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.
It was obvious in the opening stages of the game that there was nothing riding on the result.
Both Rockdale and Parramatta took a tentative approach to the game and it was evident in the action on the field.
Slow and uninspired, neither side truly pushed their opponent until well into the opening stanza.
The first real chance of the match didn’t arrive until the 27th minute when Parramatta’s Ante Tomic’s long range drive from outside the box sailed only inches wide of the goal.
Rockdale thought they had taken the lead in the 29th minute when Luke Turnbull turned the ball into his own net after competing with Blake Riccutio for a looping cross.
The referee was quick to scupper the celebrations of the home side and ruled a free kick against Ricciuto.
Tomic wasted an incredible opportunity to give Parramatta the lead on the cusp of half time.
With only the keeper the beat, Tomic scuffed his shot allowing Rockdale’s Trent McClenahan to block the ball on the line. Tomic, only 2 yards from the goal line smashed the rebound over the cross bar when it was easier to score than miss.
Deadlocked at 0-0 at the break, the match had yet to truly come to life.
Parramatta had the best of the chances at the start of the second half but their finishing skills were still lacking.
Marco Sama did his best to outdo Tomic’s miss from the first half in the 49th minute
Sama had only the keeper to beat from 12 yards out but still managed to miss with his wobbly shot limping past the goalpost and out for a goal kick.
David Gullo stepped up in the 55th minute to show his team mates how it’s done.
The spritely midfielder found space inside the penalty area and fired home to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
An Acrobatic save from Turnbull denied Riccuito’s glancing header in the 57th minute but it wouldn’t take long for the home side to hit the scoreboard.
Captain Paul Reid, expertly dispatched a low and accurate shot into the bottom corner of the net to tie the scores at 1-1 in the 65th minute.
Only 10 minutes later Reid was the architect as rockdale took a 2-1 lead.
A low cross into the box was tapped home from point blank range by Aleks Canak.
Peter Makrillos wrapped up the result for Rockdale in the 84th minute with a driving shot from 25 yards out.
A Ryan Johnstone goal in the final seconds of the match was a mere consolation for Parramatta as Rockdale had done enough for all three competition points.
After the match Reid said he was happy to have scored his first goal of the season.
“It was nice to nab one, but the most important thing for me is that we managed to get the win.
“It was one of those games where we didn’t have much to play for.
“We had eight players on four yellow cards so we had to make sure we took it easy so nobody was missing from the first week of the finals.”
Parramatta coach Franco Consetino said he was looking forward to taking a break from the weekly stresses of coaching in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition.
“It has been a tough year but everyone will now be able to recharge the batteries and return for a big season next year,” he said.
“There is plenty of potential in this group of players and I know we have the ability to go better next season. "
Rockdale City Suns: 3 (Reid 66’ Canak 77’ Makrillos 81’)
Parramatta FC: 2 (David Gullo 55th Johnstone 90’)
Round 22, August 14 2016
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: C Fisher
Assistant Referees: L Greenshields, N Backo
Fourth official: A Verma
Rockdale City Suns: 1. David BRADASEVIC, 2. Daniel PETKOVSKI (14. Alek LEKOSKI 86’), 3. Steven HESKETH, 4. Trent MCCLENAHAN 5. Paul REID, 6. Blake RICCIUTO (7. Alec UROSEVSKI 72’), 10. Peter MAKRILLOS, 11, Hrisitjan TANOSKI, 12. Idris EL HAFIANE (8. Aleksander CANAK 62’), 17.Toufic ALAMEDDINE, 19. Patrick SAVOUR.
Substitutes: 15. Nicholas PETRILLO, 40. Harrison DEVINISH
Yellow Cards: Ricciuto 34’
Parramatta FC: 1. Luke TURNBULL, 3. Blade RICHARDS, 6. Daniel GULLO, 7. David GULLO, 8. Daniel REZO (2. Ryan JOHNSTONE 76’), 10. Marco SAMA, 11. Ante TOMIC (14. Nicholas CHYMIAK), 12. Chris CARBONI, 15. Ibrahim HAYDAR, 18. Tom MALLETT, 23. Joshua GERSBACH (9. Gosue SAMA 69’
Substitutes: 4. Joshua SYMONS, 33. Corey FINCH
Yellow Cards: David Gullo 32′