Clinical Wollongong Wolves book their place in the last 16 of the FFA Cup

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With competitive football opening its doors once more in New South Wales, it was Mt Druitt Town Rangers that welcomed Wollongong Wolves FC in the FFA Cup Round of 32 but it the was the visitors that walked away 3-0 victors. 

It was a frantic opening for both sides who were looking to shake off the enforced break cobwebs. As the nerves settled, it was the away side who began to control the midfield battle with Wolves’ Brendan Griffin directing play early as a host of half chances began to show face in front of strong Popondetta crowd.

Mt Druitt started to find their way into the contest as we headed toward the midway point of the half as striker Mitchell Smith became the attacking link for his side as they gained a foothold back in the match. 

It was Smith who saw the first real opportunity in the 28th minute after Jack Stewart stole the ball away from the Wolves goalkeeper Hayden Durose at the cornerflag. The ensuing cross found Smith on the penalty spot but he pulled his shot wide of the post, much to the dismay of the home faithful.

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With half-time fast approaching it was back and forth action at both ends with the opener coming deep into additional time as Peter Simonoski latched onto the rebound from the goalkeeper’s parry, finishing off what was slick counter attacking move down field.

As the second half began, it was the away side who started the sharper, full of confidence and it showed in the 47th minute as some nifty passing from captain Lachlan Scott found compatriot Bilal Belkadi in the area and he neatly placed the ball in the top left hand corner.

With the life seemingly sucked out of those at Popondetta Park, their side began to rally shortly after as Smith once again made himself the go to option with some crisp passing laying down two quick opportunities.

It was Mt Druitt looked to the bench first and it was substitute Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu who was in the thick of the action immediately. Two quick chances fell to the attacker on the six yard box but he squandered both as his side began to press for a way back into the contest.

Unfortunately for the home side however, Scott dealt the killer blow in the 70th minute after he found himself through on goal on the counter and it was a composed finish low to the keeper’s left that looked to have put the tie to bed.

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With the final whistle rapidly approaching, a dejected Mt Druitt managed little as the break from football began to show in the fitness levels across the park.

Feature Image Credit: Football NSW/Sebastian Giunta

Mt Druitt Town Rangers 0

Wollongong Wolves FC 3 (Simonoski 45+4’, Belkadi 47’, Scott 70’)

Stadium: Popondetta Park

Referee: Craig Fisher

Assistant Referees: Emma Kocbek & Patrick Teleki

Fourth Official: Michael Weiner

Mt Druitt Town Rangers: Matthew SYMES (GK), Solomon-Johnn MONAHAN-VAIIKA, Travis OUGHTRED (C), Mitchell SMITH (Lukman AHMED-SHAIBU 58’), Rhett DESILVA (Tarek ELRICH 58’), Jack STEWART, Jason PEREZ (Andre CAVALLERO 71’), Fumoto KAMADA, Cooper COSKERIE, Jared MACEROLA (Peter NICHOLS 83’), Louis KHOURY

Unused Subs: Robert FANELLA, Brayden BURR, Jake TRAJKOVSKI 

Wollongong Wolves FC: Hayden DUROSE (GK), Nikola DJORDJEVIC, Banri KANAIZUMI, Marcus BEATTIE, Brendan GRIFFIN, Leroy JENNINGS, Joshua MACDONALD ( Evan BALL 63’), Keanu ISMIC, Peter SIMONOSKI (Stefan DIMOSKI 78’), Bilal BELKADI (Nicholas LITTLER 63’), Lachlan SCOTT ( C ) ( Harrison TARANTO 78’)

Unused Subs: Tomas BUTKOVIC, Nicholas DUARTE, Navarone DARJANI

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Joseph Esposito
A diploma graduated Sports Media student, currently studying Law. Football obsessed, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the upcoming 2021/22 A-League season.

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