A James Andrew goal in the dying seconds has helped Sutherland Sharks snatch a dramatic 2-2 draw against Sydney FC at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday Night.
It was Andrew’s second goal of the game, with the pacy striker clinching a crucial point for the Sharks on the road.
Sydney FC thought they had done enough for victory after Patrick Wood and Jordi Swibel each scored in quick succession to give the Young Sky Blues the lead with only 10 minutes left on the clock.
However, it wasn’t to be with Andrew snatching the equaliser deep into added time to ensure the visitors didn’t go home empty-handed.
Sutherland’s Christopher McStay was causing trouble for Sydney FC keeper Thomas Heward-Belle in the early stages of the game, with several strikes forcing the custodian to pull out some great saves to deny the home side an early lead.
Luke Ivanovic looked poised to get Sydney FC on the scoreboard in the 24th minute after capitalising on a blunder from Sharks captain Lachlan Everett; however, his effort flew wide of the target.
The night’s first goal came from Andrew in the 28th minute as he intercepted a pass from Ivanovic and found himself one-on-one with Heward-Belle before sending the ball past him and into the netting.
Heward-Belle was back in action in the 45th minute, pulling off another great save to keep the visitors at bay.
Swibel scored the equaliser for the home side in the 75th minute after finding himself on the end of a great ball from Thomas Fay. He maneuvered through Sutherland’s defensive line before placing the ball out of reach of Anthony Bouzanis and into the back of the net.
Sydney FC took the lead just minutes later through Patrick Wood, who fired a strike from the edge of the 18-yard box. The promising young attacker has tasted A-League action a couple of teams as well as hitting the back of the net on numerous occasions for Steve Corica’s squad once again felt right at home in the NPL.
Sutherland was fighting for an equaliser in the late stages of the game, putting together some great opportunities that were well-defended by Heward-Belle.
James Andrew was the hero of the night for Sutherland, coming through with a crucial goal to snatch a point from the match. It was his sixth of the season, a double that has put the ace marksman as joint golden boot frontrunner after round 7.
Sydney FC’s Saracino mishit a ball sending it flying overhead before landing on the chest of Andrew, who steadily guided it over the line.
Sydney FC coach Jim Van Weeren was disappointed his team made errors that saw the win slip away from them.
“In the last few minutes and in injury time, we lost complete control,” he explained.
“There were some really silly decisions from players with the ball, and eventually that cost us.”
Sutherland Sharks coach Nick Dimovski was proud of his team’s efforts in creating an abundance of goal-scoring opportunities throughout the match.
“We totally dominated Sydney FC, and we created more, and I really mean it, more than enough chances to beat them twice over, yet we fell asleep for five minutes and credit to Sydney they got their goals,” he said.
“I’m proud of my team’s fightback, without a doubt.
“Andrew has been a shining light for us throughout the course of this season, and credit to him, he is combining his goal-scoring capabilities by also created chances for the Sharks.”
Sydney FC 2 (Jordan Swibel 75’, Patrick Wood 79’)
Sutherland Sharks FC 2 (James Andrew 28’, 90’)
Sunday 11th April 2021
Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
Referee: H. Jomaa
Assistant Referees: N. Wotton and E. Saba
Fourth Official: H. Fenton-White
Sydney FC: 3. Aaron Gurd, 4. Nathan Grimaldi, 6. Thomas Main (5. Thomas Fay 62’), 8. Patrick Yazbek, 17. Jayden Trenkoski (16. Stevan Stanic-Floody 75’), 21. Harry Van Der Saag, 23. Callum Talbot, 24. Luke Ivanovic (9. Antonio Saracino 62’), 27. Jordan Swibel, 28. Patrick Wood, 30. Thomas Heward-Belle
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Levi Kaye, 2. Cameron Fong, 13. Corey Hollman,
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Sutherland Sharks FC: 1. Anthony Bouzanis, 4. Brendan Hooper, 5. Nic Petrillo, 6. Patrick O’Shea, 8. Oliver Green, 9. Jeremy Cox (25. Alex Masciovecchio 69’), 10. Lachlan Everett, 14. Chris Lindsay, 17. James Andrew, 22. Patrick Scibilio (99. Jonathan Grozdanovski 60’), 88. Christopher McStay
Substitutes Not Used: 12. Harry Sutherland, 13. Charlie Jones, 16. Gerard Roebuck, 21. Luke Sauer
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
3 – James Andrew (SS)
2 – Thomas Heward-Belle (SFC)
1 – Christopher McStay (SS)
By National Premier LeaguesNSW Reporter Madeline Riley (@madelineriley23)