Round 19 of League Three Men’s competition was highlighted by some thrilling encounters and last minute strikes, as 14 goals were scored across the four games.
UNSW FC opened the weekend by defeating Western Rage 3-1, before Hurstville FC and South Coast Flame participated in a 3-3 thriller the next day.
At the same time, Fraser Park and Prospect United drew 0-0, before Newcatle Jets drew 2-2 with Camden Tigers thanks to a last minute equaliser to conclude the round.
UNSW FC 3 – 1 Western Rage
UNSW FC has begun round 19 with a 3-1 victory over Western Rage at Hensley Athletic Park on Friday night.
The home side opened the scoring after just 30 seconds, with a passing move leading to the opener for UNSW.
Western Rage equalised off a corner before UNSW took the lead back off a set piece of their own.
Off a deep freekick, Nima Beik won a penalty after being taken down and converted to give UNSW the advantage.
Beik gained a brace in stoppage time of the 90 to secure the victory, as struck a shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
UNSW will next come up against Prospect United on Sunday night, while Western Rage will have a bye for the weekend.
Hurstville FC 3 – 3 South Coast Flame
Hurstville FC has drawn with South Coast Flame in a 3-3 thriller, which featured four of its goals in the last twenty minutes of action.
South Coast Flame began the match strongly, but Hurstville quickly came into the game after Michael Rutherford made multiple saves to prevent the away side from finding the opener.
Hurstville opened the scoring in the 35th minute, with Paul Gagro swinging in a freekick and finding Jacob Botic, who headed the ball home for the opener.
In the second half, Hurstville repeated the feat with an almost carbon copy goal – again Gagro swung in a set piece from a deep position, and Botic finished with his head.
South Coast came back into the game well and in the 72nd minute, Cody Waller scored a good goal – he picked up possession, weaved his way past two defenders and unleashed a left-footed driven shot to find the net at the near post.
Six minutes later, Flame equalised through Fabian Iacovelli.
A corner found Matt Mazevski at the far post, and his header across goal found Iacovelli, who finished from close range.
The momentum from South Coast continued, and in the 85th minute, a good cross from Sakashita Mitsuru found Waller in front of goal, and he finished to give his side a remarkable lead – they’d gone from 2-0 down to 3-2 up inside 13 minutes.
However, the late drama wasn’t done, as Jacob Ritchie equalised for Hurstville off another set piece as Paul Gagro picked up his third assist of the match.
Hurstville will face Fraser Park on Saturday night in their next match, while South Coast Flame will have a quick turnaround as they host Prospect United on Monday night.
Fraser Park 0 – 0 Prospect United
Fraser Park has drawn 0-0 with Prospect United to continue round 19 of League Three Men action.
Prospect had multiple opportunities to win it but Fraser goalkeeper Patrick Ferrara did well on numerous occasions to prevent the away side from finding the opener.
Fraser had chances of their own, namely in the second half, and coach Emanuel Pais was happy with their defensive transitions while lamenting the mistakes that led to Prospect’s opportunities.
Pais credited his back three not just for their defensive work, but also for their quality in possession while praising the team for their character and effort.
Prospect coach Darren Camilleri was happy with his side’s performance, despite having three regular attacking starters missing.
Prospect picked up their first clean with Fraser taking home their second of the season, while the home side is now unbeaten in three matches – their longest streak of the campaign.
Fraser will look to continue that run when facing Hurstville next Saturday night, while Prospect will be aiming to return to winning ways when facing South Coast Flame in a day’s time.
Newcastle Jets 2 – 2 Camden Tigers
Newcastle Jets have drawn 2-2 with Camden Tigers at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility in the final match of round 19.
The home side opened the scoring in the 12th minute after Camden missed a penalty, with Nicholas Kacev finishing for the Jets.
Camden responded with a goal in the 26th minute, as an early cross from Mathew Lane was finished by Brendan Lane inside the penalty box.
Both sides had opportunities in the second half, but it was Camden who found the breakthrough, as they capatalised on a long throw in to go ahead.
As Camden looked to take home a valuable win from Newcastle, the Jets responded almost on the final whistle, as Lachlan West converted a last minute equaliser for the home side.
Newcastle coach Ric Marchioli stated his side lacked a bit of cutting edge despite having plenty of the ball, while crediting Camden for their organisation and ability in transition.
“It’s going to take a bit of time in the front term to play with the confidence and bravery we’re after at the Jets but that’ll come with time and a lot of hard work,” said Marchioli.
Camden coach Gary Seymour was happy with his teams game – “from an overall perspective Camden showed a lot of gut and control – it was a fairly even contest and credit to Newcastle for fighting right until the final whistle”.
Camden will next take on Nepean in a 3pm fixture, while Newcastle will travel to Wollongong to play South Coast Flame.
Preview: South Coast Flame vs Prospect United – Monday 8pm, Ian McLennan Oval
South Coast Flame will face Prospect United in a Monday night fixture at Ian McLennan Oval.
The home side for this match is unbeaten in their last two matches, as they won against Camden Tigers before drawing 3-3 with Hurstville FC in round 19.
Their other win in their last five games came against Parramatta FC, and they’ll be looking to go unbeaten in three games for the first time this season.
Prospect United, meanwhile, have won and drawn one match in their last five, with the remaining three resulting in defeats.
They’ll be looking to return to winning ways and gain their seventh victory of the season at Ian McLennan oval this Monday night.
Postponed: Nepean FC vs Parramatta
Bye: Hawkesbury City
By Football NSW League 3 Men’s Reporter, Jack George (@JackGeorge0004)