Blacktown City has stretched their lead at the top of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition ladder with a hard fought 1-0 victory over APIA Leichhardt at Lambert Park on Sunday evening.
The only goal from the match came through the club’s talismanic attacker Travis Major in the 16th minute, despite both teams creating a multitude of chances in the hard-fought match.
The win means Blacktown City hold onto the top spot for a third straight week and now have a one-point lead in first place ahead of Sydney United 58 after Rockdale’s draw in Sunday’s earlier match.
There was plenty of action from the get-go and the visitors didn’t wait long to make an impact on the match, with a goal coming from Major just 16 minutes in.
APIA Leichardt goalkeeper Ivan Necevski managed an impressive save to deny a powerful strike from Blacktown City’s Carlos De Olivera, but his rejection lands at the feet of Major in the goalmouth and the striker cleanly tapped in the finish even though he came out of it clutching his groin, an injury he was carrying pre-match. It was his seventh of the season.
The home side created a goal-scoring opportunity in the 31st minute as Franco Parisi played a well-timed ball to Blake Powell, but Blacktown City’s custodian Tristan Prendergast is positioned well to deny.
Lachlan Campbell was clinical in defending an attacking run from William Mutch in the 36th minute, convincingly clearing the ball before it had a chance to reach the goal.
APIA Leichardt came out firing after the break with Sean Symons making a break in the 46th minute, drawing Prendergast out of position.
The keeper couldn’t manage to securely save in the first opportunity, however he recovered well to stop the home side from capitalizing on their opportunity.
The hosts had a chance through a header from Powell in the 60th minute, however his effort was misdirected outside the sticks.
APIA Leichardt kept pushing for a goal, creating a close opportunity in the 72nd minute.
Harry Callahan made an attacking run, before passing to Powell who then flicked the ball on to Sean Symons. Symons sent his strike on target but Prendergast palmed his effort away.
Despite both teams creating strong chances in the final stages of the game, Blacktown City’s first-half goal secured them all three points.
Blacktown City coach Mark Crittenden said he was “really proud of the boys” despite having several key players out injured.
“I guess it’s a good opportunity for some of the young boys to really understand what playing at this level is about,” he explained.
“We have a bit of momentum at the moment and hopefully we can keep that going.”
APIA Leichardt coach Paul Dee said “credit to Blacktown, they are a good team.”
“I think we deserved to get something out of the game but I look at that and go they were hard to break down and deserved the points that they got,” he explained.
“I think we just need to keep believing…we’re entering dangerous areas but we’re not converting into goals.”
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 0
Blacktown City FC 1 (Travis Major 16’)
Sunday 16th May, 2021
Referee: T. Danaskos
Assistant Referees: J.Park and S.Brennan
Fourth Official: L. Webb
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers: 1. Ivan Necevski, 2. William Mutch, 4. Joshua Symons, 8. Corey Bizco (19. Peter Kekeris 62’), 9. Blake Powell, 10. Franco Parisi, 11. Matthieu Cordier, 15. Themba Muata-Marlow, 16. Sean Symons, 18. Adrian Ucchino (6. Harry Callahan 67’), 20. Sam Mcilhatton
Substitutes Not Used: 7. Tynan Diaz, 21. Michael Kouta, 22. Luke Turnbull, 23. Gian Fiorese
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Blacktown City FC: 1. Tristan Prendergast, 3. Daniel Collins, 4. Lachlan Campbell, 5. Grant Lynch, 6. Matthew Lewis, 7. Travis Major (18. Suleyman Bangura 45’), 8. Jak O’Brien, 11. Rhett Desilva, 21. Charles Mendy, 22. Carlos De Oliveria (29. Nicholas O’Brien 89’), 24. Jackson Bandiera
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Dylan Niski, 25. Alan Harbas, 28. Rocco Frangale, 32. Ryan Attard
Yellow Cards: Carlos De Oliveria 57’, Jackson Bandiera 78’, Jak O’Brien 90’
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Lachlan Campbell (BC)
2 – Tristan Prendergast (BC)
1 – Matthieu Cordier (AL)
By National Premier Leagues NSW Reporter Madeline Riley (@madelineriley23)