Sydney Olympic FC and Mt Druitt Town Rangers shared the points in a pulsating 3-3 draw Round 25 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition played at Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts showed their fighting spirit to come back from two-goals down to level the game. Roy O’Donovan and Darcy Burgess scored in the 29th and 31st minute. Olympic started the second half energised and found a third equaliser through Fabio Ferreira in stoppage time to snatch a point in what was a high-octane game.
It was a precious point for Mt Druitt Town Rangers in their relegation struggle but it could’ve been three. They were comfortable with a two-goal lead after Will Harvey and Solomon-John Monahan-Vaiika scored then new recruit Shunta Nakamura put them ahead again before a late equalise broke their heart.
Sydney Olympic FC had a chance in the first minute through O’Donovan. The ball was crossed well into the box and the marksman headed over.
The visitors responded and their first chance ended with a goal. The ball was recycled well from a set piece for Harvey to nod home in the 3rd minute to make it 1-0 Mt Druitt.
Sydney Olympic FC looked to find an equaliser quickly. O’Donovan had a shot from a cheap turnover then Adam Parkhouse forced Mt Druitt Town Rangers keeper Dylan Niski into a save.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers looking to avoid relegation, made it 2-0 soon after. It was a quick passing move which saw Monahan-Vaiika slide home in the 25th minute.
The hosts did find a route back through who else but O’Donovan. Another pinpoint pass from Michael Vakis found the striker to turn home for 2-1.
Before the Olympic chant had finished ringing around Belmore, it was 2-2. Sydney Olympic worked through the middle and Burgess slammed home in the 31st minute.
Both teams came out recharged after the break.
It was one of the goalscorers from the first half, who had the biggest chance in the second stanza. Burgess stood over the free kick and whipped it over the bar.
Sydney Olympic FC continued to pile on the pressure. Substitute Fabio Ferreira found space on the left before he curled one wide of Niski’s goal.
The hosts thought the comeback was complete. O’Donovan was threaded through again, he cut inside and hit the base of the post in the 60th minute.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers found their rhythm and had a chance through Jacob Esposito. He cut past a defender then fizzed an effort over the bar.
The action continued thick and fast, Vakis had his inside the box shot denied by Niski then the visitors hit the lead again.
It was another well worked move around the box which was kept alive then the cross was turned home by Nakamura to make it 3-2.
Sydney Olympic FC pushed for a third equaliser in the game and it came late. Ferreira popped up late to slam home from close range to make it 3-3 in the 91st minute.
The hosts had a late chance to steal all three points from a set piece to send the faithful home and happy. Burgess stood over the free kick but sent it over the bar and the points were shared.
Speaking post match, Sydney Olympic FC coach Labinot Haliti reflected on the fighting spirit of his side.
“We had so many chances in the game, hit the post and everything.
“Being two down, we showed character to come back into it twice.
“This has been the way of our season thus far, we perform well but don’t turn them into results.” said Haliti.
For Mt Druitt Town Rangers coach Stewart Montgomery, he reflected on another game which felt typical of the visitors season.
“It’s a bit of the tale of our season.
“We were in a position to win the game and didn’t get the three points.
“We led at three times in the game, scored three games it is tough to cop.
“We take the positives out of it and take it into the Waratah Cup semi-final on Wednesday against APIA at Lambert Park.” said Montgomery.
Saturday 22 July 2023
Belmore Sports Ground
Referee: Nathan Shakespear
Assistant Referees: Joshua Eiser & Jackson Tippett
Fourth Official: Declan Woods
Sydney Olympic FC 3 (O’Donovan ‘29, Burgess ‘31, Ferreira ‘90+1)
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 3 (Harvey ‘3, Monahan-Vaiika ‘25, Nakamura ‘68)
Sydney Olympic FC: 2. Peter Politis, 3. Michael Neil, 5. Zygmunt Gordon, 7. William Angel (9. Oliver Puflett ‘75), 8. Sam Mcillhatton (18. Reuben Sanchez Marcano ‘68), 10. Darcy Burgess, 11. Adam Parkhouse (22. Fabio Ferreira ‘30), 14. Michael Vakis (29. Nick Fitzgerald ‘68), 20. Christopher Parsons, 23. Jakob Cresnar, 99. Roy O’Donovan
Unused subs: 17. Jack Mitsoulas, 40. Lucas Pezzano
Yellow cards: Politis ‘37, Angel ‘42, Vakis ‘52
Red cards: nil
Mt Druitt Town Rangers: 2. Solomon-John Monahan-Vaiika, 5. Jacob Esposito (6. Jared Macerola ‘72), 8. Henry Davies, 10. Kotaro Katsuta, 11. Jackson Bandiera, 12. Will Harvey, 15. Anthony Gallo (4. Cooper Coskerie ‘72), 20. Dylan Niski, 21. Tarek Elrich, 27. Olayinka Sunmola, 40. Shunta Nakamura (22. Rhett Desilva ‘88)
Unused subs: 25. Vasos Kartambis, 42. Bailey Jacobs, 43. Abdelelah Faisal
Yellow cards: Gallo ‘32 Esposito ‘37, Macerola ‘84, Bandiera ‘85
Red cards: nil
3: Roy O’Donovan (SO)
2: Solomon-John Monahan-Vaiika (MDTR)
1: Fabio Ferreira (SO)
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)