The most unpredictable league going, FNSW League One Mens certainly delivered a few surprises in a goal fuelled night of action in round 21 of the competition.
Our match of the round saw a return to form for St George FC, while elsewhere four of the top six dropped points and Mounties Wanderers secured an important win at the other end.
Match of the Round: Blacktown Spartans FC 1-4 St George FC
With teams above them faltering, St George FC secured an emphatic victory over Blacktown Spartans in our match of the round to bring them back into the top two equation.
It was the visitors who set the tone early in this one with the opening three shots on target. Last of which coming from Conor Quilligan on the quarter hour forcing Michael Figueira into a diving save to his right.
Blacktown Spartans were able to withstand that couple of minutes of pressure though and they had a good period of play over the next few minutes despite not really threatening the goal.
That momentum was brought to a halt though in the 20th minute, Angus Chance just a little too enthusiastic making a challenge on Jay Mcgowan. Mcgowan making no mistake converting the penalty into the bottom right corner.
St George were starting to look like the side who started the season so well, adding a second ten minutes later. Jay Mcgowan sneaking in behind the Spartans defence after a give and go with his fullback. Mcgowan slotting the ball home with his right foot.
Mcgowan going close again five minutes after that with a deflection sending his shot wide in the 34th minute.
In a half of not many chances for the hosts, A free kick enabled Anthony Younis to try his luck in the 41st minute. His chance dribbling wide of the target to the left.
If there were any worries about a performance drop in the second half from the Saints. Well, they were quashed eight minutes into the period. A set-piece taken short to Shunta Nakamura who put in a pin-point cross to find the head of Conor Quilligan in the six-yard box. 3-0.
While Spartans had a chance soon after for their first shortly after, a cross in from Josh Bartolotto reaching Dale Howarth at the far post who couldn’t steer his header on target under pressure.
Riley Chapple following up that effort with another chance from long range on the hour mark as the Spartans began to look a threat.
Who in chasing the game began to give St George opportunities in transition. One of which served as a warning shot 67 minutes in before they found the back of the net soon after.
Their fourth added in fortuitous style, Spartans seemingly stopping for an offside, St George playing on which led to Troy Danaskos whipping in a ball from the left which Mcgowan turned towards goal. Michael Figueira having a moment to forget in the Spartans net. 4-0
Spartans were able to grab a goal back when a Sam Perre corner from the right took a touch off a Saints defender into the net but it would prove only consolation.
St George FC move on to face Dunbar Rovers at home next weekend while Spartans host Canterbury Bankstown at the same venue.
Blacktown Spartans FC 1 (Jesse Spang OG 85’)
St George FC 4 (Jay Mcgowan 22’ 29’ 75’, Conor Quilligan 53’)
Northern Tigers FC 4 (Shervin Adeli 10’ 20’ 51’, Kai Denton 17’) v Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 0
Northern Tigers showed no mercy in dispatching of Bonnyrigg White Eagles at North Turramurra Recreation Area.
Despite struggling at points this season, there has never been a doubt about the quality of Adam Hett’s squad and they channelled their frustration into this one. Shervin Adeli starred with a hat-trick either side of half time while Kai Denton also found the back of the net.
It’s a second straight defeat for Bonnyrigg White Eagles who are now in 3rd position with Canterbury Bankstown jumping them. Next weekends match with SD Raiders is shaping up as a massive one.
It was a stunning first half performance from the hosts who put three goals past their opposition before the break. Shervin Adeli scoring from the spot ten minutes in.
Before the second was scored by Kai Denton, a good build up leading to Oliver Scott finding him with a cross. Denton then setting up the third for Adeli, a press leading to that one in the 20th minute.
The game put to bed in the second half, Oliver Scott with another assist from the right finding Shev for his hat-trick.
Northern Tigers face Hills United away from home next weekend, while Bonnyrigg White Eagles host SD Raiders.
SD Raiders FC 1 (Sebastian Malfara 81’) v Inter Lions FC 2 (Alex Becerra 7’, Thomas Quilligan 86’))
Inter Lions extended the woes of SD Raiders with an 86th minute goal condemning the hosts to back to back defeats.
Ending a run of four games without a victory, the Lions were able to maintain their position in the top half with an outside chance of putting pressure on the top four. Alex Becerra opened the scoring before Thomas Quilligan found a winner late.
A draw and two losses have seen the SD Raiders drop to 5th place on the table ahead of a massive game next weekend. Sebastian Malfara thought he had stolen a point for them but a late goal consigned them to defeat.
It was a frustrating evening for SD Raiders who were punished for an early mistake, a cheap turnover allowing Alex Becerra to run onto it and finish for Inter. Becerra having another chance with a curling shot later in the half.
The second half however saw the Raiders take control of proceedings, going close a few times before the breakthrough.
Sebastian Malfara finding the back of the net from a Cooper Hanagan cross within ten minutes of regulation time.
Late goals have been a feature for Inter Lions though and they managed to grab another here. Thomas Quilligan finishing with a low drive finish from outside the area to give interim bosses Anthony Skoulos and George Paradisis their first win.
Canterbury Bankstown FC 4 (Jairo Torne Fernandez 48’ 51’ 80’, Brendon Mandizvidza 84’) v Dulwich Hill FC 2 (Goncalo Paradanta 38’, Daniel Fornito 46’)
Dare to dream? With their fourth victory in a row over Dulwich Hill, Canterbury Bankstown move up to 2nd place on the competition ladder after 21 rounds.
Yes, the confidence is flowing in Wally Savours side and they came back from two goals down at the break. Jairo Torne Fernandez once again playing a starring role with a hat-trick which Brendon Mandizvidza applied the cherry on top.
Dulwich Hill did make it difficult for them however, getting out to that two-goal advantage in the first half showing the capability they have. Goncalo Paradanta scored a free kick joined by Daniel Fornito on the scoresheet.
It was a night where Jairo Torne Fernandez was almost unplayable in the second half with three goals scoring potentially the goal of the year for his second. Hitting a shot perfectly over the keeper from inside his own half.
Wally Savour’s side getting reward for their work late with two goals in the final ten minutes. Canterbury Bankstown travel to Blacktown Spartans next weekend, Dulwich Hill to Mounties Wanderers.
Rydalmere Lions FC 0 v Mounties Wanderers FC 3 (Matthew Self 12’ 47’, Anthony Vastag 67’)
Who saw this coming? Mounties Wanderers secured a massive victory over Rydalmere Lions with a few fresh faces making their debut.
Yes, this one potentially showcased how much a transfer window can affect things. Mounties Wanderers securing their fifth win of the season with Matthew Self scoring a brace and Anthony Vastag also finding the net.
For Rydalmere Lions, it’s a disappointing outcome after a positive performance last weekend. They face Macarthur Rams next weekend.
Finding particular joy out wide, Mounties were able to take a two-goal lead via that route with both Matthew Self’s goals coming in similar fashion in the first half.
Overall, it was a consistent performance across the 90 minutes from the Wanderers, leaving coach Nick Porreca pleased with their efforts. Anthony Vastag adding a third goal in the 67th minute to top the victory off.
Mounties Wanderers will be looking for back-to-back victories when they host Dulwich Hill next weekend while Rydalmere Lions take on Macarthur Rams.
Hakoah FC 4 (Ben Fuchs 10’, Samuel Young 59’, Cam Philpot 67’, George Tuson-Firth 76’) v Bankstown City FC 0
Season best victory? Hakoah FC secured an emphatic victory over Bankstown City at Hensley Athletic, Saturday afternoon.
Look I don’t want to credit myself too much but sometimes as a writer you try to will a side to victory and Hakoah delivered here. Four different goal scorers in Ben Fuchs, Samuel Young, Cam Philpot and George Tuson-Firth leading them to victory.
One to forget, Bankstown City will want to put this one in the rear-view mirror quickly, frustrations boiling over late with Daniel Bakrdanikoski sent off.
The first half was a rugged affair with both sides fighting for control of the game and making a mistake or two. The only goal coming from Ben Fuchs who tapped the ball home from close range, Nicholas Drummond with the assist.
Second half on the other hand was a dominant display from the hosts. Samuel Young and Cam Philpot scoring headed goals in the 59th and 67th minute before George Tuson-Firth added their fourth for their seventh victory of the season.
Dunbar Rovers FC 1 (Daisuke Yamaguchi 52’) v Hills United FC 1 (Wade Giovenali 2’)
Dunbar Rovers and competition leaders Hills United shared the points in an entertaining contest at Fraser Park.
It was a game where both sides walked away thinking they had a chance of winning. Hills United opening the scoring early through Wade Giovenali with Nicolai Muller playing a role in the build-up.
Dunbar Rovers however showed they were more than up for it, stepping up the intensity after going behind winning a lot of loose balls.
While Hills arguably should have scored another two in the first half with Darcy Ellem and Wade Giovenali having further chances.
Try as they might, they couldn’t shake off the hosts though and they levelled things in style early in the second half. Daisuke Yamaguchi scoring a ‘worldie’ from 30m out.
Before they thought they had the lead through Ethan Dosanjh who signed from the Castle Hill RSL Rockets, but it was ruled out offside.
Hills then pushed for a winner of their own to no luck having to settle for a draw. They take on Northern Tigers next weekend, while Dunbar travel to St George FC.
Central Coast United FC 1 (Luke Corcoran 39’) v Macarthur Rams FC 1 (John Fahmi 67’)
Central Coast United broke a six-game losing run with a 1-1 draw against Macarthur Rams at Central Coast Regional Sporting and Recreation Complex.
Like the game above, it was one which both sides will be looking back at wondering if it could have been a victory. The draw perhaps suiting Macarthur Rams a bit better based on table position.
The hosts took the lead late in the first half through Luke Corcoran who finished decisively at the back post after a build-up on the other side of the pitch.
With the lead in their favour, the Pirates decided to anchor down and try to withstand their visitors early in the second half. A few chances for the Rams going by the wayside before John Fahmi stepped up halfway through the second half.
Fahmi’s freekick finding the top left corner from a very good position outside the box to draw level.
From there, both sides had their chances in a game in transition but had to settle for a share of the points.
By Justin Smith