A brace from Wollongong’s Lachlan Scott was enough to return the Wolves to the National Premier League NSW Men’s winner’s circle on Sunday afternoon, with the side prevailing 2-0 over Sydney Olympic at WIN Stadium.
The former Western Sydney Wanderers front man scored the only goals of the match, nabbing a pair of second half goals to maintain Wollongong’s five-point lead at the top of the table.
Neither side was able to grab the match by the horns in the opening stanza, with Sydney Olympic having the best chance of the opening period in the 26th minute when a Peter Kekeris cross found the head of Alejandro Sanchez in the Wolves box.
However, Sanchez was unable to direct his headed effort down, with the ball skimming over the top of the crossbar.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 50th minute after a James Stojcevski through ball found Takeru Okada in the box.
The Japanese midfielder lashed a shot at goal that was denied by Olympic gloveman Paul Henderson, but Scott was able to follow-up the loose ball and fire through the ensuing scramble to open the scoring for the Wolves.
Olympic had a golden opportunity to level the scores in the 68th minute after a corner found Sanchez in the Wollongong box via a Zachary Mackenzie shot, but Sanchez was unable to work his effort into the back of the net, with a goal-line scramble enough to keep the hosts in the lead.
Wollongong secured the win in the 82nd minute after a quick ball down the right-hand side of the field found Scott on the edge of the box.
Scott was able to drive a powerful effort past Henderson and into the bottom-right corner of the net, helping the Wolves to a 2-0 win over last season’s champions.
Wollongong coach Luke Wilkshire was pleased with the defensive display offered by his side, noting that Olympic forced them to concentrate more in order to secure the result.
“I’m delighted with the three points, I think first up we played some really good stuff,” he said.
“[We were] disappointed not to go in front but we got the goal in the second half early and then credit to Olympic, they really made a game of this.
“We were made to scramble at times, which is great for us cause it’s probably the first time we’ve really had to scramble like that, and I was very proud to keep the clean sheet.”
Meanwhile, Sydney Olympic coach Abbas Saad was frustrated by the final score, noting that his side were unable to finish off many of their chances.
“I’m the last guy who makes excuses cause when you get beaten you get beaten, if somebody outplays you, you were outplayed. But we did not deserve to lose today, we were the better team and it’s as simple as that,” he said.
“We created chances, we got balls in the box, but we didn’t get on the end of them and obviously blew a few from over the bar.
“It’s the story of our whole year, the amount of chances we’ve had and the ball just not bouncing our way.
“We’ve got another six games and we know we can win all six games, so we’ve got to continue to go. We’ll be on the front foot next week and looking for three points next week and hopefully our luck will change.”
Wollongong will be hoping to maintain their lead at the top of the ladder and gain some revenge for their FFA Cup exit when they travel to Popondetta Park next Saturday to take on a Mount Druitt Town Rangers side who have won their last three league games.
Sydney Olympic will be hoping to return to the winners circle next Sunday when they host Rockdale City Suns at Belmore Sports Ground.
Wollongong Wolves 2 (Lachlan Scott 50’, 82’)
Sydney Olympic FC 0
Sunday 23rd June, 2019
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: K. Patterson
Assistant Referees: M. McOrist and M. Staples
Fourth Official: L. Webb
Wollongong Wolves: 1. Justin Pasfield, 2. Taylor McDonald, 4. Nikola Djordjevic, 7. Christopher Price, 9. Thomas James, 11. Takeru Okada, 14. Harry Callahan (3. Darcy Madden 70’), 15. Nick Littler, 16. Guy Knight, 17. James Stojcevski (6. Benjamin Tosi 87’), 24. Lachlan Scott (23. Jordan Nikolovski 89’)
Substitutes Not Used: 12. Luke Kairies (GK), 13. Stefan Dimoski
Yellow Cards: Nick Littler 22’, James Stojcevski 86’
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney Olympic FC: 1. Paul Henderson, 3. Riley Woodcock, 4. Mitchell Stamatellis, 6. Nikola Kuleski, 7. William Angel (2. Thomas Whiteside 84’), 8. Jason Madonis (10. Harris Gaitatzis 66’), 9. Radovan Pavicevic (33. Nikolas Tsattalios 70’),11. Jinya An, 12. Zac Mackenzie, 14. Alejandro Sanchez, 44. Peter Kekeris
Substitutes Not Used: 19. Darcy Burgess, 25. Dimitrios Petratos
Yellow Cards: William Angel 77’
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings have now been hidden due to the second half of the season commencing.
By National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Cal Behrendt