Star signing Jason Trifiro was unable to give Blacktown Spartans its first win home win of the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s season with Ben De Haan’s side suffering a 2-0 loss to Bonnyrigg on Saturday night.
Despite the best efforts of the former Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne City midfielder, Blacktown Spartans’ extended its horror run of form to nine weeks without a win.
Goals to former Spartan midfielders Raymond Miller and Greg Kondek ensured that the tough times continued at Blacktown Football Park.
It was a frantic opening to the contest with both goalkeepers called into action inside the first minute.
The game took a while to settle down, as both midfield units battled to gain control.
Miller was everywhere in the opening half hour as he looked to put his stamp on the contest.
Bonnyrigg were the first side to settle on the ball and pushed forward through winger Yuta Kokado. The Japanese import produced some crucial passes for the likes of Miller and Aaron Peterson to run onto.
The White Eagles broke through the stubborn Spartan defense in the 26th minute.
Miller took it upon himself to weave through Blacktown’s defense before a slick finish past Carlos Saliadarre for a 1-0 lead.
The visitors had full control of the contest and peppered Saliadarre after Miller’s opener. Greg Kondek made it 2-0 with ten minutes until halftime.
It started from White Eagles keeper James Chronopoulos’ release that found Kokado down the left. The winger drove into the box before he cut it back for Kondek to sweep home.
The hits kept coming as the White Eagles continued to zip the ball across the park on the slick surface and were unlucky not be three or four goals up at the break.
Bo-Hun Chun went closest with his free kick deflected out for a corner. The home side was hanging on for dear life.
As the rain started to tumble down at Blacktown Football Park – the Spartans gained some control of the contest in the second half.
Trifiro was an outlet for most of their attack and could’ve had a hat-trick himself on a different night. His best chance came in the 69th minute after a rare Chronopoulos error gave him room to pilot a shot over the bar.
That was the story of the second half and most of the season for the Spartans. They continued to push forward with Shu Sasaki, Trifiro and Jordan Crighton camped in the Bonnyrigg half.
As Spartans coach Ben De Haan urged his team forward, it left them open for a counter attack and the White Eagles introduced striker Robert Younis in the 77th minute as fresh legs against a weary Spartans defense.
He was a constant nuisance and could’ve iced the contest several times late on with his 85th minute header and 94th minute shot repelled.
In the end Bonnyrigg looked the more likely to put another in the net and Chronopoulos reflected that confidence after the match
"In the end I think we should’ve won more than 2-0. They [Spartans] had a chance in the ten minutes after half-time but overall we dominated," he said.
"Our back three were confident which didn’t leave much for me to do.”
Spartans coach Ben De Haan lamented another one of those nights.
"We dominated the whole second half and did enough to get something out the game. That is the story of our season thus far,” he said.
"We had a lot of chances to cutback but couldn’t finish. “
Blacktown Spartans 0
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Miller 26’, Kondek 36’)
Saturday 6th June 2016
Blacktown Football Park
Blacktown Spartans Football Club: 1. SALIADARRE Carlos, 3. TANNER Joshua (OTT ’83) 4. QUIGLEY Xavier, 5. DUKIC Luka, 6. PERKATIS Yianni (TOSI ’66), 7. SASAKI Shu, 10. NAKAMURA Futa, 11 CRIGHTON Jordan, 15. WHITESIDE Thomas, 16. CARLE Andre and 25. TRIFIRO Jason
Substitutes not used: 8. PROIA Anthony, 14. MORTON Hayden and 41. NASCIMBEN Domenic
Yellow cards: Perkatis ’28
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1. CHRONOPOULOS James, 3. VRANKOVIC David, 4. ROBINSON Michael, 6. ZONJIC Nikola, 7. KONDEK Greg (YOUNIS ’77), 10. KOKADO Yuta, 15. MILLER Raymond(MACKENZIE ’92), 16. GALLOWAY Samuel, 18. GIL Mun-Soo, 19. PETERSON Aaron(KADRIC ’89) and 21. CHUN Bo-Hyun
Substitutes not used: 20. SAVICIC Stevan and 23. TUCKER Hayden
Yellow cards: Miller ’28, Robinson ’45+2, Vrankovic ’43 and Gil ’90+4
*Player Ratings will be hidden till the end of the season where Football NSW will announce the 2016 PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s Team of the Year
-By PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s reporter Justin Davies