A memorable James Andrew hattrick has lifted Sutherland Sharks to a convincing 4-1 win against a ten-man Mt Druitt Town Rangers in an action-packed clash at Seymour Shaw Park on Saturday.
It was the Sharks first win of the season with Sharks new recruit Andrew unstoppable as he made light work of the Rangers defence on his way to finding the back of the net three times.
Mt Druitt made a fast start to the contest with Jack Stewart scoring after only 16 minutes to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
However, It would all be all downhill from there for the Rangers with Andrew netting an equaliser and then Solomon-Johnn Monohan-Vaiika sent off before the interval.
Andrew scored two more after the interval and Jeremey Cox also got in on the act as Sutherland clinched all three points in style.
It was the home side who started stronger with Andrew hitting the crossbar and Cox firing narrowly wide
Cooper Coskerie replied for Mt Druitt with a surging run down Sutherland’s right and centred for Jack Stewart but Bouzanis was alive to the threat and made a spectacular diving save to fend off the danger.
It was the visitors who broke the deadlock when Stewart was played through in the 16th minute to plant his left-footed shot under Bouzanis to give Rangers the lead.
Sutherland looked to hit back straight away and nearly did when Chris McStay skied one over the bar.
It wasn’t long until the home side was given a chance to equalise from the penalty spot as Carlos Saliadarre was ruled to have taken out a Sutherland player in the box.
Andrew stepped up to convert with authority to make it 1-1.
Lindsay was tormenting the right-hand side of the Rangers’ defence, skipping his way through on several occasions but received scant reward for the balls he put into dangerous areas. Saliadarre managing to cut out several threats.
Monahan-Vaiika took one for the team, a moment he would regret soon after, on the half-hour when bringing down Cox, with Oliver Green following him into the book three minutes later.
Then came another moment of madness in the final moments of the first half as Monahan-Vaiika received his second caution of the half and was given his marching orders, reducing the visitors to ten-men.
Another delightful cross from Lindsay eluded both Cox and Andrew flashed across the face of goal as they made their numerical advantage count but the scoreboard wasn’t troubled again before the break leading to two very different team talks at half-time.
Mt Druitt struggled after the restart and were punished by impressive debutant Charlie Jones who robbed half-time substitute Fumoto Kamada before setting up Andrew to score his second.
Anthony Bouzanis in the Sharks goal was kept on his toes forced into making a double save from Roberts and Stewart as the visitors desperately tried to force themselves back into the contest.
Sutherland could have sat back and protected their advantage but looked for additional goals.
It didn’t take long for them to add to their tally with Andrew laying on an assist for Jeremy Cox who made it 3-1 for the Sharks.
The Rangers had their fair share of chances during the match but ultimately the strain of being a player short proved too great an imposition on a day Sutherland showed their potential.
Andrew was not to be denied and completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute with a bullet of a shot that almost burst the netting.
Mt Druitt coach Stewart Montgomery rued another costly defeat after what was a positive start.
“I felt we contributed significantly to all the key moments after having a great start to the match.,” Montgomery said.
“But we managed a way to let them back in and I’m very disappointed about how we dealt with some individual moments and you can look back on the result and really we were architects of our own downfall.
“There were many inconsistencies throughout the game but we have no complaints about the red card. We felt we should have had a penalty of our own but it wasn’t to be so we decided to let some of our bench players get a run, as they will do in the upcoming games, to see what they can bring to the side.”
Sharks’ coach Nick Dimovski was jubilant after the victory.
“We’ve been knocking on the door since the opening round and today we produced the kind of football we believe we possess,” he said.
“People will look at the sending-off but I genuinely feel we would have got the result regardless. We controlled large parts of the game, as we did against United 58, so I’m delighted for the players and fans alike.
“We have APIA away on Wednesday and this week is shaping into a very important one as our rearranged fixture is another opportunity for three points.
“Very pleased for James (Andrew) today as he is a quality player and has been banging them in for us even during pre-season so he’ll be taking the match ball home tonight and he deserves to.”
The Sharks travel to Sydney’s Inner West on Wednesday in search of their second successive victory where they will go in heavy favourites when they take on a winless APIA Leichhardt FC at Lambert Park (7:15pm kick-off).
Sutherland Sharks: 4 (Andrew 25’,47’, 67’, Cox 61’)
Mt Druitt Town Rangers: 1 (Stewart 16’)
Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Saturday, 27th March 2021
Referee: Sam Kelly
Assistant Referees: Matthew Riedy & Sophie Allum
4th Official: Majtaba Ebrahimi
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Anthony BOUZANIS, 3.Gabriel CONTIGIANI, 4.Brendan HOOPER, 5.Nic PETRILLO, 6.Patrick O’SHEA, 8.Oliver GREEN, 9.Jeremy COX (7.Peter SIMONOSKI 62’), 13.Charlie JONES (25.Alex MASCIOVECCHIO 62’), 14.Chris LINDSAY (22.Patrick SCIBILLIO 70’), 17.James ANDREW (99.Jonathan GROZDANOVSKI 70’), 88.Chris McSTAY
Substitutes not used: 10.Lachlan EVERITT, 16.Gerrard ROEBUCK
Yellow Cards: Green 33’, Hooper 71’
Red Cards: Nil
Mt Druitt Town Rangers: 1.Carlos SALIADARRE, 2.Solomon-Johnn MONOHAN-VAIIKA, 3.Travis OUGHTRED, 6.Blake THOMPSON, 7.Jack STEWART (10.Takumo TSUJIMONO 67’), 9.John ROBERTS (4.Mitchell SMITH 67’), 17.Cooper COSKERIE (5.George TUCSON-FIRTH 67’), 18.Jared MACEROLA, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Jake MAMONE (14.Fumoto KAMADA 46’), 33.Marc WARREN (8.Jason PEREZ 56’)
Substitutes not used: 24.Brendan ALLEN
Yellow Cards: Monohan-Vaiika 30’, Stewart 49’
Red Cards: Monohan-Vaiika 37
3 – Andrew (SS)
2 – McStay (SS)
1 – Lindsay (SS)
By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Micky Brock