Students celebrate a win and new ground
By Corinthian (Paul Green):
NSW PS4 NPL 3 – MEN – Round 2
3pm, Saturday 9th April 2016 – Sydney University Football Ground, Camperdown
Sydney University SFC 2 (Rosario Occhipinti 28′, Jonathan Gowdy 86′)
Stanmore Hawks FC 1 (Sam Awad 48′)
The first ever NPL3 game staged at the Sydney University Football Ground, indeed the first official First Grade match, went off without a hitch in front of an enthusiastic crowd in the newly-built grandstand that more than matches many of those in use at NPL1 stadiums around the city.
The day went off like clockwork, with the Sydney University teams winning all three matches on the day, coming from behind to win the Under-18s 2-1 and from 2-0 down to win the Under 20s 4-2.
In the main game, the ‘Students’ left it late to wrap up maximum points, needing a superb individual strike from 64th minute substitute, Jonathan Gowdy, who came on for team captain, Tom Hyde, to settle the issue.
The ‘Students’ relegated on the final day of last season from NPL2 had by far the better of the first-half against Stanmore Hawks and took the lead with a spectacular overhead kick from inside the six-yard box by Rosario Occhipinti, one of many new faces in the Uni side.
The bulk of the players in First Grade came across from Balmain Tigers and they have meshed with the remaining Sydney Uni players from last season.
While Stanmore had a first-half they’d prefer to forget, trailing only 1-0 at half time allowed them a good chance to get back into the match.
Veteran play-maker, Sam Awad, came on at half-time and immediately made a difference.
He scored with a fine, far -ost header in the 48th minute to shock the home side, after a pinpoint cross from the right.
Shrewd Stanmore coach, Sotos Mavros, then threw on brilliant Korean attacking player, Heo Wook Bum, who began to dazzle out on the flanks.
The game looked there for the taking by the neighbouring Stanmore Hawks and control of the game belonged to them for the first half-hour or so after the resumption, the Hawks having been well off the pace before the break.
Sydney Uni coach, Brian Dene and his assistant, John Haynes, looked to their bench to unlock the stubborn Stanmore defence.
Experienced players Scott Tonkin and Jonathan Gowdy came on during the last half-hour to revitalise a sluggish home team.
All the same, it needed some solid work in midfield and backs-to-the-wall defending to keep it at 1-1 before Gowdy could strike.
A superb turn inside the penalty-area, out on the left and a curling right-footer deceived Hawks’ keeper, James Webb, to restore the ‘Students’ lead at 2-1.
That proved enough in the end, but Stanmore had been worthy opponents on this historic first day of football at the ground that had been a long time in its gestation.
The club only received the keys to the facility three weeks before this match and spectators would have been most impressed with not only the view and comfort of the grandstand, but with all of the facilities the complex offers to both competitors and the community.
Numerous changing rooms, a gymnasium, an indoor sports arena, medical rooms etc and in the grandstand itself, a spacious function-room and bar-cum-restaurant for patrons to enjoy and that is available for hire, we’re told, as well.
Crowd: Approx 150
Sydney University SFC: 41. Oliver Gibson (gk); 15 Ciaran Muir, 4 Jay Wynter, 17 Jehan Loke, 6 Daniel Mifsud; 2 Thomas Hyde (c) (9 Scott Tonkin 73); 21 Gavin Wenyon, 16 Adrian Porcu, 22 Remy Chery (14 Jonathan Gowdy 64), 18 Domenico Di Mento, 10 Rosario Occhipinti
Sub not used: Steven Antoniou (rgk), 12 Nicholas Kougious
Yellow cards: Nil; Red cards: Nil
Coach: Brian Dene
Stanmore Hawks FC: 26. James Webb (gk); 23 Peter Theodosi, 4 Sergio Tarazona , 6 Yorgi Mavrou, 3 Panta Bibek; 8 Costa Bakoulis (11 Sam Awad 46), 2 Domenico Tripodi, 7 Steve Liavas (c), 21 Goran Ljuboja; 14 Peter Yannopoulos (16 Michael Toscano 76), 30 Neil Philippou (10 Heo Wookbum 50)
Subs not used: RGK 31 James Adams, 5 Foday Kamara
Yellow cards: Sergio Tarazona 45+1, Peter Theodosi 88; Red cards: Nil
Coach: Soteris Mavrou
Referee: Dale Fuda
Assistants: Richard Clarke and Dean Wright
Ratings and points
Weather: Mild and mostly sunny
Players noted: Jonathan Gowdy (SU), Ciaran Muir (SU), Gavin Wendon (SU), Sam Awad (SH), Heo Wook Bum (SH), Peter Yannopoulos (SH)