Mt Druitt Town Rangers returned to the winner’s circle as the Easter Bunny waved his magic at Popondetta Park when a late Cooper Coskerie winner all but sunk a misfiring Sydney Olympic outfit 2-1 on Saturday evening.
The Rangers regrouped after a devastating 4-1 round 5 loss to the Sutherland Sharks as their resilient defence led by Travis Oughtred and Blake Thompson as well as keeper and skipper Carlos Saliadarre proved telling in their memorable win over highly fancied opponents.
The hosts repelled the waves of Sydney Olympic attacks in the first half before they opened the scoring through Japanese star Fumoto Kamada. They were pegged back but Coskerie touched home to give the home side, the chocolates as a fiesta descended in Mount Druitt soon after referee Katie Patterson blew the final whistle.
It is a fine line between pleasure and pain in the National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1.
Olympic were on the front foot but couldn’t find the net.
Blues substitute Yu Hasegawa equalised with ten to go but the points melted away late in a night of frustration for the visitors.
Aiming to build off their first win of the 2021 season, Sydney Olympic were on the front foot right from the opening whistle. Oliver Puflett had a pair of chances which forced Saliadarre into action as the Blues marksman continued his hunt for his first goal for the club.
The positive intent continued for the visitors.
Fabian Monge latched onto an errant pass but arrowed wide of the post.
Puflett also had another effort at goal which was duly collected by Saliadarre.
Saliadarre had to be at his best to deny Olympic’s Jason Madonis. The attacker took a sublime touch which put him through on goal but was denied by a flying Saliadarre.
Brendan Cholakian was next to try and break the deadlock. The former Manly United man whipped in a free-kick which Saliadarre had to push wide.
Stewart Montgomery’s men came to life late in the first half. It was down to the fantastic work from Jack Stewart weaving through defenders. His first effort went over the crossbar then just before the break, he stung the hands of Olympic shot stopper Christopher Parsons.
Coming out of the break, Mount Druitt Town Rangers sprung quickest to action.
A furious counter from Stewart and Kamada got the home side on the board. Kamada finished well off the post from a precise Stewart pass and it was 1-0 to the Rangers.
Searching for the equaliser, Sydney Olympic continued to push forward. Substitute Yu Hasegawa slashed an effort wide of the post as frustration grew for the visitors.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers were able to find some opportunities on the counter.
Goal scorer Kamada showed grit to get through several defenders, fell over and still fashioned a shot which fizzed wide.
Heading into the final stages on what was a see-sawing contest, Olympic found some joy, again through their substitutes. Blues speedster Peter Kekeris got behind the home side’s defence then sliced a cross through to a sliding Hasegawa to prod home and it was 1-1.
It was game on once more.
The game stretched as both sides tried to find the winner.
Takumu Tsujimura burst into the box and tried to find the angle but Daniel Diaz who blocked his shot into the path of Parsons.
There was however a moment of magic left for Mount Druitt Town Rangers on the counter as Ante Juric’s men were left to rue a golden chance to pick up the three points. Stewart started it with the flick, found Coskerie who exchanged passes with substitute John Roberts for Coskerie to slide home, 2-1 and the decibel levels at Popondetta all but drowned out the devoted Olympic fans that made the trek to Mount Druitt.
Speaking afterwards, a delighted Stewart Montgomery praised his side for their spirit and work ethic to deny Olympic.
“It was a tough game tonight as expected against Olympic.
“We had to be patient and hit them on the counter.
“Overall, I was happy with the boys effort.
“You need to be able to dig in against good sides, like we did tonight. We let ourselves down last weekend, but we dealt with them well. It was much more patient from us.
“He [Jack] Stewart was involved in everything. We missed him at the start of the season, and he was fantastic. I also thought both Fumoto Kamada and Takumu Tsujimura who started together for the first time this season were good.”
The mood was visibly different in the visitors dressing as Ante Juric expressed his disappointment with his side not being able to finish off their chances that ended up haunting them in the end.
“I was disappointed tonight.
“We dominated every part of the game but gave away two simple goals which wasn’t in the plan.
“We had plenty of chances in the first half but couldn’t put them away.”
Mount Druitt Town Rangers FC 2 (Kamada ‘52, Coskerie ‘88)
Sydney Olympic FC 1 (Hasegawa ‘79)
Saturday 3rd April 2021
Popondetta Park, Emerton
Referee: K. Patterson
Assistant Referees: S. Allum & M. Allum
Fourth Official: H. Al-Nakeeb
Mount Druitt Town Rangers: 1. SALIADARRE Carlos, 3. OUGHTRED Travis, 6. THOMPSON Blake, 7. STEWART Jack (5. TUSON-FIRTH ‘90+2), 8. PEREZ Jason, 10. TSUJIMURA Takumu (4. SMITH ‘89), 14. KAMADA Fumoto (9. ROBERTS ‘81), 17. COSKERIE Cooper, 18. MACEROLA Jared, 21. ELRICH Tarek, 22. MAMONE Jake
Unused subs: 24. ALLEN Brendan, 32. BONANNI Paolo, 40. TAKAMI Andre
Red cards: nil
Sydney Olympic FC: 2. WHITESIDE Thomas, 4. VAN MEURS Benjamin, 5. GLASSOCK Michael, 6. KULESKI Nicola, 8. MADONIS Jason, 9. PUFLETT Oliver (18. HASEGAWA ‘59), 10. CHOLAKIAN Brendan, 11. PARKHOUSE Adam, (17. PETERSON ‘74) 21. MONGE Fabian (14. KEKERIS ‘66), 23. DIAS Daniel, 70. PARSONS Christopher
Unused subs: 7. ANGEL William, 22. FERREIRA Fabio, 30. KAIRIES Luke
Yellow cards: Kuleski
Red cards: nil
3 – Jack Stewart (MDTR)
2 – Carlos Saliadarre (MDTR)
1 – Daniel Dias (SO)
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)