SUPA IGA NSW NPL Mens 2 Round 14 Review
With three of the top five sides dropping points in round 14, things are tighter than ever atop the SUPA IGA NSW NPL Mens 2 ladder.
Macarthur's difficult run continued with defeat against Northern Tigers, while Fraser Park held Bankstown City to a stalemate and Mounties, Mt Druitt and Central Coast Mariners Academy emerged victorious.
Spirit FC v Parramatta FC
A 90th minute goal to Ossama Zaki salvaged a 1-1 draw for Spirit FC against a 10-man Parramatta at Christie Park on Sunday afternoon in this week's match of the round.
The Eagles took an early lead through Frank Martey and looked set to hold off their plucky hosts, but Lord Darkoh's 66th minute send off allowed Spirit a route back into the match, which they capitalised on late in the piece.
Spirit looked lively from the outset, piling on the pressure and pinning Parramatta back.
Gosue Sama had the first shot of the match three minutes in when Joel Carter laid the ball off for him, but the striker's shot skewed wide of the goal.
Despite their early dominance, the hosts went behind on the five minute mark as Parramatta made them pay with their first chance on goal.
Daniel Rezo picked up a loose ball on the right side of the box, shimmied past his marks and his scuffed shot found Frank Martey at the far post, with the winger making no mistake from close range. That served to open the match and both sides found their groove.
Eagles almost doubled their lead, again from a quick break, as Rezo played a sublime through ball for Martey, who looked for Wandi Jajaw in the middle only to have his cross cut out by an alert Spirit defence.
Rezo sparked another attack four minutes later, releasing Shayne Ardle down the right. Ardle sent a well-timed cross to Frank Martey at the far post but the ball was taken off his head by Nicholas Trimble.
Mathew Clowes went close to getting his name on the scoresheet in the 25th minute, dinking a cheeky free kick from the left side of the box to the near post, forcing Kane Wallace into a low diving save.
The hosts found their mojo as the half wore on and had a number of chances to draw things level. In the 30th minute, Joel Carter played Jacob Harris down the left flank and his cut back was met by Abraham Majok, but the ball deflected off the side of his boot and allowed Parramatta to regain possession.
Spirit went even closer with 38' down on the clock. Parramatta gloveman Justin Biega failed to punch clear a corner, allowing Gosue Sama and Abraham Majok to have a couple of attempts on goal from a matter of metres out, but Biega redeemed himself tenfold with a series of spectacular goal line saves.
The referee was forced to reach into his pocket a couple of times late in the first half as the feeling in the match ramped up, but Parramatta held onto their lead to go into the sheds with a slight advantage.
It was a fast and furious start to the second stanza with play moving from end to end as both sides struggled to finish off positive moves with a clinical final pass.
Spirit could have found a breakthrough in the 57th minute when they threatened with a series of relentless crosses, culminating in Abraham Majok's pinpoint delivery which was headed over the crossbar by Grant Cornwell.
They again looked ominous when Joel Carter whipped a lovely cross to the far post, but Biega was equal to the task to punch the ball clear.
Spirit's hopes of taking points off Parramatta were significantly boosted in the 66th minute when Lord Darkoh was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on Ross Kethel.
Gosue Sama stepped up to take the resulting free kick and must have thought he'd scored after curling a beauty towards the top corner, only to be denied by a spectacular diving save from Justin Biega.
Eagles continued to push for a second despite the man disadvantage, but were hampered by a lack of execution in their final passes. The most notable chance came in the 70th minute when Domenic Trimboli offloaded to Martey inside the box and was open to receive the one-two but Martey's touch went straight to Wallace.
Spirit were dominant to close out the match as they inched closer and closer towards an equaliser. Lively substitute Roberto Polistina had a sniff at goal courtesy of Gosue Sama's deft flick on the edge of the box, but Polistina's shot couldn't trouble Biega.
Parramatta could have extended their buffer with four minutes on the clock when Daniel Gullo played a solid ball down the line to Frank Martey, who came under the attention from two defenders and couldn't get enough power on his shot.
Spirit continued to pepper the Eagles defence and they were finally rewarded in the 90th minute. Cornwell played a long ball into the box, Biega came out to fist it away but was beaten to it by Ossama Zaki whose flicked header was goalbound, with Domenic Trimboli unable to clear off the line. 1-1.
The home side had one final chance to snatch a late win with Polistina controlling and hitting a half volley into the bottom corner which was saved well by Biega.
The spoils were deservedly shared in the end as Parramatta moved one point clear atop the Mens 2 ladder, while Spirit remained in 11th but kept touch with the teams above them.
Spirit FC 1 (Ossama Zaki 90')
Parramatta FC 1 (Frank Martey 5')
Sunday June 22, 2014
At Christie Park
Spirit FC: 21. Joel Carter, 8. Grant Cornwell, 7. Jacob Harris, 15. Ross Kethel (26. Henry Wells 74'), 19. Tom Lovell, 35. Abraham Majok (24. Roberto Polistina 80'), 2. Andrew Robertson, 6. Gosue Sama, 4. Nicholas Trimble, 41. Kane Wallace, 5. Ossama Zaki
Subs not used: 51. Alexander Buddle, 12. Michael Streeter
Yellow cards: Grant Cornwell, Gosue Sama
Red cards: Nil
Parramatta FC: 11. Suad Ameti (4. Robert Tribbia 69'), 23. Shayne Ardle, 20. Justin Biega, 8. Mathew Clowes, 3. Lord Darkoh, 5. Patrick Gatt (C), 9. Wandi Jajaw (19. John Tsironis 85'), 7. Frank Martey, 10. Daniel Rezo (6. Daniel Gullo 69'), 16. Joshua Symons, 17. Domenic Trimboli
Subs not used: 12. Jess Casey, 21. Dominic Badolato
Yellow cards: Wandi Jajaw, Suad Ameti
Red cards: Lord Darkoh
Central Coast Mariners Academy v Sydney University
Central Coast Mariners Academy created some breathing space in sixth spot on the ladder after edging Sydney University 2-1 at Pluim Park on Saturday night.
Sydney Uni were unable to back up last weekend's victory, with Nicolo Sama's goal cancelled out by strikes to Nathan Verity and Adam Woodbine.
The result kept Jason Van Blerk's Mariners within two points of the top five ahead of next week's clash with Parramatta.
Central Coast Mariners Academy 2 (Adam Woodbine, Nathan Verity)
Sydney University 1 (Nicolo Sama)
Fraser Park v Bankstown City
Fraser Park held Bankstown City to a 2-2 draw on Saturday, dropping the Lions into fourth place.
Carlo Musumeci's brace cancelled out goals to Bankstown City duo Shane Webb and Brad Boardman, with Fraser Park picking up points for just the fifth time this season.
Fraser Park 2 (Carlo Musumeci 2)
Bankstown City 2 (Shane Webb, Brad Boardman)
Macarthur Rams v Northern Tigers
Northern Tigers made up valuable ground on second-placed Macarthur with a 2-1 win over the Rams in a physical encounter at Lynwood Park.
Macarthur’s difficult run continued as the result put them within touching distance of the remainder of the top five.
Naoyuki Nomura provided the lone strike for the Rams but it wasn’t enough as Shervin Adeli and Lucas Dawson banged in the decisive goals to return Jason Eagar’s side to winning ways.
Macarthur Rams 1 (Naoyuki Nomura)
Northern Tigers 2 (Shervin Adeli, Lucas Dawson)
Bankstown Berries v Mounties Wanderers
Bankstown Berries suffered their second 3-2 defeat in as many games, this time going down agonisingly to Mounties Wanderers.
Mark Symington struck early for the visitors, handing Mounties a 1-0 advantage in just the fourth minute. But Jun Kato equalised five minutes later before Kyle Ewart put Berries in the lead after 25 minutes.
Wanderers' determination paid off in the second half as Eli Squillacioti struck the leveller on the hour mark before Alvin Singh snagged the winner with 14 minutes remaining on the clock.
Mounties cemented fifth spot while Berries remain in 10th.
Bankstown Berries 2 (Kyle Ewart, Jun Kato)
Mounties Wanderers 3 (Mark Symington, Alvin Singh, Eli Squillacioti)
Hills Brumbies v Mt Druitt Town Rangers
Mt Druitt picked up back to back wins to prop them up the ladder, inflicting just Hills' second home defeat of the season with a 3-1 victory.
Rangers raced out to a 2-0 lead at halftime before kicking on with the result in the second half.
Brendan Salameh, Koji Hori and Daniel McCann provided the goals for the visitors while Dragan Savic bagged a consolation for Brumbies.
Hills (7th) and Mt Druitt (8th) are now level on points, although Brumbies have a game in hand against Parramatta.
- By Mitchell Grima