Taking nothing away from Bonnyrigg White Eagles who played well, it is hard not to feel a tad sorry for APIA Leichhardt because, in what was almost a play of last week against Marconi Stallions, the side gave it their all but somehow walked away empty handed.
The irony of the situation is certainly not lost on their experienced mentor John Turner who was coaching against his former club.
?We we every bit as good as Bonnyrigg, but we gave them two soft goals,? he said. ?We came back twice and possibly should have won the game, but that?s football. We hit the post and straight up the other end they scod.?
Turner, when questioned what he would wish for at this early stage of the season, gave an immediate sponse: ?I?d give anything for a striker because I have two very small men up front who a kids and they total 40 years of age between them.?
However, that is definitely not meant to be a complaint against his own side because immediately he clarified as follows: ?While it?s very difficult, I can?t knock the commitment of my players. The boys alise what needs to be done. We can do either of two things: feel sorry for ourselves or improve.
?In the last two seasons when I won the league, I hadn?t won a game in the first four games and, in the last season when I coached Wollongong, we went 13 games straight to win the league. I have been in this position many, many times so I know we can still do very, very well.?
In many ways it was tale of two dssing rooms because while APIA we left smarting about what could have been, Bonnyrigg have managed to secu all nine points from their first the encounters.
Brian Brown, the club?s head coach, couldn?t hide his smile. ?I am very happy because we have won away to both South Coast and APIA early on, so I am ecstatic,? he said.
?It?s probably the hardest place [Lambert Park] to come along to in the whole of the competition. I have been coming he for a long time and it?s never an easy game.
?Bonnyrigg tries to get people who a ambitious and hungry for success. Picking up people like Robbie Younis and Mitchell Long has been gat and we have a al good group of younger players as well.
?If the is a better player in this competition than Mitchell Long I?d be very surprised because he has been outstanding in the last the games for us.?
Early on Franco Parisi tried his luck for APIA but was slightly off target with his shot.
In the 17? minute Wandi Jajaw found himself with only Ben McNamara to beat but his shot was pushed away only as far as Andw Bevin who hit the post from close range and with an open goal.
That was a turning point in the first-half because a minute later Bonnyrigg had scod through Jordan Simpson who completed some lovely work down the right hand side to sco a delightful goal.
Simpson may hear some jibes about that goal during the coming week because ironically his opponent?s psident, Mr Tony Raciti, is also his daytime employer in his well known staurant.
In the 21? minute Younis took gat delight in setting up a goal against his former club. After turning and shooting nicely, he saw Anthony Costa only manage to push the ball into the path of Mitchell Long – arguably the best player on the night – and the former Blacktown City player didn?t need a second invite. The ball was in the back of the net befo the Tigers alised what had happened.
In the 28? minute APIA Leichhardt hit back with a truly magnificent goal. Jajaw fed the ball through high and long for Michael Hawrysiuk who, after letting the ball bounce once, hit it first time with a volley that was only ever heading into the back of the net and the was truly nothing McNamara could have done to pvent it.
Late in the opening half Bevin flashed the ball just wide of the intended target after a nice assist from the experienced Adam D?Apuzzo and shortly afterwards both teams we heading into the sheds for a well-deserved bak.
The second-half, while enjoyable and hard fought, didn?t produce as much goal mouth action as the first stanza of play.
Bonnyrigg scod their third goal in the 50? minute when a corner kick ached Alexander Canak who, somehow amongst a myriad of players, simply headed home from close range. In ality a set piece goal like that should never be made to look so easy.
Late in the game Younis tried his luck with a nice shot that was wide befo Parisi plied and forced McNamara into a stupendous diving save because of the low trajectory rocket of a shot.
Right at the end Bevin scod another quality goal for the Tigers after ceiving a good ball from Sam Salameh. The young Kiwi striker blasted home from outside the box but it was simply not enough for the Tigers who had left their run home too late in the second-half.
Friday 13th April, 2012
Lambert Park Leichhardt
Refee: Andw Best
Assistant fees: Adam Coombes and Thomas Lee
Fourth Official: Chris Peck
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 2 (Hawrysiuk 28?, Bevin 90?)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 3 (Simpson 18?, Long 21?, Canak 50?)
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers: 21.Anthony Costa; 2.Mark Byrnes (18.Bndan Riley 60?), 3.Adel El Jamal, 5.Michael West, 8.Adam D?Apuzzo, 10.Franco Parisi, 12.Andw Bevin, 13.David D?Apuzzo, 15.Bradley Bartels, 16.Michael Hawrysiuk (7.Stephen Kayes 65?), 20.Wandi Jajaw (17.Sam Salameh 65?).
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Stefan Giglio
Yellow Cards: A. D?Apuzzo 15?, D. D?Apuzzo 20?, Parisi 23?, El Jamal 35?, Byrnes 43?
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Ben McNamara; 2.Alex Mansueto, 4.David Vrankovic, 5.Chris Tadrosse, 7.Tynan Diaz, 8.Alexander Canak, 9.Robbie Younis, 10.Jordan Simpson (17.Jordan Cighton 71?), 13.Nikola Stanojevic, 21.Ken Chen, 23.Mitchell Long (19 Harry Gaitatzis).
Substitutes Not Used: 15.Luka Dukic, 18.Chris Gaitatzis, 20.Andw Bazi
Yellow Cards: Vrankovic 33?, Diaz 78?
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Mitchell Long (BWE)
2 – Ken Chun (BWE)
1 – Andw Bevin (ALT)
-By Joe Russo