ECU Joondalup's Sami Riak and Sorrento's Dean Cummings in action

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11.4.2021

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND ONE REVIEW

The 2021 Belt-Up Amateur Premier League kicked off this weekend, and unfortunately our ‘Match of the Round’ between South West Phoenix and Leeming Strikers was called off by Football West, after the Strikers forfeited the game and the points went to the home side. We are seeking clarification from Football West if this is the case, we will keep you informed. There was also another game postponed, with Hamersley Rovers and Wembley Downs being called off, and will be played at a later date.

There was some football played, and the biggest shock of the opening round saw Champions North Perth United beat 3-2 at Nikola Tesla Reserve by Maddington White City. It was the hosts who were ahead early, with Andres Gonzalez finding the net, after some neat build up play by Yahan Crampon. But North Perth, who played their FFA Cup fourth round tie, on Friday evening, hit back with Scott Wrightson scoring from the spot. It was a tight game but City regained the lead on the hour, with Samir Ramos pouncing on a poor back pass and rounding the keeper to score. Ramos then added a third on 71 minutes, nicking the ball of a United defender before finidinh the target, to put Cesar Gonzales’ side in control.

But North Perth weren’t finished and pulled one back three minutes later, Jean-Marc D'Avray cross was hammered home by Wrightson. Ramos should have had his hat-trick late, but couldn’t turn the ball into an empty net. North Perth pressed for the equaliser, but the host held out to take the points. “We are satisfied with the win after a difficult pre-season and night series. It’s nice to start the season with three points, especially against last year’s champions and the team everyone is tipping to win the league again this year,” Maddington’s Petar Mrdja explained.

“It was a tough game with both sides giving it their all but I thought we were clearly the better team and deserved the win. North Perth have recruited some older boys into their team who we thought were there for the taking and I thought we exposed them well with our pace in the attacking third. The most important thing for Maddington is to back this win up against Queens Park in our next game, if we can do that then we will be really happy.” New North Perth Head coach Luke O’Neill said it wasn’t the start to the season we’re looking for. “We’re Disappointed to start the season with a loss, but we will move on and start focusing on the next game,” he said. “Maddington is a tough place to go, we will use it as a learning curve and get back to working hard on the training ground and go again.”

Kwinana United were the big winners in opening round, after a 4-0 win against Jaguars at Kelly Park. United were ahead after only nine minutes, Jake Daley’s cross finished clinically by Lee Bates. It was 2-0 on the half hour, Daley this time sending Bates in on goal and he finished well. They added a third in the shadows of half time, with Neil Beveridge getting in on the act. But the icing was put on the cake six minutes from time when Bates completed his trick from the penalty spot to seal a comprehensive win for Mark Purvis’ side.

“We started the game really well and we managed to get a couple of goals in that period. Jags then started to cause us a few problems but we weathered that and managed to grab a third before the break,” Purvis said. “Even though we were 3-0 up we had to work extremely hard to keep them out. Even when we got the fourth Jaguars kept coming so get the win and a clean sheet was a terrific start to the year.”

UWA Nedlands have started life under their new coach Claudio Mastinu with hard fought 3-2 win on the road at Beldon Park against Joondalup United. The hosts were ahead after Adam Buckley pounced on a short back pass and shot past the UWA keeper. Kyall Osborne then hit the post as the home side went in search of second. But two minutes into the second half UWA levelled with Walter Torres scoring, and seven minutes later Abel Thomas-Hy added second. With 12 minutes remaining, Adam Rogers scored the equaliser with a 25-yard free kick into the bottom corner. But less than five minutes later though a poor touch inside the 18-yard box gifted the ball to UWA and Manuel Arapis scored the winner.

“We are very happy to start the season with a win at Joondalup,” Mastinu said. “We were behind at half time but our chat at the break worked, and we scored two quick goals to take the lead. We let them back into the game and a 2-2 it could have gone either way, but the lads showed great character, and Manuel getting the winner capped a good day for us.” It wasn’t the start United coach Neil Sherwin was looking for. “The game could’ve gone either way but ultimately we were punished for errors that you won’t get away with in a very good league. Our defending isn’t good enough at the moment and we’re leaking too many goals so that is something we will look to address in training. It’s a disappointing start to the season and we’ll look to improve against Leeming next Sunday.”

In the final game Quinns beat Queens Park 2-0 at Gumblossom Park. The hosts hit the front on 20 minutes, Ryan McCready heading home from a corner. It was McCready who doubled Quinns lead on 65 minutes, heading home at the back post to seal the win. “It was a very tough game played in good spirits,” Quinns Coach Vinny McMillan said. “Queens Park pushed us for 90 minutes, although we lacked a little bit of composure in front of goals.”

10.4.2021

JACKS TAKE OUT THE DERBY

ECU Joondalup have taken out the ‘City of Joondalup’ Derby, beating Sorrento 3-0 at Percy Doyle Reserve in our NPLWA round four ‘Match of the Round’. A first half strike from Daryl Nicol gave the Jacks the lead at the break. Andy Higgins doubled their advantage on 71 minutes, before Danny Hodgson added the third late on to seal the win. Sorrento ended the game with ten men after Alex Morgan was sent off after receiving a second yellow card, the win moving Kenny Lowe’s side up to second on the ladder.

“They made it hard for us today, but we know it was going to be a scrappy and they are a physical side, but we matched them,” Jacks’ skipper Johnny Perkins said post-match. “We had a few chances in the first fifteen minutes, and we were disappointed not to be rewarded, but we kept it tight at the back and we knew we would create chances with the quality we have, and thankfully the lads took them. The wind made it difficult, it seemed to change direction every ten minutes, but to come here in the derby and leave with three points and a clean sheet is always nice.”

The host went into the game unbeaten, but it was the Jacks who opened the brighter and they went close to the opener after only three minutes. Former Gulls defender Jakub Prajza raced down the right, his shot was parried by keeper Matthew Giudicatti the rebound falling to Nicol, whose first-time shot was cleared off the line by Ryan McLaughlin. The host went close themselves moments later, a corner wasn’t dealt with and former Jacks’ defender Billy Quinncroft’s shot was blocked, and after a goalmouth scramble the ball was cleared.

But the Jacks continued to dominate and Declan Hughes long-range shot beat Giudicatti, but crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. The Jacks dominance was rewarded with the lead on 29 minutes. Nicol’s free kick from the edge of box was deflected off the wall wrong footing the unfortunate Giudicatti and rolling into the net. It was nearly two moments later, Higgins’ snap shot was straight at the keeper, but Sorrento almost levelled on the stroke of half time. Morgan cut in from the left, his curling effort saved low by Perkins.

Sorrento should have levelled early in the second half, Scott Witschge was sent clear, one-on-one with Perkins, but the Jacks custodian stood tall to save. Nicol was denied by the alert Giudicatti on the hour, the Sorrento gloveman getting down well to push his free kick around the post. But the visitors doubled their lead on 71 minutes. Higgins’ found space down the right, and he curled his shot into net, giving Giudicatti no chance.

Sorrento weren’t finished and they almost pulled one back six minutes later, substitute Jaxon Temata’s curling shot looked destined for the top corner of the net, but Perkins produced a stunning one-handed save at full stretch to deny him. But deep into stoppage time the Jacks did add a third. Higgins’ free kick from the right of the penalty area, picked out Hodgson, whose glancing header found the bottom corner of the net, to seal the derby win.

Sorrento: GK Matthew GIUDICATTI, 3 Daniel FAICHNEY, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 5 Scott ROBERTSON (23 Neil GILLIES 90+3’), 7 Alex MORGAN, 8 Scott WITSCHGE, 9 Billy QUINNCROFT (19 Jaxon TEMATA 74’), 11 Tim HILL (12 Joe TWEATS 90+3’), 16 Ryan MCLAUGHLIN, 17 Dean CUMMINGS (15 Tristian STEVENS 90+3’), 18 Jordan BROWN – Subs not used: RGK Patrick HUGHES – Red Card: Morgan 80’

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Jeremy TSHONGO, 3 Nelson TSHONGO (15 Luke DAVIS 80’), 4 Declan HUGHES, 6 Sami RIAK (13 Jason PETRIE 90+3’), 7 Danny HODGSON, 8 Tom HOUGH, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 12 Jakub PRAJZA, 16 Shane CASSIDY – Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD, 17 Sonny O’SHEA, 18 Danny DOUGLAS - Referee: Michal JASINSKI

10.4.2021

ATHENA HIT BACK TO BEAT INGLEWOOD

Floreat Athena maintained their spot at the top of the NPLWA ladder, and maintain their 100% start to the season, after a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Inglewood United at E&D Litis Stadium. Steve Sokol gave the visitors the lead at the break, but Robert Harding levelled early in the second half. An own goal from Jamie Murphy then gave Vas Vujacic’s side the lead but Giovanni Soares levelled just after the hour. But it was second half substitute Wesley Casimir who won it for the hosts, moments after coming off the bench.

“The win against was huge as it kept our winning streak going,” youngster Casimir said. “I was also happy to score and help the team come from behind to get the three points against Inglewood.” It was a tight game, with both sides’ defences on top, but that all changed on 35 minutes, with the visitors opening the scoring. Ajak Riak raced down the left, and cut the ball back to Roberto del Borrello, who slipped a superb through ball to Sokol, who raced into goal and finished clinically past Jason Saldaris, and they lead by that goal at the break.

But the hosts were level eight minutes into the second half. Dean Evans first time ball sent Sean McManus down the left, he raced to the bye-line and crossed to Robert Harding who poked the ball home from close-range. It got better for the home side three minutes later, when they hit the front. A quick free kick by Evans caught Inglewood napping, he sent Harding racing into the area, and his cross was headed into his own net by the unfortunate Murphy.

Inglewood wasn’t finished, and they restored parity on 67 minutes. They won a free kick 20 meters from goal, and Soares curled it up and over the wall and past the keeper and defender Dennis Galen who had raced back to the post to try and block it. The game was up for grabs now, but it was the home side who won it two minutes later. McManus picked out Evans in the middle of the park, who fed Nick Ambrogio, who in turn tied up Casimir, who finished clinically from the edge of the box.

“It was a tough game, and our first half performance was poor in many areas which allowed them to take the lead,” Floreat Head Coach Vas Vujacic said. “After half time we made some changes and were more aggressive which enabled us to turn the game around and take the lead twice, and young Wes Casimir scored the winner which was very pleasing.”

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11 Dennis GALAN, 13 George FESTA, 8 Sean MCMANUS, 15 Chris SALDARIS, 16 Kyle MURRAY (40 Wesley CASIMIR 62’), 12 Robert HARDING (4 Ben STEELE 72’), 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD – Subs not used: RGK Joshua HUNTER, 5 Elijah HAAS, 21 Ismail HAJIMOHAMED,

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 Giovanni SOARES, 5 Thiak KUEL, 7 Ajak RIAK, 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA, 15 Roberto DEL BORRELLO, 14 Steve SOKOL, 15 Roberto SOARES, 16 Jamie MURPHY – Sub not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 6 Adam FALCONE, 8 Jason BARRERA, 13 Brodie LANGAN – Referee: Shane SKINNER

10.4.2021

PERTH WIN THE ITALIAN DERBY

Perth SC have moved up to fourth on the NPLWA table, after a 2-1 win against traditional Italian rivals Bayswater City at Dorrien Gardens. Calvin Whitney gave Ramon Falzon’s side the lead on the half hour, and Cameron Teece bagged his fifth goal of the season to doubled their advantage. But Baywater hit back with Fraser Dunlop reducing the margin soon after, but they couldn’t find the equaliser, the loss leaving City in fifth spot.

“It was a much-needed win for us after a disappointing result against Floreat in the last round,” Perth defender Alex Silla said. “Bayswater are a well drilled side and to create as many chances as we did was really positive, but like the Inglewood game, we had to dig deep in the dying stages and defend well to take all three points. The Azzurri fighting spirit and resilience was on show and hopefully this win can boost our confidence for a busy period of games coming up.”

It was the hosts who were on the front foot early, and they went close to the opener on ten minutes, Kristian Santich’s in-swinging corner was only just kept out by the back-pedalling Liam Driscoll, before Michael Domfeh headed over from close-range. But on the half hour Perth’s early dominance was rewarded with the lead. Teece made space down the left, he cut the ball back to Whitney on the edge of the box and his first time shot beat Liam Driscoll low to his right. Bayswater went close just before the break, but Konstantinos Sparta free kick on the edge of the box flashed over the top.

There were chances at both ends early in the second half, first Teece was denied by the alert Driscoll, before Ryan Montgomery got down well to save Sparta’s long-range effort moments later. But on 54 minutes the hosts doubled their advantage, Whitney returned the favour to Teece, his ball over the top sent the striker racing down the left, he cut inside Jack Allen and finished powerfully past Driscoll. Domfeh headed over the top moments later, before Gordon Smith slipped the ball into the path of Ndumba Makeche, but his shot whistled wide of the target.

But it was Perth’s best spell of the game and on 62 minutes they pulled one back. Makeche and Smith combined in the middle of the park, the later sending Dunlop clear and he finished clinically past Montgomery. They went close to the equaliser two minutes later, Smith sent Makeche in again, but Montgomery was out bravely to deny the striker. Teece went close again on 76 minutes, but Driscoll produces a great save to deny him.

Bayswater were pressing, and five minutes from time Smith found substitute Luke Salmon on the right of the penalty area, but the striker scuffs his shot straight at Montgomery. Moments later Makeche and Albert Fullard combine down the right, but Fullard’s low shot was well claimed by Montgomery. Then deep into stoppage time City had one last chance to get something from the game, Makeche raced down the right, he picked out Smith on the edge of the box, but he fired over the top.

Perth SC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Alex SILLA, 6 Nic MCDONALD, 8 Riley VAN DIEKEN, 9 Cameron TEECE, 10 Michael DOMFEH (20 Gustavo CATARACIONE 76’), 13 Calvin WHITNEY, 14 Lachlan BYRD, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 22 Kristian SANTICH (7 Alex JOVIC 69’) - Subs not used: RGK Adrian SINAGRA, 12 Sam FLORES, 17 Aiden FORMSTON, 15 Will GORDON, ,

Bayswater City: GK Liam DRISCOLL, 3 Jack ALLEN (4 Jacob TURNER 71’), 4 Albert FULLARD, 7 Ndumba MAKECHE, 8 Gordon SMITH, 10 Jason MIRCO, 12 Steven HESKETH, 17 Steven WALMSLEY, 18 Fraser DUNLOP (9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA 65’), 28 Konstantinos SPARTA, 29 Tyler GARNER (22 Luke SALMON 80’) - Subs not used: RGK Riccardo MAZZOLENI, 15 Leonard GAMA - Referee: Tom GLAVOVIC

10.4.2021

ZIMARINO HAT-TRICK GIVES GLORY THE POINTS

Perth Glory have won for the first time this season after a 5-3 win against Cockburn City on Saturday evening at Hartfield Park. Glory raced a two-goal lead early, with Charlie Leech and Adam Zimarino on target, but Jesse Lazzaro reduced the margin from the spot. Late goals from Zimarino and new signing Joshua Anasmo gave Ruben Zadkovich’s side a handy lead at the break. Former Glory defender Riley Woodcock pulled one back for Scott Miller’s side, but Zimarino completed his trick to seal the win. Anthony Skorich pulled another one back for Cockburn in the final minute, but it was too little too late.

“It was nice for the boys to get the win, and some reward for their recent efforts,” Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich said. “We have missed some decent chances in previous weeks, so it was nice for the boys to find the back of the net. I thought we created plenty of chances, and controlled the game well both with, and especially without the ball. So, there were some definite positives out of the performance. Even with the positive result; we are still really growing as a group. We have a lot of hard work to get to the level we want to be at, but we will keep building and stick to our processes.”

Glory made a perfect start and were ahead on seven minutes, Riley Warland slipped a great through ball to Leech, who finished with aplomb past Luke Radonich. It was 2-0 on ten minutes, Zimarino scoring to put Glory in command. But on 32 minutes Cockburn pulled one back. A cross into the Glory box from the right by Daniel Dols, caused panic, and referee Joshua Nixon spotted a push on Daniel Robinson by Nick Sullivan and pointed straight to the spot. Lazzaro stepped up and sent Cameron Cook the wrong way from the resulting penalty.

But five minutes before half time, Glory re-established their two-goal lead. Zimarino firing home from the edge of the penalty area. It was soon 4-1, a defensive error let Glory in again two minutes later. Giordano Colli pouncing on the error to cross to former Floreat Athena striker Anasmo, to score on his debut for the club.

Cockburn coach Scott Miller made a double change at the break with Daniel Santich and Breckan Baker coming on, and they reduced the deficit on 78 minutes, Woodcock drifting in from the left and finding the top corner of the net. But two minutes later Glory sealed the win, skipper Colli was involved again, this time finding the lively Zimarino who, skipper past two Cockburn defenders before finish well past Radonich. Cockburn did pull back late, good work on the right by Sebastian de Silva, who crossed into the penalty area and Anthony Skorich headed home, but it was too little to late.

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 Nick SULLIVAN (15 Lewis TUCKER 71’), 3 Jacob MUIR, 4 Aidan COYNE, 5 Riley WARLAND, 6 Chris DONNELL, 7 Joseph FORDE, 8 Charlie LEECH, 9 Joshua ANASMO (17 Bryce BAFFORD 67’), 10 Giordano COLLI, 11 Adam ZIMARINO (12 Matthew GEORGE 82’) - Subs not used: RGK Sam REILLY, 13 William FORMSTON

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 3 Daniel DOLS (15 Daniel SANTICH 46’), 4 Euen GRANT (25 Breckan BAKER 46’), 5 Julian TELES, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 11 Harry O’BRIEN, 12 Sebastian DA SILVA, 16 Ali GHOLAMI (9 Anthony SKORICH 74’), 22 Daniel ROBINSON, 21 Jesse LAZZARO (17 Fanuel DAWIT 67’), 23 Riley WOODCOCK – Subs: RGK Ben RADONICH - Referee: Joshua NIXON

10.4.2021

REDS NICK A POINT LATE

A goal deep into stoppage time from Armadale skipper Brian Patterson has given his side a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Rockingham City at SafeRad Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Rockingham captain Ryan Kennedy had given Goran Stajic’s side the lead early in the second half from the spot, but missed chances cost them the win, with Patterson scoring late to give both sides a share of the spoils.

“We went into the game hoping to get a positive result, unfortunately we didn’t play too well, it was a very disappointing performance from us and the result showed for itself,” Red’s defender Friday Zico explained. “We’ve missed a few chances in the first half and had a couple in the second half but credit to Rockingham who got their chance took, we were lucky to come away with a draw in the end, probably the last kick of the game.”

It was a first half with plenty of half chances. First Reds Spanish striker Angel Andres was denied by former Armadale custodian Cyril Sharrock from an early free-kick, before Shane Boyle was thwarted by smart one-on-one save from Yousri Gharsallah. But it was the hosts who opened the scoring, after Boyle was brought down in the box on 51 minutes, and referee Stewart Beattie pointed straight to the spot. Kennedy stepped up and sent Gharsallah the wrong way from the resulting penalty.

Armadale pressed looking for the equaliser, but they failed to breach a tight Rockingham defence, and it looked like they would leave empty-handed, but deep into stoppage time John O’Reilly’s side found the equaliser. Kevin Ashwood found Pieter Jacobsz down the left, his cross took a deflection of Afian Giyanto, the ball looped up to the back post and Paterson bundled the ball home.

“For most of the game I thought we were in complete control, created the better chances we just couldn’t kill the game off,” Rockingham striker Shane Boyle said. “To be fair Armadale battled till the end which led to them scoring last minute and deservingly walking away with a point.”

Rockingham City: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 3 Denaudo MURRAY, 4 Dieudonne SUMAIL, 5 Afian GIYANTO, 6 Harry BOLAN, 8 Hamish VAN DIEKEN, 10 Shane BOYLE, 11 Luke COLLINS (13 Michael LINO 77’) (2 Ian NG 90’), 14 Jethro YUMANGE (18 Axel RICHARDSON 77’), 19 Noah WITTSTROM-LEA, 23 Ryan KENNEDY (9 Christos VAENAS 88’) – Subs: RGK Brad STOUT

Armadale: GK Yousri GHARSALLAH, 2 Matthew WORTON (17 Pieter JACOBSZ 77’), 3 Harry QUIGLEY, 8 Brian PATTERSON, 9 Angel ANDRES, 11 Isaac KOOMSON (20 Rene KISESA 59’), 13 Filippo GIOFFRE (18 Kevin ASHWOOD 66’), 14 Cherno BAH (11 Chad NILSON 59’), 21 Manase ABANDELWA, 22 Ryan MCEVOY, 23 Friday ZICO – Subs not used: RGK Michael CRAGGS - Referee: Stewart BEATTIE

10.4.2021

HINA AT IT AGAIN LATE TO GIVE BALCATTA A POINT

Balcatta striker Hamza Hina has continued his late shows, scoring another stoppage time goal to earn his side a 1-1 draw against Gwelup Croatia at Grindleford Reserve. Shubham Mokala had given Taki Nicolaidis’ side the lead on the stroke of half time, and it looked like that would be the winner, especially when Balcatta keeper Riley Stephenson was sent off late, but Hina had other ideas, his late goal sealing a dramatic draw.

“Unfortunately, we did not get the result we desired,” Gwelup defender Ciaran Salinger said. “I thought we played some good football in the first half, and created a few good chances. We absorbed a lot of long balls and set-pieces in the second half in which we defended quite well. Unfortunately, we conceded late on and came away with a draw. A result that I’m sure Balcatta are delighted with however we need to regroup and reassess and come back stronger next week against Glory.”

It was Gwelup who opened the scoring in first half stoppage time. Hasani Sinclair found Mokala in the middle of the park, and he was given far too much room and drove forward before finding the bottom corner of the net. Balcatta prodded a poked after the break, but couldn’t find the elusive equaliser, and their chances took another blow on 91 minutes when they were reduced to ten men.

Declan Hargreaves sent Paul Zimarino racing down the left, and keeper Stephenson raced out of box and brought the striker down, and referee Matthew Southern had no hesitation in sending the keeper off. It looked all over for Bobby Taneski’s side but in the third minute of stoppage time Balcatta found the equaliser. Calum O’Connell’s free kick picked out Hina, who got between two Gwelup defenders to head home via the post, which salvaged a point and set off wild celebrations on the pitch.

“We came into this game knowing that it's our chance to once again beat a team that's meant to be one of the best, therefore sending a message that Balcatta won't be satisfied with mid table positioning this year,” Hina explained. “I think anyone in attendance including the other team can testify that we outplayed a strong Gwelup team everywhere on the park for 90 minutes so being 1-0 down in the 90th minute just wasn't befitting. As for me personally I embrace the extra responsibility Balcatta has put onto me this year by having me step up into a leading role as opposed to being the youngster in previous years, so what better moment to prove that this season I'm aiming to be the best than when your team needs you the most.”

Balcatta: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Joseph MARINO (16 Jawad REZAI 26’), 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 Hristijan JANKULOSKI, 7 Amir AJAN, 8 Jack LEECH, 9 Hamza HINA, 10 Jon CORNESS, 11 Michael ZIMARINO (12 David PERICH 70’), 13 Anthony TOPINI, 21 Cameron MCLEAN (RGK Sebastian MEDICA 90+1’) - Subs not used: 15 Nicholas MESSINA, 22 Michael SCAFETTA – Red Card: Stephenson 90’)

Gwelup Croatia: GK Stefan KING, 2 Ciaran SALINGER, 4 Thomas SOUTHGATE, 5 Blair GOVAN, 8 Jon STYNES (6 Declan HARGREAVES 61’), 11 Ethan BROOKS, 12 Hasani SINCLAIR, 13 Rocco PIZZATA (19 Lucas TRIGLAVCANIN 43’), 14 Shubham MOKALA, 15 Blamo QUAQUA (7 Brent GRIFFITHS 68’), 22 Joshua SAMSON (9 Paul ZIMARINO 61’) – Subs not used: - RGK Benjamin RATAJCZAK – Referee: Matthew SOUTHERN

10.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND TWO – REVIEW

It was another exciting round of football in the State League Division One and in our ‘Match of the Round’ Mandurah City and Forrestfield United have fought out a 1-1 draw at Peelwood Parade. “We created a lot of chances to be two or three ahead in the first half, but second half we came out a bit less energetic and as the game went on Forrestfield grabbed the equaliser,” Mandurah Coach Kris Donnell said. “Overall, we’re unhappy not to take the full three points, but Pete Taylor and I will review the game and see where we can improve for next week’s game.”

Both sides went into this one looking for their first points of the season and it was the Dolphins who opened the scoring on 13 minutes. A well worked move ended with a ball into Harry Collins, and he placed it into the corner from just inside the box. But the visitors were level on the hour mark, when Trent Kay rose highest to head home from a corner. Both sides pressed for the winner, but both had to settled for a share of the spoils. “The performance was a much improved one from last week’s game against Swan, so we’re happy to pick up our first point for the season,” Forrestfield skipper Rhys Loxley explained. “Both teams probably had chances to win, it but overall, I think a draw was a fair result. We will continue working on improving and hopefully get a good result against Fremantle next week.”

Western Knights continued their unbeaten start to the new season after a 2-1 against Olympic Kingsway at Nash Field. The hosts stunned the home supporters after only nine minutes, with Elliot Tattersall finding the net. But the Knights were level late in the first half, Alek Kretowicz made space down the flank and crossed to Ciaran Byrne who scored from close range. The Knights hit the front early in the second half, when Dean Hurley raced past two Olympic players, and cut the ball back to Byrne who finished clinically, to make it four goals for the season. Both sides had chances for the rest of the game, but it was the Knights celebrating back-to-back wins to start the season. “It was such an intense game against an impressive Kingsway team,” Knights Head coach Ivan Zuvela said. “But we kept playing to our strengths and didn’t stop trying to play the game we wanted to. I’m proud of the players for their effort throughout the whole game.”

Quinns consolidated top spot after a 3-0 win against Subiaco at Gumblossom Park. The hosts, who surprised Olympic Kingsway last week, were ahead early, Adam Tong finding the net from a free kick. They doubled their lead midway through the first half, with Henri Mulwila finding the net. The points were wrapped up after the break with Ben Hinshelwood making it three goals from two games. “It was a great showing on our first home game of the season against Subiaco from all the boys,” striker Ben Hinshelwood said. “I thought we put out another statement to the league, that we are not going to be written off like it was predicted.”

Fremantle City also maintained their perfect start to the season with a hard fought 2-1 win against Stirling Macedonia at Hilton Park. The visitors were reduced to ten men on 40 minutes when Dhuors Chol was shown a straight red card by referee David Avison. The hosts made their numerical advantage count in first half stoppage time, Noah Shamaki won the ball back and played Sam McKearnen through on goal and he finished well. They increased their lead on the hour, Adriano Jelenovic played Shamaki through on goal who made no mistake against the onrushing goal keeper. Stirling were then reduced to nine men when Ryan Malton was also sent off. But Alexander Tanevski pulled one back for the nine men, but they couldn’t find an equaliser. “It was an important three points against a potential title contender,” Fremantle Head Coach Cameron Lord said.

Ashfield have won for the first time this season, with a 1-0 win against UWA Nedlands at Ashfield Reserve. The only goal of the game came on 62 minutes. UWA turned the ball over in the Ashfield half and Emmanuel Langoya cut in from the left and finished clinically past Peter Pilkadaris. “It was good to finally get our season going and build momentum. We’ve been setting a good pace each game but have struggled to see them out in the second half,” Ashfield keeper Jamie Serra said. “We will take a lot of confidence from Saturday and continue to build from there.”

In the final game Swan United and Joondalup United have fought out a 1-1 draw at Francis Street. It was the hosts who opened the scoring after only 14 minutes, good work from Jamie Gardiner down the left, ended with a superb cross, which was met by Jamie Gibson at the neat post who flicked it into the far corner of the net. Swan levelled on the hour Gabriel Soares was brought down in the box and referee Julian Serra pointed to the spot, and John Monterosso scored from the penalty. Both coaches were happy with a point on the day. “We struggled on a difficult surface to get any real flow and continuity to our game, however we created more than enough opportunities to put the game to bed, before a soft penalty brought them level,” Joondalup Head Coach Nick Jennings said.

“All credit to the commitment and work rate of both sides who had a real go for 90 minutes, and it was good to see a referee who recognised football is a contact sport and who didn’t go waving yellow cards for every free kick given.” Swan Head Coach Dan Evans agreed with his counterpart. “We started the game slowly and went a goal down early on. After that we managed to work our way back into the game and were very unlucky with a goal that on replay was incorrectly ruled out for offside,” he explained. “Joondalup competed for 90 minutes as we knew they would and to be fair a couple of close referee decisions could have gone either way. It wasn’t our best performance, so in the end we had to settle for a point.”

10.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND TWO – REVIEW

It was week two of the State League Division Two, and in our ‘Match of the Round’ Canning City have won the local derby against Gosnells City 2-1 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The game was the first leg of the ‘Frank Longstaff Trophy’ and it was the visitors who were ahead on the half hour mark. A free kick wasn’t dealt with and when Ryan Moran put the ball back into the danger area it caused a goalmouth scramble, and the Gosnells keeper Duncan Lennon-Black palmed the ball into the net. But early in the second half Gosnells were level, with Darren Francis on target.

But it was Canning who won it on 69 minutes, a cross into the box by Zibu Moyo was fumbled by the keeper and Moran was on hand to fire home from a tight angle. “The game was typical derby game, everyone was up for it and became a battle - physical and fast moving right up to the end final whistle,” Canning skipper James Atkins said. “We all played for one another and left it all out on the field, could have had a few more but the win at the end of the day is rewarding for the hard work we have put in through pre-season and last week against Melville in developing our system and player links between our new and old team mates and this will help us gain momentum into the upcoming game against Joondalup. “

Morley Windmills resurgence continues after a 3-2 win against Carramar Shamrock Rovers at Grandis Park. The hosts had a great chance to take the lead early when referee Walter Ciotti pointed to the spot, but Luke Hutcheson guessed the right way to save Wayne Guest’s penalty. But that miss was forgotten when Nathan Diaz opened the scoring for Rovers. Morley then lost midfielder Lucas de Lima with a suspected broken leg, but at the break it was the hosts holding a narrow lead.

But five minutes into the second half the visitors levelled, Mitch Castrilli finding the net from a set-piece. Morley then hit the front when Jonah Vozzo’s through ball sent Adu Dulleh in on goal, and he held off his marker and fired home. It was 3-1 on 76 minutes, Castrilli powering home from close-range after a scramble in the box. Rovers reduced the margin late through Ger Fitzgerald’s close-range header, but it was too little to late. “It was a very big win in the context of what we are trying to build this season. Carramar have significant strengths and in the first half they were able to affect the way we play,” Morley Head Coach Antony Benetti explained.

“We were very composed at the half time break and highlighted the desire to get back to playing our brand of football and we dominated the second half with great interconnecting play and moving the ball quickly finding success in our middle and front thirds. For these boys to come back from 1-0 down and team mate out and put on three goals shows the immense character of the group, especially considering the quality of the opposition.”

Dianella White Eagles continued their good start to the season, thrashing Kelmscott Roos 7-2 at Frye Park. The Eagles were ahead early, David Heagney crossing to Daniel Mackenzie to head home. It was soon 2-0, Kristian Despotovski getting on the end of Heagney’s cross to score from close-range. Mackenzie added the third on the half hour, finishing low past Ercole Cutri. Heagney then got into the scoring act converting from the penalty spot to make it 4-0 at the break. Heagney added the fifth on the hour, before the striker completed his hat-trick with a diving header moments later. Lochlan Cameron pulled one back for the hosts, but Heagney added his fifth and Dianella’s seventh with a half volley nine minutes from time.

Amos Doegolia Junior pulled one back for Kelmscott in stoppage time, but it was Dianella celebrating a big win. “Really pleased with the all-round performance of the team,” a delighted coach Stewart Moses said. “David (Heagney) will take the plaudits with his four goals, but it was a team effort and Bobby and I are pleased with the progression the side is making. To start the season with two wins is huge, and we move on to a tough game against the Champions Carramar Shamrock Rovers next Saturday night at our place.”

Murdoch University Melville have also started the season with two wins, after a 2-1 success against Joondalup City at the Iluka Sports Complex. The visitors were ahead on 14 minutes, good combination play between Mark Lucas and Pat Sara, saw Lucas play Ben Pellizzari in on goal and he finished between the keepers’ legs from a tight angle. But Joondalup were level on 26 minutes, with Luke Doyle scoring. But it was MUM who took the lead to the break, with Adrian Ciampini playing Eddie Wynne-Willson in on goal and he finished clinically. Both sides had chances after the break but it was Matt Wardle’s side claiming all three points.

“It was a very tough game for us against a good Joondalup City team who are always hard to play against on their pitch with the slope and the wind,” Murdoch University Melville skipper Mark Lucas explained. “We didn’t play our best by any means but pleased to get the win and as Joondalup will win a lot of games at Iluka, so definitely happy with three points away from home on a day where we didn’t play well.”

Kingsley Westside have won for the first time this season after a stunning 6-0 win against Curtin University at Chichester Park on Saturday evening. The hosts were ahead on 13 minutes, a corner found Adam O’Neill at the back post and he cut the ball back to Kieron Salmon to score from close-range. Then in the shadows of half time they added a second, Joel Gillespie finding the top corner with an indirect free kick inside the box. It was 3-0 early in the second half, Salmon picking out Jayden Drummond who volleyed home at the back post. It soon became 4-0, Simone Sichel holding off his marker to score.

It was 5-0 on 76 minutes, Joe Allsopp sending Cameron Bishop into goal to finish clinically. Drummond added his second six minutes from time to wrap up the scoring, getting on the end of pinpoint Josh Waldock cross. “It was an important three points to get, after last week’s tough tussle with dianella,” Drummond said. “But the boys were superb from the first minute to the last, everything we trained on we executed, so was pleasing for the players and the coaching staff. But credit to their goalkeeper Daniel Marques, he pulled off some unbelievable saves.”

In the final game there was a hard-fought 0-0 draw, as Balga hosted Wanneroo City at Princess Road Reserve. It was an end to end game, with both teams having their chances to win the match. “The 0-0 draw was a frustrating game, but both sides battled out the whole 90 minutes,” Wanneroo Coach Jesse Bridgeman said. “We created a fair few very good chances but failed to take them which ended up costing us all three points.”

9.4.2021

NORTHERN CITY CUP RUN COMES TO AN END

The FFA Cup run of Northern City has come to an end after 3-1 loss at Wanneroo Reserve on Friday evening. After a win against State League Division Two side Balga in the last round City went into this one full of confidence, but found themselves behind on 16 minutes, Andy O’Neill’s corner found Jean-Marc D'Avray who made no mistake with his header. But the host responded well and levelled on 37 minutes, when referee Simon Hicks pointed to the spot and Syakir Shariff converted from the resulting penalty. But four minutes later the hosts were reduced to ten men after Lucas Kemboi was sent off.

After the break the North Perth took control and they made their numerical advantage count on 73 minutes. O’Neill’s corner picking out striker Kyran Broadhurst to head home. The tie was wrapped up five minutes from time, Alex Corner found O’Neill who slipped past his marker and finished into the bottom corner.

“It wasn’t a pretty game, but we got the job done that was the important thing,” United’s Head Coach Luke O’Neill said. “But full credit to Northern City they were amazing all night and never gave up, they had a fantastic following at the game, what made it a great atmosphere.” The final game of the round takes place tomorrow night when Murdoch University Melville take on Perth SC at the Murdoch Uni Campus.

9.4.2021

NPL-WA ROUND FOUR PREVIEW

We head into week four of the NPLWA and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Percy Doyle Reserve for the ‘Joondalup City Derby’ between second placed Sorrento and fourth placed ECU Joondalup. (All games kick off at 3.00pm unless stated) Both these sides are coming off big wins on the road, the Jacks beating Inglewood and Sorrento winning convincingly at Armadale, so this one should be a cracker. Last time they met at the venue was back in round 13 in 2019 when the Jacks won 2-1. Sorrento skipper Reece Vittiglia had given the host the lead early, before Bayley Brown-Montgomery levelled just before half time. Brown-Montgomery, who wasn’t in the starting side until an injury to Tommy Amphlett, sealed the win twenty minutes from time.

Saturday will be the first time Jakub Prajza will play against his former club, after making the move to ECU in preseason, and the Czech defender has started life well at the Campus, and he said the win at Inglewood was well deserved and put the loss against Armadale out of their mind. “It was a big win and very important win too, as we needed that win to forget about Armadale game,” he said. “We played very well, we kept the ball the whole game, we played the way we want to play every game. Defensively zero at the back and offensively scored two goals against the Night Series winner, which is satisfying.”

Prajza said Sorrento have started the season well and is looking forward to catching up with his old teammates who will be tough opponents. “I am so looking forward to it. Playing Sorrento away at the ‘Windy Hill’ is going be a fun as always,” the defender said. “It will definitely be a great game, hopefully with a win for us at the end of the game. They have started really good, and haven't lost a game yet. But I believe we have the abilities and skills to beat them.”

Gulls’ striker Billy Quinncroft, who scored the only goal on Monday as Sorrento moved in to next round of the FFA Cup, said the win at Armadale in the league was huge and he said was a battle. “They certainly gave us what they had, but the boys got the job done,” he said. “Everyone did their job and a bit more, and we took our chances and didn’t let the pedal slip. The result puts us where we want to be coming the end of the season so hopefully the results keep continuing.”

Quinncroft, who played at ECU in 2019, said Saturday will be another tight game like all derby games are, but he said they are ready for a big game. “I had a brief spell at ECU after leaving Armadale, before COVID hit and having to work away, it wasn’t meant to be with me in Kenny’s plans but of course it will be nice bragging rights of the north, and the boys will be up for it as it is another test to see where we are at,” he explained. “Saturday is defiantly going to be one to watch, both sets of teams are going to be up for it. There will be some good football to be played and entertainment for the fans to watch. I always love a derby as there is always extra in it than a normal game. I know myself and the boys are up for it, let’s hope Sorrento walk away with the bragging rights.”

In other games on Saturday, Perth SC will look to bounce back after a narrow loss to Floreat, when they host Bayswater City in the Italian Derby at Dorrien Gardens, likewise Inglewood United who make the trip to E&D Litis Stadium to take on league leaders Floreat Athena. Gwelup Croatia won for the first time this season last week against Rockingham, and they hit the road this week to take on Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve, while at Hartfield Park, Perth Glory entertain Cockburn City, who also won for the first-time last week at Balcatta, on Saturday evening (7.00pm)

The final game sees Rockingham City host Armadale at SafeRad Stadium. Both sides will look to bounce back after heavy defeats in the last round. City keeper Cyril Sharrock said the loss at Gwelup was disappointing especially after the win at Cockburn the week before. “It was a great win against Cockburn in round two and it was unfortunate that we couldn't back it up against Gwelup,” he said. “In all honest, Gwelup have a lot of quality with their team this season and capitalised on minor mistakes we made on the day. We have reviewed the game and sure to make positive changes to are style of play for a big game this week.”

The Rockingham custodian will come up against his former club on Saturday, and knows they will face another tough game against John O’Reilly’s side. “I’m certainly looking forward to getting back to the SafeRad Stadium on Saturday in front of what should be a good crowd to get behind the team,” Sharrock said. “As always Armadale will be hard to beat, but I feel that Goran has prepared us well for the game with players responding well in Monday's FFA cup game and on the training ground to take the points. We’re really looking forward to play in front of not only the home crowd, but also the army faithful in what should be a great game.”

9.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND TWO – PREVIEW

It’s week two of the State League Division One and our ‘Match of the Round’ sees Mandurah City host Fremantle City at Peelwood Parade. (Note all games kick off at 3.00pm unless stated) Both sides were beaten in the opening round, City losing at Stirling, while United were beaten at home by Swan, so it’s important to get points on the board in this one. Last time they met was in round four last season when they fought out a 2-2 draw. The hosts were ahead early, with John Baird scoring from close-range, but Forrestfield went ahead before half time with a brace from Trek Atta. But deep in stoppage time at the end of the match Lee Stewart levelled.

Mandurah coach Pete Taylor had no excuses after last weeks loss, but knows it’s only round one. “Stirling were worthy winners on the day, they took their chances and punished our mistakes,” he explained. “As we well know though, one game doesn’t define a season and it certainly doesn’t define this team. We’ll bounce back as we have done before, Kris and I have a great deal of confidence in our players.”

Taylor said Saturday’s opponents haven’t had the best of starts, losing against Swan and being knocked out of the FFA Cup, but he knows it will be another tough encounter, but he’s looking forward to play in front of their passionate supporters. “Forrestfield is always a tough game and I don’t envisage any games this season being anything other than competitive,” he said. “We’ve prepared well and we’re looking forward to another test, it’s our first league home game so I’m sure the place will be bouncing.”

Forrestfield midfielder Mitch Crocker said last weeks loss against Swan wasn’t how they wanted to start the season, but like Taylor knows its only round one. “The game against Swan wasn’t good enough from our point of view,” he said. “You get games like that through the season we could have been out of sight if we had taken our chances, but as they say that’s football.”

Crocker, who was outstanding last season, said it’s been a hectic start to the season, but he is confident they can go to Mandurah and get a result. “Mandurah will be a big test of where we are at, and we’re looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “Going down there is never easy obviously and they already have silverware in the bag so we expect a tough one.”

In other games on Saturday, Quinns and Subiaco will look to continue their winning starts when they meet at Gumblossom Park, likewise Western Knights who welcome last year’s Champions to Olympic Kingsway to Nash Field. Ashfield host UWA Nedlands at Ashfield Reserve, with both sides searching for their first wins, while Swan United will search for back-to-back wins when they entertain Joondalup United at Francis Street. The final game is at Hilton Park where Fremantle City host Stirling Macedonia. Both sides started the season with big wins, City beating UWA, while Macedonia hit five past Mandurah.

Stirling new defender Ryan Malton said the win against Mandurah showed the quality they have at the club under the guidance of new head coach Ian Ferguson. “I thought we outplayed Mandurah all over the park, playing really good football for majority of the game,” he said. “They were physical but we I thought we matched them and showed the league we mean business this season.”

Malton, who has played for ECU Joondalup and Floreat Athena in the NPL, said the trip to Fremantle will be another difficult game, but they are ready for it. “Fremantle also have a good side this season, with a number of NPL players signing for them,” he explained. “I think it will be another good match, but if we just play our game, we should be able to get another three points which would be a great start to the season for us.”

9.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND TWO – PREVIEW

We head to Grandis Park on Saturday in week two of the State League Division Two for our ‘Match of the Round’ between Carramar Shamrock Rovers and Morley Windmills (Note all games kick off at 3.00pm unless stated) Both sides made a winning start to the season last week, Rovers started their title defence with a big win against Wanneroo City, while Morley started the tenure of Antony Benetti off well, with a come from behind win against Kelmscott. The last time they met at the home of the then Shamrock Rovers was in round 16 2017, when Morley came home with a 3-2 win.

Morley skipper Leigh Morgan was on target in last weeks win and he said it was just the start they were looking for. “It was a great start to our 2021 season the way we wanted it to go, but it was a tough game against Kelmscott who put up a very good fight until the final whistle,” he said. “We didn’t play our best football on the day and made the game very difficult for ourselves not finishing in front of goal which let us down when they took a 1-0 advantage in the second half, but our character and work rate didn’t let us down and the boys fought until the final whistle which helped us snag three goals in the last ten minutes.”

Morgan said the trip to Rovers will be a difficult one, but he said they are looking forward to it. “We know Shamrock will be a tough encounter as they won the league last year, and are looking to have another strong season starting off their 2021 campaign with a win they will be on the hunt for yet another one this weekend,” he explained. “It’s always a big game coming up against a side like them who possess more of a physical game than other sides, but the boys will be up for it this weekend.”

In other games on Saturday Kelmscott Roos welcome Dianella White Eagles to Frye Park, while Balga entertain Wanneroo City at Princess Road Reserve. Murdoch University Melville make the trip to the Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City, while Kingsley Westside host Curtin University in the late game at Chichester Park (5.00pm). The final game is the local derby at Walter Padbury Reserve, where Gosnells City host a Canning City in the ‘Frank Longstaff Trophy’, the cup is played for every year in memory of coach Frank Longstaff who worked at both clubs.

Gosnells opened the season with a 1-0 win against Balga, while Canning went down to the same scoreline to MUM, and Head Coach Chris Finlayson thought a draw would have been a fair result. “We are extremely disappointed in the result but not the performance we definitely had the opportunities to get the three points and at the end of the day a draw would have been a fair result,” he said. “Especially conceding in the last-minute hurts, no hiding away from that I can see a real termination in the lads this week - we are definitely looking forward to seeing them at Burrendah next time around.”

Finlayson said his players are looking forward to the derby, but knows it will be another tough game. “We travel again this week to Marc Anthony’s side which doesn’t get any easier, and you add the Frank Longstaff trophy in the mix it and no doubt it will be a tough match,” he explained. “I can’t see any of the matches this season being anything but a tough battle we need the three points to keep in the mix, and that’s the aim this weekend."

9.4.2021

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND ONE PREVIEW

The 2021 Belt up Amateur Premier League kicks off this weekend, and we head down south for our ‘Match of the Round’ which sees South West Phoenix host Leeming Strikers at the Onside Sports Stadium. (7.00pm) The Bunbury based club have started the season well after taking out he Night Series, while Leeming also had a good preseason, just missing out on a semi-final spot on goal difference. The Night Series success was a great start to the tenure of new Phoenix Head coach Nick Carter, but he is hoping that is only the start.

“Things are positive, we’ve got a great group of players but it’s important we don’t underestimate who we play,” he said. “There are some great teams in this league and we had a big reality check against a great Forrestfield side in the cup. Yes, promotion is in our sights certainly, we want to get this club back to where it should be. It’s one of the reasons a lot of players have come back, we are all on the same path, we want to win.”

Carter said Sunday’s opponents have been up there in the league for the last couple of seasons, so he is expecting a challenge game. “Leeming is always a tough test, they have some good players in their squad and are always there or thereabouts,” he said. “I know David Palin well, he’s been trying to tell me they are the underdogs in this game, but I don’t believe that for a second, but one thing for sure is they’ll push us to the end.”

For Leeming they went through the Night Series undefeated, but missed a spot in the knock out stage on goal difference, but player/coach David Palin said they got plenty of positives out of it. “It was unfortunate to miss out on goal difference, but we haven't lost in the Night Series for four years now, so that's a positive,” he explained. “But this year a lot of the old guard have either retired or stopped playing so we had to bleed in a lot of new guys, who showed us a lot and it gave us new options leading into season.”

Palin is hoping the difficult 2020 season is behind them, and he is looking for a positive start to 2021. “It was difficult on and off the pitch for everyone last year, given what has happened over the past year in the world the fact we got 16 games in of a season we should feel really lucky,” he said. “Hopefully we can get a full season this year the boys just want to play and if the last year can teach us anything we shouldn't take any game or season for granted and hopefully 2021 will be a good year for all.

“Sunday is a tough start, South West Phoenix have recovered well after folding in 2019 from the state league, but they have some really good players down there and a team that is more than capable. It's clear they have the region pulling in their direction a lot of old faces from their state league years reappearing, they have a good NPL junior setup and its very clear Football West want South West Phoenix to be a success and having them in the league definitely adds a different dynamic. It's arguably the toughest away game teams will have to encounter given the way the fixture is setup, but in my time with the team we've always approached every game to win and Sunday night won't be any different, the players that are available for Sunday 7pm are ready and looking forward to the game.”

In other games in the opening round Joondalup United host UWA Nedlands at Beldon Park, while Wembley Downs make the trip to Carine Open Space to take on Hamersley Rovers. Quinns welcome Queens Park to Gumblossom Park, while Jaguar travel to Kelly Park to meet Kwinana United. In the final game last season’s champions North Perth United begin the defence of their title with a trip to Nikola Tesla Reserve, to take on Maddington. New North Perth head coach Luke O’Neill said despite the loss in the Night Series Final, the preseason has gone well at Woodville Reserve.

“The night series allowed the club to see where we are as a group, it’s been a very different preseason with the overhaul of players leaving and coming into the club. It’s always a good feeling to get to a final, but we were disappointed not to finish the job on the night,” he explained. “It’s been a positive start and we will look to keep developing as a club on and off the pitch. It’s great to see everything pretty much back to normal, for us at North Perth promotion and retaining the title are something we haven’t talked about. it’s a brand-new squad so our only aim is to be competitive and grow as a group and as a club, we have had 20 debutants in the preseason competitions. However, Kevin Mulgrew and I are fully aware with what this club has achieved in the last few years and will be working hard to continue to bring success to the club.”

O’Neill side play two games this weekend, with an FFA Cup tie against Northern City on Friday, before Sunday’s game, but he said they are looking forward to it. “Maddington at their ground is always a tough place to go they have a quality team and will want to continue where they left off in season 2020, but we are looking forward to starting the season,” he said. “It’s been a difficult week in preparation for round one, finding out on Wednesday that the FFA cup game being scheduled for Friday night wasn’t ideal, but we will get on with it and hopefully start the season on a positive note.”

7.4.2021

ROVERS STUN FORRESTFIELD IN FFA CUP

The upsets continued in the FFA Cup on Wednesday evening with Division Two side Carramar Shamrock Rovers beating Division One side Forrestfield United 4-3 after extra time at Hartfield Park. The win gives Gerry McEwan’s side a trip to NPL side Sorrento in the next round. Rovers were ahead in this one after only nine minutes, with Ger Fitzgerald on target, but goals from Ollie Parry and Tarek Atta gave Graham Normanton’s side the lead at the break.

Rovers levelled, with Wayne Guest scoring from the penalty spot on the hour, and Rhodes Boyce gave them the lead with eight minutes remaining. But Forrestfield restored parity two minutes later, with Tyron Pottier scoring, but the visitors won it on 97 minutes with James Curren firing home the winner. “It’s was a great win and great to get to the next round of the cup. We knew Forrestfield would be a decent team but also confident in the group of players we have in the squad and it showed,” Ger Fitzgerald said.

“Everyone gave it their all and most were running on empty by the end of extra time. Our substitute keeper on the night Dan Holgate even came on for 10 minutes up front to help out. We deserved to win and a great result going into this weekend against Morley.” Fitzgerald said the trip to Sorrento is one they are looking forward to. “We wanted an NPL team if we qualified and delighted, we got one,” he said. “We are in good form at the moment and have something to look forward to in a few weeks. Sorrento will be the team under pressure to win when we play them as they are NPL and we are Division Two, but we will keep playing the way we are and hopefully get a result.”

There are still two games to be played in round four, Northern City host North Perth United on Friday evening with Armadale awaiting the winner, while Murdoch University Melville host Perth SC on April 13 at the Murdoch Uni Campus, the winner to host Kwinana United. The draw for Round Five was made at Football West HQ on Wednesday and it has set up some intriguing ties. Division One Champions Olympic Kingsway host NPL Champions ECU Joondalup at Kingsway Reserve, while Cockburn City travel to Peelwood Parade to take on Mandurah City. There is two all NPL ties, with Bayswater City hosting Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve and Gwelup Croatia entertain Floreat Athena at Wishart Street, while in the final game Gosnells City make the trip to SafeRad Stadium to take on Rockingham City – All games to be played week of 26 April.

7.4.2021

GARCIA FUMING AFTER SYDNEY DEFEAT

Perth Glory Head Coach was left fuming post-match after their A-League game was halting five minutes early with a lightning strike knocking the floodlights out at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah, but referee Adam Kersey sent the players to the changing rooms and as he left the pitch, he blew full time, with Kosta Barbarouses’ goal sealing the 1-0 win for Sydney FC. It didn’t go down well and Garcia’s press conference wasn’t for the faint hearted. “We can call off the game, but the players are still doing interviews on the pitch,” he said. “I’m all for player welfare [but] we are still doing interviews on the pitch [after the match], so why does the game get called off. Baffled to say the least. You can’t ask a question [to the referees] because you don’t get the response. They don’t speak to us.”

Garcia was also at a loss with some of the decision that went against them on the night, especially the clear foul on Carlo Armiento in the box, which was thrown out by VAR. “Stonewall penalty, in every league in the world, including this one, that is a penalty,” Garcia said. “It changed the whole game. VAR, say they checked it, who is running VAR? It is a penalty every day of the week. No explanation for the decisions. This is a tough place to come, it’s hard enough coming here against a good team, let alone when there’s conflicts of interest all throughout the league. It is what it is.”

Despite everything Garcia was full of praise for his side on the night. “I think the whole team's performance tonight was positive," he said. "Liam [Reddy] was exceptional, but there were a lot of exceptional performances tonight. When things go against us, they really do go against us and they definitely did go against us tonight in every sense of the word." The game was delayed for 45 minutes with an electrical storm in the area, and Garcia made three changes to the starting line-up, from the side that lost to Macarthur FC, with Diego Castro missing with knee soreness, while Neil Kilkenny and Dane Ingram dropped to the bench. In came Andy Keogh, Callum Timmins and Armiento.

It was an even opening to the game, with plenty of yellow card’s handout by the referee, but he missed a blatant penalty on 24 minutes, Armiento wriggled past two Sydney defenders, but was clearly brought down by Paulo Retre, but somehow the referee and most importantly VAR turned down the Glory’s penalty shout. Both sides had half chances early, Ciaran Bramwell fired straight at Andrew Redmayne, while Reedy saved low from Bobo. The Glory custodian then produced a brilliant save low to his right to deny Bobo’s header on the stroke of half time.

Reedy was at it again after the break saving well to deny Luke Brattan, and then following up to keep the rebound out. Glory suffered a huge blow on 52 minutes, with German defender Sebastian Langkamp limping off with what looked a groin injury. Brattan fired inches over the top moments later as Sydney upped the tempo and two minutes later their pressure was rewarded with the lead. Barbarouses’ shot from the right took a deflection of Glory skipper Kosuke Ota, the ball going under the body of the Glory keeper.

The home side went close to a second three minutes later, but Reddy reacted well to push Bobo’s downward header over the top. Glory emptied the bench and were giving a good as they got and it looked like Armiento was brought down on the edge of the box, and it could have been a red card for the Sydney defender, but the referee thought different and booked the Glory striker for simulation, but replays showed he was brought down, it definitely wasn’t Glory’s night.

Glory was on top and Bruno Fornaroli stung the palms of Redmayne on 70 minutes, but the Sky Blues were also dangerous, and Anthony Caceres shot straight at Reddy when well placed, moments after coming off the bench. Glory substitute Josh Rawlins’ cross five minutes from time was spilled by Redmayne, but the luck was on his side, the ball fell to a defender, with Keogh ready to pounce. Glory piled on the pressure late but Sydney kept them at bay, and when the floodlights went out due to lightning, the referee called an end to proceedings. “We were in control of that game, obviously they were chasing it at the end there,” Sydney coach Steve Corica said. “I thought we were very good; we created a lot of chances and Liam Reddy was very good for them again tonight. We were always going to do it [put together a winning run], we have the players to do it, so it is just about cutting out the silly mistakes we were making.”

Sydney FC: GK Andrew REDMAYNE, 4 Alex WILKINSON, 5 Alex BAUMJOHANN (21 Harry VAN der SAAG 86'), 6 Ryan MCGOWAN, 8 Paulo RETRE, 9 BOBÔ (18 Luke IVANOVIC 71'), 10 Milos NINKOVIC (17 Anthony CACERES 71'), 11 Kosta BARBAROUSES, 16 Joel KING, 23 Rhyan GRANT, 26 Luke BRATTAN - Subs not used: RGK Tom HEWARD-BELLE, 3 Ben WARLAND, 27 Jordi SWIBEL, 33 Pat WOOD

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Jason GERIA (22 Josh RAWLINS 81'), 4 Sebastian LANGKAMP (13 Luke BODNAR 52'), 6 Osama MALIK, 8 Kosuke OTA, 9 Bruno FORNAROLI, 10 Andy KEOGH, 19 Callum TIMMINS (88 Neil KILKENNY 81'), 20 Carlo ARMIENTO, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 38 Ciaran BRAMWELL (23 Dane INGHAM 58') - Subs not used: RGK Tando VELAPHI, 15 Brandon WILSON - Referee: Adam Kersey

7.4.2021

BENGALURU SET TO SIGN MRCELA

Indian Super League club Bengaluru FC are poised to secure defender Tomislav Mrcela ahead of their AFC Cup campaign. The towering centre-back most recently played for Perth Glory, making 30 appearances across two seasons before parting company with the A-League club in September.

Mrcela, 30, has played much of his senior career in Croatia for the likes of NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac and NK Lokomotiva. He also enjoyed a two-season stint with South Korean side Jeonnam Dragons before making the switch to A-League.

Mrcela will join Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu at Bengaluru. The club placed seventh in the 12-team Indian Super League this season and are now in preparation for the AFC Cup second preliminary round fixture with Nepal Army on 14th April.

7.4.2021

MATILDAS TO EMBRACE UNDERDOG STATUS: KERR

Star striker Sam Kerr says the Matildas will embrace their underdog status when they take on powerhouses Germany and the Netherlands over the next week. Australia's squad has assembled in the Netherlands under new coach Tony Gustavsson to prepare for their first games in more than a year.

The Matildas, ranked seventh in the world, will take on world number two Germany on Saturday before facing off against 2019 World Cup finalists the Netherlands next Wednesday. The two games will be a crucial part of the Matildas' preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, which begin in July.

Kerr knows the odds will be stacked against Australia in the friendlies, and it's a situation she's embracing. "All those teams have been playing multiple games ... and they've got some of the best players in the world," Kerr said.

"That's what we want - we want to see where we're at, it's a good benchmark for us. There's a lot of new faces (in our camp), so it is going to be a challenge, but Aussies love that underdog mentality, so I'm sure we'll roll with it."

Kerr has had only one training session under Gustavsson, but the early impressions have been good. "He seems like a really positive guy, seems like he knows his stuff and it seems like he's very to the point," she said. "I think he's going to fit in well with the team not only off the field, but definitely on the field."

Kerr enters the friendlies in the hottest of form after producing a series of stunning displays for her club team Chelsea. The 27-year old scored a hat-trick last week to lift Chelsea to a 6-0 victory over Birmingham City, taking her Women's Super League season tally to 17 goals.

As much as she's enjoying her time in England, Kerr has been waiting patiently to link with the Matildas. "We all stayed in touch (during the 12 months apart), but it was just different not being able to meet up every month and get a bit of a break from your club team," she said.

"Sometimes those environments can be really intense, and coming into the Matildas feels like a real family feel. So it was tough, especially with everything going on around the world, but it's great to be back now."

6.4.2021

PORTSMOUTH'S WILLIAMS EYES CHAMPIONSHIP RETURN, WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

In-form Socceroo Ryan Williams is hoping for a massive next three months by helping Portsmouth secure promotion back into the Championship and winning selection in Australia’s squad for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Portsmouth are riding high in League One with a four-game winning streak taking them to fourth on the ladder with 64 points. The south coast club have enjoyed an upturn in form since Danny Cowley was appointed manager in mid-March and Williams, who joined Pompey in 2019, believes promotion through the playoffs is their best chance.

"I don’t think we can get automatic (promotion) now as Sunderland and Peterborough are 11 points ahead of us," Williams said. "Top spot is definitely out of it, second spot equally too far away, we’ve given ourselves too much to do, but I mean everybody knows that the form team going into the playoffs kind of has the best chance. If that’s us, then that’s great."

"There’s a lot of attention to detail (under Cowley), which is good because it kind of takes your eye off the ladder as well. We’re working more towards performing well and playing well rather than looking just to win the game. We’re looking to dominate the game how we want and then the result kind of follows it."

"It’s been challenging for the first three games because we’ve been against three really different teams, who play very difficult shapes, so we’ve had to adapt and adjust. And with the manager only being here two weeks for everyone to have taken in as much as what they’ve given out so far is really, really good."

Williams, who made his Socceroos debut against South Korea nearly two years ago, admits it has been a rollercoaster season at Fratton Park. The 27-year old has made 38 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals and notching eight assists, while playing everywhere from left midfield, right midfield, as a makeshift striker and as a number 10.

It's a far cry from the start of the campaign when Williams contemplated leaving Portsmouth after being overlooked early in the season. "It’s been a strange one," Williams said. "At the start for about 10 games I couldn’t get a look in. I was training well, had a good pre-season but I just couldn’t get a look in, I wasn’t playing at all."

"Me and my agent had a conversation and I said I need to leave here, I need to be going out and playing. And I spoke to the manager at the time Kenny Jacket and he said you’re going to be a part of it, and then luckily enough I ended up playing and keeping my place and that was it."

"I’ve played pretty much up until now, it’s been alright. The team’s started to do well again, we got up to Christmas and when we were top at Christmas. We didn’t really have a style of play, we were just knocking it up but it was working."

"And then teams started working us out, we lost confidence and we had a bad run. From Christmas onwards we couldn’t pick up any points. Now with the new manager coming in everything’s a lot more positive. Things are looking up. My family are loving it down here."

Williams has been happy with his own form, with club manager Cowley describing him as “incredible”. "I’ve been a lot more consistent this season," Williams said. "I wanted to score more goals this season, I’ve only got four but it’s more than I had last season. So I’ll take that as a bonus. I’ve wanted to be more consistent in how I play, which always helps."

"Especially under this manager, it’s a lot about pressing, which is something I’m absolutely more than capable of doing with energy. He said to me before the game on Friday you’ll score a tap in today, and I scored a tap in just from using my energy more efficiently, making runs into the box rather than running back. So I’m probably doing more running but it’s more high-speed running."

Williams has been in contact with the national team during the past year and is after a spot in Australia’s squad that will attempt to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. The Socceroos will play four qualifiers in June in Kuwait with an extended 34-man squad to be named.

"Yeah I don’t see why not, I’ve played well this season," the former Barnsley, Oxford United and Rotherham United midfielder said. "We’ve had some Skype calls with the European-based players. It’s been good as they’ve always kept us in the loop every step of the way, making sure we know what the plan is."

6.4.2021

CASTRO CUT DOWN BY KNEE INJURY

Perth Glory's A-League finals hopes have been dealt a huge blow after captain Diego Castro was ruled out for up to four weeks with a knee injury. The Spainish midfielder copped a knock to his knee during Friday's 2-0 loss to Macarthur FC and is expected to miss between two to four weeks of action.

"At the moment it just seems like the capsule inside his knee has produced swelling," Glory coach Richard Garcia said. "But there's no real signs of anything major to be concerned about. It's about trying to get that swelling down. It's nothing too bad at the moment."

If Castro misses four weeks, he will miss crunch games against Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets, Wellington Phoenix, Brisbane Roar and Macarthur. A best-case scenario of two weeks will still see him miss three games. Castro's absence will leave a huge void in the midfield, with his experience and talent irreplaceable.

Garcia is nonetheless confident his team will be able to perform strongly even without Castro. "We're not about one person, we're about the whole squad," Garcia said. "It's about everyone stepping up. That sometimes gets lost in translation, where people think it's about one or two."

"He's an important part of the team, but so is everyone. The guys that come in and play need to come in and add their talent to the game." Glory are still without winger Chris Ikonomidis (knee) and striker Nicholas D'Agostino (hamstring) while Andy Keogh is close to returning from injury.

5.4.2021

FFA CUP - ROUND FOUR – REVIEW

It was FFA cup fourth round action on Easter Monday and the fairy tale run of Busselton City has come to an end after they were beaten 3-0 by Kwinana United at Churchill Park. Jake Daley opened the scoring, pouncing on a defensive mix-up, before Morgan Walters added a second from a neat set-piece. Daley added the third after a quick counter attack, but Kwinana Head Coach Mark Purvis said it was a tough game. “Busselton were well organised and we had to be patient to be able to get the opening goal, but they had some good opportunities to,” he said. “However, after a long travel I couldn’t be happier with the players attitude in difficult circumstances to come away with the win.”

The NPLWA sides all came through unscathed against lower opposition, with only Inglewood United being eliminated, going out 3-0 on penalties against fellow NPL club Armadale at Inglewood Stadium. The hosts were ahead on 10 minutes through Steve Sokol, but on the stroke of half time Armadale levelled, with Josh Cortes getting on the end of Chad Nilson’s cross. It was 1-1 at full time, but in second period of extra time it looked like the hosts had won it when Robert Petkov scored. But in the first minute of stoppage time Inglewood defender Mark Barnett was sent off after a second yellow card from referee Tom Glavovic.

Then four minutes later the Reds found the equaliser, the lively Manase Abandelwa cut into the penalty area and was brought down and the referee pointed to the spot. Ryan McEvoy stepped up to score, to take the tie to a penalty shootout. Both sides hit the crossbar with their first attempts, before McEvoy converted. Then Reds keeper Yousri Gharsallah saved the next two Inglewood penalties and it left Pieter Jacobsz to fire home the winner. “The lads didn't play great today but worked hard enough to earn the right to go to penalties, and held their nerve to finish the job,” Armadale coach John O’Reilly said.

Bayswater City edged out Division Two side Dianella White Eagles 1-0 at Frank Drago Reserve. The only goal of a tight game came on 74 minutes, a ball over the top sent the speedy Ndumba Makeche clear and he finished clinically. “It was a tough game Dianella made it very hard for us and battled all the way till the final whistle,” Bayswater striker Gordon Smith said. “But the most important thing is we are in the draw for the next round.” Doubles from Robert Harding and Nick Ambrogio, and singles from Sean McManus and Ben Steele gave Floreat Athena a comfortable 6-1 win against Ashfield, Athena coach Vas Vujacic said it was a good game. “Happy with our performance in what was a competitive game. After taking an early lead Ashfield fought back and scored a good goal to show us that it wasn’t a formality,” he explained. “However, we were able to take control again and regain the lead before half time. In the second half we were able to overrun them as I think the short turn around for them made it difficult.”

Cockburn City had a narrow 1-0 win against Western Knights at Dalmatinac Park. The winner came when Sebastian Da Silva played in Jesse Lazzaro, who rounded the keeper to score. ECU Joondalup scored three second half goals to beat Fremantle City 3-0 at the ECU Football Stadium. Daryl Nicol scored a brace, with Danny Hodgson’s long-range goal sealing the tie. “It was a very good win against a side who were more than capable of causing an upset,” Nicol said. “But I thought our attitude and performance was top class and we look forward to the draw for the next round.” Balcatta eased through 6-2 against Joondalup United at Forrest Park, likewise Gwelup Croatia who beat Swan United 3-0 at Francis Street.

Hasani Sinclair headed home the opener for Taki Nicolaidis’ from a corner on the half hour, before Jon Stynes converted from the spot seven minutes later to double their lead. Stynes added the third early in the second half to seal the tie, but Gwelup could have added more but wasteful finishing cost them. A Billy Quinncroft goal was enough for Sorrento to beat Subiaco at Percy Doyle Reserve, the striker racing onto a long throw before finishing low past the keeper. “It was a really scrappy game and, in the end, we felt fortunate to move on to the next round as Subiaco gave us a real battle,” Sorrento midfielder Tim Hill said. “But in the end, we move on and hopefully perform better in the next round.”

Rockingham City also only needed one goal to beat Joondalup City at SafeRad Stadium. Skipper Ryan Kennedy scored the important goal just after the hour, and Head Coach Goran Stajic said Joondalup made them work for it. "We lacked concentration, but it was difficult to play at a high level today after the game with Gwelup. In addition, we had a lot of rotations in the squad today,” he explained. “I don't like that we made a lot of unforced mistakes and that we didn't break the game, one mistake could have cost us. Congratulations to Joondalup City for bravely coming out to Lark Hill, but I still think we had control and I would like to congratulate my players on the hard-fought win and another clean sheet.”

In other games, four goals from Jack Richard and a hat-trick from Harry Evans has helped Olympic Kingsway to a 9-1 win against Riverside Christian FC at Kingsway Reserve. Defender Luke Rhodes said it was tough conditions. “A good convincing win on a very hot day,” he said. “We started the game slow, but managed to come in at the break leading 3-1. A comfortable second half seeing us finish up big winners, and we’re looking forward to next week’s league game.” In the final game Mandurah City beat Quinns 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 2-2 after extra time.

The visitors were ahead at the break with Ben Hinshelwood scoring, but Jamie Burns levelled, and in the shootout Mandurah keeper Dylan White saved two penalties to see Mandurah through. “We started off the game with a few players missing and it gave us a chance to put a few of the young boys out, but first half we couldn’t find our usual rhythm but in the second half we changed the shape a little and brought on some fresh legs,” Mandurah Coach Kris Donnell said. “The team worked really hard throughout the 90 and extra time, so overall we are pleased to go through and especially happy to see young James Campbell come on and perform so well on his debut at such a young age.”

4.4.2021

DE VANNA BRACE SENDS VICTORY INTO W-LEAGUE DECIDER

Veteran striker Lisa De Vanna has fired Melbourne Victory into the W-League Grand Final by inspiring a 6-2 semi-final triumph of Brisbane Roar. De Vanna scored two and set-up another in an attacking masterclass today, while Melina Ayres notched a second-half hat-trick to put Victory in their first W-League decider since 2014.

"She was absolutely amazing, just the intensity she plays the game, to play at that intensity with the quality she's got is just inspiration to the rest of the team," Victory coach Jeff Hopkins said of De Vanna. "When you see a player out there playing like that, you can't help raise your own game."

De Vanna and Catherine Zimmerman gave the visitors a 2-1 half-time lead despite a wonder strike by Brisbane's Olivia Chance. Four-time W-League championship winner De Vanna then turned the game on its head, setting up Ayres for her first in the 48th minute before scoring her second on 61 minutes.

Yallop got one back for the hosts to make it 4-2 only to have Ayres notch two more to complete her hat-trick and Victory's place in the season finale. Victory will play either Sydney FC or Canberra United in the 2020/21 W-League Grand Final next Sunday.

3.4.2021

FOUR WEST AUSTRALIANS SELECTED AS MATILDA'S START WORLD CUP JOURNEY

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has named Samantha Kerr, Aivi Luik, Ella Mastranonio and Lydia Williams in his squad for this months international friendlies with Germany and the Netherlands. The 23-player party includes 13 players that helped Australia qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The player group will assemble in the Netherlands on April 5 for their first games since March 2020. Australia will face two of world football's heavyweights in reigning Olympic gold medallists Germany (April 11) and Women's World Cup 2019 finalists the Netherlands (April 14).

"With this camp and international matches, the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take a signficant step forward and I am eager to see what the players will bring to the environment," said Gustavsson. "This camp will be good for morale as we assemble for the first time in almost 400 days."

"The coaching staff and I have been watching them closely but coming together in person will bring a completely different dynamic. Even with all the challenges that have been presented, including the decision to exclude selection of Australian based players, I believe this is a great chance to learn about the qualities of all the players; on and off the pitch."

Australia's squad to play Germany (April 11) and the Netherlands (April 14) is Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham), Laura Brock (Avant de Guingamp), Ellie Carpenter (Lyon), Emma Checker (UMF Selfoss), Caitlin Foord (Arsenal), Mary Fowler (Montpellier), Emily Gielnik (Vittsjo GIK), Beatrice Goad (SV Meppen), Amy Harrison (PSV), Dylan Holmes (BK Hachen), Alexandra Huynh (Napoli), Alanna Kennedy (Tottenham Hotspur), Samantha Kerr (Chelsea), Chloe Logarzo (Kansas City), Aivi Luik (Sevilla), Ella Mastranonio (Bristol City), Clare Polkinghorne (Vittsjo GIK), Hayley Raso (Everton), Indiah-Paige Riley (Fortuna Hjorring), Karly Roestbakken (LSK Kvinner), Amy Sayer (Stanford University), Emily Van Egmond (West Ham United) and Lydia Williams (Arsenal).

3.4.2021

DE VANNA A FINALS X-FACTOR FOR VICTORY

Melbourne Victory captain Angie Beard believes her team have a W-League finals X-factor in veteran forward Lisa De Vanna. Victory head into Sunday's semi-final clash against Brisbane aiming to avenge January's 6-0 thumping suffered the last time they played Brisbane.

De Vanna didn't play in that mauling and Beard says the 36-year old's experience and big-game mentality will be pivotal as Victory chase their first W-League finals win since 2014. "We've got a couple of older players, more experienced players but having a Lisa De Vanna, that presence, that experience, that motivational and inspirational player in our team. That's second to none," Beard said.

"Her as a performance player and showing up in big games - that's something that could really turn in our favour for finals. Not only is her playing style and her performance, something that's key, but with the young girls looking up to her, we also rise and kind of take her energy and use it to prop ourselves up for the game." 3.4.2021

GWELUP OPEN THEIR ACCOUNT FOR THE SEASON

Gwelup Croatia have claimed their first win of the new NPLWA season, after a 4-0 win against Rockingham City at Wishart Street on Saturday afternoon. Two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half from Hasani Sinclair and Shubham Mokala got Taki Nicolaidis’ side on their way. Mitch Oxborrow added aa third midway into the second half, before the points were wrapped up two minutes from time with Jon Stynes adding a fourth.

“The boys played some really attractive football, and I feel we dominated the game, in all aspects on the pitch,” Gwelup keeper Stefan King said. “It’s good to finally get a win under our belts after a poor start to the season for us, full credit to the boys and their performance.” Gwelup started brightly and veteran keeper Cyril Sharrock was called into action, saving well to deny Sinclair and Josh Samson early. Rockingham hit back and Ian Ng fired over the top after being given far too much room on the middle of the park.

But on 22 minutes it was the hosts who opened the scoring. Oxborrow found Sinclair just outside the area, he turned past his marker and his shot on the turn flew into the bottom corner of the net. It was 2-0 sixty seconds later, Ethan Brooks made space down the right, his cross finding the unmarked Mokala who made no mistake. It could have been worse for the visitors, but Sharrock produced a stunning save to deny Oxborrow on the stroke of half time.

It was more of the same after the break, Sharrock getting down well to turn Mokala’s effort wide. Rockingham went close themselves with Shane Boyle’s long-range effort dipping over the top as they looked for a foot hold on the game. Sharrock then saved low from Oxborrow’s free kick, but Gwelup’s pressure was rewarded with a third on 69 minutes Samson sent Brooks down the right, the former Perth Glory youth winger squaring the ball to Oxborrow to score from close-range. The hosts wrapped up the points two minutes from time, Oxborrow sending Brooks down the left, his low cross was finished by the unmarked Stynes at the back post.

Gwelup Croatia: GK Stefan KING (RGK Benjamin RATAJCZAK 90+1’), 2 Ciaran SALINGER (13 Rocco PIZZATA 73’) 4 Thomas SOUTHGATE, 5 Blair GOVAN (7 Brent GRIFFITHS 73’), 6 Declan HARGREAVES (8 Jon STYNES 70’), 10 Mitch OXBORROW, 11 Ethan BROOKS (14 Shubham MOKALA 71’), (20 Sam MITCHINSON 68’), 12 Hasani SINCLAIR (15 Blamo QUAQUA (70’), 22 Joshua SAMSON – Subs not used: - Nil

Rockingham City: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 2 Ian NG, 3 Denaudo MURRAY (12 Jethro YUMANGE 47’), 4 Dieudonne SUMAIL, 5 Afian GIYANTO, 6 Harry BOLAN, 7 Feisal ZAW (18 Axel RICHARDSON 46’), 8 Hamish VAN DIEKEN, 10 Shane BOYLE, 11 Luke COLLINS (9 Christos VAENAS 56’), 23 Ryan KENNEDY – Subs: RGK Brad STOUT, 16 Mali-Jose BOUQUEY DE ARAUJO – Referee: David BRUCE

3.4.2021

JOK AT THE DOUBLE FOR COCKERELS

Cockburn City striker Dor Jok has scored his first goal for his new club, as the Cockerels won their first game of the season with a 2-1 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The former ECU Joondalup striker gave Scott Miller’s side the lead midway through the first half, before adding his and Cockburn’s second on the hour. Balcatta substitute Hamza Hina pulled one back three minutes from time to set up a grandstand finish, but the home side couldn’t find the equaliser.

“It was really a great way to kick start our season as we didn’t have the start to the season that we wanted so was a very solid performance from the whole team,” Jok said. “On a personal note, I was really happy to get my first goals for Cockburn and get us the win that we deserved. Hopefully this form continues for the rest of the season.” Cockburn went into this game bottom of the table and they were on the back foot early, with Balcatta skipper Calum O’Connell curling a free kick inches over the top.

Moments later the home side were in again, this time Amor Ajan’s shot was saved by Luke Radonich. Balcatta striker Jawad Rezai was them denied by Radonich as the home side pushed for the opener. But on 24 minutes it was the visitors who found it. Cameron Edwards sent Jesse Lazzaro down the right, he crossed to Jok, who found the net at the second attempt. They went close to a second before the break, Lazzaro’s shot was tipped over the top by Riley Stephenson

Cockburn continued to press after the break and Sebastian da Silva fired wide, before Ali Gholami’s long range shot fizzed wide. Them on the hour the Cockerels found the vital second. Gholami switch of play found Riley Woodcock down the left, his deep cross picked out Jok, who lost his marker to head home. Balcatta looked for an immediate response, but couldn’t find a break through.

They did go close on 85 minutes, Henry Durr sending Jon Corness in on goal, but his shot was well saved by Radonich. But from the resulting corner they did find a goal. O’Connell’s set-piece wasn’t dealt with and Hina bundled the ball home from close range to set up a frantic finale, but Balcatta couldn’t find the equaliser, giving Cockburn their first points of the season.

Balcatta: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Joseph MARINO (21 Cameron MCLEAN 79’), 3 David CYRUS (11 Michael ZIMARINO 10’), 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 Hristijan JANKULOSKI, 6 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 7 Amir AJAN, 8 Jack LEECH (13 Anthony TOPINI 79’), 10 Jon CORNESS, 16 Jawad REZAI (9 Hamza HINA 66’), 17 Henry DURR– Subs not used: RGK Sebastian MEDICA

Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 3 Daniel DOLS (11 Harry O’BRIEN 75’), 4 Euen GRANT, 5 Julian TELES (25 Breckan BAKER 79’), 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 10 David ARAYA (14 Alessandro BASTO 82’), 12 Sebastian DA SILVA (22 Daniel ROBINSON 75’), 16 Ali GHOLAMI, 20 Dor JOK, 21 Jesse LAZZARO, 23 Riley WOODCOCK – Subs: RGK Ben RADONICH, 3 Daniel DOLS, 9 Anthony SKORICH, 24 David DOS SANTOS - Referee: Arvin SHANMUGANATHAN

3.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND ONE – REVIEW

Western Knights have started the season off well, with a 5-1 win against Joondalup United at Forrest Park in our State League Division One ‘Match of the Round’. Irish striker Dean Hurley gave them the perfect start, with a goal after only nine minutes, Jack Rycroft’s cross picked out the striker who made no mistake. He added a second from the spot five minutes later, after referee Steven Gregory had spotted a handball in the penalty area. Ciaran Byrne made it 3-0 two minutes into the second half, getting on the end of a cross to head home at the back post and it looked game over. But Joondalup pulled one back just before the hour, with substitute Joel Sollitt scoring moments after coming on. But their comeback didn’t eventuate and Cameron Yorke headed a fourth late, before Byrne sealed the solid win for Ivan Zuvela’s side in the final minute. “It was a complete team performance from us,” a delighted Zuvela said. “It’s also a relief to get a really good win in the first game of the season.”

Stirling Macedonia also started off the new era at the club with a superb 5-3 win against Night Series winners Mandurah City at Macedonia Park. The club reverted back to their original name for this season and they opened the scoring on 26 minutes, with new recruit Richard Howles scoring. Alex Taneski beat his man and whipped in a cross to Howles whose header found the top corner. They doubled their advantage just before half time with Howles bagging his second, Mandurah lost possession in their final third and Taneski fed Howles, who curled his shot home. But it got better in stoppage time, when another new recruit Gyles Davies added a third. Dhours Chol was picked out a great ball from Dejan Spaseski, and he released Davies in behind the defence and he finished clinically.

Mandurah needed a good start to the second half and they were back in the game on 69 minutes with Jamie Burns scoring, but it was just a slight blip for Ian Ferguson’s side, with Gavin Knight adding a fourth two minutes later, the clubs top goalscorer from last season getting on the end of Howles’ cross and his diving header gave the Mandurah keeper Alfie Brincat no chance. Howles then completed his hat-trick on 79 minutes, converting from the spot after a foul on Shay Donavan. The visitors continued to press forward and substitute Rory McGrath and Joe O’Brien pulled goals back, but it was the Lions taking the honours in this one. “We played very well in first half and dominated most of the game,” Stirling striker Knight said. “A little disappointed that we switched off in second half and lost out structure and that why we conceded three goals.”

Fremantle City has convincingly beaten UWA Nedlands 4-0 in the local derby at the UWA Sports Park. Skipper James Harmer opened the scoring after only 13 minutes, converting from the penalty spot after Adriano Jelenovic was fouled in the box. Cameron Lord’s side doubled their lead on the half hour with the unfortunate Thomas Moroney turning the ball into his own net after Noah Shamaki’s cross from the left. Fremantle went in search of a third after the break and it came on 68 minutes, Todd Howarth’s free kick was driven across the box for Matty Sparrow to flick on toward goal and Mitch Firth turned home from close-range. Harmer put the icing on the cake late adding his second from the spot after Firth was brought down, to secure a big win. “A professional win in a game we expected to win,” Lord explained. “We will take all of the positives from this game into next week’s game against Stirling.”

It wasn’t the start defending league champions Olympic Kingsway were looking for, losing 1-4 against Quinns at Kingsway Reserve. The visitors made the perfect start with new signing Cian Hirrell scoring after only nine minutes. Quinns doubled their lead on the half hour, with Reece Abrams scoring to send them into the break with a handy lead. It got better for Glen Grostate’s side on 52 minutes when referee Michal Jasinski pointed to the spot and new striker Ben Hinshelwood converted the resulting penalty. The home side hit back sixty seconds later when Quinns skipper Adam Buckingham turned the ball into his own net. But Quinns sealed the win 13 minutes from time and what a goal it was. A cross into the box found Hinshelwood, and the former ECU Joondalup striker produced a spectacular overhead kick, that flew past Dave Keenan to seal a comprehensive win for the visitors. “It was something that we knew would come, as we we'd watched Kingsway in pre-season and knew the quality we'd signed since the Night Series,” Quinns Nicholas Cooper said. “We just can't fly under the radar with it now.”

Subiaco have come from behind late to beat a 10-man Ashfield 2-1 at Ashfield Reserve. New signing James Sammut put the hosts in front on 39 minutes, his curling free kick went up and over the wall and gave Ashfield keeper Teo Brown no chance. Subiaco drew level three minutes into the second half when Jamie Serra misjudged a cross from the left and Ben Wantee was on hand to bundle the ball home. Ashfield were reduced 10 men barely a minute later as Abdul Abdella saw a straight red card by referee Julian Serra for a push on Tim Page. Subiaco capitalised late on to secure all three points when Nathan Smith arrived on the edge of the area to side foot the winner in stoppage time. “We’re very happy to secure an away win. It was a typical opening game which could have gone either way,” Subiaco assistant coach Gary Colliver said. “I thought Ashfield dominated a first half and deserved their lead and the break. But we came out with more intent in the second and got the leveller early into the second half. Both teams had opportunities to win the game but managed to seal the win in stoppage time.”

In the final game on Saturday evening Swan United new coach Dan Evans has made a great start to his tenure at the club, after they beat Forrestfield United 3-1 at Hartfield Park. It was a tense game and all the action came late, and it was the hosts who opened the scoring on 62 minutes, skipper Rhys Loxley on target. But the Black and Whites hit back ten minutes later, good link up play down the right with Boas Mtwale and Adrian Koios, Mtwale cut the ball back to John Monterosso at the back post who made no mistake. The visitors then hit the front two minutes from time, Mtwale found Jimmy Shamim whose long-range volley gave Luke Martino no chance. Forrestfield pushed men forward looking for the equaliser and they were caught out again in stoppage time, Shamim finding Monterosso, who cut inside the box and finished low past Martino. “We knew it was integral to get a good start in the league so obviously I’m pleased with the result but we still have a long way to go,” Evans said. “Forrestfield had the better chances but we had our moments and I certainly can’t fault the endeavour of my players. To come from a goal down away from home and score two late goals shows some character but we still have plenty to work on so we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.”

3.4.2021

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND ONE – REVIEW

Our State League Division Two ‘Match of the Round’ didn’t disappoint with Dianella White Eagles edging out Kingsley Westside 1-0 under lights at Dianella Reserve on Saturday evening. “It was a very intense game, we knew Kingsley were going to be tough and fit, and they started the game well and created a couple of half chances,” Eagle’s striker Kristian Despotovski said. “The rest of the game was very intense with Kingsley coming at us with all they had, but Dejan made some great saves to keep us in it but we held it together with a great defensive performance and we got we win.”

In front of a big crowd Dianella opened the scoring on 22 minutes. Despotovski found David Heagney, whose cross was turned into his own net by Kingsley’s Adam O’Neill. Kingsley looked to hit back and O’Neill got on the end of Joel Gillespie corner, only for the ball to be cleared off the line, before Joe Allsopp forced Aleksic into an outstanding one handed save from a powerful header. O’Neill was denied again by Aleksic, the Dianella keeper saving well from his free kick

Both sides had chances after the break in an entertaining game, but both keepers Aleksic and Paul Rainford produced some great saves. “It was a very intense end to end game from both sides on Saturday, and I thought a draw would’ve been a fair result but that’s football for you,” Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich said. “But one side takes a half chance like Dianella did, and one side didn’t convert the chances we created but we move on and look forward to Curtain this week.”

The round begun on Thursday evening with Curtin University beating Joondalup City 3-2 at Edinburgh Oval. The hosts were ahead on 10 minutes, a long free kick was knocked down by Liam Goerke for Daniel Nocciolino to tuck away in the bottom corner from inside the box. The visitors levelled when a free kick from out wide found Nick Koefler who headed home. But Curtin regained the lead five minutes later, Nocciolino found space in the middle of the park before finding Tiago De Souza on the edge of the penalty area, he cut onto his left and finished clinically past Jack Nunn into the bottom left-hand corner. But Joondalup restored parity again on 73 minutes, Curtin turned the ball over and it found Callum Speed, who finished well from the edge of the box. But it was the home side that won it seven minutes from time, a short free kick found Callum McCaskie down the right, who crossed into the box and the unmarked Craig Kamocha finished to seal the win. “The boys showed a great character and fight to respond to Joondalup City equalising twice,” Curtin coach Troy Reid said. “Really happy to get the season underway with three points and hoping to keep the momentum rolling away to Kingsley next week.”

Last season’s champions Carramar Shamrock Rovers began their defence with a solid 5-1 win against Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The visitors were ahead after only four minutes, Ger Fitzgerald finding Owen Coates, who squared the ball to Pat Morrison to score from close-range. It was 2-0 on 24 minutes, a quick free kick caught Wanneroo napping and Jack Bardsley finished well. It was 3-0 on the half hour, Fitzgerald shot crashed off the crossbar and Bardsley was quickest to react to score from the rebound. Wanneroo pulled one back ten minutes into the second half, with Luke Serra scoring, but Rovers added a fourth two minutes later, Fitzgerald finishing well with a curling effort from outside the box. The icing was put on the cake on 67 minutes when Bardsley completed his hat-trick to seal a comprehensive win. “The boys put in a phenomenal effort all over the pitch and Jack Bardsley scored a hat trick and was different class,” Fitzgearald said. “We had a game plan and stuck to it and Gerry (McEwen) had us very well prepared and had put in a massive effort with Adam over the last few weeks. Great start to the season and well-deserved win, and we look forward to a very tough game against Morley next week.”

Morley Windmills have come from behind to beat Kelmscott Roos 3-1 at Wotton Reserve. It was the first game for new Morley coach Antony Benetti, and he found his side one down on 57 minutes with Francisco Jorquera scoring. The home side left it late, but nine minutes from time they found the equaliser. Leigh Morgan’s free kick was headed home by Gustav Persson. Then five minutes later Morley hit the front, Abu Dulleh shot was well saved by the Roos keeper, but defender Alex Galipo fired home the rebound. Morley made sure of the points in stoppage time, when skipper Morgan scored from the spot to make it 3-1. “The win was an important way to start the league campaign especially at home and with a great crowd in support. We were wasteful in the first half which wasn't helped by an early injury to Flynn Nolan,” Morley coach Benetti said. “I was very pleased however to see the grit and determination of the group to come back and get the much-deserved win. The character these boys showed gives me great pride moving forward and allows us to focus on the next game in a positive mindset.”

In other games Gosnells City have edged out Balga 1-0 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The only goal of the game came seven minutes from time, with a great finish from Scott Pereira. “It was important win on a tough week with our FFA cup game played on the Tuesday,” Gosnells Coach Marc Anthony said. “So really happy keeping a clean sheet and off to a winning start.” In the final game Murdoch University Melville have also started the season with a narrow 1-0 win against Canning City at the Murdoch Uni Campus. The only goal of the game came one minute from time, with former Gosnells City striker Eddie Wynne-Willson scoring.

3.4.2021

FFA CUP - ROUND FOUR – PREVIEW

It’s FFA Cup round for in WA on Easter Monday, with games across the metropolitan area (Games kick off at 3.00pm unless stated). There were two games last week in round three and there was a huge upset at Princess Road Reserve on Saturday, where Northern City beat State League side Balga 4-3 in a pulsating game. The home raced to a two-goal lead after only 30 minutes with Bleron Mamudi and William Kessel scoring. Balga hit the wood work twice, and missed a host of opportunities to increase their lead. But Northern City hit back with Syakir Shariff scoring three minutes later, before Rafiq Shariff levelled from the spot just before half time.

Balga missed an opportunity to regain the lead ten minutes into the second half, when Karl Maluga missed from the spot, but he made emends five minutes later making it 3-2 to the hosts. But Northern weren’t to be denied and late goals from Lukas Kemboi and Mohamed Ali sealed a memorable win for the club. Carramar Shamrock Rovers also moved through after goals from Ger Fitzgerald, Josh Anderson, Pat Morrison, Nathan Diaz, Wayne Guest and Kieran Harrison sealed a 6-0 win against Hamersley Rovers at E&D Litis stadium on Friday evening.

The fourth round started on Tuesday evening, when Gosnells City upset UWA Nedlands 5-2 at the UWA Sports Park. Bryce Rae and Miguel Oliveira both scored doubles, with Scott Pereira added the other. In other games on Monday Northern City’s prize for their win at Balga was a home tie against Premier League Amateur Champions North Perth United, a date for the game is still to be arranged. NPL sides come into this round and Rockingham City host Joondalup City at SafeRad Stadium (1.00pm), while Floreat Athena make the trip to Ashfield Reserve to take on Ashfield.

Busselton City welcome Kwinana United to Churchill Park, Cockburn City host Western Knights to Dalmatinac Park, while ECU Joondalup entertain Fremantle City at the ECU Football Stadium. while Dianella White Eagles coach Stewart Moses returns to his former club when they visit Frank Drago Reserve to play Bayswater City. “I’m looking forward to testing our side out against one of the best sides in the state,” Moses said. “It’s a busy time for all clubs over Easter, and we have a big season opener against Kingsley on Saturday evening and then we will think about the Bayswater game. The lads have been practicing the ‘Adele’ song all week like Chorley in the FA Cup in the UK, but personally I’ll look forward to catching up with some old friends at Bayswater. But when the whistle goes, we’ll be doing all we can to get a result and move into the next round. We all know football is a funny old game, we have no pressure on us, they do.”

There is an all NPL clash at the Inglewood Stadium, with Armadale taking on Inglewood United, Olympic Kingsway host Riverside Christian FC at Kingsway Reserve, while Sorrento host Subiaco at Percy Doyle Reserve. Subiaco assistant coach Gary Colliver said it’s a tough challenge but one they are looking forward too. “Sorrento are flying high in the NPL at the moment and we have just had a tough opening game with some injury concerns to an already depleted squad,” he said. “The game comes just 48 hours after our game with Ashfield whilst Sorrento have had extra time to recover from their convincing win on Thursday night. There is always a chance and this would be a big upset in the scheme of things. It is a cup game and anything can happen, which is the reason we all love the game. We have quality within our squad and the game comes a little too soon for us however we are looking forward to the test.”

Swan United welcome NPL side Gwelup to Francis Street, Mandurah City play Quinns at Peelwood Parade, while in the final game on Monday Balcatta face a tricky trip to Forrest Park to take on Joondalup United, and United midfielder Jay Lang said it’s a tough challenge for both sides backing up from Saturday, but they will give it a good go. “Monday will be a tough game especially with such a short turnaround from league game on Saturday,” he said. “But we’re looking forward to it and we’ll give it everything to progress through to the next round.” The final two games have been rearranged. First on Wednesday evening Forrestfield United host Carramar Shamrock Rovers at Hartfield Park, while Murdoch University Melville face 11-times state cup winners Perth SC at the Murdoch Uni Campus on Tuesday April 13.

2.4.2021

GLORY WELL BEATEN BY MACARTHUR

Perth Glory’s woes on the road continued after a 2-0 loss against new kids on the block Macarthur FC at Campbelltown Stadium. It was the first ever A-League meeting between the two sides and former Blackburn Rovers striker Matt Derbyshire was the difference bagging a brace. The in-form Englishman opened the scoring after ten minutes with a close-range finish and then drilled home from the spot after Glory debutant Sebastian Langkamp tripped Markel Susaeta. Glory did threaten late, but home 'keeper Adam Federici was equal to efforts from both Diego Castro and substitute Carlo Armiento.

Head Coach Richard Garcia said his side had not been at their best. "Certain sections of the game were disappointing," he said. "We lacked discipline at times and that gave them [Macarthur FC] the openings to get the goals. It's about learning from that, improving and making sure that come Wednesday and our next game (away at Sydney FC), we're ready for it.

“To concede just before the half is always hard, because if you're [only] 1-0 down, you've got it all to play for. At 2-0 down, we still came out pretty strong and they were on the back foot for a while, but you could tell they were sitting in and protecting their lead. It's now about getting the boys back up and approaching Sydney with a different level of enthusiasm and a different level of mentality."

Macarthur were rewarded for their fast start when Benat's searching ball was headed across the face of goal by former Glory man Ivan Franjic and Derbyshire nipped in front of some static Glory defending to finish into the roof of the net. Susaeta then came close to doubling the hosts' lead when he flashed a shot across the face of goal having capitalised upon a defensive error and six minutes later, the Spaniard saw another effort parried by Liam Reddy.

Glory's most threatening moment of the opening half-hour, meanwhile, came when Jason Geria delivered a teasing cross from the right and the sliding Castro was just unable to get a meaningful touch before the ball was gratefully gathered by Federici. With the Bulls continuing to look the more threatening, the first half ended in controversy when Langkamp was adjudged to have impeded Susaeta in the box, despite their appearing to be little if any contact and Derbyshire calmly converted the resulting penalty. Loic Puyo wasted a great opportunity to put the home side all but out of sight two minutes after the restart. He blazed over the top from close-range, before Glory were grateful to Darryl Lachman on the hour-mark as the Curacao international cleared an Ivan Franjic header off the line.

To their credit, Glory pressed hard in the final quarter and came close to halving the arrears when Castro latched on to a half-cleared corner and sent in a low shot which took a couple of deflections before Federici managed to claim it. The Bulls, meanwhile, almost exploited the fact that Glory were throwing numbers forward, Benat twice denied by Reddy in quick succession, before the lively Armiento forced Federici to make a smart stop at the near post with what proved to be the visitors' last chance of the game. Glory have the opportunity to bounce back when they take on Sydney FC on Wednesday.

Macarthur FC: GK Adam FEDERICI, 4 Benat ETXEBARRIA (21 Jake HOLLMAN 90'), 5 Mark MILLIGAN, 6 Aleksandar JOVANOVIC, 7 Ivan FRANJIC (31 Lachlan ROSE 79'), 8 Denis GENREAU, 10 Loic PUYO (29 Antonis MARTIS 70'), 11 Tommy OAR, 15 Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 27 Matt DERBYSHIRE (9 Milislav POPOVIC 89'), 33 Markel SUSAETA – Subs not used: RGK Nick SUMAN, 3 Antony GOLEC, 12 James MEREDITH

Perth Glory:  GK Liam REDDY, 2 Jason GERIA, 4 Sebastian LANGKAMP (3 Luke BODNAR 74'), 6 Osama MALIK (19 Callum TIMMINS 58'), 8 Kosuke OTA, 9 Bruno FORNAROLI, 17 Diego CASTRO, 23 Dane INGHAM (24 Daniel STYNES 74'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 38 Ciaran BRAMWELL (20 Carlo ARMIENTO 58'), 88 Neil KILKENNY (15 Brandon WILSON 74') – Subs not used: RGK Tando VELAPHI, 22 Josh RAWLINS - Referee: Kurt Ams

1.4.2021

GULLS FLY HOME WITH ALL THREE POINTS

Sorrento maintained their unbeaten start to the NPLWA season with a stunning 4-1 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Thursday evening. Alex Morgan gave the visitors the lead early, before Jordan Brown doubled their advantage on 20 minutes. Armadale substitute Angel Andres pulled one back for the hosts two minutes after coming off the bench, but two quick goals from Ryan McLaughlin and Scott Witschge sealed the three points for Jamie Harnwell’s side.

“It was a great win away at Armadale, as every team knows going to Armadale is never easy. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we stuck to our game and got the job done,” Sorrento striker Billy Quinncroft said. “Armadale gave us a good test and made things difficult with the home crowd adding to that being vocal as ever but we took our chances and got the job done. That win keeps us in the right direction of where we want to end up at the end of the season.”

The home went into this one in a buoyant mood after a 4-0 win on the road at Champions ECU Joondalup last week, but it was Jamie Harnwell’s side who started the brighter and former Sorrento keeper Yousri Gharsallah had to be alert to save Scott Witschge’s close range effort. But on seven minutes the visitors hit the front, a long throw by Brown was flicked on by Quinncroft and Morgan fired home at the back post, much to the displeasure of Armadale coach John O’Reilly who was adamant the throw-in was theirs.

Sorrento made it 2-0 on 19 minutes, Tim Hill’s corner picked out Brown, who rose above his marker to head home. Moments late former Red’s skipper Quinncroft almost added a third, but his chip flicked the crossbar on the way over. Armadale needed a lift before the break but they found Gulls’ custodian Joel Driscoll in fine form, the keeper tipping over Friday Zico’s shot a full stretch.

Sorrento had two great chances early in the second half, Hill’s snap shot flew over the top before Witschge was denied by a great save by Gharsallah. Armadale turned to their 2020 leading goal scorer Angel Andres, who came off the bench on the hour, and the Spanish striker, who became an Australian citizen in midweek, had an immediate impact, reducing the margin two minutes later. Rene Kisesa made space down the right, his cross found Andres, whose header found the corner of the net.

Armadale pushes players forward looking for the equaliser, but Sorrento defended stoutly, well led by skipper Shaun Kilkelly. But with Armadale pushing men forward they were caught out at the back and Sorrento added a third on 76 minutes, McLaughlin heading home Hill’s corner. Jamie Harnwell’s side wrapped up the points two minutes later. Witschge started the move sending substitute Joe Tweats down the right, the midfielder continued his run and was in the right place when Tweats squared the ball to score from close range.

Armadale: GK Yousri GHARSALLAH, 3 Harry QUIGLEY, 6 Joel SANDERSON, 12 Callum MELLOWSHIP, 13 Filippo GIOFFRE (9 Angel ANDRES 61’), 14 Cherno BAH, 17 Pieter JACOBSZ (7 Joshua CORTES 67’), 20 Rene KISESA (11 Chad NILSON 73’), 21 Manase ABANDELWA, 22 Ryan MCEVOY, 23 Friday ZICO – Subs not used: RGK Michael CRAGGS, 2 Matthew WORTON

Sorrento: GK Joel DRISCOLL, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 7 Alex MORGAN (12 Joe TWEATS 65’), 8 Scott WITSCHGE (15 Tristian STEVENS 78’), 9 Billy QUINNCROFT (3 Daniel FAICHNEY 72’), 11 Tim HILL, 16 Ryan MCLAUGHLIN, 17 Dean CUMMINGS, 18 Jordan BROWN, 19 Jaxon TEMATA (5 Scott ROBERTSON 78’), 23 Neil GILLIES– Subs not used: RGK Matthew GIUDICATTI - Referee: Shane SKINNER

1.4.2021

SPARTA SCORES LATE TO TAKE ALL THE GLORY

A goal eight minutes from time from Bayswater City midfielder Konstantinos Sparta has given them a hard fought 1-0 win against Perth Glory at Frank Drago Reserve on Thursday evening. It was a tight encounter with chances at both ends, but the win made sure City bounced back from defeat last week at Balcatta, while the loss leaves the Glory youngsters on the bottom of the NPL ladder still searching for their first win of the season.

“The game against Glory was a huge match for us, they are a very good outfit and we were looking to make amends of our result last weekend,” Jason Mirco explained. “We have a style of play we’re building towards and I think we showed a bit of what we’re about and who we want to be this season. The boys all fought hard for each other and it paid dividends late on. Kosta who’s having a great year was in the right spot at the right time and finished with quality.”

Bayswater City: GK Liam DRISCOLL, 3 Jack ALLEN, 4 Albert FULLARD (21 Igor CVIJANOVIC 88’), 7 Ndumba MAKECHE, 8 Gordon SMITH, 10 Jason MIRCO (2 Alex PIETRONIRO 73’), 12 Steven HESKETH, 17 Steven WALMSLEY, 22 Luke SALMON (18 Fraser DUNLOP 46’), 29 Tyler GARNER, 28 Konstantinos SPARTA - Subs not used: RGK Riccardo MAZZOLENI, 15 Leonard GAMA,

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 Aidan COYNE (15 Shade STEWART 77’), 3 Jacob MUIR, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Nick WALSH, 6 Joseph FORDE, 8 Lewis TUCKER (18 Chris DONNELL 57’), 9 Charlie LEECH, 10 Giordano COLLI, 11 Adam ZIMARINO, 17 Bryce BAFFORD (19 Lucas ROSSI 70’) - Subs not used: RGK Sam REILLY, 18 Christian BELLADONNA – Referee: Josh MANNELLA

1.4.2021

FLOREAT MAKE IT THREE FROM THREE TO START THE SEASON

Floreat Athena have continued their unbeaten start to the NPLWA season, after a 2-1 win against Perth SC on Thursday evening at E&D Litis Stadium. A goal in first half stoppage time from striker Josh Anasmo, his fifth goal of the season, gave the home side the advantage at the break, before Chris Saldaris doubled their lead early in the second half. Cameron Teece pulled one back for Perth 13 minutes from time, but they couldn’t find the equaliser.

“Personally, I love playing against Perth, I’m always revved up for that game as they are always recognised as one of the best teams in the state, but also for the fact that it’s my former team so that’s what makes the win taste that little bit better too,” Floreat’s George Festa said. “Being top of the table it gives teams that extra motivation to knock us off, so we knew this was going to be a tough game. All the boys dug deep though and played their roles amazingly which showed at the final whistle as we held on for the win. Good performances from front to back, and we couldn’t be prouder at the moment now being three wins from three.”

It was the visitors who had the first opportunity, former Perth Glory youth midfielder Calvin Whitney seeing his volley well saved by the alert Jason Saldaris in the first minute. Perth continued to press and they thought they had the lead on the quarter hour, but Michael Domfeh’s effort was ruled out for offside. The home side were on the back foot as Perth looked for the opener and Domfeh saw a header flash wide moments later, before Riley Van Dieken failed to find the target when well placed.

Floreat settled and started to get into the game and started to create chances of their own, with Nick Ambrogio’s shot well saved by Ryan Montgomery. Then Phil Arnold’s header was deflected wide after Dean Evans’ free kick and from the resulting corner they found the opener. Kyle Murray’s set piece was only cleared to Evans on the edge of the box, his ball back into the penalty area was flicked into the net by Anasmo. The goal came at the right time for Vas Vujacic’s side and it got better early on the second half when they added a second.

Evans’ corner wasn’t dealt with and Arnold’s ball across goal found Chris Saldaris, who looked offside, but the flag never came and he finished low past Montgomery. It looked like Floreat would continue their good home form of late, but Perth had other ideas and reduced the margin on 77 minutes. Montgomery’s long clearance was flicked on by Gustavo Catarcione, and Teece raced to the edge of the box before chipping Jason Saldaris.

Perth pressed for the equaliser and Teece headed over the top late, but Floreat also had their chances, the best falling to Anasmo but he couldn’t find the target with the last kick of the match. “It was a hard-fought game. I thought they were the better side in the first half but we managed to score off a set piece just before the break,” Floreat skipper Evans said. “We scored again early after the second half which I then felt we controlled the rest of the half even though they scored, to maintain our perfect start to the year.”

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11 Dennis GALAN, 13 George FESTA, 14 Ludovic BOI (8 Sean MCMANUS 58’), 15 Chris SALDARIS, 16 Kyle MURRAY (12 Robert HARDING 80’)), 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD, 22 Joshua ANASMO– Subs not used: RGK Joshua HUNTER, 5 Elijah HAAS, 40 Wesley CASIMIR

Perth SC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Alex SILLA, 6 Nic MCDONALD, 8 Riley VAN DIEKEN, 9 Cameron TEECE, 10 Michael DOMFEH (20 Gustavo CATARACIONE 63’), 13 Calvin WHITNEY, 14 Lachlan BYRD 15 Will GORDON, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 22 Kristian SANTICH - Subs not used: RGK Adrian SINAGRA, 4 Aiden FORMSTON, 7 Alex JOVIC, 12 Sam FLORES, – Referee: Matthew SOUTHERN

1.4.2021

ECU BOUNCE BACK TO BEAT INGLEWOOD

ECU Joondalup have bounced back from Saturday’s disappointing NPLWA loss against Armadale, with a 2-0 win against Inglewood United at Inglewood Stadium on Thursday evening. Danny Hodgson gave the Jacks the lead with a twice taken penalty on 32 minutes, before Daryl Nicol scored his first NPL goal since his return to the campus early in the second half to seal the win. “It was a fantastic performance from the team to get us back to winning ways, and I thought we controlled the game for 90 minutes and the score line probably flattered Inglewood,” Nicol said. “I’m delighted to finally get off the mark for my club, and hope we can put a run of results together now.”

It was a bright opening from the visitors, and they went close in the first sixty seconds. Jakub Prajza’s ball sent Nicol racing into the penalty area, his shot beat keeper Alex Dunn, but Giovanni Soares got back to clear the ball off the line. The hosts had a penalty shout moments later, Robert Petkov sent Steve Sokol racing clear, Nelson Tshongo got back to delay his run, but the winger played the ball back to Petkov who fell under a challenge from Sami Riak, but referee Stewart Beattie was well placed to wave away the home sides penalty claims.

The hosts thought they had taken the lead on 17 minutes, when Roberto del Borrello cross into the box was superbly volleyed home by Petkov, but the flag was up for offside. It was the period of the game for United, and when the Jacks lost possession in the middle of the park Petkov sent Jason Barrera racing clear, but his shot drifted inches past the far post. But on 31 minutes the Jacks hit the front. Declan Hughes found Chris Harold, and his defence splitting through ball sent Nicol in on goal, he raced into the box and was brought down by Inglewood keeper Alex Dunn, and referee Stewart Beattie pointed straight to the spot.

Hodgson stepped up and converted from the resulting penalty, but the referee spotted some encroachment in the box and the penalty had to be retaken. Hodgson stepped again, and found the opposite corner of the net to give the Jacks the lead. They almost doubled their lead moments later, Hughes’ thunderbolt crashed off the woodwork and away to safety.

But eight minutes into the second half it was 2-0. Prajza’s ball was misjudged by Giovanni Soares and Nicol pounced, beating him to the ball and clearly lobbing the oncoming keeper. Inglewood looked for an immediate response, Mark Barnett headed over the top on the hour, before Chris Harold’s lob was saved by Dunn at the other end. The Jacks had led by two against Inglewood in the Night series, only to be pegged back late, but the Jacks sipper Perkins was in no mood to let that happen again.

First on 69 minutes he superbly tipped over Roberto Soares long-range shot over the top, before getting down smartly to save Jamie Murphy’s long-range effort moments later. He was at it again on 73 minutes, producing another fine save to thwart Murphy again. He was beaten moments later, Murphy getting on the end of a Del Borrello deep cross, but the post came to the rescue of the Jacks custodian, but at the final whistle it was Kenny Lowe’s side celebrating three points.

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 Giovanni SOARES, 5 Thiak KUEL, 7 Ajak RIAK (16 Jamie MURPHY 67’), 8 Jason BARRERA (12 Roberto SOARES 58’), 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA (4 Scott BLACKMORE 76’), 12 Roberto DEL BORRELLO, 14 Steve SOKOL, 17 Mark BARNETT – Sub not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 13 Brodie LANGAN

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Jeremy TSHONGO, 3 Nelson TSHONGO (15 Luke DAVIS 56’), 4 Declan HUGHES, 6 Sami RIAK, 7 Danny HODGSON (8 Tom HOUGH 86’), 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Chris HAROLD, 12 Jakub PRAJZA, 16 Shane CASSIDY – Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD, 14 Ben RUTTER, 17 Sebastian GOMEZ - Referee: Stewart BEATTIE

1.4.2021

INTO THE LOOKING GLASS: STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AND TWO PREVIEW

The State League Divison One and Two season preview is now updated with a full run down on the teams, see how season 2021 will pan out... which is located below the NPL-WA season preview. Included are tips on how the Amateur League might unfold.




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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