Great win on the weekend in the derby.
Full match report below:
ILINDEN RUN RAMPANT IN DERBY VICTORY OVER SUTHERLAND
Sutherland Sharks hosted a rampant Rockdale Ilinden in a fiery local derby eventually settled 3-0 by the visitors at Seymour Shaw Park in Round 8 of the NPL NSW Men’s competition.
Two wonderful 30-yard curling strikes from Jaden Casella and a late Alex Maschiovecchio goal gave the visitors the advantage as they ran away with a win on the road.
Casella opened the scoring for the visitors in the 31st minute when deftly curling a magnificent shot beyond Anthony Bouzanis, a contender for Goal of the Season, after being given enough time and space to pick his spot.
He added the second in similar, if not better, style late in the half before Alex Maschiovecchio had the simple task of wrapping it up before the end.
It was the first of the two-legged Leader Cup contested by the sides each season, adding extra spice to a much anticipated and fiercely competitive match.
Chris McStay, up against his old side for the first time, played a neat one-two with Peter Kekeris in the 5th minute only for the latter to race into the area and send his shot skyward.
Rockdale found their form rapidly and began to impose themselves against a much-changed Sutherland line-up, slowly pressing them back without finding the final telling pass to finish off some fast flowing moves.
Jason Madonis tried his luck from 25-yards out in the 13th minute in reply but it ran comfortably for David Bradasevic to smother in the Ilinden net.
Bouzanis, at the other end, was able to save at the second attempt from the lively McStay who, along with Kekeris, were making a nuisance of themselves.
A defensive error by Bradasevic and Daniel Petkovski gifted James Andrew an opportunity that he skewed into the side netting from just outside the 6-yard box with 18 minutes on the clock.
It was a let off for the visitors who regained their composure and soon had Sutherland back under pressure.
Andrew scuffed another shot straight at Bradasevic almost immediately as the home side began to work openings against the usually reliable Rockdale defence.
Lachlan Griffiths needed to be replaced at right-back for Rockdale after an innocuous tackle on the half-hour mark to be replaced by Jamie Percevski, who slipped into the centre-back role.
Will Mutch moved to the right-back slot when receiving treatment off the field for a number of minutes but Sutherland couldn’t take advantage of the extra man.
With a full complement back on the pitch, Ilinden took the lead through Casella when curling an exquisite shot beyond Bouzanis.
Nick Sullivan headed over from a corner and Madonis came close when hitting the crossbar in the 40th minute with a curling free kick in what was proving an evenly fought match.
Kekeris then worked his way to the edge of the area and drew the Sharks’ defence before laying the ball off to Casella who made no mistake in doubling his tally with another sublime curling effort as good as his first, if not bettering the strike.
The second strike changed the half-time team talk for the home side who once more found themselves trailing at the break.
Sullivan had the first opportunity on the restart in the opening minute but fired straight at Bradasevic who palmed the ball out with Mitch Smith unable to fire in the rebound.
A flurry of substitutions were plunged into the frenzied action of a full-bloodied derby match but the scoreboard stayed the same.
Smith headed agonisingly wide for Sutherland before Alec Urosevski, having an unusually quiet game, managed to toe-poke over the bar, catching Sutherland flat at the back when pushing forward.
Sutherland were creating opportunities and matched their visitors for long stretches but couldn’t find a way through with a clear-cut chance to finish off.
Rockdale sealed the deal through Maschiovecchio with eight minutes left after Bouzanis saved bravely from Casella, looking for a first hat-trick of the season, only to palm the ball into the substitute’s path and he buried it into an empty net.
Madonis slipped the ball to Jeremy Cox who couldn’t beat Brayden Sorge in the area with the ball falling kindly to the Sharks’ midfielder who brought a fine save out of Bradasevic in the dying stages.
Sutherland were not far off the pace, particularly after the break, but the first-half Casella strikes proved too big a hurdle for Sutherland to claw back leaving a disconsolate Sutherland coach Nick Dimovski, to state.
“I believe we were the better side and if not, matched them today,” he said.
“I thought we played well and the only difference is they were more clinical up top.
“We missed an open goal from six-yards out and their striker scored two magnificent goals from 30-yards out.
“That’s the difference, we matched Rockdale, we looked good but couldn’t finish off our hard work and it’s frustrating as we played well.”
Rockdale Ilinden coach Steve Zoric, was extremely pleased with his side’s performance.
“It’s the story of our season so far in that we don’t put all our chances away but it was a good performance today and I’m satisfied with the result,” he commented.
“We’re building and looked solid in every department today and we’re heading in a direction I’m very pleased with.
“The boys deserve a lot of credit, they’ve worked hard and listened to what we’ve said in training and it’s starting to show in reaching the point we need to get to and everyone is up to the task.
“Our first goal broke them as we had just given the ball away at the back from the goal kick and they really should have scored so it was a critical goal and very well taken.
“It was a derby game but we had more control and they looked to be playing more on the counter but a good three points.”
When asked about Lachlan Griffiths’ injury, Zoric explained.
“We don’t know the full extent of the injury yet,” he said.
“He’s going for x-rays and we hope nothing is broken.”
Sutherland Sharks 0
Rockdale Ilinden 3 (Jaden Casella 31’,42’, Alex Maschiovecchio 82’)
Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Saturday, 23rd April, 2022
Referee: Danny Horstead
Assistant Referees: Hugh Fenton-White and Amber Morris
Fourth Official: Ayad Naji
Sutherland Sharks: 1. Anthony Bouzanis, 2. James Baldacchino, 3. Gabriel Contagiani (25. Luke Sauer 75’), 6. Patrick O’Shea, 8. Jason Madonis, 10. Lachlan Everett (9. Jeremy Cox 75’), 17. James Andrew (12. Lukman Ahmed Shaibu 53’), 18. Mitchell Smith (23. Mark Rodic 53’), 21. Michael Neill, 22. Nick Sullivan, 99. Lachlan MacDonald (7. Harry Callaghan 53’)
Substitutes Not Used: 16. Jacob Cremen-Cowan
Yellow Cards: Michael Neill 50’, Mark Rodic 57’, Lachlan Everett 65’, Nick Sullivan 73’
Rockdale Ilinden: 1. David Bradasevic, 2. Daniel Petkovski, 3. Lachlan Griffiths (15. James Percevski 29’), 5. Will Mutch, 6. Daniel Araujo, 7. Alec Urosevski (9. Bai Antoniou 78), 8. Nikola Kuleski, 11. Peter Kekeris (25. Alex Maschiovecchio 57’), 14. Brayden Sorge, 23. Jaden Casella, 88. Chris McStay (10. Tomoki Wada 57’)
Substitutes Not Used: 19. Patrick Savor, 31. Matthew Murram
Yellow Cards: Daniel Petkovski 87’
3 – Jaden Casella (RI)
2 – Brayden Sorge (RI)
1 – David Bradasevic (RI)