NSW Premier League Round 7 Review

Sydney United and Sutherland Sharks drew blanks in the top of the table clash at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Sydney United and Sutherland Sharks drew blanks in the top of the table clash at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Following a rather tame first-half, the second period produced an action packed 45- minutes. The Reds created the greater chances in the match with Luka Glavas and Ben Vidaic constantly causing the Sharks rearguard grief. Sutherland Sharks goalkeeper Nathan Denham was in exceptional form, producing a string of world class saves to keep a clean sheet.

Sutherland-s forward forays were limited to the counterattack, and the side went closest via the boot of Matt Bailey midway through the second-half, though his effort failed to dip enough to land underneath Vedran Janjetovic-s goal.

In the end, the result has pushed Olympic first by one point over the Sharks who are also a point above Sydney United.

Manly United FC scored their first win of the season at the expense of last season-s Premiers, Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Cromer Park. Despite going a goal behind after 8- minutes – Nathan Elasi capitalised on a poorly parried Kang Ho Lee attempt, Manly United hit the front before the break with a brace to Scott Balderson. Bonnyrigg managed to draw level via Jamie McMaster shortly after the re-start, though it was Adam Foti in the 71- minute who took advantage of Philip Zabaks- mistake in goal to slot home for 3-2. The Cromer Park side was made to suffer over the final 15- minutes as Craig Midgley-s men were forced to play with ten-men following David Dodd-s second bookable offence. In the end, Manly United managed to grind out a very impressive victory with Bonnyrigg White Eagles still struggling to get their season moving.

Marconi Stallions rode their luck against Blacktown City FC in a match dominated in large spells by the reigning champions. Despite Blacktown City hitting two posts (Milorad Simonovic and Mitchell Duke) and forcing Stallions goalkeeper James Chronopoulos into countless saves, the side only found their go ahead goal in the 71- minute via Travis Major-s well-taken penalty. Blacktown City lost Zac Cairncross in controversial circumstance after the defender picked up his second yellow card for the afternoon, and the numerical advantage got the Stallions going for a final assault. Adel El Jamal got forward to draw the Stallions level in the 85- minute and secure Marconi a point from the match. Deep into injury-time, Marconi could have snatched all three-points as Matthew Mayora headed over the crossbar from close-range.

At Ilinden Sports Ground, South Coast Wolves took three-points from Rockdale City despite being outplayed by the Suns throughout the 90- minutes. A number of scuffed goalscoring chances by the Suns, along with some poor decision making in the final third, proved costly for Lee Sterrey-s men as Mark Picciolini was on hand to score South Coast-s winner moments before the half-time break.

Sydney Olympic, featuring a large contingent of former Bankstown City players and of course coaching duo Peter Tsekenis and Peter Papoythis, made a very pleasant return to Jensen Park on Saturday evening as the Blues recorded an impressive 5-2 defeat of the Lions.

Despite Aman Hadid sending the home side into the lead with a fine finish on 14- minutes, former Lions playmaker Robbie Mileski had the Blues on level terms with a fine header off Chris Triantis- centre. Triantis added his name to the scoresheet with a magnificent half-volley in the 35- minute, though the Lions drew level in first-half injury-time via defender Blaz Dejanovic who was on hand to slot home.

Another former Lions player, Richard Luksic got his name on the scorer-s sheet with a well taken header after the break before Jerry Kalouris added a fourth goal for Sydney Olympic only minutes later.

The five-star performance was complete in injury-time as Mileski curled in another of his trademark free-kicks – something he did so many times at this ground for the Lions – to round out the 5-2 result and further strengthen Sydney Olympic-s claims for silverware this season.

At Lambert Park, A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers answered club President Tony Raciti-s call for a lift in performance with a well earned 2-0 win against Parramatta FC. The Tigers were dominant from start to finish, and thoroughly deserved the three-points, despite a tremendous performance by Parramatta FC goalkeeper Anthony Costa, who certainly did keep the score respectable for the visitors.

Robbie Younis set the Tigers on the right track on 8- minutes as he finished with aplomb after receiving a tantalising through ball from captain Franco Parisi.

David D-Apuzzo fired in a lethal left foot drive after the break to give the Tigers the cushioning they needed to administer the remainder of the match and secure maximum points. 20- minutes from time, Younis had the chance to add a third from the penalty-spot though Costa, who had pulled off a number of great saves, brilliantly turned away the striker-s attempt.