Bayswater City celebrate winning the 2014 State Cup. (photograph Peter Simcox)

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19.7.2014

BAYSWATER GO BACK TO BACK IN COOL RIDGE CUP

Bayswater City maintained their grip on the Cool Ridge Cup trophy, after a 2-0 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. Striker Steve Burton opened the scoring early, before Todd Howarth doubled their advantage midway through the half, and they held their lead to lift the trophy again. Not even heavy rain, thunder and lightning could spoil the day for City, and stand in skipper Burton, who won the ‘Stan Lazaridis Medal’ as the best player on the day. “I was surprised to win the medal,” he said. “I was up front on my own today, as we tinkered with our formation slightly. I was given the captains arm band today and you have to lead by example and I was happy with my performance.” Burton was happy with the start from Bayswater, and to skipper the side on the big day, but said he is only filling in until their captain returns. “We’re missing Trent (Kay), he’s our leader, but I’m happy to step in to take that role while he’s away,” he said. “We have had a little dip in form in recent weeks, but we started the game really well today, and winning is a habit, and we know how to do it now.”

With the rain clouds hovering in the sky, it was poignant start to the game, with the big crowd standing as one in a minutes silence to the victims of the Malaysian airline MH 17. Once the game got underway Bayswater opened brightly, and Adam Bachiller picked out Howarth on six minutes, but Stirling keeper Aleks Vrteski saved his low shot at his near post. But on ten minutes Bayswater hit the front. Lions kipper Andy Brown brought down Bachiller on the left of the penalty area, and Gustavo Giron Marulanda’s free kick found the unmarked Burton at the front post, and he made no mistake from close-range.

The Lions needed to hit back, and they went within inches of doing that on 24 minutes. Miki Vujacic’s corner was met by Phil Arnold, who watched in anguish as his glancing header slid inches past the post. Bayswater looked lively going forward and they doubled their lead on 27 minutes. The Lions failed to pick up Marulanda on the edge of the penalty area, and the Colombian striker’s powerful shot was well saved by Vrteski, but Howarth was the quickest to the rebound, and scored from four-meters. It was nearly 3-0, six minutes later. Chris Saldaris made space down the right and his cross into the penalty area picked out Howarth, but the former Perth Glory midfielder fired straight at Vrteski from six meters, but Bayswater went into the break with a two goal lead.

With Coach Gary Williams’ half time address still ringing in their ears, the Lions opened the second half brightly. Moses Kalau tested Devon Spence early from a free kick, before the same player fired straight at the Bayswater custodian. But the Lions were struggling to break down a resolute Bayswater defence, superbly led by Jamie Coyne and Saldaris. But at the other end, Burton was giving the Lions defence a real headache. On the hour Howarth raced clear down the left, his cross found Burton, whose first time shot crashed off the post. Then moments later Paul McCarthy and Burton combined to set up Marulanda, whose shot flashed over the top.

The Lions went to three at the back as they looked to get back in the game, and Hayden Doyle tested Spence on 73 minutes, but still the Lions couldn’t find the break through. The heavens opened with ten minutes remaining, mixed in with bolts of lightning, but to the Lions credit they continued to press. In the first of four minutes stoppage time Kalau’s corner found Brown, whose header crashed off the base of the post, and away to safety, it wasn’t the Lions’ day. That was the end of the action, and at the final whistle, it was the Bayswater players and supporters who were singing in the rain to celebrate another great day for the club.

Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne was proud of the way the players had played on the day, and hopes there is more to come. “It was a magnificent performance from the lads today. I’m delighted with the whole squad today, they put a good shift in today, against a good Stirling outfit,” he said. “We hadn’t been in great form of late, but I know someone was going to cop it, and when we got two goals early I thought here we go, and if our decision making had been a little better, I think we could have scored another three or four. “I’m really pleased, the emotion will kick in a little later, but I’m really proud of the whole club, the backroom staff and players, we will go and celebrate this one and get ready for next week.”

Stirling Lions: GK Aleks VRTESKI, 2 Rikki SMITH, 3 Ali GHOULAMI, 4 Jovo PAVLOVIC, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Hayden DOYLE, 7 Miki VUJACIC (3 Michael PUGLIESE 74’), 8 Andrew BROWN, 9 Moses KALAU, 10 David MICEVSKI, 11 Phil ARNOLD (13 Jack SALTER 60’) - Subs not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 12 Daniel DOLS, 15 Boas MTWALE
Yellow cards: Kalau 16’

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Declan HARGREAVES (7 Hassan EL YASSIRI 76’), 3 Adam BACHILLER, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON MARULANDA (10 Damien CATALANO 63’), 12 Steve BURTON, 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie COYNE, 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 23 Chris SALDARIS - Subs not used: RGK Joel DRISCOLL, 5 Andy REALE, 14 Harry BISSETT, 17 Sahr MUSA
Yellow cards: Howarth 87

19.7.2014

ASHFIELD WIN RESERVES FINAL ON PENALTIES (by Colin Outhwaite, www.footballwest.com.au)

All Flags State League Division One side Ashfield beat NPL WA team Balcatta 5-4 on penalties at Macedonia Park in a dramatic end to the reserves Cool Ridge Cup final yesterday. Ashfield keeper Alex Sutton was the hero of the day as his last two penalty saves dragged the underdogs from behind to take the trophy.

With Balcatta winning their last two rounds on penalties, it was a tense end to the game for Ashfield coach Gerry Wardle, who felt his side should have finished it in normal time. "Both teams had their chances in the second half but we negated each other's strong points which made it difficult," he said. "We didn't play our usual fluent game and it's not the best way to decide a cup final but we'll take it."

Wardle said having a variety of ages in the team has been an advantage against the U20 NPL teams. "I think our experienced players carried us through but our younger players rose to the challenge and have been outstanding," he said. Ashfield have beaten five NPL teams but Wardle said the cup was never considered a priority. "We've just taken it week by week and I think some teams have underrated us," he said.

Balcatta started shakily and Ashfield put them under pressure with long balls over the top. Ian Grifiths was unable to make the most of a defensive error that put him one-on-one with keeper Daniel Passarelli when he scuffed his shot wide of the post in the 11th minute. Ashfield were behind the back four again 15 minutes later but Passarelli’s diving save denied Sean Bryne's half volley. Balcatta struggled to get past Ashfield's defence with Wardle's stand out players, Matt Warton and Davy Gordon, cleaning up consistently. The NPL WA side thought they had scored the breakthrough in the 31st minute when Amir Ajan's shot was parried to Patrick Sara but the flag went up for offside.

Balcatta squandered a great opportunity in the 65th minute, De Francesch going one-on-one with Sutton then passing to Ajan but a touch too many dissolved the attack. Both teams became apprehensive and opted for long balls to the strikers. In the 85th minute Ryan Cox slid onto an Alex Stamatiadis flick-on but hit Balcatta’s side netting and the game was sent to penalties.

Both teams scored their first two but Passarelli kept out Cox and at 4-3 Balcatta looked like they had clinched it. But Ashfield kept their cool, converting their remaining penalties and Sutton made two great saves to finish it off. Balcatta coach Ljupco Taneski said he was still proud of the boys for coming this far. "They're young guys and a cup final is a great experience for them so there’s a lot to learn from,” he said. "We gave Ashfield far too much respect early on but we got ourselves back into the game and missed out on a few chances. And once it gets to penalties it's just the luck of the draw."

19.7.2014

PERTH 18'S HAVE EDGE IN HARD FOUGHT FINAL (by Peter Simcox, www.footballwest.com.au)

Perth SC scored a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sorrento to claim the U18 Cool Ridge Cup at Macedonia Park yesterday. Adam Carlino opened the scoring early and another 15-year-old, Emerson Garley, added a second just before half-time. Sorrento skipper Matt Cherrie pulled one back for the Gulls with fifteen minutes remaining to set up a tense finish but with Perth skipper Brodie Walker in outstanding form at the favourites hung on for the win. “We had a great start with the early goal,” Walker said. “One mistake from them and we pounced on it. “We had a few players out today but I was really pleased with the lads today and thought we deserved the win.”

Perth coach Richie Abrams said his side can improve on their second-half performance. “The first half was good but the second half we were lucky and I was impressed the way Sorrento played,” he said. “The start was great. Adam has scored over 20 goals this season, so he was always going to be a threat up front. But I didn’t think we were going to get that straight away. But he did miss an easier one later on in the game. “We have a very young side and we have to be more constant and play better than we did today if we want to go on take out the league title.”

Perth were ahead after only 26 seconds even though Sorrento had kicked off. But the Gulls lost the ball on the edge of their penalty area and Carlino nipped in to finish low past Jesse Wagener. Sorrento were shell shocked but went close themselves in the 5th minute. Joel Keen found space on the edge of the penalty area but his shot was saved by Alex Jackson.

Perth were dictating terms with skipper Brodie Walker dominating in defence and his distribution from the back set up a number of chances for Perth, with Garley and Carlino going close. Sorrento were struggling in the final third and were restricted to long-range efforts. Zack Edwards’ shot from the edge of the penalty area on 18 minutes whistled just over the top. Perth dominated the final ten minutes of the first half and they were rewarded with a second goal. A great through ball from Eric Birighitti sent Garley clear and the youngster finished clinically past Wagener.

It was an even start to the second half. For Sorrento, Keen volleyed straight at Alex Jackson early before Perth midfielder Birighitti’s long-range shot flew just wide. Sorrento were not allowing Perth time on the ball and they were back in the game on 72 minutes. Second-half substitute Jami Sandell’s through ball deflected into the path of Cherrie, who finished past Jackson from the edge of the penalty area.

Sorrento went to three at the back and pressed for the equaliser but Jaxon Temata’s curling shot drifted the wrong side of the post. Perth began to hit on the counter attack and went close to a third in stoppage time. Daniel Silla’s great run and shot beat Wagener but Temata cleared the ball off the line.

At the final whistle it was Perth celebrating but Sorrento coach Karl Cherrie also found positives despite the loss. “We were found out a little bit in the first half and I asked for a little bit more at half-time,” he said. “We changed a few things at the break and the lads played well. When we pulled one back we went three at the back, and went for it, but couldn’t find the equaliser. But it was a great second half performance.”

18.7.2014

STATE CUP FINAL PREVIEW

The State League Cup takes centre stage this weekend with current holders Bayswater City taking on Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday. A big crowd is expected for a feast of football, kicking off with the under 18’s Final between Perth SC and Sorrento at 10.15am, the Reserves Final between Balcatta and Ashfield at 12.15pm, with the big one at 3pm.

Bayswater made it to the final after a 4-0 win against Subiaco AFC in the semi-Final, with goal from Trent Kay 2, Declan Hargreaves and Irish midfielder Brain Farrell. Farrell, who has only been at the club two seasons, knows the importance of the Cup Final and is hoping to go back-to-back. “We all realise the cup final is a huge day in WA football and were glad to see it first-hand last year when we beat Ashfield,” he said. “Having had that success, as well has taking out the top five Finals last season, we have managed to keep the core of the squad together for this campaign and to go back to back in such prestigious competition would be a great honour for the whole club.”

City has had the wood on the Lions this season, but Farrell knows they will need to be at their best to win on Saturday. “We have beaten Stirling twice this year but they have both been fiercely contested games and we haven't forgot the battles we had with them last year,” he explained. “They have a dangerous team with dangerous individuals but hopefully we can keep them quiet and get over the line on the day.” In team news skipper Trent Kay is in doubt after limping off against ECU Joondalup two weeks ago, with a hamstring injury, but they do welcome back Chris Saldaris from suspension, while striker David Heagney is overseas and is unavailable.

The Lions beat ECU Joondalup 3-1 in the semi-final, with David and Daniel Micevski on target, and midfielder Dean Evans, who was part of the side that beat Floreat Athena in the 2010 Cup Final, is hoping to give the club another successful day. “Everyone loves being involved in a Cup Final and the chance of winning a piece of silverware for their club, and both clubs will do doing everything they can to lift the trophy on Saturday afternoon,” he said. “I was lucky enough to be involved in a Cup Final in 2010, and it’s a great day, and we hope we can come out on top, and put on a good spectacle for both sets of supporters and the neutrals. “

Evans missed last week’s 1-0 defeat at Frank Drago Reserve, but he knows they can only look forward. “We don’t look at past results, obviously there’s always areas we need to improve in but we know if we can stick together on Saturday the result will come,” he said. “There is a good atmosphere around at the moment with all the build-up so we can’t wait to get out there on Saturday and bring back the Cup for our fans.” The Lions are almost at full strength for the game. Evans returns from suspension, their only doubt is Daniel Micevski, who is likely to miss again.

17.7.2014

LIONS SCENT CUP FINAL UPSET (by Peter Simcox, The West Australian)

Stirling Lions defender Andy Brown is motivated by the thought of becoming the latest captain to raise WA soccer’s coveted knockout trophy. Brown will lead the underdogs against Bayswater City in tomorrow’s Cool Ridge Cup final knowing the home comfort of Macedonia Park will count for little a gainst the National Premier Leagues WA leaders.

“The cup final is as big a game as there is on the WA football calendar,” Brown said. “I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to play in this game and to try and emulate the glory of past captains of Stirling and lift the trophy for a seventh time.”

The Lions were beaten 1-0 by Bayswater last week in the NPL-WA but Brown believes they can upset the odds tomorrow. “Our performances against Bayswater this season in the league have been positive although the score line hasn’t shown this,” he said. Stirling’s Aleks Vrteski and Bayswater’s Trent Kay with Cool Ridge Cup representatives. Pic supplied “On the weekend gone, we had them beat in every department - we just couldn't find the net. Our outlook on the cup final is positive and we will be looking to put away our chances this time and avenge our defeats in the league.”

Bayswater striker Steve Burton, whose goal sunk Stirling last week, revealed the extent of his side’s ambitions. “We set a target of four trophies this year - the Night Series, the (Cool Ridge) Cup, the league and the finals,” he said. “We have one of those and hope to make it two on Saturday. We’re all focussed on achieving the goals set at the start of the year.”

But the former Doncaster Rovers, Scarborough and Crawley Town striker knows success is far from guaranteed. “We have beaten them twice in the NPL, but that counts for nothing, it’s a cup final anything could happen,” he said. “The players and everyone at the club are looking forward to the occasion and as long as we show the same desire as we have in the last few games we should stand a good chance.”

17.7.2014

OLD FOES CLASH IN FINAL (by Shayne Hope, The West Australian)

One of WA soccer’s fiercest rivalries comes to a head today when Bayswater City and Stirling Lions do battle in the Cool Ridge Cup final at Macedonia Park. NPL WA leaders Bayswater beat Stirling 1-0 in the league last week and have the wood on their opponents, having defeated the Lions in the Premier Division grand final last season.

But Stirling goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski said the Lions were confident of reversing that result and winning their seventh Cup title in today’s final. “The rivalry has been ongoing for two seasons now,” Vrteski said. “We lost 1-0 to Baysie last week and I’ve heard some people say that we should’ve been beaten comprehensively, but I feel we were well in the game and were unfortunate not to get something out of the game. “You’ve always got to be confident and we have a strong belief we can beat Bayswater. It won’t be easy, but we can do it.”

Bayswater defender Trent Kay faces a fitness test this morning after suffering a hamstring strain against ECU Joondalup a fortnight ago. Kay hasn’t been able to train since, but was 90 per cent sure he would play. “It would be a massive disappointment if I couldn’t play because I’ve played in all the Cup games leading up to this one,” Kay said. “You don’t want to miss out on the big one but you’ve got to do what’s best for the team.”

By reaching the Cool Ridge Cup final, Bayswater and Stirling qualified for the first round of the FFA Cup. Stirling Lions host A-League champions Brisbane Roar at Macedonia Park on August 19, while Bayswater meet heavyweight Melbourne Victory at the same venue the following day.

16.7.2014

GLORY TAKE PRE-SEASON SHOW ON ROAD (by Shayne Hope, The West Australian)

Glory take pre-season show on road Glory take pre-season show on road Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe expects second-tier Sydney Olympic to provide the biggest test of a pre-season stretch featuring games A-League and top-flight European opposition.

Glory will play two friendly matches in Sydney before meeting high-profile Spanish club Malaga CF at nib Stadium on July 27. They meet Adelaide United at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday before taking on former NSL rivals Olympic at the same venue on Wednesday. The match between Glory and Olympic will be their first meeting in almost a decade and is sure to bring back memories of the famous grand final battles of 2002 and 2003.

Olympic won the first grand final encounter 1-0 courtesy of an Ante Milicic strike before Glory got revenge the next year, claiming their maiden national championship with a 2-0 triumph. Glory legends Jamie Harnwell and Damian Mori were on the scoresheet on a historic day for the WA club. Both grand finals were played in front of full houses at what was then known as Subiaco Oval.

Lowe led his new-look Glory side to a 1-1 draw against NPL WA side Inglewood United on Tuesday and was looking forward to testing his players with three games over the next week. But he said the major focus would be on avoiding injury, with the club’s first competitive match of the 2014-15 season – a first-round FFA Cup tie away to Newcastle Jets – less than three weeks away.

“There are some concerns that maybe physically we’re not quite ready for three games in a week, but we’ll manage everybody’s load,” Lowe said at Perth Airport today. “We’ve just got to be careful that we don’t pick up any injuries. “The good thing is Adelaide are at the same stage as us and Malaga have just started their pre-season. “Probably the biggest test will be Sydney Olympic because they’re smack-bang in the middle of their (NPL New South Wales) season.”

The Glory squad has undergone a major facelift over the off-season, with eight new recruits brought in. Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh and former Socceroos attacker Richard Garcia will get more game time over the next week, while Mitch Nichols and Youssouf Hersi are in line to make their first appearances for Glory. Almost the entire first team squad will travel to Sydney, with Ruben Zadkovich (overseas) and Young Socceroos trio Daniel De Silva, Riley Woodcock and Jordan Thurtell the only absentees.

16.7.2014

EDWARDS HITS WINNER FOR READING

Young attacker Ryan Edwards got Reading’s pre-season campaign up and running by scoring the winning goal against Exeter City on Tuesday. 20-year old Edwards played on loan to Perth Glory last summer and could force his way into Nigel Adkins’ first team plans after a well-timed run and finish just eight minutes into the friendly at St James’ Park. It was all that separated the sides on the scoreboard on a night when Adkins fielded a different side in each half to give his squad some game time against the League Two outfit.

16.7.2014

KNEE INJURY THROWS WILLIAMS INTO WORLD CUP DOUBT

Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams is returning to Australia after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. It will be the second knee construction for Williams, who was playing for the Western New York Flash when disaster struck. “As soon as I did it I knew I had injured my ACL and it was pretty devastating,” said the 26-year old. “I knew the feeling and I was pretty sure that I had done it again.” Williams, who will have surgery in Adelaide before beginning her rehabilitation in Canberra, suffered the same injury in the same knee in 2012 while playing for Swedish club Pitea IF.

Williams now faces a race against time to be fit for duty at the Women’s World Cup in Canada next June. “Straight away as I got in the change room and the doctor had a look at it,” Williams said. “The first thing I asked about was the World Cup and the possibility of that … We’ll see what happens with recovery and rehab, but I’m feeling actually really positive and kind of excited to get back on track and really work on everything that I need to do. The one advantage I have is that mentally I know what’s ahead of me and I know what’s required to get back onto the field.”

15.7.2014

LIONS COACH AIMS TO SILENCE ROAR (by David Lewis, theworldgame.com.au)

As a player Gary Williams had a taste of FA Cup success with non-League English outfit Hitchin Town and now the Stirling Lions coach is aiming to mastermind a seismic shock by knocking A-League champion Brisbane Roar out of the inaugural FFA Cup. The visit of Mike Mulvey's Roar to the 7000-capacity Macedonia Park in the Perth suburb of Balcatta on 19 August is the pick of the round of 32's minnow versus giant duels and Williams - a Perth policeman - is aiming to roll back the years to the mid-1990s when unfancied Hitchin reached the second round proper of the FA Cup by claiming the scalps of Hereford United and Bristol Rovers.

The fun ended when it lost to Wycombe Wanderers, managed by now Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, and Gillingham, led back then by now Crystal Palace chief Tony Pulis. "We will be testing ourselves against the best in the country and had I been given the choice this is the tie I would have picked," said Williams. "They have a reputation for attractive football and we will have nothing to lose. To be at home in front of our own fans is just an added bonus and we are hoping for a near full hose of around 7000. "We play in front of average crowds of around 400 so it's going to be a special night."

The defending National Premier League minor premier in Western Australia, Stirling is the club which spawned the talent of Socceroos great Stan Lazaridis as well as Daniel de Silva, the 17-year-old Perth Glory rookie who will join AS Roma in Italy in a year. It was also the club which gave gifted former West Ham United and Young Socceroos striker Dylan Tombides, who tragically died earlier this year, his start in football. One-time striker Williams, who also played for non-league Hayes and Bedford Town before migrating to Australia in 2003, added: "We have a good mix of players and we believe we have enough quality to worry Brisbane." Williams is looking to former Perth Glory rookie Moses Kalau, a Congolese refugee, to provide the spark up front down the left side, insisting his pace can hurt Brisbane.

Goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski is a former Australian youth player who played four first-team games for Perth Glory, while midfielders Dave Micevski and Dean Evans were also on Glory's books along with defender Hayden Doyle. "We'll give Brisbane the respect they deserve but there's nothing to say we can't pull it off on the day. We'll be putting in extra training sessions to try and prepare the players," added Williams, 45. "Our aim is to give ourselves every chance against the top players in Australia. It's a great opportunity to get the romance of the FFA Cup up and running. "We want Brisbane to look at us afterwards and say 'they have got some really good players there'.

"Myself and my assistant Daniel Stoitis encourage an open and expansive game and try and keep the ball down and play. It's been a bit of a rebuilding year for us after losing the core of our team at the end of last season, players like former English Premier League player Andy Todd who went home. "It's all about giving ourselves a financial boost and putting this club on the map in terms of recognition. It's an opportunity we plan to make the mist of."

15.7.2014

INGLEWOOD OUT-SHOOT GLORY TO WIN KRAMER CUP

Inglewood United has lifted the inaugural Kramer Memorial Cup by out-shooting Perth Glory 4-3 from the penalty spot. Ryan Clarke had the hosts ahead early only for Andy Keogh to send the teams into the break on level terms, and with neither side able to add to their tally both camps agreed to decide the outcome from the spot. Goalkeeper Jake Luik, who came off the bench in the second half, covered himself in glory by saving twice in the shoot-out as Dario Pavic, Hayden Dodgson, Teeboy Kamara and Jaedon Ewen converted to earn Inglewood the trophy.

With 11 minutes on the clock Clarke got the go-ahead goal with a precision finish into the bottom corner from 16-metres after a neat exchange of passes with Greg Sharland. Glory immediately stepped up the tempo but it took until just before the break for Keogh equalise from Michael Thwaite’s low pass across the area. Glory coach Kenny Lowe made wholesale changes at the break and within five minutes of the restart Jamie Maclaren twice threatened to put the visitors ahead. Several of Inglewood’s rising stars were given valuable game time by boss Graham Normanton, whose team competed strongly against a very young opponent.

15.7.2014

GLORY'S NEW BOYS ON SHOW AGAINST INGLEWOOD

Perth Glory fans will get their first chance to see most of the club's new recruits in action during tonight's pre-season friendly match against Inglewood United at Intiga Stadium. Proven A-League players Richard Garcia, Youssouf Hersi, Dino Djulbic, Diogo Ferreira and Mitch Nichols are all likely to make their first appearances, however, Ruben Zadkovich (overseas) and Jordan Thurtell (Young Socceroos) are unavailable. Young guns Daniel De Silva and Riley Woodcock are on tour with Thurtell in the US, while Matt Davies and Cameron Edwards (knee injuries) are out for at least another month.

Left-back Scott Jamieson will play his first match in eight months after an Achilles injury, while goalkeeper Danny Vukovic returns after a loan spell. Lowe said he would adopt a cautious approach for tonight's fixture ahead of Glory's first competitive match of the new season - a first-round FFA Cup tie away to Newcastle on August 5. "We'll have almost a full squad but maybe some people will be on limited game time," Lowe said. Glory and Inglewood will compete for the Siggy Kramer Memorial Cup, named in honour of the long-time Inglewood servant who died last week.

14.7.2014

TOMBIDES DEDICATES GOAL TO LATE BROTHER

West Ham United winger Taylor Tombides made a touching tribute to his late brother, Dylan, by dedicating his first goal of pre-season to him. The 18-year old, a member of the Hammers development squad, dedicated Saturday’s goal against AFC Hornchurch to Dylan, who died in April at the age of 20 following a three-year battle with testicular cancer. Tombides scored his teams’ second goal in a 2-2 draw, slotting under the onrushing goalkeeper to restore West Ham’s lead, and immediately kissed the tattoo on his forearm in honour of his brother.

13.7.2014

GARCIA FINALLY HOME

Perth Glory recruit Richard Garcia's homecoming was nearly two decades in the making. One of eight new faces in a revamped Glory squad for the 2014/15 season, Garcia was just 15 when he was plucked from local ranks by English club West Ham United in 1997. He enjoyed a successful career in England, including stints at Colchester United and Hull City, before opting to return to Australia two years ago. Garcia naturally attracted Glory's attention but chose to join Melbourne Heart - recently rebranded as Melbourne City - before spending last season at Sydney FC.

Now 32, Garcia jumped at the chance to fulfil his long-held dream when Glory coach Kenny Lowe came calling this year. "I had a burning ambition to end up playing for Perth," Garcia said. "When Perth created a team I was already going overseas and I never got that chance to play at national league level for my home State and my hometown. It's been on my radar for a long time, ever since I was in the UK, to come back and play for Perth. Now I've got that opportunity I'm looking to help the team as much as I can."

Glory have been by far the most active A-League club in the player market over the off- season. Lowe has brought in eight new players and will benefit from the services of returning first-team regulars Scott Jamieson, who has overcome an Achilles injury, and goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, who is back after an ill-fated loan stint at Vegalta Sendai. Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh and Garcia, Mitch Nichols, Youssouf Hersi, Ruben Zadkovich, Diogo Ferreira and Dino Djulbic have joined Glory, while Australian youth international Jordan Thurtell has been added to the goalkeeping ranks.

12.7.2014

GLORY MAP OUT PRE-SEASON

Perth Glory are preparing themselves for arguably their toughest pre-season ever. The A-League side’s pre-season scheduled includes a glamour friendly against Spanish club Malaga, three hit-outs against A-League opposition and an FFA Cup tie with Newcastle Jets. There is also a re-match of the 2002 and 2003 National Soccer League Grand Finals with Sydney Olympic plus games against the State team and a number of local clubs.

Glory’s pre-season kicks-off on Tuesday, 15 July, with an evening fixture against Inglewood United at Intiga Stadium (7.00pm). The game is being held in honour of Siggy Kramer, who sadly passed away this week. Kramer started as a goalkeeper with Kiev in 1953 and later became the club’s coach before moving on to President in 1994, a position he held for 19 years. He has left a lasting legacy on local football and it’s fitting that Glory’s first friendly is for the Kramer Memorial Cup.

Glory head to Sydney to take on Adelaide United (20 July) followed by a meeting with former NSL rivals Sydney Olympic (23 July). The highlight of Glory’s pre-season is undoubtedly the 27 July date against La Liga club Malaga. It will be the first opportunity Glory fans will have to watch the club’s new signings, which includes Mitch Nichols, Youssouf Hersi, Andy Keogh and Diogo Ferreira, at Perth Oval. On 5 August Glory travel to Newcastle Jets for their FFA Cup round of 32 game.

The following month Glory come up against the State team (12 August) in the annual ‘Call to Arms’ Cup before playing Gosnells City (17 August), Cockburn City (27 July) and Rockingham City (31 July). A quick trip wast to play A-League clubs Adelaide United (4 September) and Melbourne Victory (7 September) precedes a clash with Sorrento (20 September) for a testimonial game in honour of Todd Harnwell. With potential FFA Cup games on the 16 and 23 September, Glory are considering adding further fixtures against local teams.

13.7.2014

GARCIA FINALLY HOME

Perth Glory recruit Richard Garcia's homecoming was nearly two decades in the making. One of eight new faces in a revamped Glory squad for the 2014/15 season, Garcia was just 15 when he was plucked from local ranks by English club West Ham United in 1997. He enjoyed a successful career in England, including stints at Colchester United and Hull City, before opting to return to Australia two years ago. Garcia naturally attracted Glory's attention but chose to join Melbourne Heart - recently rebranded as Melbourne City - before spending last season at Sydney FC.

Now 32, Garcia jumped at the chance to fulfil his long-held dream when Glory coach Kenny Lowe came calling this year. "I had a burning ambition to end up playing for Perth," Garcia said. "When Perth created a team I was already going overseas and I never got that chance to play at national league level for my home State and my hometown. It's been on my radar for a long time, ever since I was in the UK, to come back and play for Perth. Now I've got that opportunity I'm looking to help the team as much as I can."

Glory have been by far the most active A-League club in the player market over the off- season. Lowe has brought in eight new players and will benefit from the services of returning first-team regulars Scott Jamieson, who has overcome an Achilles injury, and goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, who is back after an ill-fated loan stint at Vegalta Sendai. Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh and Garcia, Mitch Nichols, Youssouf Hersi, Ruben Zadkovich, Diogo Ferreira and Dino Djulbic have joined Glory, while Australian youth international Jordan Thurtell has been added to the goalkeeping ranks.

12.7.2014

GLORY MAP OUT PRE-SEASON

Perth Glory are preparing themselves for arguably their toughest pre-season ever. The A-League side’s pre-season scheduled includes a glamour friendly against Spanish club Malaga, three hit-outs against A-League opposition and an FFA Cup tie with Newcastle Jets. There is also a re-match of the 2002 and 2003 National Soccer League Grand Finals with Sydney Olympic plus games against the State team and a number of local clubs.

Glory’s pre-season kicks-off on Tuesday, 15 July, with an evening fixture against Inglewood United at Intiga Stadium (7.00pm). The game is being held in honour of Siggy Kramer, who sadly passed away this week. Kramer started as a goalkeeper with Kiev in 1953 and later became the club’s coach before moving on to President in 1994, a position he held for 19 years. He has left a lasting legacy on local football and it’s fitting that Glory’s first friendly is for the Kramer Memorial Cup.

Glory head to Sydney to take on Adelaide United (20 July) followed by a meeting with former NSL rivals Sydney Olympic (23 July). The highlight of Glory’s pre-season is undoubtedly the 27 July date against La Liga club Malaga. It will be the first opportunity Glory fans will have to watch the club’s new signings, which includes Mitch Nichols, Youssouf Hersi, Andy Keogh and Diogo Ferreira, at Perth Oval. On 5 August Glory travel to Newcastle Jets for their FFA Cup round of 32 game.

The following month Glory come up against the State team (12 August) in the annual ‘Call to Arms’ Cup before playing Gosnells City (17 August), Cockburn City (27 July) and Rockingham City (31 July). A quick trip wast to play A-League clubs Adelaide United (4 September) and Melbourne Victory (7 September) precedes a clash with Sorrento (20 September) for a testimonial game in honour of Todd Harnwell. With potential FFA Cup games on the 16 and 23 September, Glory are considering adding further fixtures against local teams.

12.7.2014

COCKBURN LEAVE IT LATE (by Chris Andrawes, nplwa.com.au)

Cockburn City broke Floreat Athena hearts as they stole a stoppage time winner to win 3-2, despite Athena fighting back from 2-0 down at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday. Cockburn coach Marc Anthony was pleased with his side’s performance but was frustrated that his team had allowed Floreat back into the game. “Really happy with the result, but the second half performance was extremely below the standards that we set,” he said. “We both went for it to get the winner. A draw was no good for either side. It could quite easily have been them that scored the winner. It’s just one of these games. “Obviously they were always going to come and have a go in the second half and they were by far the better side in the second half to be honest.”

Cockburn’s winner came two minutes into stoppage time as substitute Liam Murray received the ball in the box, turned, and fired it emphatically past Floreat keeper Tom Dixon. Floreat probably should have won the game themselves having already fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 but missed a slew of gilt-edged chances. Striker Jamie Eames found himself in on goal but put his lobbed effort over the bar before Ashley Corker made a darting run into the box, only to see his shot brilliantly blocked by Cockburn keeper Dejan Aleksic. Aryn Williams, who had scored the equaliser, found space in the box after Aleksic had come to clear a cross but he shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

Cockburn had started the game on a strong footing with Connor Kavanagh heading home uncontested in the box after only five minutes. The first half in general was slow paced with few chances until just before half-time when Matt Barlow popped up to head the ball past the keeper for 2-0.

Cockburn came out of the blocks fighting in the second half and got their reward with a goal for Ludovic Boi, who fired the ball home from close range following a nice cut back. Williams found the equaliser following a tidy one-two on the edge of the box before firing the ball low past the keeper. Athena rounded out the game with a badly timed challenge from Alex Govan, who received his second yellow card, leaving Floreat with 10 men for the final minute.

It was Cockburn’s third successive win and gave Anthony hope they could reach the finals. “It’s still going to be difficult but it’s a springboard for us,” he said. “We’ve won three straight now, so we just need to keep putting pressure on the teams above us. We’ve got a lot of hard games to come and we’ll improve and give it a go.”

12.7.2014

BURTON GETS THE WINNER FOR BAYSWATER (by Peter Simcox, nplwa.com.au)

Stirling Lions National Premier League WA Top Four Finals hopes hang in the balance after Bayswater City retained their five-point lead at the top with a hard fought 1-0 win at Frank Drago Reserve in a precursor to next weekend’s Cool Ridge Cup Final. Steve Burton’s goal after only 56 seconds won the game for the home side but the result was hard on Stirling, who dominated the second half without converting their opportunities.

Coach Gary Williams was livid after the game. “I thought we deserved all three points today,” he said. “We created numerous chances in the second half but we were not ruthless enough in the final third and that’s been our problem all season. “Our decision making today was poor. The players know that. They’re all really disappointed and I’m really frustrated at the moment.”

For Bayswater, the loss of skipper Trent Kay meant Burton took over the captains arm band and it was his goal that separated the sides. “I’m 30-years-old now - tap ins and penalties are all I’ve got,” he joked. “You won’t see shots from outside the box from me. “We’ve had a little lull in our performances in recent weeks but we are working hard to get back on track and we have done that.”

On a day when day when grounds around the metropolitan area acknowledged the passing of Siggy Kramer with a moment of silence, there was an even more sombre feeling at Frank Drago Reserve. Bayswater’s Ron Rucci and Stirling’s Garry Lazarides, who passed away this season, were also recognised in the pre-match address. The mood was lifted for the home side just seconds in when the Lions failed to clear their lines and Paul McCarthy’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was saved by Aleks Vrteski but Burton scored from close-range. It was nearly 2-0 on three minutes when Todd Howarth’s corner picked out the unmarked McCarthy on the back post but his header crashed off a post and away to safety. The home side played some great football early and their one-touch play and movement carved out a number of chances.

With their finals hopes on the line, the Lions lifted and went close to an equaliser late in the half. Phil Arnold made space down the left and cut the ball back to Hayden Doyle whose shot from 10m was saved by Devon Spence. Bayswater opened the second half well - Vrteski had to be alert to save from Burton and Howarth before Gustavo Giron-Marulanda headed over from close range. But the Lions were now getting a foot hold in the game and on 52 minutes Moses Kalau burst clear but Spence narrowed the angle and saved. From the resulting corner, Arnold blazed over from 4m with the goal at his mercy.

It was end-to-end football with both sides going for the win. Arnold fired wide on the hour after good work from Kalau before the lively Marulanda’s shot was tipped over the bar by Vrteski moments later. The Lions were on top and Jamie Coyne and Adam Bachiller were outstanding at the back for Bayswater as they worked overtime to keep the visitors at bay. Spence saved Doyle’s shot in the 80th minute, and two minutes later Kalau’s shot was spilled by the Bayswater custodian but he recovered in time to grab the rebound. Bayswater were indebted to Coyne for clearing off the line in stoppage time after Spence had not dealt with Doyle’s free-kick.

Bayswater’s assistant coach Stewart Moses said it was a tough game but the win would give City an edge in next week’s Cup Final. “We started well today, and we have the psychological edge on them now going into next week,” he said “We will probably go into the game as favourites but they had a couple of players out today, so we will need to prepare well and hopefully get our second piece of silverware this season.”

12.7.2014

HAT-TRICK FOR DONINGER ON EMOTIONAL DAY AT INGLEWOOD (by Kalon Harrison, nplwa.com.au)

A healthy rivalry with fellow Perth SC striker Ashley Rosindale is motivating Mark Doninger to continue a scoring spree that hit top gear against Inglewood United at Intiga Stadium on Saturday. With Rosindale on the bench, Doninger scored a hat-trick in Perth’s 4-1 rout at Intiga Stadium on a day when all National Premier Leagues WA teams stood in silence to acknowledge the passing of Inglewood stalwart Siggy Kramer. For more than 60 years, Kramer was involved with Inglewood as a player, coach, committee member, president and vocal supporter and the script might have been written for a home victory, especially when Ryan Clarke opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. But just two minutes later Doninger scored the first of his three as the tie was turned on its head. Doninger and Rosindale are now locked on 10 goals each and both will be pushing for more in the final stages of the season.

Today’s hat-trick hero acknowledged the respect between the two strikers. “We're both trying to be top goal scorer, so we'll see what happens,” said Doninger who likes "reminding ash I've got four in the cup too."

Doninger’s second came in the 37th minute with one for the highlight reels. Playing a volleyed wall pass with Aden Da Luz, Doninger managed to get his toe to the ball on the return pass and took it around the centre back while running the other side of his marker. He then recomposed and slotted past a hapless Luke Martino in a one on one situation. His hat-trick was completed in the 59th minute with a clinical volley from 10m after being left unmarked inside the area.

Inglewood opened the scoring in the 22nd minute through Clarke, who chipped Francis Soale with a clever first-time volley after a chipped through ball from Ryan Francis. Perth’s scoring was completed by Matt Milenkovic in the 61st minute after a contentious free-kick was awarded to the home side. The ball was played in and Martino made an effort to punch the ball but Milenkovic beat him to it and headed into an open net.

Inglewood coach Graham Normanton said his side deserved more from the match on an emotional day. “We should have had two penalties no doubt about it,” he said. “Having said that, we found ways of giving them goals today.” Perth moved to second on the table, five points behind leaders Bayswater City. Inglewood are ninth, two points behind ECU Joondalup.

12.7.2014

NO GLORY FOR ARMADALE (by Daryn McCleave, nplwa.com.au)

The NPL WA’s two out of form sides cancelled out each other at Alfred Skeet Reserve with Armadale and Perth Glory both scoring from the penalty spot in a hard-fought 1-1 draw. Armadale got off to a bright start with the pacy Faustinho Machochi causing problems and winning the sixth-minute penalty that Jackson Bealey duly converted. But Glory came back and won a spot kick of their own following a tug on Hanafi Ghazali, which captain Blamo Qua Qua slotted home with ease on 21 minutes.

Glory coach John Gibson was relieved his young team ended their run of nine successive defeats but felt they could have taken all three points had they shown some consistency in their play. "We came to put a good performance in and we did that in patches,” Gibson said. “But potentially we leave ourselves open to get caught at silly moments. Happy with a point? No, not really. "I thought we controlled the game and had a lot of possession. We had a lot of opportunities in the final third, but not many clear cut chances - we can be a lot better.”

Gibson's opposite number Lee Bamber declared himself happy with a point considering three of his key players - Alec Solomons, Mitch Castrilli and Billy Quinncroft – were suspended. "I thought we did extremely well with a young side competing against the best youngsters in the state,” Bamber said. “If we'd been clinical in the final third we could have got the three points. The lads that came in (to the side) proved that they can play at this level and they will improve. We just have to try and pick up as many points as possible from now until the season's end.”

Armadale came out of the blocks quickly as they searched for their first league win since March, registering the first shot on target within ten seconds as James Atkins’ attempt was deflected over the bar. And the home side's opening directness resulted in their penalty as Machochi weaved his way towards goal only to be brought to a halt right on the line of the penalty area. Referee Steve Gregory had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Bealey stepped up with confidence to send Glory stopper Luke Radonich the wrong way after just six minutes.

Bealey saw a long-range strike whistle narrowly wide of the upright before the visitors were awarded a penalty, this time an Army defender pulling back Ghazali by the arm as he darted into the box. The ever-improving Blamo Qua Qua calmly slotted the kick into the net with Armadale goalkeeper Matthew Gould guessing incorrectly. Machochi continued to be Armadale's best hope of a break-through from open play with Gian Albano for Glory posing their biggest threat. But a combination of poor finishing and solid goalkeeping ensured these two would finish the day as the bottom clubs in the State's top flight.

12.7.2014

TONG LEVELS IN STOPPAGE TIME (by Aisling Lawless, nplwa.com.au)

Balcatta are all but resigned to missing out on the National Premier Leagues WA minor premiership despite a stoppage-time goal rescuing a point in a 1-1 draw against ECU Joondalup at Grindleford Reserve yesterday. Balcatta went into the game trailing league leading Bayswater City by five points – a gap that blew out to seven points after Bayswater beat Stirling and Perth climbed to second with a win over Inglewood United.

With five games to play, Balcatta assistant Steve Zagami conceded Bayswater were unlikely to let slip their lead. “It’s getable but they need to trip and we need to keep on winning,” Zagami said. “We should have been more clinical with finishing and should have taken much more advantage of the first period, to possibly win the game. “But we’ve had some changes in our personnel, which has probably influenced our game a little bit. But you can’t fault the endeavour of the guys who are playing.”

ECU Joondalup coach Dale McCulloch was bitterly disappointed to have let victory slip after David Foster’s 47th-minute goal was cancelled out by Balcatta captain Adam Tong two minutes into stoppage time. Despite recent strong performances, ECU have failed to win any of their past four matches. “It seems like I’m saying this every week now but we should have come away with the three points,” McCulloch said. “We’ve had some tough luck these last few weeks but in the end there’s not much you can do about it.”

Both coaches were frustrated during the game and received cautions from the referee. ECU started the game strongly but Balcatta should have gone ahead after 12 minutes when Benny Kouakou beat keeper Andy Banks in a one-on-one but the ball hit the side netting. The home side struggled to convert their opportunities, Alex Caniglia coming closest four minutes into first-half stoppage time when his shot bounced off a post soon after Kouakou had been denied by Banks.

ECU’s chances were also limited and when captain Jon Higgins curled in a free-kick it eluded Dejan Spaseski. But Joondalup were in front two minutes after the restart when Foster headed past keeper Clint Davies, who had failed to clear the previous attempt. Balcatta were almost level in the 77th minute but Kouakou’s shot was cleared off the line. But the home side’s pressure paid off when Tong thumped the ball past Banks in the dying seconds of the game.

12.7.2014

SUBIACO SHOCK SORRENTO (by Colin Outhwaite, nplwa.com.au)

Subiaco AFC scored with their only attack of the second half to seal a 3-2 win over Sorrento and extend to five games their NPL WA unbeaten streak. The visitors to Percy Doyle Reserve were ahead at half-time thanks to a brace from Josh Booysen, although Scott Bulloch’s goal ensured the Gulls remained in the hunt. And after the break Bulloch scored again to draw Sorrento level but Subiaco substitute Ger Fitzgerald clinched the winner in the dying moments.

Scottish striker Ian McMurray, who came off the bench to help subdue Sorrento’s aerial threat, felt his side had worked hard for the three points. “Not many teams come up here and get a result,” he said. “We knew they were going to come at us in the second half but we stuck at it and got a bit of luck in the end to steal the winner.”

Subiaco have now won four of their most recent five matches with a draw against Cockburn City the only blemish on what would be a perfect record. “It was a tough start to the season but we were always aware of what we were capable of once things started going our way,” McMurray said.

Booysen put Subiaco in front in the 17th minute with a controlled volley from Jordan Rhodes' chip across goal. Rhodes almost made it 2-0 in the 25th minute when he dashed towards the by-line and looked to cross but shot instead, forcing keeper Curtis Aspden into a fingertip save. The resulting corner was the beginning of a menacing Sorrento counter which led to their equaliser. Winger Jason Mirco crossed the ball to Sean Canham, whose header was parried by keeper Henry Davies into the feet of Bulloch, who knocked it in. Nine minutes later, Booysen put the visitors ahead again with a simple header from Brad McDonald’s deflected cross.

In the second half, Subiaco sat deep and did not even look to counter, surviving waves of crosses aimed towards Canham. When some desperate defending led to a miscommunication at the back, Bulloch neatly lobbed home after Davies had rushed off his line. Sorrento pressed hard for the winner but Subiaco were clinical with their only convincing counter attack four minutes from time - McDonald again crossing for Fitzgerald to tap home.

Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell said the poor start had been their downfall. “Maybe we underestimated them a little, we were sluggish and we didn’t move the ball around as quickly as we should have done,” he said. “There was only one team who wanted to play in the second half and that was us but we gave away three sloppy goals and credit to them they took their chances.”

12.7.2014

ROCKINGHAM GO TO THIRD

Rockingham City moved into third place on the table after a hard fought 3-1 win against Joondalup City at the Iluka Sports Complex. Ryan Kennedy gave the visitors the lead early, but Joe McQuade levelled for the home side, before Roy Hissey put the visitors back in front just before half time. After the break Joondalup had Peter France and Luke Serra sent off, both for second yellow cards, and Lance Louvie added a third for Rockingham late to seal victory.

It was an even opening, with the visitors looking to reverse the last time the two teams met, when Joondalup ran out 3-1 winners, and they hit the front on 10 minutes. Hissey and Kennedy exchanged passes on the edge of the penalty area and Kennedy raced clear to fire low into the corner of the net. Joondalup didn’t let the early set back deter them and Cyril Sharrock had to be alert to save from Jason Rubidge’s snap shot, but on the half hour the home side were level.

A slick exchange of passes, ended with a long-range shot from McQuade that gave Sharrock no chance. Rockingham hit back, and Gershom Rowland headed against the crossbar from Max Snelson’s free kick, and before the break they regained the lead. Martin Barnes and Kennedy combined, with the latter’s cross headed home by Hissey.

Both sides had chances early in the second half, Trevor Laure’s free kick crashed off the crossbar for Rockingham, before Rubidge was denied by the alert Sharrock. Rockingham was getting the upper hand and Hissey should have scored on the hour, but his shot hit the post, and the follow up was blasted wide by Brian Gartwinga, with the goal at his mercy.

The game then changed when Joondalup were reduced to nine men, when France and Serra were both given second yellow cards. That didn’t stop the home side from pressing for the equaliser and Rubidge was a constant threat, but they couldn’t find the break through. But with the home side pushing forward late they were caught out and Rockingham added a third. Good approach work from Hissey and Maxwell Snelson, ended with a cross into the box and Louvie made no mistake at the back post to seal the three points.

12.7.2014

JOONDALUP UNITED WINS TOP OF THE TABLE ENCOUNTER

Joondalup United took a firm hold on the Second Division league title after a hard fought 2-1 win against their nearest rivals Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park. A first half brace from Adam Buckley, put Daniel Smith’s side on their way, and despite Ben Fraser pulling one back before half time, United held on to maintain their seven point gap at the top of the table. “I thought we were fantastic today, the whole side worked hard, all over the park,” Smith said. “We had a number of players still missing today but I was proud of the lads, and it was great to have so many fans here today to celebrate the win with us.”

It was a perfect start for Joondalup and they were ahead on five minutes. After a sustained period of pressure, a ball into the penalty area, which wasn’t dealt with by the Forrestfield defence and Buckley was on hand to poke it home from close-range. Joondalup were dominating and it was 2-0 on the quarter hour. A slide-rule through ball from Arran Maplestone sent Buckley racing clear and he finished low past Brad Eiffe.

The visitor’s almost added third moments later, Callum Stocks, Michael Kenny and Garin Collins combined to release Maplestone, but Eiffe spread himself well to deny the big striker. The home side were back in the game on the half hour. Rhys Loxley whipped a corner, which was only cleared as far as Fraser on the edge of the 18 yard box who struck it into the top corner of the net giving James Bosdet no chance. Joondalup almost added a third before half time, Kenny found space on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot flashed inches past the post.

Forrestfield pressed for the equaliser after the break, and Trent Wood’s header went inches over the top, before Chris Perrott’s header from Loxley’s in-swinging corner crashed off the post. Joondalup were hitting on the counter attack and almost nicked another late on, Stocks pace took him clear down the flank, before playing in Josh Whitmore, but Eiffe was out quick to smoother his shot. The home side throw everything at their opposition, but couldn’t find a way past a Joondalup defence well led by Ross Edwards.

11.7.2014

NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES PREVIEW, ROUND SEVENTEEN

Sorrento v Subiaco AFC

Subiaco AFC continued their good form last week with a come-from-behind win against Floreat Athena, and this week they head north to take on Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. Defender George Tchami was outstanding in the win last week, and he is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the third placed Gulls. “I thought the boys did very well against a good Floreat side, and we now have our sites on getting a result at Sorrento,” he said. “I trust the strength of our team particularly after our good run of from, and we are now getting the results our play has deserved. It doesn’t worry me that Sorrento is in the top four. We will just go and play our own game, and I’m confident we can get something from the game.” In team news keeper Jack Howard has left the club and is heading to English Championship club Fulham after his university exchange came to an end, and Sam Stone will take his place between the sticks. Sorrento earned a hard fought point at Stirling last week, and will need the win to keep their finals hopes alive. They will be without skipper James Morgan and Brodie Matin due to suspension, while Adam Luca will miss due a knee injury and Michael McGinley has returned to NSW due to work commitments.

Bayswater City v Stirling Lions

NPL leaders Bayswater City meets Stirling Lions at Frank Drago Reserve in a rehearsal for next week’s Cool Ridge Cup Final. Bayswater won for the first time in four games last week at Joondalup, and moved five points clear at the summit. The Lions were held at home last week and the gap between themselves and fourth spot is still five points, so a win is vital if they are to reach the end of season finals. City took the points with a 4-1 mauling, in their first meeting of the season at Macedonia Park, and the Lions will be aware of that and be looking to seek revenge. In team news Bayswater skipper Trent Kay is in doubt with injury, but Chris Saldris returns from suspension, while David Heagney is away. The Lions are awaiting the availability of Dean Evans, the midfielder could be suspended, but the club haven’t been advised by Football West, while Moses Kalau, who is now fully fit, has been excellent on the training track this week.

Balcatta v ECU Joondalup

Balcatta lost ground at the top of the table last week, with the loss to Perth, but they will hope to get back in the winner’s circle when they entertain ECU Joondalup at Grindleford Reserve. It was Balcatta’s first defeat in five games last week, a run of form that has included wins against Bayswater and Sorrento. Coach Ramon Falzon has struggled to fill the void left by the league leading scorer Gustavo Catercione, with Bobby Kouakou struggling with injury. James Sammut has also been carrying an injury, which has limited his playing time, but he is back this week. The home side will also be missing Keiran Stallard, Kris Gate and Matt Izzo, but Paddy Quinn returns from injury. ECU, who were beaten 2-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, was unlucky not to take something from the 1-0 defeat against Bayswater last week, with veteran keeper Andy Banks in great form. “The performance was good last week and we defiantly should have taken something out of the game,” Banks said. “There were plenty of chances for both sides in the first half and it could have gone either way, before a bad call for the penalty in the second half cost us the game. But these things happen in football and you have just got to get on with it and hope it evens itself out by the end of the season.” This week will be another tough game against a well organised side. "Dale (McCulloch) will have us prepared for the game this week and hopefully we will overturn the misfortune of recent weeks and start to climb up the ladder.” In team news Joe Smith (suspended), John Stynes (injured) miss this week, but Ryan Townsend returns. Danny Dixon has been outstanding on the flanks, and with Tommy Amphlett and youngster Henry Durr in good form, they will fancy their chances of getting something from the game.

Inglewood United v Perth SC

Graham Normanton welcomes his former club, Perth SC, to the Intiga Stadium this week. Inglewood continues to struggle and they sit in ninth place, and are coming off a 1-1 draw with Armadale last weekend. They have been in all their games this season, but haven’t been able to turn their dominance into victories. Keeper Luke Martino and midfielder Greg Sharland comes up against their former club, both are vital if they are to make a late charge up the table. In team news Jarrod McNally is out with a knee injury, and Teeboy Kamara is in doubt with injury, but Scott Blackmore returns to the squad. Perth moved level with Balcatta after beating them 1-0 last week, and go into the game full of confidence. Clark Keltie and Mark Doninger continue to give Perth drive from the middle of the park, while Andreas Theodosiades continues to impress in his first season in the top flight. Striker Ashley Rosindale has recovered from injury, and has trained all week, and will come into contention, while Alex Castiello returns to the squad, to replace the suspended James Marocchi.

Armadale v Perth Glory

Armadale and Perth Glory will both be looking to end their poor form, when the pair meet at Alfred Skeet Oval. The Reds are seeking only their second win of the season, and continue to struggle to keep players on the pitch. This week they will be missing Billy Quinncroft, Alecs Solomons and Mitch Castrilli due to suspension and Coach Lee Bamber will but his faith in the young players at the club. “Again we lost a couple of players last week due to over officious officials, but we go on and it will give the kids a chance to impress again this week,” he said. “We look forward to the game, and hope we can give our home supporters something to cheer about this week.” The Glory too have struggled in recent weeks, and haven’t won in nine games, but the youngsters will be doing all they can to give Coach John Gibson is first win in the role. Joe Knowles continues to impress, with five goals this season, while Jacob Collard and Blamo Qua Qua have been in good form in recent weeks. The Glory beat the Reds 4-0 in their last meeting and will have a full squad to choose from, and will fancy their chances of ending their losing streak.

Floreat Athena v Cockburn City

Floreat Athena will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss at Subiaco, when they entertain Cockburn City at E&D Litis Stadium. Floreat gave away a two goal lead last week, and had Lewis McMahon sent off, so he will miss this week’s game. Bobby Wilson limped off last week and is in doubt, but Ashley Corker will be pushing for a starting role after coming off the bench for the last two weeks. Skipper Callum Fransz and Ludovic Boi, have been a vital cog in the side under interim Coach Glenn Grostate, while Aryn Williams and Jamie Eames will need to be watched closely, both have been on the scoresheet in recent weeks. After a poor run of form Cockburn have won back-to-back games and will want to seek some revenge for the last time the two sides met, when Floreat ran out 5-0 winners at Dalmatinac Park. Ross Diamond returns from suspension this week, while Euen Grant has missed training all week, but is expected to play. Leading goalscorer Liam Murray will be pushing for a start, but with Devon Gibson and Matty Barlow on target last week, he might have to start on the bench again.

11.7.2014

DIVISION ONE PREVIEW, ROUND THIRTEEN

The match of the round in Division One takes us to Ashfield Reserve, where third placed Ashfield entertains second placed Shamrock Rovers. Both sides are coming off good victories last week, and Ashfield midfielder Tom Kennedy knows the importance of this week’s game. “The past two weeks have been great performances by the whole squad and the hard work in training is paying off,” he said. “The league has opened right up now, and I think this week’s game against Shamrock is going to be huge. Both teams will be giving it everything for the three points to stay in the title race.” Ashfield will be at full strength for the game, while Shamrock will be missing Darren O'Riordan (Injured) and Brian Patterson (unavailable). Coach John O’Reilly, will also sweating on the fitness of Paul Concannon, Dave Murphy and Charlie Kenna.

Bunbury Forum Force hosts Western Knights at Payne Park, with both sides looking to get back in the winner’s circle, Wanneroo City travel to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City, while Dianella White Eagles and Morley Windmills meet at Dianella Reserve. Mandurah City made it back-to-back wins last week at Gosnells and travel to UWA Sports Park to take on UWA-Nedlands looking to make it three. Midfielder Matt Stares believes the side is gelling well. “The lads are just happy with three clean sheets in a row to be honest and not gifting teams’ goals like we have been doing in the first half of the season,” he said. “Mandurah is a big club with genuine big ambition and all the lads are currently frustrated with are current position so the next half of the season will all play are hardest and try and get up the division. “I know Mick Lyons from the Stirling Days, so I know he will have them organised and fit and they have come up with some good results this season, so it will be a good test for us and were desperate for 3 more points.” In team news, Robbie Hamm is in doubt with an ankle injury.

The final game of the round is on Sunday, when Canning City entertains Swan United at Burrendah Reserve. The home side will be missing the suspended Dean Apelgren, and the injured Daniel Niederberger, while Michael van Dongen will have a late fitness test. United will be sweating on the fitness of Ross Cosgrove, Ebe Cowbrough and Ryan Treacy, but they will be without Callum Burton for the game.

11.7.2014

DIVISION TWO PREVIEW, ROUND THIRTEEN

The two top teams in Division Two meet this weekend with leaders Joondalup United making the trip to Hartfield Park to take on Forrestfield United. United sit seven points clear and midfielder Stuart Hartmann believes a good pre-season has been a major factor in their good season to date. “The team is going well at the moment, but that's due to the hard work put in by the squad and coaches’ preseason and training through the season. We try not to look at the table too much and just treat it week by week, and are always looking to improve which is what makes us hard to beat,” he said. “This week is going to be a huge test. I know Forrestfield have a great team so we will have to be at our best to get a result at their pitch. We know we are in for a very tough match.” In team news Joondalup have Tony Taylor back from injury, while Forrestfield have Trent Wood back from suspension. The home side will be without the injured Jason Godfrey and the unavailable Jordan Hart.

Third placed Curtin University travels to Gumblossom Park to meet Quinns FC. The visitors will have Carlo Chiellini, Daniel Young and Nicolay Morland available this week, while Albert Bucchino is in line for a recall after injury. Kingsway Olympic entertain Kelmscott Roos at Kingsway Reserve, while Joondalup City host Rockingham City at the Iluka Sports Complex. Rockingham regain the services of Ryan Kennedy and Martin Barnes from suspension, and Brendan Birney will come into contention, but they will be missing Fraser Marr and Sean Brady due to injury.

In the other games Fremantle United and Balga meet at Hilton Reserve, while Ellenbrook United host Melville City at Arbor Grove Reserve. City will be at full strength, and beat Forrestfield two weeks ago, but lost last week at home to Fremantle, and Graham Herd say’s that loss hurt them. “The win against Forrestfield was huge for us, so the loss to Fremantle United felt like a real let down. No one likes losing, but a loss to your local rivals always hurts that bit extra,” he said. “We are expecting a tough game on Saturday. Ellenbrook have a stronger squad this season, but we have had some good results away from home, and we will be hoping to continue that with this weekend’s trip, heading into the break next weekend.” All games kick off at 3pm on Saturday.

9.7.2014

ISRAELI CHAMPIONS TARGET RUKAVYTSYA

Australian Nikita Rukavytsya could be playing UEFA Champions League football this season with reports he’s close to penning a two-year deal with Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv. 27-year-old Rukavytsa, who played for Australia 13 times, is currently contracted to German club FSV Mainz but spent last week trialling with Maccabi in Austria. Rukavytsya played the first half of Maccabi’s 0-0 friendly draw with Sturm Graz after passing a medical earlier in the training camp.

Maccabi ended their stay in Austria on Monday and it is understood talks have since progressed with Rukavytsya about a potential deal. The former Perth SC striker has another year on his Mainz contract but has been out of favour at the club under Thomas Tuchel. He spent last season on loan at second tier outfit FSV Frankfurt alongside Mathew Leckie. Maccabi Tel Aviv won last season’s Israeli Premier League by seven points and are due to face Andorran side Santa Coloma next week in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.

9.7.2014

WILLIAMS SUFFERS ASIAN CUP SETBACK

Rhys Williams is facing an uphill battle to be match fit for Australia’s 2015 Asian Cup campaign. Williams has been sidelined since January but was expected to be join his club for pre-season training last week. However, Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has now conceded the soon to be 26-year old may be out of action until February. “I prefer to think about January or February and if they are back in November or December that’s better for me,” Karanka told the Evening Gazette, speaking about Williams and injured team mate Mustapha Carayol. Williams has endured an injury-interrupted couple of years, missing the 2010 World Cup due to a pelvic problem and this year’s event after rupturing his Achilles.

8.7.2014

PERTH FLAG SYNTHETIC PITCHES

Increasing demand on playing spaces has led Perth SC to create a $3 million plan to redevelop Dorrien Gardens. The redevelopment would replace existing natural turf with three new synthetic playing fields along with upgrades to parking, lighting and change rooms at Perth’s home ground. The facilities would also be utilised by touch football, gridiron and fitness classes as well as creating a new facility for community groups and local schools.

Use of the main pitch at Dorrien Gardens is currently limited to game days, to give the playing surface time to recover, and club president Gary Marocchi says the installation of synthetic turf would allow more games and training sessions at the venue. “With the existing provision of parks within the City of Vincent at capacity and with no potential to create new spaces for clubs or the community, increasing the usage at Dorrien Gardens is the only viable option,” Marocchi said.

Perth is applying for a Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund State Government grant to cover a third of the redevelopment cost, with the club hoping to win grants from City of Vincent as well as funding part of the upgrade itself. Marocchi said he hoped the redevelopment would start at the end of the 2015 season and be finished by March 2016. Car parking is also a part of the development plans. Perth is holding a public information session about the project on July 16, at 7pm at Dorrien Gardens.

8.7.2014

GARCIA HEADS HOME

One of the worst kept secrets of the A-League off-season has been confirmed with former Socceroos attacker Richard Garcia joining Perth Glory on a two-year deal. Garcia completed fitness testing with Glory conditioning staff last week and trained with his new teammates for the first time on Monday. “It was great to start training and meet all the players,” said Garcia. “I’ve been really impressed with the recruiting strategy of Kenny Lowe and feel that the squad he has assembled has a real chance of achieving success this season.”

Garcia’s move to Glory will see him take to the pitch for his hometown club as a pro footballer for the first time since departing as a 15-year old to go to West Ham United. “It will be fantastic to pull on the purple shirt of Perth Glory and represent my hometown club,” he said. “I can’t wait for the season to start.” Garcia spent 13 years with English clubs West Ham, Leyton Orient, Colchester United and Hull City, amassing 270 league and cup appearances. He was part of Australia’s squad at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and in recent years has played for Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC and Minnesota United.

8.7.2014

GLORY FRIENDLY CALLED OFF

Perth Glory’s first pre-season hit-out, tonight against local club Perth SC, has been cancelled. Glory chief executive Jason Brewer said authorities had refused to sanction the fixture due to the lighting at Dorrien Gardens not being up to the required standard. The club needs official sanctions for all matches for insurance reasons. “You don’t just go and play a game – you have to get it sanctioned,” Brewer said. “There’s a little bit more to it than just turning up and playing, particularly when you’ve got A-League players, with insurance and so on. The venue hasn’t got the sufficient lighting there for us to play.”

The news comes hot on the heels of the cancellation of Glory’s pre-season trip to Malaysia due to logistical reasons. The club is in the process of confirming a small tour of the eastern states, including possible matches against Sydney Olympic and other former National Soccer League clubs. Glory are also looking at playing matches against a West Australian representative team and other local clubs. There are several venues capable of hosting mid-week night matches, including Litis Stadium, Macedonia Park and Intiga Stadium. Brewer said the new pre-season schedule would be confirmed in coming days.

7.7.2014

GRIFFITHS RE-SIGNS WITH CENTRAL COAST

Versatile defender Brent Griffiths will return to the Central Coast Mariners for a third season after finalising a new one-season deal with the club. Griffiths, who has played 17 times for the Mariners since 2012, will provide cover and competitiveness in a squad flush with both experienced and developing defensive talent. Griffiths, a former Stirling Lions junior, played youth team football with English club Blackburn Rovers and has A-League spells at Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix under his belt.

Griffiths, 24, is delighted to have inked a new contract with Central Coast and has made it his goal to be a regular on Phil Moss’s team sheet this summer. “For every player in a 23-man squad you have to be pushing for a starting spot,” Griffiths said. “My personal goal is to make that centre-half position or whatever position I play on the pitch my position. The Coast is a great place to play and I think we’ve got the ability to push for the Asian Champions League and also for the League, so hopefully we can back it up and go further than we did last season.”

7.7.2014

DE SILVA RELISHES US TOUR OPPORTUNITY

Perth Glory prodigy Daniel De Silva is ready to take the next step in his development when the Young Socceroos embark on a two-week trip to the United States this week. The 17-year-old attacking midfielder signed off on his highly anticipated move to Italian giants AS Roma last month and is one month into his second full pre-season with Glory. Team mate Riley Woodcock and Melbourne Victory defender Scott Galloway have also been selected in Australia’s 20-man squad this month's NTC Invitational Tournament in Los Angeles.

De Silva, who joins Roma during the July transfer period next year, says his immediate focus is on success with the national youth team. "It's a good chance to go to LA and play against some quality teams like Chile and the USA," De Silva said. "I'm really looking forward to the trip. It's for 13 days and it's a good thing to play some matches internationally as well. It's always good to develop against world-class players in international matches." The Young Socceroos left Sydney on Wednesday ahead of games against Bermuda (14 July), Chile (16 July) and the United States (18 July).

Australia’s Under-20 squad for the NTC Invitational Tournament in Los Angeles is Paul Izzo, Awer Mabil, Benjamin Warland (Adelaide United), Shayne D’Cunha (Blacktown City), Shannon Brady, Brandon Borrello, Devante Clut (Brisbane Roar), Marc Marino (Campbelltown City), Liam Rose (Central Coast Mariners), Ben Garuccio, Stefan Mauk (Melbourne City), Jordan Brown, Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory), Daniel De Silva, Jordan Thurtell, Riley Woodcock (Perth Glory), Daniel Alessi, Jaushua Sotorio (Western Sydney Wanderers), Hagi Gligor and Christopher Naumoff (Sydney FC).

7.7.2014

VALE ZIGGY KRAMER 1937 - 2014 (Courtesy Inglewood United)

It is with a heavy heart that Inglewood United advises the passing of Siegfried ‘Ziggy’ Kramer, a true legend of West Australian football. Born in the Ukraine in 1937, Kramer emigrated to Australia with his family at the age of 13 and three years later embarked on a sixty-plus year association with the modern day Inglewood club.

A goalkeeper by trade, Kramer first played for Kiev (as Inglewood was then known) in 1953 and over the following decade helped the club climb into the top tier of State League football. Upon retirement Kramer turned his hand to coaching his beloved Kiev, guiding them to Division One (1967) and Top Four Cup (1968) titles.

Between 1971 and 2013 Kramer served on the club committee non-stop, as secretary, treasurer and president, the latter a position he held for nineteen years from 1994. At the same time he also served as a board member for the Professional Soccer League (1998-2001) and Soccer Association of WA (2000-2001).

Kramer’s service to the development of football was recognised in 2003 by the Australian Government, who bestowed upon him the Centenary Medal. He was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame Western Australia in 2002 and last year was awarded Life Membership of Football West.

6.7.2014

LOWE SEEKS MORE ATTACKING OUTLETS

Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe plans to further bolster his attacking options for the upcoming A-League season. Glory’s impressive off- season recruiting drive has already netted Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh along with accomplished attackers Mitch Nichols and Youssouf Hersi. And although former Socceroos forward Richard Garcia is also expected to join the club, Lowe feels he still needs more options before the season starts in October. Glory scored a league-low 28 goals in 27 matches last season and Lowe is looking to rectify the problem.

Lowe has two spots left on the roster, including one for a foreign player, but is unlikely to fill them both. “You probably want to bring some more competition in the attacking third,” the Glory boss said. “We haven’t been a high-scoring team. We seem to have a lot of flair and attacking options at the moment, but I don’t think you can have too much of that. Hopefully we can bring someone in that brings even more quality.” Lowe’s new-look squad is slowly coming together ahead of its first competitive match, a first round FFA Cup tie away to Newcastle Jets on 5 August.

6.7.2014

OXTOBY RETURNS TO GLORY WOMEN

Almost three years after leaving Western Australia to further her playing and coaching career, Tanya Oxtoby has agreed to return to Perth Glory Women for the 2014 W-League season. Oxtoby, who captained Glory Women through their first four seasons, will re-join the club as assistant coach to Jamie Harnwell, who has welcomed the opportunity to reconnect with an important figure in the club’s history. “It’s so important to reward those people who have shown a long commitment to football in this state, and Perth Glory in particular, and as an ex-captain Tanya fits the bill perfectly,” Harnwell said. “She gave everything as a player and I’m sure she’ll come back ready to give her all in a coaching capacity.”

Oxtoby, who has coached at English clubs Notts County and Nottingham Forest, return to Perth next month after completion of club commitments in England. “It’s an honour to come back to the club I captained and have always felt so passionate about,” said Oxtoby, who was twice named Most Glorious Player during her W-League playing career. “I said when I left to go to England two and a half years ago I wanted to go and experience playing at the highest level overseas and develop and grow as both a player and a coach. I’ve learnt so much in the UK and I can’t wait to give something back to the club I love.”

5.7.2014

TWO SENT OFF AS ARMADALE EARN A POINT (by Chris Andrawes, nplwa.com.au)

A dull first half was balanced out by a frenetic second, which had two red cards, an almost comedic goal and a wonder strike as Inglewood and Armadale drew 1-1 at Intiga Stadium yesterday. Armadale took the lead in comical style as a miscommunication between Inglewood goalkeeper Luke Martino and defender Shane Pickering allowed Armadale’s Faustinho Machochi to walk the ball into an unguarded net. But just nine minutes from the end of the 90, a wonderful Greg Sharland free-kick earned Inglewood a point.

Inglewood coach Graham Normanton was frustrated by his team’s performance. “We’ve thrown a lot of points away this year,” he said. “We should’ve won the game; we were comfortably the better side. A screw up at the back cost us the game, we missed simple chances and you can’t do that. “We all have a go at defenders for making mistakes at the back but then you look at the chances we missed and the forwards have got to stand up and take responsibility. We missed a bag full today and we should’ve really won the game.”

In the first half, Inglewood winger David Sesay was guilty of missing one of those chances as he found himself with time and space 5m out but missed the ball during an attempt to score. Striker Ryan Clarke also found himself in on Armadale goalkeeper Mathew Gould several times, only to be denied. Inglewood equalised after Andrija Jukic was pulled down on the edge of the box, allowing skipper Sharland to fire home a brilliant free kick and set up a grand stand finish. The last 10 minutes were substantially harder for Armadale as Billy Quinncroft and Alex Solomons were sent off after scuffles with Inglewood players.

Armadale’s assistant coach Saul Contera was pleased with the result considering the loss of two players. “It would’ve been nice to hold on to the lead but we made a silly error and gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box and Greg Sharland scored a great goal,” he said. “After that, we worked hard until the end and we definitely deserved a point.”

The result leaves Inglewood with a major uphill battle to earn a finals berth. “We’re almost out of it,” Normanton said. “There’s only 18 points left and we we’re 12 points out of the four before we started today, so it’s almost impossible really - something’s got to go our way for us to get there.”

Contera said Armadale’s focus was on developing players over the remaining games. “I don’t think we’re worried about points at all,” he said. “I think this year means pretty much nothing in terms of the league ladder because there’s no relegation. There’s not really anything to play for. It’s just about developing the young side that we have.”

5.7.2014

BAYSWATER BACK ON TRACK (by Aisling Lawless, nplwa.com.au)

Bayswater City got back to winning ways with an inspired performance away to ECU Joondalup on Saturday. Despite an onslaught of chances from the visitors, the controversial penalty converted by Steve Burton was the only goal, ending the game at 1-0. Bayswater Chris Coyne thought his team should have been six goals up at half-time but was not concerned with the final score. “We’ve got good players that understand what I’m asking them to do and they do it really well,” Coyne said. “We’ll be training three nights a week from now on and hopefully we’ll hit our straps and start scoring more goals.”

Joondalup Coach Dale McCulloch had a different take on the game and felt they deserved a draw. “It wasn’t a penalty,” McCulloch said. “I’ll say it straight, it wasn’t a penalty. “Everyone on the sidelines could see it, coaches could see it. The boy has dived and if we keep encouraging that, diving’s never going to get out of the game. “Don’t get me wrong, we were under a lot of pressure for long periods of the game but we really stuck tight and most of their chances were from outside the box. “I’m really upset for that decision to change a game.”

It was a spirited first-half performance from Bayswater but ECU held firm, largely thanks to the stellar performance of keeper Andy Banks. He made a string of impressive saves, including a one-handed stop to prevent Gustavo Marulanda from scoring. Marulanda was also denied a goal in the 11th minute after it appeared an ECU defender stopped the ball on the goal line with his arm but the handball claim was dismissed by the referee. Joondalup had a few great chances, the most impressive being an overhead kick from Tommy Amphlett in the 15th minute, which bounced off the crossbar. Former Bayswater player Danny Dixon’s curling long range shot also beat keeper Devon Spence in the 37th minute but bounced off the inside of the left post.

The main second-half action came when Hassan El Yassiri was deemed to have been brought down in the box in the 73rd minute. Burton comfortably converted the penalty and three minutes later Bayswater almost doubled their lead when Todd Howarth’s long-range effort snuck into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. It was ruled offside due to interference from another player. ECU hunted for an equaliser but could not penetrate Bayswater’s sturdy back line. Coyne said a strong defence has been integral to their campaign this season. “I was a defender myself for so long so I hate it when the boys concede goals,” he said. “But you can see how much it meant to them today to have won. It’s pleasing as a coach as you miss that camaraderie and celebration in the dressing room.”

5.7.2014

MCMURRAY WINS IT LATE FOR SUBIACO (by Peter Simcox, nplwa.com.au)

A goal deep into stoppage time from veteran striker Ian McMurray gave Subiaco a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Floreat Athena at the WA Athletics Stadium. The 37-year-old came off the bench after 71 minutes, moments after Floreat striker Lewis McMahon had been sent off, and the big Scotsman latched onto a through ball from Alex Randell to fire home the winner. “They weren’t keen on the high balls coming into the area and when I came on the lads put long balls up to me and we got back into the game, which is pleasing,” McMurray said. “It’s getting harder every week for me. I’m not getting any younger but I’m happy to come on help the side out. And it’s always nice to score and I was lucky enough today to score the winner.”

The visitors had raced to a 2-0 lead with goals to Aryn Williams and Lewis McMahon but Jordan Rhodes pulled one back for Subiaco two minutes later, before Ger Fitzgerald and McMurray gave the home side a dramatic victory. English midfielder Alex Randell believed Subiaco were playing with confidence and were getting their rewards. “We gave two sloppy goals away to today but we really showed a great deal of fight to hit back and take the points,” he said. “Macca coming on and scoring the winner, not bad for a 37-year-old hey. “We struggled in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half and they made us pay. But the lads never gave up and again we showed character, which we have all season, but haven’t had the rub of the green in earlier games... that makes it four games unbeaten and the confidence is high.”

The first half was a tight affair with chances few and far between as both sides looked to extend their unbeaten runs. The best chance for the visitors came on eight minutes when John Thornley was sent clear by McMahon but Jack Howard was out quick to save. Subiaco went within inches of the lead seven minutes later. Rowdy Yates was given far too much room on the edge of the penalty area, and his low shot beat Tom Dixon, but flicked the base of the far post and away to safety. It was getting heated on the park and referee Steven Gregory had to speak to McMahon and Subiaco defender George Tchami after the pair squared up just before the break.

Floreat dominated after the break and McMahon’s clever lob from the edge of the box bounced off the crossbar and back into the grateful arms of Howard. But on the hour the visitors’ dominance was rewarded with the lead. Ludovic Boi found space on the left and pulled the ball back to Williams, who fired home from 8m. The visitors doubled their lead five minutes later. Jamie Eames found McMahon wide on the right, and the English striker volleyed home superbly, beating Howard at his near post. It looked like there would only be one winner but Subiaco pulled one back immediately. Rory Feely’s ball into the box found Rhodes, who made no mistake from close-range.

The game took another twist on 71 minutes when McMahon was sent off after an off the ball incident. Subiaco lifted and McMurray’s header crashed off the post moments later and their pressure finally paid off in the 90th minute. Rhodes sent McMurray racing clear down the left hand channel, his ball into the area picked out Fitzgerald at the back post, and he made no mistake from close-range. Both sides pressed for the winner and Floreat almost got it. Boi crossed to Eames, who was in on goal, but a great last ditch block from Nathan Diaz saved the day for Subiaco. With the clock ticking into the fourth minute of stoppage time, a long ball over the top from Feely sent McMurray in on goal, the striker raced clear and finished clinically past Dixon, to seal the win and set off wild celebrations.

“We didn’t deserve to be 2-0 down but that’s football - we gave away a couple of soft goals,” Subiaco coach Gerry McEwan said. “When they had the lad sent off we put an extra player up front and we created a number of chances from then on, and thankfully we took two of them to win the match.”

5.7.2014

GLORY GO DOWN AGAIN (by Daryn McCleave, nplwa.com.au)

Devon Gibson struck the winner on the hour mark as Cockburn City condemned the young Perth Glory side to their ninth successive defeat and kept alive the Cockerels’ own slim hopes of reaching the NPL WA top four finals series. The 2-1 victory at Dalmatinac Park has left City in sixth place, nine points adrift of fourth-placed Sorrento with six rounds to play. Matt Barlow gave the Cockerels a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute as the home side finished the opening half the stronger. But Glory bounced back onto level terms just three minutes after the interval through Jacob Collard's second effort after his initial shot had struck the woodwork. But Gibson's low strike from distance ensured the hosts took the three points they deserved.

Cockburn coach Marc Anthony acknowledged the Glory side provided tough opposition but felt his side bossed the game after a scrappy first 15 minutes. "We created a number of chances but we made it difficult for ourselves conceding straight after half-time,” he said. “We restricted them and we probably should have had one or two more ourselves. "We expected them to come out straight after the break and they did and they scored - that's something we need to address. But we're glad to have got the three points and we move on to next week.”

Cockburn took total command midway through the first half and went ahead when Barlow was picked out by a long pass. He managed to stretch out a leg to prod the bouncing ball past a static Luke Radonich in the Glory goal. Barlow almost grabbed his second moments later, clipping an effort beyond Radonich but this time the keeper was relieved to see the crossbar come to his aid. But for all their domination the Cockerels could have squandered their lead before the break when Gian Albano - despite being in an obvious offside position – did not play to the whistle. Albano had paused at the raising of the Assistant Referee's flag and by the time the Glory winger realised the referee had overruled his linesman, the chance had gone.

However, in the 48th minute Glory were level again with a potential offside offence a big talking point as Jacob Collard raced away. His first shot was touched on to a post by Dejan Aleksic but the forward followed up well to slam the loose ball into an empty net. Cockburn's winner in the 60th minute was a well-struck shot from around 30m by Gibson that gave Radonich no chance despite a full length dive. Radonich later denied Gibson again with a good double stop and the hosts were left appealing in vain for a penalty following a clumsy challenge on Barlow as City sought to kill off any hopes of another Glory equaliser.

Glory coach John Gibson thought his side were outstanding and deserved more out of the game. "First half we took a while to get going but second half we did really well and the boys stuck it out to the end and showed excellent team spirit,” he said. "We are improving every week and developing nicely."

5.7.2014

PERTH TAKE THE HONOURS IN THE DERBY (by Bianca Niederberger, nplwa.com.au)

Perth SC’s Mark Doninger converted from the penalty spot as his side secured a 1-0 win in the Ferrari Cup against Balcatta at Dorrien Gardens. A display of sleek Ferraris and Maseratis, reflecting the Italian heritage of both clubs, greeted spectators on their arrival at the ground. And there was plenty of grunt on the pitch, too, with a hard-fought arm wrestle of a match decided from the spot. The victory left third-placed Perth trailing Balcatta on goal difference only.

Perth coach Taki Nicoladis said his team had been acutely aware of Balcatta’s recent string of good form going into the match. “To come here and get a win against a team that were above us and that have been in form for about 8-10 weeks is a great result for us,” he said. “Clarke Keltie and James Marocchi were showed great leadership at the back both in unfamiliar roles, so although we didn’t track hard enough or well enough in the second half, we defended very well today.”

With the added bonus of Adrian Caceres joining the fold, Perth showed they meant business from the start and dominated the first half, creating all sorts of dramas for the Balcatta back line. While Balcatta showed glimpses of their recent winning form, chances for the visitors were few and far between as Perth maintained a defensive stranglehold over the usual suspects Lawrence Shuruma, Alex Caniglia and Carlo Coelho. Recent Perth recruit Jason Barrera added some new options upfront in terms of pace and innovation but lacked a certain connection with his fellow attackers Doninger and Aden Da Luz.

Perth scored the sole goal for the match in the 22nd minute after being gifted a penalty for a trip in the box. Doninger made it look easy as he sent keeper Clint Davies the wrong way. Unable to find any joy before half-time, Balcatta came out hard after the break, hoping to find a way through the previously impenetrable Perth defence. They even tried playing the tall Adam Tong up front in an attempt to force their way through, or over, Marocchi, Keltie and Josh Wilkins but to no avail. Perth were not finding it easy to advance either, passing on a few half chances as their efforts became increasingly defensive. As Ben Meredith missed a real chance from the edge of the box in the dying minutes of the game, Balcatta had run out of time and energy and Perth had done enough.

Nicolaidis said his team were looking very good depth wise but were very much coming through a period of transition. “We haven’t had the same starting 11 for quite a few weeks now and that’s not an easy thing for anyone to deal with,” he said. “With the addition of Barrera and Caceres, and a few of our senior players returning to the mix over the next few weeks, things will start to settle down and we’ll just get better and better.”

5.7.2014

CANHAM GRABS LATE EQUALISER (by Colin Outhwaite, nplwa.com.au)

Sean Canham's 83rd minute goal kept Sorrento's minor premiers hopes alive as they drew 1-1 with Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. David Micevski scored from the spot in the 22nd minute but the Lions couldn't retain their lead for the remainder of the game. Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell said they worked hard for the point. "Stirling dominated for large portions of the first half but I thought we were fantastic in the second," he said. “That’s now four games unbeaten but we just haven’t been sticking the ball in the net.”

Sorrento's defence was impenetrable in the first half but slipped up when they brought down Jack Salter in the box and Micevski smashed in the resulting penalty. Salter could have doubled their lead in the 53rd minute when he latched onto a Micevski flick-on but keeper Curtis Aspden was unchallenged. Sorrento gained composure and hassled the Lions in the air with long balls towards the front men. In the 76th minute Todd Harnwell almost got the breakthrough as he beat keeper Aleks Vrteski in an aerial challenge forcing Rikki Smith to make his second goal-line clearance.

As the Gulls pressed for the equaliser they became exposed at the back and substitute Moses Kalau came close with Stirling’s only shot on target in the second half hitting the inside of the post. Sorrento's pressure paid off when stand-in captain Daryl Platten headed a corner towards goal for Canham to finish. Sorrento were reduced to 10 men in the dying moments when Brodie Martin received a second yellow card but it didn't leave enough time for the Lions to capitalise.

Stirling coach Gary Williams thought his side were the better team overall. "I'm not saying we played the best football but I thought our first-half performance in terms of team work and effort was exceptional," he said. "We needed a win to keep the pressure on Sorrento so to concede a goal so late feels like a defeat." Stirling head into a match against league leaders Bayswater City but Williams is confident. "On our day we can beat any team in the league,” he said. “It's just getting that mental strength and believing we can.”

5.7.2014

WINDMILLS RALLY TO SINK CANNING (by Tristan Lavalette, footballwest.com.au)

Canning City coach Paul Van Dongen has savaged his team’s work ethic after their 2-1 loss to Morley-Windmills during All Flags State League Division One action on Saturday. The visitor’s dominated the early stages at Wotton Reserve and led after Michael Van Dongen pounced on a defensive mistake from Jean-Marc d’Avray to give Canning the early initiative. But Canning’s flair disappeared and they struggled to retain possession for a good chunk of the middle stages of the match to let slip a winnable game.

Van Dongen said he gave his team a tongue lashing after the game. “We let ourselves down and we should have gone two up after dominating the first 20 minutes,” he said. “We dropped our heads after letting a cheap goal through and our work rate was down. “We have periods where we lack concentration, don’t work hard enough and give away cheap goals.”

Morley capitalised on Canning’s stupor and levelled the score in the 33th minute when an errant header from Thomas Gibbins went straight to Kyle King, who rifled the ball past goalkeeper Luke Stonebridge. Ryan McGovern gave Morley the lead in the 55th minute when he pounced on a loose ball deep in attack and tapped the ball into the net. After a listless 40 minutes, and with defeat looming, Canning shook off their lethargy and started to attack Morley. But their bid for an equaliser was dealt a blow when Dean Apelgren received his second yellow card in the 78th minute and was sent off.

Despite being handicapped by manpower, Canning dominated the final stages with midfielders Ryan Tucker and Simon Versaico scything through Morley’s defence. But Morley goalkeeper Daniel Agudelo proved the hero when he brilliantly saved two shots in stoppage time.

Morley coach Jason Van Rooy said at his team believed it could win after weathering Canning’s early storm. “Our determination and attitude was the catalyst for the turnaround,” he said. “We allowed them early to get into the game and our guys were not working hard enough. “We had a will to win and were confident we could get the victory once we levelled the score.”

5.7.2014

JOONDALUP KEEP THEIR LEAD AT THE TOP (Courtesy Joondalup United)

Joondalup United kept their seven point margin at the top of the Second Division ladder intact, after a 4-1 win against Kingsway Olympic at Forrest Park. First half goals to Josh Whitmore, Stuart Hartmann and Callum Stocks put the home side in control. Liam Hurley pulled a goal back for the visitors after the break, but Adam Buckley added a fourth for the home side late. “Kingsway were a much better side to when we first played them in round one and it was pleasing to see the boys take another three points,” United Coach Daniel Smith said. “The intensity in the first half was impressive to watch and the boys worked hard to make sure another win was registered. The lads that came in were fantastic for us today; it's showing the strength of this squad and the hunger they all have inside them to get the result.”

United were out of the blocks early and ahead after only five minutes, Josh Whitmore finding space in the penalty area, and firing home from four-meters. They doubled their advantage three minutes later; Garin Collins’ free kick found Hartmann whose diving header gave Kingsway keeper Michael Brand no chance. It was 3-0 on the stroke of half time, Stocks received the ball in the penalty area, and his great first touch took him clear of his marker before firing low past Brand from a tight angle, via the far post.

After the break Kingsway were back in the game, when they reduced the margin five minutes in. A long-range free kick from Brett Cutting beat United keeper James Bosdet, and cannoned off the cross bar, but Hurley was quickest to react to home into an empty net. Kingsway went close again on the hour, a great through ball sent John Paul Mills one-on-one with Bosdet, but the striker dragged his shot wide of the target. United added their fourth in the last minute, second half substitute Buckley raced clear to fire home his 10th goal of the season.

5.7.2014

GLORY TO FACE SPAIN’S MALAGA

Perth Glory has added a friendly with Malaga CF to their pre-season scheduled. The game, scheduled for 27 July at Perth Oval, will be the first time Western Australia has hosted a La Liga team and will be the first opportunity Glory fans will have to watch their new-look team. “It’s fantastic that ‘Los Boquerones’ will be coming to Australia for the first time in their 110-year history and that Glory fans will get the chance to see a top flight Spanish club playing here in Perth against their team,” said Glory chief executive Jason Brewer.

Malaga, a La Liga mainstay for the past 33 years, play Glory as part of their LFP World Club Challenge which includes a meeting with Adelaide United on 25 July. “They’re going to be bringing a very strong squad to Australia, and this should make for an exciting and entertaining game,” Brewer added. ““The La Liga is one of the strongest and most popular leagues in the world and I’m sure all football fans in Perth and each and every Glory supporter will relish the opportunity to see their team take on Malaga.”




Articles compiled by Brett Klucznik, Paul Oliver and Peter Simcox unless otherwise stated.

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

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