The Blacktown Spartans found their way back into the winners circle with a 2-1 victory against Wollongong Wolves in their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Round 4 clash at WIN Stadium on Sunday.
Goals either side of half-time from Anthony Proia and Shu Sasaki cancelled out a Peter Simonoski goal to give the Spartans a win after their heavy loss last week.
The first real chance of the game fell to Wolves striker Peter Simonoski who beat his defender but had his shot blocked from inside the box.
In the 8th minute a corner was awarded to Blacktown Spartans and a weak clearance from the home side led to the ball falling to Benjamin Tosi.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Tosi’s shot from outside the area went straight at the goalkeeper.
The first goal of the game almost came in the 18th minute when David Stojic made his way into the box but his shot narrowly sailed over the crossbar.
Five minutes later Brendan Griffin found himself with some space out on the right but he too blasted over shot over the crossbar
From the resulting goal kick the ball found its way to the wing and a cross from Tosi was expertly finished off on the volley by Anthony Proia to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Back to back corners from the Wolves in the 31st minute almost led to an equaliser from Simonoski but the ball went behind for a goal kick.
A yellow card on the edge of the box for Will Mutch in the 34th minute gave the Wolves a chance but Griffins shot was deflected away for a corner.
From the resulting corner the visitors were able to counter but Wolves keeper Justin Pasfield was able to stop the danger.
The first chance of the second half came the home side’s way when a Wolves corner kick fell to Simonoski once again he could only aim his shot straight to the goalkeeper.
A minute later the Spartans pushed forward with Jacob Ott finding himself with some space after using some good footwork.
But as had been the case for most of the players, Ott’s final touch let him down as his shot went straight at Pasfield.
A thunderbolt in the 71st minute from a free kick from Ricky Zucco tested the Spartans goalkeeper but he was equal to the task and pushed it away for a corner.
Only seconds later an error at the back led to a gift for Peter Simonoski who took it and side-footed the ball past the goalkeeper for the equaliser.
But there would be further drama four minutes later when a free kick against the Wolves led to the ball being fed into the box where Shu Sasaki made no mistake to give the Spartans the lead once again.
Both sides played some enterprising football in the last 15 minutes with Wollongong looking to find an equaliser but it would not come as the Spartans held on for the win.
Spartan’s head coach Ben De Haan was happy with the win but stressed his side needs to improve after two wins on the road and two losses at home.
“I was happy with the performance in patches but at times we were a little bit scrappy and made a few little mistakes which was why we gave away the goal,” he said,
“If you have a look at our results this season, the wins are away and the losses are at home.
“We have to work on that as we have two home games coming up. We have to make sure they’re two wins.”
For Wolves head coach Jacob Timpano, it was a similar story to how the season started.
“If you look at the stats, Spartans had two shots on goal and got two goals. We had eight or nine and obviously got the one for it. But again it’s the case of us not putting away our chances,” he said.
“The effort is there but I think today and the last couple of weeks highlighted that we do have a lack of depth and an injury or two really affects us. Unfortunately that’s the cards we’ve been dealt.”
After the loss this week, the Wolves head on the road where they face APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC while the Spartans are at home to Rockdale City Suns FC.
Wollongong Wolves: 1 (Simonoski 72’)
Blacktown Spartans: 2 (Proia 24’, Sasaki 76’)
Sunday, April 3 2016
WIN Stadium, Wollongong.
Wollongong Wolves: Pasfield, Kawase, Baldacchino, Griffin, Lazarevski (Lombo 83’), MacKenzie, Matthews, Price, Simonoski (B. Zucco 86’), Stojic (R. Zucco 64’) , Wilson
Substitutions not used: McGinn, Collison
Yellow Cards: Simonoski 36’, MacKenzie 45’, R. Zucco 68’, Baldacchino 88’
Red Card: Nil
Blacktown Spartans: Dukic, Mutch, Nakamura, Ott, Perkatis, Proia (Dullak 85’), Carlos Saliadarre, Sasaki, Tosi (Gauthier 61’), Vazquez, Whiteside
Substitutions Not Used: Kamara, Nascimben, Morton
Yellow Cards: Mutch 34’, Perkatis 38’
Red Card: Nil
3 – Sasaki (Spartans)
2 – Simonoki (Wolves)
1 – Griffin (Wolves)
-By Jake Bull, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at WIN Stadium, Wollongong.