Bonnyrigg fly at Lambert Park

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

NSW PS4 NPL 1 – 2016 – Round 3

4:30pm (Good Friday) 26th March, 2016  – Lambert Park, Leichhardt

APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC 1 (Tasuku Sekiya 52′)
lost to
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 2 (Sam Gallaway 28, Ray Miller 81)

Bonnyrigg White Eagles shook off the shock of a last-start home game loss to Blacktown Spartans with a 2-1 win over a short-handed Apia-Leichhardt at Lambert Park on Good Friday evening.

It was not a very good Friday for the home side, who lost two players to injuries inside the opening eight minute.

One, key midfielder Sean O’Connell is feared to have suffered an anterior cruciate injury and after initially going back on, after sustaining the tackle, had to be conducted off the field to be replaced by benched skipper, Franco Parisi, who went on to have an outstanding game.

The  other injured player, Brett Studman, had a hamstring concern in what was his first outing of the season and had to make way for Matthew Fsadni.

Despite losing the two players Apia performed well with the replacements doing an excellent job.

There was little to choose between the two teams and Bonnyrigg will consider themselves fortunate to collect maximum points on this occasion.

“I was happy with the result, but it wasn’t a great performance,” reported White Eagles’ coach Brian Brown post-match.

“The players will realise that the teams in the league are all strong and they will need to keep working as there are no easy games.

Apia coach, John Carnevale, was gutted after the loss.

“We didn’t deserve that,” he said.

“I’m proud of my players and we should have got at least a point from that effort.

“We’ve lost two players early on and done well to compensate for that.

“I felt that their winning goal should not have stood as there was a high-feet situation in the immediate lead-up and the play should have been called back by the referee.

“That goal was very hard to accept, as our boys defended so well today.

Apia had already used their two substitutes and were this unable to make substantial changes, tactically, John Carnevale limited to one change, the introduction of Murray Jordan for Nathan Elasi just past the hour mark.

Bonnyrigg, meanwhile, could keep fresh legs out there a little longer, though they also had to replace a player early, Greg Kondek making way for Aaron Peterson.

Hard working White Eagles’ captain, Robbie Younis, the former long-time Apia star came off in the last minute to rapturous applause as Nikola Zonjic took over for the final throes of what had been a tense contest throughout.

Bonnyrigg took the lead in the 28th minute, a ball played down the left channel by Yuta Kokado allowing Sam Gallaway to overlap brilliantly and deliver what was the first real shot of the match, an angled drive across the keeper and in low at the far- post.

Apia responded seven minutes into the second half, slippery striker, Tasuku Sekiya, one of two players causing confusion in the Bonnyrigg six yard box, as Franco Parisi delivered the perfect through pass.

The Japanese player finished well at close range and honours were even once more.

Chances came and went at either end, Younis being denied in the 64th after getting on the end of another Kokado cross as keeper Ryan Norval did superbly to deflect the big man’s arching header over the bar.

At  the visitors’ end Apia Corey Biczo’s 60th minute cross, intended for Sekiya, was a good one, but a defender just got there in time to deny the opportunity for a second goal by the Apia man.

After withstanding anything thrown at them for most of the game, Apia conceded what proved to be the winner in the 81st.

Ray Miller worked his way forward and after winning a high tussle with Adrian Ucchino threaded a ball through for Younis.

The keeper did well to block the effort but Miller, following up, managed to bundle the lose ball home for the deciding goal.

Match details

Crowd: about 200

APIA Leichardt Tigers FC:  92. Ryan Norval (gk); 2 Nathan Millgate, 21 Themba Muata-Marlow, 15 Brett Studman (3 Matthew Fsadni 8), 16 Sean Symons ; 7 Sean O’Connell (10 Franco Parisi 8),  8 Corey Biczo, 18 Adrian Ucchino,  23 Nicholas Olsen;  20 Tasuku Sekiya, 14 Nathan Elasi (11 Murray Jordan 66)
Subs not used:  1 Tonu Liiband (rgk), 19 Kenta Hasegawa

Yellow cards: Nil; Red cards: Nil

Coach: John Carnevale

Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC: 1. James Chronopoulos (gk); 5 Adam Jenner (2 Alexander Mansueto 73), 3 David Vrankovic, 4 Michael Robinson, 16 Sam Gallaway; 21 Bo Hyun Chun, 17 Mun-Soo Gil, 7 Greg Kondek (19 Aaron Peterson 19), 15 Ray Miller, 10 Yuta Kokado; 9 Robbie Younis (6 Nikola Zonjic 90+1)
Subs not used: 20 Stevan Savcic (rgk), 14 Taylor McDonald

Yellow cards: Adam Jenner 15, Bo Hyun Chun 58, Sam Gallaway 87, Ray Miller 84, 90; Red Cards: Ray Miller 90

Coach: Brian Brown

Referee: Khodr Yaghi 8/10
Assistants: Matt Riedy and Thomas Lee
Fourth Official: Tristan Harris

Points and ratings
Referee  8/10
Match 8/10
Pitch: 10/10 (Synthetic)
Weather: Overcast and warm, with a light breeze

Players noted: Themba Muata-Marlow (ALT), Sean Symons (ALT), Adrian Ucchino (ALT), Michael Robinson (BWE), Bo Hyun Chun (BWE), Ray Miller (BWE)