2020 NPL NSW MENS 1 ROUND 4
WOLLONGONG WOLVES v NORTH SHORE MARINERS
WOLVES REBOUND AGAINST MARINERS
The Wolves have returned to the winner’s list after accounting for North Shore Mariners in the Round 4 clash by a three goal margin with a brace to the Wolves’ present top scorer, Lachlan Scott, to top off the 4-1 result. It certainly was a different outcome than the earlier meeting back in March. Takeru Okada and Nick Littler added to the score line with North Shore spoiling a Wolves’ clean sheet with a goal through Lawrence Frederick with eleven minutes left on the clock. The Wolves deserved the spoils with a hard earned effort with sparkling attacking football and dependable defence and now occupy second position on the point’s table, one point behind the top team. North Shore seemingly never dropped their heads when the goals went in, but kept working for each other throughout the proceedings to finally get some reward. However, as a consequence of the loss, the team has dropped to twelfth position.
With a second windy match day in succession though with a severe drop in temperature, North Shore kicked off with the Wolves running towards the northern end. The Wolves coach Luke Wilkshire had shuffled the team around with Chris Price at central defender, Taylor McDonald to right defender and Guy Knight to left defender with Marcus Beattie to start. Beattie won an early tackle on the right side and McDonald headed out to defuse a Mariner’s attack and following this a number of throw ins down the right kept the pressure on the opposition defence with tall central defenders Zac Sfiligoi and Jack Musgrove there to steady the Mariners ship.
It was five minutes when the Wolves went ahead. Guy Knight, who during his stint was totally effective with his running with the ball, his incisive passing and ball winning attributes, was involved in assistance when striker Lachlan Scott, slotted the ball home for his third of this truncated season. A Knight throw in went to the goal line and the ball was headed back. The ball was picked up by the scurrying Scott. He immediately shot straight after receipt of the ball. It was subsequently squeezed in at the near post.
After Scott’s goal, lively midfielder and defence splitter Harry Callahan, had a shot blocked by Shore’s Nelson Pyl and later Knight, came back after attacking to dispossess the troublesome Emmanuel Peters.
The Mariner’s attacking weapon, Charlie Williams received the ball with his back to goal. He subsequently turned and fired the ball in. The Wolves’ custodian Hayden Durose was equal to the task. Scant time later, Durose received a back pass under duress but confidently controlled and played out safely.
As a Mariners free kick was pushed in to the Wolves penalty area, Price tackled successfully a looming Daniel Dias before a Pyl pass to Smith was then flung in. Littler was there to clear the presented danger. Beattie produced a shot in the twenty-first minute, which was blocked. The ball rebounded and he then moved it on to Callahan but his offering flew high.
Chances were falling for both teams as the attacks see sawed but they could not be converted until two minutes past the half hour when Scott turned provider. The ball was played out of defence and Scott went along the right sideline. He eluded a defender and came in from the right to put the ball across the face of goal. It went beyond the custodian Ryan Wood before Okada raced in to slot it home, high into the net from close vicinity to add to his previous 2020 tally of one.
Harrison Taranto and McDonald exchanged a number of passes between each other to defuse a Mariners offensive manoeuvre with finesse.
The teams were playing free flowing football with attacks going from one end to the other. The game did not get bogged down though the wind played havoc with high balls. The Wolves broke quickly as Beattie scooted down the right. He picked out Callahan. Unfortunately for the influential midfielder, his shot went over the cross bar. Peters, played a short pass to Mitchell Smith, the club’s top scorer in 2017 and 2019. His effort flew straight to a grateful Durose. A few minutes earlier, Durose had thwarted Charles Williams with a diving save.
At half time the Wolves were in the lead with two to the good and nil in response.
North Shore began the restart with gusto and quickly gained possession following the Wolves kick off. However, it was not long until the Wolves regained possession and went about looking for more goals and to be more brutal in the goal area.
Callahan put a teasing cross in for Beattie but he failed to connect the gilt- edged chance and is still looking to post his initial club goal. At the opposite end, Peters produced a shot that was narrowly wide as Durose was somewhat out of his ground from an earlier offense.
A succession of two James Stojcevski corner kicks kept the Wolves’ momentum going. The first elicited a mad scramble in the box and after the second Littler scored. Stojecevski’s flighted corner kick came in and the Mariners could not extricate the ball from the throng of players. It was headed down and Littler bobbed up to the left of the Mariners’ right post to thread it home.
Smith looked to score when he traversed towards the goal. Just as he was about to let go, Littler arrived to get a boot in at the precise time, with the effort going wide, much to his vexation. Littler was to the fore immediately later as he headed out of defence. On the hour, Smith was again in position to put his team ahead as he was within clear vision of the goal. However, with the target at his mercy, he stuck the ball wide.
In the seventy-ninth minute North Shore reduced the arrears and had something to show for their exertion. Littler’s header out was picked up by substitute Frederick. He set sail for the goal from the left. As Durose advanced, Frederic managed to lift the ball over his head and with assistance from the wind, dipped into open net. Frederick produced a double somersault to celebrate.
From outside the penalty area, Jesse Piriz produced a pile driver that zoomed towards the Wolves goal. Durose was there and his diving save prevented the ball from entering his domain.
Two minutes later, substitute Kambisios blocked Sfiligoi as he looked to his increase his team’s tally and Scott, after Okada flew down the left and passed, shot, but the outcome did not elicit any jubilation.
However, Scott was later successful once again and brought up his second brace of the season when in time added on, the striker scored. Substitute Josh Bingham and Okada were involved in the prelude. Okada’s headed on ball fell to Scott and he punished the Mariners with a right footed drive that narrowly went beyond Wood.
Prior to Scott’s second goal, substitute Bul Juach headed in but there was no joy and Beattie came in from the left and shot. The ball flew across the face of goal with nary a touch.
For the final act of the game, Williams had an opportunity but alas, his effort went wide.
The Wolves, with this winning result, have three victories from four matches and in this eleven round season, early wins on the board are vital and the Wolves are achieving and have to guard against any slip-ups. The North Shore Mariners have failed to garner a victory yet but if they play with conviction, a victory could be around the corner.
Wolves coach Luke Wilkshire - 'what we can be is still more ruthless in front of goal when we get into good areas… We worked on things during the week and I was happy to see that today. I think we could have gone on and got a few more and that is one thing we can take away from this ….It is always disappointing when you concede a goal. We will have to have a look at that. If we turn up, like we can turn up, we can always win games. I think the boys put in a good performance but there is always things you can do better…. It is great to have Pricey back, he was in control there we are lucky that we have great players here.’
Central defender Nick Littler - ‘It was a big bounce back from last week. I thought we controlled most of the game and deserved to win…. It is always nice to get on the score sheet but I would have preferred a clean sheet, but I will take the goal…. I headed it and it fell to him he picked it up and hit it well, a good goal…. They made us work for everything and it wasn’t going to be easy in these kind of conditions but it was well deserved. It was good (playing a new central defender partner), I think maybe once we played together. Every one was solid across the back. It was well deserved performance.’
Central defender Chris Price – ‘with our attacking style of play I quite enjoyed sitting back. We were pretty ordinary and we shot ourselves in the foot last week. We did play to our strengths but we adapted well this week. It is always hard in game like these and we did what we had to do. The conditions were not ideal. It was a scrappy goal to concede but a win is a win.’
WOLLONGONG WOLVES ………………. 4
Lachlan Scott 5’ 90+2’ Takeru Okada 33’ Nick Littler 52’
NORTH SHORE MARINERS………………1
Lawrence Frederic 79’
@ ALBERT BUTLER MEMORIAL PARK, KEMBLAWARRA
23rd August 2020
2.30 p.m. Kick Off
Coach: Luke Wilkshire
23.Hayden Durose 14.Harry Callahan (9.Josh Bingham 85 ’)
15.Nick Littler 16.Guy Knight (Bul Juach 71’) 17.James Stojcevski (Capt.) 11.Takeru Okada 24.Lachlan Scott 10.Marcus Beattie 12.Harrison Taranto (6.Ethan Kambisios 71’) 7.Christopher Price 2.Taylor McDonald.
Substitutes not used: 1.Luke Kairies 20.Liam Wille 4.Nik Djordjevic
Yellow Cards: Harrison Taranto 53’ Ethan Kambisios 73’
Red Cards: Nil
NORTH SHORE MARINERS
Coach: Joe Haywood
1.Ryan Wood (GK) 3.Chris Lindsay 10.Charles Williams 11.Emmanuel Peters 14.Jesse Piriz 16.Daniel Dias (8.Tristen Van Rhoon 73’) 19.Jack Musgrave 22.Eddie Caspers (44.Lawrence Frederick 61’) 30.Zac Sfiligoi 32.Jack McLoughlin (20.Edward Lee 61’) 17.Nelson Pyl 18. Mitchell Smith
Substitutes not used: 40.Joel Tinker (GK) 15.Matin Abroon
Yellow Cards: Daniel Dias 56’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Craig Fisher
Assistant Referees: Hadi Al-Nakeeb, Ivica Povic
By Malcolm Rowney