Blacktown City FC recorded their first win of the 2021 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s season with a 2-0 victory over Northbridge Bulls FC on Sunday afternoon at Lily Homes Stadium.
Goals to young guns Suleyman Bangura and Jak O’Brien sealed the win for the home side, whose defensive stability kept an energetic Northbridge Bulls side at bay.
Blacktown City’s Bangura and Carlos D’Oliveira looked dangerous in the opening stages of the first half, however, it wasn’t until the 41st minute that their efforts came to fruition.
In his 200th game for Blacktown City, Travis Major combined with D’Oliveira to create a dangerous goal-scoring opportunity.
While D’Oliveira’s shot was deflected by Bulls goalkeeper Barry Griffin, Bangura was clinical in netting the rebound to take the lead for the home side – It was also to be the club’s first official NPL NSW Men’s goal for 2021.
After hitting the sheds at half-time with a one-goal lead, Blacktown came back to the pitch with plenty of fire, netting their second just minutes into the second stanza through Jak O’Brien.
O’Brien curled a classy ball past Griffin to double the lead for the home side in the 48th minute.
Northbridge’s Moudi Najjar came close to getting his team on the scoreboard in the 50th minute when he maneuvered his way into a one-on-one situation with Tristan Prendergast, however, he sent his strike straight into the custodian’s legs.
Despite their efforts, Northbridge was unable to break through the Blacktown defence as the home side clung on until the final whistle for all three points.
Blacktown Coach, Mark Crittenden, explained that while he was happy with the win there is still a lot for his team to work on.
“It was nice to win – it’s nice to win any game,” Crittenden said.
“We created enough chances to win a couple of games which is positive, but we just need to be a little bit more clinical in that last third.
“We kept a clean sheet so that’s two clean sheets in two weeks and that’s something we really strive on – we want to be a strong defensive unit”
While Northbridge Bulls coach Mile Sterjovski was happy with the effort his team put in, he noted there were lessons to take out of the match.
“I think we dominated the first half and we probably should have been 2-0 up – it was hard conceding a goal right before half time,” Sterjovski explained
“I think the boys did really well. In the second half there were some really good periods where we have good possession and got forward a lot, but I think some of the experience from Blacktown City shone through and they took their chances in the end.
“I think the boys are realizing that it’s not only good enough to play good football, but we have to put away our chances to get results.”
Blacktown City FC 2 (Suleyman Bangura 41’, Jak O’Brien 48’)
Northbridge Bulls FC 0
Sunday 7th March, 2021
Lily Homes Stadium
Referee: A. Arndt
Assistant Referees: H. Fenton-White & A. Morris
Fourth Official: C. Wright
Blacktown City FC: 1. Tristan Prendergast, 3. Daniel Collins, 4. Lachlan Campbell, 5. Grant Lynch, 7. Travis Major (37. Jacob Casha), 8. Jak O’Brien, 18. Suleyman Bangura, 19. Adam Berry, 22. Carlos De Oliveira, 24. Jackson Bandiera (26. Tyre Burnie), 29. Nicholas O’Brien (11. Rhett Desilva)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Dylan Niski, 36. Jacob Maniti,
Yellow Cards: 3. Daniel Collins
Red Cards: Nil
Northbridge Bulls: 3. Theph Theph, 4. Nikola Udjur (2. Jack Mcloughlin), 8. Sean Eve, 10. Rory Jordan (16. Jake Jovanovski), 11. Stephen De Robillard (6. Lachlan Sepping), 13. Walter Scott, 15. Edward Caspers, 17. Yianni Nicolaou, 18. Diego Bonilla (9. Bul Juach), 24. Moudi Najjar, 40. Barry Griffin
Substitutes Not Used: 14. Giovanni Panuccio
Yellow Cards: 8. Sean Eve, 4. Nikola Udjur, 10. Rory Jordan
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Suleyman Bangura (BC)
2 – Carlos De Oliveira (BC)
1 – Grant Lynch (BC)
By National Premier Leagues NSW Reporter Madeline Riley (@madelineriley23)