2022 NPL NSW MENS 1 ROUND 11
SUTHERLAND SHARKS v WOLLONGONG WOLVES
WOLVES GRIND OUT WIN OVER SHARKS
The Wollongong Wolves achieved their second win in succession to continue the rise up the table after accounting for the Sutherland Sharks 1-0 in adverse circumstances. After a goal less first half with disjointed play from both sides, the Wolves were a player down following a send off in the second half, but galvanised into action to score through a superb strike by Joshua Macdonald, a just reward for his enterprising play of late. The team had to overcome immense pressure on their domain as the Sharks put everything on the line in order to get an equaliser. Alas, it was all in vain for the home side with the defence from the Wolves stayed strong to keep the Sharks at bay.
Sutherland kicked off proceedings with the Wolves running towards the northern end. The Shark’s Chris Lindsay worked his way down the left side to start things off before Darcy Madden intercepted a cross from Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu, who made his presence throughout the game with his directness. The Sharks had the early territorial advantage. The Wolves’ Leroy Jennings looked to get his team on the attack by bringing the ball down the left until Lindsay intervened.
The first corner of the match was to the Wolves, after twelve minutes. Macdonald put the ball in and it was subsequently cleared. Takumu Tsujimura tried a forceful shot from distance, only for the custodian Jacob Cremen-Cowan to take at his second attempt.
A twenty-second minute action involved Jennings as he bobbed and weaved before dispatching a shot on the turn. The ball took a deflection and Cremen-Cowan managed to pull it in.
The first Sharks corner kick was late in the half, taken by Lindsay with the Wolves’ custodian Hayden Durose to the fore, by punching out. Lachlan Everrett took a touch with the running away a liitle before Tsujimura took it away.
The first half was devoid of gilt edged scoring opportunities as neither side could put their stamp on the game. Sutherland was giving the Wolves any time to settle into their rhythm, as they were moving up quickly when the Wolves were in possession. Many passes were going astray and some were put over the sideline when unchallenged and this lead to somewhat scrappy play.
At half time it was nil apiece.
The Wolves began an early foray when Macdonald burst into the penalty area tracked by defender Gabriel Contigiani. As the attacker was about to cross, the defender stuck out a foot to block.
Both side sides were looking for the game breaker and despite the better opportunities that were being presented.
The Sharks employed a long over the top pass intended for James Andrew. He gained possession to ultimately shoot. However, the scorer of four previous goals this season, failed to bring up the desired outcome and increase his tally.
Minutes later, Andrew was tackled in the box and appeals rung out for a penalty kick. They went unheeded.
The Wolves central defending pair Banri Kanaizumi and Nick Littler were holding their own and defending stoutly and effectively. Littler in the fifty-first minute took the ball from Andrew to see off the clear and present danger.
The Wolves’ Lachlan Scott headed to ball down to take control only for his resultant shot to skew of his boot. At the other end, Everett stabbed the ball in on target with Durose right there to grasp. From a subsequent Macdonald free kick from the right Littler got his head to the ball, but could not direct it to where he wanted.
It was just after the hour that things went from bad to worse for the Wolves. Jennings and Nick Sullivan tussled for the ball with the following retaliatory action by Jennings was deemed to be dangerous. A second yellow card was produced followed instantly by a red. The Wolves now were reduced to a ten man team.
A minute later following the ensuing free kick, Everett made a little progress forward before lifting the ball. It rebounded off Tsujimura Senna Stevenson ploughed it up field. Scott and Contigiani vied for the ball together. However, Scott held his ground before pushing the ball ahead to Macdonald who had run from behind on the left. Scott had directed the ball between two Sharks’ defenders. Macdonald made on touch on the edge of the goal area left of centre and let the ball run. The custodian advanced and spread his legs and Macdonald’s right-footed effort picked his spot, placing it into the goal for his third goal and important one at that.
In the sixty-fifth minute, Macdonald made another foray down the left and Contigiani took the ball to defuse the threat that Macdonald posed.
The Sharks in the final twenty minutes endeavoured to find a way through the Wollongong defence and tried to stretch them. Ahmed-Shaibu was close to goal for a header. However, he could not keep it down with the ball going skywards. Andrew headed a cross from Michael Neill and Lindsay got on the end of a free kick, but Durose was equal to the task. Contigiani blazed over and a Lindsay cross fell into Durose’s arms. The Sharks were spaying the ball in at every opportunity and Durose and Littler especially were keeping their domain intact. Five minutes before the end of ninety minutes, Durose could not keep the ball under control for an instance. Lachlan Macdonald the Sharks’ substitute tried to take advantage, but his attempted shot was blocked. Senna Stevenson was in the right position at the right time to clear of the line another of Ahmed-Shaibu’s efforts.
The Wolves were composed as they went about their defensive duties and all credit to them for the comeback being a man down to get the spoils. This was the fourth win of the season and Sutherland’s eighth loss. Both teams have much to play for in the games to come.
Coach Luke Wilkshire – ‘The send off was disappointing but the final outcome was different and we got the goal and the three points, which was important.’
Goal scorer Josh Macdonald - ‘it was timely, wasn’t it. (The goal) It was unfortunate about the red card with Leroy. It was a bit of a lash out. It is what it is… We were controlling the game from start to finish but I don’t think we were in any danger. We Handled their counter attacks quite well but I won’t say I was lucky. I don’t get too many but I was glad to put that one away and help the boys get three points. It now puts us in a challenging position for the top five. .. The pitch was not the best .. It was a bit of a fight to start with but we overcame the send off, although he is one of our main players and he works a lot for us… You have to lift to another level and we fought at the end to defend. We scrapped and did what we had to do to get the three points.’
WOLLONGONG WOLVES …………………..1
Joshua Macdonald 62’
@ SEYMOUR SHAW PARK, MIRANDA.
SATURDAY 14th May 2022
3.30 p.m. Kick Off
Coaches: Luis Contigiani and Steve Gordon
26.Jacob Cremen-Cowan GK 2.James Baldacchino 3.Gabriel Contigiani 6.Patrick O’Shea 10.Lachlan Everett (99.Lachlan Macdonald) 12.Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu 14.Chris Lindsay 17.James Andrew (9.Jeremy Cox) 22.Nick Sullivan 23. Mark Rodic
Substitutes Not Used: 16.RGK Nathan Denham. 25.Luke Sauer 29.Jacob Tresoglavic, 80.Nelson Lam
Yellow Cards: James Baldacchino 34’ Gabriel Contigiani 34’ Lukman Ahmed –Shaibu 41’ Mark Rodic 53’
Red Card: nil
Coach: Luke Wilkshire
1.Hayden Durose (GK) 3.Darcy Madden 5.Banri Kanaizumi 6.Senna Stevenson 9.Peter Simonoski (4.Nikola Djordjevic) 10.Takumu Tsujimura 11.Josh Macdonald 15.Nick Littler 16.Guy Knight (Capt.) 22.Leroy Jennings 24.Lachlan Scott (14.Nicholas Duarte)
Substitutes not used: 13.Thomas Butkovic (RGK0 12.Harrison Taranto 19.Jake Lavalle
Yellow Cards: Leroy Jennings 46’, 60’ Joshua Macdonald 70’ Guy Knight 90’
Red Cards: Leroy Jennings 60’
Referee: Hassan Jomaa
Assistant Referees: Cameron Wright and Amber Morris
4th Official: Logan Jones
By Malcolm Rowney