Wollongong Wolves secured an impressive 3-1 win over a 10-man Blacktown City at WIN Stadium on Friday night.

After a goalless first half, Wollongong opened the scoring early in the second period with Peter Simonoski scoring from long range.

Blacktown City equalised just after the hour mark through Mitchell Mallia before Wollongong retook the lead courtesy of former City star Leroy Jennings after Daniel Collins was sent off for the visitors.

Lachlan Scott also found the net for the home side with eight minutes to play to add to the side’s advantage.

Wollongong Wolves started brightly in the match and created a couple of openings within the first 10 minutes.

Two minutes in, Jennings powered a left-sided free kick into the arms of Blacktown City keeper Alexander Robinson.

Four minutes later, Josh Macdonald found space in behind the right-hand channel of the Blacktown City defence, but his right-footed attempt whizzed past the far post.

The visitors conjured up two opportunities of their own after this.

In the 12th minute Jordan Smylie sent a header from inside the box over the bar following a cross from the right, and a minute later Hiroaki Aoyama blasted over from close range.

15 minutes in, Wolves’ forward Jennings brought the ball down well in the box and drew a sharp save from Robinson, who held onto the shot.

Blacktown City’s Mallia was played clean through on goal in the 20th minute after finding space in behind the left channel of the Wolves’ defence but he drove his left-footed effort onto the near post and the ball bounced away.

Mallia came close again right at the end of the half but directed his header just wide of the right post after a lofted ball from the left found him.

Despite both sides having chances in the match, the sides were locked in a goalless stalemate at the break.

Just seven minutes into the second half, the home side broke the deadlock.

Macdonald picked the ball up on the left and slipped it into the path of Simonoski who, from a central position outside the box, curled a right-footed shot into the top right corner.

The away side almost responded to going behind within five minutes as Adam Berry powered a well-struck volley into the arms of Wollongong goalkeeper Hayden Durose.

The side did go on to find the equaliser in the 66th minute as Mallia found himself in plenty of space on the right.

He ran into the box before he shifted the ball onto his right foot and buried it into the far corner.

A minute later, the Wolves nearly went back in front as a ball from the right picked out Macdonald at the back post who forced a valuable save from Robinson.

In the 72nd minute, a well-weighted pass over the top found Jak O’Brien in the right of box whose side-footed volley missed the goal.

A minute later Blacktown City were reduced to 10 men as Collins received his second yellow card of the match and was consequently shown a red card.

The hosts capitalised on their opposition’s reduced numbers by very quickly retaking the lead in the game in the 75thminute.

Scott delivered a ball across the box from the right to Jennings at the back post who tapped home from very close range.

Blacktown City went close to equalising again two minutes later as Durose produced a top draw save to tip the ball over the bar from Matthew Lewis’ shot.

However, with eight minutes to play, Wollongong added a third.

Scott found Macdonald in the left channel of the box who played it back to Scott in the middle allowing the forward to slide in and double the home side’s advantage.

With a minute to go, Blacktown City’s Dakota Askew drilled a shot wide of the far post after he drove into the right of the box.

Wollongong managed to hold on and secured a 3-1 victory against Blacktown City.

Wollongong Wolves coach Luke Wilkshire was pleased with the side’s performance and noted the good form of midfielder Josh Macdonald.

“The boys showed a lot of character and I think that quality that we do have getting those goals,” he said.

“I think we’re starting to see some of the best of him [Macdonald].

“I think he’s got a lot to offer.

“Getting on and moving, starting to commit people more.”

Match Stats

Wollongong Wolves 3 (Peter Simonoski 54’, Leroy Jennings 75’, Lachlan Scott 82’)

Blacktown City 1 (Mitchell Mallia 66’)

Friday, 6th May, 2022

WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Referee: Adrian Arndt

Assistant Referees: Brodie Merchant and Matt Staples

Fourth Official: Aaron Bloch

Wollongong Wolves: 1. Hayden Durose, 3. Darcy Madden, 5. Banri Kanaizumi, 6. Senna Stevenson, 9. Peter Simonoski (14. Nicholas Duarte 85’), 10. Takumu Tsujimura, 11. Josh Macdonald, 15. Nick Littler, 16. Guy Knight, 22. Leroy Jennings (19. Jake Lavalle 89’), 24. Lachlan Scott

Substitutes Not Used: 2. Nicholas Kalule, 12. Harrison Taranto, 13. Tomas Butkovic, 4. Nikola Djordjevic

Yellow Cards: Nick Littler 34’, Peter Simonoski 34’, Lachlan Scott 54’

Red Cards: Nil

Blacktown City FC: 30. Alexander Robinson, 3. Daniel Collins, 4. Lachlan Campbell, 5. Grant Lynch, 7. Jordan Smylie (21. Charles Mendy 54’), 8. Jak O’Brien (18. Nicholas O’Brien 72’), 11. Mitchell Mallia,17. Dakota Askew, 19. Adam Berry, 24. Jackson Bandiera (6. Matthew Lewis 64’), 32. Hiroaki Aoyama

Substitutes Not Used: 9. Jake Trew, 14. Caleb Jackson-Brown, 40. Dylan Niski

Yellow Cards: Daniel Collins 2’, 73’

Red Cards: Daniel Collins 73’

Player Ratings

3 – Josh Macdonald (WW)

2 – Leroy Jennings (WW)

1 – Mitchell Mallia (BC)

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