Sydney United 58 maintained their position at the top of the National Premier Leagues NSW ladder as well as their 100% record after a comfortable 4-1 victory against old foes Blacktown City FC at Sydney United Sports Centre.
The league leaders were flawless throughout the contest as they cruised to their fourth win of the season and have really set the benchmark as being the team to beat in the NPL NSW Men’s competition.
Matthew Sim dazzled the defence with a goal on either side of the break which included a highlight reel free-kick.
Patrick Antelmi and Tariq Maia added the other goals to complete their fourth win of the season as Tomi Vidovic’s side looked too hot to trot.
Blacktown City FC toiled hard but wasn’t able to find the finishing touch tonight.
There was some brief belief in a comeback when Travis Major nodded home. The story of their afternoon was some poor finishing which cost them against the leaders.
Looking to continue their unbeaten run, Sydney United 58 FC were first to have an attempt. Matthew Sim provided a precise through ball into the path of Chris Payne. The striker dragged his shot wide of the post.
Blacktown City FC came into the contest as the underdog and their best threat came from the set-piece. Daniel Collins connected well from a deep free-kick but nodded wide of the goal.
It was Sydney United 58 FC that struck first from some solid play down the wing from Matthew Bilic. He teased a cross across the box, into the box of Sim, who slammed home for 1-nil to the home side.
Pressing home their advantage, Sydney United 58 doubled their advantage in the 34th minute. Devante Clut started the move for Patrick Antelmi to slot home, 2-nil Sydney United 58.
While they continued to press for their first goal, Blacktown City FC was restricted to long-range efforts from Rhett Da Silva. Their best chance fell to Carlos De Oliveira whose shot deflected wide of the goal as they trailed by two at the break.
Coming out of the break and feeling just fine. Sydney United 58 aimed to assert their dominance with Antelmi unfurled a strong shot which stung the palms of Blacktown City FC shot-stopper Tristan Prendergast.
The game started to break open, as Blacktown City FC chased a way back into the contest. Suleyman Bangura was free on the break. The striker bounded on goal but curled his effort wide of Sydney United 58 custodian Danijel Nizic’s right post.
Blacktown City FC was again presented with the perfect chance back into the contest. Some slick passing opened up space on the wing before Travis Major tapped wide.
Ground control to Travis Major saw the Blacktown City FC striker make amends on the second occasion. The corner was curled in and was knocked down by Lachlan Campbell for Major to thump home, 2-1.
The tide had turned, Blacktown City FC started to make the greater chances. Both Bangura and Major had chances in the same movement. They also started to show more thrust in their set-pieces against the home side.
Trying to wrestle control back, Sydney United 58 brought on experienced campaigners Yianni Fragogiannis and Glen Trifiro to shore up the contest. Fragogiannis made an instant impact with a pass which saw Sim hit the post off a Blacktown City FC defender’s back.
It took a moment of magic to bring everyone inside Sydney United Sports Centre to their feet. Matthew Sim stood over the free-kick just outside the area. Sim guided the ball into the top right corner, 3-1 to Sydney United 58.
The fourth goal was made in the substitutions. Fragogiannis started the move, found Jackson Khoury on the right to cut back to Tariq Maia to sweep home for 4-1.
Speaking afterwards, Sydney United 58 coach Tomi Vidovic was measured in his side’s success against a tough Blacktown City FC side.
“We created enough chances to score goals tonight. Blacktown City is a tough and disciplined side that caused us some issues in the second half,” he said.
“We know that we need to improve next weekend against Marconi. I think you can never expect a perfect game.
There are always ways to improve, otherwise, that is when you lose.”
Blacktown City FC coach Mark Crittenden remained positive despite the result.
“They were very clinical tonight, they are a good side. We didn’t take our chances tonight and it cost us,” he said.
“We created enough chances in that second half to get back into the game.
“I was quite happy with our effort after the opening half-hour.”
Sydney United 58 FC 4 (Sim ‘25, ‘79, Antelmi ‘34, Maia ‘89)
Blacktown City FC 1 (Major ‘65)
Sunday 21st March 2021
Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park
Referee: M. Weiner
Assistant Referees: J. Adabjou & M. Staples
Fourth Official: B. Merchant
Sydney United 58 FC: 1. NIZIC Dainjel, 3. ROBERTS Jordan (22. FRAGOGIANNIS ‘73), 4. VLASTELICA Adrian, 5. TOMILIC Anthony, 6. PAYNE Christopher (15. MAIA ‘83), 8. SIM Matthew (7. KHOURY ‘83), 9. ANTELMI Patrick, 10. CLUT Devante (TRIFIRO ‘73), 11. PERKATIS Yianni (14. AGAMEMNONOS ‘59), 16. POSCOLIERO Jacob, 17. BILIC Matthew
Substitutes not used: 21. ORLOVIC Josip
Red cards: nil
Blacktown City FC: 1. PRENDERGAST Tristan, 3. COLLINS Daniel, 4. CAMPBELL Lachlan, 5. LYNCH Grant (26. BIRNIE ‘87), 6. LEWIS Matthew, 7. MAJOR Travis, 11. DA SILVA Rhett, 18. BANGURA Suleyman, 19. BERRY Adam, 22. DE OLIVERA Carlos, 29. O’BRIEN Nicholas (10. SHABOW ‘59)
Substitutes not used: 17. ASKEW Dakota, 40. CUNICO Zane
Yellow cards: Campbell
Red cards: nil
3: Matthew Sim (SYD 58)
2: Patrick Antelmi (SYD 58)
1: Matthew Bilic (Syd 58)
By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)