DIANELLA TAKE OUT SUNDAY BLOCKBUSTER
A stunning late finish by Abdul Sesay has given Dianella White Eagles a thrilling 3-2 win over arch-rivals Western Knights in front of a bumper crowd of around 2,000 at Dianella Reserve. The away team settled into the afternoon the better and not surprisingly went one-nil up through Johny Mirco, whose dubiously awarded free-kick entered Tom Dixon’s net after deflecting off a defender. With this Dianella sparked into life and after a period of sustained pressure Thomas Gooding brought the sides level with a scorching shot from 20-metres.
The second half was ten minutes old when Dianella edged in front, Sesay getting the better of marker and centring for Ibrahim Hamad to side-foot in. It was now the Knights turn to step up and club veteran Ivan Zuvela delivered the equaliser by flicking his free header past Dixon from Steve Purton’s inch-perfect cross. The momentum stayed with the visitors and substitute Julian Teles’ long-range strike was kept out of the top corner by Dixon at full-stretch. With the final whistle approaching, Sesay got deep down the left and expertly lifted his shot over Alfie Brincat to decide the outcome.
SOCCEROOS CALL-UP FOR RISDON
Perth Glory defender Josh Risdon is in line for a Socceroos debut after being called up for a training camp ahead of next month’s East Asian Cup. Twenty Australia-based players will head to the Central Coast on Monday for the five-day camp in which Risdon will be joined by fellow West Australians Trent Sainsbury (Central Coast Mariners) and Mark Birighitti (Newcastle Jets). “I’m delighted and I just can’t wait to get over there,” said Risdon. “I got a call from someone at FFA saying that I was invited to the camp next week and I was pretty excited at getting my first Socceroos chance.”
The Australia squad for this week’s training camp is Eugene Galekovic, Dario Vidosic (Adelaide United), Ivan Franjic, Jade North, Matt Smith (Brisbane Roar), Mitchell Duke, Joshua Rose, Trent Sainsbury (Central Coast Mariners), Nathan Coe Mark Milligan, Mitch Nicholls, Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Mark Birighitti, Craig Goodwin, Ruben Zadkovich (Newcastle Jets), Scott Jamieson, Joshua Risdon, Michael Thwaite (Perth Glory), Tom Juric and Aaron Mooy (Western Sydney Wanderers). Australia’s East Asian Cup campaign begins against host nation South Korea before taking on Japan and China in the week-long tournament.
MCCARTHY ROBS BUNBURY OF A SHARE
Rookie Bunbury Forum Force coach Trent Hathaway was left to lament what might have been after Paul McCarthy scored deep in stoppage time to steal Bayswater City a 1-0 win from a tense encounter at Frank Drago Reserve. Despite conceding late, Hathaway was pleased with is players efforts in his first game in charge of the Premier Division’s cellar dwellers. “I asked the boys to play with heart and with passion which they did, which makes the final score a bitter pill to swallow,” said Hathaway. “I have nothing but respect for the players’ performance, it showed we have the potential to win games.”
Bayswater came out swinging with Brian Farrell lashing wide the first chance of the afternoon. Damian Catalano nodded over from a well-worked corner by Todd Howarth, who was also provider when James Isaia’s powerful header was blocked at point-black range by Ryan Montgomery. Steve Howson chipped onto the top netting as Bunbury began to spark. This was followed by a midfield arm-wrestle from which Bayswater emerged with the hand. A ball over the top put Steve Burton in the clear only to be denied by Montgomery, who a few minutes later was at full stretch to push wide Jamie Coyne’s stinging drive.
The second half was a few minutes old when loud shouts for a Bunbury penalty, stemming from Andy Reale clipping Martin Ryan’s heals, were dismissed by referee Tom Mihevc. As each minute ticked by the visiting team grew a little more in confidence. Jamie Tandy cut in from the right to force a sharp response from Devon Spence at his near post. Oliver McGee had his header cleared off the line by Patrick Quinn, and Steve Howson’s rising long-range was taken under the crossbar by Spence. Amid this Burton snatched a great chance harmlessly to Montgomery.
A tense final ten minutes produced further openings for both teams, the better of which came from the hosts. Liam Hitchinson’s last-gasp tackle prevented Burton from getting off a shot after he’d raced clear. Hassan El Yassir scuffed to close to Montgomery after Ross Cosgrove’s centre came at him a little too quick. Spence touched over an explosive strike from Brooks after his first touch took him inside the 18-yard box. Play swung immediately to the other end, El Yassir playing through McCarthy who kept his composure to beat Montgomery in a one-on-one and sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
KALAU TO THE RESCUE AS STIRLING HELD AT FLOREAT
Livewire midfielder Moses Kalau struck in stoppage time to salvage Stirling Lions a 2-2 with Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. Ludovic Boi’s opener midway through the first period was cancelled out soon after with Rory Grant converting from the penalty spot. It looked as though Adrian Caceres’ had conjured a winner with just over ten minutes to go but it would be Kalau that had the last word. “It was a good point, especially after being 2-1 down and getting the equaliser late,” said Stirling midfielder Dean Evans. “We were disappointed we didn’t take our chances in the first half, but in the context of the game a point was probably a fair result.”
Stirling opened brightly, winning a trio of corners but it wasn’t until the 13th minute that Kalau got off the game’s first shot. Grant then steered his header into the crossbar after meeting Evans’ deep cross as Floreat rode their luck. But there was no such wastage at the opposite end where Boi volleyed in after 19 minute having been found by Benny Kouakou’s cross. Parity was restored eight minutes later with Grant tucking in from the spot after Phil Arnold was bundled over by Cameron Yorke. Stirling returned to the attack and were unlucky not to enter the break with the lead, Arnold skipping past the last defender and delivering to the far post where the ball was just out of Grant’s reach.
It was with a much different outlook that Floreat emerged for the second half. David Heagney signalled their intention by weaving between a couple of opponents only to skew wide with just Aleks Vrteski to beat. Stirling replied through Clayton Arnez and Jason Gavin but neither was able to get the ball on-target. With twelve minutes to go Floreat showed them how its’ done, Kouakou again the provider for Caceres to tuck past Vrteski at the second attempt. Mark Pritchard and Evans lifted over the crossbar from distance as the side traded attacks in a tense closing spell. The 92nd minute had just over when Andy Todd, Evans and substitute Sam Fuzik combined for Kalau to slide the equaliser into Brad Eiffe’s net.
POINTS GO HOME WITH THE GULLS
Sorrento kept pace with the leaders by downing Armadale 3-0 at Percy Doyle Reserve. The writing was on the wall for the away side early with David Price and Gavin Knight netting inside twenty minutes, with the latter adding a third to the Gulls tally in second half stoppage time. “When you get your chances you’ve got to take them,” Knight told footballwest.com.au. “I’ve been dubbed a free-kick specialist but to get some goals in open play is nice and proves to people that I can still do it.”
A defensive error by Rhys Loxley gifted Sorrento a 7th minute opener, the defender’s pass across the 18-yard box was incepted by Price who made little difficulty beating exposed goalkeeper Cyril Sharrock. The home side needed just ten minutes to double their advantage with Jamie Harnwell finding the feet of Knight whose deflected low strike gave Sharrock no chance. Armadale’s best chance to cut the deficit came when Loxley played in Jack Salter but Curtis Aspden came out trumps from the one-one-one.
Sorrento continued to dictate terms after the break with Price and Craig Robson driving their team into the final third time and time again. However, a stubborn home backline ensured further opportunities to increase the difference would be few and far between. A diving Harnwell header which flashed past the post just after the hour suggested the scoring was over. But Knight proved that to be incorrect by clipping into the net from 20-metres after spotting Sharrock off his line in the 92nd minute.
LLOYD STRIKES EARLY FOR COCKBURN
Cockburn City survived the second half dismissal of defender Euan Grant to run out 1-0 winner at ECU Joondalup. Paul Lloyd’s goal after only a few minutes would ultimately decide the game, however, Cockburn were forced to dig deep after Grant was issued his marking orders with just over twenty minutes to play. “It was always going to be hard with a man sent off, so all testament to them for digging deep. We are fit enough but you just have to adapt,” Cockburn City coach Marc Anthony said. “They’re a good side … our objective was just to nullify the midfield, to not let them play balls forward to their quick players.”
It took Lloyd just 7 minutes to post what would be the afternoon’s only goal, the midfielder firing low past Andy Banks after shrugging off his marker inside the 18-yard box. Joondalup didn’t manage a response until midway through the half when good approach work by Tommy Amphlett’s shot was well held by goalkeeper Nick Feely. The hosts’ chances of a comeback suffered a major blow on the hour when defender Ryan Lowry exited the action with a suspected fractured ankle. Some of that hope was restored eight minutes later when Grant was issued his second yellow card. But the closest Joondalup would come to grabbing an equaliser was a Joe Knowles shot which forced a smart save from Feely.
NAGLIERI WORKS HIS MAGIC AT BALCATTA
Returning midfielder Antonio Naglieri scored both goals in Perth SC’s 2-1 defeat of Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. Naglieri, who returned to Dorrien Gardens late last week, volleyed the Blues into an early lead and struck against just minutes from the final whistle to give Perth maximum points for the first time in a month. “Antonio was great, he scored two good goals and put in a good performance,” said coach Taki Nicolaidis. “It was a great result for the club and the new signings have given the whole club a lift. Today is a good result but we have to keep improving each week and see how we go for the rest of the season.”
The ball had been in motion just 9 minutes when Naglieri’s crisp strike from 15-metres crashed into the net via the underside of the crossbar after the hosts side failed to properly deal with a Kris Gate corner. Balcatta looked to hit back immediately, Jarrad Smith whistling a free-kick from the edge of the 18-yard box just past the target. They went close again on the half hour when Ashley Rosindale brilliantly turned his marker but placed just wide after being picked out by a Simon Versaico cross. Liam Boland was given a great opportunity to double Perth’s lead seven minutes later but he too shot the wrong side of the post.
Perth picked up the second half where they left off, Gate flashing wide and Friday Zico denied by goalkeeper Alex Dunn then the post. Rosindale levelled the game on the hour with an opportunistic finish from 7-metres after Versaico’s long throw caused panic in the Perth backline. Both teams had their chances to claim the lead but Olari Perlin placed wide before David Onoforo was robbed of a shot by Julian Madaschi’s quick-thinking. Naglieri stepped back into the spotlight with two minutes to go, the midfielder lashing low past Dunn from 15-metres after meeting Onoforo’s centre from the left. Chris Thackray came within inches of snatching Balcatta back a point in stoppage time but Jason Saldaris tipped over his header.
SHARLAND’S TRIPLE TREAT
Inglewood United consolidated their place in the top half of the table with a resounding 4-1 win over the National Training Centre. Greg Sharland played the starring role for the home side, the striker snaring a hat-trick and setting up the remainder for Daniel Thomson before Nick Ambrogio grabbed a late consolation for the development squad. “We’re always happy to win,” Inglewood coach Graham Normanton told footballwest.com.au. “We’ve just played two of the top teams and beaten them, so today we just needed to consolidate and we did that. It’s a game that’s hard to get motivated for and when you’re nil-nil up it’s hard to keep that motivation.”
The NTC looked the goods early on but the goals all came at the opposite end. Sharland was the architect of a 24th minute counterattack which ended with his cutback being slotted in by Thomson. The margin was added to five minutes from half-time, Matt Danskin’s pin point cross sitting nicely for Sharland to half-volley beyond Jordan Franken’s reach. Sharland followed this a few minutes later with a powerful header from Jason Colli’s cross to make it three-nil at the break. Inglewood resumed their attack into the second half and on the hour Sharland despatched a dead ball into the net for his hat-trick. Ambrogio stroked into Luke Martino’s net in the 76th minute after meeting Darcy Cosgrove’s cut back.
UWA NO MATCH FOR CANNING
Canning City jumped back into the winners circle by out-classing UWA-Nedlands 3-1 at McGilvray Oval. Laurence Cheyne and Daniel Neiderberger had the visitors on the board early with Michael Van Dongen sealing victory in the second half. “It was crucial we got the three points today after a disappointing result against Wanneroo City in the last round,” said Cheyne. “We knocked the ball around well in the second half, held possession and looked dangerous going forward, something we lacked against Wanneroo. The win sets us up well for the second half of the season, we know what to expect from the other teams and know the standard at which we need to play to win the league.”
An attacking start by Canning had them two goals the better inside the quarter hour. The danger posed by a Josh Findlater cross appeared to have been averted when Jack Ryecroft intercepted, however, his attempt to head back to goalkeeper Ranjeet Singh was poor and Cheyne darted in to tuck in the opening goal. It took only a few minutes for Canning to extend their lead with Neiderberger poking in at close-range after Michael Van Dongen’s long throw was helped on by Mark Trevisol. UWA rallied and on 35 minutes Aaron Barnett played the ball back for Jake Mann to deliver into the 18-yard box where Mark Cahill headed a cross ‘keeper Steve Grant to make half the difference.
Ryecroft came within inches of making amends for his earlier error with a fierce strike which cannoned back off the post after the break. In response Canning tightened their defences and through Michael Van Dongen and substitute Simon Corriea regained control of the midfield. A lovely exchange of passes presented an opening for Paul Van Dongen whose shot from the edge of the 18-yard box was taken by Singh at the second attempt. The game was made safe midway through the second period when Paul Van Dongen put away the rebound after Cheyne’s angled drive crashed back off the far post. Findlater and Michael Van Dongen had chances to add another to Canning’s tally but each was denied by Singh.
HUGO LIMITS THE DAMAGE BUT WANNEROO STILL TRIUMPH
Wanneroo City extended their unbeaten run to seven games with this afternoon’s 2-0 home defeat of Swan United. Goals in the final third from Scott Bushby and Garin Collins proved all the difference but the final margin would have been greater if not for an outstanding display from Swan goalkeeper Cory Hugo. The pattern of the afternoon was set early with Wanneroo enjoying the bulk of possession. Collins and Anthony Jones provided an endless supply into the 18-yard box but on each occasion the ball was allowed to pass across the face of goal. Appeals for a penalty after Guy McDonald went down were ignored by the referee, and just before the break Hugo pushed Collins’ vicious drive away from the top corner.
Swan enjoyed some good possession early in the second half but it didn’t take long for Wanneroo to regain control. Collins was again thwarted by Hugo, Bushby blazed high when it seemed easier to score and substitute Kevin White failed to connect at close-range. Wanneroo persistence eventually paid off with Jones, Danny Milne and White combining to tee-up Bushby, who took one touch before drilling into the bottom corner. Collins doubled that lead soon after by steering Bushby’s ball to the far post back across Hugo and inside the upright. Glen Thomas squandered a guilt-edged chance to post Wanneroo’s third goal, and late on Jones was denied by Hugo after being played through with just the ‘keeper to beat.
SHAMROCK UNTROUBLED BY ROCKINGHAM
Coach John O’Reilly saw plenty of room for improvement in Shamrock Rovers’ performance stemming from today’s 2-0 win at Rockingham City. First half goals from Paul Concannon and Ciaran Byrne were enough to get all the points from Shamrock, who remains in fourth spot. “I was happy with the lads work rate today, but we will continue to work in some key areas to help us improve and keep the pressure on those teams above us,” commented O’Reilly. “Rockingham are an awkward team to play that will frustrate some of the top teams, they will definitely dent some bodies promotion run in the second half of the season.”
The early signs were encouraging for Rockingham, teenage attacker Ryan Haslett testing goalkeeper Josh Shepherd after only a few minutes. Shamrock took note and in quick succession shots from Byrne and Charlie Kenna fizzled wide. A flowing move down the right gave Shamrock the goal they craved after 20 minutes, Concannon drilling in from 14-metres. Rockingham wanted a quick reply and almost had one with Haslett rifling narrowly the wrong side of the post a few minutes. Byrne put some distance between the teams seven minutes from the break by curling a dead ball from 20-metres around the defensive wall and into the bottom corner.
There was little change to the overall pattern of play following the turnaround. Kenna continued to move freely across the centre of the park and provided much of the impetus for Shamrock’s numerous raids on the home goal. However, Oscar Thompson’s addition at the break had a galvanising effect on the home defence with ‘keeper Richard Lacey in no mood to allow a third goal into this net. As the minutes passed Rockingham captain Daniel Macklin was gaining more of a foothold in the middle and although Rafael Insaurralde displayed some nice touches there was little cause for concern from Shepherd.
ASHFIELD DOWN PLUCKY GOSNELLS
Gosnells City showed plenty of spirit but it wasn’t enough to prevent Ashfield from running out 3-1 winners on a sunny afternoon at Ashfield Reserve. There wasn’t a great deal of urgency in the opening exchanges with both teams prodding forward with caution. The game snapped into life after 21 minutes when Daryl Warren chipped goalkeeper Adrian D’Alo from the edge of the 18-yard box to put Ashfield one-nil up. The away side responded with a string of attacking raids but both Wade Farmer’s angle strike and a header from Darren Francis were taken comfortable by debutant ‘keeper Luke Woodfin. Claims for a Gosnells penalty just before the break were ignored despite Feisal Zaw coming off the worse for wear when contesting a high ball.
Gosnells were back on the attack after the restart, Kevin Beattie crashing his shot against the post before McBride’s long-range effort was met by Woodfin’s arms. There were opening also at the other end where, with 69 minutes gone, Tom Kennedy slotted past the ‘keeper in a one-on-one after getting on the end of a superb ball from Scottish import Jay Lang. The goal Gosnells deserved finally arrived with six minutes to go, Francis rising highest to head in powerfully from a Michael Logue free-kick. There was a fair dose of controversy in Ashfield’s third and final goal, Rueben Tristao’s push on Liam Cave going unpunished by the referee before Nathan Thorpe struck past D’Alo.
THREE OFF AS MORLEY DOWN MANDURAH
Morley Windmills scrapped out three vital points by defeating a nine-man Mandurah City 1-0 at Wotton Reserve. The away team should have gone ahead inside a minute but Craig Tone hit the upright after being played through with only goalkeeper Daniel Agudelo to beat. With two penalty appeals turned down by the referee, Mandurah looked the more likely to score only to suffer a setback just before the break when captain Craig Young was sent off for dissent. Morley made the most of their man four minutes after the turnaround, Andy Griffith volleying an Andy O’Neill cross into the top corner. The dismissal of Chol Lual for a second yellow card after 75 minutes, and two minutes later Mandurah substitute Graeme Matthews was also given an early shower by the referee.
JOONDALUP CLOSE IN ON TOP SPOT
Three goals in the final twenty minutes have allowed Joondalup City to defeat Division Two title rivals Quinns 3-0 at Iluka Sport Complex. It appeared the game was destined to end scoreless when Elliot Rose broke the deadlock and in quick succession substitute Sam Philips and Alex Connor also netted to move Joondalup to within a point of top spot. “We out-classed them all over the park, our work rate and will to win was terrific,” said Joondalup midfielder Matt Allen. “It’s a massive win as it keeps us in contention to win the league. We’re flying at the minute, the overall attitude and belief in the squad is sky high.”
The first half was far from the thrilling encounter expected between two of the competitions leaders. Instead, it was a cagey affair with opportunities on goal virtually non-existent with both teams seemingly focused on keeping the ball out of their net rather than putting it in their opponents. Things began to open up following the turnaround and it was Joondalup who was showing the greater desire to get on the scoreboard. And that’s exactly what they did, Allen providing the impetus by skipping past a couple of defenders wide on the left before clipping to the far post where Rose volleyed past the goalkeeper.
Adam Proctor laid on a great chance for Jason Rubidge to double the hosts lead but his shot was halted on the line by a defender. Having run himself into the ground, Rubidge then made way for Philips and just two minutes later the newly introduced substitute calmly sliding goal number two into the net after latching on to a pass out of midfield. Any hopes Quinns had of a late revival were snuffed out when Conor lashed in from the edge of the 18-yard box. Joe Smith ensured he kept a clean sheet by pushing away Gareth Hamilton’s late penalty awarded for handball against Mark Tebbutt.
FENWICK INSPIRES MADDINGTON TO VICTORY
Maddington White City returned to the Division Two summit with this afternoon’s 6-1 thrashing of Melville City at Len Shearer Reserve. Captain Ty Fenwick led by example by putting away three goals with Liam McLaughlin, Sean Treacey and Paolo Pacitti also finding the back of the net in a one-sided encounter. Maddington greeted the opening whistle with a barrage of attacks. Fenwick squandered a trio of early chances while a Treacey shot was halted on the line by Ryan Russell as the home side rode scrambled for cover.
The inevitable breakthrough arrived via Fenwick, who poked in a loose ball after Melville failed to clear from inside their 18-yard box. Two minutes later Pacitti played through for Fenwick to sidestep Duncan Elliott and double Maddington’s advantage. Although shell-shocked, Melville returned fire five minutes later with Bryce Conway stabbing past ‘keeper Daniel Morgan after McLaughlin’s attempted clearance deflected into his path. Half-time was on the horizon when Maddington regained their two-goal buffer, McLaughlin slamming into an empty net after meeting Stevan Sibincic’s centring pass.
Maddington’s dominance extended into the second half, which was five minutes old when Fenwick completed his hat-trick by tapping the loose ball from a deflected Mwansa Musonda shot. Treacey added his name to the scoresheet soon after, the midfielder going past a couple of defenders and from an acute angle blasted past Elliott. There was no letting up from Maddington, and no way back for Melville. Pacitti crashed a shot into the crossbar and had another deflected away by a defender before striking it lucky by lifting into the top corner after getting on the end of a Treacey through ball.
MIDDLETON DOUBLE SINKS SUBIACO
Fremantle United maintained their place amongst the Division Two leaders with a 2-1 defeat of Subiaco AFC at Hilton Reserve. Joe Middleton played the starring role by netting twice for the hosts, however, coach Jason Smith felt his teams’ performance was worthy of a few more goals. “It was a hard fought win, but we do like to make it difficult for ourselves,” commented Smith. “With a bit more composure in front of goal we would have been out of sight at half-time.”
A free-kick on the edge of the 18-yard box was all the invitation Middleton needed to open his account, the striker stroking into the bottom corner. Middleton could have had himself a hat-trick as Fremantle piled the pressure on their opponents defence. But the next goal would come from the away team with Alan Biletic breaking the offside trap to beat Carlos Bervenotti. An Andrew Ambrogio through ball allowed Middleton to bamboozle the Subiaco defence, round the advancing keeper and roll the ball into an empty.
25 CLUBS IN THE NPL MIX
Its full steam ahead for the National Premier Leagues WA with 25 clubs lodging applications with Football West by yesterday’s deadline. The NPL, an initiative of Football Federation Australia, will from next year replace the State League as the top tier of local football with the promise of providing a consistent structure to state-based competitions across the nation while also enhancing player development. “The number and quality of the applications are a solid vote of confidence in the NPL concept,” commented Football West chief executive Peter Hugg.
Hugg says the NPL is the first step towards a bigger, and brighter future for West Australian football. “The NPL is not intended to be a football revolution but rather the catalyst for steady evolution and obvious improvement,” he explained. “The belief has always been that the best way to improve our game is with a long-term strategy. This message has been reiterated time and again during discussions with members of the football community, who, on the whole, have shared this view.”
Football West will now embark on an extensive assessment and evaluation process of the applications received with make-up of the inaugural NPL expected to be announced in August. “The professional nature of some of the applications is extremely high and a credit to the club committees and testimony to what is possible,” Hugg said. “We will look to work with the clubs to extend the same level of professionalism and commitment across a range of areas. The sport will be much better off having embraced the NPL.”
YOUNG SOCCEROOS EXIT WORLD CUP
Australia has been eliminated from the Under-20 World Cup after losing their final Group C game 3-1 to host nation Turkey. Jamie Maclaren put the Young Socceroos into the lead early in the second half only to have Turkey hit back soon after through Hakan Calhanoglu before Okay Yokuslu sealed victory with a sublime chip close to the final whistle. “You can’t really sum it up. They’re all disappointed and nothing you say is going to console them,” coach Paul Okon said. “We really needed to be on four points heading into this match, but they can be proud of what they gave to their nation.”
The first half was largely uneventful with neither team fashioning much in the way of genuine goalscoring opportunities. The deadlock was eventually broken in the 52nd minute when Ryan Williams worked his way down the right before sliding in a low cross which MacLaren finished first-time into the net from 15-metres. Turkey’s response was swift, Calhanoglu equalising within two minutes with an crisp strike from the top corner of the 18-yard box. Yokuslu came off the bench to decide the game on 87 minutes with a measured chip over stranded goalkeeper Paul Izzo from 20-metres.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
Balcatta and Perth SC go head-to-head at Grindleford in the pick of tomorrow’s top flight action. Home coach Saul Contera knows make-or-break time is approaching for his team who have not won this month and are in danger of losing touch with the top six. “We know it will not be an easy game as my old mate Taki (Nicolaidis) and AK (Ante Kovacevic) are now in charge and will have the Perth boys primed,” commented Contera, who has a full squad at his disposal. “We are very focused and, hopefully, can provide a couple of surprises that will get us the win we need.”
Antonio Naglieri, David Onoforo, Dom De Felice, Robbie Sciascia and Daniel Colletta have been cleared in time to take the field when Perth SC travels to Balcatta. “Every game for us is a big game and Balcatta away in the Italian Derby is a big challenge for us,” said Perth coach Nicolaidis, who is hoping of getting a few more signings over the line before the transfer deadline. “There is a lot at stake for both teams and I need to make sure that we work on putting our best foot forward to get our season back on track.”
Trent Hathaway’s first assignment as coach of Bunbury Forum Force is an away game with Premier Division leaders Bayswater City, where coach Chris Coyne is likely to bring John Kearney and Gustavo Giron-Marulanda straight back into the eleven. Armadale will attempt to snap a four-game winless streak when they tackle home side Sorrento, who are minus suspended pair Steve McDonald and Todd Harnwell. New ECU Joondalup has brought on board Ryan Townsend, Geneveo Human and Charlie Comyn-Platt for the home fixture with Cockburn City. Inglewood United have home ground advantage over the National Training Centre.
Joint Premier Division leaders Stirling Lions will need to be on top of their game to get anything at traditional rivals Floreat Athena, who are unbeaten in eight league games. “We’re well aware Floreat will be a different team to when we beat them earlier this season and we are expecting a tough game,” said Stirling goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski. “But nothing changes – we go to Litis Stadium to play the way that has got us to where we are. It should be a great game for the supporters.” All six Premier Division games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Morley Windmills are targeting tomorrow’s home game with fellow strugglers Mandurah City as a turning point in their season according to Adam Pygrum. “We've had a lot of injuries this year and that’s hindered us, but we are slowly getting back to full strength and our target is a top five finish come the end of the season,” said Pygrum. “It’s a big game against Mandurah, Billy (Russell) and Tom (Kilkelly) always put out well-drilled team so we know it won’t be an easy game. That said, if we play like we did against Shamrock Rovers the result should take care of itself.”
Canning City may be minus Emlyn Whetnall (suspension) but nonetheless are expected to take all the points from their trip to UWA-Nedlands. Stuart Montgomery (suspension) and possibly Ross Edwards (injury) will miss Wanneroo City’s home game with Swan United, who have added midfielder Stuart Long. Rockingham City will need to get the better of fifth-placed Shamrock Rovers if they’re to make it three wins in a row. The absence of goalkeeper Struan Herd (suspension), Darren Gamble (groin), Sean Taylor (abdominal strain) and maybe Jason Godfrey (calf) has given new Gosnells City coach Alan Dunlop a few headaches leading into a trip to Ashfield.
The round concludes on Sunday when Dianella White Eagles have home ground advantage over traditional rivals Western Knights. “Both clubs have a strong history in WA football and we’re both doing well in the league, this is will be an excellent game to watch,” Knights stalwart Ivan Zuvela said. “We’ve won five league games in a row and want to continue that run. There’s obviously a rivalry between the clubs and we respect Dianella, primarily as they’re top of the league but also because they are built on the same foundation as the Knights.” All six Division One games, Saturday and Sunday, kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Spirits are high in the Kingsway Olympic camp leading into tomorrow’s showdown with fellow strugglers Forrestfield United at Kingsway Reserve. “The boys have worked hard at training the past few weeks and everyone is feeling confident with what we have to achieve as a group over the coming months,” said Kingsway’s Wayne Culverwell. “(Coaches) Nathan Chapman and Ben Yates have bought in a lot of structured training since jumping on board and you can see the players are really taking to it … it won’t be long before that transfers to a Saturday afternoon.”
Division Two leaders Quinns take on third-placed Joondalup City at Gumblossum Park. With top spot up for grabs, the efforts of Jake Benson-Cooper and Gareth Hamilton will be vital to the hosts, likewise Mark Thorton and Danny Allen for Joondalup. Aaron Bahadori (injury) and Daniel Brown (suspension) will watch from the sidelines when Melville City hosts second-from-top Maddington White City, who’ll be led by Mauro Marchione for the first time. Fremantle United welcome back Angus Vos and Nathan Findlater, but are without Andrew Morrow, for their Hilton Reserve meeting with Subiaco AFC. All four Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
FAMILY REUNION BRINGS FUZIK TO THE LIONS’ DEN
Stirling Lions are grateful Sam Fuzik chose to join his family in Perth rather than extend his career in Europe. Fuzik, a Slovakian youth international, was pondering his next move after being released by Austrian club ASV Siegendorf when he found the lure of family too strong to resists. “My mum and dad migrated to Perth three years ago and my brother has been living here for 15 years, so I was the last one left behind,” said Fuzik. “We looked for a club with top facilities and good football history, and ended up calling Stirling, they let me train with the squad and the rest is history.”
By his own admission, 28-year old Fuzik was not match fit when he first ventured to Macedonia Park last month. “I hadn’t played for a while before coming to Australia,” said the attacking midfielder, who gained his first start in Stirling’s recent home win over ECU Joondalup. “I’m trying to get myself to an optimum level of fitness so I do six training sessions a week, two with personal trainer, two individual trainings and two at the club. Everybody at the club is very supportive and I feel they really wish I do well, so I don’t want to let them down.”
Having first kicked a football at the age of 5, Fuzik’s career has included seasons with Inter Bratislavia, FC Senec and Dunajska Streda in Slovakia as well as Austrian clubs SV Leithaprodersdorf and Siegendorf. “I also started in 30 games for the Slovakian national teams up to under-21’s,” he explained. “The highlight was playing against Portugal in a European Championship qualification game. I came on as a substitute and with my first touch the ball ended up in the back of the net. We were playing in my hometown, my dad was there, it was European Championship qualifiers, I scored and we won … it just all came together.”
Fuzik is not at all surprised that Stirling currently sits joint-top of the Premier Division with Bayswater City. “Doug (Hesketh) and Gary (Williams) have worked hard for past 18 months to put a well balanced team together. I think that the concept is showing its potential this season,” said Fuzik. “We have three or four A-League level players and when the team clicks we play fluent, passing football with a well-organised defence. The club have been really been good to me, and it’s not just been the sport side of things, people management is very important to them as well.”
Stirling head out on the road this weekend to play Floreat Athena, and Fuzik is expecting a tough afternoon. “Floreat has a good squad and I think they are seven league games undefeated. We won 4-1 first time around, but they are be better organised now and I’m sure they would like to get one back on us,” commented Fuzik. “We have to prepare ourselves and play our brand of football. We are out of the Cup so our focus is now fully on the league.” Stirling travels to Floreat’s Litis Stadium for a 3.00pm kick-off on Saturday afternoon.
DIANELLA ARE YET TO HIT PEAK FORM SAYS NOVAKOVIC
Dianella White Eagles midfielder Igor Novakovic rates this weekend’s derby with traditional rivals, Western Knights, as a defining moment in both clubs’ seasons. Dianella enter the round level with Canning City at the top of a congested Division One ladder which has Wanneroo City two points behind the leaders, the Knights one behind them and Shamrock Rovers a further point adrift. “It’s a must-win game for us on Saturday, and not just because of the history between the two clubs,” explained Novakovic. “It’s going to be a very close race in Division One this year and every point will count.”
Goals have flowed freely for Dianella this year and when coupled with a water-tight defence it’s hardly surprising they have led the way since round one. And while their record may be the envy of their opponents, Novakovic believes Dianella’s best is still to come. “We’ve not reached our peak yet, we will be stronger in the second half of the season,” the midfielder said. “Our superior fitness has allowed us to out-run teams in the second half of games and we have quality and within the squad, some of our key players have been out injured and once they come back we’ll be unstoppable.”
Novakovic, who returned to Perth in February after five years in Serbia, was sounded out by several clubs but found the opportunity to be reunited with one-time mentor Vesko Zmukic simply too good to pass up. “Vesko and I go a long way back, he pushed me into the first team at Dianella when I was only 16,” Novakovic explained. After making his mark at Dianella, Novakovic stepped out in the Premier Division with Bayswater City before switching to Ashfield where, in 2007, he was named Division One’s Player of the Year. It was following a spell with Balcatta that he chose to broaden his horizons and head to Europe.
Things in Serbia got off to a flying start with Novakovic turning out initially for FK Sopot, who are affiliated with Red Star Belgrade, before moving to FK Teleoptik, a club with links to Partizan Belgrade. “It was an amazing experience,” said Novakovic, who also donned the colours of FK Dorcol and FK Polet. “I played for a number of Division One and Division Two clubs but didn’t get to the top level due to a severe ligament injury.” Novakovic put that time on the sidelines to good use by completing his UEFA ‘A’ and ‘B’ Coaching Licences, and in the not too distant future he intends returning to Serbia to finish his UEFA Pro Licence.
All that knowledge and experience will be put to good use this weekend when Dianella host a Western Knights side which has surged up the standings on the back of five straight wins. “The Knights have many good players who have been in State League for a long time and they want to win the league – but we are standing in their way. We have respect for them, however, we don’t fear them,” Novakovic said. “It’s is a huge game and it’s going to be an amazing afternoon … no matter who take the points on Sunday, football will be the winner.” Dianella and the Knights go head-to-head from 3.00pm on Sunday at Dianella Reserve.
HATHAWAY WANTS MORE “HEART AND SOUL” FROM BUNBURY
Bunbury Forum Force has turned to Trent Hathaway to steady the ship and right their season. Hathaway has been part of the club for well over a decade, playing seven seasons during their South West Phoenix days and in more recent times a member of their coaching staff, so it’s no surprise he’s delighted to be given the helm. “I am happy and proud that the club have put their faith in me,” commented Hathaway, who guided the club’s Reserve to the league title in 2010. “I appreciate the opportunity the club have given me to coach Bunbury, and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”
It’s been a difficult year for Bunbury and all Hathaway is asking of his players is that they keep faith over the closing stages of the league season. “I want the players to bring their heart and soul into every game, and to be out there on the field because they love this sport,” said 35-year old Hathaway. “It is easy to become disillusioned when you are losing games but we need to maintain a positive attitude and have faith in each other. We have the talent and passion within the team to succeed, we just need all the elements to come together on game day.”
Hathaway has no issue with Bunbury’s current predicament which has then bottom of the Premier Division with just two wins from 13 games. “Our position is a fair reflection on how we have performed, but based on the ability of the players we have in the team we should be further up the ladder,” commented Hathaway. “We have been competitive in most games. I don’t feel there is really one major factor that explains our place at the bottom of the pile. Behind the scenes we have been working hard, and the future does look positive for Bunbury.”
Hathaway could not have asked for a tougher first game as coach, away to table-toppers Bayswater City this Saturday. But if the rookie coach has any nerves then he is certainly not showing it. “I’m happy to debut as coach in this game,” said Hathaway. “We have no pressure on us to win as people don’t expect us to beat Bayswater. This will allows us to go out there and play our football. I want the boys to go out there on Saturday and show that we are as good as any other team in this league, and that we deserve to be in the Premier Division.”
BALCATTA NEW BOY FEELY OFFERS SOMETHING DIFFERENT IN ATTACK
Striker Rory Feely is expected to make his top flight return this weekend after agreeing terms with Balcatta. Feely was a key member of UWA-Nedlands’ runaway Division Two championship winning side last year but a hamstring injury has limited him to only scattered appearance this term. The former State Schoolboys representative has put those injury concerns behind him and is focused on rekindling the goalscoring touch he showed during his previous Premier Division spell with Cockburn City. “I was keen to get back into the Premier League having finished my studies at UWA and I’m looking forward to it,” Feely commented.
Balcatta have struggled for consistency in the goal scoring department so far this season but Feely intends to change that. “Hopefully I can offer the team something else up-front and that can benefit the team with a few more goals going into the net,” said Feely, who is looking forward to playing alongside Ashley Rosindale. “Ashley is a great player, he’s strong technically and a good mover off the ball. There’s no doubt about his ability in front of goals, players of his ability don’t forget how to score and sometimes it just comes down to the way the ball bounces.”
Feely says his return from injury provided the impetus for his return to the Premier Division. “I’ve had a long recovery and once I was on the final stretch I thought it was the right time to move on from UWA,” said Feely, who has enjoyed the few sessions he’s had under Saul Contera. “Having a young coach is new for me but with it comes a lot of enthusiasm and fresh ideas. The sessions are intense and structured with purpose. Saul has a good knowledge of the game and has been great to work with. His desire to get me down to the club was a big factor in my decision to join Balcatta.”
Balcatta’s gain is UWA’s loss, however, Feely is adamant his former club can climb away from the foot of the Division One table over the second half of the witner. “The season at UWA has not gone to plan,” he stated. “The loss of a few players and a couple of injuries to other players have meant a mixed first half of the season. But I have no doubt they can recover on the back half of the season. The jump up from Division Two was expected to cause a few issues, but I don’t see these as anything more than the club trying to find its feet.”
Feely is hoping he can make an immediate impact at Balcatta by helping the club to victory on Saturday against Perth SC. “Our focus is on getting the win as we can’t afford to be giving away any free points at home in the second half of the season,” said the striker. “Perth is the biggest club in the state so there’s always a buzz when you come up against them. This year they haven’t had the sort of start to a season they’re accustomed to so they will be looking to steal a few points off us.” Balcatta and Perth lock horns from 3.00pm on Saturday at Grindleford Reserve.
MELBOURNE HOPEFUL OF SECURING GARCIA
Melbourne Heart have not given up on retaining Richard Garcia even though the veteran midfielder is on the look-out for a new club. Garcia signed with Melbourne before last season due to a lack of other options, but the 31-year old is using his standout summer in the A-League as a bargaining chip to secure a better deal elsewhere. Despite this, club chief executive Scott Munn is confident the former Socceroo will continue his career in Melbourne. “We’d love to have him for another season,” Munn said. “We’ve put forward what we think is a really competitive offer. He’s still having a look around what’s in the marketplace and we’re confident, but until there’s a piece of ink on a piece of paper... it’s not a done deal.”
FOOTBALL WEST STARES DOWN CLUBS (with Gordon Bennett, goalweekly.com)
The National Premier League proposal is causing some major waves in West Australia. With the deadline for clubs to submit applications to the new top tier of state-based football just days away, it looks as though governing body Football West is heading for a showdown. On Monday evening the State League clubs held a presidents meeting where it was unanimously voted upon that a letter be presented to Football West, via the State League Standing Committee, asking that the NPL be delayed until answers to a number of their concerns are provided.
A list of questions the club presidents wanted answered was submitted, via the Standing Committee, to the Board of Football West for their meeting on Tuesday. The Board rejected this approach, choosing to stare down the clubs by holding firm on the application deadline of 5.00pm this Friday. It should be noted that members of the Board had walked out of a previous meeting with the clubs because representatives of the Football Union were in attendance. The Football Union was created to give clubs a united voice and allow independent spokespeople to speak on their behalf, as many are too scared to speak out against Football West for fear of recriminations.
Apart from the many issues within their NPL contract that clubs must sign as part of their application, the clubs are upset that the Board was advised that they had voted unanimously to be a part of the NPL. Such a meeting was never held and a vote never taken. State League Standing Committee chairman Peter Koulizos advised the clubs at last night’s meeting that they had not advised Football West chief executive Peter Hugg of such a consensus. This breakdown in communication has led to a strong feeling of mistrust in the game, and there is a belief that Football West is hoping that by doing nothing and saying nothing clubs will simply apply for the NPL.
The issues concerning most clubs are firstly the fact that the document they have to submit is a contract rather than an expression of interest. There is no marketing plan for the new league, no financial plan and no business plan. The killer is a clause in the contract which reads “In lodging this application the Club has not relied upon any representations made by Football West and has made its own interpretations and conclusions.” In legal terms this means the clubs cannot rely on any information received from Football West, written or spoken. It does seem there will be a considerable amount of blood that is yet to be shed before this one is resolved.
YOUNG SOCCEROOS LOSE TO EL SALVADOR
Australia’s chances of progressing to the next stage of the Under-20 World Cup were dealt a massive blow with this evening’s 2-1 loss to El Salvador. A stunning Josh Brillante strike put the Young Socceroos in front early but the Central Americans hit back through Diego Coca and Jose Pena before defending astutely in the second half to record an upset win. “Unfortunately we kept the lead for only eight minutes, with a cheap goal. Then it becomes a bit of a battle, when they get on even terms,” Australia coach Paul Okon said. “The effort and application was there, we just lacked that ability to find something in the final third. That’s what you need when you’re chasing the game.” The Young Socceroos must beat host nation Turkey on Saturday to stand any chance of going beyond the group stage.
It took Australia just 9 minutes to get on the scoreboard, Brillante punishing a back-tracking defence by driving low into the net from 25-metres, leaving goalkeeper Rolando Morales with little chance. A series of defensive lapses eight minutes later allowed Coca to head in the equaliser after Kevin Barahona nodded Jairo Henriquez’s centre across the goalmouth. Half-time was just five minutes away when El Salvador claimed the lead, Miguel Ochoa breaking quickly before squaring for Jose Pena whose first time shot beat goalkeeper Paul Izzo. Australia dominated second half possession but the closest they came to scoring was a Connor Pain shot which was saved by Morales. Scott Galloway and Adam Taggart played full games, Daniel De Silva came off after 67 minutes while Ryan Williams entered the action after 80 minutes.
WILLIAMS SELECTED FOR MATILDA’S EUROPEAN ODYSSEY
Lydia Williams’ return from long-term injury is almost complete with the Katanning-born goalkeeper selected in the Matilda’s squad for their upcoming tour of Europe. National women’s team coach Hestine de Reus today named 25-year old Williams, along with fellow West Australians Lisa De Vanna and Samantha Kerr, in her 20-player squad for friendlies against the Netherlands (29 June), Ado den Haag (2 July) and France (6 July). It’s Williams’ first international call-up since tearing knee ligaments while on duty for Swedish side Pitea IF fourteen months ago.
De Reus is looking forward to having Williams back on board. “It is great to have Lydia Williams back in the squad; she brings a lot of experience to the team and will be great competition for Brianna (Davey),” she said. “I am happy with how we are progressing. Our organisation is getting better and the team is starting to become more familiar with their positions and the structure. It will be good to have a new challenge against some very experienced European teams and continue to work on the development of our philosophy and style.”
The Matilda’s squad for their upcoming European tour is Kyah Simon (Boston Breakers), Kim Carroll, Amy Chapman, Katrina Gorry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Clare Polkinghorne, Vedrana Popovic (Brisbane Roar), Michelle Heyman (Canberra United), Tameka Butt (Frankfurt), Stephanie Catley, Brianna Davey (Melbourne Victory), Emily van Egmond (Newcastle Jets), Lydia Williams (Pitea IF), Lisa de Vanna, Caitlin Foord (Sky Blues FC), Alanna Kennedy, Teresa Polias (Sydney FC), Samantha Kerr (Western New York Flash), Teigen Allen and Servet Uzunlar (Western Sydney Wanderers).
NICOLAIDIS HONOURED TO LEAD PERTH
Perth SC, the state’s most successful club, have tasked former State player Taki Nicolaidis with reviving what has so far been a disappointing season. Nicolaidis’ appointment as interim coach until the end of the season at Dorrien Gardens is a deserved reward for guiding Perth’s Reserve team to the League and Grand Final success last year. The 43-year old rates being handed the coaching reins at Perth, a 20-time State Champion, one of the highlights of an already distinguished career. “I’m extremely honoured to be offered the role by Western Australia’s biggest club, and are excited about the challenges ahead,” commented Nicolaidis.
Perth has struggled to compete in the league this year, winning just four times from 13 starts, and Nicolaidis intends to reverse that trend. “The club objectives are for me to sort out the playing group and finish as high up as possible in the league,” commented Nicolaidis, who is joined on the coaching staff by former national league players Ante Kovacevic and Robbie Puca. And to achieve those goals the coach has indicated his desire to add a few players to the senior list. “There isn’t a lot of time to finalise our squad before the transfer deadline, however, I need to find a good balance of experience and youth to finish out the season and bring back some pride and respect to the club.”
Nicolaidis brings to Perth a wealth of experience gleamed from a 15-year playing career, plus over a decade in the coaching arena. State Championship wins with Floreat Athena and Western Knights highlighted his playing days along with an S-League Champions medal gained as a member of the Perth Kangaroos all-conquering side of 1994 and a handful of outings for the State, including the famous 1992 win over then European Cup Winners’ Cup holders Werder Bremen. He cut his coaching teeth as an assistant with Floreat for eight seasons, winning League and Cup crowns, before moving to Perth at the beginning of last year.
A lot has changed since Nicolaidis’ arrival at Perth, especially in past eight months. Over a dozen senior players parted company with the club over the summer and, when coupled with a ‘revolving door’ selection policy which has seen in excess of 30 players used in 13 league games, it’s no surprise Perth have struggled to find their rhythm. “What’s happened has happened – my job is to focus on the last nine games and get things right,” commented Nicolaidis. “I’m working towards our fortunes changing next week against Balcatta, and I expect that moving forward the squad will play with a lot more confidence and accountability in order to get back to winning ways.”
DE SILVA PLAYS DOWN HIS STARRING ROLE
Perth Glory midfielder Daniel De Silva has played down his starring role in the Young Socceroos 1-1 opening round draw with Colombia at the Under-20 World Cup. De Silva, at 16 the youngest player at the tournament in Turkey, turned in a truly inspirational performance highlighted by the game’s opening goal shortly after half-time. An incisive off the ball run by De Silva allowed him to cleverly flick Andrew Hoole’s angled pass in behind a retreating defence past the goalkeeper. “It wouldn’t be a goal without the team and I’m just the one that finished it,” De Silva commented. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
De Silva, who became Australia’s youngest Under-20 World Cup player by stepping out against Colombia, was understandably delighted with his team’s passing and possession-based game. “The boys put in a really great performance. We went out there with the mentality of ‘We’re going to give it all we’ve got’ and that’s exactly what we did,” he said. “We didn’t play Colombia’s game, we played our own game. We’re a good footballing team, we passed the ball around that’s how the goal came about (and) I think we were unlucky not to come away with the win, but that’s football.” Australia’s next game is against El Salvador on Wednesday.
YOUNG SOCCEROOS DRAW WITH COLOMBIA
Teenage sensation Daniel De Silva stamped his claim as a future star of Australian football by scoring in the Young Socceroos 1-1 draw with Colombia at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. Coach Paul Okon’s faith in starting the Perth Glory midfielder was repaid in full with De Silva, the youngest player at the tournament, putting in an inspirational performance capped by a goal straight after the interval. “We know Daniel’s qualities and what he can bring to the team. He’s got a bit of freedom to express himself, and we know he can create,” said Okon, who was pleased with the overall effort shown by his player. “The performance was extraordinary and we hope we can reach that level again for the next two games."
Highly-fancied Colombia looked to impose in the opening exchanges but it was Australia that came closest to an early lead with Josh Brillante toe-poking wide. Juan Quintero almost sent Colombia into the break with the lead but Young Socceroos goalkeeper Paul Izzo tipped over his 39th minute free-kick. The second half had barely started when Andrew Hoole played through the defence and into the path of De Silva who placed tidily into Cristian Bonilla net. Colombia almost drew level on several occasions before Jhon Cordoba restored parity in the 79th minute after taking a sharp pass from Quintero. Scott Galloway played a full game, Adam Taggart came off after 71 minutes and De Silva in the 91st minute while Ryan Williams entered the action on 82 minutes.
DAVIES SENDS ASHFIELD INTO LAST FOUR
Division One club Ashfield are through to the State Cup semi-finals for just the second time after a gritty 1-0 win over Stirling Lions at Ashfield Reserve. The decisive goal arrived via the head of Nick Davies midway through the first period and although Stirling pressed hard they were unable to break down a resolute defensive line. “We knew we had to keep it tight and we all played a part in a great win for the club,” said Davies. “It’s great to be in the semi-finals and it shows if we play like we did today we can beat anyone.”
Stirling settled the better and fashioned a great chance to go ahead on the quarter hour when Gareth McGlynn’s corner found Phil Arnold but the striker shot was straight at goalkeeper John Perkins. All the pressure was on the home side and shortly after Dean Evans played down the left for Moses Kalau whose low strike after cutting inside the 18-yard box whistled narrowly past the target. Ashfield came up with the good from their first venture into the area, Matt Wardle’s delivering a precision free-kick to the back post where Davies headed beyond Aleks Vrteski with 23 minutes on the clock.
The second half opened with Stirling enjoying plenty of possession but unable to prise open a backline under the command of captain Steve O’Mahony. Their best chance came on the hour when Evans and McGlynn combined to send through Kalau but the youngsters shot was met by the gloves of Perkins. The visitor’s ploy of committing men forward in increasing numbers almost proved their undoing in the 67th minute, Karl O’Reilly orchestrating a speedy counterattack by breaking down the left and crossing for substitute Ian Griffiths whose header brought a superb save from Vrteski.
Ashfield’s continued search for a sealing goal saw Branimir Mikulic’s diving header go just wide after getting on the end of another teasing centre by O’Reilly. With each minute that ticked by, the game slipped a little further out of Stirling’s reach. The game was in stoppage time when the visitors rolled the dice for the final time, McGlynn whipping in a corner destined for Vrteski, who had joined the attack, but Perkins rose strongly to pluck the ball off his opposite numbers head. A few moments later referee Trent Fleskens’s final whistle triggered scene of wild celebration from Ashfield’s players, coaches and supporters.
INGLEWOOD KNOCK OUT HOLDERS
Sorrento’s hopes of a State Cup hat-trick have been crushed by Inglewood United, who emerged 2-0 winners from this afternoon’s quarter-final meeting at Percy Doyle Reserve. Shane Pickering and Daniel Thomson put the visitors in control at the break with the Gulls chances of a comeback halted by the controversial dismissal of Steve McDonald midway through the second period. “It’s another great win from the boys,” said Inglewood’s Greg Sharland. “We scored two fantastic goals in quick transition from defence to attack. As a team we are starting to really gel together … it’s exciting to be in the Cup semi-finals.”
Sorrento saw plenty of the ball early on but a failure to trouble goalkeeper Francis Soale would come back to haunt them. Andrija Jukic beat his marker on the quarter-hour and got to the bye-line before centring for Pickering to fire Inglewood into the lead at close-range. An immediate reply was what Sorrento needed but Shane Kilkelly and Craig Simpson stood firm to repel their attempts to draw level. As the home side committed men forward, they ran the risk of being caught short at the back and that’s exactly what happened six minutes from the break when Thomson slotted low past Curtis Aspden in a one-on-one after being released by David Perich.
Fired up by the words coach Paul Price, Sorrento returned for the second half focused on rekindling their Cup dream. Craig Robson and David Price were providing plenty of momentum coming through the middle while Jesse Fuller’s pace out wide was causing a good few problems. But Michal Jasinski’s over-reaction to McDonald’s lunging challenge on Matt Danskin, which drew a straight red card, halted the Gulls comeback with 66 minutes on the clock. The closing stages were all Inglewood. Simpson nodded narrowly over the top from a Danskin corner, and late on Michael Baczynski blasted just high following good work by Sharland.
With the sounding of the final whistle Sorrento boss Price found it difficult to contain his frustration with the referee’s decision to send off McDonald. “He didn’t touch the player, even their player has said he didn’t touch me, and the referee’s given it for intention. We’ve now had five players sent off (this season) and I don’t know if somebody’s got something against us, but I’m not happy with it and,” Price told footballwest.com.au. “Every season is new and you want to win the cup, so to get knocked out in the quarter-finals is disappointing. We thought everyone gave what they could, but we just weren’t good enough on the day.”
NENADIC KEEPS SWAN’S CUP DREAM ALIVE
Swan United moved through to the last four of the State Cup with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Mandurah City at the Swan Italian Club. Defender Spiro Nenadic lashed in the winner midway through the second half, just five minutes after Craig Tone cancelled out Luke Colli’s first half opener. “It was a great result for the team and club,” Swan captain Trent Wood said. “I was happy to see the boys fight back when Mandurah equalised as we have let teams get on top of us in previous games. Hopefully this is a turning point in our season and we’re looking forward to the semi-finals, which will be a great experience for our young squad.”
The ball had been in motion less than a minute when Swan defender Chris Marshall came to the rescue by clearing a Tone shot after the striker pounced on a defensive mix-up. Craig Simms’ fierce strike on 19 minutes brought a stunning reaction save from Mathew Battigelli, who breathed a sigh of relief when Matt Stares slammed into the post with the follow-up. Those misses were punished sixty seconds later with Colli converting at close-range after meeting Nick Tatasciore’s centre. In true Cup fashion, the rest of the half was a thrilling end-to-end ride. Battigelli prevented Stares from bringing the sides level in a one-on-one, while Tatasciore should have done better than shoot straight at David Keenan.
Swan were under all the pressure following the turnaround as Mandurah set about equalising. Tone’s run inside the 18-yard box was halted by Battigelli, but appeals for an away penalty were dismissed by referee David Bruce. Mandurah’s attacking approach paid off on 66 minutes when Tone fired into the net after seizing upon Rob Monterosso’s slip and going past Battigelli. But five short minutes later Nenadic had Swan back in the lead by blasting being Hamnett after being found unmarked by substitute Ryan Dawson’s corner. Swan almost added a third goal late on when Thomas Black drifted in from the left and although his shot beat Hamnet it was cleared off the line.
BURTON HITS THREE AS BAYSWATER EASE PAST QUINNS
There were no surprises at Gumblossum Park where Bayswater City claimed a 7-0 victory over third tier outfit Quinns. Steve Burton helped himself to a hat-trick and Brian Farrell grabbed a brace with finises by Todd Howarth and substitute Ross Cosgrove rounding out the scoreline. “(Quinns’ strong start) was always going to be the case, they had nothing to lose,” Howarth told footballwest.com.au. “We kept it tight and simple at the start and (knew) our fitness would run over a second division side.” The result keeps Bayswater, who won the Night Series in pre-season, on track to achieve their goal of a clean sweep of all trophies on offer this year.
The early signs were encouraging for Quinns with Gareth Hamilton hitting the crossbar inside the opening minutes. Bayswater slowly eased themselves into the game and on 21 minutes Farrell prodded in after good combination play down the left by Howarth and Gustavo Catarcione. Burton sunk Quinns’ hopes of a fightback with a couple of rapid fire goals, sliding his first past goalkeeper Daniel McAinish after being released by Jamie Coyne then, sixty seconds later, tapping into an empty net after receiving Farrell’s nod down from a Howarth cross. Howarth’s meandering run just before the break took him past three opponents before playing in Burton, who lured the ‘keeper then returned the ball to his team mate to make it four-nil.
The flow of goals continued nine minutes into the second period, Coyne gliding past two players before playing into the path of Burton to complete his hat-trick. Quinns, to their credit, refused to concede the game but found ways past an experienced backline hard to come by. A 67th minute counterattack orchestrated by Howarth produced a sixth goal for Bayswater, the midfielder taking the ball to the bye-line before delivering to the far post where Farrell’s precision header from an acute angle burst the net. Cosgrove had been on the park just a minute when he pounced on a poor back pass and, with McAinish closing down, chipped into the net from 22-metres.
MCCULLOCH TAKES OVER AT JOONDALUP
Former State player Dale McCulloch has taken his first tentative steps toward retirement by accepting the coaching position at ECU Joondalup. McCulloch is synonymous with the northern suburbs club so comes as no surprise that when Joondalup began to sound out possible replacements for Salv Todaro, who left just over a fortnight ago, the 31-year old’s hand shot up. “Not many people get a chance to coach the team they love, and I feel privileged to get the chance,” said McCulloch, who first donned Joondalup colours 14-year ago.
McCulloch steps into the coaching hot seat with Joondalup slumped second from bottom in the Premier Division. “Our form of late has been poor,” conceded McCulloch. “I have explained to the players that what I expect from now on. It’s a fresh start and as a group we all have to apply ourselves in a different manner. We are all involved with football for team success and hopefully that starts this week against Cockburn City. I will bring a certain game plan and there is also certain factors I won’t tolerate and the players know that.”
Stepping out onto the field may be tempting but McCulloch plans to call all the shots from the sidelines. “I’m not saying I won’t step on the field again this year but I’m hoping I’m not needed,” he said. And while dipping into the transfer market is also an option, the McCulloch feels he already has at his disposal the players capable of turning Joondalup’s season around. “Every squad in the league could be strengthened but I want to get more out of the players I already have. I believe we have a good squad, but we have not been playing to our potential.”
TAGGART CHASES WORLD CUP GLORY
The Young Socceroos will draw inspiration from Australia’s World Cup qualification when they step out tonight at the Under-20 showpiece according to striker Adam Taggart. Australia commence their Under-20 World Cup campaign against Colombia this evening and Taggart says the Socceroos’ over Iraq on Tuesday night provided a timely to the next generation of national team stars. “It was obviously a fantastic moment for the whole country and definitely even more special being at the World Cup with all the boys here,” Taggart told theherald.com.au. “It’s definitely something we’re looking forward to, as the whole country is, and something we’re really happy about.”
Taggart, who played twice for the Socceroos this year, concedes Colombia is a tough first up assignment but the striker says he and his team mates have prepared well. “They are a quality side and we’ve been going over a lot of their games,” he said. “We go into the game feeling confident, knowing their abilities and being in good shape. We’re a real close team and we’ve been together for a long time now. I think sticking to our own philosophy and the way Paulo (coach Paul Okon) want us to play is obviously the big key. And sticking together is what's going to get us through.”
STATE CUP PREVIEW
The State Cup takes centre stage on Saturday with eight teams fighting it out for places in the semi-finals of the prestigious knock-out competition. Stirling Lions assistant coach Gary Williams expects a tough afternoon when his team visits Division One side Ashfield. “We are under no illusions, it will be a tough,” stated Williams. “They have home advantage and enough quality in their team to beat any side on any given day.” Stirling welcome back a hosts of players for the occasion, amongst them Jason Gavin, captain Andy Brown, Dean Evans and Rory Grant.
Ashfield have a good record against top flight sides and coach Matt Carruthers is hopeful that will continue into the coming weekend. “We are looking forward to challenging ourselves against the best in the State,” said Carruthers. “The boys are keen to prove they can cut it at this level. Stirling have been tracking well and there is no one we would rather prove ourselves against.” Defensive pair Matt Wardle and Graham Tough are knocking on the selection door while the arrival of one-time Scotland youth midfielder Jay Lang has given Carruthers further food for thought.
Striker Brian Cairney is well aware of the daunting task that awaits Division Two side Quinns, who have home ground advantage against a star-studded Bayswater City. “We’re under no illusions, we’ve got our work cut out for us were playing potentially the best team in the Premier Division,” commented Cairney. “This is Quinns second year at Saturday level and to make it to the quarter-final stage of the Cup for such a young club is a great achievement. We’re expecting a decent crowd and going out there to enjoy ourselves and the moment … after all, anything can happen in a Cup tie.”
One quarter-finals’ only all-top flight contest takes place at Percy Doyle Reserve with Inglewood United up against trophy holders Sorrento. “It will be a tough game,” conceded Inglewood stalwart Jason Colli. “Sorrento are a good side and they never give up until the final whistle, last time we played them they snatched a late draw so we know what they are capable of. We want to still be in with a chance to win the Cup after Saturday, and if we have the same desire and work rate as we did last week (against Bayswater) then I’m sure we can win the game.”
Swan United coach Damian Scali is looking forward to his teams outing with fellow Division One side Mandurah City at the Swan Italian Club. “This weekend is a great opportunity for us to escape the pressure of our poor performances in the league and play with some freedom and confidence in the Cup,” said Scali, who collected Cup winners medals as a player with the black and whites in 2003 and 2004. “The Cup has always been a successful tournament for us, and I’m hoping we can continue that and make our way in to the semi-final.” All four State Cup games kick-off at 2.30pm on Saturday.
SORRENTO HAVE NO DESIRE TO HAND OVER THE CUP: MCDONALD
Sorrento defender Steve McDonald recognises his team will need to be on top of their game this weekend if their dream of a State Cup hat-trick is to be achieved. The Gulls quest for a third straight Cup trophy has them on home soil this weekend against Inglewood United, who have run hot and cold this year. But McDonald, 33, has been around long enough to know league form means very little when it comes to the make-or-break realm of Cup football. “It’ll come down to whoever turns up on the day with the right attitude and wants it the most,” said McDonald.
Sorrento warmed up for Saturday’s game at Percy Doyle Reserve by grinding out a 1-0 win over Balcatta last weekend. “It was a very good if hard-fought win, especially after going down to ten men,” commented McDonald, whose captain, Todd Harnwell, was issued his marching orders early in the second half. “Looking back we were the hungrier team, defended well and were able to hold on for the win. The overall team performance was tremendous, Balcatta is never easy place to go and get anything, but when the chips were down we rolled our sleeves, got stuck in and ground out the win.”
That attitude may well be required again when Sorrento step out onto the field on Saturday. “Inglewood are a very good footballing side and I’m looking forward to what will be an absolute belter of the game,” said McDonald, who played the full 120 minutes of last year’s thrilling 4-3 Cup final win over Balcatta but missed the previous year’s defeat of Perth SC through injury. “Having won the Cup the last two years we have no intention of handing the trophy back.” Hopefully when that final whistle blows we will be the team that goes into the hat for the semi-final draw.”
ASHFIELD’S SEASON HINGES ON CUP SUCCESS SAYS MIKULIC
Ashfield striker Branimir Mikulic is eagerly anticipating this weekend’s State Cup quarter-final meeting with Stirling Lions. The Reds have travelled a bumpy road so far this year, winning just four times from ten league outings, and victory over Stirling may just prove to the turning point in their campaign. “We always do well against Premier Division teams and the boys are keen to test themselves with the best team in the State at the moment,” commented Mikulic, a former State team player. “A win on Saturday will be important to our confidence and the teams’ success in the second half of the season.”
Recent performances indicate Ashfield are not far away from going on a winning run. “We have played some good football over 90 minutes in the last month or so, (coach) Matt Curruthers has been working on structure more at training and we’re beginning to see the results,” said Mikulic. “We need to be more consistent week in week out. Some weeks we have played good halves, but we really need to play for 90 minutes. There have been games where we’ve been ahead at the break but lost points and we need to make sure that sort of thing stop.”
Ashfield succumbed 2-1 to Western Knights last weekend and, although clearly not the result they were after, Mikulic says the game provided ideal preparation for a make-or-break Cup fixture. “The boys never gave up and showed great fighting spirit, we pushed the Knights right to the final whistle,” Mikulic explained. “We are definitely one of the strongest sides in Division One and with the squad we have a top two finish isn’t out of the question. The next couple of game will determine our season, and beating Stirling on Saturday would be a massive boost for us.”
LYONS SAYS GOODBYE, BUT NOT FAREWELL
Liverpool-born striker Anthony Lyons he hopes to one day return to the State League and stick a few more goals in the back of the net. Lyons, whose via has expired, showed his gratitude to Stirling Lions by scoring twice in three days earlier this month and close what has been a memorable chapter in the 24-year old’s career. “I had an amazing time playing football in Perth. It was a great experience and I met some great people along the way,” said Lyons. “I’d love to come back to WA one day, hopefully in the not so distant future so I can score a few more goals.”
The past few years have passed in something of a blur for Lyons, who hit 21 goals in his season and a half at Macedonia Park. “I’ll never forget my time at the Lions,” said the striker, who collected the Coaches Award and the Golden Boot last season. “I played with some great players who have played at the top level. All the player are great lads, not a moment went by without someone giving me a bit of banter, mostly the gaffer. Everyone at the club looks after the players … in a way Stirling was my Aussie family!”
Lyons initially mark by single-handedly reviving Forrestfield United’s 2011 campaign, putting away eighteen goals in the final eleven games to guide the club to fifth in Division One. “The highlight was scoring the third goal of my hat-trick in the last game of the year (against Fremantle Spirit),” recalled Lyons. “It was a moment of joy as the ball hit the top corner of the net and I ran off to celebrate with team mate and now close friend Julian Kesacoff, who had just been substituted.” To top that off, Lyons was voted his clubs’ Fairest and Best at seasons’ end.
Lyons played with some success for Liverpool College and Old Xaverians but his hopes of going to the next level were scuppered by injury. “I has a lot of trouble with injury after university football when I was looking to play semi-professionally,” explained Lyons, pointed to his father, Phil, when asked about his biggest influence. “My father introduced me to the game when I was young, taught me how to kick a ball and got me into my first team. He gave up his Sunday mornings to come and watch me play in the freezing weather and gave me some good feedback along the way.”
With his Australian sojourn now complete, Lyons intends taking time out from football before contemplating his next move. “I made the decision to move on for a number of reason, one of the things I’m looking at is a masters/teaching certificate so maybe I’ll be going back to university,” he said. “To be honest I’ve not thought too much about where I’ll be playing football next. At the moment I’m taking a break in Asia and when I get back to England it’ll be back to training … there are a few possibilities in the pipeline.”
NEVILLE SLOWLY GETTING THE BETTER OF INJURY
Newcastle Jets defender Scott Neville is looking forward to getting back on the pitch. Neville returned to full training last week after his pre-season was interrupted by the on-going groin injury that plagued him throughout last season. “It’s been a bit of a slow start for me because I’m still recovering from a groin injury from last season that I kind of battled with all year,” the former Sorrento player told footballaustralia.com.au. “I was close to having surgery, but the physio, club doctor and I put a procedure in place where I do a lot of extra rehab work and a bit of pilates and now it’s just getting stronger and stronger by the week.”
Neville made 18 appearances in his debut season with Newcastle but readily admits he was below his best in 2012/13. “I’m just hoping to be more consistent than last year … I didn’t play as well as I should have,” he said. “(The injury) could be part of the reason because obviously it knocks your confidence and you can’t play to your full potential, but I’m big enough to say I didn’t play how I wanted to play all season. I had a couple of good games, but there probably wasn’t enough consistency in my game throughout the season. There was a lack of confidence, a lack of form and it was a bit disappointing overall I’d say. This year I’ve got to come back and show what I’m worth.”
SUPER SUB KENNEDY SENDS SOCCEROOS TO BRAZIL
Australia secured qualification for a successive World Cup finals with a nerve-jangling 1-0 win over Iraq at ANZ Stadium tonight. The Socceroo’s hopes of direct qualification for Brazil looked to be hanging by a thread until striker Josh Kennedy headed in from a Mark Bresciano cross with just seven minutes of regulation time remaining. “I’m proud of everybody, it’s been a really tough campaign,” said captain Lucas Neill. “It wasn’t pretty but we’ve beaten what was in front of us and pushed ourselves on to a very exciting tournament.” The nail-biting victory means the Socceroos finish second in their group behind Japan.
On a pitch uneven in surface and made trickier by pre-match rain, the Socceroos endured a difficult first half. Their first chance arrived after just a couple of minutes when Tim Cahill drew a brilliant reflex save from Noor Sabri after combining with Robbie Kruse on the edge of the 18-yard box. With the visitors content to sit deep, Australia enjoyed plenty of possession and created several meaningful openings. Sasa Ognenovski headed high in the 15th minute and midway through the half Cahill’s header lacked the power to trouble Sabri. Ten minutes from the break Matt McKay’s cross was spilled by the ‘keeper but Cahill’s hooked shot was just the wrong side of the post.
Iraq made a strong start to the second half with Saif Salman twice calling Mark Schwarzer into action. The momentum was back with Australia soon enough but Bresciano’s tame effort was straight at Sabri. Coach Holger Osieck introduced Tom Rogic on the hour to immediate effect, the young attacker giving the Iraq defence plenty of concern and getting off three shots in the space of a few minutes. Kennedy, who replaced Cahill, had been on the park just six minutes when he made an even bigger impact, the towering striker rising unchallenged to nod across and beyond the reach of Sabri to send the crowd of 80,532 into delirium.
ITALIANO SNAPPED UP BY WELLINGTON
New Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick has made former Balcatta goalkeeper Lewis Italiano his first signing. 22-year old Italiano is currently playing in the Victorian Premier League for Oakleigh Cannons and will join his new team mates in Wellington early in September. “I want him to play as many games as possible at a good level to get him ready as he will probably be in goal for our opening game,” said Merrick, who expects to be without first choice ‘keeper Glen Moss due to international commitments with New Zealand. “It is vital that we have two good ‘keepers with World Cup qualifying games coming up.”
Merrick is confident Italiano, who was understudy to Danny Vukovic at Perth Glory last season, would be a valuable acquisition. “He has had a very good season in the VPL,” Merrick said. “I’ve had several reports saying he is the best goalkeeper in the league. Also our goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould worked with him for a season at Perth and knows his character, ability and potential.” Italiano shot to prominence in Balcatta’s history-making 2011 campaign and the following summer refined his skills with the Glory Youth team. Last year he played a key role in Oakleigh finishing the regular season in second spot before being signed by Glory on a one-year deal.
MORE CHANGE AT BUNBURY
Bunbury Forum Force has undergone their seventh coaching change in two seasons with Matt Holland leaving the club for a youth development role with Thai Premier League side Buriram United. Holland vacates the top job at Bunbury after only four weeks but his services will not be entirely lost to the club. “We are disappointed to have lost Matt but we always knew he was ambitious with expectations of being a career coach,” said Bunbury president Albert Nascimento. “Matt will be taking up a three-year, full-time contract but we will be working closely with him as many of the junior programs that we are implementing are the result of his work.” An appointment on Holland’s replacement is expected in coming days.
WIGAN MAY MOVE ON WILLIAMS
Owen Coyle’s return to club management could prompt Wigan Athletic to bid for Middlesbrough captain Rhys Williams. Wigan appointed the 46-year old Scot late last week and he’s expected to be given a hefty transfer budget to get the club out of the English Championship inside two years. Coyle was in charge of Burley four years ago when Williams made 17 appearances during a successful loan spell, and while with Bolton Wanderers last year he tried to lure the defender to Reebok Stadium. Williams, 24, is one of Middlesbrough’s genuine assets and has three years remaining on a contract extension he signed last February.
BUSHBY PUTS TOP SPOT WITHIN REACH OF WANNEROO
Canning City’s place at the top of Division One is in jeopardy following this afternoon’s 2-1 loss to Wanneroo City at Burrendah Reserve. Michael Van Dongen put the home side in front shortly after the turnaround only for a defensive lapse to open the door on Scott Bushby’s equaliser. The sending off of Emlyn Whetnall midway through the half swung the game in Wanneroo’s favour with Bushby delivering the knock-out blow. The win moves Wanneroo to within two points of joint competition leaders Canning and Dianella White Eagles, although the Roos have played one game more than both clubs.
A superb cross-field ball by Guy McDonald led to the first opportunity on goal but Stuart Montgomery’s dipping volley was just high of the target. Wanneroo coach David Tough was forced to reshuffl his pack after 20 minutes when injury to Ross Edwards brought Garin Collins into the action. Collins wasted no time in make his presence known, the veteran blasting high from 14-metres after a tidy exchange with Bushby opened up the defence. Canning started to spark as the half came to a close. A couple of long-range efforts from Michael Van Dongen drifted over the top before Daniel Niederberger’s shot on the turn found the arms of goalkeeper Clint Davies.
It took Canning just a few second half minutes to get the goal they were after, Neiderberger playing down the left for Michael Van Dongen who took the ball in his stride and cleverly chipped the ‘keeper. Wanneroo were back on level terms after 58 minutes when a miss-communication between Mark Trevisiol and ‘keeper Steve Grant was punished by Bushby, who nipped in to covert from 9-metres. A bizarre decision by the referee then robbed Wanneroo of the lead, Montgomery slotted past Grant only for the man with the whistle to signal for a foul on Collins in the lead-up.
The game was ultimately decided by another decision by the referee, who issued Whetnall a straight red card while vying for possession with Danny Milne on the edge of the 18-yard box. Grant prevented the damage from being greater by moving sharply to push away Montgomery’s spot kick. However, Wanneroo were not to be denied and with twenty minutes to go Chris Pugh stole the ball from Steve Kane and waltzed passed two defenders before cutting back for Bushby to spear in to the net. Canning’s refusal to concede the game kept tensions on edge right up to the final whistle, which was moments away when Paul Van Dongen’s was met by Davies’ gloves.
MATILDA’S OUT-SHOOT FOOTBALL FERNS FROM THE SPOT
Goalkeeper Brianna Davey saved two penalties as the Matildas prevailed in a thrilling shoot-out with New Zealand this afternoon at Canberra’s McKeller Park. Davey was brilliant throughout the game, which ended 1-1, before stepping up in the shoot-out to get Australia a 4-2 win through conversions from Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond, Servet Uzunlar and Samantha Kerr. The Matildas opened the scoring after 11 minutes when Clare Polkinghorne headed in from a Servet Uzunlar corner. Just over twenty minutes later New Zealand were rewarded for their dominance with Sarah Gregorious’ shot on the turn flashing into Davey’s net. The Football Ferns had numerous chances to add a second goal in regulation time but were unable to get the better of a strong defensive line.
HARNWELL OFF BUT SORRENTO ON HOLD
Sorrento hung on to register a 1-0 win over Balcatta despite playing in the final half hour at Grindleford Reserve a man down. Anthony Skorich converted on the end of an early sweeping move but the dismissal of Sorrento captain Todd Harnwell for two quick bookings that was the main talking point. “I didn’t know what he got sent off for but obviously it’s disappointing,” coach Paul Price told footballwest.com.au. “The first one, Toddy got himself booked for dissent and the second one he was told he kicked the ball away, which I didn’t see … that is the third or fourth time this year we have gone down to ten men and it makes it difficult.”
The early play was end-to-end with both sets of players keen for an early breakthrough. And Balcatta would have had one in the 2nd minute if not for Steve McDonald’s block to Adam Bachiller’s close-range strike after Olari Perlin delivered a low ball to the far post. Sorrento showed them how it’s done nine minutes later, Jesse Fuller’s clever flick releasing Ryan Pearson whose centring ball from wide on the left was tidily tucked in from 8-metres by Skorich. The away side were doing all the attacking but Fuller’s crisp half-volley flashed just over the crossbar, and nine minutes from the break Skorich knew he should have done better than shoot at Alex Dunn on the turn.
Balcatta began the second half with a headful of steam, Bachiller and Patrick Sara shooting beyond the target. Eyebrows were raised in both camps when referee Trent Fleskens issued Harnwell his marching orders in the 59th minute. Errors now started to creep into what had been a tight game. Ashley Rosindale threatened to bring the side’s level but his 70th minute strike passed across Curtis Aspdin and beyond the far post. But other than that Balcatta never really looked like equalising thanks to defensive partners Platten and McDonald, who worked tirelessly to snuff out any danger. Balcatta were lucky not to finish with ten men after John Migas’ shove on Gavin Knight, who was bearing down on goal, was allowed to go unpunished.
KALAU SPARKLES AS STIRLING GO TOP
Young attacker Moses Kalau scored twice to inspire Stirling Lions to a 3-1 win over ECU Joondalup from an action-packed encounter at Macedonia Park. The away team snuck into an early lead through Jon Stynes but it was Stirling that were a goal the better at the break courtesy of Kalau and Scott Bulloch. Kalau, who sealed the win with his second goal shortly after the restart, hopes his current form can help propel him back into national league reckoning. “My aim is to return to the A-League and hopefully performances like this can help me achieve that,” said Kalau, a former Perth Glory Youth player. The win – Stirling’s seventh in a row – moves them to level points with Premier Division leaders Bayswater City.
The day began positively enough for Joondalup with Stynes tapping in at close-range after getting on the end of Tanner Selyer’s defence splitting pass in the 5th minute. Stirling responded by stepping up a gear across the middle of the park where the creativity of Bulloch, Gareth McGlynn and Sam Fusik was unlocking Joondalup’s defence time and time again. Phil Arnold should have opened the hosts account but instead slammed into the underside of the crossbar at close-range following a McGlynn corner, and a few minutes later the striker’s scuffed shot beat Andy Banks but lacked to power required to cross the line before Tommy Jones made the clearance.
Stirling’s assault was never-ending as shots from Arnold, Matt Harold and Clayton Arnez whistled past the upright. Bulloch put a blistering his shot on-target only to find Banks standing firm. The equaliser finally arrived in the 32nd minute, Kalau turning Jack Oldham inside out before letting fly from 23-metres with a curling effort that earned the accolade of all at the ground, irrespective of which team they supported. Stirling were soon back on the attack, Bulloch threading into the path of Arnold whose shot flashed the post. Half-time was just a minutes away when Arnold turned provider for Bulloch to finish into the bottom corner for a two-nil lead at the break.
It looked as though the floodgates were about to open when Clayton Arnez’s quality ball sent Kalau on a mesmerising run, the attacker rounding Banks to slot in from an acute angle with 49 minutes on the clock. Joondalup rallied and soon after Selyer caused a few nervous moments for the home side but Aleks Vrteski moved sharply to leave his opponent frustrated. After that, the familiar pattern established in the first 45 minutes returned with Stirling dominating both possession and territory. Some of the combination play between Bulloch, McGlynn, Kalau and Arnold was mesmerising, and the hosts would justifiably have been disappointed not to have added a few more goals before the final whistle sounded.
EASY WIN FOR FLOREAT (with Lincoln Bertelli, Football West)
Bunbury Forum Force offered little resistance to an in-form Floreat Athena side which claimed a 2-0 win from their game at Payne Park. The away team set their sail early with rapid fire goals from Benny Kouakou and Cisco Jorquera midway through the first half doing all the damage. “We’ve set our game plan to put pressure on them, try and get an early goal and dictate play,” said Floreat coach Chris Barbas, whose team are unbeaten in their last seven league encounters. “We can’t let go now, we have to keep winning and hope other results go our way.”
Floreat set the tempo early and on 22 minutes were rewarded with the lead, Kouakou cutting in from the left and flashing across Ryan Montgomery. Bunbury were still coming to terms with that when Jorquera rounded the home goalkeeper and doubled the difference with a powerful finish. Bunbury’s best chance of the afternoon came via Kenny Taylor, who forced a diving save from Brad Eiffe after he ran rings around his marker inside the 18-yard box. The second half was largely devoid of any meaningful openings with the two defensive units holding firm to ensure goalmouth action was scarce.
Matt Holland, who leaves Bunbury this week to take up a coaching opportunity with Thai Premier League side Buriram United, was understandably disappointed with the outcome. “We tried to nullify Floreat’s rotation in the midfield and with their strikers, but we didn’t do it in the right areas of the pitch,” said the outgoing coach. “In the second half we had to change things, and individually we were poor for a couple of goals. We were confident, not naïve, but confident of doing well. We’ve conceded two poor goals so it was hurtful not to be able to continue. Floreat deserve credit for being able to see it out though.”
THOMSON STUNS BAYSWATER (with Ilija Mihalj, Football West)
A Daniel Thomson wonder-strike proved the difference as Inglewood United weathered a second half storm to hold off Bayswater City 2-1 in an enthralling contest an Intiga Stadium. Home coach Graham Normanton was visibly ecstatic when the final whistle blew, praising his players for carrying through on their pre-game plans. “We set out from the start to give them the game of our lives,” Normanton said. “They’re a quality side and to be fair they dominated possession, but that’s how we wanted it and at the end of the day I thought we carried out our game plan to a tee. We deserved to get the result – I thought we stifled them and the game was played on our terms.”
Barely 7 minutes had elapsed when referee Hugh Best controversially whistled for Larry Miller’s minimal contact challenge on Ryan Clarke, and from the penalty spot Sharland blasted into the top corner for a one-nil lead. Bayswater recovered from this early setback to work their way back into the game. Brian Farrell cut in from the right but his clever shot was tipped on to the crossbar by goalkeeper Luke Martino after 23 minutes. Not long after Todd Howarth went close from distance, then Steve Burton flicked over the top from a James Isaia corner. So it was somewhat against the run if play that Inglewood doubled their lead on 40 minutes via Thomson’s thunderbolt which came from nowhere.
The second half was just a few minutes old when Farrell turned his marker only to fire over the crossbar, signalling Bayswater’s intention of reduced the deficit as quickly as possible. Martino deflected a fierce drive by Burton away from his net, and only a couple more minutes passed before Howarth went close. Substitute Gustavo Catarcione showed his team mates how it’s done in the 76th minute, the striker heading in from close-range after meeting Andy Reale’s pin-point cross from the left. Fellow substitute Damien Catalano’s was unlucky not to being the teams level with a glancing header just minutes from the end of regulation full-time.
COCKBURN STORM PAST ARMADALE (with Kalon Harrison, Football West)
Young guns Harry O’Brien scored twice to guide Cockburn City to a comfortable 4-0 win over Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. Midfielders Paul Lloyd and Antonio Naglieri also stuck the ball in the back of the net to ensure the Cockerels collected maximum points for the fourth time in five outings. “Since I’ve been in charge, this is the best result,” said Cockburn coach Marc Anthony. “Our away form has been patchy, so to come here today and score four goals and keep a clean sheet, I’m delighted with that. Our aim is always to progress, and progress for us is finals football. Anything can happen in finals football, so we’ll try to get the finals and when we’re there anything is possible.”
Cockburn may have asserted control over the game from the outset but it took until the 37th minute for that to be transferred onto the scoreboard, Lloyd breaking free of the defence and lashing into the top corner of Cyril Sharrock’s net. That lead was doubled ten minutes after the interval when O’Brien angled his shot under Sharrock at the back post. Two minutes later Antonio Naglieri stepped up with a crisp half-volley after getting on the end of a Devon Gibson centre. Armadale offered little in reply with Euan Grant quick to shut down any danger. O’Brien put the icing on the cake after 73 minutes, the winger’s unmarked header from a near post Naglieri corner tucking inside the back post.
TOURE SALVAGES PERTH A POINT
Mundy Toure came off the bench to grab Perth SC a stoppage time equaliser in this afternoon’s 3-3 draw with the National Training Centre at Dorrien Gardens. It looked as through the development squad would take home all the points thanks to Ndumba Makeche’s double and another for Darcy Cosgrove when Toure struck to add to earlier finishes by Adam Luca and Friday Zico. “This game is all about confidence, and the side haven’t been playing with confidence for a number of weeks,” said Perth caretaker coach Taki Nicolaidis. “We have a number of talented young players at this club and they have just got to work hard and believe in themselves … today is just the start.”
The home side could not have wished for a better start, Ayodeji Omoboye out-muscling the last defender and crossing from the left for Luca to slide into the net from 9-metres just 5 minutes after kick-off. Omoboye remained close to the action across the opening exchanges and twice went close to extending his team lead, slamming wide with a volley from the edge of the 18-yard box and minutes later forcing a low save out of goalkeeper Jordan Franken. After soaking up the early pressure, the NTC began to challenge their more fancied opponents. Makeche broke free on the half hour but was thwarted by Jason Saldaris, who later saved superbly a Cosgrove shot from 12-metres.
The second half was given a crackerjack start with Cosgrove delivering the ball for Makeche to convert at close-range. It took just sixty seconds for Perth to restore their lead via a James Marocchi corner to the far post where Zico acrobatic bicycle kick flashed into Franken’s net. On the hour Makeche again raced away from the defence and finished clinically past Saldaris to make it two-all. Only five more minutes passed before the NTC went ahead for the first time, Cosgrove lashing in after Marocchi blocked a shot by Makeche. Perth worked furiously to find a third goal and five minutes into stoppage time it finally arrived via Zico’s cross to the far post where Toure volleyed in.
DIANELLA TURN UP THE HEAT
A strong second half has propelled Dianella White Eagles back to the top of Division one with a 4-1 defeat of side Swan United on a typically wintry afternoon in the Swan Valley. The home side entered the break with the lead courtesy of Thomas Black only to have Dianella power away after the turnaround with Milan Vulin grabbing a brace alongside goals to Corey Wiltshire and Robbie Phelan. “Vesko (Zmukic) and John (Castrilli) had some stern words for us at half-time and we came out a different side,” goalkeeper Tom Dixon explained. “We scored twice in five minutes and then completely out-played Swan. We should have had several more goals but their ‘keeper, Mat Battigelli, did well to keep us to only four.”
A high intensity first half was littered with shots on goal but Black was the only one to find a way through with a shot that deflected off Kross Kamara. Dianella took the game by the scruff of the neck following the turnaround. Vulin equalised with a tidy shot from outside the 18-yard box after 49 minutes, and shortly after Wiltshire finished past Battigelli after meeting Abdul Sesay’s cross. Play was now end-to-end with both sets of players giving their all for the vital next goal. The honour would fall to Vulin who converted from the penalty spot after Battigelli brought down Jon Stripe. Igor Novakovic laid on the sealer by making his way down the left and cutting back for Phelan to finish.
KNIGHTS MAKE IT FIVE IN A ROW
Western Knights maintained their place amongst the Division One leaders by out-gunning Ashfield 2-1 at Nash Field. Goals to Jamie Ricks and Johny Mirco secured a fifth straight league win for the Knights, who are amongst a group of five teams separated by just four points approaching the season midpoint. Chances came and went for both sides in an action-packed first half but it took until the 41st minute for the deadlock to be broken by Ricks, who ghosted in to convert at close range. The Knights put their foot down after the break and, after going close several times, Mirco doubled their advantage with a well-placed header. The game was deep in stoppage time when Daryl Warren grabbed Ashfield’s consolation goal.
BYRNE UNLOCKS RESILIENT MORLEY
A couple of second half finishes by Ciaran Byrne earned Shamrock Rovers maximum points, 2-0 over struggling Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. The win stretched Shamrock’s unbeaten run to six games and moved them to fifth spot, trailing joint leaders Dianella White Eagles and Canning City by only four points. “Morley put up a tremendous battle and we really had to earn the three points today,” said Shamrock coach John O’Reilly. “Morley were a very resilient team from start to finish.” Shamrock may have held the bulk of first half possession but genuine chances on goal were at an absolute premium thanks to a water-tight home defence.
It took until the 61st minute for Morley to be unlocked by Barry Mulligan’s low pass to the far post where Byrne gleefully blasted past the goalkeeper. Going a goal down brought Morley to life and only a fingertip save by Josh Sheppard prevented Andy O’Neill from bringing the sides level with a shot from long-range. The game was no really opening up and with a little more luck Shamrock would have increased their lead. As it was, the clock had ticked over into the 90th minute when a nice move stemming from the back put the ball with Byrne, who side-stepped David McNally before expertly lobbing into Daniel Agudelo’s net from 30-metres.
UWA HOLD MANDURAH TO A POINT
It was a point apiece at Hyundai Stadium where UWA-Nedlands scored late to earn a 2-2 draw with Mandurah City. Goals from Aaron Barnett and Mark Cahill opened and closed an evenly contested game in which Craig Young and Matt Stares also found the net. Mandurah attacked early but it was UWA that went ahead through Barnett, who placed into the bottom corner after Andrea Terni returned a partially cleared corner back into the 18-yard box. Chances were plentiful in both directions, and while Matt Hamnett and Ranjeet Singh were kept busy each stood firm between the posts. The equaliser came five minutes from the break when Robbie Hamm played in behind the defence for Young to finish.
Mandurah picked up after the break where they left off and on the hour took the lead, Stares lashing in on the half-volley from the edge of the area after starting a counterattacking move that included Craig Young and substitute Craig Tone. Play swung from one end to the end over the final half hour, Mandurah desperate to kill of the game with a third goal whereas UWA worked tirelessly to get back on level terms. It would be the visitors’ wish which came true in the 85 minute, Cahill rising well at a corner to loop his header over Hamnett and into the far top corner. Both teams had opportunities to grab a late winner but neither was successful.
ROCKINGHAM GO BACK-TO-BACK
Rockingham City put some distance between themselves and the bottom of Division One with this afternoon’s 3-1 defeat of Gosnells City at Lark Hill Sportsplex. Rafael Insaurralde and teenager Ryan Haslett netted late, adding to Roy Hissey’s opener just before half-time, to secure a Rockingham victory for just the third time this season. “The feeling in the dressing room was phenomenal after the game, it was a massive win for us,” said Oscar Thompson after Rockingham’s second win in as many weeks. “I felt our overall performance wasn’t what it should have been, we should not have allowed them back in but we fought hard and managed an important victory.”
The writing was on the wall for Gosnells after just a minute when goalkeeper Struan Herd was issued his marching orders for bringing down Thabiso Ncube just outside the 18-yard box. Hissey shot straight into the arms of replacement ‘keeper Adriano D’Alo, whose blushes were saved by Wade Farmer’s goal line clearance after Reece Frank sent the ball goalward. Sean Taylor laid on Gosnells first genuine opening for Feisal Zaw but his shot just after the half hour was over the crossbar. The deadlock was broke five minutes from the break when Hissey fended off a couple of defenders to slot past D’Alo on the counterattack. Farmer could have levelled things up but his shot was too close to ‘keeper Phil Herschell.
Gosnells got the goal they were after two minutes after the restart, substitute Tony Ton punishing a misunderstanding between Thompson and Herschell by chipping into the net. Zaw’s good work on the left created another opening for Ton but this time his shot crashed into the junction of upright and bar. The introduction of Haslett and Josh Senior for the closing stages swung the game back in Rockingham’s favour. After a series of near misses, the hosts were rewarded with a second goal in the 78th minute when D’Alo was caught flat-footed by an Insaurralde’s free-kick which deflected off the defensive wall. Haslett secured the points with three minutes to go by applying a cool finish after driving in from the right.
DAVIES FINISH IS SPOT ON FOR QUINNS
An undermanned Quinns maintained the Division Two leadership by edging out Kingsway Olympic 1-0 from a gritty encounter at Gumblossum Reserve. The home side enjoyed the better of play across the afternoon but it wasn’t until Gareth Davies converted a late penalty that the outcome was decided. “We had eleven players out with injuries and work commitments, so I was pleased that we ground a result out. It shows that we have a bit of depth in our squad to handle that many missing players,” said winning coach John Evans. “Full credit to Kingsway, they came to defend and hit on the break and it nearly worked for them.”
The game failed to reach any heights in the first half with both teams focused on playing the offside trap. Alistair Blair created the only goal scoring opportunity by crossing from the right for Sota Iwazaki whose header was high of the crossbar. Quinns emerged from the break determined to break the deadlock. Jake Benson-Cooper cut through the visiting defence in the 65th minute only for Anthony Salpietro to keep out his shot. Shortly after Benson-Cooper delivered an insightful through ball to Gareth Hamilton but he too was thwarted by the Kingsway goalkeeper. It was looking as though the game would end scoreless when a contentious foul on Brian Cairney presented Quinns with a penalty, and up stepped Davies to slot in the winning goal.
EARLY FINISHES GET JOONDALUP VICTORY
Joondalup City struck at the start of each half to claim a 2-0 win over Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. There was a fair dose of controversy in Lucais King’s opening goal but those arguments were silenced when Rhys Booth sealed victory, sending the northern suburbs side to within three points of top spot. “We knew going into the game that is was going to be hard – Subiaco beat us 4-0 last time – so we’re very happy to get the win,” said King, before acknowledging how far Joondalup have come since ending last season second from bottom. “I’m not surprised that we’re third, we have the quality and depth within the squad to win this league and we will go very close.”
The first attack of the afternoon produced the opening goal, Proctor’s cross into the heart of the 18-yard box evading all except King who tapped past Tom Barratt amid cries for offside. Going ahead allowed Joondalup to settle and control the tempo of the game. Danny Beattie created himself a chance to increase the visitors lead but after going past several challenges falter when faced by Barratt. Subiaco started the second half strongly and Rory McGowan’s header skimming the top of the crossbar. That miss was compounded when Booth headed past Barratt after meeting a 53rd minute ball to the back post by Proctor. The home team worked tirelessly to find a way back in but were constantly kept in check by Joondalup’s well-drilled backline.
FREMANTLE THRASH MELVILLE WITH TEN-MEN
Playing with ten men for more than half the game mattered little to Fremantle United, who inflicted a 5-1 thrashing on Melville City at Hilton Reserve. Melville were first on the scoreboard via Bryce Conway but a couple of goals by Andrew Morrow and another to Joe Middleton changed the complexion of the game. A straight red card to Morrow did little to stem the flow with Andrew Ambrogio increasing the gap before half-time, and Sam Ambrogio capping the win late on. “That’s the kind of performance that has been coming for a few weeks,” said Fremantle coach Jason Smith. “Even with ten men we still looked the most likely team to score … I know Melville won’t play like that again.”
Morrow had the ball in the net with only a few minutes gone but that effort was disallowed for handball. So when Conway’s crisp strike flashed into goalkeeper Carlos Bervenotti’s net it looked like being a long afternoon for the home team. But within minutes Morrow had the game back on level terms by tapping in from Middleton’s cutback. Morrow added another by beating Elliott Duncan to long ball, and in the 35th minute Middleton stroked past the ‘keeper after bamboozling his defence. Fremantle then lost Morrow shortly after to a straight red card stemming from a challenge with Mark Howell. This failed to halt Fremantle’s momentum and just before the break captain Andrew Ambrogio’s in-swinging corner snuck in at the front post.
There was little let-up in the second half which opened with Sam Smith flashing a shot just wide of the upright. A marginal offside call denied Joe Middleton a second goal after the striker raced clear of a static defence and chipped the ‘keeper. Melville began to gain a foothold on the game around the hour with Conway, Ben Steele and Jack Mawdsely leading their search for a second goal. Steele blazed disappointingly high from the top of the 18-yard box and late on Lucas Pickering rattled the crossbar with a with a powerful header. The final whistle was just minutes away when Sam Ambrogio looped his header over Duncan, who parried the striker’s initial shot.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
Inglewood United will need to be in peak form to get anything from tomorrow’s clash with neighbouring Bayswater City at Intiga Stadium. The home side have run hot and cold of late and midfielder James Sammut recognises the massive challenge which awaits his team. “Bayswater are the team to beat this season and we know it will be a difficult game, but I’m sure we can get something from it,” said Sammut, who is in doubt along with fellow playmaker Andrija Jukic. On the flip side is the return of Ryan Clarke, Danny Thomson and Greg Sharland.
Bayswater not only sit top of the Premier Division but are also coming off an eight-goal thrashing of arch rivals Perth SC. “It was a great win. We were looking on the game as a platform to bounce back from the previous week’s loss to Sorrento and we certainly stepped up to the plate,” said goalkeeper Devon Spence, who wore Inglewood colours last year. “It’s always a tough game against Inglewood and this week they have home ground advantage. We will look to continue our gameplay and strengths and look to come away with the win.”
Defender Mikey Aspin knows all too well the dangers which lurk at Balcatta, who he recently left to join Sorrento. “I enjoyed my time at Balcatta but I’ve made the choice to move back to Sorrento,” said Aspin ahead of tomorrow’s game at Grindleford Reserve. “The gaffer (Paul Price) has said I’ve got to work my way into the team. I’m a believer that nobody should be picked on previous form or reputation, so I’ve got my head down and worked hard at training and we’ll see if I can get a starting role this week.”
Stirling Lions are tipped to make it seven wins in a row when they host lowly ECU Joondalup, who’ll be under the guidance of caretaker coach Syd Amphlett. The home side are missing Dean Evans (overseas), Jason Gavin (injury) and Andy Brown (suspension) whereas Joondalup’s ranks have been swelled with Tommy Amphlett and Matty Italiano re-entering in the fray. Bunbury Forum Force will be to be on top of their game if their first home win of the campaign is to eventuate against a Floreat Athena side which is unbeaten in seven games. Perth SC welcome the National Training Centre to Dorrien Gardens.
Cockburn City intend making up for a poor showing against Armadale earlier in the season when the teams meet at Alfred Skeet Oval. “We gifted Armadale a couple of goals the last time we played them so, hopefully, we won’t be so generous this week,” said Cockerels defender Euan Grant. “We’re planning to make amends and come home with the three points.” Kieron Stallard (suspension) and Paul Natale (injury) will be absent for the visitors, and while Armadale remain without Mark Peers and Callum Barry they do welcome back Jackson Bealey. All six Premier Division games kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Motivation certainly will not be lacking when Western Knights welcome Ashfield to Nash Field. “We have to win this one if we want to keep in touch with the top two, and the fact they beat us in the Cup a few weeks ago adds a bit more incentive,” said Knights midfielder Ryan Shackleton, who feels his teams’ best is yet to come. “We have quite a different side to last year, we’re still gelling and are getting better every week.” There could be some notable absences for both teams with David Annall, Brendan Craig (Knights), Ryan Frisina and Jamie Burns (Ashfield) in doubt.
Three vital points are up for grabs at Lark Hill Sportsplex where Rockingham City come up against fellow strugglers Gosnells City. “Neither team has had the best of starts to the season and as we’re coming up to the halfway mark it’s important that we start winning games,” said Gosnells’ teenage goalkeeper Struan Herd. “We’re a young team with good players and coaches, and we showed that by playing really well against Wanneroo City on Wednesday night … it’s only a matter of time before we start scoring goals to produce the results that our play deserves.”
Swan United has picked up veteran goalkeeper Cory Hugo ahead of their home clash with second-placed Dianella White Eagles, who are minus Goran Radinovic (suspension). New signings Michael Lawson and Ben Wantee are knocking on first eleven selection for Shamrock Rovers meeting with Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. Robbie Hamm comes back in for Mandurah City’s home clash with UWA-Nedlands. The round concludes on Sunday with leaders Canning City taking on fifth-placed Wanneroo City at Burrendah Reserve. Whether played on Saturday or Sunday, all six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
The mid-table contest between Subiaco AFC and Joondalup City has all the hallmarks of being one of the games of the Division Two season. The game at Rosalie Park brings together two of the competitions form sides and Joondalup’s Danny Allen is confident it’ll be his team that comes out on top. “We have a very strong squad with a great attitude and all the pieces are starting to fall into place,” said Allen, who remembers all too fondly Subiaco’s 4-0 triumph over Joondalup two months ago. “We were awful that day so we owe them one.”
Competitions leaders Quinns are expected to pick up the points at Kingsway Olympic, who are under the guidance of Nathan Chapman and Ben Yates for the first time. Shaun Ilett, Sahar Konomanyi and new recruit Kenny Ftynogiannis come into the Maddington White City squad for the local derby at Forrestfield United. Fremantle United welcome goalkeeper Carlos Bervenotti and attacker Andrew Morrow back into the ranks for the home game with neighbouring Melville City, where Jack Mawdsley is likely to go straight into the eleven after being absent last time out. All four Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
PERTH SAY NO MORE TO MARCHIONE
Perth SC have brought the axe down Mauro Marchione’s short coaching tenure, just days after he oversaw one of the heaviest losses in the Blues 63-year history. Marchione was informed this morning that his services were no longer required at Dorrien Gardens to end weeks of speculation over his future with Western Australia’s most successful club. Pressure has been building on Marchione since the opening rounds of the season and an eight-goal thrashing by traditional rivals Bayswater City on the weekend is understood to have been the last straw for the club hierarchy. Reserve team coach Taki Nicolaidis has been appointed interim coach with a decision on who’ll lead the club through the remainder of the campaign expected early next week.
WANNEROO AIM FOR THE TOP: JONES
Finishing top of Division One remains very much the goal for Wanneroo City according to captain Anthony Jones. A sluggish start to the season saw the northern suburbs side slip into the lower depths of the competition with just three points from four games. There’s been a considerable brightening of Wanneroo’s fortunes over the past month and Jones feels the club are now on course to challenge for the leadership. “We would like to be closer to the top now than we are,” commented Jones, whose team are five points adrift of leaders Canning City. “Saying that, you don’t want to peak too early and we are determined to drag back the deficit and be on top come Round 22.”
It’s been a hectic few days for Wanneroo, who’ve extended their unbeaten run to six games with wins over Mandurah City (3-0) and Gosnells City (2-1). “It was a solid win against a good Mandurah team on Saturday. We were rarely troubled and had three different goal scorers, including one from the bench, which is testament to the strength in depth that we possess,” Jones said. “We played well against Gosnells but lacked belief. I’m surprised Gosnells haven’t got more points on the board as they have some quality players. As far as we go, a win is a win and we can play much better than last night.”
Wanneroo entered the new season with much the same set of players as last season, albeit with some added depth thanks to wise recruitment on behalf of coach David Touch. “The playing group hasn’t really changed but there’s some added quality in the attacking department with Stuart Montgomery, Scott Bushby and Glen Thomas coming in,” explained Jones, who says Wanneroo have a few more luxuries this year. “We have some excellent options from the bench, which means we can bring on players to change the outcome or defend a lead. Overall, I’d rate the current squad as better than last years as there are a few more senior players at the club.”
The years of experience those players carry will be put to good use when Wanneroo travels to Canning on Saturday for their third game in eight days. “Canning won’t dare think about losing and we simply cannot lose, so I’m expecting a season defining game for both teams,” said Jones. “If Canning beat us they will strengthen their league position, but if we win some doubt will start to creep into their minds as to whether or not they are good enough. We had two tough games against them last year so we know our defending needs to be spot-on. This year we’ve shown we can score goals and a six-game undefeated run has given us the confidence to beat the leaders.”
MATILDA’S OUT-GUN NEW ZEALAND
Michelle Heyman struck just before half-time to earn the Matildas a narrow 1-0 victory over New Zealand from this afternoon’s friendly at the Australian Institute of Sports Athletics Track in Canberra. Australia goalkeeper Brianna Davey in in the thick of the early action with saves to deny Amber Hearn and Sarah Gregorius as the away team dominated the attacking. So it was against the run of play that Heyman emerged with the ball from a crunching challenge with ‘keeper Jenny Bindon to slot into the net after 41 minutes. The Matildas grew in confidence following the turnaround with West Australian Samantha Kerr, a 57th minute substitute, and Katrina Gorry going closest to extending their lead.
WIN CAN KICK-START OUR SEASON SAYS ROCKINGHAM’S HISSEY
Rockingham City’s Roy Hissey is hopeful last weekend’s win over Morley Windmills can herald a change in the fortunes of his club. Thabiso Ncube scored twice on Saturday with Oscar Thompson getting the remainder to earn Rockingham maximum points for the first time in eight weeks. Hissey, 23, intends for Rockingham to build on that success and slowly climb away from the foot of the Division One ladder. “It was a very upbeat feeling the rooms after the game,” commented Hissey. “We hadn’t won in seven weeks and lost to Quinns in the Cup, so to get a win under our belt was vital and, hopefully, it will kick-start our season.”
There’s not been a great deal for Rockingham to smile about so far this year. A rash of summer departures left new coach Charlie Smith little choice but to promote youth from within the ranks. And while those youngsters have performed admirably, the going has admittedly been tough. “Our current position is a fair reflection on how things have been going,” said Hissey, whose team sit in last place alongside Gosnells City and UWA-Nedlands. “We haven’t been playing well, and with a young and small squad it was always going to be a difficult season. It’s also been hard to put a consistent team on the park as we’ve had players out through injury and suspension.”
Rockingham stand a good chance of making it two wins in a row when they square off with Gosnells on Saturday afternoon. The key to achieving that, according to Hissey, lies in Rockingham coming up with a performance that is on par with, or better than that of last weekend. “Our performance against Morley was the best we’ve had since we beat Mandurah way back in April,” said Hissey. “Our goal to put a few more good performances together like that one, pick-up some much needed points and get well clear of last place.” Rockingham and Gosnells locked horns at Lark Hill Sportsplex from 3.00pm on Saturday.
WANNEROO PREVAIL AGAINST IMPROVING GOSNELLS
A stunning Luke Palmateer’s volley has given Wanneroo City a 2-1 win from a lacklustre encounter with Gosnells City under lights at Kingsway Reserve. While pleased with is players performances, Gosnells coach Mike Brazil was left pondering what might have been after Wade Farmer’s opener was negated by goals from Danny Milne and Palmateer. “This young Gosnells group are improving week by week,” said Brazil, whose team has won just twice in ten games. “We need to learn how to hold onto the game a bit more when we are in front, but we’re not far away from getting there. It’s a massive turnaround from where we were some six weeks ago.”
Strong defending at both ends of the park were the highlight of a tense opening. Wanneroo’s possession game contrasted nicely with Gosnells’ reliance on the counter attack, however, both approaches failed to bring either goalkeeper in to action. The breakthrough came midway through the half when Ali Paredes’ cross into a crowded 18-yard box was poked into the bottom corner by Farmer. Going behind had a galvanising effect on Wanneroo and in the minutes that followed Glen Thomas, Ross Edwards and Milne went close to putting things back on an even keel. It was looking as though Gosnells would hold the half-time advantage when Milne equalised with a powerful header from Rowdy Yates’ corner.
The second half began at breakneck speed as both sets of players strove for the games’ all-important third goal. Gosnells main attacking outlets were Ian O’Donohue and Feisal Zaw but their best efforts were countered by a well-drilled backline, and I was a similar story going in the opposite direction where Yates and Stuart Montgomery were the chief instigators. Wanneroo got the breakthrough goal after 52 minutes, Palmateer’s volley from the edge of the area flashing over Struan Herd and into the top corner following a partically cleared corner. Gosnells were now chasing and Sean Taylor was unlucky not to make it two-all after meeting a cross the far post.
KINGSWAY DUMP COWAN
Division Two club Kingsway Olympic are in caretaker mode following the dismissal of coach Ian Cowan last night. Cowan is the second State League coach to be dumped in three days following ECU Joondalup’s split from Salv Todaro. Kingsway made an indifferent start to Cowan’s first season at the helm but a three-game losing streak, culminating in a heavy loss to Subiaco AFC on the weekend, is understood to have been a major factor in the clubs’ decision. Cowan remodelled the senior list over the summer after becoming Kingsway’s third coach in eight months by accepting the position last November.
AUSTRALIA KRUSE TO VICTORY
The Socceroos are 90 minutes away from booking their place at next year’s World Cup after comfortably beating Jordan 4-0 this evening at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Robbie Kruse netted once and laid on goals for Marco Bresciano and Tim Cahill before team captain Lucas Neill scored his first-ever international goal to send Australia to second spot in Group B. “To get the win was excellent,” said Kruse. “We’re really happy and it puts us in a good position going into the next game. It was fantastic to get four goals, and we could have had a few more.” Victory next week over Iraq, who’ve won once from six games, will secure the Socceroos automatic qualification for next year’s showpiece event in Brazil.
Australia controlled play for much of the game with a delightful passing display, which more often than not featured Bresciano. Kruse, Luke Wilkshire and Brett Holman were also prominently in a first half right-sided triangle which unlocked Jordan’s defence time and again. The evening’s first shot on goal came from Saeed Murjan, who forced a good save from Mark Schwarzer. Tommy Oar teamed with Holman and Kruse in some neat interplay to create the opening goal in the 15th minute, the latter’s well-timed cross slammed in at close-range by Bresciano. Kruse was also provider when Cahill put an awkward close-range shot just wide, while late in the half Bresciano’s powerful-free kick was tpok close to the goalkeeper.
Jordan looked a lot more composed early in the second period but neither Ahmed Hayel nor Murjan could find the target. Wonderful lead-up work in the 61st minute produced a second goal for Australia, newly introduced substitute Archie Thompson, Bresciano, Holman and a superb cross by Kruse leading to a powerful close-range header from Cahill. Kruse added another in the 76th minute by turning brilliantly onto a Luke Wilkshire pass and nutmegging a defender before blasting in from 7-metres. Neill provided the final flourish with his first goal for Australia in his 91st appearance, heading the ball in at close-range after substitute Tom Rogic had won the ball in the air from a Wilkshire corner.
SUBIACO JUNIORS READY FOR EUROPE
The opportunity to match skills with players from all around the globe awaits Subiaco AFC’s under-15 team at next month’s Gothia Cup in Sweden. The world’s biggest youth tournament, the Gothia Cup has become an annual event for Subiaco’s youngsters but junior committee member Mark Cheveralls says players have to work hard to gain their place in the squad. “This is the fourth or fifth time that we’ve sent a team to Denmark and Sweden,” Cheveralls told inmycommunity.com.au. “While many of the parents might be able to write a cheque, we don’t allow them to do that for the youth – they have to earn their way onto the tour. Firstly, they have to be good enough to be able to participate, but also fund their way – last year’s team raised $50,000 through car washes, chocolate sales and quiz nights.”
Stepping out at the Gothia Cup, which last year featured 1615 teams from 72 nations, is the centrepiece to an international tour of Denmark and Sweden for Subiaco’s rising stars. “The philosophy underpinning this is about the development of our youth using sport,” said Cheverall, whose club provides numerous tour opportunities for their players. “We have three tours that we send them to. The Bunbury Cup, which is mainly the beginners; then when they’re under 13 or 14 we send them on a nine-day tour of Queensland for the Gold Coast Cup; then this is the pinnacle for them, being able to go to Gothenburg.” This year Subiaco have the added honour of carrying the Australian flag at the Gothia Cup opening ceremony, which attracts a crowd of 50,000 people.
TOMBIDES REMAINS A HAMMER
West Ham United youngster Dylan Tombides is itching to make up for lost time after penning a new deal with the London club. Tombides, 19, has had his progress stalled by a two-year fight with testicular cancer but intends repaying the English Premier League club for the faith they have shown in his abilities. “The club stood by me over the last two years, even though the new management have seen me play not many minutes of football,” Tombides told told whufc.com. “From the first minute I was diagnosed they were right behind me (and) every time I came in when I wasn’t training, the other players would all rush over to see how I was … that was a really fantastic feeling.”
Tombides, who played juniors for Stirling Lions, was diagnosed with testicular cancer while on international duty with Australia’s Under-17 side in July 2011. He made his senior debut in October’s League Cup loss to Wigan Athletic and in March featured in a behind closed doors friendly with Queens Park Rangers. “I made my first team debut last season whilst I was going through chemotherapy, so I was very surprised to get selected,” commented Tombides. “I was more than pleased with that and very thankful to the gaffer for giving me that sort of chance. Hopefully I’ll get a couple more now.” Tombides has progressed swiftly through the Hammers ranks since entering their academy set-up in 2009.
TAGGART LIFTS YOUNG SOCCEROOS TO VICTORY
An Adam Taggart hat-trick was at the heart of the Young Socceroos 5-0 demolition of their New Zealand Under-20 counterparts this afternoon in Wollongong. Taggart completed his haul early in the second half before substitutes Jamie Maclaren and Ryan Edwards rounded out the scoreline. It took only 4 minutes for Taggart to open his account, which he doubled after 19 minutes with a sublime curling strike into the top corner. The Perth-born striker converted at close-range just after the interval, Maclaren then made it four-nil with Edwards sealing the result in the 76th minute. Western Australia was well represented with Taggart, Scott Galloway, Daniel De Silva, Williams and Edwards featuring for Australia, while the New Zealand side included Storm Roux.
Australia coach Paul Okon was delighted with the performance of his team in their second last outing before the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. “It’s the first time in a while we’ve come down and played some boys our own age, so we were really curious to see if we’ve made some steps forward (and) I think we have,” Okon said. “We scored some great goals, and created a lot of chances. We leave tomorrow full of confidence and hopefully we can continue our preparations once we hit the ground in Turkey.” The Young Socceroos play Chile in a friendly next week before facing Colombia (22 June), El Salvador (June 25) and Turkey (June 28) in the group phase of the Under-20 World Cup.
JOONDALUP, TODARO SPLIT
Premier Division club ECU Joondalup have parted company with first coach Salv Todaro by mutual consent. A brief statement issued by the northern suburbs club indicated a five-game losing streak, which has slipped Joondalup from fifth to tenth, as the main reason behind the decision for the two parties to go their separate ways. “The ECU Joondalup board says Salv Todaro has today left the club by mutual consent following a run of poor results,” read the statement. “The club would like to thank Salv for the work he has put in over the last season and a half and wish him well for the future.” Reserve team coach Ljupco Taneski and his assistant Giulian Zacconi tendered their resignations in response to Todaro’s departure.
BAYSWATER MAKE HISTORY WITH EIGHT-GOAL ROMP
Perth SC have been handed one of their biggest hidings in decades with arch-rivals Bayswater City running out 8-0 winners on a wet and windy afternoon at Frank Drago Reserve. Star striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda helped himself to a first half hat-trick with a couple of own goals and singles to Brian Farrell, Todd Howarth and Gustavo Catarcione rounding out the scoreline. “We have been threatening to do that to someone all season,” Giron-Marulanda commented following the final whistle. “It’s nice to score goals but today we played well all over the park and that’s more pleasing to me.”
Perth coach Mauro Marchione was in a buoyant mood leading into his first visit to Bayswater since splitting with the club last summer. But it took only 9 minutes for Perth’s defences to be breached, Giron-Marulanda playing down the left for Howarth whose low cross was steered in at close-range by Farrell. And with that the stage was set for a one-sided encounter in which the visitors rarely threatened. Howarth was again provider when Bayswater doubled their lead in the 21st minute, the midfielder delivering another low cross which Luka Njegich deflected in under pressure from Giron-Marulanda.
There was no end to the pressure being applied by Bayswater and in the 28th minute Steve Burton sent an inch-perfect ball into the path of Giron-Marulanda, who stroked in after rounding goalkeeper Jason Saldaris. A carbon copy of that move played out three minutes later, Burton flicking on Trent Kay’s long ball for Marulanda to again go past the ‘keeper for a four-nil lead. Gionr-Marulnda completed his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time with a clinical finish past Saldaris after Farrell and Burton combined to slice open the opposing backline.
It took until the opening stages of the second half for Perth to threaten, Matthew Izzo’s clipped shot from 16-metres bouncing off the crossbar. The pick of the goals arrived on the hour in the form of Howarth’s delightful lob from 20-metres. Three minute later Njegich headed an in-swinging Howarth corner past his own ‘keeper to make it seven-nil. Perth continued to fight and on 72 minutes Liam Boland’s goalbound header was cleared off the line by Patrick Quinn. Catarcione iced Bayswater’s cake by tucking in on 88 minutes after being released by John Kearney.
KERR, GILL SELECTED FOR NEW ZEALAND SERIES
Local product Sam Kerr and Perth Glory Women striker Kate Gill have been named in new Matildas coach Hesterine de Reus’ first squad for this week’s international series with New Zealand. Kerr played a starring role in Sydney FC’s championship winning W-League campaign and is currently capturing headlines in the United States of America with Western New York Flash. Gill was the domestic competition’s top goal scorer over the summer and last month was named co-captain of the Matilda’s with Clare Polkinghorne.
The Australia Women’s squad to play New Zealand (13 and 16 June) is Laura Alleway, Kim Carroll, Amy Chapman, Katrina Gorry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Clare Polkinghorne, Vedrana Popovic (Brisbane Roar), Mackenzie Arnold, Michelle Heymen (Canberra United), Tameka Butt (Frankfurt), Servet Uzunlar (Chungbuk Sports Toto WFC), Stephanie Catley, Brianna Davey (Melbourne Victory), Emily Van Egmond (Newcastle Jets), Emily Gielnik (Ottawa Fury), Kate Gill (Perth Glory), Alanna Kennedy, Shamiran Khamis, Teresa Polias (Sydney FC), Sam Kerr (Western New York Flash) and Teigen Allen (Western Sydney Wanderers).
BASEMENT BATTLE TAKEN OUT BY BUNBURY
Bunbury Forum Force collected maximum points for only the season time this season, downing ECU Joondalup 2-1 in the northern suburbs. Liam Hutchinson and Ryan Francis put the visitors in the driving seat before Joondalup captain Dale McCulloch copped a straight red card just before the break. And while Tony Taylor pulled one back for the hosts, it simply wasn’t enough. “It was a professional performance from a set of lads who have tried to keep believing and digging in,” Bunbury coach Matt Holland told footballwest.com.au. “The lads will enjoy today’s result and hopefully they’ll realise that that’s the minimum requirement and we can kick on from here.”
Joondalup looked the goods early on but despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession they failed to call goalkeeper Ryan Montgomery into action. It wasn’t until the 29th minute that the first shot on goal arrived, Jamie Tandy darting around home custodian Andy Banks only for his shot to be deflected wide. Referee Michal Jasinski whistled as the resulting corner came in, ruling Banks to have fouled Aaron Brittain, and from the penalty spot Hutchinson made no mistake. Six minutes later Francis was allowed far too much space to blast into the top corner from 20-metres for a two-nil lead. There was worse was to come for Joondalup with McCulloch issued his marching orders for lashing out at Hutchinson in the 38th minute.
Although two-goals plus a player down, Joondalup refused to concede the game. That positive outlook was rewarded eleven minutes after the resumption when Joe Smith’s in-swinging free-kick picked out Taylor who headed past Montgomery, whose view was obscured by a team mate. The home team drove forward time and time again in search of an equaliser, however, a combination of poor finishing and dogged defending ensured it didn’t eventuate. In fact the closest they came was when Jon Stynes threaded through the defence for Taylor who was lining up the target when Hutchinson intervened. by Referee Jasinski then showed Hutchinson a red card, believing the Bunbury defender to already be sitting on a booking, however, his dismissal was rescinded once the referee discovered the error of his ways.
LATE FINISH PUTS STIRLING ON TOP
Stirling Lions moved to the top of the Premier Division following a 2-0 win over Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Home defender Kieron Stallard was issued his marching orders after only 24 minutes but it wasn’t until the closing stages that Dean Evans and Gareth McGlynn capitalised with goals. “They were hard to break down, but importantly we were patient and got the rewards late,” said Stirling assistant coach Gary Williams. “We brought Moses Kalau on at half-time, he caused them problems and he set-up the opening goal up. We’re happy to leave with the three points.”
Chances on goal were few and far between in a tight opening. The first didn’t present until the quarter hour when Phil Arnold headed just over from a Miki Vujacic cross. Cockburn were left reeling after 24 minutes when Stallard’s lunge on Scott Bulloch was responded to by referee David Costello with a straight red card. After regrouping, the hosts set about finding the go-ahead goal. Jack Eades flashed wide from the edge of the 18-yard box and moments later Harry O’Brien fired straight at Aleks Vrteski. A long-range Vujacic effort which dipped too late was all Stirling could muster before the break.
Although down a man, Cockburn started the second half strongly Paul Lloyd forcing a low save from Vrteski with a dead ball. Kalau was played in behind the defence at the other end but Euen Grant denied the youngster a shot with a superb last ditch tackle. Stirling were growing in stature and on the hour Evans curled just high after being teed-up by McGlynn. Next to threaten was Kalau whose effort bent narrowly wide of the far post. The home side were up in arms on 65 minutes when referee Costello dismissed appeals for a penalty after O’Brien fell under the challenge of Michael Pugliese.
Cockburn were hitting on the counter attack and O’Brien’s low ball to the far post evaded Antonio Naglieri by the narrowest of margins. With six minutes to go Stirling finally edged the lead, Kalau wriggling past a trio of opponents and playing a tidy one-two with Arnold before crossing for Evans to fire in from 5-metres. Substitute Sam Fuzik should have added another soon after instead of blazing high following good work by Arnold. The game was in stoppage time when McGlynn converted from 10-metres after meeting Matt Harold’s ball in from the left which was unselfishly left by Fuzik.
FLOREAT TURN IT AROUND IN THE SECOND HALF
Floreat Athena overturned a half-time deficit to take out all the points at home over Inglewood United by a 3-1 scoreline. Benny Kouakou scored twice after the break along with captain Mark Pritchard to negate Jarrod McNally’s opener midway through the first half. “Benny contributes, when he’s on top of his game he’s just unstoppable,” Floreat coach Chris Barbas said of his match winner. “We were a little bit lacklustre in the first half and we said that in the second half we’d just change our whole body language and our desire to want to win the game and we did that.”
A lively start by the away team almost produced an early lead, McNally fending off a couple of defenders before unleashing a powerful shot that crashed against the crossbar and rebounded away from the net. Floreat were defending in numbers as Inglewood heaped on the pressure. Their persistence was rewarded on 21 minutes when Matt Danskin fed Koji Yamada, he darted into the 18-yard box to deliver a low cross which McNally fired in at close-range. Inglewood could have had another just before the break but goalkeeper Brad Eiffe moved swiftly to thwart Yamada after he’d got into a good position.
The game was turned on its head following the interval. Kouakou helped himself to a 46th minute by bundling the ball in after his driving run inside the area was seemingly halted by a defender. Two minutes later Pritchard was afforded far too much space on the edge of the area to shoot into Luke Martino’s net. Floreat then looked to kill of the game but Martino was alert to save from both Bobby Wilson and David Heagney. The win wasn’t secure until the 85th minute when Kouakou curled over Martino and into the corner of the net, much to the delight of the home faithful.
Inglewood boss Graham Normanton found it difficult to contain his frustration following the final whistle. “It’s so disappointing to get a result like that when you’ve played that well,” he said. “For 75 to 80 minutes of the game we were in control. The first ten minutes of the second half you could say they were the better team, but apart from that I thought we completely outplayed them. We dictated the way the game was being played (and) we should’ve scored more, we had our chances. But at the end of the day we allowed them to come out in the second half and change the game in two minutes.”
LOXLEY MAKES BALCATTA PAY FOR THEIR SLOPPINESS
Rhys Loxley popped up five minutes from the end to snatch Armadale a 2-2 draw from this afternoon’s game at Balcatta. Home coach Saul Contera felt his team should have come away with all the points after Ashley Rosindale and Simon Versaico cancelled out Lance Louvie’s finish after only a few minutes. “I’m not happy with a point – I wanted a win,” Contera told footballwest.com.au. “But I was pleased with the performance from the guys … today’s a turning point in terms of character shown from the team, the positive vibe that was on the field – everything in terms of our football was good.”
Armadale were given a perfect start with Dannie Richman cutting in from the right and pulling the ball back for Louvie, whose first time shot from 12-metres was into the top corner. Confusion abounded midway through the half when referee Hugh Best pointed to the spot after the ball appeared to strike Chris Thackray on the arm, however, after consulting with his assistant then man with the whistle overturned his initial decision. Rosindale put Balcatta back on level terms just before the break with an unstoppable shot from outside the 18-yard box that goalkeeper Cyril Sharrock had no chance of saving.
The second period was just six minutes old when Versaico side-footed the hosts ahead after Adam Tong helped on a Rosindale free-kick. In the minutes that followed Tong then Rosindale headed into the upright as Balcatta sought to increase their advantage. Moe Atak and Adam Bachiller sprayed wide of the target before Sharrock denied Rosindale in a one-on-one situation. The magnitude of those misses was highlighted in the 85th minute when Armadale substitute Trevor Laure whipped the ball in from the right for Loxley to score at close-range. Either team could have stolen victory but Tong and Billy Quinncroft were unable to convert late chances.
KNIGHT GIVES GULLS EDGE (with Kalon Harrison, Football West)
Gavin Knight added another two goals to his season tally to guide Sorrento to a 3-1 win over the National training Centre at Percy Doyle Reserve. Sorrento veteran Jamie Harnwell also found the net for the home side, his goal sandwiched between Knight’s double, with substitute Matt McRoberts getting the development squads sole reply. “It could have easily been 6-3, 6-4, but as a result I think it’s fair, it reflected our superiority,” winning coach Paul Price told footballwest.com.au. Sorrento’s first home win of the campaign keeps them in third place but well behind joint leaders Stirling Lions and Bayswater City, the later who plays tomorrow.
It was a laboured opening half hour from both teams, Sorrento feeling the effects of their third games in eight days whereas the NTC lacked their usual fluency. It took a moment of magic by Knight to spark the game into life, the striker allowing a long ball to drop over his shoulder before volleying into the top corner with 34 minutes on the clock. It became two-nil ten minutes later when Knight headed the ball back across goal for Jamie Harnwell nod into the bottom corner, leaving goalkeeper Jordan Franken with no chance of making the save.
The NTC came out for the second half with a refreshed outlook, and as the minutes ticked by the youngsters grew in stature. Borbor Sambindi was their main avenue into attack and with a little more luck he would have halved the deficit. But that honour was left to McRoberts who slotted past Curtis Apsden in the 72nd minute after Sambini dazzled his way past a couple of opponents before laying the ball off to his team mate. Any hopes of a comeback were ended six minutes later with Knight converting a penalty into the top corner, just beyond the reach of Franken.
CONTROVERSY AT CANNING SURGE CLEAR
Canning City claimed outright leadership of Division One by taking a 2-0 victory from their top of the table meeting at Dianella White Eagles. A soft second yellow card to defender Goran Radinovic changed the game with Michael Van Dongen and Paul Van Dongen finding the net only after Dianella went down to ten men. “We’re over the moon to go to Dianella and come away with the three points,” said player/coach Paul Van Dongen. “I thought we defended well again and another clean sheet is pleasing. They’re a good footballing side but failed to take their chances, and that was the difference between the teams today.”
Dianella hit the ground running with the pacey wide players Jon Stripe and Abdul Sesay causing plenty of concern for the visiting team. But while they enjoyed the majority share of possession clear cut chances on goal were rare thanks in no small part to a well-organised defensive unit. Roby Phelan did manage to find a way through thanks to his exquisite ball control and ingenuity, however, having sent the ball into Steve Grant’s net he turned to find an upraised offside flag. It wasn’t until the closing stages of the half that Canning started to find their rhythm but Tom Dixon remained untested at the break.
The game was turned on its head in the 60th minute when Radinovic was harshly issued his marching orders for a foul on Grant. Salt was rubbed into that wound ten minutes later by Paul Van Dongen whose glancing header from a Sam Carrello free-kick was too good for goalkeeper Dixon. Thomas Gooding fashioned a great chance for Igor Novakovic to bring the teams level but the latter’s attempted chip was met by the gloves of Grant. With seven minutes left Laurence Cheyne’s stinging shot was too hot for Dixon whose parry was tucked into the net by Mick Van Dongen from near the penalty spot.
RICKS IN THE NICK OF TIME
Substitute Jamie Ricks scored with just minutes to go to steal Western Knights a 1-0 win over Gosnells City from a one-sided encounter at Walter Padbury Reserve. The Knights’ dominance of the afternoon looked like going unrewarded until Ricks entered the action late to score his third goals in as many games. “We deserved the win, and we’ll need a few more 1-0 wins as the season progresses especially as teams like to sit back and defend against one of the most prolific goalscoring sides in the league,” said Knights midfielder Dean Thurston, whose team remain in third spot, six points behind the leaders.
The Knights spent much of the opening 45 minutes on the offence. Thurston and Ryan Shackleton were running the show out of midfield as David Caine delivered a stream of balls into the 18-yard box. Johny Mirco and Brendon Craig squandered chances to post the game’s first goal before Thurston shot straight at the goalkeeper after displaying some fine touch inside the 18-yard box. There were chances also for Steve Purton and Shackleton but still Struan Herd remained unbeaten in the home goal. Chances may have been flowing at one end but at the other there was only the occasional counterattack for the Knights backline to deal with.
Ashley Crosswaite wasn’t called into action until Gosnells began to flicked in the second half. Sean Taylor’s goalbound effort was pawed away by the Knights goalkeeper, who, thrust out a boot to deflect away an Ian O’Donohue shot just after the hour. The addition of Ricks and Ethan Levitt swing the momentum back in favour of the Knights for the closing stages. Ricks brought a couple of good saves out of Herd, who with four minutes to go tipped Thurston’s drive away from the top corner. With time fast running out Levitt released Ricks whose low shot from 15-metres beat Herd amid cries of offside from the home side.
SHAMROCK RUN RIOT
The goals were shared around at Shamrock Rovers with no fewer than five players finding the net in today’s 7-1 thrashing of UWA-Nedlands at McGilvray Oval. The home side were on the back foot as early as the 4th minute, quick exchange of passes between Mark O’Brien, Charlie Kenna and Ciaran Byrne teeing up Paul Concannon, whose first time shot was into the bottom corner. Goalkeeper Duncan Lissiman ensured the margin wasn’t greater as UWA slowly got into gear. Parity was restored on the quarter hour with Chris Yates converting a penalty awarded for soft foul on James Plowman.
Shamrock responded with a barrage of attacks based on playing the ball long over UWA’s backline. This approached paid dividends when Byrne latched on to a lofted pass and from 15-metres fired past goalkeeper Duncan Lissiman. Byrne was also involved in Shamrock’s third goal, the striker beating his marker before angling the ball goalward, Lissiman did well to parry the shot but was helpless as Kenna reacted quickest to the rebound. Half-time was only moments away when Shane Cassidy punished poor marking at a corner by steering his unmarked header between the defender on the line and the crossbar.
Plowman made a nuisance of himself at the start of the second half but Shamrock’s defence did very well to limit the striker’s effectiveness. A composed finish by Byrne resulted in his second goal after being played through with only Lissiman to beat. Midway through the half Concannon managed to maintained possession despite being forced wide by Lissiman and from a seemingly impossible angle he tucked in goal number six. The rout was completed with new boy Ben Wantee taking a touch before playing in for David Murphy, who ghosted into the 18-yard box, to tap in at the back post.
MONTGOMERY LEADS WANNEROO TO GLORY
Wanneroo City stretched their unbeaten run to five games with a comfortable 3-0 victory over a ten-man Mandurah City at Kingsway Reserve. Stuart Montgomery played the starring role by netting the opener then laying on subsequent goals for Chris Pugh and Scott Bushby. “I’ve not scored for a while so it was good to get a goal, while having a hand in the others is pleasing,” said Montgomery. “We got the three points but we didn’t play as well as we could and our foot seemed to come off the pedal when they went down to ten men. There’s still room for improvement and as a team we need to put in a whole 90 minutes performance.”
It took Wanneroo only 5 minutes to go ahead with Montgomery nipping in to steal an under-hit back pass then round the goalkeeper and stroke into an empty net. Some good lead-up work by Chris Pugh and Danny Milne ten minutes later sent Montgomery on his way down the right to cross for Guy McDonald, who finish past Matt Hamnett. Mandurah’s plight only worsened with the sending off of Straker for his rash challenge on Pugh. Milne and new recruit Kevin White went close to adding another to Wanneroo’s tally in a fairly lifeless second half. Bushby showed his team mates how it’s done by curling into the far corner from 16-metres after receiving a pass from Stuart Montgomery.
MIKULIC STEERS ASHFIELD TO VICTORY
Ashfield snapped a four-game winless run by downing Swan United 3-1 at Ashfield Reserve. Branimir Mikulic set the ball rolling midway through the first half with Ryan Frisina doubling the hosts’ lead on the half hour. Swan midfielder Luke Colli pegged a goal back following the turnaround around only to have Mikulic restore Ashfield’s two-goal buffer by converting from the penalty spot. The three points gained move Ashfield into sixth position whereas Swan remain just above the drop zone in ninth spot.
NCUBE AT THE DOUBLE
Rockingham City scored their second win of the campaign by unseating Morley Windmills 3-1 at Lark Hill Sportsplex. A bright start by the home side had Thabiso Ncube place just wide of the target after being played through. Both teams were pushing for the breakthrough and it happened to be the away side that got it in the 22nd minute, Blaz Radovanovic smashing high into the corner of the net during a goalmouth scramble. A few minutes later Rockingham responded with a quick attack in which Rafael Insuarralde laid off the ball for Ncube to side foot the equaliser into the bottom corner.
Ncube gave the hosts the lead soon after by latching onto a through ball which he poked into an empty net after goalkeeper Daniel Agudelo was caught out of position. Just before half-time Oscar Thompson bagged Rockingham’s third goal with a cracking free-kick which soared into the top corner. Things went from bad to worse for Morley on the hour when Chris Bradley was sent for an early shower after being issued his second booking. Roy Hissey should have scored another for Rockingham but failed to convert when it seemed easier to do so, while Daniel Macklin put a late half chance too close to Agudelo.
QUINNS GO TOP
Quinns climbed to the top of Division Two with a 2-1 win over Maddington White City at Nicola Tesla Reserve. The visitors’ early momentum was rewarded after 9 minutes when Gareth Hamilton sent the ball into Daniel Herman’s net. With this the teams settled and through some tidy use of the ball each carved out several opportunities with hitting the target. That was until the 41st minute when Paulo Pacitti got the better of Daniel McAinish, sending the teams into the break on level terms. The decisive goal arrived just three minutes into the second half, Hamilton grabbing his second goal from the penalty spot.
SUBIACO MOVE ON UP
Subiaco AFC’s drive up the Division Two continued with a 5-1 demolition of home team Kingsway Olympic. Ger Fitzgerald netted for the sixth time this term but it was doubles to Alan Biletic and Jon Baily that did the damage, erasing once and for all the bitter memory of a heavy early season loss to the same opponent. “It was good to get the win today, the boys deserve it,” Biletic commented. “After losing to Kingsway last time, this win meant a lot to the boys and with a few more wins under our belt hopefully we can get back towards the top.” Subiaco move into fourth position, six points adrift from top spot, whereas Kingsway’s third straight loss slips them down to sixth.
Subiaco were rewarded for a positive start with the opening goal, John Molloy clipping over the defence for Fitzgerald to drive to the line before hitting a low ball to the front post where Biletic poked into the net. Josh Rolls put the sides back on level terms by sending goalkeeper Tom Barrett the wrong way from the penalty spot after being felled by Max Welton, who was adamant the infringement took place outside the 18-yard box. Biletic lobbed his second goal into the top corner from 14-metres by meeting Rory McGowan’s diagonal ball in behind the defence. With half-time approaching Bailey took a touch to tame a deflected Fitzgerald cross before executing a superb volley which gave Subiaco a two-goal buffer at the break.
Kingsway asserted themselves a bit more in the second half but were limited to scattered shots from distance by a well-organised backline under the command of Welton and Frank Galvin. Biletic came within inches of his hat-trick at the other end when his header to a John Molley free-kick crashed against the crossbar. Subiaco were by this stage well in control so it came as no surprise when Nathan Steele’s superb delivery from out wide was headed in at close-range by Fitzgerald. Goalkeeper Anthony Salpietro prevented Robert Knoefel from adding another with a terrific save at the near post. But there would be no stopping the visitors and Bailey grabbed his second with a sweetly-struck volley from 20-metres after Kingsway only partially cleared at a corner.
SLAVUJEVIC GETS MELVILLE A POINT
Melville City twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw from their encounter with Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park. The afternoon started ominously for the away team with David Palin failure to convert an early guilt-edged punish by Milan Banjac’s 34th minute opener. Melville drew level just before the break when Sasa Slavujevic pounced on a weak back pass and placed into N.Cipriani’s net. Gino Hampshire restored the hosts lead after 71 minutes only for Melville to again rally with Slavujevic netting for a second time. The closing stages belonged to the visitors who almost snatched victory through substitute Lucas Pickering, whose shot from 16-metres drifted just wide.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
Bunbury Forum Force coach Matt Holland rates tomorrow’s game at ECU Joondalup as a must-win if his team are to climb away from the foot of the Premier Division ladder. Both teams have struggled so far this season and a Joondalup win will increase the pressure on cellar dwellers Bunbury, who are five points adrift of their opponents. “We lost the first game against Joondalup 2-0 and apart from some schoolboy defending we played well,” said Holland. “We’ve now played everyone in the league and I’m expecting the players to step up this week and get the points.”
Home coach Salv Todaro feels his team have been unlucky not to take anything from their last four games. “We are playing good football in patches and were not getting the rewards we deserve at the moment,” he commented. “Given the position we are in, every game is a vital game. We need to improve our concentration and tighten up our defensive game and keep improving as individuals and we will soon be back on the winning trail.” Captain Dale McCulloch returns to the squad but clouds of doubt hang over Scott Blackmore, Matt Italiano, Andy Higgins and Shaun Timmins.
Spencer Harris returns to England shortly so Floreat Athena will be going all out to farewell the defender with a home win over Inglewood United. Visiting coach Graham Normanton has to work out whether returning midfielder Alex Caniglia fits into the eleven, however, Danny Thomson remains absent through injury. Cockburn City and Stirling Lions welcome home grown talents Michael Pugliese and Dejan Aleksic back for their meeting at Dalmatinac Park. The past month has been tough on Balcatta and Armadale which is why both are targeting maximum points at Grindleford Reserve. Sorrento have home ground advantage over the National Training Centre.
This week’s Sunday fixture has Bayswater City up against traditional rivals Perth SC at Frank Drago Reserve. The visiting side have shown some good form of late and defender James Marocchi is confident of that continuing. “The last two results have been great for us but the biggest positive has been two clean sheets,” said Marocchi, whose team welcomes Josh Pereira back into the squad. “We were definitely not disgraced (when he lost to Bayswater earlier in the season) and we felt we deserved something from that game, so we are using that as added motivation.” All six Premier Division games kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
All eyes will be on Dianella Reserve tomorrow for the top of the table showdown between Dianella White Eagles and Canning City. The two combatants have gone game-for-game across the opening rounds of the season to sit on level points and well clear of their nearest rivals. It promises to be a busy afternoon for the respective defences who’ll have their work cut out keeping Roby Phelan and Daniel Neiderberger quiet. The battle for midfield ascendancy in which Thomas Gooding, Igor Novakovic and Abdul Sesay go into battle with veteran trio Rory Moutett, Mick Van Dongen and Paul Van Dongen will alone be worth the price of admission.
Striker Jamie Burns is confident Ashfield can end a four-game unbeaten league run by claiming victory at home against Swan United. “We’re hoping the Cup win against Western Knights can provide the spark to get our season back up and running,” said Burns. “The team has full belief in our abilities but we need to start taking our chances and turning possession into points.” Matt Wardle comes in for the hosts, who have Ian Stack and David Gordon unavailable. New signing Ryan Dawson, formerly of English side Sholing FC, has been added to the Swan squad but Christian Lopez and Geneveo Human are in doubt.
There’ll be a few enforced changes at Wanneroo City when they welcome Mandurah City to Kingsway Reserve. Home coach David Tough is without Anthony Jones (suspension) and Garin Collins (retired) but has new signing Kevin White and Glen Thomas coming into the squad. Knights Knights quest for a fourth straight league win takes them to Gosnells City, who are missing Aaron Coslani (suspension). Rockingham City has conceded 20 times in their last four games and Morley Windmills will be out to add a good few more to that tally at Lark Hill Sportsplex.
UWA-Nedlands are well aware of the monumental task they face in hosting a Shamrock Rovers side which is unbeaten in four games. “Shamrock are a very strongly organised side and so it’s important that we approach the game correctly,” said UWA’s Aaron Barnett. “It’s a big game for us as it will give us an opportunity to kick-start our season and move away from the teams around us in the league. We feel that we have been a bit unlucky in recent games and we will be looking to make sure we take our chances against Shamrock.” All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
There’s a lot more than three points on offer at Nicola Tesla Reserve where top of the table Maddington White City have hosting rights over second-placed Quinns. “We can go four points clear if we get the win but if Quinns take the points they’ll overtake us so there’s a lot up for grabs,” said Maddington’s Danny Clapham. “We’ve got a few players back – Stephen Fox, Scott Ryan and Chris O’Donnell – which is a big positive. We know what Quinns have got and we are more than capable of securing the win … it should be a great game between two very good footballing sides.”
With Harry McCann injured and Carlos Bervenotti unavailable, Fremantle United are without a recognised goalkeeper when they travel north to face Joondalup City, who are missing Elliot Rose (suspension). Subiaco AFC have been in good form of late and an away win against Kingsway Olympic may be enough to propel them into the top three. Melville City coach Danny Evans is likely to go with the same line-up that won last time out when they venture to Forrestfield United, who’ll be missing Chris Perrott (suspension). All four Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
MILLARD “OVER THE MOON” TO SIGN FOR STEVENAGE
A professional football career is one step closer for teenager Ross Millard with his signing for English club Stevenage FC. Millard and fellow West Australian Jack Jones, both 16, will play out of Broadhall Way for the next two years after their pair accepted to take up scholarship offers from the League One club. “I’m over the moon,” said a thrilled Millard. “Stevenage are a strong, young and ambitious club which appears to be heading in the right direction with their Youth Academy. Working with their staff, in particular head of youth development Darren Sarll, I’ll become a better player and achieve my goal of becoming a professional footballer.”
Millard’s career has been on an upward trajectory since he first stepped out as a junior for Heathridge, and later ECU Joondalup. In 2012 his talents were rewarded with a place in West Ham United’s academy, bringing about a family move to England. “I had the opportunity to trial for Stevenage and the rest is history, as they say,” Millard commented of his release by the Hammers. “I’m really looking forward to getting into the pre-season training. For myself, I think it’s very important to get a full pre-season under my belt which will put me in good stead to perform my best throughout the season.”
And it’s not just been at club level that Millard has shone. “I have been fortunate to represent both Western Australia and Australia,” he commented. “To be selected to represent my country on three occasions has to be the major highlight so far.” In 2010 his efforts for Western Australia at the national championships were rewarded with a place in Australia’s Under-13 squad for the AFC Festival of Football in Malaysia. The following year he captained the State at the nationals and gained Australia Under-16 selection, while twelve months ago he donned national team colours at Under-17 level.
Respected local coach Gary Williams has worked with Millard as well as Jones, and he believes both players have the potential to forge successful careers in the world game. “I know how hard both players have worked at their game in order to provide themselves with an opportunity in the professional game,” said Williams, who coached Jones while he was a Stirling junior. “I know their time playing full-time will enhance their football education, and they both deserve a chance to succeed and I wish them both all the best for the future.”
Millard tipped his hat to every coach he has played under, saying they have all contributed to his signing for Stevenage. “I’ve had some great coaches who have shown me the right way to go about my football, but picking one who has been the most influential is difficult,” Millard commented. “My dad would probably like me to say him as he was my first coach at Heathridge, but I have been fortunate to have had many excellent coaches at Joondalup and with the State and Australian teams who have helped me to develop over the years, and without all of them I wouldn’t have made it this far.”
MALTA A “FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE” SAYS SAMMUT
Midfielder James Sammut is back with Inglewood United following a stint in the Maltese First Division with Birzebbuga St. Peter’s. Sammut, 23, headed to the country of his grandparents late last year and impressed sufficiently to sign professional papers with the Saints. “I signed for them during the January transfer window but struggled with injury early,” Sammut told thewest.com.au. “I started the last six games and the side was unbeaten, so it was great to contribute to the team and it was a fantastic experience for me.”
Sammut gave a sufficiently good account of himself during his time with Birzebbuga St. Peter’s be offered another contract. However, he is adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach before deciding what his next step will be. “At the moment it is all still up in the air,” said Sammut, who gained State Schoolboys selection in 2007 and a year later was contacted by Maltese national team coach Dusan Fitzel. “I have turned down an offer with Birzebbuga St. Peter’s but there are a few clubs that have shown interest and in contact with me.”
Sammut made a surprise return to the local stage in Inglewood’s win at ECU Joondalup last weekend. “My international clearance only came through on Friday, so I thought I was going to be watching from the sidelines until early Saturday morning,” said Sammut, who is looking forward to Saturday’s game at Floreat Athena. “The competition is very close this year so every game is massive. Floreat always have a strong squad, so we are going to be up for a tough game but hopefully we can come away with maximum points.”
CHEESEMAN READY FOR NETHERLANDS STARS
Referee Mathew Cheeseman will make his international debut in next week’s glamour friendly between host nation China and World Cup runners-up the Netherlands. Recently promoted to FIFA’s international panel, Cheeseman will run the line with fellow Australian Chris Beath taking the whistle for the game at the 66,000-capacity Beijing Workers Stadium. “I said previously that being added to the FIFA international panel was the refereeing equivalent of being selected for a Socceroos squad, so now I’m excited to go out and receive my first ‘cap’,” Cheeseman told footballwest.com.au
Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Arjan Robben (Bayern Munich), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray) and John Heitinga (Everton) are likely to line-up for a star-studded Netherlands side, so it’s no surprise Cheeseman has a few nerves. “The Netherlands were runners-up at the last World Cup and have a lot of big-name players, so I’d be lying if I wasn’t a bit nervous for my first senior international match,” Cheeseman admits. “Of course, China will be out to show they are no minnows, especially in front of a home crowd. But once the first whistle blows it will just be another match of football with the same decisions to make.”
The match will mark another step in a journey Cheeseman hopes will take him to the very pinnacle of world football. “I’ve worked hard to get to where I am at the moment but my ultimate goal is to officiate at the FIFA World Cup,” he said. “This appointment has been thirteen years in the making and it shows to all young referees that if you are passionate, persistent and patient, you’ll give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals.” Cheeseman is targeting a spot on the Asian Football Confederation Elite Panel, which would open the door on qualifiers for the Olympic games, Asian Cup and World Cup.
LURE OF SCOTLAND TOO GREAT FOR BURGESS
Teenage defender Cameron Burgess is on the verge of committing his international future to Scotland. Burgess, a former ECU Joondalup player, was recently called up for Scotland’s under-20 side and, although also eligible to represent Australia, the 17-year old is favouring his birth nation. “Perth is where I’ve grown up since I was 11 but my home will always be Scotland,” Burgess told dailyrecord.co.uk. “I have an Australian passport and because I’ve been there for a while that’s what I consider myself to be. But I always wanted to play for Scotland as a little kid.”
Football clearly runs within the Burgess family bloodline. The defender’s grandfather, Campbell Forsyth, played for St Mirren, Kilmarnock and Southampton as well as gaining four international caps for Scotland in the 1960’s. His father, Stuart Burgess, made over 350 senior appearances for Albion Rovers, East Fife, Falkirk and Kilmarnock. “It’s great to have the knowledge from him especially as he played in the same position as me,” commented Burgess of his father’s influence. “Sometimes his advice is a bit tough to take on board as he’s my dad but it’s good having someone to go back to as a reference point.”
Born in Edinburgh, Burgess trained with Celtic and Aberdeen as a child before continuing his family relocated to Perth. “We moved there for lifestyle reasons. Mum and Dad decided it would be the best place to bring me and my sister up and it’s been great,” commented Burgess, who turned out locally for Sorrento, Joondalup and Perth Glory’s youth team. “I played a year ahead of myself (and) progressed to the stage that pro teams showed an interest. I played in the State League when I was 16 and there were good players and coaches.”
Burgess made his first team debut for Joondalup last year and soon after joined English club Fulham midway on a three-year deal. “I’ve been in the Fulham Under-18 side for most of the season and we won the league last Sunday which was a great experience,” he said. “It has been a good season and I’ve progressed a lot. I have just finished my first year and I have two years left on my deal. I’ve trained with the first team a few times and it’s a great set-up. If you are training well then you will get the opportunity.”
EUROPE ON HOLD FOR SAINSBURY
Rising star Trent Sainsbury is heading back to Central Coast Mariners after his much-anticipated move to FC Basel failed to eventuate. Sainsbury, 21, has been on the radar of several European clubs since enjoying a breakthrough season with the A-League champions. And while he acquitted himself well in trials with the Swiss club, a permanent move will not be in the offering unless Austrian international Aleksandar Dragovic moves on. “They’ve said if Aleksandar goes overseas and he transfers then Sainsbury comes back,” Sainsbury’s agent Tony Rallis said. “He’d rather be playing than be sitting on a bench (and) I’d rather see him playing in the A-League for another year and establishing himself in the Socceroo camp.” English side Bolton Wanderers and Dutch club Roda JC Kerkrade are understood to also keeping an eye on Sainsbury.
SORRENTO INSPIRED HOLT TO ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Northern suburbs club Sorrento can lay claim to playing a key role in Grant Holt’s rise to the captaincy of English Premier League club Norwich City. Holt, now 32, was a fresh faced 20-year old whose career was at the crossroads when he joined Sorrento early in 2001 on loan from Halifax Town. It was clear from his time in the State League that Holt as a player of immense potential, and it turned out his time with Sorrento and a subsequent spell in Singapore club Sengkang Marine would reignite his career. “Grant got his confidence back by playing here and in Singapore,” Sorrento secretary Kerry Slater said. “He returned to England and because of his determination and focus he created – and is having – a great career.”
Holt scored seven times in six appearances for Sorrento before putting away a dozen goals in 14 games with Sengkang. That form brought the young striker to the attention of Sheffield Wednesday but it was at Rochdale that he become established as a first eleven player by nettig 42 times in 83 outings. The upward trajectory of his career continued with Nottingham Forest and Shrewsbury Town before arriving at Norwich in 2009. The role he played in the Canaries gaining promotion from League One to the Championship and then the Premier League in successive seasons was recognised with a hat-trick of Player of the Year awards and, not surprisingly, the captains armband. To date Holt has chalked up a total of 177 goals from 444 games in England.
SOCCEROOS DRAW IN JAPAN
Australia’s World Cup destiny remains in their own hands after a late penalty conversion earned Japan a 1-1 draw from tonight’s pulsating qualifier. Tommy Oar’s floated 82nd minute goal looked like giving the Socceroos a famous victory over star-studded Japan in the intimidating atmosphere of a sold-out 60,000-capacity Saitama Stadium. But Matt McKay conceded a 90th minute penalty for handball, with Keisuke Honda converting the spot-kick to book Japan a place in Brazil. The point means Australia must win their two remaining Group B games – against Jordan (11 June) and Iraq (18 June) – to seal automatic qualification for next year’s tournament.
Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, captain Lucas Neill and his partner-in-crime Sasa Ognenovski, the Socceroo produced an extraordinary defensive effort. Yasuhito Endo curled a free-kick wide and Maya Yoshida failed to make anything of a free header before Schwarzer came up with an amazing one-handed save to deny Shinji Kagawa. Having survived that onslaught, Australia began to control the tempo and keep possession for extended periods. Their best chance on goal came after 34 minutes when Robbie Kruse was through one-on-one with Eiji Kawashima who produced a stunning save, and Tim Cahill put the follow-up well over the top.
Japan regained control after the interval. Kagawa was unlucky not to break the deadlock just before the hour with a chipped shot, while Honda would have been disappointed to send a free-kick another straight at Schwarzer. Australia created a glorious chance in the 75th minute, Luke Wilkshire centring for Cahill but his shot was blocked by Yoshida. Schwarzer then spread himself to deny Yuto Nagatomo. Oar gave the Sooceroos a surprise lead with a clipped shot that drifted over Kawashima and inside the far top corner. But a handball decision against McKay was punished by Honda’s powerful penalty conversion.
WORLD CUP HIGH FIVE
The healthy state of youth development in Western Australia has been highlighted by the inclusion of six local talents in Australia’s squad for the upcoming Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory), Ryan Edwards (Reading), Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets) and Ryan Williams (Fulham) each came through the local ranks while goalkeeper Jack Duncan, who recently signed with Glory, was born in Perth but grew up in New South Wales. The Young Socceroos World Cup campaign commences against Colombia (22 June) before group stage encounters with El Salvador (June 25) and Turkey (June 28).
Australia's squad for the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey features Paul Izzo (Adelaide United), James Donachie (Brisbane Roar), Jackson Irvine (Celtic), Ryan Williams (Fulham), David Vrankovic (Melbourne Heart), Scott Galloway, Jason Geria, Connor Pain (Melbourne Victory), Joshua Brilliant, Connor Chapman, Andrew Hoole, Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets), Curtis Good (Newcastle United), Daniel De Silva, Jack Duncan (Perth Glory), Ryan Edwards (Reading), Terry Antonis, Anthony Bouzanis (Sydney FC), Reece Caira (Western Sydney Wanderers) plus uncontracted pair Corey Gameiro and Jamie Maclaren.
STIRLING TIP OUT JOONDALUP
A ten-man Stirling Lions moved through to the State Cup quarter-finals following a hard-fought 4-2 win over ECU Joondalup at Macedonia Park. Moses Kalau opened the hosts account before Gareth McGlynn and Jon Stynes each helped themselves to doubles, putting the game on a knifes edge. The late dismissal of Andy Brown gave Joondalup a glimmer of hope but before they could make anything of the extra man Anthony Lyons sealed victory for the home team. “A win is all important in the Cup as you only get one opportunity,” commented Stirling assistant coach Gary Williams. “It wasn’t the prettiest game we have played but it keeps our run and momentum going.”
Kalau gave Stirling a dream start by winning the ball from Scott Blackmore and rounding goalkeeper Andy Banks to tuck in the opening goal just 2 minutes after kick-off. Joondalup rallied to draw level in the 17th minute when Jon Higgins’ corner caused problems for the home defence, allowing Stynes to convert at close-range. A clever flick by Riry Grant eight minutes paved the way for McGlynn to restore Stirling’s lead. The seesawing nature of the game continued with another in-swinging Jon Higgins corner fumbled by Aleks Vrteski, and before he could recover Stynes had his second goal. But their joy was short lived as sixty seconds later McGlynn nodded on from Matt Harold’s cross the far post.
Endevour was high in a second half that had play stream from one end to the other, however, some solid defending meant genuine goal scoring opportunities came at a premium. It looked as though Joondalup may may have found a way in when Brown was issued his marching orders for bringing down Tanner Selyer as he surge goalward. Jon Higgins stepped up to the resulting free-kick but his curling effort was just over the crossbar. With Joondalup committing men forward, they were exposed at the back with Lyons netting at the second opportunity after his initial shot was blocked by Banks.
THIRD TIER QUINNS INTO LAST EIGHT
Brian Cairney scored late to earn Division Two side Quinns’ a 2-1 win from their State Cup meeting with Rockingham City at Gumblossom Park. After an even start it was Quinns that gained the upper hand on the quarter hour with John McNeill sending the ball past stand-in goalkeeper Richard Lacey. But the teams would go into half-time on level terms thanks to Thabisco Ncube, who equalised in the 35th minute. The game looked to be heading for extra time when Cairney struck after 88 minutes, booking Quinns historic place in the last eight of the State Cup.
ASHFIELD DOWN KNIGHTS IN NINE GOAL THRILLER
There were goals aplenty at Nash Field where Ashfield came from behind to score a 5-4 win from a thrilling meeting with Western Knights. Ruben Tristao scored twice with Ian McKean, Branimir Mikulic and Karl O’Reilly also finding the net to discount goals from Johny Mirco (2), Steve Purton and Knights substitute Jamie Ricks. “It would have been a good game for any neutral fan to watch,” commented Knights boss Robbie Dunn. “But to concede yet another dubious penalty – that’s seven in ten games – spoilt a good competition. Well done to Ashfield and I hope they go well in their future Cup games.”
The game was given a crackerjack start with Ruben Tristao heading in unchallenged after getting on the end of Ryan Frisina’s long throw. A fine pass by Purton was finished into the roof of the net by Mirco to put the teams back on a level footing soon after. By the 11th minute Ashfield were back in the lead, Ian McKean afforded time to drill in from the edge of the 18-yard box. The home side were outraged when referee Phil Trianides awarded a penalty after Frisina’s shot hit Sime Lozic in the face, and from the spot Branimir Mikulic extended the visitors advantage. Just before half-time Mirco unleashed a precision half-volley into the bottom corner to bring the difference back to a single goal.
The Knights emerged from the break fired up and it didn’t take long for Purton to volley in the equaliser. Some quality lead-up play between Purton, Luka Jukic and Mirco ended with the ball at the feet of Ricks, who made no mistake finding the back of the net. Ashfield hit back with avengeance. Karl O’Reilly smartly converted at the back past after Knights custodian Alfie Brincat spilled what should have been a regulation capture of a high ball played in by Ian Stack. Another surge down the right by Mikulic saw him deliver a low cross which Tristao smacked in first time to make it five-four. The Knights piled on the pressure over the remaining minutes but were unable to do what was required to send the game to extra-time.
BLACK DAY FOR JOONDALUP
Joondalup United’s State Cup came to a crashing halt with a 7-1 thrashing from Swan United. Amazingly all eight goals arrived in the second half with Tom Black grabbing four for the home team amid finishes from Trent Wood, Luke Colli and Matt Beyer, while Adam Buckley was the lone scorer for Joondalup. “We were slow out of the blocks again but once we did get into the game there was only going to be one winner,” said Swan assistant coach Matt Debarro. “Hopefully we can grow from this win and play the football I know we can play and start getting results in the league.”
Swan goalkeeper Matt Battigelli found himself in the thick of the early action, twice saving from Lee Jones to keep the game on a level footing. Having taken their time to settle, the hosts began to fire with Black and Christian Lopez going closest to breaking the deadlock. The second half opened with a bang as Black netted at close-range two minutes in after Michael Italiano’s shot deflected into his path. Wood doubled the margin on the hour by converting a dubiously awarded penalty to prise open the floodgates. In quick succession Black and Colli converted past goalkeeper Will Powley to make it four-nil.
With fifteen minutes to go Buckley pulled a goal back by beating the offside trap and tucking into Battigelli’s net at the second opportunity. But any hopes of a late Joondalup revival were quashed by substitute Beyer, who fired in from 7-metres after being picked out by Colli. Powley moved sharply to keep out Black’s penalty kick following a foul on Nick Tatasciore. However, Black was not to be denied and in the 85th minute he netted for a third time with Chris Marshall the provider. There was still enough time for Black to cap a memorable performance with a another goal.
MANDURAH HAND TO HAMNETT
Goalkeeper Matt Hamnett was Mandurah City’s hero with a trio of penalty saves in the Dolphins 4-1 shoot-out win over Maddington White City at Hyundai Stadium. Third tier side Maddington showed no signs of nerves by taking the early advantage courtesy of Joseph Sieh. Craig Tone put the sides back on level terms after 24 minutes and when Matt Stares added another eight minutes later Mandurah appeared set to go on with the job. Maddington, however, had other ideas and five minutes into the second period Scott Ryan made it two-all. With neither team able to find the net for a third time, not even given an additional half hour, Hamnett stepped up to send Mandurah into the next round of the State Cup.
YAMADA SENDS INGLEWOOD THROUGH (with Chris Andrawes, Football West)
Coach Graham Normanton had nothing but praise for midfielder Koji Yamada after he bagged all the goals in Inglewood United’s 4-2 State Cup win over Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. Yamada was on fire early, completing his hat-trick inside 20 minutes before adding another shortly after the resumption. “Unbelievable isn’t it,” Normanton said. “He’s scored three great goals and then one through just sheer determination. He’s got that in him, he’s a determined player, he doesn’t lose many tackles, he’s a good honest lad and he deserves all the success, because he really gives everything he’s got.”
Yamada opened his account after 8 minutes by firing into the far corner after meeting Jason Colli’s cutback. The midfielder doubled his, and the teams tally with a tidy close-range volley, then with only 20 minutes gone headed in his third goal from 6-metres. Teenager Alex Clarke pulled a goal back by slotting past Clarke amid appeals for offside from the Inglewood defence. Yamada rounded out his haul in the 49th minute by stabbing in as the ball bobbled around the 18-yard box. There was a touch of good fortune in Armadale’s second goal with visiting custodian Francis Soale judged to have carried Billy Quincroft’s header over the line.
Despite being knocked out of the Cup, Armadale coach Lee Bamber took plenty of positives from the game which came just days after a heavy four-goal loss in the league to the National Training Centre. “I feel a lot better than I felt on Saturday,” Bamber said. “We asked for a response from our boys after we hit rock bottom on Saturday and at least we showed a bit of pride and a bit of heart today. When they scored three, I think they were the only three efforts they’d had on goal and we definitely dominated the first 25 minutes of the game.”
KNIGHT SHINES IN CUP TRIUMPH (with Kalon Harrison, Football West)
Gavin Knight emphasised his importance to Sorrento by providing the inspiration behind today’s 3-0 defeat of Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. Knight kept Sorrento on course for a hat-trick of State Cup trophies by scoring twice, either side of an own goal by David Stokoe, to earn the praise of coach Paul Price. “He’s done fantastically for us. We picked him up last year after coming back from doing his cruciate ligament in his knee. Gavin did it on Saturday; he’s done it again today,” said Price. “We’ve won the Cup the last two years, so we are confident we can win it again.”
The outcome hinged on Callum Fransz’s 58th minute foul on Knight which prompted referee Mathew Chesseman to show a straight red card to the Floreat defender. Knight then rubbed salt into the wound by exquisitely sending the resultant free-kick into Brad Eiffe’s net from just outside the 18-yard box. And when Stokoe had the misfortunate of deflecting Jamie Harnwell’s low centre into his own net the result was in the bag. Even so, there was still time for Knight to cutting inside and wrong-foot Eiffe with a neat finish into the near post.
Bayswater City progressed to the next stage of the State Cup by grinding out a 2-0 win over Gosnells City at Frank Drago Reserve. The Premier Division leaders were quick to assert themselves but it wasn’t until the half hour that Damian Catalano beat goalkeeper Struan Herd for a one-nil lead. There was little change to the overall pattern of play after the turnaround, Bayswater enjoying the lions’ share of possession but able to pick few holes in the away defence. Ross Cogrove eventually put the result beyond doubt with 72 minutes on the clock.
STATE CUP PREVIEW
The thrills and spills of elimination football take centre stage tomorrow in round two of the State Cup. Trophy holders Sorrento journey to Floreat Athena for the second meetings of the two clubs in ten days. “Sorrento will be a tough task, they are a real quality side,” said Floreat goalkeeper Brad Eiffe, who team ran out 2-0 winners in the previous meeting. “That game was at their ground so they will be travelling to the Litis Stadium hoping to turn the result around. But confidence is high in the squad at the moment, and we are sure we can do the business.”
The sole remaining Sunday League side, Joondalup United, are on the road to Swan United. “We are underdogs but we have beaten a Division One opponent twice already this season,” said Joondalup coach Rudy Proctor, who team beat Canning City in the last round. “We’re expecting a tough battle at Swan, their league form has been disappointing so far so they’ll be looking to have a decent Cup run. Over 90 minute we know we have the quality in our squad to beat anyone, it’s just a matter of turning up and performing to the best of our abilities.”
Inglewood United is tipped to qualify for the last eight of the Cup by bettering Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. The home side have leaked 16 goals in the last three weeks and it difficult to see that trend ending against an Inglewood line-up which put away four on Saturday. Those goals came against ECU Joondalup who have a difficult encounter with Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. Not a lot has gone right for Ashfield in the past month so it’s going to take an almighty effort for them to edge past Western Knights at Nash Field.
Rockingham City will be without Lee Hayward for trip to Division Two side Quinns but the attacker knows all too well the dangers which lurk should his team not be firing from the outset. “I played Quinns earlier in the season when I was with Maddington so I know the lads are in for a physical game,” said Haywood, who is quietly confident of Rockingham’s progression to the Cup quarter-finals. “The boys will be well up for it, and with Daniel Macklin and Conner Price due back after suspension we should have a good chance of coming away with the result.”
Mike Brazil, coach of Division One side Gosnells City, is in a relaxed mood leading into his teams’ meeting with Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. “We go into the game with absolutely no pressure on us. The players have done well to get to this round of the Cup, and I’m sure the young players will enjoy the experience,” said Brazil. “Everyone in the state respects Bayswater and we are no different. But we will have a go at them and as a player you learn a great from games like these … and let’s not forget that in Cup football strange things do happen.”
Ty Fenwick has found the back of the net four times in eight days so it’s no surprise the Maddington White City captain is eagerly anticipating his teams’ fixture against Mandurah City at Hyundai Stadium. “We are really looking forward to the Cup game,” said Fenwick, whose team is one of two Division Two sides left in the Cup. “Monday will be a true test to see how far we have come as a club. It’s going to be a tough game but we are certainly up for it.” All second round State Cup games kick-off on Monday at 2.30pm.
DE VANNA NETS NWSL STUNNER
Lisa De Vanna netted an early contender for the National Women’s Soccer League goal of the season in Sky Blue FC’s 5-1 trouncing of Boston Breakers. After setting Danesha Adams up for the opener, De Vanna doubled her teams’ advantage with a stunning bicycle kick after meeting Katy Freels chip into the 18-yard box. “I was a bit overwhelmed and shocked about it,” De Vanna told nwslsoccer.com “I didn’t even realise it went into the goal until I saw Danesha's face, and she looked so surprised. Then I just looked up and saw it go into the back of the net. I was just thinking ‘Wow, I just pulled off something fantastic!’” De Vanna went on to grab a second goal, as did Adams, with Taylor Lytle getting the remainder for top of the table Sky Blue.
YOUNG SOCCEROOS HOLD GERMANY TO A DRAW
Australia’s Under-20 national team have drawn 2-2 with Germany’s Under-21 side in a modified training match in Cyprus. With both teams in preparation mode for upcoming tournaments, the game was played over two 60 minutes halves with unlimited substitutions as way of giving as many players game time as possible. Germany opened the scoring 15 minutes into the match with Jamie Maclaren equalising ten minutes from the break. Ryan Williams flicked a Connor Pain cross past the goalkeeper to put Australia ahead midway through the second half inly to have Germany level just before the final whistle.
LYONS BOWS OUT IN STYLE
Stirling Lions striker Anthony Lyons bade farewell to the State League by scoring in his team’s 3-0 home defeat of Bunbury Forum Force. Lyons, who returns to England shortly following the expiration of his visa, opened Stirling’s account early and set-up Scott Bulloch for their second before Moses Kalau sealed the win with a late stunner. “I’ll miss everyone at the club. It’s a great bunch of lads at Stirling and it’s upsetting that I have to go,” Lyons commented to footballwest.com.au “The team cohesion is there, you can feel it in the change rooms and at training, then on match day everyone is buzzing.”
The first half may have ended without score but that was more due to bad luck than a lack of desire on the hosts’ behalf. Stirling established control of proceedings early and carried the pattern all the way through to the final whistle. But it took until the 20th minute for them to create a genuine opening, Phil Arnold making space down the right and driving in a low cross which narrowly evaded Bulloch at the back post. Defender Jason Gavin went even closer just before the break when his header from a Gareth McGlynn corner was halted on the line.
Stirling’s persistence was eventually rewarded nine minutes after the break when Bulloch low centre was parried by Ryan Montgomery into the path of Lyons, who bundled the ball in at close-range. Bunbury came close to levelling on the hour but Jayden Prosser’s chip over Aleks Vrteski bounced off the crossbar. With 74 minutes gone Lyons threaded a fine pass through the visiting defence for Bulloch whose low finish was too good for Montgomery. The pick of the goals came with five minutes to go, Kalau cutting past the last defender before unleashing a vicious shot from 18-metres which went in via the bar.
Bunbury coach Matt Holland found little to smile about with the sounding of the final whistle. “To be frank, I’ve got some lads in there who have never been coached properly. They don’t know the game,” he said. “Playing at this level they’ve gone through on how they naturally play, which is a credit to them. In addition to that, we have a lot of experienced players who’ve been places and even they’re making mistakes and not learning from them … It’s not good enough to look back on a season and think we were that close in so many games because it doesn’t count.”
SORRENTO FLY AWAY WITH THE POINTS
Bayswater City’s winning run has come to an end at the hands of Sorrento, who stormed their way to a 4-1 victory at Frank Drago Reserve. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda gave the hosts a dream start but it didn’t take long for Sorrento find top gear with veteran Jamie Harnwell bagging a brace either side of goals from Gavin Knight and Todd Harnwell. “It was probably our best performance of the season,” Sorrento coach Paul Price told footballwest.com.au “We’ve played well this year but today we took our chances and in the last four or five weeks we’ve missed a lot of chances.”
The game was only a couple of minutes old when Giron-Marulanda swung a free-kick over the defensive wall and into the top corner of Curtis Aspden’s net. By the 4th minute Sorrento were level, Jesse Fuller tearing down the left and pulling the ball back from the line to Jamie Harnwell who make no mistake from 9-metres. Ten minutes later Knight curled a precision free-kick beyond the reach of Devon Spence and into the top corner to throw Bayswater onto the back foot. It only got worse for the home team, Ryan Pearson delivering the ball to Todd Harnwell who steered his header in via the far post.
Bayswater needed something special to get back in the game but, with star striker Steve Burton absent through suspension, they lacked the creativity required to unlock the visiting backline. The closest they came to pulling a goal back was when Gustavo Catarcione’s shot crashed into the upright. The result was put beyond doubt on the hour when Knight pounced on a defensive error and crossed for Jamie Harnwell, who finished into the net at close-range. Sorrento should have had a fifth goal but after beating the offside trap and rounding Spence Knight was denied a shot by the timely intervention of Jamie Coyne.
GOALKEEPERS SHINE AT LITIS STADIUM
A superb display of goalkeeping has seen Floreat Athena and Perth SC take a point each from their encounter at Litis Stadium. The gloves of Brad Eiffe and Jason Saldaris featured prominently throughout the afternoon to ensure the game remained on a knives edge right up to the final whistle. “We had the chances to win it in the end, but they also had chances and we got lucky with the penalty miss,” commented Saldaris, who breathed a sigh of relief when Mark Pritchard sent an early spot kick against the upright. “It’s never an easy place to come to so we’re happy with the point. It’s always nice to keep a clean sheet – that’s two on the trot.”
Floreat were gifted a chance to go in front after only 5 minutes but Pritchard shot into the base of the post after referee Adam Fielding pointed to the spot for James Marocchi’s foul on Benny Kouakou. The visitors’ first opportunity on goal didn’t arrive until the quarter hour when Liam Boland flashed high after being picked out by Clarke Keltie. Cisco Jorquera carved out an opening for Kouakou but the attacker’s low strike was saved by Saldaris. With a little more luck either team could have entered the break with the lead. Kris Gate was denied the go-ahead goal by Eiffe, and a few minutes later another Kouakou effort curled just past the far post.
Upon the resumption Pritchard picked out Bobby Wilson with a free-kick but the defender’s header was tipped around the post by Saldaris. Both teams had their chances to snatch the lead but Eiffe and Saldaris were in no mood to be beaten. The game took a dramatic twist in stoppage time when Perth striker Ayodeji Omoboye was sent off for a second yellow card. A few minutes later Spencer Harris’ shot was cleared of the line by Luka Njegich, the ball rebounding onto the head of Saldaris and wide of the post. The final play of the afternoon saw Ashley Corker rifled towards the bottom corner only for Eiffe to expertly deny his opponent.
JOONDALUP LATE SHOW NOT ENOUGH TO BRING DOWN INGLEWOOD
Inglewood United survived a late onslaught to edge out ECU Joondalup 4-3 on a sunny afternoon in the northern suburbs. Joe Smith and substitute Tony Taylor scored in the closing stages to add to Tanner Selyer’s first half finish, however, the damage had already been by David Perich, Andrija Jukic an own goal and Michael Baczynski. “There were no standouts today, but a team of stars which is always pleasing for me,” winning coach Graham Normanton told footballwest.com.au “We conceded three woeful goals, so there’s still plenty of work to do.”
The better moves of a lively opening came from the host side, Jon Higgins and Scott Blackmore placing over the crossbar before Selyer’s half-volley was tipped away by goalkeeper Luke Martino. All that good work was undone in the 13th minute when Andy Banks poor defensive pass was straight to the feet of Perich, who had no difficulty slotting into an empty net from 17-metres. Inglewood slowly but surely took control with Andrija Jukic and Perich stinging the gloves of Banks in the space of a few minutes
Inglewood got the goal they were after in the 33rd minute when Jukic converted a dubious penalty awarded for Shaun Timmins challenge on Daniel Thompson, who went down theatrically inside the 18-yard box. There was worse was to come for Joondalup. A corner floated in by Jukic in the 37th minute cleared Banks but not Blackmore, who had the misfortune of turning into his own net. Selyer had an immediate response for Joondalup, the striker converting from close-range after his initial shot was blocked by the defence.
The second half was four minutes old when Baczynski added his name to the scoresheet, the Inglewood captain nutmegging one defender before expertly curling into the top corner from 22-metres. Banks made amends for his earlier error by pushing away substitute Shane Pickering’s dipping long-range drive. Blackmore set the wheels in motion for a tense finish by playing over the defence for Tony Taylor whose cut back was rammed in from 8-metres by Smith. The game was injury time when Taylor side-footed in after Inglewood were caught ball watching at Joe Knowles low centre.
Joondalup coach Salv Todaro lamented his team’s poor defending which, ultimately, decided the game. “The first goal was a bad error on our part, it was a naive penalty to concede and an unfortunate own goal, so the way I see it we performed reasonably well in the first half but were severely punished by three key errors,” he said. “On the whole we played some great football and when you score three goals in a game you expect some points out of it, we just desperately need to cut these silly defensive errors out of our game.”
COCKBURN MAINTAIN A STEADY COURSE
Cockburn City held onto fourth position after coming from behind to defeat Balcatta 4-1 at Dalmatinac Park. Adam Bachiller gave the away side the upper hand before Harry O’Brien snared a brace and Connor Kavanagh and Devon Gibson also found the net to give the Cockerels the points. “We were delighted to come in at half-time ahead,” Cockburn coach Marc Anthony told footballwest.com.au “I just set the task to the boys to go out and compete in the second half, and if we got the next goal then it could be the game for us … a winning side is always a happy side.”
Balcatta were ahead after only 8 minutes when Micky Aspin’s far post cross was headed past debutant goalkeeper Paul Basto by Bachiller. It took only three minutes for Cockburn to hit back, Antonio Naglieri picking out an unmarked O’Brien whose looping header was too good for Alex Dunn. Moe Atak wasted a great chance for Balcatta to re-claim the lead by blazing wide after good work from Bachiller. The magnitude of that miss became evident just after the half hour when Gibson played a one-two with Naglieri on the edge of the 18-yard box before firing low past Dunn.
An even start to the second period saw chances at both ends. Naglieri and Nick Carroll tried their luck from distance for the home team but both flashed wide. Jarrod Smith got clear of the defence only to for Basto to get enough of a touch to tip away his shot, while Ashley Rosindale should have done better than lift high after being played in by Bachiller. Cockburn eventually found a way through after 81 minutes, Kavanagh touching the ball past his marker before firing in from 8-metres. The game was in stoppage time when O’Brien whipped the ball in after Dunn parried a powerful shot from Paul Lloyd.
Ndumba Makeche played the starring role as the National Training Centre recorded an emphatic 6-2 victory over Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. Makeche, who is under contract to Perth Glory, ran riot against the home defence, scoring five times before BorBor Sambindi put the icing on the cake with the development squad’s sixth goal in the closing minutes. “He’s grown, he’s taken on some really good qualities and he’s developed as a person,” NTC coach John Gibson said of Makeche. “We’ve got a fairly high opinion of Ndumba, he’s come into our environment and he’s just actually been magnificent.”
There wasn’t a great deal of threat in the early exchanges thanks chiefly to a couple of well-organised backlines. Billy Quinncroft edged Armadale into the lead on quarter hour by firing in a low cross from Dannie Richman. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for the Reds in the first half. Makeche raced clear of the defence in the 22nd minute to deliver a low shot into Cyril Sharrock’s net and put the teams back on level terms. Five minutes later Alex Sulevski sliced the defence open with a perfectly weighted through ball which Makeche took a few touches of before dinking over the advancing goalkeeper for a two-nil lead.
The NTC made a dream start to the second half, Darcy Cosgrove whipping in a low cross which Makeche converted at close-range to complete his hat-trick. Armadale tried to find a response but manage to make few inroads against a defence in which Glory player Storm Roux was the stand-out. Makeche helped himself to another goal in the 77th minutes after being sent clear by Jacob Collard. Sambindi was the provider three minutes later for Makeche to knock in at the back post. With 88 minutes gone Sambindi cut in and fired low past Sharrock to add some gloss to his workman-like performance. Mitch Castrilli’s stoppage time penalty conversion was little more than a consolation for the home side.
SHAMROCK HAPPY TO TAKE A POINT AT WANNEROO
The points were shared at Kingsway Reserve where Wanneroo City and Shamrock Rovers played out an entertaining 2-2 draw to an appreciative crowd. Shamrock twice got their noses in front through Charlie Kenna and John Hogan but on each occasion they were pegged back, first by Chris Pugh and later Garin Collins. “Wanneroo have been gathering momentum in the last few weeks so to go to their backyard and prevent them from winning is an achievement,” commented Shamrock coach John O’Reilly. “We created enough chances to take all the points but didn’t finish them, but in saying that the overall the effort and work rate from the lads couldn’t be faulted.”
Both teams were quick to find their rhythm with Wanneroo’s passing game contrasting nicely with the visitors more direct approach. Shamrock were first to score, Paul Concannon playing in Ciaran Byrne whose shot was parried by Clint Davies with Charlie Kenna tucking away the follow-up. Chris Pugh restored parity by steered into the bottom corner from 16-metres after the visiting defence failed to sufficiently deal with a Stuart Montgomery free-kick. Half-time was on the horizon when substitute John Hogan’s swerving long-range strike deceived Davies, who got a glove on the ball was unable to keep it out of his net.
There was little change to the overall pattern of play after the turnaround, although as the game wore on chance started to become more frequent. Ross Edwards powerful header crashed down off the crossbar, then at the other end Davies did well to get a glove on Concannon’s thunderous drive which deflected off David Timmins. Wanneroo got the goal they were after via a dubious 85th minute free-kick which Garin Collins curled brilliantly over the defensive wall and into the top corner. Nerves were jangling across the final few minutes with Shamrock hitting the post and, with the final play, a scramble inside Wanneroo’s attacking zone was eventually hacked to safety.
DIANELLA SOAR IN MANDURAH
A first half blitz in which Dianella White Eagles netted three times in twenty minutes has produced a 4-0 win for the Division One leaders over Mandurah City at Hyundai Stadium. Dianella waited only 11 minutes before opening their account, Abdul Sesay gaining control inside the 18-yard box and blasting into the roof of the net. A nice piece of lead-up play was completed by Jon Stipe for goal number two, then on the half hour Robbie Phelan added another to the visitors tally. A double substitution at the break by Mandurah coach Billy Russell brought his team more into the game following the turnaround. There were just a few minutes to go when Phelan tucked in for a second time after meeting Michael Salsano’s cross into the area.
CANNING ROB ASHFIELD IN STOPPAGE TIME
A Josh Findlater goal minutes from the final whistle was enough for Canning City to snatch a dramatic 1-0 win over Ashfield from their meeting at Burrendah Reserve. An entertaining game destined to finish without score when Findlater put away his fourth goal in eight days to keep Canning level with Dianella White Eagles at the top of Division One. “We knew that Ashfield would be a tough assignment and they proved to be probably the best side we’ve played this year,” said Canning coach Paul Van Dongen. “We’ve been sensational at finishing off games, we’ve got a group of guys that just refuse to lose and it’s great to see that winning is mentality so strong.”
Ashfield came out firing with Ruben Tristao and Aaron Colli providing plenty of forward momentum. Ian Stack created the first chance on goal by getting in behind the defence and centring for Tristao, who shot straight at goalkeeper Steve Grant. Paul Van Dongen went close at the opposite end when his header was cleared off the line, then Findlater shot into the side netting as Canning started to assert some authority. The ascendency changed hands several times across the half with neither team able to make the most of their chances. Ryan Frisina also found the side netting, while Gerardo Soto’s drive was saved by goalkeeper John Perkins.
The second half started like first with Ashfield pilling on the pressure. Frisina had a goal disallowed for offside, Tristao stung the gloves of Grant and Colli’s long-range strike drifted wide. Canning eventually got back into stride. Daniel Neiderberger side-footed wide in a one-on-one with Perkins, who later held Rory Moutett’s low drive at the second attempt. Play was back and forth as both teams all out for the lead. Frisina was unable to get his angles right after rounding Grant, and Canning substitute Lawrence Cheyne rattled the crossbar. With the sun low in the sky, Neiderberger flicked the ball on to Findlater whose volley rolled past Perkins and inside the upright to get Canning the win.
KNIGHTS CHARGE PAST ROCKINGHAM
A first half barrage laid the foundations for Western Knights to despatch a youthful Rockingham City 6-2 at Nash Field. Brendan Craig (2), Johny Mirco, Luka Jukic, Jamie Ricks and Dean Thurston may have got the goals but it was veteran captain David Annall that coach Robbie Dunn praised following the final whistle. “David was superb, his great return to form has helped lift the entire team out on the park,” commented Dunn. “It was a good overall performance, the lads were very clinical and kept their concentration for the best part of the match. We made some changes in the second half to give some lads a rest and until the new lads found their feet we looked a little unbalanced.”
The Knights flew out the blocks in this game with Craig testing goalkeeper Danny Snelling before Annall crashed a header against the crossbar. The reward for such an attacking approach came on 14th minute when Mirco’s expertly struck free-kick from the edge of the 18-yard box flew into the top corner of Snelling’s net. A error by home defender Oscar Thompson soon after was punished by Craig, who streamed forward before slamming past the ‘keeper from 15-metres. Jukic was running the show in the middle of the park and after some tidy interplay he placed into the net after rounding Snelling. A near identical move produced another for the hosts with Craig this time slipping the ball into the net.
It took only five second half minutes for the Knights to put away their fifth goal, newly introduced substitute Jamie Ricks heading past a stranded ‘keeper. Rockingham responded by bringing on Thabiso Ncube who immediately set about tormenting the home defence with his lightning turn of pace and on the ball strength. Roy Hissey cut the deficit by rifling low into the bottom corner of the net from the penalty spots. Only a few more minutes had passed when Ncube found himself in the right place to poke in the loose ball after Ashley Crosswaite parried a Rafael Insurralde shot. That goal was answered ten minutes later when Thurston’s pile driver entered the net via the underside of the crossbar.
MORLEY’S SMASH-AND-GRAB ACT STUNS UWA
UWA-Nedlands were left to rue missed opportunities as Morley Windmills came from behind to snatch a 2-1 victory from a scrappy encounter at Wotton Reserve. Daniel Cagorski grabbed his second goal with pretty much the last kick of the afternoon to leave UWA wondering what might have been. “It was sickening to concede, not only how we did but also the fact there was no time left to go get an equaliser,” said UWA’s Aaron Barnett, whose team hovers just three points above last placed Rockingham City. “We should have walked away with the three points, we had our chances but failed to take them … it was a pretty quiet change room after the game.”
The first chance of the afternoon came via a centring ball from Plowman which Barnett put just wide of the post. Morley returned fire through Gavin Brady but he was unable to get the better of goalkeeper Duncan Lissiman. A tidy move down the right featuring Andrei Terni midway through the half presented an opening for Plowman, whose shot on the run from 6-metres was too hot for Daniel Agudelo to handle. The equaliser came not long after with Cagorski rising high to nod in a cross from the right. Cagorski through he’d put Morley in front just before the break but his side-foot in was ruled out for offside.
Play was fairly even after the turnaround with both defences responding well to the pressure. The better goalscoring opportunities came at the away end where Barnett was twice denied the goal he sought, initially by an offside flag and later by David McNally’s timely interception as he lined-up what should have been a simple tap-in. Morley were also displaying plenty of desire, however, it was rare that UWA’s defences were breached, and on those occasions that did happen Lissiman stood tall to the challenge. With 89 minutes on the clock Scott Campbell broke on the counterattack, slipping the ball through for Cagorski who slotted into an empty net after Lissiman blocked his first shot.
GOSNELLS COLLECT VALUABLE WIN
Gosnells City put a bit of distance between themselves and the foot of Division One by out-shooting Swan United 2-1 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The entertainment value was high early on with Christian Lopez swinging a free-kick narrowly wide of the far post, then at the opposite end Sean Taylor beat three defenders only to also strike past the target. John Monterosso fired into the side netting on the counterattack, and that was met by Alan Carroll’s long-range strike which goalkeeper Matt Battigelli pushed away. As the half came to a close Gosnells gained the upper hand. Taylor headed just over, Brian Patterson placed wide and Darren Gamble was thwarted by the ‘keeper.
Taylor clipped the top of the crossbar following the turnaround after meeting a Feisal Zaw cross as Gosnells continued to press. But the breakthrough would come at the other end where Lopez’s shot trickled over the line after Nick Tatasciore dribbled his way into the 18-yard box. Now chasing the game, Gosnells soon returned to the attack and were rewarded in the 74th minute with Taylor steering in a Gamble cross. With six minutes left Wade Farmer slotted Gosnells into the lead after the ball skittered around the 18-yard box. Swan twice went close to grabbing a late point but Tatasciore’s effort was deflected onto the bar by Farmer, and Herd was down quickly to smother at the feet of Monterosso
SUBIACO MAKE THEIR POINT
There was a glimpse of what Subiaco AFC are capable of in today’s 2-2 draw with Division Two leaders Maddington White City at Rosalie Park. Ger Fitzgerald scored twice off the bench for the home side either side of goals from Ty Fenwick and Chris O’Donnell. “Our performance today was mixed but overall I was pleased with the result,” said Subiaco coach Darren Yates. “The season so far has been one of inconsistency; we lose when we play good and win when we play poor. Most of the lads haven’t played together before so, with that in mind, I’m happy with where we are at right now.” The shared points move Subiaco up one rung to fifth spot, while Fremantle’s lead has been trimmed to single point over Quinns.
Subiaco made all the early running only to concede after 12 minutes, Fenwick finishing neatly after getting in behind the defence. Possession was evenly shared across the rest of the half with both teams carving out some promising openings, each of which went unconverted. Fitzgerald entered the action early in the second half and within ten minutes had stuck the ball away at close-range courtesy of Pat Morrison’s centring pass. A tidy exchange of passes out of midfield and into attack led to Fitzgerald finding the net for a second time goal. It looked as though that was the end of the scoring when Scott Ryan’s free-kick to the far post was nodded in by O’Donnell. Tom Barratt denied Ryan a late winner by pushing his shot away from the top corner in stoppage time.
MAPLESTONE TREBLE LEAVES FORRESTFIELD REELING
Quinns kept the pressure on at the top of Division Two by thrashing Forrestfield United 4-0 at Gumblossom Park. Arran Maplestone helped himself to a hat-trick and set-up the remainder for David Irwin to keep Quinns in second place, just one point behind pacesetters Maddington White City. “I’m pleased for the lads, they worked hard today and got a good win,” said Allan Ormesher, assistant coach of Quinns. “It was a great team effort, each individual did the job they were given and it would be unfair to pick out anybody for specific praise.”
It took only 9 mins for the home side to open their account, John McNeill breaking the offside by threading the ball through for Maplestone to finish into the bottom corner of the Forrestfield net. Having gone ahead, Quinns immediately set about extending their advantage but their best efforts were repelled by a stubborn defensive unit. Frustrations got the better of Brian Carney just after the half hour with the attacker copping a yellow card for dissent following another offside call. Half-time was five minutes away when Maplestone slotted in after meeting a Cairney crossed from the left.
Chances came and went at both ends of the park as Forrestfield came into the game more after the turnaround. Quinns struck for a third time in the 56th minute, Maplestone floating a free-kick into the 18-yard box where Irwin soared above all to head into the back of the net. Irwin produced further heroics straight from the restart, albeit at the opposite end where he prevented Milan Banjak’s effort from entering the net after he’d rounded goalkeeper Daniel McAinst. Maplestone completed his hat-trick with a stunning 25-metre strike into the top corner which gave ‘keeper N.Cipriani no chance.
MIDDLETON GETS FREMANTLE OVER THE LINE
Fremantle United prevailed 3-2 over a spirited Kingsway Olympic outfit at Hilton Reserve. Joe Middleton struck late but decisively to add to first half finishes from Andrew Morrow and Sam Ambrogio, and cancel out those by Josh Rolls and David Ashworth, on a day when both teams were hit heavy by injury, illness and suspension. “We had another three first team players out today but the young lads that came in did a great job,” said Fremantle coach Jason Smith, who feels the final margin should have been greater. “We made it hard for ourselves … I think we’ll be working on our finishing at training this week.”
There was enterprising play from both teams across the opening passages without either really threatening to break through. That changed on 12 minutes when Morrow powered a header into the top corner after rising highest to meet Andrew Ambrogio’s in-swinging corner. It took all of five minutes for Kingsway to hit back, an infringement on Dave Houpapa prompting the referee to point to the penalty spot from where Rolls shot hit one post then the other before crossing the line. A mix-up in the Kingsway defence gifted Fremantle back the lead, Sam Ambrogio poking into an empty net after Aaron Lickiss and goalkeeper Anthony Salpietro failed to respond to Angelo Canzurlo’s seemingly innocuous prod forward.
Fremantle were on the attack again immediately after the break, young midfielder Angus Vos forcing a flying save from Salpietro and from the resulting corner Ben West nodded narrowly wide. A stunning strike by Ashworth after 63 minutes brought the teams, the Kingsway captain lashing in from 28-metres on the end of some good lead-up play. Sam Smith and Middleton were denied by Salpietro as Fremantle stepped up the pace over the closing stages. Middleton made amends for his miss in the 82nd minute by crashing a shot through a crowded 18-yard box which found the bottom corner via the upright. David Sinclair almost snuck a late equaliser but fired wide when found unmarked at close-range.
MELVILLE REVIVAL CONTINUES
Melville City bucked the odds by bringing down high-flying Joondalup City 4-0 at Len Shearer Reserve. It was the third time in four weeks Danny Evans side have picked up points, following on from a home win over Subiaco AFC and a draw with Quinns. Melville were on the front foot early with David Palin opening their account midway through the half with Ben Steele increasing the gap after pouncing on a Ashley Savage through ball. Steele added another following the turnaround after Palin unselfishly letting the ball run through to his team mate. Substitute Bryce Conway completed the route by smashing in from close-range. Despite the win, Melville remains at the foot of Division Two on level points with Forrestfield United after eight games.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
Bayswater City can make it to the season mid-point without loss by taking a point, or three, against the visitors from Sorrento. Goals may have been flowing freely for Bayswater and, despite being unbeaten in seventeen games, goalkeeper Devon Spence knows statistics will mean nothing come 3.00pm tomorrow. “There isn’t an easy game in this league and Sorrento is testament to that,” he said. “Sorrento has been very consistent for a number of seasons now and our boys will be up for a top battle.” Bayswater striker Steve Burton misses the game due to suspension.
Sorrento captain Todd Harnwell is expecting a big effort from his team after they went down to Floreat Athena last time out. “It was a very disappointing result for us, especially at home,” said the Gulls veteran. “Bayswater are absolutely flying, we know we must win if we are to have any hope of keeping in touch with them come the end of the season. They have assembled a strong squad and we will all need to be on our game to get a result. In saying that our away form has been good, so we are quietly confident.”
In-form Floreat Athena will be looking to make to four wins on the bounce when they welcome Perth SC to Litis Stadium. Mark Pritchard and Bobby Wilson will be vital in the hosts quest for six straight wins, while Josh Pereira and Ashley Corker are the players to watch from the Perth camp. Cockburn City and Balcatta are both at full strength for their clash at Dalmatinac Park. The return of English veteran Andy Todd will go a long way to plugging the holes in a leaky Armadale defence when they host the National Training Centre.
Home team Stirling Lions aren’t about to take lightly bottom of the table Bunbury Forum Force. “They have some good individual players and a new coach, Matt Holland, who I am sure will try to inspire them to a positive result,” said Stirling assistant coach Gary Williams. “Despite them being at the foot of the table, their games are often close affairs and on a number of occasions they have been beaten by one goal. We will be going all out for a victory in an attempt to close the gap between us and Bayswater City.”
There are some notable ins and out for ECU Joondalup and Inglewood United, who do battle at the Edith Cowan University campus. Joondalup, whose focus in on halting a three game losing streak, are without injured dur Tommy Amphlett and Shaun Timmins but welcome Tommy Jones and Joe Knowles back into the match day squad. It’s a similar story for Inglewood where the return of Matt Danksin and Michael Baczynski goes someway to offsetting the continued Alex Caniglia and Greg Sharland. All six Premier Division games kick-off on Saturday at 3.00pm.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Team’s on the rise Wanneroo City and Shamrock Rovers go head-to-head tomorrow at Kingsway Reserve. Both sides have won their last three outings and Shamrock striker Ciaran Byrne is quietly confident it will be the Hoops that are in the mood for celebrating come the end of the day. “At the moment we’re playing well, everyone is in good form and as a team we are getting stronger each week,” commented Byrne. “Our focus is on staying consistent and taking it one game at a time, and we have the team and the coaches to do that.”
Canning City commences a tough run of games with a home fixture against Ashfield. “We have three huge weeks coming up against Ashfield, Dianella White Eagles and then Wanneroo, these games will show us exactly where we are as a unit,” explained Canning veteran Rory Mouttet. “To be a serious contender you need to beat top sides, and Ashfield are a top side. Our focus is not on our opposition, we respect them but at the end of the day it’s about worrying about our own performance and taking our chances when they come.”
Division One leaders Dianella White Eagles will have new signing Igor Novakovic on board for their trip to Mandurah City. Robbie Dunn has a full squad to select from for Western Knights’ game at Rockingham City, where Darren Lawler and Richard Lacey are back in contention. Damian Scali also has a full complement of players available for Swan United’s home clash with Gosnells City, who welcome back Brian Paterson, Sean Taylor and Alan Carroll. Andy Griffiths is Morley Windmills only absence for their meeting with UWA-Nedlands at Wotton Reserve. All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Division Two title hopefuls Quinns will be going all out for the win when they face struggling Forrestfield United tomorrow at Gumblossum Park. “It’s crucial that we take the three points as it will keep us in the fight for top spot,” said Quinns attacker Gareth Hamilton, who’ll miss the game through suspension. “We beat Forrestfield at their place at the start of the season but they have had some good wins and made some new signings, so it will be tough game. That said, I’m confident our lads will come out with the points.”
Top of the table Maddington White City travels to Rosalie Park to play Subiaco AFC. Fremantle United’s injury crisis has worsened ahead of their home meeting with Kingsway Olympic. Training ground mishaps have put goalkeeper Harry McCann (ankle) and attacker Darren Monaghan (knee) on an already lengthy list of walking wounded at the port side. Bobby Melia and Elliot Rose (suspension) will be out of action for Joondalup City’s visit to Melville City, who will be minus had Sasa Slavujveic (hamstring). All four Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
SETTLED LINE-UP WILL DO SUBIACO WONDERS SAYS FITZGERALD
Subiaco AFC midfielder Ger Fitzgerald expects his team to start making their way up the Division Two standings over the coming weeks. The inner city club have travelled a fairly bumpy road so far this season but some positive recent results and a stable line-up will go a long way to Subiaco getting things back on track. “A few injuries hampered us getting a fixed team at the start of the season, but we have some players coming back so we should get a settled side pretty soon,” said Fitzgerald. “The league is good in as far as anyone can beat anyone on the day, and come the end of the season it will be very close to see who is crowned champions.”
The opening two months of the winter has been something of a rollercoaster ride for sixth-placed Subiaco. “It’s certainly been mixed,” Fitzgerald commented. “We could have easily gotten a draw from our first game against Maddington White City, and against Kingsway Olympic anything that could go wrong went wrong. We played very well at Joondalup City, winning 4-0, and had a good win over Fremantle United the week after. I feel we should have got at least a draw away to Quinns, which was another tough game, then Melville was another game where a lot went wrong for us. Overall, I’d have to say bad decision making and mistakes have cost us dearly.”
There were plenty of positives to be taken from Subiaco’s weekend performance, a 3-2 home win over Forrestfield United courtesy of goals from Nathan Steel (2) and Ivan Lee. “We were very happy with the three points and the fact that we scored three goals,” said Fitzgerald, who laid on the pass for Steel to put away Subiaco’s all-important third goal. “We had a poor first half but we listened to what our new manager, Darren Yates, said at the break and the second half performance was much better. In all honesty we should have scored a few more in the second half as we had a few one-on-ones that went unconverted.”
Subiaco intend making a big statement this weekend by taking a point, or possibly three, from their clash with Division Two pacesetters Maddington White City. “Our goals for the season are to win as many games as we can and finish as high as we can, so three points on Saturday will help us get a bit of that momentum going,” Fitzgerald commented. “It will be a tough game against the league leaders on Saturday but we know we are capable of beating them. Maddington are a good side and are top of the league, but we are confident of getting the result we want.” Subiaco match skills with Maddington from 3.00pm on Saturday at Rosalie Park.
ITALIANO OUT TO PROVE GLORY WRONG
Goalkeeper Lewis Italiano intends capturing the attention of A-League clubs on the eastern seaboard after being axed by Perth Glory. Italiano, 22, signed with his hometown club last October as an injury replacement for Neil Young. After training all summer, not to mention 25 appearances on the bench, Italiano was looking forward to another season with Glory when informed he was no longer required. “I have to move on and look forward to my next challenge,” Italiano commented. “It’s nice to know that there are lot of supporters out there who believe in me and, hopefully, I’ll justify their beliefs by securing a new contract soon.”
In moving on Italiano has returned to Victorian club Oakleigh Cannons, who have recently appointed former Gold Coast United manager Miron Bleiberg to the helm. “It’s exciting to work with Miron, a coach who has significant A-League experience and one whom I'm sure I can learn a lot from,” said Italiano. “It’s been pretty easy to settle in as I know most of the boys from last season and I know the people around the club … its good being back,” said Italiano. “Results haven’t gone as well as we’d like at the start of this season but I’m confident that we’ll turn it around.”
Italiano spent his development years with Stirling Lions, Balcatta and Inglewood United before revealing his full potential with some stunning displays across Balcatta’s history making 2011 campaign. He was a regular fixture of the Glory Youth team the following summer and, recognising first team opportunities would be scarce, headed east to play for Oakleigh. Italiano earned rave reviews in the Victorian Premier League, playing a key role in Oakleigh finishing the regular season in second spot, and was fresh from trials with A-League side Melbourne Victory when Glory came knocking with the offer of a one-year deal.
For Italiano, it was the culmination of a long held dream. “It was great to be at Glory and be involved with the team from the beginning of the season until the end. It was a fantastic experience and it really is one of the best jobs in the world to be a professional footballer,” commented Italiano, who cherished the opportunity to train alongside first choice ‘keeper Danny Vukovic. “Working with Danny was amazing. He is such a fantastic ‘keeper, you don’t realise just how good he is until you see him work every day at training. His intensity, shot stopping and sheer professionalism is great to see and a real inspiration.”
The experiences of last summer have galvanised Italiano’s desire to play football full-time. “I’m very keen on pursuing a professional career, be here in Australia or abroad. That’s really my aim – to be a professional footballer,” commented Italiano, who attended trials with English side Preston North End a few years back. “My agent and I have discussed the possibility of trialling overseas again and he has been in discussions with some clubs about some possible trials in the pre-season, but there’s nothing definite as yet … it’s my ambition to one day be able to play in Europe in one of the top leagues.”
GLORY TO PLAY IN NPL
The implementation of the National Premier League in Western Australia will mark the return of Perth Glory to the local stage. Football West chief executive Peter Hugg all but confirmed Glory would field a team in the new competition next year in conjunction with the peak body while speaking on last night’s edition of ‘Let’s Talk Football’. “The top two clubs (first team and under-20s) will be the responsibility of Perth Glory,” explained Hugg. “They will be called Perth Glory, play in purple and white and be under Alistair Edwards, Gareth Naven and Scotty Miller.”
The NPL team structure also requires clubs to field youth sides, which is where Football West’s development programs come into play. “The 18s, 16s and 15s will be National Training Centre boys that will play as per Football West, and the 14s, 13s and 12s will be our young skills acquisition kids,” added Hugg. Glory’s previous venture into the local competition was in 2002 when Future Glory finished a creditable seventh in the Premier Division with a side that included Nick Ward, Antonio Naglieri, Aleks Vrteski, Shaun Kilkelly and Miki Vujacic.
CENTRAL COAST HOLD ON TO GRIFFITHS
Defender Brent Griffiths will remain with A-League champions Central Coast Mariners for another campaign after signing a one-season contract extension. Griffiths, 23, was used sparingly during his club’s successful 2012/13 campaign season but is expected stake his claim on a regular place in the line-up next term following the retirement of veteran stopper Patrick Zwaanswijk. Born in England but raised in Perth, Griffiths played locally for ECU Joondalup before spells at youth team level with Blackburn Rovers and Perth Glory. A short stay with Stirling Lions preceded his return to the national league last season with Wellington Phoenix, and last summer’s switch to Central Coast.
MARCHIONE SILENCES HIS CRITICS
Perth SC coach Mauro Marchione has lashed out at his critics, labelling those who have him in their sights as ill-informed. Perth, the most successful club in State League history, have made a slow start to their first season under Marchione, winning just four and draw one of their opening ten games to sit in eighth position. Such a record could suggest the Perth coach is under pressure to turn things around, however, that is far from the case according to the man who guided Bayswater City to the top of the table last year. “Not many people understand what we are trying to achieve here this season,” said Marchione told footballwest.com.au “We are not chasing any trophies this year, we are building for next year.”
Marchione accepted the coaching role at Dorrien Gardens last October and in the space of a few short months had totally transformed the playing roster. “It’s a completely new squad, and the youngsters have all come up from within the ranks at this club,” said Marchione, hitting back at claims Perth have foregone their traditional focus on local talent by recruiting from aboard. “We are missing a number of senior players due to injury, and that is going to affect any team in this league. The five imports have added experience to our side and are coaching the young players on the park, which will help them become better players.” Two of those imports, Ayodeji Omoboye and Ashley Corker, were on target in yesterday’s 2-0 defeat of Joondalup.
CORKER OF A RESULT FOR PERTH
Perth SC have picked up maximum points for the second time in three weeks, defeating ECU Joondalup 2-0 this afternoon at Dorrien Gardens. Former Middlesbrough midfielder Ashley Corker played the starring role by setting up fellow import Ayodeji Omoboye for the Blues opening goal before netting himself late on to seal the win. “It was a good win and something we’ve needed over the past few weeks,” commented Corker, whose contribution allowed Perth to take eight position on the Premier Division ladder. “We’ve put the effort in but results haven’t gone our way, but today it did and it was good to get a clean sheet.”
A cagey opening produced little in the way of chances on goal for either team. Joondalup suffered a body blow just after the quarter hour when leading goal scorer Tommy Amphlett was forced out of the game by a hamstring problem. It was only now that Perth started to find their rhythm. The first shot at goal came soon after via Joshua Perrira whose long-range attempt whizzed wide. The closest Joondalup would come to matching that was Jon Stynes first time strike from a Tanner Selyer which defender James Marocchi blocked.
Corker ensured Perth would make a dream start to the second half by centring for an unmarked Omoboye who had time to place low and to the left of goalkeeper Andy Banks. Joondalup worked hard to find a response. A shot by Selyer was blocked by Marocchi and Jason Saldaris spoiled Stynes follow-up, while late on Ryan Lowry blazed high from 5-metres. Down the other end Banks kept out shots from Adam Luca and Kris Gate as Perth sought to seal the game. That didn’t happen until the 89th minute when Gate’s low cross was side-footed in at close-range by Corker.
SAGE CALLS FOR A BETTER DEAL
Perth Glory owner Tony Sage is seething that his club have been allocated back-to-back away games on four occasions during the 2013/14 A-League season. The release of fixtures for the coming summer last week confirmed daunting travel schedule for Glory. “It’s very difficult for any club in the west and the (Fremantle) Dockers and (West Coast) Eagles can tell you that,” Sage told the ‘West Australian’ newspaper. “We want one week at home and one week away, but that hasn’t been fulfilled. It never has since day one and this is season nine. The football department want it and the players want it so they’ve got consistency. That’s the way we’d like it but they (FFA) told us it’s almost impossible.”
Glory kicks off their season on 13 October with a home outing against Nullarbor neighbours Adelaide United. Sage said the game is likely to be moved to Subiaco Oval due to Perth Oval being unavailable on that date. The majority of Glory’s home games will be played at night to avoid the heat of Perth’s summer. Glory will play only three afternoon home games, all in the opening rounds of the competition, with the remaining ten home games split between Friday (four) and Saturday (six) nights. “Our fans don’t want Sunday afternoon games, especially in the hot months, so we’re very happy that we’ve only got three and they’re very early,” Sage commented.
The 2013/14 A-League will not conclude until the first week of May, making it the latest finish of the competitions’ nine seasons. This has been done to allow for international break and bring the A-League closer into line with major European leagues, while also giving Australian-based players a better chance to make the Socceroos’ World Cup squad. FFA have also targeted key dates and public holidays for blockbuster fixtures during the Christmas/New Year period with 16 games to be played in just 18 days. Glory was their wish not to be drawn at home on Australia Day after fewer than 5,000 fans turned up for last year’s game Grand Final re-match with Brisbane Roar.
YOUNG SOCCEROOS BEATEN IN THE NETHERLANDS
Australia’s Under-20 national team have been defeated 3-1 by the Netherlands Under-21 side in an international friendly at the Univé Stadium in the Netherlands. The hosts’ took the lead in the 4th minute with a well taken free-kick and by half-time had opened up a three-goal buffer. Australia gave a better account of themselves after the break with Ryan Williams and Adam Taggart calling the ‘keeper into action. Jamie Maclaren pulled a goal back at the end of regulation time by tucking in the rebound from an Andrew Hoole effort parried by the ‘keeper. Sam Galloway played a full game, Williams and Taggart were replaced on 77 minutes while Ryan Edwards (74) and Daniel De Silva (83) were used off the bench.
BAYSWATER GIVE REDS FIVE OF THE BEST
Bayswater City continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 5-2 defeat of Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. Steve Burton, James Isaia, Trent Kay, Gustavo Giron-Marulanda and Damien Catalano were on target for the visitors, who have now gone seventeen games without loss. “It’s never an easy place to come and get a result, so we’re pleased to get the three points and score five in the process,” said Colombian striker Giron-Marulanda. “We have been threatening to beat someone heavily in the past month and, unfortunately, it was Armadale today.”
An attacking start by the visitor paid dividends after 14 minutes, a quick break catching the Armadale backline by surprise as Andy Reale lifted over the top to put Burton one-on-one with goalkeeper Cyril Sharrock, who was unable to keep out his opponents finish. It was two-nil after 24 minutes when Burton combined with Catalano whose cross found Isaia, the midfielder a tidy finish on the turn to give Sharrock no chance. Bayswater almost added another just before half-time, Giron-Marulanda outpacing the defence only for his shot to crash off the crossbar and away to safety.
Armadale came out blazing after the break, Laure stealing possession from Kay and from the top of the 18-yard box fired past Devon Spence. Kay made amends three minutes by heading in from a corner. Then on the hour Giron-Marulanda released Catalano, who fended off the last defender to net from 10-metres. Goal number five arrived two minutes later, Catalano playing an inch-perfect pass which Giron-Marulanda stroked past Sharrock. To Armadale’s credit they continued to press and Laure’s curling free-kick cut the deficit. The day ended a sour note for Bayswater with Burton issued a straight card for a studs up challenge.
LYONS SPOT ON FOR STIRLING
Anthony Lyons had been on the park just a few minutes when he bagged the deciding goal in Stirling Lions’ 2-1 win over Inglewood United at Intiga Stadium. A Rory Grant own goal had given the hosts an early lead only for Miki Vujacic to restore parity two minutes later by scoring direct from a corner. “We didn’t play our best today but we picked up the three points which is all that matters,” said Lyons. “I was a little disappointed not to start the game, but I’m happy to contribute when I get the chance and it was nice to pop up with the winner.”
A bright start by Inglewood resulted in a 13th minute lead, Grant heading into his own net under pressure from Shaun Kilkelly as they contested an Andrija Jukic corner from the left. That error was forgiven a couple of minutes later when Vujacic’s in-swinging corner beat all inside a crowded 18-yard box and went in via the back post. Aleks Vrteski was by far the busier goalkeeper with saves to deny Jukic and Ryan Clarke. Danny Thomson found a way around the Stirling custodian ‘keeper in the 38th minute but his angled effort was cleared off the line by Dean Evans.
The second half opened with Jason Colli flashing narrowly wide after being allowed too much time on top of the area. Stirling heeded that warning and on 67 minutes Lyons made no mistake from the penalty spot after being felled inside the box by Craig Simpson. Jukic’s low attempt was kept out by Vrteski while Lyons placed wide from 10-metres as the teams sought to add to their respective tallies. Vrteski again came to the rescue by saving bravely at the feet of Clarke, and in stoppage time Luke Martino did likewise to leave frustrate Lyons.
FLOREAT TRUMP WASTEFUL SORRENTO
Sorrento lost ground on the leaders after going down 2-0 to Floreat Athena. Goals from David Heagney and Ian McMurray were enough to secure victory for the away team but their winning margin would have been greater had captain Mark Pritchard been able to make something of a second half penalty. “It was a great team performance with everyone giving everything and another clean sheet is great,” McMurray commented. “We knew three points were a must for us to keep up with teams above us. We just need to keep going a game at a time, working hard for each other and we’ll keep climbing.”
Pritchard made clear Floreat’s desire to be first on the scoreboard after just a couple of minutes, the midfielder’s deflected shot drawing a low save out of goalkeeper Curtis Aspden. The crowd were kept on the edge of their seats as one team went forward, followed by the other. Sorrento captain Todd Harnwell flashed a shot over the crossbar before Heagney threatened to breakthrough. The home side were beginning to create the better of moves but Gavin Knight scuffed wide a golden chance to break the deadlock.
Sorrento went close again soon after with Knight this time the provider, the striker picking out an unmarked Brodie Martin who also managed to miss the target from close-range. The host’s inability to convert was punished in the 18th minute when Heagney rifled beyond the reach of Aspden after Benny Kouakou’s shot on the end of a surging run bounced back off the post. Floreat would lose Adrian Caceres to injury before the half was out, his place in attack taken by McMurray. Martin could have sent the sides into the break on level terms but failed to convert from just a few metres.
The second half had been underway just four minutes when Martin’s lunging tackle on Pritchard left referee David Costello no option but to issue a straight red card. Floreat now held all the cards and with a little more luck Kouakou and McMurray would have increased the advantage. Referee Costello was prompted to point to the penalty spot following Ryan Pearson 60th minute foul on McMurray, Pritchard stepped up but blazed well wide of the target. The game was made safe elven minutes later when McMurray headed in at the back post after being picked out by a Heagney’s free-kick.
COCKBURN LEAVE IT LATE IN BUNBURY
Connor Kavanagh popped up in the final minute of regulation time to steal Cockburn City a 2-1 win over Bunbury Forum Force at Payne Park. The game was seemingly destined to finish level, Jayden Prosser’s early opener cancelled out soon after by Paul Lloyd, when Kavanagh headed in the decider. “I thought we were the better side particularly first half,” commented Lloyd. “We had chance after chance but didn’t take them and then Bunbury came into it second half, which made it difficult for us. We need to cut out the silly goals that have put us behind early in our last couple of games.”
Bunbury entered the afternoon minus influential imports Oliver McGee and Chris Blackburn, so it was no surprise that it was Cockburn who were asserting themselves early on. Jack Eades and Devon Gibson were causing problems down the flanks, and both created openings for Lloyd but on each occasion goalkeeper Ryan Montgomery was up to the challenge It was against the run of play that Bunbury took a 7th minute lead through Prosser, who bundled the ball in at close-range after Jamie Tandy’s free-kick to the far post went to feet.
Eight minutes was all Cockburn needed before drawing level, Lloyd cutting past the last defender and after making a bit of space for himself unleashed a powerful low shot which flashed into Montgomery’s net. Either team would have entered the break with the lead had they brought along their finishing boots. But some solid work between the posts by Montgomery and his opposite number Dejan Aleksic, in combination with wayward finishing, meant there would be no addition to the scoreline.
The second half was ten minutes old when Prosser delivered an inviting cross which was just out of Bright Ababio’s reach. Cockburn thought they’d taken the lead midway through the half when Eades headed in, however, goal celebrations were cut short by an offside flag. Danny Kane and Craig Aldridge called Aleksic into action as Bunbury pressed to take the lead. It looked as though the points would be shared when Lloyd’s 90th minute corner was headed in by an unmarked Kavanagh and snatch an unlikely victory.
ROSINDALE BACK TO HIS BEST
Striker Ashley Rosindale scored twice on his return to the starting line-up as Balcatta cruised to a 5-2 win over the National Training Centre at Grindleford Reserve. Mikey Aspin also helped himself to a brace with Estonian striker Olari Perlin also on target for the home side. “It was a match we simply had to win,” said Aspin. “We allowed them back in after going two-nil up, but we pushed on and were strong enough to get goals to win the match. And, on a personal note, to go from never scoring a free-kick at any level to scoring two in ten minutes is pretty surreal.”
It was a tight opening to the game, with the development squad having a lot of possession but unable to make much of it. Balcatta showed them how it’s done in the 24th minute, Rosindale tapping into an empty after goalkeeper Jordan Franken’s attempt to clear Matt Kerridge under-hit back pass clattered into him. Kieran Colwell came on at the break and was lucky not to exit eleven minutes later after bringing down Rosindale. Aspin swung the resulting free-kick around the defensive wall and into the bottom corner to make it two-nil.
The NTC clawed their way back in through Ndumba Makeche, who beat Alex Dunn twice in the space of seven minutes. However, there would be no fairytale finish for the youngsters as Aspin stepped up to another free-kick and again gave Franken no chance of making the save. The NTC’s failure to deal with a Jarrod Smith corner allowed Rosindale to tap in at the back post from a few metres. Rosindale capped a great performance with a perfectly weighted ball into the path of Perlin whose half-volley flew into the net in stoppage time.
SHAMROCK CLIP WHITE EAGLES’ WINGS
Mark O’Brien struck early to earn Shamrock Rovers a gritty 1-0 defeat of over Division One leaders Dianella White Whites. John O’Reilly said his teams’ success was as much the result of a solid defensive workout as it was O’Brien’s goal in the opening minutes of a thrilling contest. “We’re very happy with the clean sheet,” commented the Shamrock coach, after inflicting Dianella’s first loss of the season. “(Assistant coach) Mike Ford has been working hard with the defence over the last three weeks and today our back four and goalkeeper dealt superbly with the majority of traffic.”
The ball had been in motion just 3 minutes when O’Brien made his move, steering the ball into an empty net from distance after seizing upon goalkeeper Tom Dixon’s stray clearance. Immediately both teams settled into a pattern of probing attacks with neither able to dominate possession. Shamrock looked the like more likely to score and on 17 minutes Ciaran Bryne’s delightful chip cleared the ‘keeper only to crash into the crossbar. Rory Kiely spurned another opportunity by spraying wide of the target, and before the break Bryne fired into the side netting at close-range.
Dianella returned for the second half with a renewed enthusiasm, however, they lacked the imagination required to break down a resilient defensive line. The closest they came to equalising was a Vlad Naumovski free-kick which crashed into the bar, Dhamon Kalamaras was on the rebound in an instant but his effort from close-in was pushed over by Josh Shepperd. Shamrock were hitting on the counter and close to the end some nice lead-up work by Byrne, Charlie Kenna and Barry Mulligan put the later inside the 18-yard box but the angle was good much for the striker to overcome.
CANNING RETURN TO THE TOP
There were few surprises at Walter Padbury Reserve where Gosnells City surrendered 4-1 to Canning City. Josh Findlater helped himself to a hat-trick with Laurence Cheyne grabbing the remainder to return Canning to level points with Dianella White Eagles at the top of Division One. The away side opened with a barrage of attacks and early chances for Steve Kane and Findlater, while Sam Carrello found the net only for a foul on goalkeeper Struan Herd to disallow it. Canning got the goal they were after on 23 minutes with Findlater rocketing into the top corner after pouncing on a partial clearance from a corner. Paul Van Dongen lashed narrowly wide and Daniel Neiderberger headed into the crossbar as Canning continued to press.
Gosnells gave a much better account of themselves after the break and, in the 55th minute, Aaron Coslani brought the game level with a sweetly-struck shot which sailed into the top corner. But the hosts’ joy would be short-lived. Just four minutes later Findlater out-muscled a couple of opponents before unleashing a vicious shot which entered the net via the underside of the crossbar. Cheyne then sealed the game with a tidy finish from outside the 18-yard box which flashed across the ‘keeper after meeting Neiderberger’s centring ball. Gosnells briefly flickered to life but neither Wade Farmer nor Ian O’Donohue were able to capitalise when the opportunity arose. Findlater completed his hat-trick by tucking in from the penalty spot following a foul on Neiderberger.
DEFENSIVE RESILIENCE GETS MANDURAH THE WIN
Second half finishes by Monty Grigo and Brent Mayhew earned Mandurah City a 2-0 win over home team Ashfield. The win, Mandurah’s third in a row, was a just reward for an afternoon’s hard graft by the team from down south, who remain without a host of first team regulars due to injury. Ashfield may have monopolised the first half possession but not even their best attacking efforts were enough to break down a resilient backline. Mandurah took their game up a notch after in the second half which was seven minutes old when captain Craig Young square the ball to Grigo, who volleyed into the top corner from the edge of the 18-yard box. The points were secured with twelve minutes to go, Young beating his marker before crossing for Mayhew whose deflected shot flashed past the goalkeeper.
KNIGHTS STRIKE EARLY
Western Knights scored back-to-back wins for the first time this season by out-shooting Swan United 2-1 at Nash Field. Early strikes by Steve Purton and Brendan Craig gave the home team a dream start but had the home team in front early and they should have had a few more before livewire striker Geneveo Human breathed life into Swan in the second period. “It was a frustrating game to watch,” said Knights boss Robbie Dunn. “We should have been four or five up and the game should have been over by half-time. Swan came at us in the second half but I was really happy with the way our players soaked up their pressure.”
Swan were on the back foot from as early as the 7 minute when David Caine’s corner came out to Purton whose volley from 20-metres found the back of the net. And it looked as though the floodgates were about to open when, ten minutes later, Craig complimented some good lead-up work by sliding in goal number two. The Knights had reason to feel aggrieved when the referee waved for play to continue after Johny Mirco was unceremoniously dumped inside the 18-yard box. Purton’s explosive drive from 30-metres crashed into the upright as shots rained down on Swan custodian Simon Madaschi, who was no doubt relieved when half-time rolled around.
It was a much-changed Swan which emerged from the break, fired up and determined to take something from the afternoon. Substitute Justin Skowron was asserting his influence going forward as John Monterosso asked the home defence all sorts of questions in his patrol of the final third. The black and whites were rewarded came on 63 minutes when Monterosso’s square pass was despatched into the top corner by Human. Luke Colli was presented a great opportunity to equalise but was unable to capitalise after being found free near the penalty spot. Nerves remained on edge right up to the final whistle with both goalkeeper’s called into action to prevent any further addition to the scoreline.
GOALS NO OBSTACLE FOR WANNEROO
Free-scoring Wanneroo City surged in joint fourth with a 4-1 demolition of Morley Windmills at Kingsway Reserve. Danny Milne, Ross Edwards, David Calder and substitute Glen Thomas each found the back of the net to take Wanneroo’s goal tally to 16 in three weeks. It was clear from the get-go that this was going to be a long afternoon for the away team. The first chance of note came the way of Guy McDonald whose attempted lob was taken comfortably by Daniel Agudelo, who soon after was out quick to smother at the feet of Milne. This pattern would continue all the way to half-time, with Morley only real opening being Adam Pygrum’s long-range effort into the side-netting.
There was little change to the flow of play after the turnaround. Wanneroo finally got the goal they were after on 70 minutes, Milne’s diving header from Guy McDonald’s measured cross flying into Agudelo’s net. Four minutes later Edwards, who had stayed forward after a free-kick, placed inside the far post following a nice exchange between Anthony Jones and Milne. Morley hopes of a revival vanished with the red carding of Joe Woodin for his part in an altercation with Edwards. Calder tucked past Agudelo in a one-on-one before Thomas made the most of a superb through ball from Chris Pugh to make it four-nil. Morley grabbed a late consolation goal scored by Kris Dennis.
UWA GO HOME WITH THREE VITAL POINTS
UWA-Nedlands put some distance between themselves and the foot of the Division One ladder by dumping Rockingham City 4-1 at Lark Hill Sportsplex. The season may still be early but this was very much a must-win affair for two teams who’ve so far failed to ignite. The day didn’t start well for home coach Charlie Smith, who was forced into reshuffling his line-up when defender Oscar Thompson succumbed to an ankle injury after only 9 minutes. Nonetheless, Rockingham fashioned the first chance on goal with Rafael Insurralde playing in young gun Thabisco Ncube, who pulled wide of the target. UWA-Nedlands began to get more involved and after a well-constructed move Chris Yates crashed a shot against the crossbar from 25-metres.
The second half was only a few minutes old when UWA went ahead, James Plowman lobbing over onrushing goalkeeper Danny Snelling after being played in by Barnett. Some fine lead-up work down the left on the hour between Andrei Terni and Plowman allowed Jack Ryecroft to double the visitors advantage. The game was effectively ended as a contest minutes later when Aaron Barnett slotted into the bottom corner from 17-metres after Snelling charged off his line and felled Plowman. Ryecroft and Matt Chapman played a neat one-two to again open up the home defence with the latter putting goal number four into Snelling’s net. Insaurralde grabbed Rockingham a late consolation after some slick build-up play.
FENWICK HAS A FIELD DAY AT FREMANTLE
Fremantle United had little in the way of answers to a rampant Maddington White City outfit which claim all the points by a 3-0 scoreline at Hilton Reserve. A trio of goal by Ty Fenwick ultimately decided the game, however, Fremantle coach Jason Smith admits his team were lucky not to go down by a greater margin. “My players need to learn to step up for these top of the table clashes, today they just didn’t want it enough,” said Smith. “We were beaten by a better side which should have been out of sight in 30 minutes. That said, we were denied a penalty and if our one-on-one finishing was better then who knows what might have happened.”
Maddington started the game at full pace. Paolo Pacitti was denied in a one-on-one with Carlos Bervenotti, who was beaten a few minutes but grateful when Tait Comely’s attempt hit the post. Pacitti pulled wide of the mark after being released by Sean Treacey before Danny Clapham tested the ‘keeper twice in as many minutes. Maddington’s persistence paid off on 24 minutes with Fenwick heading in at the back post from Ryan Frankcom’s cross. Fenwick doubled that lead four minutes later by nodding in an empty net after Bervenotti got a glove on Clapham’s chip shot. Fremantle didn’t threaten until after the half hour but Joe Middleton was thwarted by Peter Wile and Andrew Morrow stroked wide after rounding the ‘keeper.
Middleton could have brought Fremantle back into the game after the break but after being played through his shot was kept out by Wile. Maddington were going all out to cut the deficit but Middleton’s 17-metre strike drifted wide, then Morrow was foiled by Wile in a one-on-one situation. Having weathered the storm, Maddington began to push back. Liam McLaughlin’s sent the ball over the defence for Pacitti whose shot was saved by Bervenotti. A powerful shot by Fenwick flew over the top after the midfielder created himself some space by beating two opponents outside the area. Fenwick completed his deserved hat-trick by tucking into an empty net after being released by McLaughlin and rounding the ‘keeper.
JOONDALUP MAKE MOST OF THEIR CHANCES
Joondalup City remained within reach of top spot by eking out a 2-0 win over Kingsway Olympic at Iluka Sports Complex. First half possession was evenly shared with neither team able to take control and play taking place for the most part between the boxes. A rare foray into the final third by Joondalup on 32 minutes ended with Sean Kalaher’s shot on the turn flying into Anthony Salpietro’s net. There was little change to the overall pattern of the game after the break. That said, the home team strengthened their hold on 64 minutes when Elliot Rose finished into the bottom corner after being played through. Referee Anastasios Paraskevas reacted to a 79th minute confrontation between Rose and Craig Cunningham by sending both players off, a decision viewed by those in attendance as harsh.
MELVILLE, QUINNS SHARE EIGHT GOALS
A John O’Neill goal in the closing minutes earned Quinns a thrilling 4-4 draw with Melville City at Len Shearer Reserve. The home team made a dream start with David Palin beating the offside trap to put the ball in the net after just 4 minutes. Their lead was doubled midway through the half by Aaron Bahadori, who headed in from a Ben Steele cross. The game was turned on its head following the turnaround, Brian Cairney, Jake Benson-Cooper and substitute McNeill scoring within eight minutes to put Quinns in front. Jack Mawdsely punished some poor defending to restore parity, and with nine minutes to go Danny Brown’s header dribbled over the line to swing the game back in Melville’s favour. It looked as though that was the end of the scoring when McNeill converted in the final minute of regulation time.
SUBIACO SHOW STEELY DETERMINATION
Nathan Steel scored twice to secure Subiaco AFC a deserved 3-2 victory over Forrestfield United at Rosalie Park. It took until seven minutes into the second half for the deadlock to be broke, Nathan Steel tucking into the net from close-range. James Harold brought Forrestfield back into the game on 71 minutes, but shortly after substitute Ivan Lee threaded in from a tight angle to restore the hosts’ advantage. A tidy move in the final minute of regulation time led to a second goal for Subiaco, Nick Harris’ crossfield pass picking out Ger Fitzgerland who in turn released Steel to net past N,Cipriani. There was still enough time on the clock for G.Hampshire to post a second goal for the away side.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
Percy Doyle Reserve is the place to be tomorrow for third-placed Sorrento’s encounter with a revitalised Floreat Athena. The home side are coming off a solid win over northern neighbours ECU Joondalup and coach Paul Price is sure of another strong showing from the team with the competition’s best attacking and defensive records. “Saturday is going to be a tough game, but we don’t focus on teams,” commented Price. “We are aware of opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and we prepare for all games the same way.” Craig Robson comes back in following suspension, however, Jason Mirco and Anthony Skorich remain sidelined by injury.
Floreat made it four wins a row with last week’s five-goal thrashing of Armadale. “I was pleased to hit the back of the net and create many other chances last week. But we have put the performance behind us and are now focusing on a massive encounter with Sorrento,” coach Chris Barbas explained. “We haven’t had a good record there recently, but records are made to be broken and we’ll go their full of confidence.” There’ll be a couple of tough decisions for Barbas leading into the afternoon with Cisco Jorquera and David Stokeo putting their hands up to play.
Veteran defender Andy Todd is expected to come straight back into Armadale’s elven for their home clash with an as yet unbeaten Bayswater City. However, not all the news is good for Armadale with Dannie Richman and Jack Slater joined on the sidelines by Sam Loveless and Mark Peers. Inglewood United have home ground advantage over Stirling Lions, where Scott Bulloch is pushing to start. Bunbury Forum Force will be minus Oliver McGee and Chris Blackburn for Cockburn City’s visit to Payne Park. Saul Contera will consider giving a near fully fit Ashley Rosindale a run when Balcatta welcomes the National Training Centre to Grindleford Reserve.
The round concludes on Sunday with the ninth verses tenth showdown between Perth SC and ECU Joondalup at Dorrien Gardens. “It’s a vital game and one that we cannot afford to lose,” said Perth marksman Liam Boland, who is determined to bounce back from last week’s narrow loss at Stirling. “We’ve come away from the game with nothing when I thought we played well enough to take a point at least.” There’ll be changes to both teams, Perth regaining the services of Clarke Keltie whereas Joondalup will be without Dale McCulloch, Matt Italiano and possibly Shaun Timmins. All six Premier Division games – Saturday and Sunday – kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Confidence is sky-high in the Mandurah City camp as they prepare to visit Ashfield on Saturday afternoon. Back-to-back wins have breathed new life in the Dolphins campaign, and defender Tom Straker has made it crystal clear his designs are on making it three in a row. “We want to keep getting results and try bridge that gap that’s opening up at the top already,” said Straker. “Right now we’re not playing well for the whole game, we know that but the good thing is we’re grinding out results. A bit of added concentration and we can hit our stride this week.”
Division One leaders Dianella White Eagles have home ground advantage over third-placed Shamrock Rovers. Injury will prevent Andreas Theodosiades and Irish import Sean Brown from taking to the field for Dianella, while clouds of doubt hover over Shamrock’s Will Pender and Ciaran Byrne. Canning City may be minus goalkeeper Steve Grant but are still expected to take the points away at Gosnells City. The return of Andy O’Neill has given Morley Windmills a timely boost ahead of their game at Wanneroo City. Rockingham City are without Daniel Macklin, Connor Price, Darren Lawler and possibly Rob Crerar for the visit of UWA-Nedlands.
Midfielder Nicolas Tatasciore cannot stress enough the importance of a Swan United win at Western Knights. “We want the three points not only to secure the top five spot that we deserve but also to improve club moral,” said Tatasciore. “We want to show that our hard work at training, a few new additions and a change of coaching staff has all been for the positive of Swan.” New signing John Monterosso is expected to start for the black and whites, while the home team are sweating on the fitness of Dean Thurston and Luka Jukic. All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Top spot is up for grabs when Division Two leaders Maddington White City travels to Hilton Reserve where third-placed Fremantle United provide tomorrows opposition. Just three points separate the sides and both is acutely aware a draw could allow Quinns to finish the weekend in poll position. The port side remains without Connor Shaw (suspended), Cameron Hayes (groin), Kurt DeSouza (hamstring) and Tim DeSouza (ankle) while a knee problem has put Sam Ambrogio’s participation in doubt. Stephen Fox and Scott Ryan are available again for Maddington who are likely to debut new singing Nicholas Goodwin, formerly of English side Cleethorpes Town, however, former Fremantle goalkeeper Peter Wile is in doubt due to injury.
Three valuable points are also on the line at Iluka Sports Complex where Joondalup City has home ground advantage against Kingsway Olympic. “Nothing but a win will do for us this weekend,” said Joondalup’s Mark Thornton, whose side beat Maddington last time out. “It was a very important to us, especially as it was away from home to the side on top of the league. We go in to every game very confident knowing the squad we’ve got is so strong, and playing Kingsway we’ll be no different.” Kingsway boss Ian Cowan remains without Alistair Blair and Sota Iwasaki, however, Joe Armitage is back after missing last week’s game.
Quinns will be at full-strength when they play an injury-ravaged Melville City at Len Shearer Reserve. The long-term absence of over half a dozen players has caused a good few problems for Melville coach Danny Evans, who received some good this week with Jack Mawdsley back in the mix. Subiaco AFC had nothing to show for a good performance last weekend so they’ll be out to make amends when Forrestfield United visits Rosalie Park. Simon Ralph’s departure for Melbourne has been offset in the home camp by the return from injury of Max Welton and Robbie Faller. All four Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
MCCARTHY’S IRISH EYES ARE SMILING AT BAYSWATER
One-time League of Ireland player Paul McCarthy has given a resounding thumbs-up to Bayswater City’s rookie coach Chris Coyne. As the mid-point of the Premier Division season draws near Bayswater sit top of the table with a six-point lead over their nearest rivals, and McCarthy says a lot of that success is down to former Luton Town and Colchester United captain Coyne. “You would never know this is his first managerial job, the experience he’s gained throughout his career has prepared him well for the job,” commented McCarthy. “He leaves nothing to chance tactically, does his homework on other teams and comes with the best and most modern coaching techniques.”
McCarthy, a key figure in Bayswater finishing top of the table last year, feels the new level of professionalism Coyne has brought to the club can take them all the way to the Championship. “Since Coyney has taken over we’ve continued improving. He has a strong will to win and demands his players train and prepare professionally,” said McCarthy. “Coyney has made some fantastic signings and that shows his ambition. He came in, took a look at last year’s squad and then moulded it into his side. We have a bit more quality this year to come off the bench and that’s helped late on in games, it’s something we maybe didn’t have last year.”
Bayswater may have made a flying start but McCarthy is well aware it’s only early days and there’s a lot of football still to be played this year. “We have a nice lead build-up but we are still two games short of the halfway mark, so we’re taking nothing for granted … we have yet to hit our full stride,” said McCarthy, who struck last weekend late to earn a 1-0 over Balcatta. “It was a tough, physical game which never opened up. The defences were on top all day and it didn’t look like a winner was going to come but we kept going and found a winner eventually.”
McCarthy, 28, played in his homeland for Tramore AFC and Waterford United before linking up with Bayswater last year. “Since joining the club we have won the league and this year’s picked up the Night Series, and hopefully there’s more trophies to come over next few months,” said the midfielder, who was swayed to move to Perth by team mate John Kearney. “I had originally planned to move from Ireland to Melbourne but John, who I played with in the League of Ireland, called and spoke highly of the Bayswater club and the league. I was impressed with the club’s ideas and brand of football so had no hesitation in signing.”
Next on the agenda for McCarthy is a trip to Alfred Skeet Oval on Saturday where Armadale provides the opposition. The Reds have won just once in seven games and last time out copped a five-goal hiding from Floreat Athena, but McCarthy has been around long enough to know that those statistics mean nothing come kick-off time. “Armadale have been doing well so far this season and we certainly won't take anything for granted playing them,” he said. “Usually teams bounce back with good performances after a poor result like against Floreat, we will be well aware of the danger they pose.”
MCNALLY CONFIDENT OF MORLEY’S RETURN TO WINNING WAYS
Morley Windmills defender David McNally expects to find himself in the thick of the action when his team travels to Wanneroo City this weekend. Back-to-back wins have surged Wanneroo up the Division Two standings to join a host of clubs, amongst them Morley, vying for third spot. McNally acknowledges his team will need to be on top of their game to take so much as a point from an opponent which has hit six goals in each of their past two games. “It will be a big challenge for us to get a result,” said McNally. “Wanneroo have a number of quality players but as a team we are defensively strong and I am confident we can stop them.”
Morley gave the strongest indication yet of what they are capable of last weekend by going down to top of the table Dianella White Eagles by the slenderest of margins. “Our performance was solid,” commented McNally of the 2-1 loss. “Dianella are the strongest team we have played so far and as a team we worked hard for one another, and with a bit more luck we could have pinched a draw near the end. We have been working hard on our fitness levels at training in the last few weeks and I think it is starting to pay off as we maintained a high work rate for the full 90 minutes.”
McNally has been with Morley only a few months but already has seen enough to know his team can play a part in the title race. “Before Saturday we had won three games in a row against tough opposition – Western Knights, Gosnells City and Ashfield – and if we continue to play like that then I’m confident we will have a strong season,” said the defender. “We have a lot of experienced players in the squad who know how to play the game, and there are also a number of young, talented players coming through the ranks. The playing group is quite close and we work really hard for each other on the pitch.”
Although only 25, McNally came to Morley over the summer with a wealth of experience gleamed from spells at Inglewood United and Swan United. And while he’s played a valuable role in the middle of Morley’s defence, McNally feels his best is yet to come. “My form has been okay so far, but I still have a lot to work on,” he said. “As a team we have a defensively disciplined midfield and I play alongside some very talented players at the back, and this has limited the number of goals scored against us. If I can help keep a few clean sheets and maybe score a couple of goals then I’ll be happy with my season.”
Dianella and Canning City are the early pacesetters in Division One but as the weeks go by McNally expects both clubs to drop back into the field. “This season is going to be very even and close. On their day any team can beat anyone and come the end of the season it will be tight at both the top and bottom,” said the defender. “It’s hard to say who will finish near the top but from what I have seen Dianella will be strong contenders and Ashfield will be up there as well. If we can continue our current form we might even be in with a shot.”
If Morley are serious about keeping pace with the leaders then they will need to point or three against Wanneroo on Saturday. “We have been playing really well for the last month and we need to continue that form and pick up as many points as we can. Form can change very quickly so we don’t want to start dropping games,” commented McNally. “I am confident that if we show up on Saturday with the same desire and work rate that we have displayed in the last month, we will get the result we want.” Morley’s game with Wanneroo commences at 3.00pm on Saturday at Kingsway Reserve, Landsdale.
SOCCEROOS NAMED FOR CRUCIAL WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
Team captain Lucas Neill and striker Josh Kennedy have been recalled for the Socceroo’s three make-or-break World Cup qualifiers next month. Neill is out of contract and missed Australia’s last game with Oman due to suspension, while Kennedy has only recently returned for Japanese club Nagoya Grampus following close to a year out with a back problem. Defender Sasa Ognenovski, goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak and Ivan Franjic have also been included in coach Holger Osieck’s 26-man squad, however, there was no place for Middlesbrough captain Rhys Williams. Australia need to take maximum points from at least two of next month’s qualifiers – against Japan, Jordan and Iraq – to ensure direct qualification for the 2014 World Cup.
Australia’s squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers is Eugene Galekovic, Dario Vidosic (Adelaide United), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), Alex Brosque (Al-Ain Club), James Holland (Austria Vienna), Brett Holman (Aston Villa), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Ivan Franjic, Jade North (Brisbane Roar), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Matthew McKay (Changchun Yatai), Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow), Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), Mark Milligan, Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Josh Kennedy (Nagoya Grampus), Michael Thwaite (Perth Glory), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng Taishan), Sasa Ognenovski (Umm Salal), Tommy Oar, Michael Zullo (Utrecht) and Lucas Neill (uncontracted).
FREMANTLE’S QUALITY WILL SHINE THROUGH SAYS FINDLATER
Nathan Findlater has warned rival clubs not to read too much into Fremantle United’s indifferent start to the new season. A series of enforced player absences has resulted in the port side struggling for rhythm so far, however, Findlater is adamant things will start going their way soon and that come seasons’ end Fremantle will be where they want to be. “Our start to the season hasn’t gone as smoothly as we would have hoped,” admitted the defender. “We would obviously rather be sitting on top (of the table) at the moment but injuries and suspensions have led to a lack of consistency. It’s a long season and we have a youthful squad whose quality will show through come September.”
Fremantle currently occupy third spot in Division Two, but they could have been topping the leader board if not for last weekend’s 2-1 loss to lowly Forrestfield United. “It was a tough result to swallow for us and the mood in the change room after the game reflected that,” commented Findlater. Garth Woods gave the away team an early lead at Hartfield Park but their failure to convert numerous chances to extend their lead was punished by Mauro Cusimano’s second half double. “We dominated the majority of the game and were wasteful in front of goals. Credit must go to Forrestfield though as they took full advantage of the only two real chances they created.”
Findlater, 22, readily concedes he doesn’t know a great deal about this weekend’s opposition, Maddington White City, who remained top of the table despite losing to Joondalup City last time out. “Being a newly formed club we know very little about them, but we will prepare like we do every week and see what happens,” he said. “Joondalup did us a favour by beating Maddington last weekend, and that result allowed us to stay within a game of them. That makes three points absolutely crucial this week, we’re back on our home patch and all the boys are fired up.” Fremantle welcome Maddington to Hilton Reserve from 3.00pm on Saturday.
GOVERNMENT MUST STEP UP FOR THE SOCCEROOS TO HEAD WEST
Western Australia will not host the Socceroos until the State Government provides financial support to bring the Australian national team to Perth. Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop said yesterday Perth remained a key market for the game’s governing body and that he was eager to have the Socceroos play in the west, pending government support. “We’ve had great assistance from State governments that have allowed us to bring Socceroos games, with the next two being in Melbourne and Sydney,” Gallop said. “We need the government and stadium operators to give us the incentive to bring games to other cities.”
Gallop made clear FFA’s position during his visit to Perth this week which took in talks with Sport and Recreation minister Terry Waldron. “We need government assistance if we’re going to bring games to any part of the country, and I think they understand that,” Gallop said. “Long-term there is going to be a new big stadium in place by 2018 and wouldn’t it be terrific if the Socceroos were part of the opening event for that stadium. That’s certainly something I mentioned to Terry Waldron.” Perth has not hosted the Socceroos since 2005, when they beat Indonesia 3-0 at Subiaco Oval.
GARCIA CONSIDERS MELBOURNE FUTURE
Melbourne Heart’s Player of the Year Richard Garcia will be looking to move onto greener pastures should he fail to agree terms on a new contract with the A-League club. Garcia, 31, is seeking a pay rise after a standout debut season and, although coach John Aloisi is keen to retain the attacker, it appears he may already have one foot out of the door. “I am still talking with the club and I am waiting to hear back from them and I also have feelers out elsewhere and there are a few possibilities,” Garcia told theworldgame.sbs.com.au.
Garcia is understood have to accepted a modest contract when he joined Melbourne last year, following his release from English club Hull City. And while Melbourne have offered a upgraded deal, he is holding out for a more substantial rise. “A few things have come to light that are of some interest but I am not rushing into anything and I want to make an educated decision when the time comes,” he said. “I am pretty relaxed about the future … I’m the good side of 30 and more experienced and level headed as a player and a person. And I just want to enjoy my football – wherever that may be.”
Garcia, who made 128 appearances for Hull over five and a half seasons, is delighted to see his former club win promotion back into the top flight of English football. “Obviously I was there with them in the Championship and then also in the Premier League and to see them go back is great for the club and the city,” said Garcia, who turned out for West Ham United, Leyton Orient and Colchester United prior to joining the Tigers. “They have a top manager in Steve Bruce and it will interesting to see how much money he is given to strengthen the squad in the summer.”
FFA FORUM WERE THEY LISTENING? (with Ashley Morrison, Not the Footy Show")
Football Federation Australia last night held their first Fan Forum in Western Australia, or as many fans described it ‘the forgotten state’ of Australian Football. Sitting on the panel were Damien de Bohun, head of the A-League and W-League, FFA chief executive David Gallop, Perth Glory owner Tony Sage and the club’s head coach Alistair Edwards. Peter Hugg, chief executive of Football West, was also on the panel which was moderated by Kyle Patterson, FFA’s head of corporate affairs and communications.
It was great that this event was finally taking place in Perth. Gallop continually stated that the object of the Forum was to hear from the fans and the stakeholders but the responses from the panel left many wondering if the powers that be were actually listening. Also in attendance was Emma Highwood, who was appointed to the role of Head of Community Football with FFA, and when she spoke one wondered why she was not on the panel as her comments in the main had merit.
What was interesting was the fact that event was advertised by FFA as finishing at 9.30pm, yet it was closed down a good half hour earlier. No questions of a general nature were allowed, and only one was permitted on the women’s game. Sure, segments on the A-League and the National teams went longer than expected but the same cannot be said of the National Premier League discussion. Questions on this hot topic were brought to an abrupt halt when issues such as compensation and financial support were raised.
There does appear to have been a significant miscommunication around the NPL. Hugg stated that following support from the clubs, the Football West board voted to push ahead with Western Australia joining the NPL. Yet a large number of State League clubs are far from in agreement with this move, and they disagree that a vote was taken on the NPL proceeding. It is believed the Board were advised that the clubs were in favour of the move based on that information, and that is why they signed off on the re-structure.
Was there a benefit to this Forum? There is always some benefit from open dialogue but regrettably one felt that the fans and stakeholders were subjected more to FFA rhetoric than the game’s governors listening to the feelings of the fans. Indian author Arundhati Roy wrote ’There is really no such thing as the voiceless. There are only the deliberately silenced or the preferably unheard’. Unfortunately many would have left last night’s Forum with a greater understanding of what that means.
I WAS TRYING TOO HARD SAYS MIDDLESBROUGH’S WILLIAMS
Rhys Williams admits the responsibility of captaining the team may have been partly to blame for his form dip during Middlesbrough’s recently completed Championship campaign. A serious ankle ligament injury kept Williams cooling his heels on the sidelines until late December, and when upon returning to the line-up he struggled for consistency after being shuffled between defence and midfield. Williams’ battle to recapture his best form coincided with Middlesbrough’s slide down the table before eventually settling at 16th, just five points above the drop zone.
Although proud to wear the captain’s armband, Williams feels he was guilty of trying too hard on occasions. “As captain it hits you a little bit harder when the team is struggling,” he told gazettelive.co.uk. “You want to show the lads you are up for the fight and when things aren’t going your way it’s difficult to get back to where you were. I always try to give 200% no matter what but sometimes I think too much about the team rather than myself and my own game. I always strive for my best anyway … I’m always my biggest critic.”
Williams’ wake-up call arrived in March when manager Tony Mowbray dropped him for outings with Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. “I’ve been quite lucky with my managers because when I’ve been fit I’ve played,” he said. “It was quite a shock to myself that times had changed and I had to show it on the pitch to be able to keep my place. I think that kick-started me towards getting my form back because no player likes sitting games out and I’m the same.” Williams is expected to be part of the Socceroos squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Japan, Jordan and Iraq.
MCCARTHY NICKS IT LATE FOR BAYSWATER
A goal in the last minute from midfielder Paul McCarthy has given Bayswater City a 1-0 victory over Balcatta at Frank Drago Reserve. “It was a battle right to the end and to be honest I didn’t think the goal was going to come, but we stuck in there and got the result at the end,” McCarthy said. “I thought we ground the win out today, we hoped they would tire and it would open up for us in the second half. It didn’t work out that way but we’re just happy with the three points.”
It was a lively start from the visitors with Jarrad Smith’s 1st minute strike saved by Devon Spence, who moments later was positioned well to capture Adam Tong’s header from an Adam Bachiller free-kick. Bayswater were struggling early but on the quarter Steve Burton’s cross picked out McCarthy, who tamed the ball well before firing narrowly the wrong side of the post. With half time approaching Bachiller flashed over the top from 10-metres, then Burton raced clear at the opposite end only to apply the same finish.
Balcatta opened the second half brightly, Smith picking out Roberto Lujan whose header was just off-target. McCarthy crashed into the upright from distance as the home side began to lift. Burton was then denied by Alex Dunn, who did even better moments later in thwarting James Isaia. Both sides were pressing for the win and Spence saved bravely at the feet of Moe Atak. It looked as though the points would be shared when McCarthy fired in at close-range after Gustavo Giron-Marulanda’s shot hit the post and rolled along the line.
YOUNG SOCCEROOS HONOURS FOR FIVE
Five of Western Australia’s brightest young talents have made the cut for the Young Socceroos upcoming training camp in Europe. Daniel De Silva, Ryan Edwards, Scott Galloway, Adam Taggart and Ryan Williams are among 26 players picked by national under-20 coach Paul Okon for the twelve-day camp, which includes friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany. Okon will use the camp, which commences today, to make a final assessment of his players before naming Australia’s squad for the Under-20 World Cup hosted by Turkey in June and July.
Okon is looking forward to putting his squad through their paces against two of Europe’s strongest nations. “We have two tough matches against quality opposition who are both preparing for the UEFA Under-21 Championships, so we know we are in for a good challenge will need to be focussed to play them at their level,” said Okon. “From these matches we will get a good indication on what is required to be competitive at the -20 World Cup. This will be the last chance for the players to stake their claim for a position in the final squad which we will announce in early June.”
The Australia Under-20 squad for their European camp is Paul Izzo (Adelaide United), Jamie Maclaren (Blackburn Rovers), Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund), James Donachie (Brisbane Roar), Jackson Irvine (Celtic), Ryan Williams (Fulham), Nicholas Ansell, Scott Galloway, Ben Garuccio, , Jason Geria Connor Pain (Melbourne Victory), David Vrankovic, Jeremy Walker (Melbourne Heart), Joshua Brillante, Connor Chapman, Andrew Hoole, Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets), Curtis Good (Newcastle United), Daniel De Silva, Jack Duncan (Perth Glory), Ryan Edwards (Reading), Terry Antonis, Anthony Bouzanis, Hagi Gligor (Sydney FC), Reece Caira (Western Sydney Wanderers) and Travis Cooper (VVV Venlo).
STIRLING MAKE IT THREE IN A ROW (with Kalon Harrison, Football West)
Stirling Lions held onto second place in the Premier Division by defeating once feared rival Perth SC 3-2 at Macedonia Park. “Where we are is where we deserve to be, but there’s more in us and I hope we carry on and really take it up to the top,” Stirling coach Doug Hesketh said. “There were some passages of good football but I never thought we got going in the first half. As a team we underperformed, but to win against Perth and not play your best, I’d take that any day.”
Perth opened the scoring in the 6th minute via Josh Pereira’s 35-metre strike into the bottom corner, which was just beyond the reach of goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski. It wasn’t until the 35th minute that Stirling capitalised on their set piece dominance, Miki Vujacic whipping in a corner which Rory Grant poked in after Dean Evans flicked the ball on at the front post. Stirling helped themselves to another goal with the final play of the half, Phil Arnold heading in another corner played to the front post by Vujacic.
The second half couldn’t have started better for Perth, Kris Gate working down the left with Liam Boland whose shot snuck in at the near post. After forcing Jason Saldaris into a series of acrobatic saves, Stirling gained six successive corners which saw Jason Gavin’s goalbound header was flicked over the bar and Grant denied a point-blank chance by the Perth ’keeper. Substitute Anthony Lyons showed them how it’s done by coolly slotting into the net after being released by Scott Bulloch on 83 minutes.
HARNWELL HEADS GULLS TO VICTORY (with Ilija Mihalj, Football West)
Veteran defender Jamie Harnwell made the most of a rare start by grabbing the only goal of Sorrento’s 1-0 defeat of northern neighbours ECU Joondalup at the Edith Cowan University campus. “I was pretty pleased – I’ve been kicking my heels on the sidelines for the season and the team’s been doing well, so when you get the chance you have got to make the most of it,” said Harnwell. “I got one and probably should have had a couple more, but we got the three points and that’s the most important thing.”
Joondalup should have opened the scoring after only 7 minutes when Daryl Platten’s attempt to head back to goalkeeper Curtis Aspden was intercepted by Tony Taylor, however, Jamie Harnwell spotted the danger and dispossessed his opponent. Sorrento lifted and David Price’s half-volley from the edge of the 18-yard box whistled wide of the target. The breakthrough came on 24 minutes when Gavin Knights’ free-kick to the back post picked out an unmarked Harnwell, who steered his header past helpless ‘keeper Andy Banks.
Jamie Harnwell should have had another goal on the half hour but, after being set-up by younger brother Todd Harnwell, the big defender fired wide when it seemed easier to hit the mark. Knight had the ball in the back of the net shortly after but goal celebrations were short lived as the flag was up for offside. Both sides had chances late in the half, Ryan Pearson crashing a shot against the upright before Aspden tipped over a free-kick by Jon Higgins.
The second half opened with Joondalup enjoying the better of possession but unable to break down a resolute defence. The best chances came at the other end where Jamie Harnwell’s late header was cleared off the line. But with the sounding of the final whistle it was the former Perth Glory captain’s goal that earned Sorrento the points. “The club wants to be successful and wants to win trophies – that’s Sorrento over the last ten years or so,” Harnwell told footballwest.com.au. “I still enjoy training and I still enjoying playing, so while I’m doing that I will keep going.”
BUNBURY RUES MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
Inglewood United moved into fourth place on the table with a hard fought 1-0 win against Bunbury Forum Force at Payne Park. Ryan Clarke struck early in the second half but it could have finished so very differently had the hosts made something of numerous their opportunities to put the ball away. “A one-nil victory in Bunbury is a good result, it’s always a hard battle down there,” commented Clarke. “It was nice to pop up with the winner. It was only a matter of time as I’ve missed some easy chances this season … a good result and hopefully it can kick-start our season."
The home side began brightly and Nathan Tosum’s header crashed off the crossbar after only 3 minutes. Jayden Prosser then rounded goalkeeper Luke Martino but Craig Simpson was back in time to block his shot. Inglewood was struggling to cope with a lively Bunbury attack. On 32 minutes Prosser beat two defenders and crossed to Jamie Tandy, who blazed disappointingly high. Inglewood’s best chance came moments before half-time, Alex Caniglia cut in from the right and went past the last defender but Ryan Montgomery stood firm to save.
Inglewood returned to the park to claim a 49th minute lead through Clarke, who finished clinically past Montgomery after a deflected shot landed in his path. Bunbury came close to replying five minutes later when Martino took the pace off a shot by Tandy, who looked to have put the follow-up over the line but the assistant referee disagreed. The home side were handed a golden opportunity to level when a 73rd minute foul on Ryan Francis produced a penalty, however, Hutchinson’s spot kick was saved by Martino.
ARMADALE BUCKLE TO RAMPAGING FLOREAT
A second half surge has seen Floreat Athena demolish Armadale 5-0 on a gloomy afternoon at Litis Stadium. Adrian Caceres scored once in each half with David Heagney, Mark Pritchard and substitute Ian McMurray also on the scoresheet for a rampant home team which didn’t kick into gear until the second half. “Chris (Barbas) and Glen (Grostate) asked us to keep that ball on the floor, which is what we are best at,” said Ludovic Boi of the coach half-time address. “The boys are starting to gel more with each week. It’s enjoyable when (the other) players have the same ideas as you, it makes it a whole lot easier to play the beautiful game.”
There was a lot of to and fro in the early action but the regular turnover of possession mean there was scant in the way of shots on goal. Then, from nowhere, Floreat snuck the lead on 21 minutes with Caceres tucking in from all of a metre after following in Cameron Yorke’s shot which had the pace taken off it by goalkeeper Ellis Hawksworth. Trevor Laure should have forced a response from Brad Eiffe at the opposite end soon after but, perhaps unaware of the time he had, hurried his effort from 16-metres well wide. That miss paled into comparison with Heagney’s 38th minute close-range finish into the post when he appeared destined slot into an empty net.
Benny Kouakou made clear Floreat’s intentions after the break by testing Hawksworth with a low attempt. The floodgates were prised open by Pritchard, who fired into the bottom corner from the penalty spot after a contentious handball decision went against Ian Maguire. Hawksworth’s failure to hold a Heagney shot three minutes later was punished by Caceres, who had little difficulty converting from all of a metre. A delightful exchange between Boi and McMurray in the 72 minute put the ball with Heagney whose curling shot from 15-metres was too good for the ‘keeper. McMurray sealed the win with a simple tap-in three minutes from the end after Spencer Harris threaded a low ball into the box.
COCKBURN EDGE OUT NTC (with Jonathan Cook, Football West)
Cockburn City collected maximum points for the first time under new coach Marc Anthony by grinding out a 3-2 win over the National Training Centre at Dalmatinac Park. Sahr Musa put the visitors in front early only to have Harry O’Brien restore parity before the break. Antonio Naglieri and Jack Eades then put the Cockerels in control and although substitute Ndumba Makeche pulled a goal back the hosts clung on to their lead. “They’ve got a good set-up here and I think they will go places,” Naglieri commented. “This season we want to make the top five and I think we can with the team we’ve got.”
The development squad made a dream start by taking an 8th minute lead, referee Hugh Best whistling for handball and from the penalty spot Musa made no mistake. John Gibson’s side enjoyed plenty of possession throughout the opening period but their inability to convert that into further goals would come back to haunt them. With 26 minutes gone David Onoforo lifted the ball over the top of the defence for O’Brien, who nipped into bring the teams level. Home custodian Dejan Aleksic made sure there would be no change to that before the break with a stunning save to deny Darcy Cosgrove.
DIANELLA MAKE IT SIX
Dianella White Eagles stretched their winning run to six game with a gritty 2-1 triumph over Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. The away team announced their intentions early before reaping the rewards on 34 minutes when Andreas Theodosiades’s centring ball from the right found the feet of Ibrahim Hamad, who applied a tidy finish with the outside of his boot. It took until the 83rd minute for Dianella to find the back of the net again, Robbie Phelan beating several opponents and lashing in from 6-metres. Substitute David Houston ensured a tense finish two minutes later by blasting into the top corner during a scramble inside the 18-yard box.
KNIGHTS END CANNING’S RUN
Canning City’s winning start to the season has come to an end with Western Knights running out 2-1 winners from this afternoon’s encounter at Burrendah Reserve. A free-kick controversially converted by Johny Mirco late in the first half was added to by David Caine shortly after the interval, and while Emlyn Whetnall halved the gap Canning was unable to find the second goal they sought. “They pressed us late and really came at us,” said Caine. “The boys competed really well today, the whole team worked hard until the final whistle and that’s something we haven’t done all season.”
Mirco was presented a great chance to post an early goal but blazed high from close-range after meeting a long throw by Caine. This set the stage of the Knights to dominate the opening period. A Sime Lozic shot was deflected wide by Rory Moutett, then Mirco called Steve Grant into action for the first time. The Canning goalkeeper was beaten a few minutes later by Julian Teles but Whetnall saved his blushes with a goalline clearance. The half had just ticked over into stoppage time when Mirco was brought down on the edge of the 18-yard box, and as Canning set their wall the veteran attacker curled into the top corner of the net.
The Knights could not have wished for a better start to the second stanza, Luka Jukic clipping over the defence for Caine to race clear and finished past Grant from 9-metres. Canning went close to equalising on 57 minutes but Laurance Cheyne’s effort was pushed wide by Alfie Brincat. The resulting corner produced the goal Canning were after, Michael Van Dongen swinging the ball in for Whetnall to head in. The hosts wasted no time returning to the attack. Moutett put a header wide of the mark before Brincat kept out shots from Whetnall and Daniel Neiderberger. The Knights only opening of the half was Caine’s stoppage time lob which landed on the top netting.
SHAMROCK, ASHFIELD SHARE THE HONOURS
A spirited performance by Shamrock Rovers has been rewarded with a 2-2 draw from a high intensity encounter with the visitors from Ashfield. The team in red were on the scoreboard first after 16 minutes when Ian Stack’s deflected cross from the left fell kindly for Jamie Burns to apply a crisp finish from 6-metres. Appeals for a Shamrock penalty were ignored by the referee despite the goalkeeper’s heavy push on Barry Mulligan. Salt was rubbed into that wound two minutes from the break when Jamie Burns headed in powerfully after Matt Wardle returned a partial clearance into the 18-yard box. There was worse to come for Shamrock with Will Pender succumbing to an injury sustained in a one-on-one with John Perkins.
Shamrock returned for the second half with greater conviction and slowly took control through some crisp exchanges. They were rewarded in the 58th minute when Mark O’Brien’s superb hook shot flashed into the net on the end of a cross from the left by David Murphy. With their confidence soaring, Shamrock brought Rory Kiely off the bench to terrific effect. 75 minutes were on the clock when the referee pointed to the spot over Graham Tough’s tackle on Kiely, and while Ciaran Byrne’s spot kick was blocked by Perkins the striker calmly tucked in the follow-up. Shamrock came agonisingly close to stealing victory through John Cassidy’s late header which crashed against the crossbar.
FREE-SCORING WANNEROO THRASH UWA
Wanneroo City’s season looks to well and truly be back on course following this afternoon’s resounding 6-1 victory over UWA-Nedlands at McGilvray Oval. It was the second time in eight days that Wanneroo had put six goals past the opposition with this week’s haul coming via Danny Milne (2), Rowdy Yates, Chris Pugh, Garin Collins and Glen Thomas. “Over the last couple of weeks I feel we’re finally starting to gel as a team and we’re looking a real threat going forward,” said winning coach David Tough. “We’ve strengthen the squad and we’ve got a number of key players coming back from injuries and holidays so competition for places is healthy.”
Wanneroo dominated from the outset with their crisp passing game matched with intensity and desire. And it wasn’t long before the visitors opened the scoring, Anthony Jones’ calculated ball over the top allowing Milne to get the better of his marker before coolly lifting over the goalkeeper. Jones once again influenced the game by winning back possession and finding Montgomery, who advanced at pace past the defence before spearing the ball to the far post where Yates’ cheeky back-heel flashed past the ‘keeper and inside the far corner. Wanneroo’s focus on attack should have produced a third goal before the break but Milne’s hesitation gave the ‘keeper time to smother at his feet.
UWA came out from the break swinging, Chris Yates cutting the gap with a superb 25-metre volley that went in off the crossbar. With the game in the balance Pugh restored Wanneroo’s two-goal buffer by driving out of midfield and outpacing the defence to lash into the roof of the net. Milne then helped himself to a second goal by steering in from 15-metres after receiving a cutback from Yates. Collins had been on the park just minutes when he started and finished a tidy move that also featured Ross Edwards and Pugh for Wanneroo’s fifth goal. Fellow substitute Thomas put the icing on the cake with a fine finish on the run courtesy David Calder’s centre.
SCALI SAVOURS FIRST WIN WITH SWAN
Swan United collected just their second win of the campaign by out-shooting Rockingham City 4-2 at the Swan Italian Club. A brace from Luke Colli plus singles to Geneveo Human and Nick Tatasciore moved the black and whites to seventh spot, whereas Rockingham remains rooted to the foot of the table alongside UWA-Nedlands and Gosnells City. “Our attacking play and creation of chances was impressive, but if we are to achieve any success this year we must learn to defend a lot better,” said coach Damian Scali after guiding Swan to victory for the first time. “Hopefully we can now build momentum as we have a very difficult stretch of games coming up.”
The entertainments value was high with the teams sharing four goals inside 25 minutes. First to open their account were the hosts through a Colli shot from outside the 18-yard box after good interplay with Thomas Black. Rockingham’s response was swift, Rafael Insaurralde receiving the ball on top of the box and turning two defenders before placing into the bottom corner. Human restored Swan’s lead with a brilliant free-kick that he struck beyond goalkeeper Bobson Koroma. The seesawing nature of the game continued with Insaurralde’s elegant shot on the turn flying into the Swan net to bring the teams level for a third time.
Rockingham came out from the break positively with Danny Macklin getting off an early shot, however, that was as good as it got for the visitors in the second period. Swan heeded that warning by increasing the tempo with some tidy movement to dominate the remainder of the afternoon. Colli helped himself to a second goal by looping a header over the advancing ‘keeper to put the hosts back in control. Hopes of a Rockingham revival nosedived when they were reduced to nine men as a result of second yellow cards to Macklin and Connor Price. Chances flowed thick and fast for Swan over the closing stages but Tatasciore was the only one was find a way through with a crisply struck free-kick.
MANDURAH EDGE GOSNELLS IN SEVEN-GOAL THRILLER
There was no end of drama at Hyundai Stadium where Mandurah City overturned a two-goal deficit to defeat Gosnells City 4-3. An action-packed start had Gosnells post their first goal after 11 minutes, defender Liam Cave heading in from a free-kick. A period of sustained pressure failed to produce the goal the hosts sought with goalkeeper Struan Herd turning away their best attempts. Gosnells eventually regained the momentum and on 26 minutes Sean Taylor doubled their lead after Matt Hamnett blocked Wade Farmer’s initial shot. Superb work by Hamnett and Herd prevented any further addition to the scoreline before half-time, both ‘keeper’s making some important saves as shots rained down.
An unmarked Craig Tone pulled a goal back seven minutes into the second half after meeting the cutback from Robbie Hamm’s surging run into the 18-yard box. The teams were brought level just after the hour when Graeme Matthews released Hamm whose shot was deflected in by Cave. Mandurah now had the upper hand and with fifteen minutes to go Matthews whipped a cross to the far post where Tone’s towering header had hit the back of the net before Herd could respond. Gosnells’ plight then worsened with Brian Paterson collecting his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the 82nd minute.
There was a fair dose of controversy when Mandurah snuck in front soon after, match officials ruling Danny Dyson’s powerful header to have crossed the line despite claims to the contrary by Herd. Gosnells’ back were now firmly to the wall and when Taylor picked up a second yellow card it looked as though there was no way back. An offside call denied Matthews a goal before Herd kept out a shot by Tone. Gosnells hopes of salvaging a point were revived when Aaron Coslani headed in from an 89th minute free-kick. However, the closest they’d come was a Ben Howe free-kick which found the arms of Hamnett.
THORNTON SPOT ON FOR JOONDALUP
Maddington White City’s unbeaten run has come to an end with Mark Thornton giving Joondalup City a hard-fought 1-0 win at Nicola Tesla Reserve. Despite a free-flowing start to proceedings it took a good while for either team to create anything resembling a genuine chance on goal. Maddington appeared the more likely to breakthrough but Paulo Pacitti’s run down the left was halted by Jamie Kalaher. Playing chiefly on the counterattack, Joondalup edged the lead a few minutes out from half-time when a foul on Alex Corner gave the referee no option but to point to the spot and Thornton did the rest, sending goalkeeper Peter Wile left before slotting to the right.
The game opened up after the break. Corner was played through one-on-one with Wile who smartly saved his opponents shot, the action was soon enough at the other end where Joe Smith’s positioning saw him keep out Danny Clapham’s attempt from 30-metres. Another push by Maddington produced a corner which Liam McLaughlin got his head on but was blocked before crossing the line, and Smith gathered in the goalmouth scramble which ensued. Thornton came within inches of doubling the visitors lead when his header from Danny Beattie’s delivery glanced off the post. With the game deep in stoppage time a foul on Pacitti gave Maddington a penalty of their own, however, Clapham’s attempt to salvage a point was met by the gloves of Smith.
PLUCKY QUINNS TAKE THE POINTS OVER SUBIACO
Subiaco AFC were left to rue missed opportunities as they went down 3-2 to Quinns on an overcast afternoon at Gumblossum Reserve. “We was the better side but if you can’t put the ball In the net you don’t win games,” commented Subiaco coach Darren Yates. Jon Bailey had the away team in front after 8 minutes but the side would enter the break level courtesy of Dave Irwin. Quinns edged in front after 67 minutes through Jake Benson-Coooper but play had barely resumed when teenager Pat Morrison equalised. The deciding goal arrived with ten minutes to go with Benson-Cooper getting the better of Tom Barrett.
LUCKLESS FREMANTLE UNDONE BY DEBUTANT CUSIMANO
Mauro Cusimano scored twice on debut to steer Forrestfield United to an unlikely 2-1 win over Fremantle United at Hartfield Park. The port side went ahead through Garth Woods and despite creating numerous opportunities to add another it was Cusimano’s second half brace that decided where the points finished up. “It was a good win and we really needed it,” said Forrestfield’s Abraham Cheng. “We’ve had some poor results in the past few rounds so we really wanted to make up for it, not just for us but to the home crowd as well.” Forrestfield’s second win of the winter puts some distance between themselves and last place, whereas Fremantle slip down to third.
All the early pressure came from Fremantle who were finally rewarded when Woods posted the first goal of the afternoon. Cusimano restored parity with a swerving shot from the top of the 18-yard box that caught the goalkeeper off-guard as it rose into the top corner. Fremantle responded with a barrage of attacks but Matthew Zappacosta was up to the challenge in keeping out goalbound efforts by Woods, Andrew Morrow, Sam Smith, Adam O’Neill and Angus Vos. The game was decided late when a quick exchange down the middle released Cheng whose shot was blocked by the advancing ’keeper with Cusimano slamming in the loose ball.
KINGSWAY TAKE THE POINTS OVER MELVILLE
Kevin White continued rich vein of form by netting his teams’ final goal in today’s 4-2 defeat of Melville City at Kingsway Reserve. An off-season recruit from Scotland, White found the back of the net for the sixth successive week to seal a victory set-up by first half finishes from Aaron Lickiss, Lee Thomas and Josh Rolls. “Everyone played very well, we really did not have a poor performer on the park,” commented Kingsway coach Ian Cowan. “We have a squad of players that can do well this year but we just need to keep working hard and play consistent football … there isn’t a team in this league that we cannot beat.”
The game was given a crackerjack start by David Palin’s scorching strike from 27-metres which flashed into the top corner only 30 seconds after kick-off. Kingsway replied immediately from the restart, Lickiss volleying across the goalkeeper after chesting down a free-kick played to the far post. Having found their rhythm, the hosts set about taking control through some nice movement of the ball. White did well to retain possession inside the 18-yard box before clipping to the far post where Thomas headed in on the half hour. Half-time was on the horizon when Rolls unleashed into the net after Craig Cunningham was first denied by the crossbar then goalkeeper Elliott Duncan.
Melville came out strong in the second half but could find no way past a resolute defensive unit. The pendulum slowly swung back in favour of the home side with Rolls and Daniel Gulliver causing plenty of concern down the flanks while Thomas, Cunningham and Martin Ashworth toiled away in the middle. But their only goal of the period came when Rolls stole possession from a defender and whipped the ball into the 18-yard box for White to fire in from near the penalty spot. With ten minutes left substitute Aaron Bahadori grabbed the visitors a consolation by smashing into the bottom corner after ‘keeper Anthony Salpietro attempted to punch clear a cross.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
All roads lead to Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday for the traditional derby between top-of-the-table Bayswater City and fifth-placed Balcatta. Striker Steve Burton is hoping to for a marked improvement on Bayswater’s recent efforts. “We have had a dip in form so we need to focus and get back to winning ways,” commented Burton. “Balcatta have had a good start to the season, this is full credit to (coach) Saul Contera, who I know has been working hard with the boys and I’m sure they will be up for the game.” Bayswater captain John Kearney, Todd Howarth and Paul McCarthy are all back in contention.
It’s been a month since Balcatta last picked up maximum points but Mikey Aspin is tipping that to change on Sunday. “Bayswater are unbeaten this season so it’s about time somebody knocked them off their perch, and we’ll be trying our best to do just that,” said the defender, who was disappointed with last week’s loss to Floreat Athena. “At one-all we should have kept things tighter and made sure we at least got a point. To concede two more goals was unacceptable and it’s something we can’t do this weekend.” Striker Ashley Rosindale will be pushing to start having recovered from injury.
The remainder of Round Nine takes place on Saturday afternoon with ECU Joondalup’s derby clash with Sorrento expected to rate particularly high on the entertainment scale. “It will be an intriguing northern derby,” said home coach Salv Todaro, before stressing the importance of a Joondalup win. “The league table is starting to look congested and a win would see us jump up into the heady heights of third, conversely a loss could see us slip down to tenth. With the attitude that the boys have been showing at training and in the games I envisage an exciting game.”
Stirling Lions can close the gap, even if only for 24-hours, by getting the better of Perth SC at Macedonia Park. The home team have added Scott Bulloch and Michael Pugliese to their squad, while Perth is hopeful of regaining Daniel Micevski’s services. Floreat Athena can make it three wins in a row by taking the points over Armadale at Litis Stadium. Matt Holland’s first home game in charge of Bunbury Forum Force is against Inglewood United, who remains without striker Greg Sharland. Cockburn City welcomes the National Training Centre to Dalmatinac Park. All six Premier Division games – Saturday and Sunday – kick-off at 3.00pm.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Dianella White Eagles can extend their winning run to six games by taking the points from the local derby at Morley Windmills. “Morley are a form side and one of our biggest threats in the league,” said Dianella’s Michael Salsano. “Like most teams we want to continue our good form but more importantly keep the standards we have set ourselves. There’s great atmosphere at the club, a great work ethic from all the boys and effective coaching from Vesko (Zmukic) and Johnny (Castrilli). If we can bring that on the field every Saturday then I’m confident we’ll keep performing as well we have in previous weeks.”
Western Knights striker Brendan Craig says Saturday’s game at Canning City is the perfect opportunity to show how serious his team are about finishing on top of the table. “We’ve put ourselves in a terrible position in regards to reaching our target, which is promotion, but we still have it in us,” said Craig. “We are all relishing the challenge of playing a ‘good side’. We play much better against sides who play football, as opposed to teams who hoof it long, tackle hard and hope for some luck. I’m confident of bagging a few goals and supremely confident of a win against Canning.”
There are bound to be plenty of thrills and spills in the three verses four meeting of Shamrock Rovers and Ashfield at Harold Rossiter Reserve. UWA-Nedlands on-going battle with injury and absence has they on home soil this weekend against Wanneroo City, who has Garin Collins and Glen Thomas coming into the squad. Mandurah City will be without captain Craig Young for their date with Gosnells City at Hyundai Stadium. Oscar Thompson, Connor Price and Danny Snelling have put their hands up for selection ahead of Rockingham City’s visit to Swan United. All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Kingsway Olympic have every intention of collecting all the points on offer from their clash with Melville City. Not a lot has gone right for Kingsway at their ground so far this year but goalkeeper Anthony Salpietro says the time is right for that to change. “A win is important as we want to break our winless run at home and start to turn Kingsway Reserve into a fortress,” said Salpietro. “The boys are very motivated after a poor result last week and I believe we have the team to go on a run and challenge for top honours come the end of the season.”
There are some difficult decisions to be made at Fremantle United leading into their visit to Forrestfield United. Fletcher Tracy, Roberto Colalillo and Tom Speziali performed well last week after being promoted from the Metro League and are likely to retain their places despite Andrew Morrow, Darren Monaghan and Maddy Holman being available. Spirits are high in the Joondalup City camp as they prepare to go into battle with Division Two leaders Maddington White City at Nicola Tesla Reserve. Quinns are tipped to take the points from their meeting with Subiaco AFC at Gumblossom Park. All four Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
STABILITY THE TARGET AT BUNBURY SAYS HOLLAND
Newly appointed coach Matt Holland is looking to bring some stability to Bunbury Forum Force as the clubs looks to put a difficult few months behind them. Holland became Bunbury’s third coach in three months last week by stepping up from assistant coach following Matt Lock’s sudden vacation of the position. “I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to coach the club and I’m really grateful to Matt Lock on offering me the position of being his assistant earlier in the season,” commented Holland. “It is obviously a platform for me to cut my teeth properly at a good level in the game, so I am pleased to have been given the opportunity.”
Holland faces some significant challenges turning around not only Bunbury’s season – they’ve won once from eight starts – but also in revitalising the game in the south-west. “I believe it’s not just the club but the South West region that needs stability and a solid structure … football knowledge isn’t here in abundance,” Holland said. “I have been fortunate to work with, alongside and under the guidance of some very well respected coaches in the world game, especially in the UK. Having that experience and education will assist in developing the structure that the club needs from first team down to the under-12’s. Hopefully, we will achieve that by the end of the season.”
Despite their poor form, Bunbury have been competitive more often than not this season and that’s something Holland says bodes well. “It has been difficult but in all honesty it’s not too disheartening (as) we have come extremely close to getting positive results against the supposedly bigger clubs,” explained Holland. “We have a small cluster of players who really know the game and combined with those who are good players and are learning each week, I am feeling confident moving forward. As long as the professionalism and application is present in every session and the togetherness can pull us through to get points week in, week out then we will be well-placed after a poor start points-wise.”
Holland, 24, played youth team football for Swansea City but a broken collarbone and a serious back injury curtained his progression. After a spell with Welsh Premier League club The New Saints he moved into coaching at community and academy levels with Cardiff City, gaining his UEFA ‘B’ license at the age of 21. He developed a strong working relationship with the Football Association of Wales and was appointed Coach Educator/Instructor to deliver their Coaching Licenses. Last year Holland headed to Malaysia where he was appointed coach of the national youth team which finished third at the ASEAN Cup Under-13 Championship.
All that experience will be needed on Saturday when Holland takes charge of Bunbury on home turf for the first time, against Inglewood United. “It’s a game I’m looking forward to with Graham (Normanton) and Bobby (Despotovski) in the dugout, we are on the ‘A’ License together this year along with one of my coaches, John McGlynn,” Holland said. “I’m always positive for each game given the preparation and attention to detail that I deploy with my staff and the squad, although it’ll all come down to them crossing the white line and the man with the whistle so I’m interested to see what we can do about it this week.”
Holland feels the change of coach will prove to be what the doctor ordered for Bunbury. “When a new coach comes in there is always going to be a transitional period. I have introduced a new system to the squad, a methodology and targets/requirements,” he said. “It’s the knowledge and professionalism combined with a little bit of naivety that has cost us which ultimately comes down to concentration. With the standard of some of the individual players in this league you’ll get punished. I am confident that after 22 games played the ladder will speak for itself and on reflection it will be a good season on and off the pitch for The Force.”
EVANS HOPEFUL WIN CAN GIVE MELVILLE SOME MOMENTUM
It took a long time for the smile to fade from Danny Evans’ face following Melville City’s weekend over Subiaco AFC. Evans’ team have battled their way through the opening rounds of the season only to have nothing to show for their efforts. However, that changed on Saturday when finishes by Lucas Pickering, Sasa Slavujevic and Ben Steele plus and own goal gave Melville their first win of the Division Two campaign. “It was a relief to get the win but only time will tell if we’re good enough to compete week in week out,” said Evans. “Spirits are high and, hopefully, we use this win to give us some momentum.”
Evans points to a lengthy injury list as the main reason behind his team’s poor start. “If you look at our side that played in the Night Series, nine of the first eleven aren’t playing at the moment … it’s hard to sustain that many forced changes,” he explained. “Saying that, I don’t feel we have been as poor as results suggest. We are capable of playing an attractive brand of football, can control possession and have players who can be a threat on goal. Unfortunately, we have given away poor goals and when you give only 45 or 60 minute performances you aren’t going to win many.”
Melville entered the season as one of the title favourites and although they trail early leaders Maddington White City by ten points Evans isn’t about to give up the chase. “We are in a Division where teams take points of each other every week so, I don’t know that there is a clear favourite just yet,” the Melville coach said. “We know we need to improve and we’re just focusing on our performances at the moment. In terms of our goals for the season nothing has changed – we go out and try and win every game just the same as everyone else.”
Next up for Melville is Saturday’s trip to mid-table Kingsway Olympic, who have lost three from three on the turf this year. And while spirits are high in the Melville camp leading into the game Evans says his team will not be underestimating their opponents. “Ian Cowan’s teams are always competitive so I’m expecting a good contest. But rather than analyse where they are at as a team, we just need to focus on our own game,” he commented. “We know that we need to perform, anything other than a full 90 minute performance and we won’t get the points … I’m really looking forward to it.”
GOSNELLS BEST IS YET TO COME: GODFREY
Division One club Gosnells City have a lot more to offer than their lowly position suggests according to defender Jason Godfrey. A flat run of form has resulted in Gosnells claiming a single win from their opening five games to leave the club sitting joint bottom of the table alongside UWA-Nedlands and Rockingham City. And Godfrey, who joined the eastern corridor club over the summer, is adamant there are much brighter days ahead. “The playing group knows that we can play a lot better – as we saw in the Night Series – and it’s only going to take a win to get the ball rolling again,” Godfrey commented.
On their day Gosnells can match it with the best the league has to offer, however, they need look no further than last weekend’s capitulation to Shamrock Rovers for what happens when they don’t tune in. “That was our worst performance,” commented Godfrey of the 7-1 loss. “The team knows we let each other down as well as the club and sponsors. But team spirit and commitment is strong and everyone showing up at training to work harder to make sure we don’t play like that again. We’ve learnt the lessons as to what we did wrong, have put the past behind us and moved forward.”
Godfrey, a one-time State Under-19 representative, parted company with Cockburn City in pre-season in search of regular first team football. “It was a hard choice to leave Cockburn, I played many seasons there through bad times as well as the good. But with Cockburn having a large squad this year it was hard to see a starting position,” he explained. “Gosnells is only a short drive away from home and I got a call from Alan Dunlop, who I played with at Cockburn, and he said I should come down and check it out. The players were welcoming, the training was of a high standard and felt like a good fit.”
With over a decades’ experience in the top flight through spells with Cockburn, Inglewood United and Mandurah City, Godfrey is enjoying his new role at Walter Padbury Reserve. “I’m enjoying playing in Division One as I can past on some of the knowledge I have to the younger players. Gosnells has some good youngster in their teams, and in the long-term this will result in success in their future,” said Godfrey, before conceding he’d he’s not ruled out returning to the Premier Division one day. “I feel I still have what it takes to play in the Premier and would like to play there again.”
Gosnells head out on the road this weekend to take on fellow strugglers Mandurah City. “Given our bad start to the season, this game is our Cup final and we must win to get our season back on track,” commented Godfrey, who is confident Gosnells can halt their three-game losing streak in the league. “The team is up for the challenge and we are going to give it our all. All we need to get our season back on track is a bit of confidence. No one at the club has dropped their head as we know how good we can play … when we play our game and we can beat any team.”
GILL INSTALLED AS MATILDAS CAPTAIN
Perth Glory Women striker Kate Gill admits to being surprised with her promotion to joint captain of the Matildas alongside Brisbane Roar’s Clare Polkinghorne. Gill, 28, has played professionally in Australia, Denmark and Sweden but this marks the first time she has been honoured with the captain’s armband. “To be named captain of your country is something really special and I will be doing everything I can to lead the team in the best way possible,” Gill told footballwest.com.au. “I’m still taken aback by it all … it’s something I didn’t ever expect, but I’m humbled by it all and proud to have the support of the players and coaching staff.”
National team coach Hesterine De Reus said Gill, who has 72 caps to her credit, will captain the Matilda’s in next months’ two-game friendly series against New Zealand. “Kate will wear the armband onto the field whenever possible, but both will take on captaincy duties off the field as required,” said national De Reus. “The reason that I have elected to have co-captains is that I like to share the load between the two players, although I expect all players to take leadership roles and responsibility on the pitch.” After facing off with the Silver Ferns, Australia head to Europe for games with the Netherlands, France and club side Ado Den Haag.
ARNOLD KEEN FOR SAINSBURY TO STAY
Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has urged future Socceroos Trent Sainsbury to consider all options before continuing his career abroad. Sainsbury, 21, is coming off a stellar season with Central Coast where his talents have caught the eye of a number of European clubs, amongst them English sides Bolton Wanderers and Southampton plus FC Basel of Switzerland. Arnold, whose included time in the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, and Australia, has no doubt the young defender has what it takes to play professionally overseas but questions if the time is right for him to make the move.
With such strong interest coming from Europe, Arnold has stressed the importance of Sainsbury finding the club which is best for him. “He’s had a fantastic season and has been rewarded by winning the Mariners Medal and getting called up to the Socceroos,” said Arnold. “I always had a lot of faith in Trent, I’ve seen over the two years he was with us what he can do. I don’t think one more season in the A-League would hurt him, but if he gets the right offer from overseas with a good club where he’s going to develop further it would obviously be a good move for him.”
STOKE SNAP UP FORMER JOONDALUP JUNIOR GRANT
English Premier League outfit Stoke City have moved quickly to sign out of contract defender Alex Grant. English-born Grant, a product of ECU Joondalup’s successful youth system, has agreed terms on a two-year deal with the Potter after catching the eye of manager Tony Pulis while on loan to non-league side Havant and Waterlooville. The 19-year old returned to England in mid-2010 to join Portsmouth where he progressed through reserve and academy football to make his professional debut against Plymouth Argyle last August. He was subsequently loaned to Eastleigh and earlier this year moved to Havant and Waterlooville, where he gained 18 first team appearances.
FANS INVITED TO FFA FORUM
Football Federation Australian boss David Gallop will listen to the views of the games constituents in a public forum this month. Gallop and A-League chief Damien de Bohun are also scheduled to meet Football West, Perth Glory and State Government officials to discuss a range of topics including the long-muted ‘Home of Football’ and the possibility of bringing the Socceroos to Perth. The fan forum will be held at Dorrien Gardens next Monday, 20th May, and will also feature Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards, club owner Tony Sage and Football West chief executive Peter Hugg.
Hugg says Gallop’s presence in the west is a big boost for the local game. “We’re looking forward to briefing David on a number of issues confronting our sport in this State as well as updating him on a number of our initiatives, including the current status of our ‘Home of Football’ campaign,” Hugg told the ‘West Australian’ newspaper. “The fan forum is a wonderful initiative, which has proved to be very popular in a number of other cities, and it’s pleasing for us that FFA has seen fit to include Perth.”
SECOND TAKEN BY STIRLING (with Ryan Platten, Football West)
Stirling Lions claimed outright second of the Premier Division by seeing off Sorrento 3-2 in a tense meeting at Percy Doyle Reserve. Young gun Moses Kalau helped himself to a double to compliment Rory Grant’s early finish and cancel out an own goal and Jamie Harnwell’s late tap-in. “We’re very happy with the result, to get a win on the road against a strong Sorrento team who are unbeaten in their last nine games is a massive achievement,” said Stirling captain Andy Brown. “It was backs to the wall stuff from our boys late but we battled and hung on for three deserved points.”
Just three minutes had passed when Stirling took the lead, Phil Arnold whipping a cross to the far post where an unmarked Grant powered his header into Curtis Aspden’s net. Sorrento moved on quickly from an uncharacteristically poor start and as the half progressed their share of possession increased and began to ask questions of opposing defence. Steve McDonald came agonisingly close to putting the team’s level by heading into the crossbar from a 42nd minute corner. There was only one way for Stirling to respond and that was with a second goal, Evans rising to meet a corner which Kalau touched past Aspden.
Sorrento came out from the break swinging, Craig Robson lifting just high of the crossbar before Chris Lynch was thwarted from close-in by Aleks Vrteski. The goal they sought arrived in the 68th minute when Todd Harnwell slid in to meet a low cross that was turned in by a Stirling defender. Kalau stepped up three minutes later to restore Stirling’s two-goal buffer, the attacker unleashing a precision strike from the corner of the box which flew inside the junction of bar and post. Jamie Harnwell entered the action with ten minutes to go and soon after prodded in from only a few metres after Gavin Knight’s free-kick hit both posts without crossing the line.
ARMADALE FEND OFF JOONDALUP FIGHT BACK
Armadale returned to the winners circle for the first time in over a month by downing a spirited ECU Joondalup outfit 4-3 at Alfred Skeet Oval. The home team held a four-goal advantage at the break thanks to Louie Bake, Mitch Castrilli, Mark Peers and Dannie Richman. Jon Stynes scored twice and Tommy Amphlett once in the minutes after the break to put Joondalup back in the game but despite a concerted late push they were unable to conjure an equaliser. “We should never have been as uncomfortable as we were in the last five minutes,” Armadale boss Lee Bamber told footballwest.com.au “This provides important experience for the team to ensure a similar scenario won’t happen again.”
There was a lot of to and fro early on as the two sets of players attempted to assert themselves on the game. Although slow to get going, Armadale gained the upper hand in the 27th minute when Trevor Laure’s centring pass was met by Bake’s superb first time shot into from 16-metres. Castrilli punished some poor defending at a corner seven minutes later by heading in the Reds second goal, and when Peers’ free-kick evaded all inside the area to sneak inside the far post Joondalup must have been wondering what had hit them. There was worse to come as, on the stroke of half-time, Richman nodded in at close-range after the visitors failed to respond to a loose ball.
Joondalup heeded the words of their coaching staff and five minutes after the restart Stynes headed in from a Tony Taylor corner. Stynes then further reduced the gap with another headed, this one at the back post on the end of a Shaun Timmins free-kick. An hour was on the lock when Matt Italiano found the feet of Amphlett, who darted across the 18-yard box and rifled into the far corner of Ellis Hawksworth’s net. Amphlett twice found himself in positions to complete the visitor’s revival but on each occasion the attacker was unable to capitalise. The win jumps Armadale into fourth on a congested Premier Division table, whereas Joondalup slip down to seventh.
INGLEWOOD, COCKBURN SHARE THE SPOILS
Cockburn City was left to rue missed opportunities as Inglewood United held on for a 0-0 draw from an entertaining encounter at Intiga Stadium. The visitors stepped up the pace after an even first half but some wayward finishing meant they’d have to be content with a single point. “We had chances to win it (and) if anyone was to win it would have been us,” said new Cockburn coach Marc Anthony, who was surprised neither team was able to find the net over the 90 minutes. “There’s plenty of goals in their team and plenty of goals in our team, so if you’d asked me before the game I’d have said there would definitely be goals in this game.”
A snappy opening to proceedings had Inglewood on the front foot but neither Andrija Jukic nor Ryan Clarke was able to benefit from early chances. Cockburn responded by tightening things up at the back and, with Inglewood similarly impregnable, the next twenty minutes or so were played out between the boxes. It wasn’t until the 31st minute that the home defence was finally prised open, Paul Lloyd played in behind but Luke Martino was quick to negate the move. Eamon McNelis threatened soon after with a vicious shot on the run which was deflected off the boot for a corner. As half-time neared Dejan Aleksic came to the rescue at the other end with a couple of brilliant saves to keep out successive shots by Jukic and Daniel Thomson.
Cockburn returned to the field fired up only to have their best moves repelled by a backline under the command of Shaun Kilkelly and Craig Simpson. That began to change on the hour when Lloyd pulled wide of the target and, two minutes later, Antonio Naglieri nodded past the post. Rikki Smith’s terrific last gasp tackle on Jack Eades denied the attacker a clear shot on goal as Cockburn heaped pressure on their opponents. Inglewood was looking dangerous on the counterattack but solid work by Kieron Stallard and Euan Grant meant Aleksic had little to do. Conor Kavanagh was within inches of snatching a dramatic winner when his second to last minute strike from 16-metres rippled the top netting after substitute David Onoforo linked well in the lead-up with Lloyd.
PRITCHARD TO THE RESCUE (with Kelechi Osunwa, Football West)
Floreat Athena’s climb up the Premier Division standings gained momentum with this afternoon’s 3-1 defeat of Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. A late brace by captain Mark Pritchard secured all the points for the away team after Benny Kouakou’s first half opener was cancelled out soon after the interval by Olari Perlin. “Overall I didn’t think we played particularly well but our luck is changing,” said Floreat coach Chris Barbas. “We’ve got that fighting spirit, we never wanted to give up and that is the quality that we had last year that is coming on this year too.” Floreat’s second win in eight days moves them to within two points of the top four.
All the early running was with Balcatta who would have opened up a sizeable lead if not for a series of outstanding saves by Brad Eiffe. So it was against the run of play at the visitors went one-nil up after 23 minutes, Kouakou showing great composure in beating the last defender to slot into Alex Dunn’s net. Parity was restored eleven minutes into the second half with Perlin finally finding a way past Eiffe after Roberto Lujan stole the ball from Pritchard. Floreat regained the upper hand when Pritchard applied a tidy finish after being found by Ludovic Boi following an 87th minute counterattack. Pritchard made the game safe two minutes into stoppage time by tucking in a penalty awarded for a foul on substitute Adrian Caceres.
With the sounding of the final whistle Saul Contera, coach of Balcatta, found it hard to contain his frustration. “We’re not ruthless in front of goal and if you don’t take your chances you’re not going to win games,” said Contera, whose team came away empty handed despite enjoying the majority share of possession for the second week in a row. “We tried to go a little bit more attacking to try and win the game but we lost our defensive discipline and got punished with two good counter attacks”. Despite suffering back-to-back losses, Balcatta remain in fifth position but need to look back a month since last taking maximum points.
BOLAND GETS PERTH THREE MUCH-NEEDED POINTS
A couple of first half goals by from Liam Boland laid the foundations for Perth SC’s 3-1 defeat of bottom-of-the-table Bunbury Forum Force at Dorrien Gardens. Boland netted twice in the opening half hour with English import Ayodeji Omoboye taking the difference to three goals before Chris Blackburn grabbed Bunbury’s solitary reply. “I’ve scored three goals in the last three games now and I could have had more today,” Boland told footballwest.com.au “I’m happy that we have got a win at home and hopefully we can build from here … the league is out of reach but we definitely want and need to finish in the top five, which is a minimum for this club.”
Perth were out of the block fast with Boland, Omoboye and Adam Luca all testing Ryan Montgomery. Their dominance was rewarded in the 19th minute when Luca’s searching ball allowed Boland to beat the offside and curl in from 11-metres. Boland doubled the hosts lead twelve minutes later, the striker punishing poor defending by lashing in from the edge of the 18-yard box. Perth continued to dictate terms when Omoboye outpaced the defence and slid the ball underneath the advancing ‘keeper that game looked to be over. But Blackburn gave the visitors a glimmer of hope in stoppage time with a low finish after being picked out by Jayden Prosser’s cross from the right.
With a goal to their name and urged on by new coach Matt Holland, Bunbury returned to the field focused on further reducing the difference. However, in order to do that they would have to prise open a well-organised backline that was in no mood to concede again. In wasn’t until the 73rd minute that the visitors fashioned a genuine opening via Prosser whose thumping left-footed effort fizzled just wide of the near post. Three minutes later substitute Aaron Brittain drew an instinctive save from Jason Saldaris, who somehow managed to deny his opponent what had seemed a certain goal at close-range. Boland had an opportunity to complete his hat-trick late on but Montgomery proved up to the task.
BAYSWATER LEAVE IT LATE AGAINST DOMINANT NTC
The National Training Centre’s failure to convert chances into goals has resulted in a 4-2 loss to Premier Division leaders Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve. The development squad totally dominated the first half and had they had strapped on their scoring boots then the game could have been over at the break. “We should have been dead and buried at half-time,” Bayswater coach Chris Coyne told footballwest.com.au “The NTC acquitted themselves really well, they moved the ball around well and made it hard for us … it wasn’t a good day at the office for us (but) we’ll take the points.”
Bayswater settled the bettered but as the half progressed it was the NTC that took over. Storm Roux was twice denied the breakthrough goal by Devon Spence, who spectacularly touched both of the defender’s shots onto the woodwork. Darcy Cosgrove who should have done better than blaze high when sent through with only Spence to beat. Bayswater began to flicker and five minutes from the break Steve Burton side-footed in at the far post from Gustavo Catarcione’s delivery. The NTC kept coming and had it not been for a sensational double save by Spence then either Cosgrove or Roux would have brought the teams’ level.
It took the visiting side just eight second half minutes to achieve that objective, Sahr Musa netting from close-range after meeting Borbor Sambindi’s centre. Bayswater replied on 72 minutes, Brian Farrell and Gustavo Giron-Marulanda combining with the former finishing low past Jordan Franken. That lead last just seven minutes before substitute Ndumba Makeche found the back of the net after fending off Trent Kay. A curling Giron-Marulanda free-kick snuck inside Franken’s near post to put Bayswater back in front with seven minutes to go. The result was made safe in stoppage time when Kay firing in from a few metres after good work down the right by Patrick Quinn.
FIVE FOR DIANELLA
A commanding second 45 minutes has gained joint Division One leaders Dianella White Eagles a resounding 5-1 defeat of UWA-Nedlands at Dianella Reserve. Finishes by Robbie Phelan, Michael Salsano, Abdul Sesay and a couple of own goals stretched Dianella’s winning start to the season to five games. There were few signs of the onslaught which was to come during an entertaining but even first half. The home side were first on the scoreboard when a defender deflected in the rebound from a Phelan shot which crashed into the upright. Kyle King restored parity by getting o the end of an Aaron Barnett pass and bettering goalkeeper Tom Dixon.
The second half was one-way thanks to the combined efforts of Thomas Gooding and Sean Browne. Phelan put Dianella back in front with an easy tap-in after Sesay opened up the defence with a driving run down the right. The pick of the goals arrived next, Salsano taming the ball just outside the 18-yard box before hitting an unstoppable half-volley into the bottom corner. The hosts fourth goal came via Sesay, who finished into the net after goalkeeper Duncan Elliott parried a Phelan shot. The game was close to an end when a UWA defender had the misfortune of turning into his own net after Salsano’s shot came back off the post.
CANNING GRIND OUT WIN AT SWAN
Canning City kept pace at the top of Division One by out-shooting home side Swan United 2-0. Daniel Neiderberger and Paul Van Dongen had Canning in front by the break after which the black and whites piled on the pressure in search for a way back in. A positive start by the home team paid dividends when Neiderberger converted from the penalty spot after a defender was ruled to have handled Sam Carrello’s cross. Player-coach Van Dongen then doubled his team’s advantage by heading a pinpoint Josh Findlater cross past oncoming goalkeeper Simon Madaschi. The momentum shifted after the break but despite a enjoying the bulk of possession and creating some good openings, Swan were unable to find the goal they sought.
THREE IN A ROW FOR MORLEY
Morley Windmills took maximum points for the third successive week by out-shooting Ashfield 2-1 in sunny conditions at Ashfield Reserve. Chris Bradley and Thierry Bernard found the net in the second half to move Morley into fifth position, much to the delight of coach Jason Van Rooy. “Compared to where we were last year to where we are this year, (the win) means everything. We are all about progressing, but at the same time we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves,” Van Rooy told footballwest.com.au “We knew if we could come in at half-time nil-all then we were right in this game (and) we had to make sure we took our chances.”
The game commenced at breakneck speed with both teams creating some promising openings. But the closest either would come to scoring in the first half was Alex Stamatiadis’ long-range strike which crashed into the crossbar. The all-important go-ahead goal arrived ten minutes after the turnaround when Bradley threaded past goalkeeper John Perkins to send Morley’s supporters into raptures. And when Bernard latched onto a loose ball and lashed into the top corner from distance the game looked to the over. However, that wasn’t a script Ashfield were reading from although Tom Kennedy found the net with three minutes to go it was too little too late.
MANDURAH SCORE FIRST WIN
Despite the absence of five key players, Mandurah City returned home happy from Nash Field after carving out a 4-3 win over Western Knights. The home team may have had all the early play but it was at the Mandurah end that the opening goal arrived on the quarter hour, Craig Tone finishing with ease into the bottom corner following a sublime through ball by Monty Grigo. Just ten minutes passed before the visitors posted another goal with Grigo heading in from Robbie Hamm’s driven ball into the 18-yard box. The remainder of the half was dominated by Mandurah and just before half-time Matt Stares combined with Grigo to tee-up Tone whose angled strike went in via the woodwork.
The Knights stepped up the pace after the break and Brendan Craig put them back in the hunt by converting from the penalty spot after a handball decision went against Danny Dyson. Mandurah were now playing on the break and with 65 minute gone Grigo surged forward to release Liam Hurst, who made no mistake from 9-metres. Although stunned, the Knights refused to give up and eight minutes later an unmarked Johny Mirco rocketed into the top corner from 17-metres. And with five minutes remaining David Caine stole possession from Hamm and crossed for Craig to nod in at close-range. The closing stages were tense as the Knights sought to equalise only to be held out by a resilient Mandurah defence.
WANNEROO CATCH ROCKINGHAM ON THE HOP
Wanneroo City breathed new life into their season by running rampant over Rockingham City 6-2 at Lark Hill Sportsplex. Guy McDonald scored twice alongside Chris Pugh, Danny Milne, Rowdy Yates and Josh Booysen to earn Wanneroo their first win in over a month. Veteran attacker Stuart Montgomery laid on the opening goal scored by delivering a free-kick into the 18-yard box where Pugh steered his header beyond the reach of goalkeeper Bobson Koroma. Milne double Wanneroo’s advantage with a tidy finish from 8-metres after the defence failed to deal with another ball in by Montgomery. Yates chipped over the advancing ‘keeper for goal number three, and not long before half-time McDonald fired through a crowded area and into the bottom corner to tighten Wanneroo’s hold on the game.
Danny Macklin gave Rockingham just the start they needed to the second half when he blasted into the bottom corner from 18-metres, punishing the opposition’s inability to properly clear from a corner. A crisp exchange of passes led to the restoration of Wanneroo’s four-goal buffer, David Calder, Montgomery and Yates combining for Booysen to head in at the back post. An enthusiastic display off the bench by teenager Ryan Haslett was rewarded with an opportunistic finish into the net for the hosts’ second goal. Rockingham then suffered a blow with a miss-timed tackle earning Darren Lawler a second yellow card and an early shower. McDonald had the final say soon after by heading in unmarked from 7-metres from a Montgomery cross after his initial run was halted by the defence.
BYRNE HAS SHAMROCK IN SEVENTH HEAVEN
Gosnells City was given a lesson in finishing as Shamrock Rovers ran out 7-1 victors from their meeting at Walter Padbury Reserve. Three goals to Ciaran Byrne and a double from Alan O’Mahoney paved the way for an away victory on an afternoon when Paul Concannon and Will Pender also found the back of the net. The flow of goals commenced after only 2 minutes, O’Mahoney prodding in after goalkeeper Struan Herd had difficulty claiming a free-kick. Byrne opened his account on the quarter hour by tucking in on the end of a well-worked move. A tidy exchange of passes in the 38th minutes led to Ben Howe crossing for Sean Taylor to head in for Gosnells. Almost immediately Concannon returned fire with a curling shot for a three-one half-time lead.
When the teams returned to the park it was Gosnells that hungry for goals only to have their better moves countered by Shamrock’s rearguard. But the host’s hopes of a comeback were snuffed out on the hour by Byrne, who neatly slipped his second goal into the net after combining with Mark O’Brien and following a defensive slip-up. Pender added himself to the scoresheet in the 72nd minute with a crisp half-volley which deflected off a defender. Shamrock was now brimming with confidence and it came as no surprise when Byrne hooked the ball in to complete his hat-trick. A towering header by O’Mahoney put the icing on the cake in the final minute of regulation time.
UNDERMANNED FREMANTLE EDGE OUT QUINNS (with Kalon Harrison, Football West)
Fletcher Tracy celebrate his first start of the season by scoring the deciding goal in Fremantle United’s 1-0 win over Quinns at Hilton Reserve. With nine players unavailable coach Jason Smith brought Tracy, who normally plays for Fremantle’s Metropolitan League Division One side, into his line-up to terrific effect. “Going off today’s performance he could be ready for the step up,” commented Smith, who was pleased with his players efforts in a tight game. “We missed those easy chances but the boys didn’t drop their heads, against a good Quinns side it’s a good result.”
First half chances were few and far between with Quinns fashioning the better. Brian Cairney was unable to redirect John McNeil’s cross to the near post into the net while Aaran Maplestone lifted high after a diagonal run through the defence. Fremantle were more involved after the turnaround and Sam Smith really should have hit the target from only a few metres in the 51st minute. That miss was forgotten fifteen minutes later when Andrew Ambrogio picked out the run of Tracy, who slotted across goalkeeper Anthony Cochrane. Substitute Josh Shtole had a glorious opportunity to seal the win on 77 minutes but Cochrane made the save in a one-on-one.
Quinns coach John Evans lamented his player’s inability to follow instructions. “First half we’ve done well defensively against the wind, in the second half I told the boys to keep it short but we kept playing the long ball. I said to keep playing to their strengths, and they didn’t,” said Evans, whose pre-match plans were thrown into disarray. “We had a disappointing phone call at quarter past two, one of our best players – Jake Benson-Cooper – phoned in and said he couldn’t turn up. I think that really disrupted us from the off, we had to change our plan and change the line-up.”
FOUR-GOAL FIRST HALF GETS MADDINGTON THE POINTS
Maddington White City maintained a steady course at the top of Division Two by downing Kingsway Olympic 4-2 at Kingsway Reserve. The home side made a dream start with in-form striker Kevin White putting them one-nil up after 11 minutes. Tate Comley waited just a couple of minutes before punishing some poor defending by lashing into the roof of the net. Maddington edge in front shorlty after the quarter hour with Comley’s spectacular long-range strike dropping over goalkeeper Anthony Salpietro. Stevan Sibincic put away Maddington’s third goal after 25 minutes with Paolo Pacitti increasing their lead to three goals not long before the break.
After copping a roasting from coach Ian Cowan, Kingsway returned to the field determined to make amends. Some slick movement nine minutes in led to Josh Rolls being taken down inside the 18-yard box, up stepped White who made no mistake in reducing the deficit. The home side pressed on with White and Rolls getting a number of shots on target but every single time they were met by the safe hands of Peter Wile, who also came out on top of several one-on-ones. With ten minutes to go Danny Clapham put the result beyond doubt by sending the ball past Salpietro for the fifth and final time.
RUBRUDGE STARS AS JOONDALUP HIT SIX
Joondalup City jumped back into the winners circle with a 6-1 thrashing of Forrestfield United at Iluka Sports Complex. The home team needed just 5 minutes to make their mark with Mark Thornton placing into the net after getting on the end of a cross by captain Danny Beattie. A good start soon got better thanks to some nice play through the middle by Alex Connor, whose through ball was converted by stand-in striker Jason Rubidge. Forrestfield pulled a goal back after 35 minutes when Abraham Cheng applied a tidy finish. Half-time was on the horizon when Thornton clipped over the defence for Rubidge, who skipped around the goalkeeper to angle in for a three-one lead.
The second half started much like the first, Danny Allen delivering an inviting cross which Thornton headed in from close-range in the 50th minute. Rubidge was able to do no wrong and when the opportunity came for his hat-trick he complied, heading in from 5-metres a centring ball by Connor. There was clearly no way back for Forrestfield but that wasn’t about to prevent their hosts from going in search of further goals. Connor capped a tireless display in the middle of the park by poking in from a few metres to punish some sloppy defending at a corner. The big win moves Joondalup up to fourth and provides the perfect preparation for next week’s clash with Division Two leaders Maddington White City.
FIRST HALF ONSLAUGHT SETS UP MELVILLE VICTORY
There were smiles all round at Len Shearer Reserve after Melville City finally opened their season account with a 4-1 defeat of Subiaco AFC. Lucas Pickering, Sasa Slavujevic, debutant Ben Steele and an own goal all in the first half secured Melville their first win of the campaign, much to the delight of coach Danny Evans. “We were a constant threat going forward, especially in the first half when all the damage was done,” said Evans, who saw plenty of positives in his team’s performance. “We moved the ball around, seemed to have more composure and took our chances.” Despite picking up the win Melville remain rooted to the foot of Division Two but just three points adrift of fifth place.
Subiaco made a bright start with Ger Fitzgerald posting the opening goal, however, that was as good as it got for the home team. Steele provided the equaliser by curling an inviting ball to the far post where Pickering nodded past goalkeeper Tom Barrett. With the game in the balance Slavujveic outpaced the defence to calmly chip Barrett, who was beaten again when Steele finished at close-range following good work down the right by Pickering. The difference blew out to three goals not long out from half-time when Barrett fumbled a long Danny Brown throw into his net. Subiaco had their chances to get back in the game after the turnaround but were constantly denied by Elliot Duncan.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
Outright second of the Premier Division will be the reward for the victors of tomorrow’s game between Sorrento and Stirling Lions at Percy Doyle Reserve. Gulls captain Todd Harnwell is looking for a response after his team allowed Bunbury Forum Force to snatch a late point last weekend. “Stirling has a strong side and it will be a big test for us but our home form has been good so we are quietly confident of getting a result,” said Harnwell. Injury has forced Danny Cain into an early retirement, while Anthony Skorich and Matt Allen miss out this week for the same reason.
Stirling left it late before seeing off Armadale last time out and captain Andy Brown is tipping another close encounter. “It’s always a tough game up at Windy Hill and Sorrento are unbeaten, so it’s going to take an improved performance from us to get a positive result,” Brown commented. “Saying that, we are full of self-belief and I’m hoping the weather stays away to allows us to put on a good show for the supporters.” Club stalwart Michael Pugliese along with summer recruit Scott Bulloch remains absent due to injury.
Balcatta have home ground advantage over Floreat Athena, who travels to Grindleford Reserve seeking just their second win of the winter. Striker Ashley Rosindale will undergo a late fitness test for the home team as Floreat welcome experienced duo Mark Pritchard and Bobby Wilson back into the squad. Lee Bamber and Salv Todaro have some difficult decision to make ahead of Armadale’s home fixture with ECU Joondalup. Bamber is hoping Dannie Richman and Lee Salter can get the better of niggling injuries, whereas Todaro will try to fit returning trio Jon Higgins, Andy Higgins and Tanner Selyer into his line-up.
Cockburn City veteran Paul Natale is expecting a long afternoon at Inglewood United. “Any Graham Normanton coached side is going to be tough to beat but it’s time we start to find some consistency of our own,” said Natale. “The experience and quality of Dave Onoforo and Antonio Naglieri have been great for us lately, and we'll look to their influence more.” Matt Holland takes the reins of Bunbury Forum Force for the first time away at Perth SC. Top of the table Bayswater City are expected to get the better of the National Training Centre. All six Premier Division games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Everything is ticking along nicely for a new-look Rockingham City who have home ground advantage tomorrow over Wanneroo City. “We have a new mix of players this year and we are starting to become familiar with each other and the style the gaffer (Charlie Smith) wants us to play,” Rockingham stalwart Rob Crerar commented. “On our day we are really competitive, however, we need to get some consistency into our performances. Wanneroo are a very strong side with a lot of quality and we will need to be at the top of our game to take all three points.”
Jamie Burns return has given Ashfield a timely boost as they preparation to go into battle with neighbouring Morley Windmills at Ashfield Reserve. Western Knights are tipped to take the points at home over Mandurah City whose lengthy absence list includes Jeff Bright, Graeme Matthews, Craig Simms, Alex Randell and Darren Clarke, amongst others. David Murphy, Ali Parades and Ian O’Donohue return to the fold for Gosnells City’s home meeting with Shamrock Rovers. Swan United will be without Justin Skowron and Genaveo Human, while Trent Wood and Mark Miraudo are in doubt, when they host joint leaders Canning City.
Dianella White Eagles may have home ground advantage but UWA-Nedlands striker Kyle King is adamant their four-game winning run is about to end. “We are due a win and the lads are looking to get that result on Saturday to show that UWA are not a relegation team,” stated King. “We have everything in place to be successful at this level and we are close to turning our season around, we just need that lucky break or a decision that goes in our favour on game day.” All six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
Title favourites Fremantle United will have their depth put to the test when second-placed Quinns visit Hilton Reserve in the pick of the tomorrow’s third tier action. Results have generally been favourable to the port side so far this year but with nine first team players unavailable, including Andrew Morrow, Connor Shaw, Angelo Canzurlo, Ben West and Darren Monaghan, they will need to find something special to get anything out of the afternoon. Goals have been flowing freely for Quinns and if Jake Benson-Cooper and Arran Maplestone get a foothold then the points will be heading north.
Kingsway Olympic coach Ian Cowan is flush with options ahead of his team’s date with Division Two pacesetters Maddington White City. Team captain David Ashworth and Abel Mpande are back in contention while attacker Wayne Culverwell has returned to the northern suburbs club. Danny Evans has seen Blake Readwin and Will Kinsey added to Melville’s City ever-growing injury list as he prepares to host Subiaco AFC. Joondalup City will be confidence of ending a three-game winless run when Forrestfield United venture Iluka Sports Complex. All four Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
EVANS AIMS TO BRING SILVERWARE TO MACEDONIA PARK
Stirling Lions midfielder Dean Evans is eagerly anticipating this weekend’s trip to Sorrento. The two teams head into Saturday’s game at Percy Doyle Reserve locked together in second spot, well aware the victor will keep pace with leaders Bayswater City while the vanquished may well tumble out of the top five. “It should be a good football spectacle with both teams looking to play some attractive football,” commented Evans, who has more reasons than most for wanting to get the better of Sorrento. “I’m playing against some former teammates so there’s definitely going to be some good banter going about throughout the game.”
While claiming outright second is the immediate, Evans says there are much bigger goals in Stirling’s sights. “The team we assembled throughout the pre-season shows that the club are serious about bringing some silverware back to Macedonia Park,” he commented. “We have a lot of quality this year. We’ve got added depth within the squad which we’ve not had in previous seasons. The lads all get on well and there’s a good bond within the team. We know it’s still very early days but if we continue to work hard and apply ourselves throughout the course of the season we will be there come seasons’ end.”
Stirling rode their luck against Armadale last weekend before Evans struck in stoppage time to steal a 2-1 win, a result which moved the club alongside Sorrento. “It wasn’t one of our best games, but the one positive is we got the result without playing well and that shows we have the grit to grind out a result,” said Evans. “Armadale made it very tough for us, they got in our faces and played some nice link-up football. They had some really good chances in the first half but thankfully Aleks Vrteski saved us. I can understand why Armadale would feel hard done by to not get anything from the game.”
Evans recognises a full 90 minute shift will be required if Stirling are to come home with the points on Saturday. “Sorrento are always a very difficult team to play, whether that’s home or away. They work as one unit and have kept the core of the squad together over the last few years so they all know their jobs and have a good understanding,” Evans commented. “We’ve won our last two games so have a bit of momentum coming into the weekend. But we know that there are no easy games in this league. We can’t take anything for granted and will need to come up with a consistent 90 minutes against Sorrento.”
FLOREAT READY TO FIRE SAYS YORKE
Defender Cameron Yorke says Floreat Athena is positioned well to start making their way up the Premier Division standings after a slow start to the new season. Floreat collected their first win of the home and away series last weekend, 5-2 over the National Training Centre, a result which comes hot on the heels of a 3-0 Cup defeat of Cockburn City. Those results served to strengthen the resolve of all at Floreat with Yorke tipping big things from the club in coming months. ”We’ve not had the best of starts but the boys are motivated to finish as high as we can,” said the 24-year old defender.
It’s been a bumpy ride so far for Floreat with first eleven players Bobby Wilson, Spencer Harris, Jack Allen, Cisco Jorquera, David Heagney, Mark Pritchard, Ludovic Boi and Brad Effie all missing games. “We’ve definitely had an unlucky start,” commented Yorke. “In the Night Series we played some great football and we were unlucky to go out on penalties against Bayswater City. Unfortunately, that bad luck followed us into the season and we racked up a lot of injuries and suspensions to key players … that’s going to hurt any team in this league.”
Yorke, a State Under-16 representative, started out with Sorrento where he gained a first debut as a teenager. Although part of the Gulls 2006 and 2008 table-topping squads he found regular first team football hard to come by and, after taking a year off to re-charge his batteries, relocated to Litis Stadium over the summer. “The club has been great to me … it already feels like I’ve been here for years,” he said. “They are a top bunch of lads and we are starting to gel as a team. With a few players coming back from injury it will keep us all on our toes and we will all have to perform to keep our spot.”
Floreat will need to be at the top of their game to get anything out of on Saturday’s away meeting with Balcatta, whose five game unbeaten run was ended on last weekend by a 4-1 loss at ECU Joondalup. “I was a bit surprised at their result on the weekend because Balcatta are a good side, so it's going to be a great game to watch,” commented Yorke. “I’m really looking forward to Saturday, it’s a massive game for us and we’re hoping to get another win under our belt. With the quality of players we've got coming back in to the team our confidence is building and we'll definitely be looking for the three points.”
SWISS TRIALS FOR SAINSBURY
Trent Sainsbury could not have wished to come as far as he has in the space of twelve months. This time last year Sainsbury, 21, was on the fringes of selection for Central Coast Mariners but in the space of twelve months he has cemented a first eleven spot, collected the prestigious Mariners’ Medal as his clubs best player and been called into camp with the Socceroos. Along the way the way Sainsbury, a former Armadale junior, has captured the attention of a number of European clubs and will shortly head to Switzerland for trials with UEFA Champions League ever-present FC Basel.
Basel has been a happy hunting ground for Australian player down the years. Socceroos attacker Scott Chipperfield collected seven championships in eleven seasons and former Perth Glory midfielder Ivan Ergic made close to 300 appearances across nine campaigns with the club. But for advice on playing in Switzerland all Sainsbury had to do was turn to Central Coast teammate Mile Sterjovski, who spent three seasons at St Jakob Park. “He gave me lots of good advice,” Sainsbury told footballaustralia.com.au. “I’m going to enjoy the experience and hopefully I like the place. And if nothing comes of it I still have a year on my contract.”
Of more immediate concern to Sainsbury is making a good impression on national team coach Holger Osieck during this week’s training camp on the Central Coast. “I might as well give it my all, sit down with Holger, have a chat and take his advice, treat every minute as a professional because you’re always being watched and judged here,” said Sainsbury. “I’m just going to try and soak up as much of the atmosphere as I can here. It’s a bit different to club level and you have to try not to tread on people’s toes because they are used to a different team environment, but hopefully I come away with a smile on my face.”
GLORY RECRUIT DUNCAN EXCITED TO BE HEADING WEST
Australian youth international Jack Duncan has stated his intention to wrestle the goalkeeping gloves from Perth Glory regular Danny Vukovic next season. Duncan, 20, has agreed to terms on a two-year deal with Glory, where he will work under goalkeeping coach Neil Young, a former Newcastle Jets teammate. “It is time for me to make that next step,” said Duncan, who was behind Mark Birighitti and Ben Kennedy in the pecking order at Newcastle last season. “I have worked with Youngy before when he was at Newcastle and we got on quite well. Hopefully I get a bit more of an opportunity over there.”
With Vukovic currently in England training with Premier League club Fulham, Duncan may get his opportunity at Glory sooner rather than later. Like Vukovic, Duncan harbours a strong desire to play abroad but his immediate focus is on establishing himself in the A-League. “Vuka has established himself in Australia and is now looking to go on, maybe to bigger things,” Duncan told theherald.com.au. “It will be a good opportunity for me to learn off him and hopefully follow in his footsteps. All young boys want to go overseas and try themselves, but I want to make a name for myself here first.”
MILLER LEAVES WITH COCKBURN’S BLESSING
Cockburn City president Heidi Lazzaro has thanked outgoing coach Scott Miller for the role he played in returning top flight football to Dalmatinac Park. Miller took over the reins at Cockburn last July and, following the foundations laid by Mike Lyons, guided the club to the Division One title. He formally stepped down from the role after Saturday’s dramatic 3-3 draw with Premier Division leaders Bayswater in order to take up a youth development position with Perth Glory. “The Cockburn club wishes Scott every success with his coaching ambitions,” said Lazzaro. “He will be an inspiration and guide for young players and an asset to Perth Glory.”
Lazzaro believes Miller, whose playing career began with Spearwood Dalmatinac, has made a lasting impression on her club. “Scott has been a member of the club as a player and past coach and has a special bond not only with players, committee, members and supporters,” said Lazzaro. “He is a true gentleman, we thank him for his dedication to our club and he goes (to Glory) with our full support. Glory will provide him an opportunity to coach at a higher level and also move into coaching full-time, which will be beneficial to young Western Australian players.”
One-time Celtic midfielder Marc Anthony has been partnered with former Socceroos goalkeeper Michael Petkovic as joint coaches of Cockburn for the remainder of the season. “It was a natural progression to have the next appointment in-house with someone who has the same respect and knowledge of the game,” Lazzaro commented. “Marc and Michael have been working in the handover of this role for the past month. I personally feel very positive about the role they will play. They have been an asset to the club and I believe they will continue this in a different capacity … Cockburn City is in good hands.”
THWAITE RIDES SOCCEROOS “BUMPY ROAD” TO BRAZIL
Michael Thwaite admits the Socceroos are skating on thin ice in their attempt to qualify for next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil. The Perth Glory defender is one of a dozen Australia-based players taking part in a national team training camp on the Central Coast. Coach Holger Osieck will use the five-day camp to assess the fitness of his players and make sure they are on the same level as the overseas-based Socceroos. “It’s been testing straight up,” said Thwaite, who hasn’t playing since Glory’s season came to an end four weeks ago. “We’ve all had a little bit of time off after the A-League season and Holger has definitely got us straight back into it.”
Australia’s hopes of qualifying for Brazil hinge on the results of next month’s qualifiers with Japan, Jordan and Iraq. The Socceroos currently sit third in Group D, trailing runaway leaders Japan by seven points but just one point behind of Jordan, over whom they have a game in hand. “At this stage, it’s all about the points on the board,” Thwaite said. “We always seem to do it the hard way and I guess being involved in Asia nothing comes easy, there are a lot of bumpy roads on the way. But there are still nine points to play for and we’ve got two of those games at home and I’m sure the fans will get us through.”
SUNDERLAND’S BEADLING THROUGH TO PLAY-OFFS
Youth team defender Tom Beadling could not hide his elation as Sunderland secured their passage into the play-off stage of the Under-18 Premier League. Beadling, who returned from a serious back injury earlier in the year, starred George Honeyman and James Stinson found the back of the net in the Black Cats 2-0 weekend victory over Liverpool. “It’s a great feeling to win, we knew what we had to do so to go and win the game in the way we did was great,” Beadling told safc.com. “The lads are buzzing because we had to dig in at times … I’m delighted to get the win and hopefully we’ll push on in the next game now.”
Beadling, 17, stepped out with his clubs under-21 team for the first time last week in their final round draw at Fulham. “It was a great experience, I was absolutely buzzing,” said Beadling, who coach Kevin Ball praised for a ‘composed and assured’ display. Born in England, Beadling initially joined Sunderland as a junior but following a family move to Perth honed his skills with the National Training Centre and represented Australia at under-13 level. He returned to England in 2010 take up an opportunity in the Sunderland Academy, where his efforts were rewarded in December by a two-year scholarship deal.
LOCK QUITS BUNBURY
Premier Division cellar dwellers Bunbury Forum Force have suffered a major blow with coach Matt Lock announcing his resignation. Lock, a former Exeter City player, joined Bunbury midway through last season and was stepped into the player/coach role following the departure of Micky Cairns on the eve of this years’ home and away series. However, it’s been far from smooth sailing for the club and Lock, whose visa expires next month, feels the time is right for him to stand down. “With only a short time left in the country I thought it was time for me to take stock and take a step back,” Lock explained.
Bunbury have only a single win from seven league games this year and Lock admits internal forces did play a part in his decision. “It was becoming very stressful,” Lock said. “There were issues I embraced as a coach and there were great challenges for me as a coach … it was my first goal really to take it from an amateur club to a semi-professional club, I wasn’t asking for the world. Some people embraced it but some people involved with the club didn’t embrace it.” Matt Holland, a UEFA ‘B’ coaching license holder, has taken over as first team coach having previously been assistant to Lock.
CHANGE NOT ALWAYS FOR THE BETTER (with Ashley Morrison, Not the Footy Show")
Football West has very wisely opted to sit back and watch how the National Premier League is implemented in other states before committing to it 100%. This approach deserves to be applauded as the association will have the benefit of seeing how things pan out in the other leagues, and be in a position to adapt the model to prevent problems experienced elsewhere from arising in Western Australia. Clubs here, however, would be wise to cast an eye across the country before accepting such a reform to the State League competition.
Queensland’s National Premier League is a case in point. The current competition features only three sides from the 2012 Queensland Premier League and, according to many, it has become a three-horse race after just eight rounds. “It’s a complete farce,” one Queensland football insider recently told ‘Not The Footy Show’. “With any luck they will scrap it next year and go back to how it was.” It has been noted players from the established clubs stayed with those clubs, thereby opting to play in a ‘lower’ division. And new teams sides elected into the ‘top’ league are simply not strong enough with Central Queensland, for example, conceding 48 goals in their eight games..
The National League Premier model grants entry to clubs who meet a pre-determined set of criteria often based on peripheral issues, with little or no thought given to the standard or quality of football they play on the park. This has given the state body the opportunity to put clubs in key development and growth regions which, taken purely on face value, has a great deal of merit. However, in sport you should always have to earn the right to play at the highest level – it should not be given to you because you have clean toilets, spacious changing rooms and a decent car park.
Clubs in Western Australia would also be wise to remember why the National Premier League is being rushed into implementation across the nation. Football Federation Australia formally joined the Asian Football Confederation in January 2006. At the time the powers that be at Football Federation Australia promised a second tier competition below the A-League would be introduced, once which offers promotion and relegation between the two tiers. The deadline for that promise has lapsed and the Asian Football Confederation now wants to know what is being done.
Even if the proposed model does gain approval in the West, what is the likelihood of a National Premier League club winning promotion to the A-League via the proposed champion’s play-offs? Could many State League clubs afford to make such a leap? And how would an A-League license holder feel to see his club no longer playing at the top level? It appears clear no matter which state the National Premier League champions come from that they will again have to meet a new criteria in order to gain a place in the A-League, and that will be the protection clause for the current A-League clubs.
SAINSBURY HOOKS MARINER’S TOP AWARD, CALLED UP FOR SOCCEROOS
Things just keep getting better for Trent Sainsbury with the young defender winning Central Coast Mariners player of the year award just hours after gaining his first senior call-up for Australia. Sainsbury, 21, was invited to attend next week’s national team training on Friday and that night picked up prestigious Mariners Medal at his club’s awards ceremony. “I am lucky to play in a team with a number of good players, and any one of my team mates could have won the award tonight,” said Sainsbury his Mariners Medal win, which is voted for by the Central Coast players. “We’ve achieved a lot this season and to be voted by my team mates to receive this honour makes me immensely proud.”
Sainsbury, who started out as a junior with Armadale, enjoyed a breakout summer with Central Coast. He cemented his spot in the heart of the defence with a string of quality displays that culminated in the club claiming its first championship after defeating Western Sydney Wanderers in last month’s A-League Grand Final. Sainsbury’s on the ball talent combined with a great sense of positioning and cool-headed approach won over national team coach Holger Osieck, and has attracted interest from a number of clubs in England, Holland, Switzerland and Italy. He’ll now get the opportunity to stake a claim on a Socceroos debut during this week’s five-day training camp on the Central Coast.
NAGLIERI BRILLIANCE EARNS COCKBURN A SHARE
An exquisite final minute Antonio Naglieri free-kick salvaged Cockburn City a 3-3 draw from this afternoon’s meeting with Bayswater City at Dalmatinac Park. First half goals to Gustavo Giron-Marulanda, Todd Howarth and Steve Burton had given the visitors in front at the break with Paul Lloyd and Nick Carroll on target for the hosts. “In the second half we looked like we had arrived,” Cockburn coach Scott Miller told footballwest.com.au. “We battled hard and showed a lot of character and hopefully the boys will believe in themselves.” Miller will now vacant the head coach role at Cockburn, who’ll be led by Marc Anthony and Michael Petkovic for the rest of the season, to take up a youth development position with Perth Glory.
It took Bayswater only 13 minutes to go in front, Giron-Marulanda sliding the ball in from 17-metres after pouncing on a stray pass in the middle of the park. The visitors added another eight minutes later via a sweetly struck Howarth half volley after Cockburn failed to sufficiently deal with a corner. Lloyd brought Cockburn back into the game in the 29th minute sending a low shot across goalkeeper Devon Spence after being played down the left by Conor Kavanagh. Bayswater’s two-goal buffer was restored four minutes from the break with Burton netting on the end of good approach work by Howarth. Carroll cut that lead soon by applying a delicate touch to Jack Eades’ near post delivery.
Dejan Aleksic and his opposite number Spence were kept busy throughout an end-to-end second half in which the teams traded attacks. Entering the final ten minutes the intensity went up a notch or two. Matt Salmon copped an early shower after receiving his second booking from referee Tim Mihevc in the 83rd minute, and soon after Bayswater captain John Kearney was showed a straight red card for handball. Cockburn were finishing strongly and a 90th minute foul on David Onoforo gave the host a free-kick on the edge of the 18-yard box, up stepped Naglieri to curl around the defensive wall and beyond the reach of Spence. Naglieri could have stolen all three points but scuffed agonisingly wide with only the ‘keeper to beat.
EVANS SAVES THE DAY FOR STIRLING
Dean Evans struck in stoppage time to lift Stirling Lions to joint second in the Premier Division with a 2-1 defeat of Armadale at Macedonia Park. Rory Grant came off the bench to opening the scoring midway through the second half only to have Reds substitute Mark Peers restore parity soon after. It looked as though that was the end of the scoring when Evans tucked into the net. “At the end of the day Dean (Evans) was the difference between us winning and drawing,” coach Doug Hesketh told footballwest.com.au. “We had a chance early on, then they had a few chances later on. I always felt we were the better team but I thought we lost our way.”
The first shot in anger was let off by home striker Anthony Lyons whose clever flick to a Clayton Arnez centre brought a brilliantly reflex save from goalkeeper Cyril Sharrock. The game then turned into something of a midfield arm wrestle with chances coming at both ends of the park. Louie Bake was sent clear by Ravi Kuppusamy but Aleks Vrteski deflected the midfielder’s shot away with an outstretched boot. Vrteski came to the rescue again two minutes later, this time to deny Jack Salter. McGlynn should have found the back of the net rather than its’ side after combining with Evans in the 33rd minute. And just before the break Kuppusamy was thwarted by Vrteski’s fingertip save.
The intensity rose for the second half with Stirling the more likely to score first. Substitute Moses Kalau was played through by Evans but Sharrock parried his shot away, and two minutes later Lyons shot on the run flashed over the crossbar. Grant had been on the park just three minutes when he headed in at close-range after Sharrock parried a Jason Gavin attempt. A defensive mix-up allowed Armadale back into the game on 77th minutes, Peers ghosting in to poke the ball home from a few metres. The 91st minute had just ticked over when Stirling conjured a winner, Kalau delivering a low cross into the path of Evans who despatched his shot inside the near post.
SORRENTO PAY THE PRICE AT BUNBURY
Bunbury Forum Force stole a point from Sorrento by holding the State Champions to a 1-1 draw this afternoon at Payne Park. A first half goal from Steve McDonald had the visitors seemingly on course for victory when a defensive error allowed Ryan Francis to bring the teams level with quarter of an hour to go. “Everything was going well. We didn’t concede any chances other than an error by the goalkeeper,” Sorrento boss Paul Price told footballwest.com.au. “We were the best side by far, no doubt about that. We dominated the first half, created half a dozen good chances and had a goal disallowed. In the second half we didn’t play particularly well.”
A bright start by Sorrento looked to have been rewarded after 14 minutes when an in-swinging Gavin Knight corner found the back of the net, however, referee Trent Fleskens whistled for a foul on goalkeeper Ryan Montgomery. It was from another dead ball that the visitors did go ahead four minutes later, Knight picking out an unmarked McDonald who made no mistake nodding in amid appeals for a foul on Montgomery, who finished up on the ground. McDonald almost found the net again just before the break, although this time it was at the opposite end when his defensive header to a Liam Hitchinson corner rattled the crossbar.
The second stanza was for the most part devoid of genuine chances on goal. That changed in the 74th minute when Curtis Aspden’s hesitation to deal with a routine clearance saw Francis nip in and stroke the equaliser into an empty net. This was clearly not to Sorrento’s liking as shortly after Todd Harnwell stretched Montgomery with a low strike from the edge of the 18-yard box. The game took another twist on 88 minutes when home captain Matt Lock received a straight red card for a dangerous tackle. Sorrento worked tirelessly to find a second and decisive goal but the closest they’d come was a David Price attempt which across the bar.
JOONDALUP WHIP BALCATTA
Balcatta’s five-game unbeaten run came to a crashing halt with this afternoon’s 4-1 capitulation to ECU Joondalup at the Edith Cowan University campus. John Monterosso, Jon Stynes and Tommy Amphlett finished into the net for the hosts before the break with the latter adding another midway through the second period. “We were pretty lucky to come in three-nil up at half time, but we had the better of the second half,” Joondalup stalwart Scott Blackmore commented. “We defended well today, and to be fair there aren’t many teams getting the better of us this season … hopefully that continues.”
The day began positively enough for Balcatta with Ashley Rosindale twice testing home custodian Andy Banks in the opening 20 minutes while a little later Adam Bachiller’s shot from the edge of the 18-yard box drifted just wide. Joondalup went forward for the first time on 35 minutes, Joe Smith’s lofted pass releasing Monterosso who firing in from 15-metres. A stunned Balcatta went another goal behind soon after to a back post Stynes header after goalkeeper Alex Dunn misjudged the flight of Tony Taylor’s cross. And in the shadows of half time the difference blew out to three goals, Taylor playing in Amphlett to finish past Dunn.
A double change at the break by Balcatta coach Saul Contera brought Olari Perlin and Chris Thackray into the action. Perlin wasted no time in making his presence known, the Estonian striker denied a shot by Blackmore’s last ditch tackle and a few minutes putting a header wide after meeting Bachiller’s cross from the left. Amphlett punished those misses in the 69th minutes by converting from 11-metres thanks to a delightful through ball by Smith. Balcatta refused to give up hope and four minutes late a poorly defended corner allowed Thackray to fire in at close-range. Joondalup almost made it five late on but Andy Higgins’ shot was saved at the second attempt by Dunn.
INGLEWOOD SURVIVES LATE SURGE
Inglewood United moved to within touching distance of the top five with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Perth SC at Intiga Stadium. Andrija Jukic and Alex Caniglia struck at the start of each half to put Inglewood in a seemingly comfortable position before Ayodeji Omoboye put Perth back in the game with ten minutes to go. Daniel Thomson restored the host’s two-goal buffer in stoppage time but a few short minutes later Jordan Rispin posted Perth’s second goal. “Morale is high, everybody is playing well and what we did for most of the game today we just have to work on and do it for the rest of the season now,” Jukic told footballwest.com.au
There were only 9 minutes on the clock when Jukic’s cross looped over Perth goalkeeper Jason Saldaris to put Inglewood one goal the better. Craig Simpson was unlucky not to double his teams lead twelve minutes later, the defender meeting solidly a curling Greg Sharland free-kick but Saldaris proved up to the task with a superb reflex save. Referee Josh Mannella sent Graham Normanton to the stands midway through the half after the home coach vented his frustration with a contentious offside call. Normanton’s absence didn’t have a noticeable effect on Inglewood with Matt Danskin and Jukic going close scoring in the minutes before half-time.
Ryan Clarke laid on Inglewood’s second goal three minutes after the restart, Caniglia’s glancing header too good for Saldaris. Unfortunately, it was to Clarke’s final contribution with the midfielder substituted shortly after with a suspected broken nose. Inglewood looked to be cruising towards victory when Omoboye breathed new life in the game by poking the ball home at close-range. Thomson replied in the first minute of stoppage time with a simple tap-in after being set-up by fellow substitute Jason Colli. Three minutes later Rispin managed to scramble the ball over the line, however, it was too little too late for Perth, who uncharacteristically slump to ninth spot with only two wins from seven starts.
FLOREAT FINALLY OFF THE MARK (with George Tsadilas, Football West)
Floreat Athena collected their first win of the season the hard way, coming from two-goals down to defeat the National training Centre 5-2 at Litis Stadium. A Darcy Cosgrove brace inside 12 minutes gave the development squad a dream start before Floreat kicked into action with goals from Spencer Harris, David Heagney, Benny Kouakou, Ludovic Boi and Adrian Caceres. “The NTC outplayed us in the first 20 minutes and they really should have gone three-up,” admitted Floreat coach Chris Barbas. “I let our boys know in no uncertain terms what was expected of them in the second half, and fortunately they responded. It’s good to get the first win under our belt and hopefully we can build from here.”
Cosgrove sent shockwaves through Litis Stadium after only 9 minutes by punishing some defensive indecision with a side-foot into Brad Effie’s net. The NTC’s advantage was extended three minutes later when Blamo Quaqu teed-up Cosgrove to post his second goal. Cosgrove should have completed his hat-trick soon after but Effie smothered the attackers attempt in a one-on-one situation. Floreat eventually began to find some rhythm and on 28 minutes Harris volleyed past Jordan Franken from outside the 18-yard box after a partially cleared Boi corner. Two minutes later Boi weaved his way down the right and cut back for Heagney whose low, hard side-foot ensured the sides went into the break on level terms.
Floreat emerged for the second half wanting to make a statement, and make a statement they did. Play had been underway just a couple of minutes when Kouakou delivered a controlled volley inside the near post to give Floreat the lead and spur on the home fans, who finally found their voice. Five minutes later Boi curled a great effort around Franken to double the difference. And in the 57th minute Caceres, who entered the action just four minutes prior, rounded his marker and from an acute angle finished inside the far corner to put the game beyond doubt. The win moves Floreat off the bottom of the table, albeit by just a single point ahead of Bunbury Forum Force.
DOMINANT DIANELLA MAKE IT FOUR STRAIGHT WINS
Dianella White Eagles proved that they deserve to be top of Division One by demolishing pre-season favourites Wanneroo City 3-0 at Dianella Reserve. Robbie Phelan, Andreas Theodosiades and Damon Kalamaris got the goals which earned Dianella a fourth straight win, and keep them level with joint leaders Canning City. “The boys played really well, we’re moving the ball around well and (coach) Vesko Zmukic’s tactics worked very well against a well drilled Wanneroo team,” said Dianella midfielder Milan Vulin. “It feels good to be on top as it’s what every team aims for, but there is still a long way to go and room for a lot of improvement … it should be an exciting season.”
Wanneroo looked the goods early on but it didn’t take long for Dianella’s central combination of Abdul Sesay, Vulin, Theosodiades and Thomas Gooding to take control. In the 19th minute Theodosiades worked his magic by dancing past a trio of opponents and laying the ball off for Phelan, who made no mistake at close-range. Goals number two arrived just before half-time Dianella when Theodosiades’ grabbed the goal his performance warranted with a delightful finish from outside the 18-yard box. The second half play remained very much one-way as Dianella went close to extending their advantage on several occasions. Kalamaris came off the bench and with fifteen minutes to go put the result beyond doubt.
CANNING UNTROUBLED BY ROCKINGHAM
Daniel Neiderberger added two more to his season goal tally in Canning City’s commanding 3-0 victory over Rockingham City at Burrendah Reserve. The hosts account was opened early by Laurence Cheyne but it wasn’t until late that Niederberger struck to seal the win and stretch Canning’s winning start to the season to four games. The ball had been in motion only 6 minutes when Cheyne broke through, the midfielder showing his marker a clean pair of heels before calmly slotting past advancing goalkeeper Bobson Koroma. With this the tone was set for a first half in which Canning enjoyed both possessional and territorial advantage without being able to convert that on the scoreboard.
The second half commenced with Danny Macklin and Richard Lacey heaping pressure on the home defence, and Thabiso Ncube testing the ‘keeper on several occasions. Having weathered the storm, Canning resumed control but Michael Van Dongen hit the post, an unmarked Josh Findlater lifted high of the target and Paul Van Dongen was foiled by Koroma. The endless pressure was finally rewarded in the 79th minute when Paul Van Dongen threaded a pass to Neiderberger who blasted into the top corner from a tight angle. Rockingham’s day took a turn for the worse soon after with Reece Frank issued his marching orders for hauling down Findlater. Neiderberger sealed the win by sending the resultant free-kick beyond the reach of Koroma.
ASHFIELD KEEP PACE WITH LEADERS
Ashfield claimed outright third in Division One by downing newly promoted UWA-Nedlands 4-1 at McGillvray Oval. Steve O’Mahoney had the visitors ahead at the break after with Branimir Mikulic extending their lead on the hour. James Plowman’s first league goal of the season cut the deficit but UWA’s hopes of salvaging something from the afternoon were erased by goals in quick succession from substitutes Daryl Warren and Ryan Frisina. “We were very happy with our first away win of the campaign, and more importantly pleased with the opportunities created and football played,” commented Ashfield coach Matt Carruthers, whose team now sits just three points behind joint leaders Dianella White Eagles and Canning City.
The opening exchanges had Ashfield in the ascendancy without creating anything meaningful in the final third. UWA were on the back foot and their position worsened midway through the half when captain Tom Sellers succumbed to an ankle injury. It was only now that the visiting team started to seriously threaten with Karl O’Reilly and Steve O’Mahoney linking to terrific effect down the right. A deep run by O’Mahoney saw him cut into the 18-yard box and, with Mikulic free in a central position, the defender went it alone and duly tucked his shot inside the ‘keepers near post. Going behind sparked UWA into life but despite gaining a succession of corners things remained as they were at the break.
Ashfield started the second half much like the first and on 60 minutes Mikulic moved inside the area where he out- manoeuvred both defender and ‘keeper before finishing into the net. Plowman entered the action soon after and on 72 minutes the striker latched onto a pass over the defence which he struck under advancing ‘keeper Alex Sutton. With the game now very in the balance, Warren unleashed a terrific shot from the top of the area which flashed across the ‘keeper on its way into the far top corner to restore Ashfield’s two-goal buffer. Frisina, who like Warren had come off the bench, put the game beyond doubt with a neat turn and finish from the edge of the area.
KNIGHTS HIT SIX IN SECOND HALF BLITZ
A half-time reshuffle provided the inspiration for Western Knights 6-1 demolition of Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Reverse. Brendan Craig scored twice with Johny Mirco, Dean Thurston, Craig Riely and Julian Teles all on the scoresheet in the second 45 minutes for coach Robbie Dunn, whose team moved to fourth on a very congested Division One table. “The second half opened up more as time went on and the lads determination, quality and fitness got them a comfortable win in the end,” commented Dunn. “I wouldn't encourage opposition teams to read too much into this result though, Shamrock are going to win a lot more than they lose.”
A tight first half would finish scoreless but not through a want of trying by players in both colours. The early flow of play was determined by the home team who had Rory Keily pulling the midfield strings as Ciaran Byrne asked no end of questions of the opposing backline. After a good build-up Barry Mulligan smacked into the crossbar and Byrne’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Vincent Wiktoria. Ryan Shackleton was the architect of the Knights best opening when he played through Craig who failed to make the most of his one-on-one with goalkeeper Josh Shepherd.
An ankle injury to Wiktoria prompted Dunn to change formation at the break, a move which paid dividends immediately. Steve Purton worked his magic down the left before pulling the ball back for Mirco to expertly slide into the bottom corner. Shamrock came within inches of a swift response with Shane Cassidy’s rattling the crossbar with a powerful strike. Thurston doubled the Knights lead in the 52nd minute by finishing over Shepherd’s head after meeting a cross in from David Caine. Byrne then gained the hosts a lifeline by converting a 70th minute penalty awarded for handball against Riely.
The game was now very much in the balance and it was the Knights who wanted victory more. The floodgates were prised open in the 72nd minute by Craig’s soaring free-kick from 35-metres which burst the back of the net after cannoning off the inside the post. Craig turned provider ten minutes later by swinging in a corner which Riely nodded in at the far post. Shackleton laid on goal number five shortly after with a superb through ball which Craig finished past Shepherd. Substitute Teles capped the win by calmly slotting in after the ‘keeper parried a Thurston shot.
O’NEILL HEADS TO MORLEY HOME
A first half Andy O’Neill header was enough to get Morley Windmills all three points with a 1-0 win against Gosnells City at Wotton Reserve. Chances on goal began early with Andy Griffiths testing visiting goalkeeper Struan Herd before the Morley defence scrambled to safety a Ben Howe free-kick. The afternoon’s solitary goal arrived on 14 minutes, Gavin Brady delivering an inch-perfect cross which O’Neill nodded over Herd. Shortly after Brady’s deflection shot flashed just wide to signalled the start of a prolonged period of domination by the hosts. David McNally, Daniel Cagorski and O’Neill each went close to increasing the gap while Gosnells only response was a Howe free-kick past the post.
Gosnells showed a bit more fight after the turnaround, Aaron Coslani cutting the ball back for Damien Smyth whose goalbound effort was turned wide for a corner by Daniel Agudelo. There was still a considerable threat being posed at the other end where Kris Dennis looked destined to find the net to be closed down by Herd. With the final whistle approaching Gosnells threw everything into finding an equaliser. Recent signing Brian Patterson was disappointed when his rising shot cleared crossbar, a dangerous ball in by Wade Farmer was plucked out of the air by Agudelo, who remained unmoved when Smyth scuffed his attempt. The final play produced loud shouts from the Morley camp for a penalty, however, the referee waved them away before bringing proceedings to a close.
SWAN COME BACK FROM THREE DOWN TO DRAW AT MANDURAH
Mandurah City scored their first point of the winter by holding on for a 3-3 with Swan United at Hyundai Stadium. However, it was very much a case of three points lost rather than the one gained for Mandurah who opened up a three-goal lead before falling apart in the second half. “It was a great first half from our boys and an awful second half,” said Mandurah coach Billy Russell, who struggles to reason with his team’s lack of consistency. “I have never been in this position before – it is really strange to get your head.”
The early running was with Swan but it was Mandurah that went ahead after 12 minutes when Craig Tone turned inside the 18-yard box to find the feet of Matt Stares, who cut the ball back for Graeme Matthews to stroke in from 6-metres. It didn’t take long for Matthews to post another, the striker poking into the bottom corner after Tone’s searching free-kick went to feet inside the area. The hosts were now in control and an inevitable third goal arrived in the 30th minute with Danny Dyson heading in powerfully from a Tone corner.
Swan emerged for the second half with renewed enthusiasm, and two minutes in Luke Colli reeled in the gap with a long-range shot into the bottom corner. This gave the visitors the confidence to push on and take control. In the 70th minute Colli unleashed a fine strike from 18-metres which soared into the top corner. Shots on goal now started to rain down on goalkeeper Matt Hamnett as Swan sought to get back on level terms. With ten minutes to go Spiro Nenadic delivered with a vicious strike from outside the box which gave Hamnett no chance.
INJURY-RAVAGED MELVILLE NO MATCH FOR MADDINGTON
Division Two pacesetters Maddington White City made light work of accounting for Melville City 4-1 at Nicola Tesla Reserve. A quick start to proceedings had Maddington post their first goal on the quarter hour, Ty Fenwick whipping in a corner to an unmarked Liam McLaughlin who header deflected off Scott Ryan on its way into the net. Melville returned fire just a few minutes later with David Palin firing past goalkeeper Peter Wile following a defensive error. A Danny Clapham free-kick paved the way for the hosts to be back in front by the break, James Mathiang punishing Elliot Duncan’s failure to take the high ball by nodding into an empty net.
Goal number three arrived for Maddington soon after the interval and via another dead ball taken by Fenwick, this one finding Paolo Pacitti who made no mistake. A bad day for Melville got worse as Craig Robertson, Ryan Russell, Lasse Jensen and Blake Readwin all limped out of the game early, adding to coach Danny Evans already lengthy injury list. There would be no let up from the home side as Liam McLaughlin extended their lead with a powerful shot that gave the ‘keeper no chance. Stevan Sibincic was twice put through but on each occasion Duncan came out trumps, while new recruit Sahar Konomanyi was also denied by the ‘keeper after working his way past three defenders.
QUINNS TAKE CHANCES AGAINST JOONDALUP (with Al Martin, Football West)
Quinns registered their second win in a row with a 3-1 victory over northern neighbours Joondalup City in a tightly contested fixture at Gumblossom Reserve. Joondalup will have felt like the football gods were against them after controlling the early possession but failing to capitalise on some gilt-edged chances. Rhys Booth uncharacteristically missed the target from 5-metres while Elliott Rose squandered a one-on-one with goalkeeper Henry Clisby. The spurned chances took on a hint of irony when Joondalup defender Dan Allan’s back pass was missed by goalkeeper Joe Smith, who turned in time to watch the ball roll into his net.
When Alex Connor levelled the scores two minutes into the second half with a speculative shot from distance which squeezed under Clisby it looked as through Joondalup were back in business. But once again fate stepped in to deliver the visitors a cruel blow, Gareth Hamilton evading numerous challenges on a mazy run inside the 18-yard box before coolly finishing into Smith’s net. Arran Maplestone rubbed alt into the wound by intercepting a weak 56th minute back pass and rounding the ‘keeper before teeing up free team mate Jess Compton to rifle in first time from the top of the area.
MORRISON STARS IN SUBIACO WIN
Subiaco AFC made it clear they are back in business with a 2-1 defeat of Division Two title favourites Fremantle United at Rosalie Park. Teenage striker Pat Morrison repaid the faith shown in him by coach Darren Yates by scoring both goals to give Subiaco their second win from as many league starts. “We were the better team without a shadow of doubt,” Yates commented. “We regard Fremantle very highly, Jason Smith has a well-oiled and organised team, but we wanted this more. Subiaco stalwart Scott Wrightson broke and dislocated his left ankle in training on Thursday night so this win was for him.”
The opening goal of an entertaining game came via a centring ball into the 18-yard box which Robbie Faller laid back for Pat Morrison who coolly slotted past the Fremantle goalkeeper. Subiaco’s advantage was doubled when Morrison pressured a mix-up between the ‘keeper and one of his defenders, the teenager prospering to tuck into the net from 6-metres. Fremantle came back strong after this and with fourteen minutes left Nathan Findlater gave them a glimmer of hope. But when the port side had Connor Shaw shown a straight red card for his lunging challenge on an opponent, the writing was well and truly on the wall.
COWAN LASHES OFFICIALS AFTER KINGSWAY WIN
Coach Ian Cowan was far from impressed with the standard of officiating in Kingsway Olympic’s 2-0 win away at Forrestfield United. Second half finishes by Alistair Blair and Kevin White were a deserved reward for Kingsway’s dominance, however, Cowan questioned what duty of care role the referee has towards players. “Our goalkeeper was twice collected by an opposition player after taking the ball, but the referee did nothing,” said Cowan. “There was a three minute hold-up the first time it happened while our physio assessed whether he was dealing with a broken hand. Referees are quick to flash a card to players who question decisions, but they do nothing when a player is injured by a dangerous challenge.”
Kingsway started the game at full pace with White and Josh Rolls finding the back of the net inside the quarter hour only for each to be disallowed by some dubious offside calls. Unperturbed, the visiting team went on to control the rest of the half through some tidy movement on and off the ball but the go-ahead goal they sought wasn’t forthcoming. It was only after the turnaround that Blair found a way through, the winger bursting driving down the right to drive the ball low into the corner of Forrestfield’s net. White sealed victory close to the end by turning his marker, drawing the ‘keeper and tucking inside the post for the fourth goal in as many games.
PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
The focus is back on the home and away series this weekend with the pick of the top flight drama featuring ECU Joondalup and Balcatta in the northern suburbs. Joondalup took care of Perth SC in last week’s Cup round and coach Salv Todaro is hoping that success can be built upon. “We’re starting to play some consistent football and are finding the net when we are on top in game,” Todaro said. Igor Novakovic is expected to come into the line-up, however, it’ll be a few weeks before Jon Higgins, Tanner Selyer and new recruit Ryan Townsend are ready for action.
Balcatta are one of the competition’s form sides, unbeaten in five games, but rookie coach Saul Contera feels there is still room for improvement. “Our league form has been good and we have picked up points,” commented Contera. “However, I want us to start playing better. It’s only a matter of time before we do that and we punish someone … let’s hope it starts on Saturday.” Adam Tong, Ben Say and Roberto Lujan return to the squad for this weekend but the same can’t be said for attacker Callum Roberts, who remains out of action with a knee problem.
Three valuable points are up for grabs at Macedonia Park where Stirling Lions take on Armadale, both of whom need to look back a month for their last league win. There’s also a lengthy list of absences in both camps with Stirling missing Scott Bulloch (knee), Kyran Nunes (knee) and Michael Pugliese (calf) whereas for the visitors absentees include Andy Todd (overseas), Callum Barry (knee) and Billy Quinncroft (suspended). Bunbury Forum Force will be without Jon Brooks, who broke his collarbone in a car accident on the way home from last week’s game against Stirling, and Oliver McGee (suspension) for their home encounter with Sorrento.
Inglewood United could have five former Perth SC players in their line-up when the two teams meet at Intiga Stadium. “Obviously when you play against your old club it’s a big game,” said Inglewood defender Matt Danskin. “It’s only worth three points but at this stage of the season it’s three points we are in need of. We’ll be doing everything we can on Saturday to get the win and kick-start our season.” Former Bunbury captain Jordan Rispin is expected to make his league debut for Perth whose stocks have been strengthen by other recent arrivals Ayodeji Omoboye (ex-Stockport County) and Ashley Corker (ex-Whitby Town).
Breakaway leaders Bayswater City journey to Cockburn City with plans for making it seven league wins in a row. John Kearney and Gustavo Catarcione will be vital to the visitor’s hopes, likewise Paul Lloyd and Paul Natale for the hosts. Floreat Athena are expected to collect their first win of the season when they welcome the National Training Centre to Litis Stadium. Adrian Caceres, Cisco Jorquera and David Heagney have been added to the Floreat squad which will be missing Bobby Wilson (injury) and Mark Pritchard (holidays). All six Premier Division games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION ONE PREVIEW
Spirits are high in the Mandurah City camp ahead of their home clash with Swan United. “The last two games have shown we are on the improve,” said coach Billy Russell, whose side defeated UWA-Nedlands in the Cup round. “We have changed a couple of things in our structure – we have a lot of experience missing at the moment – and the players seem more comfortable with how we are now set-up. Swan will be a tough game just like all of them, but we have to put points on the board soon so we have to be work hard to get a result.”
The odds are stacked against a Western Knights win over third-placed Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Reserve. Shamrock, will have on board for the first time new signings Jay Foran (ex-Hyde FC), Rory Keily (ex-Port Adelaide) and James Anderson (ex-Shepparton United) while John McElwee and Will Pender are back in contention. That contrasts quite sharply with their opponents who are likely to be without Ben Coulter, Ivan Zuvela and captain David Annall, all due to injury. On the flip side Luke Woodard has recovered from injury and new recruit Steve Purton (ex-UWA-Nedlands) will make his first league outing for the Knights.
There will be a good few changes to the UWA-Nedlands and Ashfield teams when they step out at McGillvray Oval. Injury to Rory Feely could see striker James Plowman make his first appearance of the season for UWA, while Ryan Frisina, Matt Wardle and Graham Tough should come in for the visitors. Joint Division One leaders Canning City are expected to make it four wins in a row when they host Rockingham City at Burrendah Reserve. Morley Windmills take an unchanged squad into their home game with Gosnells City, who go into the afternoon without Ian O’Donohue (work), Ali Paredes (work) and David Murphy (injury).
Wanneroo City coach David Tough will be tempted to inject Stuart Montgomery and Anthony Jones straight into the eleven for their home meeting with Dianella White Eagles. “They are a great side and we will have to pay close attention to their midfield, who are one of the best units in the league,” Tough commented. “But my players are scared of no team in our league and we are confident of putting a good show on for our fans.” Dianella will be bolstered for the occasion with the return of captain Bojan Radinovic and striker Robbie Phelan. All games six Division One games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
DIVISION TWO PREVIEW
It’ll be an injury-riddled Melville City that steps out at Nikola Tesla Reserve take to on joined Division Two leaders Maddintgon White Eagles. Jack Mawdsley, Michael Jennings, Clayton Kendall and John Brennan are amongst those on the coach Danny Evans’ list of long-term absences. Injury has also been unkind to Fremantle United who’ll have Joe Middleton, Marc Sim and Kurt De Souza watching from the sidelines away at Subiaco AFC. Northern neighbours Quinns and Joondalup City lock horns at Gumblossom Park, while Kingsway OIympic travel to Forrestfield United. All four Division Two games kick-off at 3.00pm on Saturday.
APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR THE NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE
Football West has formally launched the application process for potential inclusion next year’s inaugural National Premier Leagues WA. An initiative of Football Federation Australia, the NPL is intended to give state-based competitions a more consistent structure, enhance player development and create a vibrant match day experience. Clubs will be asked to raise the bar in terms of coaching, youth development, facilities and presentation, which will result in better players in an improved competition.
The NPL has already kicked off in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia but, after careful consideration, Football West opted to delay its’ implementation in the west until 2014. Entry to the NPL is open to all clubs which meet the eligibility criteria, which includes the fielding of teams in the seniors, under-20 and under-18 categories as well as juniors in each age group from under-16’s to under-12’s. Interested clubs are invited to complete an application form, which can be downloaded from the Football West website, and submit before June 28.
JOONDALUP’S REVIVAL COINCIDES WITH RETURN OF STYNES
Jon Stynes could not have timed to return to ECU Joondalup better. The northern suburbs club have been hit hard by injury across the opening rounds of the new season but the addition of Stynes, fresh from a lengthy spell abroad with Kilmarnock (Scotland) and Cambridge City (England) has brought a bit of stability to the Joondalup line-up as they seek to turn things around. “I’m enjoying my time back at Joondalup, I’ve played two and won two so I can’t complain,” said Stynes, 20, of outings against the National Training Centre and Perth SC. “It’s nice to be back in the WA weather, Scotland isn’t one of the warmest places in the world.”
There are a number of new faces in Joondalup’s senior set-up this year and Stynes is pleased with the direction the club is taking. “We have a new squad this season and it’s great to see the club promoting young players into the senior side, I played alongside some of them as a junior,” said Stynes, who feels the club are on the right path with the coaching team of Salv Todaro and Syd Amphlett. “Salv has been great, bringing a new squad together is always hard but he has seemed to have done the job. Syd has been at the club a while so I know what standards he expects of us.”
Stynes was only 16 when he headed to Scotland for trials with Glasgow Celtic, and while things there didn’t work in his favour it did lead him to explore other options. “After things didn’t work out at Celtic Park I was given an opportunity to join Kilmarnock,” explained Stynes. “I made the decision to move over on my own to join Killie and spent one year at Rugby Park and really enjoyed my time there and played against some of the best Scottish teams. In 2011/12 I joined Cambridge City in the Conference and got the taste of the FA Cup against MK Dons, we drew at home 0-0 but lost the replay … it was an amazing experience.”
This taste of professional football has left Stynes wanting more, although he’s more inclined to seek it a little closer to home next time. “I’m not sure if I will be heading back to Europe in the future, but you never know,” said the defender, who has his sights set on catching the eye of one of Australia’s national league clubs. “The A-League has really taken off since I’ve been away and I’ve always wanted to play in it league since I was a youngster. If the opportunity came up I would jump at the chance but at the moment all I’m concentrating on is my form at Joondalup.”
Stynes readily acknowledges his team will need to be in peak condition on Saturday if they are to claim so much as a point over Balcatta. The visiting team are on a roll at the moment, unbeaten in their last six games and having gone 364 minutes since conceding their last goal. “Balcatta were always a tough side to play against, and I’m sure they will be on the weekend,” said Stynes, who didn’t seem concerned with what Balcatta are, or are not capable of. “We’ve just got to focus on our own game and we should come away with all three points.” Joondalup and Balcatta lock horns from 3.00pm on Saturday at the Edith Cowan University campus.
KNIGHTS STARTING TO FIND THEIR RHYTHM: DUNN
Coach Robbie Dunn has mixed feelings about the way Western Knights have started the new Division One season. The Knights have taken only a single win from their first three outings but Dunn has seen enough to know that record will improve. “We are obviously disappointed with the number of points that we have right now but in terms of how we have played I think the players have been fantastic,” said former Socceroos defender. “The lads are now starting to gel and once we get the final balance of the starting eleven right we will be very hard to beat.”
Dunn says there have been some big positives in the Knights early performances. “We haven’t been out played by any team we have come up against and all the lads have to do now is turn dominating play into wins on the score board,” he said. “The team spirit is there and slowly the guys are starting to show some great team work on the field, some of the goals that are being scored have been absolutely spectacular. We are trying to keep things simple and keep the ball as much as we can, and our overall fitness is getting better with every week.”
It’s a far cry from when Dunn took over as coach last August with the Knights staring relegation from the Premier League in the face. “Moral was very low and the squad was decimated,” he recalls. “For the new season we have a whole new team, both in terms of players and coaching staff. Andy Thorburn, Steve Huxtable, Wally Aquino, Allan Pottier and myself have introduced new work ethics and are making player responsibilities for themselves and each other as a team. Training is fun but at the same time we demand a certain level of performance and achievement … so far the players have responded very well.”
There have been a good few surprises in the opening rounds of the new season, something Dunn says is indicative of the evenness of the league. “I expect this will continue for at least the first half of the season and then in the latter stages the clubs with the bigger squads will start to get more wins under their belts,” he explained. “The standard in this league is a lot better than pundits think. It’s a bit more physical and some of the grounds are a bit intimidating to play at, so all in all it makes consistency a lot harder to achieve for any team.”
If the Knights are to play any part in this year’s title race then victory this weekend against Shamrock Rovers is a must. “We need points, it’s that simple. The lads have trained really hard and if they play to their ability then we can get them,” commented Dunn, who considers new recruit Steve Purton a key piece of their attacking artillery. “Steve has given us good balance and support on the left and I believe we will be a better side going forward from this match on.” The Knights go into battle with Shamrock from 3.00pm on Saturday at Harold Rossiter Reserve.
MCGARRY SIGNS ON FOR ANOTHER SUMMER
Veteran midfielder Steven McGarry has put pen to paper on a fresh one-year contract with Perth Glory. McGarry, 33, has made 88 appearances for Glory over four seasons and last week was named the clubs’ Most Glorious Player for season 2012/13. “I’m very excited to be part of Perth Glory for another year,” McGarry said. “There’s already a great buzz around the club, it’s going to be a pretty exciting season. My family and I love this city and we have built some great relationships with everyone at Perth Glory including our fans.”
McGarry considers his recent form some of the best of a career which has included lengthy spells with St Mirren, Ross County and Motherwell in his homeland. “People think in terms of football when you reach the age of 35 you’re finished, but people like Ryan Giggs, Alessandro Del Piero and even Jacob Burns have proved them all wrong,” said McGarry, who is nearing his 500th senior appearance. “Realistically, it’s coming up to the last stage of my career, but I’m feeling fit, feeling great and I’m playing the best football of my career.”
The opportunity to help Glory chart a successful future played a part in McGarry wanting to remain in Perth. “I’m looking forward to playing a larger role in the team, to help guide the youngsters that coach Alistair Edwards is recruiting,” said McGarry, who was 16 when he joined St Mirren. “I remember making my debut and breaking into the first team, it was those experienced guys around me that helped me become the footballer I am. Now it’s a role reversal and I will try show them it’s not just about the football on the pitch, but it’s off it as well.”
SCALI AIMS TO UNITE SWAN
Swan United has confirmed the appointment of club legend Damian Scali as first team coach for the remainder of 2013. Scali collected the black and whites Golden Boot trophy a record nine times during a 15-year playing career and over the helm from Mick Skowron, who was dumped last week. “It’s a very exciting time and fantastic opportunity to be coaching Swan for 2013,” said Scali, who becomes the club fifth coach in four years. “I’m very much looking forward to the job and the challenge that it brings. I’m really pleased to have Matt Debarro as assistant and can’t wait for Saturday and our trip to Mandurah.”
Swan president Cos Coniglio is delighted to Scali was willing to step up from his role on the club committee to take charge of the first team side. “Damian is Swan through and through and we’re delighted he has agreed to take over the senior coaching role,” Coniglio commented. “Damian has a lot on his plate at the moment with his work commitments but we’re sure he and Matt are the right pair to take us forward. He was a fantastic player for our club and we are sure he will give us 100%. His experience in the game will stabilize the club and take us were we want to be.”
GLORY ADD TWO MORE YOUNGSTERS
Perth Glory have bolstered their stick with the recruitment of Australian youth internationals Cameron Edwards and Jack Duncan on two-year contracts. Coach Alistair Edwards views the capture of his 21-year old son, Cameron, and former Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Duncan, 20, as an important step towards returning Glory to the pinnacle of Australian football. “If we can get a core group of youth internationals and young players mixed with the experienced guys like Shane Smeltz, Jacob Burns and McGarry, we'll get a good balance,” said Edwards, who earlier this year added local trio Daniel De Silva (16), Matt Davies (18) and Riley Woodcock (18) to his squad.
Cameron Edwards started out as a junior with Cockburn City and played two seasons with the Glory youth team, during which he gained an A-League debut against Wellington Phoenix in early 2011. A few months later he signed with English Championship side Reading and spent the tail end of the recent A-League season on the books of Melbourne Heart. Duncan left from New South Wales Premier League side Sutherlands Sharks to join Newcastle in 2010 and to date has made one first team appearance, against Brisbane Roar in late 2011. Considered one of the best young ‘keepers in the country, he will be part of Australia’s squad at the Under-20 World Cup in July.
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This page was last updated on the 2nd May, 2013