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Match report of our epci 2-2 draw with Marconi in front of 2000 fans yesterday. Report courtesy of Football NSW.


ockdale Ilinden and Marconi Stallions played out a highly entertaining 2-2 draw in front of over 2000 spectators at the Ilinden Sports Centre in what was the National Premier Leagues Men’s NSW’s ‘Match of the Round’.

Dominic Costanzo drew first blood for the visitors before an unlikely equaliser from Brayden Sorge on the stroke of half-time added to the suspense and drama.

Former Ilinden player James Temelkovski then got in on the act before Alec Urosevski opened his 2024 goalscoring account from the spot and that was all she wrote as the match ended 2-2.

The action kicked off early on as both teams went at it with the Stallions settling the better of the two.

Early chances were courageously closed down by Marconi’s Nathan Millgate and Ilinden’s Lachie Griffiths in a lively opening spell but the sapping heat would ensure the relentless pace was unsustainable.

Last season’s Golden Boot recipient Alec Urosevski flashed a shot wide in the 6th minute that slipped narrowly past the woodwork to which the Stallions replied through Marko Jesic and Costanzo both firing straight at the ‘keeper, before the game settled into a rhythmic midfield battle.

Play stopped for a drinks break midway through the half due to the steamy weather with both sides ready for the pit stop. The game had produced scant efforts on goal, but Marconi enjoyed the better of those produced, although neither side had hit their straps in the sapping heat.

But it was Costanzo who put the Stallions ahead in the 43rd minute when slotting home from an inch perfect centre on the right via Temelkovski. With the game destined to go the favour of Marconi at the break, Brayden Sorge had other ideas as the defender popped up as the unlikely marksman on the stroke of half-time with thundering a left-footed stinger.

Marconi still found time to have a strike chalked off for offside before the break in a tight call but the players headed to the dressing rooms all square.

Blake Ricciutto made a welcome return for Ilinden in the second stanza when replacing Lachie Constable whilst the Stallions remained unchanged.

Once again it was the visitors who created the better of the opportunities albeit they were, in the main, half-chances at best that wouldn’t be converted and increasingly more sporadic.

That was until former Ilinden player James Temelkovski, back from South Australia, found the net in the 55th minute against his old side to silence the home crowd.

A madcap goalmouth scramble in the 63rd minute saw Rockdale denied an equaliser by desperate defending as Marconi held onto their precious one goal lead.

Rockdale were forced into pushing forwards that inevitably left gaps in behind if the Stallions were able to exploit them.

The game took yet another twist when Ilinden were awarded a penalty in the 77th minute that was duly despatched by talisman Urosevski moments later to restore parity once more.

And he had the chance to put Rockdale ahead when slipping in from the left before curling his effort wide. Marconi might well have felt aggrieved had it found the net.

Urosevski probably should have sealed the points for Rockdale in the last minute of regulation time when somehow managing to send his header adrift of the post but it was Marconi with a three-on-one in late stoppage time  via substitute Jakov Halbasa, that would have settled the match but for a brilliant display of Harrison Devenish-Meares – Not his first of the day, that denied the visitors.

It would have been a masterstroke off the bench, but it wasn’t to be and a thoroughly entertaining match finished 2-2.

It was a tough early season game leaving Stallions Assistant Coach, Peter Papoythis, to state.

“It was one of those games where neither team took their chances,” he said.

“Rockdale are a tough team, especially at home and the weather was a factor but we created opportunities and passages of play that on another day we may have put away.

“At Marconi, we want to win every game we play but both sides came here today to play football and at the end we are going away with a point which is better than none at all.

“The players were still full of running at the end of a tiring game and that is always a good sign.

“It’s early season and a tough workout today isn’t a bad thing, but we’ll look to bounce back next weekend,” he concluded.

Ilinden coach Paul Dee echoed those sentiments when adding.

“It is early season and had we perhaps had slightly better cohesion in the side in the key moments the result may have been different,” he said.

“The game could certainly have gone either way in the broader scheme of things, but we had the momentum at the end of the game and that is pleasing.

“Marconi are a hard team to beat so we have to be happy with the point although, like any coach, we’d have been happier with the three of course.”

Match Stats

Rockdale Ilinden 1 (Brayden Sorge 45′, Alec Urosevski 78′)

Marconi Stallions 2 (Domenic Costanzo 43′, James Temelkovski 55′)

Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale

Sunday 25th February 2024

Referee: Craig Fisher

Assistants: Amirhossein Hosnan and Cameron Wright

Fourth Official: Ethan Zvargulis

Rockdale Ilinden: 1. Harrison Devenish-Meares, 3. Lachie Griffiths, 5. Giorgio Sperenza (2. Daniel Collins 64′), 6. Isaac Danzo, 7. Alec Urosevski, 8. Dean Pelekanos (19. Jason Cakovski 72′), 9. Bai Antoniou (15. Olayinka Sunmola 64′) , 10. Brendan Cholakian, 11. Lachie Constable (22. Blake Riciutto 46′), 14. Brayden Sorge, 66. Mathieu Cordier

Subs not used: 20. Ricardo Rizzo, 23. Hunter Elliott

Yellow Cards: 9. Bai Antoniou 17′, 6. Isaac Danzo 82′

Red Cards: Nil

Marconi Stallions: 1. James Hilton, 2. Nathan Millgate, 4. Anton Milinaric. 6. Domenic Costanzo, 7. Franco Maya (17. Milislave Popovic 64′), 8. Daniel Bouman (21. Jakov Soares 90+1′), 9. James Temelkovski (25. Jonathan Soares 90+1′), 10. Marko Jesic (C), 11. Hiroaki Aoyama, 18. George Daniel, 23. Brandon Vella

Subs not used: 3. Cameron Windust, 14. Dylan Susovic, 24. Mackenzie Syron g/k

Yellow Cards: 23. Brandon Vella 57′, 17. Milislav Popovic 68′

Red Cards: Nil