APIA Leichhardt Tigers were knocked off the top of the table as they were given a reality check against Blacktown City.
Sydney United 58 FC are the new ladder leaders, but they are level on points with Mark Crittenden’s Blacktown City, who have an extra game on the Reds.
ROUND FIVE REVIEW
Blacktown Spartans 1-1 South Coast Wolves, at Blacktown Football Park
Blacktown Spartans and South Coast Wolves played out a drab 1-1 draw in Rooty Hill on Saturday night.
The first half didn’t offer much, save for a shot against the woodwork by Wolves fullback Dhari Alsaad. An early second half goal to Spartans’ Futa Nakamura promised much, but it was a false dawn.
Brendan Griffin levelled with 20 minutes to go, and Xavier Quigley saw red for two bookable offences, one a ridiculously ill disciplined handball and the second a mis-timed challenge.
Sutherland Sharks 1-2 Bonnyrigg White Eagles, at Seymour Shaw Park
Bonnyrigg White Eagles took all three points on Saturday night at Seymour Shaw, but they weren’t given an easy time by Sutherland, who played most of the match with ten men.
Aaron Peterson opened the scoring for Bonnyrigg in only the second minute, and it got worse before it got better for the Sharks.
Daniel Mitwali saw red after he brought down Robbie Younis in the box. The Bonnyrigg striker scored from the spot to make it 2-0, and Sutherland sacrificed Peter Crevani, replacing him with Mitchell Farmer.
But, Farmer himself only lasted eight minutes, before succumbing to injury and having to be replaced by Bai Antoniou. Sutherland rallied though and pulled one back just before half time through Jordan Figon, but it wasn’t enough.
Marconi Stallions 0-2 Manly United, at Marconi Stadium
Manly’s second win of the season heaped the pressure on Marconi Stallions, who have only one once in five games in 2015.
A goal in either half was enough to Manly, who made the long trip back to Cromer with the three points safely stashed in their back pocket,
Brendan Cholakian opened the scoring for Manly in the 19th minute, as the visiting side made all the running.
A second half goal from the ever-reliable Chris Payne guaranteed that the points would be heading back to the Northern Beaches.
Blacktown City 3-1 APIA-Leichhardt Tigers, at Lilys Football Centre
Blacktown City swept aside APIA-Leichhardt Tigers, who went down for the first time this season.
APIA were shorn of midfield fulcrums Adam Griffiths and Adrian Ucchino and it showed. Club captain Michael West was made to earn his way back into the side via the bench, but after the performances of Daniel Petkovski and Marc Warren, West will surely be restored next weekend.
Penalties to Matt Lewis and Patrick Antelmi, after fouls by Brett Studman and Petkovski respectively, had Blacktown City 2-0 up at the break.
Joey Gibbs made it 3-0 with a shot that burst through the hands of APIA keeper Andrew Bazi, but with five minutes to go Blake Powell kept up his impressive scoring rate, netting after he was set up by Franco Parisi.
Sydney United 58 FC 1-0 Parramatta FC, at Sydney United Sports Centre
A first minute goal was enough for Sydney United 58 to claim three points against a spirited Parramatta FC.
Not 60 second had been played when Ante Tomic’s set piece was whipped in, missed everyone, and ended up nestling in the back of the net.
Parramatta gave it their all though and United keeper Justin Pasfield had to make some excellent saves throughout, but the Reds showed their experience, eventually closing out the game and heading to the table’s summit.
N.B. Sydney Olympic v Rockdale City Suns, scheduled for Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday, was washed out.
– by Matthew Lopez, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Editor