Sydney University Soccer Football Club (SUSFC) put in a convincing performance against Bankstown City on Saturday evening to run away with a 4-2 victory in round 15 of the NSW NPL Men’s second division.
Considering the diabolical conditions and the persistent rain which fell throughout the entire match, this game proved to be more entertaining than might have been fair to expect at Hensley Field.
Sydney University – who have produced some good passing football to date without getting the results warranted – went into the match needing a win to create a gap from the encroaching Mount Druitt Town Rangers
Bankstown City, for all their inconsistent form, were still only a win away from fifth on current standings.
So it was no surprise that this was an open game with plenty of goal scoring opportunities. Evenly contested, Bankstown City had the first chance when Adrian Karakolevski had the opening strike of the match though Uni responded when Jamie Watt tried an audacious lob which was not too far away.
Peter Crevani looked dangerous for Uni too, his runs from deep through the heart of the field looking ominous, as it was to prove later. But it was Bankstown who did most of the pressing early, without really troubling Riley Keayes. Reuben Lagos was industrious, looking for the opening, while Gosue Sama worked hard. But the slick pitch did make it difficult to control and Uni were also quick to close down the Lions attempts.
Still, it was a surprise when Uni took the lead. They may have had less possession to that point, but unlike most weeks, they started to look more clinical up front. They took the lead just after half an hour when Watt deftly headed home a cross from Hayato Wakino, catching Thomas Manos wrong footed. It was a clever header and well taken, giving Uni some impetus from then on.
It almost became two, too, for Watt, as he just failed to connect to a tantalisingly Nathan Amore cross, again from the right, six minutes later. Crevani tried from distance too, a sure sign that Uni’s confidence was on the up.
But the three minutes before half time was a game changer. A deep cross from Steve Liavas found its way to Karakolevski and it really should have been 1-1. But Karakolevski slammed his shot against the upright from close range and within two further minutes, Uni had their two goal buffer.
Moments before half time, Crevani again made a brilliant run from deep and this time the ball was set up beautifully. In plenty of space, the Uni captain kept his nerve and slotted away under Manos. It was the perfect ending to the half for Uni, the 2-0 lead really putting them at a healthy advantage going into the break.
With Uni now on a high, it seemed doubtful that the Bankstown would recover. Jordan Simpson was lost to injury just before the hour, with Sasha Druijovski coming on at right back, allowing Steve Liavas to move more forward. But it was still Uni who created the better chances, Watt through but shooting wide, before the home side did get their third.
Daisuke Kataoka was the scorer, his curling shot avoiding Manos, with twenty minutes to go.
There seemed no way back for Bankstown City then, although some poor Uni defending gave them a small glimmer of hope of salvaging something. Liavas took advantage of a terrible clearing header to bring it back to 3-1 but that hope lasted just ten minutes before Watt made it 4-1, sliding in to meet another Wakino cross.
Sama reduced it back to 4-2 with two minutes left, but it was all over by then. Sydney University, who have tended to struggle to hit the back of the net, had found their goal scoring boots at last, a hopeful sign for the future.
Sydney University 4 (Jamie Watt 32’, 82’, Peter Crevani 45’, Daisuke Kataoka 69’) v Bankstown City 2 (Steve Liavas 71’, Gosue Sama 88’)