Sutherland fall against Blacktown City following midweek loss

On the pitch: The Sutherland Sharks faced Blacktown City FC in round six of the NPL NSW. Picture: Football NSW.
On the pitch: The Sutherland Sharks faced Blacktown City FC in round six of the NPL NSW. Picture: Football NSW.

The Sutherland Sharks matched up against Blacktown City FC on Saturday, March 4 at Seymour Shaw Park, following a midweek loss to APIA Leichhardt.

Sutherland had a fast start to the contest when Jonathan Grozdanovski fashioned an early chance.

The young striker hit the upright after turning on a sixpence which almost caught out Blacktown's shot-stopper.

After the dismal one-nil loss to APIA midweek, Sharks' coach Nick Dimovski handed striker Peter Simonoski his first start of the season, following a long injury lay-off and he made himself busy in the opening exchanges.

For all the early promise, there was little in the way of goalmouth action as the cat and mouse midfield battle took precedence.

Blacktown played the perfect ball over the top, but a midfielder was caught offside by the advancing Sharks' defence on the restart.

The visitors probed every area in search of the opening goal, and it eventually came as they latched onto a loose ball in the box to hammer City ahead.

A short corner was crossed into the mix, and in the ensuing scramble, the City striker kept the coolest head to rifle home.

It was an all too familiar feeling for the Sharks this season, who would once again need to dig deep to come from behind if they were to get anything from the match.

Their response would be critical, and the situation deteriorated when a Peter Simonoski wayward elbow left Referee Craig Fisher with no option but to issue a straight red card.

City thought they had benefited immediately from the numerical advantage in extending the lead they headed home a free-kick. Still, again the offside flag was raised and the goal rightly disallowed.

Blacktown was on the up going into the half-time break, both by a goal and player, and it would take something very special for the Sharks to pull it back.

Everett slid the ball through for Andrew, whose shot was blocked at the near post, but it was as close as the home side would come to a goal.

City was not to be denied when its striker fired in the rebound from a shot that was parried by Bouzanis.

Sharks' coach Nick Dimovski stated afterwards.

"It never helps losing a player so early in the game, and it took the sting out of us," he said. "I thought my players dug in after the card and tried to contain Blacktown to a respectable performance, but we knew they are always a tough opponent.

"We have a tough trip down the road against Sydney FC next weekend, and we'll certainly look to bounce back after a disappointing week for us."

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