2021 NPL NSW MENS 1 ROUND 17
WOLLONGONG WOLVES v MARCONI STALLIONS
In a match with some controversial moments, Marconi, by virtue of a penalty kick conversion, ran out the winners 1-0 in a toughly fought out battle with the Wollongong Wolves.
The Wolves had much of the important play in the first half, displaying determination and grit with strong interplay in equal measure to counteract Marconi’s style of play. The Wolves were attempting to shrug off the perpetual slow starts of previous matches in this 2021 campaign and in this match did so but could not garner a goal.
With the wind in attendance top have an impact, Marconi kicked off with the Wolves running in the northerly direction. The Wolves began strongly and before too long, Stefan Dimoski on the right set up Liam Wille to produce a shot that alas, went wide. Ethan Kambisios moved in quickly to win the ball in a strong tackle before later, Marconi’s Anthony Frangie swept the ball in with Taylor McDonald and captain for the day, moving in quickly to deny. Willie put a through pass to split the defence into space for Marcus Beattie to run onto. However, he could not reach it and Marconi recovered. Wolves custodian Hayden Durose collected the ball after Mitch Mallia had set up Marko Jesic, the club’s top scorer by jumping and grasping the ball over Jesic’s head.
The Wolves had the ball in the back of the net with Fletcher MacFarlane and Stefan Dimoski being close at hand to the goal with one getting the final touch. However, the offside flag was up and the ‘goal’ was overturned.
Two Leroy Jennings’ free kicks in a few minutes between had Marconi at the ready and they coped, with Connor Evans heading out the second. Marcus Beattie hit a shot skywards and McDonald cleared as Chris Hatfield, the scorer of three goals in a two successive matches in earlier rounds, beared down and look to add to his tally.
With five minutes left on the clock, Durose punched out a Jesic corner kick that was swept in and McDonald intervened to further frustrate Jesic.
Kambisios had the last word to stop Hatfield in his tracks as he twisted and turned to cause trouble. Mallia was in the prime position to score from close range only for Durose to keep him at bay. A Jennings' free kick did clear the first man in defence with Connor Evans heading away. Evans was at the other end enacting an attack only for MacFarlane to intercept with a good header.
Central defender Nikola Djordjevic made his presence known with sterling defence and using long precise passes in order to produce attacking forays
At the break it was even Stevens.
In the beginning of the second stanza, both teams had all to play for with the Wolves looking to secure a second win on the trot and Marconi to win and not draw their eleventh game. However it was the Wolves that made the early running with Beattie and Wille combining to get the ball across the goal but nothing of any consequence emanated. Not long after, Beattie shaped to shoot but Giorgio Speranza was able to block before Wille, who throughout his stint was impressive, came in from the left but his shot was blocked also. In scant time Jennings moved the ball from the right to Wille. He, however, could not make this effort count.
Marconi’s Anthony Frangie worked his way forward and from outside the penalty area his targeted shot was tipped over with Durose to the fore with a top classed save. Prior, Evan Ball was there to defuse a Marconi attack by headed away to safety. A Mitch Mallia corner kick was headed away by McDonald before Mallia worked his way inward from the right side but Durose thwarted him. With another corner kick in close succession, Durose was in the way.
In the fifty-seventh minute, the Wolves had some trouble in getting the ball away from the danger zone after Durose had repelled a Nathan Millgate piled river with Nikola Djordjevic taking the safety first option by heading away to concede a corner kick. Players were sniping for the ball with the upshot that the referee awarded a penalty kick after Mitch Mallia went down under a seemingly innocuous tackle. This decision did seem to go down well with the Wollongong bench. With the club’s highest scoring striker to take the Marconi spot and many Wolves’ supporters willing Durose on to save his fifth penalty this season, Jesic duly netted lodging the ball in the right side of the goal, with Durose diving the opposite way.
Coach Luke Wilshire brought Lachlan Scott on in the express hope of affecting the result and before long, Frangie burst down the left before veering inward. He subsequently produced a powerful shot, which steamed towards the target. Durose dived to his left to keep his domain intact from general play. He produced another save from a Connor Evans attempt. As the match wore on, the Wolves threw everything at Marconi. Bilal Belkadi was winning balls and making forward thrusts down the right and Beattie was ready to cross only to be blocked by Speranza.
Around this time a shower of rain came to grease the surface with players having to adjust. A rainbow appeared in the sky but as this match progressed it was not to be that the Wolves would get the pot of gold. However, the Wolves thought they had struck pay dirt when the Lachlan Scott had pushed the ball home. Jennings had set Beattie alight down the right. When he got close to the bye line he produced a cross crossed that struck a defender with the ball looping high and with Jennings rushing in Vekic could not hold. The ‘goal’ proved not to be.
Substitute Jake Lavalle was in good position to pull the trigger but he could not enact with requisite power, as he would have liked. In the action prior, an appeal for a Marconi handball was not given and play was waved on.
It was a disappointing, frustrating and narrow defeat for the Wolves to swallow and for Marconi, it was satisfying to post a third win after posting ten draws. The Wolves slip to seventh and Marconi occupy ninth position after the results of Round 17 and have a Waratah Cup assignment versus APIA Leichhardt on Wednesday 24th June.
Luke Wilkshire - ‘when you are dominating a game and you don’t score, it’s always a worry and that’s football. With the application and the way we played, the boys deserved more from the game. I will have to take look at It was two clear-cut goals for me’, a penalty that is a penalty and not given and the reason walked off is when you are watching that, it ruins the game and the boys don’t get what they deserve’.
Nikola Djordjevic - ‘There were some scrappy plays here and there and we did not take our chances’. On the penalty conceded? - ‘It’s all about interpretation about what happened… It’s good to be back finally. I had six weeks off but I could have been back in five but I gave it an extra week… I have had a slow start but I’m getting there and I’m trying to pick up my fitness back again… We have been working on slow starts at training and we’ve spoken about being on our marks. We were hungry for it in the first half and we came out hungry for the second but I think fatigue and just the battle (took its toll). There were silly challenges and such. You can blame the ref but ultimately it’s up to us to just play the game as we can.
WOLLONGONG WOLVES ……...……….0
Marko Jesic 59’ pen
@ ALBERT BUTLER MEMORIAL PARK, WARRAWONG.
SUNDAY 20th June 2021
2.30 p.m. Kick Off
Coach: Luke Wilkshire
23.Hayden Durose (GK) 2.Taylor McDonald (Capt.) 4.Nikola Djordjevic 7.Marcus Beattie 11.Leroy Jennings 13.Stefan Dimoski (24.Lachlan Scott 60’) 6.Ethan Kambisios 16. Fletcher McFarlane (Nicolas Duarte 67’) 20.Liam Wille (17.Jake Lavalle 76’ 19.Bilal Belkadi 18.Evan Ball
Substitutes not used: 1.RGK Aidan Munford 5.Dax Kelly 12.Harrison Taranto
Yellow Cards: Ethan Kambisios 14’ Nicholas Duarte 87’
Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Peter Tsekenis
1.Nenad Vekic 2. Nathan Millgate 3.Giorgio Speranza 5.Mark Rodic 7.Christopher Hatfield (32.Jarrod McKinley 90+2) 8.Connor Evans 10.Marko Jesic (Capt.) 11.Mitch Mallia (12.Stefan Nikolic 68’) 14.Anthony Frangie 16.Liam Youlley 19.Zac Cairncross (5.Mason Ingram 76’)
Substitutes not used: 20. RGK Dion Shaw 25.Blake Ilitch 41.Ahmed Taleb
Yellow Cards: Anthony Frangie 29’ Liam Youlley 67’ Nenad Vekic 90+1’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Assistant Referees: Kearney Robinson and H.Fisher
Fourth Official: A. Naji
By Malcolm Rowney