Gwelup Croatia midfielder Matt Sparrow is expecting another tough game in the Division One top of the table clash against Fremantle City.

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23.8.2019

NPL-WA ROUND TWENTY ONE PREVIEW

It's week 21 of the NPL WA, and the title has been decided with two games remaining. Everyone at Footballwa.net would like to congratulate Ramon Falzon and Marc Wingell and the Perth Soccer Club on their success this season and we wish them all the best in the National NPL finals next month. The focus now is the race for a top four final spot and the fight against relegation with many games this week having an effect on this. Our 'Match of the Round' takes us to Percy Doyle Reserve where Sorrento entertain Armadale. The home side are still in the mix for a finals spot and are coming off a draw at Balcatta last week, while Armadale sit one point ahead of the drop zone, and were beaten at home by Champions Perth SC, so three points in this one is vital for both sides. The last time these two sides met at the venue was in round 25 last season when the Gulls ran out 3-1 winners. Danny Jones and Reece Vittiglia gave the hosts the lead at the break, before Joshua Kuser pulled one back for the visitors early in the second half, before Alex Morgan wrapped up the points on the hour.

Sorrento came from behind twice at Balcatta last week, with Cameron Teece bagging a brace against his former club and he said it was a hard-fought game, but not the result they wanted. “Good to get on the scoreboard on Saturday, but it wasn’t the result we were looking for,” he explained. “To be fair it wasn’t a great game overall, but we manage to grind out a point, scoring two was just a bonus, I would of been happier if we had got three points.”

The NPL is so close this season any team on their day can win, and Teece said it’s the closest competition he has seen. “Yes, I believe it is definitely the closest NPL season I’ve been involved in,” he said. “You look over the season, teams who you thought stood no chance have got the three points, it’s who wants it on the day, and I think the top four spots and relegation will go down to the wire.”

Teece, who has bagged 14 goals this season and is close to the Golden Boot, knows Armadale will head to them on Saturday desperate for the points and they need to match them. “I think as far as Saturday goes against Armadale, we need to match their desperation, and if we bring our best, we should be able to take the three points and keep up with the top four. It will a be huge game for both teams but we’re looking forward to it.”

Armadale lost for the first time in three games against Perth, but Josh Kuser said they had their chances but were grateful to Sam Hutchings who produced a number of top draw saves to keep them in the game. "I thought we showed glimpses of scoring, but Perth was obviously the better team on the day,” he said. “Sam is Mr Consistent between the sticks, and we can always rely on him. So, we did take some positives out of the game, and move on into the last two games of the season.”

Kuser said with two games to go their survival hopes in their own hands, and they know two wins would see them secure their NPL status. "The lads have trained well this week and we’re confident of getting the job done in the final two games,” he said. “I’m confident we can get the results we need in the next two games to survive relegation, and the coaching staff have left no stone unturned to prepare us for the them, we’re looking forward to the challenge”

A trip to Windy Hill is never easy, but Kuser said they go there confident they can get a positive result. "They use the conditions up their to their advantage but we’re ready for whatever they throw at us,” the defender explained. “It’ll be a great game of football, with two sides needing a win, so we will be fighting till the final whistle is blown. I’m confident we can get three points this weekend.”

Rockingham City have all but secured their survival, but need to bounce back from a disappointing heavy loss at Bayswater City last week to make sure, when they host Inglewood United at SafeRad Stadium. Cameron Lord's side have good home record, including back-to-back wins against Cockburn City and Perth Glory, that has seen them push away from the relegation zone. So, a win in this one will secure a top flight place next season, but Inglewood need the points in their top four push. Andres Oliveira’s side sit three points clear of fourth spot and are coming off a 3-0 win against Stirling last week, so a win in this one will put them in pole position for a finals spot.

ECU Joondalup won a vital three points at Floreat Athena last week to edge clear of the relegation zone, and this week they host Balcatta, who need the points in their fight for top four spot, at ECU Football Stadium. Joe Knowles' brace gave Dale McCulloch's side the points and moved them four points clear of relegation, and the win also maintained their unbeaten run in the second half of the season, but they need a result in this one to secure their survival. Balcatta let the lead slip late against Sorrento last week, the 2-2 draw left them fifth, out of the top four on goal difference. But Goran Stajic's side have the third best record in the league on the road, and they will be hoping to continue that on Saturday to continue their finals push.

The top four fight for Perth Glory and Bayswater City will continue at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday. Bayswater bounced back from a disappointing loss at Stirling in round 19, beating Rockingham 5-0 to jump to fourth, with Daryl Nicol bagging a hat-trick, to take him clear at the top of the NPL Golden Boot. A spot in the finals is in their own hands and two wins would see Chris Coyne's side home. Glory were beaten at home by Cockburn City last week, a result which dropped Richard Garcia's side down to seventh on the ladder, but they are only three points off the top four, so a win on Saturday would give their finals chance a huge boost.

The Champions hit the road again this weekend, with Perth SC making the trip to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. The home side secured their NPL survival last week with Hasani Sinclair giving them a vital 1-0 win against Perth Glory, and Scott Miller will be looking to end the season with two wins, this after a poor run of results saw them slip down the table. Perth's win at Armadale secured their 23rd league title, and Ramon Falzon knows there is still more challenges ahead for his side, with a top four Finals and a National NPL campaign ahead of them. It's been another successful season for the Azzurri, only two defeats, and they will be doing all they can to win the final two games to go into finals on a high.

In the final game Stirling Lions' season goes on the line when they entertain Floreat Athena at Macedonia Park. Floreat have secured a top four finals spot but were surprisingly beaten at home by ECU Joondalup last week, and Garret McDulling will be looking for a response from his chargers in this one. The Lions defeat at Inglewood last week left them one point adrift at the foot of the table, and Trevor Morgan's side need three points in this one and hope results elsewhere goes their way. They have been in good form with wins against Bayswater, Rockingham and Sorrento, but they will need to be at their best in this one.

Morgan said his side need to better than they were at Inglewood. “I’ve got no complaints, the best team won on the day, we never turned up,” he explained. “But to be fair the players have been great since I arrived apart from two games, Armadale away, and on Saturday. These things happen in football but it does make our game against Floreat massively important if we want to be in this League next season. It may well go to the last minute of the last game of the season but we have to try to put our destiny on our own hands so we need a positive result on Saturday.”

23.8.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWENTY – PREVIEW

The State League Division One title is going down to the wire and this weeks 'Match of the Round' will go a long way in deciding it when leaders Gwelup Croatia host third placed Fremantle City at Wishart Street. Gwelup moved two points clear at the top after a win at Mandurah City in their catch-up game on Tuesday evening, while Fremantle slipped off top spot after they were held to a scoreless draw by Olympic Kingsway last week.

Gwelup skipper Matthew Sparrow said it has been a hectic week for them, but two positive results have given them a huge boost. “Yes, it was two huge wins for us, and it is just what we needed, now we need to go and make it three from three to top off a fantastic week,” he explained. “Starting well and scoring early in quick concession against Ashfield and Mandurah was the key to both victories in my opinion. Then it was matter of being professional and using our experience to see out the games, and take the points.”

Sparrow is were aware there can’t be any slip ups in the run in, as the top of the table is so tight. But the club are now eligible for promotion to the NPL and the midfielder know how important it is for the club. “Yes, three games left now and it’s been very tight at the top all season, it’s not the time to get complacent at this stage,” he said. “Every game will be a cup final and every player has to step up the plate now and be counted as we push for a spot in the NPL.”

Saturday’s opponents have been strong all season, and Sparrow said they have surprised many, but the table doesn’t lie and they will be another tough opposition. “They (Fremantle) have been the surprise package, no one really thought they would be in and around the top for so long,” he said. “But credit where credits due, they are very organised, score a lot of goals and like to entertain, so I’m expecting a very tough encounter this weekend, but we’re ready for the challenge.”

The draw against Olympic Kingsway was disappointing for Fremantle, but they had keeper Yousri Gharsallah to thank for a point, the keeper making a late penalty save to deny the visitors, and he said he was just doing his job. “Well in football if you don’t score you concede. We missed few clear chances against Kingsway and in return they were very close from scoring, but credit to my back line that is hard to break,” he said. “I was doing my job, and saving a penalty is the minimum I can do to give back to the club. Winning the title is a bonus for us, we didn’t plan to win it and no one expected Fremantle to be playing for the promotion in the final rounds. However, it’s critical that the team at this point is really gelling together and feeling the responsibility, it’s all about the team cohesion at the end.”

Gharsallah joined Fremantle from NPL side Balcatta, and he said he, and everyone at the club is determined to get there, including Technical Director Domenico Gangemi and Head Coach Mauro Marchione. “No one can doubt the competence of Dom and Mauro they are great coaches with a lot of experience,” he explained. “I played for Mauro many years and I know what he is capable of, I am a fan of the Italian philosophy that relies on defence and that’s relevant for me as a keeper. I am sure with better preparation Fremantle can easily achieve promotion, next year with the quality of players we have in the team now, but this season isn’t over yet.”

The keeper knows Saturday’s game is vital, and he said it should be a great game between two well prepared teams, and he said with them in action on Tuesday, fitness could be the key. “I think we all knew a while ago that this game is going to decide the title, but we have to be more clinical in the last third and finish the chances we have. It’s going to be a tight game and game like this are usually decided by set pieces or individual mistakes, therefore we need to be switch on and focus for the entire game we have to be again the real contenders,” Gharsallah explained. “We played under similar circumstances when we had to play them after a catch-up game on a Wednesday night, it surely affected us physically. However, with a professional approach I am sure Taki will get his team ready for the challenge. It is going to be a good game to watch and it is good to see the standard of the league lifting.”

Ashfield lost ground on the top four after defeat to Gwelup last week and they will be looking to bounce back on Saturday when they travel to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco. The 4-2 defeat was their third on the bounce which has almost ended their promotion push, with only three games to go. Subiaco are coming off a derby loss at UWA Nedlands last week, and need to start picking up wins to move away from the relegation play-off spot. The same could be said for Joondalup United, who host Olympic Kingsway at Forrest Park. Nick Jennings' side are in the play-of spot as we speak, this after a narrow loss at Western Knights last week, so a win in this one is vital and will give themselves some breathing space. On the other hand Olympic Kingsway are eight points of the leaders, so to keep the pressure on the teams above them it's also an important game for them, so this one will be a great game.

Morley Windmills have improved over the past month and they will be looking to maintain that and keep their hopes of avoiding relegation a boost when they travel to Securitas Protect Stadium to take on Mandurah City. They were edged out in a seven-goal thriller against the Knights, before beating Joondalup and are coming off a hard-fought draw against Forrestfield. It looks like Jason Van Rooy's side have left their survival run a little late but it's still possible. Mandurah are still looking over their shoulder with only five points separating them and the relegation play-off spot, but they have only lost twice in their last ten games, both against the leaders Gwelup, so a win in this one should make them safe.

In the final game Forrestfield United host Western Knights at Hartfield Park. The home side are coming off a draw at Morley Windmills last week, the 0-0 result made it nine games without defeat and they sit in sixth spot on the table, and they will be looking to end the season well and climb the table. The Knights lost top spot in midweek and know they need to keep winning and hope the other teams around them slip up. They are coming off a 5-4 win against Joondalup, this after being 4-2 down, and midfielder Andrija Jukic said it was great fight back. "It was a great win, and a great come back from the boys,” he said. “We were all a bit disappointing to give away so many goals, but all the boys put a massive shift in to get the win." Jukic said a trip to Forrestfield is never easy, especially with Graham Normanton in the opposition dug out, but he knows three points are vital. “It’s a massive game, a game we need to win, and with both teams in some good form, it should be an exciting game,” he said. “One thing is for sure, it will definitely have some goals in it, so were looking forward to the challenge.” – UWA Nedlands have the bye this weekend.

23.8.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINETEEN – PREVIEW

The State League Division Two title could be decided this weekend when league leaders Quinns entertain second placed Gosnells City at Gumblossom Park on Saturday afternoon. Quinns sit six points clear of Saturday’s opponents, and three points for Ian Ferguson's side will see them take out the title, but a win for Marc Anthony's side will keep their title race alive. The leaders are coming off a 2-2 draw at Murdoch University Melville last week, while Gosnells came home from Wanneroo City with a 3-0 win.

Quinns have the best defensive record in the league, only conceding 11 goals and the fine form of keeper James Bosdet has had a lot to do with that, but conceding two last week somewhat blotted his copy book, but he said they played a good side. "Yes, the boys were disappointed after the game but it shows how far we have come as a team to be disappointed at drawing to a team sitting third,” he explained. “Murdoch were the better side and they played some good football on the night and we just didn’t turn up so a draw in the end isn’t a bad result.”

Bosdet is well aware the title is in their own hands with only four games remaining, but knows a win on Saturday will do the job, but they can't be complacent. "It will be great, the boys have worked hard all season and we know we are just one win away on Saturday from winning the title which Quinn’s have never done before,” he said. “So, we know it’s huge, not just for the players, but the guys who have been involved with the club for a long time.”

Standing in their way is Gosnells City, and Bosdet said it will be a tight contest, but he is confident they can get the job done. "Saturday will be a tough game, they (Gosnells) are a decent side and from the reverse fixture it was a close battle so we are expecting another tough game with them,” he said. “But we are confident playing at home, and it will be great day for the club if we can pull it off.”

Gosnells closed the gap on Quinns after a good win at Wanneroo, and winger Feisal Zaw was a constant threat all afternoon, and he said it was a close game but they managed to take their chances. "Yes, it was a hard-fought win despite the score line, they played their part in a good game,” he explained. “Probably the two early goals helped us take control in the game and keeping that clean sheet is always pleasing.”

The winger knows they can still catch Quinns, but he understands they hold all the cards sitting six points clear. But a play-off spot has been secured and he said they are determined to go up this season. "The goal at the start of the season was promotion, so we've given ourselves the best chance of that with a play-off spot secured,” he said. “Obviously the title would be the biggest success, however we're in a position where we need a couple of results to go our way.”

Saturday's trip is the toughest in the league with Quinns winning all their nine home games, but Zaw said they are ready for the challenge and is expecting a cracking game. "Saturday should be a huge game for both teams, and even if the title is out of reach it would be good to continue our winning form going into the play offs,” he said. “But who knows, perhaps heaping some pressure on Quinns going into the last couple of games means anything can happen, so nothing less than three points on the weekend is needed.”

Murdoch University Melville, who played a friendly against A-League side Perth Glory on Wednesday evening, sit third and make the trip to Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City. MUM have a four-point buffer for a play-off spot, but they will fancy their chances of coming home with thee points after Joondalup recent poor run which has seen them win once in their last six games. Wanneroo City lost ground on the top four after their loss against Gosnells last week and they will be looking to bounce back when they host Canning City at Wanneroo Reserve. Canning have hit some good form, winning their last two games including last weeks at Kelmscott, but it might be too late for them to stay up.

Shamrock Rovers have also improved in recent weeks and they will be looking to continue their rise up the table when they travel to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott. Gerry McEwan's side are unbeaten in their last four games, but let two points slip last week after letting a three-goal lead slip to draw against Balga. Kelmscott were beaten in a nine-goal thriller by Canning last week, but with only one point separating the two sides this one should be a tight game. Two sides who have struggled in recent weeks met at Dianella Reserve, as Dianella White Eagles, who earned their first point in five games after a draw against Joondalup, entertain Curtin University, who were beaten at home by Swan, have lost their last three games.

In the final game a top four spot could be decided when fifth placed Balga entertain fourth placed Swan United at Princess Road Reserve. Balga lost ground after a 3-3 draw at Shamrock, but they did fight back from three goals down to earn a point. Striker Kristian Despotovski said it was good to fight back to draw, but they need to be better. “Last week for the first 60 minutes was probably the worst football we have played this season but even with that we have quality to bounce right back and get a result in 30 minutes,” he said. “Our goal is definitely top four, there is no doubt about it that we need to win every game from now on to stay in top four which I believe we are more than capable of doing.” Despotovski said Saturday is a huge game and three points are a must. “This will probably be the biggest and most important game for us, and it will be a very tough game,” he said. “Swan play some good football and know how to play to their strengths but I believe if we are switched on from the beginning and come out firing, playing how we want to play then there is no reason why we shouldn’t get the result we want.”

Swans jumped back into fourth spot with the win at Curtin and striker John Monterosso said they are now getting all their players back at the right time of the season. “Over the course of the season we’ve always had players injured, away, or unavailable and were just getting everyone back at the same time,” he explained. “So our squad is looking a lot healthier at the pointy end of the season which will hopefully give us a good run into a play-off position yet again.” The striker said Saturday’s game is massive for both sides, and one they are looking forward to. “Yes, no hiding it’s a huge game for both teams this week, even more so for us as Balga have a game in hand,” Monterosso said. “It will be yet another tight game with I feel whoever takes their limited chances will win the game. We’re up for it and we know Balga will be too.”

23.8.2019

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND EIGHTEEN PREVIEW

It's round 18 of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division and our 'Match of the Round' sees Jaguar hosting Joondalup United at Herb Graham Recreation Centre. Both sides are coming off wins last week, Jags came home from Belmont with a narrow 2-1 win, while Joondalup came from behind to beat Hamersley 4-1. The last time these two sides met in the league at the venue was in round 10 2017 in Division One, when Joondalup returned home with a 1-0 win.

it's been a great first season in the Premier Division for Joondalup, and they currently sit in sixth place on the table and coming off a solid performance last week, and assistant coach Neil Sherwin said that after a slow start they came home well to take the points. "Yes, we started slowly against Hamersley and went a goal down to a quality finish. Even though we were level by the break, it was a poor first half overall but a reality check from the coaches seemed to do the trick and we were the better team in the second half,” he said. “Sam Davis worked hard again up front and was rewarded with two goals, and Liam Fryer played his best game of the season in support. Defensively we’ve been excellent over the past couple of months and that’s given us a solid platform to build on.

“The fixtures weren’t too kind to us in the first five or six weeks of the season and we didn’t put many points on the board so we’ve been playing catch up since. The last ten games give a better reflection of the team’s ability - we’ve taken 23 points from a possible 30. The target now is to keep the run going and hopefully catch a couple of the sides above us.” Sherwin said Sunday's game will be another challenge against a side they have had many close tussles. "We’ve always had great games against Jaguar going right back to the Division Three days and I expect Sunday to be no different,” he said. “Their rise through the leagues has been very impressive and they’re now one of the teams to beat. We should have taken something from the game at Beldon earlier in the season so I know the lads are keen to put that right and pick up another win this weekend.”

Jags sit third, six points ahead of Saturday’s opponents and Lam Gai said it should be another good game. “Joondalup are on a good ran of form of late only losing only one of their last eight games and if the past is anything to go by it should be another great game,” he said. “We have a good home record, but Joondalup have proven in the past that they can pick up points at Herb Graham, so we will need to be on top of our game.”

Gai said the league is so competitive this season you need to perform well each week or you will lose. “The Sunday Amateur Premier league has proved that any team can beat any team on given day, and all games have been very competitive and Sunday will be no different,” he said. “We are still chasing the teams above us and three points would keep the pressure on Quinns for second spot. We know it won’t be an easy game but hopefully come 5pm on Sunday we will take the points.”

Quinns sit in second and will be looking to maintain their good form when they visit Woodville Reserve to take on North Perth United. The 4-2 win against leaders Kingsley last week made it seven straight wins, and cut the gap to nine points. They head into the game full of confidence and they face a United side who have headed down the table, after only one win in their last six games. They currently sit fourth, but with only three points separating the two sides, this one will be great game. Wembley Downs sit third, and they hit the road this weekend as they travel to Jack Mann Oval to take on Ellenbrook United. Wembley were beaten at home last week by Leeming, and Mike Ford will be looking for them to bounce back this week.

Leeming Strikers will be looking to build on the big win at Wembley last week when they host Belmont Villa at John Connell Reserve. Strikers Coach David Palin will hoping for a similar result from their first meeting this season, when his side won 8-0, but I’m sure Belmont will have other ideas. UWA Nedlands were also winners last week against North Perth, and this week they travel to Carine Open space to take on Hamersley Rovers. There is only three points between the two sides, so with only five games remaining both sides want the points to move away from the foot of the table.

In the final game League leaders Kingsley make the trip to Kelly Park to take on improving Kwinana United. The home side beat Ellenbrook last time out, making it only one defeat in their last four games, and Coach Kris Donnell said there is more to come from his side. “If I’m honest the squad hasn’t reached the potential, I know they have the ability to achieve,” he said. “Our training commitments haven’t been great and we know that’s a big part of being a successful team.”

Donnell said Sunday will be a tough test, especially after Kingsley losing last week, but he said it will show how far they have come in the last few weeks. “The game on Sunday will be a great gauge to see how far off we really are, as I think they (Kingsley) will go on to win the double,” he explained. “Our last few games we have played excellent football and the shapes been great, so if we can go out and put that kind of performance in again then we could surprise the visitors.”

Kingsley assistant coach Stuart Montgomery said last weeks result was disappointing, but they need to move on. “Last week wasn’t the result we were after, and the sending off had an impact, but even with ten men the boys responded with playing some very good football and never stopped trying to win the game,” he said. “The penalty early in the second half with the score 1-1 really hurt us, and Quinn’s took advantage of us trying to find the equaliser and never sitting back. We weren’t happy with the result but we couldn’t fault our boys for their performance as they never gave up and tried to play our way until the end.”

Montgomery said they will be looking to bounce back on Sunday, but face a Kwinana side who have had some good results recently. “We now move on, and Kwinana is a big game for us and they have had some good results the last few weeks and have some very good players we will have to be aware of,” he explained. “We know the game style Kwinana will bring and we will try and stamp our game style on the game and hopefully we can come out on top in what I am sure will be a tough and entertaining contest.”

23.8.2019

GWELUP JUMP TWO POINTS CLEAR AFTER WIN AT MANDURAH

Gwelup Croatia moved two points clear at the top of the State League Division One table after a 2-0 win in Tuesday evenings round six catch up game against Mandurah City at Securitas Protect Stadium. Two early goals from David Heagney was enough for Taki Nicolaidis' side, and they now need to refresh and prepare for a top of the table clash with Fremantle City on Saturday. "The boys really dug deep tonight under tough conditions,” Nicolaidis said. “It was an important three points, against a Mandurah side that always hard to beat especially at home.”

The home side suffered a huge blow before the game with experienced defender Andy Brown out through injury, but it was a perfect start for the visitors and they were ahead on two minutes. Some neat lead-up play saw the ball end up with Sam Wynne on the right, and his cross picked out the unmarked David Heagney in the penalty area, who tapped home. Heagney went close to a second three minutes later. The former St Johnstone striker's stunning half volley found the fingertips of Mandurah 'keeper Phil Herschell, who acrobatically denied him.

But on 16 minutes Gwelup did double their advantage. A misplaced header from Mandurah defender Oscar Thompson allowed Heagney to nip in, and Herschell slipped at the wrong time, and the striker walked the ball into the empty net. Mandurah went close to reducing the margin on 35 minutes. A ball into the area picked out Jeff Bright, who beat Gwelup keeper Riley Stephenson to the ball to head goalwards, but Andrew Scaldaferro got back to clear the ball off the line.

Herschell was keeping his side in the game and he produced another smart save to thwart Ellis Healing's powerful shot, after the midfielder had been picked out by Sam Wynne, but at the break it was Gwelup in control.

Mandurah opened the brighter after the break, and player-coach Alex Grayson went close, while the lively Joe O'Brien fired wide. It was a tight game as both sides pressed, but it was Gwelup and Heagney almost added a third on the hour. Great work by Wynne out wide, saw his deep cross pick out Heagney in the penalty area, but his volley from close-range failed to find the target and his hat-trick chance was gone. Mandurah continued to push forward looking for the goal to get them back in to the game, but they couldn't break down a tight Gwelup defence, and at the final whistle it was Gwelup celebrating the victory.

Defeat ended Mandurah recent good form and defender Jeff Bright said the quick start from Gwelup was hard to peg back. "I thought Gwelup started really well and scored a couple of goals early, which was always going to be hard to come back from," he said. "Lucky it's a quick turn around and we can go out and make emends on Saturday at home again against Morley."

Mandurah City: GK Phil HERSCHELL, 2 Max SNELSON, 3 Jeff BRIGHT, 4 Matt STARES, 5 Silas BECSI, 6 Oscar THOMPSON, 7 Regan DAVIDSON, 9 Joe O’BRIEN, 10 Lee STEWART, 11 Alex GRAYSON, 13 Harry GEEVES - Subs: RGK Dan GRIFFIN, 12 Reece ALLAN, 14 Jack TERRELL, 15 Josh WARREN, 16 Jackson ELDRIDGE

Gwelup Croatia: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Ciaran SALINGER, 4 Sam WYNNE, 5 Clark KELTIE, 8 Matthew SPARROW, 9 David HEAGNEY, 12 Isaac KOOMSON, 15 Andrew SCALADFERRO, 30 Graham TOUGH, 77 Ellis HEALING, 88 Bobby WILSON - Subs: RGK Mitchell PAPAS, 17 Sean CANHAM, 25 Ali GHOLAMI, 33 Nasser BELLO, 35 Afian GIYANTO - Referee: Walter Ciotti

18.8.2019

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND SEVENTEEN REVIEW

Quinns have produced a great performance to beat league leaders Kingsley 4-1 at Gumblossom Park on Saturday evening to close the gap to six points at the top of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division. The visitors suffered a huge blow on 10 minutes when Adam O’Neill was given a straight red by the referee and sent off. But it looked business as usual for the ten-man Kingsley when they took the lead, after Jayden Drummond was brought down in the box and Joel Gillespie scored from the resulting penalty. But the home side levelled with Liam Hunt getting on the end of a cross. But Quinns made their numerical advantage count and hit the front when Wayne Carter converted from the spot after good work from Andy Pandeli. It was 3-1 when Liam McManus made space down the wing, before pulling the ball back to Hunt who finished well. It was 4-1 when Ryan McCready rose highest in the penalty area to head a cross back across goal and into the net. “Saturday was a massive result for our club, the lads were fantastic,” Quinns Coach Lee Garnish said. “A lot of work had been done for this game at training with David Ashworth giving a huge input and working to our game plan, and the boys executed the plan to perfection.”

Jaguar moved to third after a hard fought 2-1 win against Belmont Villa at Gerry Archer Sports Complex. It was Belmont who started the better and they took the lead on 10 minutes after the referee spotted a hand ball in the box, and they converted the resulting penalty. But Jags hit back and were level on 21 minutes, a cross from Emanuel Aniyego from skipper Juma Wade at the back post, who took a touch and squared the ball to Paul Sopp who finished well. The visitors then hit the front two minutes later, a shot from Gojam Nyuon was handled in the box and the referee pointed to the spot again. Sopp stepped up and scored his second and give Jags a 2-1 lead. Belmont pushed players forward after the break looking for the equaliser and were nearly caught out at the back after Nyuon raced clear and cut the ball back to Laurance Gama, but the Belmont keeper made a great save to deny him. Jags continued to press and Wade sent Nyuon in goal and he was brought down and the referee pointed for a third penalty of the game. Sopp stepped up to seal his hat-trick but the Belmont made a great saved to deny him.

Wembley Downs lost ground on the leaders after they were beaten 4-3 by Leeming Strikers at Butlers Reserve. The visitors arrived on a bad run of form but they were ahead on the half hour. Ayden Evans received the ball in the box and beat his marker and fired into the bottom corner of the net. They lead 1-0 at half time but Wembley hit back and scored three quick goals, the first from Dean Wall, before Matt Devereux bagged a brace to give them a 3-1 lead, and it looked a long way back for David Palin’s side. But on 75 minutes the visitors did pull one back, Michael Maratea received the ball wide and put in a cross to the back post which was met by substitute Kieran Sweeney, who headed in from 5 meters. They then restored parity ten minutes later Evans’ long-range free kick beating the keeper. It looked like Leeming had earn a point but two minutes into stoppage time they won it, a mix up between keeper and defender ended with the defender putting the ball into his own net. “It was such a good win, with 15 minutes to go we looked beat, but credit to the boys they didn't want to accept it and kept pushing for goals,” Palin said. “We lost two players with injury after 15 minutes and that unsettled us, but we grew into the game and deserved the lead at halftime. Second half we started poorly and got punished but we stuck at it and I couldn’t be happier. At times yesterday you saw the best and worst of us but in the end the boys played for the whole 90 minutes and that was pleasing. The result was very harsh on Wembley, based on game play as a whole a draw was probably fairer but we will take the 3 points because we really needed them and we deserve a bit of luck after the last nine games or so'”

Joondalup United closed the gap on the top five after a 4-1 win against Hamersley Rovers at Beldon Park. The hosts were behind early, but levelled just before the break when Liam Fryer’s cross found Chris Boyle who volleyed home. The home side hit the front after the break with Fryer on target, before Sam Davis raced into goal and slotted the ball under the on-coming keeper to make it 3-1. The points were wrapped up when a cross from the left found Davis who fired into the roof of the net at the back post. “It was a much better second half performance, after not creating a lot in the first half, and being lucky to be level at halftime,” Joondalup Coach Ben Williams said. “The lads took onboard the halftime message and really went up through the gears second half, and Liam Fryer was excellent and looked dangerous every time he got the ball. Very happy to get the three points, great second half performance, now onto Jaguars next weekend.”

UWA Nedlands made it four games without defeat after a 3-1 win against North Perth United at the UWA Sports Park. The hosts were ahead when Mitch Barrington intercepted back pass by who went in on goal, his shot crashed off the post the rebound landed in front of Louis Papalia who hit the post again, but he didn’t fail with his second attempt to score. It was 2-0 when Barrington dispossessed the centre back, rounded the goal keeper and rolled the ball home. North Perth pulled one back with Ago Mujic scoring from the penalty spot, but the home side wrapped up the points with a third. A clearance from the North Perth defence went straight to Barrington who fed Papalia who went one-on-one with the North Perth keeper and finished well. “We’re improving every week and the win was well deserved,” UWA Coach Arthur Hiemstra said. “We’re now nine points clear from Belmont with a far better goal difference, so it is looking promising for us.”

In the final game Kwinana United maintained their seventh place after 5-1 win against Ellenbrook United at Kelly Park. Glen Smith was the hero in this one, bagging a hat-trick, while Michael Masterton added a fourth with a cracking shot, before Lee Bates headed home the fifth to seal a comprehensive win. “Really happy with the performance, and the boys continued on were they left of form from last week,” Kwinana Coach Kris Donnell said. “Some of the football we played was very good and the movement was brilliant, and most importantly the discipline again was excellent.”

18.8.2019

SINCLAIR GIVES COCKBURN THE GLORY

Cockburn City secured three valuable points after a 1-0 win against Perth Glory at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The only goal of the game came on the hour mark from American striker Hasani Sinclair, and despite pressing late the Glory couldn't find an equaliser. The win makes the Cockerels save in the NPL, while defeat has but Glory’s top four hopes in jeopardy. Both sides had early chances in this one, Devon Gibson blazing over for the visitors while Gomo Dukuly’s long-range shot flew just wide. Glory keeper Nic Speca was then out quick to thwart Sinclair, before Bryce Bafford curled an effort wide of the target, before Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich got down well to deny Dukuly on 20 minutes.

The game was opening up and moments later Gabriel Popovic was sent racing down the right channel, he held off his marker and his low shot was saved by Radonich at his near post. The best chance of the half fell to Sinclair just before the break. A back pass was left short and the striker nipped in, but his shot from the edge of the box flew over the top. But it was Cockburn who found the opener on 59 minutes.

The lively Daniel Robinson crossed to Sinclair, and the former Forrestfield striker finished low past Speca. It was almost 2-0 seven minutes later, when a corner wasn't dealt with and Euen Grant's snap shot was well saved by Speca. Cockburn were content to sit back and hit on the break, but Glory continued to press and went close on 73 minutes.

Trent Ostler's made space down the right and his cross found Popovic in the box, but the striker's shot was blocked by some desperate Cockburn defending. Glory had one last chance to grab a point, when second half substitute Ethan Brooks eased past two Cockburn defenders on the left and cut into the box, but his shot from the angle was well saved by Radonich.

Perth Glory: GK Nicholas SPECA, 2 Daniel WALSH, 3 Trent OSTLER, 4 Luke BODNAR, 5 Alessandro CICARTI, 6 Josh SAMSON, 7 Sam RAWLINGS (17 Ciaran BRAMWELL 57’), 8 Jack LEECH, 9 Gomo DUKULY (14 Ethan BROOKS 57’), 10 Bryce BAFFORD, 11 Gabriel POPOVIC - Subs not used: RGK Jacob RANGE, 12 Liam MURRAY, 13 Nick WALSH

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 3 Daniel DOLS, 4 Euen GRANT, 8 Cameron EDWARDS (10 David ARAYA 87’), 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Daniel ROBINSON, 17 Devon GIBSON (12 Ryan PRATT 64’), 18 Adam ANFUSO, 19 Hasani SINCLAIR (7 Ashley ROSINDALE 75’), 21 Jesse LAZZARO, 11 Ruben TRISTAO - Subs not used: RGK Ben RADONICH, 9 Anthony SKORICH - Referee: Michal Jasinski

17.8.2019

PERTH SC CHAMPIONS 2019

Perth Soccer Club are the 2019 NPL WA league winners after a 2-0 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. They were made to fight for the points against the relegation-threatened Armadale, but second half goals from Andreas Theodosiades and Frank Furfaro gave them the points and their third NPL WA title in four years. Ramon Falzon’s side knew a win would secure the title, however results elsewhere meant a draw would have been enough, but they are 10 points clear of their nearest rivals and will represent WA in next month’s NPL Finals Series, where they will face the premiers of NPL Victoria in the Elimination Final.

It was a cagey opening to the game with clear cut chances few and far between with the final ball was lacking for both teams. But Perth had the opportunity to take the lead on 19 minutes when Aleks Jovic was bundled down in the box by Nathan Costello and referee Julian Serra pointed straight the spot. Harley Orr stepped up to take the resulting penalty he fired the effort well wide of the target. but he put his effort wide of the target. Both sides had late chances in the half first Matt Milenkovic's snap shot flashed wide of the upright, while at the other end Ali Nazary's free kick clipped off the wall and away to safety.

Armadale started the second half with a flurry. Abdul Osman headed over the bar, before Chad Nilson curled wide of the upright after cutting in from the right. But with their first attempt on target for the half, Perth broke the deadlock. Theodosiades ran onto Gustavo Catarcione's pass, drove into the area and dinked coolly over Reds custodian Sam Hutchings. The Armadale keeper then produced a number of fine saves to keep his side in the game, including saving another Orr penalty

Hutchings was at it again moments later reacting brilliantly to tip over Jordan De Leo's deflected effort, before saving with his feet when substitute Niccolò Sabatini went through on goal. However, there wasn’t much he could do when Perth added a second in the final minute. Second half substitute Furfaro raced clear and rounded the keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net. Armadale weren’t going down without a fight and Joshua Cortes rattled the post with a late header, but at the final whistle it was Perth SC players, coaches and supporters celebrating another league title, the 23rd in the club’s history.

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Josh KUSER, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 Ali NAZARY (7 Joshua CORTES 50’), 6 Joel SANDERSON, 8 Michael LAWSON (10 Sam GARCES 64’) 9 Uriel MACIAS, 11 Chad NILSON, 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 13 Blake ADAMS, 21 Abdul OSMAN (18 Ciaran BYRNE 80’) - Subs not used: RGK Blake HANSHELL, 16 Eraste VYAMUNGU

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 3 Andreas THEODOSIADES (14 Kristian SANTICH 73), 6 Harley ORR, 7 Aleks JOVIC (5 Niccolò SABATINI 65’), 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE (17 Frank FURFARO 84’), 11 Matt MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 20 Paul ZIMARINO - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 2 Alex SILLA - Referee: Julian Serra

17.8.2019

NICOL THE STAR AGAINST ROCKINGHAM

Bayswater City have bounced back from defeat at Stirling Lions last week to give their top four hopes a boost after 5-0 win against Rockingham City at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Daryl Nicol was the star of the show bagging a hat-trick, to move him closer to retaining his Golden Boot trophy, while Ross Millard and own goal from Justis Bradley were the other scorers. The win, Bayswater's first in over a month, saw them move up to fourth in the NPL WA with just two rounds remaining.

The visitors went close to the opener early, but Robbie Galvin shot crashed off the post. But it was the home side who opened the scoring on seven minutes, Nicol’s free kick beating Cyril Sharrock via the post. They went close to a second when Gordon smith raced one-on-one with Sharrock, but the keeper stood tall to deny the Scotsman. But Smith had a hand in City’s second goal on the half hour, his pass picked out Nicol who made no mistake.

Nicol was a constant threat and he almost set up Gustavo Giron-Marulanda early in the second half, but the Colombian striker failed to get a foot to the ball. But on the hour City added a third, Millard pounced on a defensive mistake to fire home. It was one-way traffic and Bayswater won a number of corners and from one Bradley put the ball in his own net to make it 4-0. But the icing was put on the cake in stoppage time, with Nicol completing his hat-trick after an error from Sharrock.

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA, 10 Jason MIRCO (11 Ryan PEARSON 83’), 12 Steve HESKETH, 13 Trent KAY, 17 Daryl NICOL, 18 Brent GRIFFITHS (30 Adam TONG 88’), 19 Gordon SMITH, 20 Giordano COLLI, 27 Ross MILLARD (14 Hamish VAN DIEKEN 77’) – Subs not used: RGK Sam REILLY, 24 Jake SARDIELLO

Rockingham City: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 3 Justis BRADLEY, 6 Robbie GLAVIN (13 Jarrad MORT 77’), 7 James MILLARD, 9 Sam McKEARNEN (5 Harry COLLINS 77’), 10 James HARMER, 12 Lydon HODGKISS, 15 Shaz RAMLEE (14 Ryan KENNEDY 77’), 18 Michael FARMER, 20 Mitchell FIRTH, 23 Victor BRAUNER – Subs not used: RGK James GREHAN - Referee: Adam Fielding

17.8.2019

INGLEWOOD TO GOOD FOR LIONS

Inglewood United are in pole position to reach the NPL WA Top Four Finals after two goals from Brian Woodall and one from Steve Sokol gave them a comfortable 3-0 win against Stirling Lions at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. The loss has left the Lions hanging by a thread at the foot of the table, and with two games remaining they need pick up points, and hope other results go their way or they will be relegated.

Inglewood were on top early, forcing a number of corners, and on it wasn’t a surprise when they hit the front on 23 minutes. Woodall was picked out by Harry Evans’ cross from the left, and the striker fired home. It was 2-0 five minutes later when Chok Dau was brought down by Steven McDonald and referee David Bruce pointed to the spot. Dau picked himself up but saw his penalty saved by Ryan Montgomery, but Sokol was quickest to react to fired home the rebound.

The Lions needed a good start to the second half, but it was Inglewood who added a third two minutes in. Woodall was sent clear and he rounded Montgomery before scoring. It was a disappointing afternoon for Stirling, who were coming off a big win against Bayswater last week, and they day went from bad to worse when defender Darren O’Riordan was sent off after picking up a second yellow card

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 5 Sam RIAK, 7 Mark BARNETT, 8 Jason BARRERA, 9 Chok DAU, 11 Harry EVANS, 14 Steve SOKOL 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie MURPHY, 23 Brian WOODALL 12 Antony BAFOBUSHA, 13 Miki VUJACIC, 24 Brendan ITALIANO

Stirling Lions: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 8 Dean CUMMINGS, 10 Danny JONES, 4 David MOLINARI, 5 Steven MCDONALD, 11 Michael WANTEE, 9 Zdenek BEZDEK, 12 Jackson MORGAN, 6 Dhhors CHOL, 3 Darren O’RIORDAN,15 Renee KISESA, 16 Daniel MARQUES, 17 Yagoub MUSTAFA

17.8.2019

ALL SQUARE AT GRINDLEFORD

Sorrento and Balcatta have kept their top four Finals hopes alive after an entertaining 2-2 draw at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The Gulls had to do it the hard way, coming from behind twice to earn a point, the draw leaves them one point of fourth spot, while Balcatta are level with fourth placed Bayswater as the race for finals football heats up. Calum O’Connell gave the host the lead early, before Cameron Teece levelled from the spot. Adam Zimarino regained the lead for Goran Stajic’s side with five minutes remaining, but Teece had the final say against his former club firing home three minutes later to give both sides a share of the spoils.

Balcatta were coming off a disappointing result at Champions elect Perth SC last week, but they made a bright start in this one and were ahead after only four minutes. Gavin Knight’s shot was parried by Matthew Giudicatti, and skipper Calum O’Connell made no mistake from close-range. They should have doubled their lead on 39 minutes, and it was that man O’Connell again, his bullet-like free kick crashed off the crossbar with Giudicatti well beaten. Jamie Harnwell’s side had come from three down last week to draw against Floreat Athena and they levelled just before half time from the penalty spot. Referee Matthew Southern spotted a push on Teece, and the striker picked himself up to score and send the sides in level at the break.

The hosts made a good start to the second half and created some good chances, but they couldn’t find a goal. It looked like the points would be shared but on 85 minutes Balcatta regained the lead. A ball into the box was only cleared to Zimarino on the edge of the box, and his low shot flew into the net. That looked like being the winner but Sorrento had other ideas. On 88 minutes a ball into box was well controlled by Teece, and his shot on the turn flew into the top corner of the net giving David Keenan no chance. Both sides pressed late and there were a few chances in the dying minutes, but neither side could find a winner and the points ended up being shared. Balcatta now sit fifth, level on points with fourth-place Bayswater, and travel to ECU Joondalup next week in their penultimate game this season. Sorrento host second-bottom Armadale, who will be fighting for survival in a must-win game for both sides.

Balcatta: GK David KEENAN, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 John KEARNEY, 4 Calum O'CONNELL, 9 Gavin KNIGHT (5 Shubham MOKALA 68’), 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 12 Robert DEL BORRELLO, 13 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 16 Alex CASTIELLO, 19 Nicholas CHALLOT (11 Adam ZIMARINO 77’), 20 Anthony TOPINI (15 Callum STOCKS 90+4’) - Subs not used: 7 Ben PELLIZZARI, 8 Alex WILD

Sorrento: GK Matthew GIUDICATTI, 2 David STOKOE, 3 Jakub PRAJZA, 4 Shaun KILKELLY (18 Jordan BROWN 90+4’), 7 Alex MORGAN (19 Jack SALTER 68’), 8 Scott WITSCHGE, 10 Jordan ROBERTS, 11 Tim HILL, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 23 Cameron TEECE, 30 Jesse OWUOUR - Subs not used: 20 Jaxon TEMATA, 32 Tristan STEVENS, 60 Noah BLOCH - Referee: Matthew Southern

17.8.2019

KNOWLES AT THE DOUBLE FOR THE JACKS

ECU Joondalup striker Joe Knowles has scored a first half brace to seal a vital three points in Saturdays 2-1 win against second placed Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium in week 20 of the NPL WA. The former Perth Glory fired home the opener early, and doubled the visitors lead before the break. Floreat pulled one back just after the hour, with second substitute Robert Harding on target, and they had the chance to draw level in stoppage time, but Robert Petkov fired his penalty wide. The three points moved Dale McCulloch’s side four points clear of the drop zone, while defeat for Garret McDulling’s side has given Perth SC their 23rd Premier League title, after their 2-0 win at Armadale.

It was the visitors who were on the front foot early and they were ahead on four minutes. Ollie Annis’ ball sent Knowles in on goal and he cleverly lobbed the on-coming Jason Saldaris. Knowles could have had a hat-trick in the opening seven minutes. First Bayley Brown-Montgomery sent the striker clear, but Saldaris denied him, and from the resulting corner the Floreat custodian got down well to thwart him again. The home side lifted and Johnny Perkins had to be alert to save from Ludovic Boi, then Nick Ambrogio’s shot on the turn flashed wide, before Phil Arnold headed over from Boi’s teasing cross. But on 37 minutes it was ECU who doubled their advantage. Ewan Fawcett’s ball sent Knowles clear, and he raced into goal and finished clinically past Saldaris, much to the delight of the travelling supporters.

It was an even start to the second half, and Knowles curling effort flashed wide, before Petkov fired wide for the hosts. Knowles was in again on 64 minutes, but Saldaris stood tall to deny the striker his hat-trick. But three minutes later the home side found a lifeline, ECU gave the ball away on the edge of the penalty area and Petkov’s cross found Harding who finished low past Perkins. Both sides had chances as the game opened up, Petkov was again denied by Perkins, before debutant defender Luke Rhodes saw his shot well saved by Saldaris.

It looked like the visitors would hang on for the points but in the first minutes of stoppage time Floreat won a penalty. A ball over the top sent Arnold in on goal, but he was brought down by Perkins in the box, despite getting his effort away and Nick Koefler clearing the ball off the line. But referee Josh Mannella brought it back for the foul and pointed to the spot. Petkov took responsibility for the penalty, but he fired well wide of the target. Floreat pressed late looking for the equaliser but after six minutes of stoppage time the referee blew for full time, to seal a vital win for the northern suburbs club in their fight to avoid relegation.

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 5 Thomas JEBB (24 Sam THORNLEY 86’), 6 Jesse FULLER, 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 Nick AMBROGIO, 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 Chris SALDARIS (13 George FESTA 45’), 16 Ryan MALTON, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD, 38 Adam FALCONE (32 Robert HARDING 43’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 31 Jacob STUBBERFIELD

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 3 Nicholas KOEFLER, 5 Luke RHODES (13 Tommy AMPHLETT 87’), 6 Ollie ANNIS, 7 Joe KNOWLES, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY (11 Lukas DE LIMA 49’), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 12 Billy QUINNCROFT, 14 Ewan FAWCETT, 15 Tom HOUGH - Subs not used: RGK George JACKSON, 2 Ryan MCDARBY, 4 Henry DURR - Referee: Josh Mannella

17.8.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINETEEN – REVIEW

Western Knights moved to the top of the State League Division One table after a nine-goal thriller against Joondalup United at Nash Field. They had to come from behind to do so after Joondalup raced to a 3-0 lead, but they managed to get the job done in the end. "We were disappointed with some defensive mistakes that allowed Joondalup to score three early goals," Knights' coach Ivan Zuvela explained. "But we pride ourselves on having a never say die attitude and I was proud of the players by how they finished the game to get the win against a well-structured and disciplined Joondalup side."

The visitors were ahead after a swift move down the left ended with Ben Wantee, who finished clinically. But the Knights levelled when Paul Cartwright crossed to Paul Lloyd, who eased past his marker and finished well. The visitors then hit back and regained the lead when Tony Taylor volleyed home, and they added a third when a ball over the top sent Wantee clear and he rounded Sam Stone and rolled the ball home. The home side reduced the margin when Lloyd raced down the flank and cut the ball back to Dean Hurley to tap home from close-range. But the visitors added another before the break, Jamie Gardiner firing home from 20 meters to make it 4-2. But just before half time the Knights pulled another one back, Andrija Jukic applied good pressure and won the ball and he lobbed the ball into Noah Shamaki, who head home.

The Knights were on the front foot after the break and levelled after Joondalup failed to clear their lines, and in the goalmouth scramble Shamaki fired home. Both sides pressed for the winner but it was the home side that found it, Jukic controlled the ball well on his chest and volleyed home into the top corner, much to the delight of the home faithful. "It pretty much sums up our season," Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. "We were superb for large periods of the game and deserved something for our efforts, but once again we found a way to come away empty handed. All credit though to the Knights, at no stage did they panic, despite the pressure we applied and the quality individuals they have stood up when they needed them most."

Gwelup Croatia moved to second after a 4-2 win against Ashfield at Ashfield Reserve. The visitors were ahead after only six minutes, Ellis Healing sent clear and the striker finished well past Paul Rainford. It got better for Taki Nicolaidis' side two minutes later when David Heagney's cross was turned into his own net by before former Gwelup central defender Hayden Lowe. It was 3-0 on the half hour, Matthew Sparrow's corner was headed home by Graham Tough. Ashfield found a lifeline four minutes before half time after Tough brought down Albert Amankwaa and referee Shane Skinner pointed straight to the spot and Pat Sara made no mistake from the resulting penalty.

The home reduced the margin to one on the hour when Tough brought down Joshua Kotio, and Sara made no mistake again from the spot. It was game on, but it was Gwelup who found a fourth 11 minutes from time. Bobby Wilson's inch-perfect cross was met by Heagney, who headed home to seal the points. Gwelup Coach Taki Nicolaidis was happy with his players performance. "I was very proud of the playing group today, earning a very valuable three points against a tough opponent in Ashfield," he said. "We need to now regroup and freshen up for our catch-up game against Mandurah City on Tuesday night."

Fremantle City lost top spot on the table after a scoreless draw against Olympic Kingsway at Hilton Reserve. Both sides had chances in a hard-fought game, the best falling to the visitors ten minutes from time when Nenbrim Charming was fouled in the box, but Jordan Pokler penalty was well saved by Yousri Gharsallah. "I felt we were the better team and at times played some good football but we didn’t create a lot throughout the 90 minutes mainly due to their defensive organisation," Kingsway coach Gary Williams said. "We missed a penalty for the second week running in very important matches and unfortunately those are the fine margins that win or lose you trophies. The players worked exceptionally hard against Fremantle and have had a great season so far. We have another three games left and will be vying for nine points to finish as high in the table as we can."

Fremantle keeper Yousri Gharsallah said it was a tough game and a draw was a fair result. “We played a very organised side who dominated the middle of the park with great ball circulation and what caught us out was the start we made. We didn’t perform as we should particularly in the first half,” he explained. “In the second half we were much better and we created some great chances but at the end, we got the draw. None of us is delighted with the result but the bright side is the clean sheet which is the third in a raw, I haven’t lost a game since I joined Fremantle City, and it’s nice to be part of this journey and I don’t think it’s finished yet. Now all the focus is on Gwelup game this Saturday, it’s not going to be easy but we should play our game like we always do.”

Morley Windmills and Forrestfield United also fought out a 0-0 draw at Wotton Reserve. The visitors created some good chances in the first half, including a number of one on ones, but they failed to take them. Morley went close themselves when Ryan Treacey’s free kick crashed off the crossbar. The visitors went close again just before half time, but Dan Corbett fired wide of the target when well-placed. It was another tight second half but Forrestfield almost won it in the final minute, but a great save by Aiden Holloway earned Morley a share of the spoils. “Today was a tough tight game with both teams creating a number of chances to win the game,” Morley coach Jason Van Rooy said. “I’m happy how our lads fought to the end and we definitely deserved something from the game.”

In the final game UWA Nedlands have beaten Subiaco 2-0 in the local derby at the UWA Sports Park. It was a tight first half with clear cut chances few and far between, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock after half time. Bryce Conway’s free kick found Tim Robertson, who picked out Lloyd Prout to score. They doubled their lead when Asher Nelson fired home from the edge of the penalty area. “I thought we controlled the first half, but both sides didn’t create a clear-cut chance, but in the second half we dominated the 45 minutes and were rewarded two good goals from our play,” UWA Coach Michael Janssen said. “We missed one or two chances to score another but at the end the boys performed 90 minutes as we wanted them to. For us it was important to get the win not just because it was a derby, but the boys deserved it with the commitment and the improved performances over the last four weeks. And we are very happy with the final result, now we are going into the last two games on a positive with the Bye next Saturday. - Mandurah City had the bye this week.

17.8.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND EIGHTEEN – REVIEW

Quinns race to the State League Division Two title hit a slight speed bump on Saturday evening, when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Murdoch University Melville, under lights at Murdoch University. Ian Ferguson's side still have a seven-point lead at the top of the table, and a win next week at home to nearest rivals Gosnells City will see them crowned Champions. "Not the result we wanted, as we have become a custom to winning, but it just really makes next week as a cup final," Mike Kenny said. "The boys are all trying to switch onto next week, we're all buzzing to try and win the league at home." They were ahead in this one, when some neat build up play ended with Mike Kenny, whose shot rebounded to Richard Howles to bundle the ball home. But straight from the kick off MUM levelled. A corner was whipped in and Quinns failed to clear and Tom Pellizari fired past James Bosdet from close-range. It was the hosts who took the lead into the break, a quick break Broden Brown raced clear after a slip from a Quinns defender, and he crossed to Christian Long who made no mistake.

Quinns were on the front foot early in the second half and restored parity five minutes in. Kenny raced past a number of MUM players before squaring the ball to Matthew Blake who finished from close-range. Both sides had chances in the second half but they couldn't find the target and both had to settle for a point. “I thought it was probably one of the best performances of our season from an aggression and desire point of view,” Broden Brown said. “We really stopped Quinn’s from playing for large parts of the game and with two ruled out offside goals we felt like we could’ve even got more than a point. Despite that it gives us a good platform for the tail end of the season and we know if we play like that in the finals we will get promoted.”

Gosnells City kept the pressure on the leaders after a 3-0 win against Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve. The home side had been on a great run of form but it was the visitors who were ahead when Dean Armstrong headed home a corner, and they doubled their lead when Ben Howe's cross was headed home Josh Wade. The points were wrapped up after the break, when a quick counter attack ended with Fryzel Zaw who cleverly lobbed the on-coming keeper. " “I thought it was an excellent first half performance, where we dominated all over the park and could have come in a few more up,” Gosnells Coach Marc Anthony said. “But the second half Wanneroo really caused us problems and only some great goalkeeping from Tom Allan and the woodwork kept us from losing a few goals as he saved us numerous times. But really pleased with the clean sheet and three points and sets us up nicely for Quinn's away next week where we have nothing to lose as I can't see them losing three from there last four.”

Swan United jumped into the fourth, after a 3-0 win against Curtin University at Edinburgh Oval. The Black and Whites dropped out of the play-off spot after last week’s loss against Shamrock, and the first half in this one was a tight affair with both sides creating good chances but it was scoreless at the break. But Paul Dundo's were on the front foot after the break and they were ahead when Lucas Allender's cross picked out Bryan Patterson who headed home. They doubled their lead after John Monterosso's shot from a tight angle was well saved by the Curtin keeper but Liam Merigan was quickest to react to the rebound to score. The points were wrapped up when Jay Lang's shot was saved by the keeper but the rebound fell to Monterosso who finished at the back post. The win moves the Swans one point ahead of Balga, who they meet next week on the road. "It was a good solid win with some boys back from injury," Monterosso said. "It now sets us up well for a big game this week for a top four spot against Balga."

Balga dropped out of the play-off spot after a 3-3 draw against Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Reserve. “This was a very poor performance from the boys,” Kristian Despotovski said. “We made a few tactical changes after half time and it worked, but even when we don’t play the best, we know we have the quality to still scrape a result.” The hosts were ahead on 17 minutes, with Josh Hart firing home from the edge of the penalty area. They doubled their lead early in the second half with James Atkins on target, and it looked game over when Lachy Parker added a third. But Balga found a lifeline when Despotovski fired home on 68 minutes, and six minutes later it was 3-2 with Josh Conti fired home from the edge of the box. Then five minutes from time Balga found the equaliser, with Kris Spasaski pouncing after the Shamrock keeper parried a free kick. Balga almost won it late but after the ball hit the post, the rebound fell to Spasaski who just shot wide.

“It was a bad result for us especially after being 3-0 up,” Rovers’ Ger Fitzgerald said. “We had a perfectly good goal disallowed by the ref for no reason but it’s our own fault it should have been game over when we led by three. That’s twice this season we should have beaten Balga and beaten them well and we have drawn both games, and four points that we shouldn’t have been lost. We look forward to next week and hopefully finish the season with some good results.” In other games Dianella White Eagles fought out a 3-3 draw against Joondalup City at Dianella Reserve. Goals from Charlie White, Liam Hudson and Mila Vulin penalty were the scorers for the host. “Another disappointing result, after being ahead missing numerous one v one opportunities and in control,” Eagles coach Howard Tweats said. “Then to concede an avoidable goal and then a routine was cross misjudged, and ends up in the goal is indicative of our season when nothing rolls your way.”

In the final game Canning City came home from Frye Park with the three points after a nine-goal thriller. The home side were ahead early with Aden Hoddy on target, but the visitors were level when Jason Al Bunajim was sent clear by James Drewett to score. It was 2-1 to Canning when Oliver Parry picked out Al Bunajim who finished well. Kelmscott restored parity with Jon Bogoni scored from a free kick. But just before half time Al Bunajim completed his hat-trick to send them into the break with the lead. The home side then had Arthur Gaye sent off early in the second half and Joe Kelly was brought down in the box and Al Bunajim added his and Canning’s fourth. It was soon 5-2 Oliver Dahlskog deflected shot beat the keeper. It looked game over but Kelmscott hit back late with Alfie Bryant bagging a brace, and it set up a nervy ending for Canning but they held on for the win.

16.8.2019

VALE BARRIE GREENWOOD (courtesy Football Half of Fame WA)

Barrie Greenwood, former WA State team manager, referee, author and TV and radio commentator, died on August 13 after a lengthy illness. He was 84. Originally from Rochdale in England, Barrie arrived in Western Australia on the SS Fairsea in September, 1958 and almost immediately linked up as a player with Caledonian, playing as a left-half with them for five seasons. He won the Fairest and Best with Caledonian in 1961. Barrie turned to refereeing after his playing career, being an influential whistler for seven years, during which time he was the man in the middle in several cup finals. He also refereed many State team games against international competition. Having put away his whistle, Barrie began a record 51-game stint as WA State Team manager in 1969, leading the representative side in the 1970 Anniversary Cup in Indonesia and in the Merdeka Tournament in Malaysia in the same year.

He received a commemorative plaque from the Football Hall of Fame WA when many of the 1970 Merdeka Cup playing squad and team officials were honoured at a function in 2007. Julius Re, who was President of the Soccer Federation of WA during most of Barrie's term as State Team Manager, was also honoured at the same gathering. Barrie also served on the SFWA board in various roles, including assistant secretary, registrar and vice president. He was also an executive member of the Australian Soccer Federation from 1971 to 1974. He later became a Life Member of the SFWA. He was also a member of the Football West Disciplinary and Grievance committee for 16 years. Barrie acted as Liaison Officer for many of the international teams that visited WA and became friendly with many of the star players who guested for Perth teams, including England World Cup captain Bobby Moore. He wrote extensively about the game for several newspapers and was also a soccer commentator for Channel Nine.

He was an influential figure for many years in the local game, wearing many hats, and former State team star John Davidson said. "Barry was a legend of the great game and did so much for the game in WA. "He was the man that looked after me as a naive 17 yr old when I arrived in Perth 1970. RIP Barrie." Another former State team player, Mike Smith, said: "Barrie will be missed. I did a couple of overseas soccer tours with Barrie. Had a great time and he was always looking to promote the game or the players. RIP" He was also held in high esteem on the east coast of Australia.

In the Foreword to Barrie's book on Soccer in West Australia (published in 2000), former Socceroos coach Rale Rasic said: "I always appreciated Barrie's co-operation and support, especially during the 'golden years' of Australian soccer - 1970 to 1974. "We shared many glorious, as well as painful, moments during Australia's qualification period for the 1974 World Cup. "Barrie has always been positive and supportive of the world's greatest game at State, National and International level."

Barrie's funeral will be at Pinnaroo Cemetery on Thursday 22nd August, at 12noon.

16.8.2019

NPL-WA ROUND TWENTY PREVIEW

The Football West NPL is going down to the wire at both ends of the table and with only three rounds to go games this weekend will be vital in top four and relegation scrap. Our 'Match of the Round' this week is Champion elect Perth SC's trip to Alfred Skeet Reserve to take on relegation threatened Armadale. Ramon Falzon's side beat Balcatta last week and need one more win to take out the league title, while Armadale stunned Cockburn City to give their hopes of survival a huge boost. The last time the two sides met at the venue was in round 3 last season when Perth ran out comprehensive 5-1 winners. Chris Jackson had given the home side the lead early, but a brace from Gustavo Catarcione, and others to Niccolò Sabatini, Paul Zimarino and Nicholas Ambrogio gave the Azzurri the points.

Armadale are sitting one point of the drop zone but their performance last week showed they are not going anywhere without a fight and coach John O’Reilly said three more of them will give them NPL football next season. “We have been playing well in games and not been rewarded but last week we were,” he said. “I’ve got a great bunch of lads who are determined to pull us away from the foot of the table and if we play like we did last week I’m confident we will.”

American striker Uriel Macias bagged a hat trick in the win last week and O’Reilly said he has been great for them this season. “We brought Uriel in half way into the season and since he arrived, he’s settled in really well and has been a great contributor to the side,” he said. “He is one of a number of important players in our squad, and to be fair the whole group have been great this season, but we know the fight isn’t over and we need to bring our A-Game against the league leaders on Saturday.”

O’Reilly knows the challenge that confronts them on Saturday against Perth, but he said they are ready for the challenge. “They say in football the table doesn’t lie at this time of the season, and they (Perth) sit well clear at the top of the table,” he explained. “But we are ready for the challenge, everyone’s spoken about them needing a win to take out the league, but we need the three points more, and we’ll be doing all we can to get them.”

The win against Balcatta moved Perth on the brink of the title, but Falzon's said they still have three games to go and need to stay focused. "It was a very important for us to perform well and to collect the three points against Balcatta. At the business end of the season, good performances and results, help the squad to retain a high level of confidence in our abilities to go all the way," he explained. "The first half was quite balanced because Balcatta are a very well organised and disciplined team, however we had gained enough momentum to win the midfield battle in the second half. This helped us retain possession better and create numerous goal-scoring opportunities."

The Dorrien Gardens club will be aiming to wrap up the title at Armadale, but Falzon knows they will be desperate for the three points so they need to match them in all aspects of the game. "We have always adopted the approach of one game at a time and this will not change although there is a seven-point gap between second place and us," he said. "This season we have kept eight clean sheets and improved both our offensive and defensive record from last season, but we know that the job is not done yet.

The players are aware that we have to remain focused until the last minute of the last game of the season, no matter what happens in the meantime. For the time being, our full focus is on Armadale. They collected four points from their last two games during which they managed to impressively score eight goals. Armadale are always a tough side to face in their own backyard and this Saturday it will be tougher than usual because they will be enormously confident following their recent two games, while at the same time they are desperately fighting to avoid relegation."

Rockingham City win against Perth Glory last week moved them five points of the relegation spot, and it looks like Cameron Lord's side will stay up, but anything can happen in this league and on Saturday they head to Frank Drago Reserve to take on Bayswater City side fighting for a top four spot. The 2-1 win was an outstanding performance, but they need to get their away form right as they have the worst record away from the SafeRad Stadium and have two away games to end the season. Bayswater slipped out of the top four after their loss at Stirling Lions last week, but are only two points outside, but after only one win in their last six games Chris Coyne's side need to improve if they are to reach the end of season finals.

Another side in the relegation mix is ECU Joondalup, and that’s surprising as they are the only club in the league not to have been beaten in the second half of the season, but they have drawn six of them. They face another tough test on Saturday when they travel to E&D Litis Stadium to take on title chasing Floreat Athena. The Jacks have only won once on the road, and Dale McCulloch will be looking for number two on Saturday in their fight to avoid the drop. Floreat will be looking for Perth to slip up as they chase the title, but last week’s slip up at Sorrento has probably ended that, but you never know in this league. Garrett McDulling will be looking for a similar result to the one at ECU earlier in the season when his side ran out convincing 3-0 winners.

Stirling Lions resurgence continued last week with a big win against Bayswater City and this week they travel to Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium to take on Inglewood United. Trevor Morgan's side are now only one point from safety, and have only lost once in their last six games, and they have a good record at Saturday's venue and have only lost once in their last six visits, and they will be hoping it continues on Saturday. Inglewood drew at ECU Joondalup last week, with Steve Sokol's stunning strike, and Andres Oli side are sitting third and can't afford any slip ups with only three points separating third to seventh.

Cockburn City are in free fall and last week’s big loss against Armadale made it six games without a win, and they are only four points off the relegation zone. This week they travel to E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday to take on Perth Glory and Scott Miller will be hoping they can change that form against his former club. Glory slipped up last week at Rockingham which has put them on the back foot for a top four spot, but with three games to go it's still a possibility. Richard Garcia's side are only two points off the end of season finals, but they need to turn their possession into goals to do this.

The last game sees Balcatta host Sorrento at Grindleford Reserve, with both sides in the mix for a top four finish. Sorrento sit in fifth spot and fought back from three goals down to draw against Floreat last week, and Jamie Harnwell's side are perfectly positioned with three games to go, and striker Cameron Teece will be hoping to return to his former club and continue his good goalscoring touch. Balcatta were beaten at Perth last week, a game Goran Stajic said they had chances to take something from the game, but he looking forward to taking on Sorrento on Saturday. “

We have been in a really good position since we played Sorrento last and I believe my players will give everything in this match, we will see if it will be enough,” he told the Balcatta website. “I’m so proud of what the players and the club have achieved so far, I hope this game is much better than our last two games. It's always special when we play at home, we know what awaits us, as for the Sorrento players they will experience what it means to play at Grindleford Reserve where our football shines in front of our amazing supporters.”

16.8.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINETEEN – PREVIEW

Like the NPL the State League Division One title race is going down to the wire, with only five points separating the top four. This week our 'Match of the Round' involves two of them as Fremantle City entertain Olympic Kingsway at Hilton Park. The last time these two sides met at the venue was in round 6 in 2016 when Fremantle won 1-0. The only goal of the game came from Daniel Glennon Fremantle jumped to the top of the table after last week’s big win at Ashfield and coach Mauro Marchione was delighted to get the win. " Ashfield was a good test and fairly enough and they did a little better than us in the first half, but second half we were all over them and we legitimated the result," he explained. "It wasn’t a great game with a lot happening but we went there for the points to extend our run without defeat and we got the job done."

The Italian coach said the club are on the rise, and they have had to work hard to get in this position and are on the verge of promotion to the NPL for the first time, but the coach is well aware there is a long way to go. "When Domenico the Technical Director at the club called me, the players’ stock situation at the club was alarming. With less than a month to the first league game we started recruiting with the goal to save the club from relegation," Marchione explained. "Now we are there and we will give it a go naturally, however the favourites in my opinion are still the Knights and then Gwelup, for many reasons that everyone knows. But the bottom line is that one of them will have a failing season if they don’t get promoted not certainly us. It will be interesting to see which one of them will go up. I bet WK, they are too good for this division.

"At the club we are all enjoying the moment until it lasts. All in all, we are already proud of the boys for what they have done so far in a very short period of time. Saturday is another tough game, Gary (Williams) is a great coach and has put together a solid side. It will be difficult of course like every other game in this league. We know them and they know us. It should be a good game."

Olympic lost for the first time in seven games last week, which dropped them five points of the leader, but coach Gary Williams said they had their chances to win it. "I thought we performed very well against Western Knights, and I felt very comfortable with our 1-0 lead and felt we could have added to it at any time," he explained. "The sending off was a massive turning point for us on around 60 minutes. After the sending off the players performed admirably and I was very proud of the effort and the performance on the day, but give credit to Western Knights who kept going until the end."

Williams said Fremantle are the form side of the league and will go into Saturday's game as favourites, but he said they are looking forward to the challenge. "We have had a good run of form in the last five or six games. we have been scoring goals and we have been a lot tighter at the back. We have a great bunch of lads at the club who will keep going until the end of the season. The result on Saturday makes things a lot more difficult but we are still in the mix.

"Fremantle are the form team and have been unbeaten since the early rounds. Mauro was in a similar position to me when he joined in that he a number of players had left and he had to build a squad and he has done a great job to date. Our players are hugely disappointed with the result against the Knights and are looking forward this Saturday. Whatever the outcome the players can hold their heads high after a great season and we look forward to the match against Fremantle."

Gwelup dropped to third on table, two points adrift of Fremantle, but they do have games in hand, and this week they travel to the Ashfield Arena to take on Ashfield. The home side also slipped off the pace last week in the loss against Fremantle, and Matt Wardle will be looking for his chargers to bounce back in this one. Gwelup conceded a fifth minute stoppage time goal to draw at UWA Nedlands, a result that has put the pressure on Taki Nicolaidis’ side, and like his Ashfield counterpart he will be looking for a response from his players in this one.

Western Knights were the big movers last week with a big win at Kingsway, and this week they return to Nash Field to take on Joondalup United. The 2-1 win moved Ivan Zuvela's side to second on the table and with the top so close he will be looking for more of the same in this one. Joondalup are sitting in ninth spot and were beaten at home by Morley Windmills, but Nick Jennings' side have a good record on the road and will be looking forward to this one, at a ground they won promotion to the NPL in 2016.

Forrestfield United have been on a good run of form, but it's come too late to be in the mix for promotion, and have drawn to many. Graham Normanton's side are coming off the bye this week when they travel to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills, and he will be hoping they continue their good form, but get the three points this time around. Morley are coming off only their second win of the season at Joondalup last week and Coach Jason Van Rooy is hoping for another positive performance and result. In the final game we have a local derby as UWA Nedlands host Subiaco at the UWA Sports Park. Only two points separate the rivals, both are coming off good draws last week, Subiaco at Mandurah City, while UWA scored late to draw with Gwelup

16.8.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND EIGHTEEN – PREVIEW

The State League Division Two title is still Quinns' to lose, but with five games to go the race for a play-off spot is hotting up and in our 'Match of the Round' we see Wanneroo City host Gosnells City at Wanneroo Reserve. Both sides are coming off 3-0 wins last week, Wanneroo beating Joondalup City on the road, while Gosnells beat Curtin University at home. The last time these two sides met at the venue was in round ?? add.

Gosnells sit nine points adrift of the leaders, and are still in the mix for the title if Quinns slip up, and keeper Tom Allan said the win against Curtin kept the pressure on the sides around them. “We defended extremely well again and limited them to hopeful crosses and no shots on goal. Even when we went down to 10 men, we still had a lot of possession and created more chances but struggled to finish,” he explained. “We should of scored a lot more but we still know we have not really played to our full capabilities yet and with more injuries and lads away its going to be a hard finish to the season, but we have to keep winning and make sure we reach the play offs.”

Allan said Wanneroo are in good form and it will be a good test for them, but he said they are looking forward to it. “Wanneroo will be another big test for us, they’ve picked up a few good results recently so will be feeling confident,” the keeper said. “We have done the same too and are looking strong, especially having scored so many and conceded so little. Any other time we would be at the top of the ladder, but Quinns are a few points ahead now but are still mathematically catchable so we just keep pushing until the last game of the season and who knows, teams do slip up.”

Wanneroo go into this game with only one defeat in their last four games, and are only two point adrift of the play-off spot, and coach Jesse Bridgeman said the win at Joondalup last week continued the good run under his tenure. “Last week was huge for our chances of making top four, the boys knew that going into the game and executed the plan perfectly and was very pleasing to keep another clean sheet,” he said. “The four games I’ve been in charge now have gone pretty well, only the one loss, the group have responded really positive to the change, they have listened to everything I’ve put across. All the hard work is starting to pay off and the results have shown that, and the groups confidence is growing weekly and everyone is playing for the team and chasing the same goal which is play offs.”

Bridgman said Saturday is a huge test, but he’s got confidence his players can get the job done. “This week is another huge challenge for us with Gosnells coming to our home looking to keep in touch with Quinns, and we are chasing top four, so there is so much on the line for both teams and a challenge the group is looking forward too,” he said. “Every game is huge for us now and these games are the ones we need to get results in to show everyone what we are about and hit the run home flying.”

League leaders Quinns make the trip to Murdoch University Melville looking to maintain their lead at the top. MUM are coming off three straight defeats, which has seen the chasing pack close in, but they face a Quinns side who thrashed Kelmscott last week, and they are closing in on promotion to the First Division for the first time in the clubs history. Balga sit in fourth spot at the moment after last weeks big win against MUM, and this week they travel to Harold Rossiter Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers, who surprised Swan last week.

In other games Curtin University host Swan United at Edinburgh Oval, with both sides looking to get back into the winners’ circle after defeats last week. Canning City will be looking for another three points when they visit Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos. Rob Pearson’s side won for the first time this season last week against Dianella, bagging six, but Kelmscott’s coach Richard Changadzo will be looking for his players to bounce back after their heavy loss at Quinns.

16.8.2019

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND SEVENTEEN PREVIEW

It's week 17 of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division and the 'Match of the Round' is the top of the table clash, as Quinns host Kingsley at Gumblossom Park on Saturday evening. (7.30pm) Kingsley hold all the cards and are nine points clear of Quinns, as they go in search for a spot Saturday football next season, but a win for the hosts could put the cat amongst the pigeons. Both sides are coming off of wins, Quinns put six past Ellenbrook, while Kingsley edged past UWA Nedlands. In their first meeting of the season in round six at Chichester Park Kingsley ran out convincing 6-0 winners with a hat-trick from Josh Waldock,

Quinns have been on a good run of form and that continued last week with a big win at Ellenbrook and coach Lee Garnish, who has returned from a European holiday, said their momentum is great and paid tribute to his assistants. “It was fantastic to have a holiday mid-season, myself and Robbie being away, Steve Zappa and David Ashworth stepped up and take the lads and they did a great job,” Garnish explained. “The result over the past couple of weeks have been brilliant - good wins against hard teams like Wembley and Leeming, then to Ellenbrook to build for this coming week.”

It’s been a stellar first season in the Premier league for Quinns and Garnish said there has been a lot of hard work from everyone at the club. “This season we had big plans, a few new faces and a good pre-season we knew we could compete at this level,” he said. “But It is a credit to the squad who from the start have been on board with the way we go about our business. Darren (Kay) set the foundations and Robbie and myself have continued, but there has been a lot of hard work by Steve Zappa in the background.”

Garnish said his players are up for the challenge on Saturday, and he is expecting a great game under lights at Gumblossom Park. “Saturday is a massive game and we can't wait for our top of the table clash,” he said. “It looks like we are close to full strength, the boys have been working hard to a game plan and it’s going to be a cracker under lights, let’s hope there is a big crowd on hand to watch.”

Kingsley sit clear at the top of the table, and are unbeaten in the league this season, but coach Steven Dimitrovich said the win against UWA Nedlands showed how competitive this league is. “Last weekend was a very hard-fought win against UWA in a game where we dominated possession and were the only team trying to win the game,” he explained. “But fair play to them, they stuck to their game plan and worked hard did UWA, but we managed to get the job done.”

It’s been the same story in recent weeks with teams sitting back and defend in numbers, which is frustrating but something Dimitrovich and his players have had to overcome. “Yes, the last two weeks has thrown up some challenges for us with teams sitting deep and defending, but its part off the game,” he explained. “But I think we have worked a way around it this week, so we will see what Quinn’s throw at us on Saturday night.”

Dimitrovich was quick to praise Saturday’s opponents and said it should be a great game. “We play a side this week who have been brilliant and have added quality to our competition,” he said. “They haven’t lost since round seven, so they come in as the form team in this game. We will have to be at our best as they have some great players going forward, so defensively it’s going to be a good test. If we can stand up to that I’m sure we can go a long way to winning the game. By the way the boys have trained this week you can see they are chomping at the bit to play Saturday night, we’re really looking forward to it.”

Wembley sit third on the table and this week they entertain Leeming Strikers at Butlers Reserve. Leeming have fallen to eighth on the table after only one win in their last nine games, the latest a loss against Kwinana last week. Meanwhile, Wembley continue to keep the pressure on the leaders and are coming off a win against Belmont Villa, and coach Mike Ford said they had to be at their best, and was happy with the win, and is expecting another tough game against Leeming. "Belmont game went exactly as expected, and Belmont are probably one, if not the most difficult sides to play,” he explained. “The key was not to concede, when they get ahead, they are very hard to peg back as they play very much on confidence. We played really well in defence and managed to put two goals away, and get a very hard-fought win. Leeming are another team with really talented players, so we’re expecting a tough game and we’ll need to bring our best game to get a result.”

Jaguar are fifth and they make the trip to Gerry Archer Sports Complex to take on Belmont Villa. Jags have only lost once in their last five games, while Belmont have only won twice on home soil this season, so the visitors should be confident of taking the points in this one. In other games this weekend Kwinana United entertain Ellenbrook United at Kelly Park. Ellenbrook have been competitive in recent weeks but are still searching for their first win, while Kris Donnell’s side have moved away from the relegation fight after good performances, like the win at Leeming last week. North Perth United have dropped to fourth after back to back defeats and this week they will be looking to get back to winning ways when they travel to UWA Sports Park to take on UWA Nedlands, who performed well at Kingsley last week.

In the final game we head to Beldon Park where Joondalup United entertain Hamersley Rovers, and if the last game is anything to go by, this one should a high scoring game, with Rovers winning that meeting 7-4. Rovers were beaten at home last week by Jags, while Joondalup secured a huge 2-0 win at North Perth United. Joondalup coach Ben Williams was overseas for the game but praised his assistant after the big win. “Yes, last week’s win was excellent, and it was a nice to find out the results as I landed in Perth,” he explained. “But the credit goes to Neil Sherwin, who had training Tuesday and Thursday to work on the game plan and it continued the good form we are in.”

Joondalup are a great run of form and they have had only one defeat in their last nine games, and Williams said it’s been a huge turnaround. “This season we started poorly and just couldn't get the points on the board,” he said. “I have huge expectations of this squad as we have worked at putting a competitive team out that we think can compete with the best sides. So, has it past my expectations I'd say no we knew it would be tougher but with the side we have I feel we should have done better earlier in the year.”

Williams said Sunday is a chance for redemption for his side after their heavy loss at Hamersley in the reverse fixture. “The last time we played Hamersley, we never turned up, although they were excellent that day and we were four goals down in 20 minutes,” he said. “But our side has changed dramatically since that encounter and the lads have shown all week, they want to put the last matches score behind them and get three points. They (Hamersley) will be tough to break down and they have one of the best players in the league so keep him quiet and we may stand a chance.”

12.8.2019

SAINSBURY FREE TO LEAVE PSV

Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury is facing an uncertain future at PSV Eindhoven with coach Mark van Bommel declaring he may leave the Dutch club. The 27-year old featured sparingly last season for the Eredivisie side and van Bommel has been reported as saying he can depart before the transfer window closes.

11.8.2019

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND SIXTEEN REVIEW

Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division leaders Kingsley were made to fight all the way before edging out UWA Nedlands 1-0 at Chichester Park. The only goal of the game came on the hour when Lee Thomas’ corner was met by Aaron Lickiss, who headed home. The win moved Steven Dimitrovich’s side nine points clear at the top of the table with six games remaining. “It was another game where we had nearly all of the possession and they just sat back behind the ball,” Kingsley’s Jayden Drummond said. “To be fair it was another tough slog but good to get another three points on the board.” UWA Coach Arthur Hiemstra was happy with his side’s performance against the leaders. “It was unfortunate that we couldn’t get it over the line but very happy with the work rate and how the lads played in their defensive organisation against a very dynamic Kingsley,” he explained. “On the whole there were lots of positives to take with us on the run home.”

Quinns moved into second spot with a 6-1 win against Ellenbrook United at Jack Mann Oval. It was a tight first half the only goal coming from Liam Hunt. Andy Pandelli was the supplier, cutting in from the right and sliding the ball to Hunt, who finished low past the keeper. The visitors doubled their lead after the break, Wayne Carter sending Liam McManus in one-on-one with the keeper, and he finished well. Hunt added the third from the spot after Ryan McCready had been brought down in the box, before Pandelli added the fourth with a tap in at the back post. Ellenbrook pulled on back when C4 cut out a bad pass from the keeper and curling home from the edge of the box. Carter added his second, after good work from McCready, before McCready finished off the scoring firing home from close range to seal a comprehensive win and set up a top of the table clash with Kingsley next weekend. “In the first half we enjoyed plenty of possession but fair play to Ellenbrook, they were well organised and were able to frustrate us,” Carter explained. “In the second half we came out with a bit more urgency and started to click in the final third to put the game to bed. It maintains our good form of late to carry into a big test against Kingsley Saturday night.”

North Perth United have fallen further behind the leaders after they were beaten 3-0 by Joondalup United at Woodville Reserve. The first half was a tight affair with very few with chances. Andrew Toomath did well to hold onto a firmly struck volley from the edge of the penalty area, while Sam Davis blazed over from a corner at the other end. The opening goal came five minutes into the second half when Liam Fryer’s corner was nodded down by Davis to Adam Giannasi who helped the ball towards goal before Ryan Williams applied the finishing touch. The visitors doubled their lead when a corner was only partially cleared and Davis hooked the ball back across goal from the right to Mark Walsh who headed into the far corner.

The win was sealed in the closing minutes when substitute Kitson Catalfamo chased down what looked like a lost cause and his cross found its way to Gianassi who beat a defender before smashing the ball into the top corner with his left foot. “It was a great performance from start to finish, with the team building on last week’s performance against Kingsley. We knew this was a chance to claim three points against last year’s champions and wanted to take the game to them, while also staying solid at the back,” Joondalup’s Neil Sherwin said. “We’ve conceded two goals in five games since the halfway point of the season which is testament to the work being put in at training. After a tough start to the campaign we’re now in a position to focus more on the teams above us in the league rather than those below. We want to finish the season strong and see where that leaves us on the table come the end of September.”

Wembley moved to third on the table after a hard-fought 2-0 win against Belmont Villa at Butlers Reserve. It was a tight first half, and scoreless at the break. But it was the home side who opened the scoring early in the second half, Jurai Galba powerfully heading home a corner. They made sure of the points ten minutes later, the Belmont keepers punch went straight to Dylan Brown, whose left foot volley flew into the net. “We knew Belmont would be up for it as they are fighting for survival at the bottom of the table,” Wembley’s Jay McDonald explained. “We kept things compact as their threat is on the counter and I don’t think our keeper had to make a save or even come out for a cross. Everyone carried out the jobs that were asked of them so happy to get the three points and a clean sheet and move on to next week against Leeming.”

In other games Jaguar proved to strong for Hamersley Rovers, winning 5-0 at Carine Open Space. The visitors were ahead when Paul Sopp cut in from the left and finished clinically. Sopp was the supplier for the second slipping the ball to Kuol Ria who finished well with a low shot. It was 3-0 when Akuei Guot’s shot deflected off Akech Deng to roll into the net, and the fourth came from the spot when Sopp was brought down in the box and he picked himself up to score the resulting penalty. The icing was put on the cake when Jags added a fifth, Sopp brought down again in the area and he dispatched his second penalty to seal a comprehensive win. In the final game Kwinana United moved up to seventh after a 4-0 win against Leeming Strikers at John Connell Reserve. Kwinana were ahead Shane Nunez long-range free kick beating the Leeming keeper. It was 2-0 with Blake Sokolwski scoring, before Nunez headed home the third. Nunez completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot to seal the big win for Kris Donnell’s side. “I was very pleased with the overall performance, we never gave Leeming a sniff the whole game,” Donnell said. “We said before the game to stay calm on the ball and try control the possession, and I thought we did a great job.”

10.8.2019

GULLS FLY BACK TO STUN FLOREAT

Sorrento pulled off an astonishing fightback to draw 3-3 with Floreat Athena after being 3-0 down early in the second half in Saturday’s NPL WA clash at Percy Doyle Reserve. It looked like Floreat would keep the pressure on league leaders Perth SC after a first half brace from Adam Falcone, and a third from Robert Petkov five minutes after the break. But on the day Sorrento invited all their past players for a reunion they hit back with Shaun Kilkelly and Alex Morgan narrowing the score line, before Reece Vittiglia sent the big crowd into raptures by equalising eight minutes from time.

The visitors were ahead in this one after only five minutes, Falcone was given far too much space and he fired past Matthew Giudicatti, who had come in for the unavailable keeper James Morgan. It was 2-0 seven minutes later, Petkov did well to hold the ball up before feeding Falcone to score. The hosts were shell-shocked, but they pressed for the rest of the half but they couldn’t find away past a tight Floreat defence. The visitors started the second half well and added a third on 50 minutes. Kilkelly was deemed to have handled the ball in the box by referee Joshua Nixon, who pointed straight to the spot, and Petkov converted the resulting penalty.

It looked game over, but Jamie Harnwell’s side had other ideas. They pulled one back nine minutes later, Kilkelly heading home Vittiglia’s free kick. They added a second six minutes later, Morgan curling home a shot from the edge of the box. They almost levelled, but Jason Saldaris produced a stunning save to deny Jack Salter. But Sorrento’s pressure was rewarded with the equaliser on 82 minutes. Jakub Prajza’s cross from the left picked out Vittiglia at the back post who headed home. Both sides pressed for the winner but couldn’t find one and at the final whistle both sides were given a standing ovation by the big crowd, in one of the games of the season.

Sorrento: GK Matthew GIUDICATTI, 2 David STOKOE, 3 Jakub PRAJZA (18 Jordan BROWN 90+2’), 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 7 Alex MORGAN, 10 Jordan ROBERTS (8 Scott WITSCHGE 46’), 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 19 Jack SALTER, 23 Cameron TEECE, 30 Jesse OWUOUR, 32 Tristan STEVENS (11 Tim HILL 46’) - Subs not used: 20 Jaxon TEMATA, 60 Noah BLOCH

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 5 Thomas JEBB, 6 Jesse FULLER (13 George FESTA 73’), 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 Christopher SALDARIS, 16 Ryan MALTON, 18 Phillip ARNOLD, 20 Adam FALCONE (32 Robert HARDING 83’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 24 Sam THORNLEY, 29 Jack PAINTER-ANDREWS - Referee: Joshua Nixon

10.8.2019

LIONS STILL ROARING

Stirling Lions have breathed life into their relegation fight with a 2-1 win against Bayswater City at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon. The Lions raced to a two-goal lead in the first half, with Dean Cummings and Michael Wantee on target, and roared on by the home faithful they survived a late scare after Gordon Smith halved the deficit, to seal three vital points, and move them with one point of Armadale and ECU Joondalup with three games remaining.

Both sides went into this game knowing three points were vital at different ends of the table and it was the hosts who opened the scoring on 35 minutes. Dhhors Chol’s cross picked out skipper Cummings, and he finished with aplomb past Devon Spence. Then on the stroke of half time the home side doubled their advantage. Ajak Riak played in Wantee who raced one-on-one with Spence, and the pacey striker made no mistake, much to the delight of the home faithful.

Chris Coyne made a change at the break bringing on former Lions midfielder Sean McManus for Giordano Colli and they starting to get into the game and on 54 minutes they reduced the margin. Daryl Nicol’s slide rule pass sent Smith in on goal and the Scottish striker finished clinically, it was now game on. Both sides had chances, which had the crowd on the edge of their seats, the best falling to the home side, Riak shot crashing off the crossbar and away to safety. At the final whistle the home supporters celebrated the win, which has given their relegation fight a huge lift. The Lions will travel to Inglewood United next week sitting just a point behind Armadale and ECU Joondalup, while Bayswater will seek to rebound from defeat and keep their top-four hopes alive when they play host to Rockingham City.

Stirling Lions: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 3 Darren O’RIORDAN (13 Andrew MARANTA 75’), 4 David MOLINARI, 5 Steven MCDONALD, 6 Dhhors CHOL, 8 Dean CUMMINGS, 9 Zdenek BEZDEK (2 Nelson TSHONGO 81’), 10 Danny JONES, 11 Michael WANTEE (16 Renee KISESA 87’), 12 Jackson MORGAN, 19 Ajak RIAK - Subs not used: RGK Daniel MARQUES, 7 Josh ANASMO

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 9 Gustavo GIRON, 10 Jason MIRCO, 12 Steve HESKETH, 13 Trent KAY, 17 Daryl NICOL, 19 Gordon SMITH, 20 Giordano COLLI (1. Sean MCMANUS 45’), 27 Ross MILLARD, 30 Adam TONG (11 Ryan PEARSON 70’) - Subs not used: RGK Sam REILLY, 16 Hamish VAN DIEKEN, 22 Logan RANDELL - Referee: Julian Serra

10.8.2019

MACIAS HAT-TRICK SEALS VITAL WIN FOR REDS

Armadale’s American striker Uriel Macias scored a second half hat-trick as Armadale boosted their NPL WA survival hopes with a comfortable 5-1 win against Cockburn City in the local derby at Dalmatinac Park. Ali Nazary gave the Reds the lead early and Chad Nilson added a second moments later, and they never looked back from there. Macias took over after the break bagging a brace, before David Araya pulled one back for the Cockerels. But Macias had the last word, bagging a fifth and his hat-trick. “Today everything aligned and we got the performance and result that we have so narrowly missed regularly this season,” Armadale Coach John O’Reilly said. “We hope to kick on now and ride this momentum to the last whistle.”

Both clubs were without a win in their last six games, but it was the visitors who opened the brighter and they were ahead on 15 minutes. A great cross field pass from Reds skipper Nathan Costello found Nazary, who poked the ball past Luke Radonich. It was one-way traffic and it wasn’t a surprise when John O’Reilly’s side doubled their advantage. Josh Kuser crossed to the back post to Costello who found Nilson to head home from close-range. Cockburn were struggling in the final third and at the break it was the Reds with a two-goal lead.

It was more of the same after the break and it was 3-0 just after the hour. Josh Cortes, who had only been on the pitch for five minutes, intercepted a stray Cockburn pass, and he found Macias, who controlled the ball well before finishing into the bottom corner of the net. Macias was in again on 71 minutes, Nazary crossed into penalty area, and the striker showed great reflexes to score with a great bicycle kick to make it 4-0. Cockburn scored a consolation goal on 81 minutes, with second half substitutes Anthony Skorich and David Araya combining, with the latter chipping over the on-coming keeper Sam Hutchings.

But Macias had the final word seven minutes later. Eraste Vyamungu through ball sent the striker in on goal, and he held off his maker before lobbing the ball over Radonich to complete his hat-trick and seal a 5-1 victory.

With three matches remaining Cockburn have now been hauled into a relegation battle despite being top-four contenders for the first half of the season. They are four points off the bottom with three games remaining, while Armadale are now level with ECU Joondalup, who they meet in the final game of the season.

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 2 Christopher THACKRAY (4 Euen GRANT 46’), 7 Ashley ROSINDALE, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 12 Ryan PRATT, 14 Hayden Stevens, 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Daniel ROBINSON (10 David ARAYA 76’), 18 Adam ANFUSO, 19 Hasani SINCLAIR, 21 Jesse LAZZARO (9 Anthony SKORICH 76’) - Subs not used: RGK Ben RADONICH

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Josh KUSER, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 Ali NAZARY, 6 Joel SANDERSON, 8 Michael LAWSON, 9 Uriel MACIAS (13 Ciaran BYRNE 89’), 11 Chad NILSON (7 Joshua CORTES 62’) 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 13 Blake ADAMS, 21 Abdul OSMAN (16 Eraste VYAMUNGU 69’) - Subs not used: RGK Blake HANSHELL, 14 Alex Bond - Referee - Steven Gregory

10.8.2019

ROCKINGHAM CLOSE IN ON SAFETY

Rockingham City moved five points clear of the drop zone after a hard-fought 2-1 win against Perth Glory at SafeRad Stadium. The hosts raced to a two-goal lead at the break, with goals from Michael Farmer and Harry Collins. But the Liam Murray reduced the margin with 15 minutes remaining, but Glory couldn’t find the equaliser. “It was a very good win against a talented side, who tested us in being resilient,” Rockingham Coach Cameron Lord said. “We made sure we did not allow Glory to create many clear-cut chances, and that resilience allowed us to win the game.”

Rockingham, who are still in relegation mix, had the first real chance after a neat give and go on the edge of the box, but Robbie Galvin fired wide of the target. Then on five minutes Glory hit back, Bryce Bafford sent Ethan Brooks down the right and his cross picked out Gabriel Popovic, but the striker’s first-time shot was straight at Rockingham keeper Cyril Sharrock. But on 16 minutes it was the home side that hit the front. Galvin’s corner wasn’t dealt with and Farmer fired home from four meters. The home side doubled their lead on 27 minutes, Galvin’s free kick was well saved by Nick Speca, but the ball was only cleared to Collins 25-yards from goal and his first time shot flew into the top corner of the net, giving the Glory custodian no chance.

Glory were struggling to break through in the final third, and they needed a lift and Bafford almost found it moments later, but his run into the penalty area was halted by some good defending by Koty Millard. They did have a strong penalty claim on the half hour, Bafford sent Brooks down the right and he eased past his marker and seemed to be pulled back by Rockingham defender Justis Bradley, but referee Shane Skinner waved away the players’ protest. It was Glory doing all the pressing and Trent Ostler’s long-range shot was saved at the second attempt by Sharrock, but at the break Glory had a lot of work to do.

It was the Glory dominating possession after the break, but again they were struggling in the final third, that was until 66 minutes when half time substitute Murray’s long-range free kick was tipped over the top by the alert Sharrock, and moments later skipper Luke Bodnar’s shot was saved by the Rockingham keeper. Then on 75 minutes the Glory were back in the game. Jack Leech and Gomo Dukuly combined on the edge of the penalty area and they found Murray, whose quick feet took him clear of his marker and his shot took a deflection of Collins, which sent the ball over a stranded Sharrock.

Rockingham almost responded immediate when Millard shoved Circati off the ball, cut inside the penalty area but blazed over the top. Glory hit back and Brooks raced down the left and cut inside the area, but his shot was saved low by Sharrock. It was one-way traffic as Glory pressed for the equaliser and Bafford wriggled his way into the penalty area, but his ball across the box was clear by Bradley with Ostler ready to pounce at the back post, but time eventually ran out.

Rockingham City: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 3 Justis BRADLEY, 5 Harry COLLINS, 6 Robbie GALVIN 7 Koty MILLARD (14 Ryan KENNEDY 86’), 9 Sam MCKEARNEN, 10 James HARMER, 12 Lydon HODGKISS (13 Jarred Mort 74’), 18 Michael FARMER, 20 Mitch FIRTH, 23 Victor BRAUNER (15 Shaz RAMLEE 90’) - Subs not used: RGK Lachlan MORRISON

Perth Glory: GK Nicholas SPECA, 2 Alessandro CICARTI, 3 Trent OSTLER, 4 Daniel WALSH, 5 Nicholas WALSH, 6 Luke BODNAR (24 Josh SAMSON 83’), 7 Ethan BROOKS, 8 Jack LEECH, 9 Luke SALMON (22 Liam MURRAY 46’), 10 Bryce BAFFORD, 11 Gabriel POPOVIC (19 Gomo DUKULY 62’) - Subs not used: RGK Jacob RANGE, 15 Jordan ABRAHAMS - Referee: Shane Skinner

10.8.2019

PERTH CLOSE IN ON THE TITLE

Perth Soccer Club moved closer to the NPL WA title after a 3-0 win against Italian rivals Balcatta at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon. Harley Orr gave the hosts the lead from the spot just before half time and second half goals from Matthew Milenkovic and Paul Zimarino moved them seven points clear, and it was a perfect way to bounce back from defeat at Floreat Athena last week.

The hosts were out of the block early and Gustavo Catarcione was a constant threat and he forced a couple of smart saves from Balcatta keeper Dave Keenan in the opening ten minutes. But it wasn’t just one-way traffic as Balcatta had chances of their own, Adam Zimarino saw his shot well saved by Francis Soale, before he fired one across the face of goal moments later. It was end-to-end football with chances at both ends, first Shubham Mokala curled an effort over the top, before Matt Milenkovic flashed one wide of the target. But three minutes from the break Perth hit the front, Catarcione was brought down by Keenan and referee Josh Manella pointed to the spot and booked the keeper. Orr stepped up and sent Keenan the wrong way to give the home side the lead at the break.

The home side were on the front foot after the break and they doubled their lead 10 minutes in. Andreas Theodosiades corner picked out Milenkovic, who headed home via the woodwork. Perth sealed the points eight minutes from time. Second half substitute Kristian Santich found Catarcione in the area, and he squared the ball to Paul Zimarino who made no mistake from close-range. He should have added another in stoppage time, his first shot was saved by Keenan, but Zimarino fired wide of the target from the rebound.

With three matches remaining, starting with next weekend's trip to Armadale, the Azzurri look almost certain to be celebrating a third NPL WA league title in four years. Meanwhile, Balcatta dropped to fourth on the table with Saturday's defeat but remain in the final Top Four Cup spot after Bayswater, Sorrento and Perth Glory all failed to win.

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 3 Andreas THEODOSIADES (14 Kristian SANTICH 77), 6 Harley ORR, 7 Aleks JOVIC, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE (2 Alex SILLA 84’), 11 Matt MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA (5 Niccolò SABATINI 74’) 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 20 Paul ZIMARINO - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 17 Frank FURFARO

Balcatta SC: GK David KEENAN, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 John KEARNEY, 4 Calum O'CONNELL, 5 Shubham MOKALA, 7 Ben PELLIZZARI (14 Luke RANDAZZO 46’), 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 12 Robert DEL BORRELLO, 16 Alex CASTIELLO, 20 Anthony TOPINI (19 Nicholas CHALLOT 58’), 21 Adam ZIMARINO (9 Gavin KNIGHT 71) - Subs not used: 13 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 15 Callum STOCKS - Referee: Josh Mannella

10.8.2019

SOKOL STUNS THE JACKS

A stunning long-range strike from midfielder Steve Sokol has given Inglewood United a 1-1 draw against ECU Joondalup in Saturday’s NPL WA game at the ECU Football Stadium. The home side had led through Tom Hough’s strike on the hour mark, but Sokol stunner levelled things and kept Inglewood in the top four, but the draw has left ECU in the thick of relegation fight with only three games to go.

It was the visitors who dominated early and David Cyrus headed wide, but it was ECU who had the best early chance, with Bayley Brown-Montgomery’s shot was well saved by Alex Dunn. Both sides had late chances as the game opened up, first Antony Bafobusha burst into the penalty area, but his shot was well saved by Johnny Perkins, before Brown-Montgomery flick was saved low by Dunn.

Inglewood were in again early in the second half, but Perkins got down well to deny Jamie Murphy. But on 57 minutes the hosts should have taken the lead. Great work in the middle of the park by Josh Whitmore, and he sent Joe Knowles in on goal, but his shot from 10 meters crashed off the crossbar. Then five minutes later the home side did find the opener. Andy Higgins’ free kick was nodded down by Brown-Montgomery and Hough powered the ball home from eight meters.

Inglewood pressed looking for the equaliser and duly arrived 14 minutes later. A long ball from Cyrus was only cleared as far as Sokol 20 meters out, and his shot flew past Perkins, giving the ECU custodian no chance. Both sides looked for the winner late and the best chance fell to the home side on 87 minutes. Knowles sending second half substitute Ben Hinshelwood in on goal, but Dunn stood tall to deny the young striker.

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 3 Nicholas KOEFLER, 4 Henry DURR, 7 Joe KNOWLES, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY (16 Ben HINSHELWOOD 78), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Lukas DE LIMA (6 Luke RHODES 51), 12 Billy QUINNCROFT, 14 Ewan FAWCETT, 15 Tom HOUGH - Subs not used: RGK George JACKSON, 2 Ryan MCDARBY, 5 Callum SPEED

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 David CYRUS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Sam RIAK, 8 Jason BARRERA (6 Miki VUJACIC 83), 9 Chok DAU (23 Brian WOODALL 68), 10 ANTHONY BAFOBUSHA, 11 Harry Evans (15 Brian FARRELL 74), 14 Steve SOKOL, 16 Jamie MURPHY - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 17 Mark BARNETT - Referee: Michal Jasinski

10.8.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHTEEN – REVIEW

We have a new leader of the State League Division One with Fremantle City going two points clear after a hard-fought 1-0 win against Ashfield at Ashfield Reserve on Saturday afternoon. It was a tight first half with both sides having good chances, the best falling to the home side but Fremantle keeper Yousri Gharsallah made a couple of good saves. After half time Mauro Marchione’s side lifted the tempo and the home side were reduced to ten men. Fremantle then won a penalty and Angel Andreas converted from the resulting spot kick. Ashfield were reduced to nine men and Fremantle pressed for a second to kill the game off but they couldn’t find one, but ran out 1-0 winners. “It was a hard game against a good team, but we take three important points to send us to the top of the table,” Fremantle striker Nicola Gazzola said. “Now we have another tight game against a good and fit team like Olympic are. But we also are really focus on the next game and I'm sure that our coach will prepare us at the best for take another three points, and still fight until the end to try to be promoted. We know that against Gwelup will be the crucial game for the lead but first our goal is to beat Olympic.”

Western Knights are up to second after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Olympic Kingsway at Kingsway Reserve. The visitors thought they had the lead early with Dean Hurley firing home, but the flag was up for offside. Then on the half hour it was the home side who hit the front, when Elliot Tattersall's cross was turned home by Czech striker Jakub Sklenar. The home side had a great opportunity to double their lead on the stroke of half time when they were awarded a penalty when the lively Tattersall was brought down in the box, but Sklenar's spot kick crashed off the post and away to safety. But the game changed on the hour mark when Olympic midfielder Alex Randell was shown a second yellow card by referee Martin Hicks and sent off. It was backs to the wall for Olympic and they held firm until ten minutes before time, with Andrija Jukic curling home a free kick from the edge of the box. It looked like the points would be shared but in the final minute the Knights won it. A long clearance from Ryan Cox sent Noah Shamaki clear and held off Luke Palmateer to finish past Duncan Lennon-Black to seal a massive three points for Ivan Zulvela's side "I thought it was an extremely competitive game between two very good sides,” Zuvela said. “I thought Kingsway were the better side in the first half and controlled the game through the midfield. But I was proud of the way we responded in the second half and we scored two good goals near the end to win it.”

Gwelup Croatia dropped to third after they were held to a 4-4 draw by UWA Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. It started well for Taki Nicolaidis’ side and they were ahead on 14 minutes. Ciarán Salinger’s long cross from the halfway-line avoided everybody (including UWA keeper Tim Rossi) to roll in, although referee Peter Kaiser awarded the goal to Danny Hodgson who got the final touch as the ball crossed the line. It was 2-0 to the visitors and there was to be no debating this time as Hodgson dusted himself off after being brought down in the box to slide his penalty-kick past Rossi. But the home side hit back on 38 minutes, Tim Robertson raced through a static Gwelup defence before smashing home inside the box past Riley Stephenson, and it was 1-2 at the break. But the home side restored parity on 53 minutes, after the referee awarded another penalty.

Asher Nelson stepped up, but Stephenson guessed the right way to save, but Nelson fired home the rebound. But six minutes later Gwelup restored their lead, a short free kick from Matthew Sparrow found Hodgson, whose bullet free kick deflected off a UWA defender. It looked like the points were save on 67 minutes, when Hodgson was left all alone in the box to head home and complete his hat-trick to make it 4-2 to Gwelup. But UWA weren't finished and pulled one back Robertson was given far too much room on the edge of the penalty area from Max Welton’s cross and he finished well. But Gwelup had the perfect chance to wrap up the game six minutes from time when they were awarded another penalty, but Ellis Healing spot-kick crashed off the post and away to safety. UWA pressed late and they were rewarded with an equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time. 17-year-old substitute Thomas White was quickest to react in the box from Lloyd Prout’s cross to fire home after Stephenson failed to deal with a looped cross. “I’m not just happy about the final result after weeks where just little things didn't go our way, but the way we performed against the strongest team in the league,” UWA Head Coach Michael Janssen said. “The changes we made in the squad paid off the last three games. Tim Robertson is back in the team, and gave us an extra boost. Now we prepare for the derby vs Subiaco next week to make the points count.”

Mandurah City and Subiaco have fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Securitas Protect Stadium. "We played our youngest team for the season, with an average age of 21,"Subiaco assistant coach Paddy Strano said. "So, it was great to see the boys stand up to a more experienced and mature Mandurah side." It was a tight first half with half chances at both ends but it was scoreless at the break. But the second half started with a bang for the hosts and they were ahead when a ball over the top sent Joe O'Brien in on goal, and he held off his marker before cutting inside the penalty area and finishing coolly past the keeper. But on the hour Subiaco were level, some neat lead up play ended with Ben Campbell who made no mistake. The visitors then hit the front when a quick counter-attack ended with Campbell, who bagged his second. But ten minutes from time Mandurah earnt themselves a point. Jeff Bright's cross took a few deflections and Subiaco didn't clear their lines and Jack Terrell was on hand to tap in his first senior goal for the club. "I thought we struggled to get a grip of the game and didn’t play our usual selves," Mandurah midfielder O'Brien said. "Mistakes cost us again and we had to fight hard to earn a draw in the end."

In the final game Morley Windmills won for only the second time this season with a gutsy 3-1 win against Joondalup United at Forrest Park. The visitors were on the front foot early and they were ahead when Boas Mtwale received the ball on the half way line and raced forward and played a one-two with Debaba Mtwale on the edge of the penalty area, before finishing into the bottom corner of the net. It was 2-0 when Ryan Treacy's 20-meter free kick found the top corner of the net. But Joondalup were back in the game early in the second half, with James Oldroyd on target, and it was game on. But it was Morley who won it when Dion Berman picked the ball up and raced one-on-one with the last defender, before firing home from the edge of the box to seal the three points. "It was a great result for the lads and the club," Morley Coach Jason Van Rooy said. "We worked hard and created a number of good chances and deserved to win. We've been training well and with Saturday's win we are growing in confidence week by week. We look forward to another difficult test against Forrestfield United next week at Wotton Reserve."- Forrestfield had the bye this week.

10.8.2019

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVENTEEN – REVIEW

Quinns moved closer to the State League Division Two title after a 6-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Gumblossom Park on Saturday afternoon. The home side were ahead after a ball into the penalty area was flicked on to Richard Howles at the back post to score. It was 2-0 when Howles raced past his marker before finishing clinically. Howles was on fire, and the former Perth SC striker bagged his hat-trick on 35 minutes, beating the two central defenders to the ball to finish in the bottom corner. Howles went close to a fourth before half time, likewise Jamie Stewart, but at the break it was 3-0. But it wasn't long after the break when Quinns added a fourth, Brad McDonald's shot deflected past the keeper. It was 5-0 when Howles raced down the right and squared the ball to Josh Booysen from the bye-line, who made no mistake. Quinns added a sixth late, with McDonald scoring from the spot to maintain their nine-point lead at the top of the table with only five games left. "I thought 6-0 was a fair result with the game starting slow but Kelmscott never really looking dangerous, and we could've had a few more, but did enough to set up a great season final run in," Quinns Mike Kenny explained. "The boys are looking forward to the next couple games to try show the league we deserve to be where we are."

Gosnells City are Quinns nearest challenger and they were 3-0 winners against Curtin University at Walter Padbury Reserve. The hosts were ahead after some great build up play ended with a great cross to the back post and Wade Farmer lost his marker to head home. It was 2-0 when Feizel Zaw raced down the flank and whipped in a dangerous cross which was turned into his own net by a Curtin defender. They added a third when Aaron Coslani crossed to Eddie Wynne-Wilson who finished clinically. "I thought it was a good performance, but we should have won by a lot more," Gosnells Coach Marc Anthony said. "We controlled the game from start to finish, so we're really pleased with the clean sheet and the three points."

Balga moved to fourth after a 3-1 win against third placed Murdoch University Melville at Princess Road Reserve. It was the hosts who hit the front on the half hour, Brett Tucker scoring in his first game of the season. But the home side levelled in on 44 minutes, with Josh Conti on target. They went close to the lead at the break, but Vinnie Longo’s shot was well saved by the MUM keeper. But they did take the lead on the hour, Conti scoring much to the delight of the home faithful. MUM pressed late looking for the equaliser but the home side wrapped up the points in stoppage time after a quick counter attack by Hermon Michael, he squared the ball to Thial Kuel who made no mistake. “It was a great team performance from the boys, we stuck to our game plan that Aleks has implemented over the last few weeks and its now paying dividends,” Balga defender Zoki Vrteski said. “They (Murdoch) are always a tough opponent and full credit to them they kept coming at us but now it’s back to the drawing board and focus on the next challenge this week against Shamrock at this stage we are focusing on week by week to reach our end goal.”

Swan United slipped out of the top four after a 1-3 loss against Shamrock Rovers at Francis Street. It started well for the home side and they were ahead when Jay Lang fired home a free kick from 20-meters. But Rovers were level straight from the kick-off, a ball into the box found Josh Hart who made no mistake. Both keepers made good saves to keep the scores level at the break. But the visitors hit the front early in the second half, Lachy Parker scoring from the penalty spot. The home side pressed players forward looking for the equaliser and they were caught out again, a long clearance by Jake Seymour sent Hart down the left and he found Parker who took a touch and finished into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area. “It was a very even game for the 90 minutes,” Rovers’ Jack Bardsley said. “Swan continued to put pressure on us to the end, but we stayed strong at the back. It was a big win for the club and everyone was stoked after the final whistle.”

Wanneroo City top four hopes are still alive after a 3-0 win against Joondalup City at the Iluka Sports Complex. The visitors started well and they were rewarded with the lead at the break. Ashley Corker raced from his own half, and from the edge of the box finished clinically. They doubled their lead three minutes into the second half. Shakeel Alexander getting on the end of Gareth Lloyd’s cross. The points were made safe on 70 minutes, Corker finding space in the penalty area and fired home through a crowded penalty area and the keeper legs. “I was very pleased with the intensity we took into the game from start to finish,” Wanneroo Coach Jesse Bridgeman said. “I thought the boys got what they deserved after the 90 minutes and another valuable three points towards our season goal.”

In the final game Canning City won for the first time this season after a 6-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Burrendah Reserve. The home side were on the front foot early and Charlie Parry was denied by the Dianella keeper. But they were ahead when Jason Al Bunajim was brought down in the penalty area and he picked himself up to convert from the spot. Dianella levelled, but Canning continued to dominate and were back in front when Al Bunajim eased past a number of Dianella defenders before finishing with aplomb. Moments later Al Bunajim completed his hat-trick, sent clear by Parry, the striker lobbed the on-coming keeper. Dianella had a player sent off just before half time and Canning added a fourth just after with Parry firing home after Joe Kelly’s shot rebounded off the keeper. Al Bunajim was having a great game and he added two more with good finishes, and Dianella’s day went from bad to worse when they had another player sent off late. “It’s a big win, that we could have done with 4-5 weeks ago,” Parry explained. “But it was a win that we deserved hopefully this gives the boys a big confidence boost and can finish the season on a high.”




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