THIS game rolled out of bed, rubbed its eyes, and forgot to have a morning coffee.
The only remarkable thing about it was that there were two goals, as Blacktown Spartans and South Coast Wolves played out a 1-1 draw at Blacktown Football Park.
It was tepid, uninspiring and utterly unremarkable.
Both goals came in the second half. Futa Nakamura capitalised on a piece of defensive ineptitude to tap in the opener shortly after half time.
Brendan Griffin’s equaliser was a more accomplished piece of work, as he fired home from the edge of the area 20 minutes later.
It wasn’t any more than the game deserved.
South Coast started the brighter, nearly taking the lead in the sixth minute when right back Dhari Alsaad smashed a rasping shot against the near post.
The visitors were zipping the ball around in the middle third, but couldn’t quite translate that fluency to the front third, where it mattered most.
A threatening cross from the right by Samuel Matthews was cut out by Spiros Agathos in the 19th minute, and just before half time Shu Sasaki headed wide a very presentable chance for the home side.
The match was very dear need of a spice up in the second half and Nakamura’s goal gave the crowd hope there would be more life to the second stanza.
Peter Simonoski could have equalised straight away but was denied by Carlos Saliadarre.
Just after the hour mark, Xavier Quigley saw red for a mindless piece of ill-discipline. His first yellow came after a silly handball halted a Wolves counter-attack, and then an even sillier foul a quarter of an hour saw him receive his marching orders.
The best touch of the game came from Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte, who showed all the class of his pomp to control a ball that flew towards him on the sideline.
Wolves substitute Cameron Sounski could have stolen all three points late, but Saliadarre stood up tall to make a one-on-one save.
The truth is, neither deserved to win.
Blacktown Spartans 1 (Nakamura 51′)
South Coast Wolves 1 (Griffin 71′)
Saturday April 11, 2015
Blacktown Football Park, Rooty Hill
Referee: Adam Susz
Assistant Referees: Andrej Giev and Darren Allatt
Fourth Official: David Haslett
Blacktown Spartans: Saliadarre (C); Agathos, Crighton (Fogarty 78′), Kondek, Long, Nakamura (Da Silva 81′), Quigley, Sasaki, Tanner, Tomohiro, Tosi
Substitutes not used: Douglas, Valastro, Nascimben
Yellow cards: Quigley 49′
Red cards: Quigley 64′
South Coast Wolves: Manos; Alsaad, Baldacchino, Griffin (Sounski 81′) , Madden, Matthews, Price (C), Simonoski (Fielding 53′), Stojic, Welch, Zucco (Murray 61′)
Substitutes not used: Codrea, Hamilton
Yellow cards: Alsaad 41′, Stojic 68′, Baldacchino 69′
3- Shu Sasaki (Spartans)
2- Dhari Alsaad (Wolves)
1- Carlos Saliadarre (Spartans)
– by Matthew Lopez, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Editor, at Blacktown Football Park