ROUND five of the Grade 20s competition took place this weekend; with one match again washed out due to rain.
The Match of the Round at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday afternoon was between Blacktown Spartans and South Coast Wolves, with the visitors running out 3-2 winners after a late flurry of goals in the second half.
Match of the Round
Blacktown Spartans FC 2-3 South Coast Wolves, Saturday at Blacktown Football Park
South Coast Wolves overturned Blacktown Spartans in a five goal thriller at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday afternoon, with a goal in each half from Brett Wilson helping his side to a second consecutive 3-2 away win.
Determined to make up for their 2-1 loss at Manly United last Friday, Blacktown looked to make an early impression on the game, and had a header from Riley Michels skew just wide of the far post after five minutes. Almost immediately afterwards, however, they found themselves a goal down: Joey Lavalle received the ball wide on the right for the Wolves and twisted inside his defender, who brought the winger down for a penalty which Wilson converted.
The visitors continued to pour forward after their goal in search of a second, with Marcus Beattie and Lavalle combining on the right to create a number of dangerous opportunities for striker Cameron Solevski, who couldn’t find a way past the Spartans goalkeeper. The Wolves eventually settled on the ball after frenzied start; Robert Delblanco holding possession well in midfield to allow his fullbacks to push up in attack.
The remainder of the half followed a similar pattern: Wilson, Beattie and Lavalle ran at their opposition defenders at every opportunity, and continued to carve out regular half-chances without applying a finishing touch. Jake Douglas came closest to equalising for the home side, but was twice called back for offside after breaking through the Wolves’ backline as half time approached.
Blacktown began the second half as they had the first; Leyton Hinton winning a freekick for his side just outside of the Wolves’ penalty area, but Domenic Dileo could only hit his set piece effort into the wall. The Wolves seemed unable to find the same attacking fluidity as they had before the break and became somewhat disjointed in possession, which allowed the Spartans back into the match after a lopsided first half.
In the 67th minute, the home side were rewarded for their efforts when Adam Voloder cut inside his marker and scored with a low drive under the goalkeeper to make it 1-1. The Spartans nearly had a second only minutes later when Tiano Boutoubia hit the crossbar with a bicycle kick, but the substitute had strayed offside. The Wolves broke quickly up the other end and hit the woodwork themselves through Jack Lombo.
As the match entered the final ten minutes, Wilson scored his second goal, and the second for the Wolves, when he collected the rebound after Jake Ravnjak’s shot cannoned down off the crossbar, and slotted the ball calmly into the net to put his side in front. Blacktown responded almost immediately: Dileo dribbled past his defender on the right edge of the box and cut back for Aaron White, who arrived late in the penalty area to equalise again for the home side.
Though a draw would perhaps have been the fair result given the run of play in the second half, the Wolves hadn’t yet finished, and Jack Lombo scored a late winner in the 88th minute; converting a snapshot volley when the ball fell to him straight in front of goal. Blacktown were awarded a late free kick, but couldn’t equalise for a third time, and the Wolves ended 3-2 winners.
Blacktown Spartans coach Ben De Haan was pleased with his side’s attacking effort, but highlighted the need to improve defensively. "We’re a bit disappointed," he said. "I think we created enough chances to win.
"We came out strong in the second half and scored a few goals, but we needed to be better in defence."
South Coast Wolves coach Jeff Allport said his side recovered well after conceding the equalising goal: "They came back at us really well in the second half, and we have to give credit to them. We were a little bit disorganised in the second half but we changed a few things late on to get the win.
"We’ve had two wins in a row now, which gives us a bit of confidence going into next week."
Blacktown Spartans FC 2 (Wilson 7′ 83′, Lombo 88′)
South Coast Wolves FC 3 (Voloder 67′, White 84′)
Saturday April 11, 2015
Blacktown Football Centre
Blacktown Spartans FC: Bates, Dileo, Douglas, Georgiou, Hinton, Letta, Michaels, Nascimben, Tolomeo, Voloder, White
Substitutes: Boutoubia, Stojcevski, Loucos, Mooy, Epifanino
South Coast Wolves FC: Allport, J. Beattie, M. Beattie, Brodnik, Delbanco, Hamilton, Hristovski, Lazarevski, Solevski, Wilson, Lavalle
Substitutes: Isabella, Leech, Lombo, Ravnjak, Dolinscak
Marconi Stallions 0-2 Manly United, at Marconi Stadium
Manly moved from third to second on the ladder with a 2-0 win at Marconi Stadium, their fourth victory of the season. Manly now sit level with the Sutherland Sharks at the top of the table, behind on goal difference having played one game less.
Sutherland Sharks 3-0 Bonnyrigg White Eagles, at Seymour Shaw
The Sharks continued their perfect start to the season with a fifth consecutive victory against Bonnyrigg White Eagles on Saturday afternoon; Daniel Loe, Patrick O’Shea and Jeremy Cox all getting on the scoreboard as the Sharks kept their first clean sheet of the 2015 campaign. The result leaves Bonnyrigg still pointless at the foot of the table.
Blacktown City 4-0 APIA Leichhardt Tigers, at Lilys Football Centre
Jonathan Grozdanovski scored twice as Blacktown City ran rampant over APIA Leichhardt Tigers on Sunday afternoon, with regular scorers Sam Perre and Juan Zapata also making their mark on the game. Blacktown move from seventh to fifth with the win, while APIA slip to ninth.
Sydney United 58 1-2 Parramatta FC, at Sydney United Sports Centre
Parramatta FC had a week off after their fourth round match against Sutherland Sharks was called off due to rain, and were well-rested for their 2-1 away win over Sydney United at the Sydney United Sports Centre. Parramatta now sit level with three other sides – Sydney Olympic, Blacktown City and South Coast Wolves – on seven points heading into the sixth round of fixtures.
Sydney Olympic v Rockdale City Suns, WASHOUT
– by Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter