Blacktown Spartans and Sutherland Sharks couldn’t hit the back of the net in a hard fought 0-0 draw during their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Clash at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday.
Both sides were looking to climb their way off the bottom of the ladder after a string off losses.
The Spartans began brightly as they looked to put their poor performance from last round behind them.
Jordan Crighton started strong for the hosts and provided an excellent cross in the opening minutes. However, there was nobody in the penalty area to finish his delivery.
Both sides moved the ball quickly from defence with long balls being hit without too much potency.
Shu Sasaki had a brilliant chance for Blacktown in 15th minute after drawing the keeper out, but he failed to execute.
Sutherland’s Tomohiro Kajiyama showed good intensity providing options on both sides of the field.
After a quite opening 20 mintues, Sharks keeper Nathan Denham sprung into life with a brilliant save to deny Sasaki.
He was called upon a minute later after a scrap just metres from goal forced him into another desperate save.
Sutherland pressed dangerously in the last 10 minutes of the half, consistently finding space on the left edge.
James Andrew almost had a goal after pouncing onto a through ball. However, the Sharks winger couldn’t get his shot away courtesy of some tough Spartan defence.
In the dying minutes of the half, Sutherland’s Joshua Da Silva failed to strike against his former club when he hammered his shot high and wide after a slick set up from Andrew.
Sutherland began the second half on a mission with some enterprising play from Kajiyama.
The dynamic midfielder was all set in lining up a beautiful shot from the top of the box, but was brought down in a strong tackle.
The best chance of the half came for Andrew moments later.
Jordan Figon drew the keeper out and squared a ball to the feet of Andrew but the winger could on only strike the ball over the crossbar of the open goal
The away side continued to press heavily in attack and was unlucky to see a shot bounce off the bar as the Spartan defence struggled to contain the strikers.
Sutherland were starting to control the game and had plenty of time to set up attacking raids from midfield.
In the 70th minute, the experienced Jacob Ott was injected into the game, and the Spartan’s tempo lifted.
Ott was on fire, his speed and ball movement troubling Sutherland. The Spartans began to turn the tide with some composed passes, and a great shot from Ott just evaded the left goal post.
Kajiyama worked tirelessly in midfield, attempting to spark the Sharks’ attack, his energy levels showing no sign of dropping.
Futa Nakamura came off the bench in the final 10 minutes and almost had a goal with his first touch.
After pouncing onto a loose ball after a scrap in the box, his shot was on target but bounced off a Sutherland player.
Sutherland soon regained composure and controlled possession well in the final stages off the match, but couldn’t find the knockout blow.
Kajiyama almost got a miracle header in the final minutes, but the ball sailed just centimeters over his head, with the match ending in a 0-0 draw
Sutherland coach Carlos Villazon conceded his side couldn’t make the most of the chance they had
“This is football, I’m still really happy with the performance. I think in general we played really good football but sometimes we couldn’t finish off in the critical areas,” he said.
Ben De Haan was left to rue another missed opportunity to secure a home-ground win.
“First half we probably should have sunk two of those chances but front third wise I thought we went missing,” he said.
“In terms of playing there wasn’t much between the teams.:
Blacktown Spartans 0
Sutherland Sharks 0
Saturday 14th May, 2016
Blacktown Football Park
Referee: T. Nash
Assistant Referees: L Greenshield & R. Osborne
Fourth Official: A Vainauskas
Blacktown Spartans: 1. SALIADARRE, Carlos, 3. TANNER Josh 4. MUTCH, William (10. NAKAMURA, Futa 82’), 5. DUKIC, Luka, 6. PERKATIS, Yianni 7. SASAKI, Shu, 9. PROIA, Anthony (8. OTT, Jacob 70’), 11. CRIGHTON, Jordan (25. GAUTHIER, Amaury 60’) 14. MORTON, Hayden 15. WHITESIDE, Thomas, 20. TOSI, Benjamin.
Substitutes Not Used: 17. TOMIHIRO, Hyams, 41. NASCIMBEN Domenic,
Yellow Cards: Tosi 69’, Perkatis 81’, Whiteside 84’, Nakamura 93’
Red Cards: Ni
Sutherland Sharks: 1. DENHAM Nathan, 3. MURAYAMA Takuya, 4. KAYES Stephen (8. McSTAY Chris 45’), 5. LITTLER Nick, 9. FIGON Jordan, 10. DA SILVA Joshua, 12. STERGIOU Lukas,15. MOUSTAKAS Perry, (37. FABIANO, Claudio 62’) 17. ANDREW James (16. CASTRO-GOMEZ Laureano 75’), 19. FITZPATRICK Callum, 35. KAJIYAMA Tomohiro
Substitutes Not Used: 21. LOE, Nikolas 7. PRESS, Jack
Yellow Cards: Kayes 34’ Fitzpatrick 54’
Red Cards: Nil
3- Tomohiro Kajiyama (SS)
2- Jordan Crighton (BS)
1- James Andrew (SS)
-By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Harry Easton