Round 18 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition is in the books and Wollongong have moved one step closer to claiming the premiership title.
The Wolves snatched a hard-fought victory to move seven points ahead of APIA Leichhardt after they dropped points in a 1-1 draw against Blacktown City.
Marconi Stallions found form to end Sutherland Sharks’ ten game unbeaten streak while Manly United’s struggles continued against Sydney Olympic.
The battle for a spot in the finals is really heating up with only six points separating fourth from tenth place and with four games to go it seems set to go down to the wire.
Sutherland Sharks 0 – Marconi Stallions 3 at Seymour Shaw Park
James Andrew has come back to haunt his former club scoring a brace to end Sutherland Sharks incredible ten game unbeaten streak as Marconi Stallions claimed a 3-0 win at Seymour Shaw Park on Saturday.
Andrew was a headache all night for the Sharks defence and made the most of his return to the Shire to lead his Stallions team to a much needed win.
The pacy winger scored on either side of the interval to give the visitors the upper hand before veteran striker Marko Jesic wrapped up the win in the 62nd minute.
It was an incredible return to form for Marconi with the three points vital in keeping their fading finals hopes alive.
Sydney FC 3 – Rockdale City Suns 1 at Lambert Park
Sydney FC have dealt a crushing blow to Rockdale City Suns FC finals hopes with a Marco Tilio brace led 3-1 success tonight at a wet Lambert Park.
The victory was the Sky Blues first since Round 12 when they downed Hakoah Sydney City East.
The Young Sky Blues were made to work for it, coming back from a goal down with a pair of highlight reel strikes from Marco Tilio. Substitute Benjamin Koop added a late chip to confirm the result as they move to 17 points for the season.
Tonight was a tough result for Rockdale City Suns FC. The Suns had the lead through a first half injury time strike from Aleksandar Canak but some errors in the second half have them on the edge of elimination.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 0 v Sydney United 58 0 at Popondetta Park
A man of the match performance from Carlos Saliadarre has helped Mt Druitt Town Rangers claim a hard fought 0-0 draw against Sydney United 58 at Popondetta Park on Saturday night.
The veteran goalkeeper was in inspired form making numerous saves to keep a fired up United off the scoresheet.
Both teams had their chances but neither could possessed the clinical finishing required in a match which fell victim to the wet and windy conditions it was played in.
It was the third straight week United 58 was held scoreless while Mt Druitt is sure to take solace in the way they responded after last week’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of league leaders Wollongong.
Manly United 1 – Sydney Olympic 2 at Cromer Park
Two Nikola Kuleski stunners has helped Sydney Olympic emerge 2-1 victors over Manly United in a pulsating encounter at Cromer Park on Sunday afternoon.
Following a rather tame opening stanza, the contest sprung to life two minutes after the interval as Kuleski produced a goal of the season contender from long range.
Manly equalised courtesy of a Brendan Cholakian set piece twenty minutes later, however they were only level for a matter of moments as Kuleski curled in another screamer from his own dead ball scenario on the 70-minute mark.
The hosts found themselves in the ascendancy for extended periods of the match, however were left frustrated by a heroic defensive showing from the Champions.
There was no shortage of late drama as a last-gasp equaliser from substitute Charles Mendy was eventually scratched out for offside after a heart-stopping few minutes of deliberation by the officials.
Six minutes of stoppage time were eventually brought to a halt, and Olympic secured a priceless three points to tighten their stranglehold on an all-important top five position, breaking Manly hearts in the process.
Blacktown City 1 – APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1 at Lily Homes Stadium
A second half Grant Lynch goal has helped Blacktown City claim a 1-1 draw against APIA Leichhardt Tigers at Lily Homes Stadium on Sunday.
The City central defender fired home from the penalty spot after 71 minutes to ensure the Mark Crittenden coached side took home a point from a hard fought contest.
Franco Parisi helped give APIA the lead when he delivered a perfect pass to set up Josh Symons for the opener just after the restart.
However, it didn’t last for long with Mason Versi taken down in the penalty area soon after to set up Lynch for the equaliser.
Despite the result APIA and Blacktown City maintain their second and third positions on the ladder.
Wollongong Wolves 1 – Hakoah Sydney City East FC 0 at WIN Stadium
A first-half strike from Wollongong’s Lachlan Scott helped the Wolves beat competition strugglers Hakoah Sydney City East 1-0 at WIN Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Scott’s 34th minute strike helped the league leaders go seven points clear at the top of the National Premier League NSW Men’s ladder with just four rounds remaining.
It was a hard-fought clash for the hosts who dominated proceedings but struggled to get the ball in the back of the net.
For Hakoah it was another loss exacerbated by their struggles in the final third.