Perth Glory skipper Giordano Colli said they will be looking to continue their good form against Armadale on Saturday (photo by Tom McCarthy)

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23.4.2021

NPL-WA ROUND SIX PREVIEW

The NPLWA ladder is taking shape after five weeks with the top four getting a mini break on the others, but it’s still early days and our ‘Match of the Round’ sees two sides looking to push up the table, when Perth Glory entertain Armadale at Hartfield Park. Both sides are coming off 1-1 draws last week, the Reds at home against Balcatta, while Glory scored late to draw at Gwelup, so three points are a must if they are to keep in contact with the top four.

The draw for Glory at Gwelup felt like a loss, after dominating for long periods of the game, but skipper Giordano Colli said the side showed great resilience to fight back and get the equaliser so late. “It was a very good game and I think if we’d took our chances in the first half, we could have been a couple ahead going into the break,” explained. “But after going down 1-0 we battled well and got the point we deserved in the end, even if we left it late.”

Colli said it’s not been the start to the season they would have liked but being unbeaten in the last two games gives them confidence going forward. “It has been a tough start but we as a team feel like we could have got more out of a couple of the games with missed opportunities,” he said. “We do take confidence with the win against Cockburn, and a good performance on the weekend and look forward to keep moving in the right direction. So, we go into the Armadale game with confidence, but we know it will be another tough game, but we are looking for all three points.”

Armadale are yet to lose on the road, which included a 4-0 win at ECU Joondalup, but their home form is a different matter, and defender Friday Zico said last week was a missed opportunity to change that after Balcatta were reduced to 10 men, but they didn’t take their chances. “It’s one of those game both teams wanted to win, hard fought game between both teams, but credit to Balcatta who played nearly half of the match with 10 men,” he said. “We were really disappointed we couldn’t capitalise on the extra player. We needed to be more clinical in front of goal but a draw was a fair result in the end.”

It’s a busy weekend for the Reds, with a FFA Cup game on Monday at North Perth United, but Zico they are up for the challenge. “Yes, it’s going to be a busy weekend for us, but I think it’s important to take it one game at a time, I know all the boys are looking forward to playing Glory then in the FFA Cup,” the defender explained. “We need to managed ourselves well as players and be ready to take on the responsibility ourselves to make sure we are ready for the challenge of playing two games in three days.

The former South Sudan international defender said Glory are a talented team and will be a test, but he said they head away from home confident they can get a result. “Saturday is a massive game for us, I know both teams want to do well and get the three points, and they (Glory) have signed some good young players in their squad this year who will all want to do well,” Zico said. “But we want to go there and play well ourselves and come away with the three points, and as a team will have to be at our best in order to achieve that objective because Glory can be a dangerous side with lot of goal scorers who can put away half chances.”

The round starts tonight when league leaders Floreat Athena will look to extend their perfect start to the season when they host Cockburn City at E&D Litis Stadium. The Cockerels sit bottom of the table, but they do have happy memories of the ground after beating Floreat in the final game of last season to deny them the title. On Saturday, second placed ECU Joondalup make the trip to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta, while Perth SC entertain Gwelup Croatia at Dorrien Gardens. Sorrento Head south to take on Rockingham City at SafeRad Stadium.

In the final game both Bayswater City and Inglewood United will look to kick start their seasons when they meet at Frank Drago Reserve. City were beaten at home by Floreat last week, a game they conceded three penalties, and striker Gordon Smith said they need to be better. “Disappointing result for us against Floreat, but we didn’t play with the intensity we can and they punished us,” he said. “Not many teams will have three penalties against them this season, but the decisions were out of our hand and the penalties defiantly killed any momentum.”

It’s not been a good week for the club with midfielder Steven Walmsley badly damaging his knee, while striker Gustavo Giron Marulanda has left the club, Smith said both will be missed, but it will give other players an opportunity. “Disappointing to see Steve do his knee, it didn’t look good when he went down with no contact, we all wish him a speedy recovery and his energy will be sorely missed,” Smith explained. “Gustavo is a true legend of the club and of course everyone was gutted to see him leave and we wish him all the best wherever he decided to go. It’s now a good opportunity for some of the young players at the club to step up and claim a spot in the first team.”

Smith said Saturday is huge for both sides, but they will be doing all they can to kick start their season with a win. “We know three points will push us back up in touch with the top four, so it’s a huge game, and we are ready for a big game in front of our supporters,” he said. “We’ve dusted ourselves down and had a good week's training and look forward to the challenge against a good Inglewood side.”

23.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW

It’s week four of the State League Division One, and our ‘Match of the Round’ sees third placed Quinns hosting fourth placed Stirling Macedonia at Gumblossom Park on Saturday evening (7.00) It’s a first return to Quinns for former coach Ian Ferguson, who along with a number of players joined Stirling this season, and both will be looking to get back into the winner’s circle this week.

Quinns were beaten for the first time this season at UWA last week, while Stirling concede late to draw with Ashfield. The last time the sides met at the venue was in round 15 last season with Quinns running out 3-0 winners. Jamie Stewart opened the scoring, with Matt Corrigan adding a second 15 minutes from time, before Sam Rawlings sealed the win in the final minute.

Quinns skipper Adam Buckingham said it was a disappointing result last week at UWA, but they failed to take their chances when they were on top. “We did have some good chances mainly in the first half but to be fair mistakes cost us the lead going into half time,” he said. “In the second half UWA were definitely the better side and deservedly went on to win the game.”

Buckingham said they have a new look squad this season and new coach Glenn Grostate has the young side playing well and he knows Saturday is a huge game, especially with Stirling adding some quality players. But he said they are ready for it and hopes they can make their home ground advantage count. “Our squad is great, the younger players like Matthew Grostate, Ben Hinshelwood and Liam Hudson mixed with a few lads like Adam Tong and Cian Hirrell, makes a great mix," he said. "It definitely has the potential to be successful this season, and push for the NPL, but this is a tough league and we know Stirling will be a tough game as they have some decent players. If we play well there’s no reason why we shouldn’t get the win, especially being at home.”

Last week's draw wasn’t what Stirling were looking for but skipper Dejan Spaseski said they learnt a good lesson. “We had lots of new faces on the park against Ashfield thanks to our long list of injuries and suspensions,” he said. “In saying this, we were very pleased with the number of chances we created and know we deserved better from the way we controlled the game. We have learnt from our mistakes and look to put it right this week.”

It’s a new look coaching staff and squad this season at Macedonia Park, and Spaseski believes they will get better. “Fergie, John and Dave have come in and created a professional environment and instilled a winning mentality within the playing group. They have brought in players of great quality who have gelled with the squad very quickly, and we’re very confident as a squad that we can pick up three points in any fixture,” he explained. “We know the challenge ahead, especially with playing Quinns at their home ground. Our preparation does not change and we head there accepting nothing but three points.”

In other games this week league leaders Western Knights will look to maintain their perfect start to the season when they entertain Subiaco at Nash Field, likewise Fremantle City who welcome Joondalup United to Hilton Park. it’s not been the start Forrestfield United were looking for and they sit bottom of the table and still searching for their first win of the season, and his week they travel to the Acclaimed Catering Arena to take on Ashfield, while Mandurah City are also looking for their first win and they go on search of it when they host Swan United at Securitas Protect Stadium.

In the final game Olympic Kingsway welcome UWA Nedlands to Kingsway Reserve. It will be the first time former UWA coach Michael Janssen will take on his former club in the league, and both sides won for the first time this season in week three, Olympic stunning Subiaco on the road, while UWA beat Quinns in a seven-goal thriller. UWA midfielder Luke Randazzo said it was important win for the club. “It was a really good win for our group and much needed given our 0-2 start,” he said. “The boys really believe in each other and what we have been building so it was nice to see some reward for effort.”

Last week was the final game for coach Dom Gangemi and Randazzo said it was a fitting way to send him off. “He’s been a great coach and mentor to the group so I’m pleased we could finish with him on a high. Business commitments meant his time as coach has come to an end but I’m grateful to have worked with him and rate him highly as a coach,” he said. “Alessandro Carciotto has taken over who was Dom’s assistant last year. Another fantastic person at the club who is well placed to lead us forward. A great communicator and big opportunity for him to lead the side which I’m sure he will deliver.”

Carciotto’s first game in charge is a tough one at Olympic, and Randazzo said both sides have quality players and it will be another tough game. “It’s a huge game this weekend at Kingsway, they’ve obviously lost a few boys lately but I have no doubt the two sides of 11 that take to the park will be desperate to secure the three points,” he explained. “They are a quality outfit and we’ll certainly need to bring our best if we are going to get a result, but we’re looking forward to it.”

23.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW

We head into week four of the State League Division Two with only three points separating the top seven teams, and our ‘Match of the Round’ sees third placed Kingsley Westside host Joondalup City at Chichester Park on Saturday evening (5.00pm) Kingsley won at Murdoch University Melville last week to make it back-to-back wins, while Joondalup’s game at Canning was postponed, leaving them still searching for their first points of the season.

The win at MUM was a huge confidence boost for Kingsley and skipper Jayden Drummond said it was well deserved. “It was an Important win against Murdoch, I don’t think many teams will take points off them on their pitch,” he explained. “We started really well, then they made their way into the game, some really good football played by both teams as you would expect on that pitch but the difference was, we took our chances and they didn’t.”

Drummond said Saturday’s opponents have recruited well for the season, and knows his side needs to perform well to keep their winning run going. “We certainly are well aware of Joondalup City’s signings, they’ve strengthened a lot since last year, although they’ve had a tough start to the season,” he said. “But we all know teams with their backs to the walls are the most dangerous, so we will have to be at our best to get a result against them come Saturday.”

Joondalup’s Callum Speed said the start to the season wasn’t what they were hoping for, but he said they had chances to win both games. “Last week was disappointing but that’s in Football West’s hands now,” he said. “The defeats we had in round one and two was very much undeserved, as I thought we were the better team in both games and deserved far more from both games, but it’s still early days and the more our new look squad play together the better we will be.”

Speed, who joined City from neighbours Joondalup United this season, said Kingsley have been impressive this season and will be a difficult opponent, but he is confident they can get a results and kick start their season. “Kingsley have won a couple of games and will be a good test for us,” he said. “I’ve played them a few times in friendlies when I was at Joondalup United and they’re a well organised and structured side. But we know if we play at our best with the players we’ve got, we should win most games I believe.”

In other games in week four, Dianella White Eagles will look to maintain top spot when they travel to Princess Road Reserve to take on Balga, while second placed Morley Windmills head to Walter Padbury Reserve to meet Gosnells City. Kelmscott Roos sit bottom of the table after three straight defeats, and they will be hoping for some home comforts when they host Murdoch University Melville at Frye Park, while Carramar Shamrock Rovers entertain Curtin University at Grandis Park, with fourth placed Curtin looking to continue their good form. In the final game Canning City head north to take on Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve.

Wanneroo won for the first time this season against Gosnells last week, while Canning’s game was postponed due to a clash of kits. Canning Head Coach Chris Finlayson said it was a disappointing day for all involved, and is still waiting for answers. “We’ve trained well this week and have moved on from it,” he explained. “The only unfortunate thing is we still haven’t heard back from Football West as yet, so that’s probably the disappointing thing at the moment.”

Finlayson said Wanneroo were impressive in the Night Series and are a good outfit, but he said it’s business as usual for his team. “We are expecting a very tough match at Wanneroo, but it’s one we are looking forward too,” he said. “Our approach is no different to any other week we travel up there with the intent to play good football and get the points. We have a few players coming back in this week, that we haven’t had the opportunity to play so far, so that’s exciting as well.”

23.4.2019

FFA CUP - ROUND FIVE – PREVIEW

It’s FFA Cup (WA) round five on Monday and there some intriguing ties with a number of NPLWA sides taking on lower opposition (All games kick off at 3.00pm, unless stated). The biggest test will go to Belt-Up Amateur Premier League side Kwinana United, who visit Dorrien Gardens to take on 11 times State Cup winners Perth SC. Perth beat Murdoch University Melville 2-0 in the last round, while Kwinana ended the fairy tale run of Busselton City. United Head Coach Mark Purvis said it’s a game the club are really looking forward too.

“We are very excited for the challenge this week, it’s the biggest game the club has had for many years,” he said. “Perth are obviously are top side and we excited to see how we measure up against them. We’ve worked extremely hard to get to this round and the boys deserve the chance to test themselves. We are certainly the underdogs but we will be looking to try and give them a few problems and you just never know, maybe we can cause a huge upset.”

Another Belt-Up Amateur Premier League side, North Perth United have home ground advantage when they entertain Armadale at Woodville Reserve. Armadale beat fellow NPL side Inglewood United in the last round on penalties, while North Perth ended Northern City cup run. North Perth Head Coach Luke O’Neill said Saturday is huge and it should be a big day at Woodville. “Everyone involved at the club are looking forward to Monday’s game against Armadale, we are hoping for a good atmosphere down at Woodville,” he said.

“It’s the furthest the club has been in the competition so we are raring to go. It’s not every day you get to come up against one of the NPL sides and we will make sure we give it a good shot. We have told the players and the club to enjoy the day and to support each other to the final whistle. We are fully aware of how hard the game is going to be, John O’Reilly is a great coach and has a quality squad who are always well organised. The message to the lads will be simple enjoy the game, work hard and stick together.”

Cockburn City have struggled so far in the league and they face a tricky tie at Securitas Protect Stadium against Mandurah City. Mandurah moved through on penalties against Quinns, while Cockburn edged out Western Knights. “Games have been coming thick and fast and this is another tough fixture,” Mandurah coach Pete Taylor said. “We’re looking forward to the occasion and testing ourselves against seasoned NPL regulars. I think it has all the makings of a fantastic game.”

In other games there are two all NPLWA ties, with Gwelup Croatia hosting Floreat Athena at Wishart Street, while Bayswater City welcome Balcatta to Frank Drago Reserve. NPLWA Champions ECU Joondalup travel to Kingsway Reserve to take on Division One Champions Olympic Kingsway, while Gosnells City travel to SafeRad Stadium to take on Rockingham City, a game Gosnells skipper Scott Pereira is looking forward too. “We all can’t wait for the cup game on Monday after another disappointing result last week, we look to get back in form and try cause an upset,” he said. “I’ve been involved in a lot of good games against Rockingham over the years, so will be a good test to see where we are at as a team.”

In the final game last season’s Division Two Champions Carramar Shamrock Rovers meet the 2015 Cup winners Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. Sorrento edged past Subiaco in the last round, while Rovers beat Forrestfield United. “We're all looking forward to the challenge of facing Sorrento, especially when they're in such good league form,” Rovers Head Coach Gerry McEwan said. “Work commitments and injuries mean we'll be missing some influential players, but we're aware Sorrento could be in a similar position, so we'll be looking to be as competitive as possible, and who knows what can happen in the cup.”

21.4.2019

NOVELLO MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF IN SERIE B

Teenager Jahce Novello is out to make his mark in Italian football with Serie B side U.S. Cremonese. The 17-year old West Australian made a move to Italy in August 2019 to chase his football dreams.

After several trials, he was offered a deal with Cremonese in Italy’s north and is now working his way up the club’s youth ranks. “I’ve been here for about a year and a half,” the striker told The World Game.

“I came over for trials with another club Genoa, and then I played a tournament with them, and Cremonese was there, and they offered me to trial here. And I did and ended up signing for Cremonese.

“I had offers, so I was testing the waters to see which club I wanted to go to, and I ended up choosing Cremonese. It’s a beautiful club. The facilities are amazing, that’s one of the reasons we chose to come here. It’s a very nice club.”

Novello has endured a difficult time for the past 13 months, with COVID-19 gripping Europe and, in particular, Italy. The country has had 3.87 million total Coronavirus cases with 117,000 deaths.

There have been several lockdowns nationwide and with the football season interrupted. But the youth and Primavera campaigns restarted earlier this month, and the centre forward is excited to be back on the pitch and continuing his development.

“It’s going well,” he said. “This season, we only ended up playing two games, and then the season got cancelled again because of Covid. But we’ve started the new season again, AC Milan. It’s been good to get that going again.”

“It’s exciting. I’ve been with Under-17s, but I’ve been training with the Primavera, the reserves. The standard (compared to in Australia) is very, very different. It’s a lot more technical.”

Originally from Bunbury, Novello started his footballing journey at Dynamos before moving to Armadale. He then had a spell at South West Phoenix before heading to Italy. “I was born in WA, in a city called Bunbury,” he explained.

“My dad used to play in Italy when he was younger. From a young age he got me kicking a ball in the backyard. I play as a striker at Cremonese. We play a 5-3-2 with two strikers, so I play as one of the strikers up top.”

Novello is learning his trade at I Grigiorossi, in Italy’s Lombardy region. He believes his skills are sharpening at the Serie B outfit, where former Socceroo John Aloisi had two seasons and made 48 appearances between 1995 and 1997.

“I’ve definitely improved here,” Novello said. “The style of football is a lot different to what I played in Australia, so I’ve definitely improved a lot. But I’ve focused on my improvements off the pitch, which has helped me a lot.”

“My goal is to hopefully do my best and make it pro, see what goes from there. Hopefully, one day play for Australia - that would be nice.”

18.4.2019

KERR BRUSHES OFF MATILDAS CRITICISM

Samanatha Kerr has dismissed criticism after the Matildas suffered heavy defeats to Germany and the Netherlands, saying the Australian team are remaining confident ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The Matildas went down 5-2 to the Germans and 5-0 to the Dutch last week in a pair of international friendlies.

The five-goal loss to the Netherlands was Australia’s biggest loss in 13 years. But captain Kerr insists concern over the results is unwarranted considering the circumstances and the fact the team were weakened by injuries and player unavailability through COVID-19.

“People that are concerned don’t know anything about football to be honest because if you look that its 400 days apart from games, nine key players missing,” Kerr said. “We feel confident, we believe in the coach and in what we’re doing and we’ll be fine come the Olympics.”

“Obviously it was difficult, we got beat by a considerable amount. But I think people forget we haven’t been together for 400 days. We’ve had no camps, we had no players from our Australian leagues, we had players out with COVID, players out with injury.”

“It was a really big learning week for us - new coach (as well). We’re not making excuses for ourselves, as we need to be better for sure. But there’s also a lot of factors that go into those results – new coach, new staff. Yeah, it was a difficult week.”

The 23-player squad chosen for the two friendlies did not feature a single player from the W-League and was without injured stars such as Steph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight and Kyah Simon, along with pregnant midfielder Katrina Gorry.

Kerr admitted it was difficult for new coach Tony Gustavsson to make his stamp on the team in the short time available considering the unusual conditions. “It was hard for Tony to implement what he wanted to do in a few days, and we had people coming in later, people coming off games,” she said.

“It’s not as simple as when we all used to be in the W-League and people just used to be able to come in whenever they wanted. It was difficult but it was good to get back together after over a year and play some games and get some training in.” The delayed 2020 Olympic Games kick-off on 21 July in Japan.

18.4.2021

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND TWO REVIEW

Maddington White City remain top of the Belt Up Amateur Premier League ladder after a hard fought 4-2 win against Queens Park in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Coker Park. Samir Ramos gave the visitors the lead after only 12 minutes, and he doubled their advantage five minutes before half time. It was 3-0 in the shadows of half time with Gaston Bazet on target. But it was different after the break and the Park hit back with Hakim Rezaie pulling one back fifteen minutes from time with a superb long-range effort, and when Wesley Britz added a second and it was game on.

But with the hosts chasing the game Maddington sealed the points five minutes later with Ramos adding a fourth, rounding the keeper and completing his hat trick. “Two wins from two games is exactly what we wanted, our coaches are doing an excellent job,’ Maddington’s Petar Mrdja said. “Queens Park are a decent team and have the potential to do well this season, not everyone will go there and pick up three points so we are happy with the result as well as our performance.”

Quinns are level on points with the leaders, after seven-goal thriller against UWA Nedlands, eventually running out 4-3 winners at the UWA Sports Park. Ryan McCready gave the visitors the lead early, but Walter Torres levelled for the host. UWA then hit the front with Blair Harding scoring, but in a see sawing game late goals from Kieran Friett and David Long put the visitors in control at the break. The first on 38 minutes saw Friett latching onto a great through ball and converting into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Moments later Long pounced onto a ball in the box following a corner, and finished was aplomb. Although Torres scored another late for the hosts, it was Quinns leaving with the points. “A very entertaining game to be involved in, with both sides going out with the intent of scoring goals,” Quinns coach Vinny McMillan said. “All credit goes to UWA who turned up and played very well, however our boys really knuckled down and ground a win out which is great to see.”

Jaguar won for the first time this season after a 2-0 win against Night Series winners South West Phoenix at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre. The home side made a dream start and were ahead after only three minutes, good approach work from Cyrille Isambert, saw him send Mabor Thomas in on goal, and he squared the ball to Conor O’Driscoll who scored from close-range. It was 2-0 seven minutes later, Malak Domkoc found space out wide, and cut into the box before cutting the ball back to Thomas for an easy finish. Both sides had chances thereafter, but poor finishing and good goalkeeping made sure there was no further scoring.

"It’s good to be on the scoring sheet after missing the pre-season through injury, and to get our first win of the season,” O'Driscoll said. “The last couple of games haven't been kind for us, but once we get our fitness to standard and start to gel more as a squad, hopefully we can kill off more games early. Our short game through the middle set the pace of the game which Phoenix struggled to catch. The connection from our midfield to the forwards and wingers was their final undoing. With few players back and our captain Juma Wade commanding the back line, Jags showed some of our best defensive ability. Covering the offensive long balls and shutting down wide runs from the wingers with certainty, a good win for us."

Last season’s Champions North Perth United are on the board this season, but they left it late to beat Hamersley Rovers 3-0 at Woodville Reserve. The game was a tight encounter with the visitors settling the better and Cosimo Figliomeni was causing problems, and he had the best chance, well saved from Todd Ross. But all the goals came late, and the hosts found the opener 11 minutes from time. James Mcphail found Andy O’Neill who played it to Javier Pineres Mestre who finished clinically.

There was ten minutes of added time after an injury, and the host added a second in the seventh minute, Kody Dvauz slid O’Neill in who lashed home from inside the box. Rob Faulkner made it three with the last kick of the game, after good work from Pineres Mestre, to seal the win. “We needed to bounce back after last week’s performance, so three goals, a clean sheet and three points were the positives,” United’s Head Coach Luke O’Neill explained. “We are still a work in progress and will continue to develop as a group each week, but we are all looking forward to the cup game Wednesday night and then the FFA cup against Armadale in the next seven days.”

Wembley Downs also won for the first time this season after a 3-1 win against Kwinana United at Butlers Reserve. The home side were ahead against the run of play on 22 minutes, a quick counterattack saw Lachie Chamberlain getting on the end of the pass from Dairmaid Ryng before slotting home to open the scoring. But the visitors hit back and were level three minutes later, with Sean Troup scoring. But Wembley regained the lead on the half hour, Chamberlain regained possession after applying pressure to the Kwinana defender, and he combined with midfielder Ryan Morris, before calmly slotting home from close range for his and Wembley’s second.

Both sides had chances in the second half, but it was Wembley who sealed the points late. With Kwinana chasing the equaliser Wembley caught them on the counter attack with a well-timed pass through to substitute, Cameron Davies, who expertly finished. “Really proud of the group. We set up today to be competitive and catch Kwinana on the counter,” Wembley Head Coach Anthony Cochane said. “Kwinana had a lot of the game however we defended well and took our chances. We had three or four players missing through injury/work or quarantine, which just makes the performance even better.”

In the final game Leeming Strikers and Joondalup United have fought out a 1-1 draw at John Connell Reserve. “The week off didn’t really help us we were a bit slow off the blocks and we were a bit sloppy first half, second half we had a lot more control in our play but just lacked that cutting pass or cross to get the winner,” Leeming player/coach David Palin said. “The draw was a fair result, both sides had limited clear cut chances, we dealt with their direct style from set pieces, long throws really well but our one lapse in play was punished by a clinical Buckley. It's a point on the board and we now move onto a cup game v Canning this week.”

United opened the scoring on 24 minutes when Declan Kerrigan and Blaine Slater combined from a throw in to feed Max Van Ravensteyn in the Leeming half. His through ball released Adam Buckley and the striker finished calmly past the onrushing keeper. But the Strikers were level six minutes before half time, Leandro Da Silva and Mike Correia linked up down the right with Da Silva playing Correia through one on one with the keeper, and he rounded him and finished into an empty net.

United Head Coach Neil Sherwin said they still have room for improvement. "Like the recent Night Series meeting between the teams, it was a tight game and both sides had chances to win it. There was also a couple of very questionable refereeing decisions but you come to expect that in Sunday football,” he explained. “We defended well for the most part and overall, our performance was better than Round One but we still have work to do ahead of a local derby in the cup next Monday."

17.4.2021

ZIMARINO LEAVES IT LATE FOR GLORY

Perth Glory striker Adam Zimarino has scored late to give Ruben Zadkovich’s side a 1-1 draw against Gwelup Croatia at Wishart Street in our NPLWA ‘Match of the Round’. Former Glory Youth winger Ethan Brooks had given the home side the lead early in the second half and it looked like that would be the winner, but in stoppage time Zimarino popped up with the equaliser to give both sides a share of the spoils.

“I thought it was a well-deserved point, and credit to the boys for not giving up and lucky enough to get an equaliser in stoppage time,” Zimarino said. “We were unlucky not to score one earlier after hitting the post and crossbar but I was happy to get on the score sheet again.”

It was the visitors who had the best chances early in this one, skipper Giordano Colli’s free kick beating Stefan King, but the woodwork came to the rescue of the Gwelup custodian. Former Floreat striker Josh Anasmo then sending a diving header wide, before the lively Charlie Leech failed to find the target after being sent one-on-one with King. Leech fired inches wide four minutes before the break, but it was the host who should have taken the lead to the break. Declan Hargreaves corner picked out Ciaran Salinger at the back post, but his header crashed off the upright.

Whatever Gwelup Head Coach Taki Nicolaidis said at half time worked, as they were ahead in the first sixty seconds with a fantastic individual goal. Gwelup skipper Blair Govan found Brooks, who picked the ball up inside his own half and drove at the Glory defence, before cutting inside the area and finishing with aplomb past Sam Reilly. Ruben Zadkovich's side pressed late for an equaliser and they were finally rewarded in stoppage time. Colli found Zimarino who found space in the box, and he finished low past King to give his side a point.

“Pretty disappointing that for the second week in a row we dropped another two points from a stoppage time equaliser,” Gwelup Head Coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “Fair play to Glory who kept pushing and pushing for that goal, but we need to dust ourselves off and prepare for a big weekend against Perth then Athena in the FFA Cup.”

Gwelup Croatia: GK Stefan KING, 2 Ciaran SALINGER, 4 Thomas SOUTHGATE, 5 Blair GOVAN, 8 Jon STYNES (6 Declan HARGREAVES 61’), 11 Ethan BROOKS, 12 Hasani SINCLAIR, 13 Rocco PIZZATA (19 Lucas TRIGLAVCANIN 43’), 14 Shubham MOKALA, 15 Blamo QUAQUA (7 Brent GRIFFITHS 68’), 22 Joshua SAMSON (9 Paul ZIMARINO 61’) – Subs not used: - RGK Benjamin RATAJCZAK

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 Nick SULLIVAN (15 Lewis TUCKER 71’), 3 Jacob MUIR, 4 Aidan COYNE, 5 Riley WARLAND, 6 Chris DONNELL, 7 Joseph FORDE, 8 Charlie LEECH, 9 Joshua ANASMO (17 Bryce BAFFORD 67’), 10 Giordano COLLI, 11 Adam ZIMARINO (12 Matthew GEORGE 82’) - Subs not used: RGK Sam REILLY, 13 William FORMSTON - Referee: Tom GLAVOVIC

17.4.2021

FLOREAT CONTINUE PERFECT START

Floreat Athena maintained their two-point lead at the top of the NPLWA table, after an impressive 4-1 win against Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Dean Evans gave the visitors the lead and moments later the Floreat skipper saw his penalty saved by Liam Driscoll. But second half goals from Chris Saldaris and a double from new signing Jawad Razai secured the win. City striker Gordon Smith scored City’s consolation goal in stoppage time.

“It was a good game, and we had to fight hard for the result,” Floreat’s Sean McManus said. “I thought we were very organised from back to front and were clinical in the final third, so delighted to keep our winning run going.” Rezai, who signed from Balcatta in the week, was in the action early, finding Nicholas Ambrogio, whose effort was dealt with by Driscoll, while Floreat custodian Jason Saldaris had to be alert moments later to deny Jason Mirco. The game ebbed and flowed with both sides creating chances, the best fell to Floreat after Driscoll could only parry Evans’ shot, and with the goal at his mercy Rezai missed the target.

But that miss was forgotten five minutes from half time when Floreat hit the front. Evans found space in the middle of the park and surged forward before finding the bottom corner of the net with a low drive. It should have been 2-0 in stoppage time when referee Steven Gregory spotted a handball by City defender Fraser Dunlop and pointed to the spot. Evans stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but Driscoll guessed the right way to save.

Bayswater needed a good start to the second half to get back into the game, but it was Floreat who doubled their lead after only three minutes. Rezai raced into the box and was clipped by Jordan Abrahams, and Gregory pointed to the spot for a second time, and Rezai picked himself up and fired home. It was 3-0 just before the hour mark, Evans’ corner was headed home by Chris Saldaris.

Floreat continued to press and Ben Steele’s shot was cleared off the line by Zayd Farah on 78 minutes, but two minutes later they found a fourth. Evans’ ball into the box hit the arm of Adam Fullard and once again the referee gave a penalty, and Rezai stepped up again and converted. City grabbed a consolation goal four minutes into stoppage time, Ndumba Makeche sent Smith in on goal, and the Scottish striker finished clinically, but it was too little too late.

Floreat Head Coach Vas Vujacic was a happy man post game. “Really happy with our fifth straight win, but despite the score line it was a hard game, Bayswater play without fear and were constantly looking to attack us right till the very end,” he explained. “However, with the game being so open we were able to create many chances on goal and played some nice football. Again, defensively we have been superb and we also have the quality to punish teams and it’s great for our new recruit Jawad, who had a very good debut and managed to score twice.”

Bayswater City: GK Liam DRISCOLL, 4 Jacob TURNER (23 Daniel KATZ 54’), 5 Albert FULLARD, 7 Ndumba MAKECHE, 8 Gordon SMITH, 10 Jason MIRCO, 12 Steven HESKETH, 13 Jordan ABRAHAMS, 17 Steven WALMSLEY (26 Zayd FARAH 37’), 18 Fraser DUNLOP, 29 Tyler GARNER (15 Leonard GAMA 74’) - Subs not used: RGK Riccardo MAZZOLENI, 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 8 Sean MCMANUS (5 Elijah HAAS 87’), 9 Robert HARDING (4 Ben STEELE 72’), 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11 Dennis GALAN, 12 Jawad REZAI (40 Wesley CASIMIR 83’), 13 George FESTA, 15 Chris SALDARIS, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD (16 Kyle MURRAY 83’) – Subs not used: RGK Joshua HUNTER - Referee: Steven GREGORY

17.4.2021

JACKS EDGE OUT ROCKINGHAM

ECU Joondalup extended their winning streak to three games, and won for the first time at home this season after a 2-0 win against Rockingham City at the ECU Football Stadium. Danny Hodgson bagged his fourth goal of the season to give the Jacks the lead at half time, before Andy Higgins sealed the win late in the game. “We knew they were going sit back and play the long ball so we had to be patient,” Hodgson explained. “Obviously we hit the post twice, sometimes they go in sometimes they don’t, but it wasn’t a pretty game but a win’s a win. Glad to score, I’m popping up with a few headers recently, but as long as the team is winning that’s what it’s all about. We are still a new team and gelling well, and we know there is more to come.”

The Jacks made a positive start and went close after only two minutes. Harold sent Nicol down the left, he outpaced his marker and cut the ball back from the bye-line to Higgins, but his shot was well saved by Rockingham keeper Brad Stout. But Rockingham went close themselves on 23 minutes, they won a free kick 20 meters from goal and Feisal Zaw’s curling effort beat everyone in the box and was heading for the bottom corner of the net, but Johnny Perkins produced a smart save to tip the ball around the post.

But it was the Jacks who opened the scoring on 38 minutes. Nicol’s corner from the left was headed back across goal by Tom Hough and Hodgson placed his header clinically into the corner of the net. The Jacks then went within inches of a second in the shadows of the break. Hodgson was brought down in the middle of the park, but referee Julian Serra played a good advantage, Jakub Prajza raced down the right and whipped in a deep cross to Nicol at the back post, who controlled the ball first time and he beat Stout with a low shot, but the ball hit the post and bounced back into the grateful arms of the Rockingham custodian.

Rockingham went close to the equaliser on 53 minutes, a long ball over the top by Hamish Van Dieken picked out Shane Boyle, whose first time shot whistled just wide of the far post. They went close again ten minutes later, Van Dieken’s cross from the right found substitute Robert Duckmanton, whose glancing header went agonisingly wide. The Jacks hit back and almost grabbed a second on 70 minutes. Hodgson was brought down in the middle of the park and his quick free kick caught Rockingham napping and he sent Nicol in on goal, he lobbed the oncoming Stout, but once again his effort hit the woodwork and was put behind for a corner by Harry Bolan.

They were in again moments later, Hodgson free kick found Higgins on the top of the penalty area and his low shot looked destined for the bottom corner of the net, but Stout got down well to turn the ball around the post. Rockingham were still in the game and Van Dieken’s free kick deflected just past the post, while Stout again got down well to deny Higgins at the other end. But the three points were wrapped up in the final minute, when the Jacks added a second. Harold and Hodgson combined on the edge of the box, the latter picking out Higgins, who curled the ball home superbly to seal the win.

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Jeremy TSHONGO, 3 Nelson TSHONGO, 4 Declan HUGHES (14 Sonny O’SHEA 90’), 7 Danny HODGSON (7 Sebastian GOMEZ 90’), 8 Tom HOUGH (15 Danny DOUGLAS 90’), 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Chris HAROLD, 12 Jakub PRAJZA, 16 Shane CASSIDY (18 Luke PALMATEER 52’) – Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD

Rockingham City: GK Brad STOUT, 3 Denaudo MURRAY (4 Dieudonne SUMAIL 77’), 5 Afian GIYANTO, 6 Harry BOLAN, 7 Feisal ZAW, 8 Hamish VAN DIEKEN, 10 Shane BOYLE, 11 Luke COLLINS (47 Robert DUCKMANTON 57’), 19 Noah WITTSTROM-LEA, 21 Joseph MOSS, 23 Ryan KENNEDY (14 Jethro YUMANGE 62’) – Subs: RGK Cyril SHARROCK, 15 Declan COLLINS - Referee: Julian SERRA

17.4.2021

PERTH TOO STRONG FOR COCKBURN

Perth SC maintained third place on the NPLWA table with a comfortable 3-0 win against bottom of the table Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Former Cockburn midfielder Kristian Santich opened the scoring midway through the first half, before City defender Breckan Baker scored an own goal to double their lead. The points were wrapped up early in the second half with Michael Domfeh heading home his second goal of the season to continue Ramon Falzon’s sides good form. “I thought we dominated the game from start to finish and were clinical in front of goal,” Perth striker Cameron Teece said. “We were also very solid at the back, so it was a great team performance.”

The visitors were on the front foot from the get go and it wasn’t a surprise they went ahead on 10 minutes. Cockburn turned the ball over in the middle of the park and Teece fed Domfeh who sent Santich clear and he made no mistake from the edge of the box. The hosts, who were yet to win at home this season, looked to level quickly and Jesse Lazzaro's cross was inches away from Harry O'Brien in the area, before Riley Woodcock effort was well saved by the alert Ryan Montgomery.

They had a penalty shout turned down by referee Michal Jasinski after Cameron Edwards ball into the box seemed to hit the arm of Perth defender Kiran Colwell, but he waved away their appeals. Their frustration grew two minutes later when Perth doubled their advantage. Colwell sent Domfeh down the left, he out muscled his marker, before his low cross went in off the unfortunate Baker.

Cockburn were again denied by Montgomery before the break, the keeper getting down well to thwart Jesse Lazzaro. But five minutes into the second half, the Azzurri added a third, and what a goal it was. Santich found Teece on the right, and the striker’s curling cross was met by Domfeh at the back post and he powered his header home, giving Luke Radonich no chance.

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 5 Julian TELES (3 Daniel DOLS 69’), 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 11 Harry O’BRIEN (9 Anthony SKORICH 71’), 12 Sebastian DA SILVA, 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Ali GHOLAMI (24 Daniel DOS SANTOS 71’), 18 Adam ANFUSO (22 Daniel ROBINSON 62’), 21 Jesse LAZZARO, 23 Riley WOODCOCK, 25 Breckan BAKER – Subs not used: RGK Ben RADONICH

Perth SC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Alex SILLA, 6 Nic MCDONALD, 7 Alex JOVIC, 9 Cameron TEECE, 10 Michael DOMFEH (20 Gustavo CATARACIONE 69’), 13 Calvin WHITNEY, 14 Lachlan BYRD, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 22 Kristian SANTICH (12 Sam FLORES 85’) - Subs not used: RGK Adrian SINAGRA, 17 Aiden FORMSTON, 15 Will GORDON - Referee: Michal JASINSKI

17.4.2021

GULLS BACK IN THE WINNERS CIRCLE

Sorrento bounced back from last week’s first defeat of the season to beat Inglewood United 2-1 at Inglewood Stadium. The host took the lead through Roberto Soares free kick, but the Gulls hit back with two quick goals just before half time with Dean Cummings and Billy Quinncroft on target. Inglewood pressed after the break but couldn’t find the equaliser, the loss leaving United second bottom and still looking for their first home win of the season, while the win lifts Sorrento to fourth on the NPLWA table.

“The boys work rate over the 90 minutes was brilliant so it was good to take three points away from home in the end,” goalscorer Cummings said. “It’s nice to get back in the winner’s circle, but we will take nothing for granted going into this week’s game away to Rockingham.” It was the hosts on the front foot early, and new Sorrento keeper Connor Campbell pushed Robert Petkov’s shot around the post after only eight minutes, before Anthony Bafobusha long-range effort whistled wide.

Inglewood keeper Alex Dunn then saved bravely from Quinncroft on 18 minutes, after good work down the right by Tim Hill. But Inglewood’s early pressure was rewarded with the lead on 26 minutes. Roberto Soares was brought down by Scott Robertson just outside the penalty area, and he picked himself up and curled the ball around the wall and into the net, despite Campbell getting a hand to it.

The hosts looked good, but all their good work was undone just before half time. First on 41 minutes a quick free kick from Hill sent Jordan Brown down the right, and his deep cross to the back post picked out Cummings who lost his marker to score. It got better for Jamie Harnwell’s side and two minutes later they were in front, Quinncroft heading home Hill’s corner to send the Gulls into the break with the lead.

Inglewood looked for a quick response after the break, and Petkov headed narrowly wide from Roberto del Borrello’s corner, before Shaun Kilkelly got back to clear Ajax Riak chip off the line. Next it was substitute Jason Barrera to go close, but his effort went wide. The Gulls were defending in numbers and Inglewood couldn’t break them down, and at the final whistle it was Sorrento celebrating the three points. “Really pleased with the effort and application of the players throughout the game,” Sorrento Head Coach Jamie Harnwell said. “Inglewood had some good spells of possession but the players were resilient and defended well.”

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 Giovanni SOARES, 4 Scott BLACKMORE (18 Andreas THEODOSIADES 46’), 7 Ajak RIAK (8 Jason BARRERA 73’), 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA, 12 Roberto DEL BORRELLO, 14 Steve SOKOL, 15 Roberto SOARES (5 Thiak KUEL 46’), 17 Mark BARNETT – Sub not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 6 Adam FALCONE, 13 Brodie LANGAN

Sorrento: GK Connor CAMPBELL, 3 Daniel FAICHNEY (19 Jaxon TEMATA 81’), 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 5 Scott ROBERTSON, 8 Scott WITSCHGE, 9 Billy QUINNCROFT (2 David STOKOE 81’), 11 Tim HILL, 12 Joe TWEATS, 16 Ryan MCLAUGHLIN, 17 Dean CUMMINGS, 18 Jordan BROWN – Subs not used: RGK Matthew GIUDICATTI, 23 Neil GILLIES, 27 Jamie SWAN – Referee: Joshua NIXON

17.4.2021

ALL-SQUARE AT ALFRED SKEET

Armadale and Balcatta have fought out a tight 1-1 draw in the NPLWA round five clash at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Michael Zimarino gave Bobby Taneski’s side the lead early, but Spanish striker Angel Andres levelled just before half time for John O’Reilly’s side. Balcatta had to play the final 25 minutes of the game with ten men after Anthony Topini was sent off, the draw leaving both clubs in seventh and eighth place respectively on the NPLWA ladder.

“We’re disappointed about the result because I felt we were good value for the three points even after going down to ten men,” Balcatta midfielder Jon Corness said. “I thought we created some real clear-cut chances but unfortunately couldn't take advantage of the chances, but after going down to 10 men we defended well to take the draw.”

It was a cagy opening to this one with clear cut chances few and far between, but it was the visitors who were ahead on 16 minutes. Topini found skipper Calum O’Connell on the left, his cross into the box was superbly brought down by Zimarino, before the striker found the bottom corner of the net from six meters. The goal did wonders for the game and chances came at both ends. First the Reds had the ball in the net, but Chad Nilson’s celebrations were cut short with the flag up for offside.

Moments later Amir Ajan thought he had doubled Balcatta’s lead, but Reds’ keeper Yousri Gharsallah produced a stunning save to deny him. Then the home side went close, with Kevin Ashfield volleying over the top from long-range, but three minutes before half time the hosts did find the equaliser. Balcatta defender Hristijan Jankuloski was caught in possession by Isaac Koomson, who raced into the box and unselfishly squared the ball to Andres, who finished low past Sebastian Medica.

Balcatta continued to create chances after the break, and Ajan was again denied by the alert Gharsallah, before Hamza Hina sliced over as they searched for the winner. But their chances took a hit 64 minutes when Topini was shown a second yellow card by referee David Bruce for a poor challenge on Friday Zico. Armadale pressed late but couldn’t break down a tight Balcatta defence, and both sides had to do with a share of the spoils. “I felt we should have won the game,” a disappointed Armadale coach John O’Reilly said. “When they went down to 10-men we had the space and chances but unfortunately not the finish.”

Armadale: GK Yousri GHARSALLAH, 3 Harry QUIGLEY (2 Matthew WORTON 57’), 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 8 Brian PATTERSON, 9 Angel ANDRES, 10 Isaac KOOMSON, 18 Kevin ASHWOOD, 11 Chad NILSON (7 Josh CORTES 70’), 21 Manase ABANDELWA, 22 Ryan MCEVOY, 23 Friday ZICO – Subs not used: RGK Michael CRAGGS, 15 Cherno BAH, 17 Pieter JACOBSZ

Balcatta Squad: GK Sebastian MEDICA, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 Hristijan JANKULOSKI, 6 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 7 Amir AJAN, 8 Jack LEECH, 9 Hamza HINA, 10 Jon CORNESS, 11 Michael ZIMARINO, 12 David PERICH, 13 Anthony TOPINI, 14 Nicholas MESSINA, 17 Nicholas BURMEJ, 21 Cameron MCLEAN, 22 Michael SCAFETTA, 23 Coby SUTTON - Referee: David BRUCE

17.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND THREE – REVIEW

It was week three in the State League Division One, and in our ‘Match of the Round’ Olympic Kingsway have kicked started their season with a 4-0 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. The Champions had lost their first two games in their title defence and this one was a tight first half, but eight minutes before half time they hit the front, with Elliot Tattersall firing home from distance. It got better three minutes later, when they doubled their advantage, with new signing Alex Sippits given too much room on the edge of the box to score.

It was again tight after the break, but with Subiaco pushing men forward they were caught out again in the final minutes with Tattersall adding his second. The icing was put on the cake in stoppage time when Luke Rhodes added a fourth, and the defender hopes it’s the start of a good run of form for the ‘Green Machine’ “It’s good to get some points on the board,” he said. “Hopefully we can push on now for the rest of the season and really go after our targets we’ve set as a club and as a team.”

Western Knights moved clear at the top of the table after a convincing 6-0 win against Swan United at Francis Street. Both sides went into the game unbeaten this season, but it was the visitors who were ahead on six minutes with Jake Sardelic scoring, before Ciaran Byrne made it 2-0 with a shot on the turn. Byrne added his second and the Knights third on the half hour, before last season's top scorer Alex Kretowicz bagged a fourth just before half time. The home side tightened up at the back after the break, and went close themselves, but it was the Knights who added a fifth, with Dean Hurley scoring three minutes from time. The icing was put on the cake in the final minute with Byrne scoring his hat-trick, his seventh of the year to complete the 6-0 win. “It was a really good win for us,” Knights Head coach Ivan Zuvela said. “It was a complete team performance and even the subs who came on for us played very well. It was also nice to get our first clean sheet for the season too.”

Fremantle City are second, only on goal difference after a 2-1 win against Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park. Both sides wasted good chances in an entertaining game, but it was the hosts who opened the scoring. A quick counter attack ended with Rhys Loxley, and the skipper finished low past Oliver Rigler, to give Forrestfield the lead at the break. But on the hour Fremantle were level, a ball over the top saw Noah Shamaki win a duel with Trent Kay, but with the Forrestfield players waiting for the foul to be called, the striker finished at the near post.

Then nine minutes later Fremantle won it, Sam McKearnen curling the ball home from the edge of the box. Fremantle skipper Hayden Stevens said it was tough game, and keeps them in touch with the Knights. “I thought it was a battle, both teams had chances and both failed to take them,” he said. “Overall, it’s another three points and we get back on the track this week to try and improve again before we play next Joondalup on Saturday.”

Stirling Macedonia hopes of bouncing back from defeat last week was quashed deep into stoppage time when Abdul Abdella gave Ashfield a share of the spoils in a 3-3 draw at Macedonia Park. It was Ian Ferguson’s side who found themselves behind after only nine minutes, with Zakir Hussain converting from the spot. Ashfield doubled their lead moments later, James Sammut sent Abdul Abdella clear and he lobbed Stirling keeper James Bosdet. Stirling hit back after half time and a ball into the box was misjudged by Ashfield keeper Jamie Serra and Alex Taneski fired home. The host were level on the hour, Ashfield failed to clear a cross and in the goalmouth scramble Gavin Knight scored.

There was a few more twists in this one, and first Stirling were reduced to ten men two minutes from time, when Luke Garas was shown a second yellow card by referee Peter Kaiser and sent off. But the ten men hit the front three minutes later, Knights scoring his second from the spot to give Stirling a 3-2 lead. It looked like the points would go to the home side, but in the eighth minute of stoppage time Ashfield found the equaliser Abdella thunderbolt from the edge of the box giving Bosdet no chance. “We were disappointed to go behind after going into the break 2-0 up,” Sammut explained. “But the lads never stopped fighting and a bit of class from Ab’s in the last minute of the game got us a well-earned point against a good Stirling side.”

Quinns were beaten for the first time this season, as UWA Nedlands won 4-3 at UWA Sports Park. In Head coach Dom Gangemi’s last game at UWA, this one was a thriller from the start, and the hosts were ahead on six minutes, Bryce Conway’s corner was headed home by Rhys Williams from close range. But Quinns were level six minutes later, Ben Hinshelwood continuing his good goalscorer touch. The visitors then hit the front with Liam Hudson on target, but UWA were soon level. Conway nicking the ball off the centre back on the edge of the penalty area and he finished clinically past Caelan Cooper.

UWA hit the front early in the second half, Godfrey Asimwe’s pass found Adam Carlino who finished with aplomb. It was 4-2 on 81 minutes Dhamon Kalamaras found Sam Kent on a quick counter attack, and he raced away to score. Adam Tong pulled one back for Quinns in stoppage time, but UWA held firm to take the points. “After a tough start to the season the lads all lifted and showed what we’re capable of,” Conway explained. “It was a gutsy performance, but we showed great composure and control to close out a well-deserved win. Hopefully this is the start of a strong run for us.”

In the final game Joondalup United have scored two late goals to beat Mandurah City 2-1 at Forrest Park. It looked like Mandurah would leave with all three points when Silas Becsi gave them the lead with only 16 minutes remaining. But five minutes from time Joondalup levelled, a mazy run by Jamie Gardiner ended with a foul by keeper Dylan Wilson, and referee Troy Malatesta pointed to the spot. Jay Lang stepped up and converted the resulting penalty.

It looked like the points would be sharded but deep into stoppage time Joondalup won it, with substitute Nathan Hibbert scoring from an acute angle, his first goal for the club to seal the three points. Joondalup coach Nick Jennings, was once against honest in his comments. “The first half was amongst the worst 45 minutes from both sides that I’ve seen at this level,” he explained. “We addressed things at half time and our quality improved and despite falling behind we were rewarded for the better football with the deserved very late winner.”

17.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND THREE – REVIEW

Our State League Division Two’ week three ‘Match of the Round’ was a tight affair, with hosts Wanneroo City come from behind to beat Gosnells City 2-1 at Wanneroo Reserve. The visitors hit the front after only 17 minutes, with Wade Farmer on target. They held that lead until 71 minutes when Kye Douglas levelled, finding the net from a corner. Then five minutes later the home side won it, Joshua Booysen picking the loose ball up on the edge of the penalty area, and he curled the ball into the top corner of the net. “I was happy with the boy’s reaction after going into the break 1-0 down,” Wanneroo Head coach Jesse Bridgeman said. “They were all confident of turning it around and everyone put the shift in that they needed to do so and came out with the three points.”

Dianella White Eagles maintained their lead at the top of the table despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Carramar Shamrock Rovers at Dianella Reserve on Saturday evening. “Coming into the game we knew it would be tough, as they beat us three times last season and won the league,” Kristian Despotovski said. “We missed a couple of fantastic opportunities but it wasn’t our day and it was a game we should have won but it wasn’t to be.”

Kian McGuigan gave the hosts the lead on the half hour, Kristian Despotovski sent Sasa Njegic down the flank, and his cross was turned home by the midfielder. But four minutes before half time Rovers levelled, a ball to the back post found Rhodes Boyce who made no mistake. “I thought we showed great character to get the result and defended tremendously,” Rovers’ defender Nathan Diaz said. “I think we just lacked composure at times and didn’t really play the way we are good at, but can’t argue with the effort all the boys put in, they worked tirelessly.”

Morley Windmills are joint leaders, but they were also held to a draw, sharing the spoils in a 2-2 draw with Balga at Wotton Reserve. It looked good for Antony Benetti’s side as they raced to a 2-0 lead in the first half. First on 25 minutes Danny O'Shea was on target, before skipper Leigh Morgan added a second from the spot just before half time. But the visitors hit back after the break and scored two quick goals to level. First on 70 minutes, Farruh Mavlonov's shot from outside the box found the bottom corner giving keeper Luke Hutcheson no chance. Balga equalised five minutes later, Kuol Riak making no mistake after a scramble inside the box. Balga searched for a winner, and nearly won it in stoppage time, Julius Bosco only having the keeper to beat, but Hutcheson stood tall to save.

“The first half was a dominant display and as a group we probably felt we should have come into the break with a bigger advantage,” Morley Head coach Antony Benetti said. “Credit to Balga who went more direct in the second half and the boys probably dropped their intensity for a 20-minute period that cost us the three points we feel we deserved. Ultimately though we have to respect the league and the opposition so to be undefeated after three rounds is a fantastic start to the season. The boys were honest after the game in their disappointment which I think shows the desire of the group. We now look ahead to a big game vs Gosnells next week.”

Balga skipper Emmanuel Kankpeyeng was delighted with his side’s performance. “A good game, and our coach's tactics worked perfectly,” said. “Despite a tough first half, we still had good chances to take the lead but did not take them and Morley did. We approached the second half with a completely different game plan and dominated which pushed us into 2-2 score and we missed a couple of good chances at the end that would have given us the victory for the day. In all a fair score for the work input by both sides.”

Kingsley Westside are up to third after a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Murdoch University Melville at the Murdoch Uni Stadium. The home side were ahead five minutes into the second half, with Thomas Pellizzari on target. But Kingsley responded six minutes later, Adam O’Neill scoring a bullet of a header from a Joel Gillespie corner. The visitors made it 2-1 when Gillespie converted a penalty after Jayden Drummond 50-meter run was ended in the box by Ben Howe’s tackle, who was sent off by referee Walter Ciotti.

The points were wrapped up on 75 minutes, Simone Sichel was on hand to tap in after Cameron Bishop stinging shot was parried back into play by Murdoch keeper Tom Allan. “All week we spoke about winning at teams that we think will be around the top end of the table and to walk away with three points was a great feeling,” Kingsley Head coach Steven Dimitrovich explained. “To be honest the boys deserved the win especially after the emotional week we had with one of our players’ dad passing away on Tuesday so really proud of this group and what they did on Saturday.”

The round kicked off on Friday evening with Curtin University thrashing Kelmscott Roos 5-0 at Edinburgh Oval. Curtin were ahead after only six minutes, when a pass from the right by skipper Jeff Ledwith found Daniel Nocciolino on the edge of the box, and he finished clinically through a crowded area. It was 2-0 moments later the ball was won in the middle of the park before finding Tiago de Souza, who beat his man to get into the box and finish well. It was 3-0 in the shadows of half time, when a corner was only cleared to Niko Burns on the edge of the penalty area, who finished into the bottom corner.

De Souza added his second and Curtin’s fourth on 75 minutes, racing clear and finishing low past the keeper. Curtin added their fifth late, good work from Nocciolino to find de Souza, who unselfishly squared the ball to Ali Gomes to score. “Really happy with the response after a poor performance last week,” Curtin Head coach Troy Reid said. “The boys put in a lot of work this week at training and got the rewards on Friday night. Tiago de Souza was exceptional leading the line and should have completed his hattrick after rounding the keeper, only to be denied by a superb last-ditch effort on the goal line.’

The game between Canning City and Joondalup City was postponed after a clash of kits. Both sides had very similar blue and white shirts, but Joondalup failed to bring their away kit, and after discussion between Football West and referee Liam Barclay, he had no other choice but to call the game off. The hosts did find an alternative shirt for their visitors, but the club were told, as kick off needs to happen 15 minutes after the due 3pm KO time, the game was called off. Over to you Football West, who will look at the incident and rearrange the fixture at a later date.

18.4.2021

GLORY FINALS HOPES TAKE A HIT

Perth Glory’s final hopes took a hit after a disappointing 1-3 loss against Wellington Phoenix at HBF Park on Sunday evening. In front of a season-high crowd of 9229, the hosts dominated the first half but were unable to take their chances, and Phoenix duly made them pay after the break. Ben Waine put Ufuk Talay's side 1-0 up just short of the hour-mark before Joel Chianese levelled with a long-range shot. Louis Fenton restored Phoenix's lead, before Jaushua Sotirio wrapped up the win for the Nix 15 minutes from time.

Glory Head Coach Richard Garcia was disappointed by his side's failure to take their chances. "It was very similar to the game we played against them away," he said. "We dominated possession and then got caught on the counter. We were very positive in the first half, we had lots of entries into their box and chances. We spoke at half time about being secure when we didn't have the possession and not getting caught on the counter-attack... and we got caught on the counter-attack. That's something we need to continue to learn and grow on.

"There's still plenty of football to be played, albeit in a condensed period and it's about us now brushing this off, growing another leg and finding that confidence. At the moment, we're dominating games but not getting results through a lack of concentration and that's something we have to learn from and help the guys come to the party with."

It was Chris Ikonomidis, making his first start for the club in over 14 months, who created Glory's opening chance in the sixth minute, delivering a deep cross which Carlo Armiento volleyed narrowly wide, moments after Phoenix dangerman Ulises Davila had sent a cheeky chipped effort just off target at the other end. Glory threatened again, this time via an intricate passing move started by Neil Kilkenny which culminated in Armiento forcing a smart save from Sail.

A similarly flowing attack midway through the half saw Armiento create a chance for Bruno Fornaroli and only the outstretched leg of Sail prevented the Uruguayan from opening the scoring. Davila and Sotirio then both went close for Phoenix as the chances continued to flow, with the final action of the first half a fizzing shot from Fornaroli which was deflected centimetres wide of the post. Having finished the first half on the back foot, Wellington began the second firmly on the front, Cameron Devlin striking the post before Waine went one better.

Sotirio was sent clear on goal and although Liam Reddy did well to block the midfielder's initial effort with his legs, Waine followed up to sweep the loose ball into an unguarded net. Glory's response was instant, Chianese picking up possession just outside the box, showing quick feet to wriggle past Davila and Clayton Lewis and then thumping an unstoppable drive past Sail. That was as good as it got for the hosts, however, as Fenton soon restored his side's lead by ramming home the loose ball after Reddy had parried Davila's low shot and the lively Sotirio then burst through on goal and found the roof of the net.

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Jason GERIA, 6 Osama MALIK (19 Callum TIMMINS 60'), 7 Chris IKONOMIDIS (11 Joel CHIANESE 46'), 8 Kosuke OTA, 9 Bruno FORNAROLI, 10 Andy KEOGH (38 Ciaran BRAMWELL 74'), 20 Carlo ARMIENTO (17 Diego CASTRO 60'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 37 Riley WARLAND, 88 Neil KILKENNY - Subs not used: RGK Tando VELAPHI, 5 Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 22 Josh RAWLINS

Wellington Phoenix: GK Oliver SAIL, 6 Tim PAYNE, 8 Cameron DEVLIN, 9 David BALL, 10 Ulises DAVILA (14 Alex RUFER 90+2'), 11 Jaushua SOTIRIO (21 Joshua LAWS 90+4'), 16 Louis FENTON, 18 Ben WAINE (5 James MCGARRY 89'), 19 Sam SUTTON, 23 Clayton LEWIS, 27 Steven TAYLOR - Subs not used: GK Stefan MARINOVIC, 12 Matthew RIDENTON, 13 Charles LOKOLI-NGOY, 15 Mirza MURATOVIC - Referee: Daniel Elder




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