NPL Wrap: Wanderers go down to Spirit FC


On Saturday evening, the Western Sydney Wanderers NPL 2 team were defeated 3-1 by Spirit FC at Sydney United Sports Centre. 

A late penalty from Joshua Bartolotto wasn’t enough on the night as Spirit FC prevailed after goals from Matthew West, Dylan Whitlock and Louis Bozanic. 

The Wanderers looked lively in the early minutes and a swift counter provided an opportunity for Marley Peterson who flashed a shot wide of the target. 

Samuel Silvera was getting a lot of the ball and almost linked up with Peterson after a surging run through the middle, while a few minutes later he was inches away from picking out Noah Pagden with a free kick. 

Silvera then had a chance of his own after getting on the end of a great diagonal pass from Tate Russell, with the shot hitting the side netting.

However, Spirit FC would go 1-0 up just after the half-hour mark with a goal against the run of play, as West converted a penalty kick.

The Wanderers unfortunately then fell further behind just before half-time with Whitlock giving Spirit FC a 2-0 lead. 

The Red & Black tried to respond before the interval and John Roberts was unlucky not to find Oliver Puflett after a clever backheel. 

Early in the second half, Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Axford was called into action, making a couple of good saves while Tate Russell also made a good covering tackle after a Spirit FC counter attack. 

The Red & Black managed to get themselves back into the game, and Peterson had a decent chance, shooting just wide from inside the penalty area.

Roberts then found Silvera with a neat layoff, but the shot flew over the crossbar.

With ten minutes left, the Wanderers received a lifeline after substitute Joshua Gulevski was knocked over inside the penalty area. 

Joshua Bartolotto’s initial spot kick was saved, but after a retake due to encroachment, he slotted the ball away at the second attempt to halve the deficit.

The goal gave the Wanderers a renewed hope and Roberts combined with Gulevski to set up a chance for Silvera, who was denied by Spirit FC goalkeeper Tomi Romic. 

In the dying minutes, Gulevski fired wide from Silvera’s cross, and followed up with another chance after doing well to hold off a defender, but his shot went inches wide of the goal. 

The result sees the Wanderers NPL 2 first grade side drop to 11th place. There was better news earlier in the day as both the U18 and U20 won their matches. 

The Wanderers will next take on Parramatta FC at Melita Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Kick-off is at 3:00pm. 

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Joshua Bartolotto 80’)
Spirit FC 3 (Matthew West 31’, Dylan Whitlock 43’, Louis Bozanic 84’)

Western Sydney Wanderers: Daniel Axford, Mohamed Al Taay, Tate Russell, Noah Pagden, Adrian Valenti, Joshua Bartolotto, Lochlan Constable, Samuel Silvera, Oliver Puflett, Marley Peterson (Joshua Gulevski 76’), John Roberts
Unused substitutes: Jack Greenwood, Thomas Aquilina, Jacob Vasiliou, Jarrod Carluccio

Other results: 
U20: WSW 3-2 Spirit FC
U18: WSW 3-0 Spirit FC
U16: WSW 0-0 Spirit FC
U15: WSW 2-1 Spirit FC
U14: WSW 5-1 Spirit FC
U13: WSW 8-0 Spirit FC