Fraser Park do it again

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

NSW PS4 NPL2 Men – ROUND 13 feature report

7:30pm, Saturday 13th June 2015 – Fraser Park, Marrickville

Fraser Park FC 2  (Nicola Todoroski 67′, Hussein Akil 78′)
Spirit FC 1 (Brad Gibson 8′)


Coming into this game with much expectation, followers of this division would have anticipated a close contest, with Fraser Park the only team to beat Spirit FC all season and the main hope of Spirit’s rivals to do some damage to their title aspirations.

A bruised and battered Fraser Park, who came through a tough encounter three days earlier with Bankstown Berries, emerging with a 1-0 win, faced a Spirit side whose winning colours had been lowered by Mount Druitt  on the same winter’s evening, out at a chilly Popondetta Park.

It had been the first point Spirit had dropped since losing the first time to Fraser Park and the single point they gained was certainly better than nothing.

Spirit’s renowned defence had given little away all year and that reputation remained intact ahead of this game as well.

Spirit, missing two key players for the match, ran out of condition towards the end of a gripping encounter at Fraser Park on Saturday night.

Fraser were also down on players, missing the injured Jeffrey Issa and suspended left-back Davide Tallone.

Spirit were far faster out of the blocks and dominated the early stages, going close twice in the first eight minutes, a header wide by Abraham Majok, off a Ryan Johnstone corner and then a glaring second miss by Majok, after Fraser Park keeper, Wayne Estevao had misjudged a high ball, leaving the goal at the mercy of the lanky Spirit forward.

Somehow Majok managed to sky the ball over the bar, when facing an empty net from a few yards out.

But Spirit took only another minute to take the lead.

Henry Wells was allowed room to roam down the right and his pinpoint cross was nodded home effortlessly by Bradley Gibson.

With Spirit skipper Daniel Cunningham and striker Kuag Reec not risked by coach John McLafferty, after their midweek exertions at Mount Druitt, Ross Kethel came in at centre-back for Cunningham and Gosue Sama played in a more forward role this time, with Majok also operating more centrally than usual.

Spirit were well on top for the first half-hour, but spurning a couple more good chances during that period, with Sama and Wells narrowly missing the target.

Fraser worked their way into the game eventually and went close through Nick Dimitropoulos, in the 16th minute and through Hussein right on half-time.

The second-half was a different affair altogether

19 year old Stefan Jovanovic had a brilliant game on the left flank for Fraser and the Serbian midfielder began to show some bite in the centre, giving Fraser added impetus.

The game became more physical, as time wore on, but after looking dangerous for a while already, Fraser drew level in the 68th.

A move begun at the back, on the left, by Dimitropolous, who quickly switched play to the right, then saw right- back, Rocci Gabey, feed the ball through to Hussein Akil.

The busy midfielder then exchanged passes with his skipper, Paulo Oliveira, who was playing mostly on the right this time, before Hussein slid the ball in the path of Nicola Todoroski, who beat the keeper with a silken, final touch.

Fraser pressed on after that, looking for the winner, rather than preserving a point and it came in the 79th from the boot of Hussein Akil who spun around to make space for himself after a super, diagonal run from wide on the left by Jovanovic,who then delivered the ball to Hussein closer to goal.

The midfielder adjusted before firing into the top-left corner of the net to put his side 2-1 up.

That’s how it stayed despite five minutes of stoppage-time.

Spirit defender, Nick Trimble, suffered a first-half facial wound that required him to be bandaged across the head for the remainder of the game, but was the stand-out player for his side.

Fraser’s screening midfielder, Alexander Veljanovksi, was less fortunate, lasting only 34 minutes after sustaining what appeared to be a possible broken toe.

Referee Jerry Bitas was kept busy, as the game became more and more desperately contested, handing out eight yellow-cards, five to Spirit and three to Fraser, including one after the final whistle as the combatants continued to squabble over the spoils after it was all over.

This result, coming on top of the dropped midweek points at Popondetta Park were not exactly what Spirit had been hoping for and knowing they have to face the improving Sydney University next Saturday night and then closest rivals, Central Coast FC, a week later means they still have plenty to do if they are to hold onto their hard-fought competition lead.

Nevertheless they have only been beaten twice now, both times by Fraser Park, so should hold no fears once they have all of their key players available again.’

Fraser Park, still with a catch-up game to come on Wednesday 24th June at Cook Park Mount Pritchard against Mounties Wanderers, are looming as challengers themselves, especially as they have plenty more games to come at their own ground, where the artificial pitch may well find other teams out as well.

So far they’ve beaten both Bankstown teams and Spirit FC, so it’s been a good start for them now that they’re playing home games at last after weeks of waiting for the facility to be ready for action.

Match details

Crowd: about 100

Fraser Park FC: GK 1 Wayne Estevao; 15 Rocci Gabey, 18 Aleksandar Todoroski, 5 Nicholas Dimitropoulos,12 Adem Kir; 4 Alexander Veljanovski (20 Kim Daisan 34), 6 Suad Ameli; 10 Paulo Oliveira (C), 8 Hussein Akil, 11 Stefan Jovanovic; 17 Nicola Todoroski (16 Marko Micevski 90)
Subs not used: RGK 22 Riley Keayes, 2 Zoran Kolundzic, 3 James Burton

Yellow cards: Paulo Oliveira 32, Kim Daisan 65, Hussein Akil 90+6; Red cards: Nil
Coach: Mile Todoroski

Spirit FC: GK 41 David Lowery; 19 Tom Lovell (C), 6 Ross Kethel, 4 Nicholas Trimble, 13 Lord Darkoh; 14 Ryan Johnstone, 8 Grant Cornwell, 12 Brad Gibson (10 Ossama Zaki 48);  3 Henry Wells (7 Jacob Harris 76), 22 Gosue Sama, 11 Abraham Majok
Subs not used: RGK 1 Murray Nelson, 5 Andrew Robertson

Coach: John McLafferty
Yellow cards: Abraham Majok 51, Lord Darkoh 52, Tom Lovell 71, Ryan Johnstone 75, Grant Cornwell 90+5; Red cards: Nil

Referee: Jerry Bitas
Assistants: Joon Park and Peter Liaros
Ratings and miscellaneous

Weather: Cool and dry with no breeze.
Game: 8/10
Pitch: 10/10 Synthetic
Players noted:  Suad Ameti (FP), Stefan Jovanovic (FP), Nicholas Dimitropoulos (FP), Lord Darkoh (SFC), Nick Trimble (SFC), Grant Cornwell (SFC)