A ten-man Marconi Stallions have fought back to snatch a dramatic 2-2 draw against Northbridge Bulls in a wild and at times fiery clash at Marconi Stadium on Sunday.
The Stallions fought back from 2-0 down to secure their tenth draw of the season in a match which had a little bit of everything.
Goals to Northbridge’s new recruit and former Rockdale Ilinden marksman Kyle Cimenti and Stephan De Robillard had the Bulls on track for a sensational upset, but Marconi’s Mitchell Mallia and Marko Jesic found the back of the net on each side of the interval to secure the home side another competition point.
The incredibly fiery match saw eight yellow cards and two red cards awarded, with Northbridge Bulls coach Mile Sterjovski and Marconi Stallions forward Anthony Frangie both sent from the field in the late stages of the game.
Three of the four goals came in the first half, with a remarkable four-minute window seeing Northbridge Bulls steal a two-goal lead from the home side.
Visiting captain Rory Jordan sent a strike firing on target and while Marconi keeper Nenad Vekic managed to get a hand to it to deflect, Cimenti was in position to knock home the deflection and open scoring as well as his first with his new colours since making the move from Rockdale.
Just minutes later the visitors earned a penalty after Marconi defender Zac Cairncross stuck his leg out to trip Jordan inside the box.
De Robillard stepped up to take the penalty in the 34th minute and sent it past Vekic to take the lead to two for Northbridge.
Mitchell Mallia gave Marconi a sense of hope just before the half-time break, bouncing his strike off Northbridge’s keeper Ryan Wood and into the side netting in the 45th minute to score the first goal of the match for the visitors.
Despite Marconi coming out firing in the early stages of the second stanza, another goal wouldn’t come until the 82nd minute, with an action packed end to the match.
Brandon Vella set up Jesic with a well-placed ball in the 82nd minute, as the Marconi captain clinically headed the ball over Wood to equalise for the home side.
Amongst the excitement of the equaliser, the referee reached for his first red card, pointing it to the coaches’ box after Sterjovski expressed his frustration at some of the decisions that led to the goal.
A second red card for the match was awarded to Anthony Frangie in the 89th minute after he received his second yellow card for being in the way of a Northbridge free kick, leaving Marconi to 10 men for the final minutes.
Despite being a man down, Marconi saw the last opportunity of the game through substitute Emmanuel Peters.
Peters sent a powerful shot blazing towards the sticks, however Wood was well-prepared and caught the shot to keep the game at a draw at the final whistle.
Northbridge Bulls coach Mile Sterjovski was proud of his team’s effort against a strong Marconi outfit.
“We knew it was going to be difficult to come here, Marconi are a good team and very difficult to beat,” he explained.
“They started off very strong and I thought we did well to hold them out and then get back into the game.
“A little bit disappointed conceding just before half-time but we stuck it out and, in the end, I think a draw was a fair result.
“Credit to our boys for fighting all the way until the very end.”
Marconi Stallions FC 2 (Mitchell Mallia 45’, Marko Jesic 80’)
Northbridge Bulls FC 2 (Kyle Cimenti 31’, Stephan De Robillard 34’ (pen))
Sunday 6th June, 2021
Referee: C. Verdicchino
Assistant Referees: P. Teleki and S. Quinn
Fourth Official: L. Cole
Marconi Stallions FC: 1. Nenad Vekic, 2. Nathan Millgate, 3. Giorgio Speranza, 7. Christopher Hatfield (21. Emmanuel Peters 56’), 8. Connor Evans (17. Martin Fernandez 63’), 10. Marko Jesic, 11. Mitchell Mallia, 14. Anthony Frangie, 16. Liam Youlley, 19. Zac Cairncross (6. Mark Rodic 63’), 23. Brandon Vella
Substitutes Not Used: 4. Roberto Speranza, 5. Mason Ingram, 20. Dion Shaw
Yellow Cards: Nathan Millgate 69’, Anthony Frangie 69’, 89’, Mark Rodic 72’, Liam Youlley 76’
Red Cards: Anthony Frangie 89’
Northbridge Bulls FC: 1. Ryan Wood, 2. Jack Mcloughlin, 6. Lachlan Sepping (16. Jake Jovanovski 65’), 8. Kyle Cimenti, 9. Bul Juach (18. Diego Bonilla 88’), 10. Rory Jordan, 11. Stephan De Robillard, 12. Brodie Clarkson (4. Nikola Udjur 45’), 13. Scott Walker, 15. Edward Caspers, 17. Yianni Nicolaou,
Substitutes Not Used: 14. Giovanni Pannucio, 21. Anthony Krilic, 40. Griffen Barry
Yellow Cards: Jack McLoughlin 74’, Stephan De Robillard 78’, Edward Caspers 90+2’
Red Cards: Mile Sterjovski 82’
-By Football NSW Reporter Madeline Riley (@madelineriley23)