IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Round 11 Review


The gap is five points and closing at the top of the table after Blacktown Spartans were beaten for the second week in a row.

The gap is five points and closing at the top of the table after Blacktown Spartans were beaten for the second week in a row.

They went down 2-1 to their cross-town rivals Blacktown City at Lilys Football Centre.

Elsewhere, you could throw a blanket over the middle to lower part of the table and with the second half of the season starting next weekend it is all shaping up for a terrific run home.

Blacktown City 2-1 Blacktown Spartans, at Lilys Football Centre

It was an unseasonably warm autumn’s day in Seven Hills as Blacktown City hosted their own “noisy neighbours”, Blacktown Spartans.

Spartans tasted defeat for the first time last weekend as they went down to APIA-Leichhardt Tigers and it became two defeats in a row as Blacktown City did the job in Round 11’s Match of the Round.

Blacktown City coach Mark Crittenden sprung a surprise, selecting Shayne D’Cunha to make his full first team debut at right back and the youngster rewarded his coach with a well taken goal.

It was after Corey Biczo opened the scoring for Spartans with a long range drive in the dying moments of the first half and after the brainless dismissal of Luke Austin for foul and abusive language towards a match official, on the hour mark.

Playing ten men, Blacktown City came to the fore, firstly through D’Cunha’s goal and then when Kearyn Baccus put the home side ahead with a sensational strike from the edge of the area.

Spartans reverted to some less-than-subtle directness to try and find a way back into the game but the best chances fell the way of Blacktown City as Mitchell Mallia, Baccus and Travis Major all had chances to put the game away but the score remained 2-1 to the home side.

APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 0-0 South Coast Wolves, at Lambert Park

APIA-Leichhardt were buoyed by their first win of the season at Blacktown Football Park against Spartans no less as well as the midweek announcement of their signing of Joe Gibbs.

Wolves meanwhile have reacted superbly to the left-field appointment of Nahuel Arrarte in the coaching hot seat after the sacking of Richard Lloyd to record back-to-back wins and a draw under the new man in charge.

The two positives cancelled each other out on Saturday night as the game remained scoreless. APIA perhaps shaded the best of the opportunities but were let down by a lack of end product, most glaringly from Daniel Fogarty, who found himself in behind on numerous occasions but was unable to create with his final ball.

Manly United 0-1 Rockdale City Suns, at Cromer Park

Manly United have gone off the boil in recent weeks and they went down again on Saturday night though their performance was much improved.

Sean Symons’ goal was the deciding factor as he netted for Rockdale City just before the hour mark to steal all three points for his side.

Rockdale’s win keeps them in the mix in mid-table while defeat condemned Manly to the bottom of the table after a recent poor run of results.

Sutherland Sharks 4-0 Sydney United 58, at Seymour Shaw Park

Things went from bad to worse for Sydney United 58.

After being unceremoniously dumped out of the Waratah Cup by Sydney Olympic in mid-week they had high hopes of bouncing back here but instead were on the receiving end of a 4-0 drubbing away at Sutherland Sharks.

Adamos Pierettis did the damage with two well taken goals in the first half. That he didn’t see out the game after receiving two yellow cards did little to affect the result though.

United chased the game in the second half and were picked off by the wily Sutherland as second half goals to Nathan Elasi and Panni Nikas sealed the deal.

Marconi Stallions 1-2 St George, at Marconi Stadium

St George recorded back-to-back wins for the first time in the Mens 1 competition, taking on and beating Marconi Stallions on their own turf.

It was a big result for Manny Spanoudakis’ side who had it all to do when their top goal scorer and captain Juan Chavez left the field early on with an injury.

But his replacement, Andreas Vais, played a huge part in the win.

Mitchell Thompson gave Marconi the lead with a quarter of an hour to go with a beautiful free kick but that was cancelled out just three minutes later by Vais.

Just when it seemed that the points would be shared, up popped David Talevski to score a 92nd minute winner for the Saints and give them another big boost heading into the second half of the season.

Sydney Olympic 0-1 Bonnyrigg White Eagles, at Belmore Sports Ground

Bonnyrigg are proving themselves so difficult to beat now after a mixed start to the season.

Their 1-0 win away at Sydney Olympic was their sixth clean sheet in their last seven games and was a testament to their resilience and experience.

Olympic coach Grant Lee was disappointed that his side didn’t do more with their opportunities, especially after their stirring 4-2 win over Sydney United 58 in the Waratah Cup in midweek.

Bonnyrigg took the lead in the first half when Chris Tadrosse’s free kick beat everyone, including Olympic keeper Paul Henderson, to nestle in the back of the net.

From there all of Bonnyrigg’s fighting qualities were on display as they closed out an excellent win to keep themselves right in the mix.