Sydney FC youth win top-of-table clash at Cromer Park

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

Foxtel National Youth League – Round 6
Sundy 1 December, 2013 – Cromer Park, Dee Why

Sydney FC 3
(Mitchell Mallia 2’, 45’, Alec Urosevski 5’)
Melbourne Victory FC 2
(Christopher Cristaldo 31’, Anthony Proia 68’)

Two very early goals propelled Sydney FC to an eventual 3-2 win over hitherto joint leaders Melbourne Victory FC at Cromer Park on Sunday afternoon.

In ideal conditions, in terms of the weather at least, on the artificial pitch, it took some time for the Victorian visitors to find their feet and by then they were under the cosh.

A lively Sydney attack took full toll of a hesitant Victory as Mitchell Mallia, in the second minute and Alec Urosevski, in the fifth, soon had the home team 2-0 up.

Mallia’s goal was an easy finish from close-range after the Victory defence went to sleep, while Urosevski took his chance well from wide on the left, finding the roof of the net from a tight angle to set his side up for a decent result.

Once they settled down the Melbourne side looked worthy opponents, as well they might, having started the season positively enough to lie second on the ladder after two matches.

If Sydney thought it was going to be a day when they totally dominated and went on to record a high score they were soon rudely awoken.

A ball from deep on the left split the Sydney defence and Connor Pain worked his way into the middle of the box before sending a lovely ball wide to the right in the 31st, for Jesse Makarounas to run onto and slot diagonally past Ivan Necevski to make it 2-1.

It was Necevski’s first start for the Youth Team, as coach Steve Corica revealed later, but the big keeper could take no blame for the goal.

“I wasn’t at all happy about how we conceded today,” he told ‘In The Back of the Net’. “The first goal in particular was very sloppy”.

Melbourne took some confidence from their goal, but Sydney still held sway for most of the remaining minutes of the half.

After Mallia dragged his shot wide in the 41st, again from a Urosevski pass, Mallia contrived to hit the right hand upright in the 42nd, once again Urosevski instrumental in the build-up.

But with those two let-offs Melbourne failed to heed the warning signals and as stoppage-time of one minute began they conceded again.

Josh Macdonald worked his way in from the right, just inside the Melbourne half, before threading the ball through for Mallia, who showed composure this time to fire past Lawrence Thomas and make it 3-1 at the break.

Victory’s Welsh coach, Darren Davies, was disappointed at going behind again, but seemed generally satisfied with his team’s efforts on the day.

“It’s not easy playing on this pitch, but that’s no excuse for the way we let Sydney score their goals. The third one, right on half-time, was not good at all, as it gave us a mountain to climb.

“We’ve conceded like that a couple of times in the last five minutes of a half and we’ll have to address that.

Davies’ team came back strongly after the break and made three changes at the 56 minute mark and that injection of fresh legs contributed to the stronger showing over the closing half-hour.

“They’re 16 and 17 year olds that I sent on, apart from Anthony Proia who is 19 now.

It was Proia who narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the 67th, with a delicate lob over the exposed Necevski, after being put through by Scott Galloway.

Proia had been unable to reach a few other decent looking passes, due to the speed of the pitch, but atoned with his goal and looked the most likely to propel Victory to at least a draw.

Sound defence, towards the end and a stronger attacking presence over the final 20 minutes or so by the Sydney side made that prospect less likely.

Urosevski and Sydney captain, former Sutherland boy Jacob Tratt, went close, the latter with a header before substitute Nicola Taneski fired narrowly wide from right in front in the 90th minute.

Four minutes of stoppage-time were seen out by the Light Blues to send Victory home empty-handed.

“It was a good win for us, but we went to sleep a bit in the second-half. We’re conceding silly goals, still, so that was not so pleasing, but I think the boys did well overall,” said Corica.

Match details

Attendance: Approx 350

Sydney FC: Ivan Necevski (OA) (gk); Jacob Tratt, Aaron Calver, Dylan Caton, Daniel Petkovski (Joshua Symons +47′, Joshua Macdonald, Max Burgess (Christopher Zuvela +59′, Themba Muata-Marlow, Hagi Gligor, Alec Urosevski, Mitchel Mallia (OA) (Nicola Taneski +59′)

Sub not used: Tristan Prendergast (rgk)
Yellow Card: Nicola Taneski (SFC) 77′, Jacob Tratt 44’

Melbourne Victory FC: Lawrence Thomas(OA) (gk); Milos Ridesic, Dylan Murnane, Jordan Brown (Christian Cavallo +56′), Luc Jeggo (C), Christopher Cristaldo (Anthony Proia +56′), Jimmy Jeggo (OA), Scott Galloway, Jesse Makarounas, John Buceto (Anthony Duzel +56′), Connor Pain

Sub not used: Keegan Coulter (rgk)
Yellow Card:  Jimmy Jeggo 48’

Points and ratings

Referee: Stephen Lucas 8/10
Assistants: Karl Davies and Daniel Stack
Fourth Official: Chris Young

Pitch: 10/10 (synthetic)
Game 8/10

Player points:
3. Alec Urosevski (SFC)
2. Scott Galloway (MV)
1. Mitchell Mallia (SFC)

By Corinthian