Round 11 of the National Premier Leagues NSW season is in the books and it is Sydney Olympic who are in control in top spot at the half way mark of the competition.
The Abbas Saad coached side has been a real powerhouse this campaign and continued their impressive form in Round 11 with victory against Sydney United 58 in a fiery contest on Saturday night.
Second placed APIA Leichhardt were not going to let their Premiership rivals out of sight and kept the gap between the league’s top two teams to three points with a win Hakoah Sydney City East on Sunday.
Blacktown City remain in striking distance with Mark Crittenden’s side too good for Sutherland Sharks on Saturday, while Bonnyrigg White Eagles put a major dent in Manly United’s finals hope after an upset win at home against last year’s grand final winners.
Sydney FC returned to the winners circle after a 10 game winless run on Saturday night and Wollongong closed out the round with a hardfought 1-0 victory against Marconi Stallions
Sydney FC 2 – Rockdale City Suns 0 at Lambert Park
Sydney FC has ended their 10 week winless streak with a comfortable 2-0 result against a disappointing Rockdale City Suns FC at Lambert Park on Saturday.
The Young Sky Blues were in control of the entire contest, and if not for their wastefulness could’ve finished the contest by half-time.
A rifled finish from Sam McIllhatton that sent Sydney FC into the break up 1-0 before Jeremy Cox confirmed the points with an arrowed finish in the second stanza to help his side fight their way off the bottom of the ladder.
Rockdale City Suns coach Paul Reid offered no excuses for his sides poor performance, despite playing three games in a short time-frame, they weren’t at the races tonight and were dominated by a youthful Sky Blues side.
Sutherland Sharks 1 – Blacktown City 2 at Seymour Shaw
Blacktown City has held off a fast finishing Sutherland Sharks to claim a 2-1 win in their National Premier Leagues NSW Round 11 lash at Seymour Shaw on Saturday night.
Despite taking a 2-0 lead with only 20 minutes left to play, Blacktown were forced to scrap for the win in the dying stages in a match with truly lit up in an exciting second stanza.
Joey Gibbs opened the scoring for City after only twelve minutes before Danny Choi doubled the visitors lead in the 67th minute with the Sharks looking unable to match it with Mark Crittenden’s well oiled side.
However, The home side found a second wind as Blair Brown pulled one back for Sutherland late on to give Blacktown a jittery final few minutes.
The final flurry proved too little too late and City’s backs against the wall defence helped close out what should’ve been a much more straight forward victory for the Seven Hills based club.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 – Manly United FC 1 at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Bonnyrigg White Eagles claimed three much needed competition points with a 2-1 victory over Manly United on Saturday night at Bonnyrigg Sports Ground.
It was a frantic six-minute spell inside the opening 20 minutes that had this match sorted for Brian Brown’s men.
Dean Bereveskos, in only his second start of the NPL NSW Men’s season, helped the White Eagles off to a flyer before Shervin Adeli doubled their lead with yet another special goal.
A Ben Tosi owns goal allowed Manly United back into the contest but that was all the away side could do as they saw three points slip.
Sydney United 58 0 – Sydney Olympic 2 at Sydney United Sports Centre
NPL NSW Men’s competition leaders Sydney Olympic underlined their Premiership credentials with a commanding 2-0 victory over 10-man Sydney United 58 at Sydney United Sports Centre on Saturday evening.
Abbas Saad’s side entered the encounter riding the crest of an eight-match unbeaten run and extended their advantage at the top of the table after cruising to another three points in what was a heated clash with their fellow competition heavyweights at Edensor Park.
The damage was done in a sensational opening half cameo from the Blues who opened the scoring through Spanish star Alejandro Sanchez before Thomas Whiteside’s volley gave the visitors breathing space on the cusp of half time.
Peter Markovic’s dismissal early in the second half for an altercation with Sanchez ignited a savagely fought second half between the two former NSL rivals, and although the home side matched Olympic in the battle the visitors proved too streetwise and trotted to their ninth win of the season.
The result ensures the Blues will finish the first half of the regular season in pole position while opening up a 12-point gap over United 58 on the table.
Hakoah Sydney City East 1 – APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 at Hakoah Sydney City East
APIA Leichhardt Tigers have maintained their challenge at the top of the NSW National Premier Leagues NSW ladder with a 3-1 win against Hakoah Sydney City East at Hensley Athletic
It was an important win for APIA as they kept their chances of a Premiership defence alive keeping the Lambert Park based side within three points of league leaders Sydney Olympic.
Both sides gave little way in a hard fought opening stanza before the gates opened in the second half.
Jordan Murray found the back of the net with a clinical finish at the resumption of the second half before Tasuku Sekiya stretched the visitors lead to 2-0 in the 70th minute.
Anthony Frangie gave the home side hope of snatching a point from the match with a goal from the penalty spot in the 84th minute.
However, it wasn’t to be for Hakoah with APIA’s Murray netting in added-time to wrap up the win and ensure the visitors went home with all three competition points.
Wollongong Wolves 1 – Marconi Stallions 0 at WIN Stadium
Wollongong Wolves have shaken off a luckless month of football to record a 1-0 win over Marconi Stallions at WIN Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The victory was the Wolves first in their last six attempts, coming courtesy of Yuzo Tashiro’s early header which proved to be the decider in what was a tense battle.
With more frugality in front of goal Tashiro may well have gone home with the match ball, yet the early header was enough to see them past Marconi who had Theo Kofinas dismissed late on for a second yellow card.
The match marked Luke Wilkshire’s first home game for the Wolves since 1997, with the former Socceroo slotting into a holding midfield role within a new-look 3-5-2 formation for Jacob Timpano’s side.
Both teams went into the clash missing key men with the industrious Nick Montgomery out with a rib injury for Wolves while the suspended Sean O’Connell was missing for Marconi.
The match featured a tense midfield battle throughout, occasionally opening up for flurries of chances at each end as both sides went in search of much needed points.