BLACKTOWN Spartans could be a team to watch, after they stretched their unbeaten run to three games with a scrappy 1-0 win against Parramatta at Blacktown Football Park.
It wasn’t pretty but Ben De Haan’s side managed to get the result against a relentless Parramatta outfit.
Xavier Quigley’s clinical finish from a Mitchell Long cross, combined with a goalkeeping masterclass from Spartans shot stopper Carlos Saliadarre, was all it took for the home side to build on its recent run of form.
The first half of the match was not one for the fans with play bogged in midfield and passes struggling to hit their target.
Daniel Gullo provided a rare bright spot for spectators when the Parramatta FC midfielder sprayed his shot over the bar from only six metres out.
Unsurprisingly it was nil-all at the break.
It was much of the same at the start of the second half but it was obvious the home side were starting to find their way.
Toiling at the point of the attack all day, veteran striker Long was rewarded for his hard work in the 61st minute
Long’s weighted pass into the penalty box hit Quigley who hammered home past Luke Turnbull in the Parramatta net.
The goal energised the match with both teams pushing forward with mixed success.
Parramatta winger Frank Martey would be wondering what he did to earn so much bad luck, after he failed to convert on two occasions inside five minutes.
Parramatta threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Spartans defence, and it took a stellar display from Saliadarre who stopped everything sent his way.
Long was unlucky not to add a goal of his to the tally in the 84th minute when he was ruled offside.
Moments later the linesman’s flag was at the centre of the action once again when an equalising goal from Parramatta’s Juan Chavez was also called back.
A final chance to steal a draw fell to Parramatta in the dying seconds, but it just wasn’t their day as Josh Gersbach sprayed his shot well wide.
Spartans coach Ben De Haan agreed it wasn’t a game littered with highlights.
“It was a very scrappy Sunday,” he said.
“It wasn’t pretty but it goes to show the grit and determination of the players.
“We are slowly building as a side and the fact we are starting to find the results is sign we are doing the right things.
“We have a really tough run of games ahead but the confidence from the win puts us in a really good position going forward.”
Parramatta coach Frank Cosentino rued his team’s missed opportunities.
“We had three of four really good opportunities and just couldn’t hit the back of the net,” he said.
“It’s been our story for the past few weeks.
“The boys are working really hard however things just aren’t going our way at the moment.
“Hopefully the commitment the players are showing will pay off in the coming weeks.”
Blacktown Spartans 1 (Quigley 61’)
Parramatta FC 0
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Blacktown Football Park, Rooty Hill
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Assistant Referees: Joon Park & Andreas Lyndon
Fourth Official: Matthew Mcorist
Blacktown Spartans: Saliadarre; Long, Kondek, Sasaki, Fogarty (Da Silva 85’), Nakamura, Crighton, Quigley, Dukic, Tosi, Agathos,
Substitutes not used:, Douglas, Nascimben, Tanner, Tomohiro
Yellow Cards: Kondek 80’, Dukic 85’
Parramatta FC: Turnbull; Sperzana, Symons, Gatt, Gullo, Martey, Clowes, Richards (Chavez 70’), Cirjak (Gersbach 76’), Grima, Tsironis (Sama 70’), Tayib Derazkala.
Substitutes not used: Matic, Wright
Yellow Cards: Martey 30’, Symons 55’
3 – Saliadarre (Spartans)
2 – Quigley (Spartans)
1- Long (Spartans)