A blisteringly fast-paced match at Sydney United Sports Centre saw Blacktown City earn a 3-1 victory against Northbridge Bulls on Saturday afternoon.

A brace of penalties from club captain Matthew Lewis in the game guided Blacktown City to victory.

It was an even start to the match, with neither side creating anything of substance in the opening five minutes however the game adopted a frantic speed from then on.

In the 10th minute, the visitors were awarded a penalty after some positive work down the right.

Lewis took responsibility from the spot, with the captain burying a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner to give his side the lead.

Blacktown City continued to exploit space on their right-hand side with Dakota Askew a consistent outlet.

Twelve minutes in, Askew found himself in space in the right channel of the box and clipped a ball to the back post for Jordan Smylie, who sent an effort over the bar from a tight angle.

Four minutes after this, another move down the right saw a cross find Lewis in the middle, but he could not direct the header to either side of Nick Suman.

Blacktown City’s good early spell in the match encouraged Northbridge into the game, and in the 17th minute, Michael Ruhs’ cross from the right found Diego Bonilla in the box, who glanced wide of the far post.

A minute later, Jed Drew shifted the ball inside from the left wing, and his shot from outside the box prompted Blacktown City keeper Alex Robinson to tip the ball over the bar for a corner.

The Bulls continued to press on in the hope of restoring parity in the match, with Drew lofting the ball wide and Lachlan Sepping sending a freekick just over the bar around half an hour in.

Seven minutes before the break, Northbridge’s pressure finally told as some intricate play from the side dropped to Bonilla centrally in the box, who blasted an effort home to put the scores level.

Blacktown City looked to retake the lead in the final five minutes of the half, with Hiroaki Aoyama’s deflected effort bouncing just wide of the left post.

In first-half stoppage time, another Askew cross from the right caused chaos in the Northbridge box as Suman dropped the ball, however no Blacktown City player was able to poke the ball home.

At the break, the scores were level, as the match had picked up pace through the first period.

Blacktown City came out of the sheds with great purpose incessant on retaking the lead.

After several close calls in the opening few moments of the second half, Blacktown City found the equaliser in the 50th minute.

Aoyama’s initial shot from outside the box cannoning off the left post before the side worked the ball back down the right, finding Smylie free inside the box, who slid in to give the away side the lead once more.

Smylie, looked to add to his tally, coming close twice in the next five minutes but couldn’t find the target with either attempt.

In the 74th minute, Blacktown City was awarded their second penalty of the match as Lewis side-footed his shot into the left side of the net with Suman diving the other way.

With five minutes left in the second half, Blacktown City substitute Charles Mendy wound up a shot from a central position outside the box, but the strike whistled past the bar.

In the match’s dying embers, Mendy went on a mazy run through the Northbridge defence, driving into the box, however he was unable to round the keeper to finish off the move.

Blacktown City went on to secure the three points with a 3-1 win against Northbridge Bulls.

Match Stats

Northbridge Bulls FC 1 Diego Bonilla 38’

Blacktown City FC 3 Matthew Lewis 10’p, 74’p, Jordan Smylie 50’

Saturday 9 April, 2022

Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park

Referee: Brodie Merchant

Assistant Referees: Cameron Wright and Bradley Wright

Fourth Official: Mujtaba Ebrahimi

Northbridge Bulls: 1.Nick Suman, 2.Jack Mcloughlin, 3.Nathan Dimou, 4.Anthony Sparacino (14.Charlie Ragg 81’), 8.Brodie Clarkson, 9.Diego Bonilla (15.Eddie Caspers 60’), 10.Rory Jordan (7.Mason Wells 60’), 16.Oliver Jones, 17.Jed Drew (13.James Cakcovski 74’), 18.Michael Ruhs, 19.Lachlan Sepping

Substitutes Not Used: 20.Levi Kaye, 12.Marcus Sparacino

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

Blacktown City FC: 30.Alex Robinson, 3.Daniel Collins, 4.Lachlan Campbell, 5.Grant Lynch, 6.Matthew Lewis (22.Carlos De Oliveira 81’), 7.Jordan Smylie (21.Charles Mendy 74’), 10.Mario Shabow (8.Jak O’Brien 63’), 17.Dakota Askew, 19.Adam Berry, 24.Jackson Bandiera, 32.Hiroaki Aoyama

Substitutes Not Used: 20.Cayden Henderson, 9.Jake Trew, 18.Nicholas O’Brien

Yellow Cards: Jak O’Brien 85’

Red Cards: Nil

Player Ratings:

3 – Matthew Lewis (BC)

2 – Dakota Askew (BC)

1 – Hiroaki Aoyama (BC)

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