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Report courtesy of FNSW.



Rockdale Ilinden hit the switch once more as they took care of Hills United FC defeating the newly promoted National Premier Leagues Men’s NSW outfit 3-0 at Landen Stadium on Saturday. 

It was Alec Urosevski who got proceedings underway in an entertaining affair with an early goal. It was followed by a strike midway through the first half by Bai Antoniou and then a third from Brendan Cholakian in the second stanza of play.

The first salvo of the game arrived in the opening minute when a Rockdale Ilinden corner reached Daniel Collins in the box but his attempt was just off target.

However, it was another corner in the 3rd minute by the visitors that resulted in the opening goal of the contest. Cholakian fired in the corner that was met with a shot from Giorgio Speranza and then Urosevski, from close range, fortuitously knocked it into the back of the net past ‘keeper Ryan Wood.

In the 13th minute there was a golden chance for Hills United. Yu Okubo from just outside the box curled in a majestic shot that ended up crashing into the base of the upright with goalkeeper Hamish Devenish-Meares well and truly beaten.

Hills United’s Anthony Frangie a few minutes later went galloping from midfield towards goal with acres of space at his disposal, but somehow at the key moment Lachlan Griffiths managed to track back and dispossess him of the ball in a great piece of defending.

Griffiths then went from defender to attacker. He was beautifully set up by Isaac Danzo before he fired in a rocket from just outside the box that forced a great save from ‘keeper Wood to turn it over the crossbar.

Midway through the first half Rockdale Ilinden doubled their lead. A corner made its way to Antoniou and he unleashed a long-range shot along the ground that ended up straight into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.

The last real opportunity in the first stanza of play arrived in the 40th minute when a free-kick from Urosevski from an acute angle was well saved down low by Wood, much to the applause of the home fans in the stand.

In the second half the first chance belonged to Rockdale Ilinden in the 53rd minute when Danzo fed the ball to Antoniou and his powerful shot straight on target was wonderfully met by a Wood save.

There was an almost immediate reply from the home side when Glen Kelshaw threaded the ball across the face of goal, but in the end his diagonal shot ended up just wide without anyone getting on the end of it to knock it in.

Rockdale Ilinden in the 64th minute scored their third through a Cholakian masterpiece and it was there it was literally game, set and match. From the acutest of angles on the left, he drove the ball straight into the top corner of the net and he could hardly believe himself how he managed that one.

Hunter Elliott, a late substitution for Rockdale Ilinden, unmarked on the right received the ball in the 86th minute but his shot was just a fraction too high in what was the last real opportunity of the evening.

After the game Paul Dee, coach of Rockdale Ilinden, was very happy with his side’s display.

“It was good because we played the brand of football that we wanted to play,” he said.

“We had a lot of possession and created chances. Through the centre of midfield and through the back our boys were really solid. All of our players on the pitch did their job and collectively it was therefore a good performance. This is a tight competition and you need to show up on the day and always do your best”.

Hills United coach Luke Casserly was disappointed with the outcome but not his own team’s performance.

“It was a tough game as Rockdale is always close to the top of the league” he stated.

“In general play, and for the most part, we were really competitive.

“There were two set pieces from which they scored and we had our big moments too like hitting the post, but if you don’t take your chances it is difficult to win games.

“We need to be a bit more ruthless in both 18-yard boxes and we need that ruthlessness to give us a goal and get us into the game”.

Match Stats


ROCKDALE ILINDEN: 3 (Urosevski 3’, Antoniou 23’, Cholakian 64’)

Saturday 23rd March 2024

Landen Stadium, Blacktown

Referee: Logan Jones
Assistant Referees: Joshua Kermond, Isaac Riggs

Fourth Official: Rory McFarlane

HILLS UNITED: 1. Ryan Wood, 5. Daniel Petkovski (13. Cameron Philip 82’), 6. Isaac Hovar (12. Jordan Lane 10’), 8. Eoin Montford, 9. Yu Okubo, 11. Anthony Frangie (24. Sunday Yona 63’), 17. Caleb Jackson-Brown, 19. Glen Kelshaw, 20. Thomas Lopez (10. Jamal Belkadi 63’), 26. Thomas Makko, 27. Nicolai Muller (15. Noah Casserly 82’).

Substitutes not used: 21. Emilyn Cross

Yellow Cards: Lane 61’, Petkovski 77’

Red Cards: Nil

ROCKDALE ILINDEN FC: 1. Hamish Devenish-Meares, 2. Daniel Collins, 3. Lachlan Griffiths (16. So Kataoka 73’), 5. Giorgio Speranza, 6. Isaac Danzo, 7. Alec Urosevski (18. Benjamin Wass 80’), 8. Dean Pelekanos (19. Jason Cakovski 38’), 9. Bai Antoniou (23. Hunter Elliott 73’), 10. Brendan Cholakian, 11. Lachlan Constable (17. Brae Ovens 80’), 14. Brayden Sorge

Substitutes not used: 20. Ricardo Rizzo.

Yellow Cards: Griffiths 65’, Urosevski 77’

Red Cards: Nil