Blacktown City have a five-points lead at the top of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 20s table after a comfortable win over Wollongong Wolves in Round 9, while second-placed Sydney Olympic were only able to draw with Marconi Stallions. At the other end of the table, Hakoah Sydney City East came out on top in a bottom-of-the-table clash with Sydney United 58 to move three points clear of last place.
Sydney FC 2-0 APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, 7pm Saturday at Lambert Park
Sydney FC had too much quality for APIA Leichhardt Tigers in their Round 9 clash at Lambert Park, with the Sky Blues easing to a 2-0 win courtesy of Tyson Sava and Patrick Wood.
Jaiden Kucharski had the first real chance of the match when he drove inside and played a ball across the face of goal; the cutback bouncing fortuitously off an APIA defender to spin away for a corner.
Jake Hollman was next to test the Tigers’ backline, skipping along the touchline on the left to win a free kick.
He sent the set piece curling onto the penalty spot, but the ball didn’t get a touch on its way through and almost caught Blake Tuxford cold. Thankfully for the APIA faithful, the goalkeeper was alive to the danger and managed to palm the ball away at the last second to keep the scores level.
Kucharski took the ball in middle shortly after following another good run from Hollman down the left, but he wasted the chance after cutting inside and hitting a weak shot for the goalkeeper to gather at the far post.
Hollman had a final half-chance to put his side ahead before the halftime break when he arrived at the back post to head a Callum Talbot cross goalward, but his effort was cleared away to the corner.
The Sydney player recovered possession and slipped away from two APIA players on the byline to feed a pass through to Kucharski at the top of the box, but the midfielder shanked his shot horribly high and wide.
Sydney FC made themselves immediately comfortable on the ball after the break, but struggled to make the most of their advantage in possession.
A header goalward from a corner kick fell to Tyson Savas on the left of the six-yard box, but there was barely enough space for a shot and he was quickly closed down by the goalkeeper as the ball bounced ahead of him.
The match turned with just under fifteen minutes remaining, when an APIA free kick was retaken after some enthusiastic jostling in the box. The ball was cleared and Sydney FC broke quickly; Patrick Wood taking advantage of a lucky deflection to run three-quarters of the field before slotting the ball past Blake Tuxford in the APIA goal. It was an extraordinary goal to give the hosts a well-earned lead.
The hosts scored again just five minutes later: Wood took a long ball down from the midfield and hit a cross to Tyson Sava, who had an age at the back post to time his jump and put Sydney FC two goals ahead.
Sydney FC held their lead through to the final whistle with little trouble. A 2-0 win was no less than they deserved, even if they were made to wait for it.
Sydney FC 2 (Wood 75’, Savas 80’
APIA Leichhardt FC 0
4th May, 2019
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Sydney FC: 30. PAVLESIC Adam, 22. SAVAS Tyson, 33. KUCHARSKI Jaiden, 32. MAIN Thomas, 58. WOOD Patrick , 34. NIEUWENHOF Calem, 54. MLINARIC Anton, 28. MCFARLANE Fletcher, 17. TALBOT Callum, 24. HOLLMAN Jake, 57. TRENKOSKI Jayden
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC: 38. DOLLIN Bradley, 20. TRAJKOVSKI Michael, 36. MELLINO Nathan, 31. WARD Cameron, 34. REGAN Zander, 43. FIORESE Gian, 40. PRISUDA Zeke, 35. BERNAUER Oscar, 33. NICHOLS Peter, 22. TUXFORD Blake, 86. ROMEO Roy
Marconi Stallions 1-1 Sydney Olympic, 5pm at Marconi Stadium
Marconi Stallions and Sydney Olympic traded blows at Marconi Stadium on Saturday afternoon, settling for a 1-1 draw in Round 9.
Michael Gaitatzis opened the scoring for Olympic in the first half, but the visitors were pegged back by Marconi when James Baldacchino levelled before halftime.
Ericson Ehiozee was shown a red card as Olympic finished with ten men, holding out for a point which keeps them in second place ahead of next week’s clash with bottom-of-the-table Sydney United 58.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 2-3 Sutherland Sharks, 5pm at Popondetta Park
Sutherland Sharks edged Mt Druitt Town Rangers by the odd goal in five to bounce back to form after dropping points in Round 8.
Both teams went into the break level at 1-1, but Sutherland were able to push ahead in the second half to get up over their opponents.
Charlie Jones, Finley Hayhurst and James Temelkovski scored for the visitors; the latter continuing his impressive scoring run.
Leonard Abdo and Cooper Coskerie netted for Mt Druitt, who slip from sixth to ninth after a second-consecutive defeat.
Wollongong Wolves 0-3 Blacktown City FC, 1pm at Win Stadium
Blacktown City stormed to a 3-0 win over Wollongong Wolves at Win Stadium to make the most of Sydney Olympic’s slip-up at Marconi Stallions, moving five points clear at the top of the table at the end of Round 9.
Blacktown opened the scoring in the first half before adding two more goals after the break, securing their fifth win in six games.
Wollongong, meanwhile, drop three places into eighth; their two-match winning streak coming to an unceremonious end on Sunday afternoon.
Rockdale City Suns 2-3 Manly United, 2.30pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Manly United came out on top after a thrilling contest at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Noah Botic scored twice for the hosts as both sides went in level at halftime, but a red card for Rockdale goalkeeper Jacob Botic helped tip the balance and gave Manly the edge for the second 45.
Manly are up to seventh place after their second win in a week, while Rockdale City Suns moved up a spot despite the result and now sit third ahead of next week’s match against Wollongong Wolves.
Sydney United 58 0-2 Hakoah Sydney City East, 3pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
Hakoah Sydney City East scored a goal either side of half time to claim a 2-0 win at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon, leaving Sydney United 58 alone at the foot of the table.
Hakoah had been level on points with their opponents ahead of the match, but moved within two points of tenth-placed Marconi Stallions with their first win of the season.
Sydney United, meanwhile, will take the week to digest their seventh defeat of 2019, and their fourth in a row since drawing with Sutherland at the start of April.
-By Max Grieve