It wasn’t pretty but Rockdale City Suns were able to hold on to a 2-1 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s win against Blacktown Spartans at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
The Suns broke through in the opening stages courtesy of a Dylan Macallister strike before Andre Carle levelled the scores for Blacktown.
A late Alec Urosevski goal won the game in the 77th minute for Rockdale as they continued their climb up the ladder.
Dylan Macallister opened the scoring in the 7th minute when he masterfully headed home an exquisite cross from Toufic Almeddine.
Shu Susaki should have levelled for the Spartans when Nick Petrillo played a weak back pass to David Bradasevic. The nippy winger was able to run on to the ball but looped his curling effort over the bar.
The visitors found Rockdale a difficult opponent to confront but Andre Carle was able to level the scores in the 20th minute with a powerful shot.
Carle’s goal lifted his Blacktown side and they were soon on the attack again but were unable to capitalise.
Futa Nakamura chanced his luck with a fiercely struck shot from the edge of the area that had Bradasevic down at full stretch. Blacktown was on the ascendancy at this point and didn’t allow Rockdale to settle back into their stride.
Josh Tanner did well down the left and centred for Jordan Crighton who forced Bradacevic into a fine save at his near post in the 33rd minute.
Rockdale’s sluggish transition into defence allowed Blacktown to remain on the attack but the visitors couldn’t capitalise before the half time break.
It was Crighton again in the 59th minute that forced Bradasevic into another fine save, this time pushing the ball over the bar after the Blacktown striker cut in from the left.
Blacktown’s transition into attack was superb in going forward and back in numbers and at pace as a unit. It was proving a very effective tool in their arsenal until Alex Urosevski scrambled home in the 73rd minute to give the Suns the lead for the second time in the game. It was effectively his last touch when replaced by Hristijan Tanoski.
It was a bitter pill for Blacktown to take but the story of their season to date.
Tanoski had a shot cleared off the line in the 84th minute but It mattered little to the Spartans as they once more found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat after a battling performance.
“It’s the story of our season where we create plenty of chances but cannot find the net,” Spartans coach Ben De Haan said.
“That’s it in a nutshell for us. We’ve battled well and lose out to what we feel looked like an offside goal. However, that’s football and we’ll just have to keep going and turn the corner.
“I’m certain we’ll start tucking a few of the chances away we are creating.”
Rockdale coach Paul Reid lamented his side’s poor performance despite clinching the win.
“It was probably our worst performance of the season to be honest,” he said.
“We knew it would be a hard game for us against the Spartans, they are a good side and probably deserved to win the game. I’m proud of the way the boys dug in and showed we can grind out a result and win ugly if we need to.
“It was important we kept pressure on those above us and at this time of the season we’re just happy to take the points tonight.”
Rockdale City Suns 2 (Macallister 7’, Urosevski 73’)
Blacktown Spartans 1 (Carle 20’)
Sunday, 26th June, 2016
Ilinden Sports Centre
Referee: James Lewis
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields & Bradley Wright
Fourth Official: Chris Hughes
Rockdale City Suns: 1. BRADASEVIC David, 2. PETKOVSKI Daniel ©, 4. MCCLENAHAN Trent, 5. REID Paul, 6. RICCIUTO Blake, 7. UROSEVSKI Alex (11. TANOSKI Hristiian 76’), 8. CANAK Alex (10. MAKRILLOS Peter 69), 9. MACALLISTER Dylan (12. EL HAFIANE Idriss 86’), 15. PETRILLO Nick, 16. SAVOR Isaac, 17. ALAMEDDINE Toufic
Substitutes Not Used: 19. SAVOR Patrick, 22. BAZI Andrew
Yellow Cards: Allameddine 69’, EL HAFIANE 90+4
Blacktown Spartans: 1. SALIADARRE Carlos ©, 3. TANNER Josh, 5. DUKIC Luka, 6. PERKATIS Yianni, 7. SASAKI Shu, 10. NAKAMURA Futa, 11. CRIGHTON Jordan (9. PROIA Anthony 86’), 14. MORTON Hayden (4. QUIGLEY Xavier 52’), 16. CARLE Andre, 20. TOSI Ben, 25. TRIFIRO Jason
Substitutes Not Used: 2. JAJAW Wand, 37. WHITE Aaron, 41. NASCIMBEN Domienic
Yellow Cards: Trifiro 25’, Pertakis 60’
-By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Micky Brock