A man of the match performance from Leroy Jennings has spurred Wollongong to a dramatic 3-2 win against Northbridge Bulls on Monday.
Jennings was in fine form as he scored two and set up a last gasp winner for Stefan Dimoski as the Wolves snatched all three points at the death.
The free-scoring winger opened Wollongong’s account after only seven minutes but Northbridge hit back courtesy of a Nikola Djordjevic own goal.
Northbridge found themselves ahead heading into the break after a classy finish from Kyle Cimenti.
Wollongong turned the tide in the second half with an early goal from Jennings, before he capped off his exceptional night by setting up Stefan Dimoski for a dramatic last gasp winner.
Wollongong found themselves in dreamland in the early stages of the game, getting the opener in the 7th minute.
Lachlan Scott’s outstanding solo run found him in space down the line as he sent the ball back across to Leroy Jennings at the edge of the box who perfectly curled it over Ryan Wood for the opener.
The visitors looked dominant in the opening stages before being undone by a Djordjevic own goal
Lachlan Sepping played a threatening ball through to former Wolves star Bul Juach who used his rapid pace to beat his man and send it across the goal line, Nikola Djordjevic did his best to try and keep the ball out but his efforts weren’t enough as the Bulls had their equaliser.
The Wolves had a nervous moment soon after when a risky back pass found Hayden Durose trapped with an oncoming Juach rapidly approaching. Durose did his best to desperately clear the ball but it deflected off Juach’s outstretched leg going narrowly wide.
Northbridge were gifted a golden opportunity to take the lead when Brendan Griffin fouled Juach on the inside of the box.
Juach stepped up to take the penalty for the Bulls but was sensationally denied by a sublime Durose save.
The Bulls couldn’t be held out any longer as they had their second of the evening in the 35th minute.
Kyle Cimenti perfectly finished off an outstanding through ball from Rory Jordan as the hosts entered the break with a one goal buffer.
Wollongong came out the gates flying at resumption of play, levelling the score within the first minute.
Northbridge were seeing Déjà vu as Scott once again played through Jennings who powered it through the legs of Wood to get his second of the night and giving Scott his second assist. It was his sixth of the season as the star recruit continued his good run of form during the second half of the NPL NSW Men’s season.
The remainder of the second half was an intense and physical duel as the sides battled for the winner.
Marcus Beattie came within inches of getting his side ahead. After finding himself through on goal, Beattie beat Wood to the ball and chipped it over his reach before it agonisingly clanged against the woodwork.
Jordan took the action into his own hands as his made a skilful solo run into the box but his effort on goal sailed wide.
The Wolves dramatically ran away with the win in the dying minutes, after Leroy Jennings’ cross from a free-kick picked out Stefan Dimoski as he headed the ball home gifting the visitors three crucial points.
Northbridge’s season thus far has been defined by last minute goals, unfortunately for them they were again on the wrong side of a late goal giving them a huge blow in their pursuit for finals – a quality team to watch although their youth and inexperience in holding onto victories has been the team’s undoing.
Wollongong Wolves coach Luke Wilkshire was encouraged by his side’s second half performance and noted the importance of the win
“First half we weren’t really at the races. there wasn’t enough urgency or desperation.
“The second half we saw a response which I was pleased with, but we got through it and we’ll take the three points and move on.
“There’s six games to go so the way I saw it this was important we got three points to stay in touch.”
Northbridge Bulls FC 2 (Djordjevic OG 15’, Climeti 35’)
Wollongong Wolves FC 3 ( Jennings 5’, 47’, Dimoski 86’)
Monday 14th June, 2021
Sydney United Sports Centre
Referee: I. Libri
Assistant Referees: P. Teleki and E. Kocbeck
Fourth Official: L. Jones
Northbridge Bulls FC: 1. Ryan Wood, 2. Jack Mcloughlin, 4. Nikola Ujdur, 5. Keanu Ismic (31. Ollie Jones), 6. Lachlan Sepping, 8. Kyle Cimenti, 9. Bul Juach (21. Anthony Krilic), 10. Rory Jordan, 11. Stephan De Robillard (18. Diego Bonilla), 16. Jake Jovanovski (15. Eddie Caspers), 24. Moudi Najjar (14. Giovanni Pannucio)
Substitutes not used: 40. Griffin Barry.
Yellow Cards: Najjar
Red Cards: nil
Wollongong Wolves FC: 23. Hayden Durose, 4. Nikola Djordjevic, 5. Joshua Alcorn, 7. Marcus Beattie, 8. Brendan Griffin (17. James Stojcevski), 9. Nicholas Duarte (20. Liam Wille), 11. Leroy Jennings 16. Fletcher McFarlane (12. Harison Taranto), 18. Evan Ball, 19. Bilal Belkadi, 24. Lachlan Scott (13. Stefan Dimoski)
Substitutes not used: 1. Aidan Munford.
Yellow Cards: Belkadi, Beattie
Red Cards: nil
By National Premier Leagues Reporter Dominic Criniti (@DominicCriniti)