Sydney United 58 has improved its PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s Premiership credentials with a gutsy 3-2 win against Rockdale City Suns at Sydney United Sports Centre.
First half strikes from Chris Payne and Masato Mochizuki helped establish a 3-1 first half lead for the home side in monsoonal weather conditions.
Dylan Macallister struck for the visitors from the penalty spot while an Aleks Canak goal in the second half gave Rockdale a sniff of a comeback.
However, United 58 held strong in an end to end match to stretch its lead at the top of the competition to four points.
The driving rain failed to change the home side’s attacking philosophy and it paid dividends after only four minutes.
An arching cross delivered by Jacob Tratt hit a wide open Chris Payne who headed home past the outstretched arms of David Bradasevic.
United 58 built on its momentum and continued to attack.
Shin Yutaro missed a golden opportunity when he scuffed his shot inside the box with only the keeper to beat.
Rockdale fought its way back into the match but the action became bogged down in midfield.
In the 35th minute Rockdale’s Trent McClenahan paid the price for a lazy challenge in the box when the referee awarded Sydney United 58 a penalty after he took down Payne.
Payne stepped up and buried the ball into the back of the net from the spot to double the home side’s lead.
Rockdale’s fate was reversed moments later when they were awarded a penalty after some physical play from Sydney United 58’s Tomislav Uskok.
Veteran striker Dylan Macallister didn’t miss a beat to score from the spot kick.
The home side were quick to react after they conceded and were able to regain a two goal lead thanks to a bit of luck.
A poorly hit free kick from Eddy Bosnar took a touch off United 58 defender Masato Mochizuki with the ball bobbling up and over Bradasevic in the Rockdale goal.
It was an explosive end to the first half and Paul Reid’s side were determined to carry that intensity into the second stanza.
Blake Ricciuto led by example with his hard running creating chances for the visitors.
United 58 shot stopper Thomas Manos denied Rockdale what appeared a clear cut chance in the 60th minute with an incredible reaction save.
The addition of Makrillos in the 69th minute appeared an inspired decision with the midfielder making his presence felt within moments of stepping onto the field.
A powerful yet speculative shot from Makrillos from 30 yards out was parried by Manos into the path of Canak who tapped home to cut Sydney United 58’s lead to 3-2 with 20 minutes to play.
With a point in reach Rockdale pushed even further forward up the pitch with Sydney United 58’s defence searching for answers.
Sydney United 58 FC failed to kill off the match and it nearly cost them the win.
Rockdale’s Makrillos led the charge but lacked a final telling ball as the clock cut the visitors comeback short.
It was a nervous ending to the match for United 58 but they had done enough to hold on to the win at the final whistle.
Sydney United 58 3 (Payne 4’ 35’, Mochizuki 43’)
Rockdale City Suns 2 (Macallister 39’, Canak 69’)
Round 15, Saturday June 18, 2016
Sydney United Football Centre, Edensor Park
Referee: C. Young
Assistant Referees: J.Park & N. Wooton
Fourth official: M. Bailey
SYDNEY UNITED 58: 21. MANOS Thomas, 3. MOCHIZUKI Masato, 4. BOSNAR Eddy, 6. PAYNE Chris, 7. SHIN Yutaro (11. TANEKSI Nikola 85’), 8. TRIANTIS Peter, 10. MILESKI Robert, 14. STAVROULAKIS Nicholas, 20. USKOK Tomislav, 23 NIKAS Panagiotis, 24. TRATT Jacob.
Substitutes not used:, 12. STEWART Jack, 17. KOFINAS Theo, 30 BABIC Luke, 33 SHERLOCK Nathan
Yellow Cards: Tomislav Uskok 39’
Red Cards: Nil
ROCKDALE CITY SUNS: 1. BRADASEVIC David, 2. PETKOVSKI Daniel, 4. MCCLENAHAN Trent, 5. REID Paul, 6. RICCIUTO Blake, 8. CANAK Aleksander, 9. MACALLISTER Dylan, 11. TANOSKI Hristijan (7. UROSEVSKI Alec 60’), 15. PETRILLO Nicholas, 16. SAVOR Isaac (19. SAVOR Patrick 87’), 17. ALAMEDDINE Toufic (10. MAKRILLOS Peter 67’),
Substitutes not used: 22. BAZI Andrew, 12. EL HAFIANE Idriss
Yellow Cards: Aleks Canak 20’
Red Cards: Nil