Sydney FC took all three points from a stirring clash with Bonnyrigg White Eagles on Saturday night to secure a 3-1 victory in the penultimate round of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s regular season.
The second half was slow to start, and neither side threatened the other's goal again until the hour mark when Kadric jumped to meet a cross at the near post, but Heward-Belle was well-positioned to make the save.
Five minutes later, Iredale picked up his second goal of the night after being played in by Sam McIllhatton. The game broke down somewhat soon after the goal as tempers flared and both managers made a number of substitutions.
Bonnyrigg looked to finish strongly but were left frustrated by a resolute Sydney FC defence led by the impressive Patrick Flottmann, while McIlhatton might have scored a fourth for the hosts after charging down a clearance and weaving behind his defender, but his shot was weak and Norvall was able to get down to make a simple save, keeping the final score at 3-1.
"We've made some little structural changes to keep evolving," said Sydney FC's Rob Stanton.
"Some of the stuff Graham Arnold is doing with the first team, we're trying to do here. Tonight we were also physically right in it, so we're seeing things come together.
"Our second goal was something special. We've done little bits and pieces on that kind of play [in training], but you really can't coach that – it was fabulous, an unbelievable team goal. I'm so proud of the boys for the result, and I'd like to think that we were entertaining, too."
"I'm a bit disappointed, of course," said Bonnyrigg's Brian Brown.
"It's been a horrendous season for us and I thought tonight's performance summed it up – we lacked the heart and passion that a Bonnyrigg team should have."
"Sydney FC showed the way that the game should be played. They had energy and enthusiasm, and I thought they played really well."
Sydney FC 3 (Iredale 26, 65', Skodatis 41')
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 1 (Kadric 37')
Saturday 5 August 2017, at Lambert Park
Referee: C. Young
Assistant referees: S, Edeling and J. Bell
Fourth official: H. Carwardine
Sydney FC: 21. AGAMEMNONOS Andreas, 2. CURTIS Brendan, 3. FLOTTMANN Patrick, 14. GONZALEZ Cristian, 20. HEWARD-BELLE Thomas, 19. IREDALE John, 6. KULESKI Nicola (38. STEWART Jack), 39. MALFARA Leonardo, 16. MCILLHATTON Sam, 18. SKODATIS Jerry, 8. ZAPATA Juan (11. COSKERIE Cooper)
Subs not used: 1. EVANS Mitchell, 4. GOLLAN Alex, 22. THOMAS Perry
Yellow Cards: Zapata 45', Skodatis 60', Heward-Belle 62', Malfara 90'
Red Cards: N/A
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC: 37. ADELI Shervin (21. JALLOH Hassan), 8. FONDYKE Howard, 16. GALLAWAY Samuel, 12. GIL Mun-Soo, 18. KADRIC Asmir (27. IVANOVIC Luke), 10. LO Martin (17. FARIA Leon), 14. MCDONALD Taylor, 15. MILLER Raymond, 40. NORVALL Ryan, 19. OTT Jacob, 11. SPRUCE Benjamin
Subs not used: 1. CHRONOPOULOUS James, 13. MCKENZIE James
Yellow Cards: McDonald 16'
Red Cards: N/A
2017/18 Sydney FC Memberships available NOW. Full Season Memberships available from $270 for Adults and $630 for families, or if you can’t commit to all games non-ticketed Memberships from $75! Become a Sky Blue Member today – CLICK HERE