A healthy number of South Coast Wolves faithful braved the cold and windy conditions at Hooka Creek Park on Saturday evening, but it was the visiting Sydney Olympic team who put on a mesmerising show to trounce the home side 4-0 in their Round 20 clash.
It might have been a touch over two months since they last sang the team song, and some may have been forgiven for forgetting the words, but Sydney Olympic’s performance was dominating in all aspects of the game as they sent notice to those in front of them on the IGA National Premier League NSW Mens 1 ladder that they plan on being around come semi-finals time.
Despite both sides taking some time to settle into the game, with neither goalkeeper rarely troubled in the opening 20’ minutes of the encounter, it didn’t take too long before the attacking brilliance of Sydney Olympic’s zippy speedsters in Luke Grima, Chris Godoy Bascur and William Angel started to get in behind the young South Coast defensive line.
Grima in particular was brilliant, and Troy Danaskos threaded the needle through the Wolves defensive line to deliver a perfect ball to Grima who managed to get in behind his marker, the energetic striker just had the goalkeeper to beat – which he did so with ease – to open the visiting side’s scoring account in the 25’ minute.
The goal did manage to spark the Wolves into action, and it was imposing striker Ricky Zucco who went close to providing the equaliser in the 27’ minute when he displayed some individual brilliance by drifting cross-field to fire off a low-driving power shot that was well saved by Sydney Olympic keeper Paul Henderson down low to his left.
The Wolves striker was again in the thick of the action when a ‘Zucco special’ from a free-kick just outside the box in the 35’ minute had the local crowd up in unison when his shot dipped, curved and did everything but find the back of the net as it whizzed past the outside of the right post.
The first-half though certainly belonged to the visitors as they controlled proceedings with ease through textbook passing, open running and general support play that had the Wolves on the back foot and chasing their tails for much of the opening 45’ minutes as they ended the half with a one goal advantage.
The Wolves, perhaps having taken solace in just being the one goal down despite the worldly weight of possession to their opposition, came out of the sheds with all guns blazing and looked to have found the equaliser in the 48’ minute when Jacob Timpano fired off a rocket on goal which hit the Sydney Olympic keeper so hard in the chest that it rebounded back to an awaiting Zucco who tapped the ball into the back of the net only to be cruelly, but correctly, ruled offside by the linesman.
This would be as close as the Wolves would come to clawing their way back into the game, and despite their captain Timpano leading from the front and looking threatening in the halves, Sydney Olympic seemed to have their measure on every occasion.
The 64’ minute sealed the fate for the home side when young central defender Zac Mackenzie – who has had a horror run with conceding infringements inside his own box in recent times – earned the ire of referee Stephen Lucas when he brought down Grima in the penalty area where Lucas had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Williams made no mistake in converting the penalty and Sydney Olympic skipped out to a two goal lead, and to make matters worse for the home side – their captain and best player on the night Timpano limped from the field in the 65’ minute with a quadriceps injury and was immediately replaced.
The ‘Sydney Olympic Show’ continued to roll on entertaining their fans who had made the long journey south, and they were awarded once again with a dazzling goal in the 77’ minute when right back Brayden Sorge got in behind the Wolves defensive line to send a nice ball across into the middle to find an unmarked Godoy-Bascur. The Sydney Olympic forward still had work to do as he drifted out to the left, stepping and outplaying would-be defenders with sublime skills before he delivered the ball back to the right side to an awaiting Grima.
Grima showed poise and guile, and above all, maturity to resist the temptation of firing off a shot from such an acute angle, to neatly pass the ball back into the middle to find an unmarked Angel who simply slotted the ball home to make it 3-0 with just 13’ minutes remaining on the clock.
To rub salt in the Wolves’ wounds, replacement forward Renato Franco-Ramirez delivered a fourth goal for the visitors in the 90’ minute after some brilliant lead-up work from Godoy-Bascur who was strong all night long. The striker’s amazing footwork was no match for the Wolves defenders as he skipped down the left side before he crossed to yet another unmarked attacker in Franco-Ramirez who tapped home one of the easiest goals he’ll ever score.
“A win like this has been coming for some time,” claimed a beaming Sydney Olympic coach Grant Lee shortly after his side’s dominating display.
“Since I’ve been here in charge there really hasn’t been a team that has dominated us; we’ve outplayed every team we’ve played, created plenty of chances and perhaps we’ve just lacked that little something, that finesse up front, but tonight it was all there.
“To be fair South Coast came out in the first 10′ to 15′ minutes in that second-half and really gave it to us – they’re in a relegation battle and you wouldn’t expect anything less as they showed some real purpose, but I guess that penalty that we got settled us back down and it was good to see that we went on from there.
“We had a little chat during the week about where we needed to go to from here and we knew that we had to win at least two of the next four games and throw in a draw then we’re in the Top Five … we have a tough week ahead, but we’ve started it well with the good win tonight.”
In stark contrast, it was a despondent Wolves coach Richard Lloyd who spoke to Football NSW after his side’s disappointing loss:
“That certainly wasn’t one of our better performances,” admitted Lloyd openly.
“We were two yards off the pace all night and we knew that this was a big opportunity for us. We built it up during the week saying that a first grade win could take a lot of pressure off the club in terms of relegation.
“We’ve conceded 16 penalties this year and I’m not sure what the story is there as we continue to be on the receiving end in our own end and don’t seem to get too many up the other end…
“Jacob Timpano and Steve Hayes were great for us tonight, especially Haysey who just gives his all in every game.”
The Wolves battle to be a part of the IGA National Premier League NSW Mens 1 competition for Season 2014 continues next weekend with a trek to the heart of inner-Sydney as they take on APIA-Leichhardt on Saturday evening at Lambert Park. In a must-win game for both sides as they desperately look for answers in a bid to avoid relegation, the Wolves, who were seated in last place on the Championship ladder heading into this week’s round, have bolstered their defensive efforts in recent times conceding just the three goals throughout the entire month of July – a stark contrast to the previous month where a total of 12 balls found the back of the South Coast-based side’s net.
Sydney Olympic face a busy week with the rescheduled wash-out game against semi-finals bound Sydney United 58 FC at Belmore Sports Ground now sanctioned for this Wednesday night at 8pm. Mark Rudan’s side has been the form team in the IGA National Premier League NSW Mens 1 competition of late and remain unbeaten since mid-May and will be looking to further extend their current six-game winning streak. And it doesn’t get any easier for Grant Lee’s men as they travel out to Bonnyrigg Sports Club next Saturday evening to square-off against the high-flying White Eagles who will be keen to atone for the 3-0 drubbing they were on the receiving end of when the two sides last met back in May.
South Coast Wolves 0
Sydney Olympic 4 (Luke Grima 25’, Kingsley Williams 64’ (pen), William Angel 77’, Renato Franco-Ramirez 90’)
Saturday August 3rd, 2013
Hooka Creek Park, Berkeley Vale
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Assistant Referees: Scott Edeling and Nathan Wotton
Fourth Official: Sam Grasso
South Coast Wolves: 1.Daniel Collison; 2.Jack Keating, 5.James Baldacchino, 6.Chris Nathaniel, 8.Steve Hayes, 9.Peter Simonoski, 10.Ricky Zucco, 11.John Martinoski (14.Mitchell Del Turco 60’), 12.Joseph Lavalle, 17.Zac Mackenzie, 26.Jacob Timpano (7.Mathew Kocic 65’)
Substitutes Not Used: 3.Josh Bingham, 4.Sam Chapple, 20.Thomas Hamilton
Yellow Cards: Steve Hayes 15’, Ricky Zucco 51’
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney Olympic: 1.Paul Henderson; 4.Michael Cindric, 6.Marton Vass (15.Zak Elrich 70’), 8.Kingsley Williams, 9.Luke Grima (10.Renato Franco-Ramirez 80’), 11.William Angel (5.Bradley Treloar 82’), 12.Troy Danaskos, 19.Chris Godoy Bascur, 22.Amaury Gauthier, 24.Brendan Hooper, 29.Brayden Sorge
Substitutes Not Used: 23.Luke Kairies
Yellow Cards: Marton Vass 22’, Kingsley Williams 40’, William Angel 52’, Amaury Gauthier 74’
Red Cards: Nil
-By Gary McDonald