2020 NPL NSW MENS 1 ROUND 6
WOLLONGONG WOLVES v BLACKTOWN CITY
WOLVES WIN AT HOME
The Wolves have rebounded from a Round 5 defeat with a determined and gutsy performance against the desperate Blacktown City, despatching the opponents to a 2-0 defeat with all goals being scored in the first half. The scorers concerned were Marcus Beattie and Josh Bingham who both broke through for their initial goal for the club in the Mens 1 competition after earlier good attempts in past matches not coming to fruition due to a number of different circumstances. However, that all changed in this match for the better. It was overall an entertaining match with no quarter being given and much action with the Wolves taking their opportunities to maximum benefit to stamp their superiority on the event.
It was the tenth placed Blacktown City who began the proceedings with the fifth placed Wolves running towards the southern end with stiff breeze blowing across the pitch for a third home match in succession. At this stage of the competition, the Blacktown team was eager for a much-needed victory to turn around their hitherto winless campaign. The Wolves began the match with a number of changes from the previous round. A change of custodians was effected with Luke Kairies making his second Mens 1 appearance, with defenders Nick Littler and Chris Price being back after missing the previous game. Striker Thomas James was back on the field for his first match for the Wolves in the 2020 rebooted competition following his frustrating sojourn with Perth Glory. He had formerly scored a brace in the aborted 2020 Round 2 in March and supporters will hope he will many more to his tally. Under 20s Taksuti Nagatsuka was having his initial starting appearance after being a substitute last week.
Blacktown began with early attempts at goal with the initial foray being set up by Grant Lynch from the left side. In another attempt, it was Nik Djordjevic who was instrumental in defusing the situation.
Marcus Beattie, with his quick running to close down players and furthermore harry them, got a foot in as Adam Berry threatened by attempting to thread a pass through.
With a corner kick emanating after the Wolves moved into the menacing position, Takeru Okada’s kick was curled in. Littler rose to connect with the ball, but unfortunately could not direct his header to gain the desired outcome. Scant time later, Littler snuffed out a Jackson Bandiera pass with a good defensive manoeuvre.
In the eighth minute of play, Wolves striker Bingham received a delightful lifted pass from Takeru Okada from wide on the left in the middle of Blacktown’s territory. He had gained the ball from a Price pass along the line. With Lynch endeavouring to upset Bingham’s momentum as he sped in, the striker spied the custodian off his line before adroitly chipping the ball over Catlin’s head into the goal for a well-deserved strike. The former A league player with Central Coast Mariners and Hume City in Melbourne, and the former Wolves junior has added now one more to his senior career tally of twenty-one goals.
The home team had achieved an early goal which made Blacktown’s prospects much more difficult.
Beattie, James and Okada and Bingham were keeping on pressing and keeping the Blacktown central defenders of Lynch and Collins on their toes.
An Okada pass to James on the right opened up the defence until Berry got in a block.
The Wolves defensive back four’s effort was paying dividends as Littler, Djordjevic, McDonald and Price worked seaminglessly together to keep Blacktown at bay. Littler got a foot in to put Hassan Jalloh off his stride before a free kick at the opposite end saw McDonald providing an attacking header.
The Wolves looked to increase their margin when McDonald found Takeru Okada on the opposite side of the pitch. The wide player whipped the ball across the face of goal but nothing of any consequence emanated.
With the Blacktown frontrunners not being too effective, Lynch made a searching run through the centre eluding some players before McDonald intercepted to half his rampage. Stand in captain Guy Knight hit the ground to win the ball from Leroy Jennings to stall their attack.
In the twenty-second minute McDonald played in a cross-field ball to Price. He made progress down the left before whipping in cross. Blacktown custodian Shaun Catlin took the ball, just as Beattie arrived on the scene.
As time was running in the first stanza, Djordjevic cleared as a Blacktown offensive action was promulgated.
With five minutes left on the clock, Beattie finally chalked up his first goal. James was toying with the opposition wide on the right before slotting the ball for Nagatsuka. He played the ball with a first time left footed effort straight into the path of the on rushing Beattie. He hit the shot with the instep of his right foot. The ball eluded Catlin and lodged high in the net.
The scorer showed his defensive mettle also by closing down Jackson Bandiera. Blacktown’s Mario Shabow, a former A-League player with Western Sydney Wanderers, Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners, was an inspiring player for his team and made some inroads.
As the clock wound down, Price was cool under pressure in the box to provide a short back pass to Kairies who then propelled the ball away.
A two-goal lead at half time saw the Wolves in a good winning position while Blacktown had it all to do.
Blacktown began the half by probing but Beattie blocked Berry before Djordjevic headed away a Blacktown free kick. Two defenders on the right side both tackled James simultaneously. The Blacktown defenders collided with each other and James went down as well. However, James was first to his feet and went on his merry way while the other two languished for a time. Bingham cleared a Blacktown corner kick before Jennings tried a speculator from distance, which travelled in an upward trajectory, high over the goal. A double substitute from Blacktown was instigated in order to mix things up. Okada then burst in the box after eluding earlier substitute Will Mutch. When near the by line, he could not muster the needed power for maximum benefit.
A few minutes later, Jennings from the Wolves by line, placed the ball across the goal. Nary a touch was had and the ball went out at the far sideline.
A top shot by substitute Rhett Desilva zoomed in with Kairies making a great save to thwart. Desilva provided another shot which brought no joy before Bingham, at the other end charged into the box only to be brought down. A penalty appeal by many Wolves players failed to sway the referee.
Frustration crept in the Blacktown team in the final minutes as one defender playing gave a continuous verbal spray at his front line team mates. The team from Lily Homes Stadium in Seven Hills is not used to their current position on the points table, occupying the cellar position and stlll remain winless.
The Wolves now have moved up three places to be second, ahead on goal difference and one point shy of the top team. This was a well-deserved victory with two goals in the kick, three points and a clean sheet.
Wolves’ coach Luke Wilkshire - ‘we had a few bodies back as well this week and we got the win we were after… A lot of balls were thrown into the box and we were very good all through the back four and in Knighty in front there. …. Two great goals, a fantastic ball from Tatsuki (to set up) and Marcus got the second. Great run. Pleased for them. We have players who want to score. Hopefully more of them can score a few more.’
Wolves’ first goal scorer - Josh Bingham - ‘we were not happy with our performances last week but we were good in patches in the first half…. We have been waiting for a ninety-minute performance and today we were good in winning ugly but we were not at our best but we had a clean sheet, which was positive. ... They came down here desperate for points. They are a good side with the names in that team and they have not had the results this year. We knew that they had a number dangerous players in the front third but our back four was tremendous…As a group we have to put in for ninety minutes for one another and whatever it takes and today in the second half we showed a lot of character, putting bodies on the line, running and getting back. ….. Last week it was disappointing not to get on the score sheet but today I wanted to come out and make an impact and I scored the early goal. Very happy… The keeper was on his way out so the ball sat up nicely for me and it was a little deft touch for the goal.’
Wolves’ second goal scorer Marcus Beattie - ‘It was much better today compared to last week with also a bit of experience back. We needed that wi8n … I have been waiting a few weeks for that one after some had been cleared off the line. Now I can kick on a get a few more.’
WOLLONGONG WOLVES ……………….2
Josh Bingham 8’ Marcus Beattie 40’
@ ALBERT BUTLER MEMORIAL PARK, KEMBLAWARRA
6th September 2020
2.30 p.m. Kick Off
Coach: Luke Wilkshire
1.Luke Kairies 4.Nik Djordjevic 22.Josh Bingham (6.Ethan Kambisios 90’)
15.Nick Littler 16.Guy Knight (Capt.) 11.Takeru Okada 10.Marcus Beattie (18.Lewis Grimshaw 90’) 7.Christopher Price 2.Taylor McDonald 9.Thomas James 8.Tatsuki Nagatsuka (12.Harrison Taranto 71’)
Substitutes not used: 23.Hayden Durose RGK 20.Liam Wille
Yellow Cards: nil
Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Mark Crittenden
1.Shaun Catlin 3.Daniel Collins 5.Grant Lynch 6.Matthew Lewis (11.Rhett Desilva 69’) 7.Hassan Jalloh 8.Daniel Araujo (16.Charles Mendy 69’) 10.Mario Shabow (9.Carlos Deoliveira 80’) 17.Dakota Askew (21.William Mutch 61’) 19.Adam Berry 23.Leroy Jennings (9.Suleyman Bangura 80’) 24.Jackson Bandiera.
Substitutes not used: 20.Dylan Niski RGK
Yellow Cards: Jackson Bandiera 63’ Leroy Jennings 79’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Katie Patterson
By Malcolm Rowney