Spartans pluck unlikely victory over Sharks

A cool autumn evening greeted both teams as competition leaders Blacktown Spartans traveled to the southern outskirts of Sydney to face Sutherland Sharks.

The Spartans clearly settled down quicker than the home team, passing fluently and creating the first chance which fell to Biczo however it was quickly blocked. However the sharks responded quickly in what was to become a familiar tone throughout the match, advancing into the opposition’s box before being brought down.

At this point in the game Spartans seemed content on winning set-pieces and keeping the Sharks at bay. However this didn’t last for long, Nick Olsen soon hit the bar with a solid effort followed by Stergiou forcing a save from the keeper.  The Sharks consolidated their advantage peppering the goal more and only being denied by a goal line clearance.  This was until Olsen carefully placed a shot when the keeper deflected a save into his path to give the sharks the lead.

The Spartans then responded leading into half time with Gullo and Millgate ending up on the end of some enterprising build up.

After half time, the game restarted with more of the same but with Robbie Staton (Sutherland’s coach) changing his team’s set up noticeably going for a more defensively structured approach in which they would look to punish the Blacktown on the counter

This approach nearly paid off immediately when Olsen looked to poke home a well weighted cross only to rebound off the keeper into the path of Nikas who produced a shot more fitting on a Rugby field.

The games theme continued when Blacktown soon took the ascendency. Raymond Miller and Kieran Dalton soon found themselves with good chances to equalize and despite them both failing to hit the back of the net, you just got the feeling that they were going to at least score one.

This meant Sharks needed to score at least one more goal, and once again the chances fell too Nick Olsen who came close with him hitting a venomous volley which was tipped over by the Blacktown custodian and then skying a shot over the bar.

Then disaster struck for the sharks when a goal mouth scramble resulted in Tomislav Cirjak hitting a powerful finish into the top left corner too equalize in the 84th minute. By this time Blacktown were well on top and made use of this when Corey Biczo sealed the win in the 91st minute.

Sutherland next travel to play the South Coast Wolves, whilst the Spartans host Sydney Olympic.

Sutherland Sharks 1 (Nick Olsen 34)  lost to Blacktown Spartans 2 (Tomislav Cirjak 82, Corey Biczo 91)

Sutherland Sharks: 1.Nathan Denham (g/k), 2.Jacob Tratt, 5.Nick Littler, 6.Matt Gordon, 9.Nathan Elasi, 10.Jamie McMaster, 14.Nick Stavroulakis ©, 15.Perry Moustakas, 16.Ethan Galbraith 19.Nick Olsen, 23.Panni Nikas

Substitutes Not Used: 8.Lukas Stergiou, 12.Jordan Figon, 18.Jayden Koulizakis, 22.Andrew Depta (g/k), 24.Mitchell Farmer

Blacktown Spartans: 1.Carlos Saliadarre ©, 3.Nathan Millgate, 5.Luka Dukic, 6.Greg Kondek, 7.Phil Makrys, 8.Raymond Miller, 10.Emmanuel Giannaros, 11.David Gullo, 13.Corey Biczo, 14.Jacob Ott, 17.Kieran Dalton

Substitutions Not Used: 15.Conor Evans, 16.Benjamin Tosi, 18.Zachary Freeburn, 20.Tomislav Cirjak, 40.Aaron Liddel