There were plenty of surprises during the final round of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition.
After 22 weeks of fixtures the regular season came to a close but not before one last day of quality match action.
Sydney United 58 prepared for the finals with a comprehensive win against Hakoah while Rockdale won back to back games for the first time since May.
In the battle for fifth place it was Bonnyrigg who was triumphant while Sydney Olympic and Sutherland fell short at the final hurdle.
In the Match of the Round Manly and Blacktown City tested each other out ahead of their week one finals clash in seven days.
Match of the Round
Manly United 0 – Blacktown City 0 at Cromer Park
A BRILLIANT individual performance from Dylan Mitchell was the highlight in Sunday’s 0-0 draw between Manly United and Blacktown City FC at Cromer Park.
The passionate United goalkeeper was a man inspired in front of a healthy crowd on the northern beaches, denying wave after wave of Blacktown City goal bound efforts.
Both teams entered the round 22 clash cautiously.
Blacktown City FC coach Mark Crittenden rested Sasa Macura and Zac Cairncross ahead of the finals starting next week and Manly boss Paul Dee wasn’t taking any chances with Sam Gallagher.
All three players would have missed next Sunday if issued a yellow card.
United needed to win to finish second, but in truth, the visitors didn’t get out of second gear, knowing a point was enough to ensure they will take on Manly again – this time at Lily Homes Stadium.
Hakoah Sydney City East 1 – Sydney United 58 3 at Hensley Athletic Field
A disciplined Sydney United 58 defeated Hakoah Sydney City East 3-1 in a compelling Playstation4 NPL NSW Men’s clash at Hensley Athletic Field on Sunday.
For United, the dynamic duo of Chris Payne and Panni Nikas grabbed first half goals, while substitute Nikola Taneski added a third in the 73rd minute.
Hakoah’s Nathan Bowden-Haase scrambled home a messy goal for the home side.
The scoreline could’ve been quite different, with both sides squandering numerous goal-scoring opportunities.
Many in attendance would say United could’ve won by more, but Hakoah too had their moments.
In the end, the visitors inability to capitalise proved to be purely academic and irrelevant to the final score.
Rockdale City Suns 3 – Parramatta FC 2 at Ilinden Sports Centre
A second half flurry of goals has helped Rockdale to a 3-2 win in its Round 22 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash against Parramatta FC at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
Captain Paul Reid led the charge for the Suns by scoring one and creating another as Rockdale secured fourth place and a home final next week.
Aleks Canak and Peter Makrillos also added to the scoresheet as the home side bounce back from 1-0 down to secure the 3-2 win.
It was a disappointing end to the season for Parramatta FC who looked to have been ready to stage an upset when David Gullo struck after 55 minutes.
But it wasn’t to be for Franco Cosentino’s side who have survived relegation and will be back to battle on in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Competition in 2017.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 4 – Sutherland Sharks 1 at Lambert Park
APIA Leichhardt Tigers ended their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s campaign in spectacular fashion after a Jordan Murray hat trick helped Danial Cummins’ side to an emphatic 4-1 win over Sutherland Sharks at Lambert Park.
The former Wollongong forward delivered the match’s breakthrough moment early in the second half to turn home Brendan Hooper’s header on the penalty spot before converting his second on the counter attack following an incisive dart forward from Tasuku Sekiya.
Murray’s treble was complete midway through the second half after he capped another lethal APIA transition with a smooth turn and finish inside the box, while Sean Symonds added further gloss to the scoreline with a thunderous strike from long-range.
A late consolation in the form of Nicholas Littler’s superb diving header was the only imperfection on a bright afternoon for the Lambert Park faithful as they bid farewell to the 2016 season in style.
Wollongong Wolves 0 – Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 at WIN Stadium
Defending champions Bonnyrigg White Eagles have snuck into the finals with a 2-0 victory against the Wollongong Wolves in their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at WIN Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Goals either side of half-time from Asmir Kadric and Greg Kondek ensured the visiting side would have the chance to defend their title.
It was a tough afternoon for Wollongong who were unlucky not to capitalise on a string of quality chances throughout the match.
Bonnyrigg survive to live another day despite a below par season.
Blacktown Spartans 1 – Sydney Olympic FC 0 at Blacktown Football Park
Blacktown Spartans has ended its horror season on a high note as they overcame a gallant Sydney Olympic by 1-0 in the last round of the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s competition at Blacktown Football Park on Sunday.
Shu Sasaki’s goal was the difference between the sides after a hard fought match where neither side wanted to give an inch.
The men between the sticks were the stars of the match with Carlos Saliadarre contributing a man of the match performance.
Blacktown weathered numerous Olympic attacks late in the game to cling onto the win.
Two red cards late in the match added some controversy in the dying stages but it wouldn’t impact on the final result as Spartans coach Ben De Haan collected victory in what is believed to be his last match in charge.