Blacktown City has powered to the top of the National Premier Leagues NSW competition with an impressive 4-2 victory against Marconi Stallions at Marconi Stadium on Saturday night as the visitors heaped more misery on Peter Tsekenis’ squad who have failed to win a league match for over a month now.
Two goals on each side of the interval helped City to their third consecutive win with the three points helping them leapfrog Rockdale Ilinden into first place.
Marconi had a perfect start to the game with Nathan Millgate opening the scoring after only six minutes, but Blackton hit back through Lachlan Campbell and Dakota Askew to hold a 2-1 lead at half time.
Charles Mendy stretched Blacktown City’s lead not long after the restart, but Liam Youlley hit back for Marconi to keep them in the game.
A late goal to substitute Carlos De Olivera wrapped up the win and three competition points for the visitors.
Marconi fans had plenty to cheer about in the opening exchanges of the contest as Millgate nodded home from close range only six minutes in.
In the 22nd minute, a nice move by Blacktown City was ended by captain Matthew Lewis but his shot was deflected for a corner.
From the ensuing corner kick, Blacktown equalised as Campbell managed to sneak the ball home from the near post in what wasn’t the greatest goal but they all count the same on the scoreboard.
In the 28th minute, a powerful drive from just outside the box from Mendy was met down low by the reliable Nenad Vekic in goal. Marconi responded through Mitchell Mallia shortly afterwards when his shot from just outside the box was deflected only a fraction wide.
In the 34th minute, Mendy was clear on goal and fired from just outside the box, but was just a bit too heavy on the final touch and the ball cleared the crossbar by only a matter of centimetres.
Right at the death of the first half though Blacktown City did manage to take the lead for the first time in the encounter. The ball from the by-line from Mendy reached Askew who blasted home a diagonal drive that gave Vekic no chance.
The visitors extended their lead early in the second half when Mario Shabow placed a perfect cross into the middle for Charles Mendy who volleyed home spectacularly, but Marconi was aggrieved by a push from Shabow on Giorgio Speranza in executing his cross. However, it was given the green light by the officials despite the home side’s vociferous protestations.
Marconi scored a beautiful goal in the 60th minute through Liam Youlley who, from some distance, created space and then fired in a rocket that gave Tristan Prendergast no chance.
In the 68th minute, an almighty shot from Giorgio Speranza looked certain to hit the back of the net until a Blacktown City defender stuck out a leg and the ball finished just wide for a corner.
Blacktown City extended their lead to two goals again in the 70th minute when both substitutes combined. A perfect cross from Rhett Desilva reached Carlos De Oliveira in the middle and he simply headed home sending the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
In the 79th minute Marconi was unlucky after a series of half-chances in the box but in the end, Giorgio Speranza hammered home his shot which was deflected just wide of the target thanks to some desperate defending from the visitors.
Near the end, the game descended into some argy-bargy from both sides after a nasty foul on Anthony Frangie but the officials worked work to calm the situation.
After the game Blacktown City’s coach Mark Crittenden was very happy to secure the three points against an always challenging team.
“It’s always very hard when you come here because they are a good team and there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“You just got to be up for the battle when you come here and, to walk away with the three points, we’re ecstatic. We are going alright this season; the boys work hard and have a good work ethic.
“We are starting to find some goals too even though I am a bit disappointed that we conceded some tonight, but I am happy that we are heading in the right direction.”
His counterpart Peter Tsekenis was frustrated but pleased at the same time with his team’s efforts.
“The main thing from tonight’s game was that our boys stuck at it and I am so proud of them,” he said.
“Clearly there were factors that we couldn’t control but our effort was superb. We had a tough midweek game and overall I am very proud of our team.”
MARCONI STALLIONS: 2 (Millgate 7’, Youlley 60’)
BLACKTOWN CITY: 4 (Campbell 23’, Askew 45’, Mendy 53’, De Oliveira 70’)
Saturday 1st May 2021
Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Referee: Michael Weiner
Assistant Referees: Janush Adabjou, Ivica Covic
Fourth Official: Isabella Libri
MARCONI STALLIONS: 1.Nenad Vevic, 2.Nathan Millgate, 3.Giorgio Speranza, 4.Roberto Speranza, 6.Mark Rodic (17.Martin Fernandez 46’), 8.Connor Evans, 10.Marko Jesic (9.Anthony Costa 85’), 11.Mitchell Mallia (14.Anthony Frangie 59’), 16.Liam Youlley, 19.Zach Cairncross, 23.Brandon Vella (21.Emanuel Peters 59’).
Substitutes not used: 5.Mason Ingram, 20.Dion Shaw
Yellow Cards: Rodic 4’, Cairncross 55’
Red Card: Nil
BLACKTOWN CITY: 1.Tristan Prendergast, 3.Daniel Collins, 4.Lachlan Campbell, 5.Grant Lynch, 6.Matthew Lewis, 7.Travis Major, 8.Jak O’Brien, 10.Mario Shabow (22.Carlos De Oliveira 69’), 17.Dakota Andrew (11.Rhett Desilva 46’), 19.Adam Berry, 21.Charles Mendy (18.Suleyman Bangura 76’).
Substitutes not used: 14.Caleb Jackson-Brown, 20.Dylan Niski, 24.Jackson Bandiera
Yellow Cards: Shabow 17’, Collins 86’, Berry 90’, Major 93’
Red Card: Nil
3 – Lachlan Campbell (BC)
2 – Jak O’Brien (BC)
1 – Zach Cairncross (MS)
By National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Joe Russo