Fans of the NPL New South Wales competition were treated to a full round of games this weekend, as an improvement in the weather meant that we got to see APIA Leichhardt and Mt Druitt Town Rangers for the first time this season.
There were 19 goals shared over the six games, with a mix of high-scoring thrillers and tight contests to keep the fans entertained.
Kick360 has it all covered for you below!
APIA Leichhardt 1-0 Manly United
Flying after their surprise opening round win, Manly United were brought back down to earth with a 1-0 loss to APIA Leichhardt at Lambert Park on Friday night.
A goal on debut after six minutes for 17 year-old Nathaniel Blair was enough to give APIA the victory in their first match after their opening round match was postponed, the youngster latching onto a square ball from Yianni Nicolaou to tap in from close range.
A Manly defence that was able to keep Sydney Olympic at bay last week as kept on their toes for the full 90 minutes as Blair and FFA Cup hero Jason Romero carried a constant threat going forward for the home side. Manly keeper’ Jack Greenwood was forced to make a number of saves in a match where Manly struggled to create many clear cut opportunities.
Northbridge Bulls 0-4 Wollongong Wolves
Wollongong Wolves have bounced back from their round one defeat with a comprehensive 4-0 win over the Northbridge Bulls at the Sydney United Sports Centre.
They may have gone down to nine men last week at the same venue, but there was no such drama this week, as Lachlan Scott led the way for the away side.
Wolves opened the scoring through a Lachlan Scott powerful long-range effort into the top corner in the 26th minute. And they doubled their advantage six minutes later when Leroy Jennings looping cross found Josh Macdonald in acres of space, who duly finished past Levi Kaye.
Wollongong continued to have the better of the chances, and Scott bagged his second of the day in the 57th minute, converting a penalty after Simonoski was brought down in the box. And Simonoski grabbed a deserved goal just a minute later with a sumptuous curled strike.
The result will boost the confidence of the Wolves ahead of their first home game of the season against Sydney FC, whilst Northbridge are the early season cellar dwellers.
Sutherland Sharks 2-3 Sydney United
Sutherland were once again on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline at home, this time going down to Sydney United at Seymour Shaw.
Both sides had chances to go ahead early on, before Glen Trifiro capitalised on some lax defending from the home side to put United in front after 36 minutes.
Sutherland would equalise through James Andrew, before Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu brought down Adrian Vlastelica in the box right on half time, allowing Chris Payne to dispatch the resulting penalty.
Sydney United would double their lead when a neat through ball from Andre Agememnos found Cimenti, with the winger duly slotting the ball past Anthony Bouzanis on the hour mark.
Sutherland converted a penalty of their own to halve the deficit in the 74th minute, but United were able to hold on for the win.
The result leaves Sutherland near the bottom of the table and searching for their first win, whilst Sydney United sit in third.
Sydney Olympic 1-1 Rockdale Ilinden
Rockdale scored a stoppage time equaliser to ensure they earned a share of the spoils against Sydney Olympic at Belmore Oval.
In a tight and tense first half, Will Mutch almost scored a goal of the season contender, with a piledriver from 35 yards out just whizzing past Nicholas Sorras’ post.
Roy O’Donovan grabbed his first goal in blue and white in the 64th minute, his first time finish flying into the bottom corner after good work from Adam Parkhouse.
Olympic failed to put the game to bed, though, and they would suffer the ultimate punishment as Rockdale would score an equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game; with Lachlan Griffiths lashing the ball into the roof of the net from a corner, causing wild celebrations in red and black.
The result sees both sides get their first points of the season, with Olympic facing Northbridge Bulls next round, whilst Rockdale have a tricky test against APIA.
Blacktown City 4-2 Mt Druitt Town Rangers
Blacktown City scored three goals in a thrilling last seven minutes to defeat Western Sydney rivals Mt Druitt Town Rangers 4-2, ensuring they finish the week at the top of the table.
A late double from Jordan Smylie and a Charles Mendy poachers effort helped secure the win for City, after Bul Juach and Jack Stewart had cancelled out an early Mitch Mallia goal.
Rangers held onto their lead for most of the second half, but they were undone by a relentless City attack and a mistake from keeper’ Matthew Symes for Blacktown’s third.
The comeback showed that Blacktown will be a force to be reckoned with, their squad having a depth that many teams struggle to match. For Mt Druitt, there were certainly positive signs in their first hit out for the season, but they face another tough test midweek as they take on another formidable attack in APIA Leichhardt.
Sydney FC 1-0 Marconi Stallions
The round ended with perhaps a surprising result, as the youth of Sydney FC was able to outcompete the experience of the Marconi Stallions.
A Zac Sapsford goal just after half-time would be all that split the teams. The youngster is already making a name for himself with two goals in the first two games, and his link up play with fellow starlet Jaiden Kucharski has been highly impressive.
The away side had plenty of chances, mainly through Marko Jesic and Chris Hatfield, but they were unable to break down a Sydney defence that successfully contained star striker Charles Lokolingoy.
And things don’t get easier for the Stallions, who face a daunting trip to ladder leaders Blacktown City. Sydney meanwhile head to WIN Stadium and the Wollongong Wolves on Friday Night.
Image Source: Football NSW