The competition’s two best sides, Blacktown City and APIA Leichhardt Tigers, both laid down markers to the rest of the competition in a thrilling Round 12.Blacktown City's 6-1 demolition of Sydney United 58 was superb while APIA Leichhardt looked down and out when they were 3-0 down to Rockdale City Suns, yet somehow recovered to win 4-3.
Sydney Olympic dropped points away to South Coast Wolves, but still sit third.
ROUND 12 REVIEW
Blacktown Spartans 2-5 Sutherland Sharks, at Blacktown Football Park
It looked good for Blacktown Spartans when they took the lead through Mitchell Long but it was downhill from there against a sharp looking Sutherland Sharks. Long's opener was cancelled out immediately by Seongjin Park. Sean O'Connell, Bai Antoniou and Jordan Figon all struck for the Sharks who took a 4-1 lead into the break. Shu Sasaki reduced the deficit to two goals but Park's second goal killed off any faint hopes of a Spartans comeback.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2-1 Manly United, at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
Injury depleted Bonnyrigg White Eagles ground out an important 2-1 win over Manly United. The White Eagles will be very happy to come out of this one unscathed and they took the lead through Aaron Peterson early in the first half. Robbie Younis put the game to bed late in the second half. Alex Doyle saw red a minute later but Manly United weren't able to capitalise until stoppage time when Brendan Cholakian found the back of the net.
Sydney United 58 FC 1-6 Blacktown City, at Sydney United Sports Centre
Blacktown City were favourites for this one but I don't think anybody expected them to score six and win by five. Joe Gibbs opened the scoring before the outstanding Conor Evans doubled the lead. United 58 needed to respond and they did almost immediately when a superb Robbie Mileski pass set up Chris Triantis only for Ibrahim Haydar's unfortunate own goal see Blacktown City take a 3-1 lead into the sheds. The second half was simply ruthless. Patrick Antelmi came off the bench to add the fourth before Gibbs added the fifth and sixth to complete a hat trick and a wonderful day for the club.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 4-3 Rockdale City Suns, at Lambert Park
Rockdale City led this one 3-0 and really they should have had it in the bag but the APIA Leichhardt Tigers had other ideas. A penalty by Marko Jesic and a double to Alec Urosevski saw the Suns race to a three goal lead which was reduced by one when Michael West found the back of the net shortly before the break. Immediately after the interval Nick Olsen reduced the deficit to one goal with a well taken strike. With ten minutes to go Brett Studman equalised from a superb Sean Symons corner leaving APIA ten minute to find a winner. They only needed four as Blake Powell converted from the spot to score his 16th goal in 12 games this season.
Parramatta FC 0-0 Marconi Stallions, at Melita Stadium
The competition's bottom two teams went head to head at Melita Stadium and what followed was an indication of why they are in those positions. It was as drab a goalless draw as one could have the misfortune of seeing. Parramatta FC probably had the better of the opportunities, but the point each doesn't do much for either side.
South Coast Wolves 1-1 Sydney Olympic, at WIN Stadium
South Coast Wolves can't quite string together a 90 minute performance and it proved to be the case again. The home side took the lead against Sydney Olympic, in only the third minute, courtesy of Bradley Welch. Indeed, Wolves was the better of the two sides in the first 45 minutes and Olympic didn't register a shot in anger. That changed in the second half though as Grant Lee's side hunted an equaliser, and maybe more. It came through Taiga Soeda, but the winner did not, and the points were shared.