Fraser Park down Rams in NSW friendly

by Paul Green

NSW NPL 2 and 3 Pre-season friendly

7:00pm, Sunday 28 January 2018 – Fraser Park, Marrickville

Fraser Park FC 3 (P. Nigro 5, 90, Mitchell Di Pietro o.g. 69)
Macarthur Rams FC 2 (Mitchell McLintock 9,39)


In one of many NPL trial games being played at this time of the year NPL3 Champions from 2017, Fraser Park, who were pipped for promotion by Premiers Rydalmere City Lions last year, took on NPL2 side Macarthur Rams at the festive Fraser Park headquarters in Marrickville on a sunny summer’s evening.

While Portuguese party-goers danced and sang in the background at the Portugal Community Club weekend festival, the players from both teams out on the pitch, bounded by the Sydenham rail marshalling yards and the Illawarra and Bankstown lines, were enjoying themselves out on the synthetic pitch and in front of the impressive new grandstand, open at last after a prolonged construction period.

With Fraser Park remaining in NPL3 after a valiant attempt at promotion under the guidance of Branko Culina, the club turned to a new man to steer them forward in 2018, Matthew Licata, with Culina and his son Jason headed south west to take on the coaching at NPL1 big-guns Sydney United.

Macarthur Rams, on the other hand, had the genial Eddie Briscoe back for a second term at the NPL2 level and the match held great promise.

Fraser Park made much of the early running and an excellent strike from P. Nigro after only five minutes soon had them in front, the wide man’s strong shot from 12 yards convincingly despatched into the roof of the Macarthur net.

Macarthur had taken a little while to settle, but quickly enough found their rhythm and drew level four minutes later.

Mitchell McLintock seized on some indecision at the back by the home club to rifle his shot away and get things moving for Macarthur.

As Macarthur began to show their superiority and control the game Fraser Park struggled to stay in touch and when McLintock notched his second in the 39th minute to give his side the lead it looked as if the Rams might run away with it given their status as an NPL2 team.

But an unfortunate own goal by Mitchell Di Pietro midway through the second half gave Fraser Park a lifeline.

A cross from the right had looked relatively harmless until the intervention of the Macarthur defender who lunged at the ball a few yards out from goal and the keeper was unable to keep it out.

Over the concluding ten or fifteen minutes or so Fraser Park began to show signs of a revival and looked the fresher team as the game wound down, while the Rams looked a little jaded as if they’d already run their race.

In the 90th minute Nigro bobbed up again to nail the winner for Fraser much to the delight of home supporters and the scorer’s NPL3 team mates.

Back of the Net will be attending a couple more of these pre-season trials and will try to bring some form of coverage if enough information is available at the venues on the participants to ensure that everybody gets a mention in our story.

Match details

Crowd: about 50

Fraser Park FC: 1 A. Ismail (gk); 6 A. Browne, 8 C. Sheerin, 4 D Muller, 23 M. Hudek, 13 J. Goldsmith, 20 W. Oliveira dos Santos, 10 A. De Brito, 17 A. Villelonga, 11. P. Nigro, 7 M. Guse

Subs: 9 R. Pascale, 5 A. Cimino, 32 D. Siu, 29 A. Marc , 21 M. Villascus,
Coach: Matthew Licata

Macarthur Rams FC: 1 Jaiv Fernandez (gk); 2 Craig Cooley, 3 Danny Lazarevski, 5 Regan Suters, 6 Mark Simmington, 7 Mitchell McLintock, 8 Matthew Trotter, 11 Damien Travis, 14 Daniel McCann, 16 Charbel Haddad, 19 Scott Goodwin

Subs: 20 Nikodin Mati (rgk), 4 Mitchell Di PIetro, 10 Simon Zahra, 12 Eli Squillacioti, 15 Ryhus Lloyd, 17 Philip Hasiuk, 18 Frank Martey
Coach: Eddie Briscoe

Points and ratings

Referee: Adam Vainaudskias 8/10
Assistants: Michael Bailey and Soheil Adarjon

Weather: Mild and dry

Match 7/10

Pitch Synthetic 10/10