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Great win Wednesday night from our team over St.George FC 4-0.

Our under 20’s also won 2-1.

Full match report below.



Rockdale Ilinden were forced to bide their time against a resilient St George FC but romped home to a thrilling 4-0 victory in round 4 of the National Premier Leagues Men’s NSW competition in front of over 900 spectators at the Ilinden Sports Centre on Wednesday evening.

Goals from Alec Urosevski, Brendan Cholakian, a super strike via Giorgio Sperenza and Jason Cakovski capped off a memorable night at Ilinden Sports Centre, pushing Rockdale up the ladder as one of the team’s to beat.

Rockdale were made to work hard for the points but individual errors, plus great lead up work, led to the home side taking a commanding 2-0 lead from which they never looked back going on to dominate the match in the latter stages.

It might have been different early on when St George attempted the spectacular from out on the left in trying to catch gloveman Harrison Devenish-Meares off his line but a skewed ball soared skyward and well wide of the mark in the 4th minute as St George FC, playing five at the back from the start, broke on the counter before Cholakian replied three minutes later with a free-kick that curled past the woodwork.

Olayinka Sunmola received a delightful ball from Dean Pelekanos with the St George defence scrambling and getting in a last ditch tackle that looped the ball up and almost over ‘keeper Daniel Axford who did well to gather under pressure.

Bai Antoniou found Cholakian who couldn’t quite cut the ball back into the centre as the home side were starting to find the gaps and play their way through the visiting defence.

Nikola Skataric fired a curling free-kick narrowly wide from 25-yards out in the 17th minute in a surprisingly open derby, albeit St George were tending to hit on the counter when sitting deep and inviting Rockdale forward.

Sunmola scampered down the right wing in the 21st minute, a fluent frontline for Rockdale with plenty of interchanging, and crossed for Antoniou whose deflected effort, the benefit of desperately determined defending, resulted in a corner the away side cleared upfield.

The endeavour was evident and the work rate top drawer with the only thing lacking a clear cut opportunity on goal in a very keenly contested game of football. Exactly what was to be expected in a derby fixture under the lights.

Antoniou was upended in the area when dashing in from the left leading to a spot-kick in the 35th minute that ‘fox in the box’ Urosevski put away as if there were any doubt. It was a major set-back for St George coming late in the half however there was no panic stations with plenty of time left in the match.

A stroke of good fortune for a highly contested, and hotly debated, handball decision inside the area in the 42nd minute, favoured the visitors and ensured the situation didn’t worsen as a second penalty wasn’t awarded. It would have been harsh and difficult to come back from two down at the break.

But it was Rockdale who doubled the lead in the 50th minute through a clinical Cholakian finish from a fine Urosevski centre on the right leaving St George with a mountain to climb to get back into the match.

Urosevski thought he had hit a double and Ilinden’s third when neatly finishing from the left-hand side of the box in the 67th minute only for the strike to be wiped out for offside for the rampant home side. And it was Rockdale’s talisman skipper who grazed the bar shortly afterwards after more great work getting in behind.

The highlight reel went into overdrive in the 76th minute as Ilinden substitute Giorgio Speranza fired home a spectacular shot from the edge of the area that sent the home team and its fans into raptures.  It was a strike worthy of making the ‘goal of the season’ highlights package as well as the celebration which saw Giorgio run towards his father. The goal allowed Ilinden to bring Urosevski off early to be replaced by the bustling Ben Wass in the 79th minute.

The two Ilinden substitutes combined to sting the palms of Axford late on with Rockdale totally in the ascendency and romping home to victory with the icing on the cake coming in the form of a well taken fourth goal via Cakovski. Axford came off his line to head the ball out that Cakovski latched on to and lobbed the hapless ‘keeper from fully 35-yards out to seal the scoring in front of over 900 spectators.

“When you look at the balance of the game Rockdale are one of the teams that has been a benchmark of this league for many years,” said St George FC Coach Jane Talcevski after the game.

“They’ve been building year by year and adding quality to their squad but when you gift them a two goal lead it’s always going to be difficult.

“We still have a lot of players coming back from injury to fit into our squad and it’s difficult but in the balance of things there are a lot of positives to take from this game.

“I’m very pleased with some aspects of our play but when you concede four goals it’s very hard to take,” he concluded.

A very tense pre-match Rockdale Coach, Paul Dee, was a mightily relieved man at the whistle and added.

“St George FC are a very organised team with quite a deep line so it made it difficult to penetrate behind early on,” he said.

“The penalty certainly opened things up and we had to be patient tonight, hold a lot of possession in their half and if a goal came, it would change the scenario and that certainly happened.

“There’s a particular model of play we’re trying to initiate and we moved a couple of pieces around to try and offer something different in our attacking third and ultimately it paid dividends, but the team stuck to the game plan really well all through the game tonight and particularly through the second-half where we were quite dominant.

“We have a lot of confidence within the squad and know we need to be patient in some games and trust the process which we did tonight so it’s pleasing to win a big derby game and take the points.”

Match Stats

Rockdale Ilinden 4 (Alex Urosevski 35’p, Brendan Cholakian 50’, Girgio Spreenza 76’, Jason Cakovski 90+3’)
St George FC 0

Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale

Wednesday, 6th March 2024

Referee: Jake Rose

Assistants: Brodie Merchant and Hayden Michlmayr

Fourth Official: Anthony Mansour

Rockdale Ilinden: 1. Harrison Devenish-Meares, 2. Daniel Collins, 3 Lachie Griffiths, 6. Isaac Danzo, 7. Alec Urosevski (18. Ben Wass 79’), 8. Dean Pelekanos, (16. So Katacka 71’), 9. Bai Antoniou (19. Jason Cakovski 61’), 10. Brendan Cholakian, 14. Brayden Sorge (23. Hunter Elliott 79’), 15. Olayinka Sunmola (5. Giorgio Sperenza 71’),  66. Mathieu Cordier

Subs not used: 20. Ricardo Rizzo

Yellow Cards: Dean Pelekanos 48’, Brayden Sorge 58’

Red Cards: Nil

ST George FC: 20. Daniel Axford, 2. Ciao De Godoy (17. Thomas Brown 60’), 3. Troy Danaskos, 5.Nicholas Kalogerou, 6. Pat O’Shea, 8. Connor Quiligan (10. Harry Jones 60’), 9. Peter Grozos (11. Anthony Morabito 67’), 18. Mark Rodic (22. Aeden O’Shea 84’), 19. Nikola Skataric (7. Jesse Spang 67’), 23. Evan Souris, 27. Jayden Seeto

Subs not used: 1. Andrew Di Blasio

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

Player Ratings

3 – Brendan Cholakian (RI)

2 – Alec Urosevski (RI)

1 – Daniel Collins (RI)