Marconi Stallions have given Sydney FC an early reality check in a dominant 4-0 win at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
The Young Sky Blues claimed a brilliant upset last week against Mt Druitt Town Rangers, but they were no match for the experienced Stallions who have now made it two wins from as many games.
A brace by Anthony Frangie was bookended by goals from Anthony Costa and Nathan Millgate as Marconi sent a clear signal that they will be one of the teams to beat this season.
The Stallions have now scored eight goals from their opening two matches further cementing their place on top of the NPL NSW ladder.
Sydney FC were playing their first home game of the season but it didn’t stop Marconi from taking over the contest from the opening whistle.
In the 9th minute a long cross from Mitchell Mallia reached Frangie at the far post, but his header was knocked away by the Sydney FC defence for a corner.
Marconi were at it again in the 16th minute when Marko Jesic created some space down the left channel and fired a shot that took a slight deflection and ended up in the side netting.
A free kick from just outside the box by Mitchell Mallia midway through the first stanza of play was punched way by goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic as Marconi kept up the pressure on the young home side.
A header from Nathan Millgate then reached Anthony Costa in the 33rd minute who shot just over from a very dangerous position.
Late in the first half the Young Sky Blues had their first chance of the encounter. Jordi Swibel had a chance from close range but he shot just wide of the mark when a long drifting ball from the right found him lurking near the far post.
In 43rd minute though Marconi did take the lead that they so richly deserved. Anthony Costa put the visitors ahead when a deflected shot wrong-footed the Sydney FC goalkeeper and ended up in the back of the net from what appeared to be a near innocuous position.
Early in the second half the first real chance belonged to Sydney FC when Patrick Flottman headed a corner just over the intended target from close range.
Marconi’s second goal though was a real gift. A stray back pass from the young home side ended up in Frangie’s path who simply charged through open space before firing home and hitting the back of the net.
Sydney FC tried their luck when Patrick Hollman midway through the second half had a chance from just outside the box that just missed the Marconi goal.
Then, in the 68th minute, Frangie scored his brace. The Sydney FC goalkeeper’s throw out was intercepted and played to Frangie who curled one into the top left hand corner of the net. It was indeed a great goal for the Stallions.
In the 75th minute a corner by Jesic reached Nathan Millgate at the far post and he simply headed in Marconi’s fourth of the night to put the game well and truly beyond reach, if it wasn’t already.
Sydney FC did have some late chances. Patrick Wood’s cross from the right to Cameron Peupion saw the latter produce a rocket but Nenad Vekic beautifully turned the ball around the post. A minute later an unmarked Jaiden Kucharski shot just wide when really he should have found the back of the net.
The last real chance of the game though was fittingly to Marconi. A cross from the right was headed by Jesic straight into the post.
After the game the Marconi Stallions dressing room was a happy, singing place but coach Peter Tsekenis was still not getting carried away this early in the season.
“If you look at the results, 4-1 last week and then 4-0 today, it’s definitely a good place to be in,” he said.
“I am happy with a lot of things and at this early stage of the season I am happy with where we are at.
“I thought today that Sydney FC were exceptional in many areas and they really pushed us. To be honest they had a few chances but probably at the wrong time. “We took our chances at the right time but they pushed us and never let up.”
The Sydney FC dressing room wasn’t too despondent despite the result, a sentiment echoed by their coach Jim van Weeren.
“We created enough chances to score a few goals ourselves but we also made some mistakes, with the ball and without the ball,” he stated.
“A good team like Marconi will punish you everytime. I think the boys will feel that they should have done better in terms of the result, but at key times we made mistakes which cost us in the end.
“We pride ourselves on being a good attacking team and, like tonight, we created chances and in an ideal world we would have converted more.
“So now we’ll just keep our heads up and go again next week.”
SYDNEY FC: 0
MARCONI STALLIONS: 4 (Costa 43’, Frangie 61’, 68’, Millgate 75’)
Sunday, 8th March 2020
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: Toby Plasto
Assistant Referees: Joon Park, Ray Osborne
Fourth Official: Jared Katz
SYDNEY FC: 1.Adam Pavlesic, 4.Anton Mlinaric, 5.Thomas Fay, 6.Calem Nieuwenhof, 7.Jake Hollman (24.Patrick Wood 73’), 9.Benjamin Koop (11.Jaiden Kucharski 55’), 13.Jordi Swibel, 14.Patrick Flottman (3.Aaron Gurd 68’), 15.Scott Browning, 17.Callum Talbot, 18.Cameron Peupion.
Substitutes not used: 2.Cameron Fong, 20.Levi Kaye.
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Card: Nil
MARCONI STALLIONS: 1.Nenad Vekic, 2.Nathan Millgate, 3.Giorgio Speranza, 4.Roberto Speranza, 8.Connor Evans, 9.Anthony Costa (23.Brandon Vella 57’), 10.Marko Jesic, 11.Mitchell Mallia, 14.Anthony Frangie, 16.Liam Youlley (6.Mark Rodic 46’), 19.Zachary Cairncross (12.James Andrew 76’).
Substitutes not used: 17.Martin Fernandez, 20.Dion Shaw.
Yellow Cards: Youlley 19’, Cairncross 53’, Evans 90’
Red Card: Nil
3 – Anthony Frangie (MS)
2 – Nathan Millgate (MS)
1 – Marko Jesic (MS)
By National Prmier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Joe Russo