The final matches of the first leg of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition are complete and a new league leader has come out of the Round 11 action.
With plenty to play for, the league has well and truly heated up as teams fight to separate themselves from the pack on the ladder.
Catch up on all the action from a hard-fought Round 11 below.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC 1 – Sydney FC 1 at Popondetta Park
It was points shared in a pulsating 1-1 contest between Mt Druitt Town Rangers and Sydney FC on Friday night at Popondetta Park.
Sydney FC might be disappointed not to take full points from the contest after their performance across the 90 minutes as the young side opened the scoring through a Patrick Wood thunderbolt but had to settle for a draw.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers put in a fantastic shift against one of the in-form teams of the National Premier Leagues NSW competition with Olayinka Sunmola curling home a wonderful goal to earn the hosts a point in a tightly contested game.
Sutherland Sharks FC 0 – Wollongong Wolves 1 at Seymour Shaw
A 10-man Wollongong Wolves earned a 1-0 victory over Sutherland Sharks in a fierce encounter on Saturday afternoon at Seymour Shaw.
Leroy Jennings was sent off for the visitors in the 61st minute, but just a couple of minutes later the side scored the only goal of the match through Josh Macdonald.
The match is the first for Sutherland under the new leadership of Luis Contigiani and Steve Gordon, after former coach Nick Dimovski moved to the Director of Football role this week.
Marconi Stallions FC 2 – Northbridge Bulls FC 2 at Marconi Stadium
Marconi Stallions and Northbridge Bulls shared points in a hard-fought battle that ended in a 2-2 draw at Marconi Stadium on Saturday evening.
An early goal to Lachlan Rose was answered by Marko Jesic in the 29th minute to see the sides in a 1-1 deadlock at the half-time break before substitute Moudi Najjar took back the lead in the second half and Jesic completed his brace and equalised yet again, converting a penalty late in the game.
Marconi’s winning run came to an end against the young side that had bolstered their team with a number of A-League level players for the occasion, however they remain unbeaten for eight National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s games.
The draw demonstrates Northbridge’s ability to stand up against the experienced teams in the competition and will likely give them some confidence as they head into the second leg of the season and fight to get off the bottom of the table.
Sydney United 58 FC 2 – APIA Leichhardt FC 2 at Sydney United Sports Centre
APIA Leichhardt fought their way back into their battle with Sydney United 58, settling with a 2-2 draw at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday evening.
United 58 managed two goals in the first half through Patrick Antelmi and Chris Payne, leaving APIA stunned as they made their way to the sheds for the half-time break, but the visitors worked their way back into the match with Jack Armson scoring their first in the 60th minute and Sean Symons equalising at the death.
Blacktown City FC 1 – Sydney Olympic FC 2 at Blacktown City Sports Centre
The National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Match of the Round clash saw Charles Mendy open the scoring after a defensive error by Olympic allowed the lanky striker to nip in and find the net before Darcy Burgess restored parity, muscling his way through the Blacktown defence to sweetly strike the equaliser in the second half.
In a game that had it all, including a saved penalty, it was a stoppage-time strike from Roy O’Donovan who sealed the points for Sydney Olympic.
Rockdale Ilinden FC 0 – Manly United FC 1 at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Round 11 saw Manly United defeat Rockdale Ilinden in a tight encounter that was only divided by a penalty from Bruno Mendes in the first half.
Both sides had their chances but in the end the visitors displayed a touch more grit to claim all three points.
The result knocks Rockdale off the top spot on the ladder, a position they held for only one week, giving Manly United valuable points as they charge ahead.