Bonnyrigg White Eagles continued its fine run of form with an emphatic showing in the 2-0 defeat of Sydney Olympic on Saturday evening at Bonnyrigg Sports Ground.
Brian Brown’s men were in complete control from start to finish, creating a plethora of goal scoring chances and this perhaps the only flaw in the performance – that the side managed to only score twice.
Aleksander Canak and Nikola Zonjic netted a quick-fire double late in the first-half to secure the win, as Sydney Olympic was limited to hitting on the counterattack in a difficult match for Grant Lee’s men against the in-form White Eagles.
Bonnyrigg opened proceedings on the front foot as Adrian Ucchino exquisitely played Mitchell Long into space. From the edge of the penalty-area, the White Eagles number 10 tried his luck with a diagonal effort that, only just, finished wide of goal.
Long was at it again 60’’ seconds later with a darting run to the right byline. The playmaker’s cut-back into the penalty-area area, however, was diverted behind for a corner by the retreating Blues defenders.
Sydney Olympic’s response arrived in the 7’ minute when Renato Franco-Ramirez majestically released William Angel in behind the Bonnyrigg defence. With some heavy attention on the winger by the Bonnyrigg defenders, Angel ran out of room, and legs, as he went down inside the area with the chance amounting to nothing for the visitors.
On 13’ minutes, a Tynan Diaz free-kick delivery picked out the head of Nikola Zonjic inside the Blues’ penalty-area though the defender’s powerful header failed to test Paul Henderson.
At the other end, Kingsley Williams nearly silenced the home crowd when his perfect technique very nearly saw him volley home on 15’ minutes. The midfielder caught the cross from the left impeccably well, though the final shot finished over Matthew Nash’s crossbar.
The Blues continued to hold some promising possession in the middle of the park with Franco-Ramirez a constant threat on the counterattack, assisted greatly by the presence of Marton Vass, though the slick movement of Ucchino and Canak constantly had the Blues defenders on alert.
Bonnyrigg carved out the best chance of the opening half-hour in the 25’ minute when Canak latched onto Long’s pass out on the right before picking out Younis. The burly striker took a touch before blasting on goal from a central position, sending his shot only inches wide of Henderson’s right-hand upright.
The home side did find the lead on 40’ minutes as Younis’ looping header, from a delivery on the right, came back off the crossbar and into the path of Canak who made no mistake heading into an open goal.
The goal spurred the White Eagles into action as Zonjic went one better than his earlier effort, heading home past Henderson, at the back post, a Diaz free-kick to double the side’s lead and send the home supporters into raptures, as the Blues went into the break visibly deflated after a positive showing over the first 40’ minutes of the encounter.
Bonnyrigg picked up from where they left off prior to the interval as Howard Fondyke and Robbie Younis had massive chances to add a third, both players denied by some desperate defending by the Blues.
Vuko Tomasevic showed his versatility, and trickery, as he pushed forward down the left shortly after, his delivery into the penalty-area cleared by the Sydney Olympic rearguard.
The Blues’ best efforts in the front-third were denied by the brilliance of Nash. Grima looked to get the better of his markers though the shot-stopper would not be beaten.
Back at the other end, Bo-Hyun Chun should have made it 3-0 when he scuffed a glorious chance. From almost point-blank range, the midfielder’s weak shot was swallowed up by Henderson who showed all his experience to wait until the last moment before going to ground.
Sydney Olympic continued to press forward in search of a goal as coach Grant Lee sent on Zak Elrich to add some further pace in the front part of the pitch.
On 61’ minutes, Vass went close with a header as he rose highest inside the penalty-area to meet a free-kick from the left, though the ball did not hit the target.
In the 66’ minute, Elrich had a golden chance to reduce the deficit though his cheeky chip was well read by Nash who made another timely intervention.
The miss proved costly as Vass picked up his second yellow card only moments later, leaving the Blues with ten-men to combat the final 20’ minutes of the encounter.
The home side continued to play to its home supporters, creating a number of chances with Younis and Hesketh both going close to breaching Henderson’s goal.
Adrian Ucchino did have the shot-stopper beaten in the 74’ minute when he unleashed a dipping volley on goal, though the ball ricocheted off Henderson’s crossbar in what would have certainly been a contender for goal of the season had it finished in the back of the net.
The closing stages saw Diaz too go close to adding his name to the score sheet. His shot-turn-cross from the right on 83’ minutes appeared to have Henderson beaten, though the ball, only just, finished on the wrong side of the post.
Chun then set sail on a marvellous slalom effort that saw him wiggle his wave past three defenders before his shot on goal was miscued wide of the target.
Long too chimed in with an exceptional bit of skill in the 86’ minute. The playmaker brought down a long searching ball with the most exquisite of touches before sending his diagonal effort only inches wide of goal as referee Mr. Christopher Young brought an end to proceedings.
Following the match, Bonnyrigg White Eagles coach Brian Brown was very pleased with his team:
“We are very happy tonight,” commented a visibly ecstatic Brown.
“Tonight, the boys were up for the match, the intensity was right and we played the way we wanted to play the match.
“We totally dominated the encounter, and perhaps the only negative to come from the 90’ minutes is that we were unable to close out the match sooner with all the missed chances.”
“Our objective is to win next weekend, we have another big match against Marconi. It seems that all our matches are big matches at the moment, so we will be concentrating on getting a win there and then we will see what happens after that with the other matches.
“Our objective, however, is always to finish first, so we will be looking to finish off with a win to head into the finals series,” Brown concluded.
Out of the Sydney Olympic camp, coaching staff member John Paul Brancato spoke of the Blues’ failure to limit Bonnyrigg’s possession:
“We did not start badly, though conceding two goals in quick succession certainly did not help us,” explained Brancato, Grant Lee’s Assistant.
“Tonight we gave Bonnyrigg too much possession and too much of the momentum, so we really did make things difficult for ourselves.
“We did know that coming here was going to be tough, they are a great side and we witnessed that further tonight,” ended Brancato.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Aleksander Canak 40, Nikola Zonjic 42’)
Sydney Olympic 0
Saturday 10th of August, 2013
Bonnyrigg Sports Ground
Referee: Christopher Young
Assistant Referees: Andrej Giev and Scott Edeling
Fourth Official: Sebastian Brennan
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Matthew Nash; 4.Vuko Tomasevic, 6.Nikola Zonjic, 7.Tynan Diaz (C), 8.Aleksander Canak (19.Aaron Peterson 76’), 9.Robert Younis, 10.Mitchell Long, 15.Steven Hesketh (2.Alexander Mansueto 81’), 16.Howard Fondyke (14.Jordan Crighton 88’), 18.Adrian Ucchino, 21.Bo-Hyun Chun
Substitutes Not Used: 23.David Gullo, 25.Liam Gobbo
Yellow Cards: Steven Hesketh 24’, Howard Fondyke 66’, Tynan Diaz 88’
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney Olympic: 1.Paul Henderson; 4.Michael Cindric, 6.Marton Vass, 8.Kingsley Williams, 9.Luke Grima (50.Giorgio Bertacchi 75’), 11.William Angel (5.Bradley Treloar 59’), 12.Troy Danaskos, 10.Renato Franco-Ramirez, 19.Chris Godoy Bascur (15.Zak Elrich 58’), 24.Brendan Hooper, 29.Brayden Sorge
Substitutes Not Used: 23.Luke Kairies, 49.Zav Vallorani
Yellow Cards: Luke Grima 35’, Marton Vass 41’, 67’, Michael Cindric 62’
Red Cards: Marton Vass 67’
-By Joseph Carlucci