NPL NSW MENS 1 ROUND 12
WOLLONGONG WOLVES v ROCKDALE ILINDEN
WOLVES EARN A POINT
The Wolves improved to prevent Rockdale Ilinden from completing a season winning double by grinding out a 1-1 draw with the third placed side in the Round 11 clash after the opposition’s earlier victory in Round 1. The Wolves changed the formation of the team by employing a five-man backline consisting of Brendan Low, Daniel Loe, Taylor McDonald, Marcus Beattie and Dax Kelly, which frustrated the much vaunted attack of Alec Urosevski and Tomoki Wada. Kelly was making his debut and he capped his performance off by preventing a Rockdale goal scoring opportunity when he was at the ready to clear off the line. Goals were scored in the second half by Wolves’ captain Lachlan Scott from the penalty spot, together with Rockdale’s Patrick Savor’s well struck effort. Rockdale had much more of the goalmouth action during proceedings. However, exquisite goalkeeping by Wolves’ custodian, Hayden Durose, saved many of Rockdale’s opportunities to score, some even from close range.
The home team kicked off and ran towards the northern end and not before too much time had elapsed Leroy Jennings, the hat trick achiever from the previous round, played his free kick in from wide on the left and this caused some consternation in the Rockdale ranks. Urosevski looked to cause mischief at the other end before the Wolves’ central defender Daniel Loe put the ball safely into touch to defuse the situation.
An attacking foray by the Wolves saw Scott, with the ball at his feet, eluding his marker before passing out to the right for Marcus Beattie, playing right wing/back in a change of position. Alas, nothing was accomplished but made aware if the threat posed. Not long as Jennings went down in the box as a result of a tackle. Appeals for a penalty went unheeded.
Durose set forth from his line to beat a usurping Urosevski to the ball. The striker followed up with a left footed shot that was met by a diving custodian to parry away to safety. Urosevski propelled another shot in but this time Scott headed out. Low chanced a shot, which unfortunately went wide of the left post. Debut performer, Kelly for the Under 18s, cleared off the line as Bai Antoniou looked to celebrate.
Petkovic plied a shot from distance in an attempt to gain an advantage for his team but a flying Durose put paid to this action before Loe enacted a block to deny Urosevski as this sharp shooter shaped to pull the trigger. Patrick Savor from just inside the half way line tried a speculator as nothing else was working. His effort was skyward but it showed portents of what was to come.
As the first half reached it’s conclusion Petkovic blocked a Beattie incursion, Low defended well to keep Sorge from surging and Griffin won a tussle with Daniel Araujo. Durose quickly left his line to smother another attack before Low quickly retreated to beat Sorge once again.
Both teams had all to play for in the second and Rockdale would have fancied their chances to break the Wolves defensive line, which was like a fortress. With Scott and Jennings being at the ready, they could have pinched the spoils.
Rockdale began the restart with Michael Neill attempting to elude the pervasive Beattie and the team wanting to gain the match advantage. The team from Ilinden Sports Centre applied pressure but the Wolves would not break. Loe headed out before the Wolves mounted their own attack with Griffin’s cross being headed by Scott, but he could not direct it for the maximum benefit. Jennings made a marauding run up through the middle before getting the ball to Scott. However, nothing of any note was ultimately gained.
A few minutes on, the Wolves won a penalty kick when Jennings forged in the box running onto Scott’s through ball. Liam Wille had earlier brought the ball forward. Rockdale’s custodian Bradasevic was adjudged to have impeded Jennings. Scott took the spot kick and then buried his effort well, low into the right bottom corner of the goal, with Bradasevic diving the opposite way. This conversion brings up Scott’s tally to five goals this campaign. The Wolves had hit the lead.
Later, a long Petkovic throw was hurled into the box and a corner kick resulted. Wada subsequently whipped in the ball. Beattie headed away before a Wada header was directed in this time. Jennings was able to clear. McDonald intercepted the ball off Petkovic before this defender pushed Beattie. Following, a free kick emanated.
Substitute Nav Darjani exploded down side line to keep the Rockdale in line eluding a few players on the way as tried to inject some positivity.
Not long after, Rockdale restored parity. As Rockdale mounted further pressure a cross came in from the right side. McDonald twisted to head the ball high initially. The ball was then headed out by Kelly with Urosevski also vying for the ball at the same instance. The clearance fortuitously fell to Patrick Savor in the centre, on the penalty arc line. He chested the ball down and in the ensuing movement he let fly, with the ball traversing like a bullet to breach the Wolves’ domain in the top right corner
As the game wore on, Rockdale was throwing everything they could muster in their search for a winner. The highest scoring team in the league to this stage of the competition together with Urosevski, the scorer of ten goals and the league’s top scorer, tried to gain traction in the Wolves goal area but Durose was there to thwart every time, getting down to grasp or diving to see off the danger. Substitute Stefan Dimoski, from an acute angle took a shot that was tantalizingly wide while Liam Wille and Ethan Kambisios were tackling and winning the ball as well as shutting down offensive manouvres in the midfield doing their utmost as Rockdale kept their foot on the throttle.
The Wolves’ sterling defensive structure held sway during the match minutes keeping Rockdale scoreless for the first stanza, bucking the previous rounds trend of conceding early. The team had their chances after the penalty goal but could not put them away. The Wolves fielded a number of young guns and they more than held their own against a tough opponent. Rockdale for their part had a lot of territory and possession but could not convert this into goals and breach the defense other than the one instance that the team accomplished. Rockdale now are in third position on the ladder while the Wolves remain in seventh, albeit on goal difference.
Coach Luke Wilshire – ‘we did what we needed to do and changing the formation stopped them from getting in behind. It was a tough game.’
Defender Brendan Low - ‘It was a tough one and we got the goal we wanted and we pushed on. They had many chances there at the end but to get a result against a top team was a good effort by all the boys. . … Two wins and a draw in three games in good… I had a good battle with their wing/back (Michael Neill) he has a few years on me. On for next one.’
Custodian Hayden Durose - ‘I do what I can I guess to help the boys out. (Particularly) that one (reflex save) in the second half… The boys did well and they sort of drive me…. They put the pressure on especially in the second half... Taylor and young Dax from the 18s did it pretty well with the things in the air. … Those things happen (The goal from distance)… It was the first time we played in that formation and I think it worked for us against a top team like Rockdale. We have improved in the last three or four weeks and it’s a bit of relief.’
Midfielder Liam Wille - ‘we adapted well though we had players missing. We did well it’s a pity that we did not come out with the goods, but a point is a point. We need the three points next week…. Luke is giving me the opportunity and I am taking it, and the young boys as well. Yeah, Dax saved us a goal and that is what you want from a defender.’
WOLLONGONG WOLVES ……...……1
Lachlan Scott 50’ pen
Patrick Savor 71’
@ ALBERT BUTLER MEMORIAL PARK, KEMBLAWARRA.
SUNDAY 16th May 2021
2.30 p.m. Kick Off
Coach: Luke Wilkshire
23.Hayden Durose (GK) 2.Taylor McDonald 5.Dax Kelly 7.Marcus Beattie 8.Brendan Griffin 11.Leroy Jennings (Jarvis Patterson 90’) 14.Brendan Low 15.Daniel Loe 6.Ethan Kambisios 20.Liam Wille (10.Nav Darjani 59’) 24.Lachlan Scott (Capt.) (3.Stefan Dimoski 75’)
Substitutes not used: 1.RGK Aidan Munford 19.Evan Ball 12.Harrison Taranto
Yellow Cards: Lachlan Scott 34’ Marcus Beattie 69’ Brendan Low 82’
Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Steven Zoric
1.David Bradasevic 2.Daniel Petkovski 3.Michael Neill 4.Mitchell Stamatellis 5.Banri Kanaizumi 6.Daniel Araujo (16.Mo Ahmed 75’) 7.Alec Urosevski 8.Tomoki Wada 9.Bai Antoniou (10.Amaury Gauthier 61’) 14.Brayden Sorge19.Patrick Savor
Substitutes not used: 22.Enrol Ordonez Suarez 23.Jordan Figon 11.Samuel Gulisano
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Assistant Referees: Cameron Wright and Amber Morris
Fourth Official: Emmi Demestre
By Malcolm Rowney