Round 15 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition was a weekend of shocks and upsets.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers and Sutherland Sharks were the big winners this weekend whileRockdale City Suns, Sydney United 58, Marconi Stallions and Blacktown City were all on the wrong side of defeat.
Wollongong Wolves added to their tally of weeks on top of the table with a win against Sydney FC.
Second placed APIA Leichhardt Tigers kept the pressure on the Wolves with an incredible 1-0 win against United 58 despite playing with only 10-men for nearly 70 minutes.
Sydney Olympic and Hakoah Sydney City east wrapped up the week’s action with the late game on Sunday at Lambert Park as the reigning premiers snatched a narrow 1-0 lead.
Sutherland Sharks 2- Blacktown City 1 at Seymour Shaw Park
Sutherland Sharks has knocked Blacktown City’s premiership hopes with a shock 2-1 win at Seymour Shaw on Saturday.
It was only the Sharks fourth win of the season but extends their current unbeaten run to eight games.
Raul Romero scored from the penalty spot to give Sutherland the perfect start before Jordan Morfitis doubled their advantage to 2-0 with only 11 minutes left on the clock.
Lachlan Campbell netted late for Blacktown City to set up a nervous close to the match but it wasn’t enough for the visitors as the Sharks hung on for a confidence boosting win.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 2 – Rockdale City Suns 0 at Popondetta Park
Mt Druitt Town Rangers has stunned Rockdale City Suns 2-0 at Popondetta Park on Saturday.
The result was the Rangers second win in as many games with their perforance sure to put a smile on coach Aidan Desmond’s face.
Two goals in the first half sealed the deal for the home side. Strikes from the mercurial Fabricio Fernandez and John Roberts were enough to seal all three points as Mt Druitt secured their first back-to-back wins of the season.
For Rockdale it was another stiff reality check as Nick Porecca’s side stumble their way through the second half of the campaign.
Wollongong Wolves 4 – Sydney FC 0 at WIN Stadium
Wollongong Wolves have maintained their lead at the top of the National Premier League NSW Men’s ladder with a 4-0 win over Sydney FC at WIN Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A Thomas James brace and goals from Takeru Okada and Lachlan Scott was enough to get the job done for the Wolves in slippery conditions, with the side returning to winning ways after their 2-1 loss to Sydney United 58 last round.
James opened the scoring 36 minutes as the home side went into the break with only a 1-0 lead.
However, it was a different story in the second stanza with the Wolves hitting the back of the net through Okada in the 57th minute, Scott in the 76th and James in the 84th to claim his brace.
It was a business like performance from the Wolves who stretch their time at the top of the table to 15 weeks, while Sydney United drop down the ladder due to wins from Mt Druitt and Sutherland on Saturday.
Manly United 1 – Marconi Stallions 0 at Cromer Park
A Charles Mendy strike in first-half stoppage time proved decisive as Manly United edged out Marconi Stallions 1-0 at Cromer Park on Sunday afternoon.
In a fiery affair, the visitors will be left scratching their heads as to how they emerged empty-handed following the raft of opportunities they forged throughout the ninety.
Despite James Andrew and last week’s hat-trick hero Mitch Mallia giving Manly some early defensive headaches, the solitary goal of the match arrived courtesy of a former Stallion Charles Mendy deep into first-half added time.
A tense second stanza ultimately saw the scoresheet remain as it were, allowing for a courageous Manly performance to earn them a valuable three points in the race for the top 5.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 – Sydney United 58 0 at Lambert Park
10-man APIA Leichhardt Tigers have claimed an incredible 1-0 win against all odds at Lambert Park on Sunday.
Former Sydney United 58 striker Chris Payne pulled a Rabona kick from his bag of tricks which deflected off a defender into the back of the net to give APIA the incredible, yet unlikely, victory.
The home side was forced to play a man down after only 24 minutes when Themba Muata-Marlow was sent for an early shower for a tug on the shirt of United striker Peter Simonoski.
It made for a tense and thrilling match with neither side giving an inch.
However, United 58 could never take advantage of their extra player and paid the price in the dying stages of the match.
The result keeps APIA in second spot on the ladder while United 58 stay in fourth.
Sydney Olympic 1 – Hakoah Sydney City East 0 at Lambert Park
Peter Kekeris starred as Sydney Olympic arrested their mid-season NPL NSW slump by edging bottom-placed Hakoah Sydney City East 1-0 at Lambert Park on Sunday evening.
Kekeris’ early strike – the winger’s first for Olympic after signing on from A-League’s Central Coast Mariners last month – was the telling effort, one which boosts the reigning champions in their hunt for a top-five finish.
Olympic’s finals ambitions had been dampened over a run of five matches without a win prior to the Round 15 clash in Leichhardt but the club now move above fellow contenders Marconi Stallions and Sutherland Sharks into seventh position.