Sydney FC’s PlayStation 4 NPL NSW 2 Men’s side had a comfortable night against Bankstown Berries as they cruised to a 5-1 win at Lambert Park, Leichhardt on Saturday night.
The Sky Blues were in the control from the outset as they moved the ball across the park keeping possession and the early pressure on the Berries.
Leading the forward line was Bai Antoniou who looked lively early and he outpaced the defence but fired just wide of the post in the opening exchanges.
William Mutch was also causing havoc down the right flank but he also was wide of the target with two efforts on goal.
It was just after the half hour mark that Sydney FC opened the scoring when Nicola Kuleski burst forward and fed Daniel Araujo who slipped a neat ball through to Antoniou, and the forward made no mistake to slot home for a one nil lead.
Berries almost hit back five minutes later but a great reflex save by Mitch Evans on his near post kept them at bay.
In the 42nd minute Antoniou turned provider as he crossed the ball into the area for Fillipe Zapata to control and shoot home to double the lead which Sydney FC took into the break.
The Sky Blues didn’t have to wait long in the second half to extend their margin, as Zapata grabbed his brace in the 49th minute, sliding in on the post to convert a delightful square pass from Mutch.
Not to be outdone Antoniou completed his brace just eight minutes later following a carbon copy slide rule delivery from Mutch, to slam home for a 4-0 margin after 57 minutes of play.
62 minutes in the night turned sour for the Sky Blues as skipper Yianni Spyrakis picked up a contentious second yellow to receive his marching orders, reducing the home side to ten men. Evans made a spectacular fingertip save from the ensuing free kick to put the ball over the bar and maintain the advantage at 4-0.
Head Coach Rob Stanton gave NPL first grade debuts to youngsters Sam McIllhatton and John Iredale bringing both players off the bench for a taste of first grade football.
In the 84th minute Berries got their name on the scoresheet with a consolation goal to Tai Smith but the joy was short lived as Antoniou completed his well-deserved hat trick in the 89th minute with arguable the goal of the match.
The play started on the left with George Timotheou who played the ball back to keeper Evans. He switched the play to the right finding defender Matt Green who then linked with his midfield in McIllhatton.
The debutant played forward into the right channel releasing fellow debutant Iredale who sprinted by his marker and surged towards goal before squaring the ball to a rampaging Antoniou who rifled the ball into the back of the net to make it 5-1 on the night.
With Sydney FC winning all three grades, Under 18’s 7-3 and Under 20’s 4-1, they maintain a twelve point lead in the Club Championship.
Sydney FC 5 (Bai Antoniou 3; Fillipe Zapata 2) defeated Bankstown Berries 1 (Tai Smith 1).
Sydney FC Line Up: Mitch Evans (GK); Nicola Kuleski; Patrick Flottmann; George Timotheou; Brendan Curtis; Yianni Spyrakis (C); Daniel Araujo (Sam McIllhatton); Chris Arditti (Matt Green); Bai Antoniou; William Mutch (John Iredale); Fillipe Zapata
Subs Not Used: Nick Sorras (GK); Mani Gonzalez
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