NPL Wrap: Wanderers second after Mounties draw

The Western Sydney Wanderers and Mounties Wanderers have shared the spoils in NPL 2 after a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Sydney United Sports Centre of Saturday night.

A first half Kyle Cimenti strike was cancelled out by a goal from Mounties’ Noah Chianese in the second half, with the result leaving the Wanderers five points off league leaders Marconi Stallions.

The game began with Mounties sitting very deep, allowing the Wanderers to have the majority of possession.

The first chance came after Cameron Devlin beat two defenders but he was unlucky to see his low drive strike the outside of the post.

Four minutes later Devlin would have another chance after getting on the end of Matthew Lecce’s flick on but his shot towards goal was blocked.

Devlin was certainly in the thick of the action in the first half, making two crucial tackles to prevent goalscoring opportunities for Mounties, as well as having another shot which was tipped wide by the Mounties goalkeeper after a deflection.

As half time approached, the Wanderers made the breakthrough, Kyle Cimenti reacting quickest to a loose ball before coolly finishing past the advancing goalkeeper.

The Red & Black continued their dominance in the second half and could have had a second after a swift counter attack but Matthew Lecce sent his shot wide after being set up by Tariq Maia.

Just as it looked like the Wanderers would extend their lead, Mounties found an equaliser thanks to Noah Chianese’s header.

Mounties then had a few more half-chances in what was their best spell of the game, one of which was saved well by Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Axford.

In the final 25 minutes the Red & Black regained control of the contest, with Mohamed Najjar and Charles Abou Serhal forcing saves from the opposition goalkeeper.

Tate Russell was also heavily involved, whipping in a number of dangerous crosses, one of which resulted in Cimenti shooting just over the crossbar.

After a late chance for Mounties which was saved by Axford, the Wanderers almost got the winner in the 81st minute but Tariq Maia’s curling effort from 25 yards was saved brilliantly.

The draw, combined with wins in U18s and U20s, saw the Red & Black gain ground in the club championship on leaders Marconi Stallions, with the gap closing to 13 points.

Next week, the Wanderers will host North Shore Mariners at Sydney United Sports Centre on Saturday night.

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Kyle Cimenti 39’)
Mounties Wanderers 1 (Noah Chianese 57’)

Western Sydney Wanderers: Daniel Axford, Tate Russell, Blake Currey (Abdelrahman Kuku 45’), Lachlan Campbell, Mathieu Cordier, Cameron Devlin (captain), Charles Abou Serhal, Tariq Maia, Oliver Puflett (Emmanuel Gonzalez 86’), Matthew Lecce (Mohamed Najjar 57’), Kyle Cimenti
Unused subs: Mackenzie Syron, Joshua Bartolotto

In other results:
U13: Rockdale 0-0 WSW
U14: Rockdale 2-5 WSW
U15: Rockdale 0-1 WSW
U16: Rockdale 1-0 WSW
U18: WSW 3-1 Mounties
U20: WSW 3-0 Mounties