Tigers pounce taking maximum points

19.03.2017

APIA Leichhardt Tigers maintained their flawless start to the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition season with a 2-0 win against Hakoah Sydney City East in front of a healthy crowd in the club’s first home game at Lambert Park for the season on Sunday.

Two goals in five minutes just before the break, courtesy of Nathan Millgate and Jordan Murray, were the difference for the home side as they secured their second victory in as many weeks.

It was a tough night at the office for Hakoah who were forced to play the majority of the match with 10 men after Neil Jablonski was sent for an early shower in the 25th minute for a rash challenge.

It wasn't a perfect display from the home side who also had a player sent off when Paul Galimi received a red card in the 69th minute.

The first shot of the afternoon arrived in the 12th minute when a cracking free-kick from Sean Symons from some distance forced Anthony Bouzanis to turn the ball over the crossbar.

Symons had another strike on goal four minutes later but again failed to challenge Anthony Bouzanis in the Hakoah net.

In the 21st minute it was an APIA double act. A dangerous corner was met by Adrian Vlastelica who supplied Nathan Millgate for a header which finished just over the intended target.

Hakoah Sydney City East found themselves a player short in the 25th minute when Neil Jablonski was sent off for a nasty challenge on Vastelica. It was considered to be of excessive force after the referee consulted with his assistant.

A minute later a deadly volley from Corey Biczo from close range sailed just over the crossbar when it could well have been the opening goal of the game had it been a fraction lower.

In the 30th minute Tasuku Sekiya played across a dangerous ball that was intercepted by Bradley Walker and turned away for a corner, but it could well have been an own goal given the closeness of the clearance to the post.

In the 39th minute a sweet volley by Sekiya was just wide of the mark as the home side came very close to opening the ledger.

However, they didn’t have to wait too long because in the 42nd minute APIA Leichhardt did take the lead and it was little more than they deserved.

A cross by Symons was kneed in by Nathan Millgate and despite the latter not really knowing too much about it, it was an opening goal that the APIA Leichhardt Tigers were content to accept all the same.

Two minutes later Sekiya found Jordan Murray who threaded the ball towards goal.

However,  Oliver Green,  in a gallant effort to prevent the ball from going into the net,  deflected the ball into the back of the net.

In the second half, in the 58th minute, a beautiful cross from the right by Adrian Ucchino was met by Symons from close range. Bouzanis was up to the challenge and turned the shot over the crossbar

A few minutes earlier Franco Parisi had made his way onto the field as substitute and the veteran made some beautiful touches and kept the crowd entertained late into the afternoon.

He is fast becoming a very valuable impact player for the Tigers who boast outstanding quality on the bench.

APIA Leichhardt found themselves a player short too when Paul Galimi was sent off for a tough challenge on Anthony Frangie in the 69th minute as referee Michael Weiner produced his second straight red of the afternoon.

In the 85th minute a powerful volley by Dean Bereveskos finished straight into the arms of APIA Leichhardt custodian Luke Turnbull but it really was a case of too little too late for the away side.

After the game APIA’s coach Danial Cummins spoke about his delight in getting the three points.

“We are very happy today with a clean sheet,” he said. “We had to fight today as Hakoah took it to us but the pleasing part is six points in two games.

“We created a lot of chances and we need to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal otherwise it will come back to bite us.

“On the positive side, the boys are working hard and we have a bit of shape there. I can’t complain about anything but we did do some soul-searching in the off season.

Over in the Hakoah Sydney City East dressing sheds, new buy Gideon Sweet expressed his disappointment with the loss at Lambert Park.

“Unfortunately today it just didn’t work out for us,” he said.

“It’s always tough to go down a man especially so early; Neil is our captain and our leader, so to lose him so early for us was a big blow.

“It’s always disappointing to concede goals especially in such dire circumstances late in the first half, so it might be something for us to look at because last week we conceded a goal late in the game too.”

Match Stats

APIA Leichhardt Tigers 2 (N. Millgate 42’, J. Murray 45’)

Hakoah Sydney City East 0

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Referee: Michael Weiner

Assistant Referees: Danny Horstead & Patrick Teleki

Fourth Official: Tristan Harris

APIA LEICHHARDT TIGERS: 22. Luke Turnbull, 2. Nathan Millgate, 3. Paul Galimi, 8. Corey Bizco (10. Franco Parisi 55’), 11. Jordan Murray (5. Brad Bartels 83’), 12. Dominic Cox (Adrian Ucchino 46’) 13. David D’Apuzzo, 16. Sean Symons, 17. Adrian Vlastelika, 19. Brandon Lund, 20. Tasuku Sekiya

Substitutes not used: 4. Joshua Symons 1. Blake Tuxford

Yellow Cards: Vlastelica 62’

Red Cards: Galimi 69’

HAKOAH SYDNEY CITY EAST: 1. Anthony Bouzanis, 4. Bradley Walker, 6. Cameron Draper (12. Jack Green 72’), 7. Aleksandr Lekoski (3. Robert Ezekiel 59’) 9. Neil Jablonski, 10. Andre De Jong, 14. Anthony Frangie (18. Harry Jones 85’), 15. Dean Bereveskos, 16. Oliver Green, 17. Gideon Sweet, 19. Gavin Rae.

Substitutes not used: 8. Paul Orgad, 45. Michael Figueira

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Jablonski 25th

Player Ratings

3 - Sean Symonds (ALT)

2 - Nathan Millgate (ALT)

1 - Gideon Sweet (HSC)

-by Joe Russo, PlayStation®National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Lambert Park