ROUND sixteen of the Grade 20s competition played out over the weekend, with three matches across both Saturday and Sunday afternoons as Sutherland Sharks held their place at the top of the Grade 20s ladder.
This week’s match of the round saw Rockdale City Suns defeated 2-1 by the visiting Sydney Olympic at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Match of the Round
Rockdale City Suns FC 1-2 Sydney Olympic FC, Sunday 3pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Sydney Olympic scored late in the first half and early in the second to secure a 2-1 win at Rockdale City Suns on Sunday afternoon; goals from Jack Green and James Andrew helping Olympic to the win after Rockdale’s Michael Loupis gave the home side the lead midway through the first half.
Both Rockdale City Suns and Sydney Olympic enjoyed an extra week’s rest after their matches against Marconi Stallions and APIA Leichhardt Tigers respectively were washed out last weekend, and the first half opened at an explosive pace.
James Andrew was dangerous from the visitors from the outset, and had an opportunity early when the ball broke for him ahead of the line of Rockdale defenders, but he hesitated in front of goalkeeper Nicholas Sorras and his shot, when it eventually came, was saved easily enough.
Sorras was called into action again a few minutes later when Ryan Keir played in Evan Davis on the edge of the area, and the keeper made another solid save to keep the score at 0-0.
Though Olympic’s forwards were perhaps creating more clear cut opportunities, Rockdale were certainly pushing for the breakthrough themselves, and found it in the 24th minute when Michael Loupis’ free kick from the right wing dipped in front of Olympic goalkeeper Stefan Petrovski; trickling through his hands and out between his legs into the Rockdale goal.
With the score 1-0, Rockdale continued to roll forward in search of a second but Olympic were quick to shut their attacks down, distributing to Jason Madonis and James Andrew as they tried create a chance for an equalising goal.
Andrew tormented the Rockdale fullbacks all afternoon, notably skipping through four defender to win his side a corner as the first half came to a close.
Olympic had another good opportunity to draw level a few minutes later after Mario Bosnar fouled Evan Davis 25 metres out from goal, but Sorras made an impressive save from Jack Green’s curling free kick. Olympic finally got their goal on the stroke of halftime when Green swiped a volley past Sorras and into the net after another run up the right flank from James Andrew, and the two teams went in at halftime tied 1-1; Olympic deservedly finding parity before the break.
Switching to the left wing after halftime, Andrew carried on in the second half as he had in the first, running at Rockdale defenders and winning a free kick for Olympic only a few minutes after the restart, though the chance was wasted when Oliver Green failed to connect with the ball drifting across goal from the set piece.
With Olympic now firmly in the ascendancy, a second goal began to feel like less of a possibility and more of an inevitability.
They scored it with just over 20 minutes of play remaining, James Andrew capitalising on a defensive lapse which saw Dushaun Youlley’s cross run all the way across goal to the unmarked striker at the back post. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Andrew struck his shot low and it squeezed through a narrow opening to put Olympic 2-1 up.
Rockdale’s attempts to equalise were undermined by an ability to keep possession – a struggle for both sides on a muddy pitch – and though Matteo Pandolfo and Sotiri Kagaras worked hard to give their side a chance of earning a point, Olympic were able to hold out for the final minutes and record their fifth away win of the season to keep their place in sixth on the Grade 20s competition ladder, while Rockdale stay eleventh.
"It wasn’t good enough – it wasn’t what we wanted," said the Rockdale City coach. "We conceded two cheap goals. We’re playing the competition leaders next week, but they’ll pull our pants down if we play like that. We’ve got to be ready – all I’m going to ask of the eleven that take the field next week is that they’re ready."
"I don’t like this pitch at all," said Olympic coach Harry Paras it’s very slippery and we struggled to play our usual style of football on this pitch, so we had to grind it out a bit. That said, I think we were excellent: we controlled most of the game and created most of the chances.
"James [Andrew] was good today, and Jack and Ollie Green were excellent, too – overall, we got what we deserved. We might’ve scored a few more, but I can’t complain about three points."
Rockdale City Suns FC 1 (Loupis 24′)
Sydney Olympic FC 2 (J. Green 44′, Andrew 69′)
Sunday June 28, 2015
Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale City Suns: Bosnar, Dubocanin, Kenny, Loupis, McGinn, Pandolfo, Petrillo, Savor, Sorras, Codrea, Iwamoto
Substitutes: Kagaras, Lu, Maude, Visnic, Woo
Sydney Olympic FC: Andrew, Balderson, Duncan, Madonis, J. Green, O. Green, Keir, C. Morris, S. Morris, Petrovski, Trajkovski
Substitutes: Bonomy, Davis, Nicolis, Vranic, Youlley
Parramatta FC 4-1 Sydney United 58 FC, at Melita Stadium
Parramatta FC stunned Sydney United 58 at Melita Stadium on Saturday afternoon, scoring three goals in the second half of the match to run out 4-1 winners; a surprise result given the teams’ respective form coming into the match.
David Chung, Patrick Awad, Luke Grima and Andreas Vais all found themselves on the scoresheet for the home side, while Jordan Koton scored the only goal for an underwhelming Sydney United 58. The defeat means United now sit five points adrift of third-placed Marconi Stallions in fourth at the end of round sixteen, while Parramatta move up a place to seventh.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 1-6 Sutherland Sharks FC, at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Sutherland Sharks predictably blitzed the Bonnyrigg White Eagles 6-1 at Bonnyrigg Sports Club on Saturday afternoon, with striker Charles Lokolingoy scoring a hat trick as the Sharks moved top of the Grade 20s competition ladder.
Lachlan Hughes, Andre Gioiosa and Kostandinos Nikas also scored for the visitors, while Bonnyrigg’s Marko Filipovic scored his side’s only goal amongst four from the Sharks in an actioned-packed first half that ended 4-1 in favour of Sutherland. Bonnyrigg remain last after the loss, their fourth in a row, while the Sharks extend their winning run to three straight games to move top of the ladder.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC 0-1 Blacktown City FC, at Lambert Park
Blacktown City edged a 1-0 win over APIA Leichhardt Tigers at Lambert Park on Saturday afternoon, Sam Perre scoring the only goal of the game in the first half.
A scoreless second half followed; the result seeing Blacktown City strengthen their position among the breakaway top three of the Grade 20s competition with their fourth consecutive win. APIA, meanwhile, remain tenth for a second week in a row, with a trip to in-form Sutherland Sharks to come next Saturday.
Manly United FC 1-2 Marconi Stallions, at Cromer Park
Marconi beat Manly United 2-1 at Cromer Park on Sunday afternoon, the win keeping the Stallions in second place – one point behind Sutherland Sharks, and one in front of Blacktown City.
Jack Press scored a goal in each half to give the visitors the victory, who finished the match with ten men after Blair Brown was sent off. Manly run of defeats continues with their third loss in a row, and they now sit just a point behind fourth-placed Sydney United 58 in fifth.
South Coast Wolves FC 5-0 Blacktown Spartans FC, at Win Stadium
South Coast Wolves recorded their first win since the first week of May with a 5-0 thrashing of Blacktown Spartans at Win Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Leading 3-0 at halftime, the Wolves scored twice in the second half and held their opponents out for their first points in eight rounds of fixtures. APIA’s defeat to Blacktown City ensured that the Spartans would hold their place in ninth despite their loss, while South Coast Wolves remain seventh.
– by Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter