Round 3 Review - Westfield FFA Cup


The Cup  competition many were waiting for has finally commenced for 2016, the Westfield FFA Cup Round three matches took place last week as clubs from Associations as well as Football NSW State League outfits did battle in what is Australia’s prestigious Cup tournament.

The Match of the Round took shape at Pennant Hills Oval as local side GHSFA Pennant Hills FC hosted Prospect United.

Pennant Hills Oval has had a makeover of enormous magnitude in recent months, now providing an artificial surface of the best quality due to the combined efforts of Pennant Hills FC club stalwarts and the local Hornsby Council.

The clouds were sitting tight above the facility, and the rain made for a slippery playing surface, the kind where banana peels are prevalent and an upset loomed in the distance.

Zac Conbrough fired a shot from 20 yards wide of the mark in the very first minute as Penno looked to impose their authority early on.

Both sides took a little while to acclimatise to the slippery service, pushing the pass a little as the challenges started flying in.

McCann settled the quickest in the midfield battle, the Prospect number 16 shooting low and wide on 6 minutes, before his snap volley from the edge of the box in the 10th minute produced a wonderful full stretch save from the Penno keeper, Nick Healey.

Within sixty seconds McCann was at it again, slipping a great ball behind the Pennant Hills defence, only for Chung to clip his shot over the cross bar.

Harrison Browne had the locals on their feet in the 21st minute, swivelling on the edge of the box with his back to goal before shooting just wide of the Prospect upright.

On 28 minutes we had the break through the game was crying for, and it came via a swift Prospect United counter attack.

Receiving the ball just inside the edge of the penalty area, Chanab controlled with his first touch before cracking a shot towards the far post.

Pennant Hills keeper, Nick Healey, did well to parry the effort, but Prospect’s Mikael swopped on the rebound to give the visitors the lead from close range.

Hills kept at it and responded with a double effort just before oranges.

Rhys Bateman had a snap shot blocked by the Prospect keeper, Rogers, before Harrison Browne’s angled drive from the rebound flashed across the face of the goal.

Mr Green’s whistle shrieked to bring the first half to an end, Pennant Hills behind on the scoreboard but still very much in the contest.

Prospect United was hopeful to grab a second and put some distance between them and Pennant Hills, much was their increased vigour in the second half.

Chanab raced in to the box on 53 minutes, his low shot well parried by Penno keeper, Healey, whilst McCann went even closer in the 61st minute, his low grass cutter of a free kick fizzing across the surface, cracking against the base of the post before rebounding to safety.

Prospect skipper, Jennings, was covering the artificial grass all over the middle of the park, linking well between the defence and the midfield, as Prospect started to tighten the screws.

Nick Healey was producing a herculean effort in the Penno goal to keep his side in the match. He saved well from a McCann rocket on 78 minutes, before producing an incredible double save from point blank range in the 80th minute – McCann and Mikael the frustrated Prospect players.

Pennant Hills were combative during the second period, but seemed to lose their way in the final attacking third, although credit to big Matty Viera in the Prospect central defence, marshalling his backline with fierce tenacity.

But a last ditch corner in injury time almost restored parity, a header produced from a cluster of players cleared off the line by Prospect’s captain, Jennings, and that was all she wrote.

For Prospect, Viera was a rock in the centre back role, whilst McCann did just about everything but score in an accomplished attacking midfield performance. Jennings produced an industrious and busy captain’s knock, as Prospect can now look forward to a 4th round battle with Marconi on April 6th.

Pennant Hills were best served by their goal keeper, Nick Healey, who kept the home side in the match with a string of saves; Rhys Bateman toiled tirelessly in midfield, pinching the ball from defence and setting up the home side’s attack; whilst Harrison Browne’s tall lanky frame and combative style up front meant Prospect had to be on their toes all night.

Pennant Hills’ player-coach, Albert Shepherd, was proud of his team’s effort.

“I thought we were a little nervous at the start, we missed a few passes, and turned the ball over a few times, but we got better as the game went on.”

He added, “We really enjoy playing in the Westfield FFA Cup, we would like to be involved in it every year. Additionally, I am very proud of the fact that today we had ten players who have come through the ‘Penno’ juniors! I want to take this opportunity to thank the efforts of our committee and the Hornsby Council, who together have managed to provide our club with this fantastic facility, and a surface which allows us to practice in all weather conditions and improve our technical ability.”

Match Stats

PENNANT HILLS FC      (0)        0

PROSPECT UNITED      (1)        1 (Mikael 28’)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pennant Hills Oval

Referee – Stuart Green

Assistant Referees – Alex Long and Peter Wilson-Mosely

PENNANT HILLS FC; 1.N.Healey, 7.R.Bateman, 19.H.Browne, 22.P.Cassar (capt), 11.Z.Conbrough (16.J.Elliot), 6.M.Hiley, 17.C.Khandkar, 21.N.Nagle (25.T.House), 4.P.O’Brien, 12.B.Rogers, 9.A.Shepherd (15.J.Wilson).

Substitutes – RGK.J.Hardy, 24.K.Pathmandavel.

; 1.O.Rogers, 3.B.Whitey, 2.E.Vuciri, 5.J.Green, 8.A.Jennings (capt), 9.M.Viera, 10.A.Mikael, 11.T.Sullivan, 14.D.Chung (6.N.Valjak), 15.A.Chanab (7.D.Stivala),16.B.McCann (4.J.Bayubake).

Substitutes – RGK. A.Mantouroglou.

In the late game at Pennant Hills Oval,
Sydney University from the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s 3 stumbled on a local banana peel, before regaining their balance and progressing in to the 4th Round of the Westfield FFA Cup.

That local banana peel came in the form of Kenthurst & District Football Club, who remarkably took a 2-0 lead in to the break after starting the match full of vigour and energy.

With Luke Roodenburg (ex-Blacktown City) and Tim Simpson (ex-Spirit) in their ranks, it was another former NPL player, ex-Manly United captain, Graeme Forbes, who gave Kenthurst the edge with a brace of goals before half time.

Forbes scored with a thumping header from a corner in the 25th minute to give the Gladesville Hornsby Football Association team the lead, before doubling their advantage in the 34th with a low angled drive from inside the box that fizzed in to the far bottom inside netting.

Sydney University – missing prolific goal scorer Scott Tonkin, industrious midfielder Jacob Di Mento, and no holds barred central defender, Josh Karpes – weren’t about to lie down without a fight.

In addition to making a couple of formation changes, Sydney Uni coach, Brian Dene, brought on young Josh Ginges after the break, and it was he who inspired the ‘students’ to a remarkable second half revival.

Ginges pulled a goal back early in the second period when he got his small frame in between the towering Kenthurst defence, his header looping over the keeper in to the far corner of the net. Midway through the half it all square at 2-2, Ginges swivelling on the edge of the box with his back to goal, before turning and cracking a low grass cutter in to near bottom corner that flew off the wet artificial surface.

Uni were on a roll by now, and their momentum brought the winner soon enough, a swift counter attack rebounding off all and sundry in the penalty area, the ball dropping to where the predatory Rosario Occhipinti was lurking around the penalty area. The previously twice PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s 3 top goal scorer thumped the ball down the centre of the goal to spark wild celebrations from the Sydney University contingent.

It was a superb effort by the Kenthurst boys, well lead by the experienced Roodenburg in the centre of the park, as well as the two goal hero, Graeme Forbes, and after a great first half simply couldn’t contain Sydney Uni’s second half onslaught.

Sydney University were well served by the tenacious Adrian Porcu, especially as a second half holding midfielder, the tricky wing play of Domenic Di Mento, and of course Josh Ginges, an energy boost for his team with his second half introduction.

Tony Basha’s Rydalmere Lions progressed in to the 4th Round of the Cup when they accounted for Nepean FC at Rydalmere Park on Saturday night.

Chris Camilleri and Seiji Tarutarni netted the goals for Rydalmere in a 2-1 victory, in the process booking a date with Playstation 4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 heavyweights APIA Leichhardt Tigers in the next round.

Dunbar Rovers FC of the PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s 3 took on Northern Suburbs Association Premier League Finalists, Chatswood Rangers, at Charles Bean on Saturday evening, a match between two clubs who were well known to each other over the years but never having met competitively.

Dunbar Head Coach, Will Cullen, gave starting debuts to four players - Robbie Ezekiel, Marcus Naoum, Alex Nicolosi and Andrew Green, the other seven coming from the club’s 2015 NSW State League 2 title winning team, with a number of regulars out of action, including Clive Delaney and skipper, Robbie Deasy.

The highlight of the first half came from a 25 metre Marcus Naoum pile driver which was turned over by the Chatswood Rangers keeper, but the scoreboard attendant was made to work for his money after the break.

Before the fans had a chance to take their seats, striker Alex Nicolosi was left with the easy task of slotting the ball into the net from close range following a slick move down the left hand side of the field.

Mike Sealy extended the lead shortly after, also from close range, minutes prior to the goal of the night from young debutant striker Andrew Green – a stylish drawback was followed by a low shot to the goalkeeper's right.

Chatswood stayed true to the task, but the match was put out of their reach when Alex Nicolosi got his second with another typical striker's goal from close range.  Robbie Ezekiel hammered home from inside the box to round off the scoring at 5-0 to Dunbar, who progress to a 4th Round tie against fellow PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s 3 club, Hills Brumbies.

Umina United didn’t suffer from any jetlag on the back of a flight from the Central Coast to Albury on Saturday to face local boys, Melrose FC.

Coach Chris Powell had his troops well primed, and the pristine surface at Melrose Park was conducive to some good football from the visitors.

Hugo Vidal-Membrado got things moving for Umina with a well taken spot kick after five minutes, before Matt Goodwin scored his first of a brace shortly after.

Half hour had passed before Umina’s skipper, Nathan Moseley, laid on a back heel for Matt Hogan who slid one past the Melrose keeper. Ben Scully Hawkins then struck twice in quick succession before oranges to send Umina in to the sheds 5-0 up.

Junior Powell curled a ripper around the Melrose keeper within 10 minutes of the restart, and Matt Goodwin notched his second for the afternoon to make it 7-0. Hugo Vidal-Membrado scored with a missile from 25metres to finish what he had started, his second goal of the match rounding off a comprehensive 8-0 victory for the visitors.

Manly Warringah Football Association side, Pittwater RSL, put up an almighty performance at Magdala Park on Sunday afternoon, leading in normal and extra time before succumbing to Gladesville Ryde Magic, from the PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s 3.

Starting the match full of energy and running, and fielding ex-Manly United players Scott Balderson and Mitch Macedo, Pittwater took 2-0 and 3-1 leads in normal time, and looked headed for an upset over their more fancied rivals.

But Magic simply would not roll over, and kept responding to the challenge, taking the match in to extra time by making it 3-3.

The lively Macedo received his marching orders with a second yellow card in the 86th minute, but Pittwater remarkably edged in front even though they were down to ten men.

Gladesville equalised once more to take the match to penalty kicks, and it was here that the mercurial Kyriakou Tohouroglou came to the fore, the experienced Magic goal keeper repelling two spot kicks to send the home side in to the 4th round 4-2 on penalties.

Unfortunately we have no listed goal scorers for Pittwater when we went to press, but Macedo was a constant threat throughout in the attacking third, and keeper, Dean McReath, kept RSL in the match with a string of important saves.

The goals for Gladesville Ryde Magic came from captain, Chris Gaitatzis, who grabbed a brace in an influential skipper’s knock, whilst Chris Tomaras and Joel Carter also got on the scoresheet.

In other 3rd Round matches, Bulli FC knocked over Liverpool SC 4-0 at Balls Paddock, whilst Lilli Pilli edged past Dunbar Rovers from the Eastern Suburbs Football Association by 2-1.

There were lop sided wins for Kemblawarra Fury FC (10-0 over Western Lions FC), Mosman FC (7-1 versus Leichhardt Saints FC), and Berkeley Vale (7-0 against Greenacre Eagles), with Leichhardt Saints Senior SFC beating Arncliffe Scots FC   5-1 at King George Park on Saturday afternoon.

UNSW FC prevailed against Narrabeen FC by the odd goal in nine at Heffron Park,  Pagewood Botany FC beat Woonona FC 3-0 at Jellicoe Park, and The Ponds knocked Ourimbah United out by the tune of 3-2.

There were identical 3-0 triumphs for Glebe Gorillas (vs Yagoona Lions) , Picton Rangers (vs Forest Rangers), and Wollongong United (vs Auburn FC), a 3-1 win for Kissing Point over St Marys Convent, whilst penalties were required to separate Quakers Hills Juniors and Sydney CBD FC, Hills moving in to the fourth round 4-1 from the spot after a 3-3 draw.

Carss Park (2-1 over Woy Woy) and Padstow United (1-0 over Strathfield) both had narrow victories, whilst there were five goal hauls for Manly Vale (5-0 against Harrington Utd), Glenmore Park (5-1 against Kellyville Kolts) and Southern & Ettalong Utd (5-2 against Gazy Lansvale).

Glebe Wanderers reached double figures in a 10-0 annihilation of Amity FC, whilst Penrith beat Sporting 3-0 in a battle of the ‘Rovers’.

Dean Bertenshaw’s Hawkesbury City Hawks sent Western NSW Mariners packing with a 3-0 triumph on Saturday evening in an all PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s 3 match up, the goals coming from McCrory, Ekehov, and Gough.

Newly formed Bankstown United had a dream start in their FFA Cup debut, trouncing FC Danphe 7-0 at Jensen Oval, whilst SD Raiders FC hit the net an even dozen times by eliminating Macquarie Dragons in a canter.

Gladesville Ravens (vs Lane Cove) and Waverley Old Boys (vs Hurstville FC) both had narrow 2-1 wins to progress, whilst the match between Camden Tigers and Central Sydney Wolves required extra time to register an outcome, the Tigers winning 6-4 after the Wolves had two players sent from the field.

Cejkaa (3) and Morsillo (2) got amongst the goals for Hills Brumbies on Sunday in their 9-2 demolition of North Epping Rangers, Turner and Jacobs replying for the losers.

There were a number of big wins spread across Sunday’s fixtures, with St George FA hammering Abbotsford Junior FC 6-1, Hurstville City Minotaurs beating Doyalson Wyee 5-0, Albion Park White Eagles hitting seven without reply against West Ryde Rovers, and Maroubra United smacking Revesby Rovers for 12 at Heffron Park.

Gosford City (10-2 over OatleyRSL) and Wagga City Wanderers (11-1 vs Putney Rangers) both had a feast in from of goals on their way to the 4th round, whilst Killarney Districts SC upset Stanmore Hawks 4-2 at Pluim Park.

Dee Why beat Banksia Tigers 5-0, Coogee United beat Glenhaven 3-0, Ararat FC won 3-2 against Lokomotiv Cove FC, Western Condors defeated Kanwal Warnervale Rovers FC 3-2, and Lindfield FC smashed Balmain & Districts FC 11-0.

Closing off the results of Round Three, there were victories for three PlayStation 4 NPL NSW Men’s 3 clubs – Dulwich Hill (5-1 vs Pendle Hill FC), Granville Rage (1-0 vs Winston Hills), and Balmain Tigers (2-1 vs Doonside Hawks).