NPL 2 Wrap: Wanderers see off SD Raiders to return to winner’s circle

Ali Auglah

Western Sydney Wanderers have made a return to the winners’ circle after a strong 3-1 win over Southern Districts Raiders in Round 7 of the NPL 2 season.

The fixture at Ernie Smith Reserve was at times a combative encounter with Western Sydney weathering a storm of attacking raids from the home side, thanks in no small part to an indomitable Jack Warshawsky in goals.

Not that you would have gotten that impression during the first 10 minutes as Wanderers dominated, moving the ball briskly and pinning the opposition in their half.

Despite the Raiders eventually settling and creating a few chances of their own the first Wanderers goal arrived just after the 20-minute mark via Alex Badolato.

Some great build-up play was finished after Lochlan Constable found Badolato with a perfect final ball and he glanced it past the goalkeeper to open the scoring.

Warshawky was called into action just before half-time, tipping a shot to safety to ensure his side headed into the sheds with their lead intact.

The shot-stopper was at it again after the interval, making two big saves within eight minutes as the home side pushed themselves forward in search of an equaliser.

But it was the Red and Black who would score next however after Ali Auglah was fouled in the box just past the hour and the in-form striker made no mistake from the spot.

The next bit of action was emblematic of Western Sydney’s season so far, when knocked down they get straight back up. Raiders finally found a way past Warshawsky via Noah Chianese but a minute later they were picking the ball out their own net again.

No surprises it was Auglah again after he was simply given too much time and space off a long ball. A trademark calm, curling finish followed.

That’s where the scoring would stop and Patrick Zwaanswijk’s side saw out the final 15 minutes with a solid defensive effort.

The boys are next in action on Sunday when they welcome Hakoah Sydney City East to Wanderers Football Park.

Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Auglah 63’, 75’, Badolato 21’)
Southern Districts Raiders 1 (Chianese 73’)

Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. Jack WARSHAWSKY (GK), 4. Mohamed AL TAAY (16. George ANTONIS) , 3. Phillip CANCAR, 12. Nectarios TRIANTIS, 15. Alexander BONETIG 21. Isaac HOVAR (17. George DANIEL), 8. Joel BERTOLISSIO, 11. Lochlan CONSTABLE, 29. Alexander BADOLATO (19. Bilal CHAHINE), 14. Alessandro LOPANE, 9. Ali AUGLAH (24. Peter GROZOS)

Unused substitutes: 36. Jack GIBSON (GK),13. Lachlan MACDONALD