Unstoppable Wanderers run through Blacktown City

The Western Sydney Wanderers have achieved their tenth place finishe win of the season in emphatic fashion with a 3-0 victory over league heavyweight Blacktown City at Wanderers Football Park on Sunday afternoon, extending their position as genuine Premier League contenders.

A flash from the Wanderers in the first half was enough to seal the result with a sensational solo goal from Aydan Hammond, combining with a double from Nathanael Blair enough for a three-goal lead heading into half-time.

In the second half, both teams were reduced to ten men, which blew the match wide open and left the fans with an entertaining final sector of play.

It was a back and forth start to the match, with Blacktown happy to build some momentum in their attacking phases, while Western Sydney waited patiently for its moment on the counter-attack.

After a relatively tame first ten minutes of the match, both sides found a new gear in attack and began to play a more free-flowing style going forward.

Blacktown had the first chance of the match when Joey Gibbs hit a ball to Jak O’Brien who sliced ​​his chance past the back stick.

Moments later the hosts launched a counter-attack after some clever combination play from Blair and Adam Bugarija. The competition’s top scorer was played through on goal and made no mistakes to open the scoring in the 13e minute.

The opener was a cruel blow to Blacktown, who controlled the game for the most part and conceded the first shot on target to the Wanderers.

Blacktown continued to fire back and came close to Travis Major when his looping header from close range went just over the crossbar.

Just as their opponents at one end came close to scoring, Western Sydney doubled their lead ten minutes after scoring the first goal of the match.

A sensational solo run from Hammond saw him cut through Blacktown’s defense with ease before squandering his chance to make it two-nil in the 23rd.rd minute.

Despite being two goals down, Blacktown’s intensity for goals increased as the half progressed as they continued to ask questions of the opposition defenders.

Taiga Harper’s goal misjudgment gave Blacktown the chance to fire back, but Fernandez’s goal ball was deflected for a corner.

As the minutes ticked away at the end of the first half, both sides began throwing more numbers forward in search of a goal before the break.

Western Sydney took advantage of this and after a few close chances, a penalty was awarded in their favor after Adam Berry would have taken out Bugarija just before half time.

With confidence coursing through his veins, Blair stepped up and buried his chance from the spot to give the hosts an unprecedented three-goal lead heading into half-time.

Coming out of the break with a three-goal deficit to overcome, Blacktown’s day went from bad to worse as they were reduced to ten men.

As both Fernandez and Doni Grdic made their way to the ball, both players collided, but after initially only receiving yellow cards, the decision was overturned and Blacktown had to play the final 40 minutes with a man down.

However, the extra man advantage for the Wanderers was canceled out just 13 minutes later when Anthony Pantazapoulos was dismissed for an altercation with Mitch Mallia.

Blacktown reasserted their control of the match from this point but had to remain wary of the threat Western Sydney had on the counter-attack.

Travis Major came close twice, forcing a great save from Harper before his shot across goal was inches from the back of the net.

Western Sydney had one last chance to make it four after Hammond was played through on goal by Edmun Hadda, but one heavy touch too many gave Tristan Prendergast a lifeline as he collected the ball in his safe hands.

Despite a flurry of chances and dominant possession in the final half hour of the match, Blacktown were unable to crack the stout Wanderers defense as they held on to a well-deserved clean sheet.

While his side finished high in first place, Wanderers’ coach Andrew Christiansen was not shy about hiding his delight at not only the result, but the overall start to the season.

“(I’m) delighted, Blacktown are a really strong opponent but I thought we handled their (attacking) threats really well. I’m really proud of keeping a clean sheet, (I’m) excited about that,” he said. said.

“Everyone worked hard as a group, they sent a lot of bodies forward and we as a group defended well. We really deserved that clean sheet, so I’m very happy with that.”

Blacktown City coach Mark Crittenden also praised his opponents for their impressive start to the match, which provided the platform for the remarkable win.

“I thought their first half was excellent, they are quick and their ball movement was excellent, big (Nathanael) Blair up top was difficult to deal with and Hammond (was too), they have some good lads there,” he added . .

“I thought we were a bit naive in our defense but when I told them that, the first half was really good. The second half became a bit of a mess but in the end it’s three points for them and it’s thorough. ” earned.

“We had plenty of chances to score a few but it was just one of those days, but no, all credit to the young lads.”

Match statistics

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 3 (Blair 13′, 41′ Hammond 23′)

Blacktown City FC0

Sunday April 14, 2024

Wanderers Football Park, Rooty Hill

Referee: Carl Davis

Assistant referees: Arinath Gobinath and Alessandro Llana

Fourth official: Rowan Visser

Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 1. Taiga Harper, 3. Anthony Pantazapoulos, 4. Doni Grdic, 6. Dylan Scicluna (77. Phillip Gigliotti 63′), 9. Nathanael Blair (47. Edmun Hadda 63′), 10. Alexander Badolato, 11. Adam Bugarija (99. Ryan Devine 69′), 12. Alex Bonetig (16. Roman Culina 45′), 13. Aydan Hammond (23. Marcus Fernandez 87′), 22. Jesse Cameron, 66. Ryan Hollingdale

Substitutions not used: 20.Lucas Sinnott,

Yellow cards: Hadda 79′, Hammond 83′, Badolato 90′

Red cards: Pantazapoulos 65′

Blacktown City FC: 1. Tristan Prendergast, 4. Lachlan Campbell (22. Jacob Maniti 62′), 6. Adam Berry, 7. Travis Major, 8. Jak O’Brien, 12. Tyren Burnie, 14. Mitchell Mallia (11. Danny Choi 71 ‘), 16. Ben Berry, 17. Martin Fernandez, 18. Nicholas O’Brien, 23. Joey Gibbs (10. Mario Shabow 71’)

Unused subs: 19. Julian Rodriguez, 20. Cayden Henderson

Yellow cards: Campbell 41′, Gibbs 60′

Red cards: Fernandez 53′

Play Reviews:

3 – Aydan Hammond (WSW)

2 –Taiga Harper (WSW)

1 – Nathanael Blair (WSW)

-By Dom Criniti