2021 NPL NSW MENS 1 ROUND 15
WOLLONGONG WOLVES v SYDNEY OLYMPIC
It was a day at the office that did not fare too well for the Wolves, with Sydney Olympic exerting their physicality and long ball game to fruition with a 5-1 drubbing. The Wolves were conceding the first goal in a number of matches this season and wanted to finally arrest this problem. However, in this match with Sydney Olympic, the first goal was scored seven minutes in, with this being the earliest of goals conceded this campaign. Olympics’ striker Mohammed Adam scored a brace with his speed on the ball and direct running with this being a feature of his team’s successful venture away from home. Olympic could have at least two more goals in their haul as the goal frame kept out two shots. It was Lachlan Scott’s first half goal that saved the complete blushes for the home team.
The Wolves took to the field with Nikola Djordjevic and Bilal Belkadi coming back from injury after being out of first team action since Round 9 and Round 6 respectively to aid the defence.
With the Wolves running towards the southern end, which was against the norm, Sydney Olympic kicked off. Early on, a long ball was played to Olympics’ Oliver Puflett, the scorer in the previous round and not before long, Mohammed Adam’s shot whacked into the cross bar to display Olympics’ attacking options. A free kick minutes later, saw Brendan Cholakian’s effort grazing the post. It was lucky let off at this time for the Wolves but it heralded portents of what was to come. Puflett and Belkadi had a running battle on the Olympic left side with neither being backward in their approach.
The Wolves left back made a long ground breaking run down the left to finally win a corner kick. Leroy Jennings whipped it in and Liam Wille produced a powerful effort that traversed wide.
The first goal came when Benjamin Van Meurs headed in at the far post from a corner kick. A Brendan Cholakian corner kick was swept in from the left. The ball trevelled to the far post to where Van Meurs was positioned. He vied for the ball in tandem with Djordjevic but the blue and white attired player got more on the ball to project his effort in with the Wolves’ custodian Hayden Durose diving in vain.
It was a Djordjevic intervention kept Olympic at bay before Belkadi cleared. At the opposite end, Marcus Beattie scampered through and was in line for a shot but was forced off his stride.
Durose held a long free kick that was dispatched before fifteen minutes in Scott restored parity. Sorras had spilled a highly lifted Jennings’ free kick with striker reacting quickly to score with the bouncing once before Scott pulled the trigger. He was one player who did not blot his copybook in this encounter.
On the half hour mark, Ethan Kambisios stumbled with ball but he quickly regained his balance to keep possession. The game was a physical confrontation with hard tackles emanating with many free kicks being awarded as a consequence. This disturbed the flow of the match to an extent.
Olympic shot to the lead again when Michael Glassock scored four minutes after the half hour. A Purfleet cross/shot from the left came off the cross bar after he eluded Belkadi and Cholakian picked up the rebound. In possession he turned and persevered in the box with a number of Wolves’ defenders in the vicinity sniping but could not deter the midfielder. He worked his way in the area towards the edge before pushing back a pass to Mohammed Adam near the penalty arc. He subsequently threaded the ball between Jake Lavalle and Djordjevic to Glassock. His first timed effort zoomed into the top right corner to elude the diving Durose.
McDonald tracked Puflett down the left for a number of strides before the wide striker shaped to cross. At this instance, McDonald blocked the danger. In the ensuing action, McDonald outpaced Adam to shield the ball for a goal kick.
At half time Olympic had the advantage and looked likely to keep it.
With two changes being instituted for the second half with Brendan Griffin and Nav Darjani coming on, Sydney Olympic started as strongly as they did at the commencement of the first half. Madonis and Ferreira combined to set the attack in motion, though the Wolves’ Brendan Low ultimately headed away to safety as this time. The Wolves had a golden opportunity in the sixty-fifth minute when Scott worked his way forward with deft skill before delivering the ball to Griffin. He subsequently produced a strong shot which disappointedly went wide. It certainly was not the Wolves day!
It was just four minutes after the resumption of play that Olympic further pressed home their dominance. Adam scored his fifth of the season producing a powerful shot that zoomed into the goal. With Glassock and Cholakian involved in the lead-up, Adam on receipt of Purfleet’s pass set sail forward. He brushed an attempted tackle from Lavalle and kept going before his shot lodged into the goal to sure up his team’s advantage. He is now his club’s top scorer in 2021.
An Olympic free kick by Brendon Cholakian saw Ferreira, the former A-League player with Adelaide United, Sydney FC, Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners pumping a shot in which shot denied Wolves’ shot stopper Hayden Durose. Later, Low cut out a pass to break up an attacking foray before Scott burst down the centre before delivering the ball to Nav Darjani to his left. The midfielder’s shot was unfortunately wide of the mark.
The fourth goal arrived in the eighty-sixth minute when Adam achieved his brace. Nick Kuleski sent a free kick into the box from wide on the right. The Wolves defence had trouble in dealing with this as Van Meurs attempted to get his head to the ball. The ball went to the far post and Matthew Scarcella tried an overhead kick from close range with ball falling back to Adam. Near the six yard line Adam slotted the ball home.
At the other end, Stefan Dimoski for the Wolves shaped to shoot only for Nicola Kuleski to get a foot in to deny.
As play went on with Olympic was intent on keeping their momentum up. Djordjevic intercepted perceptibly as Adam looked to rampage before Scott produced a tremendous shot on target only for the Olympic custodian, Nicholas Sorras to get the slightest of fingertips to the ball to divert it for a corner kick.
As Olympic had quick turnarounds from defence to attack throughout the encounter, Taylor McDonald intercepted as Madonis looked to cause more trouble.
As the minutes ticked by, Madonis scored his team’s fifth goal and his fifth goal of the season. A long Tom Whiteside ball went to the near the Wolves’ penalty area. He controlled the ball bringing it down with two Wolves’ defenders in attendance before slotting a short pass to the right for Madonis. He did extremely well to keep the ball as three defenders were in tow. However, they were unable to stop Madonis and he achieved his goal with Durose unable to prevent.
With three minutes of time added on, Stefan Dimoski had a crack at the goal with a great shot. Sorras however, made a diving effort to keep the ball from breaching his domain.
Many of the Wolves passes did not stick and defending at dead ball situations and other situations exposed them somewhat. This also was the second occasion that five goals have been conceded. Olympics’ highest scoring effort so far this season was this match, scoring two more goals than the previous best. The point’s table position for each team following the conclusion of this match is Wolves in 8th and Olympic in 5th.
Luke Wilkshire – ‘it was not a result and not a performance…. We were not at the races. It’s at every set piece that we look like conceding goals. We can’t attack the ball, we can’t win balls in the area or deal with long balls. The start was slow again. The first goal comes from a wide free kick into the box that we didn’t deal with, it went out for a corner and then with the corner we don’t deal with it. It is basic, very basic for me…my session plans will be easy. I’ll just be lumping balls into the box and have players try to deal with them, because that’s what it has come to at the moment….I’m very disappointed There’s no denying it, it was not good enough
Bilal Belkadi – ‘it was good to be back but not today but we will go next week.’
WOLLONGONG WOLVES ……...……….1
Lachlan Scott 15’
Benjamin Van Meurs 7’ Michael Glassock 34’ Mohammed Adam 50’ 86’ Jason Madonis 90’
@ ALBERT BUTLER MEMORIAL PARK, KEMBLAWARRA.
SUNDAY 6th June 2021
2.30 p.m. Kick Off
Coach: Luke Wilkshire
23.Hayden Durose (GK) 2.Taylor McDonald 4.Nikola Djordjevic 7.Marcus Beattie 11.Leroy Jennings 17.Jake Lavalle (3.Stefan Dimoski 60’) 6.Ethan Kambisios (8.Brendan Griffin 46’) Liam Wille (10.Nav Darjani 46’) 24.Lachlan Scott (Capt.) 14.Brendan Low 19.Bilal Belkadi
Substitutes not used: 1.RGK Aidan Munford 5.Dax Kelly 19.Evan Ball
Yellow Cards: Ethan Kambisios 13’Nikola Djordjevic 45+1’ Brendan Low 60’ Leroy Jennings 71’
Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Ante Juric
1.Nicholas Sorass 2.Thomas Whiteside 4.Benjamin Van Meurs 5.Michael Glassock 8.Jason Madonis 9.Oliver Puflett (6.Nikola Kuleski 75’) 10.Brendan Cholakian 22.Fabio Ferreira 23.Daniel Dias 21.Fabian Monge 22.Fabio Ferreira (36.Matthew Scarcella 84’) 35.Mohamed Adam.
Substitutes not used: 20.RGK Luke Kairies 19.Darcy Burgess, 17.Marley Peterson 24.Christopher Gligor
Yellow Cards: Brendan Chalokian 86’ Michael Glassock 88’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Tim Danaskos
Assistant Referees: Janush Adabjou and Emma Kocbek
Fourth Official: L. Lavigne
By Malcolm Rowney