Two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half helped Rockdale City to a 2-0 win over Sutherland in their local derby on Saturday night.
The Sharks remain winless, with the defeat at Seymour Shaw Park their sixth in as many matches to start the season. While Rockdale City’s first clean sheet of the season sees them with the chance to go top of the league should they win their rescheduled round three clash against Parramatta on Wednesday night.
Harris Gaitatzis continued his excellent form since joining the Suns, opening the scoring after 23 minutes with an overhead kick after Alec Urosevski had hit the bar.
A minute later and it was 2-0, this time Urosevski beat Sharks goalkeeper Nathan Denham with a finish into the bottom corner from the top of the box.
It could have been more for Rockdale if not for the efforts of Denham, with the Sutherland veteran denying Daniel Petkovski and former Shark Jordan Figon, who returned to Seymour Shaw for the first time since making the move to Rockdale at the end of last season.
Rockdale player-coach Paul Reid told Football NSW he was happy with the result and was particularly pleased with the Suns keeping their first clean sheet.
“We spoke at half-time [that] we haven’t kept a clean sheet all season,” he said.
“We’ve been scoring goals but we’ve conceded a few more than we’d like to, too. We might’ve scored a few more but we had a lot more control in the second half. We didn't feel under a huge amount of pressure.
“To come away with a 2-0 result is great. Sutherland are a good team, I'm not sure how they haven’t won a game yet. Things will turn around for them very soon. I'm just glad that it wasn’t tonight.”
Sutherland coach Carlos Villazon was disappointed with the lapses in concentration that ultimately cost his side.
“I think we played two different games,” he said.
“In the first half we made too many mistakes in possession and it cost us those two quick goals.
“In the second half we tried to move things around a bit more to open up a few more opportunities and we had a few chances in the last 10, 15 minutes that might’ve made things different if we’d managed to put one or two away.
“But mistakes cost games. We have to learn how to be more composed under pressure.”
Rockdale host Parramatta at the Ilinden Sports Centre on Wednesday night before a trip to Cromer Park to play Manly United on Sunday. Wins in both matches would see the Suns sit top of the NPL table.
Sutherland travel to Bonnyrigg to face the White Eagles on Saturday night looking for their first points of the season.