War and Peace (and A-League)-Round 14

We’re at the half way point of the season with Sydney FC clearly still the best side but given a bloody nose by the Jets. Victory’s march stalls and Glory just being Glory.



SYDNEY FC 2 (Ninkovic 15 Bobo 87) NEWCASTLE JETS 2 (Nabbout 10 Champness 62)

Those plucky Newcastle Jets further proved that they were a force to be reckoned with after leading twice against Sydney FC in a pulsating 2-2 draw at the SFS. With an actual decent crowd and skillful attacking football it was one of the better games of the season.

The Jets never let Sydney settle into their usual dominant and robust way of doing things harassing and chasing any time Sydney had the ball forcing them into errors. On 10 minutes the Jets had the lead when Nabbout finishing off a fine move with a fine header.

Sydney now had more of the ball but the Jets held firm until some Nikovic magic had it 1-1, the star Serb dancing around Jets defenders like they were in shadow. Sydney FC again pushed and many expected them to do the usual steamrollering of the opposition but the Jets were 2-1 up in the second half with full-time footballer and part-time hip hop artist Joe Champness scoring from a corner against the run of play.

This forced Graham Arnold’s hand and he put on the rather unlikable Matt Simon earlier than his usual 10 minute cameo to try and find an equaliser. It came, as it normally does with this side, when Bobo (who else) headed in from close range to save Sydney blushes and rescue a point. This result would give the chasing Jets a ton of confidence though with so many injuries against a side who were the champs and only missing their captain Alex Brosque from their full strength line up. Perhaps they were a bit arrogant coming into this match after the 6-0 result against Perth the week before or perhaps they were tired. Either way,they looked very beatable.



Wanderers have won two in a row and now look like something decent after an easy win over the Roar in Brisbane. Roar was the better side initially but on the half-hour Wanderers were ahead when Brendan Santalab’s athletic header spilled to the Spaniard Riera who tapped in the goal.

Exceptional lead up play led to the second goal. Right on half-time saw Mark Bridge finish for his second goal in as many games. Wanderers in the second half were the more dominant side but were denied again and again by Roar keeper Jamie Young who made some very good saves.

Wanderers are now into the finals  after a disastrous start to the season while Roar has lost their sixth game at home this season. Somehow the Fox Sports commentators still say Aloisi is fine as Roar coach while the Wanderers coach ‘isn’t out of the woods yet’ despite now being in a finals spot. Who said it was a boys club between the ex Socceroos?


PERTH GLORY 0 ADELAIDE UNITED 3 (Adlung 10 Konstandopolous 71 Absalonsen 85)

Perth Glory’s season and Kenny Lowe’s future continue to go down the toilet after a meek 3-0 loss at home to Adelaide United. The Glory was still struggling with injury with their only fit defensive midfielder being Andreau who managed to get booked early and wasn’t that good a player anyway. Andreau was paired up with youngster Jake Brimmer in the Glory midfield having no influence as United ran the show scoring on 10 minutes when the German midfielder Adlung finished a pass squared to him by Mileusnic.

In the second half, Lowe made some changes bringing on a returning Adam Taggart replacing Andreau which meant Diego Castro would play in a defensive midfield role which was bizarre to say the least. Of course, this couldn’t help Glory either and apart from a shot wiggling through and hitting the upright early in the second half and the odd speculative shot it was all United again. It was 2-0 when Glory was ball watching again letting Konstandopolous finish past the keeper after Absalonsen had expertly held the ball up and squared it to the youngster.

Lowe flayed wildly on the sidelines bringing on a striker to play as a winger, a 17 year old to try and spark something in complete desperation. The third came late to finish the rout when a brainsnap from Liam Reddy meant returning Dane Absalonsen could put the ball into an empty net. A chorus of boos at full-time from Glory fans again lamenting another false dawn for the club at this stage while United go to fourth with another impressive performance. How the hell did they lose to Roar at home last weekend?



Victory’s march up the ladder stuttered a little with a 1-1 draw against the Mariners in Geelong. In stifling heat at Kardinia Park Victory were the better side in the first half with Barbarouses and Berisha both missing chances, the former having his powerful shot come off the woodwork and bouncing on the line World Cup 66 style. Early in the second-half, the Victory had their deserved lead through Berisha when he managed to score despite the attention of three defenders.

From here Victory (for whatever reason) shut off letting the Mariners back into the game allowing them to play their possession game and starve Victory of the ball. The Mariners got an equaliser when Lachlan Wales crossed the ball to Blake Powell who finished a simple shot. This came on the break from defence after a chance from James Troisi who is currently a shadow of the Socceroos hero that we saw at the 2015 Asian Cup. This seemed to wake up Victory from their Corio Bay lull and pressured the Mariners for a winner up to the 90th minute but like muchw earlier in the season lacked that killer instinct.

With minutes left Victory had one massive chance to sneak a win but the sometimes Kiwi International Jai Ingham managed to somehow miss an open goal following trickery from Barbarouses to set up the chance. NPL probably awaits the disappointing signing next season.


MELBOURNE CITY 2 (McCormack 72, 80) WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1 (Krishna 42)

City escaped with three points against an up for it Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park. There was extra spice in what was expected to be a dull affair with Dario Vidosic signing with City after walking out on Phoenix just recently and debuting in this match. He would have the #10 shirt and almost scored when his spin and shoot was saved by Italiano in the Phoenix goal.

The Nix was up for this one though and after an even first half snatched the lead near half-time. A defensive error where a long hopefully ball hoofed up front should have been cleared but wasn’t and Roy Krishna dashed in to score from a very hard angle to give Wellington the lead. It could have been 2-0 when a headed shot at the goal (thanks to a fine cross from Krishna) smashed against the crossbar and out in the second half.

From that point on from 55 minutes City was to take control of the game. Italiano made another good save or two but they were only just keeping City out. With 20 minutes to go, a cross from the right fooled the Phoenix defenders thanks to a deflection and the very rounded Scottish fellow Ross McCormack finished from close range at the far post. Our chubby friend had another 8 minutes later, the cross coming from the wing again and McCormack sending the ball past Italiano with an athletic diving header.

City with the win (just), and Phoenix were left to rue their missed chances when having most of the possession in the first half.



Sydney FC                                                   +23       35 pts

Newcastle Jets                                            +15       27 pts

Melbourne City                                          +2         22 pts

Adelaide United                                          +2          20 pts

Melbourne Victory                                      –          20 pts

Western Sydney Wanderers                   -7           17 pts

Perth Glory                                                 -10         16 pts

Central Coast Mariners                            -4          14 pts

Brisbane Roar                                            -5           13 pts

Wellington Phoenix                                 -11            7 pts



With all the bleakness around the sport in the country at the moment, the story of this wannabe sporting superstar is a nice little ray of sunshine. We all knew that kid at school that reckons his uncle is mates with Gary Ablett and went  to his house on the weekend. Or the friend of a friend that said he owned a new Merc or said he was Irish to try and impress people (or single women mainly) when you clearly knew it was all crap.

Nelly Yoa is something else though. You may have seen him on plenty of news programs this week talking about the issue of African gangs in Melbourne. Without delving into it too much, check out the article on Foxsports about Nelly and his claims of being a worldwide sporting superstar including stories of his best mate Usain Bolt rushing up to Ballarat to give him support while Mrs Yoa had a kid. A story about it was published in regional newspapers despite no proof. Then there was the million dollar move to Melbourne Victory which didn’t eventuate so they had to sign Harry Kewell instead.

Then there was the trial with Collingwood where he was set to play in the Anzac Day game despite not being on a list. If Helen Demidenko/Darville ever had a sporting doppelganger it may well be this little Aussie sporting battler going on the allegations about his tales. Chase down the stories and have a look.



Not looking good out West. While plenty of players are out the general malaise that seems to surround the club from the owner down to the players has fans again asking for change. A shame for a club CEO that has managed to bring many fans back and boost membership in a tough WA sporting market. The coaching hierarchy is another thing.


TOTAL GOALS FOR THE ROUND – 14 (Season Total 185. Av 2.68 goals per game)


WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK – The rounds come thick and fast this time of year. The F3 Derby between Newcastle and the Mariners is up early in the week while Wanderers hosting United will be a good litmus test for both sides.



About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.

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