United muffles Lion roar

BANKSTOWN United sent shockwaves across the league as they handed their rivals Bankstown City FC their first defeat in nine games in the NPL 3 NSW Men’s competition.

The Lions derby disappointment means that they have both Stanmore Hawks and Gladesville Ryde Magic hot on their heels, with only two points the difference between first and third place.

Bankstown United miraculously toppled their fierce rivals Bankstown City 4-2 in an explosive encounter at Jensen Park on Saturday night.

The Lions were forced into an early reshuffle after they were rocked by the injury to star man Ante Tomic, whose night came to an end only six minutes in.

It was United who drew first blood after they were awarded a penalty on 22 minutes after Tommy Markovski handled in the penalty area.

The ever-reliant Mitch Cross stepped up to convert the resulting spot kick with his strike flying into the left-hand corner of the net.

Cross continued to prove a handful up the other end of the pitch and was in part responsible for his side’s second of the night after his pressure led to a costly error from the hosts.

A much-improved City side came out of the sheds for the second interval and they showed a glimpse of their fighting spirit when they pulled one back seven minutes after the restart.

The 15 minutes or so that followed were relatively calm as both sides chipped away at each other and it was not until the 68th minute that we well and truly had a game on our hands when Lawrence Hanna popped up with the equaliser.

That feeling of elation for the Lions lasted barely a minute after they found themselves on the back foot yet again virtually straight after play resumed as Cross headed home Luke Mesiti’s ball into the area.

United knew that their one goal advantage might be difficult to hold onto for the final 20 minutes and decided to keep on playing the same style of attacking football that had seen them already put three past the league leaders.

Their game plan was rewarded with 10 minutes to go as Eros Bergamin’s belter of an effort swerved into the net from 20 yards out to put the icing on the cake and mark a memorable night for United which will last long in the history books.