After every round of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Men’s season Team of the Week brings to focus the best players from that weekend.
Manly United have turned in a commanding performance in the Shire, trumping the home side 3-1 thanks to a strong partnership between Dejan Pandurevic and Adam Parkhouse. The latter had a hand in all three goals, with some delightful crosses keeping the Sharks scrambling in defence. Parkhouse kept the Manly midfield unit ticking over nicely, keeping the pressure on Sutherland throughout the match and starving them of the ball. Pandurevic was deadly in front of goal, the former Central Coast Mariner netting two pinpoint headers which ultimately delivered victory to the Manly outfit.
A see-sawing contest in Bonnyrigg saw the hosts prevail with a gutsy 4-2 win over Rockdale. Having surrendered a two goal buffer, the home side needed something special to regain the lead. After impressing with his composure and determination in the first half, it was Ray Miller who stepped up when the game was in the balance, with a magnificent curling shot that found the net in the 70th minute. Bonnyrigg were rallied superbly by captain David Vrankovic, who led well from the back. The former Olyroo was effective in attack as well, with a clinical finish in the first half giving Bonnyrigg a handy lead. Despite a spirited fightback, Vranckovic’s men took the points.
In his debut season with Hakoah City Suns, Lee Jones showed why he belonged at the NPL1 level with a classy performance against Wollongong. Playing on the left wing, Jones caused havoc down the flank with some excellent runs. His first half free kick from well outside the 18-yard box nearly found its way in, putting the Wolves defence on notice. They failed to learn their lesson when a second free kick presented Jones with a chance to atone and he executed with a stunning strike that snuck through. The Wolves fought back well, with Joshua MacDonald sparking his side with some relentless attacking football. His 88th minute free kick was unfortunately blocked, but Stefan Dimoski picked up the scraps to allow Wollongong to escape with a 1-1 draw.
A man-of-the-match performance from Parramatta’s Luke Grima has lifted his side to a 3-1 win, condemning Spartans to another loss. The Maltese maestro was electric up front, darting dangerously around the penalty area. With scores locked up just past the hour mark, and with Parramatta’s season delicately poised, it was Grima who let rip with a powerful shot to hand his side the lead. The Spartans outfit couldn’t find an equaliser, with a late goal securing the crucial three points Parrmatta need to keep pace with the competition.
Sydney Olympic also bagged a win that kept them in the hunt for a top five finish. After falling behind in the first half, an inspired display from Will Angel gave Olympic the edge they were missing in attack. After starting at right back, Angel moved into an attacking role in the second half, and immediately started to trouble the APIA defence. He was was unlucky to be denied a goal after a blistering run into the box to meet a pass, but set up his side’s second in the 82nd minute with a delightful cross to see his side home.
The highly anticipated clash between competition Blacktown City didn’t disappoint with some remarkable individual performances across the field. Former Sydney FC defender Jacob Tratt was solid at the back for United 58, denying the classy City attack some crucial chances. Panni Nikas again stamped his mark as one of the competitions finest midfielders with a commanding role highlighted by his endless stamina. With the game deadlocked at the hour mark, Nikas delivered the perfect ball for Yutaro Shin who finished beautifully. However the real hero of the match was United 58 goalkeeper Thomas Manos. Facing countless raids from the City attack, lead by Danny Choi, Manos pulled off some thrilling reflex saves. It was a brave performance from the City shot stopper, as he kept the visitors scoreless and deservedly picked up man-of-the-match honours.
GK – Thomas Manos – Sydney United 58
LB – Jacob Tratt – Sydney United 58
CB – David Vrankovic – Bonnyrigg White Eagles
RB – William Angel – Sydney Olympic
LM – Lee Jones – Hakoah Sydney City East
CM – Adam Parkhouse – Manly United
CM – Panni Nikas – Sydney United 58
RM – Ray Miller – Bonnyrigg White Eagles
ST – Josh MacDonald – Wollongong Wolves
ST – Luke Grima – Parramatta FC
ST – Dejan Pandurevic – Manly United
-By Harry Easton