ROUND seventeen of the Grade 20s competition was played out over the weekend, with one match on Saturday afternoon and five on Sunday.
This week’s match of the round saw Sydney Olympic run riot at Belmore Sports Ground, where they defeated Manly United 10-3.
Match of the Round
Sydney Olympic FC 10-3 Manly United FC, Sunday 1pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic reached double digits in their extraordinary defeat of Manly United in this week’s match of the round; the home side running out 10-3 winners on a bitterly cold Sunday afternoon at Belmore Sports Ground.
The visitors looked to settle into control of possession from the outset, and nearly had an opening goal after only a few minutes of play when Nicola Kuleski pushed past his defender on the right flank and grazed the far post with an outswinging drive from a narrow angle. Olympic responded through James Andrew, who proved a constant threat cutting inside from the left wing, and sought to counter their opponent’s possession with quick breaks in attack.
With ten minutes gone, and little indication as to which way the match would turn after a relatively cagey opening, Manly conceded a freak goal when Christian Calderan rolled an innocuous pass back to his goalkeeper, Tonu Liiband, who could only watch the ball bobble over his feet and into the net as he attempted a clearance.
Things would only get worse for Liiband as the half wore on. After making a series of impressive saves from Andrew and Jack Green to keep the score at 1-0, he conceded a second goal just after the half hour mark, when Adrian Vranic nipped ahead of his defender to touch James Andrew’s squared pass on inside the far post. Manly replied in kind five minutes later: Dylan Whitlock cut a path through the entire Olympic midfield and defence before offloading the ball to Lachlan McLean on the edge of the area, and the striker buried his shot in the far right corner to halve Olympic’s advantage.
Almost immediately, though, the visitors found themselves carrying the ball back to halfway for another restart; Vranic scoring his second goal in just over six minutes with a simple volley after receiving the rebound from his own blocked header. James Andrew inevitably joined in on the goalscoring himself a few minutes later with a brilliant individual effort, wriggling through several Manly defenders before tapping the ball past the onrushing Liiband from a few metres out to leave Manly 4-1 down at the break.
Any hopes Manly may have harboured of a second-half comeback were quashed within minutes of the restart, when Jack Green pounced on a mistake by Tonu Liiband to stretch Olympic’s lead to 5-1. Liiband came out to claim a loose ball at the top of his box but didn’t take it cleanly, and the ball fell for Green to finish into an empty net.
Barely two minutes later, Olympic had a sixth: Jason Madonis, dictating play well in an anchoring role in midfield, led a fast break up to the edge of the penalty area before passing off to Michael Trajkovski, who cut back behind his defender and slid a shot beyond the goalkeeper and into the net.
James Andrew brought up his second of the afternoon in the 53rd minute – just three minutes after Trajkovski’s strike – with another stunning shot from just beyond the 18 yard box that flew across the keeper and into the far top corner of the goal, taking Olympic to a 7-1 lead. Trajkovski scored again, another two minutes after Andrew, when he converted a penalty that he had won to make the score 8-1. Jack Green scored his second goal three minutes later – Liiband, having conceded five goals in the opening 13 minutes of the second half, was replaced in goal by Shaun Catlin.
With all structure having been ripped apart before the hour had passed, the final 30 minutes saw the match dissolve into a formless scrap. Manly’s Lachlan McLean scored in a crowded box with a flicked header from a free kick, but could only enjoy the goal for a minute before Green rounded out his hattrick with another penalty, Olympic’s tenth goal of the afternoon. A final goal – the last of the 13 scored in total – fell for Manly’s Henry Gallagher, who latched onto a ball in the box late in the game to slam home his side’s third. The final whistle sounded shortly after, bringing an end to a rout that was in equal parts bizarre and spectacular.
Olympic coach Harry Paras said that the result was evidence of his side’s hard work beginning to pay off. "I was very happy with the boys from the start. Manly copped an unfortunate goal to start off with, but we made the most of our opportunities after that. For once, everything we tried seemed to come off for us, so we’re obviously very happy with the result."
Manly’s Louie Dimitropoulos was understandably frustrated post-match, saying only that he was "lost for words."
Sydney Olympic FC 10 (Calderan OG 10′, Vranic 32′, 38′, Andrew 40′, 53′, Green 48′, 58′, 83′, Trajkovski 50′, 55′)
Manly United FC 3 (McLean 36′, 82′, Gallagher 85′)
Sunday July 12, 2015
Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic FC: Andrew, Duncan, Everett, J. Green, Madonis, C. Morris, S. Morris, Nicolis, Petrovski, Trajkovski, Vranic,
Substitutes: D. Bonomy, T. Bonomy, Markovic, Youlley, Patramanis
Manly United FC: Arditti, Calderan, Gallagher, Hancock, Lemay, Liiband, McLean, Roca, Kuleski, Whitlock, Zarantonello
Substitutes: Berti, Catlin, Gibson, Kain, Quirk
Sutherland Sharks FC 1-2 APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland Sharks suffered a shock 2-1 loss to APIA Leichhardt at Seymour Shaw in the Saturday match; goals from Lachlan Scott and Cameron Stephan seeing the Tigers to their first win since mid-May. The Sharks held their spot at the top of the ladder until Blacktown City defeated Rockdale 3-0 on Sunday, and now sit level with Marconi Stallion in second place with 36 points.
Sydney United 58 FC 3-4 Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC, at Sydney United Sports Centre
Bonnyrigg managed only their second win of the season with a stunning defeat of fifth-placed Sydney United 58 FC at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon, the visitors coming out on top with the odd goal in seven. Sydney United led at halftime, but goals from Mark Cindric, Lachlan Roberts and Aaron Fraser weren’t enough to overcome the White Eagles, who remain bottom of the Grade 20s competition ladder despite the result.
Blacktown Spartans FC 1-1 Marconi Stallions FC, at Blacktown Football Park
Marconi Stallions missed a golden opportunity to reclaim first place on the competition ladder when they drew 1-1 with the Blacktown Spartans at Blacktown Football Park on Sunday afternoon, a day after Sutherland Sharks’ unexpected defeat to APIA Leichhardt. A goal from Kurdvan Abduljabbar put the home side ahead until a late equaliser all but assured the Stallions went home with a point.
Blacktown City FC 3-0 Rockdale City Suns FC, at Lilys Football Centre
Blacktown City leapfrogged both Marconi Stallions and Sutherland Sharks to take top spot in the Grade 20s competition for the first time this season with a 3-0 win over Rockdale City Suns at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon. Blacktown City now enjoy a one point lead over their premiership rivals after their fifth straight win, while Rockdale remain stuck in eleventh place since round 8.
South Coast Wolves FC 1-2 Parramatta FC, at Win Stadium
Parramatta FC recorded their second win in as many weeks with a 2-1 defeat of South Coast Wolves at Win Stadium on Sunday afternoon. While the Wolves came into this match in seventh place, and Parramatta in eighth, the situation was reversed by the final whistle – Parramatta now enjoy a two point lead over the Wolves, and find themselves within five points of fourth-placed Sydney Olympic with five rounds remaining.
– by Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter