IN A battle of the cellar-dwellers at Marconi Stadium, the South Coast Wolves defeated Marconi Stallions in what was a really tight game.
A late goal to Peter Simonoski made the difference but it was a dreadfully unlucky way for the Stallions to lose after probably having the better chances of the game, albeit the very few chances of a game which was not a truly memorable spectacle for anyone.
The first real chance of the game didn’t arrive until the fifteenth minute when a free kick from the home side was dropped by Wolves goalkeeper Thomas Manos under pressure from several sources but somehow, from close range, William Tsovolos had his shot cleared brilliantly off the line by a Wolves defender who in reality didn’t know too much about it.
In the 27th minute Robbie Shields made a good inroad into the opposition box but his shot was deflected away for a corner. It was sparse pickings in the first half hour of the game as both sides kept it tight in the middle.
Anthony Flood tried his luck from just outside the box but somehow the ball floated just over the crossbar as Marconi tried to break the deadlock. South Coast Wolves responded shortly afterwards with a Jordan Murray shot that was well handled by goalkeeper Jacopo D’Antimo.
In the 41st minute Shields shot from just outside the box but once again the ball didn’t hit the target in what was really a lacklustre first half of football.
In the second half the sparsely populated crowd was certainly hoping for some more action and thankfully they did receive it. An early shot by Flood forced goalkeeper Manos into action as the first salvo of the second stanza of play was registered.
Tomislav Mijic, from close range, forced the visiting goalkeeper again into a nice save to turn the ball around for a corner, but still there was no breakthrough in the game.
South Coast Wolves came close to scoring twice in the space of a minute when substitute Anthony Proia forced D’Antimo into a nice diving save in the 71st minute.
Shortly afterwards a Wolves free-kick reached James Baldacchino totally unmarked in front of goal but he probably didn’t expect to receive the ball and it careered off his shin and over the crossbar. It was definitely the closest either side had come to scoring.
Things started to heat up and in the 78th minute Marconi almost scored when Flood, with a glancing header, hit the crossbar in what was definitely the Stallions’ best chance of the game. By now the game was alive and not before time.
In the 82nd minute Chris Nunes delightfully set up Ryan Peterson charging towards goal but in the end his shot was stopped by Manos.
South Coast Wolves eventually scored in the 87th minute to truly break the hearts of Marconi when Simonoski received a ball and, with all the time in the world, he majestically beat the Marconi goalkeeper from some distance.
It was a great goal and well worth well watching but a real dagger through the heart of the Stallions who had deserved at least a point from the contest.
Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte was not claiming bragging rights against his former club and was simply happy to have secured the full three points on offer.
“We always knew that it was going to be a tough game because both teams are down the bottom of the ladder and struggling,” he said.
“From our perspective it was very positive because we have had two away games and we have kept two clean sheets which is a very positive step in what we are trying to do.
“We just want to win every game no matter who we play and from our perspective it was important that we won tonight.”
Marconi coach Jeff Suzor was pleased with his team’s performance even though they lost thanks only to such a late goal.
“It was a good goal and I am disappointed with the result but not in the way the team played,” he said.
“It was tight game and I thought that we were a little bit better. Their first effort on goal was probably 20 minutes towards the end; I was really happy with the boys’ effort and the progression that we are making as a team.”
Marconi Stallions 0
South Coast Wolves 1 (Simonoksi 87’)
Saturday 23rd May
Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Referee: Scott Edeling
Assistant Referees: Kearney Robinson, Lily David
Fourth Official: Adam Naylor
Marconi Stallions: D’Antimo, Thompson (Rhodes 65’), Flood (Appiah 87’), Lum, Mijic, Nunes, Ott, Shields, Simonovic (Peterson 74’), Travis, Tsolvolos
Substitutes not used: Rhodes, Austin, Roebuck
Yellow Cards: Mijic 71’, Flood 84’
South Coast Wolves: Manos, Baldacchino, Fielding, Griffin (Boutoubia 76’), Mackenzie, Madden, Matthews (84’ Welch), Murray, O’Rourke, Price (Proia 55’), Simonoski
Substitutes not used: Hamilton, Stojic
Yellow Cards: Simonoski 42’, Matthews 67’, Murray 89’
3. Peter Simonoski (SCW)
2. Jordan Murray (SCW)
1. Tomislav Mijic (MS)
– by Joe Russo, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Marconi Stadium