Berries increase students table woes

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

NSW PS4 NPL 2 Men – Round 18 – Feature game
7:30pm, Saturday 25th July 2015 – Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Sydney University SFC 1 (Kim Gyubeom 68′)
lost to
Bankstown Berries FC 2  (Jake Bradshaw 72′, Matthew Trotter 90’+1)


Much was at stake for both clubs in Saturday night’s NPL2 game at Lambert Park, one of only two Saturday games on a weekend when the action was concentrated more on the Sunday afternoon matches this time around.

Sydney University, in desperate straits as the end of season looms with the threat of relegation a huge concern for them on a day when stake-holders of the football arm of the University had gathered in the Leichhardt Tigers’ club rooms to honour those whose financial backing would enable the club to play at an enhanced facility on campus next season and beyond.

With the captain and the vice-captain of the NPL2 side being introduced to the assembled club luminaries at half-time in the Under-20s match and later the key players from the early games being similarly interviewed during the first grade half time period, it should have been an occasion to celebrate.

Indeed the prospects of a clean sweep of all three grades looked possible for a long time in the main game, after the Under-18s and Under-20s had earned valuable points against Bankstown Berries, upsetting the form book by both recording 1-0 wins.

The invited guests would have been on good terms with themselves as they nibbled on canapes and enjoyed a quiet drink, with Nathan Samson explaining to them how important it was to win the main game. Peter Crevani also chimed in with similar sentiments, but despite the best of intentions a badly depleted Sydney University side lost out to the Berries just as stoppage-time got under way and went down 2-1 to a team known of late for their storming finishes and never-say-die qualities, attributes their coach, Wally Savor, alluded to after the game.

But the investors in the new facility on University of Sydney Number 2 Oval still enjoyed the matches and the chance to catch up with former players such as the highly prolific goal scorer of the 90s and beyond, Rob Smithies and former defender Simon Phillips and Tyrone Lara among many others in attendance.

The new facility is nearing completion after some early delays last year in the start of construction, with the complex due to be ready by the end of the year, after which work on removing the cricket square and installing a new pitch will commence.

Cricket will no longer be played on the Number 2 ground which will boast a grandstand and amenities larger and superior to those on the famous University of Sydney Number 1 Oval, used by rugby union and cricket for years.

This new ground will be shared with rugby union and while ultimately it will boast a synthetic pitch, affordability ruled out that option from the outset and it will be further down the track that a modern all-weather surface greets supporters.

Funded by donations from both football and rugby union members, with football far and away the larger contributor, along with funding from public sources, the ground should be ready for games in the 2016 season on campus.

But in which division ‘the students’ play hinges on how they do for the remainder of the season in the NPL2 Club Championship.

They netted nine points from their earlier wins, but hopes of gaining a further twelve were dashed as Bankstown Berries stormed home to win 2-1 to the huge dismay of the club stalwarts.

Sydney University had players out and had to bring in less experienced youngsters, as key players like Marton Vass and Tayfun Buyukkopru, both carrying knocks, sat among the invited guests in the club rooms above the pitch and cooled their heels.

Vass has been troubled by injury for some time and is nearing the veteran stage now, so is not always able to last a full game, while Buyukkopru, forced out after sustaining an injury during training on Tuesday, may miss one more match.

In an even first half, the Berries looked the more dangerous of the two teams, but the students were still causing problems on the counter.

Berries gave their returning player Nick Paras a run in Under 20s, rather than rushing him back into first grade.

The visitors had more or less their strongest starting line-up here and after a long unbeaten run, looked their most lethal after falling behind.

Both keepers made important saves, especially Sydney University’s Marko Bozic in the first-half, both times from Ilkay Gurbuz at close- range, with diving saves to stop shots from finding the top corner of the net,when well on target in the 39th and 45th minutes.

A 25th minute free-kick from the left for Berries had some power in it from Matthew Trotter and as one pressing Berries man tried to get to the ball ahead of the Uni keeper, the latter somehow allowed it to squirm under his body, but the flag had already gone up for offside so the otherwise completely sound keeper was in luck.

In the second half the Uni team began strongly and attacked with relish.

Captain Nathan Sansom, put through by Peter Crevani on the counter in the 50th minute drew Berries’ keeper , Michael Frost, who came racing out and when Sansom tried to go around him the keeper appeared to bring him down, but referee Adam Weir ruled that there had been no contact and calls for a penalty were waved away.

A booming shot from Sansom in the 62nd was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Frost, after Santiago Rodriguez had put his skipper through for a shot from the right, just inside the area.

Joel Anscomb, one of the Berries most lively players at the moment, advanced down the left in the 62nd minute and looked like scoring, but as the alert Bozic guarded his near post the Berries man could only hit the side netting

Uni defender, Kim Gyuboem, whose goals this season have often come at crucial times had headers in the 64th and 66th minutes both saved well by Frost.

Kim, however, was not to be denied and scored with a header into the ground in the 68th, after a left-footed, curling cross from the right by Kushaba Kushaba, after an initial corner by the same player had been cleared.

With their tails up ‘the students’ appeared to have control of the game, but the Berries rallied after conceding and made life far harder foe their opponents as the clock wound down.

A through ball from Jun Kato for Jake Bradshaw to run onto, led to the Berries’ equaliser just two minutes after they’d gone a goal down.

Bozic rushed  out, but Bradshaw was too quick to the pass and slotted the ball past the exposed keeper from 15 yards out, in the middle of the area.

Bradshaw was then denied by a good save from Bozic in the 87th.

A free- kick conceded just outside the area in the first minute of stoppage time saw Kato standing over the ball only to leave it for Matthew Trotter to slam low and powerfully, beyond the wall, to seal the late win for the visitors.

Berries’ coach, Wally Savor, was of the opinion that his team had been a little flat on this occasion, until they got going later in the match.

“I sent on a fresh striker with 15 minutes to go (Tommy Taylor for Gurbuz) and I think that made the difference for us, though I thought overall that we could have played better.

“But the boys have great fighting spirit as they’ve shown many times this season and that allowed them to come back and win the game tonight,” he beamed.

“I think it worked out well for both clubs tonight,” ventured Savor.

“We got the win in first grade, to keep us in the hunt for the Finals and we earned 12 points towards the Club Championships, but they got nine points from the early games to help them with their relegation issues.

“We are in a bit of a dog-fight with a few other clubs for the Finals’ spot,” he continued.

“We have some tough games coming up before we play Mount Druitt in our final game of the season. That match could decide the final place, as things stand right now,” he explained.

Sydney Uni had to play their Under 20s player Nathan Preston at left-back and had one or two more Under 20s on the bench so had little room to experiment with substitutes.

They were definitely weakened by the absence of the suspended Adam Porcu and the injured Vass and Buyukkopru .

Match details

Crowd: approx 50

Sydney University SFC: GK 1 Marko Bozic;  14 Daniel Mifsud, 4 Kim Gyubeom, 13 Alexander Sopina, 23 Nathan Preston; 19 Matthew Fsadni; 8 Khushaba Khushaba, 10 Santiago Rodriguez (24 Jacob Blundell 86), 17 Stefan de Jesus, 40 Peter Crevani;  3 Nathan Sansom (C)
Subs not used: RGK 21 Patrick Ferrera, 34 Christopher Phillips, 6 Dario Borovickic

Coach: Raul Blanco
Yellow cards: Santiago Rodriguez 19, Matthew Fsadni 27, Nathan Preston 34, Peter Crevani 74; Red cards: Nil

Bankstown Berries FC: GK 1 Michael Frost (C); 18 Matthew Trotter, 3 Liam McKenna, 21 Peter Dimitropoulos (4 Omar Saadi 82), 16 Milan Zoric;  22 Jake Bradshaw, 10 Jun Kato, 12 Mitchell Davidson; 11 Joel Anscomb, 17 Ilkay Gurbuz (8 Thomas Taylor 76), 7 Kyle Ewart
Subs not used: RGK 41 Stefan Giglio,  6 Shivan Swamy, 2 Andrew Vitucci;

Coach: Wally Savor

Yellow card: Milan Zoric 85; Red cards: Nil
Referee: Adam Weir
Assistants: Ray Osborne and Christian Layland

Ratings and miscellaneous

Weather: Mild night, mere hint of a breeze
Game: 8/10
Pitch: 10/10 (Synthetic)

Players noted: Marko Bozic (SU), Kim Gyubeom (SU), Peter Crevani (SU), Joel Anscomb (BB), Liam McKenna (BB), Michael Frost (BB)