Marconi Stallions and Blacktown City FC have steamrolled to a two-point lead over their closest rivals at the top of the NSW Premier League ladder following impressive showings in round 4 action over the weekend.
The Stallions overcame stern rivals A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers on Saturday, meanwhile Blacktown City FC put aside the disappointment of a home draw against Rockdale City Suns in round 3 to annihilate Sydney Olympic 4-1 in Belmore.
The Stallions ran out to a two-goal lead courtesy of debutant Mitchell Malia in the opening half, before Robert Younis re-opened the match with a trademark free-kick 25' minutes from the end. Despite the best efforts of Franco Parisi and Younis in the attacking third, the Stallions held tough to administer the one-goal lead, and ensure a hold on top-spot following the weekend fixtures.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles managed to save their blushes late against an impressive Sutherland Sharks outfit on Saturday evening. Trailing the Sharks 0-1 following an impressive Nick Stavroulakis' long-range bomb on 77' minutes, the White Eagles rallied to find a 92' minute equaliser courtesy of a Vuko Tomasevic header. Despite protests from the Sharks players following the goal, and the extended period of possessional dominance by the visitors throughout the clash, the sides finished level for a share of the spoils.
Rockdale City Suns and Manly United FC fought out a 1-1 draw at Bicentennial Park in Rockdale on a very humid afternoon. Both sides exchanged the role of holding a monopoly on possession throughout the encounter, though the clear cut opportunities were few and far between. Adam Foti sent the Cromer Park side ahead in the last minute of first-half action with a fierce half-volley into the top left-hand corner of the goal. Rockdale City Suns' Baturay Akin proved to be his side's 'super sub' for the second week running, coming off the bench to score his side's equaliser and ensure the Suns maintain their unbeaten run at home in 2010.
At Belmore Sports Ground, former Sydney Olympic players Tolgay Ozbey and Ante Deur returned to Belmore - vesting the colours of Blacktown City FC - to play a mean trick on their former side. Ozbey and Deur had the visitors 2-0 up inside the first 25' minutes before Matthew Mayora pegged a goal back via a set-piece for Sydney Olympic prior to the break. Deur bagged his second shortly after the second-half re-start, before Luke Roodenburg entered the fray off the bench to round out the 4-1 win for Blacktown City FC. The win ensures Aytek Genc's team, also returning to the club he coached in the early stages of 2009 season, holds a share of top-spot with Marconi Stallions after four rounds of the competition.
Sydney United squandered the chance to join the Stallions and Blacktown City FC as they let a two-goal lead slip against South Coast Wolves at Sydney United Sports Centre. The Reds led 2-0 after 20' minutes, following goals to Mitchell Thompson and Elsid Barkhousir. Despite the lead, and the home ground advantage, the Reds could not grind out the result as the Wolves ground out a 2-2 draw with Tynan Diaz re-opening the contest on 70' minutes, before Tayfun Buyukkopru scored a dramatic equaliser deep into injury-time to secure the Wolves their first point of the season.
The West Sydney Berries - Bankstown City Lions fixture was moved to Jensen Park. The Lions finally scored their first win of the season following an indifferent start to the season. Peter Tsekenis' side went into the break with a two-goal lead - Richard Luksic and Robbie Mileski the goalscorers, though both goals arrived following the sending off of David Gardiner for the Berries on 17' minutes.
After the break, despite the Berries best efforts to get back into the match, Hussein Salameh added a third goal for the Lions, before Stefan De Jesus pulled a goal back for West Sydney. Bankstown City ran riot in the closing quarter of an hour as Robbie Mileski twice found the back of the net to seal his own personal hat-trick and Bankstown City's first win of the season.
-By Joseph Carlucci