NPL 1 Review: Wanderers secure huge away Derby Day win

Sydney is once again Red & Black as the Western Sydney Wanderers NPL side secured a huge 1-0 away win over their rivals at Valentine Sports Park on Friday.

A well taken Zac Sapsford strike midway through the first half secured a vital three points, which saw the side off the foot of the table and level on points with two sides above them.

Looking to arrest a difficult run of form, Andrew Christiansen restored Nathaneal Blair to the starting side, and was also boosted by the return of Liam Bonetig to defence.

The home side had the first big chance of the match, when Jaiden Kucharski’s shot hit the post and fell into the grateful arms of Lawrence Caruso.

This sparked the Wanderers into life, and they would open the scoring in the 26th minute. Some poor passing from the Sky Blues allowed Sapsford to latch onto a loose ball and strongly sidefoot the ball into the bottom corner, leaving Adam Pavlesic stranded and sparking wild celebrations.

The lead was almost doubled two minutes later when a rampant Wanderers won the ball high up the pitch through Sapsford; his cross found Ariath Piol at the back post, but his header went agonisingly wide.

Edmond Lupancu was able to get on the end of a Daniel Wilmering free-kick just before half time, but his effort bounced wide of the goal.

Both sides had chances to score in the second half, as Zane Schreiber had a fierce volley from distance saved brilliantly by Caruso in stoppage time.

Alex Badolato then thought he’d scored a second goal for the Wanderers in the 95th minute, but the referee chalked the goal off presumably for a foul by Blair in the buildup.

It wouldn’t change the outcome, though, as the Wanderers secured a first clean sheet of the season and a third win of the season. They will look to continue this positive momentum when they host Many United on Saturday.