A Ray Miller-inspired Bonnyrigg White Eagles returned to winning ways as they prevailed 4-2 over Rockdale City Suns in a see-sawing PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Bonnyrigg Sports Club.
Goals from Bo Hyun-Chun and skipper David Vrankovic saw the hosts’ race to a dominant 2-0 lead after an impressive first-half showing but the White Eagles surrendered their advantage in disastrous fashion when Rockdale restored parity midway through the second stanza through Alexsandar Canak and Toufic Alameddine.
But the pendulum swung once more in an engrossing Heritage Round affair with Miller edging Bonnyrigg back in front with a gorgeous curling strike before Robbie Younis came off the bench to add a match-sealing fourth after a calamitous error from Rockdale gloveman David Bradasevic.
Despite relinquishing a vice-grip on the contest in the second half it was a performance in stark contrast to last weekend’s meagre 1-1 stalemate with Wollongong as a spritely Bonnyrigg outfit sprung out of the gates against the championship dark horses from Ilinden Sports Centre.
A purposeful and incisive start bore instant dividends for the hosts when Bo Hyun-Chun finished off a sweeping one-touch move on the edge of the area.
And the Korean architect soon turned provider when his floated corner delivery was flicked past Bradasevic by Vrankovic to put Bonnyrigg two-nil up.
The visitors had barely offered a whimper going forward and their first-half misery was compounded when Stephen Hesketh spooned a golden chance over the bar on the half-time whistle.
Second-best all over the pitch in the first, Rockdale quickly pulled a goal back minutes into the second when Alexsandar Canak capitalized on a poor Bonnyrigg turnover to prod home at the back post.
And the side were level within moments of Canak’s strike when Toufic Alameddine thrashed a low drive past White Eagles stopper James Chronopoulos.
There was palpable frustration from the Bonnyrigg Sports Club faithful after watching another lead slip at home, but the game turned again when Miller drove forward from midfield and unleashed a fine curling effort beyond Bradasevic to put the White Eagles back in front.
Rockdale rallied following Miller’s strike with several dangerous flashes across the Bonnyrigg goal but Robbie Younis sealed a crucial three points for Brian Brown’s men late on, pouncing on a mistake from Bradasevic to fire into an empty net.
Rockdale player-coach Paul Reid lamented his side’s collapse in the final quarter of the affair.
“The boys fought extremely hard to get back to 2-2 so to give away two soft goals from that point on is incredibly frustrating, especially to come all the way here and leave with nothing,” he said.
“It’s not a massive setback in the context of our season, we’ve played twelve matches and lost twice and we’re happy with the position we’re in”.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 4 (Chun 14’, Vrankovic 37’, Miller 70’, Younis 85’)
Rockdale City Suns 2 (Canak 55’, Alameddine 62’)
Saturday 21st May 2016
Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1. CHRONOPOULOS James, 21. CHUN Bo-Hyun, 16. GALLAWAY Samuel, 17. GIL Mun-Soo, 10. KOKADO Yuta (36. KRADRIC Asmir 83’), 7. KONDEK Gregory, 15. MILLER Raymond, 19. PETERSON Aaron (9. YOUNIS Robert 79’), 4. ROBINSON Michael, 3. VRANKOVIC David, 6. ZONJIC Nikola
Substitutes not used: 18. JOVOVIC Alexander, 13. MCKENZIE James, 20. SAVICIC Steven
Yellow Cards: 7. KONDEK Gregory 19’, 4. ROBINSON Michael 74’, 36. KRADRIC Asmir 90’
Red Cards: N/A
Rockdale City Suns: 17. ALAMEDDINE Toufic (12. EL HAFIANE Idriss 80’), 1. BRADASEVIC David, 8. CANAK Aleksandar, 3. HESKETH Steven, 9. MACALLISTER Dylan, 10. MAKRILLOS Peter, 4. MCCLENAHAN Trent, 15. PETRILLO Nicholas, 5. REID Paul, 16. SAVOR Isaac
Substitutes not used: 22. BAZI Andrew, 19. SAVOR Patrick, 11. TANOSKI Hristijan, 14. LEKOSKI Aleksander
Yellow Cards: 15. PETRILLO Nicholas 9′, 6. RICCIUTO Blake 43’, 4. MCCLENAHAN Trent 51’, 3. HESKETH Steven 71’
Red Cards: N/A
3 – Ray Miller
2 – David Vrankovic
1 – Bo Hyun-Chun
-By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Jacob Windon