Parramatta FC scored an all important victory downing in form side Rockdale City Suns at llinden Sports Centre on a chilly Sunday afternoon in Sydney’s South.
It started at a frenetic opening pace and called for old heads like Suns’ midfielder Paul Reid to put a foot on the ball and slow it down.
Livewire attacker Alec Urosevski had the first chance of the game in the 5’ minute but was off balance skewing his left-footed shot wide of the upright as the home team settled into their rhythm quickest.
Rockdale were seeing most of the ball but Parramatta harried and hassled rapidly never allowing the home side any space or time to create.
Nikola Taneski and Urosevski were looking lively along with Hristijan Tanoski, getting forward at every opportunity, meaning Eagles’ skipper Pat Gatt had to weather the storm coming their way which they did admirably.
In the opening quarter of the game, for all their possession, Rockdale didn’t mount a single meaningful attack on goal that forced the ‘keeper into action and it was the same at the other end as play centred mainly around the midfield area.
With John Tsironis the lone striker for the visitors, even Suns skipper Askin Oygur was able to stroll up-field and act as an extra midfielder for much of the half.
Pat Savor scampered up-field to connect with a Tanoski lay off but under heavy scrutiny from the Eagles’ backline he skied the effort well wide of the mark on the half hour.
A poorly taken free-kick from Marko Jesic was a point in case when from the angle of the box he placed the ball squarely down the centre and over the bar in the 42’ leaving many team mates looking to the heavens. Rockdale were visibly becoming frustrated which was starting to play in to the hands of the visitors.
The stalemate continued into the break in what proved a frustrating half for Rockdale and perhaps the break was needed to regroup and discuss a different game plan.
At the start of the second half Juan Chavez whipped in a dangerous free-kick for Steven Wright who headed wide of the intended target as Parramatta went on the attack. It awoke Rockdale who immediately applied the pressure with sharper, crisper passing and a more direct approach that resulted in Urosevski shooting from distance in the 50’ minute that warmed the hands of ‘keeper Luke Turnbull.
It was that man again who attempted to lob the ‘keeper in the 53’ that Turnbull was unable to reach calling for Wright to head over the bar and concede a corner as the home side sprang into life and began to threaten Parramatta’s goal.
Urosevski played a neat one-two with Jesic that produced the best moment of the game in the 57’ minute but Turnbull was equal to it in thwarting the danger once more but Rockdale were certainly getting closer.
Parramatta screamed for a penalty in a crowded box when skipper Gatt headed toward goal from a corner in the 64’ minute, the referee waved on in what appeared a decent shout from distance, the closest the visitors had come to a goal all afternoon.
Urosevski tested Turnbull once more with a shot from the edge of the area in the 68’ minute the gloveman was able to keep out at full stretch down to his left, Rockdale again close but no cigar.
Steve Wright cleared a corner from Jesic that went straight to Reid whose volley had Turnbull moving rapidly to his left with a reaction save to keep the Suns out.
Parramatta then quickly went up the other end for Daniel Rezo to open the scoring for the visitors in a real smash and grab style in the 76’ minute.
Luke Grima should have doubled the lead a minute later when through on the right but firing straight at David Bradasevic to keep them out.
Taku Murayama made a rare foray forward down the right in the 85’ minute and centred for Urosevski but his side-foot effort went agonisingly the wrong side of the post for the home support leaving Rockdale to rue a succession of missed opportunities.
It wasn’t to be leaving Eagles coach Franco Consentino to comment at the whistle.
“We came out and had a look at the surface before the game and saw how bumpy it was and we knew wouldn’t be able to play the kind of football we wanted to and had to adapt and it wasn’t pretty at times but it proved effective at the end.
“We tried something a little bit different and it was an ugly game but they held possession very well in the first-half and did very well in the second.
“We’ve been missing a bit of luck this season and I suppose we got a bit back today and I said to the guys at the break that we were giving the ball away too cheaply at times but don’t get frustrated, keep your heads up and things will happen.
“We knew that at home Rockdale were desperate for the points, as we are of course, but if we kept to the plan our opportunity would come and if we were good enough we’d take it and that happened for us so now we look to Wednesday night when we’re at home against Sutherland Sharks and see if we can get on a bit of a roll,” he concluded.
A disappointed Suns player/coach Paul Reid added.
“We spoke about it at half-time and we knew we would dominate the game and possession and chances but we can’t switch off defensively and we’ve conceded a stupid goal when we were under no pressure considering we were on top of the game.
“We just need to be better in the final third because we get ourselves into great positions but the final ball isn’t good enough.
“We cannot fault the effort of the boys but we are always creating chances and say that if we can keep clean sheets we are always a chance of the points but our final option choices need some work but credit to Parramatta who did sit back and stifle our creativity.
“We cannot just keep playing down the middle of the pitch with short passes and playing to the strengths of the opposition and it’s something we need to learn and will work on for the future games,’’ he ended.
Rockdale City Suns 0
Parramatta FC 1 (Rezo 76)
Sunday 17 May, 2015
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Assistant Referees: Thomas Lee & Raymond Osbourne
Fourth Official: Matthew Riedy
Rockdale City Suns: Bradasevic, Hesketh, Tanoski (Alameddine 66), Reid, Murayama, Urosevski, Jesic, Taneski, El Haffiene, Savor.P (Iwamoto 78), Oygur ©
Substitutes Not Used: Visnic, I Savor, Panolozo
Yellow Cards: Tanoski 63
Parramatta FC: Turnbull, Speranza, Wright, Symons, Gatt ©, Martey (Vranic 89), Clowes, Chavez (Rezo 59), Tsironis (Grima 70), Tayebi, Richards
Substitutes Not Used: Sama, Williamson
Yellow Cards: Richards 35
3 – Wright (PFC)
2 – Reid (RCS)
1 – Taneski (RCS)
-by Micky Brock, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Illinden Sports Centre.