At the end of Round 5 of the NPLNSW competition, it is Blacktown City who currently reigns supreme after their last-gasp win against fellow heavyweights Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
The reigning, defending Premiers continue to dominate the early proceedings of the league.
Match of the Round
Blacktown City FC 2:1 Bonnyrigg White Eagles
Blacktown City has cemented its status as the comeback kings of the NPLNSW competition after a heart stopping 2-1 win against Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Lily’s Football Centre on Saturday.
It was a match which featured plenty of drama including a first half red card to Bonnyrigg’s Robbie Younis but it was the incredible concluding stages which will have fans talking for weeks.
A brain snap from Younis completely changed the fabric of the match when the star White Eagles striker was sent off in the 35th minute.
Although a man down, Bonnyrigg refused to relent and took a shock 1-0 lead in the 38th minute courtesy of Aaron Peterson. A slick pass from Ray Miller caught a retreating Blacktown defence off guard as a flying Peterson took a touch and blasted his shot past a diving Tristan Prendergast.
A late flurry from Blacktown wasn’t enough as Bonnyrigg took its 1-0 lead into the half time break.
While it was a tentative start to the second stanza, Blacktown slowly found its rhythm and pressured the Bonnyrigg defence with wave after wave of attack.
Mitchell Mallia was the focal point of the home side’s attack as the midfielder found himself in dangerous positions time and time again.
The addition of Patrick Antelmi after 65 minutes sparked Blacktown and the young striker made an instant impact with a dangerous cross which sailed through a packed penalty area.
Blacktown’s desperation became more evident as the match slowly fell from its grasp as each minute passed.
Bonnyrigg refused to relent and sat back to absorb each City attack.
When the match seemed out of reach it was Antelmi who stepped up to the plate.
The substitute headed home from five yards out to level the scores in the 90th minute after a pin point cross from Choi.
With only seconds left on the clock, Blacktown refused to settle for a draw.
One final throw of the dice came up all sixes for the home side when a rampaging run from Major found a diving Antelmi at the back post to tap in the winner.
Just like all of Blacktown’s fans, City coach Mark Crittenden couldn’t believe his side’s incredible finish.
“What a win and what a way to finish the game,” Crittenden said. “I was happy with the draw and then Patty (Antelmi) did the unbelievable and scored with the last kick of the game. Everyone in this team works hard for each other and the way they kept fighting until the final whistle is a testament to their commitment to this team.”
A sombre Brian Brown said his side will look to move on quickly from the loss.
“It is a very tough way to lose a match,” Brown said. “With only ten men we did very well to play the way we did and the players deserved to come away from this match with a win. All we can do is move on to next round.”
Sutherland Sharks 2:0 Parramatta FC
Parramatta FC has succumbed to its third straight loss as two late goals helped Sutherland Sharks collect a 2-0 NPLNSW Men’s competition win at Seymour Shaw on Saturday.
Strikes to Josh Da Silva and Jordan Figon helped the home side to its first win since round one ending a three game losing streak.
It was a hard loss to stomach for Parramatta who threatened for most of the match but were let down by a brief drop in concentration.
Sutherland’s goal keeper Nikolas Loe was a star performer on debut and denied Parramatta time and time again.
After the game Sutherland coach Carlos Villazon was happy his side was able to find its shooting boots.
“I am very happy with the result because in the last few games we played really good football but in the front third chances went missing,” he said. “Today I thought that it was good football from our players.
When asked about his debutant goalkeeper Nikolas Loe, Villazon was very forthcoming.
“After three losses in a row, I decided to change goalkeepers and that’s the reason and he had a good game tonight.”
Blacktown Spartans 2:4 Rockdale City Suns
A brace to Alec Urosevski has helped Rockdale to a comprehensive 4-2 win in its NPLNSW clash with Blacktown Spartans at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday.
A strong showing from the dynamic Toufic Alameddine helped power the Suns to a thoroughly deserved victory with the midfielder combining with Urosevski and Mcallister on the scoresheet to guide the visitors to victory.
Goals to Anthony Proia and Amaury Gaulthier kept the scoreline respectable for Blacktown.
It was another poor performance at home from Ben De Haan’s Spartan side which will desperately need to cure its bad case of the yips when playing in its own backyard.
Paul Reid was pleased with the performance of his Rockdale side but was disappointed with the second-half performance.
“Obviously happy to pick up the three points – we started off really well which we couldn’t do last week,” Reid said. “We were looking comfortable but we let Blacktown back in the game. It was good to get those two late goals in the first half. If we’d finished the game 4-1 it would have been a really great result, but 4-2 is not as convincing. We can improve and the boys know that.”
Manly United FC 3:1 Hakoah Sydney City East
Manly United turned on the style at Cromer Park, beating competition newcomers Hakoah Sydney City East 3-1 on Sunday.
Goals to Luke Giverin, Travis Oughted and Dejan Pandurevic were enough for Manly to claim all three points.
Hussein Akli’s 82nd minute goal ensured Hakoah found their way onto the score sheet while Manly keeper Dylan Mitchell showed off his skills when he saved a Lee Jones penalty.
Manly skipper Brendan Cholakian was buzzing at the final whistle. “We knew if we won the mental battle, we would win the game,” he said. “Dylan (Manly’s goalkeeper) was great for us, he reads penalties well and his save changed the game. I thought we showed great fight; last year we would have lost that one. We just need to bury a few more chances, but that will come with time.”
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 0:1 Wollongong Wolves
Wollongong Wolves returned to the winners circle with a hard fought 1-0 win against a ten man APIA Leichhardt tigers in its NPLNSW clash at Lambert Park on Sunday.
Sam Matthews first half strike was enough for Jacob Timpano’s side to secure all three points away from home.
A red card to Themba Muata-Marlow reduced APIA to 10 men after 60 minutes and the home side struggled to find its way back into the match.
Ryan Norval ensured APIA had a fighting chance with a save from the penalty spot but it proved too much of a challenge as the visitors secured a well earned win.
APIA coach John Carnevale rued his side’s missed opportunities.
“I thought the first 20-minutes we were pretty decent and created four or five opportunities and we should probably have been two up,” he said. “Their goal was a free-kick that was brought back which I am still struggling to understand. While we lost Themba in the second half we still had three or four chances to take something from the match but we failed to capitalise.”
Sydney United 58 3:0 Sydney Olympic
A brace from Panni Nikas has earned Sydney United 58 a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Sydney Olympic in its NPLNSW Men’s clash at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday.
The former Central Coast and North Queensland Fury man enjoyed a sterling performance and was at the forefront of the action all afternoon, winning an early penalty which was duly converted by Chris Payne.
Nikas struck a double blow in the second half to make it four wins on the trot for Mark Rudan’s men, but it could’ve been a different story without goalkeeper Thomas Manos who pulled off a string of fine saves to hold the visitors at bay.
The three-goal deficit proved terminal for Grant Lee’s side, and although the Olympic coach was content with the amount of opportunities his team created throughout the ninety minutes, he lamented his side’s naivety in the concession of two penalties.
“It was soft on our behalf,” Lee said. “We were putting them under pressure and creating good opportunities and then we went to sleep and conceded two sloppy goals. We’ve got young kids at the back and sometimes our decision making wasn’t right but you’ve got to learn very quickly”.
The win cements United 58’s second spot on the ladder and extends their run to four wins as well as their third straight clean sheet.
Quotes and Title Photo via Football NSW