Jok 90+3‘) v Western Sydney Wanderers FC 3 (Badolato 21‘, Rose 50‘, Di Pizio 90‘)
Game of the season contender? Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers played out an absolute thriller at Pluim Park, Sunday afternoon.
Nikola Skataric, Lachlan Bayliss, Ezra Palombini and Dor Jok all found the net for the Mariners while Alex Badolato, Connor Rose and Michael Di Pizio scored for the visitors.
It started off as it went on to finish. With both sides having a clear-cut chance in the opening ten minutes. Connor Rose hitting the crossbar for the visitors. While Dor Jok had an early chance cleared off the line.
The hosts wouldn’t have to wait too much longer for their reward though. The Mariners taking the lead via an absolute rocket by Nikola Skataric. Skataric with a first time shot from outside the area after a corner was cleared into his path.
One nearly became two a few minutes later when Jordan Segreto went on a gallop forward outside his man on the left. Segreto sending in a dangerous ball which fell to Lachlan Bayliss whose shot is blocked by Stevan Stanic-Floody on the line.
However, when you don’t take your chances, there’s always a risk that you will be made to pay and that was the case in this one. The Wanderers equalizing at the other end through Alex Badolato. Badolato finishing after his captain Dean Pelekanos cut the ball back to him from the byline.
The momentum had then changed, and the Wanderers soon had a chance from the spot after Wilmering sent a dangerous ball in from the left which wasn’t dealt with. Pelekanos stepping up, however he was to be denied by an excellent Patrick Beach save down to his right.
Penalty saves often change the momentum, and that was the case in this one with the hosts finishing the half looking slightly stronger than their visitors.
After the break, the Mariners picked up in similar fashion to the first half. Coming closest when Sasha Kuzevski hit the right post from a free kick on the left side.
Yet it was the Wanderers to take the lead on fifty minutes. Connor Rose sent through the defensive line after a wonderful passing interchange in the lead up. Rose taking it around the goalkeeper before finishing with confidence.
There was no time for a breath after that goal though. With Mariners bursting forward from kick off, Jordan Segreto bringing up a quality save from Jack Warshawsky in the Wanderers goal.
It was a see-sawing affair on the scoreboard and Mariners picked up their second with twenty-five minutes left. Last week’s hero Lachlan Bayliss adding to his Instagram reel with another stunning effort from outside the area, the assist coming from Dean Larson.
And the mini turnaround was complete ten minutes later. Sasha Kuzevski pouncing on a mistake before playing in Ezra Palombini to his left. Palombini finishing coolly pass the keeper to restore the host’s advantage.
Just as the hosts would have thought they’d done enough for the three points, the game saw yet another twist once again initiated by a substitute. Jesper Webber beating his man before putting in a ball from the right. Michael Di Pizio getting the final touch past Patrick Beach.
But wait there’s more! Dor Jok striking late in injury time for the 93rd minute winner. Jacob Cresnar with the assist on the left wing putting a ball in between the visiting defense and goalkeeper. Jok with a stretching finish to send the fans home happy.
Hakoah FC 1 (OG 85’) v NWS Spirit FC 1 (Lino 33’)
Hakoah FC came back from a goal down to share the chocolates with NWS Spirit FC, Thursday night.
After struggling to get their foot on the ball during the first half, a deflected Mitchell Knight cross saw them equalize the scores with five minutes left. While NWS Spirit will be disappointed to come so close to consecutive victories yet have to share a point after Geoffry Lino scoring his second penalty in as many weeks.
At a venue such as Hensley Athletic, the result comes down to efficiency in taking your chances and both sides had one of their own in the opening five minutes. Spirit through Louis Bozanic who was picked out by Jake Mamone from deep, before taking a couple of touches and shooting across the face.
And Hakoah through the unlikely outlet of Jacob Esposito who found himself one-on-one with Spirit keeper Christopher Marques. Esposito beating Marques with a chipped effort, only to be denied by a desperate Musashi Kokubo goal line clearance.
The pattern of the game soon emerged after that, with Spirit the side to control things. Rewarded with a goal from the penalty spot just past the half hour. A Louis Bozanic ball from wide left finding Kota Odakura at the near post. Odakura controlling it before drawing the foul inside the area. Geoffry Lino stepping up and sending Nikolas Loe the wrong way.
In need of a goal, Hakoah looked to respond after the break doing much better in disrupting the visitors’ periods of possession. Mitchell Knight opening their second half shot account just inside the hour, cutting inside off the right before firing a left footed shot into the side netting. Probably the chance he’ll be telling everyone he scored post game.
Just when they were beginning to think it wasn’t their night, their luck changed in dramatic fashion. Mitchell Knight rewarded for his tireless efforts on the right flank with a goal contribution after Ben Fuchs spotted him on the overlap. Knight’s cross taking touch off a defender which sent it looping over the keeper’s head into the far corner.
With scores level once again, both teams then had chances for a winner. Spirit through Konestabo before Hakoah broke forward in injury time, Ben Fuchs on the end of that with a tame effort not troubling Marques.
Hakoah next face Hills United in round seven action. While Spirit return home for a big game against Northern Tigers.
Northern Tigers FC 6 (Williams 43’, Brown 45’ 60’ 90’, Kawaguchi 75’, Lobb 90’) v SD Raiders FC 0
Northern Tigers turned on the style in a six goal victory over SD Raiders FC in our good Friday fixture.
After waiting fourty minutes to open the scoring, the goals soon flowed for Adam Hett’s men with Alexander Ally Brown taking the headlines with a hat-trick. While Rhys William, Hiyori Kawaguchi and Jamie Lobb also joined him on the scoresheet.
For SD Raiders, I think it’s safe to say they won’t be planning a return trip to North Turramurra anytime soon after three forgettable fixtures at the venue in as many seasons.
Ominous signs were there from the outset for the visitors with Shervin Adeli, Jamie Lobb, Joseph Fox and Oliver Scott all having chances in the opening half. While Franco Maya and Sebastian Malfara went closest for SD Raiders.
However, it was the Tigers to open the scoring from an unlikely source. Rhys Williams escaping his marker making a near post run to head home from a Joseph Fox cross. Williams scoring his first goal in over a decade.
That soon became a one-two punch, Ally Brown picking up his first after combining with Lachlan Lloyd and Hiyori Kawaguchi. Kawaguchi playing the final pass to Brown who used his lethal left foot to tuck it home.
The visitors had their best chance of the night shortly after the break, a counterattack resulting in Matthew Barkho spotting Mark Cindric to his right. Cindric with a low effort saved by Elliot Carwardine.
The Tigers however were roaring and in no mood for mercy, adding their third after the hour mark. Shervin Adeli releasing Bailey Rule down the left, who found Ally Brown for his second. This time via a deflection on its way in.
Three became four with a quarter hour left, Hiyori Kawaguchi next to add himself to the scoresheet, the buildup once again coming down the right before a cross found Kawaguchi who just snuck it past Aleksik.
It was party time for the hosts who were looking akin to the Harlem Globetrotters in their performance. With captain Jamie Lobb and Ally Brown adding a fifth and sixth to the tally.
Northern Tigers will be looking to continue their undefeated start when they travel to face NWS Spirit next weekend. While SD Raiders looks forward to an Anzac Day clash with St George City.
Mounties Wanderers FC 5 (Bartels 44‘ 81‘, Perre 51‘, Windsor 67’, Douglas 90‘) v Hills United FC 0
Don’t underestimate the Mounties Wanderers! Think that much is clear after they prevailed over Hills United, Saturday evening.
The hosts put on a show with a convincing performance seeing them score five through a Brad Bartels brace with goals to Sam Perre, Anthony Windsor, and Zack Douglas to compliment.
For Hills United, a red card really killed their chances just as they were coming back into it. It’s another game to forget as they still search for their first victory of the season.
With confidence from their round five victory, the Mounties started the stronger of the two sides. Sam Perre going close with a left footed strike inside five minutes.
Perre was proving to be a headache as he tried once again on ten minutes, this time forcing Shaun Catlin into a save to his left.
After that early activity, Hills seemed to respond well notching their first shot on target inside twenty minutes. Duncan Stewart with a header which he couldn’t get enough purchase on to beat the Mounties goalkeeper.
That momentum was brought to a halt on the half hour though, with a last man challenge from Alexander Mansueto seeing the visitors reduced to ten.
In saying that, Hills were next to have a shot. Tristen Van Rhoon forcing Daniel Sadaka to tip it over the bar with his header.
But it was Mounties who were more likely to score first and who else but Brad Bartels. Bartels finding himself on the end of a Bruno Pivato through ball to give St George, I mean Mounties the lead. Bartels sending the keeper the wrong way with his shot.
Bartels was once again involved in winning a penalty after the break, linking with Sam Perre and Bruno Pivato in the buildup before cutting inside and winning the penalty. Sam Perre stepping up to finish what he started, finding the top corner from the spot.
Not content with the two goals, the Wanderers continued to have their chances rewarded by a piece of brilliance from Anthony Windsor with a third of the match to go. Windsor controlling it with his chest, taking a touch to set himself, before sending a bullet of a shot past the keeper. 3-0.
The scoring continued late on with Bartels scoring his second of the night, I’ll let you guess who played the final pass. And Zack Douglas who headed home from a corner in stoppage time to cap off the victory.
Mounties Wanderers travel to take on St George FC next weekend. While Hills United host Hakoah at Blacktown City Sports Centre.
St George City 2 (German 85’, Moric 90’) v Blacktown Spartans FC 0
St George City struck late to overcome a brave Blacktown Spartans side at Penshurst Park, Saturday night.
In a game which was decided by the two keepers, Damian German opened the scoring with five minutes left before Mark Moric made sure of things in added time.
The Spartans showed their intentions early matching it with their hosts for much of the contest. With both sides exchanging a chance each in the opening ten minutes. St George City through a Nathan Roberts cross which was tantalizingly just beyond the outstretched foot of fellow winger Jordan Morfitis.
While Spartans had their opportunity through Mason Ireland. Ireland forcing City keeper into a save above his head after Gonzalez held the ball up earlier in the piece.
After weathering a period of City attacks, the Spartans grew into the latter stages of the half. Hamish Lamberton and Emmanuel Gonzalez exchanging passes on the left after the half hour. Before Lamberton forced Syron into a save down to his right.
The resumption saw the game open up as both sides searched for a much-needed win.
Hamish Lamberton with the best chance of the opening quarter hour. The striker sent through by a defense cutting ball from Mason Ireland. The striker forcing Syron into another top drawer save in the City net.
At the other end, Roberts was proving to be City’s main threat. Having an effort himself a few minutes later which saw Spartans keeper Tomislav Romic make a stop at the near post. Before turning provider for Saracino to head wide via a deflection.
But the visitors were creating the best chances at this point, creating two between the 60th and 70th minute. The first a back post header from a Bradley Whitworth free kick. The header coming from Alex Gollan which for all money beat Syron, yet the keeper kept it out.
And the second through Mason Ireland whose low drive couldn’t beat Syron after Suley Bangura provided the assist.
Those misses proved all the more costly by the full time whistle with St George City scoring twice late doors. Mark Moric involved in both, first playing the role of provider with a free-kick which wasn’t cleared, fellow substitute Damian German on the spot to finish.
Before Moric grabbed a goal of his own with a composed right footed finish finding the net in additional time to double the advantage.
St George City host SD Raiders in an Anzac Day, Monday week. While Blacktown Spartans return home to face Central Coast Mariners.
By Football NSW League One Men’s reporter Justin Smith