Brave Bulls go down fighting after send-off

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Everything went against Macarthur FC in the first half of its round four A-League clash with Sydney FC last night at Campbelltown Stadium.

Macarthur were down 1-0 in the 13th minute thanks to a controversial penalty, and in the 37th it was down to 10 men after tall defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis was given a red card and marched from the field for what was deemed an illegal tackle.

As if that wasn’t enough entertainment for the boisterous crowd of 7,200 fans, the Bulls scored a beautiful goal in the 15th minute when Matt Millar headed in a vicious free kick from Craig Noone.

But wait, there was more: Sydney FC scored a second goal in injury time to go to the half time break leading 2-1.

It’s fair to say a slick Sydney FC were the better side in the first stanza.

And once the Bulls were down a man the second half was going to be a test of their mettle against a side oozing with confidence.

Coach Dwight Yorke made the right call when he brought in fresh legs for the start of the second half, with Jed Drew, Jake McGing and Charles M’Mombwa brought into the battle.

The move worked and the Bulls matched the visitors for much of the second stanza.

It did help that goalie Filip Kurto was in top form, making several saves for his team.

But when Sydney FC exposed the Bulls defence to make it 3-1 the writing was on the wall with seven minutes.

Nobody told Macarthur FC, though, who pushed forward several times before scoring four minutes later to make it 3-2.

Anthony Carter, who slotted in that second Bulls goal, almost made it 3-3 when his thunderbolt beat the Sydney goalie but smashed into the horizontal bar of the goalposts.

The Bulls walked off with their heads held high, as they were entitled to after such a brave effort.

It was their coach’s first loss since taking the reins at Campbelltown, but Yorke would have been very pleased to see he had a team with a fighting spirit.

In round five, the Bulls travel to New Zealand to take on Wellington Phoenix next Sunday.

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