The Premiership is all but secured for Blacktown City FC after another hectic week of PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 action.
City endured a nervy game against league strugglers Marconi Stallions FC, which played the role of battling – but ultimately luckless – underdog perfectly in this top versus bottom clash.
Still, a 1-0 win has surely done the job for City with second-placed APIA Leichhardt and Bonnyrigg White Eagles both dropping points.
If the race to the top is all but over, the race for finals is anything but.
Sydney Olympic secured the most dramatic of wins against Blacktown Spartans in unfamiliar surrounds at Lambert Park, while Sutherland Sharks suffered a near terminal loss at the hands of Manly United.
ROUND 19 REVIEW
Sydney Olympic 3-2 Blacktown Spartans, at Lambert Park
The Sydney Olympic train is back on track.
The cries of ‘Olympic’ rang loud and clear at the end of the game in the somewhat unfamiliar and neutral surrounds of Lambert Park as Olympic picked up a crucial win against Blacktown Spartans on Sunday night.
Olympic recovered from a 2-0 deficit to run out remarkable 3-2 winners as Dimitri Hatzimouratis added to goals from Go Shirai and Michael Gaitatzis to secure the win.
Earlier goals from Jordan Crighton and Mitchell Long had the Spartans dreaming of the top five, only for those dreams to be put on hold by a determined Olympic outfit.
Parramatta FC 5-3 Bonnyrigg White Eagles, at Melita Stadium
Sydney Olympic was not the only team pulling a victory from the jaws of defeat.
In fact, their comeback was not even the most shocking of the week.
Parramatta FC one-upped Olympic with a simply amazing come-from-behind win against premiership challengers Bonnyrigg White Eagles on Sunday night.
The Eagles were 3-1 down at half-time against the White Eagles but found an extra gear in the second half to score four unsanswered goal.
Marco Sama was particularly impressive as the Eagles welcomed back Patrick Gatt from a long-term injury.
Daniel Rezo, Luke Grima and Aram Tayebi got their names on the score sheet in the second half to provide the Eagles faithful with one of their greatest results in recent memory.
South Coast Wolves 1-0 APIA Leichhardt, at WIN Stadium
The South Coast Wolves’ Wollongong fortress proved itself a terrible place to travel once again as Jacob Timpano’s men picked up another three points at home.
This week’s scalp was a considerable one.
APIA Leichhardt have sat in second place for much of this season, but the Tigers were perhaps blunted somewhat by the loss of Blake Powell – who recently secured a move to Wellington Phoenix in the A-League.
Jordan Murray showed his undoubted potential again with another goal midway through the first half to secure the points.
The win keeps South Coast Wolves in touch with the top five.
For the Tigers, though, the loss has put a serious dent in their premiership challenge.
Blacktown City 1-0 Marconi Stallions, at Lily’s Football Centre
Premiership winning teams win games, no matter how bad they play.
That was certainly the case for Blacktown City on Sunday as it required a penalty to defeat the bottom-placed Marconi Stallions at Lily’s Football Centre.
The win was far from City’s prettiest this season, but with both APIA Leichhardt and Bonnyrigg White Eagles dropping points, it might just be its most important.
Blacktown defender Matt Lewis stepped up to the spot after some silky dribbling from Travis Major earned the home side a penalty and he showed no signs of nervousness as he scored the goal that could just seal the premiership for City.
With a host of teenagers in the side, Marconi did itself proud against the ladder leaders, but it was once again left without any points to for its efforts.
Sutherland Sharks 0-1 Manly United, at Seymour Shaw Park
Manly United dealt Sutherland Shark’s finals hopes a big blow on Saturday night at Seymour Shaw Park.
Chris Payne found the back of the net after 73 minutes to win the game for United as the Sharks failed to convert a number of earlier opportunities in a crucical contest.
The Sharks finals hopes are not done with yet, with a game in hand on most of those above them with last weekend’s washed out clash with Rockdale City Suns still to be replaced, but this was surely a game Sutherland could not afford to lose.
Payne’s goal proved the difference, as Manly’s Brandon Cholakian impressed once again as well.
Sydney United 58 FC 0-1 Rockdale City Suns, at Sydney United Sports Centre
In-form Rockdale City Sun Alec Urosevski was at his best again on Sunday as he lead his team to another big result in a 1-0 win away to Sydney United 58 FC.
United’s league woes continue as it’s squad continues to struggle with balancing its Waratah Cup, FFA Cup and league duties, putting its top-five credentials further in doubt.
For the Suns, the run of form has been fantastically timed with its own FFA Cup match with Perth SC to come, and Paul Reid’s side is now just one point off fifth.
– By Matthew Galea, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Editor