NPL 1 Wrap: Wanderers defeat Hills United

The Young Wanderers are on top of the NPL NSW table after their 2-1 win over Hills United on Saturday night.

Goals early in each half from Awan Lual and Adam Bugarija were enough for the Red and Black to secure all three points as they held off a late fightback from a spirited Hills side at Landen Stadium.

The Wanderers were missing last week’s goalscoring hero Nathaneal Blair and first-choice goalkeeper Taiga Harper as they were with the A-League Men’s side, but they got off to a strong start when Lual scored after just 13 minutes.

Winger Aydan Hammond did most of the hard work as he used his speed and skill to beat his man on the left wing, and his cutback found striker Lual free in the box, and he swept the ball home with ease to put the Wanderers in front.

It was a dominant first half from the Wanderers, as they limited their opponents to just one shot on goal, whilst Lual, Bugarija and captain Zac Sapsford had chances to extend the lead before the break.

They would not have to wait long after half-time to do that, as Jesse Cameron’s cross deflected off Lual, but the ball fell kindly to Bugarija, who finished low and hard into the bottom corner.

Just when it seemed the Wanderers would be able to cruise home, Yu Okubo scored a goal for the home side as he swept home a ground pass from close range with less than 10 minutes to go.

Hills United piled the pressure on in an attempt to grab an equaliser, and they almost did that in the last play of the game from a corner situation, but Okubo’s powerful volley was brilliantly saved by Lucas Sinnott.

The win leaves the Wanderers two points clear at the top of the NPL NSW competition, they return home next Sunday to have Rockdale Ilinden FC.