Rockdale City Suns put an end to Bonnyrigg’s 100% start to the 2013 season with an entertaining Round 6 encounter at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
Despite the 0-0 final result, the match provided action aplenty as the Suns continued to show its ability with another strong showing against its more fancied opponent.
A nervy opening spell from both saw a flurry of what could best be described as half-chances but nothing clear cut as the fight to control midfield was fiercely contested until the 9’ minute. Richard Cardozo fired goal ward for the Suns, sending his shot just wide of the upright in the best move of the early exchanges.
Tynan Diaz cut inside the defence before slipping back to his right foot and fired into the side netting at the other end as Bonnyrigg warmed to the task at hand before firing high over the bar just moments later as the visitors attempted to turn the screw.
Bonnyrigg were forced to reshuffle in the 21’ minute when losing the influential Nikola Zonjic to injury. Youngster Jordan Crighton was his replacement as the visitors gave away a free-kick in a central position that Cardozo fired in but straight into the wall.
For the Suns, Anthony Perri stole the ball from Bo Hyun Chun inside the half and passed out wide to Max Burgess on the right wing, having swapped from the left with his cross centred just too high for Cardozo to head on target.
Chun made amends by forcing Suns shot-stopper Diego Barcena into a full length save to his right to deny the Bonnyrigg midfielder.
The Suns were asking plenty of questions, though the White Eagles had the answers for each one, using their passing play to quickly shift defence into attack.
Chris Tadrosse whipped in a curling cross to the near post to be met by Mitch Long whose volley on the spin just narrowly slipped wide of the post as the visitors changed through the gears as the end of the half drew near.
Cardozo floated in another free-kick from distance that Brendan Gan and Bonnyrigg custodian Matthew Nash contested, with the latter just beating the Suns midfielder to the ball to punch clear for a corner. The set piece move amounted to nothing although a quick pin-point release by Barcena saw Cardozo lay the ball off to Gan but his cross was blocked away once more.
A very speedy response from the White Eagles ended when Adrian Ucchino thundered a shot that again went wide of the mark as the half came to an end.
Askin Oygur looked back to his usual confident self at the back for Rockdale and with Gan probing in midfield, and Max Burgess and Cardozo roaming free, it was certainly a case of the home side taking it to the visitors. Bonnyrigg coach ‘Bomber’ Brown is a wily campaigner and would have had the right words at the break to galvanise his troops who, it must be said, worked hard during the opening 45’ minutes but never truly looked harried.
The second period promised to be entertaining, if the first stanza was anything to go by.
It began much as the first ended with plenty of commitment yet no real exertion needed by either goalkeeper, the closest to anything on target when Chun fired waywardly from distance 10-minutes in as a very even contest was being played out.
Set-piece specialists Bonnyrigg were able to warm the hands of Barcena when Tadrosse fired a free-kick through the Rockdale wall – the home goalkeeper did well to get down and save.
Entering the final 25’ minutes of the match and the game began to open up as the realisation of what was at stake sank in.
A cheeky free-kick attempt from inside his own half saw Barcena run forward and shoot after spotting counterpart Matthew Nash off his line from fully 60-yards out, surely one for the funnies reel come seasons end.
Oygur completed a very neat step-over with 5’ minutes remaining that stood up the White Eagles defence but ran out of room to be effective as Rockdale continued to knock on the door with no success.
Cardozo almost won it for Rockdale at the death when stealing the ball and passing to Gan who repaid the debt for the Suns striker’s effort to be deflected away for a corner that resulted in Gan flicking on near post for substitute Seiya Kawamura to narrowly miss heading home at the back stick in a frenzied flurry by the home side.
The pressure from the Suns mounted steadily and Cardozo was blocked again by a last ditch tackle from Chris Tadrosse that kept the scores level as the final seconds ticked down.
Rockdale had the better chances yet Bonnyrigg looked incapable of keeping the ball and stringing three passes together at times, something coach Brian Brown commented on afterwards when stating:
“I’m glad I didn’t pay to get in and watch that today, I thought that was a pretty poor game especially by our standards.
“We were well below par and just kept giving the ball to Rockdale but, thankfully, they kept returning it back to us just as quickly.
“Our free-kicks and corners we didn’t deliver well and our overall game was lacking in so many departments and that’s all I can really say about it other than we kept a clean sheet.”
Rockdale coach Branko Culina added:
“I don’t feel the pitch helped either side today with our passing games and we certainly could have done better in that area and it was nowhere near as fluent for us this week as last but then again we weren’t playing the same opposition of course.
“We both put plenty of pressure on each other today but we created the better chances in the end and perhaps should have come away with something more than a draw but that’s football and you mentioned I like my teams to play good football and it simply didn’t materialise like that for us out there today.
“I’m happy we kept a clean sheet and we’ll look to next week, Bonnyrigg are a top side and we did well but we are not yet at the fitness levels we require and we are still carrying a few players who are not there yet, started late, injuries etc., so we will keep working on that.”
Rockdale did deserve the points in a tight battle but credit the White eagles for coming to the Ilinden Sports Centre and going away with something.
Rockdale City Suns 0
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0
Saturday April 20th, 2013
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: Mitch Clark and Thomas Lee
Fourth Official: Ben Abraham
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Diego Barcena; 5.Brendan Gan, 6.Takuya Murayama, 8.Paul Kohler, 9.Alec Urosevski, 10.Richard Cardozo, 13.Sam Munro, 15.Max Burgess (18.Seiya Kawamura 60’), 16.Anthony Perri (4.Michael Cindric 80’),17.Sash Tirovski (C) (20.Roberto Speranza 68’), 23.Askin Oygur
Substitutes Not Used: 11.David Talevski, 22.Aaron Liddell
Yellow Cards: Kawamura 72’, Munro 79’, Speranza 90’+4’
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Matthew Nash; 2.Alex Mansueto, 5.Chris Tadrosse (C), 6.Nikola Zonjic (14.Jordan Crighton 21’), 7.Tynan Diaz (3.Masakatsu Tanaka 80’), 8.Aleksander Canak,10.Mitchell Long, 15.Steven Hesketh, 16.Howard Fondyke, 18.Adrian Ucchino, 21.Bo Hyun Chun (19.Aaron Peterson 64)
Substitutes Not Used: 4.Vuko Tomasevic, 23.Nikodin Matic
Yellow Cards: Canak 35’, Fondyke 75’, Adrian Ucchino 82’
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Brendan Gan (RCS)
2 – Askin Oygur (RCS)
1 – Chris Tadrosse (BWE)
-By Micky Brock