After the break some tense moments occured when Stirling had some oppurtunities in front of goal, but John Xigas saved well on two occasions to twart equaliser attempts by Stirling. After these moments it was all Athena with the golden oppurtunities to score and the difference should of been more within 15 minutes after the break. A change was made by Jim Pryglios and Costas Soctratous came on too replace a fatigued Gerard Favory. Socratous's impact on the game was stunning comming from the right back position and came forward with some tantalising runs and nearly scored on 2 occasions. In the final 15 minutes Stirling commited to grab an equaliser had no men back and a surging run from half way by Michael Roki and Jason Smith ended up in the shot being parried by Trianidies into the path of an oncoming Peter Coci who rammed the ball home and celebrated with the Athena fans behind the goal with scenes remenicent of Usa 94 when Rashid Yekini grabbed hold of the net. This was the final dagger in Stirlings heart and to be honest if Substitute Michael Lardis scored with a lob and earlier in the game the chances were converted the score could of easily been 4 or 5-0.
After the game the Athena supporters stayed and paid fairwell for the
season at least to the Tremble winning Champions.
Shortly before half time Jason Smith powered the ball into the top left
corner and gave Floreat the lead again. The second half was a half were
Swan pushed forward but kept getting exposed at the back and the only real
chance came when Swans Goalkeeper accepted a backpass juggled it but James
Afkos came in and knocked the ball toward goal only to see it come off
the crossbar, in the end a fairly dull match, but the first team is now
only one win away from the treble against either Fremantle or the Stirling
Lions (who have bucklys chance). Anticipate a Fremantle vs Floreat showdown
for the cup.
The day got off to a bad start when in the opening 20 seconds a pass back to the defence was much too weak. Joondalups forward latched onto this and 20 seconds into the game we were already 1-0 down. We regroup and from then on controlled the match for the remaining 89 minutes and 40 sec. Attack after attack was either hiting the bar or upright or being saved off the line by Joondalups veteran keeper. At half time the score remained 1-0. After the break more of the same thing with Chris Georganis missing a header that should of been buried away. About 20 minutes into the second half a great one touch lob pass foung Peter Tana out wide on the right, Tana collected the ball and from an accute angle and about 25 metres out he found the top corner on the near post and more importantly gave us the equaliser. This goal was on par for goal of the season as it dipped tremendously and it came as no suprise as this is all Tana practices at training every night for the past year... hehe. In the end our constant pressure could not find us a winner, and as the first team is scheduled to start at 3.00pm we went straight to penalty's.
The first two kicks were converted for both teams but Alex Lackovic(Athena)
saved Joondalups second then on the 3rd round of kicks Joondalup scored
while sweeper John Christopoulos hit the upright. After this we traded
penalty kicks with Joondalups keeper scoring the 6th. Lackovic took our
first kick in the sudden death mode and his shot was saved. In the end
Joondalup 1-1 Athena (Joondalup wins 6-5 on Sudden Death Penalty Shootout).
Our season was over and it hurt more as we outplayed Joondalup but still
go out. Thats Soccer I guess and our team is already pumped for 1998 and
we should do much better next year.
In the end a penalty and a class volley by the evergreen Michael Roki
capped off a memorable day and the beers were flying in the clubrooms after
the match. A mention must also go out to the retiring president Andreas
Pakioufakis who has done a great job in getting Athena to this stage after
the club was in the bottom half two years ago.
The game started well for us, and after some good work by former Italia player Vince Tana, a cross was whipped in only to be expertly headed in by a flying Roki. 1-0. Not long after a penalty was awarded after Troy Bernard galloped past the Italia defence and although falling (a bit of theatrics on the way) he was not injured too much and Roki took his tally for the night to two as well as making Athena's tally likewise.
Half - Time : Athena 2 - Italia 0.
After the break we were content just sitting back and absorbing the
pressure, but on a quick counter attack Peter Coci broke free and from
40 metres let go of a lob (about the same distance as Beckham's last year)
that flew over Italia's helpless keeper and made the score 3-0. Real goal
of the season stuff that. Shortly after Troy Bernard finished the game
off with a stunning strike from 30 yards on a 45 degree angle that powered
its way into the roof of the net.
This goal gave Italia no chance of winning (or drawing for that matter) and the disillutioned Freo supporters started making an early trip home. Some joy for Italia came late in the match when they scored a late goal through the boot of Alan Pottier and it was some strike comparing too the goals that Athena scored.
Late in the game substitute Gerard Favory came on for his first game in 3 weeks after sitting on the bench, then amazingly was put through and scored the final goal of the night seconds away from the final whistle. The goal was expertly finished when he "NUTSed" the Perth keeper and scored one of the few first team goals in his career.
Final Score : Athena 5 - Italia 1.
"Bring on the Championship Trophy"
We came out of the break with one man less and had most of the possession and hit the woodwork 3 times in the second half. After this freo scored a soft goal we were still playing the better as many teams with 10 men do but after the fracar which should of only seen the shirt puller being sent off our keeper was sent off as well. In the end our 13 game undefeated streak was gone mostly due to the fact that the ref was really an extra player for freo, and our playmaker was gone for 80 min of the game. In the end freo jumped to ther top of the resies table and our season was confined to the cup.
After the break it was much of the same with Athena's defence slightly
better. Fremantle made it 5-0, with Alan Armstrong scoring a late consolation
goal for a depressed Athena side. After todays dissapointment I will leave
the first team at that, but the most controversy came in the reserves game
as can be read on Searlais Mullin's "Whats
the Story Perth Glory" Page.
Down to 10 men we plugged away and against the play only 5 minutes from half time we scored an important equaliser through the boot of Terry Georganis. After this goal a 5 minute goal fest eventuated after Kevin Correia (who became controversial after the match) replied to make it 2-1 to the visitors then Chris Georganis equalised again in first half injury time.
We went into the break with some confidence but during the second half where we outplayed fremantle, a goal by Correia was our undoing although Anthony Jones hit the crossbar and the georganis twins nearly scored a spectacular equaliser. Only 10 minutes from time Sweeper John Christopoulos was sent off after pulling the shirt of his Fremantle opponent for his second bookable offence with goalkeeper also seeing red after the referees stupidity throughout the whole match. In the end Peter Tana took the goalkeepers jersey and did well in his 10 minutes as the No. 1. Our season was over at the final whistle due the ref who reduced us to 8 men and the 12 weeks of hard work to get us into this position was undone.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw that was played on a pitch that resembled
a cattle grazing area. This pitch was not suitable for a Juniors match
let alone a Premiership match that is deciding the fate of the 1997 competition.
The game started well for Athena with some good chances falling too Athena with the major chance an attempt from inside the box by Troy Bernard, but his shot was scuffed into the uneven surface and nothing resulted.
The breakthrough came in the 23rd minute when a good run down the flank by Vince Tana was met by a glancing header by Troy Bernard that gave the keeper no chance.
After this goal Athena was forced on the back foot and in the 27th minute George Tiniakos was booked for a reckless challenge. Nothing much else happened after this and at half time the score remained 1-0.
3 minutes after the break Alan Armstrong came off injured and in his place came debutant Kostas Socratous. Socratous slotted into the midfield with Bernard dropping back into Armstrongs position. In the 52nd minute Socratous beat 3 players reached the edge of the box and as he prepared for the shot James Afkos stole the ball off Socratous denying him the chance too further put Athena ahead. One minute later Socratous did the same thing in beating 3 players then offloaded the ball to Jason Smith who's shot went agonisingly close too extending the lead.
Afkos was booked in the 59th minute. Again not much action but in the 70th minute former Athena Captain Taki Nikolaidis equalised with a side footed shot from 17 yards. Although this signified the that Athena would not win this match it was a dagger in the Heart of all Athena fans, that the man who did the damage to our title aspirations was so much an integral part of our club since he was a junior and after a rift with the coach and management he decided to go to the Knights.
After this Prygolios brought on Terry Georganis who although trying could not provide an answer to Athena's Woes up front.
In the end another draw means the Athena train is stalling quicker as the teams behind us namely Sorrento (who get an automatic 3 points next week) and Fremantle City (Our opponent this Saturday), catch up on us and the Title race will really go down to the wire.
Team: Xigas 6/10, Tiniakos 6/10, Lynch 7/10, Armstrong 6/10 (Socratous
7/10), Bernard 7/10, Carbone 6½/10,
Afkos 5/10, Smith 7/10, Lombardi 6/10, Tana 7/10, Coci 6/10- Georganis came on but i cant remeber who for 6/10
Nevertheless Athena got back on track and after a few good chances Taki Tzoganos for the 2nd time in 2 games unleashed a left foot drive that again found the top corner. Although the score was 1-1 at the break this goal just before half time provided an impetous for the second half.
After the break a unexpected goal came via Daniel Biancotti who after beating 3-4 players, found himself inside the 18 yard box and shot past Whyatt on the near post to make it 2-1. This goal was much like Vas Kalogeracos's against Sydney United earlier in the year when he shot past Kalac.
After this Anthony Jones came off the bench too replace Chris Georganis and he had an immediate impact when he struck the ball from the edge of the 18 yard box. The shot started low but continued to rise and found the top corner with Whyatt having no chance. A remarkable goal and the first of many for Jones who will no doubt be a regular reserve team starter next season.
In the 76th minute Daniel Biancotti came off for yours truly and Terry Georganis capped off the rout with a powerful shot that made the final score 4-1 and put Athena in 4th place only 1 point off the lead.
Team : Lackovic 7/10, Christopoulos 7½/10, Karalis 7½/10,
Arapis 7½/10, Biancotti 8/10 (Poulios6/10), Tana 7½/10,
Ruthven 7/10, Tzoganos 8/10, Pantelias 8/10, Terry Georganis 7¾/10, Chris Georganis 7/10 (Jones 7/10)
Subs: Alviani, Houston, Ludwig
The game was free flowing with Athena having all the early chances with Peter Coci scoring a brilliant goal about 20 minutes into the match after some good build up play by Michael Roki, who after beating 3 players offloaded to Coci who drove the ball with precision just inside the left hand post.
The game continued to be played with an attacking tempo. Just before
half time Bayswater scored a spectacular goal direct from a corner kick
that went top corner on the back post, beating both the outstretched Johnny
Xigas as well as whoever was at the back post. (should of been defended
Going into the break 1-1.
After the break although having good chances to score Athena was outplayed for most of the second half by Bayswater who needed the win to keep some life in a dissapointing season. Although doing all the attacking many chances went to waste with John Xigas pulling off some excellent saves.
With only a few minutes left both teams were commiting themselves forward and in the 90th minute Athena recieved a corner. With only 2 players staying back for the counter attack Floreat was exposed but the corner found the flying Doug Ithier who squeezed the ball past a crowded goal line to snatch the match and send Athena into a semi-final against Swan I.C.
Team : Xigas 6/10, Ithier 7/10, Lynch 7/10,
Armstrong 7½/10, Carbone 6/10, Bernard 7/10, Afkos 6/10, Tana 7/10,
Smith 7/10, Roki 7/10, Coci 6/10,
Subs: Lombardi, Tiniakos, Lackovic Top
Team: Lackovic 7½/10, Christopoulos 7½/10, Karalis 8/10(Ludwig),
Ruthven 7/10, Arapis 7½/10, Biancotti 7/10 (Jones 7/10), Socratous
8/10, Pantelias 7½/10, Tana 7½/10, Georganis 7/10 (Poulios
7/10), Tzoganos 8/10
Although the match finished one nil, the Swan I.C. goal was constantly pressured throughout the match and instead of 1-0 the final score could of been as high as 6 or 7 nil. Some unlucky finishing plus the form of the Swan Goalkeeper prevented the score from getting higher.
The game started well for Athena when in the 15th minute Jason Smith had an excellent chance early but his effort on goal hit the crossbar.
Besides many other squandered opportunities, the next chance came in the 27th minute when Peter Coci broke down the left flank then cut the ball back for Michael Roki, his shot was well saved by the Keeper with a Volley by Troy Bernard flying over the bar from only 10 yards out on a 45 degree angle.
Things were quiet for the rest of the half until Michael Roki had a
shot cleared off the line, the ball was skied upwards and out for a corner.
Off the resulting corner Alan Armstrong rose above a pack of players to
head goalwards, his effort also hit the crossbar bounced on (or over) the
line and then was also cleared off the line.
Two minutes later in the 46th minute a Troy Bernard header hit the upright and went the wrong way.
Things after the interval got worse for Swan as Athena constantly applied the pressure that was there in the first half. Only 5 minutes had gone in the second half when a blistering shot from Michael Roki was parried away (AGAIN!) from the Swan I.C. keeper. 3 minutes later a Troy Bernard volley was shot straight at the keeper.
The goal (and a fine one at that) was finally scored in the 58th minute when an overlapping Armstrong was given a through ball by Jason Smith. Armstrong hit the by-line the cut across for Peter Coci to stab the ball through from all of 6 yards at point blank range.
Swan I.C. pressured Athena's goal for the last 8 minutes of the match on numerous occasions but it was a day for the goalkeeper when Johnny Xigas saved after a 1 on 1 saw him push the ball just past the post, and then near the end saving again.
Swan I.C. had a man sent off in the 43rd minute after receiving a second bookable offence.
In the end the score line flattered Swan I.C. and the man of the match has to be the Swan I.C. Keeper, this would have to have been the most extraordinary goalkeepeing performance that I have ever seen in all the years that I have been playing and watching soccer. Surely although losing the keepers efforts can be some consolation for the Swan I.C. club who are firmly entrenched in a relegation battle.
Team: Xigas 7/10, Lynch 7/10, Armstrong 7½/10, Carbone
6/10, Tiniakos 6½/10, Bernard 7/10,
Afkos 6¾/10, Tana 7/10, Smith 7/10, Roki 7/10, Coci 6¾/10,
Subs: Arapis, Karalis, Tana Top
Team: Lackovic 7/10, Christopoulos 7/10, Ruthven 7/10, Arapis
8/10, Karalis 7¾/10 (? 2/10), Biancotti 6½/10, Favory 6/10
(only on for 10 minutes) -(Ludwig 6½/10)-(Jones), Tana 7½/10,
Pantelias 7/10, Lombardi 7/10, Georganis 7/10.
Subs: Alviani, Poulios
Two goals in two games for Gary Spinks capped off a 3-1 win for the under 18's. After scoring against Bayswater last week, Spinks unleashed a stunning shot that found the top corner. After leading for most of the match Swan scored a consolation goal in the second half, the score ending 3-1 to the home team.
The first few minutes of the match proved to be dull as both sides were testing the other out. The first notable chance that Athena had was a Jason Smith volley that went high and wide. Bayswater's breakthrough then came after 15 minutes when some sloppy defending by Ithier and Armstrong allowed the ball to run into the penalty area and Bayswater striker Nick Mroja placed the ball past a hapless Xigas.
The rest of the half was controlled slightly more by Bayswater, with
some chances falling to Roki (header in the 17th)
and Peter Coci who blew 2 goalscorring opportunities, firstly a set shot then a volley about 15 yards out. The rest of the half was a continuation of the dour struggle that came from the first few minutes of the game.
Only one change was made for Athena at half time with John Carbone coming
off and George Tiniakos replacing him.
Athena came out more positive in the second half and some skilful work by Jason Smith eventuated in former Athena player Mark Wingell being given a Yellow card in the 50th minute for a reckless challenge.
5 minutes later a Bayswater had another golden chance after the linesman (or referee's assistant should I say) held his flag down in an incident which was clearly offside, Bayswater took a shot but, Perth Glory defender Doug Ithier showed his agility by clearing off the line.
Athena finally had something to cheer about in the 58th minute when some good build-up play saw Coci receive the ball on the edge of the 18 yard box. He decided not to shoot but laid the ball off to James Afkos after deciding not to shoot the ball switched over to Michael Roki who threaded the ball through from an acute angle. This goal saw the game change with Athena looking like it would put another few goals past the Bayswater defence.
Some poor Offside decisions cost both sides, particularly Athena some genuine scoring opportunities but on the whole the adjudication of the match was simply atrocious. For Referees getting paid $100 per game they should be of a better standard than what they showed yesterday.
Glory Discard Alan Mackenzie nearly scored with a delightful chip from 35 yards but John Xigas was equally up to the task when he tipped it over the bar.
The most controversial decision of the match came in the 72nd minute when some jostling in the box between a Bayswater player and Alan Armstrong was given a penalty. This decision again changed the face of the game. It was nothing more than a 50/50 ball, this has had to have been the softest penalty awarded in years in the W.A. premier league. Mark Wingell stepped up and scored when Xigas dived the wrong way.
Bayswater received two more yellow cards one in the 86th minute and then one in the 89th. The last 5 minutes proved to be the most exciting as Athena constantly pressured Bayswater's goal but to no avail. The 90th minute saw a free kick awarded to Athena 20 yards out. Peter Coci took the kick but narrowly missed wide. This was seen as the last moment in the match, that was until a ball was floated in the goal mouth and in his typical Goal poaching approach Peter Coci scored in the 92nd minute. Its amazing how a player can turn from villain to hero in a matter of minutes. In the end a draw was deserved by both teams but Athena's form of late cannot be good as with 5 games left a 5 point lead at the top of the table can be easily diminished.
Next weeks game must be won against Swan I.C. otherwise it could again be bridesmaid for Athena in 1997.
Team : Xigas 6/10, Ithier 7½/10, Armstrong 6/10, Carbone 5½,(Tiniakos
6½/10 - 45th minute), Bernard 5½/10,
Lynch 7/10, Smith 6/10, Afkos 6/10,Tana 7/10, Roki 7/10, Coci 5/10
Subs not used: Socratous, Alviani(RGK), Georgianis
After the first goal by Chris Georganis - A brilliant Volley, we seemed to be cruising, but a poor defensive mistake saw Bayswater equalize only minutes later. The match hung in the balance but the other twin Terry made sure of the win with a header that could only be parried into the back of the net.
Although Stand-in Keeper James Alviani was not called into action much he pulled in a few great crosses that saw some serious attacks thwarted. Good games were also played by Kostas Socratous who had some deft touches, and Andreas Pantelias was unlucky not to have scored after his blistering drive hit the upright.
Team : Alviani 6¾/10, Christopoulos 6½/10, Arapis 7/10,
Biancotti 6/10, Karalis 6½/10, Socratous 7/10, Pantelias 7/10, Favory
7½/10, Tana 7/10, Terry Georganis 7/10, Chris Georganis 7/10
Subs not used: Pakioufakis(RGK), Poulios, Ludwig(good shooting at half time),Spinks, Jones
The under 18's drew 1-1 with Bayswater. Some great saves by Athena's
stand in keeper prevented Bayswater taking the initiative. In the Second
half a blistering shot by Michael Ludwig was parried into the path of an
unmarked Gary Spinks who slotted the ball for a goal. Bayswater replied
shortly after. This was a good result as 4 or 5 Under 16's players are
being played in preparation for next year.
Early on it was all Floreat, and Jason Smith had the best scoring chance early when at the 5 minute mark he set off on a long weaving run that was thwarted when a Last gasp slide by a Joondalup defender paid off. The majority of the first half was controlled by the midfield of Athena but no-one had any real chances.
Late in the first half (39th minute), Big Defender Alan Armstrong came in late on the ball and charged into one of Joondalup's players and for his efforts received a Yellow card.
Then in the 41st minute Doug
Ithier (after coming back from his honeymoon) laid in a Bone crunching
tackle (All ball and no foul) on Joondalup's Toby Wright. From this moment
on, Joondalup's attack looked intimidated and were not the same except
for one or two chances. The only other moment worthy of mention in the
first half was the number 6 from Joondalup getting a yellow card.
At half time the score was 0-0.
The second half saw a complete turn around with a much more exciting display than the first 45 minutes.
The first chance of the second
half fell to Gerard Favory who after the ball was crossed was at the far
post but did not expect the ball. The ball did end up coming to him and
with the ball rising after it hit the turf, the header was always going
to be difficult. In the end the header went just wide.
In the 50th minute the No 11 from Joondalup was given a Yellow Card. Then 1 minute later Joondalup nearly scored and would of, had it not been for a Troy Bernard studs in Challenge. This tackle was performed to perfection. If it wasn't Troy would of had an early shower and Athena would of had to face a penalty. In the end Troy's tackle ended up as a free kick 21 yards from Joondalup's goals but Jason Smith's free kick did not connect and only missed by a foot to the near post.
This action packed few minutes did not stop and man of the moment, Troy Bernard almost turned to villain when an attempted clearance was heading for goal. Not wanting to take the risk of taking a back pass, Goalkeeper John Xigas ran back and headed the ball away for a corner. The resulting corner was also mopped up by Xigas who again thwarted the Joondalup attack.
In the 57th minute the deadlock appeared to be over when James Afkos ran from half way and beat 4 players with his pace and skill. With only one defender to beat he pushed the ball past him but the keeper got to it first. In the end Afkos slid into the keeper and earned himself a yellow card.
Two minutes later Michael Roki was in the limelight with a 1 on 1 with the keeper. At the crucial moment he slipped and with only minimal contact made on the ball, the ball was cleared around the 6 yard box by a Joonadalup defender.
The best chance of the game fell to John Carbone. In the 76th minute a goal mouth scramble eventuated. Troy Bernard gained possession of the ball in the 18yrd box. he then laid off a pass to Carbone who at the 6 yard box on a 45 degree angle slammed the ball pat the far post. The miss of this shot resulted in Athena's last serious attempt at goal and the fans in the crowd again felt frustrated.
2 minutes after I thought this was the sitter of the match Athena was lucky not to concede a goal when a quick counter- attack by Joondalup resulted in a 1 on 1 miss with the striker pushing the ball pat the post from point blank range.
The 79th minute saw our one
and only substitution with an uninspiring Peter Coci being replaced with
Cards could of been handed out in the 81st minute when Doug Ithier and Des Hazel had a heated argument. In the end the throw in, to Athena was the fair justice.
The last throw of the dice saw everyone put forward in the 18 yard box when a free kick was awarded about 40 yards out. Jason Smith tried to float in the kick but due to the surface of the pitch scuffed the ball and sent it along the ground. The ball bobbled around in the 18 yard box and Bernard put all his efforts into a half volley that went over the cross-bar by less than a foot. This shot wrapped up the day with Taki Tzoganos receiving a yellow card 2 minutes from time for a late tackle.
Although the match finished a stalemate, the pitch did not do any justice to Jim Prygolios's style of playing on the ground. This Result depending on the other results, could provide a life line to the pack chasing Athena for the title as the gap could now be back to 6 points.
Xigas 7/10, Ithier 7/10, Armstrong 6/10, Bernard 8/10, Favory 7/10, Carbone
6/10, Smith 7/10, Tiniakos 5½/10, Roki 7/10, Afkos 7/10, Coci 5/10
(Tzoganos 4/10 - only played 11 minutes)
Subs not used : Lackovic, Christopoulos, Socratous. Top
At half time we should of been up maybe 2 or 3 nil.
After the break we came out
much stronger and controlled much of the play.
A free kick was awarded about 25-30 yards out when Danny Lombardi was tripped. He took his own free kick and blasted it low and hard giving the keeper no chance. 1-0.
After the goal, Joondalup replied with a goal, but it was ruled illegal as the Goalkeeper who took the kick made contact with the ball outside the box. The ball came back the 90 metres or so for another chance in front of goal. This time the shot was high and wide.
About 10 minutes from time, Terry Georganis put the issue beyond doubt when after escaping the defence scored after facing a 1 on 1 with Joondalup's Keeper. Shortly after the only substitution of the game was made with yours truly, Con Poulios coming on for Chris Georganis.
At the end of the day the final score was 2-0 and a fitting tribute to our debut coach His record in his first season
Won : 15
(2 cup wins) - still in the cup
Drawn : 2
Lost : 5
All in all not bad for a rookie coach
Team: Lackovic 8/10, Christopoulos
8/10, Karalis 7/10, Biancotti 7½/10, Arapis 8/10, Pantelias 8/10,
Lombardi 9/10, Tana 8½/10, Socratous 8/10, C. Georganis 7/10 (Poulios
4/10 - only on for 10 minutes), T. Georganis 8/10.
Subs not used : Alviani, Jones, Ludwig, Spinks.
The Under 18's lost 3-0 to the
top of the table Joondalup under what were the worst conditions for the