Sydney FC has clung on for a 1-1 draw with Mt Druitt Town Rangers in wild weather conditions at Wanderers Football Park on Saturday night.
In a match dominated by gale force winds and torrential rain as Sydney continued to bear the brunt of mother nature, The Young Sky Blues clung on for a point as a wasteful Rangers were unable to make the most of their chances.
Sydney FC looked on track to snatch a shock win as Calum Talbot latched onto a sublime pass from Patrick Yazbek midway through the first half to give the visitors the lead against the run of play.
However, A dramatic reshuffle swung the game in Mt Druitt’s favour after the interval with substitute Jack Stewart finding a crucial equaliser.
It could’ve been three points for the home side but wasteful finishing in front of goal meant they had to settle for the draw.
The match got off to a crazy start with extreme winds and rain making it hard for players to get into their rhythm.
The first real effort of the match came from a sensational curling free-kick from Blake Thompson that forced an even better diving save from Young Sky Blues shot stopper Levi Kaye in the 12th minute.
The Rangers were thanking their keeper only a few minutes later as Carlos Saliadarre dived low to push a curling Jordi Swibel effort wide of the post.
Desperation defence was needed from Mt Druitt as Travis Oughtred snuck in and cleared the ball off the foot off Adrian Saracino inside the penalty area just as the young striker was set to shoot.
However, the best chance of the half fell to the Rangers in the 28th minute.
Mitch Smith was left dumbfounded as he had two efforts cleared off the line by a scrambling Sydney defence before Tarek Elrich was denied from only metres out after collecting the second rebound.
It was a missed opportunity which would prove costly for the home side with The Young Sky Blues opening the scoring through Talbot who hit the back of the net after a delightful lobbed pass from Patrick Yazbek put him in behind the defence.
A diving Kaye save in the dying seconds of the half ensured the visitors went into the break holding the 1-0 advantage.
Rangers coach Stewart Montgomery shook up his attack at the start of the second stanza bringing on strikers George Tuson-Firth and Jack Stewart.
The added firepower kickstarted the home side’s attack as they pushed forward with extra intent.
Sydney FC were holding tight to deny wave after wave of Rangers attack.
However, the new found energy paid off for Mt Druitt with Stewart finding the back of the net in the 73rd minute with a speculative effort from 30 yards out which Kaye could do nothing about.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1, The Young Sky Blues awoke from their attacking slumber trading blows with their opponents as the match went from end to end.
Aaron Gurd made a brilliant clearance off his own line to deny Mt Druitt in the 88th minute as the home side desperately pushed for a late winner.
John Roberts had a golden chance to snatch the win in the dying seconds but he sprayed his volley wide ensuring both sides would go home with a point each.
Rangers coach Stewart Montgomery said his side paid the price for wasting their chances.
“We dominated large periods of that match and could have scored three or four goals,” he said.
“We had plenty of chances but we were unable to make the most of them.
“The weather made it tough for the boys to find their rhythm early but I thought we deserved much more than a draw from this game.”
Sydney FC coach Jim van Weeren felt his team did well to secure a point.
“The boys played very well tonight despite the conditions and I feel a draw was a good result for us,” he said.
“Mt Druitt had a lot of chances and we showed a lot of character to hold them out as much as we did.
“I thought we could’ve even snatched the win when we still had the 1-0 lead midway through the second half but in the end it wasn’t to be.”
Mt Druitt Town Rangers: (Stewart 73′)
Sydney FC: 1 (Talbot 38′)
Saturday, March 20 2021
Wanderers Football Park, Rooty Hill
Referee: H Jomaa
Assistant Referees: M Allam and C Loveday
Fourth Official: J Rose
Mt Druitt Town Rangers: 1. Carlos Saliadarre, 3. Travis Oughtred, 4. Mitchell Smith (7. Jack Stewart 45′), 6. Blake Thompson, 8. Jason Perez (14. Fumoto Kamada), 9. John Roberts, 17. Cooper Coskerie , 18. Jared Macerola, 21. Tarek Elrich (2. Solomon-John Monahan-Vaiika 34′), 22. Jake Mamone (5. George Tuson-Firth 45′), 33. Marc Warren.
Substitutes not used: 10. Takumu Tsujimura, , 24. Brendan Allen,
Yellow Cards: Oughtred 26′
Sydney FC: 1. Levi Kaye, 3. Aaron Gurd, 6. Thomas Main (5. Corey Hollman 78′) , 7. Aidan Simmons (14. Aiden Mostofi 70′), 8. Patrick Yazbek, (9. Adrian Saracino 11. Adrian Segecic 70′), 10. Jaiden Kucharski, 17. Jayden Trenkoski (2. Cameron Fong 53′), 23. Callum Talbot, 26. Patrick Flottmann, 27. Jordan Swibel
Substitutes not used: 15. Scott Browning
Yellow Cards: Saracino 62′
3 – Jack Stewart (MDTR)
2 – Patrick Yazbek (SFC)
1 – Levi Kaye (SFC)