Season 1997 - League, Cup & Night Series Winners -

Match Reports - Season 1997 

Floreat Athena vs Stirling Lions - 4/10/97 - (Divella Cup Grand Final)
Floreat Athena vs Swan I.C. / Joondalup in reserves - 27/9/97 - (Divella Cup Semi Final)
Floreat Athena vs Stirling Lions 20/9/97
Floreat Athena vs Perth Italia - 17/9/97
Floreat Athena vs Fremantle City - 6/9/97
Floreat Athena vs Western Knights - 30/8/97
Floreat Athena vs Bayswater City Panthers - 27/8/97 (Divella Cup QuarterFinal)
Floreat Athena vs Swan I.C. - 23/8/97
Floreat Athena vs Bayswater City Panthers - 16/8/97
Floreat Athena vs Joondalup City - 9/8/97 

Divella Cup Final : Floreat Athena vs Stirling Lions : Bayswater Oval - 4/10/97

After a wait of 8 years we have also added the Divella Cup (nee Dorsogna Cup) to our trophy cabinet thus making a clean sweep of all the titles for 1997. The 2-0 win over arch nemesis the Stirling Lions was the first knockout cup win for the club since winning three in a row in the years of 1987, 1988, 1989. After constant pressure in the opening 25 minutes the breakthrough came when some good one touch passing by Vince Tana, Michael Roki and Jason Smith culminated in Smith powering the ball towards goal and in the end a deflection allowed the ball to pass by a hapless Trianidies (Stirling Gk) and make it 1-0. After the goal some more constant pressure nearly paid off but the shots from Carbone and Coci were not powerful enough to add to the score before the break.

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.
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Divella Cup Semi-Final : Floreat Athena vs Swan I.C. : Bayswater Oval - 27/9/97

This unlikely encounter saw us do battle with the leagues wooden spooners, Top against bottom, Premiers vs Relegation outfit. Although many tipped Athena too thump Swan the final score ended up being 2-1 although we controlled most of the match. Our first goal came courtesy of James Afkos (I didnt see the goal) and shortly after Swan equalised after a defensive mix up between Alan Armstrong and Sean Lynch gifted Swan a goal which gave Xigas no chance.

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.
 

Reserves

After progressing through by beating Bayswater 3-0, we were expected to win this match but in the end lost on the cruel system of the penalty shootout.
This Joondalup team that we faced was very different to the team whom we beat earlier in the year 5-1 at home and 2-0 away. This team had 3-4 recognised first team players but as Joondalups first team were eliminated from the cup they could afford too play these players. On the other hand we could not as the first team drew some of our players and as a consequence we fielded a much weaker team than usual.

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.
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Floreat Athena vs Stirling Lions : Lake Monger Velodrome - 20/9/97

A draw was all that was necessary but the fans of Floreat Athena were rewarded with a 3-0 win over the arch rivals Stirling Lions. The win over the Stirling lions in the last game of the season clinched the title after only a draw was needed to hold off the challenge from a close finishing Fremantle led by Stuart Kamasz. The first goal just before half time by Peter Coci thrilled the crowd after smashing the ball home from all of 10 yards. After the break Athena could of had made the score 6 or 7 nill after long range attempts by Smith, Coci, and Roki all went either wide or were well saved by trianedies the Lions keeper.

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.
 

Reserves

After last weeks disapointment the 5-2 win was a hollow one that had no significance to us or anyone else for that matter. We started off well enough with a 4-1 lead but this was whitled away by some poor defence and a penalty that although being well saved by stand in keeper James Alviani, the referee ordered a second to be taken as somone encroeached the penalty area before contacy had been made with the ball. The retake was scored and it finished 5-2. Our first goal was a cracker by Defender Craig Ruthven who hit the ball well into the top corner and goals from the Georganis Twins and Danny Lombardi added to the score.

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Floreat Athena vs Perth Italia : Dorrien Gardens - 17/9/97

This match was played on the wedensday after the original date due to Dorrien Gardens being booked for a Rugby League Final on the scheduled Saturday and the Sunday being the Glory hosting Adelaide City in a friendly. Most of us loyal supporters thought that another tough match was on the cards and when the whole lot of Fremantle supporters turned up supporting Perth, the atmosphere looked mostly against us. Michael Roki the leagues top scorer took place in the starting XI, even though not having trained for 3 weeks.

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"
 

Reserves

The reserves match was a farce. The reason the one man in black who sent off 3 of our players, and also awarded 2 penalties to Fremantle. Our first player Danny Lombardi, was sent off only 10 minutes in to the game after a 50 -50 challenge was interpreted wrongly by the ref. He saw red and we played with 10 men despite conceding a penalty. This should never have been a foul let alone a penalty and red card. To our dismay we continued and the referee's free kick count would of been wrongly lopsided. After this happened a second penalty was awarded to freo, for a unintentianal hand ball. Although this would of usually been paid in another game, we accepted the call but it was the overall
performance of the ref that angered us. The second penalty was scuffed by freo, and justice was done. Shortly before half time we equalised only to see fremantle reply and then again we equalised in injury time. 3 goals in 5 minutes, good value.

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.

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Floreat Athena vs Fremantle City : Lake Monger Velodrome - 6/9/97

A disapointing loss today that edges Fremantle a step closer towards clinching the premiership from us, and on todays form they should be too good for us and do the league cup double. The only consolation from today was I guess Alan Armstrong who got up to score a consolation and the score finished 5-1 to the visitors. After a tense first few minutes Fremantle blew us away for the rest of the second half and thanks to Scott Halpin and Joe Vaz the score at the break was 4-0.

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.
 

Reserves

This had to have been shaping up as match of the season as Both Athena and Fremantle were only 1 point off the top of the league with Athena with a better goal difference. After the kick-off the referee (who after the game if we knew which car he drove there would not be a car left) was obvious in his favouratism for Fremantle when after 10 minutes of giving free-kicks to the visitors decided to award them a penalty and worse than that send off our playmaker Danny Lombardi. After 10 minutes to get sent off after a 50/50 ball that Lombardi got control of was ludicrous and after converting the spot kick we knew it would not be our day.

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.

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Floreat Athena vs Western Knights : Croatia Sports Ground - 30/8/97

At the end of the day all that mattered was that Athena's lead at the top of the Premiership was reduced from 5 points to 3 points at the top of the premiership and with only 3 games to go Athena is in a position too have the league snatched off its hands by the fast finishing Sorrneto and Fremantle City.

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

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Reserves & Under 18's

The reserves continued their impressive stretch of victories to 8 and unbeaten games to 10, with a 4-1 victory over the Western Knights, including the likes of Gary Whyatt in Goals, First team coach Gerry Christie in the defence with Alex Novatsis and numerous other first team players. Athena lost the services of Danny Lombardi and Kostas Socratous who both had to play first team before the match and the moral got even worse when the Knights went up 1-0 after a relatively easy shot which Alex Lackovic had covered bounced up as it was rolling allong the ground and ended up going top corner.

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

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Floreat Athena vs Bayswater City Panthers - Divella Cup : Lake Monger Velodrome - 27/8/97

This game held last wedensday night really did have a cup tie atmosphere about it. The game although played mostly in driving rain was watched under lights by a relatively big crowd (most probably biggest home crowd of the season) and both teams played attacking soccer which ended in a thrilling 2-1 win to Athena courtesy of a last minute Doug Ithier header.

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 better).
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


 Reserves

After just beating Bayswater 2-1 a week and a half ago, The Boys came together and realized the importance of the Cup and came home winners with a 3-0 victory.
After some early shots that were ineffective, Kostas Socratous took the ball from the half way line, headed towards the 18 yard box and unleashed a powerfull drive from all of 30 yards that was perfectly shot and gave the Bayswater sides keeper no chance.
After getting the first goal the teams nerves relaxed and the free flowing game opened up and after some good work by Socratous, Taki Tzoganos picked up the ball on the edge of the 18 yard box and powered a left foot bomb into the top corner in what was a superb goal and adds to Tzoganos's tally of Goals of the Year.
After this goal Bayswater had a few chances but nearly not as many as Athena and the score should of been at least 4-0 before Chris Georganis broke free and slotted the ball past the keeper to make it 3-0.
Worthy mentions should go to Anthony Jones who came on half way through the second half for Daniel Biancotti and showed some great touches and defensive qualities that will see him progress further in the years to come,

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
 Subs: RGK.

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Floreat Athena vs Swan I.C. : Lake Monger Velodrome - 23/8/97

It seemed that there was some greater force conspiring to not let Floreat Athena take the full 3 points on saturday at the home match against lowly Swan I.C. .  Many said that there was glad wrap tied from post to post, while another theory was that the crossbar had got bigger. In the end a Peter Coci goal in the 58th minute was the only thing that pushed aside rumours of a conspiracy.

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  


Reserves & Under 18's

A hat-trick by Terry Georganis helped the reserve team to a 3-0 victory over a rough and unethical Swan I.C. Swan I.C.'s only chance came very early on when a chip over Goalkeeper Alex Lackovic hit the upright and went wide. All 3 goals were well finished and the score could of been more if shots were on target. A bad incident in the first half involving Gerard Favory and a Swan I.C. player was less serious than first thought. After receiving the ball Gerry turned only to be tackled studs up and from behind by this player. After being stretchered off it was first thought that Favory had broken his leg, but after X-rays it was revealed that it was not broken. On top of this the Swan I.C. player did not even receive a yellow card. Substitute Michel Ludwig came on for Favory and did an O.K. job until in the second half a Swan I.C. player came in with a sickening shirtfront on the slightly built Ludwig. In the end the 3 points to us means that we still in 5th position only 3 points off the lead with 4 games to go.

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.

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Floreat Athena vs Bayswater City Panthers : Lake Monger Velodrome - 16/8/97

A Peter Coci goal 2 minutes into injury time saved Floreat Athena from a loss and earned them a 2-2 draw against a competent Bayswater side yesterday. Coci who had again not played well popped up on the back post and after the cross had flown past 3 other Athena players in the 6 yard box Coci tapped the ball into the back of the net.

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


Reserves and Under 18's

A goal each by the Georganis twins each side of half time gave Floreat Athena a 2-1 win over Bayswater.
Athena who had players like last weeks man of the Match Danny Lombardi out injured and Goalkeeper Alex Lackovic with personal commitments this was a match that we were happy to get the 3 points.

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.
 
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Floreat Athena vs Joondalup City : Joondalup Arena - 9/8/97

Today's match was meant to be the match of the round, but the way it turned out it was a poor display by both teams that both needed points, especially Athena to maintain its 8 point lead at the top of the table. The pitch was a nightmare at the start of the day when the U18's Played, but progressively dried out as the day went on. The pitch for the first team game was still sub-standard, and did not suit Floreat's "passing game".

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 Taki Tzoganos.
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.

Team:     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  



 

Reserves & Under 18's

This match marked the farewell of our Reserves coach and former first team player Veselin Zumkic who goes to Montenegro for personal reasons. As usual a depleted side but the boys always knew that we would win for Vasko. From the opening minutes we controlled the game passing the ball along the floor, but due to the condition of the pitch this tactic was not always possible. The twins ( Terry and Chris Georganis) missed some early chances, and the best chance of the first half fell to Peter Tana. A cross picked him out on the far post the ball skid fastly and Pete hooked the volley wide. This could of been 1-0, had Pete controlled the ball then shot.

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

    68% Won
    9% Drawn
    23% Lost
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 day.
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