Armadale striker Peter Jacobsz scored a double to help them beat Balcatta.

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3.7.2022

NPL-WA WOMEN'S ROUND FOURTEEN - REVIEW

Perth RedStar have continued their perfect start to the season, after a 4-0 win against Balcatta, in our ‘Match of the Round’ at the RedStar Arena. “It was quite a physical game with many one v one battles, which we expect, like every game we play, so didn’t surprise us,” RedStar’s Olivia Wood explained. “We played a more attacking game as we are looking to get as many goals, which is much different to Balcatta who are trying to stop us. It was a good round of results for us to maintain our lead and position in the table and now focused on our next game.”

Carlos Vega-Mana’s side made the perfect start, and Gabby Dal Busco produced a great reaction save to thwart Jacinta Coleman after only five minutes, but two minutes later they did find the opener. Tessa De Leo sent Wood down the right, and her cross was flicked home by Sarah Carroll, despite Dal Busco getting a hand to it. It was 2-0 on 19 minutes, Emily Dunn ball over the top sent Larissa Walsh in on goal, she squared the ball to Carla Bennett, who shot was well saved by Dal Busco, but Walsh was quickest to the rebound to fire home. Balcatta looked for a response and Monique D'Opera was saved by Shivani Battaglia. Moments later Monique Godding sent Lauren Continibali in on goal, but Battaglia stood tall to deny her. Bennett’s curling effort was saved by Dal Busco at the other end, but at half time the host held the lead.

The RedStar’s were on the front foot after half time, and Bennett’s corner was met by Wood, her header hitting the crossbar, and in the goalmouth scramble that ensued referee Andre Ferreira spotted a foul on Dunn by Georgia Cawley in the box and pointed to the spot. Sarah Carroll stepped up and sent Dal Busco the wrong way from the resulting penalty. Carroll went close to his hat-trick on 74 minutes, racing in on goal, but Dal Busco got down well to save. Then with the final move of the night, Carroll did find her hat-trick. Skipper Shawn Billam sent her clear, and she finished clinically past Dal Busco, for her twelfth goal of the season. “Their keeper did really well and saved them from potentially more goals in my eyes,” Wood added. “I thought we had many one or two touch passing plays across the whole field which looked really good for us, and really pleased for Sarah, who scored a well-deserved hat trick in the last minute.”

The round started on Friday evening, when a goal four minutes from time by Subiaco substitute Ingrid Gomez Basallo has seen Subiaco came from 1-0 at half time to beat Curtin University 2-1 at Edinburgh Oval. “We had a heated chat at half time about the intensity and what we were doing, but you can see in couple of weeks Curtin have a new coach and are playing well, but for us it was about continuing with what we’ve been doing, which we didn’t do in the first half,” Subiaco coach Greg Farrell explained.

“We started this journey at the club two weeks before the start of the season, and the biggest thing was we wanted to playing good football and that would lead to good results. We don’t want to in a battle for last spot, but if we put some little things right, we might be able to put a bit of pressure on the top four, so games like this when you don’t play well, we just did enough to get the result.”

The visitors did start brightly and Elizabeth Wallwork saw here shot saved low at the post by Gabriele Maluga, before Frankie Murray shot on the run was well blocked by the Curtin skipper Stephanie Waycott. But it was Curtin who found the opener on 20 minutes, Samara Riches shot from the edge of the box going under the body of Subiaco keeper Zara Board. The goal stunned the visitors, but they went close to levelling seven minutes before half time, Chelsie Winchcombe sending Murray in on goal, but Maluga was out bravely to save at the striker’s feet, but at the break the hosts held a goal advantage.

Subiaco thought they had found the equaliser on 67 minutes, Toni Walden’s in-swinging corner looked like it gone into the net, but it was inches over the top. But the visitors were pressing, and two minutes later they did level. Murray’s corner wasn’t dealt with and Ashlee Byrne turned the ball home. They found the winner on 86 minutes, Murray sliding the ball through to Basallo, who finished well past Waycott, the win moving Subiaco eight points clear of Curtin

“To go a goal down in the first half I think the girls lost a bit of belief and were complacent, but Greg gave us a big kick up the arse at half time, and I think we deserved it,” Subiaco striker Frankie Murray said post-match. “I defiantly think we’ve improved a lot from the start off the season and we all believe in what Greg is doing here, and the way he wants to play, and if we take that forward, I believe we can put some good results on the board.”

In Sunday’s games, Fremantle City and the Hyundai NTC Women’s side have fought out a 1-1 draw at Hilton Park. The visitors went close on 16 minutes, Georgia Cassidy’s long-range shot was saved by Dayle Schroeder, before the hosts went close themselves eight minutes later, Natasha Rigby raced down the right, her cross found Kate Nolan on the edge of the box, her first-time shot was straight at NTC keeper Lilly Bailey.

But straight from the kick off after half time the NTC opened the scoring. Grace Johnston finding Louise Tana down the right, her shot was well saved by Schroeder, but Olivia Trueman fired home the rebound. Five minutes later Johnston crossed to Ischia Brooking, who shot on the turn was saved low by Schroeder. But 14 minutes from time it was the hosts who levelled, substitute Maja Archibald raced in on goal, held off her marker and finished into the corner of the net. Both sides had half chances to win it, but they couldn’t find the winners.

In the final game Murdoch University Melville have given their top four hopes a boost, after a hard-fought 1-0 win against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens. “Very proud of the team performance, we were very disciplined defensively, everyone knew their role and dug in deep to keep out a very good Perth side,” MUMFC coach Luke Thompson. “There's a lot we still need to do better, especially when we have the ball so we don't need to defend as much as we have. Hopefully we can use this to move forward into a season defining month of games.” The hosts went close early, Courtney Butlion was denied by Monique Todd, but soon after it was the visitors who found the opener on eight minutes.

Sophia Neal’s cross was headed onto the bar by Andrea Preiato and the rebound hit the unfortunate Rebecca Bennett for an own goal. The hosts struggled in the final third, but Todd was in for a busy afternoon. She saved well to deny Jaime Duncanson, Butlion and Ella Lincoln in the first half. The MUMFC keeper then showed great reactions to deny Liana Cook after the break, but visitors started to create their own chances, and Meghan Hulsman forced Bennett into a smart save, but at the other end it was Todd who was the star. She saved well to thwart Zoee Spadano, before blocking the midfielder’s curler from the edge of the area later, and at the final whistle Todd’s heroics won all three points for her side.

3.7.2022

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND ELEVEN REVIEW

Our Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division ‘Match of the Round’ saw the two form teams go head-to-head, but it was East Perth who runout convincing winners 5-0 against North Perth United at Woodville Reserve on Sunday afternoon. “What a brilliant performance from the lads, we were quality all over the pitch today, defensively we were very hard to break down and in attack we were clinical,” East Perth coach East Perth explained. “It was easily our best performance of the season, we played some great football today and everything fell into place so delighted for the lads involved today, and all the hard work has been put in by the lads and today a lot of what we are trying to implement fell into place.

“Not many teams get results at Woodville and to keep a clean sheet was brilliant too. Some really great goals and some brilliant performances from the squad, hopefully we carry our form forward now for another battle against Emerald next weekend.” The visitors found the opener on 12 minutes, Liam McManus found Adam Giannasi who turned and played a brilliant cross field ball to Deane McFeeley, who turned the defender and buried the ball past Mark Shaughnessy.

They added a second on the half hour, McFeeley’s powerful free kick was parried by Shaughnessy, and Dave Long was on hand to finish. They added a third on the hour, Mehdi Gholami getting his deserved goal, after a great pass from Stevie Henry, and it was 4-0, when McManus crossed to McFeeley, who volleyed home superbly. The scoring was wrapped up in the final minute, Oscar Kelly was brought down just outside the area, and he picked himself up and dusted himself down, and fired home the resulting free kick.

League leaders Jaguar bounce back from defeat last week at Maddington, to beat Kelmscott Roos 5-2 at the Herb Graham Recreation Centre. “It wasn’t an easy game, especially that we were coming from a defeat, but the boys showed the character to revive themselves as Kelmscott were well prepared for the battle,” Jags coach Josam Muwowo said, “Looking at the component of the game we played with a team that was organised and direct in possession play, hence we took our chances and managed to control the game well in some intervals. Overall, it was a good game both teams and the fans enjoyed the display.”

The hosts opened the scoring early, Amin Salem cut in from the right and curled a left-foot finish into the far corner. But on 13 minutes they were reduced to ten men after Weric Malual received a second yellow card from referee Amit Hosany, and was sent off. But it didn’t worry the Jags, and they doubled their lead on the half hour, a free kick was floated into the box and met by Deng Mawien, who headed downwards past the keeper. It was 3-0 five minutes before half time, a through ball sent George Duku clear, who rounded the keeper and finished into an empty net.

Kelmscott pulled one back early in the second half, Amos Doegolia Junior finding the target, but Jags regained their three goal advantage moments later, a great run through the defense by Magai Deng, who was fouled, however the referee played a good advantage, the ball falling to Conor O'Driscoll on the edge of the box, who finished low into the corner of the net. It was 5-1 four minutes from time, Magai Deng was fouled in the box by the keeper, and he picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty. Doegolia Junior added a second for the visitors late, but it was too little too late.

“Very proud of the way the boys bounced back after the defeat last week, add to that one of our defenders got a second yellow card only 13 minutes into the match, and we really had to battle to stay on top,” Jags keeper Michael Dudek said. “Despite Kelmscott's chances in the first half, they weren't able to score and we went into half time with a 3-0 lead, and the second half was just about managing the game. Credit to Josam and Andrew, who switched things up after the red card, which helped us adapt and mostly finish the game by half time. Credit to Kelmscott who were dominant in possession and chances for most of the game, and on another day would have won.”

Emerald moved up to fourth after a 4-1 win against Quinns at Fraser Park Reserve. “Very happy with the performance, even after going a goal down early,” Emerald coach Shane O’Donovan said. “We dominated the ball and had to be patient, we knew the chances would come and we had to take them when they did. Could have been a higher score line only for their keeper making some great saves. We are on a good run now, which we want to keep going. East Perth next which is always a tough test, but we will be ready.” The visitors were ahead on nine minutes, Ryan McCready finding the target.

Both sides were reduced to ten men on 34 minutes, with Quinns Connor McCready, and Emerald’s Gary Smyth both shown red cards by referee Albert Muyembe. But Emerald were level just before half time, a corner wasn’t dealt with by Quinns, and Arron Fretwell was on hand to slot home. The hosts hit the front early in the second half, a great through ball from Paul Power sent Ryan Murray clear, and he expertly slotted home from a tight angle. They added a third 12 minutes from time, Murray was given too much space on the edge of the box and he rifled the ball into the top corner. They wrapped up the scoring five minutes later, with a goal similar to the first, Quinn’s didn’t deal with the corner and Power was on hand to poke it home.

In other games this weekend, Queens Park have put a difficult week behind them by earning a hard-earned point against Wembley Downs at Coker Park. “The game was fairly balance with both teams playing some good football creating chances, and missing them,” Queens Park coach Fred Coron explained. “It was a real battle to the end to find that elusive second goal of the game that could have gone to either team, but we had to settle for a point.” The hosts found the opener, when a curling free kick by Justin Kaupa picked out Zak Huss, whose glancing header at the near post beat the keeper.

But Wembley levelled when a long throw in from Luke McGrath, wasn’t dealt with, and Kyle Thistlethwaite managed to finish it amongst the chaos in front of goal, to earn a point. “Today was one of those games where we did everything right but put the ball in the net. Queens Park took their only real chance and made the rest of the game very difficult for us but at the same time we did it to ourselves with not enough quality or composure in front of goal,” Wembley player/coach Jeff Cornez explained. “Their keeper made some fantastic saves and they have some real quality players. We now have to put this first half of the season behind us. We have been in every game so far this season with loads of chances to come away with three points so now it is time to get the results I think we are capable of achieving.

Peel United have made it three straight wins, after a narrow 2-1 win against Joondalup United at Bortolo Reserve. “It was a well fought game that meant a lot to both teams,” Peel keeper Jack Eldred said. “But our boys really stepped it up a notch in the second half especially with ten men and managed to get a great result against a team that’s very well setup.” Adam Buckley gave the visitors the lead on the half hour, and it got worse for the hosts after Faris Noor Rani was sent off by referee Robert Read. But after the break the ten men hit back, and Scott Martin levelled on the hour with a volley from the edge of the box. Both sides went for the win, but in the first minute of stoppage time Peel won it, Jack Richardson squaring the ball to Jake Loreto to score. In the final game, Kwinana United are also back in the winner’s circle after a 3-2 win against Maddington White City at Kelly Park. A hat-trick from Wayne Carter secured the win, the last seven minutes from time, while Jose Zuniga scored both for Maddington.

2.7.2022

FLOREAT GRAB THE POINTS LATE AT REDSTAR

Floreat Athena have moved five points clear at the top of the NPLWA Men’s table, after scoring two late goals to beat Perth RedStar 3-2 in our ‘Match of the Round’ at the RedStar Arena. Nick Ambrogio gave the visitors the lead early, but the hosts hit back after the break, with Blair Govan and Chok Dau giving them the lead. It looked like they would return to the top, but Ben Steele levelled in the final minute, and Laat Mathiang won it in stoppage time. “It was a very good game, as it always is when we meet, both teams have good quality players and there’s always goals involved,” Floreat’s Sean McManus explained. “For me personally it was a big achievement for me playing my first 90 minutes since Round one of the season due to breaking my leg, so to get through the game and get the result was a special feeling.”

The visitors found the opener on ten minutes, Tom Hough was adjudged to have brought down Floreat striker Robert Petkov, and referee Stewart Beattie pointed to the spot. It looked a little harsh, but Nick Ambrogio made sure from the spot, to give Floreat the early advantage. The host looked to hit back immediately and Chok Dau backheel sent Kye Murray down the left, his cross shot was deflected away by keeper Jason Saldaris. The hosts were in again on 37 minutes, Daryl Nicol sending Bryce Bafford in on goal, his shot was well saved by Saldaris, and Ben Steele cleared the rebound. It was the RedStar ending the half the better, and Saldaris got down well again to deny Declan Hughes just before the break, but it was Floreat with the narrow advantage at the break.

The hosts started the second half the same, and Nicol’s header saw Saldaris produce a superb reaction save to deny him. But the keeper couldn’t do anything on 56 minutes, when the RedStar’s levelled. Andy Higgins’ corner was headed home powerfully by Govan. They went close again moments later, Nick Walsh made space down the left, he cut the ball back to Nicol, but his shot was straight at Saldaris. Higgins then stung the palms of Saldaris, as the hosts continued to dominate, and on 68 minutes they hit the front. Hughes won the ball in middle of the park and found Nicol, his pass sent Chok Dau racing clear and he finished clinically past Saldaris.

It looked like the hosts would be returning back to the top of the table, but in the final minute Floreat restored parity. Matthew Izzo found Steele on the right, and their looked little danger, but his cross beat everyone and nestled in the corner of the net, much to the delight of the travelling supporters. But the action wasn’t over there and deep into stoppage time Floreat won it. Substitute Laat Mathiang’s ball into the box was fumbled by keeper Riley Stephenson, and he pulled down former ECU Joondalup striker Bayley Brown-Montgomery, and the referee pointed to the spot and sent the keeper off. Mathiang stepped up sent replacement keeper Joe Pollard the wrong way to seal the win for the visitors.

2.7.2022

JANKULOSKI ENDS THE DROUGHT FOR STIRLING

Stirling Macedonia are back in the winner’s circle after a 1-0 win against Perth Glory at Crazy Domain Stadium, Hartfield Park on Friday evening. The only goal of the game came from defender Hristijan Jankuloski, and keeper James Bosdet said it was good to get back to winning ways. “Solid win and finally scored a goal to get a big three points, I thought the boys played well and controlled the game for the majority of the match,” he explained. “We have been dominating pretty much every game we have played, but just struggling to find the net, so after finally getting a goal hopefully the floodgates open for the rest of the season.”

The visitors went close to the opener early, Calvin Whitney’s corner was only cleared to Will Formston on the edge of the box, but his first-time shot was straight at Glory keeper Adrian Sinagra, before Alex Tanevski’s shot on the run was saved by the Glory custodian. Glory went close themselves on the half hour mark, a surging run by Lucas Cook, saw him feed Matthew George, who raced into the box, but his low shot was well saved by the alert Bosdet.

But Stirling’s early pressure was rewarded with the opener on 36 minutes, Whitney’s long-range shot was deflected wide, but from the resulting Whitney corner, Glory failed to clear, and the ball fell to Jankuloski who fired home from the edge of the box, for his first goal of the season. They were in again three minutes before half time, Asher Nelson finding Tanevski out on the left, he cut inside his marker, but fired straight at Sinagra. Jankuloski then came to the rescue at the other end, getting an important clearance from Tyler Vecchio’s shot on the run, after being played in by George, but at the break the visitors lead by the only goal.

Stirling were still on the front foot after the break and Nelson’s shot was saved low by Sinagra. The Glory keeper was keeping his side in the game, and when Whitney sent former Glory striker Michael Domfeh in one-one-on with him on 69 minutes, he stood tall to block his shot with his legs. He was at it again four minutes later, Glory coughed the ball up and Whitney’s shot from the edge of the box was tipped over by the overworked Sinagra.

Stirling couldn’t find the second goal to wrap the game up, but they kept trying and Kai Matthews burst through a pack of Glory players in the middle of the park and his shot stung the palms of Sinagra. Glory went in search of an equaliser late, and when Cook’s cross took a deflection of Jankuloski, the ball beat Bosdet, but the woodwork came to the rescue of the Stirling custodian. But Ian Ferguson’s side held firm to end their five-game run without a win and move to third on the table, while the loss extended Glory’s run without a win to five and leaving them stuck in ninth.

2.7.2022

ETHAN BANKS LATE POINT FOR PERTH

Sorrento and Perth SC have shared the spoils, after a 1-1 draw at Percy Doyle Reserve on a Sunny Saturday afternoon in Duncraig. Chris Jackson gave the hosts the lead midway through the second half, but substitute Ethan Banks found the equaliser three minutes from time, to give both sides a point. “It was a disappointment to not come away with the win, as I felt we created some good chances throughout the game,” Perth keeper Luke Radonich said. “However, we take the positives away from the game and the point, and build on for next week and remainder of the season.”

The visitors buoyed by their big win at Armadale last week, went close on the half hour, Julian Teles’ long-range shot deflected wide of the target. Moments later Shubham Mokala shot was cleared off the line by the alert Mark Barnett. They were in again four minutes before half time, a ball over the top was mis-judged by Ryan Mclaughlin, and Mokala was in on goal, but Patrick Hughes got down well to save low to his left.

It was a different Sorrento side after the break, and four minutes in, Tim Hill’s ball into the box wasn’t dealt with and Dean Cummings flicked the ball on to Chris Jackson, his shot on the turn was straight at Luke Radonich. They were in again five minutes later, Jordan Brown’s ball found Jackson, who raced into the area, but his shot from the angle was saved low by Hughes. Perth also had their chances, as the game opened up.

First on 57 minutes Alex Silla’s cross from the left picked out Hasani Sinclair, he brought the ball down well, but his shot was saved low by Hughes. The down the other end Hill’s pass found the unmarked Brown in the penalty area, he chested the ball down, but his shot was superbly saved by Radonich. But on 69 minutes the home side found the opener. Jackson played the ball out to substitute Scott Witschge, and he eased past his marker and his cross from the right found Jackson, who headed home from close-range. It was end-to-end football with the game opening up, first six minutes later Sinclair crossed to Paul Zimarino, whose shot was well saved by Hughes.

Then moments later Gustavo Giron-Marulanda sent Witschge down the right, and the Sorrento substitute’s shot on the run was saved by the feet of Radonich. Then three minutes from time Perth found the equaliser. Luke Collins’ ball into the box was only cleared as far as Banks on the edge of the box, whose low shot found the bottom corner of the net, to earn his side a point. “It would have been a good game to watch for both sets of supporters, very end to end, we had more chances than them but couldn’t find the finishing touch,” Sorrento defender Ollie Annis said. “Both keepers made a few great saves and kept the game tight.”

2.7.2022

MIRCO STUNNER HELPS BAYSWATER TO WIN

Bayswater City headed home from Wishart Street this all three points, after a 3-2 win against Gwelup Croatia. Sam Mitchinson headed in an own goal early for the hosts, before a stunning strike from Jason Mirco levelled. City went into the break with the lead, with Jon Stynes on target. Thomas Southgate was sent off midway through the second half, and Sam Dweh levelled moments later. But it was Bayswater who won it, skipper Steven Hesketh headed deemed to be over the line, and the hosts ended with ten men with new signing Riley Warland sent off after receiving a second yellow card.

“Seriously tough match at Wishart Street, we were missing Ndumba (Makeche) and Gordon (Smith) this week who have been a real threat this season, but the coaches shuffled the Deck and the team showed we’ve got great depth and resolve to stay in the match,” Mirco explained. “We went behind early and got ourselves back in front before grabbing a winner with 10 men. We want to be right up there at the business end of the season and we’re working on building a strong run home.”

The visitors started brightly and Jon Stynes’ long-range shot straight from the kick off was saved low by Cyril Sharrock, and moments later the Gwelup custodian got down well to save Kosta Sparta’s shot. Then Fraser Dunlop tested the Gwelup keeper, his flick at the near post pushed around the post by the alert Sharrock. But against the run of play it was the hosts who found the opener on nine minutes, Kade Fearnall’s corner was headed into his own net by Sam Mitchinson.

Dunlop’s snap shot was straight at Sharrock, as Bayswater pressed for the equaliser, before Sebastian Da Silva shot on the run was saved low by Bayswater keeper Nik Speca. But on 27 minutes the visitors levelled, Mirco cutting in the from the left and unleashing and unstoppable shot, giving Sharrock no chance. Dunlop then stung the palms of Sharrock, with a long-range shot, and just before half time Bayswater hit the front. Dunlop won possession out on the right, and low cross found Stynes, who scored from close-range.

Bayswater went close to a third early in the second half, Dunlop’s cross from the left found Sparta, whose header crashed off the crossbar, before Southgate’s long-range shot was pushed over the top by Sharrock. Speca then produced a smart save to deny Sam Dweh, as Gwelup pressed for the equaliser, and moments later Warland’s long-range shot was tipped over by the Bayswater custodian. But on 68 minutes the visitors were reduced to ten men after referee Michal Jasinski sent Southgate off after a lunging tackle on Jordan Pokler. Then ten minutes later Gwelup restored parity, Dweh pounced on a back pass, rounded Speca and fired home.

But Bayswater weren’t finished and they regained the lead seven minutes from time. A corner was only cleared to Sparta, his shot was cleared off the line, and Hesketh’s follow up header was also knocked off the line, but the assistant flagged to say the ball had crossed the line, much to the delight of the Bayswater skipper, and much to the frustration of the Gwelup players. In the final minute Gwelup were also reduced to ten men after Warland received a second yellow card for a challenge on Jonty Pearson. “It was a tough game, but we came out with the right approach and energy from the start which I felt we showed through the full 90 minutes,” Bayswater winger Fraser Dunlop said. “Even when we conceded we didn’t give up, and we pushed to get the three points, which we won by the end of the game.”

2.7.2022

ABANDELWA AT THE DOUBLE FOR INGLEWOOD

Inglewood United’s top four hopes are still on track after a 2-1 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. All the goals came early, Ivan Skorich giving the hosts the lead early, but Manase Abandelwa levelled seconds later. Inglewood won it midway through the first half with Abandelwa bagging his second, and despite both sides creating chances, keepers Michael Craggs and Alex Dunn were in good form.

“Another great team win for us yesterday against Cockburn City, making it four in a row, and like ourselves, Cockburn have been in a good run of form so we knew it was going to be a battle for the three points,” Inglewood defender Ryan Hogan said. “We were disappointed with conceding an early goal, but showed great character to come back with two quick goals from Manase. Like the gaffer has been saying, we have to focus on one game at a time. Starting Tuesday, all of our focus will be on next week’s game against Gwelup, where we hope to continue our good run of form.”

Inglewood went close in the second minute, Manase Abandelwa finding Hermon Michaele, his first-time shot was well saved by Michael Craggs. But sixty seconds later it was Cockburn who opened the scoring, Harry O’Brien sent Aidan Edwards down the right, and his low cross was turned home at the back post by Ivan Skorich. But straight from the restart Inglewood levelled, Roberto Del Borrello ball into the box was flicked on by Harry Evans, and Abandelwa powered home at the back post. Inglewood hit the front on 19 minutes, Evans fed Chad Nilson, who slipped the ball to Abandelwa, who finished clinically past Craggs.

The visitors went close again just after the hour, Anthony Bafobusha corner was met by Ryan Hogan, his header tipped over by Craggs, before Evans’ shot from the edge of the box was saved low by Craggs. Cockburn were still in the game, and five minutes from time a good give and go between Daniel Santich and Jesse Lazzaro, found Raphael Gomba, whose shot was straight at Alex Dunn. They went closer in the final minute, Daniel Dols long throw found O’Brien, whose shot on the turn was heading for the top corner of the net, but Dunn produced a stunning fingertip save to deny him.

“We got off to a bad start conceding early, but we were able to hit back immediately which gave us confidence and scoring a second shortly after,” Inglewood skipper Alex Dunn said. “I thought we defended well, Cockburn threw bodies forward at the end of the game, however we were able to see them off and hold onto our win. I thought we could have scored a third in second half but it wasn’t to be, but we’ll take the points.”

2.7.2022

JACOBSZ BRACE SEALS THE POINTS FOR ARMADALE

Armadale have bounced back from last week loss at home against Perth SC, after beating Balcatta 3-1 in the week 15 NPLWA Men’s game at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday afternoon. Peter Jacobsz set Armadale on their way, before Angel Andres doubled their lead. Adam Tong pulled one back for the hosts before half time, but a second strike from Jacobsz after half time sealed the win.

“Although Pete, Angel and the other forward players are rightly getting the plaudits for their attacking play and goals they are scoring, a lot of people won’t realise the work they are doing defensively for the team, which is equally important for us,” Armadale skipper Kevin Ashwood explained. “They are our so called ‘superstars’ but we have them tracking back and applying pressure and for the defensive unit you can’t ask for more from them boys. We now forget about this one and move onto Glory next week, which will be a completely different test but one I’m sure this group will relish, as we push for that top four and prepare for the cup games.”

The hosts were still looking for their first win of the season, and they almost gifted Armadale the lead in the first minute, a back pass was missed by Caelan Cooper, the ball rolling agonizingly wide. But the visitors early pressure was rewarded with the lead on 20 minutes, a poor clearance from Cooper fell at the feet of Jacobsz, who raced into the area and finished well. Ben Hinshelwood headed wide for the hosts, as they looking for the equaliser, but they found themselves two goals down on 28 minutes, with a superb individual goal. Andres did well to keep the ball in play on the left, but tricked his way past his marker into the box, and finished clinically past Cooper.

It was almost three moments later, Jelenovic’s free kick found Andres at the near post, and his flick was deflected wide of the upright. Then ten minutes from half time, with their first shot on target Balcatta reduced the margin. Tong’s long-range free kick went up over the wall and into the top corner of the net, giving Yousri Gharsallah no chance. But Armadale ended the half well and Gordon Perkins’ shot hit the base of the far post, before Andres’ shot was saved low by Cooper. The Balcatta keeper was beaten again in stoppage time, Andres in-swinging corner beat everyone but bounced off the crossbar, but at the break Armadale held a 2-1 lead.

Armadale began the second half, like they finished the first, and went close five minutes in. Jelenovic sent Andres down the right, and his shot from the angle flashed just wide of the target. The hosts were still in the game and half-time substitute Anthony Topini shot flashed wide, after good approach work from Clarke Keltie and Hinshelwood. But it was Armadale creating the better chances, and moments later Jelenovic sent Perkins racing down the right, his low cross found Kenna, whose first-time shot was well saved by Cooper.

They were in again when Andres found the overlapping Perkins on the right, his shot from the angle was well saved by the busy Cooper. But their pressure was rewarded on 70 minutes, when they made it 3-1. Sanderson picked the ball in his own half and drove at the Balcatta defence, before sending Jacobsz into the area, and his shot on the run found the bottom corner of the net, to seal the points. Balcatta did go close to a second in stoppage time, Jamie Swan close-range shot superbly saved by Gharsallah, but at the whistle it was the Army taking home the points.

2.7.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOURTEEN - REVIEW

Dianella White Eagles’ good run of form in the State League Division One has come to an end, after a late goal by Joondalup United Callum Stocks has given the hosts a 2-1 win in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Forrest Park. “The boys showed great character and commitment to grind out a deserved victory against a vastly improved Dianella team,” Joondalup coach Nick Jennings said. “Special mentions for young Reece Corrigan for his moment of magic setting up the winning goal and Callum Stocks the scorer, of his first goal since returning to the club.” It was the visitors who found the opener in this one, five minutes from the break. Sasa Njegic cross from the right found Daniel Mackenzie, who lost his marker to power home a header.

But Joondalup were level early in the second half, Ayden Dragun long throw wasn’t dealt with by Dianella, and Jamie Stewart fired home at the back post. Both sides pressed for the win, but it was Dianella pressing late, and Syakir Shariff shot on the run was saved low by Todd Hoyle. But four minutes from time, it was Joondalup who won it. Great work on the right by Reece Corrigan, his cross into the box was headed home by Stocks at the near post, to secure the three points. “It was a pleasing win against a Dianella side who have been on a good run of form recently,” Joondalup midfielder Jay Lang said. “Hopefully we take the positives from the game and build on them for the rest of the season.”

Olympic Kingsway maintained their lead at the top after a 2-0 win against Quinns at Gumblossom Park. “A fantastic performance by the team, very happy with the away win, clean sheet and three points,” Olympic coach Ross Edwards said. “The team is firing at the moment, and we have worked hard for the last six/seven months and you can see that in the performances. We would have loved a few more goals and we probably deserved them, we were professional and efficient and that is part of what we are trying to achieve.”

The visitors opened the scoring on 20 minutes, Daniel Harrison’s corner was flicked goalwards by David Perich and Nick Koefler made sure at the back post firing home, but the ball was already over the line. They wrapped up the points ten minutes from time, Richard Howles and Michael Zimarino combined to send in Harrison, who finished clinically past Patrick Stephenson. Edwards took control of the team today, with Head Coach David Tough unavailable, and he said the preparation were in place, and the players executed it well.

“Yes, Toughy wasn’t there today due to Covid and any changes can affect the preparation of any team. The world we are in today, and the way the season has been going, the team on a Thursday is rarely the team we have on a Saturday, due to illness, covid or other commitments,” Edwards explained. “I was proud to take the team today with Willy (McNally), but to be honest we didn’t have to do much, we all knew the system and the process and that is a credit to Toughy, and we all executed that on Saturday.”

Western Knights remain two points behind the leaders, after a 3-1 win against Forrestfield United at Crazy Domain Stadium, at Hartfield Park. “We adjusted and kept our composure well after receiving the red card midway through the first half,” Knights’ coach Adam Kostrencic said. “A couple of late goals just before half time and Forrestfield also having a player sent off really set us up for the second half. We scored again early after the break and I felt we maintained control until Forrestfield scored late deep into added time.”

It was the visitors who opened brightly, forcing a number of corners, but they couldn’t find the opener. The hosts went close themselves on 20 minutes, Andrew Harold finding the overlapping Rhys Loxley, whose effort was saved low at the second attempt by Knights keeper Matthew Giudicatti. But six minutes later the Knights were reduced to ten men, Reece Abrams dragged down Oliver La Galia who was in on goal, and after consulting with his assistant, referee Niall Gillmor showed the defender a red card. But it didn’t stop the Knights creating chances, and Jake Sardelic shot was saved low by Luke Martino.

But in the final minute, Forrestfield were also reduced to ten men, the referee spotted a push by Jake Melia on Sardelic, and pointed to the spot and sent the defender off. Noah Shamaki stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but Martino guessed the right way to save, but Shamaki was quickest to react to the rebound to score. They added a second moments later, Adam Harris’ diagonal pass sent Sardelic down the right, and he cut inside his marker and found the bottom corner. It was 3-1 five minutes into the second half, Shamaki turning his marker and finishing low past Martino at his near post. The hosts scored a late consolation goal deep into stoppage time, substitute Nathan Webster cross from the right was headed back by La Galia at the back post and Harold volleyed home from the edge of the box.

Fremantle have bounced back from their loss against Mandurah last week, with a narrow 1-0 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. Todd Howarth’s long-range free kick almost gave them the lead in this one but Keegan Grant got a hand to it to tip it over. Fremantle keeper Jordan Barbas kept his side in the game just before half time with a triple save to deny the hosts. First, he got down well to save Christian Miraudo’s shot from the edge of the box, before pushing away Adrian Manno’s cross shot, and he was up quickly to tip Jordan Allen-Rana’s close-range shot over the top. But the only goal of the game came early in the second half, Hamza Hina turned away from his marker on the edge of the box and crossed to Gavin Knight, who made no mistake from four meters. Knight was in again late, racing one-on-one with Grant, but the keeper stood tall to deny him, but his goal was enough to take all three points.

“All I can really say from today, is we got the done, and we have nine games remaining and we play a cup final every week in our eyes,” Fremantle keeper Barbas explained. “Still definitely a lot of football to be played and apart from our hiccups against Mandurah and Kingsway we have managed to stick to our plan so far this season. Riley van Dieken and Gavin Knight have been great additions for our squad and add another dimension to our attacks, and both to me showed great signs the last three weeks.”

Murdoch University Melville have made it back-to-back wins after a 5-0 win against UWA Nedlands in the ‘University Challenge’ at the UWA Sports Park. “We didn’t know what to expect with all the new signings that UWA made during the week,” MUMFC coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “But full credit to our playing group for a good performance to get the three points and probably just as important that we made a big improvement on our goal difference.” MUMFC hit the front on 24 minutes, Christos Vaenas pouncing on a poor back pass and firing home.

They had to wait till to the hour mark to add a second, Vaenas was pulled down in the box by Thomas Williams, and referee Julian Serra pointed to the spot, and skipper Dan Tait sent Rocco Liberti the wrong way from the resulting penalty. They added a third moments later, Taj Bingwa won possession in the middle of the park, and held off his marker before finding the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box. Bingwa was in again ten minutes from time, firing home from close-range, after Vaenas’ shot was well saved by Liberti, and it was 5-0 two minutes later, Feizal Zaw’s free kick was finished well by Vaenas.

Rockingham City have won the South-West Derby beating Mandurah City 2-1 at Genesiscare Stadium, and inflicting the first home defeat of the season for the hosts. “Going into the game we thought the pressure was more on Mandurah as if we took a result, their title hopes would be over, so we let the players know that in the changing room,” he explained. “The response from these group of players has been second to none, there work rate and desire to win that game yesterday was incredible. We deserved the win no question about it, we were by far the better side. Coming into this project we were looking at a relegation battle and now the lads have got themselves into a position where we should be aiming for top five, so we will enjoy this moment but the work continues next week with another tough game.”

The derby didn’t disappoint with chances at both ends, but the deadlock was broken nine minutes into the second half, Robbie Galvin and Taylor Carter combined on the edge of the box, the latter finding Shaun Mukwevho, who raced into goal and finished low past Alfie Brincat. But their lead only lasted five minutes, Mandurah player/coach John Baird’s well-flighted free kick was glanced home by Craig Barker. It was game on, but the visitors hit back two minutes later to retake the lead. Galvin won possession on the half way line, and raced into goal before finishing clinically past Brincat and raced off to celebrate. The hosts ended the game with nine men after Alex Grayson was shown a straight red card by referee Joshua Nixon, after a lunging tackle on Connor Price, and moments later skipper Harry Collins was shown a second yellow card and sent off.

“We knew the game was going to be a tough one, as we know the quality Mandurah have going forward, but Kris and Darren set us up how we were going to play throughout the week and it all went exactly to plan on the day,” former Mandurah defender Ollie McGee explained. “It was a good day for me playing against my former team, but the only aim today was the three points for Rocky. This is a great platform now for us to push on from here and finish as high as we can on the ladder.”

2.7.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOURTEEN - REVIEW

The points were shared in our State League Division Two ‘Match of the Round’, with Ashfield’s Samuel Faulkner scoring 15 minutes from time against Morley-Windmills, to give both sides a point at Wotton Reserve. “It was a good game, with attacking football from both sides,” Ashfield skipper James Sammut said. “It’s a positive to take more points away from home, hopefully we can start to build from our last couple of results for a positive second half of the season.”

It was a big week at Morley, with the coach bringing in two NPL players in the transfer window, with Steve Purton joining from Sorrento, and Billy Quinncroft from Balcatta. It was a good start for the hosts and they found the opener on 16 minutes, skipper David Heagney on target. But on 75 minutes the visitors found the equaliser, Sam Faulkner made a good run down the right, and cut inside and played a neat one-two with Stephen Barnard on the edge of the box, and raced into the area and slid the ball past Jake Maley-Orr, and both sides shared the points.

League leaders Carramar Shamrock Rovers have seen their lead at the top of the table cut to just one point, after they were beaten 2-1 by Balga at Grandis Park. “A fabulous win for us, keeping our top four hopes alive,” Balga skipper Liam Kessel said. “The boys showed a great display of tactical discipline, grit and character especially after going down to 10 men with 35 minutes to go and being 1-1. It would be understandable to draw or lose from there, but to get a goal and hold out, amazing. We feel we played the better football and wanted the win more, and walked away deserved winners. Couldn’t be prouder of the boys.”

It was the visitors who opened the scoring on 15 minutes, they won possession in the middle of the park and Bleron Mamudi long-range shot hit the post, but Ben Wantee fired home the rebound from the angle. But Rovers hit back and levelled ten minutes before half time, Jack Bardsley pouncing on a mistake and finished clinically past debutant keeper Felix Burdzik. The game took another twist the hour when Wantee received a second yellow card by referee Jatin Lodhia, and sent off. But it was the ten men who won it five minutes later, a throw in found Mamudi, who raced past a couple of Rovers’ defenders and finished well past Daniel Holgate to secure the three points, moving them to within four points of the top four.

Gosnells City are hot on the heels of Rovers, after a stunning 7-2 win against South West Phoenix at Hay Park in Bunbury. “Delighted with the performance and the result,” City Coach Marc Anthony said. “Hopefully we can take that confidence into next week’s local derby against Canning City.” The visitors made the perfect start, with Scott Pereira converting from the spot after only four minutes, and it was 2-0 three minutes later, Jamie Burns finishing off a well worked move. It wasn’t the start new Phoenix coach Gareth Johnston was looking for, but it got worse on 19 minutes, Pereira slamming home after a neat flick by Burns.

It was 4-0 when Burns’ volleyed home on the half hour, before Eddie Wynne-Willson finished well from just inside the box, to make it 5-0. Burns completed his hat-trick just before half time, rounding the keeper to score. The hosts stopped the bleeding after the break and pulled on back on the hour, with keeper Jordan Jones pushing the ball into his own net, but the Gosnells players thought he was pushed by a Phoenix player, but the referee awarded the goal. They added a second 14 minutes later, with Corey Barclay on target, but it was Gosnells who rounded off the scoring late, Aaron Coslani scoring a powerful strike from the edge of the box.

Kingsley Westside and Joondalup City have fought out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Flinders Park. “Better performance from the lads after last week was really pleased with their attitude and effort and in the end probably a fair result,” Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich said. “We now have a quick turnaround when we play Wanneroo on Wednesday night.” It was Joondalup who opened the scoring midway through the first half, defender Sam McCracken pinched a pass from Kingsley in the middle of the park and drove forward before laying the ball off to Hayden Lowe, whose defence-splitting pass found Jack Reilly who finished clinically into the bottom corner. But Kingsley levelled six minutes before half time, after referee Lawson Rimmer pointed to the spot after Luke Salmon was brought down in the box, and Salmon picked himself up to convert the resulting penalty to give both sides a share of the spoils.

“A good point on the road for us against a strong Kingsley Westside side who always put up a tough fight whenever we meet,” Joondalup coach Brad Haywood said. “Although, it does feel a little like two points dropped having conceded the penalty just before half time, but when you weigh that up with the fact, we are missing a lot of key players and had a large portion of our U23s filling our gaps, I’m very proud of the efforts and it just goes to show how many effective young players we have coming through at JCFC. The draw keeps us in contention for a play-offs spot having had results go our way in other games. It’s setting up nicely for a huge game next week against Swan in our battle for top four and we are already focusing on the areas we need to improve before next weekend.”

Wanneroo City bounced back from their loss at Balga last week, with a 2-1 win against Curtin University at Wanneroo Reserve. “It was a huge three points for us, we started well, failed to score early then a very soft penalty award to Curtin was scored and the boys showed great fight to get back into the game soon after,” Wanneroo coach Jesse Bridgeman explained. “Then the second goal was important for the confidence, then being reduced to ten men with 20 minutes to play made it tough, but the boys were very disciplined and deserved the win. The visitors opened the scoring early, with Theodore Chapota scoring from the spot, but the hosts levelled, when Aaron Louttit headed home Daragh Kavanagh’s cross. Wanneroo added a second, Will Woodhall getting on the end of a Conor Dolan pass. The hosts found themselves down to ten men 20 minutes from time, but they held firm to collect three vital points.”

Swan United have also returned to winning ways after a 4-1 win against Canning City at Burrendah Reserve, that ended a three-game losing run. “It was a solid performance, against an improving Canning side,” United striker John Monterosso said. “It was also important for us to get us back into the winners circle and hopefully we can build momentum for a strong run home.” United found the opener early, Ben Greaves heading home at the back post from a corner. It was 2-0 on 27 minutes, some neat build up play found Michael Maratea, and his cross found Monterosso who finished into the bottom corner. It was 3-0 four minutes later, and just like the first Greaves headed home at the back post, and they added a fourth before the break Jordan Lyle beating his marker and finishing from outside the box. Cameron Hewitt scored a late consolation goal for the hosts.

1.7.2022

REFEREES STAND UNITED

Last week in a Belt-Up Amateur Premier League game, a young referee was king-hit by a player, which has brought to a head the abuse, harassment and intimidation referees receive each week, and a response from the governing body (Football West) regarding the matter, was not what the elite referee panel were looking for. In the response it stated ‘Physical assaults, however rare, will not be tolerated and Football West will enforce the strictest penalties possible in such cases.’ But that wasn’t the support the referees were after, as these sorts of incidents happen every week, and they released this open letter to the WA Football family.

“We all love football. Each weekend hundreds of referees go out to venues across Western Australia to facilitate games at all levels. Unfortunately, every weekend referees receive unreasonable levels of abuse, harassment and intimidation. We are disappointed about the alleged assault of a match official on Sunday 26th June. This is completely unacceptable in football. We also welcome the statement from the club involved that action is being taken against the individual concerned. However, we are disheartened by the statement released from Football West on Wednesday 29th June.

To call this incident rare is to diminish the systematic issues and failures of the culture that currently exist in our game. This incident is not isolated. Sadly, there are many similar incidents each week where referees are abused, threatened and intimidated. The severity and frequency of these incidents is on the rise and we are extremely concerned for the ongoing safety and well-being of referees. We need to do better.

To stand in solidarity with our colleagues, all Elite panel referees from this weekend will cover the RESPECT branding from our uniforms in matches that we officiate. We encourage referees across all competitions to do the same. These actions will continue until the relevant Competition Standing Committees and the Football West Board can demonstrate that they are taking tangible steps to improve the safety of grounds for officials. This includes: 1 Promoting a positive culture where abuse is stamped out by club members. 2 Ensuring competition rules around protecting the safety of match officials are adhered to without reminders or reports from senior referees. Currently this is not the case, and we can all do better.

Referee retention, especially for younger match officials, is an issue for the game which impacts all stakeholders. The footballing community would have observed and been impacted by reduced referee numbers, and we cannot sustain this. Referees need the support from clubs and the governing body to ensure that we can continue to referee matches to the best of our ability. This will allow us to continue to develop our skills, and, most importantly for all participants, have a safe and enjoyable experience that keeps us coming back each weekend. The referee group is willing to assist Football West in promoting our trade and encourage the football community to give it a go for themselves. Yours in football, The Elite Referee Panel.

The elite panel would like the opportunity to meet with the Football West board and discuss what resources are needed to drive positive change for all in the game, because they are losing so many referees or declining appointments, we just want to have a positive environment again. Let’s remember, without referees we wouldn’t have a game, and as the letter explained, young refs are walking away from the game due to the abuse and intimidation they are receiving from players, and that is totally unacceptable. Football West should provide a safe workplace for their employees, and is that being provided, well you can see it isn’t after last week's shocking incident. The player has been banned for life from the game, but it needs to stop NOW and the governing body need to drive this not the referees, over to you Football West.

1.7.2022

NPL-WA ROUND FIFTEEN - PREVIEW

There is another top of the table clash this weekend in the Men’s NPLWA, as leaders Floreat Athena make the trip to the RedStar Arena to take on second placed Perth RedStar. (All games kick off a 3.00pm, unless otherwise stated) The hosts are coming off a loss at Inglewood United last week, and will be without skipper Ryan Lowry, who was sent off in the 0-1 defeat. Floreat on the other hand, are on a three-game winning streak, and the latest was a 4-0 win against Perth Glory last week, so they head north full of confidence.

Floreat’s Nick Ambrogio said last week’s win was well-deserved, but they had to stay patient. “We’re really pleased with the win against Glory, it was a solid performance from back to front,” he said. “Everyone knows Glory can keep the ball well therefore we had to stay patient, lay the trap and wait for our chance to press them and force a mistake, which happened on a few occasions one resulting in a goal for Rob Petkov. So, to have a clean sheet as well as scoring a few goals gives us some momentum heading into a mouth-watering clash against RedStar.”

Ambrogio, who has bagging three league goals this season, said games against ECU/RedStar are always competitive, and he is expecting more of the same on Saturday. “Games between the two sides has become a bit of a healthy rivalry in recent times, it seems whenever both teams face each other it’s a game worth more than three points and this week’s encounter is no different,” he explained. “Both squads have some serious quality so I expect an exciting game for both sets of fans and the neutrals.”

RedStar defender Blair Govan said the loss at Inglewood was a tough one, but they had chances to take something from the game, even down to ten men. “Yes, last week was a tough one to take, we gave them a goal really, and from then on they never really came out their own half,” he said. “It didn’t seem like we were a man down in the second half the way we were playing, but it was just one of those days where nothing seems like it’s going your way, but we move on.”

Govan, who joined the club from Gwelup this season, said Saturday will be huge game, with the top two sides battling it out, and he said they are determined to bounce back. “Floreat this week will be a tough game as always, we want to get top spot back, and they want to go ahead, so it adds a little bit extra to a game that’s always exciting,” he explained. “We’re looking to bounce back and if we keep the intensity we played with last week with 10 men, then I think we will give ourself a good chance.”

In other games this weekend, the inform Perth SC make the trip to Percy Doyle Reserve to take on Sorrento, who got back to winning ways at Gwelup last week, while Cockburn City entertain Inglewood United at Dalmatinac Park, and with both sides on unbeaten runs, this one should be a cracker. Perth Glory and Stirling Macedonia will be hoping their recent form turns, sooner rather than later when they meet at Crazy Domain Stadium, Hartfield Park on Friday evening (7.30pm), while Bayswater City will look to keep the pressure on the top sides when they visit Wishart Street to take on Gwelup Croatia.

In the final game, Armadale will look to bounce back from defeat against Perth last week, when they visit Grindleford Reserve to take on bottom of the table Balcatta, whose new look side took a good point at Stirling last week. The loss, was their first in four league games, and coach John O’Reilly said it sound strange but they had chances on the day, but just couldn’t put the ball in the net. “I would be more disappointed if we lost by five and didn’t create any chances, but we had loads, but couldn’t convert them, Perth got in blocks and their keeper pulled off a few good saves,” he explained. “We spoke about the game in the changing rooms after, and we’ve had a good week on the track, and will be looking to bounce back on Saturday.”

O’Reilly said the trip to Balcatta will be tough, as they are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, and have brought in some experienced players, but his side have prepared well and looking forward to getting back in the winner’s circle. “Glenn (Grostate) has added some experienced players are they look to get out of the relegation zone, so we know it will be a battle,” he said. “But we are ready for that, we need to show our supporters last week was just a bad at the office, and get back to winning ways.”

1.7.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOURTEEN - PREVIEW

We head into week 14 of the State League Division One, and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Forrest Park where Joondalup United host Dianella White Eagles. (All games kick off at 3.00pm, unless stated) The Eagles are on a good run of form, winning four of their last five games, including a win at Quinns last week, while Joondalup have stuttered in recent weeks, only winning once in their last five games, so three points will be vital for both sides with only two points separating the two sides.

Dianella striker Kristian Despotovski was on target in the win at Quinns, his fifth goal of the season, and he said it was important to keep their good form going. “We knew going into the game at against Quinn’s, that it was a must win game, just as every game coming up are,” he said. “We are starting to play the way we want to and know we can, and everything is just coming together perfectly and hopefully we can keep going.”

A trip to Joondalup is another tough game, but Despotovski said they head there in a confident mood, and will have their fantastic travelling supporters with them. “There’s no doubt that the game will be a tough game, every game no matter what position the team is, is a tough game in this league,” he explained. “We know they will come out fighting as they always do, and I hope we just stick to our game and get the win for our travelling supporters.”

Joondalup conceded late to lose at the Knights last week, and skipper Ben Johns said it was a hard to take, especially after taking the lead early. “It’s never easy losing, but especially in the last couple of minutes, and to be fair the game sort of sums up our season so far in a lot of ways,” he said. “Leading at half time and then not being able to play out the full 90 minutes and things not going our way.”

Johns said Saturday is a big game, and they want to bounce back and hopefully kick start their push for the rest of the season, but knows the visitors are in good form. “Dianella will come in full of confidence after a good run of form lately, but we’re confident in the team we have,” he explained. “It’s a massive game, and one that will ultimately shape the rest of the season for us. I’m sure the boys will bounce back after last week’s disappointment.”

League leaders Olympic Kingsway are on the road again this week, when they visit Gumblossom Park to take on Quinns, looking to consolidate their five-point lead at the top, while second placed Western Knights head to Crazy Domain Stadium, Hartfield Park to take on Forrestfield, hoping for a fourth straight win. It’s a university challenge at the UWA Sports Park, as bottom of the table UWA Nedlands, look to close the gap on the sides above them when they host Murdoch University Melville, who got back in the winner’s circle last week against Forrestfield, while Subiaco host Fremantle City, who lost ground on the leaders after defeat last week against Mandurah.

In the final game we have a south-west derby as Rockingham City head up the road to Gensiscare Stadium to take on the inform Mandurah City. The Dolphins moved to third after back-to-back wins against the top two sides, while Rockingham eased their relegation fears with a win against UWA. Rockingham interim coach Kris Donnell has overseen a huge transformation at Lark Hill, with only two defeats in his eight-game tenure, and the latest, last week against UWA, and Donnell said it was a well-deserved win. “I thought we fully deserved our win again Saturday,” he said. “The lads are playing with a lot more confidence now and they are doing everything asked so really pleased to get the last two wins and points back on the table.”

They head into the derby as underdogs, but Donnell, who coached at Mandurah last season, said they go there in a confident mood. “It’s going to be a very tough game on Saturday, Mandurah are in great form and have quality all over the pitch,” he explained. “But it’s a derby and we’ve came in to a bit of form ourselves so we won’t be going there to have our pants pulled down. I think these games are about who has the most heart and desire to come away with the result, so I’m looking forward to it.”

1.7.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOURTEEN - PREVIEW

In our State League Division Two ‘Match of the Round’, we concentrate on the bottom end of the table, as Morley-Windmills welcome Ashfield to Wotton Reserve. (All games kick off at 3.00pm unless otherwise stated) Both sides had big ambitions for a top four spot before the start of the season, but they have struggled so far. They both bounced back with big wins last week, to keep their top four hopes alive, ninth-placed Ashfield thrashing South West Phoenix, while eighth-placed Morley came home from Curtin with a 3-1 win, and with only two points separating the two sides, three points are vital.

Morley had a big win at Curtin last week, who had been on a good run of form, so to go there, so coach Darran Quinncroft said to come home with the points, can hopefully kick start your season. “Yes, to go away from home and grab a 3-1 win was a great win for us,” he said. “The boys have been working hard to turn around the poor start and started to play some great football and are improving every week.”

Quinncroft said Saturday’s opponents had a big win last week, and with only two points separating the two sides, this one should be a good game, but he is expecting three points. “Ashfield have to be respected they have come off a good win, but we be looking to win comfortable,” he explained. “We have signed a few players over last couple weeks and looking to really give this second half of the season a go and build some good form.”

Ashfield’s win against Phoenix, was their first in ten rounds, and defender Anthony Mihalj said it was vital after they were well beaten at Gosnells the week before. “It was an important win in the context of our season, opening up a gap between the teams below us, has given us a boost of confidence, especially coming off a disappointing result against Gosnells the week prior, we knew we needed to react well and we certainly did that,” he explained. “We focussed on playing the attacking brand of football that we know we can deliver and I thought we were well worth our 5-0 win. The teams now geared up for a big second half of the season to try and finish as high as possible.”

Mihalj said they will be looking for a repeat of the game at home earlier in the season, when they won, and will be doing all they can to get the win. “We're looking forward to the game, it should be a fierce contest especially with both teams coming off of a win and aiming to get themselves up the ladder,” he said. “They've added to their team since our first meeting when we came out winners in a tough battle, but we'll keep the focus on ourselves while on the track this week. We know what we can achieve when we stick to our guns and play to our strengths, which is what we'll need as we try to leave Morley with the three points.”

League leaders Carramar Shamrock Rovers welcome Balga to Grandis Park, aiming to maintain their four-point lead at the top of the table, while the visitors will look to build on their four-game run without defeat. Third placed Kingsley Westside welcome fifth placed Joondalup United to Flinders Park (2.00pm), both looking to get back to winning ways, likewise Canning City and Swan United who meet at Burrendah Reserve, while Wanneroo City entertain Curtin University at Wanneroo Reserve.

In the final game, second placed Gosnells City head to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix at Hay Park. Gosnells scored late to beat Swan last week, while the 0-5 loss at Ashfield saw the end of the tenure of Phoenix coach Nick Carter, and he has been replaced by Gareth Johnston, who said he will work hard to turn things around. “Obviously I have been with Nicky past 18 months at the club as his assistant and have gone through this journey together,” he said.

“The club felt it had to change things up going into the second half of the season and they have given me the role until the end of the season, which I have agreed to and will change a few things up on and off the field to try and start moving up the ladder. The boys know my background as a player at the club and as a coach, so this will not be new to them as how I operate and what I expect of them.”

Johnston said Saturday is a huge game, and they need to start picking up points, sooner rather than later. “Last week was a heavy lose to Ashfield, when you’re struggling and conceding goals it’s a confidence thing, so now the challenge for the players and myself as a coach is to change that quickly,” he explained. “Gosnells on Saturday is another big challenge with both clubs either end of the ladder, we played them few weeks ago mid-week and lost narrowly, it’s a matter for us now to start picking up points.”

1.7.2022

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND ELEVEN PREVIEW

We’ve reached the final round of the first half of the Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division, and we head to Woodville Reserve for our ‘Match of the Round’ as North Perth United, welcome East Perth. (1.00pm) Both sides are coming off big win, the hosts beating Quinns 4-1 on the road, while East Perth edged out Kwinana United at home, and with only two points separating the two sides on the table, this one should be a great contest.

North Perth defender Mark Donnelly said the win at Quinns continued their good form, and was one of their best displays of the season. “Good result away, building on some improving results and the first half was probably our best performance of the season in terms of our pressing and attacking possession,” he explained. “Quinn’s made it hard in the second half, but a great finish and assist from Connor Engelbrecht secured us the points.”

Donnelly said the league is tight and you can’t take anyone lightly or you will get punished, and he expecting a real tough game against East Perth. “Every week is a big game with most team capable of a result on their day,” he said. “East Perth have had a great start, and have a game in hand on us so the gap could be bigger, but we’ll just keep focusing on our own performance and hopefully the results will keep coming.”

The win against Kwinana consolidated third place for East Perth, and coach Colm Costello said it was a good response from their loss at Jags. “It was a very good win last week against a top Kwinana side, and we seemed to score at important times and overall, a good performance from the lads to dig deep for the three points,” he said. “We knew after the Jags defeat a win was so important to keep knocking on the door of the top sides.”

Costello said North Perth have been one of the form teams in the league recently, and is expecting another tight encounter on Sunday. “It is a really six-pointer on Sunday,” he said. “Kevin (Flavin) came in late to take the reins, but it’s obvious he’s now implementing his style and way of playing as results don’t lie. North Perth is the inform team in the league now and it should be a cracking fixture. These are the games players want to play in and we are really looking forward to a huge battle as always in Woodville.”

In other games, league leaders Jags will be looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season at Maddington last week, when they host Kelmscott Roos at Herb Graham Recreation Centre (All games kick off at 3.00pm, unless otherwise stated) Peel United entertain Joondalup United at Bortolo Reserve, while Queens Park will look to put their problems from last week behind them when they host Wembley Downs at Coker Park. Emerald welcome Quinns to Fraser Park Reserve (1.00pm), while Maddington White City will hope to build on their when against Jaguar, when they visit Kelly Park to take on Kwinana United.

Kwinana were edged out in a tight contest at East Perth last week, and coach Mark Purvis said the game could have gone either way. “Disappointing to lose last week, although there’s no shame in being beat by a team with that many good players and as you say it was a tight game,” he explained. “However, we were disappointed with the way in which we conceded all three goals, they capitalised on our errors which against East Perth you just can’t afford to do.”

Purvis said Sunday is going to be a huge test, but one they are relishing. “Best thing about this league is all the games are so difficult and they don’t come much tougher than Maddington,” he said. “They had a great win last week against a top Jags team who are proving to be this year’s front runners. They have some very talented players and are a very good side, but we are also a good side, so it’s going to be a great game and I know we will give all we have to get the three points.”

1.7.2022

NPL-WA WOMEN'S ROUND FOURTEEN - PREVIEW

The Womens NPLWA heads into week 14, with everyone still chasing runaway leaders Perth RedStar, and they feature in our ‘Match of the Round’ when they host Balcatta at the RedStar Arena on Saturday evening (5.00pm) Balcatta’s recent good form came to an end against Fremantle City last week, while the RedStar’s marched on beating MUMFC 2-0, and they also reached the State League Cup Semi-Final, after a big win at Armadale in midweek.

Balcatta coach Steve Atkins said it was tight game last week, but they did have chances to take something from the game. “Fremantle are a quality side of which we were able to gain the three points in a catch-up game a few days earlier, but we knew that this game would be a massive contest and they would be out for revenge,” he explained. “To our girls’ credit, although we looked a little flat, we battled hard and kept trying but couldn’t sustain the pressure of Fremantle in particular the second half. A couple of chances for us to get something out of the game but we fell short on this occasion. We did however play some strong defensive discipline and effort and dangerous attacking which was great to see. Ultimately, we shared the points over the two games, we learn and we move on to the next challenge.”

That next challenge is a trip to the leaders, and Atkins said he’s looking forward to testing themselves against the unbeaten RedStar. “A great challenge this weekend and we go into this game with confidence that we can work hard, stick to our game plan and aim to challenge a strong and in form RedStar team,” he said. “We are aware of their obvious dangers and threats throughout the squad, but have the belief in our players to do a job collectively, be disciplined and hopefully cause them some concerns. Each week offers a new and exciting challenge and opportunity to test ourselves as we move towards the final few games of the season. No doubt this will be an entertaining game and we hope to regain some of the great form we have illustrated over the last few weeks.”

RedStar continued their winning season last week at MUMFC, their twelfth in a row, before a big win in the cup at Armadale in midweek, and coach Carlos Vega-Mena said clubs are coming out more defensive against them, but his side is continuing to create chances which id pleasing. “We were happy with the win against MUM FC on the weekend, and we also had a State Cup game this week and travelled to Armadale Soccer Club for the Quarter Final on Wednesday night,” he explained. “I was impressed with the club’s Women’s State League team, who are well organised and showed a strong desire and determination on the pitch.

“Our girls were able to showcase their playing style in this match, we saw solid passing and movement and watched them working hard to maintain and recover possession of the ball for the full 90 minutes. We are expecting teams to modify their game in an effort to block our attacking style of play, but the girls are patient on the pitch and continue to work as a team to get results. Even though we are now coming up against more defensive strategies I am very pleased to see the girls focussing on keeping possession of the ball and continuing to create. and convert, opportunities.”

Vega-Mena said Balcatta have been in good form, and will be another tough opponent, and his players will need to be at their best to get the result on Saturday evening. “Up until last week Balcatta was on a winning streak, and they came close to winning the game against Fremantle on the weekend,” he said. “They are always a well organised team and are dangerous on the pitch. They have some solid players and we will need to perform on the day to get the result.”

In other games Curtin University entertain Subiaco at Edinburgh Oval on Friday evening (8.00pm), while on Sunday Perth SC welcome Murdoch University Melville to Dorrien Gardens (3.00pm), while in the final game Fremantle City host the Hyundai NTC Women at Hilton Park. Both sides are coming off wins, the NTC thrashing Curtin, while Fremantle best Balcatta 2-1. Jamie-Lee Gale was on target in the win at Balcatta, and she is looking forward to the second half of the season.

“After playing Balcatta for a mid-week catchup game, we knew it was going to be tough and we would have to be on our game from the start. We did just that and started well with an early goal but then conceded right before half time with a penalty,” she explained “But we didn’t drop our heads and kept a high press in the second half, and Dayle Schroeder was our hero saving two penalties before we scored our second from a switch of play and an amazing shot from Tash. Trying a new formation recently, we are seeing a lot more of our players strengths come through and we are excited for the second half of the season, starting on Sunday against the NTC.”

29.6.2022

GILLINGHAM SECURE MAYNARD-BREWER ON SEASON-LONG LOAN

Gillingham manager Neil Harris has made his second signing in as many days with the capture of goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer on a season-long loan from Charlton Athletic. The 23-year old will commence training with his new teammates immediately and could feature in this weekend's pre-season friendly at Folkestone Invicta.

This will be Maynard-Brewer's sixth loan spell away from the Addicks having experienced first team action previously at Chelmsford City, Hampton and Richmond Borough, Dulwich Hamlet, Dover Athletic and, last season, Scottish Premier League side Ross County where he made 17 appearances, keeping three clean sheets in the process.

Maynard-Brewer began his career with ECU Joondalup before being snapped up by Charlton in 2015. He progressed through the clubs' academy to make his professional debut in November 2018 in an EFL Trophy tie at home to Swansea. The highly-rated stopper is an Australian Under-23 international, making his debut in 2021 in friendlies against Romania and Mexico.

29.6.2022

YOUNG COMMITS TO GLORY

Young defender Jacob Young is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father after signing a one-year scholarship contract with Perth Glory. The 22-year old, whose father Stuart made 22 appearances for Glory between 2005 and 2007, was promoted to the senior side during the 2021/22 A-League season after being a regular starter in this years National Premier Leagues.

Young made two senior appearances for Glory last season following a spell in Europe. He played his early football with Cockburn City before joining Sunderland in 2016 where he featured regularly for the club’s Under-18 and Under-23 sides. A move to German club Hoffenheim II followed three years later for the left-footed centre-back.

"I'm happy to have signed an extension for the coming season," Young said. "To be able to represent my home city and follow in my dad's footsteps is something I have been looking forward to since being back in Australia. I've had a small taste of A-League football and now earning minutes and playing as many games as possible are my individual goals for the season.

"After a hectic last season, it will be good to have some normality back and to play in front of the home crowd. I've had a brief conversation with (coach) Ruben (Zadkovich) and I know his ambitions for myself and the team are high. He's a winner and will instil a winning mentality within the group."

Zadkovich praised Young’s ability and mentality. "Top attitude. Top professional. Top person," the Glory boss said. "Jacob is a very talented young defender whom I believe has a huge amount of unfulfilled potential. He has really knuckled down and focused on getting his body right. This year's pre-season will give him the chance to continue his growth and excel at the next level."

29.6.2022

WILLIAMS JOINS THE CENTURY CLUB

Katanning-born goalkeeper Lydia Williams has notched her 100th appearance for Australia. The 34-year old joined fellow West Australians Lisa De Vanna and Samantha Kerr in achieving the milestone by captaining the Matildas into the overnight 1-1 friendly draw with Portugal in Estoril.

“To be honest, I wouldn’t have dreamt that I would have come this far,” Lydia said in the lead-up to playing Portugal. “So really, it’s just an honour and a privilege. One hundred caps is really cool. I would have never believed you if you had told me that when I was first playing. This is my favourite team to play for.”

Lydia began her journey with the Matildas at the age of 17, debuting against the Korea Republic in July 2005. She has gone on to become the nations most decorated shot-stopper with four World Cup and five Asian Cup selections in addition to appearances at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games tournaments.

26.6.2022

NPL-WA WOMEN'S ROUND THIRTEEN - REVIEW

It was another entertaining weekend of football in the Women’s NPLWA, and in our ‘Match of the Round’ Fremantle City have bounced back from defeat against Balcatta Etna at home in midweek, beating them 2-1 at Grindleford Reserve on Sunday afternoon. The visitors were on the front foot early, and found the opener on the quarter hour, Katarina Jukic eased past three Balcatta defenders, before sending Jamie-Lee Gale in on goal, and she finished clinically past Gabby Dal Busco.

Fremantle went close again with Tash Rigby’s effort crashing off the bar, but the hosts hit back and Tahlia D'Opera saw her long-range shot pushed over the top by Dayle Schroeder, but from the resulting corner, Balcatta levelled. Angelique Alberts’ corner was cleared but struck the arm of Natasha Rigby, and referee Stephen Knight pointed to the spot. Monique Godding stepped up and sent Schroeder the wrong way from the resulting penalty.

The referee pointed to the spot again early in the second half, Alberts made space down the left, her cross found Godding, her shot on the turn hit the arm of Coral Buxey, and once again Knight pointed to the spot. This time Lauren Continibali stepped up, but Schroeder guessed the right way to save. But the referee spotted some encroachment and gave Balcatta another penalty. Continibali stepped again, and drilled the ball down the middle, but Schroeder got a foot to it and saved, much to the delight of her teammates.

Balcatta went close again when winger Mia Yeo fired wide, after good work down the right by Continibali, but it would be the visitors who won it five minutes from time. Jukic cut in from the left and found Kayla McCulloch, see picked out Tash Rigby on the right, and she raced past her marker, before her cross-shot just beat the outstretched arms of Dal Busco to seal the win.

Perth RedStar continued their march to the title, after a 2-0 win against Murdoch University Melville at the Besteam Stadium on Saturday evening. “This is the second round and we are expecting teams to prepare for their games against us based on our performance so far this season. MUM FC had a game plan for our match on the weekend and stuck to it very well,” RedStar coach Carlos Vega-Mana explained. “In the first half we remained composed and patient, committed to playing our style of football.

“We created several opportunities throughout the match which either hit the bar or were stopped by the MUM FC goalkeeper, who had a great game. Our solid approach to the game prevented MUM FC from creating their own chances. In the second half, we were determined to chip away at the line and break through. Our composure and patience paid off when we managed to capitalise on two opportunities, bringing home the three points and keeping up our momentum.”

It was a tight game, with MUMFC holding their own, but it was the visitors who were creating the better chances, and their pressure was finally rewarded when they found the opener on 73 minutes. Sarah Carroll’s ball in from the right found Carla Bennett, her shot was well saved by Monique Todd, but Renee Leota fired home the rebound. They sealed the points in the final minute, Bennett’s corner was headed against the crossbar by Jay Coleman, but Olivia Wood made no mistake from close-range.

The round started on Friday evening, with the Hyundai NTC Women’s side ending a two-game run without a win, after a 7-0 win against Curtin University at E&D Litis Stadium. The hosts burst the game wide open early, scoring five goals in the first 23 minutes. They opened the scoring on nine minutes Olivia Trueman raced down the left and crossed to Ischia Brooking, who fired home. They added a second four minutes later, Grace Johnston, deep cross found Trueman at the back post, and she headed back across goal and Anna Powell bundled the ball over the line. They added the third moments later, Johnston’s corner wasn’t dealt with by Curtin, and Powell fired home.

Tanika Lala added a fourth on 21 minutes, pouncing on a defensive mistake, and she made it 5-0 two minutes later, again profiting on a defensive error. Curtin had the ball in the net on the half hour, but Taylor Reid’s goal was disallowed for a push on NTC keeper Lily Bailey. But the NTC went on with it after the break, and on the hour, Powell completed her hat-trick turning home Louise Tana’s cross, and Lala did likewise from the spot ten minutes from time, to seal a comprehensive win. The other game this weekend between Subiaco and Perth SC at Rosalie Park was postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.

26.6.2022

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND TEN REVIEW

The Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division leaders have been beaten for the first time this season, going down 3-1 to Maddington White City in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Mills Park on Sunday afternoon. “It was a very high intensity game with both teams giving it their all,” Maddington’s Farruh Mavlonov said. “We managed to go into half time scoring two goals, and scored another in the second half. It was a more even contest towards the end of the game, when Jaguar pulled a goal back, but scoring three goals against the previously unbeaten Jags, is a great result for our club.”

Maddington, who kicked started their season with a win in midweek against Joondalup, were on the front foot early, and hit the front on 14 minutes, with David Sarria on target. They doubled their advantage five minutes before half time, Jose Zuniga produced a great goal, scoring from long range with a chip over the Jags keeper. The second half was end-to-end, but it was Maddington who found a third on 68 minutes, Zuniga converting from the spot. Mabor Thomas pulled one back ten minutes later for Jags, and they pressed late looking for more, but Maddington held firm to take the points.

Second placed Kwinana United missed the opportunity to close the gap on Jags, after they were also beaten 3-2 by third placed East Perth at Inglewood Stadium. “We are delighted with not only the win but the way the lads bounced back after last week defeat to Jags, a lot of lads stepped up today when it was needed Adam Giannasi, just back from Covid, and put in a massive performance for us today,” East Perth coach Colm Costello explained. “We dug deep today and very proud of the whole squad, we knew how important it was to keep knocking on the door today and the reaction against a top side was impressive. Hopefully we can bring that performance into a very busy week for the club.”

East Perth found the opener on the quarter hour, an interception from Niall Murray found Nicky Carroll, whose cross-field ball found Liam McManus, who turned the defender and his deflected shot beat Kwinana keeper Ellis Roberts. But the visitors hit back ten minutes later, with Josh Mackinder scoring. But East Perth regained the lead just before half time, McFeeley was brought down and Giannasi converted from the spot.

The hosts added to their lead early in the second half, a great ball from McManus found Giannasi and the keeper dropped the ball after they collided, and Giannasi turned and shot into the net from an acute angle, despite the Kwinana protests. Kwinana weren’t finished and the lively Wayne Carter pulled one back with 17 minutes remaining, and they pressed for the equaliser, but the hosts hung on to claim a very valuable three points.

North Perth United moved to third after a 4-1 win against Quinns at Gumblossom Park on Saturday evening. “I thought it was our best first half so far, the ball movement, pressing, intensity was right there and good for the front three to get in on the goals,” United skipper Kelechi Osunwa explained. “Quinns changed thing up in the second half and gave us problems, but luckily Connor Engelbrecht was in top form and we know how dangerous he is on his day.” It was a perfect start for Kevin Flavin’s side, and they found the opener after only nine minutes, Mark Romeo getting on the end of a corner from Scott Wrightson at the back post.

It was 2-0 when Wrightson caught the Quinns keeper off guard, his low free kick snuck in from a tight angle on the left. Engelbrecht added a third, after half time, he picked the ball on the left from halfway, beat two players on his way to the edge of the box, before finding the top right-hand corner of the net. Quinns pulled one back on the hour, after referee Anastasios Paraskevas spotted a foul in the box, and skipper Thomas Ashworth scored from the resulting penalty. But North Perth snuffed out their comeback on 72 minutes, Engelbrecht went on another mazy run, this time beating his man on the left, and crossing in for Wrightson to head home.

Emerald consolidated sixth spot after a 4-0 win against Joondalup United at Beldon Park. “Delighted with the performance, we knew if kept the ball, stayed patient, that they would tire especially after their midweek game and our chances would come, and that’s how it panned out,” Emerald coach Shane O’Donovan explained. “To score four goals and keep a clean sheet, not much more we could ask for. Hopefully now we can get a bit of a run together and move back up the league.”

They found the break through just before half time, Shane Flynn tapping home from two yards after the Joondalup keeper dropped the ball. It was 2-0 on 63 minutes, Andrew Wood cutting the ball back to Shane Flynn, for a simple finish. They added a third two minutes later, Ryan Murray broke through the defence to fire a low shot past the keeper from the edge of the box. They completed the scoring 20 minutes from time, Wood racing through the defence, and calmly finishing past the keeper.

Kelmscott Roos moved clear of the relegation zone after a 1-0 win against Queens Park in the local derby at Frye Park. Kelmscott keeper Thomas Livingston said the result wasn’t the major talking point from the game. “As your probably already aware the game was abandoned on 21 minutes after our striker Alex Ekeze was fouled in the box and a penalty was awarded,” he explained.

“But the Queens Park player reacted badly and took his frustration out on the young referee. It was disgraceful, and being a former player at Queens Park I know that is not a representative of the club, but the individual should feel the full wrath of the Football West disciplinary hearing.” The only goal was scored on five minutes, Ishmael Greywood cross found Ekeze, and he finished well past Ross Brown. But I’m afraid the actions of one individual finished the game early, and Football West have given the game as a forfeit, with Kelmscott being given a 3-0 win.

In the final game Peel United are up to seventh after a 4-2 win against Wembley Downs at Butlers Reserve. “Wembley presented some tough pitch conditions, and have been in the league for a long time so the game was always going to be challenging,” peel coach Clint Brown explained. “Wembley looked handy on the counter attack, but we managed to stay structured and worked towards our game plan and came home with the points.” It was Peel who opened the scoring on the half hour, a goal kick from Jack Eldred sent Jack Richardson clear and he lobbed the on-coming keeper. They found a second nine minutes into the second half, Jake Loreto finishing off a neat build up.

But the hosts were back in it on the hour, Luke Thistlethwaite pounced on an error and firing past Eldred. But Peel hit back 12 minutes later to make it 3-1, Faris Noor Rani volleying home from a corner. But Wembley weren’t finished and they, reduced the margin again, with Thistlethwaite scoring a stunner into the top corner. But Peel made sure of the points three minutes from time, Alec Smith shot beating Jeff Cornez. “Wembley were a hard team who never gave up and showed a lot of promise throughout the game,” Peel keeper Jack Eldred said. “Just our boys were very well structured and kept composure at times of their pressure and we played some very nice football which I think we walked away worthy winners in the end, but for a young side they’ve got a lot of growth and will cause any team in our league problems for many seasons to come.’

25.6.2022

TEN-MAN BALCATTA HOLD STIRLING

Stirling Macedonia’s run without a win has been stretched to five games, after they were held to a 0-0 draw in the local derby against Balcatta in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. The draw for the visitors moving them to within three points of Gwelup at the foot of the table, and they also have a game in hand, but they are still searching for their first win of the season. “A massive result for the boys, everyone dug in and got a point which was more than deserved,” Balcatta defender Billy Quinncroft said. “Going down to 10 men, put even more pressure on us, but we managed the game well which gave us a much-needed point.”

The hosts went close early in front of another big crowd, Sam Wynne’s mazy run ended with a shot from the edge of the box, but Caelan Cooper tipped it over the top. They went close again on the quarter hour mark, a defensive mistake let in Michael Domfeh, he played the ball back to Wynne, but his shot was straight at Cooper. Stirling continued to dictate terms and they were in again moments later, Domfeh’s shot beat Cooper but the alert Luke Alessandrino headed the ball off the line.

Stirling were on the front foot after the break and Domfeh was denied by Cooper early, the keeper reacting well to save Alex Tanevski follow up effort. Balcatta forced a number of corners as they pressed for their first win of the season and Ben Hinshelwood couldn’t direct her header on target on the hour, but the game took a twist 14 minutes later when the visitors were reduced to ten men when Ben Ford was shown a second yellow card by referee David Bruce for a tackle on Luke Garas.

From the resulting free kick, Calvin Whitney’s effort flashed just wide of the post. Whitney went close again 12 minutes from time, this time his shot from the edge of the box was parried by Cooper. The visitors were hanging on and after a good run down the right by Tanevski he crossed to 19S, but he shot straight at Cooper when well placed. 19I went close again on 84 minutes, racing into the box, but Cooper was out bravely to save at his feet. Moments later Luke Palmateer tried his luck from long-range, but Cooper was equal to it, with a smart save to his right. Cooper was keeping his side in the game and he saved his best till last, saving superbly to deny Whitney’s overhead kick in stoppage time.

“I felt we dominated from kick off having two clear cut chances in the first 10 minutes of the game and not putting them away which was our biggest enemy as the game went on,” Stirling defender Hristijan Jankuloski explained. “We kept the ball well, passing it around trying to break them down as they had 10 men behind the ball. We had 20+ shots, but we couldn’t get onto the score sheet and shared the points which wasn’t a great result for us.”

25.6.2022

FLOREAT FLEX THEIR MUSCLES AGAINST GLORY

Floreat Athena have continued their good form and moved to the top of the NPLWA Men’s table after a comprehensive 4-0 win against Perth Glory at E&D Litis Stadium. “It was a great result for us, and it was a very professional performance by the lads, and everyone did exactly what we had to do, to stop Glory from playing their free-flowing football,” Floreat defender Dennis Galan explained.

“It’s our third win in a row which helps grow confidence week by week. We did suffer for a couple weeks with injuries, suspension and Covid, but everyone is slowly getting back to full fitness, which is great, as we now have options coming off the bench which have been helping get results over the last couple of games. But there still plenty of games left, so we will keep taking it game by game and not get ahead of ourselves.”

The hosts were on the front foot from the start and Robert Petkov tested Adrian Sinagra early, but his shot was straight at the Glory custodian. Both sides had half chances, but it was Floreat who hit the front on 34 minutes, Nick Ambrogio’s corner wasn’t dealt with and Jesse Fuller turned the ball home from close-range. They doubled their lead six minutes later, Glory lost possession in the middle of the park and Bayley Brown-Montgomery slid the ball into Petkov, and the striker made no mistake, finding the bottom corner of the net.

Glory went close to pulling one back in first half stoppage time, a cross into the box was heading to Ciaran Bramwell in the box, but Galan got back with a great last-ditch tackle to deny him. Floreat were convinced they should have had a penalty early in the second half when Brown-Montgomery’s shot hit the arm of skipper Chris Donnell, but referee David Avison was well positioned to see the incident, and waved away their strong protests.

Glory hit back and a great run by Lucas Cook ended with a ball into Bramwell, and his shot from the edge of the box was saved low by Jason Saldaris. Ambrogio then saw his free kick well saved by Sinagra, as the chances came at both ends. But six minutes from time Floreat added a third, Ambrogio’s corner was headed in at the back post by Chris Saldaris. The hosts wrapped up the points deep into stoppage time, a corner wasn’t clear by Glory, and Ambrogio’s first time shot found the bottom corner.

25.6.2022

PERTH STUN ARMADALE WITH A FIVE STAR PERFORMANCE

Perth SC have produced their best performance of the season to thrash Armadale 5-0 at Alfred Skeet Reserve. “We’ve been working hard for the last three or four weeks, and we were all down after the loss against Floreat, coping a couple of goals in the last few minutes, but we’ve built on that and today I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory,” Perth coach Marc Wingell said post-match. “We knew they would come out quick early, especially in front of their own fans, and we had to weather that storm, and Luke (Radonich) pulled off a couple of good saves, and once we scored the first couple, I thought we managed the game very well.”

It was Armadale who started the brighter, and went close after only two minutes, Gordon Perkins beat his marker on the right and his low cross found Angel Andres, whose shot was deflected wide. Moments later a free kick from Passalacque picked out Costello, but the skipper couldn’t keep his effort down. It was one-way traffic and Perkins was in again after being sent clear by Peter Jacobsz, but his shot on run was well saved by Luke Radonich. Then from the resulting corner Atta’s shot crashed off the crossbar, and cleared.

But against the run of play it was Perth who found the opener on 18 minutes, Sinclair’s shot on the turn was adjudged to have been handled by an Armadale player, and referee Michal Jasinski pointed to the spot. It looked a little harsh, but Sinclair sent Yousri Gharsallah the wrong way from the resulting penalty. That changed the game and Perth started to get on top and Will Gordon saw an effort flash wide of the target, but ten minutes later they doubled their lead. Joshua Cala sent Gordon down the left, his cross picked out Sinclair, who headed home.

Armadale looked for an immediate response and Perkins was denied one-on-on by Radonich, and from the resulting corner Andres shot was cleared of the line by the alert Cala. Moments later Perkins’ shot on the run was deflected wide, and Jacobsz header from the corner went inches over the top. But Perth was clinical and added a third just before half time, Armadale needlessly turned the ball over in the middle of the park, Mokala played in Zimarino, who finished clinically past Gharsallah. They went close to a fourth in stoppage time Mokala’s curling effort flashing just wide of the target, but at the break the visitors were well in control.

It was 4-0 just after the break, a long ball by Julian Teles sent Mokala racing clear, as the Armadale defenders looked for the offside flag, that never came, the striker raced clear and finished into the corner of the net. Perth continued to boss the game and Sinclair went close to his hat-trick moments later, but his snap shot was saved by Gharsallah. The hosts couldn’t break down a tight Perth defence well marshalled by Teles and Federico Achilli, and on 71 minute the visitors added a fifth. Gordon was the provider again, he broke down the left, and raced to the edge of the box before squaring the ball to Zimarino, and the skipper found the bottom corner, to seal a comprehensive victory for Marc Wingell’s side.

“It was a big win for the boys, as we know Armadale have had the wood on us a couple of times this season and they are in some very good form, so for us to go there and put a very good performance in and come away with a convincing three points,” Perth skipper Paul Zimarino said. “First back-to-back wins of the season too, so I think it’s the beginning of the real push to try and make the four in the second half of the season. We’re still a very young and new team and to see it coming together with Marc and Dales philosophy is great to see.”

25.6.2022

O’BRIEN SPOT ON LATE FOR COCKBURN

Cockburn City skipper Harry O’Brien has scored a stoppage time penalty to, to earn a 1-1 draw against Bayswater City at Frank Drago Reserve, the saw Bayswater miss the chance to keep up with the leaders. “Another great performance and effort from the boys, Mirko made it clear to put our emotions aside from the cup win and to focus and start well on Saturday and exactly that we did,” Cockburn skipper Jesse Lazzaro explained.

“We had a very positive start with some early chance unlucky not to be ahead early, and I felt like we had control of the game and probably deserved more than one point. But with the quality of players Bayswater have, they did trouble us at times but we defender well and our keeper made some big saves again. Pretty pleased not to lose at the very least, and we come back in Tuesday and Thursday work hard and get ready for our game against Inglewood and look to keep that momentum going.”

It was the visitors, who qualified for the State League Cup Final in midweek, who opened the brighter, and they went close after only two minutes, Lazzaro sending Daniel Robinson clear, his shot from the angle was well saved by Nik Speca low to his right. The hosts hit back 18 minutes later, Ndumba Makeche finding Jon Stynes down the left, his shot was well saved by Michael Craggs.

They were in again moments later, but Craggs got down well to save Kosta Sparta’s shot on the turn. Craggs came to Cockburn’s rescue again on 38 minutes, the former Armadale shot stopper, first spread himself well to deny Gordon Smith, before racing back to clear Makeche’s shot off the line. Smith was in again just before half time, again Craggs denied him, and at the break it was scoreless. Harry O’Brien saw his shot from the edge of the box tipped over the top by Speca early in the second half, before Makeche’s shot was straight at Craggs. It like we were heading for a goalless draw, but five minutes from time Bayswater found the opener.

Substitute Jack Allen’s free kick was headed home from close-range by Stynes. But Cockburn weren’t finished and O’Brien shot was saved low by Speca, and then three minutes into stoppage time they were awarded a penalty. Jeff Bright was brought down by Zayd Farah, and referee Joshua Nixon pointed straight to the spot, O’Brien stepped up and fired low past Speca. The action wasn’t over there, and Bayswater almost nicked it late, Allen’s shot was saved low by Craggs, but at the whistle, the points were shared.

25.6.2022

MICHAELE GOAL BEATS THE LEAGUE LEADERS

Inglewood United moved up to sixth after a 1-0 win against a ten-man Perth RedStar at Inglewood Stadium. The only goal of the came from Hermon Michaele mid-way through the first half, the loss saw the visitors knocked off the top of the table. “It was a great win against the most inform team in the league,” Inglewood coach Andres Oliveira said. “We got in front from an excellent finish by Hermon and players stuck together by working for each other to grid out a result.”

The hosts, fresh off back to wins, started brightly and Anthony Bafobusha’s shot early, was saved by RedStar debutant keeper Riley Stephenson. Moments later former Inglewood winger Chok Dau saw his low shot saved by Alex Dunn, but on 22 minutes it was the hosts who found the opener. A poor clearance from Stephenson, went straight to Hermon Michaele, and he fired home from the edge of the box. They went close to a second on the half hour, Chad Nilson’s corner wasn’t cleared and Bafobusha’s shot stung the palms of Stephenson.

But the game took another twist on 36 minutes when Redstar were reduced to ten men, skipper Ryan Lowry pulling back Nilson as he was in on goal, and referee Julian Serra deemed he was the last man and sent him off. RedStar looked for an immediate response, but Sam Pollard’s shot on the run was saved low by Dunn, but at the break it was Inglewood holding a narrow advantage. Inglewood went close to a second early in the second half, but Roberto Del Borrello saw his shot saved low by Stephenson. The visitors dominated possession and forced a number of corners, but they didn’t create any clear-cut chances.

But deep into stoppage time they almost found a share of the points. Sam Pollard’s deep cross found the unmarked substitute Bryce Bafford in the penalty area, but he couldn’t find the target. “Another great result against a top team, the league table never lies and Redstar aren’t top for no reason,” Inglewood striker Harry Evans said. “We’re starting to get that consistency in our results and we’re heading in the right direction, all sticking to the gaffer’s game plan and it’s working. We’re looking forward to the next game and hopefully carrying on this momentum. ‘

25.6.2022

MARULANDA HAT-TRICK BACK TO HAUNT GWELUP

Sorrento have bounced back from back-to-back defeats in league and cup, to beat Gwelup Croatia 4-1 at Wishart Street, with striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda scoring a hat-trick against his former club. The win consolidating fifth spot for the Gulls, while the loss leaves Gwelup looking over their shoulder with Balcatta picking up a point at Stirling. “It was a really good performance from our lads and exactly what we needed after the disappointment of Tuesdays game against Cockburn,” Sorrento coach Trevor Morgan said. “The attitude of the players was unquestionable, and the three points was deserved in our aim towards a top four finish.”

Sorrento went close to the opener on 13 minutes, Tim Hill’s cross was headed over the top by Byungatae Ahn, and Dean Cumming then saw his shot on the run tipped over the top by Cyril Sharrock moments later. But their pressure was rewarded with the lead on the half hour, Hill finding Gustavo Giron-Marulanda down the left, and the former Gwelup striker fired home. They doubled their lead seven minutes later, Hill won possession in the middle of the park, and again found Marulanda, and the Colombian striker finished clinically past Sharrock.

They went close to a third five minutes before half time, Marulanda was the supplier this time picking out Chris Jackson, but his shot was saved low by the alert Sharrock. But it was Marulanda who completed his hat-trick just before half time, Jackson’s cross wasn’t clear and the striker pounced and fired home from five meters. It more of the same after the break, Ollie Annis’ cross from the left found Cummings, but his shot at the back post was saved by Sharrock. The midfielder was in again on the hour, but again Sharrock got down well to deny him.

Gwelup were desperate for a goal, and they went close six minutes later, Roman Castillo shot on the run saved low by Patrick Hughes. But their chances of a comeback ended moments later, Marulanda raced into the box and Gwelup skipper Ciaran Salinger brought him down and referee Shane Skinner pointed to the spot and showed the defender a second yellow card and sent him off. Cummings converted the resulting penalty, sending Sharrock the wrong way. To Gwelup’s credit they continued to press, and Oscar Barry’s cross from the left beat everyone but hit the post, Sebastian Da Silva’s follow up effort was cleared off the line by the alert Mark Barnett.

Sorrento went straight down the other end and Cummings’ shot on the run was saved low by Sharrock. Castillo was then thwarted by Hughes at his near post, but they were rewarded with a consolation goal nine minutes from time. It started at the other end of the pitch as Cummings’ effort crashed off the post, but Kaelan Majeks raced forward and found Barry on the right, his cross was headed back across goal by Majeks, who had continued his run, and Sebastian Hooshangian fired home at the back post.

Sorrento went close to added to their lead late, substitute Zach Dabbs saw his close-range shot saved by the feet of Sharrock, but they headed home with all three points. “We got off to a good start to the game and were focused on getting back to winning ways after the last couple of games,” Sorrento skipper Tim Hill explained. “We were able to put them to the sword in the first half and pretty much have the game wrapped up at half time thanks to Gustavo. Were back to winning ways and hopefully we can continue that over the next few weeks. “

25.6.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THIRTEEN - REVIEW

Mandurah City, who beat league leaders Olympic Kingsway last week, have continued their good form with a 2-0 win against Fremantle City, to leapfrog their opponents, in our ‘Match of the Round’ at Hilton Reserve. “Another great result for us against a top side who was sitting higher on the table then us,” Mandurah’s Hamish van Dieken said. “We created loads of chances throughout the match but were struggling to convert them, but eventually were able to take them. A clean sheet to add to that is always great, and I thought we defended as a unit very well.”

Both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances in the first half, but Mandurah were denied early in the second half, Jordan Barbas spreading himself well to thwart Murray Mackintosh. But they found the opener on 69 minutes, player/coach John Baird’s corner was turned home by Jake Shaked. Fremantle pressed late, and Adrian Ciampini saw his shot flash over the top, as the hosts looked for the equaliser, but it was Mandurah who would seal the points three minutes from time.

Dylan Rogers sending Van Dieken in on goal and he finished well and raced off to celebrate with the travelling supporters. “Outstanding performance from the boys start to finish,” Mandurah coach John Baird said. “Fremantle are a good side which the league table proves, but we dominate the full game and could’ve scored more, clean sheet was pleasing for the team also.”

League leaders Olympic Kingsway have bounced back from their loss at Mandurah last week, with an emphatic 6-1 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park, to extend their lead to five points. “It was great to bounce back with such a strong performance after the Mandurah defeat. That lose has really refocused the squad and I believe you seen that in our performance,” Olympic coach David Tough explained. “It’s very pleasing to have goals coming from all areas of the pitch, and I really think we’ve only scratched the surface with the potential of this squad.”

It was the home side who opened the scoring on 21 minutes, Jordan Allen-Rana raced down the right, his low cross was turned into own net by the unfortunate James Fanelli. But amazingly Fanelli levelled at the other end of pitch moments later, Daniel Harrison’s shot was parried by Keegan Grant, and the defender pounced to score. Then in first half stoppage time the visitors hit the front, David Perich sending Ewan Fawcett clear, and he lobbed the oncoming Grant. It was a tight first half but the second half was a different story, and Olympic increased their lead four minutes in.

Calum O’Connell’s free kick found Harrison on the left, his cross to the back post was headed home by Nick Koefler. It was 4-1 on the hour, Harrison’s free kick found Joshua Samson, whose scorpion kick beat Grant. They added a fifth moments later, Perich’s cross volleyed home by Tyler Garner. The scoring was completed on eight minutes from time, Garner nicked possession in the middle of the park and found substitute Raeez Pandor who made no mistake. “I thought we played extremely well, particularly in the second half. Subiaco came out with purpose and intensity, particularly in their pressing, which we knew they would,” Olympic midfielder Joshua Samson said.

“Obviously disappointing to concede first, but the team’s reaction to conceding the goal is a display of what we are all about. After getting back on level terms I think we controlled the pace of the game and cycled the ball really well, but we were still missing that final quality pass or finish to run away with the game. In the second half our final passes improved and we were able to capitalise on our dominance in the game. As a whole, a really good reaction from last week’s performance and now we go again, fully focused on the next game.”

Western Knights kept the pressure on Olympic, after a late goal from Noah Shamaki gave them a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Joondalup United at Nash Field. “We showed great character and determination to again come from behind and eventually clinch the win in the closing stages of the match,” Knights’ coach Adam Kostrencic said. “A great strike by the captain put us back on level terms and from there we really pressed for the winner. The players introduced in the second half once again made a real impact and it is pleasing that the whole squad is affecting positive outcomes.”

The hosts found the opener five minutes in, Ayden Dragun’s cross found its way to Matt Corrigan, and his shot flew into the top corner of the net giving Matthew Giudicatti no chance. The visitors held their lead until twenty minutes from time, when the Knights restored parity. A throw into the box was helped on to skipper Ryan Cox, whose stunning strike picked out the top corner from the edge of the box. It looked like the points would be shared, but deep into stoppage time the hosts won it. A short corner found Jake Sardelic, his cross to the back post was turned home by substitute Noah Shamaki at the second attempt.

Murdoch University Melville are up to fifth on the ladder after a 2-0 win against Forrestfield United at Bestream Stadium. “I thought our boys were brilliant yesterday and thoroughly deserved the three points,” MUMFC coach Taki Nicolaidis said. “After last week’s disappointment, the reaction was super. Now we need to find some consistency and back it up again next week against UWA.” It was a tight first, but it was the hosts who found the opener just after the hour, some neat build up play ended with Taj Bingwa on the left and his cross was finished by Declan Tanna. They wrapped up the points 12 minutes from time, Pat Serra’s cross was turned home by Tanna. “It was an important win for us against a very competitive Forrestfield side,” Murdoch defender Tim Robertson said. “It was the perfect way to bounce back from a poor result the previous week. We played against Forrestfield only 10 days ago, where we thought we deserved to win that game which gave us a great deal of confidence going in.”

Dianella White Eagles made it three straight wins, with a 2-0 win against Quinns at Gumblossom Park. We started aware of how dangerous the two wingers for Quinn’s are. in saying that we did very well to limit the amount possession they had on the ball,” Dianella Head Coach Bobby Despotovski said. “On the flip side we did extremely well up front and we end up scoring good two goals, and in fairness we could have added couple of more but their keeper did very well on couple of occasions. Overall, very pleasing for the playing group coaching staff and our massive group of travelling fans.”

The visitors found the opener three minutes before half time, Michael McDougal capitalising on poor back pass to win the ball off the keeper and roll the ball into an empty net. They added a second five minutes into the second half, Kieron Colwell’s cross from the right was headed home by Kristian Despotovski. “I thought overall we had the game in control from kick off,” Dianella defender Josh Kuser said. “Quinn’s probably could have had one in the first half which was blocked on the line, but very happy with the result and clean sheet, and hopefully we can keep building.”

Rockingham City have won back-to-back games after a 2-0 win against UWA Nedlands at Lark Hill. “Happy to pick up another three points and more importantly a clean sheet,” Rockingham coach Kris Donnell said. “We could have maybe created more in the final third, but defensively I thought we were excellent.” The hosts were ahead on 23 minutes, Robbie Galvin’s corner was headed home by Shaun Mukwevho. They added a second in similar circumstances just before half time, Galvin’s corner wasn’t dealt with and Nukwevho slammed the ball home.

25.6.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THIRTEEN - REVIEW

Carramar Shamrock Rovers maintained their four-point lead at the top of the State League Division Two table, after a 3-0 win against Joondalup City in our ‘Match of the Round’ at the Iluka Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon. “Great win for us on Saturday, Joondalup, are a well organised and a good team, so very happy to get the three points Rovers’ Ger Fitzgerald said. “We played well and took our chances. It’s a tight league and we just have to keep playing like we are and keep up the intensity at training and go into every game well prepared.”

Rovers were ahead after only two minutes, Jack Bardsley took a throw, which was flicked on by Fitzgerald and Jamie Gibson scored. They doubled their lead on the half hour, Seamus Edwards finishing at the back post after Joondalup failed to clear. They sealed the points, eight minutes into the second half, Kieran Harrison’s corner was headed back in by Fitzgerald, and it hit Joondalup’s Joshua Pasco and rolled into the net for an own goal. The loss ended a seven-game unbeaten run for the hosts.

“It was a great win away from home at a tough ground to go to, but the boys won their individual battles, so I don’t think we ever looked in danger on the day,” Rovers’ assistant coach Adam Walsh explained. “Joondalup have some good players, and are dangerous from set pieces, so we were aware of that threat and dealt with it very well. I thought the back four were solid again especially Tom Forbes he had a great game and raised the bar, so when you see someone giving it their all, it does something to the rest of the lads.”

Gosnells City kept in touch with Rovers, but they left it late to beat Swan United 1-0 at the Swan Italian Club, Francis Street. “The game was what we expected it to be, a real dog fight. Swan worked really hard and put us under an awful lot of pressure,” City’s Conor Kavanagh explained. “But overall, I thought we were value for the win, as I felt we created more and were well on top for the majority of the second half.

“But as I said Swan fought for every ball, and made life really difficult for us. It’s a tough place to go to, and any team going there looking for a win, will really have to work extremely hard for it.” It looked like the points would be shared as the clock ticked in stoppage time, but the winner came on 92 minutes. Gosnells won a free kick just outside the box, after some sustained pressure, and Kavanagh saw enough space to be able to curl the ball around the wall and into the corner, via a slight deflection to seal the win.

Kingsley Westside lost ground on the top two, after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Canning City at Willetton Reserve on Sunday. “In the end a fair result, as we weren’t at our best yesterday,” Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich said. “But fair play to Canning they defended really well and made life tough for us, with them getting everyone behind the ball.” The hosts found the opener on the half hour, Liam Goerke heading home at the near post. Isaac Houghton doubled their advantage from the spot four minutes into the second half, and it looked like the third placed side were leaving empty handed.

But Dimitrovich’s said had other ideas, and pulled one back on 67 minutes, through an Andy O'Neill goal. They restored parity seven minutes later, Luke Salmon smashing the ball into the roof of the net. As both sides pressed for the winner, Kingsley had the perfect opportunity five minutes from time, when they were awarded a penalty, but Salmon's penalty was saved low by Alec Radonich. The visitors ending the game with ten men after skipper Andy O’Neill was sent off by referee Niall Gillmor.

“We were aware that this would be a tough game for us and we were determined to improve on the last time we played Kingsley,” Canning coach Jude Peppin explained. “We showed a lot of improvement with our discipline and credit to the team for the way they controlled the game. The team gave it their best for the whole 90 minutes and considering the issues with covid on a weekly basis, I am pleased with our performance and the result.”

Morley Windmills are back in the winner’s circle after a 3-1 win against Curtin University at Edinburgh Oval. It was Morley who hit the front on 14 minutes, with Otto Van Der Poel scoring, but the hosts levelled five minutes alter through Kieran Witt, his 11th goal of the season. But the visitors hit back early in the second half, with Van Der Poel adding his second. The points were wrapped up just after the hour, with Van Der Poel completing his hat-trick.

Balga made it four games without defeat after a 2-0 win against Wanneroo City at Princess Road Reserve. “The on Saturday was one of those when we don’t perform to our highest level, but still fought our way through to get a result,” Balga skipper Liam Kessel explained. “Wanneroo would feel hard done by the sending off late in the first half, but all in all we created more and were more threatening.”

The hosts found the opener on 35 minutes, when Taban Lado was brought down by keeper Oliver Rigler, and the referee pointed to the spot and sent him off. It looked a little harsh, but Bleron Mamudi converted from the resulting penalty. Wanneroo pressed after the break looking for the equaliser, but it was Balga who secured all three points in stoppage time, substitute Ben Wantee finishing off some neat build up play on the left, to make the final score 2-0.

In the final game, Ashfield moved up to ninth and left South West Phoenix on the bottom of the table, after a comfortable 5-0 win at the Ashfield Arena. “A lift of frustration for us after multiple games this season where we just haven’t executed with cutting edge came to fruition today,” Ashfield coach Greg Hart explained. “We put in a strong performance with multiple goal scorers. Credit to Bunbury who pushed us up until we bagged our second deep into the second half of the game. We definitely won’t get ahead of ourselves as we still have so much more to do to get where we know we should be.”

The hosts found the opening goal on the half hour, with Kurtis Allen-Nas heading home a free kick. h. Scored with a header from a free kick. Both sides created chances after the break, but it was the hosts who doubled their lead 14 minutes from time, Lewis Robinson received a short corner and his cross beat everyone and found the bottom corner. The scoreline blew out late, Dougal Kindness finishing well for the third, after the visitors failed to deal with a cross into the box, before skipper James Sammut converted from the spot, after substitute Mark Barnard was brought down by Phoenix keeper Jamie Oakey. The scoring was completed in stoppage time, Bernard’s long-range striker finding the top corner.

“It was a much needed three points for the lads and the club. It was even more important to bounce back from the disappointing result last week and was something we spoke about and during the week,” Ashfield skipper James Sammut said. “We have been playing good football but unfortunately haven’t been as clinical in our final third as we would have liked in recent weeks. This has been something that the coaching staff have been focusing on of late and it was great to see this hard work pay off on the weekend. We’ll get back on the track again this week and put in the hard work before another tough game next week against a good Morley side.”

24.6.2022

IREDALE EXPLAINS WHY CHOSE BOLTON

New Bolton Wanderers signing Jack Iredale believes Gethin Jones was instrumental in reinforcing his desire to join the English League One club. The 26-year old joined Bolton as the club's first summer recruit by putting pen to pen on a three-year deal after departing Cambridge United on a free transfer.

Iredale switched to Bolton amid interest from Preston North End and Wigan Athletic. But the former Perth Glory youth player says Bolton vice-captain Jones, a former team mate from his Carlisle United days, played a big part in helping to make his mind up as to where to continue his career.

“I just said to my agent ‘get it done, just get it done.’ He listed off some clubs and was just talking about opportunities but as soon as I spoke to Gethin as well, he was instrumental in reinforcing what I already knew. When a club as big as Bolton say they’re interested, you can’t say no, can you?,” said Iredale.

“I was glad that I could get signed and the medical and all of that sorted just at the every end of the season basically. It gave me the entire off season to try and do what I was going to do. Obviously I’ve been home for a good couple of weeks and now I’m back here, it’s straight into it and try to get everything off the pitch sorted as well as all the stuff for pre-season as well. It’s been full on!”

“I’m very lucky to be out here and using these facilities for training so I’m trying to make the most of it. Getting thrown at the deep end basically spending 24 hours a day with the boys. I’ve been made to feel super welcome and I already feel a part of the group as well so I thank the boys for that and helping me trying to hit the ground running.”

“Geth’s been looking after me. I said before that as soon as I heard about the interest I was straight on the phone to Geth and he was only saying ‘just come to the club’ basically. If there’s anything I need, I can chat to Geth, but now I know a couple of the other boys as well. They’ve all been really accommodating and making me feel super welcome.”

Iredale has been playing professionally in the United Kingdom for the past five years. He spent two seasons at Greenock Morton, from where he was loaned to Queens Park, before turning out for Carlisle United in 2019/20. The defender played the past two seasons with Cambridge, where he made 89 league and cup appearances.

“I always knew that I had the ability to be able to do it. It was just trying to find the environment that would let me do that. Obviously the journey I’ve been on through the injuries and then trying to get my foot in the door and get myself a base and go on from there,” said Iredale, who helped Cambridge win promotion to League One in the 2020/21.

“I started a bit later than most boys would but I’ve been here for five years now in the UK and the last two seasons I spent at Cambridge especially were instrumental in my development. The first half of the season at Carlisle as well, it gave me the platform to be able to get noticed and recognised by a club as big as Bolton and now I’m just happy to be here as well.”

24.6.2022

GOALKEEPER WILLIAMS ON VERGE ON 100 GAMES FOR AUSTRALIA

Lydia Williams is relishing the battle for the Matildas’ goalkeeper spot as she stands on the verge of her 100th cap for Australia. The veteran shot-stopper is one of the goalkeepers selected by coach Tony Gustavsson’s largely experimental squad for upcoming friendlies with Spain and Portugal.

Should Williams get the nod to feature in either game she will become the first Australian goalkeeper to reach the century milestone. “I never thought I would come this far, so it’s an honour and a privilege,” said Katanning-born Williams, who debuted for Australia as a 16-year old in 2005.

“I think I have been around for everyone’s first cap, so that is more special for me, seeing how everyone has developed. One hundred caps is really cool. I would have never believed you if you had told me that when I was first playing. This is my favourite team to play for. I am just really excited to be back here.”

Competing with Williams for the gloves are Teagan Micah and Mackenzie Arnold. The pair will continue to push their more experienced counterpart in the battle to be between the posts for the Matildas at next year’s Women’s World Cup, which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

“We push each other along and we’re happy for the one that plays,” 34-year-old Williams said. “It’s a really good squad that we have with our goalkeeping ranks. Australian football has always produced really good goalkeepers. To have the kind of camaraderie there is always a good thing.”

24.6.2022

NPL-WA ROUND FOURTEEN - PREVIEW

We head into week 14 of the NPLWA Men’s competition, and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Macedonia Park for the local derby between Stirling Macedonia and Balcatta. (All games kick off at 3.00pm unless otherwise stated) The hosts, who sit fourth on the table, but have been on a form slump in recent week, and were beaten 3-0 at Perth last week, while Balcatta sit bottom of the table, four points adrift, but they are showing improvement under new coach Glen Grostate, and they were unlucky to lose last week, conceded deep into stoppage time against Floreat Athena. So, both sides will be desperate to get back into the winner’s circle, so this one should be a cracker.

Stirling defender Brent Quick said it was a great start to the season, but have dropped off in recent weeks, and you can’t do that in this league. “We started off this season strong and our goal scoring seemed to pull us through most games,” he said. “Unfortunate, recently we’ve struggled with scoring in some games, that we feel we have dominated in. We are trying to not get held up by this, and look to how we can get back to winning.”

Injuries have hit the club in recent weeks, with skipper Dejan Spaseski and Ryan Malton both having long term knee injuries, and Quick said he knows what they going through, after injuring his knee last season. “It would be easy to say that a few key players injured has played a big part in our recent form,” he explained. “Having only just come back from my knee operation, I can sympathise with what they are going through. They are both huge parts of the squad and we miss them on the pitch.”

Quick said the derby is a huge game for both teams, and they will be doing all they can to turn their form around. “This is probably our turning point of the season, we’ve gone from winning all these games to this massive stall,” he explained. “We don’t feel anything less than our best is enough, at our best we win this league. We need to turn our form around on Saturday, we owe the fans, coaches and teammates a win.”

Balcatta were seconds away from a point last week against second placed Floreat, but a stoppage time goal scuttled that, and defender Billy Quinncroft said they were all gutted. “That was a very tough one to take, the team was up for it and we thought hard and we at least felt like we deserved a point from the game,” he said. “Frustrating, but we are getting closer of where we want to be, and there is still plenty of time to go in the season.”

It was Glen Grostate’s second game in charge at the club, and Quinncroft said he is getting them playing well, and he is confident they can turn things around. “Glen has come in and defiantly raised the bar, he set the standard high and where we need to be, we are still off where Glen wants us to be, but we aren’t far off,” the defender said. “We as a team feel a win is only around the corner, and the last few weeks have been close and coming down to the last sections of the game, which I think is coming down to fitness which we have upped.”

Balcatta need to get a win on the board sooner rather than later, and Quinncroft said Saturday’s derby is huge for both sets of players and supporters, and he can’t wait for it. “I think we can be more than capable beating them and we are working hard off the field and we are more than confident we can take the game to Stirling,” he explained. “The tides slowing turning but like you said we need to get points on the board quickly, so I think we will be in for a block buster of a game.”

In other games this weekend, league leaders Perth RedStar hit the road, when they travel to Inglewood Stadium to take on Inglewood United, who got their season back on track with back-to-back wins. Armadale, who reached the round of 32 in the Australia Cup with a win against Bayswater in midweek, will look to continue their good form, when they welcome Perth SC to Alfred Skeet Reserve, likewise Cockburn City, who beat Sorrento in extra time to join Armadale on the National stage and the State League Cup Final, and on Saturday they travel to Frank Drago Reserve to meet Bayswater City.

Floreat Athena welcome Perth Glory to the E&D Litis Stadium, while in the final game Sorrento make the trip to Wishart Street to take on Gwelup Croatia. Gulls coach Trevor Morgan coaches at Gwelup last season, and he will look for his side to bounce back from two defeats in the league and cup this week. Meanwhile Lee Taylor, who is part of the Gwelup first team coaching panel, said the loss against Cockburn was hard to take, especially after creating a number of chances. “We were disappointed not to take anything from the Cockburn game, we created some excellent chances to score but we were not clinical enough in front of goal,” he said. “If you don’t take your chances your always at risk of conceding and fair play to Igor he scored a worldie to win the game.”

Taylor who coached at Rockingham City in the NPLWA last season, joined the club at the start of the month, and he said they have a young talented squad, but they need to start taking their chances. “I've only been at the club a couple of weeks and there’s a lot of talent in the squad to work with, we look solid defensively and have the players to create opportunities, all we can do is keep working hard at converting the chances we make into goals then the results will come,” he explained. “Now we are coming into the backend of the season it’s even more important that we start winning games with the position we find ourselves in.”

The visit of Sorrento is another tough game, but Taylor said they are looking forward to the challenge on Saturday, and determined to kick start their season. “Sorrento is always a tough fixture, although they had a bad week with results, they are always a danger with the players they have and they will want to get back on track,” he explained. “We know how they play and we will make sure that we are ready on Saturday to put on a top performance for our home supporters so that we get the win we need.”

24.6.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THIRTEEN - PREVIEW

We’re heading into the second half of the State League One, and it’s tight at the top, with Olympic Kingsway holding a four-point lead from Fremantle City, who have a game in hand, while Western Knights and Mandurah are still in the mix, so it should be an interesting part two of the season. Back to this week, and our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to the other end of the table at Gumblossom Park, as Quinns welcome Dianella White Eagles. (All games kick off at 3.00pm) The hosts sit tenth, but do have games in hand of teams around them, while Dianella have won three out of their last four games, which has seen them move up to eight, but it’s tight at the bottom of the table, with only ten points separating fifth to twelfth, so a win in this one is vital to move away from the drop/playoff zone.

Dianella skipper Sasa Njegic said the last gasp win at Subiaco was a reward for all their hard work, and keeps their good form going. “Last week’s 2-1 win was a hard-fought battle against a good Subiaco team that has challenged teams like Fremantle and the Knights in the last few weeks,” he explained. “Going down to 10 men in the 50th didn’t help us, but the belief the boys had coming off a win against Mandurah definitely made us believe we could win. We never stopped attacking and it paid off in the end with a well worked goal.”

It made it back-to-back wins for Bobby Despotovski’s side, after the big win against Mandurah, and Njegic said it’s given them a real boost. “That win was vital to boost our confidence as we hadn’t had back-to-back wins yet this season, but our performances this season have shown we can keep up with the best but the results will prove to us that the hard work is paying off,” the skipper said. “We won’t judge our season off silverware, we will just take it game by game and hopefully by the end we will solidify a top half finish.”

Njegic said a trip to Gumblossom Park is always tough, and it will be harder for him this week as he will be on the sidelines. “This week’s game against Quinn’s will be a tough one to watch for me, as I’ll be suspended for it but I am sure the boys will not take it lightly, as this has previously cost us points in the league,” he explained. “We will treat this like a cup final and go in knowing we have everything to play for. Our recent form is a good indication, but we will need to perform on Saturday to be proud of ourselves as we know a win propels us up the ladder and into safety for now.”

Quinns were beaten 2-4 for the second week running at home last week against the Knights, and defender Jackson Dongray said it was a disappointing result. “It is beyond frustrating, there have been plenty of positives to take from the recent games, but we’ve switched off in key moments and it’s punished us in the results,” he explained. “We need to make Gumblossom the fortress it was at the start of the season, and that starts on Saturday.”

There has been a great deal of disruptions at the club, with new coaches coming in, and players coming and going, but Dongray said they are working hard to get back on track. “It’s been very tough, Cam and Antony have been working hard to rebuild a team that has effectively been gutted,” he said. “Add to the mix the suspensions and injuries of key players, it has created a very challenging environment with which to build momentum. In saying that, the new lads are starting to find their stride and we’re seeing more and more sustained periods of everyone linking up well, we’ve just got to make sure we’re in sync for a full 90 minutes instead of just in moments of a game. “

Dongray said Dianella are on a good run of form, but is looking forward to the challenge, as their recent performance have been good without getting the result. “While the recent results suggest we’re slipping out of form, playing on the field the last couple of weeks it has felt like the opposite. We’re strengthening as a new unit and improving every week, hopefully we get the result to reward the effort this weekend,” he explained. “Dianella are always a battle, and we expect nothing less for this Saturday. The boys are up for it and ready to get back on track.”

In other games, second placed Fremantle City host fourth placed Mandurah City at Hilton Park, and with only three points separating the sides, this is a real six pointer. Third placed Western Knights entertain Joondalup United at Nash Field, while Rockingham City welcome UWA Nedlands to Lark Hill. Murdoch University Melville and Forrestfield United will look to bounce back from narrow defeats last week, when they meet at Besteam Stadium, likewise in the final game, when league leaders Olympic Kingsway make the trip to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco.

Subiaco conceded late to lose at home to Dianella, while Olympic lost at Mandurah, their second loss of the season and coach David Tough said they were punished on the day. “All credit to John (Baird) and Mandurah as they played really well on the day and deserved the win,” he said. “Ultimately, we can’t give away cheap goals and expect to take anything from games. Over the course of the season, we’ve been excellent so we’re just putting it down as a poor performance and look to bounce back on Saturday.”

Tough said they head to Subiaco looking to bounce back, and has been surprising how the pitch is looking down there. “Yes, I’ve been involved with many games down there with plenty of water on it, but I was down this week, and the pitch is looking in good nick for this time of year,” he said. “We should have several players back available and were also hopefully to have a new signing Michael Zimarino cleared to play. The boys have trained well and were looking forward to the match, and getting back to winning ways.

24.6.2022

STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THIRTEEN - PREVIEW

Two of the form teams of the State League Division Two meet on our ‘Match of the Round’ when fifth placed Joondalup City host league leaders Carramar Shamrock Rovers at the Iluka Sports Complex. (All games kick off at 3.00pm, unless otherwise stated) Rovers sit four points clear at the top of the table after last week's win at Canning City, while Joondalup continued their seven-game unbeaten run, but were held to a draw by Wanneroo, so with both teams in form, this one should be a cracker.

Joondalup are fifth, after a good run of form, but they have lost momentum with two draws, and Louis Carlish said they are on the right track. “Of course, we are disappointed to not pick up all three points, but it’s still a point gained, and we move on,” he said. “We know that we can play better and we know we will have to be better if we are to get more from this weekend’s game against the leaders.”

Carlish said they are playing some good football, and will need to be at their best against Rovers, but is confident they can get a positive result. “We have a really good side and the run we are on shows that. It’s a really together unit and we know on our day we can beat anyone so hopefully we can keep that run going,” he explained. “It will be a really good test on Saturday, hats off to them they are where they are for a reason, but we know if we can turn up, we can be really competitive. It’s going to be an exciting game so we are looking forward to it.”

Rovers Ger Fitzgerald, missed the game last week with covid, but said he was getting constant updates from the ground, and it was a good three points against a side who are on the improve. “It was a great win alright, Canning isn’t an easy place to go, so delighted the boys won and got the three points,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep up our good form and continue to push for promotion, but there is a long way to go and every team is beating each, so there are no easy games.”

They sit four points clear at the top of the table, as they search for promotion to Division One for the first time since 2016, and Fitzgerald said there is still a long way to go. “It has been a solid first half of the season, but anything can happen and there are still plenty games left,” he said. “Gerry keeps pushing us and the effort and intensity everyone puts in at training and games has been brilliant. Hopefully we will be there or there abouts come the end of the season, but it’s a very tight league and lots of other teams pushing for promotion as well.”

Fitzgerald returns to the squad for Saturday’s trip to Joondalup, and he said places in the starting side are up for grabs. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t play last week but looking forward to being back this week, but team places are very tight at the moment, so everyone has to play well or someone will take your spot,” he explained. “Joondalup are one of the best inform teams at the moment and have a good squad so we know it will be a battle against them, as it always is. All we can do is turn up well prepared and with the right attitude and hopefully get a result.”

In other games this weekend, second placed Gosnells City make the trip to Francis Street to take on Swan United, while third placed Curtin University welcome Morley-Windmills to Edinburgh Oval. Balga host Wanneroo City at Princess Road Reserve, while there is a huge game at the Ashfield Arena, as Ashfield host South West Phoenix, in a relegation six-pointer.

The final game is on Sunday, as Kingsley Westside will look to build on their win against Swan last week, when they travel to Willetton Reserve on Sunday to take on Canning City. (12.00noon) Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich was pleased with his side’s performance last week, and is expecting a tough game at Canning on Sunday. “It was a very good win last week against a decent side in Swan, and it was good to get back in the winner’s circle and to put a very solid 90 minutes together,” he explained. “It will be another tough game this week against Canning on Sunday, and we will need to be at our best to get the win and keep pressure on the top two and to stay in the top four.”

24.6.2022

BELT UP AMATEUR LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION - ROUND TEN PREVIEW

The Belt-Up Amateur Premier Division goes into round ten, and our ‘Match of the Round’ sees league leaders Jaguar make the trip to Mills Park to take on fifth placed Maddington White City. (3.00pm) Jaguar marched six points clear at the top of the table after a hard fought 2-1 win against East Perth, while Maddington’s form slump ended in midweek when they beat Joondalup United 5-2 in a round five catch-up game.

A brace from Jose Zuñiga, and others to Nicolas Serrano, Gaston Bazet and Farruh Mavlonov gave Maddington a much-needed win, and Cesar Perez said the win against Joondalup will hopefully kick start their season. “It was a good win last night, we needed that after the last couple of games we had,” he said. “Joondalup yesterday started strong putting pressure on us, but luckily we could score first which gave us all the confidence that we needed to show our best game and secure the win.”

It's been a disturbed season for Maddington, hard hit by covid, and changing grounds, but Perez said that is all behind them now, and are looking forward to the clash against the leaders. “Like you said, we started this season with some issues but we all sticked together and support each other (players, coaches, managers) and now the things are looking much better,” he explained. “Facing the top team on the ladder is always going to be extra motivating, so we are really looking forward to facing them. They are a great team with fast players so if we want to beat them, we need to be in our best shape. Our victory last night has given us that boost in our confidence to play against the top team and hopefully we'll get the result that we want.”

Jags have taken all before them this season, and keeper Michael Dudek said last week's game against East Perth was their biggest challenge so far, and they were pleased to get the three points. “Yes, we were very happy to get the win against East Perth, and a good reward for the hard work we have put in,” the keeper explained. “I think we dominated the first half and deservedly went up 2-0. East Perth started pressing us in the second half which made it difficult, but thankfully we held on for an important three points.”

Many people are waiting for Jags to drop off the pace like recent seasons, and Dudek said that is true, but they are a different side this season. “A lot of people are talking about us being in similar positions in previous seasons, and our form dropping, and they're right. We were top of the ladder in round seven only two years ago, before only winning one more game for the rest of the season,” he explained. “Which is why we're not getting ahead of ourselves, the Premier Division is a hard challenge, and any team can win on their day. We'll just take it week by week and follow the instructions given from Josam and Andrew pre-game.”

Dudek said it’s a new challenge, heading to Mills Park to take on Maddington, but he said they will be up for the game, especially after winning in midweek. “The boys are all really excited for the game this week, but we'll go and prepare as we usually do, we definitely won't be taking it lightly,” he said. “I believe Mills Park is an AstroTurf pitch, which should hopefully suit our fast-playing style more than Maddington's previous home ground, we’re ready for the challenge.”

In other games this weekend second placed Kwinana United travel to the Inglewood Stadium to take on third placed East Perth (1.00pm). United’s game against Quinns was abandoned last week, while suffered a narrow loss at Jaguar, so three points are vital in this one, as both look to keep tabs on the league leaders. Wembley Downs welcome Peel United to Butlers Reserve (3.00pm), while there is a local derby at Frye Park, when Kelmscott Roos host Queens Park (3.00pm). Joondalup United host Emerald at Beldon Park, and in the final game North Perth United travel to Gumblossom Park to take on Quinns on Saturday evening. (7.00pm)

The hosts will be without skipper Mark Hynes, who suffered a broken leg last week at Kwinana, while a brace from Marc Romeo and penalty from skipper Kelechi Osunwa gave North Perth a win against Joondalup, and the skipper said it was a good win, and made it five games without defeat. “I thought the boys showed a lot of character for that win,” he said. “That second half was superb, and we know we will win games if we play like that consistently.”

The club have had a change of coach early in the season and were shock losers in the cup to Kingsway, but Osunwa said they have rallied under new coach Kevin Flavin. “The cup game isn't that much of a shock, Kingsway are a good side who will take some beating, and on another day, we go through with the chances we had but that's football,” the defender said. “We had such a hard tough to the season with Luke O'Neil departure, but it is a critical to Flav and the boys, who have put some work in these last few weeks and the style of play is showing. Flav and the boys know if we play our structured football, we will win games and it's happening more. We didn't get a lot of luck at the start of the season and certainly starting the fixtures with Maddington, Kwinana and Jags in the first four didn't help.”

Osunwa said Saturday will be another tough challenge, like they all are this season, but he’s hoping their recent good form at the venue continues. “Like you said, there are no easy games in this league and it's always an interesting environment and game when we play them,’ he said. “It's a Saturday night game so we know they will have huge support. As usual it will be tight and I think a goal will be the difference but we've had fond memories playing at Gumblossom recently and hopefully it continues Saturday.”

24.6.2022

NPL-WA WOMEN'S ROUND THIRTEEN - PREVIEW

We go into week 13 of the NPLWA Womens league and the competition is heating up with all games evenly contested in recent weeks, as club chase the leaders and a spot in the top four. Our ‘Match of the Round’ takes us to Grindleford Reserve on Sunday, where Balcatta entertain Fremantle City. (3.00pm) Both sides won last weekend, Fremantle beating MUMFC at home while Balcatta came home from Curtin with the points, which left them third and fourth respectively.

But in midweek the two sides played a round six catch up game at Wauhop Park, and Balcatta ran out 2-1 winners. Jamie-Lee Gale gave the hosts the lead just before half time, but Balcatta hit back and Andrea Bulgaru levelled from the spot, before deep into stoppage time a Laura Waltman own goal gave the visitors the three points. Balcatta’s Lauren Continibali said it was a good win, and continues their good form they showed at Curtin last week.

“We’ve really gelled together as a team now and the coaching staff have really been pushing us hard at training, working on game plans and tactics. As a squad we have increased our intensity, effort and belief, and I think this has really shown in our recent games, particularly against both Curtin and Fremantle,” she explained. “We knew the game against Curtin would be tough and they have really improved. Our second half was better and we were pleased to get the result that we did as it added some confidence for the game against Fremantle midweek. They always play to a high standard so it’s always a competitive game that ends in a close result. We were lucky to get the win with the penalty and the goal off the corner.”

Continibali, who joined the club from the Redbacks this season, said her old side are on fire at the moment, but said all the teams are getting closer to them. “RedStar have really set the tone for the league so far this year, however as more teams are playing better each week and players are returning from COVID I think the league is becoming more competitive,” the midfielder explained. “It’s very tight in positioning from 6th through to 2nd, so we have to maintain our momentum. We’re definitely striving to be part of the top four which is a challenge given the quality of the teams around us, but we can definitely do it.”

Balcatta and Fremantle will go at it again on Sunday, and Continibali said it will be another entertaining game. “Fremantle is always competitive and we’ve been lucky to get away with the wins in the Night Series Semi Final and recently Wednesday night. I’m sure they’re eager for the win and it will no doubt be a massive game for both teams,” she explained. “Fremantle, like us, have quality players across the pitch, are well organised and disciplined, and we will have to be at our best to get the points, but we are looking forward to a great game and hopefully we can secure the win to consolidate our position in the top four.”

In other games this weekend, the Women’s NTC side host Curtin University at E&D Litis Stadium on Friday evening. (8.00pm), while Subiaco welcome Perth SC to Rosalie Park on Sunday (1.00pm). In the final game league leaders Perth RedStar make the trip to the Bestream Stadium on Saturday evening to take on Murdoch University Melville (5.00pm)

The visitors made it 11 straight wins to start the season, after a 1-0 win against Perth Sc last week, while MUMFC were beaten at Fremantle. MUMFC coach Luke Thompson said it been a tough couple of weeks with games coming thick and fast, and he said it showed last week. “That was our 7th game in three weeks, and unfortunately, I felt it really showed,” he explained. “We played like we were very sore and didn't do enough to complete with a very good Fremantle side especially when we had the ball.”

Thompson said they are relishing the opportunity to take on the leaders, but he knows it will be a tough game, but they need to take their chances when they get them. “They are at the top for a reason, they are playing very good football, they play with a lot of intensity to win the ball back and we will have to try and match them if we want to compete,” he said. “We will have to be efficient with the ball and in front of goal if we want to come away with a positive result. It will obviously be a challenge but one I’m hoping we will be up for.”




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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