2021 NPL NSW MENS ROUND 3
WOLLONGONG WOLVES v MOUNT DRUITT TOWN RANGERS
WOLVES HIT THREE TO DENY TOWN RANGERS
In a comprehensive performance, the Wollongong Wolves have scored their initial victory in the 2021 campaign when a 3-0 score line shut out the Mount Druitt Town Rangers. It was a match that was played in rain from about the thirty-five minute mark, which got heavier in the second half and lasted until near full time. All the goals were scored in the second half as Hamish Lamberton, Darcy Madden and Lachlan Scott all opened their season’s account through well-taken opportunities.
Coach Luke Wilkshire had tweaked the line-up for this match with Hamish Lamberton, Fletcher McFarlane and goalkeeper Hayden Durose starting and these changes certainly aided the performance. Durose was safe in guarding his domain to produce a clean sheet, Lamberton was full of running and scored as a bonus and McFarlane impressed in the midfield with his ball winning style and effervescent running.
The Wolves began with the kick off and ran towards the southern goal. Once Mt Druitt had gained the ball, former A-League player Marc Warren produced a shot on target to test Durose. The Wolves central defender, Nikola Djordjevic intercepted near the halfway to assist in mounting his team’s early attacking foray and Warren bumped off Marcus Beattie to alleviate any danger. Mitchell Smith, the scorer of four goals in 2020 with another club and one this season looked to goal early in the fourth minute only for Durose to take low down and thwart. Darcy Madden in the central defence to partner Djordjevic played safety first as the Town Rangers dangerous player John Roberts looked to take advantage. Before long, Leroy Jennings put one of his many shots into the Mt Druitt domain with the custodian Carlos Saliadarre equal to the equal to the task on this first occasion.
These early skirmishes showed that each team was not going to shirk their duties. The Wolves were after an initial win and Mt. Druitt had garnered a victory in their previous outing and wanted same.
The Wolves’ goal scorer of the previous week was Taylor McDonald, with his cross finding Lamberton, but alas he could not direct his header to where he intended. In the twelfth minute, Jennings hit his effort on target but Saliadarre took it gratefully. A Blake Thompson subsequently effort flew over. Djordjevic cleared a dangerous low Jason Perez cross and the intensity of the match rose. Warren showed persistence as he lost possession down the left but recovered to win the ball back. Smith, subsequently hit one of his free kicks, wide.
The Wolves’ midfielder Brendan Griffin was winning his fair share of possession with superb tackling and the provision of incisive passing, moved the ball to Beattie in space. He in turn showed a clean pair of heels before setting up Lamberton to shoot. Unfortunately his shot flew high. Tarek Elrich, the second player with A-League history in the Town Ranger’s line-up, intercepted a Scott cross.
Durose shoed his anticipatory powers when he charged out to sweep before Roberts could run it down. Earlier, a Town Rangers corner taken by Fumoto Kamada was whipped in just after the half hour. Smith met the ball and ploughed it wide of the post. Rain then began to fall and Bilal Belkadi moved in before Smith to alleviate any threat.
Later in the half, Mount Druitt went close agonisingly close to gaining the lead. Two shots threatened with the second of these seeing Djordjevic saving the day with a clearance off the line.
Both teams were working to their utmost in the first half as they strived for the game breaker. Opportunities were there for the taking. With raining pouring down at the half time break, it was even Stevens with the promise of more to come.
The second half began and three minutes later Lamberton scored his first for the club. With an injury riddled 2020 season, not to mention Covid 19, Lamberton has made up for lost time with his opportune strike and it could not have come at a better moment. He was electric in this game. Scott went down the left channel shrugging off Siolomon-Johnn Monahan-Vaiika in the process. He spied Lamberton’s run in support before relaying the ball to him. The midfielder in the centre made no mistake being cool under pressure, as his left footed shot beat the hitherto unbeaten Saliadarre.
Despite this setback, Mt Druitt refused to lie down. Roberts kept endeavouring to provide options in attack for his team and never gave up the ghost. Following an Elrich free kick Roberts made a play, but the Wolves recovered succinctly and following, Lamberton made a good run up field before slotting the ball across the goal. Beattie, who harried and put pressure on the opposition throughout the proceedings, lunged desperately for the ball but could not elicit contact.
The conditions changed as a consequence of the rain with the field becoming greasy and slippery.
Madden cleared in defence and McFarlane won the ball in tackle before being inconvenienced to win a free kick. Elrich headed out a Jennings free kick.
The Wolves went another goal in front when Darcy Madden hit the ball from the right side of the penalty area after Mt.Druitt could not effectively clear. Madden brought his impressive performance to further fruition by scoring his eighth league goal for the club by rifling the ball home. Lamberton had produced a shot following Jennings left field corner kick, which was headed out, to where Lamberton was standing. Saliadarre kept out his left-footed effort. However, he could not hold the ball and it fortuitously found Madden. He did the rest.
It was in the seventy-first minute when captain Scott scored his first for the season. McFarlane had slotted a pass out to McDonald. He moved down the right before sending to ball back into the middle. Scott met the ball first time and his right-footed effort lodged into the goal at the near post. (Saliadarre’s right post.)
Wolves’ substitute Van Elia looked to have his effort count on the scoresheet only for Travis Oughtred to hook the ball off the line.
The Wolves had another chance for number four as substitute Stephan Dimoski eluded a defender with deft skill before he blazed over. Prior, a Mt Druitt corner kick saw Kamada flashing his shot wide.
Three minutes additional time was run down with the Wolves being triumphant and Mt Druitt suffering their first defeat.
Luke Wilkshire - ‘it was important and we needed to get that first win. The confidence is there and obviously scoring goals helps. There is quality and we know how we can play. We have to have that hunger and aggression. Everyone has their roles and duties and they carried them out very well. Overall we definitely deserved that win. …. They are working hard to get into the team. We have a good squad.’
Goal scorer Darcy Madden - ‘yes performance is the right word regardless of the score line. We are most happy with how we applied ourselves, not just on the ball but also off the ball with intensity and when that all comes together we can dominate as we did. A 3-0 is a fair result . . . We practice our set pieces and they are a big part of the game and it keeps us on our toes. …It was a poach but it counts at the end of the day.’
Goal scorer Hamish Lamberton - ‘it was a very long year last year and I am actually loving it this year…I am getting to different levels now and a lot more comfortable on the pitch so I am ready for this year…It was a big step up from what we have been playing and we can go on…. So glad to get a start. Coming off the bench has been hard, especially when we have been chasing the game…. We had a good first half with the chances and came out in the second firing…. It was my first goal for the club and it was a long time waiting and I couldn’t be happier.
WOLLONGONG WOLVES ……...………….3
Hamish Lamberton 48’ Darcy Madden 59 Lachlan Scott 71’
MOUNT DRUITT TOWN RANGERS…….…0
@ ALBERT BUTLER MEMORIAL PARK
SUNDAY 14th March 2021
2.30 p.m. Kick Off
Coach: Luke Wilkshire
23.Hayden Durose 2.Taylor McDonald 3.Darcy Madden 4.Nicola Djordjevic 18.Hamish Lamberton (10.Van Elia 67’) 7.Marcus Beattie 16.Fletcher McFarlane
8.Brendan Griffin 11.Leroy Jennings (17.Jake Lavalle 76’) 19.Bilal Belkadi 24.Lachlan Scott (Capt.) (13.Stephan Dimoski)
Substitutes not used: 1.Aidan Munford 12.Harrison Taranto 5.Ethan Kambisios
Yellow Cards: Taylor McDonald 21’ Fletcher McFarlane 44’
Red Cards: Nil
MOUNT DRUITT TOWN RANGERS
Coach: Stewart Montgomery
1.Carlos Saliadarre 2.Solomon-Johnn Monahan-Vaiika 3.Travis Oughtred 4.Mitchell Smith (5.George Tuson-Firth 64’) 6.Blake Thompson, 8.Jason Perez (10.Takuomo Tsujimura ‘64), 9.John Roberts 14.Fumoto Kamada 17.Cooper Cosherie (Andre Cavallaro 67’) 33.Marc Warren (18.Jared Macerola 67’)
Substitutes not used: 12.Brendan Allen, 19. Riley Ellem
Yellow Cards: Solomon –Johnn Monahan-Vaiika 39’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Katie Patterson
Assistant Referees: C. Wright, M. Staples
Fourth Official: H. Al-Nakeeb
By Malcolm Rowney