The Wanderers Academy NPL 1 first grade side secured a 2-1 win against North Shore Mariners at Valentine Sports Park on Saturday night.
The result marked the sides second win of the season with Patrick Zwaanswijk continuing his 100% record in the dug-out for the Red & Black.
Although this was last versus second last on the ladder, both sides were in decent form coming into the match. The Wanderers had won the match prior to last week’s loss, while the Mariners were looking to make it four matches in a row unbeaten.
The match began with a flurry of yellow cards, with three cautions given out inside the opening 16 minutes.
Once the play became more flowing, and less stop-start, it was the Wanderers who benefited the most. Thomas Aquilina was industrial down the left flank, making forward runs from left back and combining well with left winger Rory Jordan.
Aquilina almost created two goals in the space of as many minutes as his crossing worried the North Shore defence.
It looked as if it was going to be all one-way traffic for the entire half until Mitch Smith scored a goal against the run of play for the Mariners in the 26th minute.
Just a minute later a goalkeeping error saw Ali Auglah fire a shot on-goal as Mariners shot-stopper Ryan Wood was well off his line. Auglah’s first-time shot looked goal-bound until it bounced over the crossbar by millimetres.
Mitch Smith almost doubled his goal tally with a headed effort that hit the right upright just before half time.
The second half began with an immediate bang via the form of a Wanderers equaliser. Dauntae Mariner was played in behind a napping defence who played a great grounded cross to Ali Auglah who made no mistake from inside the box.
Only three minutes later the Wanderers went close to a second goal of the night. Dauntae Mariner was again involved in the build up and showed quick feet to avoid a challenge and play in an on-running Rory Jordan. He took a couple of touches to settle himself before he unleashed his shot, but the defender recovered well and blocked Jordan’s shot out for a corner.
The momentum continued to be behind the Red & Black, and that was rewarded in the 60th minute when Jarrod Carluccio was brought down inside the penalty area. Ali Auglah stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake from the spot, finishing into the bottom left corner.
The Wanderers retained control of the game following Auglah’s second and cruised home to a 2-1 victory. The win sees the Wanderers climb four places into 8th position on the NPL 1 ladder, while the North Shore Mariners move to last place.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Ali Auglah 46’, 60’)
North Shore Mariners 1 (Mitch Smith 26’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: 40. Oliver KALAC (GK), 2. Thomas AQUILINA, 4. Mohamed AL TAAY (c), 6. Fabian MONGE, 7. Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 9. Dauntae MARINER (26. Alessandro LOPANE 84’), 10. Kosta GROZOS, 17. Dean PELEKANOS, 24. Peter GROZOS (33. Bilal CHAHINE 36’), 19. Rory JORDAN, 35. Ali AUGLAH (16. Jacob VASILIOU 75’)
Unused Substitutes: 50. Jack GIBSON (GK), 3. Mark NATTA, 22. Paolo BONANNI, 23. Jamie PERCEVSKI, 28. Isaac HOVER
Other NPL Results
U20: WSW 6-1 North Shore Mariners
U18: WSW 6-0 Hills United
U16: WSW 5-1 Hills United
U15: WSW 4-0 Hills United
U14: WSW 1-4 Hills United
U13: WSW 7-0 Hills United