Bayswater City's stand in skipper Steve Burton is hoping to continue their winning ways on Saturday at Subiaco. (photograph Peter Simcox)

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25.7.2014

INGLEWOOD, NORMANTON GO THEIR SEPARATE WAYS (Courtesy Inglewood United)

Inglewood United and coach Graham Normanton have announced they have parted company by mutual consent. The decision came following a meeting between Normanton and the members of the club Executive Committee last night at which it was felt it was in Inglewood’s best interest to start building towards season 2015. “Graham has been an absolute professional at our club and we thank him for his contribution since joining Inglewood on the eve of the 2012 season,” said president Luke Martin. “We have the greatest respect for the commitment Graham made to Inglewood and we wish him all the best for the future. He will always be a friend of Inglewood United.”

Normanton joined Inglewood early in 2012 and, despite limited preparation, guided the club to fifth in the league before dropping one spot last year. He took the club to back-to-back State Cup semi-finals, in 2012 and 2013, and earlier this year oversaw our qualification for the last four of the Night Series.

Inglewood entered the inaugural National Premier Leagues with the expressed goal of a top four finish but, with five games remaining, is placed ninth and out of finals contention. “Graham is a great coach but has had to work in some difficult circumstances this year,” said Martin. “Graham understands our position and he will be welcomed back to Intiga Stadium as guest of the club at any time.”

Technical Director Goran Stajic will take charge of Inglewood’s first team in a caretaker capacity until the end of the season. An extensive search for a permanent replacement for Normanton will commence next month.

25.7.2014

NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES PREVIEW, ROUND EIGHTEEN

Perth Glory v Floreat Athena

Perth Glory and Floreat Athena return to action after a week off and both will be looking to improve on recent results. Glory earned a point away at bottom side Armadale in their last outing which ended a wretched run of form in which they had lost nine on the bounce. The last time Glory tasted victory was against this weeks opponents in the reverse fixture when they left Litis Stadium with a 5-0 win. Floreat have had a very much disrupted season with not much stability or consistency. Sitting in a disappointing 7th spot on the table with more losses than victories, Athena will head into the fixture knowing that it is a must win game if they still want to be playing come September.

Cockburn City v Sorrento

Sorrento make their longest road trip of the season as they head to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. The Gulls will recognise that they must perform better than recent weeks if they are to bring to an end a run of three games without a win. They dominated proceedings in their game against in-form Subiaco a fortnight ago but a mix up at the back late in the game meant they got nothing from it. Cockburn have the opportunity to close the gap on their opponents in the race for finals football. The Southern Suburbs side could be within 3 points of 4th spot with a win and will look back favourably on their meeting earlier in the year when they prevailed 3-2. Adam Luca remains on the sidelines for Sorrento as he continues to struggle with a knee injury. That loss is offset by the returns of Brodie Martin and James Morgan who have served their respective suspensions. Danny Cain’s recovery from a broken nose may have come too late for a starting berth but he may feature in the reserves.

Subiaco AFC v Bayswater City

Who would have thought a few weeks back that the previously winless Subiaco would have gained 13 points out of a possible 15? They head into the game against top of the pile Bayswater City as the in- form side of the competition. Subiaco will hope that the week off will not halt their marvellous run of results and that it has been an opportunity to assist players carrying mid season knocks. Bayswater will still be on cloud 9 after claiming a second successive State League Cup title with victory over rivals Stirling Lions. The 2-0 win in the final was their second win in a week over the Lions which brought to an end an indifferent month for the title favourites. Matt Akehurst is doubtful for the hosts here as he battles to overcome a niggle in time for this crunch game. Jack Ryecroft is also unavailable for selection this week. Subiaco coach Gerry McEwan expects some of the reserve players to push their cause and may be involved.

Stirling Lions v Balcatta

Stirling will look to put last weeks Cup final loss behind them as they aim to gate crash the top 4. The Lions fought gallantly last week but were edged out by favourites Bayswater but all attention will now be on the League where they will hope to get back in the winners circle. Stirling are another side that have struggled to string a run of form together and they face a tough test as Balcatta head to Macedonia Park. When Balcatta hosted this weeks opponents in Round 7 they ran away with the game 3 goals to nil and will want to keep the pressure on the teams above them and do the double over their cross-town rivals. The visitors can bring back the services of Marc de Francesch and Kris Gate who are returning from suspension and long term injury respectively. They will have to do without top scorer Gustavo Catarcione who remains overseas, likewise Matt Izzo and Adam Tong. Stirling have no such concerns and have a full squad to choose from including a fully fit Michael Pugliese.

Perth v Armadale

On paper this one looks like a foregone conclusion. But football isn't like that and that's why we love the World game. Armadale have picked up only a single point on their travels all season but their recent record against Perth isn't the worst. The two share the spoils in the last 5 league encounters with Armadale winning two, Perth winning two and a draw. Perth have the leagues most potent attack as they look to inflict further misery on a campaign to forget for Armadale. The odds are firmly stacked against the bottom of the league side, but stranger things have happened in football. Armadale will have to be at their best if they’re to overcome a strong Perth side and the suspensions ruling out Billy Quincroft and Alec Solomon this week are far from timely. Luke Bogoni is also unavailable this weekend. The good news for the cellar dwellers is that Mitch Castrilli returns to the mix as they attempt to earn victory. There are two players unavailable for Perth this week with Luka Njegich out suspended and Laurence Gaughan who has picked up an injury. James Marrochi is returning for suspension and they welcome back the now fully fit Ashley Rosindale who will give them firepower in the final third. Craig Simpson and Alex Dunn have returned from overseas but it remains to be seen whether they will feature on Saturday.

ECU Joondalup v Inglewood United

Inglewood on paper have a much better squad than their ninth position suggests and with victory here could jump their opponents. Inglewood have had a big couple of weeks with the passing of club legend Ziggy Kramer followed by the penalty shootout victory over A-League side Perth Glory. ECU Joondalup proved no match for Inglewood when the two met earlier this year when Inglewood won easily, 3 goals to nil. ECU haven't tasted victory in over a month and will hope to rectify that this week and have the players at their disposal to do so as their wins over Floreat and Cockburn would suggest. ECU have Jake Benson-Cooper, Jonathon Stynes and Joe Smith returning this week but there will be late fitness tests for Charlie Comyn-Platt, Andy Banks and Tommy Amplett. Joondalup Coach Dale McCulloch had young players William Bissett, Dejan Spaseski and Jack McMaster all promoted to first team squad last night with a view to perhaps giving them a bit of experience.

25.7.2014

DIVISION ONE PREVIEW, ROUND FOURTEEN

Morley-Windmills v Ashfield

Ashfield have the potential to top the pile in Division One at the end of the weekend. With the leagues most potent attack and the most solid defence it is easy to see why so many people are tipping Ashfield for end of season Glory. Ashfield Gaffer Paul Dundo returns to Wotton Reserve, home of Morley-Windmills, a team that he has both captained and coached in previous years. Morley will hope to spoil his return as the attempt to jump as high as 4th in the table come Saturday evening with a victory. Windmills held the much fancied Ashfield to a 2-2 draw earlier in the year so they know that they are capable of matching it with the teams at the top. Morley Windmills have no new injury or suspension concerns and will go in with a full allotment of players. Graham tough and Johnny Perkins are suspended for Ashfield, but otherwise have a full squad to choose from.

Mandurah City v Canning City

Mandurah have known from the outset that this season would be about building stability and blooding new players into the squad and as the season has progressed they have certainly improved. Having only tasted defeat once in a month Mandurah have distanced themselves from Wanneroo at the foot of the table and they are only a couple of wins from mid table safety. Canning secured 3 points in their last fixture against Swan Utd which was their only win in their last 7 games which has all but put their title aspirations to an end. When these two met back in Round 3 Canning prevailed 2-0 and I am sure they would be more than happy with a repeat of that scoreline. Mark Trevisiol and Dean Apelgren return to fist team action for Canning which will certainly make them harder to penetrate. Daniel Niederberger is another welcome face to return to action but this week he may be restricted to coming off the bench. Nathan Hubbard and Paul Van Dongen are still not right and remain on the sidelines. Mandurah go into this one with a full squad to choose from with no fresh injury concerns.

Swan United v Dianella White Eagles

A Swan United win here would see them draw level on points with their opponents and possibly even over take them. They are however on a run at the moment that hasn't seen them register a win in over a month, collecting only a single point in the process. Swan have the players at their disposal to be winning this type of game and will go in confident especially on home turf. Dianella have lost 5 of their 6 matches on the road in 2014, their only success coming nearly 3 months ago at Mandurah. They will however fancy their chances and hope to creep away from the bottom clubs after their victory two weeks ago. Swan Utd have a growing injury list and this week are without the services of Liam Boland and Chris Marshall who are not 100%. Ian Mckean, Ebe Cowbrough and Mark Donnelly are all unavailable this week as well.

Shamrock Rovers Perth v Bunbury Forum Force

Few will dispute that this is the game of the round and a massive test for current leaders Bunbury. With 3 points Shamrock will draw level on points with the South West club and issue a huge statement to the rest of the league that they're serious contenders. Bunbury were narrow winners when the two met earlier in the campaign but are now looking over their shoulders as the Season gets to the business end. Shamrock tasted defeat for only the third time this season last weekend in a tight affair, away at form side Ashfield. Barry Mulligan is one absentee for Shamrock here as he has returned to Ireland. The Irish side have signed UK import Nick Little who is an attacking player who they hope will give them the edge in the final third. Chris Holland is also back fully fit and looking to get an opportunity for first team.

Gosnells City v UWA-Nedlands FC

The home side here have experienced much upheaval this season and have struggled for any sort of consistency under difficult circumstances. They scraped past bottom side Wanneroo in their last game and will be aiming to put back to back victories together

for the first time since the opening two fixtures of the year. The Eastern suburbs side have found scoring hard to come by this year which has proved their downfall. UWA are perhaps the form side of the competition and this years surprise packets. They have won their last 3 and only experienced defeat once in 5 outings proving that Mick Lyons is getting the best out of his troops.

Western Knights v Wanneroo City

For the punters out there this looks like a 'nailed-on' home win. But we all know that football isn't as straight forward as that. Last years champions Wanneroo are still searching for their first league win of the year as they face the uphill battle of avoiding being the first league winners (without promotion) to be relegated the following year in the history of our game in WA. Recent signs aren't terrible for the Roo's. Prior to their 2-1 loss to Gosnells, they were perhaps unlucky not to knock off leaders Bunbury after the game ended 4-4. The Knights find themselves in a similar position as Canning knowing that if they are to threaten the top sides they cannot drop anymore points and rely on other fixtures to work in their favour. On paper though they're are capable of knocking off the best sides so don't write them off.

25.7.2014

DIVISION TWO PREVIEW, ROUND FOURTEEN

It’s week fourteen in the Second Division, and it all starts on Friday evening with Curtin University hosting Kelmscott Roos at Edinburgh Oval (8.30pm). Roos coach James Coffey, who injured his knee against Forrestfield three weeks ago, has a few players back this week for the trip. “I need a new knee, as my ACL, and meniscus is injured, but the clubs other injuries, which has stopped us from putting a full squad out for a few weeks now, has turned around, and the cup break, come at the right time for us,” he said. “We have rested a lot of players to recover for a big Friday night game, and Christian Hogge comes back into the squad.” Curtin welcome back Antony Russo, who has been overseas, but they will be sweating on the fitness of Rory Binnie.

On Saturday, League leaders Joondalup United have home ground advantage, with Fremantle United visiting Forrest Park. Joondalup Coach Daniel Smith is expecting a tough game, as they look to hold on to their seven point gap at the top of the table. “We are taking this game very seriously and we’ve spoke about it during the week, and have prepared ourselves for a tough game,” he said. “The boys all know the challenges that come being top of the league, and are all focused on making sure we continue the form that has got us there.” In team news Marc Beatie returns to the squad, the first of six Joondalup players to return after heading over for the World Cup, so spots in the starting line-up will be up for grabs.

Forrestfield United, who regain the services of Jason Godfrey and Jimmy Duncan, makes the trip to Kingsway Reserve to face Kingsway Oympic, who welcome back skipper Aaron Lickiss and Joe Armitage. Balga and Ellenbrook United meet at Princess Road Reserve, while Joondalup City travel to Len Shearer Reserve to take on Melville City. “The lads enjoyed the weekend off but are eager to get back on the park,” Melville midfielder Graham Herd said. “We got beat 4-3 by City earlier this season and we're looking to get the better of them this time around.” Melville will go into the game without Sasa Slavujevic and Mark Lucas, who are both overseas.

Rockingham City’s good form has seen them move into third place, and they host Quinns at Lark Hill. “We are going into the game full of confidence, however we respect Quinns and admire the qualities they have within their side,” City Coach Rob Crerar said. City welcome back David Clark, Sean Brady, Blade Atkinson and Fraser Marr, but lose Trevor Laure due to suspension.

25.7.2014

SUBIACO RELISHING BAYSWATER CHALLENGE (by Peter Simcox, The West Australian)

Subiaco AFC players were always confident they would turn around results and justify their place in the National Premier Leagues WA, according to defender Rowdy Yates. After a difficult start to life in the top-flight that left them in last place after a dozen games, Subiaco are unbeaten in their past five outings and have climbed to 10th place in the 12-team competition.

“After our slow start to the season we are starting to get the results we knew we could get,” he said. “All the boys have worked hard week in, week out and we’ve stuck to the game plan (coach) Gerry (McEwan) has set us and it’s starting to pay off for us. “We had a number of doubters who thought we didn’t deserve to be in this league but internally we knew we should be and we’re now showing them they were wrong.”

Yates indicated Subiaco had no reason to fear taking on league leaders Bayswater City, who won the Cool Ridge Cup final last weekend, at the WA Athletics Stadium tomorrow. “We’re looking forward to playing Bayswater and hope to extend our good run of form,” he said. “They are the best team in the State and have quality players all over the park, so it will be a huge test for us to see how much we’ve improved as a team. We will take confidence into the game from our recent results and hopefully get the points.”

In the last round, Subiaco travelled to third-place Sorrento and came away with a morale-boosting victory. “It was a massive three points for us against Sorrento,” he said. “We knew not many teams take points away from Percy Doyle Reserve, so to get the three we were buzzing. “I thought we were the better team in the first half and took our chances well. They definitely responded in the second half but we defended well as a team and managed to nick it in the last few minutes. Maybe we were a little lucky in the end.” Subiaco will be at full strength for tomorrow’s game, while Bayswater City will be without the suspended Todd Howarth, injured Trent Kay and David Heagney, who is overseas.

24.7.2014

CUP GAMES MOVED TO ATHLETICS STADIUM

The two highly anticipated FFA Cup round of thirty-two games to be held in Perth next month will be played at the WA Athletics Stadium, home of Subiaco AFC. National Premier Leagues club Stirling Lions will host reigning A-League champions Brisbane Roar on 19 August with back-to-back Cool Ridge Cup winners Bayswater City facing national league heavyweights Melbourne Victory the following night. Both games were originally scheduled to be played at Stirling’s home ground, Macedonia Park. Western Australia’s third representative, A-League side Perth Glory, travels to play Newcastle Jets on 5 August.

24.7.2014

BIRIGHITTI’S JUVENTUS DREAM

Long-time Juventus fan Mark Birighitti is eyeing the shirt of his childhood hero, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, after gaining A-League All-Stars selection. The Newcastle Jets shot-stopper is one of four players added to the All-Stars squad for next month’s highly anticipated clash with Juventus in Sydney. “I’ve been supporting the club since I was about five and coming from an Italian family I’m a big Juventus supporter,” Birighitti said. “I remember when I was a young kid, whether it was birthdays or Christmas, my parents would always buy me the latest Juventus shirt.”

Birighitti, a former Perth SC junior, is hopeful he’ll not only play on the same field as Buffon but also get to meet the Italy and Juventus legend. “Being a goalkeeper I look up to Buffon, he’s been one of my idols since I was a young kid,” he said. “Just to hopefully play against him, it would be nice to have a chat with him and hopefully get to meet him. He’s been there, he’s done it and he’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world, what a person to look up to.”

23.7.2014

GLORY BAIL ON SYDNEY AT THE LAST MOMENT

Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe made a last minute decision to cancel a friendly match against New South Wales Premier League club Sydney Olympic tonight. Glory arrived at Belmore Sports Ground before Lowe bizarrely told Olympic officials his side would not take the field, claiming the facilities were not up to the required standard. "I made the decision not to play," Lowe said. "Unfortunately we couldn't prepare correctly to play the game. We had no changing rooms, no warm-up area. I made a professional decision that if we can't prepare correctly for a game, we're not going to play the game."

Olympic coach Grant Lee, a former Socceroo, said he had spoken to Glory players at the ground and was stunned to hear the match had been cancelled. "It's got me a bit baffled," Lee said. "In 35 years of football I haven't seen anything like this." Glory and Olympic had been deep in discussions about setting up a formal relationship, which would have provided a pathway for young players to the A-League. But tonight's incident has cast doubt over the proposed partnership. The match cancellation will cost Olympic thousands of dollars, with the club set carry the cost of ground hire, corporate boxes, fees for match officials, security and catering.

23.7.2014

JUVENTUS IN THE EYE OF STORM

From being club-less this time last year to going head-to-head with the likes of new Juventus signing Patrice Evra, it’s been some rise for newly named A-League All-Stars defender Storm Roux. The 21-year old admits he’s still pinching himself over what he’s achieved in the last twelve months, starting with securing his first professional contract with Central Coast Mariners and earning an international call-up with New Zealand. But the exciting right-back’s rapid rise is about to enjoy a new turn when he lines up against the ‘Old Lady’ of Italian football.

What’s more, Roux will line-up alongside Italian legend and All-Stars captain Alessandro Del Piero in next month’s glamour friendly. “It’s going to be an amazing experience and ever since I was selected it was something I was very excited to be part of,” Roux told a-leagueallstars.com.au “Last year I was watching the game from my couch without an A-League club so I’m probably still a little shocked right now to think I’m part of the next All-Stars game, especially against a massive team like Juventus with so many great players.”

Playing down the right-hand side for Central Coast, Roux is likely to come face-to-face with French international Evra in what promises to be an enthralling battle. “Every footballer is excited when you get to test yourself against some great players,” the former Sorrento junior commented. “It’s not going to be easy but I think of it as another chance to show what I can do and try and impress. You have to look forward to these things because that’s what you play for and what makes you a better player.”

22.7.2014

LOWRY SIGNS WITH LEYTON

League One club Leyton Orient have completed the signing of former Millwall defender Shane Lowry on a two-year deal. Lowry, 25, plays primarily at left back but can also fill in in the middle of defence at centre back and becomes the Lions’ fourth new signing of the summer. “I’m really excited to be here,” Lowry said. “There’s a buzz about the place. You can tell straightaway that everyone here is really ambitious and I want to be a part of it and help the club push to go up this year.” Lowry, an ECU Joondalup junior, started his professional career at Aston Villa and has had loan spells with Plymouth Argyle, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Millwall before signing on permanently with the latter in early 2012.

22.7.2014

SOCCEROOS SPURRED ME ON: BIRIGHITTI

Mark Birighitti says his involvement with the Socceroos ahead of the recent World Cup has given him the boost he needs to win back his role as Newcastle Jets’ first-choice goalkeeper. Birighitti was one of four ‘keepers included in Ange Postecoglou’s initial squad for the tournament in Brazil. And while he didn’t make the final 23-player squad, the former Perth SC glovesman says his involvement was a great experience. His goal is now to win back the number one spot at club level and compete for a place in the Socceroos squad for next year’s Asian Cup.

Ben Kennedy finished last season between the posts for Newcastle but Birighitti says needs little motivation to win back the gloves. “People say ‘you’ve been to the World Cup, you should be number one’, but BK came in last year and he did a fantastic job,” he said. “But I’m going into pre-season to make sure I get that number one position, get my spot back. I’ve come back from Brazil a different person. I’m so much more confident. I know that with the Asian Cup just around the corner I’m a chance for that, and it’s only going to make me hungrier. So I just can’t wait to get into it.”

21.7.2014

EDWARDS TARGETS GOALS AFTER PRE-SEASON OPENER

Ryan Edwards wants more of the same after his goalscoring start to pre-season. The young attacker announced his return to Reading by hitting the back of the net just 7 minutes into last week’s friendly at Exeter City to earn the Royals a 1-0 pre-season win. “It was good to start with a goal,” said 20-year old Edwards, who spent last season on loan to Perth Glory. “I’ve been working hard in training to add that to my game so it was a great way to begin pre-season.”

Edwards, who signed with Reading in 2011, is eager to force his way into manager Nigel Adkins’ plan for the forthcoming Championship campaign. “Going back on loan to Australia was good for me to get first team experience in games,” he said. “That’s definitely helped me and given me confidence. Now the important thing is to have a really strong pre-season. I’ve come back fit and in good shape. I took care of myself over the summer, ate right and made sure I would be up there with the rest of the boys in the fitness tests.

“Then since we started with the ball stuff it’s all been about trying to impress the manager,” Edwards continued. “He’s shown that he wants to look at the young players and he’ll bring you in if you’re good enough. That’s what any young player looks for in a manger. He’s shown that at Southampton and he’s already shown it here with Jordan Obita, Michael Hector and Jake Taylor. When I was in Australia it was great to see those boys getting a chance.”

21.7.2014

YOUNG TO COACH AT NEWCASTLE

Newcastle Jets have appointed former shot-stopper Neil Young as goalkeeper coach for the coming summer. Young made nine appearances for Newcastle during the 2009/10 campaign before a broken nose ended his season and, ultimately, left him fighting for his life after suffering an adverse reaction to medication. After several rounds of surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation, he joined Perth Glory as back-up to Danny Vukovic in 2011 and for the past two seasons has been goalkeeper coach at the club.

Young, 34, is excited about returning to Newcastle where he’ll oversee the development of fellow West Australia Mark Birighitti along with Ben Kennedy and John Solari. “I’m excited to work with this group of goalkeepers and I’m looking forward to getting them in good shape for the upcoming season,” Young said. “Mark was part of the Australian squad that went to Brazil for the World Cup and is obviously in line for a Socceroos gig at some stage, so hopefully I can push him forward towards that.”

20.7.2014

ADELAIDE SEE OFF GLORY CHALLENGE

Perth Glory suffered a 1-0 loss to Adelaide United in their pre-season friendly at Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney. Glory, playing for the first time in their new yellow pre-season kit, created few chances in the first half before Adelaide step up a gear after the break. Even so, the breakthrough didn’t arrive until the 72nd minute when defender Nigel Boogaard latched onto an Osama Malik free-kick. Glory’s next pre-season assignment is against former National Soccer League rivals Sydney Olympic on Wednesday before they return home to host high-profile Spanish club Malaga CF on Sunday.

19.7.2014

BAYSWATER GO BACK TO BACK IN COOL RIDGE CUP

Bayswater City maintained their grip on the Cool Ridge Cup trophy, after a 2-0 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. Striker Steve Burton opened the scoring early, before Todd Howarth doubled their advantage midway through the half, and they held their lead to lift the trophy again. Not even heavy rain, thunder and lightning could spoil the day for City, and stand in skipper Burton, who won the ‘Stan Lazaridis Medal’ as the best player on the day. “I was surprised to win the medal,” he said. “I was up front on my own today, as we tinkered with our formation slightly. I was given the captains arm band today and you have to lead by example and I was happy with my performance.” Burton was happy with the start from Bayswater, and to skipper the side on the big day, but said he is only filling in until their captain returns. “We’re missing Trent (Kay), he’s our leader, but I’m happy to step in to take that role while he’s away,” he said. “We have had a little dip in form in recent weeks, but we started the game really well today, and winning is a habit, and we know how to do it now.”

With the rain clouds hovering in the sky, it was poignant start to the game, with the big crowd standing as one in a minutes silence to the victims of the Malaysian airline MH 17. Once the game got underway Bayswater opened brightly, and Adam Bachiller picked out Howarth on six minutes, but Stirling keeper Aleks Vrteski saved his low shot at his near post. But on ten minutes Bayswater hit the front. Lions kipper Andy Brown brought down Bachiller on the left of the penalty area, and Gustavo Giron Marulanda’s free kick found the unmarked Burton at the front post, and he made no mistake from close-range.

The Lions needed to hit back, and they went within inches of doing that on 24 minutes. Miki Vujacic’s corner was met by Phil Arnold, who watched in anguish as his glancing header slid inches past the post. Bayswater looked lively going forward and they doubled their lead on 27 minutes. The Lions failed to pick up Marulanda on the edge of the penalty area, and the Colombian striker’s powerful shot was well saved by Vrteski, but Howarth was the quickest to the rebound, and scored from four-meters. It was nearly 3-0, six minutes later. Chris Saldaris made space down the right and his cross into the penalty area picked out Howarth, but the former Perth Glory midfielder fired straight at Vrteski from six meters, but Bayswater went into the break with a two goal lead.

With Coach Gary Williams’ half time address still ringing in their ears, the Lions opened the second half brightly. Moses Kalau tested Devon Spence early from a free kick, before the same player fired straight at the Bayswater custodian. But the Lions were struggling to break down a resolute Bayswater defence, superbly led by Jamie Coyne and Saldaris. But at the other end, Burton was giving the Lions defence a real headache. On the hour Howarth raced clear down the left, his cross found Burton, whose first time shot crashed off the post. Then moments later Paul McCarthy and Burton combined to set up Marulanda, whose shot flashed over the top.

The Lions went to three at the back as they looked to get back in the game, and Hayden Doyle tested Spence on 73 minutes, but still the Lions couldn’t find the break through. The heavens opened with ten minutes remaining, mixed in with bolts of lightning, but to the Lions credit they continued to press. In the first of four minutes stoppage time Kalau’s corner found Brown, whose header crashed off the base of the post, and away to safety, it wasn’t the Lions’ day. That was the end of the action, and at the final whistle, it was the Bayswater players and supporters who were singing in the rain to celebrate another great day for the club.

Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne was proud of the way the players had played on the day, and hopes there is more to come. “It was a magnificent performance from the lads today. I’m delighted with the whole squad today, they put a good shift in today, against a good Stirling outfit,” he said. “We hadn’t been in great form of late, but I know someone was going to cop it, and when we got two goals early I thought here we go, and if our decision making had been a little better, I think we could have scored another three or four. “I’m really pleased, the emotion will kick in a little later, but I’m really proud of the whole club, the backroom staff and players, we will go and celebrate this one and get ready for next week.”

Stirling Lions: GK Aleks VRTESKI, 2 Rikki SMITH, 3 Ali GHOULAMI, 4 Jovo PAVLOVIC, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Hayden DOYLE, 7 Miki VUJACIC (3 Michael PUGLIESE 74’), 8 Andrew BROWN, 9 Moses KALAU, 10 David MICEVSKI, 11 Phil ARNOLD (13 Jack SALTER 60’) - Subs not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 12 Daniel DOLS, 15 Boas MTWALE
Yellow cards: Kalau 16’

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Declan HARGREAVES (7 Hassan EL YASSIRI 76’), 3 Adam BACHILLER, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON MARULANDA (10 Damien CATALANO 63’), 12 Steve BURTON, 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie COYNE, 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 23 Chris SALDARIS - Subs not used: RGK Joel DRISCOLL, 5 Andy REALE, 14 Harry BISSETT, 17 Sahr MUSA
Yellow cards: Howarth 87

19.7.2014

ASHFIELD WIN RESERVES FINAL ON PENALTIES (by Colin Outhwaite, www.footballwest.com.au)

All Flags State League Division One side Ashfield beat NPL WA team Balcatta 5-4 on penalties at Macedonia Park in a dramatic end to the reserves Cool Ridge Cup final yesterday. Ashfield keeper Alex Sutton was the hero of the day as his last two penalty saves dragged the underdogs from behind to take the trophy.

With Balcatta winning their last two rounds on penalties, it was a tense end to the game for Ashfield coach Gerry Wardle, who felt his side should have finished it in normal time. "Both teams had their chances in the second half but we negated each other's strong points which made it difficult," he said. "We didn't play our usual fluent game and it's not the best way to decide a cup final but we'll take it."

Wardle said having a variety of ages in the team has been an advantage against the U20 NPL teams. "I think our experienced players carried us through but our younger players rose to the challenge and have been outstanding," he said. Ashfield have beaten five NPL teams but Wardle said the cup was never considered a priority. "We've just taken it week by week and I think some teams have underrated us," he said.

Balcatta started shakily and Ashfield put them under pressure with long balls over the top. Ian Grifiths was unable to make the most of a defensive error that put him one-on-one with keeper Daniel Passarelli when he scuffed his shot wide of the post in the 11th minute. Ashfield were behind the back four again 15 minutes later but Passarelli’s diving save denied Sean Bryne's half volley. Balcatta struggled to get past Ashfield's defence with Wardle's stand out players, Matt Warton and Davy Gordon, cleaning up consistently. The NPL WA side thought they had scored the breakthrough in the 31st minute when Amir Ajan's shot was parried to Patrick Sara but the flag went up for offside.

Balcatta squandered a great opportunity in the 65th minute, De Francesch going one-on-one with Sutton then passing to Ajan but a touch too many dissolved the attack. Both teams became apprehensive and opted for long balls to the strikers. In the 85th minute Ryan Cox slid onto an Alex Stamatiadis flick-on but hit Balcatta’s side netting and the game was sent to penalties.

Both teams scored their first two but Passarelli kept out Cox and at 4-3 Balcatta looked like they had clinched it. But Ashfield kept their cool, converting their remaining penalties and Sutton made two great saves to finish it off. Balcatta coach Ljupco Taneski said he was still proud of the boys for coming this far. "They're young guys and a cup final is a great experience for them so there’s a lot to learn from,” he said. "We gave Ashfield far too much respect early on but we got ourselves back into the game and missed out on a few chances. And once it gets to penalties it's just the luck of the draw."

19.7.2014

PERTH 18'S HAVE EDGE IN HARD FOUGHT FINAL (by Peter Simcox, www.footballwest.com.au)

Perth SC scored a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sorrento to claim the U18 Cool Ridge Cup at Macedonia Park yesterday. Adam Carlino opened the scoring early and another 15-year-old, Emerson Garley, added a second just before half-time. Sorrento skipper Matt Cherrie pulled one back for the Gulls with fifteen minutes remaining to set up a tense finish but with Perth skipper Brodie Walker in outstanding form at the favourites hung on for the win. “We had a great start with the early goal,” Walker said. “One mistake from them and we pounced on it. “We had a few players out today but I was really pleased with the lads today and thought we deserved the win.”

Perth coach Richie Abrams said his side can improve on their second-half performance. “The first half was good but the second half we were lucky and I was impressed the way Sorrento played,” he said. “The start was great. Adam has scored over 20 goals this season, so he was always going to be a threat up front. But I didn’t think we were going to get that straight away. But he did miss an easier one later on in the game. “We have a very young side and we have to be more constant and play better than we did today if we want to go on take out the league title.”

Perth were ahead after only 26 seconds even though Sorrento had kicked off. But the Gulls lost the ball on the edge of their penalty area and Carlino nipped in to finish low past Jesse Wagener. Sorrento were shell shocked but went close themselves in the 5th minute. Joel Keen found space on the edge of the penalty area but his shot was saved by Alex Jackson.

Perth were dictating terms with skipper Brodie Walker dominating in defence and his distribution from the back set up a number of chances for Perth, with Garley and Carlino going close. Sorrento were struggling in the final third and were restricted to long-range efforts. Zack Edwards’ shot from the edge of the penalty area on 18 minutes whistled just over the top. Perth dominated the final ten minutes of the first half and they were rewarded with a second goal. A great through ball from Eric Birighitti sent Garley clear and the youngster finished clinically past Wagener.

It was an even start to the second half. For Sorrento, Keen volleyed straight at Alex Jackson early before Perth midfielder Birighitti’s long-range shot flew just wide. Sorrento were not allowing Perth time on the ball and they were back in the game on 72 minutes. Second-half substitute Jami Sandell’s through ball deflected into the path of Cherrie, who finished past Jackson from the edge of the penalty area.

Sorrento went to three at the back and pressed for the equaliser but Jaxon Temata’s curling shot drifted the wrong side of the post. Perth began to hit on the counter attack and went close to a third in stoppage time. Daniel Silla’s great run and shot beat Wagener but Temata cleared the ball off the line.

At the final whistle it was Perth celebrating but Sorrento coach Karl Cherrie also found positives despite the loss. “We were found out a little bit in the first half and I asked for a little bit more at half-time,” he said. “We changed a few things at the break and the lads played well. When we pulled one back we went three at the back, and went for it, but couldn’t find the equaliser. But it was a great second half performance.”




Articles compiled by Brett Klucznik, Paul Oliver 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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