Sydney youth come back over Newcastle in the heat

by Paul Green:
Foxtel Y-League 2018/19 Season Round 9
Lambert Park 430pm Saturday 12th January 2019

Sydney FC 3 (Harry Van Der Saag 11′, 89′, Hamish Lamberton 63)
Newcastle United Jets FC 2 (Jack Simmons 21′, Joe Champness 37′)

On a very warm afternoon, with two first-half drinks breaks called for under an unrelenting sun-drenched Lambert Park, Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets played out a very combative and thoroughly entertaining match, which the hosts snatched almost at the end of scheduled time, having surrendered an eleventh minute lead to be down 2-1 at half-time, before clawing their way back to 2-2 just past the hour mark.

Sydney FC took the lead through wide man Harry Van Der Saag who had a hand in the second goal as well, with a perfectly-flighted ball in to the far-post in the 63rd.

Newcastle did look to have the game in their keeping for long periods, having scored twice with relative ease by the 37 minute mark.

Their equaliser came from Jack Simmons in the 21st minute and when returning Hyundai A. League star, Joe Champness, was allowed far too much time on the ball on the edge of the penalty area in the 37th, the Sydney defence paid the price.

Champness, on the way back to full fitness after suffering a broken foot, picked his spot to perfection with a low drive that nestled firmly in the bottom-right corner of Adam Pavlesic’s net.

Newcastle looked very well-drilled defensively and continued to create chances right up until the hour mark. Their tight discipline was ensuring that they could retain their slender lead, as well as giving the stretched Sydney defence plenty to think about on the counter-attack.

But Sydney got going as the second-half wore on and as the Jets began to flag a little as the day remained sultry and they appeared to ease up a little in an attempt at conserving some energy.

The Sydney attack, well-led by Bathurst-raised Hamish Lamberton, were forging more and more opportunities, especially down the right flank and after corners were secured on that side, they were able to draw level again in the 63rd.

Good work from Giuseppe Tilio and in turn Van Der Saag, saw the latter put a lofted peach of a ball to the far-post where Lamberton met it sweetly to beat the keeper all ends up.

Lamberton had gone close a couple of times before that and his second goal of the YL season couldn’t have come at a better time.

He’d scored prolifically during the winter NPL1 season for Sydney FC, but had been luckless in front of goal in recent Y-League games, though certainly happy in providing a couple of good assists.

Newcastle seemed unable to find an answer after the equaliser had gone in and coach Labinot Haliti threw on some fresh legs in an attempt at restoring the team’s earlier superiority.

With the Jets and Sydney both in dire need of the points it was a battle to the finish, as Sydney finally got the all-important third goal in the 89th with a beautifully-taken strike by stand-out player Harry Van Der Saag.

He picked his spot brilliantly from 15 yards, on the right, no speculative effort this one, as he looked up and planted the ball low and powerfully into the net, to the keeper’s left.

Newcastle had five minutes of stoppage-time in order to rescue the game, but this time it was the Sydney defence that was to prove well-disciplined and they absorbed the inevitable pressure comfortably at the finish.

This was the final Y League game, for what is of course a very short season, at Lambert Park – with only away games remaining against Canberra and Western Sydney Wanderers, ahead of the Finals.

Match details:

Attendance: 150 approx.

Sydney FC: 1 Adam Pavlesic (GK), 3 Benjamin Van Meurs, 14 Joel King, 4 Liam McGing, 5, Patrick Scibilio ( 17 Callum Talbot +82′), 18 Benjamin Koop (13. Jordi Swibel +48′), 8 Samuel McIIlhatton, 12 Giuseppe Tilio (Ryan Teague +79′), 10 Marco Tilio, 6 Harry Van Der Saag, Hamish Lamberton
Subs: 20 David Malishev (RGK),

Cards: Marco Tilio 56′

Newcastle United Jets FC: 20 Noah James (GK), 2 Ryan Goodhew, 5 Kieran Hayes, 6 Thomas Curran, 15 Patrick Langlois, 8 Jackson Frendo, 18 Kosta Petratos (Riley Smith +85′),10 Jack Simmons (Kent Harrison +46′), 9 Yerasimakis Petratos, 13 Ivan Vijuca, 11 Joe Champness (Joseph O’Connor +46′)
Subs: 1 Tristan Esquilant (RGK)

Yellow Cards: Jackson Frendo 49′, Kieran Hayes 73′, Ryan Goodhew 90’+4

Referee: Jarryd McFarlane 8/10
Assistants: Hugh White and Sam Kelly; Fourth Official: Brad Wright

Players noted: Harry Van Der Saag, Patrick Scibilio, Giuseppe Tilio (SFC); Joe Champness, Ivan Vijuca, Kosta Petratos (NUJ)

Weather: Warm and sunny
Pitch: 10/10 Synthetic
Game: 8/10