South Coast Wolves put a major dent towards Blacktown Spartans’ Premiership aspirations after a late equaliser secured a point in a thrilling 3-3 at Blacktown Football Park on Sunday
It started well for Ben De Haan’s men in the second minute when the home side took an early lead.
Spartans defender Luka Dukic slammed home from close range off an early corner in the second minute to gift his side the lead.
It wasn’t the start Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte wanted but his team came to life six minutes after the goal when Lachlan Reus connected a powerful shot but the ball sailed wide off Carlos Salidarre’s goals.
There was more action early on in the 16th minute when the Spartans almost scored a second off a swift counter attack.
Ricky Zucco’s free kick failed to trouble the Spartans defence and from the resulting clearance, David Gullo paced his way down the left flank only be brought down by Zucco leaving Newcastle based referee Kirralee Andruschak no choice but to book the Wolves striker.
The resulting free-kick ended up in favour of the home side as Luke Austin picked up a loose ball from the set-piece which he whacked outside the box on target, but the ball hit the crossbar.
A minute later and the Spartans went two-up.
Gullo, who was one of the standout players of the match, found space in the middle of the field, took his time and placed his shot hard and low giving Wolves keeper Thomas Hamilton no chance putting his side two-nil up in the first twenty minutes of the match.
The Spartans then went on cruise control soon after that goal and displayed some great one touch passing which dazzled the Wolves defence but Arrarte’s men held it together to only be two down.
Zucco looked lively for the visitors though and he did his bit coming close on three occasions in the 23rd, 34th and 39th minute, but his shots were comfortably saved by Spartans skipper Saliadarre.
A minute before the break and the Wolves almost got their first goal of the match.
Joey Lavelle and Jordan Murray teamed up well with a great play but Murray’s resulting shot failed to hit the target.
The Spartans were then given a penalty with only a minute to spare in the first half.
Wolves defender Jack Keating fouled the lively Corey Biczo in the box with Andruschak pointing to the spot.
The spot kick duties fell to Phil Makrys who only recently missed from the spot, had the opportunity to give his side a three goal buffer.
It wasn’t to be though as Hamilton pulled a spectacular save keeping the Wolves in the match as the half time whistle blew.
Some stern words were exchanged in the dressing sheds for the away side as the visitors needed something in taking any points from Blacktown.
Arrarte knew that the game was slipping away and needed to inject some life into this fixture and brought on Peter Simonoski who would end up changing the game for the visitors.
Only minutes after coming on as a substitute, Simonoski buried home the ball after some great footwork and lead up play in the 52nd giving the Wolves a glimmer of hope in taking away points from this match.
Heartbreak hit the home side six minutes later and it was that man again, Simonoski, who was the key orchestrator behind it all.
The substitute sent through a tantalising cross to Murray who headed home the equaliser which lit the game up – it was certainly game on!
With a number of half chances falling soon after, Simonoski almost put the visitors in the lead in the 71st minute.
Yet another dangerous run saw the attacker’s effort sail to the left of the Spartans goal which sparked panic in the home side’s defence.
The Spartans however held their own and went in front in unfortunate circumstances for the Wolves.
South Coast defender Michael Robinson went to clear a Conor Evans cross but instead skewed the ball which hit the back of his own net putting the Spartans 3-2 n front in the 73rd minute.
It was a cruel blow for the South Coast side who battled hard to get to equal terms after falling behind in the first half.
As the game drew to a close drama hit in thrilling circumstances in the 93rd minute as the away side strike a valuable equaliser.
Robinson would turn villain to hero as he smashed home from close range after the Spartans failed to clear the ball ending the match 3-3 in what was a fantastic six goal affair at Blacktown.
Arrarte praised his team’s spirit but stated that his team started off slowly as the two goals early on hit his side.
“In the first half we just weren’t in it.
But second half the boys stepped it up and we were able to secure some much needed points from this.
“We knew we had to change something and we looked at bringing on Peter and he worked well for us.”
Asked what his thoughts were looking at their round 19 clash against Manly United, Arrarte replied.
“We need to re-asses, but we will keep going.
“There are no easy games in this competitive competition so we just have to make sure we turn up and not wait to concede and that we are on the front foot from the first whistle.”
It was a case of too little too late for the Spartans as Saliadarre stated to Football NSW.
“I think we just got too casual, we spoke about it not happening at half time, but unfortunately it was not good enough.
“It was two points dropped, just a couple minutes away from winning… if we want to be title contenders we can’t let that happen.
“We need to win our next few games and if it comes down to the last one with us against Blacktown [City FC] then so be it.”
Blacktown Spartans 3 (Luka Dukic 2’, David Gullo 18’, Michael Robinson [og] 73′)
South Coast Wolves 3 (Peter Simonoski 52’, Jordan Murray 58’, Michael Robinson 90+3′)
Sunday 20th July, 2014
Blacktown Football Park, Rooty Hill
Referee: Kirralee Andruschak
Assistant Referees: Leigh Pigram and Craig Fisher
Fourth Official: Kelly Jones
Blacktown Spartans: 1.Carlos Saliadarre (C); 2.Luke Austin, 5.Luka Dukic, 7.Phillip Makrys (20.Tomislav Cirjak 56’), 8.Raymond Miller, 10.Emmanuel Giannaros, 11.David Gullo (6.Greg Kondek 92’), 13.Corey Biczo (9.Elsid Barkhousir 73’), 14.Jacob Ott, 16.Benjamin Tosi, 39.Conor Evans
Substitutes not used: 41.Domenic Nascimben, 18.Zachary Freeburn
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
South Coast Wolves: 1.Thomas Hamilton; 2.Jack Keating, 3.Christopher Nathaniel, 4.Michael Robinson (C), 5.James Baldacchino, 6.Zachary Mackenzie, 10.Ricky Zucco (9.Peter Simonoski 46′), 16.Lochlan Reus (11.Mitchell Delturco 82’), 20.Joey Lavalle, 22.Samuel Matthews, 25.Jordan Murray (7.Ben Zucco 69’)
Substitutes not used: 15.Darcy Madden, 30.Daniel Collison
Yellow Cards: Ricky Zucco 16′, Joey Lavalle 40’, Zachary Mackenzie 63’, Samuel Matthews 88′
Red Cards: Nil
-By Saman Ziaei