It was another thrilling weekend for Round 14 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition as some big battles played out and crucial points were secured and lost.
Manly United FC 2 – Sutherland Sharks FC 1 at Cromer Park
Manly United triumphed over Sutherland Sharks on Friday night with a 2-1 victory at Cromer Park with Brazilian ace Bruno Mendes stealing the show with one of the goals of the NPL NSW Men’s season.
Manly have the wonderful Mendes to thank after the Brazilian’s big night out saw them move into first place, the winner leading the way for ‘Goal of the Season’.
The brace from Mendes came after James Andrew secured the lead for the Sharks with a goal in the 30th minute, but the visitors couldn’t hold on to the lead and fell to the Northern Beaches outfit.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC 2 – Sydney United 58 FC 2 at Popondetta Park
Sydney United 58 produced a fabulous fightback for a 2-2 draw against Mt Druitt Town Rangers on Friday night at Popondetta Park as both teams shared the spoils.
In another frustrating night for the home side the Rangers started off strong as Jack Stewart opened the scoring and Olayinka Sunmola doubled their lead in the first half, but they couldn’t hold on to the lead.
After being down early in the game away from home, Chris Payne and Patrick Antelmi both knocked home goals to earn United 58 a point on a cold night in the west.
Northbridge Bulls FC 2 – Sydney Olympic FC 4 at Sydney United Sports Centre
Former Bulls star Nikola Ujdur has become the unlikely hero for Sydney Olympic, with his brace securing three crucial points for Sydney Olympic as they defeated Northbridge Bulls 4-2 at Sydney United Sports Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Ujdur opened the scoring in the 15th minute for Olympic shortly before Lachlan Rose answered back for the hosts minutes later.
Darcy Burgess ensured Olympic would go into the break with a lead after his goal in the 33rd minute gave the visitors the lead for the second time in the game.
Rose capped off a successful opening to the second half for the Bulls with a goal in the 55th minute but O’Donovan put Olympic back in the lead from the penalty spot in the 67th minute, shortly before Ujdur bagged his second in the 71st minute to seal the result.
APIA Leichhardt FC 2 – Rockdale Ilinden FC 0 at Lambert Park
National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Round 14 saw APIA Leichhardt defeat Rockdale Ilinden 2-0 in a game that truly showcased two of the best teams in the league at Lambert Park on Saturday evening.
APIA secured the win thanks to two goals from set piece corners in the first half – one to Michael Kouta and the other to Sean Symons – before Rockdale Ilinden were forced to play a man down in the second half after Nikola Kuleski was sent off for a second bookable offence.
In the end APIA deserved to win as the home side had more clear-cut opportunities that were presented on a cold night at Lambert Park.
Marconi Stallions FC 1 – Blacktown City FC 1 at Marconi Stadium
The Marconi Stallions have stolen a point from Blacktown City in an intense 1-1 battle at Marconi Stadium on Saturday night.
A sensational 96th minute goal from Roberto Speranza cancelled out a 65th minute penalty from Grant Lynch to wrap up the hard-fought match in a draw.
The physical, and at times aggressive, match saw plenty of action as Blacktown looked to control most of the game, but they were unable to hold out the Stallions who applied pressure until the final moment of the match.
Sydney FC 3 – Wollongong Wolves FC 3 at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
Sydney FC shared points with the Wollongong Wolves in a 3-3 draw at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday evening.
The Wolves took the lead through a Leroy Jennings goal in the 5th minute but Luka Smyth was able to equalise in the 29th minute.
Wollongong took the lead again in the 54th minute as Jennings completed his brace but a penalty conversion from Jaiden Kucharski saw them give up the lead again.
Moments after the penalty and a rare Alen Harbas goal gave the young guns the lead but a late Lachlan Scott strike broke the hearts of the home support after a defensive lapse and goalmouth scramble.