Wollongong Wolves are back on top of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition after a huge weekend of round 2 fixtures.
Wet and wild weather was the constant throughout with the conditions having a major say in the results.
But the deluge couldn’t stop Luke Wilkshire and his Wolves outfit who stunned in a brilliant performance against APIA Leichardt on Friday night to reclaim their spot at the top of the pile.
There were plenty of other shock results with massive performances from Rockdale Ilinden, Mt Druitt and Sydney United 58 some of the standouts.
The heavy rain did get the better of the clash between Sydney Olympic and Sydney FC which was postponed on Sunday and will be rescheduled in the coming days.
Manly United 0 – Western Sydney Wanderers 0 at Cromer Park
Manly United’s struggles in front of goals proved costly once again as they were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers at Cromer Park.
The boys from the Northern Beaches couldn’t make the most of their myriad of chances early in the match and were nearly stunned in the closing stages by a fast-finishing Wanderers outfit.
Manly Captain Brendan Cholakian was the creator combining well with Marley Peterson and Dejan Pandurevic in the first half but neither could find the back of the net.
The home side maintained their control of the game after the restart with long-range efforts from Peterson and Cholakian again unable to beat the keeper.
With time running out the Wanderers went inches away from breaking Manly hearts when Stefan Nikolic fired over from only nine yards out.
It proved to be the final chance of the match with both sides disappointed to be taking only a point from the contest.
Dean Pelekanos once again showed his class in Arthur Diles’ squad as did several other young promising Wanderers stars.
APIA Leichhardt FC 1 (J Symons 43’) – Wollongong Wolves FC 4 Scott 23’, 69’, Juach 61’, 94’) at Lambert Park
A whirlwind second half has helped 2019 Premiers Wollongong Wolves to a dominant 4-1 win against 2019 Champions APIA Leichhardt at Lambert Park on Friday.
Three unanswered goals in the second stanza lifted Wollongong to victory with APIA unable to match it with the Wolves as Luke Wilkshire’s men proved they had plenty more left in the tank with John Calleja’s side running out of steam.
Lachlan Scott opened the scoring for the Wolves after 24 minutes but APIA hit back on the cusp of halftime thanks to a sensational solo goal from Josh Symons which has already trended on social media.
The defender dribbled around four Wollongong players before his low driven shot sailed past the outstretched arms of the keeper and into the back of the net.
Sadly for the home side, that would be the last high point of the evening with the visitors finding another gear after the break.
A howitzer from Bul Juach gave the Wolves the lead in the 61st minute before Scott nabbed his second only moments later.
Juach wrapped up the victory in style for Wollongong in the dying stages with a brilliant finish into the top corner.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 2 (Roberts 48, Coskerie 89’) – Blacktown City FC 2 (Mendy 59’, Jalloh 80’) at Popondetta Park
A Cooper Coskerie goal in the final minute has helped Mt Druitt Town Rangers snatch a 2-2 draw against Blacktown City at Popondetta Park on Saturday night.
It was a dramatic finish to the match which seemed to be Blacktown’s for the taking after they took the lead with only nine minutes to play.
Thunder and lightning forced the match start to be delayed 45 minutes with the wild weather playing a role in a tight and hard-fought opening stanza which ended 0-0.
John Roberts gave Mt Druitt the perfect start to the second half when his goal gave the home side a 1-0 lead.
Blacktown were quick to hit back with a headed finish from Charles Mendy levelling the score 60 minutes in.
Hassan Jalloh thought he had scored the winner for Blacktown when he hit the back of the net in the 81st minute.
However, the home side would have the last laugh as Coskerie nailed a thunderous strike from the edge of the box to nab a point that sent the home faithful into raptures as absolute scenes unfolded at Popondetta Park in the local Western Sydney NPL derby.
Sydney United 58 1 (Ruhs 93’) – North Shore Mariners 0 at Sydney United Sports Centre
An injury-time goal from young gun Michael Ruhs broke the hearts of the North Shore Mariners as Sydney United 58 claimed a dramatic 1-0 win at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday.
In wild, wet and windy conditions, both teams had their chances but failed to make the most of their opportunities.
That was until Ruhs made his final moment of the game count, rocketing a driven shot into the top right corner to snatch the win after a slick one-two around the Mariners defence.
Neither side truly dominated the game but the Mariners reliance on counterattack gave the home side the possession required to find the match-winner.
Thomas Manos was in fine form for United 58 making several key stops in a confidence-building win for the Zeljko Kalac coached outfit.
Rockdale Ilinden 1 (Cimenti 37’) v Marconi Stallions 0 at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale Ilinden have shocked Marconi Stallions to snatch a 1-0 win at a rain-soaked Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
A 37-minute strike from Kyle Cimenti was the difference as the home side did enough to claim a huge result despite treacherous weather conditions.
Rockdale started the game strongly and took the match to their opponents from the first whistle.
They found the breakthrough with less than 10 minutes to go until the interval when Cimenti swept up from close range after Stallions keeper Nenad Vekic parried a shot from Nikola Taneski.
Marconi returned from the interval with a newfound vigour and fought their way back into the contest.
The introduction of Martin Fernandez proved to be a turning point for the visitors with the substitute getting the Rockdale defence on the back foot.
However, it wasn’t to be their night as the home side clung on thanks to some brilliant defending and a few key saves from shot-stopper David Bradasevic to secure all three competition points
Sydney Olympic v Sydney FC – Match Postponed at Lambert Park
Mother Nature proved too strong for this encounter between two sides fresh from opening round 1 victories as Sydney’s Inner West was hit with severe rain and storms on Sunday afternoon.
Lambert Park played host to the match-up but the match was deemed unplayable six minutes into the second half as scores were locked 0-0.