IN the end it was a miracle five out of six matches were played on the weekend, after more wild weather hit Sydney.
Pitches resembled swimming pools on Saturday evening, but the artificial surfaces at Valentine Sports Park, Lambert Park, Blacktown Football Park, Cromer Park, and Seymour Shaw Park came to the league’s rescue.
Only Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Parramatta was washed out, on Saturday night.
ROUND 8 REVIEW
Marconi Stallions 0-5 Blacktown City FC, at Valentine Sports Park
Things just keep getting worse for Marconi, who shipped five again against Blacktown City in a match that was moved to Valentine Sports Park.
It wouldn’t have mattered where they played though, as the would-be visitors outclassed their opponents in every respect.
Joe Gibbs scored twice, his first after only 13 minutes giving Blacktown City the lead. A Matthew Lewis penalty, and Gibbs’ second, saw Blacktown go into the break with a 3-0 lead.
Patrick Antelmi and substitute Mitchell Mallia added second half goals to ice the considerable cake.
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 3-0 South Coast Wolves, at Lambert Park
APIA outclassed South Coast Wolves on a rotten, sodden night in Leichhardt.
Somewhere, a football match broke out, but it was a close run thing. APIA took the lead in the first half when Brett Studman popped up at the back post to convert a free kick from Franco Parisi.
Wolves rallied in the second, without ever really threatening, and APIA made them pay.
Blake Powell’s 10th goal in eight games was followed shortly after by his 11th, as he kept up his record of scoring in every match this season.
Sydney Olympic 4-3 Blacktown Spartans, at Blacktown Football Park
Olympic did it the hard way, after it first looked like they would gallop away from Spartans.
But Ben De Haan’s side rallied and made a real contest of it. Spartans took the lead through Daniel Fogarty, but it was all one way traffic in the minutes that followed.
Dimitri Hatzimouratis, Harris Gaitatzis, Brendan Hooper, and Gaitatzis again, all found the back of the net as Olympic raced to a 4-1 lead at the break.
But Olympic let Spartans back into the contest five minutes after the break. An own goal by Olympic keeper Petar Markovic and a goal for Jake Douglas saw the score suddenly become 4-2
Spartans had their chances, but couldn’t take them, as Olympic clung on to all three points.
Manly United 1-3 Sutherland Sharks, at Cromer Park
Manly United came back to earth with a bump, a third match in a week proving to be a stretch too far.
They weren’t really at the races against a Sutherland Sharks side who showed they can be genuinely clinical.
The Sharks took the lead when Jacob Tratt, who scored twice last weekend, found the back of the net from a Steve Hayes corner.
It was 2-0 when Perry Moustakas, back from Cyprus to bolster the Sharks defence, capitalised on some good lead up work to double the lead.
Dejan Pandurevic is back from the Central Coast Mariners though, and brings his own spark to the Manly side. He scored a minute after Moustakas, to give the home side hope.
Alex Jovovic made the points safe though, scoring a wonderful goal in stoppage time.
Rockdale City Suns 4-2 Sydney United 58 FC, at Seymour Shaw Park
Bottom knocked off top, and what a way to do it.
Rockdale City had to twice come from behind in this humdinger of a match, before finally putting away Sydney United 58 FC late on.
A bad mistake from Rockdale City keeper Tomislav Arcaba allowed United 58 to take the lead early on, and it was a lead the Reds took into the break.
But an absolute screamer from Rockdale’s Marko Jesic levelled the score within a minute of the restart. Slack marking from a set piece saw United 58 take the lead again through Theo Kofinas, before former Red Alec Urosevski made it 2-2 with an accurate finish.
When Urosevski’s shot was handballed, it was down to Jesic to show nerves of steel from the spot to convert and put the Suns ahead for the first time in the match.
Toufic Alameddine raced clear and made it 4-2 in stoppage time, sending Seymour Shaw into raptures.
– by Matthew Lopez, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Editor