It was a titanic struggle but all honours were even at Seymour Shaw Park as St George FC drew 1-1 with 2013 IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Champions Bonnyrigg White Eagles on a chilly Sunday afternoon.
The game failed to really ignite the imagination early on and the reasonable crowd in attendance had to sit through some ordinary early play, on a bitterly cold Sunday afternoon in The Shire.
In the 23’ minute after a scrappy free-kick, the ball reached David Dascal on the edge of the box but his shot was just off target for red and whites. While there were no clear-cut opportunities early on, St George FC definitely had the better of play as they moved the ball towards the Bonnyrigg goal.
In the 31’ minute however Bonnyrigg White Eagles should really have taken the lead when Robbie Younis played a nice through ball for Adam Jenner who found himself all alone in front of goal, but his powerful diagonal shot was beautifully saved by Dion Shaw who turned it away for a corner.
Shaw certainly was alert because earlier he had just completed a full game in the Under 20s and this was indeed a very good piece of goalkeeping.
In the 36’ minute Jenner received the ball again in the box but his first time shot was just high and wide of the intended target and three minutes later, he pounced on another loose ball in the area but this time his volley was well saved by Shaw diving down to his right.
In the 43’ minute, after Bonnyrigg’s flurry of chances, David Talevski put St George FC ahead after a nicely worked move saw the ball pushed across to him on the edge of the box and he blasted the final shot home past the outstretched Matthew Nash in goal.
It was a crucial goal so close to halftime for St George FC and one Bonnyrigg did not want to concede given their chances just minutes earlier.
In the second half, in the 54’ minute a nice cross from Chris Tadrosse reached Aaron Peterson in the box but he muffed the chance by striking more of the ground than the ball when in a nice position to finish off the move for Bonnyrigg.
Bonnyrigg were at it again in the 59’ minute when Younis forced his way through a number of defenders with determination before the ball ricocheted favourably off a defender for Bo Hyun Chun who fired his left foot shot just over the crossbar.
In the 65’ minute Christopher Gomez played a nice through ball to David Talevski but his diagonal shot in the end rolled across the face of goal and wide for a goal kick.
In the 71’ minute Bonnyrigg came very close to equalising when a free-kick by Tadrosse reached Dylan Fox in the box and he outjumped all and sundry to head the ball but only to find the crossbar in the way of the equalising goal.
In the 80’ minute Bonnyrigg White Eagles equalised when Peterson delightfully found Alexander Canak, who had only been on the field for a short period of time, well positioned in the box and with a nice delicate touch he beat the goalkeeper Shaw.
Into stoppage time St George FC could well have snatched victory when Aleksander Jovocic broke free on the left and then found Bruno Pivato in a great position but his powerful shot, which was heading into the bottom left hand corner of the net, was turned away for a corner by a very good save from Nash.
After the game St George FC coach Manny Spanoudakis was pleased with many aspects but also a bit disappointed that his side didn’t capitalise on their chances.
“Mixed thoughts but definitely pride because in the last eight games we have been in every game,” he said. “We had a 1-0 lead up until the 80th minute and it’s a bit disappointing for the boys that put in such a hard effort against a good Bonnyrigg side.
“We just need to take those chances and we had some really good ones especially on the break, so overall I am really proud of the boys.
“We’ll go to Sydney United and to Spartans and continue to fight right up until the last game.”
Bonnyrigg White Eagles coach Brian Brown expressed his disappointment with aspects of his team’s play.
“It was a poor performance from us and I was just disappointed because it was like a Sunday afternoon picnic,” he said.
“We created a few chances but to lose the goal the way we did was very poor. The boys have been training hard and have looked outstanding but on the park it was disappointing today and they [St George FC] deserved their point,” he concluded.
St George FC 1
(David Talevski 43’ )
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1
(Alexander Canak 80’)
Sunday 13th July, 2014
Seymour Shaw Park, Sutherland
Referee: Kevin Peddie
Assistant Referees: James Tesoriero and Danny Horstead
Fourth Official: Daniel Stack
St George FC: 1.Dion Shaw, 2.Costa Andricopoulos, 3.David Dascal, 5.Bill Tsanidis, 7.Christopher Gomez, 8.Nicholas Napoli, 11.Juan Chavez (16.Jonathan Acero-Castano 69’), 12.Aleksander Jovocic, 13.Lenox Tweneboa, 19.David Talevski, 23.George Codrea (10.Bruno Pivato 73’).
Substitutes not used: 9.Aman Hadid, 34.Andreas Vais
Yellow Cards: Christopher Gomez 53’, Nicholas Napoli 70’
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Matthew Nash, 4.David Vrankovic, 5.Chris Tadrosse, 6.Nikola Zonjic, 9.Robbie Younis (28.Jordon Crighton 85’), 12.Dylan Fox, 13.Adam Jenner, 18.Adrian Ucchino, 19.Aaron Peterson, 21.Bo Hyun Chun (8.Alexander Canak 67’), 35.Terry McFlynn (16.Howard Fondyke 88’).
Substitutes not used: 2.Alexander Mansueto, 22.Liam Gobbo
Yellow Cards: Dylan Fox 22’, Adrian Ucchino 82’
Red Cards: Nil
– By Joe Russo, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at Seymour Shaw Park