BLACKTOWN City FC clinched the 2010 Championship with a very hard fought 1-0 victory over premiers Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Played at a fast pace throughout, Tolgay Ozbey's 77' minute penalty was enough to seal the win, despite ten-man Bonnyrigg's late attempts to send the match into extra-time. Blacktown City certainly did have the better of the chances in the opening half, though a much closer second period followed. In the end, a well-organised Blacktown City administered proceedings to grind out the result and once again reign supreme in the NSW Premier League competition.
Tolgay Ozbey carved out the first opening of the afternoon with a first-time volley from a Joel Chianese centre from the left-flank. The League's top goalscorer positioned himself nicely at the back post, though failed to make clear contact with the ball, blasting well wide of the intended target.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles' response arrived via the feet of Daniel Severino. The White Eagles' playmaker failed to pick out the head of Brad Boardman with his cross from the right flank, as Blacktown City cleared their lines to safety.
Severino was at it again moments later as he whipped in a fierce corner from the right-flank, catching the Blacktown City defenders unawares, as the ball finished wide of the back post.
Blacktown City had the crowd on their feet when Tyler Simpson hit the upright from Travis Major's free-kick. Simpson's initial header ricocheted off Phillip Zabaks' left-hand post, before Simpson headed for a second time on goal - denied by a tremendous diving save by Zabaks. A third follow-up header by Tyler Simpson finished wide of the mark.
Blacktown City were easily the more composed of the two sides following the opening 15' minutes, though Severino issued a timely reminder of the danger he poses from set-pieces. The Bonnyrigg attacking midfielder unleashed a curling effort from 30-metres out, only just clearing Brody Crane's crossbar.
Crane's opposite number Zabaks was called upon at the other end to deny Kain Rastall's snap-shot effort from the edge of the penalty-area, the Bonnyrigg shot-stopper calmly claimed to thwart any danger.
Blacktown City's chances of victory suffered a major setback on 22' minutes as Joel Chianese was forced to leave the field with injury. The talented midfielder, failed to run off a strain to his left leg, leaving Aytek Genc with no choice but to replace the youngster - Ante Deur his replacement.
On the half-hour, Ozbey was played clear on goal from Travis Major's ball over the defence, though with the goalkeeper to beat and the challenge of Paul Cotte beside him, Zabaks pulled off a fine save down to his left to keep the score level.
At the other end, Graeme Forbes saw his header from Severino's corner headed off the goalline by Ante Deur, denying the White Eagles a certain goal.
Blacktown City nearly found the break through on 40' minutes as Ozbey sent a lethal low-driven free-kick inches wide of Zabak's right-hand post - the last chance of a rather entertaining first 45' minutes.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles came out for the second-half with their foot on the accelerator, Brian Brown's men carving out two openings in the first 5' minutes. First, Jamie McMaster dribbled his way through the Blacktown City defence before going down - the refereeing handing out a yellow card for simulation - before Milorad Simonovic played Boardman through on goal, the White Eagles denied by an offside flag.
Blacktown City's reply arrived via the feet of Ozbey, though the striker was thwarted by the challenge of three Bonnyrigg defenders as he skipped his way into the penalty-area.
On the hour, Jamie McMaster almost caught Brody Crane off his goalline with an exceptional long-range attempt. The White Eagles midfielder picked up a loose ball 35-metres out, and unleashed a dipping half-volley inches over the crossbar.
At the other end, Zabaks kept the scores level with a tremendous diving save to his left. Some poor defending by Bonnyrigg left an opening for Blacktown City, though the shot-stopper was well positioned to pull off the save.
On 76' minutes, Major's exquisite through ball behind the defence played Deur on goal, the Blacktown City attacking midfielder brought to ground by Graeme Forbes who was subsequently shown a red card for his efforts. Tolgay Ozbey, with complete composure, drove home his spot-kick to give Blacktown City the lead.
The goal spurred the White Eagles into attack, though chances to Severino, substitute David Gullo and Shane Webb were thwarted by some strong Blacktown City defending.
In the 85' minute, Blacktown City hit the White Eagles on the counter-attack as Ozbey got in behind the Bonnyrigg defence. From an acute angle, Ozbey opted to play the assist man in search of a teammate on the edge of the penalty-area, though the retreating Bonnyrigg defence managed to clear their lines.
Bonnyrigg squandered a golden chance in the 88' minute as Wade Oostendorp rose highest to head a Severino free-kick goalwards. The Bonnyrigg defender, under immense pressure from his marker, failed to get a clean header on-target, sending his effort inches wide of goal.
The White Eagles fought tooth and nail in injury-time as Paul Cotte carved out an opening following a scramble inside the Blacktown City penalty-area, though the Bonnyrigg captain's effort finished wide of the mark.
In the 2' minute of injury-time, Severino again picked out Oostendorp via a set-piece, though again the defender failed to direct his diving header on target.
After 3' minutes of injury-time, the Blacktown City players were rewarded for their efforts as the referee called an end to proceedings, handing the team from Blacktown the 2010 Championship.
Comments from the coaches:
Blacktown City FC coach Aytek Genc:
"I am very happy to be the coach of this club, and it is a real credit to the club as a whole for the fine efforts. We won the Grade-20s today as well, so it has been a fabulous season. Credit must go to Ken Schembri and Vince Camera who saved the club, and results like these today make it a very special moment to be associated with Blacktown City FC.
"I'm proud of the players for their approach, we've had a tough year with players coming and going, though the players that have been available have been tremendous, and it makes the job all the more rewarding."
Bonnyrigg White Eagles coach Brian Brown:
"That's football, these things happen, though looking back at the season as a whole, I am very proud of the players and the efforts of the group as a whole. We'll be back even stronger next year, we are evolving as a club and our objective will be to improve on the Premiership trophy that we won this year - we'll be looking to win every trophy."
Comments from the captains:
Blacktown City FC captain Luke Roodenburg:
"I am a very proud captain and am really proud of this club, of this team of players, and really the boys have been great, the coaching staff. It has been a tremendous season for us.
"Bonnyrigg had a great season, congratulations to them for a fine run and a great season. I am happy that we have managed to dominate them this year with three wins, though this final was fitting as the top two teams from the competition met in the deciding match."
Bonnyrigg White Eagles captain Paul Cotte:
"Disappointing to lose with a penalty, a sad finish to the season for us, though we'll certainly come back strong next season, and hope to have another shot at the grand-final then.
"It's been a great season, and a big well done to all the boys for their efforts this season.
"Blacktown City played a good match today, congratulations to them for a good match, and a very good season as well."
Blacktown City FC 1 (Tolgay Ozbey 77' (pen)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0
Sunday, 29th August, 2010
Parramatta Stadium, Parramatta
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referees: Sarah Ho and Scott Edeling
Fourth Official: Adam Weir
Blacktown City FC: 1.Brodie Crane; 2.Tyler Simpson, 4.Mirko Jurilj, 5.Luka Dukic, 6.Matt Pressello (23.Luke Austin 84'), 7.Luke Roodenberg (C), 9.Kain Rastall (10.Jordan Simpson 90'), 11.Mitchell Long, 17.Joel Chianese (16.Ante Deur 22'), 18.Travis Major, 19.Tolgay Ozbey
Substitutes Not Used: 8.Chris Bedzo, 40.Justin Biega
Yellow Cards: Matt Pressello 20', Luke Roodenberg 67', Mirko Jurilj 69'
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 99.Phillip Zabaks; 2.Paul Cotte (C), 3.Graham Forbes, 20.Wayne Ostendoorp, 12.Chris Tadrosse, 19.Jamie McMaster, 8.Milorad Simonovic, 11.Shane Webb, 10.Daniel Severino, 15.Nathan Elasi, 9.Brad Boardman (17.David Gullo 80')
Substitutes Not Used: 1.Ali Akabl, 4.Wil Al-Rikaby, 16.Damien Laiman, 14.Kenga Takushima
Yellow Cards: Graham Forbes 19', Jamie McMaster 48', Shane Webb 56'
Red Cards: Graham Forbes 77'
-Report By Joseph Carlucci
Shots (on target)
BWE: 6 (2)
BCFC: 10 (6)
Blacktown City F.C.
1. Brody Crane - Did not have too much to do but when needed did his job - 6.5
2. Tyler Simpson - Defended well in a tight Blacktown defence - 6.5
4. Mirko Jurilj - Got a silly yellow card but marshaled his defence well throughout the game -6.5
5. Luka Dukic - Was great in the air and cleaned up a lot of the ball in his own box - 7
6. Mat Pressello - Worked hard throughout the match - 7
7. Luke Roodenburg - Played with heart and ran for the full 90' minutes pressuring his opponents - 7.5
9. Kane Rastall - One of the quietest of the winning side - 5.5
11. Mitchell Long - Had one of his best games of the season, won plenty of the ball in the middle and fed his striker and wingers plenty of ball
17. Joel Chianese - Started well but went off injured in the 22nd minute- 6
18. Travis Major - Stood out for the entire match, defended splendidly and attacked with venom. Was unlucky not to be awarded the man of the match award - 8
19. Tolgay Ozbey - At his usual best, Ozbey worked his way around the Bonnyrigg defence all afternoon and got just reward by scoring the winning goal to give his side the victory - 9
16. Ante Deur - After coming on to replace Chianese, Deur saved a goal bound header off the line to keep the scores deadlocked and improved as the match wore on - 7
Bonnyrigg White Eagles
99. Phil Zabaks - Had a fantastic game between the sticks, saving his side splendidly on three occasions. Could not do much with the penalty but was easily one of the game's best - 8.5
2. Paul Cotte - Tried hard but was turned by Tolgay Ozbey easily too many times- 6
3. Graeme Forbes - Started slow but worked his way into the game. Gave away the penalty which gave Blacktown City victory - 6
8. Milorad Simonovic - Worked tirelessly in the midfield but was overrun by a younger Blacktown midfield - 6.5
9. Brad Boardman - Not his usual self, fought hard but was well marked out of the game - 5.5
10. Daniel Severino - Had a great impact on the game almost setting up several goals for his side - 7
11. Shane Webb - Was fiery from the first whistle and let his football do the talking - 6
12. Chris Tadrosse - Worked well down the left for the Eagles, shun late in the second-half - 7
15. Nathan Elasi - Picked up his game late in the second-half but all was too late - 6.5
19. Jamie McMaster - Proved a difference in the middle of the park in the second stanza, won a lot of ball and produced some great touches - 7.5
20. Wade Oostendorp - Worked hard at right back but missed a last minute header in front of goal to equalise the match - 6.5
17. David Gullo - Came on with nine minutes remaining and played out of position as a lone striker. Could not show his fantastic skill which proved a difference during the season