SOUTH Coast Wolves produced a last day masterclass, including a Jordan Murray double, to see off a disappointing APIA-Leichhardt Tigers side 5-1 on a cold and sodden afternoon at WIN Stadium.
South Coast Wolves were on top early, as Chris Price created their first chance of the afternoon. The ball was slid in for him to stab the ball wide, though it would serve as an early warning shot for APIA.
The warning wasn’t heeded by the Tigers defence, as they continued to allow passes to be directed into the box. In the seventh minute, Mitchell Del Turco received the ball on the edge of the box and calmly slotted home the opening goal.
Rain was present throughout the first half, creating havoc for defences. Wolves were almost unstuck when two defenders tackled each other, allowing Marc Warren, who was the Tigers best player in the opening half, to thread a through ball into the box.
Jordan Murray proved a nuisance value for APIA to deal with, as his 13′ minute header was claimed safely by Andrew Bazi. The keeper was busy in the first half, fending and picking out the ball from his goal.
Murray wouldn’t be denied in the 22′ minute. The striker, ably assisted by the shambolic APIA defence, latched onto a loose pass, sliding it underneath Bazi for the second goal of the afternoon for a fluid South Coast outfit.
The man wearing 25 on his back wasn’t finished lashing the visitors, like the rain against the western grandstand. Once again Price was involved, as he crossed to a wide open Murray, who sent the hardy souls at WIN Stadium into delirium at three-nil.
He almost made it a first half hat-trick in the 43rd minute after some sustained Wolves pressure. Ricky Zucco traded passes with Murray down the left, slicing open the defense, as Murray put it into the net. It was chalked off after Murray had strayed offside.
APIA finished off the half strongly with a direct free-kick from David D’Apuzzo who hit the bar. They continued this new attacking approach into the second. Bradley McDonald had two chances including a cheeky chipped effort that went wide.
Once again though, the game fell back into the established pattern of the first half, as South Coast dominated possession and peppered Bazi again. Zucco and Murray with the two best chances that stung the custodian’s gloves.
Lachlan Reus would finally put away an APIA side that came out energised in the second half. He was played through before nestling the ball in the right corner, unlocking the defence again.
Persistence paid off for a Tigers side, whilst boasting several former Sydney FC players, disappointed this season. It was the foot of Marc Warren that stabbed home a goalmouth scramble that emerged from a set-piece to make it 4-1.
Wolves would make it a five star performance in injury time, as Darcy Madden found himself in the box and open. The substitute got himself off the duck for the season, as he slotted the ball past the overworked Bazi this afternoon.
South Coast Wolves 5 (Jordan Murray x2, Mitchell Del Turco, Lachlan Reus, Darcy Madden)
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 (Marc Warren)
Sunday 17 August 2014 WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: Jerry Bitas
Assistant Referees: Scott Edeling and Murray Wilson
Fourth Official: Daniel Stack
South Coast Wolves FC: 1.Daniel Collison, 2.Jack Keating, 4.M Robinson, 5. ames Baldacchino (C. Nathaniel ’80), 6.Zachary MacKenzie(Matthew Bailey’68), 7.Chris Price(Peter Simonoski ’65), 10.Ben Zucco, 11. Mitchell Del Turco, 15.Darcy Madden, 16.Lachlan Reus, 25.Jordan Murray
Substitutes not used: 20.Joey Lavalle, 30.Thomas Hamilton
Yellow Cards: nil
Red Cards: nil
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC: 1.Andrew Bazi, 4.Bradley Bartels, 5.Michael West, 6.Marc Warren, 7.Stephen Kayes, 8.Brad McDonald (15.Matthew Mayora ’63), 9.Blake Powell, 10.Franco Parisi, 11.Daniel Fogarty, 13.David D’Apuzzo
Substitutes not used: 3.Jamie Lobb, 17.Matthew Castelnuovo, 19.Joey Gibbs, 20.Luke Clifford
Yellow Cards: Bartels, Kayes
Red Cards: nil
– By Justin Davies, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at WIN Stadium