The shock departure of long serving coach Brian Brown midweek proved to not hold Bonnyrigg White Eagles back as they claimed a shock 1-0 win against Wollongong Wolves on Saturday.
Interim head coach Milan Susak claimed his first win at the helm as a late first half header from Jewook Woo ensured the three points would go the way of the White Eagles.
The Wolves pushed hard to find an equaliser but paid the price for missed opportunities as they failed to find the back of the net.
It was a vital result for Bonnyrigg with the win helping them leapfrog Wollongong on the ladder to seventh spot.
The Wolves started well and had a fine chance through Yuzo Tashiro in the third minute but his effort was weak and easy picking for James Chronopoulos.
Similarly, only two minutes later Jewook Woo crossed for Tynan Diaz at the far post but he couldn’t beat the opposing keeper.
The White Eagles went close on 15 minutes as Woo rose highest from a Diaz corner, But he couldn’t get enough purchase or precision on his header to test Pasfield.
Bonnyrigg should have taken the lead after 22 minutes.
Sam Gallaway made a run to the left by-line before cutting the ball back for Shervin Adeli whose shot was going in before being cleared by a Wolves defender.
The clearance fell to the feet of Woo who sent a rasping effort toward goal, forcing Pasfield into a fine acrobatic save.
Three minutes from half time the home side had the lead.
Quick ball movement and a ball out wide for Diaz allowed him to whip in a great cross finding Woo at the far post who made no mistake with his header.
The Wolves came out fired up in the second period and almost had an equaliser on 54 minutes through Darcy Madden but Chronopoulos was up to the task.
Only two minutes later and Tashiro really should have scored.
Receiving the ball with an expert touch, Tashiro had all the time in the world to beat Chronopoulos but blasted his effort way over the bar.
The White Eagles went close down the other end in the 60th minute as Adeli unleashed a powerful effort which was well saved by Pasfield.
Aaron Peterson had just entered the pitch and almost scored with his first touch of the ball, turning his defender and shooting inches wide of the near post.
Wollongong thought they had the equaliser on 73 minutes after a goalmouth scramble but for an offside flag.
Again the Wolves threatened five minutes later but Tashiro couldn’t find the back of the net after some fine last ditch defending from James Mckenzie.
The away side kept pushing and in the first minute of stoppage time looked odds on to score but for a fantastic challenge by James O’Rourke
Susak was especially impressed with his team’s performance.
“I couldn’t be happier, ” he said.
“The boys played a top match and executed our plan perfectly. We defended well and got them on the counter and scored a goal.”
It’s only the third clean sheet the White Eagles have kept this season and it’s obviously something Susak has focused on.
“We’ve got four games left, they’re four grand finals and looking at the team’s coming up we will tweak things accordingly,” he said.
Wolves boss Jacob Timpano was rueing missed chances after full time.
“We’ll move on but it’s the story of our season,” Timpano said.
“There were a number of gilt-edged chances and we’re not putting them away. If you don’t put them away you can’t win a game of football.”
“Congratulations to Bonnyrigg, Milan has done a good job with them.”
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Woo 42’)
Wollongong Wolves 0
Bonnyrigg Sports Ground, Bonnyrigg
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Referee: A Arndt
Assistant Referees: A Giev & J Bell
Fourth Official: J Casey
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1. Chronopoulos, 2. Avery, 3. Vrankovic, 7. Diaz 917. O’Rourke 86’), 10. Adeli, 13. Mckenzie, 15. Miller (9. Peterson 69’), 16. Gallaway, 18. Gil, 20. Tosi, 22. Woo.
Substitutes not used: 21. Bradasevic, 4. Krljar, 11. Kadric.
Yellow cards: Diaz, Gil, Gallaway, Avery, Peterson
Red cards: N/A
Wollongong Wolves: 1. Pasfield, 3. Madden, 4. Robinson, 5. Baldacchino (40. Nozawa 86’), 6. Montgomery, 7. Price (10. Macdonald 74’), 8. Griffin (23. Hayes 45’), 9. Simonovski, 17. Ensor, 26. Wilkshire, 30. Tashiro.
Substitutes not used: 16. Kairies, 28. Stojanovski.
Yellow cards: Price, Ensor
Red cards: N/A
-By National Premier Leagues NSW Reporter Nikola Pozder