Bayswater City's Adam Tong and Floreat Athena striker Robert Petkov in action - Photo by Fotoenzo

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24.3.2019

FFA CUP - ROUND TWO – REVIEW

It was FFA Cup WA second round games this weekend and Northern City caused the upset of the round, after the Metro North Premier league side beat Sunday Amateur Premier League side Wembley Downs 4-0 at Curtin Stadium. All four goals were scored in the second half, and City were ahead when Shak Shariff played it through to Abdulahi Farah, who finished clinically. They added a second on a quick counter attack from a Wembley corner, with Ammur Ibrahim cutting the ball back to Shariff, and the player/coach made no mistake, picking out the top corner. It was 3-0 when Ismail Mohamed out jumped the goal keeper to head home, and they put the icing on the cake late with a fourth goal. Mubashir Awabdi picking out Ammur Ibrahim who finished into the top corner on his debut for the side, and seal a great win.

City player/coach Shariff said they are delighted to be in the next round and he said it’s great for the lower teams to get in the limelight. “It is, think that’s why us “lower clubs” are up for it, we’ve got nothing to lose, only something to prove,” he said. “We have the talent mixed with experience, great team spirit to go up against any club I believe. We are a club built from the community, and we have teams from the age of six to 18’s, and all our players are from the community and think we wear it on our sleeve every time we play with pride knowing we’ve got a community and club behind us.”

“We’re looking forward to the cup draw and to be completely honest, I’ll take anyone, and I think if you asked my players, they’d tell you the same thing. We play with no fear, we play for the love of the game. only reason we’re a metro team is our clubs only in its third year, my second year as coach, so we’ve got to stick it out in the metros which will hopefully be our last year, before we go through amateurs, we are ready.” Wembley Coach Mike Ford said it was a disappointing performance from his side. “Good luck to City, but for us it was one of those games that if it could go wrong it did,” he explained. “A missed penalty, and a few open goal type opportunities, and with us chasing the game late they scored three goals in the last 10 minutes, but all in all a really disappointing result.”

Woodvale almost caused another upset, before eventually going 2-1 to Amateur Premier League Champions North Perth United at Timberlane Park. The home side were ahead on 20 minutes, some good build up down Woodvale’s right between Calum Street and Shane Doran ended with the ball being played through to Glen Atkinson who beat the keeper Luke Thompson with a cross shot from the edge of the 18-yard box. North Perth levelled when Dan Conway beat his marker out wide and squared the ball back to Ago Mujic who fed Edin Nalic who fired home into the top corner. Both sides had chances to win it but it Alex Carter’s North Perth who won it five minutes from time, striker Niall Murray finishing calmly into the bottom corner, that’s now five in two competitive games for the Derry striker. “We were absent a few lads for the game but that should have presented a massive opportunity for other boys to put their names up in lights for a potential starting birth come the league start, but I’m not sure I can remember such a lacklustre low spirited performance from a North Perth Team since we got rolled in the league 8-2 by BB United 4 years ago,” Carter explained. “Saying that a hell of a lot of credit has to go to Woodvale, they were out warming up one hour before the game and were well and truly in the mindset that we should have been in. We showed glimpses around the box of how we want to play this year and the time we put it all together it proved fruitful, but we are into the next round of the cup.” Woodvale coach Martyn Day was proud of his players. “We felt that we more than matched North Perth in every department in fact for long periods of the game we were the better side,” he said. “Before North Perth scored their winning goal with 5minutes left we had two very good opportunities to go in front.”

In the other games on Sunday East Perth FC beat Perth AFC 2-1 at Len Packham Park on Sunday, while Queens Park ran out convincing 5-0 winners against Perth Hills United at Harry Riseborough Oval. The visitors were on top early and had the ball in the net four times in the opening 15 minutes, with two ruled offside. They were ahead when a through ball sending Tubiso Ncube in on goal and finishing smartly. It was 2-0 when Wesley Britz eased past two United defenders before squaring to Ncube, who added his second from five meters. It was 3-0 when defender Papa fired home an unstoppable long-range rocket into the top corner, before Lance Louve curled home the fourth, and Britz capped off a good performance after a mazy run and finish to make it 5-0.

“I thought we played very well and played the ball patiently from back to front without losing the ball or forcing the play,” Queens Park Coach Ricardo Fynn said. “Tribute to Perth Hills who were honest and worked tirelessly but were undone by good movement and quick passing. We could have scored a few more goals but the sting and urgency were taken out of the game after the fifth goal There were moments in the second half where Perth Hills had an opportunity or two but it wasn’t their day, but overall it was a very good start in the Cup and the lads are all buzzing for the next round.”

The draw for round three was made today at the Football West Headquarters and here are the fixtures: To be played on the 6th/7th April - Joondalup United vs North Perth United, Ashfield vs Murdoch University Melville, Gosnells City vs Forrestfield United, Bunbury Dynamos vs Swan United, Dianella White Eagles vs Fremantle City, Mindarie vs Warnbro Strikers, Yanchep United vs Curtin University, Subiaco AFC vs Mandurah City, Northern City vs Queens Park, Shamrock Rovers vs Maccabi, Port Kennedy vs Brozzy, Westnam United vs Wanneroo City, Morley-Windmills vs Albany Caledonian, Quinns FC vs Olympic Kingsway, East Perth vs Balga, North Beach vs Western Knights, Polonia vs Gwelup Croatia - Byes: Joondalup City, Canning City, Kelmscott Roos, UWA-Nedlands FC

24.3.2019

AMATEUR NIGHT SERIES - SEMI FINAL - REVIEW

The 2019 Amateur Night Series Final sees holders Leeming Strikers take on newly promoted Quinns Fc after both won in the Semi-Finals on Sunday at Wanneroo Reserve. In the early game Leeming were too good for Joondalup United running out 5-1 winners. Leeming were ahead when David Palin’s long-range free kick was parried by the keeper, the ball falling kindly to Ben Greaves who scored from the rebound. It was 2-0 when Palin picked out Ayden Evans, who was given far too much room in the middle of the park and his shot flew into the net.

They added a third before half time, a quick throw in by Greaves found Palin, who squared the ball past the keeper to Michael Maratea, who rolled the ball into an empty net. Joondalup where back in the game when Adam Gianessi scored from the penalty spot early in the second half, but Leeming restored their three-goal lead when Evans ran onto a ball over the top, rounded the keeper and finished from the angle. They made it 5-1 late, Greaves tapping home at the back post to seal a comprehensive win.

"We've worked hard throughout preseason so to make it to the final again we couldn’t be happier,” Strikers Coach David Palin said. “Joondalup asked questions at times, but I thought we dealt with the long ball well and especially first half we were very clinical when we went forward. We've put out strong sides throughout the night series and have really wanted to win it again, so to have an opportunity to do that next week we are really looking forward to it.”

In the late game at Wanneroo Reserve, Quinns caused an upset by beating Kingsley 2-0. Quinns were ahead when Liam McManus produced a fantastic finish, and they wrapped up the game when Mark Hynes tapped after Kingsley failed to deal wit ha corner. “A really great night for us as a team, we’ve been working on several aspects of our game heading towards the start of the season and against Kingsley it all came together nicely,” Quinns Coach Darren Kay said. “It’s been a tough week having played three games in nine days and I’m very happy for the lads after all the hard work. I think Leeming will be another tough challenge in the final but we’ll continue to focus on our game and give it all we’ve got next week.”

23.3.2019

PERTH TAKE OUT THE ‘DYLAN TOMBIDES TRIBUTE’ GAME

Defending champions Perth SC claimed their first win of the 2019 NPL WA season, downing Stirling Lions 3-0 in the ‘Dylan Tombides Tribute’ game at Macedonia Park on Saturday. Gustavo Catarcione opened the scoring early, before Niccolò Sabatini bagged a second before the break. Sabatini added his second to wrap up the points just after half time and earn their first win of the season. “Obviously it was an important win, especially after sharing points last week,” Catarcione said. “We knew that it would be a hard game away against Stirling so getting that early goal gave us a bit more confidence to play our game and secure the three points and get close to the top.”

After being held to a 2-2 draw at home by ECU Joondalup in their season opener last week, the Champions were out of the blocks early and Paul Zimarino fired just wide in the opening minute. But on seven minutes they did find the target, a ball over the top sent Catarcione in on goal after he beat the Lions’ offside trap, and he rounded Lions keeper Ryan Montgomery and rolled the ball into an empty net. They doubled their lead on 23 minutes, Sabatini’s powerful free kick flew past Montgomery and into the net. On 38 minutes the crowd all stood and took part in a minute’s applause for Tombides, his shirt number when he was at West Ham United, and the DT38 foundation Australia were on hand at the game to help raise awareness of testicular cancer.

Perth added a third to seal the points six minutes into the second half, Catarcione was brought down in the penalty area and referee Michal Jasinski pointed to the spot, and Orr converted. The Lions had the opportunity to pull one back when Jasinski pointed to the spot at the other end, but Francis Soale guessed the right way to save Dean Cummings spot kick. The home side ended the game well and went close to a consolation goal on 75 minutes, but Moses Kalau’s curling shot crashed off the crossbar, with the Lions suffering their second home loss of the season.

Stirling Lions: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Luke SERRA, 3 Darren O’RIORDAN, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Chris MCLAUGHLIN, 6 Dhors Chol, 7 Dean CUMMINGS, 8 Finn GRAHAM (14 Kristian DESPOTOVSKI 55’), 9 Moses KALAU, 10 David MOLINARI (15 Sean MCMANUS 70’), 11 Joseph PERKINS - Subs not used: 12 Noah SHAMAKI, 16 Andrew MARANTA, 20 Daniel MARQUES

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 2 Alex SILLA (12 Jordan DE LEO 64’), 4 Thomas SOUTHGATE, 5 Niccolò SABATINI (17 Frank FURFARO 70’), 6 Harley ORR, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 14 Kristan SANTICH (13 Rocco PIZZATA 80’), 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Michael DOMFEH, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 20 Paul ZIMARINO - Subs not used: RGK Malek KUC, 10 Luke GARAS - Referee: Michal Jasinski

23.3.2019

ARMADALE TOO STRONG FOR ROCKY TO MOVE TOP

Armadale moved to the top of the table and became the opening side with a 100% record after a 3-0 win against Rockingham City at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Sam Garces gave the host the lead at the break, before a double from Adriano Jelenovic in the second sealed the win. “A real team effort today, and I felt our lads matured as a team,” Armadale Coach John O’Reilly said. “I thought we were patient without the ball and we kept to our game plan, and I thought we nullified Rockingham’s strengths and took our opportunities well.”

After last week’s defeat at Balcatta, Rockingham arrived determined to pick up their first points of the season, but they found themselves behind on the half hour. A ball into the box picked out Garces, and the former Murdoch University Melville midfielder volleyed home. Rockingham had the perfect opportunity to equalise just before the break, when referee Matthew Southern pointed to the spot after James Harmer was brought down in the box by Armadale keeper Sam Hutchings. Harmer stepped up to take the resulting penalty but Hutchings made emends saving the spot kick, and the Welsh strikers follow up shot.

Rockingham continued to dictate terms after the break but they couldn’t find a way past a tight Armadale defence well marshalled by Billy Quinncroft and Nathan Costello, and with the visitors pushing forward looking for the equaliser Armadale broke away and added a second. Dannie Richman won the ball in the middle of the park and played in Jelenovic, who kept his composure and slotted past ex-Armadale keeper Cyril Sharrock. Rockingham continued to press and substitute Victor Brauner went close, while Harmer hit the woodwork. But Jelenovic put the game beyond doubt four minutes from time when he raced clear, rounded Sharrock and fired home to the delight of the home faithful.

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Josh KAISER, 3 James HARAN (6 Joel SANDERSON 73’), 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 Ali NAZARY, 7 Joshua CORTES (19 Harry EVANS 71’), 9 Billy QUINNCROFT, 10 Sam GARCES (14 Connor ATKINSON 80’), 11. Adriano JELENOVIC, 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 13 Blake ADAMS - Subs not used: RGK Blake HENSHELL, 21 Ismael BANGURA,

Rockingham City: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 2 Mitch FIRTH (9 Sam MACKERNAN 14’), 5 Harry COLLIN, 6 Blake SOKOLOWSKI, 7 James MILLARD, 12 Lydon HODGKISS, 14 Ryan KENNEDY (4 Jason CONSTABLE 65’), 15 Jason POTTIER (23 Victor BRAUNER 65’), 18 Michael FARMER, 30 James HARMER, 33 Jarrad MORT - Subs not used: 31 James GREHAN - Referee: Matthew Southern

23.3.2019

HINA LATE PENALTY IN AN EIGHT GOAL THRILLER

A penalty in the seventh minute of stoppage time from Inglewood United winger Hamza Hina has given them a thrilling 4-4 draw against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday in Round Two of the NPL WA. Hina had given United the lead early, but Daniel Robinson scored twice to give the Cockerels the lead at the break. Ryan Pratt put the home side in control early in the second half, but goals to Sam Riak and Chok Dau levelled things up. Cockburn thought they had won it when Robinson completed his hat-trick from the spot in the final minute, but Hina had other ideas keeping his nerve to level with the final kick of the match.

Playing Cockburn is always a tough challenge and a good game of football for they are well structured and organized but nevertheless I felt we deserved more than just a point but the most important thing is that we showed that we got upstanding quality and character to come back from being down 3-1,” Hina explained. “I felt massive joy when scoring that final equalizing goal for I just wanted to reward me teammates' efforts and hard work with at least a point and to show all the doubters that Inglewood is still just as strong despite change of managerial staff one week prior to season and we are definitely aiming for the silverware.”

Inglewood, who were looking for their first win of the season after a loss against Bayswater last week, started well and were ahead on five minutes. Hina was allowed too much space on the edge of the box and he made Cockburn pay with a clean strike past keeper Luke Radonich. But the home side responded two minutes later, with Robinson scoring from the spot after referee David Bruce spotted a foul by Jamie Murphy inside the box. The Cockburn striker was in again on 23 minutes, finishing from close-range from a corner.

The home side made a perfect start to the second half when they added a third two minutes in. A clearance from keeper Alex Dunn went straight to Pratt, who made him pay by rolling to ball home. Inglewood weren’t finished and they pulled one back on the hour, Riak tapping home from close-range. Hina went close to levelling moments later, but his header hit the woodwork. But the equaliser did arrive seven minutes from time, the lively Dau was played in on goal and he rounded Radonich and rolled the ball home into an empty net.

Both sides pressed for the winner and it looked like Cockburn had found it when Robinson was brought down in the box by Scott Blackmore, and Bruce pointed to the spot again. Robinson picked himself up to score and complete his hat-trick. The action wasn’t finished there and in the seventh minute of stoppage time Inglewood found the equaliser, Hina finishing superbly, much to the delight of the travelling supporters.

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 4 Euen GRANT, 5 Julien TELES, 6 Ruben TRISTAO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 11 Harry O’BRIEN, (7 Luccas MELLO 71’), 12 Ryan PRATT, 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16. Daniel ROBINSON, (14 Hayden STEVENS 90’), 20 Ashley ROSINDALE, (10 David ARAYA 85’), 21 Jesse LAZZARO. Subs not used: RGK Ben RADONIC, 18 Adam ANFUSO Yellow cards: Mello 76, Teles 95

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Sam RIAK, 7 Hamza HINA, 8 Jason BARRERA, 9 Chok DAU, 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA (23 Zdenek BEZDEK 86’), 14 Steve SOKOL (6 Miki VUJACIC 81’), 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie MURPHY, 17 Mark BARNETT - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 12 John GUYA, 13 Nelson TSHONGO - Referee: David Bruce

23.3.2019

TEECE STUNNER WINS IT FOR SORRENTO

Sorrento striker Cameron Teece scored a stunning long-range free kick to give them all three points in the ‘Joondalup City Derby’ against ECU Joondalup in week two of the NPL WA at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The visitors had raced to a two-goal lead after only 30 minutes, with David Stokoe and Jordan Roberts on target, but a brace from Joe Knowles late had it all square at the break. Knowles missed the opportunity to complete his hat-trick after he saw his penalty saved by James Morgan, but it was Teece who had the final word. “I thought we played really well in the first half, and could have been 4-5 up if we had taken our chances,” Teece explained. “But we conceded two sloppy goals before half time and let them back into it, but happy with the goal that I scored and more important it got us three points and got us off the mark for the season.”

The former Perth Glory striker raced down the right, cut inside, picked his spot and buried it into the far corner of the net. Then in stoppage time the home side levelled, Andy Higgins finding Knowles and his low shot gave James Morgan no chance. It was end to end in the second half but it was ECU who had the perfect opportunity to take the lead when Richard Howles was brought down in the box by Stokoe, and referee Tom Glavovic pointed straight to the spot. Knowles stepped up to take the resulting penalty but Morgan guessed the right way to make a great low save to his right. But it was Sorrento who found the winner 14 minutes from time, and what a goal it was, Teece picking out the top corner of the net via the crossbar from 20-meters.

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Cian HIRRELL, 3 Ronald RIXER, 4 Brad MCDONALD, 5 Shane CASSIDY, 6 Ollie ANNIS (16 Henry DURR 65’), 7 Joe KNOWLES, 8 Josh WHITMORE (14 Lukas DE LIMA 83’), 9 Richard HOWLES, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Jakub SKLENAR – Subs not used: RGK Scott WALLIS, 12 Ryan MCDARBY, 15 Tom HOUGH

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 2 David STOKOE, 3 Jakub PRAJZA, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 5 Scott ROBERTSON, 7 Alex MORGAN (19 Jack SALTER 71’), 10 Jordan ROBERTS (22 Danny JONES 84’), 11 Tim HILL, 17 Reece VITTIGL IA, 18 Jordan BROWN, 23 Cameron TEECE - Sub not used: RGK Matt GIUDICATTI, 13 Steven MCDONALD, 21 Elliot TATTERSALL - Referee: Tom Glavovic

23.3.2019

GLORY YOUNGSTERS BACK IN THE WINNERS CIRCLE

Perth Glory produced a great all-round team performance to beat Balcatta 3-0 to secure their first win of the NPL WA season at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday afternoon. First half goals from Daniel Stynes and Jacob Italiano put the Glory in control, before a late own goal from Balcatta’s Joseph Marino gave Glory the points and moved them to sixth place on the table. Head Coach Richard Garcia said it was good performance from his side and he was also delighted with the clean sheet. “Delighted to get the win, and it topped a good performance from the team,” he said. “We were better in front of goal this week, and defended better as a team. The lads at the back kept us on track in the second half and were outstanding. “I thought some of our approach work today was much improved, and it’s great reward for the lads, who also played well against Floreat last week, but came away with nothing.”

It was the visitors who opened the brighter and went close early, Adam Zimarino played the ball into Carmelo Giuffre in the penalty area, but Glory keeper Jackson Lee stood tall to deny him. They went close again moments later a quick counter attack led to skipper Calum O’Connell shot from the angle which was well claimed by Lee. Glory settled and began to dictate terms and they were rewarded with the lead on 17 minutes. Henry Hore’s pinpoint cross picked out Stynes who made no mistake heading past Balcatta keeper Yousri Gharsallah.

Hore was having a great game and he was instrumental in Glory’s next opportunity, a ball into Gabriel Popovic who slide the ball home, but the flag was up for offside. But just after the half hour they did double their lead, Italiano was picked out in the penalty area, and he finished clinically past Gharsallah. Balcatta began the second half well and had Glory under pressure, but led by skipper Zayd Farah the youngsters held firm. They did close when Shubham Mokala went through on goal, but Lee produced a great save to deny him.

With Balcatta pushing men forward Glory began to find holes in their defence and after great interplay between Stynes and Hore ended up with Gabriel Popovic, but he skied the chance over the bar. But the points were wrapped up two minutes from time when Glory added a third, Aiden Edwards’ cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Marino. Stynes said they deserved the win but had to defender in the second half to take the points. “It was a very good performance from the boys today and good to get the season off and running,” he said. “We were a bit sloppy in the second half however we weathered the storm and came out on top.”

Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Zayd FARAH, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Jacob MUIR, 5 Daniel WALSH (14 Jaiden SELDEN 45), 6 Kristian POPOVIC, 7 Ethan BROOKS (16 Gomo DUKULY 67), 8 Henry HORE, 9 Gabriel POPOVIC, 10 Daniel STYNES, 11 Jacob Italiano (13 Aiden EDWARDS) – Subs not used: RGK Nicholas SPECCA, 17 Jack LEECH

Balcatta: GK Yousri GHARSALLAH, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 John KEARNEY, 4 Calum O”CONNELL, 5 Shubham MOKALA, 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 12 Roberto DEL BORRELLO (11 Callum STOCKS 58), 13 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 16 Alex CASTIELLO, 22 Ben PELLIZZARI (9 Gavin KNIGHT 45), 23 Adam ZIMARINO (20 Anthony TOPINI 72) - Subs not used: RGK David KEENAN, 19 Michael ZIMARINO - Referee: Steven Gregory

23.3.2019

BAYSWATER LET IT SLIP LATE

Bayswater City have conceded an equaliser deep into stoppage time to draw 2-2 with Floreat Athena at Frank Drago Reserve on Friday evening. It was the first NPL WA game under the club’s new flood lights, but they found themselves behind at half time, with Robert Petkov on target. Daryl Nicol levelled for the home side on the hour, before slotting home a penalty five minutes from time to give them the lead. But deep into stoppage time the unfortunate Adam Tong turned a cross into his own net, and the points were shared.

“It's always a tight game between the two clubs and one which we knew would be physical, which the boys were up for,” Floreat defender Jesse Fuller said. “It started off quite physical and we managed to get a goal ahead, which was great to settle the game down a bit. They (Bayswater) didn't really create too many clear-cut chances in the game, but managed to score two, which forced us to press forward and push hard and got a deserved equaliser just before full time. Overall, I feel we had the better chances on the night and could have won the game, but getting the draw right at the death keeps us moving forward.”

It was all Floreat early, and they were rewarded with the lead after 11 minutes Petkov pounced on a loose ball inside the box for his second goal in as many matches. City hit back and Tong saw his header flash just wide of the post for Bayswater but overall both teams struggled to create chances in the first half. However, the second half was a different story and a diving header at the back post from Nicol put the home side on level terms on the hour. The game became a little testy, and referee Josh Mannella was forced to produce his yellow card as the push-and-shove that this fixture promised came to the fore.

But just as both sides looked to have run out of time Dennis Galan handed Bayswater a lifeline in the 85th minute when he fouled Jason Mirco inside the box and Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Nicol stepped up and took penalty duties for the second week in a row and he confidently slid his shot straight down the middle and past Jason Saldaris. But Floreat weren’t giving up, however, and they got their reward in the 93rd minute when the ball was squared goalward and bundled over the line via the unlucky Tong.

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 3 Jack ALLEN, (13 Trent KAY, 86’), 5 Adam HARRIS, 12 Steve HESKETH, 17 Daryl NICOL, 19 Gordon SMITH, 22 Shaydon PASSALCQUA, 24 Jake SARDELIC, (10 Jason MIRCO 54’), 26 Paul LLOYD, (23 Brian WOODALL 59’), 27 Ross MILLARD, 30 Adam Tong - Subs not used: 20 Giordano COLLI, 25 Nemanja JANKMO

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 3 Tristan COLLI, (14 Ludovic BOI 70’), 6 Jesse FULLER, 8 Jonathon STYNS, 9. Robert PETKOV, 11 Dennis GALAN, 15. Chris SALDARIS (5. Thomas JEBB 50’), 16. Ryan MALTON, 18. Phillip ARNOLD, 20. Nicholas AMBROGIO – Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 12 Jack ANDREWS, 13. George FESTA - Referee: Josh Mannella

23.3.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ONE – REVIEW

The 2019 State League Division One kicked off this weekend and in the Footballwa ‘Match of the Week’ saw newly promoted Olympic Kingsway beat Subiaco 5-1 at Kingsway Reserve on Saturday. The home side were ahead ten minutes before half time, Chris Rizidis played the ball around the corner to Ajak Riak who finished well Teophile Brown. But Subiaco were level on 68 minutes, with Nathan Smith on target. But the home side regained the lead six minutes later, Michael Rizidis’ cross was finished at the back post by Kris Gate.

They added a third two minutes later, Gyles Davies cut in from the right before finishing past Brown from the edge of the penalty area. Michael Rizidis made it 4-1 six minutes from time with a low shot, before Gate added the fifth with the goal of the game, catching Brown off his line and lobbing the keeper from 35 meters, to give Coach Gary Williams a perfect start to his time at the club. “I was delighted with the performance, and the players deserved the victory which is testimony to their hard work over the last few weeks in training,” Williams said. “We will work hard again this week and take that into the home fixture against Mandurah next week.”

Forrestfield United begun life under Graham Normanton with a hard fought 3-2 win against Mandurah City at The Game Guardian Stadium at Hartfield Park. The home side were ahead when Daniel Corbett’s shot deflected to Jordan Hart, who whipped in a cross and the unfortunate Andy Brown sent the ball into his own net. But Mandurah were level on the hour, a quick counter attack ended with Lee Stewart’s long-range shot was parried by Ben Parry, but Joe O’Brien fired home the rebound. The home side regained the Kaan Karakan played in Colbert who found Josh Pereira to find the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Alex Grayson’s side weren’t finished and levelled ten minutes from time, a long-throw was flicked on by Brown, and Abraham Taona fired home from close-range. It looked like the points would be shared but Forrestfield won it late. Jarrad McNally’s cross to the back post found Ben Rogers, who had only been on the pitch a minute, and the striker made no mistake, much to the delight of the home supporters. “It was great determination shown by the boys tonight, “Corbett said. “I thought we dominated the first half and really dug in when things got tough in the second half, so proud of the boys and it’s great to start the season with three points.”

In the other games Fremantle City striker Angel Andres scored all four goals as they beat Morley Windmills 4-1 at Hilton Reserve, while Ashfield and Western Knights fought out a 1-1 draw at the Ashfield Arena. The visitors took the lead when Dean Hurley was brought down in the box, and he picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty. The Knights were then reduced to ten-men when Graham Tough was shown a straight card, and Ashfield levelled after some consistent pressure ended with a mistake from keeper Sam Stone, the ball falling to Albert Amankwaa who finished well under pressure. The home side had the perfect opportunity to win it on 91 minutes, when Evans Miranga was brought down in the box by Brian Patterson and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Abdul Abdella stepped up to take the penalty but Stone made up for his early error to save his spot kick.

In the final game UWA Nedlands came from behind to beat Joondalup United 6-2 at Forrest Park. The hosts were ahead after only five minutes, when Tony Taylor scored from the spot, but UWA levelled with Alex Kretowicz turning home Conor Devlin ball. UWA hit the front when Kretowicz was brought down in the box, and he converted the spot kick. It was 3-1 at half time with Lloyd Prout scoring after good work from Joshua Marocchi. Lee Jones pulled one back for the hosts early in the second half but Kretowicz completed his hat-trick to make it 4-1. Further goals from Ivwa Simbile and Riaz Kelly made it a convincing win, to move UWA to the top of the table.

“It was a good game for us away from home and we expected them up for the task after their relegation from NPL and that Nick would recruit well to be ready for the league,” Michael Janssen said. “The start wasn’t ideal conceding a penalty but we followed our game plan and the boys were confident and worked and played their way back on top of them within 30 minutes creating plenty of chances. The second half was starting same way as we started the game conceding a quick goal, but we adjusted well and our substitution worked well. Tim Robertson coming on after 55 minutes and Riaz Kelly later in our forward line had instant impact. Overall, we are happy with most of our performance and the result displayed the 90 minutes of football. Now we need to work on a few things through the coming week to be ready and well prepared for the next away game at Forrestfield.”

23.3.2019

GLORY CONFIRM SIGNING OF FORNAROLI

The worst kept secret in the A-League has been confirmed - Perth Glory have signed star striker Bruno Fornaroli for the next two seasons. The Uruguayan marksman will join Tony Popovic's side for the start of the 2019/20 campaign and may make his Glory debut in July's high-profile friendly with Manchester United.

Fornaroli, scorer of 57 goals in 83 appearances for Melbourne City, will add to Glory's already impressive line-up of firepower. The striker said he had belief in what Popovic was creating at Glory, and was pleased to move on from months of speculation about his playing future.

“Tony said that there is a project here at Glory and that they want to play better than now and do better next season,” Fornaroli said. “I believe in the project and I believe in the coach and that’s why I’m here. I’m where I want to be and this is the most important thing for me. I’m very happy to be here.”

A two-time Uruguayan Primera Division winner, 31-year old Fornaroli began his professional career at Nacional. He spent four seasons with Italian club Sampdoria during which he was loaned to San Lorenzo (Argentina), Recreativo Huelva (Spain) and Nacional. Single season at Panathinaikos (Greece) and Danubio (Uruguay) followed.

Fornaroli joined City for the 2015/16 season and became the quickest player to register 30 A-League goals, which he achieved in just 35 games. He turned in a Mark Viduka Medal-winning display in City's 2016 FFA Cup Final win over Sydney FC, and collected the A-League Golden Boot award at the end of 2015/16.

Fornaroli fell out with City coach Warren Joyce in the off-season, when he was denied a move to Sydney FC. He was then frozen out of the starting side because Joyce was unhappy with his fitness, citing a lack of commitment for his continued absence. His time with the club ended late last month with the termination of his contract by mutual agreement.

22.3.2019

INTO THE LOOKING GLASS: STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE PREVIEW

The State League Divison One season preview is now updated with a full run down on the teams, see how season 2019 will pan out...

22.3.2019

NPL-WA ROUND TWO PREVIEW

It's week two of the NPL WA and the Footballwa 'Match of the Week' takes us to Alfred Skeet Reserve, where Armadale host newly promoted Rockingham City. (3.00pm) The Reds opened their season with a solid 2-0 win on the road against Stirling Lions, while Rockingham began life in the NPL with 4-0 loss at Balcatta. The last time these two sides met in the league at the venue was back in 2004 when the Reds won 4-0, the season they were promoted to the Premier League, with goals from Paul Caulkin, Gary Murdoch, Greg Newcombe and Michael Bushby. The win at Stirling was a great confidence boost for John O'Reilly's side after a disappointing night series, and midfielder Dannie Richman said they deserved the win, but did ride their luck in the first half. "We started off slow and their wingers were dangerous but Sam (Hutchings) kept us in it to be fair he made 3-4 great saves in the first half," he explained. "But second half I felt we grew in confidence and managed to put a few of our chances away while they just didn’t have any luck. Once we went the two goals up it felt like we just controlled the game and saw it out as a team. While we rode our luck this week, we can’t afford to do that every week and we will need to start this week how we finished the last match."

Richman, who missed a number of games with injury last season is looking forward to an injury free 2019, and he said the new look side will only get better. "There is a lot of new faces at the club and it has brought a whole new level of competition for places which can only be a good thing. Obviously losing Jackson our top scorer is a big loss but I feel like any team in the league would feel a departure as big as his, so Adriano certainly has big shoes to fill but we’re confident he can get the job done for us," he said. "But I think with the additions to the squad we have a few more players that are comfortable with the ball at their feet and hopefully we can play some decent football an get the results we are chasing. On a personal note this is my first proper pre-seasons for a few years now an I’m hopeful it will set me up for a successful injury-free season. I’ve unfortunately had more than a few serious injuries over the years I’m not sure how many more I can come back from."

The midfielder said Saturday’s opponents were impressive in the recent Night Series, and he's expecting a tough game, but he is confident they can get their home games off with a win. “I actually haven’t seen much of them but I’ve heard plenty of good things about their side so we are looking forward to the challenge," Richman said. "Obviously most people think that we will both be down the lower end of the table come the end of the season so this is a good chance for us to lay an early marker and try stick it up our critics. They will come out firing to get their first win in the NPL, so I think it’s going to be a real battle. Hopefully we can do enough to make it two out of two to start the season, and what better way than in front of our home crowd which as always should be packed full and loud."

Rockingham were given a stark reality check of life in the NPL last week, but conceding three goals either side of half time killed them, and midfielder Lydon Hodgkiss said they have to learn from their mistakes. "It wasn’t a good start to are season, but it was a massive wake up call for the lads if we thought it was going to be easy," he explained. "We tried to play are style of football but Balcatta were well drilled and knew how to play against us. The little things let us down on the day, like losing possession in key areas and on the day, we got punished for it." Hodgkiss, who joined City from UK side Kendall Town, after stints at Manchester United, Liverpool, Blackburn and Preston North End as a junior, believes they have a talented squad and they are looking forward to the challenge of NPL football. "We performed well in the Night Series, but we know it doesn't mean anything now, it's a new challenge in the NPL," he said. "With us doing well we shocked a few teams, so now they are taking us serious and that was shown on the weekend. We have a very young side so it's a great experience for them and the club to be in the top league in WA football. The big difference in 2019 will be the lads have to be on top of their game every week, last season we could get away with it, but this season it won't happen."

A trip to Armadale is next for Hodgkiss and his team mates, a tough challenge but one he believes they can get a positive result. "This will be a very tough game, especially with them getting their season off with a win in week one, so they will be going into the game full of confidence," he said. "We've worked extremely hard this week at training and we have the belief if we stick to the game plan the gaffer puts in place for us we always believe we can win any game no matter who we are playing." There are a number of important match up's in this one, the big one will be Rockingham's skipper James Harmer and Armadale defender Nathan Costello. Both are talented players, and whoever wins that battle will go a long way to deciding where the points end up. Rocky missed Riley van Dieken last week, but the lively winger is hoping to be back this week, while Armadale will also be without their South Sudan international striker Friday Zico, who is away with his national team. Former Reds keeper Cyril Sharrock returns to Alfred Skeet, and I'm sure the Army faithful will welcome him back in their own way.

The round starts on Friday night with a repeat of the Night Series Final, when Bayswater City host Floreat Athena at Frank Drago Reserve. (7.30pm) Both sides opened their season's with wins last week, City travelling to Inglewood and coming home with a 3-0 win, while Floreat held on to beat Perth Glory 2-1. City striker Gordon Smith was an unused substitute last week after struggling with an ankle injury, and he is hoping to return for this one, but Floreat will be without skipper Dean Evans, who is suspended after being sent off last week. Smith, who along with Daryl Nicol, Adam Tong and Ross Millard, joined the club from ECU Joondalup this season, said their performance last week, especially in the first half was good. "I got a bad knock on my foot in the Night Series final, so it was really disappointing to be watching from the sidelines, but it was a great start to the season with three points, " he said. "I thought we dominated the first half and controlled the game, but after the break Inglewood came out and made it difficult for us which we expected them to do, but we managed to make the last 15 minutes more comfortable with a third goal." Smith said Floreat are a good side and they have been in good form, but he said they are determined to reverse the result from two weeks ago, in their first home NPL game at home under lights. "They (Floreat) have obviously been the inform team in the Night Series and looked to have continued that into the league season," the Scottish striker said. "It's an important game for both sides, but we are focused on ourselves and go into the game motivated and full of confidence."

It’s a huge day at Macedonia Park on Saturday when Perth SC hit the road to take on Stirling Lions in the ‘Dylan Tombides Tribute game’. (3.00pm) Both sides will go into this one looking for their first wins of the season, Perth were held to a draw by ECU Joondalup last week, while the Lions were beaten at home by Armadale. Perth lost Matthew Milenkovic with an ankle injury last week, and the talent winger will miss this week, while defender Tom King was replaced at half time with a hamstring injury and is doubt for this one. Lions Coach Keegan Ashley said they had enough opportunities to win last week, but didn’t convert. ‘Fair play to Armadale as there hung in there in the first half and I'd certainly be giving their keeper man of the match,” he said. “However, in the second half we dropped off a bit and need to focus in on our principles a bit better.” Ashley said Saturday is huge both on and off the park, with the game a tribute to Dylan Tombides who passed a way through testicular cancer. The DT38 Foundation is raising awareness of this condition and their work is helping save lives. “Being pretty close to both clubs it’s a game that’s held in high regard not only in memory of Dylan but also to raise awareness for all men,” Ashley said.

“Dylan was a star who developed his talents on the field at Perth SC and Stirling Lions SC before elevating his craft in the EPL with West Ham. Dylan's career was cut short when he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer on tour with the Australian National Team. Dylan put up a fight for three years even returning to play a handful of games for West Hams first team but tragically passed away aged 20 in April 2014. There are a lot of fantastic people who do a lot behind the scenes for the cause and we hope a lot of the football public turn up to support the cause and the game.” On the game the coach said it’s a big game for his team to bounce back from last week’s defeat. “It’s going to be a tough game and Perth are a solid outfit, being champions last season certainly shows the quality they possess,” he said. “It should be a good game and our performance last week was fairly good in the first half but that’s gone and it will be an entirely different game and one we need be focused on for 90 minutes.”

It's a local derby at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday when ECU Joondalup host Sorrento. (3.00pm) The Gulls lost first up against Cockburn last week, while the Jacks came home from Perth with a well-deserved point. These games are always tight affair, and Saturday will be no different and ECU skipper Johnny Perkins said they have taken a great deal of confidence from the draw at the Champions last week. "We were disappointed with how we started. The first half performance was nowhere near the levels we should be at,” he said. “The boys showed great character to turn it around and I felt we controlled the game in the second half and we came away rueing not having taken three points.

“With said it’s a point more than we took their last year and they are a great team who will be thereabouts at the end of the season so we take the positives and move onto this week. Perkins, who joined the Jacks from Stirling Lions two-years ago, said the City of Joondalup Derby is always a tough game, and Saturday will be no different, but they are confident they can get the right result. "Absolutely, this game is always an intense encounter and it means a lot to both clubs,” he explained. “We are expecting a physical and fast paced game and they have good players that can hurt you but we know our qualities and will be looking for three points.”

Cockburn City will be looking to continue their good start to the season when they host Inglewood United at Dalmatinac Park (3.00pm) City came home from Sorrento with all three points last week, with new signings Riley Woodcock and Ashley Rosindale on target, but Inglewood started the season with defeat at home against Bayswater. It wasn't the best of starts for new coach Andres Oliveira, but he only took over four days before the opener, and he will be looking for an improved performance on Saturday. The win at Sorrento was a great start for Rosindale, who joined from Inglewood this season, and he said it's always good to start a new season with a win. "Overall I thought we deserved the win, we had the better chances and we were the better team across the 90 minutes," he said. "They (Sorrento) had some good spells and made it nervy for us at the end, but it’s a difficult place to go and get three points so we are happy with the end result."

Rosindale said he had a great three seasons at Inglewood, but on Saturday he will be doing all he can to get three points for the Cockerels. "Inglewood are a great club, with fantastic, genuine people involved throughout. I loved my time there and still have good friends involved and I’d still like to see them do well again this season," the striker explained. "Having said that we are focused on getting three points every time we go out on the pitch and Saturday will be no different for me. It will be lots of fun to come up against my old teammates and I’ll be looking forward to the battle against David Cyrus in particular. We know it will be a tough game but if we can use last week’s result as a platform to build on and continue to improve then there should be no reason why we can’t get another three points."

In the final game Perth Glory host Balcatta at E&D Litis Stadium. (3.00pm) The Glory went down narrowly to the inform Floreat Athena in round one, while Balcatta jumped to the top of the table with a big win against Rockingham. It's a new look Glory side in 2019, but Head coach Richard Garcia was happy the way his players played last week, and knows they will have to produce the same against Balcatta this week. Balcatta opened with a bang and Head Coach Goran Stajic was delighted with the performance and that he had four different goal scorers. "It was good to get the win against a very good opposition especially one that was in scintillating form," he said. "The other pleasing components of the win was the goals that we managed to create along with keeping a credible clean sheet.

"It’s always pleasing when anyone scores but this is something that doesn’t surprise me as it’s one of our pillars. We know we don’t have the funds to go out and get the reputation players to deliver the results so in return the by-product of our approach is different scorers. If you go back to last season this occurred on occasions so it’s to be expected." Stajic is well aware of the talent the Glory have at their disposal and is expecting another tight affair. "The focus for us has not changed. We revisited on how we beat Glory a few weeks ago in the pre-season so the team know what to expect and have prepared for various scenarios that may or may not happen," he explained. "I’d imagine Glory’s focus will be on getting their first win of the season, add the bonus of us yet to concede a goal, so if you put all that together you will have two teams going all out to win."

22.3.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ONE – PREVIEW

The 2019 Football West State League Division One season kicks off this weekend, but the league has been rocked in the past week with the withdrawal of South West Phoenix. The team based in Bunbury were supposed to play Gwelup Croatia in the opening round, but they will have a bye. Gwelup Coach Taki Nicolaidis said it isn't ideal. "For our club it's extremely disappointing to see Phoenix withdraw just one week before the start of the season, as we've had to readjust our preparation for the season which isn't ideal," he said. "The other disappointing thing for me is that we now only have 11 sides in the league, which could have been filled by a Wanneroo City, Swan United or Dianella White Eagles had it been addressed earlier."

Back to the football and the Footballwa 'Match of the Week' takes us to Kingsway Reserve where newly promoted Olympic Kingsway host Subiaco. (3.00pm) Both clubs have new coaches for the season, Subiaco, who were relegated from the NPL WA last season, have appointed Basil Lenzo, while Olympic have appointed Gary Williams. Both clubs had good Night Series campaigns, both qualifying for the quarter-finals and both will be looking for a win in the opener, and the last time these two sides met in the league at the venue was in round nine 2013, when Subiaco ran out 5-1 winners. Doubles from Alan Biletic and Jon Baily and another to Ger Fitzgerald gave Subiaco a comfortable win, while a Josh Rolls scored from the spot for Olympic.

Williams has a new look squad in 2019, and topped their group in the Night Series, before losing to Western Knights in the Quarter-finals, and he said they have worked hard in pre-season and he is looking forward to the new challenge. "I am in my seventh week at the club and there have been a number of changes to the squad, but I believe we are far stronger now than when I joined, however there is still room for improvement,” he said. “The attitude of the players since I came in has been tremendous. There is great positivity around the club, we are young but the enthusiasm generated as a result has had an impact on all the players at the club.”

First up for Williams is a visit of Subiaco, and he said it will be good to see where his team are at, but he is confident they can get the result. "There is always that thought process of ‘how do we compare with others’ as a number of clubs go through change during pre-season and from my own perspective, I am still learning about the State League,” he explained. “There are the obvious candidates of Forrestfield, Western Knights and Gwelup who all have good budgets and have invested well in their player group. We will look to consolidate and be competitive and we will see where that takes us. It goes without saying we want to start the season with a win however Subiaco will also have the same mindset.”

Like Olympic, Subiaco have a new look squad, and they were edged out in the Quarter finals of the Night series 2-1 by UWA Nedlands, but Lenzo said they have recruited well and can't wait for the season to begin. “What a competition it is with many historical clubs whom are very much focused on promotion. Every game will be tough,” he said. “Ultimately to win promotion you have to win big games and give yourself a chance all season. We have had to focus on bringing in a blend of players with experience, youth and over the last six weeks a few of last year’s players have come back to training, which has been great. We feel that we can compete against everyone however ultimately, we just need to focus on ourselves, have a strong belief system and ensure we bring our best game every week."

Lenzo said it's a good challenge first up against the newly promoted Olympic, and they are ready for it. “Kingsway is a club steep in history and Steve and the committee have been very focused on doing things right to get the club back into NPL. They have bought in Gary Williams who is extremely good coach with excellent experience,” he said. “We have had a good preseason and we have been absolutely focused on round one and we all want to start the season with three points and its really about the players going out and grabbing the opportunities with both hands when it strikes. We have to turn up and show that we want to win away from home and we believe we have the team to do that.”

In the other games this weekend at 3.00pm on Saturday Joondalup United entertain UWA-Nedlands at Forrest Park, Ashfield host Western Knights at Ashfield Reserve, while there should be plenty of fireworks when Fremantle City new coach Mauro Marchione hosts his former club Morley Windmills at Hilton Park. The final game is another blockbuster where Forrestfield United entertain Mandurah City at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. (7.00pm) Forrestfield were relegated from the NPL last season, but are looking to bounce back, and they made a great start winning the recent State League Night Series.

New head coach Graham Normanton has brought in some new players, and they are looking strong, and striker Dan Corbett said the players have gradually got used to the coach’s style of play and they are getting better each week. "Yes, winning the night series was a brilliant achievement for the boys, I think as a team we progressed a lot as the night series went on," he said. "Normo worked us very hard in the off season and I think the team has really bought into his ethos and how he expects the game to be played." Forrestfield beat Mandurah narrowly in the Night Series, and Corbett said it will be another tight game but he is hoping to start the season well. "The game against Mandurah in the night series was a real battle, as they played a very direct style of football, but we will go into the weekends game with the plan to play the game on our terms," he explained. "This is the most important game of the season for us to get ourselves off to a good start and I know all the boys can’t wait for 7pm on Saturday at Hartfield Park."

22.3.2019

FFA CUP - ROUND TWO – PREVIEW

It's the second round of the 2019 FFA Cup this weekend, with four ties across the metropolitan area. The first round was held two weeks ago with Albany Caledonian, Bunbury Dynamos and Polonia FC all progressing to the next stage and they have all been rewarded with a bye in the third round along with Warnbro Strikers, Mindarie, Maccabi, Westnam United, North Beach, Yanchep United, Brozzy and Port Kennedy.

In Saturday's game Third Division amateur side Woodvale host Premier League side North Perth United at Timberlane Park (3.00pm). The FFA Cup has really given the small clubs exposure on the National scene and Woodvale first step starts this weekend, and Coach Martyn Day said it's a tough first up game against the Premier League Champions, but one they are looking forward. "Yes, as a small Sunday amateur club the competition has given us great exposure to a wider audience, the team looks forward to the competition every season, in a cliché it is really a David and Goliath competition but the experience we gain from the competition gives us great belief going into our league season," he explained. "All the lads are buzzing at the moment, so hopefully we rise to the occasion on the day and give a good account of ourselves."

In other games Premier League Wembley Downs take on Northern City at Curtin Stadium, while Perth AFC entertain East Perth at Len Packham Park both on Sunday. (3.00pm) The final tie sees Perth Hills host Queens Park at Harry Riseborough Oval on Sunday. (1.00pm). Queens Park are one of the oldest clubs in WA football, formed in 1931 the Coker Park club have played a number of years in the State League, but have played amateur football since 2011, and currently play in Division One, while Sunday's opponents play in Division Two. Queens Park coach Ricardo Fynn said the cup is great to raise the profile of the smaller clubs. "It’s great that Amateur clubs get to play in the FFA Cup and test themselves on the National scene with the bigger and more established football clubs," he said. “Every football player dream about being involved in big cups and the FFA cup is certainly the platform for players to measure themselves.”

Fynn said they have a good pre-season with a camp in Geraldton as preparation, and he's looking forward to Sunday game. "Geraldton was a great trip to get the group to gel and also trust each other. We have a unique situation with 55 players turning up to training every week for the past three months, it means we have been spoilt for choice and can afford to swap players in and out the first team without dropping the quality, which is a testament to the management of the club that so many lads want to play for them - Great club with great ambition," he explained.

"On Sunday we are expecting a tight game with solid organisation and a set of well drilled players. Perth Hills are a proud club with great history and there’s bound to be a great environment with Queens Park travelling supporters. My boys are ready for the game and the coaching staff will be tested as well with great coaches in the opposite dugout. Hopefully the boys can settle down early and play the type of football that keeps supporters coming back week after week."

22.3.2019

AMATEUR NIGHT SERIES - SEMI FINAL - PREVIEW

The Amateur Night Series Semi-Finals take place on Sunday at Wanneroo Reserve and the two new Premier League clubs, Quinns and Joondalup United, have both made the final four. In the early game Joondalup take on current Night Series holders Leeming Strikers. (4.00pm) Joondalup qualified for the Semi-Finals as the best runner-up, finishing second in Pool 3 and Coach Ben Williams said they are tracking along nicely. "It’s only pre-season but we are happy with how things are going,” he said. “We’ve played a number of games, which is important so the new players could get use to one another ahead of the league.”

Williams said he is delighted to reach the Semi-Finals but the league season is their priority, but he said they will give it a good crack. "It’s going to be another tough test on Sunday against Leeming, but that's what the premier league is tough games every week,” he said. “The lad’s reaction to the Kingsley loss Tuesday was positive at training, and we look to bounce back this week we will need to be at our best as Leeming are very strong.”

The Strikers went through the group stage winning all their games in Pool One, and Coach David Palin said he is pleased with the way they are going about their business. "The players have worked hard throughout preseason so it’s nice to get some early rewards with some wins and a semi-final,” he said. “We are happy with the start that we have made but also know there is still a lot of work to be done moving into the season. It was important for us to hit the ground running again, we have good depth and good competition within the squad so it has allowed us to put out strong sides and work on our structure and how we want to approach games this year and playing Joondalup this week will only help us improve.”

Palin said Joondalup have looked good so far in the competition and he's expecting a tough game. “Joondalup like other newly promoted teams in recent years have hit the ground running, it’s clear their already adapting to life in the premier league with some strong results in the group stage, so we have no doubt they will be strong opposition this week and that should make for a good game,” he explained. “It’s a semi-final we know even though its early on we will have to be at our best to give ourselves a chance at making the final. The players are looking forward to the game and if we execute the game plan come 6pm we will be hopefully looking forward to the final.”

In the late game Kingsley take on Quinns. (6.00pm) Kingsley topped Pool Two, and like Leeming, won all their games and Coach Steven Dimitrovich said it's great preparation for the league season ahead. "Yes, I’s been a good start to 2019 for sure, myself and Stuart Montgomery put a pre-season programme together that was going to test the players,” he explained. “It allowed us to get them to a level where we could finish out games strong which we’ve been able to do and it’s allowed us to build some momentum during the night series which we hope continues on Sunday.”

Dimitrovich said he's not seen much of Sunday's opponents but he said they will be up for the challenge and it should be a good game. "Quinn’s is going to be a very tough game and one the lads are looking forward to as having never played them before,” he said. “I’ve not seen Quinn’s play, but if their results are anything to go by I’m expecting a very competitive game and one that may only be decided by the odd goal.”

Quinns were the last team to qualify for the Semi-finals after edging out Ellenbrook United 3-2 in the catch-up game on Wednesday evening, with goals from Jack Knowles, Liam Hunt and Andy Pandeli. Coach Darren Kay said good to get the win, but they made hard work of it. "It was a game that we made very hard for ourselves by not putting our chances away," he explained. "But saying that credit to Ellenbrook as they kept coming and I was really happy to see our lads find the winner towards the end."

Kay said his players will be ready for the tie, despite the lack of preparation. "Now that we've here in the Semi-Finals, it's a shame under the circumstances that we don't get any preparation time following the replay of the Ellenbrook game," he said. "They (Kingsley) are the measure in this league and a club that I have a massive respect for, but we can't wait to have a real good crack at them."

21.3.2019

ITALIANO COMMITS TO NEWCASTLE

Lewis Italiano says a settled family life and the chance to repay Newcastle Jets’ faith in him was behind his re-signing with the Hunter club. The 28-year old goalkeeper committed to a one-year contract extension with Newcastle today, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2019/20 A-League season.

“Ernie (coach Ernie Merrick) and Lawrie (McKinna) gave me a chance at the start of this season and it’s an opportunity I was determined to grab with both hands,” Italiano told the Jets’ official website.

“Working with (goalkeeper coach) Chris (Bowling) and the team has been great for my development and I’m excited to continue that next season. My wife and I are expecting our first child in June and we’re really enjoying our time in Newcastle, so securing my future was important for both of us.”

Perth-born Italiano played locally for Inglewood United and Balcatta before getting his A-League break at Wellington Phoenix, making 19 appearances for the Kiwi club over two separate stints. A short spell at Stirling lead him to join Newcastle for the start of the current campaign.

Italiano has spent the majority of this season deputising for Glen Moss, making just four appearances for his club. Nonetheless, coach Merrick rates his well-travelled shot-stopper highly. “Lewis possesses some great attributes as a goalkeeper,” Merrick said.

“He’s come a long way since I coached him last (at Wellington), maturing as player and bringing consistency to his performance in training and during games. I’m really glad to have someone of Lewis’ character around the group for another season, he’s been a great addition to our squad.”

With no games this weekend due to the international break, Newcastle are next in action on Saturday 30 March when they head to Wellington. With a five-point gap between themselves and sixth-placed Adelaide United, it’s a match the Jets must win to keep their finals hopes alive.

19.3.2019

GLORY RE-SIGNS DAVIDSON AFTER COMPETITION FOR SIGNATURE

Perth Glory have beaten off intense competition from rival A-League clubs for the second time to re-sign Jason Davidson for next season. The 27-year old defender has played a key role in Glory's charge to the Premiers Plate, appearing in all 22 games, 21 of them as a starter, and scoring twice.

Davidson has made 22 Socceroo appearances, played in all three games at the 2014 World Cup, and was a member of Australia’s Asian Cup-winning side a year later. “I want to continue to be a part of something special,” Davidson said of re-signing with Glory.

“The success that the club is striving for is something that I want to help achieve and I feel fortunate to be a part of a team unit that is so strong on and off the pitch. It’s great to have come back to play in Australia and hit the ground running with a team that is playing so well.”

Davidson came to Glory from Croatian side Rijeka, from where he was loaned out to Olimpija Ljublijana (Slovenia). He had spells with Paços de Ferreira (Portugal), Heracles Almelo, FC Groningen (the Netherlands) and English clubs West Bromwich Albion and Huddersfield Town.

Glory football director Jacob Burns said Davidson had made a significant contribution this season. “Jason has been in great form and is clearly thriving under the guidance of (coach) Tony Popovic and his coaching staff,” Burns said. “He has made a significant contribution to the team’s success and we look forward to his continued performances as we build for the future.”

19.3.2019

DAVIES BACK IN THE FOLD FOR MALAYSIA

Defender Matthew Davies is hoping that the Airmarine Cup hosts can perform well in the upcoming invitational tournament. Malaysia open their campaign against Singapore on March 20, with the winner meeting either Oman or Afghanistan in the final three days later.

"It's good to get back into the team with the boys, the confidence is high following their amazing run in the AFF Championship. It's good to come back in this environment again," said Davies, who missed last years' AFF Championship through injnury.

"It's important that we up our ranking (through the cup matches) in order to avoid the (2022 World Cup) play-off round. The game against Singapore is important, as is the following encounter. We stand a good chance of getting good results."

18.3.2019

INJURED GRANT’S FRUSTRATION MOUNTS AS GLORY SURGES

Perth Glory defender Alex Grant is battling though the darkest and most frustrating season of his career. Glory edged closer towards the A-League Premiers Plate with a 2-0 win at Adelaide United on Friday night, but Grant was absent for the sixth consecutive game.

A mystery abdominal injury has prevented Grant playing since the home win over Newcastle Jets in late January, and he missed four matches earlier in the season with foot damage. “Without a doubt it’s the most frustrating season I’ve ever had,” Grant said.

“I was feeling the best I’ve ever felt in my career and then for three weeks I couldn’t even kick a ball. You go over it in your head. There are times when you’re pulling your hair out thinking ‘why me?’ But I’m not feeling sorry for myself.”

Grant had imposed himself on the back line and was a key figure in coach Tony Popovic’s new-look side when, five games into the season in the 3-2 win against Central Coast Mariners, he ruptured the plantar ligament on the sole of a foot. After a month on the sidelines he went straight back into the starting line-up only to be struck down again six games later.

“I had a bit of pain but every game it was getting worse. I was getting local anaesthetic to numb the pain to get me through,” he said. “Towards the end of the warm-up for the Newcastle Jets I felt a ripping pain in my stomach. It felt like someone had stabbed me in the gut.”

The pain of the injury was made worse by not knowing what was causing it. “I had an ultrasound, a CT scan, two MRIs and they came up with nothing. We were all left scratching our heads,” he said. “We’ve now come to the conclusion that I’m getting grief from scar tissue from a hernia operation I had a couple of seasons ago.”

Grant took a big step in his recovery on Wednesday night, playing 45 minutes against a visiting Indonesian side. And with five games left in the regular season he is desperate to add to the 65 appearances he has made since signing for Glory in 2015. “I felt comfortable. I’m playing with pain but I just want to have some more involvement. I want to punch a bit more.”

17.3.2019

AMATEUR NIGHT SERIES - WEEK THREE REVIEW

Three of the four Amateur Night Series Semi-Finals spots have been decided, Leeming Strikers winning Pool One, Kingsley Pool Three, while Joondalup United finished as the highest runners-up. The final spot will be decided on Wednesday evening when Quinns meet Ellenbrook United, and a win for Quinns will see them through, but if they are beaten Jaguars will go through. In Pool One Leeming Strikers topped the table after a hard fought 3-1 win against Kwinana at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Leeming were ahead when Lucas Pickering put a first time cross in which was controlled on edge of box by player-coach David Palin, and he side footed past the keeper. It was 2-0 when a ball over the top wasn’t dealt with by Kwinana defence and David Palin beat keeper to ball went around him and finished into an empty net. Palin completed his hat-trick when Scott McDowell crossed and the striker volleyed home from five meters. Kwinana pulled one back with Christian Hogg converting a penalty, but it’s Leeming heading into next week’s Semi-Final.

“First half we were really slow going, we just didn’t move or use the ball well enough and got caught hitting long balls which will always favour a side like Kwinana who are organised and deal with that type of play very well,” Palin said. “But second half we moved the ball well in better areas and created numerous chances to win it and in the end the better side definitely won. We're really happy to come out of a tough group with three wins and top the group. It’s a really good reward for the players to play in another semi-final and competitive games is definitely what we want this time of year so we couldn’t be happier to get another week in the Night Series.” In the other game in the Pool, North Perth United beat Subiaco 5-0, with goals from Michael English, James McDaid, Alfa Sherif, Edin Nalic and Karl Gorman.

In Pool Three Kingsley won 5-1 in the top of the table clash against Joondalup United at Hartfield Park on Sunday evening. Kingsley were ahead when some build up play by Sean Johnson, who then laid it back to Simone Sichel to score. They doubled their lead when Lewis Flatt played a great through ball to Jayden Drummond, who rounded the keeper and rolled the ball home. Joondalup were back in the game just after half time when Curtis Wreglesworth scored. But Kingsley regained their two-goal lead when Drummond’s corner was finished well by Flatt. It was 4-1 when Andy O’Neill headed home Drummond’s corner and they added a fifth when Josh Waldock pounced on a poor back pass to score. “I thought first half we dominated with Joondalup not having much of the ball at all, but second half they started well,” Drummond said. “But we had to slow it down and get it back to our pace, and it was good to over run them in the last 20 minutes with three quick goals. In the other game in the Pool Hamersley Rovers beat UWA Nedlands 2-1.

In Pool two the league winners is still up in the air, but Jaguars kept their chances of a Semi-Final spot with a 3-2 win against Quinns at Wanneroo Reserve on Friday evening. Jags goals came from Gojam Nyuon, Laurance Gama and Gojam Nyuon, while Andy Pandeli and Liam Hunt were on target for Quinns. In the other games Wembley beat Ellenbrook 2-0. Wembley were ahead before half time, Ryan Morris’ free kick picked out Jay McDonald who scored in a crowded penalty area. The added a second after the break Juraj Galba curling home a free kick from the edge of the penalty area. “It was a very entertaining game with both sides having periods of domination,” Wembley Coach Mike Ford said, “Wembley defence stood up really well and with a few new players in the team I was more than pleased with the outcome. Ellenbrook made us work for the result and at no stage could we relax and credit to all the Wembley players everyone worked really hard.”

16.3.2019

TEN MAN ATHENA BEAT GLORY

Floreat Athena got their season off to a winning start with a 2-1 victory over Perth Glory at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday night. The result made it 10 NPL games without defeat for Athena, who also went through their successful Night Series campaign without losing. Goals to Jonathon Stynes and Robert Petkov either side of a strike from Gomo Dukuly ensured Floreat kept the winning feeling alive, despite a red card to skipper Dean Evans. “It was a really good win in a tough situation, especially considering we played more than half the game with one man less against a team who keep the ball very well,” Petkov said. “But we showed good team spirit to get the win.”

Phillip Arnold and Jesse Fuller both hit the woodwork for Floreat which looked to be the only action of a quiet first half. But just before the break Evans was given his marching orders following a deliberate handball to prevent a Glory free-kick going past the wall. The first goal didn’t take long to come in the second half when in the 50th minute Petkov chipped a cross to the back post for Stynes to head home from close range. However, 12 minutes later Glory fired back. Dukuly came off the bench and made an immediate impact as he found space on the left and put a ball across the face of goal which somehow eluded everyone before finding the back of the net. But Floreat were improving as the game went on and they won it on 72 minute with a classy finish from Petkov as he slid the ball under the onrushing Jackson Lee.

Floreat Athena: GK Jason Saldaris, 2 Marco Santalucia, 5 Thomas Jebb, 6 Jesse Fuller, 8 Jonathon Stynes, 9 Robert Petkov, 11 Dennis Galan, 16 Ryan Malton (3 Tristan Colli 74’), 17 Dean Evans, 18 Phillip Arnold (13 George Festa 90’), 19 Nicholas Ambrogio (33 Jack Andrews 84’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan Barbas, 12 Jacob Stubberfield - Red cards: Evans 45+2

Perth Glory: GK Jackson Lee, 2 Zayd Farah, 3 Walter Scott (14 Jaiden Selden 73’), 4 Jacob Muir, 5 Daniel Walsh, 6 Jack Leech, 7 Ethan Brooks, 8 Henry Hore, 9 Gabriel Popovic (12 Nicholas Speca 55’), 10 Aiden Edwards (15 Gomo Dukuly 61’), 11 Daniel Stynes - Subs not used: 13 Kristian Popovic, 16 Nick Walsh - Referee: Matthew Southern Yellow cards: Farah 28, Stynes 45+3, Leech 52 Red cards: Nil

16.3.2019

ALL SQUARE AT THE GARDENS

Reigning NPL WA Champions Perth Soccer Club have started their defence with a hard fought 2-2 draw with ECU Joondalup at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon. The home side were ahead early, with Harley Orr profiting from a poor back pass, but new Czech striker Jakub Sklenar levelled on the half hour. But Perth led at the break with Paul Zimarino finishing clinically. Sklenar restored parity with 14 minutes remaining and both sides had chances to win it but a draw was a fair result. "I thought we could have gone and won it today," ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said. "We were sloppy early but fought back, and I questioned some of the players in the week, but they showed great commitment today and came from behind twice to earn a good point."

It was a disastrous start for Dale McCulloch’s side with Perth opening the scoring on four minutes. A poor back pass was intercepted by Niccolò Sabatini and he sent Harley Orr clear and he finished low past Johnny Perkins. The Jacks looked to hit back and Andy Higgins’ free kick was well saved by Francis Soale, before a great run from Cian Hirrell ended with a ball into Sklenar, but his shot was saved low by Soale. But on 26 minutes the Jacks did find the equaliser. Richard Howles picked the ball up in the middle of the park, and the former Perth SC striker sent Joe Knowles down the left, he cut inside his marker but his shot was well saved by Soale, but the rebound fell to Sklenar who made mistake from close-range.

Perth suffered a blow on the half hour with the lively Matthew Milenkovic limping off with ankle ligament damage, but it didn’t affect them, as five minutes later they regained the lead. Kristan Santich’s ball over the top sent Paul Zimarino in on goal, but the Jack defenders were convinced he was offside, but the flag stayed down and he finished low past Perkins. The home side went close again moments later, Zimarino found Sabatini, whose cross found Gustavo Catarcione, whose shot on the turn was well saved by Perkins. ECU went close themselves as the game opened up, Howles shot beat Soale, but it was cleared off the line.

It was Perth who ended the half the better and Zimarino should have done better when sent clear on 40 minutes, but his shot flashed wide of the target, before Perkins produced a great low save to deny Sabatini. The visitors were hanging on and Catarcione wasted another golden opportunity, fired wide after being sent clear, and in the final minute Frank Furfaro’s corner was headed wide by Sabatini, but at the break it was 2-1 to the hosts. Perkins had to be alert again two minutes in to the second half, saving well to deny Catarcione. After that the Jacks settled and had Perth on the back foot, and from Knowles’ corner Shane Cassidy’s shot was well saved by Soale. Then Higgins’ tested the Perth custodian, but again he saved well, but on the hour the keeper was beaten, when Higgins’ in-swinging corner was cleared off the line by some desperate Perth defending.

ECU were pressing for the equaliser and Knowles’ curling shot was saved well by Soale at the second attempt, but their pressure was rewarded when they restored parity on 76 minutes. Ronald Rixer, who was out outstanding at the heart of the back four, surged forward and picked out Sklenar on the edge of the penalty area, the striker lost his marker and finished with aplomb past Soale. It was a tense last 15 minutes with both sides pressing for the winner, the best chance fell to Perth when Furfaro sent second half substitute Michael Domfeh in on goal, but Perkins was out bravely to save at the feet of the former Perth Glory youngsters. A good opening performance from the Jacks and well-deserved point, but they could have taken all three.

Perth Soccer Club: GK Francis SOALE (C), 5 Niccolò SABATINI, 6 Harley ORR, 8 Tom KING (4 Thomas SOUTHGATE 46’), 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE (18 Michael DOMFEH 67’), 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC (17 Frank FURFARO 31’), 12 Jordan DE LEO, 14 Kristan SANTICH, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 20 Paul ZIMARINO - Subs not used: RGK Malek KUC, 13 Rocco PIZZATA - Yellow Cards: Nil

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS (C), 2 Cian HIRRELL, 3 Ronald RIXER, 4 Brad MCDONALD, 5 Shane CASSIDY, 6 Ollie ANNIS, 7 Joe KNOWLES, 8 Josh WHITMORE (16 Henry DURR 75’), 9 Richard HOWLES (14 Lukas DE LIMA 90+3’), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Jakub SLENAR - Subs not used: RGK Scott WALLIS, 12 Ryan MCDARBY, 15 Tom HOUGH - Yellow Cards: Annis 22’, Cassidy 28’, Hirrell 44’, Knowles, 79’ - Referee: David Bruce

16.3.2019

BALCATTA OFF TO A FLYING START TO NEW SEASON

Balcatta got their new season off to a flying start after a 4-0 win against newly promoted Rockingham City at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday afternoon. They took a two-goal lead into the break after late goals from Gavin Knight and Jon Corness, before Adam Zimarino and Shubham Mokala wrapped up the scoring to put a dampener on Rockingham's first ever game in the NPL. "We're extremely happy with the win, and great to start the season with three points," new Balcatta midfielder John Kearney said. "We had spoken all week about the need to start the season with three points, and thankfully we were able to do that. I thought it was a cagey opening form both sides but the quick goals late in the first half helped us settle and we controlled large parts of the second half."

Rockingham came into this week on the back of a fantastic Night Series, where they were beaten in the Semi-Final by eventual winners Floreat Athena, and they looked good early. They were without talented midfielder Riley van Dieken, but still they produced the best early chance of a tight first half. Skipper James Harmer found space in the box, but his effort flew the wrong side of the upright.

But three minutes from half time it was the home side who opened the scoring. Kearney's corner was turned home by new signing Knight. The striker was then the provider when Balcatta doubled their lead in the shadows of half time. The former Swan United talisman received a cross field pass before feeding Corness, who raced into the penalty area and finished clinically past Cyril Sharrock.

It got even better four minutes after the break, when Balcatta added third. Another one of Goran Static's new signings, Zimmarino, cut in from the right and curled his shot wide of Sharrock and into the bottom corner of the net. Rockingham continued to play their game and created a number of half chances, but it wasn't their day and sixteen minutes from time Balcatta added a fourth. The speedy Mokala raced at the Rockingham defence before placing his shot into the bottom corner of the net. The visitors did go close to a consolation goal late but James Millard's shot was pushed around the post by Yousri Gharsallah.

Balcatta SC: GK Yousri GHARSALLAH, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 John KEARNEY, 4 Calum O'CONNELL (20 Anthony TOPINI 80'), 5 Shubham MOKALA, 7 Alex WILD, 9 Gavin KNIGHT (11 Callum STOCKS 63'), 10 Jon CORNESS, 12 Robert DEL BORRELLO, 16 Alex CASTIELLO, 23 Adam ZIMARINO (22 Ben PELLIZZARI 73') - Subs not used: RGK David KEENAN, 14 Tom PELLIZZARI

Rockingham City: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 2 Jason CONSTABLE, 3 Justis BRADLEY, 4 Mitch FIRTH (9 Sam MACKERNAN 56'), 6 Blake SOKOLOWSKI, 7 James MILLARD, 8 Jason POTTIER, 10 James HARMER, 12 Lydon HODGKISS, 14 Ryan KENNEDY, 18 Michael FARMER - Subs not used: RGK James GREHAN, 5 Harry COLLINS, 13 Jarrad MORT, 17 Jonathan ARAYA

16.3.2019

REDS LEAVE THE DEN WITH POINTS

Armadale put a disappointing NPL Night series behind them to open their season with a good 2-0 win on the road against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon. It was a tight first half with both sides having chances, but the visitors tore the game open with two goals in the space of three minutes midway through the second half. New signing Sam Garces came off the bench to open the scoring, before English import James Harran bagged his first goal for the club to seal the win three minutes later. "Obviously we're very happy with the win, especially with the pre-season not being great for us, but three points and clean sheet makes that irrelevant now," defender Nathan Costello said. "To be fair we rode our luck in the first half, but we dominated the second, creating plenty of chances which is pleasing and gives us positive signs for the season ahead."

Both these sides had struggled in the pre-season, but it was the home side who were on top early and they created a number of chances but failed to beat Reds custodian Sam Hutchings. The pace of Moses Kalau was causing problems but the Reds made it to the break all square. After half time the Reds lifted and created some good chances and on 65 minutes, they broke the deadlock. Garces, who had only been on the pitch for nine minutes, lost his marker in the box to guide Josh Kaiser cross past Daniel Marques to open the scoring, much to the delight of the travelling Armadale supporters.

They were cheering again three minutes later when Armadale doubled their lead. Ali Nazary's free kick into the penalty area wasn't dealt with, and Harran bundled the ball home, but it looked like the goal wouldn't stand with the flag was up for offside. But after consulting with his assistant, referee Julian Serra allowed the goal to stand, which didn't impress the locals.

Armadale were now well on top and Connor Atkinson, who has come through the club’s junior ranks to make his first senior appearance, saw an effort flash inches wide after good work from the lively Kuser. Atkinson went close again moments, after he cut in from the left and raced into the penalty area, his shot beat Marques, but the ball rolled agonizingly wide of the target. Another new signing Adriano Jelenovic went close to added a third late, when he was sent one-on-one with Marques, but the Lions custodian stood tall to deny him.

Stirling Lions: GK Daniel MARQUES, 2 Michael GAMA, 3 Dhhors CHOL, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Chris MCLAUGHLIN, 6 Finn GRAHAM, 7 Joseph PERKINS (12 Michael RIZIDIS 46'), 8 Dean CUMMINGS, 9 Ben WANTEE (16 Damien DAMJANOSKI 77'), 10 Noah SHAMAKI (14 David MOLINARI 87'), 11 Moses KALAU - Subs not used: 15 Luke SERRA, 20 Sean MCMANUS

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Josh KAISER (16 Connor ATKINSON 74'), 3 James HARRAN, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 Ali NAZARY, 7 Joshua CORTES (21 Ismael BANGURA 81'), 8 Michael LAWSON, 11 Adriano JELENOVIC, 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 13 Blake ADAMS, 22 Ryan HASLETT (10 Sam Garces 56') - Subs not used: 6 Jason PEPPIN, 25 Blake HENSHELL - Referee: Julian Serra

16.3.2019

COCKERELS WIN THE BATTLE OF THE BIRDS

Cockburn City have started the news season in style, beating Sorrento 3-2 in the battle of the birds at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Former Perth Glory and Sydney FC wide man Riley Woodcock opened the scoring early before new striker Ashley Rosindale doubled their lead on the half hour. Cameron Teece pulled back for the home side before half time, but Woodcock made it 3-1 on the hour. Reece Vittiglia pulled one back late to make it a exciting finish, but the visitors held on to take the points.

Despite playing away from home, Cockburn dominated all the early possession and took the lead after just 12 minutes. Sorrento goalkeeper James Morgan could only parry Ashley Rosindale’s shot as far as the alert Woodcock who tapped home from close range. Woodcock was again involved just 10 minutes later and almost had his second when his glancing header from Devon Gibson’s inviting cross skimmed the post. The visitors did get their second just before the half-hour mark after Rosindale controlled the ball beautifully in the six-yard box before chipping it over Morgan to make it 2-0.

Sorrento pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time when Cameron Teece pounced on Luke Radonich’s clever ball to set up a thrilling second half. The hosts jumped out of the blocks after the break but despite controlling much of the early tempo, it was Cockburn who reclaimed their two-goal cushion – Woodcock drilling home his second of the afternoon after a darting run. Sorrento skipper Reece Vittiglia gave his side a fighting chance after finding the back of the net with a well-taken strike seven minutes from time, but Cockburn held on to secure all three points.

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 2 David STOKOE, 3 Jakub PRAJZA, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 5 Scott ROBERTSON, 7 Alex MORGAN (19 Jack SALTER 76’), 10 Jordan ROBERTS, 11 Tim HILL, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 18 Jordan BROWN (8 Scott WITSCHGE 70’), 23 Cameron TEECE – Subs not used: 13 Steven MCDONALD, 22 Danny JONES, 60 Matthew GIUDICATTI

Cockburn City SC: GK Luke RADONICH, 3 Daniel SANTICH, 4 Euen GRANT, 5 Julian TELES, 6 Rueben TRISTAO, 7 Jesse LAZZARO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 10 Riley WOODCOCK (18 Adam ANFUSO 76), 11 Harry O’BRIEN, 17 Devon GIBSON (16 Daniel ROBINSON 76), 20 Ashley ROSINDALE (12 Ryan PRATT 84) - Subs not used: 14 Hayden STEVENS, 23 Ben RADONICH - Referee: Stephen Gregory

15.3.2019

MILLARD AT THE DOUBLE FOR BAYSWATER

Bayswater City opened their 2019 NPLWA season with a 3-0 win against Inglewood United at the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Friday evening. New signings Ross Millard and Daryl Nicol were on target, with Millard scoring a double as Chris Coyne’s side started the season with a bang. "It was a good performance after a disappointing result in the Night Series Final," Millard said.

"I thought we did well to bounce back and start our season with a good solid win that will help set us up for the year. Also, to keep a clean sheet was also pleasing for us, but for me personally to get a couple of goals was really pleasing. I played a bit higher up the pitch which allowed me to have a little bit more freedom which I really enjoyed."

With Inglewood new Coach Andres Oliveira in charge of his first game, it wasn't the best of starts as Bayswater opened the scoring on eight minutes. Nicol raced down the right and his cross was turned home by the alert Millard at the far post. It was 2-0 ten minutes later, when former Inglewood winger Kenny Keogh was fouled in the box by Inglewood defender Mark Barnett, and referee Michal Jasinski pointed to the spot and booked Barnett.

Nicol stepped up to take the resulting penalty, and despite keeper Alex Dunn guessing the right way the Scottish winger made no mistake. The home side should have pulled one back before the break, Steve Sokol was well placed but delayed his shot and was disposed. It was an improved performance from the home side after the break, and they caused problems down the flanks, but couldn't find the right ball in the final third. Miki Vujacic's free kick whistled wide of the upright, before Barnett's shot on the run flashed wide.

But with Inglewood chasing the game they were caught out again 19 minutes from time when Bayswater added a third. It was the pace of Nicol that created the opportunity, before he crossed to Millard who made no mistake. Inglewood had the opportunity to pull one back late, when Hamza Hina was brought down in the box by Shaydon Passalacqua, but Sam Riak fired the resulting penalty straight down the middle and keeper Devon Spence was able to keep it out with his boot, to give Bayswater a clean sheet and the three points.

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 David CYRUS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 7 Hamza HINA, 8 Jason BARRERA (6 Miki VUJACIC 84'), 14 Steve SOKOL, 15 Brian FARRELL (10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA 76'), 16 Jamie MURPHY, 17 Mark BARNETT, 23 Zdenek BEZDEK (5 Sam RIAK 59) - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 13. Nelson TSHONGO

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 3. Jack ALLEN, 12 Steve HESKETH, 17 Daryl NICOL, 20 Giordano COLLI (23 Brian WOODALL 74'), 21 Kenny KEOGH, 22 Shaydon PASSALACQUA, 24 Jake SARDELIC, 26 Paul LLOYD (5 Adam HARRIS 77), 27 Ross MILLARD, 30 Adam TONG - Subs not used: RGK Logan RINDELL, 13 Trent KAY, 19 Gordon SMITH – Referee Michal Jasinski

15.3.2019

GLORY EXTEND THEIR LEAD AFTER WIN IN ADELAIDE

Perth Glory moved nine points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League table after a 2-0 win against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Friday evening. The win sealed the clubs highest-ever number of points in the competition and we still have five games remaining. They hit the front ten minutes before half time with a deflected Diego Castro shot, before second half substitute Andy Keogh finished clinically midway through the second half. The win was their 15th of the season and seventh on the road, and Tony Popovic's side have one hand on the league title. The coach said the players deserve a great of credit and to win it would be a just reward for everyone at the club. “I did mention during the week that I’d love to reward the club, the owner and everyone involved and be part of something special as a football club, Perth Glory in the Champions League,” Popovic said post-match.

“We have an owner that’s put a lot of money into the club and this could be a great reward for him and all the other people that have gone through years and years of supporting and backing Perth Glory. This could be something special for them. We look forward to every match and this group, as I said earlier, the consistency is there so there is no thought in my mind about complacency. When I see them train every day there’s no reason to even suggest it to the players, to search for it, because it’s not there. We go out and we train hard, we want to keep playing well and at the moment that’s clearly what we’re doing.”

The home side were on the front foot early in the game, but it was Glory with the first real opening with Joel Chianese shot palmed around the post by Paul Izzo. Moments later it was Glory custodian Liam Reddy in the action, saving low from Scott Gallaway's shot. Chianese was in again on the quarter hour, he lost his marker in the box, but could only head Jason Davidson's cross wide of the target. Adelaide's Jordy Thomassen's long-range shot was comfortable held by Reddy, before Glory had the best chance of the game on the half hour. Chris Ikonomidis races into the box on the right and his curling shot is heading for the corner of the net, but Izzo produced a great save to deny him, the rebound falling to Castro, and with the goal at his mercy the Spanish maestro steered his shot wide of the target.

But that miss was forgotten moments later when Castro gave Glory the lead. He wriggled his way into the penalty area, his shot took a deflection off Gallaway, which wrong-footed Izzo, and the ball rolled into the net, his sixth goal of the season. Both sides had late chances in an entertaining game. First Gallaway's long-range shot flashed wide, but it had Reddy scampering after the goal. Then Ivan Franjic's teasing cross found Chianese, whose header was well blocked by Izzo, before Davidson's long-range shot whistled just wide.

Ikonomidis headed wide early in the second half, as Glory continued to dictate terms, although Reddy had to be alert to thwart Craig Goodwin moments later. Glory brought on Keogh for Franjic on 65 minutes, and four minutes later he doubled their lead. A poor pass from Reds skipper Isaias was intercepted by the Irishman, who raced clear and finished clinically past Izzo, and celebrated with the Glory faithful behind the goal. Chianese went close to a third ten minutes from time, but Izzo was down smartly to save his shot. Adelaide pressed late and Reddy secure a clean sheet in the final minute, producing a great one handed save to deny Goodwin's header. It sets up a blockbuster in two weeks against the current Champions Melbourne Victory at HBF Park on Saturday evening - Get you tickets early!!!

Neil Kilkenny had another great game and he believes coach Tony Popovic has brought the best out of everyone at the club. "I'm a winner and that's why I enjoy working with this manager," he said. "He's come in and he demands the very top every day, which I do as a player. He's helped me as well as lot of the other lads and we're reaping the rewards. Every day we train he drums into us what he wants. He's very, very demanding of the group and of individuals, as I am as a player. He does it for me now and helps me out and the lads have responded well. It's fantastic to see. We're top of the league and hopefully we can stay there."

Adelaide United: GK Paul IZZO, 2 Michael MARRONE, 3 Scott GALLOWAY, 4 Ryan STRAIN, 7 Ryan KITTO, 8 ISAIAS, 11 Craig GOODWIN, 16 Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (17 Nikola MILEUSNIC 46’), 19 Jordy THOMASSEN (10 Ken ILSO 62’), 22 Michael JAKOBSEN, 31 Mirko BOLAND - Subs not used: RGK Isaac RICHARDS, 6 Vincent LIA, 32 Carlo ARMIENTO

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 3 Jason DAVIDSON, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Ivan FRANJIC (9 Andy KEOGH 65’), 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Joel CHIANESE, 17 Diego CASTRO (22 Fabio FERREIRA 87’), 19 Chris IKONOMIDIS, 23 Scott NEVILLE, 27 JUANDE, 88 Neil KILKENNY - Subs not used: RGK Tando VELAPHI, 16 Tomislav MRCELA, 29 Kristian POPOVIC - Referee: Peter Green




If you have any additional information on Western Australian soccer that we have left out, or if you would like to get in contact, email Jacob at jacob@footballwa.net

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