2022 NPL NSW MENS 1 ROUND 10  

 

WOLLONGONG WOLVES v BLACKTOWN CITY  

                  

WOLVES SURPRISE BLACKTOWN 

 

The Wollongong Wolves returned to the winner’s circle for the first since the last victory in Round 8 with an emphatic win over the strong Blacktown City side. This was a battle between a ninth placed versus one in third position with the former winning 3-1 with goals to Peter Simonoski, Leroy Jennings and Lachlan Scott, with Mitch Mallia replying for Blacktown. This was the Wolves third victory of the season and Blacktown’s third defeat. Blacktown also played with man down following a send off in the seventy-third minute. 

 

The Wolves were running towards the southern stand as Blacktown kicked off proceedings.  The home team started quickly and before too long Scott was barrelled over just outside in the box in this first minute attacking foray. Blacktown defender Daniel Collins received a yellow card for his untoward act and this would have ramifications later on. Jennings took the free kick but it unfortunately went straight into the arms of custodian Alex Robinson. Senna Stevenson plucked out a loose ball to put Darcy Madden on an attacking run and Blacktown then mounted an offense as Dakota Askew put in a cross. Unfortunately for him, Banri Kanaizumi intervened with a clearance header. Kanaizumi did likewise scant time later though it was Hiroaki Aoyama who whipped the ball in. Six minutes in Jennings, through Tsujimura and Madden, placed his shot wide of the mark. The away team mustered pressure for a time with an Adam Berry assist for Jordan Smylie, the top scorer for his team. His header went high. Jak O’Brien played the ball back to Aoyama, but he skied his chance also. 

   

A gift of a ball following a Wolves’ clearance allowed Askew to take advantage. However, despite this opportunity, he could not make the Wolves pay. 

Jennings produced a shot on the turn that Robinson took low. Greg Lynch brought the ball forward a ways before sending the ball onto O’Brien. He twisted a turned, but could not breach the Wolves’ defence.  

  

The best opportunity for Blacktown to get on the score sheet was through Mallia on twenty-one minutes.  He got the benefit of a high ball and he worked to be one on one with Durose. The Wolves’ custodian managed to see off the threat by pushing it wide. 

 

Things got somewhat heated just after the half hour with many players involved following a tackle. However, it was sorted with two Wolves’ players being booked only. 

 

For a final throw at the dice in the first half, Mallia, a former Sydney FC player and Marconi, placed a cross into the box. Jackson Bandiera met it but he could not produce the desired outcome.  

 

Blacktown used their physicality to their advantage, but the Wolves were withstanding this and were not undaunted.  

 

It was a nil nil draw at half time. 

 

 

Littler made a run up the field on fifty minutes. As he was about to unleash a shot, he was blocked and at the other end an Askew cross was intercepted by Madden. 

 

First blood was about to be taken.  

 

On the fifty-first minute, Banri Kanaizumi headed out Jordan Smylie’s left field cross.  The loose ball had Simonoski and Dakota Askew vying for it, however Tsujimura gained possession. He then pushed it forward for Scott, who moved for a few strides with a Blacktown player in tow. He subsequently slipped it out to the left for Joshua Macdonald. Progressing forward from his own half he angled the ball to the right for Simonoski with his back to goal. He took a few touches as he moved from left to right before turning to send a rocket into the top right corner of the goal.  This was his second goal of the season and what a goal for his team to hit the lead and stun the visitors.    

 

Blacktown looked to restore parity when Askew put in a teasing cross. Durose plucked it out of the air to put paid to this attempt. The attacker, Smylie went off and Charles Mendy entered the field and he made his presence felt down the left.  

 

Durose coolly came out of his area to slip the ball to Stevenson to cut off a threat before saving gallantly from a Berry effort. The Wolves were coping with what Blacktown had to offer and were testing the opposition. Two minutes after the hour, Mendy went down the left wing before crossing for Mallia. His effort traversed wide of the target.  However, he was not to be denied for much longer.   

 

Blacktown replied when Askew put a high ball to Mallia on the right. He sent a Wolves defender the wrong way before turning to get the ball on his left. When he did so, he lashed the ball in for the ball hit inside goal netting. It was even Stevens again. 

 

The Wolves were not taking matters lightly and Macdonald looked to get on the score sheet from close vicinity. Unfortunately, Robinson thwarted.  

 

In a movement involving Guy Knight, Macdonald and Simonoski earlier, Tsujimura ultimately pushed the ball to Scott. He placed it judiciously across the face of goal while Jennings moved to the far post.  He reached the position to knock the ball in with his left foot to score against his former club with his second goal of the season.  

 

Substitute Nicholas Berry trod on the ball in the box in the seventy-seventh minute, which could have caused a dangerous situation, had there been opposition players in the vicinity. However, he got away scot free.   

 

Senna Stevenson sent the ball up to Scott who was in the penalty area. His back was to the goal with a defender directly behind him.  As Macdonald joined the fray, Scott dragged the ball backwards for him to take possession. He then pulled it back for Scott, who buried his opportunity for his team’s third goal and his sixth of this campaign. 

 

With seven minutes to go, Durose made a top save to deny Blacktown by diving to push the ball out under pressure. Mallia hit the ball wide.  

 

This was a top performance from the Wolves to defeat a high flying team with commitment, resolve and execution. Blacktown had their opportunities as good teams do, but could not keep out the opposition. 

 

Coach Luke Wilkshire - ‘it was always going to be tough, there are no easy games in this league. We showed a lot of character and the quality that we do have in getting those goals  … You have to play the way you want to play and be brave and I thought we did that, but of course we can still be better in areas with some things to work on…. It is a massive win, we needed it.. Two wins in a week and we need to go on with it… In the second half, we really went in and caused them problems. Lachie and Josh had to be a little more direct with the quality that they have got.’   

 

First Goal scorer Peter Simonoski ‘it was great win… The goal was coming. I had a few chances the last couple of weeks and things have not been going our way. We have been playing well…. We were a bit under the pump in the first half but we hung in and we had to take our chances in the second half and we did…it was a very physical game, but we take the three points.   We have a good record here at home and hopefully we can keep winning.’  For his goal –‘ Some-one said to turn, so I thought I will back myself and hit it. I will take it... Hopefully they (goals) keep coming and we were will get a few more wins.’  

 

Second goal scorer Leroy Jennings – ‘it has been tough two weeks with all the games we have played. I think the boys who had a bit of a rest from the Australia Cup game we had time to re-group and really focus on this. It is a tough time of year.   We dug deep and played for each other and got the result …. You are always going to get the extra motivation playing against your ex club….  It was definitely a tough game. They played hard and we played hard and it was a game you wanted to win.  It was rough on both sides and we are a tough team …. I was sniffing around and it one of those games you don’t have much time on the ball. You really have to fine the little spaces... I thought it (the goal) was coming… I’m happy to get the goal and the points against a good side.’ 

 

MATCH STATISTICS 

 

WOLLONGONG WOLVES …………………..3 

 

Peter Simonoski 51’ Leroy Jennings 75’ Lachlan Scott 82’ 

 

BLACKTOWN CITY …………..……………….1 

 

Mitch Mallia 66’ 

 

 

@ WIN STADIUM, WOLLONGONG. 

 

FRIDAY 6th May 2022 

 

7.30 p.m. Kick Off 

 

WOLLONGONG WOLVES 

 

Coach: Luke Wilkshire   

 

1.Hayden Durose (GK) 3.Darcy Madden 5.Banri Kanaizumi 6.Senna Stevenson 9.Peter Simonoski (14.Nicholas Duarte 85’ (10.Takumu Tsujimura 11.Josh Macdonald 15.Nick Littler 16.Guy Knight (Capt.) 22.Leroy Jennings (19.Jake Lavalle 90’) 24.Lachlan Scott 

 

Substitutes not used: 13.Thomas Butkovic (RGK0 12.Harrison Taranto 4.Nikola Djordjevic 2.Nicholas Kalule 

 

Yellow Cards: Nick Littler 34’ Peter Simonoski 34’ Lachlan Scott 54’ 

 

Red Cards: Nil 

 

BLACKTOWN CITY 

Coach: Mark Crittenden 

 

30.Alex Robinson (GK) 3. Daniel Collins 4.Lachlan Campbell 5.Grant Lynch (Capt.) 7.Jordan Smylie (21.Charles Mendy 55’) 8.Jak O’Brien (18.Nicholas O’Brien 72’) 11.Mitchell Mallia 17.Dakota Askew 19.Adam Berry 24.Jackson Bandiera (6.Matthew Lewis 65’) 32. Hiroaki Aoyama  

 

Substitutes Not Used: 9.Jake Trew 14.Caleb Jackson-Brown40.Dylan Niski (RGK) 

 

Yellow Cards: Daniel Collins 1’ 73’ 

 

Red Cards: Daniel Collins 73’ 

 

 

Referee: Adrian Arndt 

 

Assistant Referees: Brodie Merchant, Matt Staples 

 

4th Official: Aaron Bloch  

 

By Malcolm Rowney