Students triumph at Fraser Park

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

NSW PS4 NPL 2 Men – Round 21 feature
3pm, Sunday 16th August 2015 – Fraser Park, Marrickville

Fraser Park FC  0
lost to
Sydney University SFC 1 (Tayfun Buyukkopru 75′)


Coming into Sunday’s game at Fraser Park, Sydney University officials knew that the day meant  more  to them, over all three grades, than merely in the First Grade fixture which is under analysis here.

They are anchored at the bottom of the NPL2 Club Championship ladder, adrift of both St George and Mounties Wanderers and their Under-18s have not had a good year at all.

Their Under-20s have enjoyed some good results, but not often enough and the first team took some time to move off the bottom, but then, having done so thanks to the influx of some new blood, returned there again as both Mounties Wanderers and some of the other earlier strugglers improved.

On this Sunday afternoon they really needed maximum points in all three grades and that seemed quite a tall order.

But when they beat Fraser Park 5-0 in a huge form reversal in the Under-18s, that result lifted the players in the Under-20 team who, almost effortlessly, it seemed, defeated Fraser Park 4-1, after already leading 3-0 towards the end.

The first grade was always going to be a much sterner task and it didn’t get any easier when Sydney Uni captain and their main striker, Nathan Sansom, was given his marching orders in the 65th minute, by referee, Ben Abraham, for a tackle that was clearly over the ball and deemed at once as serious foul play.

Off Sansom went and with it, one might have imagined, would any hopes ‘the students’ might have held of winning the game.

They’d battled hard to hold top-five aspirants Fraser Park to 0-0 for the best part of an hour, but after Sansom’s dismissal, it was Fraser Park who struggled to impose themselves on the game, despite mounting periods of all-out attack and having numerous attempts on goal.

Scoring proved beyond them, however, and it was Sydney University who got the winner, to make a clean sweep of it on the day.

It may not prove enough, even now, as the club still has ground to make up when it tackles St George on Saturday night at Lambert Park, in games brought forward from the following day, due to Apia-Leichhardt’s home ground being needed for an NPL1 Finals’ fixture that day. The Under-18s kick off in the morning at 8.15 while the Under-20s start theirs at 530pm with the first grade game on at 730pm.

Here at Fraser Park it took a goal of some class and somewhat against the run of play, to earn the students the points and carry all before them on a memorable day for them, after what has been a very disappointing season.

They still have a lot to do when they face St George, who are also in peril, as are Mounties Wanderers, at least in terms of the Club Championship and relegation to the next level.

In this match Fraser Park began without their Golden Boot front-runner, Hussein Akil, who has been unable to start a game for a while, so were a little down on firepower.

Hussein came on ten minutes into the second-half, but being a little rusty could do no better than offer an array of shots that were all well off target.

The Sydney Uni defence did a sterling job, with veteran Marton Vass imperious at the back and the rest of the team working their socks off.

Fraser Park needed the win, too, but while their efforts, especially on the flanks, were threatening to open up the opposition for much of the game, they simply couldn’t break through a stubborn Uni defence.

One moment that had the Students up in arms was when, in the 23rd minute, a long ball played back to their keeper by a Fraser Park player, from well inside the Sydney University half of the field, was executed without any awareness that a Uni man, Santiago Rodriguez, was lurking behind the last Fraser Park man.

Fraser Park keeper, Wayne Estavao, was hopelessly caught off-guard and could not prevent Rodriguez from taking the ball through and finding the net.

But an assistant referee’s flag had been raised and the goal was not allowed to stand, much to the dismay of the Sydney Uni players, who screamed at the match officials that the goal was scored legitimately and should be allowed to stand.

The students knuckled down to it again after that setback and went on to win the game in style.

Peter Crevani was doing plenty of work to inspire his Uni team and eventually it was he who laid on the winner.

He’d already smashed a strong shot against the right hand upright in the 64th minute and he was looking well on song.

With stylish midfielder, Tayfun Buyukkopru, coming on at half-time for Alexander Sopina, things were beginning to happen and the Fraser defence began to come under some real pressure.

A free-kick from the substitute whistled narrowly wide in the 69th, not long after Sansom had been sent from the field, as the students ramped up their efforts, throwing caution to the wind and disregarding the loss of their leader.

Crevani got away down the left in the 75th and sent over a firm cross, without delay, well before getting as close to goal as the by-line, and his decision paid off.

The ball sat up nicely for Buyukkopru to volley first-time past the Fraser keeper. It was a superb strike and a worthy match-winner.

Although Fraser Park were doing well through the efforts of Kevin Oliveira, Hussein Akil, Stefan Jovanovic and Nicola Todoroski , the Uni defence somehow hung on.

The Uni coaching staff had sent on Brian Caulker to add fresh legs up front and youngster Nathan Preston had come on earlier as well and they survived a late onslaught from Fraser Park, for whom Paulo Oliveira had added some extra bite on the flank over the concluding stages.

But it was not enough to spoil Sydney University’s day. One which may not save them even now, but will long be remembered for its fighting outcome.

Match details

Crowd: 75 approx

Fraser Park FC: GK 1 Wayne Estevao; 13 Pat Cappuccio, 18 Aleksandar Todoroski, 5 Nicholas Dimitropoulos (C), David Talone (15 Rocci Gabey 65); 4 Alexander Veljanovski;  7 Kevin Oliveira, 16 Marko Micevski (8 Hussein Akil 55), 20 Kim Daisan (10 Paulo Oliveira 73 , 11 Stefan Jovanovic; 17 Nicola Todoroski
Subs not used: RGK 42 Benjamin Needham, 12 Adem Kir

Yellow cards: Nil; Red cards: Nil
Coach: Mile Todoroski

Sydney University SFC: GK 1 Marko Bozic;  14 Daniel Mifsud, 4 Kim Gyubeom, 43 Marton Vass, 19 Matthew Fsadni (23 Nathan Preston 48); 13 Alexander Sopina (Tayfun Buyukkopru 46),  8 Khushaba Khushaba (7 Brian Caulker 68), 10 Santiago Rodriguez, 17 Stefan de Jesus, 44 Peter Crevani;  3 Nathan Sansom (C)
Subs not used: RGK 21 Patrick Ferrera, 6 Adrian Porcu

Coach: Raul Blanco
Yellow cards: Khushaba Khushaba 15, Nathan Preston 49, Tayfun Buyukkopru 84; Red cards: Nathan Sansom 65

Referee: Ben Abraham
Assistants: Alex Long and Adam Naylor

Ratings and miscellaneous

Weather: Sunny and mild, light breeze

Game: 8/10
Pitch: 10/10 Synthetic

Players noted: Nicholas Dimitropoulos (FP), Kevin Oliveira (FP), Alexander Veljanovski (FP), Peter Crevani (SUFC), Tayfun Buyukkopru (SUFC), Stefan De Jesus (SUFC)