Round 19 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition is in the bag and Wollongong Wolves are only a game shy of potentially clinching the title.
Luke Wilkshire’s Wolves had a big win on Saturday to move only two points shy of securing a historic Premiership win for the club.
While the Premiership race is almost done and dusted, the battle for the remaining finals positions is still very much up for grabs with this week’s results adding a new twist to the tale.
Marconi Stallions late run of form has them back in the top five with only three games to go, while Sydney United 58’s form slump has them outside the finals places for the first time since the opening weeks of the season.
With only handful of points separating third from ninth anything could happen in the run home.
Wollongong Wolves 4 – Sutherland Sharks 0 at WIN Stadium
Wollongong Wolves are on the precipice of claiming the 2019 National Premier League NSW Men’s Premiership after a 4-0 win over Sutherland Sharks at WIN Stadium on Saturday evening.
Two goals in each half was enough to secure the result for the Wolves, who move within one point of claiming the Premiership with only three rounds remaining.
Despite both sides seeing solid opportunities go begging in the opening exchanges, it was the hosts who finally broke the deadlock in the 30th minute thanks to a goal from in-form striker Lachlan Scott. Darcy Madden scored ten minutes from the break to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.
Scott turned provider early in the second half to set up Takeru Okada while Golden Boot leader Thomas James wrapped up the win with a 69th minute screamer.
Marconi Stallions 4 – Mt Druitt Town Rangers 2 at Marconi Stadium
Marconi Stallions have kept their finals hopes alive with a 4-2 win against Mt Druitt Town Rangers at Marconi Stadium on Saturday.
A brace to Martin Fernandez set the tone for Marconi before a Marko Jesic penalty and Nathan Milgate strike wrapped up the win for the home side.
Mt Druitt tried to fight back through a late first half goal to Jacob Esposito but it wasn’t to be while Fabricio Fernandez’s second half goal proved to be a mere consolation.
The result means Marconi temporarily moves into the top five on 26 points but will fall into sixth if Sydney Olympic taste victory on Sunday.
Sydney United 58 0 – Sydney FC 2 at Sydney United Sports Centre
Sydney FC has heaped further woe on Sydney United 58 claiming a shock 2-1 win at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday.
It was the second upset win in as many weeks for the Young Sky Blues who secured their safety from relegation with the win.
Quick thinking from Benjamin Koop opened Sydney FC’s account midway through the second half when he tapped home after a fumble from Thomas Manos before Jordan Swibel wrapped up the win in the dying stages with a clinical finish.
It was yet another frustrating defeat for United 58 as they slumped to their fifth consecutive league match without a win and their third without scoring a goal.
It could’ve easily gone the other way with the home side hitting the woodwork twice and creating numerous chances.
United hold onto fourth place despite the result but now hold only a one point lead over Marconi.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 – Sydney Olympic 1 at Lambert Park
A Chris Payne double has helped APIA Leichhardt Tigers claim bragging rights with a 3-1 win in the grand final rematch against Sydney Olympic at Lambert Park on Sunday.
The win all but ties up second place for APIA with three games still to play ensuring they have at least one home game in the finals.
The Tigers opened the scoring thanks to a well taken finish from Paul Galimi late in the first half.
Payne scored a quick double in the first ten minutes to put the home side well and truly in the drivers seat.
Jinya An pulled one back for Olympic with half an hour to play, but a confident performance from the APIA defence helped the hosts across the line.
Rockdale City Suns 2 – Blacktown City 4 at Ilinden Sports Centre
Blacktown City secured their spot in the finals with a drama packed 4-2 win on the road against Rockdale City Suns at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
It was third placed Blacktown’s third win from their past four games and stretches their unbeaten run to four matches.
Panny Nikas’ return from a lengthy stint on the sidelines was unable to re-ignite a stuttering Rockdale side as the visitors raced out of the blocks with three unanswered goals thanks to finishes from Mason Versi, Joey Gibbs and Leroy Jennings.
Alec Urosevski and Nikas scored midway through the second half as they tried to lift their struggling Suns side but it wasn’t to be with Versi scoring his second that all but securing the win for Blacktown.
It went from bad to worse for the home side with captain Daniel Petkovski sent off in the final five minutes with the defeat all but ending Rockdale’s hopes of finals football.
Hakoah Sydney City East – Manly United 1 at Hensley Athletic Field
Manly United FC have kept alive their hopes of playing finals’ football after downing hosts Hakoah Sydney City East at Hensley Athletic Field by 2-1.
A goal in each half by Paul Dee’s side did the trick against a gallant Hakoah as the hosts put an end to a four game losing to move only one point outside the top five.
It was another frustrating result for Hakoah who gifted Manly a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Steve Katsionis own goal before Dejan Pandurevic doubled the lead for the visitors midway through the second half.
Amaury Gauthier netted in the dying stages for the home side but it wasn’t enough to stop Manly from taking home all three points.