Bayswater City skipper Steve Hesketh returns to his former club looking to continue the league leaders good form - Photo courtesy of Bayswater City)

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13.5.2022

NPL-WA ROUND EIGHT - PREVIEW

It’s been a great start to the season for a Gareth Naven’s Bayswater City, and they currently sit on top of the NPLWA Men’s ladder, and they will look to continue it on Saturday when they travel to Macedonia Park to take on fourth placed Stirling Macedonia in our ‘Match of the Round’. (All games kick off at 3.00pm) City stunned Floreat Athena last weekend, and moved clear at the top after a draw against Perth Glory in midweek, while Stirling came home from Gwelup Croatia with a hard-fought win, so with one should be a cracker. Last time they met at the venue was in round 19 in 2019, when the host won 2-1. The Lions raced to a two-goal lead in the first half, with Dean Cummings and Michael Wantee on target, and roared on by the home faithful they survived a late scare after Gordon Smith halved the deficit.

Bayswater skipper Steve Hesketh said it had been a hectic week, with two tough games, but they continued their unbeaten run to six games. “Yes, it’s been a very big two weeks for the team, that we’re about in the middle of it now,” he said. “It was a great result against Floreat and really good to see the boys putting it all together for 90 minutes. Then against the Glory, midweek games are always tough, but I’ll take the draw and we’ll roll into this weekend now.”

The defender said all their hard work with coach Gareth Naven and his assistant John Walmsley is paying dividends, but he knows there is a long way to go, as they go in search of the clubs first NPL title since 2017. “We’re refocusing every week on the next game, so the past games are great but forgotten, now and we head to Stirling this week to go again,” Hesketh explained. “The whole playing group are starting to hit its stride and that’s a result of hard work by the whole club not just the team on the weekend.”

Hesketh will come up against his former club on Saturday, where we won two State League Cup’s in a three-year stint, and he said they have started well and is expecting another challenging encounter. “To be honest, I don’t think there are any easy games in this league, and Saturday will be tough, and we’ll be going out there to play our way,” he said. “On the outcome, I guess I’ll tell you my thoughts about it on Sunday.”

Stirling skipper Dejan Spaseski said last week’s derby was a good three points, but they rode their luck at times. “We knew from the beginning that it was going to be a tough encounter. Gwelup never make it easy for anyone coming to their home ground and their style of play forced a poor first half performance out of us,” he explained. “But we bounced back well in the second half and controlled the game. We could have had two or three more in the second half that would have eased the pressure leading into the final moments of the game where our goalkeeper Boz (James Bosdet) was outstanding. It wasn’t our best performance, but we were more than happy to leave with the three points.”

Spaseski said the club have dealt with the aftermath of last week’s game, and all he wants to do is concentrate on the pitch, and the visit of Bayswater City on Saturday. “Bayswater are looking like the team to beat at the moment and we are relishing the opportunity to put our best foot forward and see where we are really at,” the skipper explained. “These big games become defining moments come season end, and as always, we are confident of taking all three points.”

In other games this weekend, Floreat Athena will look to bounce back from last week’s heavy loss at Bayswater, when they entertain Inglewood United at E&D Litis Stadium, while Cockburn City travel to Dorrien Gardens to meet Perth SC. Armadale will be without Isaac Koomson and Yousri Gharsallah, who were sent off last week and received five game bans, when they host Gwelup Croatia, who will be without coach Mitchell Prentice after his red card last week, at Alfred Skeet Reserve, while Sorrento host Perth Glory in the Football West Regional Cup at Barnard Park in Busselton.

Sorrento were in action in midweek, in a round one catch-up game at Cockburn City, and they came home with three points after a 2-1 win. “It was not one of our best performances, but I cannot fault the players in terms of their attitude and work rate,” Sorrento coach Trevor Morgan said. “I thought we defended very well from the front to the back and worked hard to stop the qualities the Cockburn team showed going forward. The most important thing for us was to win and get the points that will keep us on the tails of the leading teams.”

The visitors found the opener on 24 minutes, Ollie Annis’ cross from the left was knocked back by Scott Witschge and Chris Jackson pounced to score from close-range. They doubled their advantage just after the hour, a short goal kick was given away by Breckan Baker, and Gustavo Giron-Marulanda raced to the bye-line and crossed to Jackson, who fired into an empty net. Cockburn found a lifeline five minutes from time, Igor Cvijanovic was brought down by Byungatae Ahn, and referee Steven Gregory pointed to the spot. Daniel Robinson stepped up and beat Patrick Hughes with the resulting penalty. The hosts pressed late looking for the equaliser but it wasn’t to be and Sorrento left with three valuable points, moving them to second place on the ladder.

In the final game this weekend, Perth RedStar makes the trip to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta. The hosts are still searching for their first win of the season, but showed good signed in their narrow loss at Glory last week. RedStar’s game against Perth was called off, but last time out they beat Armadale, and striker Daryl Nicol said it was a good win, and good to get Johnny Perkins back on goal after injury hit Joe Pollard. “It was a fantastic win at Armadale as they made it very difficult for us like they always do, and whenever you go down there you know you are in for a battle,” he explained.

“Over the years we’ve probably played a lot better than we did at the weekend and not came away with the result, so to get the three points in fairly convincing fashion is a big statement from us. It was good to have Johnny back in the playing group and he showed that he is still a top goalkeeper with some vital saves. But after seeing him train on Thursday night I think the club were scrambling around all day Friday to try and find a shirt that would be big enough for him, as he’s certainly enjoyed his short retirement.”

Nicol said Balcatta will be desperate to get their first points of the season, so they need to be on their toes from the first whistle. “Balcatta have had a difficult start to the season but we’re still expecting a very tough game at their place,” the Scottish striker explained. “With not playing last week we are desperate to get going again and build on our last victory at Armadale and keep the pressure on the leaders.”

13.5.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVEN – PREVIEW

Mandurah City are on a roll at the moment, and John Baird’s side moved to third on the State League Division One table after their big win at Subiaco, and this week they welcome Quinns to Genesiscare Stadium in our ‘Match of the Round’ (All games kick off at 3.00pm unless stated) Quinns announced in the week the departure of coach Glenn Grostate, which was a huge surprise, and this after a win against UWA Nedlands last week, made it back-to-back wins, so they head south in a confident mood. Last time they met at the venue was in round 18 last season, when the hosts won 1-0, the only goal of the game in the shadows of half time, Rory McGrath sending Afian Giyanto into the box to score.

Quinns skipper Adam Buckingham said it’s been a tough week for the players, but they are looking to build on back-to-back league wins. “Yes, the players were extremely shocked about the situation, every player had a great relationship with Glenn and the boys were performing and progressing each week so there was no reason for the change from our point of view, but we have to move on,” he explained. “We were happy with the win and the performance last week, and it was good to string some form together before a tough game this week down at Mandurah. “

Buckingham said the Dolphins are one of the form team of the league at the moment, and we said they head there with a game plan, and will be looking to make it three wins on the bounce. “We know Mandurah and what they’re about,” he said. “The game will be very tough, but if we play as we have been in the prior week’s, stick to the game plan, then we can take three points away.”

Mandurah midfielder Hamish van Dieken said the win at Subiaco last week was a huge result for the club, and believes the come-from-behind win showed how far they have come this season. “It was a massive result for us against a side that was higher on the table, but I thought we showed great character to come from a goal down and was also very pleasing that we were able to continue being ruthless in front of goal scoring five times,” he said. “Theirs parts of the game we have already discussed that need to be improved but overall, very happy with the way we played and the way we went about getting the victory.”

The midfielder said the side is playing with confidence, and he said it’s been a team effort from the whole club, and he is expecting a tough game against Quinns on Saturday. “The way we train and the way we are set up for games, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to go out and get the three points every Saturday. The professional environment that John (Baird) and Pete (Taylor) has created has helped massively and had a real positive effect on the players,” Van Dieken explained.

“The coaching staff have done an excellent job to get us playing the way we are and the exciting thing for us is that we still have loads of room for improvement. The belief the coaching staff has in our group of players and the belief us players have in each other, is a real factor in why we are playing the way we are and getting the results we deserve. From what I’ve seen Quinn’s are a good side and will be another big challenge for us come Saturday. Our boys have been preparing well at training and will be ready to get the three points no matter what.”

In other games in round seven, Olympic Kingsway will look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season, when they host Dianella White Eagles, who won for the first time, at Kingsway Reserve (7.30pm), likewise Murdoch University Melville who welcome Subiaco to Besteam Stadium (6.00pm). Forrestfield United travel to the Lark Hill to take on Rockingham City, without Jack Lavis, Oliver Parry and Oliver La Galia, who were sent off at Fremantle last week, while the hosts will be looking to build on their first win of the season under interim coach Kris Donnell. Joondalup United will look to end a three-game run without a win then they visit the UWA Sports Park to meet UWA Nedlands.

In the final league leaders Western Knights travel to Hilton Park to take on fourth placed Fremantle City. The Knights have won all their games this season, while Fremantle are yet to be beaten this, but were made to work hard to beat a nine-man Forrestfield last week, and midfielder Brian Patterson said like all game this season it was tough challenge. “Yes, it was a strange game against Forrestfield, they tried to stop us playing football by constantly fouling, but we kept plugging away and got our goal and the three points we deserved.”

Patterson, who joined Fremantle from NPL side Armadale this season, said the Knights are on fire, but they are looking forward to the challenge. “The league is very tight this year especially with teams having to try and play there mid-week catch up games,” he said. “This week is a huge game for us as both teams are still undefeated, but we are all confident we can get the win against a strong Knights team.”

13.5.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVEN – PREVIEW

It’s week seven of the State League Division Two, and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Bunbury, where South West Phoenix welcome second placed Kingsley Westside to Hay Park. (All games kick off at 3.00pm, unless otherwise stated) Kingsley thrashed Ashfield last week, while the Phoenix stunned league leaders Carramar Shamrock Rovers, to secure their first win of the season, so both sides will go into this one in good form.

Kingsley are the only unbeaten side this season, and Josh Waldock said they are looking to make up for missing out in the play-offs last season, and the big win against Ashfield showed the improvement they have made. “After coming so close last season we all knew as a squad the goal for this season is to get one better. Dim and Monty have brought in a few new lads to help strengthen the squad for the big push to promotion,” he said. “As a squad last week, we started to game in the best way possible. We scored four in the first half put us in a great position coming into half time. We knew that Ashfield would come out firing in the second half and once we got the fifth goal the game was in our control.’

Waldock said they are in good form, but a trip down to Bunbury is one of the toughest challenges in the league, but they are looking forward to the game, and keeping their unbeaten start to the season intact. “As we all know in this league you can’t take any team for granted, if you do you will get beaten,” he said. “Going down to Bunbury is always a tough ask especially with them beating top of the table last week, so they will be ready for the challenge.”

Phoenix skipper Jamie Oakey said the win at Shamrock last week was great, and they are starting to get their full squad back, they are looking to kick on. “It was a good win, and we felt we could’ve won by more in the end,” he said. “As you say it’s something to kick on from, and something we had been building towards in the last couple of weeks as we begun to get some players back in and develop a bit of stability within the squad.”

The club have given the opportunity to a number of youngsters this season, and Oakey said they haven’t let the club down. “We’ve had four players in the starting 11 under 18 years old each week, which is promising to see. As they get the opportunity their experience builds which is only going to continue to be a positive for the club in the coming years,” the keeper explained. “They’re the future of the club, unfortunately we’re in a different situation to every Perth team as we can’t just heavily recruit each year to bolster the squad, we must develop the youngsters so credit to the junior NPL coaching staff the past couple of years that have helped developed these young lads.”

The Phoenix returned to their training ground after fires down south last week, and they also get Head Coach Nick Carter back this week, who has been back to the UK, and Oakey said he’s hit the ground running. “Yes, Nicky is back, and we get our training ground back after the fires last week,” he said. “We look forward to welcoming Kingsley and another tough game, but we are confident in our own ability to get another result and continue to build momentum, especially at home.”

In other games this weekend, Gosnells City welcome Wanneroo City to Walter Padbury Reserve, looking to bounce back from defeat last week, likewise Ashfield and Swan United who meet at the Acclaimed Catering Arena. Curtin University will look to build on their big win at Swan last week, when they host Canning City at Edinburgh Oval, while Joondalup City head to Princess Road Reserve to take on Balga, both coming off wins. In the final game Morley-Windmills entertain Carramar Shamrock Rovers to Wotton Reserve. (6.00pm)

The host’s game was postponed last week, while Rovers lost for the first time this season against South West Phoenix, and coach Gerry McEwan said he will be looking for a response from his players this week. “It was a very disappointing result for us, but no complaints as SWP were worthy winners on the day. This league is very tight and every game is going to be tough, so this was simply a reminder of that,” he explained. “Morley have shown that they have ambitions for their club with all the new players and coaching staff they've brought in this year. We will be expecting a tough game and we'll need to be at our best to come away with the points.”

13.5.2022

NPL-WA WOMEN'S ROUND SEVEN - PREVIEW

It's week seven of the NPLWA Women’s competition, and once again covid has hit, with the replay of last season's Top Four Final Series between Perth SC and Murdoch University Melville at Besteam Stadium the latest casualty. But our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Rosalie Park on Sunday afternoon, as Subiaco host Curtin University (3.45pm) The hosts were beaten at Perth SC last week, while Curtin’s game against the NTC was postponed due to covid. Curtin goes into the game with a new coach, with Les Cavill taking over from Dom Gangemi, who stepped down last week, and Cavill said he is looking forward to the challenge. “As now considered a "veteran" coach, I have faced the situation that the Curtin team find themselves in now a number of times, yes, it is a challenge, but one that I have always relished,” Cavill explained.

“My task this season is to rebuild confidence in the playing group which naturally has taken a knock when losing games in which although playing well, the team found ways to not pick up any points. The group of players we have has great potential, and have shown me over the last two weeks a willingness to listen and work hard to eliminate the problems we have on the pitch. The Curtin club have great facilities and are very professional in their approach to the game.”

Cavill said the Women’s game worldwide is on the rise, and he said it is taking off in the NPLWA. “Yes, the women's game around the world has shown amazing growth,” he said. “Not only in the number of players participating at all levels of the game, but more importantly the quality in the football being played, compared to just ten years ago. The NPLW I believe will grow into a truly major Australian sport during the years to come.”

The coach will return to his former club this week, and is hoping to come home with the points. “Subiaco is a club that I spent five years with, and have many happy memories of coaching bottom of the third division Subiaco men's first and reserves amateur teams,” Cavill explained. “Fortunately, we were able to win three titles with both teams and finish fourth in the premier division at our first attempt. Back to Sunday’s game, the Subiaco team we meet has shown improvement this season and I expect another stern test of our character.”

Subiaco coach Greg Farrell said the loss at Perth, although disappointing, especially after the win against the NTC, he was pleased with how his side went about their business. “The game at Perth shows how far we still have to go, we are in my seventh week at the club, but also how far we've come. We started off keeping the ball and passing it around for the first couple of minutes, but then a mistake led to a well taken goal by Perth after six minutes,” he explained.

“Two more similar situations occurred in the next ten minutes and on the big pitch at Dorrien, the Perth girls showed their composure and ability by making us chase the game. We still managed some very good passages, hit the crossbar at 1-0 down, and generally moved the ball around well, but we still need a great deal more work on developing relationships amongst the players and learning to make quicker decisions and to transition both ways much quicker.”

Farrell said his young squad have been outstanding this season, and he said he knows a few from Curtin, who he has coached, and is expecting a tough game on Sunday. “I've been very happy with all of the players, the ones who have joined since I arrived, but also the ones who were there before. They've all worked extremely hard and you can see the evolution of the style of play within the 21s and first team, especially given the injury toll we've also had to deal with,” he said.

“Against Perth we had 15 players unavailable because of covid, sickness or injury. We've had five or six of our Amateur players come up to the 21s and make their debut, which is terrific experience for them and shows the club is moving in the right direction and entrusting the young players to learn as they go. As for Sunday, Curtin will be very tough, I've coached quite a few of their players at Redbacks, Beckenham or through futsal and there's a great deal of potential there. Les Cavill is also a very respected coach who will no doubt have them organised and progressing as a group. If we are to get a positive result, the players will have to be switched on and ready for a hard-fought match.”

The round begins on Friday evening when the Hyundai NTC host Fremantle City at E&D Litis Stadium (8.00pm), while in the final game league leaders Perth RedStar head to Grindleford Reserve on Sunday to take on Balcatta. The RedStar sit five points clear at the top, and are yet to drop a point, and are coming off a 3-0 win against MUMFC last week, so it will be a tough test for the hosts.

Balcatta’s game against the NTC was called off last week, which was disappointing after a big win against Curtin last time out, and they have only played three games so far, but coach Steve Atkins said it is what it is. “Yes, difficult and frustrating for the girls as they had a good couple of weeks at training either side of the Curtin game and it was some good momentum for us leading to the Fremantle game having played only two games prior. For us it is about the momentum so when a rescheduled game was called off this was disappointing but that is the world we live in now and you never know what each week brings,” Atkins explained. “Whilst we haven’t played many games the attitude and commitment at training has been first class and I am sure more regularity will come over the next few weeks and we can really kick start our season, and the girls are itching to play some games.”

Balcatta lost to RedStar in the Night Series Final and Atkins said his side are looking forward to taking them on again. “Redstar are obviously enjoying a tremendous start to the season, are playing well, good organisation, strong players and scoring lots of goals led by Larissa Walsh so yes certainly a tough game for us on the weekend,” he said. “Having said that the girls are so excited to have a game this weekend, they are working hard, numbers are good and they are confident of performing to expectations. Our girls were disappointed after the Night Series Grand Final against Redstar, so this provides an extra incentive to do our very best on Sunday. No doubt an entertaining game awaits.”

13.5.2022

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND FIVE PREVIEW

We head into week five of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division, and Kwinana United sit on top of the table, and the feature in our ‘Match of the Round’ when they host Emerald FC at Kelly Park on Sunday afternoon. (All games kick off at 3.00pm, unless otherwise stated) It will be the first meeting between the sides in the Premier League, and United jump to top spot last week on goal difference, after a 3-1 win against North Perth United last week, this after second placed Jaguar’s game against Emerald was called off due to covid protocols.

Emerald has one win and had two losses this season in the league, which isn’t a bad return in their first season in the Premier League, but coach Shane O’Donovan said he is isn’t happy with the start from the side. “To be honest I’m not happy with our start, yes, we had a win against Maddington, but we dropped points in two games where we should have got something from,” he explained.

“But we will put that in the back of our minds, there is a long season ahead with plenty of points up for grabs. The week off was unfortunate as it means we have a lot of games to play in the next few weeks but it was good to regroup after the two losses.” A trip to the leaders is a tough challenge, but O’Donovan said it’s one they are relishing, and head their looking for the win. “It’s going to be a tough game, as is every game in this league,” he said. “But I always back my lads to win and we will be looking for nothing less and kickstart our season again.”

Kwinana skipper Neal Beveridge, said last week's win at North Perth was a massive win, and he said the players put in a good shift. “Last week at North Perth was a huge three points for us,” he said. “Travelling to Woodville is arguably the hardest away fixture in the league, so as you can imagine we were buzzing afterwards to leave with all three points.”

Beveridge said it's still early in the season, but to be top is a bonus, and is expecting Emerald to be another stern test on Sunday. “We are taking it one game at a time, and the squad are just focusing on hitting our short-term goals at training and in games as they come along,” the skipper explained. “New teams are always tricky as we don’t exactly know their style of game play, however they (Emerald) are clearly a decent side beating Balcatta in the Cup, so it should be a good game and contest.”

In other games this weekend, both Kelmscott Roos and Wembley Downs will look to bounce back after losing last week, when they meet at Frye Park, North Perth United take on Queens Park at Coker Park, while Jaguar welcome Peel United to Herb Graham Recreation Centre. The game between Maddington White City and Joondalup United has been postponed.

The final game sees East Perth United welcome Quinns to Inglewood Stadium. (1.00pm) United bounced back from their first defeat of the season against Wembley, while Quinns registered their first win of the season, with a brace from Billy Flack helping them securing a 3-1 win against Queens Park. Quinns coach Vinny McMillan said they were pleased to get their first three points. “It was great to get off the mark last week,” he said. “We have played well in all bar one of our game this season, so to finally put a full three points up on the board was nice. We moved the ball well and put in a 90-minute performance.”

McMillan said Sunday’s game will be a challenge, but they head their full of confidence, and looking to continue their winning run. “Travelling to East Perth will be a big test for us this weekend. They have had a great start winning the Night Series, and you would say are one of the early favourites to win the league,” he explained. “We will have to play at our best to bring home the points, however that is something we are more than capable of.”

12.5.2022

GLORY SEASON ENDS IN CUP DEFEAT IN NEWCASTLE

Perth Glory’s forgettable season official came to an end on Thursday evening, when they were knocked out of the Australia Cup at the first hurdle, going down 3-1 to Newcastle Jets in the Final Round Playoff at McDonald Jones Stadium. After collecting their first wooden spoon after finishing at the bottom of the A-League, a young Glory side found them two goals down at half time, with Jordan Elsey heading home the opener, before a stunning strike from Daniel Penha. But the Glory youngsters hit back after the break, with former Sorrento teenager Tyler Vecchio scored his first senior, to give them hope, but chasing the game late, substitute Archie Goodwin added a third for the hosts deep into stoppage time to seal the tie.

“I thought the boys were a bit leggy and travel-weary, and we lost four of our most experienced players to injury and COVID, so we were down to the bare bones again,” Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich said post-match. “It’s such a young team with so much inexperience that they haven’t quite learned how to travel yet, how to adapt to what it’s like to have to travel across the country, staying in different hotels, preparing and trying to match the intensity of [home] teams. But I thought second half the boys showed a hell of a lot of character again.

“At half-time we tweaked a few things and made some little changes and that made a difference. I think they went about their business really well in the second half, didn’t give up and kept pushing and pushing. To put that into context of how far they’ve come in such a short space of time, it was only a few weeks ago that we travelled here and copped a really severe loss. Now we came back from 2-0 down, fought really hard to get back into the game and then pushed for an equaliser late.

“That speaks volumes about the growth and the development of these young players and how much they’re actually improving. As a team, it shows a lot about their character and how hard they’re willing to work for me and for the club. I didn’t think we were great in terms of our quality, but I was very proud of their effort and I thought they showed a lot of character to come back into the game.”

Glory gave a starting debut to NPLWA midfielder Aiden Edwards, and he joined a number of academy players in the starting side. It was the host who made all running early, on a wet night, and Liam Reddy produced two smart saves early to thwart Angus Thurgate and Samuel Silvera. But there was little the Glory custodian could do when Newcastle opened the scoring on 25 minutes. Penha’s corner found an unmarked Elsey at the back post, whose diving header found the bottom Corner.

They doubled their advantage five minutes later, with a stunner, Penha’s shot from just outside the box which gave Reddy no chance whatsoever. Glory lifted the tempo at the start of the second half and were rewarded for their good start on 69 minutes. Glory was defending a corner, and Vecchio raced clear after a swift counter-attack, holding off his marker before finishing clinically across Michael Weier in the Jets goal.

Buoyed by the goal, the Glory youngsters went in search of an equaliser as the game moved into its final quarter, and the lively Josh Anasmo was a really handful, but they couldn’t breakdown a tight Jets defence. But it was the hosts who had the last word, Thurgate’s cross was finished by Goodwin who had been introduced from the bench just seconds earlier.

Homegrown Newcastle veteran Jason Hoffman, playing his 200th competitive game for the club, said it was an important win. "Obviously we wanted to end the season with some positivity around the club and that was an extremely important match for us to obviously reward ourselves for what's been a very long season," he said. "We obviously take that bit of positivity now going into the Australia Cup for next season, so plenty to look forward to hopefully for the year to come. It was a very professional performance I thought."

Newcastle Jets: GK Michael WEIER, 2 Dane INGHAM, 3 Jason HOFFMAN, 4 Jordan ELSEY, 6 Matt JURMAN, 9 Beka MIKELTADZE, 11 Daniel PENHA (26 Archie GOODWIN 90+1'), 13 Brandon WILSON (27 Lucas MAURAGIS 71'), 16 Kosta GROZOS (17 Valentino YUEL 61'), 25 Samuel SILVERA (14 Mohamed AL-TAAY 71'), 32 Angus THURGATE - Subs not used: RGK Jack DUNCAN, 7 Jordan O’DOHERTY, 19Taylor REGAN

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 19 Callum TIMMINS (32 Aidan COYNE 79'), 22 Josh RAWLINS, 26 Giordano COLLI, 28 Trent OSTLER (42 Josh ANASMO 46'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 36 Joseph FORDE, 37 Jacob MUIR, 41 Chris DONNELL, 43 Adam ZIMARINO (47 Tyler VECCHIO 61'), 45 Aidan EDWARDS (24 Pacifique NIYONGABIRE 61') - Subs not used: RGK Cameron COOK - Referee: Tim Danaskos

10.5.2022

IREDALE HEADS TO THE TROTTERS

Former Perth Glory and ECU Joondalup defender Jack Iredale has signed for English Division One club Bolton Wanderers, after he refused a new contract at fellow Division One club Cambridge United at the end of the season. The defender is their first new signing of the summer in a rapid move into the transfer market, Iredale agreeing a three-year deal with the Whites, as manager Ian Evatt starts to strengthening his squad for next season. The 26-year-old, spent the past two seasons at The U’s, and will link up with Evatt’s squad when they return for the start of pre-season training on 17 June.

Wanderers ended the season well, which saw Evatt’s men sign off with four successive wins and a record of just three defeats in their final 22 games, and the addition of Iredale will significantly strengthen a squad which is looking to kick on from their ninth-place finish. The Greenock-born defender made 35 league starts after previously playing a key role in Cambridge’s promotion success in 2020/21 when the U’s went up alongside Wanderers, but he said the switch to the University of Bolton Stadium is a great challenge, and he is looking forward to.

“That’s why I’ve joined the club. I’m ambitious as well. I want to do well for this club and I want to do well like the club wants to do well,” he said. “There are some big teams in the division but Bolton is up there with the biggest of them, so it’s a real honour and privilege to be able to play for this club and I can’t wait to get started. I really enjoyed my two years at Cambridge, last season with promotion at the same time as Bolton, and then this season a really strong season in League One. But I felt it was time to take another step and I’m really excited that it’s with Bolton.

“I’ve played against Bolton a good couple of times over the last few years so I know how tough it can be to play against them. That’s why I’m so excited to play for them. By all accounts, especially since January, the form was really, really strong, which is another reason why I’ve chosen to come here and help continue with that momentum and hopefully do something special next season. Training with good players is only going to make you a better player. To join a squad with really good players is very exciting.”

After growing up in Australia, a country he has represented at youth level, and played at the Glory Youth side, and a short stint at ECU Joondalup in the NPL, Iredale returned to Scotland to sign for Greenock Morton in 2017 before spending a season with Carlisle United in 2019/20, where he was a team-mate of Wanderers’ vice-captain Gethin Jones. He then joined Cambridge in August, 2020 and made a total of 89 appearances – scoring five times – during his time at the Abbey Stadium.

Iredale was offered a new contract by Cambridge but having made the switch to Wanderers will now provide extra experience and proven competition for places, primarily for the left-back role but with an option to play more centrally and as a wing-back, and Wanderers coach Ian Evatt said he’s had an eye on the defender for a while. “This is a great start to what we want to do this summer in terms of adding to the squad and thanks again to Sharon and the board for allowing us to move so quickly,” he said.

“Jack is a player we’ve been keen on for a while and a proven performer at League One level, who we believe can also operate higher. He will provide genuine competition for places, which is something we want in all positions as we will look to keep moving the team and the club forward. He is a talented defender and technically very good who will add to what we already have and we look forward to working with him next season and beyond.” – From everyone at Footballwa – Good luck Jack!!

10.5.2022

BAYSWATER AND GLORY DRAW IN CATCH-UP GAME

Bayswater City moved one point clear at the top of the NPLWA Men’s table, this after they shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw against Perth Glory in a round one catch-up game at Crazy Domain Stadium, at Hartfield Park on Tuesday evening. “It was a good performance against a fit and well organised Glory team,” City’s Gordon Smith said. “Although we are disappointed not to come away with three points after going ahead twice in the game, but it keeps our good run of form going, into a very tough game away to Stirling on Saturday.”

Glory defender Daniel Walsh said it was a tough game. “I thought the team showed a lot of character to come back twice against a good side in Bayswater, and I would say it was our toughest test so far this season,” he said. “The whole group including the players and staff have been really versatile recently from dealing with everything that comes with COVID as well as the squad changing drastically from game to game with a lot of our experienced players getting minutes with the A-League team.”

City went into the game joint top of the table, after a big win against Floreat Athena on Saturday, and they were on the front foot in this one. Jon Stynes saw his effort hit the wood work early, but seven minutes from half time the visitors found the opener. Stynes slipped Sam Mitchinson down the left and his low cross was turned home by Ndumba Makeche at the near post. Bayswater had the better chances after the break, with Glory giving the ball away out of the back, and Stynes audacious lob from the half way line had Keegan Grant quickly back pedalling, but the woodwork came to his rescue.

Grant, who was in for his NPLWA first team debut, then produced a good reaction save to deny Thomas Southgate’s close-range header, after he was picked out by half time substitute Fraser Dunlop. It looked only a matter of time before Bayswater added a second, but Glory settled and levelled on the hour. Matt George raced down the left, and his cross found Andrew Maranta, who ghosted in unmarked at the back post, and fired low past Nic Speca.

Then eight minutes from time Bayswater regained the lead, Ryan Pearson’s pass sent Jason Mirco racing into the box and he finished clinically past Grant. It looked like the winner, but the Glory youngsters had other ideas and restored parity three minutes later. Daniel Walsh found substitute Christian Belladonna, who sent fellow substitute Joe Hobson in on goal, and his low shot found the bottom corner of the net.

Glory went for the win and Matthew George slipped in Belladonna moments later, but his shot on the run flashed wide. Then in stoppage time a quick counter attack saw Belladonna race clear, but Speca was out quick to clear the ball, but it only went to Taiga Matoba, whose long-range shot drifted agonizingly wide of the post, but at the final whistle it was 2-2.

“It was an exciting game, but we’re disappointed not to get the win in the end after coming from behind twice and having some very good chances towards the end of the game,” Glory’s midfielder Andrew Maranta explained. “They (Bayswater) are also a strong team, and had some solid chances to extend their lead too, but the younger boys put in a very discipline performance and now we just look to build again this weekend against Sorrento in Busselton and hopefully pick up an important three points.”

10.5.2022

ZADKOVICH TO DIG DEEP INTO YOUNG SQUAD

Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich will be forced to “piece together” a side for Thursday’s crucial Australia Cup elimination qualifying clash at Newcastle Jets. Five players from the shock weekend win over Premiers’ Plate winners Melbourne City in their final game of the home and awat series are unlikely to fly out for the match.

Zadkovich said there was a lot expectation on the young squad, a dozen who have made their debut from the club’s National Premier Leagues side this season. “We’ve got a bit of a battered squad,” Zadkovich said. “We still have to fitness test players (but) it looks like there will definitely be some big, forced changes.”

“That makes the task even more difficult. It’s another bit of adversity the boys have to face and another challenge they will have to embrace. We have to keep our expectations firmly in check, be realistic about what we expect from these guys. They are very young, some of them are still teenagers. The old phrase that there is no substitute for experience has never been more true.”

Glory need a win to rebuild from the wreckage of a disastrous COVID-hit season that left them bottom of the A-League for their first time in their history. Zadkovich, Glory’s academy coach, was parachuted in for the final 10 games after Richard Garcia was sacked.

“It’s crucial to win because going forward it gives you games in the next pre-season which is important,” he said. It’s a difficult game from an emotional point of view, given what the players have been through this year. We’ll be underdogs but we’ll embrace it.”

Glory’s last two games against Newcastle ended in a goalless draw, in March, and a 6-1 away loss last month. “They will come out hard and fast and go at us,” Zadkovich said. “That means you need mobility and experience to deal with chaos. We don’t have experience and so the chaos can be difficult.”

9.5.2022

KERR DOUBLE SECURES CHELSEA THE LEAGUE TITLE

Samantha Kerr has put the seal on a landmark week by scoring two dazzling goals to power Chelsea to a third consecutive Women's Super League title. It capped a fantastic few days for the Matildas captain, who was crowned the English football writers' women's player of the year on Thursday.

With Chelsea 2-1 down against Manchester United and their title hopes in serious jeopardy, Kerr blasted home a crucial volleyed equaliser at the start of the second half. It helped launch a brilliant 4-2 comeback win and their 18th victory in 22 matches this season.

Chelsea finished top of the table, one point ahead of Arsenal and nine points above Manchester City. But Kerr's opening goal was just the warm-up act before she provided an astonishing piece of skill in the 66th minute.

She took the ball on her chest and swivelled instantly to hit a remarkable looped volley for her 20th - and arguably her best - WSL goal of the season. Her special strikes, which saw her crowned the player of the match, also ensured she landed the Golden Boot for the WSL's top scorer for the second successive season.

"I don't set myself out to win the Golden Boot - I just do what I can for my team to win," Kerr said. "With the first, I don't score too many lefties but just saw it come and thought I'd hit it."

As for the second Kerr said it was the stuff her dreams are made of. "I dunno, I visualise scoring crazy goals like that all the time! I thought just try it, let's have a pop," she said. "Guro headed it to me, it sat up nicely, I just chested it down and whacked it and it went in! I didn't even know the keeper was out, I thought I'd just try it."

9.5.2022

GLORY FACE FIXTURE CHAOS

Perth Glory's 2022/23 season will be thrown into chaos with the club kicked out of Perth Oval for several weeks. The move could be a financial disaster for Glory with two concerts and stadium upgrades for the Women’s World Cup in July next year forcing both out of the venue.

Optus Stadium is the only realistic option but Glory are likely to demand financial compensation from the government if they are forced to use the more expensive venue. Work on the $35 million Perth Oval upgrade, bringing it into line with FIFA requirements, is due to start at the end of the year. <

English singer-songwriter Harry Styles plays at the stadium on February 20 with another artist pencilled in for the first weekend in March. The stage will remain on the ground between shows before six weeks of turf restoration for the five internationals.

Glory will be unlikely to play any A-League fixtures at Perth Oval between October, when their season opens, and January before being turfed out for up to seven weeks a month later. “Keeping us out of (Perth Oval) would be a disaster after our two terrible COVID years,” chief executive Tony Pignata said.

“Potentially losing four months is ridiculous. If we had to play at Optus we’d have to get some compensation. We are one of the major tenants. VenuesWest needs to sit down with us and come up with a solution.” Rugby side Western Force will also lose access to the ground for the same period.

8.5.2022

NPL-WA ROUND SEVEN - REVIEW

Our NPLWA Men’s ‘Match of the Round’ didn’t disappoint, with a nine-man Armadale battling out a 2-2 draw against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. “It’s always a tough contest against Armadale, as any derby should be, but I felt that we controlled much of the game and played some attractive football but a few lapses led to some cheap goals and we didn’t take our opportunities when they came, so that’s something we need to work on,” Cockburn defender Daniel Dols explained. “Overall, there were a lot of positives for us but it’s disappointing not to come away with the three points.” The hosts found the opener on 24 minutes, Alex Basto raced down the left, his cross was turned home by Harry O’Brien at the near post. But six minutes later Armadale found the equaliser, a long clearance from Yousri Gharsallah wasn’t dealt with by the Cockburn defence and Angel Andres raced into the box, his shot on the run was parried by Ben Radonich, and Adriano Jelenovic was quickest to react to fire home the rebound from close-range.

Then in the shadows of half time Armadale hit the front. Cherno Bah sent Andres down the left, he cut inside the box and was brought down by Jesse Lazzaro and referee Arvin Shanmuganathan pointed to the spot. Andres picked himself up and sent Radonich the wrong way from the resulting penalty. But the action wasn’t over there, after the half time whistle was blown, an incident between Isaac Koomson and Cockburn striker Anthony Skorich, produced a melee involving both sets of players and coaches, and Koomson was given a red card, with Skorich lucky only to receive a yellow.

The hosts were on the front foot after the break and their pressure was rewarded with the equaliser on the hour. Daniel Dols ball was headed on by Anthony Skorich, and O’Brien raced into goal and finished clinically. Things went from bad to worse for Armadale five minutes later when keeper Gharsallah was sent off, meaning Fisher came on for his senior NPLWA debut. It was backs to the wall now, for the nine-man Armadale, and Fisher saved low to deny Lazzaro, before the teenager produced a stunning save to deny him again moments later to earn his side a share of the spoils.

“It was an extremely hard battle as we expected local derby to be. We found ourselves chasing the game at the start and from that moment we started playing nice football and turned the game around,” Jelenovic said. “The half time whistle was turning point for us instead regrouping and making plan how to win the game, we started the second half with 10 men. Second half was all Cockburn, we were basically defending 45 minutes and Cockburn punished us as it was expected from them. But credit to the team defending with nine man for 30 minutes and not conceding, but we definitely need to control our emotions better in the future.”

We have a new leader this week, with Bayswater City leapfrogging Floreat Athena, after convincingly beating them 6-1 at Frank Drago Reserve. “Very happy with the performance from the team,” City’s Jon Stynes said. “It’s always great to score against your former club, but I have great memories from my time at Athena, so I wish them all the best.” The hosts made the best possible start, finding the opener after only nine minutes. Sam Mitchinson’s cross from the left was misjudged by Chris Saldaris and Gordon Smith was on hand to score from close-range at the back post.

But Floreat restored parity 18 minutes later, Riley Woodcock’s free kick deflecting off the unfortunate Jason Mirco, giving Nik Speca no chance. But the hosts hit the front again in the final minute of the half, referee Shane Skinner spotting a handball from Chris Saldaris, and Ndumba Makeche sent Jason Saldaris the wrong way from the spot. It got better for the hosts in stoppage time when they added a third, Declan Hargreaves sent Smith down the right, and the Scotsman pulled the ball back to Stynes who made no mistake against his former club.

Bayswater went in search of more after the break, but they found Saldaris in form, the keeper making telling saves to deny Makeche and Stynes early in the second half, but there was little he could do when City added a fourth on the hour. Makeche pouncing on an errant pass from Woodcock before unselfishly squaring to Smith who finished well. The home side were rampant and added a fifth on 72 minutes. Kosta Sparta sending Makeche down the right, he crossed to Stynes in the middle, and with Floreat looking for the offside flag, that never came, he finished well via the crossbar.

The icing was put on the cake two minutes later when they added a sixth, Floreat gave away possession in the middle of the park, and Makeche showed a clean pair of heels to race clear and finish past Saldaris to seal a comprehensive win. “As you can see, we are playing well as a team, we are creating a lot of chances but the lads upfront have been clinical this season,” Bayswater midfielder Declan Hargreaves said. “We are only six games in, and we want to keep this momentum going.”

On Friday evening Perth Glory continued Balcatta’s poor start to the season, running out 1-0 winners at Crazy Domain Stadium, Hartfield Park. “I thought it was a tough game against a well organised Balcatta team,” Glory coach Ivan Zuvela said. “It was a fairly even game, but credit to our players, we were persistent and never gave up and were rewarded with a goal in the second half.”

Glory welcomed back a number of players who had been on A-League duty, but it was the visitors, who were still searching for their first win of the season, who went close early. Michael Scafetta won possession in the middle of the park and raced across the edge of the box, before finding Amir Ajan, whose shot crashed off the post and away to safety. Glory striker Ciaran Bramwell was then twice denied by the alert Dom Salvoldelli, as both sides probed for the opener.

That finally arrived on 70 minutes, Daniel Walsh sent Joshua Anasmo clear, his shot was saved by Salvoldelli, the rebound falling to Christian Belladonna who found the net from close-range. Jack leech was then denied by Adrian Sinagra moments later, before Jonathan Corness' headed over the top late. Glory moves to fifth, while Balcatta remain at the foot of the table and without a point from five games.

“It was a tough game against a solid Balcatta side. We knew going into the game that there position on the table didn’t reflect on the kind of side they are,” Glory skipper Chris Donnell explained. “We started well then lost a bit of momentum and Balcatta grew into the game having some chances. They made it very hard for us to break them down, but credit to the boys for sticking at it and eventually we got what we deserved.”

Finally on Sunday traditional rivals Gwelup Croatia and Stirling Macedonia met at Wishart Street, the visitors winning an entertaining game 1-0, with Calvin Whitney’s penalty the difference between the two sides. “It was an important win for us, to keep us towards the top of the table,” Stirling keeper James Bosdet said. “We didn’t play too well to be fair, and conceded a lot of chances, but thankfully we got the three points and a clean sheet. Just a shame the win was ruined by one individual after the game had finished, the less said about that the better.”

The game will be remembered for the aftermath, but it was a typical closely-fought derby, entertaining encounter, with both sides having chances. Gwelup started the better, and Stirling had keeper James Bosdet to thank for keeping them in the game, the veteran keeper making vital saves to deny Sebastian Da Silva and Samuel Dweh one-on-one. But it was Stirling who found the opener early in the second half, when referee Stewart Beattie spotted a foul on Michael Domfeh by Gwelup skipper Ciaran Salinger. It looked a little harsh but Calvin Whitney stepped and sent Cyril Sharrock the wrong way from the resulting penalty.

Gwelup continued to create chances after the interval, and Kade Fearnall was denied by the alert Bosdet, while Stirling skipper Dejan Spaseski saw Sharrock produce a fingertip save to deny him. Both sides pressed but they couldn’t find the target, and it was Stirling leaving with the points. “It was a very unfortunate result for our lads yesterday. We were by far the better team with the better chances throughout the game,” Gwelup skipper Ciaran Salinger explained. “I thought we were very hard done by for the penalty (been a bit of a common story this year). But it’s pleasing to see that we can match and outperform the top teams in this league. Big few games for the club coming up, so the boys are ready to bounce back and get some points.” The game between Sorrento and Inglewood United and Perth Redstar and Perth SC were postponed.

8.5.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIX – REVIEW

Western Knights have run out 2-0 winners in the top of the table State League Division One clash against Olympic Kingsway, in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Nash Field on Saturday afternoon. “I thought we deserved the 2-0 win, we should have been two up by half time with a bit more composure,’ Knights’ Paul Lloyd said. “We had to soak up a bit of pressure second half and broke well on the counter attack, our second goal was a great team move starting with our keeper, and it was nice for me finish the move off with a goal and secure the win.”

The hosts made a great start, taking the lead after only three minutes, Adam Harris’ diagonal ball sent Dylan White down the right, he cut inside his marker and fired home via the post. Both sides had chances in an entertaining game, but Knights keeper Sam Stone produced a fine save to thwart the visitors, and it was the Knights who secured the win 14 minutes from time. White was the supplier this time, in a sweeping move which ended with a cross from the right, which Lloyd turned home, much to the delight of the home faithful.

Knights coach Adam Kostrencic was delighted with the performance and the clean sheet. “We started the game very well, and were rewarded with an early breakthrough, but I thought we really could have had at least another goal for our efforts before the half time break,” he explained. “As expected, Kingsway came out at us in the early part of the second half and we absorbed their early pressure with Sam Stone in particular making an important save during this period to prevent an equaliser. But I was delighted with our second goal, a well worked team goal, which was enough to secure the win against very good opposition.”

Mandurah City are up to third after an impressive 5-2 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. “Were on a strong run of form at the moment,” Joe O’Brien said. “I thought we showed a lot of character to come from a goal behind and finish the game the way that we did, we were relentless.” The visitors were ahead on 26 minutes, Craig Barker started the move, his cross field pass sent Lydon Hodgkiss racing down the right, Barker continued his run, and was picked out by Hodgkiss’ cross to head home from close-range. But Subiaco were level four minutes later, Bayram Prufer made space down the left, his cross was headed home by Emmanuel Langoya.

Then ten minutes into the second half Subiaco hit the front, a long ball sent Langoya clear, and he beat keeper Alfie Brincat to the ball and rolled the ball home from 20 meters. But just after the hour the Dolphins restored parity, John Baird sent James Paylor down the left, his cross was turned home by Joe O’Brien. Then on 65 minutes Mandurah regained the lead, with second half substitute Murray Mackintosh firing home from long-range. It was soon 4-2, O’Brien got to the bye-line and crossed to Barker who made no mistake from close-range.

They added a fifth 11 minutes from time, with new signing Charlie Breen firing home from the edge of the penalty area, to complete a comprehensive win, and player/coach John Baird was delighted with the performance. “Going away from home against a side above us in the league and scoring five goals is excellent and I’m extremely delighted,” he said. “Obviously a concern is losing two goals but that comes from us as coaches asking the boys to do the jobs they are doing. We can still improve and that’s the exciting thing about this group of players."

Fremantle City are fourth, after they overcame an eight-man Forrestfield United at Hilton Park. “It was pleasing to win after a disappointing result last week in the manner in which we drew because of poor discipline,” Fremantle coach Cameron Lord explained. “Our good discipline throughout won us the game today and it is something we must now be consistent with.” The visitors found themselves two men down late in the first half, after referee Julian Serra showed two yellow cards to Jack Lavis on 38 minutes, for a foul on Joshua Macri, and four minutes later the same happened to Oliver Parry after a foul on Brian Patterson.

Both sides had chances after the break, but it went from bad to worse for the visitors when Oliver La Galia was also shown a second yellow card after a foul on Hayden Stevens. But it looked like they would hold for a point, but three minutes from time Fremantle found the winner. Stevens’ ball into the box found Hamza Hina, who headed home well to win it for the host. “We had the better of the chances midway in the first half, with Oli La Galia and Alex McLean going close, but the two sending offs before half time, made it a huge task to regroup,” Forrestfield coach Richard Abrams said. “We then lost another, and I thought there was no malice in any of them, but credit to Hamza Hina for his late match winning header, he’s a class act and you can’t leave him for a second. But credit to my boys, we battled and were rightfully proud of our display.”

Quinns have made it back-to-back wins, after beating UWA Nedlands 2-0 at Gumblossom Park. “We squandered some good scoring opportunities early on before ‘Highlights’ Kieron got on the end of a long throw to score our first just before the halftime break,” Jackson Dongray said. “We felt much more in control as we settled into the second half and Hinshelwood kept his head to convert from the spot late, so a great performance from the boys, hoping to take that momentum down to Mandurah next week.” The hosts found the opener in the final minute of the first half, a long throw by Dongray found its way to Kieron Craig, who swept the ball home from four meters. They secured the points in stoppage time, a ball was flicked on by substitute Gareth Hamilton, and Ben Hinshelwood raced into the box and was brought down by keeper Jakeb Seppings, and referee Niall Gillmor pointed straight to the spot. Hinshelwood picked himself up and sent the keeper the wrong way from the resulting penalty to seal the three points.

Dianella White Eagles have won for the first time this season, beating Murdoch University Melville 2-0 at Dianella Reserve on Saturday evening. “Our luck was eventually about to turn and today was the day, first half was not acceptable, and after good rollicking at half time we came out second and started moving the ball faster which resulting two goals and a much better display,” Eagles coach Stewart Moses explained. “We have been battering teams but not been clinically in finishing, today we are hoping the tides have turned. The win gives us confidence going into next week against Kingsway."

It was a tight game, which saw chances at both ends, but it was Dianella who opened the scoring on the hour. Kieran Colwell’s cross from the right picked out Daniel Mackenzie, who lost his marker and headed home powerfully. Dianella found the sealer 11 minutes from time, a quick free kick from Josh Kuser found skipper Sasa Njegic, who waltzed past a number of MUMFC players before finding the corner of the net to seal the win, much to the delight of the Dianella faithful.

“We knew coming into the game it was a matter of time before we got a win. We had been playing well the last couple of weeks but unfortunately the results weren’t there for us,” Kristian Despotovski said. “We knew Murdoch were a good side and we had to be at our best, we also wanted to get one back on them from last season. We knew if we just kept playing the way we have been all we had to do was finish our chances and today we were able to do that. The boys all dug in deep and even better got the clean sheet as well as the win.”

In the final game, Rockingham City also won for the first time, with Kris Donnell starting his role as interim coach with a 2-1 win against Joondalup United at Forrest Park. “Darren Donnachie and I are delighted with the response of the players on Saturday,” Donnell said. “It was a whole new system for the boys to figure out in a few days and they done everything that was asked.” City made the breakthrough on the half hour Mitchell Firth’s long ball sent Kieran Shail down the left, he cut inside two Joondalup defenders, his first shot was saved by Todd Hoyle, but he fired home the rebound.

They doubled their lead four minutes before the break, Firth’s long free kick picked out Ross Bett, who ghosted in at the back post to head home. Joondalup found a lifeline on 64 minutes, a long throw by Ayden Dragun wasn’t dealt with and Brad McDonald’s ball back into the box was turned home by Gavin Knight. The flag was up for offside, but after consulting with his assistant, referee Troy Malatesta overruled him and awarded the goal. Joondalup pressed for the equaliser, but Rockingham held firm to take home the points.

“Yesterday was about us, about 3 points. The desire and character, it takes to win, and which so often makes the difference at this level,” Rockingham midfielder Jordan Rhodes explained. “Some young men really stood up and I am sure it will give them a real sense of belief they can draw on in what is a tough league. Certainly, as a playing group we will look to stay close and hold each other accountable to that standard in coming weeks.”

8.5.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIX – REVIEW

Curtin University are up to third on the State League Division Two ladder after a comfortable 5-0 win against Swan United, in our ‘Match of the Round’ at the Swan Italian Club, Francis Street. “We worked hard during the week on a few things, and I thought we executed those well against Swan,” Curtin Coach Troy Reid said. “I’m really happy with how we are progressing and thought we were clinical in front of the goal. Unfortunately, the win was bittersweet, with Angus Christie suffering a serious knee injury in the second half.”

The visitors opened the scoring on ten minutes, Nathan Smith played the ball behind the Swan defence, and Daniel Nocciolino was brought down as he tried to collect the pass inside the box, and referee Michael Nguyen pointed to the spot. Simone Sichel stepped up and converted the resulting penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way. It was 2-0 on the half hour, a cross into the box from the right found Nocciolino in the penalty area, he found Angus Christie, whose first time shot from the edge of the box gave Swan keeper Connor Anderson no chance.

They ended the half well and added two more goals. First on 38 minutes, Sichel found space down the left and whipped the ball into the box and Kieran Witt finished clinically across the keeper first time. Then two minutes later it was 4-0, Nocciolino won a tackle on top of the box from a defensive corner, before finding Witt in a quick transition. They combined for a quick one-two around the halfway line before Kieran slotted the goal past the advancing goalkeeper.

They put the icing on the cake with a fifth in second half stoppage time, a long range shot from substitute Dane Meerally was misjudged by Anderson, the ball crashing off the post, and Theo Chapota was the quickest to react quickest to fire home. “We were able to find our shooting boots early in the game with four of our goals coming in the first half,” skipper Jeffrey Ledwith explained. “Swan did have a number of chances to score, but luckily our keeper Daniel Marques was up for the challenge. It was a great result for us and we look forward and focus on the next round.”

League leaders Carramar Shamrock Rovers were beaten for the first time this season, going down 4-3 against South West Phoenix, their first win of the season, at Grandis Park. “It’s great to get our first win and to do it away to the league leaders is a great confidence booster for our squad,” Phoenix’s Lee Stewart explained. “Shamrock is a big physical side and it was a tough battle but I feel we stuck to our game plan and it was an outstanding effort from the lads. Tom Steele really stood out with two fantastic goals and it’s great to see the young lads step up in these big games.”

The visitors were ahead on 12 minutes, Steele finding space in the middle of the park, and firing home from long-range. But Rovers levelled five minutes later, Alan Reidy’s cross was turned home by Jamie Gibson. But they were only level for two minutes, Stewart’s corner wasn’t dealt with and Corey Barclay scored. It was 3-1 eight minutes before half time, Barclay was the provider this time, finding Steele, who eased past a couple of defenders before finding the net.

Rovers weren’t finished and reduced the margin on the hour, Ger Fitzgerald heading home Kieran Harrison corner, but Phoenix went straight back and scored a fourth. Steele was fouled by the Rovers keeper and Charlie Betts scored the resulting penalty. Rovers weren’t finished an pulled another one back moments later, Gibson adding his second from the spot, but Phoenix held firm to seal the points. Stewart said they need to recover quick with another game in midweek. “It’s a quick turnaround for us as we return to Perth on Wednesday night to face Gosnells City, before hosting Kingsley on Saturday, so three top four sides in seven days is a great test for us,” he said. “As a player these are the weeks you look forward to so we’ll recover as best we can be ready to go again on Wednesday night.”

Kingsley Westside closed the gap at the top of the table to just one point, with a comprehensive 7-1 win against Ashfield at Flinders Park. “I couldn’t be prouder of the lads and the way they played on Saturday from the first whistle to last,” Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich said. “Their pressure and will to win was at its best, and we now look forward to the long trip to Bunbury this week.” The hosts but the game to bed in a blistering first half. First on seven minutes Cameron Bishop controlled a ball with his chest, turned and his half volley found the bottom corner.

It was 2-0 on 25 minutes, Kieron Salmon headed home a free kick, and four minutes later Josh Waldock made it 3-0, when he got on the end of a cross from Jonny Hulme. His initial header was saved by the keeper, but the ball fell back to him to slot home. It soon became four, Bishop grabbing his second after Ashfield failed to clear a corner. Ashfield reduced the margin early in the second half, Benjamin Entwistle scoring, but Kingsley hit back, with Waldock adding his second to make it 5-1, getting on the end of a Luke Doyle through ball to score, before Hulme added a sixth, after a weaving run. Second half substitute Jamie McLeod made it 7-1 15 minutes from time, finishing well from the edge of the box.

Joondalup City are up to seventh after a come from behind 3-1 win against Gosnells City at the Iluka Sports Complex. “I’m really pleased at the resilience, the efforts and the passion shown by the lads today. We’ve been very unlucky in recent weeks not getting the results we deserved and it sometimes takes a big effort to turn your fortunes around and that’s exactly what we got today,” Joondalup coach Brad Haywood explained. “We know we have a great squad this season and despite four lads missing with COVID and two lads out with injuries we’ve shown we have the depth and mentality to grind out results.

“A long way to go but Balga and Curtin are next and we have the chance to be top four after round eight if we stick to our game plan and focus on playing our style. Proud of the lads today.” Gosnells arrived in good form, and opened the scoring on 28 minutes, Tony Chandler scoring. But the hosts hit back and levelled two minutes later, Gareth Lloyd found Hayden Lowe at the front post from a corner and he put the ball up into the top right-hand corner, a well worked training ground routine. Joondalup then hit the front midway through the second half.

A quick counter attack by Josh Pasco, who played Jack Reilly in behind the Gosnells defence, his shot was well saved by Duncan Lennon-Black, but the rebound hit the arm of Gosnells defender and referee Lawson Rimmer pointed to the spot. Liam Peacock stepped up and converted the resulting penalty. Gosnells pressed late looking for the equaliser, but in stoppage time, Joondalup sealed the points. Sam McCracken sending Reilly in on goal, and he was brought down by Aden Hoddy, and the referee again pointed to the spot and sent the Gosnells defender off. Peacock converted the penalty to give Joondalup a much need win.

In the final game Balga made it back-to-back wins, following a hard fought 2-1 win against Canning City at Princess Road Reserve. “Our team dominated the first half and scoring only one goal was dangerous because Canning was still in the game at half time,” Balga coach Gerhard Janssen said. “The early goal in the second half decided the game, we could have closed the game afterwards but were wasteful with our chances, but the victory was never in danger because the boys defended disciplined even when we conceded the 2:1 in the 95th minute. Overall, the team delivered a good performance, and we are looking forward to host Joondalup City next Saturday.”

Balga found the opener on 19 minutes, Bleron Mamudi passed the ball to Jimmy Taban who raced clear to score past Alec Radonich. It was 2-0 early in the second half, John Lahai played the ball into the box from wide, and Joaquin Connelly managed to get a touch while being tackled, and Ben Wantee fired home the loose ball. Canning scored a consolation goal deep into stoppage time, with Rowan Steed firing a home a free kick, but it was too little too late.

“The game against Canning was a very tougher one than we expected it to be. But at the same time, we just didn't play at our best that’s why we made it harder for ourselves,” Balga striker Ben Wantee said. “Canning didn't have their full team but with the team they brought they gave it their all, and Isaac Houghton was very good, but a great game for us and we are looking forward to next week.” The game between Wanneroo City and Morley-Windmills was postponed due to Covid.

7.5.2022

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND THREE REVIEW

We have a new leader at the top of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division, after Kwinana United beat North Perth United 3-1 at Woodville Reserve. “I thought North Perth deserved to go in front, they started really well and took us some time to get a foothold in the game,” Kwinana coach mark Purvis said. “We were a little fortunate with the equaliser but I thought our work rate deserved to be all square at the break. Second half was a tight affair as North Perth are a really good side especially at home.

“I thought our second and third goals were good and more importantly they were scored at really good moments, so we’re delighted to come away from a very difficult place with all 3 points.” It was the hosts who found the opener on 14 minutes, Raido Reinsalu scoring. But 12 minutes later Kwinana equalised, with Glen Smith on target. The visitors hit the front on the hour, Dean Couling scoring from a free kick, and Kwinana sealed the points nine minutes from time, Alex Jones racing clear one-on-one with keeper Luke Yeates, and firing home.

In our ‘Match of the Round’ Peel United won for the first time this season, after a comfortable 5-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Bortolo Reserve. “We had played Kelmscott in the night series and during preseason and I was really impressed with their side so I knew we had to be prepared for a challenging game,” Peel coach Clint Brown said. “We got out the gates scoring early and added second moments later. After the break we pushed hard and managed to scored three more goals, to seal the win, but credit to Kelmscott for battling hard.”

Peel was ahead in the opening sixty seconds, a clearance from keeper Jack Eldred sent Jack Richardson one-on-one with the Kelmscott keeper and he made mistake. They doubled their lead two minutes later, Scott Martin firing home from long-range, via the woodwork. They added three more after the break, Faris Rani bagging a brace, with Richardson added his second. “It was a great win, as I said going into the game, we know Kelmscott were going to be a tough game after coming off a great night series and big win last week but we took a couple early chances to put them on the back foot,” keeper Eldred explained. “We had a game plan going into it and stuck to it and come away with a result that I think we’ve more than deserved.’

East Perth United bounced back from defeat last week against Wembley Downs, coming home from Beldon Park with a 4-1 win against Joondalup United. Mark Walsh gave the hosts the lead after only nine minutes, but that was good as it got for them. East Perth levelled on 28 minutes, skipper Cianan Toland played Niall Murray down the right, and he crossed to Adam Giannasi, who controlled the ball before rifling the ball into the net. They hit the front in first half stoppage time, Liam McManus made space down the right, he crossed to Giannasi, who laid the ball to Steve Henry, who made no mistake.

Joondalup went close to the equaliser on the hour, Adam Buckley’s free kick crashed off the crossbar, but it was East Perth who added a third, four minutes later. McManus played a neat one-two with Giannasi down the right, and his cross picked out Kevin Taylor, who finished well. They sealed the points eight minutes from time, substitute Eamonn Kelly scoring after getting on the end of a flick from Giannasi. “Overall, were very happy with the result, Jason (Winter) and I had a good chat to lads beforehand and we need to realise if we switch off in games like we did last week we’ll drop points so happy to grab the win,” East Perth Coach Colm Costello explained. “It’s a competitive league and we won’t get points for free, every week it a battle. Joondalup hit the bar today and if that goes in the result is different, so we know there be tough games weekly.’

Maddington White City have fought back from two goals down to beat Wembley Downs 3-2 at Butlers Reserve. Skipper Harry Browne gave the hosts the lead after only two minutes, and it was 2-0 on 25 minutes, Kevin Punselie scoring. But three minutes into the second half City pulled one back, Jose Zuniga scoring. They were level four minutes later, Gaston Bazet scoring, and the comeback was complete 13 minutes from time, with Samir Ramos scoring the winner. “It was a well contested game against a strong Wembley side, and although, a few decisions were not in our favour, the boys pulled through and, in the end, we came up from 2-0 to win the game 3-2,” Maddington’s Alexander Hoareau explained. “Mounted pressure from the opposition in the last 10 minutes to play, but we kept our composure and, in the end, won the game.”

Quinns also won for the first time this season, edging out Queens Park 3-1 at Gumblossom Park. The hosts had the better chances in the first half, but they failed to take them. But they found the opener on 68 minutes, Billy Flack raced down the flank and cut the ball back to Ryan McCready. It was 2-0 ten minutes from time, McCready this time finding Flack, who rounded the keeper and scored from a tight angle. Queens Park found a lifeline four minutes later, with Aref Nazari scoring, but Quinns sealed the points in the final minute, Flack scoring his second after a goalmouth scramble. “Vinny and I felt we controlled the game and were unlucky not to take the lead in first half,” Quinns coach Lee Garnish said. “But it was nice to get our first three points of the season which has been coming, the boys played very well and controlled the ball and the game.”

7.5.2022

NPL-WA WOMEN'S ROUND SIX - REVIEW

Perth RedStar continues to lead the NPLWA Women’s competition, after a 3-0 win against Murdoch University Melville in our ‘Match of the Round’ at the RedStar Arena, at the ECU campus. “After having last week off it was good to get another win. Sometimes when you have a break you can lose your momentum, and Murdoch are a young team but they are still dangerous, they have a good midfield who work well together,” RedStar’s Larissa Walsh explained. “However, we started the game strong and capitalised, settled any nerves from having time off. Second half was a bit quieter we should have finished a few shots but we still created a lot of opportunities which is always good.”

RedStar were looking for their fifth straight win, and they were on the front foot early, with Sarah Carroll and Olivia Wood both being denied by MUMFC keeper Monique Todd inside the first 10 minutes, but five minutes later they did find the opener. Skipper Shawn Billam challenged for the ball in the middle of the park, the ball rebounded off an MUMFC player, and Walsh raced forward, she held off Molly Bolton, before her shot on the run found the top corner of the net.

It was 2-0 six minutes later, MUMFC failed to clear the ball and it fell to Carla Bennett, who played in Carroll who made mistake from the edge of the box. Todd was busy in the MUMFC goal, but she could do little when RedStar added a third on 40 minutes. Billam won possession on the right, and fed Carroll, who rolled her marker on the edge of the box before picking out Walsh who made no mistake. The host continued to dominate after the break, Poppie Hooks header was blocked by some desperate defending from the visitors, while Walsh went close to a hat-trick, but see failed to find the target.

“It was a good win for us, the girls came out strong. We created some good chances, played some good football and scored three quality goals in the first half,” RedStar coach Carlos Vega Mena said. “MUMFC made sure that the game was fast paced and remained intense for the duration. They came out fighting in the second the half and showed some real character, however, our girls worked hard to keep them from getting back into the game. We have learned that you can't drop your guard in the second half, especially against such a competitive team. Player’s abilities and strengths tend to shine through in intense games like this one and the girls showed their experience and maturity, ensuring the win and keeping the three points.”

Perth SC produced their best performance of the season to beat Subiaco 5-0 at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday afternoon to move to second on the ladder. “The exact result we wanted, three points and a clean sheet which I can never argue with. I was particularly pleased with the way we started the game though, having previously struggled in the past few games to grab an early lead, the girls came out firing and set the tone right from the first whistle,” Perth coach Peter Rakic explained. “I earlier mentioned the importance of Jaime Duncanson and Zoee Spadano's return to the line-up and it showed, and I know both will be buzzing heading into our next fixture against MUMFC.”

The hosts found the opener on six minutes, Liana Cook played the ball back to skipper Zoee Spadano, whose shot was saved by Zara Board, but the ball fell to Jamie Duncanson, who fired home, a great start after returning from injury for the striker. It was 2-0 moments later, Ella Lincoln eased past her marker down the left and raced into the penalty area, before crossing to Duncanson, who couldn’t miss from close-range.

Subiaco settled and former ECU Joondalup’s Phoenix Brownlie saw her effort hit the crossbar, but Perth was in no mood to concede, and they added a third on 13 minutes. Abbey Meakins sent Cook down the right, and she slipped in Spadano, who raced into the box and fired low past Board. It was 4-0 just before half time, a neat give and go from Spadano sent Duncanson clear, and she finished clinically to complete her hat-trick.

After the break Perth continued to create chances, Lincoln shot flashed wide of the target, and Board produced some good saves, but she could do little when Perth added a fifth just after the hour. A poor pass from Zara Whooley sent Cook in on goal, Board stood tall to save, but the rebound fell to Spadano, who cleverly lobbed the keeper from the edge of the penalty area.

“I’m really happy that we got the three points on the weekend, we’ve been working hard adopting a bit of a new style of play and it’s looking like it’s coming together now,” hat-trick hero Jaime Duncanson explained. “Obviously I’m stoked to be able to score three in the match, but more so that we are coming together and progressing as a group. Subiaco are a team that you can’t get complacent, so I’m really proud of the girls to put in a shift for the 90 minutes.” The other two games this round, between Curtin University v Hyundai NTC and Fremantle City against Balcatta Etna were both postponed.

6.5.2022

CHELSEA MANAGER RECKONS NO-ONE COMES CLOSE TO MATCHING KERR

Matildas captain Samantha Kerr has been hailed as best centre forward in the world game after being voted English football's woman player of the year. The 28-year old won a huge 40 per cent of the vote in the Football Writers' Association's poll to find the best player in the Women's Super League.

With 18 goals and four assists from 18 Women's Super League games, there is no argument about Kerr deserving the award. Her latest accolade was preceded by a warm tribute from Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, who was grateful for Kerr's predatory instincts on Thursday when she nodded in the deciding goal against Tottenham Hotspur to push Chelsea closer to defending their league title.

"She's such a top player, in every way," said Hayes after the 2-1 home win. "You go and look at her all-around stats as a centre forward and no-one comes close to her in this league - maybe worldwide. She works her socks off, she has the contribution to team goals, and there's her own goalscoring record. Her work rate is phenomenal."

Almost certain to win the Golden Boot as the WSL top scorer for a second straight season, Kerr is still more concerned about firing Chelsea to another title. Her goal against Tottenham was the seventh straight WSL match in which she's scored and if she finds the target in the last two games of the season, she'll equal teammate Beth England's record of nine in a row.

But she was only interested in helping Chelsea win their final two matches - at Birmingham on Sunday and at home to Manchester United the following week. "There are two games to go and we're just going to grind through," Kerr said. "Get all six points and we're champions."




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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