There were upsets aplenty in Round 4 of the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 competition with Blacktown Spartans and Manly United’s unbeaten start to the campaign ended by Wollongong Wolves and Bonnyrigg White Eagles, who claimed their first win of the season alongside Sydney Olympic.
The match of the round was at a sunny Melita Stadium on Saturday afternoon where Parramatta hosted Blacktown City searching for their first win of the season.
Match of the Round
Parramatta v Blacktown City, Saturday 5.00pm at Melita Stadium
Blacktown City have strung back to back wins together for the first time this season after seeing off a spirited Parramatta FC 2-0 at Melita Stadium.
There wasn’t much to separate the two outfits who both struggled for cohesion on the day and laboured for large periods of the encounter on a sapping late afternoon encounter in Granville.
But it was a canny performance from Blacktown who broke the deadlock through Jarrod Dodds on the cusp of halftime and sealed the deal late in the second half courtesy of Jake Borromeo.
Mark Zecchin’s Parramatta created a wealth of promising moments in a dominant and energetic second half display but had goalkeeper Jayden Diacono to thank whose collection of excellent saves kept the home side in the contest.
It was the visitors who enjoyed the more clear-cut chances on the day and they should’ve been ahead within the opening minutes when George Panayi failed to connect with Dodds’ cutback with the goal at his mercy.
The winger would make amends shortly before half-time after playing a pivotal role in Blacktown’s opener, shimmying past a pair of Parramatta defenders on the by-line before sending his cross to the back post where George Firth confidently buried home his first goal of the season on the half volley.
The home side grew into the game after half-time and enjoyed plenty of success down the right flank where towering fullback Frank Martey continually found space to penetrate the Blacktown rearguard.
The fullback would provide Parramatta’s game’s best chance of the match when he powered up the field from hallway and released Matias Da Silva Santos on goal, who spooned his effort over the bar with his weaker left foot.
It would prove to be the affair’s key moment and although Parramatta continued to stream forward in numbers in the second half with the introduction of striker Nicholas Chymiak off the bench, they were wayward in their finishing.
The action became stretched with Parramatta desperately pushing numbers forward but only Diacono’s heroics prevented Blacktown from netting a killer second goal on the counter attack.
Ben Wright’s side rode out a flurry of late pressure with Chymiak going close from a free-kick before Borromeo made the points safe minutes before full-time, latching onto a long ball from Lewis Fraser before sweeping past Diacono.
Parramatta manager Mark Zecchin was upbeat about his side’s performance despite his youthful ranks failing to gain their first points of the season.
“We probably weren’t good enough to win the game because we took a few too many wrong options in the final third but I think we were good enough for a point.
“But I’m not worried, we’re dominating games and creating chances. Teams may look at us with zero points after three games and say they’re nothing special but I’m happy with that.”
Blacktown City 2 (Firth 44’, Borromeo 87’)
Saturday 2nd April, 2016
Melita Stadium, Granville
Parramatta FC: 21 M. Da Silva Santos, 22 F. Martey, 24 P. Katsetis, 25 D. Di Ruocco, 27 T. Borovickic, 32 J. Mobbs, 33 J. Diacono, 35 J. Taunton, 37 A. Gioiosa, 38 C. Carboni, 39 M. Davidson, 16 C. Finch, 28 N. Chymiak, 30 J. Jung, 31 A. Boyadjian, 34 A. Awaz
Yellow Cards: A. Awaz
Red Cards: Nil
Blacktown City FC: 1 N. Vekic, 23 J. Borromeo, 24 J. Mamone, 25 Z. Speth, 26 M. Ireland, 27 N. Andricopoulos, 28 G. Panayi, 29 L. Fraser, 31 J. Dodds, 32 P. Antelmi, 34 D. Askew, 35 F. Maya, 36 I. Dandan, 37 G. Firth, 40 L. Gallo
Yellow Cards: Z. Speth, P. Antelmi
Red Cards: Nil
Sutherland Sharks 2-3 Sydney Olympic, Saturday 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sydney Olympic produced one of the upsets of the round littered with surprising results by claiming a fantastic 3-2 come from behind victory over Sutherland Sharks at Seymour Shaw.
Adrian Vranic’s brace and Michael Gaitatzis’ first goal of the season inspired Harry Paras’ men to their first points of the campaign and it was a deserved victory for the visitors who produced a stunning second half comeback.
Sutherland looked set to make it three wins from their last three matches and had raced to a 2-1 lead at half-time through Jack Press’ double but Sydney’s struck after half-time through Gaitatzis and the comeback was secured with a late penalty that saw Vranic claim his fifth goal in three matches to move Olympic off the foot of the table.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2-0 Manly United, Saturday 5.00pm at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Bonnyrigg shocked competition leaders Manly United with a 2-0 victory at Bonnyrigg Sports Club with Harrison Bagot and Asmir Kadric consigning the visitors to their first defeat of the season.
It was a performance of huge promise from Stephen Sigmund’s men who claimed their critical first victory and clean sheet of the season at the fourth attempt to breathe much-needed oxygen into their campaign.
The result brings Manly United’s three-match winning streak to an end and sees Andrew Christiansen’s side drop to second place on the ladder, whilst Bonnyrigg now have a platform to build the rest of the campaign on.
Hakoah Sydney City East 2-2 APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Saturday 5.00pm at Hensley Athletic Field
Hakoah Sydney City East and APIA Leichhardt Tigers shared the points at Hensley Athletic Field with neither side able to break the deadlock in an even and entertaining affair.
It was Danial Cummins’ side’s first match of the season having had their opening trio of fixtures postponed due to their involvement in the Viareggio tournament in Italy, and they were good value for a point with Duncan Stewart netting a brace.
Brad Paikin and Emilio Manos netted for Hakoah in a result that sees Dino D’Agrosa and Pat Darvill men maintain their strong start to the season and place in the top four of the competition.
Wollongong Wolves 2-0 Blacktown Spartans, 3.00pm at WIN Stadium
Goals from Wollongong’s Blake Mcginn and Luke Foster have given a weakened Blacktown Spartans outfit their first defeat of the season succumbing 2-0 to Alfredo Esteves’ Wolves on the south coast.
Wollongong are unbeaten in their last three after opening the new campaign with defeat at home to Hakoah Sydney City East and are now within touching distance of the competition lead with Manly United also suffering their first setback of the season.
Rockdale City Suns 2-0 Sydney United 58, Sunday 3.00pm at Illinden Sports Centre
Sydney United 58’s poor start to the season continued with defeat away at Rockdale City Suns who cruised to a 2-0 victory at Illinden Sports Centre thanks to strikes from Tolgay Ozbey and Yerasimakis Petratos.
Coming off a consecutive losses at home to Wollongong and Hakoah Sydney City East, the win moves Rockdale level on points with sixth-placed Sutherland ensures Sydney United remain at the foot of the table with a solitary point from their opening four matches.
–By Jacob Windon