ECU Joondalup striker Gordon Smith will be hoping to help them into the top four at Inglewood United this week.

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THIS WEEK ON THE WORLD FOOTBALL PROGRAMME

This Saturday on The World Football Programme on Radio Fremantle 107.9FM at 10am, Jason Washington-King will be hosting with Don Evans. Guests will be Taki Nicolaidis (Inglewood United), Ramon Falzon (Perth), Matt Cheeseman (Football West) and Damon Atthowe (WA school sports). The agenda includes the NPL-WA, women's football and all the news from around the leagues. Join the conversation Saturday from 10am on talk back via 9494 2100 or text in your comments to 0408 921 832.

26.8.2016

PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TWENTY TWO - PREVIEW

The 2016 PS4 National Premier League WA title goes on the line this weekend with Inglewood United and Perth SC battling out for top spot, while the battle for the West Australian Top four finals is gaining momentum. Inglewood beat Perth last week to put them in pole position and this week they host ECU Joondalup at Inglewood Stadium in the Footballwa Match of the Week. The table is a log-jam with six teams still in the running for the Top Four Cup, and Joondalup who are sitting in third on the table, still need a result on Saturday to reach them.

The Jacks moved third with a come-from-behind win last week against Cockburn, with striker Gordon Smith scoring a brace, taking his tally for the season to 19, and he said they were made to work for the win. “Obviously it was good to get the three points, although in the first half Cockburn were better than us and we were lucky to come into the break on level terms,” he said. “But credit to the boys for coming out in the second half and picking up our game, which was needed, and we run out comfortable winners.” Joondalup are on an 11 game unbeaten run, but Smith knows a loss on Saturday will undo all their hard work. “Inglewood are a strong side, and will be tough to beat, but we are on a great run at the moment and don’t fear anyone in the league,” he explained. “We know how big an achievement it would be to gain a top four spot, but as a squad we know we haven’t achieved anything yet, and Saturday will be a huge test, but it should be a great game.”

Joondalup Coach Dale McCulloch said Saturday is their fifth Cup final in their last five games, and he said they will be hoping to continue on their good form. “They need a win to win the league, and we need a win to get in the top four, it’s set up brilliantly, but we’ll be going there to spoil their party,” he said. “The players have been fantastic on this run, and we’ve trained really well this week, and will be looking to take the club into the end of season’s finals for the first time since 2010. The table doesn’t lie at this time of the season, and Inglewood have been the best team this season, so we need to bring our A game to get the points but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Inglewood’s win at Perth last week was the perfect result, with a goal in each half from Ashley Rosindale and Callum O’Connell winning it, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis said it was a great performance against his former club. “It really was a huge win last week, needing to take the sentiment out it I thought our guys really stood up when it counted and are now in control of their own destiny,” he said. “Even though anything less than a win for Perth against Sorrento won't be enough, we are just focused on controlling our performance to try and get a win and not have to rely on other results.”

Nicolaidis said they go into the game knowing three points will give them their first title since 1996, so it’s in their own hands and they are looking forward to the challenge. “It's definitely a big game for both clubs and one that I'm sure that both sides will be pulling out all stops to get a win. They (ECU) have been in great form and playing with confidence however last week’s performance and result showed me that our boys are totally focused on being at their best this week and think it could be the game of the season. I have no doubt that with what is up for grabs that there will be a very big crowd on Saturday watching two of the best footballing teams battling it out.” No players from the club were available for comment for the preview.

Perth SC will be hoping Inglewood slip up, while they need to do the business at Percy Doyle Reserve against Sorrento. Sorrento is still in line for spot in the finals, after their midweek win against Cockburn put them in striking distance, so both sides need the three points, setting up a huge encounter. Perth skipper Clark Keltie said last week loss against Inglewood was a huge disappointment, but it’s one they need to forget. “Going into the game I was very confident, being at home and knowing what was at stake, I thought we'd rise to the occasion,” he explained. “But I came off the pitch hugely disappointed as I've been waiting four seasons for an opportunity like that, the fight and desire just wasn't there for 9 0minutes. No qualms about the result, as the better team won on the day.”

Keltie captained the state side last week against Perth Glory, something he said was a great honour. “This was the fourth consecutive season I've had the privilege of captaining the WA side, under three different coaches, Kenny Lowe, Chris Orla and Chris Coyne twice,” he said. “I'm a big believer in that you get what you deserve in football, so I'm quite proud of that record. We had a good bunch of players and I thought we gave Glory a good test.” Heading to Sorrento is never an easy task, and with them pushing for the top four Keltie said it will be the same this season, and all they can do is win and hope other results go their way. “Sorrento is always a tricky place to go and they will make it difficult for us, we have to go and take three points regardless, and hope ECU do us a favour at Inglewood,” he said. “It's been a very unpredictable league this season so anything could happen come 5pm Saturday. “

Floreat Athena has their top four aspirations in their own hands when they travel to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. A win against the Cockerels will see them qualify, the venue has been a successful one for them winning their last two visits there in the league. Defender Blair Govan said the players showed great character to hit back with ten men and beat Bayswater last week, to keep their top four push alive. “Coming from behind with 10 men to beat Bayswater is a massive result. We haven't beaten them in a long time so to do it the way we did was brilliant,” he said. “We had some big players missing and a few struggling through the game so it just goes to show how we all work hard for each other and that's what got us across the line.”

Govan knows the quality Cockburn have in their squad and said they need to at their best to get the job done. “This weekend will be a very tough game Cockburn are a good, well drilled team and they will be looking for revenge after we scored in the last minute to win the Cup Final,” he explained. “But we will concentrate on ourselves knowing that a win will put us in the finals and we want to play well so if we are in the finals and full of confidence.” In team news Ludovic Boi and Bobby Wilson are still in doubtful, but Kris Gate should return from injury, while Lewis McMahon is away and Dennis Galan suspended.

Bayswater City’s hold on their title is hanging by a thread, and will be hoping other teams do them a favour in the other fixtures. First they have to get the win against Balcatta in the Italian derby at the Finance 365 Stadium. Winger Jason Mirco said the loss at Floreat was hard to take, after dominating for large periods of the game. “Last week’s result was obviously a huge disappointment for us. We went into the game with a clear objective of win and we can play finals,” he said. “Unfortunately as in previous weeks we didn't make the most of what I believed was a dominate performance, but credit to Floreat they took their chances and fought for the full 90 minutes to keep us from getting a second.” Mirco said Balcatta have nothing to lose, and they know three points is must. “This week is nothing different for us, the coaching staff and the club has extremely high standards and every games a must win, no matter what the situation,” he said. “So we'll address this as normal and look to making sure we do all we can to make the finals, and hope results elsewhere go our way.” In team news Todd Howarth returns to the squad after his trip to Europe.

Perth Glory secured their NPL safety last week at Balcatta, and this week they host Stirling Lions and the Ashfield Arena. Striker Nikola Talimdzioski said the 2-0 win at Balcatta was well deserved. “Last week was a massive win for us, and it gives us a huge confidence booster heading into what's going to be a tough battle this week, but I thought the 2-0 result was well deserved.” Talimdzioski has bagged eight goals this season to be the club’s highest scorer and he said they are looking to end the season on a high. “Stirling may have not had the best run of form recently but we still can't take them lightly, and we need to be a tour best,” he said. “They have the caliber to beat any time at any given moment, but we'll be looking to finish the season off on a high and get ready for the National Youth League.” In teams news for the Glory both Scott Robertson and Gian Albano come back into to the side from suspension and injury respectively.

Armadale also survived the drop with a win at Stirling last week and this week they host Subiaco, who are in the drop zone at present. Subiaco will know their fate at the end of the All Flags State League Division On season concludes. Armadale skipper Alex Castiello said the win at Stirling was well-deserved. “It was a fantastic win we really wanted to secure our spot that game and we achieved our goal,” he said. “We have had a great end of the season, with some big wins, and I really believe we could have done better, if we have had this consistency at the beginning of the year.” Castiello said they will be looking to give their loyal supporters something to cheer on Saturday. “This week against Subiaco we want to finish strong with three points and give the fans something to cheer,” he said. “We can actually make history at the club from what I've been told, we would have conceded the least amount of goals for 12 years if we keep the margin small Saturday, so that will give us extra incentive. We have a full squad to choose from so should be an interesting contest.”

26.8.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINETEEN - PREVIEW

The All Flags State League Division One title is going down to the wire with Mandurah City and Joondalup United battling it out. The pair met each other next week, but they both have difficult games this weekend, and Mandurah’s visit to Burrendah Reserve to take on Canning City is the Footballwa.net Match of the Week. Canning stunned Ashfield last week, while Mandurah topped their goal difference up with a big win against Gosnells City. Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh said last week’s win was a solid performance against a good side. “I thought we played very well last week against Gosnells, and scored some good goals,” he said. “They (Gosnells) are a young talented side and took it to us, but I thought we were good against the Phoenix last week, so to maintain the standard we have set was important.” Hesketh said this week is another big challenge and Canning has had some big results in recent weeks. “I’m sure Paul (Oliver) and Canning will want to have a go at us this week, but we’ll be ready for them,” he said. “You can see in recent results they have a good side and they work hard for each other, so we need to be switch on from the first whistle.” In team news for Mandurah Craig Young and Danny Dyson are both overseas, while Craig Tone is struggling with an ankle injury.

Canning coach Paul Oliver said the win at Ashfield was well-deserved and it had been coming for a few weeks. “Last week was a good reward for out last few weeks, where we have created so much and through bad luck and a lack of ruthlessness have perhaps not got what we have deserved in games,” he said. “Last week we clicked and it mostly fell into place, but it means very little if we don't back it up this week.” Oliver said they have dropped points against teams below them on the table and that’s stopped them being higher up the table, but he’s looking forward to taking ion the league leaders. “In games this season we have dropped significant points to teams below us, which is frustrating, and maybe we could be up there challenging if it wasn't for that but we will look forward to the challenge that Mandurah bring,” he said. “Doug and Mick have them very well drilled so I'm sure they will push us hard with likely promotion around the corner in a game they really have to win so the pressure is all on them.” In team news for the home side Simon Elton-Bott is suspended, while Nathan Hubbard and Simon Correia are out for the season. Callum Roberts is in doubt with injury, but they will regain the services of Ethan Levitt who has returned from overseas.

Joondalup thumped Rockingham City last week and this week they entertain Ashfield at Forrest Park looking to keep the pressure on the leaders. United coach Nick Jennings said the big win against Rockingham was outstanding and he said every game is vital if they are to catch Mandurah. “We knew going into the game nothing but three points would do, and a goal in the 1st minute obviously helped us settle,” he said. “But we also played some great football in the comprehensive victory which was never really in doubt.” Jennings said although Saturday’s opponents have struggled in recent weeks they won’t be taking them lightly. “Our matches against Ashfield have always been close normally settled by a single goal so I don't see this being any different despite Ashfield having an up and down season,” he said. “They'll look to keep it tight and we'll have to be at our best to get the result we need to keep the pressure on Mandurah.” In team news skipper Arran Maplestone returns to the squad, so Jennings has a full squad to choose from.

Forrestfield bounced back from their loss against Western Knights last week, with a big win against Shamrock, and this week they travel to Lark Hill to take on traditional rivals Rockingham City. The home side were humbled at Joondalup last week, and with only three points separating the two sides, both will be looking for the points to keep them in the top five. Forrestfield defender Mark Barnett said the win at Shamrock was good, especially on a poor playing surface. “We were very pleased with the result last week, on a horrendous pitch,” he said. “The boys fought hard all over the field and we dominated play from start to finish. However we did let it slip for about ten minutes where they managed to pull two back, but we reacted well and marched onto a very convincing victory. Defensive structure was good, midfield kept calm on the mud paddock and the attack went to work when it mattered most.”

Barnett said the Forrie army will be in full voice on Saturday, as they look to keep the pressure on third placed Knights. “This week is a massive game as all of them are, however this one is special, as we have a huge rivalry with Rockingham both on and off the field,” he explained. “Our boys got the better of them last time a round and we will be looking to do the double this week, and send the Forrie army home happy.” In team news Milan Vulin and Jimmy Duncan returned to training this week after long term injuries, and come into the squad but coach Rod Banjac will probably give them their return in the Reserves.

In other games this weekend third placed Western Knights make the trip to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix. The Phoenix came home from UWA Nedlands with a point last week, while the Knights beat traditional rivals Dianella. The Phoenix have a good home record, only losing once this season, and will be looking to continue on with that this weekend, while the Knights need the points to keep on the tails of the leaders and keep the others at bay. Gosnells City and UWA-Nedlands meet at Walter Padbury Reserve, both sides looking to push up the table, while in the final game the two bottom sides do battle with Dianella White Eagles hosting Shamrock Rovers at Dianella Reserve.

26.8.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINETEEN - PREVIEW

Fremantle City continue their charge to promotion, leading the league by nine points, and their trip to Princess Road Reserve to take on Balga is this week’s Footballwa.net Match of the Week. Fremantle boosted their goal difference with a big win against Ellenbrook last week, but Coach Steve Plucknett said the performance wasn’t the best. “Yes pleased to get the win, but the performance was not as good as it could be, it took some luck and a bit of individual quality to get us the result,” he said. “The players have given everything they can so far this year and in getting nine straight wins it would be harsh to get too critical. However we set standards in our work rate and the players know it will have to be lifted this week.” Plucknett knows Saturday’s game will be tough and has told his players they will up against a determined Balga side. “They (Balga) will be hurting after last week’s result, so anything less than the performance we put in at home in the reverse fixture won't do,” he said. “They are a good side, with some very talented players, we will be expecting a tough game to maintain our lead at the top of the table.” In team news for Fremantle, Tom Speziali returns to the squad.

Balga were edged out by Joondalup City last week and Anton De Francesch said it was one of those games. “We fought well in the first half and had a few chances that we should have converted, unfortunately they got a quick two goals early in the second and that took the wind out of us,” he said. “I think we didn't play our best football, clearly and we're just trying to find a perfect balance in formation and player position to get an optimal performance from the team.” De Francesch said Saturday’s opponents are the benchmark of the league, but they are looking forward to the challenge. “It will definitely be a tough game, and both teams know that, the points are up for grabs and whichever team wants them more will take them,” he said. “Both sides are quite technical and focus on keeping the ball and moving it fast, which suits us, we are in good form, we have a strong squad going into the game, and we have promotion strongly planted in our minds. It’s still definitely within our sights, plenty of games left in the season for anything to happen on the ladder, but will be a thrilling game and both sides hopefully come full guns blazing.” Balga have a few players with niggling injuries, but all should be available, for what should be one of the games of the season.

Curtin University won a seven goal thriller last week against Quinns, coming from 3-0 down, and this week they entertain Swan United at Edinburgh Oval. Curtin Coach Campbell Ballantyne said last week’s win was outstanding, but said they had a little luck. “Last week was a great performance from the lads, but after the two late goals the week before at Morley kept the belief,” he said. “It also came with a bit of luck that got us the points, but we’ll take it and move on to another important game against Swan.” In the reverse fixture Curtin played another seven goal thriller in the Swan Valley and Ballantyne said that was another game they let slip. “The Swan game is on our list of dropped points, we were 3-1 up with 15 to play when Jack Kenny saved a penalty,” he explained. “Eddie Tikoft also had a chance at 3-3 to win it for us, so we’re looking forward to the rematch and hopefully getting the right result this time. I will say I wasn't disappointed to hear of Corey Hugo's retirement prior to playing us, he was great the last time we played them.” In team news Antony Russo returns from suspension, but Stefan Spears is unavailable for selection.

In other games Joondalup City will look to keep the pressure on Fremantle when they make the trip to John Connell Reserve to take on Melville City. Joondalup won the top of the table clash with Balga last week, while Melville’s recent good form deserted them after a surprise 2-0 defeat at Wanneroo. Morley Windmills continued their good form with a 2-0 win at Swan United last week, and this week they entertain Wanneroo City at Wotton Reserve. There is a northern derby when Quinns host Kingsway Olympic at Gumblossom Park. Both sides lost seven goal thrillers last week and will look to bounce back on Saturday. In the final game Kelmscott Roos make the trip to Arbor Grove Reserve to take on bottom of the table Ellenbrook United.

25.8.2016

WILIAMS REFLECTS ON RIO OLYMPICS

Matilda's goalkeeper Lydia Williams says representing her indigenous heritage at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was a dream come true and meeting her childhood hero Cathy Freeman made her speechless. Along with her teammate Kyah Simon, Lydia Williams has always been a proud exponent of her Aboriginal culture and both players followed in the footsteps of Australian athletic legend Freeman when they competed in Brazil.

After the Matildas were knocked out of the women’s football tournament Williams got the opportunity to meet her idol and the 28-year old says representing her community at the Olympics was an honour. “It’s everything that I dreamed of,” she said. “I’ve been watching the Olympics since before I was playing football, so for me being an Olympian was such an incredible thing.”

“To represent both my country and my culture is a pretty special thing and I’m proud of myself and proud of the girls. Obviously Kyah is as well, it’s a pretty special moment. The time to reflect on it will be after this - which I haven’t really reached yet. I’m definitely proud of the impact I’ve had on the Australian team and the people back home and my family. “

The Matildas were so close to playing off for a medal but lost on penalties to the host country and Williams says she was blown away by how the Brazilian crowd supported their team and the Australians. “It was one of the most amazing experiences that I’ve ever had,” she said. “When the Brazilian anthem was going on and the whole crowd stopped and sung with them.”

“Just reflecting on a moment in women’s sport - it was incredible to see a country get behind their women’s team. I had great respect for the crowd they applauded us after the fantastic effort that we put in and the girls have nothing to feel anything except but proud because we took it to them and it could’ve gone either way at the end.”

The Aussies led eventual gold medallists Germany 2-0 in their second group game before it finished in a 2-2 draw and coupled with the result against Brazil, Williams says exciting times lie ahead. “This team can achieve anything,” she said. “To have the support and the backing of friends and family back home and the fans and the footballing people that’s incredible.”

“It’s only going to grow the game even more and we are really excited for it. This team is still quite young, our average is still 24 and in another four years it’s going to be 28. For us it could’ve been anything can happen with the penalty. We proved that we can compete with anyone in the world and we were just so close but we are really excited to see what we can bring in the future.”

25.8.2016

BROTHERLY ADVICE DRAWS MILLS TO GLORY

He's lived with Welsh superstar Gareth Bale and England poster boy Theo Walcott but new recruit Joseph Mills is hoping his switch to Perth Glory is his best move yet. Mills started his career alongside Bale and Walcott at Southampton's renowned football academy but while they've gone on to become soccer megastars, Mills has become somewhat of an English journeyman.

The 26-year old made 35 league and cup appearances for Southampton before stints at Scunthorpe United, Doncaster Rovers, Reading, Burnley, Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town. Needing a fresh start, he sought advice from his brother Jonathan who convinced him to join him down under in the city of Perth.

"He came over here just for a holiday and this is his sixth year here now, so that tells you a lot about the city," Mills said. "He loves it. He said how friendly a place it is to live. Everyone's welcoming, which I've found. He always said about coming over here. And with last season, I wasn't enjoying my football as much. Once the offer was on the table, I jumped on it."

Mills missed Glory's 2-0 FFA Cup win over Brisbane through illness but played 45 minutes in the side's 1-0 win over the WA State side earlier this month. The former England U18 international is a chance to feature again for Glory in Thursday night's friendly clash with Iraq, who are in Perth preparing for next week's World Cup qualifier against the Socceroos.

Glory have been installed early favourites for this season's A-League crown following an impressive recruitment drive that netted Adam Taggart, Rhys Williams, Mills and Rostyn Griffiths. The quartet will join the likes of Socceroo Josh Risdon, ex-Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh, one-time Millwall defender Shane Lowry and former La Liga attacker Diego Castro in the star-studded squad.

22.8.2016

“DAD IS MY INSPIRATION” SAYS GALLOWAY

From Perth to Melbourne via the Australian Institute of Sport, 21-year old Scott Galloway is pursuing his passion for football and making a name for himself at Melbourne Victory. Paul Galloway, Scott's father, migrated from Northern Ireland to Australia, bringing with him a love for the beautiful game that he and his son would later bond over.

That bond is the reason Scott became involved with the sport. "My dad's from Northern Ireland and over there, football is a religion – everyone loves it," Galloway says. "He used to play in different teams and was pretty athletic when he was younger, so I took after him and developed a passion towards it like him."

Coming from a supportive family meant Galloway had the confidence and drive to forge a career in football. "My dad would take me down to the park all the time and some days we'd come back happy, some days we didn't," Galloway says. "He was harsh on me sometimes, but it's what I needed. He pushed me hard, which you need your parents to do when you're young if you want to succeed."

Although he received some tough love at times, Galloway admits it was for the best. "As my dad, he could see what I could do and how I could improve," Galloway explains. "He figured that if he could push me in the right direction, I could make it here and even further one day."

After playing for local teams in Perth and then moving to the National Training Centre, Galloway was selected for the Australian Institute of Sport at the age of 16. From there, it was Ange Postecoglou who spotted the youngster and offered him an opportunity at Victory. "It's coming up to four years now that I've been in Melbourne," Galloway said.

Galloway reflects on his Victory debut - in the February 2013 derby with Melbourne Heart - as one of his greatest achievements. "But also going to the Under-20 World Cup, playing and starting in the games against Columbia, El Salvador and Turkey, as well as being selected for the Olyroos," he added. "It's hard to pick because I look at each thing that comes along as a great achievement and something to be proud of."

As for his biggest inspiration, Galloway has Paul at the top of the list. "My dad is my inspiration, especially because of where he has come from, what he's done in his life, and what he continues to do for our family now," Galloway says. "He works hard every day and looks after both himself and my family and I hope that one day I can repay the favour."

21.8.2016

CHAMPIONS ON THE BRINK OF MISSING FINALS

Bayswater City’s hold on the PS4 NPLWA title is over, after they were beaten 2-1 by a 10-man Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday. The defeat for City puts them in fifth place, with just one match to play, and will have to rely on other results to make it into the top four, while Floreat climbed to third place (and have their destiny in their own hands). Brian Farrell gave the visitors the lead on the half hour, and Denis Galan was then sent off, but two goals after the break from former City striker Phil Arnold and Jon Stynes gave the home side a memorable win. “Credit to the boys they were magnificent today,” Floreat assistant coach Tim Kantor said. “Our season was on the line and we just said to the boys at half time to put up a huge effort because we’re not going to get defensive we’re going to stay attacking and they were magnificent. “There’s one thing about this group and they galvanise in situations like this and not just today they’ve been fantastic all year.”

The visitors were out of the blocks early and had the better of the opening exchanges and on the half hour they hit the front. A poor clearance from former City defender Chris Saldaris fell to Farrell, who made mistake from close-range. Floreat, who were still without the influential pair Ludovic Boi and Bobby Wilson, continued to struggle and on 38 minutes they were reduced to ten men when Galan received two quick yellow cards from referee Adam Fielding. Luka Ninkovic was a constant threat for the visitors, but Floreat hung on to half time.

Whatever Coach Glen Grostate said at the break had the desired effort and three minutes they levelled. Arnold found space at the back post to head home. Then on 53 minutes Floreat hit the front, Lewis McMahon turned his defender before sending Stynes free on goal, he outpaced his marker and finished clinically past Devon Spence, much to the delight of the Floreat faithful. With their season on the line Bayswater pressed, and Sam Mitchinson’s header flashed wide of the target, before Jason Mirco found space in the box, but he also failed to hit the target.

Floreat were catching City on the counter attack and Stynes’ pace and the guile of McMahon was causing them problems, while Dean Evans was bossing the middle of the park. But in stoppage time the visitors had one last chance to get a point, when a deep cross from found its way to substitute Devon Gibson, but the defender snatched at the shot and it flew over the top and it was Floreat celebrating a famous victory, to put them in pole position for a top four spot.

20.8.2016

INGLEWOOD LEAPFROGS PERTH IN TITLE RACE

Inglewood United kept their PS4 NPLWA title fight alive with a 2-0 win against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens, the win leapfrogging them over their rival on the table. A goal in each half from Ashley Rosindale and Callum O’Connell were enough for the visitors, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis said the character of his players shone through. “We as coaching staff put bits and pieces together but ultimately, at the end of the day, the character of that group is amazing,” he said post game. “We’ve won a game and we’re back on top but we’ve won nothing yet. We’ll celebrate the win as we do every game but as of tomorrow it is full focus and planning from a coaching point of view.”

Only two points separated the two teams at kick off and Perth knew a win would take out the league title were on the front foot early and the league’s top goalscorer Gustavo Catarcione went close after only five minutes. A poor clearance from Perth keeper Alex Dunn fell straight to the Perth striker, and his bicycle kick from long-range flashed narrowly wide of the target.

The visitors settled and started to get on top and they opened the scoring on the half hour. Jason Barrera’s through ball split the Perth defence and Rosindale raced in on goal and finished clinically past Francis Soale. Rosindale was causing havoc and he was in again moments later, but Solae stood tall and the striker fired wide of the target. Perth pressed before half time looking for the equaliser but Inglewood held firm to take their lead to the break.

Perth opened brightly after the break, and moments in Catarcione raced clear and Dunn raced out and brought the striker down on the edge of the penalty area. It gave referee David Bruce a huge decision to make, but he decided a yellow card would suffice the Inglewood keeper lucky it wasn’t a red. From the resulting set piece Clark Keltie shot was straight into the wall, and the rebound cleared.

The home side thought they had levelled on 70 minutes, with Aleks Jovic fired home, but his celebrations were short-lived as the assistant flag was raised for offside. Perth was on top and the Inglewood back-four were working overtime, but all their efforts were rewarded eight minutes from time when they scored the sealer. Perth didn’t clear in goalmouth scramble, and O’Connell fired home from close-range, this despite Perth’s appealing for offside, but the referee waved away their protests

20.8.2016

ARMADALE BEAT LIONS TO AVOID THE DROP

Armadale secured their survival in the PS4NPLWA after a hard fought 2-1 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday. Skipper Jesse Fuller gave the Reds the lead early, before Brodie Martin levelled for the home side on the hour. But nine minutes from time Ellis Healing won it for Paul Price’s side.

The coach was delighted for him and the club. “Ellis is a very good player. He’s not scored this season from a free kick; I think he’s hit the post about 10 times, so it was nice to see that one going in,” Price said. “There’s been a lot of pressure on the club – obviously no one wants to be relegated but I think we’ve done it in style today, we deserved the win.”

It was a huge game for both sides at both the top and bottom of the table, and the Reds supporters were on their feet on 14 minutes, when they hit the front. The Lions failed to clear the ball and in the resulting goalmouth scramble Fuller fired home. Both sides had chances before the break, but couldn’t convert, so it was the visitors leading at the break.

The home side, who have been in free fall on the table, and needed the win to keep their Top Four chances alive, made the perfect start to the second half, as Armadale failed to clear their lines and Martin walked the ball into an empty net. The Armadale faithful were checking up on the scores from the other venues but they needn’t have worried and ten minutes from time they won it, Healing scoring from a free kick much to the delight of the Armadale supporters.

20.8.2016

GULLS STILL IN THE MIX FOR FINALS

Sorrento’s top four finals hopes are still alive after defeating Subiaco 2-1 at Rosalie Park on Sunday. Reece Vittiglia gave the visitors the lead on the hour, before Jonas Dorling levelled eight minutes from time, but substitute Billy Quinncroft won it for the Gulls two minutes later. The win means Sorrento join Bayswater City on 35 points with, with a game in hand, while Subiaco have finished at the foot of the table and could face relegation depending on who wins the All Flags State League Division One and is subject to the club meeting the criteria.

Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell said the win keeps their season alive. “This win keeps our season alive for another game. Now we have to win two more cup finals and then we will finish in the top four,” he said. “I think we controlled the majority of the game and moved the ball well on a difficult pitch, and when we went 1-0 up they threw players forward and got a scrappy goal, but we showed character to come back and score the winner.”

The visitors came close on 21 minute, when a free-kick from Niccolo Sabatini found Daryl Platten whose header was cleared off the line by a Subiaco defender. Sabatini was involved again 10 minutes later, the speedy winger made a diagonal run inside the box but his effort was denied by a good save from Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery. The Gulls were dominating and should have hit the front on the stroke of half time. Alex Morgan found Brad McDonald whose shot was cleared off the line by Ross Jarman.

Subiaco lifted after the break, and had a chance to take the lead early in the second half when Michael Lawson’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area, but it was blocked by some desperate Sorrento defending. Subiaco had Sorrento on the back foot but on the hour it was the visitors who opened the scoring. Sean Canham squared the ball to Vittiglia who finished low past Montgomery.

With results elsewhere not going their way, Subiaco pushed men forward and eight minutes from time they levelled, Dorling firing home, to give them hope of the win to keep their season alive. But two minutes later Sorrento regained their lead. Quinncroft was sent into the box, and he outpaced his marker and fired past Montgomery, to win it and keep them on track for a top four finish.

20.8.2016

ECU HIT BACK TO DOWN THE COCKERELS

ECU Joondalup moved into third spot on the PS4 National Premier League WA table, after a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Cockburn City at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday. Blake Adams had given Cockburn the lead early, but a goal on the stroke of half time from Steven McGarry got the home side back in the game, before Gordon Smith bagged a brace to seal the win.

“We were slow out the blocks today, and we spoke on the bench if we can nick one before half time, which we probably didn’t deserve, it would be great,” ECU coach Dale McCulloch said. “So to score just before half time turned the tide a bit. We tried to rush the ball in the first half and we weren’t patient enough, but after the break we moved the ball a lot quicker and looked dangerous and got in some good areas, and I thought we dominated and got the win. It’s put us in the four now, so it’s now up to us to stay there.”

The visitors, who still needed a point to secure safety, were on the front foot early and they hit the front on 12 minutes. Aden De Luz made ground down the right and whipped in a deep cross, and Adams finished well past Lewis Italiano. Cockburn were well on top and Angel Andres curling shot whistled past the post, before Riley Woodcock’s shot was well saved by Italiano at full stretch. The home side were struggling to create any good chances, with the Cockburn defence, well marshalled by skipper Euen Grant, holding firm, and it looked like the visitors would go into the break with the lead. But in stoppage time Daryl Nicol was brought down on the edge of the penalty box, and McGarry fired low past Luke Radonich and into the corner of the net, to send the sides in level at the break.

It was an even start to the second half, and both had chances early. Cameron Edwards’ long-range shot was saved by Italiano; before Amphlett’s dangerous low cross was well claimed by Radonich. The home side started to dictate terms and Gordon Smith’s header drifted inches past the far post on the hour. But four minutes later the home side hit the front. Gordon Smith was brought down in the penalty area by Reuben Tristao and referee Tom Glavovic pointed to the spot. The Scottish striker picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty. It was now one-way traffic as ECU pressed forward, Amphlett’s long-range shot flashed inches past the post, and they had the ball in the net again on 68 minutes, but Shane Pickering’s goal was disallowed for a foul in the penalty area.

But seven minutes from time ECU wrapped up the points with a third. Ryan Lowry’s cross from the right wasn’t dealt with by Radonich, and the ball fell kindly to Gordon Smith who scored into an empty net. Cockburn almost pulled one back in stoppage time, substitute Liam Murray’s header looked goal bound, but a stunning one-handed save from Italiano, denied the striker. The win sets up an intriguing game next week, when ECU travels to league leaders Inglewood United. The home side need the win to secure the title, while Joondalup need the win to make the West Australian Top Four Cup.

20.8.2016

PETRATOS AT THE DOUBLE FOR GLORY

Perth Glory midfielder’s Kosta Petratos double has given them a 2-0 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve, and in doing so the Glory youngsters avoided relegation. Glory defender Jack Iredale said it was great win. “We’re obviously very pleased with a win against a tough side. It was a solid performance from everyone, and I felt like we got the result we deserved. Also it's a big relief to confirm our spot in next year’s NPL, after what has been a tough campaign,” he said. “We've definitely competed better this season against the other teams. We've always been technically good enough to play in the league but at times previously our physicality had let us down, but this year hasn't been the case.”

The Glory were on the front foot early and Jamal Reiners curling shot from the edge of the penalty area on nine minutes, flashed over the top. Balcatta hit back moments later and young striker Scott Newland was given far too much space in the area, but couldn’t find the target from close-range. Daniel Stynes was causing problems for the Balcatta defence, and on 20 minutes his deflected shot was well saved by the alert Clint Davies. Moments later Reiners was sent one-on-one with the Balcatta custodian, but Davies stood tall to deny him. But on 28 minutes the Glory hit the front.

Nikola Talimdzioski was brought down in the penalty area and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Petratos stepped up and sent Davies the wrong way to give the Glory the lead. Davies was keeping his side in the game, as the Glory looked to add to their lead. First on 39 minutes Jackson Morgan played Petratos in on goal, but his shot was well saved by the keeper, before Davies saved well to deny Talimdzioski moments later, but at the break the Glory lead by the only goal.

The Glory had a perfect start to the second half when they were awarded another penalty, after Davies brought down Talimdzioski. But the keeper made up for his mistake saving Petratos’ spot kick. It was one-way traffic as the Glory went in search of a second. Stynes raced clear down the left, before squaring the ball to Talimdzioski, but Davies saved well to deny the young striker.

Talimdzioski was giving the Balcatta defence the run around, he went close again on the hour, but his shot was saved by Davies, and moments later the Balcatta custodian saved superbly to deny him again. But with Balcatta pushing men forward looking for the equaliser the Glory caught them on a counter attack in the final minute, and Petratos finished clinically from the edge of the penalty area to seal the points.

20.8.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHTEEN - REVIEW

The race for the All Flags State League Division One is heating up with the top two sides winning convincingly in week 18. Joondalup United kept in touch with Mandurah City by beating Rockingham City 6-1 at Forrest Park. The home side made the perfect start and were ahead in the first minute, a long throw was flicked on to Josh Booysen who scored from close-range. The home side continued to dominate and added a second when another long throw was finished by Lee Jones. It was 3-0 at the break, when Booysen and James Harmer combined down the right and Jones was on hand to score. Rockingham City pulled one back early in the second half with Gersh Rowland on target, but Joondalup hit back with Jones completing his hat-trick, firing home from five meters. Jacob Shore added the fifth with a bullet like shot from the edge of the penalty area, before James Harmer added the sixth, with a goal his performance deserved. “We were up and at them from the first whistle, scored early and completely dominated the game,” Coach Nick Jennings said. “It was a good all round team performance with outstanding contributions from Josh Booysen, James Harmer and Johny Chalmers. At this stage of the season every game is a cup final and we'll prepare this week for Ashfield knowing again nothing less than a win will suffice.”

Mandurah City maintained their two point lead, and also boosted their goal difference with 5-0 win against Gosnells City at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. The home side opened up brightly and Paul Jackson was denied early by Gosnells keeper Jack Adams. But on 36 minutes their pressure was rewarded with the opener. Good build up down the left ended with Jordan Rhodes who made no mistake. The home side added a second early in the second half, Jon Brookes curling home from 25 meters. Moments later it was 3-0, Brookes again scoring after being picked out by Jack Eades. Oriel Fernandez raced into the box, and beat the keeper and defender to the ball, and dragged the ball back and fired home. Fernandez was causing problems to the Gosnells defenders and he added his second and Mandurah’s fifth in the final minutes, racing clear and finishing with aplomb past the keeper. “Mick (Lyons) and I are delighted with the performance, they (Gosnells) are a good unit and pushed us,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “They are in transition and in my opinion a club to watch, but we played well last week and we backed it up again this week. I do believe we still can go up a gear, the squad set the standards on the pitch, with the mentality the squad display I believe they have a bit in the tank MCFC are very proud of them and they are brilliant to work with.”

Western Knights maintain third place on the table after a hard fought 3-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Nash Field. The results leaves the Eagles in the drop zone, while the Knights look to end the season on a high. The Knights hit the front on 10 minutes, Ryan Tucker’s cross was brought down and volleyed home by Paul Lloyd. The Eagles supporters were on their feet ten minutes later, when Camilo Cardenas fired home from just inside the penalty area. But the home side hit back and regained the lead on 35 minutes, and Tucker’s cross this time picked out Adriano Jelenkovic who headed past Yousri Gharsallah. The points were made safe when Kevin Ashwood got on the end of a Lloyd cross from the right. “It was vital we backed up the good win against Forrestfield, and we did with three good goals and a solid win,” Lloyd said. “We defended well and probably should have scored more. We want to continue the run now and finish the season strongly.”

Canning City travelled to Ashfield Reserve and stunned Ashfield 4-1. Ante Jukic volleyed home the opener, before Mark Trevisiol doubled their advantage from a tight angle. It was 3-0 when Trevisiol made space down the right and picked out Laurence Cheyne who volleyed home from close-range. Ashfield pulled one back from the penalty spot from Jamie Burns, but the ten man Canning secured the points when Cheyne curled home superbly from 25 meters. “It was a great performance from the lads who looked threatening throughout. Even when we went to 10 men we still looked like the most likely side to score,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “It has been coming for a few weeks now, we've created bags of chances in recent games and haven't been able to capitalise but today we were very clinical and took our chances well. In truth in could have been more as we missed a penalty and hit the crossbar but the lads have put on a very professional performance and restricted Ashfield to shots from range and only conceded via the penalty spot so a very good all round display. We look forward to testing ourselves against Mandurah next Saturday.”

In other games Forrestfield bounced back from last week’s loss against Western Knights with a 6-2 win against Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Reserve. Goals coming from Mitch Crocker, Ben Rogers, Liam Merrigan, Mark Barnett, Jordan Hart and Sani Sinclair. In the final game UWA-Nedlands and South West Phoenix fought out a 1-1 draw at the UWA Sports Park. The visitors hit the front just before half time. A combination of passes from the left between Max Ababio and Sam Gathridge ended up with Ryan Francis, who took on two players and laying off for Carlo Chiellini who fired home through a crowd of players from outside the penalty area. UWA levelled with 15 minutes to go, A great through ball from Mordecai Appiah split the Phoenix centre halves and Lloyd Prout ran onto the pass and calmly finished past the oncoming keeper.

20.8.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND EIGHTEEN - REVIEW

League leaders Fremantle City maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 6-2 win against already relegated Ellenbrook United at Hilton Park. On target for Steve Plucknett’s side was Sean Browne and Jett Shaw in the first half, before Ben West and Alec Robinson scored doubles after the break. In the game between second and third Joondalup City came out 3-1 winners against Balga at Princess Road Reserve. It was a tight first half with chances at both ends, but all the goals came after the break. The visitors opened the scoring on 53 minute, Mark Tebbutt scoring via the crossbar. It was 2-0 two minutes later, Joseph McQuade’s 30 yard free kick flying into the top corner. The home side pulled on back five minutes from time, Alen Patarov racing through and finishing low past the keeper. Balga pressed for the equaliser but they were caught again in stoppage time, Liam McGurk scoring to seal the win. “After a scrappy first half we managed to get our game going and created numerous chances. We wasted a lot of opportunities, but to win 3-1 away from home in such an important match is great for us,” Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said. “We allowed Balga back in the game at the end but I believe we thoroughly deserved the win. We are gaining momentum at the right time of the season but we are aware that we must be switched on every week as we have previously experienced. We have another big match against Melville on Saturday, away for the third week in a row so we must keep our feet on the ground. It was a 4-4 thriller last time we played them so we will need to have the same attitude if we are to keep our run going.”

There was a seven goal thriller at Frye Park where Kelmscott Roos edged out Kingsway Olympic 4-3. The home side were ahead when Adam Barker’s deflected shot rolled home. But Kingsway hit back and they were level when Brett Cutting scored. But the home side soon regained the lead with Aaron Hardy heading home Linden Pywell’s pin-point cross to send them into the break with the lead. But Kingsway hit back after half time and Ryan Frisina bagged a brace to put them ahead, and in control. But Kelmscott weren’t finished and they levelled when Owen Curtis’ header crashed off the crossbar and Arthur Gaye fired home the rebound. It looked like the points would be shared but in the final minute Kelmscott won a penalty after Gaye was brought down by Kingsway keeper Joey Smith, and Pywell stepped up and scored the resulting spot kick to give the home side the points.

There was another seven goal thriller at Edinburgh Oval when Curtin University came back from 0-3 down to beat Quinns 4-3. The visitors lead 2-0 at the break with goals from Adam Buckley and and an own goal, and they increased their lead just after half time with Jake Benson-Cooper on target and it looked game over. But Oliver Robertson pulled one back after good work from Jon Krawec, and they added another when Eddie Tikoff volleyed home. Curtin were well on top and it wasn’t a surprise when they levelled 10 minutes from time, Khaled Salhah scoring from the edge of the box. Quinns then had the chance to go back in front but Benson-Cooper missed a penalty, and six minutes from time Curtin won it, Krawec scoring his second to give the home side a memorable comeback win. In other games Wanneroo City beat Melville City 2-0 at Wanneroo Reserve, while Morley Windmills travelled to the Swan Italian Club and came home with a 2-0 win against Swan United. The visitors were ahead when Ben Wantee beat two players and finished well in the bottom right corner of the net. The second goal also came from Wantee, he cut in from the left hand side after beating the right back and curled into far corner from about 15 meters.




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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