Rockdale City and Sutherland’s main men up front scored doubles to lead their sides to important NPL 1 wins on the weekend, strengthening each of their positions at either end of the table.
Sutherland produced one of the shocks of the round when they downed Sydney United 58 3-2 at Seymour Shaw Park on Saturday night.
A double to the Sharks’ excellent Japanese import Tomohiro Kajiyama and an 84th minute Nathan Elasi goal was enough to hold off the visitors and close the gap to one point to ninth-placed Sydney FC.
New Sutherland coach Grant Lee was delighted with the result and praised his team’s performance.
“Tonight was good but we still caused ourselves problems like the penalty tonight,” Lee said.
“A brief when I took over was to solidify the back four and I think tonight we did that. We never allowed Sydney United 58 much of a chance.”
At the Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday, Rockdale cruised to a 2-0 win over Hakoah Sydney City East thanks to a brace from Jordan Figon.
The Suns earned their two-goal advantage before the half hour mark but had to hang tough for the last hour when Idriss El Hafiane was sent off.
Even with an extra man Hakoah couldn’t break down Rockdale who did well to keep a clean sheet and gain revenge for their FFA Cup exit earlier this month.
“It’s a great three points today but we did it tough after losing Idriss early on in the match,” Suns player-coach Paul Reid said.
“We had to go fairly defensive being down to 10 men but I was happy with the way we kept it together and really limited Hakoah’s attack.
“It was great to see Jordy [Figon] rediscover his scoring touch today. Uro [Alec Urosevski], Harris [Gaitatzis] and Jordy were in incredible form to start the year but have struggled through the middle stages of the season. I said to them before the game how important it was for them to find their form again so I’m really happy with how Jordy responded today.”
Rockdale travel to the Belmore Sports Ground to face Sydney Olympic this weekend while Sutherland take on Hakoah at the Hensley Athletic Field.
Both games kick-off at 3pm on Sunday.