There is a new leader in the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 competition with Blacktown City hitting the lead after an emphatic Blacktown derby victory.
Meanwhile, Bonnyrigg White Eagles and APIA Leichhardt continue their superb recent form with wins over Sydney United 58 and Manly United, whilst Parramatta edged Hakoah Sydney City East to breathe new life into their season.
The Match of the Round was at Lambert Park where Sydney Olympic hosted Wollongong Wolves.
Match of the Round
Sydney Olympic 1-1 Wollongong Wolves, Sunday 1.00pm at Lambert Park
Ethan Kambisios snatched a late equalizer for Wollongong Wolves as they held Sydney Olympic to a gritty 1-1 draw at Lambert Park.
Olympic looked to have secured an important victory when Michael Loupis confidently scored from the spot late in the second half but Kambisios’ efforts salvaged a hard-earned point for Alfredo Esteves men in a result that sees both outfits remain well poised for a place in the top six as the season nears ever closer to the halfway mark.
It was a frustrating afternoon for both sides who offered an uncharacteristic lack of conviction in the final third despite a creating catalogue of opportunities.
There was plenty at stake as both fields took to the field with both outfits looking for a win to cement their finals credentials, but the match began on a sombre note as the two sides observed a moments silence for former Sydney Olympic goalkeeper Stefan Petrovski who passed away in tragic circumstances last week.
Fittingly, the first half was highlighted by the performances of both gloveman at either end, with Olympic shot-stopper Denver Crickmore and Wollongong custodian Daniel Collison offering a string of excellent saves to keep scores level.
The pick of the bunch was offered by Collison, who miraculously denied Olympic’s James Combes midway through the first half with a stunning reflex save from after the ball dropped to the centre-half on the volley inside the penalty area.
The Olympic skipper was equally sharp at the opposite end in containing the considerable threat of Wollongong forward Ricky Zucco.
The bustling striker proved to be a handful for the Olympic rearguard until his withdrawal, and he saw an early snapshot excellently parried by Crickmore and an ambitious bicycle kick fall onto the roof of the net.
With nothing to separate the two sides at the break it was Collison who came to the fore for Wollongong again to deny Olympic winger Aidan Taouil from opening the scoring when found unmarked at the back post.
It looked as though set-pieces would prove crucial to breaking the deadlock and Wollongong’s Joshua Orchard will lament a slew of chances that fell to the Wolves defender from a succession of corners.
Olympic eventually made the breakthrough on the counter attack when 15-year-old substitute Ali Dulleh was felled by Collison inside the box.
Michael Loupis, who turned in another fine performance at the pointy end of the Olympic frontline, hammered home from the spot to put John Theodoropoulos’ side in front.
The lead didn’t last long for the hosts and Wollongong found an instant reply through Kambisios who applied a delicate finish past Crickmore to restore parity.
Olympic had chances to steal it at the end through Loupis’ optimistic effort from range and were denied a last-gasp penalty after the attacker made a trademark dash in between defenders, but both sides were unable to be separated.
Olympic manager John Theodoropoulos rued the concession of the late equalizer but insisted his young side had proven their mettle in a physical encounter at Lambert Park and reflected on his side’s newfound defensive resilience.
“To concede the equalizer was very frustrating but I’m making sure that we don’t concede as easily and we’ve improved our defending in the past two weeks.
“I thought (the second penalty claim) was more of a penalty than the first one, but at the end of the day we had to field a very young side today so I’m happy with our performance”.
Sydney Olympic 1 (Loupis 70’)
Wollongong Wolves 1 (Kambisios 80’)
Sunday May 8 2016
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Sydney Olympic: 1 E. Davis, 20 D. Crickmore, 38 S. Athanaseris , 39 M. Nicolaou, 40 S. Katsionis, 42 T. Mourdoukoutas, 49 A. Hadjisocratous, 50 J. Combes, 51 S. Malfara, 52 M. Loupis, 58 J. Karipis, 59 C. Quilligan, 60 B. Patramanis, 61 A. Taouil, 62 D. Valiotis
Yellow Cards: 40 S. Katsionis
Red Cards: Nil
Wollongong Wolves: 1 D. Arcaba, 2 R. Zucco, 4 J. Orchard, 5 E. Kambisios, 6 S. Hristovski, 7 J. Lombo, 8 J. Ivanovic, 9 S. Rose, 11 B. Wilson, 12 D. Collison, 13 N. Djordjevic, 14 L. Foster, 16 J. Brodnik, 17 R. Delbanco, 18 B. Allport, 19 S. Dimoski
Yellow Cards: 12 D. Collison, 14 L. Foster, 8 J. Ivanovic
Red Cards: Nil
Sutherland Sharks 2-1 Rockdale City Suns, 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland Sharks secured back to back victories for the first time since round three after defeating Rockdale City Suns 2-1 at Seymour Shaw.
Allan Edmondson’s side opened the scoring through Jeremy Cox before Rockdale equalized through a deflected free-kick midway through the second half.
But Patrick O’Shea’s penalty was the difference between the two sides, with the midfielder’s late winner pushing Sutherland into fifth position.
Rockdale’s fifth defeat in a row leaves the side propping up the bottom of the table in eleventh position with finals hopes beginning to fade.
Blacktown City 4-1 Blacktown Spartans, 5.00pm at Lilys Football Centre
A peerless second half showing from Blacktown City paved way to a 4-1 derby defeat of Blacktown Spartans at Lilys Football Centre.
Nothing separated the sides for much of the game but the hosts seized control midway through the second half through Jonathan Grozdanovski’s double and goals to George Firth and Lewis Beumie.
Although the Spartans netted a solitary goal their grip on their top six berth grows ever frailer following a third defeat in their last four games.
It couldn’t be more opposed to their suburban rivals who now sit top of the table with a resounding fourth victory in a row and courtesy of Manly United’s home defeat to APIA Leichhardt.
Parramatta 3-2 Hakoah Sydney City East, 5.00pm at Melita Stadium
Parramatta prevailed in a 3-2 thriller over Hakoah Sydney City East in a result that sees Mark Zecchin’s side leapfrog Sydney United 58 and Rockdale City Suns at the foot of the table.
It was a topsy turvy encounter at Melita Stadium with Hakoah’s Emilio Manos and Domenic Cutri cancelling out a Nicholas Chymiak brace before Paul Katsetis snatched a huge late winner.
Hakoah’s slide continues – the Hensley Athletic Field outfit have lost four of their last five and are now just three points ahead of Saturday’s victors Parramatta in ninth.
Sydney United 58 0-1 Bonnyrigg White Eagles, 12.00pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
Bonnyrigg White Eagles continued their impressive ascension up the table with a 1-0 victory over Sydney United 58 at Sydney United Sports Centre.
Stephen Sigmund’s men are now in fourth position having secured five excellent wins from their last six and they had Dalibor Malesevic to thank for scoring a crucial goal in a heated derby encounter.
Sydney United 58 remain rooted to the bottom of the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 table following their sixth loss of the campaign.
Manly United 0-2 APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 1.00pm at Cromer Park
APIA Leichhardt stunned Manly United at Cromer Park with a striking 2-0 victory that sees Andrew Christiansen’s side overtaken by Blacktown City at the top of the PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 table.
Duncan Stewart’s sixth goal of the season and Kenta Hasegawa’s effort consigned Manly United to their second defeat of the campaign and continues APIA Leichhardt’s noteworthy momentum – the side from Lambert Park have now won four wins on the trot in their march to third position, lying three points below Manly United in second position.
–By Jacob Windon