Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Sutherland Sharks maintained their momentum at the top of the League ladder with good victories, meanwhile Sydney United 58 FC were held at home by Manly United FC on a weekend that was played in wet conditions across the state.
Rockdale City’s immense run continued with a fabulous three-pointer on the road against Blacktown City FC, whilst the Spartans were defeated by a Marconi Stallions penalty midway through the second-half.
Sutherland Sharks 3 South Coast Wolves 1
A tremendous Panni Nikas free-kick paved the way for the Sharks to record an impressive 3-1 win over South Coast Wolves on Saturday evening at Seymour Shaw. The 22’ minute strike kick-started the Sharks evening with the playmaker netting a penalty just before half-time to double the lead.
After the break, Nathan Elasi made it 3-0. Klim Gjorseski, one of the standouts for the night, played a neat low-driven effort into the penalty-area. Brad Boardman cleverly played a dummy for Elasi to slot home.
The visitors did pull a goal back in the 70’ minute via Ricky Zucco who finished with aplomb to make the score 3-1.
Central Coast Mariners Academy 0 Sydney Olympic 1
Sydney Olympic made it three-from-three under new coach Grant Lee with a very hard fought 1-0 win away against Central Coast Mariners Academy.
Zak Elrich was the hero for the Blues, weaving his magic past a few defenders on the edge of the penalty-area before slotting the ball underneath the outstretched David Bradasevic in goal.
Despite the Mariners’ best efforts to find a goal, and take something from the match, the Blues rearguard remained strong, and organised, securing a sole-hold on fourth-spot on the League ladder.
Blacktown City FC 0 Rockdale City Suns 1
Rockdale City Suns’ marvellous run continued on Saturday evening with a late goal sealing the points against rival, Blacktown City FC.
Brendan Gan popped up to head home Takuya Murayama’s cross on 81’ minutes, securing the three-points, and third-spot on the ladder.
Branko Culina’s men have really hit their straps over the past month, and the side’s results of late show just how much of a challenge they can make for finals football, and more, this season.
Blacktown City FC were arguably a little flat throughout the 90’ minutes, and that ultimately cost the side at home on Saturday.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 4 APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 2
Bonnyrigg White Eagles’ dominant run continued as the side handed APIA-Leichhardt another loss – the Tigers still win-less this season.
Mitch Long and Tynan Diaz netted for the White Eagles on either side of Sean Symons momentary equalising goal for the Tigers.
Diaz netted in the final minute of the opening half when latching onto Bo Hyun Chun’s through ball, tucking the ball away neatly.
Alex Mansueto gave the hosts breathing space with a chested goal following the interval before Adel El Jamal pulled a goal back to keep Tigers in contention – a scrappy mix inside the penalty-area, though the defender showed strength and composure to net. Mitch Long secured his brace late-on with a powerful drive that skidded off the wet surface to secure the three-points for the League leader.
Marconi Stallions 1 Blacktown Spartans 0
At Marconi Stadium, new Stallions signing Elsid Barkhousir made an immediate impact in his first match for the club. Barkhousir, who left Sydney Olympic only a fortnight ago, won his side a penalty in the 65’ minute that was duly converted by Tadgh Purcell.
With slippery conditions following the downpour experienced over the weekend, both goalkeepers were called upon to make some very important saves, and both shot-stoppers definitely deserve a mention for their fabulous performances.
Both James Chronopoulos and Carlos Saliadarre have been immense for their respective clubs, and today was no different.
The win sees Marconi return to the winner’s list after a couple of very lean weeks.
Sydney United 58 FC 0 Manly United FC 0
In-front of a good sized crowd with the unveiling of the new playing surface at Edensor Park, Sydney United 58 FC failed to score a win that would have made the afternoon just perfect.
Following the heavy winds and rain that surrounded Sydney United Sports Centre for the entire morning, the sun came out just in time for the first grade fixture against Manly United FC.
Robbie Mileski and Chris Triantis proved dangerous in the early stages for the home side as Brendan Cholakian and Matt Sim both created chances for the visitors.
A rather uncharacteristic challenge by Mileski on the halfway line in the 33’ minute saw the Reds number 9 receive a straight red card, leaving the home side to fend with ten-men for the remainder of the encounter.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Mark Rudan’s men rarely looked like losing the match, though the side failed to capitalise on the chances that were created.
Manly United’s most impressive moments arrived via the quick feet of Cholakian – the youngster enjoying his time at the club since joining at the start of the season.
The final 0-0 result did very little for either side on the ladder with some big games to come in the next few weeks that will go a long way in deciding the finals aspirations of both sides.
-By Joseph Carlucci