An Ante Tomic brace has helped a canny Parramatta FC side to a priceless 2-1 comeback victory against Bonnyrigg White Eagles in its PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Bonnyrigg Sports Club on Saturday.
Franco Consentino’s side got off to the worst possible start when Ibrahim Haydar sliced into his own net but Tomic’s excellently claimed double, which put him to four four goals for the year, salvaged the three points for the visitors who valiantly withstood a landslide of second half pressure from their opponents.
It was a match won and lost in thirds for the home side, who had convincingly dominated the opening half hour but struggled to open up a well-drilled and energetic Parramatta.
But it was a shrewd performance from Parramatta who, helped immensely by a pair of tirelessly committed cameos from brothers Gosue and Marco Sama, executed their second-half defensive mission with impressive aplomb.
The failure to capitalise on a comical own goal from Parramatta FC skipper Ibrahim Haydar, who turned a devilish cross from White Eagles flyer Aaron Peterson into his own net after fifteen minutes, will haunt Brian Brown’s side who wasted a catalogue of opportunities in the opening 30 minutes.
Following his pivotal role in Haydar’s own goal, the jet-heeled forward nearly doubled the home side’s advantage when his snapshot on the edge of the box skipped past Parramatta shot stopper Luke Turnbull’s far post.
There was a danger of the hosts running away with the affair with Parramatta increasingly fortunate to survive a series of aerial raids from the White Eagles.
But Parramatta steadied the ship at the back end of the first half and restored parity through Tomic, who rounded James Chronopoulos with a heavy touch but recovered spectacularly to squeeze the ball into the vacant goal from the tightest of angles.
Bonnyrigg went close to regaining its lead in the second half through Yuta Kokado who could only find the side netting after an insightful piece of hold up play from Peterson.
It would prove a crucial miss for the home side, with Parramatta edging in front moments later through Tomic’s deflected effort.
Although the goal arrived in unfortunate circumstances for the White Eagles, it was a wonderfully executed counter-attack from Parramatta, who benefitted from a quick-fire exchange between Marco Sama and Aram Tayebi-Derezkala on the right hand side before Tomic struck on the edge of the area.
Cumbersome in the final third despite boasting a wealth of attacking position, Bonnyrigg could not break down a resolute and spirited Parramatta defence, who were marshalled expertly by Haydar, who turned in a commanding performance following his first-half misfortune.
White Eagles shot stopper James Chronopoulous lamented his side’s failure to profit from the lion’s share of possession.
“It was a tough match for us because Parramatta were defending deep and defending well.
“We were on top during that second half and unlucky to concede the second but that’s what happens at this level.
Chronopoulous cited the battling physicality of the visitors, particularly from the Sama brothers, as one of the side’s key pitfalls on a frustrating evening.
“We’ve known what the Sama brothers can do for a long time, they’re always tough to play against and they were excellent today”.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles (Haydar (OG) 14’)
Parramatta (Tomic 40’, 54’)
Saturday 30th April
Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1. CHRONOPOULOS James, 21. CHUN Bo-Hyun, 16. GALLAWAY Samuel, 17. GIL Mun-Soo, 5. JENNER Adam, 10. KOKADO Yuta, 7. KONDEK Gregory, 19. PETERSON Aaron, 4. ROBINSON Michael, 3. VRANKOVIC David, 9. YOUNIS Robert
Substitutes Not Used: 2. MANSUETO Alexander, 13. McKENZIE James, 20. SAVICIC Stevan, 14. McDONALD Taylor, 8. TUCKER, Hayden
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Parramatta FC: 19. BROWN Blair (8. REZO Daniel 75’), 20. GERSBACH, Joshua, 6. GULLO Daniel, 15. HAYDAR Ibrahim, 18. MALLET Tom, 5. MIJIC Tomislav, 9. SAMA Gosue, 10. SAMA Marco (14. GRIMA Luke 88’), 23. TAYEBI-DEREZKALA Aram, 11. TOMIC, Ante, 1. TURNBULL, Luke
Substitutes not used: 33. DIACONO Jayden, 13. VAIS, Andreas, 3. DAVIDSON, Mitchell
Yellow Cards: 9. SAMA Gosue 75’
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Ante Tomic (PAR)
2 – Gosue Sama (PAR)
1 – Ibrahim Hayder (PAR)
–By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Jacob Windon