ROUND eight of the Grade 20s competition was played over the weekend; rain returning to interrupt the round’s fixtures with bottom of the ladder Bonnyrigg’s clash with Parramatta FC and Rockdale City Suns’ match against Sydney United 58 washed out on Saturday and Sunday afternoon respectively.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC 1-2 South Coast Wolves, at Lambert Park
South Coast Wolves have held their place in third the ladder with a 2-1 win over APIA Leichhardt Tigers at Lambert Park on Saturday afternoon; their fifth consecutive victory, and fourth away from home.
Coming off a 4-0 defeat of Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Win Stadium last week, the Wolves got the better of APIA with goals from Danny Lazarevski and Jake Ravnjak, while the home side’s only goal came from defender Adrian Vlastelica. The result sees APIA continue their slide down the ladder after their second loss in a row, while the visitors are now level on points with Sutherland Sharks.
Marconi Stallions FC 2-1 Blacktown City FC, at Valentine Sports Park
Marconi stay top of the table after overcoming Blacktown City FC 2-1 at Valentine Sports Park, while their opponents slip from fifth to sixth, and sit just a single point above Sydney United 58 in seventh. Marconi have now won three matches in a row, and have led the competition since round 4, though Sutherland Sharks have played one match less than the Stallions.
Blacktown, meanwhile, previously unbeaten since their first round match against Sydney United 58, dropped points for only the third time in 2015. Next Saturday, Marconi take on Sutherland in a top of the table clash at Seymour Shaw, where the home side could jump into first place on goal difference should they defeat the in-form Stallions.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v Parramatta FC, WASHED OUT at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
Blacktown Spartans FC 0-3 Sydney Olympic, at Blacktown Football Park
James Andrew scored a hattrick as Sydney Olympic defeated Blacktown Spartans 3-0 at Blacktown Football Park on Sunday afternoon; a result which sees Olympic leap from seventh to fourth in the space of a week.
The Spartans stretched their losing streak to five matches – they have not picked up a point since March – and were kept scoreless for only the second time this season, while Olympic kept their second clean sheet of the year; their first since a 1-0 win over last-placed Bonnyrigg White Eagles. Olympic face Blacktown City next weekend as they look to continue their rise up the table, and will hope to make most of the momentum that their win away at the Spartans has given them to cement a spot in the top six after an inconsistent opening eight rounds.
Manly United FC 1-1 Sutherland Sharks FC, at Cromer Park
Sutherland Sharks were held to a 1-1 draw by Manly United FC at Cromer Park, only the second match in 2015 that the visitors have failed to win. Christopher Arditti scored the only goal for the home side, his fourth of the season, and though Manly will be pleased to have kept a quality Sharks side to a draw – Sutherland currently lead the competition in goals scored, with 23 in only seven matches – they will be disappointed to drop a place to fifth ahead of a tricky fixture against a resurgent Sydney United 58 next Sunday.
Sutherland, with a game in hand, will host first-placed Marconi Stallions at Seymour Shaw next week, where they will look to return to the top of the ladder for the first time since the third round of fixtures.
Rockdale City Suns FC v Sydney United 58 FC, WASHED OUT at Ilinden Sports Centre
– by Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter