This Wollongong Wolves versus Sydney United 58 was a match played on artificial turf with teeming rain throughout proceedings. Ball handling for the custodians was somewhat tenuous as both custodians at times mishandled, and the ball skipped off the surface in quick time in open play.   However, seven goals were scored in total with three to the Wolves and four to Sydney United, the team that finally emerged the victors. Both teams needed the victory to continue a climb up the ladder from eighth and ninth positions that were occupied prior to this encounter.


Sydney United kick off and the Wolves were running towards the northern end. The away team was quick off the blocks though striker United Chris Payne was caught off side in the first minute.


It was only three minutes when Sydney United achieved their first goal and go to an early lead. A long ball came from a Sydney United free kick in their own half.  Tariq Maia received a pass on the Wolves side of half way. He lifted the ball forward. Chris Payne threw out his leg in order to control. He made contact but the ball rolled forward into the box.  Wolves’ custodian Hayden Durose came out to smother the ball. Unfortunately it slipped from his grasp as he was on the deck and it ran loose. Striker Patrick Antelmi got his foot to the ball as Nick Littler came in with a tackle but the central defender could not prevent the ball from entering the open goal as another Wolves slid trying to clear off the line, but in vain. Antelmi sustained an injury as he scored.    


Five minutes in, the Wolves were presented with an opportunity. Scott pushed the ball out to Darcy Madden on the right wing. He crossed with a high ball travelling for Joshua Macdonald. He could not get adequate power on his header as he went between tow defenders. The Sydney United custodian Danijel Nizic took the bouncing ball with relative ease.


One minute later, Antelmi passed to Jordan Roberts and his effort was powerfully hit but failed to bring up the desired outcome. Senna Stevenson blocked an attempted Chris Payne cross from near the corner flag.


The first corner kick for the away team was enacted in the twelve minute. Glen Trifiro whipped it in. Devante Clut produced a follow up shot, which went out for a throw in.  Banri Kanaizumi stretched to intercept a dangerous foray.


The Wolves’ Leroy Jennings won a free kick just outside the box as his shirt was tugged to thwart his progress. A scramble in the box emanated but in the final up shot at this time, Nizic was able to gain a grasp.


A minute shy of the quarter of an hour, the Wolves had their first corner kick with Macdonald curling it in, but nothing of any consequence followed. Kanaizumi beat Tariq Maia to the ball to defray a further attack. Sydney United 58 possessed all the second balls at this stage of the game, which gave them an advantage in possession.


Antelmi chested the ball down in the twentieth minute. Maia became the recipient who then burst into the box. Stevenson attempted a tackle on Maia with the ball going to the left for Antelmi as a consequence. The subsequently shot, with a deflection on the way through, giving the diving Durose little chance in stopping the ball. Antelmi had achieved his brace, which were his fourth and fifth goals of the campaign.


A Lachlan Scott targeted shot was initially spilled by Nizic. Before any one could react, the custodian regathered it. A Kanaizumi clearance header went to Takumi Tsujimura but before he could impose himself, Yianni Fragogiannis took control.


The Wolves got one back a headed clearance by Sydney United was headed back in by Littler. Lachlan Scott took possession and eluded a couple of players with deft skill, as he weaved his way closer to goal, Nizic came off his line. Scott angled his shot to go into the right side of the goal frame five minute after the half hour to beat the custodian.  This eventuated four minutes past the half hour.


Nick Littler was to the fore in cutting out an Incisive United pass. Scott shot from distance and Nizic answered with a diving save. A further Scott shot skidded off the surface but Nizic was there to repel the effort.


Littler won the ball at the back from Antelmi, before dispatching it up to Joshua Macdonald. He in turn passed to his right for Darcy Madden who returned the ball from whence it came. Macdonald passed to Leroy Jennings who tussled for the ball with Sydney United Yianni Perkatis. Jennings won out and progressed a few strides before launching a torpedo like shot, which zoomed into the goal. He was positioned a couple of metres outside the penalty when he shot. The Wolves now had restored parity with a resilience and belief.


Durose produced a top save to deny Antelmi a minute before the half time break. Antelmi twisted and turned to put a bouncing shot before later, a Littler pass went straight to Antelmi. He in turn sent it back. 


At the break, it was 2-2.


Darcy Madden began the second half with a run down the right. He crossed and Jennings had the goal in his sights but unfortunately it traversed wide. At the other end, Perkatis blazed over. A left footed Jennings shot went by the right post.


The Wolves went to the front six minutes after the resumption of play. Takuma Tsujimura controlled the ball after a Sydney United player headed it to his position and as it bounced he sent it forward to Peter Simonoski who then played it out to right for Madden. He crossed from the right to the left side where Tsujimura headed the ball back. Scott from close vicinity took control with two defenders also in attendance. However, Scott won out and projected the ball into the goal.


The Wolves had reached the lead for the first time in the match.


The Wolves scrambled well to deny Payne and Antelmi with blocked efforts before Antelmi succumbed to his early injury with Kyle Cimenti coming on. Guy Knight won out in a tackle as United looked to create further offensive manoeuvres. Peter Simonoski charged forward with an impressive run, only to place the ball high above the goal.


Durose produced another fine save and came off his line quickly to thwart Payne.


It was brought back to even Stevens on sixty-seven minutes. Substitute Marcic had an attempt that Durose went to take. The ball ran free and Chris Payne had charged in to take control and subsequently slot the ball home. This was Payne’s second brace this season.


Sydney United went awfully close to scoring a winner when a Jordan Roberts effort cannoned off the cross bar.


The winning goal happened from the penalty spot after Littler was adjudged of inconveniencing substitute Kyle Cimenti with six minutes to spare. He gesticulated and debated with the referee that the infringement was outside the box. Payne thumped the resultant spot kick high into the inside roof of the net.


With six minutes left on the clock, neither team could achieve another goal on the scorecard. The away team had taken the spoils and for the home team, it was a lost opportunity. With this defeat, Sydney United has denied the Wolves on seven occasions in the last nine matches including finals, (with two draws) with last victory being in Round 17, 2019.


The Wolves central defender Nick Littler - ‘the first twenty minutes we did not do ourselves any favours and we copped two goals.  We continued to fight and got back. We were unreal in the second half and put them to the sword.  We shot ourselves in the foot again. I thought (his tackle) was outside the box but that is just my opinion.  It definitely got away from me and I thought I was going to get and it hard to make it up at that time of the game…. The rain definitely played a part… When it is dry, the ball holds up and when is wet, it keeps going and going.’


Wolves’ custodian Hayden Durose - ‘it was disappointing to lose after we had come back. The conditions were not good.’  


Sydney United brace scorer (and former Wolves player from 2018) Patrick Antelmi- ‘it was a tough game in tough conditions and the boys pulled out a great win.  We needed it after four or five weeks of not getting the results and we have turned it around… We got what we wanted and hopefully we can go on with it.  The boys did very well with discipline and we got the three points away so that’s what counts.’   







Lachlan Scott 35’, 51, Leroy Jennings 43’


SYDNEY UNITED 58…………………………..4


Patrick Antelmi 3’ 20’ Chris Payne 67’ 84’




SUNDAY 22nd May 2022


7.00 p.m. Kick Off




Coach: Luke Wilkshire 


1.Hayden Durose (GK) 3.Darcy Madden 5.Banri Kanaizumi 6.Senna Stevenson (Kuot Maliet 69’)  9.Peter Simonoski (4.Nicholas Duarte 74’) 10.Takumu Tsujimura 11.Josh Macdonald 15.Nick Littler 16.Guy Knight (Capt.) 24.Lachlan Scott 22.Leroy Jennings.


Substitutes not used: 13.Thomas Butkovic (RGK) 12.Harrison Taranto 19.Jake Lavalle


Yellow Cards: Joshua Macdonald 32’,


Red Cards: nil




Coach Miro Vlastelica


1.Danijel Nizic 3.Jordan Roberts  4.Adrian Vlastelica (Capt.)  6.Chris Payne, 9.Patrick Antelmi (Jacob Poscoliero 52’)  10.Devante Clut (5.Anthony Tomelic 61’) 11.Yianni Perkatis 15.Tariq Maia (8.Kyle Cimenti 52’)  17.Matthew Bilic 18.Glen Trifiro (Mihael Marcic 61’) (Jordan Ivancic 90’) 22.Yianni Fragogiannis.


Substitutes Not Used: 94.Joel Bartley RGK



Yellow Cards: Adrian Vlastelica 34’ Mihael Marcic 76’


Red Card: nil


Referee: Adrian Arndt


Assistant Referees: Matt Staples and Brodie Merchant


4th Official: Hadi Al-Nakeeb



By Malcolm Rowney