For the third time this season it was Blacktown City FC who once again won bragging rights for taking out the local derby as they defeated Blacktown Spartans 3-0 in the IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Qualifying Final at Blacktown Football Park which set up a date with Premiers Bonnyrigg White Eagles next weekend.
The Spartans will now gear themselves for a sudden death clash against Sydney Olympic in what will be a do or die match for Ben De Haan’s squad.
The opening chance of the game arrived in the ninth minute when Nathan Millgate lost the ball to Travis Major who charged into the box and fired his shot against the outside of the post. In the early stages it was all Blacktown City over Blacktown Spartans but nothing concrete to break the deadlock.
The 18’ minute was the moment when the Spartans replied and it was Luke Austin, against his former club, who shot forcefully but just a little to the left of the intended target.
The game then produced few chances until the 35’ minute when a well-placed free-kick from Greg Kondek nearly reached a diving Luka Dukic on the far post who just missed the sphere with his head.
However, after almost conceding at one end it was Blacktown City who the opened the scoring at the other.
In the 37’ minute Major was given all the time and space in the world to run freely down the left hand side and, when he put in a pin-point accurate cross into the middle, Mitchell Mallia simply slid the ball under the goalkeeper Carlos Saliadarre.
In the 44’ minute Mitchell Long tried to lob the goalkeeper Nenad Vekic and it almost succeeded as Vekic was back-peddling and tipped the ball over the crossbar to prevent a certain equaliser from the Spartans.
Shortly afterwards referee Chris Young brought to a halt the proceedings for the first half.
When the second resumed, it was in the 55’ minute that Blacktown City scored again when Mallia put the ball across from left to right and found Major who beautifully slotted the ball home.
The score attendant was troubled again just three minutes later when Matthew Lewis delightfully controlled the ball and, with a superb volley, he put the ball in the back of the net behind Saliadarre.
In the 61’ minute Major forced Saliadarre into a diving save to turn the ball away for a corner and then, from point-blank range, Saliadarre was forced to block a Cairncross header. It was great goalkeeping by one of the league’s best on both occasions.
A free-kick from Jacob Ott in the 70’ minute went just wide of the post as Blacktown Spartans tried to restore some pride.
In the 85’ minute a sensational cross from Mitchel Long on the right reached Greg Kondek who dived with a flying header but just missed the target because the ball narrowly shaved the crossbar.
It was arguably the best chance of the game for the Spartans.
It was though too little, too late as the Spartans once again succumbed to Blacktown City FC.
Blacktown Spartans 0
Blacktown City FC 3
(Mitchell Mallia 37’, Travis Major 55’, Matthew Lewis 58’)
Sunday 24th August, 2014
Blacktown Football Park
Referee: Chris Young
Assistant Referees: Nick Backo and Leigh Pigrim
Fourth Official: James Lewis
BLACKTOWN SPARTANS: 1.Carlos Saliadarre, 2.Luke Austin, 3.Nathan Millgate, 5.Luka Dukic, 6.Greg Kondek, 8.Raymond Miller (20.Tomislav Cirjak 58’), 13.Corey Biczo (10.Domenic Di Leo 88’), 14.Jacob Ott, 15.Mitchell Long, 16.Benjamin Tosi (18.Zachary Freeburn 83’), 39.Conor Evans.
Substitutes not used: 7.Stephen Vukovic, 41.Domenic Nascimben
Yellow Cards: Nathan Millgate 20’, Liam Austin 54’, Jacob Ott 72’
Red Cards: Nil
BLACKTOWN CITY FC: 1.Nenad Vekic, 3.Giorgio Speranza, 4.Yianni Fragogiannis (10.Shayne D’Cunha 71’), 5.Jacob Poscoliero, 6.Matthew Lewis (18.Daniel Araujo 78’), 7.Travis Major, 8.Sasa Macura, 9.Ryuji Miyazawa, 14.Mitchell Mallia (11.Danny Choi 66’), 16.Kearyn Baccus, 19.Zachary Cairncross
Substitutes not used: 13.Blake Tuxford, 17.Kieren Paull
Yellow Cards: Yianni Fragogiannis 70’
Red Cards: Nil
-By Joe Russo, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at Blacktown Football Park