Sydney United 58 FC came away with an important 2-1 victory against neighbours Bonnyrigg White Eagles in the PlayStation 4 NSW NPL at a hazy Sydney United Sports Centre on Mother’s Day.
Two first half goals from Chris Payne and new recruit Jacob Tratt were enough to get United 58 FC over the line despite the White Eagles coming back strong in the second half.
The home side had the first opportunity inside the first minute as Panni Nikas stepped up to take a free kick 30 metres out.
James Chronopoulos moved early and saved well from Nikas’ testing shot.
In the seventh minute, Nick Stavroulakis had an attempt from distance but it failed to trouble the Bonnyrigg shot stopper.
The match saw its first goal and major highlight as the home side took the lead in the 15th minute.
Nikas went down after a clumsy collision with Gallaway in the box as Kris Griffiths-Jones blew for the spot kick.
Payne stepped up and sent Chronopoulos the wrong way much to the elation of the home faithful.
In the 20th minute, Nikas should’ve doubled the home teams lead.
Robert Mileski sent in a teasing ball from the left as Nikas ran onto it, only for Chronopoulos to charge out.
The Bonnyrigg keeper spilled the ball and Nikas’ follow up crashed against the post and went out.
Five minutes before the break United 58 FC almost made it two.
Matthew Bilic cut the ball back for Payne who attempted a cheeky outside the foot shot from outside the area but Chronopoulos somehow managed to tip it over.
In the 44th minute United did make it two.
Nikas rode one challenge down the right and cut a beautiful ball back for Tratt at the edge of the area that gave Chronopoulos no chance, smashing the ball into the back of the net.
Robbie Younis’ second half introduction saw his team lift and David Vrankovic could’ve cut the deficit in the 48th minute, after connecting with a Gallaway free kick, only for Manos to save from point blank range.
United almost made it three after fantastic build up play saw Mileski break into the box who then squared it to Yutaro Shin who somehow missed the whole goal.
In a crazy couple minutes, Bonnyrigg hit back through Younis.
Stavroulakis and Peter Triantis brought down Ray Miller inside the box giving Griffiths-Jones no other alternative but to point to the spot.
Younis sent his spot kick straight down the middle and it was game on.
In the 77th minute Vrankovic had a great chance after Aaron Peterson’s cut back, only for his shot to sail over.
Only two minutes later and possibly the goal line save of the season.
Payne played through Nikas who had an open goal to aim at, or so he thought, blasting a ball toward the back of the net, only for Michael Robinson to save off the line that kept the White Eagles in the match.
Younis put his deadly left foot to use again, this time from a free kick just outside the area with five minutes to go.
The ball clipped the wall and went inches wide of the far post and out for a corner.
The White Eagles couldn’t create a final chance in what was an enthralling fixture as Sydney United 58 FC came away with all three points keeping them top of the competition ladder after round 9.
Sydney United 58 FC defender Tomislav Uskok was delighted with the Reds picking up a valuable victory against the White Eagles.
“It was a great victory, a fiery match, I didn’t know what to expect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“The boys dug deep and as a collective got the result we needed today.
“Moving forward, we know that we are taking each game as it comes so our focus now is on Manly United.”
A dejected Younis lamented that the loss was tough to take.
“I think we gave United 58 FC too much respect in the first half.
“But a change in formation at half time and some high pressing changed the complexion of the match however it wasn’t enough.”
Sydney United 58 2 (Payne 15’, Tratt 44’)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Younis 51’)
Sunday 8th May, 2016
Sydney United Sports Centre
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields & Scott Edeling
Fourth Official: Matthew McOrist
Sydney United 58: 21. Manos, 20. Uskok, 24. Tratt, 17. Kofinas, 19. Bilic, 14. Stavroulakis, 8. Triantis (3. Mochizuki), 23. Nikas, 7. Shin, 10. Mileski, 6. Payne (11. Taneski).
Substitutes: 1. Depta, 2. Vlismas, 4. Vrlic.
Yellow Cards: Nikas 17’, Stavroulakis 51’, Kofinas 78’, Triantis 85’, Manos 90+4’
Red Cards: N/A
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1. Chronopoulos, 4. Robinson, 6. Zonjic (2. Mansueto 71’), 16. Gallaway, 3. Vrankovic, 15. Miller, 21. Chun, 17. Gil, 10. Kokado (Tucker 58’), 19. Peterson36. Kadric (9. Younis 46’).
Substitutes: 20. Savicic, 13. Mckenzie.
Yellow Cards: Vrankovic 37’, Peterson 57’, Mansueto 72’
Red Cards: N/A
3 – Jacob Tratt (SU58)
2 – Panni Nikas (SU58)
1 – Michael Robinson (BWE)