A SCORELESS draw was probably the right result as Parramatta and South Coast Wolves came together on a sunny, but blustery, afternoon at Melita Stadium.
With the hosts not having won a match since the opening day of the season and the Wolves still looking for their first win of the campaign something had to give in the fight for points.
Referee Kelly Jones made her PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 debut, and she was eased into life in the top division by a match that failed to inspire and only partly because of the weather conditions.
Early on, Ben Zucco’s deflected shot won a corner. It fell to Peter Simonoski at speed and the burly striker lifted the ball over the bar as the visitors looked to strike first, with only three minutes on the clock.
It was a tense struggle in the middle of the park and although neither wrested control for any lengthy period, it made for excellent entertainment.
The wind was making life tricky for both if the ball was pumped long, so each adjusted to playing it on the ground, however the intensity ensured many passes went astray.
Juan Chavez registered Parramatta’s first shot in anger when he stabbed a loose ball goal ward in the 28th minute.
Sam Matthews replied with a well struck but wayward shot in the 33’ minute that skewed nearer the corner flag than the intended target but it was that sort of game where closing down was rapid and with no time to settle or set it was was snap shooting at best.
James O’Rourke picked up a caution late on for South Coast but at half time, only the colour of their shirts separated the two teams.
The second half started brighter for the Eagles when in the 47’ minute Mathew Clowes curled in a free-kick that was was partially cleared, only to fall for captain Pat Gatt whose shot was well kept out by Thomas Manos between the sticks. The ball bobbled around before the ‘keeper was eventually able to grasp it.
Simonoski went close to giving South Coast the lead after a defensive mix-up but couldn’t take advantage, scuffing his shot after a twisting run on the edge of the box. Luke Turnbull smothered comfortably.
Matthews needed to be replaced in the 64’ minute after injuring himself, which was a shame as he had been one of Wolves’ best on the day.
It was Chavez who came closest breaking the deadlock but he was unlucky to see his effort cannon back into play off the post with Manos well beaten.
“I think today’s game was always going to be like this because two evenly matched teams near the bottom needed to try and get something out the game and the conditions didn’t help but it was the same for both," Parramatta coach Franco Cosentino said.
“All in all I was happy with how we fought and the manner in which we worked and sometimes this year games are going to be like that.
“It was our first clean sheet of the year and to be honest we’ve been getting better and better every week and the young boys are starting to learn. We have a lot of players who haven’t played at this level before so it’s been a learning curve for them and hopefully we’ll be battling harder and stronger at the latter stages of the season.”
Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte said: “The wind played it’s part but unfortunately today it was a very ugly game and I suppose it shows why both sides are where they are at the moment.
“The performance today showed that both sides are struggling and obviously neither performed as well as we would have liked and the conditions cannot be blamed for that. We certainly didn’t keep the ball well enough and we didn’t show enough conviction in the fight and our decision making was poor but overall we got a point which was an improvement but I’m very disappointed with the performance altogether.
“I think our only positive to come out of the game is that we kept a clean sheet, our first if the year, but on the other hand we were very, very poor with the ball.”
Parramatta FC 0
South Coast Wolves 0
Sunday 19th April, 2015
Melita Stadium, Sefton
Referee: Kelly Jones
Assistant Referees: Thomas Lee and Matthew Cassidy
Fourth Official: Adam Vainauskas
Parramatta FC: Turnbull; Speranza, Symons, Gatt (C), Daniel Gullo, Martey, Clowes, Sama (Tsironis 71), Chavez, Richards (Gersbach 90+1), Tayebi
Substitutes Not Used: Wright, Rezo, Matic
Yellow Cards: Richards 50, Richards, Turnbull 88
South Coast Wolves: Manos; Alsaad, Madden, Griffin (Baldacchino 83), Price (C), Stojic, Simonoski, Zucco (Wilson 60), O’Rourke, Welch, Matthews (Murray 64)
Substitutes Not Used: Hamilton, Fielding
Yellow Cards: O’Rourke 44, Matthews 58, Price 90+4
3 – Chavez (PFC)
2 – Simonoski (SCW)
1 – Turnbull (PFC)
– by Micky Brock, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Melita Stadium