Can anybody stop Blacktown Spartans?
That is the question on everyone’s lips after they won their fifth game in a row, beating Sydney United 58 1-0 at Blacktown Football Park.
Their 100% record has them atop the National Premier Leagues IGA NSW Mens 1 table, regardless of other results this weekend, and Ben De Haan’s side is going from strength to strength.
Blacktown couldn’t have started the game any better.
Within the first 5′ minutes Luka Dukic played a fantastic ball down the right hand side.When the ball was played into the box, the Sydney United defence had no answer to Kingsley Williams and he was able to hammer the ball into the back of the net to send Spartans 1-0 up.
It was the dream start.
Sydney United’s first chance of the half came through a ball by Mitchell Stamatellis who played it into the box to Ante Tomic.
He who was able to wind up and take a shot but a fantastic save by Spartans goalkeeper Carlos Saliadarre prevented United from levelling the scores.Saliadarre has been in career best form so far this season and tonight was no different.
25′ minutes in, Corey Biczo was taken down in the box by Ivan Pavlak and the referee Chirs Young awarded a penalty to the Spartans.
Williams stepped up to the spot for the home side, but got limited power behind the ball and United Diego Barcena made a fantastic save to his left.
It was an open and entertaining first half of football where both teams had opportunities to score, but it was Blacktown Spartans who had the better of these chances and should have gone into the break more than 1-0 up to represent their dominance in the first stanza.
Just before the hour mark, Robert Mileski found space up the left edge and with only the goal keeper to beat took a shot but it sprayed way to the left, and a golden opportunity for United to level the scores went begging.
Shortly after, United failed to clear the ball out of their own box, and Jacob Ott had a free shot at goal from 30 yards out but pushed it just to the right of the post.
United came extremely close to hitting back in the 66′ minute as Speer hit a strong shot which fired into the crossbar from 20 yards out, and the score remained at 1-0 to the home side.
United continued a strong period of pressure through the last 20′ minutes as they counter attacked frequently but again were unable to capitalise on these opportunities as the Spartans started to tire.
They clung on though to record their fifth win in five in 2014.
It was a match that Blacktown Spartans always looked to be in control, but to Sydney United 58’s credit, they never went away and challenged the home side up until the final whistle.
After the match Spartans coach Ben De Haan was not entirely happy with his team’s performance but was glad to come away with the three points.
“It was a bit frustrating to be honest, we had a few missed opportunities, and we just couldn’t finish them off today," De Haan said.
“Especially with the missed pen, we go two up and we probably go on with it, but we took our foot off the pedal massively.
“I wasn’t too happy with the intensity of the side but three points is three points."
Blacktown Spartans 1 (Kingsley Williams 5′)
Sydney United 58 0
Saturday 12th April, 2014
Blacktown Football Park, Rooty Hill
Referee: Chris Young
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenway and David Hoslett
Fourth Official: Thomas Lee
Blacktown Spartans: 1.Carlos Saliadarre (C); 2.Luke Austin, 13.Corey Biczo, 5.Luka Dukic, 10.Emmanuel Giannaros, 11.David Gullo, 6.Greg Kondek (Jacob Ott 58′), 8. Raymond Miller (Phillip Makrys 46′), 3. Nathan Millgate, 4.Brett Studman, 15. Kingsley Williams
Substitutes Not Used: 17. Keiran Dalton, 21. Riley Keayes, 18.Zac Freeburn
Yellow cards: Luke Austin 58′, Jacob Ott 64′, Brett Studman 89′
Red cards: Nil
Sydney United 58: 1.Diego Barcena; 13.Josip Jadric (Matthew Bilic 77′), 17.Theo Kofinas, 9.Robert Mileski, 16.Stepjan Paric, 12.Ivan Pavlak, 4.Nathan Sherlock, 14.Mitchell Speer, 6.Mitchell Stamatellis, 2.Anthony Tomelic, 8.Ante Tomic (Mark Cindric 89′)
Substitutes Not Used: 7. Richard Darko, 41.Jayden Diacono, 30. Tomislav Borovickic
Yellow Cards: Ivan Pavlak ‘35
Red Cards: Nil
3- David Gullo (Spartans)
2- Kinsley Williams (Spartans)
1- Mitchell Speer (Sydney United)
– By Jack Hislop, NPL NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at Blacktown Football Park