In gloomy and wet conditions with winds buffeting the corner posts together with the stadium floodlights on to combat the impaired visibility, the South Coast Wolves have signed off the 2014 Premier League season in great form with a 5-1 mauling of the team from Lambert Park, APIA Leichhardt Tigers. Following on where they left off with last week’s 4-1 win, the team skipped out to half time score of 3-0. It did look comfortable for the home team but with former A-League strikers in their opponent’s midst, relaxing could have been at their peril. In past seasons, scores of 4-4 and 6-5 have been posted between the two teams. However, Blake Powell’s and Joey Gibbs’ firepower was well and truly dampened on this occasion, with them having trouble coping with the sterling defensive work of Zac Mackenzie, Michael Robison, James Baldacchino, Jack Keating and Darcy Madden plus Daniel Collison’s superb goalkeeping. With the Wolves‘ Jordan Murray displaying his scoring prowess with two well-taken goals to assist his team to their well-deserved victory, other teammates also joined him in the goal-scoring spree. Murray’s hat trick looked to have been achieved with the ball in the net but an offside flag negated this just prior to half time. As well two players did extremely well to score their first League goal of the year, namely Mitchell Del Turco and Darcy Madden, and in addition it was Madden’s first Wolves’ goal ever in any 1st Grade competition.
With Michael Robinson standing in as captain, coach Nahuel Arrarte decided to rest some players in preparation for the up coming midweek FFA Cup Round Of 32 Central Coast Mariners fixture including Matthew Bailey, Peter Simonoski, Chris Nathaniel and Joseph Lavalle who were all named on the bench. Madden went out the left defender with James Baldacchino being restored to the line-up following injury.
APIA included Gibbs in for the speedy player Daniel Fogarty with the other players being unchanged from the previous week.
From the start, with the Wolves running towards the Northern Stand, Murray looked to take early advantage for his team when he sprinted into Tigers territory but despite his initial effort a goal kick emanated. Madden blocked a pass to momentarily halt APIA’s momentum as they made headway down their right side immediately following. This Tiger’s move culminated with Collison, diving low to push the ball away. He had to do like wise immediately following but conceded a corner kick. Marc Warren whipped it in. The ball fell to Brad McDonald. He did not make full advantage of this scoring opportunity by blasting wide.
It was in the sixth minute that Wolves went into the lead. Mitchell Del Turco scored with a well-taken effort. Following a glorious Murray pass, Del Turco ‘s right foot powered the ball towards the goal giving APIA goalkeeper Andrew Bazi virtually no chance and the start of a busy afternoon.
Murray set the Wolves on the course for victory when the quick striker collected a misplaced clearance out of defence. With nary a defender in close vicinity, he slotted the ball into the goal, past an advancing Bazi in the 23rd minute.
Five minutes later, Murray achieved his second League brace of the season. Chris Price on the left side feigned to confuse defender, Jamie Lobb. On moving inwards, Price perfectly placed a cross beyond Bazi with an unmarked Murray rising to skilfully head home.
Midfielder Lachlan Reus added his team’s fourth goal in the second half. He swept the ball in from the left of goal, connecting with a cross sent in by Del Turco.
APIA finally got on the score sheet with a consolation goal with ten minutes remaining. In a crowded area, the former Sydney F.C. left defender Warren got the final touch in a scramble. It was a case of too little too late for his team but he thwarted a Wolves’ clean sheet.
Left defender Darcy Madden bobbed up on the left to score in time added on from a corner kick. Madden produced an effort to take Bazi unawares for his team to finish the NSW Premier League Mens 1 on a high. He was extremely delighted to have scored judging by his celebration and it was certainly warranted.
At the outset of play each team looked to get on the score sheet early and to gain the ascendancy. As the game progressed and considering the conditions, there was a lot of end to end play with a number of players from both sides slipping on the surface but although some of these slips aided the opposition for a moment in time, little damage eventuated.
APIA’s Adam D’Apuzzo made ground down the right for a foray but before he could inflict damage he lost possession despite for a time jigging around to keep defenders at bay. The Tigers tried to move out quickly and to get the ball up to the front two as quickly as possible or to go through Franco Parisi, who was the playmaker trying to make things happen for his team. Gibbs very nearly got in at the far post in the 11th minute but the ball flew past him before he effect a touch. Parisi passed to Brad Bartels and his subsequent cross traversed across the face of goal, eluding all and sundry.
After conceding after six minutes, APIA was up against it and needed to get on the score sheet. Despite opportunities things were not falling for them as the Wolves took charge. Collison finger tipped a Powell threat following an APIA corner kick just shy of the half hour mark. Another D’Apuzzo corner kick caused some consternation before Reus got his head to it to alleviate the pressure.
Warren on forty minutes played a shot on target, which Collison had to fall to his knees to procure. Being three goals down, APIA went extremely close to getting one back, when a left footed free kick from just outside the penalty area arc by D’Apuzzo, crashed against the cross bar and flew over.
Following the early skirmishes, Del Turco made his way through with determination and before long Price unfortunately put the ball over from close in. Scant later the Wolves had scored to gain an early lead.
Once in front the Wolves never really looked like letting this match go and the further it went on, the better the team got. With anything APIA produced, the Wolves coped just fine.
Just after the half hour mark, Del Turco played a defence splitting pass into Price’s path. However, the conditions won out as Price slipped and slid.
Ben Zucco placed the ball into space for Murray to run onto but he was at cross-purposes and did not move. However, he seemingly gestured an apology. Del Turco, who had an impressive game with his direct running and enthusiastic play brought out a top save from Bazi. Immediately prior, Robinson had blocked a Gibbs pass to dismantle an attack. Zucco elegantly set up Murray’s aforementioned attempted hat trick. A neat flick by him eluded a defender, found Murray, who seemingly scored. However, an offside flag went up and that was that. Prior a Zucco free kick flew wide.
The Wolves were utilizing the wide spaces well and were anticipated correctly what APIA were wanting to do by effective interventions together with Mackenzie working proficiently in setting up plays with his deft passing.
At the break the Wolves were sitting pretty with a three-goal buffer and if the Tigers were going to get back into the game they had to score early in the second half. Robinson was held up for some time with an injury scare as the half time whistle was blown but he did resume in the second half.
APIA began the second half with an attack. Keating cleared and an APIA corner kick was headed out by Madden. McDonald floated the ball in before Robinson headed out to safety. McDonald was very close when a delicate flick in the goal area was destined to go in except for an exceptional one handed diving save from Collison.
Gibbs was in the right spot to score APIA’s first. Robinson though was having none of this and he scampered in to dispossess Gibbs and to negate the threat. Following, Lobb was about to shoot before Keating’s block put him undone. Lobb, to the fore again, hooked the ball in on seventy-five minutes. Before any of his teammates could connect, a diving header from Reus cleared.
Once four goals had been conceded a little of APIA’s resolve had diminished but there were some sparks of intent. With ten minutes remaining Warren scored and a flicker remained.
Following a quickly taken free kick, second half replacement Matthew Mayora made space for himself to shoot but alas his effort went wide off the mark. Mayoral looked to make amends when he was through on goal in the 90th minute until Madden zipped in to deny him.
A Zucco shot on the turn nearly brought up a fourth for his South Coast team. His left footed effort homed in on goal. Bazi stopped it but collected it at his second attempt after it bounced. Once Reus had scored the fourth goal, the Wolves were fully in control. The team confidently kept searching for more. Price put Murray through but before he could take advantage, Michael West and Stephen Kayes converged to deny him. Murray provided a pass to substitute Peter Simonoski after seventy-four minutes. Simonoski looked to work himself with a good sight on goal. On seventy-six minutes, Del Turco made an enterprising run down the right. He passed to Murray. Del Turco moved into the middle and received the ball back again. With defenders converging, an unbalanced Del Turco got a shot in but he could get much power on it, and this elicited no joy at this time.
With the five goals scored this was the second biggest score of the season only being upstaged by 6-1 versus Manly United.
For the final wash up South Coast Wolves concluded the 2014 season in 7th position on the points table with seven wins and nine draws, earning 27 points. Conversely, APIA finished in 11th position on 20 points from 4 wins and 10 draws.
Wolves Coach Nahuel Arrarte –‘from our end I was grateful to get five goals. They were coming in between our lines and we tightened it up a bit after half time. I will take 5-1 win and its great to end the season like this and it great for the boys going into next Wednesday’s game’…. on the resting of players – we assessed this before the game and now we will see how everyone pulls up and see if everyone is okay’… on team selection for the FFA Cup with everyone in form – ‘It is a good problem to have’.
First goal scorer in today‘s match Mitchell Del Turco stated – on his goal at this stage of the season – ‘yes it is a bit late but I will take it, rather have one than none. We played well but could have played a bit better. We a lot more alive today, don’t know why we don’t play like that every week.’
Brace scorer Jordan Murray – ‘I wish I got the third goal (ruled offside) but I’m happy with two to help the team. It was close but not close enough. We could have bagged a couple more. We marked them well and executed well today in the 5-1 win They play on artificial turf and had to come down here on a rainy day, they didn’t have a chance.’
SOUTH COAST WOLVES.….…………..5
Mitchell Del Turco 6’, Jordan Murray 23’, 28’, Lachlan Reus 65’, Darcy Madden 90+2
A.P.I.A. LEICHHARDT TIGERS.……..1
Marc Warren 80’
@ WIN STADUIM, WOLLONGONG
Sunday 17th August 2014
3.00 p.m. Kick Off
SOUTH COAST WOLVES F.C.
Coach: Nahuel Arrarte
1.Daniel Collison 2.Jack Keating 4.Michael Robinson (Capt.) 5.James Baldacchino (3.Chris Nathaniel 80’) 15.Darcy Madden 11.Mitchell Del Turbo 6.Zac Mackenzie (8.Matthew Bailey 68’) 16.Lachlan Reus 10.Ben Zucco 7.Chris Price (9.Peter Simonoski 65’)
Substitutes not used: 30 David Hamilton 20.Joseph Lavalle
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Billy McColl
1.Andrew Bazi; 3.Jamie Lobb, 4.Bradley Bartels 5.Michael West (C) 6.Marc Warren 7.Stephen Kayes 8.Bradley McDonald (15.Matthew Mayora 64’) 9.Blake Powell 10.Franco Parisi 13.David D’Apuzzo 19.Joey Gibbs
Substitutes not used: 17.Matthew Castelnuovo, 20. Ali Nasreddine 40.Stephan Giglio
Yellow Cards: Stephen Kayes 54’
Red Card: Nil
Referee: Jerry Bitas
Assistant Referees: Scott Edeling. Murray Wilson
Fourth Official: Daniel Stack
By Malcolm Rowney