Blacktown Spartans sent out a huge warning to all clubs in the IGA National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 competition – They mean business.
The “Super” Spartans simply outclassed, outshone and demolished what was a hapless Sutherland Sharks squad 6-1 at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday evening with defender Nathan Millgate grabbing a memorable hat-trick all coming off the head.
Ben De Haan’s squad were simply brutal and showed no mercy to their under par opponents.
Robbie Stanton’s men had no answers in what was a flawless performance by the Spartans who were ruthless.
Coming into the match the Spartans had Phil Makrys, Luka Dukic and Luke Austin suspended while for the Sharks skipper Nick Stavroulakis stood out serving his final match after being suspended from the finals series last year.
Goals rolled in as early as the fourth minute when youngster Kieran Dalton popped in a majestic cross to Millgate whose header gave Sharks debutant under the sticks Andrew Depta no chance to give the home side the lead.
The Sharks replied two minutes later via stand in skipper Panny Nikas.
The potent attacker stepped up and whacked his shot well past a despairing Carlos Saliadarre from 30-yards to equalise for the visitors.
The Sharks celebrations were shortly lived however as two minutes later Elsid Barkhousir put the home side ahead after being put through one on one against Depta, the elusive striker slotted home for his debut goal for the club.
Millgate was at it again in the 26th minute as Corey Biczo sent in a great cross with the big defender rising high and nodding home for his second and the Spartans third.
The goals just kept raining through as David Gullo was next to etch his name on the scoresheet.
The left sided midfielder ‘smashed the skin off the ball’ with a gem of a goal from 30-yards to put the Spartans 4-1 up.
Stanton’s men were begging for Kevin Peddie’s whistle to blow for the half time break but were left scratching their heads again as Biczo added a fifth tapping home from close range.
The half time whistle blew and the steam was visible in the Sharks change rooms as the visitors were left dazed in what was a first half bloodbath.
The second half started the same way as the first, frenetic, as the Spartans came out charging from the whistle.
With a number of chances continuing to pepper both ends of the field the scene was set for Millgate to grab his third and final goal of the match in the 72nd minute.
The left-sided defender scored his third header of the match after a pin-point Ray Miller cross that shot his name in lights as the leading goalscorer of the IGA NPL NSW Men’s 1 competition.
That was to be the final talking point of the match as the final whistle blew in what was a fantastic evening of football as goals rained aplenty for the hungry Spartans as they stamped their authority as the team to watch out for in season 2014.
Hat-trick hero, Millgate was visibly delighted with his performance.
Ironically, the modest defender notched up a double in round 1 of the competition this time last year against the Marconi Stallions at the same pitch.
“It was a great team performance by the boys, first half we blew them off the park and then the second half we sat back defended well and got the victory which was well earned.
“We worked really hard in the pre-season and it showed today, we just want to continue to play good football and achieve results such as tonight.”
Asked what his thoughts were on the hat-trick Millgate replied.
“Just being there at the right place at the right time was really what happened.
“I’m very happy with what happened tonight but more importantly we got off to a good start to the season with the three points.”
The result boosted the Spartans morale for their enticing round 2 clash against Sydney Olympic who will debut the competition’s star signing former Greek International Sotirios Kyriakos with a bumper crowd expected at Belmore Sports Ground.
Millgate was looking forward to the challenge but most importantly, looking for two successive victories.
“It’s a huge game for everyone.
“We have a lot of former Sydney Olympic boys here so they’ll be up for it but we can’t wait for this match it’s going to be huge.”
On the other side of the fence it was a gloomy dressing room as Nikas lamented to Football NSW on what went wrong.
“We didn’t show up tonight.
“Preparation wasn’t the best and we got outplayed by a hungrier team – full credit to the Spartans who really gave it to us.
“We just have to all take responsibility on what happened tonight and move on with it all and look forward to next week where we will be gunning for a victory.”
Blacktown Spartans 6 (Nathan Millgate 4’, 26’, 72’ Elsid Barkhousir 8’, David Gullo 36’, Corey Biczo 44’)
Sutherland Sharks 1 (Panny Nikas 6’)
Saturday 15th March, 2014
Blacktown Football Park, Rooty Hill
Referee: Kevin Peddie
Assistant Referees: Sarah Ho & Thomas Lee
Fourth Official: Adam Vainauskas
Blacktown Spartans: 1. Carlos Saliadarre, 3.Nathan Millgate, 4. Brett Studman, 6. Greg Kondek (14. Jacob Ott 72’), 8. Raymond Miller (20. Tomislav Cirjak 80’), 9.Elsid Barkhousir, 10. Emmanuel Giannaros, 11.David Gullo (19. Reid Taylor 82’), 13. Corey Biczo, 15. Kingsley Williams, 17. Kieran Dalton
Substitutes: 18. Zachary Freeburn, 41. James Stojcevski.
Sutherland Sharks: 22. Andrew Depta (1. Nathan Denham 73’), 5. Nick Littler, 6.Matt Gordon, 7. Michael Stuart, 8. Lukas Stergiou, 9. Nathan Elasi, 10. Jamie McMaster, 15. Perry Moustakas, 23. Panny Nikas, 18. Jayden Koulizakis (12. Jordan Figon 62’), 39. Nikola Todoroski, (3. Adamos Pierettis 41’)
Substitutes: 2, Jacob Tratt, 26. Jarad Benham,
Cautions: Brett Studman (BS) 15’, Panny Nikas (SS) 23, Nathan Millgate (BS) 84’, Tomislav Cirjak (BS) 90’
3 – Nathan Millgate (BS)
2 – Corey Biczo (BS)
1 – Kieran Dalton (BS)
-By Marcus Angello