Rockdale City Suns has stretched its unbeaten run to seven matches with a 1-0 win against Parramatta FC at Melita Stadium during its PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash on Sunday.
A 68th minute strike to classy midfielder Blake Ricciuto was the difference as the boys from Ilinden held on for a hard fought victory.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic though with Parramatta threatening right up until the final whistle.
Parramatta FC enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening fifteen minutes highlighted by Luke Grima’s wayward effort in the 11th minute.
The best chance for the Eagles fell to Marco Sama who cushioned the pass with his touch then had his shot deflected just out for a corner.
Rockdale worked their way into the contest and the visitors went the closest to opening the scoring after Dylan Macalister rounded the keeper but his shot was blocked off the line.
Gosue Sama played a nice sequence of passing with Aram Derazkala Tayebi to unlock the Suns defence but the shot was hit right at David Bradasevic in goal.
The visitors started the second half faster when Aleksandar Canak was played into the area but his shot was saved by Jayden Diacono.
Former Sydney FC man Paul Reid got into the act in the 50th minute but he could only fire wide.
Parramatta started the second half on the back foot but still had a gilt edged chance on the hour mark.
Gosue Sama drove into the box, evaded defenders before Rockdale needed a goal line clearance to deny him.
It took a heady piece of play to finally break the deadlock. Toufic Alameddine took his free kick quickly before he found Blake Ricciuto to finish off the move and give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Parramatta FC continued to threaten on set pieces when given the chance but some good agility from Bradasevic kept them at bay.
As the home side pushed men forward it left space for Alec Urosevski to exploit behind the defence. The pacy striker just couldn’t find a pass to settle the game.
Frank Martey played the hold up role well all game and started Parramatta’s best chance. He won the ball and Grima was one-on-one before a diving Bradasevic saved the day for Rockdale.
As the game ticked into injury time, Parramatta continued to throw players forward in the hope of an equaliser. They had a corner just before the whistle blew which ‘keeper Diacono joined but it was cleared.
Rockdale held on for a frantic and tense 1-nil victory to consolidate third and continue momentum headed into heritage round next weekend.
Suns player-coach Paul Reid was happy to take all three points.
"We knew they would sit back and hit on the counter with their height. We were patient and eventually the quality showed," said Reid.
"The three points were important to keep pace with the top teams and now we head into heritage round. A game all he boys enjoy against Bonnyrigg."
Conversely Paul Casey from Parramatta FC was disappointed in taking nothing from the match.
"The boys toiled hard and were in the whole game. We couldn’t take our chances and [Rockdale] just ran over us in the end,” He said
"We just couldn’t break them down in the first twenty minutes despite the lads best efforts.”
Parramatta FC 0
Rockdale City Suns 1 (Ricciuto ’68)
Sunday 22nd May 2016
Parramatta FC: 5. Tomislav MIJIC, 6. Daniel GULLO, 7. Frank MARTEY, 8. Daniel REZO (MANNA), 9. Gosue SAMA, 10. Marco SAMA, 14. Luke GRIMA, 17. Joshua GERSBACH (MALLET (KATSETIS), 20. Ibrahim HAYDAR, 23. Aram DERAZKALA TAYEBI, 33. Jayden DIACONO
Substitutes not used: 1. Corey FINCH and 19. Blake RICHARDS
Yellow cards: Martey ’41, Sama ’78
Red cards: nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1. David BRADASEVIC, 3. Steven HESKETH, 4. Trent MCCLENAHAN, 5. Paul REID, 6. Blake RICCIUTO, 8. Aleksandar CANAK (UROSEVSKI), 9. Dylan MACALLISTER (TANOSKI), 10. Peter MAKRILLOS (P. SAVOUR ’91), 15. Nicholas PETRILLO, 16. Isaac SAVOR, 17. Toufic ALAMEDDINE
Substitutes not used: 12. Idriss EL HAFIANE and 22. Andrew Bazzi
Red cards: nil
3 – Blake Ricciuto (Rockdale City Suns)
2 – Gosue Sama (Parramatta FC)
1 – David Bradasevic (Rockdale City Suns)
-By Justin Davies, Playstation 4 Men’s Naional Premier League 1 reporter