1997 National Soccer League results
1996/1997 Season Round 18 Results
written by Thomas Esamie

Played (21/2/1997) Breakers Stadium
Referee : C Diomis, Crowd : 6154
Newcastle Breakers
Liam Baker, Shane Pryce, Glen Sprod, Peter Ritchie, Troy Halpin, Todd McManus, Mark Wilson, Craig Sharpley, Matt Austin, Harry James, Liam McGuire
Goal : Halpin 45
1 - 0 Wollongong City
Adam Brodbeck, Alvin Ceccoli, Gary van Egmond, Matthew Horsley, Sasho Dimoski (Martin Bourke 81), Michael Reda (Stephen Laybutt 70), Neil Harlock (Scott Chipperfield 64), Nick Joseski, Richard Lloyd, Anthony Surjan, Jason Connolly
Matt Austin took a leisurely stroll through the Wolves midfield before responding to a run by McGuire by feeding the ball to him perfectly. Llyod, the defender accompanying McGuire, stumbled and fell which left McGuire free to pick out Halpin coming through the middle. The goal came late into the first half and neither the Wolves nor Newcastle were good enough to add to the scoring.
Match report by Chris Dunkerley

Played (22/2/1997) Suncorp Stadium
Referee : M Shield, Crowd : 5983
Brisbane Strikers
Clint Bolton, Glen Gwynne, Matt Bell, Frank Farina, Rod Brown (Chris Slater 63), Danny Wright, Troy Cranney, Mark Battistin (sent off 89), Chay Hews, Kasey Wehrman (Andrew Brayshaw 75), Damian Waugh (Nick Meredith 45)
Goals : Orlic 71og, Wright 76
2 - 3 South Melbourne
Michael Petkovic, Nick Orlic, Con Blatsis, Steve Panopoulos (Jason Polak 75), Vaughan Coveny, Paul Trimboli, Steve Iosifidis, Bill Damianos, David Clarkson, Michael Curcija (Warren Spink 84), Fausto DeAmicis
Goals : Damianos 6, Blatsis 8, Trimboli 92pk
Brisbane got away to a particularly bad start when first Isofidis fed the ball to Coveny in the area, the latter having his back to the goal and a defender behind him, Coveny waited for support and laid the ball off to Damianos who clipped the inside of the near post with his shot. If that were not bad enough a blatant and pointless foul by Battistin on Coveny on the touchline led to a cross into the area by Clarkson and Blatsis drifted into the far post and tucked the ball away. Melbourne looked the more likely of the two sides to score and in a way they did. A cross to the far post was nodded into the path of Wehrman whose shot was first deflected wide by one Melbourne defender and then turned back goalwards by Orlic. The Strikers pulled level with another effort by Danny Wright. Brayshaw had only just come to the field when he unleashed a drive that had to be palmed over the bar by Petkovic and new signing and Queensland old boy Nick Meredith took the corner which was glanced inside the far post. Well then it was Brisbane who looked like scoring again but Battistin's send off for a second yellow after a tackle from behind on Trimboli somewhat dented the mood. Mood then had a giant hole blasted into it when Brayshaw bowled Polak over in the area and Trimboli put the resulting penalty into the side netting.

Played (22/2/1997) Falcons Park
Referee : G Leverton, Crowd : 2323
Gippsland Falcons
Jim Kourtis, Doug Marcina, Marcus Stergiopoulos, Mark Foy, Eddie Krncevic (Levent Osman 77), Alex Duric, Esala Masi, Billy Wright (Joe Tricarico 49), Tony Sekulic, Manny Gotis, Billy Mitroulas (Nick Palamaras 77)
Goal : Duric 51
1 - 1 UTS Olympic
Tony Franken, David Barrett, Adam Ciantar, Scott Baillie, Peter Tsekenis, Norman Tome, Walter Ardone, Kris Trajanovski, Elias Augerinos (Ivan Zelic 87), Milan Blagojevic, Abbas Saad
Goal : Tome 56
Alex Duric increased his growing reputation with a fine headed goal to give Gippsland a lead they richly deserved but there are quite a few reputations at UTS as well and Norman Tome saved their blushes with a surging run and a sweetly struck volley for a 25 metre golazo.

Played (22/2/1997) Bruce Stadium
Referee : E Brazzale, Crowd : 2000
Canberra Cosmos
Danny Milosevic, Paul Dee, Paul Wade (Vincent Grella 85), Michael Garcia, Norman Kelly, Lachlan Armstrong, John Markovski (Tony Lemezina 79), John Koch, Peter Mazis, George Sorras, Rodrigo Moreno
Goals : Kelly 9, Armstrong 50, Dee 66, Markovski 75
4 - 1 Perth Glory
Vincent Matassa, Craig Naven (Alan MacKenzie 73), Gavin Wilkinson, Vinko Buljubasic, Gareth Naven, Scott Miller (Marc Wingell 75), Paul McVittie, Paul Strudwick, Slobodan Despotovski (sent off 51), Vasili Kalogeracos, Dale Wingell
Goal : Despotovski 42
Michael Garcia tried chipping the keeper from way out and only found the crossbar. Norman Kelly followed in with a more emphatic strike to the far post. Perth opened their scoring with a free kick from about as close to the penalty area as you can get without being inside it. The ball eventually coming to Despotovski who tapped the ball in and then failed to do much more than headbutt Armstrong to be sent off early in the second half. John Markovski heaved a ball into the middle which Armstrong put into goal thanks both to his skill and the lack of serious defence. Paul Dee's glacing header past Matassa who had decided to leave his line too late for it to be effective and John Markovski's big left foot finished the scoring for a surprisingly emphatic win to Canberra.
Match report by Nick Guoth

Played (23/2/1997) Parramatta Stadium
Referee : S Micallef, Crowd : 11614
Sydney United
Zeljko Kalac, Robert Trajkovski, Mark Babic (sent off 25), Robert Enes, Kresimir Marusic, Ante Moric (Aytek Genc 83), Ante Milicic (Tony Krslovic 86), David Zdrilic, Jason Culina, Paul Bilokapic (sent off 30), Mark Rudan (Velimir Kupresak 17)
Goal : Zdrilic 18
1 - 3 Marconi-Fairfield
Leslie Pogliacomi, Robert Stanton, Matthew Bingley, Luke Casserly (sent off 89), Andrew Harper, Craig Foster (Eric Hristodoulou 63), Brad Maloney, Aaron Holst, Mark Robertson, Sean Babic (Nick Bosevski 75), Vlado Zoric
Goals : Babic 16, Harper 65, 75
The opening goal came when a cross from Andy Harper contrived to go between the legs of Rudan as he tried to block the ball getting through to Sean Babic. Suffice to say that he failed and Babic shot past the diving Kalac to open the scoring. Rudan made up for this when he headed a free kick at the Marconi goal, Pogliacomi couldn't hold the ball (though he should have) and it fell to Zdrilic to tap in. Then the cards came and Mark Babic was red carded for a late tackle on Harper. The call seemed harsh since although Harper had been released for a potentially goal threatening run by Zoric Harper was still just inside his own half and United defenders were tracking back. Then Bilokapic followed Rudan into the dressing room for a second yellow card offence. both offences against Sean Babic, in the second instance Babic had barged past Bilokapic the latter fell and lifted his legs to trip Babic to stop any further progress. This was a more justified call. United had a surprisingly good chances to lead through Moric and Milicic but as you would expect Marconi prevailed, Harper scoring twice. The even up red card came rather late to Casserly who was earlier booked for shirt tugging and in attempting to hold posession on the edge of the United area felled Enes for yellow number 2.
Match report by David Borella
Match report by Matthew Hall

Played (23/2/1997) Hindmarsh Stadium
Referee : G Connolly, Crowd : 4294
Adelaide City
Jason Petkovic, Bradley Armour, Mark Yates, Milan Ivanovic, Alex Tobin, Bradley Hassell, Dino Mennillo, John Gibson, Michael Brooks (Nick Sabljak 82), Mark Brazzale, Kosta Salapasidis (Travis Dodd 75)
Goal : Hassell 35
1 - 0 Melbourne Knights
Joe Didulica, Dragi Nastevski (Branko Bacak 65), David Cervinski (Joe Caleta 51), Andrew Marth, Marjan Tasevski, Ice Kutlesovski, Damian Vojtek (Ante Deak 83), Tom Pondeljak, Ante Kovacevic, Ransford Banini, Adrian Cervinski
In a game where the Knights had more chances to score it was Adelaide who made the most of theirs. A pass down the middle of the park found Hassell turning in space and his shot was palmed up by Joe Didulica but unfortunately for the latter also came down again in time to pass under the crossbar and into the net. The reigning champions Melbourne are now looking like long shots to even make the playoffs, let alone emulate last seasons achievements.

Played (23/2/1997) Victoria Park
Referee : J Markovski, Crowd : 2000
Collingwood Warriors
Frank Juric, Joe Vrkic, Alan Davidson, Paul Della Rocca, Frank Catalano, Goran Lozanovski, Enrico Cerracchio (Brian MacNichol 63), Ernie Tapai, Andrew Vlahos, Kimon Taliadoros, Peter Di Iorio
Goals : Taliadoros 32, 54, Tapai 44
3 - 0 West Adelaide
Michael Harkness, Robert Hooker, Alex Castro (Richie Alagich 60), Ross Aloisi, Pablo Cardozo, Branko Milosevic, Con Kokkinoplitis, Frank Tibaldi, Andrew Borghetto, Jim Tsekinis, Paul Pezos
West Adelaide threatened to take the lead but when Kimon Taliadoros actually did with a bullocking run down the middle the crisis-torn Warriors lifted for an effort which gave them more goals from a thunderous Tapai drive and a Taliadoros header from a free kick.