2023 NPL NSW MENS 1 ROUND 5
WOLLONGONG WOLVES v WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
WOLVES INFLUENCE WANDERERS TO LOSE THEIR WAY
The Wollongong Wolves achieved their second victory and a clean sheet when the team accounted for the Western Sydney Wanderers by one goal to nil. The game see sawed with each team having their moments of dominance, though the Wolves probably shaded their opposition. The game breaker did not come until added time at the conclusion of the ninety minutes through substitute Jake Trew, who scored his initial goal for the club at this high level.
The Wolves kicked off the action, running towards the southern end of the ground. The Wolves kept possession from the opening whistle, spraying passes around before a header from a Joshua McDonald free kick was directed wide. A corner kick from Walter Scott was headed away by the Wanderers defence. Marcus Beattie, the Wolves right wing/back showed his defensive mettle by heading up field as Ariah Piol also vied for the ball. Takumi Ofuka provided an offensive manoeuvre by crossing in from the left side. Edmond Lupcanu hoofed it forward.
The Wolves big chance to change the scoreboard arose on fourteen minutes. Left wing/back Walter Scott, lost his footing on the left channel before regaining his composure. He robbed Alex Bonetig and moved inwards before delivering the ball to McDonald. He took a touch outside the box in the penalty arc before shooting with a powerful right footed effort that zoomed in, only for the WSW custodian Lawrence Caruso to finger tip the ball over. Not long after Samuel Riak after receiving the ball from Scott, hit the ball powerfully on target but unfortunately it did not bring up the desired outcome.
A Wanderers attacker, George Antonis was tackled by Harrison Buesnel just outside the box on the left side with a free kick being the result. Daniel Wilmering whipped the free kick in. The Wolves defended but conceded a corner kick. Wilmering again curled the ball in with the Wolves custodian Nenad Vekic pushing it away one handed, before it was ultimately cleared by Banri Kanaizumi.
A Piol effort flashed wide and Vekic was way out of his area to defuse an attack as Piol looked dangerous. Buesnel did well to repel Nathan Blair.
A minute short of the half hour the Wanderers went close to scoring. With many players in the area pressure was applied but Vekic again kept his domain intact with a one handed save. At the other end McDonald hit his free kick with consummate power. However, a flying save from Caruso kept the Wanderers in the contest. Buesnel and Blair battle for the ball with the Wolves defender winning out. In one minute of added time, Ofuka was played into the box, but alas, could not pull the trigger.
Neither team could make their opportunities stick as each team searched for the opening goal. The play was somewhat scrappy as times with some desperation displayed. At half time the stalemate continued.
The second half was no less an arm wrestle. Western Sydney were quick off the blocks with George Antonis shooting but not converting after Blair set him up. A further left side corner kick by Wilmering had Vekic going low to thwart. From the other side a Wilmering corner kick went away for a goal kick. Deli got his pass to Jarrod Carluccio but his subsequent effort was spooned skyward.
At the other end Riak strode into the box and slipped the ball to Ofuka. He could not convert, sending his shot high.
A host of substitutes were brought on during the second half to provide fresh impetus but one was a telling move later on in the proceedings.
The Wolves were keeping the Wanderers defence honest with substitute Trew having to win the ball off two defenders before putting a strong shot wide. A minute later and a minute short of the hour, Ofuka eluded a few markers with dancing feet but skied his subsequent shot.
Not to be outdone, Blair went on a long rampaging run before being dispossessed by Banri Kanaizumi, the Wolves stand in captain and defensive dynamo. Trew was set free and beared down on Caruso. The striker managed to elude him but was sent wide as a consequence and he could not take advantage of the vacant goal.
Sapsford, who had scored many goals with his previous team Sydney FC looked likely to score. His left his targeted shot zoomed in only for a slight deflection off a Wolves defender. It went extremely close to breaking the deadlock. A minute later, he found himself with a free header and an even better opportunity to but it traversed wide and this good chance went begging.
Further efforts from both teams were not clinical enough.
In the time added on the game breaker occurred. Beattie intercepted an Alex Bonetig long pass beating Sapsford to the ball in the process. He then brought the ball down the left before passing up field to substitute Senna Stevenson who tussled for the ball with Bonetig. The ball went loose and Beattie once more regained possession before threading it to substitute Trew. The striker subsequently went into the box and was close to the by line. He checked then to deceive a marker, and cut back, before delivering a powerful left footed angled shot from the right of goal frame for the winner in the 90+3 minute.
A few minutes later, Trew blotted his copybook by receiving a straight red card for his part in the melee that erupted down the grandstand sideline involving a host of players.
Play went on for scant time with the final whistle signalling a Wolves much needed victory. This was the second time that the two teams have met in competition with the earlier game in 2020 being also a victory to the Wolves 4-1
Coach David Carney – ‘I said to the boys before the game that a clean was what was wanted. Jake did well when he came on. Overall we deserved it. It was a scrappy game at times but in the first half we could have gone one or two up. We pulled off a good save and they pulled off a couple…I was happy to get the win. Our work rate, our discipline was good… It (the goal) was a long time coming. We had to dig deep and to score at the end and it makes the celebration even better.’
Central defender – Harrison Buesnel -‘ it was good to get the clean sheet. That’s for sure. They are a good team and they play well but they did not have many chances at the back there…. We decided to try to not to let goals in and we did that today… I came from Canberra. It is a big change for me and I’m enjoying it. It much higher step up (at this Level) and I’m learning a lot. I’m loving it.’
Attacker Joshua McDonald – ‘it was much needed obviously and we came out on top. The boys were good and we won the battle. I think we dominated them. They made things difficult but in the end we did that little bit more. ‘
WOLLONGONG WOLVES ………..……………..1
Jake Trew 90+
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS……………. 0
Sunday 5th March 2023
5.00 p.m. kick off
Coach: David Carney
1.Nenad Vekic (GK) 3.Harrison Buesnel 5.Banri Kanaizumi (Capt.) 7.Marcus Beattie 8.Samuel Riak 9.Takumi Ofuka 10.Mirza Muratovic (14.Jake Trew 50’) 23.Walter Scott 88.Chris McStay 99.Joshua MacDonald (16.Thomas Dunn (90+) 25.Alex Masciovecchio (Senna Stevenson 71’)
Subs not used: 13.Tomas Butkovic (RGK) 15.Ethan Beaven 17.Denim Nou
Yellow Cards: Harrison Buesnel 18’ Chris McStay 34’ Walter Scott 72’ Samuel Riak 89’ Nenad Vekic 90+3’
Red Cards: Jake Trew 90+8
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Coach: Andrew Christiansen
20.Lawrence Caruso (GK) 4.Alex Bonetig 5.Daniel Wilmering 6.Frans Deli 7.Marcus Younis (27.Farah Koko 57’) 8.Jarrod Carluccio 9.Nathaniel Blair 12.Edmond Lupancu 14. George Antonis (Capt.) (23. Mason Fernandez 68’) 77.Ariath Piol (11.Zac Sapsford 57’) 24. Teng Kuol (3.Liam Bonetig 82’)
Substitutes not used: 30.William Loucas (RGK) 2.Matthew O’Donoguhue
Yellow Cards: Frans Deli 87’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee – Adrian Arndt
Assistant Referees – Cameron Wright and Hayden Michimayr
Fourth Official – Hadi Al-Nakeeb
By Malcolm Rowney