Hakoah win in poorest game

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

NSW PS4 NPL2 Men – Round 15 feature report
7:30pm, Saturday 27th June 2015  – St George Stadium

St George Saints FC  0
lost to
Hakoah Sydney City East FC 1 (Deklan Gilmartin 66′)


This was without a doubt the poorest game Back of the Net has attended this season in any Division.

It ended as a 1-0 win to Hakoah Sydney City East FC, who barely needed to get out of second gear to beat an unimaginative St George, who seldom threatened, even with enough of the ball to do so, earning not a single corner and no meaningful attempts on goal.

Hakoah were strong in most areas, though up front they met a stubborn St George defence, which did well to hold the visitors’ prolific scorer and captain, Neil Jablonski, who probed hard up front alongside Federico Kertscher, until Michael McCrory came off the bench to relieve the latter, in the 54th minute.

After the change Hakoah managed to score the only goal of the game, which caught St George out badly, as it came out of relatively nothing.

McCrory put over a tremendous cross and instead of the usually ‘strong in the air’ Jablonski being on the end of it, it was the visitors’ tireless wide player, the always industrious Deklan Gilmartin, who met the cross with a looping header that deceived everyone, including Saints’ keeper, David Hamilton, who’d done everything right to that point.

It was a goal that provided Hakoah’s second win on the bounce, following their upset victory against Central Coast the previous weekend up at Pluim Park.

It had been a surprise, as the Lisarow-based team had gone to Hensley Field earlier in the season and walked away with a relatively effortless 3-0 win.

Perhaps, having seen that Hakoah had won 4-1 on the Coast, St George felt their best hope was to defend and catch their opponents on the hop.

But goals of any kind, on the hop or skilfully-crafted, have not come easily for  St George of late, who’ve fallen into a bit of a slump.

They’re missing some players, now, notably Anthony Abi-Arrage, who has  a hip-flexor injury that could keep him out for the season and also a few others, mostly creative cogs and this was surely their least impressive performance of the season to date.

When they went to Mills Park, a month or so back, they produced a confident, assured performance to win 3-0.

But they’ve never sparkled like that since and this game was certainly the complete opposite of what they managed at the Asquith arena, which, in hindsight, was their best showing of the season.

The home supporters did their best to provide vocal support and good cheer, for long periods of the game, but they were served up a dish that must have left them far from satisfied this time.

Not to be too dramatic, the diet served up was dire.

Hakoah had little need to be too inventive, as once they’d broken through for the winning goal, they held St George comfortably, no matter how many extra players the hosts sent forward to try and secure a late point, which they definitely didn’t deserve on this occasion.

St George substitute, Stevan Ilic, came off the bench with 15 minutes to go, but even he could not provide much in the way of a shot, as he was under a tight hold from a wary Hakoah, who needn’t have worried.

It simple wasn’t St George’s day.

Making matters even worse, all three matches on the day finished without a goal being scored by the home team.

Like all teams in FNSW divisions, they’ll have a week off now, in which to re-group and see if they can turn things around over the remaining seven matches of the season.

It won’t be easy.

Hakoah, meanwhile, for all their relative inconsistencies, find themselves in a very healthy third spot and challenging strongly for a Finals’ berth.

It’s looking less and less likely that St George, currently languishing in ninth and a relatively distant eleven points behind the victors on this occasion, will manage to mount a bid to join them, during those additional weeks of the campaign taking place on the bigger stage.

Match details

Crowd:  Approx 75

St George Saints FC: 17 David Hamilton; 16 Joseph D’Elia, 3 Emanuel Elali, 5 Daniell Zeleny (C),  13 Lenox Tweneboa;  7 Matt Sadler (19 Stevan Ilic 76), 6 Ali Nasreddine (Peter Pelekanos 65), 8 Tarek Ercan, 14 Andrija Petkovic (44 James Tomas 85); 20 David Wilson, 11 Wassim Hijazi
Subs not used: 1 Aaron Liddell, 10 Michael Yarnold

Coach David Perkovic
Yellow cards: Nil; Red cards: Nil

Hakoah Sydney City East FC: GK 1 Matthew Symes; 2 Remy Wolanski, 44 Nicholas Mouzourakis (21 German Cabrera 64), 4 Bradley Walker, 17 Joseph Dingwall; 10 Deklan Gilmartin, 11 Gavin Rae, 8 Paul Orgad, 19 Jacob Esposito; 9 Neil Jablonski (C), 26 Federico Kertscher (5 Michael McCrory 54)
Subs:  RGK 40 Matthew McKenzie, 29 Harry Jones

Coach: Mark Robertson
Yellow cards: Nil; Red cards: Nil

Referee: Ben Abraham
Assistants: Luke Morgan and  Alex Long

Ratings and miscellaneous

Weather: Cold and dry, with a very light breeze
Game: 3/10
Pitch: 5/10

Players noted: Daniell Zeleny (SG), Lenox Tweneboa (SG), Deklan Gilmartin (HSCE), Bradley Walker (HSCE), Jacob Esposito (HSCE) Gavin Rae (HSCE)