Blacktown City has rediscovered their eye for goal in a dominant 4-1 demolition of local rivals Mount Druitt Town Rangers at Popondetta Park on Saturday.
It was a huge performance from City with the win catapulting them up to third on the ladder and reigniting their race for the Premiership.
Mani Gonzalez and Lachlan Campbell in the opening 45 minutes gave Blacktown the perfect platform before a stunning long range strike from Rhett Desilva, as well as a late tap in from Joey Gibbs, wrapped up the victory.
Mt Druitt pushed hard all match but lacked the discipline in defence and in possession to top their rivals.
Fabricio Fernandez claimed a consolation goal for the home side midway through the second stanza but it wasn’t the Rangers night as they slumped to their sixth defeat of the season.
The match was an end to end affair from the opening whistle with both sides not holding back in the early stages.
Blacktown and Mt Druitt traded chances early on with a last ditch tackle from Dakota Askew keeping the score at level pegging.
Mt Druitt keeper Carlos Saliadarre was called into action with a diving save 12 minutes in to deny a stinging drive from Leroy Jennings, before making another key save only moments later to keep out Gibbs.
However, Blacktown would finally find the breakthrough after 30 minutes when Gonzalez lashed a low driven effort into the bottom left corner of the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes later Blacktown doubled their lead, this time through defender Campbell whose flicked header was too much for Saliadarre to handle.
It was a solid opening stanza for Mark Crittenden and his Blacktown side who were deserving of their 2-0 lead at the break.
Mt Druitt shot out of the blocks after the interval but their energy couldn’t be maintained for long as Blacktown regained control of the contest.
The home side nearly opened their account against the flow of the game 63 minutes in when a Fernandez volley was blocked by his own teammate denying what appeared to be a sure goal.
Fernandez gave Mt Druitt hope as he finally found his way onto the score sheet with a brilliant solo goal in the 68th minute as he dribbled around Blacktown glove man Tristan Pendegrast in the 68th minute to make it 2-1.
The home side’s hope for a comeback was quickly quashed by Blacktown substitute Rhett Desilva who unleashed an incredible long range bomb to make it 3-1 in the 77th minute.
Tempers flared late on as frustration set in for Mt Druitt with the referee forced to hand out a number of yellow cards after player scuffles.
With the final seconds ticking down Gibbs claimed his first goal in weeks with a classy tap in to wrap up the 4-1 result.
Blacktown gaffer Crittenden was ecstatic after the match and felt the result was a long time coming for his side.
“I’ve been saying to the players all season if everyone does their job and works hard each week the goals would come and that is exactly what happened tonight,” he said.
“As has been discussed many times before about this team, we are a made up of a number of new faces and it has taken time for everyone to come together on the same page which I think we are starting to see.
“We’re not looking at the ladder we are just focusing on what is ahead of us and with our recent form I think the team is on the right path.”
Mt Druitt boss Aidan Desmond had few positive words to share after his side’s defeat.
“Mistakes cost us yet again at both ends of the pitch,” he said.
“All of Blacktown’s goals came directly off the back of mistakes from my players and when you invite an opposition side to score more often than not that is what they’re going to do.
“There is still ten rounds to go so hopefully we can find some form soon.”
Mt Druitt Town Rangers: 1 (Fernandez 68′)
Blacktown City: 4 (Gonzalez 32′, Campbell 42′, Desilva 77′, Gibbs 93′)
Saturday, May 25 2019
Popondetta Park, Emerton
Referee: B Abraham
Assistant referees: N Backo, E Kocbek
Fourth official: A Brett
Mt Druitt Town Rangers: 24. Carlos Saliadarre, 4. Solomon-John Monahan- Vaiika, 6. Blake Thompson, 7. Luke Clifford, 8. Matthew Clowes, 10. Fabricio Fernandez, 11. Toufic Alameddine, 12. Nicholas Trimble, 13. Lord Darkoh, 17. Jordan Gomez, 19 John Roberts
Substitutes not used: 9. Alex Boyadjian, 15. Cooper Coskerie, 25. Matthew Nikolovski, 27. Ismail Hares
Yellow Cards: Clifford 46′, Trimble 48′, Thompson 84′
Blacktown City: 1. Tristan Pendergrast, 5. Grant Lynch. 6. Matthew Lewis, 8. Daniel Araujo (13. Rhett Desilva 71′), 9. Joey Gibbs. 11. Emmanuel Gonzalez, 12. Lachlan Campbell, 17. Dakota Askew, 19. Adam Berry, 22. Leroy Jennings (15. Mason Versi 80′), 23. Daniel Bragg (3. Daniel Collins 78′)
Substitutes not used: 20. Dylan Niski, 7. Suly Bangura
Yellow cards: Askew 46′, Lewis 48′, Versi 83′
3 – Gonzalez (BCFC)
2 – Gibbs (BCFC)
1 – Lynch (BCFC)