South Coast Wolves heaped more misery on current NPL Champions Sydney United 58 FC after a gritty 1-0 victory on a wintery Sunday afternoon at WIN Stadium.
It was the visitors who started well piling on the pressure in the early stages of the match, but the Wolves handled the onslaught early to keep the score at 0-0.
It was a tough day in the office for Wolves skipper Matt Bailey who was subbed early in the piece after picking up an injury but the home side kept to their guns with Jack Keating particularly involved in a number of chances for Nahuel Arrarte’s men.
In the 21st minute, a free kick was awarded to the South Coast Wolves after a poor tackle on Sam Matthews. Ricky Zucco took the free kick just outside the box but the attempt bounced off Stejpan Paric for a Wolves corner – it was to be the game’s first real chance
The 35th minute had the best piece of play in the first half when Ricky Zucco, Sam Matthews and Joey Lavelle linked up well – the latter saw his lob narrowly missing the goal post much to the dismay of the home fans.
The start of the second half started with perhaps a little more intensity with the visitors managing two corners within the first three minutes.
The Reds who had a sprinkling of talent at their disposal with the likes of Luka Glavas, Alec Urosevski and Robbie Mileski to name a few had their share of chances as the game wore on but it was the Wolves who bagged the game’s first goal.
Wolves midfielder Chris Nathaniel sent in a lovely through ball to Lavelle who calmly put the home side in front with a great finish giving United keeper Anthony Costa no chance in the 50th minute.
The last twenty minutes of the game saw Mark Rudan’s men step up a notch as they looked for that elusive equalizer.
Mirjan Pavlovic was injected into the match and pushed his cause with his enthusiasm in getting the Reds on level terms but the game slowly faded towards the latter stages as the Wolves defender their lead.
Peter Simonoski, a late sub for Zucco, pushed his claims for a starting spot with a few chances but to no avail as referee James Lewis brought proceedings to an end with Arrarte’s men recording a crucial 1-0 victory over the Reds.
The win pushed the Wolves up to eighth spot, six points shy off a final five spot while for Rudan, the loss put United one point clear off the dreaded wooden spoon.
South Coast Wolves 1 (Joey Lavelle 50’)
Sydney United 58 FC 0
Sunday July 13th, 2014
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: James Lewis
Assistant Referees: Craig Fisher, Adam Vainauskas
Fourth Official: Lachlan Keevers
South Coast Wolves FC: 1. Tom Hamilton; 2. Jack Keating, 3. Chris Nathaniel, 4. Michael Robinson, 5. James Baldacchino, 6. Zac Mackenzie, 8. Matt Bailey (25. Jordan Murray 2’), 10. Ricky Zucco (9. Peter Simonoski 68’) 16. Lachlan Reus (7. Chris Price 79’), 20. Joey Lavelle, 22. Sam Matthews
Substitutes not used: 30. David Hamilton, 15. Darcy Madden
Yellow Cards: 6. Z. Mackenzie 90’
Red Cards: NIL
Sydney United: 1. Anthony Costa; 3. Anthony Tomelic, 4. Nathan Sherlock, 9. Robbie Mileski (8. Ante Tomic 79’) , 11. Luka Glavas (7. Mirjan Pavlovic 67’), 12. Ivan Pavlak 16. Stjepan Paric, 17. Theo Kofinas, 18. Alec Urosevski, 20. Ibrahim Haydar, 33. Daniel Bragg (10. Chris Triantis 63’)
Substitutes not used: 29. Ivan Pavlak
Yellow Cards: 3. Anthony Tomelic 57’, 20. Ibrahim Haydar 81’
Red Cards: NIL
-By Georgia Swinton, National Premier League NSW Mens 1 Reporter, WIN Stadium