ROUND six of the Grade 20s competition played out this weekend; with rain again interrupting the fixture list as Bonnyrigg White Eagles’ match with Sydney United 58 FC was washed out on Sunday afternoon.?
The Match of the Round saw APIA Leichhardt Tigers dig out an unlikely win against first-placed Sutherland Sharks at Lambert Park.
Match of the Round
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC 1-0 Sutherland Sharks FC, Sunday at Lambert Park
APIA Leichhardt Tigers stunned league leaders Sutherland Sharks with a 1-0 win at Lambert Park on Sunday afternoon; a solitary goal from Lachlan Scott in the 60th minute after a scoreless first half enough to earn his side their first win since the opening round.
The Sharks looked to begin strongly, and held possession between the midfield and defence while APIA chased down every pass.
It made for a cagey few opening minutes, as the visitors looked to settle, and the home side attempted to stop them from doing just that. APIA had the first shot of the match after five minutes when the ball fell to Mathew Cook in front of Andrew Depta’s goal, but he sent his effort well off target.
Poor finishing, perhaps, was the defining feature of a first half in which neither side could find a breakthrough. Both played high defensive lines when in possession, making quick breaks difficult, and long shots preferable. Sutherland’s Brendan Curtis came close to scoring the opening goal when he charged down a clearance from APIA goalkeeper Christopher Moore, but the ball spun out of the tackle and bounced just wide of the post.
Curtis arguably had the best chance of the first half with ten minutes remaining before the break: played in behind the APIA defence with a fine long pass from deep, he controlled the ball well but flicked his shot wide again under pressure from the onrushing Moore. Jeremy Cox was next to go close for the visitors with a shot that rebounded for Jordan Roberts, who could only hit the bouncing ball high over the crossbar. The half ended with yellow cards from APIA defenders Tyson Rhodes and Adrian Vlastelica, each booked for cynical fouls in the midfield.
The second half began with the same intensity as the first had ended, and Jayden McLeod and Roberts were both shown yellow cards for the visiting side, while Stephen Kayes was booked for APIA. Lachlan Scott nearly managed to give his side the lead in the flurry of cautions after short free kick came to him in the six yard box on the hour mark, but he shot wastefully over the bar after swivelling to find an angle.
He made up for his mistake only minutes later: Depta charged out to punch clear a cross but misjudged the ball and deflected it down for Scott, who hit a low drive into the empty net, making sure of his finish as the Sharks defenders slid in desperately to block the shot. Another series of yellow cards followed the goal, with Richard Blanco and Leo Malfara booked for the Sharks, and APIA were gifted a number of free kicks in their attacking half but were unable to add to the scoreline.
The final ten minutes saw the Sharks with the majority of possession as they pushed for an equaliser, though they struggled to find space for shots of any substance as APIA looked to close out a win. A late Sutherland corner was cleared, and the final whistle sounded on their first loss of the 2015 season.
APIA coach Danial Cummins was delighted with his side’s performance, saying that the momentum has been building for the result. "The boys played well – they played smart, and for the last twenty minutes they fought really well to hold onto the lead.
"We feel like this result’s been coming for a few weeks now – we’ve been playing good football; we just haven’t been scoring and we’ve perhaps been a bit naive in defence, but we’ve worked hard on that and we’ve got the rewards today."
"Lambert Park always a hard place to come and get a result," said Sutherland Sharks coach Allan Edmonson. "I’ve never found it easy coming here.
"I think we still created the majority of the chances, but in the end they capitalised on a mistake with a goalkeeper under pressure and scored a goal. We missed a couple of chances and could’ve won, but it doesn’t always work out like that."
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC 1 (Scott, 60′)
Sutherland Sharks FC FC 0
Sunday April 19, 2015
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC: Vlastelica, McCarron, Cox, Cook, Moniaci, Scott, Ribeiro, Moore, Coleandra, Kayes, Rhodes
Substitutes: Adattini, Alassmi, Koliomihos, Perez, Zvezdakovski
Yellow cards: Vlastelica, Cook, Kayes, Rhodes
Sutherland Sharks FC: Benham, Blanco, Curtis, Kakavelis, Hughes, O’Shea, Loe, Cox, Depta, McLeod, Roberts
Substitutes: Gioiosa, Malfara, Nikas, Akol, Evans
Yellow cards: Blanco, Kakavelis, Malfara, McLeod, Roberts
Marconi Stallions FC 4-1 Blacktown Spartans FC, Marconi Stadium
Marconi cruised to a 4-1 win over the Spartans on Saturday afternoon, with two goals from Ryan Peterson, and one each from Noah Chianese and Jack Press, moving the Stallions into first place ahead of the Sutherland Sharks (though the Sharks have a game in hand).
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v Sydney United 58 FC, WASHOUT
Manly United FC 2 -3 Sydney Olympic FC, at Cromer Park
Lachlan McLean scored twice for the home side but it wasn’t enough as Manly United fell to a 2-3 loss to Sydney Olympic. Manly slip to third as a result of their defeat but remain two points ahead of Olympic in fourth.
Parramatta FC 0-1 South Coast Wolves FC, at Melita Stadium
South Coast Wolves won their third away match in as many weeks at Melita Stadium on Sunday afternoon; with Jordan Murray scoring the only goal of the game for the visitors.
The Wolves pull ahead of Parramatta on the table with their win – both sides were level on seven points heading into this match.
Rockdale City Suns FC 2-2 Blacktown City FC, at Ilinden Sports Centre
Goals from Rockdale’s whiz midfielder Michael Loupis and Isaac Savor were cancelled out by strikes from Blacktown City’s Jonathan Grozdanovski and Nikolas Dimitriadis in a 2-2 draw at the Illinden Sports Centre, a result which sees Blacktown City remain unbeaten in four matches.
Rockdale’s first point since March sees them go in front of the Blacktown Spartans in second-last place.
– by Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter