Floreat Athena striker Robert Petkov said Saturday's clash against Bayswater could be a season defining moment for either team.

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21.6.2019

NPL-WA ROUND THIRTEEN PREVIEW

It's week 13 of the NPL WA and this week’s Footballwa.net 'Match of the Round' takes us to E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday afternoon, for a State League Cup Final preview, as Floreat Athena entertain Bayswater City. (3.00pm). Both sides won FFA Cup / State League Cup semi-finals last weekend and they will meet each other in the next month’s final, but both will be looking to continue their good form in the league, with Floreat thrashing Perth Glory last time out, while Bayswater well beat Inglewood United. The last time the two sides met in the league at the venue was in round 22 last season. Keylun Pollard gave the hosts the lead early, before Dean Evans doubled their lead just before half time. Gian Albano pulled one back for Bayswater but they couldn't find the equaliser and to make matters worse Brent Griffith was sent off in stoppage time.

Bayswater striker Gordon Smith was the hero last week, bagging the winner against Rockingham, and he was also on target in the win against Inglewood and he said they are starting to hit their straps and after the cup win and he hopes they can start to push up the table. "The last few weeks we’ve been performing really well and getting the results too, and the hard we’ve put has been rewarded,” he said. “We’re also starting to be more ruthless at both ends of the park and cutting out the mistakes, and our performances and results have shown that.”

Smith joined the club from ECU Joondalup this season, after stints with Hearts, Raith Rovers and Stirling Albion in Scotland, and he said the club couldn't have done enough since his signing and he hopes to repay their faith in him by helping them to silverware this season. "The club have been great to me since I arrived, and I’m determined to bring success back to the club, and winning a trophy would be great,” he explained. “There is still a long way to go in the season, but we’re in a cup final and fighting for a league title, as well as having a FFA Cup draw to look forward too.”

The Scotsman knows Saturday is a tough game against the in-form Floreat, but he said they are ready for the challenge. "Saturday is a big challenge, and Floreat is always a tough game, but we go their full of confidence," Smith explained. "We've had a few good battles against them this season already, and Saturday will be no different. They have a strong squad and quality all over the park, as do we, so it has the makings of an exciting game."

Floreat striker Robert Petkov scored Floreat's goal from the spot in normal time, before they won it in a shoot-out, and coming off the big win against Perth Glory in the last round he said they go into Saturday's big game in a confident mood. "Definitely, I think it's been a very good two weeks by the guys and we are all very happy the way we are going," he said. "We knew going into the games it would be tough, and that our season hung in the balance if we didn't win both games, and the lads showed great character to get the job done."

Petkov joined Floreat from Stirling Lions in the off season, and formed a great partnership with Luka Ninkovic, who has left the club and now Phil Arnold, but Petkov said they have a strong squad and great comradery between them. "I didn't get to play with Luka much, but when he did play, we linked up well, and Phil's an experienced player and he's adapted well into the roles he has to play for the side," he explained. "But we have a really good group of guys at Floreat, we all get along very well and have a good bond which is always important, and in games everyone steps up when we need to."

The striker said games against Bayswater are always tight and challenging and he believes Saturday will be the same. "Games against Bayswater are always tough, and Saturday will be a very close game and most likely a grind for both teams," Petkov said. "I don't think either team is going to try and hide much for the final as we both know each other well so both encounters will be close games. We obviously played them in the Night Series Final and had to go to penalties to get the result. The coaches and players will definitely be up for the challenge, it could be a season defining moment for either team."

In other games this week, it's top v bottom at Dorrien Gardens, with Perth SC hosting Stirling Lions. Perth are still unbeaten this season, but did drop two points last time out at ECU Joondalup, and Ramon Falzon will be looking to bounce back in this one. The Lions are only one point adrift at the bottom and have improved under the tutelage of Trevor Morgan, and he will be looking for a similar performance that they produced to upset Floreat in round ten. Third placed Perth Glory were hit for six in their last game against Floreat, and Richard Garcia's side head to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta this week looking to make emends. However, Balcatta moved to fourth after a 2-0 win at Rockingham and Goran Stajic and with both sides level on points this one will be a tight encounter.

Inglewood United have had back-to-back defeats, and will hope to change that when they host Cockburn City at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. Losses to Glory and Bayswater has seen Inglewood drop to seventh, while Saturday's opponents have won back-to-back games, and moved on to sixth, and both sides sit level on points and a win in this one will be vital. There is a local derby at Percy Doyle Reserve, with Sorrento hosting ECU Joondalup. The Gulls have lost their last three games in all competitions, which has seen them slip down the table, while ECU have had a first half of the season to forget, with only one win. So, both sides will be desperate for the three points, and like any local derby this one will be on for one and all.

In the final game Armadale travel to SafeRad Stadium at Lark Hill to take on Rockingham City. Cameron Lord's side were knocked out of the FFA Cup last week, while in the league they have gone six games without a win, so they will be hoping to change that on Saturday. But John O'Reilly's side arrive in good form, having won their last two games, and skipper Nathan Costello said their new signings have strengthened the squad and the results show that. "The new signings have complemented us well, although we felt that we had been playing well prior to these wins but just not getting the results," he said.

"We knew if we kept playing well the wins would come and we’ve deserved our wins the last two weeks." The former Perth Glory Youth defender said Rockingham are always tough at home and it will take a good performance, but they are on a good run of form and he's confident they can come home with a positive result. "We have great confidence headed into this week, the togetherness in the squad is high," Costello said. "We are all working for each other and we are hungry for another win to extend the gap between us and Rockingham and look at the teams above us."

21.6.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWELVE – PREVIEW

This week’s Footballwa.net State League Division One 'Match of the Round' is the top of the table clash between Western Knights and Ashfield at Nash Field. Both sides are coming off wins in derby games, the Knights beating UWA Nedlands, while Ashfield beat Morley Windmills, and with only one point separating the two sides this one should be a cracker. Last time they met at the venue was in round two last season, when the pair fought out a 2-2 draw.

Former Ashfield defender Tom Kennedy said last week win was important after their defeat at Mandurah, and he thought it was well-deserved and kept the in touch of Saturday's opponents. "Yes, it was a solid performance from the whole squad, and derby games are always tough but we managed to get the result," he said. "We had a point to prove after the disappointing result down in Mandurah, and to our credit we went out and controlled the game."

The Knights have added some experience during the transfer window, and Kennedy said that is vital heading into the second half of the season. "Squad depth is what wins leagues essentially, and now we’re at the half way mark you’re always going to pick up injuries or have players leaving," he explained. "So the addition of Noah and former player Paul Lloyd is very important. Both are already settled in and have added a lot to the squad and no doubt will play a big part in the push for the title."

Kennedy said Ashfield have a good side, but having home ground advantage is important and he is looking forward to the challenge. "Saturday is a massive game for us, and the boys are buzzing for it," he said. "Their defence has been solid this year, but we look to continue on from last week’s performance and keep up our good home form. The fans have been unreal at our home games and no doubt will be down helping us get the three points this Saturday, it should be a great game."

The win last week kept Matt Wardle's side at the top, and they have the best defensive record in the league only conceding nine goals in ten games, and keeper Paul Rainford has had a lot to do with that. The former Kingsley custodian has fitted in well at the club and he said the win at Morley was hard fought, but they got the job done in the end. "Yes, it was a very tough game against a team that were really up for it," he said. "We knew it was wasn’t going to be easy especially away at their place, but conceding the goal in the first half kicked us into gear and after that I feel we dominated the game and deserved the win."

Rainford has been in outstanding form between the sticks, but he was first to congratulate the team in front of him, and he said they know they will have to keep that up for the rest of the season if they want success out of the season. "As a keeper I'm very pleased with how little we have conceded so far, but we have defended very well as a team," he said. "We set the standard in the first half of the season but we know we have to maintain this until the end of the season if we want to reach our targets."

The keeper is looking forward to the top of the table clash, and he has never played at the ground, but has heard playing at Nash Field is difficult, but knows how important the game is, and they are ready for the challenge. “Saturday is a massive game for both clubs, it should be a great game with top spot up for grabs," Rainford said. "This will be my first game at the ground, but Matt and all the lads have told me it’s never an easy place to go and get a result. So, it's a challenge for us, but I'm really looking forward to the game and coming home with a positive result."

In other games this weekend UWA Nedlands and Joondalup United will be looking to bounce back after defeats last week when they meet at UWA Sports Park. Joondalup are drifting away from teams above them and a win in this one is vital, while UWA will be hoping to continue their unbeaten run at home in the league. Fourth placed Fremantle City return to action after the bye last week, with a trip to Wotton Reserve to take on bottom of the table Morley Windmills, who were impressive despite the loss against league leaders Ashfield last week. Olympic Kingsway hit the road, with a trip to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco, and the home side will be looking to close the four point between the two sides.

In the final game we head to the Securitas Protect Stadium for the clash between Mandurah City and Forrestfield United. Graham Normanton's side sit level on points with Alex Grayson's side on the table, but are still searching for their first win on the road this season. Mandurah have won their last three games including a big win at Joondalup last week and defender Jeff Bright said they had a great start to the game and that was vital. "I Just thought our start against Joondalup was the difference between the teams on the day, we scored two really quick goals and then another just before half time it gave us a chance to just settle and see the game out," he explained.

"I think Alex and Sam French have found a very good formula within the squad that seems to finally all be coming together and full credit to them." Forrestfield like playing at Mandurah and won the NPL play-off there in 2017, but Bright said that game is gone and Saturday is another three points up for grabs. "I think that NPL play off is a distant memory now and Saturday is another opportunity for three points," he said. "So, we will just go into this home game quietly confident we can get a result and keep our winning run going." - Gwelup Croatia have the bye this week.

21.6.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND ELEVEN – PREVIEW

State League Division Two league leaders Quinns return home this week for the local derby against Balga at Gumblossom Park, in the Footballwa.net 'Match of the Round' Balga came home from Wanneroo with the three points after a seven-goal thriller last week, while Quinns maintained their lead at the top with a comfortable 4-0 win at Curtin. The last time the sides met at the venue was in round two last season. Danny Moss gave the visitors the lead after only three minutes, but Quinns levelled five minutes later with Rowdy Yates on target. Scott Bulloch then missed a penalty for Quinns, before Balga regained the lead just before the break with a goal from Harry Bissett. Bulloch restored parity for Quinns early in the second half but a goal from Vlad Naumovski, five minutes from time sealed the 3-2 win for Balga.

Quinns’ Mike Kenny said the win at Curtin was important, an although it wasn’t their best performance it was a clean sheet and it kept their five-point lead intact. "Probably our most creative game going forward with at least 10 chances we should've taken,” he said. “But defensively another clean sheet with Curtin being contained to just two shots on target, one from a free kick. The pitch wasn't in the best nick for playing football but I think we adapted well and played to our strengths to get the points.”

Kenny knows there are some quality teams in the league this season, and they will need to keep improve to keep them at bay. In the second half of the season. "With the start we've had you'd expect a bigger gap but that really just shows the quality of the teams in the league,” he explained. “We couldn't have asked for a better first 10 games but the boys and I really look back on that one loss as a sour note. We've still got a good few areas to improve to keep the rest of the league at bay so we'll be putting in all the extra required efforts to plug holes and fill in the blanks.”

That loss was against Balga earlier in the season, and it’s still fresh in the minds of the players, and Kenny said they are a good side and they will need to be at their best to get the job done on Saturday. "This is the team that have put a sour note on our first half of the season so the boys and coaches are absolutely buzzing to write the wrong,” he explained. “The reverse fixture was a tough one to take because we had started the better side missing some good chances and then got hit with two sucker blows. Balga were very physical and once they got the two-goal cushion, they did everything possible to stop us playing. This will be a great game to watch with Balga needing a win to keep pace with top four and we want some payback, I'd say match of the round for sure.”

Balga coach Aleks Vrteski said the win at Wanneroo was a hard fought one, but it showed the character of his side to win it late. "It was a great game of football with both sides going for the win,” he explained. “It was a tough encounter and to score so late was pleasing, and I was really happy with the great team spirit shown by the boys to get the win and keep our form going.”

Vrteski said the win was important and left them fourth, and it made it six games without a loss, but he said they need to improve in certain areas of their game if they want to continue that form in the second half of the season. "Our form has been ok this season, but we still need to do a lot more to achieve the success we want,” he said. “Like I said we need to pick up in certain areas, and we need to maintain the standards we’ve set and I’m confident we will.”

Balga are the only team to beat Quinns this season, a 2-1 win in round six and the coach said that game was a hard-fought one and he is expecting the same on Saturday. "Quinns are the benchmark of the league, and they will be the favourites going into Saturday’s game, and they deserve that,” Vrteski said. “We will go there with no fear and the desire to achieve a positive result. The lads have trained well this week and they are ready for the challenge.”

It's the 'Battle of the Universities' when second placed Murdoch University Melville host Curtin University at the Murdoch University Campus. MUM have won the last five games to surge up the table including a big win in the last round against Dianella, and Gavin Brown's side are one of the form teams in the league. On the other hand, Curtin have only one once in their last five games, and are coming off a heavy loss against Quinns last week. In other games Kelmscott Roos entertain Wanneroo City at Frye Park, both looking to return to the winners' circle, Joondalup City host Shamrock Rovers at Iluka Sports Complex, while Gosnells City make the trip to Dianella reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles.

In the final game Swan United host Canning City at Francis Street. Canning were beaten at Shamrock last week, leaving them anchored to the bottom of the table, while Swans slipped to seventh last week after conceding a late goal to lose at Gosnells, and John Monterosso said they will be looking to bounce back this week. “It was a very tight game at Gosnells with both sides having limited chances, it was disappointing for us to concede so late after being on top for most of the second half, but the performance at least second half was there which is what we’re going to take into this week,” he said. “Saturday is another tough game against a very desperate side. So, we won’t be taking anything for granted. We conceded a last-minute penalty against them which got them a point away so we’re going to be looking to not give anything away this week.”

20.6.2019

MATILDAS READY FOR NORWEGIAN CHALLENGE

Goalkeeper Lydia Williams says Australia's second-place finish in Group C of the World Cup should be seen as mission accomplished. The Matildas are marching on in France, turning their attention from Sam Kerr's goal glut to their next World Cup opponents, Norway.

Kerr's astonishing four-goal salvo in Grenoble on Wednesday night helped the Matildas beat Jamaica and sure-up second place in the group by the finest of margins. It took Kerr's fourth strike to push Australia to an equal goal difference with Brazil, edging the South Americans on goals scored.

No matter how thin the margin, and despite coming in as top seeds, goalkeeper Lydia Williams says finishing second equals success. "It's mission accomplished. If we finished third we'd be playing against France or Germany," she said. "Right now we're playing against Norway. That's a good outcome."

Now that they are through, Williams said the Matildas needed to take lessons from their opening three matches without replaying the matches in their heads. "If you reflect too much on the past you're not going to get through in the present and the future," she said. "We're through to the round of 16 and we have to put all our focus into the next game."

Group D winners England are in the same quarter of the draw as Australia, meaning the Matildas could face Phil Neville's side if they both win their round of 16 clashes. "That's way too far ahead," Williams said. "Though we haven't beaten them yet so there's a bit of a salty taste on that. It's definitely first game first."

20.6.2019

I HAD TO ‘GRAB’ KOREA OPPORTUNITY, DECLARES DAVIDSON

Departing Perth Glory full-back Jason Davidson has described his switch to Ulsan Hyundai as an opportunity too good to pass up. Negotiations between the K-League leaders and Glory lasted barely a week before an undisclosed fee was agreed.

Davidson saluted Glory for allowing him to accept the lucrative, two-year deal. “When I came to the club I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to be successful, and Tony Popovic and everybody at the club gave me that platform,” Davidson said.

“I’m very grateful for that - but in football when opportunities arise like this you need to grab them with both hands. Ulsan are a big club and are everything that Perth - having qualified for the (AFC) Champions League - are striving to follow.

“Ulsan are up there fighting for the title and play Urawa Reds tonight (Wednesday) chasing a place in the last eight of the ACL. To be a able to be a part of something like that - if the deal all goes forward - really attracted me.”

The approach for Davidson - who recently signed a season-long extension with Perth - came out of left field, quite literally. Ulsan were initially looking for a winger and sent scouts to watch Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United) and Chris Ikonomidis (Glory) when wing-back Davidson caught the eye.

“If you perform on the pitch you just never know who’s watching,” added 27-year old Davidson. “For me, I was fortunate enough that they were watching our games and I played to a standard that interested them.”

“They continued to watch and obviously they have come in and put an offer down which Perth have accepted. That showed how keen they were to bring me in mid-season, which was a huge positive. It’s a big reason why I was so interested in the move when I heard about it.”

Davidson hopes his latest move will strengthen his claim to a Socceroos recall. “Having an opportunity like this, to be able to go over there to a big club, and hopefully play week-in week-out will give me a stronger claim to the national team,” he added.

“For me now is just the beginning. It’s back to the drawing board. I must go over there and perform and get the job done like I did when I came to Perth. The hard work begins now. I’m feeling the best I have ever - strong, fit and slim.”

“I’m coming off a holiday and while I aim to hit the ground running, it’s mid season and it may take me a little bit of time and the club understand that. I’m excited and hungry to go over there and prove a point, and have a real go at it.”

19.6.2019

DE VANNA HOT 150 GAME MILESTONE FOR AUSTRALIA

Evergreen attacker Lisa De Vanna has become just the second Matilda to reach 150 international appearances. The 34-year old started Australia's Women's World Cup fixture with Jamaica and showed glimpses of her greatness even as her heir apparent, Kerr, stole the show.

De Vanna has scored seven goals at three previous tournaments to be Australia's highest World Cup scorer. And on her next appearance she will tie her mentor Cheryl Salisbury on 151 caps to become Australia's most capped footballer.

"It's a fantastic achievement and I'm sure it's not gonna stop at 150," coach Ante Milicic said of De Vanna, who made her international debut in 2004. "I've only been in the job five months and she's been fantastic to work with."

"The season she was coming back off, I don't think she scored in the W-League, and we got her up to speed. She's really special one v one and she needs to back herself a lot more in the front third, because I don't think there's a better player of running at defences when she goes at 'em."

19.6.2019

GLORY STALWART NEVILLE READY FOR ROAR SWITCH

A-League title-winning defender Scott Nevillle is set to join Brisbane Roar next season, with New Zealand international Dane Ingham possibly heading the other way. Currently in his second spell with Glory, the 22-year old Neville is looking to nail down regular first team action after playing second fiddle to former Socceroo Ivan Franjic for most of last season.

Neville did make 22 appearances for Tony Popovic’s team with 15 of those off the bench. His extra-time goal against Adelaide United in the play-off semi-final helped Glory into the decider against Sydney FC, after a penalty shootout. He has spent a total of six seasons in the west, sandwiched between spells at Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers, for a total of 198 A-League appearances.

Sources close to Glory also suggest that Ingham - who was first linked with the club in March - is in discussions over sealing a move there. The 20-year old defender made 13 appearances last season for a struggling Brisbane side, where he has a year left on his deal. However, it’s understood the Roar product may be allowed to make the switch with Neville likely to arrive at Suncorp Stadium on a multi-year deal.

19.6.2019

KERR HITS JAMAICA FOR FOUR

Sam Kerr has become the first Australian to score a World Cup hat-trick, firing four goals in a 4-1 rout of Jamaica to send the Matildas into the knockout rounds of the Women's World Cup. Australia's reward is a round-of-16 clash with Norway in four days' time in Nice, the Matildas now free to lift their eyes towards a deep run in France.

Ante Milicic's side flirted with a third-placed finish in the group as Brazil's 1-0 defeat of Italy temporarily put them on a collision course with the tournament favourites and hosts. Instead, Kerr's stunning quartet of goals banked Australia second place, bettering the Brazilians on goals scored and sending the Matildas to the Allianz Riviera on Sunday morning.

"I actually wanted more (goals) than that after myself, being my selfish self," Kerr said. "I knew every goal would count and I'm just happy we could get that second spot." Aside from Kerr's four-goal haul, there were other individual achievements to savour at the Stade des Alpes. Lisa De Vanna played game 150, Karly Roestbakken made her first Matildas start and Aivi Luik, a late substitute, played in her first World Cup match.

16.6.2019

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND NINE REVIEW

Belt-Up Sunday Amateur Premier League leaders Kingsley and Leeming Strikers have fought out a seven-goal thriller at John Connell Reserve on Sunday afternoon. “We started very poorly and credit to Leeming scoring two quick goals,” Josh Waldock said. “But after a very poor half from us and basically starting 3-1 down in second half to come back and win it 4-3 just shows the fight all of us lads had, and it was a great game to be a part of, and just shows what we have when things aren’t working at the start.” The hosts were ahead in this one after only eight minutes with Jay Dost scoring. Things got better for the home side when they doubled their lead five minutes later, Aiden Evans scoring at the back post after being picked out by Lucas Pickering. Kingsley were the only unbeaten side in the league at kick off and that record looked in jeopardy, but they found a lifeline on the half hour, with Aaron Lickiss heading home to narrow the gap at half time. But two minutes into the second half Leeming regained their two-goal lead, after Ben Greaves pounced after Kingsley failed to clear their lines.

But Kingsley weren’t finished and Jayden Drummond reduced the margin three minutes later, racing clear and finishing well past Jordan Jones. Then on 54 minutes Kingsley restored parity, and it was Drummond again who was in thick of the action, he eased past his marker and his low cross was turned into his own net by a Leeming defender. Both sides had chances in a great advert for the league, but it was Kingsley who found the winner 18 minutes from time, Joel Gillespie’s free kick picked out Lickiss who headed past Jones to complete the comeback and seal the three points. Although Leeming almost levelled it five minutes from time when a drop ball was passed back to the Kingsley keeper but Leeming won possession and raced towards goal but Ryan Moss blocked his shot and the rebound was cleared, much to the displeasure of the Kingsley players and coaches. “Just another game with Leeming, it had it all, from being 2-0 down and 3-1 down, but we were never going to roll over,” Drummond said. “The fight in the boys this year has been second to none and we held on for a gutsy win, despite some poor sportsmanship late in the game from the opposition.”

North Perth United have stayed in touch with Kingsley but were also made to work hard, after a 1-0 win against Wembley Downs at Butlers Reserve. The only goal of the game came when Edin Nalic picked the ball up on the halfway line, turned and hit a diagonal ball to Oscar Kelly on the right wing. He drove at the defender and squared the ball across the box to Alpha Sherif who finished with aplomb. “It was a big three points for us, especially after being in complete control last week and coming away with nothing, so it was good to see the fight in the boys this week,” North Perth coach Alex Carter said. “There was nothing pretty about it today, but at any level sometimes you just roll the sleeves up and dig in for one and other.”

The home side made a couple of changes at the break, while Jags keeper Mapooth went off injured and it was striker Guot going in goal. Quinns pulled one back when Gout brought down Carter and Liam McManus scored from the penalty spot. But Jags regained their two-goal advantage after Laurence Gama found space in the penalty area to fire home. But amazingly Quinns hit back and three quick goals from Carter, Hunt and substitute Will Oldfield had Quinns in front 5-4. It looked like being a great comeback for the home side but in the fifth minute of stoppage time, James Wuor’s cross was turned into his own net by a Quinns defender and it ended 5-5. “Robbie and I were bitterly disappointed we didn’t get the win after all the heart shown by the boys today,” Quinns coach Lee Garnish said. “But it was a great effort from the squad and the mental toughest shown to get back into the game was fantastic, but it is now on to next week game against Joondalup United.”

In other games Kwinana United backed up from last weeks big win at North Perth with a hard fought 4-3 win against Hamersley Rovers at Kelly Park, with a hat-trick from Brad Titherington, another from Lewis Tiherington. “We were two nil down, so delighted to comeback and get the win,” Kwinana coach Kris Donnell said. “We changed the formation a few weeks ago and since then the lads have worked there socks off to get us the last couple of wins. It’s always nice to win a game with a lot of players missing but I can’t credit the boys enough who have stepped up they really put a shift in.” Belmont Villa are back in the winner’s circle after a 5-0 win against bottom of the table Ellenbrook United at Gerry Archer Sports Complex. Villa Tom Moderval was happy with the win. “A massive three points for us this week and a clean sheet which is always pleasing,” he said. “The score-line might have flattered us a bit, but Kadir was outstanding in goals today and he deserves all the credit for our win. Ellenbrook's position in the league certainly doesn't reflect the talent they have in the team and I expect they will come good eventually, hopefully against the teams round about us in the league. There are only five points separating eight teams, so there is a lot still to play for.”

In the final game Joondalup United won for the first time on the road after a 4-2 win against UWA Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. The visitors were ahead when Sam Davis fired home from a cross at the second attempt after a great save by the UWA keeper, but UWA levelled with Jack Retallack on target with a great finish. But Joondalup regained the lead when Davis held off his marker and his shot on the turn beat the keeper. But UWA restored parity when Joondalup keeper Luke Green fumbled the ball and Tope Olasanoye shot deflected into the net off Joondalup defender Mark Walsh. But Joondalup were determined to get that away win and they hit the front again, Davis’ free kick found Adam Gianassi, who lost his marker to score. They added a fourth to seal the points when Sandy McKay long-range shot crashed off the post, and Davis was quickest to react to score. “Great to get much needed points away from home, but we have a lot of work still to do to start climbing out of relegation zone,” Joondalup Coach Ben Williams said. “But we are staying in touch and our luck seems to be changing, I’m happy for the lads who haven't given up and worked super hard all week at training now onto local derby with Quinns Sunday, it should be a cracker.”

15.6.2019

SMITH SENDS BAYSWATER INTO THE FINAL

Bayswater City moved into the FFA Cup Round of 32 and the Belt-Up State League Cup Final after a hard fought 1-0 win against Rockingham City at Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday afternoon. The only goal of the game from Scottish striker Gordon Smith twenty minutes from time, and despite Rockingham pressing late in the game they couldn’t find the equaliser and Bayswater move into their first Cup final since 2014.

The home side who were on the front foot early and Daryl Nicol’s shot on the run flashing inches wide after only 10 minutes, before the Scottish wingers’ acrobatic volley went over the top moments later. But Rockingham hit back and veteran keeper Gianni Papalia was out quickly to thwart James Harmer five minutes later, before Riley van Dieken shot whistled the wrong side of the upright. The best chance of the half fell to Rockingham two minutes from time, a great run by the speedy van Dieken ended with a ball into Harmer, whose goal bound shot was well saved by Papalia.

Smith was in on goal early in the second half after good approach work from Jason Mirco, but a great last-ditch tackle from Mitch Firth saved the day for Rockingham. Rockingham were dangerous going forward and Papalia was at full stretch to tip Jason Pottier’s shot from the edge of the box around the post on the hour. Bayswater thought they had a penalty five minutes later when Nicol fell under a challenge from Jarred Mort, but referee Josh Mannella was well placed to wave away their protests. But on 70 minutes the home side found the opener. A ball over the top sent Smith clear, and he held off his marker before finishing with aplomb past Cyril Sharrock.

Rockingham weren’t finished and led superbly by skipper Harmer they pressed for the equaliser, and Papalia reacted well to save Harmer’s angled shot, before Firth fired straight at the Bayswater custodian moments later. With Rockingham pushing men forward they were getting caught out at the back and Nicol shot straight at Sharrock, before Todd Howarth’s cross picked out Giordano Colli, but his effort was well saved by Sharrock. But Rockingham couldn’t find the equaliser, and at the final whistle it was Bayswater celebrating a spot in the last 32 of the FFA Cup and place in next month’s Belt-Up State League Cup Final.

Bayswater City: GK Gianni PAPALIA, 3 Jack ALLEN (6 Todd HOWARTH 75’), 10 Jason MIRCO, 11 Ryan PEARSON, 13 Trent KAY (c), 17 Daryl NICOL (24 Jake SARDELIC 85’), 18 Brent GRIFFITHS (2 Declan HARGREAVES 51’), 19 Gordon SMITH, 20 Giordano COLLI, 27 Ross MILLARD, 30 Adam TONG – Subs not used: RGK Sam REILLY, 5 Adam HARRIS

Rockingham City: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 3 Justis BRADLEY, 6 Blake SOKOLOWKI (14 Ryan KENNEDY 84’), 8 Jason POTTIER (5 Harry COLLINS 79’), 9 Sam MCKEARNEN, 10. James HARMER (c), 11 Riley VAN DIEKEN, 13 Jarred MORT, 18 Michael FARMER, 20 Mitch FIRTH, 23 Victor BRAUNER (15 Shaz RAMLEE 84’) - Subs not used: RGK James GREHAN, 16 Luke HOBSON - Referee: Josh Mannella

15.6.2019

SORRENTO PAY THE PENALTY

Floreat Athena have won a dramatic penalty shoot-out to beat Sorrento 4-3 on penalties at E&D Litis Stadium, after the game ended 1-1 after extra time. Jesse Fuller scored the decisive spot kick to seal a spot in the FFA Cup Round of 32 and the Belt Up Cup Final next month. It is the second time Floreat have advanced to this stage of the FFA Cup, after facing Melbourne City in 2016. And this is the third time they have prevailed on penalties in 2019 after wins over Rockingham and Bayswater in the Night Series.

It was perhaps no surprise the match was decided on penalties after referee Matthew Southern awarded three during the match itself. The home side were presented with the first opportunity on 17 minutes when Gulls keeper James Morgan fouled Robert Petkov in the area. But Morgan made amends as he dived to save Dean Evans’ penalty and gathered at the second attempt. Both sides continued to create chances, and Cameron Teece headed over the bar for the Gulls, before Floreat’s Chris Saldaris hit the post, but other chances in a first half were few and far between. The second half was far more open. Jordan Roberts forced Athena’s Jason Saldaris into a terrific save, before Marco Santa Lucia’s header crashed off the Sorrento bar.

Moments later Saldaris saved a Teece header before the Floreat custodian denied David Stokoe with a great save to claw the ball away from the top corner. Floreat rode their luck on those occasions, but they were presented with another opportunity from the penalty spot with eight minutes to play, which Petkov didn’t waste as he sent Morgan the wrong way. But their lead lasted for just three minutes though as Saldaris clattered into several bodies in the area and Southern gave a third penalty, which Teece blasted down the middle to level the score at 1-1.

Extra time couldn’t split the sides either as Chris Saldaris headed over from six yards, while at the other end Reece Vittiglia’s goal bound shot was deflected wide. So, it was off to penalties and with the shootout tied at 3-3, Vittiglia’s penalty was saved to his left by Saldaris, leaving Fuller to blast high into the net and win it for Floreat to send them into the State League Cup Final against Bayswater City next month.

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 6 Jesse FULLER, 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 Nick AMBROGIO (32 Robbie HARDING 83’), 11 Dennis GALAN, 15 Chris SALDARIS, 16 Ryan MALTON (5 Thomas JEBB 57’), 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD, 33 Tyler HOLDEN (14 Ludovic BOI 74’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 4 Adrian MADASCHI

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 2 David STOKOE, 3 Jakub PRAJZA (4 Shaun KILKELLY 52’), 5 Scott ROBERTSON, 7 Alex MORGAN, 10 Jordan ROBERTS, 11 Tim HILL, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 18 Jordan BROWN, 19 Jack SALTER (20 Jaxon TEMATA 91’), 23 Cameron TEECE - Subs not used: RGK Matthew GIUDICATTI, 16 Daniel PEARCE, 30 Jesse OWUOR - Referee: Matthew Southern

15.6.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN – REVIEW

Ashfield maintained their lead at the top of the State League Division One after a hard-fought 2-1 win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. The home side took the lead on 21 minutes, Boas Mtwale played in Dion Berman who finished low past Paul Rainfield. But Ashfield were level five minutes later, Josh Kotio beat his man out wide, and cut the ball back to Kevin Ashwood. whose shot was well said by Aiden Holloway, but the rebound fell to Pat Quinn, who finished clinically. Ashfield were on top early in the second half and Joshua Kotio long-range shot smacked off the crossbar, but just after the hour they hit front. A ball was played wide and with a neat first touch Matt Worton took him around his marker and into the box he made no mistake from a tight angle to seal the points. "Today's result was fantastic for our club, as Derby games are always hard matches regardless of ladder position and credit to Morley, they came out really hungry and were worthy of their lead," Ashfield Coach Matt Wardle said. "But credit to my boys again to show character to come from behind and get another win. I feel we were the only team in the second half who wanted to win the game and showed the little bit of quality needed to get the result. Every game in this league is big, and they don’t get much bigger than Western Knights away next week, and we are ready and can’t wait for it."

Gwelup Croatia kept pace with the leaders after a 3-1 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. They were ahead after only 13 minutes, when Ellis Healing was brought down in the box by Antonio Naglieri, and Healing picked himself up to convert the resulting penalty. It was 2-0 on the half hour, David Heagney made space out on the right and his inch perfect cross was headed across Subiaco keeper Teophile Brown and into the corner of the net. Subiaco pressed after the break but couldn't convert the good chances they created and Gwelup made them pay for those misses by added a third on 80 minutes. A quick counter attack from Taki Nicolaidis side saw Heagney race down the right and his cross was turned home by Danny Hodgson to seal the points. Subiaco did pull one back in the final minute, referee Stephen Knight spotted a push in the box by Matt Sparrow and pointed to the spot and Naglieri converted, but it was too little too late. "It was a good win for us today and we’re now unbeaten in our last eight league games,” Healing said. “I think we’ve started playing well as a team the last couple of weeks, so hopefully we can carry on the good run of form into the second half of the season.”

Western Knights bounced back from last week’s disappointing defeat at Mandurah with a 4-1 win against UWA Nedlands, in the Derby at Nash Field. The Knights were ahead on 16 minutes, when Noah Shamaki beat his defender and scored clinically from just inside the box. But UWA were level 60 seconds later. A through ball from Riaz Kelly sent Ivwa Simbile in on goal and he was brought down by Knights keeper Sam Stone and the referee pointed straight to the spot, and Kelly sent Stome the wrong way from the penalty to level things up. After the break the Knights regained the lead when Andy Cartwright sent Jack Rycroft in on goal and he finished well. UWA had their chances but failed to convert them and it was the Knights who added a third. Rycroft's cross was tapped home by Dean Hurley from close-range. UWA were chasing the game late and they were caught out again in the final minute, Luka Jukic put Paul Lloyd through and he finished with aplomb. "I thought we responded very well after a disappointing result last week," Knights coach Ivan Zuvela said. "We have a very big squad and each week there are different players who are contributing for us every week, and this week was a genuine team performance for the whole 90 minutes."

Olympic Kingsway have come from behind to draw 1-1 with Forrestfield United at Kingsway Reserve. It was Forrestfield who were ahead on 25 minutes, Nick Tatasciore's free kick found Steve O'Leary at the back post and he was bundled over and the referee pointed to the spot. Daryl Platten stepped up to score from the penalty. But Olympic hit back and levelled five minutes later, when new signing Jakub Sklenar received the ball on the left before crossing across the face of goal, and Charlie Breen took one touch before firing home. The home side went close again before the break with Elliott Tattersall effort crashing off the crossbar. Both sides had chances after the break the best fell to Olympic with Sklenar hitting the post late on. "The game was a tough competitive encounter, and Forrestfield came and defended deep and tried to hit us on the counter and as a result we had a lot of possession," Olympic coach Gary Williams said. "We created a number of chances in the first half but we didn't produce a great deal in the second half. We have a number of games coming up where we have to get some wins to stay in touch with the leaders. Forrestfield United midfielder Mitch Crocker said the result was about right. "The game was pretty even if I’m honest, they had their fair share of the ball and so did we so I think a draw was a fair result," he said. "A good point away from home, but we need to start beating the teams above us to start climbing the table."

In the final game Mandurah City’s recent good form has continued after a 4-1 win against Joondalup United at Forrest Park. The visitors were ahead when Joe O’Brien cut inside his marker and crossed to Jeff Bright who made no mistake from five meters. It was 2-1 to Alex Grayson’s side when Regan Davidson sent O’Brien clear one-on-one with the Joondalup custodian and he lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper. It was 3-0 before half time, this time Bright’s through ball sent O’Brien clear again and he made no mistake, rounding the keeper and rolling the ball home. Joondalup pulled one back after the break, add details. But Mandurah regained their three-goal lead to seal the points when Jack Terrell squared the ball to the edge of the penalty area for player/coach Grayson, and his first touch took him past his marker and he finished with aplomb. “It’s been a long time since the club celebrated three wins on the bounce and the run of form has come at a great time,” Grayson said. “We can now head into the turn of the season with a positive light on things. Massive credit to the lads for getting through a tough patch and special mention to Sam French, who has been instrumental to our success over the past few weeks.” – Fremantle City had the bye this week.

15.6.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TEN – REVIEW

It’s as you were at the top of the State League Division Two, with Quinns maintaining their five-point lead at the top of the table after a 4-0 win against Curtin University at Edinburgh Oval. “We played some good football today, but we weren’t at our best, but we got the job done and it’s nice to get another clean sheet,” Quinns keeper James Bosdet said. “We now focus on next week against Balga, a game we are all looking forward too.” The visitors were ahead when great approach work by Richard Howles was finished off by Jamie Stewart. Quinns were flying and Howles bagged a second finishing clinically past the keeper to send them into the break with a 2-0 lead. Curtin started the second half well and Bosdet made a couple of good saves to keep them at bay. But Quinn’s hit back and started to take control and added a third. Good lead up play ended with a ball into the box and Brad McDonald lost his marker to score. They added a fourth in similar circumstances this time Brent Quick found space in the penalty area and made no mistake to seal a comprehensive win. “We were delighted with the win on Saturday as it keeps our momentum going,” assistant coach John Lavery said. “They (Curtin) are a young side with good potential but the extra experience and class that Quinns have at the moment paid dividends and I don’t think the result was ever really in doubt.”

Murdoch University Melville are still in touch with the leaders after a 4-0 win against Dianella White Eagles at Murdoch Uni. The hosts were ahead when Sasa Slavujevic’s free kick was flicked home by Mark Lucas. It was 2-0 when Slavujevic spotted the Curtin keeper off his line and lobbed the ball over him. The home side were dominating and it wasn’t a surprise when they added a third, wit ha good finish from substitute Grant Mowatt. The went close to a fourth but Lucas’ shot crashed off the post and Slavujevic’s free kick whistled over the top. But it was 4-0 when another substitute Christian Long’s powerful shot into the top corner. “It was a very strong performance against a team who are better than their results suggest,” MUM Coach Gavin Brown said. “The goals were good quality and it was encouraging to have four different scorers again. Notable performances from Ryan Tucker who was filling in at left back and Josip Vujica who ran his socks off and got through a lot of unselfish work up top.”

Gosnells City sit third after a hard fought 2-1 win against Swan United at Walter Padbury Reserve. Gosnells opened the scoring on 37 minutes, Kenel Mouithys sent Josh Wade down the left and his first time cross was turned home by Eddie Wilson at the near post. Marc Anthony’s went close to a second before the break, Sheldon Nogueira cross picked out Scott Pereira, whose header crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. It was a tight second half with both sides having good chances, David Foster heading over the top for the Swans, before Swans keeper Joe Smith produced a stunning save to keep Wilson’s header out at his near post. But on 77 minutes it was Swan who levelled the game. A long free kick into the box was spilt by Tom Allan, under great pressure from Chris Marshall, and the ball fell to Monterosso who made no mistake from the angle. But Swan midfielder Brian Patterson was sent off three minutes from time and Gosnells won all three points deep into stoppage time, when a free kick was spilt by Smith, and it was headed back across goal and Wilson headed home from close-range to set off wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

Balga moved up to fourth after winning a seven-goal thriller against Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve. It was Balga who made the best possible start and they were ahead after only 60 seconds, with Kris Spaseski on target. But the home side levelled midway through the half with Jean Marc D’Avray scoring. But Balga regained the lead just before half time when Kristian Despotovski was fouled in the box and Dejan Andric scored the resulting penalty. Wanneroo restored parity early in the second half with D’Avray adding his second. But it was Balga who hit the front again when Herman Michael scored after a quick counter attack from Aleks Vrteski’s side. Then in the second minute of stoppage time Wanneroo found another equaliser with Jack Hailstones scoring and it looked like the points would be shared. But Balga had other ideas and with the final move of the match Despotovski made a darting run down the wing, cut inside the box, his shot on the run crashed off the upright, but the rebound fell to Tyron Torre who fired home much to the delight of the players and supporters alike. “A huge effort by the Balga boys today,” Despotovski said. “It was a very intense game and both sides were up for the challenge, and we knew that it was a must win game. Every game is a tough game in this league and Wanneroo are a good side but we took our chances and kept fighting until the last whistle and got our rewards.”

Shamrock Rovers moved five points clear of the drop zone after a 4-1 win against bottom of the table Canning City at Harold Rossiter Reserve. The home side were ahead at the break, when a long-throw was flicked on and Ger Fitzgerald headed home. The home side doubled their lead after the break when Fitzgerald headed a corner back across goal and Aaron Delaney scored. It was 3-0 in similar circumstances, Fitzgerald head back across goal and Jack Bardsley finished this time. Canning found a life line when Mohammed Al Bunajim scored from the spot, but Rovers sealed the points when Josh Hart fired home from 20 meters. “We played very well today and the young boys in particular played very well especially the keeper Jake Seymour, centre back Jack Barron and right back Jarrod Evans,” Rovers defender Fitzgerald said. “It was a brilliant team effort from everyone and the manager was delighted with the win and it was well deserved. Need to keep this effort up and get some more wins under our belt and move up the league because I know we are good enough to do so.”

In the final game Joondalup City moved up to fifth place on the table after a 4-2 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. The visitors were ahead when Liam McGurk was picked out at the back post by a corner and he headed home. Kelmscott levelled through Deng Dut on the quarter-hour, but Joondalup regained the lead moments later after some neat link up lay Luke Doyle finished. But again, Kelmscott hit back with Amos Doegoloa pouncing on 23 minutes and it was locked up at 2-2 at the break. But it was the visitors who went on with it after the break, first a ball was cut back to McGurk who rolled the ball home, before some good approach work ended with Sam Rawlings who went one-on-one with the Kelmscott keeper and he finished clinically. “It was a great performance from the lads it was a scrappy game at times and we were under the pump for big parts of the game all the boys showed big hearts and we dug deep and stuck to our game and eventually the goals started to come,” Joondalup’s Liam Pickering said. “It was a great win for us, and it keeps us right in the mix in the top half of the table, and with a game in hand.”

14.6.2019

MATILDAS DETRACTORS COP KERR PASTING

Sam Kerr has taken aim at commentators and fans that wrote off the Matildas after their first-up loss to Italy, telling them to "suck on that one". The response from the Matildas captain came after Australia ignited their World Cup campaign with a stunning comeback 3-2 victory over Brazil.

Trailing two-nil and with their qualification hopes appearing dead, Caitlin Foord and Chloe Logarzo brought Australia back from the brink before Monica's own goal gifted the Matildas a priceless win. It is only the second time a team have come from 2-0 down to win at the Women's World Cup.

"There was a lot of critics talking about us but we're back so suck on that one," Kerr said when interviewed pitch side. "We don't listen to the haters. "Look at that performance to come back from the deep. I love these girls, they're something else."

The Matildas have always been powered by an us-against-the-world mentality. In the last two decades, as they improved their world standings, they have fought for fair conditions and pay. And last week intense criticism of the side bubbled over after their 2-1 loss to Italy.

"We haven't been reading (the criticism) but at the end of the day you can feel it," Kerr added. "Social media gives people a platform to say whatever they want, so it was good to kind of send a message back home and send a message to the rest of the world."

"We knew this would happen. We knew people would be quick to judge but that's football and look what we did today. We had three different goalscorers and outplayed them most of the time. Coming back from two goals down with the pressure we had on us, it's pretty special."

The Matildas sent a message to their detractors, but did they send one to the rest of the tournament as well? "Hell yeah," Kerr continued. "Well, we've got to focus on Jamaica first, we're not gonna get too far ahead of ourselves.

"Brazil's one of the best teams in the world, they've got the best player probably ever in the history of the game (in Marta). So if people don't keep watching the Aussies, we'll come get ya like we did then. People don't understand the belief we have in this team."

"They don't understand the confidence we have in each other, the confidence we have in (coach) Ante (Milicic). One game was not gonna derail our World Cup hopes - and that's why it was so frustrating for us because instead of the media being 'we can turn this around', it turned negative on us and it only fuelled us, so thank you."

14.6.2019

FFA CUP - ROUND SEVEN – PREVIEW

It's the FFA Cup Semi-Final's this weekend, with Floreat Athena, Sorrento, Bayswater City and Rockingham City, only one win away from a spot in the National stage of the competition and the Belt-Up State League Final. In the first semi-final on Saturday afternoon Floreat Athena entertain Sorrento at E&D Litis Stadium. The last time these two sides met in the cup was in 2014 (Soccer Pools Cup) The dismissal of Sorrento striker Sean Canham late in the first half tilted the game in Floreat’s favour but it wasn’t until after the break that Ashley Corker and Mark Walsh each bagged a double with substitute Yves Mwilia added the other, in a 3-0 win.

Sorrento made it to this stage after a penalty shootout win against ECU Joondalup in the fourth round, and they need a stoppage time equaliser from keeper James Morgan to send it to spot kicks. In round five goals from Alex Morgan and Jakub Prajza saw them edge out a gallant Gwelup Croatia 2-1, before a hard-fought win on the road against Fremantle City. It could have been a banana skin game for the Gulls, but goals from Jack Salter and David Stokoe saw them home 3-0 and Head Coach Jamie Harnwell was delighted with the performance. "I was really pleased with how we went about the game against Fremantle, because they sat back and tried to catch us on the counter attack," he explained. "But the boys kept the ball for long periods of time and shifted Fremantle around. We did have enough chances in the second half to make it a more comfortable victory, but in any cup game it is just a good thing to go through to the next round."

The Gulls were beaten 1-3 in the only meeting in the league this season at Litis Stadium, and they will be looking to reverse that result on Saturday. Harnwell said it's a huge game for the club, and they would like to fly the flag for WA again in the round of 32, like they did in 2015 against Sydney FC. "It's a game that the players are looking forward to, and I don't think you can read previous results into as there is a lot on the line for both clubs and this is different to any league match," Harnwell said. "Floreat are a good side and well drilled by Garrett, and they have a number of exciting players that can hurt you. For our part, we had a poor day out last time we played them and didn't get close to the potential that we have. Though the results in the league haven't gone our way in the last couple of games, the performances for large parts has been there. We are confident that we can put together a strong 90 minutes to grab that spot in the national round of 32 and the State League Cup Final."

Floreat Athena were drawn away to Kelmscott Roos in the fourth round and came home with a 4-0 win, before a trip to high flying Division One side Olympic Kingsway in round five. It was a tricky tie, but goals from Nick Ambrogio, Robert Petkov and Jon Stynes saw them run out 3-0 winners. That set up and all NPL tie on the road at Balcatta, and a goal from Stynes gave them a narrow 1-0 win at Grindleford Reserve. Floreat Coach Garrett McDuling thought it was a professional performance from his side. "We drew a tough away match against Balcatta, who tried to prevent our players the freedom of play that has seen us score some terrific goals this season, and Balcatta were compact and tried to play on the counter at times,” he explained. “They created some chances however we also had some terrific goal scoring opportunities. However, we were made to wait until the final whistle to ensure our spot in the semi-final as we could not find the net a second time to put the game to bed.

“Trying to juggle the league and cup games over a few days and manage players loading we included some youngsters in Jack Andrews, Rob Harding and Tyler Holden you all did a terrific job ensuring we now look forward to a tasty challenge against Sorrento.” Floreat sit in second on the table at the moment and coming off a big win against Perth Glory last week, and McDuling said his side are playing well at the moment and head into the game confident they can get the job done, but he is well aware cup games are one off and they need to turn up on the day. "Sorrento are always a tough side to play (let alone in the cup) and they will be well organised under the guidance of Jamie Harnwell,” he said. “We finally got a home draw in the cup which is great and I’m sure the pitch conditions will be an improvement of what we saw last week during our solid win against the Glory. It will be a terrific match and with no other games scheduled on the same day I would encourage everyone to come down and watch cup football at its best.”

The second semi-final is on Sunday afternoon where Bayswater City entertain Rockingham City at Frank Drago Reserve. The last time these two sides met in the cup was in 1999 (The Boral Cup) and the then called Bayswater City Panthers won 1-0. Bayswater have had to fight hard to get into Sunday’s game, and in the fourth round they took on Division Two leaders Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve, and a brace from Daryl Nicol saw them edge out Marc Anthony's side 2-1. In the fifth round they had to fight back from two goals down at home to beat Cockburn City 3-2, Nicol, Gordon Smith and an own goal from Cockburn defender Hayden Stevens completed the comeback and set up an Italian derby in the quarter-final. The game against the league leaders and unbeaten Perth SC was a thriller and goals from Nicol, Adam Tong and an own from defender Rocco Pizzata saw them leave Dorrien Gardens with a 3-2 win. Bayswater assistant coach Alun Vernals said it was a great game and great victory for the club. "Games between the two sides are always tough, and this one was a cracking cup tie," he explained.

"To be fair we rode our luck at times but that’s cup football, the lads put in a great shift and got their rewards with the win. We all know cup games can sometimes be won on set pieces and we took full advantage and showed great character to run out the game." Vernals, who must be still on a high after his beloved Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League Final in Madrid, and was over in the UK and travelled to Porto and Barcelona in the quarter and semi-final, said Sunday will be another tough game, but they are looking forward to the challenge. "We played them (Rockingham) in the league and should have gone on with it after leading 2-0, but fair play to them they fought back for the draw," he said. "But we need to be as professional as we can be, and with it being a Sunday game we’ll get the boys in Saturday so that extra session really helps. We’d love to make the final for the first time since 2014 and I’m sure the squad will pull out all stops to do that, but we know it's a cup tie and anything can happen so the lads will need to put in a strong performance and we're confident they will."

It's Rockingham City first season in the NPL WA and they have performed well and will be looking for their first cup final spot since 1990 on Sunday. They started their run in the fourth round with a tricky tie at Division One leaders Ashfield and a brace from Riley Van Dieken saw them win 2-1, and they had to come-from-behind in the fifth round against Curtin University 5-1 at SafeRad Stadium. They were on the road in the quarter-final with another tricky trip to UWA Nedlands, but with goals from Jason Pottier, skipper James Harmer and Blake Sokolowski saw them come home with a comprehensive 3-0 win. Rockingham Head Coach Cameron Lord said it was a good team performance. “In the last round the victory against UWA was a professional and assured performance from the boys,” he said. “To be fair we were relatively comfortable throughout the 90 minutes, which was pleasing.”

Lord said it’s great for the club to play in cup Semi-Final, as they look for a spot in their first cup Final since 1990, when they were beaten by Perth Italia in the D'Orsogna Cup at Bayswater’s ground. The then Division One side were 3-2 up with Steve Duckworth scoring a hat-trick, but went down 4-3. “We are excited to be in the position we are in the cup, and looking forward to the Bayswater-sized challenge in front of us,” he said. “This is the furthest that the club has gone in this cup, but we want to go that extra step and advance to the final. In doing so we know we will have to perform at our best against a very talented Bayswater group. But the recent league fixture showed the spirit and quality we have in our group. We must play with no fear, be resilient, and make sure we are clinical at both ends of the pitch.”

14.6.2019

STATE RESERVES CUP - SEMI FINALS – PREVIEW

It's Belt-Up State League Reserves Cup Semi-Finals this weekend with Armadale, Perth Glory, Cockburn City and Division One side Gwelup Croatia battling it out for a spot in the final. In the first semi-final on Saturday Perth Glory take on Armadale at E&D Litis Stadium. Glory beat Joondalup United in the first round, before a 4-1 win against Bayswater City in the second round. That set up a quarter-final tie against Floreat Athena and a goal from Jordan Abrahams gave them a 1-0 win at Grindleford Reserve. Glory Head Coach Richard Garcia said it was a hard-fought win. "The young lads played a great game, but Floreat made it hard for us, and Jordan’s goal saw us through," he said. "We did have chances to make the win a little more comfortable but failed to take them, but the players are looking forward to Saturday, as we look to regain the cup." Glory beat Armadale 4-1 in the league in round three but Garcia said that result will have little impact on Saturday's game. "This is a cup tie and it's who wants it the most on the day, and we'll doing all we can to make sure it's us," he explained. "The players have worked really hard at training this week, and are really keen to lift the cup again, but we all know we will have to be at our best to do that."

Armadale were drawn out in the preliminary round, and faced a trip to Quinns, and came home with a 3-1 win. They were also on the road in the first round, and came home with a comprehensive 6-0 win against Balga. In the quarter-final they hosted ECU Joondalup, who had well beaten them in the league on the Saturday, and put in a great performance running out 5-2 winners with doubles goals from Ayela Santa and Chad Nilson, and Coach Warren Smith was delighted with how they went about it. "The boys were very disappointed from their performance on the Saturday against ECU and needed to re-group,” he said. “They did so with their best performance so far this season, passing and moving the ball working hard and not allowing ECU to play to their game plan. don't think the score line reflects how tough the game really was and credit to ECU they never gave up but, on the day, Armadale were ready for this one - It was a great team effort.”

Reds keeper Blake Henshall played well against ECU, while striker Santa and skipper Jason Peppin will both be vital against a good Glory side. Smith said Glory are a strong team, and they will have to be at their best, but he is confident they can get the right result. "Glory will be tough, but I believe we are ready for the semi-final,” he said. “This will be a huge test to see how we have grown as a group over the season, all we have to do is concentrate on our game and not be intimidated by the Glory name and understand we are a development side for the future also. So, we need to go out and perform to our best as we should do every game, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

On Sunday we head to Frank Drago Reserve where Division One leaders Gwelup Croatia take on Cockburn City. Gwelup travelled to Macedonia Park in the first round and came home with a 3-0 win, before a tense penalty shoot-out win against Wanneroo City in second round, after the game ended 2-2 at normal time. In the quarter-finals they visited Dorrien Gardens, and goals from Lewis Robinson and an own goal saw them surprise their NPL opponents 2-1. Gwelup coach Rob Milevski said it was a massive win for his side. "To go 1-0 down at Perth in the second half and to show the character we did afterwards was a tremendous effort, and it was a massive win for us," he said. "To be fair we were fortunate with an own goal but to win it four minutes from time through young Lewis' goal was fantastic. It was a memorable day for the club as a whole and one of the best wins I've been involved in for a very long time."

Skipper Jordan Costanzo has led from the front this season for Gwelup, and is joint top scorer with Alley Manyol, and they will need to be watched closely by Cockburn on Sunday. Milevski said they are relishing the opportunity of taking on another NPL club, and they will be doing all they can to reach the final. "We are all relishing the Cockburn City challenge this weekend and know it will be even tougher against the current second-placed under 20's NPLWA side," he explained. "We don't know too much about them, other than taking notice of their strong results in the league and cup so far this season. But as always we will treat it like any other game and are more than confident of springing yet another surprise."

Cockburn City moved through the first round with a big 4-1 win against Olympic Kingsway, before a 3-0 win against Rockingham City in round two. In the quarter-final they took on another NPL side and beat Inglewood United, and ran out 2-0 winners, and coach Joe Pereira was pleased the way his side played on the day. “It was a good win against another NPL opposition to move to the semi-finals.” he said. “We have played well all season against strong sides, and we see this as a bonus for our side rewarding them for the football, they have been producing all season.” Ben Radonich is vital for the young side, he has been outstanding in goal, but is also the skipper of the side, while top scorer Seb da Silva will also have a big role to play on Sunday.

Pereira is well aware Gwelup have beaten some good sides to reach this stage, but he is confident they can get the right result on Sunday. “Obviously, Gwelup will go into the game looking to cause an upset and they must be doing something right to have made it this far in the competition so we will respect them but in saying that we will be very disappointed if we couldn’t make it to the final,” he explained. “I understand it is a one-off game and anything is possible but after beating Olympic Kingsway reserves in an earlier round 5-1 and Gwelup being beaten by them last weekend, we have the utmost faith in our young talented side to get a positive result. We don’t have the ability to play older physically bigger players so that will be a factor we will have to overcome but our work rate and ball movement should hold us in go stead.”

14.6.2019

STATE UNDER 18'S CUP - SEMI FINALS – PREVIEW

The Belt-Up State League under 18's Semi-Finals take place this weekend, with Sorrento, Balcatta, Bayswater City and Perth SC fighting it out for a spot in the final next month. The first semi-final is on Saturday morning when Sorrento take on Balcatta. (10.45am) Sorrento won the local derby 2-1 against ECU Joondalup in first round, before a big 5-2 win against Subiaco in the second round. In the quarter-finals they took on Division Two side Quinns, and were pushed all the way and after the game ended 0-0 the Gulls won on penalties 4-2, with Laurits Christophersen scoring the winning spot kick. Sorrento Coach Stuart Banks said it was a great game against a good opposition. "I was impressed with Quinns, they had good players, were well organised, stuck to their game plan and worked hard," he explained. "They defended well and looked to win every first and second ball, and based on their performance against us I think they’d go ok in the NPL."

Keeper Noah Bloch was also the hero in the shoot-out saving a penalty, and he will be vital again, while skipper Jake Shaked and striker Dayan Bhudia will have big roles to play in the final. Banks said they have had some tight games against Balcatta this season and he is expecting more of the same on Saturday. "We know it will be another hard-fought game against Balcatta, and we've played each other in a preseason friendly and drew 3-3 and then in the league game a few weeks ago we drew 2-2," he said. "So, I think we are quite evenly matched and hopefully that makes for a good game and an exciting one for the crowd. They have some quality players and pace up front so we will have to play well to get the result."

Balcatta won convincingly in the first round, beating Joondalup City 7-1, before they had a hard fought 2-1 win against fellow NPL side Inglewood United in the second round. In the quarter-final they took on another NPL side in Cockburn, and ran out 5-2 winners with Matthew Mustica bagging a hat-trick, while Patrick Sinicki added a brace. Balcatta coach Igor Colic was delighted with the performance especially after losing in the NPL on the Saturday. “The win against Cockburn was very special for us, as it came off the back of a disappointing loss in the league just two days prior, and with a number of injuries and suspensions, could only take 13 players to the game,” he explained. “Cockburn probably started the better team and we had to work hard to keep scores level, but a well-executed set piece mid-way through the first half gave us our first, and I think from then on we looked good for the win. Cockburn played well for large parts of that game, which made the win even more pleasing, as we really had to earn it. It was one of those performances where the boys showed some character and we'll use that as motivation heading into the semi-final.”

Matthew Mustica has been good in front of goal for Balcatta, and skipper Luke Alessandrino has led from the front all season, while keeper Kody D’Vauz has also been in good form, and all three will have to be at their best on Saturday. Colic said they have had some good games against Sorrento and this one will be another one. “Yes, we've played Sorrento twice this year already, once in preseason and then again in the league, and on both occasions, we let a comfortable lead slip and the games ended in draws,” he said. “This is mostly a testament to Sorrento's resilience and focus. I never felt like we gifted anything to them, they simply refused to quit and fully deserved to get something in both games. So, we know what we're up against on Saturday, this isn't a team that will ever capitulate. To win, we will have to be at our best for all of 90 minutes, and we're confident we can do just that.”

The other semi-final is at Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday morning when Bayswater City entertain Perth SC. Both sides are having good NPL season's and are sitting one and two respectively on the table. Bayswater opened the cup run with a hard-fought 2-1 win on the road against UWA Nedlands, and they had to fight all the way to beat Joondalup United by the same score line in round two. That set up a quarter-final with Floreat Athena, and a clinical performance saw them run out 6-0 winners, with a first half hat-trick from skipper George Norton and a double from Sebastin Hooshangian and another from Alex Evangelista. Bayswater coach Chris Barbas said they were looking for a fast start and they got one. "We went into the game with the mind set to start off quickly and put them on the back foot," he explained. "And we did exactly that and were 4-0 up at half time and went on with it after the break which was pleasing."

Daniel Mackenzie has been in top form in front of goal and he will be important in this one, and Barbas said it's going to be another tough game against Perth. "No doubt it will be a very tough encounter both sides have the best defences and attacking powers in the league so the entertainment will be at its best," he said. "Sam Riley in goals has been in some good form which has seen him recently promoted to the 20’s, while skipper George Norton is our go to man if we have injuries, he will fill that spot. It should be a great game and we hope there is a big crowd on hand to watch the talented youngsters from both sides play."

Perth SC had no trouble in the first round, beating Curtin University 11-0, before a 3-0 win against Murdoch University Melville in round two. In the quarter-finals they hosted Division Two side Gwelup Croatia, and after an entertaining game ended 1-1, Perth won through on penalties. Perth coach Tony Di Toro said it was a great game, but they should have put the game to bed earlier. “We all know league positions or divisions mean very little in a cup game, and this one was a hard fought game played in the right spirt by both teams .They were all well organised team with some quality players who once played for us, so there was probably a bit more incentive there to win,” he explained. “Jojo Parise managed to score the first goal and had plenty of chances to kill the game but lacked a bit of composure in the final third. We then had a player sent off and with 20 minutes to go after a second yellow card and they took full of advantage of that pressing us hard and managed win a penalty scored to send it to penalties.

“We were quietly confident as our keeper Adrian Sinagra has been in great form saving three penalties in three games through the regular season. He went on to save three penalties in a row won the game for us and made himself a bit of a hero, while Liam Alderson scored the winning spot kick.” Perth skipper Lachlan Byrd and top goalscorer Jordan Nikolajevic will be vital on Sunday, has Di Toro’s side look to reverse the score line from last season’s final, when they went down 0-1. But the coach is expecting it to be a great game. “it should be a cracking game against the two best teams in the state at the moment,” Di Toro said. “Our boys have worked hard all season and in particular the last few weeks leading into this game. I think it will come down to a little bit of quality from someone on the day hopefully it’s from one of our boys, but we are definitely up for it, and I am sure Bayswater are as well, so I’m looking forward to the contest.”

14.6.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND ELEVEN – PREVIEW

It's week 11 of the State League Division One and this week’s Footballwa.net 'Match of the Round' takes us to Nash Field where Western Knights entertain UWA Nedlands in the derby. UWA moved to sixth on the table after a 4-1 win against Morley Windmills, while the Knights suffered a shock 2-3 loss at Mandurah, which saw them drop to fourth. Last week’s win for UWA was important as they were coming off the bye and coach Michael Janssen said it was even better in the difficult conditions. “Last weekend was important to us and we performed well, and the boys showed what we expected from the group and delivered a very focused game in tough conditions,” he explained. “I thought our midfield played a lot of positive balls and put pressure on their lines for most of the game, and the result was well deserved and we didn't allow anything in the second half working defensively compact.”

Janssen said a trip to their neighbours is never easy, and with them losing last week makes even tougher, but they are ready for the challenge. “Playing at Nash Field is always a big task and we are looking forward to the game and facing a strong Western Knights team,” he said. “We expect a hard fight and we’ve worked very well during the week towards the game and how to approach the opponent in the right manner. The Derby is big for both clubs and we feel confident enough to go out and get a positive result on Saturday, and last week's results mean nothing when the first whistle goes in the Derby.”

The loss at Mandurah was only their second loss of the season and defeat denied them top spot, and coach Ivan Zuvela said despite dominating the game they let it slip late. “Yes, we were very disappointed with last week’s result against Mandurah and I thought we controlled the game but just didn’t take our chances,” he explained. “But you have to give credit to Mandurah they just kept coming at us and scored two very good goals right at the end to seal the win.”

Zuvela said that result is in the past and they now focused on Saturday’s derby against UWA and getting back to winning ways. “We know that UWA is going to be a tough game, and they had a very good win last week and I’m sure they will bring that momentum this week,” he said. “But this is our chance to turn around the result from last week and get a result at our home ground and keep the pressure on the league leaders.”

In other games league leaders Ashfield return from the bye with a trip to Wotton Reserve to take on bottom of the table Morley Windmills, while Olympic Kingsway host Forrestfield United at Kingsway Reserve. Forrestfield were back in the winners’ circle last week against Joondalup United, while Olympic were beaten at Gwelup, a result that saw them drop to fifth, but with only three points separating the two sides this one should be a tight game. Third placed Gwelup Croatia are on the road this week when they visit Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco, while in the final game Mandurah City travel to take on Joondalup United at Forrest Park. Joondalup were well beaten at Forrestfield last week, while Mandurah produced a thrilling 3-2 win against Western Knights.

Mandurah Coach Alex Grayson said the win was a huge boost to the players as they look to kick start their season. “I was very pleased with the performance and result last week, and we’ve been on the other side of those games more often than not so to win one in that fashion was great for the lads,” he explained. “I feel it was the bit of luck we deserved this year so hopefully it's a sign of things to come.” Grayson said Saturday is a massive game for them, and he is expecting a tough challenge. “The past two weeks won't count for anything if we can't follow it up this weekend, but Joondalup will be a fierce task,” he said. “Nick will have his boys organised and fired up for this one so regardless of league position, I guarantee it will be a great contest.” - Fremantle City have the bye this weekend.

14.6.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TEN – PREVIEW

It’s week 10 of the Belt-Up State League Division Two and the Footballwa.net ‘Match of the Round’ is at Wanneroo Reserve, where Wanneroo City entertain Balga. Both sides are coming off wins last week, Wanneroo edging out Curtin University 3-2 to move to fourth, while Balga moved to fifth after a narrow win against Kelmscott. Balga are unbeaten in their last five games and skipper Danny Cain said the win was outstanding, especially in the poor weather conditions. “Yes, it was a difficult game against and improved Kelmscott team, and in tough weather conditions,” he said. “The lads showed desperation and commitment all over the park for 90 minutes to get the win and that was perhaps something that had been missing for us this season.”

Cain said Wanneroo are on the improve and is expecting a tough derby on Saturday, but its important they keep their unbeaten run going, but need to pick up points against the top sides after two draws against Gosnells and Swan. “This week is huge for us and we will go into the game with confidence on the back of last week’s effort,” he said. “We are looking to go on a run now after a few decent performances without bringing home three points, but we know it’s going to be a tough game, and a challenge, but it’s one we are up for.”

After an indifferent start due to injuries and player movement, Wanneroo are on the up and Coach Tim Kantor said it’s been a big turnaround and he has been delighted the way some of his younger players have come on. “Yes, it’s been a great achievement by the group and highlights the depth that we have in the club. In the first nine weeks of the season we have played 21 players already which is quite extraordinary really. We have through necessity had to change our formation and the lads have bought into the new structure and back to back wins is very pleasing.”

Kantor said Saturday is a huge game for both clubs, especially with only one point separating the two sides. “This is a massive game for us with three points separating half a dozen teams, and one between us and Balga,” he explained. “Aleks has recruited well and Balga are staking their claim as a play-off contender there’s absolutely no doubt about that. Having said that, there is a real resilience in our group and the boys coming into the team each week are doing their job. The new lads that joined the club over the past few weeks have settled in well and are starting to play some real quality football, so it’s going to be a cracking game and one that we are really looking forward too.”

In other games this weekend league leaders Quinns make the trip to Edinburgh Oval to take on Curtin University. Quinns sit five points clear at the top of the table, and are coming off a big win against Dianella last week, while Curtin were edged out at Wanneroo. Kelmscott Roos host Joondalup City at Frye Park, Murdoch University Melville entertains Dianella White Eagles at Murdoch Uni, while the bottom two teams meet at Harold Rossiter Reserve, when Shamrock host Canning City.

In the final game third placed Gosnells City host sixth placed Swan United a t Walter Padbury Reserve. Gosnells got back to winning ways last week at Shamrock, while Swan were beaten at home by MUM. New Swan striker Chris Holland said it was a disappointing result, but they had their chances to win it. “Yes, it was very disappointing, both teams had chances, but I thought we had the more clear-cut chances on the day,” he explained. “But credit to Murdoch, when the weather turned for the worse in the second half, they kicked on and were rewarded taking the lead and held on for the rest of the game.”

Holland, who has played for Gosnells, said Saturday will be a tough game but he’s looking forward to catching up with old friends, but hopes to bring the three points back to the Swan Valley. “Should be a great game, last time the two met at Gosnells swan edged a win which always seems to be a close match between the two teams,” he explained. “Gosnells have a great team and I’m still close with all of them I hope for a good entertaining game, but I see Swan coming away with the win and keeping in and around the top half of the table.”

14.6.2019

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND NINE PREVIEW

It’s week nine of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division and this week Footballwa.net “Match of the Round’ takes us to John Connell Reserve, where third placed Leeming Strikers entertain league leaders Kingsley. Leeming have been scoring for fun recently, bagging 17 goals and conceding none, and are coming off a 9-0 win against Ellenbrook last week. Kingsley edged out Wembley Downs 2-1, the win moving them three points clear at the top of the table. Leeming coach David Palin said his side have been very competitive this season and despite not getting off to the best start in the league are improving each week. “Apart from the Jags game where we were completely out played, our general performance in the other games where we dropped points was good but also highlighted a few issues that over the last couple of weeks we have been able to sort out and seen the benefits of,” he said. “It's been nice to score a lot of goals and keep clean sheets over the last couple of weeks and full credit to our players for taking up the challenge of doing better and taking responsibility in key moments. It was a hit and miss start but we are happy where we are at now as a side moving into Kingsley this week.”

Palin said games against Kingsley are always tough, and he knows it will be the same on Sunday. “Over the last couple of seasons when you've mentioned Leeming and Kingsley, whether it has been at reserve level or firsts it's been an important game and that is no different this week. There is an opportunity for us to close the gap but on the other hand for Kingsley to give themselves a considerable gap moving into the halfway point of season so the stakes are high,” he explained. “Though both sides are different in how they play, the games are always tight and I think it's very hard to separate the two sides on paper, it really does come down to who executes their game plan better and makes less mistakes in key moments. We've enjoyed the last two weeks’ but these are the games we really look forward to and enjoy most as a squad, I'm expecting two really good games Sunday and it's a credit to both squads, that we find ourselves in such important games again this season.”

Kingsley assistant coach Stuart Montgomery said the win against Wembley was terrific, in the terrible weather conditions on the day, and he said the players took their chances when they came along. “Yes, it was a tough game against Wembley as we knew it would be, and it wasn’t helped by the conditions,” he said. “But we were really impressed with the way the boys ground out the result in the end, Wembley are a decent side and we had to make sure we were ready to take our chances when they came and keep their chances to a minimum, which is exactly how the game played out.”

Montgomery said Sunday is a huge game and he knows they can’t have a slip up, like North Perth did last week. “Leeming have had some very good results the last few weeks, and are starting to show how good a team they are with some real quality players in their side,” he explained. “The last two years I have been at Kingsley we have played Leeming in night series finals and cup finals and league games and they are always very tight physical games and I am positive it won’t be any different this Sunday. I am sure David (Palin) will have his side fired up as they will want to the close the four point gap we have on them, and from our point of view we are really looking forward to testing ourselves against a form team and to hopefully continue our good run and pick up some important points.”

In other games North Perth United will be looking to bounce back defeat last week against Kwinana when they travel to Butlers Reserve to take on Wembley Downs, while Quinns host Jaguars at Gumblossom Park, with both sides level on 13 points. Fresh off their surprise win against North Perth, Kwinana United host Hamersley Rovers at Kelly Park, while Belmont Villa host the winless Ellenbrook United at Gerry Archer Sports Complex.

In the final game Joondalup United will be looking to make it back-to-back wins when they travel to the UWA Sports Park to take on UWA Nedlands.

UWA produced a great win on the road at Jaguar last week, the win made it one loss in their last five games, while Joondalup’s win against Belmont, closed the gap on the rest of the pack. Joondalup coach Ben Williams said they need to start to take their chances in games, and he is sure they will. “We were very good last week apart from in the final third which has been our biggest problem this year converting the chances, we missed three or four we should of put away,” he said. “To be honest we have been up against it this year and when your luck is down everything goes against you, but to be fair apart from our dreadful Saturday night at Chichester and ten really bad minutes early against Hamersley we haven't been that far behind the teams and if we had been better in final third when our chances presented themselves we could of maybe had a few more points on the board. We must keep improving every week and hopefully before long we can start to climb up the table.”

Williams said UWA are a good side and well coached, and he said Sunday will be another challenge, but one they are looking forward too. “UWA always are a competitive outfit, and Arthur (Hiemstra) has them well drilled and you never know what you are going to get as they have a huge turnover of players usually being a Uni club,” he explained. “We keep the hard work at training and keep the mood positive and I'm sure good things are around the corner the group of players are to talented to not change their fortunes around.”

11.6.2019

ANGRY DE VANNA SAYS MATILDAS MUST GEL UP FRONT

She took another step towards becoming Australia's most capped player, but Lisa De Vanna was not happy on Sunday night. She was not happy at the scoreline: Australia 1, Italy 2. She wasn't happy about the manner of the defeat – a goal in the last seconds of stoppage time.

But more than anything, she wasn't happy because the Matildas did not do themselves justice in their disappointing World Cup opener against a team ranked nine places behind them in the world standings, an opponent they were expected to see off with relative ease.

The loss is not the death knell for their World Cup hopes, but it means there is little margin for error in the final two group games, against Brazil and Jamaica. "I'm not happy at the moment, I'm frustrated, angry," De Vanna said after the opening game in which she started on the bench.

"It's important to get three points but not just the three points, to give us confidence for the rest of the tournament. I guess now it's a big hurdle for us and we have to rise. There's no bigger team to do that against than Brazil."

De Vanna was quick to identify the areas in which the team must improve. "I just think we couldn't keep the ball at times. We rushed our decision at times, and for the strike force we have we're not quite gelling just yet," she said. Once we can get that on the mark we'll be quite dangerous up front."

10.6.2019

STRONGEST MALAYSIA WILL KEEP IMPROVING SAYS DAVIES

Right back Matthew Davies is confident Malaysia will improve further in the coming stages of the World Cup/Asian Cup qualification. Malaysia downed Timor-Leste 7-1 in the first leg of the play-offs last week, and a similar scoreline is expected in the return game.

Davies, who plays his club football for Pahang, is adamant that he and his teammates will retain their hunger for the second leg, despite the advantage they already hold. "We're relaxed, we're positive, but at the same time we're still hungry to get another good result and determined to build on Friday's performance."

"I've been involved (with the national team) for four or five years now, including in the previous qualifying round. I think this is one of the strongest (Malaysia) teams in a while. We've got a few good results and fielded a lot of young players. We're confident that we'll develop further as a team, and of having better chances going into the next round."

10.6.2019

KERR ON THE MARK BUT MATILDAS OFF PACE

Sam Kerr has saluted one of her football idols after breaking her Women's World Cup duck. The Matildas captain scored from the penalty spot in a 2-1 loss to Italy on Sunday, netting the game's opener in the 22nd minute.

After tucking into the net, Kerr ran to the corner and punched the flag like another Australian goalscorer of years gone by. "The legend, Timmy Cahill lives on," Kerr said. "My first ever (World Cup) goal and he's our greatest-ever goalscorer."

"Just a bit of fun and a shoutout to Timmy ... Timmy's a legend. He's one of my idols. I thought he probably should have got on at the last World Cup and scored so that one was for him."

Unfortunately, Barbara Bonansea scored twice to steer Italy to victory. Despite the loss, Kerr says the Matildas are still very much alive. "We've still got two more games to get out of the group," she said.

"We just lost in the last moment but I think we dominated the game. We feel really confident still. There's a lot of positives. We'll stick together and go on to Brazil."

Kerr's confidence rests on Australia's dominance over Italy. At times, the Matildas were confident and vibrant in their forward play, ably supported by full-backs Ellie Carpenter and Steph Catley.

Australia starved Italy of possession and took 16 shots to their opponents' three. Kerr's belief is also supported by history. In Australia's six previous World Cups, the Matildas have just one opening match win - yet they've reached the quarter-finals three times.

9.6.2019

DE VANNA: ‘I USED TO LOSE MY MIND ABOUT SIMPLE THINGS’

In the highly sanitised and carefully cultivated image-conscious modern world there are few professional athletes like Lisa De Vanna. Never afraid to speak her mind, the 34-year-old has had almost as many clubs as years spent as a professional footballer.

Yet as she approaches the twilight of her playing career there’s a sense a more self-contented De Vanna has finally come to terms with her emotions. Ahead of her first World Cup, De Vanna was described by her then coach Alistair Edwards as “high maintenance”, “a brat” and possessing mood swings “like the stock market crash of 1987”.

It was a tempestuous relationship, and Edwards was not alone in having difficulties with De Vanna. But coaches around the world continued to persist for one simple reason: the lightning-quick forward was prodigiously talented. An outsider who endured a challenging upbringing, De Vanna makes no apologies for her previous behaviour.

“I was never a sheep when I was younger,” De Vanna told the 'Guardian Australia'. “I’ve always been my own person. And if I didn’t like something I was quite happy to say, ‘nah, I’m leaving’. I didn’t feel any peer pressure because I had such a big strong personality.”

“I’m not the best communicator, I don’t know how to express my emotions. A lot of the time, I don’t understand how you can’t understand what I’m thinking. How can I see something as not good enough, and you don’t?”

A notorious perfectionist, the biggest source of De Vanna’s frustrations was a perceived lack of professionalism around her in an era when women’s football in Australia was moving from amateurism to semi-professionalism.

One of the first to crack the professional women’s scene in the United States with Washington Freedom in 2009, De Vanna was caught between two worlds when returning to an Australian context that appeared light-years behind.

“I used to lose my mind about simple things,” she says. “I mean, how do you not want to work hard, how do you not want to play with pride? Because I was in that environment when I had the best in the world, with Abby Wambach and Sonia Bompastor – these legends of the game – and they drilled it into my head, to be the best you have to train the best.

“In the past (other Matildas) didn’t care – but I cared. So then I’m the one blowing up because I wanted the best for myself, I wanted the best for my team and I expected better from my teammates.”

Part of De Vanna’s frustrations arose from the challenges she overcame to represent the national team. “I missed most of my teenage years, I gave up everything for football, but the good thing was I had good people around me,” she said.

“My friends who were going out partying turned around and said, ‘nup, go home’. They never got me involved in that environment because they knew from the way I talked about football that this was something I always wanted.”

And with the game around her professionalising rapidly, De Vanna now feels more in step with her surroundings. “We’ve just had a conversation about ‘developing a winning mentality’,” she says.

“I’ve had that winning mentality. I was like that ten years ago but I got in trouble for it – and now I was turning away from that because my whole life I was told that it’s not acceptable to blow up!”

Twice removed from the Matildas set up for behavioural issues, De Vanna has overcome every obstacle set in her path. She now stands on the cusp of becoming Australia’s most-capped footballer, surpassing Cheryl Salisbury’s mark of 151 appearances.

Approaching her fourth World Cup, and with the chance to join an elite club of players to have scored at all four, De Vanna now finds her role changing. Today she is less an impassioned motivator of her teammates and more of a mentor for the next generation.

“Ellie (Carpenter) might get a little bit cheeky, but she’s also young – she hasn’t been in the game long enough to understand the maturity of it,” De Vanna commented of her fellow attacker.

“Mary Fowler, she goes and plays NPL and scores six, seven goals, has this confidence, goes and plays young Matildas, kills it. But now she’s in an environment that’s a little tense. It’s high pressure, and she’s now realising, ‘wow, I need to up my game’.”

“In terms of mindset she’s such a humble kid, who just purely wants to do great things ... But it’s been a good wake-up call for her as well. A couple of weeks ago we were doing sprints and I said ‘I’ll go with Mary’ and I made sure I beat her on every single one just to bring her back down to earth a little bit.”

A strong adherent to what she calls “old school” ways, De Vanna also wants to imbue the next generation with traditional values: work hard, train hard, never let your passion for the game be distracted.

“Everything’s so superficial now – it’s all about social media, and I don’t like that. I think you have to have a little old school in there,” De Vanna commented.

“Everyone’s looking for acceptance and approval from people they don’t know, and I just feel like you have to be happy within yourself. If you start letting people who don’t know you make opinions about yourself then you’ll never be successful.”

Despite her stellar career, it’s been a frustrating few years both on and off the pitch for De Vanna, who for the first time in her career failed to score a single goal during an injury-ravaged W-League season with Sydney FC.

But the belief of new coach Ante Milicic in backing the veteran star has helped lift the mercurial striker. “Just how I’m feeling at the moment, I think my mindset is probably the best it’s been in the last few years,” she said.

“I just want to walk off the field knowing I’ve given it everything; and I’m happy because the last 10-15 years of football have been stressful because I’ve expected so much. But now I don’t feel like that.”

9.6.2019

FROM TUGGERANONG TO FRANCE: WILLIAMS' JOURNEY TO A FOURTH WORLD CUP

Lydia Williams dreamed of representing Australia as she watched Cathy Freeman tribute the Indigenous flag at the Sydney Olympic Games. And now the 31-year old goalkeeper is championing the indigenous community herself at the Women's World Cup in France.

"(Representing the indigenous community) is something really cool and it hasn't been an easy road," said Katanning-born Williams. "It's nice to hopefully see more indigenous people in the game in the future."

Women's football in Australia has evolved enormously since Williams first stepped out for Tuggeranong United 20 years ago. Her family moved to Canberra when she was 11 years old and she initially joined the club to make friends.

With the likes of Sam Kerr, Lisa de Vanna and rising star Mary Fowler as teammates, the goalkeeper said she's been privileged to play alongside the golden generation of Matildas.

"I love playing for my country and getting to it in such an amazing stage (of women's football) with such amazing players is humbling," Williams said. "People are coming to our games and our jerseys are being sold."

"With that kind of high profile there's more pressure on us but that's part of the game when you become well known. It's amazing to see how much the game has evolved in Australia."

But Williams' journey to her fourth World Cup hasn't been easy as injuries and the pressure to maintain form has taken its toll. She has undergone two knee reconstructions but was back in the Matildas fray just nine months after the surgery.

"Injuries take a toll on you so to be able to play this long has been pretty crazy," Williams said. "I'll have to look after my body but I wouldn't rule out the next World Cup as a possibility."

Matildas great Heather Garriock believes Williams is essential for Australia to make their maiden World Cup final. "I think she's one of the world's best goalkeepers, not just Canberra's best but one of the world's best," Garriock said.

"Lydia is key for the Matildas to have a successful World Cup campaign. She's very dynamic, she's a great shot stopper. In big moments in tournaments she has really produced and she's very experienced as well."

9.6.2019

KERR CAST AS CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Star forward Sam Kerr is used to scoring goals but she's still growing into the role of Australia's captain at the Women's World Cup. Kerr didn't completely take in what it meant to captain Australia when she was first handed the armband.

Now, as she prepares to lead the Matildas in the World Cup in France, she's come to grips with the honour and is ready. Kerr will lead Australia out at the Valenciennes' Stade du Hainaut on Sunday, widely seen as the best opportunity the Matildas' have had to leave a mark on the world stage.

Kerr is a world class goalscorer; the winner of the two latest golden boots in both the United States and Australian domestic leagues. She was appointed captain by coach Ante Milicic back in February as one of the incoming boss's first decisions.

Milicic already had the notion that Kerr, the team's brightest star, was ready for the role. His thoughts were confirmed as soon as he started his first team meeting. "Sam sat in the front row. First meeting. Front row. Eyes on me," he said when announcing his decision.

"She's a fantastic choice. She's confident. She has that belief and she really carries the team. She's a leader, she's fearless and she's very important to the team. She's ready at this moment to take this opportunity."

Kerr first captained Australia in the Cup of Nations win over New Zealand in Sydney three months ago. "I didn't really think about it (then but) when I was finally about to walk out, I was in the tunnel, and this nervousness came upon me. It was a really proud moment," she said.

"It's going to be a special moment for me leading the girls out. The most important thing for me is that I feel the support of the girls. To be at my third World Cup is going to be amazing. I'm just focusing on the game, not the tunnel."

9.6.2019

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND EIGHT REVIEW

Kingsley moved three points clear at the top of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division after a hard fought 2-1 win against Wembley Downs at a wet Chichester Park. The hosts were out of the blocks early and Wembley had to soak up some early pressure, with Jesse Higgins and Joel Gillespie both going close. But on the half hour Wembley's resistance ended, Joel Gillespie's corner wasn't dealt with and Ryan Carr stabbed the ball home from close-range. The hosts went close to a second before the break, but Wembley keeper Jeff Cornez saved well to deny Aaron Lickiss' header. Wembley started the second half well and Juraj Galba and Dean Woll both tested Kingsley keeper Ryan Moss. But it was the hosts who doubled their advantage on 54 minutes, when Lickiss lost his marker and headed home from close-range. The visitors found a lifeline ten minutes from time when Jay McDonald was brought down by Lickiss and referee Stewart Beattie pointed straight to the spot. Stephen Geoghegan converted the resulting penalty to set up a grandstand finish, but Kingsley held on for their fifth win in a row and to continue their lead at the summit.

“It was a very solid performance from my boys yesterday in a game in which was going to be tough due to the conditions and coming up against a Wembley side that had the best defensive record going into the game," Wembley coach Steven Dimitrovich said. "We spoke about been patient as we were going to have a lot of possession and we did and we were very patient so really happy with the way we played. Wembley are a very well drilled side and got numbers behind the ball very quickly all in all a very good game played in great spirits and I think the result was the right one at the end of the game."

North Perth United lost ground on the leaders after a 0-2 home defeat against Kwinana United at Woodville Reserve. Shane Boyle put Kwinana ahead with a lovely volley just outside the box early on in the game. But the visitors were reduced to ten men when Ryan Shackleton received a second yellow card early in the second half, but the ten men hit back and doubled their lead when Lee Bates finished clinically. North Perth pressed but they couldn't find a way past a hard-working Kwinana defence. But on 70 minutes Kwinana were reduced to nine men when Glen Smith was sent off, but Kris Donnell's side held on for three valuable points. "I'm delighted for the boys as they worked there socks off for the whole 90 minutes and this wasn't the first time, I felt we have been dealt with harshly for poor red cards," Donnell said. "I thought our system worked very well and it proved difficult for them to break us down. Even with the nine men we didn’t look like conceding which was a big positive for me and Paul to see. The boys will take a lot of confidence out of the result and we’ve set a level now we know we can play at."

Leeming Strikers jumped to third after thrashing bottom of the table Ellenbrook United at Jack Mann Oval. Lucas Pickering gave the visitors the lead, before Danny McKenzie added a second with a sweet half volley from the edge of the penalty area and Pickering added the third before the break. The Strikers went on with it after the break and Pickering completed his hat-trick, Evans added a second, and others to Michael Maratea, Scott McDowell and David Palin gave them a comprehensive win. "Ellenbrook seem to be still trying to find their way this year but they never gave up and made us work for every goal, they'll improve throughout the season so to go there and to get three points was pleasing," Leeming player/coach David Palin said. "That's 17 goals and no goals conceded in last two games, we've worked hard the last two weeks to make sure we take our opportunities when presented and hopefully that continues as we head into some tricky fixtures."

Jaguar dropped to fourth after they were beaten 1-2 by UWA Nedlands at Herb Graham Recreation Centre. The visitors made the best possible start scoring in the first 20 seconds. A back pass from the kick off was misplaced and Gerry Fatouros raced one-on-one with the Jags keeper and scored. But the home side levelled in the second half when David Kai headed home from a corner. But UWA won it late, when Frazer Childs was sent down the right, and his teasing cross found Louis Papalia at the back post who after taking a touch hammered it low and hard in the back of the net to seal the three points. "It's good to get the three points after the draws against North Perth and Hamersley in recent weeks," UWA coach Arthur Hiemstra said. "I was very happy how the lads applied themselves against a tough opponent, particularly when Jags equalised late in the second half. The game was very even and open and could have gone either way as always is the case against Jags."

Joondalup United moved away from the relegation zone after a 3-0 win against Belmont Villa at Beldon Park. Adam Taylor opened the scoring, and he was the supply for the second, his great run and cross finding Adam Gianassi at the back post to head home. It was 3-0 when Sam Davis finished well, and it was almost four when Gianassi header was knocked in on the line by Davis, but the flag was up for offside. " A good performance, and finally some points from the hard work the lads have put in," Joondalup Coach Ben Williams said. "We looked like winning from the off, and had lots of possession and could have been more but for some dreadful finishing. Belmont were always a threat on the counter attack, with the two quick lads up top but good to get a clean sheet too."

In the final game new Quinns coach Lee Garnish won his first game in charge, after a come from behind 2-1 win against Hamersley Rovers at Carine Open Space. The visitors were ahead with Patrick Barry on target, but Quinns levelled when some good approach work found Mark Hayes, who won a vital challenge and put Liam Hunt through on goal and he side footed home past the keeper. The home side won it when a corner was flicked on and Liam McManus managed to get a foot to the ball, and found the top corner. "I thought it was a really hard-fought game," Garnish said. "We were wasteful in front of goals as I thought we had the better chances in the game and should have put the game to bed. But overall very happy with the performance of the boys and looking forward to next week’s get against Jags."

8.6.2019

JACKS HOLD LEAGUE LEADERS

ECU Joondalup have stalled the Perth SC juggernaut after holding the league leaders to a 0-0 draw at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. In terrible conditions Perth had the better chances in the first half but the game was almost abandoned after puddles of water lay on the pitch, but after some hard work from the home side staff the game continued, and the Jacks should have taken all three points late in the game after Perth winger Niccolò Sabatini was sent off on the hour, but they couldn't find a way past keeper Francis Soale and a tight Perth defence. "A great performance form the lads today in hard playing conditions," ECU assistant Coach David Tough said. "We went into the match with a game plan and the players ticked all the boxes and showed great desire and they all left everything out there, and I thought we had the better chances on the day to win it. But we'll take a lot of positives from the performance and move on to the derby in the next round at Sorrento."

Both sides had good chances in a tight first half. First Paul Zimarino’s curling free kick was well held by ECU keeper Johnny Perkins, before Sabatini fired wide from a tight angle. The Jacks also had chances teenager Ewan Fawcett raced past his marker and his low ball was cleared well by a Perth defender, with Tommy Amphlett ready to pounce. Amphlett went close again moments later, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed over the top. But the best chance of the half fell to the hosts just before the break, Andy Higgins’ set-piece found Billy Quinncroft at the back post, but with the goal at his mercy he blazed over the top.

The start to the second half was delayed for 20 minutes, with referee Josh Nixon concerned about a pool of water near the touchline, but play eventually resumed, but so did the rain. Perth keeper Francis Soale was the busiest keeper after the break and he got down well to deny ECU new signing Jamel Reiners’ header and Quinncroft’s follow up shot was wide. Moments later Zimarino’s long-range shot beat Perkins, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Jacks custodian, as both sides pressed for the winner.

But on 69 minutes Sabatini was sent off after a late tackle and it was backs to the wall for the visitors and they had Soale to thank for keeping them level when Ollie Annis made a great run into goal, but the Perth custodian stood tall to make a great save to deny him. The Jacks pressed late looking for the winner but they couldn’t find one and Perth almost nicked all three points late when a free kick fell to Michael Domfeh, but Henry Durr got back with great last-ditch block to deny him.

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 3 Nicholas KOEFLER, 4 Henry DURR, 5 Shane CASSIDY, 6 Ollie ANNIS (2 Arran MAPLESTONE 85’), 7 Jamal REINERS (11 Jakub SKLENAR 80’), 8 Josh WHITMORE, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 12 Billy QUINNCROFT, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT, 14 Ewan FAWCETT – Subs not used: RGK George JACKSON, 9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 15 Charlie KENNA

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 2 Alex SILLA, 4 Thomas SOUTHGATE, 5 Niccolò SABATINI, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE (7 Alex JOVIC 71’), 12 Jordan DE LEO, 14 Kristian SANTICH, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 17 Frank FURFARO (11 Matthew MILENKOVIC 62’), 18 Michael DOMFEH, 20 Paul ZIMARINO – Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 6 Harley ORR, 15 Leigh MORGAN - Red cards: Sabatini 69’ - Referee: Josh Nixon

8.6.2019

COCKBURN WIN IT FOR DEREK COMBE

Cockburn City's recent good form has continued after a strong 4-1 win against Sorrento at Dalmatinac Park in a somber day for the home side, with a minute’s silence held prior to kick off for long time sponsor and club man Derek Combe who passed away last week. Daniel Dols gave the hosts the lead on the half hour, before Jack Salter levelled for Sorrento 15 minute from time. But Hasani Sinclair regained the lead sixty seconds later, before further goals from Daniel Robinson and another from Sinclair sealed the victory.

“I thought it was a deserved win, it was just one of those games where we all had to dig in and get the job done,” defender Hayden Stevens said. “Everyone did their jobs on the day, from us boys at the back to the boys up top who took their chances when they came. Obviously, there was a little more in it for us as Derek passing away during the week so the boys were keen to get the job done. It was a whole team effort, everyone defended as a team and were desperate at both ends of the park both defending and attacking and that ultimately got us over the line.”

Like all the ground, the wet and windy conditions made things difficult for both sides in the first half with chances few and far between, but it was the hosts who did find the opener on the half hour. Dols’ free kick from the edge of the penalty area burst through the wall and past James Morgan. Sorrento pressed late in the half looking for the equaliser but they couldn’t break down a solid Cockburn defence.

The hosts continued to take the game to Cockburn after the break, but couldn’t find the equaliser and it looked like being one of them days for Jamie Harnwell’s side, but on 75 minutes they did find the leveller. A cross into the penalty area found Cameron Teece who headed the ball down to Salter whose half-volley flew past Luke Radonich. But they were level for just 60 seconds, Cameron Edwards’ corner found Sinclair, and the American made no mistake from close-range.

Sorrento went in search of another equaliser but they were caught out again on 82 minutes, when Cockburn added a third. A free kick into the penalty area wasn’t dealt with by Sorrento and Robinson made them pay, his shot on the turn from the edge of the box gave Morgan no chance. The visitors pushed men forward looking to get into the game and were caught out on the counter attack with Sinclair racing one-on-one with Morgan and rounding the Sorrento custodian and rolling the ball into the net.

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 3 Daniel DOLS, 5 Julian TELES, 6 Ruben TRISTAO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 12 Ryan PRAT (25 Jethro YAMANGE 90’), 14 Hayden STEVENS, 16 Daniel ROBINSON, 18 Adam ANFUSO, 19 Hasani SINCLAIR, 21 Jesse LAZZARO (2 Chris THACKRAY 88’), 23 Riley WOODCOCK (17 Devon GIBSON 71’) - Subs not used: RGK Ben RADONICH, 22 David SANTOS

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 2 David STOKOE, 3 Jakub PRAJZA, 5 Scott ROBERTSON (4 Shaun KILKELLY 90+3’), 7 Alex MORGAN, 10 Jordan ROBERTS, 11 Tim HILL, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA (30 Jesse OWUOR, 90+3’), 18 Jordan BROWN, 19 Jack SALTER, 23 Cameron TEECE (14 Mathew McROBERTS 90+3’) - Subs not used: RGK Matthew GIUDICATTI, 20 Jaxon TEMATA - Referee: David Bruce

8.6.2019

BALCATTA TOO STRONG FOR ROCKY

Balcatta continued their good NPL form after a 2-0 win against Rockingham City at SafeRad Stadium, Lark Hill on a wet and windy Saturday afternoon. It was a tight game all afternoon, but two second half goals in as many minutes from Alex Castiello and Ben Pellizzari gave Goran Stajic's side the points and move them up to fourth on the league table.

“The win for us was huge before this week’s break and we wanted to climb back into that top four where we all strongly believe we should be,” Balcatta defender Alex Castiello said. “It has set us up well for our next game against Perth Glory we’re we hope to take the three points and continue our climb. The game itself wasn’t pretty given the conditions but we kept our focus on our objectives and managed to come away with the result we wanted.”

It was a vital game for both sides at either ends of the table but the wind and heavy rain made it difficult to play the attractive football both coaches like their respective teams to play. The visitors played into the wind in the first half and struggled to create any chances, while Rockingham also failed to use the conditions to their advantage. The best chance of the half fell to Balcatta late when Shubham Mokala raced past his marker and into the box, but his shot was wide of the target.

The wind was as strong as ever after the break but thankfully for players and spectators alike the rain eased slightly. Balcatta started to get on top and it wasn’t a surprise when they hit the front on 51 minutes, Castiello finding the target. Then sixty seconds later the visitors added a second. Castiello was the supplier this time, finding Pellizzari who made no mistake. Rockingham pressed late but couldn’t break down a tight Balcatta defence well led by skipper Calum O’Connell

Rockingham City: GK Michael FARMER, 3 Justis BRADLEY, 4 Mitch FIRTH 6 Blake SOKOLOWKI, 9 Sam MCKEARN (8 Jason POTTIER 68’), 10 James HARMER (16 Luke HOBSON 78’), 11 Riley VAN DIEKEN, 12 Lydon HODGKISS, 13 Jarred MORT, 15 Shaz RAMLEE, 23 Victor BRAUNER (14 Ryan KENNEDY 69’) - Subs not used: RGK James GREHAN

Balcatta: GK Lewis ITALIANO, 2 Joseph MARINO, 4 Calum O'CONNELL, 5 Shubham MOKALA (19 Nicholas CHALLOT 64’), 7 Ben PELLIZZARI, 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 12 Roberto DEL BARRELLO, 13 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 15 Calum STOCKS (8 Alex WILD 64’), 16 Alex CASTIELLO, 11 Adam ZIMARINO (18 Dougal KINDNESS, 71’) - Subs not used: RGK David KEENAN, 20 Anthony TOPINI - Referee: Julian Serra

8.6.2019

BAYSWATER CONTINUE TO BUILD MOMENTUM

Bayswater City's NPL season continues to build momentum after a 3-0 win against Inglewood United at Frank Drago Reserve. Gordon Smith gave the hosts the lead early, before Gordano Colli added a second mid-way through. They made the points safe when Kenny Keogh added a third in first half stoppage time against his former club, the win moves Chris Coyne's side up to fifth on the ladder.

“I thought it was a carbon copy of what happened last time we played Inglewood, we played some really good football and managed to get 3-0 up with good play from the striker and midfield lads,” Bayswater defender Adam Tong said. “We were fortunate enough not to concede after some sloppy defending gave them a couple of opportunities which they didn’t take. We came out the second half and against the wind and rain and Inglewood were better in possession but didn’t really create any clear cut chances whilst we could have had a couple more but Alex Dunn saved a couple on the line, So, all in all a clean sheet and scoring three against a side inform was a great boost for us as we go into next week’s Cup semi which I’m sure will be a belter.”

The visitors went close to the opener on nine minutes, Chok Dau’s shot stung the palms of Bayswater keeper Devon Spence. But two minutes later it was the hosts who opened the scoring. A long ball over the top by Ryan Pearson sent Smith clear of the offside trap, and the Scotsman finished clinically past Dunn. They doubled their lead on 23 minutes, Colli and Smith combining, with Colli firing home at the second attempt, after his first shot was parried by Dunn. Inglewood still looked dangerous going forward and former Bayswater striker Brian Woodall and Dau went close, before Woodall pounced on a mistake by Brent Griffiths but his curling effort drifted the wrong side of the upright. But in first half stoppage time Bayswater added a third, Pearson picking out Keogh, and he fired home from a tight angle against his former club.

Inglewood were on the front foot after half time, but lacked quality in the final third. They did create the better chances early in the half, Dau’s goal bound shot was blocked, before Jason Barrera’s shot was well saved by the alert Spence. With Inglewood pushing men forward Bayswater almost added a fourth late, Colli cut the ball back to the striker, but he failed to find the target, but it didn’t matter to much as the damage had already been done.

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 3 Jack ALLEN, 11 Ryan PEARSON, 14 Sean MCMANUS (2 Declan HARGREAVES 71’), 17 Daryl NICOL (24 Jake SARDELIC 80’), 18 Brent GRIFFITHS, 19 Gordon SMITH (9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA 61’), 20 Giordano COLLI, 21 Kenny KEOGH, 27 Ross MILLARD, 30 Adam TONG - Subs not used: RGK Sam REILLY, 13 Trent KAY

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 David CYRUS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE (6 Miki VUJACIC 65’), 7 Hamza HINA, 8 Jason BARRERA, 9 Chok DAU, 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA, 11 Harry EVANS (12 Brendan ITALIANO 73’), 17 Mark BARNETT, 23 Brian FARRELL - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 13 Sitale MOOTHEN - Referee: Matthew Southern

8.6.2019

REDS TOO STRONG FOR LIONS

Armadale have won back to back NPL WA games for the first time since the opening two games of the season after a 3-0 win against bottom of the table Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon. Youngster Chad Nilson opened the scoring early, before the Lions were reduced to ten men with Michael Wantee sent off. Nilson doubled the Reds lead on the hour, before Michael Lawson wrapped up the points from the penalty spot seven minutes later.

“The first half was hectic and they (Stirling) swarmed at us, pushing plenty players forward, but we defended well and used the space well to get our goal,” Reds Coach John O’Reilly said. “After the silly red card, we then had a chance to keep ball and wait for more chances. The second half was a mature performance and we deserved the win and full credit to our squad of players, really pleased for Chad scoring his first goals in senior football in only his second game.”

The rain was pouring at kick off and it was a perfect start for the home side, Ali Nazary’s low cross was well finished by Nilson at the back post after only five minutes. Nazary went close to doubling their lead on 20 minutes, his mazy run ended with a shot but Lions custodian Ryan Montgomery produced a stunning save to deny the striker. Stirling thought they had found the equaliser when Wantee’s header crashed off the crossbar and down on the line.

Referee Michal Jasinski and his assistant deemed the ball hadn’t crossed the line, much to the disappointment of the striker and the Lions supporters. Wantee was injured in the incident, colliding with Reds keeper Sam Hutchings, and when receiving treatment, he kicked out at Armadale defender Josh Kuser and referee Jasinski saw the incident and showed the striker a straight red card.

With a man advantage Armadale dominated the second half and Nilson made it 2-0 on the hour, finishing clinically after being picked out by Sam Garces. The points were made safe for the Reds when they added a third seven minutes later, Jasinski pointed to the spot after spotting a foul on Nilson by Dhhors Chol. Lawson stepped up to score from the resulting penalty for his fourth goal in three games. But at the final whistle it was the Red Army celebrating the three points.

Armadale SC: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Josh KUSER (22 Ryan HASLETT 31’), 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 Ali NAZARY, 6 Joel SANDERSON, 8 Michael LAWSON, 9 Uriel MACIAS, 10 Sam GARCES, 11 Chad NILSON (21 Abdul OSMAN 80), 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 13 Blake ADAMS – Subs not used: RGK Blake HANSHELL, 14 Bradley GREIPL, 16 Jason PEPPIN

Stirling Lions: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 5 Steven MCDONALD, 6 Dhhors CHOL, 8 Dean CUMMINGS, 9 Zdenek BEZDEK, 10 Danny JONES (17 Andrew MARANTA 83’), 11 Michael WANTEE, 12 Griffin BECSI, 15 Michael GAMA (2 Mile PETKOVSKI 38’), 16 Renee KIESA (4 Josh ANASMO 64’), 18. Gino HAMPSHIRE – Subs not used: 3 Kadyn WATT, 20 Daniel MARQUES - Red cards: Wantee 30’ - Referee: Michal Jasinski

8.6.2019

ATHENA GIVE GLORY SIX OF THE BEST

Floreat Athena jumped to second spot on the NPL WA table after thrashing co-tenants Perth Glory 6-0 at E&D Litis Stadium. First half goals to Jon Stynes and Jesse Fuller had Floreat on their way and second half goals from Nick Ambrogio 2, Tyler Holden and Chris Saldaris gave Garret McDuling’s side a comprehensive victory. “We worked all week on a game plan against Glory, and luckily for us it worked really well,” Floreat defender Dennis Galan said.

“The boys worked hard not letting them play out as easily, and to press higher up the pitch and seemed to work. We’ve also been working on our set pieces a lot lately and think three of the six goals were from set pieces, so it’s good to see what we put in practice worked out on games days. Great win for the lads as it was a six pointer, so we now go second and head into the semi-final of the cup with great confidence and momentum.”

The weather in the Perth CBD was horrendous, with rain and strong winds making football difficult, but it didn’t stop Floreat taking the lead on nine minutes. A ball into the box found Chris Saldaris, whose header was well saved by Nik Speca, but the rebound fell kindly for Jon Stynes, who swept the ball home. Glory looked for an immediate response and Ethan Brooks raced down the left and his shot on the run from a tight angle was pushed around the post by the alert Jason Saldaris.

Moments later Gomo Dukuly and Gabriel Popovic combined, but Popovic couldn’t keep his shot from the edge of the box down, and then Dukuly effort from long-range was well claimed by Saldaris low. But despite creating those chances it was Floreat who doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time. Dean Evans' corner to the back post found Jesse Fuller, the defender made no mistake heading past Speca.

The rain was heavier after the break and Glory's hopes of comeback were somewhat washed out when another Evans corner was headed home by Nick Ambrogio to make it 3-0. Second half substitute Tyler Holden made it 4-0 when he fired home at the far post, before Chris Saldaris added the fifth shortly. They added a sixth deep into stoppage time with Ambrogio claimed his second, volleying home a cross from Holden.

Perth Glory: GK Nicolas SPECA, 2 Zayd FARAH, 7 Ethan BROOKS, 9 Gomo DUKULY, 8 Henry HORE, 4 Luca BODNAR (22 Alessandro CIRCATI 45’), 6 Josh SAMSON, 5 Nicholas WALSH, , 10 Trent OSTLER, 11 Gabriel POPOVIC (15 Ciaran BRAMWELL 57’), 3 Joshua RAWLINS - Sub not used: 26 Jacob RANGE, 17 Jack LEECH, 12 Jordan ABRAHAMS

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 6 Jesse FULLER, 8 Jon STYNES (3 Tristian COLLI 70’), 9 Robert PETKOV, 15 Christopher SALDARIS, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phillip ARNOLD (33 Tyler HOLDEN 58’), 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11 Dennis GALAN, 16 Ryan MALTON - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 31 Jacob STUBBERFIELD - Referee: Steven Gregory

8.6.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TEN – REVIEW

Gwelup Croatia closed the gap on the State League Division One leaders after a hard fought 3-1 win against Olympic Kingsway at Wishart Street. It was tight contest early, but the home side suffered a huge blow on 14 minutes when skipper James Sammut was carried off with a suspected broken leg – Everyone at Footballwa.net wish James a speedy recovery. The visitors went close to the lead mid-way through the half, but Gwelup keeper Riley Stephenson produced a superb double save to deny Charlie Breen and Elliott Tattersall. But the home side made the break through on the hour, Ellis Healing’s curing free kick took a slight deflection and beat Duncan Lennon-Black. They doubled their lead on 72 minutes, former Olympic striker Danny Hodgson was brought down in the box by Tattersall and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Healing stepped up and coolly converted from the resulting penalty. The visitors weren’t finished and Tattersall pulled on back four minutes from time to set up a grandstand finish, but Gwelup regained their two-goal advantage sixty seconds later Healing finding David Heagney who made no mistake. “After back to back draws in the league it was great getting back to winning ways against an inform Kingsway side in very difficult conditions,” Gwelup coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “The win however was soured by the loss of James Sammut who will miss the remainder of the season with a broken leg.”

Western Knights missed a chance to leap frog Ashfield at the top of the table after letting the lead slip late to lose 3-2 to a resurgent Mandurah City at Securitas Protect Stadium. The hosts were ahead when a clearance to edge of box, dropped to Lee Stewart who beat the defender and scored across keeper. But the Knights were level when Andrija Jukic finished well with a shot from outside the box. The visitors turned it around to lead at half time when Dean Hurley was brought down and Hurley picked himself up to score the resulting penalty. But the home side were level four minutes from time when a through ball found Joe O’Brien on the left of the penalty area ns his half volley flew into the top corner. It looked like the points would be shared but in the last minute of the game, O’Brien eased past his marker on the edge of the penalty area and rifled the ball home to win it. “Two wins on the bounce does a lot for our league position and to win a game in that fashion, in those conditions was fantastic for the lads,” Mandurah Coach Alex Grayson said. “The past two years have seen us lose games when being ahead so we were buzzing to be on the other side of a dramatic finish for once. Hopefully we can take this run of form into Joondalup United next week and look positively to the turn of the year.”

In other games Fremantle City jumped to second on the table after a 2-0 win against Subiaco at Hilton Park. Angel Andres opening the scoring for the home side before Emmanuel Kenkpeyeng added a second to secure the win. Forrestfield United are back in the winner’s circle after a comfortable 4-0 win against Joondalup United at Hartfield Park. The home side were ahead when a good run down the right by Jordan Hart saw his driven cross rocket into the roof of the net with the Joondalup keeper wrongfooted. It was 2-0 when Stephen O'Leary headed home Daryl Platten’s cross. It was 3-0 after good play by Justin Ngeny, who drew the keeper out of position and he squared the ball to Mella Loding who scored in an empty net. The icing was put on the cake with a fourth when Platten’s perfectly measured found Ngeny who finished clinically. “With so many players out unavailable it was really pleasing to see the squad step up in such a big game. Games against Joondalup have always been difficult in the past and we didn't expect anything other. The conditions didn't exactly suit us either but we rose to the occasion and produced a fantastic performance,” Forrestfield winger Rhys Loxley said. “It was equally pleasing to see youngsters such as Ishmael Blackwood and Justin Ngeny stepping up and adapting to first team football. We have begun to build a bit of momentum and with a few more wins, we should hopefully find ourselves back at the right end of the table.”

In the final game UWA Nedlands moved up to sixth place on the table after a solid 4-1 win against Morley Windmills at the UWA Sports Park. The home side played against the heavy rain and wind in the first half and were rewarded after only two minutes when they were awarded a penalty for handball. But Conor Devlin saw his spot kick saved by the Morley keeper. But Devlin did open the scoring on 18 minutes, with a neat chip from the edge of the box. Morley hit back and were level on the half hour, but UWA regained the lead on the stroke of half time, Tim Robertson’s on target. The hosts continued to dominate and Robertson shot hit the post, but they did make it 3-1 on the hour, Lloyd Prout on target, before Robertson added his second to seal the win, heading home Bryce Conway’s corner. “Overall we managed to play our brand of football we missed in the past few weeks on the weekend,” Michael Janssen said. “It is promising to be back to our football with the team picking up the important things from the training week. Now we are looking forward to playing Western Knights game next Saturday and continue our good form.” – Ashfield had the bye this weekend.

8.6.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINE – REVIEW

State League Division Two league leaders Quinns FC maintained their five-point lead at the top of the table after a 3-0 win against Dianella White Eagles at Gumblossom Park. They were ahead when a free kick out wide was played short by Joe McQuade to Josh Booysen who laid it back to McQuade who whipped the ball in first time and Jamie Stewart was first to the ball and his diving header from five meters gave the keeper no chance. It was 2-0 when McQuade found space in the middle of the park and his long-range shot beat the keeper, despite him getting a hand to it. The points were wrapped up when Booysen's long-range shot deflected off a Dianella defender and it looped over the keeper. “It was a tough game in tough conditions but a massive win and another clean sheet,” Quinns keeper James Bosdet said. “Were playing well and taking each game as it comes, but we are aware there is still a long way to go in the season but hopefully we can continue the run.”

Murdoch University Melville are hot on the heels of Quinns after a hard fought 3-2 win against Swan United at Francis Street. The visitors were ahead on the quarter hour, with Declan Tanna scoring after a neat one-two with Daniel Davey. But the hosts levelled when Brian Patterson's corner was headed home by Anthony Mihalj. It was a tight game played in rain and wind, which deteriorated as the game went on, but fifteen minutes from time MUM regained the lead. Tanna crossed to the back post was back healed by Sasha Slav and the unmarked Mark Lucas made no mistake from close-range. Lucas was then brought down in the box and referee Brendon Skinner pointed to the spot. Broden Brown stepped up scored the resulting penalty and it looked game over, but Swan had other ideas. They reduced the margin three minutes from time when a long clearance from Joey Smith found Jay Lang who made no mistake. It set up a tense final few minutes but MUM hung on for the win. “It was a very tough game in tough conditions and on their tight pitch against a team who play very direct, and it was raining sideways at times reminded me of playing back in England,” Mark Lucas joked. “We were dealt a blow on Saturday when our club captain and leader Scott Campbell couldn’t play against his old club due to sickness. “Gavin and Danny put on fantastic training sessions at Melville at the new facilities we have, and this is really starting to show in some of our games. We will work hard again this week at training ahead of a very tough match against Dianella on Saturday.”

Wanneroo City moved into fourth place on the table after a hard fought 3-2 win against Curtin University at Wanneroo Reserve. It was the home side who hit the front, Gareth Lloyd's corner was headed home by Jean-Marc D'Avrey. It was almost two moments later but Jack Hailstones long-range free kick crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. But they did double their advantage before half time, Hailstones good work on the right ended with a ball into Alec Robinson, who finished clinically. But the visitors were back in the game when Mark Donnelly bundled the ball home after Wanneroo failed to clear Kye Middleton’s corner. But Wanneroo soon restored their two goal advantage Hailstones was again the provider finding Marc-D'Avrey who scored his second. Robinson then saw his long-range shot rattle the crossbar as Wanneroo looked to finish the game off. But 10 minutes from time Curtin pulled one back with Donnelly’s looping header from Dilip Masrangi cross set up a frantic finish, but they could find the equaliser. "It's been a bizarre season so far for us, and we had to make three changes yet again to the starting 11 from the week before, but I thought the first half was probably the best football we’ve played all season," Wanneroo coach Tim Kantor said. "We conceded a goal from a set piece late in the game, which made the last 5-10 minutes interesting but we hung on for a well-deserved three points."

Gosnells City are back in the winner’s circle after a 3-1 win against Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Reserve. The visitors were ahead when the ball dropped just outside the penalty spot and Scott Pereira smashed it home. They increased their lead when Pereira got on the end of a cross to finish well, before Josh Wade added a third from the penalty spot. Rovers fought the game out and were rewarded ten minutes from time when Lachy Parker fired home from the spot, but it was too little too late. "I was an important three points as we had only taken one from six previously," Gosnells Coach Marc Anthony said. "So, to get back on the winning trail was vital for us." In the final game Balga have beaten Kelmscott Roos 1-0 at Princess Road Reserve. The only goal of the game came just after half time with Tyron Torre on target. "It was an extremely hard-fought win by the boys in testing conditions," Balga coach Aleks Vrteski said. "We were disappointed as a group to drop points in the two previous games and wanted to put things right and we did."




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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