Manly United returned to the top of the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 competition on goals scored after beating Wollongong Wolves 3-1 at Cromer Park. Sutherland were too good for Bonnyrigg White Eagles in Saturday night’s top of the table encounter, while Blacktown City suffered another humiliating loss at home to Hakoah Sydney City East.
Match of the Round
Sutherland Sharks 3-1 Bonnyrigg White Eagles, Saturday 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Jeremy Cox claimed a second half hat trick as Sutherland Sharks beat ten-man Bonnyrigg White Eagles 3-1 to move back into equal first on the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s U20 competition ladder in their highly anticipated first-versus-second showdown at Seymour Shaw.
Nothing separated the two tournament frontrunners in an exciting opening half but Sutherland took command after a calamitous second half spell saw Cox strike twice in seven minutes before White Eagles defender Damian Cupac was dismissed for bringing down Matias Da Silva Santos through on goal.
Luke Ivanovic restored a glimmer of hope for the undermanned visitors with a spectacular volley late on but any chance of a comeback was quickly extinguished by Cox who sealed his treble minutes before full-time to hand Allan Edmondson’s side an important three points.
Although big chances fell to both sides in the first half, the visitors in particular will lament their failure to capitalize on a spell of dominance midway through the opening stanza in which forward Asmir Kadric went close to breaking the deadlock twice in quick succession.
It looked as though the White Eagles marksman had been gifted the opener when he pounced on an uncharacteristically careless pass from Sutherland lynchpin Thomas Papa but shot stopper Nikolas Loe came to the rescue with an excellent smothering save, while the striker sent a volley wide from the ensuing passage of play as Bonnyrigg stepped up their assault on the Sharks goal.
But the home side didn’t have to wait long to create a pair of golden opportunities themselves and forced White Eagles gloveman Stevan Savicic into two fine saves with Cox and Nathan Roberts combining efficiently on the counter attack for Sutherland.
It a sign of things to come for Bonnyrigg who had left ample space in behind for Sutherland to exploit and having ended the half in the ascendancy the hosts opened the scoring shortly after the half-time break when Cox finished smartly under Savicic having latched onto Roberts’ piercing through ball.
And it was a similar passage of play that led to Sutherland doubling their lead minutes later with both Roberts and Da Silva Santos involved on the edge of the box before Cox found the back of the net again with an unnerving finish.
Bonnyrigg were reduced to ten men when Cupac tripped Da Silva Santos outside the area but mounted a spell of pressure and pulled a goal back when Luke Ivanovic hooked an acrobatic volley over Loe, but Sutherland quelled any hope of a late comeback when Cox tapped home his third after Savicic palmed Robert’s free-kick into his path.
Having hit reigning champions Blacktown City for eight the week previous, Bonnyrigg custodian Stephen Sigmund was disappointed with his outfit’s lacklustre showing in the second half.
“Sutherland are a good side and they deserved their victory tonight but we simply didn’t run play or run hard enough.
“If we took our chances in the first half I could have seen us grabbing another two or three.”
An elated Allan Edmondson praised his Sutherland side for their resilience on an evening that saw the Sharks return to the top of the table, trailing leaders Manly United only on goals scored.
“We didn’t know what to expect from Bonnyrigg tonight and it was a nervous first 90 seconds from us.
“But we kept possession intelligently in the second half and it was a tremendous effort overall from the boys.”
Sutherland Sharks 3 (Cox 47’, 55’, 83’,)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Ivanovic 75’)
Saturday 2nd July 2016
Seymour Shaw, Miranda
Sutherland Sharks: 1 M. Figueira, 5 M. Da Silva Santos , 13 J. Cox, 14 P. O’Shea, 18 J. Benham(C), 20 M. Farmer, 21 N. Loe(GK), 25 D. Akol, 27 N. Roberts, 31 R. Watson, 33 T. Papa, 36 B. Brown, 38 J. Duncan, 39 R. Blakeley, 40 M. Kouta
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 8 H. Tucker, 11 L. Ivanovic, 14 T. Mcdonald, 20 S. Savicic(GK), 22 H. Bagot, 23 D. Cupac, 24 L. Debrot, 27 A. Guzman, 29 Z. Kolundzic, 30 N. Krljar, 31 M. Lo, 32 J. Rose, 33 A. Mandic, 35 K. Zarafetas, 36 A. Kadric, 49 M. Rowston
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: Cupac 61’
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 6-1 Rockdale City Suns, 5.30 at Lambert Park
APIA Leichhardt returned to form in emphatic style with a dominant 6-1 victory over Rockdale City Suns at Lambert Park.
George Sidis’ side broke a run of three consecutive losses as they hit the Ilinden side for six with Samuel Guilisano and Duncan Stewart each claiming a brace, while Brandon Lundy and Cameron Stephan also got on the scoresheet for the Tigers who move back into the top six.
Aleksandar Lekoski grabbed a consolation for the visitors who remain in eleventh following Sydney United 58’s home defeat to Blacktown Spartans.
Sydney Olympic 1-1 Parramatta, 1.00pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Honours were shared at Belmore Sports Ground with finals outsiders Sydney Olympic and Parramatta playing out a 1-1 stalemate.
With both sides playing catch up for the remainder of the season it’s not a result that will suit either outfit who occupy both ninth and tenth position on the ladder.
Olympic were on course for three points with James Coombes slotting away a first-half penalty but Parramatta equalized in the second stanza through Abouza Awaz to salvage a point for Mark Zecchin’s men.
Manly United 3-1 Wollongong Wolves, 1.00pm at Cromer Park
Manly United returned to the top of the table with a 3-1 win over Wollongong Wolves at Cromer Park.
Sipan Berti, Eddie Rinaldi and Hamish Galbraith were amongst the goals for Andrew Christiansen’s side who edge Sutherland Sharks into pole position on goals difference.
Jack Lombo netted a consolation for Wollongong who remain outside a finals position on goal difference.
Blacktown City 2-5 Hakoah Sydney City East, 1.00pm at Lilys Football Centre
Dominic Cutri scored a hattrick for Hakoah as the league newcomers humiliated Blacktown City 5-2 at Lilys Football Centre.
The reigning champions faced a 3-0 deficit at the break and responded through goals from Jake Borromeo and Mason Ireland but it wasn’t enough to avoid back to back losses with Liam Thomas and Harry Jones furthering Hakoah’s advantage.
Having conceded eight at Bonnyrigg in Round 16 it was another underwhelming performance from City who could find themselves out of the top six next week with fifth placed Hakoah and sixth placed APIA Leichhardt playing their respective catch up fitures.
Sydney United 58 1-2 Blacktown Spartans, 2.00pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
Blacktown Spartans kept their finals hopes alive with a precious 2-1 victory over Sydney United 58 at Sydney United Sports Centre.
Michael Konestabo struck a brace to lift the Spartans back into finals contention with Samuel Jacobs’ side now only a point behind Hakoah Sydney City East in sixth.
Sydney United 58 remain in eleventh with last-placed Rockdale beaten 6-1 by APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
– By Jacob Windon