Wollongong Wolves and Blacktown City played out a 0-0 draw in an exciting clash at WIN Stadium on Friday night.

The Wolves dominated the chances throughout the match but couldn’t find the decisive touch to win the points, however, Blacktown City also had opportunities to claim victory as they arrived without a handful of their stars including their injured star Travis Major.

The hosts started brightly with a couple of chances inside the opening 10 minutes.

In the third minute, Lachlan Scott made room for a shot in the left of the box that went straight at Blacktown goalkeeper Tristan Prendergast.

Seven minutes later, former City player Jake Trew latched onto a ball in behind the left channel but lifted his effort over the bar from close range.

The Wolves pushed forward again 12 minutes in.

Walter Scott bust into the left of the box and played the ball inside for Trew who mis-kicked it, seeing a great opportunity go begging.

Blacktown responded to this early pressure in the 15th minute, when Grant Lynch got his head on the end of a right-sided free-kick, however, he couldn’t direct it on target.

Wollongong had another chance midway through the half with Samuel Riak attacking a right-sided corner at the near post that spun over the crossbar.

Trew took aim for the side again in the 25th minute, with his left-footed strike from the edge of the box well-tipped around the right post by Prendergast.

It was almost disaster for Wollongong seven minutes later with Blacktown going close to finding the lead.

The ball falling to Carlos De Oliveira who fired goalward from point-blank range, but Wolves’ goalkeeper Tomas Butkovic produced a sensational save.

Wollongong resumed their attack on the Blacktown goal before halftime as Trew struck wide of the left post before Lachlan Scott failed to convert a right-sided cross.

Despite plenty of chances to break the deadlock, the teams went into the sheds with the scores still level.

However, the home side were gifted a fantastic opportunity take the lead eleven minutes after halftime when Lachlan Scott was brought down in the box for a penalty.

The captain stepped up and side-footed a shot towards the right side of the net, but Prendergast went the same way and got a strong hand to the ball to bat it away.

The visitors went down the other end three minutes later as De Oliveira forced Butkovic into another exceptional close-in stop, this time with his feet.

Wollongong continued to threaten with fullback Scott seeing his effort spin wide before Alex Masciovecchio struck the left post from outside the box as the game entered the final 25 minutes.

The Wolves dominance of shots so far did not dishearten City who still looked dangerous when they went forward and were in with a chance of nicking the points.

As the game moved into the last ten minutes, it looked as if for all the hosts’ efforts, they would leave the field with only a solitary point when it could have been more.

The side went close again when Lachlan Scott’s powerful shot from the right of the box was held onto by Prendergast with two minutes to play.

The visitors had one last chance in stoppage time to nick the points being awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box.

Jak O’Brien stepped up curling a strike onto the base of the right post before the danger was eventually cleared.

In the dying embers of the match, Wollongong coach David Carney received his marching orders leaving the Wolves without a coach on the touchline for the final moments.

In the end, the teams had to settle for a point each in a 0-0 draw.

Wolves’ goalkeeper Tomas Butkovic, who pulled off a couple of crucial saves in the match, was left disappointed that the home side didn’t snatch the points.

“It’s a tough one to take because playing at home, we were lifting. The game went through patches; they dominated, we dominated, but I feel like we had the better chances,” Butkovic explained.

“I think we should have won, but we’ll take a clean sheet today.”

Blacktown City coach Mark Crittenden believed his side had the chances to win the game but lamented the injury troubles within the team at the moment.

“[It was] a game that we probably could have won. A game that they probably could have won. I thought we had two really good chances,” Crittenden said.

“People will probably say it was a fair result in an entertaining game.”

Match Stats

Wollongong Wolves FC 0

Blacktown City FC 0

Friday 5 May 2023

WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Referee: Craig Fisher

Assistant Referees: Anastasia Filacouridis and Lindsay Edmonds

Fourth Official: Hayden Michlmayr

Wollongong Wolves FC: 13. Tomas Butkovic (GK), 3. Harrison Buesnel, 5. Banri Kanaizumi, 8. Samuel Riak, 9. Takumi Ofuka (7. Marcus Beattie 58’), 14. Jake Trew, 21. Ethan Beaven, 23. Walter Scott, 25. Alex Masciovecchio (11. Nav Darjani 88’), 88. Christopher McStay

Substitutes Not Used: 1. Nenad Vekic (GK), 4. Dax Kelly, 6. Senna Stevenson, 12. Ryan Mrvcic

Yellow Cards: Harrison Buesnel 41’, Christopher McStay 51’, Walter Scott 53’, Samuel Riak 90’

Red Cards: David Carney 90+1’

Blacktown City FC: 1. Tristan Prendergast (GK), 4. Lachlan Campbell, 5. Grant Lynch, 6. Matthew Lewis, 8. Jak O’Brien, 10. Mario Shabow, 12. Tyren Burnie, 16. Ben Berry, 18. Nicholas O’Brien, 21. Charles Mendy (14. Caleb Jackson-Brown 88’), 22. Carlos De Oliveira (17. Tatsuya Kato 74’)

Substitutes Not Used: 3. Daniel Collins, 20. Cayden Henderson (GK), 26. Darian Daghero, 43. Enrico Mazzotta

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

Player Ratings:

3 – Tristan Prendergast (BC)

2 – Christopher McStay (WW)

1 – Tomas Butkovic (WW)

Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_

*Photo Credit Pedro Garcia

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