PERTH vs FREMANTLE CITY
In this week's Sunday fixture, Perth hosted top-of-the-table Fremantle City in what looked to be the game of the round. The opening few minutes were played at a frenetic pace and it was Perth that got the early breakthrough after just 6 minutes with their first foray into City's penalty area. A searching ball was played into the box from near the halfway line which Craig Shanko looked to have under control as he leapt for possession. Nick Mrdja half-heartedly challenged the 'keeper which caught him by surprise and Shanko let the ball slip through his hands and David Onoforo was there to tuck the ball home from 7 metres.
>From here on in, City picked up the pace to put the Perth defence under an incredible amount of pressure. They had little time to plan their passes and were forced into making elemental mistakes by John Mirco and Trim Morgan who quickly closed down and harassed their opponents. It was only through a combination of bad luck and some great goalkeeping that they didn't find the back of the net.
In the middle of the park City were putting on a fantastic exhibition of first time passing as they sliced through Perth's midfield via Steve Bourne, Paul McVittie and Abdul Kamara. 16 minutes into the game Gary Faria looped the ball to the far post where Bourne headed what would have been the equaliser if not for the sharp reflexes of Robert Scarparolo. Four minutes later a poorly directed back pass by Aaron Cole gave Trim Morgan the opportunity to score but his drive from 17metres was finger-tipped around the post by Scarparolo. Faria weaved past three before threading the ball to the feet of John Mirco whose first time shot on the run was well directed but Scarparolo had it covered down low.
Perth made some opportunities of their own which saw Shanko pull off a fantastic double-save after 35 minutes. First the City custodian blocked a close range Jamie Coyne thunderbolt which deflected to the edge of the area. Thinking quick, Mark Pottier spotted Shanko still lying on the ground and hammered what looked to be a definite goal until the 'keeper sprang to his feet and knocked the shot wide to earn the applause of everyone in the ground. A few minutes from the break it should have been 2-nil when Perth had players lining up to shoot but no-one seemed willing to take the initiative and make the final shot. The half-time score did not reflect the match that we'd witnessed so far - City had been in complete control and did not deserve to be behind.
Light drizzle greeted the players as they returned for the second half and it was evident that Perth coach Graham Normanton had some unkind words for his troops in the dressing room. The home side that emerged for the second half oozed confidence and was hell-bent on proving their worth. Within 6 minutes of the re-start, Craig Surtees beat Onoforo to a speculative long pass into the Perth area by throwing himself at the ball to clear the danger, but in the slippery conditions also took the legs from under his opponent. Referee David Mortimer had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Mark Pottier stepped up to send Shanko the wrong way.
Having dominated the first half without anything to show for it, and now conceded their second goal, City's hopes of victory were all but gone. Perth on the other hand seized upon the occasion and launched wave after wave of attack. Within five minutes of their Mrdja buried his head in this hands after he sliced the ball wide having been put clear by Caceres as a golden chance when begging. Then Onoforo missed a sitter when the ball cleared the 6 yard box and landed at his feet no more than 2 metres out but he skewed his shot clear across the face of goal.
Kamara was City's only player showing any desire, putting in some solid tackles and distributing the ball with flair and accuracy. But there was little support from his teammates and Morgan let his frustrations boil over ten minutes into the half with a shocking challenge to bring down Caceres. Never one to shirk responsibilities and always committing 100% to his tackles, Morgan was all too often given the benefit of the doubt when a booking would have been more than justified.
The pressure on the City defence was relentless as Mrdja ran onto a defence splitting pass from Caceres and put his shot between the 'keeper's legs, only to see the ball trapped under Shanko's falling body. Coyne and Gary Upton were finding the time to get forward for Perth as their defensive duties became virtually non-existant. In the 77th minute Mrdja streamed into attack after his marker slipped trying to cut out a long-ball, he beat two opponents on the edge of the area before unselfishly laying it off to Onoforo who was hackled to the ground by Matt Favazzo. With Mrdja quickly back in possession, the referee waved the advantage and the strongly built striker wasted no time in smashing it past Shanko to put the result beyond doubt.
There was a late charge by City as Perth eased off the pace and Scarparolo denied Morgan in the 83rd minute with a diving save. Shortly after winger Michael Mirco attempted a lob from 25 metres and with Scarparolo back-peddling at pace, the 'keeper was glad to see the ball land on the top netting. With 5 minutes left on the clock Kamara brought down Mrdja some 30 metres from goal. Caceres rocketed the free kick goalward and Shanko looked to have it easily covered, at least until one of his defenders stuck out a boot and sent the ball into the top right corner of his net. No-one was more surprised that Caceres at the outcome of his speculative blast. And Caceres almost had a second in the final minute but saw his header cleared off the line with Shanko well and truly beaten.
Perth : Robert Scarparolo, Craig Naven, Aaron Cole, Todd Howarth, Stephen Willey, Gary Upton
(Robert Giorgi 84), Adrian Caceres, Jamie Coyne, Mark Pottier, Nick Mrdja (Michael Icanovski 90),
Fremantle City : Craig Shanko, Craig Surtees, Matt Favazzo, Dulio Xavier, Michael Mirco, Gary Faria, Steve Bourne (Christian Pascherwitz 83), Paul McVittie, Abdul Kamara, John Mirco, Trim Morgan
Referee: David Mortimer
Attendance: 350 (approx.)
McINERNY FORD PREMIER LEAGUE
Swan I.C. were on the road and retained their unbeaten record with a 6-1 thumping of Night Series champions Floreat Athena. Justin Everley opening the scoring with an early header, Nigel Aubin doubled the margin in the 23rd minute and Damian Scali put the game beyond the home side's reach before the break. Scott Daley clawed a goal back for Athena, but shortly after Aubin restored Swan's three goal buffer. James Dimmock made it 5-1, and Aubin completed his second hat-trick in four outings as he raced clear at the top of the goal scoring charts.
Ashfield/Bunbury continued their fine form as they hammered Rockingham City 6-0. Savo Garic opened the floodgates with Brett Norrie and David Mayers bagging two each with the six being an own goal. Missing five key players, ECU Joondalup line-up went down fighting 4-1 against Sorrento where Perth Glory defender Hamilton Thorp scored on debut for the club. Sorrento's other goals came from Todd Harnwell, Trevor Morgan and Glenn Thomas, Mark Nicholson scoring the lone goal for the home side. And not even a mid-week change of coach couldn't inspire Bayswater City to record their first win of the campaign, losing 2-nil to Western Knights.
INGLEWOOD UNITED vs COCKBURN CITY
On a gloomy, overcast day with a fair degree of chill in the air, Inglewood United took on Cockburn City in what turned out to be a lack lustre affair at the Kiev Sports Ground.
Despite having the home ground advantage, United showed none of the form which took them to the Night Series final little over a month ago but none-the-less carved out the better chances in a stale opening period. Steve MacDonald had a downward header saved by Tommy Tomich after 10 minutes. Three minutes later Gary Andrews floated in a cross which Karl Atley slammed against the bar. And with the City backline making some lunging clearances under pressure, Lee Crosby dragged a half chance wide of the far post after 14 minutes.
City looked more effective the longer the game went and started getting forward through Gary Numan and Antonio Naglieri down the right flank. Both were getting heavily involved in the game and were making troubles for the United defence. With 20 minutes gone, Joshua Pescud dribbled from the centre circle into the United area without being challenged only to lose his nerve with the experienced Robert Zabica to beat and ended up leaving the ball behind himself. Within the space of five minutes, Daniel Beard headed a deep cross from Naglieri over the bar - Naglieri then put the ball the wrong side of the post having been set free by Numan - and Beard shot wide from a 45 degree angle. But in reality none of these efforts ever looked like getting the desired result and United 'keeper Zabica was still waiting to make his first save of the match after half an hour's play.
By comparison, Tomich was in the thick of the action and had to be at his sharpest to be in command of his area. The young goalkeeper, who is currently signed to Perth Glory on apprentice terms, displayed a maturity beyond his years to exemplify that his time with the N.S.L. club is paying off. Under pressure from the United forwards, Tomich cut out several dangerous high-balls into the 6 yard box and in the 38th minute showed his conviction by courageously diving at the feet of Ivica Markovic to thwart the striker.
The remainder of the opening 45 minutes belonged to the visitors but they were unable to make much of their possession. Often the side would charge forward under full steam, giving their forwards very little time to get into position before the ball was played into the middle. The United backline then had plenty of time to mop up and play the ball down the flanks to safety. Branimir Mukilic was getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of supply and received a talking to from referee Frank Moretti after a particularly hard tackle on Jamie Goodman. Shortly after he had a penalty appeal turned down which his even own coach Gerry Christie said was a dive and, in no uncertain terms, told his striker so.
Genuine chances were far and few between for City, and when they did come the finishing was very poor and often ended up with the ball dribbling it's way to Zabica. Christie was vocal on the sidelines, trying to steady the ship by instructing his players to take their time and not to rush things. City's best chance came late in the half when Pescud sent the ball flying goalward from the corner of the box only for Zabica to dive surely and prevent it from rocketing into the top corner of his goal.
With half-time approaching, United then raced the ball to the other end of the pitch and scored to give themselves an undeserved lead at the break. A cross from the left by Paul Lincoln from close to the by-line scooted in low which the unmarked Crosby stooped for and headed past Tomich. The 'keeper was caught flat-footed and really should have raced out to collect the ball before it reached the midfielder, but the signs were there that Tomich was at times hesitant on crosses. Just minutes earlier he was involved in a similar situation where he was slow to react, Markovic hitting the base of the up-right with a thumping header after Grant Learmont crossed from the left.
Both sides took their time in settling into the second half and it wasn't until the 55th minute that we saw some decent action when Tomich tipped a Crosby drive from the edge of the area over the bar. City turned over the ball at the resulting corner and Paul Cooke raced it to the other end before finding Naglieri on the other flank. It all amounted to nothing though as Naglieri looked on in astonishment when his low cross squirted across the top of the 6 yard box without a Cockburn player in sight.
Much of the second half belonged to the home side, the City defence being under red-hot pressure for extended periods as United pressed forward. Crosby made a great run in which he saw his way past three opponents before knocking it to Lincoln and Tomich somehow saved his shot from close range. The ricochet wasn't properly dealt with, allowing Markovic to slam the ball into the post before it was finally scrambled out of the danger zone. With 69 minutes expired United finally doubled their advantage. Markovic was in the thick of the action once again as he turned his man near the left corner flag and sent in a dipping cross which Lincoln rose alone to meet, lobbinghis header over Tomich and into the top corner.
United sniffed victory in the air and wanted to make sure of it with a third goal, but Tomich was outstanding as the last line of defence and denied that honour. Two minutes after the goal he saved a blistering shot from Lincoln and eight minutes from full-time parried a shot from the same player. But his goal was almost breached by Ryan Newhill who tried his luck with a curling shot that Tomich obviously thought was going well over but dipped to crash into the underside of the bar, the young 'keeper getting the fright of his life as he hurriedly grabbed the bouncing ball.
Skillful midfielder Cooke was marked out of the second half and City really noticed his absence - every time he found himself in possession he was quickly closed down and couldn't do much with the ball. United eased off in the closing stages and City managed a couple of decent attacks but as was the case all afternoon, the United defence of Goodman, Cummings, MacDonald and the recently introduced Di Fulvio was always on hand to snuff out any threat. The extend of their dominance in their third of the pitch meant that Zabica was not tested what-so-ever in the second half, the backline being as solid as a rock.
Inglewood United : Robert Zabica, Jamie Goodman, Alex Cummings, Steve MacDonald, Ryan Newhill,
Gary Andrews, Grant Learmont , Karl Atley (Michael Di Fulvio 80), Lee Crosby, Ivica Markovic
(Ross Donnelly 73), Paul Lincoln (Gary Jamieson 82)
Cockburn City : Tommy Tomich, Steve Adam, Dusan Macure, Jason Faria, Gary Numan, Paul Cooke, Jason Da Silva, Antonio Naglieri (Christian Alvarez 71), Joshua Pescud, Branimir Mikulic, Daniel Beard (Jodi Pratt 80)
Referee: Frank Moretti
Cautions: Cummings (45), Atley (71), Newhill (84)
Attendance: 200 (approx.)
SORRENTO FOCUSED ON DEVELOPING YOUTH
Sorrento have over the years produced a number of quality players including Socceroo Shaun Murphy, Jamie Harnwell (Perth Glory), Richard Watson (Canberra Cosmos), and Tony Carbone (former Young Socceroo). And coach Gerry Christie is determined to produce more stars of tomorrow, "that's the policy of the club this year. Since Glory came along there hasn't been the importance of winning the League, I think it's more important that we bring good quality young players through."
The club seen to be achieving their aim and which has seen two players - David Tarka (A.I.S.) and Robbie Gaspar (Sydney Olympic) - move onto greener pastures in recent times. "Both of them are outstanding players," said Christie. "I'm quite sad to lose them, but it's great for the club. And if we lose another two this year we'll be quite happy."
THE SEASON'S FIRST COACHING CASUALTY
With Bayswater City's season getting off in what can only be described as disaterous style, veteren Allan Pottier has resigned from his role as first team coach. Jimmy Pearson is his replacement.
CHANGE OF ROLE FOR MARAS
Since leaving Perth Glory at the conclusion of the 1997/98 season, goalkeeper Tommy Maras has been playing in the W.A. State League with Perth. But this season he's stepped back from playing to assist Graham Normanton with the coaching duties, "It's a different role at the club, before I was just playing and now I'm playing and coaching, it's sitting back a little bit and helping these younger players coming through"
The club's early Night Series form was unbelievable, but their efforts in the League so far have been very hit and miss, the club falling in something of a hole. Maras is a firm believer that Perth will re-bound, "We haven't been far off the form that we played in the first four games of the Night Series. It's just a matter of putting the goals away and getting the right blend in the squad, 'cause we have such a big squad. I think give us a few weeks to get things sorted out and we'll be right."
A FEW POINTERS FROM JACK GALLAGHER
FIFA coaching instructor Jack Gallagher is in Perth at the moment helping out at the Perth Soccer Academy which is run by his friend Rick Slade. A recreational program established in January of this year, the academy differs from other facilities in Perth in that it is not an elite coaching program, rather it is open to all children who would like to play the game.
Interviewed by Paul Tombides on Channel 31 recently, Gallagher was first asked about Australia's recent progress on the world stage. "I think that the development of Australian soccer in the last 10-15 years is incredible and everybody in the world is aware of the quality of youth soccer here. Everybody was very disappointed that you didn't get into the last World Cup finals, it was real tragic because everybody feels that Oceania is done down in terms of representation. My own feeling is that every confederation should have the right to one or two automatic entries into the finals stage of the World Cup."
And should the Socceroo's make the make the next World Cup finals? "I think there would be a tremendous explosion of enthusiasm that you need badly because soccer competes here against the footy, against cricket, against so many sports and I think it needs to sell itself to a wider public. Specifically, you need to develop programs to get large numbers of children playing soccer at a recreational level just for the enjoyment of it so you will get a large base from which future stars will emerge. I have a feeling that you're really starting to see children identifying with the stars at Perth Glory as their role models, and of course the Australian players in Europe. And I think that once those role models exist, that are Australian role models as opposed to Spanish or German or English or Italian, then that will be a big facto r in the way that Australian soccer shoots forward."
One of the keys to young Australian players making the grade overseas is the quality of experience they gain here and Gallagher believes this needs to zeroed in on. While he acknowledges that you can't stop the flow of talent overseas - "That happens in my country Northern Ireland ... most really talented 17 year olds shift across to England and into big club" - you can help foster it. Gallagher suggests that we stage regular underage tournaments in Australia to benefit our youngsters, and hold training camps overseas for identified players for extended periods to help prepare them for life in Europe.
While talking about the game in Western Australia specifically, some of what Gallagher had to say can easily be translated to the national level. "People talk about he isolation of Western Australia, and I think you need to stop seeing that as a problem and start perceiving it as a possibility to want to get a Western Australian football federation that's almost like an independent nation. Have everybody affiliated to it - your competition programs, your youth development programs, your coach development programs and have your national youth tournaments - under-14s, under-16s, under-18s - like we do in Northern Ireland very successfully. And bring in teams from all over Asia and eventually all over the world ... start looking at the ways you could entice opposition to come here, places like Malaysia or Indonesia. I've coached in these places and they'd be very happy to come here, they would love, like I do, the climate here and the cleanliness and the opportunity to be involved in a high level tournament. So there's so many ideas you could pursue where the isolation is negated, but you've got to be serious about it."
THIS SEASON'S SURPRISE PACKET?
Having taken out the First Division crown in 1998, Ashfield/Bunbury struggled in the Premier League last season, winning just 6 of their 22 games and ending up third from the bottom at season's end. But after three games in 2000 the club are flying high, undefeated in the state's top flight and sharing the coverted number one spot with Fremantle City and Swan I.C. This in addition to the recent Boral Challenge Cup thrashing of Night Series champions Floreat Athena to progress to the competition's last eight.
Coach Tom Kilkelly knows better than most how tough survival in the Premier League will be for the club this winter and that is his primary objective for 2000. Ashfield/Bunbury aren't a big club and didn't do a great deal of recruiting over the off-season, instead focusing on the talent they already have and fostering that. "The likes of Bunbury-based strikers Savo Garic and Brett Norrie have proved a handful, while brothers Damian and Daniel Trim have been making big strides in the top flight, on the day we've got players who can compete with the best players in the League." Kilkelly quickly emphasised that every player in his squad had an important role to play in a team that has no big name star players. "There is no way Ashfield will go into any game feeling comfortable," he said. "I keep telling the lads we are the underdogs."
BORAL CHALLENGE CUP - SECOND ROUND
Playing at their Kiev Sports Ground for the first time this season, Inglewood United kept alive its hope to retaining the Boral Challenge Cup with a controversial 2-1 win over ECU Joondalup on Monday. The odds swung heavily towards the home side in the 35th minute when Joondalup lost first choice 'keeper Gareth Deeg for handling the ball outside his area. But they refused to let the sending off upset their rhythm and Steve White put Joondalup ahead minutes before half-time. Five minutes after the re-start Paul Lincoln looked to be in an offside position when he ran onto a pass from Ivica Markovic and tucked the ball in past substitute 'keeper Peter Stewart. All hell then broke lose and in the ensuing storm of protest Joondalup's Gary Murray was booked by referee Patrick McCaffrey for his outburst. The visitors battled hard despite the numerical disadvantage and put United 'keeper Robert Zabica to the test on a number of occassions in the second half. But with 9 minutes remaining, United found a winner through Lee Crosby who smashed a 30 metre drive past Stewart.
Ashfield/Bunbury continued their great start to the season with a commanding 2-nil triumph over a highly regarded Floreat Athena outfit. Ashfield/Bunbury defender Nathan Salisbury was carted off to hospital with a broken ankle early in the second half after clashing heavily with talented Athena winger Scott Daley. But the man that once gain grabbed the headlines was Savo Garic who followed up his hat-trick just two days earlier against Sorrento with both Ashfield/Bunbury's goals.
Elsewhere, Abdul Kamara scored twice as Fremantle City hammered Cockburn City 5-0, and David Onoforo did likewise for Perth in their 4-1 win against Southside United. Sorrento coach Steve Neville promised sweeping changes for the game with Rockingham City after his side's poor League form, and those changes paid off as Sorrento swept their way to a 5-2 win. Western Knights got over the line against Bayswater City by the narrowest of margins at Perry Lakes Stadium. In the round's two all First Division ties, Armadale went down to Bassendean Caledonian, and Balcatta beat Leeming Strikers 2-1.
STATE LEAGUE REVIEW
ECU Joondalup dropped their first points of the season on Saturday as Perth over-turned a half-time deficit to run out 3-1 victors at Dorrien Gardens. Joondalup held sway for much of the match but crumbled as Perth hit two goals inside as many minutes in the second half.
The home side showed they meant business from the outset and created some worrying moments for Joondalup 'keeper Gareth Deeg inside the first ten minutes. David Onoforo flashed a shot from a tight the wrong side of the up-right, Jamie Coyne was allowed time to line up a poorly cleared corner which he smashed narrowly wide of the target, Adrian Caceres beat the defence to drag a good opportunity across face of goal. Perth were easily out-pacing Joondalup on the counter-attack to pressure their opponents defence.
Joondalup settled after the quarter-hour and began to control the midfield with some good passing and swift movement of the ball. Steve White weaved past three opponents only to send his shot sailed over the bar. And with 20 minutes gone, Scott Broadley nodded on a throw-in to the unmarked Gary Murray whose first time shot flew past Perth 'keeper Robert Scarparolo but Todd Howarth was on hand to save his team from going a goal down. Despite these chances, Joondalup were feeling the early losses of striking partners Peter Vukmirovic and Joel Peacock both through injury before 30 minutes had elapsed.
The referees assistants were working overtime as both sides sprung the off-side trap to halt their opponents attacks. Joondalup's Jamie Kuzmanovich was outstanding at the heart of his side's defence and was ably supported by Mark Tunnicliffe and Scott Broadley as Perth tried to find a way into through to goal. On the one occasion they did break through, Perth really should have scored. Caceres took the ball to by-line, pulling it back to Onoforo who slammed his shot into the up-right, the re-bound fell at the feet of Nick Mrdja but he volleyed high with the goal at his mercy from 6 yards.
It was in the centre of the pitch that Joondalup were now dominating and taking hold of this match, forcing Perth to play the long-ball out of defence and into attack. And with 35 minutes gone it wasn't a surprise to anyone that Joondalup took the lead. A Scott Halpin free-kick from the corner of the box was strongly met by White who brought out the best in the diving Scarparolo, the Perth custodian knocking the header onto the bar. Unfortunately for Scarparolo, 15-year old flank player Anthony Danze was on hand for the visitors to volley the re-bound into the unguarded net.
Referee Stephen Seeds was loosing control of the match in the latter stages of the opening half, allowing a rash of bad tackles to go unpunished which were threatening to ruin the flow of the game. Within 2 metres of the referee, Stephen Willey was elbowed in chest by Halpin but play was allowed to continue without so much of a word to Halpin. Shortly after Gary Upton and White swung a few punches at eachother (which all fortunately missed) and the referee again ignored the incident despite being on the scene. But eventually he did brandish a couple of yellow cards, first to Upton for a dreadful waist-high tackle on White which he was lucky to stay on the pitch for. And just before the interval White collected a card of his own.
In the final minutes of the half Perth surged forward looking for the equaliser without success. A Coyne shot was tipped over the bar by Deeg after Perth squandered a couple of chances inside a conjested 6 yard box. The resulting corner was partially cleared by Halpin, Mark Pottier collected the ball and Deeg was again in fine form to defelct the powerful drive over the top.
Apart from a couple of early chances - a promising in-swinging Upton corner which Deeg somehow kept out and a Cole header which flew over - Perth were stuck in their defensive half for much of the first 15 minutes of the second period. Under the hammer, the Perth defence weathered the storm and saved their side on a number of times as Joondalup broke clear of midfield and down the flanks, Cole and Howarth working particularly hard down the left. The best chance of the spell came to Murray who twisted and turned his way past Pottier and then Willey only to slam his shot into the body of Scarparolo.
But the game was turned on it's head within the space of two minutes. A jinking run down the right flank by Coyne in the 60th minute took him past the Sean Kilkenney and Deeg but his shot was prevented from crossing the line by Tunnicliffe. It ball bounced to Onoforo who also couldn't find his way through the crowd and eventually it was left to vice-captain Pottier to hammer the ball into the exposed net and draw Perth level. The dust had hardly settled when, two minutes later, Mrdja went for a run down the opposite side of the park, turning his man then centring to Onoforo who caught the ball with his back to goal and his shot on the turn flew past Deeg from 10 metres. The two goals came completely against the run of play and left the Joondalup players shattered, their defence had until then looked impregnable.
It sparked life back into the Perth outfit and in the 69th minute Coyne worked free of his man and sent in a grass-cutting cross which Deeg completely missed. But he was saved the embarrassment of picking the ball out of the net as Onoforo raced in and messed up what was a simple tap-in. Onoforo was making some surging runs down right and getting into position quickly, but he realistically could have had a hat-trick had his shooting been as sharp. Minutes later Mrdja and Caceres combined well to get the ball into the box only for Onoforo to slam his shot into the 'keeper.
The result was put beyond any doubt after 77 minutes when Mrdja scored on his Perth debut with the goal of the match. The former Canberra Cosmos player sped down the right flank and dummied his way past a defender plus the advancing Deeg on the corner of the area, then thundered the ball into the top far corner of the goal.
The physical nature of the match continued in the final 15 minutes with some over-zealous tackling and general lack of discipline shown by players on both sides. This was not helped by further inactivity Seeds. Pottier was elbowed in throat by Halpin in full view of the referee, then he was forced to seperate Craig Naven and Kuzmanovich as the two exchanged some heated words and shaped up to eachother. But neither exchange drew any action from the referee when a stern talking to was the least you'd expect.
With the wind taken out of their sails, Joondalup were disappointing in the final 30 minutes as they lost the impetus to venture forward with any degree of conviction. The side had obviously run out of ideas and relied heavily on the off-side trap to limit Perth's forays into attack. Not that this was working all that effectively, Caceres should have done better when the ball feel to him unmarked and just 7 yards from goal but he volleyed corner wide, and Onoforo shot across the face of goal from 16 yards with only Deeg between him and the net. There were a number of frantic attempts by the Joondalup defence to clear under pressure which continued until the final minute when Perry Ielati went on a long run from the back, getting into the box without being challenged but Deeg quick to get down to save his low drive.
Perth: Robert Scarparolo, Stephen Willey (Perry Ielati 71), Aaron Cole,
Gareth Naven, Todd Howarth, Gary Upton, Jamie Coyne (Boni Botha 75), Mark Pottier
(Robert Giorgi 82), Adrian Caceres, David Onoforo, Nick Mrdja
ECU Joondalup: Gareth Deeg, Mark Tunnicliffe, Jamie Kuzmanovich, Scott Broadley, Steve White, Anthony Broxton, Tony Danze, Dale McCullough (Sean Kilkenney 75), Gary Murray, Joel Peacock (Derek Cooke 29), Peter Vukmirovic (Scott Halpin 10)
Referee: Stephen Seeds
Cautions: Upton (34), White (44)
Attendance: 300 (approx.)
Unable to win a match in the pre-season Night Series, Swan I.C. continued to baffled local pundits and stay undefeated in the League with a 1-nil win over Cockburn City. Swan I.C. coach Eric Williams refuses to get carried away with his side's early success. "We know it's going to get tougher, maybe a few sides have underestimated us but that won't last. The good thing is that our confidence is high and we've shown a lot of character, particularly on Saturday when we had to play for 35 minutes with 10 men." Williams was commenting on winger Ray Mouttet who was dismissed for his second yellow card offence by referee Lou Prospero when he continued to run at the City goal and hammer the ball well wide after Prospero had blown for off-side. Mouttet was earlier the hero for his side when, in the 38th minute, he swept down the flank and crossed to the near post where Elton Holmes was on hand to turn the ball into the net.
Fremantle City smashed six past Bayswater City to remain in equal top spot with goals from Paul McVittie, Steve Bourne, Abdul Kamara, Trim Morgan, Michael Mirco and John Mirco, defender Dom Giorgi getting City's lone goal. A hat-trick by Savo Garic saw Ashfield/Bunbury overcome a determined Sorrento 5-2 and keep in tact their 100% record. Western Knights finally gained their first points of the season in a second half scoring blitz as they trounced Floreat Athena, who re-called player/coach Michael Roki after some lacklustre performances up-front in recent weeks. And Rockingham City's dreadful start to the new campaign continued as visiting Inglewood United hit three without reply.
AUBIN HAPPY JUST TO PLAY
With four goals in the opening two rounds of the season, veteren striker Nigel Aubin has proved that quality can overcome the age factor. The Swan I.C. forward bagged a hat-trick in his side's 6-nil demolition of last season's form side Sorrento last weekend, then hit his Swan's final goal in their 4-2 triumph over Rockingham City on Saturday.
The 37-year old, who played with Bath City in the U.K. in his younger days, was plucked from the amatuer ranks little over 18 months ago by former State coach Eric Williams who was in charge of Stirling Lions at the time. "He was happy enough with a social game but I managed to persuade him to help me, first with the Lions and then when I moved to Swan last season," he said. Aubin was an integral part of the Swan side that last season won promotion to the Premier League having stormed their way to the 1st Division title. "Nigel's a good finisher and holds the ball up well," his coach added.
STATE LEAGUE REVIEW
Floreat Athena stood firm in the face of a late charge by Cockburn City at Litis Stadium to record a 4-2 victory. Despite the half-a-dozen goals, both sides put in uninspired performances in a game which lacked passion and was hampered by very some poor refereeing.
Athena were first to settle and had the best of the early chances. Vas Kalogeracos slammed the ball into the side netting from a narrow angle and City 'keeper Dino Pacella held a Doug Ithier grubber before a Peter Coci volley found the the back of the net only to be disallowed for a raised off-side flag.
With 18 minutes gone a bit of magic from Kalogeracos finally saw the opening goal. He ran the ball goalward and looked set to shoot from close range when a sudden change of mind caught Pacella by surprise. As full pace, the nippy striker didn't break stride to back-heal into the path of Scott Daley who had no trouble in netting with the City 'keeper well out of position. Three minutes later it was 2-nil when Kalogeracos scored the goal of the game. Ithier sent a waist-high cross to the near post from the right corner which, in one fluid movement, Kalogeracos jumped for, caught and flicked over Pacella with sublime precision. It was a goal that the ex-Perth Glory player would surely rate as one of his best.
City should have had a reply through the enterprising Paul Cooke in the 23rd minute of play. A deep cross cleared a pack of players in the middle of the box and fell to Cooke on the corner of the 6 yard box. But the unmarked flank player was disappointed when his shot sailed well over the crossbar. Eight minutes later City got their goal with a lovely piece of flowing teamwork. Starting with Pacella, the 'keeper quickly released the ball to Cooke who ran it into the City attacking half. His centring pass was dummied by Banimir Mikulic, the ball rolled to Joshua Pescud and he sent a dipping drive from 22 metres over John Xigas and into the net.
Despite the chances which fell to both sides, it was a scrappy battle which was hampered by some dreadful decisions from referee Felix Kelly. With some crunching tackles going unpunished, he was quick to blow of soft fouls which saw the crowd calling for his blood for the remainder of the match, and not without reason. On three separate occasions he over-ruled his assistants on off-side decisions and late in the game missed a string of bad tackles and even a blantant handball which occurred no more than 5 metres from him.
10 minutes from the interval Daley bagged his second goal after some ingenuity from Robin Dyers. Dyers took the ball to the touchline and outwitted his opponent with some classy footwork before knocking the ball across the face of goal. Kalogeracos again showed his unselfishness and dummied to shoot, leaving it for Daley to blast home.
This seemed to get City going and they carved out numerous chances thanks largely to the efforts of Cooke who was involved in every decent thing City did, skillfully outplaying his opponent and quickly getting the ball into the area. But his teammates lacked the fore-sight to get into position and Troy Bernard was often called upon to tidy up for Athena. The best of City's chances fell to Mikulic who looped a header over the bar and Craig Anderson missed a sitter when he blasted over an unguarded net. Shortly before the break Cooke mis-hit a cross from close to the corner flag which Xigas threw himself backwards at to prevent from sneaking in at the far post.
City continued to attack after the interval and put together some flowing moves which should have lead them to equalise through Naglieri. In the 49th minute a low cross to the near post made it's way past three Athena defenders who were caught ball-watching as it dribbled across the six yard line. It finally found Naglieri who tried to run the ball into the goal rather than take the shot, allowing the defence to regain their composure and block the effort.
As the half wore on City enjoyed more of the ball and were finding it easier to get forward in numbers only to be let down once they found their way inside the Athena area. Naglieri was the only one to test Xigas when he forced the 'keeper into making a great save from a powerful close range header. But with 66 minutes gone City clawed another goal back in dubious circumstances. Adrian Sutton and Mikulic challenged for a high ball which neither met but both tumbled to the ground as a result of - referee Kelly picked out an infringement against the Athena defender and had no hesitation in awarding the visitors a penalty. Mikulic took it himself and sent Xigas the wrong way to reduce the deficit.
At the other end of the park the City defence resisted the few attacks Athena could muster, limiting them to play long balls onto which the forwards would speed. Daley, Coci and Kalogeracos all caught the City defence out on occasions but none tested the City custodian. The City midfield continued to create opportunities, getting their passes out to the flanks where Cooke and Numan ran forward and crossed to the centre. But that was where their attacks broke down, City's forwards were very hesitant to shoot and put themselves under unnecessary pressure as the Athena defence quickly moved in and smothered the shots.
The final 20 minutes of the match petered out and saw some untidy play from both sides as the ball was raced without thought from one end of the pitch to the other. Passes often went astray in the final third of the pitch and concern was expressed by both benches over the poor standard of tackling as the game threatened to degenerate into a kicking match. Not even the dismissal of Weston could tame the aggressive approach displayed by some players. There were a lot of half chances but few genuine goal scoring opportunities as the ball was turned over with regularity by both defences.
In extra time, Dusan Macure had the misfortune of sealing his side's fate with an own goal. An innocent cross from the right by Daley looked to be well covered Macure as he stretched out a leg to bring the ball under control, only to succeed in changing the flight path of the ball as it looped over Pacella and snuck in under the bar. The game barely had time to re-start before the full-time whistle was blown in what proved to be a very average game.
Floreat Athena.: John Xigas, Troy Bernd, Adrian Sutton, Boza Erakovic, Costas
Socratous (Hugh Miller 81), Scott Daley, Doug Ithier (Miguel Ortin 53), Jason Smith,
Peter Coci, Robin Dyers, Vas Kalogeracos
Cockburn City: Dino Pacella, Stuart Weston, Steve Adam, Dusan Macura, Paul Cooke, Garry Numan, Branimir Mikulic, Craig Anderson (Jason Faria 74), Joshua Pescud (Aaron Moschopoulous 53), Antonio Naglieri (Christian Alverez 80), Daniel Bgard
Referee: Felix Kelly
Cautions: Weston (30), Cooke (55), Daley (62), Smith (72)
Expulsions: Weston (86)
Attendance: 250 (approx.)
Fremantle City face a determined Western Knights and it was the home side that struck first after 25 minutes when five players were brilliantly strung together a seven passes which was capped off by a strong drive from 12 metres by John Mirco. It was 2-nil shortly before the break as a Gary Faria cross from the left was partially cleared by the Knights defence, and Mirco was on hand again to hit the back of the net with a curling volley from 22 metres that flashed past Knights 'keeper Darren Williams. Not even the return of influential marksman Eugene Singeorzan, back from a recent club-imposed suspension, could inspire the Knights who were unfortunate not to score in a spirited second half. City substitute Paul McVittie wrapped up victory for the home side in injury time. But the day belonged to Mirco who often stays behind at training to hone his skills in front of goal, "I practice a lot of shooting and free kicks and it's nice to get it right during a match," said the 22 year old.
Elsewhere, Swan I.C. continued their bright start to the season to stay on top of the Premier League table with a 4-2 triumph over Rockingham City with goals apiece from Damien Scali, Carlo Scali, Justin Everley and Nigel Aubin. ECU Joondalup and Ashfield/Bunbury also maintained their 100% records with victories over Bayswater City Panthers and Perth respectively. And Sorrento bounced back from last weeks 6-nil thrashing to earn their first points of the season at the expense of Inglewood United courtesy of a second half Todd Harnwell goal.
A SECRET REVEALED
In a well kept secret, Perth Glory last weekend formally approached W.A. State League club the Stirling Lions with an offer to purchase out-right the club's ground, Macedonia Park. It has come to light that Glory offered the Lions $2.3 million for the venue which they were planning to re-develop and use as their long-term training base. But at a meeting of some 400 Lions members and supporters, a vote was taken and the offer knocked back by the club.
Glory have recently been forced to vacate their summer training ground of Leederville Oval due to it's use by W.A. Australian Rules club East Perth. The N.S.L. club have switched all training sessions for the remainder of the campaign to Perth Oval, their regular season home ground.
LIONS IN A PICKLE
The relegation of the Stirling Lions from the W.A. Premier League has caused some major problems for the sides youth coaches. One week into the Soccer West Coast season, the club are desperately short of players for their Under-18's squad to the extent that they were forced to forfeit last weekend's opening round game against the Dianella White Eagles.
The club, who were State League champions in 1994 and 1995, was relegated in controversial circumstances pre-season for failing to pay affiliation fees on time. Wanting as much experience as they could get, 20 juniors left the club as a direct result in order for them to play in the recently completed Night Series competition.
Lions secretary Ken Eastwood, who doubles as W.A.'s Middlesborough scout, has asked for any teenagers interested - with or without experience - to simply turn up to training at the club's Macadonia Park for trials. The club are said to be seeking upwards of 15 players to complete the squad.
McINERNY FORD PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP-UP
On Saturday a new-look ECU Joondalup shrugged off the best efforts of the 1998 champions, the Western Knights at Perry Lakes Stadium. The visitors out-classed their opponents thanks largely to the efforts of their young brigade featuring Joey's squad members Anthony Danze and Darren Broxton, Steve White and man-of-the-match Jamie Kuzmanovic. But it was left to the experienced heads of Gary Murray and Peter Vukmirovic to snag the goals. Newly promoted Swan I.C. shocked Sorrento with three goals in each half as Elton Holmes and Nigel Aubin both bagged hat-tricks. "They were first to the ball all day and were hungrier than us," was how Sorrento coach Steve Neville summed up the loss. Cockburn City also went into the break 3-nil up against Rockingham City, and despite a concerted fight back from the home side which saw them score twice, Cockburn powered away to win 5-2. The final fifteen miniutes produced three goals as Ashfield/Bunbury scored a 3-2 away win over the Bayswater City Panthers.
In the final matches of the round (played on Sunday), Fremantle City hosted Night Series winners Floreat Athena at Ken Allen Field. It was a welcome return for former Floreat junior James Afkos, who has joined the club on loan from Perth Glory, and he opened the scoring for the visitors with a 25 metre drive after 30 minutes. Shortly after the re-start Steve Bourne put his side back on level terms by converting a penalty, and recent signing trim Morgan secured the match for City when he latched onto the end of a Michael Mirco cross with 13 minutes remaining. And Perth should have come away with maximum points but ended up drawing 2-2 with Inglewood United.
McInerny Ford Premier League Round One results
Bayswater City Panthers 2 Ashfield/Bunbury 3
S.Marrapodi, C.Condipodero S.Garic, B.Norrie, S.Fuhr
Fremantle City 2 Floreat Athena 1
S.Bourne, T.Morgan J.Afkos
Perth 2 Inglewood United 2
A.Caceres, B.Botha R.Newhill, S.MacDonald
Rockingham City 2 Cockburn City 5
A.Cornwell, D.Twigg B.Mikulic, J.Pescud 2, A.Moocholpoulous, A.Naglierei
Swan I.C. 6 Sorrento 0
N.Aubin 3, E.Holmes 3
Western Knights 0 ECU Joondalup 3
G.Murray 2, P.Vukmirovic
PERTH vs INGLEWOOD UNITED
Perth hosted Inglewood United on Sunday and the home side were out for revenge having gone down to United in the Night Series semi-final three weeks earlier. In a fast flowing game, Perth came out with all guns blazing and showed lots of early promise with new signings Jamie Coyne and Boni Botha both going close in the opening minute.
But it was United that found the net first when Lee Crosby played the ball into the area to find strongly built striker Ryan Newhill charging onto the pass. Through a combination of brute strength and good fortune, he bustled the ball through the tangle that was himself, Gareth Naven and Stephen Willey before clipping it wide of the surprised Robert Scarporolo.
Perth were almost back on level terms after 10 minutes as promising youngster Adrian Caceras rocketed a free kick into the area where Boni Botha rose to head bullet-like over the bar. From the very next play Perth turned over the ball and again got into the their opponents penalty box where, after a quick interchange of passes, Coyne volleyed marginally wide. The home team's forwards were giving their opponents plenty to think about as they combined well with a series of first-time passes to cut their way through the United half.
In an entertaining opening half hour, Inglewood were also creating problems for their opponents defence by exploiting the height advantage of their forwards Ivica Markovic and Newhill who are both close on 200cm. With the ball coming into the box from the flanks, the pair had little trouble out-jumping the comparatively short Perth backline lead by Craig Naven. United had a great chance to double their lead in the 18th minute when 'keeper Robert Zabica sent a long goal kick into the opposing penalty area. Scarparolo raced out to meet the ball on the edge of the box and out-jumped Markovic to punch clear. But the ball flew directly to Newhill whose strong shot was deflected off the boot by a defender and the ball lobbed over the bar and onto the netting as Perth breathed a sight of relief.
It came as not surprise when Perth finally did find the back of the net in the 23rd minute. The goal resulted from a dreadful defensive error by Perth Glory sweeper Vinko Buljubasic who sent a weak back-header to Zabica. From the moment it left his head it was obvious the header was never going to make the distance to the 'keeper, Caceras nipped in to intercept and raced around the United custodian before slotting home from a narrow angle.
Things didn't stay that way for long though, and just three minutes later United had restored their lead. A long throw by Taki Nicolaidis saw a mess of players jump for the ball 7 metres from goal, it bobbled off heads before Steve MacDonald threw himself it and Naven could only watch on as the ball sailed past him and into the unguarded net.
Perth were seeing the better part of the ball and getting forward in numbers with great frequency. But at the end of the day were left to rue a slew of wasted opportunities. With Caceras skillfully tearing apart the United defence, he was twice through on goal with only Zabica to beat but in both occasions shot wide of the target. And when Caceras did shoot straight, as he did late in the half on the half-volley after a great flick-on by Botha, Zabica was always on hand to deny the Perth marksman.
As half-time approached tempers began to flare a little following some rash tackles from both side's. Referee Steve Muldoon handled the potentially explosive situation well and was quick to diffuse the worst of it. But the visitors must be considered extremely lucky to have ended the half with eleven men on the park when MacDonald slid into the back of Caceras with 44 minutes elapsed. Cries for severe punishment from the crowd went unheeded by Muldoon as he awarded only a free-kick.
After the break Scarparolo didn't take his place between the posts for the home side having come off second best in the 18th minute clash with Markovic. His place was taken by ex-Glory 'keeper Tommy Maras who didn't have a lot to do in the remaining 45 minutes as Perth again started with a bluster which was to continue throughout the half. In fact Maras was virtually a spectator during the second half, the number of touches he had could easily be counted on two hands.
The home side found a number of holes appearing in the United defence but were unable to make the most of their chances. Eight minutes after the re-start Careras swung a corner to the top of the 'D' where Botha brought it under control before tapping to Vince Tana. He hammered a low drive goal-bound and Zabica dived full-length to send the ball out for another corner.
Perth eventually found a way past Zabica in the 61st minute courtesy of a great attempt by Botha. Pottier played a curling ball into the Inglewood box onto which Botha sped, controlling and shooting in the space of just two touches to slot the ball under the advancing Zabica. And they were almost ahead two minutes later as Pottier blasted over the top from a narrow angle.
The home side enjoyed a long period in possession as they started to take the game away from United. They created plenty of scoring opportunities for themselves but simply couldn't convert. Botha hit a free-kick from 18metres over the United wall only to find Zabica well positioned to prevent the ball from going into the top right corner of the net. Caceras displayed why he is one of the state's hottest young talents with some sublime ball control and quick thinking in man-of-the-match effort.
The game fizzled out a little in the last 20 minutes as both sides tired after a quick paced contest. United replaced Peter Tana, who had worked tirelessly all day and was his sides key in the middle of the park, and with his substitution they lost their attacking impetus. To counter, the side relied almost exclusively on working the offside trap to catch Caceras and Botha from breaking free and racing goalward. The United midfield tried to break their opponents rhythm with some solid tackling, Perth playmaker Pottier often being on the receiving end for which he required treatment in the 68th minute. With five minutes left on the clock, United were again lucky not to lose a player when substitute Jamie Goodman was yellow carded for bad tackle on Gary Upton. Upton was helped from the playing surface by a Perth trainer, but it required a stretcher to get him to the dressing room for further treatment.
Surprisingly it was United that finished strongest and in the game's final minutes as they found enough energy for some last-gasp bursts on goal. Maras was the hero for Perth however as he kept his side's hopes alive with an injury time close range smother from the recently introduced Ross Donnelly. And a minute later he held a well-directed header from Newhill which was bound for the top corner after a deep Nicolaidis cross found three unmarked United players lining up for the ball at the far post.
Perth S.C.: Robert Scarparolo (Tommy Maras 46), Craig Naven, Stephen Willey, Perry Ielati, David Onoforo
(Todd Howarth 78), Jamie Coyne, Gary Upton (Robert Giorgi 85), Vince Tana, Mark Pottier, Adrian Caceras,
Inglewood United: Robert Zabica, Vinko Buljubasic (Jamie Goodman 71), Alex Cummings, Steve MacDonald, Taki Nicolaidis, Grant Learmont, Gary Andrews, Peter Tana (Rob Milevski 65), Lee Crosby, Ryan Newhill, Ivica Markovic (Ross Donnelly 78)
Referee: Patrick Muldoon
Cautions: V.Tana (57), Newhill (71), Milevski (79), Goodman (85)
Attendance: 450 (approx.)
BAYSWATER CITY PANTHERS vs ASHFIELD/BUNBURY
The W.A. State League kicked-off on the weekend and there were a number of upsets in the opening round of games, including in the local derby between the Bayswater City Panthers and Ashfield/Bunbury on Saturday.
The busiest man in the opening minutes at Frank Drago Reserve was Ashfield 'keeper Phil Jackson who was heavily involved as City asserted their home ground advantage. Jackson was called upon three times in the space of five minutes to cut out threatening crosses as his defence worked overtime to cope with the onslaught. Charles Condipodero was again influential from midfield, making several darting runs and supplying Sal Marrapodi and Bobbi Klenkovski with plenty to work with.
Ashfield were very hesitant in defence and this proved to be their undoing in the 18th minute. Condipodero was brought down heavily on edge of box in what looked to be a clear foul but referee Paul Middleton thought otherwise and allowed play to continue. Marrapodi reacted quickest to the spilt ball and hit it hopefully goalward, catching Jackson flat-footed and he could only watch on as the ball dribbled over the line after it tumbled into his right up-right.
City continued to control the game and shortly after the goal Klenkovski caught a deep cross and out-maneuvered his man but crashed his shot against the post. His side were going forward in waves, quick to race down the flanks and get the ball into their opponents defense third. In total contract Ashfield attacked frugally and were happy to rely on recognized strikers Savo Garic and Adrian Spinelli. On the few occasions they did get within shooting range, Garic and Spinelli found few ways through the City back three and refused to expend energy on getting a second bite of the cherry when the ball broke free, contend to let the opposition gather possession and take it up-field.
But with their first promising foray into attack, Ashfield stunned the home crowd by finding the back of the net against the run of play. A 34th minute scramble for possession on the edge of the area saw Garic gather control before hitting a curling shot from 16metres around Simon Madaschi that crept in at the far post. The goal inspired Ashfield into a flurry of activity but their finishing left a lot to be desired. Spinelli exemplified this in the 41st minute when he latched onto a long clearance by Jackson, the striker beat last defender Dom Ando but panicked at the prospect of taking on Madaschi and shot poorly, the ball eventually rolling the wrong side of the post.
Not to be out-done, City upped their efforts going into the break and carved out several good chances. Alan MacKenzie smacked a free header over the bar from 6 metres, and Klenkovski tested Jackson after a teasing run through his defense, the Ashfield custodian getting down low quickly across the 6 yard box to block the shot.
Three minutes after the re-start City would have hit the lead if not for the great reflexes of Jackson. Jason Van Roy pumped the ball from the centre of the pitch to the edge of the box where Marrapodi expertly beat his opponent and ran the ball towards the line. His centring pass picked out Klenkovski who smashed a low shot from 6metres which Jackson amazingly kept out.
Ashfield had by now re-discovered their desire for the ball and began to make better use of it by stringing together some promising moves. And they would have scored in the 56th minute if not for a comedy of errors. Ashfield got the ball into the area through a low Garic cross which Madaschi let slip through his fingers and Steve Gillibrand mis-hit his shot from 7 metres with the goal at his mercy. The ball then fell to Gene Wyllie who was about to put the ball into the open goal when flank player Shane Fuhr crashed into him and the ball rolled free before City regained their composure and cleared the danger.
With 61 minutes gone City were reduced to ten men after an incident, which completely changed the complexion of the game. A deep cross found David Mayers who played the ball to feet before rocketing a shot goalward which Madaschi stretched to parry. Garic picked up the crumbs and shot with Madaschi still prostrate on the ground, only for Alex Novatsis to fill in for the 'keeper on the line and thump the ball over the bar with his fists. Referee Paul Middleton had no hesitation in sending off the Bayswater player and awarding a penalty which Madaschi duly saved.
The introduction of substitute Brett Norrie by the Ashfield staff proved to be an inspired move as he sparked life into the side. The pacey attacking midfielder was quick to get down the flanks, leaving Pottier for dead on a number of occasions and requiring Madaschi's reflexes to be at their sharpest twice. City found it difficult to adjust to ten men and re-formed their line-up to leave Marrapodi stranded up front as the lone target man. Having been reliable throughout the opening 45 minutes, City's backline now started to show weaknesses as Ashfield continually put them under pressure, seizing upon the player advantage.
Confusion in the City defence saw Marc Wingell lucky not to score at the wrong end when an attempted clearance bounced off his head had Madaschi scrambling to tap the ball over the bar. Minutes later Garic again brought out best in Madaschi after out-pacing the defence and firing powerfully. With little over quarter of an hour remaining, Garic slammed the ball into the up-right from a tight angle having taken on and rounded two defenders, the rebound fell to Norrie's feet and he belted it over the line to give Ashfield a deserved lead after a prolonged period of dominance.
The goal knocked the wind out of City's sails and their hopeful response was to bring on last weekend's goal-scoring hero Albert Odie Tutu. It wasn't long before he was in the thick of the action - a long pass over the Ashfield defence was run onto by the speedy forward who then proceeded to bamboozle the entire Ashfield defence and make a scoring chance out of nothing. But with him being the only City player in their attacking half, Odie Tutu was let down by his team mates and he ended up going it alone and shooting wide. Unfortunately he came off injured three minutes later as City's hopes seemingly faded.
Just as the game was winding down, Condipodero popped up in the 83rd minute to keep it alive with a blistering solo strike from 18metres which Jackson had no chance of keeping out. Looking tired and uninspired since the break, an urgency returned to City's game as they sought to find an equaliser and get a point out of this contest. Condipodero, Pottier and Van Roy all had chances to equalise but couldn't make most of them amongst some scrappy play. In the end Ashfield struggled to hold on to their slender lead until the final whistle for a hard earnt victory after a lifeless opening.
Bayswater City Panthers: Simon Madaschi, Marc Wingell, Allan Pottier, Dom Giorgi, Alex Novatsis, Jason Van Roy,
Dom Ando, Alan MacKenzie, Charles Condipodero, Bobbi Klenkovski (Paul DaSun Martino 65), Sal Marrapodi
(Albert Odei Tutu 75 (Jamie Kunkar 83))
Ashfield/Bunbury: Phil Jackson, Daniel Trim, Nathan Salisbury, Damian Trim, Shane Fuhr, Gyula Koncsek (Gene Wyllie 54), Steve Goff (Brett Norrie 57), David Mayers (Steven Rogers 83), Steve Gillibrand, Savo Garic, Adrian Spinelli
Referee: Paul Middleton
Cautions: Wingell (65), Wyllie (71)
Expulsions: Novatsis (61)
Attendance: 250 (approx.)
KNIGHTS ON THE MOVE
The Western Knights have returned to their old stomping ground of Perry Lakes Stadium this season having deemed the Croatian Sports Centre in Gwelup. The Knights played most of their home games at Perry Lakes - purpose-built for the 1962 Commonwealth Games - until 1993 when they re-located to Gwelup, but having used the venue for the past seven years coach Ronnie Campbell was getting a bit fed-up with the restrictions of the venue. "It was fairly confined at Gwelup, so the wide open spaces at Perry Lakes will be welcome and give us the chance to use two wingers."
The Knights will play ten of the opening eleven home-and-away fixtures at Perry Lakes, vacating the ground in early July as the Greece athletics squad arrives to use the venue in preparation for the 2000 Olympics Games. That scenario means the Knights have to play the majority of the return matches on the road which doesn't phase Campbell in the least, "We'll obviously be at an advantage early on, but the second half of the season will be tough, so it will even out."
CHANNEL 31 PICK UP LOCAL SOCCER
Perth's Community television broadcaster Channel 31 are to air a weekly soccer segment with a focus on the W.A. State League over the winter. The show, which debuted this week, will go out as part of the Hellenic Hour every Wednesday from 7.30pm and features news, views and interviews on the game at state level. Hosted by Perth soccer identity Paul Tombides, the segment will run for 10-15 minutes each week.
The program is the stations' third regular soccer segment. The British Soccer Show is aired on Thursday nights from 8.00pm, and there's a regularly segment on Friday Night Live just before 8.00pm which discusses the N.S.L. and features line-in-the-studio interviews with personalities from Perth Glory.
Inglewood United have loaned out promising young goalkeeper Corey Hugo to Swan I.C. following the return of Robert Zabica to the side. The former Socceroo missed the majority of the W.A. Night Series due to summer cricket commitments, but with these recently completed, Zabica has re- claimed his position as the side's primary custodian. Hugo took over between the posts during the pre-season competition and was an integral part in United reaching last weeks Final, but he was looking at playing the remainder of the season as Zabica's understudy. Unlucky not to have been signed by Perth Glory as an apprentice during the off-season, Hugo weighed up his options during the week and requested a transfer in order to further his career. "Corey has a chance of signing for a club in Singapore and he needs first team games to keep him sharp," said United coach John Hunter. "That's why he's been leant out * Last week's loss has nothing to do with changing 'keepers. Robert was always going to be first choice," Hunter added, refuting claims Hugo was held responsible for United's 6-nil thrashing by Athena in the Night Series Final.
In a surprise move last week, the Western Knights released two players - Eugene Singeorzan and Tomislav Tomich - who have both been key components in their side over recent years. One of the club's most consistent scorers over the past few seasons, Singeorzan was dropped from the Knights side for their opening Boral Challenge Cup match as part of disciplinary action against the striker after an unspecified incident in a recent friendly game with Swan I.C. Further to the action Singeorzan has since been transfer listed. And a few days after the sides 5-nil thrashing of Olympic, Perth Glory apprentice goalkeeper Tomich was told that his services were no longer required by the Knights. The young 'keeper apparently took the dismissal in his stride and has been quickly snapped up by Premier League outfit Cockburn City, whom he hopes to be made his State League debut for this weekend should his clearance come through in time.
BORAL CHALLENGE CUP
The Boral Challenge Cup got underway last weekend in Perth with 16 teams being involved in First Round ties. Results went generally as expected with all Premier League sides in action downing lower ranked opponents. Eight teams - Armadale, Ashfield/Bunbury, Bassendean Caledonian, ECU Joondalup, Fremantle City, the Leeming Strikers, Rockingham City and Sorrento - didn't take part in the first round of games, all drawing byes into the next stage.
At Frank Drago Reserve, 1st Division Perth City drew first blood against the Bayswater City Panthers when, inside the first minute of play, the Bayswater defence failed to adequately clear a corner. The ball was lobbed back into the area where the Bayswater backline was looking to the linesman for the off-side flag, Jason Hope having the simple task of slotting it past 'keeper Simon Madaschi. Two minutes later the Premier League side found themselves another goal down, Joe Sweeney collecting a throw-in before being afforded the time to line up a blistering 25metre shot which Madaschi had little chance of saving. Perth City continued to ply the pressure in the opening 20 minutes and Hope (twice) and Eric Collings should have made more of the chances which fell their way and extended their sides lead.
But Bayswater slowly found their rhythm and came back into the game, getting the ball into the box and creating chances for themselves. Charles Condipodero had the side's first goalscoring opportunity after 21 minutes when Rob Tracey mis-judged a corner and the ball floated to the unmarked Bayswater No.9 but he put his header well over the bar. The home side were now dominating play and, with Perth bundled up in their defensive third of the pitch, they sought for a way back into the game. They were rewarded in the 32st minute with a brilliant goal from a well rehearsed set- piece - Alan MacKenzie swung in a free-kick from 35metres which was expertly nodded to feet by Condipodero and Bobbi Klenkovsky was on hand to thunder a low first time shot past the 'keeper.
Under the guidance of veteran Allan Pottier, Bayswater's defence was effectively snuffing out any chances that Perth City could make. With Pottier often making the crucial tackle himself, balls were then being fed into midfield where Condipodero was tearing up the pitch and leaving his opponents in his wake as he ran Bayswater into attack. The home side finally drew level on the 40th minute mark via another free-kick. Again it was MacKenzie who floated the ball, this time short to Novatsis who rose unchallenged to powerfully flick-head past the diving Tracey from 8 yards. In the final minutes of the half both sides had more than their share of chances but both Tracey and Madaschi prevented the scoreline from increasing.
Referee Steve Muldoon took no part in the game after the break having turned an ankle mid-way through the first half and was replaced by Michael Nugus who immediately spoke to Tracey about his language. Play was bogged down in the middle of the park for the opening 15 minutes of the half with neither side displaying much forward thrust. Substitute Jason Van Roy eventually took the initiative and gave Perth City plenty to think about with some darting runs as the home side began to again assert their dominance. Sal Marrapodi shrugged off three defenders before seeing his stinging shot knocked out for a corner early on, Condipodero drove the ball narrowly wide of the up-right and Klenkovsky had his close-range effort smothered off the boot by 'keeper Tracey. For their part, Perth City had run out of ideas about how to break down their opponents defence and resorted to playing the long-ball over the top in the hope of Collings seizing upon a error by the Bayswater backline.
The introduction of Albert Odei Tutu by Bayswater had instant effect and he blasted over the crossbar having been on the pitch for little over a minute. Odei Tutu brought about an urgency that was previously lacking in Bayswater's game and the side lifted noticeably as a result. Condipodero hammered a shot wide when the ball bobbled at the wrong time on the uneven surface and MacKenzie was unfortunate not to score from a free-kick. Second half chances were far and few between for Perth City as the Bayswater defence restricted them to shooting from outside the penalty area. Their only real attempt in the second period came in the 76th minute when Jamie Heriges' deep cross was met by Barry McGeod who dived full length to reach the ball. His header beat Madaschi but thundered off the underside of the bar and was hooked to safety by Bayswater captain Dom Ando.
Dale Wingell, who had looked out of touch for the entire game, found himself with an early shower after an incident involving John Wyeth in the 80th minute. Wyeth savagely cut-down Wingell from behind, the former Perth Glory wing-back complained to the referee perhaps a little too colourfully and was sent from the field for abusive language. Down to ten men, Bayswater looked the better finishers in the final minutes but couldn't make the most of their chances as Perth City legs began to tire.
Perth City's Tracey tried to single handedly inspire his side from the back in golden goal extra-time with little effect. While Perth City were enjoying the better of the play with some good passages, they were consistently let down in front of goal and at times looked to be holding out for a penalty shoot-out. Bayswater took full advantage of their lackadaisical approach and Odei Tutu was twice put through in a one-on-one with Tracey who displayed razor sharp reflexes to keep his side in the hunt. But it was third time lucky for Odei Tutu in the 103rd minute - Pottier played a searching ball from midfield which Marrapodi collected and quickly knocked on to Odei Tutu who was running towards the box. He looked to have lost possession following an awkward bounce on the edge of the area, but kept his composure to outrun a defender to the ball, then proceeded to round the 'keeper and tuck the ball into an empty net to put Bayswater into the next round.
Bayswater City: Simon Madaschi, Allan Pottier, Dom Ando, Rob Markovsky,
Dom Giorgi, Dale Wingell, Alex Novatsis (Jason Van Roy 46), Charles
Condipodero, Alan MacKenzie, Bobbi Klenkovsky (Albert Odei Tutu 69), Sal
Perth City: Rob Tracey, Aaron Lowdery, Nick Edwards, Scott Wyeth (Barry McGeod 101), Ryan Underwood, Jamie Heriges, Eddie Sinclair (John Wyeth 76), Joe Sweeney (Dean Stewart 69), Stuart Currie, Jason Hope, Eric Collings
Referee: Steve Muldoon / Michael Nugus
Cautions: MacKenzie (12), Collings (54), Sweeney (57), J.Wyeth (80), S.Wyeth (82)
Explusions: Wingell (80)
Attendance: 250 (approx.)
With Dorrien Gardens available due to re-surfacing work, the Perth - Swan I.C. fixture was switched to the Swan Italian Club for the only game featuring two Premier League sides of the round. Visitors Perth got off to a great start when teenage scoring sensation Adrian Caceres, who has recently spent time trialling with Perth Glory and Marconi Stallions, gave his side a first half lead with a spectacular long-range shot. Swan managed to pull one back just after the re-start but the neutral scoreline was short- lived as midfielder Mark Pottier restored Perth's lead within the minute. With the clock ticking down, Perth defender Aaron Cole brought down an opponent in the area to receive his second yellow card of the afternoon late in the game as Swan applied the pressure. Carlos Scali took the resulting spot kick for Swan but it was goalkeeper Robert Scarparolo that became an instant hero with his teammates as he dove the right way to save the penalty. "It was backs to the wall stuff for the last 10minutes, so we were relieved to gain a hard-fought victory," said Perth coach Graham Normanton at the end of a nervous victory.
In other notable Cup ties, Carl Medica smashed a hat-trick and Shane McNally bagged a double as Western Knights thrashed Kingsway Olympic. Floreat Athena continued their fine form which saw them take out the Night Series last week in defeating Stirling Suns thanks to goals from Robin Dyers, Jason Smith and Costa Socratous. And goals either side of the interval from Ivaca Markovic and Taki Nikolaides were enough to see Inglewood United bounce back from their Night Series Final loss to Athena to triumph 2-nil over First Division Stirling Lions.
(Update 5.4.2000) The draw for the Second Round of the Cup took place on Wednesday night with all games scheduled to take place on the weekend of 24th April. There are some good pairings with the stand-out fixtures being Inglewood United vs ECU Joondalup and the Western Knights vs Bayswater City Panthers. The other ties are Southside United vs Perth - Cockburn City vs Fremantle City - Floreat Athena vs Ashfield/Bunbury - Armadale vs Bassendean Caledonian - Rockingham City vs Sorrento and Balcatta vs the Leeming Strikers
First Round Results:
Bayswater City Panthers 3 vs Perth City 2, Cockburn City 2 vs Queens Park 0, Dianella White Eagles 1 vs Balcatta 2, Floreat Athena 3 vs Stirling Suns 0, Kingsway Olympic 1 Western Knights 5, Perth 2 vs Swan I.C. 1, Southside United 2 vs Wanneroo 1, Stirling Lions 0 vs Inglewood United 2.
ATHENA WINS NIGHT SERIES
Floreat Athena fired a warning shot across the bows of fellow W.A. State League sides on Sunday night when they thrashed cross-town rivals Inglewood United 6-nil in the Final of the pre-season competition, the Midland Brick Night Series. The win avenged last season's Boral Cup Final in which United (then known as Inglewood Falcons) defeated Athena 1-0.
Nippy striker Vas Kalogeracos got proceedings under way for Athena when he scored after just seven minutes of play. Things went from bad to worse for United as Peter Coci found himself on the end of another Athena attacking move in the 18th minute, his powerful shot deflecting off a defender before finding the back of the net to double the margin. The match was killed off as a contest two minutes later when Doug Ithier mad it 3-0. With United now well and truly on the back foot, coach John Hunter made a couple of changes which he hoped would stablise his side but the moves were of little effect. Athena dominated their opponents to take control of the match and in the 33rd minute one-time Inglewood player Scott Daley bagged his sides fourth of the night.
The second half saw both sides make full use of their benches and it was Daley again that further extended the margin just seven minutes after the re- start. Having played the first 45minutes as sweeper, promising young midfielder Troy Bernard was switched to midfield at the break and he complete the route with a 68th minute strike.
Athena coach Michael Roki was over the moon with the way the side attacked from the outset to set-up such a one-sided final. "I think it just ended up being our night," he said. "We've got a good bunch of players with a fair bit of ability, a good attitude and a great atmosphere at the club. The boys have got their reward." Disappointed wouldn't described the way United coach John Hunter felt after his side got off to the worst start imaginable, "We started badly and it got worse. It was 15 minutes of madness and it cost us three goals. After that the game was finished. But we have no excuses because we were beaten by a much better team on the day."
Floreat Athena: John Xigas (Anthony Mori 85), Adrian Sutton, Boza Eracovic
(George Tiniakos 71), Jason Smith, Troy Bernard, Doug Ithier (Peter Nikoloski
56), Andrew Afkos (Chris Georganis 62), Scott Daley, Peter Coci, Robin
Dyers (Costa Socratous 67), Vas Kalogeracos
Inglewood United: Corey Hugo (Oliver Taseski 60), Jamie Goodman, Steven MacDonald, Alex Cummings, Lee Crosby (Nicky Dyer 42), Paul Lincoln, Daniel Harrop, Ryan Newhill, Karl Atley (Ivica Markovic 30), Taki Nicholaidis (Grant Learmont 51), Robert Milevski (Gary Andrews 31)
Referee: Stephen Muldoon
Cautions: Afkos (26), Ithier (30), Daley (42)
Sunday night saw the semi-finals of the Midland Brick Night Series contested at Litis Stadium with Inglewood United and Floreat Athena running out triumphant.
In the early fixture, Floreat Athena overcame a determined Fremantle City thanks largely to the efforts of player-of-the-match Doug Ithier. The former Glory player was instrumental in the 2-1 win, playing a helping hand in the sides first goal before scoring the second himself. Playing in midfield, Ithier twice tested 'keeper Craig Shanko in the opening half hour. The first came when Ithier climbed highest at a corner to send a powerful header goalward, the City custodian moving swiftly to hold on to the shot. And with 30 minutes gone, Shanko again proved Ithier's foil as he parried a powerful 25metre shot. Athena finally broke through when Ithier sent a searching cross into the City penalty box which was met by Robin Dyers who put a looping header over Shanko and into the far corner of the net. Any chances City had of making next weekend's final were dashed when Paul McVittie received his marching orders after 61 minutes. The contest was over six minutes later when Ithier hit a blistering free-kick from 30metres which left Shanko grasping thin air. City fought against the odds and were eventually rewarded with a goal from substitute Steve Bourne in the 73rd minute, but they were unable to equalise in the time remaining and for the third year running go out at the semi-final stage of the competition.
Later in the night Inglewood United came from a goal down to earn their place in the final with a 2-1 win over Perth. Perth had gone through the preliminary stages of the competition undefeated, scoring 16 goals and conceding only two in the process. And boasting a dangerous attacking formation featuring David Onoforo and Adrian Caceras, scorer of 8 of those 16 goals, they looked set for a spot in the final when Mark Pottier put them ahead twenty minutes after the interval. But United, the current Night Series holders, never gave up the fight and bagged two goals in three minutes to win their way through. Paul Lincoln knocked in the equaliser after 73 minutes, and only minutes later Daniel Harrop scored his second goal in as many outings to set up a Night Series final between two of the League's traditional rivals clubs.
GARY FARIA WANTED BY GLORY
Perth Glory are looking at bolstering their squad before this seasons April 6th transfer deadline and are keen to pick up some local talent. One of their targets appears to be Fremantle City's attacking midfielder Gary Faria who spend last month on loan to Glory and has recently been invited back to train with the squad one night a week.
On the final weekend of the qualifying rounds for the 2000 Midland Brick Night series, the Western Knights smashed seven goals past Rockingham City, Perth hit five past the Bayswater City Panthers and Fremantle City downed Ashfield/Bunbury. Wednesday night , the last qualifying night, saw Inglewood United sneak into the last four with a solitary goal triumph over Sorrento, while Cockburn City and and ECU Joondalup fought out a 2-all draw.
With neither the Western Knights nor Rockingham City able to make the knock-out semi-finals stage of the competition, the Knights underlined that they will be serious title contenders when the winter season gets underway next month. Newly promoted Rockingham were under the hammer from early on and it was only some resolute defending in the opening half that kept them in the match. With 25 minutes elapsed, promising youngster Joe Vaz bundled the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble to give the Knights a deserved lead. This was doubled shortly before half-time when Eugene Singeorzan bagged his first goal of the night as City defended gallantly. It was all one-way traffic after the break as the Knights overran their comparatively inexperienced opponents, and only minutes after the re-start midfielder Vaz sent in an in-swinging corner which City 'keeper Derek Kavanagh mis-judged and knocked into his own net. Singeorzan hit the sides fourth after 68 minutes, and a few minutes later Vaz created the fifth from a free-kick which was eventually touched over the line by John Nicolaou. Twelve minutes before full-time Ivan Zuvelo lobbed the 'keeper for the sixth, and it was left to Singeorzan to complete the thrashing and his net his first hat-trick of the season with a close-range header.
In the late game, Floreat Athena clinched second spot in Group A with an impressive 5-1 win over Bayswater Panthers. Robin Dyers scored his first goal for Athena since moving from Fremantle City early in the match and ex-Glory striker Vas Kalogeracos hit a 25metre thunderbolt to further extend the sides lead. Peter Coci scored twice and substitute Chris Georganis rounded out the scoreline and assured Athena a place in the semi-finals.
Fremantle City ran out 3-nil victors over Ashfield/Bunbury on Saturday night. It was a hard fought win for City who were held at bay until the 60th minute by a stubborn defence that was well marshalled by 'keeper Phil Jackson. But there was nothing he could do to stop Michael Mirco stabbing the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble 15 minutes into the second half. The goal saw the action hot up for the final half hour and promising 17-year old Mark Lipman added his sides second in the 73rd minute before substitute Trim Morgan wrapped up the tie two minutes later. "That's the third successive year we've reached the night series semis, but we've yet to win one - it's time we did," said City coach Stuart Kamasz post-match.
On the final night of the qualifying round, Inglewood United and Sorrento battled out a classic do-or-die clash with both sides in the running for progression to the semi-final stage - a draw would do it for United, while Sorrento needed a win. United called up Robert Zabica for his first appearance in club colours this season and the former Socceroo custodian proved to be the sides saviour early on with a series of fine saves to thwart the determined Sorrento forwards. But the hero of the night was one-time Sorrento player Daniel Harrop who waited until the 62nd minute to score the only goal of the night. A stinging Karl Atley shot was parried by Sorrento 'keeper Mike Harkness, Paul Lincoln collected the crumbs and knocked the ball to Harrop who had the simple task of putting the ball in the net and his side in the last four. Despite both Cockburn City and Joondalup being out of contention for a finals berth, the sides put on a great match which produced a hard fought 2-all draw in the late fixture.
Floreat Athena will now face Fremantle City in one semi-final, with the other to be contested between traditional rivals Perth and Inglewood United. Both games will be played on Sunday night at Litis Stadium.
MILICEVIC NOT WANTED BY KNIGHTS
Former A.I.S. captain and current Perth Glory player Ljubo Milicevic has been released by W.A. State League club the Western Knights after just one match. The 19-year old defender was drafted to play for the Knights this winter season but after one appearance in the Midland Brick Night Series has been told his services are no longer required.
Knights coach Ronnie Campbell said he was disappointed with Milicevic's attitude after the defender questioned the role he was asked to play with the club. Campbell also expressed his concern that Glory would not agree to release him to train with the club once a week, "I think Ljubo is going to be a great player and it's a pity it didn't work out with us" he said. Milicevic may be drafted to another local team for the up-coming season.
FOUR LOCAL JOEYS
Four Perth-based teenagers - Darren Broxton, Anthony Danze, Louis Parkinson and Ryan Fredericks - have been included in the preliminary squad of 33 players for Australia's national Under-17's side. The squad recently assembled for a training camp in Parklea (News South Wales) which was run caretaker coach Les Scheinflug, who lead the Joeys to the runners-up position at last years Under-17's tournament in New Zealand. With a permanent replacement coach being appointed in the next few months, the side are currently gearing up for the 2001 Under-17's qualifiers to be held this December in Samoa.
Midfielders Broxton and Danze and forward Parkinson all recently spent two weeks trialling with English Premier League club Southampton. Along with defender Fredericks, the quartet all hail from the Saints Academy which plays at Edith Cowan University's Joondalup campus.
Western Australia's pre-season competition, the Midland Brick Night Series is well under way for 2000. The states Premier League clubs have been drawn into two groups for the tournament. In Group A we have Perth, ECU Joondalup, Floreat Athena, Swan I.C, Bayswater City Panthers and Cockburn City, while Group B consists of Sorrento, the Western Knights, Inglewood United (formerly Falcons), Fremantle City, Ashfield/Bunbury and Rockingham City.
With the knock-out finals fast approaching, last weekend saw defending Night Series champions Sorrento overrun a gallant Rockingham City with three second half goals. The odds were always stacked against Rockingham and in the 16th minute their hopes took a further battering as goalkeeper Adrian Rawlings was forced off the pitch with a knee injury after colliding with Todd Harnwell - and with no substitute 'keeper on the bench, Stewart Francis donned the gloves. Twenty minutes later the ledger appeared to have been evened somewhat after Sorrento were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Richard Turnbull for lashing out at an opponent. But ten minutes after the re-start Rockingham were sent reeling when David Twigg was sent off for his second bookable offence of the night. And from the resulting free-kick veteren striker Trevor Morgan sent the ball over Francis to give his side the lead. Sorrento now took control of the game and were rewarded with two further goals - a 70th minute converted by Ross Greer and an extra-time tap-in from winger Todd Harnwell. In the night's other match, Floreat Athena downed Swan 2 goals to nil.
Two days later the Western Knights left it until late to down Ashfield/Bunbury. Shane McNally put the Knigths ahead in the second minute of play when he knocked in Scott Devine's flick-on. But their elation was short-lived as defender Ric Antunes was sent off for dissent in the 14th minute. Ashfield then had a couple of great chances to equalise when Savo Garic drove a thunderbolt at goal which Knights 'keeper Darren Williams did well to keep out, and Lee Pashley blasted over the bar from 2 metres when a simple tap-in would have got the desired result. Steven Gillibrand finalled levelled the scores in the 37th minute with his first goal of the season. The Knights came out fired up in the second half and both Dead Nicolauo and Joe Vaz had chances to put the side ahead. Vaz finally settled the match after 79 minutes when he reacted quickest inside the penalty area to pounce on a partially-blocked shot to hit the winner. In Sunday's late game, Joondalup thrashed Bayswater 6-2 to keep it's finals hopes alive.
With just one weekend's worth of action to go in the qualifying stage of the competition, Perth are the only side to have secured their way through to the semi-finals by topping Group A with either Floreat Athena or ECU Joondalup looking set to take second spot. There is a similar situation in Group B where Fremantle City lead the way with Sorrento and Inglewood United hot on their heals in contesting for a berth in the knock-out stages.
PERTH GLORY - SOCCER WEST COAST DRAFT
After the success of last season's draft, Perth Glory have once again made their entire playing squad available to W.A. State League teams for the winter 2000 season. Soccer Australia has approved the scheme which allows Glory players to hold dual registration with Soccer Australia and Soccer West Coast, enabling them to participate in both N.S.L. and W.A. State competitions over coming months. Players not selected for N.S.L. duty with Glory will be available to play for their allotted W.A. club.
The scheme, a first in Australia when originally implemented last season, involves no added expense to Soccer West Coast clubs, Glory management paying the wages of their players regardless of which competition they are playing. In addition Glory will be making a contribution towards Soccer West Coasts' administrative costs. The only club that opted not to participate in the draft was Ashfield/Bunbury who claimed that last season's draft was of little benefit to them.
The player allocations for the up-coming season are:
Rockingham City: Peter Buljan and John Carbone
Swan I.C: Dion Valle and Ivan Ergic
Bayswater City Panthers: Edgar and Tony Franken
Inglewood United: Vinko Buljubasic and Rob Trajkovski
Perth: Gareth Naven and Hamilton Thorp
Cockburn City: Alistair Edwards
Sorrento: Jamie Harnwell
Floreat Athena: Con Boutsianis and James Afkos
ECU Joondalup: Kasey Wehrman and Troy Halpin
Fremantle City: Bobby Despotovski and Jason Petkovic
Western Knights: Scott Miller and Ljubo Miliccevic
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This page was last updated on the 30th April, 2000