A brace to Alec Urosevski has helped Rockdale to a comprehensive 4-2 win in its PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash with Blacktown Spartans at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday.
A strong showing from the dynamic Toufic Alameddine helped power the Suns to a thoroughly deserved victory.
A goal in the opening exchanges for Rockdale’s Dylan Macallister dealt an early blow to Spartans, who were looking to put a poor home record behind them.
A foul in the 18-yard box presented the Rockdale veteran with an easy task, and he delivered perfectly after only two minutes.
Spartans’ midfielder Jacob Ott was switched on early and provided plenty of good ball to his wingers.
For Rockdale, Alameddine continued his strong run of form with a dominant presence on the wing.
The Rockdale attack continued to pressure after its early goal as Spartan’s goalkeeper Carlos Saliadarre was called on time after time in the home net.
Slick passing from Rockdale in the 18th minute looked certain to result in a goal but a brilliant save from Saliadarre denied the visitors from doubling their lead.
A fantastic shot in the 24th minute from Jacob Ott from beyond the 18-yard box looked set to sail into the top corner, if not for Rockdale’s David Bradesevic.
Apart from Ott’s strike, the Spartan attack couldn’t find its rhythm in the first half.
But against the run of play in the 34th minute, Blacktown opened its account when Anthony Proia hit the back of the net after a fine assist from Ott.
With the score at 1-1, Proia should have put Spartans in front a minute later but he failed to finish off a good low cross.
Rockdale’s strikers pressed aggressively in the closing stages of the half and were soon rewarded when Urosevski scored after a good passage of play down the left wing.
On the stroke of half-time Alameddine extended the visitors lead to 3-1.
Alec Urosevski provided Rockdale with the perfect start to the second half when he collected his second goal of the night in the 48th minute.
Alameddine almost bagged himself a brace in the 50th minute but his close-range shot was well saved by Saliadarre.
The Spartan midfield began to lose its shape as the half progressed
After a Spartan’s corner was cleared in the 55th minute, Rockdale went on an attacking raid down left wing, led by Alameddine, which saw him cut back in and shoot just wide.
Ott did his best to spark Blacktown, controlling the midfield brilliantly when the Spartans were in possession.
With the hour mark ticking over, Rockdale began to relax in defence and the Spartans began to take advantage.
A clinical play down the left edge presented a brilliant chance for Proia but he shot over the bar.
A substitution in the 84th minute had an immediate impact for the home team as Amaury Gauthier took to the field.
After he positioned himself well in the penalty area, Gauthier latched onto a good cross as his header sailed past the arms of Bradesevic to make it 4-2.
However the lead proved too big to reel in as Rockdale comfortably secured the three points with a 4-2 win.
Spartans coach Ben Da Haan was left to rue a drop in intensity in the first half that saw his side slip to a half-time deficit.
“Conceding a penalty in the first two minutes meant we were chasing the game straight away,” he said.
“Towards the end of the half we lost concentration and then to concede two in a row before halftime made it hard to come back in the second half.
“At the end of the day, I’ve got a young squad and they [Rockdale] have a seasoned squad, so we need to work on that. It looks like we’re tougher away than we are at home.”
Meanwhile, Rockdale’s Paul Reid was pleased with the performance but was disappointed with the second-half performance.
“Obviously happy to pick up the three points – we started off really well which we couldn’t do last week,” he said.
“We were looking comfortable but we let Blacktown back in the game. It was good to get those two late goals in the first half.
“If we’d finished the game 4-1 it would have been a really great result, but 4-2 is not as convincing. We can improve and the boys know that.”
Blacktown Spartans: 2 (Proia 34’, Gauthier 84’)
Rockdale City Suns: 4 (Macallister 2’, Uroseveski 42’, 48’, Alameddine 45’)
Saturday, April 9 2015
Blacktown Football Park, Rooty Hill
Referee: Michael Weiner
Assistant Referees: Thomas Lee, Nathan Wotton
Fourth Official: Matt McCrist
Blacktown Spartans: 1. Saliadarre, 2.Vazquez (Morton 52’), 4. Mutch, 5. Dukic, 6. Perkatis, 7. Sasaki, 8. Ott, (Gauthier 84’), 9. Proia 10. Nakaruma, 15. Whitside, Tosi (Crighton 65’)
Substitutes not used: 41. Nascimben, 16. Dullak
Yellow Cards: Dukic 25’
Red Cards: Nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1. Bradesevic, 2. Petkovski, 3. Hesketh, 4. Mclenahan, 5. Reid (El Hafiane 59’), 6. Riciutto, 7. Urosevski (Makrillos 65’) 17. Alameddine 8. Canak, 9. Macallister (Savor 82’) 15. Petrillo
Substitutes not used: 22. Bazi, 11. Tanoski
Yellow Cards: Reid 11’, Petrillo 36’
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Toufic Alameddine (RCS)
2- Alec Urosevski (RCS)
1- Jacob Ott (BS)
-By Harry Easton, PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Reporter, at Blacktown Football Park.