Armadale celebrate winning their first ever State Cup.

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17.7.2018

AMATEUR LEAGUE CUP, QUARTER-FINALS – PREVIEW (courtesy Chris Brady, WA Sunday Leagues Facebook)

Cold Wednesday night football in mid-July means one thing: it’s Amateur Cup quarter final time again. This year the quarter finals have been spread across two Wednesday evenings, with the first two games taking place tomorrow night and the final two scheduled for next week.

First up it’s an all Amateur Premier League affair between Jaguar and Hamersley Rovers, this Wednesday night at Macedonia Park, Balcatta. Jaguar has had a very impressive first season in the Amateur Premier League, and currently sits 4th place on the table. So far in their Amateur Cup run, Jaguar has notched up wins over Caversham (forfeit), Curtin University and in the last round ran out 4-2 winners over fellow Premier League side Belmont Rovers. Jaguar heads into Wednesday’s match coming off a 3-3 draw at UWA over the weekend and coach Chol Kong believes his side will need to be at their very best to get their name in the draw for the semi finals.

“We know how good Hamersley are as a team, and they are in the quarter finals for good reason. So tomorrow we need to play well as a team and be 100% focussed from start to finish. We have come this far in the Cup and we will be looking to go even further, and don’t believe there is any reason why we shouldn't.”

“I believe it will be a great game; two teams that will be looking to put everything on the line to get the win and to progress to the semi-finals. We will be up for this challenge.”

“Last Sunday against UWA was one that I feel we as a team let ourselves down and missed a chance to close the gap to second place. However we have to accept the draw because in this league every point is valuable, and we now look forward to a big cup game against Rovers tomorrow night.”

Hamersley Rovers meanwhile heads into Wednesday’s game after a disappointing 5-2 loss at Belmont Villa over the weekend. Despite an inconsistent run of league form, Hamersley has taken some big scalps in their cup run to date (Fraser Park and East Perth) and Hammers’ David Morris is hoping to see this continue tomorrow night.

“I feel on our day we can beat any amateur side - as proven by our results against North Perth and Kingsley – however we seem to getting up for the big games and then dropping our intensity against the lower placed sides. This inconsistency has been very frustrating for our playing group, and more often than not we are our own worst enemy at times, as happened again on Sunday at Belmont.”

“The Premier League has been crazy this season, where anyone can take points off anyone, if you’re even just slightly off your game on the day. This has left it a very close league, where a couple of wins can see a side jump up the table a few spots but on the flip side, a few bad results can see you slide down the ladder. So we must take it game by game and especially now look to take points off teams in and around us.

“We are really looking forward to tomorrow’s Cup game and it will no doubt be another tough battle with Jags. We really want to keep the cup run going and go as far as possible, especially as only a few Premier sides will be left standing after the Quarter Finals. If we take in the same attitude that we’ve shown in some of our big league wins so far this season, I’m confident we will get a positive result.”

Kick-off at Macedonia Park on Wednesday night is 6.15pm, with Hamersley also facing Kwinana United in the Reserves Cup quarter final immediately afterwards.

In Wednesday’s other game, it’s an all lower league encounter as Westnam United faces off against Stirling Panthers.

Westnam is currently flying high in Division 3, where they sit second, and are coming off a big 5-1 league win over Canning City on the weekend. So far in their cup run, Westnam has notched up impressive wins over Brooklands, Emerald and Woodvale and evergreen Westnam goalkeeper Daniel Fletcher says they go into Wednesday’s match full of confidence.

“We have been following Stirling’s results since the draw came out, and we are under no illusions: they are a quality side and it shapes as our toughest challenge so far this season. One bonus for Westnam is with us being a Division 3 side, not many teams left in the Cup will know much about us or our players, so we think this can help up spring a few surprises on Wednesday night.”

“How we apply ourselves during the 90 minutes tomorrow will determine how successful we are. The lads are buzzing and can't wait to show the wider footballing community how well Westnam can play. Despite a few injuries that has slightly derailed our league title chase over the past few weeks, we go into tomorrow’s game near full strength and ready for the challenge.”

“We wish all involved at Stirling Panthers all the best for tomorrow night, and we hope plenty of neutral fans from the wider football community come out to watch, as I’m sure they will be are treated to a very high standard match.”

Their opponents on Wednesday meanwhile, Stirling Panthers, are having a good season under new coach Luke O’Neill and currently sit 3rd on the Division 1 table. O’Neill is no stranger to cup success, having coached North Perth Reserves to a cup win in 2017, and so far his side’s run has seen them take the scalps of Mandurah City, Fremantle City and Perth Hills United.

However, they do come into Wednesday night’s game on the back of a 7-1 loss to Queens Park in league action over the weekend, and O’Neill says Wednesday night’s game provides a great opportunity for his players to respond straight away.

“Obviously the result on the weekend was disappointing, but full credit to Ricardo and the Queens Park boys who outplayed us and played some great football from start to finish on Sunday. What I’m looking to see tomorrow night is a positive response and performance from my players.”

“This year things at the Panthers are going along well. The club has made some changes to the coaching staff and there have been a few players coming in and going out. So far it’s been a massive learning experience for myself and we as a club are enjoying the challenge so far. Division 1 is a tough and very competitive league; every week we’re up against strong opposition, and we think this puts us in good stead for a big cup game on Wednesday night.”

“As you know, in the cup anything can happen and we know Westnam will be a tough opponent. From all accounts, they are a technically strong and speedy outfit. However we have full confidence in the Stirling boys to be up for the battle and the squad have worked hard in each cup round to get to this position, so they all want to go even further.”

Kick-off at Gerry Archer Reserve, Belmont this Wednesday is 8.15pm.

Warnbro faces UWA-Nedlands immediately beforehand in the Reserves Cup quarter finals.

15.7.2018

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION, ROUND THIRTEEN – REVIEW

It was week 13 of the Belt-Up Sunday Amateur Premier Division and in the top of the table clash third placed Kingsley travelled to John Connell Reserve and came home with a 1-0 win against second placed Lemming Strikers. The only goal of the game came on 35 minutes, when a long throw from Lee Thomas was flicked on by Aaron Lickiss, and Sean Johnson headed it home. Both sides had chances after the break but couldn’t convert and with the win Kingsley leap-frogged their hosts to move into second. “It was a fiery encounter as it always is with Leeming, but it was a great win for the boys, well deserved and we had to show good character not to retaliate to all the off the ball incidents,” winger Jayden Drummond said. “Leeming coach (David Palin) has them well trained, but we all dug deep and battled for a well-deserved three points.

With that draw, North Perth United have extended their lead at the top of the table to six points after they beat Kwinana United 3-0 at Woodville Reserve. It was a surprisingly near perfect football conditions, and the home side opened brightly but wasted several chances early, including two one-on-one’s and the rattlesnake (Paddy Montgomery) blazed over from close-range on 20 minutes. But after the break that all changed, and on the hour, they hit the front. A ball into the box was well controlled by Richard Dendle, and he showed great composure to finish clinically from 10 meters. They doubled their advantage five minutes later, Dendle was the supplier this time, picking out Montgomery who smashed a half volley in the net. Then 10 minutes from time the points were wrapped up, Ago Mujic finishing well after a quick counter attack. North Perth Coach Alex Carter, who was back from his overseas scouting mission, send it was a good performance especially with some players pulling out just before the game. “Pleased with the win, especially after we had two central defenders withdraw on the morning of the game for different reasons and we lost Niall Murray after 15 minutes in with an ankle injury,” he said. “So today was evidence of the strength of the squad, and the players who came performed very well.”

Jaguars lost ground on the top three after they were held to a 3-3 draw against UWA-Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. The visitors made the perfect start and were ahead on the quarter hour, with Emmanuel Aniyego on target. They doubled their lead 15 minutes later, Michael Wantee’s shot was well saved by the UWA keeper but Akuei Guot was quickest to react to score from the rebound. But UWA hit back before half time, a free kick into the penalty area was controlled on the chest by Steve White, and he turned and volleyed home superbly. It was all level moments into the second half a corner wasn’t dealt with by the Jags defence and Octavio Bonnet finished well from 10 meters. The home side then hit the front, a corner picked out Arthur Hiemstra who rose highest to head home powerfully. Jags pressed looking for the equaliser and 15 minutes from time they found it. A quick counter attack saw Wantee race clear, before cutting the ball back to Guot, who was brought down by the UWA keeper and the referee pointed to the spot. Wantee stepped up and beat the keeper to give both sides a share of the spoils. “I had low expectations of the game due to the many players away this week,” Hiemstra said. “Incorporating some valuable lessons learned from last week’s game against Kingsley in combination with reserves team players stepping up and great effort across the team helped secure a result against a tough opponent.”

Wembley Downs moved to fifth after a 3-0 win against bottom of the table Southern Spirit at Watson Reserve. The home side were on the front foot early, but they couldn’t find a break through, as Wembley struggled to get into the game. But that all changed after half time and the visitors were ahead when Dean Wall lost his marker to finish well from a cross from out wide. They doubled their lead when Jurai Galba rose highest to head home a free kick, and they wrapped up the points when Ryan Fish scored from the spot after the referee had spotted a handball in the penalty area. “It was a tough game for us, and the first half for us was poor with Spirit probably looking more likely to score,” Fish said. “But after a good team talk at half time we came out a much more composed side, and in the end, it was pleasing to get the three points. It was also good to have a few new faces stepping up with some of the regular first teamers away.”

The points were shared at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub with Ellenbrook Rovers and Subiaco fighting out a 1-1 draw. The home side were on top in the first half, but the performance of Subiaco keeper Jeff Cornez kept them at bay. But there was little he could do when the home side hit the front. Max Harlen raced down the right and cut inside a couple of defenders before cutting the ball back to new dad Albert Amankwaa who tapped in to finish a great team move. Matty Clarke then saw a shot crash off the crossbar, but It looked like they would take the points, but Subiaco levelled late. A ball wasn’t dealt with on the edge of the penalty area, and Paul Sopp pounced who raced into the box and finished well past the keeper. “We knew Subiaco would be strong and would be coming for three points, they have had some decent results lately,” Clarke said. “We were more than ready for this and the lads were ready for a battle, and I thought we played well and created enough chances, and we thought we were unfortunate to go into the break goalless after the Subiaco keeper made some very good saves. Nonetheless we came out in the second half looking for the breakthrough and found it. From there we were pushing for the second but couldn’t find it and to their credit Subiaco kept fighting and got their reward at the death to clinch a point.”

In the final game Belmont Villa jumped to eighth after a 5-2 win against Hamersley Rovers at Gerry Archer Sports Complex. The side were on to early and it wasn’t a surprise when they opened the scoring. A great move down the right ended with David Morris who fed Cosimo Figliomeni, who finished well. Rovers couldn’t find the second their pressure deserved and were caught out before the break with Belmont levelling against the run of play. They capitalised on a keeper error and Ahmed Raheen ran into the box to score. At the break the home side made a few changes and hit the front when Patrick Barry scored from the penalty spot after a foul on Ryan Baxter. It was 3-1 when Raheen scored from another penalty after James Fay was fouled in the box. Rovers were back in the game, when a deep cross from Matt Emery hit the post and rebounded back into the net. Rovers then hit the woodwork two more times as they pressed for the equaliser, but they were caught out at the other end when Belmont added two late goals on the counter attack, both from Nasser Lamy to give them a 5-2 win. “Disappointed with our first half display, and we were lucky to still be in it,” Belmont Head Coach Phil Weal said. “But big credit to the boys, they got stuck in after half time and deserved the win. We have gone seven games without a win, and in that time, we have played some pretty good football without any reward, so very happy to get a win - finally.”

14.7.2018

BELT-UP AS JACKSON IS ON FIRE

A brace from in-form Armadale striker Chris Jackson has helped Armadale lift the Belt-Up State League Cup Final, after a 2-0 win against Gwelup Croatia at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon. In front of a big crowd Jackson scored two clinical goals in each half to secure the win, and his performance was also rewarded by being voted the best player on the day and winning the Stan Lazaridis Medal. “It was a good team effort, we grafted for each other and fought till the end and the two shots we had, we managed to take,” Jackson said. “I was fortunate to get both, but the service I got today was a great, and once we had that two-goal cushion we soaked up their pressure and hit them on the break. Our supporters are brilliant we love playing in front of them at home and it’s quiet when we go away, but it is great to hear them celebrating our win today.”

It was the first appearance in a State League Cup Final for both sides, and it was Armadale who opened the brighter and Michael Rizidis fired over after only four minutes. But that miss was forgotten six minutes later when the Reds opened the scoring. Rizidis played a superbly weighted through ball into the path of Jackson, and the English striker didn’t have to break stride and he raced in on goal and finished clinically past Connor Campbell and into the corner of the net.

Gwelup looked to hit back and went close to the equaliser on 20 minutes, James Sammut’s corner wasn’t dealt with and Cameron Yorke’s shot at the back post was well-blocked by some desperate Armadale defending. Armadale looked compact at the back and were lively on attack and almost doubled their lead on the half hour, the lively Rizidis sent Jackson out wide on the left, and his cross shot had to be tipped over the top by Campbell.

Gwelup opened the second half well, and Benjamin Kouakou’s low cross was well claimed by the alert Sam Hutchings. Moments later they had their best chance of the game, David Heagney made space down the right and whipped in a teasing cross to Noah Shamaki, who lost his marker, but he fired wide. That miss came back to haunt Gwelup sixty seconds later, as Armadale added a second. A ball over the top sent Jackson racing clear, he controlled the ball well and finished superbly from the edge of the box, much to the delight of the Armadale faithful.

It was a huge blow for Taki Nicolaidis’ side but they continued to press, and Brodie Martin blazed over top before Kwangmook Lim fired straight at Hutchings. Gwelup weren’t going down without a fight and Bobby Wilson’s header was well saved by Hutchings, before Kouakou fired wide of the target. Hutchings was then alert to tip Lim’s curing shot around the post late. But time ran out and at the final whistle it was the Armadale players, coaches and supporters celebrated their first ever Cup Final win, and Coach O’Reilly paid credit to the clubs hard working committee and supporters.

“We’re a team of fighters and we knew Gwelup posed some serious challengers for us and we made sure defensively we were solid today,” he said. “Chris (Jackson) scored two great goals for us but we were delighted with the defensive effort of the whole team today, and I can’t single out one person it was a fantastic team performance. I’m absolutely delighted for the club and our supporters and for the people behind the scenes, who put a great deal of work in, this is for them and we're so pleased to have been able to give them a day out like this, and something to remember going forward - I’m so happy for everyone involved in this great club."

Gwelup coach Taki Nicolaidis said it wasn’t their day. “Obviously bitterly disappointed that we missed an opportunity for some silverware, but fair play to Armadale who took their chances when it counted and that was the real difference at the end,” he said. “We will need to lick our wounds very quickly and get back on the bike as we now need to focus on our upcoming league games and the upcoming FFA cup game against Adelaide Comets.”

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 5 David ANNALL, 7 Charlie KENNA, 9 Billy QUINNCROFT (C), 10 Chris JACKSON, 11 Michael RIZIDIS, 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 15 Ali GHOLAMI, 16 Charlie SIMPSON, 17 James ATKINS (22 Ryan HASLETT 69’), 21 Beau RAHIM - Subs not used: RGK Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 14 Milan OGNJENOVIC, 18 Brad GRIEPL. 20 Friday ZICO,

Gwelup Croatia: GK Connor CAMPBELL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Kwangmook LIM, 4 Cameron YORKE, 6 Brodie MARTIN (17 Sebastian MUNOZ 77’), 7 James SAMMUT (C), 9 David HEAGNEY, 10 Benjamin KOUAKOU, 12 Noah SHAMAKI (11 Isaac KOOMSON 66’), 14 Victor BRAUNER, 20 Bobby WILSON - Subs not used: RGK Patrick STEPHENSON, 16 Stephen O’LEARY, 21 Reece ABRAMS - Referee: Stephen Gregory

14.7.2018

BUKURU AT THE DOUBLE FOR GLORY

Perth Glory have won their first ever State League Cup competition, after beating Sorrento 2-1 to win the 2018 Belt-Up State League Cup at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon. A first half double from Abias Bukuru put Glory in control, but an own goal from keeper Nic Speca gave Sorrento hope after the break. Despite Sorrento having midfielder Seamus Edwards sent off, they pressed late looking for the equaliser, but Glory held on. "Really happy to get the goals and although they came back at us after half time, we wanted to play our style of football and I thought we did and were well worth our win,” Bukuru said. “The players are delighted to win the first cup final for the club, but our first team are playing well and are top of the league, so that’s exciting too.”

Glory were well on top early and it wasn't a surprise when they took the lead on 14 minutes. Aidan Edwards found Sasa Njegic in the middle of the park and he slide the ball through to Bukuru who finished clinically past Sorrento keeper Anastasis Farsalas. It was one-way traffic as Glory looked for a second, and Njegic curling free kick was well saved by Farsalas, before the same player was denied again by the big Sorrento keeper, who did well to save Edwards’ follow up shot.

But on 29 minutes their pressure was rewarded with a second. Tiago De Souza raced down the left and he whipped in a cross to the penalty area and Bukuru lost his marker and his glancing header beat Farsalas. It was Glory who ended the half well, and Sorrento were struggling to cope with their run and movement and Bukuru was denied his hat-trick after a great last-ditch tackle from Jordan Fazzari, before Farsalas produced another good save to thwart Jordan Abrahams.

But after the break Sorrento lifted and had Glory on the back foot and Connor Shimmin’s cross was only inches away from Charles Breen at the back post early. Then on 56 minutes Sorrento reduced the margin when Shimmin’s corner was punched into his own net by Speca, under pressure from two Sorrento players. But the Gulls’ comeback was halted nine minutes later when Seamus Edwards was shown a second yellow card by referee Brendan Skinner and was sent off.

Glory settled and Bukuru should have completed his hat-trick moments later. Njegic sent Trent Ostler down the right and his cross picked out the unmarked striker, but he blazed over the top. It was the ten men Sorrento who ended the game well and Breen shot was well held by Speca, before Farah produced a great last-ditch tackle to deny Breen. With the clock ticking into injury time Sorrento had one final chance to level, but Danny Jones’ shot was saved low by Speca.

Perth Glory: GK Nicholas SPECA, 2 Harry QUIGLEY, 3 Nicholas MCDONALD, 4 Zayd FARAH (C), 5 Tiago DESOUZA, 6 Cameron MCLEAN (13 Kian MCGUIGAN, 7 Jordan ABRAHAMS, 8 Aidan EDWARDS (12 Joshua SAMSON 91’), 9 Sasa NJEGIC, 10 Abias BUKURU, 11 Trent OSTLER - Subs not used: 14 Nicolas WALSH, 15 Jacob MUIR

Sorrento: GK Anastasis FARSALAS, 3 Jaxon TEMATA, 12 Joel PROUT (32 Jason PETRIE 51’), 22 Danny JONES, 24 Jordan FAZZARI, 25 Gino HAMPSHINE (28 Alexandro LOI 68’), 30 Jesse OWVOR, 31 Connor SHIMMIN (27 Tristian STEVENS 66’), 33 Seamus EDWARDS, 34 Charles BREEN, 35 Sam FAULKNER - Subs not used: RGK Noah BLOCH, 26 Luke JONES - Red Cards: Edwards 65’ - Referee Brendan Skinner



Perth Glory winning the Reserves State Cup

14.7.2018

RIAK WINS 18'S CUP FOR BAYSWATER

A goal just before half time from striker Ajak Riak has given Bayswater City a 1-0 win against Perth SC to win the 2018 Belt-Up State League Under 18's Cup for the first time since 1984 on Saturday morning. Bayswater Coach Gary Williams said it was good to get the win, but they made hard work of it. "It's a great day for the club and all the hard work they are putting in to develop these young players," Bayswater Coach Gary Williams said. "I thought it was a good game and we had plenty of chances, but when you don't take them you could get hurt at the end, but fortunately we didn't today. Full credit to Perth they are a good team and they pushed us all the way, but to my lads well done, we had a few tried legs at the end, but we are second on the table and still in the hunt for the top four and we have some silverware, so I'm delighted."

When the sides met in the league earlier in the season it ended in a 4-4 draw, but it was Bayswater who were on top early and went close early. A cross from the left was cut back from the bye-line to Riak, but the striker was off balance and his shot from eight meters was straight at keeper Sebastian Bell. Perth pressed themselves but we're struggling in the final third, while Bayswater still looked the more dangerous going forward and three minutes before half time they took the lead. A long clearance from keeper Jak Molony wasn't dealt with by the Perth defence, and Riak raced clear one-on-one with the keeper. the striker kept his composure and rounded the keeper and fired home, much to the delight of his teammates.

It was an even start to the second half, but again it was Bayswater creating the better chances, and Daniel Harrison was sent in on goal, but Bell stood tall to make a vital save to keep his side in the game. Bayswater continued to be wasteful in front of goal with Oleg Tarshin creating an opportunity for himself however he shot straight at Bell, before Riak wasted another golden opportunity when the ball was squared across the face of goal however a poor touch let him down and the opportunity went begging.

Late in the game Perth put pressure on the Bayswater defence and won several corners, with keeper Bell also coming up looking for the equaliser, and it nearly came in stoppage time. A corner picked out Adam Buckingham, whose effort was well saved by Molony, and moments later the whistle went. Bayswater skipper Gabriel Riquelme said it was a good performance, but they had to fight hard late as Perth pressed.

"Perth came at us strong late on, but full credit to the boys and the coaches for making some tactical changes, it was a hard-fought win but a deserved one," he said. "We were knocked off the top of the league last week, but we rebounded today to win the cup, so the players are looking to end the season well and hope Glory slip up, but today we celebrate a cup win, and if we had taken our chances it could have been more comfortable."

Bayswater City: GK Jak MOLONY, 2 Tyler GARNER, 3 Jake MELLA, 6 Dean KEZURUR, 7 Gabriel RIQUELME, 8 Conor MCKEE, 10 Ajak RIAK, 13 Gyles DAVIES, 15 Hristian JANKULOSKI, 16 Alex PIETRONIRO, 18 Daniel HARRISON - Subs: 5 Oleg TARSHIN, 11 Jayden LAM, 12 Max VLACHY, 17 Eme NIYIBITANGA, 19 Sam LOSONDO

Perth SC: GK Sebastian BELL, 3 Nicholas MESSINA, 4 Adam BUCKINGHAM, 5 Luke MESSINA, 8 Lennon CRANE (C), 9 James FANELLI, 11 Shay DONOVAN, 15 Lochlan BYRD, 20 William NICHOLSON, 21 Shephard CHIVAMBE, 22 Jojo PARISE - Subs: RGK Adrian SINAGRA, 2 Callum MAGEE, 6 Benjamin PULLELLA, 18 Owen GOODLIFE



Bayswater City celebrate winning the Under 18's State Cup

14.7.2018

PHOENIX BEAT JOONDALUP IN CATCH-UP GAME

South West Phoenix jumped up to sixth on the State League Division One table after a hard fought 2-1 win against Joondalup City in the round six catch up game at WML Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The game was postponed in May, due to the Bunbury Festival being on, and it was the visitors who opened the scoring on ten minutes. Jonny Hulme raced down the left and whipped in a dangerous cross and he picked out Jamie Gardiner who volleyed home.

But the home side levelled before the break. They won possession in the middle of the park and Lee Stewart played a great through ball to Jordan Prosser who raced into the box and finished clinically. The home side hit the front in the second half, Stewart’s shot was well saved but the rebound fell to Michael Farmer who made no mistake. It should have been 3-1 but Jack Eades fired wide from the spot, but they had done enough to take the points.

Prosser said it was a great win in very difficult conditions. “It was great to get the win in some tough conditions, but all the boys stepped up and did a great job and we managed to hold on,” he said. “We just need to keep playing well and keep this good run going. There are some tough games coming up, so we need to just keep working hard and the results we will keep coming." Joondalup skipper Ben Towers thought they deserved something from the game. “It was terrible conditions for football, and we were disappointed that we weren’t able to get anything from the game,” he said. “We will now have to put that result behind us and prepare for a massive game this weekend against Morley.” In other games Joondalup won the under 18’s game 2-1, while the reserves game ended 0-0.

13.7.2018

POPOVIC FACTOR LURES DAVIDSON TO PERTH GLORY

New Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic has added the latest piece of his defensive jigsaw by landing Australia’s 2014 World Cup left-back Jason Davidson on a one-year deal. The 27-year old, who was also a part of the Socceroos’ 2015 Asian Cup winning team, is looking to re-energize his club and international career ahead of the next edition of the tournament in January.

Davidson believes being based in the A-League under a coach with Popovic’s impressive CV will bring out the best in him, and garner the attention of new Socceroos chief Graham Arnold. “It’s exciting what Tony Popovic (and football director) Jacob Burns are building here, and I think the squad that’s being assembled can accomplish big things in the A-League,” said Davidson.

“For me, it’s a chance to make an impression on home soil after being overseas for so many years and hopefully get back into the national team. That’s a massive goal of mine with the Asian Cup coming up and I think I’ve joined the right club, with the right manager, to make that happen ... I’m pleased to be a part of that and I think there are going to exciting times ahead here.”

Davidson will slot into a new-look defence including two other members of Australia’s successful 2015 squad, right-back Ivan Franjic and stopper Matthew Spiranovic. Former fringe Socceroo Tomislav Mrcela is the other new arrival as Popovic beefs up a defence which shipped 50 goals last season, the second-worst record in the A-League.

Davidson cut his teeth woth Portuguese sides Paços de Ferreira and Sporting Covilhã before playing two and a half seasons with Heracles Almelo in the Netherlands. Spells at English clubs West Bromwich Albion and Huddersfield Town were followed by a loan back in the Eredivisie with Groningen.

He missed out on selection for Russia 2018 after a move to Rijeka (Croatia) which didn’t go according to plan. He most recently spent time on loan at Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia, where he was part of the team which won a league and cup double last season. Davidson is likely to make his first appearance for Glory in the upcoming friendly with Chelsea on 23 July.

13.7.2018

POPOVIC TO FACE OLD SIDE IN A-LEAGUE OPENER

New Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic will face his former club Western Sydney Wanderers in a mouth-watering opening A-League clash at Perth Oval. Popovic took Western Sydney to an A-League Premier’s Plate, two Grand Finals and an Asian Champions League title during his five years at the club.

After the opening round clash on Sunday October 21, Glory travel to reigning champions Melbourne Victory followed by a home fixture against Brisbane Roar and a trip to Adelaide United ahead of a weekend break. Football Federation Australia has adopted FIFA international windows and Asian Champions League breaks that mean a later start and finish than previous years.

Glory have five home games in six starting 9 January with fixtures against Sydney FC, western Sydney, Adelaide, Newcastle and Wellington Phoenix, split by an away game against Melbourne City. But they face a tough run of three away games from rounds 20 to 22 against Western Sydney, Melbourne City and Adelaide.

“It’s a fantastic first-up fixture for us. Tony Popovic against his old club over here in Perth. It’s a great clash,” Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said. “Overall it’s a good draw. The home-and-away schedule works well to minimise our travel. It’s never perfect but it’s a lot better than we have had in the past.”

In total Glory will play fourteen games on home soil in 2018/19, five of which kick-off at 7pm on a Saturday. There are six Sunday fixtures, four of which have a 5pm start. The A-League finals series will start between 3 May and 5 May, with the Grand Final scheduled for 18 or 19 May.

13.7.2018

BELT-UP STATE LEAGUE CUP FINAL - PREVIEW

It's the 2018 Belt-up State League Cup Final on Saturday when Armadale take on Gwelup Croatia at Dorrien Gardens. (3.00pm) It's the first appearance in the Final of the WA showpiece cup competition for both sides, and both have big FFA Cup Round of 32 games later in the month, Armadale face NPL Queensland team Cairns FC in Queensland on Wednesday, August 1 (5.30pm WST)., while Gwelup host NPL South Australia side Adelaide Comets also at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday, July 25.

Gwelup beat Quinns FC 3-1 at home in the third round, before an 8-0 win against Kwinana United at Kelly Park. They then upset NPL side Cockburn City 3-1 at home after extra time in the fifth round, before upsetting another NPL side Subiaco 2-1 again in extra time in the sixth round. That set up a Semi-Final against Floreat Athena and they ran out 4-1 winners with goals to Benny Kouakou (2), Victor Brauner and David Heagney.

Gwelup Coach Taki Nicolaidis said the Semi-Final win against Floreat was a great performance especially after going into the game as underdogs. "The Floreat game had everything you want from a typical cup game, a large crowd, lots of goals, tight game, good intensity and entertaining football," he said. "As the underdogs and with so much at stake it was very rewarding to come away with the right result." Skipper Sebastian Munoz said on the day they were clinical, and that was the difference. "I thought it was a hard-fought game, and it was closer than the score shows," he said. "But unfortunately for Floreat, on the day we were just very clinical."

Nicolaidis' side sit on top of the first division table, and he said his side have stepped up this season in both league and cup but he knows they need to keep improving. "It’s been a fantastic season so far and the squad has definitely stepped up to the challenges that have been put in front of us in both the league and cup," he explained. "Whilst we are happy with our progress we are under no illusions that we haven’t won anything yet and will be on our players back to ensure we maintain our high standards and focus on not letting this good work go to waste." Munoz said the work the coaching staff have put in this season is now paying dividends. "Taki and Richie, as well as Eric, have been handing out great sessions to get us fit and prepare us for these sort of games," he said. "We now need to go out and get the job done on Saturday."

The pair are both aware the strength that Armadale have in their side but they are ready for the challenge. "Saturday will be another war, with two hard battling teams who do not like to lose," Munoz said. "It'll be quiet the chess match, but definitely one for the spectators." Nicolaidis echoed the skipper’s comments and he said they will be doing all they can to bring the trophy home. "Armadale are red hot at the moment and will be probably our toughest test this year," he said. "Whilst Chris Jackson has been a stand out and scoring for fun for them this season, our focus can’t be solely on one player as they have plenty of others that have stepped up this year and can be match winners on their day. We have worked hard on the game plan that will best suit us and the boys are determined to put in a performance that they will be proud of and hope to win the State Cup for the club and themselves."

Armadale progressed to the final - The Reds had to come from behind to beat Rockingham City 3-2 in Round four at Lark Hill, and did likewise against Balcatta, again a 3-2 win at Grindleford Reserve, before beating Dianella White Eagles 5-2 at home to set up a Semi-Final at home to ECU Joondalup, where goals to Billy Quinncroft, Nathan Costello and Chris Jackson gave them a 3-2 win. The Semi-Final was a great result for the club and Coach John O'Reilly said it was a deserved win. "I felt we were in control of that game, and we had nullified there two main strengths in Nicol and Smith for large periods of the first 70 minutes," he explained. "We got our goals and then we had to bed in and see out the final 20 minutes. I thought we deserved the win, not just for those 90 minutes but for the effort the lads have put in all season to get us into this position in the first place." Skipper Billy Quinncroft said they were confident they could get the win. "ECU are a good side and that game was always going to be a tough one," he said. "But we were confident going into the game and fair play to the lads who ground out a result a got the job done."

Armadale are seventh on the NPL table and are playing well with striker Chris Jackson on fire in front of goal, but O'Reilly said it's been a team effort. "Chris definitely deserves the praise and recognition he is receiving and he is a big character that likes to prove he is one of the best, but for him to be doing as well as he is, he needs the support and service that the team have been providing," he explained. "Last year we created plenty of opportunities each week, but we just missed that decisive player who could convert. I knew that if we could get ourselves that player, we would see our build up play and final third attacking be rewarded.

“Also, with Jackson's presence it offers space for others and that’s where the likes of Quinncroft, Rizidis, Atkins, Haslett, Costello, Kuser, have been able to find the space to contribute to towards our goal tally." Quinncroft said there is a great atmosphere at the club and O'Reilly has got them playing well. "I think this year has been Armadale's best year on record," he said. "We have a good bunch of lads that are willing to put their body on line for each other and that goes a long way. So fair play to John for keeping us all in line and making sure we get our jobs done."

Saturday's opponents (Gwelup) have already beaten three NPL club and both O'Reilly and Quinncroft said they are expecting a tough game. "Gwelup have created a big name for themselves in State football and we won’t be taking them lightly, but saying that, what they have done previously is not my concern, nor is their reputation," O'Reilly said. "We are Armadale and we enjoy causing teams problems and going against the odds, we have won some big games ourselves this season and this will be the biggest. willing to battle hard. So, let’s hope for some entertaining football for the fans and an Armadale win." Quinncroft added. "Gwelup are doing a great job and are no easy beats, and the game will be tough once again but it’s a cup final so anything can happen," he said. "We have been working hard and looking forward to this day, we have a young squad which is willing to battle hard. So, let’s hope for some entertaining football for the fans and most importantly an Armadale win."

13.7.2018

BELT-UP RESERVES STATE LEAGUE CUP FINAL - PREVIEW

The Belt-Up Reserves State League Cup Final sees Perth Glory take on Sorrento at Dorrien Gardens 12.45pm. The two sides are yet to play each other this season as their round eight game was called off as the first teams were playing in Geraldton. Sorrento road to the final started when they beat Division One side Ashfield 3-1 in round One before a 3-0 win against Division Two side Shamrock Rovers. In the quarterfinals they beat Forrestfield United 3-1 to set up a semifinal against Division Two side Quinns FC and they ran out 2-1 winners.

Gulls reserves Coach Willie McNally is overseas and will miss Saturday’s game, and First Team assistant Coach Michael Johnson will be in the dug-out, and he said the win against Quinns was a hard-fought game and they managed to get the job done. “Yes, it was a hard-fought win against a tough Quinns side,” he said. “The lads knew what they were in for particularly after Quinns had knocked Perth SC out in the previous round, but Danny Jones and Jaxon Tomata produced quality finishes when we needed them. We conceded late that day which made the last few moments a bit nervy, but the lads defended well.”

Johnson said the reserves have performed well this season and a number have been given an opportunity in the first team and they haven’t let the club down, and he knows they improving. “Willie has worked well this season with the young lads and his work has been rewarded with several players being given the opportunity to play first team or be in the squad at various times,” he said. “The more exposure the young players get to train and play with the first team can only benefit the players and the club I the long run.”

Saturday’s game is huge and Johnson said it’s a cup-final and anything can happen, and he believes it will be a good game. “We certainly have the quality in the squad to have a real opportunity to lift the cup, but like all matches you have to have the attitude and desire to win and I believe we have that,” he said. “Glory are a very good side and the game will be a good test for both teams that have quality on both sides.”

The Glory reached Saturday's final after a big first round win against Canning City, before a 4-1 win against fellow NPL side Bayswater City in round two. In the quarter-final they beat Fremantle City 3-2, before a last-minute winner from skipper Aidan Edwards gave them a 2-1 Semi-final win against ECU Joondalup. Midfielder Jordan Abrahams said it was a great result, especially after going down early. “It really demonstrated the resilience and character within the squad and credit to the boys for sticking to the process we had in place,” he said. “Aidan’s goal was something special without a shadow of a doubt, but overall I think it was our determination as a squad that got us over the line.”

It wasn’t the best of starts to the season for the Glory but Abrahams said they have been in good form and are looking forward to Saturday’s game. “It definitely wasn’t the start we were after. But once again all praise goes to the squad as a whole. We worked hard on the training ground for each other and we eventually began to get the results as a reward for our efforts,” he said. “I think the fact that we went on a 13 game win-streak in both the league and cup really proves that if you work hard, anything is possible. Hopefully we can make the top 4 and go on to win the championship.

“It’s super exciting to be a part of the Cup Final. We’re enjoying our football at the moment and are 100% looking forward to the final. The game will be another tough test for us and there will be challenges as always, but if we play to our strengths and in the positive manner we strive to, I fully believe we can win. The boys will be up for it and will no doubt put an absolute shift in to bring some silverware home.”

13.7.2018

BELT-UP UNDER 18’S STATE LEAGUE CUP FINAL - PREVIEW

The 2018 Belt-Up State League Under 18’s Cup Final sees Perth SC take on Bayswater City at Dorrien Gardens at 10am. If their league meeting earlier in the season is anything to go by, it should be an entertaining game, with the pair fighting out a 4-4 draw. Bayswater City started their run to the final with a 3-1 win against fellow NPL side Stirling Lions, before they beat Perth Glory 3-1 in round two. In the quarterfinals they took on Division One side Joondalup City and won 2-0, before coming from behind the beat ECU Joondalup 4-2 in the Semi-Final.

Bayswater Coach Gary Williams said the win against ECU was good and they controlled most of the game. “The semi-final was a hard match, especially after conceding early we equalised through Ajak Riak who also scored a second before half-time,” he explained. “An own goal put us 3-1 up before we conceded again and Dan Harrison scored our fourth to put us back in control and into the final. ECU is always a hard game however I thought we were in control for most of the match and had we been a little more clinical in front of goal we could have scored a couple more.”

Williams said the last meeting with Saturday’s opponents was a good one for the supporters, but it wasn’t for him. “I remember the game well, it was a great game for the neutral but not so good for the coaches of both teams,” he said. “At times both teams played some very good attacking football and some great goals were scored. We scored first however Perth responded which meant we required a last minute equaliser from Gabriel Riquelme to secure a point.”

Bayswater, who currently sit second on the NPL 18’s table, will go into the game confident but Williams said it’s the cup and they need to be switched on from the first whistle. “I’m looking forward to the match on Saturday, Cup Finals are great for all involved and when you add the intense rivalry between the two clubs I am sure the footballing community will be in for a treat,” he explained. “Perth SC have some very good players and are perhaps in a false position in the league. Whilst we are confident of taking the cup back to Bayswater we also respect our opponents who will be just as keen to keep the cup at Dorrien Gardens.”

Perth SC started their run with a 4-2 win against Armadale in round one, before a 5-1 win at Division Two side Quinns in round two. In the quarterfinals they took on fellow NPL side Floreat Athena and won 2-0, before a 3-1 win against Sorrento in the Semi-Final. Perth Coach Tony Di Toro said it was an interesting lead up to the game as they played them in the league on the Saturday. “We beat them 2-0 in league game but knew the cup would be different, and it was,” he said. “We started well and Shay Donavan gave us the lead, but they levelled with a dubious penalty. I thought after a chat at half time we were more focused and with more determination and our work rate was excellent we managed to score a great goal, with Lennon Crane on the end of a great passing move. Lennon then scored his second a cracker from a free kick with about 20 mins to go, and we held strong to win.”

Perth sit fifth on the NPL 18’s table and like Williams, Di Toro remembers their last meeting. “I agree with Gary, a cracker of a game great for the spectator’s not so much fun for the coaches, it was a very open game, and I had only had the team for a week at that stage there was a coaching change, so we were probably a little under prepared tactically,” he explained. “We lead the game 4-3 with two minutes left, but we gave away a silly free kick and defending it poorly saw Basie get a late equaliser. We need to learn from late and we definitely can’t defend like this for the final.”

13.7.2018

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION, ROUND THIRTEEN – PREVIEW

It's week 13 of the Belt up Sunday Amateur Premier Division and the Footballwa.net 'Match of the Round' takes us to John Connell reserve where second placed Leeming Strikers host third placed Kingsley. The last time the two sides met this season Leeming ran out 3-1 winners, and the last time they met at the venue was last season in round nine when they fought out a 2-2 draw.

Leeming got back to winning ways last week, with a hard fought 2-0 win at Wembley and Coach David Palin said it was a good team performance. "Last week for us, it was all about getting back to basics making sure we did the things were good at, really well and we knew if we did that we would get a positive result,” he said. “Every point at this part of season is vital, we want to stay in touch with North Perth and hopefully be there to pounce if they slip up.”

The coach said the league is so competitive this season you must be on your game or you will end up being beaten. “The league this year is the most competitive I’ve seen it since teams moved to State two. From top to bottom on any given day any team can win and were a prime example of that the other week when we lost to spirit,” he explained. “In previous seasons the bottom side really stood no chance when they played the top 4-5 sides, but if you’re not at your best this year the likely outcome will be dropped points, so it’s important to stay focused and make every performance is at a high level.”

Palin said Sunday is a huge game and with only two points separating the two sides a win is crucial to keep tabs on leaders North Perth. "Based on the first games we have played this year against Kingsley it should be a very close encounter. Kingsley have been on probably their best run of the season so will only add to how hard the game will be,” he explained. “These are the games our lads look forward to, it doesn’t take a lot of motivation on a coach’s behalf to get the players up for it, we just make sure we go into the game with a game plan and make sure the players execute if that happens we are confident of a positive outcome and walk away with 3 points on Sunday.”

Kingsley came home from UWA-Nedlands with a big 5-1 win and coach Steven Dimitrovich said he was pleased the performance. "It was good win in a game I thought we dominated from start to finish,” he said. “They (UWA) never really threatened us at all and was really good to have five different players hit the back of the net and the fact that four of the goals came from defenders and midfielders shows we have multiple avenues to goal.”

Like his opposition coach, Dimitrovich said the league has been tough this season and he said his side can’t switch off in any games especially against Leeming. “This league is absolutely mental this year and one of the best to be involved in, and as we’ve seen in a couple of our losses if you are off by just 5% you’re in for a long day,” he explained. “This week’s game against Leeming is just another challenge for us to get three points and keep the pressure on the top two and I’m sure Dave Palin will have his boys prepped and ready for a big game. We haven’t discussed our round two loss as the boys aren’t too interested in what’s happened earlier on in the season they are just focused on this game and getting the result we need to keep momentum going.”

It's been a great first half of the season for Jaguar FC, and this week they travel to the UWA Sports Park to take on UWA-Nedlands. The home side are coming off a heavy defeat against Kingsley, but there is only five points between the two sides and Arthur Hiemstra will be looking for a response from his players on Sunday. The Jags on the other hand put five past Ellenbrook with Michael Wantee bagging four. Jags skipper Juma Wade said it was another good performance. "Going into Ellenbrook game wasn’t always going to be easy as both teams already played each other in the opening round of the season which ended 2-1 to Jaguars,” he explained. “However, as we already know that any team is capable of beating any team in this league. The boys knew that this game was important. All we needed was to get the three points but to score five goals against a good side like Ellenbrook gave the team a big confidence heading to the rest of the season.”

The Jags sit fourth on the league table and are in the Quarter-finals of the Cup, and Wade said the work coach Chol Kong and the players is now paying off. “it’s our first time in this league and to be sitting fourth on the table is indeed a great job to coaches and players,” he said. “Coach Chol is a very hard-working man who’s always serious with the training and games but it’s a long season and I hope we keep climbing the ladder. Who knows, in this league, anything is possible if you work hard for it.”

Wade said in their first meeting of the season at home UWA ran out winners, so they will be doing all they can to reverse that on Sunday. "UWA game is always tough for us and yes they are a very good defensive side and will always take their chances. Last time we played them at our home ground, they won 2-1 which was very disappointing to us considering the chances we missed but that’s how football is,” he said. “However, the game will be hard but hopefully if the boys put in the hard work they put in against Ellenbrook, we should be able to get the three points. At the end of the day Football is Football, any team that wants it more wins.”

In other games Ellenbrook United host Subiaco at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub, with both sides desperate for the points at the foot of the table, like wise Belmont Villa and Hamersley Rovers who meet at Gerry Archer Sports Complex. There is a 2017 Amateur Cup Final replay when league leaders North Perth United host Kwinana United at Woodvale Reserve. North Perth sit four points clear at the top while after recent good form Wembley have moved up to seventh, and Kris Donnell will beat looking for a repeat of the Cup Final score.

In the final game Wembley Downs make the trip to Watsons Park to take on Southern Spirit. Wembley lost at home for the first time this season against Leeming last week, while the Spirit were edged out at Kwinana. Spirit’s Jacob Ledo said it was a good performance, but the result was disappointing. “I thought it was a good performance on our behalf, and the team played well as a unit, passed the ball around and made plenty of opportunities,” he said. “But we were disappointed that the referee changed his decision about a penalty that was awarded to us then the linesman changed his decision to a drop ball.” Ledo said Sunday is a big game and they will be doing all they can to get the win. “We have just got to keep playing how we have and capitalize on our chances on goal,” he said. “We have to play it simple and keep our heads up which we always do.”

11.7.2018

GLORY OPENS UP PRE-SEASON WITH A WIN

Perth Glory opened their 2018 pre-season campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory over NPL-WA side Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday evening. First half goals from Jacob Italiano and Andy Keogh gave them the lead at the break and new Coach Tony Popovic made eleven changes at the break and Young Socceroo midfielder Callum Timmins added the third in front of a crowd of over 600.

New signings Ivan Franjic, Brendon Santalab, Tano Velaphi and Fabio Ferreira all played some part of the game and Popovic was pleased with the run out and the news 1-3-4-2-1 formation. "It was a good first hit-out for the players," he told the Glory website. “There’s been a lot of change and the players have been working hard for three-and-a-half weeks, so it was nice to get a game and implement the new system. We still have lots of work to do, but it was a solid hit-out and I’m happy enough. There were a few things we saw from the players that we’ve been working on which is the most important thing. "Those actions I’m sure will be repeated a lot more once they get fitter and stronger."

The hosts started brightly and Liam Reedy had to tip Paul Zimarino’s shot over the top on four minutes, before Franjic was alert to block Frank Furfaro's goal bound effort. But Glory soon took control, with Neil Kilkenny running the midfield, and the former Socceroo and Leeds United midfielder released Joel Chianese down the right and his low cross was inches away from Chris Harold at the far post. But Glory did open the scoring on 20 minutes, Italiano finding space on the edge of the box and finishing well into the bottom corner.

Perth hit back and Brandan Wilson had to be alert to block the lively Furfaro’s shot. Franjic then saw his effort cleared off the line by Jordan De Leo. Perth keeper Malek Kuc then produced a great saved to deny Kilkenny’s 20-yard free kick, but in the shadows of half time Glory added a second. Kilkenny again started the move, picking out Italiano on the right, and he delivered an inviting cross which Keogh calmly side footed home.

The new Glory line-up continued to look dangerous after the break and Kuc produced another stunning save to thwart Jake Brimmer’s. Santalab then saw a long-range volley flash wide of the target before Kuc produced another smart stop to keep out Henry Hore's clever close-range flick. Popovic's side did eventually manage to finish with a flourish, however, Timmins' long-range strike seeming to glance off Scott Neville on its way into the net with two minutes left. Glory return to Dorrien Gardens next Wednesday (18th July) for another friendly clash, this time with Gwelup Croatia - Kick off is at 7pm and admission will again be free.

Perth Glory First Half: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Ivan FRANJIC, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Joel CHIANESE, 10 Andy KEOGH (c), 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 21 Jacob ITALIANO, 88 Neil KILKENNY

Perth Glory Second Half: GK Tando VELAPHI, 3 Walter SCOTT, 9 Henry HORE (18 Zayd FARAH 87'), 11Brendon SANTALAB (16 Callum TIMMINS 67'), 12 Daniel STYNES (17 Aiden EDWARDS 87'), 13 Yacoub MUSTAFA, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 22 Fabio FERRIERA, 23 Scott NEVILLE, 25 Luca BODNAR - Subs not used: RGK Jackson LEE

Perth SC: GK Malek KUC, 2 Alex SILLA, 6 Harley ORR, 9 Adam ZIMARINO, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 17 Frank FURFARO, 28 Paul ZIMARINO - Subs: 3 George FESTA, 4 Jacob STUBBERFIELD, 5 Cameron PIQUE, 7 Luke GARAS, 14 Kristian SANTICH, 18 Michael ZIMARINO, 19 Ali NAZARI, 21 Louis ROSSI, 22 Sam THORNLEY, 23 Sebastian BELL

10.7.2018

DAVIES DEDICATES WIN TO PAHANG FAMILY

Pahang captain Matthew Davies was elated to pick up his first winner’s medal in Malaysia and wants to share the joy with the entire fan base. Having suffered losses in both the 2017 FA Cup final as well as the gold medal match in the 2017 SEA Games, lady luck was finally on the side of the 23-year old over the weekend.

Davies became the youngest ever captain to lead his team to FA Cup victory when Pahang defeated Selangor 2-0 on the final of the knock-out competition on Saturday. Midfielder Nor Azam Azih netted in the first half while Brazilian Patrick Cruz scored from the penalty spot to secure the win.

Leading the impressive Pahang was Davies, who became the youngest cup winning captain in the history of the competition. “It’s a massive relief. I was runners up in the FA Cup (with Pahang) and the SEA Games (Malaysia) last year,” said Davies, who twice suffered the disappointment of finished on the losing side last year.

“I did not want to think too much ahead of the final but I was determined not be bridesmaid for the third time. I’m really stoked and happy for the fans. It may have looked easy but I can tell you it wasn’t for us on the pitch. Selangor pushed us all the way and it wasn’t until the 94th minute that I was able to relax.”

“This is for Tengku Muda Pahang, for all the Pahang fans, for all the players and staffs that have worked so hard.” Davies will now turn his attention to the final five matches of the Malysian Super League ahead of the Malaysia Cup, which begins in August.

10.7.2018

FERREIRA ARRIVES AT GLORY

Perth Glory's off-season recruitment spree has continued with the signing of experienced winger Fabio Ferreira on a one-year deal. The former Portuguese youth international had been on trial with Tony Popovic's side for the past fortnight.

“Tony asked me to come here for two weeks and he’s decided to keep me,” said Ferreira. “Everything has gone well and I’m very pleased to have signed. It’s been a tough couple of weeks, but that’s the way it has to be. You have to work hard if you want to win.”

“I’ve scored a few goals and played quite well against Glory in the past and now I want to play well against every other team. It’s looking very promising here. The players are training well and looking in great shape.”

Ferreira was on the books of both Sporting Lisbon and Chelsea as a teenager, during which time he represented Portugal at youth level. The versatile attacking midfielder switched to Adelaide United in 2012, making 51 appearances for the Reds and scoring 13 goals.

He continued to find the net at Central Coast Mariners, scoring 15 times in 55 games, before a spell in Malaysia with PKNS FC. He returned to Australia last season by signing a short-term deal with Sydney FC, who he featured for on 5 occasions.

Ferreira is Glory's sixth signing since Popovic took charge in May, following the arrivals of Ivan Franjic, Tomislav Mrcela, Brendon Santalab, Matthew Spiranovic and Tando Velaphi. He is expected to debut for Glory in the high-profile friendly with Chelsea on 23 July.

8.7.2018

KERR UNHAPPY AFTER SETTING NEW NWSL RECORD

Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr has made history in the National Women’s Soccer League by becoming the first player ever to score 50 goals. The momentous occasion for 24-year old Kerr arrived in the form of a hat-trick in Chicago's 3-1 win over bottom of the table Sky Blue FC.

However, it was also a sobering moment for Kerr who was a member of the Sky Blue attacker for three seasons before being traded in January. Her haul of 17 goals last season was the greatest in a single season and also lifted her to the top of the NWSL all-time goalscorers ladder.

Speaking after the weekend game, Kerr said she it was hard to return to New Jersey. "If I'm honest I didn't enjoy it," she said. "I wish things were better here and that I could stay. I scored a hat-trick, but I wasn't myself today. I feel sad. I feel sick playing against these girls. They're my lifelong friends."

"It just sucks that that's the way it had to be. I'm just going to say the girls deserve better and I'm just going to leave it at that. These girls are great girls. They give everything of themselves for this club and this league and they just deserve better."

"I wish I could take every single one of them with me but that's not the way it is. I felt like I was going to cry at some points in the game." Sky Blue have now gone 14 games without a win, a new record for the NWSL, and are yet to hold the lead in a game this season.

8.7.2018

WILLIAMS AGREES TO SAUDI DEAL

Defender Rhys Williams is on the brink of sealing a lucrative deal in Saudi Arabia, in a move timed to push his cause for a national team recall. The 29-year old will be hoping that a solid season in the Saudi Pro League will convince Socceroos coach Graham Arnold to restore him to the green and gold for next year's AFC Asian Cup.

Though he has a year remaining on his Melbourne Victory contract, Williams - who made 25 appearances for the Navy Blue last season - is understood have a buy-out clause. That clause has been triggered and he is now almost certain to be heading to the Middle East, where Mark Milligan has been playing for Al-Ahli. Fellow Socceroo Matt Jurman is also in the process of concluding a deal with Al-Ittihad.

Williams, capped 14 times for Australia, put several years of injury setbacks behind him to showcase his abilities with Victory last season. And while he turns 30 this month, he will be confident of adding a successful final few chapters to a career often cursed by ill fortune.

7.7.2018

BURGESS UPBEAT AND EXCITED TO GET STARTED

As Scunthorpe United get set to start their pre-season campaign with an away friendly with Winterton Rangers, defender Cameron Burgess is feeling happy to be back and can’t wait to get back on the pitch in a game situation. “It’s good to be back and good to get out there,” 22-year old Burgess told scunthorpe-united.co.uk

“All the lads have had a good summer so everyone is upbeat and excited to get started. It’s minutes on the pitch that’s important. For all the fitness work you do on the training ground, nothing is the same as getting minutes in a game situation. We are all looking forward to it. Hopefully we can get some good minutes under our belt and get a good result as well.”

With a training camp in Austria on the horizon, Burgess is looking forward to preparing for the coming season in a different environment. “It will be good to get away with a change of surroundings,” he said. “We aim to keep the fitness up and continue to work together as a team to build on the training that we have already done in pre-season so far, so we can keep on going the way we are.”

Burgess, a former ECU Joondalup player, has worn the colours of Fulham, Cheltenham Town, Oldham Athletic and Bury since moving to England in 2011. A June 2017 switch to Scunthorpe saw him made 23 league and Cup appearances last season, and for 2018/19 he is aiming to establish himself as a first team regular for the Iron.

“My personal goals are the same as last year, to try get more minutes for myself when I play and play every minute I can when I am available to do so,” the central defender said. “From a team point of view, we want to aim to be up there again fighting for promotion and hopefully we can do it this year.”

7.7.2018

GLORY MOVE FIVE POINTS CLEAR AT TOP

Perth Glory have produced another great performance to beat Bayswater City for the first-time ever in the NPL after a 3-1 win at Frank Drago Reserve. Michael Domfeh gave Glory the lead at half time, but former Glory Youth forward Gian Albano levelled from the penalty spot ten minutes after the break. But Glory hit back with second half substitutes Daniel Stynes regaining the lead, with a penalty on the hour, before the points were made safe seven minutes from time with Henry Hore scoring. “It was a great mature performance by the boys, with everyone putting in a tremendous effort for the full 90 plus minutes to come away with the three points,” Domfeh said, “It was a tough physical game and in periods of the game quite scrappy. But I believed our athleticism and quality in key moments of the game was the difference.”

It was a tight opening to the game, with the home side on the front foot early, but they didn’t really threaten the Glory back four, and going forward Glory looked threatening, and on the half hour they opened the scoring. Choc Dau raced down the right and his cross picked out Yacoub Mustafa, the ball fell kindly to Domfeh who fired home from close-range. It was a real arm-wrestle with Bayswater pressing late in the half, but they didn’t really test Jackson Lee in goal and at the break they lead 1-0.

But ten minutes in the second half the home side were level, when Bayswater striker Luke Salmon was brought down by Luke Bodnar and referee David Bruce pointed straight to the spot. Albano stepped up and scored, despite Lee getting a hand to it. The response from the Glory was instant and they regained the lead with a penalty of their own after Stynes was brought down. The midfielder, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes, picked himself up to score into the corner.

Bayswater weren’t finished with yet, and from Todd Howarth’s corner defender David Stokoe‘s effort flashed over the top, before Paul Lloyd’s shot was blocked by some desperate Glory defending. But with Bayswater pushing men forward, they left gaps at the back and the Glory exploited them and added a third on 83 minutes. Hore received the ball and cut inside his marker and raced to the edge of the box before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. They almost added a fourth late, when Callum Timmins first time shot flashed just wide, but at the final whistle it was Glory celebrating a famous win.

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 5 Adam HARRIS, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 10 Jason MIRCO (4 Arran MAPLESTONE 83’), 12 David STOKOE, 13 Trent KAY (C), 15 Jordan POKLER (19 Luka NINKOVIC 68’), 17 Gian ALBANO, 18 Brent GRIFFITHS (8 Paul MCCARTHY 37’), 22 Luke SALMON, 26 Paul LLOYD - Subs not used: RGK Luke HUTCHINSON, 24 Jake SARDELIC

Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luke BODNAR, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Daniel WALSH, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Zayd FARRAH (13 Callum TIMMINS 60’), 7 Chok DAU (12 Daniel STYNES 60’), 8 Henry HORE, 9 Michael DOMFEH (15 Trent OSTLER 82’), 10 Michael MCDOUGALL, 11 Yacoub MUSTAFA - Subs not used: RGK Nicholas SPECA, 14.Nic MCDONALD - Referee: David Bruce

7.7.2018

JACKS STILL IN HUNT FOR TOP FOUR

ECU Joondalup have kept their top four finals hopes alive after a great performance to beat fourth placed Inglewood United 3-0 at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Daryl Nicol gave us the lead early, before Tommy Amphlett doubled their advantage before half time. The points were wrapped up 12 minutes from time when Nicol added a second, to make it 19 goals for the season for the league’s top goal scorer. “I thought we were brilliant today and everyone put in a great shift, including the players who came off the bench,” ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said. “We are getting all of our players back from injury and everyone is fighting for positions in the last six games. All we can do is keep winning, it’s a simple message to the players, and we’ve got six cup finals in front of us starting at Armadale in two weeks.”

Inglewood went into this one on a seven-game unbeaten run but found themselves behind after only five minutes. Ross Millard surged toward the box but was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, and Nicol superbly curled home the resulting free kick. The home side were well on top and it wasn’t a surprise when they doubled their lead on the quarter hour. Tom Hough played the ball out to Amphlett on the left, who eased past his marker and raced into the penalty area and finished clinically past Alex Dunn.

Inglewood steadied and almost pulled one back on the half hour, Ellis Healing’s shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Johnny Perkins at full stretch, and the Irish keeper was quick to react to the rebound producing a great block to deny Brian Woodall’s follow up shot. But the Jacks ended the half well and went close to a third when Gordon Smith sent Nicol one-on-one with Dunn, but the Inglewood custodian stood tall to save.

Inglewood needed a good start to the second half, but they were struggling in the final third, and it was the Jacks looking the brighter. Amphlett was found down the left on 50 minutes and he raced past his marker and cut the ball back from the bye-line, but Nicol couldn’t enough on it to beat Dunn. Moments later Nicol who went close again, but his shot on the run flashed wide of the upright. The visitors thought they had pulled one back on 67 minutes, Healings deep cross picked out David Cyrus at the back post and his header beat Perkins, but Tong was alert to deny his former team mates by heading the ball off the line.

It was the best period of the game for Inglewood and moments later Jamie Murphy’s cross from the left found Brian Farrell, but his shot was saved low by Perkins. But despite their pressure, Inglewood found themselves 3-0 down on 78 minutes. A short corner from Nicol caught the visitors napping, and he exchanged passes with Smith before racing into the box and finished well past Dunn. Nicol thought he had his hat-trick three minutes later, after he turned home Steven McGarry’s cross, but after consulting his assistant, referee Arvin Shanmuganathan disallowed the goal for handball.

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Cian HIRRELL, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Steven MCGARRY, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Kieron STALLARD (15 Shane CASSIDY 56’), 7 Tom HOUGH, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH (12 Brad MCDONALD 82’), 11 Andy HIGGINS,13 Tommy AMPHLETT (16 Lukas DE LIMA 70’) - Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 8 Josh WHITMORE

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS (12 Feisal ZAW 60’), 3 David CYRUS, 7 Kenny KEOGH, 8 Jason BARRERA, 10 Ashley ROSINDALE (6 Miki VUJACIC 54’), 11 Ellis HEALING (4 Scott BLACKMORE 84’), 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie MURPHY, 19 Connor BECSI, 23 Brian WOODALL - Subs not used: 5 Griffin BESCI, 17 Rikki SMITH - Referee: Arvin Shanmuganathan

7.7.2018

LAST GASP EQUAILSER FOR FORRIE

A goal eight minutes into stoppage time from American striker Hasani Sinclair has given Forrestfield United an unlikely share of the spoils against Joondalup United at Wildlife Safari Stadium at Hartfield Park. Jamie Gibson gave the visitors the lead early, before Rhys Loxley levelled on the stroke of half time. Joondalup took control after the break with Gibson added two more to complete his hat-trick and Johnny Chalmers looked like he'd won it 16 minutes from time for the visitors. But Forrie hit back and Josh Kito pulled one back moments later, before Jamie Street made it 4-3 and Sinclair had the final word. It got worse for Joondalup with skipper Matthew Sparrow, keeper James Bosdet and Liam Mooney all sent off.

“In a match like this, there is added psychological pressure because we are expected to win,” Forrestfield Head Coach Rod Banjac said. “It was a mental and physical (battle) today and it seemed like for every three shots we had that missed, they had one that went in. But we never gave up and that’s something we’ve advanced in, we’ve matured and for the boys to comeback like they did, I am very proud.”

The hosts were on the front foot early and Bosdet did well to saved Loxley’s shot before Sinclair header crashed off the crossbar. Sinclair headed wide again moments later as the home side dominated early. But it was the visitors who were ahead on 16 minutes, Liam Kessel's cross was turned home by Gibson. Moments later Luke Martino had to react well to tip over Adam Buckley's effort. Forrestfield lifted, and Jordan Hart’s cross picked out Sinclair, whose header crashed off the post again.

Bosdet then denied Liam Merigan’s shot on the turn, as the home side laid siege on the Joondalup goal. But Joondalup should have doubled their lead when Matt Cherrie was sent one-on-one with Martino by Elliot Tattersall, but the Forrestfield keeper stood tall to deny him. But in the final minute Forrestfield deservedly levelled, a ball over the top sent Loxley in goal and he finished clinically past Bosdet.

It was a more of the same after half time, Bosdet got down well to save Loxley’s shot early, but against the run of play Joondalup were back in front just after the hour, Gibson firing home superbly from the angle. The striker completed his hat-trick on 69 minutes finishing well into the bottom corner and it looked game over when Chalmers added a fourth seven minutes later. But the home side had other ideas, and substitute Kotio pulled one back sixty seconds later, reacting well after Sinclair’s shot had come back off the crossbar. Joondalup were reduced to ten men when Sparrow was sent off by referee Josh Mannella for a high elbow on Mitchell Crocker.

It was game on and Forrestfield hit the crossbar again moments later Street’s shot superbly tipped on to the woodwork by Bosdet. But they did pull another goal back, six minutes from time after Street headed home Crocker's cross. It still looked like the ten men would hold on, but with the clock on 98 minutes the home side found the equaliser. Tom Southgate's free kick found Sinclair, who outjumped Mooney to head past Bosdet to set of wild celebrations in the crowd, although not for the Joondalup players, with Bosdet and Mooney both sent off after remonstrating about the amount of added time played. "We should have finished the job off, but I have no idea why there was so much additional time played,” Joondalup head coach Nick Jennings said. "I’ve been involved in football for 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Forrestfield United: GK Luke MARTINO, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 3 Wilbert TSHABANGU, 4 Jamie DUNCAN, 5 Scott BARKER, 8 Mitchell CROCKER (Callum DOBBS 87), 9 Hasani SINCLAIR, 10 Jordan HART (Josh KOTIO 61), 11 Liam MERIGAN, 15 Jamie STREET, 23 Rhys LOXLEY - Subs not used: RGK Benjamin PARRY, 6 Sedad YAGLI, 14 Leslie MARI

Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 2 Johnny CHALMERS, 7 Matthew SPARROW, 10 Elliot Tattersall (23 Ellis HESLOP 90+8'), 11 Anthony TAYLOR, 12 William KESSEL (Morgan COOPER 76', Johann SILVER 90+8'), 14 Liam MOONEY, 17 Matthew CHERRIE, 19 Adam BUCKLEY, 22 Jamie GIBSON, 24 Ayden DRAGAN - Subs not used: Nil - Red cards: Sparrow 75', Bosdet 90+8', Mooney 90+8' - Referee: Josh Mannella

7.7.2018

ATHENA WIN VITAL THREE POINTS

Floreat Athena moved up to eighth on the NPL-WA table after a 3-1 win against traditional rivals Stirling Lions at E&D Litis Stadium. Dean Evans opened the scoring for Floreat early in the second half and Calvin Whitney doubled Athena’s advantage from the penalty spot. Daniel Micevski pulled one back for the Lions, but Jon Stynes made sure of the points six minutes from time. “It was a really good performance from our boys today,” Floreat Head coach Garret McDuling said. "They talk about the classic six-pointer and that was it. We’re trying to pack a pre-season into a week now since I’ve come on board with my coaching staff, so we’re trying to apply a lot of things in a short amount of time."

It was a huge game for both sides and the first half showed that, with clear cut chances few and far between, but it was the host who hit the front eight minutes into the second half. They won a free kick 20 meters from goal and Evans curled it home superbly past Lance Alavakis. Floreat doubled their advantage on 70 minutes after former Lions' striker Robert Petkov was brought down in the penalty area and referee Joshua Nixon pointed straight to the spot. Whitney kept his nerve from the resulting penalty to score to double the home sides lead.

But the Lions weren’t done, and they reduced the margin three minutes later. A corner wasn't dealt with by the Floreat defence and the ball fell to Daniel Micevski who fired home. It was game on and both sides created chances, but it was Floreat who won it late. A corner into the box picked out Stynes, who scored from close-range. “It was pretty even but I just think a couple of errors cost us,” Lions Head Coach Keegan Ashley said. "We’ve got six games to go so we’ve got to keep going.”

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTA LUCIA, 6 Jesse FULLER, 8 Jon STYNES, 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 11 Dennis GALAN, 15 Chris SALDARIS 13 Andreas FAZZARI 90+4'), 16 Ryan MALTON, 17 Dean EVANS, 21 Keylun POLLARD (4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO 80') - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 18 Harrison GEORGE, 20 Joe TWEATS

Stirling Lions: GK Lance ALAVAKIS, 2 David MOLINARI, 3 Darren O RIORDAN, 4 Alex SULESKI (15 Nathan DE ABREU 46'), 8 Jamie DOCHERTY (18 Ben CAMPBELL 64'), 9 Daniel MICEVSKI, 10 David MICEVSKI, 11 Alex TANEVSKI, 12 Daniel HEPWORTH, 14 Steve SOKOL, 16 Nicholas ASHLEY - Subs not used: 17 Abu DULLEH, 19 Zane CASELLA, 20 Damian DAMJANOSKI - Referee: Joshua Nixon

7.7.2018

PERTH EYE THE TITLE AFTER COCKBURN WIN

Perth SC moved to within one point of Cockburn City on the NPL-WA table after a hard fought 2-1 win against them at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon. Gustavo Catarcione gave the hosts the lead on the half hour, but Daniel Robinson continued his goal scoring touch, levelling on 70 minutes. But the home side won it sixty seconds later with Mathew Milenkovic scoring. But both sides ended with ten men when Perth's Richard Howles and Cockburn's Euan Grant were sent off.

“We want to keep fighting for the title until the end ... It was a must-win in terms of trying to close the gap between ourselves and Cockburn," Perth Head Coach Ramon Falzon said. "It was a game of two-halves, I thought the first half we were superior, we deserved to be leading at half-time. But second half Cockburn were probably superior, after the sending’s-off both teams lost their shape and they probably had the momentum. It was great for us to immediately get that second goal as soon as they levelled. It was a very tough game. We’ve been wasting too many chances recently, in the first half today we should have capitalised a bit more in the first half. But credit to the boys, they withstood the pressure.”

It was a tight opening to the game, but it was the home side who opened the scoring on the half hour. A ball into the box took a wicked bobble off the pitch which Grant missed and Catarcione reacted quickest to fire home from close-range to give the hosts the lead at the break. But six minutes into the second half the visitors levelled. A ball into the area wasn't dealt with by Perth keeper Francis Soale and the ball fell to Robinson who bundled the ball over the line from close-range.

But sixty seconds later Perth regained the lead, and what a goal it was. Milenkovic received the ball and his spectacular long-range shot flew into the net past Luke Radonich. Tempers flared six minutes later when a poor tackle by Howles on Luccas Melo saw the Perth striker sent off by Steven Gregory, and Grant went into remonstrate with Howles and was also sent off by Gregory. Perth held on for the win to move them to fourth on the table, while Cockburn remain second but are now five points behind leaders Perth Glory.

“I thought it was a really good game. I enjoyed it, end to end with both teams having a crack, it was good to watch,” Cockburn Coach Scott Miller said. “From the first 20 minutes I thought we were in for a tough day, but we worked our way back into the game. It’s always disappointing to get yourself back level and then immediately give a goal away. I thought we were probably good enough for a draw today, not taking anything away from Perth. I thought they were great.”

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 5 Niccolo SABATINI, 6 Harley ORR, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, (17 Frank FURFARO 86’), 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Kristan SANTICH, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 8 Richard KNOWLES, 20 Paul ZIMARINO - Subs not used: RGK Malek KUC, 2 Alex SILLA, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 19 Adam ZIMARINO - Red card: Richard HOWLES 58'

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 4 Euen GRANT, 7 Lucas MELLO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 9 Julian TELES, (6 Reuben TRISTAO 81’), 10 David ARAYA (18 Adam ANFUSO 87’), 11 Harry O’BRIEN, 12 Ryan PRATT, 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Daniel ROBINSON, 17 Jesse LAZZARO (13 Blake ADAMS 68’) - Subs not used: RGK Ryan BARKER, 14 Josip VUJICA - Red card: GRANT 58' - Referee: Steven Gregory

7.7.2018

JACKSON HAT-TRICK SEES ARMADALE HOME

A hat-trick form Armadale's English striker Chris Jackson has helped the home side to a 5-1 win against Balcatta at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Jackson gave the host the lead early, but Balcatta responded immediately through Nic Chalott. Jackson gave the home side the lead at the break before Micharel Rizidis added third in the opening minute of the second. Jackson completed his hat-trick seven minutes from time, his ?? goal of the season, before second half substitute Ryan Haslett rounded off the scoring in stoppage time. “There are still a few areas where we need to tidy up but overall I thought we were exhilarating today,” Armadale coach John O'Reilly said. "In the last couple of weeks, we have been embracing the fact that we have a cup final coming up and now we are feeling ready for it. It is the biggest game of our season and possibly the biggest game in the history of our club, so we are all looking forward to it.”

The home side made a perfect to start to the game and were ahead after only six minutes. Jackson recieved the ball on the edge of the peantly area and eased past his marker before finishing low past Klye McDonald. But Balcatta were level sixty seconds later Challot wasn't closed down and he curled a shot past Sam Hutchinson and in off the post. The visitors should have regained the lead on 25 minutes, Alex Wild made space on the flank and picked out an unmarked Lawrence Shurama, but with the goal at his mercy he blazed his shot over the bar. But seven minutes before half time it was the hosts who regained the lead, Ali Gholami cross picked out Jackson who headed home.

I was a case of déjà vu as Armadale made a perfect start to the second half too and added a third in the first minute. A ball into the box fell to Rizidis and he made no mistake. It was still anyone's game and the visitors went close to reducing the margin on the hour. Challot made a darting run down the wing and his cross from the bye-line found Wild, but the striker failed to find the target. But the game was put out of the reach of Balcatta on 83 minutes when referee Brendan Skinner awarded a penalty after McDonald's foul in the box. Jackson stepped up to score from the resulting penalty to complete his hat-trick.

It was 5-1 in stoppage time, Haslett was picked out and his low shot from the angle beat McDonald to give the Reds a perfect preparation for next week’s Belt-Up State League Cup Final against Gwelup Croatia. 'I think it was a great first-half from our boys but the early goal in the second half really gave them a buffer,” Balcatta coach Goran Stajic said. "We never stopped creating chances, but I think the difference in the end was the finishing of Chris Jackson. We won’t lose confidence after this result; our boys are so resilient, and they know they can beat anyone.”

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 7 Charlie KENNA, 9 Billy QUINNCROFT (C), 10 Chris JACKSON (20 Friday ZICO 87'), 11 Michael RIZIDIS (22 Ryan HASLETT 53'), 12 Dannie RICHMAN (14 Milan OGNJENOVIC 63'), 15 Ali GHOLAMI, 16 Charlie SIMPSON, 17 James ATKINS, 18 Brad GRIEPL, 21 Beau RAHIM - Subs not used: RGK. Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 13 Darragh NAGLE

Balcatta: GK Kyle MCDONALD, 3 Hayden STEVENS, 6 Kris GATE (23 Bleron MAMUDI 62'), 8 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 9 Alex WILD, 10 Jonathon CORNESS (C), 11 Nicholas CHALLOT, 14 Lawrence SHURAMA, 18 Robert DEL BORELLO, 20 Shubham MOKALA (7 Asher NELSON 46'), 24 Tom LOGAN (21 Tyler UGLOW 53') - Subs not used: RGK Domenico SALVODELLI, 22 Angel DEJKOVSKI - Referee: Brendan Skinner

7.7.2018

GULLS FLYING HIGH AT LAST

Sorrento produced a great team performance to beat fellow relegation battlers Subiaco 4-0 at Percy Doyle Reserve. A brace from Cameron Teece and a goal for Jack Salter put the Gulls in a commanding first-half position, before Scott Witschge added another to ensure his side claimed the three points. “It was a massive game, hopefully the win puts us up the table a bit,” Sorrento assistant coach Steve Neville said. “After the first 15 minutes, I thought we settled down and played some good football and we worked down both flanks and come half-time we thoroughly deserved the three-goal lead.”

Sorrento’s Danny Jones had the first clear opportunity after a darting run from midfield, but his shot was saved by Ryan Montgomery, but from the resulting corner Teece headed home from close range to open the scoring. Sorrento took control of the game after that and doubled their advantage after a cross found Teece to score. Subiaco were struggling but had a rare chance when the ball fell to Dean Apelgren following a free-kick, but he hit the post with his curling effort from the edge of the box. The Gulls continued to attack, and Salter delivered their third goal when he ran on to a bouncing through ball, chipped the keeper and tapped home from close range to send the Gulls into the break three to the good.

The second half started with a bang when the home side made it 4-0 through Witschge, who tapped home from a low cross at the back post. Despite improving in the second half, Subiaco couldn’t find a breakthrough with player-coach Ian McMurray unable to beat the James Morgan when sent one-on-one with the Sorrento custodian, before substitute Mitchell Bath headed against the crossbar in the final minutes. “We were disappointing. I changed a few things, tweaked the formation that we wanted to play in, but it didn’t work so I take responsibility for the performance,” Subiaco Coach McMurray said. “We were chasing the game in the second half, but we just didn’t do enough."

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 6 Daryl PLATTEN, 8 Scott WITSCHGE (7 Alex MORGAN 68’), 10 Jordan ROBERTS, 11 Timothy HILL, 16 Chris Balazs, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 19 Jack SALTER (13 Steve MCDONALD 90’), 21 Godwin DARKWA (20 Jaxon TEMATA 68’) 22 Danny JONES, 23 Cameron TEECE – Subs not used: RGK Anastasis FARSALEAS, 18 Jordan BROWN

Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Nathan HARDIE, 5 Manase ABANDELWA (3 Vasco DE SILVA 73’), 8 Ignacio DOMINGUEZ (17 Mark PRITCHARD 65’), 10 Alex CASTIELLO, 12 Nathan SMITH, 13 Jonas DARLING (7 Mitchell BATH 56’), 15 Anthony TOPINI, 16 Dean APELGREN, 18 Dave PERICH, 19 Ian MCMURRAY – Sub not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 4 Robert HARDING - Referee: Julian Serra

7.7.2018

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THIRTEEN – REVIEW

Gwelup Croatia warmed up for the Belt Up state League Cup Final with Armadale next weekend, with a 2-0 win against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve. It was tight opening with both sides looking dangerous, but neither could trouble the scoreboard. But in the first minute of the second half it was the visitors who hit the front. Benny Kouakou made space down the right and picked out debutant Brian Mashingaidze who made no mistake, volleying past Joel Driscoll. Dianella pressed for the equaliser, but they couldn’t breakdown a solid Gwelup back four, and with the home side pushing men forward the points were made safe in stoppage time when Gwelup added a second. A back-pass was left shot and as Driscoll attempted to clear it fell kindly for second half substitute Isaac Koomson who made no mistake. “Overall, we controlled the game and deserved to win, we were quite solid,” Gwelup Coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “There are things we need to go over on the training track to ensure that come next week we put our best foot forward, but it’s about the mindset and positive reinforcement.”

Rockingham City maintained the pressure on the leaders with a solid 4-1 win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. Justis Bradley gave the visitors the lead from a corner halfway through the first half, before Ross Staley added the second just before the break cutting in from the right to score. Morley pulled one back ten minutes into the second half, with Nicolo ?? on target, but Rockingham replied instantly with Ryan Kennedy on target. With Morley chasing the game the visitors added a fourth late with Jason Pottier scoring. “Everything we talked about before the game was executed in what was a very professional away win,” Rockingham City Coach Cameron Lord said. “What was most pleasing is that we are consistently performed over 90 minutes, which we need to continue to do if we want to continue to win games in a very tough league.”

Ashfield maintained third place after a hard fought 3-1 win against Western Knights at Ashfield Arena. With both team’s in contention to consolidate a spot in the top four it was a tight opening with clear cut chances few and far between. But it was the visitors who opened the scoring when a mix up at the back allowed Brian Paterson to get in a toe poke the ball home. Ashfield were on the front foot after half time and they levelled early, Evans Shakebo's cross from the left was headed home by Ismael Bangura. The home side were well on top and they deservedly hit the front when pat Sara's cross was headed home by Kevin Ashwood. Ashfield wrapped up the points with the best goal of the day. Some great approach work ended with Sara in one-on-one with the keeper, but he unselfishly squared the ball to Bangura to score his second into an open net. "The win against a good Western Knights side is the perfect start to the second round of fixtures," Ashfield Coach Matt Wardle said. "It was an entertaining game with both sides creating chances and playing some nice football at times. We were clinical when we needed to be and that was difference between the two sides. We now look forward to our next match against Gwelup which will be another hard test but a test in which we are much better prepared for this time around."

Joondalup City and UWA-Nedlands have fought out a 1-1 draw at Iluka Sports Complex. The home side were ahead after a foul in the box by UWA defender Tom Moroney on Jamie Gardiner and Sam McCracken scored from the resulting penalty. But he visitors levelled on the hour, Sam Carrello’s cross from the bye-line found the unmarked Bryce Conway who headed home into the bottom corner. “Bitterly disappointing result considering the clear-cut chances we had,” Conway said. “I thought we were the better side for a large majority of the encounter and really should've taken the three points, but credit to Joondalup who defended resolutely throughout.”

In the final game South West Phoenix have come out on top in the peel derby, running out 4-2 winners against Mandurah City at Securitas Protect Stadium. The visitors dominated the first half and raced to a 4-0 lead. The first goal was a poorly cleared ball from a corner that fell to Lee Stewart who finished well. It was 2-0 when skipper Michael Farmer finished from a corner. Mandurah pressed looking to get back in the game and they were caught out at the back on a counter and Jayden Prosser’s cross found Stewart for his second. Then on the stroke of half time the Phoenix added a fourth, a ball over the top by Kieran Quinn found Prosser who raced forward and finished clinically from the edge of the box. Mandurah hit back after half time and Slade Rule pulled one back before Jeff Bright added a second, but it was too little too late. “it was positive that we came out straight form the kick-off and played some good stuff,” Prosser said. “But despite starting well we did not play very well at all for the rest of the game and Mandurah were pressing us pretty hard. It was good to get the win, but we will have to get back to training and look to improve with a couple massive games coming up.” – Fremantle City had the bye this week.

7.7.2018

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THIRTEEN – REVIEW

State League Division Two leaders Olympic Kingsway maintained their two-point lead at the top of the table after a 4-0 win against bottom of the table Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. The ladder leaders opened the scoring when Dan Corbett headed home from a corner. They doubled their lead when David Sesay cut in from the right and fired into the bottom corner of the net. The visitors were well on top after the break and it wasn't a surprise then the added a third, Luke Serra heading home from a corner. Corbett added his second and Olympic's fourth late, his header was saved by the ‘keeper but he was quickest to react to the rebound to score. "It was a good performance from the boys, we started fast but then lost our way for about 15 minutes before half time," Corbett said. "I think our second half performance was as good a half as we’ve played all season. Obviously losing Danny Hodgson would be a huge loss for any side in the league but the lads stood up when they needed to, keeping the unbeaten run going."

Wanneroo City kept the pressure on Olympic with a 4-2 win against Curtin University at Edinburgh Oval. The visitors opened brightly but found themselves a goal behind when Eddie Tikoft nipped into score after some poor defending from the City defence. But they were soon back on level terms, with a stunning individual effort from Jamie Stewart, who beat three Curtin players before finishing with aplomb into the bottom corner. After the break the visitors were on the front foot and they hit the front early, after Stewart and Scott Johnson combining to set up Matt Franken at the back post to score. Both sides had chances as the game opened up, but it was visitors who made it 3-1 on 70 minutes. Franken was sent clear and he kept his composure and finished under the on-coming keeper, before Franken completed his hat-trick with another good finish. He went close to a fourth goal late, but his powerful shot bounced off the crossbar. Curtin continued to press late and they were rewarded with a late consolation goal in stoppage time, with Tikoft scoring his and Curtin's second. "All in all, a great performance particularly in the second half," Wanneroo Coach Tim Kantor said. "Curtin on a Saturday night is not somewhere teams will enjoy going and we are just relieved that that fixture is now out of the way with three points. We now have a week off before we turn our attention to MUM and it’s a good opportunity for some of our boys to get over niggles."

Swan United remain four points behind the league leader after a hard fought 2-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Francis Street. It was the visitors who should have taken the lead after only five minutes, a great run by Juan Cabrera took him past three Swan defenders before his shot on the run was superbly saved by Joey Smith, the rebound fell to Lynden Pywell, but with the goal at his mercy he fired wide of the target. Both sides created several good chances in the first half but didn't take them, and at the break it was scoreless. It was more of the same after the break, but it was the home side who opened the scoring 15 minutes from time. Gavin Knight's free kick picking out Chris Marshall at the back post who headed home. The points were made safe when Knight was brought down in the box and referee Jatin Lodhia pointed to the spot. Knight picked himself up but Kelmscott keeper Kristian Usedo saved, however, the referee called for a retake after one of the Kelmscott players encroached into the box before the ball was kicked. Knight this time made no mistake to give the hosts a 2-0 win. “It was a disciplined team effort against Kelmscott that contributed to the important three points,” Swan Coach Paul Dundo said. “We so was pleased with the end result, and any win, especially with a clean sheet is a good win.”

In other games Shamrock Rovers beat Murdoch University Melville 2-1 at Harold Rossiter Reserve. The home side were ahead when Lachy Parker raced down the left and get beyond the right back and deliver the ball to Alexander Mcinerney who headed home at the back post. They doubled their lead before the break, a turnover allowed Parker to break through the centre of the Murdoch defence and finished low past the keeper. The Visitors did pull one back after half time through Dean Thurston, but it was too little too late, and it was Shamrock taking the points. "Our first half was excellent, we could have went into the break better than 2-0," Rovers’ Martin Launders said. " In the second half all the lads defended extremely well, and it was great to get the three points." In the final game Quinns closed the gap on fourth placed Balga after beating them 2-0 at Princess Road Reserve. The visitors were ahead on 35 minutes, Rowdy Yates raced down the left and cut inside and hit and unstoppable shot from long-range. Balga started to come out stronger in the second half, and thought they equalised when an Igor Novakovic corner found Jan Urgela who headed the ball in the net. However, the referee ruled that a foul had occurred. Quinns then wrapped up the points twenty minutes from time, Callum Lack was sent one-on-one with the keeper and he finished well. "It’s a fantastic result," Quinns Craig Tooley said. "We showed just how much we wanted it, and how stubborn we can be at the back." - Gosnells City had the bye this week.

7.7.2018

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION, ROUND TWELVE – REVIEW

League leaders North Perth United maintained their lead at the top for the Belt Up Sunday Amateur Premier Division after a 2-1 win against Hamersley Rovers at Carine Open Space. They had to fight for the points and they found themselves behind on 20 minutes, Callum Wells shot took a deflection off a North Perth defender, and despite Chris Wylie’s clearance off the line the linesman gave the goal, much to the displeasure of the North Perth defender. North Perth started to get on top but couldn’t breakdown a tight Rovers’ defence and at the break the home side led. But four minutes into the second half the visitors were level. A quick break ended with Paddy Montgomery, aka the rattle snake finished well. They hit the front five minutes later, great work out wide by Edin Nalic which saw him nip past two Rovers’ defenders and he picked out Will Pender who finished first time. Hamersley pressed late but a great save from new keeper Rain Blaubera secured all three points for the visitors. With Head Coach Alex Carter sunning himself in Bali, Kevin Flavin was in charge for the game and he was delighted with the win, but not the performance. “I wasn’t happy with our first half as we didn’t put enough pressure on them and wasn’t prolific enough in front of goal so at half time I asked the lads for a response in the first 5min and boy did they respond,” he said. “We scored two in the first 10 minutes and every players workout was top notch in the second half. We probably played some of our best football this year in that second half. It shows the character that’s in this team this year as we never gave up and fought all the way to the final whistle.”

Leeming Strikers bounced back from their last game defeat at Southern Spirit with a 2-0 win against Wembley Downs at Butlers Reserve. The visitors were ahead on 20 minutes, player/coach David Palin was found out wide, and he crossed to back post and Karl Gorman tapped home at the back post. They doubled their lead on the half hour, this time John Brennan cross was met by Gorman the far post who half volleyed into the bottom corner. Wembley pressed after the break, but they couldn’t get back into the game and Palin said he was delighted the way his side responded from last weeks loss. “We couldn’t be happier with the result today, we asked for a response after last week’s result and we got that from the players. We were really at it early this week and got the rewards with two goals before half time.,” he explained. “We really wanted to do the basics right this week and make sure we did the one percenters that we have maybe lacked in last couple of weeks so in the second half bodies were everywhere trying to make sure Wembley didn’t score. It feels like six points with how good Wembley’s home record is and with so many players out this week but its only one win and we need another big performance next week v Kingsley who have been on a good run.”

Talking of Kingsley, they kept in touch of the leaders with a 5-1 win against UWA-Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. They were off to a great start and were ahead on nine minutes, Lee Thomas’ corner was headed home by Sean Johnson. It was 2-0 on 37 minutes, a long throw picked out Aaron Lickiss who headed home. The home side reduced the margin just before half time Josh Pollen found space on the edge of the box and shot over Kingsley keeper Paul Rainford. But after half time the visitors took control and regained their two-goal advantage two minutes in. Johnson played a through-ball to Ashworth who lobbed UWA keeper Duncan Lissiman. They added a fourth five minutes from time a corner wasn’t dealt with and Jesse Higgins fired home. The icing was put on the cake in the final minute when they added a fifth, a long throw was flicked on by Lickiss and keeper Lissiman couldn’t hold on to it and Luke Armstrong bundled the ball home. “The win was good, and we’re starting to consistently put some goals in the back of the net as of late,” Kingsley midfielder Jayden Drummond said. “We just need to keep this momentum going for the rest of the season.”

Jaguars FC thrashed Ellenbrook United 5-0 at Herb Graham Recreation Center. The home side were ahead on the half hour, Lok Mamal’s through ball sent Akuei Guot clear to score. They doubled their lead moments later, Juma Wade played in top goal scorer Michael Wantee, who rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. It was 3-0 just before half time again skipper wade was involved this time Wantee was brought down in the box and the striker picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty. Wantee completed his hat-trick after half time, after he was found by a neat cut back by Guot. Wantee added his fourth and Jags fifth late, when the striker finished well after good approach work by Wade and Lok Mamal. “We are pleased ed with how the team had performed today,” Jags skipper Juma Wade said. “It was all round great team performance and it good to grab all three points scoring five goals, but the important thing was we don't concede. Now is about keeping the momentum and taking it into the next game."

Subiaco have beaten Belmont Villa 2-1 in a relegation battle at Gerry Archer Sports Complex The home side made a perfect start and against the run of play scored to take the lead into the break at half time. The visitors levelled after half time when winger Joaquin Becerra cut inside his marker and finished low past the keeper. The winner came when Paul Sopp turned his marker on the right and raced into the box and finished clinically under the on-coming keeper. Belmont thought they had levelled late, but the flag was up for offside and the goal was disallowed. “As predicted, when our well-drilled strategy comes together on the same day, we’re capable of creating enough chances to win games,” Subiaco Coach Andy Rhodes said. “A special thanks to Belmont for helping our injured keeper (concussion and a broken nose) who may find it difficult to get back in the team given the sterling performance of our Centre Half /stand-in keeper.”

In the final game Kwinana United held off a fast finishing Southern Spirt to win 3-2 at Kelly Park. The home side rushed a two-goal lead with Lee Bates opening the scoring before Danny Dyson doubled their lead with a bullet like diving header. Spirit pulled one back in the shadows of half time with Joe Brunetto on target. Robbie Hamm regained Kwinana’s two goal advantage after the break, but Jordan Andrews reduced the margin again to set up a grandstand finish, but Spirit couldn’t find the equaliser. “I was very pleased with the attitude of the team today, and back to back wins gives the boys confidence going to Belmont midweek,” Kwinana coach Kris Donnell said. “Our injury list has been horrendous but the players who have stepped in are doing a great job and were starting to see good results now from their hard work on the park.”




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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