THREE rounds down and the Grade 20s competition is beginning to take shape.
In the Match of the Round, Blacktown City beat Parramatta FC at Lilys Football Centre in Seven Hills.
MATCH OF THE ROUND
Blacktown City 3-1 Parramatta FC, 1pm Sunday at Lilys Football Centre
Blacktown City FC recorded their first victory of the season in this week’s match of the round; beating Parramatta FC 3-1 at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon.
After the two sides exchanged goals late in the first half, Blacktown went into the break with a deserved lead courtesy of Sam Perre, and extended their advantage almost immediately after halftime with a penalty, again from Perre.
Parramatta settled on the ball early, but Blacktown were first to threaten their opposition’s goal; Jonathan Grozdanovski heading a shot across the face of the goal from a corner after five minutes.
With Grozdanovski running doggedly at the Parramatta backline and Alexander Tilley dictating the tempo in midfield, Blacktown dominated possession as the first half progressed, but neither they nor Parramatta could find the angle for a shot, and attacking move after attacking move broke down in front of solid defensive lines. Parramatta had their first opportunity to open the scoring when Adrian Vranic volleyed a cross to the far post back across Tristian Prendergast in the Blacktown goal, but his shot looped wide and out for a goal kick.
After 26 minutes, and a period of heavy pressure on the Parramatta defence, Blacktown found the breakthrough. Juan Zapata was released down the right wing and pushed inside the fullback, as he had done a number of times earlier in the match, before hitting a powerful shot through Nikodin Matic, giving his side the lead.
A goal down, Parramatta seemed unable to hold onto the ball when they had it, and Blacktown continued to drive forward in search of a second. Issam Elkhaldi, Zapata and Grozdanovski combined well up front for the home side, and though Grozdanovski might have doubled their lead as halftime approached, Parramatta finally began to grow into the game.
Eight minutes before the break, Parramatta punished Blacktown for their complacency: a diagonal pass from midfield found Andreas Vais on the right wing, and he played a sharp ball across the goalkeeper to set up Vranic for a simple finish. Almost immediately after drawing level, however, Parramatta were behind again, with Grozdanovski playing in Sam Perre for Blacktown’s second goal after some clever work on the left flank to get away from his marker.
Blacktown held a deserved lead at halftime, and extended it in the 48th minute when Zapata won a penalty after tripping over an outstretched leg on the right side of the box. Perre stepped up to take the spot kick, and converted confidently to score his second of the game.
As after their first goal, Blacktown began to allow Parramatta back into the game, and the visitors appeared determined to make the most of their opportunity, though mostly with shots from range. With most of the ball, they pushed high and fed passes to Vranic up front, but this left them open to counter attacks led by Zapata, and Blacktown should have pushed out to 4-1 after some fine interplay between Sam Perre and his brother, Robert, gave Grozdanovski an opportunity to shoot.
Parramatta had their best chance of the half with ten minutes remaining when the ball fell to David Chung in the six yard box, but he scuffed his shot, and teammate Tom Mallett dragged the followup wide of the far post. Parramatta finally had the ball in the back of the net for a second time with five minutes remaining, but Vranic had strayed offside, and the ball was called back for a free kick to the home side. Disputing the decision, Parramatta’s Sebastian Malfara and Daniel Di Ruocco were shown yellow cards for dissent.
Parramatta were awarded an indirect free kick inside the Blacktown penalty box with minutes left on the clock, but the referee ended the match before it could be taken. Parramatta coach Andrew Prentice was understandably disappointed with the loss, but largely praised his team’s performance.
"It’s a frustrating result," he said, "but we didn’t deserve to win. I think what we can take out this result is that we were below our best but we were still competitive.
"We still could have scored a couple of goals in the second half, but we have to work on keeping them out at the other end, too."
Blacktown City coach John Carnevale said his side’s win was the result of consistent effort on the training ground despite an indifferent start to the season. "We’ve had a chequered preseason but it’s been coming together the last two weeks, we had a very good training session this week, and I think that showed in the first half when we played some very decent football.
"Our third goal came very early, and the boys probably thought the job was done there. We got scrappy, and we let them back in the game when we should have killed the game off, but given the result I can’t complain – we’re looking forward to the next few weeks."
Blacktown City FC 3 (Zapata 26′, S Perre 40′, 48′)
Parramatta FC 1 (Vranic 37′)
Sunday March 29, 2015
Lily’s Football Centre
Blacktown City FC: Elkhaldi, Grozdanovski, Mamone, Montford, R Perre, S Perre, Prendergast, Rodic, Tilley, Zapata, Hadjisocratous
Substitutes: Dimitriadis, Figueira, Shabow, Tengbeh, Baccus
Yellow Cards: Elkhaldi 63′
Parramatta FC: Awad, Bereveskos, Di Ruocco, Gesbach, Malfara, Mallett, Matic, Rezo, Schroeder, Vais, Vranic
Substitutes: Chung, Da Silva Santos, Jung, Williamson, Youlley
Yellow Cards: Awad 40′, Malfara 85′, Di Ruocco 85′
Blacktown Spartans FC 0-0 Sydney United 58 FC, at Blacktown Football Park
The Spartans played out their first draw of the 2015 season against Sydney United 58 on Saturday afternoon. Neither side was able to break the deadlock, and the result leaves both on four points after three games.
Marconi Stallions FC 3-0 APIA Leichardt Tigers FC, at Marconi Stadium
Marconi recorded their second consecutive win against APIA Leichardt at Marconi Stadium; running out 3-0 winners courtesy of goals from Ryan Peterson, Brandon Vella and Marcus Donatiello.
Sutherland Sharks FC 4-1 South Coast Wolves FC, at Seymour Shaw
The Sharks remain top of the league after maintaining their winning start to 2015 with a comprehensive 4-1 win over South Coast Wolves at Seymour Shaw on Saturday. Striker Charles Lokingloy scored all four goals for the home side, with two in each half.
Sydney Olympic 1-0 Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC, at Belmore Sports Ground
Thomas Bonomy scored the only goal of the game as Sydney Olympic edged a 1-0 win at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon. Olympic move to fourth on the ladder with the win, while Bonnyrigg remain bottom of the table, yet to record a point in 2015.
Manly United FC 0-1 Rockdale City Suns, at Cromer Park
Rockdale Suns secured their first win of the season away at Cromer Park against Manly United, sneaking a 1-0 win to move to ninth on the ladder. The result sees Manly’s winning streak come to an end, and they will prepare for next week having dropped a place to third.
– By Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Grade 20s Reporter