IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Round 4 Review


After four rounds Blacktown Spartans remain atop the National Premier Leagues IGA Mens 1 competition.

After four rounds Blacktown Spartans remain atop the National Premier Leagues IGA Mens 1 competition.

They are the only side with a perfect record after four matches.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, APIA-Leichhardt Tigers and South Coast Wolves are both still searching for their first win of the season after a month of trying.

In the Match of the Round Sutherland Sharks defeated Marconi Stallions in an epic encounter thanks to a late penalty from Sharks’ goal scoring machine, Panny Nikas.


Sutherland Sharks 3-2 Marconi Stallions, at Seymour Shaw Park

What an advertisement for the NPL IGA NSW Mens 1 competition this game was.

The manner in which the game was played is a credit to the work of both coaches, Robbie Stanton at Sutherland and Darren Iocca at Marconi and the only shame was that one of the teams had to lose as neither deserved to be on that side of the ledger.

Sharks took the lead in the first half through Nikas who scored with a cool finish. The midfielder can’t stop scoring and higher honours can’t be far away for the Sharks number 23.

When Damian Travis put the ball in his own net it looked all over for Marconi but they are made of sterner stuff than that.

They pulled one back immediately through Zak Elrich and then in the second half they equalised when Milorad Simonovic tapped in after mistakes from Nick Littler and Perry Moustakas.

The thrilling finish came with just three minutes remaining after Jordan Figon was brought down and Nikas showed nerves of steel to place his penalty into the top corner to win the game for Sutherland.

Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2-3 Blacktown Spartans, at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre

It was a similarly pulsating encounter in Bonnyrigg as the White Eagles hosted Blacktown Spartans.

Alexander Canak gave Bonnyrigg a 12 minute lead but it lasted only a shade over 10 minutes before Ray Miller equalised for the table-topping Spartans.

In-form Corey Biczo then put the visiting side 2-1 to the good before half time leaving Brian Brown with some thinking to do at the interval.

Whatever he said at the break worked wonders, as serial goal scorer Robbie Younis levelled the scores shortly after the interval.

Like the other Saturday game, it was late drama that decided it as Elsid Barkousir scored in stoppage time to give Spartans a fourth win in a row and condemn Bonnyrigg to their third defeat in four outings in 2014.

Blacktown City 3-3 APIA-Leichhardt Tigers, at Lilys Football Centre

There were goals galore in the rain at the first home game at the new Lilys Football Centre.

It was a match that see-sawed throughout the 90 minutes and the action started early when Matthew Mayora gave APIA-Leichhardt the lead in the eighth minute.

It didn’t last long though and Blacktown City was awarded a penalty after some clumsy goalkeeping from APIA’s Andrew Bazi. Kearyn Baccus made no mistake, levelling the scores.

Some sustained Blacktown City pressure saw them take the lead before half time and who else would score than Ryuji Miyazawa. The Japanese attacker has been in fine fettle this season and continued his fabulous run with another goal.

APIA showed great character to come back and not just level but go ahead.

Two goals in 10 minutes from Brad Bartels put the away side 3-2 up on the hour mark thanks to some cool finishing from the leggy midfielder.

Just when APIA may have been thinking about banking the points an unfortunate own goal from their skipper Michael West brought them back down to earth.

It was 3-3 with 18 minutes remaining and that was how it ended, leaving Blacktown City second and APIA still searching for their first win of the season.

Sydney United 58 2-3 Manly United, at Sydney United Sports Centre

It must have been the weekend for late goals as a couple from Chris Payne condemned Sydney United 58 to defeat when it looked certain that the home side would be taking all three points.

It was a thriller at Sydney United Sports Centre and when Ibrahim Haydar scored in the 25th minute it looked like it would be one-way traffic.

Payne scored ten minutes later to level the scores though and Manly, who have the potential to surprise this season, showed they were up for the fight.

Robbie Mileski put United 2-1 up after the break and it looked like it would stay that way but a red card to Haydar in the 73rd minute left the door ajar.

Payne struck twice in the final five minutes to complete a memorable hat-trick and also snare the points for Manly in a comeback for the ages.

Rockdale City Suns 1-0 South Coast Wolves, at Ilinden Sports Centre

It wasn’t a good day for football in Rockdale with the rain making conditions difficult for both sides but Rockdale definitely adjusted the better.

It was only one on the day but it could have been many more and South Coast have a lot of work to do if they are to make an impression on the competition.

Nick Taneski continued his good form giving Rockdale City an early lead in the 2nd minute of play.

He latched on to a long kick downfield from his goalkeeper Tomislav Arcaba and showed a cool head to finish past Daniel Collison.

Suns spurned a number of chances before and after the break to double their money and put the game away but they weren’t made to pay by South Coast who were very poor in the first half and only marginally better in the second.

Sydney Olympic 0-2 St George, at Belmore Sports Ground

Olympic were upset at home by St George in the final game of Round Four leaving Sotirios Kygriakos winless from his two-game spell at Belmore.

St George picked up their first win in the top division of NSW State League football thanks to goals from Bruno Pivato and David Talevski.

Pivato, formerly of Parramatta Eagles, scored in the seventh minute after Paul Henderson saved a shot from St George captain Juan Chavez.

It was a lead that St George did well to maintain in the face of some strong pressure from Olympic but the St George defence and goalkeeper Dion Shaw remained immovable.

They were stoic and their desire was rewarded in the 75th minute when Talevski doubled their lead.

Olympic couldn’t breach the St George defence leaving Kygriakos winless and St George joyful at their first three points in their return to the top flight.