ROUND seven of the Grade 20s competition was played out over the weekend; with games on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Match of the Round saw a Jonathan Grozdanovski hat-trick help Blacktown City to a 4-1 win over Manly United at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Match of the Round
Blacktown City FC 4-1 Manly United FC, Sunday at Lilys Football Centre
Blacktown City recorded an emphatic win over Manly United at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon, with striker Jonathan Grozdanovski scoring a hattrick for the home side. Blacktown led 2-1 at halftime and though Manly threatened a comeback early in the second half, two quick goals for Grozdanovski secured the victory.
With a strong wind keeping play on the ground from the beginning of the match, both sides started determined to make a quick impact on the scoreboard. Attacking down the left, Blacktown had their first real chance after five minutes when Sam Perre played in the overlapping Lahai Tengbeh, who could only shoot high over the crossbar when bearing down on goal. His teammate Robert Perre followed up with a shot of his own soon after, but it was comfortably taken by Shaun Catlin in the Manly goal.
Manly pressed down their left flank too, through Sipan Berti and Henry Gallagher, and had their first shot when a deep cross from Berti found Ivan Roca at the far post, but he skewed his volley well off target. Blacktown were mostly happy to sit back and allow Manly to attack them slowly; breaking quickly when they won the ball. In the 24th minute, they scored the first goal of the game through Juan Zapata, who toe poked a simple shot over Catlin for a deserved 1-0 lead.
Jonathan Grozdanovski doubled his side’s advantage minutes later with an impressive individual effort, pushing past his defender on the left and slotting under the goalkeeper at a tight angle for his second goal in as many games. Manly responded almost instantly with a goal of their own; Gallagher crossing from the left to an unmarked Lachlan McLean, who sent a routine header back across Catlin to make it 2-1 at halftime.
Manly began the second half on the front foot, eager to take advantage the momentum afforded by McLean’s first half goal. Their efforts were hampered somewhat by rain that had started falling during the break, and though they pressed well through Christopher Arditti and McLean, they were unable to make the most of their time on the ball; failing to register any meaningful shots on goal.
Manly’s hopes of a comeback were effectively ended in the 67th minute when Grozdanovksi scored his second goal to make it 3-1. Played through on the right side, the in form striker slid a low shot under the onrushing Catlin, and handed control back to the home side. Five minutes later, Grozdanovksi had his hattrick when a quick counter saw the ball move from Zapata across to the left for Sam Perre, who hit a low cross for Grozdanovksi to slam past the goalkeepe at close range.
Blacktown closed out the match with a final curling shot from Nikolas Dimitriadis which might have extended his side’s lead even further if not for an athletic save from Catlin. Manly struggled to muster up any response as full time approached, and were perhaps ultimately fortunate to have only conceded four.
Blacktown City coach John Carnevale was particularly pleased with the way his side responded to conceding in the first half: "It was an excellent performance from our team today – we took the game to them in both halves, especially in the second half when the wind picked up, and did well to finish the game off.
"We conceded a silly goal to let them back into it, but we held our shape and discipline and hit them on the counter with a couple of well taken goals."
"I’m very disappointed in the performance," said Manly coach Louie Dimitropoulos. "The beginning of the second half was good for us; we made some changes that were working well, but we had a lapse in concentration to let them in for their third goal, and we were never a chance after that.
"We’re not at the right intensity at the moment. We have the players and on their day they can beat anyone, but we need to be at the right intensity on gameday, and we weren’t today."
Blacktown City FC 4 (Zapata 24′, Grozdanovski 28′, 67′, 72′)
Manly United FC 1 (McLean 29′)
Sunday April 26, 2015
Lilys Football Centre
Blacktown City FC: Flottman, Grozdanovski, Hadjisocratous, Mamone, Montford, R. Perre, Prendergast, Rodic, Tengbeh, Zapata, S. Perre
Substitutes: Baccus, Dimitriadis, Figueira, Shabow, Hall
Yellow cards: R. Perre, Mamone
Manly United FC: Arditti, Berti, Catlin, Galbraith, Gallagher, Gibson, McLean, Roca, Kuluski, Ferguson, Le May
Substitutes: Caldera, Georgaklis, Jelenkerian, Pollard
South Coast Wolves FC 4-0 Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC, at Win Stadium
The Wolves moved third on the table as they thrashed Bonnyrigg White Eagles 4-0 at Win Stadium in the Thursday night match. The result is the Wolves’ fourth win in a row, and their most comprehensive to date, while Bonnyrigg remain rooted to the foot of the ladder; yet to register even a single goal this season, let alone a competition point.
Sutherland Sharks FC 3-0 Rockdale City Suns FC, at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland Sharks recovered from their shock loss to APIA Leichhardt last weekend with a routine 3-0 win over the struggling Rockdale City Suns, with two goals from Bai Antoniou and one from Leonardo Malfara. The result sees the Sharks earn only their second clean sheet of the season, while Rockdale remain winless since March.
Blacktown Spartans FC 1-2 Parramatta FC, at Blacktown Football Park
Goals from Tom Mallett and Andre Schroeder helped Parramatta to a 2-1 win over Blacktown Spartans at Blacktown Football Park on Sunday afternoon, with Domenic Dileo scoring the only goal for the home side. Blacktown’s fourth consecutive result sees them slip second last on the ladder, while Parramatta move up one place to sixth.
Sydney United 58 FC 3-2 APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, at Sydney United Sports Centre
Sydney United 58 won by the odd goal in five against APIA Leichhardt at the Sydney United Sports Centre, snapping a four match winless streak in the process. Goals from Jason Perez and Dominic Cox weren’t enough for the away team, who continue to fall down the table despite their 1-0 win against Sutherland Sharks last week.
Sydney Olympic FC 0-1 Marconi Stallions FC, at Valentine Sports Park
Storms during the week prevented this match from being played at Belmore Sports Ground, and Marconi left Valentine Sports Park late on Sunday afternoon with all three points after a 1-0 win over Sydney Olympic. The result sees Marconi move top of the table at the end of the round, having played one game more than Sutherland Sharks in second.
– by Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter