Sydney derby hits A-League low as Wanderers nightmare continues

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Another night to forget for the Western Sydney faithful

Stormy weather. A train outage. And a sixth straight Sydney derby defeat.

It's perhaps no surprise that Western Sydney Wanderers pulled in the lowest ever Sydney derby attendance in A-League history on Saturday night. 

With kick-off delayed by over half an hour following torrential rain and lightning, a brave but bare 18,043 crowd at ANZ Stadium saw Sydney FC once again pull past the Wanderers to claim a 3-1 win. 

A familiar result in front of far fewer fans than derbies gone by with the only other smaller attendance between these two sides coming in their FFA Cup semi-final in October which pulled in 14,436 at Penrith Stadium.

In A-League terms though, it was 37 fans less than the previously lowest attended derby back in 2014 when Brendon Santalab bagged a late winner in front of 18,080 fans in Parramatta.

The first ever Sydney derby attracted 19,126 at the same venue, while a record crowd of 61,880 showed up at ANZ Stadium just two years ago.

While Saturday's derby low obviously had a number of factors behind it, the drop off in crowd certainly wasn't helped by the fact this was the third Sydney derby in just six weeks. 

The Wanderers temporary relocation to Homebush hasn't helped matters either with the club now into its third season away from Parramatta.

Last season, Western Sydney averaged their lowest home crowd in the club's short history pulling in 11,924 - a figure that could well get even lower this season with average attendance currently sitting at 10,433.

For Tarek Elrich, a player saw the Sydney derby take off, it's been a difficult transition back to a club stuck between two stadiums and he's heard first-hand from fans their displeasure about the situation. 

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"I speak to a lot of them and they aren’t happy with some of the pitches or the stadiums being in Homebush and they’re upset about that," Elrich told Goal.

"I feel those stadiums kill the atmosphere a little bit but in saying that it is what it is.

"There’s no excuses once you’re out there on the pitch, but we’re definitely looking forward to getting our new home and getting our supporters back."

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