TETLOW JOINS MANDURAH
Former Fremantle City youth coach Mike Tetlow has taken up the reigns with First Division club Mandurah City. "I'm looking forward to the challenge working with some new and old friends," Tetlow commented on his appointment. Tetlow, who is also coach of the West Australian Under-15 side, parted company with Fremantle little over a month ago after seven years with the port side. Mandurah, one of the pre-season favourites for the First Division title, are currently placed fifth after twelve games.
WASA RANKS SWELLED
Kevin Campbell, recently appointed chairman of the Western Australian Soccer Association, today announced two new additions to the organisations board. Steve Coppack, president of the Junior Soccer Association of WA, and Russell Goodrick, a director of Soccer West Coast, have been selected from those nominees put forward by their respective associations. Both appointments have been endorsed by the Australian Soccer Association.
"Steve and Russell will bring a combination of business and sports administration experience to the new board," said Campbell. "They will contribute a vital understanding of the issues faced by the code and the opportunities for us to take the game forward in Western Australia. With a potential membership of in excess of 28,000 registered players, the new body will have a major role to play in the development of the game under the national structure now in place."
Campbell expects to announce additional SAWA directors within the next fortnight. Applications for the position of chief executive officer with the new body will be called for nationwide this weekend through advertisements in the "West Australian" and "Weekend Australian" newspapers.
WAIS HONOUR FOR DE VANNA
Just days after being called up into the Australian squad for this years Olympic Games, 19-year old Lisa De Vanna has been successful in obtaining a scholarship to the Western Australian Institute of Sport. "As far as I know this is a first for Women's soccer in this state," said West Australian Women's coach Alistair Edwards. "These type of achievements don't happen by accident and we should all acknowledge the tremendous amount of hard work that that Lisa has put in."
It's been an amazing six months for the Fremantle-born striker whose recently returned to the local scene where she's turned out for Northern Redbacks. De Vanna was one of three players nominated for the Julie Dolan medal which is awarded to the best and fairest player in the Women's National Soccer League which she spent with Adelaide Sensation. In February the teenager made her senior debut for Australia in the Australia Cup and the following month helped the Matilda's negotiate their way through the Oceania qualifier for the Athens Olympics.
SCHOOLBOYS TRIUMPH OVER COCKBURN
The State Schoolboys continued to work toward this years national championship with a 3-1 win over a Cockburn City youth team at Beale Park this evening. It was a bright opening by Cockburn who could have found themselves two goal the better inside five minutes but Fabio De Oliveira's shot was kept out by goalkeeper Alex Dunn (right) and a blistering strike by Lloyd Humphrey crashed into the crossbar before being knocked to safety. However, justice was done not long after when De Oliveira tucked the ball in the net following good approach work from Mileta Miletic.
Although slow to get into their rhythm, the Schoolboys were knocking the ball around well and midway through the half got back on level terms. A great run from Andy Pomfret saw him find Dejan Gurovski who turned sharply before sending the ball past guest goalkeeper Aleksandar Vrteski. The State team were by this stage well on top as Rodrigo Aguirre set-up Gurovski who shot narrowly over the crossbar. With 26 minutes gone the Schoolboys took the lead when Jarred Smith working his way down the left to cross to Ben Kelly who made no mistake with his finish. The score became 3-1 shortly before the break with Smith bagging his second of the evening.
Cockburn started the second half much as they had the first. Simon Jonas was denied by Dunn and Simon El Charmi placed his shot just a little too high. Twice in quick succession was put through but he sprayed the first chance wide and was brilliantly dispossessed by Pomfret not long after. Going the other way, Wesley Ryder beat the offside trap only to be prevented from scoring by Vrteski. The 3-1 scoreline and his sides performance pleased Schoolboys coach Damon Atthowe. "It was a good workout for the players and there was an improvement from last weeks game," he said. "We moved off the ball well tonight and the more we play the better we well get. There were good signs out there tonight and we are getting progressively better."
STATE 19'S MAKE CLEAN SWEEP OF VIS SERIES
A second half goal from substitute Liam Lilly has enabled the West Australian Youth (under-19) side to make a clean sweep of their two-game series with the Victorian Institute of Sport. Played on a chilly Tuesday evening at Litis Stadium, the concluding match of the series got off at a cracking pace with the visiting side eager to get the early breakthrough. Just 5 minutes had elapsed when Daniel Visevic was unlucky not to score with a low drive from just outside the 18-yard box that beat everyone only to hit the upright. Luck was again not on the side of the VIS shortly after when Peter Kotsopoulos' effort crashed into the crossbar. WA slowly found their rhythm and worked their way back into the match with Michael Baczynski, Ben Rogers and Jason Dos Santos keeping the opposing defence on their toes.
Both sides made a number of changes early in the second half, WA bringing on Nick Ward and Lilly while the VIS introduced Dean Piemonte, Matt Park and Reardo Luka. The match continued to flow from end to end with neither side able to convert their chances. The deadlock was finally broken in the 72nd minute when a corner was only partially cleared and David Micevski swung the ball back into a crowded penalty area where Lilly rose to nod in. Four minutes later Andrija Jukic could have secured victory for WA when sent clear one-on-one with the goalkeeper only to pull his shot to the right of the goal. Kristian Sarkies looked to have bagged an equaliser when he found the net with a brilliant free-kick from 25-metres but the goal was disallowed for an infringement picked up by the referee's assistant. And with virtually the last play of the game goalkeeper Alan Mattecucci ensured a home win by keeping out another well taken free-kick from distance that beat the defensive wall.
Following the game VIS coach Ernie Merrick was full of praise for the host team. "I was extremely happy with both games," he said. "WA played well and with great spirit yet were tough with no quarter given which is exactly the type of games I want for the VIS players during their development. I was particularly impressed by the efforts of Nick Ward and Michael Baczynski proved a handful for my boys. From our point of view it was good to see Adrian Leijer back from a torn Achilles tendon which has kept him out for the past three months." Merrick added that he was keen to play a reverse series at some time on the east coast. "I'd be happy to have the WA boys over to Victoria and will keep in touch with Soccer West Coast to see if it can be arranged. We had a great time in Perth and on behalf of the entire touring party wish to thank Paul Tombides, Soccer West Coast and Floreat Athena for their hospitality."
GOALS! GOALS! GOALS!
Stuart Montomery is the leading goalscorer in the Premier League at the halfway stage of the season. The Western Knights marksman has put the ball away ten times in eleven outings to lead by two over teammate Carl Medica. Antonio Naglieri (Cockburn City), Andreas Oliveira (Floreat Athena) and Swan I.C. off-season recruit David Foster share seven goals. One behind that trio are Bobby Despotovski (Inglewood United) and Cockburn duo John Mirco and Peter Petkovich. With five goals apiece are Andy Brown (E.C.U. Joondalup), Robbie Puca (Perth S.C.) and Fremantle City's Kevin Correia.
Nikita Ruravytsya of Perth S.C. leads the way in the Reserves with twelve goals to his credit. Four behind the young gun is early pacesetter Simon El Chami (Cockburn City) with State Youth representative player Josh Kamasz (Western Knights) and Luke Myburg (Fremantle City) a further goal adrift. With six goals is Sorrento's David Houston and Matt Ullbricht (Cockburn City) who are followed by Steve Bozinovski (Stirling Lions) and Scott Cooper (Bassendean Caledonian) with five goals. Currently on four goals are John Thornley (Knights), Jake Harman, Jermone Vallet (Lions), Demir Arslovoski, Mladen Kovacevic (Inglewood United), Matthew Novatsis (Floreat Athena), Tyrone Fenwick (Fremantle), Scott Blackmore and Jonathan Greenwood (Joondalup).
Sorrento's Michael Johnson has leapt to the top of the Under-18's leading goalscorers having found the net ten times so far this winter. Chris Socratous (Perth S.C.) is close behind on nine goals with Dragan Milankovic of Cockburn City and E.C.U. Joondalup teammates John Aitken and Kevin Caroma a further two off the pace. Luke O'Neill (Bayswater City) sits on six goals followed by Ben Howe (Fremantle City), David Araya (Cockburn) and David Wimbridge (Sorrento) with five each. A growing group of eleven players each have four goals to their credit.
JUNIORS HEAD TO NATIONS CAPITAL
The Junior Soccer Association's Under-13 North and South Development squads head to Canberra at the end of this week to compete in the Capital Cup. The tournament commences on Sunday 4th July and runs through until the Friday 9th July. Representative teams from Northern New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, West Australia and the Australian Capital Territory will compete against each other in one of the premier junior soccer tournaments held in Australia.
"The Capital Cup is significant because this is the first time these players have represented WA and it will be demanding on many levels," said JSA spokeman Glenn Morley. "Not only will they be playing five games in five days, they will be playing against the best players in the country their age." The West Australian squads arrive in Canberra on the Friday 3rd July, two days ahead of their first round match in order to train and adapt to the cooler Canberra climate.
The State Under-13 North Development squad is Luka Marjanovic, Jack Watts (Bassendean), Felix Burrows (Floreat), Shane Doyle, Declin Sutton (E.C.U. Joondalup), Daniele Bradshaw, Brynn Hindley, Chris Quinn, Paul Rechichi, John Tancredi (Kings Academy), Mark Brighiti, David Screaigh (Perth S.C.), Yasuhito Nakajima, Reece Vittiglia (Sorrento), Carlo Coelho and Michael Currie (Wanneroo City). The side is coached by Glenn Leckenby.
Selected for the West Australian Under-13 South Development squad are Rory Binnie (Bunbury), Jack Langley, James McCleary, Michael Stulic (Cockburn City), Karl Breen, Niall Shelley (Forrestfield United), Dejan Aleksic, Justin Loreto, Nicholas Mattioli, Matthew McDonald, Matthew Wells (Fremantle City), Craig Smith, Sam Smith (Fremantle United), James Mooney (Kalamunda United), Jesse Fuller (Mandurah City) and Cameron MacLean. Mike Brazil is the coach.
STATE 19'S TOO GOOD FOR VICTORIA
The West Australian Youth (Under-19) side came from behind to defeat the Victorian Institute of Sport in an entertaining friendly at Litis Stadium this afternoon. Despite a heavy pitch created by persistent overnight rains, the two sides produced some great free-flowing football much to the delight of the small but enthusiastic crowd. The VIS almost went in front after 11 minutes when a corner went to feet and Dean Piemonte scrambled the ball past goalkeeper Alan Mattecucci only to have it cleared on the line by Jeff Bright. Five minutes later there was no such luck for the hosts as, with a superbly orchestrated counter-attack, Piemonte raced down the left before squaring to the far side where Matt Dimech side-footed in the games first goal. This sparked life into the WA line-up and in a period of concerted attack Nick Ward's glancing header was just wide of the far post, and Matt Danskin blazed over the crossbar when well placed. WA's focus was rewarded with a magical equaliser on 32 minutes when David Micevski brilliantly turned an opponent and clipped a curling shot into the far top corner of the goal from 15-metres. Late in the half the VIS came close to re-claiming the lead but Mattecucci kept out Kristian Sarkies' curling free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
The start of the second half saw WA under all the pressure as their visitors sought their second goal. John Higgins was the hosts saviour on 53 minutes when he pushed over the crossbar a close-range header from Dimech. With Sarkies and Leigh Broxham controlling the flow through midfield the VIS pushed forward endlessly but could find few holes in a defence marshaled with aplomb by Liam Lilly. Against the run of play Bright surged down the left after 62 minutes to deliver a low cross into the area where Andrija Jukic showed great control before blasting past goalkeeper Peter Gavalas from 12-metres. Numerous substitutions from the WA camp served the dual purpose of introducing fresh legs while disrupting the Victorians rhythm. Even so the VIS continued to press forward almost at will. Substitute goalkeeper Aleksander Vrteski dove full-stretch along his line to keep out a dipping Sarkies free-kick, and seven minutes later Daniel Visevic's vicious shot was blocked on the line by Daryl Platten. The final few minutes saw the two teams frantically trade attacks as Michael Baczynski was denied the west's third goal by a great reflex save from Gavalas, while at the other end Vrteski came well out of his area to dispossess Matt Park after he'd gone clear of the defence.
Western Australia: Alan Mattecucci (Aleksander Vrteski 57), Liam Lilly,
Danyal Bennett (Daryl Platten 62), John Higgins, Matt Danskin (Ben Rogers
74), Jeff Bright (Jason Dos Santos 74), Scott Patteron (Scott Blackmore
57), David Micevski (Paul Vlachou 82), Nick Ward (Seb Trim 82), Josh Kamasz
(Andrija Jukic 57), Nikita Rurvytsya (Michael Baczynski 57)
Victorian Institute of Sport: Peter Gavalas, Adam Gauci-Seddon, Jamie Cumming, Adrian Leijer (Bonel Obradovic 45), Alex Antonpoulos, Semir Sivic, Leigh Broxham, Kristian Sarkies, Matt Park (Daniel Visevic 60), Dean Piemonte, Matt Dimech
Bookings: Patterson (43), Danskin (68)
Referee: Paul Anderson
Northern Redbacks stretched to ten game their unbeaten start to the Women’s Soccer WA Premier League season when held to a 2-2 draw by Queens Park at Coker Park. Both sides created several promising openings throughout the first half but in blustery conditions they went in at the break scoreless. A delicate chip into the top corner of the goal from Nicola Williams gave the Redbacks a perfect start to the new half only to have the hosts equalise. Stephanie Grant placed the ball past the goalkeeper to put the visitors back in front, but Queens Park were having none of that and levelled for the second time late in the piece.
Balcatta squandered a golden opportunity to leapfrog to the top of the Premier League standings by going down 2-3 to Subiaco at Rosalie Park. The home side took a surprise by scoring after 10 minutes, and not long before the break doubled their margin. Having threatened for much of the period Balcatta hit back almost immediately through an Ashley Kane free-kick which made it 2-1 at the break. Chances came and went early in the second half before Subiaco bagged their third goal midway through the period. Two minutes later Balcatta responded through another free-kick from Kane. Subiaco then shut up shop and defended strongly to take out the points.
Lynwood registered their first win of the season with a 5-0 trouncing of Kingsley at Hossack Reserve. From the opening whistle Lynwood adopted an aggressive pressing approach to the game and refused to allow Kingsley the freedom to play their way out of trouble. As the match progressed Lynwood only grew in confidence with an elegant display of precision passing and movement off the ball. With Candice McMinn between the posts for the first time this season Penny Hoath was given free reign in attack and showed her class by ending the day with a hat-trick while Lauren Quinlan also chimed in with two goals. East Fremantle picked up the 3-0 'bye win'.
In the First Division, Rockingham City and Murdoch University fought out a tight 1-1 draw at Dowling Street Reserve. In a physical match both sides worked hard in the first half to find the opening only for the period to end without score. After the break Rockingham were able to open their account via a free-kick given for handball. It looked as though the hosts would claim all three points until Murdoch striker Jo Steer conjured up an equaliser by working the ball past the goalkeeper with just ten minutes to go.
It remains tight at the top of the First Division where just two points separate four teams. Leading the way by the narrowest of margins are Noranda who thumped Subiaco 4-0 at Noranda Sporting Complex. A ten-player Cockburn City fought gallantly before succumbing 3-1 to second-placed Beckenham Angels at Mills Park Oval. The home side were the first to score but went in at the break on level terms after Lil Edmands found the target for Cockburn. Swan I.C. are joint third with Murdoch after picking up the 3-0 'bye win'. University of WA scored a 3-0 win over home team Northern Redbacks 'C'.
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OLYMPIC TEAM UNDEFEATED IN EUROPE
The Australian Olympic team have ended a ten-day European camp with two wins from as many games. Ryan Griffiths came off the bench to net twice for the Olympic side in yesterday's 2-0 defeat of top flight Swiss side Neuchatel-Xamax in the final match of their stay. Perth-born Adrian Madaschi played a full game in the win, Anthony Danze came on after 60 minutes while Brad Jones was an unused substitute. The match action commenced on Wednesday with a 5-2 defeat of Yverdon-Sport. Ahmad Elrich and Alex Brosque each scored twice with the remaining goal coming from the boot of Shane Cansdell-Sherriff. Jones played a full game between the posts for the Australian side, Madaschi was replaced in the 69th minute, and Danze came off the bench after 63 minutes.
WAASSA, ROUND TEN
University of WA and Fremantle United fought out a 0-0 draw at McGillivray Oval in the WAASSA Autostrada Cars Premier Division soccer fixture on Sunday. UWA had a chance after 10 minutes when Bryn Griffiths shot from just inside the box only for Fremantle goalkeeper J.Prince to take catch the ball high to his right. UWA were then denied a penalty by the referee after Max Percy was flattened in the penalty box whilst running with the ball. At the other end Fremantle's J.Sithole latched onto to a wayward pass and sent the ball just over the bar. The same player went close 5 minutes later when he put the ball just past eth left hand post. UWA then had a chance when a Nick Helm header across goal was inches away from the head of Robert Benkovic. The second half saw Fremantle's J.Sithole turn well inside the penalty box but UWA goalkeeper Josh Davenport made an excellent save at his feet to deny him a goal. The remainder of the half saw UWA have most of the possession but they could not covert that pressure into a meaningful chance on goal. Coach Kevin Burton said: "Given that our goalkeeper was injured in the warm up and he had to be replaced by an outfield player and we gave two reserve players their debuts today we cannot complain with the result. With injured players back in training we would expect to results to improve." UWA Reserves defeated Fremantle United Reserves 10-0.
Shamrock Rovers continued their unbeaten run in the league to 10 games when they beat close rivals Murdoch University at a muddy Harold Rossiter Reserve on Sunday. Despite two earlier games and a miserable day both teams attempted to play attractive football on a difficult pitch. Shamrock started the brighter with several raids being made down the flanks by wingmen Sean Brooks and Dylan Browne but the final ball was lacking. The central midfield of Rod McMullan, Pat O' Boyle and Wayne Brooks were dominating and kept possession of the ball well by knocking the ball wide at every available opportunity. However Murdoch's defence which was superbly marshalled all day by sweeper Roar Allbrightsen stood firm. Shamrock resorted to long range strikes from the midfield threesome as they could not force a way through. Several good saves were made by keeper Andy Barrett. However the half's best two chances fell to Murdochs Heng Li Ng who raced through a static defence but placed wide and secondly when brilliantly saved by keeper Ed Schuller. The second half began in a similar way with Shamrock dominating possession and territory. Then in the 60th minute a cross from the right and a goalmouth scramble saw John McCarthy net his ninth of the campaign from close range. Then five minutes later McCarthy deservedly got himself sent off after a tangle with Allbrightsen. Soon after Shamrock doubled their lead when Mark Kelly smashed in a cross from the right. Shamrock then sat back and defended well for the final twenty minutes and Murdoch only created one or two chances which Alistair Coulthard fired narrowly wide. On a difficult day and conditions both teams contributed to a free-flowing game. Coach Nik Silsby was happy with the result although the day was marred by McCarthy's sending off and an injury to the influential Wayne Brooks which will probably keep him out for 3 weeks. "We dominated possession and territory but could not find a way past their defence", the coach said. "However, we persevered and were patient by playing thoughtful football. Overall I think the result was a fair reflection of the game. However, I am disappointed to lose two players for next weeks big game against Hamersley. This will give a couple of the reserves an opportunity to impress and I'm hoping to make a signing this week which will strengthen the team further". The reserves made it ten wins out of ten in the league with a 3-0 victory which was probably the poorest performance of the season. Goals were scored by Jamie Silsby (2) and Sean Donnelly. They continue their remarkable record of not conceding a goal for the last 665 minutes of football played.
In other games, Kwinana United won their second match of the season after their 3-1 win over Colo Colo. Spearwood Dalmatinac and Forrestfield United fought out a tough 1-1 draw. Hamersley Rovers were too good for CN Canning International in a 2-1 victory, while Stirling Panthers and Perth Azzurri shared the points in a 1-1 draw.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND ELEVEN (Western Knights vs Fremantle City courtesy Western Knights; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Bassendean Caledonian courtesy E.C.U. Joondalup; Stirling Lions vs Swan I.C. by Don Evans; Perth S.C. vs Sorrento by Mike Hennessey)
The unbeaten home run of Western Knights continued with a come from behind one-all draw with Fremantle City at Nash Field. The port side created the better of the early chances through some creative movement down the left flank. Kevin Correia was the beneficiary of such moves but it wasn't to be his day with the striker unable to find a way past Tommi Tomich between the posts. Although slow to get into stride the Knights first opening came when Daniel Trim played a nice through ball to Carl Medica who could only send his shot wide of the target. As the half came to a close Trim created space for himself on top of the 18-yard box but his left-foot strike was directed straight at goalkeeper Bobson Koroma. The Knights came out for the second half and set about stamping their authority in midfield where Mark Lee's deft touches and fine passing lead to several good chances. A long crossfield pass found star striker Stuart Montgomery who was unable to get his shot away before the danger was cleared, and moments later good lead-up work from Lee resulted in him sending the ball to the feet of Medica whose effort crashed into the upright and deflected wide. Against the run of play a 73rd minute counter-attack down the left from Fremantle found Jeff Bright in space and the teenagers fierce shot squirmed under Tomich and into the net to make it one-nil. Keen to preserve their lead the port side were then quick to get numbers behind the ball and an effort to stifle their opponents. Having been held at bay for long enough the hosts equalised four minutes from the final whistle through highly rated teenager Andrija Jukic who brilliantly jinxed past his opponent and drilled the ball in from outside the penalty area.
E.C.U. Joondalup kept pace with the leaders by accounting for bottom side Bassendean Caledonian 2-1 in the northern suburbs. The match started, as was expected, with Joondalup well on top. The hosts launched an endless series of attacks during the opening spell and on 24 minutes took a deserved lead when Garin Collins received a pass from Andy Mason and rifled an unstoppable shot from 24-metres into the top corner of the goal. Making great use of both flanks, Joondalup continued to press forward almost at will but were unable to increase the margin before the referee signaled half-time. Fired up by the words of coach Jimmy Pearson, Caledonian emerged for the second half re-focused and in no time at all took the match up to their hosts with some fluent movement on and off the ball. It came as no surprise then that the visiting side equalised after 70 minutes through Peter Vukmirovic who slid in a cross from the right. The goals woke Joondalup from their slumber and in the minutes that followed Andy Brown, Mason and Collins squandered good chances on goal. With eight minutes to go Collins floated a free-kick into the 18-yard box where Mason and goalkeeper Steve Grant contested possession only for the ball to sail over them both and into the net. Caledonian came agonisingly close to stealing a point in the very last minute of regulation time when Kevin Griffiths shot inside the side netting from an acute angle. "On the whole it was a deserved result for us," said Joondalup coach Paul Simmons. "We had a tremendous first half but if we're to be serious contenders for the Premier League trophy then we must be consistent throughout the ninety minutes."
Cockburn City took all the points from their Round Eleven clash with Inglewood United at Dalmatinac Park. Just 7 minutes after kick-off John Mirco benefited from a slip by Rory Mouttet to advance on goal and pull the defence out of position before squaring to Peter Petkovich who tucked it into the net for the afternoon's first goal. It was very nearly two-nil a few minutes later as Antonio Naglieri forced goalkeeper Oliver Taseski into making a good save low at the near post. Having found their rhythm Inglewood set about taking control of the game but for their increased possession could find few ways past a well-organised home defence. The visitors best move of the period came on 28 minutes when Bobby Despotovski played the ball into the path of Shaun Kilkelly whose effort from 8-metres was blocked by the hard-working Dean Wallace. Inglewood were also denied a penalty when Greg Sharland's close-range shot struck the hand of an opponent but appeals for a spot kick were somewhat harshly waved away by the referee. The introduction of Jason Dos Santos early in the second half swung the game in the hosts favour. Dos Santos combined with Mario De Felice in setting up Scott Miller whose shot flashed just wide, and shortly after Taseski moved swiftly to knock Petkovich's effort around the upright. Cockburn's second goal came after 73 minutes when John Mirco converted from the penalty spot after the ball rolled against the arm of Jamie Goodman after he blocked a shot by Dos Santos. Inglewood responded by bringing off the bench Scott Campbell and Farrell Hedges who injected new life into the visiting side with some creative footwork. Twice Hedges went close before Mouttet found the target in the final minute with a superb low strike from just outside the penalty area.
Stirling Lions emerged triumphant over high-flying Swan I.C. in a five-goal thriller at Macedonia Park. In picturesque conditions, Swan were quick to stamp their authority on proceedings through hard-working midfield pair Elton Holmes and David Foster. With just 5 minutes gone the pair combined to put the visitors in front with Foster heading in to the top corner following some wizardry and a superb cross from the right by Holmes. The black and whites received a major setback on the half hour when lively striker Damien Todorovic was sent off for a second yellow card offence. The dismissal acted as a catalyst for Swan's second goal scored by Holmes whose shot flew past goalkeeper Vince Matassa after taking a deflection off teammate Riste Stefoski in the 35th minute. The Lions roared shortly after with a stunning counter-attacking move in which State midfielder Nick Ward unleashed a 30-metre bomb that left Swan custodian Corey Hugo grasping at thin air. Two minutes into the second half the hosts equalised when a perfect cross from livewire Derek Cooke found Muhamed Komaderic who rose above a crowd of players to guide his header into the roof of the net. Following this the match turned into a dour struggle as a ten-man Swan were continually put to the test by a home side focused on winning. The introduction of Steven Bozinovski and Alex Smith breathed new life into the Lions and with fifteen minutes to go Ward slipped in their third goal following a scramble for possession in a crowded goalmouth. Swan responded by throwing everything forward as Holmes, Foster and youngster Brendan Knox had good attempts on goal blocked while Carlo Scali came within inches of earning his side what would have been a deserved point with a fantastic long range strike that beat Matassa only to crash into the crossbar.
Fans of Perth S.C. left Dorrien Gardens disappointed after watching their side go down 1-2 to Sorrento in ideal conditions. The first half began in scrappy fashion with neither side able to control the flow of play. For much of the half Perth's best moves came in open play while Sorrento relied chiefly on set pieces to cause panic in the opposing defence. Perth crated three good chances in a five minute spell midway through the half, the first resulting when Boima Karpeh put a great through ball to Robbie Puca who lobbed over Neil Young as well as the crossbar. Rhys Graham and Mark Pottier also tested Young but were unable to find a way past the inform 'keeper. The Blues were made to pay for these misses when Sorrento were awarded what appeared to be a harsh penalty which Simon Harland converted to give the visitors the lead at half-time. The new half started with Perth throwing everything forward as Aaron Cole played over the defence for Robbie Puca who clipped his shot wide of the right upright. Sorrento were also guilty of poor finishing with Glen Thomas shooting across the face of goal and Danny Hill heading wide. In the 63rd minute the home fans were finally given something to cheer about as Puca lashed the ball into the net after an explosive strike from David Micevski came back off the crossbar. Perth went for the winner only to leave themselves exposed at the back and goalkeeper Robert Scarparolo came to their rescue with two fine saves inside a minute. Missed chances continued to be the order of the day as Puca and David Onoforo squandered opportunities to put Perth in front. Always dangerous on the break, Sorrento's winner came on 89 minutes when a swift move down the right involving Hill and Todd Harnwell resulted in Thomas stroking the ball home to give his side three much needed points.
Floreat Athena registered just their second win of the season with a convincing 4-1 thrashing of Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. It took the visitors just 3 minutes to hit the front through youngster Nick Studer who benefitted from a fantastic pass from midfield by Jamie Trandos. Not long after the margin became two goals as Saul Contera pounced on some sloppy defending before finding the back of the net. Bayswater slowly worked their way back into the game and on 30 minutes reduced the gap when Michael Catalano's header was misjudged by goalkeeper Vas Vujacic who contrived to punch the ball in to his own net. Holders of the majority of possession, Athena's creativity produced a variety of chances to add to their tally but had to be content with a single goal advantage going into the before. The new period began with Bayswater flexing their muscle and forcing the visitors on to the defensive. But Athena withstood the pressure and while carving out some good openings of their own which saw Adrian Sutton, Contera and Anthony Jones go close. Then, in the space of five minutes, Andreas Oliviera popped up to hit two wonderful strikes past the goalkeeper and kill off once and for all any hopes Bayswater had of getting back in the game. The day worsened for the home team when Gareth Healy was forced off through injury and having already used their allocation of substitutes were forced to see out the game with ten men. Athena saw out the remaining time with confidence to take out three much needed points which put some breathing space between themselves and the drop zone. Athena today showed what they are capable if they put their mind to it and with more performances like this the side may yet make the end of season play-offs.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND THIRTEEN (Armadale vs South West Phoenix courtesy South West Phoenix; Wanneroo City vs Canning City by Phil Unswroth; Gosnells City vs Kingsway Olympic courtesy Gosnells City; Leeming Strikers vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta)
Armadale defeated South West Phoenix 2-0 to remain top of the First Division upon the completion of the thirteenth round of competition. Phoenix came out of the block firing on all cylinders and in no time at forced the hosts on to the back foot. Relying chiefly on the counter-attack Armadale went forward on 12 minutes when Greg Newcombe toe-poked in at the far post for their first goal. After the break Phoenix upped the pace with the midfield combination of Dave Murphy, Gary Mayers, David Rodgers and captain Greg Hayes matching their opponents at every turn. Even so, Armadale increased their lead and effectively wrapped up the game on 41 minutes when Newcombe rose above the defence to head in a corner. Although his side went down, there were plenty of positives from the game for Phoenix coach Jimmy Mayers. "I was disappointed at the result but satisfied at the way my players performed," said the coach. "I felt a draw would have been a good result. We gave as good as we got and in fact in the second half we held a territorial advantage."
Wanneroo City recovered from an early setback to defeat Canning City 3-1 in the northern suburbs this afternoon. Canning surprised their hosts in the 1st minute when Alex Seed pressured Paul Kelly into sending a clearance to Mick Van Dongen who coolly slotted the ball back past the goalkeeper. Paul Oliver almost added Canning's second with a free-kick from distance which glanced off the frame of the goal. Wanneroo slowly increased their possession and began to pressure the opposing defence. Phil O'Callaghan equalised by sending the ball into the roof of the net from close-range on 40 minutes after the visiting side failed to clear the danger. And right on the stroke of half-time goalkeeper Robbie Meyer spilt a cross at the feet of John Dixon who made no mistake in putting Wanneroo in front. The new half commenced with Wanneroo in a positive frame of mind and focused on ending the game as a contest. Sixteen minutes after the restart Dixon delivered the ball into the goal area where it bounced around before O'Callaghan's shot found the net after deflecting off defender Stephen Cole. The match ended on a low for Wanneroo who had John Dixon sent off for a second yellow card offence six minutes from the final whistle.
High-flying Mandurah City let slip a sizeable lead to be held to a surprise 3-3 draw by southern neighbour Rockingham City at Peelwood Parade. The day started brightly for the hosts who went ahead on the quarter hour via Jordan Rhodes. Exciting teenage striker Jake Loreto added the sides second after 29 minutes, and when Steven Rhodes made it three-nil shortly before half-time it looked as though Mandurah had the points in the bag. But someone failed to show Rockingham the script and they stormed back into the game upon the resumption of play. The visitors comeback started seventeen minutes into the second half when Jonathan Crawford found the back of the net, and only a few more minutes had elapsed when Stephen Stewart brought the gap back to a single goal. Throwing everything forward in a desperate attempt to equalise, Rockingham continually applied pressure to the home defence but it wasn't until three minutes from the end of regulation time that their hard work paid off with David Laundy putting away their third goal.
Gosnells City moved up the table to fourth place after grinding out a 4-3 win over Kingsway Olympic at Walter Padbury Reserve. In what can only be described as a match of attrition, the opening goal arrived after 2 minutes when Sam MacGuire send a speculative pass into attack which saw Adam Bremner nip in ahead of a hesitant goalkeeper to tap into the empty net. Dominant in a scrappy and disjointed match, the hosts added to their tally through Andy Daffin who cut inside from the left to hit the sweetest of shots from 18-metres which came to nestle in the top corner of the goal. Olympic surged back into contention when Phil Russie converted a controversial penalty late in the first half, only for Tony Pritchard to restore Gosnells two-goal buffer with an equally contentious penalty at the opposite end after the break. In quick succession Olympic replied with goals from Steve Bretti in the 56th and 84th minutes which put the teams on level peggings and set up an exciting final few minutes. The decider came with virtually the last move the day in which Mark Ronald's corner was powered in off the head of Alex Grindley.
Balcatta returned to the winners circle with an excellent away 3-1 away victory over Leeming Strikers. The visitors started slowly and found themselves a goal behind after 26 minutes when Gordon Hind scored following a corner. This sparked Balcatta into action and shortly after were unlucky not to equalise following a good exchange between David Moschilla and Alley Di Nuzzo. Five minutes from the break Michael Chiari put his team back on a level footing by heading powerfully past the goalkeeper via a deflection off the crossbar. Balcatta controlled much of the second half with Moschilla and strike partner Adrian Zonato proving to be a handful for the Strikers backline. With 63 minutes gone Moschilla gave Balcatta the lead by converting a good cross from Zonato. Victory was assured two minutes from full-time when Zonato rose to head in a Mark Gentile corner. In a strong all round performance it was Zonato and Di Nuzzo that stood out for Balcatta along with sweeper Tony Paolino who marshalled the defence with aplomb. The win was Balcatta's first on away soil since the opening round of the season and enables them to climb to ninth on the First Division table.
Queens Park's resurgence continued with a 4-0 defeat of Ashfield at Coker Park. Goals in quick succession from Glen Noblet and Shirash Sasikumar midway through the first half set the hosts on the path to victory. Noblett added his second early in the second half and Raymond Rose completed the scoreline by netting ten minutes from the end. At Wotton Reserve, Morley Windmills and Stirling Suns fought out a tense 1-1 draw. The game was 13 minutes old when Marijan Stojanoski put the Suns in front, but a minute from half-time Mark Aldworth sent the sides in on level terms. There were plenty of chances after the break but with neither side able to make the most of their opportunities the day ended with honours even.
MADASCHI GUTTED (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Partick Thistle defender Adrian Madaschi admits he was "gutted" by his clubs relegation from the Scottish Premier League after a long, drawn out appeal process this week. The Jags will play next season in the First Division after Inverness Caledonian Thistle's gained promotion after agreeing on a ground share deal with Aberdeen. "There is some talk about another appeal, but I think the club is now preparing for the First Division," said Madaschi. "Obviously I'm gutted. I thought we'd be in the SPL again this season. But from my point of view it doesn't change anything. From focusing on establishing Partick in the SPL, I'm now determined to help us bounce straight back from the First Division."
SOCCER IS AUSTRALIA'S FAVOURITE
A new poll has revealed more Australians play soccer than any other team sport. The poll, conducted by Roy Morgan Research and targeting people 14 years of age and over, revealed that 1,169,000 Australians played soccer nationwide. Cricket was the next highest ranking sport with 1,020,000 participants followed by basketball on 820,000. It is the second year in a row that soccer has come out as Australia's most popular team sport.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Cockburn City and E.C.U. Joondalup have slimmed Western Knights lead as the Premier League season reaches the halfway stage. The Knights surprise 1-1 home draw with Fremantle City saw the leaders lead cut to four points as those behind picked up maximum points. Cockburn overcame Inglewood United 2-1 through goals from Peter Petkovich and John Mirco, while Joondalup downed Bassendean Caledonian by the same scoreline with Garin Collins netting twice. Stirling Lions 3-2 defeat of Swan I.C. allows them to leapfrog over the black and whites into fifth place. There were also crucial wins for Sorrento and Floreat Athena who accounted for Perth S.C. (2-1) and Bayswater City (4-1) respectively.
Armadale's 2-0 win over South West Phoenix keeps them at the top of the First Division standings. Four points adrift are Wanneroo City who knocked off Canning City 3-1 through goals by young guns Phil O'Callaghan (2) and John Dixon. Gosnells City roared their way into fourth place courtesy of a 4-3 scoreline against Kingsway Olympic. Mandurah City sit behind Gosnells after being held to a 3-3 home draw by struggling Rockingham City. There was another big win for Queens Park, this time 4-0 over Ashfield. Leeming Strikers went down 1-3 at home to Balcatta, and Morley Windmills drew 1-1 with Stirling Suns.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The pick of the weekend's Premier League action takes place at Dalmatinac Park where joint second-placed Cockburn City and Inglewood United go head-to-head. The recent form leader Western Knights suggests they'll have to step a gear in order to take the points over Fremantle City, while E.C.U. Joondalup will also need to be on their guard when Bassendean Caledonian make the trip north. Perth S.C. have a home date with Sorrento in a match crucial for two clubs with a proud history. Stirling Lions and Swan I.C. should be a close game at Macedonia Park, and Bayswater City host a Floreat Athena side which has so far failed to live up to pre-season expectations.
First Division trailblazer's Armadale will be put to the test by South West Phoenix who make the long journey to Alfred Skeet Oval on Saturday. Two of this seasons surprise packets, Wanneroo City and Canning City, go head to head at Kingsway Sporting Complex. Mandurah City have home ground advantage over struggling Rockingham City in the local derby. It's going to be a tough day for a Kingsway Olympic side struggling for form who are away to Gosnells City. Leeming Strikers meet Balcatta, and at Coker Park it's Queens Park against Ashfield. Morley Windmills take on Stirling Suns in the battle of the cellar-dwellers at Wotton Reserve. Dianella White Eagles have the bye.
EAST MEETS WEST
The West Australian Youth (Under-19) team go head-to-head with the Victorian Institute of Sport on Sunday in the first of a two-game series. Some of the nations best young players from both sides of the continent will be on show, amongst them local products Nick Ward and Liam Lilly along with VIS pair Adrian Leijer and Kristian Sarkies. The quartet were part of the Australian Under-20 squad which toured France in April. The series kicks-off at 3.00pm on Sunday at Litis Stadium, with the concluding match to be played at the same venue on Tuesday (29th June) from 6.30pm.
WOMEN AIM FOR NATIONAL LEAGUE BERTH
Pace is gathering for Women's Soccer WA's application to join the national league. "We have been working since this time last year gain entry for the coming Womens' National Soccer League season and until recent weeks progress has been slow," commented Janette Spencer, president of the local women's association. "The main reason for this, of course, has been the focus of attention at national level being firmly on the restructure of the code across the country," Spencer elaborated. "As well as that there's the restructure of the men's National Soccer League … all in all it's a difficult time to be wanting to change the status quo of the women's N.S.L."
Spencer juggles her duties as president of WSWA by chairing the National Standing Committee for Women's Football. With the start of the 2004/05 season drawing near the Committee have been busy looking at options to the format of the league. "We've received a comparative costing of four different options for the WNSL," explained Spencer. "Three of these include WA in some capacity with the other being for the same format as last year. No decision has been made at this stage on which way the Australian Soccer Association will go but it goes without saying that I'll be opting for an option that includes WA."
"Everyone is in favour of WA entering the league, including national team coach Adrian Santrac," added Spencer. "However, for the coming season there will be a bigger financial cost for everyone involved in the league should WA come in and this may be a serious impediment. This means WSWA may need to come up with some serious dollars and at this late stage it will be difficult to get that from sponsorship. Having said that, WSWA are very committed to being involved commencing this coming season and we'll make every endeavour to get the required funding to back our entry."
So as to ensure WSWA are in a strong position and ready to compete in the coming summer season, a provisional squad has been brought together. The squad, coached by former Australian international Alistair Edwards, has been training for the past month or thereabouts at Beale Park. "Alistair was keen to ensure that no matter how late was our entry into the league we would have a competitive squad champing at the bit to prove themselves," said Spencer. "Alistair has been very instrumental in the progress of WA's recognition as a power to be reckoned with in women's soccer and we are very pleased to have him at the helm driving our bid."
LUCK NOT ON SCHOOLIES SIDE
A freakish late goal gave the Perth S.C. Under-21 team a 3-2 victory over the State Schoolboys at Dorrien Gardens last night. The opening stages were controlled by Perth for whom Goce Dilevski was particularly effective in delivering the ball into the dangerzone from his position wide on the left. The hosts took a deserved lead on 23 minutes when Ben Sciascia found the target, and two minutes later their lead was doubled as young striker Nikita Rurvytsya scored with a stunning bicycle kick following a corner. It was only now that the Schoolboys started to find their rhythm and carve out some chances of their own with Andy Pomfret turning in an inspirational performance on the right wing. Even so, Perth continued to press forward and shortly before the break were denied a third goal only by the acrobatics of goalkeeper Jacob Chudy.
A couple of changes to the Schoolboys line-up produced immediate effect upon the resumption of play. Wesley Ryder pounced on a pass from midfield to send a clever chip over the goalkeeper from 18-metres two minutes into the half. For the next fifteen or so minutes the two teams launched a series of attacking raids on eachother as carefully constructed moves went out the window. Lead from midfield by Seb Trim the Schoolboys continual harassment of the home defence eventually brought about an error and Ryder was on hand to slot in his second of the game after 60 minutes. But luck was not to be on the Schoolboys side and seven minutes from full-time Perth scored a bizarre third and deciding goal. An attempted clearance by Carlo Cardozo struck the head of an opponent to ricochet past stunned second half goalkeeper Alex Dunn and into the top corner.
"I was really pleased with our efforts," said Schoolboys coach Damon Atthowe. "This was our first game against quality opposition with the final squad of sixteen players. The boys movement off the ball was good and our passing with effective. Our defence kept the pressure on Perth which directly resulted in several turnovers and limited them to only a handful of shots in open play, all of which were from outside the box. Both Perth’s first half goals came from corners and a lack of defensive organisation on our behalf, which was something we rectified at half-time. For the second half we changed our formation to 3-5-2, opened up the game and created a number of good chances through open play. All in all there were many more positives than negatives for us."
PUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE TO THE TEST
Northern suburbs club Kingsley S.C. invite all interested parties to attend a fundraising Quiz Night on Friday 16th July. A variety of great prizes will be up for grabs on the night which will focus on music and general knowledge. The event is to be held at Woodvale Function Centre (Trappers Drive, Woodvale) with the first round of questions commencing at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced at $10.00, are available from Ian Hooper by telephoning 0407 085 422, or send an email to email@example.com
STADIUM DISPUTE NEARS AN END
The long-running dispute between Perth Glory and the Town of Vincent over Members Equity Stadium looks to be over. Glory and its subsidiary, Allia Holdings, have reached a compromise with the Town of Vincent over the starting date of the venue management contract. The council endorsed the agreement at a meeting last night which will see Allia manage the venue for a 20-year period commencing February 2004. "Soccer's the winner out of it and that's what we wanted all along," said Glory chairman Nick Tana. "Now, the next big push will be to put the game where it deserves to be on the national front and it's full-steam ahead."
NEW FACES IN WOMEN'S SQUAD FOR ATHENS
National coach Adrian Santrac will take a new-look Women's team to Athens in August. Of the eighteen player squad only four represented Australia at the Sydney Olympic's four years ago. Amongst the newcomers are two West Australian's in 22-yeare old midfielder Tal Karp, who has also ready played 22 times for Australia, and teenage goalscoring sensation Lisa De Vanna. Karp and De Vanna were both part of the Australia squad that navigate their way through the Oceania qualifiers earlier this year.
The Australian Women's Olympic squad consists of Dianne Alagich, Lisa De Vanna (Adelaide Sensation), Rhian Davies, Gillian Foster, Tal Karp, Sacha Wainwright (Canberra Eclipse), Cassandra Kell, Kylie Ledbrook, Sally Shipard, Thea Slatyer (New South Wales Sapphires), Joanne Peters, Cheryl Salisbury (New York Power), Danielle Small (Northern New South Wales Pride), Heather Garriock, Karla Reuter, Sarah Walsh (Queensland Sting), Melissa Barbieri and Selin Kuralay (Victoria Vision).
OLYROO'S TAKE UP CAMP IN EUROPE
Preparations for Australia's Olympic campaign have moved to Switzerland. The Under-23 squad left Sydney late last week for a ten-day camp in northern Europe where they'll play friendlies against Swiss clubs Yverdon-Sports and Neuchetel Xamax. Among the travelling party are Perth-born trio Brad Jones, Adrian Madaschi and Anthony Danze along with adopted West Australian's Jade North and Wayne Srhoj. The camp will providing players with a final opportunity to make a final impression on national coach Frank Farina who will name his final squad in early July.
The 19-players squad in Switzerland is Shane Cansdell (Aarhus GF), Dylan Macallister (SK Brann), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Brett Holman (Excelsior), Carl Valeri (Inter Milan), Alex Brosque, Nick Carle, Michael Thwaite, Michael Turnbull (Marconi Stallions), Brad Jones (Middlesbrough), Jonathon McKain (National Bucharesti), Ryan Griffiths (Newcastle United), Adrian Madaschi (Partick Thistle), Ahmad Elrich (Parramatta Power), Anthony Danze, Jade North, Wayne Srhoj (Perth Glory), Spase Dilevski (Rot-Weiss Essen) and Eugen Galekovic (South Melbourne).
CUP SEMI'S DRAWN
The draw for the semi-final stage of the Boral Cup was made over the weekend. First Division outfit Wanneroo City come up against Cup holder Swan I.C. at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday 18th September. The following afternoon at the same venue Cockburn City take on neighbouring Fremantle City. The winning teams will meet in the decider of the prestigious knock-out competition on the afternoon of Sunday 10th October.
There were maximum points for the top three sides in Ninth Round of Women's Soccer WA Premier League fixtures. Northern Redbacks remain in first place after defeating Subiaco 3-2 at Rickman Delaney Reserve. State representative Amanda Tana scored the only goal of an exciting first half to give the Redbacks the upper hand. Ali Butler put the sides back on level terms early in the second half only for Sara Gawned to restore the hosts lead. Lauren McCreary went close to equalising for Subiaco who roared back into contention when Melissa Dewson found the net. The decider came eight minutes from full-time when from just outside the 18-yard box Karin Olsson sent a delightful chip over the goalkeeper and into the net.
One point behind the League leader are Balcatta who claimed victory by a 4-3 scoreline over East Fremantle. In a see-sawing match it was Balcatta who opened their account inside ten minutes via Ashley Kane. Fremantle responded through Jess Hunter who converted from the penalty spot, then Helen Bremer headed in to put the port side in the lead. Sarah Castel restored parity only to have Fremantle edge back in front through Laura Turbull. Balcatta came back into contention when Lindsey Jobling made it three-all, and the former State Schoolgirls representative secured victory with her second of the day late in the match.
Queens Park kept pace with the top two by accounting for Kingsley 3-1 at Chichester Park. Lisa Higgins completed a fine move down the left which involved Lorian Woolgar and Jo Oliver to get Kingsley off to a flying start. But it wasn't long before Stacey Woodfin struck an equaliser, then a freakish own goal by Kelly Player put the visiting team in front. The match remained in the balance until midway through the second half when Kingsley's Adele Coxall was stretchered off with a serious ankle injury. Queens Park made the most of their opponents loss of momentum with Stacey Woddfin adding their third goal. Lynwood picked up the 3-0 'bye win'.
Murdoch University took over at the top of the First Division standings after a 2-0 home defeat of Subiaco. Having squandered a number of good opportunities to take the lead Murdoch headed in at the break with single goal buffer through an own goal. After the interval it was more of the same with Natalie Salb controlling the flow of play from midfield for Murdoch. Midway through the period the hosts persistence paid off when Kate Taylor finished a neat move by slipping the ball past the goalkeeper from 10-metres. The final margin would have been much greater if not for the heroics of the Subiaco goalkeeper who prevented the margin from blowing out any further.
Rockingham City let slip a two-goal half-time lead to share the points with Cockburn City 4-4. The turning point came early in the second half when Rockingham lost their goalkeeper, Kelly Brooker, through injury, and with no replacement on the bench striker Melissa Arif took over between the posts. On her return from injury Hannah Grummett bagged a hat-trick for Rockingham whose other goal came from Emma McDonald. Christina Krepphold scored twice for Cockburn with Kylie Dalton and Yas Taylor also getting on the scoresheet.
Level on points with Murdoch is undefeated Noranda who were held 2-2 by UWA at Noranda Sporting Complex. Beckenham Angels shared the points with Swan I.C. in a thrilling match that produced six goals. The result keeps Beckenham third and Swan fourth at the half way stage to the season. Northern Redbacks 'C' registered the 3-0 'bye win'.
If you are involved in women's soccer in any capacity - be it as a player, coach, administrator, spectator or other - and are able to provide us with match information then we'd like to hear from you. Please contact Brett via firstname.lastname@example.org to have your clubs match details included in our weekly updates.
NEWS FROM THE LION CITY CUP
The 19th edition of the Lion City Cup kicked-off in Singapore earlier this week with Western Australia represented by an Under-16 side from the Junior Soccer Association. The youth tournament, which helped give birth to the FIFA World Youth Championships, sees a total of five teams in vying for top honours. Host nation Singapore have two teams in competition - the national Under-16 and Under-17 squads - with the others being the Under-17 Malaysian squad, Hong Kong's Under-18 side and the WA Under-16 Lion City Cup squad who are playing under the moniker of Perth F.C.
In Monday's opening fixture the Singapore Under-16 team went down 0-2 to Hong Kong for whom Chan Man Fai scored the opening goal after 15 minutes. The result wasn't sealed until stoppage time when Wu Chun Kit added Hong Kong's second goal. The Singapore Under-17 team got off to a flying start by hammering arch-rival Malaysia 4-0 through goals from Rasul Mahmood, Sufian Anuar, goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam and Faizal Abdul Samad. Western Australia had the bye.
The State team's first match was against the Malaysian Under-17 side at the Toa Payoh Stadium the following afternoon. Up against players a year old than themselves Western Australia competed strongly but evenly succumbed by 0-1. In the late game two second half goals by striker Ahmed Fahmie handed the Singapore Under-17 squad a 2-1 win over Hong Kong for whom So Wai Chuen found the net. On Tuesday Malaysia and Hong Kong fought out a thrilling 4-4 draw, and later in the evening at Bisham Stadium Singapore's Under-16's were held to a scoreless draw by Western Australia.
Goals continued to be difficult to come by for Western Australia on Thursday as they went down 0-2 to Hong Kong, who remain on course for a berth in the Final. Singapore's Under-17 side booked a place in the tournament decider by defeating their Under-16 counterparts 5-1. The final day of group fixtures saw the Malaysia take the points by 3-0 over the Singapore Under-16 team. In the late match G Kumaresan drilled his shot past goalkeeper Luke Hudston to hand Singapore's Under-17's a narrow 1-0 victory over Western Australia. Singapore's Under-17 team went on to win the 2004 Lion City Cup by thumping Hong Kong 4-0 in Sunday's tournament finale.
TALENT APLENTY IN VIS SQUAD
The Victoria Institute of Sport have named a strong squad for their friendly series against the West Australian Youth (Under-19) team. Topping the list of players to watch are Melbourne Knights defender Adrian Leijer and South Melbourne midfielder Kristian Sarkies whom are both current Australian Under-20 internationals. Leigh Broxham, Dean Piemonte, Matt Park, Matt Dimech and goalkeeper Chris Petropoulos were called up for the national Under-17 side in March, while team captain Evan Karavitis is an Australian Under-16 international.
The squad touches down in Perth on Thursday and two days later are guests of honour at Nash Field where Premier league leader Western Knights take on Fremantle City. The first game of the two-match series between the State Youth team and the VIS takes place the following day with a 3.00pm kick-off at Litis Stadium. The VIS conclude their stay on the west coast with a second friendly against West Australia's Under-19 team at Litis Stadium on Tuesday 29th June from 6.30pm.
Coached by Ernie Merrick, the 18-player VIS squad consists of Alex Antonopoulos, Luke Antonopoulos, Leigh Broxham, Jamie Cumming, Matt Dimech, Adam Gauci-Seddon, Peter Gavalas, Evan Karavitis, Peter Kotsopoulos, Adrian Leijer, Reardo Luka, Bonel Obradovic, Matt Park, Chris Petropoulos, Dean Piemonte, Kristian Sarkies, Semir Sivic and Daniel Visevic. Also travelling with the team are Morgan Williams (strength coach), Jane Pihan (physiotherapist) and sports scientists Anita Pedrana and Shioban Stephens.
WAASSA, ROUND NINE
University of WA were disappointingly defeated 2-0 away to Kwinana United at Kelly Park in the WAASSA Autostrada Cars Premier Division soccer fixture on Sunday. UWA started well when Paul Dimmock crossed for Mark Adam to head the ball just past the left hand post. David Berg then put Paul Dimmock through one on one with the goalkeeper only to blast it high over the bar. After 22 minutes UWA were awarded a penalty when Nick Helm ran into the left hand side of the penalty box and had his cross charged down by the arm of a Kwinana player. Bryn Griffiths stepped up to take it for UWA but the resulting shot was well saved by Kwinana's goalkeeper Mark Jameson. Minutes later a throw from Declan Sharp found David Berg and the ball fell to Marc D'Ascanio who shot on the turn only for goalkeeper Mark Jameson to save well again. After 40 minutes UWA's Paul Dimmock hit a corner to David Berg whose header found Declan Sharp and his header hit the post. Then at the other end Kwinana had its only chance of the half when Neil Evans was put through only to sky the ball over the bar. The second half saw Kwinana take the lead after 10 minutes when the ball was crossed from the right to Scott Stephens in the centre who took the ball in his stride and beat UWA keeper Stephen Hughes with a low shot. UWA almost hit back when David Berg was put through by Adam Wood but Kwinana's goalkeeper Mark Jameson saved well to his left. Two minutes later Neil Evans picked up a loose ball on the right hand side of UWA's penalty area and found the right hand corner of the net to put Kwinana 2-0 up. UWA's Bryn Griffiths then had a header just over the bar but despite a lot of pressure UWA just could not score. Coach Kevin Burton said, "The game should have been over by half time with the chances we had and given Kwinana had 3 shots at goal in the whole match we are to say the least a little disappointed. However, Kwinana showed us that you don't need to dominate a game to take 3 points and we congratulate them for their first league win of the season". UWA Reserves drew 1-1 with Kwinana Reserves.
It was a perfect day for football on Sunday at Hartfield Park when two 'footballing' teams locked horns. Forrestfield United came out of the blocks strongly and had two good chances before being awarded a penalty after 5 minutes by referee Nick Ballam which Jarrad Smith coolly converted. After weathering the early storm Shamrock played free-flowing football and should have been rewarded but Mark Kelly stumbled when the goal was begging to be hit. Relentless pressure followed with good chances falling to Sean Brooks and John McCarthy. After 30 minutes Shamrock equalised when a move started in their own penalty box and consisting of eleven passes ended with Pat O'Boyle clipping an inch perfect cross to Mark Kelly to smash in from close range. Forrestfield mounted a comeback when Mattie Alcock went through only to be denied by Goalkeeper Ed Schuller. A minute before half time Shamrock went in front when wingman Dylan Browne got in front of his defender and nodded in from a Rod McMullen cross. This seemed to deflate Forrestfield and lift Shamrock as the referees whistle blew in what had been a pulsating 45 minutes of football. Shamrock continued aggressively in the second half going forward at every opportunity and Forrestfield making sporadic attempts to go forward as Shamrock's midfield dominated. After 60 minutes Shamrock went 3-1 up after a blunder by Steve Roberts, John McCarthy intercepted and chipped goalkeeper Scott Radford with aplomb from 25 yards. Soon after Shamrock caught Forrestfield on the break as they desperately searched for a second goal to bring themselves back into the game. John McCarthy rounded the keeper to square the ball to an former Forrestfield man Wayne Brooks to tap in from close range and seal the 4-1 victory. In fact Shamrock could have increased the game further when opportunities to subs Glen Brooks and Stephen Roche were missed thanks to two superb saves from goalkeeper Radford. Overall it was a great day for the hoops as they beat their local rivals in both games as the reserves stretched their winning streak to eleven games with a goal from Man of the Match Stephen Roche to wrap up a 1-0 win. Coach Nik Silsby said "Without doubt this was our best performance of the season. We played quality passing football throughout the 90 minutes for the first time this season. Every single player contributed to our performance. Forrestfield play an attractive style of football and they are in a false position in the league, I am very happy to come away with the six points for the both firsts and reserves.
In other games, Spearwood Dalmatinac moved into second place following their 4-1 win over bottom club Forrestfield United. Murdoch University trounced CN Canning International 4-0, as did Hamersley Rovers over Stirling Panthers, while Perth Azzurri where two strong for Colo Colo running out 4-2 winners.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TEN (Sorrento vs Western Knights courtesy Western Knights; Fremantle City vs Cockburn City by Lennie Bavich; Inglewood United vs Stirling Lions by Don Evans)
Goals from partners in crime Carl Medica and Stuart Montgomery gave Western Knights a 2-1 win over Sorrento when they met at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Gulls began by forcing the Premier League leader onto the back foot for lengthy periods but with goalkeeper Tommi Tomich superbly marshaling their defence the Knights never really looked in danger of conceding. Although slow to settle into a rhythm, the visitors were the first on the scoreboard as Mark Lee combined to unlock Sorrento's last line with Daniel Trim whose through ball was slotted past goalkeeper Neil Young by Medica. Moments later Medica found himself in a similar position but on this occasion Young reacted sharply to keep out the explosive shot. Further chances to add to the Knights tally came the way of Craig Dean and Jason Williams with both sending headers wide of the target. Playing route one football, Sorrento's best chances fell to Todd Harnwell and Simon Harland but neither troubled Tomich in the lead up to half-time. The opening passages of the new half were largely uneventful as the two teams battled for control of the game. Ten minutes in Montgomery snared his tenth of the campaign by lobbing over an out of position 'keeper and into an empty net from 22-metres much to the delight of the traveling supporters. Sorrento immediately set about pegging back the margin but their long balls into attack were easily dealt with by central defenders Deans and Williams. Sorrento were awarded a dubious penalty in stoppage time which Tomich moved well to deny Glen Thomas, but minutes later time there was little the 'keeper could do to prevent Harland from knocking the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble. The Knights eighth win of the season keeps them six-points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Cockburn City swept aside Fremantle City 4-1 when they met at Ken Allen Field. The southern derby was a typically fiery affair with some bone-jarring tackles from both teams and a bagful of goals. The game was 21 minutes old when Cockburn hit the front as Michael Mirco slotted through to Antonio Naglieri who sent goalkeeper Bobsom Koroma left and the ball to the right. Two more minutes passed by before the visitors doubled their advantage, this Naglieri turning provider for John Mirco who rocketed the ball past the 'keeper. Fremantle were allowed back into the match on 34 minutes when Dusan Macura lost his footing on the slippery surface and Kevin Correia was presented with time to pick his spot beyond the reach of Dino Pacella. Bozo Erakovic was forced from the field through injury as the physical nature of the match was taken up a notch and referee Angelo Nardi came close to losing all control when the players were involved in an ugly melee in the minutes before half time. Just four minutes had been played of the second half when Fremantle's Matt Danskin received his marching orders for a second bookable offence. It took Cockburn until the 74th minute to make safe the points as Naglieri touched a free-kick to John Mirco who blasted past the defensive wall and into the net. Fremantle's day got worse shortly after when John Mirco's cross from the left was skewed off the boot of Abdul Kamara and flashed past Koroma. Fremantle were awarded a penalty in the final minute of play but Pacella denied the home fans a consolation goal by moving to his right to keep out Branimir Mikulic's spot kick.
A stunning first-half hat-trick from Greg Sharland lead Inglewood United to a 4-1 victory over a flat Stirling Lions at the National Stadium. A large crowd was on hand to witness Inglewood's blitzkrieg which commenced in the 3rd minute when a quickly taken free-kick to Sharland was headed over the defence and past goalkeeper Vince Matassa who watched helplessly as the ball travelled into the net. The early goal stunned the Lions whereas Inglewood were abuzz. With Alan MacKenzie, Shaun Kilkelly and Louis Parkinson dominating midfield the hosts capitalised on a confusion in the Lions ranks with a series of dangerous crosses, one of which fell to the unmarked Sharland who belted in his side's second after 15 minutes. The Lions settled to create some chances of their own but Oliver Taseski produced a great save to deny Jake Harman. Inglewood flexed their collective muscle again in the 25th minute when Bobby Despotovski set-up Sharland for another smash at goal from inside the penalty box to complete his hat-trick and make it three-nil. It was showtime for the hosts as hard working midfielder Kilkelly was presented with an easy shot on goal to increase the gap in the 29th minute. The wrath of Tom Leeman shook the changerooms at half-time, the Lions coach demanding his players step up to the mark and earn back some honor for the club after the break. As a result the visiting midfield of Nick Ward, Leo Harman, Derek Cooke and substitute Kevin Munro sparked into life after the re-start. Fourteen minutes from the end their determination was rewarded by a penalty following a foul on Cooke, and from the spot Jake Harman reduced the deficit. But the gap was too great for the Lions to make up and despite being feeling the pressure Inglewood held firm to register their fifth win of the winter and move into third place.
E.C.U. Joondalup joined Cockburn City and Inglewood United on 19 points by defying Premier league champions Perth S.C. 2-1 in the northern suburbs. The match got underway in swashbuckling fashion with both teams eager to gain the upper hand and be the first on the scoreboard. As it panned out Joondalup were the first to register a goal when captain Dale McCulloch slotted home from the penalty spot following a handball infringement from Andy Mason's 18th minute shot. This gave the hosts the spark needed and for the remainder of the half Joondalup played some good two-touch football to dominate proceedings. Perth, however, are never a team to underestimate and always looked dangerous on the break. Strong runs in to attack from plank players Rhys Graham and Todd Howarth caused ripples of panic among the Joondalup faithful but the visitors attacks amounted to little with Peter Roberts and Jamie Kuzmanovich leading a well-drilled defence. Five minutes from half time Perth were awarded a penalty for Kuzmanovich's foul on Robbie Puca whose spot kick was brilliantly saved by Peter Stewart who recovered quickly to keep out the follow-up. After the break Joondalup stepped up a gear and were able to add to their tally on the hour when Andy Brown showed great control in bringing down a high ball then in one fluent move turned his marker and unleashed an blistering drive that soared into the top corner. A late surge from Perth produced numerous opportunities on goal and with three minutes to go David Onoforo headed in to set up a nail-biting finish. Perth threw everything forward in a frantic attempt to snatch a point, but it was Joondalup that came closest to netting when McCulloch sent substitute John Morton through on goal but the youngster was unable to make the most of the opportunity.
Bayswater City brought to an end a five week winless run by defeating home side Swan I.C. 2-1. Quick to get forward in numbers, Bayswater's positive approach was rewarded after 6 minutes when Damien Catalano put away an inch-perfect cross from Ross Barnes. The goal gave the visitors the confidence to stroke the ball around the park and string together a number of fine attacking moves. Swan's best moves of the period originated on the right flank where Miki Vujacic and David Foster were operating with menacing intent. And on the opposite side of the park the tussle between Renato Rechichi and Igor Novakovic was proving to be a match highlight. The hosts slowly started the stem the flow of play to create some great chances on goal. Tom Shepheard's header was cleared off the line by Daniel Vangelovski, Foster blazed over the crossbar with Francis Allen well beaten, and Vujacic slammed the ball into the base of the upright. With 27 minutes gone Vujacic sent a free-kick from just outside the box past the outstretched hands of the 'keeper to bring Swan back into the game. Early in the second half Vangelovski sent Andrew O'Neill clear of the defence but his effort was tipped over by the alert Corey Hugo. A flowing move in the 61st minute produced the goods for as Novakovic's cross was met by Damian Catalano whose searing shot gave Corey Hugo absolutely no chance. The visitors were thwarted in their attempts to kill off the game by Hugo who made good saves to keep out shots from substitute Craig Scott and O'Neill. In the dying minutes Swan were denied an equaliser as Foster's header from point-blank range was brilliantly saved by Allen. "It was hard fought game by both sides today but our boys were totally committed all game, and I believe we deserved the result," commented Bayswater coach Salv Todaro.
Bassendean Caledonian shared the points at 2-2 with Floreat Athena in a match of two contrasting halves at Jubilee Reserve. Neither side showed much in the way of creativity or flair in a stale opening half. The best chance of the period arrived after 14 minutes when Ian Griffiths sent the ball wide from 5-metres after some good work wide on the right by Glen McCormick. Where the first half lacked spark, the second was full of drama. A minute in Athena were awarded a controversial penalty for a soft foul on Saul Contera and from the penalty that resulted Andreas Oliviera made it one-nil by sending goalkeeper Steve Grant the wrong. But the lead lasted less than three minutes before Kevin Griffiths floated the ball to the back post where McCormick tapped it down to Daniel Harrop who out-muscled two defenders to slip it past goalkeeper Vas Vujacic from 7-metres. The Caledonian faithful were given more to cheer about on 57 minutes when Dom Ando's great diagonal ball saw Vukmirovic rise high at the back post to expertly nod in the hosts second of the day. The points should have been made safe midway through the half when a mis-cued clearance from Vujacic landed at the feet of Vukmirovic who shot disappointingly wide from 25-metres with the 'keeper nowhere to be found. Athena responded through Anthony Jones who waltzed past a couple of defenders only to have Grant produce a fantastic reflex save and knock his shot wide of the upright. Grant again came to Caledonian's rescue by blocking a strong shot by Oliviera from close-range. The momentum was by this stage with the visitors and Oliviera unleashed a vicious shot from the top of the box which crashed into the crossbar before being scrambled to safety by the defence. Six minutes from full-time Athena found their equaliser when Oliveira held off a defender to run onto a pass clipped over the defence which he then calmly knocked past the advancing goalkeeper.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND TWELVE (Balcatta vs Armadale courtesy Balcatta; Ashfield vs Wanneroo City courtesy Wanneroo City; South West Phoenix vs Morley Windmills courtesy South West Phoenix; Canning City vs Dianella White Eagles by Phil Unsworth; Gosnells vs Leeming Strikers courtesy Gosnells City)
Balcatta's defensive frailties were once again exposed as First Division leader Armadale left Graham Burkett Reserve with the points courtesy of a 5-0 scoreline. The Reds took a 4th minute lead after a free-kick played to the back post found an unmarked Greg Newcombe who volleyed in from close-range. For much of the hjalf-hour which followed it was the home side that enjoyed the better of possession as their midfield combination of Scott Broadley, Victor Bogos and Danny Carlino dictated play. But while for all their enterprise Balcatta were unable to produce many genuine chances on goal with David Moschilla's attempted chip of the goalkeeper the closest they came to scoring. Armadale rallied late in the half and added their second following an attack down the left which ended with Newcombe putting away the cross. Things got worse for Balcatta a minute later when Newcombe completed his hat-trick by rising unchallenged to head in a corner. The match was ended as a contest when Balcatta failed to deal with another corner which resulted in a goal to Lee Hallums who scored Armadale's third goal in the space of six minutes. The second half saw both teams simply going through the motions with Armadale adding another to their tally after 59 minutes through Rob Moterosso. Adding salt into the wound, Balcatta substitute Nick Cianci was sent-off for a second bookable offence with ten minutes to go.
Although four points adrift of the leaders, Wanneroo City keep pace with Armadale thanks to a commanding 2-0 defeat of Ashfield. Wanneroo nerves were settled in the 5th minute when Phil O'Callaghan's cross was met by a diving header by Scott Bulloch which gave the goalkeeper no chance at close range. John Dixon was the next to threaten in a one-on-one with Adam Ashforth who kept his nerve and made a good save at his opponents feet. The hosts chances received a major blow when they were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Matt Piochroj. Wanneroo kept attack and benefitted from some hesitant defending to go through with only the 'keeper to beat and again Ashforth came out on top to keep Ashfield in the game going into half-time. Bulloch failed to hit the target early in the second half as the visitors sought to kill of the game. Further chances were squandered by Craig Cheesman and Stuart Collins before O'Callaghan sealed victory with well-placed shot on the turn. Ashfield's day went from bad to worse when a lack of discipline on Brad Pochroj's behalf saw him red carded and the hosts down to nine men. John Dixon, Bulloch and Ben Yates all had late chances to add to Wanneroo's tally but each was unable to put the ball away when called upon.
Morley Windmills provided little resistance to a goal hungry South West Phoenix who hit five without reply at Bunbury's Soccerdrome. Using a stiff cross breeze to their advantage, the hosts struck almost from the kick-off with David Rodgers chesting down a deep free-kick before slotting past the goalkeeper. Ten minutes later Steve Suttie's vicious shot was parried by Matt Darling and Rodgers was on hand to put away the rebound. It became three-nil on the half hour when midfielder David Murphy let fly. The second half began in much the same fashion as the first, Gary Mayers pinpoint free-kick resulting in Rodgers increasing the gap to four goals. Through the combined efforts of Simon Messenger, Dave Sherington and Rydeen Botha the visitors clawed their way back into the game and tested the goalkeeper Reece Braithwaite on several occasions. Going the other way the Windmills defence worked the offside trap a treat to effectively limit the Phoenix forwards. Even so, the hosts were able to add to their tally through the hard-working Suttie who eventually found the net having been denied on several occasions by Darling. "The team played well enough and with a little more luck we might have scored several more goals," said Phoenix coach Jimmy Mayers after the game.
Canning City went down 1-2 on the road to Dianella White Eagles. The hosts delivered an early warning as Jimmy Stoichev unleashed a fierce shot from 15-metres that crashed against the post. A few minutes later Dianella opened their account through Filip Smiljanic who volleyed low and into the net following a corner. The home team continued their domination throughout the opening half and came close to adding to their tally with a fine shot that came back off the upright. Slow to get into stride, it wasn't until shortly before the break that Canning seriously threatened as Paul Oliver shot just wide and a Brian O'Regan header met with the same result. Canning came out from the break in a more positive frame of mind to create several good chances on goal, the best of which saw Jimmy Herbert denied by goalkeeper Drazen Saric. As the match wore on Dianella got a second wind and doubled their lead when Dragan Njegic's pinpoint cross to the far post was volleyed in by Petar Mrdja after 71 minutes. Canning picked up a late consolation goal when Julio Barrendilla benefited from a defensive error after Milan Peric failed to take control of a cross from Patrick Fitzgerald.
Gosnells City 4-2 win over Leeming Strikers was the fifth time this season the club have taken maximum points on home soil. The opening exchanges were quick as both sides went in search of early goals. The opener came on 23 minutes when a great long ball from Ian Ingham found Darren Ingham who lifted his shot from 25-metres over the stranded goalkeeper. Nine minutes later Darren Ingham scored his second with a superb solo effort that took him past two defenders as well as the 'keeper before tapping in. The Strikers got on the scoreboard four minutes into the second half when an attempted clearance ricocheted off defender Jason Jones and into the net. This fired the visitors up and they were back on level terms after Phil Bell's sweetly struck shot from just outside the 18-yard box found the net. In a moment of madness Darren Ingham was sent off for a second bookable offence after 65 minutes to put Gosnells on the ropes. But the hosts adapted quickly and regained the lead within two minutes of the dismissal when Adam Bremner scored from a perfectly struck free-kick. The Strikers went down to ten men when Carlo Di Toro was sent off for a foul on Bremner, and Tony Pritchard stepped up to put the result beyond doubt from 12-yards.
Stirling Suns' slide down the table continued with their sixth successive loss, this time a 1-7 thrashing at the hands of Queens Park. Ray Rose got Queens Park off to the best possible start when he found the net after 1 minute, and when Glen Noblet added to the tally shortly after it was clear the visitors meant business. On 20 minutes Rose scored his second of the day and three minutes later it was Noblet enabled the margin to blow out to four goals. The Suns pegged things back on 34 minutes when Michael Kulevski shot past the Queens Park goalkeeper. But the visitors had brought their goalscoring boots along and headed into the break with a commanding lead as youngsters Paul Dundo and Adrian McBride netted in the lead-up to half-time. The days final goal came two minutes from the end when Rose completed his hat-trick. In the weekend's remaining fixture, Rockingham City moved away from the foot of the table by registering their first win of the campaign by a 2-0 scoreline over Kingsway Olympic at Dowling Street Reserve.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Victories to the leading four clubs has opened up a gap between them and the rest of the Premier League field at the completion of the tenth round of games. Western Knights stay six points clear courtesy of a 2-1 win at Sorrento where Stuart Montgomery and Carl Medica were once again the scorers. Cockburn City hit neighbouring Fremantle City 4-1, Inglewood thumped Stirling Lions by the same scoreline, and E.C.U. Joondalup edged out Perth S.C. by 2-1. Four points behind are Swan I.C. who crashed 1-2 at home to Bayswater City for whom Damien Catalano netted twice. In a drama-filled match at Jubilee Reserve Bassendean Caledonian and Floreat Athena shared the points at 2-2.
Armadale were rarely troubled as they swept aside Balcatta 5-0 to remain on top of the First Division table after twelve games. Wanneroo City kept pace with a 2-0 away win over Ashfield, and South West Phoenix' 5-0 thrashing of Morley Windmills lift them to third ahead of Mandurah City (who had the bye). Canning City went down 1-2 at home to Dianella White Eagles as Gosnells City triumphaed 4-2 over Leeming Strikers. The was a big win for Queens Park who took the points over Stirling Suns by 7-1, and Rockingham City's first win of the season, 2-0 against Kingsway Olympic, lifts them off the foot of the table for the first time this year.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The pick of Saturday's Premier League fixtures takes place at the National Stadium where Inglewood United and Stirling Lions go to battle. League leader Western Knights are favoured to take the points over Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. E.C.U. Joondalup at home is a tough proposition for a Perth S.C. side who are beginning to find their feet. Bassendean Caledonian and Floreat Athena are both in desperate need of points and face off in a make-or-break clash at Jubilee Reserve. Possessing a perfect away record, Cockburn City are tipped over home side Fremantle City in the south of the river derby. Swan I.C. are undefeated in seven starts and come up against a Bayswater City side looking to halt a five-game winless run.
Armadale are expected to pick up their fifth away win of the campaign when they travel to Balcatta in Round Twelve of the First Division. Also on the road are Wanneroo City who meet an Ashfield side whose position on the table belies their true potential. South West Phoenix take on Morley Windmills in Bunbury, and Canning City are home for just the third time this season when they host Dianella White Eagles. Gosnells City have been difficult to beat on home soil this year but Leeming Strikers will have their sights only on maximum points. Stirling Suns play Queens Park, and at Dowling Street Reserve Rockingham City take on Kingsway Olympic. Mandurah City have the bye.
UNDER-19 SQUAD NAMED FOR VIS FRIENDLIES
The West Australian Youth squad has been slimmed for the up-coming series against the Victorian Institute of Sport. Coaches Pete Murphy and Kenny Lowe recently reduced the player number to twenty-four players which includes three late additions. The call-up of 16-year old goalkeeper Aleksander Vrteski adds to their options between the posts while central defender Danyal Bennett and creative midfielder Scott Patterson provide depth through the middle of the park. While venues are yet to be confirmed, the two-game series is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday 27th June and the evening of Tuesday 29th June.
The 24-player West Australian Youth squad for the VIS series consists of Cormac Dawson (Bayswater City), Paul Oliver (Canning City), Jason Dos Santos, Liam Lilly (Cockburn City), Paul Vlachou (Floreat Athena), Dean Apelgren, Jeff Bright, Matt Danskin (Fremantle City), Michael Baczynski (Inglewood United), Scott Blackmore, John Higgins, Scott Patterson, Daryl Platten (E.C.U. Joondalup), Alan Mattecucci, David Micevski, Nikita Rurvytsya (Perth S.C.), Danny Cain, Dejan Gurovski, Alex Vrteski (Sorrento), Nick Ward (Stirling Lions), Danyal Bennett (Swan I.C.), Andrija Jukic, Joshua Kamasz and Sebastian Trim (Western Knights).
NEWS FROM THE LION CITY CUP
The 19th edition of the Lion City Cup kicked-off in Singapore earlier this week with Western Australia represented by an Under-16 side from the Junior Soccer Association. The youth tournament, which helped give birth to the FIFA World Youth Championships, sees a total of five teams in vying for top honours. Host nation Singapore have two teams in competition - the national Under-16 and Under-17 squads - with the others being the Under-17 Malaysian squad, Hong Kong's Under-18 side and the WA Under-16 Lion City Cup squad who are playing under the moniker of Perth F.C.
In Monday's opening fixture the Singapore Under-16 team went down 0-2 to Hong Kong for whom Chan Man Fai scored the opening goal after 15 minutes. The result wasn't sealed until stoppage time when Wu Chun Kit added Hong Kong's second goal. The Singapore Under-17 team got off to a flying start by hammering arch-rival Malaysia 4-0 through goals from Rasul Mahmood, Sufian Anuar, goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam and Faizal Abdul Samad. Western Australia had the bye.
The State team's first match was against the Malaysian Under-17 side at the Toa Payoh Stadium the following afternoon. Up against players a year old than themselves Western Australia competed strongly but evenly succumbed by 0-1. In the late game two second half goals by striker Ahmed Fahmie handed the Singapore Under-17 squad a 2-1 win over Hong Kong for whom So Wai Chuen found the net. On Tuesday Malaysia and Hong Kong fought out a thrilling 4-4 draw, and later in the evening at Bisham Stadium Singapore's Under-16's were held to a scoreless draw by Western Australia.
Goals continued to be difficult to come by for Western Australia on Thursday as they went down 0-2 to Hong Kong, who remain on course for a berth in the Final. Singapore's Under-17 side booked a place in the tournament decider by defeating their Under-16 counterparts 5-1. The final day of group fixtures saw the Malaysia take the points by 3-0 over the Singapore Under-16 team. In the late match G Kumaresan drilled his shot past goalkeeper Luke Hudston to hand Singapore's Under-17's a narrow 1-0 victory over Western Australia. Hong Kong, who finished second on goal difference ahead of Malaysia, meet the Singapore Under-17 team in the Lion City Cup Final on Sunday.
ENGLISH MOVE FOR PETKOVIC?
Accrington Stanley are in discussion with Perth Glory goalkeeper Jason Petkovic. The English Conference club are understood to be keen to obtain the services of Petkovic who is rated by many as the best shot-stopper in the domestic game. The 31-year old could become the latest in a growing number of players to continue their careers abroad amid uncertainty over the start time for the new national competition. Petkovic, out of contract at the end of the month, has made in excess of 300 appearances for Adelaide City and Glory in the now defunct National Soccer League as well as representing Australia at 'A' level on 15 occasions.
SCHOOLGIRLS READY FOR CHAMPIONSHIP
The West Australian Schoolgirls squad are busily preparing for the annual Schools National Championship which this year are being in Adelaide during August. Trials for the side commence in early March at venues both north and south of the river as coach Wayne Baseden explained. "Over an eight week period just under one hundred players were given the opportunity to strut their stuff. The player standard this year was very high and through a series of trial games and practice sessions we've got the squad down to sixteen players."
With this years Schools tournament coming just a few weeks after the Women's National Talent Identification Championship, Baseden has liaised closely with the local women's soccer authority to ensure the best outcomes for all concerned. "We've worked our schedule around the State Under-15 and Under-17 squads and adjusted training and player requirements accordingly," explained the Schoolgirls coach. "This has been a positive step towards better communication between the Women's Soccer WA and School Sport WA associations."
In the past couple of weeks the Schoolgirls have been involved in friendlies against teams from Melville and Forrestfield United, both of which ended in victories to the representative side. "I'd like to thank all the clubs that we have played against, they've made us feel very welcome and helped a great deal in narrowing down the squad," commented Baseden. "Thanks also go to School Sport WA for creating the opportunity for us to go to Adelaide, to the Junior Soccer Association and in particular Glenn Morley and the organising group for the Country JSA."
Baseden has every confidence that WA will do the state proud at the up-coming tournament and believes several players could even be in line for national honours. "This year should see a good result from WA and good performances from a number of players could see them involved in the Australian Schoolgirls team to tour New Zealand later this year." Candice Townsend, Lisa De Vanna, Ashley Kane, Gemma Langley, Nadia Poulsen and Elena Fantasia have all earned themselves a call-up to the national team following good showings at previous Schools National Championships.
The State Schoolgirls squad for 2004 features the talents of Kylie Form (Belridge S.H.S.), Brid Dawson, Jessica Pilcher (Central Mt Lawley TAFE), Lillie Fenlon-Billson (Clarkson Community College), Helen Bremer, Janine Haxton, Peta Kelly, Jasmina Markovic, Elise O'Sullivan, Amy Thorpe, Laura Turnbull (John Curtin S.H.S.), Danielle Thomas (Kalamunda S.H.S.), Carys Hawkins (Mercedes College), Stephanie Grant (Mindarie Secondary College), Renee Forth (Nagle Catholic College) and Ciara Conway (Sacred Heart College).
A CENTURY OF CHAMPIONS
Soccer history will be made on the evening of 10th July when the names of Western Australia's Top 100 players of the century are revealed at a gala ceremony. A Century of Champions will pay tribute to a group of outstanding players who've made a significant impact on the Western Australian soccer stage between 1902 and 2002. They include Olympians, World Cup finalists and international representatives from Australian, England, Wales, Scotland and Poland. Some of the players to be honoured are current Socceroos stars and many are members of Perth Glory's National Soccer League Grand Final-winning sides of the past two years.
A Century of Champions is the culmination of fourteen months painstaking research and organisation by the Soccer Hall of Fame (WA) committee as well as input from the public. It is understood to be the first time a single sport in Australia has attempted such an ambitious project and continues the pacesetting exploits of the Soccer Hall of Fame which was the first body in Australia to set up an official Committee when initial inductions were made in 1996. The gala presentation evening for A Century of Champions will be held at the Novotel Langley Plaza Hotel in Perth on Saturday 10th July. Tickets cost $100.00 (which includes dinner and drinks) and are available from Barbara Gibson by phoning 08 9526 0330.
MONTGOMERY THE FANS FAVOURITE
Stuart Montgomery is the red hot favourite to end the season as the Premier League's highest goalscorer. The 26-year old Western Knights player finished head and shoulders above his nearest rival in the recent www.soccerwa.com poll which questioned "Who will take out the 2004 Golden Boot?" Montgomery received 33.3% of the over three hundred votes which were cast during the past fortnight to emerge as clear favourite with the local soccer community. A distant second in the count was young Swan I.C. attacker David Foster (11.8%) who edged out last years Gold Medal winner Louis Parkinson (8.9%) of Inglewood United. Hot on their heels were E.C.U. Joondalup's summer recruit Gareth Phillips (8.3%) and Cockburn City sharp-shooter Peter Petkovich (8.0%). Montgomery's teammate at the Knights Carl Medica (7.7%) was next followed by Golden Boot recipient of the past two seasons Branimir Mikulic (6.4%).
ENGLISH TRIALS FOR STATE CAPTAIN
Chris Smith, who captained the State Under-15 side at last year's National Talent Identification Championship, is heading to overseas for trials. The teenager leaves for England early next month to try his luck with Premier League outfit Portsmouth. "I'll be well focused for this chance of a lifetime," said Smith, who recently joined Sorrento after time at Fremantle City. "I'm enjoying my new club and are looking forward to the challenges I face over the coming months."
WASA CHAIRMAN APPOINTED
Former television executive Kevin Campbell will head the West Australian Soccer Association. Campbell has been named inaugural chairman of the new organisation which has been established to bring the semi-professional, amateur, junior and women's games, along with its' affiliates, under one banner. The organisation is the result of major local reform, facilitated by the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Australian Soccer Association, and has coincided with change at national level.
Campbell comes to the soccer table with extensive administrative experience which includes 35 years in the broadcasting industry. He is a former chairman and chief executive officer of television station Channel 7, and has also chaired the boards of the Lotteries Commission of WA, the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, ScreenWest and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Campbell has also held non-executive chairman roles with Q Multimedium and Data and Commerce, and has been a director of Movies Online.
In taking up the position Campbell said he was looking forward to the challenge offered by WASA. "For many years soccer has been managed by a number of associations who have worked hard for their members. They have done the best they can," Mr Campbell said. "But with the implementation of the recommendations of the Crawford Report by the Australian Soccer Association, it was time for Western Australia to get on board. We are now closer than ever to our ultimate goal of a unified state body that represents the entire soccer community in the state."
Kevin Watts of the Department of Sport and Recreation, ASA representative Robin Graham and Campbell will start forming an eight-person board immediately. "I think the challenge now is to look at building a board of directors who bring a diversity of skills," commented Campbell, who holds a number of honorary board positions. "There is nothing better than involving those who know the game as well as others with marketing, legal and other skills." Campbell hoped the new board would meet for the first time in mid-July.
Australian Soccer Association chief executive John O'Neill welcomed the appointment of Campbell to the WASA board. "Kevin Campbell is highly respected in the Western Australian community and brings a wealth of experience from his many years in the business world," O'Neill said. "I have every confidence that he will successfully lead the growth and participation of soccer in the state across its many activities - mens, womens, juniors, indoor and outdoor. This announcement is further proof that WA is on the right track."
Northern Redbacks lead the way after eight rounds of match action in the Womens Soccer WA Premier League. The free-scoring Redbacks asserted their presence at the top of the standings with an 11-1 mauling of East Fremantle this afternoon at Wauhop Park. Lisa De Vanna celebrated her call-up to the Australian Olympic team by scoring six of her teams goals with N.Williams and K.Thomas scoring twice each and Lisa De Laurentis once. East Fremantle's lone goal came via J.Markovic. The win keeps in tact the Redbacks undefeated start to the winter and once again marks them as title favourite.
Keeping the pressure on the leader are Balcatta who sit a point off the pace courtesy of a 3-0 'bye win'. Queens Park's 4-0 thumping of bottom team Lynwood at Coker Park opens to a five point gap between third and fourth. The home teams goals came from Nadia Poulsen (2), Stacey Woodfin and J.Webb. Sandra Szopski, Michele Matthews and Bliss Brosnan were on target for Subiaco when they downed Kingsley 3-0 at Rosalie Park. The result overturned Subiaco's opening round loss to Kingsley and enabled them to jump up the table into fourth position.
It's tight at the top of the First Division table where four teams are separated by just two points. Noranda went top courtesy of a 4-3 defeat of previous leader Swan I.C., while Beckenham Angels remain second thanks to a 3-0 'bye win' that elevates them above Swan who drop to third. There was a big home win for Murdoch University who crushed Northern Redbacks 'C' 7-2, while UWA and Rockingham City shared the points at 3-3. Subiaco's 2-1 defeat of Cockburn City allowed the former to move away from the bottom of the table as the latter slipped to last place.
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WAASSA, ROUND EIGHT
University of WA were defeated 4-2 by Colo Colo in an entertaining game at Fremantle Park in the WAASSA Autostrada Cars Premier Division fixture on Sunday. UWA got away to a good start when Robert Benkovic took on the Colo Colo defence and passed to Marc D'Ascanio who shot only for the goalkeeper Pablo Pavez to parry to Andy Hart who scored from close range. Colo Colo's Fidel Rodriguez was then put through on goal only to shoot high over the bar. For UWA Robert Benkovic then sent a shot just over the bar after good passing by Andy Hart and David Berg. Robert Benkovic then did well to beat the last defender only to send the shot high from a few meters. Minutes later Colo Colo had the ball in the net after a cross from the right but it was disallowed for offside. UWA's Robert Benkovic then crossed from the l eft and found Marc D'Ascanio who volleyed against the legs of goalkeeper Pablo Pavez. The second half saw Colo Colo gain a penalty after a tackle by Declan Sharp and Johnny Ferreira scored to make it 1-1. The same player, Johnny Ferreira, then scored moments later to put Colo Colo 2-1 up after a good pass from the left. UWA then hit back with an equaliser after a long throw fell to Paul Dimmock who drove the ball home via a deflection off the chest of Robert Benkovic. The good work was then undone when Johnny Ferreira made it 3-2 to Colo Colo after a good run down the right hand side. UWA threw everything at Colo Colo but could not get the ball in the net despite several chances. Then against the run of play in the final minute UWA's goalkeeper Stephen Hughes was dispossessed after trying to chest a throw in away and an alert Colo Colo forward made it 4-2. UWA Reserves defeated Colo Colo Reserves 1-0.
Following last weeks disastrous performance against Spearwood Dalmatinac in the cup last week Shamrock Rovers remained on top of the WAASSA Premier league on Sunday after hammering long time foes Fremantle United 5-1. A solid performance from the Hoops was enough to see them triumph over a side sitting at the foot of the table. Shamrock started brightly enough creating several good chances that were not converted. However a breakthrough cam after 20 minutes when Wayne Brooks slotted in to score his fifth of the season. Shamrock had the lions share of possession but could not convert from the 13 chances at goal created in the first half alone. The conversion rate improved in the second half when John McCarthy headed in from a pinpoint Pat O'Boyle cross and then this was swiftly followed by a 25 metre strike from Man of the match Cathal Lennon. Fremantle replied with 20 minutes remaining when Karl Griffiths headed in from close range. Shamrock responded almost immediately when McCarthy notched his eighth of the season with another header. Mark Kelly slammed in the fifth with 10 minutes remaining and Shamrock comfortably played out the rest of the game. Coach Nik Silsby said "We created many many chances and should have gone in at half time at least 5 goals up, but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing kept Fremantle in the game. Stillto create over 20 chances in a game is a credit to the boys. We have gone eight games in the league unbeaten now and perhaps some people will start to give us some credit. The next three weeks sees us enter our 'crunch period' with games against Forrestfield United, Murdoch and Mickie Brennan's boys Hamersley. If we can remain unbeaten at the halfway stage we are in with a great chance though no game is ever easy". The reserves stretched their winning streak to 10 games with a 10- win against Fremantle. Hatricks from Trevor Foley, Glen Brooks and Jamie Silsby (His fifth hatrick and 17th of the season) and a single from Joe Italiano saw them home. Special mention must go the defence of Paul MCCue, Stephen roche, Richard Partridge and Dean Carey and Goalkeeper Phil Fahy who have conceded just the four goals in ten games so far.
In other games, Spearwood Dalmatinac moved into third place following their 2-0 win over Kwinana United. Forrestfield United remained in relegation trouble after they lost 2-1 away to CN Canning Internation. Stirling Panthers were too strong for Murdoch University in a 3-0 win, while Hamersley Rovers thumped Perth Azzurri 4-1.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND NINE (Western Knights vs E.C.U,. Joondalup by Tom McCrisken; Fremantle City vs Stirling Lions by Don Evans; Floreat Athena vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox; Perth S.C. vs Bassendean Caledonian by Mike Hennessey)
A respectable sized crowd gathered at Nash Field to witness the top of the table clash between Western Knights and E.C.U. Joondalup in Round Nine of the Premier League season. It was evident from the first kick that this would be a passionate affair as strong, no-nonsense tackles came in from players in both camps. Following an even opening spell in which neither goalkeeper was tested, the Knights took the lead on 30 minutes when Garin Collins failed to take proper care of a long ball into attack which allowed Stuart Montgomery to steal possession and draw Peter Stewart off his line before slotting clinically into the net. Within five minutes of the restart Joondalup were reduced to ten men after Keith Brown was sent off for a lunging two-footed tackle from behind on Daniel Trim. Joondalup stepped up a gear and continually sought for a hole in the opposing defence. A minute from the half-time whistle they found one, John Higgins free-kick from the right landing on the lead of Andy Brown whose looping header found the far corner of the net to sent the teams in on level terms. For the first fifteen minutes of the second half the Knights had their opponents on the ropes and it seemed only a matter of time before they'd reclaim the lead. But with Peter Roberts and Jamie Kuzmanovich in control at the back the home side were allowed little time to line up the target and the score was kept at one-each. Joondalup slowly worked their way back into the match and both teams created scattered chances to add to their respective tallies but they'd be no further goals as both defences held firm. At the end of the day supporters of neither club argue that shared points wasn't a fair reflection of a fantastic match in which both teams gave their all.
Having played for the majority of the afternoon with ten men, Cockburn City were content with shared points after Sorrento paid a visit to Dalmatinac Park on the weekend. The match was 11 minutes old when teenager Jason Dos Santos was controversially sent off for his second yellow card offence after tussling for possession with Richard Watson. None the less, Cockburn pressed forward at every opportunity and on 20 minutes a cracking drive from Peter Petkovich forced goalkeeper Neil Young into a fine save. Picking the ball up in his own half central defender Dusan Macura surged his way in attack before being brought down, Bozo Erakovic took the resulting free-kick that rebounded to John Mirco who volleyed brilliantly into the net from 18-metres with 32 minutes gone. Not long after it was very nearly two-nil as Young failed to hold a free-kick played to the near post and breathed a sigh of relief when Domenic De Felice squirted his shot over the crossbar. Ten minutes into the second half and Steve MacDonald rose highest at a corner but put his header wide of the upright. Sorrento had a even better chance to equalise in the 68th minute when awarded a penalty which goalkeeper Dino Pacella brilliantly saved from Jamie Harnwell then recovered in time to keep out the follow-up shot from the same player. The introduction of youngster Daniel Cain and Chris Smith caused more than concern for the home defence as the Gulls looked for a way back into the game. With eleven minutes to go Sorrento finally found a way through as Andrew Bowyer's cross was nodded down by MacDonald to Simon Harland who hit the back of the net via the inside of the right post. Late chances to give Sorrento victory fell to MacDonald and James Morgan but neither were able to get the desired result.
Despite neither team being able to find the net there were plenty of highlights in the Bayswater City-Inglewood United clash at Frank Drago Reserve. With Alan MacKenzie, Anthony Danze and Shaun Kilkelly asserting their authority in midfield the hosts spent much of the opening quarter hour on the back foot. It was ironic then that the first genuine chance came that way of Bayswater, Andrew O'Neill playing through to Ross Barnes who pulled his shot square across the face of goal after 17 minutes. From that moment on Bayswater were every bit their opponents equal. Gianni Papalia responded sharply in knocking Louis Parkinson's close-range effort around the post, while at the other end Oliver Taseski smothered bravely at the feet of Bobby Klenkoski after he'd left the defence in his wake. Shortly before the break Greg Sharland had Papalia scrambling along his line with a low free-kick that grazed the outside of the post. Inglewood's focus was on one thing at the start of the second half when Parkinson volleyed into the side netting, Sharland's glancing header beat Papalia but flashed wide and, on the hour, Parkinson shot low and past the 'keeper only for the ball to cannon back off the upright. Having run themselves ragged, the visitors dropped off the pace and Bayswater responded accordingly. Damian Catalano spotted Taseski off his line and chanced his luck from 30-metres with a chip that landed on the top netting. Next it was substitute Michael Catalano who powerfully headed a free-kick from the left just over the crossbar. Inglewood almost snatched the game in the 89th minute when Papalia parried Scott Campbell's shot in a goalmouth scramble then Danze's follow-up was cleared off the line by Kevin Henderson. By the same token Barnes could have become Bayswater's hero in stoppage time but he failed to connect with a far post cross from Igor Noavkevic.
Stirling Lions and Fremantle City fought out an exciting 1-1 draw in blustery playing conditions at Macedonia Park. Fremantle jumped out of the blocks early and should have scored in the opening minutes with Jeff Bright crossed from the left and Kevin Corriea skewed wide from point blank range and with an open goal staring him in the face. Stung into action, the hosts almost claimed a 15th minute lead when Adam Rains goalbound header was freakishly saved by goalkeeper Bobson Koroma. The Lions fans were again on their feet seven minutes later as a superb cross from the right by Derek Cooke was precisely finished by Jake Harman with a bullet-like shot that hit the target for a deserved lead. Fremantle fought back and must have thought nothing would go their way when Branimir Mikulic's header hit the crossbar, a long-range strike from midfielder Peter Lord slammed into the upright, and then Corriea hit the post with a header. It was end-to-end stuff as the Lions bounced back with Cooke, Harman and Eugene Singeorzan leading the way only to be foiled by the port teams' defence of Matt Danskin, Craig Surtees, Gary Faria and Dean Apelgren. With the half-time break over the Lions came out determined to hold their lead as a shot from distance by Singeorzan whistled over the bar. With eight minutes to go Fremantle were handed a lifeline when a free-kick pumped into a crowded goal area was belted goalward by Danskin and defender Rob Crerar had the misfortune of deflecting into the net. Back on level terms, the visitors threw everything forward in search of a winning goal but could find no way past Lions custodian Jordan Conti. Fremantle's day was summed up best in the final minute when Mikulic picked out Corriea who, on the 6-yard line and with only the 'keeper to beat, mis-timed his volley when it seemed easier to score.
Swan I.C. consolidated their place in the top five with a 3-1 win over Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. The game began with rain in the air and the visitors quick to get on top. Miki Vujacic was causing trouble down the right flank as David Foster and Elton Holmes got on the end of successive crosses but neither was able to beat goalkeeper Vas Vujacic. Athena caused reasons for concern once they'd settled but Peter Coci was thwarted by Danyal Bennett, and minutes later Andreas Oliviera shot on the turn was blocked by Carlo Scali. With Tony Cumace and Foster winning the battle in midfield, Swan took a deserved lead after 32 minutes when Holmes' cross from the left was flicked on by Tom Shepheard to Damien Todorovic who smashed a first-time shot into the back of the net. Two minutes later Swan doubled their advantage through good lead-up work from Miki Vujacic whose cross was headed in by Foster. The dismissal of Jamie Trandos for a second yellow card offence shortly after didn't help Athena's cause as they went in at the break two goals behind and down to ten men. Athena began the second half confidently, Adrian Sutton heading wide a Saul Contera free-kick and a few minutes later James Afkos played through to Oliviera who was halted in his tracks by a superbly timed challenge from Bennett. The momentum was now with the hosts for whom Costa Socratous and Troy Bernard were providing much of the drive. Contera headed wide and the lively Oliviera shot straight at goalkeeper Cory Hugo before Athena reduced the gap via a penalty converted by Oliviera at the second attempt on 66 minutes. But Swan made the game safe with ten minutes to go as Paul Lincoln and Foster combined for Holmes to slot under the advancing 'keeper.
A last gasp goal gave Perth S.C. the points over a plucky Bassendean Caledonian in wet and windy conditions at Dorrien Gardens. In the difficult conditions a draw looked likely as Perth, for all their possession, came up against a solid Caledonian defence marshaled by Kevin Smith and Jamie d'Arcy. The hosts played the ball around well in the first half but were off-target with their shooting. The closest they came to a goal was in the 27th minute when an in-swinging cross from the left by Rob Giorgi eluded everyone, hit the inside of the post but amazingly bounced clear. Caledonian's best chance of the half came via veteran Peter Vukmirovic who dribbled his way through only for his shot to narrowly miss the target. In the second half Perth picked up the pace and were soon threatening their opponents goal. Ryan Newhill looked to have scored with a backheader but neither official was in a position to determine whether the ball had in fact crossed the line before it was hooked clear. When Perth did break through they found Steve Grant in superb form, the goalkeeper twice saved well from Todd Howarth and once from Robbie Puca. For their part Caledonian tried to catch Perth on the break which resulted in Craig Wells shooting narrowly wide on two occasions. As the game went into stoppage time Newhill broke down the right flank and cut the ball back to Rhys Graham who bundled it over the line to give Perth a 1-0 win and three valuable points that lift them to eighth on the table.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND ELEVEN(Wanneroo City vs Stirling Suns courtesy Wanneroo City; Queens Park vs South West Phoenix courtesy South West Phoenix; Morley Windmills vs Balcatta courtesy Morley Windmills) Armadale hold a four point lead at the top of the First Division standings after a 4-2 defeat of arch-rival Gosnells City at Alfred Skeet Oval. The game was 18 minutes old when attacker Dennis Lee set the Reds on course for victory. Three minutes later Gosnells received a major blow of their chances with the red carding of experienced campaigner and player/coach Alex Grindley. Jason Goodwin increased Armadale's after 26 minutes. The match really came to life in the minutes leading up to half time which produced three goals in five minutes. Gosnells pegged back the margin via Darren Ingham after 39 minutes only to have the hosts respond with two rapid fire goals from Greg Newcombe. Andy Daffin gave Gosnells hope early in the second half by bringing the gap back to two goals, but it was all too much for the ten-man visitors who worked hard for eachother right up to the final whistle.
Wanneroo City made light work of accounting for Stirling Suns when they met at Kingsway Sporting Complex. The home side never looked troubled as they marched their way to a 7-0 win which keeps the pressure on table-topping Armadale. The scoring started early as Jason Hope set up Scott Bulloch who beat his marker before placing the ball beyond the reach of the goalkeeper. Sam Miller was the next to register a goal by making the most of an excellent Scott Wyeth cross after 15 minutes. Wanneroo should have gone three goals ahead when awarded a penalty but Jason Razmovski kept out Bulloch's effort from the spot. But it wasn't long before the hosts added to their tally with Bulloch scoring his second and third goals of the day to make it four-nil at half-time. Stuart Collins got in on the act early in the second half by chesting down a cross to slot past the 'keeper. A rash of late red cards resulted in early showers for Suns pair Marijan Stojanoski and Steven Velkovski as well as Nick Edwards of Wanneroo. With an extra man on the field Wanneroo were able to two more on the scoreboard as Wyeth bagged a cracking goal from distance and Craig Cheesman headed in Hope's cross at close-range.
The Kingsway Olympic-Mandurah City match was abandoned on the half hour after Olympic midfielder Oliver Foster suffered a badly broken leg. "Due to the severity of the break Oli wasn't moved until the ambulance officers arrived. With Oli being on the pitch and us unable to move him, it was agreed by both teams and the referee's that there was only one option - to abandon the game," explained Olympic coach Sean Lynch. "Oli's since had an operation to insert a steel rod into his leg, however, there have been a number of complications. Due to excessive swelling the wound area had to be left open for a couple of days to allow the swelling to go down, and there have also been some serious issues surrounding a blood clot lodging in Oli's lung. Hopefully things will resolve themselves of their own accord and there's a chance Oli may get out of hospital sometime this weekend." Both teams had an even share of possession in the thirty or so minutes which were played on Saturday with the respective defences coping comfortably with the pressure. A Mandurah corner after 25 minutes brought about the only goal from a Christian Pascherwitz header.
South West Phoenix took maximum points for the first time in a month by coming from behind to beat Queens Park 3-1 at Coker Park. Visiting coach Jimmy Mayers rang in the changes after an indifference run of results which saw Gavin Hayes, Patrick Roberts and Domenic Allen added to the starting line-up. Even so, it was Queens Park who dominated the opening half thanks largely to a strong wind in their favour. The only goal of the half came after 22 minutes when Glen Noblet rammed a penalty past goalkeeper Reece Braithwaite after Hayes had brought down Adrian McBride. With the wind at their back for the second half, Phoenix' equaliser arrived on the hour when James Bergin put Steve Suttie through on goal and the star striker made no mistake. Five minutes later David Rodgers waltzed past the goalkeeper to put the visitors in the box seat. With Andy Cowley and Shane Russell marking Queens Park dangermen McBride and Brian Robertson out of the game the hosts mustered little in response to the two quick goals. Phoenix on the other hand created several good opportunities but it wasn't until the closing stages that victory was assured as substitute John Sherrington won possession and played Rodgers through top score his second of the afternoon.
Morley Windmills left Wotton Reserve with all three points over Balcatta. The home team made a number of changes prior to kick-off with Danny Smith and Rydeen Botha returning to the starting eleven and Jamie McGuire stepping up for his senior team debut. Windmills set the early tempo as Steve Waycott got the better of Scott Broadley in midfield. Several half chances went unconverted at both ends before James Madden rocketed the ball past goalkeeper Colin Lees from 17-metres to give Windills the lead on 19 minutes. Balcatta responded by increasing their workrate but couldn't conjure up an equalising goal before the break. Early in the second half Waycott was thwarted by Lees who dived full-stretch to keep out the shot, then Botha put the ball in the net only to have it controversially ruled out for off-side. Balcatta took the game up to their hosts in the closing stages when Broadley was denied an equaliser for a handball violation. It wasn't until the final minute of regulation time that Windmills sealed victory through substitute Troy Carro who slotted home a pass from Botha. 17-year old defender Boro Kezic pulled a goal back for Balcatta shortly after but it was all a case of too little too late for the away side who went down 1-2.
Dianella White Eagles surged up the table to sixth with a 3-0 home defeat of Ashfield. Miladin Gugorovski gave the hosts the lead on 19 minutes and shortly after it was doubled as Petar Mrdja added to the tally. Any hopes Ashfield had of a late comeback were laid to rest when Nikola Culum scored Dianella's third in the 78th minute. Leeming Strikers came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders to run out 4-1 victors over Rockingham City at John Connell Reserve. The match was 2 minutes old when Lucas Whitehouse bagged the hosts opening goal, and four minutes later an own goal made it two-nil. Rockingham City rallied and pegged back the margin on 16 minutes through Jonathan Crawford. But two goals in quick succession from Whitehouse midway through the second half gave the Strikers all three points.
GULLS COACH WEILDS THE AXE
Coach Trevor Morgan has made five changes to the Sorrento side which faces Cockburn City this afternoon. Morgan said the team had "caved in" during last weekend's 3-0 loss to Stirling Lions and that changes were what was needed for today's game at Dalmatinac Park. "I think some players have been taking things for granted and we've given the place a bit of a shake-up this week. It needed that," said Morgan. Neil Young will take over in goal while Richard Watson, Shaun Bowyer, Glen Thomas and teenager Brodie Martin have also been added to the line-up. Goalkeeper Phil Straker, young defender Daniel Cain and attack-minded trio Matt Donlevy, Ryan Jeans and Jared Love have been omitted.
NEW PRESIDENT FOR SWC
The role of president of Soccer West Coast has been filled by Joe Lacerenza. A Life Member of the Soccer Federation of WA, Lacerenza was heavily involved on the local scene throughout the 1980's when the game divided into two separate organisations. Lacerenza was president of the SFWA between 1982 and 1987, and was re-appointed for a second term in 1990. The following year the state's top eleven clubs broke away from the SFWA to form the short-lived but influential Professional Soccer League. Lacerenza replaces David Schrandt who stood down from the presidency in January because of work demands.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Swan I.C. and Perth S.C. were the only teams to take full points in a low scoring ninth round of the Premier League. For the second successive week Floreat Athena ended the day a man down as they lost 1-3 at home to Swan. Perth’s climb away from the foot of the table continued with a 1-0 defeat of Bassendean Caledonian thanks to a Rhys Graham goal. Western Knights drew 1-1 with E.C.U. Joondalup in a fiery encounter that saw one player sent off, while Cockburn City were held to the same scoreline by Fremantle City. Stirling Lions shared the points with Fremantle City 1-1, and Bayswater City slugged out a lifeless scoreless draw with Inglewood United.
Armadale’s 4-2 win over Gosnells City maintains their four-point buffer at the top of the First Division after eleven games. Keeping the pressure on are Wanneroo City who mauled Stirling Suns 7-0 in an ill-tempered game. Kingsway Olympic’s home clash with Mandurah City was abandoned at 1-0 in favour of the visitors. Queens Park proved no match for South West Phoenix who triumphed 3-1, and Dianella White Eagles' 3-0 home win over Ashfield moves them up the table to sixth. Morley Windmills pulled off a surprise 2-1 defeat of Balcatta at Wotton Reserve, while Leeming Strikers thumped Rockingham City 4-1.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The pick of this weekend's Premier League action takes place at Nash Field where leader Western Knights meet high-flying E.C.U. Joondalup. Inglewood United make the short trip to Frank Drago Reserve where they're favoured to take the points over Bayswater City. Cockburn City are home to Sorrento, and Perth S.C. welcome Bassendean Caledonian to Dorrien Gardens. Stirling Lions will be looking to extend their fine run of results when they host Fremantle City. And Floreat Athena's fifth home game of the campaign pits them against Swan I.C.
First Division leader Armadale meet Gosnells City in the south of the river derby at Alfred Skeet Oval. Wanneroo City take on a depleted Stirling Suns outfit at Kingsway Sporting Complex which is also the venue for Kingsway Olympic's clash with Mandurah City. Queens Park welcome South West Phoenix to the metropolitan area, while Dianella White Eagles have home ground advantage over Ashfield's youngsters. Although drawn at home Morley Windmills will find the going tough against Balcatta, and Leeming Strikers play Rockingham City in the remaining fixture. Out of action with the bye are Canning City.
ROOKIE BENNETT MAKES THE GRADE
Big things are expected from Midland teenager Danyal Bennett. The 17-year old Swan I.C. defender has made the successful transformation from youth ranks to become an integral part of the senior line-up. "Danyal has established his position in the first team following some excellent performances in the first seven weeks of the League season," commented Swan coach Gary Marocchi. "He started the year as a right wing back, but was moved into the centre of defence following the retirement of Michael Di Fulvio and injury to Carlos Echeverria."
Bennett has gone from strength to strength in his rookie season of top flight football. Since linking up with Carlo Scali and Justin Hugo at the back for the black and whites he's squared off with some of the competition's best marksman and come out on top. "It's hard work as you're playing against the best players in the state every week," said Bennett. "A few weeks ago I marked State striker Branimir Mikulic, he's strong, quick and hard at the ball, but I thought I kept him quiet." Bennett's efforts over the past few weeks haven't gone unnoticed by his teammates who voted him Swan's Player of the Month for May.
Bennett is just one of a growing number of homegrown talents coming from the Swan Valley. Goalkeeper Chris Ramsey made his first team debut last year at the age of 17, while Daniel Webb and Brendan Knox are both knocking on the door of first team selection. State Schoolboy representative Daniel Simcox finds himself in the same boat, and Scott Lewry and youth team goalkeeper Daniel Agudelo have been named in the State Under-16 squad which heads to Singapore shortly to compete in the Lion City Cup.
JSA RETURNS TO THE LION CITY CUP
The Junior Soccer Association has named the West Australian Under-16 Lion City Cup squad which will compete at the annual event in Singapore. The popular youth tournament returned after a two-year absence and will be played out between June 14th and 20th. The JSA has previously represented the state in the Lion City Cup which is hosted by the Singapore Football Association. The tournament will see the young State side compete against teams from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
The State Under-16 Lion City Cup squad will use the up-coming tournament as preparation in their bid take home a medal at this year's National Talent Identification Championships which is being played in Sydney during September. "Many members of the Lion City Cup squad will be competing for a place in the Nationals team," said JSA official Glenn Morley. "Last year players in this team finished fourth (in the Under-15 category) at the Nationals and missed out on a medal by one place. This year, with many of the same players coming back, there is plenty of motivation to improve on last year's result."
Although the State Under-16 Lion City Cup squad will train together in the lead-up to the Nationals in September, Morley believes games against quality opposition are the best way to gel players into a cohesive working unit. "The Lion City Cup will pit the team against tough opposition all week long whilst they are away from home. We have found in the past that practice matches against good sides have always been the best way to prepare a team for the Nationals. This tour is excellent preparation for the 2004 Nationals and will be beneficial in gelling these players as a team for the major tournament in September."
The 16-player squad for the Lion City Cup is Matthew Wardle (Bassendean Caledonian), Luke Hudston (Bayswater City), Steven Hesketh, Mark Rotondella (Fremantle City), Adriano D'Adamo (Inglewood United), Stuart Hartmann, Paul Wigley, Rhys Williams (E.C.U. Joondalup), Dean Stacey (Kalgoorlie), Adam Hett, Chris Parfitt, Robert Sciascia (Perth S.C.), Corey Harington (Sorrento), Cameron Carruthers (Stirling Lions), Daniel Agudelo and Scott Lewry (Swan I.C.). Peter Bliss is coach of the side.
AIS TRIALS FOR FREMANTLE YOUNGSTER
Fremantle City youngster Luke Eoannidis has been offered an opportunity to trial for the next intake at the Australian Institute of Sport. The 16-year old will head to Canberra for a week commencing 20th June to pit his skills against the nations best young players. "Luke is one of a crop of bright young players in WA who will form the foundation of our next national league team sometime in the near future," said Eoannidis' coach at Fremantle Steve Parkinson. "This is a great opportunity to hone his ability in the right environment with like minded players, training and playing full-time is what Luke needs to aid that progress. Fremantle City wish him all the best on his soccer journey." Two years ago Eoannidis spent three days at the A.I.S. and hopes that a scholarship will be in the offering at the conclusion of his stay later this month. The teenager joined Fremantle over the off-season from Cockburn City for whom he represented the State at Under-15 level in last years National Talent Identification Championships.
MANY PLUSES FOR WANNEROO COACH
There's something of a revolution going on in the northern suburbs. A summer clean-out in combination with some astute signings has injected new life into First Division outfit Wanneroo City. Add to this a strong work ethic and great team spirit and the club have gone from mid-table also-rans last year to serious championship contenders in 2004. Ten games into the winter Wanneroo find themselves placed second behind Armadale and with the honour of being the competitions highest scoring team, and coach Stuart Currie could not be happier.
"I've been very impressed with how the boys have played so far this season," said the Wanneroo coach. "Apart from a few early blemishes we seem to have found our rhythm. We have a lot of pace in the side and try use this to our advantage. We work very hard at training on two-touch and movement of the ball and I think this shows in our general style of play. The most pleasing aspect we have found so far is that although we made some good signings over the summer we have no superstars or egos, all the boys respect each other for who they are and they all work as hard as each other. Their attitude has been first class."
In the past few weeks Wanneroo have added to their options by signing some talented young players. New to the club are John Dixon and Oliver Hilton, who played abroad for Cowdenbeath and Stockport County respectively, former State junior Craig Cheesman and towering defender Luke Croxall. "All the are all young and enthusiastic," commented Currie. "We have a very young squad which has a great team spirit so we're careful that the boys we sign have the right attitude before putting pen to paper. Although we had a good squad we felt that with the number of games to be played in the First Division we'd need more depth so we've gone out and have done just that."
When asked who he expects to be challenging for top honours Currie doesn't think long before responding. "Armadale are a big physical side, don't often lose two games in a row and have a fine coach in Billy Russell whose boys respect him. Mandurah seem to have had a bit luck with them, they've picked up a lot of points late in the game but I wonder about what effect all the travel will have on them. I rate Ashfield as the dark horses, Tom (Kilkelly) always has his team well prepared and I think they will come strong in the second half of the season. We haven't played Canning yet but football wise I put them as being up there with the best."
Currie is quick to add to that group of clubs his own. But the Wanneroo coach says his players can not rest on their laurels of they hope to be challenging for top honours come seasons end. "Obviously we need to stop conceding goals, we don't seem to lose many good goals but we always seem to make a few mistakes that cost us dearly. Our style of play means we are always going to be on the attack and that in turn often leaves us a bit vulnerable at the back. As a club we're well aware, we've spoken about it at training and we're working on rectifying it … perhaps the second half of the season we will be more defensive and stop trying to entertain!," Currie said jokingly.
CLUBS LINE UP FOR LAZARIDIS
Southampton, Fulham and Everton have set their sights on Perth-born Stan Lazaridis. The Australian international has one year left on his Birmingham City contract and, although keen to see out his career at St. Andrews, the Blues are yet to open discussions on a new deal. Lazaridis, who plays either as a defender or midfield on the left, joined Birmingham in July 1999 and has made 180 appearances for the Midlands club.
GLORY PREPARES FOR NEW ERA (courtesy www.perthglory.com.au)
Perth Glory's cost-cutting measures will ensure the club are in a good position to capitalise on the new structure of the national competition when it is established. "The processing of applications to the new national competition is now underway and Perth Glory has lodged an expression of interest. This process will take time and we need to ensure we have the best possible structure to capitalise on the game's new era," explained chief executive officer Jeff Dennis.
Regretfully, a period of adjustment is required and this will see the positions of all operational staff and several administration staff come to an end on 30th June 2004. "We have taken the necessary steps to see the club through this period of uncertainty when there will not be any games until the new league commences," Dennis added. "These situations are never easy as they involve individuals who have contributed great service to Perth Glory. Sadly though, given the state that Australian soccer was in, a long-term process was required to get things right and we have had to adjust to that. The club would like to extend its sincere thanks to those who have served it so well, producing one of the most successful eras the old National Soccer League ever experienced."
"We remain focused on continuing to build on the strong foundation that the club has already achieved with the name, colours, logo, and success of three Premierships and two Championships," said Dennis. "Following the Australian Soccer Association's direction, we will re-energise and relaunch the club in the next few months, announcing many exciting changes for the future. I can assure Perth Glory's supporters that we are already developing a new structure and strategies to ensure that success continues into the new competition as soccer in Australia finally achieves its potential."
MRDJA JOINS PERTH
Reigning champions Perth S.C. have welcomed star striker Nick Mrdja back to Dorrien Gardens. The Perth Glory marksman finished the recent National Soccer League season with 15 goals, which includes the decider of the 2003/04 Grand Final, to end the season as the clubs second highest goalscorer. The 25-year old last played in the local competition for Perth during the winter of 2001 when he was a key member of the side which took out the Night Series, Boral Cup and Champion of Champions series. Mrdja becomes Perth's third signing of recent times. Big striker Ryan Newhill was lured away from Inglewood United just a matter of weeks ago and shortly after Jamie Coyne arrived on loan from Glory. Coyne was a regular in midfield for Perth before stepping up to the national league.
COYNE HAPPY WITH HATTERS
Chris Coyne turned down offers from at least two Second Division rivals before signing a new contract with Luton Town last month. It's been reported that the 26 year-old defender was being chased by Tranmere Rovers and Oldham Athletic, while Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy is understood to also have been interested. Coyne, who recently penned a two-year deal with the Hatters, was overlooked by Australia coach Frank Farina for last week's Oceania Nations Cup tournament.
GLORY CUT PLAYERS, STAFF
Perth Glory have slashed their coaching, playing and administrative staff in order to keep the club a going concern while it waits direction on the new national competition. The club confirmed yesterday that coaches Mich d'Avray and Alan Vest, seven players and five office staff will be released at the end of the month. The contracts of have been terminated Shaun Murphy, Bobby Despotovski, Gary Faria, Nick Mrdja, Jade North, Jason Petkovic and Wayne Srhoj in the wake of the National Soccer League ceasing to exist. Glory chairman Nick Tana says the club was forced to make the cuts to ensure it was in a strong position when the Australian Soccer Association's proposed premier league competition kicks off next year. The club is likely to start rebuilding about three months before the start of a rumoured interim competition next January-February.
ON THIS DAY ... 1992
A young State squad etched their names in the annals of West Australian scored history with a remarkable 3-2 defeat of German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen on Saturday 6th June 1992. The German side arrived in Perth just one month after winning the European Cup Winners Cup with a 2-0 defeat of Monaco 2-0. Amongst their number were six German internationals, one from the Czech Republic and New Zealand captain Wynton Rufer. By contrast State coach Gary Marocchi named a young squad which included some of the finest players WA has ever produced. Amongst them were rising star Tony Carbone (17), who would later be named man-of-the-match, Marc Wingell (18), Stan Lazaridis (19), Scott Miller (20), Australian Olympic team defender Shaun Murphy (21), twins Craig and Gareth Naven, Trim Morgan (all 23), Carl McDarby (25).
A crowd of 12,781 turned up at the WACA Ground for the afternoon friendly commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the first soccer match played in WA. As though in celebration of the occasion the hosts took the lead midway through the opening half a stunning goal from the boot of Lazaridis. Having made a darting run into attack the left sided attackers initial shot blocked by a defender, the ball came back to him and without breaking stride Lazaridis drilled a right-footer under the body of goalkeeper Jurgen Rollman. Realising this was not going to be a stroll in the park Bremen upped the pace to dominate the remainder of the half. But it wasn't until three minutes from the interval that they were able to get back on level terms with German international Manfred Bockenfeld heading past 37-year old Willie McNally.
Eight minutes into the new half WA restored their advantage through Carbone who cheekily chipped Rollman following a superb layoff by Roberts. Again the Germans responded with a bombing blitz which would have left most defences in ruins. McNally pulled off several sensational saves to hold Breman at bay but there was little he could do in the 88th minute when Frank Neubarth's header exploded past him for the equaliser. In the final minute of the match WA were awarded a free-kick wide on the left and some 35-metres from goal which Lazaridis powered low to the near post where McDarby neatly flicked the ball into the back of the net. In fact the ball was traveling at such pace that it actually ripped through the net, many of the crowd not realising it had actually found the target until referee Sammy Davidson pointed to the centre circle.
Following the historic victory a beaming McDarby said the winner was the result of move honed to perfection on the training ground in the weeks leading up to the match. "It worked a treat," the Stirling Macedonia striker commented. "Stan hit the ideal free-kick and I flicked it in with my right boot - it was as simple as that." State coach Marocchi used the win over one of Europe's top club to challenge the national authorities to allow WA into the National Soccer League. "They can no longer ignore us," he said. "They can surely see now that we have the quality players in this state who deserve to be in the NSL competittion."
Western Australia: Willie McNally, Tony Carbone, Shaun Murphy, Craig Naven,
Marc Wingell, Brian Sweeney, Gareth Naven, Carl McDarby, Brian Roberts,
Trim Morgan, Stan Lazaridis, Frank Bate, Brian McLatchie, Scott Miller, Lou
Collova, Taki Nicolaides, Jeff Faulkner, Tommy Maras
Werder Bremen: Jurgen Rollman, Manfred Bockenfeld, Thorsten Legat, Frank Neubarth, Ulrich Borowka, Uwe Harttgen, Dieter Eilts, Miroslav Votava, Macro Bode, Wynton Rufer, Klaus Allofs, Stefan Kohn, Kay Wenschlag, Thomas Schaaf, Jonny Otten, Gunter Hermann, Oliver Reck
SOCCEROO'S INTO OCEANIA FINAL
Australia have taken out the preliminary phase of the Oceania Nations Cup. The Socceroo's finished the week-long tournament undefeated and will now face the Soloman Islands in early October to determine the winner of the Oceania Nations Cup. The Melanesian nation progressed to the last two at the expense of New Zealand whose surprising mid-week loss to Vanuata proved to be their undoing. Western Australia was well represented in the tournament with four players - veteran Stan Lazaridis, goalkeeper Brad Jones and central defenders Adrian Madaschi and David Tarka - taking to the field for the Socceroo's.
A bumper crowd of 12,134 witnessed the Socceroo's commence their campaign with a 1-0 defeat of New Zealand last weekend. Australia dominated the opening half in which Kiwi custodian Mark Paston denied Josip Skoko and Marco Bresciano, John Aloisi shot wide when placed well, and Max Vieri hit the crossbar. The breakthrough came after 39 minutes when Bresciano floated a free-kick over the defensive wall from 25-metres and past the goalkeeper. New Zealand's best chance of the evening arrived on the hour when Vaughan Coveny chipped over the onrushing Zeljko Kalac with the ball narrowly passing over the crossbar. Bresciano, Stan Lazaridis and Mile Sterjovksi spurned further chances to add to the Australian tally. Lazaridis played a full game, Madaschi was a 72nd minute replacement for Steve Laybutt, and Jones and Tarka watched from the bench. Vanuatu lost 0-1 to the Soloman Islands, and Fiji were held to a scoreless draw by Tahiti in the earlier fixtures.
Two days later the Socceroo's waltzed to a 9-0 win over Tahiti, their biggest ever victory over the island nation. Tim Cahill put Australia in front after 14 minutes by heading in a Stan Lazaridis cross, Josip Skoko scored a stunner from the top of the 18-yard box on 43 minutes, and an own goal by Vince Simon made it 3-0 at half-time. A simple header gave Cahill his second, then Mile Sterjovski netted three times in 23 minutes as the margin blew out to seven goals. David Zdrilic joined the party with a simple goal in the 85th minute and Scott Chipperfield completed the route close to the final whistle. Of the Perth contingent Adrian Madaschi played a full game on his starting debut for the senior national team, Lazaridis came off at half-time, and Brad Jones and David Tarka were unused substitutes. In the days other games New Zealand beat the Solomon Islands 3-0, and Fiji were too strong for Vanuatu by 1-0.
On Wednesday afternoon an under-strength Fiji provided little resistance for Australia who ran out 6-1 winners. Six minutes elapsed before Australia were gifted their first goal, Fiji custodian Laisienia Tuba fumbling a seemingly innocent free-kick which allowed Adrian Madaschi to toe-poke it over the line. Laisiasa Gataurua shocked Australia in the 18th minute by rolling a shot past Zeljko Kalac. Australia restored their lead six minutes from half-time through Tim Cahill, and Madaschi gave them some breathing space in the 50th minute with a fine headed goal. Fiji's shrinking chances of gaining a point disappeared nine minutes later when Gataurua was red-carded. Cahill added goals in the 65th and 75th minutes with a long-range effort from Ahmed Elrich completing the win. Madaschi played a full game as Stan Lazaridis, Brad Jones and David Tarka watched from the bench. New Zealand were left shell-shocked by Vanuatu who won 4-2, and the Soloman Islands dumped Tahiti 4-0.
The Socceroo's were far from convincing in Friday's 3-0 defeat of Vanuata. Australia had plenty of problems breaking down the Vanuatu defence with goalkeeper and captain David Chilia performing bravely and at times brilliantly to hold out a barrage of raids. Brett Emerton, John Aloisi, David Zdrilic and Josip Skoko all stretched the Vanuatuan custodian in the opening minutes. Aloisi finally broke through in the 25th minute when he headed home after Chilia parried Tony Vidmar's volley. But it wasn't until the 81st minute that Australia added their second, Emerton slotting in after Chilia blocked his initial shot. Aloisi made it three-nil minutes later when Emerton's through ball left the striker with little else to do but place his shot to Chilia's left. On his senior international debut Tarka played a full game for the Socceroo's as did veteran Lazaridis, while Brad Jones and Adrian Madaschi were unused substitutes. Earlier in the day New Zealand thumped Tahiti 10-0, and the Soloman Islands downed Fihji 2-1.
In the final day of competition the Soloman Islands shocked Australia who had to come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw. A limp Socceroo side was outplayed in the first half, the Solomons having five shots at goal before Australia first sighted goal in the 37th minute. Commins Menapi made Australia pay by expertly dummying his way past Adrian Madaschi to lash the ball into the net after 44 minutes. Australia emerged for the second half a different proposition and within eight minutes of the restart goals from Tim Cahill and Brett Emerton put them in front. The game changed dramatically when Patrick Kisnorbo received his second yellow card for a crude tackle in the 57th minute. Menapi then sent his side into raptures in the 75th minute by leveling with a low shot to create the Solomons' greatest soccer moment. Madaschi played a full game and David Tarka was replaced at half-time, while Stan Lazaridis and Brad Jones watched from the bench. Tahiti beat Vanuatu 2-1, and New Zealand downed Fiji 2-0 in the days other games.
WAASSA, LE SPORTIF CUP - ROUND TWO
Uinversity of WA progressed to the third round of the Le Coq Sportif Amateur Cup with a 6-0 victory over Warnbro Strikers at McGillivray Oval on Sunday. Warnbro Strikers started well in the opening moments when a Darren Stokes free kick was acrobatically saved by UWA goalkeeper Shyam Young who pushed the ball over the bar for a corner. UWA kicked into gear in the 7th minute when Max Percy found Paul Dimmock on the left who crossed for Bryn Griffiths to head UWA into the lead. Despite a lot of possession UWA did not score again until the 27th minute when Paul Dimmock rifled a corner into the near post and an unfortunate Warnbro Strikers' defender turned it into his own goal. The second half was only three minutes old when Paul Dimmock crossed for Andy Hart to head the ball high into the net to put UWA 3-0 up. UWA's Robert Benkovic then crossed for David Berg to make it 4-0. A few minutes later UWA Substitute Marc D'Ascanio crossed for Robert Benkovic to make it 5-0. The final goal for UWA came when a Paul Dimmock corner found David Berg's head and complete a 6-0 victory. UWA Reserves were also successful in defeating Warnbro Strikers by 7-0.
Shamrock Rovers suffered their first defeat in emphatic style at Harold Rossiter Reserve on Sunday. Their proud defensive record was blown to bits by an impressive Spearwood Dalmatinac side, who now advance to the next round of the Le Coq Sportif Cup. Shamrock started brightly and controlled the first twenty five minutes and should have been 2-0 up. Referee Wayne Oldham controversially disallowed a goal for a foul on Goalkeeper Forzatti and seconds later Wayne Brooks missed a good chance with the goal begging to be hit! Then Dalmatinac scored twice in a matter of minutes with goals from Palin and Vesich. Dallies made it 3 before half time with an excellent solo run from Man of the Match Darren Rich. Half time was a relief to the Hoops and they were looking to make amends in the second half. However within five minutes of the restart goals from Jason Faria and Palin with his second killed off any chance of a revival. Shamrock pressed and pressed and resorted to long ball tactics as they played the second half with four up front. Eventually a goal came as Mark Kelly instinctively prodded home from close range. Spearwood wrapped up the game with a penalty from Mirco in the last minute. Coach Nik Silsby said "We must learn from this defeat. Spearwood are a very good side and we were unable to give them a game. However we have had a good start to the season with a young squad and defeats like this will happen. We must both individually and as a team, learn from this and put it right next week against Fremantle. Whilst very disappointed with the result and the performance I am proud of the boys after the start we have had". Shamrock reserves continued their winning record with two goals from Sean Donnelly and another from top striker Jamie Silsby to take his tally to 14 for the season.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND EIGHT (Bassendean Caledonian vs Western Knights courtesy Western Knights; Cockburn City vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Lennie Bavich; Inglewood United vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox; Sorrento vs Stirling Lions by Kerry Slater)
Stuart Montgomery's eighth goal of the campaign enabled Western Knights to defeat Bassendean Caledonian and open up a six point buffer at the top of the Premier League table. Overcast skies and drizzle made for a scrappy start in which Caledonian carved out the first chance on goal, Graeme Matthews lobbing over goalkeeper Tommi Tomich from 18-metres only for his effort to hit the base of the upright and go wide. The Knights response was swift, Josh Kamasz heading a cross from the right onto the crossbar and which bounced over the line but after consulting with his assistant on the line the referee refused to allow the goal to stand. The Knights refused to let this dampen their spirits and midway through the half Kamasz played a great cross in behind the defence which Montgomery glanced past goalkeeper Steve Grant in the 29th minute. There were scant clear-cut opportunities crated over the remainder of what, if truth be told, was a scrappy affair. A dour battle for midfield dominated much of the second half with unforced errors resulting in neither side look particularly dangerous. It wasn't until the final minutes that the game game to life as Matthews was brilliantly denied in a one-on-one by Tomich, then sloppy play almost resulted in Craig Deans send the ball past his own 'keeper. The Knights lifted the tempo following this as Mark Lee found Leon Russell whose cross was met by Kamasz but the youngster was unable to get enough boot on ball to direct it goalward. Not long after Lee's cross picked out Montgomery who controlled brilliantly but his shot lacked the power required to beat Grant, and Andrija Jukic was thwarted by the 'keeper after a jinxing run into the penalty area. Coupled with other weekend results, Caledonian slipped back to the foot of the table at the completion of Round Eight.
E.C.U. Joondalup's seven-game undefeated run has come to a crashing halt, the northerners losing 4-0 to Cockburn City in the northern suburbs. It took the home side just 14 minutes to open their scoring when John Mirco won possession from John Morton and from 18-metres unleashed a thunderbolt which was too hot for goalkeeper Peter Stewart to hold, the ball slipping through his grip on its way into the net. Twelve minutes latter and from wide on the right Jason Dos Santos broke through the offside trap and drew Stewart out of position to double the home teams advantage. Mirco was proving a constant menace for the Joondalup defence and he made it three-nil by converting from the penalty spot after being brought down inside the box by Morton after 33 minutes. In between all this Keith Brown did put the ball in the back of the net for Joondalup only to have it ruled out by an offside flag, while the northerners were denied a penalty for a clear handball violation inside the area. It was a more focused Joondalup side that came out for the second half, winning a succession of corners but unable to make the most of their opportunities. The visitors task was made all the more harder by a strong defensive performance from Cockburn for whom youngster Liam Lilly is forming a solid working partnership in the centre with Dusan Macura. With Scott Miller and Domenic De Felice controlling the middle of the park Cockburn add their fourth for the afternoon through Dos Santos mesmerised his way past a couple of defenders before sending the ball past Stewart on 73 minutes. The win moves Cockburn into second on the table, level on points with Joondalup and Inglewood United.
Inglewood United and Swan I.C. shared six goals in a thrilling encounter at the National Stadium. Following an even opening it was the home team which went in front on 15 minutes when Scott Campbell's cross from the left found Jason Colli whose shot was parried by goalkeeper Cory Hugo and Louis Parkinson reacted smartly to knock in the loose ball. Swan immediately went looking for an equaliser which arrived five minutes later as Carlos Echeverria's pass found Paul Lincoln who was brought down by Shaun Kilkelly inside the box leaving referee Eddie Lennie with little option but to award a penalty which Elton Holmes converted. In the 28th minute Bobby Despotovski restored Inglewood's lead with a brilliantly taken free-kick which curled around the defensive wall and into the top left hand corner of the net. Not to be outdone, Swan hit back through another superbly struck free-kick, this time from Miki Vujacic who threaded his shot between the wall and the near post. Both teams had chances to edge in front leading into the break with Rory Mouttet denied by a spectacular Cory Hugo save, while at the other end David Foster headed Carlo Scali's cross just over the crossbar. At the start of an all-action second half Cory Hugo again came to his sides rescue with a great reflex save from point-blank range to deny Despotovski. Foster rocketed a well-taken volley and Parkinson's shot from a narrow angle was pushed wide by Cory Hugo as the teams traded attacks. Taseski tipped a blistering free-kick from Tony Cumace over for a corner which Miki Vujacic swung in and Foster rose unchallenged to head in after 77 minutes. Inglewood upped their workrate to control the closing stages and found reward five minutes from the end when Despotovski tapped in from 2-metres after Parkinson screwed his shot across the face of goal.
Perth S.C. emerged from their form slump with a 2-1 win over local rivals Floreat Athena in front of a big crowd at Dorrien Gardens. The hosts got off to a dream start by taking the lead after 6 minutes through Ryan Newhill who headed into the top corner at close range after Robbie Puca flicked on David Onoforo's throw-in. In an otherwise uninspiring half it was Athena that maintained the pressure. Andreas Oliviera should have done much better with his first shot of the afternoon but failed to test goalkeeper Robert Scarporolo. The only other clear chance of the period came the way of Peter Coci who seized upon a defensive error only to have Scarporolo keep out the shot at the near post. Athena tried to lift their game in the second half but tragedy struck ten minutes in when Anthony Jones sent off after being judged to have fouled Todd Howarth inside the area. From the resultant spot kick Puca made no mistake in placing the ball past Vas Vujacic to increase Perth's advantage. It didn't take long for the visitors to reply as Peter Coci curled a disputed free-kick goalward which Scarporolo was forced to punch clear only for Oliveira to hammer the loose ball into the corner. Playing with an extra man Perth continually went into attack and should have sealed victory in the fifteen minutes that followed as Newhill and Puca twice each failed to make the most of opportunities in front of goal. For their part Athena mounted a number of good counter-attacks over the closing stages but with Perth's defence maintaining their composure the away team were denied their chances to equalise and snatch a share of the points.
Jake Harman gave his former Sorrento teammates a lesson in fishing by scoring twice in Stirling Lions 3-0 mauling at Percy Doyle Reserve. Played in blustery conditions, the first person to stand out was the referee who booked players like a traffic warden on speed, five yellow cards being issued in the opening 20 minutes. The hosts looked dangerous early on as Matt Donlevy and James Morgan tested goalkeeper Vince Matassa, while a terrific long-range effort from Jamie Harnwell hit the outside of the upright. The Lions first chance came after 22 minutes when Nick Ward's excellent pass from midfield found Derek Cooke who weaved his way into the penalty only to be dispossessed by Daniel Cain. The remainder of the half belonged to the hosts who were unlucky not to go into the break in front as headers from Jamie Harnwell and Simon Harland flashed wide. The Lions made clear their intentions on the re-commencement of play when Robert Crerar lifted the ball over the defence for Eugene Singeorzan whose cross found Jake Harman but the striker's well timed shot was kept out by Phil Straker. The first goal came on 72 minutes as Cooke 'nutmegged' Jamie Harnwell but was then obstructed by the big defender and with the rest of the Sorrento defence waiting for the whistle Singeorzan played in Jake Harman who on this occasion blasted past Straker and into the net. The Lions didn't wait long before adding to their tally with Jake Harman racing past two defenders before converting. There was now only one team in the game and it was only a matter of time before the gap became three goals as Jake Harman turned provider for strike partner Singeorzan who unleashed a stunning right-footer that screamed into the top corner.
Fremantle City put behind them a winless month with a commanding 4-1 win over Bayswater City in wet and windy conditions at Ken Allen Field on Sunday. The ball had been rolling less than a minute before Anthony Pereira's stinging 20-metre drive soared past goalkeeper Gianni Papalia and put the home side on its way to a victory. Midfielder Peter Lord got in on the act after 31 minutes with a sizzling long-range shot to double Fremantle lead. Referee Michael Klaver spotted an off the ball infringement by Pereira on Ross Barnes which resulted in a Bayswater, Barnes the scorer the from the spot. With the visitors lacking bite in attack chances on goal were few and far between as Fremantle dominated possession and wide men Jeff Bright and Matt Danskin consistently applied the pressure to their opponents rearguard. In the 71st minute Kevin Correia twice weaved his way around Papalia and evaded a couple of desperate challenges before rifling the ball into the roof of the net to make it three-nil. Substitute Albert Osei-Tutu put the icing on the cake for the port side by getting on the end of a Bright cross three minutes into stoppage time. Coach Greg Kazmer hoped win would be the catalyst for improved results after Fremantle's difficult start to the season. "We had been a bit concerned because things weren't going for us. But this is a confidence boost for the entire club," he said.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND TEN (South West Phoenix vs Wanneroo City courtesy Wanneroo City; Ashfield vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth)
It was a workmanlike performance from Armadale that allowed them to gain maximum points over bottom side Rockingham City at Dowling Street Reserve. With several first team regulars absent for a variety of reasons the Reds found themselves a goal behind after just 3 minutes when Glen Hallums showed his class by cutting in from the left and unleashing a fierce shot that gave goalkeeper Ken Ftyhogranhis no chance. It may have been a dream start for Rockingham but it kicked the complacency out of their opponents who were quick to asserted their authority upon the resumption of play. On the quarter hour Armadale got back on level terms as former Rockingham player Paul Caulkin drive a free-kick past goalkeeper Michael Kelly after Dennis Lee was brought down just outside the area. Within two minutes of the restart Nick Twyman headed in at close-range a cross from Caulkin to put Armadale in the driving seat. Once in front the visitors never looked back and Luke Morris sealed the win in the 55th minute by running onto an inch-perfect pass from Jason Goodwin and slotting past the ‘keeper.
Wanneroo City confirmed their title aspirations with a convincing 6-3 away win over South West Phoenix. A torrential downpour just minutes into the game failed to dampen Wanneroo’s spirit as Stuart Collins headed in the opening goal from a Scott Bulloch cross. Applying the pressure the visiting team doubled their lead through John Dixon who found the net from close-range following a corner sent in from the right. Wanneroo soon added a third to their tally as Collins chased down a long ball into attack which he looped over the goalkeeper to Phil O’Callaghan who tapped in. Phoenix stormed back into the game after the interval but were unable to get on the scoreboard before Bulloch finished clinically to increase the visitors lead. David Rodgers netted from the penalty spot to bring temporary relief for the home side after 59 minute, but Wanneroo weren’t about to let their opponents creep back into the game. Dixon scored his second with a lucky rebound off the goalkeeper, then completed his hat-trick by latching onto a through ball which he clipped over the ‘keeper to make it 6-1. Over the closing stages Phoenix bagged a couple of consolation goals via Pat Roberts and Steven Suttie on a day they would much sooner forget.
In an amazing match at Peelwood Parade, Mandurah City scored three times in the final quarter hour to claim victory 3-2 over Leeming Strikers. The visitors looked on course for a well earned victory as they headed for the half-time break with a two-goal buffer. Shane Laing put the Strikers in front on 34 minutes and Lucas Whitehouse added their second eight minutes later in wet and windy conditions. With the words of coach Paul O’Brien ringing in their ears, Mandurah came out for the second half fired up and determined to get back in the contest. Despite long periods of concerted attack Mandurah were unable to convert dominance into goals thanks to a stubborn Strikers defence. With their season on the line and the clock ticking down, a deep cross from Jake Loreto landed on the head of Christian Paschewitz who nodded in to spark Mandurah’s comeback. Substitute Adam Boone put the ball away in a goalmouth scramble to level the match. With only seconds to go Boone rose to head in the winner from a Jordan Rhodes corner. The win moves Mandurah into third place, five points adrift leader Armadale and just one behind Wanneroo City.
Canning City defeated home side Ashfield 1-0 to secure fourth place on the table. It was a no-nonsense, tough tackling affair from the opening whistle as the respective midfield’s vied for dominance. However, with 8 minutes elapsed, Canning got the breakthrough as Paul Oliver sent a long free-kick into the penalty area and in the ensuing confusion the ball came off the boot of defender Joe Kendall and looped over goalkeeper Adam Ashworth before coming to rest in the net. A short time later referee John Taran issued the first of four yellow cards to Patrick Fitzgerald for a handball just outside the 18-yard box, the resulting free-kick was drilled into the area where Joel Powell directed the ball onto the post with his hand before it was cleared. The closely contested nature continued into the second half with Canning creating a number of opportunities without adding to their tally. Julio Barendilla was proving a handful for the Ashfield defence with some penetrating runs from the left flank, while at the opposite end of the field the Canning defence worked hard in making sure goalkeeper Robby Meyer wasn’t troubled. Ashfield did come close to snatching a share of the points late in the piece but Dion Florias’ effort hit the crossbar and bounced to safety.
Gosnells City put behind them a couple of disappointing results to register victory by 2-1 over Morley Windmills at Walter Padbury Reserve. For much of the opening period the visitors were forced into defensive duties as Gosnells midfield combination of Mark Ronald, Ian MacGuire, Sam MacGuire, Andy Daffin dominated play. But despite enjoying the lions share of play the home team were unable to create many clear cut chances thanks to a solid Windmills rearguard. It wasn’t until shortly before the end of the half that Gosnells persistence paid off when Adam Bremner popped up inside the 18-yard box to volley into the top corner and break the deadlock. The second half started in much the same way as the first as Gosnells went close to increasing their lead through Darren Ingham and Daffin. The missed opportunities were forgotten on the hour as Alex Grindley rose high to meet a corner and head in his teams second and give Gosnells some much needed breathing space. But Windmills hit back within two minutes when Stephen Waycott made the most of a defensive lapse. Sensing they could get something from the game, Windmills seized control of the contest and controlled play for long periods only to meet with strong resistance from the Gosnells rearguard who held out until the final whistle.
Stirling Suns ended their day with nine men and a 2-4 home loss to neighbouring Dianella White Eagles. Dragan Njegic put the visitors in front after 32 minutes and just two additional minutes had gone by before Filip Smiljanic doubled the margin. Any hopes the Suns had of getting back in the game were extinguished with the 41st minute dismissal of defender Jamie Naumovski for a second yellow card offence. A minute later the gap became three goals as Danco Jovanoski found the net for Dianella. David Tanevski pegged one back two minutes into the second half, but Njegic restored Dianella’s buffer with his second of the day on 50 minutes. Eleven minutes from the end the Suns were reduced to nine men with the red carding of Desimir Tosevski. "We had a great start to the season but have been hit by suspension and injury in the past few weeks" said Suns coach Rodney Njirich following the game. "We’ve got a young squad who’ll learn more by playing first team football. As a club we will keep fighting and take into every game a never-say-die attitude and I am confident that we will re-discover our earlier form."
In the days remaining fixture Balcatta claimed all three points by a 2-1 scoreline over Queens Park. The win, Balcatta’s first in a month, catapults the club up the standings to eighth place.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Western Knights have opened up a six point gap at the top of the Premier League table. The Knights overcame a focused Bassendean Caledonian with Stuart Montgomery the scorer of the games only goal. After eight games three teams - Cockburn City, E.C.U. Joondalup and Inglewood United - sit level on points in second place. Cockburn thrashed Joondalup 4-0, while Inglewood scored a late goal to earn a 3-3 draw with Swan I.C. Stirling Lions good form continued with a 3-0 win at Sorrento, and Perth S.C. got back to winning ways with a 2-1 defeat of Floreat Athena who had Anthony Jones controversially sent off. On Sunday at Ken Allen Field, Fremantle City beat Bayswater City 4-1.
Even without several first team regulars First Division leader Armadale were 3-1 too good for Rockingham City. The battle for second place was taken out by Wanneroo City who thumped South West Phoenix 6-3 in Bunbury. Mandurah City and Canning City both leapfrog over Phoenix courtesy of win over Leeming Strikers (3-2) and Ashfield (1-0) respectively. Gosnells City returned to the winners circle with a 2-1 defet of visiting Morley Windmills. Balcatta also bounced back from a couple of disappointing results by taking the points over Queens Park 2-1. Stirling Suns went down 1-4 at home to Dianella White Eagles.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Near neighbours Perth S.C. and Floreat Athena meet in a 'must win' game for both clubs in Saturday's round of Premier League games. Swan I.C. will be out to end Inglewood United's six game unbeaten run when they visit the National Stadium. Bassendean Caledonian's home meeting with table topping Western Knights present Jimmy Pearson with his toughest test since regaining the coaching reigns. In the far north E.C.U. Joondalup take on a Cockburn City still smarting from last weekend's shock loss, while just down the road Sorrento take on Stirling Lions. Fremantle City are pitted against Bayswater City in the remaining fixture.
The pick of the First Division action takes place in Bunbury where South West Phoenix and Wanneroo City, who are level on points in second place, go head-to-head. Armadale will find the going tough with up four regulars absent through injury for their trip to bottom side Rockingham City. Mandurah City have a tricky home clash with Leeming Strikers, while Ashfield return from the bye to host fifth-placed Canning City. Gosnells City are tipped to defeat Morley Windmills at Walter Padbury Reserve, while the Stirling Suns-Dianella White Eagles clash is just too close to call. Both Balcatta and Queens Park will be gunning to take maximum points from their meeting at Graham Burkett Reserve. Out of action with the bye are Kingsway Olympic.
YOUTH SQUAD TO ASSEMBLE ON MONDAY
Thirty-three players have been named in a provisional West Australian Youth (Under-19) squad to meet the Victorian Institute of Sport later this month. Under the watchful eye of coaches Peter Murphy and Ken Lowe the squad will assembled for their first training session this Monday, 7th June, at Litis Stadium from 4.15pm. The State Youth team will take on a Victorian Institute of Sport side featuring some of the nations nest young talent, amongst them Australian Under-20 internationals Kristian Sarkies and Adrian Leijer. The first match of the friendly series is scheduled for Sunday 27th June with the return leg taking place on the evening of Tuesday 29th June. Venues for both games are yet to be confirmed.
The provisional West Australian Youth squad is Jonathan Mathers, Tae Phillips (Bassendean Caledonian), Cormac Dawson (Bayswater City), Robbie Meyer, Paul Oliver (Canning City), Jason Dos Santos, Liam Lilly (Cockburn City), Paul Vlachou (Floreat Athena), Dean Apelgren, Jason Barrera, Jeff Bright, Mark Darby, Matt Danskin, Andy Pomfret (Fremantle City), Michael Baczynski (Inglewood United), Scott Blackmore, Scott Bushby, John Higgins, Michael Lawson, John Morton, Darryl Platten, Daniel Waind (E.C.U. Joondalup), Alan Matteucci, David Micevski, Nikita Rurvytsya, Ben Rodgers (Perth S.C.), Daniel Cain, Dejan Gurovski (Sorrento), Nick Ward (Stirling Lions), Daniel Simcox (Swan I.C.), Andrija Jukic, Joshua Kamasz and Sebastian Trim (Western Knights)
FANTASTIC 24-HOURS FOR MADASCHI
Adrian Madaschi was given caused for double celebration yesterday. Barely hours after learning that his club, Partick Thistle, would be playing in the Scottish Premier league next season, the young defender was scoring his first two international goals for Australia in their Oceania Nations Cup victory over Fiji. "Fantastic, just fantastic," commented Madaschi when reflecting on the past 24 hours. "I've now three caps for Australia, two goals and it looks like Partick Thistle will stay in the SPL next season. Absolutely brilliant!"
PERTH WILL BOUNCE BACK SAYS COACH
It's been a tough opening couple of months to the Premier League season for Perth S.C. The reigning champions slumped to last place on the table following their fifth regular season loss in seven outings on the weekend. Coach Graham Normanton, whose lead the club to an amazing twelve trophies in his five years at the helm, says he's not about to hit the panic button and has every confident that Perth have it in them to turn their season around. "It's a strange situation, it's a whole new experience for nearly everyone at the club," said the coach. "We may be down at the moment but we are certainly not out and teams still have a lot to fear from us."
"Let's analyse our losses," Normanton continued. "Anybody who witnessed the games with Inglewood and Bayswater will tell you that we were the better side and created a bag full of chances that we didn't take and which consequently cost us on both occasions. Against Stirling we, admittedly, were absolutely woeful and didn't deserve anything from it. Against Cockburn we were leading for a long time and once again missed some very good chances to put the game away, then a penalty and a mistake cost us a game which we controlled of for a long time."
"On Saturday against the Knights the game could have gone either way, and realistically a draw would have better reflected the balance of play," commented the Perth coach. "I was proud of the way my players battled through the game, 75 minutes of it with ten men, as up until Jamie Coyne was sent off we were in total control. The win obviously meant a lot more to them than it did to use. For Perth it was another game that we wanted to win, but to the Knights it was a game in which they beat us and think they've got a monkey off their back. But if they believe we no longer pose a threat then they are grossly underestimating Perth S.C."
Other than a lack of goals, Normanton feels there is little wrong with the current Perth side. "I didn't become a bad coach and the players didn't become bad players overnight. We are working on the same principles that we always have and now it's question of showing the character that I know we have and improving the quality of our game in the final third of the pitch. It would be easy for me to make excuses about injuries or suspensions and shift the blame off me but that is not the case. Our position is totally my responsibility with the decisions that I have made putting us there. But rest assured that the decisions made in the future will put us back on track."
With Perth languishing in unfamiliar territory at the foot of the table there's been much discussion in local circles that the Blues dominance of the game could have come to an end - a suggestion of which Normanton is quick to dismiss as naive and uninformed. "I hear of people saying that we have lost the desire - what a load of rubbish! Nothing could be further from the truth. I have total belief in my players and total belief in myself. We as a team will get out of this temporary situation and start making our way back up the league table. The fire is still burning as strong as ever at Perth and, mark my words, we are not finished by a long shot."
OCEANIA IN SOCCEROO'S GRASP
Australia are have firmed as outright favourite to claim stage two of the Oceania Nations Cup. After three games the Socceroo's sit at the top of the standings undefeated, scoring 16 goals and conceding just once in wins over New Zealand, Tahiti and Fiji. Western Australia has been well represented at the tournament by Stan Lazaridis and Adrian Madaschi, who scored twice against Fiji, while Brad Jones and David Tarka are yet to feature in match action. Australia play Vanuatu tomorrow (Friday), and on Sunday meet the Solomon Islands in the final match of this phase. The top two placed teams at the completion of phase two will play-off in early October to decide the winner of the Oceania Nations Cup. There will be a comprehensive round-up of Australia's Oceania Nations Cup campaign as part of next week's website update.
MORGAN BACK AT SORRENTO
Championship winning coach Trevor Morgan has returned to Sorrento. Coach of the Gulls first regular season title in 2001, Morgan spent the past two years in Singapore where he was in charge of Sengkang Marine. Having recently stated his intention to remain in Perth Morgan has been re-appointed first team coach with Steve Neville, who lead the side in Morgan's absence, as his assistant. "We feel this is the best coaching team for our club," said Sorrento secretary Kerry Slater today. "The club is confident that with the vast knowledge, experience and man-management skills that Trevor and Steve possess they can only be of substantial benefit to the players, and Sorrento as a whole."
HUGO'S GOAL IS NUMBER ONE
An audacious goal from goalkeeper Cory Hugo has been voted the most impressive achievement so far this year. The Swan I.C. scored with a booming kick which traveled almost the full length of the field to beat his opposite number Peter Stewart in the E.C.U. Joondalup goal last month. Hugo's goal accumulated almost one third - 31.6% to be precise - of the vote in the most recent www.soccerwa.com website poll to emerge as the clear winner.
Level in second place with 14.2% were Wanneroo City's progression to the last four of the Boral Cup and Bayswater City's 1-0 defeat of traditional rival Perth S.C. at Dorrien Gardens. Joondalup's six game undefeated run came in third with 12.4% of the vote, followed by Andy Cornmell's nine goals in five games for Ashfield which collect 11.3%. With 9.9% of the count was Armadale's five game winning start to the regular season, while Perth's Night Series triumph picked up 6.4%.
YEOVIL BEAT OXFORD TO CACERAS
Exciting Perth Glory winger Adrian Caceres has signed with ambitious English Third Division outfit Yeovil Town. After impressing in trials, Caceres inked a twelve-month contract with Yeovil despite also receiving serious interest from Oxford United. The 22-year old did so well in trials at Oxford that manager Graham Rix expressed an interest in keeping him on. However, Yeovil also stepped in and manager Gary Johnson asked the West Australian to train with his squad for a couple of days. While Oxford were keen to sign Caceres, it was Yeovil which were first off the mark with a contract offer - and Caceres was happy to sign.
"I'm delighted to be coming back to England. It's gone really well for me since I arrived. I was bowled over by how Yeovil treated me. The facilities are excellent and the manager has the same ideas about football as I do. I'm very excited about next season," the former Southampton striker told www.tribalfootball.com. "I was very lucky, with both Graham Rix and Gary Johnson wanting to sign me. They've both done brilliant things in the game. I was delighted that Yeovil were prepared to sign me, I know I'll learn a hell of a lot from Gary Johnson."
SCHOOLBOYS SQUAD NAMED
Damon Atthowe has announced a 16-player squad to represent Western Australia at the 2004 Schools National Championship. "It's been a very difficult selection process," commented the Schoolboys coach this week. "There was very little between the players and in the end it came down to an issue of overall team balance rather than an individuals ability." In friendlies last month the Schoolboys defeated Queens Park and the State Under-16 squad. They'll commence a second round of friendlies later this month as preparations continue for the annual championships which this year are being stage in Adelaide during August.
Sharing the gloves for the Schoolboys will be Jacob Chudy (E.C.U. Joondalup) and Alex Dunn (Floreat Athena). Mark Darby (Fremantle City), Daniel Simcox (Swan I.C.), Jesse Higgins (Kingsway Olympic), Chris Currie (Wanneroo City) and Carlo Cardozo (Cockburn City) will form the defence. Operating across the centre of the park are Scott Patterson and Jarrad Smith of Joondalup, Brendan Ross (Perth S.C.), Sebastian Trim (Western Knights), and Fremantle teammates Andy Pomfret and Ben Kelly. The duty of banging in goals has been assigned to Dejan Gurovski (Sorrento), Wes Ryder (Forrestfield United) and Rodrigo Aguirre (Athena).
MEDICA ENJOYS KNIGHT LIFE
Western Knights have made a sensational start to the Premier League season. After two months of competition the Knights sit three points clear at the top of the table, winners of six of their seven games and with the honour of being the League's highest scoring side. One player that has figured prominently in the Knights early success is club stalwart Carl Medica. Having found the back of the net seven times in six outings the versatile 31-year old is clearly enjoying his eleventh season with the club, one which he hopes will end with another trophy in the Knights cabinet.
"The main goal this season is to win the League title, it would be great to do that for the club," said Medica. "Up until now I've been quite happy with my form but as any player will tell you there is always room for improvement. I've been playing up front with Stuart Montgomery and together we've formed a great partnership - on the weekend someone made the comment that we're like an old married couple! The Knights have got a lot of younger players pushing for first team places this year and that's given me extra incentive to work hard in an effort to keep up with them."
At the beginning of the year coaches Ronnie Campbell and Willie Kelly sat down with the Knights player group and together set some goals for the winter. "One of those was to get more consistency in our game as in previous seasons we've run hot and cold in our performances," explained Medica. "Defensively we have been very solid this year as is evidenced by us conceding only seven goals. Ronnie and Willie have also encouraged to play an attacking style of football. And Monty (Stuart Montgomery) is back in the team after a horrific injury last year and he's been a tremendous boost as he's a quality player and is vital to the team."
Over the past couple of years the Knights have worked on increasing their depth at senior level, a move which has paid off this year. "Due to injuries and other commitments we've had some important players absent and that has given our younger players a great opportunity to show that they have what it takes to compete at the higher level, which they have done admirably," explained the Knights striker. "There's a lot of quality in the younger players coming through and this in turn instills confidence in the senior group of players. As long as we continue to encourage and guide these younger players then the club will have a healthy future."
Although hesitant to compare the 2004 squad with others that he's been part of, Medica believes the current crop of players possess the ability to be one of the best he's played in. "I'd say the player group at the club now has the potential to be a successful team, and to be up there with the team of '98." That season the Knights took out the regular season crown with a squad that included the likes of Alex Cummings, Trim Morgan, Paul McVittie, Craig Deans, Ray Marinovic, Taki Nicolaides, Eugene Singeorzan, Tommi Tomich and a host of others. "As long as we remain focused and work hard in the areas that need to be improved then I think we can be challenging for the League title again this season."
On the weekend the Knights defeated arch-rival and reigning champion Perth S.C. who've fallen on hard this so far this season. And while the win has boosted the Knights confidence, Medica says Perth should not be written off despite their lowly position on the table. "Perth have had the wood on us over the last few years so Saturday's victory has given us a slight psychological advantage over them. We played with a lot of commitment and passion and were able to beat the competitions benchmark team. That said, I have no doubt that Perth will make the finals this season, they are a quality side and are probably just down in confidence at the moment. They will bounce back so people better think twice before writing them off."
It's been another record-breaking month for www.soccerwa.com. The 31 days of May 2004 produced an all-time monthly high of 27,737 visits on the website to shatter the previous tally of 19,544 recorded in April of this year. In addition, each of the past five Monday's produced a new 24-hour record number of hits. It began on Monday 3rd May when 1,224 visits were registered, and over the weeks that followed rose to the 1,349 hits scored on Monday 31st May. With your continued support we are well on the way to breaking the aggregate twelve month record of 159,695 hits which was achieved last year.
LEGENDS RETURN TO COACH FUTURE STARS
Former State League stars Peter Murphy and Ken Lowe have been appointed dual coaches of the West Australian youth development squad. Murphy won the 1995 Golden Boot while wearing the colours of Swan I.C., while Lowe took out the 1986 Gold Medal for league champion Spearwood Dalmatinac. The pair will lead the best the local scene has to offer in a two-game series with the Victorian Institute of Sport later this month. They'll also be at the helm when the State youth team takes on the Oman national Under-19 side in early August. It is the first step towards Soccer West Coast sending the West Australian Under-21 side to France in mid-2005 for an international tournament.
MADASCHI MAKES SOCCEROO DEBUT
Former Perth S.C. junior Adrian Madaschi was thrilled to make his senior international debut in Australia's 1-0 defeat of New Zealand last night. Madaschi came off the bench in the second half of the opening game in the Oceania Nations Cup after teammate Steve Laybutt was forced from the field by injury. "I was pretty calm - a lot more than I thought I would be," said Madaschi. "It was a critical stage of the game, so I was only focused on what the coaches were telling me to do. It was fantastic getting on the pitch. It's actually the first time I've played for Australia at any level in my own country!"
WAASSA, ROUND SEVEN
UWA were defeated 3-1 by Spearwood Dalmatinac in the WAASSA Autostrada Cars Premier Division fixture at McGillivray Oval on Sunday. The game was only 3 minutes old when UWA were caught out square at the back and Darryn Rich ran through on to a pass and held off the challenge of UWA goalkeeper Shyam Young and slid the ball into the net to put Dalmatinac 1-0 up. After 20 minutes a UWA attack resulted in Nick Helm just heading past the right hand post. UWA's Paul Dimmock then found David Berg on the left and he ran in on goal and fired just over the right upright. Confusion then reigned in the UWA defence as first Darren Pesich picked up on a loose ball and fired it into the left hand corner just past the UWA goalkeeper to make it 2-0. Moments later another error led to the ball being crossed for Dalmatinac's David Palin to drive home to make it 3-0. UWA then had a chance when Manuel Arapis hit a 25 metre shot just over the left hand post. Finally UWA scored when a mazy run from Shin Kuruma found Robert Benkovic who turned the ball into the net to make it 3-1. The second half was a fairly open affair and UWA's Nick Helm fired just wide after receiving the ball from a Manual Arapis free kick. At the other end UWA goalkeeper Shyam Young kept Dalmatinac at bay with a fine one handed save from a well struck shot. Dalmatinac striker David Palin then had a golden chance to finish the game off but struck the post from 2 metres. Despite continued UWA pressure Dalmatinac held firm and claimed the points. Spearwood Dalmatinac Reserves caused an upset with a 1-0 victory over UWA Reserves.
Goals from Wayne Brooks and Patrick O'Boyle on Sunday meant that Shamrock Rovers continued to lead the WAASSA Premier division. After a disappointing performance against UWA, Shamrock were eager to make amends against a Kwinana United side at the foot of the table. Goals after 5 minutes from Brooks and 10 minutes from the end from O'Boyle sealed a 2-0 result . Several missed chances could have seen the score easily triple. Shamrock were rarely troubled against Kwinana with the defense superbly marshalled once again by Jon Craik. In fact goalkeeper Ed Schuller was not called into action once.
In other games, Fremantle United remained on the bottom of the table following their 1-0 loss to CN Canning International. Forrestfield United lost with the same score-line in their home fixture with the Stirling Panthers. Murdoch University beat Perth Azzurri in a 7 goal thriller, the final score being 4-3, while Hamersley Rovers and Colo Colo shared the points in a 2-2 draw.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SEVEN (Western Knights vs Perth S.C. courtesy Western Knights; Stirling Lions vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Don Evans; Swan I.C. vs Fremantle City by Peter Simcox; Cockburn City vs Bassendean Caledonian courtesy Bassendean Caledonian)
Premier League pacesetter Western Knights turned in a disciplined performance to defeat Perth S.C. at Nash Field. With Daniel Trim and Alex Christie complementing eachother perfectly in the centre of the park the Knights were quickly able to establish dominance. The games first major talking point arrived on 15 minutes when Jamie Coyne clumsily brought down a goalbound Medica just outside the 18-yard box, and as the last defender the Perth defender was red carded by the referee. Stuart Montgomery came close to putting the hosts in front not long after but his shot hit the upright, the rebound came straight to teammate Carl Medica who accidentally cleared the ball off the line. Perth's best chance of the half came via a corner that was flicked on at the near post only to have no one on hand to poke the ball in as it whizzed across the face of goal. The Knights emerged for the second half aware of the task which lay ahead in breaking down a very defensive Perth line-up. With the Knights controlling the centre of the park Perth were forced to defend for long periods and play counter-attack football. They were swift in their actions but were rarely able to penetrate a defence that had Craig Deans and Jason Williams at its heart. The visitors best chance of the half saw Tommi Tomich tip over the crossbar a John Nicolaou header. As the minutes ticked and the game remained scoreless, Knights coach Ronnie Campbell brought on the fresh legs of Josh Kamasz. With three minutes to go Montgomery flicked the ball past on-coming goalkeeper Robert Scarparolo and the ball trickle into the net to send the Knights faithful into hysteria. The final few minutes saw the Knights hold firm at the back to record a deserved victory.
Sorrento's 1-1 draw with Bayswater City was the fourth time in five weeks that the Gulls have settled for a share of the points. The northern suburbs started the away game at a cracking pace as Jamie harnwell headed against the crossbar inside the opening minute. With 4 minutes gone the Gulls took the lead as Jared Love's low cross from the right was steered in at the near post by Ryan Jeans. Gareth Healy was showing some good touches in midfield for Bayswater who stormed back into contention. On 15 minutes Healy played a superb pass from the centre of the park into the path of Bobby Klenkoski who raced past a flat-footed defence and rounded goalkeeper Phil Straker to put away the equaliser. With both teams searching for a second goal it was end-to-end stuff. Kevin Henderson picked out Ross Barnes who lobbed over Straker but also the crossbar. A few more minutes passed before Glen Thomas's rasping drive from 22-metres was spectacularly tipped over by Gianni Papalia. An inch-perfect pass from Thomas sent Jeans past a static defence only to be denied by the sharp reflexes of Papalia. Down the other end a wayward clearance by Straker went straight to Barnes whose goalbound shot was just wide of the top corner. Twelve minutes into the new half Cormac Dawson released Klenkoski who was brought down as he went past Steve MacDonald for a Bayswater penalty, and from the resultant kick Straker produced a fantastic save to thwart Henderson. The all-action theme continues with Wes Mitchell heading over from inside the 6-yard box, then a well-struck shot from Thomas was saved by Papalia. Thomas could have stolen the points for Sorrento two minutes from the end when he was teed-up by Todd Harnwell but yet again Papalia came to the hosts rescue with another sharp response.
A big crowd was on hand at Macedonia Park to witness a top class contest in which E.C.U. Joondalup edged out an unlucky Stirling Lions 1-0. Superb playing conditions and a pressure cooker atmosphere lifted both sides to great heights in this battle. The home team stepped out eager to exert their ground advantage and did so early when a through ball found Mohamad Komaderic whose lob over goalkeeper Peter Stewart ended just the wrong side of the crossbar. The battle for midfield supremacy had the Lions central combination of Nick Ward and Adam Rains getting the better of Dale McCulloch and Keith Brown. A flashy run at goal by Alan Zilic was halted by a crude tackle, and from the resultant free-kick Ward's effort whizzed past the post. Joondalup's only genuine effort of the half came on 40 minutes when Garin Collins headed wide. The visitors stepped up the pace after the interval but were met with strong resistance from the Lions backline. But as the half progressed the game swung back in the Lions favour as Jamie Kuzmanovich and Peter Roberts found themselves under increasing pressure in the Joondalup defence. Komaderic was presented with two excellent scoring opportunities but was twice denied by the brilliance of Stewart. The Lions went all out in search of a winner as Komaderic rose to meet a corner only to have it cleared off the line with the 'keeper beaten. It was against the run of play that Joondalup found itself with a late chance to steal the game, and that they did just when a dipping Jonathon Higgins corner was superbly headed in by Kuzmanovich after 85 minutes. The Lions threw everything forward in the remaining time but with Joondalup now defending their lead few opportunities to equalise arose.
Swan I.C. continued to climb up the standings with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Fremantle City at the Swan Italian Club. In a bright opening it was the visitors that had the first opportunity on goal but Jeff Bright's shot on the run was wide of the mark. While slow to get going, the black-and-whites looked dangerous once they'd found their rhythm. Goalkeeper Bobson Koroma parried a free-kick from Miki Vujacic and from the follow-up Paul Lincoln shot wide, and shortly after Renato Rechichi's cross found Damien Todorovic who was denied by the reflexes of the Fremantle goalkeeper. The port side almost snuck a goal through Bright whose shot grazed the crossbar with Cory Hugo struggling to into position. Ten minutes from half-time Swan broke the deadlock as Dave Foster and Lincoln combined down the right with the latters cross put away by Tom Shepheard. Fremantle worked hard to equalise before the half-time but Matt Danskin shot high while Gary Faria and Peter Lord were both denied by Cory Hugo. The new half began with Fremantle in attack mode as Abdul Kamara picked out Albert Osei-Tutu whose first time effort was narrowly wide. But on 49 minutes Swan doubled their advantage when Shepheard put Todorovic through on goal and after a challenge from Koroma the striker blasted into an empty net. With nothing to lose Fremantle threw caution to the wind which resulted in chances to Bright, Anthony Pereira and Mikulic who were unable to put the ball away. Against the run of play Swan win a corner which resulted in Foster's shot from the top of the area being cleared off the line by Gary Faria. The final ten minutes was all Fremantle who were forced to wait until the last kick of the day before scoring, Mikulic crossing from the left for Kevin Correira to finish off.
Bassendean Caledonian's second win of the season - 2-0 away at Cockburn City - enabled them to move away from the foot of the table. The first opening of the day fell to Jason Dos Santos who pounced on a mix-up between Craig Naven and Jon Mathers but failed to hit the target. With Michael Mirco pulling the strings in midfield Cockburn were dominant in terms of possession but created few genuine chances on goal due to a well-organised defence lead by Naven in his first game since coming out of retirement. Minutes before half-time Caledonian hit the font, Kevin Griffiths slipping the ball to Jon Mathers who found space down the left flank to cross to the far post where an unmarked Graeme Matthews headed powerfully past goalkeeper Dino Pacella. The hosts started the second half determined to get back on level terms but John Mirco and Michael Mirco failed to call goalkeeper Steve Grant into action with shots from distance. Caledonian secured maximum points in the 56th minute via Kevin Griffiths who converted from the penalty spot after Liam Lilly was judged to have handed the ball. Paul Donahue almost made it three-nil with a cracking effort that skimmed the crossbar minutes after coming off the bench. With some brutal challenges coming in from both camps, Cockburn continually applied the pressure only to be let down by a combination of lackadaisical finishing and desperate defending. The visitor's day went from bad to worse four minutes from the end when Michael Mirco was sent off following a fiery clash with Daniel Harrop who was booked for his part in the incident. Caledonian's win was orchestrated at the back by Naven who turned in a man-of-the-match performance, while at the opposite end of the ground Matthews worked tirelessly against a very difficult Cockburn backline.
Inglewood United will consider themselves very fortunate to come away with all three points from the clash with Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. The first half was controlled by the home side for whom Andreas Oliveria and James Afkos were represented with great opportunities to give Athena the lead but neither could apply the finishing touch. It was only after Bobby Despotovski was pushed up-front that Inglewood came into the game and started to challenge the hosts midfield dominance. Against the run of play the visitors took the lead shortly before the break when Shaun Kilkelly's long throw-in was flicked on by Greg Sharland and Despotovski rose above a flat-footed defence to head in at the far post. The momentum remained with Athena into the second half but clear cut chances were limited by a well-drilled opposing defence led superbly by Kilkelly and Daniel Stoitis. Anthony Jones had a great chance to equalise after cutting in from the right but his tame left-footer as comfortably dealt with by Oliver Taseski. Athena's chances of taking something from the game nose dived in the 80th minute when Afkos was dismissed for retaliating against a Rory Mouttet tackle. With a player advantage Inglewood now started to find holes in their opponents defence and with three minutes to go Despotovski was allowed time to lay on a delicate pass for Louis Parkinson who headed over the advancing keeper to make it 2-0. Despotovski was the architect of Inglewood's win while there were also strong performances from Alan MacKenzie, Kilkelly and Stoitis. Athena's stand-out was hard working midfielder Jamie Trandos along with Troy Bernard, Oliveria and Peter Coci. "It was not one of our memorable performances," said Inglewood coach Eddy Hodgkinson after the win. "We have played a hell of a lot better and not got a point but as we all know its not always about being pretty as long as you get the result."
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND NINE (Armadale vs Mandurah City by Lee Anderson; Wanneroo City vs Balcata courtesy Wanneroo City; Canning City vs Dianella White Eagles by Phil Unsworth; Leeming Strikers vs Kingsway Olympic by Mike Hennessey)
First Division leader Armadale took out the points by a 2-1 scoreline in a tough encounter with pre-season title favourite Mandurah City at Alfred Skeet Oval. The tackles went in thick and fast as both sides struggled to impose their authority over proceedings. Having soaked up the pressure the hosts went in front on 14 minutes when Dean Gartside whipped in a header for his sixth goal of the winter. Although a goal down, Mandurah continued to play their regular attacking game and it was hardly surprising when Jordan Rhodes found the bottom corner from 17-metres to equalise on the half hour. It looked as though the visiting side would add to their tally but nine minutes from half time it was Armadale that netted as Luke Morris' cross was fumbled by goalkeeper Michael Green and the loose ball spun into the net. The second period was a dramatic and passionate affair in which Armdale defender Lee Hallums was stretchered off following an ariel challenge. From this moment on the home team had their backs to the wall as Mandurah mounted wave after wave of attack. But with experienced campaigner Dean Gartside marshalling the defence and Ken Ftyhogranhis in great form between the posts the Reds held on for a win that confirms them as genuine title contenders.
Wanneroo City were rarely troubled in their 5-0 demolition of Balcatta at Kingsway Sporting Complex. The home side looked dangerous from the opening kick and it didn't take long before they were celebrating as Craig Cheesman headed in a deep corner for his second goal in as many weeks. Scott Bulloch should have doubled the margin but managed to sky it over the crossbar from close-range with goalkeeper colin Lees totally beaten. Not long after Bulloch made amends by latching on to a through ball from Phil O'Callaghan and placing his shot past the 'keeper and into the corner of the net. It was soon three-nil following a fine run from O'Callaghan in which he ghosted past two defenders as well as the 'keeper before playing the ball into the path of Bulloch who leathered it into the top corner. Bulloch completed his hat-trick on 31 minutes by seizing upon a defensive error and knocked the ball wide of Lees but between the uprights. The second half commenced with Balcatta enjoying the better of possession with Scott Broadley hitting the crossbar via a fine free-kick. However, the hosts were soon back into stride and a fine move involving Chris Currie and O'Callaghan ended with Bulloch taking his days total to four goals. Wanneroo's win was soured by the late dismissal of Ben Yates for a second yellow card offence.
Canning City returned home for only the second time this season to win 3-0 over Stirling Suns. The home side found their rhythm early to string together some neat passes and flowing moves into attack. Only three minutes had elapsed when midfielder Patrick Fitzgerald collected the ball just inside the Suns half and outpaced a static defence before driving a fierce shot past goalkeeper Jason Razmovski from 15-metres. Canning continued their domination and after 15 minutes added to their tally through Alex Seed who pounced on a loose ball inside the 18-yard box to make it two-nil. But having set the pace with a sparkling opening spell Canning drifted into a long period characterised by missed chances, poor defending and sloppy passing from both sides. After the break Robby Meyer had little to do in the Canning goal except enjoy the warm afternoon sun while in front of him Brian O'Regan, Stephen Cole, Paul Van Dongen and Dave Mahon kept the Suns attack at bay. In the dying minutes Canning carved out a flurry of attempts on goal culminating in a late addition to their score when a cross from substitute Jix Loong evaded teammate Jeremy Herbert and the Suns defence to sneak in at the far post.
In a match riddled with errors Leeming Strikers and Kingsway Olympic battled out a 1-1 draw in sunny conditions at John Connell Reserve. Although there were many chances created neither goalkeeper was severely tested and a sharing of the spoils was a fair outcome. Proceedings began badly for the Strikers when Michael Vaz was carried off in the 3rd minute through injury. The opening goal arrived on 28 minutes when the referee awarded a disputed penalty to Olympic and Steven Dimitrivich coolly converted to put the visitors in front. The game maintained a pattern in which the Strikers did much of the attacking but their opponent were always threatening on the break. A goal down at half-time, the home team went into all out attack mode for the second period. After squandering five easy goalscoring opportunities they were awarded a penalty of their own which goalkeeper Matt Battigelli saved in the 67th minute. Eight minutes later star midfielder Phil Bell took matters into his own hands and weaved his way through to score with a goal that was all class. Level at one-all, the Strikers continued to go all out in a search for a winner but it was Olympic that came closest to netting a decider. The visitors were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty following a foul on Sota Iwasaki, and Steve Bretti squandered a good chance after coming off the bench.
Dianella White Eagles left it late before securing a 2-2 draw with visiting South West Phoenix. The Bunbury-based side came out of the blocks on fire to claim the lead after 8 minutes via David Rodgers. When Greg Hayes found the net seven minutes into the second half Phoenix looked to be on their way to a comfortable win. But Dianella had other ideas and goals in the last five minutes from Danco Jovanoski and Djukan Tesic earned them a share of the points. The revival of Queens Park continued with a 2-1 defeat of Gosnells City at Coker Park. The home team went in front midway through the first half with Brian Robertson tucking the ball away. That lead was doubled shortly after the interval as Shirash Sasikumar found a way past the goalkeeper. Gosnells bagged a late consolation goal via youngster Sam Maguire. Rockingham City opened their season account with a 2-0 defeat of fellow strugglers Morley Windmills. In a tight opening period the match reached flash point after 29 minutes with Rockingham's Danny Turner and Windmills' Richard Hatton both receiving their marching orders. Five minutes later Glen Hallums scored his sixth goal of the season to put Rockingham in front, and a few minutes later Luke Collins added to the tally.
LOCAL PAIR ADDED TO SOCCEROOS
David Tarka and Brad Jones have been called up for national duty. The Perth-born duo, who play for Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough respectively, were added to the Australian squad along with Marconi Stallions striker Alex Brosque on the eve of the Oceania Nations Cup tournament in Adelaide. Tarka, Jones and Brosque are considered key members of Australia's Olympic squad and each will make his first senior appearance in the Oceania tournament.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Western Knights continue to set the pace in the First Division. Stuart Mongtomery's seventh goal of the season handed the Knights a 1-0 victory over Perth S.C. who slip to the foot of the table. A late goal from Jamie Kuzmanovich keep E.C.U. Joondalup's undefeated status in tact, the northerners defeating Stirling Lions 1-0. Inglewood United move into third after downed Floreat Athena 2-0. Bassendean Caledonian registered their second win of the campaign with a 2-0 upset win at Cockburn City. Swan I.C. downed Fremantle city 2-1, while Bayswater City and Sorrento fought out a 1-1 draw.
Armadale established themselves as firm favourite to take out the First Division title courtesy of a 2-1 defeat of Mandurah City. Four points behind are Wanneroo City who hammered Balcatta 5-0 with Scott Bulloch finding the net four times. Level with Wanneroo are South West Phoenix who were held 2-2 at Dianella White Eagles. Canning City continued to show they aren't there just to make up the numbers with a 3-0 defeat of Stirling Suns. Queens Park took out the points over Gosnells City by 2-1, while Leeming Strikers drew 1-1 Kingsway Olympic. Rockingham City finally opened their season account with a 2-0 away win over Morley Windmills.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
There are several intriguing match-ups in this weekend's round of Premier League games. Irrespective of their positions on the table, the Western Knights-Perth S.C. match at Nash Field will be one of the games of the season. Both Bayswater City and Sorrento will be out to end their run of poor results, while Stirling Lions welcome to Macedonia Park an E.C.U. Joondalup side who are undefeated after six games. Swan I.C.'s poor home record tips the scale in Fremantle City's favour, and Cockburn City should prove too strong for Bassendean Caledonian. Floreat Athena will be put to the test at Litis Stadium by an Inglewood United side who are growing in stature with each outing.
The pick of the First Division action takes place at Alfred Skeet Oval where leaders Armadale take on third-placed Mandurah City. High scoring Wanneroo City are tipped to take the points at home over Balcatta, likewise Gosnells City who are away to Queens Park. Dianella White Eagles home form this year has been dire at best and they'll find the going tough when South West Phoenix visit. Canning City and Stirling Suns square off in a match crucial to both clubs. Leeming Strikers meet Kingsway Olympic who are in fear of being cut adrift near foot of the table. In the battle of the cellar dwellers Morley Windmills and Rockingham City meet at Wotton Reserve. Ashfield are out of action with the bye.
D-DAY EDGES CLOSER (by Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian")
The Australian Soccer Association has warned West Australian clubs to embrace local reform or miss out on a host of benefits, including government funding and affiliation to world governing body FIFA. At a meeting at Challenge Stadium on Wednesday night, ASA project manager Robin Graham sent a clear message that six months had been long enough for associations and their member clubs to digest information regarding the new governing structure.
Graham said clubs operating outside the new body at the start of next season would not be recognised by the ASA and, therefore, FIFA. "The train is leaving and we hope you will all be on board," Graham told about one hundred club representatives. The seeds of unification in WA were sown even before an independent inquiry into the national soccer structure recommended a major overhaul and led to billionaire businessman Frank Lowy's appointment as chairman.
Despite the early start, a Department of Sport and Recreation-facilitated forum and Graham's more recent input, a conclusion is yet to be reached. Graham said those refusing to accept the proposal to bring amateur, junior, women, professional bodies and other affiliates under a single WA Soccer Association umbrella would be unable to access national and State government grants, potentially cheaper insurance premiums and clear paths to the top for young players. "The opportunity to progress to the State team and the Socceroos is not going to be available if you are not part of the organisation," he said.
The Junior Soccer Association and Women's Soccer have thrown their support behind the new model and the formation of the WASA. Although professional body Soccer West Coast is yet to commit to the reform, acting president Russell Goodrick recommended adopting the new constitution. WA Amateur and Social Soccer Association president Alan Thraves expressed some concerns over the new structure. Thraves said he was not yet entirely comfortable with the model, though he did not object to the unification of the code.
SHARPER LOOK TO SOCCEROO'S
Three players have been added to the Australian squad for the Oceania Nations Cup which starts on Sunday in Adelaide. Coach Frank Farina has strengthened the Socceroo's attacking options by calling up midfielder Tim Cahill and strikers John Aloisi and Paul Agostino. Omitted from the squad which played Turkey last week are Danny Tiatto (injury) and Ante Milicic (club commitments). Local products Stan Lazaridis and Adrian Madaschi, along with Perth Glory defender Jade North, have been retained for the up-coming tournament.
Australia meet New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Tahiti in the round robin of the tournament. The top two ranked nations will play-off later in the year for a place at the 2005 Confederations Cup in Germany, and again next year for the right to represent Oceania against the fifth-placed South American team in the qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup Finals. The Socceroos campaign commences on Saturday with the Trans-Tasman showdown against New Zealand.
The complete 21-player squad for the Oceania Nations Cup is Paul Agostino (1860 Munich), David Zdrilic (Aberdeen), Scott Chipperfield, Mile Sterjovski (FC Basel), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers), Tony Vidmar (Cardiff City), Vince Grella (Empoli), Steve Laybutt (Excelsior Mouscron), Josip Skoko (Genclerbirligi), Patrick Kisnorbo (Hearts), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough), Tim Cahill (Millwall), Max Vieri (Napoli), John Aloisi (Osasuna), Marco Bresciano (Parma), Simon Colosimo, Ahmad Elrich (Parramatta Power), Adrian Madaschi (Partick Thistle), Jade North (Perth Glory) and Zeljko Kalac (Perugia).
PROMOTION PLAY-OFF BROADCAST LIVE!
A West Ham mad fan has won the television rights to the club's promotion play-off clash with Crystal Palace this Saturday. David Lewis showed up local television networks by securing the rights from Setanta after learning that no station was going to telecast the game in Australia. In Perth, the match is being screened at the Windsor Hotel (112 Mill Point Road, South Perth) where entry costs $25.00 and is available only to those over the age of eighteen. With the venue capacity capped at 500, fans of the two London clubs are advised to front as soon as possible after doors open at 8.00pm. Food and drinks will be available on the night.
COYNE SIGNS NEW DEAL
Luton Town have agreed terms with captain Chris Coyne on a new two-year contract. Coyne joined the Hatters from Scottish club Dundee in mid-2001 and has gone on to become a regular in the centre of the clubs defence, making 128 League and Cup appearances and scoring on seven occasions. A favourite with Luton crowd, Coyne is expected to play a pivotal role in the clubs push for promotion from the English Second Division next season.
GOALS! GOALS! GOALS!
Goals are one thing not lacking in the State League this season. To date the 273 Premier League and First Division matches have produced an astonishing 1,055 goals at an average of just under four goals per game. E.C.U. Joondalup have the record of being the top flight's highest scoring team with 48 goals at all levels, while in the First Division the honour goes to Mandurah City who've found the back of the net on 71 occasions.
Carl Medica may have missed the start of the season but he's wasted no time in racing to the top of the Premier League goalscoring table. The Western Knights veteran has seven goals to his credit which is one more than teammate Stuart Montgomery and Cockburn City playmaker Antonio Naglieri. Another Cockburn player, striker Peter Petkovich, is third with five goals. One behind him are Peter Coci (Floreat Athena), David Foster (Swan I.C.), Boima Karpeh (Bayswater City) and Golden Boot winner of the past two seasons Branimir Mikulic from Fremantle City.
Cockburn's young gun Simon El Chami sits atop the Premier League Reserves goalscorers table. El Chami's eight goals puts him two ahead of nearest rivals Josh Kamasz (Knights) and Nikita Ruravytsya (Perth S.C.). Joondalup's Jonathon Greenwood is joint third with four goals alongside Scott Cooper of Bassendean Caledonian. With three goals each are Joe Liguan (Cockburn), David Houston (Sorrento), Ben Rogers (Perth) and Dejan Djukanovic (Athena).
As well as leading the Premier League Under-18 table, E.C.U. Joondalup occupy the top two places in terms of the age groups goalscorers. Currently leading the way on seven goals is John Aitken who is being hotly pursued by teammate Kevin Carmona with six goals. Michael Johnson of Sorrento and Luke O'Neil of Bayswater are placed joint third with five goals apiece. A further goal off the pace are the trio of Mark Anew (Stirling Lions), Adriano D'Adamo (Inglewood United) and David Araya (Cockburn)
Andy Cornmell has been in sensational form since his early season arrival in the Ashfield camp, netting nine times in just five outings to head the First Division goalscoring table. South West Phoenix attacker David Rodgers is second with eight goals, one ahead of Jason Goodwin of Armadale. Phil O'Callaghan (Wanneroo City) and Christian Paschewitz (Mandurah) are level with six goals each. A large group of players are gathered on five goals, namely Scott Wyeth (Wanneroo), Glen Hallums (Rockingham City), Ray Rose (Queens Park/Morley Windmills), Jake Loreto (Mandurah), Brian Cairney, Andrew Daffin (both Gosnells City), Alex Seed (Canning City) and , Dean Gartside (Armadale).
With thirteen goals Rockingham's Carlos Almeida leads the way in the First Division Reserves. The veteran striker has been a key component in the superb start from Rockingham's Reserves and has so far amassed over half the teams goals. Darren Kingston is placed second with nine goals which is one more that his Armadale teammate Peter Taylor. Gary Attrill (Mandurah) and Anthony Macri (Balcatta) each have seven goals, closely followed by Adam Windley of Wanneroo on six goals. Three players - Oliver Aleman (Rockingham), Shane Laing and Paul Gibson (both Leeming Strikers) - sit level with five goals.
Balcatta's Anthony Di Lorito has broken away at the top of the First Division Under-18 goalscorers table. The young gun has netted twelve times already this season to open up a five goal gap on second-placed Simon Versaico (Strikers). Level with six goals apiece are Scott Paxton (Wanneroo), Shane Connor (Mandurah), Daniel Trevisiol (Canning) and Stuart Morton (Ashfield). The leaderboard is rounded out by Austin Watkins (Wanneroo), Daniel Copperllaro (Strikers) and Brendan Loicaono (Canning) who each have five goals to their credit.
LAZARIDIS CRACKS FIFTY
Stan Lazaridis joined an elite group of players when he pulled on national colours for last night's friendly with Turkey. The match was the defenders 50th 'A' appearance for Australia at senior level, making him just the eleventh player to reach that milestone. Lazaridis made his international debut in the April 1993 defeat of Kuwait and has since become a regular fixture of the starting line-up. A favourite with the Socceroo's faithful, Lazaridis is set to embark on his third World Cup qualifying campaign later this week when Australia compete in the Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup. Australia's record holder for the most 'A' appearances is Alex Tobin who played 87 times between 1988 and 1999. Others in the top five are Paul Wade (84), legendary defender Peter Wilson (64), Atti Abonyi (61) and goal machine John Kosmina (60).
POLL EVENLY SPLIT
The votes were surprisingly evenly distributed in last weeks' www.soccerwa.com poll which asked 'Should the Soccer West Coast match of the weekend be played on Sunday?' 50.8% of the vote was cast in favour of keeping the status quo and having all Premier League games played on Saturday. The move to switch the pick of the weekend's action to a Sunday fixture garnered 49.2% of the vote.
WONDER GOAL SINKS SOCCEROO'S
Turkey completed a clean sweep of their two-match series with a hard fought 1-0 win over Australia at Melbourne's Telstra Dome this evening. In contrast to Friday's game in Sydney, Australia created a hatful of chances but couldn't find a way past the Turkish goalkeeper. The Socceroo's made their intentions clear from the outset as Josip Skoko and Marco Bresciano called Rustu Recber into action early on. Against the run of play Hakan Sukur should have given Turkey the lead on 12 minutes but having raced clear of the defence he misfired under pressure from Steve Laybutt. With Vince Grella dominant in the centre of the park chances flowed for the host nation. Bresciano and Max Vieri were both denied in one-on-ones with Recber, while on 37 minutes Bresciano's dipping free-kick was tipped onto the crossbar by the 'keeper. Turkey delivered a sucker blow just before the interval when Nihat Kahveci's brilliant free-kick from just outside the 18-yard box rocketed into the roof of the net.
Minutes into the second half Serkan Bacli shot low but wide as Turkey looked to secure victory. Australia though had other ideas and on 59 minutes Bresciano disappointingly sliced wide from 10-metres after running onto a superb pass from Grella. Nine minutes later a Stan Lazaridis corner went to feet, Brett Emerton's shot was blocked by substitute goalkeeper Volkan Demirel and from the rebound Laybutt's header was cleared off the line by Bulent Korkmaz. Another corner came in from the other side and Laybutt should have equalised when allowed to rise unchallenge nut the defender's glancing header ended the wrong side of the back post. Turkey slowed the pace in the closing stages and twice almost sealed the win. On 85 minutes Kahveci shot just over the crossbar from long-range, and close to the final whistle Seyhan Tolga's header bounced off the crossbar.
Fremantle-born goalkeeper Andy Petterson has been released by English club Walsall. The experienced shot-stopper signed for the Saddlers in January to solve a goalkeeping crisis which left the club without regular number one James Walker (suspended) and understudy Aaron Kerr (injured). Petterson suffered a nightmare debut, conceding six goals against Coventry City, and made just two more first team appearances. He spent the rest of the season acting as cover on a non-contract basis.
WAASSA, ROUND SIX
University of WA drew 0-0 with Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Park in the WAASSA Premier Division soccer fixture on Sunday. UWA started strongly with a long throw from Declan Sharp finding Andy Hart who let the ball run for Max Percy who in turn struck a fierce shot just over the left upright. Max Percy went close again after 10 minutes when a free kick just went over the bar. A corner from UWA's Paul Dimmock then found David Berg's head but again it went just over the bar. At the other end Shamrock Rovers rarely troubled the UWA defence until Dylan Browne hit a curling long range shot which UWA keeper Shyam Young held diving to his left. The teams went in at 0-0 despite UWA having 80% possession. The second half was much more of an even contest with end to end chances. After 13 minutes UWA's Paul Dimmock shot just past the right upright after good work from Robert Benkovic and David Berg. UWA Substitute Marc D'Ascanio then crossed from the right to find Robert Benkovic unmarked and somehow he put the ball wide of goal. Shamrock themselves had a couple of chances when goalkeeper Shyam Young was forced to tip a couple of looping headers over the bar. Shamrock also had a goal bound shot cleared off the line by UWA's Nick Helm. UWA substitute Manuel Arapis had an excellent header forced away by the head of a Shamrock defender. The result leaves Shamrock Rovers on top and UWA in 4th spot on the league table. UWA Coach Kevin Burton said: "It was a good competitive game. We felt we should have won the game in the first half with the possession domination we had but in the second half either side could have won it with chances up both ends." Shamrock Rovers won the Reserves fixture with a 1-0 victory over UWA.
In other games, Fremantle United's poor start to the season continued when they lost 3-0 away to the Stirling Panthers. Perth Azzurri shocked Forrestfield United in a 1-0 win and Hamersley Rovers easily accounted for Murdoch University 4-1. Honours were even in the two remaining fixtures with Colo Colo and Spearwood Dalmatinac fighting out a goal-less draw, while CN Canning International and Kwinana United scored a goal a piece.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SIX (Western Knights vs Floreat Athena courtesy Western Knights; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Bayswater City by Tom McCrisken; Cockburn City vs Perth S.C. by Mike Hennessey; Sorrento vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox; Fremantle City vs Inglewood United courtesy Fremantle City; Bassendean Caledonian vs Stirling Lions by Don Evans)
Western Knights got back to winning ways with a hard fought 2-1 win over Floreat Athena in Round Six of the First Division season. Much of the early changes were dominated by Athena whose powerful midfield combination were quickly into their stride. However, it was the hosts that were first to open their account when Stuart Montgomery was brought down inside the area following a jinxing run down the left flank and from the penalty spot Carl Medica calmly slotted past goalkeeper Vas Vujacic after 15 minutes. But with Athena applying the pressure the lead wasn't going to last long and Peter Coci blasted in the equaliser after being put through by some smart lead-up work. The better of first half chances fell to the visitors with Andreas Oliviera lobbing cleverly over Tommi Tomich but just wide of the upright, and Coci placing his shot over the crossbar later in the period. After the break the tempo was lifted and errors began to creep into the match. Craig Deans and Jason Williams worked tirelessly to repel their opponents attacks as the Knights soaked up the pressure. As the minutes ticked by the pendulum began to swing in the Knights favour. Montgomery headed over a Mark Lee cross from the left, Medica brought a superb save out of Vujacic, and Andrija Jukic was denied in a one-on-one with the Athena 'keeper. With time running out the Knights second half domination looked like going unrewarded, but in the 84th minute Montgomery rifled low past Vujacic to send the home supporters into raptures. The Knights held on for the remaining minutes to earn themselves three more points which keep them at the top of the table. Honours were shared in the Reserve match which ended 2-2, while Athena took out the Under-18's by 3-0.
E.C.U. Joondalup remain the only undefeated team in the top flight after whopping Bayswater City 4-0 at the Edith Cowan University Campus. The home side got the ball rolling and immediately went on the offensive, forcing their opponents into defensive duties only to be let down by poor finishing. Playing most on the counter-attack Bayswater rarely threatened during the opening period and with 17 minutes gone went a goal behind when Dale McCulloch converted from the penalty spot after a handball inside the area. Bayswater responded by lifting the tempo and calling goalkeeper Peter Stewart into action on a couple of occasions late in the half. Following the interval Bayswater attempted to work their way back into the match but with McCulloch and Keith Brown having a stranglehold over midfield and Jamie Kuzmanovich and Peter Roberts solid at the back, opportunities for the visiting side were always going to be limited. Substitute Andy Mason added to the hosts lead when he prodded the ball in following a cross from the left by Collins which was only partially cleared. A quickly taken free-kick from just outside the area by Keith Brown was laid into the path of McCulloch who made no mistake with his right foot after 72 miunutes. Joondalup's fourth and final goal arrived on 88 minutes when John Higgins played a free-kick into the box where goalkeeper Gianni Papalia misjudged the flight and the ball crept over the line at the far post. "The players want to stay unbeaten and I think that's firing them up," Joondalup coach Paul Simmons said after the game. "There's a great buzz around the club." The win completed a good day at the office for Joondalup whose Reserves won 4-3 and the Under-18's triumphed 6-1.
Perth S.C.'s dismal season continued with a 1-2 loss to Cockburn City in sunny condition at Dorrien Gardens. The early signs were positive for the hosts who forced a couple of corners and had Daniel Micevski send a powerful shot over the bar. With 18 minutes gone Perth took a deserved lead when a poor clearance went to Rhys Graham who rocketed the ball into far top corner from 18-metres. Although they were able to produce some neat exchanges Cockburn failed to seriously test the home defence as John Mirco sprayed a couple of chances well over the crossbar. It wasn't until the 39th minute that Cockburn managed a shot on target and even then Michael Mirco's effort was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Robert Scarporolo. In the lead-up to half-time Graham again threatened with a well hit shot for which Dino Pacella produced a fine save. Cockburn began the second half in style, a surging run by Dusan Macura forcing Scarparolo into a low save. Not long after Jason Dos Santos came close to leveling with a rasping shot that was narrowly high. Just a Perth looked like re-gaining control tragedy struck - an unnecessary handball on the edge of the area resulted in a penalty which Antonio Naglieri coolly stroked into the net on 77 minutes. Both sides had their chances courtesy of skillful lead-up play through midfield but the score remained locked on one-all. With Perth going all out for a winner they were left exposed at the back and with a quick counter-attacking move five minutes from the end orchestrated by John Mirco set Naglieri up for a simple tap in to decide the game. There was better luck for Perth in the earlier games, the reserves thumping Cockburn 7-1 and the Under-18's win 3-1.
Swan I.C. continued there improving form with a solid 3-2 victory over Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. In breezy conditions the early exchanges where even but it was the visitors that got the breakthrough goal on 26 minutes when good approach work from Paul Lincoln resulted in David Foster who beating goalkeeper Phil Straker from close-range. The Gulls hit back in the 38th minute from a corner which wasn't properly cleared and defender Jamie Harnwell tapped in from 5-metres. Swan restored their lead after 42 minutes, Miki Vujacic's free-kick was flicked on by Elton Holmes and an unmarked Foster lurking at the back post scored for the second time against his former club. In an end to end start to the second half Steve MacDonald had a header cleared off the line by Justin Hugo. Swan went three-one up courtesy of Lincoln who made no mistake following a great lead-up exchange involving Holmes and Tom Shepheard after 63 minutes. The visitors created numerous opportunities to seal victory but just couldn't put the ball away. Lincoln hit the base of the upright, Foster shot narrowly over the crossbar from 17-metres, and substitute Damien Todorovic was forced to place wide by Straker. With time running out Sorrento threw everything forward and a MacDonald header flashed wide from James Morgan's cross. The Gulls reward came on 83 minutes when MacDonald headed powerfully past goalkeeper Cory Hugo. In a tense final few minutes Cory Hugo produced a great double save to keep out shots from Jamie Harnwell and MacDonald in a goalmouth scramble. "It feels better than last weeks result," said a delighted Swan coach Gary Marocchi at the final whistle. "The guys fought out this victory but we must become more consistent and finish teams off when we get on top." Both earlier games were taken out by Sorrento, the Reserves 2-1 and the Under-18's 3-1.
In a match of two very different halves, Inglewood United took the points over Fremantle City by 3-2 at Ken Allen Field. The visitors started well and had Fremantle on the back foot right from the start. Playing with the aid of a stiff breeze, Inglewood went in front after just 4 minutes when Anthony Danze's cross was headed in by an unmarked Bobby Despotovski from 8-metres. Inglewood's blitz continued as Greg Sharland and Louis Parkinson forced a couple of world class saves from goalkeeper Bobson Karoma while a Danze shot flew just the wide of the target. The lead was doubled on 14 minutes when a loose ball inside the area was not dealt with and Danze gave Karoma no chance with a powerful strike. With Danze and Alan MacKenzie running the midfield Inglewood were well on top and went in at the break three-goals up after Shane Nunes brought down Sharland inside the box after 42 minutes and Parkinson made no mistake from the spot. The introduction of Albert Osei-Tutu and Matt Danskin saw a more purposeful Fremantle side emerge for the second half. Mikulic and Danskin forced good saves from Oliver Taseski, Osei-Tutu rounded the 'keeper only to have his shot cleared off the line and from the rebound Peter Lord sprayed wide. Fremantle's reward arrived on 71 minutes when Jason Godfrey headed in a corner from the left by Danskin. Seven minutes later Godfrey delivered the ball into the area where Mikulic headed in to bring the hosts back into the contest. The momentum remained with Fremantle who were unable to produce an equaliser due largely to the defensive work of Daniel Stoitis and Shaun Killkelly. The Reserves fixture ended in a scoreless draw, while Fremantle moved up the Under-18 standings courtesy of a 2-0 win.
While the 1-0 scoreline suggests otherwise, Stirling Lions were far too strong for Bassendean Caledonian in a match of few chances at Jubilee Reserve. The victory was testament to the Lions defensive capabilities with the partnership of Darko Ilomanoski, Rob Crerar, Riste Stefoski and Leo Harman giving the Caledonian attackers very little space in which to maneuver. With the playing surface slippery due to overnight rain, the visitors took time to settle into a rhythm as both sides tested each other's strengthens in the middle of the park. The midfield match-up of Nick Ward and Daniel Harrop was an early highlight, both players made piercing runs on goal with the resulting shots going wide of the mark after 25 and 27 minutes respectively. The hosts had goalkeeper Steve Grant to thank after 34 minutes when he spectacularly tipped Ward's header over the crossbar. But there was little the 'keeper could do from the resulting corner which Derek Cooke played to the near post corner where Muhamed Komaderic squeezed in between two defenders to steer the ball into the net. Caledonian created several chances in the lead up to half-time, the best of which was Ian Griffiths' close-range strike that was blocked by Crerar. Early in the second half a curling shot from Jason Van Rooy whizzed the wrong side of the upright as the hosts sought to equalise. The introduction of Eugene Singeorzan and Michael Filippou steered the game back in the Lions favour and on 66 minutes Komaderic was sent through with only the 'keeper to beat but he scuffed the shot and Grant gathered possession. Over the closing stages Singeorzan, Ward and Filippou were presented with chances to secure the win but couldn't find a way past the Caledonian 'keeper. The Lions also won the Reserves by 1-0, while Caledonian's Under-18 side recorded a 5-3 victory.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND EIGHT (Kingsway Olympic vs Armadale courtesy Armadale; South West Phoenix vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth; Balcatta vs Dianella White Eagles courtesy Balcatta)
Armadale turned in a workmanlike display to defeat Kingsway Olympic 1-0 in the eighth round of First Division fixtures. Coming off a shock loss last weekend and well aware that the corresponding match at Kingsway Sporting Complex last season ended in a 2-6 thumping, the Reds were taking nothing for granted against an Olympic side struggling for consistency. Armadale started the brighter of the two combatants and were unlucky not to be awarded a 17th minute penalty after Dean Gartside was tripped while lining up a shot. With both teams settled and comfortable on the ball there were numerous excellent passages of play created. A fine shot from Dennis Lee was tipped away for a corner by Olympic goalkeeper Matt Battigelli, and not long after Jason Goodwin narrowly placed the ball the wring side of the post after receiving a great pass from Paul Caulkin. Going the other way Olympic twice went close with sizzling long-range strikes that just failed to hit the target. It wasn't until the 68th minute that the deadlock was finally broken, Calkin's searching pass down the right finding Gartside who beat one defender then transferred play to substitute Greg Newcombe and he threw off an opponent to knock the ball past the advancing 'keeper and into the net. Following this Olympic upped their workrate and controlled the remainder of the match only to find goalkeeper Ken Ftyhogranhis in superb form.
Mandurah City continued their good recent run with a 6-0 thumping of a depleted Morley Windmills side at Peelwood Parade. It proved a tough day at the office for Windmills who, due to injury and unavailability, included seven players under the age of twenty-one in their starting line-up. The hosts wasted no time in asserting their authority to open up a two-goal buffer after just 6 minutes as Jake Loreto and Christian Paschewitz benefited from defensive errors. Often under pressure and rarely able to push forward, to their credit Windmills contained their opponents over the remainder of the half. Five minutes after the restart Paschewitz sealed Mandurah's victory when he shrugged off a challenge and placed his shot in the bottom corner of the goal. Windmills day went from bad to worse as Rydeen Botha and Ryan Martins were forced from the field by injury. Although Matt Darling made good saves to keep out shots from Adam Parmenter and Paschewitz it was only a matter of time before the floodgates opened with the hosts continually applying the pressure. Loreto took his days tally to four with further goals in the 77th, 82nd and 89th minutes much to the delight of the home crowd. Mandurah walked away with the points in the reserves where it ended 3-1, while the Under-18 game was awarded to the hosts on a forfeit.
Canning City made the long journey to Bunbury and came home with a share of the points from the clash with South West Phoenix. In an even opening spell Canning gained the upper hand after 9 minutes through a swift move down the left in which Julio Barrendilla squared to Patrick Fitzgerald who deceived a defender before driving the ball into the far corner of the goal. David Rodgers should have put Phoenix back on a level footing but the attacker sliced his shot from 6-metres and Jeremy Herbert reacted quick to clear the danger. Canning had Robby Meyer to thank for their half-time lead, the goalkeeper spreading himself to deny James Bergin after he'd broken free of the defence and unleashed from 10-metres. The second half commenced with Phoenix pressing hard to score and midway through the period the equaliser arrived in the form of a controversial penalty which David Rodgers converted after Canning coach Frank Longstaff had been banished from the bench. The cut and thrust of what was a hard fought match continued and thirty minutes into the half Alex Seed latched onto a loose ball inside the area and drilled a close-range shot past goalkeeper Reece Braithwaite to restore Canning's lead. In the dying minutes Phoenix, like it's mythical namesake, arose from the ashes of defeat to snatch a draw when Gary Mayers collected a cross from the left wing and drove an angled shot inside the far post of the goal.
Wanneroo City moved into fourth on the standings with a come from behind 4-2 win over Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Few would disagree that Gosnells played the better football over the opening half and went in at the break with a deserved two-goal buffer. A long ball pumped into the penalty box caused confusion in the Wanneroo defence which Andy Daffin was quick to benefit from by heading into an unguarded net. Gosnells second came via a free-kick which was driven into a packed goalmouth where Daffin controlled well before finding the roof of the net from a tight angle on 40 minutes. A half-time roasting from coach Stuart Currie saw Wanneroo emerge a much stronger proposition for the second period. With youngsters Craig Cheesman and John Dixon providing the drive the visitors took control of the game only to meet strong resistance from the opposing defence. The turning point came midway through the second half when Gosnells lost experienced defender Jon Cook to injury. On 64 minutes Cheesman headed in to reduce the deficit, and a rare error from Gosnells custodian Jason Mehnert allowed Stuart Collins to side-foot in the equaliser. Scott Bulloch weaved his way into the 18-yard box where he was brought down, and from the resultant penalty kick Cheesman put the visiting team in front for the first time today. Always a danger to opposing defences when he has the ball at his feet, Bulloch provided a great cross for Phil O'Callaghan who bagged home the sealing goal.
Dianella White Eagles scored three times inside ten minutes to condemn Balcatta to their first loss at Graham Burkett Reserve this season. The match was 23 minutes old then Balcatta took the lead as Scott Broadley chased down a seemingly harmless long ball and found the back of the net after a fumble by Dianella goalkeeper Drazen Saric. The goal opened up what had been a tight opening spell and allowed the hosts to create several good openings as Adrian Zonato fired over the crossbar and Broadley found the side-netting from an acute angle. Just when it looked as if Balcatta would take a one goal lead into the break midfielder Vic Bogos's desperate lunge to clear Petar Mrdja's cross from the left ended up in his own net. Dave Moschilla had a close shot cleared off the line early in the second half and Danny Carlino's effort from the rebound was well saved by Saric. Dianella quickly transferred the play to the other end of the ground and went in front through Ptear Mrdja who shot truly from outside the penalty area. Almost immediately after the restart Dianella pinched another goal when Mario Lucic snuck in behind the home defence and made it three-one. To Balcatta's credit they fought hard over the remaining time worked hard to reel in the deficit. On 65 minutes Broadley found the net but had the goal disallowed for offside. Substitute Adrian Caliero pulled a goal back with two minutes to go but Balcatta had run out of time in which to conjure up another.
Andy Cornmell took his seasons tally to nine goals with a double in Ashfield's 3-1 defeat of Stirling Suns. The match was 8 minutes old when Cornmell struck his first by latching on to a cross from Wayne Culverwell. Twelve minutes later the margin was doubled by Cornmell, but any dreams Ashfield had of running away with the match were put to rest by Bobby Ristevski who netted for the Suns after 32 minutes. The games fourth and final goal arrived a minute from half-time via Ashfield youngster Ben Harris. Rockingham City's woes continued with a 0-1 loss to Queens Park at Dowling Street Rerserve, the only goal of the game arriving on 53 minutes with Ray Rose the scorer.
D'AVRAY TO STAY AT HELM
Mich d'Avray has been given the go-ahead to lead Perth Glory in the new Australian national competition. Glory chairman Nick Tana said recently that he would seek a coaching replacement only if d'Avray did not want to continue with the club. "There will be no other coach unless Mich doesn't want the job," Tana told the "West Austrlaian". D'Avray joined the club in 1998 and was assistant to Bernd Stange for three seasons before taking on the top job. He and assistant Alan Vest have led Glory to three successive Grand Finals and won the home and away championship on the past two occasions.
SOCCEROO'S NO MATCH FOR TURKEY
Turkey have brushed aside an under-strength Australian line-up 3-1 in front of 28,326 fans at Aussie Stadium this evening. The international friendly was that only in name, referee Toru Kamikawa issuing yellow cards to nine players in a spiteful and at times heated encounter. Just how the Socceroo's survived the opening barrage remains a mystery. With Hasan Sas, Hakan Sukur and Emre Belozoglou in exhilarating form the visitors created numerous opportunities on goal while Australia failed to make much of an impression. The only time Australia pushed forward it was always down the left flank where Stan Lazaridis' speed gave Turkey much cause for concern. Turkey's persistence paid off after 42 minutes when Umit Ozat's free-kick from 30-metres skidded under goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. A minute later came the Socceroo's best chance but Marco Bresciano shot high from Josip Skoko's angled cross.
A change of formation and the introduction of Italian-based striker Max Viera resulted in a more cohesive Australian performance after the break. Four minutes after the re-start the two sides were back on level terms after the referee awarded a dubious penalty which Marco Bresciano converted. Turkey responded by showing why they are ranked the seventh best team in the world and slowly regained their composure and, ultimately, control of the game. With 69 minutes gone Sukur restored the lead after a dreadful mix-up in the Australian defence. And six minutes later the result was put beyond doubt as Sukur struck again, heading in unmarked following a collision between Schwarzer and Danny Tiattio. Both Australian players were replaced within mimutes of the incident, Tiatto suffering a double fracture to his jaw and Schwarzer with a hip injury.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Goals from Carl Medica and Stuart Montgomery earned Western Knights a 2-1 win over Floreat Athena to stay top of the Premier League standings The honeymoon appears to be over for Bayswater City who were humbled 4-0 by E.C.U. Joondalup, while Cockburn City accounted for Perth S.C. by 2-1. Despite a second half revival Fremantle City went down 2-3 at home to Inglewood United. Stirling Lions took the points over Bassendean Caledonian where the only goal of the match arrived on 34 minutes via Mohamad Komaderic. Sorrento lost 2-3 to Swan I.C. for whom David Foster scored twice against his former club.
First Division leader Armadale had to dig deep before coming away with a 1-0 win from Kingsway Olympic. South West Phoenix were held to a 2-2 draw by Canning City, while Mandurah City thrashed Morley Windmills 6-0 at Peelwood Parade. Gosnells City went down 2-4 at home to Wanneroo City who fill out the top four. Ashfield also moved up the table courtesy of a 3-1 away defeat of Stirling Suns, while Dianella White Eagles proved too strong for Balcatta by 3-2. Queens Park scored the only goal of their meeting Rockingham City to take out the points.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Premier League leader Western Knights are expected to prove too strong for Floreat Athena when they clash at Nash Field in the sixth round of home and away fixtures. There are two games in the northern suburbs - an undefeated E.C.U. Joondalup take on Bayswater City while just down the road Sorrento meet Swan I.C. Perth S.C. will need to be on top of their game if they want to end a five game winless streak when they welcome Cockburn City to Dorrien Gardens. Inglewood United make the trek to Ken Allen Field where Fremantle City provide the opposition. Jubilee Reserve plays witness to the crucial meeting between Bassendean Caledonian and Stirling Lions.
Big wins are tipped for Armadale and Mandurah City in this weekends round of First Division games. Armadale should rebound from last weeks shock loss by accounting for an inconsistent Kingsway Olympic side, while Mandurah are favoured at home over a depleted Morley Windmills. South West Phoenix and Canning City should be a very close match, likewise Gosnells City against Wanneroo City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Balcatta take on neighbouring Dianella White Eagles, and Stirling Suns are home to an Ashfield line-up which has scored eleven times in their past four outings. Rockingham City might just sneak their first point of the year when they host Queens Park. Out of action with the bye are Leeming Strikers.
THE FUTURE OF SOCCER IN WA
Soccer in Western Australia is changing. Find out why the round ball game in this state must be unified and why the process has been delayed by attending a meeting at the Challenge Stadium Lecture Theatre (Stephenson Avenue, Mount Claremont) on Wednesday 26th May from 6.45pm. The panel of speakers includes Robin Graham (Australian Soccer Association), Ron Alexander (Director General, Department of Sport and Recreation) and Kevin Watts (Project Manager, Soccer Reform). The presidents of the Soccer Association of WA, the Junior Soccer Association of WA, WAASSA, Soccer West Coat and Womens Soccer WA have also been invited. All attendees will be given the opportunity to raise issues and discuss the reform process to date. Anyone interested in attending the meeting is asked to RSVP by Monday 24th May by emailing Joan Yorg or phoning 9387 9708.
DEANS BACK TO KNIGHTS
Western Knights have secured the services of experienced defender Craig Deans. The reliable defender has agreed terms on a five week loan deal from Newcastle United and will make his Knights return against Floreat Athena on Saturday. Deans has played in the national competition over 100 times for Perth Glory, Carlton and Newcastle as well as spells in the State League with the Knights, Floreat Athena and Bassendean Caledonian amongst others. The signing of Deans could not have come at a better time for the Knights who'll be without versatile import Claus Nielsen for up to a month due to a knee injury.
PARKINSON COMES FULL CIRCLE
Steve Parkinson has rejoined Fremantle City. Twelve years after handing over the coaching reigns of Fremantle Benfica, Parkinson has returned to the club in the capacity of Reserve/under-21 coach. "Fremantle are building a solid foundation for the future and I felt the time was right for me to return to soccer," said Parkinson, whose last couple of years have been spent broadening his horizons by coaching hockey. "Many of the people who were at the club in the Benfica days when I was senior coach are still around and all have made me feel very much at home."
Following a lengthy playing career which included time with English clubs Blackburn Rovers and Fareham Town, Parkinson turned his hand to coaching. With English and Asian qualifications to his credit his first appointment on the local scene came with Fremantle in 1992 and which preceded stays at Bayswater City, the West Ham United and Southampton academies and Inglewood United. Holder of a UEFA 'A' Licence and Australian Level Three qualifications, not to mention some 25 years coaching experience, Fremantle's up and coming talents are sure to reap the benefits of Parkinson's knowledge.
PLAYERS WANTED BY WINDMILLS
Morley Windmills are looking for players, particularly goalkeepers and strikers. The First Division club have been hit hard by a recent run of injuries and departures are wanting to bolster their playing stocks. In recent weeks the club have had their numbers trimmed with the departure of attacker Ray Rose, while Ryan Taylor will shortly return to England. Additionally, young goalkeeper Ranjet Singh is likely to miss the rest of the season due to injury. "Whilst there is not an immediate crisis, I can foresee problems in the coming weeks," said first team coach James Herbert. Any players interested in joining Windmills are asked to contact Herbert on 0418 957 846, or simply front at Wotton Reserve in Embleton for training on Tuesday or Thursday night from 6.30pm.
BLUES GET TO NEWHILL
State striker Ryan Newhill has joined Premier League champion Perth S.C. The strongly built 25-year old completed his transfer from Inglewood United this week and is expected to made his debut for the Blues when they meet Cockburn City at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday. Newhill will be a welcome addition to a Perth squad that has been lacking in the goalscoring department so far this season. Recognised as one of the local scenes best attackers, Newhill is keen to rediscover the form he produced at Floreat Athena where he netted 43 League and Cup goals in a two-year period.
TANA URGES 'BIG PICTURE' APPROACH
National Soccer League champions Perth Glory want prize money from next years FIFA World Club Championship to be pumped into the sports promotion and not banked by the participating team. Club chairman said that should an Australian team qualify for the tournament, which is worth $22 million, it should not be for the sole benefit of one club. "We believe that whatever money is won, a percentage should go to the individual club and the rest should go towards promoting the game," Tana told "west Australian" reporter Jonathon Cook. The Australian Soccer Association recently confirmed that the winner of the interim domestic league, scheduled for January/February next year, will represent Australia at the Oceania qualifying tournament.
CLUBS LINE UP FOR LAZARIDIS
Following another impressive season with Birmingham City, Stan Lazaridis has found himself on the shopping list of several English Premier League clubs. The Australian international has opened negotiations with the Blues regarding an extension to his contract which expires at the end of next season. But his form over the recent season has also drawn interest from a string of Birmingham's rivals, amongst them Southampton, Fulham and Everton. "I'm quite happy where I am and I like the club but it depends what they want to do with me," Lazaridis told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian". "They might offer me another contract or might be prepared to sell me and let me go. But the last couple of years under manager Steve Bruce have probably been my best years, so it would be good if I could continue that for another couple of years."
MADASCHI DELIGHTED WITH AWARD (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Just days after earning his first call-up to the Australian senior squad, Patrick Thistle defender Adrian Madaschi has taken out the club's Young Player of the Year award. Madaschi's achievement was made having joined the Jags over two months into the 2003/04 Scottish Premier League campaign. "It was a great honour to receive the award from the Partick Thistle supporters," Madaschi told tribalfootball.com. "I hadn't been expecting it but I was absolutely delighted to be presented with the Young Player of the Year. It's very humbling as the supporters have known me for less than six months."
BUTLER QUITS SABAH
Peter Butler has tended his resignation as coach of Sabah. The former Sorrento player served notice on the Rhino's following their 1-3 loss to neighbouring Sarawak in the Malaysian Super League. After seven games Sabah are placed near the foot of the table with just a single win to their credit. "As much as I love working with Sabah and the marvellous good people of the state, I just cannot continue to coach and work with players who are not team players and want to sit in the comfort zone," Butler said. In his first season with the club Butler lead Sabah to fourth on the standings and the Final of the Malaysia Cup. One-time Cockburn City coach Mirco Jelicic will stay on as the Rhino's fitness trainer despite turning down the opportunity to take over the club as caretaker coach.
TWELVE GETS THE NOD
Twelve is the ideal number of teams in the state's top flight. That is the outcome from the latest www.soccerwa.com poll in which our readers were asked "What is the optimum number of teams in the Premier League?" A twelve team competition was by far and away the most popular choice, garnering 67% of the vote cast. The second most popular option with 24% of the vote was a ten team Premier League. Only 9% of respondents wanted to see an eight team league.
PERTH COACH NOT HAPPY
Graham Normanton, coach of Perth S.C. described his teams performance in the 0-2 loss to Stirling Lions on the weekend as their worst of the season. The loss, Perth's third in four weeks, has left the club dangling near the foot of the Premier League table. Normanton said there would be a meeting tomorrow night to address concerns that some players had become complacent. "I think there's a couple of lads in the squad who are living on the success of the last couple of years and that's going to be addressed", said the Perth coach. "There will definitely be some stern words spoken."
WAASSA, ROUND FIVE
University of WA continued in its form improvement with a 3-1 victory over CN Canning International in the WAASSA Autostrada Cars Premier Division soccer fixture at McGillivray Oval on Sunday. UWA started brightly with two early chances falling to Gareth Briggs who put one just past the post and another was well saved by the feet of Canning goalkeeper Miguel Gonzalez. Canning were awarded a disputed penalty after 30 minutes by the referee who believed he saw UWA's Manuel Arapis handle the ball in the penalty area. Striker Andrei Bobaeff took the penalty and scored to put Canning 1-0 up. A few moment later Andrei Bobaeff was put through on goal but UWA keeper Shyam Young was equal to the challenge with a smart save to his left. UWA then were rewarded with an equaliser when Robert Benkovic knocked the ball on to substitute David Berg and he cleverly lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper to make it 1-1. The second half started with two successive chances falling to UWA's Andy Hart but on both occasions he missed narrowly to the left hand post. Then after 60 minutes a flowing passing move finished with Andy Hart crossing to the head of Robert Benkovic who in turn found David Berg's head and the ball clipped the inside of the left hand post to make it 2-1 to UWA. Ten minutes later UWA were awarded a penalty themselves when a goal bound shot struck a defender's elbow. UWA captain Adam Brett stepped up and despatched the ball into the corner to make it 3-1. The remainder of the half saw continued UWA pressure and with a few minutes to go Canning had a player sent off for apparently arguing with the referee. Coach Kevin Burton said: "We are starting to get it together now and this win sets us up very nicely for the game away to leaders Shamrock this weekend - it should be an absolute cracker." The win moves UWA into fourth spot on the league table behind Shamrock Rovers, Murdoch University and Hamersley Rovers. UWA Reserves pulled off another comeback when after being 2-0 down at half time they recovered to record a 5-2 victory over Canning Reserves.
In other games, Murdoch University lost its first game of the season, when they lost 3-1 to the improving Colo Colo. Fremanlte United remained anchored at the bottom of the table after their 5-1 home loss to Perth Azzurri. Stirling Panthers were far too strong for Kwinana United with a 4-2 win. Shamrock Rovers continued their 100% league record with a 1-0 victory over Spearwood Dalmatinac, while Forrestfield United ran out 3-1 winners over the champions Hamersley Rovers.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FIVE (Cockburn City vs Western Knights by Lennie Bavich; Swan I.C. vs E.C.U. Joondalup courtesy E.C.U. Joondalup; Stirling Lions vs Perth S.C. by Don Evans; Inglewood United vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater; Floreat Athena vs Fremantle City courtesy Fremantle City; Bayswater City vs Bassendean Caledonian courtesy Bassendean Caledonian)
Cockburn City inflicted Western Knights first defeat of the season when they meet at Dalmatinac Park in Round Four of the Premier League season. The game got off at a cracking pace with Tommi Tomich keeping out shots form Jason Dos Santos and Michael Mirco while at the other end Carl Medica hit the crossbar with a thunderous strike - and all that took place inside four minutes! Much of the early play was with the visitors with Claus Nielsen shooting wide and Stuart Montgomery thwarted by a perfectly timed tackle from Liam Lilly. The Knights suffered an unexpected blow after 18 minutes when the influential Nielsen was forced from the field with a knee injury. Two minutes latter an error by Tomich put the ball at the feet of Antonio Naglieri whose curling shot grazed the outside of the post, much to the relief of the traveling supporters. John and Michael Mirco combined after 26 minutes to open up a path to goal which Peter Petkovich made the most of by blasting past Tomich and give Cockburn the lead. Not long after the margin became two goals as John Mirco weaved his way down the left before laying the ball off to Petkovich who steered a brilliant shot into the far top corner of Tomich's goal. Lively teenager Dos Santos set-up Petkovich who was denied by a superb close-range save from Tomich. Early in the second half Shane McNally hit the underside of crossbar and Tomich blocked a goalbound effort from Naglieri as Cockburn sought to kill off the match. The Knights came back into contention after 53 minutes when Medica placed his shot under Pacella after Mark Lee's darting break down the left flank. With twenty-three minutes to go Cockburn secured maximum points through Naglieri who scored following a penetrating run down the right by Dos Santos. The Reserves match was won 2-1 by Cockburn while the Under-18's ended level at 1-1.
Swan I.C. and E.C.U. Joondalup shared the points with an entertaining 3-3 draw at the Swan Italian Club. Joondalup started positively by putting considerable pressure on the home defence, winning six corners inside the opening ten minutes but rarely was goalkeeper Cory Hugo called upon to make a save. Midway through the half Swan found their rhythm and steadily began to take control of the match. The first real opportunity came on the half hour when Garin Collins' low cross found Andy Brown whose first time shot was acrobatically turned over the Swan custodian. This spurred Swan into life and within minutes Elton Holmes hit the post from a tight angle and David Foster forced a sharp response from goalkeeper Peter Stewart. The hosts were rewarded in stoppage time when Holmes fed a pass to Foster who made no mistake in hitting in the bottom corner of Stewart's goal. Swan picked up the second half where they'd left off as several goalscoring chances went unconverted before a quick attack down the right resulted in Foster connecting sweetly from the top of the area for his second of the afternoon. And margin became three goals when Cory Hugo's booming kick bounced over an out of position Stewart and into the net at the opposite end. Joondalup should have been dead and buried at this stage but not for the first time this season they dug deep to get themselves out of trouble. With 76 minutes elapsed John Morton's deep cross was put away by substitute Andy Mason, and ten minutes later it was Mason again who pounced on a loose ball inside the area to bring his side back into the contest. In a tense final few minutes Andy Brown stole Joondalup a point by slotting into the net after some poor defending from Swan. Both the earlier matches ended in Joondalup's favour, the Reserves by 2-0 and the Under-18's 1-0.
A glorious 30-metre drive from Nick Ward set Stirling Lions down the path to a surprise 2-0 victory over reigning champion Perth S.C. at Macedonia Park. A big crowd was on hand to provide an electric atmosphere as the Lions came out fired up. Alan Zilic and Derek Cooke were provided with some opportune early shots on goal but unfortunately for the hosts both went just wide of the mark. The midfield ascendancy was established early by the Lions as Ward, Luke Pavlos and newly appointed captain Adam Rains combined to great effect. The three amigos created probably the goal of the year after 31 minutes as Pavlos worked hard on the left to lay off to Rains whose precision pass to Ward led to a thunderbolt drive that left goalkeeper Robert Scarparolo diving in vain as the ball rocketed into the top corner. The Blues were shocked into action and countered two minutes later through Shane Crampton who forced Lions custodian Vince Matassa into a great reflex save. The hosts applied the squeeze on Perth eight minutes from the interval as a defence splitting through ball by Rob Crerar found Cooke who calmly lobbed over the advancing 'keeper to give his side a two-goal buffer. An otherwise polished Perth side looked anything but championship material as the Lions dictated play for much of the second half. Their best chance came when a rare fumble by Matassa was snapped up by David Onoforo but the Lions 'keeper was quick to deny the opportunity. Late in the game the hosts should have increased their lead after Zilic pounced on some sloppy defensive play to squirt the ball to Muhamad Komaderic whose close-range effort was brilliantly kept out by Scraparolo. Perth ended the match with ten men after Rob Giorgi was dismissed for a second yellow card offence a minute from full-time. The Reserves played out a thrilling 2-2 draw while in the Under-18's Perth won 2-0.
The points were shared at the National Stadium where Inglewood United and Sorrento ended 1-1. The hosts got into stride quickly as the evergreen Alan MacKenzie rolled the ball wide to Louis Parkinson whose low hard cross into the area was forced wide by defender Steve MacDonald. A few more minutes elapsed before Bobby Despotovski slipped a pass to Parkinson who was denied in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Phil Straker. It was only a matter of time before Inglewood took the lead and on 24 minutes Greg Sharland passed to Jason Colli whose pull-back was stroked into the net by Despotovski. The hosts continued to apply the pressure as MacKenzie played a free-kick to the near post where Parkinson forced another fine save from Straker. Sorrento's first chance came shortly before the interval as Todd Harnwell found Glen Thomas but he pushed his shot wide of the target. The half-time break certainly seemed to benefit Sorrento more than their opponent and immediately after the re-start there seemed more purpose to the Gull's game. With Simon Harland more involved in midfield and combining well with Todd Harnwell the visitors fashioned several close encounters. On 57 minutes Jamie Harnwell headed a Thomas corner just wide, and ten minutes later Brad Hassell hit the post after Inglewood only half cleared a free-kick. Another attack down the right flank by Jared Love saw his cross headed goalward by Harland who was denied by a fantastic save from Oliver Taseski. Five minutes from the end Inglewood could have wrapped up the points by Ryan Newhill's powerful shot was kept out by Straker. With the game well into time stoppage time Thomas swung a corner into the dangerzone where MacDonald flicked the ball to the far post and Love volley in the equaliser. The Reserves game ended in a 2-2 draw with Sorrento taking out the Under-18's 2-1.
There was a sniff breeze blowing the length of Litis Stadium when Floreat Athena scored late to earn a 2-2 draw with Fremantle City. The port side made their intentions clear early on as Branimir Mikulic played a great cross into the area only for the opportunity to go begging. Not long after it was Jeff Bright that provided the danger via an in-swinging free-kick which Athena managed to scramble clear. Athena's best chance of the half came from Andreas Oliviera who turned over the ball in midfield and surged into attack only to have his shot smothered by a defender. With 22 minutes elapsed Fremantle took the lead after the hosts failed to sufficiently deal with a corner and from 7-metres Albert Osei-Tutu fired the ball in. Although the dominant side, Fremantle could find few ways past a well-drilled defence which had Troy Bernard and goalkeeper Vas Vujacic at its core. Five minutes after the re-start the visitors persistence was rewarded as Bright blasted in a cross from the right by Kevin Correia. Athena clawed their way back into the contest on 75 minutes as Anthony Jones was brilliantly denied by Bobson Koroma and with the visiting defence slow to react Peter Coci forced the ball over the line. The goal lifted Athena who stormed back into contention with several penetrating raids lead by Jones who wreaked havoc on the opposing defence. Coci went agonisingly close to putting the game back on level terms before the introduction of veteran midfielder Abdul Kamara swung the game back in Fremantle's favour. In a frantic goalmouth incident Llewelyn Bake, Mikulic and Anthony Pereira all had shots blocked, and a few minutes later Matt Danskin's cross was blasted high by Kamara from 7-metres. A minute from full-time a deep cross floated in from the right found Jones who was perfectly placed to head in the equaliser. The Reserves ended 1-1, while Fremantle took out the Under-18's 2-1.
Bassendean Caledonian registered their first points of the season by accounting for Bayswater City 2-1 at Frank Drago Reserve. Newly appointed coach Jimmy Pearson made several changes to the Caledonian line-up which included the promotion of Ian Griffiths, Graeme Matthews and Jamie d'Arcy to the starting eleven. The in an even opening spells both sides defended well with the home team just shading it in terms of possession. Bayswater should have gone in front early on through Ross Barnes who somehow failed to hit the target from only a couple of metres. Andrew O'Neill started a great move in which Cormac Dawson eluding Kevin Smith in midfield to advance on goal and chip over goalkeeper Steve Grant for the opening goal. Caledonian came out for the second half determined to get back on level terms and they didn't wait long before doing so. Five minutes after the re-start Jason Van Rooy swung a corner into the dangerzone where Ian Griffiths powerfully headed past goalkeeper Gianni Papalia. A tactical re-shuffle by the Caledonian coach shut down the hosts midfield with Kevin Smith and Van Rooy marking Kevin Henderson and Dawson out of the game. The momentum remained with the visitors for the remainder of the match and ten minutes from the end their dominance paid off. Kevin Smith evaded two opponents on the right before slipping the ball through into the path of Graeme Matthews who expertly finished in a one-on-one with the 'keeper. Bayswater responded with a barrage of attacks in the final few minutes but found it difficult to break down the opposing backline of Dom Ando, Raph Mahoney, d'Arcy and Dulio Xavier. Caledonian took out the Reserves be a comfortable 4-1 margin, while in the Under-18's Bayswater came away with the points courtesy of a 3-2 scoreline.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND SEVEN (Wanneroo City vs Rockingham City courtesy Wanneroo City; Ashfield vs South West Phoenix courtesy South West Phoenix; Queens Park vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; Dianella White Eagles vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City; Balcatta vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth; Morley Windmills vs Kingsway Olympic courtesy Morley Windmills)
Armadale slipped to their first loss of the season after Leeming Strikers scored a last minute decider to record a shock 2-1 away victory over the First Division leader. In a scrappy first half that produced few genuine scoring opportunities the hosts were dealt a major blow on 21 minutes when midfielder Aaron Beattie was sent off for using obscene language. With Craig Ruthven and Phil Bell seizing control of midfield the Strikers carved out numerous opportunities to go in front before Michael Vaz put the ball past goalkeeper Ken Ftynogiannis on the stroke of half-time. The second period began much the same as the first with few chances on goal. But as the half progressed Armadale started making in-roads as Jason Goodwin and Dean Gartside both went close to leveling. The pressure paid off on 82 minutes when Luke Morris slotted home after a terrific through ball from the right by Gartside. The Strikers continued to apply the pressure and twice hit the frame of the goal before Lawrence Endersby's fine through ball found Leroy Goodwin who ran through to score the visiting teams second of the day on 82 minutes. "We showed a unity today that has been missing," beamed Strikers coach Mike Brazil shortly after the final whistle. "The guys played their legs off for this result and I'm very proud of them." The Reserves game ended even at 1-1, while the Strikers were successful in the Under-18's by 4-0 courtesy of two goals apiece from Daniel Capperllaro and Simon Versaico.
South West Phoenix soared their way back to the top of the standings with a 3-2 win over arch-rival Ashfield 3-2 at Ashfield Reserve. The win was Phoenix's first in nine attempts against Ashfield with whom they competed under the Ashfield/Bunbury banner several years ago. With Jamie Bergin and Greg Hayes back from suspension and Trent Hathaway outstanding at the back, Phoenix started with a string of attacks. Early on Patrick Roberts hit the post before Hayes unleashing a scintillating drive from 30-metres to open the visitors account. A similar effort from Hayes six minutes later was parried by goalkeeper Adam Ashforth and Bergin pounced to knock in the loose ball. Ashfield responded seven minutes from the interval with a swift counterattack in which Andy Cornmell was the scorer. Midway through the second half Cornmell struck his seventh goal of the season to bring the teams back on a level footing. The deciding goal arrived after 88 minutes when Gary Mayers made his way past a couple of defenders and crossed to David Rodgers who made no mistake in finding the back of the net. Howeever, there will still enough time for Ashfield to mount one more attack but goalkeeper Reece braithwaite made a fantastic diving save to ensure his side went home with he points. In the Reserves Ashfield ran out 6-2 victors through goals from Steve Goff (3), Peter Noiszewski (2) and Glen Johnson. The Under-18 encounter ended with honours even at 1-1.
Mandurah City snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by scoring four times in the closing stages to stun Queens Park 4-3 at Coker Park. The southerners made a bright start in which Jordan Rhodes was quick to establish dominance of midfield while livewire striker Michael Bobridge made sure there was no rest for the home defence. But some elementary errors at the back cost Mandurah dearly as Ray Rose struck twice and Brian Robertson once to give Queens Park a halndy lead at the break. Staring down the barrel of defeat, it wasn't until the 75th minute that Mandurah responded when Jake Loreto, who'd come off the bench just three minutes earlier, outpaced his marker and squeezed the ball past the goalkeeper. Not long after Loreto was felled inside the 18-yard box and from the penalty spot Jordan Rhodes brought his side back into the contest. Loreto continued his starring role by teeing up Andrew Rennie who found the back of the net with a spectacular drive from 22-metres to level the game on 80 minutes. With the match unraveling before their eyes Queens Park's day went from bad to worse after 89 minutes when Leith Hinds received his marching orders for a crude challenge on Neil Connors. A minute later play Loreto skillfully beat two defenders and chipped goalkeeper Darren Williams to present Christian Paschewicz with the simplest of tap-ins and steal victory. Mandurah's Reserve side showed a welcome return to form with a comfortable 2-0 win, while the Under-18 team continued their winning ways with a 5-0 thrashing.
Wanneroo City got back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-2 victory against Rockingham City at Kingsway Sporting Complex. The hosts were out of the blocks quickly with a good early chance coming the way of Stuart Collins. Scott Bulloch's superb ball control was causing the opposing defence all sorts of problems and with 19 minutes gone the lively attacker was brought down inside the 18-yard box and Scott Wyeth converted the resultant penalty to put Wanneroo one-nil up. For the most part Rockingham opted for 'route one' to goal and rarely looked like scoring, although on 32 minutes Alan Young was called upon to save for the first time. Wanneroo on the other hand continued to carve out chances with the best falling to Gavin Falco-Brown whose effort was just wide. Approaching half-time Chris Currie emphasised his value with a goalline clearance as Rockingham attempted to restore parity. Three minutes after the re-start Luke Ivancic robbed Young of possession and had little difficulty in putting the ball into an open goal from 16-metres. The hosts then spurned a number of good chances to retake the lead but Falco-Brown and substitute Gareth Davies were unable to hit the target. Up step Bulloch who unleashed a thunderbolt from 25-metres which soared into the net on the hour. Phil O'Callaghan extended Wanneroo's lead after 84 minutes by sliding the ball under goalkeeper Ben Rosman after being played through by Bulloch. Rockingham bagged a stoppage time consolation when Glen Hallums pounced on some hesitant defending to net.
Gosnells City hoisted themselves up the table to fourth with a 2-1 away defeat of an injury riddled Dianella White Eagles. Much of the opening spell belonged to Dianella whose eagerness was rewarded with the games first goal when David rose unchallenged to powerfully head in Dragan Njegic's corner after 8 minutes. It initially looked as though the hosts would increase their lead but as the minutes ticked by Dianella eased off the pace as Gosnells settled into their rhythm. A defense-splitting pass from Jamie Grindley sent Darren Ingham through on goal in the 29th minute and the attacker made no mistake in sliding his shot past on-coming goalkeeper Drazen Saric to equalise. Having stunned their opponents Gosnells seized upon the moment and applied the pressure at every opportunity. Four minutes from the interval Adam Bremner let fly with a powerful shot from 30-metres which slammed into the post and rebounded to teammate Brian Cairney who showed great skill on controlling the ball before slotting under the 'keeper. The second half was a battle of character with Dianella forcing the pace as they attempted to quickly get back on level terms. But genuine chances were few and far between for the home team as the defensive partnership of Jon Cook, Ian Ingham, Stuart McDonald and James Winrow limited Dianella to scattered shot from distance, few of which required a response from goalkeeper Jason Mehnert.
Playing away for the sixth time in seven weeks, Canning City held Balcatta to a 1-1 draw at Graham Burkett Reserve. Balcatta struck after 10 minutes when Canning's defence failed to sufficiently clear a corner and from the edge of the 18-yard box Mark Wilson drove an angled shot through a packed goal area and into the back of the net. The game ebbed and flowed in a tight contest in which play was evenly shared. On 35 minutes it looked as if Canning would draw level when awarded a penalty after Patrick Fitzgerald was dragged down inside the box, however, Balcatta custodian Colin Lees dived in the correct direction to keep out Stephen Coles' spot kick. The pattern of play established in the first half continued after the break. As the half progressed Canning began to gain the ascendancy and with ten minutes remaining drew level when Paul Van Dongen crossed the ball from the right and Alex Seed got in front of his marker to head the ball past Lees for put Canning deserved back on level terms. In the dying minutes both sides had their chance to win the contest. A Patrick Fitzgerald cross evaded both Seed and Julio Barendilla as Canning went in search of a second goal, while at the opposite end Scott Broadley's shot was headed off the line by Ross Postuma in the final minute of play. Canning took out the Reserve and Under-18 game by 2-1 and 2-0 respectively.
Morley Windmills registered their second win in as many weeks, defeating Kingsway Olympic 3-1 at Wotton Reserve, to continue their climb away from the foot of the table. Having lost striker Ray Rose to Queens Park in mid-week, Windmills woes were compounded prior to kick-off by the withdrawal of influential midfielder Simon Messenger from the line-up. Olympic drew first blood in a scrappy opening half when Nigel Comito beating goalkeeper Matt Darling from the penalty spot after 25 minutes. Two minutes from half-time Windmills struck back as a long throw-in from David Sherrington was flicked on by Steve Waycott and Ryan Talyor made no mistake in half-volleying past the goalkeeper. Tactical changes by Windmills coach James Herbert enabled them to produce the better football after the break and with 58 minutes gone Taylor bagged his second following a great build-up involving Carlos Mazloomi and Damien Fezcur. Five minutes from full-time the outcome was sealed as Fezcur beat his man to whip in a dangerous cross that an Olympic defender had the misfortune of turning past his own goalkeeper. "At half-time the players felt they had under performed and so went out determined to turn it round and they did exactly that," said Herbert after the game. "The players attitude has been terrific this season and each week we are making progress as a team."
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
In a day of surprises Premier League leader Western Knights crashed 1-3 to Cockburn City for whom Peter Petkovich (2) and Antonio Naglieri were on target. Stirling Lions triumphed 2-0 over reigning champions Perth who slip to into unfamiliar territory near the foot of the table. Bassendean Caledonian picked up their first points of the campaign by toppling Bayswater City 2-1 through goals from Ian Griffiths and Graeme Matthews. The points were shared in the three remaining games - Swan I.C. and E.C.U. Joondalup ended 3-3, Floreat Athena drew 2-2 with Fremantle City, and Inglewood United were held 1-1 at home by Sorrento.
Armadale dropped points for the first time this winter when they crashed 1-2 at home to Leeming Strikers in Round Seven of the First Division season. South West Phoenix become joint leader with the Reds thanks to a 3-2 away win over arch-rival Ashfield. Queens Park went down 3-4 to Mandurah City in a thrilling encounter at Coker Park. Gosnells City jump into fourth spot after defeating Dianella White Eagles 2-1, while nipping at their heels are Wanneroo City who took maximum points over Rockingham City by 3-2. Morley Windmills knocked off Kingsway Olympic 3-1, and Canning City and Balcatta ended all square at one apiece.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
There are several tantalising match-ups in the fifth round of Premier League games to be played tomorrow. The pick of the bunch takes place at Dalmatinac Park where Cockburn City take on Western Knights in which will be a very evenly matched fixture. Swan I.C. will be looking to inflict upon E.C.U. Joondalup their first loss of the campaign. Stirling Lions are home to a Perth S.C. side for whom little has gone right this month. Inglewood United are home to Sorrento, and Floreat Athena welcome Fremantle City to Litis Stadium. Bassendean Caledonian, who this week re-appointed Jimmy Pearson to the coaching helm, travel to Bayswater City.
First Division leader Armadale should extend their winning start to the season when they welcome Leeming Strikers to Alfred Skeet Oval. In what will be a very close match, second-placed Canning City take on fifth-placed Balcatta. Ashfield meet South West Phoenix in a long-distance 'derby' at Ashfield Reserve. Queens Park will find themselves up against it when they host Mandurah City, and Wanneroo City are expected to win big at home against Rockingham City. Elsewhere, Morley Windmills take on Kingsway Olympic, and Dianella White Eagles have home ground advantage over Gosnells City. Out of action with the bye are Stirling Suns.
The wheels of reform continue to turn for West Australian soccer. Within six weeks the Department of Sport and Recreation will launch the West Australian Soccer Association Ltd, the new controlling body to oversee the game in this state. WASA, which comes into being on 1st July, is the result of over two years collaboration between the local soccer community, the Department of Sport and Recreation, and the Australian Soccer Association. As a member state of the ASA, WASA will be responsible for the control and delivery of all aspects of the round ball game in WA.
Project Manager for the reform process, Kevin Watts, attended separate meetings with Soccer West Coast and the Amateur Association presidents recently. In response to some of the issues raised at these meetings Watts has compiled an Explanatory Memorandum and a list of Frequently Asked Questions for public consumption. For more on the reform process contact Kevin Watts, or visit the Soccer Reform section of the Department of Sport and Recreation website.
LEEMING UNDER 18'S REQUIRE GOALKEEPER
The Leeming Strikers now require the services of an Under 18's Goalkeeper for the remainder of the season after their second choice keeper retired due to schooling commitments on Friday evening. First choice keeper Adam Horsley left for the UK only last week leaving the table toppers with no other options but to advertise. Loan keepers will also be considered and you may direct your queries to Under 18's Coach Alan Thraves on 93322665 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GLORY BOYS LOOK TO OFF-SHORE OPTIONS
With growing concern over just when the new national competition will kick off, a number of Perth Glory players are looking to continue their careers abroad. Initial indications from the Australian Soccer Association were that an interim league would be up and running early next year and that the competition proper would start mid-2005. However, doubts have since been raised as to whether the appetiser league will in fact go ahead, leading several players to re-consider the options.
Creative midfielder Jamie Coyne is contemplating a move to Malaysia and is believed to have been offered trials with top flight Dutch side ADO Den Haag. "It's frustrating because you don't know when the new league will start," Coyne said this week. "If it works, it'll be great. But, at the moment, you've got to look at whatever's being offered." Goalkeeper Jason Petkovic and midfielder Tom Pondeljak have also been linked with moves to Asia, while Adrian Caceras is understood to be tempted at trying his luck in England or Scotland. After ending the season as Glory's second highest goalscorer, Nick Mrdja's talents have prompted interest from Europe and Asia.
JOIN GLORY STARS IN FA CUP EXTRAVAGANZA
If every year, like hundreds of million of others you sit down and watch all the excitement and tradition of the FA Cup, why not watch it this year with Glory legends, Bobby Despotovski, Gareth Naven, Matt Horsley and Jamie Harnwell at Perth's biggest FA Cup Party to be held this Saturday night at the Hartfield Sports Complex, the home of Forrestfield United. Bobby, Gareth, Matt, and Jamie will be part of a panel, which will provide a preview to big game, a run down of the key players in each side as well as answer questions about the state of soccer generally. The players will then join the rest of the crowd for a few beers and watch the game on the big screen and with kids free there is no better value in town. To purchase tickets or make further euquiries please call Justin McMillan on 0401 023 287 or simply turn up at the Hartfield Sports Complex at 8pm on Saturday night.
ON THIS DAY ... 1896 (courtesy "A Soccer Century" By Richard Krieder)
Organised soccer found a home in Perth following a meeting at the United Services Hotel on Wednesday 13th May, 1896. A press statement published two days later in the "Western Mail" announced "it is desirable that the English game of Association Football should be played" in metropolitan Perth. It was decided at the meeting, which was attended by "twenty to thirty players", that a British Football Association be established, and that a club named the Perth English Association Football Club be formed. "The proceedings were of such enthusiastic character as to encourage the hope that the present movement, in the most popular game of football in the old country, will be attended with successful results," continued the statement.
Things moved quickly following this initial gathering. Seven days later at the United Services Hotel the Assocation Committee of Harry Brown (chairman), John Davies (president), Henry John Saunders, Thomas W. Hardwick, J.L. Jones (vice-presidents) and Edward Pope (secretary) was officially elected. It was agreed that the entrance fee to the association be set at one guinea (one pound and one shilling). By the end of the meeting the number of teams in the association numbered four. Pope formed the Civil Service club, H. Sedergreen created the Crusaders, while Messrs Boase, Maxwell and Stanton founded the Fremantle Wanderers.
The Western Australian British Football Association officially kicked off its first league match on Saturday 30th May. The venue was Hyde Park and the contestants Perth and Civil Service with the match ending in a 2-0 victory by the latter thanks to a double by 16-year old all-round sportsman Reg Burt. On the same day at Weld Square, Fremantle beat Crusaders 7-0 in front of 'a comparatively large crowd'. The most popular games of the inaugural season were those between Perth and Fremantle Wanderers with the final league fixture, played in August on the Old Recreation Ground, drawing a crowd of almost 500 spectators.
Fremantle Wanderers were the first West Australian league champions with 17 points, one more than runners-up Civil Service. Perth, who changed their name mid-season to Perth City, completed the short but satisfactory season in third position on 10 points. Having struggled to field a full team for much of the season Crusaders, who only managed a single point, did not re-form the following year. Apart from the once-off use of Hyde Park, the first playing fields were Weld Square, a Lord Street paddock in East Perth owned by a Mr Desprey, the Polo Ground (also on Lord Street), the Half-way House ground in Cottesloe, the Old Recreation Ground, Russell Square, and later the WACA ground.
MADASCHI IN LINE FOR SOCCEROO DEBUT
Adrian Madaschi is on the verge of making his senior debut in national colours. The Perth-born defender was yesterday named in the Australian squad for next weeks series against World Cup semi-finalists Turkey. Socceroo coach Frank Farina said Madaschi had developed significantly due to regular performances in the cut and thrust of Scotland's top flight. "In the last two games for the under-23s, he has performed exceptionally well," he said. "He's just grown in stature and confidence and I'm expecting bigger and better things from him in the future. He's certainly got the composure and the confidence to do well at this level."
Birmingham City's Stan Lazaridis, whose made 48 'A' appearances for Australia, has recovered from injury and has also been included in the squad. "These two matches against Turkey will be an enormous test for us," said the versatile left-sided player. "Turkey are one of the best nations in world soccer and this will certainly show where we are at on the world stage." West Australian by proxy Jade North is one of three Australian-based players to make the cut, the others being Parramatta Power duo Ahmad Elrich and Simon Colosimo. Australia meet Turkey at Aussie Stadium on Friday 21st May in the opening game with the second leg taking place at Telstra Dome in Melbourne on Monday 24th May.
The squad for the Turkey series is David Zdrilic (Aberdeen), Scott Chipperfield (FC Basel), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers), Tony Vidmar (Cardiff City), Vince Grella (Empoli), Steve Laybutt (Excelsior Mouscron), Josip Skoko (Genclerbirligi), Patrick Kisnorbo (Hearts), Mile Sterjovski (Lille), Danny Tiatto (Manchester City), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough), Max Vieri (Napoli), Ante Milicic (Pahang), Marco Bresciano (Parma), Simon Colosimo, Ahmad Elrich (Parramatta Power), Adrian Madaschi (Partick Thistle), Zeljko Kalac (Perugia) and Jade North (Perth Glory).
NEW COACH FOR CALEDONIAN
The new season has claimed it's first major coaching casualty. Gerry Wardle's tenure as first team coach at Bassendean Caledonian lasted just nine game before amicably parting company with the club this week. "The club respects Gerry very much and thanks him for all this hard work," said Caledonian president Chris Duncan. "His efforts have been very much appreciated." In moving quickly to fill the vacancy the club have installed Jimmy Pearson, who coached at Caledonian during the late 1990's, to the helm.
MATASSA ADDED TO LIONS PRIDE
Stirling Lions have added experienced goalkeeper Vince Matassa to their ranks. The addition of Matassa, a former Australian youth international, will be a massive boost for the club which only days saw the departure of Gareth Deeg whose been offered a playing contract in Brunei. "Vince is dedicated and professional in his approach to training and playing and he is a big signing for us," said Lions midfielder and assistant coach Toby Wright. "He has a huge array of experience which includes playing in the national league as well as overseas. The club, not just the first team, will definitely benefit from this." Spells locally for Matassa at Perth S.C., Dianella White Eagles and Floreat Athena have been punctuated by time on the national stage with Morwell Falcons and Perth Glory. In addition he spent numerous years in England with Wycombe Wanderers, Basingstoke Town, Salisbury City and Woking.
"We've been fortunate to have some quality goalkeepers at the club in the recent past," Wright added. "Last year it was Jordan Conti and this season Gareth Deeg has been in excellent form. Vince has already indicated that he's keen to help the team get back to winning ways, and his inclusion in the squad is another step in the right direction for the club and I'm positive that we will only get better from here on in. It's been a rollercoaster start to the season for us with some great results like beating Sorrento in the Cup tempered by disappointing losses such as that to Bayswater in the first game of the season. I'm sure all clubs would agree that there has been a lot of surprise results this season and anyone is capable of finishing in a strong position on the table. Hopefully now we can start getting the results that the players efforts deserve and get some consistency in our play."
SAQ, THE ONLY WAY TO TRAIN
SAQ is the name behind the physical training and conditioning of players at some of the world's leading clubs, including English Premier League sides Manchester United and Arsenal. Local coaches, conditioners and trainers are invited to attend SAQ's Preliminary Award course which is being held in Perth on Sunday 27th June. Several State League coaches recently took part in the course with excellent results.
SAQ programs emphasise the importance of agility training to equip athletes with the best methods and techniques for increased quickness, speed, control and movement. Agility training also has many other benefits including a reduced risk of injury and improved body awareness.
The one-day course includes hands-on practical sessions, visual presentations, an open book examination and a practical assessment. It is supported by comprehensive reading materials and a video resource designed to aid your club and its players. To attend the course or for further details on how SAQ can help your club contact Fabio Macolino via email on email@example.com, phone 02 9531 4499 or log into http://www.saqaustralia.com
TETLOW SEVERS TIES WITH FREMANTLE
Respected youth coach Mike Tetlow has ended a seven year association with Fremantle City. "I'm sad to be leaving the club after many long years of hard work and dedication," commented the out-going coach. "There were issues over the team selection process with the club administration that I felt undermined my position as Reserve team coach and, ultimately, these cost me the job." Tetlow leaves the port side with a proud record, his players losing just four of their past forty-six games and with an overall 70% win record. Held in high regarded at both club and State level, Tetlow led Fremantle's Under-18 side to the 2002 Premier League title and two Boral Cups.
COMMITTED MADASCHI FINDS NET (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Partick Thistle defender Adrian Madaschi scored with a powerful header in Sunday's 2-2 draw at Livingston. Although placed at the foot of the table, Partick still have a glimmer of hope of remaining in the Scottish Premier League with question marks over Inverness Caledonian's ground-share proposal should they win promotion from the First Division seasons' end. Madaschi scored with a header from a short corner and was again one of the Jags' best at the heart of defence.
With the prospect of showcasing his talent at the up-coming Olympic Games, Madaschi is happy to stay with the Jags next season. "The Olympics are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I can't wait. They bring a worldwide audience for players and that can only bode well for my career. But I'm happy at Thistle and have been treated so well since I arrived here. The year has been full of ups and downs but it's got me back into the international set-up. People now know who I am in Scotland so it's been a big turnaround for me after leaving Atalanta when I wasn't sure where I'd end up."
HEADLESS DEFENDERS KEEP GASPAR BUSY
Robbie Gaspar has been keeping focused during a two-week break in the Malaysia season by working on his trademark free-kicks. The 23-year old has spent his spare hours practicing his technique as Sabah await the return leg of their Third Round FA Cup clash with Perlis on 12th May. And as the plywood barricade bears testament Gaspar has been hard at it with five of the 'defenders' now headless. "The wood isn't very hard, it took me three days to knock off all the heads off the board," Gaspar explained. "I start off with forty (shots) on each foot and later progress to about 200 all together. It's pretty tiring and you need to find the right balance. You don't want to overdo it because you've got to keep yourself for training the next day." While training keeps the team's overall fitness level up Gaspar said there is only so much that can be achieved without playing competitive matches. "It's pretty tough on the boys to keep the momentum going ... we want to play, not just train."
GLORY WAITS ON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DECISION
There are no guarantees that Perth Glory will represent Australia in the Oceanian qualifiers for next years FIFA Club World Championship. Although the current national title holder, it is unclear whether Glory will be Australia's champion by the time the tournament is played. Dates for the championship being held in Japan have not been set and the launching of a new Australian domestic competition is not yet set in stone. There are suggestions that the winner of an interim Australian competition, provisionally scheduled for early next year, may be given the opportunity to play in Japan.
Jeff Dennis, chief executive officer for Glory, said the club would jump at the chance to play on the world stage but added they would not presume to be Australia's representative. "It would depend on what the Australian Soccer Association came up with," Dennis told "West Australian" reporter Jonathon Cook. "We wouldn't like to presume anything at this point in time. We wouldn't like to interfere with ASA's plans because we feel they are in the best interests of soccer."
WAASSA, ROUND FOUR
University of WA secured a valuable 2-0 win away to Stirling Panthers in the WAASSA Premier Division fixture on Sunday. The game started well for University in the 7th minute when a Robert Benkovic flick found Gareth Briggs on the right who drilled the ball past home keeper S.Marsiglia. Five minutes later a strong run by UWA's Paul Dimmock down the left resulted in Andy Hart laying the ball off to Max Percy who cut inside and despatched a left foot shot into the corner to make 2-0. Stirling Panthers had a chance themselves when a forward headed the ball onto the crossbar. On the stroke of half time UWA should have wrapped the game up when Robert Benkovic went through only to be denied by keeper S.Marsiglia and despite Robert Benkovic then passing to Paul Dimmock the keeper again saved well. The second half saw Stirling come out with renewed enthusiasm aided by the strong wind and forward S.Kovacevich should have scored when one on one with UWA keeper Shyam Young but somehow blasted the ball high over the bar. UWA then had a good chance when Andy Hart found Gareth Briggs with a 30 metre pass and he shot only to be well saved by the goalkeepers legs. Stirling Panthers had several chances to get back into the game but a string of saves by UWA keeper Shyam Young and a goal line clearance by Max Percy kept the home team scoreless. UWA move to sixth spot on the table with 2 wins from 4. Coach Kevin Burton said: "We have been a little disappointed with our performances against Murdoch and Hamersley when we were missing two State players but with 2 successive wins and clean sheets against Perth Azzurri and Stirling Panthers we can look forward to being more competitive as the season progresses." UWA Reserves won an extraordinary game 6-4 versus Stirling Panthers when, after being 4-1 down with 25 minutes to go, forward Mike Ford scored a hatrick for UWA to claim the points.
In other games, Hamersley Rovers moved to third place after thrashing Fremantle United 6-1. Perth Azzurri won their first game of the season after easilly accounting for Kwinana United 4-0. Shamrock Rovers moved to top place on goal difference following their 5-2 victory over Colo Colo, while Murdoch University are the only other side to be undefeated after their 3-1 win against Forrestfield United. The remaining game saw CN Canning International defeat Spearwood Dalmatinac 3-1.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FOUR (Western Knights vs Stirling Lions courtesy Western Knights; Cockburn City vs Floreat Athena courtesy Cockburn City; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Inglewood United courtesy E.C.U. Joondalup; Bassendean Caledonian vs Swan I.C. courtesy Swan I.C.; Sorrento vs Fremantle City courtesy Sorrento)
Bayswater City pulled off a shock 1-0 defeat of traditional rival and reigning Premier League champions Perth S.C. in sunny conditions at Dorrien Gardens today. The home side started brightly and could have gone in front after 9 minutes when David Onoforo played into the path of David Micevski whose shot was directed straight at the goalkeeper. With their midfield well on top Perth dominated the opening exchanges but were guilty of missed opportunities. Their best came after 19 minutes when Shane Crampton stroked the ball past Gianni Papalia but it ended wide of the target despite Onoforo's desperate lunge to steer in it. Bayswater didn't really threatened until on 29 minutes when Andrew O'Neill volleyed wide a Lynden Pywell cross from the right. The visitors ended with a flourish and with 44 minutes elapsed Ross Barnes' dangerous cross was headed powerfully into the net by an unmarked Boima Karpeh from 5-metres. Fired up by a half-time grilling from coach Graham Normanton Perth were quick to re-establish control after the break. Papalia was in the thick of the action, denying Onoforo, Crampton and Puca as Perth time and again pushed into attack. But while the hosts controlled play they were given few sniffs at goal thanks to a rock-solid opposing rearguard which featured Jason Lawton, Daniel Vangelovski and Wes Mitchell. For their part Baywater relied chiefly on the counterattack and midway through the half Barnes was sent clear with only the 'keeper to beat but Scarparolo made a courageous smothering save to thwart. In a similar move two minutes into stoppage time Barnes chanced his luck from 25-metres with a chip that cleared the 'keeper only to hit the base of the post. Perth triumphed 4-0 in the Reserves, while Bayswater took out the Under-18's 2-1.
Western Knights enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win over Stirling Lions at Nash Field. Leading goalscorers Stuart Montgomery and Carl Medica proved the difference between the sides, each bagging a goal to continue the Knights 100% winning start to the new season. Soon after the opening whistle the home side had gained control of the game through the stable central defensive partnership of Claus Nielsen and Jason Williams who dealt swiftly with any danger the Lions forwards possessed. Several opportunities were spurned at the opposite end of the ground with Montogmery sending the ball wide after 15 minutes and not long after Medica blazed high with a spectacular volley. On the half hour a casual approach by Knights goalkeeper Tommi Tomich allowed Derek Cooke to block a clearance and the ball ricocheted wide to Leo Harman whose shot at an empty goal went into the side netting from a tight angle. A well-weighted pass from Luka Jukic after 44 minutes found Montgomery whose sublime control saw him evade one defender before knocking his shot past Gareth Deeg in the Lions goal. After the break the visiting midfield lifted their tempo as Nick Ward and Adam Rains asserted their influence with some hard running and great distribution. However, it would be the Knights that would score after Seb Trim was hauled down inside the penalty box by Luke Pavlos and with 58 minutes gone Medica added his teams second. The final margin would have been greater had Montgomery not squandered a chance from close-range while a rasping shot from Medica was narrowly high. The Lions continued to press but a lack of quality finishing was to be their downfall. The Knights Reserves move to the top of the table with a 6-1 win, while the Under-18 game went to the Lions by 3-2.
Floreat Athena registered their first win of the season by defeating Cockburn City 2-1 at Dalmatinac Park. The first opening of an entertaining match came after 5 minutes when John Mirco shot wide of the left upright. It took until the 17th minute for Athena's to prise open the home defence but Anthony Jones was unable to make the most of his opportunity. Goalkeeper Vas Vujacic came to the visitors rescue twice in the space of a few minutes as Cockburn upped the pressure, first by denying Antonio Naglieri and then Simon Jonas. As the half came to a close Cockburn found themselves under increasing pressure at the back as Dino Pacella parrying a blistering 30-metre strike from Peter Coci shot and a few minutes later the goalkeeper batted wide a Costa Socratous thunderbolt. The visitors got the breakthrough in stoppage time when Andreas Oliveira beat the offside trap and raced past a flat-footed defence only to be brought down inside the area by Bozo Erakovic, who was duly red carded, and Oliveria made no mistake in beating Pacella from the spot. Upon the resumption of play Cockburn attacked relentlessly. Michael Mirco and Peter Petkovich combined well but Naglieri shot wide, then Petkovich headed a corner just over the crossbar. Cockburn found reward after 54 minutes when a Petkovich strike was parried by Vujacic and Naglieri was on hand to slot in. The decider came after 73 minutes when Adam Bachillor crashed the ball into the back of the net from 17-metres. Cockburn almost snuck a late equaliser but Michael Mirco was bundled off the ball when just a couple of metres from the goalline. Athena took out the Reserves meeting 5-3, while the Under-18's ended 4-0 in favour of Cockburn.
A late Garin Collins goal earned E.C.U. Joondalup a 1-1 home draw with Inglewood United and maintained the clubs undefeated start to the season. Much was expected from this clash with Joondalup coming off a solid win over Fremantle City and Inglewood bolstered by the addition of Perth Glory pair Bobby Despotovski and Greg Sharland. After a quick opening the pace settled and Inglewood started to get the better of the hosts through clever movement on and off the ball. Ryan Newhill was twice in the space of a few minutes presented with glorious opportunities to give the visitors the lead but on both occasions he headed wide from close-range. On 19 minutes Alan MacKenzie sent a free-kick into the area where Despotovski headed unchallenged powerfully past goalkeeper Peter Stewart and into the top corner. Joondalup came into the match following the half-time introduction of livewire attacker Gareth Phillips but no matter how hard they tried there was just no way past their opponents well marshaled defence. Going the other way Inglewood looked dangerous and midway through the half Stewart moved sharply to keep out a Despotovski shot after it had taken a deflection off defender Jamie Kuzmanovich. Following a series of unsuccessful attacking raids Joondalup finally got back on level terms when Collins' deeply hit corner flew over the goalkeeper and into the top corner after 81 minutes. The hosts were quick to bring on fresh legs in the shape of Alan Henderson and Daniel Waind which resulted in much of the final quarter hour being played in Inglewood's defensive half. Andy Brown came close to winning it for Joondalup but his header went high shortly before the final whistle. Inglewood won the Reserves 3-1, while the Under-18 match ended 4-0 to Joondalup.
Swan I.C. earned there first win of the season courtesy of a Paul Lincoln double against Bassendean Caledonian at the Jubilee Reserve. The visitors settled quickly and should have taken the lead after 10 minutes when a captain Damian Scali surged down the right and crossed into the area where Paul Lincoln had only goalkeeper Vince Matteo to beat but chipped the ball over the crossbar. Renato Rechichi raced away down the left flank to send a pinpoint cross to David Foster whose headed flashed just wide. Swan were by now in control and it came as no surprise when they took a deserved lead after 24 minutes when Elton Holmes delivered a sweet cross from the left which Lincoln headed in from close range. Following the break Swan continued on with the job. A fine move involving Damien Scali and Rechichi put Lincoln clear again but a well-timed challenge by Jamie D'Arcy saved the day for Caledonian. In the 57th minute the hosts hopes were dashed by the dismissal of Kevin Griffiths after he tussled with Carlos Echeverria. A ten-man Caledonian worked tirelessly to get back in the game without success. In the 87th minute Swan wrapped up the points through Lincoln who rounded Matteo to net after being set-up by Holmes. "We're pleased with the win, and hopefully we can get more consistent," said Swan coach Gary Marocchi of the win which lifted the side into a congested mid-table. "We totally dominated the game today and should have scored a few more to get our goal difference down, we have to be more clinical in the future." Bassendean won the Reserves 1-0, and in the Under-18's Swan attacker scored the only goal of the game to give his side victory.
Fine autumnal weather greeted Sorrento and Fremantle City as they make their way out for the Premier League clash at Percy Doyle Reserve. With both teams looking to for a win to kick start their season, this game was always going to be competitive. Right from the start Fremantle showed great endeavour and determination by applying the pressure to the home side. But with Jamie Harnwell marshalling the Gulls defence with aplomb Fremantle were restricted to long-range efforts for much of the opening spell. The port sides first clear-cut chance arrived on 28 minutes when Anthony Pereira seized upon a loose back pass only to hit his shot from just inside the area straight at Phil Straker. Ten minutes later Fremantle broke through as Pereira rolled the ball to Jeff Bright whose wicked first time shot from the edge of the area found the corner of the goal. Sorrento stormed back into the game after the interval. Seven minutes in and Glen Thomas' cross was met by Jamie Harnwell who forced a good from Fremantle custodian Bobson Koroma. A vicious Andrew Boyer volley went just wide of the upright and Steve McDonald's header rebounded off a defender to Jamie Harnwell who shot was unfortunately high as Sorrento attacked relentlessly. The equaliser finally with nineteen minutes to go when Bowyer clipped the ball over the defence to Simon Harland, he knocked it on to Steve MacDonald who made no mistake in netting. In an all-action finish Fremantle restored their lead in the 85th minute as Gary Faria's beautifully struck free-kick was headed in by Branimir Mikulic. A minute later Sorrento leveled again, a corner from the right was headed down by MacDonald and Todd Harwell snapped up the half chance by sending the ball past Koroma. The Reserves match ended 1-1, and Fremantle took the honours in the Under-18's by 4-3.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND SIX (Mandurah City vs Wanneroo City courtesy Wanneroo City; Gosnells City vs Canning City courtesy Canning City; Balcatta vs Ashfield courtesy Ashfield; Leeming Strikers vs Morley Windmills courtesy Morley Windmills)
Wanneroo City made the lengthy journey to Peelwood Parade where the spoils were shared 1-1 with Mandurah City. With a lot on the line for both sides this was never going to be a great game of football and, as though to script, the first half was a fizzer. The few chances that did emerge fell mostly to Mandurah, however, in all honesty neither team looked likely to open the scoring. Fortunately the second half was much better. Wanneroo came out and took the game up to their hosts as a Scott Bulloch corner was scrambled to safety off the goalline and Scott Wyeth's bullet-like free-kick flashed across the face of the goal. Keen to take something home from the game Wanneroo coach Stuart Currie sent on speedy young Gareth Davies who settled quickly and caused causing the home defence a fair degree concern. With 80 minutes gone Davies out-paced the defence only to be pulled back by Chris Gakis and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot from where Scott Wyeth made no mistake to put the visitors in front. Not content to sit on their lead, Wanneroo pushed forward at every opportunity with Bulloch firing a free-kick narrowly high and a close-range effort from Davies was smothered by the goalkeeper. Following this Mandurah broke on the counter-attack with Christian Pashchewitz tucking home to equalise.
South West Phoenix marked their return to the playing arena with an 8-2 walloping of Stirling Suns in a fiery clash at Bunbury's Soccerdrome. Both sides went into the game far from full-strength, the hosts missing Jamie Bergin, Gavin Hayes, Gary Mayers and captain Greg Hayes, and the Suns were without Sveto Njirich, Orkan Ozturk and Tome Atanasov while David Panov and David Taneski both featured despite suffering the flu. The Suns went in front early through Bobby Risteski whose explosive shot was too hot for goalkeeper Reece Braithwaite to handle, but that lead lasted only a few minutes before Steve Suttie equalised by knocking the ball past young goalkeeper Franky Ternel, who was injured in the process. But from there Phoenix took control of the match in which Suttie scored a hat-trick, David Rodgers netted with the remaining goals coming from Domenic Allen, Shane Russell and an own goal. Tanevski gave the Suns a glimmer of hope when he made it 6-2 early in the second half, but the dismissal of Jamie Naumovski and Desimir Tosevski crippled the side and enabled Phoenix to add to more goals in the final ten minutes. The reserves game ended in a 2-0 win to Phoenix who also claimed the Under-18's 5-2.
Gosnells City waited until late before hitting the winning goal against Canning City at Walter Padbury Reserve on Saturday. With little separating the two teams on the standings a closely fought encounter was on the cards as the sides made their way onto the playing arena. The opening half was a no-nonsense, tough tackling affair in which the respective defences stood firm under pressure. Midway through the period Gosnells went in front after a the ball rebounded off several players inside the 18-yard box before Andrew Daffin drove it low shot past goalkeeper Robby Meyer. The hosts squandered a couple of good opportunities to increase their lead before Canning hit back in the last minute of stoppage time when Paul and Mick Van Dongen combined with the latter's cross knocked in by David Mahon from close-range. The pattern of the first half continued after the break with few scoring opportunities falling to either team. Then, in the final minute of stoppage time, Gosnells netted for the second time when Daffin met superbly a cross from the right and drove the ball past Meyer from 6-metres. Honours were shared in the reserves match which ended 1-1, while the Under-18 game ended in a comfortable 6-0 success for Canning.
A freak second half goal by Mark Wilson gave Balcatta a deserved 2-1 victory over Ashfield at Graham Burkett Reserve. The visitors opened their account after 6 minutes when Andy Cornmell found the back of the net. Shortly after Ashfield were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty following what look like a foul on Wayne Culverwell but the referee thought otherwise. Balcatta struggled to get going over the opening spell, too often second to the ball and failing to string together their passes. Ashfield again put their opponent under the pump as Joel Powell's effort in a goalmouth scrambled was cleared off the line. It wasn't until after the half hour that Balcatta found their rhythm as in quick succession David Moschilla shot wide, Danny Carlino struck the upright and Wilson toe-poked wide from close-range. Balcatta finally leveled two minutes from the break when Moschilla converted from the penalty spot after an unfortunate handball inside the area. The second half saw Balcatta dominate possession and with 63 minutes gone Wilson's miscued cross from the right caught everyone by surprise, especially goalkeeper Adam Ashworth who was wrong-footed as the ball beat him at the near post. The closing stages belonged to Ashfield but despite some good openings they were unable to conjure up an equalising goal. It completed an excellent day for Balcatta whose Reserves won 2-0 while the Under-18 side claimed a 4-2 victory.
Morley Windmills showed great determination in out-playing Leeming Strikers to register their first win of the campaign by a 2-0 scoreline at John Connell Reserve. The Strikers had a great opportunity to take an early lead but Dale Wingell was prevented from getting his shot away due to a perfectly-timed tackle from Simon Messenger. But from that moment on the home team were on the back foot as Ray Rose crashed a shot into the upright and Ryan Taylor forced a superb save from the goalkeeper. With Steve Waycott dominating midfield, the 53rd minute dismissal of Emlyn Whetnall didn't help matters for the Strikers. Taylor and Steve Keady went close before John Pfaff ghosted in at a corner to blast the ball into the back of the net and put Windmills on front. The points were sealed minutes later when Carlos Mazloomi released Rose who calmly slotted in his sides second of the afternoon. "It was a fully deserved win where every one of our players made an important contribution," said Windmills coach James Herbert. "As the game wore on and chances to break the deadlock passed us by - due in main to an excellent performance from the Leeming goalkeeper - I thought maybe this was not to be our day. However, it was pleasing to see the lads push right through to the end and finally get a couple of late goals."
Queens Park pulled off a shock 2-1 defeat of Kingsway Olympic at the Kingsway Sporting Complex. The day began well for Queens Park for whom Adrian McBride scored after 12 minutes. And five minutes from the break Glen Noblet hit the back of the net to send the visitors into the break with a two-goal buffer. Olympic grabbed a consolation goal twenty minutes from full-time via Scott Evans. Dianella White Eagles took the points over Rockingham City who remain without three points adrift at the foot of the First Division table. Nikola Cullum put the visitors in front after 33 minutes, and six minutes later the margin was increased as Miladin Gugoroski found the net. Glen Hallums reduced the gap early in the second half but late goals from Dragan Njegic and Dimce Taneski secured Dianella's second win of the campaign.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
After four rounds Western Knights remain undefeated at the head of the Premier League standings thanks to a 2-0 home triumph over Stirling Lions. Bayswater City pulled off a surprise win against Perth S.C. with the only goal of the game coming after 44 minutes through Boima Karpeh. E.C.U. Joondalup and Inglewood United drew 1-1, and Sorrento were held 2-2 by Fremantle City. Floreat Athena won for the first time this season, 2-1 over Cockburn City. Bassendean Caledonian find themselves three points adrift at the foot of the table following a 0-2 defeat by Swan I.C.
With Armadale out of action due to the bye, South West Phoenix made up ground on the First Division leader by thrashing Stirling Suns 8-2 in Bunbury. Canning City stay third despite losing 1-2 at Gosnells City. Mandurah City and Wanneroo City played out a tense 1-1 draw as Balcatta downed a gallant Ashfield side 2-1. Dianella White Eagles eased themselves away from the foot of the table with a comfortable 4-1 win over Rockingham City. Kingsway Olympic surprisingly went down 1-2 at home to Queens Park, and Morley Windmills accounted for Leeming Strikers 2-0.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Premier League leader Western Knights are confident of continuing their undefeated start to the new season when they welcome Stirling Lions to Nash Field. The match of the round is the traditional derby between Perth S.C. and Bayswater City at Dorrien Gardens. E.C.U. Joondalup have home ground advantage over Inglewood United in what should be a classic encounter in the far north. Cockburn City should take the points over a Floreat Athena side which is struggling for goals at the current time. Sorrento return to Percy Doyle Reserve where Fremantle City are the visitors. Bottom placed Bassendean Caledonian have great opportunity to get off the mark when they host Swan I.C.
With Armadale not involved this weekend the rest of the First Division field have a perfect chance to reel in the breakaway leader. The pick of the action takes place at Peelwood Parade where Mandurah City and Wanneroo City, two of the competition’s strongest sides, lock horns. South West Phoenix host a Stirling Suns line-up that is growing in confidence with each outing, Balcatta are home to Ashfield, and Canning City are on the road to Gosnells City. Kingsway Olympic and Queens Park have both disappointed over the opening month of the season are they meet on Saturday at Kingsway Sporting Complex. Leeming Strikers should take maximum points from their home clash with Morley Windmills, while Rockingham City welcome Dianella White Eagles to Dowling Street Reserve.
WHO WANTS TO BE A REFEREE? (courtesy www.soccerrefereesperth.org.au)
Every wondered why that free-kick was awarded? Or, why that offside was not given? Or, why was blue player No.2 sent off when green player No.9 appeared to commit a similar offence? And why is the referee now holding his hand up? Why wasn’t a free-kick awarded when the ball clearly made contact with the player’s hand? Well now’s your chance to find out by undertaking a Referee Course which will put the whistle in your mouth.
Soccer Australia Referees (WA) Perth Branch are running courses throughout the year in locations around the metropolitian area. The courses, open to people of all ages, will allow you to join the local authority as a qualified referee and officiate in junior and women’s games as an official referee. Those wishing to go on to the next level and officiate Soccer West Coast games are subject to additional fitness and grading requirements.
The training course costs $20.00 for persons under the age of sixteen, and $50.00 for those over the age of sixteen. All attendees are provided with a Rule Book and the cost of the course is deductable from your first year’s membership should you join the Soccer Australia Referees (WA) Perth Branch. To find out when the next course is being held, or to simply register your interest, please contact course coordinator Peter Tripoli via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 9453 9172. For further information consult the new http://www.soccerrefereesperth.org.au website.
STATE YOUTH COACH
Soccer West Coast is requesting applications for a State Youth Coach (Under 21's). All applicants to contact Paul Tombides on 0408 735 225 as conditions apply. Applications close on Friday 21st May, 2004.
CUP SUCCESS FOR PETKOVIC
Michael Petkovic has collected a second Turkish Cup winners medal after helping Trabzonspor thrash Genclerbirligi 4-0 last night in Istanbul. The victory marked the seventh time the Black Sea club have lifted the Turkish Cup, and the second in as many seasons that it has triumphed over Genclerbirligi in the decider. Mehmet Yilmaz opened the scoring after 23 minutes, but it wasn't until the final twenty minutes that the silverware was secured as Gokdeniz Karadeniz netted twice and Augustine Ahinful once to cap a memorable night. Trabzonspor are stil in with a mathematical chances of taking out the Turkish League and Cup double, with two games remaining in the regular season they trail leader Fenerbahce by two points.
PROVISIONAL SCHOOLBOYS SQUAD NAMED
Preparations for the 2004 Schools National Championship commenced in earnest this week for the State Schoolboys. Coach coach Damon Atthowe and team manager Neil Alweyn have named a 22-player provisional squad which will be slimmed at the end of the month to the touring party of 16. “It has been an interesting journey getting to this stage of selection,” commented Atthowe. “It has been quite difficult cutting players to make the squad we currently have, and with those all at a similar level we’re playing a series of selection games to ensure that we get the best squad that we can.” The Championship this year are being staged in Adelaide during August.
On Tuesday night the Schoolboys had their first friendly outing against Cockburn City’s under-21 side who emerged 5-3 victors. Cockburn came out of the blocks full of running and went in at the interval with a deserved two-nil lead. The Schoolboys came into the match more in the second half with Seb Trim dominant in midfield alongside Brendon Ross while Mark Darby and Daniel Simcox worked tirelessly at the back. Andrew Pomfret scored twice and Wesley Ryder once but Cockburn added three more goals of their own to take out the game.
Injury has not been kind to Atthowe and Alweyn who were without goalkeeper Louis Lopresti for this week’s friendly due to a foot injury. Rodrigo Aguirre has also been sidelined with a groin complaint, while long-term injury has lead to Kris Hansen’s withdrawal from the squad. The Schoolboys have three further games planned for this month. On Tuesday 11th May they meet Queens Park at Coker Park with a 7.00pm start, and on Wednesday 19th May they play the State Under-16 side at the same venue from 6.30pm. Fremantle City’s under-21’s provide the opposition on Tuesday 25th May, the kick-off time is yet to be confirmed.
The State Schoolboys provisional squad is Luke Hudston (Bayswater City), Carlo Cardoza, Louis Lopresti (Cockburn City), Rodrigo Aguirre, Alex Dunn (Floreat Athena), Rob Anderson, Wesley Ryder (Forrrestfield United), Mark Darby, Jason Feather, Ben Kelly, Andrew Pomfret (Fremantle City), Jacob Chudy, Scott Patterson, Jarrod Smith (E.C.U. Joondalup), Jesse Higgins (Kingsway Olympic), Brendan Ross (Perth S.C.), Dejan Gurovski, Michael Bate (Sorrento), Daniel Simcox, Matt Ullbricht (Swan I.C.), Chris Currie (Wanneroo City) and Seb Trim (Western Knights).
STRIKERS SIGN DEANS
Leeming Strikers have strengthened their playing stocks with the addition of Iain Deans. The 31-year old central defender has been signed on loan for the remainder of the season from top flight outfit Sorrento where he’s spent the past few seasons as part of the senior squad. “This is a major signing for the Strikers,” said coach Mike Brazil. “Ian made many first team appearances for Sorrento last season and also featured in this years Night Series. His experience at the higher level will strengthen our side and give the Strikers considerably more depth.”
MILLER EYES COCKBURN RETURN
Perth Glory stalwart Scott Miller hopes to turn out in the Premier League within the next month. The 31-year old defender this week commenced full training with Cockburn City following a lengthy spell out of the game due to an Achilles operation. “Everyone knows it’s hard when you are going through an injury, but it definitely gets the desire and enthusiasm back,” he said. “If all goes well, in the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to start full training and hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be able to play.” Miller hopes to pull on the colours of Cockburn, his former club, on his return to the State League.
Earlier in the week Miller was appointed co-coach of the State women’s team, a role he’ll share with former Glory teammate Alistair Edwards. “It’s an opportunity for me to get involved with something different and to help out,” he commented. Miller has agreed to assist Edwards who juggles his State team commitments with an assistant coaching position with the Australian Under-19 team. Edwards recently returned from Papua New Guinea where he helped the Young Matildas to a place in the Under-19 Women’s World Championship which is being staged in Thailand during November.
INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT FALLS THROUGH
Local fans of the world game have missed out on seeing some of Europe’s premier clubs in Perth. A bid to bring English Premier League sides Everton and Blackburn Rovers along with Racing Santander and Seville from the Spanish Primera Liga to Perth for a July tournament has collapsed due to lack of funds. But Steve Stacey, one of the organisers of the International Soccer Tournament, remains confident the project will get off the ground next year. “We are not going to give up on this,” he told Jonathon Cook of the “West Australian”. Stacey is unsure if the four teams flagged for this year’s event will be involved next year.
ERGIC DELAYS COMEBACK
Ivan Ergic is nearing a return to the playing arena for Swiss champions FC Basel. The former Perth Glory midfielder was called up for the mid-week friendly with Muttenz only to declare himself unavailable on the eve of the game saying it was too early for his to return to match action. “I must take it slow and be patient,” he told the official Basel website. The past eighteen months have been a very difficult time for Ergic whose last outing was the November 2002 Champions League clash with Manchester United. The following month he had an operation to fix a niggling groin problem, and just as Ergic was about to made his comeback he was struck down by glandular fever which prevented him from training until only recently.
POLL SAYS TWO GLORY PLAYERS PER CLUB
The latest www.soccerwa.com poll, which asked “How many Perth Glory players should be allowed in each Premier League team?”, has produced some interesting results. The overwhelming majority of those that voted - 37.9% to be precise - were in favour of clubs fielding two Glory players per game. The next most popular response with 27.7% was for no limit to be imposed upon the number of Glory players in each team.
There was little support for the notion of Glory players not being allowed to play in the local leagues, that option garnering just 12.3% of the overall vote, while 11.5% said clubs should be allowed only a single player each. Three Glory players per club accumulated 9.8% of the vote, and only 0.9% voted for four players per club. If you have a burning issue that you’d like to have polled, or even a question to put to the local soccer community, then please contact Brett via email@example.com
NEW NATIONAL COMPETITION REGISTRATION OF INTEREST (courtesy www.australiansoccer.com.au)
The Australian Soccer Association will be introducing a new men’s national soccer competition in 2005, comprising eight teams. The location of teams will be one in each of Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle, New Zealand, Perth and Sydney, with the eighth team to be selected from expressions of interest received from other areas.
As the first step in the team selection process, ASA is seeking to identify prospective applicants and invites them to register their interest by completing a Registration of Interest Form. Once ASA is satisfied that prospective applicants have been identified, an Information Memorandum, detailing the application process and containing relevant information to assist in the preparation of submissions, will be made available.
Click here to download the Registration of Interest Form from the ASA website, or telephone (02) 8354 5555 to request a copy. Forms should be submitted by 14 May 2004 and marked ‘Private and Confidential’ to : Registration of Interest - New Competition, the Chief Executive Officer, Australian Soccer Association, Locked Bag A4071, Sydney South NSW 1235.
WWW.SOCCERWA.COM CONTINUES TO GROW
A great big thank you to our website regulars for making April 2004 a smashing success. Last month was the most successful calender month on record for www.soccerwa.com with a massive 19,544 hits registered on the website. In addition to our highest ever monthly tally, we also created a new daily record with 1,115 visits on Tuesday 27th April.
Between January 1st and April 30th of this year www.soccerwa.com has recorded 55,781 hits - a tally that outstrips the 54,838 which called by over the same four month period of 2003. At this rate, and with your continued support, the website is well on course to break the calender year record of 159,695 visitors which was achieved in 2003.
PROGRESS MADE ON WOMEN’S FRONT
Western Australia is edging closer to fielding a team in the Women’s National Soccer League. Alistair Edwards, coach of the State team and a driving forces behind WA’s bid to join the W.N.S.L., is confident Perth will be represented when the new season kicks-off later in the year. “We’ve been doing a lot of hard work in the past years or so and things are really looking good,” Edwards told Radio Fremantle presenter Penny Hoath yesterday. “The only issue that we’ve got is that the World youth Cup is smack-bang in the middle of what is usually the women’s national league. There will be a revised competition, and I’m quite sure that we, WA, will be involved.”
WAASSA, ROUND THREE
Forrestfield United moved into 5th place in the WAASSA Premier Division on Sunday, following their thrilling 4-3 victory over Colo Colo at Hartfield Park in front of a 250 strong crowd. Murdoch University remained on top of the table after their 3-1 win over Fremantle United, while Spearwood Dalmatinac continued their 100% league record when they accounted for the Stirling Panthers in a 2-1 score-line. In other results, Hamersley Rovers made up for their shock cup exit the previous week with a 4-0 win over Kwinana United. University of WA were too strong for Perth Azzurri, running out 5-0 victors and CN Canning International were no match for Shamrock Rovers, losing 4-0.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Western Knights emerged from the weekend as the only Premier League side with a 100% win record thanks to a 6-2 thumping of Bayswater City. Andy Brown, Keith Brown and Peter Roberts were the scorers for E.C.U. Joondalup whose 3-0 away defeat of Fremantle City elevated them to second place. Cockburn City overpowered Stirling Lions by 3-1, and Inglewood United downed Bassendean Caledonian 2-0. Honours were even in the Spring In The Valley Cup as Swan I.C. drew 2-2 with Perth S.C. The points were also shared at Litis Stadium where Floreat Athena and Sorrento played out a scoreless draw.
Armadale maintained their perfect start to the season with a 4-0 win over Morley Windmills to open up a five point at the top of the First Division standings. Rockingham City collected their first point of the campaign by holding Canning City to a 2-2 draw. Mandurah City were pushed all the way by Dianella White Eagles before claiming a 3-1 away win, while Ashfield accounted for Gosnells City by 3-1. Kingsway Olympic pulled off the surprise of the round by toppling home side Wanneroo City 3-2. There was a solid 4-2 win for Stirling Suns over Balcatta, and Leeming Strikers took full points at Queens Park by a 2-0 scoreline.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND THREE (Bayswater City vs Western Knights courtesy Western Knights; Fremantle City vs E.C.U. Joondalup courtesy E.C.U. Joondalup; Floreat Athena vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater)
Western Knights kept in tact their 100% win record courtesy of a fortuitous 5-2 win over Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. The home side began in superb style and in the 7th minute took the lead when Wes Mitchell headed in. Bayswater remained in control and doubled their lead in the 28th minute as Knights goalkeeper Tommi Tomich fumbled an unassuming cross and Boima Karpeh was on hand to tap the ball into an empty net. With their side struggling to assert their authority Knights coach Ronnie Campbell opted for an early double substitution which saw captain Carl Medica and Seb Trim come on with half an hour gone. Ten minutes later the move paid off with Medica converting from the penalty spot after Stuart Montgomery had been hauled down by Kevin Henderson. Shortly before the break Bayswater suffered a crippling blow when Damir Kuduzovic was red carded for handling a goalbound shot on the line, then Medica converted from the spot and send the teams in on level terms. The Knights gained control of the match after half-time and took the lead when Francis Allen was unable to keep out Montgomery’s sizzling shot from 20-metres in the 56th minute. As the half progressed an out numbered Bayswater side ran out of legs and with sixteen minutes to go Mark Lee put the game beyond their reach when he made it four-two. Medica completed his hat-trick in the final minutes to give the Knights a resounding - albeit lucky - win. The Reserve match was won 6-2 by the Knights who also took out the Under-18’s by 2-0.
E.C.U. Joondalup return from their long journey south with all three points at the expense of home side Fremantle City. The visitors started the match at breakneck speed, attacking Fremantle down both flanks before taking the lead after 13 minutes when Peter Roberts found the net following a well-rehearsed corner from the left. Shortly before half-time Fremantle cleared their area of another set-piece only to have Keith Brown turn it over in midfield and clip the ball to Andy Brown who controlled well, turned Jason Godfrey and drilled past Bobson Koroma to make it two-nil. The second half saw more spring it the heels of Fremantle who went in search of a few goals of their own. There best chances came the way of Branimir Mikulic and Kevin Correira but both were denied by the brilliance of goalkeeper Peter Stewart. Joondalup wrapped up the match via another deadball situation which ended with a thunderous Keith Brown header flashing past Koroma. “This was possibly the best display from a Joondalup side that I have seen in many years,” said Joondalup coach Paul Simmons after the game. “The discipline, control, commitment and effort we showed was unbelievable. If we can continue with the effort shown here today we will be in the mix at the end of the season.” The Reserves match finished in a scoreless draw, while Joondalup triumphed 4-0 in the Under-18 meeting.
The sun was shining on Cockburn City when they defeated Stirling Lions 3-1 at Macedonia Park in picture perfect conditions. Both sides were guilty of missed opportunities in a quick opening spell that saw John Mirco rifle into the side netting and Mohamed Komaderic shot high when well placed from 13-metres. The crowd only waited 12 minutes before John Mirco fed the ball to Peter Petkovich who twisted past Darko Ilmanovski and stroked his shot under advancing goalkeeper Gareth Deeg. Eight minutes later the Lions were awarded a penalty after Boza Erakovic’s foul on Derek Cooke, but Dino Pacella saved brilliantly to deny Rob Crerar. A superb dipping shot by Nick Ward was narrowly too high, then Komaderic’s first time shot from 26-metres cannoned back into play off the crossbar as the hosts sought to equalise. After 35 minutes Michael Mirco rounded a couple of opponents and passed to Petkovich who allowed the ball to run to the unmarked Liam Lilly and the teenager made no mistake in adding to Cockburn’s tally. This time it took the hosts just a minute to reply, Komaderic volleying in an Andre Sarpe cross from the right in a congested goal area. Eight minutes after the interval Michael Mirco again pulled the defence out of position before slotting to Petkovich who drilled in the sides third goal from 12-metres. Although they were able to dominate for the remainder of the time a combination of sloppy finishing and stubborn defending prevented the Lions from getting back in the match. The Reserve clash ended with honours even at 1-1, while Cockburn won the Under-18’s by 1-0.
Swan I.C. gained their first point of the season with a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the Spring In The Valley Cup clash with Perth S.C. at the Swan Italian Club. The match started with both teams testing eachother’s defences and with 5 minutes gone it was Swan that broke through via a Damian Scali’s spectacular shot from 30-metres which went in off the upright. Perth hit back by unleashing wave upon wave of attacks which brought reward in the 17th minute as Todd Howarth’s cross found Aaron Cole who headed in from close-range. Although they were able to dominate the Blues could find few ways to penetrate their opponents resolute defence, while for their part Swan looked dangerous on the counterattack and on more than one occasions exposed the visitors defensive frailties. It was on one such occasion that Elton Holmes played a great through ball which Damien Scali who made no mistake in finding the target from 15-metres with 34 minutes elapsed. The response from Perth was swift and a minute later Robbie Puca tucked the ball away in a goalmouth scramble. Perth enjoyed the better of play following the interval but were held at bay by Cory Hugo made a couple of superb saves to thwart both Shane Crampton and Howarth. Going the other way Miki Vujacic went close to restoring Swan’s lead only to be denied by the sharp reflexes of Robert Scarparolo. After the game Swan coach Gary Marocchi said he was pleased with share of the points. “We battled it out today, and with so many youngsters in the side it was a good point,” he said. “We hurt them early and should have finished them off.” Glenn Bennett was the scorer of the only goal of the Reserves won by Swan, while the Under-18 fixture ended in a scoreless draw.
Inglewood United collected their second win of the season with a 2-0 defeat of Bassendean Caledonian at the National Stadium. A foul on Greg Sharland inside the opening minute resulted in an Inglewood free-kick just outside the 18-yard box which man-of-the-match Alan MacKenzie swung to the far post where Louis Parkinson’s looping header found the net after a collision between Luke Croxall and goalkeeper Vince Matteo. With 22 minutes gone Inglewood’s lead was doubled when Kevin Smith was caught in possession by Ryan Newhill who raced goalward and delicately chipped the ‘keeper. Caledonian came back and in quick succession Graeme Matthews and Croxall headed wide when both should have done much better. There were few chances in the second half with Caledonian’s best move resulting in a rasping volley by Ian Griffiths which skimmed the crossbar. Inglewood squandered a couple of golden opportunities to add to their tally as Newhill headed wide from close-range and substitute Michael Baczynski failed to convert a one-on-one situation with Matteo. To their credit Caledonian competed strongly for the duration and carved out several promising attacks only to be foiled by a well-organised home defence, while on those occasions they did get through debutant goalkeeper Jason Razmovski, on loan from Stirling Suns, was on hand to deny. “The clean sheet was a credit to our defence and Jason’s goalkeeping,” said Inglewood coach Eddy Hodgkinson after the game. “Caledonian are a good team, they are not a walkover and will cause some upsets this year.” The Reserve match was won 2-1 by Caledonian, while Inglewood’s Under-18 side maintained their place at the top of the standings with a 4-0 trouncing of their opponent.
The old cliché ‘a game of two halves’ was a fitting description of the scoreless draw between Floreat Athena and Sorrento at Litis Stadium. Right from the start the Gulls took control of the game with some good movement of the ball that soon lead to opportunities on goal. In the 10th minutes Brad Hassell shot straight into the arms of Vas Vujacic from 16-metres, and four minutes later Todd Harnwell hit the upright in a goalmouth scramble. Adam Bachiller cleared a thumping Jamie Harnwell header off the line midway through the half, and in the minutes that followed Daniel Cain, Hassell and Todd Harnwell all forced sharp responses from the Athena goalkeeper. Sorrento did get the ball in the net after 42 minutes but Jared Love’s goal was controversially disallowed for offside. The home side came out for the second half with more purpose and their first opening of the day came via Costa Socratous who raced down the right before pulling the ball back to Peter Coci whose fierce shot was narrowly high. Some hesitant defending allowed Coci in on the hour but on this occasion his rasping shot was saved by Phil Straker. There was a brief respite for the Sorrento defence as Vujacic produced a world class save to deny Jamie Harnwell, but by and large it was the hosts that were doing the attacking. Bachillor’s wicked shot from 18-metres was kept out by Straker, and shortly after it was Dejan Djukanovic’s turn to test the Sorrento ‘keeper. Athena almost snuck a late winner but Socratous’ goalbound strike was amazingly tipped away by a diving Straker. Both earlier games also ended with honours even, the Reserves 0-0 and the Under-18’s 1-1.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND FIVE (Canning City vs Rockingham City by Phil Unsworth; Mandurah City vs Dianella White Eagles courtesy Mandurah City; Ashfield vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City; Queens Park vs Leeming Strikers courtesy Leeming Strikers)
Armadale maintained their winning start to the First Division season by thumping Morley Windmills 4-0 at Wotton Reserve. The match was 19 minutes old when Jason Goodwin gave the travelling supporters much to cheer about as he gave Armadale the lead. From that moment on the Reds never looked back and went into half-time with a two-goal buffer courtesy of a Dennis Lee goal after 40 minutes. It was a case of more of the same following the restart as Goodwin found the target for the second time with 52 minutes elapsed. The scoreline was completed eleven minutes from the end when a Windmills defender turned the past his goalkeeper for an own goal. The win opens up a five point gap between Armadale and their nearest rival Canning City who sit comfortably in second spot. It also completed a hat-trick of big wins for Armadale who claimed the Reserve and Under-18 games by 7-0 and 3-0 respectively.
In their first home game of the season Canning City were held 2-2 by Rockingham City. The hosts quickly got into stride and 17 minutes in Paddy Fitzgerald’s telling cross to the far post found Alex Seed who drilled the ball past young goalkeeper Chris Pope from 2-metres for Canning’s opening goal. Two minutes later Canning added another when Pope failed to keep out Jeremy Herbert’s corner which swung in under the crossbar. While the balance of play was equally shared Canning’s attack showed greater penetration to keep Pope busy, which was in contrast to his Robby Meyer at the opposite end of the ground. The visitors came out from the break with greater application and endeavour as Canning slipped off the pace. It came as no surprise when, eleven minutes in, Rockingham reeled in the margin through Glen Hallums who drove the ball past Meyer from close-range after receiving a cross from Luke Collins. With fifteen minutes to go Mick Van Dongen put Seed through with only the ‘keeper to beat but Pope advanced off his line to block the shot. Rockingham deservedly netted for a second time in the 84th minute when Hallums headed in a corner unchallenged. In the Reserves Rockingham won 3-1, while the Under-18 fixture ended 4-0 in favour of Canning.
Mandurah City may have reached a turning point in their season with a brave come from behind 3-1 away win over Dianella White Eagles. In an effort to reduce the number of soft goals they’ve conceded already this season Mandurah coach Paul O’Brien placed a greater emphasis on the defensive side of his teams performance for this weeks outing. But not even some obdurate defending could deny the quality of Dianella’s opening goal which came from David Mrdja whose vicious free-kick rocketed into the top corner after 22 minutes. The visitors wasted several opportunities to get back on a level pegging before Christian Paschkewitz’ free-kick deflected off a defender to wrong-footed the goalkeeper to equalise two minutes from the interval. A confident Mandurah emerged for the second half and in the 62nd minute were awarded a penalty after Adam Boone was fouled, and Jordan Rhodes blasted into the back of the net much to the delight of the travelling supporters. The closing stages saw Dianella increase their possession but it was the visitors that hit the target when Rhodes’ searching pass found Michael Bobridge who raced through to score his first goal of the campaign. There was better luck for Dianella in the Reserves with a 2-1 win, while the Under-18 clash resulted in a comfortable 4-0 victory to Mandurah.
Ashfield continued to turn their season around with a 3-1 home defeat of Gosnells City. Much of the play in an even opening half took place in the middle third of the park as the two defences worked overtime in restricting chances on goal. The deadlock was broken after 34 minutes when Ben Kelly set-up Joel Powell who half-volleyed superbly into the top corner from the edge of the 18-yard box. Not long before the break Ashfield found themselves two goals the better as Wayne Culverwell scrambled the ball home from 14-metres. Early in the second half Ashfield wrapped up the points as Andy Cornmell sent the ball past goalkeeper goalkeeper Jayson Mehnert to score for the fourth time in eight days. Finally sparked into life, Gosnells increased their workrate and possession but it wasn’t until midway through the period that they called opposing goalkeeper Adam Ashforth into action. Some enterprising movement of the ball produced the goods for Gosnells with Brian Cairney able to reduce the deficit. From this point on Gosnells controlled play, launching a string of attacking raids only to be forced into shooting from distance by a focused Ashfield backline. The Reserves match was taken out 2-1 by Gosnells, while Ben Charlton, Stuart Morton and Leighton Webber each scored twice in Ashfield’s 9-0 win in the Under-18’s.
Kingsway Olympic took all three points from their meeting with near neighbour Wanneroo City by a 3-2 scoreline. Wanneroo looked set to cruise their way to victory after a strong first half in which they scored twice. Andy Taylor was the first to find the net by pouncing on a loose ball inside the area following a corner. And in the 33rd minute Nigel Aubin doubled the home teams’ advantage despite the best efforts of Olympic custodian Matt Battigelli. Olympic emerged from the interval to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Their first goal was an absolute gem, Sota Iwaski embarking on a determined run which took him half the length of the field and past several opponents before slotting to Steve Bretti who tucked the ball into the back of the net. It was soon 2-2 as a free-kick was sent into the 18-yard box where Bretti was afforded time and space to pick his spot. Olympic’s third goal was a cracker, Danny Trandos volleying first time to give the goalkeeper Alan Young no chance with 63 minutes gone. Wanneroo, and in particular Scott Bulloch, worked hard to conjure up an equaliser but some poor finishing put paid to those hopes. The win, Olympic’s first of the season, moved them away from the foot of the table. The points in both the Reserve and Under-18 games were taken out by Wanneroo, 1-0 on both accounts.
Poor defending and missed opportunities cost Balcatta dearly in their local derby meeting with Stirling Suns at Robinson Reserve. The day started promisingly for Ballcatta with Dave Moschilla finding the back of the net after 4 minutes following some good work on the right by midfielder Danny Carlino. But instead of spurring the visitors on the had the opposite effect to which the Suns took full advantage. Daniel Jananoski restored parity in the 10th minute when he headed at close-range a cross from David Tanevski. Not long after the Suns went in front as David Tanevski clinically volleyed past a baffled Balcatta defence to make it two-one. Although they enjoyed the better of possession for the remainder of the half Balcatta were unable to score and went into the break a goal down. Five minutes into the second half the Suns put the match beyond their opponents reach as captain Desimir Tosevski made his way past several opponents down the right flank before slipping the ball past goalkeeper Simon Madaschi from an acute angle. An own goal with seven minute remaining gave Balcatta a faint hope to snatching a point, but minutes later a looping header by substitute Jamie Divjakovski secured victory for the Suns. Balcatta won the Reserves meeting by a massive 13-1, and the Under-18’s by 3-1
Leeming Strikers made the trip to Coker Park and came away with all three points at the expense of hosts Queens Park. Coming off a disappointing home loss to Wanneroo City, the Strikers were quick to assert their authority and took the lead in the 2nd minute when Phil Bell’s deeply hit free-kick found the head of youngster Gordon Hind who made no mistake with his direction. Twenty minutes into the second half the Strikers added to their tally when Hind embarked on a great run down the left wing which took him past several opponents before delivering the ball to Greg Newcombe who had the simple task of converting. “The boys have been working really hard at training and today’s performance will not be a one-off,” said a happy Striker coach Mike Brazil after the game. “We kept our shape for ninety minutes and full credit to the players for there discipline in sticking to the task.” It completed a good day for the Strikers who also took out the two earlier games. Kieran Allen and Leroy Goodwin were on target in the Reserves 2-0 win, while the Under-18’s registered a 5-1 win with goals from U’Lisse (2), Aaron Oxenham, Daniel Capperllaro and Garth Lecky.
Are you a regular attendee of games by either Perth S.C., Inglewood United, Floreat Athena or Bassendean Caledonian? If so, then we would like to hear from you. www.soccerwa.com is seeking motivated persons to provide us with match details from each of these clubs on a weekly basis. Whether it's a detailed report that you can provide or only a sketch of the game in point form, your assistance will be greatly appreciated. Anyone interested in providing details to assist with the compilation of our weekly match reports is asked to contact Brett via firstname.lastname@example.org
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Western Knights emerged from the weekend as the only Premier League side with a 100% win record thanks to a 5-2 thumping of Bayswater City. Andy Brown, Keith Brown and Peter Roberts were the scorers for E.C.U. Joondalup whose 3-0 away defeat of Fremantle City elevated them to second place. Cockburn City overpowered Stirling Lions by 3-1, and Inglewood United downed Bassendean Caledonian 2-0. Honours were even in the Spring In The Valley Cup as Swan I.C. drew 2-2 with Perth S.C. The points were also shared at Litis Stadium where Floreat Athena and Sorrento played out a scoreless draw.
Armadale maintained their perfect start to the season with a 4-0 win over Morley Windmills to open up a five point at the top of the First Division standings. Rockingham City collected their first point of the campaign by holding Canning City to a 2-2 draw. Mandurah City were pushed all the way by Dianella White Eagles before claiming a 2-1 away win, while Ashfield accounted for Gosnells City by 3-1. Kingsway Olympic pulled off the surprise of the round by toppling home side Wanneroo City 3-2. There was a solid 4-2 win for Stirling Suns over Balcatta, and Leeming Strikers took full points at Queens Park by a 2-0 scoreline.
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