BONNYRIGG White Eagles have taken all three points against the Sutherland Sharks to take third place in the ladder, just one point above their rivals, in a 1-0 at Bonnyrigg Sports Club.
With star striker Robbie Younis not passing his fitness test before the game due to an ankle injury he suffered last week, the White Eagle fans were wondering who would break down Sutherland’s stubborn defence to see their team advance further in the competition.
Expectant eyes were on Aaron Peterson who stepped up into the role with confidence as well as Alex Canak, but it was substitute Mitchell Long who put a smile on their faces.
The first real chance then came for Bonnyrigg at the 7’ minute as winger Ken Chun delivered an inch perfect cross to team mate Howard Fondyke, but his header went straight to the welcoming arms of keeper Nathan Denham.
Bonnyrigg continued to show exactly how effectively they are attack in the 11′ minute.
Peterson found Chun on the wing and as he cut into the middle of the park he played a nice ball former Sydney FC midfielder Terry McFlynn, on his home debut, who returned it back to Peterson.
Unfortunately for him he was denied by Denham.For the first 15’ minutes Bonnyrigg looked to make best use of the left hand side with Chun’s quick feet and pace, but nothing came of their efforts.
Just before the close of the first half Nikas decided to go himself, as he took on a couple of defenders and shot just wide with Nash scrambling across his goal.
The second half was completely dominated by Bonnyrigg and it was only a matter of time until they got their goal.
In the 51’ minute Chun and Fondyke teamed up and as Canak came to join them in the box on the right, Fondyke’s pass just wasn’t sharp enough, giving the Sharks defence enough time to drop back and defend in numbers.
Bonnyrigg continued to impress with some elegant passing in the 61’ minute and when the ball fell at the feet of Chun, he shot and forced a smart save from Denham.
At long last in the 73’ minute the deadlock was broken.
A few minutes previously, Long had replaced McFlynn and shown a real appetite for work and a desire to break the deadlock.
Long did superbly to beat two defenders and his strike found the back of the net. Although Denham could have done better, the deadlock was finally broken and it was a lead which Bonnyrigg would not relinquish.
“I thought our boys put in a top performance,” Bonnyrigg coach Brian Brown said.
"The commitment and energy, particularly in the first half, was very good. The second half opened up a bit and it was a brilliant game of football.”
Sutherland coach Robbie Stanton was in good spirits at the end of the game and mentioned that “we had the clearer chances to be honest.”
"We are a possession team, we like to build and we don’t care how many players get behind the ball, we like to build and break them down, but when you play a team that presses and plays a certain style, then we have to use counter and use it well," he said.
"There were times when we identified it and it was good, but at times we didn’t get the right bodies going forward and it didn’t happen.”
Stanton had some words to say about his skipper, the ever reliable Nick Stavroulakis.
"He was brilliant," Stanton said. "When players needed to step forward and win the ball, I thought he did that better than anyone else.”
“Definitely tonight he led the way. There are times when teams make you step back, but he would step forward and win balls which led the counter.”
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Mitchell Long 73′)
Sutherland Sharks 0
Saturday 17th May, 2014
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Matthew Nash; 5.Chris Tadrosse (C), 6.Nikola Zonjic, 7.Tynan Diaz, 8.Alexander Canak (2.Alexander Manseuto 92’), 16.Howard Fondyke, 18.Adrian Ucchino, 21.Bo Hyun(Ken) Chun, 12.Dylan Fox, 19.Aaron Peterson, 35.Terry McFlynn (10.Mitchell Long 69’)
Substitutes not used: 20.Tristan Prendergast (GK), 13.Adam Jenner, 6.Tarik Ercan
Yellow Cards: Tynan Diaz 63’, Alexander Canak 80’, Alexander Manseuto 92′
Red Cards: Nil
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Nathan Denham; 2.Jacob Tratt, 3.Adamos Pierettis (16.Ethan Galbraith 75’), 5.Nicholas Littler, 6.Matthew Gordon, 15.Perry Moustakas, 9.Nathan Elasi, 14.Nick Stavroulakis (C), 19.Nick Olsen, 23.Panny Nikas, 10.Jamie Mcmaster
Substitutes not used: 22.Andrew Depta (GK), 8.Lukas Stergiou 29.Mitchell Farmer, 12.Jordan Figon
Yellow Cards: Nicholas Littler 55’, Jamie Mcmaster 90′
Red Cards: Nil
3- Bo Hyun Chun (Bonnyrigg)
2- Nick Stavroulakis (Sutherland)
1- Mitchell Long (Bonnyrigg)
– By Saman Ziaei, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre