Parramatta FC produced the shock of Round 15 of the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s Competition with a 1-0 win over Blacktown City at Lily’s Football Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The lone goal came to inspirational Parramatta captain Josh Symons in the 78th minute of the match which left Blacktown City hitting themselves after missing a host of chances throughout the match.
Prior to kick-off Blacktown City stalwart Matthew Lewis was awarded a plaque for his 200th first grade game for the club at the tender age of 26.
The match started at a frantic pace with both sides testing each other in heavy rain.
The first chance fell to Parramatta in the 5th minute as Ante Tomic found David Gullo who stepped onto his right foot before his strike was easily saved by Blacktown goalkeeper Nenad Vekic.
Blacktown came right back at their opponents a minute later with Mitchell Mallia taking on the defence on the right hand side before his cut back was intercepted by a sliding Ibrahm Haydar.
The home side got into their normal passing game in the 9th minute with a great passage of playing ending in Mallia finding Patrick Antelmi on the edge of the box with the latter unable to control his left footed shot.
Mallia continued the pressure on the Parramatta defence and this time created a fantastic chance for himself on the left hand side in the 17th minute. After receiving the ball on the edge of the box, Mallia easily stepped past his defender and into the box before his rocketing shot was well saved by Turnbull before Tayebi Derazkala cleared the ball.
Parramatta started to move forward and countered well in the 22nd minute with Ante Tomic finding Tayebi Derazkala on the left whose attempted cross was deflected out by Shane D’Cunha.
Tomic was in the thick of the action again three minutes later with a fantastic through ball to David Gullo. The attacker picked up the ball on the right hand side before back heeling to Marco Sama. The attacker laid off to an oncoming Rezo whose shot sailed well over the bar.
Blacktown kept the pressure on Parramatta and in the 27th minute were unlucky to not take the lead with Antelmi chipping the ball to Major whose first time shot went wide of the left hand upright.
There were more promising signs for Blacktown City minutes later. Mallia sent a cross into the box from the right hand side which found Major who headed the ball across goal only for Joey Gibbs to not get there in time.
Gibbs almost made amends in the 31st minute when a failed clearance by Parramatta FC fell to the striker sitting right on the penalty spot. The former A-League player struck the ball into the ground forcing Turnbull off his line to punch the ball away.
Daniel Gullo started to get more involved in the attacking third for Parramatta and had a strike roll wide of the mark in the 36th minute.
Turnbull was called into action five minutes before the break, getting down well to save an impressive strike from Patrick Antelmi.
Mallia forced Turnbull into a spectacular save on the stroke of half time, picking up the ball on the edge of the box before his curling shot was tipped around the bar and out for a corner.
Parramatta almost took the lead within a minute of the second half when Zachary Cairncross’ missed header saw the ball bounce high into the box. Gosue Sama rose well to head the ball past an oncoming Vekic but luckily for the home side Matthew Lewis was back to clear the danger.
Ibrahim Haydar proved his defensive skill in the 51st minute, getting back well to block an Antelmi shot after a fantastic passage of play for Blacktown.
Two minutes later Parramatta moved the ball up the field as Sama set up Tomic on the edge of the box who miss hit his shot well over the bar.
Blacktown finally got back to their attacking best in the 54th minute. As Parramatta cleared two crosses, Mallia got the ball on the deck and found space on the right hand side. After dribbling towards the byline he fired a low cross which just missed a diving Gibbs at the back post.
Connor Evans thought he would have a crack in the 58th minute, winning the ball on the edge of the box before advancing and forcing another fantastic save by Turnbull.
Blacktown City head coach Mark Crittenden turned to his bench for inspiration in the 65th minute, bringing on speedster Danny Choi for Joey Gibbs. The change almost paid immediate dividends when Choi burst down the right hand side two minutes later with his impending cross claimed by Turnbull.
Parramatta continued their counter attacking game and in the 72nd minute Marco Sama found David Gullo blaring down the right hand side who took a touch before his cross was deflected out by a retreating Evans.
The ball finally hit the back of the net in the 74th minute when Tayebi Derazkala played a lovely ball into the box for Gosue Sama who easily shot past Vekic only for the referee to call the striker offside.
Four minutes later the deadlock was finally broken when Parramatta captain Joshua Symons rose well from a corner to head the ball past a scrambling Vekic to make it 1-0.
After taking the lead Parramatta were backed deep in their half as Blacktown ploughed players forward in the final ten minutes.
Giorgio Speranza had a chance to get a goal back for his side in the 84th minute when the ball popped up in front of him 25 yards out only for his volley to float wide of the mark.
With two minutes remaining Choi beat two players on the left before crossing with Major and Lewis both diving to head the ball into each other as Parramatta cleared.
Symons turned saviour in the final minute of play, throwing his body to block a Sasaki shot from point blank range.
Following the match Parramatta FC coach Franco Consentino said he was proud of his side’s resilience.
“It’s always hard playing Blacktown especially when you come to their ground but in saying that as a coach you don’t want to go into a game playing for a draw you always go for the win,” he said.
“I thought early in the first half we were up to it and later on they started creating chances.
“We came in (at half time) and had a chat and I was always confident we could get something.”
In the home dressing room Blacktown head coach Mark Crittenden said his side lacked the killer punch needed to take out the game.
“We had a lot of chances and that is two weeks in a row now,” he said.
“Credit to Luke Turnbull who did really well in goals and simply they were desperate, they through their body on the line.
“At times we thought we would score and they through their bodies in the way and it worked for them.
“We knew they would be dangerous off set pieces and they were, but other than that I didn’t think they created a chance and we were unlucky.”
Blacktown City FC 0
Parramatta FC 1 (Symons 78’)
Round 15, Sunday June 18, 2016
Lilly’s Football Centre, Seven Hills
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Assistant referees: James Teseriero and Danny Herstead
Fourth official: Tristan Harris
Blacktown City FC: 1. Nenad Vekic, 16. Patrick Antelmi (21. Riku Sasaki 74’), 19. Zachary Cairncross ©, 5. Shayne D’Cunha, 10. Connor Evans, 9. Joey Gibbs (11. Danny Choi 65’), 6. Matthew Lewis, 8. Sasa Macura, 7. Travis Major, 14. Mitchell Mallia, 3. Giorgio Speranza
Substitutions not used: 17. Lewis Beumie, 12. Jonathan Grozdanovski, 20. Luca Gallo
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Parramatta FC: 1. Luke Turnbull, 17. Josh Gersbach, 6. Daniel Gullo, 7. David Gullo, 20. Ibrahim Haydar, 8. Daniel Rezo (2. Ryan Johnstone 87’), 9. Gosue Sama 10. Marco Sama (13. Andreas Vais 90’), 4. Joshua Symons ©, 23. Aram Tayebi Derazkala, 11. Ante Tomic
Substitutions not used: 40. Jayden Diacono, 3. Blake Richards, 18. Tom Mallet
Yellow cards: G. Sama 77’, Turnbull 86’
Red cards: nil