POLITICIANS SIGN ON FOR GLORY
Two of Western Australia's top politicians have signed up to be part of Perth Glory's world record attempt for continuous five-aside football. Premier Geoff Gallop will kick-off the event on Friday 29th July with Bob Kucera, Minister for Sport and Recreation, playing the final hour of the marathon game on Sunday 31st July. "We are delighted that Geoff Gallop, has agreed to kick-off the Glory Football Marathon and we are really excited about the event as it is only four weeks away now," said Glory's commercial manager Justin Everley. "Dr Gallop has always supported Perth Glory and to have the Premier and Sport Minister, Bob Kucera, involved in this World Record attempt shows how big an event it will be for the community in Perth."
Homeless support organisation, "the Big Issue", is Glory's nominated charity for the three-day football frenzy. "The Big Issue" is a current affairs magazine sold on the streets by homeless and unemployed people who are looking to improve their lot in life. They receive half the cover price of the magazine as their income and sell from authorised positions throughout Perth, and the suburbs as well as Bunbury in the south. More than fifty teams have already registered to take part in the event but there is still chance to enter your team into this historic event. For information on the world record attempt visit the official Perth Glory website.
THERE WAS MOVEMENT AT THE STATION ...
A number of players have found themselves new clubs in the past few weeks. Fremantle City has made a number of signings to bring depth and experience to the line-up as they battle to avoid the drop. Last week they added Dom De Felice and Mario De Felice from Cockburn City, while attacker Boima Karpeh arrived a few weeks back via Bayswater City. Stirling Lions have also made most to edge away from the drop zone. Towering defender Daniel Brown arrives via Perth S.C. while adding bite to the attack is Jake Harman.
Italian import and former Perth Glory player Gianfranco Circati has signed on for the rest of the season with Perth. Kevin Henderson, one-time captain of Bayswater, has agreed terms with Inglewood United along with State youth representative Daniel Waind, formerly with E.C.U. Joondalup. Stuart Banks has traded the sky blue shirt of Sorrento for the navy blue worn by their neighbouring Joondalup. Mark Lee, who's plied his trade for the past few seasons with Western Knights, has joined Bayswater. The deadline for player transfers expired with the close of business today.
AUSTRALIAN MOVE INTO ASIA CONFIRMED
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has confirmed Australia will move into the Asian qualifying group in time for the 2010 World Cup. The widely expected transfer was confirmed by the world football body's Executive Committee which met in Germany yesterday. "The Executive Committee decided that the transfer of the Australian Football Federation into the Asian Confederation has been ratified," Blatter told a press conference. "All parties involved are happy." Australia joins the Asian Football Confederation as of 1st January, 2006.
Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy said it was the most significant decision ever in Australian football. "Today is a significant date in the history of football in Australia," said Lowy. "We are delighted with the decision. It is the fulfilment of our dream to move in to Asia and we must now work hard to ensure a smooth integration and to gain the maximum benefits of the move. I'd like to thank the FIFA Executive Committee for their wisdom and understanding of our situation and the Asian Football Confederation for their enthusiasm in our bid to join with them."
GLORY LINE UP VETERAN STRIKER
Englishman Brian Deane is be touted as the final piece in Perth Glory's puzzle. Coach Steve McMahon is understood to have been trying to finalise an agreement with the 37-year old striker which would complete Glory's twenty-man squad. In a length English league career Deane has played 657 games and scored 210 goals for the likes of Sheffield United, Leeds United and Middlesbrough. McMahon is expected to return to England this weekend to either complete negotiations with Deane or pursue other options.
WORLD CUP SPOT ON THE LINE AS FARINA GOES
Australia's World Cup campaign is in turmoil after Frank Farina's sudden departure from the coaching helm today. Under pressure for much of his six-year tenure, Farina's fate was sealed by Australia's failure to win a game at this month's Confederations Cup. The former Socceroo acknowledged the Confederation Cup results had only increased the glare of the spotlight. "Ever increasing speculation on my position is not something that I want to see affect the performance of my team, and the potential for that has led to this announcement," he said via a media statement.
The decision - which Football Federation Australia insists is "by mutal agreement" - has huge potential to impact upon Australia's lead-up to World Cup qualification. A new coach has only the Socceroos friendly with Colombia in August to prepare the side for the two-leg Oceania qualifiers against the Solomon Islands in September. Australia will then play a friendly with Jamaica in October before the final World Cup qualifying hurdle - a home-and-away series against the fifth-ranked South American nation. FFA have appointed national technical manager Ron Smith as acting coach with Graham Arnold remaining on as his assistant.
LAZARIDIS GEARED UP FOR NEW SEASON
Stan Lazaridis has spent the past month in Perth recovering from a groin injury that ruled him out of Australia's Confederations Cup campaign. The versatile Birmingham City player recently went under the surgeon's knife to rectify a niggling groin injury that plagued him for in excess of twelve months. "I had an operation to cut away a bit of scar tissue from the groin," he explained. "It's an injury I've carried right through the season and a bit of the previous season, so I wasn't able to play at 100%. But in the games I played for Birmingham we picked up a lot of points, so it was just a matter of getting through the season then having a two month break and starting next season fresh and fully fit."
Lazaridis says his relationship with Blues manager Steve Bruce played a big role in him seeing out 2004/05. "It's been four years since he came in and I'm the only player that's left from when he took over," Lazaridis explained. "Obviously, there's going to come a time when I'm going to have to go. I'm getting old and there are younger players he wants to bring in, but at the moment finding a left-sided player is very difficult. So it works well because we understand each other and he's not interested in how I train each week - he's more interested in my performances on a Saturday. So I might train two or three days a week and have a day off here and there to make sure I'm right and that's based on trust."
BOHEMIANS MOVE ON COONEY
Irish club Bohemians are poised to sign former Coventry City player Sean Cooney. The 21-year old centre back has been training with Bohemians since being released by Coventry at the end of the English season and has impressed player-boss Gareth Farrelly. "Sean has been doing well since he linked up with us and it's a case of watch-this-space," said Farrelly. Born in Perth, Cooney played for Inglewood United before heading to England in 2000 where he rose up through the youth ranks but was unable to force his way into the senior side. Through Irish parentage Cooney pledged his international career to Ireland and last year won two Under-21 caps at the Madeira International Tournament.
PETKOVIC UNVEILED AS NEW GLORY 'KEEPER
Perth Glory has recieved a major boost ahead of the inaugural A-League season with the signing of goalkeeper Jason Petkovic. Although Petkovic has agreed a three-year deal with Glory he is unable to train with his teammates until paperwork is finalised with Konyaspor. Petkovic, who was used sparingly by the Turkish club last season, said it was a difficult decision to return from Europe. "I'm not a young player anymore," said the 32-year old shot-stopper. "If I was a bit younger, I probably would've pushed the issue (in Europe) a bit more."
Glory made no secret Petkovic was always their preferred option to wear the goalkeeping gloves when the A-League commences in just over two months. And having helped Glory win back-to-back Grand Finals in 2002/03 and 2003/04, Petkovic was always keen on returning to his hometown club. "I've had a good time in the past here with them, winning a lot of things," he commented. "So it's good to come back to the club." A veteran of over 300 games in the old national league, Petkovic's deal includes him taking on the role of Glory's goalkeeping coach.
Petkovic is looking forward to the A-League which kicks off in August under the guidance of Football Federation Australia. "What they've done now is concentrate on the quality of players," he said. "Before they were spread out a bit amongst the teams, and they were filling teams with young players who really weren't up to the standard. But now you're taking the cream of the crop and taking all the best players, and some of the even better players are finding it hard to find teams. From that fact alone, you should obviously have a more competitive, intense league."
CARDIFF TRIALS FOR KNIGHTS DUO
Two Western Knights teenagers fly to the United Kingdom today with the goal of earning themselves a professional deal. Jon Higgins and John Thornley will trial with English championship outfit Cardiff City and also have been offered to strut their stuff with Leicester City. Higgins is hoping it will be third time lucky after previous trips to Birmingham City and Portsmouth. The versatile 19-year old was offered an apprenticeship by Birmingham in 2001 but did not feel ready to make the move at the age of 15. Two years later he was injured during a trial at Pompey.
Thornley has been in sensational form for the Knights since returning from trials with Birmingham. In eight first teams outings the 18-year old striker has found the back of the net seven times to be an=mongst the Premier League's leading goalscorers. Coach Ronnie Campbell, who led the Knights to the championship last season, believes Higgins and Thornley are ready to step up. "I think they both have a lot of ability and potential, and from my point of view as a coach, I'm delighted the boys are getting the chance," Campbell said. "It's as satisfying as winning trophies."
WOMEN'S WRAP (Queens Park vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; East Fremantle vs Kingsley courtesy Kingsley; Mandurah City vs Beckenham Angels courtesy Mandurah City; Murdoch University vs Bassendean Caledonian courtesy Murdoch University; Subiaco United vs Rockingham City courtesy Subiaco United)
Balcatta squandered a golden opportunity to make up ground on women's Premier League leader Northern Redbacks when defeated 0-1 by Queens Park at Coker Park. It was clear from the outset that any mistake would prove costly in a close encounter between two very evenly matched sides. At the thirteen minute mark of the second half a scramble for possession just outside the 18-yard box saw Queens Park's Syacey Woodfin net what would be the game's one and only goal. Balcatta increased the tempo in the latter stages by peppering their opponents' goal but were unable to get the result they were after against a well-drilled defence.
At Wauhop Park, East Fremantle went down 0-2 to Kingsley in a tight yet scrappy encounter. The move which produced the opening goal started with Lisa Higgins whose diagonal pass put Audrey Williams inside the 18-yard box to stroke the ball beyond the goalkeepers. Solid defensive work by Katarina Jukic and Amy-Jo Dixon prevented the half-time score from being any greater. The home team came out fired up for the second half but were unable to stick the ball in the back of the net. Victory was sealed by Sally Sanigar who tucked the ball away following a brilliant solo effort.
Subiaco United registered a massive 10-0 win over Noranda when the called by Noranda Sporting Complex. The match could not have started much worse for Noranda who were reduced to ten players after 14 minutes with the red carding of B.Turvey. Kerry McGawley and Flo Tawns lead the way in attack for the visitors with a hat-trick each while B.Tillemans, M.Angus, A.Payne and D. Murray were also amongst the goals. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
Mandurah City and Beckenham Angels shared ten goals at Bortolo Park with the hosts running 7-3 victors. playing at home for the first time in over two months, Mandurah went ahead courtesy of a freaky chip from Jiame Jiame Carley but Beckenham equalised shortly after following a defensive error. Carley completed her and Melanie Loreto hit a cracking shot to put the hosts back in the box seat. A gem of a strike pegged back the margin, only for Mandurah to response with further goals to Carley and Loreto. Beckenham's third came via the penalty spot, while Harriet Talbert completed the scoring with a neat chip.
Goals also flowed for home team Murdoch University who eased their way to a 7-0 win over Bassendean Caledonian. The visitors best chance came early when a striker slotted past Murdoch custodian Donna Symes only to have the ball come back off the post. After that the hosts went on the rampage with Jo Steer netting six time and Rachel Ramsdale completed the scoring two minutes from the end with a well placed header. Mhairi Jefferies worked hard in midfield to set up several of the goals while there were also notable contributions from Sam Harwood and Nic Steer.
Subiaco United slumped to a 1-5 loss to Rockingham City at Rosalie Park. Home custodian Nicki Ascott was in the thick of the action early as Rockingham pumped an endless string of crosses into the dangerzone. Although they struggle to keep pace with their opponent in the first half, Subiaco worked hard to ensure the margin didn't blow out. It was a more even second half with Subiaco fighting right up to the final whistle with goalscorer Cindy Morgan, Rhiannon Furr and Emma Rose the pick of their players.
Gosnells City went down 1-4 to University of WA at Walter Padbury Reserve. By far the better organised team on the day, UWA showed why they are placed in the top three with a slick performance. UWA's employment of a lone striker worked to great effect with the forward involved in all four of her sides goals. Gosnells youngster Sam Thorpe justified her coaches faith with a strong showing at the back, while there were also good performances from Tracey Dodd and Jess Sanderson.
Swan I.C. thumped Balga 4-1 at the Swan Italian Club. Northern Redbacks 'C' edged out Lynwood Colts 2-1 at Rickman Delawney Reserve. Further details of these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TWELVE (Cockburn City vs Perth S.C by Lennie Bavich; Floreat Athena vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater; Stirling Lions vs Bayswater City by Elliott Leonard)
Fremantle City moved away from the foot of the Premier League table with a 4-1 mauling of Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. Neither side looked all that impressive in the first half with Fremantle struggling to get out of first gear and Armadale wasteful in their attacking third. The best move of the period saw Domenic De Felice slot through to Kevin Correia who should have done better than shoot directly at the goalkeeper. The game sparked to life nine minutes after the break when Boima Karpeh surged past two defenders and slotted the ball past Nick Stone to put the port side ahead. A minute later Correia made amends his earlier miss by wriggling his way between a couple of opponents then tucking away Fremantle's second of the afternoon. The day went from bad to worse for the hosts with Matt Bennion carried from the field following Tom Straker's crunching tackle. Armadale coach Peter Murphy came on with immediate effect, the veteran attacker combining with John Dixon to set-up Sasa Kilibarda who made no mistake in reducing the deficit. However, the introduction of teenager Jason Barrera swung the game back in Fremantle's favour and just minutes after coming off the bench he beat Stone only to crash the ball into the upright. Not long after Barrera laid the ball off to Correia who made it three-one with his eighth goal of the campaign. A great chance to again reduced the margin went begging for Armadale as Dixon sprayed his shot wide from the penalty spot. The result was put beyond doubt minutes later by Barrera who sliced his way through the defence before rifling Fremantle's fourth goal past the 'keeper. Fremantle's second win of the season lifted them to eleventh place and three points clear of Stirling Lions who slipped to last place at the completion of the round.
Perth S.C. returned to the winner's circle by defeating Cockburn City 2-1 in a hard fought match at Dalmatinac Park. The loss was Cockburn's third in as many weeks and continued their dramatic slide down the Premier League standings. Cockburn made a positive start and with 10 minutes gone went ahead when Gary Faria's arrowed a corner into the dangerzone which was too hot for Gareth Deeg to handle and in reacting quickest Dean Wallace slammed the loose ball over the line from a couple of metres. This was the wake-up call Perth needed and shortly after they gained a succession of corners, the closest of which saw Aaron Cole's header rocket just the wrong side of the crossbar. Seven minutes after going behind Andreas Oliveira turned sharply to lose his marker then drew Alan Dunlop off his line before slotting the equaliser past the goalkeeper and into a vacant net. Matt Danskin was proving a handful for the defence and late tackles on the lively flanker resulted in bookings for Jason Dos Santos and Dean Wallace midway through the half, while shortly after the break John Mirco was cautioned after clashing with Dino Djulbic. Luck was on Perth's side in the 48th minute when a low cross from Robbie Puca caught the leg of defender Dusan Macura and deflected past an unsuspecting Dunlop to give the visitors the lead. Cockburn pulled out all the stops to get back on level terms only to meet with strong resistance from a well-organised Perth rearguard. With eighteen minutes left the hosts chances of snatching a point received a knock-out blow with the dismissal of John Mirco for a second bookable offence, and shortly after Kevin Elliott was evicted from his dugout after protesting a decision by referee Michael Nugus.
A blistering first half performance from Floreat Athena laid the foundations for a 2-0 victory when Swan I.C. visited Litis Stadium. The day could not have started worse for the black and whites who found themselves a goal down after just a minute when Adam Bachillor headed in unchallenged at the far post following good work on the right by Craig Simpson. Shortly after Swan had claims for a penalty turned down by referee Steve Muldoon after Miki Vujacic's header seemed to strike the hand of Julian Madaschi. Sloppy defending in the 13th minute resulted in Floreat doubling the advantage as Branimir Mikulic flicked a long throw-in on to Eugene Singeorzan who turned sharply to fire past Corey Hugo. The home team were on fire and a cracking volley by Peter Coci had the Swan custodian at full stretch in the 18th minute, and three minutes later the nippy striker again tested Hugo with a rasping shot from 16-metres. Swan were finding the going tough in their attacking third with their only real chance coming after a weaving run from Miki Vujacic which was kept out by brother Vas Vujacic. Floreat twice went close in the minutes before the break with Coci rifling a low shot across the face of goal, and Hugo smothering at the feet of Singeorzan. Although they showed a lot more spirit and composure in the second half Swan could make few inroads against a well-organised defence anchored by Adrian Sutton and Julian Madaschi. Chances continued to flow at the other end with Singeorzan, Craig Simpson and Bajo Savic all going close. A rare Swan attack in the 68th minute ended with Vas Vujacic parrying a shot from Miki Vujacic and David Perich blasted the follow-up over the bar. Hugo prevented the margin from being greater by producing a great reflex save to deny Coci at close-range in the closing stages.
E.C.U. Joondalup went down 2-4 to northern suburbs rival Sorrento when they meet at the Edith Cowan University campus. The first good chance of the afternoon came after 8 minutes when Jared Love was sent through with only goalkeeper Peter Stewart to beat but fired wide. However, six minutes later Love made amends by nodding home a Glen Thomas free-kick from the left to put the visitors ahead. By this stage Sorrento had established control and as the half progressed Michael Ord, Love and Todd Harnwell all went close to increasing the gap. The ball had been in motion just twenty seconds in the second half when Simon Harland flicked a long ball from Neil Young into the path of Harnwell who lobbed it over the Stewart to make it two-nil. Fantastic lead-up work from Paul McMullan went unrewarded in the 58th minute as Harnwell fired wide with the goal at his mercy. A minute later Todd atoned for his error and played a terrific through ball to Harland who tucked into the net with aplomb. The game looked to be over with 70 minutes played as Thomas' free-kick found the back of the net via a diving header from Harland which increased the margin to four goals. The turning point came two minutes later when Young was forced from the field with a groin injury, his place between the posts being taken by Chris Ramsey. Shortly after Sorrento went down to ten men with the dismissal of Ord for a second yellow card, and Dale McCulloch converted the resultant penalty. As the game drew to a close Joondalup pushed forward in increasing number an attempt to get something out of the game. And although Sorrento held firm at the back Ryan Newhill found a passage to goal with a shot that was deflected past Ramsey via a defender for the games final goal.
A late fightback wasn't enough to prevent Bayswater City from claiming a 2-1 at victory over Stirling Lions in an entertaining match at Macedonia Park. Bayswater made their intentions known from early on as a goalbound effort by Andy O'Neill was tipped away by goalkeeper Aleksandar Vrteski. By far the dominant side, Bayswater's search for the games first goal was difficult with the Lions backline proving a worthy opponent. On the half hour a quickly taken O'Neill free-kick was parried by Vrteski who then denied Igor Novakovic with a fine strike from inside the area. The hosts best chance of the half was a long-range effort from Ian Griffiths which sailed past the post in the 38th minute. The deadlock was finally broken two minutes from the interval when an error by Luke Pavlos was pounce upon by O'Neill who manoeuvred past Vrteski before placing the ball in the back of the net. Bayswater picked up the second half where they left off the first with O'Neill forcing Vrteski into a smart save. Midway through the period the visitors were rewarded as Bobby Klenkoski cut in from the right before unleashing a shot which found the net after taking a cruel deflection off defender Daniel Brown. The Lions were given a glimmer of hope with ten minutes remaining when Muhamed Komadaric laid Griffiths' cross off to Leo Harman who sidestepped an opponent and shot past 'keeper Francis Allen to make the difference a single goal. This sparked the hosts into life and shortly after a Riste Stefoski corner was cleared only as far as Griffiths whose powerful shot was tipped over the crossbar by Allen. Moments later, Komaderic rose highest to head against the crossbar from a Paul Dickson corner awarded following a scramble in the Lions goalmouth.
Two early goals laid the foundation for Western Knights 3-1 defeat of Inglewood United at Nash Field. The home crowd didn't have to long wait for their teams first chance which saw Barry Wood thread a pass to Stuart Montgomery whose shot on the turn sailed past the far post. The same two players combined in the 4th minute to put the Knights ahead, this time it was Montgomery who was the provider with a cross from the right which Wood nipped in ahead of this marker to slid the ball home from close-range. Goal number two arrived six minutes later as Leon Russell won possession in midfield and released Jon Higgins who made his way down the left before hitting a thunderous shot which was deflected into the roof of the net via the outstretched leg of a defender. Inglewood's first opportunity came after 15 minutes when Andre Sarpe's superb corner somehow evaded a crowd of players on top of the 6-yard box. Shortly after a Knights corner wsa cleared only as far as Montgomery whose right foot volley rattled the crossbar. Some magic by Dean Apelgren reduced the deficit just before the break, the talented midfielder skipping past two challenges before unleashing a bullet of a shot from 22-metres which flew into the top corner. Inglewood continued in a similar vein in the second half with Sarpe thwarted only by a last gasp tackle from David Annall. Ten minutes in and this time it was Greg Sharland flicked a neat pass to Sarpe who was denied by Tomich in a one-on-one situation. The game flowed from end to end as chances to both teams went begging. The Knights secured victory fifteen minutes from the end when Doug Ithier's diagonal ball found Montgomery who went past Apelgren and sent his shot beyond the reach of Oliver Taseski from the top of the 18-yard box.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND TWELVE (Stirling Suns vs Wanneroo City courtesy Wanneroo City; Balcatta vs Gosnells City by Martin Swann; Kingsway Olympic vs South West Phoenix courtesy South West Phoenix; Canning City vs Morley Windmills by Phil Unsworth)
Wanneroo City defeated a gallant Stirling Suns line-up 2-0 at the Cracovia Club to maintain their strangehold on top spot on the First Division table. The first a many questionable decisions by the match officials arrived early as Ben Yates headed into the top corner but had the goal disallowed for a dubious offside call. In any case, Wanneroo did go ahead in the 17 minute as Stuart Collins launched a cross in from the right which Brian Robertson nodded past the 'keeper. Craig Cheesman rifled a shot just wide as the visitors went in search of a second goal, while a golden chance went begging at the opposite end as a Suns striker failed to hit the target from all of 3-metres. Just before the break Yates touched the ball through to Robertson who dispatched the ball into the net for the second time and give Wanneroo a handy two-goal buffer. A recharged Suns came out for the second half and threatened on numerous occasions but could find no way past Darren Williams. As the minute ticked by Wanneroo slowly regained control with Phil Bell forcing a terrific save from the 'keeper. The late dismissals of Jon Greenwood and Yates, both for second yellow card offences, took some of the gloss off Wanneroo's win.
Balcatta and Gosnells City played out a nail biting 2-2 draw at Graham Burkett Reserve. Just XX minutes had gone by when Gosnells went ahead through a fine attacking move which saw Brian Cairney's cross from the left find Ian Maguire who crashed his first time shot past Jordan Conti and into the back of the net. Although clearly intimidated by their opponents physical approach, Balcatta equalised in the 32nd minute through Adam Rains who got on the end of a Keegan Ashley free-kick to head in from close-range. Just before the interval Gosnells struck for a second time via a quick counter-attack which was clinically finished off by Cairney. Balcatta's willingness to push forward in numbers after the break almost proved their undoing with Adam Bremer and Cairney going close to increasing the visitors advantage. With twelve minutes remaining Danny Carlino sent a cross into the Balcatta area which was headed down to Victor Bogos who levelled the game with a neat volley. With the game on a knife-edge at two each, Balcatta dominated the closing stages and were unlucky not to snatch a late winner Adrian Caloiero and Rains creating a couple of good openings. But neither side have reason for complaint when the final whistle signalled that the points would be shared.
Mandurah City's winning streak came to a crashing halt when defeated 0-2 by Bassendean Caledonian at Jubilee Reserve. While Mandurah were guilty of missed opportunities, credit must go to the home team who played with a lot of heart and deserved took out the points. Bassendean went ahead after 15 minutes when their opponent failed to sufficiently deal with a free-kick and Rydeen Botha slammed the loose ball past goalkeeper Mike Green. As the half progressed Green and his opposite number Kenny Miller found themselves under fire and to their credit both rose to the occasion with several fine saves. The second half started with Mandurah hell-bent on getting back on level terms and pegging the home team back in their defensive half. But they were unable to sustain the pressure and Bassendean slowly began to work their way back into the match. And with 62 minutes gone they were able to double their advantage with a lovely passage of play involving Ryan Jeans and Matt Gow who played Jason Van Rooy down the left and after cutting inside an opponent he rifled an unstoppable shot past the 'keeper. But the hard work was far from done as Mandurah forced the pace over the closing stages to which Bassendean responded with a solid defensive performance which ensured maximum points.
South West Phoenix continued their recent good form with a stunning 6-1 defeat of Kingsway Olympic at the Kingsway Sporting Complex. The win was Phoenix's third in as many weeks during which time they've been averaging five goals a game. Following a balanced opening spell it was Phoenix who drew first blood through a goodmove up down the right which ended with Steve Suttie firing past goalkeeper Matt Battigelli. Five minutes later youngster Shawn O'Gorman doubled the visitors advantage with a sizzling strike from 21-metres. Kingsway fought their way back into the game and after a period of midfield dominance brought the margin back to a single goal with Derek Cooke finding the net just before the break. However, the wind was taken out of Kingsway's sails just twelve seconds into the second half when a 17-year old Paddy Quinnn delivered a great ball to James Bergin whose cross from the right was finished off by Dave Murphy. Ten minutes later Suttie made a strong run through the home defence and fired beyond the reach of Battigelli from just inside the 18-yard box. Substitute James Monks finished off another good move for Phoenix' fifth of the afternoon, and Suttie completed his hat-trick with a well-composed solo goal.
Forrestfield United and Rockingham City played out a scoreless draw at Hartfield Park. Rockingham came out with all guns ablaze and caused the home defence all sorts of problems with their pace and precise movement of the ball. Luke Rennie nearly got the opener with a header which came back off the upright, and shortly afterwards Glen Hallums missed a great chance when he only had the goalkeeper to beat. Forrestfield where defending bravely and had goalkeeper Scott Radford to thank for keeping the game level by moving sharply to keep out a Craig Donelle header. Rockingham finally put the ball in the net through Rob Crerar but the goal was disallowed due to a foul on the 'keeper. It was much the same story in the second half with the Forrestfield under the hammer for lengthy periods, while as Rockingham's frustrations they began chancing their luck from distance. It wasn't until close to the end that a Forrestfield rare attack created a great chance for Glenn Noblett who shot wide. The hosts could have snatched victory in the dying moments but John Carling and Joe Healy conspired to spoil eachother when unmarked at the far post.
Canning City and Morley Windmills played out a 3-3 draw in their bottom of the table meeting at Willetton Sportsman Club. Canning wasted no time on getting on the scoreboard through a 2nd minute goal from Simon Versaico who tapped in to the net after Harin Rajeswaran's shot deflected off the leg of goalkeeper Dusan Martinovich. Things were looking good for the home team when they added a second to their tally on 20 minutes through Chris Wylie who ran the ball some 20-metres before unleashing a low drive that crept inside the far post. However, as has often been the case this season Canning undid all their good work through basic defensive lapses. A lack of communication between 'keeper Daniel Purcell and Paddy Fitzgerald was pounced upon by Grant Learmont who lobbed the ball into the net. And just before half-time Windmills drew level when Purcell failed to hold Adrian McBride's cross which spilled to Learmont who levelled the game. Canning once more took the lead ten minutes into the new half when Paul Oliver converted from the penalty spot following a foul by Simon Messenger. Learmont bagged his third of the afternoon midway through the half with a powerful strike into the top right corner from 15-metres.
Dianella White Eagles claimed all three points at Ashfield Reserve courtesy of a 2-0 defeat of Ashfield. The visitors goals came via Slobodan Blagojevic and Dejan Djukanovic. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Stirling Lions must be close to hitting the panic button after slipping to the foot of the Premier League table. While the Lions were being out-gunned 1-2 by Bayswater City, Fremantle moved three points clear of last place with a 4-1 defeat of Armadale. E.C.U. Joondalup remain in the relegation mix following a 2-4 home loss to Sorrento who remain joint second place alongside Western Knights who downed Inglewood United 3-1. Anderas Oliveira and Robbie Puca netted for leader Perth S.C. in their 2-1 away win at Cockburn City. And Floreat Athena's dominance over Swan I.C. is by no means reflected in their 2-0 winning margin.
Wanneroo City continued their march towards the First Division title while those around them faltered. Although reduced to nine players, Wanneroo still defeated Stirling Suns 2-0 to go four points clear at the top of the standings. Balcatta were surprisingly held 2-2 by Gosnells City, while Mandurah City crashed 0-2 away at Bassendean Caledonian. South West Phoenix roared into fourth place by thrashing Kingsway Olympic 6-1, and Forrestfield United and Rockingham City played out a scoreless draw. Ashfield went down 0-2 on home soil to Dianella White Eagles, while Canning City and Morley Windmills shared the points at 3-3.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
There's something for everyone in this weekend's round of Premier League fixtures. Third takes on fourth at Nash Field as Western Knights square off with Inglewood United in what promises to be an absolute cracker. Cockburn City will be out to arrest successive losses when they welcome leader Perth S.C. to at Dalmatinac Park. Derby clashes between E.C.U. Joondalup and Sorrento never fail to excite and you can guarantee that goals will be on the agenda at the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondalup.
Swan I.C. have leaked goals big time in their past few outings and the visitors to Litis Stadium will need to tighten things considerably at the back to prevent Floreat Athena from running away with the points. Armadale have home ground advantage over a young Fremantle City line-up whose lowly position is not by any means a true indication of their potential. Stirling Lions and Bayswater City had far from spectacular first halves of the season and each has their sights trained on maximum points from their clash at Macedonia Park.
Hartfield Park hosts the pick of the First Division action between Forrestfield United and Rockingham City. Stirling Suns have a difficult home date with a Wanneroo City side yet to lose this season, while Balcatta are tipped to triumph over Gosnells City at Graham Burkett Reserve. Bassendean Caledonian host Mandurah City, and Kingsway Olympic welcome South West Phoenix to Kingsway Sporting Complex. Dianella White Eagles are on the road to Ashfield, and Canning City take on Morley Windmills in the battle of the cellar-dwellers. Queens Park has the bye.
WANNEROO UNLIKELY TO GO UNDEFEATED
Popular opinion suggests Wanneroo City will not go the season undefeated. Over 200 votes were cast in response to last week's www.footballwa.net poll which questioned 'Can Wanneroo City go the entire First Division season without defeat?'. The negative, 'No, someone's bound to spoil their record', emerged the clear winner by tallying 83.4% of responses. 'Yes, they've definitely got it in them' collected just 16.6% of the vote. Only once in the past forty-five years has a club gained promotion to the top flight without losing a game. That was achieved in 1967 by Kiev whose record won ten, drew six and lost nil.
MAROCCHI RESIGNS IN FRUSTRATION
Gary Marocchi has stepped down as coach of Swan I.C. A former Australian captain, Marocchi chose to end his days in charge of the blacks and whites following the teams' 2-5 home loss to Inglewood United on the weekend. "I had become increasingly frustrated at our performances as a team, and with my business commitments requiring more time I made the decision in the best interests of the club," Marocchi explained.
"We had assembled a first team squad that we felt was capable of a top five finish," the out-going coach continued. "However, I felt that I had lost the respect of some players at a time when they needed to dig deep to show some improvement. Our defensive play has been very poor and there's a general lack of effort on the players behalf to correct this problem which our opponents are keen to exploit on a weekly basis."
Marocchi is assured a place in the clubs history books after leading them to their first major trophy successes, namely the back-to-back association Cup victories of 2003 and 2004. "I have been fortunate to help Swan win two successive Boral Cups," said Marocchi who parts company with Swan on good terms. "I've also enjoyed a close working relationship with the committee and assistant coach Carlo Scali. I wish the club and its' players all the very best for the remainder of the season."
Following an emergency committee meeting on Monday evening Swan appointed Carlo Scali, who played seventeen seasons and over 450 games for the black and whites, as senior coach for the remainder of the season. Scali will be assisted by Michael Di Fulvio with Marocchi taking up an advisory role at the club. At the halfway stage of the season Swan are placed ninth and possess the competition's worst defensive record.
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
Seventeen appears to be the magic number for clubs to escape relegation from the Premier League. 2005 is the fifteenth time the top flight has consisted of twelve teams and, by applying a system of three points for a win, history indicates 17 points should be enough to steer a club clear of the drop. On average, the club that has finished second from bottom in a twelve-team Premier League has done so with 16 points.
Only twice has a club gained more that 17 points and been relegated. In 1972 Swan Valley scored 18 points and still went down, likewise Croatia in the winter of 1985. What all this means is Fremantle City and Stirling Lions have a considerable amount of work to do over the season half of the campaign in order to ensure their top flight status, while Bayswater City, Swan I.C. and E.C.U. Joondalup are also by no means safe.
ON THIS DAY .... 1975
One of the all-time highs of the round ball code in Western Australia took place on Sunday 22nd June 1975 when the State side pulled off a shock 2-1 defeat of Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers at Perry Lakes Stadium. The result arrived just a month after Rangers had been crowned Scottish League champions for the thirty-fifth time. The last time a State team won in Perth was 1938 when WA beat India 3-1, and the only other home success was a 4-1 defeat of China in 1927.
However, no victory compares to that over Rangers - one of the greatest sides in the world. Rangers, along with arch-rival Celtic, have dominated Scottish soccer for decades and have many internationals in their line-up. Three of the current Scotland international side, Stewart Kennedy, Colin Jackson and Derek Parlane, turned out against WA while other stars on show included captain John Greig, Tommy McLean and Quinton Young.
For the first twenty minutes to seemed Rangers would run up a big score. Parlane, in particular, was proving a handful and twice skidded shots just wide from an angle. Luckily for WA 19-year old goalkeeper Tony Witschge was in fine form to pull off a series of reflexes saves which thwarted the visitors. McLean lobbed a shot over Witschge in the 20th minute but his effort lacked power and was cleared away for a corner.
Suddenly WA sparked into action. Stephen Sceats almost produced a goal for the State in the 23rd minute, and shortly after it was George McMillan who went close to opening WA's account. Rangers, though they had chances, did not look the champion side their record showed them to be. While their individual skill thrilled the crowd their lack of urgency allowed WA time to get players behind the ball.
A 40th minute lapse in concentration allowed Young to flick the ball over the WA defence for Derek Johnstone to race through and score with a powerful volley from 5-metres. Within minutes referee Barry Harwood awarded WA a penalty when Ray Ilott was brought down by marker Jackson. But the opportunity was wasted when Frank Bibby's weak shot was saved by Kennedy.
As the second half progressed the Scottish side began to show signs of tiring and WA started to enjoy more of the ball. With Dave Brooks providing the inspiration from midfield the hosts were rewarded with an equaliser on 76 minutes. Having won possession in midfield Dave O'Callaghan hit a low cross across the face of goal to Ilott who steered the ball neatly inside the far post. Two minutes later a fierce Gary Marocchi shot was palmed onto the crossbar by Kennedy as the State team searched for the decisive goal.
It was a sign of things to come and eight minutes from full-time Bibby combined with Brooks whose low centring pass was sensationally cracked home from 10-metres by George McMillan to send the 10,000-strong crowd into seventh heaven. But the match was not over yet and within minutes Rangers had the ball in the net for a second time only for Johnstone's effort to be disallowed for off-side. In the dying moments Witschge produced a world-class save to keep out John Greig's thunderous drive and ensure a memorable night for WA soccer.
Western Australia: Tony Witschge, Saverio Madaschi, Frank Bibby, Dennis
Barstow, Steve Stacey, Bob Taylor, Dave Jones, Sauro Iozzelli, Dave Brooks,
Stephen Sceats, John O'Connell, Aldo Trinca, Gary Marocchi, Ray Ilott,
George McMillan, Ken Morton, Dave O'Callaghan, John Davidson, Bert Kirkpatrick
Glasgow Rangers: Stewart Kennedy, Peter McCloy, John Grieg, Alex Miller, Colin Jackson, Derek Parlane, Colin Stein, Robert McKean, Tommy McLean, Quinton Young, Derek Johnston, Graham Fyfe
UNDERDONE GLORY FOR PRE-SEASON COMPETITION
Perth Glory will go into the official pre-season tournament next month without adequate preparation after being hamstrung by fixture problems and player unavailability. While Glory's A-League rivals will clash in high-profile friendlies, Steve McMahon's side will pit their skills against local Premier League teams before meeting Adelaide United on 22nd July. Going on Glory's build-up for the Club World Championship qualifier with Sydney FC - which produced a loss to Stirling Lions and draws with Armadale and Sorrento - they are in for a tough time.
McMahon admitted a lack of quality warm-up games would hinder his teams pre-season tournament. "It's a major problem for the players and me not to get competitive games," McMahon said. "But we can't do anything about it." Interestingly, Adelaide were willing to play two games against Glory in rural WA but McMahon pulled the plug on the series. Glory's predicament has been exacerbated by long term injuries to David Tarka and Neil Teggart, while Nick Ward, Simon Colosimo and Billy Celeski have been absent due to international commitments.
WINLESS 'ROOS PUT PRESSURE ON FARINA
Frank Farina's position as coach of Australia must be hanging by a thread after the national team exited the Confederations Cup with three successive losses. The Socceroo's were gallant in defeat against world powers Germany and Argentina but failed to restore some pride by going down to Tunisia in their final Group A fixture. Western Australia was represented at the tournament by Michael Petkovic who made his first appearance in national colours since 2001 when he took up the position between the posts against Tunisia.
Australia fought back twice after going a goal down to Germany but still ended on the wrong side of a 3-4 scoreline. Germany opened the scoring after 17 minutes through Kevin Kuranyi, but Josip Skoko equalised four minutes later with a fine free-kick. Per Mertesacker restored the host nation's lead in the 23rd minute before John Aloisi swept home his first of the match on 31 minutes. Michael Ballack gave Germany the edge in the 60th minute from the penalty spot after Ljubo Milicevic was harshly adjudged to have brought down Arne Friedrich inside the box. Lukas Podolski rammed home Germany's fourth in the 88th minute and Aloisi scored Australia's third in stoppage time.
For the second time in three days Australia took one of the powers of world football to the wire. Argentina raced to a two-goal lead as Luciano Figueroa and Juan Riquelme netted inside half an hour. Australia were denied a penalty in the 52nd minute when Mark Viduka was blatantly fouled by Fabricio Coloccini. Sixty seconds later sloppy defending allowed Figueroa to slot first time into the net. On the hour Aloisi scored from the spot, and nine minutes later he reduced the gap by pouncing on a defensive lapse. In a desperate attempt to equalise the Socceroo's left themselves exposed at the back and just before the final whistle Figueroa completed his hat-trick.
Tunisia ensured Australia would end the tournament winless by inflicting a 2-0 defeat this evening. Although slow to get going, Tunisia were the more enterprising side in the first half. The opening goal arrived after 26 minutes when Petkovic spilled a cross and an unmarked Dos Santos netted at close-range. Australia came into the game after the break with Archie Thompson, Aloisi and Tim Cahill all going close. But poor defensive work allowed Santos to score his second with a blistering 70th minute strike. Simon Colosimo hit the crossbar as Australia sought a consolation, while in stoppage time Milicevic sent the ball narrowly wide.
GOALS! GOALS! GOALS!
Andreas Oliveira is the Premier League's leading goalscorer at the halfway stage of the season. Eleven goals has the 23-year old Perth S.C. player finding the net on average once a game. Four goals in his past three outings has taken Branimir Mikulic (Floreat Athena) into joint second place with David Onoforo (Perth) on eight goals. Western Knights teammates John Thornley and Stuart Montgomery are a further goal off the pace along with Armadale striker Darren Kingston. With six goals each are Eugene Singeorzan (Floreat), Kevin Correia (Fremantle City) and State Schoolboy Steve Bozinovski (Stirling Lions).
In the First Division, Christian Paschewitz (Mandurah City) and Steve Suttie (South West Phoenix) each found the net on the weekend to join early leader Scott Bulloch (Wanneroo City) on eleven goals. Rydeen Botha (Bassendean Caledonian) has nine goals to his credit. Stefan Smiljanic (Dianella White Eagles) netted twice last week to take his season tally to eight goals alongside David Moschilla (Balcatta). Glen Hallums (Rockingham City) and Ryan Jeans (Bassendean) have seven goals apiece which is one more than Ciaran Allen (Ashfield), David Murphy (Phoenix), Steve Pilcher (Kingsway Olympic), Adam Raines (Balcatta) and Ray Rose (Morley Windmills).
NORTHERNERS TOP RESERVE AND YOUTH TABLES
Sorrento have broken away from the chasing pack in the Premier League Reserves competition. The Gulls are undefeated at the halfway stage of the season with 31 points, six more than second placed Inglewood United. Goals have flowed freely this year for Sorrento with David Houston, Farrel Hedges and David Wimbridge regularly on the scoresheet.
Inglewood have a brilliant record on home soil and are building their seasons on the solid foundation of a watertight defence. They loom as Sorrento’s greatest challenger but will be reliant upon the leaders dropping points over the second half of the winter. Nine points behind Sorrento, and three adrift of Inglewood, sit Perth S.C. who’ve been Reserve champion for the past two seasons
E.C.U. Joondalup are on track to add a third successive Youth championship to those won in 2003 and 2004. At the halfway stage of the season the northern suburbs side sit atop the standings, undefeated and scoring goals almost at will. Leading the way in attack is Tom Amphlett who been provided ample support in that department provided by K.McLaughlin and Phil Arnold.
However, the title race is far from over with Cockburn City just a single point behind Joondalup. While not quite as prolific as the northerners, Cockburn's strength lies in a defensive which has already kept four clean sheets this season. Someway off the pace but by no means out of the race are Perth S.C. who are placed six points adrift of Joondalup.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Balcatta vs Subiaco United courtesy Balcatta; East Fremantle vs Subiaco courtesy East Fremantle; Murdoch University vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; Rockingham City vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City; Subiaco United vs Balga courtesy Subiaco United)
Northern Redbacks remain top of the women's Premier League table following their narrow 1-0 defeat of Kingsley. Played in sunny conditions at Chichester Park, the Redbacks made much of the early running but despit their increased possession were unable to open up a path to goal. Stephanie Grant broke the deadlock nine minutes before the break much to the relief of the Redbacks contingent. It was a similar story in teh second half with the Redbacks continually pushed forward in search of goals only to meet strong resistence from a well-organised defence. Content to soak up the pressure, Kingsley looked dangerous on the counter attack and should consider themselves unlucky not to earn a share of the points.
Balcatta and Subiaco United fought out a tense 1-1 draw when they squared off at Graham Burkett Reserve. Both teams produced some stylish moves in an entertaining match that was still scoreless by half-time. Three minutes after the turnaround Balcatta gained the ascendancy when Brid Dawson laid the ball off to Lindsey Jobling who directed her shot over the goalkeeper and under the crossbar. It was looking as though the hosts could hang on for victory until, with twelve minutes remaining, Kerry McGawley scored the equalising goal following a free-kick just outside the Subiaco 18-yard box. A share of the points mean Balcatta slip three points behind the Redbacks with eleven games played.
Queens Park returned to the winners circle with a 5-0 thrashing of East Fremantle 6-0 at Gilbert Fraser Reserve. A combination of illness, injury and commitments left the port side with several key players for the match which was played in numbing conditions on the banks of the Swan River. To their credit East Fremantle worked hard for the duration with standout performances from Anna Sweetingham and Sarah Hughes who continually pressured the visiting defence, while defensively they were well served by Bec Hunter and Amy Jo Dixon. Stacey Woodfin netted three times for Queens Park with Amy Thorpe the scorer of the two other goals.
In the First Division, Mandurah City travelled to Murdoch University and came home with all three points courtesy of a 4-0 scoreline. The hosts started brightly but found it difficult to penetrate their opponents defence. A neat pass through the Murdoch backline produced the games first goal which was struck sweetly by Jiame Carley. Harriet Talbert's cross went to feet and Laura Parmenter scrambled the loose ball home from close-range to make it two-nil. Defender Ashley Knox bagged her first goal of the season to put the game beyond the hosts grasp, while Emily Bateman reacted smartly to a loose ball to put away Mandurah's fourth and final goal. Mandurah and Beckenham remain locked at the head of the table, both sides undefeated after ten games.
There were nine goals scored at Paul Garnett Reserve where Rockingham City emerged 6-2 victors against Gosnells City. Jess Sanderson and Lisa Tomnay found the target to give Gosnells a 2-1 advantage by the break. Rockingham upped the workrate across midfield in the second half and slowly steered the match in their direction. By employing a more physical approach they not only upset Gosnells' rhythm but also piled on five goals to run away with the game. Although under pressure for much of the time, Gosnells managed several promising attacks of their own which produced a goal for Elaine Doherty.
Subiaco United continued to move up the standings after defeating Balga 3-2 at Rosalie Park. Balga started with a flurry of activity but they were unable to maintain the intensity and the home team slowly but surely gained control of the game. Subiaco went into the break with a two-goal buffer courtesy of strikes from Cindy Morgan and Julie Glover, but within minutes of the second half starting Balga had drawn level. However the hosts re-gained their composure and steadied the ship before Morgan netted for a second time to secure maximum points.
Beckenham Angels were 3-0 too strong for Swan I.C. when they met at Mills Park Sports Complex. University of WA defeated home team Lynwood Colts 3-2, which was the same scoreline at Jubilee Reserve where Northern Redbacks 'C' condemned Bassendean Caledonian to their ninth loss of the campaign. Further details of these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
EARLY EXIT FOR NATIONAL YOUTH TEAM
Australia have been bundled out of the FIFA World Youth Championship after failing to win a game from three group stage encounters. The Young Socceroo's were always going to be on the back foot following an opening round draw with Benin, and the situation looked dire when defeated by the Netherlands in mid-week. In the final group fixture Japan scored a late equaliser to progress to the knock-out stage at Australia's expense. On a slightly more positive note, both Australia's goals in the tournament came from West Australian's - Nick Ward netting against Benin and Ryan Townsend on the scoresheet against Japan.
A goal early in the second half by Ward earned Australia a 1-1 draw with African nation Benin. The Young Socceroo's sparked into life midway through the first half with Vince Lia, Jacob Timpano and Kristian Sarkies all going close to scoring. However, against the run of play Benin opened their account on 32 minutes when Razak Omotoyossi drilled in a low shot. It took until the 59th minute for Australia to equalise through a Sarkies free-kick which Ward knocked in at the near post. Australia almost snuck a late winner when Ward's pass was just of out reach of Sarkies with the goalkeeper badly exposed. Ward played a full game for Australia while Ryan Townsend watched from the bench. The other Group A fixture saw the Netherlands triumph 2-1 over Japan.
The Netherlands emerged as comfortable 3-0 winners over Australia on Wednesday evening. The hosts took the lead on 20 minutes when Hedwiges Maduro powered a close-range header past Adam Federici. The Young Socceroos lifted and were able to hold possession for longer periods. Less than a minute into the second half the Netherlands' advantage was doubled as Quincy Owusu Abeyie fed the ball to Urby Emanuelsen who netted from 15-metres. The final nail was driven into the coffin by Rick Kruys whose stunning first time shot from 20-metres curled into the top corner on 74 minutes. Ward saw out the full 90 minutes with Townsend again an unused substitute. Benin drew 1-1 with Japan earlier in the day.
A last gasp goal earned Japan a 1-1 draw and a place in the next round at Australia's expense. In a very tight match the Young Socceroos enjoyed the better of possession and shots on goal without being able to break through. Chris Tadrosse had perhaps the best chance of the first half but his strike was tipped around the post by Shusaku Nishikawa. Fifteen minutes from the end the goalkeeper spilled a Tadrosse free-kick and Townsend reacted by sweeping the ball into the net. Jay Lucas and Kristian Sarkies went close to making the game safe for Australia before Shunsuke Maede leveled with just three minutes of regulation time remaining. Townsend played a full game for Australia with Ward coming off the bench after 55 minutes.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND ELEVEN (Bayswater City vs E.C.U. Joondalup courtesy E.C.U. Joondalup; Sorrento vs Perth S.C. by Kerry Slater; Armadale vs Cockburn City by Lennie Bavich; Swan I.C. by Inglewood United by Peter Simcox; Western Knights vs Stirling Lions by Elliott Leonard)
Four goals in of six minutes earned Armadale a surprise 4-2 victory over highly-flying Cockburn City on a chilly afternoon at Alfred Skeet Oval. Cockburn were quickly into stride and with just 8 minutes gone on the clock went ahead through young gun Mark Aleksic. And it looked as though the visitors would rack up a cricket score when John Mirco doubled the lead after 15 minutes. But to their credit Armadale were able to stem the flow while carving out several good opportunities of their own at the other end. Armadale emerged for the second half fired up by the words of coach Peter Murphy and turned the game in a stunning six minute period. James Isaia played Ben Rogers down the right from where he crossed to Sasa Kilibrada who headed in at close-range just four minutes after the restart. Within a minute the game was level as a jinxing run by Rogers saw him past several opponents and deliver the ball to Isaia who drilled to past Alan Dunlop. Armadale were quickly on the attack again and Christian Alvarez threaded a pass to Peter Taylor who raced past the defence and made no mistake in giving the home supporters more reason to celebrate. In the 55th minute Kilibarda gained possession in the centre of the park and pushed forward, going around Liam Lilly and drawing Dunlop off his line before tucking into the net. All this left Cockburn shell-shocked and although they worked hard to get back in the game they were unable to unlock a home defence which continually turned away it's opponents attacking drives. Armadale, promoted at the end of last season as First Division champion, are not all but assured of a place in the top flight beyond the current year.
The lead seesawed between Bayswater City and E.C.U. Joondalup before the latter hit top gear to run out victors by 5-3 at Frank Drago Reserve. The home side must have been wondering what hit them in a frenetic opening spell. Only four minutes had gone by when Scott Bushby combined with Garin Collins who sent a tantalising cross into the area and Tom Jones' flying header hit the back of the net before the 'keeper had time to react. Bayswater were reduced to ten men with just 15 minutes played when Michae Kovacevic was red carded for a tackle from behind on Tom Jones as he lined up the target at close-range, and Dale McCulloch made no mistake with the resultant spot-kick to double his teams advantage. As so often happens in this situation, Bayswater lifted and two minutes from the break got back in the game with Bobby Klenkoski finding the target. The second half began with Bayswater in devastating form and were back on level terms within minutes through O'Neill. The hosts then gained the upper hand courtesy of a vicious free-kick from Andy O'Neill that gave Peter Stewart absolutely no chance. A couple of changes to the Joondalup line-up worked a treat and allowed Steve Porter to see more of the ball and assert some influence over midfield. Porter sprayed a pass out to Ashworth who raced past three defenders down the left before delivering the ball to the feet of Oliver Hilton who volleyed in the equaliser. A cheeky pass from Porter five minutes later found Ryan Newhill who angled his shot across the oncoming 'keeper and inside the far post. The points were made safe with ten minutes remaining when Porter and Ashworth again combining before the latter's cross was lashed into the roof of the net by Hilton.
Floreat Athena registered their third successive win with a 3-0 defeat of Fremantle City at Ken Allen Reserve. It was always going to be a tough afternoon for a young port side who were minus the services of their two most experienced players in Dale Wingell and Craig Surtees. Although the first half ended without score, the visiting side enjoyed the better of possession thanks largely to the non-stop efforts of central pair Bajo Savic and John Mills. From their positions out wide Adam Bachiller and Branimir Mikulic constantly tormented the home defence, and it was the latter who provided the best opportunity of the half which saw Peter Coci flash just wide at the near post. For their part Fremantle managed only scattered attacks with Kevin Correia and Boima Karpeh all too often finding themselves lacking support in the final third of the park. After the break Floreat upped their workrate to increase their hold over proceedings. The deadlock was finally broken after 50 minutes when Craig Simpson rose above all in a crowded penalty area to power a header under the crossbar from a corner. After several near misses Mikulic gave Floreat some breathing space by superbly turning his marker and firing past goalkeeper Phil Straker to double the visitors lead. Coci was making sure there was no rest for the Fremantle defence and he came close to adding the sides third with a thunderous shot that came off the underside of the crossbar before being hacked to safety. Fremantle's best chance of the afternoon came soon after when Andrew Pomfret hit the bar with a header before the danger was cleared. However, the final say would be had by Coci who, with two minutes to go, found the back of the net via a flying header from Bachiller's cross.
Sorrento gained maximum points from their top of the table clash with Perth S.C. by a 2-0 scoreline at Percy Doyle Reserve. There were few talking points from a stale opening half hour in which both teams tentatively felt each other out. With caution the order of the day, very few genuine chances on goal resulted. Life was breathed into the game by Glen Thomas latched on to a cross played behind the Perth defence and slotting past Gareth Deeg after 36 minutes. Perth hit back almost immediately as David Onoforo's long-range strike went narrowly high, then Andreas Oliviera tested the reflexes of Neil Young. The final minute of the half saw Oliveira go within inches of levelling the game with an audacious lob over Young, who'd been caught off his line, but the strikers' effort licked the wrong side of the crossbar. Sorrento were full of running upon the restart and went close on doubling their lead several occasions. Thomas volleyed when high under pressure from close-range, and Steve McDonald's back post header flashed narrowly wide of the upright. Shortly after McDonald did find the net only to have an upraised flag to disallow his effort for offside. The momentum swung back in Perth's favour but despite goalbound strikes by Onoforo, Oliveira and Matt Danskin they were unable to beat Young. As the game drew to a close Jared Love hesitated a moment too long with only Deeg to beat and Michael Icanovski blocked his shot. The points were made safe two minutes into stoppage time when Deeg was judged to have fouled McDonald while contesting a high ball, and the big striker dusted himself off before making no mistake from the spot much to the joy of the home supporters.
Swan I.C. were left humbled by Inglewood United who ran out 5-2 winners from their clash at the Swan Italian Club. The home team began brightly and after 5 minutes gained a dubious penalty which Oliver Taseski brilliantly kept out. Buoyed by the left off, Inglewood began to get on top as Shaun Kilkelly and Jason Colli went close in quick succession. The visitors made the most of their pressure in the 23rd minute when Rory Mouttet and Andre Sarpe combined for Darren Broxton to hit a low drive beyond Cory Hugo's reach from the top of the 18-yard box. Swan were denied an equaliser shortly after when David Foster's shot from 8-metres was somehow cleared off the line by Kilkelly. But parity was restored in the 31st minute through a long ball by Scott Campbell that Foster flicked on to Shepheard who shot powerfully under the advancing goalkeeper. Within three minutes Inglewood were back in the lead, this time via Louis Parkinson who headed in unopposed from a Sarpe free-kick. A long clearance by Taseski in the 40th minute picked out Sarpe who slipped his marker and poked the ball between the 'keeper's legs for Inglewood third. And just two minutes later Danny Kovacevic was allowed to advance on goal and skid the ball into the net from 20-metres to further widen the gap. Swans came out with all guns ablaze for the second half as Campbell tested Taseski. Shepheard bagged his second after 63 minutes after Campbell won possession in midfield and laid the ball into the path of the tall striker who netted from an angle. Swan were enjoying their best period of the afternoon but couldn't find another way through as evidenced by Danyal Bennett's header which came back off the bar. The final goal came with four minutes to go when Parkinson delivered a superb cross to Albert Osei-Tutu whose header flashed pat Hugo.
Stirling Lions returned home from Nash Field with a hard-earned share of the points after holding Western Knights to a scoreless draw. It didn't take long for the games first opportunity to present itself with Andrija Jukic striking the crossbar with an effort from wide on the left. The only other chance of a generally lacklustre half was Lions custodian Aleksandar Vrteski produce a fine save to deny Paul Cooke after he met a cross from Seb Trim. In an attempt to crack the game open Knights coach Ronnie Campbell looked to his bench early in the second half, and three substitutions in quick succession almost paid dividends when the ball made its way to an unmarked Stuart Montgomery who could only direct his shot straight at Vrteski. It wasn't until midway through the second half that the game sparked into life with some good chances created by both teams. The Lions got creative in the 68th minute when a curling shot from the left by Steve Bozinovski had Tommi Tomch at full stretch in tipping the ball away. With ten minutes to go the visitors squandered a golden opportunity to go ahead when, after some good work by Mark Donnelly and Peter Dunn, Aaron McKee squeezed the ball wide of the post in a one-on-one with the 'keeper. The Knights were far from finished and in the 85th minute gained a a free-kick which Jukic drilled narrowly over the crossbar from 22-metres. The draw will be viewed by all in the Knights camp as an opportunity lost to make up ground on League leader Perth S.C. But for the Lions it's a much needed point in their quest to maintain their top flight status, not to mention a major confidence booster heading into the second half of the winter season.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND ELEVEN (Gosnells City vs Forrestfield United courtesy Gosnells City; Mandurah City vs Queens Park courtesy Mandurah City; Dianella White Eagles vs Stirling Suns courtesy Dianella White Eagles)
Ashfield worked hard in holding undefeated First Division leader Wanneroo City to a 1-1 draw when they meet in cool conditions at Ashfield Reserve. The early exchanges belonged to the visiting side as Ben Yates rifled wide and Leith Hinds' header flashed past the crossbar. A golden opportunity for Ashfield to go ahead was wasted when Adam Purcell skied his shot at close-range following a counter-attack. Down the other end Yates looked certain to give Wanneroo the lead but he mistimed a volley when well placed. Early in the second half Hinds was denied the games opening goal at corner when the Ashfield defence blocked his effort close to the line. Next to threaten was Edin Mehic who pulled his shot wide much to the disappointment of the home supporters. With 64 minutes gone Ashfield finally broke through when a corner went to feet and in the scramble which followed Tom Gaca poked the ball over the line. Phil Bell brought Wanneroo back on level terms via a penalty awarded for a dubious foul on Andy Brown ten minutes later. Late in the piece Bell could have snatched victory only to place the ball wide. Ashfield won the Reserves 4-1 with the Youth clash going 1-0 to Wanneroo.
Balcatta narrowed the gap on Wanneroo by defeating Rockingham City 3-2 in a thrilling match at Dowling Street Reserve. It was Balcatta who made most of the early running and were rewarded on the quarter hour when Keegan Ashley crossed to Daniel Carlino who fired past goalkeeper Craig Olejnik. Rockingham only had to wait eight minutes before getting back on level terms when a rare attack found Luke Morris who broke free to drill the ball past Jordan Conti. This only spurred Balcatta into action and shortly after they were awarded a penalty of their own which Olejnik saved from David Moschilla. Talented midfielder Adam Raines put Balcatta back in front with an amazing strike from 27-metres which found the top corner. It would have been much worse for Rockingham at the break had Moschilla not missed an open goal from close-range. The hosts came out firing for the second half and got a deserved equaliser via Paul Colkin's brilliantly struck free-kick from just outside the 18-yard box. The deciding goal arrived in the 70th minute and via a fantastic passage of play which saw Toby Wright turned his man inside out before squaring to Moschilla who made no mistake. Both the Reserve and Youth team clashes ended 2-1 in favour of Balcatta.
Gosnells City dominated Forrestfield United for the duration of their clash at Walter Padbury Reserve only to go down 0-1 to their eastern corridor rival. The home side made their intentions clear from the outset with a string of attacks to force their opponent on the defensive. But Forrestfield goalkeeper Scott Radford proved up to the task and produced top draw saves to frustrate Andy Daffin and Brian Cairney on more than one occasion. Forrestfield suffered a setback in the 29th minute when Craig Ruthven was issued his marching orders for a second bookable offence. But it mattered little as a minute from the interval Glenn Noblett converted from the penalty spot to give the visitors the lead very much against the run of play. Gosnells continued their onslaught into the second half but still could find no avenue to goal. As shots rained down Radford spectacularly turned away efforts from Cairney, John Cassidy, Daffin and Adam Bremner. In an attempt to level Gosnells threw an extra man into attack but still there was just no beating the Forrestfield custodian. With six minutes left on the clock Gosnells also went down to ten men after Jamie Grindley was red carded for dissent. Forrestfield claimed the Reserves 2-1 and the Youths 5-2.
Mandurah City extended their unbeaten run to six games and moved into third place with a 5-1 demolition of Queens Park at Peelwood Parade. An injury to striker Graeme Matthews after 5 minutes forced Mandurah into an early reshuffle, and things only got worse as B.Anderton converted from the penalty spot to give the visitors an unexpected lead after 37 minutes. But Mandurah rallied and just before half-time were back on level terms through a spectacular volley from Michael Bobridge. Spurred on by a boisterous crowd Mandurah began the second half with greater intensity and were rewarded with goals from Bobridge, Jordan Rhodes and Christian Paschkewitz as the margin began to blow out. Both teams were left confused in the 59th minute when Mandurah defender Alex Agnew and opponent M.Jennings were sent from the field for a seemingly innocuous confrontation. The drama was far from over and on 80 minutes Bobridge completed his hat-trick by calmly stroking in from the spot. Mandurah's Reserves thrilled the home fans with a 4-2 win after trailing by two-goals at the break. Queens Park snatched a 1-0 victory in the Youths courtesy of a goal close to the final whistle.
Bassendean Caledonian succumbed 2-3 to Kingsway Olympic at Jubilee Reserve. The opening stages of a hard fought game saw Kingsway in control and stroking the ball around the park with confidence. A superbly crafted move lead to the games first goal on 5 minutes as Andy Rowlands combined with Sota Iwasaki who beat his marker before squaring to Steve Pilcher to put the ball away. The margin became two goals when Pilcher squeezed his shot past the goalkeeper following a terrific through ball which sliced open the hosts offside trap. Rydeen Botha brought Bassendean back into the game after 25 minutes by scoring from the penalty spot. It was an arm wrestle after the break with both sides craving out some good goalscoring opportunities. Bassendean suffered a cruel blow when inspirational midfielder Joe Marrapodi was sent off for a soft second yellow card. But the hosts responded the only way they know and Jason van Rooy headed in at the back post following a 70th minute attack down the right. Following this Kingsway upped the pressure and with three minutes left Jason Stern flicked a corner on to Derek Cooke whose shot came back off the bar and Pilcher was on hand to complete his hat-trick from close-range. Kingsway won the Reserves 2-0, and the Youths 11-0.
Dianella White Eagles continued to make their way up the standings with a 2-1 defeat of Stirling Suns at Dianella Reserve. Despite the chilly conditions both team made a positive start to the game by carving out several good openings early on. Dianella were the first to open their account when Slobodan Blagojevic stormed his way down before playing a superb centring ball which Stefan Smiljanic powerfully headed past the goalkeeper after 20 minutes. The respective defences were kept busy as play swung from end to end and goalscoring chances came and went. Six minutes from half-time the home side went down to ten men after Djukan Tesic handled the ball inside the 18-yard box, and with the resultant penalty D.Jovanoski brought the sides level. With the very next play Dianella surged into attack down the right through Dejan Djukanovic who went past several opponents before delivering an inch-perfect cross on to the head of Smiljanic who netted for a second time. The second half was much the same as the first but with neother side able to convert. The hosts ended the game with nine players after Petar Mrdja was issued his marching orders late in stoppage time. Dianella romped home 7-3 in the Reserves, with the Youth fixture awarded 3-0 in favour of the hosts by way of forfeit.
South West Phoenix moved to sixth on the table with a 4-1 defeat of Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. Steve Suttie scored three and James Bergin one for the visitors while Adrian McBride scored a cracking free-kick for Windmills. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Perth S.C. suffered their first loss of the Premier League season when goals from Glen Thomas and Steve McDonald earned Sorrento victory by 2-0. Western Knights were surprisingly held to a scoreless draw on home turf by Stirling Lions, while Armadale proved once and for al that they aren't there to make up the numbers with a 4-2 defeat of Cockburn City. Inglewood United mauled Swan I.C. 5-2, and Floreat Athena downed Fremantle City 3-0 with Branimir Mikulic, Craig Simpson and Peter Coci each finding the net. Bayswater City surrendered the lead to lose 3-5 to E.C.U. Joondalup.
In the First Division, Wanneroo City's lead was slimmed to two points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Ashfield. Balcatta made up ground on the northerners by defeating Rockingham City 3-2 in a tight match, while Mandurah City moved into third place following a 5-1 demolition of Queens Park. Forrestfield United defeated home side Gosnells City 1-0, and Morley Windmills provided little resistance for South West Phoenix who cruised to a 4-1 victory. Dianella White Eagles ended the day with ten men but still beat Stirling Suns 2-1. Kingsway Olympic left Jubilee Reserve with maximum points courtesy of a 3-2 scoreline against Bassendean Caledonian.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The Premier League season reaches the halfway mark this weekend with a number of intriguing match-ups. Undefeated leader Perth S.C. head to the northern suburbs where they meet third-placed Sorrento in what looms as one of the games of the season. Armadale have surprised many in their debut top flight campaign and on Saturday they’ll be out to upset Cockburn City. Swan I.C. are up against one of the competition’s tightest defences when they host Inglewood United, while three vital points go on the line at Frank Drago Reserve where Bayswater City host E.C.U. Joondalup. Western Knights are tipped to triumph on home soil over Stirling Lions, and at Ken Allen Reserve it’s Fremantle City against Floreat Athena.
Three crucial points go on the line at Dowling Street Reserve where Rockingham City meet Balcatta in the eleventh round of First Division fixtures. Wanneroo City have an away clash with Ashfield, while Mandurah City are home to a Queens Park side looking to bring some level of consistency to their game. Eastern corridor rivals Gosnells City and Forrestfield United go head-to-head in an important mid-table match. Bassendean Caledonian welcome Kingsway Olympic to Jubilee Reserve, while bottom team Morley Windmills are up against South West Phoenix at Wotton Reserve. Dianella White Eagles are home to Stirling Suns, and out of action due to the bye are Canning City.
MURPHY VOTED WA'S BEST EVER DEFENDER
The local community has had its say by voting former Socceroo Shaun Murphy as the State's most accomplished defender. Murphy lead from early on in last weeks www.footballwa.net poll which asked 'Who is West Australia's greatest ever defender?' During the past seven days in excess of 250 votes were received of which Murphy, who played for Australia twenty times, gained an impressive 34.8%. Robbie Dunn (18.%), another former Socceroo, ended as runner-up ahead of Stirling Lions legend 13.4% Andy Wright (13.4%). Craig Naven (10.3%) pipped Gary Mateljan (9.2%) for fourth place and were trailed by Sauro Iozzelli (8.7%) and four times Gold Medal winner Theo Paap (5.6%).
Shaun Murphy had a glittering career in which he represented Australian at the 1992 Olympic Games, was part of one World Cup campaign, played eleven years in England and captained Perth Glory to the national league championship. Having started out with Sorrento he joined Perth Italia and dazzled in a side which won two League titles, a Cup and a Night Series. In 1992 Murphy transferred to Notts County for whom he'd play five seasons and was twice named their Player of the Year. Three seasons with West Bromwich Albion, four at Sheffield United and a short loan stay with Crystal Palace took his game tally in England to 406. Murphy returned to Perth for the 2003/04 national league season when he lead Glory to the regular season and play-off titles. He played eight times for the State, and turned out for Australia on 20 occasions at senior level.
Robbie Dunn is one of the State's most capped players. He started his career with Kwinana United and North Perth Croatia before stepping up to national league level at the age of 17. In stints with West Adelaide, Preston Makedonia and Melbourne Croatia Dunn would play 168 times and score 54 goals - an impressive feat for someone who played exclusively as a central defender. Dunn made 25 'A' outings for Australia which included one World Cup campaign and appearances at the 1988 Olympic Games. A short spell with Perth Italia in 1989 preceded time at South China (Hong Kong) and Sarawak (Malaysia) before ending his playing career with North Perth Croatia in 1992.
Andy Wright was one of the local scenes true gentlemen. Cool under pressure and a great reader of play, he started his senior career at Kingsway Olympic but it was during a lengthy association with Stirling Macedonia/Lions that he really made his mark. In a fruitful five-year period he helped the club claim the Premier League title once, the Night Series and Top Five crowns twice each, and one association Cup. Wright's crowning glory was undoubtedly his back-to-back Gold Medal wins of 1997 and 1998. A single season with Western Knights provided further silverware in the form of another Cup triumph. Ghe returned to the Lions den for 2001 and the following year played a leading role in their return to playing top flight football.
Craig Naven began his senior career alongside twin brother at Bayswater Inter and represented Australia at the 1985 World Youth Championship in China. But it was with Perth Italia that he made his mark, playing thirteen seasons at Dorrien Gardens and helping the club to five Premier League championships, five Night Series titles, two Cups and two Top Five crowns. Along the way he made 17 appearances for the State, captained the Perth Kangaroos to the S-League championship in 1994, and two years later was an inaugural member of the Perth Glory squad. Naven called his career to a close in 2004 following three seasons at Bassendean Caledonian where he played an anchoring role at the heart of their defence.
Gary Mateljan, Perth born and bred, played all of his senior career under contract to one club - Swan Athletic. He was at the heart of the State defence in each of his 17 appearances, which included games against Manchester City, Moscow Dynamo and Wolverhampton Wanderers, and earned Australian Under-23 honours three times. Despite a fine record for the State team, Mateljan found trophies hard to come by in the local competition playing 'on loan' for the Osborne Park Galeb, Balcatta Etna, Cracovia and Bayswater when they were past their prime. However, he can point to two Cup and one Night Series victories while at Morley Windmills in the 1970's.
Sauro Iozzelli spent fifteen years playing at the highest levels for Azzurri, Osborne Park Galeb and Brisbane City. By the time he hung up his playing boots the stylish defender had won three championships, two Cups, three Night Series and one Top Ffour title. Iozzelli was selected for State duty 37 times and was an integral part of the side that competed in numerous overseas tournaments during the 1970's. In addition he gained senior national honours twice during a one-season stay in the national competition for Brisbane City.
Born in Amsterdam, Theo Paap made his senior debut for Windmills as a 17-year old in 1960 and for the next sixteen season would anchor the defence of the club based at Wotton Reserve. For the ten years commencing 1964 he captained the side which claimed two league championships, two Cups, two Night Series and one Top Four title. Paap won Windmills' fairest and best award a staggering eight times, and his impact on the local game is evidenced by the fact he received the Gold Medal on a record four occasions. State honours came his way 18 times and included several tours abroad.
ROUND OF EIGHT DRAWN
The draw for the association Cup quarter finals was made this week by Football West. In one of two all Premier League meetings, Fremantle City have home ground advantage over Sorrento. Balcatta, currently riding high inthe First Division, have the difficult task of taking on one of the competition favourites in Perth S.C. at Dorrien Gardens. Cockburn City against Inglewood United at Dalmatinac Park is bound to be an absolute blockbuster of a game. Western Knights head south to Peelwood Parade where they're up against First Division outfit Mandurah City. All games are scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday 9th July.
FLOREAT GETTING INTO STRIDE
Floreat Athena is finally playing the sort of football coach Michael Roki always knew they were capable of. Successive wins over Armadale and Bayswater City have lifted the inner city club up the standings and boosted their confidence of a strong showing over the second half of the season. "The players are certainly committed this year and with a few more favourable results I hope we'll realise we're capable of beating any team in the league when we play to our full potential," said Roki recently. "If we can do that then they will have no problem in making the top four or five."
While Roki is generally happy with the way his side has been playing, the Floreat coach says a lack of application for the full ninety minutes has proven their Achilles heal on more than one occasion this season. "To be honest we've started most games well this year but have lost several matches after being in front," he explained. "And that's a bit concerning because we have to start playing out the full ninety minutes and not let matches slip away from us."
Over the past couple of seasons Roki has taken steps to ensure Floreat's on-going success by introducing a number of youngsters to the first team football. "There are seven players eligible for the Under-21's who are currently with the first team," he commented. "From last season's squad we've seen that Paul Vlachou, Julian Madaschi and Adam Bachiller are going to be regular State League players. We've added John Migas, Craig Simpson, Jarrad Smith and Alex Dunn to the senior squad and most of these guys will feature regularly for the team at some stage in the near future."
When it comes to Floreat's top flight opposition Roki feels any one of four clubs are capable of claiming silverware. "There is not much difference between the teams with possibly one or two exceptions," he said. "Perth have a large squad capable of going all the way, they are currently unbeaten but certainly aren't 'bullet proof'. Sorrento will annoy the hell out of everyone with their long ball tactics, and Cockburn and Western Knights will do well because they can both deliver goals regularly."
BIG ASK FOR YOUNG SOCCEROO'S
Australia remain in the hunt for a spot in the knockout phase of the FIFA World Youth Championship despite gaining just a single point from their opening two Group A fixtures. A 1-1 draw with Benin following by a 0-3 loss to host nation the Netherlands has put the Young Socceroo's needing to beat Japan on Saturday in order to progress. Perth Glory's Nick Ward has featured prominently in Australia's two games to date while fellow West Australian Ryan Townsend is yet to see action in the Netherlands.
A goal early in the second half by Ward earned Australia a 1-1 draw with African nation Benin. The Young Socceroo's sparked into life midway through the first half with Vince Lia, Jacob Timpano and Kristian Sarkies all going close to scoring. However, against the run of play Benin opened their account on 32 minutes when Razak Omotoyossi drilled in a low shot. It took until the 59th minute for Australia to equalise through a Sarkies free-kick which Ward knocked in at the near post. Australia almost snuck a late winner when Ward's pass was just of out reach of Sarkies with the goalkeeper badly exposed. Ward played a full game for Australia while Ryan Townsend watched from the bench. The other Group A fixture saw the Netherlands triumph 2-1 over Japan.
The Netherlands emerged comfortable 3-0 winners over Australia on Wednesday evening. The hosts took the lead on 20 minutes when Hedwiges Maduro powered a close-range header past Adam Federici. The Young Socceroos lifted and were able to hold possession for longer periods. Less than a minute into the second half the Netherlands' advantage was doubled as Quincy Owusu Abeyie fed the ball to Urby Emanuelsen who netted from 15-metres. The final nail was driven into the coffin by Rick Kruys whose stunning first time shot from 20-metres curled into the top corner after 74 minutes. Ward saw out the full 90 minutes with Townsend again an unused substitute. Benin drew 1-1 with Japan earlier in the day.
SAY NO TO RACISM
Racial and religious vilification is a problem worldwide and, unfortunately, that includes within our own game. Abuse of others on religious and/or racial grounds is unacceptable, regardless of when or where such abuse occurs. We feel the time has come for the football family in Western Australia to address this issue and raise awareness that vilification at any level is simply not on.
Vilification is defined as any act done in public and that could incite others to hate, have serious contempt for, or severely ridicule a person or group of people. Racial vilification is that of a person, or group of people, because of their perceived race, ethnicity or national origins. Religious vilification is that based upon a person's, or groups, religious beliefs.
We strongly encourage all incidence of racial and/or religious vilified - be it against a player, official or supporter of your club - be reported to Football West. We trust that those in positions of power will act accordingly to stamp out such abhorrent behaviour. It should be noted that offensive behaviour based on racial hatred is unlawful under the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act.
MARATHON GAME HITS HALF CENTURY
Perth Glory's attempt to set a new world record for continuous five-a-side football is in course to suceed with more than fifty teams having already registered their interest. The Glory Football Marathon will see participants from all over the metropolitan area take part in a non-stop, 48-hour game of football in Forrest Place. The marathon game is in aid of homeless charity 'the Big Issue' and will be kicked off by Steve McMahon and the Glory squad.
"The Glory Football Marathon should be a great event for everyone to get involved in as we prepare for the club's exciting first season in the Hyundai A-League," said Glory captain Jamie Harnwell. "It will be brilliant if we can get over 1,000 players involved in this event and I would urge as many people as possible to come and make the event a success while raising the profile of the Big Issue."
To make the event a success Glory are looking for squads of ten or more players to take to the field in Forrest place between 12.00noon on Friday 29th July and 12.00noon on Sunday 31st July 31. To register your interest in this one-off event please contact Stuart Gilsenan via firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form. For further details visit the official Perth Glory website.
DE SOUZA COURTED BY SINGAPORE
Following his appearance at last weeks Lion City Cup, Fremantle City youngster Tim De Souza is being courted to commit his international future to Singapore. The 18-year old midfielder was born in Singapore and moved to Perth with his family fourteen years ago. P.N. Sivaji, technical director with the Football Association of Singapore, believes De Souza could make it in the S-League and perhaps one day would earn a national call-up. "We will always welcome any Singapore-born talent," he said. "He is a decent player who works very hard on the field. At his age, there is still a lot of room for development. But from what I understand, Timothy is now an Australian citizen ... he will have to decide which country he wants to play for."
While De Souza is enjoying playing in the local competition for Fremantle he isn;t about to rule out a move to Singapore just yet. "I think the standard of Singapore football has improved a lot since the last time I played in the Lion City Cup about four years ago," he said. "I haven't thought of coming back to Singapore because I like it in Australia - but you never know what can happen." De Souza, a graduate of specialised football program at John Curtin College of the Arts, has been one of the star performers this season for Fremantle with some sparkling displays down the left wing. Last month he was selected to join Perth Glory's new youth development squad which consists of one player from each Premier League team.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Balcatta vs Noranda courtesy Balcatta; Gosnells City vs Subiaco United courtesy Gosnells City)
Northern Redbacks bounced back from last weeks shock Cup exist to East Fremantle by thumping the port side 5-1 in their Premier League meeting at Rickman Delawney Reserve. Goalkeeper Lynda Enright made numerous important saves for East Fremantle before the hosts broke with goals from Micky Lawton and Stephanie Grant to take a comfortable lead into the break. East Fremantle increased their workrate for the second half and reduced the gap when substitute Cait Burke scrambled the ball home. But in the chilly conditions the visitors were unable to sustain the pressure and the Redbacks took back the game. Grant restored their two-goal buffer before Tanya Oxtoby and captain Nicola Williams found the net and secured maximum points.
Balcatta remain hot on Northern Redbacks heels following a 9-1 thrashing of at Graham Burkett Reserve. In a game marred by constant heavy rain, wind and hail, both teams displayed great professionalism to see out the game. Balcatta opened the score after 9 minutes via Debbie Gorton only to have Noranda equalise shortly after. But three goals from Kylie Chatto and one by Laura Turnball saw the hosts take a handy lead into the break. Balcatta continued on their merry way in the second half as Coral Lapsley found the target, and four minutes later Brid Dawson did likewise. Lapsley and Dawson each scored inside in the final ten minutes to complete a comprehensive win for Balcatta.
On a day when Perth's temperature peaked at just 11.8 degrees celcius, Subiaco United held Queens Park to a 2-2 draw at Coker Park. In driving rain and hail Queens Park took the lead after 19 minutes when K.Salkild beat the goalkeeper. Within six minutes Subiaco were back on level terms through Kerry McGawley, and seven minutes from the break A.Payne netted to put the visitors ahead. It looked as though Queens Park were dead and buried when Salkild was issued her marching orders on the hour. However, the home team rallied and earned a share of the points through A. Thorpe who put away a 75th minute equaliser.
Mandurah City emerged 4-1 winners over University of WA in their top of the table First Division meeting at McGillivray Oval. Jiame Carley gave the visitors the lead when she calmly stroked the ball past the goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation. UWA were back in the game when the wet ball slipped through the gloves of the Mandurah 'keeper and rolled into the net. Carley put away her second of the afternoon to put Mandurah back in front heading into the interval. After several close calls the vistors increased their grip in the game as Harriet Talbert's exquisite chip from the right cleared the 'keeper and snuck in at the far post. The match was effectively ended when Carley completed a deserved hat-trick.
Gosnells City recovered from an early setback to defeat Subiaco United 5-2 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The game was just 5 minutes old when Subiaco put the ball past goalkeeper Tracey Dodd for the opening goal. Gosnells stepped up to the challenge and it wasn't long before Lisa Tomnay swept in the equaliser following Larissa Doherty's cross. Jessica Sardi showed some deft touches to beat three defenders then the goalkeeper to put the hosts ahead, and shorlty after a similar move by Melissa Spillman put her on the scoresheet. Sardi increased the gap early in the second half, and shortly after Spillman made the most of a one-on-one with the 'keeper. Subiaco brought some respectability to the final score with a late consolation goal.
Northern Redbacks 'C' worked hard to earn themselves a 1-1 draw with Murdoch University at Rickman Delawney Reserve. Murdoch made a flying start and dominated the early midfield exchanges which in turn lead to chances on goal. Their best openings came the way of Rachel Ramsdale and Nicole Steer who were both left frustrated in attempts to beat the goalkeeper. The breakthrough finally arrived when the Redbacks custodian failed Steph Battista's strike and Tash Darlow poked in from close-range. A minutes from the break the game was back on level terms as a Redbacks attacker rounded three opponents to slot in from a tight angle. The second half was a more even affair with both sides struggling in the wet conditions and creating few clear cut opportunities.
Beckenham Angels scored their ninth successive win by hammering Bassendean Caledonian 9-2 at Jubilee Reserve. In the mid-table clash at Jack Mann Oval, Swan I.C. drew 2-2 with a determined Lynwood Colts line-up. And Rockingham City edged their way up the standings with a 7-1 mauling of Balga at Brian Burke Reserve. Further details of these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND TEN Cockburn City vs Western Knights by Lennie Bavich; Perth S.C. vs Stirling Lions by Elliott Leonard; Sorrento vs Perth S.C. by Kerry Slater; Swan I.C. vs Fremantle City by Peter Simcox)
Western Knights moved into second place on the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-1 defeat of Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. It was on to a wind swept pitch that the two arch rivals went head to head in an enthralling encounter which had spectators riveted to their seats until the final whistle. Despite their best efforts neither side was able to get on top in a tight opening spell that saw the respective backlines provide strong resistance to their opponents forward thrusts. With 18 minutes gone the Knights were breached when John Mirco delivered a low corner from the right to the near post where Dean Wallace stooped to glance his header over a crowd of players and inside the back post. The visitors were denied a response five minutes later by veteran defender Dusan Macura who, although well outnumbered, held up a Knights counter attack and force a shot which was comfortably dealt with by Alan Dunlop. A sloppy challenge by Macura in the 27th minute resulted in a Knights penalty which John Thornley blasted into the roof of the net and beyond Dunlop's reach to level the game. The closest either side came to adding to their tally over the remainder of the half was Jeremy Chiron's effort that bounced off the top of Tommi Tomich's crossbar. The second half took on a similar pattern with both teams finding it difficult to create any clear cut goalscoring opportunities. However, with quarter of an hour to go the Knights upped their workrate and took control. Mark Lee slotted through to Andreij Jukic who was denied by a last ditch tackle by Liam Lilly. The visitors persistence was rewarded in the 89th minute when Thornley executed a precise chip over the oncoming 'keeper to secure a hard-earned victory.
Perth S.C. scored twice in the closing stages to condemn Stirling Lions to a 0-2 loss at Dorrien Gardens. Although the hosts dominated in terms of possession, it was the Lions who managed to create the better of chances and were unlucky not to salvage at least a point from the outing. The Lions were quickly into stride and inside ten minutes Steve Bozinovski found space between Aaron Cole and Michael Icanovski to chip over an advancing Gareth Deeg only to have the ball drift wide of the target. Ten minutes later the visitors were at it again, this time through Leo Harman who sent in an inviting cross from the left but Mark Donnelly's diving header also ended wide. Perth, too, had their chances to open the scoring through a Matt Danskin corner which Cole powered over the crossbar and later in the half a header from David Onoforo sailed past the goalkeeper only to hit the upright. The second half opened with the Lions immediately on the attack with Ian Griffiths breaking through the defence and zeroing in on goal when he was thwarted by a perfectly executed Danskin tackle. And just minutes later another chance went begging as Mark Donnelly's header flashing wide with Deeg well beaten. It took until the 70th minute for the games opening goal to arrive with Jeff Bright breaking down the left and crossing to the feet of Antonio Naglieri who struck it past Aleksandar Vrteski from close-range. The game was over ten minutes later when Danskin beat the offside trap and his cross evaded both Vrteski and Paul Dickson but not Onoforo who had the simple task of heading in to an open goal. The Lions had the chance to pull one back late in the game when Harman's shot skimmed across the face of goal and away from a crowd of waiting teammates.
Sorrento and Inglewood United shared the points in a 2-2 draw at Percy Doyle Reserve. Inglewood started the stronger but it was Sorrento who threatened first with Oliver Taseski saving a 13th minute header from Steve McDonald. Gulls custodian Neil Young had a relatively quiet time until he was called upon to dive full-stretch to keep out a long-range drive by Darren Broxton after 20 minutes. Neither 'keeper was threatened again until the 37th minute when a searching pass cleared the Sorrento defence and Andre Sarpe nipped in flick it over the advancing Young to break thee deadlock. Six minutes into the second half Sorrento pulled level when a poor clearance fell to James Morgan and his shot from the edge of the 18-yard box found the top corner after deflecting off a defender. There was very little in the way of goalmouth activity again until the 67th minute when a looping header from Inglewood captain Shaun Kilkelly was tipped over the crossbar by a fast backtracking 'keeper. However, the threat wasn't yet over and from the resulting corner Andrew Bowyer cleared Jason Colli's effort at close-range. Another corner shortly after saw Young saved bravely at the feet of Kilkelly. The visitors persistence was rewarded on 74 minutes when Rory Mouttet found space between two defenders to rifle past Young and into his net. Sorrento responded by pushing McDonald into attack and ten minutes later restored parity with a towering header following Todd Harnwell's cross from the right wing. With the teams trading attacks in a tense closing period, Inglewood were reduced to ten men after Kevin Griffith's second yellow card offence. The two-all draw was a fair reflection of a game in which neither side really dominated, although the final scoreline only served to frustrate both coaches as they look to make up ground on League leader Perth S.C. and last year's champion Western Knights.
Defensive errors cost Bayswater City dearly as Floreat Athena came from behind to grab maximum points by 2-1 at Litis Stadium. With Andy O'Neill and Daniel Webb causing trouble with their pace down the flanks, Bayswater were quickly into stride as Damir Kuduzovic's explosive strike rose over the crossbar with just 5 minutes gone. Branimir Mikulic squandered a golden opportunity down the other end, while Sal Marrapodi and O'Neill went close for Bayswater. Their pay-off came on 26 minutes when Grant's long clearance was helped on by Cormac Dawson to Dinko Ahmetanovic, he squared to Marrapodi who squeezed the ball under the body of Vujacic from 10-metres. Although their central pairing of Dawson and Igor Novakovic were by this stage controlling the flow of play Bayswater only threatened once more leading into half-time as Ahmetanovic rifled high from the top of the 18-yard box. A more focused Floreat side emerged for the second half and eight minutes in they equalised via John Migas' cross from the left which was inexplicably missed by the defence and Mikulic drilled past a badly exposed 'keeper. Bayswater's day got worse just six minutes later when Novakovic was issued his marching orders for a silly second yellow card. Floreat going ahead on 67 minutes when Jamie Trandos' long free-kick found Mikulic unmarked and after taking a touch to control the big striker powered in his second of the day. From there Floreat didn't look back and only the safe hands of Grant prevented the margin from blowing out. An in-swinging corner by John Mills was paddled over the bar by the 'keeper who a few minutes later dove full length to keep out Peter Coci's superb strike from distance. Coci was denied again by Grant in the 77th minute, while late in the game Jarred Smith skipped past two defenders only to find Grant well placed to make the save.
E.C.U. Joondalup and Armadale shared nine goals at the Edith Cowan University campus in Joondlaup where the visitors came away victorious by the odd strike. In what can only be described as appalling conditions, Armadale went ahead after 4 minutes through James Isaia who unleashed a vicious shot which found the far top corner after Ben Rogers flicked on a Scott Paterson free-kick. Twenty minutes later that lead was doubled as Peter Taylor's long-range strike sailed over Peter Stewart and under the crossbar. Armadale lost Nick Stone to a shoulder injury shortly after, his place between the posts being taken by Gavin Goodwin. Good work out wide by Tom Jones saw Joondalup get back in the game with 15-year old Phil Arnold pushing the ball past the 'keeper at close-range. The hosts created several more opportunities before getting back on level terms courtesy of Steve Porter's through ball to Arnold who made the most of a one-on-one Goodwin after 31 minutes. But Armadale were back in front shortly after through a fantastic first time strike from 30-metres by Darren Kingston which gave Stewart absolutely no chance. Joondalup hit back quickly with Dale McCulloch putting Scott Bushby through and the teenage midfielder delicately lobbed over the advancing 'keeper from just outside the 18-yard box. Poor defending allowed Kingston to score his second from close-range and give Armadale the half-time lead. Both sides created good chances after the break with Armadale the more industrious through some crisp movement of the ball. The points looked like being shared when Jones brilliantly turned his marker and dispatched an unstoppable left-footer to level the game with just five minutes to go. However, Armadale weren't to be denied victory and three minutes later Isaia found Rogers who skipped past three challenges and rounded the 'keeper before tapping in the deciding goal.
Swan I.C. recorded back-to-back victories by defeating Fremantle City 4-3 at the Swan Italian Club. The hosts wasted no time in finding top gear and with 4 minutes opened the scoring as Miki Vujacic's cross from the right was flicked on by David Foster to Tom Shepheard who fired in from 5-metres. Moments later Damien Catalano should have done better than shoot high after Jason Godfrey only partially cleared a Scott Campbell cross. Fremantle began to get back in the game as Jason Barrera's strike roared only inches past the post. With 36 minutes gone the visitors drew level after great work in the build-up by Boima Karpeh saw him put the ball at the feet of Kevin Correia who slotted it low past Cory Hugo. Fremantle were by now in control and Karpeh was unlucky not to put them ahead from Dale Wingell's through ball. However, right on the stroke of half-time, Swan regained the lead when Tony Cumace's free-kick deceived goalkeeper Phil Straker and Danyal Bennett head in at the back post. The second half was just a minute old when Fremantle leveled through a terrific strike from substitute Roberto Colalillo resulting from Correia's lead-up. The see-sawing nature of the game continued with Swan going back in front after 58 minutes through a Damien Scali header. Scali was having a great game in midfield and shortly after his sizzling shot from 25-metres rose narrowly over the crossbar. The game looked over as a contest when Scali blasted in the hosts fourth goal with nine minutes left on the clock. But Fremantle had other ideas and a silky run down the left by Correia saw him past two opponents before tucking the ball into Hugo's net. Ahmed Hafez and Karpeh went close to snatching a late equaliser for Fremantle who had Dale Wingell harshly issued a second yellow card in the final minute.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND TEN (Balcatta vs Dianella White Eagles by Martin Swann; Canning City vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; Gosnells City vs Ashfield courtesy Gosnells City)
Wanneroo City increased their at the top of the First Division to four points following a 1-0 defeat of title contender Rockingham City at Dowling Street Reserve. The game kicked off amid blustery winds and driving rain with Wanneroo settling the better and forcing several early corners as Ben Yates head wide and Leith Hinds high. Rockingham had little option to defend deep and relieve the pressure with the occasional darting run into attack. Just before half-time Craig Olejnik produced a flying save to keep out Phil Bell's long-range effort and ensure the sides went in on level terms. The new half had only just started when a cross into the Wanneroo area was cleared only as far as Ben Yates broke the deadlock with a stunning volley from 16-metres which gave the goalkeeper no chance. A shell-shocked Rockingham where lucky not be two down when Phil O'Callaghan rounded Olejnik but sent his shot into the upright. Rockingham went close through a first time strike from Rob Crerar which whizzed the wrong side of the post. But with the hosts throwing all into finding an equaliser Wanneroo were unlucky not to extend their lead over the closing stages. The Reserve match went 2-1 to Rockingham who also claimed the Youth game 3-0.
Dianella White Eagle pulled off a shock 2-0 win over high flying Balcatta at Graham Burkett Reserve. It was clear from the outset that this was going to be a tough game for the hosts who struggled to deal with Dianella's game plan which saw a series of long ball delivered to their tall forwards. A poorly cleared corner almost produced their opening goal with Dragan Radojevic half-volleying just over the crossbar from the op of the 18-yard box. Balcatta created some good openings towards the end of the half and could have been one goal the better as Adam Rains teed-up Marco Gentile whose shot on goal was stopped by Anthony Mori. It was a more focused Balcatta who came out for the second half only to fall behind as Petar Mrdja's free-kick to the far post went to feet and Stefan Smiljanic scrambled it over the line despite calls of obstruction on goalkeeper Jordan Conti. This really opened the game up and shortly after David Moschilla crossed to Rains who thunderous volley was turned wide by the goalkeeper. With eight minutes left on the clock Dianella sealed victory via some brilliant individual work from Dejan Djukanovic which took him past one defender before striking the ball past Conti. Balcatta claimed a 3-1 win in the Reserves with the Under-18's going 1-0 to Dianella.
Mandurah City braved wet and windy conditions at Willetton Sports ground to triumph 3-1 over a gallant Canning City. The home team started strongly and with 2 minutes gone seized the advantage as Simon Versaico slammed the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble. As the rain tumbled down Mandurah worked hard to get back on level terms and were rewarded after 27 minutes when Christian Paschkewitz rose highest to head in Jordan Rhodes' corner. Canning rallied and was awarded a penalty for a foul on Mick Van Dongen, but Mike Green guest correctly and made a spectacular save to deny Versaico from the spot. Mandurah took full advantage of this missed opportunity and bagged a second goal in the 61st minute through big striker Paschkewitz. The pressure from the visiting side was by this stage relentless and a defensive error resulted in a Mandurah penalty which allowed Paschkewitz to complete his hat-trick and take his season tally to ten goals. The final margin could have been much greater as a second Mandurah penalty, awarded for a foul on Graeme Matthews, saw Paschkewitz thwarted by the goalkeeper. Canning claimed the Reserves 3-1, with the Youth fixture also ending in the hosts favour by a 6-1 scoreline.
Forrestfield United set slip three valuable points when they went down 0-1 to Stirling Suns at Hartfield Park. It was a much improved and far more committed Suns side that took to the park and earned their first away points of the winter. The early signs were good for Forrestfield who took the game by the scruff of the neck and forced their opponents on to the back foot. However, a backpass went horribly wrong for the hosts as Steve Roberts brought Steven Velkovski down inside the 18-yard box for a penalty and Danco Jovanovski made no mistake in beating the goalkeeper from the spot. Forrestfield dominated after the break only to waste a slew of opportunities as the game slowly slipped away from them. In fact they were lucky not to end the day two goals behind as goalkeeper Scott Radford sighted a scorching free-kick by Billy Bozinovski late and to which he moved sharply to keep out. With the final whistle came much celebration from the Suns who'd scored not only a much needed win but also kept a rare clean sheet. Forrestfield claimed the Reserves clash by a 4-0 scoreline, while the Youth team game was awarded to the hosts by forfeit.
Gosnells City were unlucky not to come away with more than a 1-0 win over Ashfield after dominating their First Division clash at Ashfield Reserve. Maekol Taseski single handedly kept the hosts in the match with an outstanding performance much to the on-going frustration of the opposing side who were lead from midfield by Tony Lang. The only goal of the game arrived in the 35th minute when new signing John Cassidy beat a defender wide on the left from there his cross picked out Brian Cairney who glanced a header past a flat-footed 'keeper and into the bottom corner. Gosnells controlled play for the opening half hour of the second half but were unable to end the game as a contest with a second goal with Taseski proving their foil on countless occasions. It was only when Ashfield threw caution to the wind and pushed an extra player into attack that they began to threaten on goal. However, Gosnells shot-stopper Jason Mehnert wasn't about to let his teammates and produced several important saves to earn his side maximum points. Gosnells won the Reserve 5-4, with the Youth team fixture ending 3-1 in favour of Ashfield.
At Wotton Reserve Morley Windmills held Bassendean Caledonian to a 1-1 draw. Adrian McBride put the hosts ahead in the 45th minute with Rydeen Botha equalising midway through the second half. Morley played most of the game with ten men after the 18th minute dismissal of Scott McIlroy, while in the final minute teammate Simon Messenger was also issued his marching orders. Queens Park went down 2-5 to South West Phoenix at Coker Park. Alex Seed and B.Anderton found the target for the hosts. David Murphy scored a hat-trick for Phoenix for whom Steve Suttie and Gary Mayers also netted. Further details of these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
WARD STARS FOR YOUNG SOCCEROOS
Perth Glory's Nick Ward salvaged a point for the Young Socceroos in their opening match of the World Youth Championships in Germany. Playing the unfamiliar role of lone striker, Ward produced a lively performance which kept the opposition defence on high alert. His efforts were rewarded in the 59th minute he turned in Kristian Sarkies' free-kick to the near post to earn a 1-1 draw with Benin.
The decision to play Ward up front certainly paid dividends for coach Ange Postecoglou. Just a minute after scoring the equaliser his rasping shot from the top of the penalty area was brilliantly saved by Yoann Djidonou. And late in the match his lead-up work resulted in great chances for Spase Dilevski and Sarkies who were unlucky not to score the deciding goal.
Post-match, Ward was happy with his contribution. "Ange said he was pleased so I'm confident I can keep my spot for the next game," the youngster commented. "I've been battling for fifteen months to win a spot in the team." The Young Socceroos face the Netherlands on Wednesday, before tackling Japan in their final group game on Saturday.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Two more goals from teenager John Thornley took his tally to six in three games as Western Knights defeated Cockburn City 2-1 to move into second place on the Premier League table. Leader Perth S.C. got home 2-0 over Stirling Lions with Antonio Naglieri and David Onoforo the scorers. Sorrento were held 2-2 by Inglewood United, and Floreat Athena came from behind to defeat Bayswater City 2-1. E.C.U. Joondalup and Armadale shared nine goals with the latter triumphing by the odd strike. And the ball was in the net seven times at the Swan Italian Club where Swan I.C. won 4-3 against Fremantle City.
A four-point gap has opened up at the head of the First Division as leader Wanneroo City picked up maximum points as both Balcatta and Rockingham City faltered. Wanneroo were pushed all the way at Rockingham before coming away 1-0 winners, while Balcatta were surprised 0-2 by Dianella White Eagles. Mandurah City's third successive win, 3-1 at Canning City, puts them level on points in thirdplace with Rockingham. Stirling Suns upset home team Forrestfield United 1-0, and Gosnells City claimed the points by the same scoreline over Ashfield. Queens Park were dumped 2-5 by South West Phoenix, while Morley Windmills slipped to last place when held 1-1 by Bassendean Caledonian.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
It promises to be a classic showdown between Cockburn City and Western Knights, two of the state's oldest and most successful clubs, when they meet in Round Ten of the Premier League season at Dalmatinac Park. Sorrento welcome Inglewood United to Percy Doyle Reserve, E.C.U. Joondalup has home ground advantage over Armadale. Litis Stadium is the venue for the important mid-table meeting of Floreat Athena and Bayswater City. Swan I.C. and Fremantle City are coming off good wins last week and each has their sights set on gaining another three points from their clash at the Swan Italian Club. Perth S.C. are expected to take their unbeaten streak to ten games with victory over Stirling Lions at Dorrien Gardens.
Third-placed Rockingham City square off with First Division leader Wanneroo City in the pick of the second tier action. Balcatta have a home date with an unpredictable Dianella White Eagles, Mandurah City make the trip to Canning City, and Forrestfield United are tipped to down cellar dweller Stirling Suns. Ashfield travel to Walter Padbury reserve where they meet a Gosnells City side that his six goals last weekend. Morley Windmills have plummeted into the drop zone and anything less than victory at home over Bassendean Caledonian could prove fatal. Queens Park are home to South West Phoenix, while Kingsway Olympic have the bye.
LATE GOAL EARNS SOCCEROOS VICTORY
The Socceroos snatched a 1-0 friendly win over New Zealand courtesy of a late goal from Perth Glory's Simon Colosimo at Craven Cottage, London. Loose passing and limp shots littered the opening half in which neither sides particularly threatening. Australia's best opening came in the 23rd minute when Tom Cahill's far post header that was well saved by goalkeeper Mark Paston. Six minutes later Kiwi attacker dragged his shot across the face of goal with just the 'keeper to beat for New Zealand's best opportunity.
The second half was equally uneventful although Che Bunce did forced a terrific diving save from Zeljko Kalac after 72 minutes. Gradually Australia began to take charge with substitutes Colosimo and Ahmad Elrich providing some much-needed energy to the midfield. Just as the game seemed destined for a scoreless draw, Tim Cahill send the ball to Scott Chipperfield whose centring pass found an unmarked Colosimo and after taking a controlling touch he drilled a low left-footer into the bottom right corner. The Socceroos now travel to Frankfurt where they will compete in the FIFA Confederations Cup which starts on Wednesday.
MIXED FORTUNES FOR UNDER-18'S
The West Australian Under-18 team experienced all the highs and lows of international competition over the past few days. Competing at the Lion City Cup tournament in Singapore, the State youth team picked up two wins, a draw and one loss from their group stage fixtures to book their place in the semi-finals. The State team ended in fourth place after being tipped out in today's minor place play-off with AIK Stockholm on penalties.
The State Under-18's got their campaign off to a perfect start by downing Singapore B 2-0 at the Tampines Stadium last Thursday evening. Mo Atak and Rodrigo Aguirre scored a goal each to topple the hosts team. In the tournaments opening match Malaysia surprised Swedish side AIK Stockholm 2-1. On the scoresheet for the Malaysians were Zaquan Adha and Safiq Rahim with AIK's solitary effort coming via Swedish youth international Hekmat Nouri.
Day Two of competition saw a dominant Malaysian side run out 1-0 winner over West Australia at the Bishan Stadium. Although they created by far the greater number of chance Malaysia had to be content with a single goal victory after Shafiq Jamal bundled the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble after 12 minutes. A double from Shahdan Sulaiman earned defending Lion City Cup holder Singapore A victory by 2-1 over AIK Stockholm in the day's other game.
A strong second half performance from the State team earned a 1-1 draw with Singapore A on Sunday. A delicate lob from Ahmed Fahmie gave the host the lead after 25 minutes. Goalkeeper Tom Langley kept West Australia in the game with a series of saves before Singapore had Azhar Ahmad sent off in the 67th minute. Shortly after Brodie Martin was denied by the 'keeper, but Andy Pomfret had no such trouble in putting away the equaliser from the penalty spot fourteen minutes from the end. Malaysia beat Singapore B 1-0 in the early game.
AIK Stockholm ran riot over West Australia on Monday, racking up the tournament's biggest score to run out comfortable 8-2 winners at Hougang Stadium. Peyman Zarifnejad bagged a hat-trick and Ammar Mohamed scored twice for the Swede's whose other goals came from Brwa Hekmat Nouri, Carl Lindkvist and Hans Eriksson. Brodie Martin and Mo Atak found the target for the State team. Singapore A downed Singapore B in the other game.
The State team went down in a penalty shoot-out to AIK Stockholm in this evenings play-off for the third and fourth at the Queenstown Stadium. Robert Scascia got West Australia off to a flying start when he netted after just two minutes of play. AIK were back on level terms twenty minutes later via striker Admir Catovic. Ben Kelly's strike ten minutes from the end looked to have sealed victory for the State side, but again Catovic rescued his side with his second goal to send the game into penalties. AIK won the shoot-out 4-3.
JOONDALUP HAMSTRUNG BY ABSENTEES
2005 could not have started much worse for E.C.U. Joondalup. After nine games the northern suburbs are placed perilously close to last position on the Premier League table with just a single win to their credit. For coach Paul Simmons it has been incredibly frustrating time with injury, suspension and State duty preventing him from putting his strongest side on the park. "Over the past month we've had a minimum of five players missing each week, players such as Steve Porter, Keith Brown, Jamie Kuzmanovich, Dale McCulloch, John Morton, Martin Ashworth, Kevin Carmona, Stuart Hartman and Ollie Hilton. That's almost an entire team and we just don't have the depth to cover so many missing players.
Despite his sides lowly standing Simmons isn't reaching for the panic button. The long-serving coach has every confidence that, as his full complement of players become available, Joondalup will lift themselves away from the relegation zone over the second half of the season. "The atmosphere at the club is still good and the lads are not concerned," Simmons said. "There is a bit of frustration creeping in as no matter what we try we seem to end up loosing players. It can be a nightmare at training in game situations, wondering if anyone is going to get hurt. I was thinking of limiting our training this week to yoga but figured no doubt someone would walk into a pole or slip in the shower."
MORE GAMES MEET WITH APPROVAL
Trevor Morgan's desire to add a third round of games to the Premier League season has received a resounding 'thumbs up' from the local community. 71% of the vote cast in this week's www.footballwa.net poll - which asked 'Are you in favour of extending the Premier League season to 33 games?' - were in favour of the concept. By contrast only 29% of those who had their say were against playing more games. Morgan, coach of Sorrento, suggested recently that the top flight be increased to three rounds of eleven games rather than the current 22-match format.
VIDMAR, LAZARIDIS BACK FARINA (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Socceroo veterans Tony Vidmar and Stan Lazaridis have thrown their support behind coach Frank Farina, declaring he can take Australia to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. Farina's future is again the subject of speculation with some media reports suggesting he'll be dumped should Australia fare poorly at this month's Confederations Cup. "Frank is passionate about the game and wants to get the national team to the World Cup," commented Vidmar. "He hates losing, we have to build on that, as a player he was hard and tough. He wants everyone to perform." Birmingham City's Stan Lazaridis said it was too late to change the national coach. "Everyone is under scrutiny but if we be honest it's a bit late in the day if they are going to call in another manager after the Confederations Cup."
JUNGLE SOCCER AFTER COACHES
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TRAJOVSKI SUSPENDED UNTIL END OF SEASON
Bobby Trajovski has been prevented from holding any official post with Kingsway Olympic. An appeal hearing last month found Trajovski breached the terms of a disqualification handed down by Soccer West Coast in September 1999. Trajovski, coach of Kingsway's Reserve team and a major sponsor of the First Division club, has been "disqualified from being a player, member, coach, official, office bearer, manager or acting in any other related capacity" until the end of the current season.
SWC's Disciplinary Commission found Trajovski guilty of striking a match official while playing for Stirling Macedonia in 1999 for which he received a five year suspension. That term expired last August and Trajovski subsequently returned to playing duties with Kingsway late last season. Upon the start of the 2005 season the State Referee's Commission requested Football West investigate the matter, claiming Trajovski had not complied with the terms of his original suspension.
COYNE HOPEFUL OF SOCCEROO CALL-UP
Playing in the English Championship could open the door to Chris Coyne's selection for the Australian national team. Coyne, a key figure in Luton Town's promotion from England's League One recently, has forged a solid career in Britain without yet earning a Socceroos call-up. But the big defender is hopeful that will change next season when he lines up in England's second tier.
"I don't think you will be ignored if you're playing well in that league," the 26-year old told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian" newspaper. "If you are doing it at a level where you know players have been picked to play for Australia before, you should have a chance. I would hope the Australian coach will be looking at what I'm doing next season."
And Coyne is looking forward to the challenge offered by playing in the Championship. "It's an unknown entity for me," he said. "I think it will be similar to the Scottish Premier League. It will be a big step up." Instead of trips to Doncaster, Chesterfield and Torquay, standard fare for Coyne will be lining up this season against the likes of Leeds United, Ipswich Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
PETKOVIC IN CONFEDERATION CUP SQUAD
Michael Petkovic is Western Australia's only representative in the twenty-three player Australian squad chosen for the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup. The 28-year old was a regular fixture between the posts for a Trabzonspor side which ended the recently completed Turkish season in second place. Birmingham City's Stan Lazaridis was ruled out of contention by injury while Luton Town defender Chris Coyne was once again overlooked by the Socceroos coaching staff. Australia begin their Confederations Cup campaign on 15th June against host nation Germany. Clashes with Argentina (18th June) and Tunisia (21st June) complete their group phase schedule.
Australia's Confederations Cup squad is Scott Chipperfield, Mile Sterjovski (FC Basel), Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Ahmad Elrich (Busan I'Cons), Tony Vidmar (Cardiff City), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Tim Cahill (Everton), Josip Skoko (Genclerbirligi), Kevin Muscat, Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough), Jon McKain (National Bucuresti), John Aloisi (Osasuna), Simon Colosimo (Perth Glory), Zeljko Kalac (Perugia), David Zdrilic (Sydney FC), Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun), Jason Culina (FC Twente), Michael Petkovic (Trabzonspor) and out of contract Craig Moore.
ASSOCIATION CUP, ROUND TWO (Floreat Athena vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; Cockburn City vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth; Perth S.C. vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox; Sorrento vs Gosnells City by Kerry Slater)
Balcatta emerged as the dark horse of this year's association Cup following a 1-0 Second Round defeat of Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. Wet conditions made for little in the way of elegant football as the two sides went to battle for control of midfield. While the hosts held the upper hand their only chances on goal came from distance via Eugene Singeorzan which didn't really caused much concern for goalkeeper Jordan Conti. As the minutes ticked by the pendulum swing in Balcatta's favour as wide players Keegan Ashley and Danny Carlino linked well with the central pairing of Adam Raines and Victor Bogos. The visitors broke the deadlock after 31 minutes with a perfectly weighted pass from Toby Wright found David Moschilla who raced through and rocketed his shot into the roof of the net from 17-metres. A few minutes later Vas Vujacic prevented the score from becoming two-nil by denying Wright in a similar situation. Floreat came out for the second half with a point to prove and although Bajo Savic and James Afkos saw more of the ball the hosts found it difficult to a penetrate which was superbly marshalled by Tony Paulino. A 70th minute counter attack by Balcatta almost produced a second goal as Raines shot wide following a pinpoint pass from Ashley. The late introduction of Peter Coci and Jarred Smith injected some much needed bite into Floreat's attack but still an avenue to goal eluded them with Conti making a number of important saves. In a frantic final few minutes the hosts threw everything forward in the hope of sending the game into extra-time, and although they won a succession of corners and continually applying the pressure it wasn't to be their day and Balcatta held firm to progress to the round of eight.
Canning City came within a whisker of causing the upset of the season before going down in a penalty shoot-out to Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. With Cockburn riding high in the top flight and Canning languishing near the foot of the First Division table most gave the visiting team little chance of success. However, Canning's pre-match plan of launching quick counter-attacks paid early dividends when awarded a penalty which was converted by Ryan Allomes. But that lead was short-lived as just sixty seconds later Michael Mirco latched onto a through ball which he drove into the roof of the net from a narrow angle. The remainder of regulation time was a battle of attrition in which Cockburn dominated possession but were unable to break down a well-drilled defence, while Canning absorbed the pressure and pressed forward only occasionally. The first period of extra-time elapsed in much the same manner with neither team able to deliver the decisive blow. The deadlock was broken early into the second spell of extra-time when Daniel Laing's cross from the right was met by Paul Van Dongen who drove the ball low into the net much to the delight of the travelling supporters. With the light fading under cloud laden skies Cockburn pushed Liam Lilly into attack and with literally twenty seconds to go the former Canning player became his team's saviour by knocking in Dom De Felice's low cross played to the far post. The David and Goliath battle would be settled via penalties with Cockburn out-shooting their opponent 5-4. Earlier on Canning's Reserves progressed to the next round 3-0, while the Youth game went to Cockburn by the same scoreline.
Cup holder Swan I.C. crashed out of this year's competition when humbled 5-2 to Perth S.C. at Dorrien Gardens. Despite driving rain Perth settled quickly and made their intentions clear as Antonio Naglieri rifled just over the crossbar and Robbie Puca was denied by an alert Cory Hugo. Slowly but surely Swan began to get into rhythm and with 18 minutes gone took the lead when Scott Campbell's centring pass found Miki Vujacic whose shot was blocked and Damian Scali reacted by whipping the loose ball under Gareth Deeg. Eleven minutes later the Blues drew level following enterprising lead-up work from Matt Danskin whose cross was put away by David Onoforo. In fact Danskin was causing the opposing defence all sorts of problems down the right flank and not long after he once again delivered the ball to Onoforo who this time sent is wide. Deeg made sure the teams went into the break on an even footing by pushing a goalbound effort by David Foster over the bar. Perth came out fired up for the second half and within five minutes their supporters were celebrating as a neat move involving David Micevski and Danskin was finished off by Mark Pottier. Swan tried hard to equalise but Deeg parried Foster's effort and Damien Catalano was thwarted with the follow-up by Michael Icanovski. A surging run from Puca on the hour left the defence in his wake before the midfielder slotted through to Naglieri who made no mistake in scoring goal number three. Seven minutes later Onoforo was brought down in the box by Trevor Hatton, and Puca duly converted from the spot. Swan were caught napping in the 82nd minute when Puca's cross into the area was headed down by Daniel Brown for Onoforo to tap in. Scott Campbell brought a modicum of respectability to the scoreline by netting a final minute consolation goal for Swan.
Three second half goals earned Western Knights a 3-0 victory over E.C.U. Joondalup at Nash Field. The first half was bereft of any significant highlights at the two sides struggled to adapt to the wet conditions. The long ball game seemed to be the order of the day but this produced nothing in the way of real goalscoring opportunities as the ball simply skidded away from the strikers on a slippery surface. As the rains eased off after the break the Knights central pairing of Scott Devine and Luke Jukic began to assert their authority over proceedings. The all important break through came just after the hour when David Annall turned his man inside the 18-yard box and drilled a low pass through a crowded area which Devine smashed in at the back post. Having turned the ball over almost immediately upon the re-start, Stuart Montgomery put the ball at the feet of John Thornley who was let down by a poor first touch as goalkeeper Peter Stewart came off his line to gain possession. The Knights squandered another chance to double their lead as Mongtomery again set up Thornley whose glancing shot flashed the wrong side of the far post. With fourteen minutes left on the clock the game was put beyond Joondalup's reach as Montgomery cleverly sent Thornley past the defence and the young striker held his never to slot past the oncoming 'keeper for his third goal in as many days. The Knights continued to go in search of further goals but a bullet-like strike from Montomery was spectacularly pushed wide by a flying Stewart. Shortly after Thornley won the ball in the midfield and played through to Montgomery who this time rounded a couple of defenders and send his shot past the 'keeper from the top of the 18-yard box.
Inglewood United edged their way into the last eight of the Cup with a narrow 1-0 defeat of Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. The were good early openings for both teams with Andre Sarpe’s volley curling beyond the top corner for the visitors while Andy O’Neill fierce drive tested the reflexes of Oliver Taseski. Inglewood went ahead on 13 minutes via a dubious penalty awarded after Matt Wardle’s challenge on Sarpe, and although Francis Allen dived the right way he was unable to keep out Louis Parkinson’s spot kick. However, any hopes the crowd held of the entertainment continuing were quickly laid to rest by persistent rain and a slippery surface which lead to a scrappy match. On 32 minutes Allen produced a world-class save to deny Shaun Kilkelly from point-blank range. The only other real chance of the half came the way of Daniel Webb who crashed the ball into the side netting from a deep corner by O’Neill. Inglewood came out for the second half determined to kill off the game but neither Parkinson nor Jason Colli could find a way past the agile ‘keeper. The pendulum slowly swung in Bayswater’s favour and while they controlled play for lengthy periods only a long-range strike by O’Neill caused concern for Taseski. Play see-sawed frantically from end-to-end in the final ten minutes. Darren Broxton side-stepped an opponent but drilled a rising shot over the crossbar. Igor Novakovic sliced his way through the visiting defence before laying the ball at the feet of Stuart Fraser who blazed wide. And a close-range snap by Parkinson cannoned off the base of the upright in a tense finale. Both teams ended the match with ten men following the harsh dismissals of Michael Baczynski and Daniel Naumovski in stoppage time.
Although missing four first team regulars Sorrento swept aside Gosnells City 12-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve. The scoring spree started with just 2 minutes gone as Steve McDonald headed in Todd Harnwell's cross from the right. A long clearance by Neil Young was flicked on by McDonald to Farrell Hedges who lobbed it over the oncoming goalkeeper to increase the gap after 13 minutes. Paul McMullan added the hosts third after 29 minutes by converting a cross from Jared Love. Three minutes later Love had a goal of his own by nudging a sloppy back pass under 'keeper Matt Lee. McDonald was again the provider after 36 minutes when he nodded on Stuart Banks free-kick to Hedges who bagged his second of the day. A minute from the interval McDonald got on the end of a Harnwell cross to make the difference six goals. Constant rain made the going tough for both teams at the start of the second half which produced few genuine openings at either end. That was until the 63rd minute when Harnwell fired past the 'keeper at the second opportunity, and four minutes later the travelling supporters were finally given something to cheer about as Andy Daffin struck a superb free-kick from 30-metres. But Gosnells' joy was short-lived as McDonald completed his hat-trick almost immediately after the restart by tapping in a Love cross. 17-year old Lewis Flatt scored on debut after playing a neat one-two with McDonald. Sorrento's tenth goal came via McMullan who took full advantage of a defensive mix-up to curl the ball inside the upright. McMullan then provided the cross from which Hedges completed his hat trick with 77 minutes played. There was still time for one final goal which resulted from a fine through ball to Love who fired past the 'keeper from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Mandurah City triumphed 5-2 over Kingsway Olympic at Peelwood Parade. Jordan Rhodes scored twice with Christian Pascherwitz, Michael Bobridge and Graeme Matthews also amongst the goals for Mandurha while Kingsway's two goals came via Steve Dimitrovich. Fremantle City backed up Saturday's League win by thrashing Stirling Suns 11-0 at Ken Allen Field. David Rodgers scored four and Roberto Colalillo three for the port side whose remaining goals came via Tom Straker, Jason Barrera, Wes Ryder and an own goal. Further details of these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Balcatta vs Bassendean Caledonian courtesy Balcatta; Beckenham Angels vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City)
East Fremantle have taken on the 'giant killer' tag after defeating women's Cup holder Northern Redbacks 2-0 at Gilbert Fraser Reserve. The two sides turned on the style in a classic Cup match which kept the crowd on edge for the during as goalscoring opportunities presented themselves at each end of the park. East Fremantle deservedly went through to the next round courtesy of stand-out performances by Belinda Jombwe at the heart of the defence and goalkeeper Amanda Mirco. Midfield duo Amy-Jo Dixon and Katarina Jukic worked hard in providing an endless supply for the likes of Cait Bourke in attack.
Balcatta are through to the next round after mauling Bassendean Caledonian 13-0 at Graham Burkett Reserve. The floodgate were opened after 3 minutes by Elisia D'Ovidio and from there goals came at regular intervals as the hosts raced to an eight goal lead by the break. The one-sided nature of the game continued into the second half courtesy of some terrific passing from Balcatta. Brid Dawson ended the afternoon with a hat-trick while Lindsey Jobling, D'Ovidio, Deb Gorton and Kylie Chatto each found the back on the net twice. Also getting themselves amongst the goals were youngsters Laura Turnbull and Jessine Bonzas.
Beckenham Angels scored twice in extra-time to defeat Gosnells City 3-1 at Mills Park Sports Complex. Lizzy Scott gave Beckenham an early lead when her shot sailed into the far top corner and well beyond the reach of Michelle Dartnell. Gosnells replied through an equally fortunate goal scored by Lisa Tomnay following a corner. With their opponent tiring Beckenham seized control in extra-time as player/coached Margaret Newton put them back in front. The win was sealed when smooth footwork from Hannah Newton took her past several defenders before slotting past the 'keeper.
Murdoch University were out-classed 0-5 by Subiaco United at the Murdoch Univserity Sports Ground. The opening period was close as both teams strung together some good passages which lead to shots on goal. A handball inside the 18-yard box lead to Subiaco's first goal via the penalty spot. A few minutes later the margin was doubled when Donna Symes parried a shot which fell to the feet of an opponent who made no mistake at close-range. Subiaco's superior fitness shone through after the break as they piled on another three goals to run away with the game.
Queens Park cruised to a 13-1 win against Subiaco United B whose solitary goal came from C.Morgan. Stacey Woodfin (6), A.Keswell (2), Amy Thorpe (2), T.Rowatt and K.Woodhouse were the hosts scorers. Mandurah City were awarded their clash with Lynwood by forfeit. Goals from B.Newman and A.Maiorana earned Noranda a 2-0 win over Swan I.C. at Noranda Sporting Complex. Rockingham City came away from Rickman Delawney Reserve 3-1 victors against Northern Redbacks C. C.Herbener (2) and N.Bryan netted for Rockingham with the Redbacks goal coming via S.Burrows. Further details of these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
CHARLESWORTH LINKED WITH GLORY (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
Former Australian women's hockey coach Ric Charlesworth has been linked with Perth Glory. The A-League club are reportedly interested in Charlesworth taking on a sports performance role on a part-time basis. Charlesworth played first class cricket for West Australia and was the captain of the Australian hockey team during the 1970's. As a coach he lead the Hockeyroos to gold medal glory at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. Charlesworth held a similar role to that being offered by Glory with Australian Rules football side Fremantle Dockers. However, Glory face stiff competition for Charlesworth's services whose considering offers from the Indian and Dutch men's hockey teams.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND NINE (Sorrento vs Fremantle City by Kerry Slater; Stirling Lions vs Cockburn City by Elliott Leonard; Western Knights vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Basil Zuvela; Bayswater City vs Swan I.C. by Peter Simcox)
Perth S.C. out-classed Inglewood United to claim a 2-0 victory from their Premier League meeting at the Kiev Sports Ground. The hosts made a positive start and pegged Perth into their own half for much of the first fifteen minutes, but with Aaron Cole, Michael Icanovski and Dino Djulbic holding firm few genuine goalscoring chances presented themselves. Perth's opening goal arrived after 19 minutes when Djulbic rose highest at the near post to meet a Matt Danskin corner which he powered past Oliver Taseski in the Inglewood goal. A 32nd minute corner delivered by Robbie Puca drifted over the assembled throng in the goalmouth to an unmarked Andreas Oliveira who headed into an open net for his eleventh goal of the winter. From there Perth never looked back and despite stringing together some promising moves they had to be content with a two-goal buffer at the break. As was the case in the first half, Inglewood looked dangerous upon the recommencement of play only to be left frustrated time and time again by a well-organised Perth rearguard. Jason Colli was proving particularly effective down the left flank while on the other side of the park Kevin Griffiths worked tirelessly in sending his side forward. It was clear Perth were happy with their situation when David Onoforo came off midway through the half to join Oliveira, who was replaced at the break, on the bench. With Antonio Naglieri pulling the strings from midfield Perth created several good chances to kill off the match which all went unconverted. It was a familiar story down the opposite end where Inglewood's attackers were quickly shut down by arguably the competitions best defence. In combination with other weekend results, the win opens up a six point lead for Perth at the top of the standings.
Fremantle City made Marc Wingell's first game in charge one to remember by triumphing 3-1 over Sorrento to register the port sides first win of the campaign. Cheered on by a sizeable home crowd Sorrento dominated the opening exchanges and while they won numerous corners there were no goals. A long-range strike from Dale Wingell after 17 minutes called goalkeeper Neil Young into action for the first time. The home supporters were on their feet midway through the half when Glen Thomas' spectacular free-kick evaded Phil Straker only to crash into the crossbar. As the half wore on Fremantle grew in confidence and they very nearly took the lead in the 40th minute courtesy of a fantastic passing display which carved open the home defence and ended with Young pushing wide a goalbound volley from Boima Karpeh. There were good openings created by both teams at the start of the second half as Todd Harnwell blasted just wide, and a Kevin Correia header had the same end result. Thirteen minutes after the restart Sorrento went in front as Stuart Banks swung a free-kick into the area where Danny Hill slammed it past Straker. However, the lead lasted just six minutes before Karpeh played through to teenager Jason Barrera who kept his nerve to slotted beyond the reach of Young. With nine minutes remaining Fremantle struck for a second time through one of the most spectacular goals you're ever likely to see - Karpeh providing a cross which fell just behind Barrera who unleashed a stunning volley which gave the 'keeper no chance. Sorrento had appeals for a penalty denied in the final minute of regulation time, but there were still enough minutes left on the clock for Barrera to complete his hat trick and compound what really was a miserable day out for Sorrento's supporters.
Stirling Lions suffered their second successive loss by going down 0-2 to Cockburn City at Macedonia Park. The difference between the sides on the way was a superb display of one touch passing from the visiting side. Cockburn were quick out of the blocks and with 5 minutes gone Jeremy Chiron's explosive close range effort was blocked by Aleksander Vrteski who then kept out Jason Dos Santos' follow-up moments later. Dos Santos played a delightful low cross along the top of the 6-yard box shortly after only to have David Murphy clear the danger as Dean Wallace lined up the shot. The opening goal arrived after 15 minutes when Dos Santos' quickly free-kick was into the path of Wallace who held off two opponents before blasting past the oncoming goalkeeper. Cockburn went in search of further goals with Liam Lilly putting a header past Vrteski which Murphy cleared off the line, and Peter Petkovich shot disappointingly wide with only the 'keeper to beat. The Lions finally opened up the opposing defence with Ian Griffiths and Rob Milevski combining to set up Steve Bozinovski who rounded Alan Dunlop but his shot from an increasing angle was kept out by an alert Marko Aleksic. And just before the break Aaron McKee lifted the ball high following good lead-up work involving Griffiths, Milevski and Bozinovski. The second half was two minutes old when Cockburn doubled their advantage through a perfectly timed through ball from Chiron which Petkovich stroked past the 'keeper from 17-metres. Paul Dickson though he'd pulled a goal back in the 65th minute but his long-range effort was ruled out for offside. Cockburn carved out numerous opportunities to put make the result safe over the closing stage without success. Aleksic's vicious shot was halted on the line by Darko Ilomanoski, while goalbound strikes by Shane McNally and Michael Mirco were spectacularly pushed wide by Vrteski.
Western Knights recovered from conceding an early goal to take maximum points over E.C.U. Joondalup by 3-1 at Nash Field. The home side were slow to get going and after 6 minutes found themselves a goal behind when sloppy defending allowed Keith Brown to volley into the net of Tommi Tomich. The Knights' wasted little time in hitting back and shortly after Daniel Trim nodded the ball past the defence for John Thornley to race through and slip the equalising goal beyond a despairing Peter Stewart. The dismissal of Daniel Trim midway through the half for a dubious second yellow card offence appeared at first to be a crippling blow for the Knights, but instead it galvanised the side and some stubborn defending prevent their opponent from going into the break with the lead. Minutes from half-time Thornley was presented with a great chance to put the Knights ahead but his shot was directed straight the 'keeper, much to the disappointment of the vocal home supporters. The home side spent much of the second half playing on the counter-attack as Joondalup attempted sought to capitalise on their numerical advantage. A long thrown from Tomich was chested down by Seb Trim who clipped the ball over a square defence for Thornley who stroked it confidently past the 'keeper to put the Knights in the box seat. The result was put beyond doubt ten minutes later when Paul Cooke's weaving run down the right wing took him past several players before playing the ball to the feet of Andrija Jukic who tapped into an open goal from a metre. The come-from-behind win was a testament to the Knights strong team ethic, and keeps them amongst the group of teams chasing breakaway leader Perth S.C.
In a terribly one-sided match at Alfred Skeet Oval Armadale were on the receiving end of a five goal thrashing from Floreat Athena. In his first appearance for Floreat PJ Mills took just two minutes to get on the scoresheet when presented with the easiest of tap-ins following a loose ball inside the area. It was a strike Armadale wouldn't recover from and for the remainder of the half they were forced on to the back foot by a visiting team hell bent on scoring. The margin was doubled after 19 minutes when a scramble in the goalmouth saw the ball drop to Eugene Singeorzan who slotted past goalkeeper Nick Stone. In the 33rd Singeorzan showed a touch of class by brilliantly bringing a high ball and continuing his run toward goal before beating Stone for a second time. Armadale threatened on a couple of occasions with a Peter Vukmirovic header tipped over by Vas Vujacic, and just before the break Darren Kingston headed wide from a Christian Alvarez cross. Another opportunity went begging on the hour as Vukmirovic shot wide with only the 'keeper to beat. A surging run down the right from Jarred Smith saw his low ball into the area deflect off a defender to the feet of Bajo Savic who was denied by the sharp reflexes of Stone. Luck played a part in Floreat's fourth which saw another low cross ricochet off a defender to the opposite side of the box where Branimir Mikulic fired it beyond the reach of the 'keeper. Fourteen minutes from the end Savic magically stole possession from an opponent and then with a sublime chip beat Stone as he came out to narrow the angle. Floreat were unlucky not to add a sixth goal via a long kick by Vujacic which was headed on by Singeorzan and Mikulic was twice denied by the 'keeper.
Swan I.C. earned their second win of the season with a come from behind 3-2 victory over Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. Bayswater began brightly as Ross Barnes played in Andy O'Neill only to be dispossessed by Damian Todorovic. The visitors continued to go forward and in the 8th minute Stuart Fraser raced past a static defence and fired past goalkeeper Cory Hugo for the opening goal. Their next chance came the way of O'Neill whose goalbound shot was well saved by Cory Hugo. The margin was doubled in the 21st minute when Barnes' corner wasn't sufficiently deal with Daniel Webb drilled a low shot into the back of the net. Bayswater were well on top and unlucky not to be three up through Sal Marrapodi whose shot was disappointingly wide of the target. A handball in the Swan box gave the hosts a penalty after 36 minutes and from the spot Miki Vujacic sent Francis Allen the wrong way to make it one-two at half-time. The introduction of Damien Catalano paid immediate dividends and with his first touch he leveled the game with a blistering shot into the top corner from 20-metres. This suprred Swan into action and David Foster crashed the ball into the upright with Vujacic putting the follow-up high. Swan through they went ahead shortly after when Damian Scali poked the ball in following a corner but his effort was disallowed by an offside flag. The decisive goal came with nine minutes to go when Scott Campbell seized upon a sloppy back pass and raced through to beat the oncoming 'keeper. In Bayswater's frantic attempt to snatch a share of the points Cormac Dawson headed wide while Cory Hugo was well placed to keep out a powerful effort from Fraser in the closing minutes.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND NINE (Balcatta vs Ashfield by Martin Swann; Bassendean Caledonian vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth; Dianella White Eagles vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City)
First Division leader Wanneroo City were held at a 1-1 draw by a focused Forrestfield United at the Kingsway Sporting Complex this afternoon. It took Forrestfield just 6 minutes to gain the upper hand as Roger Miron combined with Glen Noblett before speeding down the right and delivering a deep cross to Richard Fox who nodded past the goalkeeper. Stunned at being a goal down so early Wanneroo took time to regroup but slowly worked their way back into the match. They were rewarded with an equalising goal late in the half after Matt Donlevy's cross field ball found Scott Bulloch who made no mistake in drilling it low and beyond the reach of Scott Radford. Both sides went close to gaining the lead early in the second half with Jon Greenwood's goalbound strike deflected wide, and Miron met a free-kick by Justin Mansfield only to nod the ball wide of the target. Stuart Collins created a fine chance for the home team by playing a low ball into the danger zone only for no one to be on hand to finish the move. With ten minutes to go Wanneroo went down to ten men with the dismissal of Bulloch following an aerial tussle with Joe Healy. Wanneroo won the Reserves 6-0, and Forrestfield triumphed 8-0 in the Youths.
Balcatta moved to within a point of Wanneroo following a commanding 3-0 defeat of Ashfield at Graham Burkett Reserve. Ashfield looked the more dangerous early on with a series of long diagonal passes which had the opposing defence in trouble on more than one occasion. But once Balcatta settled into a rhythm they took control of proceedings in with Adam Raines turning in another superb performance in the centre of the park. Balcatta's set pieces were first class and late in the half David Moschilla and Toby Wright created the space for Raines to power home the opening goal. The pressure on the Ashfield backline was relentless so it came as no surprise when Raines doubled the margin with a flying header. Ashfield saw more of the ball after the break but never really looked like pulling a goal back as they continually played the long ball. By contrast Balcatta showed flashes of brilliance. Raines turned one player inside out before sprinting down the wing and delivering a superb cross to Danny Carlino who was denied by a splendid save from Maekol Taseski. The result was put beyond doubt when Keegan Ashley headed in a cross from Raines. Ashfield claimed the Reserves 3-2, while the Youth team fixture ended 4-2 in favour of Balcatta.
Rockingham City continued their superb away form with a 3-2 win over Stirling Suns at the Cracovia Club. The result keeps the southerners in third place, two points behind Wanneroo and one adrift of Balcatta, after nine rounds of fixtures. Luke Morris earned Rockingham an early penalty but the attacker wasted opportunity by scuffed wide from the spot. A couple of minutes later Glen Hallums was through with only the goalkeeper to beat and on this occasion there was no mistake in the visitors gaining the lead. Rockingham didn't have to wait before increasing the margin with Hallums rising highest to head in his seventh goal of the campaign. The Suns hade created little in the way of chances but just before the break gained a corner which was put away following a goalmouth scramble. Hallums could have completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot only to hit the ball straight at the 'keeper early in the new half. A neat move produced the visitors third goal in which Alex Smith's deep cross found Paul Colkin who buried his header in the back of the net. This sparked the Suns into action and although they reduced the gap via an own goal it was a case of too little too late. Rockingham cruised to an 11-0 win in the Reserves.
Canning City endured a bruising encounter at Jubilee Reserve to triumph 2-1 over Bassendean Caledonian in a match marred by blatant and sometimes dangerous fouls. The opening exchanges belonged to Canning who outpaced their older but more experienced rival and deservedly went ahead on 6 minutes through Ross Postuma who headed in Ryan Allomes' deep free-kick. Bassendean wrestled the initiative from the visiting team in the later stages of the half which resulted in Rydeen Botha equalising after 39 minutes. The physical approach employed by Bassendean continued into the new half and they were unlucky not to take the lead when through Jason Van Rooy whose free-kick from distance cannoned back off the crossbar. With the yellow card count mounting the hosts had no one to blame but themselves for a foul on Daniel Trevisiol inside the 18-yard box, and from the spot Allomes sent Kevin Miller the wrong way to restore Canning's lead after 65 minutes. The closing stages saw a number of rash challenges from Bassendean players which lead to the dismissals of Joe Marrapodi and Van Rooy for second bookable offences. Earlier in the day Canning's Reserves won 6-1 and the Youth side 5-0.
There was a goalfest at Dianella Reserve with Gosnells City coming away 6-4 victors over Dianella White Eagles. Within twenty minutes of the opening whistle Gosnells had raced to a four goal lead in what was to be a game of two very different halves. Top draw strikes from Adam Bremner, John Cassidy and Ian Maguire were added to by an own goal at which stage it looked as the game was dead and buried as a contest. Gosnells were in scintillating form and when Adam Bremer struck two more goals leading into half time the only question being asked was 'how many more?' But Dianella refused to concede and a defensive error resulted Miladin Gurovski netting their opener, and when Stefan Smiljanic added a second it was clear the hosts were on the comeback trail. Dianella controlled play for much of the second half and midway through Petar Mrdja struck one of the sweetest free-kicks you'll ever see to further reduce the deficit. And it was very much game on when Gurovski drilled in a terrific shot in from 19-metres with quarter of an hour still to be played. But Gosnells buckled down to the task at hand and weathered the storm to ensure their team of victory. Gosnells claimed the Reserves 1-0, with Dianella winning the Youths 4-0.
Mandurah City moved to fourth place on the table after downing Morley Windmills 4-2 at Peelwood Parade. The hosts goals came via Christian Paschewitz, Jordan Rhodes, Michael Bobright and Gary Attrill with Ray Rose and Adrian McBride finding the net for Windmills. There was a bucket load of goals scored at Kingsway Sporting Complex where a late goal earned Kingsway Olympic a 4-4 draw with Queens Park. Sota Iwasaki (2), Derek Cooke and Steve Dimitrovich were Kingsway's scorers while T.Rains (3) and Vince Grooby netted for the visitors. Further details of these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Fremantle City are back in business after pulling off one of the shocks of the season and thumping Sorrento 3-1 for their first win of the Premier League campaign. Perth S.C. extended their unbeaten run to nine goals - and their lead at the top of the table to six points - with a 2-0 win over Inglewood United. Dean Wallace and Peter Petkovich found the net in Cockburn City's 2-0 win over Stirling Lions. John Thornley scored twice in Western Knights 3-1 home defeat of E.C.U. Joondalup. Floreat Athena took out maximum points by thrashing Armadale 5-0, while a late strike from Scott Campbell earned Swan I.C. a 3-2 victory at Bayswater City.
Three points separate the three clubs at the head of the First Division table. Out in front by the slenderest of margins are Wanneroo City who were held 1-1 at home by Forrestfield United. Balcatta's 3-0 win over Ashfield moves to within a point of the leader, while Rockingham City are close behind after their 3-2 win at Stirling Suns. Mandurah City's 4-2 home win over Morley Windmills elevates them into fourth place. There were goals galore at Dianella Reserve where Gosnells City emerged 6-4 victors over Dianella White Eagles, while Kingsway Olympic drew 4-4 with Queens Park. Canning City moved away from the foot of the tables by defeating Bassendean Caledonian 2-1 at Jubilee Reserve.
The second round of association Cup fixtures produced thrills and spills aplenty on Monday. In the latter category was Balcatta's 1-0 triumph over Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. Cockburn City kept their Cup dream alive with a penalty shoot-out win against Canning City, while Inglewood United edged past Bayswater City courtesy of a controversial first half penalty. Perth S.C. eliminated Cup holder Swan I.C. 5-2, which was the same score for Mandurah City who downed Kingsway Olympic. Western Knights defeated E.C.U. Joondalup 3-0 at Nash Field. There were a couple of big wins for top flight clubs over First Division opposition with Fremantle City thrashed Stirling Suns 11-0, and Sorrento crushing Gosnells City 12-1.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
There are several mouth-watering match-ups in the ninth round of Premier League action. It's first verses third at the Kiev Sports Ground where an unbeaten Perth S.C. square off with Inglewood United. Armadale have home ground advantage over Floreat Athena in what promises to be a cracking game. Anything less than victory for Bayswater City and Swan I.C. from their meeting at Frank Drago Reserve will be viewed as valuable points lost for both sides. Western Knights face an E.C.U. Joondalup side looking to claw their way up the standings. Cockburn City is expected to win away at Stirling Lions, likewise Sorrento who travel to Fremantle City.
The pick of the First Division action takes place at Kingsway Sporting Complex where competition pacesetter Wanneroo City take on fourth placed Forrestfield United. Balcatta face a tough home clash with Ashfield, while Rockingham City are on the road to Stirling Suns. At Jubilee Reserve Bassendean Caledonian take on a Canning City outfit who are surprisingly rooted to the foot of the table. Dianella White Eagles take on Gosnells City, and Queens Park head north to Kingsway Olympic. Mandurah City welcome Morley Windmills to Peelwood Parade, and South West Phoenix have the weekend off due to the bye.
Concluding the long weekend is the Second Round of the Midland Brick sponsored association Cup. The pick of the round takes place at Dorrien Gardens where Perth S.C. and Swan I.C. clash in the traditional derby. Balcatta will be attempting to upset home side Floreat Athena, while at Frank Drago Reserve Bayswater City go head-to-head with Inglewood United. Western Knights take on E.C.U. Joondalup at Nash Field for the second time in three days. Cockburn City host Canning City, and Sorrento welcome Gosnells City to the northern suburbs. At Ken Allen Field it's Fremantle City against Stirling Suns. Mandurah City face Kingsway Olympic in the only all First Division clash.
MORGAN CALLS FOR MORE GAMES
Sorrento coach Trevor Morgan has called upon Football West to extend the Premier League season. Morgan is of the belief the current 22-game home-and-away series is too short and would like to see a third round of games added to the schedule. "My feeling has always been that we don't play enough games, especially now the top five has been scrapped," he said this week. "Twenty-two games isn't a great deal to play when you take into consideration the season lasts nine or ten months once you factor in the pre-season."
"Another round of games - which would take the season to thirty-three games - would give you a truer indication of who is the best team in the league, and give all teams a chance to recover from the loss of key players through injury or suspension," Morgan added. "It would also enable teams to 'go through a bad patch' but still be in the hunt to win the League due to the extra games being played. Double headers could be played at a neutral venue every other Tuesday night under lights as a way of offering something new to players and fans alike. I see no reason why such a concept couldn't benefit the game here in Perth."
BALCATTA'S AIM IS TO KEEP FOCUSED
A good start to the First Division season has put Balcatta in a strong position to challenge Wanneroo City for top honours. Balcatta are currently hot on the heels of the pre-season favourite much to the delight of coach Basil Lenzo. "We've been relatively happy with our start to the season," said Lenzo this week. "Considering we made a number of signings over the summer the side has come together quite well and is playing some attractive football. However, it's still early days, there's a long way to go and the key for us is to keep in touch with Wanneroo who really are the front runners."
A strong recruitment drive over the summer has certainly paid dividends for Balcatta who are working hard to gain promotion to the top flight for the first time in the clubs twenty-eight year history. "The signing of Keegan Ashley, Toby Wright, Adam Rains and Jason Healy, and more recently goalkeeper Jordan Conti, has had a tremendous impact on the squad both on and off the park," added Lenzo. "They have brought not only some great individual skills but also an understanding of what it takes to win a premiership, as they did with Stirling Lions. To the player they all work hard and have a lot to offer Balcatta, and the game in general."
The other key ingredient in Balcatta's positive start to 2005 has been quality in depth. "We've got a talented, large squad which augurs well come match day when you have all players vying for a position on the park," commented Lenzo. "The players brought in have lifted our overall level of professionalism, and as a club we're serious about progressing the development of our youth players to meet their long-term goals and objectives. Pat Luca, our club president, is always in pursuit of the bigger picture and that is bringing on the young players in our area - a successful senior team filters down through the club and ensures that we can capture the next generation of players."
SCHOOLBOYS SQUAD ANNOUNCED
The West Australian squad for the upcoming Schools National Championship has been finalised. The Schoolboys coaching staff this week named sixteen players who'll represent the State at the annual tournament which is being held in Cairns, Queensland, during August. "We are please with the depth and versatility of our squad," commented team manager Neil Alweyn. "The squad selected will allow us to play a variety of formations and systems in Cairns which is vital for our success at the championship."
The 2005 State Schoolboys squad features the talents of Scott Patterson (Armadale), Jason O'Bryne (Floreat Athena), Tim de Souza, Steve Hesketh, Andrew Pomfret (Fremantle City), Stuart Hartmann (E.C.U. Joondalup), Stephen Bettella, Goce Dilevski, Luke Hudston, Brendan Ross (Perth S.C.), Lewis Flatt, Jesse Higgins, David Houston (Sorrento), Steve Bozinovski (Stirling Lions), Rodrigo Aguirre and Daniel Simcox (Swan I.C.).
RECORD BREAKING MONTH OF MAY
A whole new set of records were established last month on footballwa.net. May 2005 turned out to be our biggest month ever with a massive 37,236 hits registered on the website. The week commencing Monday 9th May became the most successful seven-day period on record with 9,030 hit scored. And 1,794 hits made Monday 2nd May our most popular single day. As of the end of May a grand total of 131,257 hits have been registered on the website meaning you are well on your way to breaking last years record tally of 224,418 hits.
AMATEURS TAKE OVER THE AIRWAVES
Radio SportFM 90.5 is calling on coaches, players and fans of the amateur game to take part in 'Ask the Referee'. The weekly, two-hour radio show dedicated to the amateur leagues will go out on Sunday evenings. It's fun, topical and is another great way to promote the world game so be sure to tune in each and every Sunday from 6.00pm. For more details on Radio Sport's new show contact host Chris Pearce on 0417 472 203.
CUP GAMES BACK ON
Football West have reversed their decision of only a few days ago to postpone two of this weekend's association Cup fixtures. The controlling body ruled last week that E.C.U. Joondalup's and Fremantle City's upcoming Cup games, against Western Knights and Stirling Suns respectively, would be play at a later date due to those clubs having numerous players away on duty with the State Under-18 team. However, Joondalup have since withdrawn their request to postpone, while a closer inspection of the rules revealed Fremantle did not meet the requirements to re-scheduled their game. As such, Joondalup will head to Nash Field on Monday to meet the Knights, while Fremantle have home ground advantage against the Suns.
DUNDEE CONFIRM MADASCHI SIGNING
Dundee have agreed a one-year deal with Australian international Adrian Madaschi. The 22-year old spent the past two seasons with Partick Thistle but following their relegation from the Scottish First Division became one of thirteen players not offered new terms. Madaschi will join his new teammates when pre-season training commences in around four weeks.
FREMANTLE AND PARKINSON GO SEPARATE WAYS
Fremantle City's poor start to the season has claimed Steve Parkinson. With Fremantle City rooted to the foot of the Premier League table and winless after eight games the club relieved Parkinson of duty hours after Saturday's home loss to Perth S.C. Parkinson, one of the state's best credentialed coaches, took over at Fremantle in the middle of last year and successfully steered the side away from the relegation zone over the closing weeks of the season.
Fremantle have acted swiftly by appointing former Australian youth international Marc Wingell as first team coach for the remainder of the season. 31-year old Wingell becomes the State League's youngest coach and faces the daunting task of turning around Fremantle's season. Wingell represented Australia at Under-20 and Under-23 levels and can count Perth Kangaroos and Perth Glory amongst his former clubs. Assisting Wingell with coaching duties will be Joe Vinciguerra.
SCHOOLBOYS SATISFIED WITH PERFORMANCE DESPITE LOSS
The State Schoolboys went down 1-2 to a combined Swan I.C. first/reserve side under lights at the Swan Italian Club last night. Although the result wasn't in their favour there were plenty of positives for the representative side who were without four of their number due to State Under-18 team commitments. "Last night's game was a good physical test for the lads," said team manager Neil Alweyn. "The game was not about the result for us - it was about giving the lads an opportunity to play committed and disciplined football, and to put their hands up to be selected to represent their State."
The opening half of last night's friendly was dominated by Swan for whom Scott Campbell, Matt Ullbricht and Damian Catalano went close. The deadlock was broken ten minutes in to the second half when Tony Cumace curled a free-kick around the wall and beyond the reach of goalkeeper Matt Johnson. The Schoolboys upped the tempo and moments later Wesley Ryder unleashed a fierce shot from distance which was saved by Louis Lopresti. A terrific exchange of passes involving Daniel Simcox, Goce Dilevski and Ryder ended with Dilevski crashing the ball into the upright.
Against the run of play Swan increased their lead through Scott Campbell whose shot on the run flew past Johnson in the 70th minute. Within five minutes the Schoolboys were back in the hunt after being awarded a penalty for Danyal Bennett's foul on Dilevski, and Ryder made no mistake from the spot. Chances presented themselves at both ends over the closing stages with Catalano rifling over the crossbar following good lead-up work by Robert Monterosso. Down the other end Dilevski surged forward to cross to Ryder whose shot met with the same fate.
ON THIS DAY ... 1981
Memories of England's World Cup Final victory of 1966 were rekindled when team captain Bobby Moore visited Perth for a number of guest appearances in 1981. Undoubtedly one of the best defenders the game has seen, Moore stood head and shoulders above the rest in a lengthy professional career that saw him make in excess of 900 senior appearances - many of those as captain, regardless of whether he was playing for club or country.
Moore's first game in the local competition was at home for Kiev on Sunday 31st May, 1981, against an undefeated competition leader Azzurri. Witnessed by a bumper crowd of over 4,000, Moore's faultless distribution from the centre of defence provided plenty for his teammates to work with. But despite his efforts the veteran was unable to inspire Kiev to victory a goal after 28 minutes from the boot of Paul Tombides deciding the match.
A week later Moore again asserted his influence against Gosnells City but it was all to no avail with the visitors to Kiev Sports Ground triumphing 2-0. Following a hasty mid-week transfer the Hammers legend joined Rockingham United for the Third Division clash with Perth City on Saturday 13th June. Unfortunately for Moore his time in Perth would end without a win as Perth City held out for a 2-2 draw at Dowling Street Reserve.
At the age of 17 Moore made his first senior appearance for West Ham United. A defender that simply oozed class, he would go on to play on 642 occasions for the Hammers in during a sixteen season spell with the London club. Moore captained West Ham during the most successful period of their history. He lead the Hammers to FA Cup final glory in 1964, when he was named Footballer of the Year, and a year later lifted the European Cup Winners Cup.
Moore debuted at international level for England in 1962. Four years later he experienced the ultimate high by lifting the World Cup after captained England to a 4-2 victory over West Germany. At the conclusion of the competition Moore was named Player of the Tournament, a fitting and deserved honour. Between 1962 and 1973 he made 108 appearances for England - 90 of those wearing the captain's armband.
After leaving the Hammers in 1974 Moore spent several seasons with Fulham for whom he'd play on 149 occasions. Stints in the fledgling North American Soccer League with San Antonio Thunder and Seattle Sounders preceded his retirement from professional football in 1977. He turned his hand to management with non-league Oxford City in 1979 before a two-year spell in charge of Southend United commencing 1984.
OLIVEIRA, BULLOCH SET THE PACE
Perth S.C goal sneak Andreas Oliveiera remains on course to win his first ever Golden Boot. In eight regular season outings the lively 23-year old has racked up an impressive ten goals to lead the race for the leading goalscorer award. Western Knights striker Stuart Montgomery, the pre-season favourite to outscore all-comers, sits in second place with seven goals alongside another Perth player in David Onoforo. Teenager Steve Bozinovski (Stirling Lions) is next with six goals followed by Todd Harnwell (Sorrento), Darren Kingston (Armadale) and Greg Sharland (Inglewood United) who've each netted five times. A further goal off the pace are John Mirco (Cockburn City), Kevin Correia (Fremantle City) and Floreat Athena strike partners Branimir Mikulic and Eugene Singeorzan.
Scott Bulloch of Wanneroo City is out in front for the honour of the First Division's leading goalscorer. The 20-year old attacker leads the way on ten goals with five of those coming via the penalty spot. Ryan Jeans (Bassendean Caledonian), David Moschilla (Balcatta) and Steve Suttie (South West Phoenix) are in joint second place with seven goals. One behind them are Ciaran Allen (Ashfield), Rydeen Botha (Bassendean) and Christian Paschewitz (Mandurah City). Rockingham City's Glen Hallums has five goals, while sitting on four goals apiece are Stefan Smiljanic (Dianella White Eagles), Brian Robertson (Wanneroo) and Ray Rose (Morley Windmills).
MAKE HISTORY WITH GLORY (courtesy Perth Glory)
With a new era of football in Australia nearly upon us, Perth Glory are looking for anyone and everyone with a passion for the game to take part in a record-breaking five-a-side marathon. The club are looking for participants an attempt a new world record for the longest continuous game of football. The Glory Football Marathon will take place in Forrest Place, Perth, between Friday 29th July and Sunday 31st July. The marathon game is in aid of homeless charity 'the Big Issue' and will be kicked off by Steve McMahon and the Glory squad.
"This Guinness World Record attempt is a fantastic chance for everyone in Perth to get involved in a fun event for a good cause ahead of the Hyundai A-League kick-off in August," said Glory's commercial manager Justin Everley. "We want people to take part in this event as we look to raise the profile of the homeless in Perth and bring everyone together to kick-off an exciting new era for our sport in WA. Hopefully, this event will raise the profile of 'the Big Issue' and their work with the homeless while also providing a lot of fun for everyone involved."
'The Big Issue' is a current affairs magazine sold on the streets by homeless and unemployed people who are looking to improve their lot in life. They receive half the cover price of the magazine as their income and they sell from authorised positions throughout Perth and the suburbs as well as Bunbury in the south. "The World Record attempt will not only highlight the Big Issue cause but will be a welcome break for the vendors who will be playing in and supporting this event," said Jim Petrie from 'the Big Issue'.
To make the event a success Glory are looking for squads of ten or more players to take part in the marathon game. Players must be at least 14 years old and squads of at least ten will play within 48 one hour-long segments. Each team will have rolling substitutes, allowing everyone to have a chance to be involved in this unique World Record attempt. To register your interest in this one-off event please e-mail event organiser, Stuart Gilsenan, via firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Bassendean Caledonian vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; Balga vs Murdoch University courtesy Murdoch University; Lynwood Colts vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City; Northern Redbacks 'C' vs Subiaco United courtesy Subiaco United)
Northern Redbacks moved back to the top of the women's Premier league with a 8-0 mauling of Noranda at Rickman Delawney Reserve. The home team were in devastating first half form, putting away seven goals to kill off their opponents hopes. After the break the Redbacks eased off the pace and added only one further goal to their tally despite numerous opportunities. Ciara Conway and L. De Laurentis end the day with a hat-trick each while R.Caswell snared a double. The win allowed the Redbacks to leapfrog over Balcatta and open up a single point lead at the head of the table.
Balcatta slipped to second spot after being held 0-0 by Kingsley at Chichester Park. A tight match was dominated by the respective defences who held firm under pressure and limited their opponents to shooting from long-range. Lindsay Jobling and Laura Turnbull went close for the visitors while Kingsley's best chance saw a free-kick from Sally Sanigar flash wide. After the break Jobling beat goalkeeper Kate Burns with a terrific free-kick which cannoned back off the crossbar, and down the opposite end Sanigar was denied late in the game by a fine save from Lisa Tana. Few could argue that a scoreless draw was a fair reflection of an even and entertaining game.
Subiaco United took the points 2-1 over East Fremantle on a warm Sunday's afternoon at Wauhop Park. The visitors broke their after 25 minutes when a cross from the left by Olivia Probst was slammed first time into the net by Flo Tawns. The remainder of the half was dominated by Subiaco but further goals evaded them. East Fremantle equalised in the 63rd minute when Cait Bourke's shot was parried by the goalkeeper and Jasmina Markovic put away the rebound. A tiring Subiaco soaked up the pressure as the hosts sought the lead. The decider arrived eight minutes from the end when Kerry McGawley's free-kick from 25-metres evaded the outstretched hands of the 'keeper.
Bassendean Caledonian were left shell-shocked as Mandurah City ran out 13-3 winners from their meeting at Jubilee Reserve. It was all one-way traffic in the first half as the visiting team hit nine unanswered goals. The second half was a much more even affair with goals coming at both ends of the park. Jiame Carley top scored for Mandurah with five goals, Emily Bateman and Harriet Talbert each netted a hat-trick, Melanie Loreto bagged two and Laura Parmenter one. The win puts Mandurah on top of the First Division table, level with Beckenham Angels on points but with a superior goal difference.
It ended 1-1 between Balga and Murdoch University at Brian Burke Reserve. Murdoch started a scrappy contest strongly with wingbacks Nic Steer and Rachel Ramsdale featuring prominently and delivering a stream of crosses into the box. However, it was Balga who found the target after 30 minutes courtesy of some loose marking at close-range. Murdoch increased their workrate for the second half and parity was restored when Frano Laurence made a surging run out of defence and combined with Jo Steer who slotted past the 'keeper after her initial shot was blocked. The winning goal came shortly after via Mhairi Jefferies.
A best on ground performance from attacking midfielder Danielle Brown earned Lynwood a 5-0 victory over Gosnells City. Brown and Lauren Quinlan worked tirelessly for the home side who dominated procedings to run out deserved victors. The final margin could have been much greater if not for the heroics of Gosnells goalkeeper Michelle Dartnell who was outstanding between the posts. Mel Spillman threatened to open the visitors account on several occasions but each time she beat the 'keeper the frame of the goal proved her foil.
Subiaco United came away from Rickman Delawney Reserve with all three points courtesy of a 4-2 scoreline over Northern Redbacks 'C'. Cindy Morgan put Subiaco in front within minutes of kick-off, after which time the game developed into a tight battle with the ball seeing both ends of the pitch regularly. The home team levelled the match with a great shot from the top of the 18-yard box which sailed over the head of Nicky Ascot. Midway through the second half Morgan put Subiaco back in front, her hat-trick came via the penalty spot, and a neat exchange of passes enabled the dynamic striker to increase her tally to four goals. The Redbacks managed to peg back the gap with a late strike.
Beckenham Angels defeated University of WA 2-1 in the top of the table clash at Mills Park Sports Complex. The win extends Beckenham's perfect win record to eight games and keeps them level with Mandurah City. Rockingham City went down 3-4 in their mid-table meeting with Swan I.C. at Paul Garnett Reserve.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND EIGHT (Sorrento vs Bayswater City by Kerry Slater; Inglewood United vs Stirling Lions courtesy Elliott Leonard; E.C.U. Joondalup vs Cockburn City by Lennie Bavich; Swan I.C. vs Armadale by Peter Simcox)
Perth S.C. were rarely troubled as they swept aside Fremantle City 4-0 in glorious conditions at Dorrien Gardens. The Blues were quickly into stride and delivered a killer one-two punch within minutes of kick-off that left the visiting team stunned. The opening goal arrived with just two minutes elapsed when Aaron Cole's speculative shot was deflected by past goalkeeper Phil Straker by David Onoforo. And five minutes later a great passage of play through midfield culminated in a cross from Onoforo which was put away by Antonio Naglieri to widen the gap. From that point on there was only ever going to be one outcome as Perth completely dominant play and created numerous goalscoring opportunities. More good lead-up work resulted in Perth adding a third to their tally just before the break as Onoforo dummied Robbie Puca's low cross into the area for Andreas Oliviera who slotted it past the 'keeper with his left boot. The same pattern continued after the break and in the 47th minute Oliveria bagged his tenth goal of the campaign with a precisely placed half-volley into the top corner. Fremantle worked hard to reduce the deficit but could find few holes in Perth's well-organised defence of Cole, Michael Icanovski and Dino Djulbic leading to a quiet afternoon for goalkeeper Gareth Deeg. With their midfield well on top Perth's onslaught was relentless and it was only through a combination of desperate defending and some very average finishing that the final margin wasn't greater. "Three of our goals came about through some terrific teamwork and the quality of the finishing was a joy to behold," said Perth coach Graham Normanton after the game. "In the second half we were guilty of not putting away some very good chances which was a disappointment, but all in all I was pleased with our performance."
Between them Sorrento and Bayswater City found the net seven times with the hosts running out 4-3 winners at Percy Doyle Reserve. Pre-match expectations of a one-sided encounter were quickly put aside as the teams turned in a pulsating match that could easily have ended in favour of either team. Sorrento were quick out of the blocks and Simon Harland was first to test a goalkeeper with a solid shot that Francis Allen kept out. The home side were left stunned after 8 minutes when Bayswater scored against the run of play through Andrew O'Neill who latching onto a though ball and firing past Neil Young. Following a couple of near missess Sorrento drew level on 26 minutes when Stuart Banks' cross made its' way to Brodie Martin who slotted into the net. The second half started with both sides on the attack. Nine minutes in and O'Neill restored Bayswater's advantage by side-stepping the on-coming 'keeper and shooting truly from 14-metres. But the visitors celebrations were short-lived as just three minutes later Todd Harnwell cut the ball back from the byline to Harland who arrowed in the equaliser. Another attack a minute later saw Harnwell play a delightful ball to the near post where Danny Hill made no mistake in putting Sorrento ahead from close-range. The outcome match was seemingly put beyond doubt in the 67th minute when Harnwell went around his marker and crossed to Paul McMullan whose volley made it four-two. But Bayswater weren't done yet and Sal Marrapodi pulled a goal back to set up a tense final fifteen minutes. The visitors fought desperately to add a fourth to their tally but it wasn't to be and Sorrento claimed victory at the conclusion of the afternoon's entertainment.
Inglewood United remain in third place following a narrow 1-0 win over Stirling Lions at the Kiev Sports Ground this afternoon. Although Inglewood had the majority of possession it was the Lions who created better of chances and were unlucky not to earn themselves at least a point. The fist chance came via a cross from Alen Zilic which the Inglewood defence failed to deal with and in the scramble that resulted Steve Bozinovski smacked his shot against the post. Inglewood went close through a Greg Sharland header that flew past Aleksandar Vrteski but Ian Griffiths was on hand to clear off the line. The Lions again rode their luck on the half hour when a jinxing run by Albert Osei-Tutu saw him lay the ball off to Jason Colli whose shot was blocked by Vrteski, and Sharland's follow-up was halted on the line by Darko Ilomanoski. However, Inglewood broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time as Andre Sarpe squared from the right to Sharland whose shot was parried by Vrteski and Kevin Griffiths made no mistake with the loose ball from 9-metres. Moments later the hosts nearly extended their lead when Rory Mouttet picked Sarpe out in the box but he was denied by the legs of Vrteski. The Lions started to open up the home defence early in the second half as Bozinovski and Aaron McKee combined with the latter's long ball finding Ian Griffiths who put his shot just wide of the post. The rest of the game provided chances for both teams to seize initiative without addition to the score. McKee's shot from 27-metres sailed over the crossbar, and an Ian Griffiths effort was deflected. Down the opposite end Sharland had a header cleared off the line, Louis Parkinson was denied by Vrtseki's fingertip save, and Mouttet sent the ball high from 6-metres in the closing minutes.
Cockburn City returned home from the northern suburbs with their third successive win courtesy of a 3-1 scoreline against E.C.U. Joondalup. The home side made the better start and controlled play for much of the opening quarter hour. Their first chance on goal came after 5 minutes when a searching pass from Martin Ashworth favoured Garin Collins whose shot went wide. Minutes later Collins had Alan Dunlop at full-length along his line to keep out a powerful free-kick. Cockburn began to work their way into the game but could make little headway against the hosts well organised defence. That was until the 25th minute when John Mirco knocked in his teams' opening goal after Shane McNally and Domenic De Felice combined in the centre of the park. Joondalup had almost restored parity within three minutes as goalbound headers from Collins and Tom Jones were kept out by the reflexes of Dunlop. The Cockburn custodian was in superb form and time after time he turned away shots on goal from the Joondalup forwards. With half-time nearing the hosts thought they'd found a way through via Tom Jones but again Dunlop came to the rescue with a superb diving shot to push the shot wide. The same pattern of play continued after the break as Collins slipped a shot under the advancing 'keeper only to watch it roll agonisingly wide. It was against the run of play then that Cockburn doubled their lead through John Mirco who stroked the ball low and beyond the reach of Peter Stewart with 54 minutes gone. Joondalup's persistence was finally rewarded when Tom Jones robbed an opponent of possession and neatly tucked the ball past the out stretched hands of Dunlop. The home sides efforts to grab a late equaliser proved their undoing as Cockburn surged forward on the counter attack and Jeremy Chiron put away his third goal in as many weeks.
Western Knights prevailed 3-0 against Floreat Athena in an uninspiring encounter at Litis Stadium. There were few first half highlights as the two sides became locked in a titantic struggle for control. As the half progressed the hosts began to get in top with Bajo Savic showing his quality in the centre of the park. The best opportunity of the period came the way of Branimir Mikulic who failed to make the most of his chance and failed to elicit a response from Tommi Tomich. Four minutes from the break both teams were reduced to ten men with the controversial red carding of Costa Socratous and John Higgins following what appeared to be little more than a verbal stoush. The Knights midfield of Scott Devine and Paul Cooke began to take control after the break and they were unlucky not to be rewarded when John Thornley's scissor kick was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Floreat 'keeper Vas Vujacic after 66 minutes. The deadlock was broken five minutes later when Claus Nielsen's free-kick found the head of Doug Ithier who nodded the ball back to Thornley who chested it down before volleying brilliantly past the 'keeper in one fluent move. This stung the home side into action and midfielders Savic and Jamie Afkos each squandered great opportunities to put their side back on level terms with just the 'keeper to beat. The result was put beyond doubt in the final minute of regulation time when Thornley chased down a long clearance which he stole from Julian Madaschi before slipping it under the oncoming 'keeper. There was still enough time for another goal from the Knights as Thornley threaded a pass to Stuart Montgomery who chipped a terrific first time shot over Vujacic from 22-metres.
A late goal from Damian Scali earned Swan I.C. a 1-1 draw with Armadale from their meeting at the Swan Italian Club. It was a lively opening from both sides in which Peter Vukmirovic tested Cory Hugo, while down the opposite end a superb free-kick from Miki Vujacic cannoned back off the crossbar. Armadale custodian Nick Stone was at full-stretch moments later to tip David Foster's shot over the bar. With 26 minutes gone the visitors gained the upper hand as James Isaia send a deep cross into the area where Peter Taylor headed in at the back post. The remainder of the half belonged to Armadale who were unlucky not to add to their tally as Christian Alvarez shot high and Craig Anderson blasted straight at the 'keeper. Swan emerged fired up for the second half and eight minutes in their task of leveling the game was seemingly made easier with the dismissal of Scott Patterson for a second yellow card offence. Tony Cumace's free-kick found the head of Todorovic who pushed the ball narrowly high, and a Foster header met with the same fate minutes later. Armadale were catching their opponent on the counter attack and they very nearly doubled the margin via substitute John Dixon. Todorovic was proving a handful for the Reds rearguard and with a cross he picked out Scott Campbell whose shot on the turn flew inches wide. It was looking as though Swan would end the day empty handed as Jonathon Mathers slotted through to Paul Lincoln who shot past Stone only to have the ball come back off the post. Two minutes into stoppage time Swan's tactic of throwing caution to the wind paid off with another cross from Mathers cleared as far as Scali who volleyed it past the 'keeper to grab his team a share of the spoils.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND EIGHT (Wanneroo City vs Queens Park courtesy Wanneroo City; Bassendean Caledonian vs Balcatta by Martin Swann; anning City vs Dianella White Eagles by Phil Unsworth)
Wanneroo City maintained their lead at the top of the First Division by thumping Queens Park 5-1 at Coker Park. The game was only a few minutes old when the visitors went ahead through a Scott Bulloch who converted from the penalty spot after the lively attacker was brought down inside the 18-yard box. Andy Brown doubled the margin by scoring his first goal in Wanneroo colours by lobbing the oncoming goalkeeper following a fine through ball. With half-time approaching the match was effectively ended as a contest as Brian Robertson cut the ball back to Bulloch who side-footed into the corner of the net. Stuart Collins emphasised his class early in the second half when he cut in from the right and let fly with stunning shot that soared into the top corner with the 'keeper grasping at air. Midway through the half Phil Bell got in on the act by drilling the ball home from 14-metres after Queens Park failed to sufficiently deal with a dangerous ball delivered into the heart of the penalty area. T.Rains scored a late consolation for Queens Park. Wanneroo claimed the Reserves 2-0 with the Youth team fixture going to Queens Park by the same scoreline.
Balcatta increased their winning run to five games with a 3-0 defeat of Bassendean Caledonian at Jubilee Reserve. It this top of the table clash it was Balcatta that made the better start but their failure to produce the goods in the final third of the park proved their downfall. For their part Bassendean looked dangerous on the counter attack but with neither side able to convert the score remained locked at nil-all after forty-five minutes. Early in the second half David Moschilla received a great through ball and ghosted past one defender then sidestepped another before deftly tucking the ball past the goalkeeper for the opening goal. This opened the game up with both teams pushing forward in numbers. Balcatta doubled their advantage when Bassendean failed to clear a cross and Victor Bogos put the ball in the back of the net from close-range. The sealing goal came via Adam Raines who placed his shot beyond the reach of the 'keeper. Although the points were now in the bag Balcatta continued to chase further goals without success. In other results, the Balcatta's Reserve team won 4-1 with their Youth side triumphing emphatically at 8-0.
Rockingham City rediscovered their winning form with a 1-0 defeat of Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Sporting Complex. The visitors made a positive start and could have been ahead as early as the 4th minute when Glen Hallums close-range effort flash just wide of the target. The games only goal arrived when Alan Nanini had the misfortune of heading a Luke Morris cross past his own goalkeeper. Rockingham pressed for further goals with Hallums going close in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper and a shot by Bryan Hastie was cleared off the line just before half time. Kingsway came for the second half a far more organised team and wasted no time in taking the game up to their opponent. The dismissal of Hastie increased the hosts stranglehold over proceedings with Derek Cooke and Danny Trandos going close with shots from distance. Kingsway pushed forward in numbers in search of an equaliser which almost arrived via a terrific volley from Trandos for which Craig Olejnik produced a top draw save. But it wasn't to be Kingsway's day and Rockingham held on to take home the points. The Reserves was won 2-1 by Kingsway, while the Youth team fixture ended in a 3-2 win for Rockingham.
Forrestfield United got back in the winners circle with an entertaining 1-0 victory over South West Phoenix in Bunbury. Spectators at the Soccerdrome were treated to a superb match packed with end-to-action and featuring a near faultless performance by the referee. Phoenix opened proceedings with some well constructed attacks with Forrestfield content to sit back and keep the home side at bay. As the minutes ticked by Forrestfield began to threaten and midway through the half the ball found the feet of big striker Roger Miron who turned sharply outside the box and dispatched a neat shot past the goalkeeper. The second half opened at a breakneck speed with the home team searching desperately for an equalising goal. The pace at which the game was now played opened things up at both ends of the ground much to the delight of an appreciative crowd. The introduction of Glen Noblett to the Forrestfield forward line almost paid near immediate dividends with the attacker forcing the Phoenix defence on to the back foot. Phoenix increasing threw players forward during the closing stages as they sought a late goal only to be turned away by a resolute defence. The made it a hat-trick for wins for Forrestfield who claimed the Reserves 3-1 and Youth team fixture 5-1.
Canning City's season of woe continued with a 2-3 loss to Dianella White Eagles at Willetton Sportsman Club. A penalty in each half consigned Canning to their sixth loss of the year which sees them slip to the foot of the table. In an even contest Canning posted the opening goal after 27 minutes when Jix Loong's pass found Paul Van Dongen unmarked on the edge of the 18-yard box from where he dispatched a neat shot to the right of Anthony Mori. The visitors, however, restored parity just before half-time when Stefan Smiljanic was successful from the penalty spot following a handball infringement. A second penalty was awarded to Dianella midway through the second half when Emlyn Whetnall was judged to have tripped Mladin Gligoroski inside the box, and Smiljanic again sent the ball past Adam Horsley. With seven minutes remaining Canning failed to clear the ball out of defence and in the ensuing melee Dejan Djukanovic forced the ball into the net. Canning rallied and David Mahon put away a cross from substitute Julio Barrendilla they were still in with a chance. But it was too little and too late and Dianella held out for victory. Earlier results were more to Canning's liking with the Reserves and Youths winning 7-2 and 3-0 respectively.
Goals from John Transfield and Gary Attrill earned Mandurah City a 2-1 home win over Gosnells City whose goal came from J. Cassidy. Stirling Suns pulled off one of the upsets of the season by knocking over Morley Windmills 3-0. Desimir Tosevski netted twice and Peter Petkov once for the Suns. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
PETKOVIC CALLED UP FOR KIWI CLASH
Michael Petkovic is set to return to the international arena after being named in the Australian squad for next month's friendly with New Zealand. The former State custodian is one of three goalkeepers in the twenty-two player squad named by Frank Farina for the 9th June clash in London. "Michael has always been in the mix," said Farina. "He has had a great season in Turkey and the only reason he hasn't been in recent squads is because we usually go in with only two keepers."
In three seasons playing in Turkey's top flight Petkovic has made close to one hundred appearances for Trabzonspor. During that time he's helped the club win two Turkish Cups and experienced UEFA Cup and Champions League competition. Despite carving out a reputation as one of Australia's best shot-stoppers Petkovic has often been over-looked for national honours with his last outing being the 11-0 thrashing of Samoa in April 2001. Also called up for duty is Perth Glory midfielder Simon Colosimo, and former Glory defender Ljubo Milicevic.
The Australian squad to play New Zealand is Scott Chipperfield, Mile Sterjovski (FC Basel), Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Luke Wilkshire (Bristol City), Ahmad Elrich (Busan I'Consa), Tony Vidmar (Cardiff City), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Tim Cahill (Everton), Josip Skoko (Genclerbirligi), Kevin Muscat, Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough), Vince Grella (Parma), Simon Colosimo (Perth Glory), Zeljko Kalac (Perugia), Jon McKain, Michael Thwaite (National Bucuresti), Ljubo Milicevic (FC Thun), Michael Petkovic (Trabzonspor) and Craig Moore (uncontracted).
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
The eighth round of Premier League fixtures went pretty much as expected and with no change to the table. Andreas Oliveira took his season tally to ten by netting twice in Perth S.C.'s 4-0 thrashing of Fremantle City. Sorrento remain in second place courtesy of a 4-3 win over Bayswater City, while Kevin Griffiths goal earned Inglewood United maximum points by 1-0 over Stirling Lions. E.C.U. Joondalup went down 1-3 at home to Cockburn City whose goals came from John Mirco (2) and Jeremy Chiron. Western Knights defeated Floreat Athena 3-0, and it ended level between Swan I.C. and Armadale at 1-1.
Wanneroo City continued their march towards the First Division title with a 5-1 thumping of Queens Park at Coker Park. Keeping the pressure on, however, are Balcatta whose 3-0 defeat of Bassendean Caledonian had them three points behind the lead. Rockingham city area a further point adrift following their 1-0 away win over is Kingsway Olympic. Forrestfield United move into fourth place courtesy of a hard-fought 1-0 win over South West Phoenix in Bunbury. Mandurah City edged out Gosnells City 2-1, and Canning City bowed 2-3 to Dianella White Eagles. Stirling Suns toppled Morley Windmills 3-0 in the upset of the round.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
Perth S.C. are expected to stretch their unbeaten start to the season to eight games when they take on bottom side Fremantle City at Dorrien Gardens this weekend. It’s difficult to see the game at Percy Doyle Reserve between Sorrento and Bayswater City ending in anything other than a home win, while Inglewood United host a confident Stirling Lions. Floreat Athena are up against the might of the Western Knights, while Cockburn City make the trip north where they meet E.C.U. Joondalup. Armadale head to the Swan Valley for the first time to play a Swan I.C. side in desperate need of points.
Queens Park have the daunting task of hosting unbeaten First Division leader Wanneroo City, while second placed Balcatta return from a weeks absence with an away date at Bassendean Caledonian. Rockingham City are on the road to Kingsway Olympic, and Forrestfield United make the long journey to Bunbury where they meet South West Phoenix. Peelwood Parade is the venue for Mandurah City against Gosnells City. Canning City have home ground advantage over Dianella White Eagles, and bottom side Stirling Suns take on Morley Windmills. Out of action with the bye are Ashfield.
TOP FIVE NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION SAYS LIONS CAPTAIN
The Stirling Lions faithful were finally given much to cheer about last weekend when their team gained maximum points for the first time this season. Two goals to teenager Steve Bozinovski and a third from Rob Milevski earned the Lions a 3-0 win over E.C.U. Joondalup on Saturday, and it wasn't just the fans who were pleased their side had finally opened the season account. "It was great to finally get the win that we have been threatening all season," said Lions captain Ian Griffiths. "It was a very important victory for us as it's given the side a much needed confidence boost in both the attacking and defending departments. Our second half was our best of the season to date with the defence repelling everything that came their way while at the other end we added two goals to secure victory."
And the Lions would have had quite a more few points on the board by now if not for costly lapses in concentration. "In all but two of our matches this season we've been a goal ahead and in control at half-time only to temporarily lose focus in the second half," added Griffiths. "We played brilliantly against Sorrento in the first half and conceded three after the break, the Armadale game was a write-off, but we dominated Swan then gave away two sloppy goals. The loss to Bayswater was the bitterest pill to swallow, we were 2-0 up but threw the game away by conceding three late goals. Against Floreat we just didn't take our chances whereas they did, and I believe we were the better side against Fremantle but again conceded some sloppy goals although we showed great character in grabbing an injury time equaliser."
For the past few seasons Griffiths has plied his trade with Bassendean Caledonian who dropped down from the top flight at the end of last year. And while the Lions have had a less than desirable start to 2005 Griffiths says comparing his current and former clubs is like chalk and cheese. "The Lions are a completely different team to Bassendean," he said. "Bassendean were defensively very sound, our main problem was in the scoring department. That's no disrespect to Bassendean's attackers but when the focus is on defending the trade-off will always be in attack. I think the opposite applies to the Lions - we don't have too much trouble scoring goals but we have been a bit sloppy defensively so far this year, but this too is not just a reflection on our defenders but our whole team. What we have to do is find the balance between the two and I'm sure that's what Mickey Lyons will be looking to do in the coming weeks."
While not getting carried away with his clubs first win of the season Griffiths remains up-beat about their prospects for the rest of the campaign. "I personally believe the Lions are a top five side and that is what we should be aiming for this season," he said. "We've always go into our games confident of winning, and we're aware that we've been playing better than results suggest. We're not about to get carried away with our first win - there is still a long way to go and plenty of other good sides in the Premier League. What we will do though is take each game as it comes and try and get the most from every match. The win over Joondalup has given us a tremendous confidence boost and it's lifted us up off the bottom of the ladder, which is a bit of a relief. Our main objective now is to maintain that momentum and begin building on it- starting with this week's game at Inglewood."
SOCCEROOS OUR GREATEST EVER TRIUMPH
Western Australia’s 1983 defeat of the Australian national team has been voted the ‘greatest ever achievement’ by a State team. Close to 250 votes were cast during the past seven days in the www.footballwa.net poll with the win over the Socceroos earning 28.7% of the total count. 27-year old Steve McCaffrey and hard-working midfielder Ronnie Campbell found the net in the State teams’ surprise win which took place at the Kiev Sports Ground in November 1983.
The June 1992 3-2 defeat of German side Werder Bremen (26.3%), who’d lifted the European Cup Winners Cup only a few weeks earlier, was voted the State’s second best ever result. Stan Lazaridis, Tony Carbone and Carl McDarby were the scorers that fateful evening at the WACA Ground. Close behind in third spot was the 2-1 win over a Glasgow Rangers (23.4%) side featuring three Scottish internationals in June 1975. Played in front of a 10,000 strong crowd at Perry Lakes Stadium Western Australia’s goalscorers were Ray Ilott and George McMillan.
The State teams’ 5-3 penalty shoot-out win over London club West Ham United (13.8%) in May 1995 was voted in fourth place. The game, played at the WACA Ground, was level at 2-2 at the end of regulation time with Michael Roki and Bobby Despotovski netting for the hosts. Eight days later Western Australia toppled the might of Nottingham Forest (7.8%) at the same venue. This time is was Lazaridis and Despotovski who netted to earn the State victory over a team who’d had finished the English Premier League season in third place and featured the likes of England internationals Stuart Pearce and Stan Collymore along with Dutchman Brian Roy.
STATE YOUNGSTERS READY FOR SINGAPORE
The State Under-18’s have completed a hectic friendly schedule ahead of next weeks trip to Singapore. The squad, coached by Mike Tetlow, fly to Singapore on Wednesday to take their place at the 2005 Lions City Cup along side sides from Singapore, Malaysian and Sweden. The State Youth squad kicked off their pre-tournament friendlies with a comprehensive 9-2 mauling of a young Queens Park side in dreadful conditions at Coker Park last week. Martin Ashworth and Brendon Ross scored two apiece in the win with the remaining goals shared between Andy Pomfret, Ben Kelly, Rodrigo Aguirre, Mo Atak and Kevin Carmona.
On Monday evening the Youth team proved too strong for the State Under-16 squad by 5-1. The Under-18’s were quickly into stride and went ahead early through Brendon Ross with Ben Kelly adding their second. The Under-16’s went close to reducing the gap just before the break but goalkeeper Tom Langley proved up to the task. Shortly after the restart the Under-16’s had better luck in finding the net only for Ross to restore his side’s two-goal buffer. Dejan Gurovski’s determination allowed him to put away goal number four, and with fifteen minutes to go Brodie Martin converted from the penalty spot following a foul on Kelly.
The Youth teams final warm-up match - their third in seven days - produced a 6-1 win over the State Schoolboys at Coker Park last nihht. A defensive error allowed the Schoolboys to take an early lead, but going a goal down spurred the Under-18's to kick into top gear. Four goals in quick succession opened up a commanding lead by the break, and two more in the second half sealed the win. The under-18's goals came via six different players in Brodie Martin, Brendon Ross, Kevin Carmona, Tim De Sousa, Ben Kelly and Dejan Gurovski.
ENCOURAGING SIGNS FOR YOUNG SOCCEROOS
Australia are set for a strong showing at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship following encouraging results in a four-nations tournament in South Korea. A lot of positives came out of the Under-20 games against Colombia, South Korea and Morocco which produced a win, a draw and a loss in Busan this week. The Young Socceroos headed to the Netherlands next week where they'll play two games against club side before the opening match of the finals tournament on 10th June.
Australia went down 0-2 in their opening match of the tournament to Colombia. The dismissal of Mark Milligan after 33 minutes was a setback for the Young Socceroos. Even so, Jay Lucas forced a terrific double save from the Colombian goalkeeper late in the half while a minute after the break his powerful strike from 16-metres rose over the crossbar. Colombia went ahead in the 51st minute through a spectacular long-range goal by Cristian Marrugo, and five minutes from full-time Wayson Renteria added the South Americans second. Townsend played a full game with Ward coming off the bench after 53 minutes.
On Tuesday a late goal from Nikolai Topor-Stanley earned the Young Socceroos a 1-0 win over South Korean in front of a 20,000-strong crowd in the Gudeok Stadium. The Australian’s had the majority of first half play which produced near misses for Aaron Downes, Kristian Sarkies and Vince Lia, before goalkeeper Justin Pasfield was forced to make a solid save late in the half. A more even second half was decided five minutes from the end when Topor-Stanley scored with a close-range header. Ward played the opening 62 minutes of the clash while Townsend was rested.
Young Socceroos drew their final game of the series 1-1 with Morocco. Morocco were given a dream start by Bendamou Tarik who broke through down the left and finished neatly with just 4 minutes gone. Australia equalised midway through the half when Billy Celeski’s free-kick causing confusion in the defence as a Morocco player bundled it into his own net. The Young Socceroos dominated large chunks of the second half and had the ball in the net with ten minutes remaining but Chris Tadrosse was denied by an offside flag. Both Ward and Townsend played full games in the draw.
CUP DATES POSTPONED
The State Under-18 teams involvement in the Lions City Cup has led Football West to postponing two second round association Cup games scheduled for next weekend. On hold for the time being are the Western Knights' home clash with E.C.U. Joondalup as well as the match at Ken Allen Field between Fremantle City and Stirling Suns. Four players from Joondalup - Daniel Waind, Martin Ashworth, Kevin Caroma, Stuart Hartman - and five from Fremantle - Tim De Sousa, Mark Darby, Ben Kelly, Andy Pomfret, Marlon Ramirez - have been selected to represent the State at the annual Lion City Cup tournament which kicks off late next week in Singapore.
HOWELLS JOINS MANGOTFIELD
Veteran midfielder Lee Howells has joined English non-league side Mangotsfield United. The 36-year old joins Mangotsfield, who play in the Premier Division of the Southern League, following a successful sixteen month stint with Merthyr Tydfil for whom he played 47 times. Born in Fremantle, Howells played the bulk of his career with Cheltenham Town where he became the third highest appearance maker in the Robins’ history with over 450 first team outing to his credit..
TANA PLANS TO GLORY SELL-OFF
Perth Glory will have a new majority shareholder in time for the inaugural A-League season if chairman Nick Tana came find a buyer. Tana, who founded the club in 1995, told the "West Australian" newspaper he wants to make himself available for a position with the national governing body and is ready to sell his stake in Glory to make that become reality. "I'd like to think I'm more valuable to the bigger picture now, and for me to work myself up there I've got to make myself available," he said. "Everyone has a use-by date and mine is coming up (with Perth Glory)."
Tana's preference is to sell his 75% share in the club before the start of the new season so that the new owner could have a "new start with fresh impetus and momentum". Glory's long-serving chairman said his leaving would not be easy given the history of a club that reached the pinnacle of the Australian game after very humble beginnings. "It's very difficult to treat this purely as a business when so many personalities have been involved and you've had so many good people around," he said. "For me to say it won't be emotional would be an absolute lie."
WOMEN’S UNDER-16 SQUAD NAMED
Selectors have named a 16-player State junior squad to compete at the women’s National Talent Identification Championships later this year. Included in the Under-16 squad, coached by Tony Carvajal, are several players who’ve seen regular first team action this year in the local Premier League. “It’s an outstanding group of players ranging from thirteen to sixteen years of age,” said Carvajal. “Several players have previously played at the nationals and their experience will be invaluable as we prepare for the tournament.” This years’ national championship is being staged at Valentine Park in New South Wales during July.
“This is my first year coaching girls rather than boys or mixed teams,” added the State coach. “And I have to say that I’ve been most impressed with the talent on show. The Women's High Performance Team of Alistair Edwards, Ron Tindall, Jessine Bonzas, Steve McGrath and I will be doing our utmost to improve the depth of talent across all ages. This will take some time but with the structures in place now with the Under-14 Development Squad, Under-16 and Under-18 State teams along with the Western Waves giving the girls a clear career path.”
The State Under-16 squad consists of Lauren Bushby, Katy Coghlan, Domenica Carbone, Gemma Di Lello, Chloe Goghlan (Balcatta), Janeil D’Annunzio, Elise O’Sullivan, Emily Williams (East Fremantle), Katie McGrath, Lorian Woolgar (Kingsley), Lillie Billson, Jennifer Jobling (Northern Redbacks), Leigh Kelly (Queens Park), Shannon May, Alycia Panayotou and Flo Tawns (Subiaco United). Six players on standby are Jayde Willis (Heathridge), Rachel Cowley (Kingsley), Harriet Talbert (Mandurah City), Rowena Caswell (Northern Redbacks), Danielle Calautti (Queens Park) and Nicole Scott (Subiaco United).
WOLVES EYE VRTESKI
English club Wolverhampton Wanderers have Australian youth international Aleksander Vrteski in their sights. Earlier this year the strongly-built 16-year old spent time with Wolves and, if not for FIFA’s minimum age requirements, would have accepted a two-year youth scholarship with the English Championship club. Instead Vrteski is spending the winter keeping goal on the local scene for Stirling Lions ahead of September’s FIFA Under-17 World Championship being played in Peru. “I want to play first’s football to build up mentally and physically for the world championship and use it as a stepping stone to play in Europe.” He said recently. “Long-term I want to be a Socceroo and play in the UK in the next three to four years.”
WAIT AND SEE APROACH ON TARKA
Perth Glory are unlikely to seek a short-term replacement for defender David Tarka after the club received good new on his recovery from injury. Initial estimates had Tarka on the sidelines for up to six months with a hamstring problem and had the club leaning towards signing a replacement. However, a recent doctor’s report on Tarka indicates the Australian international could be ready to train at full pace in early August. This would mean he’ll miss only the opening two rounds of the new national competition which kicks off on 26th August.
WOMEN’S WRAP (East Fremantle vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; Northern Redbacks vs Queens Park courtesy Northern Redbacks; Kingsley vs Noranda courtesy Kingsley; Swan I.C. vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; Bassendean Caledonian vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City)
Balcatta became outright leader of the women’s Premier League following this afternoons 7-0 thrashing of East Fremantle at Gilbert Fraser Reserve. The home team were no match for Balcatta who opened their account with inside 2 minutes through Katy Coghlan who put away a pass from Debbie Gorton. Midway through the half Coghlan doubled the difference by converting a Lisa D’Ovidio through ball. The goals continued into the second half when Coghlan completing her hat-trick from the penalty spot. Balcatta’s fourth came via the boot of Gorton, and a great corner from Janeil D’Annunzio allowed Brid Dawson to join her teammates on the scoresheet. Coghlan netted for a fourth time before D’Annunzio completed the route.
In what would have been one of the most competitive games of the season to date, Northern Redbacks prevailed to take the points over arch-rival Queens Park 2-1 at Rickman Delawney Reserve. The Redbacks got of to an ideal start with Stephanie Grant netting, and a few minutes later an own goal double the difference. Queens Park hit back early nine minutes into the second half through a well taken goal from Stacey Woodfin which set up a tantaslising closing period. While the better of attacking moves came from Queens Park the visitors were continually held at bay by a well-organised Redbacks rearguard. The arm wrestle continued right up to the final whistle with neither side able to add to their tally despite carving out some good opportunities.
Well aware that a big win would elevate them into fourth place, Kingsley went on a scoring spree to run out 8-0 winners over Noranda at Chichester Park. Kingsley went in search of early goals but were also fortunate not to concede as a lack of shape at the back saw them exposed on a number of occasions. Sally Sanigar’s opening goal settled the hosts’ nerves and allowed Kingsley to take a more controlled command of the game. Lisa Higgins added two more to the tally along with a single from Kristina Oxley to give Kingsley a hand four goal buffer at the break. Sanigar and Higgins both completed hat-tricks in the second half with State Under-16 representative Katie McGrath also getting on the scorecard.
Mandurah City registered their sixth consecutive away win of the First Division season by thrashing Swan I.C. 8-0 at the Swan Italian Club. The host club turned in a solid first half performance in which they limited Mandurah to just a single goal while creating a number of good chances of their own. Mandurah upped their workrate upon the restart and that greater intensity saw them add a second goal within minutes. >From there the floodgates opened as Mandurah found the back of the net with regularity over the remainder of the afternoon. Melanie Loreto ended the day with a hat-trick while Emily Bateman bagged two goals from her position in the centre of midfield. Harriet Talbert also netted twice with Jiame Carley scoring one.
University of WA brushed aside Murdoch University 5-1 when they meet at Murdoch University Sportsground. UWA wasted no time in gaining the upper hand went ahead through a neat header with just 10 minutes gone. However, Murdoch were soon back on level terms with Tash Darlow converting a cross from Jo Steer at close-range. UWA then picked up the pace in what was an at times spiteful match, the visitors second coming via another header and their third through a jinxing run. It was more of the same after the break with UWA in control and Murdoch on the back foot. Despite some excellent defensive work from Frano Laurence and Steph Battista the visitors added two further goals to complete the 5-1 scoreline.
Gosnells City returned home this afternoon with all three points courtesy of a 7-0 hammering of Bassendean Caledonian. The small playing surface at Jubilee Reserve didn’t allow for much in the way of free flowing football with the majority of first half play taking place in a congested midfield. Even so Gosnells were rewarded for their efforts with four goals to take a handy buffer into the break. A change of formation allowed the visitors to add three more goals to their tally in the second half through some lovely movement of the ball across the full width of the park. Gosnells goals came from Jessica Sardi (2), Melissa Spillman, Sian Nicholas, Elaine Doherty, Jessica Sardi, Lisa Tomnay and an own goal.
Beckenham Angels’ 5-0 win over Subiaco United keeps them on top of the First Division table on goal difference ahead of University of WA and Mandurah City. Rockingham City picked up their fourth win of the campaign by thumping Northern Redbacks ‘C’ 5-2 at Rickman Delawney Reserve. Lynwood Colts moved away from the foot of the table with a 2-0 defeat of Balga at Brian Burke Reserve. Further details of these games weren’t forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SEVEN (Armadale vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater; Western Knights vs Swan I.C. by Basil Zuvela; Stirling Lions vs E.C.U. Joondalup by Elliott Leonard)
Perth S.C. stretched their unbeaten run to seven games with a comprehensive 4-1 defeat of Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. It took Perth just fifteen seconds to open their account with Andreas Oliveira cutting the ball across the face of goal to Robbie Puca who made no mistake when presented with an unguarded net. Bayswater eventually got over the early setback and could have been back on level terms shortly after when Boima Karpeh latched onto a long ball out of defence but send his shot straight into the arms of goalkeeper Gareth Deeg. The remainder of the half saw play flow from end to end with Perth enjoying the better of possession and chances through a hard working midfield. Their best move came just after the half hour as David Micevski’s cross to the back post found David Onoforo whose header crashed into the crossbar. Bayswater introduced fresh legs for the second half as they went about getting back on level terms. However, it was to no avail as a Perth tightened their grip on the game when a corner to the back post was brought down by Andreas Olivera to Onoforo who tapped in from close-range. Substitute Daniel Naumoski brought the hosts back into the contest by rising highest in a crowded penalty area to head a free-kick from the right beyond the reach of Deeg. Bayswater continued to press in search of a second goal only to counter strong resistance from the opposing trio of Michael Icanovski, Dino Djublic and Aaron Cole. With fifteen minutes to go Oliveira spoiled the home supporters hopes by going past his marker and slotting into the net from a tight angle. The final nail in the coffin was driven in by David Micevski who unleashed an unstoppable shot from 20-metres to complete the 4-1 scoreline.
It rained goals at Alfred Skeet Oval where Sorrento ran out 5-2 winners over Armadale. The Gulls made a bright start with new signing Paul McMullan unleashing a fierce shot which was blocked by Nick Stone, and a few minutes later James Morgan fired wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. Much to the delight of the home crowd Armadale took a surprise lead after 5 minutes when Christian Alvarez smashed a low left foot drive past Neil Young and into the bottom corner of his goal. The game flowed nicely from end to end with neither team taking complete control but both playing neat attractive football. The 26th minute Sorrento equalised as Simon Harland headed McMullan’s free-kick against the upright and Steven MacDonald was placed to steer in the rebound. Good opportunities came the way of both teams after the break as Harland sent the ball wide and Peter Vukmirovic headed high. Sorrento went ahead ten minutes in when McMullan centred into the path of Brodie Martin whose half volley found the back of the net. Five minutes after coming off the bench Jared Love added the visitors third by sending Stone the wrong way from the penalty spot after Harland went down inside the box. Comfortable with their two-goal buffer, Sorrento started to play some fantastic passing football which saw Martin and Harland go close before Glenn Thomas hit the post with a low drive. Armadale found a lifeline in the 87th minute when Darren Kingston nipped in at the back post to tap a low cross by Gary Murdoch past the ‘keeper. However, quickly killed off their hopes as Harnwell slotted past Stone in the 89th minute and sixty seconds later MacDonald added the sides fifth and final goal from close-range.
Fremantle City were unlucky not to take a point from their clash with Inglewood United who came away 3-1 winners from Ken Allen Field. With Inglewood looking to bounce back from last weeks shock loss to Bayswater City and the hosts on the hunt for their first win of the season this was always going to be a very close contest. The port side settled quickly and two stinging long-range efforts from Kevin Corriea made sure Oliver Taseski was alert between the posts. With possession fairly evenly shared Inglewood went ahead through a quick counter attack down the right in which Rory Mouttet delivered a terrific cross on to the head of Kevin Griffiths who nodded past the goalkeeper in the 35th minute. The balance of power was again evenly distributed after the break with both stringing together some good attacking moves. Parity was restored by Dale Wingell who headed a well rehearsed corner past Taseski. With their confidence boosted Fremantle then enjoyed their best period of the game but despite several promising opening were able to take the lead. With the minutes ticking down Inglewood broken quickly out of defence and Andre Sarpe put away his fifth league goal of the season to put the visitors in the box seat. A three minutes from full-time Fremantle’s chances of at least a share of the spoils were snuffed out by Greg Sharland who finished another swift counter-attack by slotting in from a narrow angle. The win gets Inglewood back on track to be challenging for top honours this year, but it’s a much different scenario for Fremantle who slip to the foot of the table and are still looking for their first win of the winter after seven outings.
Cockburn City stay within striking distance of the leaders following a 4-2 defeat of Floreat Athena in chilly conditions at Dalmatinac Park. Floreat made good use of a perfectly manicured playing surface by making much of the early running and taking a 10th minute lead through Adam Bachiller who robbed an opponent of possession to go one-on-one with goalkeeper Alan Dunlop and calmly dink the ball in from a tight angle. Having gone a goal down Cockburn now re-grouped and earned themselves an even share of possession without finding too many holes in a tight visiting defence. With Cockburn running the rule over the centre of the park Floreat were limited to breaking on the counterattack. Ten minutes Branimir Mikulic was up-ended inside the 18-yard box by Dusan Macura for a Floreat penalty which Eugene Singeorzan calmly stroked beyond the reach of the ‘keeper to increase the margin. Almost immediately Cockburn hit back with Dean Wallace tapping in at close-range after Floreat’s defence was caught off-guard by a quickly taken free-kick. Floreat greeted the second half with a terrific sweeping move involving four players and which ended with Bachiller squandering a golden opportunity with only Dunlop to beat. Again Cockburn came straight back and great lead-up work from John Mirco down the left saw him slip the ball through to Wallace who levelled the game. The hosts went ahead when Shane McNally quickly switched play to John Mirco whose precisely placed shot was into the far right corner of the net. It was on for young and old as the sides carved out a number of good attacks deserving of much better finishing. The result was put beyond doubt through a quickly taken John Mirco free-kick which put Jeremy Chiron through to rounded Vas Vujacic and roll the ball into the net.
Western Knights fought off a stern challenge from Swan I.C. to emerge 2-1 winners from their meeting at Nash Field. On an overcast day where the sun threatened to break out it was the Knights who worked on ways to prise open the opposing defence early as Stuart Montgomery and John Thornley both sent shots wide of the target. As the minutes ticked by Swan came back into the match and began creating chances of their own which saw Tom Shepheard shoot wide and Jon Mathers force a response from Tommi Tomich. The half looked destined to end scoreless when a Paul Cooke free-kick from the left made it’s way to Montgomery who turned his man and lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Corey Hugo just minutes from the break. Swan came out for the new half looking to get back into the match and show their position near the foot of the table is no indication of their true ability. However, they were lucky not to go two down when Montgomery shot past the ‘keeper only to hit the post. An more attacking approach by Swan threw the pressure back on the home side and sloppy defending allowed Justin Hugo for fire a deserved equaliser past Tomich with ten minutes remaining. It took just minutes for the Knights to regain the lead with Doug Ithier’s cross from the right cleared only as far as Montgomery whose shot was beyond the reach of Corey Hugo after taking a deflection off Damien Scali. The win was the second in as many weeks for the Knights who regained their place in the top five, while Swan’s fourth successive defeat sees them slip to second from last and facing the prospect of a long battle to avoid the drop.
Stirling Lions are back in business following an impressive 3-0 defeat of E.C.U. Joondalup at Macedonia Park. A nervous first half commenced with the hosts in attack mode and on 9 minutes Steve Bozinovski was put through with only goalkeeper Peter Stewart to beat but he scuffed his shot on an uneven surface. In turn, Joondalup had several opportunities to take the lead with Garin Collins, Ryan Newhill and Tom Jones all calling Aleksander Vrteski into action. The breakthrough came against the run of play and a minute before half-time when Leo Harman skipped down the left before squaring to Rob Milevski, his shot was pushed away by Stewart but straight to Bozinovski who made no mistake from close-range. The visitors made a positive start to the second half with a goalbound effort by Collins blocked by Riste Stefoski, and Oliver Hilton’s rising shot tipped over the crossbar by an alert Vrteski. On 61 minutes the Lions managed to increase their lead when Darko Ilmanovski headed an Alen Zilic corner to the feet of Milevski who reacted sharply by flicking the ball past the ‘keeper. Joondalup were almost back in the game six minutes later but Vrteski made a terrific save to deny Collins from 11-metres. The closing stages of the game produced few moments of highlight with the majority of the play taking place between the 18-yard boxes. The Lions, content to hold on to their lead, locked things down at the back while Joondalup were continually undone by needless errors which saw possession transferred to their opponent. Stirling made the points safe in the final minute of regulation time when Ian Griffiths turned the ball over in midfield and played a neat pass in behind the defence for Bozinovski who slotted past Stewart in a one-on-one situation.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND SEVEN (Wanneroo City vs Kingsway Olympic courtesy Wanneroo City; Ashfield vs South West Phoenix courtesy Ashfield; Stirling Suns vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; Gosnells City vs Canning City by Phil Unsworth)
Wanneroo City remain at the head of the First Division standings following a resounding 4-1 defeat of Kingsway Olympic at the Kingsway Sporting Complex. Brian Robertson tested the Kingsway goalkeeper early with a solid header and Phil Bell sent a rasping drive narrowly over the crossbar as the hosts sought the early breakthrough. But it was Kingsway who found the net first with Steve Dimitrovich curling a world-class free-kick over the defensive wall and into the top corner of the net. Things didn’t remain that way for long, however, with Scott Bulloch jinxing his way past a couple of defenders before squaring to Brian Robertson who scrambled it over the line from close-range. Just before the interval Wanneroo went ahead as Bulloch again made his way down the left to deliver the ball to Robertson who put away his second of the afternoon. The hosts were quick to establish control after the break. A precise pass by Stuart Collins was to Robertson who rounded the ‘keeper before coolly slotting into an open net to complete his hat-trick. The result was put beyond doubt by Bulloch who earned his side a late penalty which he converted himself. Wanneroo won the Reserves 4-2, with the Youths ending level at 2-2.
The points were shared at Dowling Street Reserve where Rockingham City and Morley Windmills battled out a tight 1-1 draw. Rockingham where soon on the attack with a cross from Bryan Hastie scrambled away by the visiting defence as Glenn Hallums moved in to pounce. As the minutes went by Windmills gained control of proceedings and forced a succession of corners, the best of which saw Matt Carruthers crsah a powerful header into the crossbar. Late in the half Rob Crerar played through to Hallums who directed his shot straight at the goalkeeper. The pattern of the second half has Windmills enjoying the lions share of possession but Roickingham creating the better chances. Hallums was again denied in a one-on-one with the 'keeper, and a close-range strike by Crerar was also saved. The deadlock was broken in the 83rd minute when Simon Messenger's free-kick from 35-metres drifted over the 'keeper and into the net. Rockingham hit back minutes later when confusion in the visiting defence resulted in Danny Turner lobbing the 'keeper from the top edge of the 18-yard box. The remaining time was played out in Rockingham's attacking half and despite several promising opening they were unable to snatch a late winner.
Ashfield escaped with a 1-1 draw from their home meeting with a rampant South West Phoenix. Much of the opening half was dominated by the visitors who quickly seized control of midfield and continually push forward in numbers. It was only through a combination of desperate defending and last-ditch tackles that the teams went into the break on level terms. Cheered on by a large travelling contingent of fans Phoenix came out after the break determined to score. And within four minutes of the restart that’s exactly what they did through David Murphy who finished a neat move by tucking the past Maekol Taseski at the back post. However, Ashfield refused to give up hope and worked hard to battle it out all over the park. The final half-hour was just as fast and furious as the opening spell with both sides embarking on an endless string of counterattack after counterattack. Phoenix went within inches of bagging a second goal with a long-range effort from Steve Suttie which Taseski somehow managed to push wide. Ashfield equalised with five minutes remaining as Chris Williams scuffed his close-range shot which fell fortunately for Cairan Allen who drilled it in at the back post.
Mandurah City were disappointed to head home from the Cracovia Club with just a single point after being held 2-2 by bottom-placed Stirling Suns. The game was only 6 minutes old when the Suns took a shock lead through Billy Ristevski who made the most of a defensive lapse by the visiting side. Mandurah wasted little time in hitting back through an endless series of attacking raids which left the travelling fans in total disbelief as numerous goalscoring chances went unconverted. It wasn't until five minutes from half-time that the visitors broke through with Christian Paschkewitz rising highest to nod in a corner from Jordan Rhodes. Mandurah’s celebrations were short lived, however, and just minutes later the referee awarded the Suns a penalty for handball which was calmly dispatched into the back of the net by B.Bozinovski. The second half was much the same as the first with Mandurah carving out countless chances on goal only to let themselves down through poor finishing. The visitors were saved the embarrassment of being the Suns first victim of 2005 by Paschkewitz who put knocked in his second goal of the afternoon ten minutes from the end. Mandurah’s Reserves ran out victors by 7-1 with the visitors claiming the Youth team fixture 8-0.
Round Seven of the First Division season saw Canning City return home from Walter Padbury Reserve with little to show as Gosnells City claimed maximum points through two unanswered goals. The first half ended goalless but it was Gosnells who showed the greater desire to open their account with a handful of good chances all going unrewarded. Canning’s only opening of the period was also the best of the half with Jix Loong pass putting Greg Newcombe through on goal onto to have Jason Mehnert come off his line and block the shot. The second half continued in much the same vein and with 64 minutes gone the inevitable happened as Brian Cairney heading in a cross from the right by Darren Ingham. The goal galvanised Canning into a sense of urgency and although they now enjoyed their best period of the afternoon the visitors were unable to find the back of the net. Ten minutes from the end a long ball from the back caught Canning flat-footed allowing Cairney to drill his shot past the advancing Adam Horsely to secure victory. There was better luck for Canning in the two earlier games with their Reserves winning 1-0 and the Youth side 3-0.
Bassendean Caledonian survived a second half comeback to claim all three points over Dianella White Eagles by a 2-1 scoreline at Dianella Reserve. The opening half belonged to Bassendean who took the lead early as Ryan Jeans’ powerful strike was parried by goalkeeper Anthony Mori only to have Rydeen Botha smash the follow-up into the onion bag. Growing in confidence as the half wore on, the visitors increased their advantage with a quality goal that started with Kevin Smith who played a superb pass to Jeans, he avoided the challenge of his marker before slotting through to Botha who calmly rounded the ‘keeper to finish. The difference at the interval could have been much greater with Jeans failing to convert from the penalty spot, and Scott Cooper squandering a golden opportunity from 5-metres. The second half told a much different story as Dianella fought their way back into the match, despite playing for much of the time with only ten men after the dismissal of David Mrdja. Dianella pegged back the margin through M.Gugoroski who put away a cross from the left, but despite applying the pressure the hosts were unable to find a way past goalkeeper Kevin Miller for a second time.
S.Reinsma’s goal eleven minutes from full-time earned Queens Park a 1-0 win over eastern corridor rival Forrestfield United. Further details of this game weren’t forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
MCMAHON LOOKS TO ENGLAND FOR FIREPOWER
Perth Glory coach Steve McMahon will continue his search for a striker to complete the clubs twenty-player squad for the coming A-League season. McMahon has vowed to sign a ‘big hitter’ and will use his extensive contacts in Europe to seal the deal. Although an attempt to secure Millwall striker Danny Dichio fell though recently McMahon remains confident of getting an experienced player to lead Glory’s attack. Hundreds of British players have already started looking for new clubs as their contracts come to an end. The likes of journeyman strikers Noel Whelan, Les Ferdinand, Brian Deane, Nick Barmby and Chris Armstrong could be of use to Glory.
REFEREE’S REMAIN AT LOGGERHEADS WITH KINGSWAY
The stalemate between the State Referee’s Commission and Kingsway Olympic continues to drag on. It’s been several weeks since the SRC first refused to provide match officials for all games involving Kingsway and, while a temporary truce has been reached, the matter still has not been resolved. The impasse centres around Bobby Trajkovski, Kingsway’s reserve team coach, who the SRC feel should not be allowed to hold an official role with the First Division club.
In mid-1999 Trajkovski was suspended for a five-year period after striking a match referee. That suspension expired last August and over the closing weeks of season 2004 he made a handful of appearances for the clubs second string. In addition to being a major sponsor of Kingsway, Trajkovski has this year taken on the role of reserve team coach and assists Sean Lynch with first team duties.
However, the SRC requested the issue be fully investigated claiming Trajkovski served in an official capacity for Kingsway while under suspension. The matter was heard in late April by Football West who fined the club $500 for “knowingly allowing a suspended players to play in fixtures (and) to take a role within the club.” It is understood neither the SRC nor the Kingsway club were happy with his outcome and both appealed the decision.
Kingsway’s early season fixtures against Dianella White Eagles and Balcatta were officiated over by a variety of club officials after the SRF refused to provide referees. It was only after Trajkovski agreed to remove himself from any official role with Kingsway that the SRC appointed officials for the clubs past couple of games, against Ashfield and Forrestfield United. It is believed all parties are meeting next week to try and reach a resolution on the matter.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Perth S.C. out-classed Bayswater City 4-1 to remain at the head of the Premier League table after seven rounds. Three points adrift are Sorrento who accounted for Armadale 5-2 at Alfred Skeet Oval, with Inglewood United third following their 3-1 away win over Fremantle City. A Dean Wallace double and further goals from John Mirco and Jeremy Chiron earned Cockburn City the points by a 4-2 scoreline against Floreat Athena. Western Knights downed Swan I.C. 2-1. Steve Bozinovski netted twice and Rob Milevski once when Stirling Lions picked up their first win of the season by 3-0 over E.C.U. Joondalup.
Wanneroo City thumped Kingsway Olympic 4-1 to go three points clear of Balcatta at the head of the first Division table. Rockingham City lost ground on the leaders when held 1-1 at home by Morley Windmills, while a 2-1 away win for Bassendean Caledonian over Dianella White Eagles elevates them to fourth place. Ashfield and South West Phoenix played out a tense 1-1 draw, and Mandurah City were surprisingly held 2-2 away at Stirling Suns. Forrestfield United went down 0-1 to Queens Park at Hartfield Park, and Gosnells City won their second game of the year by 2-0 over Canning City.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
This pick of this weekend's Premier League action takes place at Dalmatinac Park where two of the competitions in form sides, Cockburn City and Floreat Athena, go head-to-head. Frank Drago Reserve is the venue for the traditional derby between Bayswater City and Perth S.C. Armadale have made a good start to life in the top flight and this weekend host Sorrento. It's going to be a tough afternoon for Fremantle City who are home to Inglewood United, while Western Knights are expected to take maximum points at the expense of Swan I.C. at Nash Field. Stirling Lions are in danger of losing touch with the rest of the field and one wonders if they'll pick up their first win of the season when they entertaining E.C.U. Joondalup.
First Division pacesetter Wanneroo City will be out to extend their unbeaten run when they take on the visitors from Kingsway Olympic. A home win for Rockingham City over Morley Windmills will allow them to keep pace with the leader. Forrestfield United have made a great start to their return season in the semi-professional ranks and are tipped to defeat eastern corridor rival Queens Park. It's fifth verses sixth at Ashfield Reserve as Ashfield take on the challengers from South West Phoenix. Stirling Suns welcome Mandurah City to the Cracovia Club, while Dianella White Eagles have home ground advantage over Bassendean Caledonian. Gosnells City meet Canning City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Balcatta are out action due to the bye.
LAZARIDIS OUT OF CONFEDERATIONS CUP
Birmingham City star Stan Lazaridis will miss Australia's Confederations Cup campaign next month. The left-sided defender recently had an operation to rectify a niggling groin which plagued him throughout the English Premier League season. Lazaridis was absent from the Blues final game of the season against Arsenal on the weekend, and his club have informed national coach Frank Farina he'll be unavailable for Confederations Cup duty. "It's been one of those years Stan would like to forget," Farina said. "He came home to play against Iraq and Indonesia but the injury flared up when he went back to England." Injury restricted the 32-year old to just 22 league and Cup appearances this season.
ON THIS DAY ... 1964
Western Australia suffered it's worst ever defeat when humbled 14-1 by visiting English side Everton on the evening of Wednesday 20th May, 1964. A record crowd of 16,000 turned out at the WACA Ground to see the Toffees, who were English League champions just twelve months earlier, produce one of the best ever performances seen in this state. The final score equalled the 14-1 defeat inflicted upon the State team by Yugoslav club Hadjuk Split at the same venue in 1949.
WA made the mistake of trying to play Everton at it's own game of short, crisp ground passes but lacked the ball control, speed and teamwork to turn their ideas into practice. Everton's star players were wingbacks John Morrissey and Derek Temple who mesmerised the home defence with their dazzling speed and footwork. Temple top scored with five goals of which several resulted from surging runs down the flank before cutting inside and shooting past goalkeeper Peter Tremeritus.
Everton captain Roy Vernon provided much of the ammunition with a series of pinpoint crosses from the left. Vernon himself found the back of the net on three occasions as did inside-right Jimmy Hill and substitute Alex Scott who completed his hat-trick in the space of twenty five minutes. WA's solitary goal arrived just before the interval when Everton were caught flat while waiting for an offside call and Mike Ireson raced through to net.
After the game Australian Soccer Federation representative Walter Sternberg said he would recommend WA not be allowed to play against future international sides without the assistance of strong reinforcements from Sydney and Melbourne. "I must do this," Sternberg said of the game which was over by half-time when the score stood at 5-1. "Otherwise crowds will not play to see one-sided exhibitions like the one we saw tonight."
Western Australia : Peter Tremeritus, Don McArdle, Gil Nobbs, John
Montague, Roy Simpson, Graham Oughton, Mike Ireson, Rod Reid, John McInroy,
Bob Mayle, Tony Monks
Everton : Gordon West, Sandy Brown, George Heslop, Brian Stevens, Brian Labone, Brian Harris, Derek Temple, Jimmy Hill, Johnny Hurst (Alex Scott), Roy Vernon, John Morissey
DREAM START FOR BAYSWATER'S FRASER
Former Luton Town player Stuart Fraser has wasted no time in settling into life with Bayswater City. It took the Edinburgh-born defender just five minutes to score on debut and help his new club to a 2-1 win over neighbouring Inglewood United on the weekend. Although Fraser joined the club only last week Bayswater coach Salv Todaro has already been impressed by the 25-year old's attitude and approach to the game. "Stuart brings to the club a strong professional commitment to training, and is a calming influence to our young squad on match day," he commented.
Captain of the Hatters youth side, Fraser made his senior debut in early 1998 and within twelve months was a regular part of the match day squad. Scotland Under-21 honours followed but a solid start to his fourth senior season at Kenilworth Road was cut short by a broken leg sustained against Queens Park Rangers in January 2001. Unable to force his way back into the team upon Fraser was released fourteen months after breaking his leg having made 62 appearances for Luton. For the past few seasons he's been a regular fixture at the back for Arniston Rangers in Scotland's East Region Super League.
Fraser, who joins former Arniston Rangers teammate Ross Barnes at Bayswater, takes the number of imports playing in the top flight to an even dozen. On the books of E.C.U. Joondalup are Keith Brown and Steve Porter while the Western have one-time Scotland Under-21 representative Barry Wood and classy Danish import Claus Neilsen. Defenders Daniel Brown, Paul Robinson and Michael Ord are with Perth S.C., Fremantle City and Sorrento respectively. Dutchman Jurgen Van Dun recently made his debut for Cockburn City, and former Northern Ireland youth Aaron McKee, Paul Dickson and David Murphy are with Stirling Lions.
DAVIES SPLITS WITH BRISTOL CITY
Clint Davies is one of three goalkeepers to part company with English League One club Bristol City. With Steve Phillips an ever-present throughout season 2004/05 the 22-year old found first team opportunities after agreed terms on a one-year deal last August. However, Davies played regularly for City's Reserves and missed only five games for the side who ended the Pontin's League season in fifth place. Davies headed to England in mid-1999 and spent three seasons in the academy system at Birmingham City before spells with Bradford City, Halifax Town and Bristol City.
ARMADALE SNAP UP PERTH PAIR
First Division champion Armadale have added depth to their small but tight knit squad with the recruitment of James Isaia and Ben Rogers from Perth S.C. The pair, both products of Perth's fertile youth system, finalised loan arrangements with the Reds this week and have settled quickly at their new club. "I'm hoping to get a good feel for first team football from the move," said Isaia tis week. "Joining Armadale will introduce me to the pace of playing in the top flight. They play a different brand of football to what I've been used to with Perth but I'm very keen to learn and get on with the job of helping Armadale win games and stay in the top flight." Isaia, 19, has been a regular in the centre of midfield for Perth's Reserve team for the past couple of seasons while 18-year old Rogers, a State youth representative, operates on the left side of midfield. Both players join their new club just days after playing their part in a 9-0 thrashing inflicted by Perth's Reserves on Armadale.
TOWNSEND KEEPS FOCUS
Ryan Townsend is determined to make the most of his chances when he turns out for Australia at next months' World Youth Championship. The locally produced defender has completed a three-year scholarship with English Championship side Burnley with his reputation enhanced but with a 60,000 euros ($100,000) training fee attached. As it stands, any club that wants to sign Townsend on a professional contract must pay the fee which will be distributed to his three previous clubs - Kingsley, Sorrento and E.C.U. Joondalup.
Townsend, 19, remains hopeful that the English Football Association, the players' union and FIFA will be able to settle the matter. In the meantime his focus has switched to the youth championship which kicks off next month. "If I do play in the games, hopefully people will be watching," Townsend said recently of the chance to find a new club. "I'd like to get that compensation cleared and give it a shot in England. I think I'm good enough for League One. I just want to get a few seasons under my belt."
Young Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou had been alerted to Townsend's promise when the teenager made his debut for Burnley against Coventry City in March last year. But a fractured shin, which had been incorrectly diagnosed as shin splints, kept him out of action for four months and prevented Townsend from making his debut for Australia. He finally got his chance in a recent tour of the Eastern States against A-League opposition.
Postecoglou was so impressed that after just three matches for the Young Socceroos Townsend was included in the squad for a three-game tour of South Korea, which starts on Saturday, as well as the Netherlands tournament. "He did well," said the coach. "He's a strong central defender and is fairly mature for his age. He's level-headed, very brave and good in the air. He's solid all round."
Townsend was one of seven youth team players released last week by Burnley. The Claret's youth squad, under the captaincy of Townsend, enjoyed a successful season which included a place in the final of the Youth Alliance Cup and strong showings in both the Youth Alliance Conference and Merit Division One. Townsend was also a regular feature at the back for the Reserves who finished mid-table in the Pontin's League.
SWAN ADD MUSCLE TO DEFENCE
Swan I.C. have strengthen their defensive stocks with a number of recent additions. The black-and-whites have found themselves short at the back over the opening weeks of the season leading the coaching staff to call for re-inforcements. Returning to the club following a short spell at Bayswater City is Carlos Echeverria while former State Schoolboys representative Paul Baczynski joins following a season with Queens Park. Michael Di Fulvio, recently appointed coach of Swans' Reserves, was pleased to secure both players at a time when injury and suspension are hitting hard. "Carlos and Paul add a lot of defensive stability to our team, both are good players in the air and can tackle hard," Di Fulvio said. Also recently joining Swan are teenage goalkeepers Matt Battigelli and Louis Lopresti. Battigelli has spent the past couple of seasons with Kingsway Olympic while Lopresti, who has also represented the State at Schoolboys level, joins from Cockburn City.
CACERES HEADS BACK TO PERTH
Adrian Caceres will return to Perth after not being offered a new contract by Wycombe Wanderers. The 23-year old attacker joined Wanderers in early March but was unable to command a regular place in the matchday squad over the tail end of the English League Two season. It's been an eventful ten months for Caceres who joined Yeovil Town last July and played 26 times before being released. During a month-long stay with non-League outfit Aldershot Town he made a further 6 appearances which preceded his arrival in the Wanderers camp where he played just three games Caceres will spent the next few months in Australia before returning to English where Wanderers manager John Gorman has left the door open for his return.
CUP GLORY FOR BLACKBURN'S GRIFFITHS
Australian youth international Rostyn Griffiths was part of the Blackburn Rovers side that claimed the Premier Academy League trophy in mid-week with a dramatic 4-3 defeat of Coventry City at Ewood Park. It took until the 53rd minute for the opening goal which came from Rovers attacker Keith Barker. Within minutes Paul McCrink had restored parity, Vijay Sidhu then put Coventry ahead and an 82nd minute own goal looking to have secured victory for the Sky Blues. In between the goals defender Stuart Wall was sent off, and when Craig Reid was dismissed in the 90th minute Coventry were down to nine men. When the fourth official showed five minutes on the electronic board it called for one last push from the Blackburn youngsters. Joe Garner pegged back the gap on 91 minutes, Joel Byrom made it three each and with 94 minutes played Garner headed in the deciding goal.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Queens Park vs Kingsley courtesy Kingsley; Northern Redbacks vs Subiaco United courtesy Northern Redbacks; Mandurah City vs Balga courtesy Mandurah City; Beckenham Angels vs Rockingham City courtesy Beckenham Angels; Swan I.C. vs Northern Redbacks courtesy Swan I.C.)
Queens Park moved to the to of the women's Premier League table on goal difference over Balcatta as a result of a 5-1 thumping of Kingsley at Coker Park. Kingsley could have found themselves in front after only a few minutes via Kristina Oxley was squandered a great chance from close-range. It was a miss that was to prove costly as T.Rowatt put Queens Park ahead following a corner and Stacey Woodfin doubled their advantage with 15 minutes gone. The match was effectively ended as a contest by half-time with Rowatt and L.Easton putting the game beyond the visitors reach. Kingsley put up more of a fight in the second half and redcued the gap via a terrific free-kick from Sally Sanigar. But Queens park hit back with a similar goal by A.Thorpe to complete the scoreline.
It was a far from convincing performance from a new-look Northern Redbacks who scrambled to a 1-0 win over Subiaco United at Rosalie Park. The wet and slippery conditions made for a scrappy match in which both teams failed to turn opportunities into goals. The Redbacks squandered a golden chance to go into the break with the upper hand when awarded a penalty which went unconverted. Early in the second half Jaqui Nellany raced on to a through pass which she squeezed past the goalkeeper for what would be the only goal of the game. Although there were some promising moves at both ends of the park, a number of which produced clear goalscoring opportunities, there was no further addition to the scoreline before the final whistle sounded.
East Fremantle piked up their first points of the winter season by hitting Noranda 5-1 at Noranda Sporting Complex. S.Hughes found the net twice for the port side whose other goals came from K.Ambrozewics, J.Markovic and Emily Williams. Noranda's solitary goal was scored by R.Payne. The win moves East Fremantle away from the foot of the table which is now occupied by Noranda alone. Further details of both this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
Mandurah City made it six wins from as many First Division starts by toppling Balga 3-1 in wet and blustery conditions at Brian Burke Reserve. In what was in all honesty a fairly uneventful game, Balga made a bright start and took an early lead with a superbly placed shot which cleared the goalkeeper and came to nestle in the top corner. Although they had several players feeling the effects of a teammates 21st celebrations the night before Mandurah refocused and worked their way back into the match as Jiame Carley netted twice and Harriet Talbert once to lead their side to victory.
Beckenham Angels remain level on points with Mandurah and University of WA following their 4-2 defeat of Rockingham City at Mills Park Sports Complex. The home side was in attack mode from the opening whistle and forced Rockingham to concede two early goals, both via Danielle Jeans, through defensive mistakes. As the game wore on Rockingham increased the pressure and just before the break reduced the difference. The second half saw most of the attacking come from Beckenham who were rewarded with a third goal before Jeans completed her hat-trick. Minutes from the final whistle Rockingham brought some respectability to the scoreline by adding their second.
Things are looking up for Swan I.C. who drew 3-3 with Northern Redbacks 'B' at Jack Mann Oval. Swan were on the attack from the opening whistle and soon went ahead through Elyse MacPherson. A penetrating move in the 19th minute put the Redbacks back on level terms, but that lasted just four minutes before Jamie Blake fired a low shot through a congested goalmouth to restore Swan's lead. Two minutes from half-time and the Redbacks equalised for a second half via a free-kick. Swan added their third on the hour via Chez Murray who converted a penalty given for handball. The games sixth goal arrived three minutes from full-time when the Redbacks worked their way in behind the opposing defence to earn themselves a share of the points.
Murdoch University took the points over Gosnells City 3-2 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The opening goal arrived on 20 minutes when Tash Darlow drew the goalkeeper before unselfishly squaring to Jo Steer who netted. Gosnells replied ten minutes later when Lisa Tomnay was allowed time to pick her spot in the back of the net with a fine strike from 15-metres. Both sides maintained the intensity after the interval with Murdoch going back in front through Darlow who made no mistake from close in. Again Gosnells hit back within minutes, this time Melissa Spillman weaved her way past three defenders before shooting past the 'keeper. The deciding goal came via a long-range shot from Hilde Halvorsen which struck a defender and fell nicely to Darlow who poke it in from close-range.
University of WA maintained their maintained perfect win record by thrashing Bassendean Caledonian 6-0 at McGillivray Oval. Lynwood Colts collected their second win of the campaign by downing Subiaco United 3-2 at Hossack Reserve. Further details of both these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
AMATEUR PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FIVE (UWA vs Spearwood Dalmatinac courtesy UWA)
UWA defeated Spearwood Dalmatinac 3-0 on Sunday in the Amateur Premier league at McGillivray Oval. UWA took the lead after 25 minutes when Robert Benkovic scored with a near post header from a Marc D'Ascanio corner. At the other end for Dalmatinac, Dave Palin had his shot saved by UWA goalkeeper Ben Rosman. Another Dalmatinac chance fell to D Pesich but his shot was just wide of the left hand post. UWA then went 2-0 up when Max Percy found Bryn Griffiths just outside the penalty area and he drove the ball home high into the roof of the net. The second half saw an early chance for UWA when a Robert Benkovic cross found David Berg and his header was very well pushed over the bar for a corner by Spearwood goalkeeper J Mills. Then after 60 minutes Robert Benkovic was controversially sent off even though he was the player actually fouled by his opponent. In response UWA's Marc D'Ascanio ran from the half way line and beat 4 Dalmatinac defenders but his shot unluckily hit the inside of the far post. Then UWA substitute Tim Grose made a good run down the right and pulled the ball back for Bryn Griffiths to drill the ball in and secure a 3-0 victory. Both teams now occupy 4th spot on the ladder. Coach Kevin Burton said, "We were slow out of the blocks and allowed Spearwood too much space in the first half but fortunately our finishing was better. In the second half we defended very well with 10 men and still gave Spearwood problems on the break."
In other games, Murdoch University thrashed Shamrock Rovers 5-1. Stirling Panthers continue on with their promotion bid after a 2-1 win over Colo Colo. CN Canning International were too good for Perth Azzurri 6-3, while South Perth United shocked Lynwood Colts with a 2-0 victory. Kwinana United remain on the bottom after their 3-0 away loss to Hamersley Rovers.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND SIX (Sorrento vs Western Knights by Kerry Slater; Inglewood United vs Bayswater City by Adam Rucci; Swan I.C. vs Cockburn City by Peter Simcox; Fremantle City vs Stirling Lions by Elliott Leonard)
Sorrento's five game unbeaten streak came to an end when the Western Knights claimed a 2-1 victory at Percy Doyle Reserve. Both sides created plenty of goalscoring opportunities in a hard-fought encounter that kept the crowd on edge until the final whistle. The home team were presented with a golden opportunity to open their account after Jason Williams was judged to have impeded Simon Harland inside the 18-yard box, but James Morgan's poorly struck penalty kick was kept out by Tommi Tomich. A few minutes later it was Sorrento's Neil Young performing the heroics by turning away a good shot from Stuart Montgomery. It was the start of a purple patch for the Knights which saw Paul Cooke lash the ball wide when well-positioned, and Montgomery and John Thornley were both thwarted by the 'keeper. Shortly before the break Sorrento threatened through Todd Harnwell who low strike was covered by Tomich. With 53 minutes gone the Knights finally broke through when Mark Lee's cross from the left was meet by Thornley whose looping header cleared Young to drop into the net. Sorrento responded through John Mills who unleashed a blistering shot from 28-metres that Tomich battered away. Within a minute the focus was on Young as he tipped wide a header from Thornley. Sorrento were back on level terms after 79 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for handball and on this occasion substitute Jared Love confidently stroke it beyond the reach of Tomich. Within two minutes the visitors were back in front as Sorrento's offside trap failed leaving Montgomery to race through and lob over the advancing 'keeper. Although there was only a handful of minutes remaining there was still enough time for both teams to go down to ten men with Barry Wood and Andrew Bowyer issued their marching orders in separate incidents.
Perth S.C. overcame a slow start against Armadale to run out comfortable winners by 3-0. Playing at Dorrien Gardens for the first time, Armadale wasted little time in getting into rhythm and putting the home defence under the spotlight. Seven minutes after kick-off Mo Atak skidded a low shot narrowly the wrong side of the far post from 14-metres. Gareth Deeg had to be quick off his line to eliminate the danger posed by Darren Kingston who'd run on to a neat ball clipped over the defence midway through the half. Perth eventually got into gear and with 29 minutes gone David Onoforo lift the ball high following good work down the left by Andreas Oliviera. Two minutes later Reds goalkeeper Nick Stone brilliantly blocked a close-range shot from Onoforo but could do little as the ball rebounded straight to Oliveira who made no mistake in side-footing into an empty net. Shortly after Onoforo should have increased the gap after rounding Stone only to crash the ball into the crossbar from a narrowing angle. Armadale ended the half with a flurry of activity which started with a terrific move involving Kingston, Peter Vukmirovic and Christian Alvarez whose low shot had Deeg at full-stretch. And two minutes from the break Kingston rose unchallenged at the back post to meet Dennis Lee's corner which he disappointingly headed over the bar. Robbie Puca stung the hands of Stone just twenty seconds into the second half, while Onoforo shot high and Antonio Naglieri wide as the minutes ticked down. With fifteen minutes remaining Puca swung a world-class free-kick around the defensive wall and into the top corner for Perth's second goal. From the restart Perth immediately turned the ball over and pumped it forward where Onoforo poked it past the advancing 'keeper to seal victory. Armadale worked hard in their quest for a consolation goal but Deeg produced a couple of flying saves to deny Kingston and Atak in the closing minutes.
Bayswater City produced the upset of Round Six by downing highly fancied Inglewood United 2-1 at the Kiev Sports Ground. With Ross Barnes acting as the lone striker, Bayswater's adoption of a 4-5-1 formation for the first time this season didn't take long before paying dividends. In fact the ball had been in play just 5 minutes when Igor Novakovic played Andy O'Neill down the left channel before sending a superb cross on to the head of new recruit Stuart Fraser who nodded past the goalkeeper. Stung into action, Inglewood pretty much took up camp in their attacking half and forced Bayswater into performing mainly defensive duties. A cutback from Albert Osei-Tutu was to Jake Harman whose explosive shot was well saved by Steve Grant, and later in the half Harman was again denied by the 'keeper's sharp reflexes. Inglewood got back in the match in the last few minutes of the half when Danny Kovacevic stuck the ball past the 'keeper in a scramble inside the 18-yard box. Early in the new half Greg Sharland made his way past two defenders only for Grant to block his initial shot from close-range and the Inglewood attacker sent the follow-up over the crossbar. The pace of Boima Karpeh, who'd come on at the break, caused problems for the home defence after the break and breathed new life into Bayswater. The deciding goal arrived midway through the half as Novakovic laid the ball at the feet of Barnes whose pass sent Karpeh through to smash a terrific first time shot into the roof of the net. Bayswater could have secured victory not long after when the impressive Novakovic played through to Karpeh who failed to make the most of his close-range opportunity. Inglewood applied the pressure as they sought a late second goal but Osei-Tutu blazed their best opportunity over the bar with just the 'keeper to beat.
Cockburn City went home from the Swan Valley with maximum points after accounting for Swan I.C. 2-0. It was a slow start from both sides with the first opportunities coming via headers from Dean Wallace and Jeremy Chiron, neither of which troubled Swan custodian Cory Hugo. Jonathon Mathers was causing the Cockburn defence all sorts of problems down the left and his neat cross into the area found Tom Shepheard whose shot stretched Alan Dunlop. Swan were gaining the upper hand when David Foster flashed the ball past Dunlop only to have it come back off the upright. With 33 minutes gone referee Stephen Gregory was left with no option but to send off Anthony Pereira after he lashed out at Mathers. Not surprisingly the hosts dominated the rest of the half but efforts from Foster and Shepheard were dealt with by the Cockburn goalkeeper. Swan picked up where they'd left off after the break as Damien Todorovic played in Foster who was thwarted by an alert Dunlop. As play flowed from end to end both 'keepers were called into action, Dunlop denying Foster, Todorovic, Shepheard and Lincoln while at the opposite two strikes on goal from each Chiron and John Mirco were kept out by Corey Hugo. Cockburn broke the deadlock with fifteen minutes remaining when Chiron swung a free-kick into the penalty area where an unmarked Liam Lilly nodded it past the 'keeper from 7-metres. Swan's response was to attack and the impressive Mathers played Lincoln through only to have Dunlop tip the striker's shot around the post. In throwing caution to the wind the hosts were leaving themselves exposed at the back and two minutes from the end they were punished for this as Wallace played a defence splitting pass to Chiron who drew the 'keeper before slotting in the games sealing goal.
Floreat Athena had a narrow 3-2 win over E.C.U. Joondalup in fine conditions at Litis Stadium. There's no arguing that the visitors showed greater urgency and had the lion's share of first half possession but, as is often the case, their dominance was not reflected in the score after forty-five minutes. In fact it was Floreat who struck first when, in the 21st minute, Eugene Singeorzan played a neat through ball to Branimir Mikulic who placed his shot under the oncoming goalkeeper and inside the left post. A minute Joondalup almost levelled when Ashwin Nair's vicious shot came back off the post and Adrian Sutton cleared the loose ball. With half-time beckoning Tom Jones' shot cannoned off the frame of the goal to Oliver Hilton who made no mistake in volleying it over Vas Vujacic to make it one-all. Good chances to add to the tally came the way of both sides early in the new half. Joondalup were caught napping at the back in the 65th minute when Jarred Smith headed the ball over the defence for Singeorzan to race clear and rounded Peter Stewart before tucking away Floreat's second of the afternoon. Within five minutes the visitors squared the ledger via a Garin Collins who swept the ball past Vujacic following a free-kick awarded just outside the 18-yard box. The hosts should have regained the advantage shortly after when Stewart's foul on Mikulic resulted in a penalty which the Floreat striker struck weakly and was easily saved. Five minutes from the end Bajo Savic clipped a free-kick into the box and Mikulic made amends for his earlier miss by tapping in what would prove to be the deciding goal. There was still time for one more drama, however, with Joondalup's Steve Porter issued his marching orders when issued a second yellow card for his foul on Adam Bachillor.
An exciting 3-3 draw with Fremantle City earned Stirling Lions their first point of the 2005 Premier League campaign. This was always going to be a tight match with both teams seeking their first win of the regular season. The Lions were given the perfect start when Leo Harman's in-swinging corner was nodded in by captain Aaron McKee after 10 minutes. But the lead was short-lived as Andrew Pomfret, who was celebrating his 18th birthday, equalised from the penalty spot after Kevin Correia had been brought down by goalkeeper Aleksander Vrteski. A storming run down the right by Steve Bozinovski saw him play a pinpoint cross to the far post where Rob Milevski headed past Bobson Koroma from 5-metres and put the Lions back in the box seat. Fremantle restored parity minutes from the break via Correia's stunning free-kick which was clipped over the defensive wall and into the top corner. Mistakes riddled the second half as both teams attempted went in search of further goals. Muhammad Komaderic was unlucky not to put the hosts ahead with a header that came back off the crossbar, while Bozinovski beat Koroma only to have a defender clear the shot off the line. Fremantle suffered a setback with twenty minutes to go when Tom Straker was sent off after a very tackle on Bozinovski. But not even this could stop the port side from pressing forward and Ahmed Hafiz forced a fingertip save from Vrteski. With 88 minutes gone Fremantle snatched the lead, Paul Robinson's cross leading to a goalmouth scrmable in which Luke Eoannidis' shot was blocked on the line by defender Paul Dickson and the loose ball fell nicely for Correia who slammed it into the net from close range. Late in stoppage time Harman sent a cross in from the right which evaded all bar Bozinovski who made no mistake with a powerful shot which levelled the game.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND SIX (Morley Windmills vs Wanneroo City courtesy Morley Windmills; South West Phoenix vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; Queens Park vs Ashfield courtesy Ashfield; Canning City vs Stirling Suns by Phil Unsworth)
Wanneroo City surrendered their perfect win record when held 2-2 at Wotton Reserve by a resolute Morley Windmills line-up that contained new recruit Justin Everly along with the return of Chris Kahil and Simon Messenger from injury. The first chance in an even opening spell came from the hosts as Adrian McBride's free-kick into the danger zone was nodded just over the crossbar by Ray Rose. Shortly after Andy Brown headed high in a similar situation at the opposite end, then Craig Cheesman's shot on the turn was expertly saved by the goalkeeper. The breakthrough came on 20 minutes when Rose seized upon an under-hit back pass which he walked around Darren Williams before slotting in. Wanneroo wasted no time in getting back in the game and levelled through Scott Bulloch who converted from the penalty spot. Williams then pulled off the save of the match from Rose to keep the ledger even. The second half was just minutes old when the visiting side added to their tally after Phil Bell was impeded inside the 18-yard box and Bulloch put away his second penalty. Any hopes Wanneroo held of running away with the game were quashed at this stage with Morley matching them in every department. But it took until injury time for the home side to draw level through Steve Waycott.
Honours were shared in the southern derby between Mandurah City and Rockingham City at Peelwood Parade. The game started brightly for the hosts who made good use of a strong breeze blowing in their favour by pushing into their attacking half through a series of long balls. As the half wore on Rockingham found their rhythm and started to create chances of their own. There best move saw a neat pass from Rob Crerar sent Glen Hallums away down the left but having zeroed in on goal his shot flashed just wide of the far post. It was a more composed Mandurah side that came out for the second half and regained control of the game. Looking particularly threatening via set pieces, Mandurah were unlucky not to go ahead through Jake Loreto whose header crashed back off the crossbar. Rockingham were under the pump and had little choice but to absorb the pressure as the home team went close on numerous occasions. John Tranfield was thwarted by the goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation, while late in the game Jordan Rhodes' shot was parried by Craig Olejnik and, with an open goal there for the taking, Tranfield hesitated just long enough for Scott Fletcher to rob him of possession.
The long trip south was worthwhile for Balcatta who came home with all three points courtesy of a 5-2 win over South West Phoenix. Much of the early running came from the visitors who created a handful of good openings all of which went unfinished. Although Phoenix were able to make only the occasional foray into attack David Murphy did test Ken Fytengenious with a fine shot early on. The visitors continued to pressure and were rewarded when David Moschilla was brought down inside the penalty area and the Balcatta attacker picked himself up to convert from the spot. The second half was minutes old when the ball was turned over in midfield and Jamie Bergin lashed in the equaliser for Phoenix. With this Balcatta kicked up a gear and Adam Rains restored the lead after rounding the goalkeeper. An Alley Di Nuzzo rocket increased the difference to two goals, and when Danny Carlino netted the match was effectively ended as a contest. Phoenix bagged a second goal through Murphy only to have Toby Wright respond shortly after with the visitors fifth of the day. Balcatta claimed a 2-1 victory in the Reserves, while the Youth team fixture ended 3-1 in favour of Phoenix.
Queens Park survived a second half revival from Ashfield to share the points 2-2 at Coker Park. Ashfield settled the quicker only to find themselves a goal down when hesitant defending allowed James Turbitt to net. The visitors continued to dominate possession but, completely against the run of play, went two goals down when John Sherinton's cross from the right eluded all in the box and drifted inside the far upright. Minutes later Ashfield's persistence paid off with David Gordan neatly chipping over the advancing 'keeper to reduce the gap. Ashfield continued to apply the pressure in the second half with some neat exchanges when going forward. Their reward came midway through the period when Patrick O'Boyle reacted smartly to a bouncing ball in the box which he lashed past the goalkeeper. Five minutes later a long clearance from Maekol Taseski was run onto by Gordan who rocketed his shot past the 'keeper and into the top corner, but a controversial offside call ruled out the goal. Ashfield worked hard to conjure up a third and deciding goal but at the end of ninety minutes they had to be content with just a single point. The Reserves match was won 5-3 by Ashfield, while Queens Park took all three points from the Youth fixture by 3-1.
If entertainment was on the menu then Kingsway Sporting Complex was the place to be as Forrestfield United hung on to defeat a fast finishing Kingsway Olympic 3-2. Kingsway dominated the early exchanges with some crisp passing, but it was the visitors who scored first through a neat build-up down the left which ended with Lucas Whitehouse side-footing in from 9-metres. Forrestfield could have increased their lead had Craig Sharpe done better when presented with an open goal, Sharpe later netted via a quickly taken free-kick which the referee ordered be retaken, and Roger Miron hit the posts in a goalmouth scramble. Kingsway streamed into attack after turning the ball over in midfield and Scott Evans equalised with a contender for goal of the season by unleashing an unstoppable shot from 35-metres. Just before the break Forrestfield regained the lead via a swift counter attack which Glen Noblett finished by netting from close-range. The second half saw Kingsway control play for long periods as their opponent struggled to retain possession. The points were made safe midway through the period by John Carling who bagged his teams in a goalmouth scramble. But Kingsway refused to conceded defeat and a late own goal made for a very tense final few minutes.
Gosnells City coach Alex Grindley was far from a happy man after his side threw away a two-goal lead to go down 2-3 to Bassendean Caledonian at Walter Padbury Reserve. Bassendean made a positive start and would have been two goals the better inside a few minutes if not for some last ditch defending and an ounce more luck. Having taken their find to get into stride Gosnells drew first blood through Adam Bremner who nodded in a corner, and it was a lead they'd take into the break. Gosnells came out for the second half full of running and with 69 minutes elapsed Darren Ingham sent a superb header past the goalkeeper to double their advantage. Within minutes Bassendean struck the prefect reply with Rydeen Botha making the most of poor defending to bring his side back into the game. Not long after some static defending allowed Craig Wells to race through and slot the ball coolly past a badly exposed Jayson Mehnert. With the clock ticking down and the game seemingly destined for a draw Botha latched onto a perfectly place through ball which he knocked past the 'keeper to snatch victory for Bassendean.
Canning City picked up their first win of the season by crushing Stirling Suns 5-0 at Willetton Sportsman Club. Zoran Petroski came close to bagging the day's opening goal when he latched into a long ball only to be denied by a fine smothering save from Adam Horsley. However, it was Canning who'd find the net first with Chris Wylie picking out Patrick Fitzgerald who drove a low shot inside the far post. Ten minutes later Daniel Trevisiol slipped a pass through to Greg Newcombe who rounded Suns goalkeeper Tony Aleksovski and coolly ran the ball into an open goal. Canning went into the break with a healthy three-goal buffer after Ross Posthuma's long ball found Paul Van Dongen who outpaced the defence before cutting in and threading his shot between 'keeper and post. Goals were much harder to come by for Canning in the second half, although the Suns were doing little reduce the deficit. It took something special to increase the margin and it came in the form of a blistering left-foot strike from 20-metres by Posthuma. Canning's fifth goal also came via Postuma who headed in a Trevisiol cross on the stroke of full-time. Canning's Reserves won 6-0 to remain top of the table, while the Youth game was awarded 3-0 to Canning by forfeit.
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
Perth S.C. have gone three points clear at the top of the Premier League table after six games courtesy of a 3-0 home defeat of Armadale. Second placed Sorrento went down 1-2 to Western Knights for whom John Thornley and Stuart Montgomery found the net. Stuart Fraser and Boima Karpeh were on target when Bayswater City upset Inglewood United 2-1 on home soil. Floreat Athena moved into a congested mid-table after their 3-2 win over E.C.U. Joondalup, likewise Cockburn City who were too good for Swan I.C. by 2-0. Fremantle City and Stirling Lions shared the points at 3-3.
A late goal earned Morley Windmills a 2-2 draw with First Division leader Wanneroo City. South West Phoenix crashed 2-5 to the visitors from Balcatta. Forrestfield picked up their third win of the campaign by downing home side Kingsway Olympic 3-2, while the points were shared between Queens Park and Ashfield at 2-2. Gosnells City went down 2-3 to Bassendean Caledonian, and Canning City belted Stirling Suns 6-0. Mandurah City and Rockingham City fought out a 0-0 draw.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
The big game this weekend takes place at Percy Doyle Reserve where joint leader Sorrento taken on title favourite Western Knights. Perth S.C., who sit level on points with the Gulls, have a home date with an Armadale side who are holding their own in the top flight. Inglewood United are expected to prove too strong for visiting Bayswater City, likewise Cockburn City who are on the road to Swan I.C. A threadbare E.C.U. Joondalup will have their depth tested by Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. Fremantle City and Stirling Lions have a great opportunity to finally put some points on the board in the battle of the cellar dwellars at Ken Allen Field.
The pick of the sixth round of First Division fixtures is the southern derby between Mandurah City and Rockingham City at Peelwood Parade. Morley Windmills will give leader Wanneroo City a run for their money when they visit Wotton Reserve. Balcatta have a difficult away clash with South West Phoenix, while Ashfield are tipped to come home with the goods from their meeting at Queens Park. Kingsway Olympic host Forrestfield United, Gosnells City have home ground advantage over Bassendean Caledonian, and Canning City welcome Stirling Suns to Willetton Sportsman Club. Out of action due to the bye are Dianella White Eagles.
SAME GAME, NEW NAME
In line with moves across the country we have changed our name. www.footballwa.net is the new moniker under which Western Australia's only independent website dedicated to the world game will now operate. "Adopting a new name has been a long time coming," explained website correspondent Brett Klucznik. "We'd intended to follow Football West and Perth Glory who took on the football tag a few months ago but its' taken us a little longer than expected to finalise things."
"The game is recognised as football almost the world over and we applaud the fact Australia has joined the rest of the world in that way of thinking," added Klucznik. "After all, our game is played predominantly with the feet unlike some of the other codes who somehow get away with referring to themselves as football." All website visitors are encouraged to amend their bookmarks/favourites as, as of the end of this month, our previous moniker of www.soccerwa.com will cease to exist.
SCHOOLBOYS NAME PRELIMINARY SQUAD
The coaching staff of the State Schoolboys have named a preliminary squad of twenty-five players for August's School Sport Australia Secondary Soccer Championships in Queensland. "It was a difficult task of trimming squad," said team manager Neil Alweyn. "There's a lot of depth and versatility in this squad." Coach Rob Milevski was assisted by Alweyn in the selection process along with one-time State custodian Alan Dunlop and national Schoolboys assistant coach Damon Atthowe. The squad have a series of friendlies lined up over coming weeks before the travelling squad of sixteen is announced next month.
The State Schoolboys preliminary squad consists of Matthew Johnson, Scott Paterson (Armadale), Fraser Marr (Cockburn City), Jason O'Bryne (Floreat Athena), Tim de Souza, Steve Hesketh, Andrew Pomfret, Wesley Ryder (Fremantle City), Stuart Hartmann (E.C.U. Joondalup), Josh Benjamin, Goce Dilevski, Adam Hett, Luke Hudston, David Micevski, Brendan Ross (Perth S.C.), Jesse Higgins, Rory Hollingum, David Houston (Sorrento), Steve Bozinovski, Cameron Carruthers, Sash Skoleski (Stirling Lions), Rodrigo Aguirre, Stephen Bettella and Daniel Simcox (Swan I.C.).
GLORY FANS VOTE FOR DESPOTOVSKI
Local supporters have nominated Bobby Despotovski as Perth Glory's best player in their successful, eight season history. The former Australian international was by far and away the most popular choice in last week's www.footballwa.net poll that asked 'Who is the best player to ever pull on Perth Glory colours?' Despotovski, whose made 212 appearances and scored 102 goals for Glory, accumulated 31.2% of close to 360 votes cast during the seven-day polling period to emerge as the fans choice.
145 games between the posts earned Jason Petkovic (18.4%) the runners-up position with star striker Damien Mori (12.8%) in third place. Inaugural captain Gareth Naven (9.5%), who wore Glory colours on 138 occasions, edged out Brazilian import Edgar Aldrighi Jnr (9.4%), who played 116 games between 2000 and 2003, by a single vote. 211 game veteran Scott Miller (8.9%) finished just a handful of votes behind. Rounding out the field were right-sided midfielder Matt Horsley (5.5%) and new season captain Jamie Harnwell (4.3%).
GET IN THE ZONE
The Glory ZONE is a locally developed program aimed at enhancing the football skills and general fitness of junior players across the state. Since being set up in 2000 the Glory Zone has contributed to the development of over 10,000 junior players of varying ability levels. "The Glory Zone is not a club or association and we don't field teams in any leagues," explained the program's Technical Manager Mark Lee. "Our goal is to co-ordinate with junior clubs in a way which will enhance their players' skill base and enjoyment of the game."
"Fun is of paramount importance in all of our sessions and when players enjoy training it speeds up their development process," continued Lee. "Our main objective is to improve every player that is a member of the program both socially and with their football skills". The Glory Zone offers a range different development programs throughout the year for boys and girls aged six to sixteen. Participants have the opportunity to compliment their club training by attending weekly fitness and skills sessions at four excellent metropolitan venues which operate throughout the school term."
"Although we are not an elite based program and are not primarily focused on developing potential professional players, we do have a pathway for players who we believe need to train at a greater intensity. The Select program was set up last year and has some very talented players attending" Lee commented. "This group consists of elite level players who will take part in high intensity training in order to maximise their ability and speed up their development. We also run school holidays clinics, school development programs and even birthday parties!"
Coaches of the Glory Zone include former and current players, fully qualified human movement specialists and physical education teachers. Andrew Barrett, Program Development Manager, is a fully qualified English FA coach. Lee, as the programs Technical Manager, has professional playing experience in the United Kingdom as well as gaining a sports management degree in conjunction with a soccer scholarship in the United States of America
Sean D'Arcy, Liam Coneally, Barry Wood and Manuel Camara are all qualified coaches within the Glory Zone, with the latter having spent time at Portuguese giants FC Porto under Jose Mourino. Also on board are two players with national league experience in Western Waves defender and exercise physiologist Kerry McGawley and former Melbourne Knights goalkeeper Tommi Tomich. If you require a professionally run program for your school or club or are a parent who wishes for their child to be part of the Glory Zone then give them a call on 9492 6066.
NO GLORY FOR PERTH (by Peter Simcox)
Sydney FC qualified for the final of the Australian phase of the World Club Championship with a come from behind 2-1 victory over Perth Glory at Members Equity Stadium tonight. It was rain sodden night in the west and the first half was played in treacherous conditions, with heavy rain falling making it difficult for players and the 9,968 spectators a like. Chances were few and far between in the first half with Sydney often testing young goalkeeper Milan Jovanic with shots from long-range. David Zdrilic was lively up front and kept the hosts central defensive partnership of Jamie Harnwell and Ante Kovacevic on their toes. Glory's best efforts came down the right and via Hiroyuki Ishida whose pace caused the opposing defence problems. Right on the stroke of half-time Ishida delivered the ball into the 6-yard box where in quick succession Bobby Despotovski and Nick Ward had shots cleared off the line.
Glory opened the second half in spectacular fashion when as Despotovski's low cross from the right was deflected past 'keeper Clint Bolton by teammate Ufuk Talay for the nights opening goal. But the lead was short lived as the impressive David Carney turned Scott Miller inside out before blasting the equaliser past Jovanic. From here Sydney didn't look back, continually turning the ball over in midfield as Glory began to run out of ideas. Zdrilic and Andrew Packer went close on the counter attack before Saso Petrovski hit the deciding goal after 76 minutes. Sydney moved quickly after another a Glory attack broke down with Packer feeding a pass to Petrovski whose finish was clinical. Following the loss Glory coach Steve McMahon lashed out at his players. "I thought the so called bigger name players didn't perform on the night," fumed McMahon, who refused to name names. "We were frightened. We were frightened to death of them."
MRDJA SENDS MARINERS TO CWC FINAL
Nick Mrdja has overcome a drama filled few days by leading Central Coast Mariners to a 4-0 thrashing of Adelaide United in this evening's Club World Championship semi-final. Mrdja bagged three goals to earmark him as the striker to watch once the A-League season proper kicks-off in August. It's been a traumatic few days for the former Perth Glory striker who, four days earlier, broke the leg of Newcastle Jets defender Andrew Durante with a late tackle. "The last couple of days have been quite difficult, but you've got to live with it," said Mrdja. "After the drama of the last game, bouncing back for me, personally, was great."
The 26-year old put the past few days behind him with an eye-catching performance. His runs continually caused concern for the Adelaide defence, while his interchange of play with teammates and coolness in front of goal underlined Mrdja's potency. Mrdja sent goalkeeper Daniel Beltrame the wrong way with a penalty in the 23rd minute, and four minutes later Stewart Petrie doubled the lead with a terrific curling shot. The game was effectively over when Mrdja headed in from close-range after the 'keeper spilled John Hutchinson's corner just before the break. Mrdja's hat-trick came twenty minutes into the second half when he raced onto a through ball, rounded the 'keeper and a defender before crashing the ball home from 6-metres. The Mariners meet Sydney FC in Sunday's final in Adelaide.
GOODWIN LIKELY TO MISS REST OF SEASON
A broken leg is likely to sideline influential Armadale midfielder Jason Goodwin for the remainder of the winter campaign. The injury is a severe blow for player and club with Goodwin amongst the Reds most consistent performances over the opening month of competition. The former State junior broke his leg while contesting possession during Saturday's Premier League clash with Inglewood United. Last year Goodwin was a key contributor in Armadale gaining promotion to the top flight, scoring fourteen goals from midfield and polling strongly in First Division Player of the Year award.
YOUTH SQUAD READIES FOR SINGAPORE
State Under-18 coach Mike Tetlow has assembled an impressive eighteen-player squad for the 2005 Lions City Cup. "Most of the squad has represented the State at Under-15 and Under-16 levels in the past few years, and a high percentage of them are playing first team in the Premier League this season," said Tetlow. "I'm looking forward to the trip and hopefully we'll be able to repeat the success of 2001 when the Under-14's returned from the Friendship Games in Sydney with the trophy." The 20th annual Lion City Cup will be contested in Singapore over the period 1st to 11th June between two Singapore national squads, the Malaysian youth side, a team from Sweden and the State Under-18's.
The West Australian Under-18 squad for the 2005 Lion City Cup consists of Mo Atak (Armadale), Tom Langley (Cockburn City), Tim De'Sousa, Mark Darby, Ben Kelly, Andy Pomfret, Marlon Ramirez (Fremantle City), Daniel Waind, Martin Ashworth, Kevin Caroma, Stuart Hartman (E.C.U. Joondalup), Robert Sciascia, Brendon Ross (Perth S.C.), Chris Smith, Brodie Martin, Dejan Gurovski, (Sorrento), Mark Bentley (Stirling Lions) and Rodrigo Aguirre (Swan I.C.). The side is coached by Mike Tetlow with Steve Coppack as tour manager. The trip to Singapore will be the first away journey for a State side under Football West.
BLACKPOOL EYE MADASCHI (courtesy www.tribalfootball.com)
English League One club Blackpool are understood to keeping tabs on Australian international Adrian Madaschi. The Partick Thistle defender is out of contract at the end of the month and will be leaving the Jags. Along with Blackpool, several Scottish Premier League clubs have also expressed interest in Madaschi who has been outstanding in recent weeks in a struggling Partick team. Madaschi has made 58 appearances and scored four goals since joining the club in October 2003.
WORLD CUP CALL-UP FOR WARD AND TOWNSEND
Local products Nick Ward and Ryan Townsend have been named in the Australian Under-20 squad for June's FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. Perth Glory midfielder Ward has been part of the Young Socceroos set-up for the best part of twelve months, touring Europe and South America last year and helping the side win the Oceania qualifying tournament in January. Townsend, who plays his club football for English side Burnley, was called into camp for the first time last month when he shone in all three outings against A-League opposition.
"It was great to hear the news that I will be in the squad," said Ward on his selection. "But I didn't have too many doubts that I would be going as I have been involved with the under-20s squad for a whole year now. Nothing was ever concrete though so it was a bit of a relief to know that I will be going. It is definitely the biggest stage you could play on and it is everyone's dream to play in a World Cup so I'm really looking forward to playing on that stage. I hope I can claim a place in the starting line-up but if not I will try to make an impact from the substitutes bench."
The Young Socceroos will play international friendlies against Colombia, Morocco and host nation South Korea in late May before returning briefly to Australia. They'll then journey to the Netherlands for two further warm-up games against Dutch club opposition ahead of their opening match of the FIFA World Youth Championship against Benin on 10th June. Australia meet the host nation in their second group stage fixture five days later, with the Under-20's final game of the preliminary stage scheduled for 18th June against Japan.
The Young Socceroo squad is Ryan Townsend (Burnley), Daniel Vukovic, Russell Woodruffe (Central Coast Mariners), Aaron Downes (Chesterfield), James Wesolowski (Leicester City), Jay Lucas (Marconi Stallions), Adrian Leijer, Vince Lia, Kristian Sarkies, Chris Tadrosse (Melbourne Victory), Stuart Musialik (Newcastle United Jets), Ruben Zadkovich (Notts County), Billy Celeski, Nick Ward (Perth Glory), Shane Huke (Peterborough), David Williams (Queensland Academy of Sport), Adam Federici (Reading), Mark Milligan, Justin Pasfield, Jacob Timpano (Sydney FC), Trent McClenahan (West Ham United) and uncontracted Spase Dilevski.
DEEG JOINS GLORY
Perth Glory have added goalkeeper Gareth Deeg to their ranks just days out from the Club World Championship qualifying match with Sydney F.C. Deeg has been involved in the majority of Glory's pre-season friendlies and provides back-up for young Serbian 'keeper Milan Jovanic. Born in New South Wales, Deeg has spent a number of years on the local scene playing for E.C.U. Joondalup, Sorrento and Stirling Lions. The 26-year old played for Sydney Olympic earlier this year before heading back to WA to join Perth S.C.
Deeg will return to club commitments with Perth at the conclusion of his short-term deal with Glory, although should the national league club make the Oceania CWC qualifying tournament he is expected to make the trip. "There is definitely a lot of potential for the club playing in this tournament and although our pre-season form has not been the greatest we are confident we can get the results we want this week," Deeg said. "Having been involved with the club four or five years ago as a kid, it is great to be involved with the squad now and it's great to be rewarded with a squad number."
GRIFFITHS FIRES BLACKBURN INTO FINAL
A late goal from Rostyn Griffiths has secured Blackburn Rovers' place in the Premier League Under-18's national final. The Australian Under-17 international popped up seconds from the end of regulation time to head in Rovers second goal in their 2-0 defeat of Southampton on Saturday. With the wind at their backs, Rovers had the better of first half opportunities and went in front on 11 minutes when Gary Stopforth's free-kick floated over a crowded penalty area and into the top corner of the net. The two sides traded attacks and it took until the 90th minute for the result to be put beyond doubt by Griffiths who headed in a cross from the right by Joel Byrom. Rovers face Coventry City in the Premier League Under-18's national final at Ewood Park on Wednesday evening.
MCMAHON CONFIDENT OF VICTORY
Perth Glory coach Steve McMahon is convinced his team can send glamour side Sydney F.C. crashing out of the Club World Championship Australian on Wednesday. McMahon returned to Perth having witnessed Sydney's 3-0 win over Queensland Roar on Saturday which he described as flattering to the self-styled glamour boys. "I don't think it was the best game in the world but it was obviously their first competitive game and you get an idea of the players and the formation they will play, so it was worth while," McMahon said of his trip east. "They were well organised and they took their chances, which Queensland didn't. I wouldn't say the 3-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of the game."
McMahon has cracked the whip since he left England and moved to Australia to take up the Glory reigns in January. But over the next three days the emphasis will be on how McMahon wants Glory to approach the upcoming match and the mental tuning he knows will be crucial to success. "We'll be going through a few set plays and we'll get the players mentally right so they are geared up for the game," he said. "I've got to get my own team sorted out and let the rest take care of itself. I will be relaying a bit of information to the players about how they play and how I think we can beat them." Success on Wednesday will put Glory into the Australian final to be played in Adelaide on Sunday, and within reach of a lucrative payday.
WOMEN'S WRAP (Northern Redbacks vs Balcatta courtesy Balcatta; Kinglsey vs Subiaco United courtesy Kingsley; Swan I.C. vs Bassendean Caledonain courtesy Swan I.C.; Gosnells City vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City)
Balcatta moved to outright leader of the women's Premier League courtesy of a 4-0 thumping of title favourite Northern Redbacks. It was made clear from the opening exchanges that Balcatta meant business with Laura Turnball giving the visitors the advantage after only 2 minutes. Balcatta continued to apply the pressure and seven minutes later a terrific long-range strike from Jenny Poehl flew over the goalkeeper and under the cross bar to increase the gap. The Redbacks day went from bad to worse when Sara Gawned was red carded for a foul inside the penalty area, and from the spot Lindsey Jobling made no mistake. The second half continued in much the same fashion and three minutes in Kylie Chatto headed in a pinpoint cross from Elisa D'Ovidio.
An inability to finish their attacks resulted in Kingsley sharing the points 1-1 with Subiaco United at Chichester Park. The signs were promising early from the home team who were lead from midfield by Sally Sanigar and Lisa Higgins, while up front Shenade Unicomb and Kristina Oxley proved a constant menace. Their breakthrough came just before half time when Higgins' long-range shot was parried by the goalkeeper and Oxley was on hand to put away the follow-up. Kingsley went close on numerous occasions to netting for a second time in the second half but with ten minutes to go it was Subiaco who scored via B.Tillemans. The hosts searched desperately for a late winner but it was without success as Subiaco held on for a draw.
Queens Park racked up the biggest win of the Premier League season to date by thrashing Noranda 15-0 at Coker Park. Stacey Woodfin top scored with five goals while T.Rowatt found the net on four occasions. A.Ashton bagged a hat-trick, A.Thorpe scored twice and L.Easton once. Further details of this game weren't forthcoming from either of the participating clubs.
Mandurah City out-classed visiting Gosnells City 5-1 to extend their perfect start to the new campaign to five successive wins. Although minus a couple of key players through illness, the hosts never really looked in trouble thanks to a dominant midfield that cut their opposite numbers out of the game. Star striker Jiame Carley found the target twice and teenagers Melanie Loreto and Harriet Talbert scored a goal each from the centre of the park, but the goal of the game was an elegantly placed shot by Laura Parmenter. Gosnells were fortuinate that final margin wasn't greater with Mandurah beating the 'keeper on several other occasions only to have the ball clear the crossbar.
Swan I.C. took maximum points at the expense of Bassendean Caledonian by a 4-0 scoreline. After a series of near misses Swan gained the upper hand with Tania Bonser surging through the visiting defence before tucking into the back of the net on 27 minutes. Bassendean continued to find themselves under pressure following the interval and it was long before the hosts extended their lead through Laura Mason who converted at the second opportunity after her initial shot hit the upright. Jamie Blake killed the game off after 58 minutes by converting a cross from the right by Becky Hedley, and twelve minutes from full-time late in the piece Karen Lee put away goal number four following a strong run down the right by Chez Murray.
Beckenham Angels moved to the top of the First Division table on goal difference thanks to a 7-1 mauling of Balga. Northern Redbacks 'C' proved no match for University of WA who went home 4-0 winners. Beckenham and University of WA share first place after five games with Mandurah City who are all yet to drop a point. Rockingham City proved 3-1 too good for Lynwood Colts, and Subiaco United downed home side Murdoch University 2-1. Further details of both these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
SEMI-FINAL BIGGEST GAME OF MY CAREER SAYS DESPOTOVSKI
Bobby Despotovski considers Wednesday night's Club World Championship qualifier against Sydney F.C. as the biggest of his career. The 33-year old has played in four Grand Finals and made a handful of appearances for Australia but would rate playing against the might of Liverpool or AC Milan as the pinnacle of his career. "If you're talking about the prize and what's at stake, then it's by far the biggest," Despotovski said. "At the grand finals there were 38-40,000 people, but there was nothing at stake other than the name of being champions. It meant nothing - everyone knew we were the biggest and best team in the NSL and they were just waiting for us to win it."
Despotovski, a veteran of ten seasons at national league level, is keen on making the most of the opportunity to play against some of the world's best players. "This is probably the last shot I'm going to get to get to something important like the CWC. I'm coming up to 34 now and I don't think I'm going to get any more chances to do what we did in the last few years," he said. "It would be the pinnacle if we qualify. We always talk about winning the championship - we've done it twice - but this is the ultimate goal. We're only two or three games away from playing Liverpool or AC Milan. If you win two games you go to Tahiti and most likely the Australian champion will go on to the CWC, so all off a sudden it becomes reality."
Many considered the fourteen-month layoff in domestic competition to spell the end for the Glory's greatest-ever goalscorer. But playing for Inglewood United and Bonnyrigg White Eagles and a tough pre-season has kept alive his hunger for the game at the top level. "It's the hardest pre-season I have ever done by far," he commented. "We usually do around six to eight weeks of pre-season and then we go into the season, but this one has been long and hard. You would've done 10 sprints in the previous pre-season, now you're doing 30 or 40. It's phenomenal and you appreciate how much work has to be put in - because our coach has played at the top level - in the English Premiership."
AMATEUR PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FOUR
University of WA came back twice to secure a 2-2 draw against Shamrock Rovers on Sunday in the Football West Loans Cafe Amateur Premier league fixture at McGillivray Oval. Shamrock took the early ascendency with Wayne Brooks and Jarrod Hollingum prominent but could not find their way past the resolute UWA defence. Shamrock had the best chance of the half whenDylan Browne went through only to be denied by the keeper. After 30 minutes a cross by UWA's Bryn Griffiths was met by the head of David Berg and Shamrock keeper Ed Schuller was forced to make a great save and push the ball over the bar for a corner. Ed Schuller was shortly again called into action when a Marc D'Ascanio shot was pushed around for another corner. At the other end Shamrock's Wayne Brooks got hold of the ball in midfield and hit a long half volley just over the bar and so the sides went in at 0-0. The second half produced real entertainment with 4 goals and two players from Shamrock being sent off. The lead was taken by Shamrock when defender Keith Roche sent a well flighted free kick to the boot of Wayne Brooks who scored well in the right hand corner wth a flick with the outside of his left foot which nestled into the bottom corner. At the other end UWA had a Liam Sharp shot cleared off the line by a desperate clearance by the excellent Jon Craik. Then after 75 minutes Shamrock's Wayne Brooks turned from hero to villain when he was unluckily sent off. UWA took advantage of this when a Marc D'Ascanio cross was deflected into his own goal by Keith Roche. With five minutes to go Shamrock stunned UWA with a good Mark Kelly strike after good lead up work fired in from the edge of the box,in the ensuing celebrations Shamrock's Gary McCue received a second yellow card and was sent off leaving Shamrock with only 9 players. UWA took advantage of this with 4 minutes remaining when Robert Benkovic grabbed a goal with an alert header from a Declan Sharp throw in. >Despite frantic UWA pressure in injury time Shamrock held UWA out. Coach Kevin Burton said: "It was a bizarre second half but we clearly deserved at least a point with another determined yet disciplined performance." UWA Reserves were defeated 2-1 by Shamrock Rovers.
In other games, Murdoch University defeated CN Canning International 3-1. Colo Colo thrashed Spearwood Dalmatinac 6-1. Hamersley Rovers were too good for Lynwood Colts winning 3-2, while the Stirling Panthers lost their first game of the season against South Perth United 3-1. Perth Azzurri won at home by 2 goals to 1 against Kwinana United.
PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND FIVE (Cockburn City vs Sorrento by Kerry Slater; Armadale vs Inglewood United courtesy Armadale)
Premier League leader Perth S.C. recovered from the early setback of going a goal behind to defeat Western Knights 3-1 at Nash Field. Play had been underway ten minutes when a tussle between Luka Jukic and Dino Djulbic saw the ball spill to Stuart Montgomery who took on two defenders before unleashing a curling shot into the top corner from 18-metres to put the Knights ahead. Perth wasted little time in responding and eight minutes later Andreas Oliveira and Antonio Naglieri combined with the latter threading a pass to Peter Lord who fired it under Tommi Tomich with the home side appealing for offside. The two sides continued to trade attacks with Montgomery, Barry Wood and Scott Devine calling Gareth Deeg into action while down the opposite end Tomich thwarted Naglieri and Lord, and dived the right way to keep out a penalty taken by Oliveira. A minute from the break it was the Knights turn to squandered a golden opportunity with John Thornley sent a delightful cross to the back post when Montgomery conspired to miss the target from only a couple of metres. The second half started with Perth in control and within three minutes their creativity was rewarded as David Onoforo latched on to a loose ball and from 13-metres clipped it over the 'keeper and into the net. Victory was assured nineteen minutes later by David Micevski who raced on to a searching pass which he slotted neatly into the net from just inside the 18-yard box. The Knights pressed hard to get back in the game with Mark Lee particularly effective but Perth's rearguard locked the game down in their half. A red card to David Annall close to the final whistle only compounded the hosts woes.
Sorrento stay level on points with Perth following a dramatic 3-2 defeat of Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Both sets of fans were given plenty of hope early on as good openings presented themselves to Dean Wallace and Anthony Perriera for the hosts as well as Gulls pair Todd Harnwell and Glen Thomas. With 19 minutes elapsed Perriera fired Cockburn into the lead following a surging run from midfield by Dusan Macura. The goal spurred the home team on and for the remainder of the half they'd dominate play but create few genuine chances on goal. Two minutes from the break Jared Love drew an excellent save from Alan Dunlop, and shortly after Jason Dos Santos got in behind the Sorrento defence but slid his shot wide under pressure from goalkeeper Neil Young. Cockburn picked up where they'd left off and seven minute after the restart doubled their advantage as Dusan Macura's free-kick from the right was flicked on by John Mirco to Wallace who tapped in at the back post. Gulls coach Trevor Morgan responded with several tactical and positional changes that included Steve McDonald pushing into attack. The move paid immediate dividends as just a minute later McDonald chested down a long ball to Danny Hill whose mistimed volley fell to Harnwell who steered it home to reduced the gap. Five minutes later the score was levelled as McDonald flicked a thrown-in on to Harnwell and on this occasion the striker was afforded time to pick his place with a neat chip. Harland had a shot cleared off the line as Sorrento raised the tempo, and a quick Cockburn counter attack saw Jurgen Van Dun denied by a fantastic save from Young. The decider arrived two minutes into stoppage time as Dunlop blocked an initial shot from Harland who reacted to the rebounded with an acrobatic scissor kick into an unguarded net.
Inglewood United registered their third successive win by downing Armadale 1-0 at Alfred Skeet Oval. But the win came at a heavy cost for both teams, the dismissal of midfielders Darren Broxton and Michael Baczynski meant Inglewood ended with nine men while Armadale's Jason Goodwin suffered a broken leg which will keep him sidelined for up to two months. Chances flowed in an end-to-end first half which would have finished at three-all if not for some glaring mistakes at either end. The match erupted in the 41th minute when Broxton contested a 50-50 ball with Goodwin who emerged from the tackle with a broken leg, and Broxton was not surprisingly issued a red card by Michael Klaver. After the break Armadale created a slew of opportunities but without Goodwin and injured striker Darren Kingston the hosts lacked potency in the finishing department. The closest they came was when John Dixon headed a difficult cross goalward only for Oliver Taseski acrobatically to tip it around the post. Down the opposite end Inglewood were also applying the pressure but just couldn't get their shots past goalkeeper Nick Stone. That was until the 88th minute when Greg Sharland got on the end of a cross which he nodded in at close-range for the games only goal. In a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game the Reds laid siege to their opponents goal but Inglewood's rearguard of Shaun Kilkelly, Danny Kovacevic and Daniel Stoitis repelled everything that came their way. Three minutes into stoppage time Baczynski's frustration got the better of him and he was ordered from the field after lashing out at Matt Bennion.
Stirling Lions remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League following a 1-2 loss to Floreat Athena at Macedonia Park. While Floreat dominated the first half it was the home side who went into the break with a single goal advantage. Bajo Savic squandered a golden opportunity to give Floreat an 8th minute lead when the midfielder's touch let him down in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Aleksander Vrteski. A penetrating run from Paul Vlachou saw him play a neat one-two with Eugene Singeorzan before unleashing a fierce first time shot that Alex Vrteski pushed wide of the upright. In the 34th minute the Lions grabbed the upper hand as Aaron McKee played a lovely ball over the defence to Steve Bozinovski whose chip found the net despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Vas Vujacic. The hosts were unlucky not to extend that advantage as Milevski and Bozinovski both went close leading into the break, and just minutes into the second half Ian Griffiths' grass-cutter was well saved by Vujacic. Floreat drew level in the 56th minute when Branimir Mikulic's low cross picked out Savic who expertly threw off his marker and drilled a left foot shot past the 'keeper. Played seesawed from end to end as Socratous and Vlachou called Vrteski into action while Milevski slid the ball just wide following a storming run into attack. A neat move lead to Floreat's second goal in the 69th minute, Mikulic and Savic combining on the left with the latter's flick on to Singeorzan volleyed into the top corner of the net. With their backs now to the wall the home side threw caution to the wind and pressed forward in increasing numbers. A jinxing run by Griffiths took him past three opponents before delivering a low cross that Bozinovski knocked wide, and close to the final whistle Milevski was denied by a marvellous reflex save from Vujacic.
A controversial second half penalty enabled Bayswater City to defeated Fremantle City 1-0 in picture prefect conditions at Frank Drago Reserve. Unforced errors and passes that went astray in the final third characterised a first half bereft of any highlights. The only openings of any real significance came leading into the break. Boima Karpeh rose highest in a crowded box but glanced wide of the upright on 38 minutes, then David Rodgers blasted high wide under pressure from a narrowing angle. Things started to look up in the second half as, within two minutes of the restart, Kevin Corriea rifled just wide and Andrew O'Neill tested the reflexes of Bobson Koroma. Rodgers threaded a delightful pass through three defenders to Correia whose first time strike was parried by Steve Grant on 53 minutes. Shortly after Ross Barnes lobbed over Koroma, who'd come well off his line, but the Fremantle 'keeper scrambled back to capture the ball as it bounced toward the goal. The decisive goal arrived in the 69th minute when Barnes went down under an innocuous challenge from Jason Godfrey, referee Anastasios Paraskevas pointed to the spot and Barnes hammered it past Koroma and into the net. Fremantle sought a quick reply but Paul Robinson's effort from 20-metres was straight at Grant, then Luke Eoannidis failed to elicit a response from the 'keeper after going past three defenders. O'Neill went close to adding the hosts second by latching on to Barnes' clever flick over the defence but Koroma made a fine smothering save at the attackers feet. Bobby Klenkoski and Michael Filipou worked tirelessly for the home defence over the closing stages to ensure Fremantle's lively forwards were given scant opportunity to steal a share of the points.
An astonishing six players were issued their marching orders in E.C.U. Joondalup's 3-1 home defeat of Swan I.C. The hosts enjoyed the better of the early exchanges but continually let themselves down when within sight of goal. A piece of individual magic changed that on 20 minutes when Ryan Newhill delivered a great cross to the edge of the 18-yard box where, in one fluent move, Anthony Jones brought down the ball, rounded an opponent and drilled a right-footer past goalkeeper Cory Hugo. Swan countered with several promising passages which amounted no thing before Joondalup struck a second goal through defender Jamie Kuzmanovich who rose highest to power a corner into the net with half an hour played. It was all one-way traffic after the interval with Joondalup setting up camp in their opponents half and Swan with little option but to defend. The hosts were rewarded when Martin Ashworth's cross found Garin Collins who smacked it past Cory Hugo as the margin blew out to three-nil. Within the space of twenty minutes Joondalup's three-goal advantage was withered away as referee Troy Miller red carded four players from the home side, much to the disapproval of a parochial crowd. A sloppy tackle made Keith Brown the first to go in the 57th minute, and second yellow card offences saw Kuzmanovich and Steve Porter also condemned to the sidelines. Oliver Hilton was dismissed following an on the ball incident involving Michael Bushby in the 77th minute, and after the melee which ensured Swan defender Danyal Bennett was ordered from the field. After the dust had settle Swan managed to pull a goal back through Tom Shepheard, but their chances of victory pretty much evaporated when Peter Stewart denied David Foster from the penalty spot. In the final minute of play Justin Hugo was harshly sent off for an accidental foul on Ashworth.
FIRST DIVISION, ROUND FIVE (Canning City vs Rockingham City by Phil Unsworth; Wanneroo City vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City)
Canning City arrested their dreadful start to the winter campaign by taking a point from their clash with Rockingham City at Dowling Street Reserve. Coming off four successive losses, Canning grabbed the initiative early and with 7 minutes gone edged ahead as Jix Loong's pin-point cross from the left was headed in by David Mahon under pressure from goalkeeper Craig Olejnik. Rockingham, who were gradually finding their rhythm, hit back in the 26th minute when a shot cannoned off goalkeeper Adam Horsley to Craig Donelle who levelled the score. Glen Hallums was unfortunate not to give the hosts a handy lead right on the stroke of half-time with a header that crashed into the crossbar. Five minutes into the new half Hallums for the result he was after when he edged in front of Steven Cole to nod in a free-kick for Rockingham's second of the day. David Mahon equalised midway through the second half when his shot from 16-metres took a deflection and wrong footed the 'keeper. In the closing stages Horsely came to Canning's rescue with a couple of superb saves to deny Rockingham a winner. Earlier on, Canning won both the Reserves and Under-18's by 1-0 and 3-1 respectively.
Mandurah City had little to show for their long trip to the northern suburbs where Wanneroo City took out a pulsating game 5-3. The hosts wasted no time in asserting their authority as 3 minutes after kick-off a spectacular strike from Craig Cheeseman put them ahead. Mandurah worked hard to get themselves back in the game and were rewarded when Graeme Matthews cross found Jordan Rhodes who calmly placed the ball past goalkeeper Darren Williams. Just before the break Scott Bulloch was denied by Mandurah custodian Mike Green but the rebound came the way of Jon Greenwood to netted. A dreadful defensive error resulted in Bulloch increasing Wanneroo's lead minutes into the second half. The introduction of Gary Attrill worked wonders for Mandurah and with his first touch the lively attacker knocked in his sides second goal. As Mandurah pushed forward in search of an equaliser they were caught short at the back as Andy Brown and Phil O'Callaghan combined for Bulloch to net for a second time. With less than ten minutes remaining the visitors were given a glimmer of hope as Christian Paschkewitz brought to back to four-three. But this was extinguished by O'Callaghan who tucked away a cross from Phil Bell to wrap up the game. Wanneroo claimed the Reserves 5-1, while the Under-18's was won 2-0 by Mandurah.
Kingsway Olympic stretched their unbeaten run to three games by knocking off hosts Ashfield 2-1. The visitors got on the front foot early and a fine passing move resulted in Derek Cooke being brought down inside the 18-yard box, but the attackers poor spot kick was easily saved by Maekol Taseski. Midway through the half Ashfield launched a counterattack which ended with Ben Harris sneaking in between Danny Trandos and John Quinn to nod in the games opening goal. This brought about a flurry of activity from Kingsway who won a succession of free-kicks, the best of which Steve Dimitrovich sent toward the top corner only for Taseski to make a great save. But their persistence paid off when Sota Iwasaki latched on to a through ball and clipped it past the oncoming 'keeper and Joe Woodin rammed in the equaliser from close-range. Kingsway came out for the second half determined to go on with the job, and after a number of lovely flowing attacks were rewarded with a second goal scored by substitute Steve Pilcher following an error by Taseski. Ashfield applied some late pressure but the Olympic defence of Trandos, Quinn and Jason Stern were able to combat the aerial threat and ensure the visitors claimed the win. The Reserves ended level at 0-0 with the Under-18's going to Kingsway 2-1.
Balcatta came from a goal behind to defeat Queens Park 2-1 at Graham Burkett Reserve. Despite a number of promising early attacks Balcatta failed to carve out any clear chances on goal. Against the run of play the visitors got on the scoresheet after a partially cleared corner fell to a Queens Park player who chanced his luck from distance and the shot slipped through the hands of Ken Fytengenious and into the net. With this Balcatta upped their workrate as Adam Rains, David Moschilla and Danny Carlino began to assert their influence over proceedings. Midway through the half Moschilla was bowled over inside the 18-yard box but dusted himself off to put away the equaliser from the spot. With half-time looming Moschilla raced on to a pass from midfield and with just the goalkeeper to beat he cheekily chipped into the net to put Balcatta in a commanding position. This same pattern continued into the new half as Balcatta created numerous opportunities without adding to their tally. Their best moves ended with Rains slamming a shot into crossbar, and a header from Joe Cinquina grazed the wrong side of the upright. Balcatta cruised to a 6-0 win in the Reserves, and a 1-0 win in the Under-18's.
Bassendean Caledonian welcomed Alan Weir back to the coaching helm by trashing Stirling Suns 5-0 at Jubilee Reserve. The goals didn't start flowing until ten minutes from the break when Ryan Jeans was put through by Rydeen Botha and the Bassendean striker made no mistake in opening Bassendean's account. Their second arrived a few minutes later not long after and via a expertly executed header by Botha after Jason Van Rooy had skinned his opponent and delivered a pinpoint cross. The goals continued for a dominant Bassendean side after the break. Jeans turned sharply inside the 18-yard box and rocketed a terrific shot beyond the reach of the goalkeeper for his second on 70 minutes. And shortly after, Jeans completed a deserved hat-trick by converting from the penalty spot. With twelve minutes remaining substitute Scott Cooper completed the rout by heading in from close-range. The final margin would have been much greater if not for the heroics of the Suns 'keeper who single-handedly prevented a cricket score. Joe Marrapodi, on his return from injury, was a key contributor for Bassendean along with Van Rooy, Jeans and Kevin Smith. Gary James and Matt Novatsis each scored hat-tricks in Bassendean's 9-1 Reserves win. The Under-18's were awarded to the home side 3-0 on forfeit.
Forrestfield United scored their third win from as many starts by accounting for Morley Windmills 2-0 at Hartfield Park. Matt Alcock opened the scoring on 5 minutes with I.Carling wrapping up the points thirteen minutes into the second half. Dianella White Eagles found themselves on the receiving end of a 1-5 thrashing from South West Phoenix. Steve Suttie scored twice and David Murphy, Jamie Bergin and Vion Garic once each in the win. Dejan Mlinar netted the hosts solitary goal. Further details of both these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
COYNE REJECTS IRISH REQUEST FOR SOCCEROOS
Coyne rejects Ireland offer Luton Town defender Chris Coyne has turned down an offer to pledge his international career to the Republic of Ireland in the hope of one day pulling on the green and gold of Australia. Despite forging a successful overseas career since leaving Perth in 1995, the former Australia youth international has been unable to break into the Socceroos squad prompting interest in his services from Ireland. "I was asked recently if I'd play for the Republic of Ireland because they're aware of the family ties," said Coyne. "But I don't think I could play with the same pride in an Ireland shirt as I could in an Australian one."
Luton's promotion to England's second-tier Championship, where Coyne will get the opportunity to prove his qualities against Sheffield United, Millwall, Wolves and Coventry City next season, should help his international plight. Coyne could come into the equation for coach Frank Farina whose ageing defence has come in for recent criticism. "It's always an ambition to represent your country and I'd love to play for the Socceroos," Coyne said. "At the moment it doesn't look like it's going to happen. Maybe making the step up next season might help me get an opportunity if I do well."
Coyne is contracted to Luton for another season and he hopes the deal will be extended under young manager Mike Newell who, as a player, won a Premier League title with Blackburn Rovers in 1995. Though surviving in the Championship might be Luton's first aim, Coyne said Newell was an ambitious manager and the club would ultimately like to return to the Premier League. If Coyne and his teammates can reproduce the form they have enjoyed this season, Luton's return to the top-flight might not be too far away.
Coyne was one of six Luton players named in the League One team of the season and he was also the competition's player of the month for April. To top off a terrific season, he scored the Hatter's winner in a 2-1 success over Wrexham which secured the club the League One title. The 26-year old aims to spend a few more seasons with Luton before returning home to see out his playing days at Perth Glory. "I'd love to come back and play for Glory," he said. "Every time I come home I try to get down to a game and I'm usually there for the finals. Being a Perth lad, I'd be really keen to do that."
WEEKEND IN SUMMARY
There's no change at the top of the Premier League table where Perth S.C. and Sorrento keep pace with eachother. Perth came from behind to defeat Western Knights 3-1, while a Todd Harnwell double helped Sorrento take the points 3-2 at Cockburn City. Inglewood United ended the game with nine men but still claimed victory by 1-0 at Armadale, and an astonishing six players received their marching orders in E.C.U. Joondalup's 3-1 home win over Swan I.C. A controversial second half penalty scored by Ross Barnes saw Bayswater City over the line 1-0 against Fremantle City. Floreat Athena collected their second win in as many weeks by toppling Stirling Lions 2-1 at Macedonia Park.
Wanneroo City move to outright leader in the First Division after a pulsating 4-3 home defeat of Mandurah City. Three points behind are Rockingham City and Balcatta. Rockingham were held 2-2 on home soil by a much improved Canning City, while Balcatta overcame Queens Park 2-1. In red-hot form are South West Phoenix who scored a 5-1 away victory over Dianella White Eagles. Ashfield slip down the standings following their 1-2 home loss to Kingsway Olympic. Forrestfield United proved too good for Morley Windmills 2-0, and Bassendean Caledonian thrashed Stirling Suns 5-0.
WEEKEND IN PREVIEW
A cracking match is always assured when old foes Western Knights and Perth S.C. meet and this weekend they go head-to-head at Nash Field in the pick of Premier League action. Cockburn City and Sorrento, two of the league's most attacking teams, clash at Dalmatinac Park, while Armadale face their toughest challenge yet when Inglewood United venture to Alfred Skeet Oval. E.C.U. Joondalup are expected to make the most of their opponents defensive frailties when Swan I.C. head to the northern suburbs. Fellow strugglers Bayswater City and Fremantle City square off at Frank Drago Reserve, and Stirling Lions have home ground advantage over Floreat Athena.
The First Division match of the round takes place at Kingsway Sporting Complex where undefeated Wanneroo City welcome a Mandurah City side that has been hitting their straps in recent outings. It's top verses bottom at Dowling Street Reserve where Rockingham City host Canning City, while old friendship will be put to the test as Ashfield have home ground advantage over Kingsway Olympic. Balcatta are being tipped to win big at home against Queens Park, likewise Bassendean Caledonian who meet Stirling Suns at Jubilee Reserve. Dianella White Eagles are home to South West Phoenix, at Hartfield Park it's Forrestfield United against Morley Windmills, and out of action with the bye are Gosnells City.
LOCAL GAME GETS THUMBS UP FROM KNIGHTS RECRUIT
Barry Wood is one of a number of imports making an impression in this season's top flight. A former Scotland youth international, Wood touched down in Perth last August but with the transfer deadline having already expired he was forced to wait until this year before pulling on his playing boots. The 27-year old attacker has wasted no time in producing the goods for reigning champion the Western Knights, scoring three times in the opening four games of the season and forming arguably the competitions most lethal strike force with Stuart Montgomery.
Having played at various levels in Britain and Ireland Wood is a good judge as to how the local game compares with that overseas. "The intensity at which the game is played here is not quiet the same but the standard is still good," commented Wood. "In the UK and Ireland games are played at 100 miles and hour, you get very little time on the ball and you're a lot more reliant on playing one-touch passes. Here the tempo is slower and allows players time to put their foot on the ball and express themselves more. I'm still adjusting to the pace and becoming familiar to a more relaxed approach on the ball."
Wood believes this slower pace has its benefits for players and spectators alike. "There are with some excellent individuals in the league who can do amazing things on and with the ball," he added. "In Europe you often don't get time to show off your skills and it's great to see the development of this side of the game is encouraged. Taking the Knights as an example, most players would be capable of playing at a higher level given the opportunity of full-time coaching. Tommi Tomich is the best goalkeeper in the State but the A-League clubs have failed to notice this - and there are quite a few other players in the same situation."
The Knights have made a positive start to the new season with two wins and a draw from four outings. While many clubs would be happy with such a record that is not the case with he Knights who've put greater expectations upon themselves. "We're disappointed not to have full points at this stage," Wood said. "We're working very hard on the training ground on the little things that make life a lot easier come match day. Our defence is solid and we have great competitive spirit which brings out the best in every player. I'm yet to see all the teams but I feel the Knights have a squad more than capable of winning the league - again."
Australia is the fifth country in which Wood has played. It was during a lengthy spell at Livingston that the attacker was called up for international duty with Scotland's Under-18 side. In 1997 he helped semi-professional outfit Whitehill Welfare claim the Scottish Qualifying Cup after which Wood spent a brief period on the books of English Third Division club Darlington. Come 1998 and Wood moved into the Republic of Ireland's top flight where he played five seasons at Waterford United and a season and a half with Kilkenny City. These were punctuated by a six-month stint in Northern Ireland at Glenavon with whom he competed in the Europe's Inter-Toto Cup competition.
HARNWELL TO LEAD IN QUEST FOR GLORY
With Australia's Club World Championship qualifying tournament just around the corner Steve McMahon has installed local hero Jamie Harnwell as captain of Perth Glory. "After the first couple of weeks of training I could see that Jamie was a leader," said McMahon this afternoon. "He has a good rapport with all of the players and it is important that our captain is someone like that. Jamie is a local lad and there couldn't be any better captain at this club. Both on and off the pitch he has been a fantastic example to other players and he plays with his heart on his sleeve."
Being named Glory captain is a moment of great pride for Harnwell. "This is a new league and a new era of football in this country and it is great to be named captain of the club at this time," Harnwell said. "It is a huge buzz for me and it is something that I have wanted ever since I joined this club seven years ago. There have been some great captains of this club like Gareth Naven and Shaun Murphy and it is very special to be following in their footsteps. But I don't just want to be the captain of Perth Glory, I want the club to be successful with me as captain and I want to be lifting trophies here as well."
Born and raised in Perth, Harnwell will captain Glory for the first time next Wednesday when he leads the side out against either Sydney FC or Queensland Roar at Members Equity Stadium. Following spells at Kingsway Olympic and Sorrento, Harnwell joined Glory in 1998 and in little time established himself in the starting eleven. Although just 27, he has already clocked up an impressive 146 national league appearances, scoring 19 goals and on two occasions was Glory's Clubman of the Year. The popular central defender was an integral part of the Glory line-up that won the 1999/2000 and 2001/02 regular season crowns, and claimed victory in the Grand Finals of 2002/03 and 2003/04.
PASCHEWITZ THE POPULAR CHOICE
The local football community has nominated Christian Paschewitz as the player who'll score most goals in this season's First Division competition. The Mandurah City attacker maintained his early lead to take out the latest www.soccerwa.com poll that queried 'Who will be the 2005 First Division leading goalscorer?' With in excess of 250 responses received over a seven day period it was 25-year old Paschewitz who emerged as the most popular choice with 23.1% of the vote. Rockingham City's Glen Hallums (16.2%) ended as the second most popular choice with Ray Rose (15.6%) of Morley Windmills and Balcatta's David Moschilla (13.1%) in hot pursuit. Wanneroo City's summer signing Brian Robertson (11.0%) was next followed by Ryan Jeans (10.7%) of Bassendean Caledonian and Ashfield's makeshift striker Ciaran Allen (10.3%).
DEEG LOAN IN LIMBO
Perth Glory may be forced to go into the Club World Championship qualifiers with only one goalkeeper. The club had hoped to take recent Perth S.C. signing Gareth Deeg on loan as cover for impressive young Serbian 'keeper Milan Jovanic for next Wednesday's CWC opener against either Sydney or Queensland Roar at Members Equity Stadium. However, Football Federation Australia regulations allow a player to be signed on a short-term loan only as a replacement for another squad member. Glory has plans to add former 'keeper Jason Petkovic who is under contract to Turkish side Konyaspor. But unless that move is finalised within the next few days the club will have to rely on FFA granting Deeg to play under 'special circumstances'.
GLORY GO OFFSHORE
Steve McMahon will travel to England as Perth Glory look to finalise their twenty-player squad for the A-League season. The Glory coach has been frustrated in his attempts to secure a 'big hitter' from overseas - the proposed signing of Millwall striker Danny Dichio fell through last week - and will head abroad after the club's World Club Championship qualifying commitments. "I've earmarked three or four potential signings and, hopefully, I can get one of them," McMahon told Jonathon Cook of the "West Australian'. "It makes it easier to be there and deal with people on a one-to-one basis and cut out the middle men." The club is believed to be close to re-signing its former goalkeeper Jason Petkovic whose last first team appearance for Turkish club Konyaspor was in mid-February.
SWAN CAPTAIN LEADS BY EXAMPLE
Club captain Damian Scali will play an integral role as Swan I.C. go about rebounding from the weekend's demoralising loss to Floreat Athena. Six weeks ago the blacks and whites were being talked about in some quarters as potential championship material after their participation in the Final of the Night Series. But four games into the regular season and Swan find themselves with just a single win, the Premier League's worst defensive record and floundering in tenth place.
In looking for what is needed to turn the club's season around Swan coach Gary Marocchi recently highlighted the passion and commitment shown by Scali, a veteran of thirteen seasons at Swan. "Damian is the club's longest serving player and leads by example," said Marocchi. "His tireless contributions on match day never go unnoticed, and he's actively involved in ensuring the tight-knit nature of the player group is maintained. Damian has contributed significantly to the improvements seen at Swan over the past couple of seasons and as reward for his hard work has two Boral Cup winners' medals to his credit."
Having spent much of his career operating in either midfield or attack Scali has adopted a more defensive role this year with Swan as they attempt to stem the flow of goals conceded. "Damian has adapted well in his positional switch to the centre of defence," added the Swan coach. "And his ability in the air is a distinct advantage at set plays, both attacking and defensive. We've conceded far too many goal already this year but if we work better as a collective unit and are able to tighten things up at the back then I believe we can still seriously challenge the top clubs."
GLORY REFUTE AXING OF YOUNG
Perth Glory have denied media reports claiming they've parted company with striker Stuart Young. "Contrary to reports in the press over the past couple of days, Stuart Young continues to be a required player at Perth Glory and an integral part of our playing squad," said the club's chief executive officer Jeff Dennis. "As far as we are concerned it is business as usual." It was reported Glory were on the verge of releasing Young who has been struggling to overcome a bout of glandular fever and also holds a marketing position with the club. However Glory have made clear the 32-year old is still very much a part of the squad for the upcoming Club World Championship qualifying campaign and inaugural A-League season.
GOALS! GOALS! GOALS!
There's still a long way to go in season 2005 but already the front runners are emerging in the race for the various leading goalscorer awards. Andreas Oliviera of Perth S.C. leads the way in the Premier League with six goals followed by Armadale's Darren Kingston on four goals. A host of players are gathered a single goal behind, namely Cormac Dawson (Bayswater City), David Onoforo (Perth), Jake Harman, Greg Sharland (both Inglewood United), David Foster (Swan I.C.) and Barry Wood (Western Knights).
The move from defence to attack has certainly paid dividends for Ciaran Allen whose five goals have him as the early leader in the First Division leading goalscorer stakes. Rockingham City stalwart Glenn Hallums sits close behind with five goals along with Ryan Jeans (Bassendean Caledonian) and Steve Suttie (South West Phoenix). Sitting level with three goals each are Quenten Sharpe (Forrestfield United), golden boot favourite Christian Paschewitz (Mandurah City), Ray Rose (Morley Windmills), Patrick Roberts (Phoenix), and former State representative Scott Bulloch (Wanneroo City).
Seven goals in three games has put Queens Park striker Stacey Woodfin atop the Women's Premier League leading goalscorer table. Balcatta teammates Katy Coghlan and Laura Turnbull are in second place having each found the target on four occasions alongside Northern Redbacks' J.Nellany. Ciara Conway, Stephanie Grant, Sara Gawned and Lilly Billson of the Redbacks are level on three goals with Gemma Di Lello and Kylie Chatto (both Balcatta) and Kerry McGawley (Subiaco United).
WOMEN'S WRAP (Balcatta vs Queens Park courtesy Balcatta; Kingsley vs East Fremantle courtesy Kingsley; Beckenham Angels vs Murdoch University courtesy Murdoch University; Northern Redbacks 'C' vs Mandurah City courtesy Mandurah City; Balga vs Gosnells City courtesy Gosnells City; Subiaco United vs Swan I.C. courtesy Subiaco United)
The 2-2 draw between Balcatta and Queens Park was a fair reflection of a tough women's Premier League fixture at Graham Burkett Reserve. It was clear from the opening exchanges that this would be a tight clash between two opponents evenly matched in every department. With the end of a thrilling first half drawing near Queens Park gained the advantage with a well-placed header. But the sides went into the break on level terms courtesy of a Elisa D'Ovidio's stunning lob from midfield which gave the goalkeeper no chance. The intensity continued into the second half and four minutes after the restart Balcatta went ahead as Laura Turnball played through to Kylie Chatto who made no mistake in netting. Chances flowed at both ends with Queens Park drawing level close to the end following a dangerous corner kick.
Kingsley eased themselves to a 5-1 win over East Fremantle at Chichester Park. In a highly competitive first half created a number of positive openings but were unable to find a way past the opposing goalkeeper. The increasing pressure finally took its' toll on East Fremantle when a corner from Sally Sanigar was powerfully headed in by Kelly Player. But the visitors drew level just before the break when a striker pounced on an underhit backpass. With their midfield running the show Kingsley were able to forced the pace and pile on four unanswered goals in the second half. Lisa Higgins found the target twice and Shenade Unicomb and Sarah Sibbald once each to ensure the points went to the home side.
At Rosalie Park Subiaco United hit eight unanswered goals past Noranda to score their second win of the women's Premier League season. The only goal of the opening half arrived on the quarter hour when B. Tillemans found a way past the goalkeeper. It was a much different story after the interval and within minutes of the re-start the floodgates were prosed open as M. Odland netted twice followed by Kerry McGawley. In an amazing nine minute spell the hosts netted four times beginning with V. Sakalidis on the hour. Flo Tawns made it six-nil before Sakalidis and McGawley took their personal tallies to two.
In an evenly balanced First Division match at Mills Park Oval Beckenham Angels gained maximum points at the expense of Murdoch University by a 2-1 scoreline. Beckenham went ahead midway through the half when an attacker somehow squeezed the ball between goalkeeper Donna Symes and the post from close-range. However, Murdoch struck back almost immediately when Jo Steer made the most of a one-on-one with the 'keeper following a brilliant through ball from Nic Steer. Shortly before the break the home side reclaimed their lead when a Beckenham midfielder forced her way past several defenders to unleash an unstoppable shot from 10-metres. Although they held the balance of play in the second half Beckenham were unable to add to their tally.
Mandurah City returned home from Rickman Delawney Reserve with all three points after downing Northern Redbacks 'C' 3-0. With the first half scoreline, Mandurah seized control of proceedings ten minutes after the interval when Laura Parmenter turned in a low cross from Harriet Talbert. Just minutes later Parmenter doubled the visitors' advantage with a similar goal also set-up by Talbert. The result was put beyond doubt by Jiame Carley who scrambled in Mandurah's third goal from close-range. Genuine goalscoring opportunities were scarce for the Redbacks as Mandurah's mobile defence continually intercepted their opponents' passes in the final third. The win mains Murdoch's perfect start to the season and keeps them at the head of the table alongside Beckenham Angels and University of WA.
Balga proved no match for Gosnells City who ran out 10-0 winners at Brian Burke Reserve. The first half was played at a cracking pace with Gosnells moving the ball around well and utilising the full width of the park. by the time half-time arrived the visitors head a five-goal advantage and, although Balga tightened things up at the back after the break where was no stopping a rampant Gosnells line-up. The visitors goals were distributed amongst five different players, namely Melissa Spillman, Kayleigh Goebel, Sian Nicholas, Elaine Doherty and Jess Sanderson. The pick of the goal came from Sanderson whose superbly struck shot from long-range left the tall Balga goalkeeper grasping at air.
A terrific second half performance allowed Subiaco United to overpower Swan I.C. 6-0 at Rosalie Park. It took the hosts just ten minutes to open their account with Cindy Morgan finding Emma Rose who threaded the ball between goalkeeper and upright from a tight angle. A 28th minute strike by Mhairi Angus saw Subiaco got into the break with a two-goal buffer. The margin quickly blew out in the second half with Andrea Payne netting from a free-kick, and Julia Horncastle tucking away following a 58th minute corner. Swan worked hard to get back in the game by were continually thwarted by home 'keeper Nicky Ascot. With ten minutes to go Morgan made it five-nil, and shortly before the final whistle Horncastle bagged her second of the day.
Lynwood Colts made light work of Bassendean Caledonian who crashed 0-7 on home soil. There was also a sizeable win for University of WA who downed Rockingham City 6-3 at McGillvray Oval. Further details of both these games weren't forthcoming from any of the participating clubs.
AMATEUR PREMIER LEAGUE, ROUND THREE
University of WA defeated CN Canning International 6-0 with 4 goals from striker Robert Benkovic on Sunday in the Amateur Premier league fixture at McGillivray Oval. UWA were in control of the match from the start and in the first 20 minutes hit the post, bar and squandered six other good chances. CN Canning gave UWA an early scare after 23 minutes when goalkeeper Ben Rosman kicked the ball straight to Edwin Fromar who somehow missed the target courtesy of the boot of a UWA defender. UWA then deservedly took the lead after 30 minutes when Bryn Griffiths got in on the right hand side and crossed to David Berg who cut inside and drilled the ball home into the left hand corner. The second UWA goal followed quickly when sweeper Declan Sharp headed on to David Berg who flicked a pass to Robert Benkovic who held off a challenge and fired the ball inside the left hand post. UWA's domination continued in the second half and after 58 minutes a flowing midfield move found Marc D'Ascanio who beat the defender and crossed low for Robert Benkovic to score at the far post to make it 3-0. The same move saw Marc D'Ascanio then cross again to Robert Benkovic to claim his hat trick after 60 minutes. Then a comical fifth goal was scored by UWA after a linesman raised his flag and then lowered it and everyone stopped until Robert Benkovic ran through from an on side position and dribbled the ball in the net uncontested. Minutes later a goal bound shot was handled by a CN Canning defender and Declan Sharp stepped up to the penalty spot and clinically scored in the corner to close the game out at 6-0. UWA Reserves completed the double with a 7-0 win against CN Canning Reserves.
In other games, promotion favourites Stirling Panthers maintained their 100% record for the season with a convincing 3-1 win over Hamersley Rovers, as did Spearwood Dalmatinac with the same score-line over Murdoch University. Lynwood Colts were too good for Colo Colo, winning 2-0. Kwinana United and South Perth United fought out a 0-0 draw, while Shamrock Rovers had an easy 3-0 win over Perth Azzurri.
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This page was last updated on the 30th June, 2005