Bonnyrigg White Eagles were the guests at WIN Stadium when they took on South Coast Wolves in Wollongong and left with all three points thanks to a lone goal from Mitchell Long.
Robbie Younis went down in the box under a Robinson challenge in the 6′ minute minutes later that was quite rightly waved away as the visiting striker appeared to get tangled up in his own feet.
Peter Simonoski did well under the challenge of two Bonnyrigg players to slip the ball to Jack Keating who played it back for Simonoski to back-heel down the sideline, to set up the latter to go on the attack down the right wing. It was eventually broken up by the White Eagles defence as the home side looked to impose themselves on the game.
It was a muted start by both as they probed for an opening with the visitors almost taking the lead from another corner that Nikola Zonjic couldn’t reach and then Younis fired sharply toward goal that ‘keeper Daniel Collison steered over the bar with a reaction save.
Howard Fondyke tried his luck in the 23’ minute but Collison was again equal to the task. Wolves went straight onto the attack and Ricky Zucco forced Matthew Nash to dive acrobatically to his right to tip the effort around the post as the match sprang into life.
Simonoski followed suit not long after with a shot from distance that had direction but lacked power for Nash to comfortably deal with however the home side were certainly showing grit and enterprise after recent poor results.
Chris Tadrosse attempted to set Younis away with a cheeky chip over the Wolves defence on the half-hour that had just too much pace for the striker.
Again Wolves countered and a suspicion of hand-ball was waved away but in the 31’ minute they had the ball in the net that was also disallowed for offside. But they were getting closer.
In the 37’ minute a well worked free-kick routine had Chris Price go over the ball for Zucco to fire forward but instead of trying to catch the ball, White Eagles’ ‘keeper double punched it clear of danger.
Bonnyrigg earned a free-kick of their own 3’ minutes later on the edge of the box that Tynan Diaz curled towards the target with Collison again up to the task.
Zucco picked up the first caution of the afternoon as the half drew to a close and although no goals scored it had been a thoroughly entertaining 45’ minutes with the further promise of more to come.
Harsh words in the visiting dressing room produced results almost immediately after the break when Adrian Ucchino centred for Mitch Long to flick/volley home with imperious panache to net the only goal of the match.
Alexander Canak had his header flicked over the bar as Bonnyrigg applied the pressure that also saw Ben Spruce slip a shot wide of the upright in the 55’ minute as South Coast found themselves now under the pump.
Zucco had to leave the field with blood streaming from above his right eye and after treatment was replaced with Joey Lavelle on the hour after an accidental clash.
Robinson needed to make a last ditch tackle when Younis centred and had the Wolves central defender not got a touch it would have been 2-nil to Bonnyrigg with Canak lurking just behind and the goal gaping in front.
A neat free-kick routine in the 67’ minute saw Matt Bailey play the ball down the line for Simonoski whose first time curler on the edge of the box whisked over the angle of bar and post with the Wolves again threatening.
South Coast had not been outplayed although suffering another defeat but had been undone by a moment of pure brilliance as coach Richard Lloyd commented afterwards: “Once again we are the architects of our own undoing.
“A square ball to no-one in the middle of the park and they capitalise with two experienced guys to find the net.
“The first-half was certainly one of our best this season and we have been working hard during the week to right the wrongs but it hasn’t been easy. We would normally be training on the pitch three nights a week but the weather hasn’t allowed us to do that but it’s coming together and the proof was our performance today.”
A somewhat subdued Brian Brown, Bonnyrigg White Eagles head coach, stated: “I thought we played well and the ‘keeper (Daniel Collison) kept them in the game early on with two or three outstanding saves.
“The wind probably made the game not one of the most entertaining to watch but we certainly had enough chances to win the match and I feel that had we got another goal we would have certainly put them (Wolves) away.
“We have two or three home matches on the trot now but I said to the guys before this match it would not be an easy game and we needed to be alert and work hard for the points but the positive for us is that we are getting our full squad back and that means we can pick from the squad instead of the squad picking the team.”
South Coast Wolves 0
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Mitch Long 49)
Sunday 13th April, 2014
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: Ben Abraham
Assistant Referees: Andre Giev and Joon Park
Fourth Official: Adam Vainauskas
South Coast Wolves: 1.Daniel Collison; 2.Jack Keating, 4.Michael Robinson, 6.Zachary Mackenzie, 7.Chris Price, 8.Matthew Bailey, 9.Peter Simonoski, 10.Ricky Zucco (20.Joey Lavelle 60′), 15.Darcy Madden, 22.Samuel Matthews, 26.Jacob Timpano ©
Substitutes Not Used: 3.Chris Nathaniel, 5.James Baldacchino, 11.Mitch Del Turco, 30.Tom Hamilton (GK)
Yellow Cards: Ricky Zucco 45′
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Matthew Nash; 5.Chris Tadrosse ©, 6.Nikola Zonjic, 7.Tynan Diaz, 8.Alex Canak, 9.Robbie Younis (19.Aaron Peterson 79′), 10.Mitch Long (13.Adam Jenner 84′), 11.Ben Spruce, 16. Howard Fondyke, 18.Adrian Ucchino, 21.Bo Hyun (Ken) Chun
Substitutes Not Used: 12.Dylan Fox, 14.Jordan Crighton, 22 Liam Gobbo (GK)
Yellow Cards: Ben Spruce 52′
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Chris Tadrosse (BWE)
2 – Daniel Collison (SCW)
1 – Mitchell Long (BWE)
– By Micky Brock, NPL NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at WIN Stadium