Rockdale City Suns sent a strong message to the rest of their IGA National Premier League NSW men’s 1 counterparts with a 2-0 victory over Blacktown City at Lily’s Football Centre.
The loss put Blacktown City to second on the IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 ladder on goal difference after rivals the Spartans defeated St George FC 6-1.
Poor defending led to Rockdale’s two goals as Nikola Taneski and Paul Reid took advantage with fantastic strikes to prove their premiership credentials.
Rockdale’s defensive structure was sound from the start of the match with Blacktown unable to break them down.
City looked started the match much like their recent impressive performances with great interlink play.
But Rockdale shocked Blacktown City in the 5th minute with Taneski getting through their defence and perfectly hitting the ball past an outstretched Tuxford into the bottom right hand corner
Five minutes later they were at it again with Toufic Alameddine volleying just over the bar.
It took Blacktown 16 minutes to make it deep into Rockdale’s half when a brilliant Kearyn Baccus run ended in Travis Major flicking on for Mitchell Mallia whose cut back from the byline was well cut off by Paul Kohler.
The home side started stringing more passes together and in the 21st minute captain Zac Cairncross rose well to head a Yianni Fragogiannis floating free kick just over the bar.
Fragogiannis almost turned form hero to villain a minute later when he was dispossessed of the ball before Marko Jesic fed Taneski whose left foot effort skimmed the right hand upright.
Paul Reid was the beneficiary of Blacktown’s failure to clear the ball from the box in the 26th minute, with the former Sydney FC midfielder stepping off to beautifully volley the ball into the top left hand corner to make it 2-0.
Baccus again tried to spark his side in the 34th minute attacking down the right before cutting back to Travis Major whose shot was deflected out for a corner.
Mallia was next to test the Rockdale defence in the 41st minute playing a lovely one-two with Major to find himself in the box but he could not find a teammate with his imposing cross.
Blacktown City head coach Mark Crittenden made his intentions clear after the half time break immediately adding attacker Danny Choi to his line-up at the expense of Fragogiannis.
The second half began at a slow pace however with neither side testing each other’s defence for the first 15 minutes.
Blacktown made their way into Rockdale’s half in the 63rd minute but Cairncross again headed the ball over the bar.
Two minutes later Blacktown was knocking on the door again as a Mallia free kick was missed by several attackers.
Blacktown continued to push as Ryuji Miyazawa chipped the ball into the box for Jacob Poscoliero whose great half volley rolled just wide of the left hand post in the 70th minute.
Giorgio Speranza was next in line to try and peg one back for his side but his volley went sailing well over the bar.
With five minutes Mark Crittenden changed the shape of his team immensely reverting to three in defence to try and get something out of the match.
Following the match Rockdale City Suns head coach Brank Culina said he was proud of his side’s efforts.
“We’re a good football side and I think if we played all away games we would be on top of the table,” Culina said.
“Blacktown City is a very good quality side, they were on top of the table until to today and credit to Mark (Crittenden) and the club.
“But we are a quality side ourselves as well and unfortunately we don’t get the chance to play on a quality football pitch like this every week.
“I think if we could score more goals we would be on top of the table as well.
“Today was excellent, the players stood up especially knowing they were playing against a top team like Blacktown.”
In the home dressing room Crittenden was lost for words after a poor performance by his side.
“First half was really poor but I can’t take anything away from Rockdale I thought they were outstanding,” he said.
“I think our pitch suited to them to be honest, they’ve got some really good footballers and Branko’s got them really well organised.
“We weren’t in the running in the first half, the second half was a little bit better but overall Rockdale were too good today.”
Blacktown City 0
Rockdale City Suns 2 (Taneski 5’, Reid 26’)
Venue: Lily’s Football Centre
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Blacktown City: 13.Blake Tuxford, 3.Giorgio Speranza, 4.Yianni Fragogiannis (11.Danny Choi 46’), 5.Jacob Poscoliero, 7.Travis Major (c), 9.Ryuji Miyazawa, 14.Mitchell Mallia, 15.Marco Travaglini (10.Sam Perre 84’), 16.Kearyn Baccus (17. Kieran Paul 67’),18.Daniel Araujo, 19.Zac Cairncross
Substitutions not used: 1.Nenad Vekic, 12.Joel Hadwick
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Tomislav Arcaba, 3.Steven Hesketh, 5.Paul Reid, 6.Takuya Murayama, 7.Toufic Alameddine (21.Hristian Tanoski 64’), 8.Paul Kohler, 10.Tahj MInniecon (14.Patrick Savor 77’), 11.Nikola Taneski, 12.Idriss El Hafiane, 18.Marko Jesic, 23.Askin Oygur
Substitutions not used: 13.Ben Cornish, 25.Nicholas Petrillo, 24.Blake Horton
Yellow cards: Jesic 21’
Red cards: nil
-By Chris Georges