AN OVERCAST day at Edensor Park saw Sydney United 58 take on Parramatta FC in a contrast of styles, with a bizarre first minute goal by Ante Tomic settling the score in United’s favour.
Tomic sent over a free-kick inside the first sixty seconds that evaded everyone and found its way into the back of the net. If United 58 had any pre-game nerves they were settled early as Parramatta succumbed to the early sucker punch.
With a further 89 minutes left in the match Parramatta needn’t panic and slowly worked the ball around the pitch while frustrating the Reds, who were probing for an opening of their own.
It made for somewhat of a stalemate in the middle of the park, neither side really creating any clear cut efforts on goal.
A quick one-two between Marco Sama and Blade Richards should have seen parity restored as the United defence was split wide open, however another tame effort straight at the ‘keeper saw the excellent opportunity squandered.
Daniel Rezo snuck the ball through to Pat Gatt inside the United area and his cross was headed narrowly wide of the far upright in the 23’ minute as the visitors recovered from the early setback. Sama followed this up in the 25’ minute with another effort at full stretch that Pasfield gratefully smothered.
The Reds were finding it difficult to get into their customary free-flowing brand of football and more than the occasional pass was going astray, although this had as much to do with the quick closing down by Parramatta.
Chris Triantis tried his luck from distance in the 31’ minute as United slowly found their shooting boots.
Robert Mileski attempted a cheeky chip from the angle of the box in the 36’ minute that landed on the roof of the net but had Luke Turnbull back-peddling rapidly, before Frank Martey picked up a caution for a foul on Matthew Bilic.
Sama again came close at the start of the second half, but his shot was almost deflected into the net by Theo Kofinas with Pasfield wrong-footed, only to see the ball trickle past the post for a corner. Parramatta wouldn’t lie down and kept their shape in pressing for the equaliser.
Stjepan Paric had his shot deflected over the bar from a Tomic corner in the 51’ minute as United laid siege to the visitors penalty box but couldn’t find the finishing touch.
The response from Parramatta was swift when Clowes headed over from a right wing cross by Roberto Speranza followed almost immediately by a tremendous reaction save by Pasfield from a Sama thunderbolt in the 54’ minute.
Mark Rudan made a double substitution for the home side bringing on Mitchell Stamatellis and Panni Nikas for Chris Zuvela and Ante Tomic respectively in the 58’ minute as United sought to gain the upper hand in midfield.
For all the United endeavour, Parramatta were still in the game only one goal down but that should have changed when Triantis was through but put his curling shot wide of the framework in the 75’ minute.
Turnbull was required to push the ball over the bar when substitute Mark Cindric broke through in the 82’ minute however the resultant corner amounted to nothing, although Nikas came close late on when his shot fizzed over the bar from the edge of the area.
Clowes received his second yellow in stoppage time, but it mattered little as the match ended only a few moments later.
United 58 coach Mark Rudan said, "It was was a scrappy performance but in a few weeks time no-one will remember that and recall the three points.
“In this competition you need to roll your sleeves up and sometimes you cannot produce the football you want to and win ugly because the opposition don’t allow you to. From that perspective it was very good from us as it showed we can play that type of game if we need to and come away with a win.
“Everyone knows, going forward, we have a lot of quality players and we can play the right way. We’ll continue on now and look to our next match which is here on Wednesday night against the same opposition in the Westfield FFA Cup.”
“Confidence is sky high within the squad and we’ve got players coming back from long term injury and today we needed to roll the sleeves up and back ourselves to get the points and that is a positive sign.”
Parramatta coach Frank Consentino said, "We spoke about it before the game about giving away silly free-kicks around the box against a good side like United 58 as they have some good boys who can hurt you but we defended it very poorly. It goes in the back of the net without being touched and within 30-seconds we’re one down and chasing the game.
“In saying that, I thought we had enough opportunities to get something out the game but credit to them they defended their goal and got the result they needed.”
"We’re getting better every week and at the moment we just are not taking our chances. A little bit of inexperience, and the ball isn’t dropping for us but I’m hopeful in the coming weeks we’ll turn that around and become a side that improves and will be very difficult to beat.
“We’ve played both the grand finalists from last year and now Sydney United 58 who are always a strong side so it’s been a tough start but in saying that, in the last two games we could have got some points out of them so a lot of positives have come out of those performances and we’ll just go back to the training field and keep working hard.’
Sydney United 58 1 (Tomic 1′)
Parramatta FC 0
Sunday April 12, 2015
Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: Nathan McOrist and Janush Adabjou
Fourth Official: Peter Liaros
Sydney United 58 FC: Pasfield, Tomic (Nikas 58), Mileski, Triantis, Dragicevic, Camera, Paric, Kofinas, Bilic (Cindric 62), Haydar (C), Zuvela (Stamatellis 58)
Substitutes Not Used: Tomelic, Diacono
Yellow Cards: Nikas 75, Pasfield 90+4
Parramatta FC: Turnbull, Speranza, Symons, Gatt ©, Gullo, Martey, Clowes, Rezo (Chavez 71), Sama (Tsironis 73), Richards (Gersbach 80), Tayebi
Substitutes Not Used: Wright, Matic
Yellow Cards: Martey 43, Symons 89
Red Cards: Martey 90+4
3 – Triantis (SU58)
2 – Sama (PFC)
1 – Tomic (SU58)
– By Micky Brock, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Sydney United Sports Centre