Sydney United 58’s win over Bonnyrigg White Eagles in the Match of the Round keeps them atop the table.
But Blacktown City are looming large in their rear view mirror, two points behind but with a game in hand. Elsewhere, APIA-Leichhardt bounced back by beating Sutherland, while Rockdale City Suns and South Coast Wolves both remain winless.
Round 6 Review
Marconi Stallions 0-3 Blacktown Spartans, at Marconi Stadium
The pain goes on for the Marconi Stallions, who turned in a terrible performance at home to the Blacktown Spartans.
Ben De Haan’s side were much improved from the one that drew with South Coast Wolves the weekend previous, and were it not for Marconi goalkeeper Sam Nastic, they could have run up a cricket score.
Mitch Long and Benjamin Tosi scored within a minute of each other towards the end of the first half, and Joshua Da Silva added a third in the second half.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1-3 Sydney United 58 FC, at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
This game started explosively as Bonnyrigg White Eagles took the lead within 120 seconds of kick off.
Chris Tadrosse’s cross/shot deceived United keeper Justin Pasfield, sailing into the top corner to send the home fans into raptures. It didn’t last long though, as Chris Triantis equalised in the fifth minute, heading in a cross from in-form wide man Matthew Bilic.
They were two sloppy goals but it made for great entertainment. United went ahead in the 18th minute when Panny Nikas, making his first start for the Reds, headed in a cross from Triantis.
Bonnyrigg chased the game in the second half and had their fair share of opportunities, but United stung them late on with a counter attack. Richard Cardozo, on his debut for United, tapped in after James Chronopoulos saved a Mitchell Stamatellis cross.
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 2-1 Sutherland Sharks, at Lambert Park
APIA returned to the winners’ circle, turning in a much stronger performance than they did against Blacktown City, to record a win against Sutherland Sharks.
It was a former Sutherland player who scored the winner, with Blake Powell’s 25-yard rocket proving the difference.
APIA went ahead through Corey Biczo, who was making his first NPL start for the Tigers, only for Seonjin Park to equalise moments later.
Powell’s wonder-goal opened up the game and APIA could have put the game away as Franco Parisi revelled in the open spaces in midfield. Former Sutherland wingers Nathan Elasi and Nick Olsen both had more than once chance to seal the game, but they couldn’t find the back of the net as APIA held on to win anyway.
Manly United 0-2 Sydney Olympic, at Cromer Park
Manly welcomed Sydney Olympic to Cromer, full of confidence after two wins on the bounce.
Olympic brought the back to earth with a bump, coming away 2-0 winners, although they were owe their goalkeeper Paul Henderson, who pulled off a number of agile saves.
Manly had their chances, but found Henderson too tough to beat. Harris Gaitatzis scored the first for Olympic, and Taiga Soeda wrapped it up in the last few minutes, on a day where Olympic coach Grant Lee, defender Leigh Egger, and attacker Scott Balderson, all returned to the ground they once called home.
Rockdale City Suns 1-1 Blacktown City, at Ilinden Sports Centre
For winless Rockdale City, this could be the one that got away.
The Suns led at home and looked for all money to break their duck, only for a late goal to earn the visitors a share of the points.
After an uneventful first half, Hristijan Tanoski gave Rockdale City the lead only ten minutes into the second. It was thanks to good work from the lively Alec Urosevski, that Tanoski found himself in position to convert an easy finish.
Rockdale City looked good value for their lead, but the reigning champions wouldn’t lie down and they pulled a rabbit out of the hat when Joe Gibbs levelled the score with only six minutes remaining, to maintain Blacktown City’s unbeaten start to the season.
Parramatta FC 0-0 South Coast Wolves, at Melita Stadium
The conditions were fairly dire but they are no excuse for the performances served up by Parramatta FC and South Coast Wolves.
Parramatta are without a win since round one and South Coast Wolves are without one at all, and those droughts didn’t end in this nil-all draw at Melita Stadium.
Neither Luke Turnbull in the Parramatta goal or Thomas Manos in the Wolves on were unduly tested in a match that had zero-zero written all over it from the start.
One positive from the match was Kelly Jones making her debut as an NPL Men’s 1 referee, and she did an excellent job in her first match in the top division.