KERR NAMED JOINT BEST PLAYER IN THE W-LEAGUE
Perth Glory's Sam Kerr has added another title to her long list of honours, being named joint winner of the Julie Dolan Medal, the W-League’s highest honour with Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar). Kerr also picked up the competition's Golden Boot after scoring 13 goals during the season.
Adrian Mierzejewski capped a stellar season for Sydney FC by claiming the Johnny Warren Medal at last night's A-League awards ceremony. Louis D’Arrigo (Adelaide United) was named the Y-League Player of the Year. Ellie Carpenter (Canberra United) collected the W-League Young Footballer of the Year and Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City) the A-League Young Footballer of the Year.
Sydney coach Graham Arnold was A-League Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year, his third time title with Melissa Andreatta from Brisbane Roar FC W-League Coach of the Year. Bobô (Sydney) claimed the Golden Boot Award as the A-League's top goal scorer, while Brisbane pair Mackenzie Arnold and Jamie Young picked up the W-League and A-League Goalkeeper of the Year Awards.
WILLIAMS' CRUEL WORLD CUP LUCK STRIKES AGAIN
Melbourne Victory defender Rhys Williams appears set to be cruelly ruled out of World Cup contention for the third straight time after suffering a pre-game injury on Saturday. Melbourne are yet to confirm the extent of the calf injury which forced the 14-time Socceroo out of their 3-2 A-League semi-final win over Sydney FC prior to kick-off.
The Melbourne club will likely reveal injury details on Monday, but Williams is expected to miss at least a month, ruling him out of Socceroos calculations. The 29-year old has enjoyed an outstanding 2017/18 campaign at centre-back and is tipped to be part of the Professional Footballers’ Australia Team of the Season to be named next week, having made 32 appearances in all competitions.
Speaking after Saturday’s game, Melbourne coach Kevin Muscat said: “I haven’t had a chance to speak to the medical staff. Rhys was a big blow for us. He’s been outstanding this season. I’m more disappointed for him. He certainly deserved to be on that stage tonight. He’s been a premium performer all season.”
The timing of the injury is the latest cruel piece of luck for Williams, who missed both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups due to injury. Eight years ago he was ruled out by a pelvic problem, while four years later it was an Achilles injury that lead to his omission. Williams’ career has been plagued by injuries, managing less than 150 appearances for Middlesbrough during his eight years with the English club.
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION, ROUND FOUR – REVIEW
Leeming Strikers maintained their lead at the top of the table of the Belt Up Amateur Premier Division despite a 2-2 draw against Subiaco at Rosalie Park on Sunday. The visitors hit the front when good play down the wing saw the ball delivered in the box and Jay Dost controlled and slotted past keeper to make it 1-0. They added a second before the break, Ben Greaves crossed and Dost headed in his second from eight yards. Just before half time Subiaco pulled a goal back, a corner was headed home by Ian McCollum. The home side leveled in similar circumstances, this time Jakob Chruscinski heading home. The home side almost won all three points late, when striker Paul Sopp raced clear one-on-one with Lemming keeper Jordan Jones, who stood tall to get a hand to his shot and the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the post.
Kingsley and Wembley Downs produced another entertaining game, with the home side running out 2-1 winners at Chichester Park. Mark King gave Kingsley an early lead when he was found unmarked inside the box by Jayden Drummond’s cross and headed past Wembley keeper Nial McCarthy. But Wembley hit back on the hour Blaine Slater found space on the edge of the box and he placed his shot perfectly past Paul Rainford to level the scores. But eight minutes from time the home side won it. Luke Coltman’s corner was headed against the crossbar by Sean Johnson, and Jesse Higgins fired home the rebound. “It was a really tough game played in hot conditions but I was really proud of the lads the way they approached the game and were able to find a winner in a tough game,” Kingsley Coach Steven Dimitrovich said. “It was probably a game of two halves really, first we dominated and second where Wembley had better of the possession, without really creating many chances. Overall I think our three substitutes made the difference as the game went on and were able to inject fresh legs when the game was in the balance.”
In other games North Perth United won for the second time this season after a 3-1 win against Ellenbrook United at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub. North Perth opened the scoring when a goalmouth scramble ended with the ball at the feet of Eamon Kelly who finished well. Ellenbrook levelled with Sam Burridge scoring. But North Perth regained their lead with a brilliant overhead kick from the edge of the box from Dinko Artenovich. They wrapped up the points in the last minute, with Ellenbrook committed players forward a late run into the box from Kelly to slot home his second from close-range.
UWA-Nedlands have edged out Hamersley Rovers 2-1 at the Carine Open Space. It was a warm day and it was an even first half, but UWA managed to score an early goal from a break on the right flank which was cut back by Jack Retallack for Blair Harding to put in the back of the net. Hamersley gained momentum throughout the first half, creating chances from corners and distance shots with an occasional break from UWA. Hamersley was awarded a penalty after 30 minutes, which was put in the back of the net. Second half saw both teams playing for the win with dangerous breaks both ways. The winner was scored by Stephen White with five minutes to go. In the final game Jaguar FC beat Southern Spirt 40. The game between Belmont Villa and Kwinana United was postponed.
FORRESTFIELD STUN ECU
A stunning performance from Rod Banjac’s side has seen them thrash ECU Joondalup 6-1, at the ECU Football Stadium in Week 10 of the NPLWA. Striker Kristian Despotovski was the hero bagging four goals, with Rhys Loxley and a penalty from Hasani Sinclair completing the rout, while Daryl Nicol scored the home sides’ consolation goal. Despotovski said it was a great team performance, and he was happy to help to do his bit in the win.
“We played well today, we stuck to our game plan, and deserved the win,” he said. “They have some great players going forward but our defensive structure was great today. We are a young squad and we’re only going to get better. “Obviously happy with the performance, four goals to myself is great confidence boost for me, but more important is the three points for the team.”
The home side made a good start, and United had keeper Luke Martino to thank on nine minutes when he stood tall to save from Nicol, who had been sent clear by a Josh Whitmore through ball, but from then United took control. On 19 minutes Thomas Jebb’s cross from the left picked out Loxley, whose shot was turned home at the back post by Despotovski. It was 2-0 just after the half hour, Sinclair’s deep cross from the left picked out Liam Merigan, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area was well saved by Johnny Perkins, but Despotovski was quickest to react to score from close-range.
Despotovski added a third on the hour, to complete his hat-trick, a superb solo effort from the 17-year-old striker, a goal his dad would have been proud of. With the home side pushing men forward to get back in the game, United caught them out again on 63 minutes. A quick counter attack cut the ECU defence wide apart, Josh Appleby picked out Sinclair down the right, who crossed to Loxley who made no mistake.
ECU pulled one back four minutes later, Nicol curling home a free kick after he had been brought down by Appleby, but that was only a consolation. A rampant Forrestfield added a fifth on 73 minutes. Antoine Lemarie was fouled by Tom Hough, and referee Shane Skinner pointed to the spot. Sinclair stepped up and sent Perkins the wrong way from the spot kick. The icing was put on the cake in stoppage time when Despotovski added his fourth, turning home Sinclair’s cross to end a memorable day for the new kids on the block.
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Cian HIRRELL, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Steven MCGARRY, 5 Shane CASSIDY (12 Logan MCISAAC 64’), 7 Cameron MURRAY (16 Liam MURRAY 46’), 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL (C), 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Lukas DE LIMA (13 Tom HOUGH 48’), 18 Declan HUGHES – Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 17 Ethan BROOKS – Yellow cards: Smith 60’, Hirrell 78’, McGarry 87’
Forrestfield United: GK Luke MARTINO, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 4 Jamie DUNCAN (3 Wilbert TSHABANGU 73’), 5 Scott BARKER, 6 Kristian DESPOTOVSKI, 7 Mitchell CROCKER (12 Callum DOBBS 81’), 8 Josh APPLEBY, 9 Hasani SINCALIR, 11 Liam MERIGAN, 16 Thomas JEBB, 23 Rhys LOXLEY (10 Antoine LEMARIE 68’) – Subs not used: RGK Ben PARRY – Yellow cards: Duncan 34’, Sinclair 65’, Appleby 66’, Lemarie 85’ – Referee: Shane Skinner
INGLEWOOD EDGE OUT GLORY (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Inglewood United scored back-to-back wins for the first time this year with a gritty 2-1 defeat of an experienced Perth Glory outfit at Ashfield Reserve. A long-range bomb from Ellis Healing and Alex Salmon’s tidy finish move Inglewood to within touching distance of the National Premier Leagues top five.
“We’ve been knocking on the door but we suffered some niggles and we haven’t had everyone up to speed with injuries to key players. But we’ve got everyone back now,” said coach Andy Keogh, whose squad faces another tough challenge at home on Wednesday night in the form of Perth SC. “I left out a couple of players today who probably shouldn’t have been left out; with three games this week it’s great to have the quality (of depth) to do that. They (Glory) were at full strength, they asked a lot of questions, they had a few chances but I think we had our fair share of chances … I’m delighted it all came off.”
An open first half had chances come and go at both ends of the park. Inglewood’s best opening came via Brian Farrell’s superb through ball which Salmon placed too close to goalkeeper Jackson Lee. Daniel Stynes squandered a golden chance to get Glory on the scoreboard by stabbing wide from a good position. The deadlock wasn’t broken until after the interval, with Healing clipping over Jackson Lee from 30-metres after spotting the Glory custodian off the line.
Glory went in search of a quick reply and they would have had one if not for Dunn, who brilliantly denied Chok Dau and Jake Brimmer in quick succession. But there was little Dunn could do on 68 minutes when Stynes combined with Jacob Italiano to bring the teams back to level terms. It took Inglewood all of five minutes to reclaim the lead, Salmon angling low past Lee on the end of an exquisite exchange of passes between substitutes Jason Barrera and Brian Woodall.
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luca BODNAR, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Sam RIAK (C), 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS (14 Jacob ITALIANO 59’), 7 Yacoub MUSTAFA (12 Chok DAU 59’), 8 Brandon WILSON (15 Henry HORE 76’), 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Jake BRIMMER, 11 Daniel STYNES - Subs not used: RGK Nicholas SPECA, 13 Zayd FARAH
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 David CYRUS, 6 Miki VUJACIC, 7 Kenny KEOGH (23 Brian WOODALL 67’), 9 Alex SALMON, 11 Ellis HEALING (12 Feisal ZAW 81’), 14 Hanafi GHAZALI (8 Jason BARRERA 61’),15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie MURPHY, 19 Connor BECSI - Subs not used: RGK Michael COHEN, 17 Rikki SMITH - Referee: Tom Glavovic
REDS TOO GOOD FOR ATHENA
Armadale produced their biggest win of the season, after a stunning 4-0 win on the road against Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday. John O’Reilly’s side where ahead on 14, with skipper Nathan Costello firing home. Chris Jackson scoring his sixth goal of the season to double the lead before half time, and second half goals to Michael Lawson and Joshua Kuser wrapped up the three points.
The day went from bad to worse for the home side with Dennis Galan sent off. O’Reilly was pleased with his sides 90 minutes performance. “I thought the performance deserved the win,” he said. “We congested the areas Floreat wanted to work in and took advantage of the space that they gave us.”
It was a perfect start for the visitors and they were ahead on 14 minutes. Jackson made space down the flank and cross to Costello volleyed home. They doubled their lead on the half hour, Jackson was played through and held of the last defender before finished well past Jason Saldaris. Armadale were well on top and Floreat had keeper Jason Saldaris to thank for keeping them in the game. He produced a great save to deny Kuser, and moments later made a point-blank save to thwart Lawson’s volley, but at the break it was Armadale in control.
Floreat pressed after the break, but without experienced pair Dean Evans and Ludovic Boi they struggled to break down an Armadale defence while led by Costello. Then on the hour Armadale added a third, Kuser was brought down in the box and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Lawson stepped up and scored from the resulting penalty.
Armadale added a fourth three minutes later, Kuser was played in on goal and he expertly flicking the ball over the onrushing keeper and rolling the ball into an empty net. The home side ended with ten men when Galan was shown a straight card, after an altercation with Armadale midfielder Charlie Kenna.
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTA LUCIA, 4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO, 6 Jesse FULLER, 9 Carlo COELHO (12 Declan HUDSON 75’), 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 11 Dennis GALAN, 13 Hamza HINA, 15 Chris SALDARIS (5 Tyler HOLDEN 33’), 16 Ryan MALTON (3 James OWEN 75’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 21 Keylan POLLARD - Red cards: Galan 69’
Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Joshua KUSER, 3 Delan DE SILVA, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 7 Charlie KENNA, 8 Michael LAWSON, 9 Billy QUINNCROFT (22 Sam LOVELESS 85), 10 Chris JACKSON, 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 15 Ali GHOLAM (17 James ATKINS 77’), 21 Beau RAHIM - Subs not used: 34. Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 14.Jonathon BOGONI, 16. Charlie SIMPSON - Referee: Josh Mannella
GULLS WIN THE BATTLE OF PERCY DOYLE
Sorrento have ended a poor run of form with a much needed 3-0 win against co-tenants Joondalup United at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Cameron Teece gave them the lead in the first half, before Alex Morgan and Jack Salter made sure of the win after the break. "It was a difficult game, but we approached it professionally and I thought we should have won by more,” Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell said. “Hopefully this gives us a bit of confidence to go on a run and start climbing the table."
The Gulls were on top early, and they hit the front on 23 minutes. Reece Vittiglia’s free kick was well saved by James Bosdet, but Teece was quickest to react and fired home the rebound. Joondalup hit back and created a number of good chances, the best falling to Greg Pellow’s, whose header from Johnny Chalmers cross flashed inches wide.
Joondalup went close again early in the second half, but didn’t test Gulls keeper James Morgan, as Elliot Tattersall had two shots flash wide of the target. But Sorrento showed them how to do it on 65 minutes, when they added a second. Scott Witschge’s ball in to the box picked out Alex Morgan who headed home.
Liam Mooney then headed over for the visitors, before James Morgan produced a fingertip save to deny Callum Stocks. But as much as they tried they couldn’t find a goal, and in the final minute it was Sorrento who added a third. Second half substitute Salter was sent clear before finishing past Bosdet to wrap up the win. “I can’t question the boys' desire, and for long periods of the game I thought we were the better team,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “I said to the boys I feel sorry after the effort they put in that they got zero reward."
Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 3 Jaxon TEMATA, 5 Joel SANDERSON, 7 Alex MORGAN (10 Jordan ROBERTS 66’), 14 Scott WITSCHGE, 16 Chris BALAZS, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, (19 Jack SALTER 73’), 18 Jordan BROWN, 20 Brad MCDONALD, 21 Godwin DARKWA (35 Samuel FAULKNER 77’), 23 Cameron TEECE - Subs not used: RGK Anastasis FARSALEAS, 11 Tim HILL
Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 2 Johnny CHALMERS, 3 Fraser GARNAUT (14 Liam MOONEY 13’), 5 Joel LEDSHAM, . Sam WYNEE (9 Alex WILD 70’), 7 Matthew SPARROW, 8 Jay MARSDEN, 10 Elliot TATTERSALL, 11 Anthony TAYLOR, 19 Adam BUCKLEY (15 Callum STOCKS 62’), 25 Greg PELLOW – Subs not used: RGK Luke Green, 4 Danny O’SHEA - l Referee: Matthew Southern
LIONS AND PERTH SHARE THE SPOILS
Stirling Lions and Perth SC have fought out and entertaining 2-2 draw at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon. David Micevski gave the hosts the lead mid-way through the first half, but Paul Zimarino levelled six minutes into the second half. It looked like the home side had won it seven minutes from time when Micevski scored from the spot, but Zimarino restored parity two minutes later to give both sides a point. “It was a game of two halves, they were the better side in the first half and we were better in the second - probably a draw is the fair result,” Perth Coach Ramon Falzon said. “Second half I think there were a lot of positives, first half gave us a lot to improve on.”
Perth opened brightly and thought they had a penalty on 15 minutes, when Gustavo Catarcione was brought down in the box, but referee Steven Gregory waved away their appeals. But the Lions settled and hit the front on 33 minutes. Micevski, who returned to the side after injury, curling home a free kick on the edge of the box superbly, giving Perth keeper Malec Kuc, who was making his league debut for the club, no chance, and send the Lions into the break with the lead.
The visitors needed a quick response after half time and it came on 51 minutes, when Zimarino volleyed home. It was end-to-end football as both sides went for it, but it was the home side creating the better chances. Micevski was a constant threat, and his long-range shot flashed wide of the upright, before he was denied moments later, his volley superbly saved by Kuc.
Stirling continued to pile on the pressure and it was rewarded seven minutes from time. Steve Sokol was brought down in the box and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Micevski stepped up to score and the home faithful thought they had won it, but Perth had other ideas. Three minutes later Perth won a free kick, and Zimarino’s set piece beat Pasquale Gioffre to earn the visitors a point. “Performance, good. The result didn’t match our performance,” Lions Coach Keegan Ashley said. “We weren’t second best today, I think a draw was a bit harsh on us.”
Stirling Lions: GK Pasquale GIOFFRE, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Liam HENDERSON, 6 Dhhors CHOL, 7 Dean CUMMINGS, 8 Dejan SPASESKI, 10 David MICEVSKI, 11 Alex TANEVSKI (9 Robert PETKOV 78’), 14 Steve SOKOL, 15 Nathan DE ABREU, 17 Moses KALAU – Subs not used: RGK Lance ALAVAKIS, 16 Nicholas ASHLEY, 18 Joey PERKINS, 19 Zane CASELLA
Perth SC: GK Malec KUC, 3 Andreas THEODOSIADES, 5 Niccolo SABATINI (17 Frank FURFARO 48’), 6 Harley ORR, 8 Tom KING, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO (7 Aleks JOVIC 58’), 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Richard HOWLES (10 Nicholas AMBROGIO 80’), 20 Paul Zimarino – Subs not used: RGK Daniel PASSARELLI, 2 Alex SILLA - Referee: Steven Gregory
MELLO BACK TO HAUNT HIS FORMER CLUB
Luccas Mello came back to haunt his former club, bagging a hat-trick in Cockburn City’s 4-2 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Mello opened the scoring early, before Anthony Skorich doubled their advantage at half time. Balcatta hit back in the first minute of the second half with Jonathan Corness scoring. But Mello hit back to score a quick fire double to complete his hat-trick.
Adriano Jelenovic pulled one back for the home side but it was too little too late, the win moving Cockburn to second on the NPLWA ladder. “We didn’t really deal with them in the second half, we knew they were going to bomb forward and we gave it to them,” Cockburn Coach Scott Miller said. “It shows where we’re at as a club, last year we might have faltered under the pressure, but today we grabbed another goal or two.”
The visitors made a perfect start and were ahead after only five minutes. Mello’s curling shot from the edge of the penalty area beat Domenico Savoldelli. Both sides created chances for the rest of the half, but it was Cockburn who took one of them on the half hour, with Skorich scoring to send the Cockerels into the break with a 2-0 lead.
But the home side were back in the game in the first minutes after the break, Corness finishing well from a Calum O’Connell cross. But two minutes later Cockburn regained their two goal lead. A ball into the box saw Mello get to the ball before Savoldelli and the striker headed home. Mello then completed his hat-trick sixty seconds later, he was picked up on the edge of the box and finished clinically.
Balcatta were shell-shocked, but they hit back on 53 minutes, Nick Challot raced down the right, and cut the ball back to Jelenovic who made no mistake. The home side pressed late but couldn’t break down a tight Cockburn defence well led by former Balcatta defender Kieron Stallard.
Balcatta: GK Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 Hayden STEVENS, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 TOM PELLIZZARI (17 Brody KENNEDY 46’), 6 Kris GATE (7 Mathew McROBERTS 57’), 8 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 15 Adriano JELENOVIC, 19 Nick CHALLOT, 20 Shubbham MOKALA (24 Ben PALUZARI 66’) - Subs not used: RGK Kyle MCDONALD, 9 Lawrence SHURAMA,
Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 2 Chris THACKRAY, 5 Kieron STALLARD, 6 Rueben TRISTAO, 7 Luccas MELLO, 10 David ARAYA, 11 Harry O’BRIEN, 12 Ryan PRATT (16 Daniel ROBINSON 46’), 15 Daniel SANTICH, 17 Jesse LAZZARO (18 Adam ANFUSO 81’), 19 Anthony SKORICH (9 Julian TELES 90’) - Sub not used: RGK Ryan BARKER, 20 Harry COLLINS - Referee: Julian Serra
BAYSWATER BACK IN THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Bayswater City returned to the top of the NPLWA ladder, and ended a three game losing streak in the league and cup, with a hard-fought 3-1 win over Subiaco at Rosalie Park on Saturday afternoon. Luka Ninkovic gave the visitors the lead early in the second half, before Andrija Jukic doubled their advantage on the hour. Subiaco pulled one back with Steve Purton converting from the spot, and pressed late for the equaliser, but Bayswater sealed the win in stoppage time with Gian Albano scoring.
“After a couple of disappointing results the boys were excellent on Saturday, they showed great patience to break down a tough and well organised Subiaco outfit who were very good at not allowing us to play,” Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said. “Once we were able to make some changes at half time, and we put ourselves in a commanding position but credit to Subiaco they didn’t stop and made us work hard for the result. Gian Albano’s goal at the end was credit for a great display by him as he gave us the energy we required after half time. The boys have had a tough few weeks with the cup games, so it was important that we got a result, even more so with the way the results panned out over the weekend.”
It was tight first half with both sides pressing, but clear cut chances were few and far between, the best fell to the home side. Monase Abendelwa found space on the edge of the box, his shot was well saved by Bayswater keeper Devon Spence at his near post. But it was the visitors who opened the second half brightly and were ahead four minutes in. A corner from Todd Howarth picked out Ninkovic at the back post and the youngsters finished well. It was 2-0 four minutes later. Subiaco failed to clear their lines on the edge of their box, and Jukic made them pay finishing clinically past Ryan Montgomery.
Subiaco needed a lift, and it came on 73 minutes. David Perich was brought down in the box and referee Nico Hoyle pointed straight to the spot. Purton stepped up to score from the resulting penalty, and it was game on. Subiaco pressed for the equaliser but they were caught out at the back in stoppage time, and Albano scored from close-range to seal the three points.
“In the first half I thought we worked hard to keep them at bay and it was a pretty even game,” Subiaco Coach Ian McMurray said. “And in the second half we let in some poor goals, but we showed character to comeback and put them under a bit of pressure with the penalty. However I think it was just a lack of concentration that cost us in the end.”
Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 5 Monase ABENDELWA (11 Joshua BOOYSEN 69’), 6 Jackson DONGRAY, 7 Dean APELGREN, 10 Asher NELSON (4 Robert HARDING 58’), 12 Nathan SMITH, 13 James DORLING, 16 Steve PURTON, 17 Alex CASTIELLO, 18 David PERICH, 19 Ian MCMURRAY (9 Rory FEELY 55’) - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 3 Jack ANDREWS
Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 4 Arran MAPLESTONE (21 Riley VAN DIEKEN 82’), 5 Adam HARRIS, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 12 David STOKOE, 13 Trent Kay, 17 Gian ALBANO, 19 Luka NINKOVIC, 23 Andrija JUKIC, 26 Paul LLOYD Substitutes not used: RGK Luke HUTCHESON, 15 Jordan POKLER, 22 Luke SALMON, 24 Jake SARDELIC - Referee: Nico Hoyle
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOUR – REVIEW
With the State League Division One leaders Gwelup Croatia having the bye this weekend, Dianella White Eagles took over top spot with a hard fought 2-0 win against South West Phoenix at WML Stadium in Bunbury. It was the visitors on the front foot early, with the Phoenix sitting back and tried to catch their opposition on the break, but to no avail. Dianella created some good chance and took one before the break, Angel Andreas sliding the ball into the far post after a patient build up by the Dianella side. The visitors had to wait till the 80th minute before Angel grabbed the second, slamming home the ball at the near post, albeit in between some desperate home team defending. “It was a good win for us although a few more goals would have been nice. Our lads controlled the play all over the park and SWP were limited to a few opportunities where our Keeper Joel Driscoll stood up and did his job,” Dianella Coach Robbie Dunn explained. “We still aren’t playing well, but we have three wins out of four and I am very happy with the players digging in and getting the job done no matter how we perform.”
Western Knights moved up to third on the table after a 3-1 win against Joondalup City at Nash Field. The Knights were ahead after good play from Dom De Felice on the right hand side, who then cut it back and it was turned into the goal by a City defender Alex Robertson. City levelled when Sam Rawlings got to the byline and swung a cross to the far post where Liam Peacock rose to head home. But the Knights regained their lead from the penalty spot after Jack Rycroft was fouled in the box. City lost top scorer Jason Rubidge with injury, stretchered off after a poor tackle. But the Knights wrapped up three points late, with David Clark scoring a great header from a corner. “We were really happy with the way we played, in particular our shape and structure, and how the players applied themselves,” Knights assistant coach Ivan Zuvela said.
Ashfield won for the first time this season, with a comprehensive 4-0 win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. The visitors came out with intent and scored three goals in the first 15 minutes. Pat Quinn scored the opener, with a great finish from a tough angle, before Ismael Bangura scored the second with some neat play on the edge of the box, and he fired home from 10 yards. They added a third from a penalty spot, Quinn adding his second. They added a fourth with Bangura picking up the ball which was cleared from a corner, and he raced past three players and scored from 18 yards. “It was a great win for us, as we have had arguably the hardest start to a season with a bye first round and games against Western Knights and Gwelup,” Ashfield coach Matt Wardle said. “The result was massive for our confidence and team morale, and the whole squad has been working very hard and I’m pleased that we got a result that we deserved.”
Fremantle City bounced back from last week’s loss at home to the Phoenix with a 2-1 win against Mandurah City at Securitas Protect Stadium. The visitors were ahead when a long-throw into the box was flicked on by Chris Holland to Wade Farmer who was brought down by Tom Straker and the referee pointed to the spot. Holland stepped up to score the resulting penalty. They added a second before the break, after great build up play through the midfield resulting in Rory Keily playing a through ball to Farmer who slotted neatly into the corner Mandurah were back in the game early in the second half, when a poor pass was intercepted by Joe O’Brien who finished well. Mandurah pressed for the equaliser but Fremantle held on for the win. “I thought we showed great character after a really tough week last week,” Fremantle coach Marc Anthony said. “The attitude work rate and a bit more intensity was required and the lads went out there and did the job.”
In the final game of the round Rockingham City travelled to the UWA Sports Park and came home with a 2-1 win against UWA Nedlands. James Harmer got them on their way scoring the first, before Mitch Morrin added the second before the break. UWA pulled on back in the second half, Tristan Taylor with a sliding finish that went in off the post, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “It was really pleasing to get back to winning ways, but with the group that we now have available we have set high standards for ourselves and anything other than a win against UWA would have been disappointing,” Rockingham Coach Cameron Lord said. “We must now continue to build on this result and get three points against Mandurah next.”
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOUR – REVIEW
Kingsway Olympic maintained their perfect start the State League Division Two season with a 5-0 win against Gosnells City at Kingsway Reserve. The hosts were ahead when Danny Hodgson headed home, before David Sesay added a second before the half time. Hodgson added a third early in the second half, firing home from the edge of the box after he was picked out by a good cut back. Hodgson competed his hat trick when he was sent clear one-on-one with the keeper, and finished with aplomb via the underside of the bar from the edge of the box. The scoring was wrapped up with Ryan Francis scoring.
Balga stayed in second spot despite a 2-2 draw against Murdoch University Melville at Princess Road Reserve. The visitors opened the scoring with Daniel Davey on target, and they added a second when teenager Matt Sljivic pounced on a defensive error and went one-on-one with the Balga keeper and scored clinically. The home side pulled one back before half time, Giulz Zacconi heading home a cross from a tight angle. Balga levelled five minutes into the second half, with some neat lead up play in midfield ended with Jason Stepanovski who made no mistake. Balga started to control the game, but couldn't put their dominate onto the scoreboard. In the last ten minutes, both sides had the chance to grab the winner, but had to settle with a share of the spoils.
Swan United came from behind to beat Shamrock Rovers 3-2 at Harold Rossiter Reserve and maintain third place on the table. United opened the scoring early when a through ball from Tommy Black and John Monterosso nipped between the keeper and centre back and slotted home. Rovers equalised with a quick break down the left was finished at the back post by Michael Harben. Shamrock were reduced to ten man early in the second half, but still hit the front with Nathan Steele firing home in a goalmouth scramble. Swan brought on Jordan Rossetto and Brendan Borzecki and both made a huge difference and they leveled when a corner fell to Rossetto on the edge of the box, and his shot was turned home by Monterosso. Swan pressed and found the winner in the final minutes of the game, Borzecki raced down the left and whipped in a perfect ball to Monterosso at the back post to head home the winner and complete his hat trick. “We weren’t at our best and Shamrock made it difficult to break them down but our persistence paid off and we never gave up which got us through in the end,” Monterosso said. “The boys that came on made the difference and the teams’ attitude even when things aren’t working so well never changed and the better team got the win on the day.”
In other games Quinns travelled to Frye Park and came home with a 4-1 win against Kelmscott Roos. Quinns opened the scoring when Joshua Reid’s cross found Jacob Shore who looped his header in the far top corner. Kelmscott levelled, but Quinns soon made it 2-1, Chris Williams found Shore, who flicked the ball through to Scott Bulloch who made no mistake. They added a third when Rowdy Yate’s ball over the top sent Craig Tooley in on goal, and he lobbed the keeper from 20-yards. Tooley added the fourth from the penalty spot after Joshua Reid was brought down. “We’re delighted with the result,” Tooley said. “There are a lot of positives to take from game but there is still work to be done.” In Sunday’s game Curtin University beat Canning City 4-2 at Burrendah Reserve. Wanneroo City had the bye this week.
WANDERERS FAREWELL CLISBY
Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed the departure of defender Jack Clisby after two seasons at the club. The 26-year old, whose senior career took flight while at Inglewood United in 2012, featured 45 times for the Red and Black across the A-League, FFA Cup and Asian Champions League.
“The Wanderers are such a passionate club and they are really involved with the community and it really means a lot for the fans here in the west and to become part of that culture and for the fans to take me in the way they did I can’t be more grateful for the love and support they gave me while being here at this club,” said Clisby.
“Personally I want to thank every single fan and member who backs the club and supported me during my time here. I think it has been the best part of my career, I really developed as a player coming to this club. I look back at my experience at Wanderers and it has only been positives and it is part that I hold very close to my heart.”
KILKENNY ON BOARD FOR THREE MORE SEASONS
Perth Glory have re-signed star midfielder Neil Kilkenny as they rebuild for next season. A standout for the club after joining from Melbourne City in the January transfer window, the 32-year old former Socceroo will wear Glory colours for the next three seasons.
Kilkelly is likely to remain with the club beyond that term, however, with the club offering him a coaching role when his playing days are over. “The club has the potential to be successful with the right personnel and I want to be a part of that success,” said Kilkenny, who turned out for Australia on 14 occasions.
“Hopefully I can be one of the first pieces in a jigsaw puzzle that comes together and takes the club to where I think it should be in terms of achieving regular success. Everyone who knows me knows that I have ambitions to be a coach and a manager. I appreciate the club recognising that potential in me and giving me the opportunity to take my first steps in fulfilling those ambitions.”
Born in England, Kilkenny played youth team football at Arsenal before embarking on a 410 game career that took in Birmingham City, Oldham Athletic, Leeds United, Bristol City and Preston North End. He spent a season and a half with Melbourne City prior to switching to Glory.
NPL-WA ROUND TEN PREVIEW
Balcatta are the form team of the NPL-WA and this week they host high flying Cockburn City at Grindleford Reserve, in round 10’s Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Week’. Both sides are coming off wins in round nine, Balcatta stunned league leaders Perth SC last week, while Cockburn hit back to beat Sorrento 2-1. The last time the two sides met at the venue was in round 15 last season when a goal five minutes from time from Cockburn City striker Gian Albano gave Scott Miller’s side a hard fought 1-0 win
Goran Stajic has turned the fortunes around at Balcatta, and last week’s win was their fourth on the trot, and he said they worked hard and got their rewards on the day. “I thought the team played exceptionally well and deserved the three points, there are no favourites in derby games,” he explained. “We tried to play our game and limit our opponents to playing there's, and overall we managed to do it for longer periods and to come away with the clean sheet and Dorrien Gardens with win is extra special.”
Stajic has brought in some experienced to his squad this season, but skipper Calum O’Connell has led from the front and the coach said he could have walked, but stayed loyal to the club. “I can't speak highly enough of Cal, not only has he stuck around to help with the climb he has embraced the new role I challenged him with on the field,” he said. “As a coach of a young talented and inexperienced team, it's vital to have characters/leaders such as Cal and our leadership group.”
Cockburn arrive in good form, unbeaten in their last six games, and Stajic said it should be a great game. “I’m certainly expecting yet another tactical battle against Cockburn, a team that has individual class, experience and youth,” he explained. “They are a club that is similar to ours in lots of ways so I dare say it will be a great game for the supporters. As for us I will continually back my team to be brave, attacking and enjoy the climb no matter the result.”
Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich has had to wait his time this season, with the form of Ryan Barker, but he is back in the side and was outstanding in the win against Sorrento, and he said they deserved the three points. “I had to wait my time, went away for a large chunk of pre-season so took a little bit longer to get going and had to earn my spot back after being away,” he explained.
“We have been playing so really good football last couple weeks and the results are showing. Last week was a good win, and it kept us in touch of the top four. We probably didn’t play our best in the first half and Sorrento took their chance, but second we were able to put in a much better performance and able to come away with three points which was very pleasing.”
The Cockerels have won the Premier League title on three occasions, when the club were called Spearwood Dalmatinac, but Radonich said the team are looking to bring success back to the club and Scott Miller has been a catalyst to that. “We’re all determined to bring success to the club, and I think if you look at the last three years since Scott has taken over we have seen improvements every year,” he said. “So hopefully this year we make top four and have a good dig at trying to win the league.”
Cockburn sit in joint third spot on the table, five points ahead of Balcatta, and he said Saturday will be a huge test for them, but they are ready for the challenge. “It’s another big game for us, both teams played Wednesday so I’m sure there will be some tired boys out there,” he said. “But we will definitely be up for it come Saturday afternoon, and hopefully we’ll come away with another three points.”
League leaders Perth Glory have home ground advantage this week, when they entertain Inglewood United at Ashfield Reserve. Glory came from two down to best Stirling Lions last week, and are showing the rest of the league they mean business this season, and on Saturday they will come up against friendly foe, with Glory A-League striker Andy Keogh in control at United. Inglewood had to work hard to beat Forrestfield last week, and keeper Alex Dunn produced a couple of good saves in the game to keep them at bay, and he said it was a tough game. “It was a hard fought win, and I was happy to contribute to it,” he said.
“We haven’t been taking our chances at key moments in the game, and against Forrestfield we took our chances when presented. Ellis scoring a cracker, took the sting out the game, and we were able to see it out and come away with a clean sheet as well which is fantastic.” Dunn said the Glory have really improved this season and are top of the league on merit, and they are expecting a battle. “The Glory lads have put together a good string of results, they are definitely one of the inform teams,” he said. “They are always good technically, and try and play a good brand. We will have to start bright and try use our experience to come away with a win and hopefully start to string together a bit of a streak.”
Bayswater City are on a mini form slump, losing their last two home games, but they are on the road this week, when they visit Rosalie Reserve to take on Subiaco. The black and blues, who were beaten 2-0 by Floreat, last week, were beaten last time they headed to Subiaco in the league, but they need to start to take their chances, after missing a number last week. Subiaco hit back late to draw at Armadale last week, and keeper Ryan Montgomery said they did deserve something from the game.
“Last week was disappointing not to come away with the three points, but fighting back twice to at least take a point was a good sign,” he said. “So hopefully we can roll the sleeves up and kick on. We know that if we turn up and play the way we can we can match it with anyone it’s just a matter of finding that consistently.”
The keeper said both sides will be desperate to get back in the winner’s circle, and it should be a good game. “I don’t think there’s any bigger test in the league than facing Bayswater and they’ll go in as clear favourites,” he said. “But if we stick to the game plan and do the right things at the right time, its football and anything can happen.”
Co-Tenants Sorrento and Joondalup United do battle at Percy Doyle Reserve, both looking to kick start their seasons. Sorrento have lost their last four games, including a 1-2 defeat at Cockburn last week, while United dominated ECU Joondalup early in the derby, but ended losing 1-3. Striker Alex Wild said they are having no luck at the moment, and they could have been three up last week.
“Against ECU anyone who watched the game would tell you that we deserved something out of that game. We had a shot hit our own player on their line and numerous other chances,” he explained. “In the front third we created the chances but in some respects luck wasn’t on our side. I think like the rest of our season teams are scoring against us from individual errors being made by us and as you can see by the table it’s costing it dearly.”
Wild said they are the visitors on Saturday, and will be looking for a repeat of last season’s game, when they won 2-1. “Sorrento are struggling for form and obviously we need a win to hopefully kick start our season,” he said. “They are a good team and there is a bit more rivalry there with us sharing grounds. Our boys know that if we come out and play like we did against ECU that we can win the game and get our season started.”
ECU Joondalup had to fight hard for the three points in the derby against Joondalup United last week, and this week they entertain Forrestfield United at the ECU Football Stadium. Forrestfield failed to take their chances at Inglewood last week, going down 2-0, and Jordan Hart said the result could have been totally different. “The game could have been a lot different if we had of put away the chances we created early on and again early in the second half we created another golden opportunity but failed to capitalise we could have been three, up but they turned it over and we conceded cheaply from a corner and then again from cracker outside the box which turned the game on its head,” he said. “We tried to push for a comeback at the end, but they shut us down pretty well.”
Forrestfield bounce back in the cup at Joondalup United and Hart said it will give them a boost ahead of Saturday’s trip to ECU. “Chalk and cheese from Saturday, we came out the blocks strong and made the most of our opportunities and we’re able to go into half time with a comfortable lead,” he said. “It was also a mature display knowing we didn’t have to over exert ourselves especially with a busy schedule coming up and I think we will ride that confidence going into the weekend at ECU.”
Perth SC lost top spot last week after their loss against Balcatta, and this week they head to Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions. The Lions had been on a good run of form, but let a two lead slip against the Glory last week, and Coach Keegan Ashley thought they deserved something from the game. “I thought it was a good performance and one in which we thoroughly deserved something out of,” he said. “My boys played very well for most of the game, so to lose at the death hurt but certainly something we can learn from and look at the positives overall moving forward. The Glory have a very strong side and those players in there team that have been exposed to the A league certainly make them a solid outfit.”
Scottish duo Liam Henderson and Dean Cummings have given the club some steel, and they will be vital against a good Perth side, but Ashley said the other players are lifting around them. “When you add quality to your side you’re bound to see positives in many ways,” he explained. “Both Hendo and Deano are very talented players with great technique and a strong work ethic at training and on match day, and it’s great to have them at the Stirling Lions and they both have settled in very well. I also feel we will see a lot more from them as the year progresses now that they have settled at the Lions. Perth are a very good side who have been very consistent getting positive results, it’s going to be a tough game no doubt about that. However we are at home and we know that when we perform and put in a shift we are certainly a match for any side. Our aim is to win the game and Perth will be no different.”
Armadale throw away a late goal to draw with Subiaco last week, and this week they head to Litis Stadium to take on the improving Floreat Athena. Howard Tweats side are coming off back-to-back wins against Bayswater City, and will go into the game with confidence, but Armadale have a good away record. English midfielder James Atkins said to let the win slip late was disappointing. “It was disappointing, especially leading twice and the second equaliser being so close to the end of the game,” he said. “But there were quick moments where we've switched off defensively and going forward to create chances ultimately cost us three points.”
Atkins moved to WA from Liverpool as a 15-year-old, and has played for Shamrock Rovers, Inglewood, before heading to the Reds. He said they are looking forward to Saturday’s game, and looking to get back in the winners, and they do have a good away record, and last time out beat ECU at the Campus. “Floreat are always a tough game but in football and especially this season any team can beat anyone on any given day,” he said. “We went to ECU and came home with the points, so if we play hard, as a unit and work to our game plans then I'm sure we can win.”
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW
It’s week four of the State League Division One and the Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to the Securitas Protect Stadium where Mandurah City host Fremantle City. Mandurah City had the bye last week, while Fremantle were surprisingly beat 4-1 at home by South West Phoenix. Mandurah won in round two, away at South West Phoenix in a seven goal thriller, and Coach Alex Grayson said it was good to get on the board, after losing the opening game. “I'm always one to try and keep momentum going but I'm sure the boys enjoyed the weekend off,” he said. “They have worked tremendously throughout pre-season so a brief recharge was for the best. We took a lot out of a tough 90 minutes away at Phoenix so two weeks of preparation has us feeling hungry to perform at home on Saturday.”
Grayson has been pleased the way the squad has gelled and he said they are working hard to improve. “We have come a long way in the past few months but still have a lot to learn. We have a great balance of maturity and youthfulness with both bringing a fantastic work ethic. It's been a pleasure to be at the helm of Mandurah this year and I'm excited for what we can achieve this year as a group,” he explained. “We understand every week the challenges we face and this week is no exception. Fremantle have had a fantastic preseason and I'm sure they will be a team that strives to put things right week in week out. I think it'll be a fantastic battle. We look forward to hosting them.”
Fremantle won the Night Series, and had started the season well, but lost for the first time against Phoenix, and striker Chris Holland said it was one of those days. “Hats off to Phoenix they had a game plan and where the better team on the day,” he said. “We have had a great pre-season but eventually we were due a defeat and it came last week. But training this week after our loss was a great session, and Marc and Lenny had a word with us before about where we went wrong, and we move on.”
Holland said Coach Marc Anthony has built a good squad, and they are getting better each week, but he knows Saturday’s game is a big one, with Fremantle looking to bounce back. “We’re not going to dwell on it, the team is fired up to head to Mandurah, and come home with nothing less than 3 points,” he said. “I know Alex will have his team organised, and there always physical, but this week I’m very confident it will be the winning Freo we have been all year, with a full squad to choose from, I’m very confident we will come out on top.”
Joondalup City surprised many after their 4-3 win against Morley Windmills last week, and on Saturday they travel to Nash Field to take on Western Knights. City Coach Gary Kalaher said all their hard work after the break paid dividends. “Hopefully our young players will learn from last week,” he said. “We need take the positives into what is obviously another tough fixture for us.”
Kalaher said it doesn’t get any easier, with a trip to the Champions this week, but he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “It’s a difficult two weeks, away to the reigning champions followed by the title favourites (Gwelup) at home next week,” he said. “It will provide two incredibly tough tasks for us, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.” In other games UWA-Nedlands will be looking to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat at Dianella, when they host Rockingham City at the UWA Sports Park on Saturday, while Morley Windmills and Ashfield meet at Wotton Reserve. Dianella White Eagles make the trip to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix at the WML Stadium. League leaders Gwelup Croatia have the bye this week.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW
We head into week four of the State League Division Two, and the Footballwa.et ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Kingsway Reserve, with Olympic Kingsway hosting Gosnells City. Olympic had the bye last week, while Gosnells were held at home by Canning City. Kingsway striker Danny Hodgson is back in football after a serious knee injury, and he started with a bang in his debut in round two scoring a hat-trick in the 5-1 win. “My knees is feeling great, during the off seasons I have done a lot of re-hab work, as I really missing playing football,” he explained. “It’s been hard getting back into the swing of things as I hadn’t played in 19 months, but I’m thankful to Normo for giving me a spot in the squad.”
The former Armadale and Dianella striker said Saturday will be a tough game, against a good Gosnells side. “Saturday won’t be easy, and we know that. This should be a good test for us as they’ve just came down from Division One, and I they haven’t lost so far this season,” he said. But we want to stay on top of the table and retain our spot for the 20 games. It’s all going to come down to attitude. We’ve got a great squad and a lot of ability but we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves as it’s a long seasons and there is some good teams in the league who want promotion. We’ve got to focus on the upcoming game every week and take one step at a time.”
Gosnells City Coach Alan Dunlop has a number of new players in his squad, and they are getting better each week, but he was left disappointed with the performance against Canning. “I thought we were average last week, Canning came with a good game plan and made it difficult for us, but we missed a lot of chances but in the end a draw was a fair result,” he said. “After going down last season, we lost five of our best players which is always difficult to replace if you’re any team. But we have recruited some good players and our younger players are another year older so you expect good things from this team.”
Dunlop said he’s looking forward to the game, against a team who are tipped for big things in 2018. “I think it will be a good game, they (Kingsway) have obviously recruited well and started the season well,” he said. “But on our day we can give anyone a tough game, and will be going there to get a positive result.”
Swan United were held to a draw by league leaders Balga last week, but remain unbeaten, and this week they make the trip to Harold Rossiter Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers. Rovers are still searching for their first win of the season, and were beaten 3-0 at Quinns last week. Brennan Borzecki scored in last week’s draw, and he said the sides were evenly matched. “It definitely wasn’t an easy game but both teams performed well,” he said. “We both had times dominating the game but no one was lucky enough to get on top, but we’ll take a point.”
Borzecki, who played at Balcatta last season, said they have settled quickly under new coach Paul Dundo, and will be looking for three points on Saturday. “I’m sure shamrock will come out firing for that first win, but as we’re also seeking the win we will definitely be ready,” he said. “Paul has settled in very quickly and he seems to bring a lot motivation and energy to the club and us boys.” In other games Quinns make the trip to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos, while Canning City host Curtin University at Burrendah Reserve. The final game sees Balga entertaining Murdoch University Melville at Princess Road Reserve. Wanneroo City have the bye this weekend.
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION, ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW
The Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Round’ in the Belt Up Sunday Amateur Premier Division is the clash between third placed Kingsley and seventh placed Wembley Downs at Chichester Park. Kingsley have started the season well, but did slip up in round two against Leeming, but Coach Steven Dimitrovich said they bounced back in style at Spirit last week. “It was great way to bounce back last week after our loss to Leeming, and the preparation all week was excellent and we were able to control the game from the first whistle to the final one,” he said. “I was really pleased that the players brought into the squad did their jobs that were asked of them and that we also had five different goal scores as well, which was pleasing because it showed we aren’t relying on just one or two players to score.”
Dimitrovich has added some players to his squad this season and he said they have gelled well, and he knows Wembley haven’t started the best, but is well aware of the talent they have in their side, and is expecting a tough game on Sunday. “This week’s game is another tough one as we come up against champions Wembley who have had an indifferent start to the season but will still be very dangerous and if we don’t execute our game plan they could punish us so we must have full concentration for the entire game,” he said. “We have some new faces at club, Mark King has come over from Wembley Luke Coultman from Kingsway, Brett Cutting Wanneroo and Sean Johnson last year’s player of the year in the amateur league from Subiaco, so we’re hoping for a good season.”
Wembley have had a stuttering start to the season but Coach Sully Sullivan said last week’s game could have gone either way. “Yes very disappointed not to leave Kwinana with at least a draw, especially after going a goal up,” he said. “We conceded from a set piece after 40 seconds and to Kwinana’s credit they took their chances well. I thought we dominated the second half but missed some glorious opportunities.”
Sullivan said Sunday is another huge test, and he said it should be a good game. “It’s another big game away, but the pressure is on Kingsley, as they have brought in the fire power and are favourites for the league,” he said. “We have been written off before a ball was kicked this season, but as I said last week on our day we are as good as anybody in our league and hopefully we prove that Sunday.”
With North Perth United ground being damaged last weekend, their home game against Ellenbrook United has been switched to the Ellenbrook Sports Hub. Both sides were beaten last week, Ellenbrook at home to Hamersley, while North Perth lost at Belmont Villa. North Perth Coach Alex Carter said they had their chances. “Yes it was a disappointing result last weekend for sure, we have been creating a mountain of chances but have not had the poise under pressure to covert chances into scoreboard action, while in the other box we have handed cheap goals away from unforced errors.’
“We’ve played well so far in patches, and we proved what we are cable of in round two with a 25 minute four goal blitz. We know with the right work ethic off the ball from the first whistle not after 45 minutes we will get our season firing. I've got 100% confidence in this squad of experienced players to rise up Sunday after a disappointing week.” In other games Subiaco host Leeming Strikers at Rosalie Park, Hamersley entertain UWA-Nedlands at Carine Open Space and Southern Spirit travel to the Herb Graham Recreation Centre to take on Jaguar FVC. The game between Belmont Villa and Kwinana United has been postponed, with Belmont not having a ground available.
GLORY ADD THREE MORE
Perth Glory has extended the contracts of three 'wing wizards' in their quest to qualify for the A-League finals next season. They may be without a coach or a long-term chief executive, but Glory have locked in exciting trio Chris Harold, Joel Chianese and Jacob Italiano for the summer of 2018/19.
Harold, who is currently sitting on 148 appearances for Glory, has penned a two-season contract which is set to extend his time with the club to eight seasons. Chianese has signed on for a third summer in the west after missing the opening stages of 2017/18 with a broken collar bone.
"They are all players with the potential to get people out of their seats," said Football Director Jacob Burns. "Their pace and technical ability give us that vital cutting edge in the final third and in the case of Chris and Joel, we saw towards the end of last season just how effective they can be when fully fit and firing on all cylinders."
Italiano has progressed from a scholarship to a full contract for what will be his final season ahead of a permanent move to German Bundesliga outfit, Borussia Monchengladbach. "Jacob is a hugely exciting young player," Burns commented. "It's great that we have him back on loan from Monchengladbach and I'm sure we'll see him continue to fulfill his massive potential."
MORI IN THE FRAME TO COACH GLORY
Former Socceroos and national league goal scoring legend Damian Mori could lead Perth Glory next season following the sacking of Kenny Lowe. It is understood that Mori, a key figure in Glory's 2003 and 2004 Championship winning sides, has discussed the position with club officials.
The club would not comment on individuals but said it had a "very long list of high quality applicants". The list is thought to include ex-Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic and another former Glory player in ex-England international Robbie Fowler.
Mori, currently coaching Adelaide City, has been linked with A-League roles in the past couple of seasons and has spoken about his desire to move to a higher level. A key to his application would be his reputation for developing young players.
Mori enjoyed a lengthy national league playing career highlighted by successful spells with Adelaide City (217 games, 131 goals) and Perth Glory (129 games, 89 goals). A two-time Johnny Warren medallist, he also made 45 appearances for Australia, scoring 29 goals.
His first taste of coaching came in 2005 as assistant to Alan Vest at Glory. More recently he's been at the helm of Adelaide, guiding the club to three South Australian Championships, five Premierships and four State Cups across thirteen seasons.
WESTFIELD FFA CUP - ROUND FIVE REVIEW
Gwelup Croatia caused the biggest upset in the Westfield FFA Cup beating Cockburn City 3-1 after extra-time at Wishart Street. The home side were ahead on 19 minutes, Cockburn failed to clear a goal-mouth scramble, and Jay Lang fired home from close range. It looked like that would be the winner but in the last minute Cockburn levelled. Harry O’Brien took advantage of a David Martins slip in defence to smash past Connor Campbell and take the game into extra time.
But the home side weren’t to be denied and two minutes into extra time David Heagney runs and unleashed a curling effort into the top corner from distance. Cockburn pressed for the equaliser but the home fans celebrated victory in the final minute, Isaac Koomson was sent through by Sebastian Munoz, and he finished clinically. “Our boys were tremendous today and showed some great character to claw our way back after Cockburn equalised so late in the game,” Gwelup Coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “We showed some great disciple to work hard and grind out a win.”
Forrestfield United moved through after a comfortable 4-1 win against Joondalup United. Liam Merigan opened the scoring early, before Kristian Despotovski added a second on the half hour, before Merigan added his second late. Jay Marsden pulled one back for Joondalup early in the second half, but Hasani Sinclair made sure of the win with a fourth. “Today we played a perfect game, we were intelligent, composed and extremely clever. We looked like an NPL team from beginning to the very end,” Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac said. “Full credit to Joondalup United, they are a good side and they ensured that we needed to be at our best until the final second of the game.”
Dianella White Eagles had to come from behind against Swan United at Francis Street, eventually running out 6-1 winners. The home side were ahead on 20 minutes Jordan Rossetto, scoring past Joel Driscoll. But Dianella hit back and goals from Angel Andres 2, Friday Zico. Ibraham Hammad and Jose. “It was a very clinical win against a good side and I am very proud of the lad’s commitment and application in a tough game,” Dianella Coach Robbie Dunn said. “Swan competed really well and Paul Dundo has put together a good side who will do well this year especially now they will have Gavin Knight giving the team a focus point up front.”
A last-minute goal from Dean Evans gave Floreat Athena a 2-1 win at Frank Drago Reserve against Bayswater City. Philip Arnold had put Floreat in front early in the first half before Bayswater levelled through Luka Ninkovic. Perth SC have beaten Sorrento 4-3 at Percy Doyle Reserve. Paul Zimarino scored hat-trick and a strike from Andreas Theodosiades put Perth 4-0 up, but Sorrento hit back with goals from Alex Morgan, Scott Witschge and Jordan Roberts, but Perth hung on for the win. In other games ECU Joondalup beat UWA-Nedlands 5-0, with Daryl Nicol scoring a hat trick, while Armadale beat Balcatta 3-2 at Grindleford Reserve, with Josh Kuser scoring the winner in extra time.
WESTFIELD FFA CUP - ROUND FIVE PREVIEW
It's Westfield FFA Cup action on Anzac Day with eight ties across the metro area, and the pick of the round takes us to Percy Doyle Reserve where Sorrento host Perth SC. Perth have won the state league cup on 11 occasions, while Sorrento have won it four times, and they have been the only WA state side to progress to the last 16 of the FFA Cup, so Wednesday should be a great tie. Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell said their success in the competition last season put their name across the country, and he said it was great for the club. “The FFA Cup has been a fantastic competition and continues to grow,” he said. “Sorrento has been lucky enough to be a part of a couple of really big encounters that everyone from the players and coaches, through to supporters and committee really enjoyed. The club made history last year by becoming the first Football West club to progress to the Round of 16 and we are very proud of that achievement.”
In the last round Sorrento went to Nash Field to take on cup holders Western Knights, in a repeat of last season’s final, and Harnwell said they had to work hard to come home with a 1-0 win. “I was extremely proud of the way we went about the game against the Knights,” he said. “After playing on the Saturday, the players dug in and in the second half in particular, we could have had 3 or 4 and made it a comfortable victory. As it was, after the final last year, we were just happy to progress.”
Harnwell is well aware Wednesday will be a tight affair, like all games are against Perth, but he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “Games between the two clubs are always hotly contested, especially on an occasion like this where it is a one off,” he explained. “We are smarting at the moment from our disappointing run that we have, and I know there is nothing that the players would like better than to snap that run against Perth. In saying that, it won’t be easy and we will need to ensure each and every player puts a performance in.”
Perth are one of the most successful clubs in the state, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Head Coach Ramon Falzon. He said it would be great to have a good cup in the season the club celebrate their 70th anniversary. “As a playing group, we are aware of the prestigious and successful history our Club has. It is obvious that in a special year like this one, due to the Club’s 70th anniversary, everyone at the Club talks about the proud history that the Club has,” he said. “From our side as a playing group, we acknowledge the general feeling around the Club, however we block out external factors that might cause additional unnecessary pressure. As coaches, we are very proud of the players. We are proud of the improvement shown and that we were competitive from the beginning till the end of the season in the last 2 years. It has been great to win 2 trophies in the last 2 years and we would like to add to that tally, however, we do not focus our attention on winning a trophy because we have zero control on it.”
Perth had to work hard to overcome Ashfield in the last round, and Falzon said they had to remain patient. “FFA Cup games are a do or die situation and Ashfield came out to give it their best shot to progress to the next round. It was not an easy game as the 4-0 score might suggest. Our squad had to remain patient for lengthy periods while in possession and at the same time aware that they can be dangerous when they counter,” he said. “As coaches, we were happy how our squad controlled the tempo in the game while waiting for the right opportunities to strike. Once we established the 3-0 lead around the 60th minute, our job became easier and we focused on managing the time left without allowing them opportunities to score while minimising the risk of injuries since we played another game 48 hours before.”
The trip to ‘Windy Hill’ is never easy, and Falzon is expecting more of the same on Wednesday. “Sorrento are always a very tough opponent to face and I expect Wednesday’s game to be no different. I think that Sorrento have improved their playing style this year and I am sure that they feel that where they stand on the NPL ladder is not rewarding them appropriately for their efforts,” he explained. “I am sure that they are very motivated and looking for that one good result to turn things around and start winning more games. Thus, I am expecting Sorrento to come out tomorrow showing enormous fighting spirit to battle it out from the first till the last minute. From our side, we know that it will be a tough game tomorrow, however we are focused on our performance, as we want to make sure that we create & capitalise a good number of scoring opportunities.”
There is another intriguing tie at the ECU Football Stadium, where ECU Joondalup host UWA-Nedlands. UWA edged past Kelmscott Roos in the last round, while ECU beat Inglewood United 3-1. The Jacks have lost to lower league sides for the last two seasons of the competition, so they must be on their guard. UWA are coming off a heavy defeat against Dianella on Saturday but Bryce Conway said they are looking forward to it. “The game against ECU is another great opportunity for the club to showcase how far we've come over the past few years and it's an occasion the boys are relishing,” he said. “We had a decent cup run last season following a memorable win in the derby over Subiaco, but we've gone one round further this year and really want to kick on. The fact it's an ANZAC Day clash adds extra significance to the encounter and it's the type of fixture you hope for as a player, we're buzzing. ECU have been in fine fettle in the NPL this season and we'll be wary of the likes of Daryl Nicol, but we can't wait to mix it with the best.
There is another all NPL clash at Percy Doyle Reserve when Forrestfield United travel to take on Joondalup United (3.15pm) Joondalup beat Fremantle City in the last round, while Forrestfield beat South West Phoenix. Forrestfield coach Rod Banjac said it’s tough for all players to back up from the weekend, but it’s a cup tie and they all should be motivated. “There is something special about the FFA Cup, everyone has embraced it and for us it's a healthy distraction from a tough initiation into the NPL,” he said. “To be honest we would have preferred any other opponent to Joondalup United as we are yet to unlock the secret to beating them. And although they're nowhere near their former best we know that we're in for a tough game. As much as we'd like to give it all in this match, it's important to fully focus on our main objective for the season and that is to consolidate in the NPL. Five games in a fortnight is enough to challenge the most established clubs, and with all three of our teams progressing in the cup games juggling the playing roster will be the biggest challenge.
Gwelup Croatia will be looking for another cup upset, when they entertain Cockburn City at Wishart Street. Cockburn edged past Kingsway Olympic in the last round, while Gwelup beat Kwinana United, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis, said Wednesday is a huge challenge but one they are looking forward too. “Scotty Miller has done a tremendous job once again this year with Cockburn, where they currently sit in fifth position and only just one point off top spot in the NPL,” he said. “They are unbeaten in their last six league games and, as always, play a good brand of football, so it will be a tough game. We have started off very well in the league with three straight wins and probably, without a doubt, face our biggest test this year. We all know, league form generally goes out the window when it comes to big Cup games - and this will be no exception. If we are to progress, we will need to be at our very best all over the park for 90 minutes and be clinical with any opportunities we get. We’re all looking forward to Wednesday’s clash and may the best team win.”
In other games Bayswater City and Floreat Athena meet again at Frank Drago Reserve, after Floreat won their in the league on Saturday. Balcatta host Armadale at Grindleford Reserve and Stirling Lions visit Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco. The final game of the round sees the only Division Two side still in the competition, Swan United, who host Dianella White Eagles at Francis Street. Full list of fixtures - Gwelup Croatia v Cockburn City (Croatian Sporting Complex, 2.30pm), Bayswater City v Floreat Athena (Frank Drago Reserve, 2.30pm), Balcatta v Armadale (Grindleford Reserve, 2.30pm), Swan United v Dianella White Eagles (Swan Italian Club, 2.30pm), Joondalup United v Forrestfield United (Percy Doyle Reserve, 3.15pm), Subiaco v Stirling Lions (Rosalie Park, 3.15pm), ECU Joondalup v UWA-Nedlands (ECU Joondalup Football Stadium, 5.30pm, Sorrento v Perth SC (Percy Doyle Reserve, 5.45pm).
GLORY RE-SIGN DEFENSIVE TRIO
Perth Glory have shored up their defensive stocks with confirmation goalkeeper Liam Reddy and defenders Alex Grant and Shane Lowry have penned new deals with the A-League club. The trio are first club's first signings as they build towards the summer of 2018/19.
Experienced shot-stopper Reddy is delighted at the prospect of spending a third season with Glory. "I'm very happy to have re-signed," said Reddy, who has so far chalked up 57 outings with the club. "My family are very settled and happy over here. It's a great football club and I'm looking forward to helping us chase some silverware next year."
Grant, who has played 55 games for Glory, is poised for another two seasons at the club. "I'm delighted to be back on board," Grant said. "Obviously we weren't happy with our performance as a team over the course of last season, but I'm sure we'll come back stronger for it. I just want to play my part in giving our fans the success they want and deserve."
Vice-captain Lowry, with 46 Glory appearances under his belt, is proud to have pledged his long-term future to his hometown club. "I'm very happy to extending my time here and am excited to see what that future holds," Lowry said. "As a Perth boy, playing for Glory really means a lot to me and I appreciate all the support that the members and fans have given me since I arrived."
JONES WINS THIRD TROPHY IN THREE YEARS
It's taken Brad Jones until his mid-thirties, but the Australian international is racking up a trophy cabinet to be proud of. Jones was impressive in goal as Feyenoord dominated the KNVB Cup final against AZ Alkmaar, running out 3-0 winners with Nicolai Jorgensen, Robin van Persie and Jens Toornstra on the scoresheet.
Alkmaar's Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Wout Weghorst brought out the best in Jones but could not prevent the 36-year old from keeping his fourth clean sheet of the tournament, and Feyenoord from claiming their second Dutch Cup in three seasons. Success in the Cup restores shine to a rather dull season for the Dutch club after their Eredivisie-winning campaign last season.
It's been a difficult campaign for Giovanni Van Bronckhorst's men but, in no part due to Jones, Feyenoord sit fourth in the league having conceded the same number of goals as league leaders PSV Eindhoven. This has led to a Socceroos re-call for Jones after years in exile, with Bert van Marwijk already saying he rates the former Bayswater City junior very highly.
DAVIES INJECTING THE RIGHT SPIRIT
Pahang captain Matthew Davies is relieved that his gamble paid off after his side advanced to the last four of the Malaysian FA Cup. The right-back was set to miss Friday's quarter-final clash with rivals Johor Darul Ta'zim due to a quadriceps strain but took to the field after a painkiller injection.
Davies helped the Elephants keep a clean sheet as they went on to win the tie 3-0 on aggregate thanks to Patrick Cruz's hat-trick. Davies admitted that he never expected the big win given JDT were coming off a staggering 52-match unbeaten record at home in all competitions.
"It was difficult to play on the heavy pitch but we gave our all and came out victorious in the end," Davies commented. "We've always believed in ourselves and we're able to beat anyone but I'm actually surprised by the scoreline because JDT are a strong side and they've always been tough to beat at home."
The Elephants face Perak State Development Corporation in the FA Cup semi-finals after the latter knocked out favourites Felda United on away goals after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate. PKNP lost the first leg 1-0 but recovered to beat Felda 2-1 in the second leg in Jengka.
Pahang, who will face Perak State Development Corporation in the semi-finals, have not won silverware since clinching the FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup in 2014. Perth-born Davies believes his team are on the right track to end their four-year wait for a trophy.
"It's a promising start for us this season, we are doing well in the FA Cup and our league form is good as we're just four points away from JDT in the standings," he said. "The season still has a long way to go but I think we have a good chance in the FA Cup."
EDWARDS' GOAL NOW IS SAFETY FOR THISTLE
Goal change games, but Ryan Edwards may just have scored the goal that has changed Partick Thistle's season. It may not have been the best goal the midfielder has ever bagged, but his winner against Hamilton Athletic on the weekend could well turn out to be his most important.
Edwards came off the bench to complete a rousing Thistle comeback against Hamilton after Kris Doolan had cancelled out David Templeton's opener for Hamilton. Alan Archibald's men hadn't won in ten games, and hadn't scored in 595 minutes until goals from Doolan and Edwards gave them a massive three points.
The win moves Partick off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership and only two points behind tenth-placed Hamilton. Edwards believes that the win can be the springboard that propels his team to safety. "This goal wasn't a contender for the best this season but in terms of importance I'm sure it's right up there," Edwards said.
"For my goal you could sky it, or it could hit the first defender and get cleared but thankfully it went through a few legs and went in. It came out pretty quickly and I just hit it low and hard and hoped for the best and it went in … We've come together as a team since the split to focus on our goal of staying in the league."
GLORY CHIEF EXECUTIVE FILOPOULOS RESIGNS
Perth Glory have been hit with a second bombshell in three days with the early resignation of chief executive Peter Filopoulos. His decision not to renew his contract comes just days after he announced the sacking of coach Kenny Lowe. Owner Tony Sage now needs to make to senior appointments urgently as he battles cashed-up eastern states A-League clubs.
Filopoulos, whose three-year contract runs out in two months, had decided not to renew his tenure but resigned yesterday and is returning to Melbourne where his family moved four months ago. Filopoulos said finance was the most pressing issue facing Glory's future, as Sage considers interest from Asian investors.
“The club now faces some very important decisions about the means that it needs to find to be able to compete on the field in the A-League,” he said. “At the core of these decisions is the financial capability to be able to provide the high-performance environment, adequate resources and a winning culture in the quest to become the A-League’s most successful club.”
“It is clear that the financial gap between the clubs in both the A-League and the W-League is widening at a rapid rate despite the salary-capped environment and it is critical we find the financial capability to be able to compete for success and achieve the club’s aspirations.”
“As I have said consistently throughout my tenure, I have made several recommendations to our chairman Tony Sage about the future direction of the club and what is required to build a successful on-field culture to deliver the silverware and Asian qualification that its fans and members so much crave and deserve.”
Filopoulos joined Glory in 2015 and said it was a tough decision to leave the club. “It is with heavy heart that I tendered my resignation Sunday when I met with Tony Sage,” he said. “This decision was not an easy one for my family, however, we have decided that after three wonderful seasons, it’s time to return home to Melbourne.”
“When I arrived in the wake of the salary cap issue in 2015 I found a club that was disillusioned and at a crossroads. After three seasons at the helm, I am proud to have provided stable leadership and helped develop stronger foundations and administrative structures.”
“During this time, our membership numbers have grown by 50%, corporate sponsorship by 20% and revenue by 20%, while our bottom line has improved by 33%. We have also become one of only six clubs in the country to secure the coveted two-star status for our academy and I’m particularly proud of the very exciting young talent that we are developing.”
“I see the academy playing a vital role in the continued development of our club and it is something that we need to continue to evolve and invest in. Overall, I believe that I am leaving the club today in a much stronger position than I found it three seasons ago.”
Sage said Filopoulos had made a big impact on the club in his three years in charge. "Peter has been a significant figure in the off-field progress made by the club," Sage said. “His hard work and dedication have been much appreciated by everyone associated with Glory.”
"I am very happy he can now re-join his family who moved back to Melbourne several months ago. That sacrifice showed his dedication to the club. On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to thank Peter for his endeavours and wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION, ROUND THREE – REVIEW
League leaders Belmont Villa maintained their perfect start to the new season with a hard fought 2-1 win against North Perth United at the Gerry Archer Athletic Ground. The visitors had most of the possession in the first half and piled on the pressure but just couldn’t break through Belmont’s defence, and it was the home side who opened the scoring on the half hour, with Paul McCormack on target. They doubled their lead on the hour, striker Ammed Azzaidani chased a loose ball and crossed for James Fay to smash home. The visitors had a lifeline ten minutes from time, when Wil Pender scored, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “It was a hard-fought game, two good teams. To be fair, they’re a much more physical team than us but I think we did well,” Belmont Villa coach Kevin Mulgrew said. “We have still so many things to improve on and players to come back fighting for starting spots, so there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Leeming Striker’s also maintained their 100% start to the season with a hard fought 3-2 win against Jaguars FC. Lemming were ahead from a corner that was half cleared and ball was recycled to the wing where Lee Theole crossed for Lucas Pickering to head home from 8-yards. Jaguar levelled before half time, but the host’s took control in the second half. It was 2-1 when Ben Greaves was sent clear and he slotted between the on rushing keepers legs. Moments later Karl Gorman came off the bench to score, finishing at the front post from a corner. Jaguars added a second late but they couldn’t find the equaliser. “It was a tricky encounter, Jaguars gave us a good run for our money but in the end I think we did enough for all three points,” Leeming Coach David Palin said. “Jaguars are another example how hard this league will be this year, so we have to make sure we are at our best week in week out.”
Kwinana United remained third after a 2-1 win against last season’s Champions Wembley Downs at Kelly Park. It was the visitors who hit the front on 20 minutes, with Ryan Fish on target. The home side levelled when Lee Bates got a touch on the ball in a goalmouth scramble and the home side went into half time with the lead when Fraser Marr’s cross was headed home powerfully by Bates. Both sides had second half chances but neither could convert and it was the home side running out winners. “As always with Wembley it was a good battle,” United coach Kris Donnell said. “To come back from a goal down to go on and win the game was very pleasing. Everyone did what they were asked and never stopped the whole 90 minutes.”
Kingsley visited Southern Spirt and came home with a 7-2 win. They were ahead on the half hour Jayden Drummond raced past three defenders, his long-range shot crashed off the post and Mark King finished the rebound. They doubled their lead early in the second half, when Drummond lobbed the keeper from the edge of the box. Ollie Valentne added a third, before King added his second. Spirit pulled one back from the spot, but David Ashworth added a fifth with a screamer from 25-yards. Jesse Higgins added a sixth, before Spirit second a second, and Valentine added his second late to complete the scoring. In other games Hamersley Rovers beat Ellenbrook United 1-0 at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub, while UWA-Nedlands beat Subiaco 4-0 at the UWA Sports Park.
NICOL WINS THE DERBY FOR ECU
ECU Joondalup skipper Daryl Nicol has scored a hat-trick to steer them to a 3-1 win against Joondalup United in the local derby at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday evening. The home side had dominated for long periods early, and Jacks keeper Johnny Perkins produced some great saves to deny them, but it was Nicol who opened the scoring six minutes before half time, the Scottish winner finishing clinically. Nicol added two stunning free kicks after the break, as ECU took control, while the home side scored a late consolation goal in stoppage time, a stunning strike from Elliot Tattersall.
“It’s great to be back in the winners-circle, and it takes us to within one point of the league leaders,” defender Tom Hough said. “They (Joondalup) played well early and the thunderstorm probably came at the right time, and we re-grouped in the changing rooms, and went on with it after that. We went in with a new look back four due to injuries and suspensions and I thought we did well.”
It was a stormy night in and around the ground and at kick off the rain started to pour, but it was the home side who started the better. On two minutes Perkins punched away a corner, but it fell to Alex Wild on the edge of the box, but his shot flashed over the top. Moments later Tattersall’s snap shot whistled wide of the target.
The Jacks went close themselves on 12 minutes, McGarry’s free kick picked tout Hough at the back post, but his header was straight at United’s keeper James Bosdet. But on 19 minutes referee Joshua Nixon took the players off as fork lightning lit the sky - a good decision with player safety the priority. We resumed 20 minutes later and it was still the home side who created the better chances,
Tattersall fired wide, before Perkins produced to great safes to deny Wild and Jay Marsden. But against the run of play it was the Jacks who hit the front. Lukas De Lima picked the ball up in midfield and found Nicol, who ran at the United’s defence and finished clinically past Bosdet from the edge of the penalty area. United had a great chance to draw level on the stroke of half time, Johnny Chalmers drove into the box, skipping past two Jacks tackles, but Perkins stood tall to save.
The Jacks made the perfect start to the second half, and they doubled their lead three minutes in. De Lima was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, and Nicol stepped up to curl the ball around the wall and into the bottom corner of the net, giving Bosdet no chance. It was the Jacks in control now and a quick free kick from Josh Whitmore caught his former club napping, and Nicol raced into goal, but Bosdet was out bravely to save at the skipper’s feet.
Moments later Bosdet produced a great low save to deny Ross Millard, who was sent clear by Cameron Murray. Joondalup then went close on 70 minutes, Marsden’s powerful shot was well saved by Perkins, and the Jacks custodian reacted well to pounce on the rebound, with Wild ready to pounce. But six minutes later the points were wrapped up.
Gordon Smith, who had worked tirelessly all night, was brought down on the edge of the box, and Nicol stepped up and curled it around the wall and into the net to complete his hat-trick. The Jacks went in for the kill and Bosdet saved well to deny Whitmore and Nicol. Then with the final kick of the game United scored a consolation goal. Tattersall’s long-range shot flew into the top corner of the night of the net, but it was the Jacks celebrating a ‘Derby’ victory for the first time in the NPL.
Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 2 Johnny CHALMERS, 3 Fraser GARNAUT (14 Liam MOONEY 46’), 5 Joel LEDSHAM, 8 Jay MARSDEN (4 Danny O’SHEA 86’), 9 Alex WILD, 10 Elliot TATTERSALL, 11 Anthony TAYLOR, 15 Callum STOCKS, 19 Adam BUCKLEY (23 Harley CURAN 68’), 25 Greg Pellow - Subs not used: RGK Luke GREEN - Yellow cards: Garnaut 38’, Chalmers 47’, Wild 55’, Pellow 57’, Mooney 61’
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Tom HOUGH, 3 Ross Millard, 6 Lukas DE LIMA (11 Liam MURRAY 80’), 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL (12 Ethan BROOKS 86’), 10 Gordon SMITH, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT (7 Cameron MURRAY 54’), 14 Steven MCGARRY, 15 Shane CASSIDY, 18 Declan HUGHES - Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 4 Ciaran SALINGER - Yellow cards: McGarry 57’, Cassidy 70’ - Referee: Joshua Nixon
GLORY HIT BACK TO BEAT THE LIONS
Perth Glory Moved to the top of the NPLWA table after a dramatic last minute winner by defender Walter Scott gave them a 3-2 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
The home side raced to a two goal lead with two early second half goals, but the Glory youngsters hit back with Joe Knowles and Yacoub Mustafa levelling things up, but it looked like the points would be shared, but Scott had other ideas, and he scored the winner deep into injury time.
“Saturday’s game provided us with a big challenge, and throughout the whole game we were not at our best, and we will work in training this week to eliminate certain negatives within our game,” Scott said. “In saying this I am really happy for the guys that came off the bench that lifted the whole squad, they galvanized the team. I was really happy to score, I just gambled and made a run into the box as I knew it was late, and fortunately the ball fell to me. It was a great feeling and hopefully I can get a few more this year.”
The Glory had a perfect opportunity to take an early lead, when Knowles was brought down in the penalty area and referee Josh Mannella pointed to the spot. Jake Brimmer stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but his shot crashed off the post and cleared. Both sides had half chances in an entertaining first half, but neither side could take them, so we went to the break level.
But in the opening minutes of the second half it was the home side who hit the front. Former Livingston midfielder’s Dean Cummings’ pin point cross picked out Steve Sokol, whose glancing header beat Jackson Lee and flew into the corner of the net. They added a second on 57 minutes, Liam Henderson rose highest to head home a cross. It looked like the Glory were down and out, but they hit straight back, and reduced the margin two minutes later. A ball into the box by found Knowles, who fired home from close range, past Lions keeper Pasquale Gioffre.
It was game on, and on the hour they levelled. Second half substitute Mustafa raced at the Lions defence, and played a neat one-two with Callum Timmins, and finished clinically past Gioffre. The Glory went in search of the winner and in in the fourth minute of stoppage time they found it. Brimmer’s cross was nodded down by Knowles and Scott was jogging on the spot to fire home to set off wild celebrations on and off the pitch.
Stirling Lions: GK Pasquale GIOFFRE, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Liam HENDERSON, 6 Dhhors CHOL (19 Zane CASELLA 90+2’) 7 Dean CUMMINGS, 8 Dejan SPASESKI, 9 Robert PETKOV (16 Moses KALAU 81’) 11 Alex TANEVSKI 13 David FILIPPOU (12 Matthew CHERRIE 66’) 14 Steve SOKOL, 15 Nathan DE ABREU - Subs not used: RGK Lance ALAVAKIS, 17 Robbie MCNEILL
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luca BODNAR, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Sam RIAK, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS, 7 Jacob ITALIANO (13 Yacoub MUSTAFA 58’) 8 Brandon WILSON (14 Henry HORE 52’), 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Jake BRIMMER, 11 Daniel STYNES (12 Chok DAU 72’) - Subs not used: RGK Nicholas SPECA, 15 Harry QUIGLEY - Referee: Josh Mannella
PERICH EARNS SUBI A POINT
Subiaco fought back to earn a point against Armadale, with midfielder David Perich scoring a last-minute equaliser at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday. Nathan Costello gave the home side the lead early in the second half, but Asher Nelson levelled on the hour.
It looked like David Annall’s free kick five minutes from time had won it for John O’Reilly’s side, but Perich has other ideas heading home late to give both sides a share of the spoils. Both side were level on the table at kick off, and clear cut chances were few and far between, the best chances fell to the home side. On the half hour Chris Jackson’s header flashed wide, before Billy Quinncroft’s long-range shot was well saved by Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery.
The game sparked into life in the second half and it was Armadale who struck first on 56 minutes. Skipper Costello popped up at the near post to head in a corner, much to the delight of the Armadale faithful. But they went to sleep four minutes later and Subiaco levelled. Nelson was played through and kept his composure to finish clinically past Armadale keeper Sam Hutchings.
It was end-to-end football with both sides going for the win, and Steve Purton though he given Subiaco the lead, but his shot was well blocked by Quinncroft. But nine minutes from time O’Reilly brought on Annall, and he had an immediate impact, and four minutes later his free kick into the box evaded everyone and ended in the back of the net.
It looked like the home side had done enough, but Subiaco pushed forward and a long-throw found its way to Perich, whose glancing header beat Hutching’s to salvage a point for the visitors. Subiaco coach Ian McMurray said: “I’m really happy with the character of the boys, they’ve not had the luck as of late. When we went a goal down it would be easy to roll over and take it."
Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Joshua KUSER, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 7 Charlie KENNA, 8 Michael LAWSON (5 David Annall 81’), 9 Billy QUINNCROFT, 10 Chris JACKSON, 11 Michael RIZIDIS, 15 Ali GHOLAMI, 17 James ATKINS (3 Dylan De Silva 68’), 21 Beau RAHIM - Subs not used: RGK Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 16 Brad GRIEPL, 14 Luke TESTER
Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 5 Manas ABAN-DELWA, 6 Jackson DONGRAY, 10 Asher NELSON (4 Jack Andrews 73’), 12 Nathan SMITH, 13 Jonas DORLING (14 Ross JARMAN 62’), 16 Steve PURTON, 17 Alex Castiello, 18 David PERICH, 19 Ian MCMURRAY - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 4 Robery HARDING, 15 Albert LUWI Yellow cards: Nil Red cards: Nil Referee: Anthony Walsh
BIO BRACE DOWNS LEADERS
A brace from Floreat Athena midfielder Ludovic Boi has given them a surprise 2-0 win against Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The former Perth Glory midfielder opened the scoring midway through the first half and added a second moments later, and despite Bayswater pressing in the second half Floreat held on to take the points and hopefully kick start their season. “Comments”
It was the home side who opened the brighter and went close to the opener early, Gian Albano found space in the box, but his effort from close-range crashed off the post. Floreat were defending well and hitting on the counter attack and on 22 minutes they hit the front. A quick break ended with Boi, who cut inside his marker and finished clinically past Devon Spence.
It was 2-0 eight minutes later, Boi heading home former Bayswater striker Phil Arnold’s cross to send them to the break in command. Bayswater coach Chris Coyne showed his intent at half time, replacing defender David Stokoe for striker Luka Ninkovic, but it was Boi and Arnold who continued to be a menace and both had chances early in the second half but failed to find the target. Bayswater created chances of their own, Luke Salmon fired straight at Jason Saldaris, and they had Floreat on the back foot, but they couldn’t find the target.
Next to go close was Andrija Jukic, the midfielder’s volley crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Bayswater pressed late and Floreat had keeper Jason Saldaris to thank, pulling off a number of fine saves to thwart the champions, who have lost their last two home games, and give Floreat their third win of the season.
“I’m relieved to get a performance under our belt, we know we should be achieving this every week,” Floreat Coach Howard Tweats said. “This is only one game – we’ve got a lot of quality players. When we settle down and get to the game we want to play, we’ll be a match for any side.”
Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 4 Arran MAPLESTONE, 5 Adam HARRIS, 8 Paul McCarthy, 12 David STOKOE (19 Luka NINKOVIC 46’), 13 Trent KAY, 17 Gian ALBANO, 22 Luke SALMON, 23 Andrija JUKIC, 24 Jake SARDELIC (14 Tristan COLLI 76), 26 Paul LLOYD - Sub not used: RGK Luke HUTCHINSON, 15 Jordan POKLER, 27 Chris JITJAI
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTA LUCIA, 4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO (13 Hamza HINA 73’), 6 Jesse FULLER, 8 Jonathan STYNES, 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 Chris SALDARIS, 16 Ryan MALTON, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phillip ARNOLD (33 Liam HUDSON 88’) Substitutes not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 5 Jamie STREET, 12 Ethan KERRIDGE - Referee: Julian Serra
BALCATTA DRIVE OFF WITH THE POINTS AT PERTH
Balcatta’s good form has continued after a 1-0 win against Perth SC in the ‘Ferrari Cup’ at Dorrien Gardens. Calum O’Connell scored the only goal of the game to make it four wins on the bounce for Goran Stajic’s side, and the loss for the home side meant they lost their spot at the top of the table.
“A big win for the club, players and supporters, and I think we gained a lot of respect back on Saturday,” O’Connell said. “We were brave and determined all day, and it was a cup final for us and it showed the character we have in the squad. Perth had their chances, but we took ours when it came and that was the difference on the day, and it's always nice to get on the score sheet.”
Coming off a huge win at Bayswater last week, Perth opened brightly, but they couldn’t breakdown a compact Balcatta back four. They did close on 25 minutes, Nicholas Ambrogio wasn’t closed down and his long-range shot was superbly saved by Balcatta custodian Domenico Savoldelli. Balcatta were confident soaking up the home side’s pressure, and hitting on the counter attack, but it was scoreless at the break.
Perth were on the front foot early in the second half, and they went close to the opener when Gustavo Catarcione fired wide of the target from close-range. But on 65 minutes the visitors found the winner. Midfielder Jonathan Corness made a darting run into the Perth box, and Perth keeper Daniel Passarelli was out bravely to block his shot, but the ball deflected back towards goal and O’Connell was alert to poke the ball home, despite Kieran Colwell desperate attempt to clear the ball off the line.
The home side were throwing everything at Balcatta as they looked for the equaliser, but they stood firm. But they did have a scare deep into injury time. Substitute Richard Howles rose highest in the box, but his header was well saved by Savoldelli.
“That’s our first clean sheet of the year, and I can’t name any names, it was the whole defence who worked hard today,” Balcatta Coach Goran Stajic said. “I’m very happy for the boys and they worked really hard today. You can’t take much away from Perth; it was just that one moment that cost them and we took it. I think the result was deserved.”
Perth SC: GK Daniel PASSARELLI, 3 Andreas THEODOSIADES (14 Kristan SANTICH 81’), 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 5 Niccolo SABATINI, 6 Harley ORR, 7 Aleks JOVIC (20 Paul ZIMARINO 63’), 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO (18 Richard HOWLES 71’), 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 16 Kieran COLWELL - Subs not used: RGK Malak KUC, 2 Alex SILLA
Balcatta: GK Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 Hayden STEVENS, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 TOM PELLIZZARI, 6 Kris GATE (9 Dejan ANDRIC 65’), 8 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 15 Adriano JELENOVIC (12 Anton DE FRANCESCH 71’), 17 Brody KENNEDY (23 Lawrence SHURAMA 52’), 20 Shubbham MOKALA - Subs not used: RGK Kyle MCDONALD, 19 Nick CHALLOT - Referee: Stuart Muldoon
INGLEWOOD TOO GOOD FOR FORRESTFIELD
Inglewood United won for third time this season with a hard fought 2-0 win against Forrestfield at the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Saturday. A tight half where both sides had good chances, it was the home side who made them count after the break with Alex Salmon, and a stunner from Ellis Healing gave them the points, and kept them in contact with the top five.
“It was a hard fought win, I thought we were average first half at best, and they had their chances but with some good last ditch defending and goalkeeping it stayed scoreless,” Salmon said. “Then we were able to take our chances in the second half and play some good football, it was a good win and credit to Forrestfield, who came and played the right way.”
The opening 45 minutes were for the most part played out between the boxes and, with offside flags catching both teams, very few genuine scoring opportunities were created. The first shot in anger was fired by Forrestfield’s Rhys Loxley whose effort rose over the crossbar.
Ash Rosindale squandered a great chance by placing wide after being picked out by Jamie Murphy’s cross, and the hosts breathed a collective sigh of relief leading into the break after Hasani Sinclair’s shot was headed off the line by David Cyrus and Alex Dunn somehow kept out Kristian Despotovski’s follow-up.
Inglewood made a dream start to the second half when an unmarked Salmon side-footed in Rosindale’s near post corner. The momentum would remain with the hosts, and Salmon fired into the side-netting after being forced wide by Luke Martino who, two minutes later, was grateful Kenny Keogh scooped into his arms.
The defining moment arrived just after the hour, when Healing lashed from 20-metres via the underside of the bar. Jason Barrera was unlucky not to add to Forrestfield’s woes in stoppage time when a mazy run took him deep inside the 18-yard box only for Martino to eventually claim possession.
Forrestfield continued to push but they couldn’t find a way through, much to coach Rod Banjac’s frustration. “We played well, we created chances but we didn’t take them,” he said. “I thought the quality of football we delivered was good, we just didn’t take our chances which is something we will be working on.”
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 5 Scott ROBINSON (3.David CYRUS 20’), 7 Kenny KEOGH, 8 Jason BARRERA, 9 Alex SALMON (6 Miki VUJACIC 80’), 10 Ashley ROSINDALE (11 Ellis HEALING 54’), 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie MURPHY, 19 Connor BECSI, 23 Brian WOODALL – Subs not used: RGK Michael COHEN, 14 Hanafi GHAZALI
Forrestfield United: GK Luke MARTINO, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 4 Jamie DUNCAN (3 Wilbert TSHABANGU 71’), 5. Scott BARKER, 6. Kristian DESPOTOVSKI (7. Mitchell CROCKER 75’), 8. Josh APPLEBY, 9. Hasani SINCALIR, 11Liam MERRIGAN, 12 Callum DOBBS (10 Jordan HART 64’), 16 Thomas JEBB, 23 Rhys LOXLEY – Subs not used: RGK Ben Parry - Referee: Nico Hoyle
COCKBURN WIN THE BATTLE OF THE BIRDS
Cockburn City have moved to within a point of top spot in the NPL WA after coming from behind to beat Sorrento 2-1 at Dalmatinac Park. Alex Morgan had put Sorrento in front in the first half only for Ryan Pratt to level for the home side, then Harry O’Brien found the winner in the 80th minute.
“Sorrento are a very good club and we usually struggle against them,” Cockburn Coach Scott Miller said. “So after going behind I thought we showed great character to come back and win the game.” “Ryan (Pratt) is a good young kid who’s just started out in the first team and every time he’s come onto the pitch he’s been outstanding.”
Sorrento opened the brighter, and went close to the opener on five minutes. Jordan Roberts cross beat Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich at the near post, the ball reaching the unmarked Jack Salter in front of goal, but he was unable to head the ball into an open net.
Cockburn’s best chance off the first half came ten minute from half time, when Luccas Mello made his way into the box, but his shot was well saved by Sorrento James Morgan saved. But the breakthrough came for the visitors for minutes later. Another Roberts cross found the head of first half substitute Alex Morgan, who finished well past Radonich, to send the Gulls I to the break with the lead.
The Gulls were on top after the break, but they were unable to grab a crucial second goal and midway through the second half they were made to pay when Pratt, another substitute, got onto the end of a through ball that split the visitors’ defence before showing composure to slot home.
Five minutes later Mello had a golden opportunity to give Cockburn the lead after Pratt had been brought down just outside the box, but his well-struck free-kick thundered against the crossbar. Cockburn continued to press and were rewarded 10 minutes from time when Mello whipped in a cross to O'Brien, whose deft header made its way past keeper Morgan.
“We probably had the chances to make it 2-0 and kill the game off but we didn’t take them and got punished for it,” Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell said. “It’s disappointing not to break this poor run that we are on but collectively we just weren’t good enough in the second half. The one pleasing thing is that we have a quick turnaround, so we will work hard against Perth in the cup and see how we go.”
Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 4 Euen GRANT, 5 Keiron STALLARD, 6 Reuben TRISTAO, 7 Luccas MELLO, 10 David ARAYA (9 Julian TELES 87’), 11 Harry O’BRIEN, 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Daniel ROBINSON, 17 Jesse LAZARRO, 19 Anthony SKORICH (12 Ryan PRATT 58’) - Subs not used: RGK Ryan BARKER, 2 Chris THACKRAY
Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 8 Ryan PEARSON (7 Alex MORGAN 19’), 10 Jordan ROBERTS, 12 Joel PROUT, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 18 Jordan BROWN,19 Jack SALTER, 20 Brad MCDONALD, 21 Godwin DARKWA (16 Chris BALAZS 73’), 23 Cameron TEECE (14 Scott WITSCHGE 69’) - Subs not used: RGK Anastasis FARSALEAS, 35 Samuel FAULLCNER - Referee: Steven Gregory
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THREE – REVIEW
Gwelup Croatia maintained their lead at the top of the State League Division One table, and their perfect start to the season after a 3-1 win against Ashfield at Ashfield Reserve. The visitors took the lead on the stroke of half time. Good work by Benny Kouakou on the edge of the box his shot was well stopped by their keeper, but the rebound fell to David Heagney who slotted the ball home. Both sides had chances early in the second half but it was Gwelup who doubled their lead on 75 minutes.
Good combination play in midfield ended with a ball into Heagney who turned his marker and played a perfect through ball for substitute Isaac Koomson who made no mistake. Ashfield were back in the game three minutes from time, Paddy Quinn played a great through ball for Clark to take on and beat Connor Campbell to make it 2-1. Ashfield pushed for the equaliser, but three minutes into stoppage time Gwelup added a third. A free kick wasn’t dealt with by the Ashfield defence, and it fell to Sebastian Munoz on the edge of the box who volleyed perfectly into the top corner. “Whilst it wasn’t a polished 90 minutes performance it was an important 3 points,” Gwelup Coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “But full credit to Ashfield who pushed us the whole way.”
Dianella White Eagles bounced back from last week’s defeat at Gwelup with a stunning 8-1 win against UWA-Nedlands at Dianella Reserve. It was an even first half but Angel Andres gave Dianella the lead, but Bryce Conway levelled for UWA on the half hour. It was an even game, but Friday Zico gave the home side the lead at the break. But after half time the home side ran riot with Zico completing his hat-trick, Andres add another, with Ibrahim Hamad, Dhamon Kalamaras and Kenel Mouithys adding the others. Assistant Coach Steve Huxtable said it was a tight game up to half time. “We scored early, but they hit back just before half time, and it was a really even game,” he said. “But second half we were all over them and really scored every time we went forward, but to be fair it wasn’t an 8-1, they played very well, but it’s good to bounce back with a big win after last week’s defeat at Gwelup.”
South West Phoenix bounced back from their poor start to the season, with a big win against Night Series winners Fremantle City at Hilton Reserve. After a goalless first half it was the Phoenix who hit the front early in the second, Jayden Prosser scoring after being found by a pass from Andrew Maranta. Jack Eades added a second on the hour, before James McLeary added a third. Fremantle pulled a goal back on 82 minutes through a well-placed header by Alec Robinson, but it was Phoenix who completed the scoring after Michael Evans and Prosser combined for the former to convert. “The boys did a great job, I think all of them worked very hard … we were the better team; that’s the way football is,” South West coach Tony Novello said
Morley Windmills were beaten for the first time this season, when Joondalup City hit back from three down at half time to win 4-3 at the Iluka Sports Park. The visitors were well on top in the first half with a double from Igor Novakovic and another from Jan Urgela. But City hit back after the break with Jason Rubidge scoring a hat-trick and the other from Sam Rawlings. “It was a classic game of two halves,” City Coach Gary Kalaher said. “We were 3-0 down at half time, but we hadn't played too badly, but made a couple of mistakes and got punished. We got an early goal in the second half and the confidence seemed to grow, and there were amazing scenes when the equaliser and the 4th goal went in – we had 14 heroes out their today.”
In the final game Western Knights won for the first time this season with a 3-0 win at Lark Hill against Rockingham City. The visitors opened the scoring on 20 minutes, David Clark’s in-swinging corner was mis-judged by the keeper and Brian Patterson headed home. The home side were down to ten men before half time, and the Knights took advantage after the break, Ryan Sardi picking out new signing Dean Hurley who smashed it into the roof of the net. They wrapped up the points 10 minutes from time, when Dom De Felice played in Jack Rycroft who made no mistake. “All and all a good day at the office for us, three goals and a clean sheet,” Graham Tough said. “Promising signs now the team are gelling together. We got the points which was the main thing today we were unlucky last week not to get the win but that's football.
We've had a big rebuilding job to do from last season's achievements but the boys who have come in are more than capable of producing the levels required to go back to back in this league and today was the first step to getting back on track.” Mandurah City had the bye this week.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THREE – REVIEW
It was week three of the State League Division two and league leaders Balga dropped their first points of the season after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Swan United at Francis Street. Balga went 1-0 up 20 minute. Swan handled the ball in the box, and Vlad Naumovski took the penalty which Joey Smith saved, but Naumovski was alert to score from the rebounded. Swan equalised in the second minute of the second half, a great shot by Brennan Borzecki that flew into the top corner. Naumovski almost got the winner for Balga later in the half, but his header from a corner crashed into the bar.
Wanneroo City moved up to joint second after a hard fought 2-1 win against Murdoch University Melville. City dominated the first half but some goalkeeping from the home keeper kept the scores level at the break. But 10 minutes into the second half City were rewarded for their dominance with two great goals from Godfrey Asimwe within the space of five minutes. The home side hit back and pulled one back but couldn’t find the equaliser. “We could have been 3 or 4 up but as we all know if you don’t take your opportunities you give the opposition hope and to their credit the last 15 minutes they pushed forward to try and get something out of the game and very nearly did,” City Coach Tim Kantor said. “But I’m very pleased to get the 3 points and visiting teams are going to find MUM very difficult to break down at their new home.”
Gosnells City and Canning City met at Walter Padbury Reserve in the ‘Frank Longstaff Memorial Cup’ and it ended all square after a 1-1 draw. The visitors were ahead just before half time, Ante Jukic free kick from 25-yards flew into the top corner of the net. Gosnells hit back after the break, Charlie White sending Steve Baker clear who slotted it home. Canning should have won it late but missed a penalty. “I thought we were not at our best and a draw was probably a fair result,” Gosnells Coach Alan Dunlop said. “It’s a long season and we now have to get up for a big game next week at Kingsway.”
Quinns FC also won for the first time this season after a 3-0 win against Shamrock Rovers at Gumblossom Reserve. The home side opened the scoring when a long throw from Craig Tooley, was only punched into the back of Ross Edwards the ball rebounding into the net. It was 2-0 when a cross from Luke Doyle found Tooley to head home. It was 3-0 before half time Chris Pugh heading home from a corner. The game was called off at half time due to the thunderstorm, but the result stands. In the final game Curtin University also won for the first time with a 5-0 win against Kelmscott Roos – Kingsway Olympic had the bye this week.
WILLIAMS RELISHING FINALS CHANCE
Rhys Williams has been involved in a few knockout big matches - from the English Championship play-offs to the A-League finals. But remarkably, the Melbourne Victory central defender has never started in a sudden-death post-season game. That will change tomorrow when Victory faces Adelaide United in the A-League's Elimination Final.
"I haven't had a lot of chances in these sorts of games for one reason or another, even when my teams have been involved, but that's how football works sometimes. It will be good to be on from the start this time," he said. "We are confident that we can build on our end-of-season form and get through."
In 2009 Williams helped English club Burnley to the Championship play-offs. But under the terms of his loan from Middlesbrough, he could not play for the Clarets in the Championship play-off final against Sheffield United, a game Burnley won 1-0 to reach the Premier League for the first time. Middlesbrough had been relegated from the Premier League the day before.
"I think I am the only player to have been promoted and relegated like that in the same season," he said with a laugh as he recalled leaving Boro after their final game of the season to travel to Wembley to sit on the Burnley bench as a guest. He watched players who had been his teammates for half a season reach the promised land of the Premiership.
Williams returned to his home-town team, Perth Glory, last season but a difference of opinion with then coach Kenny Lowe saw him in and out of the side. Although Glory made the play-offs and beat Melbourne City in the first knockout game, Williams played little part then or in the next match when they were eliminated in the semi-final by Sydney.
Williams has been a key player for Victory in the club's season, winning plenty of praise for his solid performances at the back. "I have had plenty of personal accolades over the years in my career but very few for the clubs I have played with," he said. "It's been a nearly career, and this has been a bit of a nearly season."
"Hopefully we can get past Adelaide and go on to the Semi-Final and make it to the Grand Final. I have really enjoyed my time at Victory. This is a big club with great supporters and expectations are always high. I came here to win things so it was disappointing to be knocked out of the FFA Cup early by Adelaide but we have the chance to go all the way now."
MATILDAS LOSE ASIAN CUP FINAL TO JAPAN
Australia has missed a golden opportunity to head into next year's Women's World Cup as Asian champions after suffering an 11th-hour defeat against Japan in Amman. Japan substitute Kumi Yokoyama crashed home an impressive winner against the run of play with six minutes remaining after the Matildas had dominated large chunks of the game.
The Matildas were assertive from the outset and constantly looked a threat while dominating large periods of play. But a failure to convert in front of goal proved their downfall. Elise Kellond-Knight had a penalty saved and Sam Kerr was thwarted by goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita in the first half, while after the turn around Emily van Egmond crashed an effort against the crossbar.
WHO WILL REPLACE KENNY LOWE AT PERTH GLORY? (by Nick Taylor, thewest.com.au)
Perth Glory’s new coach will need to bring a tough change-room regime to the side and get solid commitments from owner Tony Sage on how the club will be run. Sage needs to move quickly to replace Kenny Lowe, axed after more than four years in charge after failing to make this year’s A-League finals.
The replacement will need to introduce a new culture that brings some players back into line amid suggestions a senior group wielded too much influence on the squad. But he is also going to need guarantees from Sage of a major cash injection to improve the size and quality of the squad and bring more resources to the club.
That will challenge Sage with most other A-League clubs already spending more than Glory on players and off-field structures. This could change later this year if, as expected, Sage sells at least part of the club to a Malaysian-based syndicate.
No-nonsense former Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic is on the wanted list but would command a heft pay packet and make strong demands. Another said to be interested is former Glory favourite and two-time Johnny Warren medallist Damian Mori, who is in charge at NPL club Adelaide City.
Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos refused to comment on a possible replacement but acknowledged the need to move quickly with the pre-season friendly against English side Chelsea looming in July and with less than a dozen players signed for next season.
Filopoulos said the club had not met its on-field aspirations and needed a new direction. “The bottom line after four-and-a-half years, we need a new, fresh approach. A lot of decisions need to be made as we move forward,” he said.
“At the core of it we need a new coach and new systems and processes in the football department but we also need to make some big decisions around the financial capability of the club and how we compete. We never shied away that we wanted a top four finish and we felt that the squad should have done better.”
GLORY LOSE PATIENCE WITH COACH LOWE
Perth Glory's longest-serving coach Kenny Lowe has been sacked after more than four years in charge at the club. Owner Tony Sage made the decision to fire Lowe while in London on a business trip, leaving chief executive Peter Filopoulos to tell Lowe the bad news on Wednesday, just a few days after the club failed to make the finals for the first time in three years.
Filopoulos fronted a press conference this morning to confirm the move and said Lowe would stay at the club to head up its newly Football Federation Australia accredited youth academy. "We just felt generally as part of the review that after four and a half years, we needed a new fresh approach in the coaching ranks," he said.
"We never shied away that we wanted a top-four finish at the beginning of the year and we felt the squad should have done better than what it actually did in the end. Kenny is an incredible man. And it's incredibly raw and emotional. He needs to process this. But we're delighted Kenny will remain at the club to play an instrumental role."
Lowe appears to have few regrets and said via Twitter he would look back on his Glory days "with pride". "Who would have dreamed that the journey would have been this long... or this interesting! I can honestly say it's been a pleasure working with everyone in the office and on the grass."
"The biggest thing for me to take out of this all is I genuinely believe I have made a fair few friends along the journey and for that alone I would not change one thing... apart from getting sacked ha ha ha!," Lowe tweeted.
Lowe took over as caretaker coach in late 2013 after a player revolt led to the dismissal of Alistair Edwards. He was promoted to the full-time role the following season and guided Glory to successive FFA Cup finals, in 2014 and 2015, as well as an A-League Semi-Final appearance on the tail end of 2016/17.
NPL-WA ROUND NINE PREVIEW
It’s week nine of the NPL-WA and this week’s Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon for the Italian Derby between league leaders Perth SC and Balcatta. (3pm) Perth jumped to the top of the table after last week’s win at Bayswater City, while Balcatta made it three wins on the bounce with a 3-1 win against Joondalup United, and it sets up an intriguing game at the Gardens. The last time these two teams met at the venue was in round ten last season with the home side running out 2-1 winners. A goal in the 93rd minutes from Harley Orr gave them the win, this after Niccolo Sabatini had given them the lead, and Carlin Feely levelled just before half time. It looked like the points would be shared but Orr popped up late to seal the win for Perth.
After a shaky start to the season from Balcatta, new Coach Goran Stajic has them ticking along nicely and they have moved up to eighth and are unbeaten in the last three games, and experienced midfielder Kris Gate said last week against Joondalup was a good team performance. “Last week and I thought it was a well-deserved win,” he said. “We knew they would be a physical side so we stuck to our game plan of trying to play around them and it worked.”
There is a good mix of youth and experience at the club and Gate said it bodes well for 2018. “Goran has put together a very young and hungry team, although my age brings the average down mind you,” he joked. “We have players who like to play football many of them have been through the ranks at Glory, so we like to think we play a very good style and Goran keeps encouraging us to enjoy it and I think the young lads have really done that well. We have some boys who I think are going to do very well and are gaining vital experience, so should see us do Ok in 2018.”
The English midfielder who has played professional and Semi-Professional football in the UK, starting with six years at Newcastle United. He then moved onto Bradford for a brief spell and then Gateshead FC, before heading down under and playing at Perth, Floreat and Balcatta. He is well aware of the test they face at Perth, but he said they go there with confidence and looking forward to the challenge.
“Perth are top of the ladder because they have some quality players and it’s going to be our toughest test of the season so far,” he said. “But we are all up for it and know that coming off three wins in a row in the league, it has done our confidence no harm. But having said that we know where we are at, and we know our targets for the season. Right now we are on track to where we are wanting to be at the end of the season, and we are all looking forward to the game and the challenge.”
Perth were beaten on the first day of the season by Glory, but have gone undefeated since and striker Paul Zimarino has been in great form up front for Ramon Falzon’s side, and has scored five goals this season, and played a huge part in last week’s win at Bayswater. He said it was a great game to play in and good too great to come home with the points. “I thought it was a fantastic game overall, from the way it was played to the crowd and the way the game planned out I thought it was fantastic for the NPL,” he explained. “But it was great to finally pick up three points at their ground, as most teams would say it’s never easy going there but lucky enough we stuck to Ramon’s plans and came away with the three points.”
The 20-year-old is part of the young brigade who Perth have in their ranks this season, and he said the whole squad, even the players coming off the bench, are doing a job for the side, and it keeps everyone on their toes. “Ramon has given a lot of faith in the younger players since day one he’s taken the job and the squad depth is very strong and everyone’s always pushing each other to keep playing at the best of our abilities,” he said. “So over a course of a year to be successful you need not just a starting 11 you need a full squad, so hopefully everyone stays fit and healthy and keep pushing each other.”
The youngster who came through the ranks at the Gardens, before heading to Inglewood for two and half seasons, but has now returned and said Saturday’s game is huge a one on the clubs calendar (The Ferrari Cup). He is expecting a tough tussle with their Italian rivals, but he is confident they can get the job done. “It’s another big game coming up, as Balcatta are hitting some good form,” he said. “I know they had a tough start to the season but they do have a dangerous squad on paper and the last few results seeing that they can be a dangerous team. But we know every game is worth three points no matter the opponent, so every week we will come out as we always do and try take nothing less than three points.” – Referee Stuart Muldoon
Armadale striker Chris Jackson has scored five goals in as many games for the club this season, and he will be looking for more when the Reds entertain Subiaco at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Subiaco were beaten at home by Stirling last week, while Jackson was on target as The Reds beat ECU Joondalup, and he said it was a hard fought win, and despite riding their luck in the second half he said it was a well-deserved win. “You could say we rode our luck at stages yes, but John and Simon had a game plan that we worked on in training and discussed before the game,” he explained. “We knew that ECU would attack us and we wanted to soak that up and catch them on the counter and it worked well for us on the day.”
English-born Jackson, who played for Selby Town and Pontefract Collieries in North East Counties League and Goole Town in Evo Stick South Division in the UK before heading down under, is expecting another battle against Subiaco, who are a side hard to break down. But he said it’s about time they won three points for the home supporters. “The boys are determined to kick start our season, especially after the good win last week,” he said. “We have scored in eight of the nine games played, and hoping for that to continue, so it should be a good battle with both sides chasing the three points.” – Referee Anthony Walsh
Perth Glory are coming off a huge win last week against Sorrento in Kalgoorlie, and this week they make the trip to Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions. The Lions came home from Subiaco with all three points last week, and they will be looking for three points to keep in touch with the top four. The venue for this game has been changed, the game was originally set down for Ashfield Reserve, but had been changed with permission of Football West. The young Glory side are on a good roll at the moment, and defender Luke Bodnar said the win last week was a good performance and it was good to bounce back from their defeat against Bayswater. “The weekend was a good experience of a new place always good to travel and spread the World Game in the regions,” he said. “It was even better to get a great result, that was deserved and made it a great trip, and more important it was good to bounce back after the loss against Bayswater.”
The win last week was more impressive with a number of the experienced players missing due to A-League commitments, and Bodnar said it shows the strength of the squad, and he said they will be looking to come home with three points from the Lions. “We have a strong squad this season and a good team spirit which has helped us start the season well,” he explained. “We know all games in this league are tough and Saturday is another game we go into with the same attitude, no different from any other week, they are a good side, but we’re confident we will come home with the points.” – Referee Josh Mannella
ECU Joondalup suffered their first defeat of the season last week at home to Armadale, and they will be looking to put them behind when they travel to Percy Doyle Reserve to take on Joondalup United in the Joondalup Derby on Saturday evening (6.30pm). United were beaten at Balcatta last week and are still searching for their first win this season, but in both games last season they matched ECU coming out with 2-2 draws in both games, and it would be a great lift if they could end their barren spell against their close rivals. ECU will have other ideas and striker Gordon Smith said they want to bounce back from last week’s disappointing result. “We didn’t get the result or performance we were looking for last week,” he explained. “All the boys were hurting afterwards, but it’s up to ourselves to put it right on Saturday in the derby.”
Smith said although United have struggled so far this season, the Jacks have never beaten them in the NPL, so Saturday will a good time to change that, but he said they will need to ready for a tough fight, especially with bragging rights in the City on the line. “Joondalup are no pushovers, we only need to look at our games against them last season,” he said. “Nick will have them organised and fired up, so matching their work rate, desire and hunger is a must. If we can do that then we have every chance of getting the result we are looking for.” In team news United will have three players missing due to suspension, Luke Serra, Matty Sparrow and Sam Wynee miss the game, while ECU defender Cian Hirrell and Head coach Dale McCulloch are also suspended – Referee Joshua Nixon
Cockburn sit fifth on the table and this week they host Sorrento at Dalmatinac Park looking to maintain the pressure on the top four. It was a horror road trip for Jamie Harnwell’s side last week, suffering a heavy loss against the Glory in Kalgoorlie and a wounded Gulls will be looking to bounce back in this one. Cockburn conceded a late goal to draw at Forrestfield last week and game Coach Scott Miller said they deserved more.
“It was a good game, but it was disappointing to concede late for sure,” he said. “I thought we defended really well, and limited their chances, but unfortunately we couldn’t take our chances.” Cockerels’ winger Daniel Robinson has been in goal scoring touch and has seven goals, and Miller said he has really stepped up this season. “Daniel has a knack of being in the right place at the right time, and he loves scoring goals,” he said. “He is working hard at the rest of his game after stepping up from the reserves to be a regular starter for us.”
Miller is well aware his former Perth Glory team mate Harnwell will have his side up for this one, and is expecting a tough game. “Sorrento are very proud club, and will definitely up for the weekend,” he explained. “That’s why they are always up in the league and winning trophies, so we look forward to the challenge.” In team news Cameron Edwards in doubt for the home side, while Sorrento defender Steve McDonald is suspended. – Referee Steven Gregory
Floreat Athena fought back to earn a point against Inglewood United last week, and they face a tough task on Saturday when they make the trip Frank Drago Reserve to take on Bayswater City. Chris Coyne side were beaten last week by Perth SC to lose top spot, and I’m sure he will be looking for a response from his side this week. Floreat on the other hand produced their best half of football for the season, and defender Dennis Galen said they need to kick on from it.
“It was good to snatch a point at the very last minute for sure, especially as things haven’t started well for us this season, and I think the second half display is probably the best we have performed this season,” he said. “We showed a lot of character and played some really nice football, so hopefully this can kick start our season, because I know when we do try to play the right stuff and with the right attitude we can beat any team.”
Galen will miss Saturday’s game due to suspension but he said the players are looking forward to the challenge. “We all know what Bayswater have to offer, and they are the team to beat this season,” he said. “It’s going to be a difficult game, but one we are looking forward too. Games between us are always one to watch because they tend to be fiery and good football on display. Hopefully we can get the result and go into the cup game with a slight edge over them, as we have to play them a couple days later in the Westfield FFA Cup.” – Referee Julian Serra
Both Inglewood United and Forrestfield United ended with draws last week, and the pair meet on Saturday at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. Inglewood throw a 2-0 lead away against Floreat, while Forrestfield scored late to draw with Cockburn City. Midfielder Tom Jebb said it was great fight back against a good Cockburn side. “They (Cockburn0 are a great side who play good football week in week out so was good to take a point away from the game,” he said. “We both had chances to win the game, but I think a share in the points was a fair outcome.”
Jebb said the trip to Inglewood will be another test for their young side, and they will have to do it with defender Mark Barnett who has headed overseas for trials. “Mark was a great asset for our team and provided us a safety net from the back, and obviously we were sad to see him go, but also happy to see him leave for better things,” he explained.
“But Josh Appleby stepped up for us last week and played a very good game at centre half and adapted very well into the team, while new signing Kristian Despotovski also played a very good game and provided us some attacking presence going forward. We know Saturday will be tough, Inglewood are full of experiences and quality players and can easily beat any team in this league on a good day. Therefore we will not be taking this game lightly at all and have been working a lot on our shape and structure and we will be looking to get something out of the game.” In team news Forrestfield youngster Joshua Kotio misses the game due to suspension. – Referee Nico Hoyle
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THREE – PREVIEW
The State League Division One season enters the third round and this week’s Footballwa.net “Match of the Round” takes us to Lark Hill Sportsplex where Rockingham City entertain Western Knights. (3pm) Both teams go into this game looking for a confidence boost, the Knights have picked up just one point, a 2-2 draw against Ashfield last week, while City won their opener, but were beaten 0-2 by Morley Windmills last week. The last time these sides met at the venue was in Round 11 last season, when the Knights maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 2-0 win, with goals from Josh Cortez and Paul Lloyd.
It’s a new look Knights side this season and after winning the league last season they are taking time to gel, but defender Tom Kennedy said they had their chances to win at Ashfield last week “Ashfield have a good squad and are going be up there this year, as usual,” he said. “Both teams had plenty of chances and it was a good game, but in the end a draw was probably a fair result.” After taking out the league last season the Knights showed they deserve to be in the NPL, but due to rules that was taken away from them.
But the work both on and off the park has been outstanding and Kennedy said it give the club more determination to repeat it this season. “It's a big year at the club as it's the 50th anniversary, and the clubs staff, volunteers and fans have been unreal so far,” he explained. “There's been a lot of work put in behind the scenes as obviously the club have promotion in sights, so now it's time for the boys to start getting the results and pulling our weight so that everyone's hard work can pay off come end of the season.”
Kennedy said Lark Hill is always a hard place to go but he said they are confident they can get their season going with a win “We know we're in for another tough one down at Rocky, but we need to start getting some points on the board and the boys are up for it,” he said. “We have a full squad so training has been intense as spots are up for grabs, so were expecting a good performance.”
Rockingham City Coach Cameron Lord said after a good start to the season it was disappointing to lose their opening home game of the season last week. “It was pleasing to start the season with a win, but we are extremely disappointed in the manner we conceded the goals we did against Morley. We need to learn quickly that we can’t afford to give teams an easy head start,” he said. “We couldn’t find a way to breakthrough despite periods of dominance, particularly in the second half, but credit to Morley as they threw absolutely everything in the way of our attempts at goal to keep us out.”
It’s the first season at the helm for Lord, but he said the players have responded well to his methods and he’s happy the way it’s going “Everyone has taken what has changed on board with great attitude which is really pleasing,” he explained. “We are close to securing a couple of further additions to give the squad further depth, which is something we are lacking at the moment with 11 players currently out through injuries, holidays and suspensions.”
Lord said the players have worked extremely hard this week for the visit of the Champions and he is looking for a response from them. “Our home form is really important to us, and for us to be successful this season it needs to be seriously improved on overall from last season. Hopefully this week is the start of turning our home form fortunes around against Western Knights,” he said. “Despite their start, we will still be respectful to the fact that they are defending champions, but at the same time it is a great opportunity to show them and our home support what we are about this season. We need to build on last week’s second half dominance, be consistent for 90 minutes and be more clinical at both ends of the pitch.”
Gwelup Croatia have started the season well and are coming off a big win against Dianella White Eagles last week, and this week they travel to Ashfield Reserve to take on Ashfield. The 4-1 win last week was a perfect start at home for new coach Taki Nicolaidis, and he said it was a good team performance. “The boys were enormous last week against a good Dianella side,” he said. “We showed a lot of character after going behind early in the game, but worked very hard to get back on top and secure the three points in our first home game of the season.”
Nicolaidis is well aware Ashfield have some talented players and it showed last week with their draw against the Knights, and he is expecting another tough game, but he is still looking for an improvement from his side “Ashfield have been there or thereabouts for a number of season, and they will be a very tough opponent this week,” he said. “They have some quality players in their squad and we will need to be at our best, like last week, if we are to come away with the three points.”
In other games Dianella White Eagles entertain UWA-Nedlands at Dianella Reserve, while the unbeaten Morley Windmills travel to Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City, who are still searching for their first point of the new campaign, while Mandurah City have the bye. The final game is at Hilton reserve, where Fremantle City host South West Phoenix. It’s been a poor start for the Bunbury based side losing both games and they are coming off a 3-4 defeat against Mandurah last week. Meanwhile Fremantle, who won the State League Nigh Series Final, are coming off the bye, after winning their opener against UWA, and Coach Marc Anthony said it’s been a pleasing start.
“Yes it was a great win against UWA, who to be fair deserved something out the game as we were not at our best,” he explained. “Hopefully the bye has us refreshed as the boys have looked a little jaded since winning the night series.” Anthony said this season the league has some good sides and he knows his players need to be at their best to beat a good Phoenix side who are desperate for a win. “Saturday is another big game against the Phoenix, who will be tough to beat, but to be honest the league is extremely strong this year,” he said. “So we know we have to be consistent and believe in the way we want to play to try and get the best results so we can be at the right end of the table.”
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THREE – PREVIEW
It’s week three of the State League Division Two and the Footballwa.net “Match of the Week” takes us to the Swan Valley where Swan United entertain Balga at Francis Street. Both sides go into the game undefeated, Balga are coming off a hard fought win against Quinns FC last week, while Swan drew 1-1 at Kelmscott. The last time these two sides met at the venue was in round 16 last season when Swan United moved closer to the top four after a 2-0 win, with goals from James Shamim and John Monterosso.
Balga under the guidance of former Perth Glory keeper Alex Vrteski have had a perfect start to the season but he said they had to work hard last week to come home from Quinns with the points. “I was extremely happy with the level of attitude and work rate against Quinns who made life very difficult,” he said. “But I felt once we scored the third goal it was only going to go one way, and it proved that way.” Vrteski said his side are getting stronger each week and he said the hard work in pre-season is now paying dividends. “We’re tracking along well at the moment,” he said. “The boys have made a positive start to the season and we are continuously improving, and face another tough game on Saturday.”
The trip to Francis Street is never easy and with rain forecasted on Saturday Vrteski said it will be a huge test for his side. “Swan have started off very well with a lot of experienced players which will hold them in good stead,” he said. “But we must be weary of their qualities, however, we will go into the game to attack and hopefully come home with a positive result.”
New Swan Coach Paul Dundo has come into the role after Mike Ford stood down due to work commitments, and he said it’s been a smooth transition. “It was unfortunate for Mike, but I’m happy to be appointed and to be back home, and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “The lads have been great and we’re working extremely hard to bring success to this football club.”
The Swans came home from Frye Park with a point last week, and Dundo thought they could have secured all three. “I thought we were the better team in the first half and were worthy leaders, but credit to Kelmscott they came back well after half time and got the deserved equaliser,” he explained. “But if it wasn’t for their keeper we would have scored a few more, but we move on to the Balga game on Saturday.”
He is expecting another tough test against the unbeaten Balga side on Saturday, but he said they will be looking for a repeat of the first home game of the season when they beat Quinns. “Our performance in the opening game was great, and I’ll be looking for more of the same on Saturday,” Dundo said. “Aleks has brought in some experience player to his squad, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure of coaching, so it should be an entertaining game and the word around the traps is that we’re playing for the Ex-Gwelup Coaches Cup.”
Murdoch University-Melville won their opening game last week, a 3-1 win against Shamrock, this after a bye in round one, and on Saturday they host Wanneroo City at the Murdoch Uni Synthetic Arena. Saturday should be an entertaining game, with both sides playing attacking football, and Wanneroo got their season back on track after a first round loss, with a big win against Canning City last week. Murdoch University-Melville head coach Gavin Brown said it was good to get their first win of the season “Pleased to start the season with the win. We were very good first half, but didn’t match the same standard in the last half hour,” he said. “We were pleased to have three different scorers though and to bring another two teenagers off the bench for their debuts for the club.”
Brown said Wanneroo looked good in the night series and he said Saturday will show him where they are at. “We are looking forward to the Wanneroo game. They did have some success in the night series, but we were also competitive in all of our group games and there is a great deal of confidence in our squad at the moment,” he said. “It should be a good and we are looking forward to a competitive encounter.” In other games Quinns FC host Shamrock Rovers at Gumblossom Park, while Gosnells City and Canning meet a Walter Padbury Reserve in the first leg of the Frank Longstaff Trophy.
The round kicks off on Friday night when Kelmscott Roos make the trip to Edinburgh Oval to take on Curtin University tonight. Curtin are coming off a heavy loss at Wanneroo, while Kelmscott shared the spoils with Swan last week. Kelmscott Coach Aron Beatie said it was a tight game that could have gone either way. “We knew they would be a hard opposition especially with the appointment of Paul Dundo as he always seems to get the best out of his players wherever he has coached and it really was a hard fought game I thought,” he said. “We were unlucky to be one down at half time as we had our fair share of possession, but with no reward at the end but credit to Swan they took their chance well. We started the second half really well and got a deserved equaliser through our new signing Miguel de Oliveira but after that it was anyone’s game with end to end football but I feel a draw was a fair result.”
Beatie who is in his second season at the club, said the squad is coming together nicely and they are looking to bring home the points from Curtin. “I was really honoured and privileged to be asked to coach Kelmscott again this year, and I felt we had a decent year last year but I wanted to improve on that, and we have been very fortunate to have an influx of quality players to join us as well as maintain most of our squad from last year so it’s a very exciting time at the club and we believe we can achieve big things. But all games in this league are tough and Friday at Curtin will be know different, especially after their loss last week. They will be looking to bounce back and I’m sure they will make it very difficult for us, but I hope that we can rise to the challenge and collect our first win of the season.”
BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION, ROUND THREE – PREVIEW
It’s week three of the Belt Up Amateur League Premier Division and this week’s Footballwa.net “Match of the Week” sees last season Champions Wembley Downs making the trip to Kelly Park to take on last season’s Cup Winners Kwinana United. Both sides go into the game with one win and one loss, and last week Wembley beat Southern Spirit, while Kwinana went down 2-4 at home to North Perth United. Kwinana Coach Kris Donnell said after a great start to the season against North Perth United, last week was a disappointing first home game. “The North Perth result was a tough one to take, as 25 minutes at the end of the first half killed us,” he explained. “We lost concentration and gave away possession too easily. The second half of the game we dominated but it was too little too late.”
Donnell has added some quality to his squad, as they look for more success after lifting the Cup last season. “The squad is starting to come together now, but we’ve had real bad luck with injuries the first few games,” he said. “But the new players who have come in, Fraser Marr, Craig Tone, Michael Masterton, Lewyn Bake and Matty McDonald all came in from Mandurah and Rockingham, and have slotted right in.” Donnell said although Wembley have a new look squad they are still a good side and they will have to be at their best to get the result “Wembley always have a good fighting spirit, so it’s no different to any other game,” he said. “We have to prepare well and learn from our mistakes last weekend, it should be a good game.”
Wembley new Coach Sully Sullivan said it was good to get off the mark last week against the Spirit, his first league win as head coach. “It was a great result for the team after an unlucky result against Leeming in the opening round, we got the early goals which helped us grow in confidence. Our home form was very important last season and hopefully we can continue it this season,” he explained. “I’m really enjoying my new role, although I have big boots to fill. My squad this year is a mixture of youth and experience from last season so hopefully we can gel quickly and get the season up and running, but we have a very tough week ahead.”
Sullivan said a trip to Kelly Park is never easy but they go there with a spring in the step after last week’s win “It’s a massive game for both teams with the results we have seen so far it’s going to be a tough league to win,” he said. “We will go there with a game plan and try to snatch the win. We know that Kwinana is a tough place to go, but we are confident after last week good performance.”
Leeming Strikes have had a great start to the season beating last season’s top two sides Wembley and Kingsley in the opening two rounds, and this week they host newly promoted Jaguar FC at John Connell Reserve. Jaguars have started their season well winning their opening game against Ellenbrook, but were beaten by UWA Nedlands last week. Lemmings’ 3-1 win at Kingsley showed the rest of the league the improvement they have made and Coach David Palin said it was a great performance.
“The win at Kingsley was very pleasing, we spent a bit of time during the week working on situations we would encounter, so for the boys to execute the game plan, was great,” he said. “Even after going down to an early mistake, we bounced back quickly with two goals before half time and felt very comfortable in the second half. Not many teams will go to Kingsley and get three points, so it was a very satisfying result.”
Palin said Sunday’s opponents have been impressive since promotion, but he is looking to maintain their 100% start to the season “We played Jaguars last year in the cup so we have a good understanding on what to expect, they bring a good following and have some really good players so it should be a very good game,” he explained. “We will approach the game like any other with a game plan and to win the game, and that’s what will try do as a squad on Sunday.”
In other games Ellenbrook United host Hamersley Rovers at Ellenbrook Sports Hub, while North Perth United make the trip to Gerry Archer Sports Complex to take on league leaders Belmont Villa. Kingsley will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss at Leeming when they travel to Watsons Reserve to take on Southern Spirit, while in the final game UWA-Nedlands entertain Subiaco at the UWA Sports Park.
DE VANNA HOPING FOR DIVINE INTERVENTION ONE LAST TIME
The soothing daily pre-dawn Islamic prayer blaring across speakers planted high in the estimated 6000 mosques of Jordan subtly reminds Lisa de Vanna of her soccer holy rites. De Vanna, who is expected to feature in a third consecutive Women's Asian Cup final when Australia takes on Japan on Saturday, said her pre-game routine includes time with her faith but it has changed over the many years as an international.
“Hearing the prayer at five o’clock is different because I start to reflect,” de Vanna told adelaidenow.com.au “I try to listen to 1980s music I’m an old soul, I do a little prayer and get onto the team bus and get ready for the game. I pray in the sense to give me the strength and for my family to be OK, hope and faith. Whatever is in control, let it take control.”
The veteran Matilda is just one of two Australians left standing from the ground breaking Australian Women's Asian Cup final in Adelaide 12 years ago. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams and de Vanna experienced the heartbreak of a loss in the Australia’s maiden Asian Cup as host nation, losing to China in a penalty shoot-out.
Four years later de Vanna held the Asian Cup trophy aloft in China. Present Matildas Williams, Elise Kellond-Knight, Kyah Simon, Aivi Luik, Tameka Butt and Sam Kerr were also on the winner’s dais following a penalty shoot-out win over North Korea. Australia copped another final loss four years ago, this time to Japan.
33-year old de Vanna revealed she will again pray that this time Australia will beat Japan. Despite earning 140 caps de Vanna still has doubts after 14 years as an international. It’s more about her ability to recover from a gruelling 120 minutes of semi-final football after which Australia overcame Thailand 3-1 on penalties.
“I’m so conscious of my age,” said de Vanna, who endured a fruitless game against the Thai's, squandering a guilt-edged chance in extra-time and also thwarted in the shoot-out. “I’ll get the proper treatment and the recovery and the assessment but it might have to come down to how I am mentally and we’ll see after that.”
De Vanna is now playing in her fifth Asian Cup tournament and at times she still cannot believe all she has achieved on a journey that started in Perth. She won’t be happy until Australia hoists another Asian Cup title, hopefully on Saturday, but at the same time she is extremely happy her mother Connie in Amman.
“I try to bring mum to every major tournament I don’t have much time and I don’t want her to miss out,” de Vanna said. “If things go well she’ll be in France at next year’s FIFA World Cup. My sister Sonia was supposed to be here but she almost broke her ankle playing football for a local club (in Perth).”
GLORY CUT TRIO LOOSE
Perth Glory have started their re-build after failing to make the A-League Finals with Joseph Mills, Andreu Guerao and Jeremy Walker all departing the club. English defender Mills spent two seasons in the West, chalking up a total of 44 appearances and scoring one goal. Spanish midfielder Andreu, meanwhile, was recruited for the 2017-18 campaign, during which he made 13 starts and was introduced from the bench on a further four occasions.
Walker was also brought in last year, initially on a short-term injury-replacement contract which was later extended to the end of the season. The former Melbourne Heart full-back made the first of his 13 starts for the club against Newcastle in Round 2. "On behalf of everyone at the club, I'd like to thank the three players for their efforts and wish them all the very best for the future," said Glory CEO Peter Filopoulos. – What this space for more movement.
ROUX ONE OF SEVEN PLAYERS AXED BY CENTRAL COAST
Central Coast Mariners have moved quickly after collecting the 2017/18 A-League wooden spoon by announcing the departure of seven players. New Zealand international and former Sorrento junior Storm Roux is on that list along with Blake Powell, Liam Rose, Jacob Poscoliero, Josh Bingham, Peter Skapetis and Tom Glover. Roux has been granted a release from the final year of his contract 'to pursue other opportunities', with the defender understood to be set to join Melbourne Victory.
SAGE FLAGS NEED FOR FOREIGN OWNERSHIP
Perth Glory owner Tony Sage may look to foreign investors to help him achieve success against cashed-up A-League clubs. Glory are run on a tight budget and spent considerably less this season than allowed under the $2.982 million salary cap.
The ‘West Australian’ revealed last month that a Malaysian syndicate led by Dato Chan, co-owner and chairman of Cardiff City from May 2010-13, was an interested investor. It is understood that a $15 million price tag was put on the club and interest has also come from European and US investors.
Sage said the club had cost him $26.5 million in 12 years. “It’s a money game, we all know that. I’m not whingeing about it. I’m just stating fact,” Sage said. “We’ve done extremely well compared to the amount of money we put into the club but it’s unsustainable as a club.”
Sage said Glory was not competing on a level A-League playing field, citing how the club pays accommodation costs of $400,000 a season compared with an average of $100,000 for Victorian and New South Wales clubs. Sage said he could have contracted one or two players with the difference. “This situation is blatantly unfair and should be addressed,” he said.
“If such assistance is not forthcoming, introducing some form of foreign interest may be the only way for Glory to compete in the future. I’m not saying it is the only way forward, it’s going to be difficult unless there is a cash injection, but there is no way I’m interested in selling the club to people that aren’t fully committed to Western Australia.
“I’ve turned down three foreign offers in the last 12 months. They all wanted a name change, a colour change. Some of them just want to re-badge their clubs to Australia and I’ve just said ‘no’. I won’t let it happen on my watch, but the longer we go on and need an injection of cash that I can’t afford, we might be in that position.”
MATILDAS EDGE OUT THAILAND ON PENALTIES
The Matildas have escaped from a monumental semi-final scrap with Thailand, needing an injury-time equaliser and penalties to defeat the minnows and reach the Asian Cup final. Australia stood on the brink of elimination at the end of 90 minutes, trailing 2-1 after a shambolic display.
But Alanna Kennedy and goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold rectified shocking defensive efforts with clutch moments to send Australia into a third-straight continental final. Kennedy netted a 91st minute equaliser and Arnold made three straight saves in the shoot-out before Sam Kerr netted the decisive spot kick in a 2-2 (3-1) win.
Australia had taken the lead on 17 minutes when Emily Gielnik's cross was nodded in by Thai defender Kanjanaporn Saenkhun. But it went pear-shaped shortly after as Kanjana Sungngoen chipping Thailand level after Arnold fumbled the ball. And after the break a bungled clearance allowed Rattikan Thongsombut to give the Thais a deserved lead.
Thailand were reduced to ten players in the 87th minute when Wilaiporn Boothduang was sent off for chopping down substitute Samantha Kerr. Australia conjured an equaliser four minutes alter, Kennedy powering in a header from Elise Kellond-Knight's stunning corner. The Women's Asian Cup final takes place on Saturday with the Matildas facing Japan.
O'NEILL EYEING EUROPEAN MOVE AS IRELAND CALL-UP BECKONS
Brandon O’Neill is being lined up for a move to Europe next season as the Sydney FC midfielder seeks to enhance his hopes of a call-up by the Republic of Ireland. There is understood to be interest in the Netherlands and Switzerland for O’Neill, with PEC Zwolle, coached by former Melbourne City coach John van’t Schip, believed to be monitoring the 24-year old closely.
While he has represented Australia at Under-23 level, O’Neill remains uncapped at senior level and has been on Ireland’s radar for over six months. However it’s been made clear that his prospects of a cap would be greatly increased were he based in Europe. O’Neill is contracted to the Sky Blues - for whom he has made 76 A-League appearances in three seasons - until mid-2019.
O’Neill’s father, Miles, was a professional footballer and boxer before migrating to Australia, where his son was born. He’s been a figure of consistency for the Sky Blues alongside Josh Brillante in the midfield engine room, with Sky Blues chief executive Danny Townsend lauding his influence since his arrival from Perth Glory in 2015.
“He’s a contracted player, and I’ve heard nothing (of any interest in him),” Townsend said of any potential of O’Neill moving abroad. “He’s been fantastic for us and I’m not surprised the Irish are watching him, given the way he’s been playing.” O’Neill’s agent Tony Rallis declined to respond when approached by theworldgame.sbs.com.au to comment on the European speculation.
SAINSBURY'S POSITIONAL SWITCH CONTINUES
For the second game running, Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury has lined up as a defensive midfielder for Grasshopper FC. After joining the Swiss club from Jiangsu Suning, Sainsbury debuted off the bench at the start of April against Thun before starting both subsequent games against Zurich and St Gallen.
Having made his name as a central defender, Sainbury's two starts for Grasshopper have seen him deployed as a deep lying central midfielder in a surprise positional switch. The results in both encounters haven't been ideal for his club, however, the 1-1 draw with Zurich combined with the 2-1 loss to St Gallen leaves them sixth in the Super League.
26-year old Sainsbury was a key member of the Socceroos defence that helped secure a place at this years World Cup. He missed recent friendlies against Norway and Colombia through injury but is expected to be selected in the squad for Russia. As it stands, the Socceroos midfield is stocked full of talent so it's hard to see Sainsbury's positional switch extending to the national set-up.
WANDERERS PART WAYS WITH HERD
Western Sydney Wanderers have terminated the contract of Chris Herd by mutual consent. The former Socceroo has cited "family reasons" for his departure and is understood to be heading back to England, where his senior career began at Aston Villa.
“I would like to thank the Wanderers, the coaching staff, office staff, players and the fans,” 29-year old Herd said. “I had a great time at the club and I want to wish my teammates and the club good luck and all the best for the rest of the season.”
Herd, a former ECU Joondalup and Bayswater City junior, made 42 league and cup appearances for Villa after progressing up through their youth system. He went on to play for Port Vale, Lincoln City, Chesterfield and Gillingham, amongst others.
The midfielder joined Western Sydney on a two-year contract in July 2017 in the hope of re-igniting his career. However, poor form and stiff competition at the club restricted the three-time Socceroo him to just 12 senior outings.
BOSNICH CHALLENGES GLORY: WHAT KIND OF CLUB DO YOU WANT TO BE?
Fox Sports pundit Mark Bosnich says Perth Glory faces some tough questions about its future direction after the club fell short of making the finals. Glory were defeated 3-2 at home last night by Brisbane Roar in a make-or-break fixture for both clubs' top six hopes.
But in another frustrating season for Glory fans, the club ended the regular season in 8th place and well off the trophy hunt. Glory have never lifted silverware in the A-League era and Bosnich rated its latest season 4 out of 10, suggesting to was time to go back to the fans and ask for direction.
"I think they have to have a complete rethink as to which direction they wish to go," Bosnich told Fox Sports after Glory went down to Roar. "(Coach) Kenny Lowe plays a specific type of football which, when it goes well goes really well, but when it doesn't, it doesn't look particularly good to the eye."
"They may really have to get to the bottom of what type of club they want to be, their culture and so forth. I think a few forums with the fans wouldn't go amiss to find that out because the bottom line is, really, with a salary capped competition it's designed so each team can basically have a turn, if you like, and that's going to stop very, very soon."
Apart from 2011/12, when Glory finished third and lost the Grand Final to Brisbane, Glory have never pushed higher than 5th. "They've got to sort themselves out because they're the only team over there in the west, they've got a lot of talent out there and they need to have a bit of a revamp and a rethink about which way to go," Bosnich added.
TAGGART: IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH
Adam Taggart has panned Perth Glory's effort in last night's do-or-die clash with Brisbane Roar. Glory's slim hopes of making the playoffs were snuffed out when Brisbane came from a goal down to claim victory by 3-2.
Taggart, who opened the scoring on 24 minutes, questioned why his team failed to push on after getting their noses in front. "We started off well and we just couldn’t hold it," Taggart said. "We scored one goal and there’s still so much time left in the game and I felt like we weren’t going for another one."
Glory needed to win the match to have any chance of reaching the top six. A brace to Henrique and a goal by Thomas Kristensen put the away team 3-1 up before an own goal by Jacob Pepper, under pressure from Taggart, set up a grandstand finish.
"I think all of us needed to dig a little bit deeper and at least have a hard look at ourselves because it’s just not good enough at home," Taggart added. "They’re a good side and they got on top of us. But I think at home after their travel and us having a home game last week we really needed to show a bit more."
Taggart was ambivalent about his own form in front of goal. "If it doesn’t contribute to a win I guess at the end of the day it doesn’t really mean much. "We want to be winning games and especially today was a big opportunity for us to make a late run into the finals."
WILLIAMS THRILLED WITH DRAMATIC JAPAN DRAW
Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams paid tribute to opponents Japan after an enthralling encounter between the two Asian heavyweights ended in a 1-1 draw on Friday evening. Sam Kerr’s late equalizer cancelled out an earlier strike from Mizuko Sakaguchi to confirm a Women’s Asian Cup semi-final date with Thailand and the Matildas’ place at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
The prevailing emotion for Williams after the match was relief at securing safe passage to France next year but the Matildas custodian was also eager to commend what was a typically captivating contest between two excellent footballing sides. “It’s such an incredible feeling, we fought long and hard during the game and obviously we have a superstar player in Sam (Kerr) that pulled it out of the bag for us,” she said.
“We’re always their (Japan’s) bogey team and there’ll always be one goal between it, we just know that we’re going out and they’re going out to play our hardest. There’s tremendous respect from both sides, they’re wonderful people and players and the same is coming back to us from them. It’s always a pleasure playing against them.” It’s possible Australia and Japan will meet again in the Women’s Asian Cup final next week.
STYNES GETS LATE EQUALISER FOR ATHENA (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Despite taking a 2-0 lead into half-time, Inglewood United have drawn 2-2 with Floreat Athena in a game of two contrasting halves at Litis Stadium. Ash Rosindale and Brian Woodall were on target in the first half but a heartbreaking late equaliser meant Inglewood would collect just the one point.
Coach Andy Keogh, whose team remain five points outside of the top five, was furious with Inglewood’s second half display. “We gave away sloppy goals, didn’t defend and we were punished,” he said. “Ultimately, it was our schoolboy defending which cost us.”
The opening 45 minutes was all Inglewood with Ash Rosindale netting the opening goal after some clever lead-up play around the 18-yard box. And ten minutes later Brian Woodall doubled the margin with a superb chip from distance over goalkeeper Jason Saldaris.
Phil Arnold put Floreat back in the game soon after the break when he pounced on a defensive mix-up and rounded goalkeeper Alex Dunn. Alex Salmon was presented several opportunities to extend Inglewood’s lead, and although he did net with a glancing header it was disallowed for offside.
A late surge by Floreat paid dividends when substitute Jonathan Stynes stepped up to equalise in stoppage time. Calvin Whitney went within a whisker of stealing all three points for the hosts when his shot cannoned back off the woodwork.
Floreat Athena: Jason Saldaris, Chris Saldaris, Dennis Galan, Jesse Fuller, Ryan Malton (Jamie Street 64), Calvin Whitney, Dean Evans, Ludovic Boi, Hamza Hina (Jonathan Stynes 61), Marco Santa Lucia, Phil Arnold
Inglewood United: Alex Dunn, Hanafi Ghazali, Scott Robertson (David Cyrus 68), Scott Blackmore, Alex Ishida-Livings, Jamie Murphy, Jason Barrera, Kenny Keogh (Brian Farrell 64), Ash Rosindale (Ellis Healing 53), Brian Woodall, Alex Salmon
PERTH BEAT BAYSWATER TO GO TOP (by Ryan Borrett, www.footballwest.com.au)
Perth SC went top of the NPL WA table with a thrilling 2-1 victory over previous leaders Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday. Two-goal Gustavo Catarcione was the hero for the Azzurri with the winning goal seven minutes from the end.
The usually prolific striker had struggled to find the back of net recently but his performance in the derby highlighted his talent. “I’m incredibly happy and very proud of their performance today,” Perth SC coach Ramon Falzon said. “We haven’t won here for a while so we wanted to bring our best efforts. “Gustavo has been looking for that goal for a while and he saved his best for the most important game of the season.”
Perth SC took the lead in the 13th minute as Catarcione found space on the edge of the box and smashed home a low shot to the bottom left that left Bayswater keeper Devon Spence no chance. Bayswater bounced back with their fluid attacking play and created several chances but struggled to find the breakthrough. Indeed their finishing left a lot to be desired throughout the match, although they finally found an equaliser in the 78th minute through substitute Luke Salmon. The young striker, who has made a strong impression this season, was played through on goal by Luka Ninkovic and he passed Perth keeper Francis Soale to make it 1-1. Bayswater City piled men forward late in the match to try to grab a winning goal but the gamble failed when Perth regained the lead late on. Bayswater’s Arran Maplestone lost possession in his own half and Azzurri substitute Richard Howles pounced on the opportunity and squared to Catarcione, whose shot found the top right-hand corner to ensure his side claimed the three points.
Bayswater City coach Chris Coyne said his side didn’t deserve to lose the game. “I’m disappointed in the result of course but we gave them both goals,” he said. “We dominated the second half but if you don’t take your chances you won’t come out on top.”
Coyne also praised youngster Salmon and his goalscoring form. “He was excellent today and he could have had another if he wasn’t called offside.”
Bayswater City: 1. Devon SPENCE, 5. Adam HARRIS, 8. Paul MCCARTHY, 12. David STOKOE, 13. Trent KAY, 17. Gian ALBANO, 19. Luka NINKOVIC, 21. Riley VAN DIEKAN (22. Luke SALMON 58), 23. Adrija JUKIC (4. Arran MAPLESTONE 81), 24. Jake SARDELIC, 26. Paul Lloyd Substitutes not used: 10. Jason MIRCO, 15. Jordan POKLER, 25. Dejan ALEKSIC
Perth SC: 1. Francis SOALE, 3. Andreas THEODOSIADES (14. Kristan SANTICH 77), 4. Adrian MADASCHI, 5. Niccolo SABATINI, 6. Harley ORR, 9. Gustavo CATARCIONE, 10. Nicholas AMBROGIO (18. Richard HOWLES 79), 11. Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12. Jordan DE LEO, 13. ROCCO PIZZATA (16. Kieran COLWELL 54), 20. Paul ZIMARINO Substitutes not used: 7. Aleksander JOVIC, 23. Daniel PASSARELLI
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWO – REVIEW
Gwelup Croatia made an early season statement, by beating Dianella White Eagles 4-1 at the Croatian Sporting Complex. It was Dianella who took the lead through Angel Andres after five minutes, however Kwangmook Lim equalised just four minutes later with a thumping shot into the top corner. David Heagney gave Gwelup the lead from a tap in after a Noah Shamaui cross just before half time. The home team then made sure of the points with Jay Lang scoring in the 64th minute before David Heagney made it 4-1 just a minute later.
It was a seven goal thriller at the WML Stadium, when Mandurah City beat South West Phoenix 4-3. Jayden Prosser opened the scoring for Phoenix before Andrew Brown made it all square. Michael De Betis put Mandurah 2-1 up, however Jack Eades equalised before the break. The goals continued in the second half, with Lee Stewart getting the lead back for Phoenix, before Mandurah scored twice again to win the match 4-3. In other games, newly promoted Morley-Windmills moved to second place with a 2-0 win at Rockingham City, it was a 2-2 draw at Nash Field where Western Knights battled against Ashfield, while UWA-Nedlands FC defeated Joondalup City 3-1. Fremantle City had the bye.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWO – REVIEW
Balga moved to second place after a 3-2 win over rivals Quinns FC at Gumblossom Park. Balga scored after three minutes, when Danny Moss was able to intercept a miss-kicked back pass, and then calmly slotted passed keeper Ellis Compton. It only took five minutes for Quinns to respond, a corner found Rowdy Yates at the near post who expertly scored pass Balga keeper Jordan Howell. Balga almost re-took the lead after 23 minutes, when Matthew Kerridge's powerful shot from just outside the box hit the crossbar. Just two minutes later, Quinns were awarded a dubious penalty, however new signing Scott Bulloch's spot-kick just went wide of the post. Just prior to half-time, Harry Bissett made it 2-1 for Balga with a low shot to beat Compton. Quinns started the second half on top, and it took only six minutes for Quinns to equalise when Bulloch just had the keeper to beat, and made no mistake. In the 66th minute, Bulloch made a daring run into the box, but was tackled by Zoran Vrteski. The referee waved away appeals from what looked like a clear penalty. It was all Balga in the last fifteen minutes as they searched for the winner, Vlad Naumovski had his free-kick hit the cross-bar, before Naumovski got the goal they were after with five minutes to go when he poked a low shot to score against the advancing Compton.
Swan United travelled to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos, where John Monterosso scored a half volley to put the visitors in front at the half, however Kelmscott equalised through a Miguel Oliveria penalty. In other games, Kingsway Olympic easily beat Canning City 5-1 to go top of the league, Wanneroo City thrashed Curtin University 5-0 at home, while Murdoch University Melville had a 3-1 over Shamrock Rovers Perth. Gosnells City had the bye.
GLORY HAMMER SORRENTO ON ROAD TRIP (by Joshua Chiat, www.footballwest.com.au)
Perth Glory’s rapid front line put Sorrento to the sword in a 6-1 hammering in the 2018 National Premier Leagues WA Regional Cup at Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Ray Finlayson Sporting Complex on Saturday night. With Perth’s senior team facing Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium, Glory coach John Gibson rung the changes in the Goldfields after a 2-0 loss to league leaders Bayswater City last week. And Gibson’s faith in his replacements paid dividends as spritely winger Yacoub Mustafa claimed man of the match honours with a hat-trick either side of half-time, alongside strikes from Ollie Annis, Joe Knowles and Daniel Stynes. “We’ve got incredible belief in those guys, they know that as well and they’re super courageous, so we enjoyed our trip to Kalgoorlie,” Gibson said after watching his side come from behind to win. “We’ve got a really tough squad – we had five changes from last week – obviously there were five boys with the Hyundai A-League squad tonight. “We have faith in these boys but they’re also terrific ambassadors for our club and they’re exciting prospects as well.”
The first NPL WA contest played in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the match was a cagey affair before it sprung to life in the 33rd minute through a sensational Jordan Roberts volley, who guided a Jordan Brown cross back across Glory keeper Jackson Lee to kick off the scoring for Sorrento. The lead was short lived, however, as the pace of wingers Mustafa and Chok Dau caused havoc in the Gulls defence. Left-back Annis levelled for Glory after 36 minutes with a top-class volley of his own, before Dau and Mustafa combined to hand the latter his first of the game two minutes later, turning the bout on its head before half-time.
Sorrento came out more strongly early in the second half and almost pulled level in the 66th minute when substitute Godwin Darkwa sneaked behind the Glory defence shortly after entering the fray, only for Lee to smother at the striker’s feet. It proved timely, with Annis driving to the by-line just minutes later to cross for an unmarked Mustafa, who tapped in at the back post to give Glory a two-goal cushion. Mustafa secured his hat-trick and made it 4-1 against a stretched Sorrento defence just moments later and could have had a fourth if he had not surrendered a point-black chance by passing to an offside Daniel Stynes. But Glory would have no regrets, with captain Knowles slotting home before Sorrento’s woes deepened in injury time as captain Steve McDonald was sent off for a deliberate handball. Stynes nailed the spot-kick to complete the rout. Disappointed Gulls coach Jamie Harnwell paid credit to Glory, whose boost in goal difference moved them above Perth SC into second ahead of the Azzurri’s top-of-the-table clash with Bayswater on Sunday. “In two mad minutes we gave away two goals, and then in the second half credit to Glory. They were fantastic tonight, they came out to play and they put on a good show for the crowd,” he said.
Perth Glory: 1. Jackson LEE (GK), 2. Luca BODNAR, 3. Walter SCOTT, 4. Sam RIAK, 5. Ollie ANNIS 6. Callum TIMMINS (12. Jack LEECH, 88), 7. Chok DAU (14. Daniel WALSH, 90), 8. Henry HORE, 9. Joseph KNOWLES (c), 10. Daniel STYNES, 11. Yacoub MUSTAFA (13. Michael MCDOUGALL, 90) Substitutes not used: 15. Ablas Bukuru, 20. Nicholas SPECA
Sorrento: 1. James MORGAN (GK), 4. Shaun KILKELLY, 8. Ryan PEARSON, 10. Jordan ROBERTS, 11. Timothy HILL, 13. Steve MCDONALD (c), 17. Reece VITTIGLIA, 18. Jordan BROWN,19. Jack SALTER, 20. Brad MCDONALD (22. Danny JONES, 80), 23. Cameron TEECE (21. Godwin DARKWA, 66). Substitutes not used: 12. Joel PROUT, 3. Jaxon TEMATA.
SHARE OF THE POINTS AT FORRESTFIELD (by Max Hayden-Evans, www.footballwest.com.au)
Forrestfield United and Cockburn City played out a 1-1 draw under lights at Wildlife Safari Stadium on Saturday night as a late Liam Merigan strike ensured the points were shared in this NPL WA encounter. Merigan’s classy outside-of-the-box finish cancelled out Daniel Robinson’s early headed effort and denied Cockburn the chance to come away with a hard-fought win on the road.
Cockburn coach Scott Miller could not hide his frustration at allowing Forrestfield a late equaliser. “It’s another team let off the hook unfortunately. We have to learn to take our chances, we didn’t put it away and they took their point,” he said.
Forrestfield coach Rod Banjac was more upbeat following the result and pointed to his side’s resolve. “It was a tough game. I’m disappointed we didn’t get the win as we certainly had enough chances, but it’s a tough competition and we’re acclimatising. At the end of the day, a draw is not a bad result,” he said.
Both sides started the game brightly but it was Cockburn who opened the scoring on nine minutes when Robinson rose unchallenged to head home directly from a corner. Five minutes later and Forrestfield had their first real opportunity of the game but Hasani Sinclair failed to punish a Cockburn defensive error with his shot on goal blocked just in time. In a first half filled with chances, City’s Harry O’Brien had what looked a certain goal cleared off the line by United’s Callum Dobbs. He also narrowly failed to double his side’s lead by failing to take several goalscoring chances. Forrestfield struggled to make the most of their first-half opportunities, too, particularly when Rhys Loxley could only manage to fire the ball directly at Cockburn goalkeeper Luke Radonich after finding himself in a one-on-one situation following a fast break.
Despite the lion’s share of the possession and chances, a second Cockburn goal refused to come. Forrestfield stood firm and continued to turn away dangerous Cockburn set-pieces in a defensive effort that drew praise from Banjac. “After conceding from a cheap corner, it woke the boys up and from there on they never let go.”
Cockburn’s Miller also showed his admiration for Forrestfield’s fighting efforts, adding: “Second half they defended the set-pieces well and took that element out of our game. They played really well and just kept going, I tip my hat to them.” Sinclair almost nabbed his side an equaliser when he dragged a shot across the face of goal. But six minutes from time Forrestfield captain Merigan earned his team a point with a low-driven shot beyond the gallant Radonich.
Forrestfield United: 1. Luke MARTINO (GK), 2. Tom SOUTHGATE, 5. Scott BARKER, 6. Kirsten DESPOTOVSKI, 7. Leslie MARI, 8. Josh APPLEBY, 9. Hasani SINCLAIR, 11. Liam MERIGAN (C), 12. Callum DOBBS (10. Mitchell CROCKER 89), 16. Thomas JEBB (21. Wilbert TSHABANGU 73), 23. Rhys LOXLEY Substitutes not used: 4. Gerkeler MOO, 18. Benjamin PARRY
Cockburn City: 1. Luke RADONICH (GK), 4. Euen GRANT (C), 5. Keiron STALLARD, 6. Reuben TRISTAO, 7. Luccas MELLO, 8. Cameron EDWARDS (10. David ARAYA 45), 11. Harry O’BRIEN, 15. Daniel SANTICH, 16. Daniel ROBINSON, 17. Jesse LAZARRO, 19. Anthony SKORICH (18. Aden DA LUZ 77) Substitutes not used: 2. Chris THACKRAY, 12. Ryan PRATT, 23. Ryan BARKER (RGK)
LIONS ROAR OVER SUBIACO (by Samuel Hays, www.footballwest.com.au)
Stirling Lions coach Keegan Ashley hailed his side’s tenacity after they came through a “dogfight” to beat Subiaco 1-0 on Saturday. Stirling captain Dean Cummings scored the only goal at Rosalie Park in a game which saw chances for both sides throughout. “I’m very happy with the win. We fought it out extremely hard and it was a great result,” Ashley said. “It was a bit of a dogfight, so you’ve got to be up for that fight and we were.”
Subiaco coach Ian McMurray felt his side did not do enough to secure the points. “I’m disappointed. We had a good win last week against Sorrento but we came today and just didn’t turn up,” McMurray said. “In the first half we were second to everything, though it got a little bit better in the second half when we had about four or five good headers on goal but didn’t hit the target. There was a bit more urgency about us, which we needed, and we put them under a lot of pressure and changed the game style which caused them problems, but we just didn’t take our chances.”
The game started with a flurry and it was Subiaco who had the early openings but they had no one to put them away. And as is so often the case, they were made to rue their profligacy when Cummings opened the scoring for Stirling on 27 minutes as he rose highest to head the ball into the net. Four minutes later Cummings went close to adding a second but his deflected free-kick was headed off the line.
Subiaco then went down the other end and Alex Castiello had a powerful header deflected onto the crossbar as a result of some last-ditch defending. Just before half-time Stirling had a chance to make it 2-0 when Alex Tanevski was in on goal but his shot was tipped over the bar by Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery. Stirling keeper Pasquale Gioffre was then required to make a terrific double save as he parried away the first attempt and was forced to prevent Manas Abendelwa from finishing the follow-up. Stirling struggled to keep possession and Subiaco were unable to finish their chances in a second half where both teams would have liked to have done better. The win makes it two in a row for Stirling, who now turn their attention to Perth Glory, while Subiaco will look to get back to winning ways when they face Armadale.
Subiaco: 17. Alex Castiello, 10. Asher Nelson, 18. David Perich, 6. Jackson Dongray, 12. Nathan Smith, 9. Rory Feely, 14. Ross Jarman, 1. Ryan Montgomery, 16. Steve Purton, 4. Jack Painter/Andrews, 5. Manas Abendelwa, (13. Fanuel Dawit), (19. Ian McMurray), (7. Jonas Dorling) Substitutes not used: 11. Robert Harding, 21. Josiah Godfrey
Stirling Lions: 4. Alex Suleski, 11. Alex Tanevski, 13. David Filippou, 7. Dean Cummings, 8. Dejan Spaseski, 6. Dhhors Chol, 5. Liam Henderson, 12. Matthew Cherrie, 15. Nathan De Abreu, 1. Pasquale Gioffre, 9. Robert Petkov, (18. Jacob Stubberfield), (19. Zane Casella), (17. Steve Sokol) Substitutes not used: 20. Lance Alavakis, 2. Jayden Dodd
BALCATTA MAKE IT THREE IN A ROW (by Navrin Secker, www.footballwest.com.au)
Balcatta’s climb up the NPL WA ladder continued on Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 victory over bottom club Joondalup United, who finished the match with nine men. Goals from Jonathan Corness, Adriano Jelenovic, and an own goal from Elliot Tatterall resigned Joondalup to a seventh loss in the opening eight games, despite Callum Stocks giving some hope to the visitors.
Balcatta coach Goran Stajic described the result at Grindleford Reserve as “a very good three points” as they moved into the top half of the NPL ladder ahead of the Sunday fixtures. The game began with both sides happy to attack and take risks and it was Joondalup who came close to scoring early on. The ball was played to Tatterall on the edge of the box and his powerful shot rattled against the crossbar. Balcatta then had their first chance of the match and to highlight the difference between the sides, they made it count. A break led by Lawrence Shurama was finished off when Corness calmly finished into the bottom corner.
Joondalup were pushing hard, but two yellow cards for Sam Wynne in an eight-minute spell before half-time made their task harder. Being a man down didn’t seem to matter, though, as two minutes after Wynne’s dismissal some brilliant dribbling from Stocks created an opening which he put away to level the scores. If Joondalup had been able to see out the final four minutes of the half and go in all square, they perhaps could have assessed the situation in an upbeat mood despite being at a numerical disadvantage. However they were on terms for just a minute before Balcatta restored their lead when talisman Jelenovic netted past the diving James Bosdet. The home side nearly scored again before half-time as Calum O’Connell attempted to chip Bodset but the Joondalup keeper’s blushes were saved by the bar.
The second half saw a change in tact from Balcatta, who were more content to sit back and try to hold on to their lead. But Joondalup struggled to create chances and their cause was hit further when they went down to nine men after captain Matthew Sparrow received his second yellow card. And a couple of minutes later the visitors were dealt another self-inflicted blow when Tatterall headed a Shubham Mokala free-kick into his own goal to make it 3-1. Despite the result, Joondalup coach Nick Jennings praised his side’s performance. “I thought for the majority of the game we were the dominant side,” he said. “We didn’t get the rub of the green with the referee’s decisions.”
Balcatta: 1. Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 2. Joseph MARINO, 3. Hayden STEVENS, 4. Calum O’CONNELL, 5. Tom PELLIZZARI, 6. Kris GATE (19. Nic CHALLOT 66), 10. Jonathan CORNESS, 15. Adriano JELENOVIC (12. Anton DE FRANCESCH 57), 18. Dougal KINDNESS, 20. Shubham MOKALA (7. Scott NEWLAND 77), 23. Lawrence SHURAMA Substitutes not used: 9. Dejan ANDRIC, 25. Kyle MCDONALD
Joondalup United: 1. James BOSDET, 2. Johnny CHALMERS, 5. Joel LEDSHAM, 6. Sam WYNNE, 7. Matthew SPARROW, 8. Jay MARSDEN, 9. Alex WILD (23. Harley CURAN 80), 10. Elliot TATTERSALL, 11. Anthony TAYLOR, 15. Callum STOCKS (19. Adam BUCKLEY 66), 25. Greg Pellow Substitutes not used: 3. Fraser GARNAUT, 4. Danny O’SHEA, 21. Luke GREEN
ARMADALE GIVE ECU FIRST LOSS OF THE SEASON (by Jesse Foletta, www.footballwest.com.au)
ECU Joondalup suffered a surprise first loss of the NPL WA season on Saturday as they went down 2-1 at home to Armadale. Goals from Chris Jackson and Ali Gholami either side of the interval put Armadale in a commanding position. And though Gordon Smith pulled one back for the Jacks, it was the visitors who ultimately held the aces at ECU Joondalup Football Stadium.
It was Armadale’s second win in successive seasons away to ECU, who went into the Round Eight clash in third place on the back of a three-match winning streak. “We did the right things at the right times,” Armadale forward Jackson said. “The work rate of the midfield was great; all three of them were absolutely energetic.”
Jackson’s opener came in the 25th minute when he finished a left-wing cross from Charlie Kenna. After going in at half-time with the lead, Armadale showed they meant business as Gholami buried a long shot in the bottom corner just after the hour to double the advantage. Three minutes later ECU got themselves back in the game when Smith met an exceptional cross from skipper Daryl Nicol with his head to finally crack Armadale’s solid defence. In a tense final quarter, with the tackles and the card count beginning to mount, ECU Joondalup sent players up in search of an equaliser and they created multiple chances. Steven McGarry and Smith saw shots fly narrowly over. But the Armadale defence, superbly marshalled Billy Quinncroft, refused to buckle further.
“Armadale are always a tough, gritty opponent, who unfortunately got the better of us today,” Nicol said. “The second half we absolutely dominated and we were definitely worthy of at least a point. “We went the first seven games undefeated, so we just need to train hard this upcoming week and get back to the form of recent weeks.”
ECU Joondalup: 1. Johnny PERKINS, 2. Cian HIRRELL, (4. Steven McGARRY 29), 3 Ross Millard, 5. Adam TONG, 6. Lukas DE LIMA, 7. Cameron MURRAY, 8. Josh WHITMORE, 9. Daryl NICOL, 10. Gordon SMITH, (11. Liam MURRAY 71), 15. Shane CASSIDY, 18. Declan HUGHES (13. Tommy AMPHLETT 60) Substitutes not used: 12. Ryan McDARBY, 20. Jack NUNN
Armadale: 1. Sam HUTCHINGS, 2. Joshua KUSER, (3. Charlie SIMPSON 79), 4. Nathan COSTELLO, 7. Charlie KENNA, 8. Michael LAWSON, 9. Billy QUINNCROFT, 10. Chris JACKSON, 11. Michael RIZIDIS, (14. Jonathan BOGONI 87), 15. Ali GHOLAMI, 17. James ATKINS, 21. Beau RAHIM Substitutes not used: 5. Daniel STONE, 12. Dannie RICHMAN, 99. Duncan LENNON BLACK p> 13.4.2018
KERR FIRES MATILDAS INTO LAST FOUR
Sam Kerr rescued the Matildas from the brink of an early Women's Asian Cup exit by burying a dramatic 86th minute equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw with Japan that sends both countries to the Women's World Cup. Kerr netted at the death to cancel out Mizuho Sakaguchi's surprise second-half opener, securing the point Australia needed to top Group B in Amman.
Sakaguchi had looked to have consigned Alen Stajcic's side to a make-or-break play-off for a spot at France 2019 when she scored with a rare Japan chance just after the hour. But superstar striker Kerr was the hero, instead sealing automatic qualification to go with a place in the semi-finals in Jordan. Australia will now meet Group A runners-up Thailand on Tuesday for a place in the Women's Asian Cup Final.
AMBITIOUS TAGGART HAS THE WORLD IN HIS SIGHTS
As a 21-year-old, Adam Taggart had the world at his agile feet. Selected in Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and signed by English club Fulham after a stellar season with Newcastle Jets, the striker was kicking goals on and off the field.
"It was unbelievable, it’s everything you’ve ever worked towards as a kid," Taggart told Goal. "I think the whole experience changed me and made me a hungrier person to know exactly what it was like to play at that level. That experience drives me to be a better player and I hope to get back there one day."
As that last line suggests, football isn't a fan of fairytales. After playing twice for the Socceroos in Brazil, injury would derail Taggart's Fulham expedition which included being loaned to Scottish side Dundee United. Despite the setback, Taggart looks back on the experience with a positivity that's defined his play as a goal scorer.
"It was a dream move for me and to be hounded by injury was really disappointing," he said. "It was a club I really wanted to do well at and to show everyone what I could do at that level. Of course it’s frustrating, but it’s happened now so there’s no point looking back in a negative way or anything like that.
"It’s all experience that I can learn from and it can only get better. I still think being there has helped me develop as a person and as a player so I think in the end it was a good experience. It was just not the exact experience I was hoping for when I first went over there."
Returning to Australia in 2016 desperate to overcome injury and get his career back on track, the now 24-year old is now undoubtedly on the right road. Taggart has struck seven times in 13 leagues games as Perth Glory chase an unlikely top six berth, and he hopes to score again in this weekend’s final round clash with Brisbane Roar.
"A difficult season for the club and myself in general I guess but it’s just good to be on the road to hopefully a bit of success," Taggart said. "Brisbane and Perth have had a similar season, had a lot of injuries, injuries to key players, so I'm sure we’re both focusing on things. Come Saturday it’s a big test for us both."
Off contract with the club at the end of the season, Taggart is eager to test himself overseas and is open to a range of destinations. "I still want to go overseas again, whether it’s Asia or back in Europe," he said. "I just want to hopefully get a good opportunity somewhere after having a good year in the A-League."
"I think that’s important to go somewhere with a bit of value and worth after a good year to make sure you have a good chance to be playing. I still have really big ambitions so I guess we’ll just see what comes in the next couple years."
And he’s made a Socceroos recall for the Asian Cup his goal. "I want to get back in there, I’ve just got to keep working hard and doing what I can do to try and put myself in the window," he said. "It’s always going to be tough to get into but you’ve always got to have your dream and ambitions."
With Graham Arnold set to take charge as a coach after Russia, Taggart is excited by the appointment. "That was the one that sort of had to happen, especially after the World Cup," he said. "He’s been a fantastic coach in the A-League for a number of years now and knowing the Australian players and Australian culture, it’s a no brainer to have him in there."
"I’m sure the future of Australia will be really good and something good for all the young Aussie players having a coach like him who’s developed so many young players in the past." Though he may no longer be classed as a young player himself, Taggart's talent is unquestionable and after learning from an unlucky run of injuries, he now has the world even more firmly at his feet.
TWO LOCAL GAMES TO BE LIVE STREAMED THIS WEEKEND!
Let's talk football will be live streaming local league games on the weekend. Starting with Gwelup Croatia's first ever Division One home fixture with Dianella White Eagles at 2:55pm on Saturday afternoon. This will be followed by an NPL-WA match between Forrestfield United and Cockburn City later in the evening at 6:55pm. Visit the Let's Talk Football facebook page for more information.
NPL-WA ROUND EIGHT PREVIEW (www.footballwest.com.au)
The NPL-WA hits the road this weekend as Perth Glory and Sorrento clash in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Saturday’s Round Eight fixture is the highlight of Football West’s week-long Goldfields Football Festival and the second successive season the sides have met in the regions.
Sorrento got the better of Glory 2-0 in Geraldton last year and Seagulls coach Jamie Harnwell is enthusiastic about the prospect of a repeat at Ray Finlayson Sporting Complex. “It was a great experience. We were well received by the crowd in Geraldton and we’re expecting the same in Kalgoorlie,” Harnwell said. “The boys will travel out on the Friday and prepare overnight, which is probably something they’re not used to. “Our players are usually working on the Saturday mornings in the lead-up to the games, so they’ll get a bit of a lie-in and get treated like professionals. “We’ll go out with a plan and hopefully the travel won’t have an impact.”
While the change of surroundings provides extra excitement to the match, Harnwell won’t want his players distracted from the task in hand. Last weekend’s agonising late loss to Subiaco left Sorrento eight points off leaders Bayswater City and they face another tough challenge against Glory, who are three points and one place above them in fifth. “We should have won comfortably last week but we weren’t ruthless enough and we paid for it,” Harnwell said. “We’ll go out with a plan this week and try and get the three points.”
Glory will also be desperate not to lose further ground after their 2-0 defeat to Bayswater in Round Seven - a game in which they dominated possession but lacked a cutting edge. “I think we’re both hurting,” Glory coach John Gibson said. Looking at the wider picture, Gibson says the Regional Cup round is a great chance to take the game around WA. In addition to the NPL match, there are school clinics and coach, player and referee workshops, and Gibson said: “We’re looking forward to it and it’s a great way to promote the game. “The boys will be well looked after and it’s a great experience.”
While Glory and Sorrento do battle in the Goldfields, back in Perth Bayswater face Perth SC in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday. Bayswater hold a two-point lead over the second-place Sky Blues, who had won five in a row before last weekend’s draw with Cockburn. Also on Sunday third-bottom Floreat Athena host Inglewood United.
The other Round Eight fixtures take place on Saturday. ECU Joondalup, in third, put their unbeaten record on the line against an Armadale outfit who haven’t won since Round One; Joondalup United will look to build on earning their first point of the season when they travel to Balcatta; Subiaco host Stirling Lions; while Forrestfield United face a tough task against Cockburn City in the late game.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWO – PREVIEW
The "Match of the Round" this Saturday is between Gwelup Croatia and Dianella White Eagles at the Croatian Sporting Complex. Gwelup will be playing their very first game at home in Division One after a great 4-2 victory over Mandurah City last week, with coach Taki Nicolaidis expecting a close game, "Both teams are coming off good opening round wins and expect this game to be a very closely contested battle. Both teams have a number of match winners in their side and it may come down to which teams make the most of their opportunities." Bobby Wilson and Seba Munoz are likely to come into the team. Dianella have Emmanuel Kampekyang returning to the squad after missing last week, and Dianella coach Robbie Dunn knows this Saturday will not be an easy game. "We are expecting a very tough and physically challenging ninety minutes against Gwelup and our players have been getting ready for this and preparing themselves well for a hard fought affair. I know our players will not lie down and whilst they respect the individual talent that Gwelup have assembled our lads are keen to test themselves and to see where their ability can take them against such good opposition."
In other games, Ashfield make their first appearance of the season after a bye last week when they travel to Western Knights who will be determined to make up for their big loss last week. Rockingham City and Morley-Windmills will both want to make it two wins in a row when they clash at Lark Hill. UWA-Nedlands FC are home against Joondalup City, while it is the southern derby at the WML Stadium where South West Phoenix meet Mandurah City. Fremantle City have the bye.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWO – PREVIEW
Murdoch University Melville kick-off their league season on Saturday against Kelmscott Roos after the bye last week. Murdoch will be without Christian Long, Reece Frank and Ally Campbell, however Rion Robertson and Broden Brown should be in squad. With the leadership of Dean Thurston and Scott Campbell, the team should be favourites when they come up against Shamrock Rovers Perth who drew 0-0 last week. Kelmscott Roos will meet Swan United at Frye Park, and Swan coach Paul Dundo knows it will not be an easy game. "This weekend’s away game against Kelmscott is going to be a very tough test for us, but also another opportunity to gage were we are at. The Roos only narrowly lost, to one of the title favourites Gosnells 1-0 last week, with the goal being conceded from a penalty. The previous week they knocked out Morley-Windmills in the FFA Cup, so they are more than a decent side and will be well organised with Aaron Beattie at the helm. We have struck two good results together in the last two weeks and will be looking to build on our performance this weekend. It will be a competitive game no doubt as both clubs are working hard to improve on 2017." The black and whites are likely to be unchanged from last week's line-up.
In other games, it rivals Quinns FC and Balga meeting at Gumblossum Park. Kingsway Olympic will want to make it two wins in a row, when they host Canning City who lost 3-0 to Balga last week, while Wanneroo City will want to get points on the board in their home fixture against Curtin University. Gosnells City have the bye.
NEVILLE: GLORY READY TO POUNCE IF WANDERERS SLIP-UP
Defender Scott Neville believes if it wasn’t for Perth Glory’s unlucky run with injuries this season they would already have an A-League Finals Series berth locked up. Heading into the final round of the regular season, Glory is one of three teams fighting for the final spot in the top six.
Sixth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers (33 points), who host Adelaide United on Sunday, are in the box seat but any slip-up would allow either Glory or Brisbane Roar (both 32 points) to take the spot. And in a mouth-watering twist, Glory host Roar on Saturday night in a Round 27 blockbuster.
“The last six to eight weeks we’ve really hit our straps,” Neville told a-league.com.au “It’s just a shame we didn’t hit our straps earlier. Ideally, we’d love it to be in our own hands but we can’t control that now we just have to make sure we do our job and beat Brisbane on Saturday night.”
In what has become a tradition for Kenny Lowe’s side over the last few seasons, Glory has produced their best form at the back end of the campaign. Of their last six matches in the A-League, Glory has won four and lost just one, a 3-2 defeat to champions Sydney FC.
“We beat Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Newcastle in the last few weeks and against Sydney FC, we lost but we beat them 2-0 in the second half,” Neville said. “If we can get into the top six, which we’re really pushing for, I don’t think many teams would want to play us.”
A key contributor in Glory’s resurgence of late has been striker Adam Taggart. Injury has restricted the Socceroos attacker to just 13 appearances this season but he’s still managed a return of seven goals, with four of those coming in his last five outings.
“I was at Newcastle with Taggs when he won the golden boot for that season. It’s pretty clear to see he’s a pretty clinical striker and when he’s fit he bangs the goals in,” Neville said of Taggart, referring to his team mates outstanding summer of 2013/14.
“He’s been a real miss for the games he hasn’t played this season but now he’s in hopefully, he can continue his good form. It’s a shame that he was injured for such a large portion of the season because I honestly believe if he had been fit and scoring goals, he’d be a huge chance to go to another World Cup. He’s one of the best strikers I’ve played with.”
SAINSBURY HANDED FIRST START FOR GRASSHOPPERS
Trent Sainsbury gained his long-awaited first start for Grasshopper Zurich, helping his side to a hard-fought 1-1 draw against FC Zurich. Following his brief substitute appearance in last week's loss to Thun, GCZ coach Murat Yakin rolled out Sainsbury for a much-improved performance in the THE Zurich Derby.
Zurich took the lead early through Raphael Dwamena, but Grasshoppers equalised with 15 minutes remaining thanks to Kenan Kodro, to move Sainsbury's side up to sixth in the league. The Socceroo was withdrawn on the 86th minute, the first match he's started since November. His inclusion helped solidify the struggling Swiss giants, who are now six matches without a win.
FOOTBALL KICKING GOALS WITH BIG SPONSORSHIP DEAL
A chance encounter at a charity function has won Football West its biggest corporate sponsorship, with global miner Gold Fields signing a three-year deal to support State football. At an estimated $100,000 a year, the sponsorship is modest in comparison to some others signed in Australian sport. However, it is a landmark deal for a sport that has struggled to compete for corporate backing.
The funds will support WA’s 21 State teams and see Gold Fields Australia partner with Football West in its regional programs. Football’s governing body had been looking for a major sponsor when chairman Liam Twigger ran into Gold Fields’ local boss Stuart Mathews at a charity function in February, just as the miner was thinking about how to promote itself in West Australia.
Mathews, Gold Fields’ executive vice-president, Australasia, said the miner was immediately attracted to Football West by a shared purpose and the latter’s commitment to regional WA. Gold Fields, which has been in WA for 17 years, operates four mines in the Yilgarn and is developing the $532 million Gruyere project in partnership with Gold Road Resources.
Mr Mathews said it was “uncanny” how well the Football West alignment “matched our values and vision”. “We liked the striving for excellence ... and working with respect, integrity and innovation,” as well as the commitment to regional development, he said.
Gold Fields also sees the opportunity to use the partnership to promote mining as a career to children playing football. “We want to be able to have a vehicle where we can talk about mining as a career, because a lot of people don’t understand how diverse the industry is nowadays,” he said. “It’s not just about mining engineers and geologists, there’s a whole raft of opportunities in mining.”
Over the past 18 months, the Football West board has taken on a more professional face as it seeks to better compete with other sporting codes. Chief executive James Curtis said the partnership coincided with a period of “renewal” for football in WA and the launch of a new strategic plan.
PERTH SC TURNS 70
One of West Australia’s oldest and most successful clubs has kicked off a season-long celebration to mark its 70th anniversary. Perth Soccer Club, who began life as Perth Azzurri in 1948, will recognise their rich history with this year monthly events and displays of memorabilia from each of their seven decades.
President Gary Marocchi is one of a number of players who came through the club to represent the Socceroos. Others include Arno Bertogna, Sauro Iozzelli, Adrian Madaschi and Mark Birighitti. But Marocchi insists the growth of the 24-time champions is down to more than any individual.
“Our success is due to the hard work of our committee, sponsors and supporters, and also the selection of our coaches and players,” said Marocchi, who has also coached the Sky Blues. “We have had many stand-out players over our 70-year history and they have all contributed to make this club what it is.”
Perth Azzurri was formed by a group of Italian migrants who socialised at the WA Italian Club. After mergers with East Fremantle Tricolore and Balcatta Etna, the club eventually took the name Perth SC in 1995. The club launched its celebrations with an official function last month where Elio Nizzola, the last surviving member of the original Azzurri team, was one of a number of past and present players in attendance.
“Perth Soccer Club has contributed enormously to the football landscape in this country, producing players for the national team and State teams at both junior and senior level, players for Perth Glory, as well as giving coaches the opportunity to progress,” Marocchi said. “Our oldest club member, Guido D’Abbondio, who is 95, has been watching Perth SC since its inception in 1948.”
Club patron Eddie Rigo, who started his career as an Azzurri junior in the 1950s, still goes to every game and it is that sense of community that Marocchi wants reflected in the celebrations at Dorrien Gardens. “We will be having monthly events to commemorate each decade from the 1940s onwards and we’ll be involving past players, committee members and supporters,” he said.
However, Perth isn’t a club just looking backwards, as is underlined by their new $2million-plus synthetic training fields. “We hope with the redevelopment that has occurred at the club that we can continue for another 70 years in a changing landscape,” Marocchi added. “We will continue to provide an opportunity for young players to achieve their goals.”
BAYSWATER CEMENT TOP SPOT (by Edward Nixon, www.footballwest.com.au)
A goal in each half from Luka Ninkovic handed ladder-leaders Bayswater City a 2-0 win over Perth Glory at Ashfield Arena on Sunday. With the win, Bayswater moves to outright top of the PS4 NPLWA ladder after Perth SC and Cockburn’s 2-2 draw on Saturday. “I thought we were very resolute in defence and we took our chances,” Bayswater City coach Chris Coyne said. “For me, the most pleasing thing was the way the boys went about it and applied themselves.”
It wasn’t all plain-sailing for Coyne and his men, however, as the Glory dominated possession and could have found themselves ahead after both Daniel Stynes and Joe Knowles went close in the first 10 minutes. Stynes was a constant threat to the Bayswater defence as the Glory went in search of an opener. After soaking up all the early pressure, Bayswater only needed one opportunity to find the back of the net - Ninkovic latching onto a long ball into the box before losing his man to slot past Glory goalkeeper Nick Feely at the near post. The goal came against the run of play and would end up being the visitors only shot on target in the first half.
The Glory again bossed possession in the second half but struggled to crack a stern Bayswater defence who have only conceded four goals all season. “Fair play to them, they came with a game-plan and stuck to it,” Glory coach John Gibson said. Gibson’s side were restricted to shots from distance in the most part and struggled to create any real goal-scoring opportunities despite putting five past Floreat last week. “We’ll work on a few things we got trapped in today that we’ll have a discussion about,” Gibson said.
On the counter-attack, Ninkovic again pounced on a long ball into the box before slotting past a rushing Feely to score his second of the game. To their credit, the Glory continued to press and almost found a way back into the contest - Bayswater keeper Devon Spence tipping substitute Yacoub Mustafa close-range effort onto the post. As time ticked on, the Glory pushed men forward and were almost hit on the counter-attack for the third time, but Luke Salmon’s shot grazed the top of the bar and went over. The Glory now switches their focus towards Sorrento next week, while Bayswater host Perth SC in a mouth-watering top of the table clash.
Perth Glory: 1. Nick FEELY, 2. Luca BODAR, 3. Walter SCOTT, 4. Riley WARLAND, 5. Sam RIAK, 6. Callum TRIMMINS (14. Henry HORE 60’), 7. Jacob ITALIANO (c) (13. Chok DAU 74’), 8. Brandon WILSON, 9. Joseph KNOWLES, 10. Jake BRIMMER, 11. Daniel STYNES (12. Jacob MUSTAFA 62’) Substitutes not used: 15. Ollie ANNIS, 20. Jackson LEE
Bayswater City: 1. Devon SPENCE, 4. Arran MAPLESTONE (11. Devon GIBSON 69’), 5. Adam HARRIS, 6. Todd HOWARTH, 8. Paul MCCARTHY, 12. David STOKOE, 13. Trent KAY (c), 15. Paul LLOYD, 17. Gian ALBANO (23. Andrija JUKIC 85’), 19. Luka NINKOVIC (22. Luke SALMON 76’), 24. Jake SARDELIC Substitutes not used: 21. Riley VAN DIEKEN, 25. Dejan ALEKSIC
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ONE – REVIEW
Dianella White Eagles made an early season statement when they easily beat defending champions Western Knights 6-0 in the big derby game on Saturday. Angel Andres was the goal hero by scoring four with Friday Ziko grabbing two. Fremantle City backed up their night series win with a come from behind 3-2 victory over UWA-Nedlands FC. Alec Robinson scored from a penalty, while Alec Robinson got the other two for the port club. Gwelup Croatia made their debut in Division One with a 4-2 win away to Mandurah City. Gwelup were 3-0 up within thirty minutes, with Noah Shamaki, Jay Lang and David Heagney all finding the net. Mandurah got back into the game early in the second half with Joe O'Brien and Oriol Fernandez scoring. However Gwelup made sure of the points with a goal from Jay Lang.
In other games, Rockingham City won 2-0 away to Joondalup City, while Morley-Windmills won 4-1 in their return to Division One against South West Phoenix at Wotton Reserve. Ashfield had the bye.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ONE – REVIEW
Swan United backed up their cup victory against Wanneroo City, with a 4-1 win in the opening round of the Division Two season at home to Quinns FC. The visitors scored first, with new signing Ross Edwards finding the net, before James Shamin equalised to make it 1-1 at half time. Swan made it 2-1 thanks to a powerful back post header by Rory Mouttet. James Shamin made it 3-1 after great work from John Monterosso on the left hand side of the park. Cillian Fagan came off the bench to finish off the game after a driving run through midfield. Balga started off the league season in style with a good 3-0 win over Canning City. Vladimir Naumovski made it 1-0 just before the interval via the penalty spot. Balga had most of the play in the second half, and it was Danny Moss who made it 2-0 from a strike that gave the keeper no chance. Midway through the half it was 3-0 to Balga. James Spurry ran onto a great pass by Moss, with Spurry's expert cross finding Naumovski who headed home from close range.
In other games, Kingsway Olympic easily beat local rivals Wanneroo City 3-0, Gosnells City started life in Division Two with a 1-0 win against Kelmscott Roos, while Curtin Univiserity and Shamrock Rovers Perth played out a goalless draw. Murdoch University Melville had the bye.
LIONS ROAR TO VICTORY AGAINST ATHENA (by Bobby Stamatoski, www.footballwest.com.au)
Stirling Lions produced a strong performance to claim a 2-1 win over Floreat Athena at Macedonia Park on Saturday in round seven of the NPLWA season. Stirling coach Keegan Ashley was pleased to see his team get the result and was full of praise for his star striker, Robert Petkov. "We set ourselves out for a big game, we worked hard and got the result," he said. "Robby has been working hard. He's not been on form but he just keeps working hard and it'll come for him. It was great for him to get a goal today."
The home team came out and applied the early pressure and almost went ahead when Dejan Spaseski failed to capitalise from point blank range as early as the 5th minute. The Lions dominated the first half but could not find the back of the net. Tanevski summed up their first half when he missed a sitter in the 31st minute and both teams left the field scoreless at half time. Five minutes into the first half however, it was the visitors who took the lead through Dean Evans. Stirling failed to clear a corner and the ball fell nicely for Evans to hit it on the half volley into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
The Lions fought back hard though and were rewarded with a goal in the 60th minute. David Micevski's low drive from a free kick fell right in front of Petkov, who made no mistake from close range to make it 1-1. Micevski could've put the hosts ahead but his effort went wide and he ended limping off with an injury. The hosts finally went ahead 11 minutes from through Tanevski from a corner, and it proved to be the winning goal much to the joy of the home fans.
Athena coach Howard Tweats was dissapointed with the end result. "First half I thought we got run over a little bit," he said. "Stirling had the better of the game. Should've been ahead deservedly in the first half." "We tried to put a few things right at half time. Worked for 10 minutes but we were just not good enough." "The decision making was poor, and generally overall commitment against a side who's at home who's heavily backed, just didn't stand up to the challenge."
Stirling Lions: 1. Pasquale GIOFFRE (GK) 4. Alex SULESKI, 11. Alex TANEVSKI, 2. David MOLINARI, 10. David MICEVSKI, (17. Zane CASELLA 66min), 7. Dean CUMMINGS (C), 8. Dejan SPASESKI, 5.Liam HENDERSON, 15. Nathan DE ABREU, 9. Robert PETKOV, (12.Matthew CHERRIE 89min) 6.Dhhors CHOL, Substitutes not used: 20. Lance ALAVAKIS, 18. Ben CAMPBELL, 13. Joey PERKINS,
Floreat Athena: 1. Jason SALDARIS, 10. Calvin WHITNEY, 9. Carlo COELHO, (13. Hamza HINA 74min) 15. Chris SALDARIS, 17. Dean EVANS (C), 6. Jesse FULLER, 8. Jonathan STYNES, 14. Ludovic BOI, 2. Marco SANTA LUCIA, 18. Phillip ARNOLD, 16. Ryan MALTON, Substitutes not used: 23. Jordan BARBAS, 11. Dennis GALAN,
ECU MAKE IN THREE WINS IN A ROW (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Inglewood United’s miserable record against ECU Joondalup has continued with this afternoon’s 3-0 loss at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. It was the second time in six days, and the eighth time in eleven meetings that the northern suburbs outfit have got the better of Inglewood.
Assistant coach Saul Contera lamented his team’s inability to break through Joondalup’s defences. “It’s disappointing to lose 3-0 in a game that we dominated from start to finish,” Contera told nplwa.com.au post-game. “We looked good, but we didn’t do anything with it.”
It took Joondalup only a couple of minutes to take the lead, Shane Cassidy playing through the defence for Daryl Nicol to finishing past goalkeeper Alex Dunn. Alex Salmon wasted a golden opportunity to restore parity nine minutes later by firing wide from the penalty spot following Johnny Perkins foul on Ash Rosindale.
Ellis Healing was also presented with a chance to level the game but his free-kick was too close to ‘keeper Perkins. That miss was compounded soon after when Cian Hirrell rose unchallenged to nod in Adam Tong’s long thrown to the far post.
Some positional and tactical changes at the break by Andy Keogh saw Inglewood return to the park with some extra spring in their step. Scott Robertson hit the upright with a flicked header and a Rosindale’s sizzling volleying flew just wide of the target.
Dunn had his gloves stung by substitute Tommy Amphlett’s fierce drive as the clock slowly edged towards the end of regulation time. An away win was sealed in stoppage time when Nicol picked himself after being felled by Dunn to convert from the spot.
Inglewood United: Alex Dunn, Alex Ishida-Livings, Scott Robertson, David Cyrus (Jamie Murphy 46), Brian Farrell, Scott Blackmore, Jason Barrera, Ellis Healing (Miki Vujacic 68), Ash Rosindale (Feisal Zaw 82), Brian Woodall, Alex Salmon
ECU Joondalup: Johnny Perkins, Andy Higgins (Ryan McDarby 87), Adam Tong, Shane Cassidy, Cian Hirrell, Cameron Murray, Declan Hughes, Josh Whitmore, Ross Millard (Tommy Amphlett 73), Lukas Da Lima (Steven McGarry 67), Daryl Nicol
SUBIACO GET LATE WINNER (by Dennis Gedling, www.footballwest.com.au)
An injury-time wonder strike has earned Subiaco AFC their first home win of the NPLWA season, defeating Sorrento 3-2. The amazing finish was one of two goals for Steve Purton in an exciting game that would have left the visiting Gulls cursing their lack of finesse in front of goal. Subiaco went out with a defensive formation and a shot from Reece Vittiglia was tipped over by the Subiaco keeper before the home side went ahead on 17 minutes.
Lively winger Manase Abandelwa beat the offside trap and scored from close range leaving the Sorrento players incensed believing it was offside. After discussions between the referee, linesman and Sorrento players the goal was awarded. Sorrento came back though, and had it 1-1 on 28 minutes when Shaun Kilkelly finished at the far post unmarked after a wonderful cross from Timothy Hill that caught out the Subiaco defence.
Both sides traded chances before a minute from half time when Subiaco had the lead again and once again it was a controversial call. A mistake at the back led Subiaco’s David Perich to steal the ball and pass off to Rory Feely who somehow shot wide. Luckily for Feely, Sorrento keeper James Morgan took him out with the follow through trying to save the shot and the penalty was given. After more protests from the Sorrento players the penalty was converted by Purton with some power.
In the second half Sorrento took more control of the game and had their second goal on 57 minutes when captain Daryl Platten scored from close range after a goal mouth scramble. The move that bamboozled the defence started with a lovely back heel from powerful striker Cameron Teece. Sorrento seemed like the team most likely to score and made positive substitutions but a lack of finishing cost them, with two chances going begging for Vittiglia and another shot from close range being saved and held by the keeper right on the goal line. The missed chances would come back to haunt Sorrento of course with Subiaco winning it two minutes in to added time.
Thanks to some good work by pacy substitute Robert Harding, Subiaco won a corner that was cleared after a goal mouth scramble. The ball came back to Purton who took one touch to control the ball and then sent the ball curling past the keeper from outside the area leading to jubilant scenes. Post-game a relieved Subiaco coach Ian McMurray was very happy with the result. "They set up well and deserved the win," he said.
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell wasn’t impressed with the result, but said there wasn’t much his team could do about it. Subiaco will be hoping to make it two in a row at home when they host Stirling next Saturday while Sorrento travel to Ashfield to take on Perth Glory.
Subiaco AFC: 1 Ryan MONTGOMERY 17. Alex CASTIELLO 4. Jack ANDREWS (7. Jonas DORLING 71) 18. David PERISH 15. Dean APELGREN 6. Jackson DONGRAY 12. Nathan SMITH 5. Manase ABANDELWA (11. Robert HARDING 83) 16. Steve PURTON 9. Rory FEELY (Ian McMURRAY 71) 10. Asher NELSON Substitutes not used: 21. Teophile BROWN 13. Fanuel DAWIT 21.
Sorrento: 1. James MORGAN 13. Steve MCDONALD 7. Alex MORGAN 20. Brad MACDONALD 4. Shaun KILKELLY 6. Daryl PLATTEN (21. Godwin DARKWA 74) 10. Jordan ROBERTS 8. Ryan PEARSON 17. Reece VITTIGLIA 11. Timothy HILL 23. Cameron TEECE (19. Jack SALTER 60) Substitutes not used: 60. Anastasis Farsaleas 18. Jordan BROWN 12. Joel PROUT
JUFC GET FIRST POINT OF THE SEASON (by Max Hayden-Evans, www.footballwest.com.au)
Joondalup United claimed their first point of the NPLWA season on Saturday afternoon, holding on for a gritty 1-1 draw with Forrestfield United to snap their six-game losing streak. In a physical contest that had everything but a winning goal, both sides would end the match a goal apiece and down to 10 men.
Joondalup started the game brightly, pressuring the Forrestfield defence before they had a goal disallowed after Johnny Chalmers’ shot struck Alex Wild, who was judged to be in an offside position. Moments later, Joondalup had the ball in the back of Forrestfield’s net and this time they would not be denied by the linesman, with Jay Marsden sneaking the ball under Forrestfield goalkeeper Luke Martino with a low shot to grab the early lead. However a Joondalup defensive lapse would see Forrestfield equalise just minutes later as Jordan Hart strolled in behind to calmly finish beyond goalkeeper James Bosdet. Both sides had the chance to add to their score but would ultimately fail in their search for the winning goal.
Forrestfield assistant coach Bobby Despotovski lamented his side’s performance. “We deserved to get more out of the game, but if you don’t score your chances you’re not going to get the win, it’s as simple as that," he said.
Joondalup coach Nick Jennings was buoyed by the result. “You’ve got to start somewhere” he said. “It’s probably a fair point, both teams had their chances. I’d have preferred the three but I’m happy with the one.”
Forrestfield striker Hasani Sinclair had a pair of golden opportunities at the start of the second half, both times going one on one with the Joondalup goalkeeper. Despite plenty of time on the ball and a gaping goal, Sinclair could only rue what could have been as he drew an excellent save from Bosdet on one occasion before narrowly firing wide on the other. Both goalkeepers would have their share of work to do, Martino having to contend with a number of opportunities created by Joondalup's Elliot Tattersall and Chalmers who both put in excellent performances at the heart of the Joondalup midfield.
Forrestfield’s Joshua Kotio was sent-off in the 74th minute after he had kicked out in the box at Joondalup players. Centre back Luke Serra’s reaction to the incident saw him earn a second yellow, marking his second red card in a season that is only seven weeks old.
The incident frustrated Joondalup’s Jennings. “A lack of discipline. Their guy’s kicked out, he’s clearly getting sent off, and for no reason our centre half has got involved.”
Joondalup United: 1. James BOSDET (GK), 2. Johnny CHALMERS, 5. Joel LEDSHAM, 6. Sam WYNNE, 7. Matthew SPARROW (C), 8. Jay MARSDEN, 9. Alex WILD, 10. Elliot TATTERSALL (15. Callum STOCKS 75.), 11. Anthony TAYLOR, 17. Luke SERRA, 25. Greg PELLOW Substitutes not used: 4. Danny O’SHEA, 21. Luke GREEN, 23. Harley CURRAN
Forrestfield United: 1. Luke MARTINO (GK), 2. Tom SOUTHGATE, 4. Mark BARNETT, 5. Scott BARKER, 6. Callum ROBERTS (3. Joshua KOTIO 40.), 7. Leslie MARI, 9. Hasani SINCLAIR, 10. Jordan HART (Rhys LOXLEY 68.), 11. Liam MERIGAN (C), 12. Callum DOBBS (8. Josh APPLEBY 74.), 16. Thomas JEBB Substitutes not used: 14. Anthony Lemaire, 18. Benjamin PARRY
LATE GOAL GIVES COCKBURN A SHARE OF THE POINTS (by Blayne Treadgold, www.footballwest.com.au)
A late penalty saw Cockburn come from 2-1 behind to share the spoils with Perth SC on Saturday afternoon at Dalmatinac Park. In an interesting encounter which saw the momentum shift countless times throughout the match, it was a penalty shout for hand ball against Perth’s Matthew Milenkovic which would ultimately decide the outcome.
Despite finding themselves 2-1 behind at half time, it was Cockburn with the bulk of the chances in a fast paced first 45 minutes. New City recruit Anthony Skorich opened the scoring inside 10 minutes for City after a defensive mix up, Skorich pouncing on the loose ball and calmly finishing past Perth keeper, Francis Soale. Cockburn began to dominate and it would be down to Soale who produced a big double-save midway through the half to keep Perth within touching distance.
However, Skorich’s opener was soon cancelled out by Perth’s Paul Zimarino with some beautiful combination play in the lead up, Zimarino buried his chance to find a leveler for Azzurri. Perth went ahead through Niccolo Sabatini just before the break as he rose high to head the ball home and see Perth enter the sheds with a slender advantage.
With several momentum changes in the second half, as both sides tussled for the result, it would be Daniel Robinson to step up for the spotkick for Cockburn and snatch the late point for Scott Miller’s side. “It was a weird half time talk because it was probably the best we’ve played in a first half… But we went in 2-1 down,” Miller said. “It shows how much we have improved, but it also shows what a good team Perth are…. Two chances, two goals.” “First half we possibly could have had three or four…. The result is probably what both teams deserved because both sides gave it a good crack today,” he said.
Perth coach Ramon Falzon was content with a share of the spoils. “It’s not a bad place to come away from with a point, but I was very disappointed with our first half.” “We made too many mistakes, too many unforced errors so we were very lucky to be 2-1 in front at half time,” Falzon said. “In the first half we didn’t execute our original plan…. It was disappointing that we wasted the first 45 mins.” “We lifted in the second half and Two goals each was probably a fair result,” he said.
Cockburn City: 1. Luke RADONICH, 4. Euen GRANT, 5. Kieron STALLARD, 6. Reuben TRISTAO, 7. Lucas MELLO (10. Daniel ARAYA 88’) 8. Cameron EDWARDS, 11. Harry O’BRIEN, 15. Daniel SANTICH (18. Aden DA LUZ 67’) 16. Daniel ROBINSON, 17. Jesse LAZZARO, 19. Anthony SKORICH (12. Ryan PRATT 81’) Substitutes not used: 2. Chris THACKRAY, 23. Ryan BARKER
Perth SC: 1. Francis SOALE, 4. Adrian MADASCHI, 5. Niccolo SABATINI, 6. Harley ORR, 9. Gustavo CATERCIONE, 11. Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12. Jordan DE LEO, 14. Kristan SANTICH (3. Andreas THEODOSIADES 70’) 16. Kieran COLWELL, 18. Richard HOWLES, 20. Paul ZIMARINO (7. Aleksander JOVIC 84’) Substitutes not used: 2. Alex SILLA, 10. Nicholas AMBROGIO
DE FRANCESH GETS BRACE FOR BALCATTA (by Samuel Hays, www.footballwest.com.au)
Two goals from Anton De Francesch ensured Balactta a 2-1 win over Armadale at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday. The victory made it two wins in a row for Balcatta, and assistant coach Fab Pergoloni was pleased with the performance that he believes was the result of a good pre-season. “The boys performed well and did pretty much what they had to do,” Pergoloni said. “We’ve been working hard all pre-season so therefore we’re starting to put some bricks on the wall. “We’ve been working together for six months and we’re all working well with each other which is now coming to fruition on the pitch. “We had a plan and sometimes plans work and sometimes they don’t, but it seemed in the second half we started to string it all together and it came together in the end.”
Armadale assistant coach Simon Walker was disappointed with a result that he puts down to a lack of focus. “It wasn’t what we planned for but these games happen, we weren’t on our game and we got punished for it,” Walker said. “The boys are very disappointed with the performance they put in but we’ll get back into training and put it right next week. “It’s just focus. When you score a goal and you’re all on a high, then lose your shape you’re going to concede and that’s exactly what we did. “It’s just a very poor performance on our part, the poorest one we’ve had all year and we’re very disappointed with the result.”
The match started slowly with only two great saves from both keepers ensuring the score line remained 0-0 at half-time. Balcatta came out firing in the second half and had a chance to take the lead when Shubham Mokala whipped an excellent free kick into the box only for the header to be saved by Sam Hutchings who got down well to his left. Another chance fell Balcatta’s way only four minutes later when in the 59th minute Kris Gate saw his powerful shot palmed away by Hutchings’ who proved the lifeline for Armadale.
Balcatta’s pressure payed off in the 77th minute when Lawrence Shurama found an unmarked De Francesch who blasted it past Hutchings’ from close range. Armadale found a way back into the game in the 84th minute through Chris Jackson who tapped the ball into the net after it had bounced around the box. But it didn’t take long for Balcatta to regain the lead as only two minutes later Shurama found De Francesch who finished superbly in almost a carbon copy of the first goal.
Balcatta: 15. Adriano Jelenovic, 3. Hayden Stevens, 10. Jonathan Corness, 6. Kris Gate, 25. Kyle McDonald, 23. Lawrence Shurama, 20. Shubham Mokala, 5. Tom Pellizzari, 18. Dougal Kindness, 19. Nic Challot, 24. Antoni D’Allesio, 12. Anton De Francesch, 4. Calum O’Connell, 7. Mathew McRoberts Unused substitutes: 1. Domenico Savoldelli, 14. Vasco Da Silva
Armadale: 15. Ali Gholami, 21. Beau Rahim, 9. Billy Quinncroft, 7. Charlie Kenna, 10. Chris Jackson, 3. Delan De Silva, 2. Joshua Kuser, 8. Michael Lawson, 11. Michael Rizidis, 4. Nathan Costello, 1. Sam Hutchings, 17. James Atkins, 14. Jonathan Bogoni, 6. Kevin Castle Unused substitutes: 99. Duncan Lennon-Black, 12. Daragh Nagle
NPL-WA ROUND SEVEN PREVIEW (www.footballwest.com.au)
Bayswater City are out to make the first real statement of the NPL WA campaign when they take on Perth Glory on Sunday. In a much-anticipated Round Seven clash which pits first against third, Bayswater coach Chris Coyne sees the match as a chance for his team to put space between themselves and most of the chasing pack. “Potentially it’s an opportunity to build a gap at the top of the table,” Coyne said.
Having won five of their opening six games, Bayswater sit top of the league on goal difference over Perth SC. However Coyne wants more from his players. “We’re always trying to improve and get better and better,” he said.
The defending champions will have their work cut out when they make the trip to take on Glory, who could go top themselves depending on results elsewhere. John Gibson’s side have been the surprise package of the season and are coming off an impressive 5-1 win away at Floreat Athena to sit just two points behind Bayswater and Perth SC. Glory have won four of their six games this year after winning just five matches in all of last season, but Gibson knows Bayswater will present a whole new challenge. “They’ll give us a good indication of where we’re at,” he said. “Our goal is to avoid relegation and once we reach that target we’ll reassess. “Historically in this competition we’ve always found it pretty tough but it’s been pleasing with the start we’ve had this season.”
The other fixtures which jumps out this weekend is on Saturday with second-place Perth SC taking on Cockburn City, who are fourth. In-form Cockburn have dropped just five points in the first six rounds but may still have to find another gear if they are to get past a Sky Blues side who have won their last five. Balcatta will look to show their 2-1 win over Subiaco was no flash in the pan when they host Armadale, while Joondalup United will be desperate to break their 2018 duck when they face a Forrestfield side keen for redemption after a disappointing 3-0 loss at Perth SC. ECU Joondalup put their unbeaten record on the line against Inglewood, with Sorrento eager to keep pace with the top four when they travel to take on Subiaco. Stirling Lions and Floreat Athena, who both suffered heavy defeats last week and have yet to really get going this term, round out Saturday’s fixtures at Macedonia Park.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ONE – PREVIEW
The Match of the Round to start of the league season on Saturday in Division One is the big derby game between Dianella White Eagles and Western Knights. The Knights will hope to start the defence of their league title with a win over their arch rivals after losing out to Sorrento in the FFA Cup on Easter Monday. Gwelup Croatia commence their first ever season in the First Division by travelling to Mandurah City after thrashing Kwinana United 8-0 in the cup last week. Coach Taki Nicolaidis was very happy with the victory and is looking forward to the first game of the season. "It was a very good win against last years Amateur Cup winners in what I thought would be a tricky game. This week's Round one clash against Mandurah will be a tough one as every club have been gearing up for the first game of the season. After a slow start in our pre-season we have started to gain good momentum and are full of confidence but need to maintain our focus and disciple if we are to start the season with a win."
In other games, newly promoted Morley-Windmills are at home to South West Phoenix, UWA-Nedlands FC travel to Hilton Park where they meet Fremantle City in a re-match of the Night Series Final. It is north against south in the final fixture between Joondalup City and South West Phoenix at the Iluka Sports Complex, while Ashfield have the bye.
STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ONE – PREVIEW
It's another derby that kicks off the Division Two 2018 season, with a Friday night game when Wanneroo City travels across the road to face rivals Kingsway Olympic. Wanneroo City had a great night series and made the semi-final, while Olympic came so close to knocking off NPL side Cockburn City in the FFA Cup last week. Olympic coach Graham Normanton will want to have a better start to the season this year, with the club aiming for promotion. Quinns FC are on the road to Swan United, Paul Dundo recently took over as coach of the black and whites and will hope to kick-off the league season with a win, but Quinns will have other ideas. Quinns' Alex Sallery says the club is looking forward to the first game of the year. "It’s been a long hard pre-season under a new coaching team and with a load of new players but we’re hoping to start strongly against Swan. With all the quality coming into the division this year it’s important to get off on the right foot although Swan has always been a hard place to go and play on that tiny pitch. We’re looking forward to the season ahead and with all the new lads I believe we will be very competitive."
In other games, Gosnells City play their first game in WA's third tier since 1970 when they meet Kelmscott Roos at Walter Padbury Reserve. Balga came close to causing the upset of the round against Floreat Athena in the FFA Cup on Easter Monday, and on Saturday will be up against Canning City at home. Later in the day at 5pm, it's the local derby between Curtin University and Shamrock Rovers Perth at Edinburgh Oval. Murdoch University Melville have the bye.
MATILDAS HAVE ONE EYE ON WORLD CUP AHEAD OF ASIAN CUP CAMPAIGN
Success on two fronts will be the aim when Australia begin their Women's Asian Cup campaign in Jordan tomorrow as they look to give themselves an easier ride at next year's World Cup. The Women's Asian Cup acts as the continent's final qualifiers for the global event and Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams believes winning the title in the Middle East will be doubly significant.
"We've had a lot of success over the last few years," said Williams, who will be appearing at her third Asian Cup for Australia. "It was heartbreaking to lose to Japan (in the 2015 Women's Asian Cup final). We really wanted that top spot. We got put in the group of death at the World Cup and didn't get seeded, so we're definitely going out at this tournament hoping to win it."
Eight nations will compete for the title, with the finals being held in the Middle East for the first time after a concerted effort by Jordan Football Association President Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein to grow the women's game in the socially conservative region. Historically east Asian nations have dominated women's football in Asia, with China winning the title in eight of the 18 previous editions.
Japan also captured the Women's World Cup in 2011 and reached the final in 2015 having claimed their first Women's Asian Cup a year earlier. Australia won their first - and so far only - Women's Asian Cup in 2010 but are the favourites for this year's title after an impressive run that has seen Stajcic's side win last year's high-profile Tournament of Nations and finish third at the prestigious Algarve Cup.
Australia kick-off their campaign against South Korea before also taking on Japan and Vietnam in Group B while Group A contains hosts Jordan, China, Thailand and the Philippines. The top two teams from each group qualify for the Women's World Cup in France next year, before a playoff between the countries finishing in third place to decide the fifth spot.
"It's going to be difficult, a lot of teams in women's football have really stepped up their game and in the past year or so any team can beat anyone on any given day," said Williams. "So this competition is really going to set us up hopefully for the win, but also for the World Cup too. We have to approach every game on its merits and it's nice to touch down and feel like it's the Asian Cup."
“WE’RE NOT JUST A WALKOVER” – PHOENIX MUST STAY SAYS GALLOWAY
Wellington Phoenix defender Scott Galloway believes the value the Kiwi club can add to the A-League should outweigh the negatives as its future is again thrown up in the air. Reports this week claimed Wellington’s position in the A-League was under threat, failing to meet key “metrics”.
“They have metrics to hit, and we’ll continue to work with Wellington Phoenix to see whether or not they’re interested in improving their club to a point where those metrics become achievable,” Head of A-League Greg O’Rourke was quoted as saying.
Wellington have endured a torrid season, sitting bottom of the table with the head coach post currently vacant. It has proven another underwhelming season for a club that has not reached the finals since the 2014/15 season and has been playing in front of dwindling crowds at an average of 5,809.
This is far from the first time the Nix’s position in the competition has come under the microscope since their inclusion in 2008. The club battled to have its licence renewed in 2016, when it and FFA ultimately agreed to a conditional 10-year plan dependent on meeting the “metrics” O’Rourke spoke of.
Australian full-back Galloway, who moved to Wellington from Central Coast Mariners prior to the 2017/18 season, hoped any decisions over the club’s future would take more than just the current season into consideration. “A lot of people have their own opinions,” Galloway said.
“Just because it’s been a bad year this year, you can’t just throw it in and say they don’t deserve to be in the league. There’s been other teams that have had really bad years in the competition. When everything’s going well , obviously a lot more fans are going to turn up.”
“You’ve got to look at what it brings and what it brings to young footballers, opportunities that it gives. We do compete. Results might not go our way, but we’re not just a walkover in the league.
“The fans that have stuck by us through thick and thin have been amazing and you can’t thank them enough, and to have fans like that, it shows how special the club is and what the club does for the environment around and the local community.
“Even New Zealand football, just to have a team in there, it’s a pathway for New Zealand players and Australian players and all. It’s something I feel would be very disappointing if they let go.”
Galloway is one of up to a dozen Wellington players fighting for new deals beyond the conclusion of the season. The defender inked a one-year deal when moving to New Zealand and has since battled through a season interrupted by injury.
The 22-year old is eyeing a strong conclusion to the season with two games remaining, starting with former club Melbourne Victory on Sunday. “I’ve got two games left, I’ve got to put my best foot forward, even for myself just to finish the season strong,” Galloway said.
“For me it’s been a bit of an up and down year with injury at the start and trying to find a bit of fitness again. There’s two games left, two big games, obviously (there’s) not much to play for but respect for ourselves now.”
DE VANNA DESPERATE FOR SUCCESSFUL FINAL CHAPTER WITH MATILDAS
Matildas co-captain Lisa De Vanna is determined to enrich her final years in international football with the kind of success she has long craved. The explosive attacker has been a key member of the national team since 2004, winning the AFC Women's Asian Cup in 2010 and being voted into the FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team twice.
But at 33, De Vanna knows time is running out to fully maximise a golden period for Australian football. "I've always wanted to be in a team where we could compete with the best and have the best players around," De Vanna told matildas.footballaustralia.com.au.
"I have to look at the good and the bad. It's great to finally be in a team where we can challenge the number one teams in the world. In the past it was really difficult because we never had the depth. But at the same time I'm coming toward the end of my career and I'm not going to experience it as long I could have."
First on the agenda in a big two years for the Matildas is this month's AFC Women's Asian Cup in Jordan. Though they enter as the tournament's top-ranked team, De Vanna insists her team-mates are unflustered by the extra expectation. "We haven't really read into it," she commented.
"Obviously we're going out to win the tournament, but it's all talk now and we haven't achieved anything. The only pressure we have is people expect us to do well and in the past we were sort of an underdog kind of team. But we've been here before so we know what pressure is like, we know what expectation is like, we know what we're capable of doing."
VICTORY SWOOP FOR ROUX
Central Coast Mariners defender Storm Roux looks set for a high-profile switch to Melbourne Victory as the long-term replacement for departed right-back Jason Geria. The New Zealand international, who has made 104 appearances in five seasons in Gosford, is expected to receive a pay hike in what is thought to be a multi-year deal.
Roux's career was derailed by a broken leg and dislocated shoulder back in 2016, but he's bounced back to be one of his clubs' most consistent performers. And it's understood that he will be released from the final year of his contract to head south to work under the wing of Victory coach Kevin Muscat next season.
Muscat is currently without a specialist right-back and sees attack-minded Roux, capped 13 times by New Zealand, as the answer to the conundrum. The 25-year old played juniors at Sorrento and spent three seasons with Perth Glory Youth's team before being promoted to the senior squad in January 2013. He switched to Central Coast in June of that same year.
THISTLE STAR EDWARDS SAYS HIS TEAM HAVE NOT BEEN MENTALLY STRONG ENOUGH
Ryan Edwards has blamed Partick Thistle’s woes on a collective mental weakness as his side face their biggest game of the season. The Jags tonight visit Ross County, who sit three points behind them in last place, for a match they simply cannot afford to lose.
Should Thistle win they will close the gap on fellow Scottish Premiership strugglers Dundee and Hamilton Athletic. But defeat would allow County to jump over Thistle. Edwards feels the major problem for his team has been what’s happened in the head, rather than their ability to kick a football about the pitch.
“Mentally, throughout the whole season, we need to have been better,” said Edwards, who played his 100th game for Partick at the weekend. “Physically and tactically we’ve been fine. But mentally we haven’t been as good as we had been. I think that’s shown in the results, how late we’ve conceded goals and how deep we’ve gone in games.”
“Every game has been really important for us but you come to this game, a bottom of the table clash, and if we win it we can pull ourselves further away from Ross County. If they win we will go bottom and it makes it really difficult for us so it’s going to be a really interesting game and hopefully we can get the three points.”
WILLIAMS WELCOMES COMPETITION FOR MATILDAS' NUMBER ONE SHIRT
Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams is relishing the healthy competition provided by positional rival Mackenzie Arnold. Widely regarded as among the best shot-stoppers in the world, Williams has been Australia's undisputed number one at the last two international tournaments.
But the impressive development of Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Arnold and experience of squad member Casey Dumont means there are no guarantees for the upcoming AFC Women's Asian Cup. "In the last couple of years we've changed the way we want to play, especially from the goalkeeping standpoint," Williams told matildas.footballaustralia.com.au
"We want to use our feet a lot and play out. (Mackenzie) is one of the most technical goalkeepers Australia has produced. It's nice we've been able to push each other and be encouraging at the same time. While it's a competition, it's also a really good friendship and respect for each other."
The Matildas head to Jordan on the back of a lengthy training camp in Perth culminating in a big friendly victory over Thailand. Melbourne City star Williams believes the time spent locally will be beneficial come the Asian Cup. "It's been a little bit different. A lot of the time we're based overseas with our preparation," she said.
"It's been nice to have some familiarity and be a little bit closer to home since most of us don't get to spend a lot of time in Australia. We've been pretty lucky we've been able to have the whole squad together. I think being in Perth is pretty similar to what the weather might be like in Jordan. It's been good."
DID THE STATE GOVERNMENT SHORT-CHANGE THE MATILDAS? (by Sean Smith, thewest.com.au)
Here’s hoping that Monday’s Matildas clash with Thailand wasn’t a missed opportunity for the State Government and Western Australia. The game, incredibly the first played in Perth by Australia’s national women’s football team in 90 outings, was a chance for the Government to underline its support for the female code with some meaningful financial backing for the fixture ahead of a possible Women’s World Cup in Australia in 2023.
But there is disappointment in some quarters that the Government’s financial support was limited to a $50,000 grant cobbled together by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. The money was put to good use in “community programs and activations around the game”, including workshops for coaches and officials, and school visits and open training sessions by the Matildas.
But there was nothing to help underwrite the cost of the fixture from a tourism budget which contributes big bucks to the likes of the Hopman Cup tennis challenge and the upcoming football clash between Perth Glory and English Premier League heavyweights Chelsea. It is believed the Government have contributed in the vicinity of $3 million to promote the latter game.
That’s because the traditional partnership model still has governments opting in and out of sporting and cultural events by reference to suspect methodology which measures the economic and promotional benefits of those events. It’s a model which disadvantages women’s sports because they don’t have the drawing power of the male codes.
The Matildas aren’t going to lure to Perth the number of interstate visitors perhaps attracted to a big Socceroos or Wallabies clash, at least not yet. But they’re making a considerably bigger, more important impact in football by attracting a new generation of young female — and male — fans to the game and potentially extending its reach.
Plenty of those kids were among the 7550 fans who turned out on Monday despite limited promotion, a weekday evening timeslot and wet weather. This team is arguably the most popular national team in Australian, led up front by WA strikers Lisa De Vanna and rising global star Sam Kerr. They are a feel-good story at a time when Australian sports needs feel-good stories.
You’d like to see our major sporting teams shared equally around the country but the reality is that money talks. The financial constraints of the WA Government are well documented. But its unwillingness or inability to cough up more money in support of the Thailand clash could jeopardise its chances of securing other Matildas fixtures given competition to secure the team from bigger-spending States.
It is believed one State offered $400,000 in funding for Monday’s game. Football Federation Australia, however, stuck with Perth because of the logistical benefits of having the Matildas play a friendly in WA before flying out today for the Asian Cup in Jordan.
TWO-GOAL TAGGART FRUSTRATED BY ERRATIC GLORY
Perth Glory must solve their inconsistencies if they are to become a genuine top six team in the A-League according to striker Adam Taggart. Glory went from beating Melbourne Victory one week to trailing Sydney FC by three goals at half-time the next as their finals hopes suffered a big blow.
Taggart scored twice off the bench in the final twenty minutes to add respectability to the 3-2 loss to Sydney on Thursday night, but the comeback was too late. "If you want to be a competitive team in the A-League you need to do it on a more consistent basis and throughout the 90 minutes," Taggart said.
"You can't just turn it on for the last half an hour. It needs to be from start to finish. If you go one or two goals down you can't just drop your heads. We showed glimpses but I think overall it probably wasn't good enough for 90 minutes."
As well as Taggart's goals, a minor positive for Glory was the renewal of the 24-year old's partnership with Irishman Andy Keogh. The pair combined for a classy one-two in the lead-up to Taggart's stunning second to provide some encouragement for the final two rounds.
"Once we're on the park together it becomes second nature," Taggart, a seven-time Socceroo, commented. "It’s just nice to be on the park. He's a good player to play with. Obviously we linked up well last year. It's good to finally be able to do it for a little bit this year."
NO GLORY FOR ATHENA (by Blayne Treadgold, www.footballwest.com.au)
Perth Glory bounced back into the winner's circle with a 5-1 thrashing of Floreat Athena on Saturday night at E&D Litis Stadium. Two spectacular strikes from Jake Brimmer topped off an impressive second-half performance for Glory with Daniel Stynes and Joe Knowles also among the goals. Yet it was the home side who went ahead in this Round Six clash thanks to a persistent run by Phillip Arnold after Glory had failed to clear their lines. Arnold managed to slip his defender and calmly slotted the ball past Glory goalkeeper Jackson Lee. Glory got on terms just before half-time when Jacob Italiano played a lovely through ball to send Stynes in on goal and he beat Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris.
Encouraged by the equaliser, Glory started the brighter after the break and they went ahead in the 56th minute when Floreat’s Jamie Street bundled Brimmer's free-kick into his own net. Two quick-fire goals from Brimmer then put Glory out of sight. First he hit a spectacular, long-range effort which floated over Saldaris' head as the Floreat keeper tried to scramble back to his line. Brimmer followed that up with a stunning free-kick which found the top right corner. Despite a frustrating night in front of goal, Knowles completed the 5-1 rout in the 90th minute.
Perth coach John Gibson was pleased with the performance despite his team again going behind early. “We started off very shaky ... It seems to be theme of going behind early in the last few games. "We adjusted a few things at half-time, provided some solutions, and our second half was pretty good. Then there were those two strikes from young Jake Brimmer. “We’ve got some really good depth at the moment and it’s great that we can provide some opportunities for some of these young guys on the fringe of the first team."
Floreat Athena: 1. Jason SALDARIS (GK), 4. Andrew SCALDAFERRO, 5. Jamie STREET, 6. Jesse FULLER, 8. Jonathan STYNES 10. Calvin WHITNEY, 11. Dennis GALAN (21. Keylun POLLARD 79), 13. Hamza HINA, 15. Chris SALDARIS, 17. Dean EVANS (C), 18. Phillip ARNOLD Substitutes not used: 3. Juma AWAKA, 12. Ryan MALTON, 16. Liam Hudson, 23. Jordan BARBAS
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2. Luca BODNAR, 3. Walter SCOTT, 4. Riley WARLAND, 5. Sam RIAK 6. Callum TIMMINS (14. Henry Hore 62), 7. Jacob ITALIANO (13. Chok DAU 82), 8. Brandon WILSON, 9. Joe KNOWLES, 10. Jake BRIMMER, 11. Daniel STYNES (12 Yacoub MUSTAFA 66) Substitutes not used: 15. Daniel WALSH 21. Nicolas SPECA.
LIONS NO MATCH FOR ECU (by Edward Nixon, www.footballwest.com.au)
ECU Joondalup continued their unbeaten start to the NPL WA season with a 3-0 home win over Stirling Lions on Saturday. Two penalties from Daryl Nicol and a Ross Millard goal made it three wins and three draws for the Jacks, who are the only side still to lose in the league. “It was a brilliant three points and another clean sheet,” ECU head coach Dale McCulloch said.
In a frantic start, Stirling forward Robert Petrov saw a shot smartly saved by keeper Johnny Perkins, before ECU’s Lucas De Lima blazed over from close range. The hosts, looking to build on last week’s impressive 2-1 away win at Perth Glory, almost got their noses in front when striker Gordon Smith's header from Nicol's free-kick crashed against the post. But moments later ECU were dealt an injury blow when Smith limped off. However ECU were rewarded just after the half-hour mark when Nicol earned a penalty after he pounced on a sloppy back-pass before being clattered into by Lions goalkeeper Lance Alavakis. Alavakis was shown a yellow card before Nicol dispatched the spot-kick.
“The game was won and lost with the amount of free-kicks and penalties we conceded,” Stirling assistant coach Willy Kelly said. Straight from the kick-off Stirling had a penalty shout of their own turned down by referee Adam Fielding, who decided Perkins hadn't fouled Alex Tanevski after the winger got on the end of David Molinari’s ball into the box. The Jacks kept up the pressure and grabbed a second goal before the break as Ross Millard’s intended cross caught Alavakis napping to find the top corner.
The second half was more of a tussle, as both sides battled for possession in midfield. The Lions were restricted to shots from distance but did have the chance to peg a goal back after forward Steve Sokol found space following some clever build-up play with Molinari but shot wide. With Stirling throwing bodies forward in the final minute, ECU attacked on the break and Nicol won his second penalty of the afternoon after a tricky run into the box. The Scottish winger duly put it away to secure ECU’s first home win of the season.
“We’ve had a couple of draws here so really happy to get a win,” McCulloch said as his side moved to fifth on the ladder.
ECU Joondalup: 1. Johnny PERKINS (20. Jack NUNN 88), 3. Ross MILLARD (4. Steven McGARRY 90), 5. Andy TONG, 6. Lukas DE LIMA, 8. Josh WHITMORE, 9. Darryl NICOL (c), 10. Gordon SMITH (7. Cameron MURRAY 27), 11, Andy HIGGINS, 15. Shane CASSIDY, 16. Declan HUGHES, 19. Cian HIRRELL Substitutes not used: 12. Ryan MCDARBY, 17. Tom HOUGH
Stirling Lions: 1. Lance ALAVAKIS, 2. David MOLINARI, 4. Alex Suleski, 6. Dhhors CHOL, 7. Dean CUMMINGS (c), 8. Dejan SPASESKI, 9. Robert PETKOV, 10. David MICEVSKI, 11. Alex TANEVSKI, 15. Nathan DE ABREAU, 17. Steve SOKOL Substitutes not used: 12. Matthew CHERRIE, 13. Joey PERKINS, 16. Adrian KOLOS, 19. Zane CASELLA
BAYSWATER BACK TO THEIR BEST (by Ryan Borrett, www.footballwest.com.au)
Bayswater City bounced back from their first defeat of the NPL WA season by beating Armadale 2-0 on Saturday at Frank Drago Reserve. Both goals came from set-pieces in an open match that saw chances at either end. Last season's champions went ahead on the stroke of half-time when Gian Albano smashed home a loose ball following Paul Lloyd’s corner. The second came six minutes from time after teenage substitute Luke Salmon caught the Armadale defence napping.
It was a welcome three points for Bayswater coach Chris Coyne after his side went down to Cockburn City last week and he was pleased with how his team executed their dead-ball plays. “I’m happy with the result,” Coyne said with his side top after six rounds of the competition. “The goals were a bit sloppy but we’ll take it. We’re always focusing on set-pieces and we know we’re a threat from them.”
The closest Armadale came to equalising was in the 76th minute but Michael Rizidis’ curling effort from outside the box was saved brilliantly by Bayswater keeper Devon Spence. But their hopes of salvaging a draw were finished on 84 minutes when Salmon flicked the ball past Armadale’s defenders and keeper who were caught off guard.
Coyne said Salmon was a young player with a bright future. “He’s only 17 years old and that’s twice now he’s come on and made a big impact,” he said. “Watch this space because I think he’s going places.”
Armadale coach John O’Reilly said his side were unlucky but recognised they had work to do on defending corners and free-kicks. “It was two set-pieces today, that’s all it was,” he said. “We weren’t really troubled during open play, so it was disappointing. “We’ll be working on addressing that this week and creating a bit more in the final third.”
Bayswater City: 1. Devon SPENCE, 4. Arran MAPLESTONE (13. Trent KAY 90+1), 5. Adam HARRIS, 6. Todd HOWARTH, 8. Paul MCCARTHY, 11. Devon GIBSON, 12. David STOKOE, 15. Paul LLOYD, 17. Gian ALBANO, 19. Luka NINKOVIC (22. Luke SALMON 77), 23. Adrija JUKIC (11. Devon GIBSON 62), 24. Jake SARDELIC Substitutes not used: 10. Jason MIRCO, 25. Dejan ALEKSIC
Armadale: 1. Sam HUTCHINGS, 2. Joshua KRUSER, 3. Dylan DA SILVA, 4. Nathan COSTELLO, 5. David ANNALL, 7. Charlie KENNA, 8. Michael LAWSON, 9. Billy QUINNCROFT (6. Brad GRIEPL 87), 11. Michael RIZIDIS (14. Jonathan BOGONI 86), 15. Ali GHOLAMI, 21. Beau RAHIM (17. James ATKINS 77) Substitutes not used: 12. Cade MCNAMARA, 34. Duncan LENNON-BEACH
PERTH MARCH ON (by Samuel Hays, www.footballwest.com.au)
Perth SC put on a clinical performance to beat Forrestfield United 3-0 at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon as Ramon Falzon's side made it five wins on the bounce. Goals from Paul Zimarino, Richard Howles and Matthew Milenkovic gave Perth the points and ensured they remain in second place behind NPL WA leaders Bayswater on goal difference.
Falzon praised his team’s consistency and was delighted with the clean sheet against a strong Forrestfield outfit. “I'm happy with the result and the consecutive clean sheets,” Falzon said. “It’s good that we are now getting some consistency in the performances and results. “It wasn’t a polished performance from us but mainly credit to them. “I think the scoreline was a bit too harsh for Forrestfield - they played good football and were competitive all game long. “It’s good to get them out of the way because I think they are going to upset some big teams.”
Forrestfield coach Rod Banjac was disappointed with the result but was upbeat about his team’s performance. “A very disappointing result,” Banjac said. “The game was in the balance until the final minutes and obviously experience prevailed and a bit of a lucky bounce going their way, but that’s football. “I’m very satisfied with our boys. “This game was always going to be an indicator as to how far we have gone with our development and the way we conduct ourselves on the park. “For us to match them throughout the game is very pleasing and we can only get better after this and we will be simply because of the experience.”
Perth had an early chance to open the scoring through Gustavo Catarcione, who saw his shot past keeper Ben Parry cleared off the line. Niccolo Sabatini then had a free header but was denied by a great save from Parry, who got down low to stop the ball sailing into the bottom corner. Perth finally took the lead in the 39th minute when Sabatini put in a great through ball. Parry blocked the first atempt but the ball went straight to Zimarino who blasted it into the net. Howles made it two in the 77th minute as he received the ball in front of goal and slotted it past Parry. And the scoring was rounded off two minutes later as Milenkovic slid the ball past Parry following a good counter attack.
Perth SC: 4. Adrian Madaschi, 1. Francis Soale, 9. Gustavo Catarcione, 12. Jordan De Leo, 16. Kieran Colwell, 14. Kristan Santich, 11. Matthew Milenkovic, 5. Niccolo Sabatini, 10. Nicholas Ambrogio, 20. Paul Zimarino, 13. Rocco Pizzata, 18. Richard Howles, 3. Andreas Theodosiades, 6. Harley Orr Unused substitues: 2. Alex Silla, 23. Daniel Passarelli
Forrestfield United: 18. Benjamin Parry, 12. Callum Dobbs, 9. Hasani Sinclair, 10. Jordan Hart, 6. Leslie Mari, 11. Liam Merigan, 4. Mark Barnett, 5. Scott Barker, 16. Thomas Jebb, 2. Tom Southgate, 14. Josh Kotio, 7. Callum Roberts, 8. Sedad Yagli, 15. Josh Appleby Unused substitutes: 1. Luke Martino
SALMON SCORES BRACE (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Alex Salmon made a sensational return to the National Premier Leagues by scoring both goals in this afternoon’s 2-1 win over Sorrento. Salmon, in his first appearance of the year, found the back of the net in the 33rd and 71st minutes to earn Inglewood United a deserved second win of the campaign.
However, the day didn’t begin so brightly with Scott Witschge’s clinical finish from 8-metres giving Sorrento a 6th minute lead. Inglewood’s response was to rain shots down on opposing goalkeeper James Morgan as Brian Woodall, Ash Rosindale, Ellis Healing and Kenny Keogh all went close to bringing the teams level.
That honour fell to Salmon when he seized upon an error in the middle of the park to race clear, round the ‘keeper Morgan and tuck into an empty net. Either team could have taken the advantage into half-time but a heavy touch thwarted Witschge before Woodall’s fierce strike from 18-metres rose over the crossbar.
Inglewood were quick to resume the attack following the restart. Salmon’s shot was cleared off the line, a deflected Healing effort flew over the bar and substitute Brian Farrell fired straight at the ‘keeper. There were chances at the other end also where home custodian Alex Dunn spread himself to deny Alex Morgan.
A superb counter-attacking move put Inglewood ahead for the first time, a cleared corner allowing Healing to release Salmon who expertly arrowed past the ‘keeper. The pace now quickened and in a pulsating finish Dunn denied Salter and Godwin Darkwa, while at the other end Woodall twice called Morgan into action.
Inglewood United: Alex Dunn, Alex Ishida-Livings (Rikki Smith 73), Scott Robertson, Scott Blackmore, Hanafi Ghazali, Kenny Keogh, Jason Barrera (Brian Farrell 63), Ellis Healing, Ash Rosindale (Jamie Murphy 84), Brian Woodall, Alex Salmon
Sorrento: James Morgan, Daryl Platten, Shaun Kilkelly, Steve McDonald (Cameron Teece 76), Joel Prout, Timothy Hill, Jack Salter, Reece Vittiglia, Scott Witschge (Godwin Darkwa 48), Alex Morgan, Jordan Roberts
COCKBURN WIN THE POINTS (by Dennis Gedling, www.footballwest.com.au)
Joondalup United’s miserable start to the 2018 season continued despite a spirited display which saw them go down 3-1 to Cockburn City at a windy Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday. The result means it six games, six defeats for Nick Jennings' side, who felt hard done to by the nature of Cockburn's opener. But their own poor defending was also a factor as Cockburn built on last week's win over leaders Bayswater. Young striker Daniel Robinson was the star with his first hat-trick for Cockburn, who are just two points off the top in fourth.
In contrast it was a rough start for United defender Greg Pellow, who had his nose accidently broken just a few minutes in and had to be treated on the sidelines. His mood wouldn't have improved on 23 minutes when Cockburn went ahead in controversial circumstances. A cross from the right seem to be dealt with by James Bosdet, before Robinson challenged the keeper in the air and forced him to spill the ball. Robisnon put the loose ball into the empty net and the goal was allowed to stand, much to the anger of the Joondalup bench. Cockburn's second before half-time came from the penalty spot when Bodset fouled Anthony Skorich and Robinson put the spot-kick away. It could even have been 3-0 minutes later but Rueben Tristao missed a free header.
In the second half United showed heart and got their reward seven minutes into the second period. A cross from the left should have been dealt with by the Cockburn defence but young defender Jesse Lazzaro managed to put the ball in to the back of the net in what will be one of the softest own goals of the season. Minutes later Lazzaro was again in the action as he took a ball to the face and needed his face bandaged. Substitute Harley Curran and Alex Wild both shot over as Joondalup chased an equaliser but nine minutes from time Cockburn made the points safe when Robinson headed in Cameron Edwards' fantastic corner at the far post. From here United’s heads dropped and Cockburn could have more goals if not for wasteful finishing by Lucas Mello and Robinson.
“Perhaps a couple more goals would have given a fair reflection of the game," Cockburn coach Scott Miller said.
Joondalup coach Jennings was unhappy that the opening goal had been allowed to stand but praised his players for taking the game to Cockburn in the second half.
Joondalup United: 1. James BOSDET 25. Greg PELLOW 8. Jay MARSDEN (23. Harley CURRAN 65) 5. Joel LEDSHAM 2. Johnny CHALMERS 17. Luke SERA 7. Matthew SPARROW 6. Sam WYNNE 10. Elliot TATTERSAL 11. Anthony TAYLOR (4. Danny O’SHEA 74) 9. Alex WILD 1. Sam HUTCHINGS 15. Substitutes not used: 21. Luke GREEN 14. Matt SUTCLIFFE
Cockburn City: 1. Luke RADONICH 4. Euen GRANT 17. Jesse LAZZARO 5. Kieron STALLARD 7. Lucas MELLO 6. Reuben TRISTAO 18.Aden DA LUZ 19. Anthony SKORICH 8. Cameron EDWARDS 16. Daniel ROBINSON 11. Harry O’BRIEN (3. Daniel DOLS 74) Substitutes not used: 23. Ryan BARKER 10. Daniel ARAYA 15. Daniel SANTICH 2. Chris THACKRAY
BALCATTA GET WIN ON BOARD (by Navrin Secker, www.footballwest.com.au)
Balcatta collected their first win of the season at the sixth attempt with a 2-1 defeat of Subiaco at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday. First-half goals from Tom Pellizzari and Calum O’Connell put the home side in the driving seat. And although David Perich got one back for the visitors, Balcatta saw the game out.
"I'm very pleased with the boys to get off the mark and get our first win, it’s probably just reward for the work they have put in over the last few weeks,” Balcatta assistant coach Dimitri Phylactov said. “The big focus has been taking our chances when they come and trying to keep a clean sheet and we achieved one of those today. “It was taking our opportunities when they came that made the big difference.”
While Balcatta had cause to celebrate, Subiaco player-coach Ian McMurray ripped into his players. “I’m embarrassed for how we went about our business today, we didn’t turn up and showed no heart or desire,” he said. “They (the players) all need to go home tonight and have a look at themselves.”
Subiaco actually looked sharp early on. However after early yellow cards to Perich, Jackson Dongray and even McMurray on the sidelines, Balcatta worked their way into the match. And the home side's dominance paid off when Dongray's header set up Pellizzari for the opener. Balcatta striker Adriano Jelenovic almost doubled the lead but Subiaco goalkeeper Ryan Montgomery saved from the one on one. Nic Challott was causing Subiaco problems on the right wing and he created Balcatta's second late in the half. Although an intial shot was blocked, O’Connell was on hand to finish and ensure his side went into the break two goals to the good.
The second half was a different story as the visitors came out firing. Two early chances fell to Daniel Pearce, but the Subiaco forward couldn’t find the target with either. But they got back in the game on 69 minutes. A free-kick was whipped in to McMurray, who had just brought himself on, and he headed the ball to Perich who calmly tapped the ball in from six yards out. The introduction of McMurray resulted in the visitors playing long balls deep to try to get something from the game. But despite their best efforts, Subiaco were unable to avoid their second consecutive defeat.
Balcatta: 2. Joseph MARINO, 3. Hayden STEVENS, 4. Calum O’CONNELL, 5. Tom PELLIZZARI, 6. Kris GATE, 10. Jonathan CORNESS, 11. Alba RENEE (9. Dejan ANDRIC 75), 15. Adriano JELENOVIC, 17. Brody KENNEDY (20. Shubham MOKALA 46), 21. Kyle MCDONALD, 22. Nic CHALLOTT (23. Lawrence SHURAMA 79) Substitutes not used: 1. Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 24. Daniel HEPWORTH
Subiaco: 1. Ryan MONTGOMERY, 6. Jackson DONGRAY, 8. Daniel PEARCE (19. Ian MCMURRAY 63), 10. Asher NELSON, 11. Joshua BOOYSEN (5. Monas ABENDELWA 63), 12. Nathan SMITH, 13. Fanuel DAWIT (4. Jack ANDREWS 83, 14. Ross JARMAN, 16. Steve Purton, 17. Alex CASTIELLO, 18. Daniel PERICH Substitutes not used: 7. Jonas DORLING, 24. Teophile BROWN
RANGERS ICON MCCOIST HEADING DOWNUNDER? (courtesy www.dailyrecord.co.uk)
Ally McCoist could make his coaching return in Australia. The Glasgow Rangers legend has been out of the game since leaving Ibrox Park in December 2014 and has returned to media work. But his name has been put forward for positions with A-League champions Sydney and strugglers Perth Glory.
Record Sport understands he has been made aware of the strong interest from Down Under but no official approach has been made yet. If that comes McCoist would have a decision to make as he has stated he is enjoying spending more time with his family.
Graham Arnold has just made Sydney the first back-to-back A-League champions. But he is leaving to become coach of Australia after the World Cup. Glory are struggling to make the post-season knockout phase and pressure has been mounting on boss Kenny Lowe.
“I wouldn’t say coaching or management is behind me now,” McCoist said this week. “But it would need to be something that really interested me if I was to start taking my family down that route again.”
UPBEAT LOWE NOT GIVING UP ON FINALS FOOTBALL
Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe isn't giving up on the hope of still playing A-League finals as he continues to take heart from his team's improved form late in the season. Glory lost 3-2 at home to Sydney FC last night, a result that leaves them one point behind sixth placed Western Sydney Wanderers.
Glory have played one game more than Western Sydney with an away game to second placed Newcastle Jets and home clash to Brisbane Roar left. Two wins and Glory might still be a chance to sneak into the finals if Western Sydney struggle against Melbourne Victory, Brisbane and Adelaide United.
A big reason why Lowe isn't giving up hope is because the form his team is in. Glory had three wins and a draw from their previous four games on the back of a healthy squad. With good recent form and an experienced squad, Lowe is looking forward to finishing the season strongly no matter where that ends up leaving them.
"We've got fit players and we've had a full squad to choose from. I've said all along when that happens we'll be competitive and we are," Lowe said. "We've played all the top teams the last few weeks and we've beat Victory, beat City and gave Sydney a good shake.
"You've seen when we've got everyone on board and half close to fitness, then we are competitive. We'll be competitive in the next two games as well but obviously the first one is Newcastle so we'll take that and see how we go."
Lowe's focus now turns to the challenge of trying to knock off the Jets in Newcastle next Friday and he sees no reason they can't win to keep their season alive. "Everyone above us could lose all their games from here and we win the last two, so our focus is just on our next game," Lowe said.
"We just have to keep performing how we are, albeit not fall three goals behind like we did in this game. You go out to win the games and that's what we did. In the second half we didn't shy away from it, we went to win the game and were prepared to lose bigger because we went for it. That's all we will be doing."
NPL-WA ROUND SIX PREVIEW (with Edward Nixon, www.footballwest.com.au)
Forrestfield United coach Rod Banjac promises his side will leave nothing in the tank when they face high-flying Perth SC in the National Premier Leagues WA on Saturday afternoon. Buoyed by a 4-0 win over Balcatta last time out, United will again be looking to go on the attack against the second-placed Sky Blues at Dorrien Gardens. “We respect the quality Perth have in their squad but we’re not intimidated by anyone and we’ll go into this game trying to get something out of it,” Banjac said. “We are going in there to pick up the three points.”
Banjac knows his players will have to be on top form if they are to beat a Perth side who sit behind leaders Bayswater City only on goal difference going into this Round Six clash. “Perth will be a fantastic indicator of where we are at this point in time,” he said.
Last year’s beaten grand finalists, Perth have made a solid start to 2018 – recovering from a disappointing opening-round loss to Perth Glory to reel off four straight wins, including last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat of Subiaco. “We’ll be looking for another good performance and to keep our consistency going,” coach Ramon Falzon said. “For a team that just got promoted, Forrestfield play a good style of football and the fact they have seven points in their first five games shows they have the quality to upset more established teams.” Forrestfield are expected to field a full-strength side, while Frank Furfaro remains sidelined for Perth.
In other games starting at 3pm on Saturday, Stirling Lions will not want to lose two games in a row, when they travel to ECU Joondalup. Armadale will be doing their best to cause an upset at Frank Drago Reserve against Bayswater City who lost their first game of the season last weekend. Balcatta will have high hopes of getting out of the relegation zone against Subiaco AFC at Grindleford Reserve, while bottom side Joondalup United will need to be at their best to have any chance at home to Cockburn City. Inglewood United and Sorrento face off at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium, and in the late game at 5pm, Floreat Athena will want to keep the winning feeling with a home fixture to Perth Glory.
IT’S ABOUT THE TEAM SAYS ROTHERHAM'S WILLIAMS
As long as the team are winning that’s all that counts, says Ryan Williams as fierce competition for a place on Rotherham United’s flank continues. Williams is one of four wingers who have been vying for two spots for the majority of this season, with each of Paul Warne’s wingers coming to the fore at various points throughout the course of the season.
Williams has been back in the side in recent games but admits all four of the Millers wide men have had to be patient and understanding towards team selection this season. “I try and push Tayls (Jon Taylor), Newelly (Joe Newell) and Fordey (Anthony Forde) on as much as possible because if they are doing well, then the team are doing well, and that’s the main thing,” Williams told www.themillers.co.uk
“I am sure that is the same with the other guys. When the Gaffer says he wants to freshen it up, that is something that you have to deal with. It was tough when it happened a few months back but I felt that I dealt with it in the right way. Joe Newell and Anthony Forde came into the side (and) we went on a brilliant run and they helped us to that so they rightly stayed in the team.”
“It has been good being back in the side, especially at Northampton where we played well and won the game. It was a good performance from everyone so it was disappointing that we couldn't get the same result at Southend. It was hard to be out of the team for such a long time but I got my head down and managed to get back into the team ... it is about the team.”
Williams admits that the difficult playing surface at Southend hindered the team performance last time out. The uneven pitch certainly didn’t suit the cultured 24-year old winger, who offered no excuses as he looks for an improvement against Peterborough. "We struggled to get the ball down and pass at Southend because of the conditions,” he added.
“We are at our best we do like to get it on the floor, get the ball wide so that we can get crosses into the box. That was difficult, and of course you don't get a lot of confidence when the ball is bobbling around on the surface. It was the same for both sides though - there was no excuse. We are trying to win every game we can ... being back on home soil is good, and this is an opportunity now to kick on again.”
SALMON BACK FROM LENGTHY SUSPENSION (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Gold Medal winner Alex Salmon is set to make his long-awaited return when Inglewood United hosts Sorrento in Saturday’s National Premier Leagues round. The 23-year old striker is yet to feature this year due to a seven-game suspension stemming from last year’s Major Semi-Final loss to Bayswater City.
Salmon, who also scored the 2017 Golden Boot with 29 goals in 26 appearances last year, is glad his days of watching from the sidelines are finally over. “I’m absolutely buzzing to be back.” Salmon commented. “This is the longest break I’ve had from football. It’s been frustrating as I want to be helping the team win games.”
“In terms of my fitness, I’ve been doing a lot of work on my own along with the team at training. I’m feeling good but match fitness can only come from competitive games, so I’ve got a bit more to do there. I can’t wait for Saturday, the buzz of being back playing will get me through.”
Salmon is brutally honest in his assessment of Inglewood’s performances across the opening five league games, which have produced a win and three draws. “It’s nothing more than we’ve deserved,” he said. “Other than the second half against Cockburn City and battling with ten-men at Bayswater City, we have been poor.”
“I feel we have to go to the basics of football, work hard and being hard to play against - that is what won us games last year. We reaped the rewards when we earned the right to play … nobody is going to give you anything in football no matter what level you’re playing at.”
MATILDAS COACH BACKS DE VANNA TO SHINE AT WORLD CUP
Matildas coach Alen Stajcic has backed Lisa De Vanna to make it to next year's World Cup after the veteran put in a star display in tonight's 5-0 thumping of Thailand. The 33-year old attacker has already played in three World Cups, and is keen to make it to the showpiece event in France next year.
Stajcic said De Vanna still possessed the fear factor to play at the World Cup. "Yeah for sure. If she's in good form and she keeps playing like she did (Monday night)," Stajcic said after De Vanna scored two goals and set up another in the Matildas Asian Cup warm-up game at Perth Oval.
"She's got X-factor, she's explosive, she's quick, she's dangerous. People are scared of her. She's certainly had patches in different games where she hasn't played up to her own levels. But that's up to her as a player — to ensure that her training's at a good level all the time while keeping her body in good nick."
MATILDAS THRASH THAILAND IN PERTH
The Matildas showed no mercy in thrashing Thailand 5-0 in this evening’s friendly international at Perth Oval. Hometown hero Lisa De Vanna scored twice with Alex Chidiac, Chloe Logarzo and Larissa Crummer also finding the net in a performance that highlighted why the Matildas are hot favourites to win next month’s Women’s Asian Cup.
As Perth enjoyed the women’s national soccer team for the first time, attacking midfielder Chidiac converted a classy half-volley after just 6 minutes following a tidy lead-up that involved De Vanna and Crummer. De Vanna slammed in the teams’ second goal in the 42nd minute with Logarzo headed in another soon after.
Thailand goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsing picked the ball out of the back of the net for a fourth time when De Vanna toe-poked in after a playing a neat wall pass with Samantha Kerr on 52 minutes. Crummer completed the route in the 72nd minute when an Alanna Kennedy header cannoned off her shoulder and into the net.
DE VANNA EYES WORLD CUP SUCCESS
Matildas veteran Lisa De Vanna has her sights set on making it to a fourth FIFA Women's World Cup, and she doesn't want to come away empty-handed. De Vanna thought the 2015 World Cup in Canada would be her last but the 33-year old believes her body and mind are in good enough shape to make it to the 2019 tournament in France.
Australia's women's football team are an international powerhouse, with striker Sam Kerr playing a huge role in their rise up the ranks. De Vanna is desperate to make it to the next World Cup, and says the Matildas have the potential to go all the way to the tournament decider. "We've been to three World Cups, and we always make it to the quarter-finals," De Vanna said.
"And for some reason, even in the Olympics, we can't take it the next step. But now that the team is more mature and gelled together a bit more, I think we've got the potential and the belief to take it to the next step. We've been together for a long time. There's no excuses when it comes to the next World Cup. I want to at least make it to the finals."
BALCATTA GET THUMPED AT FORRESTFIELD (by Samuel Hays, footballwest.com.au)
Forrestfield United turned on the style to thump Balcatta 4-0 at Wildlife Safari Stadium on Saturday night. Two goals apiece for Rhys Loxley and Hasani Sinclair secured a second win of the season for Forrestfield, who moved up to seventh on the National Premier Leagues WA table.
Forrestfield coach Rod Banjac was thrilled with his side’s win, especially after last week’s 5-0 home thrashing by Perth Glory. “Very happy with the boys but more happy with the comeback from last week,” Banjac said. “The boys have showed a lot of character to come out of that slump and to deliver a performance like that tonight was sublime. “I suppose after the second goal they had to chase the game and it was easy for us to pick the right times and hit them on the counter attack. “But probably the most important thing for us was that we kept a clean sheet. “The defence has been working very hard in order to achieve that, so it’s very rewarding at both ends.”
Second-bottom Balcatta have just one point after five rounds and captain Calum O’Connell was disappointed with how his side failed to contain Forrestfield on the break. “Unfortunately they were pretty good on the counter, we turned the ball over too many times and they punished us,” he said. “I think the major thing is just keeping the ball, keeping possession in the opposition half and really treasuring and holding the ball because we turned it over cheaply which killed us in the end.”
Loxley opened the scoring in the 20th minute after he latched onto a through ball and slid it past Balcatta keeper Domenico Savoldelli. Balcatta had a golden chance to equalise just before half-time when Adriano Jelenovic had a free header on the edge of the six-yard box but he could only send it wide and that allowed Forrestfield a 1-0 lead at the break. Forrestfield almost made it two in the 58th minute when Sinclair made a great run into the box before squaring to Loxley, whose shot was off target. Sinclair did double the lead though when he rounded Savoldelli and slotted the ball into an empty net on 73 minutes. And it wasn’t long before he grabbed his second when he was gifted a goal after Savoldelli slipped. Loxley completed the scoring in the 88th minute when he cut across the edge of the box and finished superbly.
Forrestfield United: 18. Benjamin Parry, 12. Callum Dobbs, 9. Hasani Sinclair, 10. Jordan Hart, 6. Leslie Mari, 11. Liam Merigan, 4. Mark Barnett, 23. Rhys Loxley, 5. Scott Barker, 16. Thomas Jebb, 2. Tom Southgate. Substitutes: 17. Jamie Duncan, 15. Josh Appleby, 1. Caelan Miller, 14. Mitch Barker
Balcatta: 1. Domenico Savoldelli, 15. Adriano Jelenovic, 12. Anton De Francesch, 17. Brody Kennedy, 4. Calum O’Connell, 3. Hayden Stevens, 10. Jonathan Corness, 2. Joseph Marino, 6. Kris Gate, 23. Lawrence Shurama, 5. Tom Pellizzari. Substitutes: 13. Daniel Hepworth, 25. Kyle McDonald, 22. Bleron Mamudi, 11. Renee Alba, 24. Ben Pelizzari
PERTH MAKE THEIR MOVE (by Navrin Secker, footballwest.com.au)
Perth SC moved to second on the NPL WA ladder with a 3-0 defeat of Subiaco at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday night. Ramon Falzon’s side trail leaders Bayswater on goal difference only after Gustavo Catarcione, Niccolo Sabatini and Richard Howles gave the Sky Blues a fourth successive league win. “Our aim for today was becoming consistent, putting in another good performance and getting that clean sheet we have been missing this year,” Perth coach Falzon said. “Subi have improved a lot and we have always struggled to beat them … I’m very happy that for once we have got a comfortable win against Subi.”
From the start of this Round Five match Perth looked to maintain possession and Paul Zimarino soon went close when he forced a save from Subiaco keeper Teophile Brown. Brown had been handed a rare start with Subiaco captain Ryan Montgomery unavailable but his side were struggling to keep hold of the ball. In contrast, Perth continued to dominate and they were rewarded in the 16th minute when Catarcione struck after controlling a cross before finishing. Subiaco managed to carve out a chance of their own but Rory Feely was unable to finish. That miss proved doubly costly on 25 minutes as Perth doubled their lead through Sabatini, who evaded two defenders then fired through Brown’s legs. Subiaco finally settled after the goal and it needed a fine reflex save from Perth keeper Francis Soale to keep the away side goalless at half-time. Asher Nelson had Subiaco’s next chance but his header was wide of the target and again they were punished when a poor clearance from Brown allowed Howles to make it 3-0.
Subiaco team manager Dave Hebble said his side didn't keep hold of the ball well enough. “We’re just a little bit disappointed, the boys have been playing quite well so we thought that we would try and hold them,” he said. “Our main objective wasn’t to cough the ball up, which we did an awful lot of. We wanted to go out, keep the possession, try and frustrate them and try to counter which didn’t work.”
Perth: 1. Francis SOALE, 2. Alex SILLA, 4. Adrian MADASCHI, 5. Niccolo SABATINI (7. Aleksander JOVIC), 9. Gustavo CATARCIONE (19. Ali NAZARY), 10. Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11. Matthew MILENKOVIC (22. George FESTA, 13. Rocco PIZZATA, 16. Kieran COLWELL, 18. Richard HOWLES, 20. Paul ZIMARINO Substitutes not used: 21. Adam CARLINO, 23. Daniel PASSARELLI
Subiaco AFC: 1. Teophile BROWN, 4. Alexander RANDELL, 6. Jackson DONGRAY, 9. Rory FEELY, 10. Asher NELSON (5. Manase ABDENDELWA), 11. Joshua BOOYSEN, 12. Nathan SMITH, 14. Ross JARMAN, 16. Steve Purton, 17. Alex CASTIELLO, 18. David PERICH (13. Fanuel DAWIT) Substitutes not used: 8. Daniel PEARCE, 19. Ian MCMURRAY, 21. J GODFREY
ARMADALE HOLD ON FOR A DRAW (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Inglewood United will look back on Saturday's meeting at Armadale as the one that got away after their ten-man hosts held on for a 1-1 draw. The Reds went down a player earlier in the second half and despite Inglewood’s numerical advantage they were unable to add to Farrell’s first half finish.
Wide pair Ellis Healing and Jamie Murphy provided much of the driving force as Inglewood launched a series of attacking raids following kick-off. That approached paid dividends on 22 minutes when Murphy’s looping shot came back off the crossbar and Farrell was on hand to fire in the loose ball.
With this Inglewood upped the tempo and the margin was very nearly doubled when Healing’s free-kick into the 18-yard box past narrowly beyond the reach of a trio of teammates. Armadale drew level with just minutes of the half remaining, Chris Jackson curling in a dead ball into Alex Dunn’s net.
The second half was only four minutes old when a contest between Jackson and Hanafi Ghazali ended in a straight red card to the Armadale player. Inglewood seized control with Jason Barrera running the show from the middle of the park through his exquisite touch and thoughtful use of the ball.
Murphy and Ghazali were increasingly finding space out wide but their delivery was more often than not met by an opponent. A late Armadale surge had James Atkins and Billy Quinncroft go close to stealing victory. The game was almost at an end when David Cyrus was forced off following a clash of heads with Nathan Costello.
Armadale: Sam Hutchings, Joshua Kuser, David Annall, Nathan Costello, Beau Rahim, Ali Gholami, Charlie Kenna, Chris Jackson, Michael Lawson, Billy Quinncroft, Michael Rizidis (James Atkins 72)
Inglewood United: Alex Dunn, Scott Blackmore, Scott Robertson, David Cyrus (Kristian Despotovski 84), Hanafi Ghazali, Jamie Murphy, Brian Farrell, Jason Barrera, Miki Vujacic (Rikki Smith 68), Ellis Healing, Brian Woodall
THE GLORY GOES TO ECU
ECU Joondalup maintained their unbeaten start to the NPL WA season with a battling 2-1 win against Perth Glory at Ashfield Arena on Saturday afternoon. Gordon Smith gave the visitors the lead at the break, before substitute Yacoub Mustafa levelled midway through the second half. But Glory defender Ollie Annis was sent off on 79 minutes after pulling back Daryl Nicol in the box and Nicol won it for the Jacks by converting the penalty.
Jacks coach Dale McCulloch, whose side are now sixth just a point off third-placed Glory, said it was a hard-earned three points but thought his deserved it. “It was a real gutsy effort by the boys today,” he said. “They had some decent players in their side who have played A-League football, but we have a squad of players who are willing to fight for each other and they all stood up today. “We’ve probably drawn games we should have won this season, but we didn’t today. It was a performance full of desire and I’m really proud of the boys.”
Midfielder Josh Whitmore said it was a case of ECU dominating the first half then Glory having the better of it after the interval. “I thought we stuck to the game plan in the first half and were the better team, but after the break we struggled into the wind,” he said. “We worked hard for each other and the midfield battle had to be won and I thought young Declan Hughes was great for us today. “But we ground out the result and got the penalty, and I think we deserve that after things have gone against us in recent games.”
Like ECU, Glory also went into the match unbeaten and it was a lively opening. First Walter Scott picked out Jake Brimmer, whose curling effort went wide of the post for the home side, while at the other end Jon Higgins’ free-kick was saved by Jackson Lee. The visitors started to get on top, using the wind to their advantage, and Tommy Amphlett was sent clear on 20 minutes but he fired wide. Moments later Smith played a neat one-two with Amphlett but the Scottish striker's shot was well saved by Lee.
Higgins’ inswinging corners were causing havoc in the Glory defence and on 26 minutes his third one beat everyone but drifted just wide of the back post. But four minutes later ECU hit the front. A long throw-in by Adam Tong was flicked on by Shane Cassidy and Smith finished at the back post. ECU almost doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, Nicol picked out Ross Millard whose shot on the run was saved by Lee.
With the wind at their backs the Glory started to get on top after the break and Daniel Stynes and Scott had shots flash over the top. Glory were suddenly dominating and after Joe Knowles’ shot flew over the top it wasn’t a surprise when they levelled on 67 minutes. Second-half substitutes Henry Hore and Mustafa combined on the left, the latter cutting inside his marker and drilling a low shot past Johnny Perkins and into the net via the post.
It looked like Glory would go on and win it but against the run of play ECU regained the lead. Nicol raced clear and was held back by Annis. Referee Joshua Nixon pointed to the spot and booked the Glory defender. Annis continued his argument with the referee and received a second yellow card and was sent off. When the penalty was eventually taken Nicol sent Lee the wrong way. Glory pressed late searching for the equaliser and went mighty close in the final minute. Knowles found Mustafa on the edge of the penalty area and his shot whistled inches over the bar.
But it was ECU who took the points and they are now the only team in the league still unbeaten this season.
Glory coach John Gibson said his side had learned a harsh lesson. “We’ve got done on two set-pieces today, which was disappointing, but they set up in a certain way and we fell into a few traps, in the first half,” he said. “We changed a few things at half-time and provided a few solutions and I thought our second half was good, but we now move on and look forward to next week against Floreat.”
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luca BODNAR, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS, 7 Chok DAU (13 Yacoub MUSTAFA 56), 8 Brandon WILSON, 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Jake BRIMMER (15 Henry HORE 46), 11 Daniel STYNES Substitutes not used: RGK Nicolas SPECA, 12 Jack LEECH, 14 Sam RIAK,
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 3 Ross MILLARD (7 Cameron MURRAY 74), 4 Shane CASSIDY, 5 Adam TONG, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL (c), 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Andy HIGGINS, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT (6 Lukas DE LIMA 57), 18 Declan HUGHES, 19 Cian HIRRELL, Substitutes not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 12 Ryan MCDARBY, 15 Jack JONES
ATHENA PUT SEVEN PAST JOONDALUP (by Max Hayden-Evans, footballwest.com.au)
A four-goal haul from Floreat striker Phil Arnold ensured that Joondalup United’s horror start to the season continues as Athena ran out 7-2 winners on Saturday night at E&D Litis Stadium. The win was Floreat’s second for the season and sees them kickstart their NPL WA campaign. In contrast, Joondalup slumped to their fifth defeat from five games this season.
Despite a bright start from United, with Greg Pellow and Alex Wild going close, Athena scored first on 22 minutes when Arnold headed home captain Dean Evans’ corner. United equalised in the 33rd minute after Pellow was fouled in the boxand Johnny Chalmers squeezed the penalty past Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris. But minutes later Floreat regained the lead after a mix-up in the Joondalup defence allowed Andrew Scaldaferro to slip in behind the keeper and slot the ball into an empty net. Another Joondalup penalty in the second half saw Chalmers again convert from the spot to make it 2-2 and it could have been even better for United minutes later when they hit the crossbar. From that moment, however, it was all downhill for the league’s bottom club as Floreat added five second-half goals.
Arnold grabbed his second on 55 minutes with a simple tap-in following good play by Marco Santa Lucia on the right-wing. Then he completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute when he turned in the box before firing past United goalkeeper James Bosdet. Jonathan Stynes came off the bench to make it five before Arnold’s fourth goal on 82 minutes after Floreat had worked the ball well down the wings. Bad became worse for United with substitute Adam Buckley shown a red card for a heavy challenge five minutes from the end, before Floreat midfielder Evans capped an impressive performance with a stoppage-time goal from close range.
Despite the big win Floreat coach Howard Tweats played down the performance. “If I’m being honest, I’m disappointed. Our first-half performance wasn’t good enough, we allowed Joondalup to boss us in a way,” he said, adding that Arnold had been “rewarded for his toil”.
More understandably Joondalup boss Nick Jennings also expressed his disappointment with his side’s display. “Same old, same old. Yet again, I thought in the first half we were the better team. We missed opportunities,” he said. “We play good football but only in spells. Individual errors, from everyone, is what’s killing us. But I’ve got to be positive. I’m a glass half-full person. I believe we can get three points next Saturday.”
Floreat Athena: 1. Jason SALDARIS (GK), 2. Marco SANTA LUCIA (16. Ryan MALTON 88.), 4. Andrew SCALDAFERRO (13. Hamza HINA 79.), 5. Jamie STREET, 6. Jesse FULLER, 10. Calvin WHITNEY, 11. Dennis GALAN, 15. Chris SALDARIS, 17. Dean EVANS (C), 18. Phillip ARNOLD, 21. Keylun POLLARD (8. Jonathan STYNES 56.) Substitutes not used: 12. Ethan KERRIDGE, 23. Jordan BARBAS
Joondalup United: 1. James BOSDET (GK), 2. Johnny Chalmers, 5. Joel LEDSHAM, 6. Sam WYNNE (19. Adam BUCKLEY 77.), 7. Matthew SPARROW (C), 8. Jay MARSDEN, 9. Alex WILD, 10. Elliot TATTERSALL, 11. Anthony TAYLOR (4. Danny O’SHEA 83.), 15. Callum STOCKS (22. Parviz SHIZARDI 64.), 25. Greg PELLOW Substitutes not used: 21. Luke GREEN, 23. Harley CURRAN
COCKBURN SURPRISE THE LEADERS (by Ryan Borrett, footballwest.com.au)
Cockburn ended Bayswater City’s perfect start to the 2018 NPL WA season with a 1-0 win at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday afternoon. The Cockerels were expected to struggle against last season’s champions but their determination and hunger saw them claim the three points in this Round Five clash. Cockburn took the lead in the 20th minute after a poor clearance by Bayswater centre-back Todd Howarth was pounced upon by youngster Daniel Robinson, who broke free to drive a low shot home.
The goal came against the run of play as Bayswater had dominated the opening portion of the match. But Cockburn showed real spirit, to the delight of coach Scott Miller. “Bayswater are a very, very good side and they play some great football,” he said. “We got the hang of how they were playing early on and countered that well. “We got the goal and then managed to see out the match.”
Bayswater controlled the majority of possession in the game and despite creating countless chances they couldn’t find a breakthrough. Bayswater coach Chris Coyne said the plaudits deserved to go to the home side. “Scotty and the boys were magnificent were today, so the credit has to go to them,” he said. “They were hungrier and more committed than us. “We weren’t at the races today and didn’t show enough.”
Bayswater’s best chance to equalise came in the 31st minute after Gian Albano whipped in a great ball into the box but Luka Ninkovic’s diving header was just short. As Bayswater piled men forward late in the second half, the Cockerels’ defence was solid under the increased pressure. Cockburn almost managed to double their lead in the 86th minute on the break but Bayswater keeper Devon Spence showed his experience to make a great save.
A stand-out for Cockburn was right-back Harry O’Brien, a performance recognised by Miller. “Harry hadn’t played in six months and I thought he was just about man of the match today,” he said. Despite victory Miller also said it was vital his side built on this result. “As much as I’m happy I’m also frustrated because we don’t always show performances like today,” he added. “Hopefully we can use this momentum to take to Joondalup next week.”
Cockburn City: 1. Luke RADONICH, 4. Euen GRANT 5. Kieron STALLARD, 6. Rueben TRISTAO, 7. Luccas MELLO, 8. Cameron EDWARDS, 11. Harry O’BRIEN, 16. Daniel ROBINSON (10. David ARAYA 73), 17. Jesse LAZZARO, 18. Aden DA LUZ (12. Ryan PRATT 76), 19. Anthony SKORICH (9. Julian TELES 90) Substitutes not used: 2. Chris THACKRAY, 23. Ryan BARKER
Bayswater City: 1. Devon SPENCE, 5. Adam HARRIS (22. Jordon POKLER 58), 6. Todd HOWARTH, 8. Paul MCCARTHY, 10. Jason MIRCO (4. Arran MAPLESTONE 76), 11. Devon GIBSON, 13. Trent KAY, 15. Paul LLOYD, 17. Gian ALBANO, 19. Luka NINKOVIC (21. Riley VAN DIEKE 73), 24. Jake SARDELIC Substitutes not used: 12. David STOKOE, 25. Dejan ALEKSIC
SORRENTO TOO GOOD FOR THE LIONS (by Bobby Stamatoski, footballwest.com.au)
Sorrento extended their winning streak to three games by outgunning Stirling Lions 5-3 at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Two-goal Jordan Roberts led the way for the Gulls, who are now just two points off the top of the National Premier Leagues WA ladder following the Round Five losses suffered by Bayswater City and Perth Glory.
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell was full of praise for Roberts and Scott Witschge and was in no doubt they deserved the win. "For the spectators this would've been fantastic, but not so much for the coaches. I thought we deserved to win. I thought we were the better side," Harnwell said. "We created enough chances but we’ve still got to get better defensively, unfortunately." "I thought Jordan was excellent today; Scotty Witschge on the other side was as well. We wanted to make sure we got the ball out to them earlier and quickly because they are so dangerous."
For most of the first half the hosts were happy to soak up the pressure and counter. And it proved to be an effective approoach when Stirling fell victim to a 27th-minute screamer from Timothy Hill, who did well to get past his marker before unleashing a left-foot strike from 35 yards into the top corner.
The visitors pushed hard to equalise but were caught cold from another break just before half-time. This time Roberts took off from his own half and with no one near him, he calmly slotted past Lions keeper Lance Alavakis to make it 2-0. And just six minutes after the restart Sorrento extended their lead further when Alavakis gave the ball away to Roberts, who chipped the ball over him for his second of the game. But Stirling weren’t going down without a fight and they got back into the match through a penalty, which David Micevski scored. And 3-1 soon became 3-2 when Dhhors Chol fired in a screamer from 30 yards out, much to the delight of the Stirling supporters.
Sorrento then went up the other end and after the Lions failed to clear a corner, home skipper Daryl Platten made it 4-2 when he got on the end of a great cross to head the ball home via the crossbar. The visitors were not finished, though, and Dean Cummings made it 4-3. Keeper James Morgan did well to keep out the first shot but could do little to prevent Cummings following up to score. Incredibly Stirling then almost levelled but Micevski’s shot went agonisingly wide in the last few seconds of the game. And to rub salt in the wound, Sorrento finally snuffed out Stirling's hopes of an unlikely point when Witschge's deflected shot went into the top corner to make it 5-3.
Sorrento: 1. GK. James MORGAN, 7. Alex MORGAN, 6. Darryl PLATTEN (C), 19. Jack SALTER, 10. Jordan ROBERTS, 17. Reece VITTIGLIA, 14. Scott WITSCHGE, 4. Shaun KILKELLY, 13. Steve MCDONALD, 11. Timothy HILL, 28. Joel PROUT, 60. Anastasis FARSALEAS (RGK), 20. Brad MCDONALD, 23. Cameron TEECE, 21. Godwin DARKWA, 18. Jordan BROWN
Stirling Lions: 1. Lance ALAVAKIS, 4. Alex SULESKI, 11. Alex TANEVSKI, 2. David MOLINARI, 10. David MICEVSKI, 7. Dean Cummings(C), 8. Dejan Spaseski, 5.Liam HENDERSON, 9. Robert PETKOV, 6. Dhhors CHOL, 16. Steve SOKOL, 20. Pasquale GIOFFRE (GK), 17. Zane CASELLA, 12. Matthew CHERRIE 72, 13. Joey PERKINS, 15. David TRAJKOSKI
CITY CLAIM STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES TITLE (by Jayden Lihou, footballwest.com.au)
Fremantle City are the new State League Night Series champions after they beat UWA Nedlands 4-1 on Saturday. The champions took the lead just before half-time at Perth Plasterboard Stadium through Sabin Shrestha, before strikes from Wade Farmer and John Hunter put the game almost out of sight. Mordecai Kuma managed to pull a goal back to give UWA a lifeline but another goal from Shrestha in the 76th minute settled it once and for all.
City coach Marc Anthony was ecstatic with the result and hoped it was a preview of what his side can achieve in the upcoming season. “Four goals against any side is always good and but to score four against an excellent UWA team was absolutely fantastic,” he said. “We want to be competitive this season and we think we have a good enough squad to be competitive, so hopefully this victory will be a springboard for us this year. “The boys should have a lot of belief in themselves after winning this tournament, so hopefully we can finish as high as possible.”
Fremantle hit the front in first-half injury time when Shrestha was allowed time on the ball before unleashing a shot that found the back of the net despite keeper Carlos Bervenotti getting a touch. City continued the second half as they ended the first and when Farmer received a through ball at the edge of the box, he finished with a driven shot across goal. It wasn’t looking good for UWA and it got worse as substitute John Hunter got on the end of a corner for Fremantle’s third. Kuma gave UWA an outside chance of a fightback two minutes later when he threaded the ball past City keeper Tom Chudy from close range. However it was not to be as Shrestha made it 4-1 when he curled the ball into the top corner from distance to secure the first silverware of the season.
UWA coach Michael Janssen acknowledged there was room for improvement before the start of the State League season. “I think the reason why we lost today was because we didn’t show up and play as well as we usually do,” Janssen said. “This is the first time in the history of the club that we’ve made it to a final so I’m not completely disappointed in my players; we just had a bad day today and will come back stronger. “Credit to Fremantle though for winning 4-1, they deserved to win today. But we will see them again on the seventh of April and try to turn things around.”
UWA-Nedlands FC: GK. Carlos Bervenotti, 2. Mordecai KUMA, 3. Sam CARELLO (12. Rory DEVLIN 77), 4. Brandon NAUDE (8. Bryce CONWAY 66), 5. Joshua MAROCCHI, 6. Tim ROBERTSON, 9. Luke RANDAZZO, 10. Alex KRETOWICZ, 11. Ezekiel MCPHERSON, 14. Tristan TAYLOR, 22. Conor DEVLIN (13. Andrew XYDAS 68) Substitutes not used: 7. Liam KESSEL, 15. Joe HAYDON
Fremantle City: GK. Tom CHUDY, 3. Sheldon NOGEIRA, 4. Aaron COSLANI, 5. Trent BLEWETT (9. John HUNTER 23), 6. Adam BLEWETT, 8. Sabin SHRESTHA (19. Adrian CIAMPINI 85), 10. Alec ROBINSON, 11. Ben REYNOLDS (13. Tommy MILLS 79), 14. Wade FARMER, 15. Anthony LOMMA, 16. Rory KIELY Substitutes not used: 2. Struan HERD
LEEMING ARE AMATEUR NIGHT SERIES WINNERS (by Edward Nixon, footballwest.com.au)
Leeming Strikers are the 2018 WA Amateur Night Series champions after they defeated Kingsley FC 1-0 at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium in Saturday night’s final. In a scrappy affair, winger Jay Dost nodded home 25 minutes from time to win Leeming the pre-season cup. “It’s a cup final – we both wanted to win and no one wanted to lose,” Strikers coach David Palin said.
After a cagey opening 20 minutes, some good fortune almost handed Kingsley the lead when Leeming centre-back Matt Bennion nearly turned the ball into his own net after failing to properly deal with a cross into the box. Leeming then turned defence into attack when Ben Greaves’ clever flick-on from a goal-kick found full-back Michael Maratea, whose low shot was smartly saved by Kingsley goalkeeper Paul Rainford. Maratea’s effort on 30 minutes would be the only meaningful shot on target for either side during the first half, and chances remained few and far between after the interval. And with one goal likely to decide the contest, up stepped Dost. It was always going to be a scrappy goal which broke the deadlock and that’s the only way to describe Dost’s effort as his mistimed header found the back of the net. The goal opened the game up as Kingsley set out in search of an equaliser, forwards Mark King and Jayden Drummond looking the most dangerous.
With Kingsley throwing men forward, Leeming sensed an opportunity to grab a second. However some alert goalkeeping from Rainford kept his side in the contest. With almost the last kick of the game, substitute Stuart Montgomery had the opportunity to level the final for Kingsley but he couldn’t keep his half-volley down. The chance was the last of the game as Leeming held on to record the win and secure their first WA Amateur Night Series title and leave Kingsley coach Steve Dimitrovich disappointed.
“It was a tight, scrappy affair – not very pretty,” Dimitrovich said. Both teams now turn their focus to Round One of the Amateur Premier Division where Leeming host Wembley Downs SC, while Kingsley travel to take on UWA Nedlands FC in a fortnight.
Kingsley: GK. Paul RAINFORD, 2. Cathal QUINN, 3, Lee THOMAS 4. Aaron LICKISS ( 6. Brett CUTTING), 5. Bailey SALMON (20. Stuart MONTGOMERY), 7. Mark KING, 8. Sam CHURCH, 10. Jayden DRUMMOND, 11. Luke ARMSTRONG, 14. David ASHWORTH, 16. Jessie HIGGINS Substitutes not used: 9. David MORRIS, 15. Jono MCGAHERN, 21. Carl DIGGINS
Leeming Strikers: GK. Jordan JONES, 3. Kudi CHIGWANDA, 4. Matt BENNION, 5. Tom GRANT, 6. Karl GORMAN (18. Michael JENNINGS), 7. Ben GREAVES, 8. Danny MCKENZIE, 9. Jay DOST, 14. Michael MARATEA, 16. Tom WOOD (10. Brad NORTH), 19. David PALIN Substitutes not used: 2. Lee THOELE, 17. Oli MORTENSEN, 23. Josh BLACKMAN
VELAPHI'S SEASON ENDED BY INJURY
Wellington Phoenix's hopes to avoid the A-League wooden spoon have been dealt a blow with goalkeeper Tando Velaphi’s season over due to an ankle injury. The 30-year old, who joined Wellington last month, suffered the injury in last weekend's 1-0 loss to Newcastle Jets in what was just his fourth game for the club.
“It happened in the first half and after some treatment at half-time I thought it might be okay but unfortunately it wasn’t,” said Velaphi, whose career began locally with Perth SC. “I had an MRI scan and what it showed means I will miss the rest of the season which is disappointing.”
Velaphi, who has made 116A-League appearances through spells with Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, is keen to stay at Wellington. “I am enjoying it here and once I’ve seen the specialist, I intend to do my rehab in Wellington,” he said.
“At least I will have the pre-season to get myself into good condition and you could say that is a good scenario in a bad situation. It will be up to me to work hard, be positive and put my mind to it.” Wellington are currently bottom of the A-League, three points behind ninth-placed Central Coast Mariners.
KERR BACK IN PERTH TO LEAD THE MATILDAS
All eyes were on super striker Sam Kerr yesterday as the Matildas went through their paces in preparation for Monday’s international friendly against Thailand at Perth Oval. The Perth Glory forward, who will play in front of her home crowd as a Matilda for the first time, joined teammates in an open training and signing session at Hartfield Park, Forrestfield.
The Matildas were watched by hundreds of schoolchildren, including pupils from Kennedy Baptist College, formed in 2013 when Kerr’s former school, Somerville Baptist College, amalgamated with Winthrop Baptist College. The only Glory player in the squad, Kerr said she was thrilled that so many girls were playing the game.
“It’s great to see heaps of young girls playing football now ... We’ve got the biggest participation in Australia,” Kerr said. “It’s good to be back in Perth. It’s exciting to be playing in the first ever Matildas game here. It’s the first time my family doesn’t have to spend thousands of dollars. I haven’t played in front of some of them before so that’s great.”
Kerr capped a stunning breakout year by being named the 2018 Young Australian of the Year. She helped Australia win the Tournament of Nations and set a record in the National Women’s Soccer League in the US, scoring 17 goals in 22 games. She also set a Matildas record in the recent Algarve Cup, scoring in seven consecutive matches.
NPL-WA ROUND FIVE PREVIEW
It’s week five of the NPL-WA and this week’s Fotballwa.net “Match of the Week” takes us to Dorrien Gardens where Perth SC host Subiaco (7pm). Both sides are coming off big wins, Perth beating Floreat Athena 3-1 in the City of Vincent Derby, while Subiaco won for the first time this season after a 4-0 win at Joondalup United. The last time these two met at Dorrien Gardens a goal in the 93rd minutes from Harley Orr gave Perth SC a hard fought 2-1 win. Niccolo Sabatini had given the home side the lead, but Carlin Feely levelled just before half time. It looked like the points would be shared but Orr popped up late to seal the win. Perth new striker Richard Howles was outstanding in the win against Floreat, and he said it was a great all-round team performance. “It was a really big win for us, and despite going a goal down I thought we controlled the game from start to finish,” he said. “The boys put in a massive shift and I think we deserved all three points to keep our good form going.”
Howles joined Perth from Joondalup United this season and he said the transition has been great and he’s fitted in really well. “Perth is a massive club, probably the biggest in WA, and it was a no brainer to be honest once I sat down with the coaching staff I knew I wanted to play for them,” he explained. “The drive of the club is next to none, they always want to be the best, the clubs board and fans are amazing.” The big striker is well aware Subiaco are the big improvers, and are hard to break down, but he is confident they can get the job done on Saturday. “Subiaco won’t be an easy game, they are a well drilled side and work hard on and off the ball,” Howles said. “But having saying that if we play the same as we did on Sunday then I’m confident that we will be taking all three points.”
Subiaco defender Steve Purton said last week’s win was much needed after two draws against Inglewood and ECU, but he said it was well deserved “It was a result that has been coming for a few weeks, we have had a tough start to the season playing all our games away,” he explained. “We have battled well in previous games and have been disappointed not to have collected more points, to get draws at ECU and Inglewood shows that we can compete with the top teams and last weekend’s victory was a great boost as it was another clean sheet and to grab four goals was great for the morale of the team.” Purton said Saturday is another huge test for them, with Perth going into the game in good form, but he said they will go there with confidence and see how they go “This weekend will be another huge test for us, both teams have been in good form,” he said. “Having made it to the final of the night series, I think the longer run of competitive games has helped us at this stage of the season. Ian and his staff have been excellent in their delivery of how they want us to play and the players have really bought into the style of play they want, so we will continue to keep training hard and see what upsets we can cause.” – Referee Michal Jasinski
League leaders Bayswater City are on the road this week, when they travel to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. (3pm) Bayswater made it four wins from four after a come from behind 2-1 win against Inglewood United last week, but they have had trouble with Cockburn in the past and will go into the gamer without Gustavo Giron-Marulanda, who injured his knee last week. Cockburn skipper Euen Grant returns to the side after missing the last two with injury, but he said the point at ECU last week was well deserved and they could have taken all three late on. “Before the game we probably would have took a draw at a tough away ground for our club,” he said. “But after the game we felt like we were the only team going to win it finishing the stronger of the two teams, but in the end a draw was probably a fair result.” Grant said the lads are relishing taking on the league leaders and looking for a repeat of last season’s result, when the Cockerels won 2-1. “Bayswater have been the team to beat for a few years now so the boys won’t need any extra motivation for the game,” he said. “They have started the season very well, but seem to find it difficult against us, so hopefully we can be the first team to take points of them this season.” – Referee Stuart Muldoon
Perth Glory’s good start to the season will be put to the test on Saturday when they host ECU Joondalup at Ashfield Reserve (3pm). ECU drew for the third time at home this season, a come from behind to draw 2-2 with Cockburn, while the Glory eased past Forrestfield. Glory midfielder Daniel Stynes said it was good to start turning their chances into goals. “I thought it was a comprehensive win where we were clinical from front to back,” he said. “We played the ball about really well and created numerous chances and fully deserved the win.” Stynes said Saturday will be their biggest test of the season, as they haven’t beaten ECU in the NPL but he is confident they can get the job done. “ECU are always a hard game no matter what, and I’m sure Saturday will be the same,” he said. “They have got some quality players in their side and on their day can beat anyone in the league, so were looking forward the challenge and keeping our good start to the season going.” - Referee Joshua Nixon
Stirling Lions make the trip up the freeway to take on Sorrento at Perth Doyle Reserve looking for back to back wins. (3pm). Both teams won in the last round, Sorrento won a hard fought game against Balcatta, while the Lions won for the first time this season, after coming from 2-0 down to beat Armadale. Lions midfielder Dejan Spaseski said last week’s come back showed the character they have in their squad. “I thought we started off very slow last week, and as a result went 2-0 down very early,” he said. “After the half time break and a much needed team talk, the boys came out firing, and after we scored our first, it was only a matter of time before we took the lead, as it was a very one sided half of football in our favour. The win was very much needed to kick off our season.” The former Perth Glory Youth midfielder said a trip to Sorrento is never easy but they are looking forward to the challenge. “We are going into the game against Sorrento full of confidence, not only because we are coming off a win but also because of key players returning from injury,” he said. “We know if we play to our potential, then we will walk away with the three points.” – Referee Josh Mannella
Both Armadale and Inglewood United will be looking to bounce back after defeats last week when they meet at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday. Armadale let a two goal halftime lead slip at Stirling last week, while Inglewood also let a lead slip, going down 2-1 to Bayswater. Midfielder Brian Farrell said it was a tight game and the sending off changed the game. “Saturday was a though game as always against Bayswater, but the sending off changed the game,” he said. “I didn’t see the sending off so I can’t really comment on that, but it was disappointing to see our lead slip away. We know throughout the season you are going to face adversity and its how you deal with it that’ll shape the season. It would have been nice to hold out for another 10/15 minutes after halftime before the equaliser but that’s all in the past now and we will push on with the season.” Farrell said the trip to Armadale is important and they will be hoping to get their season back on track. “It is always a hard place to go and get the three points, but we will be looking to bounce back after our first loss of the season,” he said. “We will do some hard work on the training pitch this week and prepare well for an important game for us.” – Referee Nico Hoyle
It’s not been the best of starts for Joondalup United, but they will be looking to kick start their season when they travel to E & D Litis Stadium to take on Floreat Athena. (7pm) Both sides are coming into this game after losses, Floreat beaten 1-3 at Perth SC, while Joondalup lost to Subiaco 0-4. United midfielder Jay Marsden said there were good signs last week, but the sending off changed the game. “It’s not been a good start at all for us, but to be honest there have been good signs in every game we have played,” he said. “But we’ve let ourselves down by silly mistakes at the back, which we are trying to improve on.” Marsden said they have trained well this week and the group are confident they can get a positive result on Saturday “We go into every game with three points in mind, and hopefully this week against Floreat we can finally get off the mark,” he said. “One thing we won’t be doing is giving up by any means, this weekend we will definitely be playing for the win. We have a couple of injuries and niggles so it’s a good chance for players to be stepping up at a vital time.” - Referee Steven Gregory
The final game takes us to the Wildlife Safari Stadium, at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening where Forrestfield United entertains Balcatta (7pm). Forrestfield lost for the first time at home last week against Perth Glory, while Balcatta were edged out 0-1 by Sorrento. Balcatta skipper Calum O’Connell said it was a game they should have won. “Last week was very frustrating and we did everything but score, and their keeper was man of the match for them,” he said. “We don't get too disappointed, we walk away knowing that what we have worked on for the last few months is now starting to come to fruition, all we need now is some goals.” The skipper said they head into Saturday’s game confident but knows Forrestfield have impressed so far in the NPL. “Look full credit to them (Forrestfield) they've not come into the league and gone through the motions, they want to compete and cause a few upsets,” O’Connell said. “I'm sure they'll be hurting after the Glory game, so we need to continue the pressure we caused Sorrento, and take that down to Forrestfield and hopefully get our first three points of the year.” – Referee Tom Glavovic
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES, FINAL - PREVIEW
The Football West State League Night Series Final will see Fremantle City take on UWA-Nedlands at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Saturday evening, after both edged through in Semi-Final thrillers. UWA raced to a two goal lead against Gosnells City in the first Semi-Final but the Division Two side hit back to level things up, but a penalty two minutes from time by Alex Kretowicz earned UWA a spot in the first ever Night Series Final. If that was a thriller the second Semi-Final was an epic with Fremantle City prevailing 8-7 on penalties, after the game ended 4-4 at full time, to also see Fremantle into their first Night Series Final.
Fremantle went through Group C without losing a game, and a final round 2-0 win against Western Knights sealed their progression, and striker Alec Robinson said they improved with every game, but he also praised Wanneroo City for pushing them all the way. “Last week was a good result in the end obviously progressing through to the final, but we are not kidding ourselves that we were anywhere near where we should be on the night,” he said. “Sometimes you learn more from bad performances than good so as part of preseason preparations it would be very valuable and hopefully we can improve from there, but that’s not taking anything away from Wanneroo who were great on the night.” Robinson said Saturday will be a good entertaining game as both sides like to play the ball on the ground. “It promises to be a good game and hopefully will be played in a way befitting a final,” he said. “UWA always have a lot of younger boys, keep the ball well and are very patient in their approach. We will have to match them for that and hopefully find an edge in the important areas through our experience and confidence coming on from the tournament so far.”
UWA also went undefeated in Group D and like Fremantle also had to win the last game to seal a spot in the Semi-Finals and they defeated Olympic Kingsway 3-1. Skipper Joshua Marocchi said the Semi-Final was a tense affair. “We were very pleased to get the win in such a tight encounter, and Gosnells really gave us a good fight,” he said. “But we showed some good character after giving up a two good lead. The subs who came in really made an impact and helped wrestle the game in our control, and these sort of games previously we wouldn’t have won.” Marocchi said Fremantle have a great side and it should be a great final. “They (Fremantle) are an emerging club who have invested well and brought in some good talent, and they have strength across all areas and they pose to be huge challenge for our young side,” he explained. “They do play a similar style to us so it will be interesting to see who gains the ascendency, we are really up for the encounter and everyone has been training the house down. The first final for the club is a great achievement, but we didn’t come this far to lose so we are focused on the task at hand.”
FFA CUP ROUND THREE PREVIEW
The magic of the FFA Cup is here again and this weekend Round three ties are too played across the WA region. The Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Round’ is the tie between Gwelup Croatia and Quinns at the Croatian Sporting Complex. Gwelup reached the Semi-Finals of the competition three years ago and striker Gavin Knight said they are looking to repeat that this season. “We had a bad start to the Night Series with a loss but got better every game from there so winning three games in a row has boosted the teams confidence and will take that confidence into Saturday game,” he said. “We played Quinns in last game of the group stage and they looked a good squad mixed with youth and experienced players, but we did win that game 3-1 and hopefully we get the same result on Saturday and go into the draw for next round of the FFA Cup.”
Quinns’ striker Craig Tooley said they are looking forward to the challenge, and after a solid Night Series they go in to the game confident, and thinks home ground advantage could help them. “The night series has really helped the team gel together and get a good understanding of how each other play, so we are ready for it,” he said. “Saturday's match will be completely different to the night series match on all levels, all we're focused on is coming away with the win on home soil and advancing on through to the fourth round.”
Dianella White Eagles had a successful run in last season’s competition, and they start their campaign this season against Curtin University at Dorrien Gardens on Tuesday night. Eagles Coach Robbie Dunn said they have some new players and the Night Series was a perfect opportunity to get integrated to the squad. “It was a bit disappointing missing out as we probably outplayed all of our opponents except Olympic, but I felt that we still did enough to draw or even win that one,” he said. “We have a few new lads and the games allowed us to see where we can fit them into our side and better still what positions that they can't fit into.” Dunn said Saturday’s game could be a banana skin. “Games like these are always tricky and the cup always turns out upsets, we certainly won't be treating Curtin lightly and we will be going all out to get a win against them,” he said. “Our lads are fighting for their spots as well so if they don't perform they know that they could be replaced by someone just waiting for their opportunity. The club is looking forward to this clash and we have some really exciting players with great ability and we hope that they can show us what they have and do enough to come away with the win.”
> Mandurah City hits the road in the third round, when they travel to Kingsway Reserve to take on Kingsway Olympic. New Coach Alex Grayson has been pleased with the improvement in his side. “The night series was a real work progress. There were things we did well and things we still need to work on but overall, I was happy for the boys to experience a solid performance at the end of all their hard work,” he explained. “Technical progress aside, the lads consistently showed great desire and mental toughness throughout all of our games. I'm really proud of the steps we have taken as a group.” Grayson said it will be a tough tie but they will be hoping to progress. “It's another exciting challenge for us. Kingsway are a club with a fantastic history so it'll be a great opportunity for our younger players to get a feel for the competitiveness of state football on the road,” he said “Mentally and physically we have prepared well since our last night series game so another 90 minutes against good opposition is exactly what we need leading into the season.”
Full list of fixtures – Friday - Bunbury United v Busselton, Saturday - Dianella White Eagles v Curtin University, Morley-Windmills v Kelmscott Roos, Quinns FC v Gwelup Croatia, South West Phoenix v Yanchep United, Joondalup City v Ashfield, Kingsway Olympic v Mandurah City, Wanneroo City v Woodvale, Albany Bayswater v Gosnells City – Sunday - Canning City v Ballajura, Northern City v Bunbury Dynamos, Phoenix Glory v Swan United, Kwinana United v Warnbro Strikers, Brozzy v Cracovia, Perth AFC v Western Knights, Balga v Shamrock Rovers Perth - Wednesday - Murdoch University Melville v Fremantle City, UWA-Nedlands FC v Hamersley Rovers, Thursday - Kingsley v Rockingham City.
AMATEUR LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES, FINAL - PREVIEW
The Final of the Football West Amateur Night Series has been decided, with Kingsley taking on Leeming Strikers at the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Both progressed to the final on Wednesday evening, Kingsley beating Hamersley Rovers on penalties, while Leeming beat North Perth 2-1 in the Semi-Finals. Leeming topped group C beating Belmont Villa 3-1 and Kwinana United 8-4, before a 1-1 draw in the last game saw them progress to the Semi-Finals. Leeming skipper Danny McKenzie said the win against North Perth was excellent and showed how far his side has come on in the pre-season “It was a great win against a very good side, but I felt we controlled most of the game and were unlucky not to be up at half time,” he said. “We stuck to it and got the result, we know North Perth are always there or there about so it’s good to know we can mix it with the top teams and get results.” It’s been a good competition to date for the Strikers, but now in the Final they will be doing all they can to get the win. “On our day we can beat anyone, but Kingsley are most people’s tip to win the league and it’s easy to see why when you look at the additions to an already very good squad, but we’ll be well prepared and up for it,” he said. “It is a pre-season competition but when it involves all 12 teams from the same league the mindset is that these are competitive fixtures, I don’t think anyone approaches these games like friendlies. Night Series included there are only 3 trophies to play for at this level so winning it would be great for us and a real confidence boost going into the first round of league fixtures.”
Kingsley finished second in Group B, edged out by North Perth United on goal difference. They beat UWA-Nedlands 6-0 and Ellenbrook United 3-1, before drawing with North Perth in the final game with both sides moving into the Semi-Finals on superior points. Winger Jayden Drummond said it wasn’t their best performance of the competition but they held their nerve in the shoot-out. “It was far from our best footballing performance, we played a lot better in our previous matches but a wins a win, they didn’t really trouble us defensively but going forward we should’ve put it to bed in the first half,” he explained. “Penalties aren’t ideal but we’ll take it, and fair play to the lads that stood up and held their nerve, and our keeper Paul Rainford pulled off two unbelievable saves.” Drummond said the new players have fitted in well and they will be hoping to finish it with a trophy on Saturday. “Pre-season has been good for us we’ve added a few new lads to the squad which they’ve fitted in brilliantly, The group stage was good, we had the luxury to rest a few boys from the hard surface of Ellenbrook, but we played some really good football and punished UWA and Ellenbrook, was just a shame we squandered a 2-0 lead against North Perth after such a dominant first half. But that’s football. The boys are buzzing for Saturday night, good couple nights on the track and we’ll be ready to go, it will be a big game against Leeming no doubt, we know they’ve signed a few players this year also so we will need to be at our best.”
JONES BACK FROM WILDERNESS AFTER EVERY PARENT’S NIGHTMARE
Brad Jones has endured every parent’s nightmare, but at 36 and in the form of his life, the Feyenoord goalkeeper is back on the Socceroos scene and in a happy place. As the heir apparent to Mark Schwarzer, a place in the World Cup squad and with a dream move to Liverpool in the bag, things were looking rosy for the West Australian in 2010.
However, Jones’s life changed forever after taking a phone call in his hotel room in Johannesburg on the eve of the opening game of the tournament against Germany. He was informed by his former partner that their four-year-old son Luca, had been diagnosed with leukaemia.
Jones immediately left camp and flew straight out to France where Luca was living. The young man bravely fought the disease for over two years but in November 2012 it claimed his life. With his focus very much elsewhere, Jones’s Anfield career stalled and when the club signed Brazilian goalkeeper Doni in 2011 it relegated him to third-choice 'keeper.
After making 27 appearances in just over five years, Jones decided in 2016 to quit the club he’d supported since he was a child and start afresh in the Netherlands. “I went to Nijmegen for six months and they had no money as they had spent their budget,” he said.
“That’s all I had in mind, to do it for six months and see what happened. Within a month I had offers from other teams in Holland. It was not the clubs where I really wanted to go. We had a few talks with clubs back in England, but there I was still perceived as a number two. I was trying to get away from that.”
“I was training at Liverpool to keep fit and I got a phone call from Feyenoord. They were desperate to get someone in as quick as possible due to an injury. It was an easy decision to go and play for what is probably, I would have to say, the biggest club in Holland.”
After helping the Rotterdam outfit to their 15th league title last year, new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk then ended Jones’s four-year international hiatus and named him in his first squad — just three months before the World Cup.
Jones admits he’d love to be on the plane to Russia, but said World Cups would always evoke mixed emotions. “There’s probably a little bit of me that had associated national team with that (Luca),” said Jones, who is part of Australia's squad preparing this weeks friendlies with Norway and Colombia.
“It wasn’t always a good feeling, but you get to a point where you have to just kind of separate things and see it as professional life and personal life and make a gap in the two. It’s always been an aim and a dream to go to a World Cup and in one way I say that I was a part of it, but I wasn’t there for the whole thing. It’s still something that I want to tick off.”
RUKAVYTSYA: IT WAS A DREAM COME TRUE
Nikita Rukavystya is one of the lucky ones. A specialist at hitting form in the lead up to World Cups and after an ‘unbelievable’ experience in 2010, the former Perth Glory winger is aiming to do it all again. A well-timed loan to Belgian club Roeselare eight years ago earned Rukavystya a place in the Socceroos World Cup squad.
"It was a dream come true. It's not something you can really explain until you experience it," commented Rukavytsya, who now plies his trade for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa. "I was pretty young back then. To be a part of it and to play at a World Cup is unbelievable. Hopefully I can push on and (2018) can be my second one."
After turning out against Germany and Ghana in South Africa, Rukavystya joined 2. Bundesliga side Hertha BSC, where he featured regularly in his first season. His career then appeared to stall, with spells at Mainz 05 and Frankfurt not going according to plan and leading to an A-League return with Western Sydney Wanderers.
After four years out of the national team, 30-year old Rukavystya could have been forgiven for assuming his Socceroos career was over. But a move to Israel reignited the Ukrainian-born winger. After hitting 14 goals in 30 appearances for Beitar Jerusalem, Rukavytsya earned a move to Israeli giants Maccabi Haifa.
After a tough start in Haifa, Rukavystya proved he's added a new element to his game, proving his goal-scoring prowess with nine already this season. And an experienced goalscorer is exactly what the Socceroos require, so after earning a recall under Ange Postecoglou, now he's got his sights set on the 2018 World Cup.
"It's a new generation," he said. "The boys are playing in some good leagues and at some good clubs. You just have to keep working and doing your best. In the back of your mind the World Cup should push you to do better. Just do your best and enjoy the experience leading up to it."
SAGE WON’T SELL GLORY DESPITE OVERSEAS INTEREST
Overseas investors are keen to buy Perth Glory from businessman Tony Sage, who has owned the A-League club for a decade. The official Glory line is that “For Sale” signs have not gone out, but it is understood there is strong Asian interest in buying the club.
It is also believed that a $15 million price tag has been put on the club and interest has also come from European and US investors. But the focus has now switched to Malaysia where a group led by Dato Chan, co-owner and chairman of Cardiff City from May 2010 to 2013, is understood to have been in talks.
Perth Glory is in partnership with Malaysian football development program The Liga 1MCC, the brainchild of Dato Chan, through its junior academy and coaches. Sage, who has poured millions of dollars into the club since taking sole ownership a decade ago, denied their had been any firm offers. “No intention to sell,” he said.
However, Sage did confirm he had been approached by a middle man from investors who failed in a bid to buy Adelaide United, sold earlier this month to a Netherlands-based consortium for an estimated $12 million. “Three consortiums called and offers made. One was European with Chinese investors in a European club,” Sage said.
“Informal offers were made. When I asked about numbers they said the same as Adelaide. I was not interested. The numbers will double if clubs get control of an independent A-League. But the numbers are irrelevant anyway. We have a bigger stadium, 2000 more members, $1 million more in corporate revenue and a bigger population.”
Sage has said the club lost an average $2 million a year over the past 11 seasons and though it was frustrating not to have won any silverware he would continue to support the club. “I love the club,” Sage said. “It’s part of the family. It’s a family passion.”
IT WAS 'NERVE-WRACKING' MEETING VAN MARWIJK, REVEALS RISDON
Socceroos defender Josh Risdon has revealed his nerves ahead of meeting new Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk at the national team training camp in Oslo. Risdon, much like the rest of Australia’s 26-man squad, went into camp unsure of what to expect from the Dutchman as he sets out to shape the team to his style for World Cup warm-up matches against Norway and Colombia.
25-year old Risdon was a regular contributor under Ange Postecoglou and was pleased to earn a national team recall, but he did admit his trepidation in meeting the man who took the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final. “It was a bit nerve-wracking to meet the new coach,” Risdon said.
“I’m very excited to be in camp with all the boys again and working towards these next two games. It's the first camp together with the new coach so everyone is going to want to impress and do well with their first impressions. It's going to be a bit competitive this week in training - everyone is going to want to play in these two upcoming games so that will be good for the team.”
Risdon has hit the ground running since his mid-year move to Western Sydney Wanderers from Perth Glory. And he is determined achieve the boyhood dream which has been his primary inspiration this season. “That feeling when we qualified in Sydney was an amazing feeling and it spurred me on to make sure I'm there in Russia,” he said. “It's been a big part of getting me through this season.”
“Back at the Wanderers, focusing each week, playing well is in the back of my mind knowing that if I do well, hopefully I can get to a World Cup. It's something I've dreamt about as a little kid and to be able to say that you've played at a World Cup will be an awesome achievement and something I want to tick off my list for my career. Hopefully I can do all the right things to be there in Russia.”
RUKAVYTSYA NETS DOUBLE IN ISRAEL
Socceroos' hopeful Nikita Rukavytsya continued his good form with a double for Maccabi Haifa in a 4-0 win overnight in the Israeli's top flight. The former Perth Glory attacker opened the scoring in the 19th minute and doubled his side's lead five minutes into the second half.
Rukavytsya has been in prolific form this season, with his double taking his season tally to 14 goals in all competitions. The 30-year old was brought back into the Socceroos fold in the 2018 World Cup qualifying play-offs by coach Ange Postecoglou after several years away.
The Ukraine-born forward was last week included in Bert van Marwijk's squad for the upcoming friendlies against Colombia and Norway. His career has taken him to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany as well as Israel, where he initially played for Beitar Jerusalem and more recently Maccabi Haifa.
JONES: I NEVER GAVE UP ON THE SOCCEROOS
Four years after his last call-up to the Socceroos, goalkeeper Brad Jones finds himself back in the fold and says it's something he "never gave up on". The former Liverpool and Middlesbrough shot-stopper has excelled since moving to Dutch club Feyenoord, winning a drought-breaking title last season with 17 clean sheets.
And it hasn't stopped there. The Rotterdam giants' 1-0 win over Heracles in February was Jones' eleventh cleansheet of the current campaign. But despite his stellar form, Jones made just one appearance during the reign of previous national team coach, Ange Postecoglou.
Speaking to Feyenoord TV, 35-year old Jones expressed delight at reigniting his green and gold dream under new coach Bert van Marwijk. "It’s been awhile," Jones said. "Obviously I'm looking forward to getting back in, I'm just looking forward to what the future holds. It was something that I never really gave up on.
"But the way things were with the group, and with the staff, I knew that is was going to be difficult to change an opinion, I guess, with the coach. It’s nice now that a new coach comes in has obviously seen what I’ve been doing and wants to bring me in."
Jones said van Marwijk sought him out last month to chat about the Socceroos. "It was a positive talk and he obviously asked if I was available," Jones revealed. "I always have been. And yeah it was good to chat with him. For him it was good to hear the thoughts I had also on the set-up and the squad."
"You dream as a kid of representing your country, I’ve been fortunate enough to do it in the past. Maybe not as many times as I would have liked. At times I had some tough opposition. Mark Schwarzer was the established keeper for a long time then a change of manager brings a change of opinions."
PERTH TAKE OUT THE CITY OF VINCENT DERBY
Perth Soccer Club moved to third on the NPLWA table after a hard fought 3-1 win against Floreat Athena in the ‘City of Vincent Derby’ at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday evening. Hamza Hina gave the visitors the lead early, but the home side hit back with goals to Matthew Milenkovic and Rocco Pizzata and Paul Zimarino to seal the three points.
“It was a good win by the boys, hard to start the game knowing we were missing a key striker and couple midfielders but all the boys know we have depth in the squad and we are all confident in each other to help do the job that is needed and collect the three points,” Perth midfielder Kristian Santich said. “We expected Floreat to come out fighting and there early goal was tough to deal with but everyone remained calm and we knew we had the chances and ability to come back and win the game. Our three goals were all great finishes and it is good to see us starting to hit the target more often and take opportunities when they are needed.”
Floreat, who won for the first time this season against Balcatta last week, made the perfect to the game, and after soaking up the early Perth pressure they hit the front on 18 minutes. Dean Evans’ free kick was punched clear by Perth keeper Francis Solae, but only to Hina, and the former Inglewood winger finished well. Perth were having plenty of the ball but lacked the final pass in the final third, but as the half ended they starting to get on top and they were rewarded with the equaliser on 37 minutes.
Milenkovic started the move racing forward and feeding Niccolo Sabatini on the left. He cut inside his marker and picked out Milenkovic again on the edge of the penalty area, and he finished clinically low past Jason Saldaris. Then five minutes later they hit the front. Floreat failed to clear Sabatini’s corner, the ball falling to Pizzata, who powered the ball home from 20-yards to send them in to half time with the lead.
Both sides had great chances early in the second half. First Phil Arnold saw a header flash agonizingly wide, before Jason Saldaris stood tall to deny Zimarino, after good hold up play by Howles. It was end-to-end football as both sides went on the offensive. Arnold saw another effort drift wide, before Howles was denied by a great stop from Jason Saldaris. But on 68 minutes Perth scored the decisive third. Young midfielder Kristian Santich poked the ball through to Zimarino, who finished low past the keeper.
Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 5 Niccolo SABATINI (10 Nicholas AMBROGIO 62’), 6 Harley ORR, 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Kristian SANTICH, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Richard HOWLES, 20 Paul ZIMARINO - Subs not used: RGK Malek KUC, 2 Alex SILLA, 19 Ali NAZARY, 21 Adam CARLINO
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTA LUCIA, 4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO (12 James OWEN 77’), 5 Jamie STREET, 6 Jessie FULLER, 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 13 Hamza HINA 14 Ludovic BOI (21 Keylun POLLARD 71’), 15 Chris SALDARIS, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Philip ARNOLD (11 Dennis GALAN 68’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 16 Declan HUDSON - Referee: Tom Glavovic
BOOYSEN BACK TO HAUNT UNITED
Joondalup United’s poor start to the new season continued when winger Subiaco winger Josh Booysen helped himself to a hat-trick against his former club in their 4-0 win at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday evening. Booysen opened the scoring early, but it was a tight affair thereafter with good chances at both ends, but it was Rory Feely who doubled the visitors lead on the hour.
The home side then had Luke Serra sent off five minutes later and Subiaco took advantage with Booysen added to more to complete his hat-trick and seal the first of the season for Ian McMurray’s side. “I thought it was an important win for us, our first three points to get us going,” Booysen said. “We're already looking to next week and we will go in with a lot of confidents.”
Joondalup opened brightly and Matt Sparrow and Johnny Chalmers saw shots flash wide of the target, but it was Subiaco who opened the scoring on 16 minutes, when Booysen lost his marker to head home Alex Randell’s corner. James Bosdet then produced a great save to keep the home side in it, before Elliot Tattersall cross shot went narrowly wide at the other end.
Tattersall was then denied by a smart save from Ryan Montgomery, before Bosdet produced another stunning save from Rory Feely. It was end-to-end football and the home faithful thought they had scored just before half time when Chalmers pin point cross picked out Jay Marsden, but with the goal at his mercy he could only head onto the post and behind for a corner.
The home side were out of the blocks after half time and Montgomery produced a great low save to Chalmers, before Sparrow fired over from the resulting corner. But on the hour Subiaco doubled their advantage, Feely was sent racing clear and he finished low past the oncoming Bosdet. Joondalup then were reduced to ten men when referee Nico Hoyle sent off Serra for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. Booysen put the game beyond doubt, when he bagged his second in the 69th minute, then eight minutes later he completed his hat trick.
“We gave away a poor goal from a set piece early but we created multiple chances after that. Despite the red card we kept going and I was pleased with our character,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “The only way from here is up. I’m a positive person and we will remain upbeat and aim to get our first points next week.”
Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 2 John CHALMERS, 5 Joel LEDSHAM, 6 Sam WYNNE (4 Danny O’SHEA), 7. Matthew SPARROW (C), 8. Jay MARSDEN, 10. Elliot TATTERSALL, 11. Anthony TAYLOR, 17. Luke SERRA, 19. Adam BUCKLEY (22. Parviz SHIZARDI), 25. Greg PELLOW (15 Callum STOCKS - Subs not used: RGK Harley CURRAN - Red cards: Serra 65
Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 4 Alex RANDELL (13 Fanuel DAWIT 82’), 6 Jackson DONGRAY, 9 Rory FEELY (5 Manase ABANDELWA 80’), 10 Asher NELSON (19 Ian McMURRAY 71’), 11 Joshua BOOYSEN, 12 Nathan SMITH, 14 Ross JARMAN, 16 Steve PURTON, 17 Alex CASTIELLO, 18 David PERICH - Sub not used: RGK Teophile BROWN, 8 Daniel PEARCE - Referee: Nico Hoyle
BAYSWATER BEAT A TEN MAN INGLEWOOD
Bayswater City maintained their perfect start to the NPLWA season after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against a 10 man Inglewood United at Frank Drago Reserve. Ashley Rosindale had given the visitors a perfect start scoring after only two minutes, but the striker went from hero to villain when he was a sent off 13 minutes later. Bayswater then lost their top goalscorer Gustavo Giron-Marulanda with a serious knee injury. But after half time they took advantage of their numerical advantage after the break with Marulanda’s replacement Luka Ninkovic levelling, before Jason Mirco won it for Chris Coyne’s side on the hour.
"I’m obviously not disappointed with the result but for me we haven’t started playing great football yet,” Bayswater coach Chris Coyne said. “At times we are doing it, but we aren’t quite doing it for 90 minutes yet and that’s what I want to see because we’re a team that like to play good football. We had a few chances to seal the game and make it more comfortable, but the boys did well to roll up their socks and get the result against a fellow contender.”
It was Inglewood who got off to the perfect start and they were ahead on two minutes. David Cyrus met Ellis Healing’s corner and Rosindale got the final touch to score. But Rosindale’s day ended 13 minutes later, when he was shown a straight card by referee Michal Jasinski for a lunging tackle on Todd Howarth. Bayswater looked to make their numerical advantage count and Inglewood keeper denied Paul McCarthy’s header, before the Inglewood custodian was down quick to push Gian Albano’s deflected shot.
It got worse for the home side ten minutes before half time when Giron-Marulanda was forced off the pitch with what looked like a serious knee injury. But it was his replacement who levelled for Bayswater, Mirco made space down the left and cut inside his marker and crossed to Ninkovic who headed home. The home side were well on top and their pressure was rewarded on the hour when Howarth’s free-kick was headed home by Mirco.
Adam Harris then saw a shot flash wide, before Dunn denied Albano when sent one-on-one with the keeper. The ten men went in search of an equaliser late, Healing’s free-kick took a deflection and crashed into the post, with Steve Burton and Brian Woodall unable to divert the rebound home, before Jamie Murphy then latched onto Woodall’s perfectly weighted pass but could only lift the ball over the bar, and Bayswater held on to seal their fourth win.
Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 4 Arran MAPLESTONE (21 Riley VAN DIRKEN 76’), 5 Adam HARRIS, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo MARULANDA (19 Luka NINKOVIC 35’), 10 Jason MIRCO (23 Andrija JUKIC 88’), 13 Trent KAY, 15 Paul LLOYD, 17 Gian ALBANO, 24 Jake SARDELIC - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 12 David STOKOE.
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 3 David CYRUS, 5 Scott ROBERTSON, 7 Kenny KEOGH, 8 Jason BARRERA (6 Miki VUJACIC 80’), 10 Ashley ROSINDALE, 11 Ellis HEALING (16 Jamie MURPHY 80’), 14 Hanafi GHAZALI, 15 Brian FARRELL, 17 Rikki SMITH (19 Steve BURTON), 23 Brian WOODALL - Subs not used: RGK Michael COHEN, 4 Scott BLACKMORE - Red cards: Rosindale 15’ - Referee: Michal Jasinski
GULLS FLY HOME WITH THE POINTS
Sorrento moved to fifth on the NPLWA table after Alex Morgan’s goal just before half time gave them a 1-0 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The loss kept Balcatta winless for the season, but they had chances to take something from the game, but they couldn’t find a way past Gulls custodian James Morgan. “It was an ugly win and we know how much better we can be and have to be,” goalscorer Alex Morgan said. “Balcatta played well and threw everyone forward towards the end but we defended well. Always good to score and always good to keep a clean sheet as well.”
It was an even first half with both sides struggling in the final third, but it was the home side who looked the more dangerous. But it was the visitors who created the first real chance. Scott Witschge was given far too much space, and his long-range shot was tipped onto the bar by Balcatta keeper Domenico Savoldelli. Both keepers were busy as the half went on as the game opened up and on 35 minutes it was Sorrento who opened the scoring. Witschge played the ball into the box and Alex Morgan managed to slide in to score. The home side were adamant the striker was offside, but referee Julian Serra waved away their protests.
The home side were on the front foot after the break but they couldn’t find a way past James Morgan, the Sorrento custodian producing two fine saves. Balcatta throw everything late, but Sorrento defended well and they couldn’t find the equaliser. “I thought we were the better team, I thought we were absolutely outstanding today and I think we beat them in everything except the scoreboard,” Balcatta coach Goran Stajic said. “The boys are hurting, they know that was big. Obviously Sorrento were resilient at the back but we created so many chances. We’re not far away at all, we can mix it with anyone and it won’t be long.”
Balcatta: GK Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 Hayden STEVENS, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 Tom PELLIZZARI, 8 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 12 Anton DE FRANCHESCH (9 Dejan ANDRIC 59’, 18 Scott NEWLAND 65’), 15 Adriano JELENOVIC, 23 Lawrence SHURAMA (11 Renne ALBA 73’) - Subs not used: RGK Kyle MCDONALD, 13 Daniel HEPWORTH,
Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 6 Daryl PLATTEN, 7 Alex MORGAN, 10 Jordan ROBERTS, 14 Scott WITSCHGE, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 18 JORDAN BROWN, 19 Jack SALTER (11 Timothy HILL), 20 Brad MCDONALD, 21 Godwin DARKWA (23 Cameron TEECE 77’) - Subs not used: RGK Anastasis FARSALEAS, 13 Steve MCDONALD, 22 Danny JONES - Referee: Julian Serra
JACKS STILL SEARCHING FOR HOME WIN
ECU Joondalup are still without a home win this season after a late goal from Anthony Skorich gave Cockburn City a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at the ECU Football Stadium. Luccas Mello gave the visitors the lead mid-way through the first half, but the home side turned things around with Gordon Smith and Daryl Nicol scoring late. It was an arm wrestle after the break with both sides having chances but it was Skorich who converted his opportunity to earn his side a point. “We need to start banking some points, some of these draws feel like defeats,” ECU head coach Dale McCullough said. While his counterpart Scott Miller thought they deserved all three points. “I thought we looked like we were the only ones who were going to win it,” Miller said.
It was the home side who opened the brighter and skipper Nicol was a constant threat, and he pounced on a mistake from Cockburn defender Chris Thackray, but the Scotsman fired wide of the target. Moments later Nicol was in again, but his time Ryan Baker pushed his effort around the post. But on 21 minutes against the run of play Cockburn hit the front. Cameron Edwards’ free kick was punched by ECU keeper Johnny Perkins, but it went to Mello, who chipped the ball into the back of the net. The home side hit back and Nicol played in Tommy Amphlett but Baker stood tall to save. Moments later Thackray cleared Adam Tong’s header off the line.
It was one-way traffic and two minutes from half time ECU restored parity. Smith tapping home from close range after Amphlett’s low shot was parried by Cockburn keeper Barker. Then in stoppage time ECU hit the front, Nicol finishing well to send them into the break with the lead. The Jacks burst out of the blocks in the second half as they went in search of a third goal with Amphlett and Nicol causing the Cockburn defence all sorts of problems, but they held firm and started to get into the game themselves and Mello almost grabbed his second of the game but his free-kick clipped the top of the bar. But on 73 minutes Cockburn levelled, Skorich lost his marker in the box and headed home and both sides had to take a share of the spoils.
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Jack JONES, 3 Ross MILLARD, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Lukas DE LIMA (7 Cameron MURRAY 74’), 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL (c), 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Andy HIGGINS, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT (14 Ethan BROOKS 87’), 19 Cian HIRRELL - Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 12 Ryan MCDARBY, 16 Logan MCISSAC
Cockburn City: GK Ryan BARKER, 2 Chris THACKRAY (9 Liam MURRAY 71’), 5 Kieron STALLARD, 6 Rueben TRISTAO, 7 Luccas MELLO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS (c), 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Daniel ROBINSON (10 David ARAYA 54’), 17 Jesse LAZZARO, 18 Aden DA LUZ, 19 Anthony SKORICH - Sub not used: RGK Luke RADONICH, 20 James OLDFIELD - Referee: Steven Gregory
LIONS BITE BACK TO BEAT ARMADALE
Stirling Lions won for the first time this season after coming from 2-0 down at half time to beat Armadale 3-2 at Macedonia Park. Goals from Chris Jackson and Michael Rizidis had the visitors well on top at the break, but a brace from Steve Sokol levelled things up, before David Micevski celebrated his first start of the season by bagging the winner 16 minutes from time.
Stirling coach Keegan Ashley praised his side’s character after the interval as well as the performance of Sokol. “It’s a fantastic feeling to comeback after going two down,” he said. “In the second-half we started to work harder and execute our tactics better and we got our reward. “So far we’ve only managed to put a good 45 minutes together, but once we start putting 90 together I think we’ll do fine this season. I’m very happy with Steve’s performance, he played very well in the second-half and thoroughly deserved his two goals.”
Armadale got off to a quick start and they were ahead on eight minutes, when Jackson curled a free-kick into the top corner. It looked like being a long day for the home side when Armadale added a second on 22 minutes. A ball over the top sent Rizidis clear and his well-timed volley flew past Lance Alavakis and into the back of the net.
Whatever Ashley said at half time worked, as the Lions were a different beast after the break and reduced the margin 11 minutes in. Sokol was sent one-on-one Armadale keeper Sam Hutchings, and he kept his composure and slotted the ball home. Sokol was at it again just four minutes later, when he poked the ball past the onrushing Hutchings before passing the rolling the ball into an empty net.
The home fans were out of their seats again 15 minutes later, when the Lions completed their comeback. Micevski found space on the edge of the penalty area and the midfielder curled home superb much to the delight of the home faithful. But five minutes from time Armadale had the perfect opportunity to level when referee Joshua Nixon pointed to spot. Jackson stepped up but Alavakis guessed the right way to deny him and Stirling hung on for all three points.
“We showed the best and worst of our abilities today,” Armadale Coach John O’Reilly said. “In the second-half we took our foot off the pedal and all of a sudden we got caught out and found ourselves losing. In the first-half when we were in possession we looked relaxed and moved the ball well but in the second the nerves started to kick in, we gave away possession too easily and we were punished for it. We need to learn to absorb the pressure when it comes and play the same style of football for 90 minutes.”
Stirling Lions: GK Lance ALAVAKIS, 2 David MOLINARI, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Liam HENDERSON, 6 Dhors CHOL, 7 Dean CUMMINGS (C), 8 Dejan SPASESKI, 10 David MICEVSKI (19 Zane CASELLA 82’), 11 Alex TANEVSKI 14 Steve SOKOL, 18 Ben CAMPBELL (12 Matthew CHERRIE 54’) - Subs not used: RGK Pasquale GIOFFRE, 13 Joey PERKINS, 15 Nathan DE ABREU
Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 3 Dylan DA SILVA, 4 Nathan COSTELLO (C), 5 David ANNALL, 7 Charlie KENNA, 8 Michael LAWSON (12 Dannie RICHMAN 71), 9 Billy QUINNCROFT (17 James ATKINS 86’), 10 Chris JACKSON, 11 Michael RIZIDIS, 15 Ali GHOLAMI (6 Kevin CASTLE 79’), 21 Beau RAHIM - Subs not used: RGK Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 14 Jonathan BOGONI - Referee: Joshua Nixon
GLORY MAINTAIN UNBEATEN START TO THE SEASON
Perth Glory have put the rest of the NPLWA on notice that their early season form is not a flash in the pan after beating Forrestfield United 5-0 at the Wildlife Safari Stadium, Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. Joe Knowles gave the visitors the lead early, but it was a tight affair with chances at both ends, but Glory took control after the break with Jake Brimmer, Daniel Stynes, Walter Scott and another to Knowles gave them a comprehensive win.
Glory defender Walter Scott said they had to work hard for the points, but deserved them. “Saturday night’s game was a great performance from the team, and we executed our game plan very successfully,” he told the Glory website. “We were very happy to keep a clean sheet and score some nice goals, approaching a difficult run of games, which will test us, we are excited with the challenges ahead. The group is working towards a common goal and I think it shows on the pitch with our togetherness. I was happy to get on the scoresheet and it’s something I am working to add into my game more regularly, to continue my development.”
The visitors made the perfect start opening the scoring after only seven minutes. The lively Chok Dau made space down the right and slipped in Knowles and the striker made no mistake. The home side almost hit back moments later, Glory failed to clear their lines and the ball landed at the feet of Hasani Sinclair, but the American striker’s shot crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Both sides pressed in an entertaining game and there were late chances at both ends. First Forrestfield winger Rhys Loxley eased past his marker into the box, but he dragged his shot just wide, before Glory midfielder Daniel Stynes played the pacey Doh in on goal, but he fired inches past the post.
The game opened up early in the second half, and Stynes fired over the top, before Loxley cut inside his marker but failed to hit the target. But it was the visitors who would double their lead on 63 minutes, with Brimmer’s curling free kick from the edge of the box giving Parry no chance. It was one-way traffic and Callum Timmins rattled the crossbar with two long-range shots as we started to take control and we added a third on 68 minutes.
A slip up by defender Mark Barnett let in Knowles, who fed Stynes to score. Forrestfield continued to push forward and they went close to reducing the deficit when Thomas Jebb met Ben Rogers’ corner on the volley, but the woodwork came to the rescue of the visitors. But with Forrestfield pushing men forward they were caught out twice late with Glory putting the icing on the cake in injury time. First Knowles added his second, curing home superbly past Parry from the edge of the penalty area, before Scott made it 5-0 moments later rounding Parry to give them the three points.
Forrestfield United: GK Benjamin PARRY, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 4 Mark BARNETT, 5 Scott BARKER, 9 Hasani SINCLAIR, 10 Jordan HART (7 Callum ROBERTS 56’), 11 Liam MERRIGAN, 12 Callum DOBBS (8 Mitchell CROCKER 65’), 16 Thomas JEBB, 17 Jamie DUNCAN, 23 Rhys LOXLEY (14 Ben ROGERS 75’) - Subs not used: RGK Blake HENSHAW, 6 Leslie MARI
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luca BODNAR (15 Daniel WALSH 90+1’), 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS (12 Jack LEECH 80’) 7 Chok DAU, 8 Brandon WILSON, 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Jake BRIMMER, 11Daniel STYNES (14 Michael DOMFEH 77’) - Subs not used: RGK Nicolas SPECA, 13 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY Referee: Stuart Muldoon
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES, SEMI-FINALS - REVIEW
The 2018 State League Grand Final will see Fremantle City take on UWA-Nedlands after both won though in hard fought Semi-Finals on Saturday evening. In the first Semi-Final UWA-Nedlands won through, but not before being pushed all the way by Division Two side Gosnells City in a 3-2 thriller. It was a rather scrappy opening to the match with neither side able to hold on to the ball for too long with a number of unforced turnovers. However on 15 minutes Luke Randazzo opened the scoring with a clinical finish following Conor Devlin's through-ball into the box. UWA then made it 2-0, Alex Kretowicz broke down the left, and the striker curled home into the bottom right-corner of the net. Gosnells were given a lifeline on the stroke of half-time when a corner was only cleared to Elliot Ireland who superb curling effort found the top corner from 20-metres out.
Gosnells momentum continued in the second-half, and 10 minutes in, they restored parity. A good through ball sent Jordan Parfitt clear, he rounded the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. Both sides had plenty of chances in the final half hour, and defender Sam Carrello proved the hero late on, with his goal-line heroics preventing Gosnells a certain winner with a tap-in at the back stick.
But UWA claimed their spot in the final with just a few minutes remaining via the penalty spot. Bryce Conway had played through Zeke McPherson on the edge of the area, with the striker then cutting inside and going down under the challenge of the Gosnells captain. The referee deemed it a foul, but it looked a harsh decision, but Kretowicz stepped up and slotted home into the top corner to seal victory. “It was a very tight encounter, full credit to Gosnells for the way they battled back and levelled at 2-2,” UWA skipper Joshua Marocchi said.
“We seemed to lack the real killer instinct and when they pegged one back on the stroke of half time they carried the momentum into the 2nd half and scored within two minutes. But I was really pleased with how we stood up after they proceeded to pepper our defence for the next 10 minutes. Our boys will learn from the experience playing in the Semi-Final and we should be battle hardened after the effort Gosnells put in. We are really excited about playing in the clubs first Grand Final and the feeling and commitment from our squad is outstanding. Finals are what you play football for and Saturday against Fremantle proposes to be a juicy encounter. The boys are absolutely buzzing to finish the job at hand.”
If the first Semi-Final was a thriller the second was an epic, with Fremantle City wining 8-7 on penalties after the game had ended 4-4 at normal time. Fremantle were ahead on 20 minutes, when Wade Farmer deflected shot gave Wanneroo keeper no chance. But Wanneroo were level five minutes later. Scott Johnston was brought down in the box and the resultant penalty was well dispatched by Gareth Lloyd. Fremantle were back ahead, with Sean Browne scoring a well-taken goal, but with half time looming Wanneroo leveled again. Johnston found himself one-on-one with keeper after a great through ball and he made no mistake.
Minutes later the home side hit the front, again Johnston was sent clear and he finished clinically. The game looked over 20 minutes from time when Johnstone completed his hat-trick to give Wanneroo a 4-2 lead. Fremantle made some tactical changes and they were back in the game five minutes later when Alec Robinson shot on the turn flew into the net. Fremantle were pushing forward and they drew level when Rory Kiely’s through ball sent Farmer racing clear to score. So it was off to penalties and Tom Chudy was the hero saving Wanneroo’s tenth penalty, and Anthony Lomma stepped up to score the winner to send them into the final.
“It was a big let off for us, didn't play anywhere near the standards set and expected of us, but we showed good character the last 20 minutes or so to dig ourselves out and obviously winning on penalties gives it a buzz from our perspective,” Robinson said. “Wanneroo will probably be there or there about in division two and do press with great intensity which possibly backfired in the latter stages of the game when they tired and we were able to get back in.” Wanneroo Coach Tim Kantor was pleased with his side despite the defeat. “It was a very entertaining game, and probably one that got away,” he said. “But a very pleasing night series and great preparation for the season proper.”
TWO NPL-WA GAMES TO BE LIVE STREAMED THIS WEEKEND!
Let's talk football will be live streaming NPL-WA games on the weekend. Starting with Forrestfield United's home fixture with Perth Glory at 7pm on Saturday evening. This will be followed by local rivals Perth SC against Floreat Athena at 7pm on Sunday night. Visit the Let's Talk Football facebook page for more information.
NPL-WA ROUND FOUR PREVIEW
It’s week four of the NPLWA and this week’s Footballwa.net “Match of the Round” takes us to Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday afternoon, where league leaders Bayswater City entertain Inglewood United in a local derby (3pm). Inglewood won for the first time last weekend a 3-1 win against Cockburn, while Bayswater made it three from three with a 4-0 win on the road at Stirling. The last time the two sides met at the venue Inglewood came out on top against a ten man City. The home side had keeper Devon Spence sent off after only two minutes and it went downhill from there. Alex Salmon scored from the resulting penalty, before Ashley Rosindale added a second four minutes later. David Stokoe pulled one back for the home side with twenty minutes remaining, but with Bayswater pushing men forward Salmon added a his second and Feisal Zaw added the fourth late.
Inglewood defender Rikki Smith, who has returned home this season after two years at ECU Joondalup, said last week’s first win of the season was well deserved. “You can’t afford to have a slow start in this league so it’s great to get off the mark with our first win,” he said. “We weren’t happy to go a goal behind so early however the lads showed great character to come from behind and in the end get a fairly comprehensive win.” Smith said he enjoyed his time at ECU but Inglewood is home to him “Absolutely loved my time at ECU they are a top club with top people but the chance to return to Inglewood and play with so many close friends was too hard to resist,” he explained. “I have played a lot of games for Inglewood so it naturally feels good to be back around the club and mingling with so many familiar faces. There is intense competition for places so it’s pushing me harder than ever to make sure I perform every week.” A trip to Bayswater is always a tough Derby, but Smith said they have taken a lot of confidence from last week’s win and head there looking for a positive result, after beating them well in their last visit. “Bayswater are still the benchmark in this league in my opinion and based on early results you would be forgiven for considering them to be favourites,” he said. “It’s only round 4 but it’s a must win in my opinion if we are serious about bringing home that elusive first NPL title. We have a few things to work on this week which still need improving but everyone is buzzing for the game and can’t wait to see how we match up against a very good side.” In team news Steve Burton and Miki Vujacic are back in contention, but Feisal Zaw and Conor Becsi are still missing.
Bayswater continued their perfect start to the season at Stirling and midfielder Paul McCarthy said after a slow start they took control. “We’ve had a good start and we are happy with the results but we cannot afford to start as slow as we did against Stirling on a regular basis,” he said. “A slight change to our formation early on and we began to get some control in the game and from we improved as the game went on with our forwards doing the damage.” McCarthy struggled with injury last season, but the experienced midfielder is fit and enjoying the challenge again. “It’s nice to come into the season with a pre-season behind me as I came back a few rounds into 2017,”he explained. “But Chris (Coyne) and the lads have looked after us well in the build up to the season and we're hoping to continue our strong finish to last year and we're looking forward the challenges over the coming months.” City had a couple of tough games against Inglewood last season, and McCarthy is expecting more of the same on Saturday “As always we expect a tough game against Inglewood, they're a good side and we will need to be at our best on the day,” he said. “For the past few seasons the games between us have been quite competitive this week’s game should be no different.” – Referee Michal Jasinski
Also on Saturday afternoon ECU Joondalup welcome Cockburn City to the ECU Football Stadium (3pm). Both sides are coming off disappointing results last week, City lost at Inglewood while ECU had a frustrating scoreless draw at home against Cockburn. ECU Assistant Coach David Tough said although they dropped points there were some good signs, and if it wasn’t for Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery they could have won 4-0. “Over the 90 minutes I thought we should have won the game. Declan (Hughes) dubious sending off came at critical moment as we had a strangle hold of the game at that point,” he said. “But defensively we looked solid as we have done all season. The coaching team are delighted with the amount of chances we've been creating and I'm sure we'll hit our straps in front of goals this weekend.” Cockburn beat ECU in the Night Series and Tough said they have a strong side and Saturday will be a huge test especially with Declan Hughes and Shane Cassidy both suspended for the game. “Cockburn look much improved this season and we're worthy winners in the Night Series match, but we've performed well since that game so we're hoping that continues,” he explained. “Yes we're missing a few players but personal I think this is one of the strongest squads we've had at the club for a number of years. It gives other players an opportunity and I'm sure the players coming in will stake a claim to stay in the team.” – Referee Steven Gregory
Balcatta will be looking for their first win of the season when they host Sorrento at Grindleford Reserve (3pm). Sorrento won a seven goal thriller last week against Forrestfield, while Balcatta went down to Floreat, and new defender Hayden Stevens said it was a disappointing result, but they did have chances. “I thought we had more than enough of the ball to come up with a bit more and take a few or our chances, but again we hit the post, just wasn’t our night,” he said. “But besides the deflected free kick and Phil Arnold’s goal I don’t think Kyle (McDonald) had much more to do, which shows we defended well but we need to take the chances when they come.” Stevens, who joined the club from Perth Glory this season, said they are looking to kick start their season on Saturday, in their first home game of the season “Obviously we’re very excited to have our first home game, and it’s a huge chance to kick start our season,” he said. “We’ve been in or there about in all of our games so far, but we’ve just cost ourselves in patches and you get punished for it in this league.” – Referee Julian Serra
Meanwhile Stirling Lions entertain Armadale at Macedonia Park, with both sides looking to bounce back from heavy defeats last week (3pm). The Lions lost 4-0 at home to Bayswater, while Armadale lost for the first time this season, 5-1 at home against Perth. Reds striker Billy Quinncroft missed that game through suspension but he said they dominated the first half, but had no answers after the break. “The loss last week is a bit hard to swallow, the boys did really well the first 30 minutes, we got a goal and looked on top, but a mistake at the back let Perth grab a goal and before we could settle again they grabbed another right before half time,” he explained. “That does take the wind right out of sails and second half we couldn’t get going again and to Perth’s credit they took their chances and buried the game.” Quinncroft returns for this week’s game and he said they are looking to bounce back with three points. “Yes finally back and able to play, training has been good this week and everyone has been digging in and working hard,” he said. “Stirling are coming off a loss to Bayswater so they are wanting to prove a point also, but I think we will have enough quality to get us over the line on Saturday, but it’s not going to be an easy game at all. So if we stick to our game plan and keep disciplined we can take the three points.” – Referee Joshua Nixon
On Saturday evening Perth Glory heads to the Wildlife Safari Stadium at Hartfield Park to take on Forrestfield United (7pm) The Glory continued their good start to the season with come-from-behind win against Joondalup, while Forrestfield lost for the first time at Sorrento, but they are unbeaten at home to-date and will be looking to maintain that on Saturday. Defender Tom Southgate said it was a great game but it was a disappointing result. “From a neutral point of view it would of been a cracking game, but we were quite disappointed with the result given though we had created enough chances to take the lead and come away with the 3 points,” he said. “We should have taken a point at the very least I thought, but that's done now and we look at what's ahead this week.” Southgate said the Glory are playing well and it should be a good game but he’s looking forward to playing in front of the home faithful again. “It’s another big test for us this week, but being at home is always an advantage, especially with our fans,” he explained. “We know they'll be just as vocal as they have been so far this season, which has been great. We plan to take all three points this time and maintain our undefeated start at home.” – Referee Stuart Muldoon
Also on Saturday night Joondalup play their first home game of the season when they host Subiaco at Percy Doyle Reserve (7pm). Subiaco are coming off back-to-back draws, and will be looking for their first win of the campaign, while Joondalup let a half time lead slip to lose at Perth Glory last week to remain without a point. United keeper James Bosdet said it was a disappointing fade out, after dominating the first half. “Yes a very disappointing result after a positive first half, but it has been the same every game so far this season coming in at half time the better team and second half not turning up,” he said. “We should have been two or three up in the first half and we were punished for not taking our chances. Glory have improved massively from last season and I can see them challenging for a Top Four spot.” The keeper said the boys are looking forward to their first home game and looking to get on the board in 2018. “Our first home game and a massive game for us, it’s practically a cup final even though it’s so early on in the season,” Bosdet explained. “The boys know this is a must win game and we will be fired up and ready to go. We played Subiaco in the night series and we know they will work hard, so it should be a good game.” - Referee Nico Hoyle
The final game is on Sunday evening when Perth SC entertain Floreat Athena at Dorrien Gardens. (7pm) Last week Perth came home from Armadale with a big win, while Floreat won for the first time this season against Balcatta. Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris said it’s not been the start they were looking for but last week’s win was welcome. “It was a good win at home to really kick start our season off after the night series hangover,” he said. “Two goals and a clean sheet was a positive outcome for Athena, and we need to build on it on Sunday.” Saldaris said there is a great rivalry between the two teams, and Sunday will be tough but they are getting a few players back into the squad from injury. “The rivalry between us has been really energized the last couple of meetings, and I expect nothing to change on Sunday,” he said. “We have a full squad and Jon Stynes is only a few weeks away from a return from injury, so we head to Perth in a confident mood and we will be going for all three points.” Perth keeper Francis Soale said despite their indifferent start to the season, Floreat have a good squad and he believes it will be a cracking game. “Sunday is a big game, we know we probably should've had them during the 90 minutes in our night series fixture," he told the NPL website. "Our mindset doesn't change too much though, we'll come out and attack them, be relentless and hopefully finish the weekend with another three points on the board." - – Referee Tom Glavovic
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES, SEMI-FINALS - PREVIEW
The State League Night Series has reached the Semi-Final stage and on Saturday it sees a Division One team taking on a Division Two side in both games, so it should be entertaining. In the early game Group ‘A’ winners Gosnells City take on Group D winners UWA Nedlands. (5pm) Gosnells were relegated in the play-offs last season, but Coach Alan Dunlop’s side have bounced back and only lost one game in the Group stage, and he said it’s been a great effort from squad. “I’m really pleased with the pre-season so far the boys have worked hard at training to get the right fitness level to compete as well as been open to playing a few systems which we have done during the night series and winning a few games along the way has been a bonus,” he said. “We were able to rotate the squad a little and anyone who has come in has done well, but it’s nice to top the group and play in the semi-finals.” Dunlop said they are looking forward to Saturday’s game against a good side, but he said the boys are up for the challenge. “It's always good to be a part of a semi-final, now that we are in the finals we are confident we can go all the way,” he said. “I watched UWA once in the night series and they are a very good football side and we know we are in for a hard game. But we are all looking forward to the game and we get to test ourselves against a strong team.”
UWA went through the group stage undefeated and midfielder Luke Randazzo said it was a difficult group, but he said they performed well but still need to improve. “The group phase was really positive in remaining undefeated but we certainly know we can lift our standard in particular the Ashfield game,” he said. “The draw was disappointing and the boys are pretty motivated to keep focusing on playing our brand of football and we know the results will follow.” Randazzo said the players are ready for the game, especially with a spot in the Final at stake, and they can’t take Gosnells lightly. “Full credit to Gosnells making the semifinal, we won’t be taking them lightly by any account,” he said. “We’re all very excited for the game and will certainly be hoping to back up our performance last week with Kingsway as I feel we implemented what we have been working on at training and it showed.”
In the late game Group ‘B’ winners Wanneroo City host Group ‘C’ winners Fremantle City (7pm) Wanneroo were in a tough group but coach Tim Kantor said they performed well only losing once on their way to the Semi-Final. “We went into the night series with a very different squad to that of last season so the aim was to get the boys gelling as quickly as possible,” he explained. “We brought in some quality experienced lads and our aim in the night series was to adopt the game plan and become competitive quickly. With wins against three Division one sides including Gwelup was a huge plus and it showed that on our day this group is extremely competitive. We’ve got a long way to go and we continue to tweak things but very pleased with progressing to the semis.” Kantor said Saturday’s opponents are talented and is expecting another good work out but is looking to make the final. “Fremantle are a quality side and you don’t beat last year’s Division one Champions if you don’t have the quality,” he said. “As we have done all night series, we will be going out to try and play football and stick to our game plan which has served us well so far. At our best we can be very compatible against quality opposition so I guess we will see what happens.”
Fremantle City were the only side to win all four games in the group stages and it was a winner take all in the final game and they prevailed against the Knights and Anthony said they are getting better each week. “We’re really happy with the progress within the group, “he said. “We’re gradually building a bit momentum, and it was topped off with a hard fought win against Western Knights last week.” Anthony said he’s watch Wanneroo in the group stage and they are a good side and with home ground advantage he is expecting a tough challenge. “I've watched Wanneroo during the group stage and they looked a very good side winning against Morley,” he said. “On Saturday it’s at their home ground and I'm sure they will have big support behind them, but we go into the game full of confidence, there is a spot in a final up for grabs.”
AMATEUR LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES, SEMI-FINALS - PREVIEW (courtesy Chris Brady, WA Sunday Leagues Facebook page)
After three weeks of group matches, the Amateur Night Series has reached the semi final stage, with a double header taking place this Friday night at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium in Inglewood.
In the early game at 6.30pm, Group B runners up Kingsley take on Group A winners Hamersley Rovers. The Hammers have proven to be the surprise packet of the competition so far, taking maximum points in a tough group that included Subiaco, Jaguar and 2017 Amateur Premier League champions Wembley Downs. Hamersley legend Joe Wright said that the players had been working very hard in pre-season under new coach Brad Brooks and they were very happy with how the Night Series has progressed so far.
“We put a good performance in the first game to see off Subiaco. An early goal got us off to a good start, we let a sloppy one in shortly after but we ended up getting the winner our possession deserved. The second game we had a solid win against Wembley, and while on the night they didn’t look quite the same team as last year we still played well and restricted their attacking opportunities. Last weekend we just had to get a point against Jaguar but ran out 3-1 winners. Two goals before half time sealed the game for us. Jaguar are a tough, physical side who attack with pace so it was a great win.”
“We’ve still got a bit to go, and we know it’s going to be a very tough ask on Friday against a strong Kingsley side. It will be our third game in five days due to Wednesday’s FFA Cup game against Joondanna, but its good conditioning for the start of the season and will be a great test to see exactly where we’re at.”
Kingsley SC coach Steven Dimitrovich was also pleased with his side’s efforts in the group stages, after going unbeaten against UWA, Ellenbrook and North Perth. “The three games were really good for us, as it helped us build our match fitness and also work on a style of play that we would like to take into the season proper. The Night Series has been a good test of our squad depth, as we’ve been able to rotate a number of different players through with each game. The players are really looking forward to a big game on Friday night, and playing on the grass at Inglewood will make a nice change from playing the last few weeks on Ellenbrook’s astro-turf, which has been a bit taxing. Hamersley’s results in the group stages have been impressive and show they’ve clearly improved this season so we know it will be a very tough game. We are able to welcome a few key players back into the squad who missed the North Perth game last week, so we are looking forward to it.”
In the later game, kicking off at 8.30pm, Group C winners Leeming Strikers take on North Perth United, winners of Group B. Both sides finished the group stages on 7 points, and after topping a tough group that included Belmont, Kwinana and Southern Spirit, Leeming coach David Palin said his players had really embraced this year’s competition.
“I think our positive results so far reflect the attitude our players have brought to the Night Series, and we are looking forward to testing ourselves again on Friday night in another highly competitive match. The Night Series is always a good way to see players in a more competitive environment that push them to their limits, which you sometimes don’t get in friendlies. So far we have had three very competitive games, in which we’ve been tested each time, and each time our boys have responded. We know North Perth are a strong side who have been there or thereabouts over the last few seasons, so Friday night will be a good benchmark to see where we are at heading into the new season. We know as a group we still have a lot of work to do before Round 1, and Friday is another chance to continue to improve together.”
North Perth coach Jason Winter said he was happy with what he saw from his side in the group stages. “We got through injury free and topped a group that included league and cup favourites Kingsley. The semi-final is going to be very interesting. I haven’t seen Leeming play this year, but I know they’ve been down to watch us. From what I’ve been told, they have assembled a strong squad with a lot of new players, but hopefully we can come away with the win on Friday, and keep building our fitness for the new season. I think the Night Series so far has been reflective of what will be a very competitive season in the Amateur Premier League. Hopefully someone can stop Kingsley this year.”
Entry at Inglewood is free on Friday night, with the two winners to meet on Saturday March 24th in the Amateur Night Series Final.
GLORY PLAYERS 'CAN FEEL SOMETHING HAPPENING', SAYS LOWE
They are getting healthier, their form is building and with superstar Diego Castro to return, Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has plenty of reason to look forward to the last month of the A-League season. Going back to the turn of the year and Lowe was in danger of losing his job, let alone getting his team back in the finals hunt.
But Glory have been able to steady things to have now won two of their last three games, and three of their past six after Saturday night's 3-1 victory over Central Coast Mariners. That has Glory three points out of the top six with four games remaining after the week off. They finish at home to Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar, and away to Newcastle Jets.
"We've got a group of people who are really focused," Lowe said. "We've had a hell of a disjointed year and a lot of guys haven't had much game time, but they can feel something happening and they want to make something happen. We get a break for two weeks now and then we roll into three more home games and one away game ... we are getting a bit of momentum."
A big reason Lowe is feeling better about his team's prospects and why they have turned their form around is the improved personnel available. The signings of Neil Kilkenny and Dino Djulbic have been significant, as has the return of Shane Lowry, Chris Harold and Adam Taggart. And then there's the form of Joel Chianese, who scored his first two goals of the season against Central Coast.
"When you're at a stage of having Shane Lowry, Chrissy Harold and Adam Taggart on the bench, for the first time ever in the season we've got real pressure on for places," Lowe said. "He (Chianese) was out for twelve weeks with a broken collarbone and he feels as though as he's getting there but now we only have four games left in the season."
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES, WEEK FIVE - REVIEW
The Semi-Finalist of the State League Night Series have been decided after an exciting end to the group stages. Firstly in Group A Division Two side Gosnells City have surprised many by qualifying for the next stage after beating Kelmscott Roos 2-0 on Friday evening at Walter Padbury Reserve. City opened the scoring with a great finish by new signing Josh Johnstone after a nice pass in behind the defence. The win was wrapped up with a cool finish by Jordan Parfitt, after some great play between Jack Kiama and Darren Francis. “It was a great win by the team, and I felt we dominated the game and probably could have scored a few more goals,” Gosnells Coach Alan Dunlop said. “But we are thrilled to top the group and play in the Semi-Finals.” In the other games in the Group Rockingham City finished second after a 2-2 draw with Murdoch University-Melville in the late game at Securitas Protect Stadium on Sunday evening. Ryan Kennedy gave City the lead, before Dean Thurston scored a penalty to level and Christian Long put Murdoch-Melville ahead, but Lydon Hodgkiss scored to give both sides a share of the points. In the early game Mandurah City beat South West Phoenix 6-2. Joe O’Brien bagged four goals, with Andy Brown scoring a brace, while Charlie Betts and Michael Farmer scored for Phoenix.
In Group B Wanneroo City secured their spot in Semi-Finals after a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Balga at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday evening. Joel Martin gave the visitors the lead early in the second half, and it looked like it would be a huge surprise, but Scott Johnston levelled with 25 minutes to go. The home side then took control and Elliott Banks converted from the spot after Johnston had been brought down, before Johnston added his second to wrap the win finishing clinically past the Balga keeper. Wanneroo Coach Tim Kantor said his side have worked hard to earn their spot. “Sunday was an ugly win but we’ll take it,” he said. “It was 0-0 at half time and numerous chances squandered and I thought it was going to be another one of those days when you just can’t find the back of the net. But after half time there was a sense of urgency from our boys as we knew a draw wasn’t going to be enough to get us through. We gifted Balga a goal early in the second half and it was the catalyst needed to lift the tempo and to the players credit they lifted. We now look forward to the Semi-Final and week by week we are getting players back from injury and suspension so we should have a full list to select from. Really pleased for the lads because they have really earned the right to be there.” In other games in the Group Gwelup Croatia finished second after a 3-1 win against Quinns FC, with Gavin Knight scoring a brace and Isaac Koomson the other, this after Liam McGurk had given Quinns an early lead. In the other game Morley Windmills beat Joondalup City 3-1.
In Group C Fremantle City moved into the Semi-Final after a hard fought win against their nearest challengers Western Knights 2-0 at Inglewood on Sunday evening. Alec Robinson did the damage, the City defender heading home two first half corners from Ben Reynolds and Wade Farmer to seal the victory. “It was another encouraging performance from us leading into the season, we knew the Knights had a few missing, and we were missing several ourselves including 4 central defenders, meaning I played at centre back again, so going up against the league champions would always be a good gauge of where we are at,” Robinson said. “We started brightly and I felt we mostly controlled the first half, and after the break we knew they would come out on the front foot, but despite us tiring and not having as much control of the play we managed to limit their chances and force several good saves from their keeper to finish the game at 2-0. We will continue our pre-season preparations with the Semi-Finals and hopefully have a few lads back involved after recovering from the usual knocks this time of year.” In the other game in the Group Curtin University beat Shamrock Rovers 2-0, with goals from Henry Sichembe and Daniel Lucey on target. Canning City had the bye.
In Group D UWA Nedlands topped the group after a 3-1 win against Olympic Kingsway at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday. UWA took the lead after a free kick from Kwesi Kuma found Joshua Marocchi, the skipper heading home from six meters. It was 1-0 at the break, but Kingsway levelled with Jake Cherrie scoring from the spot. But UWA hit back and Alex Kretowicz was played in by Tim Robertson and he finished clinically past Todd Hoyle. They made sure of the win moments later Robertson and Luke Randazzo combined to feed Tristan Taylor, who played the ball into Kretowicz who rounded the keeper to score. “I was really pleased with the way the boys played,” Marocchi said. “Everyone dug in for the full 90 minutes and ensured we got the win. We knew we had to get the three points and after conceding to go back to 1-1, the way the boys responded was excellent and we are exciting to be moving into the Semi-Finals, it’s a great opportunity for the club and our young squad.” In other games Dianella White Eagles claimed second place after thrashing Swan United 6-1 at Inglewood, with Angel Andres scoring a hat trick, Friday Zico a brace and Jose the other, while Ashfield had the bye.
In the Semi-Final draw Gosnells City meet UWA-Nedlands at Wanneroo Reserve on Saturday 5pm, while Wanneroo City take on Fremantle City, also at Wanneroo Reserve on Saturday 7pm.
KNOWLES AT THE DOUBLE FOR GLORY
Perth Glory continued their unbeaten start to the season after an impressive second-half gave them a 4-1 win over Joondalup United at Ashfield Reserve on Sunday evening. The visitors led at the break with Matt Sparrow scoring, but a brace from Joe Knowles and goals for Daniel Stynes and Jake Brimmer saw John Gibson’s side storm home. Gibson was pleased with his side’s response and praised their second-half performance. “We showed great resilience to come back in the second half, in previous years we’ve really struggled against Joondalup,” he said. “It’s a tough league, it’s men’s football, we’ve got to be able to compete physically and use our quality when we do get on the ball. It’s a great league for us to learn in.”
It was the visitors who had the early momentum and they got their reward on 16 minutes. Sparrow drove forward to gather the ball and then slid the ball past the on-coming Glory keeper Jackson Lee to see United lead at the break. But after the break it was all Glory with Yacoub Mustafa and Brimmer excelling in midfield. Stynes opened the scoring early in the second half after Knowles’ cross found him unmarked in the box and he headed past United keeper James Bosdet. But two goals in quick succession then followed as Glory turned the match on its head. Stynes turned provider for Knowles, who hit the back of the net, then minutes later Brimmer stunned the crowd with a superb free-kick to make it 3-1 to the home side.
Knowles got his second in the 68th minute to seal the win for Perth when he followed up the rebound from Bosdet to complete his double. Referee Shane Skinner dished out a total of eight cards and Glory finished with 10 men after Henry Hore was shown a red card for a second bookable offence. Joondalup United boss Nick Jennings, was again left disappointed, whose side were overrun after half-time for the second week in a row. “It was a game of two halves today. We dominated the first half; second half we concede an early goal and lose our discipline, our shape, exactly the same as last week,” he said. “Whether it’s fitness, mental attitudes, character ... it’s easy when you’re ahead but when you’re behind you must show character - I would question the character of some of our players.”
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luca BODNAR, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS (12 Jack LEECH 80), 7 Chok DAU, 8 Jake BRIMMER, 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Daniel STYNES (13 Henry HORE 69’), 11 Yacoub MUSTAFA (14 Michael DOMFEH 80’) - Subs not used: RGK Nicolas SPECA, 15 Sam RIAK
Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 2 John CHALMERS, 3 Fraser GARNAUT (17 Luke SERRA 51’), 5 Joel LEDSHAM, 6 Sam WYNNE, 7 Matthew SPARROW (C), 8 Jay MARSDEN, 9 Alex WILD, 10 Elliot TATTERSALL, 15 Callum STOCKS (11 Anthony TAYLOR 45’), 16 Ross EDWARDS (22 Parviz SHIZARDI 76’) - Subs not used: RGK Luke GREEN, 4 Danny O’SHEA
CHIANESE: EVERY GAME IS A FINAL FOR GLORY
Perth Glory match-winner Joel Chianese says his side are treating every match like a final as they try to reach the top six with four games to play. Glory moved to within three points of sixth-placed Adelaide United with Saturday's 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners, but they have played one game more.
Chianese scored two of thoses goals against Central Coast to keep alive Glory's top six hopes. "It's probably that one position we're fighting for," Chianese said post-game. "We can't drop any points now. We drop any points and we're out of the finals race. Every game is like a final for us."
Chianese's brce were his first goals of the season, having missed several games early in the campaign due to injury. "It was nice to get on the scoresheet finally," he said. "I missed a lot of the start of the season and it took awhile to get back in the team and that match fitness. It's come back and I feel good."
CLINICAL BAYSWATER PUT LIONS TO THE SWORD
Bayswater City maintained their perfect start to the new NPLWA season after a 4-0 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon. Gian Albano gave Chris Coyne’s side the lead, before Gustavo Giron-Marulanda added a second from the spot. Albano added his second just before half time, and Luke Salmon wrapped up the points by adding a fourth late. “In fairness Stirling probably had the better of us in the first half,” Bayswater midfielder Jason Mirco said. “But on the day we took our chances which in the end killed the game early.”
It was the home side who opened the brighter, but they failed to convert their chances and on 27 minutes Bayswater showed them how to do it. Todd Howarth’s free kick was spilled by Lions keeper Lance Alavakis and Albano picked up the pieces and fired home. It was 2-0 nine minutes later, Giron-Marulanda was pulled back in the area and referee Nico Hoyle pointed straight to the spot.
The Colombian striker picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty to double the visitors lead. Bayswater ended the half well and it wasn’t a surprise when they added a third three minutes from half time. Stirling failed to clear their lines and the ball landed to Albano, who brought it down on his chest and volleyed home from the edge of the box.
Both sides created good chances after the break, but Stirling couldn’t find a way back into the game and City made sure of the points on 76 minutes. A long clearance sent second half substitute Salmon racing clear and the youngster made no mistake to wrap up a comprehensive win.
Stirling Lions: GK Lance ALAVAKIS, 2 David MOLINARI, 3 Darren O’RIORDAN, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Liam HENDERSON (19 Zane CASELLA 75’), 6 Dhhors CHOL, 7 Dean CUMMINGS, 9 Robert PETKOV (15 Abu DULLEH 17’ (8 Dejan SPASESKI 46’), 11 Alex TANEVSKI, 14 Steve SOKOL, 18 Ben CAMPBELL – Subs not used: RGK Pasquale GIOFFRE
Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 4 Arran MAPLESTONE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA (22 Luke SALMON 70’), 10 Jason MIRCO (23 Andrija JUKIC 77’), 11 Devon GIBSON (21 Riley VAN DIEKEN 68’), 13 Trent KAY, 15 Paul LLOYD, 17 Gian ALBANO, 24 Jake SARDELIC – Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 16 Sheyden PASSALACQUA
MONTGOMERY OUTSTANDING AS SUBIACO DREW AT ECU
Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery produced a couple of stunning saves to deny ECU Joondalup, as his side walked away with a point after a 0-0 draw in there NPLWA clash at the ECU Football Stadium. Subiaco had the better of the first half, but after the break the home side got on top, and Montgomery produced two top class saves to thwart Daryl Nicol and Gordon Smith to make sure his side went home with the point. To make matters worse for the home side, they ended the game with nine men after Declan Hughes and Shane Cassidy were sent off. “Really disappointed the way we played after half time, after we matched them in the first half,” Subiaco Coach Ian McMurray said. “I felt we were off the pace and ECU got on top and we relied on Monty to make a couple of good saves. When they lost a man I thought we would take control, and we got in to some good areas but the final ball let us down today, but away from home we’ll take a point.”
The home almost had the perfect start in the opening minute, Adan Tong played Nicol in down the right, and he eased past his marker but his cross shot was blocked away for a corner. Subiaco settled and went close on 12 minutes, Steve Purton’s long-range shot flew over the top, before the busy Alex Randell snap shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed wide. It was a tight battle and both sides had late chances. First Montgomery got down well to save Ross Millard low drive, before Randell’s free kick was saved low by Johnny Perkins.
The home were on the front foot early in the second half and Hughes’ volley went inches wide, before Montgomery came into his own. Tommy Amphlett picked out the unmarked Nicol in the box, his first time shot from the angle was superbly saved by the Subiaco custodian. Moments later Andy Higgins’ corner was met sweetly by Smith, but Montgomery saved well to deny him.
The home were well on top but they couldn’t find a way past the Subiaco keeper. Amphlett tried his luck but his shot was pushed away by Montgomery, and he was up quick to save Smith’s follow up shot.
But on 82 minutes the home side were reduced to ten men when Hughes was given a second yellow card by referee Alex Best, much to the disbelieve of the ECU bench. Subiaco couldn’t take advantage of their numerical advantage, there best chance fell to Asher Nelson who fired over the top. Things got worse for the home side when Cassidy received a second yellow card, but the nine men held on for a point. ECU Coach Dale McCulloch was at a loss at some of the decisions from the official. “Frustrating and I need answers,” he said. “The first sending off was very tough for young Declan, but we still looked like we would go on and win it, but these sort of decisions change league positions and I need answers sooner rather than later.”
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 3 Ross MILLARD (13 Tommy AMPHLETT 46’), 4 Shane CASSIDY, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Lukas DE LIMA (7 Cameron MURRAY 69’), 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Andy HIGGINS, 15 Declan HUGHES, 18 Cian HIRRELL – Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 2 Jack JONES, 12 Ethan BROOKS - Red Cards: Hughes 82’, Cassidy 94’
Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 4 Alex RANDELL, 5 Daniel PEARCE (9 Rory FEELY 64’), 6 Jackson DONGRAY, 10 Asher NELSON, 11 Joshua BOOYSEN (15 Albert LUWI 71’), 12 Nathan SMITH, 14 Ross JARMAN (13 Fanuel DAWIT 90’), 16 Steve PURTON, 17 Alex CASTIELLO, 18 David PERICH - Subs not used: RGK Teophile BROWN, 19 Ian MCMURRAY
SORRENTO WIN SEVEN GOAL THRILLER
Sorrento has inflicted Forrestfield United’s first defeat of the season after the pair fought out a seven goal thriller at Percy Doyle Reserve. The home side raced to a two goal lead early, with Alex Morgan and Jack Salter on target, but Forrie hit back, Rhys Loxley and Sani Sinclair levelled before half time. But two goals in as many minutes after the break from Jordan Roberts put Sorrento back in charge, but Sinclair added his second on the hour to give Forrestfield hope and despite pressing late the home side held on to take the points. “Like I said before the game, I thought it was going to be an exciting game and that’s how it proved,” Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell said. "We've still got to get better. It's great to get the three points and get off the mark. Defensively we weren't good enough today but thankfully we scored enough goals and didn't concede enough. It's three points and we'll move on."
Sorrento dominated early and Forrestfield keeper Ben Parry had to be alert early to tip Alex Morgan’s header over the top. Then on 11 minutes the home sides’ pressure paid off with the lead. Roberts’ shot was only parried into the path of Alex Morgan and he fired past Parry. Things went from bad to worse for Forrestfield as Sorrento doubled their lead eight minutes later. Salter played a great one-two with Godwin Darkwa, and the New Zealand striker buried his shot beyond Parry.
It looked like being a long afternoon for Forrestfield, but the young side hit back in style three minutes later. Sinclair was picked out in the box, he held the ball up well and sent Loxley in on goal and he finished well past James Morgan. Then five minutes before half time Forrestfield levelled. A ball in to the back post wasn’t dealt with by the home side and Sinclair made them pay firing home into the roof of the net.
Forrestfield need a good start to the second half, but it turned into a nightmare. In the opening minute English striker Roberts pounced to score, and sixty seconds later Roberts added his second and Sorrento’s fourth. It wasn’t what Forrestfield were looking for but they continued to attack Sorrento and were rewarded on 56 minutes, Loxley cross hit the arm of a Sorrento defender and referee Michal Jasinski pointed to the spot. Sinclair stepped up and James Morgan saved his penalty, but the American striker fired home the rebound. Forrestfield pushed hard for a late equaliser but the Sorrento defence remained resilient and held on for all three points.
Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 4 Shaun KILLKELLY, 6 Darryl PLATTEN (C) 7 Alex MORGAN, 10 Jordan ROBERTS, 14 Scott WITSCHGE (13 Steve MCDONALD 42’), 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 18 Jordan BROWN, 19 Jack SALTER (11 Tim HILL 30’), 20 Brad MCDONALD, 21 Godwin DARKWA - Subs not used: RGK Anastasis FARSALEAS, 22 Danny JONES, 31 Joel PROUT
Forrestfield United: GK Ben PARRY, 2. Tom SOUTHGATE, 4 Mark BARNETT, 5 Scott BARKER, 9 Hasani SINCLAIR (14 Ben ROGERS 89’), 10 Jordan HART, 11 Liam MERIGAN, 12 Callum DOBBS (8 Mitchell CROCKER 60’), 16 Thomas JEBB, 17 Jamie DUNCAN, 23 Rhys LOXLEY - Subs not used: RGK Callum MILLER, 7 Leslie MARI, 6 Ger KLER MOO
ATHENA REGISTER FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON
Floreat Athena put a week of turmoil behind them to win their first game of the season with a 2-0 win against Balcatta at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday evening. Goals from skipper Dean Evans and striker Philip Arnold settled the match, and Evans said it’s good to get on the board. “To be honest, we really needed the three points today,” he said. “It was a bit ugly at times but I’m pleased we got the win. Hopefully this can be the game that kick starts our season, because next week will be tough against Perth SC.”
It was a tight opening to the game, but the home started to get on top and they were rewarded with the lead on the half hour. Floreat striker Philip Arnold was brought down on the edge of the box after a quick counter-attack, Evans took the free-kick which deflected off a Balcatta defender to leave goalkeeper Kyle McDonald stranded. Both sides struggled in the final third but the pace out wide from both sides were causing problems, with Balcatta youngsters Shubbham Mokala and Renne Alba, and Floreat’s Ludovic Boi all looking lively. That was the story of the night for the visitors, whose play broke down too often in the final third.
After the break Floreat back four were solid and Balcatta striker Adriano Jelenovic was struggling to make an impact, but it was a different tale at the other end and Floreat doubled their lead in the 68th minute. First half substitute Hamza Hina found space inside the box, he eased past the sliding challenge of Balcatta’s Joseph Marino on the left, to square to Arnold, who had a simple tap-in into an open net. Balcatta came close to getting a goal back two minutes from time from a free-kick swung into the box but Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris made an excellent save.
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTA LUCIA, 6 Jessie FULLER, 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 11 Dennis GALAN, 12 Juma AWAKA, 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 Chris SALDARIS, 17 Dean EVANS (5 Jamie STREET 86), 18 Philip ARNOLD (4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO 77), 21 Keylun POLLARD (16 Hamza HINA 27) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 13 James OWEN
Balcatta FC: GK Kyle MCDONALD, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 Hayden STEVENS, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 Tom PELLIZARRI, 7 Mathew MCROBERTS-ORLANSO (9 Dejan ANDRIC 61) 8 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 11 Renne ALBA (12 Anton DE FRANCESCH 56), 15 Adriano JELENOVIC, 20 Shubham MOKALA (18 Scott NEWLAND 72) - Subs not used: RGK Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 17 Brody KENNEDY
INGLEWOOD TOO STRONG FOR COCKERELS (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Inglewood United scored their first win of 2018 by defeating Cockburn City in this evenings National Premier Leagues encounter at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. Brian Woodall and Ash Rosindale secured the three points with second half finishes after Kenny Keogh had levelled the game on the stroke of half-time.
A couple of minutes was all Cockburn needed to take the lead through Jess Lazzaro’s deflected strike from distance. Brian Woodall headed narrowly high as Inglewood sought a quick reply. The home team then breathed a collective sigh of relief when Lazzaro rattled the frame of Alex Dunn’s goal with a dead ball.
Inglewood finished the half with a flurry of activity that saw Keogh denied by Ryan Barker and Ellis Healing fired over the crossbar. That persistence was rewarded on 44 minutes when Healing’s delivery to the far post evaded the visiting defence but not Keogh, who scrapped the ball past Barker.
Woodall showed his class early in the second period by delicately clipping into the far top corner of Barker’s net after Brian Farrell and Rosindale combined in the lead-up. The momentum was now well and truly with Inglewood and in quick succession Woodall then Ghazali Hanafi sent shots past the target.
The points were made safe with ten minutes remaining by Rosindale, who punishing poor defending at a Healing corner by sweeping the ball in at close-range. The game was deep in stoppage time when Dunn brilliantly denied Liam Murray from grabbing Cockburn a late consolation.
Inglewood United: Alex Dunn, Rikki Smith (Scott Blackmore 91), Scott Robertson, David Cyrus, Hanafi Ghazali, Kenny Keogh, Brian Farrell, Jason Barrera, Brian Woodall, Ellis Healing (Kristian Despotovski 88), Ash Rosindale (Jamie Murphy 81)
Cockburn City: Ryan Barker, Jesse Lazzaro, Keiron Stallard, Chris Thackray, Daniel Santich, Reuben Tristao (David Araya 76), Luccas Mello, Cameron Edwards, Daniel Robinson, Aden Da Luz, Anthony Skorich (Liam Murray 66)
PERTH PUT ON A FIVE STAR SHOW
Perth SC put on an outstanding second half performance to beat Armadale 5-1in the opening round of the NPLWA Week three fixtures at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Friday evening. They had to come from behind to do it, after Chris Jackson gave the home side the lead early, but Niccolo Sabatini restored parity, before Gustavo Catarcione gave them the lead in first half stoppage time. But a fantastic second half saw Perth take complete control, with Catarcione, Paul Zimarino and Nicholas Ambrogio completed the scoring, to make it back-to-back wins for Ramon Falzon’s side.
“The first half they (Armadale) came out firing, especially after taking four points from their first two game, and we expected that, but we didn’t deal with it the best,” Falzon said. “But despite being second best we scored late to go in with the lead, and the second half performance of the boys was excellent. We’re still creating good chances and despite the scoreline we still missed a few easy chances, which is something we will have to work on.”
It was a tight opening to the game with both sides going close early. First on 16 minutes Sabatini pulled the ball back to Santich on the edge of the box, but his shot was well saved by Armadale keeper Sam Hutchings. Moments later Michael Rizidis found space down the right, his cross picked out Jackson, but his header flashed wide of the target. But on 20 minutes it was the home side who hit the front. Rizidis ran at the Perth defence and played in Jackson, his first time shot took a deflection off Adrian Madaschi and wrong footed Francis Soale to score. Armadale were playing well and almost added a second four minutes later but Michael Lawson’s free kick was saved by Soale.
Perth needed a spark and it was Sabatini and Catarcione who provided it. On the half hour Sabatini sent Catarcione racing in on goal, but his lob over the keeper dropped agonisingly over the top. But eight minutes later the visitors were level. A long clearance sent Niccolo racing clear, he held off his marker and finished past Hutchings, via a deflection off an Armadale defender. Perth ended the half well and deserved hit the front two minutes into stoppage time. Richard Howles raced down the right and whipped in a cross from the bye-line and Catarcione got in front of his marker to finish clinically past Hutchings.
Perth continued to dictate terms after the break and it wasn’t a surprise when they added a third. Great work down the left by Sabatini ended with a cross to the back post and Zimarino made no mistake. Armadale were almost handed a life line on the hour, a cross shot by Lawson was misjudged by Soale, but luckily for the Perth custodian he pushed it on to the post and away for a corner. But it didn’t take long for Perth to put the game to bed, Catarcione racing clear six minutes later, his first shot was saved by Hutchings, but the Brazilian striker buried the rebound. The icing was put on the cake six minutes from time, substitute Ambrogio raced clear and finished with aplomb to complete a superb second half performance.
Armadale SC: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 3 Dylan DA SILVA, 4 Nathan COSTELLO (C), 5 David ANNALL, 7 Charlie KENNA, 8 Michael LAWSON, 10 Chris JACKSON, 11 Michael RIZIDIS, 15 Ali GHOLAMI (14 Jonathan BOGONI 81’), 17 James ATKINS (13 Alex BOND 46’), 18 Charlie SIMPSON (6 Kevin CASTLE 75’) – Subs not used: RGK Duncan LENNON-BLACK
Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 5 Niccolo SABATINI, 7 Aleks JOVIC (6 Harley ORR 23’), 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Kristian SANTICH, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Richard HOWLES (17 Frank FURFARO 79’), 20 Paul ZIMARINO (10 Nicholas AMBROGIO 75’) – Subs not used: RGK Daniel PASSARELLI, 2 Alex SILLA
NPL-WA ROUND THREE PREVIEW
It’s week three of the NPL-WA, and this week’s Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Alfred Skeet Reserve, where Armadale host Perth SC on Friday evening (7pm) Perth kicked started their season last week with a 2-1 win against Sorrento, while Armadale continued their unbeaten start to the season with a hard fought 1-1 draw against Joondalup United. The last time these two sides met at the venue, Perth run out 1-0 winners in a tight affair in Round 21 last season. Aleks Jovic’s early second half goal was all that separated the two sides, and the young striker will be looking for a repeat of that result on Friday.
It’s not been an ideal start for Ramon Falzon’s side, a first up defeat against Glory, before a last gasp winner against Sorrento last week got them in the winner’s circle. Falzon said it had been a tough start but last weeks late winner showed the character he has in his side. “It was disappointing to kick-off this NPL campaign with a loss to Perth Glory. The result was disappointing, however it was not surprising because I think Glory have a good quality side,” he said. “We expected an immediate reaction from the playing group and we got just that against Sorrento. Our players showed the great character they have and remained composed even when we were running out of time.”
Teenage midfielder Kristian Santich was on target last week in the win against Sorrento, and the club have again unearthed some talented youngsters over the rein of Falzon. “Over the past two years, we have been focusing mainly on developing our own players, we work very hard at training to improve our own youngsters and help them through their journey towards establishing themselves as good quality first team players,” he said. “The latest youngster to break into our first team squad is young Kristian. He had a very good pre-season and we did not hesitate to give him his debut in the Night Series. The kid is showing that he can transfer the quality he shows at training to the game, so it comes to no surprise that he even managed to get his first goal in senior football last Saturday.”
Falzon knows going to Armadale is always tough, and he is expecting it be no different on Friday night. “Armadale have had a very good start to their 2018 campaign, and they are always a very tough team to beat especially in their own backyard,” he said. “However, we want to remain focused on ourselves. Last weekend it was all about getting the first three points of the season and the players delivered. Now our focus has shifted on improving our performance to reach the standards we demonstrated last year in the second round as soon as possible. Our objective is to play consistently good quality football because frequently results are an automatic by-product of our good performances.”
Armadale Head Coach John O’Reilly said their draw at Forrestfield wasn’t the result their performance deserved, but it continued their unbeaten start to the season. “I think we were the better team overall on the day and were unlucky not to get the win,” he said. “Unfortunately we fell to a questionable penalty decision early in the second half. But the lads dug deep to get back into the game, drawing even with a penalty, and in the dying minutes, we were unlucky not to take the points with a great cross from Charlie Kenna and a flashing header from Michael Rizidis just dropping the wrong side of the post.”
O’Reilly has been pleased the way his side have started the season, especially some of the younger players who are performing well. “We have a young squad but we have a good mix of youth and experience,” he said. “I think Mike Rizidis has had a great start to the season along with Charlie Kenna in the centre of the midfield, but it’s all about the team with me, and they are starting to gel which is encouraging.”
The Reds Coach is well aware the quality Perth have in their side, but he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “Friday night football under the lights, it doesn’t get any better,” O’Reilly said. “We are up against one of the most successful clubs in WA, but we all know there are no easy games in the NPL so the bigger the reputation the more eager we are to perform, we’re looking forward to the challenge.” - Referee Julian Serra
Also on Friday the unbeaten Cockburn City make the trip to Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium to take on Inglewood United. (7pm) Inglewood scored late to draw with Subiaco last week while Cockburn edged out Stirling Lions 4-2. City skipper Euen Grant said it’s been a good start to the season, and last week’s tight game against the Lions showed they can fight games out. “I thought Stirling played some really nice stuff first half put us under the pump,” he said. “But second half we came right back into it with our never say die attitude and grinded out the last ten minutes with 10 men for a massive win against a good side.” Grant said Inglewood have quality players, and their start is surprising but he said they need to be at their best to get the points. “Our boys have started well, but on the other hand Inglewood will be doing everything to get their first win of the season,” he said. “We get a few players back in the squad, so it should set it up for a cracking Friday night game.” – Referee Tom Glavovic
On Saturday afternoon Sorrento entertains Forrestfield United at a re-vamped Percy Doyle Reserve. (3pm) Forrestfield were handed their first three points of the season, after they were awarded a 3-0 win from their opening game against Floreat, after an administration error at the club, and are coming off a 1-1 draw at home last week against Armadale, while Sorrento conceded late at Perth to lose 2-1. Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell said they had their opportunities to win it. “It was a frustrating performance. Whilst there were some really pleasing aspects, our defending and combinational play going forwards wasn’t consistent enough and that is why we got punished,” he explained. “We also had three good chances to take the lead early in the game and we can’t afford to waste opportunities like that.” Harnwell is expecting a good game on Saturday, with both teams wanting to play attacking football. “I can see this Saturday being a really open and attacking game. Rod has got Forrestfield going along nicely and they have already shown they deserve to be in the NPL,” he said. “The players are buzzing to be back at Percy Doyle Reserve, it’s been a tough few months while the club has been undergoing renovations and we all can’t wait to get back out at Windy Hill.” – Referee Michal Jasinski
Also on Saturday afternoon ECU Joondalup hosts Subiaco at the ECU Football Stadium (3pm) The Jacks won their first game of the season last week with a hard fought 1-1 draw at Floreat Athena, while Subiaco were held to draw at Inglewood. Subiaco Head Coach Ian McMurray was left frustrated, after they conceded late in the game. “The draw last week was disappointing, but more on the way we conceded late on, but the effort we put in and the overall performance was definitely a positive,” he said. “I could see and feel they were disappointed in changing rooms after the match but if someone had offered a point before the match, playing a very good Inglewood team away from home, I’d probably have taken it.” McMurray heads back to his former club on Saturday, and he’s expecting another tough game. “Yes, back to my old club, where I have a lot of great friends and memories and I’ll look forward to seeing them,” he explained. “ECU have started very well, I watched them on Sunday night at Floreat and was impressed with what I saw. They are a very good side with quality throughout the squad and Dale has them looking very dangerous and playing some good football.
We know it's another tough match for us but one we're looking forward to, especially after last week, the lads have worked very well this week and are looking forward to the challenge.” ECU welcome back Steven McGarry to their side, while Subiaco will be at full strength. – Referee Alexander Best
League leaders Bayswater City hit the road late Saturday afternoon when they travel to Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions (5pm) The Lions were beaten at Cockburn last week, but had chances to take something from the game, and they will go in search of their first win of the season. Bayswater have started where they left off last season, with back-to-back wins to start their title defence, and Head Coach Chris Coyne said it was pleasing second half performance last time out against Joondalup. “I was really pleased with the way the players acquitted themselves. They followed instructions and were very patient with their build up play and the fact they kept moving the ball to break them down,” he explained. “They came out at half time and listened to what we asked and were able to go up the gears which was pleasing, once we got the opener I knew we would go on with the job.” Coyne welcomes back David Stoke and Devon Gibson for the trip, and he said all games against the Lions are tough, and Saturday will be no different. “It’s always a tough game at Stirling and we expect no different this Saturday,” he said. “They are young and get around the pitch well and the two Scottish boys in midfield are very good players so it will make it tough for us this weekend.” – Referee Nico Hoyle
On Saturday evening Floreat Athena will look to put a horror week behind them, when they host Balcatta at E&D Litis Stadium (7pm) The club lost the point they earned at Forrestfield due to an administration error, and they are coming off a narrow loss against ECU Joondalup last week. Balcatta on the other hand are coming off a draw against Glory, but they let two points slip late, and midfielder Kris Gate said to concede so late was disappointing. “Last week was hard to accept when they scored in the 94th minute and it always is conceding late and not collecting all points,” he said. “But having said that we faced a very strong Glory side and thought we held our own.” They will be looking to end their win drought on Saturday, and for Gate it’s a return to his former club, and he said they go there full of confidence. “Yes its back to Floreat for me, but all that matters is a positive result for Balcatta FC,” he said. “I’m not really to the standard I want to be just yet, I’m having a few setbacks with my knee but looking forward to helping the lads on Saturday night get all three points. We’ve got a full squad and we’re looking forward to it.” – Referee Joshua Nixon
The final game of the round is on Sunday afternoon when Perth Glory host Joondalup United at Ashfield Arena (5pm) The Glory scored at the death last week to salvage a point against Balcatta, while Joondalup were well beaten at Bayswater. Young defender Fraser Garnaut said they were in the game in the first half but after the break they took over. “I thought first half we defended well and had a few chances created off fast breaks,” he said. “But second half we just lost our structure and from then on it went downhill.” It’s a new look side at Joondalup this season and Garnaut said they are working extremely hard at training to improve and they are looking forward to the challenge on Sunday. “There is definitely a few new faces and we’re working even harder now at training to gel together but it does take time,” he explained. “We will be looking to get a much needed result and are working very hard this week for the Glory challenge. What I’ve heard is they’re really fit and are playing well, but we know what we’re capable of and we’re going to try and exploit them on the weekend and hopefully get a much needed result, but we will have to be switched on for the full 90 minutes.” – Referee Shane Skinner
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES, WEEK FIVE - PREVIEW
It’s the final week of the State League Night Series group stages, and all Semi-Finals spot are still up for grabs in each group. We start in Group A with three teams still in the mix to progress. Gosnells City are in pole position leading by one point, but they face a resurgent Kelmscott Roos at Walter Padbury Reserve on Friday evening (6.30pm) The Roos beat South West Phoenix last week, they first in the competition, while Gosnells were beaten for the first time, going down to Rockingham City. Gosnells Coach Alan Dunlop said he gave a few younger players an opportunity last week, and they did all right. “I thought we played well for the first 20minutes, but after that we were sluggish and got punished by two good goals,” he said. “But after that we settled and played some good football and if not for the sendoff I felt we could have got something out of the game, but overall I was pleased with the players’ effort and our younger players enjoyed the experience.” Dunlop knows a win will take them through, and he said the lads have worked hard this week. “It's simple we need to get a win, and the lads know that and have trained well during the week and are excited at an opportunity to play in the semifinals, so we are definitely looking forward to the game. We know Kelmscott will be a tough game, especially after coming off a good win, so we will need to play well to get a result.” The other two sides who will be hoping Gosnells slip up are Murdoch University Melville and Rockingham City, who meet each other at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Sunday (7pm), while in the early game Mandurah City take on South West Phoenix. (5pm)
In Group B there are four sides who are in contention to top the group, but it’s Wanneroo City who are in the best spot, leading the group by two points, and they host bottom of the table Balga at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday evening. (5pm) Wanneroo missed the opportunity to win the group last week after they were beaten by Quinns, and Head Coach Tim Kantor said it still in their own hands. “We certainly didn’t play with anywhere near the intensity required however the lads that came in showed that they will be handy squad members come the season proper,” he said. “We now focus on Balga and yes a win will guarantee a semifinal spot, but there are no easy games in this group and we will need to bring the intensity of the first 3 weeks if we are going to get over a Balga who have been in all of their games for long periods. It’s good to be in pressure games so early in the season and whatever the result we will be a lot better for the run.” The next four teams are level on seven points, and they meet each other on Friday evening. The first games in the group sees Quinns taking on Gwelup Croatia at Wanneroo Reserve (6.30pm), while in the late game Morley Windmills meet Joondalup City (8.30pm), all knowing a win is vital to keep in the race.
In Group C it’s winner takes all when joint leaders Fremantle City and Western Knights meet on Sunday evening at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium (7pm). Both sides had big wins last week Fremantle beating Canning 4-0 while Western Knights beat Shamrock Rovers 3-1. Knights skipper Paul Lloyd said they played well but was disappointed to have conceded a goal. “We knew Shamrock would battle and make it tough, we matched that then played our football,’ he said. “We played some really good football and took our chances well, but we were still disappointed with how we conceded and want to improve that.” Lloyd played for and with Fremantle Coach Marc Anthony, and knows him well and we are expecting a tough game on Sunday. “I know Marc and Lennon really well and I’ll know he’ll have them (Fremantle) really well organised and they’ll make it very tough and have been scoring goals so we know they’ll be a threat,” he explained. “But we’re looking forward to the game and hopefully progressing to the semifinals.” In other game in the group sees Shamrock Rovers taking on Curtain University at Walter Padbury Reserve on Friday evening (8.30pm) – Canning City have the bye this weekend.
In Group D there are still three teams still in contention to progress, and in the first game Dianella White Eagles need the win well against Swan United and hope the other game goes their way, when they meet at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium (5pm) Swan had the bye last week and will be hoping to end the group with a win, while Dianella lost their chance of winning the group after they were beaten by Kingsway Olympic. The last game is the top two teams, Kingsway against UWA Nedlands at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday (7pm), and both know a win will clinch the group, but if they draw Dianella could pip them both. UWA’s Bryce Conway said last week’s 1-1 draw was one that got away. “Quite a frustrating result to be honest, especially having enjoyed a majority of possession and an abundance of chances, we really should’ve done better and put the game to bed,” he explained. “Credit to Ashfield though, they were resolute in defence, with their goalkeeper pulling off a string of important stops, which eventually enabled them to catch us out on the break to equalise.” Conway said its winner takes all and they are determined to get the right result. “It’s going to be a real intriguing encounter I feel,” he said. “Kingsway have enjoyed an impressive Night Series so far and they look a quality outfit, but I know our lads are more than up for it and will relish the challenge come Saturday night.”
FARRELL BACKS INGLEWOOD TO RECOVER FROM POOR START (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Midfielder Brian Farrell is not happy with how the first fortnight of the National Premier Leagues has gone for his team. Inglewood United have made a far from ideal start to the home and away series with successive draws, against Stirling Lions and Subiaco AFC, leaving them four points adrift of the competition leaders.
But Farrell is confident Inglewood will turn that around soon. “To have only two points is a disappointment,” admitted Farrell ahead of this evening’s clash with joint NPL leaders Cockburn City. “We have set our goals for the season and to get off to a slow start isn’t ideal but we will be working hard to rectify it.”
“We know we have quality throughout the squad but we have so far fallen short of what is expected of us. We have shown good heart and character to get back into both games after conceding the first goal, but on the whole as a squad we are not happy that we’ve not put a full 90 mins together yet.”
“For us to get the results we want we will have to tighten our performances, both individually and collectively as a team. We have worked hard at training during the week and are approaching tonight’s game with Cockburn as an opportunity to show our abilities and kick start our season.”
NO CASTRO FOR GLORY
Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe hopes another week on the sidelines for Diego Castro will help the star A-League import come home with a wet sail. The 35-year old was a late withdrawal from last week's draw with Western Sydney Wanderers due to a niggling calf injury.
Castro has been battling calf issues for the best part of two months, but scans conducted earlier this week cleared him of any tears. However, the attacking midfielder still has fluid around the area which is causing him pain, and could lead to a tear if he tries to push through it.
Glory are home to Central Coast Mariners on Saturday after which there's a 15-day break until their next game, at home to Melbourne Victory. Lowe hopes that break will leave Castro fit and firing for the last four games of the A-League season. "He hasn't trained this week. Just feels a bit sore," Lowe said.
"The good news is he hasn't got a tear. He's just got fluid in there. It's just a sensitive area of the calf, so he's feeling a bit of pain. So (if he can) get through this weekend, then we get a bit of a break, and roll into the last four." Goalkeeper Liam Reddy will miss this weekend's game through suspension meaning understudy Nick Feely will step in.
ANDREU AIMING TO SPOIL WANDERERS' PARTY
He was a favourite of Western Sydney Wanderers fans and still has friends at the club, but Perth Glory midfielder Andreu will be happy to spoil his former club's party later today. The two sides meet at Spotless Stadium in a pivotal clash for Glory's hopes of breaking back into the six.
Glory head into the clash on the back of a fabulous comeback win over Melbourne City last week courtesy of Adam Taggart's final minute header. It's given the club a huge boost. Little wonder coach Kenny Lowe had a big smile at his final press conference before flying across the country.
Another three points would have Glory - currently in eighth on 22 points - within touching distance of the sixth-placed Wanderers. "Tough game, but for us, it's the last chance to get into the top six," Andreu said. "Obviously you are always checking the table and you want to improve."
"Maybe we are not getting the results we wanted. If we win, we'll be closer to be in the top six. We are ready to beat them, like the last week when we beat Melbourne City. That was a special moment. And we know we can get something good (out of this game) if we play to our plan."
Barcelona-born Andreu joined Wanderers from Racing Santander for the 2015/16 A-League season, helping them reach the Grand Final. "It was a fantastic year for me. I have very good friends there," he said. "I have a very good relationship with many of the players and staff … but that doesn't matter, we have to win."
TAGGART COULD BE A WORLD CUP BOLTER - LOWE
Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has flagged former Golden Boot winner, Adam Taggart, as a potential World Cup bolter. Taggart has endured an injury interrupted season with the A-League strugglers, making just nine appearances and seven starts for four goals.
But the 24-year old returned from injury to play a crucial role in Glory’s come from behind win against Melbourne City last week. The second half substitute came on just before the hour and headed home the winner from point blank range in the 97th minute.
“Great goal by Taggs, I was chuffed for him,” Lowe told Fox Sports just moments before Glory faced Western Sydney Wanderers today. “You know what, if Taggs gets on today, if he scores today and he rolls into that next game, what Taggart does he gets one, he gets two, he gets three.”
“He goes on a roll and everyone can see his qualities. You know what? I wouldn’t put it past him being a bolter. Why not? He scores goals towards the end, he’s a quality player … why can’t he?" Taggart made two appearances for Australia in the 2014 World Cup against the Netherlands and Chile.
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES, WEEK FOUR - REVIEW
It’s week four of the State League Night Series and all groups are becoming tight at the top. In group A Rockingham City inflicted Gosnells City’s first defeat of the competition after a 4-1 win at Walter Padbury Reserve. Ross Staley scored twice with Josh Metzger and Ryan Kennedy adding the others, while Darren Francis scored the goal for Gosnells. “It was really pleasing to win in a hostile environment, both on and off the pitch,” Rockingham Coach Cameron Lord said. “We had to stand up to both a physical and football challenge, so a worthwhile experience before the season starts.” Murdoch University Melville lost ground on the leaders after a 1-1 draw against Mandurah City at the Securitas Protect Stadium on Friday evening. Christian Long had given the visitors the lead, but a penalty in stoppage time from Joe O’Brien earned the Dolphins a point. In the other game Kelmscott Roos won for the first time in the tournament with doubles from Lemao Reece and Michael Tucci.
In Group B the Semi-Final spots are still far away from conclusion, with only one point separating the top four sides. Wanneroo City lost their chance of a spot in the Semi-Final after they were beaten 1-0 by Quinns at Wanneroo Reserve on Friday evening. Chris Williams played the ball into Craig Tooley’s feet which enabled the striker to turn the defender sending him one-on-one with the keeper, who pulled off a great save pushing it out wide for young Brandon Buchanan to slot home the rebound from five meters to keep Quinns in the Semi-Final race. “It was a hard earned three points and a fantastic win against the group leaders,” Tooley said. “All the players dug deep and gave 110% on the pitch and we got our rewards.” In the early game on the night a penalty from Ben Wantee gave Morley Windmills a 1-0 win against Balga, also keeping their semi-final hopes alive. That is also the case for Gwelup Croatia who thumped Joondalup City 7-1. It was scoreless at the break but that all changed after the break. Bobby Wilson opened the scoring with a fantastic header, and the floodgates opened with Issac Koomson and Jake Verini helping themselves to hat-ricks. “It was a game of two halves, and with a number of first team players unavailable it was a good opportunity for players to step in and impress and they didn’t disappoint to be fair,” coach Richard Abrams said. “We will have two big sessions this week before our final night series league game on Friday v Quinns where we hope to continue our good form.”
In Group C Fremantle City are in pole position for a Semi-Final spot after a 4-0 win against Canning City at Walter Padbury Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Alec Robinson scored a penalty after only ten minutes, and he added a second heading home a corner ten minutes later. Wade Farmer put the icing on the cake with two close range finishes late in the game. “A very professional performance from us, few early goals and then controlled the game from there. Another good win to prepare us for the season and so far performances have improved game on game,” Robinson said. “Another good win to prepare us for the season and so far performances have improved game on game. Expecting a very different test next week against knights, but it’s still preseason and we are working hard on our fitness and settling into a more progressive style of play with the team starting to take shape well.” Western Knights are three points behind Fremantle after a 3-1 win against Shamrock Rovers at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Sunday. The Knights were ahead on 15 minutes Paul Lloyd scoring with a free kick, and Lloyd added a second in the second half volleying home from the edge of the penalty area. Rovers pulled one back but the Knights made sure of the points when Lloyd’s shot was parried by the Rovers keeper and Yulius Mau Loko fired home the rebound. “We played some good football and kept possession well,” Lloyd said. “We knew shamrock would battle and we matched them for that then played our football, we need to take that into the final game against Fremantle.” – Curtin University had the bye this weekend.
In Group D Olympic Kingsway moved clear at the top of the group after a 3-2 win against Dianella White Eagles at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Sunday. It was an entertaining first half and 2-2 at the break. Endalk and Marc Eldridge scoring for Kingsway, with Angel Andres and Agid on target for Dianella. But a late goal from Tyron Pottier won it for Kingsway. UWA lost ground after a 1-1 draw against Ashfield. It was a goalless opening half, with UWA dominating possession but they couldn’t find the target. That all changed on the hour, Bryce Conway finding Zeke McPherson who twisted and turned and then finish coolly into the bottom right corner with a powerful shot. But UWA couldn’t find a second to seal the win and Ashfield levelled with fifteen minutes remaining. UWA peppered the Ashfield goal late with Luke Randazzo and Mordecai Junior forcing great saves from the Ashfield keeper. – Swan United had the bye this week.
MILLARD GIVES JACKS THE POINTS
A goal from ECU Joondalup midfielder Ross Millard has given them a hard fought 1-0 win against Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday evening. Millard struck mid-way through the first half to give them their first win of the season, while Floreat remain winless this season. Jacks skipper Daryl Nicol said they had to scrap for the points, but it’s good to get on the board this season. “It wasn’t our prettiest performance by any means and we really had to dig deep to get the result against a top side,” he said. “We were very sloppy in possession of the ball but showed great character and game management to realise that and just roll our sleeves up and grind it out.”
After a cagey opening it was the visitors who created the first real opportunity on the quarter hour, Lukas De Lima was picked out in the box, but the youngster blazed over from close range. Floreat were struggling to create any clear cut chances, and the visitors then thought they had the lead moments later, Millard getting on the end of a quick counter attack but referee Nico Hoyle had spotted a foul in the build-up.
But on 26 minutes the Jacks found the opener. Nicol raced down the flank and whipped in a great cross to Millard at the back post, and the former Perth Glory Youth player, made no mistake, volleying home. Floreat looked to hit back immediately, but Ludovic Boi was denied by a great save from Johnny Perkins.
In the second half ECU Joondalup continued to create the better chances, and Floreat’s keeper Jason Saldaris was a busy man, and he did well to save Nicol’s effort with a sharp save low to his left. Josh Whitmore was everywhere, the former Joondalup United midfielder was the driving force for the Jacks as they held out to take the points.
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTA LUCIA, 3 Edin NILAC, 4 Andrew Scaldaferro, 6 Jessie FULLER, 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 11 Dennis GALAN, 12 Juma AWAKA (5 Jamie STREET), 14 Ludovic BOI, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Philip ARNOLD - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 13 Ethan KERDIDGE, 16 Declan HUDSON, 20 James OWEN
ECU Joondalup: GK John PERKINS, 3 Ross MILLARD (13 Tommy AMPHLETT 67), 4 Shane CASSIDY, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Lukas DE LIMA, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH (12 Cameron MURRAY 85), 11 Andy HIGGINS, 16 Declan HUGHES, 18 Cian HIRRELL - Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 2 Jack JONES, 15 Liam MURRAY
SECOND HALF BLITZ GIVES BAYSWATER BIG WIN
Bayswater City produced a stunning second half display to blitz Joondalup United 7-0 at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday afternoon. City striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda was the star scoring four, with Gian Albano bagging a brace and Andrija Jukic the other. "Goals aside, I think the possession was excellent today and we controlled the game very well," Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said. “In the first half we didn't play the ball forward and in behind the defenders often enough, but in the second we did just that and it changed the whole dynamic of the game."
The first half was tight, the home side dominating possession, but the visitors kept their shape well to frustrate Bayswater, but the second half was completely different. Joondalup held on to the hour but on 62 minutes Luke Ninkovic stole the ball off a defender before cutting it back to Giron Marulanda, who tapped the ball home for the opener. The Colombian striker was in the right place at the right time again five minutes later as he scored another tap-in, this time after former Joondalup midfielder Arron Maplestone had squared the ball to him.
The Bayswater striker completed his hat-trick on 73 minutes, this time curling home a free kick from the edge of the box, and he soon added a fourth after a slide-rule through ball from Albano. Giron Marulanda returned the favour late on when he laid the ball off to Albano for a brace. Substitute Jukic got in on the action three minutes from time when Joondalup were again exposed after losing the ball in midfield to make it 7-0.
Joondalup coach Nick Jennings condemned his side's "shambolic" defensive performance in the second-half. "We lost our structure and shape, which we have been working on all week and which was really impressive in the first-half," he said. "That second-half was not acceptable so there will be lots of changes made to the team in preparation for the Stirling game next week."
Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 4 Arron MAPLESTONE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON MARULANDA (21 Luke SALMON 84'), 10 Jason MIRCO (5 Adam HARRIS 61'), 13 Trent KAY (C), 17 Gian ALBANO, 18 Brent GRIFFITHS, 19 Luka NINKOVIC (23 Andrija JUKIC 78'), 24 Jake SARDELIC - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 21 Luke Salmon
Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 2 John CHALMERS, 3 Fraser GARNAUT, 5 Joel LEDSHAM (11 Anthony TAYLOR 67'), 6 Sam WYNNE, 7 Matthew SPARROW (C), 8 Jay MARSDEN (19 Adam BUCKLEY 78'), 9 Alex WILD (15 Callum STOCKS 62'), 10 Elliot TATTERSALL, 16 Ross EDWARDS, 17 Luke SERRA - Subs not used: 4 Danny O’SHEA, 21 Luke Green
TEN MAN COCKERELS BEAT LIONS
Cockburn City continued there good start to the season produced a second-half comeback to beat Stirling Lions 4-2 at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday evening. The visitors were well placed at half-time leading 2-1. Luccas Mello had given the host the lead, but a quick fire double from Alex Tanevski sent them into the break with the lead. But goals to Aden Da Luz and Cameron Edwards won it for Scott Millers side. The gloss was taken off the win however, with Daniel Dols sent off late,
But Cockburn Coach Scott Miller was a happy man after the game “Honestly, Stirling did dominate us in the first half, their movement was fantastic,” Miller said. “However, after we adjusted a couple of things we dominated the second half. We played a very good team tonight and we got everything we deserved in the end. This part of the year is great because you want to try and build some confidence, so that’s what we’ll do.”
Cockburn, who won their opening game against Subiaco last week, were on the front foot early and Mello opened the scoring for them on 24 minutes. But their lead only lasted four minutes, with former Glory striker Tanevski restoring parity. But Stirling ended the half the better and grabbed the lead on the half hour, Dean Cummings neat through ball sending Tanevski clear to finish well past Ryan Barker.
But after half time Cockburn hit back and Da Luz levelled on 56 minutes, before Edwards put them in front 15 minutes from time. The Lions pressed forward looking for the equaliser and their cause was helped when Dols received a second yellow card from referee Michal Jasinski and was sent off. The visitors pressed forward but were caught out on a counter attack in the final minute, and Pratt, who had only been on the pitch for sixty seconds, sealed the three points.
Cockburn City: GK Ryan BARKER, 3 Daniel DOLS, 4 Euen GRANT, 5 Keiron STALLARD, 6 Reuben TRISTAO, 7 Luccas MELLO (12 Ryan PRATT 89’), 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 9 Julian TELES (19 Anthony SKORICH 63’), 10 David ARAYA, 16 Daniel ROBINSON, 17 Jesse LAZZARO, 18 Aden DA LUZ – Subs not used: RGK Luke RADONICH, 2 Chris THACKRAY – Red Cards: Dols 86’
Stirling Lions: GK Lance ALAVAKIS, 2 David MOLINARI, 3 Darren O’RIORDAN, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Liam HENDERSON, 6. Dhors CHOL, 7 Dean CUMMINGS (19 Zane CASELLA 60), 9 Robert PETKOV, 11 Alex TANEVSKI, 14 Abu DULLEH (12 Matthew CHERRIE 48), 15 Steve SOKOL (18 Ben CAMPBELL 72) - Subs not used: 13 David FILIPPOU, 20 Pasquale GIOFFRE
PERTH SCORE LATE TO DOWN THE GULLS
A goal in stoppage time by second half substitute Paul Zimarino has given Perth SC a 2-1 win against Sorrento at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday evening. Niccolo Sabatini missed a penalty early for the home side, before youngster Kristian Santich gave them the lead. Sorrento defender Shaun Kilkelly levelled on the hour, and it looked like the points would be shared before the late strike. “It’s always good (to come off the bench and make an impact), but the most important thing is the three points,” Zimarino said. “The club always back you in and over the years you can see the youth coming through as most of our squad have been there. You just know that if you work hard and take your chance, there’s a chance to play the following week and it just show what can happen when there’s faith in the youth players.”
It was the visitors who started the brighter and they produced three big chances to open the scoring early. New Zealand import Jack Salter nipped in ahead of Rocco Pizzata and flashed wide, while Reece Vittiglia was denied by an excellent block from Perth custodian Francis Soale moments after. Jordan Brown’s effort from another Sorrento corner went inches past the post, before Perth woke up as they had a succession of opportunities themselves.
Niccolo Sabatini blazed over the top from the penalty spot, but that miss was forgotten on 25 minutes when Perth opened the scoring. A quick break involving Aleks Jovic and Gustavo Catarcione ended with Santich, who volleyed home past James Morgan. The home side should have doubled their lead five minutes before the break when Richard Howles headed over from close range after Catarcione linked up with Sabatini.
The home side continued their momentum early in the second half as Morgan did well to save at the near post from Howles, but Sorrento looked dangerous on the break and levelled just after the hour mark. Jordan Roberts’ free-kick from the left went through several bodies in the area and Kilkelly was on the spot to tap in from close range. Both sides had chances as the game opened up and James Morgan denied Howles once again with a stunning fingertip save before Salter curled over from the edge of the penalty area.
Perth had a golden chance with eight minutes remaining with substitutes Frank Furfaro and Zimarino combined with the latter volleying over from close range. But the winner came in the final minute, with Zimarino making amends. He lost his marker in the penalty area, and his glancing header beat James Morgan and into the corner of the net, for their first win of the new season.
Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 5 Niccolo SABATINI (17 Frank FURFARO 56’), 6 Harley ORR, 7 Aleks JOVIC (10 Nicholas AMBROGIO 71’), 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Kristian SANTICH, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Richard HOWLES (20 Paul ZIMARINO 79’) - Subs not used: RGK Daniel PASSARELLI, 2 Alex SILLA
Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 6 Daryl PLATTEN, 7 Alex MORGAN (10 Jordan ROBERTS 62’), 8 Ryan PEARSON, 11 Tim HILL (2. Godwin DARKA 62’), 14 Scott WITSCHGE, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 18 Jordan BROWN, 19 Jack SALTER, 20 Brad MCDONALD - Subs not used: RGK Anastasis FARSALEAS, 22 Danny JONES, 26 Joel PROUT
DOMFEH’S LATE, LATE SHOW GIVES GLORY A POINT
A goal deep into stoppage time by substitute Michael Domfeh has salvaged a point for Glory, after a 2-2 draw against Balcatta in Week two of the NPLWA at the Ashfield Arena on Saturday afternoon. The visitors had led early with new striker Adriano Jelenovic scoring, but Glory hit back with Yagoub Mustafa levelling. Anton De Francesch regained the lead for Balcatta, but the last gasp equaliser gave John Gibson’s side a hard fought point.
“The draw was not the result we were looking for following a strong performance against Perth last week,” Domfeh said. “However we showed maturity in the comeback late in the game to snatch a point, and now our focus is Joondalup United and claiming our first win at home. I was quite happy with the goal especially coming in the dying moments of the game, but we have been working on scoring goals from crosses quite heavily in training so it was pleasing to see it pay off in the game.”
It was Glory who were on top early, but they found Kyle McDonald in fine form, producing a number of fine saves to thwart his former team mates. First he saved well to deny Daniel Stynes, and moments later he reacted well to save Walter Scott’s header. But on six minutes and against the run of play, Balcatta hit the front. A poor pass was jumped on by Balcatta, and Jelenovic pounced firing low past Jackson Lee from the edge of the penalty area. Glory continued to press, with Joe Knowles a constant menace, while Stynes, Callum Timmins and Henry Hore were getting more involved, but at the break they trailed.
McDonald was at it again just after half time, this time the former Glory custodian denied Knowles, but on 51 minutes they finally beat him. Mustafa picked the ball up in the middle of the park, raced past a number of Balcatta defender’s before finishing low past the Balcatta keeper for a fine solo goal. It was a just reward for Glory, but 10 minutes later Balcatta regained the lead. De Francesch wasn’t closed down and he skipped past two Glory defenders before finishing well past Lee.
Glory lifted and had Balcatta on the back foot, but despite dominating late it looked like Balcatta would take the points, but Domfeh had other ideas. Deep into stoppage time a ball into the box by Hore picked out Domfeh, and the striker finished with aplomb past McDonald to earn a hard fought point for the Glory youngsters.
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luca BODNAR, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS, 7 Chok DAU (14 Michael DOMFEH 73), 8 Henry HORE, 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Daniel STYNES (12 Jack LEECH 63’), 11 Yacoub MUSTAFA (13 Trent OSTLER 83') - Subs not used: RGK Nicolas SPECA, 15 Daniel WALSH
Balcatta FC: GK Kyle MCDONALD, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 Hayden STEVENS, 4 Calum O’CONNELL (C), 5 Tom PELLIZARRI, 6 Kris GATE (12 Anton DE FRANCESCH 58’), 8 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 9 Dejan ANDRIC (17 Brody KENNEDY 63’), 11 Renee ALBA, 15 Adriano JELENOVIC, 24 Angel DEJKOVSKI (7 Mathew MCROBERTS-OLANSO 36’) - Subs not used: RGK Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 20 Shubham MOKALA
ALL SQUARE IN LOCAL DERBY
The points were shared in the eastern corridor derby, after Forrestfield United and Armadale fought out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Wildlife Safari Stadium, Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. In front of another big crowd the hosts hit the front, Hasani Sinclair scoring from the spot and despite dominating possession it was Armadale who levelled, also from the spot, Michael Lawson on target. Our side has had a lot of new faces this term and I can see each week the understanding and cohesion is getting better,” Armadale Coach John O’Reilly said. “I thought we played quite well with a few key areas to improve on. But the squad comradery is great and that helped us dig in and get a point out of the game.”
The home side went close early, Thomas Jebb’s long-range strike flashed inches past the post, before Sinclair side footed over the top when well placed. Armadale went close themselves moments later when Joshua Kuser won possession on the right and raced into the box, but his low shot was well saved by NPL debutant keeper Ben Parry. Armadale were dangerous at set pieces and Charlie Kenna’s ball in to the penalty area was flicked goalwards by James Atkins, but fortunately for the home side it was just off target.
It was end-to-end football and the lively Calum Dobbs was becoming a constant threat for the home side and on the half hour he eased past his marker and sent Loxley in to the area, but his low shot was well claimed by Sam Hutchings. Both sides had late chances, first Atkins saw his header cleared off the line by Forrestfield skipper Liam Merigan, before Dobbs snap shot whistled just wide of the upright for the home side, but at the break it was scoreless.
But the deadlock was broken on the hour, Merigan played in Callum Roberts down the right and he was brought down by David Annall and referee Josh Nixon pointed straight to the spot. Sinclair stepped up, and the American striker sent Hutching the wrong way to give Forrestfield the lead. Sinclair had another opportunity moments later this time he was picked out at the back post by second half substitute Jordan Hart, but his header failed to find the target. But on 78 minutes Armadale levelled. Good work on the right by substitute Jonathan Bogoni and Dylan Da Silva ended with a cross into the penalty area and Forrestfield defender Tom Southgate was adjudged to have handled the ball and the referee again awarded a penalty.
Lawson kept his cool to level for the visitors, despite having to retake the penalty after the referee spotted encroachment into the area. Both sides went for the win, Ali Gholami’s curling free kick was just over the top for the visitors, While Hart got a lucky deflection which sent him in on goal, but with just the keeper to beat he fired wide of the post. But both sides had to settle for a point a piece.
Forrestfield United: RGK Benjamin PARRY, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 4 Mark BARNETT, 5 Scott BARKER, 7 Callum ROBERTS (14 Izzy ATTAK 71’), 9 Hasani SINCLAIR, 11 Liam MERIGAN, 12 Callum DOBBS, 16 Thomas JEBB, 17 Jamie DUNCAN (15 Josh APPLEBY 88’), 23 Rhys LOXLEY (10 Jordan HART 46’) – Subs not used: RGK Callum MILLER, 8 Gerler MOO
Armadale SC: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Joshua KUSER, 3 Dylan DA SILVA, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 David ANNALL, 6 Kevin CASTLE (18 Alex BOND 46’), 7 Charlie KENNA, 8 Michael LAWSON, 11 Michael RIZIDIS, 15 Ali GHOLAMI, 17 James ATKINS (14 Jonathan BOGONI 58’) - Subs not used: RGK Struan HERD, 16 Charlie SIMPSON
FRUSTRATION BUILDS FOR EDWARDS AFTER COUNTY CALL-OFF
Footballers will always tell you after a defeat that they want to get out on the pitch as soon as possible to get it out of their system. So after losing late to relegation rivals in the past two weeks, you can only imagine the frustration felt at Partick Thistle when today’s crucial encounter at Ross County was postponed.
For Ryan Edwards, the game represented a chance not only to exorcise the demons of those costly lapses against Dundee and Hamilton Academical, but to claim three crucial points in their battle against the drop. As the midfielder casts his mind back over the season he can only come to one conclusion - it has simply not been good enough.
“It is very frustrating,” said Edwards. “We have had a bad run of results and you want a game to come around as quickly as possible. It was going to be a massive game for both teams … it could have given us a huge boost. This would be up there with one of the most, if not the most important game of my Thistle career.”
“The top six game last year was massive, but we were flying at the time. This time we were wanting to bounce back. On paper our team is very strong and we have enough in the team to compete for a top six position, but the results haven’t been good enough.”
The conundrum for Thistle is how they can get back to wringing more out of what is undoubtedly a talented group of players. “We have to start demanding more of each other to get some results because that is the most important thing,” Edwards said.
“We have ten games to go to get out the position we are in. We now have ten cup finals left in the league, that’s the way we have to look at it. Aberdeen at home is our next one and that’s all we are focusing on now, and we want to get a good result.”
INGLEWOOD LEAVE IT LATE AGAINST SUBIACO
A goal ten minutes from time by new English import Ellis Healing has given Inglewood United a 1-1 draw against Subiaco at the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Friday evening. It looked like former Inglewood midfielder David Perich’s early goal would win for the visitors, but Healing stunning free kick gave both sides a share of the spoils. “Our performance was under-par to be honest,” Inglewood Coach Andy Keogh said. “We had the chances but fair play to Subiaco, they battled well and held on to their lead at the end. We need to listen to the game plan and implement what we work on all week. We worked on wingers staying wide and creative players getting into pockets, but it just didn’t happen today.”
The first half was relatively even in terms of possession, but it was Inglewood that carved out the better goal scoring opportunities. Ashley Rosindale’s glancing header on 12 minutes brought a fine reflex save from Ryan Montgomery, and not long after Hanafi Ghazili’s delivery into the 6-yard box was narrowly beyond Brian Woodall. Healing was denied at close-range by Montgomery who, thirty seconds later, had the fast back-tracking Nathan Smith to thank for preventing Woodall from opening the scoring. For their part, Subiaco won themselves numerous corners, their best chance fell to Perich was well saved by Alex Dunn.
That changed within minutes of the restart when Perich gave Subiaco the advantage by slotting into the net. The home side almost conceded a second moments later but Dunn produced a stunning save to deny Daniel Pearce’s powerful shot on 55 minutes. Inglewood hit back and Woodall blasted a golden opportunity over the top from 9-metres, but their persistence paid off with four minutes remaining when Woodall’s long thrown was nodded on by Brian Farrell to Healing, whose stunning bicycle kick crossed the line via the underside of the crossbar to earn his side a point
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS (6 Miki VUJACIC 55’), 3 David CYRUS, 7 Kenny KEOGH, 8 Jason BARRERA, 10 Ashley ROSINDALE (19 Steve BURTON 53’), 11 Ellis HEALING, 14 Hanafi GHAZALI, 15 Brian FARRELL, 17 Rikki SMITH (12 Feisal ZAW 82’), 23 Brian WOODALL - Subs not used: 16 Jamie MURRAY, 21 Michael COHEN
Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 4 Alex RANDELL, 6 Jackson DONGRAY, 8 Josh BOOYSEN(15 Albert LUWI 68’), 9 Daniel PEARCE (13 Fanuel DAWIT 90’), 10 Asher NELSON, 12 Nathan SMITH, 14 Ross JARMAN, 16 Steve PURTON, 17 Alex CASTIELLO, 18 David PERICH - Subs not used: 3 Cherno BAM, 19 Ian MCMURRAY, 21 Teophile BROWN
NPL-WA ROUND TWO PREVIEW
It's Round two of the 2018 NPL-WA season, and this week Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Dorrien Gardens where Perth SC entertain Sorrento on Saturday evening (7pm). The home side were surprisingly beaten by Perth Glory last week, and midfielder Harley Orr said they did have chances to take something from the game. “The loss was hard to take considering we had a good night series campaign leading up to the game,” he said. “We had a few good chances but just didn’t grab them unfortunately.” Perth have unearthed some talented youngsters over the past two seasons under the tutelage of Ramon Falzon and Orr said they making the squad strong. “Our squad has been extremely young considering what most of the other NPL squads are like, and most importantly Ramon has given the young boys game time which gives them so much confidence and good experience,” he explained. “This year especially bringing up young Kristian Santich from the U18’s, he’s done extremely well coming off the bench in the night series and even starting the semifinal against Floreat which is a great acknowledgment of his good work.” The midfielder said they face another tough test against Sorrento, but he said the players are determined to get their season up and running. “Sorrento is always a tough game, but our last three results against them have been wins and two of them by big margins,” Orr said. “The boys will be up for it this week since we didn’t get the best start, so we will look to make emends this week.”
Sorrento came home with a hard earnt point against local rivals ECU Joondalup last weekend and Tim Hill said it was a good start to the season, this after a poor first half. “I thought we were quite poor throughout the first half but managed to pick it up a bit in the second half,” he said. “We still weren't at our best but I think we came out of it happy with what we got.” It’s been an interrupted season for the Gulls with their home ground – Percy Doyle Reserve – undergoing redevelopment, but after a good night series Hill said it’s business as usual. “We're still a little underdone which has shown in the games we've played so far,” he said. “But we're picking up a little each week and will be there or thereabouts when it matters.” The midfielder said Perth will be up for a big game after last week’s loss, but he said they will be up for the challenge. “We're all looking forward to playing Perth and getting a better result than the night series game,” Hill said. “We felt a little let down that we gave away the lead late so we're hoping for a better result on Saturday.” – Referee Adam Fielding
The round kicks off on Friday evening when Inglewood United host Subiaco at the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium (7pm) After a good night Series Subiaco lost their opening game of the season at Cockburn City last week, while Inglewood had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Stirling Lions. Inglewood keeper Alex Dunn said despite the draw there were some good signs. “It was a disappointing start at home especially. We didn’t show up in the first half and we were punished,” he said. “The second half was a lot better and even with 10 men I thought we had the better chances to perhaps steal the win, however the lads showed good character to fight back and at least get a point.” The keeper said Friday’s opponents were the big improvers last season, and is expecting another tough game. “It’s a big game for both sides, Subiaco have done well in preseason, and Ian has got them organised and playing a decent brand,” Dunn said. “For us we need to ensure we put in a shift for the entire 90 minutes. If we are able to do this then it’ll go a long way to get the three point.” Inglewood defender Scott Robertson will miss the game after he was sent off last week. – Referee Stuart Muldoon
On Saturday league Champions Bayswater City host Joondalup United at Frank Drago Reserve. (4pm). Joondalup were well beaten last week at Armadale, and It doesn’t get any easier, coming up against a side that started their defence of the title with a 4-2 win against Balcatta. Bayswater midfielder Jason Mirco said it was hard fought win. “The Italian derby are never an easy game, and Balcatta have a new look side this year and we knew like always they would be up for the game,” he said. “Coyney emphasised the importance on stay focused to the game plan for the full 90 minutes in order to get our season off to the right start.” The midfielder is expecting Joondalup to fight back this week after their poor start to the season. “Joondalup are a tough side, and we had a couple of physical encounters last year and I suspect nothing different coming into this match,” Mirco explained. “We’re the champions and we’ll go into the weekend determined to continue on our path to keeping the trophy at frank Drago.” In team news for Bayswater, new signing Adam Harris is back in the squad this week. – Referee Tom Glavovic
Perth Glory caused the shock of week one beating Perth SC on the road, and this week they have home ground advantage when they host Balcatta at Ashfield Arena on Saturday afternoon (5pm). The Glory youngsters finished the Foxtel Y-League on a high and continued that form last week and new skipper Ollie Annis said it was a well-deserved win. “The squad have been together throughout the Foxtel Y-League, and our good end to the campaign gave us confidence going into last week’s game,” he told the Perth Glory website. “We put in a solid performance, and worked really hard for the 100 minutes and the result showed. To be fair we could have had a few more if we converted our chances, however we’re delighted to win the opening game and keep a clean sheet.” The defender said Balcatta will be another tough challenge, but one the players are looking forward to. “This week is even more of a challenge, and Balcatta will be just as tough as last week as we need to build on a great start,” he said. “They have a number of new signings, but we are hoping to continue the run of good form and get another win under our belt.” – Referee Steven Gregory
On Saturday evening it’s a local derby when Armadale make the trip to Wildlife Safari Stadium, Hartfield Park to take on Forrestfield United. (7pm) The Reds made the perfect start to the season, well beating Joondalup United, but it came at a cost with Billy Quinncroft and Chris Jackson sent off, and both will miss Saturday’s game. Forrestfield’s first game in the NPL ended in a 1-1 draw against Floreat Athena and midfielder Jordan Hart said they were a little disappointed not to have taken all three points. “Coming up against the night series winners was always going to be a big challenge especially after they easily knocked us out a few weeks before, so going into the game I think we would have been happy with a point,” he explained. “We’ve worked hard all preseason and it came together in the game creating a decent amount of chances and unlucky to not a put a few more away which cost us in the end. Decent teams only need a sniff and will punish you for it, so it was a little disappointing not to get all three points.” Hart said Saturday will be another test for the ‘New kids on the block’ but he said they can’t wait. “We’re all looking forward to the local derby it should be tough match and we are expecting a larger crowd than last week as I know Armadale crowd will no doubt try to compete with the Forrie army,” he said. “Again they are the team to beat and have set the tempo after their big win last week, but we are looking to it and can’t wait for another big test.” – Referee Joshua Nixon
The final Saturday game takes us to Dalmatinac Park where Cockburn City entertain Stirling Lions (7pm). The Lions drew 2-2 at Inglewood last week, in their first game under new coach Keegan Ashley, a good performance but should have come home with all three points. Cockburn on the other hand fought out a 2-1 win against Subiaco and midfielder Cameron Edwards said it was pleasing to start the season on a high. “I thought we played well against Subiaco,” he said. “We worked extremely hard and we’re pleased to get off to a good start this season.” The sides met in a heated Night Series quarter-final, and Edwards said it will be another tight game. “Stirling is always a tough encounter and I’m sure they will look to bounce back after our win in the night series,” he said. “We’ll look to continue our good start and try to get some consistency into our game which we’ve previously struggled with.” In team news for Cockburn David Araya and Daniel Dols are back in the squad, but Daniel Santich is suspended. – Referee Michal Jasinski
In the final game of the round Floreat Athena have home ground advantage when they host to ECU Joondalup at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday evening. (7pm) Floreat were held to a 1-1 draw at Forrestfield United last week, but will go into this game without Chris Saldaris who was sent off last week. They do regain the services of Dean Evans and Ludovic Boi for this clash. The Jacks were held to a draw in the northern derby, but new keeper Johnny Perkins said they deserve more from the game, and a penalty late in the game. “We were disappointed not to take three points. We felt we should have been out of sight in the first half but we weren’t ruthless enough, by credit to Sorrento they changed things up second half and played some nice football and took the game to us in stages,” he said. “I probably shouldn’t say too much about the penalty decision as I don’t want to get in trouble. There was only one person at the game regardless of which team they played for/supported who thought that wasn’t a penalty and that was the Ref. Didn’t make the ‘Highlight’ video either…. Regardless that’s in the past. We are focused on Floreat this Sunday.” The keeper said Sunday is a huge test, but it’s one they are looking forward too. “Floreat have good technical players that can hurt any team. They play on a big pitch and use the space well, we know we will be in for a good test,” Perkins said. “However we have been focusing on our players and the way we want to play this week in training. Everyone is eager to get back out there as quick as possible after the draw last week.” – Referee Nico Hoyle
STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES, WEEK FOUR - PREVIEW
It’s week four of the Football West State League Night Series and in Group A the unbeaten Gosnells City host Rockingham City at Walter Padbury Reserve on Saturday evening. (7pm) Rockingham came from two down to draw with South West Phoenix last week, while Gosnells beat Murdoch University Melville to sit four points clear. Gosnells Coach Alan Dunlop said they had to earn it. “It's always good to win, especially because Melville are a good side and will cause teams problems this season, so it was nice to get the result,” he said. “We probably where not at our best but we showed we had some steel and grind out a win, which is very pleasing as a coach. Dunlop said it’s another big test this week but his lads are looking forward to it. “We are really looking forward to the game Rockingham are always a tough opponent and have some good players in there team, so we know we are in for a good game,” he said. “But our confidence is high and will be looking to put on a good performance and a win would just about put us in the box seat to advance to the Semi Finals. Although we will be looking to rotate the squad a little and see if some of our younger players can handle the level.” In the other games in the Group Kelmscott will be looking for their first point when they take on South West Phoenix at Securitas Protect Stadium on Friday (6.30pm), while in the late game Mandurah City host Murdoch University-Melville (8.30pm)
In Group B Morley Windmills meet Balga in the early game at Wanneroo Reserve on Friday (6.30pm), while in the late game group leaders Wanneroo City host Quinns FC (8.30pm) Quinns sit joint second in the group, and are coming off a hard fought draw with Joondalup City last week. Wanneroo beat Morley to top the group and Coach Tim Kantor said it was a pleasing performance. “Yes it was another really good performance against quality division one opposition,” he said. “We had a great first half where we dominated and scored three quality goals, and the boys are really starting to gel.” Kantor said Quinns have looked good in the competition to date and he said it will be another tough game. “Quinns have made some good signings and are always hard to beat. We will go into the game without three or four key players so it will be an early opportunity to test the depth that we have at the Club,” he said. “Corker and Thomson are suspended and a couple of boys will be rested due to niggling injuries. We are confident the four boys coming into the starting line-up can do the job. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow night, we certainly won’t be taking this game lightly because we need one more win to secure a semi-final spot.” In the final game of the group sees Gwelup Croatia taking on Joondalup City at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday (7pm).
In Group C joint leaders Fremantle City kick things off against Canning City at Walter Padbury Reserve on Saturday afternoon (5pm), while the other joint leader Western Knights take on Shamrock Rovers at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Sunday (7pm) – Curtin University have the bye this weekend. In Group D there is only one point separating the five sides, so this week’s games are vital. In the first game Dianella White Eagles take on Olympic Kingsway at Perth Plasterboard Stadium on Sunday afternoon (5pm). Kingsway’s Chris Rizidis said last week’s bye did them good. “It was good to have the week off,” he said. “The boys still trained hard and results going our way still means that we’re a chance to progress out of the group if we get a result against Dianella this weekend.” Rizidis said The Eagles have a potent strike force and is expecting a tough challenge. “Dianella are a quality team especially going forward so we’ll have to deny them as many opportunities as we can and create enough for ourselves,” he said. “I think we can expose them at the back and hopefully come away with a win.” Dianella coach Robbie Dunn said they deserved more from the game last week. “The draw was a bit hard to take as I thought we did more than enough to win,” he said. “The boys were disappointed not to win but fair play to UWA they kept going and got a result which I am sure that they are happy with.” Dunn said three points are vital Sunday with the group being so tight. “We are going to go out and play to try and get the three points this week. I don’t know much about Olympic but I am expecting them to be well organised and tough to break down,” he said. “I am putting all focus on attacking football so if they come out to play then it should be a good game. Hopefully we can come away with the win and keep working hard towards trying to play the way we want to this year.” - In the other game in the group UWA Nedlands meet Ashfield at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday afternoon (5pm) – Swan United have the bye this weekend.
“CLEAN SHEET AND A WIN IS A MUST” SAYS BURTON (courtesy of inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Summer recruit Steve Burton has stressed the importance of Inglewood United collecting all three points from tonight’s fixture with Subiaco AFC. Inglewood commenced the 2018 National Premier Leagues last weekend by drawing with Stirling Lions, a result the 34-year old striker labelled as “very disappointing”.
Burton has called on his teammates to up their game as they gear up for round two of the home and away series. “We need to knuckle down and get the season going against Subiaco,” Burton commented following his Inglewood debut. “Last year we had far too many draws so a clean sheet and a win is a must tonight.”
“Drawing with Stirling was very disappointing, it was a good result as we played half the game with ten-men but it was two points dropped. Andy (Keogh) has put a good squad together, we are fit and should be able to up our game and take the result against a Subiaco team that’s been on the up under Ian McMurray’s guidance.”
Burton is one of several new faces in the Inglewood squad for 2018. Born in England, the strongly built attacker played for a decade in his homeland for the likes of Ipswich Town, Doncaster Rovers, Scarborough, Crawley Town, Tamworth, Harrogate Town and Bradford Park Avenue, amongst others.
Burton proved an immediate success on signing with Balcatta in 2011, helping the club top the league ladder and winning the Gold Medal. He turned out the following year for Victorian club South Melbourne before returning west for spells with Bayswater City, where he collected another league champion’s medal, Floreat Athena and Olympic Kingsway.
Back to the www.footballwa.net Archived News Index
This page was last updated on the 23rd February, 2018