A sunny early morning kick-off for the IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Grade 16s Grand Final pitted Sydney United 58 against Bonnyrigg White Eagles in a match that didn’t disappoint for intensity but lacked clear goal scoring opportunities between two evenly matched sides that eventually saw the Reds home comfortably 3-1.
As expected the early stages was played at a helter-skelter pace in a pretty tight affair with Jack Stewart firing wide for United 58 after a weaving run through the middle in the fifth minute.
It was that man who opened the scoring in the tenth minute when slotting home in a crowded box to slip the ball beyond the grasp of White Eagles ‘keeper Nicholas Kotevski to give the Reds the lead.
It was a bitter pill for the White Eagles striker Jameson Flynn who was left feeling somewhat aggrieved that he had been hauled back by Shane Belak when through one on one with Reds stopper Luke Babic moments earlier.
The play was lively, sometimes ferocious however scoring opportunities were at a premium with neither ‘keeper truly tested since the opening goal until Anthony Vrlic attempted to chip Kotevski in the 21’ minute the Bonnyrigg custodian managed to pluck from the air.
James Temelkovski did increase the lead in the 24’ when slipping a beautiful left-footed ball under the body of a diving Kotevski after a clever through pass from Vrlic. Sydney United 58 2 Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0 and with a mountain to climb for the visitors.
Vrlic created another opening 4’ later but sent his effort over the bar.
Half time arrived after 35’ minutes with no further addition to the score and two coach’s who had very different team talks to deliver.
The second period started with the White Eagles upping their work rate in harassing the Reds from the get go, allowing no time to settle on the ball but again leaving themselves vulnerable at the back at times as they sought to reduce the deficit.
They were almost undone in the 39’ when United 58 broke down the right for ted Petroulis to centre for Temelkovski to strike the ball sweetly on the volley at the back stick only to see Kotevski make himself big to beat the effort away from point blank range. It was a beautiful move and an incredible save.
The Reds were beginning to find their stride again and looked to pick their passes through the middle and the flanks to make the White Eagles defence work extremely hard at the back.
Temelkovski should have put the result beyond doubt in the 50’ minute when twisting and turning his marker before unleashing a shot from just inside the box Kotevski was able to deal with comfortably although the Reds striker may have been better served to slip the ball out to the right with his team mates streaming forward unmarked.
Kotevski was forced to block on the line with the rebound falling to Daniel Vaccari who blasted goal ward only to see Alexander Zarafetas clear off the line and then for a second time as a huddle on Reds players descended on the ball to notch their third of the day before the White Eagles’ ‘keeper managed to scramble and smother the danger. Perhaps this was to be the turning point Bonnyrigg with 12’ minutes remaining?
Philip Hasiuk was put away down the right as United attempted to put the icing on the cake but needed to wait for support before finding Temelkovski whose first time effort was deflected out for a corner by Zarafetas. He was not to be denied and from the resulting cross added his second, and United’s third of the morning.
Dalibor Malesivic netted a consolation goal with 4’ minutes remaining but it was too little too late for Bonnyrigg in the context of the outcome.
Moudi Najjar thought he had added another seconds later but referee Jack Casey disallowed the strike for offside and the White Eagles striker looked deflated with the decision however it appeared the culprit was goalscorer Malesevic who had strayed a little too far forward.
The future for both sides looks bright with controlled passing football at the heart of their play and not simply the long ball over the top in their armoury.
Commiserations to Bonnyrigg and congratulations to Sydney United 58 on their deserved win.
Sydney United 58 3
(Jack Stewart 10, James Temelkovski 24,62)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1
(Dalibor Malesevic 66)
Sunday 14th September, 2014
Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park
Referee: Jack Casey
Assistant Referees: Isaac Wassef & James Anderson
Fourth Official: Patrick Televsk
Sydney United 58: 1.Luke Babic, 2.Ted Petroulias, 3.Shane Belek, 5.Bradie Smith, 6.Joshua Briskovski, 7.Jack Stewart, 9.James Temelkovski, 10.Aaron Fraser, 11.Anthony Vrlic, 14.Andrea Agamemnonos, 16.Phillip Hasiuk
Substitutes not used: 4.Domenic Vaccari, 8.Alexander Guerrieri, 12.Sunny Chang,13.Callum Glass, 71.Aiden Mumford
Yellow Cards: Bradie Smith 69
Red Cards: Ni
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 66.Nicholas Kotevski, 53.Alexander Zarafetas, 67.Adam Massoud, 69.Damian Cupac, 70.Frank Sorbello, 71.Daniel Krkovski, 72.Nikola Kremenovic, 73.Taylor Cambaz, 74.Jake Borromeo, 78.Jameson Flynn, 81.Marcus Del Vrecchio
Substitutes not used: 51.Mitchell Dobson, 57.Moudi Najjar, 63.Dalibor Malesevic, 79.Harrison Bagot, 82.Amar Adilovic
Yellow Cards: Adam Massoud 45
Red Cards: Nil
-By Micky Brock, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Grade 16s Reporter, at Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park