High quality draw at Miranda

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

NSW PRE-SEASON CUP MATCH REPORTS  – ROUND 3
PS4 NPL2 POOL 2
Friday 20 February, 2015 – Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda

FRASER PARK FC 1 (Hussein Akil 22′)
drew with
HAKOAH  SYDNEY CITY EAST FC 1 (Declan Gilmartin pen 39′)

These two teams played out a fast-paced 1-1 draw at Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda, on Friday night, in a match switched from Arlington Oval on the Sunday, due to floodlighting difficulties the previous weekend.

Hakoah Sydney City East, to give them their full name, were playing a pressing game and looked impressive for much of the game, but they met their match in the fast-breaking and keen- running Fraser Park team, whose coach, Mile Todoroski, is still experimenting with his squad to refine his best eleven.

This was  his team’s third draw in four Group Stage games, to go with their sole win the previous weekend against Sydney University, a 2-1 success they had to work hard to preserve.

Hakoah, who carried all before them the previous season to earn promotion, look like a well-drilled unit under Player-coach  Gavin Rae and his assistant Pat Darvill, who is no stranger to Fraser Park, having been a former player there who retired last season after winding up his playing career with four years at Hakoah.

Although listed as a triallist, Michael McCrory, who has scored goals for fun for many years with both Northern Tigers and Hawkesbury City looks a likely asset at this level, with his trademark-like runs and target-man qualities a good foil for the more individualistic, wide running, of some of his striking partners.

His team-mates are no slouches either, boasting a capable keeper, a well-organised backline and a mobile spearhead, supported by the versatile Deklan Gilmartin, the scorer of their only goal from the penalty mark.

Fraser Park may feel aggrieved at not scoring the winner, after having the whistle blown early as their front-three bore down on the Hakoah goal, midway through the second half, only for an assistant’s flag to bring them up short; but while that anger was strong enough for referee Khodr Yaghi to order coach Mile Todoroski to watch the remainder of the match from the stands, following his sideline remonstrations, Hakoah also were unfortunate that a superb striker from the diminutive Federico Ketcher rocked the crossbar in the 77th minute, with the Fraser Park keeper clearly beaten.

All in all it was an entertaining game and full of enterprise.

Roving attacking midfielder, Hussein Akil, opened the scoring for Fraser Park in the 22nd minute with a superb strike from 30 yards out, after really good lead-up work involving Jeffrey Issa and Caesar Monzo down the left and some clever switches of play across both sides of the park.

Hussein had been booked two minutes earlier, but knuckled down thereafter to focus on his football and much of Fraser’s forward thrust came through his endeavours.

Similarly, near-veteran, Adem Kir, was aggressive when necessary, though coach Todoroski might have felt he could rein it in a little at times, especially in some of his defensive duties.

Kir is a player who always looks to be heavily involved in the games he plays at both ends of the park.

Hakoah were able to equalise in the 39th, after Leonardo Pinto was brought down just inside the penalty area on the left, by an ill-advised trip, as the Hakoah man had been forced wide and looked to set something up from a telling angle.

The clearly reliable Gilmartin wasted no time in putting away a precision spot-kick,

The game was, for the most part, cleanly-contested and skilful, with little slacking off, as the pre-season Cup tournament moves into its final weeks.

Hakoah looked decidedly lively early on and it needed a clearance off the Fraser line to deny Ketcher, who’d run onto a ball supplied through a chain of rapid-fire passes, as Hakoah sought to exploit any perceived weaknesses in their opponents’ defence.

The keeper had to come out swiftly to smother another Ketcher attempt, after being played into the six-yard box by Kevin Lopes.

A volley in the 26th from Gilmartin was also saved well, but Fraser had their moments too in the first half, having taken the lead, with Jeffery Issa and Hussein Akil exchanging passes nicely, before Issa could only find the keeper’s gloves in the 32nd minute.

It was an even contest, though Hakoah do look more than ready to take their place in the higher division and they have been waiting for this chance for a while now.

It’s sure to be tougher next week as the Group Stage draws to a close.

Fraser Park, still unbeaten, have to travel to Christie Park, Marsfield, to take on Spirit FC, while Hakoah, with only one point so far, may find Sydney University a quite robust opponent at Lambert Park in another game to be played on a synthetic surface.

Match details
Crowd: About 50

Fraser Park FC: GK 40 Wayne Estevao; 15 Rocci Gabey, 19 Kim Daison, 17 Alexander Todoroski, 5 Nicholas Dimitropoulos;  20 Stefan Jovanovic,  8 Hussein Akil 12 Adem Kir;  11 Carlo Musumeci,  13 Marko Micevski,  3 Caesar Monzo
Subs  (interchange): 4 George Issa, 6 Suad Ameli, 7 Kevin Oliveira, 9 Jeffrey Issa,18 Nicola Todoroski,
Coach: Mile Todoroski
Yellow cards: Hussein Akil 20, Wayne Estevao 54

Hakoah Sydney City East FC: GK 1 Matthew McKenzie; 19 Jacob Esposito, 4 Bradley Walker, 13 Michael Randall; 10 Deklan Gilmartin, 17 Joseph Dingwall, 18 Brad Paikin, 7 Kevin Lopes, 11 Gavin Rae, 37 Federico Ketcher, 5 Leonardo Pinto
Subs (interchange):  12 Jeremy Hornblow, 2 Remy Wolanski, 20 Michael McCrory. 29 Harry Jones, 27 Gilli Swartz
Player-coach: Gavin Rae
Yellow cards: Brad Paikin 63, Federico Ketcher

Referee: Khodr Yaghi
Assistants: Wayne Lenardon and  Gareth Williams
Match 8/10
Pitch: Tiger turf
Weather: Overcast, humid