Armadale skipper Alex Castiello said they are looking forward to taking on league leaders Inglewood on Saturday

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6.5.2016

PS4 NPL-WA ROUND EIGHT - PREVIEW

It’s Week Eight of the PS4 NPL-WA and the Footballwa.net Match of the Round is the Italian Derby, when Bayswater City hosts Perth SC at Finance 365 Stadium. Only one point separates the sides on the league table, with Perth sitting only one point clear of their traditional rivals, and both sides had hard fought wins last weekend against Perth Glory and Subiaco respectively. Perth have had keeper Francis Soale to thank for helping them to wins lately, the custodian has been in fine form and a double save early in the game against the Glory last week kept his side in the game, but he said they were well worth the three points. “It was a non-negotiable three points for us after the loss the week before, and it was a really tough competitive game,” he explained. “We were happy to come away with clean sheet and three points. I thought we were extremely well disciplined and organised without the ball, and that’s really important to how we’re playing at the moment.” Soale, who joined the club from Inglewood In 2013, said Saturday’s game is one the players always look forward too, likewise the supporters. “It’s probably been the number one fixture over the last few seasons, finishing 1st and 2nd the last two seasons and losing the Grand Final in between that, so we know it’s going to be a massive challenge,” he said. “Gareth (Naven) has been drilling into us all year, if we can keep our work rate and effort up for 90 minutes we’re going to be pretty tough to break down, so that’s our challenge again this weekend.” Clarke Keltie returned last week from injury and pulled up well, while Andreas Theo and Anthony Danze have resumed training but will miss again this week, but Matt Milenkovic is in line for a recall this week.

Bayswater keeper Devon Spence has forced his way back into the starting line-up after being overseas and missed the opening rounds. He said the players have rebounded from an indifferent start and last week’s win at Subiaco was there second win on the bounce. “I thought last week was a positive game for us, we did well with the ball going forward and defensively we were quite sound,” he said. “They (Subiaco) fought tooth and nail and made it difficult with the contested ball, but at the end of the day it was a good win for us.” Spence, who left Perth SC in 2011, said it will be a good game and is hoping for a big crowd to get along and watch the traditional rivals go head-to-head. “This game is always marked down on the calendar each year, and it’s always one our supporters look forward too,” he said. “So Saturday we will our game plan, bring our best to the park and hopefully we will run out victors at the end of 90 minutes.” In team news Paul McCarthy is back in training after a long term injury, but he will likely miss out again this week.

League leaders Inglewood United head back home this week, when they host Armadale at Inglewood Stadium. Inglewood bounced back from their first loss of the season at Sorrento last week, while Armadale were beaten at home by Cockburn City. Armadale defender Alex Castiello said last week’s defeat was tough to take after dominating for long periods. “It was a disappointing result for us, we seem to play the ball around alright however some bad defensive mistakes cost us and Cockburn took their chances so credit to them,” he said. “However this hasn't affected our confidence and we look forward to the challenge on Saturday playing the league leaders.” The Reds travelled to Inglewood last season and came home with a 3-1 win, and Castiello said they have recruited well and will be tough challenge, but it’s one they are looking forward too. “We gained a great deal of confidence out of the win against Sorrento and the battle against Bayswater has helped reassure us we are a strong competitor in this league,” he explained. “We look forward to the future challenges starting with the battle against top of the league this Saturday, and we head there with everyone fit and ready to perform.”

Balcatta have been in fantastic form, winning the past three games, and this week they take on Floreat Athena at Grindleford Reserve. Marc Anthony’s side thrashed ECU Joondalup last week, while Floreat Athena were beaten for the first time in six games at Stirling. Balcatta winger Feisal Zaw bagged a brace in the big win, and he said it was a great all-round team performance. “It’s always good to bag a few goals for the new club, but going up to Joondalup and coming back with the three points was most important and we owed them one since the night series loss,” he said. “All round, it was a great team performance and we hope to carry it on against Floreat on Saturday.” Zaw, who joined Balcatta from Cockburn City this season, said Saturday’s opponents will be another huge challenge, and he said they will want to bounce back after losing to Stirling last week. “They (Floreat) always have a solid squad and it'll be a tough game,” he said. “But at home and with the same attitude we've had the past couple of games I don't see why we can't put another win on the board and keep our winning run going.”

Steven McGarry comes up against his former club when ECU Joondalup travel to the Ashfield Sports Club to take on Perth Glory. The midfielder said they need to bounce back from last week’s poor result against Balcatta. “We were all disappointed with the performance last week, and especially the manner in which we conceded so many goals,” he said. “After the break we lost our shape we were very disjointed at times and were second best in most areas, which is something we pride ourselves on and something we have working very hard on, so we must improve. But saying that Balcatta played well and were very dangerous going forward and deserved their win, but we move on and look to improve in all facets of our game.” McGarry, who has natured a number of the Glory youngsters as a coach of the Youth program in recent season’s said they have some very talented players and they will give Joondalup a stern test. “They have a number of good players who are fit and are a team who's going to be well organised, and by all accounts they have played very well but just haven't got the results, but if we can play football the way we can and get back some hunger and desire I'm confident we will come home with the points,” he said. “I’ve had a little bit to do with some of the lads there and it’s great to see them (Glory) be so competitive in the competition this season. We have been playing some excellent football in spells but need a strong 90 minute performance, which we’ve not achieved this season to date. But I’m confident we have the quality in our squad to match it with any team in the league, but we need to start to believe in ourselves, and play as a team more consistently for longer periods of the game.

Sorrento were beaten for the first time this season last week, and they will be looking to rebound this week, but face a tough test when they host Stirling Lions at Percy Doyle Reserve, who are one of the form team in the league at the moment, and will be looking for a fifth win on the bounce. Gulls midfielder Tim Hill said last week’s game was disappointing, but he said they have been in some good form. “I thought we were really poor as a whole, and we didn't even start playing until they were 2-0 up and by that time it was a little too late,” he said. In saying that we had enough good chances to of possibly taken something from the game on another day but they wouldn't go in.” It will be the first time Hill will play against his former club, and he said it will be a good test for the lads to see how they respond to last week’s defeat. “It'll be nice playing against some of my old teammates but that won't get in the way of the significance of the game for me,” he said. “I know we have to come away with the win and we'll be up for it like we are every other game and I'm certain if we play the way we have most of the season we'll come away with the win.”

6.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIVE - PREVIEW

It’s week five of the State League Division One and this week’s Match of the Round takes us to Walter Padbury Reserve where Gosnells City hosts Joondalup United. United were beaten for the first time last week against South West Phoenix, a game Coach Nick Jennings said they had enough chances early to win it. “We didn’t deal with their physical direct play at all, but hats off to them, it worked and they got the points,” he said. “But we did spurn enough chances, particularly early on to have won the game easily, and we are disappointed to lose particularly at home after leading 2-1. But we’ll assess, move on, and look to start another unbeaten run in this highly competitive Division.” The trip to Gosnells will be another tough test for the Northern suburbs club, and Jennings said they need to be at their best. “Gosnells are a good footballing side and last year we shared the spoils, with one win each,” he said. “They are unbeaten so far this season and will be another hard challenge, but one we are looking forward too, and the boys are eager to get back to winning ways, and the game should be cracker.” In team news Jay Marsden returns to the squad after missing last week’s defeat.

Gosnells have been the surprise package of the season to date, and they moved to third place on the table last week with a hard fought 2-1 win at Canning City, and Coach Wally Aquino said it was great win for the club. “I was very pleased to come away with the three points, although we didn't play with the fluency that we expect however, I was happy that the boys tried to stick to the game plan, apart from the last 10 minutes,” he said. “I felt we looked the more likely team to score and it was good to see both our goals came from good attacking football. The only real sour note from the game was a serious knee injury sustained by midfielder Jacob Aquino and unfortunately for us, and will be unavailable for the remainder of the season.” Gosnells beat Joondalup on the road last season, before losing 2-1 at home and Aquino said it will be another tight game on Saturday. “This week's game against a very good Joondalup side will be a huge test for us. Even though it's a very competitive league, we were still surprised that they lost last week but I'm sure they will work hard to bounce back simply because they have been one of the leading teams in the division over the last two years,” he said. “Our weekly focus is to keep working on improving our overall performances, which I know will lead us to give Joondalup a very competitive game. It will be good playing at home again, hoping it will give us some added advantage.” Gosnells return the services of Michael Ellis, Caleb Aquino and Trent Blewett, who are all back from injury or suspension.

League leaders Mandurah City will head up the freeway to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles. The Eagles were well beaten last week, while Mandurah beat Forrestfield, and Coach Doug Hesketh said it was a hard fought win. “We were delighted to get the points in a tough game, and without four regular starters,” he said. “I think we are improving fitness wise too, and we finished the stronger and we utilised a few younger players, which will help us as the season goes on.” Hesketh said although Dianella have had a few poor results they are always dangerous, especially at home. “It’s never easy to play at Dianella, and we are expecting a tough game. They have some excellent players and I think they will put everything on the line and will be playing to win at home,” he said. “We are ready for a tough game and will give them respect, but we are determined to come home with the points.” In team new Ollie McGee returns to the side as the Dolphins look to maintain their lead at the top of the table.

Forrestfield United heads home to Hartfield Park this week with UWA-Nedlands the visitors. Forrestfield were beaten by league leaders Mandurah City last week, and Coach Rod Banjac said he was happy with the performance, but they learnt a valuable lesson. “I was very pleased with the overall performance, and in particular the number of chances we created. The only area that requires improvement is the finishing and we will work on that aspect of our game,” he said. “To dominate against a top side like Mandurah is a big ask for any team, and we did that for long periods, hitting the woodwork on three separate occasions. Our boys are committed, train hard and I do feel for them as they play to win and to get no points out of the game is not a pleasant feeling.” UWA-Nedlands won a nine goal thriller last week in a 5-4 win against Shamrock Rovers, and Banjac is expecting another tough encounter. “We joined this league to enrich it and there is no doubt that we are playing our part in doing so. Our brand of football is entertaining but will take a while to be effective,” the coach said. “We are learning quickly and the biggest lesson is that there are no easy games at this level. Every opposition is unforgiving and has clinical finishers that will punish through most minor of mistakes.” In team news Chris Perrott will miss the rest of the season after injuring a knee last week, but they regain the services of Kaan Karacan from suspension.

In other games this weekend Rockingham City and Canning City will be looking to bounce back from defeats last week when they meet at Lark Hill Sports Complex. After promotion last season Rockingham has been competitive in their games, likewise Canning, so it should be another tight encounter in this one. Western Knights make the trip to Harold Rossiter Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers. The Rovers lost a nine goal thriller last week, and it was poor first half, when they conceded three goals, that hurt them, and Coach John O’Reilly will be looking for a big game from his chargers this week. The Knights won for the first time last week with a win against Rockingham and need to get a result on Saturday to kick start their season. In the final game South West Phoenix entertains Ashfield at Hay Park. The Phoenix will be buoyed by their win at league leaders Joondalup United last week, but they are still searching for their first home win of the season. Ashfield won their first game of the season a stunning 7-2 win against Dianella White Eagles, so this will be a tight contest as both sides look for back-to-back victories.

6.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIVE - PREVIEW

Balga SC continues to top the All Flags State League Division Two table, and this week their home match at Princess Road Reserve against Swan United is the Footballwa.net Match of the Round. Balga produced a stunning performance to beat Curtin University 6-0 on the road last Saturday, and coach Ljupco Taneski said they did it with a few players missing. “We played really well against Curtin, a few players were rested as a precaution due to slight niggles, our squad depth allowed us to experiment and provide opportunities to others,” he explained. “Our intensity from the first to last minute was impressive although as ever there were many aspects in the game we must adjust to be better at what we do.” Taneski knows relegated Swan United are re-building, and is expecting a tight contest, but is hoping they can continue their good form. “Swan in our eyes are the favorites, no matter what the ladder suggests. We have had a good start to the season, although Swan have come from a higher division and still have a fantastic squad,” he said. “We look forward to the challenge and will back ourselves to obtain the three points, which is vital as we can build an eight point gap between Swan and ourselves.” Balga will be sweating on the fitness of a couple of their players, but should be at full strength

The Swans are coming off a scoreless draw last week against Ellenbrook United, and Coach Matt Debarro said they were lucky to get a point in the end. “It was disappointing not to score and win last week, but if I’m honest I thought we played terribly and they (Ellenbrook) wanted it more, so at least we got a point and kept a clean sheet,” he said. “Last season we would have lost playing like that, so that’s a bonus, but we need to improve this week against a good Balga outfit.” Debarro said they still have a number of players still unavailable, but is relishing the opportunity to take on the league leaders. “We are really looking forward to the challenge, they (Balga) have had a great start to the season, but we will be doing our best to be the first team to beat them and on their home ground,” he said. “We are still missing Hicham Arma, Zane Loh, David Paone, and have a couple of other players struggling with injury.

Fremantle City let a three goal lead slip last week against Quinns to draw 5-5 and they will be looking to bounce back when they travel to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos. Coach Steve Plucknet said his players need to lift against an improved Kelmscott side. “We were very disappointed with the result last week, however that's taking nothing away from Quinns who stayed focused for 90 minutes and some,” he explained. “The boys are aware and realise they can't switch off for a moment if we want to keep up with the top sides, but the response from the players at training has been first class.” Plucknet said the improvement of Kelmscott is fantastic for the league and he said on home soil they will be a tough opponent. “I've been very impressed with the turnaround at Kelmscott, from all reports they have really improved and good luck to them,” he said. “They've had a couple of tough seasons so to get back winning and being competitive is good for them and the league. We'll be expecting a tough reception on Saturday, but the boys are focused and want to make up for last week's performance.” In team news for City Ty Fenwick is unavailable due to injury, while Nick Lomma is suspended.

There is a local northern derby at Kingsway Reserve when fourth placed Kingsway Olympic entertains second placed Joondalup City. Both sides are coming off good wins, with City beating a resurgent Kelmscott, while Olympic beat Wanneroo City in another local derby. Kingsway will be looking for a better performance from their last home game when they were beaten by Swan, and Wayne Culverwell said they want to make their home ground a fortress. “Last week was an important win for us, we were disappointed with our performance against Swan the week before, so it was important to get a result at Wanneroo,” he explained. “It wasn't pretty but three points are three points at the end of the day. We are looking to make it difficult for teams to come here and roll us, but we need to play better than we did last time on our patch.” Culverwell, who was celebrating in the week with Leicester City winning the English Premier League, said Saturday’s game is their biggest test so far, but it’s one the players are looking forward too. “This week’s match is going to be a massive test for us. They (Joondalup) have had a great start to the season and look to be one of the favourites for the league at this early stage, but we’re confident if we play to our best we can get the right result.” In team news skipper Ian McKean has retired due to work commitments, but they will have Ryan Frisina available. They also have a number of injured players on the sidelines, but they are hopeful in the weeks to come, they can provide a bit of competition.

In other games this weekend Morley Windmills make the trip to Gumblossom Park to take on Quinns FC. Quinns fought back from three goals down to draw 5-5 at Fremantle last week, while Morley won 3-1 win against Melville City. “It was our best performance of the season,” said Coach John Castrilli. “We played some good football and I thought it was a very good result if you consider we had nine players injured on the weekend.” There is another local derby when Ellenbrook United meet Wanneroo City at Arbor Grove Reserve. Both sides will be looking for their first wins of the season, and Wanneroo are coming off a 3-1 loss at home to Kingsway, while Ellenbrook were unlucky not to come home with three points after goalless draw against Swan United. In the final game Melville City entertain Curtin University at the Len Sheaer Reserve. Only one point separates the sides on the table, but both sides need to improve after both lost last week, against Morley and Balga respectively.

6.5.2016

PERTH GLORY'S NIGHT OF NIGHTS

It’s the Perth Glory awards night on Saturday, and over 450 guests will be on show when the club look back on a successful season and award Most Glorious Player Trophy at the Novotel-Perth-Langley Hotel. After last season’s problems, off the field, the club rose from the ashes to push from bottom of the table earlier in the season, to a finals birth at the end. Glory owner Tony Sage and coach Kenny Lowe need to be congratulated on their work, this after many supporters were calling for both of their heads in the aftermath of the salary cap problems, but both stood firm and have delivered on their promises and the clubs future looks rosy. Many expected the club to fail last season, but the character of the whole club shone through, and there is a local club feel again, with a number of former WA players returning last season, and the club have recently signed former ECU Joondalup and Socceroos pair Rhys Williams and Chris Herd, so the future looks bright.

The favorite to take out the major award on the nights is Spanish maestro Diego Castro. The striker bagged 13 goals in his first season at the club and his performances were recognised when he won the ‘Johnny Warren Medal’ as the best player in the A-League. Others who will poll well on the night is new Socceroo defender Josh Risdon and strikers Andy Keogh and Chris Harold. There are a number of awards on the night and the Players’ Player of the Year will also be a close run contest, with Castro, Harold, and Risdon in line for this one, while skipper Richard Garcia and Andy Keogh will come into contention. The Young player of the year, will be a close run award, with Harold, Mitch Oxborrow and Jamel Reiners in contention. Other first team awards on the night are Best Clubman, Golden Boot, the Goal of the Year, the QBE Supporters Player of the Year and the Volunteers Player of the Year. Also the Westfield W-League side will be honoured, with the Most Glorious Women’s’ Player, the Women’s Coaches award and the Golden Boot, while the Most Glorious Youth (NYL) Player of the Year will also be awarded.

5.5.2016

JOONDALUP MIDFIELDER HONOURED BY FFA

New ECU Joondalup midfielder and assistant Coach Steven McGarry has been in outstanding form for the club in the PS4 NPLWA this season, and on Sunday the Scotsman was recognised for his contribution to the Hyundai A-League with a presentation prior to the A-League Grand Final. McGarry, who played 114 games for Perth Glory after moving over from Scotland in 2010, was a special guest of the FFA at Sunday’s Grand Final between Adelaide United and Western Sydney Wanderers, and he was thrilled to be honoured, not just by the league but by the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA).

The 36-year-old said it was honour to receive the award. “I was very honoured to receive recognition for my contribution to the A-League competition, and also recognition from my fellow players,” McGarry explained. “It was fantastic to play a small part on Grand Final day, and we were paraded on the pitch before the game, where I received a plaque from FFA CEO David Gallop in a ceremony before kick-off.” McGarry will be in action again for ECU Joondalup this weekend, when they take on his former club Perth Glory in Week eight of the PS4NPLWA at Ashfield Sports Club.

5.5.2016

GLORY KEEP TABS ON BIRIGHITTI AND JONES

Perth-born Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and former Liverpool keeper Brad Jones could be heading to Perth Glory. Both keepers are out of contract and with Perth’s veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic expected to exit the Glory, the club need an experienced replacement. Jones is from WA and was a junior with Bayswater City, and has spent the past 15 years playing in Europe. The 34-year old was released by the Reds last year and after a short spell at Bradford City, signed a six-month deal with Dutch club N.E.C. in January. Birighitti says he’s not closing the door on the Hyundai A-League, but a return to Europe is his top priority for next season.

Birighitti, who went on-loan to Serie B side Varese last year, is coming off a stellar season between the posts with the Jets. The 25-year-old played 26 games in 2015/16, and his form gained him selection in the Hyundai A-League Team of the Season. But now out-of-contract with the Hunter club, Birighitti said he was hopeful of having his future settled in a couple of weeks, and the Glory could come knocking.

But Birighitti said Europe is where he wants to be, and said he said the A-League is growing. “The A-League is a fantastic league, I’ve been here for eight years now. But every young footballer growing up has ambitions of playing at the top level and in Europe,” Birighitti said. “I managed to get a little taste of that last year when I went over to Italy and after the year I’ve had now I want to taste that again. “I’m not closing the door on the A-league yet. The season’s just finished and I’ll know more on my future in the next few weeks.”

The talented custodian was linked with a potential moves to EPL clubs Newcastle and AFC Bournemouth earlier this season but opted to see out the campaign with the Jets. There are reports of interest from clubs in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland but, as of yet, there are no concrete offers for the gloveman.

While keen to move back abroad, Birighitti is not against staying in Australia for another year and praised the Jets for helping him develop his game. “I love the Newcastle Jets, it’s a great club, I’ve been there for four years and they are the ones that have given me the opportunity to play regular first team football,” he said. “My agents are based overseas and they are trying very hard to get me over there. “I’m not closing the door on the A-League or the Newcastle Jets or any other A-League club.”

30.4.2016

RADONICH KEEPS REDS AT BAY

A superb performance from Cockburn City keeper Luke Radonich proved to be the difference as the Cockerels beat Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday evening. Harry O’Brien gave the visitors the lead mid-way through the first half, but an own goal from Euen Grant levelled for Armadale just after half time. Angel Andres but Cockburn back in front, and it was Radonich who was keeping them in the game. His heroics were rewarded when Kenel Mouithys scored the sealer on the hour. “It was a hard fought win by the lads, we had a short turnaround from Monday’s game and having to play three games in a week was tough,” Radonich said. “But we were able to get the job done, but credit to Armadale they played really well and they deserved to get something out of the game, but we were clinical in front of goals and being desperate in defence to keep them out.”

It was a typical local derby with early chances few and far between but a lot of effort and some tough tackles. But on 28 minutes the visitors hit the front. O’Brien’s shot through a crowded penalty area, and all the unsighted Alfie Brincat could do was pick it out of the back of the net. Radonich produced some good saves thereafter in the half to keep the hosts at bay and Cockburn went in one to the good. Radonich spoilt his copybook somewhat four minutes into the second half as Armadale levelled. His attempted punch hit Grant, and the ball rolled into an empty net.

The goal lifted Armadale, but against the run of play Cockburn regained the lead on 54 minutes. Andres saw Brincat off his line, and the Spanish striker chipped the Armadale custodian superbly from long-range. The game was put to bed on the hour when Cockburn added a third. Second half substitute Mouithys’ shot was well saved by Brincat, but the ball rebounded kindly for Mouithys who scored at the second attempt. Cockburn Coach Scott Miller praised Radonich and said his mistake for the goal is forgotten. “Luke was outstanding today,” he told the PS4 NPLWA web site. “Unfortunately when you’re a goalkeeper and you make a wrong decision you get nailed, but apart from that he was brilliant.”

30.4.2016

KEOGH BRACE AS INGLEWOOD BOUNCE BACK

Inglewood United bounced back from last week’s first defeat of the season with a 4-2 win against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. The visitors were ahead through an own goal early, before Callum O’Connell added a second before the break. Kenny Keogh made it three on the hour, before Jordan Brown pulled one back for Sorrento. Keogh wrapped up the points three minutes from time, although Billy Quinncroft scored a late consolation goal in stoppage time, the defeat was their first of the season for Sorrento. “We were very happy to go to Windy Hill and come away with the three points,” Inglewood assistant Coach Saul Contera said. “We wanted to end their unbeaten run in the league and bounce back from our first league defeat the week before, we focused during the week on exploiting some of their weaknesses and I think we executed things very well in particular the first 60 minutes to kill the game off.”

Inglewood were ahead on five minutes, some nice led up play resulting in Jason Barrera playing in Woodall, whose shot deflected off an onrushing defender, to wrong foot keeper James Morgan and into the net. Sorrento hit back and Todd Harnwell played a great through ball into Sean Canham on the quarter hour, but Alex Dunn was alert to deny the English striker. Harnwell was involved again moments later, this time he made space on the edge of the penalty area, and his chip picked out Dodd who headed over the top. But on 19 minutes Inglewood doubled their advantage. Barrera beat his man again and whipped in a low cross which Callum O’Connell tapped in at the back post.

Sorrento needed a good start the second half but it was the visitors who added a third 12 minutes in. Sorrento failed to deal with an Inglewood corner and the second ball fell to Keogh who was quickest to react, firing in from around the penalty spot. It looked game over but Sorrento pulled one back on 70 minutes, with Dodd finding the target past Dunn. Sorrento pressed and were throwing everything at Inglewood but their back line stood firm and Inglewood hit on a counter attack to add a fourth three minutes from time. John Migas was sent clear down the left, and his cross was inch perfect finding Keogh who made no mistake from close range. Quinncroft bagged a late consolation goal in stoppage time, firing home after Dunn could only parry a shot, but it was a little-to-late for the home side.

30.4.2016

JOONDALUP HIT FOR SIX BY BALCATTA

Balcatta’s unbeaten run has continued after a stunning 6-2 win against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium. The win, their third straight in the league, was set up in the first half when they raced to a two goal lead through Conor Kavanagh and Feisal Zaw. Steven McGarry pulled one back for the hosts, but Allan Carroll gave Balcatta a 3-1 lead at the break. Further goals in the second half from Zaw, Anthony Bafabusha and Cameron Teece topped a good all-round performance, while McGarry bagged his second for the host. “It’s still early days in the competition and were not looking too far ahead of ourselves,” Balcatta skipper Kieron Stallard said. “The younger players in the side are gained confidence and they are working extremely hard and it gives us a real threat going forward in the final third and long may it continue.”

The home side started the better and McGarry had two opportunities early, but on 12 minutes, in their first real attack, Balcatta hit the front. Zelfy Nazary pulled the ball back to Kavanagh whose shot went under the body of new Joondalup keeper Lewis Italiano and into the net. Joondalup defender Joseph Jones then saw his header crash off the post on the half hour, but sixty seconds later Balcatta doubled their lead. A deep cross from Hanafi Ghazali was headed home at the back post by Zaw. But two minutes later the home side were back in the game. Smith was brought down on the edge of the penalty area and McGarry’s resulting free kick was deflected off the wall and past Davies.

Joondalup were back in the game, but on the stroke of half time Balcatta regained their two goal advantage. Nazary’s corner picked out and unmarked Carrol, whose glancing header flew into the net. The home side found themselves further behind five minutes into the second half. Zaw held of his marker at the back post to fire low past Italiano. Joondalup reduced the margin again three minutes later, McGarry curling home another superb free kick. But Balcatta were rampant and added two more, Bafabusha was quickest to react after Nazary’s shot was well saved by Italiano, to fire home, before a poor back pass allowed second half substitute Teece to nip in ahead of Italiano to add the sixth.

30.4.2016

HOWARTH AT THE DOUBLE FOR BAYSWATER

A brace from Bayswater City midfielder Todd Howarth was given them a 2-0 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park, and moved the reigning Champions up to fourth place on the table. The former Perth Glory midfielder scored two stunning long-range strikes, to win the points for Chris Coyne’s side, and keep Subiaco stuck on the bottom of the table. “We’ve had a hard day at the office today and you’ve got to give them (Subiaco) credit for the effort they put in,” Coyne said. “We could have potentially had a couple more but credit to them I think they really dug in and for 90 minutes they worked their socks off for their manager.”

Bayswater dominated possession early, with Subiaco defending deep, but they lacked a bit of quality in the final third. That was until 25 minutes when Howarth opened the scoring, he was given too much space in the middle of the park and his 25-meter shot flew past Ryan Montgomery and into the bottom corner of the net. Subiaco started to get into the game and created a number of chances, the best came just before half time.

Subiaco skipper Nathan Diaz raced forward and his shot was well saved by Bayswater custodian Devon Spence, the rebound fell to Rory Feely, but Spence recovered superbly to deny him. The home side were still in the game and they had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee Tom Dowle on the hour, after one of their players was pulled down in the box. That none-decision was made worse when Bayswater doubled their advantage on 72 minutes. It was Howarth again whose shot from the edge of the penalty area flew past Montgomery to secure all three points.

30.4.2016

LIONS ROAR PAST ATHENA

Stirling Lions successful season continued with a 3-2 win against traditional rivals Floreat Athena at Macedonia Park. Lions skipper Miki Vujacic gave the home side the lead early, before David Micevski made it 2-0. English striker Lewis McMahon pulled one back before Teeboy Kamara made it 3-1. A late penalty from McMahon made it a thrilling last ten minutes, but the Lions hung on to move to third on the table. “It was a very tough game in the end, even though we should have buried the game four or five times,” Vujacic said. “They had us on the ropes for the last 20 minutes, but I was pleased that we stood up and ground out the result, and on a personal note it was my first league start of the season, so I was happy to get through 90 minutes.”

The home side were out of the blocks early and Kamara was a constant threat, and he had a goal disallowed on the quarter hour. But five minutes later the home side hit the front. Vujacic, who was in the starting line-up for the first time this season, was on hand to fire past Jason Saldaris. The Floreat custodian denied the home side a second moments later, saving from Kamara and a Vujacic free kick. Floreat who were on a five game unbeaten streak, went close to the equaliser before half time. Declan Hargreaves’ corner picked out Blair Govan, whose header was well saved by Lions keeper John Perkins. Stirling doubled their lead just after the hour mark, David Micevski’s curling free kick from the edge of the penalty area giving Jason Saldaris no chance.

But Floreat were back in the game on 71 minutes, with McMahon firing home after the Lions failed to clear their lines in a goalmouth scramble. But the Lions hit straight back and Blamo Qua Qua spotted Jason Saldaris off his line, and his audacious lob was claimed by the scrambling Floreat custodian. But there was nothing the keeper could do when Stirling added their third, Kamara capping off a good performance with a well taken goal. It looked game over but seven minutes from time Floreat pulled on back, when referee David Bruce spotted an incident in the box, and McMahon converted the resulting penalty. Floreat pressed late but they couldn’t find the equaliser, and the Lions march on.

30.4.2016

AMBROGIO GIVES PERTH THE GLORY

A first half strike from Perth SC’s Nick Ambrogio was enough for them to beat Perth Glory 1-0 at Dorrien Gardens, and moved the home side up to second spot on the table. But it was Perth SC keeper Francis Soale who kept his side in the game producing some outstanding saves. The win keeping them in touch with early league leaders Inglewood United. “We won the game purely on our defensive discipline,” young defender Marco Santalucia said. “We’ve worked very hard at training on our structure and discipline at the back, and it’s now starting to show having the least goals conceded in the league. The Glory pushed hard for 90 minutes, but I thought we controlled their movements very well as they struggled to break us down in our final third, although there were some desperate defending in the end.”

The home side opened the brighter and went close on six minutes, Dean Evans’ cross picked out skipper Clark Keltie, who was back after two games out due to injury, and he headed inches wide. Evans’ set pieces were causing the Glory youngsters all sorts of problems and moments later Adrian Madaschi got on the end of teasing corner, but he headed over the top. But the Glory settled and should have taken the lead on 20 minutes. Gian Albano played a ball into Daniel Stynes who played back into the path of defender, who squared to Joe Knowles in the penalty area. The striker took a touch and fired goalwards, but as the crowd waited for the net to bulge, his shot was superbly saved by Soale, the rebound fell kindly to Sean Troup, but the Perth custodian was back on his feet to deny him too.

But ten minutes later it was the home side that hit the front. A superb ball over the top from Keltie sent Ambrogio clear and he finished clinically past Jordan Thurtell. Troup went close again before the break, this time he found space at the back post from Albano’s cross, but he failed to find the target. After the break the Glory continued to press, and minutes in Nikola Talimdzioski went close. He played a one-two with Stynes and burst into the penalty area, but Soale stood tall to deny him. Talimdzioski then saw a free kick whistled past the post, before Aryn Williams picked him out with a superb diagonal ball, but his shot was deflected for a corner. Perth were working overtime to keep their lead, and the home side dropped deeper, but the Glory couldn’t find a way past, and at the final whistle it was the home side with the win.

30.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOUR - REVIEW

All Flag State League Division One leaders Joondalup United have been beaten for the first time this season after losing 3-2 to South West Phoenix at Forrest Park. Both sides had chances in an entertaining first half, but it was the visitors who were ahead at the break, Bright Ababio’s cross was turned home by Matthew Spurling. The visitors had a perfect opportunity to increase their lead five minutes after half time, but Ryan Francis missed from the penalty spot. Francis went close again as the Phoenix continued to hit on the counter attack, but James Bosdet stood tall to deny the striker with a one-on-one. The game was turned on its head when City bagged two goals in a five minute spell through Jacob Shore and Josh Booysen. But the Phoenix hit back with Lee Stewart equalising, and on 75 minutes Martin Ryan regained the lead for the visitors. Phoenix had to hang on late when they were reduced to ten men when Ryan was sent off with five minutes remaining, but the ten men hung on for the three points. “I’m delighted for the payers, we played really well, missed a penalty, it could have been 5-2,” Phoenix Coach Tim Slack said. “It’s a big boost for the players and the club, very pleased, onwards and upwards.”

Gosnells City continued their good start to the season with a 2-1 win in the local derby against Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. It was a tight game in the first half with chances few and far between but the game came to life after the break. The visitors hit the front on the hour, neat lead up lay from Matt Lynch, Wade Farmer and Dean Apelgren ended with Lynch, who cut the ball back to Sean Taylor to score. Gosnells doubled their lead ten minutes later, Lynch playing in Jason Pottier who was brought down in the penalty area and Pottier picked himself up to convert from the resulting spot kick. Canning got themselves a lifeline with three minutes remaining, when Joshua Wade fired home after a goalmouth scramble, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “It was a good win for the lads, although we didn’t play the best but it’s always a tough game at canning with the small pitch,” Jacob Aquino said. “But the lads were ecstatic with the win and now we look forward to facing a tough game against Joondalup next weekend.”

UWA-Nedlands have won their first game of the season after a nine goal thriller in a 5-4 win against Shamrock Rovers at the UWA Sports Park. The home side hit the front after only five minutes, Michael Vlasich’s shot from the edge of the penalty area flew past Rovers’ keeper Yousri Gharsallah. Things got better for the home side and moments later it was 2-0, Lloyd Prout pounced on a poor back pass to score. It was 3-0 just before half time, Vlasich’s through-ball sent Alex Kretowicz clear and he finished with aplomb. Rovers’ were back in the game early in the second half, Alan O’Mahoney heading past Ranjeet Sekhon from a corner. It was game on when Rovers added second, moments later. Will Pender pouncing on Matthew Steffenson mistake. The recovery was complete on 55 minutes; Sahr Konoyami cross to the far post was headed home by Steve Sheridan. Amazingly Rovers hit the front, when Konoyami was hand when Sekhon failed to hold on to a shot. It looked like the points were Rovers, but UWA had other ideas, and ten minutes from time Kretowicz levelled. Then in the final minute of the game the home side won it, Robbie Black sent Kretowicz in on goal and he fired past Gharsallah to win it and complete his hat-trick.

Mandurah city moved to the top of the table after a 3-1 win against Forrestfield United at the Hyundai Stadium. Danny Dyson scored from close-range from a corner early, but Hasani Sinclair levelled for Forrestfield before the break. After half time the home side wrestled control from their visitors and Jon Brooks put them back in front, before Joe O’Brien added the third after a brilliant run and finish. “Mick and I are delighted with the three points against a very good team and we finished strongly,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “It was an excellent performance especially with four regulars missing and 19-year-old Mark McGloughlan and 18-year-old Joe O’Brien both making their first starts of the season.”

In other game Western Knights also won their first game of the season after a 2-1 win against Rockingham City at Nash Field. Paul Lloyd crossed for Adriano Jelenkavic to head home the opener, before Rockingham levelled through Calum Rothwell, but Lloyd converted the winner from the penalty spot after a handball in the box. “We fully deserved the win, we controlled the game, Rockingham defended well and looked solid but were never a threat and didn't look like scoring,” Lloyd said. “We had to be patient and got the goals in the end deservedly.” Ashfield returned to winning ways with a 7-2 thrashing of Dianella White Eagles at the Ashfield Arena. Jay Lang and Tim Page scored braces for the home side, while Brian Patterson, Ross Cosgrave and Jamie Burns scoring the others.

30.4.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOUR - REVIEW

Balga continued their good start to the season after a 6-0 win against Curtin University at Edinburgh Reserve on Saturday. The visitors opened the scoring after only eight minutes, Justin Caratozzolo firing home from close-range. They increased their lead on 38 minutes, Daniel Nalat long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net. Balga added a third on the hour, Hubert Hakizimana’s shot was well saved by Jack Kenny, but Nahom Michael was quickest to react to fire home the rebound. Michael added his second moments later to make it 4-0, flicking home Anton De Francesch’s cross, before Cartozzolo added his second ten minutes from time, before George Kacurkov scored a penalty late on to wrap up the scoring.

Joondalup City kept pressure on the league leaders with a hard fought 2-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at the Illuka Sports Complex. The home side scored the opener on the stroke of half time, when Jamie Stewart was brought down in the box and Stewart picked himself up to send the keeper the wrong way to score. The points were wrapped up in the second half when Bobby Melia corner picked out Stewart, who made no mistake from close-range. “Overall I am pleased with the performance as we created numerous chances to score but a combination of poor finishing, bad luck and excellent goalkeeping kept Kelmscott in the game,” Joondalup City Coach Marco Schisano said. “Fair play to them (Kelmscott) though, they defended very well and they have made remarkable improvements from last year. Although we weren't at our best I am pleased the players stuck with our game plan and obtained a deserved victory to keep our early season momentum going.”

Fremantle City and Quinns FC played out a thrilling 5-5 draw, in one of the matches of the season at Hilton Reserve. The home side rushed into a two goal lead with goals to Ben Reynolds and Josh Gardner, but Quinns hit back and Craig Tooley and Alex Sallery levelled. But Fremantle regained the lead just before the break through Alex Robinson. Fremantle took control after the break and a brace from Alec Robisnon, to complete his hat-trick, had them up 5-2 and in total control, but Quinns weren’t finished. Glen Moore pulled one back, and a penalty from Jake Benson-Cooper and a late strike from Tooley made the final score 5-5. “I’m sure Steve Plucknett and the Fremantle lads will see it as two points dropped for not protecting the lead,” Quinns Coach Michael Bowers said. “Good luck to them for the season, great hospitality, but to our lads there were lots of positives, the obvious negative is conceding goals which is work in progress for us.”

Kingsway Olympic moved to fourth on the table after a 3-1 local derby win against Wanneroo City at the Wanneroo Reserve. The visitors were ahead on ten minutes, when Craig Hollingsworth shot took a deflection and went in at the near post. On the hour it was 2-0, Hollingsworth’s corner hit a Wanneroo player and went into the net. Wanneroo were back in the game ten minutes later, a shot crashed off the bar and hit keeper Joe Smith, and Liam Wales was in the right place to score. But the points were made save late on, a quick break down the middle of the park by Brett Cutting ended with a through ball to Mella Loding who finished well. “We looked comfortable in the game and we had most of the play all afternoon,” assistant coach Mark Culverwell said. “We take on Joondalup City next weekend in another derby, and it will be our biggest test so far, but we have a full squad to choose from so we’re looking forward to it.” In other games Morley Windmills beat Melville City 3-1 at Wotton Reserve. On target for the home side were Kyle King, Josam Muwowo and Yves Mwila, while Harry Hosking scored for Melville. In the final game Swan United and Ellenbrook United fought out a 0-0 draw at the Swan Italian Club.




If you have any additional information on Western Australian soccer that we have left out, or if you would like to get in contact, email Jacob at jacob@footballwa.net

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