Suns squashed by hungry Blacktown City

07.05.2017

Blacktown City has claimed top spot on the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition ladder with an emphatic four goal domination of Rockdale City Suns at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.

An early goal to Joey Gibbs was followed by a Mitchell Mallia strike on the cusp of halftime, before Gibbs scored his second and pacey winger James Andrew wrapped up the result when he hit the back of the net in the 89th minute.

The win means Blacktown is now the only undefeated side in the competition with Sunday’s defeat the first of Rockdale’s season.

It was a difficult day for the home side who were unable to hit their usual high standards during the 90 minutes.

In the 9th minute a powerful shot from Alec Urosevski from just outside the box ricocheted off a Blacktown City defender and scooped over the crossbar.

Blacktown City then took the lead in the 12th minute at the other end. A nice flowing move down the right saw Mitchell Mallia hit the ball across the face of goal from the by-line where Joey Gibbs was standing close to the action and all he had to do was tap the ball home past Ante Covic.

In the 19th minute, a free-kick by Mallia was hit well first time but it just sailed over the intended target.

Moments later a lovely through ball by Harris Gaitatzis found Alec Urosevski on the left, but his shot didn’t have the desired result as it deflected wide of the post.

In the 32nd minute Paul Reid, using all of his experience, poked the ball back into the box after receiving an Aleksandar Canak cross, but Urosevski’s powerful drive was well neutralised by Tristan Prendergast who took the heat out of the shot before regathering well.

Rockdale came close again five minutes later when a Jordan Figon’s shot brought out the best in Prendergast who beautifully turned it over the crossbar with one hand.

However, despite Rockdale City seemingly likely to equalise, it was Blacktown City that scored again in the 40th minute. Danny Choi threaded the ball across from the right to Mallia on the other side where he beautifully put it into the corner of the net.

After the break in the 51st minute, a free-kick by Reid was well met by the header of Urosevski, but Prendergast was ready for the challenge as he delightfully turned the ball over the crossbar for a corner.

Rockdale came close in 58th minute thanks to a skilful run from Figon. The burly striker flicked the ball over the head of a defender but could only lob his shot over the crossbar.

In the 69th minute a defensive error by Daniel Petkovski almost cost his side a goal. The Rockdale captain played the ball into the path of Danny Choi who then found Gibbs unmarked in front of Ante Covic. However, the veteran ‘keeper was at his very best and turned the ball the around the post with his feet.

In the 71st minute Blacktown City were awarded a penalty when Trent McClenahan downed Daniel Araujo in the box. Gibbs wasn’t going to be denied from the spot and fired past Covic to make it 3-0.

James Andrew put the icing on the cake for Sydney at the death when he raced past Petkovski before firing into the back of the net.

Blacktown Coach Mark Crittenden praised his sides’ ability to handle adversity after the win.

“It’s always very hard when you come Rockdale because they are a very good football side,” he said.

“We knew that and spoke about it during the week. The boys are in a good frame of mind and things are going well at the moment.

“Everyone wrote us off at the start of the year because we lost a few personnel, but it’s a very happy change room and we stick together through our hard work.”

Paul Reid, Rockdale City’s player-coach, felt the scoreline was not a fair representation of the game or his side’s performance.

“It’s a game where people will think 4-0 and it’s a battering, but that wasn’t it today,” he said.

“Poor decisions from us, where we gave the ball away and they got us on the counter, cost us in the end. In the first half we created lots of chances and an even in the second half we created our chances, but you just need to put them away.

“There’s no panic stations from us because it’s only our first loss and we’ll learn from it and bounce back.”

Match Stats

Rockdale City Suns 0

Blacktown City FC 4 (Gibbs 12’ & 72’ pen, Mallia 40’, Andrew 89’)

Sunday 7th May 2017

Ilinden Sports Centre Rockdale

Referee: Michael Weiner

Assistant Referees: Thomas Lee, C. Wright

Fourth Official: T. Plaste

ROCKDALE CITY SUNS: 22. Ante Covic, 2. Daniel Petkovski, 4. Trent McClenahan, 5. Paul Reid, 6. Blake Ricciuto, 7. Alec Urosevski, 8. Aleksandar Canak (11. Jonathan Grozdanovski 75’), 10. Harris Gaitatzis, 14. Brayden Sorge, 19. Patrick Savor (17. Toufic Alameddine 61’), 23. Jordan Figon

Substitutes not used: 1. David Bradasevic, 23. Steven Hesketh, 16. Isaac Savor

Yellow Cards: Gaitatzis 34’, Petkovski 65’, Urosevski 78’

Red Cards: Nil

BLACKTOWN CITY FC: 1. Tristan Prendergast, 3. Giorgio Speranza, 4. Roberto Speranza, 6. Matthew Lewis, 8. Daniel Araujo, 9. Joey Gibbs (17. Lewis Beumie 85’), 10. Connor Evans, 11. Danny Choi (12. James Andrew 72’), 14. Mitchell Mallia (22. Yuta Konagaya 66’), 15. Shayne D’Cunha, 19. Zachary Cairncross

Substitutes not used:  20. Matthew Symes

Yellow Cards: R. Speranza 54’

Red Cards: Nil

Player Ratings

3 - Joey Gibbs (BC)

2 -  Roberto Speranza (BC)

1 - Paul Reid (RCS)

-By Joe Russo, PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Reporter, at Ilinden Sports Centre