BONNYRIGG White Eagles and South Coast put on another stunning display of attacking football in this round sixteen thriller, but despite both teams looking to take all three points they had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Bonnyrigg Sports Club.
As expected, it was the White Eagles who started off with precision, accuracy and a lot of pace down both wings in the first quarter of the game.
On the right, winger Tynan Diaz and full back David Vrankovic started off their threatening partnership in the third minute as they played a nice one two together, opening an opportunity for Alexander Canak to take a shot, but South Coast keeper Thomas Hamilton started off his evening with brilliant save.
Hamilton was called into action again just seconds later as Diaz put in a cross which looked more like a shot, forced the keeper to stretch out and palm the ball away.
A couple of minutes later, lethal striker Robbie Younis looked to provide an assist to teammate Adrian Ucchino, but the South Coast Wolves centre backs were well alert to any threats in the middle of the park and intercepted the pass.
In the eighth minute, Canak showed off some fancy footwork down the left wing to beat his marker and send in a well delivered ball, however Diaz was unable to connect his header properly and put it out for a goal kick.
Former Sydney FC captain Terry McFlynn found himself with an opportunity to strike on goal in the 17′ minute as Younis dummied a well passed ball, but it was Hamilton who was able to get both hands on the ball.
Moments later in the 20′, it was Bonnyrigg again, this time showing how dangerous they are on the counter. Younis placed the ball through to Canak who tried to play it down the left, but probably should have taken a shot himself or played Diaz to his right as the ball simply went out for a goal kick.
Finally in the 21’ the first opportunity came to the away team as captain Bailey found Reus with some space, but by the time he got his shot off, the Bonnyrigg defence managed to get a block in.
In the 28’ minute, Bonnyrigg took the lead. Diaz took advantage of a poor clearance from the South Coast defence and came in from the right delivering a high ball for Ucchino who made no mistake with his header, placing it to the left of the keeper.
The Wolves did not look like they were going down without a fight and in the 31’ almost came close to getting the equaliser, Jordan Murray’s header however went just to the right of the target.
Despite not creating many chances in the first 30′ minutes, their first shot on target was truly a stunner.
In the 35’ minute the referee allowed play to continue calling the advantage for South Coast to capitalise on their attack despite not committing many men forward and all they really needed was one man, captain Matthew Bailey.
He managed to find space in the middle as the Bonnyrigg defence seemed to have switched off for a moment and as he looked up he knew exactly what he was going to do.
His brilliant struck left foot shot flew past Nash to bring Wolves level.
Diaz, playing against his former club, picked up a nasty looking injury in the dying minutes before half time, when he collided with a fence. He was replaced by Ken Chun and whisked off to hospital for treatment.
It didn’t throw Bonnyrigg off their stride though and they went ahead again in the 42′ minute. Younis lined up a free kick and beat the wall and Hamilton superbly, to draw himself level with Travis Major on 12 goals for the season.
Half time promised respite from the action, but there was still time for the fourth and final goal of the match before the interval.
Bailey was determined to put his team back into the game, and he did in spectacular fashion. His long range drive left Nash helpless again and Bailey had his and Wolves’ second, from their only two shots on target in the opening 45′ minutes.
Vrankovic knows he could have given his team the lead for the third time in the 52’, as the ball fell nicely to his feet on the right of goal, but his shot went flying over the bar.
The final half hour saw both teams frantically trying to take all three points, but neither could get that final touch.
“They [Bonnyrigg] are up their on the table and we are coming from behind so we knew we were up for a big game,” said Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte.
“The boys showed a lot of character coming from behind against, as I said, a very good side. I am very happy with the result, particularly being away from home.”
Bonnyrigg coach Brian Brown joked: “I thought the weather was horrible and the game was horrible.
“I think when Diaz went off we lost any kind of momentum we had. Up until we scored we looked like we were going to win the game comfortably.”
“I think the second goal [from Bailey] was a really good strike, but we should have closed him down. Look credit to them, they worked their socks off and deserved to get something out of the game.”
“If we play like that again [next week] we will be in trouble.”
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Adrian Ucchino 28’, Robbie Younis 42′)
South Coast Wolves 2 (Matthew Bailey 35’, 44′)
Saturday 28th June, 2014
Bonnyrigg Sports Club, Bonnyrigg
Referee: Michael Weiner
Assistant Referees: Sarah Ho and Craig Fisher
Fourth Official: Kelly Jones
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Matthew Nash; 4.David Vrankovic, 5.Chris Tadrosse (C), 6.Nikola Zonjic, 7.Tynan Diaz (21.Bo Hyun Chun 39’), 8.Alexander Canak (13.Adam Jenner 81’), 9.Robbie Younis, 12.Dylan Fox, 16.Howard Fondyke, 18.Adrian Ucchino, 35.Terry McFlynn
Substitutes not used: 20.Tristan Prendergast, 2.Alexander Manseuto, 17.Mitchel Osman
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
South Coast Wolves: 1.Thomas Hamilton; 2.Jack Keating, 3.Christopher Nathaniel, 4. Michael Robinson, 5.James Baldacchino, 6.Zachary Mackenzie, 8.Matthew Bailey (C) (11.Ben Zucco 80’), 16.Lachlan Reus, 20.Joey Lavalle (7.Christopher Price 60’), 22.Samuel Matthews, 25.Jordan Murray (10.Ricky Zucco 80’)
Substitutes not used: 30.David Hamilton, 15.Darcy Madden
Yellow Cards: Samuel Matthews 74′
Red Cards: Nil
-By Saman Ziaei, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre