What a weekend of football it was for our local NPL teams, let’s recap how they went.
Illawarra Stingrays 2-0 Bankstown City
It was a spirited Bankstown City outfit at JJ Kelley Park on Sunday as they took on the Illawarra Stingrays. Whatever happened mid-week at Jensen Park came with good effect on Sunday down the coast. It still wasn’t enough to take something away from the Stingrays but the performance and result will raise confidence at Bankstown. The Stingrays’ second straight win came courtesy of goals from Olivia Price and Kaelah Austin.
Football NSW Institute 6-1 Macarthur Rams
Arguably the shock of the round at Valentine Sports Park as Football NSW Institute hosted the Macarthur Rams. The home side went into the break one-goal to the good thanks to Charlie Rule. A hat-trick to Bryleeh Henry and a brace for Aideen Keane did the job for the Institute while Mia Diacogiorgis picked up a late consolation. The 6-1 demolition was made worse for the Rams as Leena Khamis received a red card
NPL 2 WOMENS
Marconi Stallions 1 drew with Sutherland Shire FA 1
A late minute stunner from Jordan Baker helped Sutherland Shire FA share the points with Marconi Stallions in a 1-1 draw this afternoon at a windy Marconi Stadium. The Divinyls once sang there was a fine line between pleasure and pain. Marconi Stallions felt both emotions tonight after they completed their third draw in nine days. Ceyda Cambaz scored a poacher’s finish in the first half and it looked to been enough for the Stallions but they conceded a late goal to miss a chance to gain ground on the top two teams. Sutherland Shire FA held onto their undefeated streak, just. It took a fabulous solo effort from Jordan Baker who slalomed through three defenders to score her seventh of the season. The visitors showed in the second half they can match it with top sides. Much of the early part of the contest was the Stallions pressed high into the Sutherland Shire FA half and forced them into turnovers. It led to a pair of early chances which were hit high and wide of the goal. The first major chance fell to Stallions sharpshooter Ceyda Cambaz, who pounced on an errant pass from the defense to fire into the bottom corner, her third of the season and 1-nil to the Stallions. That goal tipped the scales towards the Stallions who continued to pile up the attempts. Tania Baban and lively winger Doris Osman combined to send Cambaz on goal but her shot was straight. Baban almost doubled their advantage headed into the break, as she pounced onto another errant pass from the Sutherland Shire FA defense but dinked the effort wide of the post. Marconi Stallions were comfortable but took a slender 1-nil advantage into the half-time break, looking to break their recent streak of back-to-back draws. Substitute Jessica Beale came on just after the restart and had the first shot of the second half when she latched onto a loose ball, thrashed it straight at Sutherland Shire FA custodian Chloe Avgoustou. Time started to tick away and Sutherland Shire FA found their rhythm to find an equaliser. Jordan Baker burst into the box but her effort was pushed away by Stallions ‘keeper Renee Krstanovska. Next, Baker combined with substitute Maddison Farmer to prise open the defense. Farmer tried to put her laces through the shot but Krstanovska came up trumps again. Baker then struck the post as the visitors continued to surge home. Trying to stop their head spinning after a flurry of Sutherland Shire FA chances, Marconi had a pair of chances to put the contest to bed. Michelle Dalbon who was bright when she subbed in, finessed a pass into the path of Cambaz who couldn’t finish. Beale was similarily played through in the 81st minute but met a similar fate. It didn’t take the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker for Sutherland Shire FA to equalise. It was just Jordan Baker, who slalomed through a series of Marconi defenders then rolled the ball into the bottom corner for 1-1. There was late drama when from a corner in added on time, bounced into the path of Lauren Featherstone, who shaped her effort into the frame of the goal before it was cleared for the two sides to share the points.
SD Raiders FC 1 defeated Gladesville Ravens 0
SD Raiders FC made it back-to-back victories, defeating Gladesville Ravens 1-nil in a tough contest played out at Ernie Smith Reserve on Sunday afternoon. These two sides looked to find their form as the season passed the halfway marker. It SD Raiders FC who knocked off the defending Champions. It was a tightly contested game and the only goal was for the home side to register back-to-back wins. Rebecca Denis opened her account for the season when she finished a slick move started with Isabella Coleman found Sarah Mandile who cushioned the pass for Denis to finish. SD Raiders FC coach Terry Gray admitted this afternoon wasn’t “their best performance but they stuck to their task against Gladesville.” Gray added that the persistence of the side was important to gain another vital three points. Gladesville Ravens remain rooted in ninth spot and the chance to repeat as Grand Finalists seems remote with a single win to their name. They have showed the ability in all their games to dig deep and will be a tough out to finish the season.
Marconi Stallions 1 (Sepping 2’) – Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Jordan 60’) at Marconi Stadium
A second-half strike from Rory Jordan has helped Western Sydney Wanderers snatch a 1-1 draw against Marconi Stallions at Marconi Stadium on Saturday.It was a spirited fightback from the Wanderers who claimed a valuable point against tough opposition. Peter Tsekenis’ side made a lightning start to the match with young gun Lachlan Sepping giving the home side a 1-0 lead after only two minutes. Despite conceding early, The Wanderers refused to roll over and responded with a pair of chances of their own. Marconi went into the break with a 1-0 lead but Western Sydney took only 10 minutes after the restart to find an equaliser. Jordan displayed his silky dribbling skills to score a brilliant goal for the Wanderers. A rash challenge from Connor Evans proved costly with the midfielder sent off and reducing the Stallions to 10-men with 20 minutes left on the clock. Both teams had their efforts in the closing stages but neither was able to break through with the match ending deadlocked.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 4 (Roberts 43’, 63’, Stewart 67’, Jeffries 79’) – Sydney United 58 3 (Clut 48, Bilic 70’, 89’) at Popondetta Park
Mt Druitt Town Rangers roared back into form with a shock 4-3 win against Sydney United 58 at Popendetta Park on Saturday night. It was Franco Cosentino’s first win since taking over as Rangers boss and the club’s maiden victory since the competition restart. The home side was able to withstand the windy conditions to take a 1-0 lead into the break after John Roberts converted from the spot. Sydney United made a rapid start to the second stanza with Devante Clut equalising in the 48th minute. A quick-thinking Roberts gave Mt Druitt the lead again after 63 minutes when he headed home from close range before Jack Stewart made it 3-1 with a classy finish. Matthew Bilic then gave United 58 a glimmer of hope notching up in the 70th minute but it was Mt Druitt’s night and Michael Jeffrey wrapped up the points for the home side when he scored to make it 4-2. Bilic claimed his second, and third of the year, in the dying stages to set up a nervous finish, but the Rangers did enough for a confidence-boosting three points.
NPL 2 MENS
SD Raiders 1 (Charles Abou Serhal 90+6’) Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Jack Armson 2’)
The South West Derby ended in stalemate, but not before some late action at Ernie Smith Reserve. Bonnyrigg raced out of the blocks and Jack Armson grabbed his third goal of the season in the early stages. The White Eagles also went close to adding to their tally as they were stopped by two goal line clearances from Diego Molina. SD Raiders then began to gain a foothold and Molina had a scoring chance of his own, but the big swing in momentum came when David Vrankovic was dismissed for a second yellow card on the stroke of halftime. The Raiders chased an equaliser in the second half – Daniel Bittar had a goal ruled out for offside, substitute Anthony Proia had a couple of headed chances, and Mathew Barkho also went close. Bonnyrigg stood firm with plenty of excellent defending and were able to hold the lead despite being a player short, however just as it looked like the White Eagles would finish the job with ten players, they were undone deep into stoppage time when Proia won a penalty. Charles Abou Serhal stepped up and calmly placed the ball into the net to secure a point, so both sides maintain their positions on the table, with SD Raiders in sixth and Bonnyrigg in fourth.
NPL 3 MENS
Macarthur Rams – Bankstown United 3-2
Macarthur Rams have pulled themselves out of a slump with a 3-2 victory against Bankstown United at Lynwood Park.The match started brightly for Bankstown as Mitch Edmunds fed Mitch Cross for his 50th goal for the club. Macarthur refused to roll over and were soon back in the contest. A composed period of possession was rewarded by a first half brace for Dean Mugridge. Blake Brooker’s rocket from 25 yards in the 60th minute put the Rams in control. Full of confidence, Macarthur created several opportunities to extend their lead but poor finishing let them down. Macarthur would rue those missed chances when Bankstown were awarded a penalty in the 85th minute. Cross completed his brace from the penalty spot to trigger a frantic final five minutes as Bankstown went in search of an equaliser but Macarthur held on to record their first victory since July. The win moves the Rams to six points alongside Bankstown United.
Bankstown City FC – Gladesville Ryde Magic 5-0
In the Sunday afternoon game, Bankstown City moved into third place on the table after a comprehensive 5-0 win against Gladesville Ryde Magic at Jensen Park. This fixture produced five goals in both encounters last season and lived up to expectations again. Both teams created chances in an open first half but it was the Lions who took the lead on the stroke of half time. A goal mouth scramble from a corner was eventually settled by left back Asel Dehsabzi’s first goal of the season. Bankstown City doubled their lead two minutes into the second period. Nikola Todoroski picked up the ball out wide before delivering a perfect cross for Christos Tomaras to slot past Joel Anscomb. Gladesville Ryde settled and created opportunities but could not convert while leaving themselves open to Bankstown City’s incisive attacks. Bankstown City took control when Tomaras grabbed his second of the game with a 25 yard strike after Magic failed to close him down. By now the Lions were rampant, Jonathan Grozdanovski made his way up the right wing and found Todoroski at the far post to make it 3-0 in the 80th minute. The striker’s movement was too much for Magic to handle as he completed his brace in the last minute. Chris Triantis played a lovely ball over the Magic defence to Todoroski, who finished the one on one to complete a satisfying day’s work for the Red and Black. The Lions leap over Stanmore into third place on 12 points while Magic remain sixth.
NPL 4 MENS
Nepean FC 1-1 Camden Tigers FC
In the biggest surprise of the weekend. Camden Tigers showed their mongrel, taking a point off a wounded Nepean outfit at Cook Park. After Tigers head coach Rod Henderson asked his team to be more resilient. The visitors took an unlikely lead late in the first half courtesy of a Marcus Lymberis goal. And they so nearly hung on for a victory, being denied at the last. Henderson noted post game that he was “Super proud of his players efforts tonight”. Nepean FC on the other hand, will rue a string of missed opportunities throughout the match. Including a penalty which was saved by Tigers shot stopper and captain Michael O’Rourke. However, with just seconds remaining on the clock, an equalizer did come through Majid Eslami, a cracking shot from 18 yards ensuring they did not walk away empty handed. Nepean coach Joe D’Ermilio singled out Rory Mcgeowan and Jack Hoban as their main threats in the contest.