Blacktown City are two points clear at the top of the 2019 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 20s, with a slip from Sydney Olympic giving them room to breathe at the end of a hectic Round 6.
Elsewhere, Sutherland picked up a vital win against Manly United, while Sydney Olympic were dealt a heavy defeat by Rockdale City Suns in one of the shocks of the round.
Sydney FC 0-1 Blacktown City FC, 5pm Saturday at Lambert Park
Rhett De Silva proved the difference between Sydney FC and Blacktown City FC on Saturday afternoon, with his first half strike putting the visitors into a lead they refused to relinquish.
Blacktown dominated the first half and were rightly rewarded for their efforts going into the break. Still, they left the door open for a comeback late on, with Dakota Askew picking up a second yellow card for time-wasting to leave the visitors to see out the match with ten men.
Thomas Fay played a one-two with Ryan Teague on the left side of the box before driving in and hitting a low shot across the face of the goal for Blacktown to watch out for a throw.
Blacktown shot back shortly after, Dakota Askew taking the ball past a defender on the right before squaring a pass for Josh Bartolotto to hit into a sea of bodies in front of the goal. A few handball appeals were ignored by the referee, and Sydney FC were able to clear to the sideline.
The visitors continued to look threatening and came close to taking the lead when a deep corner found Askew at the back post, but Adam Pavlesic was alive to the danger and touched the ball over the bar.
Blacktown City’s pressure paid off midway through the half when Adolph Koudakpo skipped past his marker on the right before cutting a ball back for Bangura Suley in the centre. Suley’s shot came back off a defender, and he turned before laying the ball off for Rhett De Silva to guide inside the near post from the edge of the box.
Blacktown kept pushing and might have found a second before the break when Lachlan Campbell broke onto a loose pass as Sydney FC struggled to clear, but after controlling the ball well he could only curl his shot onto crossbar.
Benjamin Koop looked to take back the initiative in the early stages of the second half, and proved dangerous when playing off the last man. He very nearly had a chance to put his team ahead when he ran onto a pass on the edge of the six-yard box, but Henry Davies slid in at the last moment to clear the ball away.
Both sides struggled to keep up their level in the second half, and neither had particularly good opportunities to either draw even or go further ahead. Perhaps the best chance of the half fell for Anton Mlinaric, who was unable to direct his header towards goal after Dylan Niski flapped at the corner.
With seconds ticking away, Dakota Askew took his time to pick the ball up for a throw-in, and was duly shown a yellow card – his second of the match. While the second booking appeared harsh, Askew could perhaps have thought himself fortunate not to have received a straight red card for his lunge in midfield half an hour earlier.
Sydney FC will be disappointed with a result that didn’t entirely reflect their performance, and will next week travel to Ilinden Sports Centre to take on Rockdale. Blacktown City, meanwhile, roll on at the top of the table, with a match against APIA Leichhardt Tigers to come.
Sydney FC 0
Blacktown City FC 1 (De Silva 26’)
13th April, 2019
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Sydney FC: 30. PAVLESIC Adam, 34. NIEUWENHOF Calem, 23. MCCARTHY Harry, 32. MAIN Thomas, 54. MLINARIC Anton, 33. KUCHARSKI Jaiden, 16. BONNANI Paolo, 15. TEAGUE Ryan, 18. KOOP Benjamin, 14. FAY Thomas, 17. TALBOT Callum
Yellow cards: Talbot 65’
Red cards: Nil
Blacktown City FC: 20. NISKI Dylan. GK, 34. SULEY Bangura, 28. BARTOLOTTO Josh, 39. ASKEW Dakota, 37. DAVIES Henry, 35. DE SILVA Rhett, 32. DE OLIVEIRA Carlos, 30. KOUDAKPO Adolph, 26. AGANOVIC Alen, 40. CAMPBELL Lachlan
Yellow cards: Askew 53’, 88’
Red cards: Askew 88’
Sutherland Sharks FC 3-2 Manly United, 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland Sharks picked up a much-needed win against Manly United on Saturday afternoon, scoring the odd goal in five to run out 3-2 winners at Seymour Shaw.
Manly led at the break, with Nikola Taneski and Mitchell Rooke pitching in for the visitors before Sutherland roared back through a James Temelkovski brace and a goal from Reece Kilpin.
The hosts sit sixth at the end of the round, and are finally beginning to build a platform for the rest of the season after a wobbly start to 2019.
Sutherland take on Marconi Stallions in Round 7, while Manly United will hope to bounce back against stronger opposition when they face Sydney Olympic.
Marconi Stallions 2-1 Sydney United 58, 5pm at Marconi Stadium
Marconi’s first win of the season takes the Stallions up a place to tenth at the end of Round 6, albeit with two games in hand.
Ivan Bratjanscak gave Sydney United a halftime lead, but goals from Andrew Holder and Martin Fernandez helped Marconi complete the comeback in the second half.
Marconi will look forward to making up one of their matches when they play Rockdale on Wednesday, while Sydney United 58 will host Mt Druitt Town Rangers next Monday.
Wollongong Wolves 0-1 Mt Druitt Town Rangers, 1pm at Win Stadium
Christian Long scored the only goal at Win Stadium on Sunday afternoon to hand Mt Druitt Town Rangers a vital three points on the road.
Wollongong didn’t make it easy for themselves, with Brendan Low’s red card forcing the hosts to play out the match with ten men.
The Wolves travel to Hensley Athletic Field in Round 7 as they look to bounce back against Hakoah Sydney City East, while fifth-placed Mt Druitt take on Sydney United 58 next Monday.
Rockdale City Suns 3-0 Sydney Olympic, 2.30pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale City Suns recorded a stunning defeat of Sydney Olympic on Sunday afternoon, scoring unanswered goals to hand Olympic their first defeat of the season.
Rockdale led at the break and added another two in the second half to seal a surprising result at Ilinden Sports Centre. Alexander Malfara scored twice for the hosts, while Gabriel Contigiani was also on the scoresheet.
A clash with Sydney FC is up next for Rockdale, who now sit fourth with a game in hand. Sydney Olympic host Manly United in Round 7, and will hope this week’s result was simply a blip, rather than a sign of anything more serious.
Hakoah Sydney City East 2-2 APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 3pm at Hensley Athletic Field
Hakoah Sydney City East weren’t able to drag themselves off the bottom of the table at the end of Round 6; their 2-2 draw with APIA Leichhardt Tigers giving them just their second point of the season.
Strikes from Harry Jones and Nathan Roberts weren’t enough to edge past the visitors. The hosts had a one-goal lead at the break but were ultimately pegged back by a determined APIA outfits.
Hakoah play Wollongong Wolves next Sunday, and APIA Leichhardt return to Lambert Park to host competition leaders Blacktown City.