It was an entertaining battle at Blacktown City Sports Centre on Wednesday night as Blacktown City and Marconi Stallions shared points in a 2-2 draw in a rescheduled round 3 NPL NSW Men’s fixture.
The match saw plenty of exciting end-to-end action as the two sides put their attacking prowess on display until the final whistle.
Despite being ahead twice in the match, the hosts couldn’t hold onto the lead as the visiting Stallions mounted continuous pressure.
Home fans didn’t have to wait long to see some action, with Askew capitalising on a chance in just the 7th minute to open the scoring in the game.
Jackson Bandiera played the ball to Smylie, who sent it across the park to Askew on the edge of the 18-yard box.
Askew sent his strike cleanly into the side netting to open the scoring.
It wasn’t long until Marconi would equalise, with a penalty providing the perfect opportunity in the 12th minute after Roberto Speranza was brought down inside the area.
Marko Jesic stepped up to take the penalty and sent it past the young goalkeeper Alex Robinson, despite his best efforts to distract the captain from his shot.
Bandiera created an opportunity in the 17th minute, receiving the ball outside the area.
He sent a strike blazing towards the goal, but his effort was just high of the crossbar.
In the 19th minute Jesic sent in a ball to the area but Stallions’ defender Nathan Millgate’s on-target header was collected by Robinson.
Lokolingoy sent a ball in to Costanzo at the goalmouth in the 23rd minute, but the youngster couldn’t get in the right position to tap it home as Robinson managed a hand to knock it out of his path.
Smylie sent a cross into Mario Shabow in the 29th minute but his header couldn’t find the target.
The home side took back the lead in the 35th minute through Smylie.
Askew sent the ball into the area and Smylie got on the end of it just to the right of the goalmouth, drawing out Marconi ‘keeper Nenad Vekic.
Smylie sent it past Vekic and into the ground, bouncing into the goal to take it to two for Blacktown City.
Some nice combination play saw Marconi with a chance in the 43rd minute as Giorgio Speranza and Thomas James played off each other to give Speranza a chance, but his effort was wide of the target.
A free kick in the 54th minute was the start of something for Marconi as they managed a second equaliser.
Costanzo’s kick was deflected by Blacktown but managed to end up at the feet of Lokolingoy who sent a shot towards the goal.
Robinson came out in an attempt to collect the shot but it managed to get past the custodian.
Matt Lewis tried to clear the ball off the line but it managed to cross the line to bring the game to parity once again in the 55th minute.
Lokolingoy had a cracking chance in the 63rd minute as he thundered a ball towards the target but Robinson was able to reach to deny the visitors the lead.
Blacktown City would have taken it to three in the 68th minute if not for Vekic, who managed to block Charles Mendy’s shot with his knee before Millgate cleared it out of play.
Robinson was called into action in the 78th minute as Marconi’s Taylor McDonald sent a strong shot towards the goal, but the ‘keeper managed to parry it away.
Thomas James had the perfect chance to take the lead in the 79th minute, with a shot just in front of the goal, but his effort flew high over the bar.
Blacktown City maintained pressure and had a chance in the 85th minute as Mendy played the ball to Shabow, but his strike soared over the crossbar.
Marconi Substitute Martin Fernandez was played the perfect ball by James in the 91st minute, but much to the attacker’s dismay his effort was off target.
Shabow had another chance for Blacktown City in injury time as the home side loaded pressure in the area but his shot dribbled past the goal and out of play.
A corner to Blacktown was the last play of the game, but they couldn’t create a goal from the opportunity, leaving the game to come to a close in a 2-2 deadlock.
Marconi coach Peter Tsekenis was disappointed his side didn’t take all three points of the game after an “outstanding” second half.
“In the first half we conceded some goals that we could have sort of stopped, pretty soft to what we expect, but we showed a lot of character to get back in the game twice and I thought the second half the boys were outstanding and created a number of chances,” he explained.
“Really disappointed that we didn’t get the result today but we’ll take the draw away from home against a good side, but I thought on the balance of and in the second half I thought were very good and should have taken the points.
“It’s a new line up and they’re still sort of gelling together until today you saw some good signs and I think we’ll keep improving in that area and you saw tonight we created a lot of chances it just didn’t hit the back of the net.
“We’re just hoping that we start hitting the back of the net and also defensively making sure we don’t fall asleep in certain areas.”
Blacktown City FC 2 (Dakota Askew 7’, Jordan Smylie 35’)
Marconi Stallions FC 2 (Marko Jesic 13’p, Charles Lokolingoy 55’)
Wednesday, 13th April, 2022
Blacktown City Sports Centre, Seven Hills
Referee: Craig Fisher
Assistant Referees: Ivana Coric and Jake Rose
Blacktown City FC: 3. Daniel Collins, 4. Lachlan Campbell, 5. Grant Lynch, 6. Matthew Lewis, 7. Jordan Smylie (11. Mitchell Mallia 65’), 10. Mario Shabow, 17. Dakota Askew, 19. Adam Berry (8. Jak O’Brien 69’), 24. Jackson Bandiera, 30. Alex Robinson, 32. Hiroaki Aoyama (21. Charles Mendy 65’)
Substitutes Not Used: 9. Jake Trew, 18. Nicholas O’Brien, 40. Dylan Niski
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Marconi Stallions: 1. Nenad Vekic, 2. Nathan Millgate, 3. Giorgio Speranza, 4. Roberto Speranza, 6. Domenic Costanzo (7. Christopher Hatfield 69’), 8. Connor Evans, 9. Thomas James, 10. Marko Jesic, 11. Charles Lokolingoy (17. Martin Fernandez 87’), 22. Taylor McDonald, 23. Brandon Vella
Substitutes Not Used: 13. Samuel Gulisano,16. Liam Youlley, 19. Zac Cairncross, 20. Dion Shaw
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Dakota Askew (BC)
2 – Charles Lokolingoy (MS)
1 – Alex Robinson (BC)