Balcatta's Feisal Zaw late goal gave them a 2-1 win in the local derby against Stirling Lions

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20.5.2016

ZAW STORMS BALCATTA TO DERBY VICTORY

A goal in the final minute of normal time from Balcatta’s lively winger Feisal Zaw has given them a 2-1 win against neighbours Stirling Lions in the local derby at Macedonia Park. An early goal from Gomo Dukully put the visitors in charge, but a late goal from David Micevski looked like it had earned the Lions at point, but Zaw had other ideas and won it late.

“It’s always tough facing Stirling, especially in the form they've been in lately,” Zaw said. “But I think the boys have been unlucky the past few weeks with the cup loss and the Floreat loss, so we kept working hard in training and it paid off on the weekend. Scoring the winner was a great feeling but credit to the guys we kept chipping away even after they equalised, just had to tap it in at the back post.”

Balcatta started the game on the front foot, and were ahead after only six minutes. Teenage striker Cameron Teece wasn’t closed down on the edge of the penalty area, his low shot was well saved by John Perkins, Dukully was on hand to finish the rebound. The visitors hand a great opportunity to double their lead 15 minutes later, but Perkins reacted well to deny Carlo Coelho.

The Lions started to get back into the game and went close to the equaliser five minutes before half time. Blamo Qua Qua’s long-range shot drifting just past the post. The Micevski brothers, Daniel and David, both had chances as the Lions ended the half on top, but both saw their efforts miss the target. After the break it was a typical derby game, with end-to-end football and both sides had half chances, but Clint Davies and Perkins weren’t really troubled. But eight minutes from time the home side levelled. David Micevski curled home a free kick, up over the wall and into the net.

The Lions pressed looking for the winner and they had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee Tom Glavovic, after Daniel Micevski was brought down in the area, but the official waved away their protests. But in the 90th minute, Balcatta won it. Teece cut in from the left and crossed to the back post and Zaw ghosted in to fire home.

20.5.2016

SUPER-SUB HARNWELL GIVES SORRENTO THE POINTS

A goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time from substitute Todd Harnwell has given Sorrento a 1-0 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. The veteran striker, who came out of retirement this season, replaced Billy Quinncroft in the 74th minute and scored the dramatic winner. “It was a very hard fought game in extremely difficult conditions. We found it hard to play our usual style and had to really grind out the win,” goalscorer Harnwell said. “Both sides had a few good chances but thankfully we managed to capitalise in the dying minutes to hopefully get us back on track.”

The home side seemed to settle to the poor playing conditions the better and they had the best chance of the first half. Ellis Healing, who had committed himself to the club in midweek after transfer speculation, was given far too much space in the middle of the park and his long-range effort beat Sorrento custodian James Morgan, but the crossbar came to the keepers rescue.

Healing was outstanding and he was involved again as the home side went close to the lead ten minutes into the second half. His in-swinging corner found Anthony Skorich, whose scissor-kick flashed inches wide of the post. Sorrento were struggling in the final third, but Armadale still looked the most likely to score, and the woodwork prevented them again on 71 minutes.

Jake Sardelic’s cross was caught by the strong wind, and lifted it over James Morgan, but to the dismay of the Armadale supporters the ball crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Healing then almost won it two minutes from time, the English midfielder found space in the box, but James Morgan stood tall to deny him. It looked like the points would be shared but in the 95th minute the Gulls flew home with the points. Daryl Platten crossed in from the right and Harnwell got a near post flick on header to send past Alfie Brincat.

20.5.2016

LEAGUE LEADERS EDGE OUT SUBIACO

League leaders Inglewood United were made to work hard for victory, but came away from a wet and wild Rosalie Park with all three points, after a 2-1 win against Subiaco. The rain lashed down for most of the game, but Jason Colli and Calum O’Connell had given the visitors the lead at the break, but Zac Edwards pulled one back for the winless Subiaco on the hour, but they couldn’t find the equaliser.

“We were cruising in the first half playing with the breeze in our favour, and went in at half time 2-0 up after scoring 2 quality goals, having lots of possession and Subiaco not really having any clear cut chances,” Inglewood striker Ashley Rosindale said. “In the second half they pulled a goal back and then it was backs to the wall for us as they used the breeze to their advantage with long balls and long throws. We held firm and came away with the 3 points. We knew it wasn't going to pretty considering the conditions.”

Both sides struggled early with the wind and rain, but the visitors, who were playing with the wind behind them, began to take control. Adam Tong headed wide when well placed, but on the half hour they hit the front. Kenny Keogh’s shot was well pushed onto the post by Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery, but Colli was quickest to the rebound to fire home from the edge of the penalty area. Then on the stroke of half time, Inglewood doubled their advantage. Colli made space down the right and crossed to O’Connell, who made no mistake, firing into the roof of the net from 6meters.

Subiaco had the winds at their backs in the second half and used it to their advantage just after the hour. Edwards tried his luck from the left, and his long-range effort got caught in the wind and flew over the top of Alex Dunn and into the net. The goal lifted the home side and Kevin White’s effort was blocked in the six-yard box, and in the ensuing scramble, Inglewood cleared. Then Carlin Feely lost his marker, but his shot flashed just wide of the target.

Keogh wasted a great opportunity to regain the two-goal advantage, when the striker shot over the top after rounding Montgomery. The visitors were defending well and hitting on the counter-attack, and the Subiaco custodian was lucky not to be sent off late, when he raced out and brought down Scott Witchge, but referee Nico Hoyle only showed Montgomery a yellow card. The win maintains Inglewood’s three point gap on the chasing pack.

20.5.2016

PERTH AND COCKBURN BOTH HAIL A POINT

The points were shared at Dorrien Gardens with former Perth Glory teammates Gareth Navan and Scott Miller’s, Perth SC and Cockburn City, drawing 1-1 in horrendous conditions on Saturday afternoon. With rain, wind and hail storms hitting the ground at times, the game was suspended on a couple of occasions, but it was Angel Andres who put the visitors ahead just before half time, but Gustavo Catarcione levelled for Perth, but on the day the weather won out. “Both teams had chances to win the game,” Perth midfielder Dean Evans said. “But with conditions difficult to play in I think the draw was fair for both clubs.”

The weather was on top in the first half with referee Josh Mannella taking the sides off twice as the inclement weather hit the West Perth area, and the players huddled in the tunnel when a hail storm hit. Both sides went close between the breaks, skipper Clark Keltie and Aden Da Luz both firing wide, before Perth keeper Francis Soale had to be alert to save from Harry O’Brien and Andres.

But in the shadows of half time the Cockerels hit the front. Andres wasn’t picked up on the edge of the penalty area and his shot flew into the corner of the net giving Soale no chance. The Spanish striker had the opportunity to double Cockburn’s lead moments later, after O’Brien was brought down in the box by Matthew Milenkovic, but Soale guessed the right way to save the resulting Andres penalty.

The home side hit back early in the second half. Nicholas Ambrogio’s header was well saved by Luke Radonich, but Catarcione was quickest to react to fire home the rebound. Both sides pressed late looking for the winner. Radonich came to his sides’ rescue, with a great save to deny Ambrogio, before Josh Kusar almost won it for Cockburn late, but he failed to find the target.

20.5.2016

DOYLE FIRES BAYSWATER HOME

A first half goal from Bayswater City’s Hayden Doyle was enough to beat a ten men ECU Joondalup 1-0 at blustery ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The home side had Scottish striker Gordon Smith sent off on the half hour, and Bayswater scored the winner eight minutes later, to keep in touch of league leaders Inglewood United. “A well-deserved win, but it didn’t help them having a player sent off early, but a pleasing result for us away from home, although we’re still not ruthful enough in the final third,” City Coach Chris Coyne told the NPLWA website.

“At 1-0 anything can happen, and we created some good chances, but never took them, and took the wrong decision at times, but we’ll work on hopefully get it right next week.” The home side opened brightly and Tommy Amphlett’s shot was saved low by Devon Spence, before Smith’s long-range shot was pushed around the post by Spence at full stretch. The visitors should have opened the scoring on 10 minutes, Jason Mirco’s cross finding Brian Farrell who blazed over from 8meters. Spence then saved Andy Higgins’ curling free kick low at his post, and moments later Higgins’ in-swinging corner was headed off the line by Jack Jones.

But on 31 minutes the home side were reduced to ten men when Smith was given two yellow card in a matter of seconds, for back chatting referee Matthew Southern. Bayswater made their numerical advantage count seven minutes later. Mirco darted down the right and pulled the ball back to Doyle who made no mistake from 6meters.

Both keepers were in the action early in the second half. Lewis Italiano saved well to deny Todd Howarth, before Spence stood tall to deny Amphlett who had raced clear from Steven McGarry’s through ball. Bayswater were finding holes in the ECU defence and Henry Durr got back with a superb last ditch tackle to thwart Mirco on the hour, before Italiano was at his best to stop Brian Farrell on a one-on-one late on to keep the scoreline down.

20.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIX - REVIEW

Joondalup United closed the gap on league leaders Mandurah City after a 5-1 win against Canning City at Forrest Park. “It was good to return to winning ways, it was a dominant performance and we were great value for the three points today,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “In difficult conditions we got the ball down on the deck and played some great stuff and could easily have scored a hatful today.” The home side led 2-0 at the break. First a long throw was flicked on by Ross Edwards and Lee Jones headed home. The second goal was a superb free kick by skipper Arran Maplestone. Canning hit back just after the break with Callum Roberts scoring, but Joondalup added a third, with Edwards curling home another free kick. Canning had the opportunity to pull on back but Roberts penalty was saved by James Bosdet, and Roberts’ follow up shot crashed off the crossbar. Things went from bad to worse for Canning and they then had Daniel Trevisiol sent off. Joondalup pressed and added two more. Guy McDonald’s solo run ended with a clinical finish, before Jones added his second with a volley from a tight angle.

League leaders Mandurah City were held to a 1-1 draw by South west Phoenix in the South West Derby at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. The visitors took the lead late in the first half, Yohanes Tadesse shot fell kindly to Matthew Spurling, who rounded a defender and chipped the keeper. The Phoenix went close to a second in the early stages of the second half hitting the crossbar twice, but it Mandurah who levelled mid-way through the second half. In his first game back Jeff Bright cut in from the left and curled home from 20meters in to the corner of the net. The home side pressed for the winner, the best chance fell to Jordan Rhodes, who shot was superbly saved by Jamie Oakley. “It was a hard earned point in difficult conditions against a good side,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “Mick and I are very proud of the effort displayed and over all happy all things considered I think the big turnout of supporters enjoyed the game.”

Forrestfield United moved up to fourth on the table with a hard fought 3-2 win against Western Knights at Nash Field. The home side were ahead after only six minutes, Paul Lloyd lost his marker and slid the ball into Jonty Turner who fired low past Luke Martino. But Forrestfield hit back and were level on 20 minutes. Hasani Sinclair played in Matt Harold down the right, and the American continued his run and cut the ball back to Liam Merrigan who finished low past Sam Stone from the edge of the penalty area. The visitors hit the front on the hour. Jordan Hart cut the ball back to Merrigan again who finished with aplomb. Forrestfield added a third on 74 minutes, Merrigan was the supplier this time, putting in a slide rule pass to send Sinclair clear, and he finished clinically. The Knights pulled one back two minutes later, when Lloyd converted from the penalty spot after a handball had been spotted by referee Arvin Shan. The home side pressed late but couldn’t find the equaliser, the win the first on the road for the newly promoted side.

Ashfield resurgence continued with a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Gosnells City at the Ashfield Arena. Gosnells had the better of the first half and were ahead on the quarter hour. Caleb Aquino laid the ball back to Tyron Pottier, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area flew into the corner of the net. After the break Ashfield hit back and levelled in the opening minute. Jamie Burns picked the ball up down the flank and eased past his marker and crossing to Alex Stamatiadis, who made no mistake. The winner came on 52 minutes, Burns again was the supplier crossing to Stamatiadis was jogging on the spot to fire home. “This team is getting better every week, we have a lot of injuries and players leaving to go to play NPL so our squad is not settled just yet,” Stamatiadis said. “Our belief is getting stronger by the week we just need to cut out our mistakes because that’s the only way we are conceding goals.”

UWA-Nedlands are back in the winner’s circle after a come-from-behind 5-3 win against Dianella White Eagles at the UWA Sports Park. The home side were ahead on 20 minutes, Conor Devlin playing in Alex Kretowicz who finished well. The visitors levelled soon after, Chris Rizidis’ shot on the turn giving Alex Preece no chance. The Eagles then hit the front, Matt Izzo’s free kick from a tight angle beating Preece. The home side levelled just before half time, Michael Vlasich curling home a superb free kick from 20meters. After the break the home took control and Vlasich scored another trademark free kick to regain the lead. It soon became five, with the league’s top goalscorer Kretowicz added two more to complete his hat-trick. Aleks Miladinovic scored a consolation goal late to make it 5-3. The other game between Shamrock Rovers and Rockingham City was postponed with the pitch at Harold Rossiter Reserve waterlogged.

20.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX - REVIEW

Quinns FC won on the road for the first time this season with a hard fought 3-2 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. The visitors opened well and Chris Williams and Brian Cairney went close, but against the run of play Kelmscott opened the scoring. A long ball was chased by Owen Curtis, who put the pressure on the keeper who mis-judged the bounce and his clearance went straight to Sam Cole, who finished into an empty net. Quinns were back on level terms when Cairney beat the offside trap, and squared the ball to Jake Benson-Cooper to score. Then before half time the home side hit the front again. Pathy Mpio played the ball out to Curtis, he crossed to Lyndan Powell, who played in Cole, to score his second, and send the home time into the sheds with the lead. Their lead was cancelled out early in the second half Cairney again the provider crossing to Benson-Cooper who fired home from long-range. Quinns hit the front with 20 minutes remaining. Craig Tooley slipping in Sam Doherty to score from a tight angle. Kelmscott pressed late and Glen Moore had to be alert to clear off his own line late on but Quinns held on for the win. “We had to absorb some late pressure from Kelmscott, and we defended well,” said Moore. “It was a tight game, but I thought we deserved the points in the end.”

League leaders Balga maintained their lead at the top with a tight 1-0 win against Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve. The only goal of the game came from Justin Caratozzolo, Daniel Nalat received the ball on the left, he cut inside his marker and crossed into a crowded penalty area and Caratozzolo scored from close-range. They was another close encounter at Hilton Reserve, with Fremantle City beating Olympic Kingsway 1-0. The home side thought they had the lead in the first half, Daneil Glennon heading Gareth Hamilton’s corner goalwards, but the referee and his assistant said the ball hadn’t crossed the line, much to the displeasure of the Olympic players and coaches. The winner came in the second half, another Hamilton free kick again found Glennon, who made no mistake this time, heading home. “It was miserable conditions for football, and thanks go out to our volunteers who worked through the conditions and made it possible for us to play,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “It was another good performance defensively although to be fair we weren't troubled throughout.” Joondalup City won the local northern derby beating Ellenbrook United at the Iluka Sports Complex. In Sunday’s game Curtin University beat Morley Windmills 1-0 at Edinburgh Oval. The only goal of the game came from Oliver Robertson, who finished coolly through a crowd of players in the box.

In the final game Swan United moved up to fifth place with a 3-1 win against Melville City at the Swan Italian Club. The visitors were first on the board, with former Swan midfielder Scott Campbell playing in Shane Boyle who fired home past Cory Hugo. The home side levelled ten minutes later, a short corner caught Melville napping and Mark Macalister headed home in the box. The home side had the opportunity to take the lead into half time when they were awarded a penalty but Mirko Grgurinovic guessed the right way to save Dom Ando’s spot kick and sent the sides into half time level. The home side lifted after the break and skipper Chris Marshall headed home from a corner to give them the lead. Melville continued to take the game to the home side and Louie Granich hit the post, as the y looked for the equaliser, but the points were made safe when John Monterosso raced clear one-on-one with the keeper to score. Melville should have had a penalty late when Boyle was brought down in the box, but the referee waved away their penalty claims. “It was a tough first half with the weather conditions we were against the breeze and conceding a goal of a defender slipping is unlucky and no one’s fault. But we got level and should have been ahead at the break missing the penalty,” Swan Coach Matt Debarro said. “I thought in the second half we controlled the game without the ball well and created a lot of chances we failed to again capitalise on. But we got the goals we needed and the points. Credit to Gavin Brown and his boys they were really good, and I think they had a bit of bad luck along the way.”

20.5.2016

FOOTBALL WEST APPOINT NEW CEO

James Curtis will lead Football West through an exciting period for the sport after being appointed to the position of chief executive. Curtis has spent the past four years in the Western Australian State Government at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in a variety of roles. He is also a member of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Advisory Council.

Prior to his work at Aboriginal Affairs, Curtis spent time as a Senior Management Consultant for Quantum Consulting Australia providing advice to State and Commonwealth government departments and has worked within the finance sector. Curtis was also the Director of Grasshopper Soccer North West Coast and Operations Manager of Grasshopper Soccer and Hyper Active Sports Australia.

Curtis said this is an exciting time for West Australian football and is delighted to have the opportunity to assist in working towards a bright future. "The sport is thriving internationally, nationally and locally here in WA and I'm sure that together we can realise even more of the game's great unlocked potential," he said.

Football West chairman Liam Twigger said Curtis had been selected from a high-quality field of applicants. "Football is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, with more players, coaches, officials and volunteers involved in the game than ever," Twigger said. "We have an opportunity to take football to a new level and I am confident that following the appointment of James Curtis, we will have the leadership team in place to achieve all of our strategic goals."

20.5.2016

PS4 NPL-WA ROUND NINE - PREVIEW

After the break for the FFA Cup last week, it’s back to PS4NPLWA action this weekend and the Footballwa.net Match of the Week takes us to Dorrien Gardens where Perth SC hosts Cockburn City. It will be a clash between good mates and former Perth Glory players Scott Miller and Gareth Naven sides, and both will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle. Perth were beaten 2-1 in the Italian Derby against Bayswater City last week, and skipper Clark Keltie said it was a tight game and it could have gone either way. “The first half I thought we looked quite comfortable and well-organised, so to concede early after the restart took the wind out of us a little and we didn’t quite recover after that,” he said. “In those big games chances don’t come around often, so when they do, it’s important that we’re ruthless in front of goal, and we simply weren’t. We showed some resilience to keep going to the end, but the damage was done.” Keltie said Saturday is an important game, and they need the win to keep in touch with the league leaders. “It’s a home game Saturday, so regardless who it’s against, I expect three points from the team,” he said. “They (Cockburn) have been unpredictable in the games I’ve seen them, but I think it’s about what we do. If we turn up on the day then we’re capable of beating whatever is put in front of us.” In team news Marco Santa Lucia will miss the rest of the season due to injury, but in better news Andreas Theodosiades came through a scratch match last week and is close to a return to the squad.

Cockburn were held at home 1-1 by Subiaco last week, a game Ruben Tristao said it was a first half to forget. “We didn’t play well against Subiaco,” he said. “They scored early and sat back with ten men behind the ball making it hard for us to create space and deliver a good ball to our strikers. We changed our strategy at half time and ended up scoring, and at least we got away without a defeat. We bounced back in the cup game against Gosnells and we move on.” The trip to Perth is always a tough challenge, but Tristao said they are looking forward to it. “They (Perth) will be a difficult opponent this week. They have started the season well and have good and experienced players,” he said. “But we have to focus on ourselves and the process and consistency that we’ve been trying to implement. Being undefeated for the last four games shows we are on the right track and we’re looking forward to the game, and hope to keep that form going.” Cockburn go into the game at full strength

League leaders Inglewood United make the trip to Rosalie Park, to take on bottom of the table Subiaco. Inglewood thrashed Armadale last week, while Subiaco picked up their first point of the season at Cockburn. Subiaco coach Mike Brazil said it was a well-earned point. “It was a game of two halves,” he said. “We played very well in the first half, scoring and creating chances. But in the second half we rode are luck at times and they (Cockburn) dominated for long periods, but each week we are improving. We have been working hard on seeing out games out and not forcing the play we don’t need too.” Brazil said it’s a huge challenge against the league leaders but he has a great deal of confidence of his players. “If we can play at the same intensity as we have in recent weeks, we will be in the game,” he said. “We know chances will come, and we must be confident and take them. Inglewood are where they are for a reason, we simply must match their intensity and stay with them, so it’s another test for the improving group.” The home side will be without defender Nathan Diaz due to suspension, while Rory Feely is struggling due to injury.

Bayswater City will look to keep in tabs of Inglewood, and hit the road on Saturday when they visit the ECU Football Stadium to take on ECU Joondalup. The home side broke a three game losing streak last week with a win against Perth Glory and striker Bayley Brown-Montgomery said it was a well-deserved win. “Last week was a great three points for us and we were over the moon as we had worked extremely hard on our defensive structure during the week, and we knew how they’d be set up and it worked well,” he said. “Our experienced players stood up on the day, Gordon Smith and Steve McGarry bagged the goals and both were outstanding and it was nice to break our three game losing streak.” The pacey striker knows what to expect from Bayswater, but he said they are determined to get the three points. “They (Bayswater) are one of the toughest teams in WA, but we always give them a run for their money, and Saturday will be no different,” he said. “If everyone in squad gives 100%, and we play how we know we can we will come away with the three points.” Tommy Amphlett returns to the squad after injury, and Coach Dale McCulloch has a full squad to choose from.

The form team of the league is Stirling Lions and this week they entertain Balcatta in the local derby at Macedonia Park. Striker Jason Rubidge, who bagged a hat-trick in the FFA Cup win against Curtin University, said their form is pleasing and last week’s big win at Sorrento was well-deserved. “The win at Sorrento was great for us, obviously going to their home ground and scoring five goals, and keeping a clean sheet, was a brilliant effort from the lads,” he said. “We continued that form in the cup and a personal note it was nice to bag a hat-trick. Credit to Curtin, they defended exceptionally, but luckily for us we were patient enough to get the goals and go through.” Balcatta have a good record against the Lions in recent seasons, and Rubidge said he hopes to take their good form into the game and keep their winning run going. “In previous years we’ve struggled a little against Balcatta, but this year we have a new squad, and so do they, so we will be looking to reverse that on Saturday,” he said. “We’re sitting second on the table and we’ve had a great start to the season, and we will be doing all we can to keep that form going. Having said that they (Balcatta) have had some good results in recent weeks, so we know that we’ll have to show up again this week and perform our best to get the three points.” In team news Robert Petkov, Graham Doran and Johnny Perkins are back in the squad after missing the cup game, while Alex Suleski and Keiron Stallard are both suspended for Balcatta.

Sorrento will be looking to bounce back from their last league game, a heavy lose to Stirling Lions, when they take on Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Gulls coach Jamie Harnwell said he didn’t see the result coming but said they have worked hard to rectify some of the mistakes. “It was a strange game, and despite what the score line suggests we did create a number of chances of ourselves, however we can’t defend like that and expect to get a result,” he said. “We’ve worked through the video of the game with the players at training during the week and they have taken on board the key messages and what we need to improve on.” Armadale beat Sorrento in the FFA cup last month and Harnwell said he is expecting another tight game. “We know it will be a difficult game despite Armadale’s struggles in the league,” he explained. “They made it difficult for us to play last time in the cup, and I’m expecting them to do the same again. We have to match their work rate, then hopefully we can play the football we want to, but we know they have players who can hurt us on the counter, so we need to be resilient.”

The final game between Floreat Athena and Perth Glory at the E&D Litis Stadium, has been rescheduled for Tuesday June 14th as the Glory side are in Malaysia in a tournament this weekend.

20.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIX - PREVIEW

It’s week six in the All Flags State League Division One and the Footballwa.net Match of the Week takes us to Nash Field where Western Knights entertain Forrestfield United. Both side won last time out the Knights beating Shamrock 3-1, while Forrestfield beat UWA Nedlands 5-2. Knights’ Jeffrey Judge said it was a hard fought win but he thought they deserved the points. “It was a tough game, but a game we dominated, this after we gave a way a sloppy goal early,” he said. “We then took control of the game, cored some nice goals and moved the ball around well, and we probably should have scored a couple more late on. But to get a win, against a good Shamrock side, is a confidence boost for us.” Judge said Saturday’s opponents have impressed early and is expecting another tight encounter. “They (Forrestfield) beat us in the Night Series, so the lads are looking forward to reversing that on Saturday,” he said. “It will be a different game this weekend, but we need to give them respect, they are going well in the league so fair play to them, but we are starting to click. We have a new manager and new players, so it was always going to take time to gel, but the last two performances have been really encouraging, so we will go into the game full of confidence that we can get the three points.” In team news Sean French is missing due to work commitments, but apart from that they are at full strength.

Forrestfield winger Rhys Loxley said the win against UWA was a real confidence boost for them. “It was a great win against a tough opposition, and as we’ve seen already this season there is no easy games, so to come away with a big win is credit to our performance,” he explained. “We have a relatively new side, so we should continue to improve as each week goes by.” Loxley, who has been in outstanding form this season, will miss the trip due to study commitments, but he said a trip to the Knights is always tough. “Any game against the Knights is going to be a tricky one, as Nash Field is a hard place to take points from,” he said. “Although the lads will go into the game with a game plan, to get a result a collective effort will certainly be required from the team as whole.” In other team news Nathan Watkins is in line for a return to the side after overcoming ankle problems.

Joondalup United will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle, when they host Canning City at Forrest Park. United drew at Gosnells City last week, and Coach Nick Jennings said they made it hard for themselves. “Gosnells is always a very hard place to get a result, but I thought we were outstanding and created enough chances to win the game,” he said. “But silly defensive lapses continue to haunt us though, so at the end of the day we’ll take the point and move on.” Jennings said the game against Canning last season was a goal fest, and after a week’s break he said they are looking for a response from the players. “Last year’s home game we came out on top in a 7-3 goal fest, despite the outstanding Callum Roberts hitting a first half hat-trick for City,” he said. “We are looking forward to challenge that this much improved Canning will offer, but after a week off we are fully refreshed and raring to get back into action and return to winning ways.” In team news for Joondalup, Greg Pellow is out injured, and Ross Edwards is in line for a recall.

Ashfield have home ground advantage when they host Gosnells City at Ashfield Arena. Gosnells held Joondalup United to a draw last week, while Ashfield midfielder Alex Stamatiadis said the draw at the Phoenix, showed they are on the improve. “The last game showed the huge character we have in the squad,” he explained. “Considering we were 0-2 down at half time, and we then lost it with the last kick of the game. The performances are improving each week and we are looking to maintain that against a good Gosnells side.” Stamatiadis is expecting another tough game on Saturday, and he believes they (Gosnells) have improved this season. “They have hit the ground running and must be respected,” he said. “Over the years we’ve learnt that they are a team that graft to the end, so we must be on our toes from the first to final whistle. In team news for Ashfield Brian Patterson is suspended, while Jamie Burns, Ross Diamond and Graham Tough are in doubt, but Gary Hill returns to the squad.

In other games league leaders Mandurah City head home to the renamed Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium, where they take on South West Phoenix in the South West Derby (8.00pm kick off). The Phoenix scored late to draw 3-3 with Ashfield last week, while Mandurah held off a fast finishing Dianella White Eagles. Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said the game on Saturday will be another huge test for his players, as any local derbies are tight affair. “I’m sure it will be a tight affair and a good game of football, as both teams are in decent form,” he said. “We have a few players missing this week, but we have players chomping at the bit to come into the side, so it will be a good selection headache for me and Mike (Lyons).” The other games this weekend are UWA-Nedlands against Dianella White Eagle at the UWA Sports Park, while Rockingham City hosts Canning City at Lark Hill.

20.5.2016

ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX - PREVIEW

We’re off to Hilton Reserve for this weeks’ Footballwa All Flags State League Division Two Match of the week, with Fremantle City hosting Kingsway Olympic. City beat Kelmscott Roos 3-0 last week, while Kingsway beat Joondalup City 2-0. Kingsway striker Ryan Frisina bagged the two goals last week and he said it was a good team performance. “The result against Joondalup was an important one for us. We knew we’d be in for a physical battle and the win was what we needed to keep pace with the top of the league,” he said. “Being victories in a local derby is always a bonus, but the way the team performed defensively and keeping our first clean sheet of the season was more important, and all due to the hard yards put in on the training track.” The trip to Fremantle is another huge challenge, and Frisina said it should be a good game. “They (Fremantle United) have made a good start to the season, and we’re under no illusion that we are in for a battle to secure a vital three points,” he said. With us and Fremantle being almost identical in the league standings, I’m sure both teams will provide a decent spectacle for those in attendance.”

Fremantle striker Danny Clapham said they were made to work hard for the win at Kelmscott. “It was a good result and solid performance against a much improved Kelmscott side,” he said. “We knew what to expect from them though and knew once we had settled the goals would come, so overall we were happy with the outcome especially keeping a clean sheet away from home.” Clapham said Kingsway are another team who have improved, and they will need to be at their best to get the win. “We know it's going to be a tough game, Kingsway are well organised and keep the ball well they've got some experienced lads up there so we know we will have to be at our best,” he said. “But we our prepared as always and know if we play the way we know we can we our capable of beating anyone in the league so we will be looking to take 3 points. We have a few new players training this week to boost the squad, but we are full and we are really looking forward to this one.’

In other game this weekend Quinns FC travel to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos. Quinns continued their good start to the new season with a 3-0 win against Morley Windmills last time, while the Roos were beaten by Fremantle. League leaders Balga travel to Wanneroo Reserves to take on Wanneroo, Morley Windmills take on Curtin University Edinburgh Oval on Sunday (5.00pm), while Joondalup City entertain Ellenbrook United in a local derby at the Iluka Sports Complex. The final game is at the Swan Italian Club, where Swan United host Melville City. United came away from Balga with a point last week, while City were beaten 2-1 at Curtin. United’s Coach Matt Debarro said it will be another stern test for his side. “We’re looking forward to Saturday, Gavin and his boys are good lads, and it’s always nice catching up with them,” he said. “It’s a big game for us coming off two draws, so a win is vital to keep close to the top.” United lost 3-2 to Sorrento last weekend in a scratch match, know Melville are a well-organised side and Debarro said they need to be at their best. “They are always a well-coached and structured side so it will be a tough game, we will have to be at our best to get the result,” he said. “We had a good work out against Sorrento and the lads but in a good shift, so on Saturday I’m positive the boys will be up for it.” Melville Coach Gavin Brown said last week was a disappointing result, but they had chances to take something from the game. “The game was very close, we were frustrated to lose the last two to be honest. We felt we could have had a point in both,” he said. “We know Swan will be tough, but we are positive and we view it as a chance to get back on track.”

19.5.2016

VALENTINI SPREADING HIS WINGS IN GERMANY

After bursting onto the football scene with Perth Glory Youth side, teenage striker Stefan Valentini made his senior debut for the club in the Westfield FFA Cup tie last season against Newcastle Jets and scored in the shoot-out win. He then made the move to Europe for trails at a number German clubs, and signed for Bundesliga Division Two side Eintracht Braunschweig. He sat down with Footballwa.net to chat about his time in German football.

The 19-year-old has played a number of reserve games for the club this season and has settled in well. “The club welcomed me and fitting in was not a problem. I am living in an apartment with team mates close to the club, this means football 24/7, and I’m enjoy my football,” Valentini explained. “The team is currently sitting seventh on the Regionalliga Nord table, and I’ve been in the squad for all 11 games and had game time in nine, scoring three goals, and also scored in the cup. I’m working extremely hard on my game and I’m really enjoying me time here.”

The move to Germany has been good for the football development of the teenager, and it has been a great learning experience, especially moving from the heat of Perth to the cold of Germany. “My agent Gerhard Janssen, who is a lawyer in Germany and Perth, organized trials in Germany with a number of Bundesliga clubs, so I headed over in December, from plus 40’C in Perth to minus 10 in Dusseldorf,” Valentini said. “The second trial was with Eintracht and I enjoyed the training from the first minute. Everything is professional at the club, in training the players are focused and you can’t slowdown in any session, because everybody is fighting for a spot in the side.”

The clubs first team keep a close eye on the reserves side, and Valentini is hoping to impress the coaching staff. “Some of our players have been selected for the first team, which is motivating to see, and it shows the coaching team are successful in developing young players to the top,” he said. “The coaches are highly motivated to make you better and correct every small detail which is not going 100%, and communicate well with all the players. The quality in the Bundesliga Two is very high; it’s one of the best leagues in the world – even better than most of the other European First Leagues. “The club are not in the promotion race this season, but still has an average crowd of over 21,000 for their home games, but in some games get 30,000 plus, the atmosphere in the stadium is fantastic, the fans push the team and they are the 12thplayer.”

One of the other problems Valentini had to overcome was the language, but he is working hard on his German. “Like I said the first weeks were very, very cold – minus 10 C, but then the team had a winter camp in Turkey, which helped me to acclimatise and I forgot the weather,” he explained. “My agent told me how important it is to learn the language and German is very difficult. It’s been easy, but many people here helped because they speak English. Although I did not speak a word when I arrived, I can now understand a lot and communicate with the lads, as I received German lessons and I read a lot and watch German TV to learn as quick as possible.”

Valentini’s decision to leave the Glory was somewhat of a surprise, but the teenager said Europe is where he’s always wanted to play, and is doing his best to succeed. “May time at Glory was good, and I made some great friends with the players,” he said. “My target was always to go to Europe and get the chance to be educated in the top academies. I saw this, when I trailed in Nuremberg some years ago. But my aim was always to take a chance in Europe and Germany is known as the best football education country. When you train here you see why, all youth team are training under professional standards.”

So what are the plans for Valentini in his football career? He’s hoping to kick on in Europe, but knows he has to keep working hard every day. “My plan is to establish myself here at Braunschweig. They are a very good club with a great history, which you can feel every day. I want to impress as much as possible, so they retain my services, but I know I must perform in every training session and every game,” he said. “I will put extra shifts in as much as I can to improve my game, and hope the club offer me a new contract. If that arrives I well be ready to pay them back on the pitch with a few goals.”

19.5.2016

LYDEN OUT FOR TWO MONTHS

Aston Villa has confirmed Australia youth international Jordan Lyden will be sidelined for up to two months due to a torn quad muscle sustained on the weekend. Lyden, who broke through with first team six appearances in 2015/16, had to be replaced 75 minutes into Villa's final day English Premier League loss to Arsenal.

There were initial fears 20-year old Lyden had suffered a serious knee injury with caretaker boss Eric Black saying he'd "tweaked his meniscus". However, Villa have since confirmed it was a thigh/quad problem. "Our medical team hope to see the young Aussie midfielder out on the fields soon after that, ahead of the August 6 Championship opener," a club statement read.

18.5.2016

MILLS HEADS DOWNUNDER LOOKING FOR GLORY

Perth Glory has bolstered its defensive stocks for the next two summers after signing experienced English defender Joseph Mills. The 26-year old attacking full-back is a product of Southampton's academy, representing England at youth levels and playing almost 180 times in the English Championship and League One competitions.

Mills said the excitement of a new challenge and playing in a different country was the lure behind his move to Glory. "I know that it is a tough league, but a very technical game, which is one of the reasons why it attracted me to it," he said. "I've enjoyed playing in England so far and had some very successful moments. This was just an opportunity that is something I couldn't turn down. It's a great club that wants to accomplish things, and I want to be a part of that."

Mills' arrival in Perth will also be something of a family reunion with his older brother, Jonathan, calling Western Australia home, for the past five years. "My brother and his wife and son have lived in Perth, so he has always told me about the city and how it's a great place to live," he said. "I don't know any of the current players, but have played against a few of them in England and have run into Andy Keogh a few times over summer while on holiday."

Mills emerged from Southampton's academy set-up in 2008, making his first team debut as an 18-year old before being loaned to Scunthorpe United and Doncaster Rovers. Over the following eight years he spent time with Reading, Burley, Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town, making 178 league and cup appearances. As a teenager Mills represented England at Under-17 and 18 levels.

Mills' plans for the next two-years are simple. "The goal for next season is to try and be competitive and successful in every area that we compete," he said. "I don't enjoy losing and from seeing the team at the end of last season, there seems to be a good winning mentality within the squad." Mills, Glory's fourth signing for next season, is due to arrive in Perth next month ahead of the team's pre-season campaign.

18.5.2016

HARGREAVES AND SAM HEAD TO VICTORIA

The stream of players heading over to the PS4NPLVIC from Perth is growing; the latest players to head over East are Floreat Athena’s Declan Hargreaves and former Perth Glory and Bayswater City winger Borbor Sam. Hargreaves has signed for Hume City, while Sam joins Northcote City.

Hargreaves said the move is a great opportunity for him and he’s looking forward to a new challenge. “I’m really excited and looking forward to play for a big club like Hume,” he said. “The move came out of the blue, they contacted me and spoke to me about the club and where they were heading, and they sold it to me, It didn’t take long to make my mind up, and it is a huge challenge.”

The midfielder, who joined Floreat this season from Bayswater City, said he has enjoyed his time their but is convinced the move is the best for his football. “I was dreading telling Floreat coach Glen Grostate, who has been great since I joined the club,” he explained. “But he was excited for me to try this opportunity, and I can’t thank him enough, and I wish Floreat all the best for the rest of the season.”

Hume City head coach Lou Acevski said he is looking forward to the energy Hargreaves will provide to the Hume City midfield. “Declan is a defensive midfielder who can also play as a box to box midfielder and has a tireless work ethic”, Acevski told the clubs website. “He has plenty of senior experience for a young player and I’m looking forward to helping him reaching the next level of his career at Hume City.”

Raised in Liverpool, Hargreaves moved to Australia as a youngster and played his junior football at ECU Joondalup. He has also enjoyed spells at the NTC and Perth Glory Youth, before joining Bayswater City where he had a successful three year stint. Hargreaves said he wants to play at the highest level he can, and will see what happens over in Victoria. “I’m not getting ahead of myself; my main concern is playing good football for Hume, “he said. “It will be one step at a time, because you never know what around the corner in this game.”

Sam headed to Hobart at the start of the season to join Olympia FC, but he couldn’t settle and the move to the NPLVIC is a great opportunity for him. “The move to Olympia was the wrong one, it just wasn’t me, and I decided to head home,” he said. “A few clubs in Perth spoke to me, about my next move but when Northcote contacted me there was only one place I wanted to go.”

Like Hargreaves, the move to Victoria came out of the blue, but it was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. “To be honest I was just enjoying not playing football for a while, but they (Northcote) approached my agent, and told us the future they have planned for the club, and I liked what I heard, so I jumped on board, and so far it’s been good.”

Northcote sit on the bottom of the table, but Sam said he can’t wait to get started in the side and help push them up the table. “It’s a big challenge, but it’s not impossible, and right now I think they are good enough to match any of the bottom eight teams,” he said. “They are struggling up front and lacking a little confidence, so we’ve added a few new faces, and hope it will get the team going.”

Sam had a taste of the A-League with Perth Glory and he has ambitions to play at that level in the future and he said all he can do is play well for Northcote and see what happens. “It’s a great opportunity for me to show clubs what I can do, and with us on the bottom of the ladder gives me a chance to shine and perform,” he explained. “I’ll be doing all I can to get them out of relegation, and if that attracts A-League club, then so be it. But my main concern is performing for Northcote and the rest will look after itself.”

18.5.2016

GLORY YOUNGSTERS TO TAKE ON THE WORLD IN MALAYSIA

Perth Glory youngster fly out to Malaysia on Saturday morning to take part in the annual Frenz International Cup. The tournament sees some the best youngster from around the world taking part. The Glory along with hosts Frenz United, are joined by Club Estudiantes de La Plata from Argentina, Suwon Samsung Bluewings from South Korea, Kashima Antlers FC from Japan, Besiktas JK from Turkey, Sport Club Internacional from Brazil and Chonburi Football Club from Thailand.

It’s the first time the Glory have been invited to the under 18’s tournament, and while the tournament is aimed at promoting and developing football within Asia, Glory’s youth Coach John Gibson said the experience will be invaluable for Glory's youngsters. “This is a wonderful opportunity to test ourselves against arguably the world’s best” he told the Glory website. “We are taking boys who have started university or are still finishing high school, some of who are as young as 14. For them it will be an amazing experience and one they will never forget.”

Glory has three teams in the PS4NPLWA competition (U-18s U-20s and senior team) but have been able to re-schedule some local fixtures to accommodate the international trip. “We’d like to thank those clubs, who’ve enabled us to take this offer up. To be the only club in Australia participating in this international tournament is a testament to everyone involved at Perth Glory” Gibson said. Glory’s 19-man squad flies out on Saturday morning and will tackle host side Frenz United FC on Monday night at the Pasir Gudang stadium in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.

17.5.2016

BIRIGHITTI EARNS DREAM SOCCEROOS RECALL

Mark Birighitti has been rewarded for a fantastic A-League season with the Newcastle Jets by being recalled for the Socceroos high-profile friendlies with England and Greece. The 25-year old goalkeeper replaces injured goalkeeper Mitch Langerak in the squad where he joins fellow West Australian Josh Risdon. Birighitti's only appearance for Australia to date came against China in 2013 but he's hopeful of adding to that against England (27 May) and Greece (4 and 7 June).

"It's amazing, it's a great feeling, when you get a call-up to represent your country at any level, it's a dream come true," said Birighitti, who was part of Australia's preliminary squad for the 2014 World Cup. "Playing against England is massive ... to come up against England who have a lot of world class players - (Wayne) Rooney, (Jamie) Vardy, Harry Kane and these boys - it's going to be a massive opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it."

"England will be heading into the Euros so it's going to be a big game for them as well, and it's going to be a good test for us to see where we come up against the world's best. We showed we could take it to them at the World Cup - Holland, Spain, the likes of them - and I don't see why we can't do the same against England. And then the Greece double-headers, they're going to be massive. Melbourne has a big Greek community. I'm looking forward to getting into camp and really give it a good crack."

A good showing against England or Greece will boost Birighitti's chances of securing a dream move abroad. "Being with the national team and after the year that I've had, now is a perfect time to head back and end up overseas," said Birighitti, who earlier this month knocked back a contract extension at Newcastle. "My agents Frank Trimboli and Vinny Grella are working really hard for me to find the best possible move for me. They've been fantastic. Hopefully in the next few weeks we'll have some good news and they'll fine me a good club in Europe.

"They're speaking to clubs all over the world, they're working hard, they're good people and they've got a lot of good players in big clubs around the world, so I'm definitely in good hands. Australian goalkeepers do have a very good name in Europe. I want to make sure when I go overseas this time I stay over there. You see a lot of Australian players go overseas, they spend two or three years there and then they come back."

"I want to go over there and make sure I stay over there for 10-15 years and not come back to Australia. European football is where it's at. (Mark) Schwarzer is the ultimate professional, he's someone I've looked up to for many years, and look at all the success he's had for the national team and club level, wherever he's gone he's always had success, hopefully I can follow in his footsteps."

Australia's squad to play England (27 May) is Aziz Behich, Mark Birighitti, Milos Degenek , Adam Federici, Craig Goodwin, Chris Ikonomidis, Bradden Inman, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, , Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Massimo Luongo, Matt McKay, Jamie Maclaren, Stefan Mauk, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Josh Risdon, Tom Rogic, Mat Ryan, Brad Smith, Alex Wilkinson and Bailey Wright.

Australia's squad to face Greece (4 and 7 June) is Mark Birighitti, Nathan Burns, Tim Cahill, Adam Federici, Jason Geria, Alex Gersbach, Apostolos Giannou, Chris Ikonomidis, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Ryan McGowan, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Josh Risdon, Tom Rogic, Mathew Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Matthew Spiranovic and Bailey Wright.

17.5.2016

GLORY SING THE BLUES OVER MUSIC CONCERTS

Perth Glory could be forced to play two extra A-League games interstate next season in a major blow to their title hopes, with the club fuming at its home ground being booked out for concerts. The club has been forced to consider alternative locations for at least one home game in both November and March, with Perth Oval unavailable because of tentative bookings made by the State Government's venue operator VenuesWest.

Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos contacted the WA Football Commission yesterday in a late bid to get the two home matches that are up in the air moved to Subiaco Oval. The club will have to hand over hosting rights to their A-League rivals if a switch is not made. That scenario would force Glory to play outside of Perth for at least three weeks running on two occasions next season.

A decision by VenuesWest to carry out turf maintenance at Perth Oval for three weeks, including Christmas and New Year, has also robbed Glory of a bumper period for home games. "It's bemusing that the Government spent $95 million on a venue primarily for use by Glory and (ruby team Western) Force and we embark on a fixturing process with the venue unavailable for a large portion of dates," Filopoulos said. "I don't think we've been treated with respect."

16.5.2016

LYDEN DAMAGES KNEE

Aston Villa midfielder faces an anxious wait to determine the extent of his knee injury sustained in Aston Villa's 4-0 defeat at Arsenal. The youngster was handed only his second Premier League start at the Emirates but was forced off after 75 minutes.

Caretaker boss Eric Black insisted it was too soon to make an accurate assessment on Lyden when he was asked after the game. "He's tweaked his meniscus a little bit I think," he said, which means Lyden will know more in the next 48 hours.

Injury thwarted 20-year old Lyden last year when a hamstring injury halted his first team progress. But after fighting back from the set-back, he went on to be the outstanding performer for the under-21s this season and also break into the senior squad.

14.5.2016

LIONS BRING THE CURTIN DOWN ON UNI’S CUP RUN

Stirling Lions were made to work hard to reach the Westfield FFA Cup preliminary round Semi-Final after a 5-2 extra time win against Division Two side Curtin University at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. Jason Rubidge was the star for the home side bagging a hat-trick, but the Lions were made to work hard for the result. Rubidge opened the scoring, before Arijab Stovrag pulled Curtin level. It looked like Rubidge’s second goal had won it for Stirling but Khaled Salhah scored a stoppage time equaliser. But in extra time Brodie Martin, Rubidge and Blamo Quaqua scored to give Stirling the win. “They scored a very good free kick which put pressure on us and gave them a lot of energy. Curtin's defensive approach worked very well and we found it very difficult finding during the rest of the 90 minutes,” Stirling midfielder Daniel Micevski said. “We picked up our game in extra time and eventually found avenues to goal.”

The home side made the perfect start and they were ahead after only five minutes, Teeboy Kamara finding Rubidge who made no mistake past Jack Kenny. Curtin were under the pump but against the run of play they equalised. The visitors won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and Stovrag finished superbly past Connor Campbell. Both sides had chances for the rest of the half, but at the break a surprise was on the card.

Curtin were outstanding in defence at the start of the second half as the hosts pressed, and the home side were getting frustrated, but that all changed eleven minutes from time when Rubidge scoring his second. But credit to Curtin they never gave up and in the first minute of stoppage time they scored a dramatic equaliser. A quick counter attack combined a number of crisp passes ended with the ball at the feet of Salhah and he fired home and was mobbed by his teammates.

In extra time the home side took control and five minutes in they regained the lead. David and Daniel Micevski played a short free kick that deflected into the path of Martin, who finished clinically. It was 4-2 in the second period of extra time, Quaqua playing in Rubidge to score and complete his hat-trick. The icing was put on the late in the final minute when after some good build up play Quaqua finished well.

14.5.2016

SUPER SUB WITSCHGE SENDS INGLEWOOD INTO SEMI-FINALS

A goal from second half substitute Scott Witschge in extra time has given Inglewood United a narrow 2-1 win against Balcatta in the Westfield FFA Cup preliminary round Quarter-Final at Grindleford Reserve. Mark Pritchard put the visitors ahead early, before teenage striker Cameron Teece levelled for Balcatta. The home side, who had Alex Suleski and skipper Kieron Stallard sent off, forced the game into extra time, but Witschge had the final word, heading Inglewood into the last four.

“It was a typical cup game dogged end to end football and we were made to earn our semi-final place, and credit to Balcatta being down to nine men and still keeping the pressure on us till the end,” said Inglewood midfielder Calum O’Connell. “But I think we showed why we are where we are at the moment. We absorb all the pressure and knew if we got it into extra time we would have the quality and numbers to put it to bed. And that's what we did. But in saying that we had more opportunities to finish the game off in the 90 minutes.”

The visitors, who top the PS4NPLWA table, had a perfect start in this one and were ahead on 14 minutes, and Balcatta were reduced to ten men. Alex Suleski brought down Brian Woodall on the edge of the penalty area, and referee Mathew Southern deemed him as the last man and sent him off. Pritchard stepped up and curled the resulting free kick into the top corner of the net to give Inglewood the lead. It was almost two on the half hour, O’Connell’s curling shot beat Clint Davies, but the post came to the rescue of the Balcatta custodian.

But two minutes later the ten men equalised. Teece wasn’t closed down on the edge of the penalty area and his low shot beat Alex Dunn, and into the bottom corner of the net. Inglewood had the perfect opportunity to regain the lead moments later, when they were awarded a penalty, when Adam Tong was brought down by Stallard. O’Connell stepped up, but Davies guessed the right way to save. Balcatta were convinced they had a penalty of their own just before half time, when it looked like Feisal Zaw was brought down in the penalty area, but a free kick on the edge of the penalty area was awarded instead, much to the frustration of the Balcatta players.

After the break Inglewood looked to make their numerical advantage count, but they found Davies in good form, the keeper saving well to deny Woodall early. The keeper was beaten on 53 minutes, Pritchard’s curling shot crashed off the post, and Tong’s shot from the rebound was well saved by Davies. It looked like it wasn’t going to be Inglewood’s day and Balcatta grew in confidence and Teece’s goal bound shot late on was superbly blocked by Inglewood skipper David Cyrus. But in stoppage time Balcatta were reduced to nine men when Stallard was given his marching orders after a second yellow card.

In extra time and it was end-to-end football, and Inglewood’s Kenny Keogh saw his shot well saved by Davies, before Balcatta’s Zelfy Nazary fired across the face of goal after a quick counter attack. But it was Inglewood who regained the lead on 102 minutes. Jason Barrera’s corner picked out Witschge who rose highest to head home. Davies kept his side in the game producing another stunning save to deny Keogh again in the second period, but at the final whistle it is Inglewood, who will go into the bag for the Semi-Final draw next week.

14.5.2016

ANDREA TRIPLE THREAT FOR COCKERELS

Cockburn City put their poor PS4NPLWA form behind them with a 5-1 win against Division One side Gosnells City at Dalmatinac Park, and put them into the final four of the Westfield FFA Cup preliminary round. Spanish striker Angel Andres netted a first half hat trick, before Dean Aplegren pulled one back midway through the second half. But a brace from Liam Murray late in the game gave the home side a comfortable win. “It was a professional performance by the boys,” skipper Euen Grant said. “We took our chances and we won pretty comfortably in the end.”

The home side were ahead after only 16 minutes, Cameron Edwards free kick picked out Andres, who lost his marker and he made no mistake, looping his shot over former Cockburn keeper Jack Adams. Andres, who topped the Division One scoring chart last season at Dianella White Eagles, added his second on the half hour. He was brought down in the box by Trent Blewett and referee David Bruce pointed to the spot. The striker picked himself up sent Adams the wrong way from the resulting penalty.

Then in the shadows of half time Andres added his, and Cockburn’s third. Ruben Tristao broke forward and played in Andres, whose shot on the turn flew into the corner of the net. The visitors were better after the break and Luke Radonich had to be alert to deny Wade Farmer, and Gosnells were rewarded on 66 minutes. Sean Taylor made ground down the right and cut the ball to Aplegren at the near post and he stabbed the ball home from close-range.

It was game on, but sixty seconds later Cockburn restored their three goal advantage. Murray, who had replaced Andrea on the hour, raced between two defenders, and lobbed the on-coming Jack Adams. Gosnells pressed looking to get back into the game but were caught out again nine minutes from time. Harry O’Brien pounced on a loose ball, and found Murray who finished into an empty net to give the Cockerels a comprehensive win.

14.5.2016

ATHENA COME FROM BEHIND TO BEAT REDS

Floreat Athena came from 0-2 down to beat Armadale 6-3 at the E&D Litis Stadium, and Lewis McMahon bagged a hat-trick, to lead the club into the Westfield FFA Cup preliminary round Semi-Final. Anthony Skorich and Jackson Bealey had given the visitors a two goal lead in the shadows of half time, but two late goals from McMahon levelled. The English striker completed his hat-trick after the break, while Jon Stynes bagged a brace and Phil Arnold added the sixth, Dylan White scored Armadale’s consolation goal. “It was a strange game, we were lucky to be drawing at half time, but in the second half the lads dug in, and eventually we clicked,” midfielder Declan Hargreaves said. “I’m just happy to move on to the semi-final and hopefully go the whole way.”

It was a tight opening, but the best early chance fell to the visitors on 24 minutes. Ellis Healing’s in-swinging corner was heading for the top corner, but Jason Saldaris got back to touch it over the bar at full stretch. But 15 minutes later Armadale hit the front, Skorich holding off his marker and rounding Jason Saldaris and scored into an empty net. Then four minutes later Armadale doubled their advantage. Bealey was given far too much space in the middle of the park, and he strode forward and curled the ball home superbly, much to the delight of the Armadale faithful.

But their cheers were short lived and McMahon pulled one back sixty seconds later. Armadale failed to clear their lines and the striker made them pay, firing home. Then in stoppage time Floreat levelled, McMahon volleying home superbly, giving Alfie Brincat no chance in the Armadale goal. It was an amazing start to the second half and Floreat hit the front in the opening minute, their third goal in as many minutes. Stynes racing clear, and finishing with aplomb past Brincat.

Armadale pressed for the equaliser but they were picked off again in the 75th minute. McMahon skipped clear of his marker, raced into the box and finished clinically past the keeper. The Armadale heads dropped and they conceded a fifth, four minutes later, Arnold on hand to score from close-range. It was six on 82 minutes, McMahon’s pin point cross picked out Stynes, who lost his marker to score. The goal of the night came two minutes later from Armadale, White’s long-range shot flew into the corner of the net, but it was too little too late.




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