Blacktown City FC held their lead at the top of the 2019 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 20s at the end of Round 5, while Sydney Olympic continue to keep pace with a game in hand.
Marconi Stallions and Hakoah Sydney City Suns played out a highly entertaining draw at the foot of the table, while in the match of the round Sutherland might count themselves unlucky to have only come away from their clash against Sydney United 58 with a point.
Match of the round: Sutherland Sharks 0-0 Sydney United 58, Sunday at Sydney United Sports Centre
Nick DImovski conceded his team haven’t yet hit the heights he’d expected of them at this point in the season as Sutherland Sharks were held to a scoreless draw by Sydney United 58 on Saturday afternoon.
The Sharks sit eighth with just five points from their first five games, and were left to rue a number of close calls and missed opportunities. Sydney United held firm and secured a solid point to add to their win against APIA Leichhardt Tigers last weekend, while the hosts should be far more disappointed with the result.
The set piece proved to be Sutherland’s best attacking outlet throughout the first half, with 38 looking particularly dangerous on a number of occasions.
Brodie Clarkson had the first of the free kicks on the edge of the area, hitting a tame effort into Daniel Sadaka after James Temelevski ran across the ball to dummy.
Temelevski took responsibility for the next set piece, drilling a shot into the wall which deflected to Deren O’Brien a few metres from goal. With defenders in every direction and a split-second to take the ball into his stride, he was unable to get a proper connection on his shot and could only find the goalkeeper.
Another Temelevski free kick was rolled under the wall for O’Brien a few minutes later, with his flick on blocked by a defender at the near post. The ball fell for Reece Kilpin, whose shot might have opened the scoring if not for a desperate clearance from Adrian Vastag on the goalline. Sutherland appealed, and though a close inspection of the replay would suggest a difficult decision for the officials, it did appear as though the ball hadn’t fully crossed the line.
Sutherland picked up in the second half where they left off in the first, with Finlay Hayhurst played clean through on goal soon after the restart. He looked to his right and tried to pick out Matthew Taverniti beside him, but he put the ball ahead of the player and the move came to nothing.
Temelevski had a very good shout for a penalty when he was seemingly brought down by the goalkeeper as the two charged a lofted ball at the edge of the box, but the referee waved away a lengthy appeal to leave Sutherland wanting.
Matthew Bilic had a solid free kick turned away by the goalkeeper before Taverniti found himself in space on the right flank, but he could only hit the crossbar as he ran onto the ball from deep.
Sutherland’s Nick Dimovski couldn’t hide his disappointment after a game in which his side struggled to convert their dominance into goals.
“We dominated the game,” he said. “And there were a few tough calls, I thought we had the ball over the line, I felt like there was a clear penalty not given.
“They only had one shot on goal, we held the ball, we played in their half, we knocked on the door time after time. We were better by a country mile.
“Things are coming together more slowly than I’d like – to give you an example, I’ve been talking about Alex Lopez for weeks and he hasn’t played a game yet. He should be back next week, but we’ve been unfortunate with players coming back.
“At the end of the day if you don’t score you can’t win, but the signs are there – we’ve got what it takes to win against every team we play.”
Sutherland Sharks 0
Sydney United 58 0
7th April, 2019
Seymour Shaw, Miranda
Sutherland Sharks: 26. ALEKSIC Mario, 27. TAVERNITI Matthew, 25. CLARKSON Brodie, 15. PAPA Thomas, 23. O’BRIEN Deren, 33. KILPIN Reece, 29. WILEY Jarrad, 31. CARLI James, 37. HAYHURST Finlay, 38. TEMELEVSKI James, 36. TARRANTO Harrison
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney United 58: 1. SADAKA Daniel, 30. VASTAG Anthony, 26. VASTAG Adrian, 33. BRATJANSCAK Ivan, 36. DEROSSI Joshua, 28. SEKULIC Daniel, 29. BENNISON Todd, 23. VLASTELICA Luke, 35. DANHA Marvin, 27. MILETIC Larsson, 32. PAPOUTSIS James
Yellow Cards: A. Vastag 29’
Red Cards: Nil
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 2-2 Sydney FC, at Popondetta Park
Mt Druitt picked up another impressive result in Round 5; fighting to a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC on Saturday afternoon to put them ninth heading into Tuesday’s clash with Sydney Olympic.
The hosts led at halftime but had to dig deep to earn a point, as Giuliano Airoldi and Christian Long scored for the Rangers, while Benjamin Koop and Harry McCarthy found the back of the net for the visitors.
Sydney FC will look to bounce back to winning ways next weekend when they host Blacktown City FC at Lambert Park. Still, the Sky Blues have risen to fourth place after this result.
Manly United 0-3 Blacktown City FC at Cromer Park
Blacktown City are in cruise control at the top of the NPL NSW Mens 20s ladder and are showing little sign of slowing down any time soon, with a 3-0 win at Cromer Park the latest in a series of strong performances for the leaders.
Dakota Askew, Jackson Bandiera and Lachlan Campbell were on the scoresheet as Blacktown recorded their fourth win in five games, while Manly United were left struggling to keep up after their Round 4 match with Marconi Stallions was washed out last week.
Manly travel to take on Sutherland Sharks next weekend, while Blacktown City face Sydney FC at Lambert Park.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 2-1 Rockdale City Suns, at Lambert Park
APIA Leichhardt Tigers continue to grow into the 2019 season, with a 2-1 win over a strong Rockdale City Suns side moving them up into third place after an interrupted start to the season.
Dominion Nasrabadi and Zeke Prisuda scored for APIA, while James Cakovski’s strike wasn’t enough to help the visitors to a point at Lambert Park.
APIA have a full week to prepare for their visit to Hakoah Sydney City East in Round 6, while Rockdale City Suns play high-flying Sydney Olympic next Sunday.
Sydney Olympic 1-0 Wollongong Wolves FC, at Belmore Sports Ground
Michael Gaitatzis scored the only goal of the game as Sydney Olympic overcame Wollongong Wolves at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon.
The win keeps Olympic in equal-first place, behind Blacktown City on goal difference but with a game in hand to their advantage.
Their next match comes on Tuesday, when they will have the chance to move into pole position should they get a result against Mt Druitt Rangers.
Wollongong Wolves drop a place to seventh, and will similarly look ahead to a clash with Mt Druitt, albeit a few days later at Win Stadium.
Marconi Stallions FC 3-3 Hakoah Sydney City East, at Marconi Stadium
Marconi and Hakoah both still remain at the bottom of the ladder after an extraordinary result at Marconi Stadium on Sunday night, with the hosts fighting back to earn a 3-3 draw for their third point of the season.
Both the Stallions and Hakoah sit level at the foot of the table, though each did their best to make a difference here. Martin Fernandez and and Advin Trebincevic double helped Marconi come back from 1-0 down at halftime, while a red card to Ellis Bellos hardly helped Hakoah’s cause.
Marconi play host to Sydney United 58 next weekend, while Hakoah can look forward to their match with APIA Leichhardt at Hensley Athletic Field.
-By Max Grieve