Lee Sterrey?s team had slipped on a banana skin in their last outing at home to Manly United and against Rockdale City it was a case of more of the same.
Credit though must also go to the home side in front a very healthy home crowd in their last outing at Bicentennial Park for the season.
There?s even an outside chance that Rockdale could be playing finals football if Marconi lose at home and they overcome Sutherland Sharks next week away at Seymour Shaw Park in the last round of the regular NSW Premier League season.
Given this mathematical possibility, the three points therefore that Rockdale earned against Marconi were worth their weight in gold.
After the game, a brimming Peter Apolevski summed up the mood in Rockdale?s dressing room.
?We are very delighted actually because we have the three points in the bag in our last home game,? he said.
?It?s our first season back in the NSW Premier League and, like I said to the boys, we have achieved a lot this year.
?It?s perhaps more than we even expected and if we make the top five, then it?s even better again.?
Ironically, Apolevski will miss his side?s next encounter away against Sutherland Sharks because he has an appointment down the aisle ? the affable Rockdale City Suns captain is getting married and has been preparing for the big day for over a year.
?Unfortunately I can?t be there next week for the club, but I will be there definitely next year and we have a solid bunch of boys who should do well,? he stated not wanting to get too carried away with the prospect of playing finals football.
The early action belonged to Rockdale City Suns with a number of half chances that kept Marconi under pressure.
Marino Musumeci charged dangerously into the box after only a few minutes of play but he couldn?t steer his shot on goal.
Shortly afterwards a square ball reached Dominic Hudap in the box but, under pressure from the Stallions defence, he rushed his shot and fired just over the crossbar.
A Rockdale City Suns corner taken by Adem Kir in the 12? minute could have caused a lot more worry for Marconi had Musumeci directed his shot on goal rather than into the side of the netting.
After these early glimpses of attack from Rockdale City Suns there wasn?t much goal-mouth action to light up the healthy crowd. Both teams kept a tight rein on proceedings.
The last real chance of the first stanza of play in the 44? minute fell to the home side when a long throw in avoided all and sundry until reaching Apolevski in the box, but unfortunately for Rockdale he missed the target as he was probably surprised to have received the ball in the first place.
As the external winter afternoon temperature started to drop, it could be said that both teams were glad to see the warmth of the dressing room to recharge the batteries during the half-time break after a first 45? minutes of football that lacked any real spark.
In the 54? minute Steven Bozinovski did the all the hard work as he created space on the right flank and headed towards goal, but his tremendous finish was beautifully saved by Jose Bello-Amigo with one hand.
A few minutes later a fortunate bounce of the ball saw Musumeci end up with the ball on his chest but Bello-Amigo was right behind him to deny him any chance of netting.
In the 67? minute Rockdale took the lead with a grand goal from Kir. He seemed to be running out of space down the left flank when he somehow chipped or crossed back into the middle ?it?s a matter of perspective whether it was intended or simply fluked ? and the ball majestically flew into the net from the almost impossible angle.
The crowd was stunned and so too were both his team-mates and the Marconi players.
It was indeed a spectacular goal that may well make the highlights reel at the end of the season for great goals.
Nahuel Arrarte had probably the best opportunity for the Stallions in the 79? minute when his shot on goal was deflected just wide of the post by a well positioned defender.
However, Rockdale doubled their lead just a minute later when a Bozinovski cross found Almir Dizdaric who had his shot blocked but the ball rebounded for the perfectly positioned Musumeci who headed home. It was a clever and alert goal by a clever and alert striker.
After the game Lee Sterrey, who watched the game from outside the perimeter fence given that he was suspended for one week, was still upbeat about many facets of play from Marconi.
?It was always going to be a scrap down here on this surface and we knew that before the game,? he said.
?Rockdale sit deep behind the ball and play well out wide on the break, but until a player of theirs scores with an attempted cross ? that?s the type of thing that is happening to us at the moment ? we were in it.
?We have a lot of young players and sometimes they needed to pick up some loose balls which they didn?t today but that comes with experience.
?As for the finals, we want to get in there on our own merit. We have young players who have ability, strength and know-how, but unfortunately today we didn?t hold up a ball all day.
?Credit to Rockdale and especially their defence because they handled us really well and the bottom line is that we were simply not good enough on the day.
?It looked like being a scoreless draw until they scored, but I am still proud of what we have done today and this year,? Sterrey said.
?We are not AC Milan, we do have a very young side and in many ways it?s a learning curve for them as players in first grade.?
Meanwhile, in the Grade 20s Marconi Stallions defeated Rockdale City Suns 1-0.
Rockdale City Suns 2 (Kir 67?, Musumeci 80?)
Marconi Stallions 0
Sunday, July 25th, 2010
Bicentennial Park South, Rockdale
Referee: Peter Vrtkovski
Assistant Referees: Christian Mehl and Lee Corey
Fourth Official: Leigh Pigram
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Benjamin McNamara; 2.Paul Dee, 3.Almir Dizdaric (21.Sam Awad 81?), 6.Joshua Lawson, 7.Peter Apolevski, 8.Dominic Hudap, 11.Adem Kir, 16.Steven Bozinovski, 17.Pece Cvetanovski, 19.Marino Musumeci (13.Baturay Akin 82?), 23.Askin Oygur.
Substitutes Not Used: 10.Saso Trajcevski, 20.Andrija Petkovic, 40.James Cain
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Marconi Stallions: 21.Jose Bello-Amigo; 2.Brenton Rhodes, 5.Adel El Jamal, 11.Matthew Gordon (16.Jason Naidovski 54?), 17.Laurence Braude (39.Sean O?Connell 65?), 18.Jared Lum, 23.Christopher Nunes, 26.Nahuel Arrarte, 31.Mitchell Mallia, 34.Nathan Jagelman (9.Erick Anabalon 79?), 42.Giorgio Speranza.
Substitutes Not Used: 22.James Chronopoulos, 4.Umut Tokdogan
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
– Joe Russo