NSWPL: More drama than Days of our Lives

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Like sand through the hour glass, this is how round 14 of the NSW Premier League turned out.

Sydney Olympic 2 – Sutherland Sharks 1

In a top of the table clash between two of the strongest and most consistent clubs in the competition a late goal by Robbie Mileski was enough to secure the points for Olympic in front of a home crowd of around 300.

The first half saw both sides play some conservative football, testing each others midfield. The second half is when both sides started playing a beautiful passing game.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, the score was still sitting at 0-0. In the most unlikely of opportunities, Brett Studman was on the end of a perfect cross putting the ball past the ‘keeper and into the net. His lack of a goal celebration was proof of how rarely he gets the chance to attack the ball in the final third of the pitch.

However, Olympic’s lead didn’t last long, four minutes after scoring they were caught napping at the back. Niko Tsattalios passed several players on the edge of the box before blasting the ball into the goal bringing the scores back to 1-1.

In the dying moments of the match new Olympic recruit Daniel Severino (formerly with Bonnyrigg White Eagles) took a corner which Robbie Mileski volleyed home sending the supporters into raptures.

With this result Sydney Olympic move clear top of the table by seven points whilst Sutherland continue their slump in form dropping down to third.

Sydney United 2 – Rockdale City Suns 1

Stealing second place on the table thanks to goal difference on Saturday night was Sydney United who welcomed Rockdale and their supporters to Edensor Park.

The first half of football was filled with half chances and counter attacking play, not the ‘pretty’ football the away supporters were hoping for under their new coach Wally Savor who replaced Lee Sterrey late last week.

Playing the better of the two sides, Rockdale deservedly went in front in the 55th minute after a lovely through ball from James Monie for Sash Tirovski who fired his shot across goal and into the corner of the net.

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Just after the break Sydney United’s Ante Tomic was replaced by Elsid Barkhousir who proved to make the difference up front for the home side, equalising the scoring in the 71st minute.

Former Sydney FC and Perth Glory player Luka Glavas scored his tenth goal of the season as he lobbed the ball over Rockdale ‘keeper, Ben McNamara in the 82nd minute.

The late drama continued with Rockdale awarded a penalty in the dying moments of the match which was saved, denying Jason Naidovski the equaliser.

Sydney United didn’t deserve to win the match, but it was the taking of chances which proved the difference between the two sides. Rockdale’s finals hopes seem to be slipping further and further away as they occupy seventh spot on the ladder.

Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 – Bankstown City 1

In a fixture which saw possibly the fastest goal scored in the competition, a red card for a key player and late opportunities, this game was a must see as it unfolded at Bonnyrigg Sports Ground.

Before most of the spectators had even entered the ground, Bankstown’s Aman Hadid (who has recently had a trial with A-League club Gold Coast United) opened the scoring with just 20 seconds on the clock. With Bonnyrigg’s ‘keeper Andrew Bazi still half asleep, Hadid glided the ball into the net, echoing their coach’s option of this fixture being one the club should get maximum points from.

Head coach of Bonnyrigg said that he had just walked out of the tunnel and was greeting the fourth official when the ball was blasted into the goal. Obviously the ‘element of surprise’ tactic was working for the visiting side.

Just before the hour mark the beautiful game suddenly became an ugly affair as star player Jamie McMaster saw red for a ‘Sonny Bill Williams’ style rugby league shoulder barge on Bankstown ‘keeper Zlatko Joseski.

Despite Bonnyrigg playing with just 10-men, the home side continued to pressure the Bankstown defence and in the 71st minute Brad Broadman’s strike proved why he deserves a look next A-League season. Being in the right place at the right time meant Broadman was able to push the ball into the net after a scramble in Bankstown’s goal mouth.

This result means Bonnyrigg continue their recent form staying in the top six of the table while Bankstown fall to tenth.

South Coast Wolves 2 – APIA Leichhardt Tigers 1

Trevor Morgan’s side welcomed prolific centre forward, Sasho Petrovski back to the starting 11 after his three match ban for a late tackle on Sutherland’s Hayden Morton in a fixture which can only be described as “influenced by divine intervention”.

11 minutes into the first half, APIA’s Wandi Jajaw latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the 18 yard box and slotted the ball under goalkeeper, Brody Crane. Even with Niki Rizzo pulling the strings up front for the away side, APIA could not get the second goal they so desperately needed.

Brothers Adam and David D’Apuzzo continued to be involved with everything, with an all-in scuffle taking place after Wolves’ Kaynak was brought down. The passion was evident in this game, but with APIA only in front by one goal it was obvious the match needed some drama to spice up the match just that little bit more.

In the final 15 minutes of the game, South Coast had a corner and Mark Picciolini jumped highest, heading the ball into the net equalising the scores once more. However there was more excitement to come as South Coast were award an indirect free kick 6 yards out from goal. APIA had all 11 men lined up along the goal mouth, but with the big man himself, Sasho Petrovski standing over the ball it was clear the ball was always going to end up in the back of the net. His shot rebounding off the inside of the crossbar and dropping into the back of the net during injury time.

This result was South Coast Wolves’ third win of the season as they continue a hot and cold season, currently sitting 11th on the ladder with only Parramatta below them.

Blacktown City 0 – Parramatta FC 1

After selecting Manny Spanoudakis as the new head coach of Parramatta following the departure of Brian Dene, the side has continued to struggle in the competition as they were winless after 11 matches.

Lily Homes Stadium was not exactly buzzing with anticipation heading into this fixture with Mark Crittenden fulling expecting to capitalise over the away side. The first half saw half chances and some scrappy shots on goal, none which were enough to trouble either goalkeeper.

Early into the second half, Parramatta were put in front thanks to a fantastic strike by Luke Grima. The club’s 11th goal of the season. Despite both sides continuing to press for more goals, the score stayed the same with Parramatta earning their first win of the season.

The match was not filled with all sunshine and lollipops as Blacktown defender, Zac Cairncross got his second yellow card of the game with just 15 minutes left in the match. This will mean the defender will miss Blacktown’s next fixture against APIA Leichhardt Tigers through suspension.

Manly United 3 – Marconi Stallions 1

In what was considered Manly’s best performance all season, the club played some simply gorgeous football in front of a small but vocal crowd.

By the sixth minute, the away side were in front thanks to a goal by Josh Sama who beat former Sydney FC youth goalkeeper Dylan Mitchell at the near post from a free kick. With Marconi starting to think they were in control of the fixture and Manly thinking that they were the ones in control, the first half was filled with the horrible long ball tactic.

Just before the break Manly found an equaliser through a Scott Balderson corner. Michael Daly was on hand to knock the ball into the goal which boosted the home side’s confidence heading into the second half.

As the match looked destined for a 1-1 draw, with both sides taking a share in the points, Justin Hayward beat two players and drilled the ball straight past Marconi ‘keeper James Chronopoulos.

The final attack of the game came from Scott Balderson who deserved a goal for his efforts during the match. His strike in the 89th minute made sure all three points were going to Manly this week.

This result lifts Manly into eighth spot on the table while Marconi maintain their spot in the top five of the competition.

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