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May 12, 2021   |  2:31AM AET

NPL 2 Wrap: Wanderers go top with tough 2-1 win over Blacktown

NPL 2 Wrap: Wanderers go top with tough 2-1 win over Blacktown

Western Sydney Wanderers sit atop the NSW NPL 2 ladder after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Blacktown Spartans.

A goal to Ali Auglah and an own goal sealed the result for Western Sydney that takes them to first position after NWS Spirit lost 2-0 to SD Raiders on Saturday.

In what has become something of a pattern for Wanderers this season they shot out to an early lead via the boot of the aforementioned Auglah.

A beautiful through ball by Isaac Hovar found Reuben Awaritefe before he crossed to his strike partner who made no mistake from directly in front.

Ali Auglah

With just a quarter of an hour gone the home side were forced into a goalkeeping change after Noah James copped a boot to his angle and had to be replaced, Oliver Kalac the new man.

Unfortunately it was Kalac who made an error that led to Spartans’ equaliser after he rushed out to intercept a long ball. Failing to get his head to it, Blacktown’s Andre Carle pounced and squeezed the ball past Kalac who had done well to recover.

At half-time Spartans had grown into the game and the Red & Black knew they had a fight on their hands for three points let alone one.

A strong effort after the resumption of play was rewarded in the 56th minute via a Nikola Pintur own goal after some repeated pressure from Wanderers.

Kalac redeemed himself with a couple of fine saves to keep his side’s lead intact including one from point-blank range while Western Sydney’s defence continued to hold firm.

Both Kosta and Peter Grozos went within inches of burying the game as they hit the post from the same spot at the edge of the box.

Peter Grozos

It mattered not in the end with Wanderers holding on for a hard-fought three points, their third in a row.

Patrick Zwaanswijk’s side will now travel to second-placed Spirit next Saturday night for a massive top-of-the-table clash.

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Auglah 11’, Pintur [OG] 56’)
Blacktown Spartans 1 (Carle 35’)

Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Noah JAMES (GK) (18. Oliver KALAC 16’) ,7. Jarrod CARLUCCIO,4. Mohamed AL TAAY, 19. Bilal CHAHINE, 12. Nectarios TRIANTIS, 21. Isaac HOVAR (16. George DANIEL), 23. Kosta GROZOS, 11. Lochlan CONSTABLE (8. Joel BERTOLISSIO 79’) ,9. Ali AUGLAH, 29. Alexander BADOLATO, 10. Reuben AWARITEFE (24. Peter GROZOS 56’)
Unused subs: Gianni Di Pizio, 5. Rhys YOULLEY