Sydney unstuck against Jets in Youth

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

Foxtel National Youth League – Version 2 – Season 1 – Conference A – Round 5
7pm, Sunday 6th December 2015  – Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Sydney FC  1 (Chris Naumoff 8′)
lost to
Newcastle United Jets FC 2 (Brandon Lundy 16′, Cody Carroll 44′)

After beating Western Sydney Wanderers so convincingly in their last home game at Lambert Park, two weeks’ earlier and then accounted for the FFA Centre of Excellence (the former AIS side) 1-0 on a grass pitch in Canberra a week ago, Sydney FC’s Youth Team came unstuck on Sunday against a well-balanced Newcastle Jets outfit.

Of course having made the point in the report on the previous match here, won 5-0 by the Sky Blues against the Wanderers, this competition isn’t necessarily about getting results, but in its truncated form mainly gives opportunities to as many players as possible, even those senior payers making their way back from injury.

Here they had defender Zachary Anderson slotting into the backline, but having to come off towards the end, after sustaining a hamstring strain.
Watchful Sydney FC Assistant-coach, Steve Corica, advised the Youth Team coach, Robert Stanton, to substitute Anderson before any further damage might be done.

By then the game was already slipping away, as the Jets, who’d led 2-1 at the break, continued to look the team with the better shape and determination.

Their coach, Clayton Zane, was very vocal throughout, his instructions mostly implemented to the letter.

With such a big squad, including a number of over-aged players, Sydney FC can’t be expected to field the same team twice in a row and must hope that the individuals measure up as a team, in their own right.

Here they had Alex Mullen, Robert Stambolziev and Brandon O’Neill, as well as Anderson, in the starting line-up, with the first two having both played in the rout of the Wanderers in late November.

The difference was more in terms of the roles those players took and far from being one of three out-and-out strikers this time, as he’d been when scoring a hat-trick against the Wanderers, Max Burgess was playing a lot deeper and getting nowhere near as much of his own way against Newcastle, as he had been allowed against Trevor Morgan’s Wanderers.

Similarly, Mullen and Stambolziev, who’d impressed going forward in that earlier match, were more subdued here, largely due to the sound application of the Jets’ mid-fielders.

Newcastle recovered after an eighth minute setback to draw level in the 16th and then take the lead a minute before the break, all from purposeful creative play.

They also had in their goalkeeper, Blake Tuxford, a man determined to put himself about to thwart his opponents and he was worth a goal or two for his team, at least on the other side of the ledger.

Newcastle only had two over-age players and one of them, Mitch Cooper, played for just the first 57 minutes.

The other, Themba Muata -Marlow, was there for the entire match.

A through ball from Alex Mullen allowed Chris Naumoff to finish smartly in the eighth minute, as Sydney attempted to dominate their visitors, by putting them under immediate pressure with an early goal.

But the Jets were unfazed by this and soon fought back, a huge run down the left from their skipper, Thomas Whiteside, leading to a cross that was emphatically finished at the far-post by the late-arriving Cooper.

Newcastle began to impose themselves on the game after that and forced a couple of corners, sandwiching a brilliant volley from Brandon Lundy that Sydney keeper, Anthony Bouzanis, managed to tip over the bar.

As Sydney soaked up the pressure from the Jets, they fell behind in the 44th minute, soon after Sydney FC’s Brandon O’Neill had struck a swerving shot from 20 yards that went just over the Newcastle bar.

The Jets responded when Benjamin Hay found Lundy, whose low ball to the far-post was converged on by a group of Newcastle players, one of whom, Cody Carroll, managed to get the last touch and send it into the net for a 2-1 lead.

The Sydney side tried hard in the second-half, with the dashing Aaron Calver going forward as often as possible and the A League man from last season was perhaps unlucky a couple of times in not helping his side to draw level.

At one stage he was foiled after hitting the back of the head of a team-mate with an attempt on goal.

Others to show up well were the very effective Christopher Zuvela, whose crosses seemed destined to find fellow players, but just didn’t get snapped up by the likes of Naumoff, Mullen and substitute Charles Lokoli Ngoy, who could not get the telling touches needed to convert that good service into goals.

Sydney did get the ball in the net again, in the 79th minute, but it was ruled out, after a push on the keeper, Lokoli Ngoy’s header initially looking a good one, off Stambolziev’s cross from the left.

Late chances for Calver and Lokoli Ngoy were close calls for the Jets, but not close enough, as it turned out.

Newcastle were good value for their win and applied themselves well against a team stacked with potential A League talent.

Sydney FC will not play again until 20th December when they meet the Wanderers a second time, in a match at Popondetta Park in Emerton.

Match details

Crowd:  Approx. 150

Sydney FC:  1. Anthony BOUZANIS (gk);  2 George TIMOTHEOU,  3 Aaron CALVER (c), 13 Zachary ANDERSON (5 Yianni SPYRAKIS 81) 17 Christopher ZUVELA, 16 Brandon O’NEILL, 9 Bai ANTONIOU (12 Charles LOKOLI NGOY 71), 8 Max BURGESS; 15 Alex MULLEN (7 Daniel ARAUJO 75), 14 Robert STAMBOLZIEV, 18 Christopher NAUMOV
Sub Not Used: 20 Nicholas SORRAS (GK)

Yellow cards: Christopher Zuvela 14, George Timotheou 88; Red cards: Nil
Coach: Robert Stanton

Newcastle United Jets FC: 1. Blake TUXFORD (gk); 2 Benjamin HAY, 4 Thomas WHITESIDE, 5 Caio DE GODOY, 12 Ryan ENSOR;  7 Brandon LUNDY, 8 Andrew PAWIAK, 11 Mitch COOPER (14 Charles HORSLEY 57), 10 Cody CARROLL; 9 Kristian BRYMORA (3 Adam CAWLEY 69), 15 Themba MUATA-MARLOW
Subs not used: 20 Bon SCOTT (rgk)

Yellow Cards: Nil; Red cards: Nil
Coach: Clayton Zane

Referee:  Tim Danaskos 8/10
Assistants: Samuel Grasso and Alex Twomey
Fourth Official: James Tesoriero

Points and ratings
Game: 7/10
Pitch: 10/10  (Synthetic)
Players noted: Aaron Calver (SFC), Christopher Zuvela (SFC), Brandon O’Neill (SFC), Mitch Cooper (NJ), Cody Carroll (NJ), Blake Tuxford (NJ)

By Corinthian