Marconi Stallions showed their clinical edge as they put on a flowing attacking performance to beat a gallant Sutherland Sharks, 3-1 at Marconi Stadium on Easter Saturday in the only National Premier Leagues NSW match played.
The home side kept the attacking rolling after their five-star performance last weekend where they demolished neighbours Sydney United 58.
Mitch Mallia capped off a wonderful all-round performance with a second half strike, while Mirjian Pavlovic and Brandon Vella made it three straight for the Stallions.
Sutherland Sharks stunned the hosts and opened the scoring through Jeremy Cox after 23 minutes but from there, injuries ravaged them as the home side finished well on top.
From the opening moments, the Stallions flowed forward.
Pavlovic had the first shot after four minutes, as he was denied at the near post by Sharks ‘keeper Anthony Bouzanis as the home side looked to repeat last week’s dominance.
Mallia was a constant threat down the left, beguiling defenders all game. He combined well with Pavlovic and Anthony Frangie as the chances continued to pile up for the home side.
In the rare occasions when the Sharks got forward, the best work came from captain Marc Warren who set up the game’s first goal.
Warren whipped in a strong corner that Cox met at the far post to nod home and made it 1-0 to the Sharks. It was the former Sydney FC NPL player’s fourth of the campaign.
Looking to build on their lead, Sharks had a flurry of chances around the box, with the final ball falling to Warren at the edge of box, the defender curved the ball over as the game reached the half hour mark.
Pavlovic remained the outlet for the Stallions.
The striker linked up well for Giorgio Speranza, as he was denied, although the striker made amends moments later.
Stallions pressed well in the first half which created a few half chances, it also created the hosts opener.
The visitors did not clear the ball properly and it fell to the head of Pavlovic to head home, making it 1-1 going into half-time.
Coming out from the break, the Stallions kept their foot on the pedal.
Pavlovic fizzed an effort wide of the post before Frangie was denied by a terrific point-blank save from Bouzanis.
Frangie waged a battle with Bouzanis and his goal-frame.
He put a second header over before the striker volleyed an effort that rattled the crossbar after Pavlovic had turned well in the box.
The game continued to be played down the Sharks defensive end, as Giorgio Speranza’s first time effort flew over then Frangie, again, found the right place but headed the ball wide.
Marconi’s pressure paid dividends on the 70-minute mark.
Mallia, after his strong performance, got a deserved goal when he wound up a strike that flew into the net, 2-1 and it was all smiles for the Fairfield boys.
Sutherland aimed to strike back immediately through goal scorer Cox. He skipped past a defender, fizzed a low effort past the post, agonisingly.
Not content with a one-goal lead, Marconi kept pushing forward.
Both Mallia and substitute James Andrew had efforts saved by Sharks substitute keeper Mitchell Evans.
Brandon Vella confirmed the points into the first minute of injury time. He swept home the cutback to make it 3-1 Stallions, and three victories in a row.
Speaking afterwards, Sutherland Sharks coach Terry Palapanis was honest in his assessment of his teams performance.
“Tough game was an understatement tonight.
“We were outplayed for the first time this season and were second best to everything.
“They have a lot of quality across the park and that showed.
“Mitch Mallia destroyed us tonight. You can see they are playing for the coach. Now we have to regroup and go from here.”
Stallions coach Peter Tsekenis was delighted with the attack and the victory to keep their form rolling.
“It was a very good performance. We conceded against the run of play, rode our luck but got the goals we needed tonight.
“It is all clicking together currently. Pavlovic and Jesic have hit consistent form and it was good to get another result.
“We roll on from here now.”
Saturday 20 April 2019
Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Marconi Stallions 3 (Pavlovic ’39, Mallia ’71, Vella ‘91)
Sutherland Sharks 1 (Cox ’23)
Referee: Daniel Stack
Assistant Referees: Sarah Ho & Janush Adabjou
Fourth Official: Nicholas Gongolidis
Marconi Stallions: 1. VEKIC Nenad, 3. SPERANZA Giorgio, 4. SPERANZA Roberto, 7. O’CONNELL Sean, 9. FRANGIE Anthony (12. ANDREW ’78), 10. JESIC Marko, 11. MALLIA Mitchell (2. MILLGATE ’94), 13. NICOLAOU Yianni, 19. CAIRNCROSS Zach, 23. VELLA Brandon, 61. PAVLOVIC Marijan
Unused Subs: 5. BALDACCHINO James, 17. SEKUTKOSKI Kristian, 30. NASCIMBEN Cristian
Yellow cards: O’Connell, Frangie, G Speranza
Red cards: nil
Sutherland Sharks: 1. BOUZANIS Anthony (18. EVANS ’53), 2. CHENG Quentin (11. MORFITIS ’76), 3. WARREN Marc, 4. O’SHEA Patrick, 6. EVERETT Lachlan (25. CLARKSON ’45), 7. ROMEO Juan, 9. COX Jeremy, 10. ROMEO Raul, 12. BROWN Blair, 19. SUTHERLAND Harry, 21. ERCAN Tarik
Unused Subs: 15. PAPA Thomas, 37. HAYHURST Fin
Yellow cards: Brown, Warren
Red cards: nil
3 – Mirijan Pavlovic (MS)
2 – Mitch Mallia (MS)
1 – Marko Jesic (MS)
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)