May 6, 2024





With a change of venue due to the incessant rain, the Wolves scored five goals on artificial turf at the Sir Ian McLelland Park with one conceded, against the Central Coast Mariners. Three goals for the Wolves were scored by the central defenders Banri Kanaizumi with a brace and another to Harrison Buesnel, together with a stunner from the wing/back Dylan Ryan. Quicksilver midfielder Yagoub Mustafa was also on the scorer’s list with his initial well taken Wolves goal. Luka Smyth responded to hit the Mariners solitary goal, restoring parity during the first half to give the Wolves a scare. Three of the Wolves’ goals emanated from the plethora of corner kicks that were the result of the pressure exerted. However, the Mariners kept going at it and made the Wolves work for their victory as it was not always this one sided despite what the scoreboard displayed.

This 5-1 result is only the fifth time in Wolves history that this result has been achieved, with the previous times being in the 1997/98, 99/00, 00/01 and 2014 seasons.

The Mariners kicked off proceedings with the Wolves facing the western end. It only took a couple of minutes before Mariners captain Lucas Scicluna tried a speculator from approximately thirty metres that went high. Harry Menham was quick off the blocks as he made inroads down the left, but his cross was turned out for corner kick. It was short one by Scicluna, but the subsequent cross was intercepted by Chris McStay to put the ball into a safe zone.

However, it was Andre Takami who forced a corner kick as he overlapped after being sent forward by Yagoub Mustafa. Prior, Buesnell had provided a long accurate pass to Mustafa.  Chris McStay sent the ball in from the right. Buesnell got rid of his marker and moved to the near post and used his body to get the ball into the goal in the sixth minute.

The Wolves looked for a second as Samuel Riak picked up a loose Mariners pass before slotting the ball to Lachlan Scott.  He in turn eluded a defender before sending the ball to Takumi Ofuka. He progressed forward as he shaped to shoot with Rocco Smith adding pressure and Ofuka’s effort went for a goal kick, way off target.

Mustafa made a ground breaking foray in the eighth minute being chased by Scicluna and the Mariner ultimately won out.

On ten minutes, the Mariners earned the equaliser. Smyth took possession after Scicluna headed it onwards. Taye Hedley moved it to Adam Hall out on the left.  He and Buesnell tussled for possession for a few steps near the by line. Hall managed to keep the ball before lining up Smyth and from close vicinity he swept the ball into the Wolves domain giving Wolves’ custodian Vedran Janjetovic an impossible task to prevent. This was Smyth’s eighth goal of the season.

Two minutes later, Central Coast won the ball in own half and broke quickly up the field, but the ensuing cross was intercepted by Ryan. Later, he out jumped Smyth to win a header in the CCM half.

Buesnell intercepted a dangerous cross to head out before captain Lachlan Scott tried to get a shot away as he was tackled in the twenty-second minute. It did not have the requisite power.

The Mariners very nearly had their second as Janjetovic needed to spread, to put off Hedley. He had the goal at his mercy, but his efficient effort travelled narrowly wide. Smyth, his team’s top scorer, made a run that eluded players. He then laid the ball off before an enticing cross was dispatched. Ryan took the safety-first option, putting the ball out. A McStay free kick went up to Buesnell and his header was grasped by Peraic-Cullen.

Scott teed up Riak for an effort, but it traversed wide. Smyth passed to Menham who tried to chip Janjetovic, but he stretched to take. On the half hour, Mustafa burst quickly into the penalty area from the right. A powerful shot zoomed towards the goal, only for Peraic-Cullen to go down and stop.

The Wolves added a second goal with five minutes of normal time to go. A McStay corner kick from the left side went to the far post. Buesnell rose to head across the goal. It went towards goal only to be headed off the line by a Mariners defender. It then flew out to Kanaizumi, positioned near the penalty spot. As he fell he hooked his right foot around the dispatched with the full force he could muster for an emphatic effort.

The Wolves went to the break with a one goal margin and despite the lead were not outplaying the Mariners, who had stuck to their guns and conjured up a quite a few good scoring chances.

However, it took just a minute before the Wolves added their third goal. Hernandez showed Menham a clean pair of heels as he steamed forth down the right before unleashing the ball into the path of Mustafa, who was keeping pace down the left. On receiving the ball, Mustafa hit a cracking with his right foot, with his effort rifling into the goal. Mustafa has been working up to this for some time and it came to fruition today in the rainy conditions.

Notwithstanding, the Mariners need to respond. Donatien Niyonkuru set up Amponsah Antwi but though close, Janjetovic was there to grasp. Scott produced a powerful drive that Peraic-Cullen palmed out.

On fifty minutes, another McStay corner kick brought the Mariners undone once again. This time his kick was flighted to the far side and Kanaizumi jumped high to powerful head home to bring up his brace, his third and fourth goals this season.

Scott later placed a perfect pass to Mustafa only for a defender to get a toe in to intervene.

McStay added another assist when his corner went to back post and Kanaizumi met it with a strong header. It went towards the goal and a flurry of feet vied, with a flailing leg, seemingly Jake Trew’s, getting a vital touch. The ball arrived at above waist height to where Ryan was standing inside the goal area. He proceeded to acrobatically strike the ball with fervour, to lodge it into the CCM domain.

The Wolves played with more drive in the second half, and this showed with the three goals to put the game to bed.

Not to be undaunted, the Mariners despite their low position on the points table still tried to provide with a sting in their tale. Hedley broke through and shot from the edge of the box.  Scicluna who was impressive in his team, had a shot in time added on, after he sprang forth from the middle. From just inside the penalty area, he let fly, the ball traversed narrowly by the left post.

Second half substitute, Damon Gray, who had scored midweek with his second cup goal, nearly had his initial league goal late in the proceedings. He had vision on the goal and his ensuing effort was stopped by the Central Coast custodian.

The Wolves scored five of the best with these goals and their set piece work was second to none. On the points table following this result, the Wollongong sit in eighth position while the Mariners occupy the lowly sixteenth position.

Goal Scorer Harrison Buesnel – ‘In the first half, we probably did not play that well though we worked hard. We go up for corners in every game and to put them in was good. Banri was great in the air. Mine was a bit of a scrappy one but they all count.’

Goal scorer Yagoub Mustafa – ‘I’m happy to get my first goal. It’s and I hope there are many more. It been a while. It’s a boost for my confidence. The boys showed up to finish off the game. Our biggest strength is scoring from set pieces, and it showed to score three.’


WOLLONGONG WOLVES F.C……..……………….5   

Harrison Buesnel 6’ Banri Kaniazumi 40’, 50’ Yagoub Mustafa 46’, Dylan Ryan 73’


Luka Smyth 10’

@ Sir Ian McLellan Park, Kembla Grange.


3.00 p.m. kick off.


Coach: David Carney

  1. Vedran Janjetovic GK, 2. Harrison Buesnel, 4. Dylan Ryan, 5. Banri Kanaizumi, 6. Samuel Riak, 7. Takumi Ofuka (27. Damon Gray 75’), 8. Andre Takami 10. Yagoub Mustafa (29. Thomas Dunn 82’), 11. Sebastien Hernandez (9. Jake Trew 71’)
  2. Lachlan Scott (Capt.) 88. Christopher McStay.

Substitutes Not Used: 13. Oliver Yates 15. Dax Kelly

Yellow Cards: Chris McStay 38’

Red Cards: nil


Coach: Lucas Vilela

  1. Dylan Peraic-Cullen (GK), 4. Andre Parkes (2. Michael Paragalli 61’), 5. Harry Menham, 8. Lucas Scicluna (C), 10. Luka Smyth (9. Nicholas Duarte 61’), 11. Donatien Niyonkuru, 12. Taye Hedley 16. Prayaag Thapa (Alexander Goutounas 76), 22. Rocco Smith 34. Parker Williams, 39. Adam Hall 15. Amponsah Antwi 46’)

Subs. not used: 6. Jordan Small,20. Jai Ajanovic

Yellow Cards – Prayaag Thapa 26’, Luka Smyth 50’

Red Cards: nil

Referee: Brodie Merchant

Assistant Referees: Reece Edwards and Aaron Bloch

Fourth Official: Mayson Griffith

By Malcolm Rowney