ROUND fifteen of the Grade 20s competition was played out over the weekend, with matches washed out on both Saturday and Sunday as rain across Sydney disrupted the fixture list yet again.
This week’s match of the round saw Blacktown City defeat Bonnyrigg White Eagles 3-1 in a lively encounter at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Match of the Round
Blacktown City FC 3-1 Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC, Sunday 1pm at Lilys Football Centre
Blacktown City scored twice in the second half to run out 3-1 winners over Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon.
After a first half in which Bonnyrigg briefly led 1-0, goals from Sam Perre and Juan Zapata secured the victory for the home side; their fifth win in seven games.
Given their respective positions on the ladder coming into this match – Blacktown City in third, and Bonnyrigg last – both sides played out much of the first half with little regard for prior form, and Blacktown struggled, on occasion, to contain the visiting attack in the match’s early exchanges.
Andre Guzman and Karamo Kamara worked well together up front to repeatedly pressure the home defence into giving up possession with long, aimless clearances, and Marko Filipovic was presented with a chance to round Blacktown’s Tristan Prendergast with seven minutes gone, but the goalkeeper reacted quickly to gather the ball at the striker’s feet.
Despite enjoying a relatively even share of possession, Blacktown were unable to test Adrian Sanchez in the Bonnyrigg goal until midway through the first half. Before then, Bonnyrigg had hit the woodwork twice: first through Guzman, who smacked a freekick against the base of the left post, then minutes later through Anthony Jelenkerian, who chased down a backpass and tackled Prendergast to see the ball spin out against frame of the goal.
Blacktown’s first real opportunity to break the deadlock came 20 minutes before the half when Christos Tomaras’ cross from the right side threatened to drift into the far top corner of Sanchez’s goal, but the goalkeeper stretched to punch the ball clear for a corner, which came to nothing.
Just as it appeared as though Blacktown were taking control of the match, Bonnyrigg scored; a deserved goal given their attacking intent for the previous half hour of play. Luke Debrot carried the ball up the right flank and passed inside to Jelenkerian, who hit his shot low under Prendergast from a few metres out to give Bonnyrigg a slender lead with ten minutes until the break.
The goal served as a wakeup call to the home side, however, and just minutes later Blacktown City equalised in controversial circumstances when Sam Perre’s quickly taken free kick, which left Sanchez rooted on his line, was allowed by the referee despite no whistle having sounded. Nevertheless, the goal stood, and the sides went into halftime locked at 1-1.
Blacktown opened the second half on the front foot and were awarded a penalty just four minutes after the restart, which Sam Perre converted with a shot into the middle of the goal over the diving Sanchez. The home side continued to pile forward in search of a third, and Jonathan Grozdanovski went close with a long-range drive in the 55th minute.
The pressure paid off again just before the hour mark when Karamo Kamara failed to get enough contact on a header back to his goalkeeper, gifting Juan Zapata a loose ball to poke over Bonnyrigg’s Sanchez.
Now leading 3-1, Blacktown’s back four and midfield continued to loft balls over the Bonnyrigg defence to Tomaras, Zapata and Dimitriadis, though the visitors were able to deal with an attack that had been somewhat calmed by a third goal.
The home side might have truly finished the game off in the 80th minute when the ball rolled to Zapata after Sanchez charged down a Dimitriadis break, but the winger tried to dribble around a defender where he might have shot, and the opportunity was wasted. The match ended 3-1; a scoreline reflective of Blacktown’s dominance in the second half, and Bonnyrigg’s fight in the first.
"I enjoyed the end result," said Blacktown coach John Carnevale,
"But in the first half we were a bit off our game. We didn’t come out of the blocks quickly, and they created a fair few chances. We created a few chances ourselves, but we let ourselves down with our last pass in the final third.
"We addressed those issues at halftime and I think we controlled the second half quite well – you could see that there was a lot more composure and discipline in our play."
"I think we were poor in possession," said Bonnyrigg coach Steve Sigmund.
“We made a few silly decisions cost us the game. For us, what we learn here is that we need to make better decisions when we’ve got the ball.
"We’ve got a very young team at the moment, the goalkeeper’s just playing his second game, and he did very well. We had a few 18s players in there too, and I thought they played well."
Blacktown City FC 3 (S. Perre 37′, 49′, Zapata 59′)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 1 (Jelenkerian 34′)
Sunday June 21, 2015
Lilys Football Centre
Blacktown City FC: Beumie, Flottman, Grozdanovski, Hadjisocratous, Montford, S. Perre, R. Perre, Predergast, Rodic, Tomaras, Zapata
Substitutes: Elkhaidi, Tengbeh, Khoshaba, Timotheou, Dimitriadis
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC: Carboni, Douglas, Duval, Filipovic, Guzman, Jelenkerian, Krljar, Sanchez, Debrot, McDonald
Substitutes: Borovina, Savicic, Tucker, Zarafetas, Adilovic
Sutherland Sharks FC 3-1 Parramatta FC, at Seymour Shaw
With Marconi’s match against Rockdale City Suns washed out, Sutherland Sharks were presented with the opportunity to make up ground on the league leaders on Saturday at Seymour Shaw when they faced Parramatta FC.
Holding a 1-0 lead at halftime, the Sharks scored twice in the second half to claim a 3-1 win, Daniel Loe, Jeremy Cox and Andre Gioiosa all scoring for the home side. Luke Grima scored Parramatta’s only goal.
Blacktown Spartans FC 3-1 Manly United FC, at Blacktown Football Park
Blacktown Spartans recorded a much-needed 3-1 win over Manly United on Sunday afternoon at Blacktown Football Park to move above APIA Leichhardt on the ladder (though the Tigers did not play this week, with their match against Sydney Olympic washed out).
The Spartans have now alternated weekly between wins and losses since the beginning of March, this latest victory secured by goals from Domenic Dileo, Aaron White and Sallu Kamara. Lachlan McLean scored Manly’s only goal in a disappointing match for the visitors: this is only the second time this season that they have suffered consecutive defeats.
– by Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter