Ashley Corker scored twice in Floreat Athena's 5-0 Cup win against Sorrento (Photo by Peter Simcox)

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21.4.2014

NICOLAIDIS LOST FOR ANSWERS AFTER CUP EXIT

Perth SC coach Taki Nicolaidis was left scratching his head after his team crashed out of the State Cup 3-1 to Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. The writing was on the wall early for Nicolaidis’ team after conceding an own goal and subsequent finishes by Blake Adams and Feisal Zaw only compounded their miserable day out. “We were well short of our best and our guys didn’t have the desire and want, as Cockburn were hungrier and more determined,” Perth coach Taki Nicolaidis told footballwest.com.au “We didn’t deliver and I hope this can act as a catalyst because that type of performance was well below expectations.”

Cockburn needed only 6 minutes to take the lead, David Araya’s cross causing panic in the away defence with James Marocchi deflecting the ball into his own net. But it wasn’t long before Perth drew level, Ashley Rosindale heading past Dejan Aleksic after getting on the end of a slick passing move. Cockburn pressed to regain the lead after 20 minutes when Adams tucked in from close-range after goalkeeper Alex Dunn parried Zaw’s shot on the run. The game opened up in the second half with Aleksic and Dunn working overtime between the posts. Zaw sealed the win on 73 minutes with a composed finish past Dunn.

21.4.2014

STYNES HITS FOUR TO TAKE DOWN SHAMROCK

ECU Joondalup moved into the last eight of the State Cup with a resounding 5-2 win over Shamrock Rovers at the Edith Cowan University campus. Jon Stynes played the starring by hitting four goals for the home side with Jake Benson-Cooper getting the remainder. “We were pleased with the lads’ efforts today,” Joondalup’s assistant coach Craig Stevenson said. “We felt we were in control for the majority of the play and were disappointed we didn’t capitalise on more opportunities. But to be in the draw for the next round (of the Cup) is exciting for the club.”

Only 12 minutes were on the clock when Joondalup edged ahead, Stynes heading in from close-range from a Jon Higgins’ corner. The gap widened just after the half hour when David Foster played into the path of Stynes, who coolly finished from 6-metres. Shamrock returned fire three minutes later through a ball over the top which Gino Hampshire poked forward for Ciaran Hoey to finish past Andy Banks. A stoppage time error by Banks was punished with Cassidy nodding in the equaliser after the Joondalup goalkeeper spilled a corner. But there was still time for Benson-Cooper to place low into Ash Crosthwaite’s net in a one-on-one situation.

Shamrock emerged from the break determined to make it three-all, and although the visitors showed plenty of endeavour their delivery into the final third lacked the quality required. Joondalup showed them how its done by adding a fourth goal just after the hour, Stynes latching onto Andy Higgins’ long ball which he took around Crosthwaite before firing into an empty net to complete his hat-trick. The result was put beyond doubt in the 77th minute when Stynes picked the ball in the middle of the park, drove forward and expertly chipped into the net from 18-metres.

21.4.2014

STIRLING TEAR INTO ROCKINGHAM

Stirling Lions showed no mercy on demolishing third tier Rockingham City 8-1 in their State Cup meeting at Lark Hill Sportsplex. Daniel Micevski helped himself to a hat-trick with Howard Neighbour also grabbing a brace amid finishes from Dennis Galan, Hayden Doyle and David Micevski. “We spoke before kick-off about getting off to a fast start and getting the first goal and we did that,” Stirling assistant coach Daniel Stoitis said. “I was most impressed with the players’ attitude and application for the whole 90 minutes to continue to be positive and be disciplined.”

Galan needed only 7 minutes to opened Stirling’s account, the defender volleying in from 5-metres following a short corner move between Doyle and Daniel Micevski. A foul on Clayton Arnez soon after allowed Daniel Micevski to double Stirling’s lead from the penalty spot soon after. It was all one-way traffic and with 12 minutes gone Daniel Micevski’s clever back heel released Doyle who duly made it four-nil. Jack Salter’s cross from the left was converted by an unmarked Daniel Micevski, then Neighbour added another from a David Micevski corner. Daniel Micevski completed his hat-trick before half-time after latching onto a Doyle through ball.

Rockingham returned from the break hoping to stem the flow of goals and, hopefully, pinch one of their own. And that they did in the on the hour via a quick counterattack which caught Stirling unawares as Alex Grayson raced away to finished low past Aleks Vrteski. The visitors responded in the only way they knew, Tim Hill sending Neighbour on his way to finish into the net after 71 minutes. The final whistle wasn’t far away when David Micevski completed the route with a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area that passed through a sea of legs to nestle in the corner of the net.

21.4.2014

FIVE-STAR FLOREAT SILENCE SORRENTO

New coach Peter Murphy guided Floreat Athena into the State Cup quarter-finals with a 5-0 thrashing of Sorrento at Litis Stadium. The dismissal of Sorrento striker Sean Canham late in the first half tilted the game in the hosts favour but it wasn’t until after the break that Ashley Corker and Mark Walsh each bagged a double with substitute Yves Mwilia also on the scoresheet. “It was a great effort from the boys, we got what we deserved,” Corker said. “Obviously a sending off went in our favour but still we had to stay focused and complete the task we set out to do, which was win.”

The first half was a largely uneventful period with neither team creating much in the way of genuine chances on goal. Floreat suffered a setback after 25 minutes when Bobby Wilson was forced out through injury, his place taken by Mwilia. The games’ decisive moment arrived nine minutes later, Canham issued his marching orders by referee Steven Gregory after lashing out at goalkeeper Tom Dixon whilst attempting to get on the end of a through ball. Floreat now stepped up the pace and Jamie Eames was unlucky not to send them into the break with the lead when his angle strike smashed into the upright after making his way around Curtis Aspden.

The second half was six minutes old when Floreat broke through, Corker making no mistake from close-range after being found by Jack Allen. Mwilia got down the left in the 72nd minute to deliver an inviting cross which Corker headed in kill off Sorrento’s hopes of a comeback. Goal number three came five minutes later when Walsh punished poor defending to fire low past a stunned Aspden. With three minutes remaining Mwilia slotting in after combining to terrific effect with Eames. The game was in stoppage time when Walsh grabbed his second of the afternoon to send Floreat into the knock-out competition’s last eight.

21.4.2014

BAYSWATER MAKE HARD WORK OF CUP WIN

Back-to-back State Cups remains the goal for Bayswater City after grinding out a 3-1 win over a tenacious Armadale side at Frank Drago Reserve. Steve Burton scored twice and Jamie Coyne once to cancel out Alex Clarke’s first half finish and book Bayswater into the last eight of the prestigious knock-out competition. “It was a typical Cup tie,” said Bayswater attacker David Heagney. “They made it hard for us but in the end we were too strong. We had a tough game against Stirling (Lions) on Saturday and (today) we were a little below par, but I thought we worked tirelessly and got the rewards.”

Armadale attacked from the opening whistle and had lively striker Faustinho Machochi not sprayed an early chance wide then the day could have finished much differently. Having survived the scare, Bayswater took a 16 minute lead, James Isaia’s corner headed goalward by Trent Kay with Burton toe-poking the ball past goalkeeper Matthew Gould. It didn’t look good for Armadale but within four minutes they were back on level terms courtesy of Jason Barrera’s fine defence-splitting pass in to Clarke, who rounded Devon Spence to stroke into an empty net.

Clarke and Alec Solomons caused Bayswater a few problems at the back early in the second period as Armadale sought the lead. Home coach Chris Coyne read his players the riot act and on 73 minutes Brian Farrell’s teasing cross from the left was turned in from 4-metres by Burton. Armadale continued to take the game up to their opponents with Machochi and John Thornley both wasting good opportunities. Those misses were compounded in the 81st minute when Jamie Coyne stepped up to a dead ball which he blasted into Gould’s net from 18-metres to seal the game.

21.4.2014

SPIRITED JOONDALUP SENT DOWN BY BALCATTA

Balcatta booked their place in the State Cup quarter-finals by fending off third tier club Joondalup United 3-1 at Grindleford Reserve. Gustavo Catarcione put the hosts in front with Benny Kouakou netting either side of half-time to make the game safe, while Joondalup’s solitary reply came from Mike Kenny. “The boys did the club proud today and held possession for long periods,” said Joondalup coach Daniel Smith. “It was also pleasing to get such a confident referee who really got control of the game early on and let the game flow freely, and I thought we gave them a good game.”

Joondalup went close to grabbing the opening goal after 20 minutes but Josh Whitmore blazed over the crossbar from 8-metres. Nine minutes later Balcatta had the lead, Adam Tong’s shot deflecting off Catarcione and into the net. The margin was double just after the half hour when James Sammut released Catarcione whose centring ball was converted at close-range by Kouakou. Balcatta’s third goal arrived on the hour, Kouakou and Catarcione combining on the edge of the penalty area before the former found the corner of the net. Joondalup continued to push forward and in the final minute Kenny finished low past Clint Davies after being played in by Alex Wild.

20.4.2014

STATE CUP PREVIEW, ROUND TWO

Third tier club Curtin University will be out to cause an upset when they travel to Subiaco AFC in tomorrow’s second round of the State Cup. “It’s the last sixteen of the Cup and we are one of five new clubs to the State League, so to make it to this stage is good,” said Curtin coach Campbell Ballantyne. “Subiaco have had results better than people expected so far in the National Premier Leagues (but) we go into the game as underdogs, which is fine by us.” Curtin midfielder Rory Binnie will be pushing for a starting role after coming off the bench last week.

Another State League newcomer, Joondalup United, have their sights set on claiming the scalp of Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. “It’s a very tough draw for us but were hoping to give a good account of ourselves,” said Joondalup coach Daniel Smith, whose team defeated Bunbury Forum Force in the last Cup round. “You need a lot of aspects going for you as underdogs to win the game, we will have to wait and see, but we will prepare for the tie like we do for every game we play.”

Rockingham City hosts 2010 State Cup winners Stirling Lions. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to play against one of the top National Premier Leagues sides,” said Rockingham coach Rob Crerar. “We know it’s going to be a difficult game but, like any game, you need to approach it with a winning mentality. To knock-off a side like Stirling would be up there in terms of Cup upsets, but there is no reason we can’t be the giant killers.” Reece Frank, Rafael Insurralde, Alex Grayson and Max Snelson have been added to Rockingham’s squad for the occasion.

There are also three Cup ties which feature only National Premier Leagues teams. Perth SC journeys south to Dalmatinac Park where Cockburn City provided the opposition. Floreat Athena have home ground advantage against Sorrento, and Cup holders Bayswater City welcome Armadale to Frank Drago Reserve. Inglewood United are on home soil to third tier Fremantle United, and Shamrock Rovers heads to the northern suburbs for a showdown with ECU Joondalup. All eight State Cup games commence tomorrow at 3.00pm.

20.4.2014

FOOTBALL MOURNS THE LOSS OF 20-YEAR OLD DYLAN TOMBIDES

One of Australia’s most promising footballers, West Ham United’s Dylan Tombides, has lost his battle with cancer. Tombides, 20, passed away with his family by his side on Friday following a three-year battle with testicular cancer. The young striker was honoured by his London club prior to yesterday’s home game with Crystal Palace. In moving scenes at Upton Park, Tombides’ father Jim and brother Taylor carried his shirt into the middle of the ground as the entire stadium united for a minute’s applause.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce described Tombides as one of the bravest characters he has ever met. “Nobody fought his dreadful disease as hard as this lad,” Allardyce said. “Football was his life and he didn’t miss a day’s training even when he wasn’t fit enough to train because of his treatment. He had an incredible hunger for life, which was why he fought this terrible disease so strongly. All of our thoughts are with Dylan’s family at this time.” West Ham has retired Tombides’ number 38 shirt in his honour.

Tombides was widely considered one of Australia’s brightest young footballing talents. Born and raised in Perth, he played juniors for Wembley Downs, Stirling Lions and Perth SC before moving to Macau in 2008, and within a year he’d joined West Ham, aged 15. A regular scorer for the Hammers youth and reserve teams, Tombides earned his place on the bench for the final English Premier League game of the 2010/11 season. A few months later, while on international duty at the Under-17 World Cup, Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer after a routine drug test returned an abnormal result.

Tombides immediately commenced treatment in London and it wouldn’t be until twelve months later that he again kicked a football after being given the ‘all clear’ by specialists. Upon working his way back to full fitness, Tombides was rewarded with his first team debut against Wigan Athletic in the League Cup fixture of September 2012. His return to the international stage arrived three months ago with selection in Australia’s squad for the inaugural AFC Under-22 Championship in Oman, where the Olyroos progressed to the quarter-final stage.

Away from the football field, Tombides has been working hard to raise awareness of male cancer through his support of the ‘One for the Boys’. He had recently been receiving further treatment in Germany, spending his 20th birthday in hospital from where he posted a thank you message via twitter to those who had supported him and vowing to continue fighting the disease. Following Tombides’ passing his brother Taylor, a West Ham youth player, tweeted “R.I.P. Dylan my beloved brother you will be missed, but never forgotten you was a massive inspiration to everyone.”

19.4.2014

BURTON’S DOUBLE GIVES BAYSWATER THE POINTS

Bayswater City continues to lead the National Premier Leagues table after a 4-1 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. It was a sombre day for West Australian football on Saturday, after the sudden death of former Stirling Lions player Dylan Tombides in the UK. A minute of applause was observed prior to kick off by players, coaches and supporters alike, to honour the youngster. Some of the goals scored on the day were Tombides like; Steve Burton bagged two for the visitors, while James Isaia and Jamie Coyne’s long-range strikes were outstanding, while the Lions’ goal was a stunning curling shot from David Micevski. “We worked hard today and got our rewards at the end of the day,” said Burton. “My partnership with David (Heagney) is going well, and we played together in the UK, but it’s still early days and we hope to continue the form in weeks to come.”

The Lions opened brightly and Devon Spence had to be alert to save David Micevski’s free kick after only three minutes, before the Bayswater custodian saved another David Micevski shot five minutes later. But against the run of play the visitors hit the front. New signing Sam Mitchinson found space down the left, and his cross picked out David Heagney, who was bundled down by Jack Salter and referee Michal Jasinski pointed straight to the spot. Burton stepped up to send Aleks Vrteski the wrong way and give Bayswater the lead.

Both sides had chances early in the second half, Ali Ghoulami’s shot flashed just wide of the post for the Lions, before Trent Kay’s header from Todd Howarth’s corner flew inches over the top for the visitors. Then on 59 minutes the Lions levelled. Doyle picked the ball up in the middle of the park and ran at the Bayswater defence, he held off two defenders before pulling the ball back to David Micevski, who w curled a stunning shot into the bottom corner of the net.

It was the home side on top and they went close again moments later. Again it was Doyle in the centre of the action. The former Perth Glory midfielder wasn’t closed down and his shot from the edge of the penalty area was superbly saved by Spence. Bayswater need a lift and they brought on Isaia for Adam Bachiller and the midfielder had an immediate impact as the visitor hit the front on 63 minutes. Heagney was played in by Howarth, who in turn picked out Isaia, who fired home from 20-yards, giving Vrteski no chance.

It was 3-1 eight minutes later, Heagney’s first touch gave him space in the penalty area, and he played in his strike partner Burton. The Lions defence looked for the off side flag, that never came, and Burton slotted home low past Vrteski. The icing was put on the cake, two minutes from time. Coyne picked up the ball in the middle of the park, racing forward and firing home a stunning long-range shot, to make it an emphatic 4-1 win and keep Bayswater’s 100% start to the season.

19.4.2014

PERTH GLORY THRASH ARMADALE

Armadale’s poor start to the start continued with a 0-6 defeat at the hands of Scott Miller’s Perth Glory at Intiga Stadium. Perth Glory senior players were on target, Jamie Maclaren bagging four, while Matthew Davies and Harry O’Brien adding the others. It’s worrying times for Lee Bamber’s side, making it back-to-back games Armadale has conceded six goals. “"It was a great game today by the boys, it shows they're learning,” Glory Coach Scott Miller told the NPL-WA web site. “I mentioned last week that we need to get used to the men's game and the players did that, they simply just played their way around Armadale today."

The home side dominated from the outset and were ahead on 11 minutes, Harry O’Brien finding the net after great lead up play. It was 2-0 fifteen minutes later, Cameron Edwards good approach work picked out Maclaren, who fired past Matthew Gould. Maclaren added his second on 35 minutes, as the Glory took control of the game.

It was one-way traffic as the Glory continued to dominate and Maclaren completed his hat-trick with a long-range strike on 65 minutes. But he wasn't finished there as he added his fourth, and the Glory’s fifth on 78 minutes, to bag his sixth goal of the season. O'Brien had the opportunity to add a sixth late on, but Armadale custodian Gould saved his spot kick. But on 86 minutes they did add their sixth; Davies converted converting from the spot and sealing a memorable result.

19.4.2014

BALCATTA LEAVE JOONDALUP WITH THE POINTS

Balcatta moved into fourth spot on the table after a 2-0 win against ECU Joondalup at the ECU Sports Arena. A goal in each half by Luke Randazzo and Gustavo Catarcione giving Ramon Falzon side a third win on the road this season. I thought the boys played really well today and deserved the points,” said Balcatta defender Kieron Stallard. “We looked very comfortable at the back and we took our Chances going forward. They (ECU) have improve a lot since last year and think they will do well as they were missing probably a couple of their best players against us but we are happy with the win.”

ECU, who were without Tommy Amphlett, John Higgins and Joe Smith, struggled early and Balcatta looked threatening and they hit the front on 35 minutes. Randazzo and Carlo Coelho combined on the edge of the penalty area to set up skipper Adam Tong, whose shot from 12-meters was well saved by Andy Banks, bur Randazzo was quickest to react firing home from close-range for his fourth goal of the season.

Dale McCulloch’ side looked to hit back immediately and Dejan Speseski sent Jon Stynes in on goal but the young midfielder fired wide when well placed. Both of the sides had chances late, Balcatta were dangerous on the break but Banks stood tall to deny them while Tong and Kieran Stallard were solid at the back for the visitors, while Charlie Comyn-Platt had a goal disallowed for a foal on keeper Clint Davies.

Both sides went for broke in the second half but it was the visitors who created the better chances. Benny Kouakou and Catarcione both tested Banks, but the Joondalup custodian was in fine form to deny him. Moments later David Foster tested Clint Davies who saved well, while Genaveo Human and Jake Benson-Cooper failed to find the target for the home side.

The crossbar then came to the home sides rescue midway through the half, but on 65 minutes they scored the vital second goal. Catarcione started the move, the Brazilian picking out Kouakou on the left, he continued his run and when Kouakou crossed into the penalty area he fired home from close-range.

19.4.2014

FLOREAT GIVE MURPHY A PERFECT START

Peter Murphy began his rein at Floreat Athena starting with a bang, after a stunning 5-0 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Former Perth Glory midfielder Ludovic Boi helped himself to a hat trick, with other goals to Bobby Wilson and Jamie Eames, to give the former State Coach a perfect start in his first game in charge at the club. “I'm very happy. I came into the game wanting to see commitment, passion and hard work and they obviously showed it and worked really hard for each other," Murphy told the NPL-WA web site. "I said to the boys at half-time to sit in, show discipline and work hard. At 3-0 we knew Cockburn would change things and come at us for the first 10/15 minutes - after that we started to counter attack and probably could have had another two had the final ball got through.”

It was the home side who began the brighter and Feisal Zaw overhead volley was superbly saved by the alert Tom Dixon. That save became more important on seven minutes, when Floreat opened the scoring. Wilson was given far too much space in the penalty area and the midfielder headed home powerfully from Aryn Williams’ corner.

It went from bad to worse for the home side and three minutes later Floreat doubled their advantage. English striker Eames found space on the right hand side of the penalty area, and fired low past Dejan Aleksic into the far corner of the net. The Cockburn keeper was working overtime and he raced out moments later to deny Eames, before Wilson saw his shot from long-range whistle inches over the bar.

Cockburn looked for a quick response, but Zaw’s shot was cleared off the line, and with skipper Callum Fransz and Mark Walsh outstanding Floreat steadied the ship. Then on the half hour they added a third. Boi was on the end of a great team move, to fire low past a shell-shocked Aleksic. The home side continued to struggle after the break, and chances were few and far between, although Papa Kpatar tested Dixon, who saved well.

Despite having plenty of the ball, Cockburn struggled in the final third, but Floreat showed them how to do it late. The home side were pushing players forward and Boi raced clear to add his second on 80 minutes. Jonty Turner fired wide for Cockburn when well-placed late on, before Eames finished the rout five minutes later, firing in via the post, to give Cockburn a disastrous start to their home games in the NPL.

19.4.2014

A SIX GOAL THILLER AT DORRIEN GARDENS

Inglewood United Coach Graham Normanton’s return to his former club Perth SC ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Friday Zico and Ashley Rosindale both scored in the opening 10 minutes at Dorrien Gardens, with Ryan Clarke pulling one back before the break. Rosindale added his second just after the restart, but Scott Blackmore and a Clarke strike two minutes from time to salvage a well-earned point for the visitors. “We started off really well in the first 20 minutes, but got too complacent and let them get on top of us for the rest of the half,” said Perth defender Alex Castiello. “We then came out to a good start second half but again got complacent, and it was disappointing to concede the late goal and drop two points.”

It wasn’t a perfect start to proceedings for the home side when they lost influential midfielder Clarke Keltie on five minutes through injury; he was replaced by Andreas Theodosiades. Despite the set- back, Perth were ahead two minutes later. An inch perfect cross from Mark Pritchard picked out Zico, who fired home at the back post. It was 2-0 moments later; Rosindale raced clear to fire low past Luke Martino.

Inglewood, who won for the first time last week at Armadale, were in no mood to let this one slip and they were back in the game four minutes before half time. A defensive mix-up let in Clarke, who raced clear and finished with aplomb past Alex Dunn. The home side pressed late in the half, but Mark Doninger, Theodosiades and Aden Da Luz all failed to find the target.

After the break the home side stunned Inglewood with a goal in the first sixty seconds. Craig Simpson’s through ball sent Rosindale clear, who outpaced Jonathan Stripe, and fired low past Martino, much to the displeasure of United coach Normanton. His demeanour was improved three minutes later, when they reduced the margin again. Perth failed to clear Greg Sharland’s corner and Blackmore was on hand to fire home. Both sides had chances in a hectic second half but Clarke had the last word, firing home with two minutes remaining after Perth failed to deal with a set piece.

19.4.2014

GULLS FLY HOME WITH THE POINTS

Sorrento kept in touch with the unbeaten Bayswater at the top of the NPL-WA table after a 4-2 win against Subiaco AFC at the WA Athletics Stadium. Todd Harnwell opening the scoring on the half hour, before a double from Recce Vittiglia and a Sean Canham goal gave them the win. Subiaco’s consolation goals came from Jordan Rhodes and Nathan Diaz. “Suddenly you start wanting the ball more and you want to play, so that helped,” Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell told the NPL-WA web site. “We pushed an extra player up front and they had to come and press us which gave us more room to play once we broke the press.”

Subiaco, who were still looking for their first win of the season, were behind on the half hour. Subiaco failed to clear their lines, and the loose ball was picked up by Canham, who crossed the ball to the back post and Harnwell headed past Sam Stone from close-range. The home side pressed looking for the equaliser but couldn’t break down a Sorrento defence well led by Shaun Kilkelly and Steve McDonald.

After half time Subiaco pushed men forward looking for the equaliser and they were picked off again five minutes in, Vittiglia picking up the loose ball in the penalty area and finishing clinically past Stone. It was 3-0 on the hour, a long throw from James Morgan caused problems in the Subiaco defence and Vittiglia finished fired home from 4-meters. To the home sides credit they continued to press forward and they were rewarded on 72 minutes. Rhodes burst into the penalty area after a neat back heel from Guy McDonald, and finished low past Curtis Aspden.

The visitors restored their three goal lead in the 90th minute, great work down the right hand side and Vittiglia, ended with a great cross from the bye line and Canham headed home from four-meters. The home side scored a consolation goal in stoppage time, Nathan Diaz beat a couple of Gulls defenders, and curled the ball into the top corner from long-range.

19.4.2014

KREDS LEAVE IT LATE FOR UWA

Mandurah City and UWA-Nedlands have fought out a 4-4 draw at the Hyundai Stadium on Saturday, and Alex Kreds stoppage time goal gave both sides a share of the spoils. UWA were out the blocks early and opened the scoring after only two minutes, Kevin Fields firing home from the penalty spot after Alex Kreds was brought down in the area. They doubled their advantage on 10 minutes, Kreds finding the net after Mandurah keeper David Keenan failed to hold a long-range shot from Manuel Aparis. With steam coming out of the Mandurah coaches’ ears the home side pulled one back ten minutes before half time, new signing Alain Lengliz firing home at the far post,

The home side levelled just after half time, Craig Young was hauled down in the box and Craig Tone scored past Alan Kiely from the spot kick. Mandurah hit the front on the hour, Matt Stares was given too much room in the box and he fired low into the corner of the net. But UWA were back on level terms ten minutes later. A mazy run from David Cox allowed him time and space to deliver from the left, but Mandurah's Robbie Hamm turned the ball into his own net via the underside of the bar.

Moments later Young gave the home side back the lead, his long-range shot flew into the net giving Kiely no chance. They thought they had increased their lead shortly after, but Daniel Brockwell’s goal was disallowed for offside, much to the dis-pleasure of the Mandurah side. The visitors pressed late and were rewarded with the equaliser. A long searching ball into the box from Robbie Black, found Kreds, who coolly finished on the half volley into the far bottom corner of the net, to give both sides a share of the spoils

19.4.2014

GOSNELLS CONTINUES GOOD START

Gosnells City continued their perfect start to the season, after a 1-0 win against Wanneroo City at Kingsway Reserve. Wanneroo, who were thrashed 8-0 at Bunbury last week, were on the back foot early, and Scott Pereira sent Wade Farmer clear, but his shot flashed wide. Moments later it was Farmer again, he was put through after a great dummy from Chris Holland, but again the striker failed to find the target.

Those misses were forgotten on 35 minutes, when the visitors hit the front. Ben Howe wasn’t closed down in the middle of the park and his shot from long-range deflected off Holland and into the net. Both sides had chances after the break, the best fell to the home side five minutes from time, Bradley Ryan’s long-range shot was heading for the top corner of the net but Tom Allen produced a stunning save to deny him, and earn all three points.

19.4.2014

CANNING GIVES SWAN SIX OF THE BEST

Canning City bounced back from last week’s home defeat by thrashing Swan United 6-0 at the Swan Italian Club. The visitors were off to a flyer and head on the quarter hour. Josh Findlater won the ball in the middle of the park, before cutting in from the wing and firing low past Bobson Koroma from the edge of the penalty area. It was 2-0 five minutes later, Paul van Dongan wasn’t closed down on the edge of the penalty area and he fired home.

The home side were struggling to cope with the pace of Canning and they made it 3-0 on the half hour. Mark Trevisol and Tom Gibbins combined to find Findalter, whose long0range shot flew into the top corner of the net. It was 4-0 on the stroke of half time, Paul van Dongan played a one-two with Daniel Neiderberger, who was brought down in the penalty area and the striker picked himself up to score from the spot.

It was an even second half with United creating chances, but failing to find the net. The icing was put on the cake for the visitors late, scoring two late goals. Jarrad Smith firing low past Koroma with ten minutes remaining, before Smith added his second, and Canning six five minutes later to give the visitors and emphatic win.

19.4.2014

SHAMROCK AND ASHFIELD SHARE THE SPOILS

Shamrock Rovers and Ashfield have fought out a 1-1 draw in an entertaining encounter at Grimley Oval. Shane Cassidy gave the home side the lead midway through the second half, but Jamie Burns levelled to give both sides a share of the spoils.

The home side started well and went close to the opener on 10 minutes, Gino Hampshire was sent through but John Perkins was alert to save. Ashfield hit back on 25 minutes, Luke Colli’s cross found Karl O’Reilly, whose shot was superbly saved by Ash Crosthwaite. Ten minutes later Damien Smithers’ volley was heading for the top corner, but Perkins pulled off a great save to deny him.

Both side pressed after the break, Hampshire was again denied by Perkins. But on 55 minutes minutes the home side hit the front. Charlie Keena’s corner picked out Cassidy, who headed home from 5-meters. The visitors lifted and levelled 10 minutes later. A hopeful ball into the penalty area found Burns, who shrugged of a defender, rounded Crosthwaite and scored into an empty net. The home side almost nicked all three points, Smithers cut in from the right, but his low shot was too close to Perkins, who saved at his near post.

19.4.2014

JOONDALUP AND FORRESTFIELD IN SIX GOAL THRILLER

Second division promotion favourites Joondalup United and Forrestfield United have fought out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Forrest Park on Saturday afternoon. Rhys Loxley and Chris Perrott gave the visitors a two goal lead early, before Marc Beatie pulled one back just before half time from the spot. Adam Buckley levelled just after half time, and Garin Collins thought he had won it before Ben Fraser late equaliser. “I'm pleased to come away with a point against a very good Joondalup united side that will do very well this season,” said Loxley. “We showed a lot of character on the pitch and it was good to see a few of the young lads taking their chance through the absence of a few key players.”

Both sides were cagey early but it was the visitors first on the board. Joondalup gave up possession in the middle of the park, and the cross into the box was headed powerfully home by Loxley. It was 2-0 moments later; a corner from Loxley was headed home by Chris Perrott. But the home side were given a lifeline just before half time, Buckley was brought down in the penalty area and Beatie fired past Brad Eiffe.

The second half started well for Joondalup and they were level two minutes in, Buckley’s 25-yard shot flew into the net giving Effie no chance. It was end-to-end football with both sides having chances, but on 90 minutes the home side hit the front. Collins found space down the flank and his cross shot flew into the far corner of the net. It looked like the home side had won it late but Forrestfield had other ideas. Deep into stoppage time, a long-throw from Josh Appleby picked out Fraser, who fired home via the post to set of wild celebrations from Forrestfield players and supporters.

18.4.2014

GALLAS LOOKING FOR GLORY REDEMPTION

Perth Glory’s French defender William Gallas has set his sights on securing a contract extension at Perth Glory as he bids to help the club atone for its under-achieving season. The 36-year-old former Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham stopper, who finished an injury-hit season strongly, declared his desire to pass on his experience to a young squad while maintaining he still has the drive and passion to continue his professional career for at least two more seasons.

Gallas’s future at the club will hinge on the requirements of who eventually takes the reins at nib Stadium, but he insists that he is driven far more by his love for the game than marquee wages, “My intention is to stay on at the club but the decision is not mine. It is in the hands of the club and it may depend on who is the coach for next season also. But I feel the job is not done for me – and I want to try and finish what I have started here in a playing sense,” he said.

The Glory struggled in the season, and Gallas said the departure of Alistair Edwards didn’t help. “It was a hard season for us with a change of manager (the sacking of Alistair Edwards in December) and obviously a young team, which didn’t have that week to week consistency,” he said. “Obviously when you are not getting the results you want it hurts and I would love the chance to stay on and play my part in bringing better times to the club next year.

The marquee defender still has the desire to succeed and would like to prove that with the Glory. “For me, it’s not about money. If it was I would not have come to Australia in the first place. For me it’s about the passion to play the game. If that’s still there, then why would you want to stop?” “I have a winning mentality and it was difficult at times but we can turn things around in the future for sure – but it’s going to take a lot of hard work and commitment. “Players have to make sacrifices and I think with my experience I can help guide a lot of the younger guys and give them some directions and hopefully help them improve their games a little.”

Gallas said if Glory is to recapture the prowess, which took it to the grand final two years ago, players have to take it upon themselves to put in the extra time necessary to be the best. “It’s not enough just to turn up for training for a couple of hours then head home,” he said. “The younger players particularly need to have that hunger and be prepared to do extra work to make themselves and the club a success. “I would like to play my part in helping to instil that because there’s a lot of potential at this club and what we produced this season wasn’t enough and was a big disappointment to all of us.”

Buddy Farah, the agent who brought Gallas to Glory, said: “William has a lot still to offer as a player and also in mentoring role and he is not driven my money – more by sheer professionalism and a hunger to keep performing at a good level. “For me, Glory keeping him is really a no-brainer.”

18.4.2014

GLORY YOUNGSTER CLOSE TO EUROPEAN DEAL

Perth Glory midfielder Daniel De Silva is still pinching himself after a recent trip to Italy, which has seen the teenager close to signing with AS Roma. The 17-year-old spent eight days in the Italian capital with family, to work through a potential deal with the Serie A giants. While nothing has been finalised as yet, it appears a formality he will sign with Roma in a lucrative deal that will see him become team-mates with the likes of Italian internationals Francesco Totti and Danielle De Rossi. The teenager will remain with Glory next season until he turns 18, and he told of his delight to footballaustralia.com.au.

"I went over to discuss a few things with them - it worked out well," De Silva said. "It's such a prestigious and big club and it was great to see the players and how they train and play the facilities and the set up and coaches. It was a really enjoyable trip. "I got to see the Colosseum and a bit of Rome while I was over there as well which was nice. "Rome is the most beautiful city I've ever seen. It's very ancient, there's a lot of history and culture there which was great to see.”

De Silva, who made his Glory debut as a 15-year-old this season, watched a few training sessions, caught the 2-1 defeat of Torino and saw one of his heroes in action, Italian superstar Francesco Totti. "He's such a great player, it's a shame he knocked the Socceroos out of the (2006) World Cup," De Silva said. "He's a great player and had a really great career in the game. It will be a shame when he retires. "Just to be able to be there and train with those players would be something special and great for my development."

De Silva is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, as he prepares with the Young Socceroos ahead of October's AFC U-19 Championships in Myanmar, a tournament where the top four teams will qualify for next year's U-20 World Cup. "My parents raised me pretty well and I know it's very important to stay humble and not get a big head about it because then people view you in a different way," he said. "Whenever I come to these camps I don't put myself above anyone and I don't expect anyone to do that for me as well. "I'm just a regular kid trying to make it into the team. I really respect that. They treat me the same as any other player and it's the same for them as well."

18.4.2014

NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES PREVIEW, ROUND SIX

The National Premier Leagues continues on Saturday and the pick of this week’s games being Bayswater City’s visit to Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions. Lions coach Gary Williams has a number of players returning from injury, as they look to end City’s unbeaten start to the season, but he knows it will be difficult. “I am looking forward to the game on Saturday, they are top of the league for a reason, so it will be a real test to see how far we have come as a side over the last 2 to 3 months,” he said. Moses Kalau is available for selection for the home side, along with David Micevski and Phil Arnold, which is a massive boost ahead of the game. Bayswater keeper Devon Spence say’s they head into the game full of confidence. “We’re unbeaten this season so we are full confidence, but they beat us at their place last season, so we will be looking to change that on Saturday,” he said. “It’s never an easy game down at the Den, especially against a wounded Lion. Stirling does have some players out, but it’s the team we are playing and not the individuals.”

Both ECU Joondalup and Balcatta will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeats, ‘We’ve had mixed results in the last couple of weeks, but on the positive side we have blooded a couple of youngsters in recent weeks which bodes well for the club for the future,’ said Joondalup assistant coach Craig Stevenson. “The squad has been working extremely hard at training to ensure our shape, and we are aiming to put in a strong performance on Saturday, against a good Balcatta side.” In team news Ryan Lowry returns from suspension for the home side, but they will be missing David Caine, Joe Smith and Tommy Amphlett, while Balcatta will be missing Kris Gate.

Armadale coach Lee Bamber will be looking for a huge improvement from last week’s 6-1 defeat against Inglewood, when they travel to take on Perth Glory at Intiga Stadium. “It was a bad day at the office against Inglewood, but we move on, and I will be looking for a response from the players this week,” he said. Bamber will be sweating on the fitness of Billy Quinncroft, Sam Loveless and Luke Bogoni, but do have Jackson Bealey and Faustinho Machochi due to suspension. Peter Murphy takes control of his first game for Floreat Athena for the visit to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City, and the home side welcome back Paul Natale and Euen Grant.

Graham Normanton takes Inglewood United to Dorrien Gardens, to face his former club Perth SC. Inglewood welcome back David Perich and Andrija Jukic from injury for the trip, while the hosts regain the services of Ashley Rosindale, and Mark Pritchard will be pushing for a starting role after coming off the bench last week. Subiaco AFC entertains Sorrento at the WA Athletics Stadium. Sorrento will have Jason Mirco and Ryan Pearson pushing for a starting role after recovering fully from long term injury, while the home side are at full strength.

18.4.2014

DIVISION ONE PREVIEW, ROUND TWO

In the second week of the First Division the pick of the round is Ashfield’s trip to Grimrey Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers. ”I think it will be a tough game. Shamrock are always a quality side and are coming off a good win against Dianella,” said Ashfield midfielder Tom Kennedy. “Everyone has been working hard at training and will be up for a battle.” New import Craig Miles is hoping to get clearance to play, while Graham Tough is still missing.

Wanneroo City will be looking to bounce back from last week’s thrashing in Bunbury, but will face another tough test with Gosnells City heading to the Kingsway Reserve. “Any team coming off such a heavy defeat is going to redeem themselves,” said Gosnells striker Chris Holland. “We head there with a game plan, which we have worked on all week at training and are expecting nothing less than three points, and it would be nice personally to get on the scoreboard for the season.” Gosnells will still be without their injured skipper Michael Louge, while the Roo’s hope new signing Anthony Campbell is available, as Stuart Montgomery is out with a knee injury.

In other games Western Knights will look to bounce back from their first up defeat at Ashfield, when they host Bunbury Forum Force at Nash Field, while Swan United will looking to continue their good start to the season when they entertain Canning City at the Swan Italian Club. Morley Windmills host Dianella White Eagles at Wotton Reserve, while Mandurah City and UWA-Nedlands will look for their first wins of the season when they meet at the Hyundai Stadium in the late game (5pm).

18.4.2014

DIVISION TWO PREVIEW, ROUND TWO

All roads will lead to Forrest Park on Saturday where title favourites Joondalup United and Forrestfield United do battle. “Saturday will be a real challenge against a good side on their ground,” said Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac. “I expect a free flowing game as both sides have players with plenty of skill, pace and passion to entertain and I hope there is a big crowd on hand to watch it. It’s a long trip up north, and we don’t expect them to be generous, but we will be going for all three points.” Forrestfield lose Trent Wood and Jordan Hart, while the home side will be missing Gareth Davies, and have brought in Mike Kenny to the squad as cover.

In other games Balga play their first home game in the Saturday competition for 17 years when they meet Fremantle United at Princess Road Reserve, and they welcome back striker Lee James back from injury. Kelmscott Roos entertain Olympic Kingsway at Frye Park, while Joondalup City makes the trip to Lark Hill to take on Rockingham City. Melville City and Ellenbrook United meet at Len Shearer Reserve. The round opened last night when Curtin University drew 1-1 with Quinns at Edinburgh Oval.

17.4.2014

MURPHY TAKES CHARGE AT FLOREAT

Floreat Athena has appointed Peter Murphy as senior coach, to replace Chris Barbas, who resigned his position two weeks ago. The Scotsman is eagerly awaiting the challenge at the Litis Stadium, and he’s happy to be back in WA football. “It’s a huge club, and it’s huge challenge for me, but one I’m looking forward to,” he said. “I’ve watch a few games this season in the NPL, and I know what we need to be successful, it’s now down to the hard work and getting the players to play the way I want to.”

Floreat had to work hard for the three points last week against Subiaco AFC, and Murphy will be looking for more of the same when he takes charge of his first game against Cockburn City on Saturday. “I’ve seen the results from the last two games the club have played there, and it’s not good reading,” Murphy joked. “It’s a tough first up game, but Glen Grostate has the players ready for the challenge, and we will look to take something out of the game.”

Murphy, the former Armadale and WA state Coach, has his own thoughts on the new league structure, but knows he can’t do anything about it. “Some of the changes in the new NPL do concern me, but that’s only my views,” Murphy explained. “The point’s system and salary cap is a massive change in the game and I’m not sure if it will achieve any real outcomes, but only time will tell.”

The Scotsman immigrated to Perth from Scotland in 1984 and joined East Fremantle Tricolore, before joining Perth Italia. While at Perth, Murphy helped them to the 1990 and 1991 Super League Grand final victories, and the club's 1993 league title. He won the D'Orsogna Cup with Italia and Stirling Macedonia, and played in the National Soccer League with Melbourne Croatia, before winning the league's top goal scorer with Swan IC as a 33-year-old in 1995, and he has played for the WA state side on a number of occasions.

The 53-year-old, who still plays for Perth Saints in the Vets, will get down to business at the club immediately, but he isn’t going in, swinging the axe. “I’ve been in this game for a while and that’s what you don’t do,” he said. “The squad is talented and I need to give them the opportunity to perform and show me they want to play for this club, and that will come out in the weeks to come.”

16.4.2014

A NEW NEIGHBOUR IN AT THE DEN

English striker Howard Neighbour has settled in well at Macedonia Park and his brace last week earned the Lions a 2-2 draw against Sorrento. The 27-year-old made the decision to head down under after a mate told him about the club, and he’s happy he decided to make the move. “Things are going really well at Stirling, and the club have made me really welcome, and it’s always nice to find the back of the net at a new club, and it helps you settle in quickly,” he said. “I’d spoke to my mate Rikki Smith, who joined them in the off season, and he told me about the club and they invited me down to pre-season training, and the rest is history, and now I call Macedonia Park home.”

The draw at Percy Doyle Reserve moved the Lions up to fourth on the table, and Neighbour said it was a tough game. “Friday night was a hard match we didn't play well at all first half, too much easy passing and not enough forward penetrative passes, which we improved on second half,” explained Neighbour. “It was nice to score the goals but the second half performance from the lads was great, and I was just happy to take my chances when I got them.”

The striker who had a season at Bognor Regis in the Ryman Southern League, and the last two seasons in the UK at Pagham FC in the Sussex County League, has found the football in the National Premier League a lot more intense, but he’s enjoying it. “The league here is a good standard, higher than the one which I was playing in England. The intensity here is high and if you’re not switched on you will get beat,” he said.

Lions’ coach Gary Williams was delighted to get Neighbour to the club after losing a few strikers from last season. “Howard has been a great addition to the squad, and he has contributed a huge amount to our recent performances,’ Williams said. “He has a great first touch and holds the ball up well and attacks crosses, which has resulted in a few goals. He is valued by his team mates and hopefully his good form will continue this week.”

The Lions squad has changed dramatically from last season, with a number of new faces, but Neighbour believes Williams has the side playing well. “The squads looking good we have a few quality first team players returning soon from injury, which will make us even stronger,” he said. “. Gary has done a great job so far, and after winning the league last season I can only see us improving as the season goes on.”

This week the Lions face their toughest test of the season when they take on the unbeaten Bayswater City, but Neighbour, and the rest of the Lions players are looking forward to the challenge. “It’s always good to play the best, and Bayswater are at the top of the table for a reason,” he said. “I'm looking forward to the match, and so are the rest of the lads and we know it will be a tough game but the training this week has lifted and were ready for the challenge.”

16.4.2014

SUBIACO ON THE IMPROVE SAYS YATES

It’s been a tough start to life in the National Premier League for newcomers Subiaco AFC, but defender Rowdy Yates believes they are on the improve and believes they are learning quickly what it takes to compete in the top level. “The club have big ambitions and it’s good to be part of that. There’s a great bunch of lads here and we are being looked after well by the club,” said Yates. “It has been a big step up to the NPL, not only for me but the club as well. I think we have held our own in every game we've played so far and have been unfortunate in a couple of games not to of taken more points.”

Last week Subiaco dominated the chances against Floreat Athena, and were unlucky not to come away with the points, but Yates believes they are getting used to the pace of the league and wins will come. “I thought we were unlucky on Saturday not to have come away with at least a point. We created the better chances but lacked quality in the final third and just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. We are improving every game under Gerry (McEwan) and it won’t be too long before it starts to happen for us,’ explained Yates.

The 23-year-old played for ECU Joondalup as a junior, before moving to Wanneroo at 15. He was part of last year first Division wining Roos’ team, before heading to Subiaco with his former coach. “I’m enjoying being back with McEwan who gave his league debut when he was coach at Wanneroo and my first taste of first team football aged 16, and I’ll always remember that,” said Yates. “He has a knowledge and passion for the game like no one else and we all learn a lot from him. He gives us a lot of confidence and self-belief which is important for the team to have when results haven't gone our way.”

It doesn’t get any easier for Subiaco with Sorrento heading to the WA Athletics Stadium on Saturday, but Yates is looking forward to the challenge. “Sorrento will be a big test for us. They are a physical and well-structured side so it will be hard to break them down,” said Yates. “But if we can take our chances I think we will have a good chance of getting something out of the game. The lads are determined to get our first three points of the season so we will be well up for it.”

15.4.2014

THE NUCLEUS IS THERE FOR GLORY : LOWE

Interim coach Kenny Lowe says there were plenty of positives to come from Perth Glory’s failed season. Glory entered 2013/14 with high hopes but it proved a bumpy ride with Lowe taking the reins following the mid-season sacking of Alistair Edwards, itself the end result of a rift with senior players. The change of coach sparked a tumultuous period of upheaval for the club which included training ground and post-game bust-ups between players and coaching staff. It all came to an end on Sunday when Glory conceded a stoppage time goal to fall to a 2-1 defeat at Sydney FC after dominating large periods of the second half.

Lowe feels there have been major benefits from the season, including significant game time to the club’s youth contingent, including Jack Duncan, Riley Woodcock, Matthew Davies, Brandon O’Neill, Jack Clisby and Daniel De Silva. “If you said to the younger players, those around 17-18 years old, you would play around fifteen games this season they would have laughed,” said Lowe. “But all of a sudden we have got kids in the group now who have that (experience). You have to give them experience, but sometimes it means you are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

While this season did not go according to play, Lowe is confident Glory is in a strong position for future success. “There is a nucleus there,” said Lowe, who remains hopeful of being offered the coaching role on a full-time basis. “If someone thinks I’m good enough to do the job, I’m more than glad to take it. I think I have proved that, but that is just personal opinion. The guys at the club have been open and honest, and very, very supportive. But they have a big decision to make because they want the best for the club.”

14.4.2014

MISSING THE SIX “COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE” SAYS TAGGART

Adam Taggart has labelled Newcastle Jets’ failure to reach the A-League finals as “completely unacceptable”, saying both the players and the club need to take responsibility for the situation. Newcastle were consigned to seventh spot despite carving out a 2-0 win over Adelaide United on Friday night. “There’s six teams that go into the finals every year and very few that miss out, so for us to miss the finals for four seasons in a row is completely unacceptable,” Taggart told footballaustralia.com.au “For us players it’s something we really need to have a good look at ourselves and understand what kind of club we want to be.”

Taggart, whose 16 goals were rewarded with the Golden Boot award, believes Newcastle’s failure to accumulate significant points against the A-League’s lesser lights ultimately cost them a finals appearance. “We beat all the top teams, including Brisbane (Roar) three times, yet teams like Perth (Glory) we were struggling to get results,” 20-year old Taggart said. “That’s something that just can’t happen. If your beating the top sides you have to keep that motivation and consistency when you’re playing the so-called bottom sides, at your home ground especially. The Golden Boot’s lovely but it would have been even better to make the finals and really try and carry this campaign on even longer.”

14.4.2014

ARNOLD KEEN ON GLORY

Graham Arnold admits he would be hard pressed not to coach Perth Glory next season should the club come forward with a firm offer for his services. Arnold emerged as a surprise frontrunner for Glory’s full-time coaching position last week after splitting with Japanese club Vegalta Sendai. “It (Perth) is definitely a job that would interest me,” Arnold said the ‘Sunday Times’ newspaper. “I’ve always looked at Glory as one of the glamour clubs of the A-League, they’ve under-achieved this year and there’s been some turmoil around the club. You want to be successful, you want to fill that Shed and stadium each game and get them back to the glory days when they were the benchmark of the NSL (National Soccer League).”

13.4.2014

SYDNEY BOOKS FINALS BERTH

Richard Garcia struck deep in stoppage time to book Sydney FC into the A-League finals with a 2-1 victory over Perth Glory at the Allianz Stadium. Terry Antonis’ superb long-range strike gave the hosts the lead but in the shadows of half-time Rostyn Griffiths grabbed Glory a deserved equaliser. A nervy second period ensued and it looked as though there would no addition to the scoreline when Garcia settled matters in the final seconds of the regular season. Sydney ended the home and away in fifth position and will meet rivals Melbourne Victory in next weekend’s finals, with Glory placing eight on the final ladder.

Sydney may have dominated early possession but the first shot on goal came at the other end where Chris Harold’s effort flew narrowly past Vedran Janjetovic’s post. It didn’t take long for the Sky Blues to return fire with Antonis calling goalkeeper Jack Duncan into the action. Alessandro Del Piero whizzed a dead ball just wide and Milos Dimitrijevic wasn’t far off target from distance. Although there was a lack of urgency in Sydney’s play, they got the breakthrough on 38 minutes when Antonis’ low strike from 30-metres found the bottom corner. Glory conjured an equaliser with virtually the last action of the half, an unmarked Griffiths finishing at the back post from a Nebojsa Marinkovic corner.

Del Piero seemed destined to restore the hosts’ lead soon after the restart but Duncan somehow blocked his stab from point-blank range. After that scare Glory took a scrappy game by the scruff of the neck, however, they failed to create anything in the way of a genuine chance on goal. Sydney weren’t a great deal more successful, although Garcia forced a save from Duncan as the clock wound down. Just when it appeared Glory had done enough to earn a point, Garcia latched onto Del Piero’ lofted through ball to score the winner with virtually the last kick of the game.

13.4.2014

INTO THE LOOKING GLASS: THE STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO SEASON PREVIEW

There’ll be plenty of thrills and spills in this year’s expanded Division Two. Competition newcomers Joondalup United have been installed as red-hot favourites to win promotion but should they falter then Forrestfield United and Joondalup City are ready to pounce. This week Brett Klucznik takes a look at the twelve clubs before the footballwa.net team is joined by Richard Kreider, author of ‘Paddocks to Pitches’, in offering their thoughts on how season 2014 will pan out...

12.4.2014

PERTH TAKE OUT ITALIAN DERBY

Perth SC ran out 2-1 winners in a hard fought Italian derby against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. Adam de Luz gave the visitors the lead in first half stoppage time, before Mark Pritchard doubled their advantage with ten minutes remaining. Benny Kouakou pulled one back for the home side late, but Perth hung for the points, and the bragging rights. “I thought the whole team played well, and we controlled the game for long periods of the match, and we deserved the three points,” said De Luz. “It was great to score the goal on the stroke of half time, it gave us a lift going into half time and we went on with it after the break to bounce back from last week’s loss against Bayswater.”

It was a lively opening to the game, with a number of players playing against their former clubs, but referee Trent Fleskens kept a close eye on proceedings. Chances were few and far between, but on the stroke of half time the visitors hit the front. Clark Keltie’s through ball sent Friday Zico racing clear of the offside trap, the striker squared the ball to Da Luz who slotted the ball home from 8-meters.

Balcatta were out of the blocks early after half time but Craig Simpson and new signing Alex Castiello keeping them at bay, but against the run of play, Perth almost added a second. Nicholas Ambrogio was sent clear of a static Balcatta defence, but keeper Clint Davies came to his sides rescue saving well from the strikers shot. Balcatta weren’t going to go away and went close to the equaliser moments later, Perth failed to clear the ball from a corner, and Adam Tong’s snap shot was well saved by Alex Dunn.

On the hour Perth thought they had added to their lead, but Zico’s header was disallowed for offside. Then Ambrogio was brought down in the penalty area by Kieran Colwell and Perth thought they had a penalty, but the referee waved away their protests. The vital second goal came with 10 minutes remaining. Zico was brought down 20-meters from goal, and second half substitute Pritchard hit the ball over the wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Davies then had to be alert to save Pritchard’s shot from the edge of the penalty area, as Perth looked to kill off the game. The home side pressed late, and Gustavo Catarcione fired wide with the goal at his mercy, and in the first minute of stoppage time they found a lifeline. Kouakou run and powerful shot flew past Dunn, to set up an exciting last couple of minutes, but Perth hung on take the points.

12.4.2014

SUBIACO PAY THE PENALTY

A penalty five minutes from time from Floreat Athena English striker Jamie Eames has given them a 1-0 win against Subiaco AFC at the E&D Litis Stadium. Subiaco defender Laurence Gaughan was adjudged to have handled the ball, rather harshly, but Eames fired home to give new Coach Chris Grostate tenure off to a good start. “We battled hard today, but overall I think we deserved the points,” said Eames. “We kept the ball well and were patient, and we knew we would break them down, and we got the opportunity with the penalty, and I was happy to score it.”

It was the visitors who opened brightly, and Jordan Rhodes’ shot after only three minutes was superbly saved by Tom Dixon. Rhodes was a real handful for the Floreat defence and his shot from 12-yards flashed wide of the post on the quarter hour. The first opportunity for the home side didn’t come until 28 minutes, Blair Govan’s cross picked out Zdenek Bezxdek, whose header was saved by Sam Stone. The Serbian striker went close again eight minutes later.

Aryn Williams’ cross from the right found the unmarked Bezxdek, but with the goal at his mercy he blazed over from six-yards. Both sides had late chances to take the lead into the break. First on 43 minutes, Gaughan’s shot was deflected goalwards, and Guy McDonald’s flick was saved on the line by Dixon. Then in stoppage time Williams’ corner from the right was met by Bobby Wilson, his header from six-yards was superbly saved by Stone.

Like the first half Subiaco began well and went close in the opening minutes. This time Rhodes’ slide rule pass slid in Matt Akehurst, but his shot from the angle went into the side netting. Moments later Mark Walsh’s header back to the keeper was short and Akehurst nipped in. He rounded the keeper but the angle was tight and he failed to find the target.

But with five minutes remaining the home side broke the deadlock, in controversial circumstances. Eames raced clear down the left, and he crossed into the penalty area looking for a team mate, but Gaughan under pressure from Ludovic Boi, slipped and fell on the ball, and to his, and the rest of the Subiaco players disbelief referee Alex Azcurra pointed to the spot. Eames kept his nerve and fired past Stone to give Floreat the points..

12.4.2014

BAYSWATER CONTINUE PERFECT START

Bayswater City maintained their lead at the top of the NPL-WA table after a hard fought 2-0 win against ECU Joondalup at Frank Drago Reserve. First half goals from David Heagney and Declan Hargreaves made it five wins from as many games for Chris Coyne’s side. “We totally deserved the win and we could have added a few more on the day," said Bayswater striker Steve Burton. "They fought hard and made it difficult for us in the second half and Devon Spence had to make a few good saves late on."

The home side, which are the only unbeaten side in the league, opened brightly and were ahead on 16 minutes. Adam Bachiller’s diagonal pass picked out Burton, who played in Heagney, who finished clinically past ECU keeper Andy Banks. The ECU custodian was a busy man saving well from Todd Howarth and moments later producing another smart save to deny Brian Farrell, before Howarth’s long-range shot smacked off the crossbar.

ECU looked to hit back and Jon Stynes should have done better when picked out by Jake Benson-Cooper’s cross, but Spence was alert to save. But as they looked to get back into the game, it was Bayswater who added a second three minutes before the break. Howarth wasn’t closed down in the middle of the park and he picked out Hargreaves, whose shot from 18-metres flew into the top corner of the net, giving Banks no chance.

The visitors opened the second half well, and when Tommy Amphlett was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, John Higgins’ free kick beat Spence, but crashed off the crossbar. Spence then came to his sides rescue again on the hour, pushing away John Higgins’s goal bound shot. Both sides had chances late. Substitute Danny Dixon hit the wood work after good work from Heagney, before Spence tipped around the post John Higgins’s free kick, but the home side ran out winners.

12.4.2014

GLORY LET IT SLIP AGAINST THE COCKERELS

Perth Glory let slip a two goal lead to draw 5-5 with Cockburn City at Intiga Stadium. A brace from Harry O’Brien, and singles to Rocco Pizzata, Bor Bor Sambindi and Jamie Maclaren, was cancelled out by Feisal Zaw, Julian Teles, Jonty Turner, Papa Kpatar, and a late Alan Carroll strike. “Glory coach Scott Miller was at a loss about the sides defending. “When we got to 5-3 we stopped still and Cockburn came right over the top of us and probably looked more likely to score their sixth,” he told the NPL-WA web site” “Again, every week we are going to be challenged by big bodies, but we’ve got to learn now, it’s a man’s game and you’ve got to be able to hold leads.”

The visitors began the game brightly and they were ahead after 26 minutes. Zaw was sent down the right, before cutting in and firing low past Fraser Greenwood. They doubled their advantage six minutes later, Zaw the provider this time, his cross headed home by Teles. Greenwood was keeping his side in the game with a number of good saves, and they were back in it six minutes before half time, O’Brien scoring against his former club. Then in first half stoppage time Pizzata fired home from 18-meters to send the sides to half time level.

The Glory came out after the break full of confidence and scored twice in the space of three minutes. First on 51 minutes Sambindi shot from the edge of the penalty area deflected off a Cockburn player to send the ball over a stranded Dejan Aleksic. Then three minutes later it was 4-2, a long ball into the area found O’Brien, who fired home into an empty net after. Then on 69 minutes, Cockburn were back in the game. Substitute Kpatar crossed to Jonty Turner, who lost his marker and fired home.

But four minutes later the Glory added their fifth. Jacob Collard won the ball in the middle of the park, and found Qua Qu, who beat the offside trap and crossed to Maclaren who scored from close-range, and it looked game over. But Cockburn had other ideas, and reduced the margin on 82 minutes. Kpatar volleying home after being picked out by Ryan Haslett’s corner. Greenwood produced a stunning save moments later as Cockburn pressed, but there was little the keeper could do when the visitors snatched a point on 87 minutes. Devon Gibson’s cross headed home Carroll to end and extraordinary game.

12.4.2014

INGLEWOOD GIVES ARMADALE SIX OF THE BEST

Inglewood United opened its league account after a 6-1thrashing of Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. Ryan Clarke gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of half time, but just after the break Armadale striker Faustinho Machochi was sent off. Nicolas Tatasciore then levelled on the hour for the ten men, but from then on it was one-way- traffic with Clarke, Ryan Francis, Henock Butshire, Greg Sharland and John Stripe giving Inglewood their first win of the season. "It was a great win for the club and we truly needed it," said Inglewood midfielder Sean Browne. “We’ve been a little unlucky in a few games this season but today we were on our game and got the rewards, hopefully it’s onward and upwards now.”

Inglewood dominated the first half without creating any clear cut chances, while Armadale defended stoutly with Billy Quinncroft and Nathan Costello working overtime. But with Clarke and Francis a constant threat, it was just rewards when the visitors took the lead in first half stoppage time. Clarke finding room in the penalty are to fire home past Matthew Gould.

It was a horror start to the second half for Armadale with Machochi receiving his second yellow card from Adam Fielding on 52 minutes and was sent off. That didn’t deter the home side and they equalised eight minutes later, Tatasciore firing home from four-meters. That was as good as it got for Lee Bamber’s side, and Inglewood went back in front on 70 minutes, Francis’ chip giving Gould no chance.

The floodgates then opened, substitute Butshire tapped home the third on 80 minutes, after a turn over by Armadale in the middle of the park, before Sharland scored a curling free kick from the edge of the penalty area three minutes later. The icing was put on the cake late with Clarke adding his second and Stripe headed home the sixth late to give Graham Normanton his first win in the NPL-WA.

12.4.2014

ASHFIELD EDGE KNIGHTS IN SEVEN-GOAL THRILLER

Jamie Burns struck just minutes from the final whistle to earn Ashfield a 4-3 win over an under-strength Western Knights outfit at Ashfield Reserve. Two goals from Burns and singles to Jay Lang and Joe Briggs cancelled out quick succession finishes by Sean French, Paul Lloyd and Johnny Mirco. The home side could not have wished for a better start to their season with Lang calmly converting a one-on-one with goalkeeper Scott Rowe after only 12 minutes. A driving run out of midfield by Briggs in the 33 minute took him past the Knights defence to slide the ball into an empty. Controversy erupted four minutes from the break when Burns took the difference to three goals, albeit amid loud appeals for offside from the away side.

The deficit was cut six minutes after the restart with substitute French heading Josh Noorgate’s cross into the far corner. French turned provider two minutes later when he glided past a trio of defenders before teeing up Lloyd, who side-footed in from 9-metres. And by the 55th minute the teams were level, Mirco nipping in between defender and goalkeeper after French turned the ball over. The Knights were up in arms shortly after when Lloyd was felled from behind inside the area after out-pacing the defence, however, the referee over-looked the misdemeanour and signalled for play to continue. The momentum shifted back in the hosts favour late on and with five minutes to go Burns shot on the turn flashed underneath the ‘keeper to decide the outcome.

Knights boss Robbie Dunn said he had mixed emotions about the day’s events. “I was extremely pleased with the boys fighting spirit, but also horrified by our naivety shown in the first half,” commented Dunn, whose team finished the afternoon with ten men after losing Craig Riley, Robbie Phelan, Ben Coulter and Tom Sellers to injury. “Today showed me though that we have a great group of players and when we get some luck and keep eleven players on the field then we will do very well. We now have seven injured senior players and that will really test our depth in the next month. That said, I know the lads will come through.”

12.4.2014

SHAMROCK WITH A LATE FLOURISH

A late flow of goals allowed Shamrock Rovers Perth to begin the new Division One season with a resounding 4-1 win over home side Dianella White Eagles. Mike Pritchard, Will Pender and Gino Hampshire struck in the closing minutes after Shane Cassidy brought the sides level in the first half. A good size crowd was on hand to see Dianella take an early advantage when a defensive slip was punished with a powerful shot into the net. The away side responded with a barrage of attacks but both Barry Mulligan’s lob and a powerful Cassidy header clattered into the crossbar. Cassidy, however, was not to be denied and from a Mulligan free-kick to the far post he headed in the equaliser.

Shamrock wasted no time in resuming the attack after the interval and David Murphy should have given them the lead from the penalty spot but his tame effort was kept out by Justin Scarvaci. The pressure on Dianella continued to mount and through some solid defensive work it looked as though the hosts would earn themselves a share of the points. But those hopes vanished with five minutes to go when substitute Pritchard scored neatly from inside the penalty area. Shamrock captain Pender made sure there would be no late revival from Dianella by putting away his team’s third goal, and 17-year old Hampshire had been on the park just minutes when he rounded out the scoring.

12.4.2014

FORRESTFIELD HIT BALGA FOR SIX

Forrestfield United made an early statement of intent by thrashing Balga 6-0 in the opening round Division One fixture at Hartfield Park. A tentative start by both teams gave no indications of the whitewash which was about to unfold. Forrestfield slowly began to get into rhythm with close-range chances coming the way of Trent Wood and Rhys Loxley, while Forrestfield goalkeeper Brad Eiffe foiled Michael Bangura following a defensive error at the other end. It wasn’t until just before the break that the deadlock was broken, Jordan Hart receiving a through ball which he placed in the back of the net.

Any hopes Balga had to getting back on level terms vanished within minutes of the restart, Jason Godfrey doubling the host’s advantage from only a few metres. Forrestfield were now beginning to assert their authority over the game against a Balga side that struggled for any meaningful possession. Trent Wood put the result beyond doubt by scoring twice in the space of a few minutes midway through the half as the margin began to balloon. Loxley capped a lively performance by also finding the back of the net twice in the final fifteen minutes to give coach Rod Banjac a dream start to the winter campaign.

12.4.2014

JOONDALUP MAKE A WINNING START

Joondalup United scored their first three State League points by defeating Kingsway Olympic 2-0 at Kingsway Reserve. Goals either side of the break from Adam Buckley and team captain Aaran Maplestone were enough to give Joondalup victory on the opening day of the new season. “We planned for a battle and we got one … Kingsway will be a tough place for teams to go to so we are happy to leave there with three points,” Joondalup coach Danny Smith commented on the hard-fought win. “The way the players reacted to our instructions, before the game and at half-time, shows that the team is listening and believing in what we are planning. .”

Joondalup were on the attack from the outset with wide players Tony Taylor and Maplestone asking questions of the home defence. And it didn’t take long for that approach to be rewarded with Buckley racing clear to coolly finish past the oncoming goalkeeper. Garin Collins appeared to have doubled their lead with a stunning shot from distance which crashed against the underside of the crossbar, however, the assistant referee ruled the ball did not cross the line. The pressure remained on Kingsway after the turnaround and when Maplestone completed a neat move by hitting the target the game was effectively over. Even so, Joondalup continued to push and substitute Callum Stocks was unlucky not to add a third goal.

12.4.2014

ELLIOT GETS QUINNS THE REWARDS

Quinns opened the new season by sneaking a 4-3 win over Division Two newcomers Kelmscott Roos at Gumblossom Park. The better of early play came from Quinns but with their first attack Kelmscott almost snuck the lead, Glory Bahigwa brilliantly denied in a one-on-one with Dan McAnish. Without skipping a beat Quinns again pushed forward with Liam McGurk cutting in from the right to slip an inviting ball through for Brian Cairney, who poked between the ‘keeper’s legs after 10 minutes. The margin was doubled soon enough, this time with Dom Elliot tapping after meeting Alex Sallery’s squared pass. And Quinns’ hold over the game would have been further strengthened had Elliot not been caught offside before Cairney netted.

Kelmscott pulled a goal back soon after with Christian Hogge flicking on a long ball for Moussa Mbambe, who nipped in ahead of the defence to beat McAinish from 7-metres. Two minutes later Joe Tomlin got on the end of another searching ball forward to bring the teams level. Sallery was unimpressed and on the half hour he stabbed into the net at the second opportunity after slicing past two defenders. There was still time for Kelmscott to draw level with Jonathan Ingram drilling in from 16-metres after playing a neat one-two with Tomlin. The deciding goal arrived just after the hour when Cairney linked to terrific effect with Elliot, who made no mistake with his finish from 10-metres.

12.4.2014

ELLENBROOK TAKE THE HONOURS

Ellenbrook United honoured their first ever State League appearance by out-scoring Rockingham City 4-3 at Arbor Grove Reserve. The home side made a dream start with Oliver Langdale tapping them into an opening minute lead following an error by Rockingham custodian Cyril Sharrock. Going ahead gave Ellenbrook the confidence they needed and shortly after it was two-nil, Paul Williams nodded down a long ball for Craig Allen to slam in on the half-volley at close-range. A response was needed from Rockingham but despite openings for Roy Hissey and Matt McDonald it was Ellenbrook that held the upper hand after 45 minutes.

It was more of the same after the turnaround, Callum Harwood tucking in goal number three after latching onto a booming clearance by goalkeeper Jake Bungert. And more poor defending by the visitors was punished by Williams, who was allowed a free header inside the 6-yard box. Rockingham may have thought their day couldn’t get any worse but with twenty minutes to go it did in the form of a red card to Sean Brady. Four goals down and playing with ten men, Rockingham now decided to come to life. Reece Frank, Hissey and captain David Clark hit the back of the net in quick succession but, ultimately, it was too little too late to Rockingham who ventured home empty handed.

12.4.2014

SYDNEY KEEP GARCIA WAITING

Sydney FC attacker Richard Garcia is yet to learn if he has a future with the Sky Blues. The former Socceroo is out-of-contract at the end of current campaign and has yet to hear much from his club about a new deal. “I’m only 32 and I feel great so still have plenty left in me,” said Garcia, who counts West Ham United and Hull City among his former clubs. “As far as the A-League I can’t really answer that until I see what offers I have in front of me, but I’m enjoying playing in Australia. I would never say never to Asia but it’s not on my radar at the moment.”

Utilised on both wings as well as an out-and-out striker, Garcia has been one of Sydney’s best performers over the summer. “I’ve done all right this season, I’ve scored goals and had assists but it’s been a hard season with constant changes to the squad and team,” commented Garica, scorer of five goals in 21 appearances so far this season. “I’ve moved position a lot and we really haven’t had a chance to settle as a team. Injury and those changes to the squad have made it hard to have a consistent line-up, which is probably why we as a team have been inconsistent.”

12.4.2014

GLORY SHAKE-UP LOOMS

The make-up of Perth Glory’s squad for next summer could be very different with the futures of several senior players up in the air. The sounding of the final whistle tomorrow in Sydney will signal the end of existing contracts for veteran defender William Gallas Adrian Zahra, Steven McGarry and Shane Smeltz. It is understood McGarry and Zahra have been offered new deals but it is unclear whether the club intends to retain Smeltz and Gallas, both who have struggled with injury this season. Team captain Jacob Burns (retired) and fellow midfielder Travis Dodd (released) have already been confirmed as not being part of the set-up along with on loan pair Ryan Edwards and Darvydas Sernas, who will return to Reading and Gaziantepspor respectively.

11.4.2014

LIONS HIT BACK TO SHARE THE SPOILS

Stirling Lions scored two second half goal to take a share of the spoils, in a 2-2 draw with Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve on Friday evening. A goal in each half from Todd Harnwell looked to have The Gulls set for the points, but English striker Howard Neighbour scored twice to give the Lions a point. “It was a game of two halves, Sorrento set up really and were hard to break down getting 2-0 ahead and we seemed to come home with a wet sail,” said Lions keeper Aleks Vrteski. “In the end of the day it was a fair result, in a pretty entertaining spectacle for both sets of fans.”

Sorrento hit the front after only 17 minutes. Reece Vittiglia made space down the left and cut inside two Lions defenders before pulling the ball back from the bye-line, and Harnwell fired home from close-range. Both side struggled to create clear cut chances, with both Aleks Vrteski and Curtis Aspden having little to do. The Lions almost levelled just before the break. A corner by Hayden Doyle was only cleared to Andy Brown on the edge of the box, the Lions skippers shot was cleared off the line by Danny Cain.

The home side were out of the blocks early in the second half and six minutes in they doubled their lead. Cain’s in-swinging corner beat everyone and crashed off the far post, but Harnwell was quickest to react to home from close-range. It looked all over, but Gary Williams’ side had other ideas and four minutes later they pulled one back. Neighbour was given far too much space in the penalty area and he fired home from eight-meters.

The Lions were now on top and they were rewarded on 77 minutes with the equaliser. It was Neighbour again, the striker finishing low past Aspden from six-meters. The visitors almost nicked all three points late on. Ali Ghoulami raced down the right, and he had Daniel Micevski in the box, but the cross from the midfielder was well cleared by the alert Daryl Platten to deny them.




Articles compiled by Brett Klucznik and Peter Simcox unless otherwise stated.

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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