IGA NSW NPL Men's 1 Round 16 Review

See what Sydney FC's players past and present got up to as they ply their trade in the IGA NSW NPL Men's 1 competition this offseason.

See what Sydney FC's players past and present got up to as they ply their trade in the IGA NSW NPL Men's 1 competition this offseason.

Blake Powell scored for APIA in a frantic goal-fest at Seymour Shore Park while Paul Reid's Rockdale City Suns came out on top in a 1-0 victory in the Match of the Round at the Ilinden Sports Centre.

THE race is back on.

That is the message at the top of the table as Blacktown City closed the gap to two points between them and Blacktown Spartans.

Meanwhile, Sydney United 58 and APIA-Leichhardt kept their slim finals hopes alive with wins, the latter scoring an unbelievable 5-4 against Sutherland at Seymour Shaw Park.

The competition takes a short break next weekend for the Waratah Cup final, to be contested by Blacktown City and Manly United, who coincidentally met in league action this weekend.

The Waratah Cup final is at Lambert Park, the home of APIA-Leichhardt Tigers, at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.

MATCH OF THE ROUND

Rockdale City Suns 1-0 St George, at Ilinden Sports Centre

Rockdale City scored a much needed win over St George at home and although the game was nothing special, Rockdale's coach Branko Culina was relieved to come away with all three points.

It seemed for a while that it would not be the case as St George defended stubbornly on a blustery afternoon that made playing good passing football quite difficult.

Rockdale's Nikola Taneski blew two superb opportunities in the first half, but luckily for the home side they did not come back to haunt them.

Former Rockdale winger, David Talveski, rattled the crossbar with a fantastic volley late on in the first half, but it was left to Marko Jesic to snare the winner for Rockdale.

With only ten minutes to go, substitute Tadhg Purcell played a delightful ball to Jesic, who beat the offside trap and finished confidently past Dion Shaw to steal all three points.

Round 16 Review

Sutherland Sharks 4-5 APIA-Leichhardt Tigers, at Seymour Shaw Park

No, that result is not a typo. Sutherland Sharks and APIA-Leichhardt Tigers put on one of the great shows on Saturday night, with APIA eventually winning by the odd goal in nine.

Seven goals were scored in a manic first 45' minutes, which also featured red cards to Panni Nikas and Brad Bartels, and two penalties, one missed by Blake Powell and the other scored by Joe Gibbs.

Sutherland led, albeit briefly, when Jordan Figon found the back of the net midway through the first half. Although Blake Powell equalised a few minutes later, nothing could prepare the crowd or the players of what was to follow.

Nikas scored before receiving his marching orders, and then Powell was denied from the spot by Sutherland keeper Nathan Denham.

He wasn't to be denied moments later though, as he scored to make it 2-2 just after the half hour mark. Nathan Elasi then put Sutherland ahead again.

APIA was awarded another penalty and this time it was Gibbs who stepped up, making no mistake to level for the third time. When Brad McDonald scored in added time, it was the seventh goal of the half and APIA's fourth and remarkably, the first time they led in the match.

They would relinquish that lead as Daniel Fogarty scored his first APIA goal just after the break to make it 5-3, before Elasi scored again to make it 5-4, the final goal of an incredible night in Miranda.

Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2-2 South Coast Wolves, at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre

Bonnyrigg White Eagles dropped points at home to the increasingly competitive South Coast Wolves.

All the action was in the first half and it started with Adrian Ucchino opening the scoring for the home side.

Wolves captain Matthew Bailey was the hero though, scoring two superb goals. His first drew Wolves leve, but then Robbie Younis' free kick put Bonnyrigg ahead again.

It was Younis' 12th goal of the season, but again Bailey dragged Wolves level with a sensational strike from distance in the dying moments of the first half, as the visitors from Wollongong claimed a share of the spoils.

Blacktown City 2-1 Manly United, at Lilys Football Centre

In a dress rehearsal of next weekend's Waratah Cup Final, Blacktown City came from behind to beat a plucky Manly United side.

Indeed it was the visitors from the peninsula who took the lead through the lively Brendan Cholakian just before the half hour mark.

Manly had hoped to take the lead into half time, but Travis Major levelled in the 44' minute.

He then popped up in the second half to score again and take the points for his side and in doing so, register his 14th goal of the season, kicking two clear of Robbie Younis who had drawn level with his goal the night before.

Sydney Olympic 2-2 Marconi Stallions, at Belmore Sports Ground

Olympic and Marconi shared four goals between them, in a result that does little for either sides semi finals aspirations, particularly given Rockdale City's win.

Olympic took the lead in just the second minute through captain Peter Markovic.

It was a lead that lasted 24' minutes, only for Jared Lum to draw Marconi level from the penalty spot.

Marco Sama's goal 10' minutes later meant that the Stallions had a precious lead to take into the break.

Olympic attacked with more vigour in the second half though and they were rewarded with the equaliser from Go Shirai, as the two sides shared the points.

Sydney United 58 FC 1-0 Blacktown Spartans, at Sydney United Sports Centre

Spartans are beatable after all. That's the message from Edensor Park after struggling United got up 1-0 against the ladder leaders, who saw their lead reduced to just two points.

United were energetic and up for the task against a Spartans side who looked like they would run away with the premiership early in the season. They may yet end up premiers, but they will be made to work for it in the final six weeks of a thrilling season.

The only goal of the match came from the boot of Joel Chianese, who found the back of the net shortly after the hour mark, to get his side a hugely valuable three points and inadvertently throw the premiership race wide open again.

*Photo Courtesy of Football New South Wales

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