Round 2 Review – PS4 NPL 3 NSW Men’s


Mother Nature can often threaten to upset many a football match, but the introduction of artificial surfaces and some quick-thinking officials meant that the incessant rain only caused the postponement of one solitary match in Round Two of the 2017 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s competition.

Sydney University Football Ground was washed out, meaning Sydney University and Rydalmere Lions live to fight another day.

A couple of last minute venue changes meant that all remaining six matches went ahead, and they didn’t disappoint when it came to excitement and goals.

Dunbar Rovers and Hawkesbury City grabbed their first points of the season when they played out an exciting 3-3 draw on Saturday afternoon, Fraser Park made it six points in two matches when they made light work of Stanmore Hawks at Arlington Oval, Granville Rage and Western NSW Mariners shared the spoils at Valentine Sports Park, whilst Inter Lions edged out Gladesville Ryde Magic with a 1-0 win on Sunday night. The match between St George City FA and SD Raiders was abandoned on 75 minutes due to a serious injury.

Match of the Round: Balmain Tigers v Dulwich Hill

Football NSW ventured out to Valentine Sports Park on Sunday evening for the clash between Balmain Tigers and Dulwich Hill.

Dulwich Hill looked the goods on Sunday night, as they strolled to a 6-0 drubbing of Balmain Tigers at Valentine Sports Park No.3.

Three players ended the evening with a brace of goals – a sure sign that Dully have plenty of firepower at their disposal – with Luke Giverin and Gerard Ouffoue scoring first half doubles, before Henry Wells helped himself to his couple after the break.

But before Dully got in to their stride, Balmain had a great opportunity to set the cat amongst the pigeons when they were awarded a penalty after just five minutes.

Rosario Occhipinti latched on to a perfectly weighted through ball, and was fouled by the onrushing Dully keeper, Michael Frost, just as he struck the ball.

Occhipinti picked himself up and hit the penalty well enough, low and hard to the bottom corner, but Frost has made a habit of saving spot kicks for years, and he did so again this time by flinging himself to his right for a great save.

Luke Giverin and Henry Wells both went close for Dulwich Hill with snapshots within the next ten minutes, but Giverin was not to be denied. Receiving the ball a metre or two outside the box in the 19th minute, Giverin switched the leather back on to his left peg before unleashing a left foot drive that cleared the spiders out of the corner of the goal. 

It was 2-0 on 27 minutes, and it was all due to the endeavour of flanker, Henry Wells. Wells hurdled two challenges on the right wing before slicing a perfect low cross in to the box. Giverin arrived like an express train, but his initial close range shot was parried by Balmain keeper, Jarrah Speers. Gerard Ouffoue was lurking like any good number nine would, and he picked up the scraps to double Dully’s lead.

Dulwich Hill were starting to flex their muscles at this point, attacking in packs not only when they went forward, but also whenever Balmain had possession.

Giverin made it 3-0 in the 34th when his 30-metre shot squirmed through the grasp Balmain’s keeper, Speers, and Ouffoue was scrapping once again in the 42nd minute, seizing on a loose ball inside the box to stroke home Dully’s fourth.

It took just over sixty seconds of the second half for Dulwich Hill to extend their lead to 5-0. Luke Giverin whipped in a vicious free kick from the right-hand side that Speers did well to parry, but Henry Wells was the first to react, slicing home goal number five from acute angle.

Dulwich Hill kept their foot well and truly on the pedal, and on 51 minutes, Mark Mcalpine hit a diagonal grass cutter that skimmed past the far upright after Gerard Ouffoue had laid a perfect pass in to his stride.

Giverin and substitute Jordan Mbakwe combined in the 72nd minute to set up Henry Wells for his double, and his side’s sixth, with Wells showing composure to control the ball and pick his spot with a well-placed low shot from just inside the penalty area.

Raffaele Moniaci added a little bit of energy when he came on for Balmain, just before the hour mark, setting up a few half chances with his tenacious running.

Moniaci was fouled just outside the box on 80 minutes, allowing Rentaro Osa to send in a dangerous free kick that Dully keeper, Michael Frost couldn’t hold. Balmain’s Rosario Occhipinti slammed home the rebound, but it just wasn’t the Tigers’ night, as the assistant referee’s flag went up for offside.

That was that and the game fizzled out, giving Dulwich Hill a comprehensive victory on the night.

Dulwich Hill showed speed, tenacity, and swift movement of the ball in what should be a warning sign to other teams in this league.

Luke Giverin was a standout, scoring two, assisting in another three, and creating havoc with his quick feet every time he had the ball. His midfield partners were just as instrumental in performing to their job description, with Sean Burke ever the anchor in the centre, linking well with defence and attack alike, whilst David Han worked hard all night to win possession for his side. Throw in two goal attackers, Gerard Ouffoue and Henry Wells, and you can see why it was difficult on the night to stop Dully’s momentum.

For Balmain, it was their third successive heavy defeat in a week, coming off the back of their midweek defeat in the Westfield FFA Cup and last week’s Round One demise, both at the hands of SD Raiders. They will need to work hard to stop gifting goals if they are to threaten the other NPL 3 sides in coming weeks. Nathan Lopino won his fair share of duels in the middle of the park in an area where Balmain were out-enthused, whilst without Harry Brown’s efforts in stopping quite a number of Dully attacks the score could’ve been a lot worse.

PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s

Round Two

Sunday, March 19, 2017


DULWICH HILL      6 (Giverin 19’ / 34’, Offoue 26’ / 42’, Wells 47’ / 72’ )

Valentine Sports Park No.3

Referee – John Garcia

Assistant Referees – Cameron Lee and Amol Verma

BALMAIN TIGERS; 40.J.Speers, 5.H.Brown, 10.A.Casali, 2.D.Grasso, 12.S.Hrysanthos, 6.N.Lopino (35.D.Siu 77’), 13.Y.Moutsakas, 9.R.Occhipinti, 16.R.Osa, 3.M.Paras (15.N.Ballard 58’), 21.G.Silvestro (capt) (7.R.Moniaci 54’).

Substitutes Not Used – 1.H.Fotopoulos.

Yellow Cards – Nil

Red Cards – Nil

DULWICH HILL; 1.M.Frost (capt), 2.V.Koutsoufis, 4.N.Bowden-Haase (27.A.Vitucci 49’), 5.P.Reilly, 13.S.Burke, 10.L.Giverin, 2.C.Sharpe, 8.G.Ouffoue (16.J.Mbakwe 66’), 15.D.Han (12.N.Stanojevic 62’), 17.H.Wells, 11.M.Mcalpine.

Substitutes Not Used – 7.J.Townsend, 25.J.Conaghan.

Yellow Cards – 10.L.Giverin 69’, 12.N.Stanojevic 80’.

Red Cards – Nil

Dunbar Rovers – Hawkesbury City 3-3

This fixture was one that was switched due to a waterlogged pitch at David Bertenshaw Field at Richmond, the game taking place at Heffron Synthetic Field at the earlier kick off time of 5-00pm in blistery and wet conditions.

An exciting match did unfold for the brave fans as the two sides shared four first half goals before settling on their first point of the 2017 campaign in a six-goal thriller.

Dunbar midfielder Ryan Shaughnessy got things moving with a long-distance half volley that put Rovers in to the lead, a goal that gave the home side the impetus to create a few further chances shortly after.

But against the run of play, Hawkesbury responded with two quick fire goals to take a 2-1 lead.

Prasheel Sharma finished well from the top of the penalty area to make it 1-1, and Chris El Hayek edged the Hawks in front shortly afterwards with a neat turn and finish in to the roof of the net.

Dunbar replied when Hezio Silva cracked an effort against the crossbar, before drawing level just prior to the break with a Tod Bamber spot kick after the striker himself was fouled inside the penalty area.

Dunbar then restored their early lead in the second half when Bamber netted his third goal in two games, turning to strike home a clinical left footed effort.

But Hawkesbury wouldn’t lie down, pulling level at 3-3 when Alexander Clarke equalised direct from an inswinging corner.

In what seemed to be one final twist, the visitors almost threw away all of their efforts when they conceded a late penalty, but Hawkesbury keeper, Daniel Schwarzer, denied the home side with a splendid save, giving the two teams a share of the points.

Stanmore Hawks – Fraser Park 1-4

Fraser Park made it two wins from two matches on Saturday evening with a solid 4-1 triumph over Stanmore Hawks at Arlington Oval.

That goals didn’t eventuate on the scoreboard until the second half, when despite a few opportunities at either end, both teams went into the break at 0-0.

Fraser skipper, Nick Dimitropolous put his side 1-0 up on 53 minutes, with the Hawks responding almost immediately via Max Riganias to restore parity at 1-1.

Ben Vidaic made it 2-1 to Fraser Park within 60 seconds, whilst Tai Smith capped off a remarkable five-minute spell, scoring with a fantastic diving header to give Fraser a 3-1 lead and a two-goal buffer.

Tai Smith capitalised on a Stanmore defensive error late on to make it 4-1, rounding off an effective performance on the night from the visitors.

Granville Rage – Western NSW Mariners 1-1

Granville Rage and Western NSW Mariners grabbed their first point of the 2017 season when they shared a 1-1 draw at Valentine Sports Park.

The pace of the ball was quite quick on a slippery artificial surface, and Granville dominated early stages of possession as they acclimatised a lot quicker than the visitors.

Charbel Haddad made it two goals in two goals for Granville, opening the scoring with a low shot in to the bottom corner of the goal after cutting in from the right on to his left peg.

Haddad in fact had a great chance to make it 2-0 shortly after but was foiled in a one on one with the Mariners keeper.

The Mariners eventually equalised with a well-executed counter attack after breaking quickly from a Granville corner.

Despite some late chances from both sides, that was the way it stayed with both teams taking home a point for their efforts.

St George City FA – SD Raiders 0-0

The match between St George City FA and SD Raiders was abandoned on 75 minutes with the score at 0-0, given a terrible injury to St George defender, David Dascal.

On behalf of Football NSW, and all who are linked to the PS4 NPL 3 NSW Men’s competition, as well as everyone in the wider football community, our best wishes go out to David Dascal on the way to a speedy recovery.

Stay tuned to the Football NSW website for the outcome of this fixture.

Inter Lions – Gladesville Ryde Magic 1-0

Inter Lions made it two wins from as many games with a hard fought 1-0 victory over the plucky Gladesville Ryde Magic.

The Sunday evening 7pm kick off must’ve had a dour impact on the players, as opportunities were few and far between, with both sets of defences holding fort.

The solitary goal game on the half hour mark, when Dario Villante found himself in space inside the box before cracking home to give Inter three points.