LOWE DISMISSES CASTRO FEARS
Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has no concerns marquee Diego Castro will go into the season underdone despite only returning to the club this week. Castro, who won last season’s Johnny Warren Medal, has had an extended break overseas after re-signing with Glory in June following prolonged negotiations.
The Spaniard returned to Perth earlier this week, with just under six weeks until Glory’s Round One clash with Central Coast. “I’m sure,” Lowe said when asked if Castro would be ready for Round One. “I think everyone will be ready to go Round One. He got in a couple of days ago. He’s got six weeks into the season. We’re looking forward to getting him involved.”
Castro had a slow start to life at Glory last season after commencing training with the club in early September, before helping the side storm into the finals, with 13 goals in 26 games. Glory’s overnight FFA Cup loss to Sydney FC also means Castro misses out on crucial competitive game-time in the lead-up to the season.
Perth has had issues in the past organizing pre-season friendlies with A-League opposition given their geography and will need to map out a plan following their cup exit. “We’ll play eleven versus eleven as we normally do, we’ll sort some games out,” Lowe said. “If you get to the final it’s only two more games. It’s not life or death but obviously we’d have liked to have got there.”
GLORY KNOCKED OUT OF FFA CUP
Perth Glory have crashed out of the FFA Cup, going down 2-0 in extra time to Sydney FC at Dorrien Gardens last night. It took 98 minutes for the deadlock of a drab game to be broken, and it came from Milos Ninkovic who fired home from outside the box. Sydney captain Alex Brosque added the second in the second period of extra time to seal the win with another cracking long-range effort.
Both clubs fielded strong sides and while they showed an early willingness the game failed to reach any great heights, especially in the first half. Filip Holosko forced a great save from Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy and late in the period a mishit shot from Rhyan Grant needed just a touch from Milos Dimitrijevic for an almost certain goal before David Carney had Reddy scrambling at a free-kick.
Glory opened the second half with Chris Harold firing into the side netting after running onto a neat Neb Marinkovic flick. Adam Taggart almost made it a memorable return but fired just wide as the game ebbed towards extra-time. Ninkovic and Brosque settled game before Richard Garcia fired into the base of the upright as Glory sought to find a way back in.
CHIANESE SIGNING COMPLETES GLORY ROSTER
Perth Glory has finalised its roster for the coming A-League season with the recruitment of Sydney-born Joel Chianese. The 26-year old striker heads to Western Australia fresh from a two-year stint in the Malaysian Premier League, where he scored 17 goals in 29 appearances for Sabah and Negeri Sembilan.
"I'm very happy and excited to have been given a golden opportunity to re-join the A-League, particularly with Perth Glory which is already boasting an impressive squad under the stewardship of coach Kenny Lowe" said Chianese, who played 41 games for Sydney FC between 2011 and 2014.
"Perth is really building something special with a strong mix of local talent and some powerful and experienced foreign players, so it's quite an honour to be amongst the group. My aim is to be part of a historic season for Perth as it gears up to its 20th anniversary, and I will do my utmost to contribute where and when needed".
Coach Kenny Lowe said Chianese had an impressive strike rate and the attributes to add more firepower to the team. "Joel helps us in our attack along with Diego Castro, Adam Taggart, Andy Keogh, Chris Harold, Richard Garcia, Jamal Reiners and Kosta Petratos," Lowe said. "He'll be in the mix and he'll be expected to perform if he's called on to do so".
TAGGART EYES LONG ROAD BACK
He's played on the biggest stage of all, but Socceroos striker Adam Taggart knows he needs to produce the goods back home in Perth if he is to jump start his international career. Taggart burst onto the Socceroos scene in 2014, playing against the Netherlands and Spain at the World Cup in Brazil.
A move to English Championship side Fulham on a three-year deal was meant to take Taggart's game to a new level. Instead, a string of injuries brought his career to a grinding halt, with the attacker eventually making the tough decision to cut short his European adventure in order to return to the A-League.
23-year old Taggart linked up with Perth Glory midway through last season but he was unable to play for his hometown club as he'd already featured for Fulham and Scottish side Dundee United within the space of a year. Although frustrated, Taggart used the time to repair his battered body and now says it's the best he's felt in two years.
Taggart knows he needs to prove his worth in the A-League again before earning another Socceroos call-up, and he hopes to be back in the green and gold sometime soon. "I think everyone wants to be a part of the Socceroos," Taggart said. "To me, it means an awful lot."
"I'm here at Perth Glory and that's my main focus. If the rewards come, then great. If not, then I'm still focusing on the same things. It's all about week to week performances, trying to improve yourself every day and get better ... I’ve been in full training for the past couple of weeks. Everything is looking good."
Taggart is no stranger to the A-League, having starred for the Newcastle Jets a few years go. His finest season came in 2013/14, when he scored 16 goals to win the Golden Boot award. Taggart also notched 10 games for Glory at the start of his career, but he moved to the Jets in 2012 for more playing opportunities.
RISDON UNCONCERNED BY SOCCEROOS SNUB
Perth Glory defender Josh Risdon doesn't regret his decision to stay in the A-League, initally being overlooked for the Socceroos' upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Risdon was left out of Australia's squad to play Iraq at Perth Oval on Thursday as well as next week's trip to the United Arab Emirates. But the 24-year old was added to the list over the weekend after Bailey Wright withdrew due to injury.
Risdon's stocks rose dramatically following a breakout campaign last season. A move to Europe could have been on the cards if he wanted it. Instead, the Bunbury-born defender decided to re-sign with Glory for another season, believing the time in the A-League would best set him up for a successful venture overseas.
"I never second-guessed it," Risdon said of his decision to stay in Australia. "The A-League's getting better. A lot of A-League players have been in the Socceroos' set-up for a number of years now. There's not as many games in the A-League and the season's not as long. But the competition itself is just as good as a lot of leagues over in Europe."
The Socceroos are ranked 57th in the world and are hot favourites against Iraq, who are 113th. But Risdon, who has notched three caps for the Socceroos, says Australia won't be complacent against the 2007 Asian Cup Champions. "They are the harder games - the ones you're expected to win quite easily," Risdon said. "We're going to go in fully prepared and not take them lightly."
SAINSBURY HOPES FOR SMOOTHER WORLD CUP RUN
A sprinkler ruined Trent Sainsbury's World Cup dream two years ago, and the Socceroos defender is hoping for a much smoother run to football's showpiece event this time around. 24-year old Sainsbury has joined his fellow Socceroos in Perth ahead of Thursday night's World Cup qualifier against Iraq at Perth Oval.
Sainsbury was considered a World Cup bolter for Brazil in 2014, but then he broke his kneecap after landing on a sprinkler while making his debut for PEC Zwolle in the Dutch top flight. The injury was as bizarre as it was heartbreaking, and Sainsbury's six-month stint on the sidelines blew his World Cup hopes.
"It's taken a while to get over it. It was almost like a bad break-up," Sainsbury said. "You don't expect that sort of thing to happen on a professional football pitch in Europe in one of the bigger leagues. It's just crazy. You never think it's going to happen to you. I can look back on it and laugh now because I'm back fit and fully playing."
Sainsbury is expected to line up alongside Matthew Spiranovic in the heart of defence against Iraq. The Socceroos need to finish in the top two of their group if they are to secure a 2018 World Cup berth in Russia. Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates are the other nations in Group B.
Sainsbury says it's imperative for the Socceroos to start their campaign with a win. "I'd say this is probably one of the most important games we're going to have in the next few months," Sainsbury said. "You've got to win every game at home if you're going to be up there in the top two progressing to Russia."
Sainsbury, a former Armadale junior, played youth football with Perth Glory before his career really took off at Central Coast Mariners. A switch to Zwolle, where he spent two years, was followed by a bold move to China in January, linking up with Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning on a three-year deal. He said playing against some of the best strikers in the world in the Chinese Super League had helped his game.
RISDON ADDED TO SOCCEROOS
Perth Glory defender Josh Risdon has been called into the Socceroos squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. Risdon, who replaces Preston North End's Bailey Wright, will join his national team mates in camp this afternoon ahead of Thursday's meeting with Iraq at Perth Oval.
"Bailey has a minor injury that he has been nursing (and) it is better for him to stay in the UK," coach Ange Postecoglou said of the squad change. "Josh Risdon has come into the group recently and equipped himself well and I have no doubt that he will do a job if required over the next two matches."
The Socceroos squad to play Iraq (1 September) and the United Arab Emirates (7 September) is Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo), Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Milos Degenek (TSV 1860 Munchen), Adam Federici (Bournemouth), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg), Apostolos Giannou (Guangzhou R&F), Chris Ikonomidis (Lazio), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Robbie Kruse (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Mitchell Langerak (VfB Stuttgart), Mathew Leckie (Ingolstadt 04), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Ryan McGowan (Henan Jianye), Mark Milligan (Baniyas FC), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Josh Risdon (Perth Glory), Tommy Rogic (Celtic), Mathew Ryan (Valencia), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning), Brad Smith (Bournemouth) and Matthew Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown).
PERTH SC CROWNED PS4 NPL-WA CHAMPIONS
Perth SC has won the 2016 PS4 National Premier Leagues-WA title after a 1-0 win against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. An own goal from Sorrento skipper Daryl Platten was the difference between the two sides, and with results going in their favour elsewhere meant Ramon Falzon’s side finished top of the pile, while defeat cost the home side a spot in the West Australian Top Four Cup. Perth's last state championship was in 2011. The coach was quick to praise his entire squad for their efforts, for the success this season.
“Credit to the boys because we had a lot of players missing throughout the season, and we’ve never had our strongest eleven out there but whoever played always made sure to perform and I think that’s been the secret – 18 players just focused on doing their job,” Falzon said post-game. “Personally, this means a lot. This is my first year at Perth and my ambition was always to win trophies. It’s been a long wait for the club because it was five years ago they last won the top four or five, which was the most important trophy then. But the actual league, it’s been 11 years, so a long wait and from my side, this being my first year, it’s been worth the wait.”
Sorrento were out of the blocks early, knowing a win would see them reach the finals and they thought they had the lead on 10 minutes, when Alex Morgan headed home, but referee Tom Glavovic spotted a push in the box, much to the frustration of the home faithful. Sean Canham headed just over the top, before the English striker’s header was denied by Perth keeper Francis Soale. Canham was a real handful and his shot from the angle mid-way through the half went inches wide of the target.
Niccolo Sabatini shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed wide of the target, before Soale came to his rescue again from Sabatini’s free kick. The visitors’ best effort came from Matt Milenkovic, who made ground in the box but fired wide of the target.
It was more of the same after the break, with the home side pressing, a corner from Sabatini was cleared off the line by Soale, before Alex Morgan’s diving header whistled inches over the bar from six-yards. Former Perth striker Reece Vittiglia was the next to go close, he lost his marker in the box, but headed straight at Soale. Sorrento couldn’t find that elusive goal and Perth won it 17 minutes from time. Milenkovic crossed from the left, and flicked off the unfortunate Platten and into his own net. It was a bitter blow for The Gulls but they pressed forward looking for a goal, which would still get them into next week’s Finals.
Matthew Sparrow was picked out by a ball across the box, but his shot was well blocked by some desperate Perth defending. At the final whistle it was Perth celebrating their 21st league title, and left Sorrento Coach to rue their missed chances. “Overall we’re bitterly disappointed because one point in the end would have got us into the top four,” Harnwell said. “I felt we deserved all three but we didn’t take the chances when they came our way. But we’ll rebuild because this is a club that wants to be successful and I have to make sure we achieve that.”
HIGGINS LATE STRIKE STUNS INGLEWOOD
A goal in the 92nd minutes from ECU Joondalup defender Andy Higgins has given the northern suburbs club a thrilling 1-0 win against Inglewood United at the Inglewood Stadium. The loss denied Inglewood the PS4 NPLWA title, while the win put Joondalup into the West Australian Top Four Cup. Joondalup Coach Dale McCulloch said it’s a great achievement after they were sitting fourth bottom in round ten.
“We have played really well to reach the finals, and the players deserve a great deal of credit, we were in the relegation zone after round 10,” he said. “It looked like the pressure of being top of the table affected Inglewood slightly today, and they will be hurting in the rooms, but we came here to win a game off football, and I thought we did everything to get the job done. The boys were brilliant today, we had to withstand pressure against the wind, but we used it to our benefit after the break and I thought we were outstanding. To be fare I thought we had the best of the clear cut chances today, but they were always dangerous from set-pieces but we defended superbly.”
There was a big crowd on hand for this big game and Inglewood opened the better, with a strong wind behind them, and they went close after only nine minutes. Adam Tong’s long-throw found Scott Blackmore, the former ECU defender’s header was straight at ECU keeper Lewis Italiano. Callum O’Connell then got on the end of a cross moments later, but it was deflected wide. The visitors lost leading goal scorer Gordon Smith with a knee injury on the half hour, but they settled and had their best chance eight minutes later. Tommy Amphlett played in Daryl Nicol who raced into the penalty area, but he shot inches wide of the target.
It was a lively start from the visitors after the break, Higgins crossed to Nicol at the back post, but the striker headed over the top, and moments later Nicol stung the palms of Alex Dunn. But with news filtering through of Perth scoring at Sorrento, Inglewood knew they needed the win, but ECU was making it hard for them. The impressive Kevin Moon sent Amphlett racing down the right, he eased past his marker but his shot flashed the wrong side of the upright. Inglewood were pushing men forward in search of the winner and it almost came on 86 minutes.
Second half substitute Mark Pritchard burst into the penalty area, his shot was superbly saved by Italiano, and the ECU custodian was quickest to react to pounce on the rebound. It looked like the points would be shared, but on 92 minutes the visitors won it. Higgins’ in-swinging corner beat everyone, and flew straight into the net to set off wild celebrations on the pitch.
LIONS END SEASON ON A HIGH
Stirling Lions ended their season on a high, with a 3-1 win against Perth Glory at Ashfield Arena. The visitors led 2-0 at the break with goals from former Glory duo Blamo Qua Qua and David Micevski, while Shane Cassidy added a third just after half time. Calvin Whitney pulled one back with fifteen minutes to play, but it was too little too late. “The boys were determined to finish off the season on a high and it was nice to end with a win,” Micevski said. “Unlike previous weeks where we found ourselves behind early we managed to score the first goal which set up the three points for us. I don't think we were that far off this season although injuries and suspensions late on in the year didn't help our push for finals football. We have beaten all the sides above us throughout the season which goes to show how even it was this year.”
The visitors, who had dropped out of the top four after six games without a win, were out of the blocks early and they were ahead on 12 minutes. Micevski’s ball found Qua Qua, who’s shot beat Nick Feely. The Glory almost levelled five minutes later, Whitney’s free kick picked out Jack Iredale, whose header was just wide of the target. Then moments later Nikola Talimdzioski’s long-range shot had keeper John Perkins scrambling across his line, but it drifted just wide of the post. But against the run of play Stirling doubled their advantage.
Former Adelaide United winger Teeboy Kamara raced down the left and cut the ball back to Micevski who made no mistake. The Glory continued to push forward, but the woodwork and some quality saves denied them. Just before half time Ross Millard crossed to Daniel Stynes, his shot beat Perkins but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Stirling custodian. Then in the shadows of half time Perkins came to his sides’ rescue, with a stunning save to deny Kostas Petratos’ curling shot.
The Glory needed a good start to the second half, but Stirling had other ideas and they struck a third four minutes in. Miki Vujacic’s free kick picked out Cassidy who bundled the ball home. Stirling went close again, Kamara off target, as the Glory left holes at the back as they searched for a goal to get back in the game, but 14 minutes from time they did reduce the margin. Whitney finished with aplomb from the edge of the penalty area, after good approach work from Stynes, but it was too little too late.
ATHENA SCRAPE INTO FINALS AFTER LOSS AT COCKBURN
Floreat Athena has qualified the West Australian Top Four Cup, but only just after they were beaten 2-0 by Cockburn City in the final game of the PS4 NPLWA season at Dalmatinac Park. Second half goals from Harry O’Brien and an own goal settled the game, as the undermanned Floreat side stumbled into the finals. Cockburn skipper Euen Grant was pleased to get the win and a clean-sheet. “Today was the story of our season, we dominate teams, we have chances, we miss chances,” he said. “So it’s finally good today, even though it is the last game of the season to finally have that bit of character and see the game out.”
Floreat went into the game with a number of senior players on the sidelines, and the home side dominated from the kick off. Striker Liam Murray went close early, Daniel Dols eased past his marker on the left, before squaring to Murray, who fired wide. Murray, who bagged a brace in the midweek loss to Sorrento, was then picked out at the back post but he headed wide with the goal at his mercy.
Then in the shadows of half time Murray went close again. O’Brien made space down the left and squared the ball to Riley Woodcock, whose shot was parried by Jordan Barbas, the rebound fell kindly to Murray, but he fired wide of the target, much to the disbelieve of the home supporters, and both sides went to the break all-square.
Floreat lifted after the break and had their best period of the match. Dean Evans’ shot flew over the top early, before Jonathan Stynes was inches away from turning the ball home after a low cross. But the best chance fell to Clayton Arnez, this after a good one-two with Evans and Phillip Arnold sent the defender into goal but he fired straight at Ben Radonich. But against the run of play the home side hit the front 16 minutes from time.
O’Brien was picked out be substitute David Araya, his first shot was parried by Barbas, but the former Perth Glory winger bundled home the rebound to give Cockburn the lead. Floreat pressed looking for the equaliser but couldn’t find a way past a tight Cockburn defence and in stoppage time Cockburn sealed the points. A back pass from Blair Govan wasn’t dealt with by Barbas, and the ball rolled into the net off the hand of the keeper, who raced back to try and clear it.
SUBIACO END SEASON WITH A WIN
Subiaco ended the season with a hard fought 2-1 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve, and now must wait to see what happens in the All Flags State League Division One to see where they will be playing next season. The club finished bottom of the PS4 NPLWA table, and will be relegated if the club that wins the Division One meet the criteria to enter the NPL. Michael Lawson gave them the lead early, but they were reduced to ten men when Rory Feely was sent off just after half time. Ellis Healing levelled for the home side, but a late goal from Ian McMurray gave the ten men the points.
Subiaco Coach Michael Brazil said it was a good way to end the season. “I gave the players a challenge during the week to end the season with on a high because we are playing for pride, and tactically the boys held their shape throughout the game and luck was on our side today,” he said. “Our season went down the toilet probably in the first half of the season where we went seven or eight games without picking a point up so we were always playing catch-up.”
The visitors got off to the best possible start when Michael Lawson opened the scoring on five minutes. He was picked out in space on the edge of the penalty area, and his first time shot flew past Alex Radonich. With Socceroo and former Armadale junior Trent Sainsbury in the stands watching, Armadale went close to levelling 15 minutes later, Healing’s free kick was well saved by Ryan Montgomery.
Subiaco almost added a second two minutes from half time, Stefan Hill’s shot was cleared off the line by Healing, after Armadale failed to clear Lawson’s corner. The in stoppage time Armadale had the perfect opportunity to level. Midfielder Darren Francis played a defence splitting through ball for Michael Domfeh to race clear, but the young striker lifted his shot over the crossbar.
The visitors were reduced to ten men four minutes after the break, with Feely given a straight red card from referee Michal Jasinski, after the striker lashed out. The Reds still struggled to break down the ten men, but eventually capitalised on their one-man advantage on 73 minute. A cross from Jake Sardelic found the head of Healing, whose diving header flashed past Montgomery. But there was a sting in the tail, and four minutes from time Subiaco won it. The referee spotted a handball in the box and pointed straight to the spot, McMurray converting the resulting penalty to give Subiaco the points.
BAYSWATER MISS OUT ON FINALS
Bayswater City's chance of playing finals has ended, this despite a 4-0 win against Italian rivals Balcatta in the final round of the season at the Finance 365 Stadium. The home side needed the win and results elsewhere to go their way to reach the Top Four Finals, but things didn’t work out, and they will be not involved in the end of season finals for the first time since 2011. David Heagney bagged a hat trick in the big win, and Jason Mirco added the other, but it was too little too late.
“We’re under no illusions, we didn’t deserve to be in that top four, but all that’s going to do is drive us harder and further next season,” Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said. “We’re not accepting that second half of the year. We were five points clear after round 12 so there are no excuses. We’ve let ourselves down, not done the right things on the pitch or shown the desire that you need to be at the top of the table.”
The home side played some great football early in the game, and they went close to opening the scoring. First Devon Gibson saw his shot well saved by Clint Davies, while Heagney was also denied by the Balcatta custodian. It wasn’t all one-way and Balcatta had their chances too. Bayswater keeper Devon Spence was out bravely to save at the feet of Zelfy Nazary, before Alan Carroll glanced a corner wide. But the hosts hit the front in the final minute of the half, Jason Mirco and Gibson combined to set up Heagney, who made no mistake from 12 meters.
With results around the grounds at half time Bayswater were in the top four and it took a while for both sides to get back in the groove, but 12 minutes from time Bayswater added another, pinching a yard on his marker to fire home. Mirco added a third goal in the shadows of full time racing clear and rounded the goalkeeper to side foot into an empty net. There was still time for Heagney complete his hat-trick, but it proved to be of little consolation as the hosts’ season ended.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINETEEN - REVIEW
It’s all change at the top of the All Flags Division One with Joondalup United leap frogging Mandurah City on goal difference, after a another tense round of football. Mandurah were held 1-1 at Canning City, while Joondalup eased past Ashfield 3-1 at Forrest Park. Joondalup were ahead at the break with Lee Jones firing home superbly from 18 meters into the bottom corner of the net. The visitors made a perfect start to the second half and levelled straight from the kick off. Joondalup were caught napping, and Jamie Burns’ long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net giving James Bosdet no chance. It was game on but Joondalup regained the lead when James Harmer made space down the right and whipped in a great cross to Josh Whitmore, whose diving header crashed off the crossbar, but Jones was the quickest to react to the rebound to score from close-range. The result was put beyond Ashfield, when Jones completed his hat-trick. Josh Booysen was the provider, the winger played a great through ball for Jones who went one-on-one with the Ashfield keeper, and he finished clinically sealing the points. “It was a tight, bruising encounter, but I felt we stood up to Ashfield’s physical presence and controlled the game, playing some great football,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “When you have a goal scorer of the quality that we have in Lee Jones more often than not you’re going come out on top.”
Mandurah let their lead slip after surrendering a 1-0 lead against Canning City at Burrendah Reserve to share the spoils in a 1-1 draw. The visitors dominated early and Jon Brookes’ thought he had scored with a little dink over Luke Stonebridge, but the Canning keeper got back to save superbly. Stonebridge was outstanding saving again to deny Brookes, as Mandurah pressed for the opener. Oscar Thompson should have scored just before half time, after he burst clear, but he fired wide. Canning had chances too after the break and Laurence Cheyne saw his shot crash off the upright early, but it was the visitors who hit the front on the hour. Jakes Eades sent Paul Jackson down the flank, and his cross was headed home powerfully by Oriol Fernandez. But Canning hit back and levelled when a corner from the left wasn't dealt with by the Mandurah defence, and Dane Navarro was on hand to drill home from close range. Mandurah pressed late, but Jordan Rhodes, Luke Johnstone and Brooke's were all denied by the outstanding Stonebridge. Canning could have nicked all three points late on, Mark Trevisiol blazing over from close-range with only the keeper to beat. “A good point away from home in the end, but disappointed to let the lead slip again,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “I thought we played an excellent standard of football and failed to score against an inform keeper and resilient team. We play Joondalup next week in probably the biggest game in Western Australian football including the NPL at Kelly's Hot Water Stadium, we are sure to have a big local crowd supporting us and creating a great atmosphere as usual for the players and advertising our club to the state again. I believe we are playing very well and we must continue what we are doing, we create good chances play great soccer I know the results will come.” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said he thought his side deserved a share of the spoils. “Mandurah are a good side as their position in the league suggests and had a lot of the ball especially in the first half when they had a strong wind at their back but we dealt with most situations very well,” he said. “In the second half we created a lot more and could have gone on to win it but it was a hard earned point and one that I think we deserved.”
Western Knights maintain third spot with a 4-2 win against South West Phoenix at Payne Park. The visitors were ahead on 20 minutes, Kevin Ashwood played a quick free kick in behind the defence for Paul Lloyd to run onto and finish clinically. It was 2-0 just before half time, when Lloyd’s shot was parried by the Phoenix keeper and Adriano Jelenovic fired home the rebound. The Phoenix reduced the margin 10 minutes into the second half, teenager Josh Dorkin, who was making his senior debut, took on two Knights defenders before finding Carlo Chiellini, who finished with aplomb from the edge of the penalty area. But the Knights hit back and Nick Psanoudakis added a third, before Ashwood’s free kick was deflected in for the fourth. Martin Ryan pulled one back in the dying minutes of the game for the Phoenix, after Jayden Prosser played the ball across the six yard box. “It was good to get four goals on the road especially down in Bunbury which is always a tough place to come,” Lloyd said. “We've said we want to finish the season strongly and keep the unbeaten run going, so today is a good result for us.”
In other games Rockingham City came out on top against traditional rivals Forrestfield United, after 2-1 win at Lark Hill Sportsplex. Rockingham opened the scoring on the half hour, Sean Brady scoring from close range from Ryan Kennedy corner. Liam Merrigan equalised for the visitors but the points were won in the 75th minute, when Christian Hogge ended a team move, finishing past the keeper, to seal victory. “It was really important we bounced back after losing the week before,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “We were fantastic and probably could have won more comfortably if we took our chances. “ UWA-Nedlands visited Walter Padbury Reserve and came home with a 2-0 win. UWA went 1-0 up on the hour mark, Andrew xydas played through Lloyd Prout who finished clinically. They added a second moments later when Alex Kretowicz scored an absolute sublime volley from outside the box after Gosnells failed to clear a set piece. In the final game Dianella White Eagles moved off the bottom of the table when they beat Shamrock Rovers 3-2 at Dianella Reserve. Rovers were ahead at the break though Fraser Burt, after Dianella failed to clear a corner. It was 2-0 to the visitors early in the second half, with an own goal, and it looked like the visitors would go home with the points, but Dianella had other ideas. They pulled one back from the penalty spot, with Jason Stepanovski scoring, and moments later Joshua Tumoe levelled. It was left to defender Nicolas Blache, to score the winner to complete the turn around and move them off the foot of the table.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION two, ROUND NINETEEN - REVIEW
The Fremantle City juggernaut hit a speed bump on Saturday, after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Princess Road Reserve by Balga. All action came late in this one, with Fremantle opening the scoring 20 minutes from time. Anthony Lomma sending Maddy Holman in on goal who finished clinically. But Balga weren’t to be out done and they levelled late, Vladimir Naumovski found a pocket of space in the penalty area, after Fremantle failed to clear their lines, and his shot on the turn flew into the corner of the net. “It was another really good game with Balga, both sides tried to play football which was a credit to both sets of players in such windy conditions,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “I felt we had a few chances to score in the first half but was delighted for Maddy (Holman - who stepped in for the suspended Alec Robinson) when he opened the scoring midway through the second half. We knew with Robinson, Danny Clapham and Liam Fariss all out, I thought we would struggle for goals but the boys that came in did well. I was hoping we could hold on for the win but with Balga's season on the line they didn’t stop and deservedly equalised.” Balga lost ground to Joondalup City with the draw, but keeper Ollie Rigler said they deserved at least a point from the game. “Fremantle are a very compact, organised group of players. They deserve to be where they are, so to get a point, which we deserved is a great result,” he said. “We took our chances well and when we got our foot on the ball we showed what we can do, so there are lots of positives to take into the next few games so we're happy.”
Joondalup moved to within seven points of Fremantle after a 4-1 win against Melville City at Hilton Reserve. The visitors opened the scoring on 20 minutes, Liam McGurk on target after some great lead-up play from Jamie Stewart. Melville equalised before the break, with Logan McIsaac headed home from a corner. But Joondalup took control of the game after the break, McGurk scored his second and Luke Wilson added the third when he headed in following a goalmouth scramble. The fourth was scored by Bobby Melia when his cross sailed over the keeper and into the net to seal a well-deserved victory. But Coach Marco Schisano wasn’t too pleased with his sides’ first half performance. “We were quite poor in the first half, Melville played very well and gave us a hard time. We picked up our intensity in the second half and played to the standard we expect,” he said. “Credit to Melville though, they are very young team who will be big improvers in the future as they gain more experience. Gavin is giving the young boys a go and I can see them becoming a very good team. As far as we are concerned, winning 4-1 away from home is a great effort and it keeps our run going. I am delighted with how the whole squad is performing, it seems we get hit with a couple of injuries every week but the boys coming in are doing their job and the feeling at the club is very positive.”
In other games Curtin University and Swan United fought out a scoreless draw at Edinburgh Oval, while Quinns beat Kingsway Olympic 3-0 at Gumblossom Park, on target for Quinns were Brian Cairney, Craig Tooley and Paul Daily. Morley Windmills maintained fourth spot with a 2-1 win against Wanneroo City at Wotton Reserve. The home side were ahead after the break when Ben Wantee got on the end of Michele Mestieri’s knock down, he cut the ball back to Boas Mtwale who finished low past the keeper. It was 2-0 moments later Wantee used his pace to race past two Wanneroo defenders before picking out Kyle King, who made no mistake. Wanneroo pulled one back, with Brandon Da Silva heading home to set up a dramatic end to the game but Morley hung on for the points and could have added another late. “The Game was controlled by us for large parts, Wanneroo defended well and were deep for large parts of the game, but we still managed to get in behind on a number of times but to no avail in the first half,” King said. “But the second half we had a number of chances and they were wasted most of the time also we could have played the ball a lot quicker to really attack on the front foot, but 2 goals sealed it in quick succession and a great performance for the second week running by Ben Wantee and on to next week away at Joondalup, which should be a cracker.” In the final game Ellenbrook United won their first game of the season after a1-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Arbor Grove Reserve.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TWENTY TWO - PREVIEW
The 2016 PS4 National Premier League WA title goes on the line this weekend with Inglewood United and Perth SC battling out for top spot, while the battle for the West Australian Top four finals is gaining momentum. Inglewood beat Perth last week to put them in pole position and this week they host ECU Joondalup at Inglewood Stadium in the Footballwa Match of the Week. The table is a log-jam with six teams still in the running for the Top Four Cup, and Joondalup who are sitting in third on the table, still need a result on Saturday to reach them.
The Jacks moved third with a come-from-behind win last week against Cockburn, with striker Gordon Smith scoring a brace, taking his tally for the season to 19, and he said they were made to work for the win. “Obviously it was good to get the three points, although in the first half Cockburn were better than us and we were lucky to come into the break on level terms,” he said. “But credit to the boys for coming out in the second half and picking up our game, which was needed, and we run out comfortable winners.” Joondalup are on an 11 game unbeaten run, but Smith knows a loss on Saturday will undo all their hard work. “Inglewood are a strong side, and will be tough to beat, but we are on a great run at the moment and don’t fear anyone in the league,” he explained. “We know how big an achievement it would be to gain a top four spot, but as a squad we know we haven’t achieved anything yet, and Saturday will be a huge test, but it should be a great game.”
Joondalup Coach Dale McCulloch said Saturday is their fifth Cup final in their last five games, and he said they will be hoping to continue on their good form. “They need a win to win the league, and we need a win to get in the top four, it’s set up brilliantly, but we’ll be going there to spoil their party,” he said. “The players have been fantastic on this run, and we’ve trained really well this week, and will be looking to take the club into the end of season’s finals for the first time since 2010. The table doesn’t lie at this time of the season, and Inglewood have been the best team this season, so we need to bring our A game to get the points but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Inglewood’s win at Perth last week was the perfect result, with a goal in each half from Ashley Rosindale and Callum O’Connell winning it, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis said it was a great performance against his former club. “It really was a huge win last week, needing to take the sentiment out it I thought our guys really stood up when it counted and are now in control of their own destiny,” he said. “Even though anything less than a win for Perth against Sorrento won't be enough, we are just focused on controlling our performance to try and get a win and not have to rely on other results.”
Nicolaidis said they go into the game knowing three points will give them their first title since 1996, so it’s in their own hands and they are looking forward to the challenge. “It's definitely a big game for both clubs and one that I'm sure that both sides will be pulling out all stops to get a win. They (ECU) have been in great form and playing with confidence however last week’s performance and result showed me that our boys are totally focused on being at their best this week and think it could be the game of the season. I have no doubt that with what is up for grabs that there will be a very big crowd on Saturday watching two of the best footballing teams battling it out.” No players from the club were available for comment for the preview.
Perth SC will be hoping Inglewood slip up, while they need to do the business at Percy Doyle Reserve against Sorrento. Sorrento is still in line for spot in the finals, after their midweek win against Cockburn put them in striking distance, so both sides need the three points, setting up a huge encounter. Perth skipper Clark Keltie said last week loss against Inglewood was a huge disappointment, but it’s one they need to forget. “Going into the game I was very confident, being at home and knowing what was at stake, I thought we'd rise to the occasion,” he explained. “But I came off the pitch hugely disappointed as I've been waiting four seasons for an opportunity like that, the fight and desire just wasn't there for 9 0minutes. No qualms about the result, as the better team won on the day.”
Keltie captained the state side last week against Perth Glory, something he said was a great honour. “This was the fourth consecutive season I've had the privilege of captaining the WA side, under three different coaches, Kenny Lowe, Chris Orla and Chris Coyne twice,” he said. “I'm a big believer in that you get what you deserve in football, so I'm quite proud of that record. We had a good bunch of players and I thought we gave Glory a good test.” Heading to Sorrento is never an easy task, and with them pushing for the top four Keltie said it will be the same this season, and all they can do is win and hope other results go their way. “Sorrento is always a tricky place to go and they will make it difficult for us, we have to go and take three points regardless, and hope ECU do us a favour at Inglewood,” he said. “It's been a very unpredictable league this season so anything could happen come 5pm Saturday. “
Floreat Athena has their top four aspirations in their own hands when they travel to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. A win against the Cockerels will see them qualify, the venue has been a successful one for them winning their last two visits there in the league. Defender Blair Govan said the players showed great character to hit back with ten men and beat Bayswater last week, to keep their top four push alive. “Coming from behind with 10 men to beat Bayswater is a massive result. We haven't beaten them in a long time so to do it the way we did was brilliant,” he said. “We had some big players missing and a few struggling through the game so it just goes to show how we all work hard for each other and that's what got us across the line.”
Govan knows the quality Cockburn have in their squad and said they need to at their best to get the job done. “This weekend will be a very tough game Cockburn are a good, well drilled team and they will be looking for revenge after we scored in the last minute to win the Cup Final,” he explained. “But we will concentrate on ourselves knowing that a win will put us in the finals and we want to play well so if we are in the finals and full of confidence.” In team news Ludovic Boi and Bobby Wilson are still in doubtful, but Kris Gate should return from injury, while Lewis McMahon is away and Dennis Galan suspended.
Bayswater City’s hold on their title is hanging by a thread, and will be hoping other teams do them a favour in the other fixtures. First they have to get the win against Balcatta in the Italian derby at the Finance 365 Stadium. Winger Jason Mirco said the loss at Floreat was hard to take, after dominating for large periods of the game. “Last week’s result was obviously a huge disappointment for us. We went into the game with a clear objective of win and we can play finals,” he said. “Unfortunately as in previous weeks we didn't make the most of what I believed was a dominate performance, but credit to Floreat they took their chances and fought for the full 90 minutes to keep us from getting a second.” Mirco said Balcatta have nothing to lose, and they know three points is must. “This week is nothing different for us, the coaching staff and the club has extremely high standards and every games a must win, no matter what the situation,” he said. “So we'll address this as normal and look to making sure we do all we can to make the finals, and hope results elsewhere go our way.” In team news Todd Howarth returns to the squad after his trip to Europe.
Perth Glory secured their NPL safety last week at Balcatta, and this week they host Stirling Lions and the Ashfield Arena. Striker Nikola Talimdzioski said the 2-0 win at Balcatta was well deserved. “Last week was a massive win for us, and it gives us a huge confidence booster heading into what's going to be a tough battle this week, but I thought the 2-0 result was well deserved.” Talimdzioski has bagged eight goals this season to be the club’s highest scorer and he said they are looking to end the season on a high. “Stirling may have not had the best run of form recently but we still can't take them lightly, and we need to be a tour best,” he said. “They have the caliber to beat any time at any given moment, but we'll be looking to finish the season off on a high and get ready for the National Youth League.” In teams news for the Glory both Scott Robertson and Gian Albano come back into to the side from suspension and injury respectively.
Armadale also survived the drop with a win at Stirling last week and this week they host Subiaco, who are in the drop zone at present. Subiaco will know their fate at the end of the All Flags State League Division On season concludes. Armadale skipper Alex Castiello said the win at Stirling was well-deserved. “It was a fantastic win we really wanted to secure our spot that game and we achieved our goal,” he said. “We have had a great end of the season, with some big wins, and I really believe we could have done better, if we have had this consistency at the beginning of the year.” Castiello said they will be looking to give their loyal supporters something to cheer on Saturday. “This week against Subiaco we want to finish strong with three points and give the fans something to cheer,” he said. “We can actually make history at the club from what I've been told, we would have conceded the least amount of goals for 12 years if we keep the margin small Saturday, so that will give us extra incentive. We have a full squad to choose from so should be an interesting contest.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND NINETEEN - PREVIEW
The All Flags State League Division One title is going down to the wire with Mandurah City and Joondalup United battling it out. The pair met each other next week, but they both have difficult games this weekend, and Mandurah’s visit to Burrendah Reserve to take on Canning City is the Footballwa.net Match of the Week. Canning stunned Ashfield last week, while Mandurah topped their goal difference up with a big win against Gosnells City. Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh said last week’s win was a solid performance against a good side. “I thought we played very well last week against Gosnells, and scored some good goals,” he said. “They (Gosnells) are a young talented side and took it to us, but I thought we were good against the Phoenix last week, so to maintain the standard we have set was important.” Hesketh said this week is another big challenge and Canning has had some big results in recent weeks. “I’m sure Paul (Oliver) and Canning will want to have a go at us this week, but we’ll be ready for them,” he said. “You can see in recent results they have a good side and they work hard for each other, so we need to be switch on from the first whistle.” In team news for Mandurah Craig Young and Danny Dyson are both overseas, while Craig Tone is struggling with an ankle injury.
Canning coach Paul Oliver said the win at Ashfield was well-deserved and it had been coming for a few weeks. “Last week was a good reward for out last few weeks, where we have created so much and through bad luck and a lack of ruthlessness have perhaps not got what we have deserved in games,” he said. “Last week we clicked and it mostly fell into place, but it means very little if we don't back it up this week.” Oliver said they have dropped points against teams below them on the table and that’s stopped them being higher up the table, but he’s looking forward to taking ion the league leaders. “In games this season we have dropped significant points to teams below us, which is frustrating, and maybe we could be up there challenging if it wasn't for that but we will look forward to the challenge that Mandurah bring,” he said. “Doug and Mick have them very well drilled so I'm sure they will push us hard with likely promotion around the corner in a game they really have to win so the pressure is all on them.” In team news for the home side Simon Elton-Bott is suspended, while Nathan Hubbard and Simon Correia are out for the season. Callum Roberts is in doubt with injury, but they will regain the services of Ethan Levitt who has returned from overseas.
Joondalup thumped Rockingham City last week and this week they entertain Ashfield at Forrest Park looking to keep the pressure on the leaders. United coach Nick Jennings said the big win against Rockingham was outstanding and he said every game is vital if they are to catch Mandurah. “We knew going into the game nothing but three points would do, and a goal in the 1st minute obviously helped us settle,” he said. “But we also played some great football in the comprehensive victory which was never really in doubt.” Jennings said although Saturday’s opponents have struggled in recent weeks they won’t be taking them lightly. “Our matches against Ashfield have always been close normally settled by a single goal so I don't see this being any different despite Ashfield having an up and down season,” he said. “They'll look to keep it tight and we'll have to be at our best to get the result we need to keep the pressure on Mandurah.” In team news skipper Arran Maplestone returns to the squad, so Jennings has a full squad to choose from.
Forrestfield bounced back from their loss against Western Knights last week, with a big win against Shamrock, and this week they travel to Lark Hill to take on traditional rivals Rockingham City. The home side were humbled at Joondalup last week, and with only three points separating the two sides, both will be looking for the points to keep them in the top five. Forrestfield defender Mark Barnett said the win at Shamrock was good, especially on a poor playing surface. “We were very pleased with the result last week, on a horrendous pitch,” he said. “The boys fought hard all over the field and we dominated play from start to finish. However we did let it slip for about ten minutes where they managed to pull two back, but we reacted well and marched onto a very convincing victory. Defensive structure was good, midfield kept calm on the mud paddock and the attack went to work when it mattered most.”
Barnett said the Forrie army will be in full voice on Saturday, as they look to keep the pressure on third placed Knights. “This week is a massive game as all of them are, however this one is special, as we have a huge rivalry with Rockingham both on and off the field,” he explained. “Our boys got the better of them last time a round and we will be looking to do the double this week, and send the Forrie army home happy.” In team news Milan Vulin and Jimmy Duncan returned to training this week after long term injuries, and come into the squad but coach Rod Banjac will probably give them their return in the Reserves.
In other games this weekend third placed Western Knights make the trip to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix. The Phoenix came home from UWA Nedlands with a point last week, while the Knights beat traditional rivals Dianella. The Phoenix have a good home record, only losing once this season, and will be looking to continue on with that this weekend, while the Knights need the points to keep on the tails of the leaders and keep the others at bay. Gosnells City and UWA-Nedlands meet at Walter Padbury Reserve, both sides looking to push up the table, while in the final game the two bottom sides do battle with Dianella White Eagles hosting Shamrock Rovers at Dianella Reserve.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND NINETEEN - PREVIEW
Fremantle City continue their charge to promotion, leading the league by nine points, and their trip to Princess Road Reserve to take on Balga is this week’s Footballwa.net Match of the Week. Fremantle boosted their goal difference with a big win against Ellenbrook last week, but Coach Steve Plucknett said the performance wasn’t the best. “Yes pleased to get the win, but the performance was not as good as it could be, it took some luck and a bit of individual quality to get us the result,” he said. “The players have given everything they can so far this year and in getting nine straight wins it would be harsh to get too critical. However we set standards in our work rate and the players know it will have to be lifted this week.” Plucknett knows Saturday’s game will be tough and has told his players they will up against a determined Balga side. “They (Balga) will be hurting after last week’s result, so anything less than the performance we put in at home in the reverse fixture won't do,” he said. “They are a good side, with some very talented players, we will be expecting a tough game to maintain our lead at the top of the table.” In team news for Fremantle, Tom Speziali returns to the squad.
Balga were edged out by Joondalup City last week and Anton De Francesch said it was one of those games. “We fought well in the first half and had a few chances that we should have converted, unfortunately they got a quick two goals early in the second and that took the wind out of us,” he said. “I think we didn't play our best football, clearly and we're just trying to find a perfect balance in formation and player position to get an optimal performance from the team.” De Francesch said Saturday’s opponents are the benchmark of the league, but they are looking forward to the challenge. “It will definitely be a tough game, and both teams know that, the points are up for grabs and whichever team wants them more will take them,” he said. “Both sides are quite technical and focus on keeping the ball and moving it fast, which suits us, we are in good form, we have a strong squad going into the game, and we have promotion strongly planted in our minds. It’s still definitely within our sights, plenty of games left in the season for anything to happen on the ladder, but will be a thrilling game and both sides hopefully come full guns blazing.” Balga have a few players with niggling injuries, but all should be available, for what should be one of the games of the season.
Curtin University won a seven goal thriller last week against Quinns, coming from 3-0 down, and this week they entertain Swan United at Edinburgh Oval. Curtin Coach Campbell Ballantyne said last week’s win was outstanding, but said they had a little luck. “Last week was a great performance from the lads, but after the two late goals the week before at Morley kept the belief,” he said. “It also came with a bit of luck that got us the points, but we’ll take it and move on to another important game against Swan.” In the reverse fixture Curtin played another seven goal thriller in the Swan Valley and Ballantyne said that was another game they let slip. “The Swan game is on our list of dropped points, we were 3-1 up with 15 to play when Jack Kenny saved a penalty,” he explained. “Eddie Tikoft also had a chance at 3-3 to win it for us, so we’re looking forward to the rematch and hopefully getting the right result this time. I will say I wasn't disappointed to hear of Corey Hugo's retirement prior to playing us, he was great the last time we played them.” In team news Antony Russo returns from suspension, but Stefan Spears is unavailable for selection.
In other games Joondalup City will look to keep the pressure on Fremantle when they make the trip to John Connell Reserve to take on Melville City. Joondalup won the top of the table clash with Balga last week, while Melville’s recent good form deserted them after a surprise 2-0 defeat at Wanneroo. Morley Windmills continued their good form with a 2-0 win at Swan United last week, and this week they entertain Wanneroo City at Wotton Reserve. There is a northern derby when Quinns host Kingsway Olympic at Gumblossom Park. Both sides lost seven goal thrillers last week and will look to bounce back on Saturday. In the final game Kelmscott Roos make the trip to Arbor Grove Reserve to take on bottom of the table Ellenbrook United.
FALZON REAPPOINTED FOR 2017 (courtesy perthsc.com.au)
Perth SC is delighted to announce the reappointment of Head Coach Ramon Falzon for the NPLWA 2017 season. Falzon, who joined the club midway through the season after former coach Gareth Naven joined Melbourne Victory, has done a superb job in 2016 with a youthful squad. Perth SC President Gary Marocchi said the club looked forward to continue working with Falzon.
"Ramon came to the club in challenging circumstances, having to take over the job mid-season with many players he did not know," Marocchi said.
"We have also had a tough run with injuries and departures, but despite all this, Ramon has produced some excellent results on the pitch.
"He has the respect of the dressing room and is developing a team and environment which looks very bright for the future of our club.
"When the Senior Football Operations team recommended Ramon's reappointment, the Board did not hesitate to accept it."
Assistant coach Marc Wingell and goalkeeper coach Simon Madaschi have also been reappointed for 2017.
WILIAMS REFLECTS ON RIO OLYMPICS
Matilda's goalkeeper Lydia Williams says representing her indigenous heritage at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was a dream come true and meeting her childhood hero Cathy Freeman made her speechless. Along with her teammate Kyah Simon, Lydia Williams has always been a proud exponent of her Aboriginal culture and both players followed in the footsteps of Australian athletic legend Freeman when they competed in Brazil.
After the Matildas were knocked out of the women’s football tournament Williams got the opportunity to meet her idol and the 28-year old says representing her community at the Olympics was an honour. “It’s everything that I dreamed of,” she said. “I’ve been watching the Olympics since before I was playing football, so for me being an Olympian was such an incredible thing.”
“To represent both my country and my culture is a pretty special thing and I’m proud of myself and proud of the girls. Obviously Kyah is as well, it’s a pretty special moment. The time to reflect on it will be after this - which I haven’t really reached yet. I’m definitely proud of the impact I’ve had on the Australian team and the people back home and my family. “
The Matildas were so close to playing off for a medal but lost on penalties to the host country and Williams says she was blown away by how the Brazilian crowd supported their team and the Australians. “It was one of the most amazing experiences that I’ve ever had,” she said. “When the Brazilian anthem was going on and the whole crowd stopped and sung with them.”
“Just reflecting on a moment in women’s sport - it was incredible to see a country get behind their women’s team. I had great respect for the crowd they applauded us after the fantastic effort that we put in and the girls have nothing to feel anything except but proud because we took it to them and it could’ve gone either way at the end.”
The Aussies led eventual gold medallists Germany 2-0 in their second group game before it finished in a 2-2 draw and coupled with the result against Brazil, Williams says exciting times lie ahead. “This team can achieve anything,” she said. “To have the support and the backing of friends and family back home and the fans and the footballing people that’s incredible.”
“It’s only going to grow the game even more and we are really excited for it. This team is still quite young, our average is still 24 and in another four years it’s going to be 28. For us it could’ve been anything can happen with the penalty. We proved that we can compete with anyone in the world and we were just so close but we are really excited to see what we can bring in the future.”
BROTHERLY ADVICE DRAWS MILLS TO GLORY
He's lived with Welsh superstar Gareth Bale and England poster boy Theo Walcott but new recruit Joseph Mills is hoping his switch to Perth Glory is his best move yet. Mills started his career alongside Bale and Walcott at Southampton's renowned football academy but while they've gone on to become soccer megastars, Mills has become somewhat of an English journeyman.
The 26-year old made 35 league and cup appearances for Southampton before stints at Scunthorpe United, Doncaster Rovers, Reading, Burnley, Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town. Needing a fresh start, he sought advice from his brother Jonathan who convinced him to join him down under in the city of Perth.
"He came over here just for a holiday and this is his sixth year here now, so that tells you a lot about the city," Mills said. "He loves it. He said how friendly a place it is to live. Everyone's welcoming, which I've found. He always said about coming over here. And with last season, I wasn't enjoying my football as much. Once the offer was on the table, I jumped on it."
Mills missed Glory's 2-0 FFA Cup win over Brisbane through illness but played 45 minutes in the side's 1-0 win over the WA State side earlier this month. The former England U18 international is a chance to feature again for Glory in Thursday night's friendly clash with Iraq, who are in Perth preparing for next week's World Cup qualifier against the Socceroos.
Glory have been installed early favourites for this season's A-League crown following an impressive recruitment drive that netted Adam Taggart, Rhys Williams, Mills and Rostyn Griffiths. The quartet will join the likes of Socceroo Josh Risdon, ex-Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh, one-time Millwall defender Shane Lowry and former La Liga attacker Diego Castro in the star-studded squad.
“DAD IS MY INSPIRATION” SAYS GALLOWAY
From Perth to Melbourne via the Australian Institute of Sport, 21-year old Scott Galloway is pursuing his passion for football and making a name for himself at Melbourne Victory. Paul Galloway, Scott's father, migrated from Northern Ireland to Australia, bringing with him a love for the beautiful game that he and his son would later bond over.
That bond is the reason Scott became involved with the sport. "My dad's from Northern Ireland and over there, football is a religion – everyone loves it," Galloway says. "He used to play in different teams and was pretty athletic when he was younger, so I took after him and developed a passion towards it like him."
Coming from a supportive family meant Galloway had the confidence and drive to forge a career in football. "My dad would take me down to the park all the time and some days we'd come back happy, some days we didn't," Galloway says. "He was harsh on me sometimes, but it's what I needed. He pushed me hard, which you need your parents to do when you're young if you want to succeed."
Although he received some tough love at times, Galloway admits it was for the best. "As my dad, he could see what I could do and how I could improve," Galloway explains. "He figured that if he could push me in the right direction, I could make it here and even further one day."
After playing for local teams in Perth and then moving to the National Training Centre, Galloway was selected for the Australian Institute of Sport at the age of 16. From there, it was Ange Postecoglou who spotted the youngster and offered him an opportunity at Victory. "It's coming up to four years now that I've been in Melbourne," Galloway said.
Galloway reflects on his Victory debut - in the February 2013 derby with Melbourne Heart - as one of his greatest achievements. "But also going to the Under-20 World Cup, playing and starting in the games against Columbia, El Salvador and Turkey, as well as being selected for the Olyroos," he added. "It's hard to pick because I look at each thing that comes along as a great achievement and something to be proud of."
As for his biggest inspiration, Galloway has Paul at the top of the list. "My dad is my inspiration, especially because of where he has come from, what he's done in his life, and what he continues to do for our family now," Galloway says. "He works hard every day and looks after both himself and my family and I hope that one day I can repay the favour."
CHAMPIONS ON THE BRINK OF MISSING FINALS
Bayswater City’s hold on the PS4 NPLWA title is over, after they were beaten 2-1 by a 10-man Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday. The defeat for City puts them in fifth place, with just one match to play, and will have to rely on other results to make it into the top four, while Floreat climbed to third place (and have their destiny in their own hands). Brian Farrell gave the visitors the lead on the half hour, and Denis Galan was then sent off, but two goals after the break from former City striker Phil Arnold and Jon Stynes gave the home side a memorable win. “Credit to the boys they were magnificent today,” Floreat assistant coach Tim Kantor said. “Our season was on the line and we just said to the boys at half time to put up a huge effort because we’re not going to get defensive we’re going to stay attacking and they were magnificent. “There’s one thing about this group and they galvanise in situations like this and not just today they’ve been fantastic all year.”
The visitors were out of the blocks early and had the better of the opening exchanges and on the half hour they hit the front. A poor clearance from former City defender Chris Saldaris fell to Farrell, who made mistake from close-range. Floreat, who were still without the influential pair Ludovic Boi and Bobby Wilson, continued to struggle and on 38 minutes they were reduced to ten men when Galan received two quick yellow cards from referee Adam Fielding. Luka Ninkovic was a constant threat for the visitors, but Floreat hung on to half time.
Whatever Coach Glen Grostate said at the break had the desired effort and three minutes they levelled. Arnold found space at the back post to head home. Then on 53 minutes Floreat hit the front, Lewis McMahon turned his defender before sending Stynes free on goal, he outpaced his marker and finished clinically past Devon Spence, much to the delight of the Floreat faithful. With their season on the line Bayswater pressed, and Sam Mitchinson’s header flashed wide of the target, before Jason Mirco found space in the box, but he also failed to hit the target.
Floreat were catching City on the counter attack and Stynes’ pace and the guile of McMahon was causing them problems, while Dean Evans was bossing the middle of the park. But in stoppage time the visitors had one last chance to get a point, when a deep cross from found its way to substitute Devon Gibson, but the defender snatched at the shot and it flew over the top and it was Floreat celebrating a famous victory, to put them in pole position for a top four spot.
INGLEWOOD LEAPFROGS PERTH IN TITLE RACE
Inglewood United kept their PS4 NPLWA title fight alive with a 2-0 win against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens, the win leapfrogging them over their rival on the table. A goal in each half from Ashley Rosindale and Callum O’Connell were enough for the visitors, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis said the character of his players shone through. “We as coaching staff put bits and pieces together but ultimately, at the end of the day, the character of that group is amazing,” he said post game. “We’ve won a game and we’re back on top but we’ve won nothing yet. We’ll celebrate the win as we do every game but as of tomorrow it is full focus and planning from a coaching point of view.”
Only two points separated the two teams at kick off and Perth knew a win would take out the league title were on the front foot early and the league’s top goalscorer Gustavo Catarcione went close after only five minutes. A poor clearance from Perth keeper Alex Dunn fell straight to the Perth striker, and his bicycle kick from long-range flashed narrowly wide of the target.
The visitors settled and started to get on top and they opened the scoring on the half hour. Jason Barrera’s through ball split the Perth defence and Rosindale raced in on goal and finished clinically past Francis Soale. Rosindale was causing havoc and he was in again moments later, but Solae stood tall and the striker fired wide of the target. Perth pressed before half time looking for the equaliser but Inglewood held firm to take their lead to the break.
Perth opened brightly after the break, and moments in Catarcione raced clear and Dunn raced out and brought the striker down on the edge of the penalty area. It gave referee David Bruce a huge decision to make, but he decided a yellow card would suffice the Inglewood keeper lucky it wasn’t a red. From the resulting set piece Clark Keltie shot was straight into the wall, and the rebound cleared.
The home side thought they had levelled on 70 minutes, with Aleks Jovic fired home, but his celebrations were short-lived as the assistant flag was raised for offside. Perth was on top and the Inglewood back-four were working overtime, but all their efforts were rewarded eight minutes from time when they scored the sealer. Perth didn’t clear in goalmouth scramble, and O’Connell fired home from close-range, this despite Perth’s appealing for offside, but the referee waved away their protests
ARMADALE BEAT LIONS TO AVOID THE DROP
Armadale secured their survival in the PS4NPLWA after a hard fought 2-1 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday. Skipper Jesse Fuller gave the Reds the lead early, before Brodie Martin levelled for the home side on the hour. But nine minutes from time Ellis Healing won it for Paul Price’s side.
The coach was delighted for him and the club. “Ellis is a very good player. He’s not scored this season from a free kick; I think he’s hit the post about 10 times, so it was nice to see that one going in,” Price said. “There’s been a lot of pressure on the club – obviously no one wants to be relegated but I think we’ve done it in style today, we deserved the win.”
It was a huge game for both sides at both the top and bottom of the table, and the Reds supporters were on their feet on 14 minutes, when they hit the front. The Lions failed to clear the ball and in the resulting goalmouth scramble Fuller fired home. Both sides had chances before the break, but couldn’t convert, so it was the visitors leading at the break.
The home side, who have been in free fall on the table, and needed the win to keep their Top Four chances alive, made the perfect start to the second half, as Armadale failed to clear their lines and Martin walked the ball into an empty net. The Armadale faithful were checking up on the scores from the other venues but they needn’t have worried and ten minutes from time they won it, Healing scoring from a free kick much to the delight of the Armadale supporters.
GULLS STILL IN THE MIX FOR FINALS
Sorrento’s top four finals hopes are still alive after defeating Subiaco 2-1 at Rosalie Park on Sunday. Reece Vittiglia gave the visitors the lead on the hour, before Jonas Dorling levelled eight minutes from time, but substitute Billy Quinncroft won it for the Gulls two minutes later. The win means Sorrento join Bayswater City on 35 points with, with a game in hand, while Subiaco have finished at the foot of the table and could face relegation depending on who wins the All Flags State League Division One and is subject to the club meeting the criteria.
Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell said the win keeps their season alive. “This win keeps our season alive for another game. Now we have to win two more cup finals and then we will finish in the top four,” he said. “I think we controlled the majority of the game and moved the ball well on a difficult pitch, and when we went 1-0 up they threw players forward and got a scrappy goal, but we showed character to come back and score the winner.”
The visitors came close on 21 minute, when a free-kick from Niccolo Sabatini found Daryl Platten whose header was cleared off the line by a Subiaco defender. Sabatini was involved again 10 minutes later, the speedy winger made a diagonal run inside the box but his effort was denied by a good save from Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery. The Gulls were dominating and should have hit the front on the stroke of half time. Alex Morgan found Brad McDonald whose shot was cleared off the line by Ross Jarman.
Subiaco lifted after the break, and had a chance to take the lead early in the second half when Michael Lawson’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area, but it was blocked by some desperate Sorrento defending. Subiaco had Sorrento on the back foot but on the hour it was the visitors who opened the scoring. Sean Canham squared the ball to Vittiglia who finished low past Montgomery.
With results elsewhere not going their way, Subiaco pushed men forward and eight minutes from time they levelled, Dorling firing home, to give them hope of the win to keep their season alive. But two minutes later Sorrento regained their lead. Quinncroft was sent into the box, and he outpaced his marker and fired past Montgomery, to win it and keep them on track for a top four finish.
ECU HIT BACK TO DOWN THE COCKERELS
ECU Joondalup moved into third spot on the PS4 National Premier League WA table, after a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Cockburn City at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday. Blake Adams had given Cockburn the lead early, but a goal on the stroke of half time from Steven McGarry got the home side back in the game, before Gordon Smith bagged a brace to seal the win.
“We were slow out the blocks today, and we spoke on the bench if we can nick one before half time, which we probably didn’t deserve, it would be great,” ECU coach Dale McCulloch said. “So to score just before half time turned the tide a bit. We tried to rush the ball in the first half and we weren’t patient enough, but after the break we moved the ball a lot quicker and looked dangerous and got in some good areas, and I thought we dominated and got the win. It’s put us in the four now, so it’s now up to us to stay there.”
The visitors, who still needed a point to secure safety, were on the front foot early and they hit the front on 12 minutes. Aden De Luz made ground down the right and whipped in a deep cross, and Adams finished well past Lewis Italiano. Cockburn were well on top and Angel Andres curling shot whistled past the post, before Riley Woodcock’s shot was well saved by Italiano at full stretch. The home side were struggling to create any good chances, with the Cockburn defence, well marshalled by skipper Euen Grant, holding firm, and it looked like the visitors would go into the break with the lead. But in stoppage time Daryl Nicol was brought down on the edge of the penalty box, and McGarry fired low past Luke Radonich and into the corner of the net, to send the sides in level at the break.
It was an even start to the second half, and both had chances early. Cameron Edwards’ long-range shot was saved by Italiano; before Amphlett’s dangerous low cross was well claimed by Radonich. The home side started to dictate terms and Gordon Smith’s header drifted inches past the far post on the hour. But four minutes later the home side hit the front. Gordon Smith was brought down in the penalty area by Reuben Tristao and referee Tom Glavovic pointed to the spot. The Scottish striker picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty. It was now one-way traffic as ECU pressed forward, Amphlett’s long-range shot flashed inches past the post, and they had the ball in the net again on 68 minutes, but Shane Pickering’s goal was disallowed for a foul in the penalty area.
But seven minutes from time ECU wrapped up the points with a third. Ryan Lowry’s cross from the right wasn’t dealt with by Radonich, and the ball fell kindly to Gordon Smith who scored into an empty net. Cockburn almost pulled one back in stoppage time, substitute Liam Murray’s header looked goal bound, but a stunning one-handed save from Italiano, denied the striker. The win sets up an intriguing game next week, when ECU travels to league leaders Inglewood United. The home side need the win to secure the title, while Joondalup need the win to make the West Australian Top Four Cup.
PETRATOS AT THE DOUBLE FOR GLORY
Perth Glory midfielder’s Kosta Petratos double has given them a 2-0 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve, and in doing so the Glory youngsters avoided relegation. Glory defender Jack Iredale said it was great win. “We’re obviously very pleased with a win against a tough side. It was a solid performance from everyone, and I felt like we got the result we deserved. Also it's a big relief to confirm our spot in next year’s NPL, after what has been a tough campaign,” he said. “We've definitely competed better this season against the other teams. We've always been technically good enough to play in the league but at times previously our physicality had let us down, but this year hasn't been the case.”
The Glory were on the front foot early and Jamal Reiners curling shot from the edge of the penalty area on nine minutes, flashed over the top. Balcatta hit back moments later and young striker Scott Newland was given far too much space in the area, but couldn’t find the target from close-range. Daniel Stynes was causing problems for the Balcatta defence, and on 20 minutes his deflected shot was well saved by the alert Clint Davies. Moments later Reiners was sent one-on-one with the Balcatta custodian, but Davies stood tall to deny him. But on 28 minutes the Glory hit the front.
Nikola Talimdzioski was brought down in the penalty area and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot. Petratos stepped up and sent Davies the wrong way to give the Glory the lead. Davies was keeping his side in the game, as the Glory looked to add to their lead. First on 39 minutes Jackson Morgan played Petratos in on goal, but his shot was well saved by the keeper, before Davies saved well to deny Talimdzioski moments later, but at the break the Glory lead by the only goal.
The Glory had a perfect start to the second half when they were awarded another penalty, after Davies brought down Talimdzioski. But the keeper made up for his mistake saving Petratos’ spot kick. It was one-way traffic as the Glory went in search of a second. Stynes raced clear down the left, before squaring the ball to Talimdzioski, but Davies saved well to deny the young striker.
Talimdzioski was giving the Balcatta defence the run around, he went close again on the hour, but his shot was saved by Davies, and moments later the Balcatta custodian saved superbly to deny him again. But with Balcatta pushing men forward looking for the equaliser the Glory caught them on a counter attack in the final minute, and Petratos finished clinically from the edge of the penalty area to seal the points.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHTEEN - REVIEW
The race for the All Flags State League Division One is heating up with the top two sides winning convincingly in week 18. Joondalup United kept in touch with Mandurah City by beating Rockingham City 6-1 at Forrest Park. The home side made the perfect start and were ahead in the first minute, a long throw was flicked on to Josh Booysen who scored from close-range. The home side continued to dominate and added a second when another long throw was finished by Lee Jones. It was 3-0 at the break, when Booysen and James Harmer combined down the right and Jones was on hand to score. Rockingham City pulled one back early in the second half with Gersh Rowland on target, but Joondalup hit back with Jones completing his hat-trick, firing home from five meters. Jacob Shore added the fifth with a bullet like shot from the edge of the penalty area, before James Harmer added the sixth, with a goal his performance deserved. “We were up and at them from the first whistle, scored early and completely dominated the game,” Coach Nick Jennings said. “It was a good all round team performance with outstanding contributions from Josh Booysen, James Harmer and Johny Chalmers. At this stage of the season every game is a cup final and we'll prepare this week for Ashfield knowing again nothing less than a win will suffice.”
Mandurah City maintained their two point lead, and also boosted their goal difference with 5-0 win against Gosnells City at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. The home side opened up brightly and Paul Jackson was denied early by Gosnells keeper Jack Adams. But on 36 minutes their pressure was rewarded with the opener. Good build up down the left ended with Jordan Rhodes who made no mistake. The home side added a second early in the second half, Jon Brookes curling home from 25 meters. Moments later it was 3-0, Brookes again scoring after being picked out by Jack Eades. Oriel Fernandez raced into the box, and beat the keeper and defender to the ball, and dragged the ball back and fired home. Fernandez was causing problems to the Gosnells defenders and he added his second and Mandurah’s fifth in the final minutes, racing clear and finishing with aplomb past the keeper. “Mick (Lyons) and I are delighted with the performance, they (Gosnells) are a good unit and pushed us,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “They are in transition and in my opinion a club to watch, but we played well last week and we backed it up again this week. I do believe we still can go up a gear, the squad set the standards on the pitch, with the mentality the squad display I believe they have a bit in the tank MCFC are very proud of them and they are brilliant to work with.”
Western Knights maintain third place on the table after a hard fought 3-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Nash Field. The results leaves the Eagles in the drop zone, while the Knights look to end the season on a high. The Knights hit the front on 10 minutes, Ryan Tucker’s cross was brought down and volleyed home by Paul Lloyd. The Eagles supporters were on their feet ten minutes later, when Camilo Cardenas fired home from just inside the penalty area. But the home side hit back and regained the lead on 35 minutes, and Tucker’s cross this time picked out Adriano Jelenkovic who headed past Yousri Gharsallah. The points were made safe when Kevin Ashwood got on the end of a Lloyd cross from the right. “It was vital we backed up the good win against Forrestfield, and we did with three good goals and a solid win,” Lloyd said. “We defended well and probably should have scored more. We want to continue the run now and finish the season strongly.”
Canning City travelled to Ashfield Reserve and stunned Ashfield 4-1. Ante Jukic volleyed home the opener, before Mark Trevisiol doubled their advantage from a tight angle. It was 3-0 when Trevisiol made space down the right and picked out Laurence Cheyne who volleyed home from close-range. Ashfield pulled one back from the penalty spot from Jamie Burns, but the ten man Canning secured the points when Cheyne curled home superbly from 25 meters. “It was a great performance from the lads who looked threatening throughout. Even when we went to 10 men we still looked like the most likely side to score,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “It has been coming for a few weeks now, we've created bags of chances in recent games and haven't been able to capitalise but today we were very clinical and took our chances well. In truth in could have been more as we missed a penalty and hit the crossbar but the lads have put on a very professional performance and restricted Ashfield to shots from range and only conceded via the penalty spot so a very good all round display. We look forward to testing ourselves against Mandurah next Saturday.”
In other games Forrestfield bounced back from last week’s loss against Western Knights with a 6-2 win against Shamrock Rovers at Harold Rossiter Reserve. Goals coming from Mitch Crocker, Ben Rogers, Liam Merrigan, Mark Barnett, Jordan Hart and Sani Sinclair. In the final game UWA-Nedlands and South West Phoenix fought out a 1-1 draw at the UWA Sports Park. The visitors hit the front just before half time. A combination of passes from the left between Max Ababio and Sam Gathridge ended up with Ryan Francis, who took on two players and laying off for Carlo Chiellini who fired home through a crowd of players from outside the penalty area. UWA levelled with 15 minutes to go, A great through ball from Mordecai Appiah split the Phoenix centre halves and Lloyd Prout ran onto the pass and calmly finished past the oncoming keeper.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND EIGHTEEN - REVIEW
League leaders Fremantle City maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 6-2 win against already relegated Ellenbrook United at Hilton Park. On target for Steve Plucknett’s side was Sean Browne and Jett Shaw in the first half, before Ben West and Alec Robinson scored doubles after the break. In the game between second and third Joondalup City came out 3-1 winners against Balga at Princess Road Reserve. It was a tight first half with chances at both ends, but all the goals came after the break. The visitors opened the scoring on 53 minute, Mark Tebbutt scoring via the crossbar. It was 2-0 two minutes later, Joseph McQuade’s 30 yard free kick flying into the top corner. The home side pulled on back five minutes from time, Alen Patarov racing through and finishing low past the keeper. Balga pressed for the equaliser but they were caught again in stoppage time, Liam McGurk scoring to seal the win. “After a scrappy first half we managed to get our game going and created numerous chances. We wasted a lot of opportunities, but to win 3-1 away from home in such an important match is great for us,” Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said. “We allowed Balga back in the game at the end but I believe we thoroughly deserved the win. We are gaining momentum at the right time of the season but we are aware that we must be switched on every week as we have previously experienced. We have another big match against Melville on Saturday, away for the third week in a row so we must keep our feet on the ground. It was a 4-4 thriller last time we played them so we will need to have the same attitude if we are to keep our run going.”
There was a seven goal thriller at Frye Park where Kelmscott Roos edged out Kingsway Olympic 4-3. The home side were ahead when Adam Barker’s deflected shot rolled home. But Kingsway hit back and they were level when Brett Cutting scored. But the home side soon regained the lead with Aaron Hardy heading home Linden Pywell’s pin-point cross to send them into the break with the lead. But Kingsway hit back after half time and Ryan Frisina bagged a brace to put them ahead, and in control. But Kelmscott weren’t finished and they levelled when Owen Curtis’ header crashed off the crossbar and Arthur Gaye fired home the rebound. It looked like the points would be shared but in the final minute Kelmscott won a penalty after Gaye was brought down by Kingsway keeper Joey Smith, and Pywell stepped up and scored the resulting spot kick to give the home side the points.
There was another seven goal thriller at Edinburgh Oval when Curtin University came back from 0-3 down to beat Quinns 4-3. The visitors lead 2-0 at the break with goals from Adam Buckley and and an own goal, and they increased their lead just after half time with Jake Benson-Cooper on target and it looked game over. But Oliver Robertson pulled one back after good work from Jon Krawec, and they added another when Eddie Tikoff volleyed home. Curtin were well on top and it wasn’t a surprise when they levelled 10 minutes from time, Khaled Salhah scoring from the edge of the box. Quinns then had the chance to go back in front but Benson-Cooper missed a penalty, and six minutes from time Curtin won it, Krawec scoring his second to give the home side a memorable comeback win. In other games Wanneroo City beat Melville City 2-0 at Wanneroo Reserve, while Morley Windmills travelled to the Swan Italian Club and came home with a 2-0 win against Swan United. The visitors were ahead when Ben Wantee beat two players and finished well in the bottom right corner of the net. The second goal also came from Wantee, he cut in from the left hand side after beating the right back and curled into far corner from about 15 meters.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TWENTY ONE - PREVIEW
The PS4 National Premier League WA title could be decided this weekend, with league leaders Perth SC hosting second placed Inglewood United at Dorrien Gardens. A win to Perth will wrap up the top spot, while Inglewood need at least a point to take the title race to the final game of the season. Perth are coming off a 3-2 win at Cockburn last week, with Gustavo Catarcione bagging a brace, to take his tally for the season to 19, and they are in pole position, and skipper Clark Keltie said it was a hard fought win, but one they deserved in the end. “We got off to the perfect start on Saturday and it looked like one way traffic early on, however, individual errors coupled with a bit of complacency soon turned into us being 2-1 down at half time,” he said. “We regrouped and refocused in the changing rooms and came out and dominated the second half. In the end it turned out to be a big win, as the teams around us dropped points.” Keltie, who missed a month of football with injury, said the young players need to take a lot of credit for their good season. “What we have at the club now, which we haven't had previously, is a mentality that no matter who plays, they are trusted and expected to perform,” he explained. “The young boys have done exactly that and I can't speak highly enough of them, with or without me in the side.” Keltie, who skippered the WA State side against the Glory on Wednesday, said Inglewood will be desperate for a result and they need to be ready for a battle. “This week is the biggest game the club has had in years, there's no hiding that,” he said. “Inglewood will be a tough test, but if we want to win the league then you have to beat these teams. It's as simple as that. We go into the game with a fully fit squad to choose from.”
Inglewood defender Adam Tong, who was also involved in the State game, said last week’s lost to Subiaco was one they didn’t see coming, but shows you need to turn up for every game or you will get rolled. “Coming to the end of the season it's pretty much crunch time as everyone is desperate for points. It showed on the weekend, that no matter whom you are playing, if you do not put in 100% and miss chances teams will punish you,” he said. “It was a sloppy goal to concede and a real sucker punch, I felt we controlled the game well but we were playing into Subiaco's hands. Although disappointed you have to take your hat off to them lads at Subiaco as they wanted it more and were hard to break down.” Tong said they head into Saturday’s top of the table clash with confident after only losing one game on the road this season. “Well it now comes to Saturday and who turns up will be the winners and I'm hoping our boys are up for the fight. With Brian Woodall coming into the mix and Kenny Keogh and Ashley Rosindale getting fit again we will have enough fire power to make them a bit.” Tong said they will be looking for a better performance against Perth, as the last time they met they were well beaten. “After copping four goals against Perth last time we need to be a tight unit and we will be preparing right this week for hopefully a blockbuster game,” he said. “Mark Pritchard is suspended but we get David Cyrus and Brian Woodall back this week, but they also have Josh Pereira in doubt with injury.”
ECU Joondalup recent good form has seen them shoot up the table, and they are currently sitting in fifth place, level on points with Floreat and Bayswater, and this week they entertain Cockburn City at the ECU Football Stadium. Defender Rikki Smith said last week’s win at Bayswater was clinical and gave them a huge boost. “It was a confident performance from the boys, Bayswater came out of the blocks and put us under a lot of pressure in the first 20 minutes and fortunately some desperate defending kept us in the game,” he explained. “We remained patient, soaked up the pressure and scored a really important goal just before half time. Then we scored two really well taken goals in the second half, and secured a really important win for the club, and kept our good run of from going.” ECU were thrashed 4-0 at Cockburn earlier in the season, which was their last defeat in the league, and Smith said that was a different side, and they know they have to keep winning, if they are to make the West Australian Top Four Finals series. “The coaches took us through the video analysis of the Bayswater game on Tuesday, and although it was a great result we identified a few things we need to work on defensively,” he said. “Cockburn won 4-0 earlier in the season so ironing out those creases is going to be really important in what is another Cup Final this Saturday. We know they are going to be a threat, and they were only just beaten last week by a very good Perth side. We are on a great run but haven't achieved anything yet, and the top four is in our hands it’s up to the playing group now to get the job done.” In team news Jayden Drummond is missing, while Kevin Moon should be fit after limping out last week’s win.
After the euphoria of beating Perth Glory two weeks ago, Armadale lost to Sorrento last week, and now they need three points this weekend to keep clear of the drop zone, when they visit Macedonia Park to take on Stirling Lions. The win against the Glory was vital, but defeat at Percy Doyle Reserve dropped them back in the mix, but it was a game keeper Alec Radonich said they should have taken something from the game. “We were in good form going into the game, but we didn't perform as well as we have been the last few weeks,” he said. “But even though we didn't play our best we could of easily got a goal and a point, but it wasn’t our day.” The Lions have been on free fall in recent weeks, and haven’t won in the last five weeks, but Radonich said they are a talented team and they need to be at their best to get the vital three points. “This is a big game for us this week, we need a result because we don't want relegation going down to the last game against Subiaco,” he said. “They (Stirling) have had a dip in form, but they have some quality players in their squad, but we will worry about our game and hopefully come home with the points.” Both sides go into the game at full strength, and both need the points in their quest for top four and relegation battle.
The relegation fight is heating up and Subiaco will be looking for back-to-back wins when they host Sorrento at Rosalie Park. Sorrento have been on a good run of form and they are looking for a top four spot, and need to win both of their game to have any chance, so it should be tight contest. Sorrento edged out Armadale last week, while Subiaco stunned league leaders Inglewood, and keeper Ryan Montgomery said it was a great team performance. “Last week was a massive result for the club with everyone knowing its do-or-die in every game from now,” he said. “Everyone put in 100% and put their bodies on the line, to get the result we needed to keep our chances alive. We all know the importance of the remaining games so hopefully we can show the same passion and heart as we did on the weekend and save our season.” Montgomery has been outstanding between the sticks this season and he will need to be at his best again if Subiaco are to get the right result. “This week is another massive challenge for us, but if we show the same fight as last week there's no reason why we can't get the result we need,” he said. “Everyone is fit and available and we’ll be doing our best to get the three points.” Again this match is vital and the outcome of this game will have huge ramifications at the top and bottom of the table.
Perth Glory is also looking for back-to-back wins in their relegation fight, when they travel to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta. The Glory beat Floreat last week to move them away from the drop zone, but they need to keep winning to make sure of their NPL survival. Balcatta won for the first time in six games last week in the local derby against Stirling, and defender Conor Kavanagh said it was a much needed win. “Saturday was a hard fought victory for us, we had to really earn the victory against a good side in Stirling. We took the lead early on which is always great, but really had to battle for the result, they missed a couple of good chances so it was relieving to hear the final whistle when it came,” he explained. Kavanagh said the game against the Glory will be another tough game, like they all are in the league. “This week we face another tough game against the Glory, but it’s shown that any teams can beat another in this league, wherever you are on the table,” he said. “They (Glory) are obviously looking to gain points to help avoid relegation, while we are looking to have a strong finish to the season. You always know what you’re going to get with Glory, and you know you will have to battle and concentrate for the full 90 minutes as they just never let up. The win against Stirling will give us great confidence going into the game, and I’m sure we have enough to get the three points.” In team news Kieran Stallard pick up an injury at the weekend, but Marc Anthony hopes he pulls through, but they will be without Cameron Teece, who was sent off last weekend.
The final game of the round is on Sunday when Floreat Athena and Bayswater City meet at the E&D Litis Stadium. Both sides are coming off defeats last week, City losing at home to Joondalup, while Floreat were beaten by Perth Glory, and both need the win in their quest for a top four finish. Floreat defender Bobby Wilson said last week’s defeat was a huge disappointment. “It was a very disappointing day all round for us, we did not take our chances and a lot of things went against us,” he explained. “It’s disappointing that Perth Glory are able to suddenly drop 7-8 first team players into their squad on such a crucial game for us, something needs to be done regarding this issue. Not only were we up against a juiced up glory side, the refereeing last week was very, very poor, but at the end of the day we still should have secured the three points.” Wilson said Saturday’s game is like a Cup Final for both sides and he said the lads are ready for it. “All the boys understand nothing but three points will do, Bayswater are all class and it will take a huge effort to overcome them, but we’re up for the challenge,” he said. “We have 3 or 4 players, including myself fighting injuries to get ready for the game, but I’m sure with quality in our squad we will be fine.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND EIGHTEEN - PREVIEW
The top of the All Flags Division One table has tighten up after last week’s results, and only two points separate the top two. Joondalup United closed the gap on Mandurah City after a hard fought 1-0 win at Canning City, and this week they host fifth placed Rockingham City in the Footballwa.net Match of the Week. Coach Nick Jennings said they should have put last week’s game to bed earlier. “I thought last week was a thoroughly professional performance from the lads, and we dominated throughout, but just lacked the killer punch to finish Canning off when they were in the ropes,” he said. “Really we should have been four or five up, but in the end we were grateful to our superb keeper James Bodset keeping a clean sheet to take all three points, we need to be more ruthless in front of goal.” Jennings said Saturday’s opponents have a good side and they need to be on their game. “Rocky have a number of young talented players and we will have to be at our best to beat them,” he explained. “Last time out we sneaked a 2-1 win at Lark Hill and they will be looking to avenge this. It's another must win game for us so I'm sure the boys will all be up for it. In team news Josh Booysen, Guy McDonald and Joel Ledsham return to the match day squad after missing last week, but our millionaire skipper Arran Maplestone is overseas once again.”
Rockingham moved up the table with their win last week, a game Coach Rob Crerar said was a tight affair. “Last week was a hard fought win against a Shamrock side who worked really hard but our class showed through in the end,” he said. “The three points moved us level with Forrestfield and jumped us over Ashfield, so our season has been good, but we still have some big games coming up.” Crerar said Saturday’s opponents have been outstanding this season and he is looking forward to the challenge. “For me they are the best side we have faced this year, and we’re excited at the challenge this week,” he said. “We think our best is good enough to get something from the game, and we’ll be going there with that mindset and we’ll see how we go.” In team news Ryan Kennedy is suspended but Matt brooks and Danny Macklin are pushing for selection.
Mandurah are back at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium on Saturday, when they entertain Gosnells City. Their draw at the Phoenix last week, although disappointing Coach Doug Hesketh said it was a good point. “I thought we played well last week, and we were really unlucky not to take all three points, especially second half we created a lot of chances,” he said. “But just looking back over all, we’re happy with the point, not many teams go there and get a result.” Hesketh is expecting another tight encounter against Gosnells, who beat Ashfield last week. “Everyone lifts their game against us, week in week out and that is a massive complement to our playing squad, that they are held in such high regard,” he explained. “I’m sure they (Gosnells) will try to lift too, they are a decent squad, so we will give it our best shot and try to play good football.” In team news Oliver McGee is suspended for the home side, while Craig Young has returned to Scotland, and a couple of players are fighting a virus but should recover, while Daniel Paredes is suspended for Gosnells.
In other games Western Knights host Dianella White Eagles in the traditional rivalry game at Nash Field. The Knights jumped to third last week with a big win at Forrestfield, while the Eagles were beat at home by UWA, to keep them rooted to the foot of the table. Forrestfield will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat, when they travel to Harold Rossiter Reserve to take on Shamrock Rovers. The home side were beaten at Rockingham last week, and they need to start and pick up points sooner rather than later, or they will be in relegation/promotion play-off spot. UWA-Nedlands will be looking to make emends for their last home game, when they were thrashed by Forrestfield, when they host South West Phoenix at the UWA Sports Park. UWA did bounce back last week with a win at Dianella, while the Phoenix drew with the league leaders, but it’s on the road were they have struggled this season and they need to turn that around, having only won once away from Payne Park this season.
In the final game Canning City make the trip to Ashfield Reserve to take on Ashfield. Canning were edged out by Joondalup last week, while Ashfield lost at Gosnells. Canning Coach Paul Oliver said despite the loss he was happy with the performance. “Last week was a disappointing result, but the performance was far from it. We more than matched Joondalup throughout the game and really had them against the ropes in the second half but couldn't find the goal I thought we fully deserved,” he said. “The chances we missed weren't half chances they were genuine opportunities that really should have been taken and on another day could have had 4 or 5. Joondalup are a good side as their league position suggests but despite the result it gives us good confidence knowing that we are very capable of taking points from any team in this division.” Oliver knows Ashfield will want to bounce back from last week’s defeat, and is expecting them to fire up. “Ashfield will be disappointed with last week’s result and their season as a whole I would think. They are an experienced side that have been there or there about the last couple of seasons so I'm sure Paul Dundo would have hoped for more,” he explained. “That said you don't lose quality overnight, and I'm sure they will give us a big challenge this week and we have to be fully prepared for a tough outing. It’s the time of the season where injuries and suspensions can sometimes hit you and we are feeling the pinch this week. Nathan Hubbard, Simon Correia and Josh Findlater are out for the rest of the season. Callum Roberts and Mark Trevisiol are out this week through injury, Joshua Wade is suspended, and Peter Cartright and Joe Correia battling illness. Dane Navarro and Ethan Levitt are overseas. So we are just looking to be competitive this week and will trust the reserve players that come in that they can do a job.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND EIGHTEEN - PREVIEW
This week’s Footballwa.net Match of the Week takes us to Princess Road Reserve where second placed Balga entertains third placed Joondalup City. Both sides are coming off wins last week, Joondalup’s win at Ellenbrook sent them down, while Balga had a hard fought win against Wanneroo City. Balga Coach Ljupco Taneski said they had to work for the three points. “It’s been a season of 2-1 wins at present, we have not been very clinical in front of goal as we were in the first five rounds of the season. Some teams have parked the bus against us so it’s pleasing when you’re good enough to break them down and get the result,” he explained. “For us at Balga it does not matter whether we score 2 or 6, we want to play good structured football and win football matches. Wanneroo are a good side, judging by the news out from the club they were supposed to be within the front runners for the title, so the result is always pleasing.” Taneski said Saturday’s opponents are a very good side and it will be big challenge. “What we can say about Joondalup City is they are a strong side with plenty of experience in their ranks, which is always a good successful formula for getting out of this league. At times what they possess, we lack but it’s been a very good season for us and the youthful setup,” he said. “We are really looking forward to this game due to how unfortunate we were in the away fixture going down to a contentious penalty in the 3rd minute of the game and being denied late in the second half. This is certainly the game that I feel will decide the race for the playoff position. We have Juma Awaka and Denis Fekovich both suspended and a couple of players have work commitments from last weekend’s squad. But never the less we are well up for the fixture and we don’t look at who is missing we always look to who is playing.”
Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said last week’s win was good and he said it’s always good to keep a clean sheet. “To win a match 5-0 is always pleasing, but I was particularly happy to keep a clean sheet. We played some great football in patches but we are still working on being consistent for 90 minutes. We have had to make a lot of changes to our team from week to week so it has been difficult to play at the level we showed earlier in the season,” he explained. “Thankfully some of our teenagers in the squad have been in great form which has helped us steady the ship after some poor performances.” Schisano knows Saturday’s game is vital for both sides, who have aspirations to finish in second spot and getting in the play-offs. “It is going to be an important match as both teams are striving to finish second to have a chance of promotion. Fremantle are deservedly well clear so I am sure both teams will be looking to gain a lead over the other,” he said. “We won 1-0 in a tight match last time we played them and I am sure it will be a hard fought contest again. I am sure Bobby will have his boys organised as always and we will need to be at our best to come off the park with three points.” Like Balga Joondalup will be missing players, but Schisano said they are up for the game. “Unfortunately we will be without Danny Beattie, Stephen Connolly, Tyler Smith and Tommy Bramley for a few weeks through injury,” he said. “But we are hoping Liam Peacock and Mark Thornton will be fit enough to return to the squad in this vital game.”
League leaders Fremantle City take on the relegated Ellenbrook United at Hilton Reserve, while Curtin University host Quinns FC at Edinburgh Oval. Quinns edged out Kelmscott last week, while Curtin came away from Morley with a 2-2 draw. Melville City are in fourth place on the table, and this week they make the trip to Wanneroo Reserve to take on Wanneroo City. The home were edged out at Balga last week, while Melville are coming off a draw against Swan United. Melville keeper Daniel Agudelo said last week’s 1-1 draw against his former club was a tight contest. “The game against Swan was a tough game, with both sides controlling the game for periods,” he said. “Both teams had their chances to pinch it, but in the end a draw was probably a fair result.” Agudelo said Saturday’s game will be another tough game, like they have been all season. “This league has shown it’s highly competitive, and that it reflected in the league table,” he said. “No game can be taken for granted so we are expect another tough competitive game. We want to retain our position on the ladder and Wanneroo will surely want to better theirs, so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
In other games sixth placed Swan United entertain eight placed Morley Windmills at the Swan Italian Club. Both sides earned draws last week, Swan coming away from Melville with a share of the spoils, while Morley did likewise against Curtin. The final game of the round takes us Fyre Park, where Kelmscott Roos entertain Kingsway Olympic. The visitors were beaten by the league leaders last week, while Kelmscott had a narrow defeat at Quinns. Kelmscott Coach Chris Bates said they were unmanned last week and he thought they performed well. “Last week was always going to be a tough game for us with five first team players out,” he explained. “But having said that the reserve players that came in stood up, and did a great job and although I think Quinns had the better of the first half, we dominated the second half and where unlucky on many occasions to not get a few more goals.” Bates said a win on Saturday could take them over Olympic, and he said they will give it a good go. “Kingsway are a great team and we are looking forward to the challenge and I’m sure it will be a tight encounter,” he said. “We have a few players on the short list for their return to the side, but we’ll see how they have pulled up from training and make the decision.”
PERTH UNDER PRESSURE, NOT INGLEWOD, SAYS DUNN (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Goalkeeper Alex Dunn insists the pressure will be Perth SC to perform in tomorrow's potential league title decider at Dorrien Gardens. Inglewood United slipped from the top of the National Premier Leagues following last week's surprise home loss to Subiaco AFC, a result which allowed Perth to move to the summit.
With two regular season games remaining Perth holds a single point lead over Inglewood in what has become a two-horse race for top honours. And Dunn, who spent three seasons at Dorrien Gardens, says the weight of expectation will be heavy on Perth this weekend. "Until a few seasons back Perth were the benchmark club," Dunn said.
"Perth expects their players to be winning game regularly and competing for trophies to uphold the winning culture that has been instilled from previous teams. They've not won a trophy for a while now and there will be a lot of pressure on them to get a win at their home ground and hold onto their lead."
Dorrien Gardens has been something of a fortress for Perth this season, the Blues limiting the opposition to just six goals in ten games in collecting five wins and four draws. Nonetheless, Dunn is confident his teammates have the ability to open up Perth's defences and add a few more goals to the 'Against' column.
"Perth have some quality players and are obviously well-organised at the back," Dunn said. "But if the league has shown us anything this year it's that any team can beat anyone else on any day and by a range of margins. We've had a tough few weeks results-wise and want to make amends for the terrible display against Subiaco."
"We know what we what are capable of and I have full confidence that our entire squad will be back on song this weekend. It's been a long season and we have worked very hard to get to where we are. For some reason we don't seem to want to do things the easy way and we all know what is on the line this Saturday."
CLISBY OFF TO WESTERN SYDNEY (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Western Sydney Wanderers have bolstered their squad for the 2016/17 A-League season with the addition of former Inglewood United defender Jack Clisby. 24-year old Clisby will add depth and flexibility to coach Tony Popvic's squad having made over 60 appearances on the national stage with Perth Glory and Melbourne City.
Clisby believes he will fit in well at Western Sydney. "Players at the Wanderers really work for each other, the Club always has a solid game plan and from an outsider's perspective you can see a really good team chemistry which I can't wait to be a part of," said Clisby.
"I feel I can learn a lot under Tony Popovic. The Wanderers are a very competitive club and I would like to take my game to the next level and contribute to that. It's going to be a new experience for me, a new challenge and I'm looking forward to it. I'm very excited and I can't wait to get to Western Sydney and join the group."
Clisby shot prominence in 2012 with Inglewood, winning that year's Gold Medal and a few months later signing his first professional deal with Perth Glory. The hard-working defender gained 31 league and cup outing with Glory before a January 2015 switch to Melbourne, where he made a further 36 appearances.
HAROLD GIVES GLORY THE HERITAGE CUP
A first half goal from Chris Harold has given Perth Glory a 1-0 win against the WA State Team in an entertaining Heritage Cup clash at Inglewood Stadium on a wet and windy Wednesday night. The match was a perfect tune up for Glory ahead of their Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 clash against Sydney FC at Dorrien Gardens on August 30, and Kenny said it was good work for his chargers. “It was great value,” Lowe said. “It was really good – a competitive game. It might’ve been wild and windy but I think they enjoyed it just by the attitude and the intensity and the way they went about their work. I was really pleased with our guys.”
WA Coach Chris Coyne was pleased with the local players, and he said they were very competitive. “It speaks volumes for the NPL and the quality in there and after two training sessions together the boys can hold they heads high,” Coyne said. “They gave a really good account of themselves. Everything we’ve tried to work on in such a short space of time they took on board. They showed they wanted to win the game. But Glory were bright and sharp as well and it was a good performance by both sides. Sometimes players come on and they struggle to get to grips with the pace of the game but we didn’t lose the continuity, and I think it shows the depth of quality in the league.”
The Heritage Cup, which was inaugurated to acknowledge 120 years of league soccer in WA and 20 years since Glory’s first game, and it was a high tempo start to the game. There were chances at both ends in the opening five minutes as Nebojsa Marinkovic free kick whistled inches over the top, and Joe Knowles threatened for Glory, while ECU Joondalup striker Gordon Smith headed into the arms of goalkeeper Nick Feely in an early warning of the WA state team’s threat.
Armadale’s lively winger Ellis Healing and Bayswater City striker David Heagney had separate opportunities to break through before Sorrento’s Matt Sparrow delivered a perfect cross from the left that picked out Smith, but he headed straight at Feely. Marinkovic went close again with a free-kick that flashed just over the top, and Andy Keogh had a shot on the turn that was saved low by Perth SC keeper Francis Soale. The WA side were giving as good, as they got, and the impressive Smith saw his shot superbly saved by Feely on 43 minutes. But in in the shadows of half time the Glory hit the front. Marc Warren’s cross from the left found Harold, who took a deft touch, before stabbing the ball past Soale.
Both side made wholesale changes at the break, but the intensity didn’t drop, but it was the Glory who produced the better chances. Joseph Mills saw his early shot superbly tipped around the post by ECU Joondalup keeper Lewis Italiano, who replaced Soale at the break. Marinkovic’s long-range free kick flew over the top, before Mills’ shot did likewise. Italiano produced another good save to deny the impressive Mills late on, and the State side nearly levelled late, when Bayswater City skipper Trent Kay was picked out in the box, but he headed straight at Feely.
WA State team 0 v Perth Glory 1 (Harold 45+2)
WA State team: GK Francis SOALE (GK Lewis ITALIANO 46’), 2 Ryan PEARSON, 6 Clark KELTIE (c) (12 Paul MCCARTHY 63’), 7 Matthew SPARROW (8 Cameron EDWARDS 65’), 9 Gordon SMITH (10 Jason MIRCO 46’), 11 Ellis HEALING (20 Jonathan STYNES 46’), 15 Sam MITCHINSON (18 Niccolo SABATINI 63’), 13 Teeboy KAMARA, 17 David HEAGNEY, 19 Ryan LOWRY (4 Trent KAY 57’), 22 Chris SALDARIS (5 Adam TONG 57’)
Yellow cards: KELTIE 35’, SALDARIS 38’
Perth Glory: GK Nick FEELY, 9 Andy KEOGH; 14 Chris HAROLD (11 Richard GARCIA 46min); 6. Dino DJULBIC; 28. Joseph KNOWLES (23. Kosta PETRATOS 68min); 19. Joshua RISDON (20. Aryn WILLIAMS 46min); 3. Marc WARREN (16. Joseph MILLS 46min); 18. Mitchell OXBORROW; 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC (21. Jamal REINERS 84min); 5. Rhys WILLIAMS; 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (15. Brandon WILSON 46min).
Substitutes not used: 33. Liam REDDY.
Yellow cards: R WILLIAMS 42min.
Referee: Adam Fielding
VILLA'S LYDEN WELCOMES JEDINAK ARRIVAL
Mile Jedinak's imminent $7.7 million move from Crystal Palace to Aston Villa will give the relegated club "a massive boost", according to the club's other Australian, Jordan Lyden. The midfielder, who made four senior appearances last season as Villa dropped into the Championship after a disastrous campaign, sees the signing of the Socceroos captain as a major coup for Villa and new coach Roberto di Matteo.
Lyden and Jedinak met briefly at the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground. "We had a chat and Mile seems like a terrific guy and to have a player of his calibre and quality is a massive boost for us, because the aim is to go straight back up and he can certainly help us do that," said Lyden.
"He's a leader, as you saw during all those years at Crystal Palace when he captained the side, and he is so strong and dominant in midfield that I am sure he'll do a great job for us if it all goes through. If I am lucky enough to get to play alongside him, he'd be a fantastic player to learn off and observe because he's got so much know-how and experience at the top level."
MATILDAS FURIOUS WITH REFEREEING AND GAMESMANSHIP
The heartbroken Matildas are furious with officials for allowing Brazil an unfair advantage during the penalty shootout that ended their Olympic dream. The Matildas also believe local police were responsible for their late arrival at Mineirão Stadium, delaying their departure from the team hotel while the Brazilian team bus was allowed to leave.
The Matildas performed gallantly to take the quarter-final showdown to penalties. But their disappointment came when match officials were reluctant to sanction Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara, who was allowed to repeatedly come off her line during the shootout and managed to save two of Australia's seven penalty attempts.
The Australian women's team believe the referees were scared to upset the parochial home crowd, despite previously pledging at a pre-tournament meeting to crack down on goalkeepers advancing off their line for penalties with yellow cards. "I think you could say a little bit," said Samantha Kerr when asked of the referee was scared to upset the crowd. "I'm sure the crowd had a little bit of an impact on the decision."
"On the bench we noticed the first one but we obviously scored it. We thought if she missed, they would have retaken it but it wasn't the case on the last one. I don't think there was any talk of retaking it. I don't even think if the referee thought (of a retake), she probably wouldn't have called it with the pressure of the crowd. The moment kind of just got away from everyone."
Alanna Kennedy, who missed the last penalty that ended Australia's hopes of an Olympic medal, was a dejected figure after the game. However the Matilda's rallied behind her and refused to blame the 21-year old for the heartbreaking loss. "Lans was obviously upset," Kerr said.
"All the girls were upset. But we're a team. We win together, we lose together - it's no one's fault. If Lans wasn't in the backline we probably wouldn't have been nil-all. We're very grateful for the performance she put in. It could have been anyone. The best players in the world miss penalties. It's not about who misses it."
SUBIACO STUN LEAGUE LEADERS
Bottom of the table Subiaco have given their relegation fight a huge boost after stunning 1-0 win against league leaders Inglewood United at the Inglewood Stadium. The only goal of the game came from James Casserly midway through the second half, the win closes the gap on Armadale to two points, and they play each other in the final game of the season. “We knew it would be hard as they are obviously pushing for the league title. We just had to go out and fight for our lives,” Ian McMurray said. “I told them before the game they had to go out and give everything they can, and they’ve done very well and got the three points.”
With the top of the table being tight, Inglewood knew they couldn’t slip up, but it was the visitors who opened the brighter, but clear cut chances were few and far between. The home side were the first to go close, when striker Kenny Keogh shot was well saved by Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery. The Subiaco custodian was beaten moments later, but Keogh’s goal was disallowed, the assistants flag up for offside.
After the break Subiaco pressed but struggled to find holes in the Inglewood defence, and it was the home side again that went close on 63 minutes. Ashley Rosindale made space down the left, and squared the ball to Tim Robertson, but his shot flashed over the top. That miss came back to haunt Inglewood five minutes later when Subiaco opened the scoring. A long throw by Jackson Dongray was flicked on by Casserly, over the head of a stranded Alex Dunn.
The goal was the kick up the behind Inglewood required and they throw everything forward looking for the equaliser, but Subiaco held firm. But on 83 minutes Adam Tong’s long ball found substitute Scott Witschge, whose header was saved by Montgomery. Then in the final minute Mark Pritchard’s corner picked out Tong, whose header beat Montgomery, but the crossbar came to the rescue, and Subiaco hung on for three valuable points.
PERTH HITS THE SUMMIT WITH WIN AT COCKBURN
Perth SC moved to the top of the table after a hard fought 3-2 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Gustavo Catarcione gave the visitors the lead early, but late goals from Ruben Tristao and Aden De Luz gave Cockburn the lead at the break. But second half substitute Harley Orr levelled before Catarcione won it nine minutes from time, for his 19th goal of the season. “I am very happy with my two goals today but I also missed two chances that I could have easily scored, but with these three points we go top,” Catarcione said post game. “Next week we play at home and if we win that we win the league, so we have got to work hard for that game.”
Cockburn, who had performed well in the Westfield FFA Cup, before going down 1-2 to Melbourne Knights, where on the back foot early, and it was the visitors who hit the front on 14 minutes. Aleks Jovic played the ball into Catarcione, and the Brazilian striker volleyed past Luke Radonich. Catarcione was a real handful and he was in again five minutes later, this time he was sent clear by Matthew Milenkovic, but Radonich stood tall to deny him.
Perth went close again six minutes from half time, skipper Clark Keltie’s long-range shot was parried by Radonich, and Catarcione was quickest to the rebound, but his shot flashed wide of the target. That miss became more costly, as Cockburn levelled on 41 minutes. Josh Kuser shot beat Francis Soale, but crashed off the post, but Tristao was quickest to react and fired home the rebound. Then in final minute Cockburn hit the front, Riley Woodcock’s picked out the unmarked De Luz, who made no mistake with a curling shot from the edge of the penalty area.
After the break Perth took control, and they were level on 56 minutes. Catarcione was the supplier this time, finding Orr who fired home. Both sides had chances with the game on the line, but it was Perth who won it nine minutes from time. Rocco Pizzata’s through ball sent Catarcione clear and he finished clinically past Radonich to send Perth to the top of the table.
GULLS EDGE CLOSER TO FINALS
Sorrento moved within touching distance of the top four finals after a hard fought 1-0 win against Armadale at Percy Doyle Reserve. The only goal of the game came from English striker Sean Canham, the win moves the Gulls to sixth position, only three points of fourth spot, and they also have a game in hand on the rest of the teams, while Armadale slip closer to the drop zone. “It’s in our control, if we win every game we get into the top four, so that’s our aim,” Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell said post-match. “We shot ourselves in the foot a bit during the middle of the season so every game from here on in is a cup final.”
After Armadale’s big win against Perth Glory in mid-week, a win on the day would almost give them safety from relegation, and they started well, Nathan Smith’s cross on 20 minutes picking out the unmarked Anthony Skorich, who headed it over the top. But that miss came back to haunt the Reds and five minutes later Sorrento opened the scoring. Winger Niccolo Sabatini’s cross was headed back across goal by Steven McDonald and Canham headed home.
Sorrento went close to a second early in the second half, this after a poor clearance from Alec Radonich went straight to Tim Hill, but the Armadale custodian made emends saving well from the midfielder’s shot. Armadale lifted with former Sorrento midfielder Jesse Fuller and Ellis Healing bossing the middle of the park, but they couldn’t find the equaliser. Sorrento were dangerous going forward and Radonich had to be alert to deny striker James Morgan just after the hour.
Armadale were pushing men forward and went close the equaliser on 73 minutes, Jackson Bealey picking out Healing, whose header was saved well by keeper James Morgan. With Armadale pushing men forward they almost conceded a second on 84 minutes, Hill raced down the flank and crossed from the bye-line to Canham, who couldn’t find the target. With both Subiaco and Perth Glory winning on the day, it means the relegation battle is far from over.
GLORY YOUNGSTERS UPSET ATHENA
Perth Glory moved four points clear of the PS4 National Premier League WA drop zone after a hard fought 2-1 win against Floreat Athena at the Ashfield Arena on Saturday afternoon. Kosta Petratos gave the Glory youngsters the lead just before the half hour, before Jon Stynes levelled. But the winner came from Glory’s defender Ross Millard, and despite having defender Scott Robertson sent off on 69 minutes they hung on for three valuable points. “Floreat are a Top 4 side, strong and it's always a tough contest which is nice challenge which we enjoy - our focus is ourselves and everyone is delighted for the group at the end of a tough week - but we love it because this is the reality of professional football.
The Glory opened brightly and Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris saved well to deny Jamel Reiners volley. But there was nothing the Floreat custodian could do on 26 minutes, when the Glory hit the front. Petratos found space on the edge of the penalty area and his shot through a crowded penalty area took a slight deflection and beat Jason Saldaris. Floreat lifted and Dean Evans’ long range shot was well blocked by Jack Iredale, and on 37 minutes Floreat levelled. A ball into the box found Jon Stynes, who brought the ball down well on his chest before finishing low past Nick Feely.
But three minutes before half time the Glory regained the lead. It was the other Stynes this time who set it up, Daniel’s slide rule through ball sent Millard in on goal and the youngsters finished clinically past Jason Saldaris to send them into the break 2-1 to the good. It was end to end football after the break; Oxborrow’s teasing cross was well claimed by the Floreat keeper, before substitute Ludovic Boi free kick was headed clear by former Floreat defender Aryn Williams.
Moments later Feely had to be alert to save well from Jon Stynes’ header, but just after the hour the Glory went close to a third. Oxborrow’s free kick was heading for the net, but a stunning save from Jason Saldaris denied him. But on 69 minutes the Glory were reduced to ten men after defender Scott Robertson was given a second yellow card by referee Stuart Muldoon, and was sent off.
Floreat looked to make their numerical advantage count and Chris Saldaris saw his close-range shot flash over the top, before Shaun Timmins’ cross took a deflection of Iredale, but it went straight into the arms of a grateful Feely, who saved. The Glory hit on the counter attack ten minutes from time, and almost added a third. Nikola Talimdzioski racing clear from a ball over the top, but his chip was well saved by Jason Saldaris, before late on Feely had to be alert to save Bobby Wilson’s header but the Glory youngsters hung on for the points.
SMITH AT THE DOUBLE FOR ECU
Gordon Smith’s second half double has helped ECU Joondalup to an impressive 3-0 win against Bayswater City at the Finance 365 Stadium. Daryl Nicol had given the visitors the lead at the break, but Smith’s 16th and 17th goal of the season, eased them to victory. “A great win for the club today, we do usually play well here, but to dominate and win comfortably, it was a great team performance,” defender Andy Higgins said post-game. “A few weeks ago we were just playing for pride really and not thinking about the top four, but after today’s big win and results going our way, today we could be up for it.”
At kick off only three points separated the sides and it was Bayswater who had the first real chance on 13 minutes. Andy Reale’s cross from the right found the unmarked Jason Mirco, who fired wide of the target from six meters. ECU went close themselves four minutes later. A quick throw by keeper Lewis Italiano sent Nicol racing forward, he skipped past three Bayswater defenders, but his curling shot was saved low by Devon Spence. Bayswater were on the front foot and ECU had to rely on some desperate blocks from Rikki Smith and Cian Hirrell to keep a rampant home side at bay.
But on 20 minutes ECU should have hit the front. A superb through ball from Shane Pickering sent Gordon Smith clear, but Spence stood tall and saved well. The Bayswater custodian kept his side in the game with two telling saves. First he got down well to save Nicol’s close-range shot, before superbly tipping Gordon Smith’s shot on to the bar moments later. Bayswater were not without chances themselves, Trent Kay heading inches over the top from David Heagney’s corner, but in first half stoppage time ECU hit the front. Kevin Moon sent Tommy Amphlett down the right, his low cross picked out Nicol in the penalty area, who finished clinically past Spence, to send the visitors into half time with the lead.
The home side were out of the blocks early in the second half, and Mirco set up Heagney ten minutes in, his shot beat Italiano, but flicked the outside of the post. But against the run of play, ECU doubled their advantage. Gordon Smith was brought down in the area by Kay, and referee Matthew Southern pointed straight to the spot. Smith picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty. Italiano then came to his sides’ rescue, after Reale’s cross picked out substitute Luka Ninkovic, but his header was superbly saved by the ECU custodian. The points were made safe 14 minutes from time, when ECU added a third. A quick counter attack saw Nicol race clear down the left, he squared the ball to Gordon Smith, who finished with aplomb, chipping over the on-coming Spence.
TEN MAN BALCATTA BEAT THE LIONS IN LOCAL DERBY
A ten man Balcatta have won for the first time in five games, after a goal in each half from Conor Kavanagh and Alan Carroll gave them a 2-1 win against local rivals Stirling Lions at Grindleford Reserve. They were reduced to ten men when Cameron Teece was sent off and Graham Doran pulled a goal back late, but Marc Anthony’s side hung for the win. “It’s very pleasing. We’re used to going a goal behind and then fighting to get back into the game, so it was good settler to get that early goal,” Anthony said. “First half, I thought we were excellent and dominated the game but they were probably the better team in the second half. It was backs to the wall after they pulled one back, so I’m obviously proud of the boys for hanging in there at the end.”
Balcatta made the perfect start and were ahead after only six minutes. Hanafi Ghazali’s free kick was headed home by Kavanagh. For the rest of the half clear cut chances were few and far between, with both keepers Kyle McDonald and John Perkins kept their sides in the game. If the first half was dull, the same couldn’t be said for the second.
The visitors went close early in the second period, Teeboy Kamara cut back found David Micevski, but the former Perth Glory midfielder spooned it over the top. Kamara was a constant threat, the former Adelaide United winger was denied by youngster McDonald, before Micevski curling shot drifted inches wide. It looked only a matter of time before the Lions levelled, but on 76 minutes, and against the run of play Balcatta doubled their advantage. A ball into the box saw Carroll beat his marker and his glancing header beat Perkins and into the far corner.
The Lions lifted and they reduced the margin seven minutes from time, Kamara was the supplier, picking out Doran who side footed into an empty net. The home side then had Teece sent off, after picking up his second yellow card from referee Michal Jasinski, and the Lions went in search of an equaliser. Miki Vujacic shot curled just past the post, before McDonald produced a stunning save to from Vujacic again, before Ghazali cleared the ball off his own line, as Balcatta hung on to take out the honours in the local derby.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVENTEEN - REVIEW
Mandurah City’s lead at the top of the All Flags Division One was cut to just two points after they were held to a 2-2 draw by South West Phoenix in the South West Derby at Payne Park. The home side were busy early and had Mandurah on the back foot, but it was the Dolphins who opened the scoring on five minutes. Jordon Rhodes converting from the penalty spot after a push in the box. Mandurah had chances to increase their lead but couldn’t convert them and it was the Phoenix who levelled. A well worked move from defence ended up with Martin Ryan, who skipped past two defenders before firing home, via a deflection, from the edge of the penalty area. Mandurah pressed after half time and Jeff Bright’s volley restored their lead. Rhodes headed wide as Mandurah looked to end the contest, but in stoppage time the Phoenix got the goal their performance deserved. A free kick from Lee Stewart from the right edge of the penalty area beat Brad Eiffe and gave the Phoenix a share of the spoils. “We’re very happy with the point away from home, although we almost had three,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “No complaints really, I would have taken a point there before the game. It was a great second half, but Mick and I want us to be more ruthless in front of goal and take our chances, we played good football and created chances and I’m happy with that.”
Joondalup United closed the gap with a hard fought 1-0 win against Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. The only goal of the game came when James Bosdet’s throw out found Callum Stocks, and he combined with James Harmer and Lee Jones on the right, before the ball was crossed to Josh Whitmore who calmly swept the ball home. “It was a tough physical encounter which is exactly what we expected, Canning at home on their small pitch give you no time and space and compete for everything,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. “Having said that I thought for the majority of the game we were in complete control and should of put the game to bed, yet again spurning numerous easy opportunities which meant we were reliant on our outstanding keeper James Bosdet producing a couple of excellent saves to ensure we took the three points, our third victory of the week.”
Western Knights moved into third place on the table after a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park. The home side were ahead on the stroke of half time, Hasani Sinclair crossing to Ben Rogers who scored from close-range. Rogers went close to a second moments later, but Knights keeper Sam Stone denied him. But on the hour the Knights levelled. Adriano Jelenovic raced clear, rounded Luke Martino and rolled the ball home. The visitors were a head seven minutes later, Kevin Ashwood pouncing on a poor clearance from Martino to score. It was Ashwood again who sealed the win on 77 minutes, Paul Lloyd’s cross from the left was hammered home by Ashwood, to seal the points. The players worked hard today, kept their shape and they got their reward,” Knights Coach Trim Morgan said. “We’ve come off three losses and they’ve been a bit hungry today. Forrestfield are a good team. They held a high line, disciplined, but I’m so happy for the lads.”
In other games Gosnells City beat Ashfield 2-1 at Walter Padbury Reserve. The home side were ahead on 25 minutes, Dean Apelgren curling home a stunning long-range free kick. But Ashfield levelled when Gosnells failed to clear a cross and Stephen Kirk made them pay. It looked like the points would be shared but deep into stoppage time at the end of the match Gosnells won it. Jason Pottier’s cross caused panic in the Ashfield penalty area and in the goalmouth scramble Scott Periera fired home the winner. Rockingham City leapfrogged Ashfield after 2-0 win against Shamrock Rovers at the Lark Hill Sportsplex. City were ahead after only ten minutes, Christian Hogge scoring from close range from Blake Sokolowski cross. The points were made safe five minutes from time, Hogge brought down in the box and Ryan Kennedy scored from the resulting penalty. “It’s a great result for us, but I felt our performance could have been better, we played well in patches,” City Coach Rob Crerar said. “But credit to Shamrock, they worked really hard right to the end and made it difficult for us all day.”
In the final game UWA-Nedlands bounced back last week’s big loss to Forrestfield with a 3-1 win against Dianella White Eagles at Dianella Reserve. The visitors were ahead on the half hour, Alex Kretowicz scoring after he was the quickest to react after a goalmouth scramble. Dianella equalised on the hour mark, a brilliant individual effort from Joshua Tumuoe. He started his run down the left before cutting in and waltzing past a few defenders before smashing his effort home from the edge of the penalty area. But UWA hit back and with 20 minutes to go Kretowicz scored his second, the striker yet again was the quickest to react to a loose ball in the box. The points were wrapped up on 80 minutes, good work by Mordecai Appiah was finished off by a brilliant strike from Geordie Papathanassiou.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVENTEEN - REVIEW
Fremantle City edged closer to the title after a 3-0 win against Kingsway Olympic at the Kingsway Sporting Club. The visitors were ahead when after some sustained pressure, Gareth Hamilton was on hand to place it pass the keeper. Hamilton added his and Fremantle’s second after a one-two Anthony Lomma. The points were wrapped up in the second half youngster Lomma was involved again, this time laying the ball in to the path of Sean Browne to seal the win. “It was a much better first half for us this week, and Gareth took his chances really well,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “We lost Tom Speziali in the morning with sickness and Danny Clapham after ten minutes with injury, so we were a bit concerned but the two young lads (Rhys Plucknett and Anthony Lomma) that stepped in did well. Our task was made a little easier towards the end as Kingsway unfortunately lost two players to injury late on after making all their substitutions but we were grateful for the win after a hard solid contest.”
Balga kept up the pressure on Fremantle after a 2-1 win against Wanneroo City at Princess Road Reserve. Wanneroo had the best chances of the first half, however Balga keeper Ollie Rigler made some fine saves. Then on the stroke of half time Dinko Ahmetanovic put Balga 1-0 up, the striker beating the offside trap, and then lobbed the Wanneroo keeper from outside the box. Balga doubled their lead in the 50th minute, Anton DeFrancesh was brought down in the penalty box, Ahmetanovic took the penalty and his low shot just went past the keeper. Wanneroo pulled on back just after the hour. A quick counter attack ended with Jake Martin who scored from close-range. It was game on, but Hubert Hakizimana should have made it 3-1 to the home side sooner, however with only the keeper to beat, he shot wide, but Balga hung on to take all three points.
Joondalup City also kept in touch with Fremantle and Balga after a 5-0 win against Ellenbrook United at Arbor Grove Reserve. The visitors were on top early and raced to a two-goal lead, with Jamie Stewart bagging a brace. Sam Phillips added the third before halftime, before Danny Allen and Joe McQuade made it 5-0 after the break. “I thought the lads played some good football and created a lot of chances but I am particularly pleased with the clean sheet,” Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said. “Now that we are finally getting a lot of the players back from long absences, there has been a positive vibe at the club which has brought a lift in intensity at training. Saying that we have unfortunately lost another three players with what look like long term injuries but we are determined to finish the season strongly.”
In other results Morley Windmills and Curtin University fought out a 2-2 draw at Wotton Reserve. In the final game Melville City and Swan United drew 1-1 at John Connell Reserve. United hit the front from the penalty spot, after John Monterosso was brought down in the box and Luke Woodard scored from the resulting penalty. Melville levelled after half time, after neat link up play between Mark Lucas and Cormack Abbott found Louis Granich in the box, who scored after the Swan keeper couldn’t hold on to the cross. “It was a good game, Melville played a very good brand of possession football where as we looked to defend compact and hit on the counter,” Swan Coach Matt Debarro said. “We had three of four good chances in the first half, which we did not capitalise on, but second half Melville had the better chances and got the equaliser. Both teams went for it late but in the end a draw was a fair result.”
In the final game Quinns FC beat Kelmscott Roos 2-1 at Gumblossom Park. The visitors were ahead early a free kick from the edge of the box flew into the bottom left hand corner of the net. Quinns levelled after an Adam Bowers goal kick was flicked on and Jake Benson-Cooper ran on to the ball and flicked it to the corner of the net. It looked like the points would be shared but five minutes from time Quinns won it. Nicky Sharples ran on to a through ball and slid it to the right corner in off the post to win it. “A great result for us, but as the coaches said after the match we should have had the game finished at half time,” Benson-Cooper said. “We've had plenty of opportunities to batter team this year and let it slip, another hard fought win that puts us in the mix battling for top four.”
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND TWENTY - PREVIEW
With only three weeks to go in the PS4 National Premier Leagues-WA season and the top and bottom positions are getting closer and this week's Footballwa.net Match of the Week takes us to Percy Doyle Reserve where Sorrento go in search of the win to keep their top four hopes alive, while Armadale need them to keep clear of the relegation zone. Sorrento have won back-to-back games to move within six points of the four and have a game in hand, and are coming off a fantastic 3-0 win at Stirling last week and Coach Jamie Harnwell said he could tell the boys were up for a big game. "After the first couple of minutes you could see that our players were up for the game, and some of the football we played was first class and we restricted Stirling to just a handful of chances," he said. "Probably the most pleasing aspect was that we took our chances at the right time, and really put the game out of Stirling's reach." Harnwell said Saturday's opponents have been in good form and is expecting another tough encounter. "Every game for us from here on in is a cup final if we want to catch up with the top four," he explained. "Armadale will be full of confidence after knocking over Glory and we will certainly be wary of them. We were bundled out of the cup by them and only scraped to a 1-0 win in the league earlier in the year so I know what Armadale are capable of. However, in the form we are in at the moment we fancy ourselves to beat any team in the league. If we approach the game and apply ourselves as we have been doing the past couple of weeks then I am confident we can get another much needed three points." In team news for the Gulls Ryan Pearson is missing through suspension, but they will welcome back Matt Sparrow. Shaun Kilkelly has started back training but won't be in consideration for another week at least, while Scott Bulloch will be out for the remainder of the season with hamstring problems.
Armadale gave their relegation fight a huge boost with their 3-2 win against Perth Glory in midweek and assistant Coach Tony Castiello said it was a vital game for them and they came through with flying colours. "This was a must win game for us and the players responded very well with a good first half performance going in at half time 2-0 up," he said. "The Glory hit back in the second half but 17-year-old Michael Domfeh scored his second goal of the match to win it for us. That win and recent good results just proves to the players that they deserved to be in a much better position in the league than the table shows, but on many occasions we have been a toothless Tiger and unable to score chances created." Castiello said the last time they met the Gulls in the league they let the points slipped very late, and he said they need to be switch on for the whole game this time around. "For the trip to Sorrento a very different game plan is required, and last time we lost to them 1-0 at home, when we conceded a 93 minute goal, having had much of the play on that day," he explained. "So we know what to expect and our players are going into this game with some confidence, and I feel that if we continue on are good form we will cause Sorrento some problems, but they are a difficult physical team to play against so it will come down to who wants it most on the day." In team news, it is as you were for the Reds, and Castiello said they have struggled with a long list of injuries all season but thankfully that is clearing up. "We have been hit hard this year with injuries but that's just something you deal with," he said. "It's only now at this late stage of the season that we are able to field our best squad and the results of that are showing along with the benefits of how well we can play when we have a fit and strong squad to select from." Danny Hodgson is available again this week, but he may have to come through the reserves on Saturday.
It's top v bottom at the Inglewood Stadium, when league leaders Inglewood United entertain Subiaco. Michael Brazil's side picked up back-to-back wins in round 16 and 17, but they have slipped back in recent weeks, and are four points adrift at the foot of the table and will be desperate for the points. Inglewood also wants the three points, to maintain their two point lead at the top, and last week they came home from Armadale with the points and keeper Alex Dunn said they had to really earn them. "We aimed to get off to a flying start at Armadale and push the tempo which we did, but Army came back in the second half and had us under a lot of pressure," he explained. "We managed to dodge a bullet with a goal being offside late in the game. We aimed to come away with maximum points no matter what, which we did and at this stage of the year it doesn't matter how you get them." Dunn said they can't be complacent on Saturday, as Subiaco are fighting for survival too, and will be missing their skipper for the game. "I believe it's going to be another tough game, Subiaco won't lie down for us, we know that, but we are also fighting for top spot and can't afford anything but a win," he said. "Our skipper David Cyrus is away this weekend but we should have Kenny Keogh back for the game after a hamstring strain."
Perth SC is hot on the heels of Inglewood and this week they make the trip to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. City are coming off a tough Westfield FFA Cup defeat against Melbourne Knights, a game played in wet conditions. Last week Ramon Falzon's side beat Italian rivals Bayswater with Gustavo Catarcione on target, and the striker said it was a huge win. "That was a big win for us to keep fighting for the title, and I think that we really deserved it," he said. "We had a lot of chances to win by more, especially myself, but at the end we got the 3 points and that's all that matters." Catarcione, who is the top goalscorer in the league, said they need to prepare well and go to Cockburn positively, but he knows it will be a tough game. "We have to go there and give our best again, just like last week, and if we do we will get the three points," he said. "Cockburn are a really good team and we can't think about how they going in the league, because every game is different, so from our side we going to go there to do our best to get the three points. Catarcione pulled up sore after the win against Bayswater, but should be fit for the game.
Stirling Lions have dropped off the pace in recent weeks, and will need to find that winning feeling again sooner rather than later, and they will be looking to do that on Saturday when they make the short trip to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta in the local derby. Balcatta have also been on free fall in recent weeks and are coming off four straight defeats, including a big loss at Floreat last week, while the Lions were beaten at home by Sorrento. Lions skipper Brodie Martin said it was a poor performance against his former club and they got what they deserved. "The result and the performance was very disappointing, but injuries and suspensions aside we just never got going and we are aware it wasn't anywhere near good enough," he said. "In saying that full credit must go to Sorrento, who were too strong on the day." Martin said Saturday's game is huge, it's a local derby and they need to fight for a top four spot. "There is still a lot at stake for us and Saturday is an opportunity to put last week behind us," he said. "We are aware of the talent Balcatta possess and we will need to apply ourselves and be switched on for the full 90 minutes in order to get a result. We are still the mix for the top four and it's up to the 16 selected on Saturday to keep the season alive."
Bayswater City suffered a loss last week against Perth SC, and they will look to bounce back when they entertain ECU Joondalup at the Finance 365 Stadium. City's loss dropped them to fourth, while Dale McCulloch's side are on a nine game unbeaten run, which included a hard fought 1-0 win against Perth Glory last week, and McCulloch said they had to work for it. "We probably got away with one last week, but the lads worked hard and got the rewards at the end," he said. "The winner came from Gordon Smith, who felt ill during the game but worked his hardest for the team and at the end of the day it was him how won the penalty and scored it."
McCulloch said they have been on a good run of form and they now have three Cup Final to end the season if they are to reach the end of season finals. "Going to Bayswater is a huge task for the players, but we're playing with confidence at the moment and we fear no one," he said. "We know what is expected, and we know we can't slip up in any of our reminding games, but we have a great comradery in the player group at the moment, so we'll see what happens." In team news Tommy Amphlett returns to the side after missing last week due to suspension.
The final game of the weekend also has a bearing on the top and bottom of the table, as Perth Glory host Floreat Athena at the Ashfield Arena. Defender Blair Govan said last week's big win against Balcatta kept their good run of form going, but he knows they have to keep it up to reach the finals. "After a couple of tough games against Stirling and Melbourne City it was good to come out and put in a solid performance against Balcatta," he said. "We had a few injuries and a few tired legs so to play well, score five and keep a clean sheet was perfect really." Govan, who is suspended for Saturday's game, said they can't take the Glory lightly, as they have some quality players. "Perth Glory is never an easy game, despite their position on the ladder you have to respect them, because technically they are very good," he explained. "But we will focus on ourselves and concentrate on getting the three points to keep pressure on the teams above us." In other team news Lewis McMahon is unavailable, while skipper Ludovic Boi is in doubt, but they do regain the services of Phil Arnold from suspension.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SEVENTEEN - PREVIEW
There is a gap opening up at the top of the All Flags Division One, with Mandurah City maintaining their seven point lead over the chasing pack. This week the Dolphins are involved in the Footballwa.net Match of the Week, when they make the trip to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix in the south-west derby at Payne Park. City beat bottom of the table Dianella last week, a game midfielder Matty Stares said was hard fought, like all games have been this season. "Dianella or whoever comes up against us always put on a performance and have made us work for every result this season," he said. "UWA played well against us and got the win and deserved it on the day, then a few weeks later lose double figures, so it just shows anybody beats anybody anytime top or bottom of the league." Stares said the trip to the Phoenix is good for the region and they know they need to be on their game. "I'm sure Saturday's game will be a good one, and every team below us will be hoping the Phoenix can do them all a favour, but we all want the same thing, play well, work hard and win games," he said. "Dougie and Micky have had a game plan for the season of how we can possibly beat a team, we all just try and work hard to make it happen. This year sometimes it's a Dougie tactic idea that's helped us across the line to win a game, or it's a Micky roll up your sleeves workman like performance that's got us the three points, but honestly we take it one game at a time and get the job done, and the result will take care of itself." In team news Jordan Rhodes and Oriel Fernandez are back from suspension to boost the squad while Andy Brown came off the bench last week after injury and will be pushing for a starting role.
The Phoenix has a good home record this season, and will fancy their chances of taking something off the league leaders, but on the road has been a different story and striker Ian Stewart said that has to change if they are to be successful. "Last weekend was difficult to take. We created a lot of chances but just couldn't buy a goal. Their keeper made a string of great saves and the woodwork helped them out too," he said. "Ashfield were clinical and punished any errors on a awful playing surface and deserved the points. Our small squad has been pushed to the limit this year and really hurt us away from home but as a club that's something we are working on." Stewart said the local derby is always a hard fought game and he expecting nothing different on Saturday. "Mandurah is always a game we look forward to as we know them well. It's a derby for us and we have a great league record against them since returning to Division one. As the league champs they are a hunted side each week but they have dealt well with the pressure well this year and hopefully we can find a way to cause them troubles," he said. "The boys have regrouped from the weekend and we'll be looking for a good session on Thursday to help us prepare for what should be a cracking game. We always back ourselves at home and one of the positives from this year has been our home form so we will be looking for another good result."
Forrestfield United lost ground on the leaders after three straight defeats but they bounced back last week with a stunning win at UWA, and this week they entertain Western Knights at Hatfield Park. Forrie midfielder Jordan Hart and Mitch Crocker have both been outstanding form for the club and Hart said last week's win was well deserved. "It was a great performance from the boys, and we were finally able to put it all together after a frustrating month of football," he said. "Everything seemed to fall our way and we were clinical in front of goal." Crocker bagged a hat-trick and said it was close game early. "It was more of a contest in the first half but in the second half we rolled all over them, and to our credit we were ruthless in front of goal," he said. "It just felt like one of those days where everything comes off but then it was only a matter of time before we thumped someone." Both players believe the Knights will be up for a big game after losing at Shamrock last week, but are confident they can get the job done. "The Knights will be another great challenge with both teams looking to cement there spot in the top four, hopefully we can take the momentum from last week into the game," Hart said. "Both teams have had a disappointing month and have a lot to play for in front of a big expected crowd." Crocker agreed and said they are expecting a battle. "They play a similar brand of football to us so it will be tough all over the park," he said. "In saying that, last week was just what we needed and they are coming off a tough loss so we're expecting a battle."
In other games second placed Joondalup United are on the road with a trip to Burrendah Reserve to meet Canning City. The home side got back in the winner's circle last week with a win against Rockingham, while Joondalup kept the pressure on Mandurah with a big win against Gosnells. United won the reverse fixture 5-1 and they know they need to keep winning to keep the pressure on Mandurah, and they have a good away record, and are unbeaten away from Forrest Park this season. UWA-Nedlands will hopefully be over the shock of conceding 12 goals, when they visit bottom of the table Dianella White Eagles at the Dianella Reserve. Time is running out for Dianella in their relegation battle, so they need to make every post a winner, but UWA will want to put last week defeat behind them and they should be too strong. Ashfield have won the last games to move up to fourth on the table, and this week they visit Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City. The home side have dropped down the table over the past month and currently sit in tenth spot, only six points clear of the relegation play-off spot, and a win on Saturday would help their cause, but Ashfield will be looking to maintain their good form and push further up the table.
In the final game Rockingham City will look to bounce back from last week's defeat at Canning when they entertain Shamrock Rovers at the Lark Hill Sportsplex. Rovers' poor season was given a boost last week with a big win against the Knights, and they will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said last week's loss was hard to take, especially the way it happened. "It's always tough to lose late in the game, the conditions didn't help us and with 13 of our first team squad missing it was always going to be an uphill battle," he explained. "The referee missed a clear penalty early in the game which is frustrating but we've been on a good run so over six weeks, so we are reasonably happy we're we are at." Crerar said Rovers will be buoyed with their win last week and is expecting them to be fighting for their lives. "They (Shamrock) are battling to stay in the league so they will give us a really tough game, we played them a few weeks ago and ran out comfortable winners," he said. "But our players need to have the right attitude this week as we look to get the win and break into that top four." Rockingham will have a few faces back this week with Matt Brooks, Abraham Taona, Ian Ng, Lewy Bake and Daniel Macklin, will all come into consideration for selection.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SEVENTEEN - PREVIEW
This week's Footballwa.net All Flags Division Two Match of the Week takes us to Gumblossom Park where Quinns FC entertain Kelmscott Roos. Quinns are coming off a fantastic win at Morley Windmills last week and Jake Benson-Cooper said it was a good performance from the lads and they are looking to end the season on a high. "The win at Morley was a great result, the lads battled and we came away with what we deserved, the three points, top four is touching distance and we need to remain focused and not fall down the ladder," he said. Benson-Cooper said Saturday's opponents have improved this season and said the last time they played it was a tight encounter. "I remember last time we played Kelmscott, it was a tough game, but we managed to scrape by with a 3-2 win," he said. "I'm sure they will be out for revenge but I believe we can get the win and then head forward with high spirits." In team news Quinns defender Danny Cain is in doubt with a hamstring injury but apart from that they should be at full strength.
Kelmscott assistant Coach James Rae, who has taken the reigns while coach Chris Bates is away said the loss at Fremantle last week wasn't what they were looking for. "The result was disappointing after the previous week's result but that is football, however I did not think the result pictured the game of two sides, who both played hard and one took their chances and the other did not," he said. "It was played in a good spirit most of the game and the result was a bitter pill but a far cry from season 2015. On the road or not you have to perform and Kelmscott will be out to play but we don't take Quinns lightly as they have started to find form and will certainly not just lay down for us. They have a few danger men but hopefully we can nullify them and take the three points." Kelmscott continue to struggle with injuries, but they are hoping to bring a few players back over the next two weeks.
League leaders Fremantle City hit the road this week when they visit Kingsway Reserve to take on Kingsway Olympic, and striker Danny Clapham said they need to be at their best, and improve from last week's performance. "Last week wasn't our best performance of the season but we got the job done and that's all that matters really," he said. "The first half was tough it was very scrappy but we managed to take the lead from the spot converted by Alec Robinson. Kelmscott fought hard and pulled one back half way through the first half and we came out for the second half and dominated it and scored the second with a top corner finish from a tight angle. It was a goal which we deserved to be fair and finally put the game to bed with a slotted finish from Robinson. We've got Kingsway on Saturday which is going to be another battle but I think we are more than up to the challenge as long as we stick to our game plan, they may have been inconsistent but they will be ready for us, as we are top of the league and everyone wants to beat us. It's important we stay focused and take every game one at a time." Fremantle have a few doubts for the weekend, with Liam Farris and Daniel Glennon looking doubtful through injuries, other than that they are at full strength.
In other game Ellenbrook United entertain Joondalup City in the northern derby at Arbor Grove Reserve, with both sides working tirelessly to take the points. City edged out Kingsway last week, while Ellenbrook came close to their first win, but went down to Wanneroo. Morley Windmills and Curtin University meet at Wotton Reserve, with both sides looking to bounce back from defeat last week. Balga host Wanneroo City at Princess Road Reserve. Second placed Balga were beaten at Swan last week, while Wanneroo edged ahead of Curtin at the foot of the table after a win against Ellenbrook. In the final game Melville City entertain Swan United at John Connell Reserve. Melville downed Curtin on Friday last week, while Swan gave keeper Cory Hugo a good send off with a win against Balga. United Coach Matt Debarro said they deserved the win, "Saturday was a great win, we looked like we were back playing our best football from early on in the season," he said. "Balga were a tough opponent but I thought we really stepped up and deserved the win." Debarro said Melville are playing well at the moment, and they need to be at their best. "Melville will be tough they are a good side with good players," he said. "We got the result at home first time around, but this season has proven to be tight and we are certainly expecting a tough game, especially now Melville have really hit their stride. Cory Hugo retiring is a big loss and we have had a few boys coming back from holidays and Injury, however other than Connor Anderson stepping in for Cory we will try to be unchanged for the weekend. We have had several 18 year old's step up since coming in to the team so I will keep rewarding their good performances as well as continuing to keep the experienced boys in their to guide them."
COYNE AND MCGARRY OVERSEE STATE TEAM
Former Perth Glory teammates Chris Coyne and Steven McGarry have joined forces to tackle their old club in Wednesday's Heritage Cup clash at Inglewood Stadium. State coach Coyne, who is also in charge of Bayswater City, called on McGarry's additional experience as they prepare for the match against Glory.
"Stevie is as passionate as me," Coyne said of the ECU Joondalup midfielder. "When we were at Glory, in training we'd always be kicking lumps out of each other. "He's got a great football brain and he's someone I can learn from. I can bounce ideas off."
Coyne was in charge of the State team in 2014 when they beat Glory 2-1 courtesy of goals from Alec Solomons and Ludo Boi, and the former Socceroo is hopeful that result will be repeated on Wednesday. "We want players who were prepared to come in and try and win and enjoy the experience," Coyne said.
"I was fortunate enough to play for the State team myself when I was younger and it's a massive privilege to come in and coach them now. It's fantastic to work with these players and to give them the opportunity to go and test themselves against the best in the state."
FOOTBALL WEST PUSH FOR SECOND A-LEAGUE TEAM
Western Australia could have a second A-League team within three years if an ambitious push by Football West is successful. The local game's governing body is confident it can secure a second licence for Perth and be up and running in three to five years.
"This is an exciting initiative and a statement of intent," Football West chairman Liam Twigger said. "It's all about seizing the moment. We know it's aspirational, but we have the team and management here to make this happen."
Football West's board backed the plan yesterday and the body will now seek expert advice and potential investment to take it forward. Twigger said Football West had contacted Football Federation Australia about the initiative. "I believe the FFA will be very supportive," he said.
Twigger has also informed Perth Glory owner Tony Sage and said a new team would provide a shot in the arm for Glory. "You only have to look at Sydney and Melbourne to see how a second club benefited the team already there," Twigger said.
"Western Sydney Wanderers have been brilliant for the game in New South Wales. We would have a team playing in the State every week and Glory would have a real derby. It will be good for them."
Twigger said the proposed club would go by the working title of the Black Swans, the current nickname of the WA State side. Like Glory, they would play at Perth Oval but be based at Football West's Home of Football headquarters when it was built.
"We are very supportive of Glory and just as Glory came out of the old State team twenty years ago, the current players will provide the nucleus of any new team," Twigger said. "It also doubles commercial openings, having two teams."
Twigger, who hopes the new club will attract between 12,000 and 14,000 fans, said it would be set up differently to the other A-League franchises. "No disrespect to any current model, but ours would be more community-based," Twigger said.
"It would be more akin to the WA footy commission, with Football West holding the licence and, as with the Eagles and Dockers, the new club would be run independently with an agreement reached on income sharing."
Twigger said the A-League was too small with ten clubs, and that an expansion to 14 or even sixteen teams would give it greater bargaining power when the new broadcast deal was negotiated. With perfect timing, the State team plays Glory in a friendly at Inglewood Stadium on Wednesday.
KNIGHTS EDGE OUT A GALLANT COCKERELS
Cockburn City’s Westfield FFA Cup dream came to end after a 2-1 defeat against Victorian NPL side Melbourne Knights at a wet Knights Stadium. Jacob Colosimo gave the Knights the lead midway through the first half but David Araya levelled for the Cockerels on the stroke of half time. The Knight went back in front 20 minutes from time through Stipo Andrijasevic, and Cockburn pushed forward late bravely looking for the equaliser but it never came. It was a great performance from Scott Miller’s side and just like Floreat Athena they did WA proud.
There was a vocal crowd on hand at kick off, with almost 2,000 fans braved the terrible weather to cheer their sides on and The Burn supporters were in full voice from the first whistle. The Knights opened brightly with Jason Hicks and Anthony Dezic a constant threat, while Aden De Luz was the supplier for Cockburn as the WA side held their own. But on 21 minutes the home side hit the front Colosimo latched onto a perfect delivery from Nick Glavan to guide the ball past Luke Radonich, sending the home fans into raptures.
Despite conceding Cockburn hit back and had the Knights on the back foot and in first half stoppage time they stunned the vocal home crowd with the equaliser. The ball found its way to Angel Andres, whose quick turn in the box wrong footed his marker and his low cross was turned home by Araya, and the Cockburn supporters went wild.
The rain subsided somewhat in the second half, allowing both teams to play a more of a passing game, but it was the Knights who looked the more dangerous. They had a goal disallowed and forced a number of corners and on 70 minutes they converted one of them. Stipo Andrijasevic found space in the box, and his shot took a wicked deflection and wrong footed Radonich. It was a cruel blow for the Burn, but they never gave in and rallied late pushing forward looking for the equaliser but the Knights hung on to set up a round of 16 tie against Green Gully.
Melbourne Knights: GK Michael O’FARRELL, 5 Milan BATUR, 8 James MCGARRY, 9 Jacob COLOSIMO (14 Caleb MIKULIC 89’), 10 Marijan CVITKOVIC, 11 Nikola JURKOVIC, 12 Anthony DEZIC (3 Ivan GRGIC 85’), 16 Jason HICKS (2 Luke JURCIC 92’), 19 Nick GLAVAN, 21 Stipo ANDRIJASEVIC, 23 Timmy PURCELL – Subs not Used: 20 Harry CAKARUN, 17Rob ZADWORNY
Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 3 Joshua KUSER, 4 Euen GRANT, 6 Rueban TRISTAO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 9 Angel ANDRES, 10 David ARAYA (7 Ali GHOLAMI 64’), 11 Harry O’BRIEN, 13 Blake ADAMS (14 Liam MURRAY 80’), 16 Daniel DOLS, 18 Aden DA LUZ - Subs not used: RGK Ryan BARKER, 2 Nathan DE ABREU, 17 Jesse LAZZARO
DJULBIC ROARS FOR THE GLORY
A first half brace from Perth Glory defender Dino Djulbic has given them a 2-0 win, against Brisbane Roar and move them into the Round of 16 in Westfield FFA Cup at Ballymore on Tuesday evening. The big defender, who missed most of last season’s Hyunadi A-League campaign, was on the end of Nebojsa Marinkovic’s free kick for the opener early before he fired home the second on 20 minutes after the Roar didn’t clear their lines from another Marinkovic free kick.
The win takes them into the next round were they will face Sydney FC at a venue and date to be arranged. “It’s a Cup game so you just want to win any way you can,” Lowe said. “We were probably a little bit underdone, a little bit rusty. It’s a difficult place to come and win at the best of times. “They [Brisbane] are a super team, play some great football and probably had chances themselves to probably get something out of it. But I thought we defended really well. It was a good performance for us.”
The Glory were on the front foot early but it was the home side that had the first opportunity, when former Glory striker Jamie Maclaren header flashed wide from Dimitri Petratos’ cross. But the Glory started to get on top and hit the front on 13 minutes. Marinkovic’s free kick picked out Djulbic, who rose unmarked to power his header home via the crossbar.
It was a perfect start, with Rostyn Griffiths working overtime alongside Rhys Williams to hold the Roar at bay, and the Glory started to dominant, and seven minutes later the Glory doubled their advantage. Marinkovic’s free kick was dealt with by the Roar defence and the ball fell to Djulbic who hammered the ball home from six meters. Both sides had late chances, the lively Chris Harold saw his header flashed wide on 36 meters, before Tommy Oar failed to find the target from close-range.
It was the Glory again who opened the second half well, Joe Knowles was played into goal, but a last ditch tackle from Daniel Bowles denied him. Marinkovic then rattled the crossbar as the Glory continued to dictate terms, before Maclaren fired wide after being tied up by substitute Thomas Broich. The Glory looked solid, apart from Reedy trying to play out from the back, and almost had his pocket pinched, but the Glory hung on to continue their good FFA Cup form.
Brisbane Roar: GK Michael THEO, 4 Daniel BOWLES, 5 Corey BROWN, 8 Jacob PEPPER (39 Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS 55’), 9 Jamie MACLAREN, 11 Tommy OAR, 13 Jade NORTH, 17 Matt MCKAY (C), 19 Jack HINGERT, 23 Dimitri PETRATOS (22 Thomas BROICH 60’), 28 Brandon BORRELLO - Subs not used: RGK Jamie YOUNG, 25 Kye ROWLES, 40 Joey CHAMPNESS
Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Alex GRANT, 3 Marc WARREN, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS (15 Brandon WILSON 68’), 6 Dino DJULBIC, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD (11 Richard GARCIA 89’), 19 Joshua RISDON, 28 Joe KNOWLES (20 Jamal REINERS 62’) - Subs not used: RGK Nick FEELY, 29 Aryn WILLIAMS
GLORY SET TO SILENCE ROAR IN FFA CUP
Perth Glory are hoping it's a case of third time lucky when they open their FFA Cup campaign at Brisbane Roar tonight. Glory lost 2-0 to Melbourne Victory in the final last season and 1-0 at the hands of Adelaide United in the first edition of the tournament 12 months earlier.
Despite the obvious disappointment, coach Kenny Lowe said he would not need to use the defeats as motivation. "You don't look at that," Lowe said. "Players are players. They'll look forward to the game more than anything. They won't look back, they'll just look forward."
"Hopefully we can get something out of the game. It will be a good test for us to see where we're at. We've got a lot of new players. If we are going to get anything over there we've really got to be on our mettle. We find it difficult to get quality games because the east coast teams don't really want to travel and we can't go over there."
Lowe is wary that Brisbane's off-field dramas - the club has been dogged by financial woes and there is friction between the coaching staff and managing director Daniel Cobb - could bring out the best in the home side. "I know from our (salary cap breaches) experience what we went through," Lowe said. "But it can help you, it can bring you together."
Glory will be without Johnny Warren medallist Diego Castro, who is not due in Perth until later in the month, striker Adam Taggart (restricted duties) and defender Joseph Mills (ill). Three off-season signings - midfielder Rostyn Griffiths, goalkeeper Liam Reddy and utility Rhys Williams - are in the 16-man squad.
COCKERELS FLY THE FLAG FOR WA IN FA CUP
Cockburn City will be flying the flag for WA Premier League football on Wednesday night and looking to make a piece of Westfield FFA Cup history, by becoming the first WA Premier League side to win a game in the competition, when they take on PS4NPLVIC side Melbourne Knights at the Knights Stadium in Sunshine. After last week’s gallant effort from Floreat Athena, and upsets galore in the tournament so far, the Cockerels will be ready to put in a good performance and move into the next round.
Cockburn Coach Scott Miller has played many times against the Knights in his NSL days with Perth Glory, and I’m sure he will be telling his players to go out and enjoy the occasion. Former Perth Glory midfielder Cameron Edwards will be vital in the clash and he said the lads are ready for a big night. “The boys are ready to go, and were all looking forward to it,” he said. “It will be a big challenge, but we’ll go into the game with no fear, enjoy the occasion and take in the experience and hopefully come away with a result.”
Keeper Luke Radonich has been outstanding this season in the PS4NPLWA, and he said the chance to make a little bit of history is motivating the players. “It’s a massive game on Wednesday night and all the boys are really excited and pumped for the occasion,” he said. “Our form in the league has been up and down, but this is a cup game and anything can happen. All the boys are really motivated to go out and put in a good performance and come away with the win and make history for WA football.”
Harry O’Brien’s pace down the flanks will be important on the night, and the former Perth Glory winger said the group is focused and are determined to get the right result. “It’s a really big game for the club, and all the boys are ready for the challenge,” he said. “This is probably the biggest game that most of the lads have been involved in, so everyone is looking forward to it. It would be a massive achievement if we can get the win and the first WA team to win a game in the FFA Cup, not only for everyone in Cockburn, but the whole of the football community.”
But standing in their way is Andrew Marth's Knights. They are a young, attacking squad, coached by a former Knights legend who, like the club, is pleased to be back on the national stage at a venue where the club have invested their resources to make it one of the best. They'll be well organised, and Marth has visited WA to scout City and they also played Melbourne City in a friendly in late July, so, they'll be ready in what is the biggest night of the season.
“I think the glory days will come back, our fans are very patriotic as you know and we have a strong support group week in week out, and we’ve been one of the best teams going around in Australia’s history, and to come back on the national stage is huge,” Marth said. “The league means a certain amount to us but the FFA Cup is huge and exposure to our young kids at a high level... even though the boys wanted me to bring back a trip away to Darwin, Perth or Cairns."
From everyone at Footballwa.net and the whole of the WA football family, Good luck to Scott Miller and the players.
Melbourne Knights squad: 1.Michael O’Farrell (gk), 2.Luke Jurcic, 3.Ivan Grgic, 4.Ben Surey, 5.Milan Batur, 6.Damien Miskulin, 7.Christopher Talajic, 8.James McGarry, 9.Jacob Colosimo, 10.Marijan Cvitkovic, 11.Nikola Jurkovic, 12.Anthony Dezic, 13.Anthony Katiforis, 14.Caleb Mikulic, 15.Julius Davies, 16.Jason Hicks,17.Robert Zadworny, 18.Josh Brekalo, 19.Nicholas Glavan, 20.Fraser Chalmers (gk), 21.Stipo Andrijasevic, 22.Daniel D’Sousa, 23.Timmy Purcell, 24.Marcelo De La Plaza, 30.Harry Cakarun (gk)
Cockburn City squad: 1.Luke Radonich (gk), 2.Nathan De Abreu, 3.Joshua Kuser, 4.Euen Grant, 5.Brandon De Abreu, 6.Reuben Tristao, 7.Ali Gholami, 8.Cameron Edwards, 9.Angel Andres, 10.David Araya, 11.Harry O’Brien, 12.Kenel Mouithys, 13.Blake Adams, 14.Liam Murray, 16.Daniel Dols, 17.Jesse Lazzaro, 18.Aden Da Luz, 23.Ryan Barker (gk), Daniel Santich, Andrew Emsavana
GLORY SIGN SERBIAN MIDFIELDER SMILJANIC
Perth Glory have filled their final visa spot with the signing of Serbian international midfielder Milan Smiljanic for the upcoming A-League season. The 29-year old, who was born in Sweden, comes to Glory following stints with Belgrade powerhouse FK Partizan, La Liga side Espanyol and, more recently, Israeli outfit Maccabi Netnaya.
Smiljanic is the second Serbian player set to wear the Glory jersey this season, joining compatriot Nebo Marinkovic. The pair played together at FK Partizan and also represented their country at U-17 and U-21 level. Smiljanic has represented Serbia six times as senior level, scoring one goal. He is expected to arrive next week in Perth where he'll undergo a medical.
GRIFFITHS SETS SIGHTS ON TITLE
Journeyman midfielder Rostyn Griffiths says the prospect of achieving long-overdue team success made his decision to re-join Perth Glory a "no brainer". Griffiths left Glory at the end of 2014/15 to link up with Dutch Eredivise club Roda JC but the 28-year-old is now back in Perth after signing a two-year deal with the A-League club.
Griffiths set the A-League record as the most expensive transfer when he made a $1.3million move from Central Coast to Chinese outfit Guangzhou R&F in 2012. Although proud of that achievement, he said team success remains his major motivation. "I'm 28 now. I want to win something," said Griffiths.
"Winning something, especially with my hometown club, would be great, and definitely something I want to do before I finish football. I was looking to stay overseas. But as soon as Perth made the offer to me, and I looked at the squad and the chance to win something, it was too good to turn down. It became a no-brainer."
Griffiths feels like he has a great chance to achieve trophy success at Glory following coach Kenny Lowe's impressive recruiting spree. Last season's stars such as Andy Keogh, Shane Lowry, Josh Risdon, and Diego Castro have been joined by Rhys Williams, Griffiths and Adam Taggart in a squad bursting with talent.
CATARCIONE SINKS HIS FOMER CLUB WITH LATE WINNER
Perth Soccer Club left it late to seal a 1-0 win against Bayswater City at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday, and in doing so leap frogged their fierce rivals to second spot on the PS4NPLWA table. The only goal of the game came from former Bayswater striker Gustavo Catarcione three minutes from time, but the home side deserved the win. “I thought it was the perfect reaction from the previous week’s game against Glory, and I told the young boys that if we could win our individual battles then we'd win the game,” skipper Clarke Keltie said. “Bayswater are a well organised side with experience, so we knew they would have spells of possession, however I never thought they really threatened us. Had we been more clinical in the final third, we'd have scored a few more. The win has given our squad a massive boost going into the final three games of the season.”
The visitors, who rattled in five last week against Subiaco were on the front foot early, and Lawrence Shuruma was a constant threat, but clear cut chances were few and far between. The best chance fell to Perth when Catarcione picked out Nicholas Ambrogio, but his finish lacked direction. Bayswater almost handed the home side lead on the half hour, David Stokoe’s mistimed clearance was pounced upon by Catarcione, but Devon Spence stood tall to deny him. Shuruma went close for the host before the break, but Francis Soale was out quick to smoother his shot.
Both sides went close early in the second half as the tempo of the game lifted. Perth’s Jordan De Leo failing to connect with Ambrogio’s teasing cross, and Jason Mirco doing the same for Bayswater after Heagney drifted past his marker and delivered a quality low cross. Perth went close again on the hour, a long ball sent Catarcione clear and he touched the ball around the on-coming Spence, but Stokoe made emends for his earlier error to get back with a tackle to deny him.
Perth were getting on top and Matt Milenkovic was next to go close for the home side, the winger saw two shots whistle over the bar after a cutting in from the right, before he crossed to Catarcione in the box but the Brazilian striker lost his footing as he shot. It looked like the side would share the spoils, but three minutes from time Perth won it. Keltie won possession and eased past his marker before sending Catarcione in on goal and he finished clinically past Spence. Bayswater pressed late and laid siege on the Perth goal, but with Adrian Madaschi and Nathan Diaz outstanding at the heart of the back four, they stood firm to seal a famous win
SMITH SPOT ON FOR THE GLORY
A penalty ten from time from ECU Joondalup striker Gordon Smith has given them a hard fought 1-0 win against Perth Glory at the ECU Football Stadium. The points moving the Jacks closer to the top four, but they had to earn it. The Glory youngsters dominated for long periods of the game, but they couldn’t find the goal their dominance rewarded. But ECU move on making it nine games unbeaten and taking them to only two points off the top four. “We had to work hard today, I thought that Perth Glory were really good, and passed the ball well,” Smith said. “But credit to our boys for pulling through and getting the win to keep our push to the finals alive.”
The Glory almost handed the lead to the home side on eight minutes, when defender Scott Robertson slipped on the greasy surface leaving Gordon Smith clear, but Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell stood tall to save. The Glory went close ten minutes later, Alex Tanevski was given too much room in the middle of the park and his shot was saved low by Lewis Italiano.
Daniel Stynes then drove into the area, but just as he was about to pull the trigger Shane Pickering got back with a timely tackle. ECU ended the half the better and Rikki Smith’s shot was deflected wide before Kevin Moon shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed over the top. Then in final minute a long ball over the top sent Gordon Smith clear, he held off his marker, but his flick was well saved by Thurtell.
Both sides had chances early in the second half, Steven McGarry’s close-range shot was well saved by Thurtell before the Glory custodian was out bravely to save at the feet of McGarry again moments later. The Glory hit back and on the hour they should have hit the front. Great work on the right by Stynes ended with a cut back from the bye-line to Alex Tanevski, whose first time shot was superbly saved by Italiano.
The ECU custodian was at it again moments later, this time Stynes skipped past two ECU defenders and raced into the area but Italiano was out quick to save. It was end to end football, Daryl Nicol played in Gordon Smith whose shot whistled over the top before Sam McKearnan shot on the turn flew over the top. But on 80 minutes the home side hit the front.
Gordon Smith took on Ross Millard, and the Glory defender blocked the Scotsman in the area forcing referee Michal Jasinski to point straight to the spot. It looked a little harsh but there was contact and Smith picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty, despite Thurtell getting a hand to it. The visitors almost snacked a later point, but Nikola Talimdzioski’s shot from the edge of the box whistled inches past a post.
WOODALL AT THE DOUBLE FOR LEAGUE LEADERS
Inglewood United extended their lead at the top of the PS4 NPLWA table after a hard fought 2-1 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. English striker Brian Woodall was the hero bagging a goal in each half, either side of Michael Domfeh’s equaliser for the Reds. The win moves Inglewood two points clear and with three games left are in pole position for the their first title in 20 years.
United Coach Taki Nicolaidis was happy to get back in the winner’s circle. “Obviously very pleased to come away with the three points as Armadale is a very hard place to go to and win,” he said. “I thought Armadale pushed us the whole game and our boys showed good character to find a winner after Armadale equalised early in the second half.”
Armadale were going into the game with back-to-back wins, but it was the visitors who made the perfect start, and were ahead on six minutes. Ashley Rosindale made space down the flank and cut the ball back to Woodall, who made no mistake from close-range. Inglewood was dominating and Armadale keeper Alec Radonich had to be alert to save Adam Tong’s glancing header.
The home side pressed late in the half but they couldn’t find a way past a solid Inglewood defence. The best chances fell to Ellis Healing, who was picked out from a corner, but Alex Dunn spread himself well to deny the English striker. Then in first half stoppage time a low cross from skipper Jesse Fuller picked out Dannie Richman, whose first time shot sailed over the top.
But seven minutes into the second half the home side levelled. A cross picked out Domfeh who lost his marker and headed past Dunn, much to the delight of the Army faithful. But their celebrations were short lived as Inglewood regained the lead six minutes later.
Mark Pritchard finding Woodall at the back post and he controlled the ball well and fired home. Armadale pushed for the equaliser and it looked like they’d found it, but Anthony Skorich’s long-range volley looked destined for the top corner, but Dunn tipped his effort over the top superbly.
FIVE STAR PERFORMANCE FROM ATHENA
Floreat Athena’s good form continued on Saturday after a 5-0 win against Balcatta at the E&D Litis Stadium. The three points moved Floreat temporarily into second spot, and continued their good week, after a gutsy performance against A-League side Melbourne Victory in the FFA Cup. Shaun Timmins and Chris Saldaris had given the hosts the lead at the break, before Dean Evans, Jon Stynes and Kris Gate put the icing on the cake.
Stynes said they needed to kick on from the big game in the cup, and start to climb the table. “We knew we couldn’t dwell on a good performance against Melbourne City, so we had to make a statement in the league to push for the top place,” Stynes said. “We need to continue this for into the next three weeks, and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Floreat went into the game without influential skipper Ludovic Boi, and they were on the back foot early, with Balcatta looking to end their poor run of from. But the home side settled and on 17 minutes they hit the front. Timmons raced down the left, and his shot from the angle beat debutant keeper Kyle McDonald.
It was 2-0 nine minutes later, a goalmouth scramble ended with a shot which McDonald saved well but Chris Saldaris was on hand to fire home the rebound from close-range. Balcatta went close to pulling one back on the stroke of half time, Cameron Teece’s lob was tipped over the top by Jason Saldaris at full stretch.
Teece was a handful for the Floreat defence and he went close again early in the second half, his shot crashing off the upright. But just after the hour Floreat added a third, Evans’ shot from the edge of the box beating McDonald. Balcatta continued to press but struggled in the final third, but the points were made safe seven minutes from time.
Clayton Arnez’s cross was met by Stynes, his header as cleared off the line but the assistant referee said it had crossed the line. The icing was put on the cake in stoppage time when former Balcatta midfielder Gate found room and buried his shot from the edge of the penalty area.
COCKERELS DO IT FOR BILLY
Cockburn City put a tough week behind them after the passing of club legend Billy Thorburn, and warmed up for Wednesday’s round of 32 Westfield FFA Cup game with Melbourne Knights, with a 2-1 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park. Harry O’Brien scored twice for the visitors, either side of Owen Coates equaliser for Subiaco, the moved Cockburn eight points clear of their rivals at the foot of the table.
Cockburn Coach Scott Miller said it was an emotional day for all involved with the club. “There are a lot of boys with their heads in their hands and we’ve just joined together into a little circle,” Miller told the PS4NPLWA website. “We’ve lost a super gentleman in Billy Thorburn, who has been at Cockburn City Football Club for 50 years, and is the father of my assistant coach. That was all the game was about today. We had to win for him because he deserved that send off.”
It was a tight opening to the game with chances few and far between, with Subiaco needing the win to close the gap on the teams above them. But it was Cockburn, who have dropped into the relegation zone in recent weeks, who opened the scoring on 23 minutes. Cameron Edwards’ corner from the right found O’Brien who lost his marker at the back post to head past Ryan Montgomery. The Subiaco custodian was the busiest as Cockburn looked to put the game to bed but they couldn’t add to their lead.
City were dangerous down the flanks with O’Brien and Aden da Luz a constant threat, but Subiaco steadied and went close themselves early in the second half. James Casserley’s header was saved well by Luke Radonich, before Asher Nelson shot flashed inches past the post. The game opened up and Montgomery had to be alert to tip over Angel Andres’ free kick over the top, and with 20 minutes remaining the home side levelled.
A ball into the box wasn’t dealt with and the ball broke to Coates, who made mistake guiding the ball past Radonich. The home side were now on top and Radonich produced another great save to deny Michael Lawson’s free kick. Cockburn hit back O’Brien’s effort crashed off the post, but six minutes from time it was Cockburn who won it. A ball over the top sent O’Brien clear and he lobbed the on-coming Montgomery to give them an emotional three points.
GULLS STUN THE LIONS AT THE DEN
Sorrento kept their top four finals hopes alive with a 3-0 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park. Former Lions duo Tim Hill and Billy Quinncroft were both on target for the Gulls, either side of Sean Canham’s strike. Hill said it was a great performance and extended their winning streak. “For me it was a great feeling to get a win over them as they are my old club and they did give us a bit of a thrashing in the first round, and too score against them was even better as it was my first senior goal as well so what a time to get it,” he said. “As for the result it keeps us firmly in the hunt for top four and our performances the last few weeks have shown we’re good enough to match it with the best teams so we believe if we make the four, and we can go on and win it.”
The visitors, who were thrashed 5-0 in the reverse fixture, were out of the blocks early and hit the front after only ten minutes. A cross from Niccolo Sabatini wasn’t dealt with and Hill’s first shot was saved by John Perkins, but the midfielder fired home the rebound. The Gulls looked up for this one, and two minutes later it was 2-0. A goal kick from James Morgan was misjudged by the Stirling defender and Canham nipped in and lobbed the on-coming Perkins.
After the break Stirling continued to struggle to get into the game, and lacked the final ball into the final third. Sorrento continued to press and half time substitute Quinncroft went close and Hill long-range shot whistled over the top. But on 78 minutes the Gulls sealed the victory with a third. Ryan Pearson found space and whipped in a cross that Canham headed back across goal and Quinncroft volleyed home.
Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell praised his side’s return to form. “We’re starting to play to our potential and capabilities and are scoring goals when we’re in control of the game,” he told the PS4NPLWA website. “We’ve made it hard on ourselves but that’s what this club prides itself on, we always do things the hard way.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIXTEEN - REVIEW
Mandurah City maintained leadership of the All Flags State League Division One with a 3-0 win against Dianella White Eagles at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. Dolphins Coach Doug Hesketh said it was a tough game against a side whose league position belies they position on the table. “It was a great win for us, and I thought we controlled the game against a good Dianella side, position says they are struggling, but I thought they have potential and some surprises in their team. We ran the game ran out well, and we were always in control, and it was good for Andy Brown got some minutes of the bench to confirm his fitness again, and Jack Eades got some game time after 3 weeks out so was a positive display and an excellent squad effort,” he said. “Mick and I are delighted to get the points and commend the squad on their focus and commitment, They set the standard on the field, but I still think the team have a bit more and can go up a gear but every week they are making positive contributions and giving everything and should be congratulated.” The home side were ahead on ten minutes, a quick free kick from Jon Brookes sent Jeff Bright clear, and he round the keeper to score. Mandurah pressed and squandered a couple of chances before they doubled their lead on the stroke of half time. Brooke’s throw was flicked on by Oscar Thompson and Matt Stares headed home. The points were made safe after the break when Thompson was brought down in the box and Brooke converted the resulting the penalty spot, despite keeper Yousri Gharsallah getting a hand to it.
Joondalup United kept pace with the leaders after a 4-2 win against Gosnells City at Forrest Park. “In stages we played some great football, but we still learn to be more ruthless and finish off teams when we are dominating games,” Joondalup Coach Nick Jennings said. The boys didn't panic though and in the end we won the game far more convincingly than the 4-2 score line would suggest.” The home side were ahead on 13 minutes, with a superb individual effort from James Harmer, who outpaced the defence and smashed home from just inside the area. But Gosnells hit back and levelled six minutes later, Sean Taylor profiting from a defensive mix up to score, this after his initial shot was saved by James Bosdet. But Joondalup regained the lead on 25 minutes, when Gosnells keeper Jack Adams brought down Callum Stocks and referee Ammar Timour pointed straight to the spot, and Lee Jones converted the resulting penalty. But Gosnells weren’t going away and in the shadows of half time Taylor headed his second to send the sides in level at the break. Gosnells went close to a third on 73 minutes, Wade Farmer’s powerful shot crashed off the woodwork. But sixty seconds later Joondalup regained the lead again, a stunning strike from Stocks, that gave Adams no chance. The point were wrapped up four minutes later, Stocks again on target, his shot going in off the post.
Shamrock Rovers won for only the third time this season after stunning third placed Western Knights 3-1 at Harold Rossiter Reserve. The home were ahead when Nathan Hibbert curled home superbly from 20 meters, but the Knights levelled before the break. Paul Lloyd was brought down in the box, and he picked himself up and scored from the spot. But Rovers hit back and Paul Sopp raced down the flank and cut the ball back to Will Pender, whose shot was deflected past the keeper. But Rovers sealed all three points when Gregor Hart cross was only cleared to Sopp who calmly slotted past the keeper. “For the majority of the game Knights held onto possession, but we had a game plan to shut down their midfielders and stay tight to them,” Rovers’ Fraser Burt said. “The whole team put in extreme effort levels for 90 minutes as we soaked up their pressure and hit on the counter with our pace up front. Although they had most of the ball I felt we had more chances which was managed to take full advantage of this week.”
In other games Forrestfield United bounced back from three straight defeats with a stunning 12-1 win against UWA-Nedlands at the UWA Sports Park. Three players, Ben Rogers, Mitch Crocker and Sani Sinclair all scored hat-tricks, while Liam Merrigan bagged two with Ben Fraser scoring the other. “We have had three tough games where not much went our way, the weather, poor refereeing, injuries, holidays, suspension’s and of course, our own inexperience proved to be an extremely tough challenge for all of us,” United Coach Rod Banjac said. “We lost all three where we deserved at least something to show for the effort, but rather than sulk we just worked harder in regards to improving our individual and collective game. We were always going to be in a menacing mood after three losses in a row, especially after missing out on the inaugural Ben Nowak cup. But taking all that into consideration, no one could possibly have predicted Saturday’s outcome.” Ashfield moved up to fourth after a 4-0 win against South West Phoenix, with a brace from Charlie Kenna and others to Danny Milne and Ross Diamond.
In the final on Sunday Canning City ended Rockingham City’s unbeaten run with a 1-0 win at Burrendah Reserve. It looked like the points would be shared in a tight affair, but in the last minute Canning won it. Dane Navarro found himself in space in the box and he played the ball into Mark Trevisiol, but the ball broke back to Navarro, and he drilled it into the bottom corner. Canning Coach said his players fought the game out and they got their rewards. “Conditions made it hard to play any decent football and in truth it was a pretty scrappy game that was settled by the single goal,” he said. “The game as a whole was fairly even and a draw maybe a fair result but we have dominated previous fixtures and got nothing so maybe this was just our week to get that break. I must give all my players a pat on the back as they battled for 90 minutes to get the points today and it pushes us up the table where we believe we belong.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIXTEEN - REVIEW
Fremantle City moved further away from the chasing pack after a hard fought 3-1 win against Kelmscott Roos at Hilton Reserve. The home side hit the front from the penalty spot, after Danny Clapham was brought down by Kelmscott keeper Kristian Usedo, and Alex Robinson made no mistake from the spot. But Kelmscott hit back, and from Arron Hardy’s cross was volleyed home by Owen Curtis. But after the break Fremantle took control, and Clapham curled home superbly into the top corner to regain their lead. The result was sewn up after good work from Anthony Lomma sent Robinson clear one-on-one with Usedo and he finished clinically. “It was a pretty poor first half from us, and to be fair we were lucky to be at 1-1,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “They (Kelmscott) equalised and probably should have been in front at the break, but in the second half we lifted and a couple of quality goal steadied the ship and we were able to see out the game.”
Balga lost ground on Fremantle when they were beaten 2-1 by Swan United at the Swan Italian Club. The home side opened the scoring after only three minutes, when Zane Loh played a through ball to teenage debutant Narco Trimboli, who raced clear to score. But Balga were back in the game with fifteen minutes remaining, with Alen Patarov scoring from the penalty spot after Anton DeFrancesh was fouled in the box. It looked the points would be shared, but in the last minute Swan won it. John Monterosso pass picked out Loh, who fired home to seal the win. It was Cory Hugo’s final game, and Coach Matt Debarro said it was a fitting end to the keepers’ football career. “Special thanks to Cory, he has a great career in the game and it was fantastic to send him off with a win,” he said. “It was a good game, both teams played well, and I am happy for the players as it has been a frustrating two months with results but Saturday saw us play like we did early on in the season and I am confident it can continue, and it was great to see five 18-year-olds out there for us and step it up.”
Joondalup City are back in the winner’s circle after a 3-2 win against Kingsway Olympic at the Iluka Sports Complex. City looked in complete control at half time, with two goals from Jamie Stewart and a goal from teenager Sam McCracken. But Kingsway hit back and Luke O’Neill’s double put them back in the game, but the home side hung on to take the points. “I’m pleased that we were able to move on quickly from the heavy defeat at Kelmscott the week before,” Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said. “We were excellent in the first half and we could have easily scored a few more. Kingsway threw everything at us in the last 30 minutes to make it very interesting but we managed to hold on despite the challenges we have been facing. Unfortunately we have been decimated by the number of unavailable players at our disposal through injury and personal reasons. We are well into double figures but the lads are showing great character to remain positive and grind out results which are keeping us with a chance of top two. I am especially pleased for the young boys who are performing very well when called upon. We have a very bright future ahead of us but in the short term, we hope to be in a position near the top at season’s end.”
In other games Quinns edged out Morley Windmills 3-2 at Wotton Reserve, while Wanneroo City albeit relegated Ellenbrook United after a 2-0 win at Wanneroo Reserve. The opening goal came from Connor Lynch who was picked out at the back post by Jake Martin, and he scored from close-range. The points were made safe when Lynch curled home superbly, again after good work from Makin. “The Lads fought hard to grab the three points that we so desperately needed to kick start the second half of our season,” Wanneroo’s Nathan Grostate said. “Everyone was exceptional on the field which is why we came away with the win.”
Melville City recent good form continued with a 3-1 win against Curtin University at Edinburgh Park on Friday evening. Curtin dominated early, but they struggled in the final third. But it was Melville who hit the front, when Federico Testa’s free kick deflected into the net. It was two, when Sherwin Tucker beat two defenders and played a beautiful curling through ball/cross which was finished by Louis Granich at the back post. It was 3-0 at the break, Testa and Scott Campbell combined, with Campbell playing in Simon El Chami, whose shot was parried by the keeper and Cameron McLaren was quickest to react to score from the rebound. Curtin pulled one back late in the second half with an own goal. “Curtin were a good side and had most of the possession with good interplay through the midfield, but they lacked the final ball and finish and we defended really well and counter attack really effectively,” Campbell said. “We also played the 10 - 15 with 10 men as Cormac Abbott went off injured and we had already made all our subs.”
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND NINETEEN - PREVIEW
There are only four rounds to go in the PS4NPLWA and relegation, and the fight for a top four spot is heating up, and the Footballwa.net Match of the Week involves clubs at both ends of the table, with ECU Joondalup hosting Perth Glory at the ECU Football Stadium. The Glory were big winners last week, with a 1-0 win against Perth SC, which moved them four points clear of the relegation zone, and with a game in hand. Defender Ross Millard said the win was well deserved and gives them a massive boost. “I thought that was one of the best performances we've displayed all season,” he said. “We controlled the game and got it on our terms right from the first whistle and was probably unlucky not to get a few more goals. Our defence was solid whilst our attack created a lot of chances, and we need to bring the same resolve on Saturday.” Millard, who came through the ECU academy, returns to his former club and said the Glory must bring the same resolve on Saturday. “Games against ECU are always a tough, intense game. They're a real physical side who also have a lot of quality which has shown with their recent form,” he said. “Both teams want to get a result for different reasons with them pushing for top four and us looking to pull away from the bottom three, so it’s going to be a great contest which we're really looking forward to.” Millard limped off last week in the win, but is hopeful he can take his place in the side. “I copped a whack on shin, just below the pad, but it’s improved and I should be OK,” he explained. “We have a full squad to choose from, and everyone has trained well this week to put their hand up for a spot in the starting 11.”
ECU Joondalup bounced back from back-to-back draws with a big win at Balcatta last week, a game Coach Dale McCulloch said made emends for their poor performance against them earlier in the season. “The win at Balcatta was important, to get us back in the winner’s circle, and put to bed one of our worst performances of the season when they beat us easy at our place early in the season,” he said. “We dominated for most of the game and took our chances in the second half to win it, but most of all it moved us to within three points of the top four.” McCulloch believes the Glory have improved this season, and said his player need to be at their best to take the points. “They (Glory) have a number of talented young players in their squad and have a number of A-League players also in the mix, and they are coming off a big win against Perth SC last week,” he said. “They will arrive full of confidence, so we have to be switched on from the first whistle, and we’ve worked hard this week and the players are focused and ready to go.” In team news Jayden Drummond is back in contention after recovering from his broken leg, and McCulloch will have a few selection headaches with a full squad to choose from. “We have a great team spirit at the club at the moment, and training has been intense this week with spots in the side up for grabs,” he said. “Jayden was outstanding before his injury, and is fit and ready to go, so it will be tough decision for the coaching staff, but we’re confident of all the squad and whoever we select will do a job for us.” One play who will be missing is Tommy Amphlett who is suspended.
League leaders Inglewood United will look to bounce back from defeat last week, when they travel to Alfred Skeet Reserve to take on Armadale. The 1-2 loss at home to Sorrento, cut their lead at the top of the table to one point, while Armadale gave their relegation fight a massive boost with back-to-back wins against Bayswater and at Cockburn. Armadale Coach Paul Price said was both good team performances. “The win against Bayswater was a surprise to many, but not us,” he said. “We know if we play our best football, we can beat any team in the league. Yes the conditions were poor, but I thought it was a great defensive performance. We carried on that resolve last week and came away from Cockburn with a 2-1 win. Again we showed Great Spirit, defended well and hit on the break and got our rewards.” Price said Saturday’s opponents will be eager to bounce back from last week’s loss, and he said it will be another huge challenge. “At this stage of the season the table doesn’t lie and Inglewood is top of the table after a good season, and it will be another challenge for us, but one we’re looking forward to,” he said. “The lads have trained well this week and we go into the game in a good frame of mind, and I’m confident if we turn up we will get the right result.”
Stirling Lions missed the chance to go top of the table after a loss against Floreat, and this week they entertain Sorrento at Macedonia Park. Sorrento kept their top four hopes alive with a win at Inglewood last week, and they head into the game knowing a win is a must, to keep closing the gap. Stirling midfielder David Micevski scored a contender for ‘Goal of the Season’, but he said they left their run a little late, and you can’t give sides a three goal lead and expect to win games. “It was a disappointing loss on the weekend and we missed the opportunity to close the gap at the top. I thought we started off on top but got undone on the counter attack which ultimately cost us the game,” he said. “Being 3-0 down and also down to 10 men early in the second half was always going to be a mountain to climb but we dug deep and almost pinched a point at the end. I was happy to score such a goal to get us back in the game but I would change that for a win any day.” Micevski said Sorrento will be up for the game, after the Lions thrashed them in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. “This weekend’s game is going to be another tough test as Sorrento are never easy to play against,” he said. “We came out of the blocks flying last time we met, and came away with a 5-0 win, but this week’s match will be much tougher than our last meeting especially after they beat Inglewood last week.” In team news Daniel Micevski is in doubt after he left the field last week with a nasty head injury, while Blamo Qua Qua is suspended but Teeboy Kamara should be back after being away last week.
After Tuesday’s epic FFA Cup tie against Melbourne City, Floreat Athena will be back in league action when they host Balcatta at the E&D Litis Stadium. Balcatta have been on fell fall, and were beaten 3-0 at home by Joondalup last week, and their top four aspirations have been ended, but knowing Marc Anthony he will be looking for a response from his players this week. Young midfielder Scott Newland said a second half fade out cost them last week. “It was a disappointing defeat to ECU, I thought that we played some good football in the first half and could have even gone into half time with the lead,” he explained. “But in the second half we found it tough to break ECU down especially in the final third where we lacked that cutting edge and a bit of creativity, and at the end of the day ECU finished their chances and went away with the 3 points.” Newland, who made his starting debut for the first team last week, said they will be looking for maximum points on Saturday. “We'll be hoping to bounce back this weekend against Floreat, and even though the top four is pretty much out of sight, we'll be determined to win the game and try to finish as high up the table as possible as we want to win football matches,” he said. “We have still got a couple of injuries, but apart from that were looking forward to the game.” For Floreat Jason Saldaris returns after missing the win against Lions last week, and he was the star in the Cup game, making a number of fine saves, but they will be without Phil Arnold who is suspended.
There is a real relegation battle at Rosalie Park, with bottom of the table Subiaco hosting Cockburn City. Only five points separate the two sides on the table, and Subiaco have picked up in recent weeks, but stumbled last week against Bayswater and they will be looking to bounce back. Cockburn midfielder Cameron Edwards said their loss against Armadale was a bad day at the office. “Last week was probably our worst performance of the season, we just didn’t turn up,” he said. “To be fair Armadale were better on the day and deservedly went home with the points.” I’m sure the Cockerels will have one eye on their FFA Cup, round of 32 game next week against Melbourne Knights, but Edwards said three points are vital if they are not to be dragged into a relegation fight. “Saturday will be a hard game, as they have picked up in recent weeks,” he said. “It’s very important game as the point’s difference at the foot of the table is tight. As a team we believe we are better than our position on the table shows, but we need to play our best to get the three points.” In team news Daniel Dols returns from suspension for Cockburn, while Subiaco should be at full strength.
In the final game Bayswater City, who bounced back from recent poor results with a big win against Subiaco last week, travel to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth SC in the Italian Derby on Sunday. After not picking up a win in the last five games, the win came at the right time, and they head into the game only one point of the league leaders. Perth on the other hand were beaten for the first time in four weeks after a 1-0 defeat against Perth Glory. It was Perth captain Clark Keltie’s first game back after a month out with a knee injury, and he said they got what they deserved. “I thought our boys didn't turn up if I'm honest, which is not like us at all. We were second to everything all over the park, against a lively Glory team who looked hungry from start to finish, so I have to give their young squad credit for that,” he said. “As results over recent weeks have shown, any one team can beat the other on the day. I'm hoping it comes as a wakeup call to our boys, as we're very much into the business end of the season now.” Keltie said it’s a massive game for both sides, and he is expecting another tough game. “Sunday's game is a big one for both clubs, we both know what's at stake,” he explained. “It's always a competitive game against our rivals and with only one point separating the two teams, the prize on Sunday is a big one. From past experience, the team who wants it more on the day has come away with the points.” In team news Perth defender Rocco Pizzata is suspended, while Bayswater regain the services of Jamie Coyne after his one match ban.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND SIXTEEN - PREVIEW
It’s week 16 of the All Flags State League Division One and this week’s Footballwa.net Match of the Week takes us to Forrest Park where Joondalup United entertain Gosnells City. Joondalup lost ground on Mandurah after a scoreless draw against South West Phoenix last week, and Coach Nick Jennings said they didn’t perform at their best in the first half. “I'm always disappointed when we don't win, but Bunbury is always a difficult place to go so in that respect a point isn't a bad result,” he said. “However in difficult conditions we were well below par in the first half, but the boys responded well to a half time gee up and we completely dominated the second half, unfortunately we missed a number of opportunities and have now fallen seven points behind Mandurah.” Jennings will be looking for a 90 minute display from his side this week, against a good Gosnells side. “It's definitely a must win game for us, we'll come out with all guns blazing as we look to return to winning ways,” he explained. “Gosnells I believe are in a false league position and will be a tricky opponent and will look to make things difficult for us, so we need to be on our toes.” In team news club captain Arran Maplestone will return to the match day squad following an overseas trip.
Gosnells bounce back from some indifferent results with a 2-1 against Canning City, and Caleb Aquino said it was good to get back in the winner’s circle. “The result last week against Canning was much needed, with the way our form has gone,” he said. “It was a good boost to pick ourselves up and move away from the relegation zone for the moment,” Aquino knows Saturday’s opponents have a good side and he knows they will have their hands full, but he said they will be giving it their all. ‘They (Joondalup) are a tough side and we will have to be at our best to be able to cause an upset,” he said. “They have quality strikers, so we will have to make sure we defend well and capitalise on the chances we get to get the result, but we’re ready for the challenge.” In team news Scott Periera is suspended for the trip.
Forrestfield United will be looking to bounce back from three defeats when they travel to the UWA Sports Park to take on UWA-Nedlands. The home got back to winning ways with a win against Shamrock Rovers, their first since beating league leaders Mandurah City in round 12. Forrestfield were beaten by Mandurah last week a game Coach Rod Banjac said it was a great game. “There was a lot riding on last week’s game and with added pressure of playing for the ‘Ben Nowak cup’ in front of a big crowd was a bit overwhelming for the youngsters in our squad,” he said. “I thought we played well, and in particular the second half where we dominated play for long periods creating some good opportunities where only the cross bar prevented us from scoring. A harsh penalty in the 4th minute and two lapses in concentration was enough for an experienced Mandurah side to capitalise on. We were never out of the game though, but not much went our way with a tight offside call disallowing an equaliser and conceding one minute later was a tough blow just before half time.” Banjac said UWA are good footballing side and he is expecting a tough game. “They (UWA) are one of the best footballing sides and the last game was a lot closer than the score indicated,” he said. “We are looking forward to the match which will once again be a great advertisement for football.” The Forrestfield squad has been hit hard with injuries and Banjac said it’s a challenge. “We are aware that most teams are challenged in regards to availability of playing staff at this time of the year, but we have taken that challenge to another level with nine senior players unavailable for selection,” he said. “Some of the challenges on my players have been horrendous, and when you have 3 players hospitalised in one game, the focus shifts to people that should not get a mention.” In team news Matt Harold and Will Tshabangu both return to the squad.
In other games league leaders Mandurah City have home ground advantage when they entertain Dianella White Eagles at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. City’s march to the title continued with a good win at Forrestfield, while the Eagles poor season continued losing 3-1 at home against Ashfield. The home side will be without skipper Jordan Rhodes and Oriol Fernandez who are both suspended. South West Phoenix will go in search of only their second win on the road this season when they head north to take on Ashfield at the Ashfield Reserve. The Phoenix held second placed Joondalup United to a draw last week, while Ashfield came away with a big win from Dianella. Third placed Western Knights make the trip to Harold Rossiter Reserve to take on bottom of the table Shamrock Rovers. Rovers have struggled, this campaign and will be looking for a third win to keep in touch with the teams above them. They will be without the suspended duo Sadam Haj and Joe Stevens. The Knights have lost two of their last three games including last week at Rockingham and if they are to keep tabs on the leaders a win is vital in this one.
In the final game is on Sunday at Burrendah Reserve when Canning City entertains Rockingham City. Rockingham has only lost once in their last six games, and that was a tight defeat against Mandurah, and they continued that good form with a 2-1 win against the Knights last week. Canning on the other hand, were beaten at local rivals Gosnells City last week, a game Coach Paul Oliver said they deserved something from. “Last week was a game that we could and probably should have won,” he said. “It was an even first half, but the second I thought we were well on top and on another day we could have had 4 or 5 but that's football. Gosnells fought hard and were able to find a late winner after all our missed opportunities.” Oliver said Rockingham have been good this season, but said his players are ready for this one. “Rockingham is on a good run so they will to us full of confidence, but the players are up for the challenge,” he said. “We have been in every game bar one all year so we know that if we are disciplined and focus on our strengths we are capable of beating anyone in this league. Canning has plenty of players carrying knocks, and Callum Roberts, Tom Gibbins, Simon Correia and Vish Kannu are all in doubt for the game. While for Rockingham Shaun Thompson is suspended.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND SIXTEEN - PREVIEW
League leaders Fremantle City took a strangle hold on top spot last week, and this week they take on the improving Kelmscott Roos at Hilton Reserve in the Footballwa.net Round 16 Match of the Week. Fremantle were taken all the way by Quinns last week, and Coach Steve Plucknett said they were made to work for the win. “It was an extremely hard game up at Quinns, it had everything bar more goals, unfortunately both sides lost good players to injury, Danny Cain for Quinns and our goal scorer Daniel Glennon,” he said. “Although we only scored the one it was pleasing to see the chances we created away from home, but as per the 5-5 home game Mike's lads refused to give-up and could have easily have had two or three themselves.” With Joondalup slipping up last week at Kelmscott, Fremantle opened up a six point gap, but Plucknett said they expecting another tough game against an improving Roos side. “We were quite stunned by Joondalup's heavy loss, but as is the case this year there are no easy games,” he said “So our preparation for Kelmscott will be no different to what it has been during the season so far and the boys are looking forward to it.” After going through the season with a win last season Kelmscott have really turned it around, and last week big win against second placed Joondalup showed that. Coach Chris Bates should take a lot of credit for the improvement, and he has molding a good squad, and they have been getting some good results, and he said last week’s win was outstanding. “Last week was a fantastic result and well deserved, and James Rae and I are really happy with the way the side are playing,” he said. “Unfortunately I wasn’t at the game due to other so James took the reigns for this game. It was a great team performance, the standout for the game was Aaron Hardy with4 goals, but that’s taking nothing away from the rest of the team, and as James said we played the best we have all year.”
Joondalup City will look to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat when they host Kingsway Olympic in a local derby at the Iluka Sports Complex. Kingsway Coach Tom Kilkelly was left fuming after a goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time gave Wanneroo City a point last week, and he said they only had themselves to blame. “It was very disappointed dropping two points last week, especially with all the chances we had and missed, the game could have finish 5-3 to us,” he said. “But fair play to Wanneroo they kept on at us and got there reward, very late.” Joondalup were beaten at Kingsway earlier in the season and Kilkelly said they will be looking to get one back. “Joondalup are a very good side and we’re expecting hard game, and they will want revenge from their 2-0 defeat last time, plus make up for last week’s result,” he said. “They have assembled a very good squad no doubt it will be backs against the wall for us on their patch. We had four players unavailable last week, hopefully we get three back this week, but we do have Quinn, Cutting, Hollingsworth and Atanasovski all under an injury cloud, so we will put out what we have available and give it a go.”
The round starts tonight when Curtin University take on Melville City at Edinburgh Oval. City are unbeaten in their last five games and are coming off an impressive win against Morley last week. On the other hand Curtin have only won one in nine games, and were beaten 1-0 at Balga last week. Bottom of the table Ellenbrook United are still looking for their first three points and this week make the short trip to Wanneroo Reserve to take on Wanneroo City. Ellenbrook lead at half time last week before succumbing to Swan United. Wanneroo left it late but came home with a point from Kingsway and both will be looking for a win this win. Morley Windmills have home ground advantage when they entertain Quinns FC at Wotton Reserve. Both sides are coming off defeats last week, and with only two points separating them on the table a win would be huge to move either closer to the top five.
In the final game Swan United host second placed Balga at the Swan Italian Club. Balga edged out Curtin to keep the pressure on the league leaders, while United returned to the winners circle at Ellenbrook last week, but were made hard to work for it. Defender Chris Marshall said it was good to see the younger players stepping up. “It was really good to get the three points, and get our season back on track,” he said. “The lads showed great character to score three second half goals after going into the break 1-0 down, and was great to see the younger boys in the squad put in great performances.” Marshall is well aware the improvement in the Balga side this season and he said it will be another big test. “It will be a very tough game, and both teams will be looking for a win after the draw at their ground earlier in the season,” he said. “Balga are in form, and continue to get the job done each week, but playing at home we will back ourselves to put in a good performance and get a result.” In team David Paone, Rory Hollingham and Jordan Rossetto are unavailable, while Anthony McStea is still out with injury.
"WE CAN'T AFFORD TO SLIP UP" SAYS MIGAS (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
Utility player John Migas rates this weekend's away game with Armadale as the most important 90 minutes of the season. Inglewood United ventures to the eastern suburbs on Saturday afternoon with the slenderest of advantages in the race for regular season honours.
With just four National Premier Leagues games remaining Inglewood leads the way on 36 points, but with Bayswater City (35) and Perth SC (34) - who meet at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday - in hot pursuit. "As we get close to the end of the season each game is more important than the last," Migas said.
"We can't afford to slip up now. The equation is simple for us, win the rest of our games and we finish on top of the league. Inglewood hasn't been in this position for a very long time and we know how much this would mean to the club, let alone to us players."
Armadale, however, aren't a team to be taken lightly, especially given they sit just two points clear of the relegation zone. Add to that the fact they've defeated Bayswater and State Cup finalists Cockburn City in recent weeks and the challenge ahead for Inglewood becomes much more evident.
"For as long as I can remember Armadale have been able to cause some major upsets, especially at their home ground," said Migas. "They're in a lot better form than us at the moment, coming off a couple of big wins over Bayswater and Cockburn, so we know how tough this challenge is going to be."
"We beat them 5-2 earlier in the year but it wasn't as convincing a win as the scoreline suggests. They controlled the game for periods at a time and didn't take their chances. There is a lot at stake for us and we are going to have to be at our very best if we're going to take home the three points."
VICTORY FEELING FIT AFTER THREE GAMES IN TWELVE DAYS
Pre-season is usually a grind, particularly for A-League players with the gap between seasons longer than almost anywhere around the world. But Melbourne Victory's pre-season has been anything but boring, with glamour friendlies against Juventus and Atletico Madrid already fitted in and now, on Wednesday night, a 3-1 FFA Cup win over Newcastle Jets.
In a week where Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners both got knocked out by local opposition, the match fitness of a professional Victory outfit shone through against the Jets. Now things will get back to normal for Kevin Muscat's men, with their next Cup match not until late August.
"It's been great," fullback Scott Galloway said. "We've had three games in 12 days, two against top quality European teams and then started off in the FFA Cup. To win all three, not getting ahead of ourselves, but it's been a great start. We'll still have friendly games, but the standard of training has been so high which keeps things interesting."
WILLIAMS ON ROAD TO RECOVERY
Winger Ryan Williams admits he doesn’t know when he will play again as he continues his battle with injury. Williams joined English side Barnsley a year ago but has been out of action since January with osteitis pubis, the 22-year old limited to just six first team appearances.
Williams missed out on Barnsley’s successful promotion campaign into the Championship as well as the club's Football League Trophy win against Oxford United. “Imagine signing at your new club and not being able to play pretty much the whole season then miss out on two Wembley finals which they both won,” he said.
Williams, whose brother Rhys has faced his own severe injury battles over the past six years, is putting timeframe as to when he will get back to playing. “I’m getting there slowly now though,” he commented. “I’m not sure how long, it’s hard to say. I'm running and doing loads of rehab and gym work and Pilates.”
Barnsley are being tipped to go straight back down to League One, but Williams believes his team has the potential to avoid the drop. “If we play like we did last season I think we will do well,” he said. Barnsley commence the new season with a trip to Ipswich Town this Saturday.
BOLAND SHINES ON THE NATIONAL SCENE
With Floreat Athena producing a courageous performance against A-League side Melbourne City on Tuesday, it was a former Floreat striker who was making all the headlines on the other side of the Country. WA-Born Liam Boland scored sensational winner for Green Gully in their 2-1 upset win against A-League side Central Coast Mariners.
Boland, who played for Perth SC, Floreat and Swan IC in WA, said it was a great night for the club and his strike has been showed all over media and social media outlets ever since, and it was even more special with his mum, Angela, his dad, Paul, and brother, Connor, were in Melbourne to witness the victory. “We never stopped believing and we knew that if we were in the game at half time we were a genuine chance, it was just crazy how the game played out,” he said. “My phone has been blowing up its very surreal, I’m still in shock and it hasn’t really sunk in. I’ve tried something similar a few times this year and come close but for it to come off on the national stage in that game and that moment is something I’ll never forget.”
The striker, who had trials with an A-League club a couple of years ago and would love to play in the competition one day, said he would like to play an A-League club in the next round, or a trip back home to play a WA side,. “I’d love to play against Cockburn in Perth if they win so I can play in front of my friends and family, otherwise it would be great to get another A-League team at Gully Reserve,” he said. “Obviously I’d love to go to the next level and play professional, but all I can do is put my head down and keep playing as well as I can.”
Boland, who won the night series with Floreat Athena back in the west, said he wasn’t surprised they pushed Melbourne at Dorrien Gardens. “I think they have a very close dressing room and a very good manager in Glen Grostate, so it didn’t surprise me that they were close to causing an upset,” he said. “We (Green Gully) still have a cup final to look forward too, and I haven’t won anything in Senior Football, hopefully we win the against Bentleigh in a few weeks.”
CUP WIN A TONIC BOOST FOR PAHANG'S RELEGATION MISSION SAYS DAVIES
Having stunned Selangor 1-0 in the Malaysia Cup over the weekend, Pahang captain Matthew Davies is hoping to capitalise on Kedah’s inconsistency in the Malaysia Super League this evening. The Elephants visit a Kedah side that have struggled with consistency but luckily find themselves in fourth, due to the inconsistency of teams below them.
Pahang changed all four imports in the mid-season transfer window and Matthew Davies believes the quartet are beginning to gel with the squad, citing their performance in the 1-0 win over Selangor as testament. “The last game was our best so far ... we played good football, defended well and dominated the match. They (imports) are starting to tick with the team and that's important moving forward,” said Davies.
“I think the win over Selangor helps boost the morale and helps us in wanting to build a momentum. It was good to get that win but I feel we need points more in the league than the Cup. I haven’t played Kedah at their home ground before but I’ve heard that it is difficult there. They have also been struggling with consistency, so hopefully we have a chance to hit at them and collect important points for our relegation battle."
21-year old Davies, who only received his Malaysian nationality last year, was delighted to finally get off the mark with the winner against Selangor. “It was about time ... my first goal in Malaysia,” said the former Perth SC junior. “I've been going up and getting at the end of things in the past few matches. To finally score, a winner too, is a good feeling.”
ATHENA GO DOWN SWINGING IN CUP THRILLER
Floreat Athena’s Westfield FFA Cup dream came to an end on Tuesday night, but they went down swinging, pushing A-League side Melbourne City all the way, before going down 2-1 in the round of 32 tie at Dorrien Gardens. Nick Fitzgerald gave City the lead midway through the first half, but Kris Gate levelled for PS4 NPLWA side on the hour. But a stunning strike from Anthony Caceres won it for the visitors.
Floreat Coach Glen Grostate, although disappointed to lose the game said he was proud of his players, who really took it up their A-League opponents. “At the end of the day when you come against a good team like that, all I can ask is for 100%, and what a shift my players put in,” he said. “We had them on the ropes in the second half, and I was real proud of the lads. We said at half time if we’re going to go down we will go down swinging, and we changed it up after the break and took the game to them, and I was delighted with the lads – this might never happened again, but my players gave it their all.”
Gate said to score was a great feeling, and he said they rattled them. “We gave it a right good go tonight, they had plenty of possession in the first half, but we changed it up and created a number of chances after the break,” he said. “It’s been a while since Lewis and I have linked up, up top, and I haven’t scored many goals this year, but when I do it’s normally in the big game, and tonight was just that. We weren’t disgraced tonight I thought we gave them a game and rattled them at times, and I think we did the club proud tonight.”
Keeper Jason Saldaris was outstanding, making a number of outstanding saves to keep City at bay and he said they did WA football proud. “The boys are proud of their efforts tonight, and at 1-1 it made us dream of an upset, but it wasn’t to be, and the better side won,” he said. “Glen changed things around at half time, and we went for it, no use sitting back and I thought we gave it a good crack. We fought the game out and we went out swinging, and that’s all that matters. The players gave it everything tonight and I thought we did WA football proud.”
The scene was set for a real ‘David v Goliath’ clash, but it was City who was on the front foot early, and they went close to the opener after only three minutes. Luke Brattan’s curling free kick crashing off the post and Osama Malik’s follow up shot flew wide. Floreat threatened next, with Jon Stynes long-range shot saved by Thomas Sorensen. Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris then produced a great save to deny Manny Muscat, as City looked to take control.
But Floreat were giving as good as they got, and Lewis McMahon through ball sent Stynes clear, his shot was saved low by Sorensen, before Ludovic Boi raced down the right and whipped in a low cross which was only inches away from McMahon in the box. Jason Saldaris was in superb form, and he produced a stunning save to deny Malik’s header, from Brattan’s free kick as City began to dominate,
Brattan was running the show in the middle of the park, the midfielder who has returned to the A-League from EPL side Manchester City for this season, was outstanding, while City skipper Bruno Fornaroli was a really handful for the Floreat defence. City went close again on the half hour, Brattan’s free kick caused panic in the Floreat defence, but in the goalmouth scramble Floreat managed to clear their lines. But two minutes later City took a deserved lead. Fitzgerald found space down the left, cut inside Clayton Arnez and finished into the corner of the net, to send City into the sheds with a 1-0 lead.
City continued to dictate terms after the break and Jason Saldaris again came to his sides rescue saving well from Brattan’s long-range free kick. Floreat then lost skipper Boi with injury, but they pressed on and levelled on the hour. Former Sheffield Wednesday striker McMahon played a ball over the top to Gate, who held off Connor Chapman and finishing low past Sorensen, to send the Floreat supporters into raptures.
But five minutes later City silenced the home crowd, with a stunning goal. Caceres wasn’t closed down, and he eased forward and smacked the ball into the top corner from 25 meters, giving Jason Saldaris no chance. Floreat hit back moments later, Robbie Gasper’s free kick was headed back across goal by Bobby Wilson, but Chris Saldaris’ volley was saved by Sorensen, before Jason Saldaris then saved well to thwart Caceres as the game opened up.
Floreat were convinced they had a penalty when Gate’s shot struck the arm of a City defender, but referee Adam Fielding was well placed to turn down their appeals. The home side were pushing forward and ended the game on top. Stynes raced down the left, cut inside his marker into the box, but Sorensen was alert to save low. They had a final chance to send the game into extra time in stoppage time when Gasper’s free kick fell to Chris Saldaris, but his shot flew over the top. At the final whistle the home faithful gave Floreat a standing ovation as they left the pitch, after a fantastic performance.
Floreat Athena 1 (Gate 59’) Melbourne City 2 (Fitzgerald 32’, Caceres 65’)
Dorrien Gardens, West Perth (WA) Attendance – 1,408
Referee: Adam Fielding Assistant Referee’s: Josh Mannella, Matthew Southern Fourth Official: Tom Dowle
Floreat Athena – GK Jason Saldaris, 2 Shaun Timmins, 3 Blair Govan, 5 Bobby Wilson (33 Cameron Yorke 76’), 6 Clayton Arnez, 8 Jonathan Stynes, 10 Kris Gate, 11 Dennis Galan (20 Robert Gasper 63’), 14 Ludovic Boi (18 Phillip Arnold 54’), 15 Christopher Saldaris, 19 Lewis McMahon
Subs not used: RGK Jordan Barbas, 12 Nathan Scully
Yellow Cards: Timmins, MaMahon 34’, Arnez 51’, Wilson 56’, Arnold 75’, C. Saldaris 89’
Melbourne City – GK Thomas Sorensen, 2 Manny Muscat, 4 Connor Chapman, 6 Osama Malik, 11 Bruce Kamau (28 Steve Kuzmanovski 73’), 12 Nick Fitzgerald (14 Daniel Arzani 83’), 18 Paulo Retre (27 Fernando Brandan 58’), 22 Jack Clisby, 23 Bruno Fornaroli, 26 Luke Brattan, 29 Anthony Caceres
Sub not used: RGK Dean Bouzanis, 21 Ruon Tongyik
Yellow Cards: Nil
DE VANNA: DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE
With expectations high that the Matildas can win a medal in Rio, striker Lisa De Vanna says the team are ignoring the hype and concentrating on doing the job at hand. United States star Carli Lloyd rates the Matildas a having the quality to make the Olympic final, however, De Vanna believes the two-time Olympic gold medallist may reassess her forecast if the two teams face each other earlier in the tournament.
“She’ll probably change her mind if we play each other in the Quarter Final. She may have to take her words back,” De Vanna said. “It’s great that someone like her believes that we can be medal contenders but at the end of the day we don’t listen to hype … it’s all talk and right now people hype it up but at the end of the day we have to go out there and I’ve always been a strong believer in that.”
After an impressive qualifying tournament to get to Brazil, De Vanna feels confident that Australia will leave Rio with a medal. “If we go out there and play to our best then I think we are medal contenders,” she said. “As a group we went to the World Cup where we weren’t expected to get out of the group of death and we did that and we weren’t expected to qualify for the Olympic games and we did that.”
“The girls know exactly what’s needed. Under those circumstances there is a bit a pressure but we’ve been there and done that. Pressure brings the best out of people. It makes you focused. It makes you ready and it makes you hungry but it can also be your downfall and it can also have the opposite effect. For me personally I play better when I have pressure and expectations and I deal with it better.”
De Vanna, a veteran of three World Cup and two Olympics, knows this may be her best chance for glory in the green and gold. “I’m 31 years old and it would be nice to have something to show after all the years I’ve played football for Australia,” she said. “It’s something that you’ve got to work for and if I walk away from the field knowing that we all gave it 100% then I’m happy knowing that.”
ATHENA READY FOR FFA CUP CLASH
Floreat Athena will be flying the flag for the PS4 NPLWA when they entertain Hyundai A-League side Melbourne City at Dorrien Gardens on Tuesday evening (6.30pm kick off) They warmed up for their clash against City with a 3-2 win over rivals Stirling Lions at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday. Athena were in fine form early, with a double from Ludovic Boi and Phil Arnold’s opener gave them a comfortable half-time lead, before David Micevski’s stunner and a late strike from Airmoson Garley sent a scare through the Athena camp.
The win lifted Floreat to fourth place on the table – a point ahead of Stirling - and in position to contest the end-of-season West Australian Top Four Cup and Floreat coach Glen Grostate was delighted with a victory, and he said their form in the league has set-up his side up nicely for the clash against a City side that could feature star front man Bruno Fornaroli. The Uruguayan scored a hat-trick for City in a friendly against Melbourne Knights last week. “Now we get to play Melbourne City, who are one of the best teams in Australia, and we will go out there and give it a good old crack,” Grostate said. “They’re supposed to win. They have to win. But anything is possible in a cup game.”
Defender Blair Govan said the club is ready for the big test and testing themselves against the A-League club. “Everyone is really buzzing for the big game against Melbourne there is a brilliant atmosphere in the dressing room and in the club as a whole,” he said. “It's been hard the last couple of weeks with some big games in the league, but we knew we had to put that to the back of your head, and the up-coming game. So we have done well to stay focused and still come away with winning the cup and beating Stirling. We're going into the game with nothing to lose, and looking forward to the opportunity of playing against some of the best in the country. We will just go and enjoy the night and make the most of it, and we hope the WA public come out and support us in the game.
The last time Melbourne City played in the FFA Cup Round of 32, they scored a 94th minute winner to edge out NSW side Edgeworth Eagles to avoid an embarrassing result. A year on, it’s a similar scenario and Coach John Van’t Schip believes the Floreat Athena game was an opportunity to wake the players up. “We know these games can be difficult if you don’t approach it in the right way, it’s a cup game and they give everything they have,” he said. “We have to be focused on our own game and our game plan, that’s’ why it’s good to have these games because it brings more pressure for the boys and that’s what you need when the A-League starts. We’re more than pleased for this competition and we want to get further, a must win.”
CHAMPIONS HIT BACK TO THRASH SUBIACO
Bayswater City returned to winning ways with an emphatic 5-0 victory against Subiaco at the Finance 365 Stadium. Subiaco arrived in good form, winning their last two games, but they had no answers to the Bayswater juggernaut, who still have an eye on a fourth straight title. First half goals to Lawrence Shuruma, Jason Mirco and an own goal sent the Black and Blues on their way, and further goals from Alex Salmon and Andy Reale gave them the big win. “Yes it was a great win and definitely one we needed,” Salmon said. “We worked hard all week on what to do when we don't have the ball and everything just clicked, now we go into next Sunday's game with the same mindset.”
Bayswater, who were coming off a loss at bottom of the table Armadale last week, looked up for this one and were ahead on the quarter hour. Salmon’s cross finding Shuruma who made no mistake from close-range. Subiaco goalkeeper Ryan Montgomery did his best to stop the onslaught, making a brilliant double save first from Salmon and then Mirco.
But there was little he could do when the home side doubled their lead on 25 minutes. Defender James Casserly’s attempt clearance went past the stranded Subiaco custodian. Bayswater wide players were causing havoc and it wasn’t a surprise when they added a third on the half hour, with Salmon teeing up Mirco, who side-footed home from close-range.
Salmon was in fine form and he went close to making it four early in the second, his curling free kick beat Montgomery but crashed off the crossbar. Subiaco defiantly had their backs to the wall, and struggled to create any clear cut chances, but Bayswater continued to threaten and it was 4-0 on 75 minutes.
Man of the Match Salmon was the supplier again, his cheeky back heel found substitute Reale, fire fired past Montgomery. Three minutes later it was 5-0, referee David Bruce spotted a handball by Ian McMurray, and it was fitting that Salmon stepped up to convert from the spot, to give Bayswater their first win in their last six matches and put them back in the title race.
REDS GO BACK-TO-BACK WITH WIN AT COCKBURN
Armadale moved off the bottom of the table, after a 2-1 win against local rivals against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. First half goals to Michael Domfeh and Ellis Healing but the Reds in charge, and despite a late goal from Harry O’Brien Armadale headed home with the points. “We played extremely well defensively today and did well to catch them on the break, and I thought we thoroughly deserved the win,” Armadale Coach Paul Price said.
“This win takes us off the bottom, which is a massive thing for us, and we’ve also got a better goal difference than Subiaco, and we also have a game in hand on them as well. So if we keep on playing with today’s commitment and professionalism then we will definitely avoid relegation.”
Armadale were out of the blocks early and Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich had to be alert to tip Domfeh shot from the edge of the penalty area around the post. But he was in again on 21 minutes to give Armadale the lead, Anthony Skorich slid the midfielder into goal and he finished clinically past the on-coming keeper.
The visitors held firm as Cockburn hit back and they doubled their advantage six minutes before half time. Referee Adam Fielding spotted a handball from Cockburn skipper Euen Grant and pointed straight to the spot. Healing stepped up and made no mistake from the resulting penalty.
Cockburn needed to respond after the break, but Armadale defended well and the hosts had to look from long-range. David Araya’s shot just after the hour was saved well by Alec Radonich, before the Armadale custodian got down well to deny Cameron Edwards moments later.
But their efforts were rewarded in the third minute of stoppage time with a consolation goal. A ball over the top found the unmarked O’Brien, who brought the ball down well and finished into the bottom corner. But it was too little too late, the loss dropped Cockburn closer to the relegation fight, while the win gave Armadale’s fight for survival a huge boost.
KNOWLES GIVES GLORY THE POINTS
A goal from striker Joe Knowles has given Perth Glory’s relegation fight a huge boost, after a 1-0 win against Perth SC at the Ashfield Arena. Knowles, who impressed for the A-League side in their recent pre-season tour of the Philippines, scored the decisive goal in first half stoppage time. “It was an unbelievable team performance, and I believe it’s the best we have played all year,” Knowles said. “It just shows on our day we are good enough to beat anyone, and we have four games left to move further up the table, because we have been playing well recently but haven’t been rewarded on the scoreboard.”
It was Perth SC who opened the better and Rocco Pizzata fired over the top early, before Gustavo Catarcione intercepted a wayward pass and raced one-on-one with Jordan Thurtell, but the Glory custodian stood tall to save his low shot. Perth SC continued to dictate terms, and the crossbar came to the Glory’s rescue on 20 minutes, Nick Ambrogio volley beat Thurtell but the woodwork saved the day. The Glory began to get into the game but they found Perth SC keeper Francis Soale in outstanding form.
First he saved well to deny Kosta Petratos, after he was picked out by Nikola Talimdzioski cross. Soale was at it again on 25 minutes, this time Petratos’ deep cross found Daniel Stynes at the back post, his header was saved low by the Perth custodian. But in first half stoppage time the Glory deservedly hit the front. Petratos playing an inch perfect through ball for Knowles to race on to, he held off his marker and finished clinically low past Soale.
The Glory continued to dictate terms after the break, Jack Iredale headed wide early, before Talimdzioski shot on the run flashed inches over the top. Soale was keeping his side in the game, and he produced another stunning save to deny Stynes on the hour. But he went one better on 86 minutes, producing a great double save to thwart Knowles and Talimdzioski respectively.
The Glory looked comfortable at the back, but in the third minute of stoppage time, all their hard work was nearly undone. With probably the last kick of the game, Catarcione found himself free in the box with only the Thurtell to beat, but the striker fired wide of the target and the Glory were left to celebrate a courageous three points.
ECU BACK IN THE FINALS RACE
ECU Joondalup won for the first time in three weeks, after a comfortable 3-0 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve to keep in touch of the top four, and in doing so put to bed the poor performance against Balcatta in the reverse fixture in round seven when they lost 6-3. Second half goals to Gordon Smith, Shane Pickering and Kevin Moon won it for the visitors,
Smith’s first making it 14 for the Scottish striker this season, and he said it was good team performance. “It was a comfortable win without being at our best,” the former Heart of Midlothian striker said. “But we are playing well as a team and confidence is high going into the last four games, and we’re pushing for a finals spot.”
It was a scrappy first half with clear cut chances few and far between, but it was the visitors who went the closest. Daryl Nicol and Gordon Smith fired wide early, before Smith saw his shot parried by Clint Davies, but Tommy Amphlett’s follow up shot was cleared off the line. Balcatta were defending franticly, but lacked the final ball going forward, but they managed to hold on till half time.
ECU continued to boss the game after the break, and it wasn’t a surprise when they took the lead on the hour. Smith was involved in the build-up, when he played in Nicol in down the left, and Smith kept on running, and Nicol cut the ball back to him to fire low past Clint Davies. The partnership of Smith and Nicol was a constant threat, and Nicol was the provider again eight minutes later when they doubled their lead.
This time he skipped clear of his marker and cut the ball back from the bye-line for Shane Pickering to bundle the ball over the line from close-range. ECU were now in control and they put the icing on the cake two minutes from time, Amphlett’s cross found its way to Kevin Moon, who’s shot from the edge of the penalty area took a deflection off a Balcatta defender and beat Davies to wrap up a comprehensive victory.
ATHENA HOLDS OFF A FAST FINISHING LIONS
Floreat Athena moved within five points of the top four after a 3-2 win against Floreat Athena at the E&D Litis Stadium. Former Lions duo Phil Arnold and Ludovic Boi came back to haunt their former club, scoring in a dominate first half, but late goals from David Micevski and Teeboy Kamara gave the home side a late scare, but they held on to take the points. “The win was a tough one, but I think we deserved it,” Floreat defender Blair Govan said. “We stuck together and worked hard to get the three points which come the end of the season could be massive. It was almost like another cup final for us to keep up with the top four and other results went our way, now we're right in the mix again.”
Floreat looked bright early and they hit the front after only seven minutes. Jon Stynes made space down the left and squared the ball to Arnold, who made mistake. The visitors almost levelled moments later, Brodie Martin was picked out unmarked in the box, but his header was too high. But on 24 minutes Floreat doubled their lead, Dean Evans’ defence splitting through ball sent Boi racing clear, and he finished clinically past John Perkins.
It was one-way traffic and Floreat were picking holes in the Lions defence at will, and it wasn’t a surprise when they made it 3-0 six minutes before half time. Evans and Stynes combined, the latter finding Boi, who fired home superbly into the far corner of the net giving Perkins no chance. The Lions hung on till half time but they had a huge task after the break.
The visitors’ task was even harder after the break when they were reduced to ten men on the hour. Blamo QuaQua was sent off for his reaction to a challenge from Blair Govan. But with a huge game on Tuesday in the FFA Cup, Floreat looked to take their foot off the pedal and it let the Lions back in the game.
First on 81 minutes David Micevski scored a contender for goal of the season, controlling the ball on his chest and volleying superbly over Floreat keeper Jordan Barbas. Then two minutes from time they added a second, with second half substitute Kamara tapping home from close-range. The Lions pressed late but Floreat held on to head into the FFA Cup tie against Melbourne City, and the top four finals push with confidence.
GULLS STUN LEAGUE LEADERS
Sorrento kept their slim hopes of a top four spot intact, after a 2-1 win against league leaders Inglewood United at the Inglewood Stadium. A first half brace from Sorrento’s English striker Sean Canham set up the win, and although Scott Blackmore pulled one back just after half time they couldn’t find the equaliser, the loss cutting their lead at the top of the table to one point, while Sorrento maintain their push up the table. “It was a great win, we were due a performance like that so it was good for us and a little unlucky for Inglewood as they got us on a day where we all clicked,” midfielder Tim Hill said. “We now have to keep that sort of performance going, and hopefully we can go on and challenge for the top four.”
Sorrento had a great start and hit the front after only five minutes. Ryan Pearson’s cross picking out Canham, who headed home from close-range. The visitors continued to dominate and import midfielder Matthew Sparrow nearly doubled their lead on the quarter hour, but his shot from a tight angle crashed off the woodwork. But their pressure was rewarded on 26 minutes when they doubled their advantage.
Canham was brought down by in the box by Jason Colli, and referee Stuart Muldoon pointed straight to the spot. Canham picked himself up and sent Alex Dunn the wrong way from the spot. They didn’t stop there and almost added a third on the stroke of half time, Hill and Alex Morgan caught Inglewood on the counter but the home defence got back just in time to clear the danger.
With Coach Taki Nicolaidis’ half time address still ringing in their ears, Inglewood opened the second half well and pulled one back ten minutes in, when Mark Pritchard’s cross was headed home by Blackmore. Inglewood pressed, but Sorrento’s defence held firm. The home side were well on top, but Jamie Harnwell’s side, showed like their coach in his A-League days, determination and fight.
But with time running out, the home side were convinced they had a penalty when Jason Barrera’s free kick hit the arm of Steven McDonald but the referee waved away their protests. It was Inglewood pushing everything forward in search of the equaliser and it almost came in stoppage time. Adam Tong’s towering header was superbly saved by James Morgan to ensure the Gulls flew away with the points.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIFTEEN - REVIEW
Mandurah City moved further away from the chasing pack at the top of the All Flags State League Division One table after a 3-1 win against Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park, while the other three closest teams all dropped points. It was special day at the eastern corridor club as both teams played for the ‘Ben Nowak Cup’, in honour of the former Forrestfield and Mandurah defender, who was tragically killed while severing the British Royal Marines ten years ago. “I’m really honoured to get that trophy, because I knew Ben personally,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “We had 11 established players to start the game today, which we haven’t had for a number of weeks. It’s obviously exciting for us, but you get judged at the end of the season and not now. We’re just focused on next week and I think we can build on this performance.”
The visitors made the perfect start and were ahead on four minutes. Jeff Bright was brought down in the penalty area and referee Arvin Shan pointed straight to the spot, and Mandurah skipper Jordan Rhodes converted from the penalty. Mandurah were on top and continued to press, Joe O’Brien fired wide, but just after the half hour they did add a second, Oriel Fernandez’s shot on the turn beating Luke Martino. The host need to lift and two minutes later they halved the deficit, Sani Sinclair firing low from the edge of the penalty past Brad Eiffe, who was playing his first match against his former club. Sinclair thought he had levelled on 39 minutes, but his celebrations were cut short, with the flag up for offside.
Then in shadows of half time, Mandurah made it 3-1. Good build up from the centre of the park, ended with Jon Brookes in the box, who eased past his marker and lobbed the on-coming Martino to score. The second half was tighter affair, O’Brien was denied by Martino early for the visitors, before Forrestfield midfielder Mitch Croker corner picked out Scott Barker, whose header crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. “It was a great win for us in a game which we controlled from the start,” Mandurah defender Ollie McGee said. “I thought Forrestfield gave a good account of themselves, and they definitely deserve to be at the top half of the table.”
Second placed Joondalup lost ground with the leaders after a 0-0 draw at South West Phoenix, while fourth placed Western Knights were beaten 2-1 by Rockingham City at the Lark Hill Sportsplex. City were ahead after only two minutes. Daniel Macklin’s through ball sent Christian Hogge clear and he flicked it over the keeper from 10 yards. But the Knights hit back in the second half and levelled with fifteen minutes to go, Sam Hutchinson firing home from close-range after Kieran Shail’s save fell kindly for the centre half.
The home side then had Alex Grayson sent off, but the Knights couldn’t make their numerical advantage count. It looked like the points would be shared but in stoppage time Rockingham won it. Hogge’s cross from the right was volleyed home superbly by Paul Larvin. “I’m delighted with the win against a top side, we were under the pump second half as they chased the equaliser, Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “Once they got it and we were reduced to ten men our group rallied and our fighting spirit shone through, the move and finish for our goal was deserving of winning any match.”
Gosnells City won for the first time in five weeks with a hard fought 2-1 win against Canning City in the local derby at Walter Padbury Reserve. The home side hit the front when Aaron Coslani’s was sent through by Jason Pottier, and he was one on one with Canning keeper Luke Stonebridge, who spread himself well to save, but Pottier fired home the rebound. Canning had plenty of chances to level but they had a number of missed opportunities. But that changed on the hour when they levelled. Laurence Cheyne beat his man on the left and squared for Mark Trevisiol to score from close range. It was Canning who were on top now, and Mark Trevisiol and Charlie Parry both hit the crossbar as they pressed for the win. But it was the home side that scored the winner, Dean Aplegren’s in-swinging corner was headed home by Sean Taylor to take all three points.
UWA-Nedlands piled the misery on Shamrock Rovers after a 3-1 win at the UWA Sports Park. The game was a Rovers home game, but their pitch wasn’t ready. They were weren’t ready at the kick off either and found themselves a goal down in the first minute. Alex Kretowicz was sent clear by Mordecai Appiah, and he finished clinically. UWA continued to dominate, but the Shamrock keeper kept his side in the game saving well to deny both Michael Vlasich and Tristan Taylor. Rovers then levelled on the quarter hour, UWA failed to clear a corner, and Nathan Hibbert was on hand to score from close-range. UWA regained the lead five minutes into the second half. Great work down the right from Conor Devlin and Kretowicz put Andrew Xydas in on goal and the midfielder finished clinically. Rovers pressed and UWA had keeper Alex Preece to thank for keeping them in front, the custodian making a number of good saves but the points were wrapped up five minutes from time. Marc Zagami played a one-two with Kretowicz and raced clear and the midfielder finished superbly to seal the victory.
In the final game Ashfield put a sad week behind them to beat Dianella White Eagle 3-1 at Dianella Reserve. There was a minutes silence prior to kick off and the Ashfield players whore black armbands in respect of former Club President John Van Hoek who passed away last week. “It was a sad day for everyone involved with the club, and we all did it for our good friend Hooky,” midfielder Alex Stamatiadis said. “What a man, what a legend, and he’ll be sadly missed.” It wasn’t the start Ashfield were looking for when Dianella opened the scoring early. Ashfield had a free kick at the other end of the pitch, but Dianella broke quickly and Mohamed Awad scored. But Ashfield hit back and levelled, Stamatiadis’ free kick found Chris Thackary’s who shot was blocked, but Ross Diamond was quickest to react to fire past Yousri Gharsallah. The visitors took the lead before half time, again Stamatiadis’ free kick caused problems, and Diamond flick sent in Gary Hill into the box, but a defence mix up let him in to score from an acute angle. Dianella pressed in the second half but couldn’t find the equaliser, and in stoppage-time Ashfield made them pay. Steven Kirk was played through by Danny Milne, and he lobbed the on-coming Gharsallah from the edge of the box.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIFTEEN - REVIEW
It’s as you were at the top of the All Flags State League Division Two table with the top two sides grinding out 1-0 wins. Fremantle traveled to Gumblossom Park and came home with the three points. The only goal of the game came just before half time, a long throw from Tom Speziali found the run of Daniel Glennon who got in front of his defender and flicked the ball into the top corner. There were chances galore in the second half but Fremantle hung on to maintain their six point lead at the summit. “It was a great game of football, end to end, and both sides had their keepers to thank for keeping the score down, both producing a couple of great saves and the woodwork also got a good workout,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “The game was a hard but a fair contest, and to be fair the result could have gone either way, so we were happy to come home with the points.”
Balga kept the pressure on the leaders also coming out single goal winners against Curtin University at Princess Road Reserve. The only goal of this one came from the spot, after Juma Awaka was fouled just inside the penalty area, and Vladimir Naumovski made no mistake from the spot. Both sides had chances but the one goal was enough for the home side. “It was a good win for us at home, but both teams had their chances, and we were lucky to be able to make the most of ours,” Balga’s Justin Caratozzolo said. “We are happy with the three points, but our focus is now on Swan away next week.” Third placed Joondalup City lost ground on the top two after they were thrashed 6-1 by the improving Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. Aaron Hardy was the hero for the home bagging four, while Arthur Gaye, Lemeo Wordu getting the others, the Joondalup consolation goal came from Jamie Stewart.
In other games Melville City moved level with Morley Windmills after a hard fought 2-1 win at John O’Connell Reserve. Mark Lucas and new signing Federico Testa, who came off the bench to make his debut, were on target for the home side, while Yves Mwila scored for Morley. Kingsway Olympic and Wanneroo City fought out a 1-1 draw in the local derby at Wanneroo Reserve. The home dominated the first half but couldn’t turn their possession into goals. But that changed on 70 minutes, a quick clearance from keeper Joe Smith saw Ryan Fielder race clear and beat the advancing keeper. Kingsway had chances to seal the game, but didn’t take them and they were made to pay with the last kick of the match, Scott Johnston scoring to give Wanneroo a share of the spoils.
In the final game Swan United ended their poor form with a 3-1 win against Ellenbrook United at Arbor Grove Reserve. United opened brightly but failed to capitalize and it was the home side who opened the scoring, with Jack Taylor on target. The impressive Taylor was a thorn in the side of the Swans all afternoon and his goal sent them into the break with the lead. Swan came out stronger after the break and levelled, after Chris Marshall celebrated his birthday by heading home a corner. The visitors hit the front when Luke Woodard converted a penalty for a handball by an Ellenbrook defender and they sealed the points with five minutes remaining. A long throw by John Monterosso found its way to Woodard, who laid it in the path of Michael Black who finished clinically from the edge of the penalty area. “I was happy with the second half we looked like our normal selves,” Swan Coach Matt Debarro said. “I was even more impressed with the five 18 year olds we had out there, they played well and showed they can do a good job at first team level.”
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND EIGHTEEN - PREVIEW
After last week’s Cool Ridge Cup success, Floreat Athena are back into PS4 NPLWA action when they take on String Lions in Round 18 at E&D Litis Stadium in the Footballwa.net Match of the Week. The 1-0 win against Cockburn gave Floreat their sixth cup success and striker Lewis McMahan said it was a fantastic day for everyone involved. “It was a great day for the club and a bit of silver ware is always good too,” he said. “The performance wasn’t great but I suppose you can’t play well every week and the result was all that mattered really, so yes we were very happy.” McMahan said they now must focus on league action and Saturday’s game is vital for their top four hopes, although he said it’s a little different to what he is used to in the UK. “This week is a very big game for us in terms of the league table, and with the points being so close between us it’s going to be a big game,” he said. “They (Stirling) edged the game 3-2 last time we played them, so we know we are in for a tough game, they have some good players and we need to make sure we match them if we want to get any points this time. But to be honest the league situation is a bit of a funny one as this whole top 4 thing I don’t understand. If you win the league then you’re the best team over the course of the season and ultimately the best team. But we will go out and be trying to win the game.” In team news Dean Evans returns after being cup-tied last week, but Bobby Wilson and Jason Saldaris are in doubtful.
Stirling Lions skipper Miki Vujacic said last week’s bye came at the right time for them and they are refreshed and ready. “The week off was perfectly timed, we've had a tough month, so the rest was much needed,” he said. “The game against Inglewood was horrendous in terms of the weather, which meant the football was horrendous too, but we are happy with a point against the league leaders.” Vujacic, who played for Floreat for five years including winning the title in 2007, said games between the two clubs are always intense and he is expecting the same on Saturday. “As always the Stirling/Floreat game is massive, even more so at the moment given our respective positions on the table. They've had a great few weeks with the FFA Cup draw, and Cup final victory so they will be pretty confident at home against us,” he explained. “But with our best team on the park we are a title contender, but I think five or six teams could say the same this year such is the evenness of the league. We have a pretty driven group of blokes who want to win, so I have no doubt we'll be pushing hard for some silverware this year and a win on Saturday will go a long way to achieving that goal.” In team news Shane Cassidy returns from suspension and Michael Pugliese from injury. Also Rob Milevski is away in Macedonia for the rest of season due to family reasons, so Dejan Vilic has taken the reins for the rest of the season, but he will be in the stands this week due to suspension.
Inglewood United will look to maintain their spot at the top of the table when they host Sorrento at the Inglewood Stadium. The home side have drawn their last two games, but with other teams slipping up also they still maintain the two point lead at the summit. Sorrento on the other hand sit in seventh spot, and their last game against Cockburn was abandoned. But keeper James Morgan said they go into this week boosted by a hard fought draw at Bayswater City in week 16. “That was a great result considering the conditions and going down 3-1. We are always confident at getting points against Bayswater so we never gave up and I think a draw was a fair result,” he said. “The weather conditions for the game against Cockburn were some of the worst I've ever played in and it's was definitely the right call to call it off.” Morgan knows they need to start winning games to close the gap on the teams above them. “Saturday against Inglewood is a massive game, and we want to be involved in the end of season’s finals, so this is a must win if we are to make the top four,” he said. “They are a good side with some good players but on our day we can beat anyone so we will be up for it.” In team news for Sorrento Reece Vittiglia return from injury.
Second placed Perth SC will look to keep pressure on league leaders Inglewood when they make the trip to Ashfield Arena to take on Perth Glory. One reason why the Dorrien Gardens outfit have been in good form is Francis Soale. He has been outstanding this season, and he said the win last time out against Balcatta was great for the confidence of the side going forward. “It was a really important win for us to back up our prior win over Floreat, and we did,” he said. “The first half wasn't the best we didn't adjust to the poor conditions well enough, but our second half performance was really pleasing as we were able to really run over them with our superior fitness and endeavour.” Soale said Saturday’s opponents will be desperate for the points, and he said every game in the competition is difficult. “As has been the case this season, there's no more easy games, and with the re-introduction of relegation this weekend won’t be any different,” he said. “That being said, the self-belief amongst our group is as high as ever at the moment so we'll go in looking to do what we've doing each week which is putting a shift in for 90 minutes and making it hard for them.” In team news Tom King and Andreas Theodosiades will miss the rest of the season with both off to Europe, but in good news Anthony Danze, Matt Milenkovic and skipper Clarke Keltie are back in the squad.
Subiaco AFC have kick started their season with back-to-back wins, and this week they travel to Finance 365 Stadium to take on Bayswater City. City have struggled in recent weeks and are coming off a 0-1 defeat at bottom of the table Armadale last week, and they need the three points to stay in touch with the top two. On the other hand Subiaco have been in good form and keeper Ryan Montgomery said they have a lot of confidence at the moment. “After a tough season to date we've finally started playing with a bit of confidence and the last two results reflect this,” he said. “All we can do is keep fighting and playing to our strengths and hopefully the results keep coming.” Montgomery knows it’s a huge challenge going to the Champions but he said you are only as good as your last game. “This weeks a mammoth challenge against Bayswater, who'll be looking to bounce back to form,” he said. “But if we get in there face and play like we have been, there is no reason why we can't get a result and we’re all looking forward to the challenge.” Bayswater City will be without Jamie Coyne due to suspension, while Subiaco will be at full strength.
Armadale stunned Bayswater last week, and this week they take on local rivals Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Scott Miller’s side are coming off a disappointing loss in the Cup Final, and haven’t won in the league since Round 10, but that does include draws against two of the top three teams. Armadale need to push on from the 1-0 win against Bayswater, and skipper Jesse Fuller said the win gave them massive confidence. “Yes it was a great win for us, in terrible conditions, but I think it was a well-deserved win,” he said. “We managed to get an early goal, and really played well as a team from start to finish, and we’re disciplined, over the full 90 minutes, and it was great to pick up the points.” Fuller said Saturday’s game is massive for both clubs, and he said they have improved a great deal recently, but haven’t been getting the results. “This one is a big one,” he said. “We have been playing well over the past two months and to be honest, we should have picked up more points than we have. It will be a good game, with both sides looking to take something away from the game. Jordan Candlish is in doubt with an ankle injury, while Daniel Dols is suspended for Cockburn.
In the final game Balcatta entertain ECU Joondalup at Grindleford Reserve, and they will be looking for a repeat of the result the last time the two sides met, when they came home with 6-3 win. The home side have dropped to eighth on the table and only have won once in their last five games, and with only four points separating them on the table a win for either side will keep their top four aspirations intact. ECU have been on a good run of form but have stumbled in recent weeks drawing the last two. Assistant Coach David Tough said the draw against Floreat was tough to take. “Yes it was a disappointing result, but as they say in the game, we didn’t get the rub of the green,” he said. “I thought we had a stone wall penalty that would have made it 3-0, but it was turned down, and the penalty they got was a little questionable, but we hope we can get some decisions from the officials go our way for the rest of the season.” Tough said the loss to Balcatta earlier in the season was a low point of the season for the club, but he said they need to be on their toes to get anything on Saturday. “The loss at home was a very poor performances from the lads, probably the worst of the season, but that’s taking nothing away from Balcatta who were excellent on the day,” he explained. “Marc (Anthony) will have his side ready for the game, after recent poor results, but we know we will be in for a tough one, but we are looking forward to it.” In team news Jon Higgins comeback to football has ended the midfielder is out for the rest of the season with injury.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FIFTEEN - PREVIEW
The race for the title is heating up and league leaders Mandurah City head north to take on Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park, in this week the Footballwa.net Match of the Week. Mandurah won convincingly in the last round, and with the weather affecting the other sides, they moved five points clear at the top. Jordan Rhodes bagged a hat-trick in the game, and he said the conditions made it a real tough game. “It was a good result, and it was played in difficult conditions, which was a bit of a leveler,” he said. “But our quality shone through on the day and I thought we deserved the win, and it’s always nice to score as well.” Rhodes said Forrestfield are playing well and it will be another big test for them. “They (Forrestfield) have been good this season, and I was impressed by them when we played against them in round four, so it isn't a surprise to me that results have followed,” he said. “They are now no longer an unknown quantity, so we will be prepared, and our objective is going to be the three points, whatever it takes.” In team news for the Dolphins Jack Eades is away in the UK, Jon Brooks is back from injury.
Forrestfield are coming off back-to-back defeats, but winger Rhys Loxley said they were in the game before being reduced to ten men. “The game against Joondalup United was always going to be a tough one, and up until the sending off, I thought it was an end to end game with both sides threatening,” he said. “The sending off hurt us though and it was always going to be hard to break down a strong Joondalup side. The Circumstances of the Ashfield game were uncontrollable, which was a shame as the game looked to be panning out to be a cracker.” Loxley said Mandurah are the best team in the league and it shows on the table. “The game against Mandurah will be tough as they are a well drilled side who are hard to break down defensively and are clinical in front of goal,” he explained. “If we are to get anything out of the game, we will need to be at our best both at the back and going forward. For us it is a must win game to remain with the pack and I'm sure the boys will be up for the battle come Saturday afternoon.” In team news Milan Vulin and Wilbert Tshabangu are overseas, but Forrie do welcome back Matt Harold, Kaan Karacaan, Hayden Dodgeson and Mitch Crocker who will all be fighting for a spot in the side.
Joondalup United travel south to take on South West Phoenix at Hay Park, looking to keep the pressure on Mandurah. The Phoenix have only lost once this season at home and have won their last three in Bunbury, which has moved them away from the drop zone. Joondalup’s Guy McDonald said their win at Forrestfield in round 13 was a massive win and he was disappointed their game against Dianella was abandoned. “It was a great result against Forrestfield especially in the wet conditions. The way we set up and dictated the game both defensively and attacking wise is a credit to the lads and Nick (Jennings),” he said. “It's just a shame we weren't able to continue our momentum the week after against Dianella due to the rain and the game being called off. But the lads are refreshed and have looked after themselves over the break so we are raring to go this week.” The trip to Bunbury is never easy and McDonald said Saturday will be no different. “It's never an easy game down in Bunbury and we lost last time out and they caused us a lot of problems so we know we are in for a battle,” he explained. “But at the same time we are just playing game by game as all the pressure is on Mandurah, being the reigning champions.” Aaron Maplestone is missing again, but apart from that Joondalup are at full strength.
In other games Ashfield will be looking to keep in touch with the top sides when they head to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles. It’s been a tough week for Ashfield with club stalwart and friend of football John Van Hoek passing away, and they will be doing their best to win for him. The gap to safety is growing all the time for Dianella and they need to start getting results sooner rather than later to survive, and keeper Yousri Gharsallah said they were unlucky not to get anything from the catch up game against Canning last week. “We had a great first half last week against Canning we were dominating,” he said. “We created many chances and we scored a great goal from a corner and we could score more and finish the game of but we didn’t convert.” Gharsallah said it will be another tough game against a good Ashfield side, but he believes they will take it up their visitors. “A hard game is waiting for us this week but we are able to surprise any team, anytime,” he said. “We can score goals against any team in this league, but when it comes to defending we are very naive, and we do a lot of individual mistakes and that cost us a lot of goals. However there is a lack of discipline on the pitch and that has been affecting the result every game.” Striker Joshua Tumoe returns for Dianella, but they have lost defender Yoann Claudot who is overseas. There is a local derby at Walter Padbury Reserve as Gosnells City entertain Canning City. Gosnells are looking nervously over their shoulders after a four game losing streak, while Canning moved clear of them with a 3-2 win at Dianella last week.
Bottom of the table Shamrock Rovers entertain UWA-Nedlands at Harold Rossiter Reserve. Rovers have struggled this season and a change of coach hasn’t helped the cause. They sit bottom of the table, a far cry from when they won the league in 2014. They have only won twice this season and time is running out. UWA have picked up in recent weeks, including a big win over league leaders Mandurah and a tight loss against the Knights last week, and they will fancy their chances of the points this week. The Final games takes us to the Lark Hill Sports Complex where Rockingham City hosts Western Knights. The Knights have only lost once in the last eight games, the last a 2-1 win against UWA-Nedlands last week, and with only five point gap between the two teams a win is important for both sides. Last week Rockingham went to Gosnells and came home with the three points and Coach Rob Crerar as happy with the performance. “I was really pleased with the win last week,” he said. “I thought we controlled the game from the start and put in a really mature and professional display.” Crerar is well aware of the history the Knights have in WA football and said they need to be at their best to win it, but looking forward to the challenge. “Saturday will be a very difficult game against a club with great history that demands success,” he explained. “We didn't deserve anything from our first encounter against them, but we are in good form and go into the game full of confidence.” Rockingham will be missing veteran Lewy Bake and David Clark this week, but they have Brian Gwataringa, Ben Harty and Fraser Marr all pushing for selection.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FIFTEEN - PREVIEW
The All Flags State League Division Two leaders Fremantle City are involved in the Footballwa.net Match of the Week when they travel to Gumblossom Park to take on sixth placed Quinns FC. The home side are coming off a 1-0 defeat against Melville City last week, and they will need to play better if they going stop the rampant Fremantle, and Brian Cairney said last week’s loss was poor. “We were pretty disappointed with the result against Melville that would have put us back on track following our defeat to Joondalup,” he said. “The weather conditions didn't help but fair play to Melville they got the goal that mattered.” Cairney said Fremantle are the team to beat this season but said they go into the game looking for three points. “Fremantle are a good side they are scoring goals for fun at the moment, and they are deserved league leaders,” he explained. “But we seem to relish playing the top teams and the lads will definitely be up for another battle on Saturday. It will be a close game but I think our boys are quietly confident of coming away with something.” In team news club captain Glen Moore is back from suspension so that is a big bonus for them, plus Sam Doherty has been back training with the first team which will give them more defensive cover.”
The visitors went to their nearest challenges Joondalup last week and came home with a 1-0 win. Striker Danny Clapham said it was a hard fought win. “Yes it was a good result against Joondalup in bad conditions, we didn't really want to win the game like that as the game was abandoned, but we deserved everything we got and we felt we would of extended the lead as the game went on and opened up, “ he said. “They didn't have a shot on target and we were looking good on the break and had a great chance to go 2-0 up, so we’re happy with the three points.” Clapham said the last time they played Quinns it was a 10 goal thriller. “Quinn's this week is another tough game, the last time we played it was 5-5 but we have a much stronger side than we had then and most importantly have a first team keeper who has only conceded three goals in nine matches,” he said. “So defensively we have definitely tightened up so we will be up for occasion and will be looking to add to our good run with a full strength squad. The lads are just taking each game as it comes and most importantly enjoying our football.”
Second placed Balga entertain Curtin University at Princess Road Reserve looking to keep the pressure on the leaders. Curtin sit in ninth spot on the table and moved away from the drop zone with a big win against Ellenbrook last week. Balga have only lost once in the last six games and last week came home from Morley with a hard fought 2-1 win. Swan United will be looking to rest their fall down the table when they visit Arbor Grove Reserve to take on bottom of the table Ellenbrook United. Swan picked up their first point in six games with a 2-2 draw against Kelmscott in midweek, and will have to do it without keeper Cory Hugo who is suspended. Ellenbrook are still looking for their first win of the season, but will fancy their chances if Swan don’t turn up to play. There is a local derby at Wanneroo Reserve where Kingsway Olympic host Wanneroo City. Kingsway’s good form continued last week with their 3-0 win at Swan moving them to fifth on the table, but they need to at their best in this game against their near neighbours. Wanneroo’s recent improvement has gone missing with three straight defeats, but will be looking for revenge after they were rolled 3-1 at home in the reverse fixture.
Melville City host Morley Windmills at John O’Connell Reserve. Morley sit in fifth spot, but were beaten last time out by Balga, but will be looking for a repeat of the 3-1 win the reverse fixture, but they need to improve their away form, having only won two. City, who are on a four unbeaten run, lost a number of players prior to kick off last week so defender Matt Donlevy said they did well to beat a strong Quinns’ side. “It was great result for the boys, especially after a couple late withdrawals prior to the match,” he said. “The game was played in ugly conditions but the team managed the environment well and we’re delighted to take the points.” Donlevy said Saturday’s opponents are starting to hit their straps. “Morley are a very good side, and will be another tough test for us,” he said. “They have many quality, experienced players who are beginning to fulfill their potential.” In team news for Melville Logan McIsaac returns from suspension to bolster their squad.
In the final game Kelmscott Roos host Joondalup City at Frye Park. City lost the top of the table clash with Fremantle last week and need three points on the road this week if they are not to lose sight of them. Kelmscott on the other hand played a catch up game in midweek and drew 2-2 with Swan, and came away with a hard fought 3-1 win at Wanneroo in Round 14. Striker Owen Curtis said they played well to get the result at Wanneroo. “The squad played to their full potential against Wanneroo, but the weather wasn't very kind to us, and as a result the game only lasted 45 minutes,” he said. “But not to take anything away from the lads, it was a brilliant effort.” Curtis said Joondalup will be desperate to win and keep in touch with Fremantle, while a win for Kelmscott and results elsewhere going their way they could move up to sixth. “Joondalup will be a tough challenge for us this weekend, obviously being so high up the table, they've proved themselves to be a sound unit,” he said. “We have been working on the training pitch to try iron out problems that lead to that initial 2-0 defeat against them the first time out. I'm excited for the game, and I'm sure we'll give them a good battle at home.” In team news for Kelmscott Tait Comley will miss with a tight hamstring.
GLORY TO PLAY STATE TEAM IN HERITAGE CUP
Perth Glory will play the West Australian State team in a pre-season game next month. The match, which takes place at Inglewood Stadium on 17 August, will be for the Heritage Cup as part of the celebrations of the State's 120th year of league football.
“I’m delighted that clubs see the great value in this match and have been supportive of an opportunity for some of the most talented players from the NPLWA to take on Perth Glory,” Football West chief executive James Curtis said.
“It’s fitting that the WA State team takes on Glory in such an important year for the code. I hope that all fans of football will come out in support of their local club and Glory, as the State’s Hyundai A-League representative.”
Glory and the State team have played 12 times, including an incredible match in 2011 when the A-League side won 9-4. The State registered its first win in 2014 when Alec Solomons and Ludo Boi scored in a 2-1 victory. The most recent encounter saw Glory triumph 1-0 last August.
HERD TURNS BACK ON GLORY
Fringe Socceroo Chris Herd has revealed that the career of his wife and unity of his family took priority over his own football interests as he explained his decision to walk away from a two-year deal with Perth Glory. The defender-come-midfielder was due to arrive in Perth next Monday, but will now seek a new club in England's League One or the Championship after shocking Glory with his unexpected about-turn.
Speaking from Birmingham, the former Aston Villa player explained that wife Amii, a successful wedding photographer, had too many long-term commitments to join him in Western Australia. “She just couldn’t get off her work and that would have meant the baby (two and a half year old daughter Hollie) staying here and that was going to be too hard for us as a family,” Herd said.
“It would have been too hard to be way from them for two years, so it’s just one of these things. We tried to work around things but just couldn’t find the right solution to make it work for us ... we couldn’t get all the family over there and that made it unrealistic in the end. Perth has been really good about it and it’s obviously a shame.”
Herd, who has three Socceroos caps, will now look to continue his career in England. "I’ll be talking with my agent and he’ll be speaking to clubs in the UK and see what comes from that,” said the 27-year old. “I’m pretty confident something will come up. It would have been nice to go back to Perth and play but it wasn't meant to be in terms of relocation as a family.”
“(Glory coach) Kenny (Lowe) has been great and acknowledged that family has to be your first priority. Hopefully I will be able to go over there and play in the A-League one day. Looking at the team Glory have put together, I think they’ll go on to win the title this season. That was what attracted me there ... Kenny, his ideas and the great team he’s assembled.”
GLORY RE-SIGNS GRIFFITHS
Perth Glory has confirmed the recruitment of their fifteenth West Australian player in Rostyn Griffiths. The 28-year old defensive-midfielder last played for his hometown club during the 2014/15 summer before joining Dutch club Roda JC, where he made 20 appearances and scored two goals.
“I’m really excited to be part of what is quickly becoming an impressive and solid team under the stewardship of Kenny Lowe” Griffiths said. “I’ve played in China, I’ve had my stint in Europe and now I’m focused on helping my home town club push for its first A-League title.”
Griffiths said the prospect of playing alongside with some of his childhood teammates in Rhys Williams, Shane Lowry and Chris Herd, was also a lure. “The chance of playing with the boys you’ve grown up with from your junior days is an attraction - but it’s not why I’ve signed” he said.
“Ultimately I’m here to play football and win a championship. Coming back to Perth is the right decision for me and I’m thankful the club and Kenny have given me this opportunity” he said. “I want to do my best to repay them and give the supporters a chance to celebrate in what’s going to be a big 20th birthday year for the club, so in all honesty I’m pumped.”
Coach Kenny Lowe was pleased he was able to add the reliable Griffiths to his strong line-up. “We know what Rostyn can do,” Lowe said. “He was a rock for us a couple of years ago and he’s also quite handy in chipping in with a few goals and he’s another WA boy so he fits in with what we’re trying to do at the club.”
Griffiths, a former ECU Joondalup, has chalked up 192 first team appearances through spells with English clubs Blackburn Rovers and Accrington Stanley, Gretna (Scotland), Adelaide United, North Queensland Fury, Central Coast Mariners, Guangzhou R&F (China), Glory and Roda (the Netherlands).
STYNES WINS THE CUP FOR ATHENA WITH LAST-GASP WINNER
Floreat Athena midfielder Jon Stynes scored in the third minute of stoppage time to seal a 1-0 win against Cockburn City in Saturday’s Cool Ridge Cup Final at Dorrien Gardens. There were many chances on the day, but it looked like going into extra time but Stynes had other ideas firing home Lewis McMahon’s pass to set off wild celebrations on and off the pitch.
“The boys deserve it for all the hard work they’ve put in on and off the training track,” Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said. “I think both sides worked out each other’s game plans early and I know we’re the winners on the day, but it was a great performance from Cockburn to take us all the way. Last season we were flying, we ran out of steam, but now we have some more depth and things are starting to go our way.”
Stynes said to score late was a great feeling. “I was delighted to have got the winner so late in the game, and win it for the lads,” he said. “The game was scrappy and could have gone either way, but on the day we were able to finish that one chance that made the difference and take home the trophy.”
It was a typical start to a Cup Final, and it was a cautious opening from both sides, the first real chance fell to Floreat, when skipper Ludovic Boi’s corner picked out the unmarked Phil Arnold, who headed over with the goal at this mercy. Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris had to receive lengthy treatment after a clash early, but he continued on. Cockburn went close themselves moments later Liam Murray firing wide from Harry O’Brien’s cross.
It was end-to-end football with chances at both ends. Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich had to be alert to save Boi’s shot from the edge of the penalty area, before Cockburn skipper Euen Grant headed just over from Cameron Edwards corner. The Cockerels ended the half the better and O’Brien’s volley flashed wide of the post and on the stroke of half time their Spanish striker Angel Andres cut into the area, but Jason Saldaris stood tall to deny him.
Floreat were forced into a change at the break with keeper Jason Saldaris unable to continue and he was replaced by Jordon Barbas. Floreat had an early penalty claim turned down by referee David Bruce, and Boi then tested Radonich who saved low. Barbas then came to his sides rescue saving low at his near post to deny Aden Da Luz shot. The game was up for grabs and Cockburn’s Josh Kusar cross was headed inches past the post, but both sides were struggling to turn chances into goals.
It continued when Radonich made a good save to deny Kris Gate, before Barbas was out quick to save bravely at the feet of Andres. It looked like it was going to extra time, but in the third minute of stoppage time Floreat won it. Lewis McMahon lost his marker and played the ball to Stynes, who curled it past Radonich and into the corner of the net to set off wild celebrations. There wasn’t any time for Cockburn to get back into the game and at the final whistle it was Floreat celebrating a sixth state league Cup Final success.
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS (RGK Jordan BARBAS 45’), 3 Blair GOVAN, 6 Clayton ARNEZ, 8 Jonathan STYNES, 10 Kris GATE, 11 Dennis GALAN (20 Robert GASPAR 62’), 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 Christopher SALDARIS, 18 Phil ARNOLD (5 Bobby WILSON 85’), 19 Lewis MCMAHON, 33 Cameron YORKE – Subs not used: 2 Shaun TIMMINS, 12 Nathan SCULLY - Yellow cards: Gaspar 68’
Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 3 Joshua KUSAR, 4 Euen GRANT, 6 Reuben TRISTAO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 9 Angel ANDRES, 10 David ARAYA, 11 Harry OBRIEN, 13 Blake ADAMS, 16 Daniel DOLS (18 Aden DA LUZ 74’), 19.Liam MURRAY - Subs not used: 5 Nathan DE ABREU, 7 Ali GHOLAMI, 14 Julian TELES, 17 Jesse LAZZARO - Yellow cards: Dols 70’, Grant 89’
Referee: David Bruce
BAYSWATER TAKE OUT THE RESERVES CUP FINAL
Bayswater City have come from behind to beat ECU Joondalup 4-2 to win the Cool Ridge Reserves Cup Final at Dorrien Gardens. ECU led at half time thanks to Ollie Annis’ goal, but Bayswater lifted after the break and a brace from skipper Alex Wild helped them to victory. “We’ve performed all season and it really wasn’t the best start, but we came out in the second half and showed everyone how good we are,” Wild said post-match. “I think we’ll all head out tonight and make the most of it, then it’s back to training on Tuesday. Hopefully we can go on to win the league as well.”
It was a tight opening, but ECU were convinced they had a penalty when John Hulme was brought down in the area but referee Zach Piccicacco waved away their protests. Bayswater lifted and ECU keeper Todd Hoyle saved well to deny Taban Makoii, and they were put under some intense pressure but they managed to hang on. ECU settled and hit the front on 38 minutes, Coire McGuigan found space down the right and his cross picked out Annis who headed past Fraser Greenwood.
Bayswater opened the second half brightly and forced a number of early corners and six minutes in they levelled, Wild heading home from close-range. Their pressure was rewarded on the hour when they took the lead. Wild was the supplier this time, sending Makoii in on goal and he finished past Hoyle. It looked like Bayswater would go on with it, but ECU had other ideas and they levelled on 75 minutes.
Hulme raced into the box but his shot was parried by Greenwood, but Bayley Brown-Montgomery was quickest to react to the rebound and fired home. It was game on but ECU went to sleep sixty seconds later and Bayswater regained the lead, with Jamie Murphy picked out unmarked at the back post and he finished well past Hoyle. ECU pressed looking for the equaliser but they were caught out again in stoppage time, Wild holding off his marker and fire low past Hoyle to win it.
Bayswater coach Chris Barbas was overjoyed with the result. “As I said leading up to the game it was all about a team effort and today’s performance was definitely a team effort,” he said. “We set each other up, we made sure we had that killer instinct in the final third and it was a credit to everyone today.”
ECU Joondalup’s Howard Tweats said he was immensely proud of his young side’s performance, despite the result. “Days like today, we take it on the chin and hope we come out stronger, and with the desire to return and hopefully play more finals and get some reward for the development we’re showing,” he said. “They’re a very young side, they’re relatively inexperienced, and they’re learning the hard way and the good way.”
Bayswater City: GK Fraser GREENWOOD, 3 David STOKOE, 4 Julian ALTERI (16 Abdul ABDELLA 46), 5 Patiente ILAHAMBAYE, 7 Jamie MURPHY, 8 Hifzan MOHD HAYAZI, 9 Alex WILD (c), 10 Taban MAKOII, 14 Tristan COLLI, 20 Luka NINKOVIC (18 Giordano COLLI 83), 21 Stefan BARBAS (6 Les MARI 68) - Subs not used: 11 Charlie WHITE, 12 Jake CHERRIE - Yellow cards: nil
ECU Joondalup: GK Todd HOYLE, 2 Coire MCGUIGAN, 4 Ronald RIXER, 5 Stef VRANESEVIC, 6 Ryan MALTON (c), 7 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 10 Oliver ANNIS, 11 Keylun POLLARD, 12 Jonathan HULME, 14 Lee HALLIDAY (3 Jaden EWEN 76), 18 Mateen ALEXANDER (8 Joe MIDDLETON 84) - Subs not used: RGK Daniel HODGKINSON, 15 Liam FYFE, 19 James BRUCE - Yellow cards: Malton 22’
Referee: Zach Piccicacco
COCKERELS FLY HOME WITH 18’S CUP FINAL
Cockburn City have won the 2016 Cool Ridge Under 18’s Cup Final after second half goals from Kristan Santich and Ryan Pratt gave them a 2-0 win against Inglewood United at 2-0 at Dorrien Gardens. It was just rewards for the Cockerels, who lost last season’s under 18’s showpiece in a penalty shoot-out against Subiaco, and Coach John Loreto said his side’s work ethic was the key to getting across the line. “I’m really proud of all the boys, making it through all the rounds and winning the cup is brilliant. It could have gone either way in the beginning, both keepers did well from both sides, and our keeper pulled off three good saves which kept us in the game,” he said. “After that, we capitalised in the middle of the park and started knocking the ball about and found our forwards and they finished off the game for us.”
It was Inglewood who started the match the better, and on five minutes Joel Jebaratnam’s low cross found Nicholas Challot, who flicked the ball towards goal, but Cockburn keeper Ben Radonich scrambled back to push the ball around the post. Inglewood were dominating and on the quarter hour they went close again. This time Tyler Garner sent Brian Mashingaidze clear, but his shot was saved by the outstretched leg of Radonich.
Mashingaidze was at it again three minutes later, this time sent clear by Challot but again Radonich denied him. Cockburn steadied and went close themselves on 24 minutes. Charlie Watt shot on the run was well saved by Rhys MacFarlane. Cockburn ended the half the better and went close to the opener again when Pratt fed Adam Anfuso, but his low shot across goal flashed inches past the post.
Cockburn made the perfect start to the second half and took the lead just three minutes in. Santich held off two Inglewood defenders before firing low past MacFarlane from the edge of the box. The game was put beyond Inglewood when Cockburn added a second 12 minutes from time. A long clearance from Radonich sent Pratt clear and he lobbed the on-coming MacFarlane. Inglewood pressed late Challot headed wide from Matthew Sutcliffe’s cross.
Inglewood coach Richie Abrams said his side’s inability to finish had been costly. “We had some really good chances in the first-half and we didn’t take them. If we had taken at least one of those chances I think it would have been a completely different game,” he said. “In the second-half, Cockburn wanted it a lot more than us and they were first to the ball more than us, and they took all of their chances and in the second-half, while we hardly created any chances so I believe it was a fair result to be honest.”
Inglewood United: GK Rhys MACFARLANE, 2 Charlie SIMPSON (13 Ben DEL DESSO 76’), 3 Nelson TSHONGO, 4 Matthew SUTCLIFFE, 5 Samuel BRENNAN (12 James WALLACE 74’), 6 Tyler GARNER, 7 Kieran PATTERSON, 8 Mohammad REZAI (14 Ben DOCHERTY 74’), 9 Brian MASHINGAIDZE, 10 Nicholas CHALLOT, 11 Joel JEBARATNAM - Substitutes not used: 24 Luke HUTCHENSON - Yellow cards: Nil
Cockburn City: GK Ben RADONICH, 50 Jake ROBINSON, 55 Adam ANFUSO, 57 Jesse LIPPERT, 58 Hudson BLISS, 60 Kristan SANTICH, 61 Charlie WATT (54 Ryan DE GENNARO 86’), 62 Mitchell FIRTH, 64 Denaudo MURRAY, 65 David DOS SANTOS, 66 Ryan PRATT - Substitutes not used: 23 Jordan COOBE, 51 Nicola CUIJOVANIC, 52 Samuel JONES - Yellow cards: Firth 64’
Referee: Darren Quinlan
GLORY COME FROM BEHIND TO WIN IN THE PHILIPPINES
Perth Glory picked up their first win of its pre-season tour of the Philippines after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against United Football League All-Stars at Rizal Memorial Stadium on Saturday. UFL striker Louis Clark put the hosts in front on13 minutes, before Chris Harold equalised for Glory nine minutes later. Andy Keogh scored the winner on the stroke of halftime to win the friendly which was the highlight of the UFL All-Star weekend.
Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said the opposition made it hard for them but they got what they wanted out of the game. “I thought they (UFL All-Stars) did well, they worked ever so hard,” he said. “But we controlled the game. We controlled the tempo, but the opposition play a decent brand of football, it was enjoyable match to watch.”
The home side opened brightly and on four minutes former Western Sydney Wanderers striker Tahj Minniecon long-range shot was straight at Liam Reddy. The Glory had the perfect chance to take the lead four minutes later, when Harold was brought down by Kouichi Belgira in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Keogh stepped up but UFL keeper and former Australian under 20’s keeper Matthew Acton guessed the right way to save his poor spot-kick.
The Glory went close again moments later, Nebojsa Marinkovic’s corner was headed just wide by Dino Djulbic. But against the run of play the home side hit the front on 13 minutes. Robert Mendy sending Clarke in on goal and he finished low past Reddy. But the Glory hit back and levelled nine minutes later. Marc Warren found space down the left and whipped in a great cross for Harold, who ghosted in at the back post to head home.
Both sides had chances as the game opened up. First Fitch Arrboleda cross picked out Minniecon, whose shot flashed over the top for the home side, before Josh Risdon played in Harold, whose shot beat Acton, but the post came to the UFL custodian’s rescue. Then Reedy stood tall to deny Mendy. But just before the break the Glory hit the front. Keogh was given too much room and he finished clinically past Acton.
With many changes to the sides in the second half the game lost a little bit of intensity, but there were a few good chances. Mendy fired wide early and Masaki Yanagawa headed wide from Minnicon’s corner, before Aryn Williams fed Richard Garcia, whose shot is blocked by UFL defender Jason De Jong. Both sides pressed late but it ended 2-1, the Glory securing their first win of the pre-season.
COOL RIDGE CUP FINAL PREVIEW
On Saturday all the roads will lead to Dorrien Gardens as the Final of the Cool Ridge Cup final takes centre stage of WA Football, with Cockburn City taking on Floreat Athena (3.00pm) Cockburn City will be looking for their first Cup success under their identity, although Spearwood Dalmatinac won the cup three times in the 80’s. They went close in 2007, but were beaten in the Final by Stirling Lions 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out. This season in the Fourth Round they beat Mandurah City 3-1 at home, and in the Fifth Round shocked League Champions Bayswater City 2-0 again at home. In the Sixth Round they beat Division One side Gosnells City 5-1 at home, before getting some revenge for the 2007 cup final loss beat Stirling 2-1 in the Semi-Final at Macedonia Park.
Cockburn skipper Euen Grant said Saturday’s opponents are a very good team, but they are looking forward to the challenge. “Floreat are a dangerous team we will need to be switched on for the 90 minutes, “he said “We’ve only played them once this season, and we fought out a 1-1 draw at their place, and that was a tight game, and I'm expecting the same again this weekend.” Grant, who played for Falkirk and Airdrie United in Scotland between 2010 and 2012, before heading down under, said they go into the game with a plan and they believe it will bring them success. “Floreat have threats all over the pitch, so we can’t just focus on one or two players,” he said. “We have to keep our shape and stick to Scott (Miller) game plan and hopefully we’ll come out on top.”
It’s a massive few weeks for the Cockerels with the FFA Cup tie against Melbourne City on the horizon, but Grant said they will be looking to make history on Saturday and bring home the first Cup for Cockburn City. “No doubt it's a massive few weeks for the club with two big league games in between the cup games. The lads are buzzing in training and are looking forward to the games ahead,” he explained. “We do have a chance to make a bit history by becoming the first Cockburn team to win a cup, we’ll just enjoy the occasion and fingers crossed we get the result we want at the end of the day.” Cockburn will be missing Ryan Barker who is overseas, but apart from that they are at full strength.
Floreat Athena didn’t enter the competition until the Fifth Round when they beat UWA-Nedlands 5-1 at home, before coming from behind in the Sixth Round to beat Armadale 6-3 at home. Then in the Semi-Final they travelled to Inglewood United and came home with an impressive 9-2 win. They have won the Cup on five occasions, the latest a 3-1 win against Inglewood United in 2009, and skipper Ludovic Boi said they are determined to add another one on Saturday. “This game will be massive for both clubs wanting to bring some silverware, but all the boys are up for the game, it's huge for us and the club,” he said. “We want to bring that cup home to Floreat Athena and hopefully we will be able to play some good football and get the job done.”
Boi said Cockburn are a well organised side and have dangerous players that can hurt you if you let them. “We've only played Cockburn once this year in the season so it will be interesting to see how both team have improved. They are well organised and will be tough to break down. But that's the magic of the cup, it's anyone's game on the day so I think we will let them worry about us,” he said. “It's a team effort and we will need to be at our best to make their job hard. We know where there strengths and weakness and it about being able to use that to our advantage. I'm sure they have done their homework and will have a game plan as well as both team goes all out.”
Boi, who joined Floreat after stints with Perth Glory and Stirling Lions, said the club are really motivated with two massive cup games coming up, but they must take it one game at a time. “The Melbourne City game will be in our heads until the big day comes but we can't let that take the focus off the final which is just as big,” he explained. “It's not every day we get to play full time professionals and test ourselves against them, but I know it’s a cliché, but we’ll take it one game at a time and focus on what's now and not what's ahead.” In team news Dean Evans is cup-tied and will miss the game, but Blair Govan and Chris Saldaris return from suspension. Bobby Wilson is in doubt and will have a late fitness test.
COOL RIDGE RESERVES CUP FINAL REVIEW
This year’s Cool Ridge Reserves Cup final sees current league leaders Bayswater City taking on ECU Joondalup at Dorrien Gardens. (12.45pm) In the First round ECU travelled to Mandurah City and came home with a 3-0 win, before beating Balcatta 5-2 in the Second Round. In the Quarter-Finals they scored late to beat Perth Glory 1-0, before edging out Stirling Lions 5-3 on penalties at Macedonia Park in the Semi-Final.
ECU Joondalup Coach Howard Tweets said Bayswater are playing well and the table doesn’t lie. “By right and with merit Bayswater sit top of the 20's league currently and will arrive at the final with confidence,” he said. “Having played out a 1-1 draw earlier this season the nature of the game was a rather flat lack luster affair from both sides and I don't think either myself or Chris (Barbas) learned a great deal from the game. Being lower on the ladder will in many eyes promote Bayswater as favourites for success which will suit us not having to live up to that expectation.”
When asked what his final words will be to his chargers before the game, Tweets said he will give the players confidence and tell them to go out and shine. “The instruction will contain a message around play with no inhibitions, give all you can in passion, energy and intensity,” he explained. “A final is a stage, with family, friends and supporters present, and importantly the prying eyes Managers and Coaches, so as a young player now is the time to shine, deliver a performance they are proud of and show all mentioned that they as a player have arrived.” Striker James Owen is in fine form, bagging six goals at Perth three weeks ago, while Ollie Annis and keeper Todd Hoyle will need to be at their best if they are to win.
Bayswater didn’t enter the competition until the Second Round when they went to Second Division side Kelmscott Roos and won convincingly 11-1. In the Quarter-Final they beat Sorrento 3-1, before beating Floreat Athena in the Semi-Final by the same score. Coach Chris Barbas said Saturday’s opponents will be up for the game. “No doubt the ECU team doesn’t reflect their current standing on the ladder,” he said. “They will be at full strength, well organised and pumped with adrenalin, that’s why we will be giving them the upmost respect come the day.”
Barbas, who coached Floreat Athena first team to the Cup Semi-Final in 2012, was asked what his final words will be to his chargers before the game, and he said just go out and enjoy it. “Like always I tell the player before every game, and it won’t change on Saturday,” he said. “It will be just a reminder to the team about our game plan and go out and play as a team and enjoy the game day.” Although Barbas will be looking for a complete team effort, skipper Alex Wild will have a huge role to play for City, while top goalscorer Luka Ninkovic will have to be watched closely by ECU.
COOL RIDGE UNDER 18’S CUP FINAL REVIEW
This season’s Cool Ridge Under18’s Cup Final sees Inglewood United taking on Cockburn City at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday. (10.00am) Inglewood opened their campaign with a hard fought 2-0 win against Perth SC in the First Round, before beating Stirling Lions 4-1 in the Second Round. In the Quarter-Final they travelled to Balcatta and came home with a 2-0 win, setting up a Semi-Final clash with Floreat Athena were they prevailed 3-1.
Inglewood Coach Richard Abrams said they have played Cockburn three times this season and haven’t won, but said he is confident they can change that on Saturday. “We go into the game having two draws and a defeat against them, so we are very keen to even things up,” he said. “They are well organized and play the game in the right spirit so I am expecting a good contest. Our road to the final has been very tough having faced Perth, Stirling, Balcatta and Floreat all NPL clubs, however we have scored 11 goals in the process and conceded only two so despite our league positioning we have good cup form this term.”
Abrams, who coached Perth SC under 18’s to cup success in the past, said the cup run has been a great learning curve for his players, but they have come out on top and he believes his player will be ready for the challenge. “We have a very young side and the fact that not one single player has ever featured in a cup final makes it extra special too,” he said. “My assistant Daniel Stoitis and I have featured in many finals as both a player and Coach so we will be passing on all our experiences to the lads and hope we can help guide them to a winner’s medal.”
We also asked Abrams what he would say to his side as they leave the dressing room for the game, and he said they need to relax and play their normal game. “The players have had lots of kind words and advice from many people all week, but we will be asking the lads to relax, enjoy the game and request they put their best foot forward,” he explained. “On our day we know what we can do and we will be treating the game with the respect the cup deserves. Playing at Dorrien Gardens, for me the best ground in the NPL will make the day even more special. We will prepare the lads throughout the week on the track and hope come 10.00am they don’t get too nervous and put on a good solid display.”
The leadership of skipper Samuel Brennan will be vital on the day, while top goalscorer Nic Challot will again be important for Inglewood. Abrams was reluctant to name individuals but midfielder’s Kieran Patterson and Tyler Garner, defender Nelson Tshongo and striker Brian Mashingaidze will also need to be at their best if Inglewood are to win the under 18’s cup for the first time.
Cockburn thrashed Kelmscott Roos 6-1 in the First Round, before coming out on top against Bayswater City 5-4 on penalties in the Second Round after the game ended 4-4 in normal time. In the Quarter-Finals they edged out Sorrento 3-2, and then thrashed Subiaco 7-2 in the Semi-Final. Cockburn Coach John Loreto knows the hard work the players have put in to their Cup run and said they head into the game full of confidence. “It’s always great for the players and club to win the cup grand final for all the hard work they have put in they deserve it,” he said. “The players are confident that they can achieve a positive outcome on Grand Final day.”
When asked what he would say to his players prior to kick off Loreto said it would be just plain and simple. “Take the opportunity playing in a Grand Final, most of all enjoy the moment work hard and you should reap the rewards, “he said. "It will take a team effort to win on Saturday, and all players will need to step up and play well to win the game.” The Cockerels youngsters have been led by Hudson Bliss this season and his influence, plus leading goalscorer Riley Van Dieken will be vital if they are to take out the Final. It should be a great encounter, get down to watch the youngsters in action – Kick off is 10.00am
VALE VAN HOEK (courtesy footballwest.com.au)
Ashfield stalwart and friend of football John Van Hoek passed away peacefully in the company of family on Wednesday morning. The former Ashfield president was one of the club’s most dedicated servants, a fact recognised with the naming of the John M Van Hoek grandstand at the club in 2013. Van Hoek was born in Holland and grew up in Den Bosch before moving to Melbourne in 1954. He moved to Ashfield in 1966 and in 1976 he coached the newly formed Ashfield Dynamo club. In the following decades Van Hoek made a ceaseless contribution to the club and the sport in the decades that followed.
OLDHAM PICK UP BURGESS
English League One side Oldham Athletic have taken centre-back Cameron Burgess on loan from Fulham for the rest of the year. Burgess, 20, played a big part in a similar half-season spell at Cheltenham Town last season when he helped the Robins win promotion from the National League to League Two.
An Australia youth international, Burgess is looking forward to playing in England’s third tier. "I want to get experience and in playing in such a good division, progress working with my new team-mates and manager," Burgess said. "As a squad, we want to take a game at a time and do as well as we can."
"I would consider Cheltenham to be better than any other teams in the Conference - no disrespect to other sides in that league - and we showed that. The step up will be a challenge, but it's something I am really looking forward to."
MURRAY JOINS HALL OF FAME CELEBRATIONS
Australian football broadcasting icon Les Murray will be a Special Guest Speaker at the Football Hall of Fame WA's 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner/Induction Night at Crown Perth on November 26. Hall of Fame chairman Louis Prospero said it was a considerable coup to have Murray attend what promises to be a night to remember. "Les was the best-known face of the game for many years and he is respected and admired throughout Australia. We are delighted that he has agreed to grace what is a milestone event in our efforts to preserve the history of the game in WA," said Prospero.
Murray said: "It is with great honour that I attend the 2016 Football Hall of Fame Western Australia celebrations. From afar I have long watched with admiration the great work being done by the football community of Western Australia. "Much has been achieved ever since the Western Australian Soccer Football Association was formed in 1896. Many of our greatest Socceroos came out of the West. The creation of Perth Glory in 1995 was one of the benchmark, pioneering events in our country's football history. "I look forward very much to catching up with my many friends in the West."
Known throughout Australia as Mr Football, Murray has been the face and voice of the game for several decades in his role as host of The World Game, and many other footballing events, on SBS. After 34 years with the Sydney-based TV channel, he retired from full-time duties in 2014 but still makes occasional appearances to voice his expertise on football matters. He joined SBS Television in 1980, and his many roles have included being the anchor and executive producer of the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup Final, Australia's National Soccer League (NSL) and covered all of the Socceroos' World Cup campaigns between 1986 and 2006. Along with his late friend and cohort, the former Socceroos captain Johnny Warren, Les is credited with causing the immense rise in awareness and popularity of football in Australia in the past two decades. It was Les who coined the label 'the world game' in the mid-1980s to describe his beloved sport, a phrase that has since become not only a term of common usage, but a brand in itself.
In 2006 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia. He is a member of Football Federation Australia's Hall of Fame. He is a former chairman of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Sports Group and is a director of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation. In 2009 Les received the Australian Sports Commission's Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to sports journalism. Les's authority and rich experience in sports journalism, broadcasting and business, make him a much sought-after figure, opinion-maker, writer, raconteur and skilled speaker. He has spoken at the United Nations and at many international forums. He is a former a member of FIFA's Ethics Committee. *To book tickets to the 20th Anniversary event (cost $180 each) email firstname.lastname@example.org
BIRIGHITTI COMPLETES SWANSEA MOVE
Perth-born Mark Birighitti has completed his dream transfer to English Premier League side Swansea City, but don't expect the talented goalkeeper to have his head turned by the big time. 25-year old Birighitti yesterday finalised a two-year deal with Swansea, with the option of an extra twelve months, following a stand-out season with A-League club Newcastle Jets.
But amid the excitement of hopefully testing himself against the likes of Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez and new Manchester United superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Birighitti is steeling himself for the more immediate task of trying to dislodge current Swans number one Lukasz Fabianski. "It's been a long wait dealing with a few offers, so to come to this stage signing for Swansea City it's a dream come true," Birighitti said.
"It's going to be a huge test but I always play my best when there's a challenge in front of me. As a young footballer growing up, you dream of playing for the Socceroos. But going to the Premier League, it's a huge honour. Fabianski is a great goalkeeper who's got a wealth of experience. He played with Arsenal and recently he was enormous for Poland in the Euros. It'll be great to go and work with him and pick his brain and work with one of the best in England."
"But, of course, it'll be my job to put pressure on him and be better than him each day at training. The good thing about English football is there are so many games. Not only the Premier League, but there's the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup. My main aim is to perform well day in, day out at training and prove to the coaches and everyone at the football club why I should be there ... so when I get the opportunity to play for the first team I take it with both hands."
Birighitti, capped once by Australia in 2013, played his juniors days at Perth SC and ECU Joondalup. In 2007 he moved into the A-League with Adelaide United, where much of his five seasons was spent as understudy to Eugene Galekovic. A 2012 switch to Newcastle brought regular first team football with Birghitti making 78 appearances across four campaigns.
But it's not all been plain sailing. A potential move to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in early 2014 fell through at the eleventh hour, and eighteen months ago he had an unsuccessful loan spell with Italian side AS Varese. That move could turn out to be the making of Birighitti, who met the man who has played no small part in his move to Swansea.
"During my time in Italy, the sporting director at the time was Gabriele Ambrosetti, who is now an assistant at Swansea," Birighitti said. "He's a great person, very well respected and me and him get along very, very well. I'm looking forward to linking up with him and the head coach Francesco Guidolin and the rest of the players."
Birighitti was recalled to the Socceroos squad in May this year after a two-year absence and sat on the bench for the games against England and Greece. "While I was with the Socceroos squad in England and back in Australia, I spoke to a few of the players who have played in England, like Mile (Jedinak), Fedders (Adam Federici) and Timmy Cahill, asking what to expect if I went," he explained.
"They gave me a lot of good advice and there's a lot of Australians over in the UK who I can always catch up with them. There are also my agents Frank Trimboli and (former Socceroo) Vince Grella. Since I was first introduced to them a year-and-a-half ago they've been absolutely fantastic. It can be frustrating at times because they don't really say too much, and the whole Swansea thing I've only known about it for two or three weeks. They're fantastic people who want the best for their players."
Birighitti also praised the coaching team at Newcastle who helped him achieve his dream - and the family who instilled in him an unbending work ethic, even if it meant climbing out of bed before dawn for practice as a 10-year old. "My dad (Carlo) has done so much for me," he said. "He was my first ever coach, dragging me out of bed, taking me to training at six o'clock in the morning. He's such an inspiration, and my mum (Fran) and sister and brother-in-law. They make sure nothing gets in the way of me excelling in my football career."
"There's also the team at the Jets who came in last year. Scotty Miller, the coach, Jean-Paul de Marigny and Jess Vanstratten, the Jets goalkeeping coach and the one that will always be there for me. I probably wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for him. He's been enormous in my career in this past year. Coming back from Italy he has helped me grow as a player and person - he's given me so much belief. I just can't thank him enough."
GRIFFITHS AND TOMBIDES JOIN GLORY ON FILIPINO TOUR
Rostyn Griffiths and Taylor Tombides have joined Perth Glory on trial during the club's tour of the Philippines. Glory's 30-man travelling party flew out of Perth today for a three-game tour against a series of local sides including the Filipino national team.
Griffiths, 28, left Dutch club Roda JC in April after one season, having previously parted company with Glory the season prior to try his luck in Europe. Tombides, who played juniors with West Ham United and Hull City, is a free agent after an unsuccessful trial at Southend United.
MAKAROUNAS: GAME TIME WOULD BE A PASS MARK
Adelaide United new signing Jesse Makarounas says regular game time with the Reds would warrant a personal pass mark at the end of next season. Adelaide kicked off their pre-season preparations a fortnight ago with 22-year old Makarounas training for the second time this week.
Makarounas looks to reinvigorate his career after stagnating last season failing to live up to expectations set upon him three years ago when he signed for Melbourne Victory. The midfielder is now looking forward to a new chapter playing at Coopers Stadium and hoped the experience he gained from playing in the Asian Champions League would help Adelaide.
"That's the downside of being successful, but you get to play in a different competition in a season and the Champions League is a great competition," Makarounas said. "You play against some good clubs, there were really good players I saw last season and all the boys are really looking forward to those extra games."
Makarounas was also keen on defending the title Adelaide achieved last season and drew a correlation to the difficult task his former club had in their last campaign defending their 2015 trophy. "I'm here to learn, you never stop learning as a footballer," he said. "My aim is to become a better player and to improve every day."
"There's some great people in my position in this team I can learn from and I'll definitely be speaking to them to develop myself as a footballer. Last year I was a part of a team that was the hunted and it makes every game of the year so much harder because it puts a target on your back. It's going to be a very hard season for us and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Makarounas also considered the season would be a personal success if he received regular game time from coach Guillermo Amor. "I just want to play every game, I wouldn't have come here if I didn't want to play every game," he said. "It's not just about myself personally, it's about the team and playing whichever position I can contribute to the team and help the team win is a pass mark for me."
ALL SQUARE AT A WET MACEDONIA PARK
The rain came but it couldn’t spoil an entertaining game as Stirling Lions and Inglewood United played out a 0-0 draw at Macedonia Park. The score line did no justice to a game that had tightly contested battles, fought in tough conditions, and Lions Coach Rob Milevski said a draw was a fair result given the circumstances. “Obviously the weather made it very tough to play any sort of style of football, in the second half it was tough even to just move the ball on the floor,” he said. “We were a little bit unlucky not to snatch it in the end but I think a draw was probably a fair result.”
Inglewood had the wind at their backs in the first half and dominated the early stages, and Adam Tong almost broke the deadlock on 11 minutes, his long range effort was superbly saved by John Perkins. The visitors then lost influential striker Brian Woodall seven minutes later, but it didn’t stop United from pressing. Kenny Keogh shot was well saved by Perkins, before the Lions custodian denied the same player again moments later.
After the break the Lions had the wind, but it was United who went close to the opener on the hour. Ashley Rosindale’s free kick was flicked goalwards by Tim Robertson, but it flashed wide of the target. The Lions almost hit the front on 77 minutes, when substitute Jamie Gibson controlled the ball on his chest, and volleyed goalwards, but to the relief of keeper Alex Dunn the ball dropped over the top of the crossbar.
The Lions were ending the game well and in stoppage time they had the perfect opportunity to win it. Teeboy Kamara was sent clear and with Dunn narrowing the angle, the lively striker squared the ball to David Micevski, and with the goal at his mercy the former Inglewood midfielder blazed over, and the points were shared. “I won’t say we were the better team but I thought we had the better chances over the 90 minutes,” Inglewood Coach Taki Nicolaidis said post-game. “David’s shot at the end; normally in those situations he’d bury that.”
ARMADALE STUN CHAMPIONS
Armadale produced the biggest shock of the round by defeating last season’s Champions Bayswater City 1-0 at a wet and windy ‘Super Saturday’ at Alfred Skeet Reserve. An early strike from Michael Domfeh was the difference between the two sides as the home side withstood a barrage of pressure in the second-half to snap a run of five consecutive defeats.
Reds coach Paul Price was delighted with his team’s performance, especially with them having a number of players missing. “Today we had three players in the back four playing out of position and they put on a fantastic display of defence,” he said post-match. “It was always going to be a battle to defend in the second-half as we were against the wind but the boys played fantastically well,”
The home side were on the front foot early and were rewarded with the opener on four minutes. Anthony Skorich cut the ball back to an unmarked Domfeh on the edge of the penalty area, and he finished past Bayswater keeper Devon Spence. The Army Boys were in full voice, but Bayswater hit back Jamie Coyne’s cross found David Heagney ten minutes later, whose header rattled the crossbar.
Both sides had good chances as the game opened up. First Coyne picked out former Reds striker Alex Salmon, who shot whistled wide of the target, before Domfeh was sent clear again, but Spence raced out of his area to clear, but it only went to Ismael Bangura whose effort rolled agonizingly wide of the post. Then on the stroke of half time Armadale’s keeper Alec Radonich produced a great save to deny Jason Mirco, and send his side into the break with the lead.
It was backs to the wall for the home side as Bayswater pressed after the break, and Radonich was again called upon, after Paul McCarthy played in Heagney, but his shot was well saved by the Armadale custodian. Heagney turned provider with six minutes remaining, when he crossed to Salmon whose header was cleared off the line by an Armadale defender, and the Army faithful let him know all about it. Despite a late flurry of set-pieces from Bayswater, Armadale managed to survive and win three valuable points.
PERTH YOUNGSTERS TAKE OUT THE FERRARI CUP
Perth SC have come from behind to beat Italian rivals Balcatta 4-1, to take out the Ferrari Cup at Dorrien Gardens. Jon Corness gave the visitors the lead at the break, but a dominate second half from Ramon Falzon’s side gave them the points against his former club. Tom King, Gustavo Catarcione, Dino Topcagic and Alex Jovic wrapped up the win and move Perth up to second on the table.
Falzon was delighted with his young side’s second half. “It was a great reaction from our players. It was good to get an early goal because it gave us that morale boost to keep pushing “Our mindset wasn’t right in the first half, we were second to the ball and made too many mistakes, which we can’t have in the remaining games this season,” he said. “It’s really exciting (to work with a young squad). The players want to be here, they want to work hard and they have the right intentions and character. But it’s too soon to speak about the season as a whole. It’s too tight. We still need to focus game by game because the standings that count are at the end of the season, not now.”
The inclement weather in the Perth CBD made football difficult early, but the mood was lifted on the half hour when Balcatta hit the front. Corness found space in the middle of the park and wasn’t closed down and the defenders long-range shot flew past Francis Soale and into the top corner of the net. Perth went close to levelling on the stroke of half time, when Clint Davies spilled a shot, and Jovic was quickest to react but fired into the side netting.
But five minutes into the second half Perth did level, a stunning long-range free kick from King gave Davies no chance. Then six minutes later the home side hit the front, Catarcione broke down the left and cut inside his marker and finished with aplomb past Davies, to score against his former club. It was 3-1 just after the hour Jovic found space down the right and crossed to Topcagic to fire home low through a crowd of players. The icing was put on the cake in stoppage time, Catarcione feeding Jovic to complete a great turn around by Perth.
SUBIACO TAKE OUT THE GLORY
Subiaco made it back to back wins for the first time this season after a hard fought 2-0 win against Perth Glory at a wet Rosalie Park. Subiaco veteran striker Ian McMurray was on target in the first half, before Michael Lawson doubled the lead in the second. Subiaco coach Mick Brazil was thrilled with his team’s hard working performance. “We challenged [our players] to back it up after last week – we worked all week on not conceding silly goals and I think I’m right in saying that’s our first clean sheet of the year,” he said. “We changed the full-backs a couple of weeks ago. We brought in young James Oliver and on the other side Dylan Andrews – both of them are 17-18, so it’s really pleasing.”
The Glory opened brightly and created a number of half chances, but against the run of play the home side hit the front on 16 minutes. A ball into the box picked out veteran striker McMurray who pinched a yard of space, and finished over Nick Feely. It was a bitter blow for the Glory, but they almost hit back five minutes later. Joe Knowles’ cross found Nikola Talimdzioski, whose header beat Subiaco custodian Ryan Montgomery, but the post came to the keepers rescue.
Glory continued to press after the break and Montgomery had to be alert to save Knowles’ long-range shot seven minutes in, this after great approach work from Calvin Whitney. Knowles then found space and raced at the Subiaco defence, but again his shot clipped the top of the crossbar and over the top. Then on the hour the Glory went close again. Knowles was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, and Talimdzioski’s resulting free kick crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.
Glory keeper Nick Feely then handled outside the penalty area on 72 minutes, and was given a yellow card from referee Stuart Muldoon. But Subiaco made him pay, scoring their second from the resulting Lawson’s free kick, which took a wicked deflection of the Glory wall. To the Glory’s credit they continued to take the game to the home side and Scott Robinson thought he had scored four minutes from time, but his effort was cleared off the line by some desperate Subiaco defending.
SWEATHER WINS OUT IN DRAW AT ECU
The weather came out on top after the match between ECU Joondalup and Floreat Athena was abandoned just after the hour after rain made the pitch unplayable. The score at the time was 2-2, and the result will stand after more than half the game was played. Goals from Gordon Smith and Tommy Amphlett put the home side in charge, but Ludovic Boi reduced the margin before half time. Early in the second half Lewis McMahon levelled, but the weather had the final word.
“Credit to the boys, they are in a really good groove and are playing well – it was just a disappointing end to a game like that,” ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said post-match. “We have signed a few new players who have come in and gelled really well. They are making the other players work a little harder, so it just picks up the quality all round. We have good work rate, good work ethic, good characters and good players.”
The home side made the perfect start and were ahead after only four minutes, after Gordon Smith was brought down in the box and referee Adam Fielding pointed to the spot. The Scottish striker picked himself up to score the resulting penalty. Floreat lifted and went close to the equaliser on 28 minutes, but Lewis Italiano pulled off a stunning save to deny McMahon. That save was vital as in their next attack ECU doubled their lead, Amphlett racing clear and finishing clinically past Jason Saldaris.
Floreat got themselves a lifeline in first half stoppage time, when Boi found space in a goalmouth scramble to fire past Italiano. Floreat were level in the second minute of the second half, with McMahon celebrated his return from five games suspension and fired home from the penalty spot. Heavy rain continued to fall and flooded the pitch and sixteen minutes later the referee abandoned the match due to unplayable pitch conditions.
RAIN HALTS PLAY AT SORRENTO
Sorrento and Cockburn City will replay their Round 17 game after the match was abandoned in the 25th minute due to unplayable pitch conditions. The weather was noticeably poor before the game was underway with light but steady rain hitting the pitch, but it was not yet enough to make a difference.
There was a goal in the game, Cockburn scoring after a through ball by Angel Andres found Aiden De Luz who fired home from the edge of the penalty area. Sorrento had an opportunity to equalize with a chip coming from Alex Morgan but Cockburn goalkeeper Luke Radonich stood his ground to keep his team in front. The match will be replayed at a date to be confirmed.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOURTEEN - REVIEW
The heavy rain on Saturday also effected the games in the All Flags State League Division One, but not for league leaders Mandurah City who beat Shamrock Rovers 4-1 at Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. Jordan Rhodes was the hero bagging a hat-trick, with Oscar Thompson scoring the other, while keeper Brad Eiffe saved a second half penalty. “I think we were the best team today and played some great football in challenging conditions for a decent crowd,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “Mick and I were delighted with the squad today, we still think there is room to improve, but fair play the lads adapt really well. Today we thought you could sense they meant business and were focused and wanted the points, so it was a great result and a terrific effort again by the squad.” Mandurah were ahead after good work from Jack Eades and Matt Stares sent Rhodes clear of the off side trap to finish well in the bottom corner. They went close again before half time but Oriol Fernandez hit the post. Mandurah continued to dominate and added second when Rhodes corner curled into the net. Shamrock pulled on back moments later and Eiffe then saved a penalty, but Mandurah lifted and Rhodes completed his hat trick with a stunning long-range free kick. The final nail in the coffin for Rovers came late, Michal Flemming’s cross was headed home powerfully by Thompson.
Western Knights moved up to third on the table after come-from-behind 2-1 win against local rivals UWA Nedlands at Nash Field. Alex Kretowicz gave UWA the lead on the half hour. The striker blocked Knights keeper Sam Stone’s clearance, and it fell to Andrew Xydas, who squared it back to Kretowicz who finished well. The Knights levelled on 70 minutes, Paul Lloyd’s cross was headed home by Kevin Ashwood. The winner came ten minutes from time, Lloyd playing in Adriano Jelenkovic who made no mistake. “We said before the game we needed to bounce back after not performing last week,” Lloyd said. “We ground out the win in bad conditions and need to go on another run and keep ourselves in the mix.”
In other games Rockingham City travelled to Walter Padbury Reserve and came away with a 2-0 win against Gosnells City. The visitors hit the front on 20 minutes, Alex Grayson long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net. The points were made safe 15 minutes from time Brian Gwataringa crossed for Gersh Rowland to volley home from 10 meters. “I thought we dominated the game from start to finish and could have scored a couple more,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “I have been delighted with the attitude and application of the squad the last 3-4 weeks.” All the other games were abandoned before half time and will be rescheduled. Ashfield were leading Forrestfield United 1-0 at Ashfield Reserve with Jamie Burns’ penalty after 13 minutes after a handball by Wilbert Tshabangu. Joondalup and Dianella White Eagles were 0-0 when their game at Forrest Park was called off, likewise at Burrendah Reserve where Canning City and South West Phoenix was 0-0 when the game was called off on the quarter hour.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOURTEEN - REVIEW
Rain also hit the All Flags State League Division Two games, and in the top of the table clash Fremantle City travelled to the Iluka Sports Complex and came home with a 1-0 win, this after the game was called off just after the hour. Fremantle started very well, the wet conditions were difficult but not unplayable, and with the strong wind at their backs. They scored the winner when Ben West received the ball out wide, his cross picked out the unmarked Ben Reynolds who beat his marker fired under the on-coming keeper. The pitch was fine at the start of the second half just slippery, and with the wind against them Fremantle held firm, and apart from some crosses into the box keeper Justin Scavarci didn't have a shot to save during the game. Ben Reynolds should have made it two on the hour after he was sent clear one on one with the keeper but he fired wide. Five minutes later the rain got harder and with large puddles forming, the players couldn't run through them. The referee spoke with his linesmen and both coaches before calling the game on safety grounds. “If we were behind I certainly wouldn't have wanted it called off,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknet said. “It's not the way Fremantle want to win a game, it's a hollow victory, and we wish Marco and Joondalup the best for the remainder of the season.”
Balga jumped to second on the table after a hard fought 2-1 win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. The home side hit the front after ten minutes, Juma Awaka brought down Kyle King and Yves Mwila scored from the resulting penalty. Morley were on top but on the half hour Balga levelled. A quick counter attack by Vladimir Naumovski saw him race clear, his initial shot was saved and the rebound came off a Windmills defender who was on the ground at the time, back to Naumovski who made no mistake. Balga won it with a goal before half time. Naumovski long-range free kick went over the wall and into the top corner of the net. At half time the rain won out and the referee abandoned the game. Kingsway Olympic moved to fourth with a 3-0 win against Swan United at the Swan Italian Club. Byron De Villiers opened the scoring within the first ten minutes, latching onto a cross from Lee Thomas. They doubled their advantage just after half time, Thomas’ cross wasn’t dealt with and Mark Donnelly finished against his former club from the edge of the penalty area. The points were wrapped up late, with Brett Cutting sending Ryan Frisina clear and he finished clinically.
In other games Curtin University beat Ellenbrook United 4-0 at Edinburgh Oval. Daniel Young scored the opener turning home Dilip Thapa’s cross. Eddie Tikoft added a second, dinking the ball over the on-coming keeper. Thapa made it 3-0, after a good run and shot from 20 meters. It was 4-0 when Oliver Robertson converted in a goal mouth scrabble. The game was then abandoned after 70 minutes but the result stands. Kelmscott Roos travelled to Wanneroo Reserve and came home with a 3-1 win against Wanneroo City. Linden Pywell scored the opener firing home a deflected shot. Owen Curtis scored the second, his shot from the edge of the box took a deflection and wrong footed the keeper. Wanneroo pulled one back through Luke Palmateer, but before half time the Roos added a third. A great run down the right by Simon Williams ended with a ball across the box to Sully Rogers to score. The game was abandoned just after half time. “It was great result for us Saturday, both because Wanneroo were ahead of us on the table,” Kelmscott’s Owen Curtis said. “The squad put in one of our most solid performances of the year, all be it only for 45 minutes of game play.” In the final game Melville City beat Quinns FC 1-0 at the John Connell Reserve.
BIRIGHITTI ON BRINK OF SWANSEA DEAL
West Australian goalkeeper Mark Birighitti is on the brink of signing with English Premier League outfit Swansea City. Birighitti, a former Perth SC junuor, flew to London on Wednesday to sign a two-year deal at Liberty Stadium where he will challenge Poland international Lukasz Fabianksi for the number one shirt. 25-year old Birighitti is coming off an outstanding summer with Newcastle Jets which saw him named in the A-League Team of the Season.
GLORY TO PLAY IRAQ
Perth Glory will play Iraq in a friendly next month in an ideal test of their revamped squad leading into the 2016/17 A-League season. Football Federation Australia has granted Glory approval for the one-off hit-out, which will take place on 25 August.
The fixture - likely to be played in Cockburn - will also double as a warm-up match for Iraq, who are due to face the Socceroos in a World Cup qualifier at Perth Oval on 1 September. The game involving Glory will be closed to the public under conditions agreed to by the State Government to avoid any negative impact on the showpiece event.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND SEVENTEEN - PREVIEW
It’s week 17 of the PS4 NPLWA and the Footballwa Match of the Week takes us to Macedonia Park where Stirling Lions hosts Inglewood United. The Lions were beaten for the first time in four week’s at Joondalup last week, while Inglewood conceded a late equaliser at Cockburn, and both sides will be looking to bounce back on Saturday. United’s Jason Colli said last week was one that got away. “Yes it defiantly one we let slip and considering we got our noses in front again towards the end of the game,” he said. “It was disappointing, but we move on as we have another game this week and will be looking for the three points at Stirling.” The Lions gave Inglewood a touch up at home earlier in the season, but Inglewood have been good on the road this season, and Colli said Saturday’s game will be another tough encounter. “It's going to be a tough game against Stirling as they are good going forward,” he explained. “But we know if we play at our best we will come away with the points.” United head into the game without skipper David Cyrus who is suspended.
Stirling midfielder David Micevski said last week’s game was a tough battle and it was disappointed to concede late to lose. “Obviously we were all disappointed to lose in injury time especially after we dug deep to come back from 2 nil down in tough conditions,” he said. “But credit to ECU though, they are a strong side and will be tough to beat for any team.” The Lions have struggled at home this season losing four of their eight games, and Micevski said they will be looking to improve that on Saturday, but it will be a huge game. “This week’s game against Inglewood will be another tough test as they are on top of the table for a reason,” he explained. “We know that three points will get us back in the mix to win the league and as we've shown throughout the season on our day we can beat anyone in the league, so were looking forward to the challenge.” Lions’ defender Shane Cassidy misses the game due to suspension.
Bayswater City slipped up again last week, dropping a point after letting a two goal lead slip against Sorrento, and this week they head to Alfred Skeet Reserve to take on Armadale on ‘Super Saturday’ It’s a huge day of football at the club with all PS4NPLWA seniors and juniors playing during the day and the ‘Super Saturday’ is a great initiative from the Armadale club. Back to the game the Reds were washed out at Perth Glory last week, and dropped to the bottom of the table and need to start to pick up points sooner rather than later. Bayswater do likewise at the other end of the table and defender Sam Mitchinson said to let the lead slip last week was frustrating. “First half we played some really attractive football and unfortunately we couldn't hold the lead,” he said. “Sorrento are always a difficult opposition and credit to them they kept on playing, but we will take the positives from the game into this weekend.” Mitchinson said it’s never easy heading to Armadale and Saturday will be no different. “We are looking forward to the trip to Armadale. We have been training hard this week and I'm sure Alex Salmon will be hungry for goals against his former club,” he explained. “We know it's a must win game and we will be doing our best to put into practice our game plan.” Bayswater have a few players carrying knocks but they all should be fit for the trip, while Armadale go into the game with the same squad as last week.
It’s fifth v sixth when ECU Joondalup and Floreat meet at the ECU Football Stadium. ECU made it six games without defeat with a win against Stirling last week, while Floreat suffered defeat against Perth SC on Sunday. Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris said they didn’t take their chances in the first half. “It was a very disappointing result for the club on the weekend, but we are taking it as a bit of an eye opener with a tough month of football to play ahead,” he said. “I believe the 3-1 loss was not a true reflection of the game, we had twice as many chances unfortunately we did not take them as well as Perth SC did, and were missing a number of strikers that hurt us a little going forward.” Saldaris said it’s another tough test up at Joondalup but they are determined to bounce back. “Saturday’s game is a must win for us to get some momentum heading into the Cup Final against Cockburn next week,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge and we will look to bounce back. “ Jon Stynes returns to the squad after work commitments and Lewis McMahon and Clayton Arnez are back from suspension and Shaun Timmins is line to make his debut for the club, but they will be without the suspended Chris Saldaris and Blair Govan, while ECU will give a late fitness test to Jon Higgins and Kevin Moon.
Subiaco AFC won for only the second time this season with a 2-1 win against Balcatta, while the Glory’s game at home to Armadale was washed out. Subiaco keeper Ryan Montgomery said last week’s game was well deserved. “We were all delighted with the win last week and it was a good performance,” he said. “It was probably the first game all season that we put two decent half’s together this season and we got the reward.” Montgomery believes the win at Balcatta will give them momentum going into Saturday game against a good Glory outfit. “This week is another tough assignment against a good Glory side,” he said. “But if we show the same character as we did last week there's no reason why we can give them a run for their money. We're a very young side and as long as we keep fighting and learning there's no reason why we can't stay up.” In team news James Casserly is struggling with injury, but should be available.
Both Sorrento and Cockburn City at Sorrento fought back for draws last week, and they meet each other this week at Percy Doyle Reserve. Cockburn hit back with a late goal to draw at home to Inglewood, while Sorrento went one better, scoring two late goals to draw at Bayswater. Gulls striker Alex Morgan scored the equaliser last week and said it was a great performance in tough playing conditions. “Last week was really good effort from the boys to come away with something against a really good team in horrendous conditions,” he said. “It was one of our better performances of the year, and we hope it continues on Saturday against Cockburn.” Morgan said a win on Saturday is vital to keep in touch of the teams above them. “It’s a huge game for us this week, especially if we want to be pushing for the top 4 and I guess they're in the same boat as us,” he explained. “Both sides have been a bit up and down in form but we need to start winning games, but we go into the game full of confidence.” Both sides have pretty healthy squads, and Blake Adams returns for Cockburn from suspension.
The final game of the weekend is the annual Ferrari Cup clash against Italian rivals Perth SC and Balcatta at Dorrien Gardens. Balcatta slipped up against Subiaco last week, while Perth stunned Floreat, but the derby is always a tight encounter. Former Balcatta striker Gustavo Catarcione has been on fire in front of goal for Perth this season, and he bagged two in the win at Floreat, a win he said was important. “It was a great result for us on Sunday, playing against an experience team like Floreat just give us a bit more confident especially for the young boys,” he explained. “The three points also moved us closer to the top two, so it was a very important three points.” Catarcione said his former club will be looking to bounce back after their shock loss last week. “The game against Balcatta it's going to be a very hard game, especially after their loss to Subiaco at home,” he said. “They will be coming out firing up to get the results and we just need to keep with our game plane to get three more points, nothing will change from Floreat game in terms of intensive, we need to be hard to beat.” Perth skipper Clarke Keltie should return after injury, while Nick Ambrogio and Tom King also return to the squad. Balcatta will be with striker Cameron Teece due to suspension, while Coach Marc Anthony will be watching from the stands after also being suspended.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND FOURTEEN - PREVIEW
It’s week 14 of the All Flags State League Division One and the Footballwa.net Match of the week is the clash between Ashfield and Forrestfield United at Ashfield Reserve. Ashfield beat local rivals Shamrock Rovers last week, while Forrestfield lost back-to-back games with a 1-2 defeat against Joondalup United. Ashfield striker Alex Stamatiadis said Saturday’s game is another big test for the side, but they are ready for the challenge. “It’s another hard game this week, our last battle with them was an epic one, and this game will surely be a crowd pleaser,” he said. “This year we have not taken chances in games, which has really hurt us so this week our focus is getting the job done and breaking down there counter attack. Credit to Forry they are a good young side on the up and are a real title contender, so it should be a cracker, just hope the pitch has improved from last week when the Glory game was abandoned.”
Joondalup United will be looking to keep the pressure on Mandurah City at the top of the table, when they entertain Dianella White Eagles at Forrest Park. The Eagles game last week against Canning was called off, while Joondalup beat Forrestfield in wet and windy conditions. United coach Nick Jennings said it was a well-deserved win. “I thought the boys executed our game plan superbly and controlled the game from the first minute. Obviously Forrestfield were hit with several injuries and suffered a sending off on half time, but I feel we would have beaten anybody on the day,” he said. “The whole team were superb and played some great football in difficult conditions, and we fully deserved taking all 3 points.” Jennings believes Saturday’s game will be a tight contest and said they are not underestimating Dianella. “This will be a very difficult game against a team battling for survival, who've signed a number of new players,” he explained. “We will have to be at our best to meet this challenge and I'll be making sure the boys are fired up, we certainly won't be underestimating them.” In team news keeper James Bosdet and Josh Whitmore are suspended and United have brought in under 18’s striker Luke Doyle, who has scored 25 goals this season. Dianella will be without the suspended Luca Borsato.
Canning City will be looking to continue their good form when they host South West Phoenix at Burrendah Reserve. The Phoenix held off a fast finishing Gosnells City last week, while Canning, who beat the in-form Forrestfield two weeks ago, were washed out at Dianella. Canning Coach Paul Oliver said it was a shame the game was called off as the players were up for a big one. “It was disappointing the way last Saturday panned out,” he said. “We trained well through the week after a good win against Forrestfield the week before and we had prepared for the game in depth so it certainly wasn't ideal, but the conditions were poor.” Oliver said Saturday’s opponents have a good side and is expecting it be another tight battle. “The Phoenix are a decent footballing side, and will be looking to put some breathing space between us before we play our catch up match,” he said. “We can't worry too much about what's going on around us as we have to rely on our own results. Paul McCue and I are confident every week as we know what we are capable of if on the day we play the way we know we can. We haven't been able to name an unchanged side all season and this week won't be any different. Peter Cartright is available again as is Simon Correia. We have no fresh injury concerns at this stage but still a number of lads on the sidelines.”
In other games its top v bottom when Mandurah City hosts Shamrock Rovers at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. Shamrock were beaten 3-1 at home in the local derby against Ashfield, while Mandurah beat the in-form Western Knights. “We were really pleased with the player’s reaction last week they were tremendous,” Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said. “Going into the game this week, we will need to have the same attitude and nothing less. Mick and I have been delighted with the squad’s attitude and application over the season so far they have been brilliant. We just need to keep applying ourselves week in week out and try and play good football.” Western Knights will be looking to bounce back from the Mandurah defeat when they host UWA Nedlands at Nash Field. UWA were held at home to Rockingham, but a win on Saturday will push them closer to a top five spot. Rockingham City make the trip to ‘Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City. Gosnells were beaten at the Phoenix last week, while Rockingham fought back for a draw at UWA, and Coach Rob Crerar they deserved something from the game. “It was a difficult game last week as UWA are a very quick and mobile side, but I thought we controlled the game until a defensive error let them in,” he said. “Then after that we worked hard to get back into the game and I feel we deserved our equaliser.” Crerar said they have had two close games against Saturday’s opponents already and is expecting another one on Saturday. “We have had two good games already this year in the NS and early on in the league where we lost a late goal and dropped two points,” he explained. “They (Gosnells) play great football and with the individuals they possess we need to be on our toes from the first whistle.” In team news Rockingham lose Reece Frank and Grant Dickie to injury, and Monty Grigo to suspension, but have Travis Williams and Brian Gwataringa both pushing for selection.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND FOURTEEN - PREVIEW
The Footballwa.net Match of the Week in the All Flags State League Division Two is the top of the able clash between league leaders Fremantle City and Joondalup City at the Iluka Sports Complex. Fremantle maintain their lead at the top with a comfortable win against Wanneroo City, while Joondalup edged out Quinns FC in a local derby. Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggested. “We were pleased to get the points against a good Wanneroo side,” he said. “The weather conditions were tricky but the boys stuck to their tasks, which helped keep our good run going.” Plucknett said Saturday is their biggest game of the season to date, but it’s one his players are looking forward too. “This week’s trip to Joondalup will be a massive test for us it's never an easy place to pick up points,” he said. “Marco has his side playing really well and they are unbeaten at home. They were strong when they beat us earlier in the year at our place so we know that we will have to lift our game if we want to get anything out of it.” In team news for Fremantle, Daniel Glennon returns to the squad, but Liam Fariss faces a late fitness test.
Joondalup Coach Marco Schisano said last week’s win was tough and the conditions were a huge factor. “I was very pleased to take the three points last week against Quinns. We went into the match with a lot of players being unavailable and we also lost two more through injury before halftime,” he explained. “So to come back from 1-0 down against a howling wind was massive for us. Quinns are not the same team they had early in the season and I am confident they will prove difficult to beat for anyone.” Schisano said Fremantle are top for a reason, and he is expecting another tight game against them. “Fremantle have been on top for most of the season and deservedly so. They are scoring for fun whilst not conceding many goals either, they don’t have many weaknesses,” he said. “Steve has attracted players with a lot of experience and quality who would be comfortable playing in higher divisions. We are the only team to beat Fremantle this season and we will need to be at our best to take the three points again. I am confident it will be as tight as our last encounter and hopefully the result will be the same. It is obviously an important match which will bring the best out of both sets of players and we are all looking forward to Saturday.” In team news Joondalup have a number of players under an injury cloud, and Schisano said he will have make changes again this week. “Unfortunately we have had a terrible run with injuries lately as well as having a number of players away but luckily we have great depth from the reserves and under 18s which has enabled us to stay in touch with the leaders,” he said. “We will have to monitor the fitness of a few players during the week before we finalise our squad but I am sure whoever walks on the park on Saturday will give it 110%.”
In other games Curtin University host Ellenbrook United at Edinburgh Oval. Curtin will be looking to bounce back from defeat at Kingsway last week, while Ellenbrook will continue to search for their first win of the season, after losing to Morley Windmills last week. Wanneroo City, who were beaten at Fremantle last week, entertains Kelmscott Roos, whose game against Swan was called off at Wanneroo Reserve, with only one point separating the two sides on the table, while Morley Windmills have home ground advantage when they host Balga at Wotton Reserve. Morley won at Ellenbrook last week, while Balga draw at home to Melville. This week Melville City hosts Quinns at Len Shearer Reserve. Melville drew at Balga last week, while Quinns were beaten at Joondalup. Melville’s Matt Donlevy said it was a good point at Balga. “It was a good point for us, and it was very much a game of two halves,” he said. “We controlled the first, and could have had a couple more, however Balga were the better side in the second half.” Donlevy said Saturday’s opponents have improved since the last time they meet. “Quinns have definitely been on the up since we played them early in the season,” he said. “They always provide a physical encounter, but we're playing well and we're confident of getting something from the game.” In team news for Melville Logan McIsaac is suspended, however Harry Hosking and Daniel Agduelo return and will be putting their hand up for selection.
In the final game Swan United will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle when they host Kingsway Olympic at the Swan Italian Club. It’s been a lean time for the black and whites, their last win came in round eight, and Coach Matt Debarro said they need to start to take their chances. “Yes it has been disappointing for us unfortunately, but we only ourselves to blame,” he said. “We have missed easy opportunities to score goals early but also given away very easy goals as well, hard to win games when you do this but looking to turn it around this weekend.” Kingsway beat Curtin last weekend, and Debarro said it will be a tough game. “No doubt Saturday will be a tough game, we managed to edge them out last time and will look to do it again,” he said. “They are a good side but so are we and we need to ensure we are ruthless in front of goal and solid in defence.” Swan will again be without Cory Hugo, Jono Schirripa, and Rory Hollingham and Jordan Rosseto are out, while Dom Ando is in doubt.
MILLARD INVITED TO YOUNG SOCCEROOS CAMP
Perth Glory defender Ross Millard has been invited to attend a four-day Young Socceroos training camp to be held on New South Wales' Central Coast next week. Millard, 19, was understandably ecstatic when told of his selection for the camp, which runs between 18-21 July. "Soon as I heard the news I was really excited about being involved with the national team again," he said.
"It's been four years since I was last part of a national squad so it's always nice to be back in the frame. I'm really looking forward to getting into the camp and making the most of the opportunity given to me. Representing your country is a great feeling so to be given a chance to do that again is something that I'm really looking forward to."
Next week's camp is the first of three Young Socceroos coach Paul Okon will hold in preparations for the AFF Under-19 Championship (11-24 September) and AFC Under-19 Championship (13-30 October). The camp will include a friendly hit-out against A-League side the Central Coast Mariners. Subsequent camps are scheduled for 8-11 August in Sydney and 22-25 August.
MAKAROUNAS SIGNS ON WITH ADELAIDE
Former Australian youth international Jesse Makarounas has signed a one-year contract with reigning A-League champions Adelaide United. Makarounas, 22, is looking forward to the challenge of a new club after making over 50 first team appearances for Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory.
“Obviously the team was very successful last year and I felt it was time for me to make a change in my career and I’m happy the move has brought me here," Makarounas said. “There are some great players here at the club and the style of football that the team plays is really good and it will suit me very well.”
“Watching the team play last season, you could see how attractive the football was, so hopefully I can contribute to the team positively and bring something extra to the squad. We want to have another successful year and I’m ready to do whatever is best for the team and play wherever I’m needed.”
Ante Kovacevic, Adelaide's General Manager of Football, who previously encountered Makarounas from his time at Glory, was pleased to bring the midfielder to the Reds. “We’re delighted to have added Jesse to our squad. We’ve been looking to add extra depth in to the squad and with Jesse we have another attacking minded player who is hungry to develop further individually and within the team.”
“He’s an exciting and versatile midfielder with a great understanding of the game for a 22-year-old. Jesse has a lot of valuable experience in the Hyundai A-League that he can bring to our team, as well as in our Asian Champions League campaign. I’m sure Jesse will fit in seamlessly within the team and will settle into our style of football comfortably.”
GWELUP SINK NORTH PERTH (by Aidan Shaw, footballwest.com.au)
A hat-trick by Gavin Knight helped Gwelup Croatia to a 4-1 win over North Perth United in Round 11 of the Consolidated Energy Amateur Premier League at Woodville Reserve on Sunday. An early goal from Knight highlighted a mostly even first half before Gwelup ran away with the result in the second period. Hat-trick hero Knight said it felt great to help his side earn the three points, and praised a strong team performance. “It’s not an individual performance for anyone, it’s just a team game from the first minute until the last minute,” he said. “As long as we get three points at the end that’s all that matters.”
While the result earns Gwelup a six-point buffer at the top of the table, coach Mike Ford said there is still a long way to go. “Every game, same thing, we have to put all the effort in,” Ford said. “We have to make sure that we don’t go out there thinking we’ve already won this.”
Steve Purton sent the visiting fans into momentary raptures in the 3rd minute when he slotted home, but the assistant had his flag raised. Knight opened his and his side’s account in bizarre circumstances in the 12th minute, when he applied pressure to a risky defensive back pass. North Perth keeper Paul Rainford attempted to clear the ball but kicked it at Knight with the deflection finding the back of the net. The rest of the half saw an end to end contest with Gwelup holding the greater share of possession.
David Perich came close to equalising for the home side early in the second half with a long-range curling free kick but Thomas Dixon made a great diving save to deny him. Gwelup were awarded a penalty in the 65th minute when a shot from Purton was deemed to have struck the hand of Darryl Gregory. Knight stepped up and fired beyond the reach of Rainford, who dived the right way. The result was effectively sealed two minutes later when Knight completed his hat-trick in style. Benny Kouakou played in a fast-paced cross from the right and Knight timed his run well to head the ball in to the roof of the net. Dejan Andric added to the damage in the 87th minute when he was first to the ball to head home after Rainford had parried an initial shot from Kouakou. Substitute Steve Henry headed home a consolation for North Perth in the last moments of injury time but there was no cause to celebrate.
North Perth coach Alex Carter said an inability to hold possession in the middle cost his side on the day. “I thought we set up reasonably well defensively but giving away cheap possession in the midfield cost us today,” Carter said. The defeat is just the second North Perth have endured in 11 league outings this year, and Carter said his side still had everything to play for. “We’re still looking to win (the league) and there’s no reason why we can’t,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we keep the pressure on Gwelup and keep it interesting until the final whistle at the end of the year.”
MADASCHI LEADS PERTH TO THE POINTS
Perth SC bounced back from two games without a win, after a 3-1 win against Floreat Athena at the E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Gustavo Catarcione scored twice in the second half for the visitors, with Aleks Jovic adding the third, while Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi scored a late consolation goal for the home side. Things went from bad to worse for Floreat with defender Blair Govan receiving a second yellow card in stoppage time and was sent off. “It was good team performance today, we’ve coped a lot of injures recently, but credit to the young players they have worked really hard,” Madaschi explained. “Results yesterday went our way, so to come here and score three goals and take home the three points is massive after two game without a win.”
Chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges, but the best chance fell to the home side midway through the half. Former Perth midfielder Dean Evans’ low cross wasn’t cleared, and Phil Arnold and Chris Saldaris had shots blocked by some desperate Perth defending. Then Perth keeper Francis Soale produced a stunning reaction save to deny Bobby Wilson’s header, before Kris Gate effort flashed wide of the target. Perth’s best chance came just before half time, Andreas Theodosiades sent Jordan De Leo in on goal, but Jason Saldaris was out bravely to save at the midfielders’ feet.
Floreat opened the second half well and Dennis Galan fired over from close-range, before Govan headed over from point blank range. But despite Floreat dominating, it was Perth who hit the front on 70 minutes. Jovic made space down the left, picked out Catarcione in the box, and the striker cut inside his marker and finished clinically past Jason Saldaris. It was 2-0 three minutes later, Theodosiades sent Catarcione clear, and he finished with aplomb for his 15th goal of the season.
Floreat re-shuffled their line up and went three at the back, but they were getting picked off by a rampant Perth side, who added a third nine minutes from time. Catarcione was the supplier this time squaring the ball to an unmarked Jovic at the back post, who made mistake. Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi pulled one back, volleying home from inside the penalty area, but it was too little too late for the home side.
GULLS HIT BACK AND FLY HOME WITH A POINT
Sorrento have scored two goals in the final 19 minutes to earn a 3-3 draw against Bayswater City at the Finance 365 Stadium. City striker Alex Salmon celebrated his birthday by bagging a first half hat-trick, but Brad McDonald Sean Canham and Alex Morgan gave the Gulls a share of the spoils. “When you go in 3-1 down at half time, you're under the pump against second-top of the table, to get any result is a good one,” Sorrento Coach Jamie Harnwell said post game. “We've got to keep that second half level of intensity whatever the conditions are. We can't afford to give teams a two-goal head start. We can't keep pulling back time and time again.”
The home side were out of the blocks well early and raced to a two goal lead, with Salmon, who joined the club from Armadale in the transfer window, scoring twice in three minutes, the striker starting his birthday with a bang. The weather made football difficult, but it didn’t stop Sorrento pulling one back on 24 minutes. Tim Hill made space down the flank and crossed to Brad McDonald, who turned the ball past Devon Spence from close-range. But 12 minutes later Salmon completed his hat-trick, the English striker pouncing on a defensive mistake to fire home and send the home side into the break 3-1to the good.
Sorrento were on the back foot early in the second half, but with the rain not abating, they started to get into the game and they were handed a lifeline on 71 minutes, when referee Tom Glavovic spotted a handball on Bayswater defender Sam Mitchinson. Canham kept his nerve to convert the resulting penalty. Both sides pressed but it was Sorrento who levelled nine minutes from time. Second half substitute Ryan Pearson finding Alex Morgan who made mistake to give Sorrento a point.
SUBIACO GIVE SURVIVAL A BOOST AT BALCATTA
Subiaco moved off the bottom of the PS4NPLWA table after a 2-1 win against Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve. Rory Feely gave the visitors the lead early, but Zelfy Nazary levelled for the home side with seventeen minutes remaining. But the home side went to sleep six minutes later when defender Michael Lawson scored the winner. Subiaco coach Michael Brazil was delighted with the result and his sides fighting spirit. “We’ve worked all week and the focus was to stop conceding silly goals,” he told the NPLWA website. “It wasn’t pretty, but the conditions didn’t help, but we battled, so full credit to the lads.”
Balcatta were the better side early, but they found themselves behind and without a coach in the dug-out on 10 minutes. Clint Davies parried a shot which feel to Feely, who flicked the ball goalwards, and it was clear off the line, but after a chat with his assistant, Adam Fielding gave the goal, much to the displeasure of Balcatta Coach Marc Anthony, who was sent to the stands. Balcatta looked to hit back immediately and Hanafi Ghazali’s in-swinging corner had to be tipped over the top by the alert Ryan Montgomery.
The Balcatta custodian was at it again on the half hour, this time tipping over Conor Kavanagh’s corner over the top, as the home side laid siege to the Subiaco goal. But the visitors could have doubled their lead just before half time, after a goalmouth scramble ended with Balcatta blocking a number of shots and eventually clearing their lines. The heavens opened but Subiaco managed to hold off Balcatta and went into the sheds 1-0 to the good.
The second half was just like the first with Balcatta pressing for the equaliser and they went close on the hour. Jon Corness was given far too much space in the middle of the park and his long-range was well saved by Montgomery. The Subiaco keeper was beaten moments later, but Ghazali’s long-range shot crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. But the home side pressure was rewarded with the equaliser on 73 minutes.
Cameron Teece cut in from the left, and found Nazary, who fired home. It looked like the home side would go on with it, but Subiaco had other ideas and regained the lead six minutes later. Balcatta switched off and Lawson shot beat Davies via the post. Subiaco shut up shop, and frustrated the home side and defended bravely to secure just their second win of the season and their first on the road.
MURRAY’S HAT-TRICK STUNS LEAGUE LEADERS
Cockburn City’s striker Liam Murray scored a great hat-trick, including a last minute equaliser in their 4-4 draw with league leaders Inglewood United at Dalmatinac Park. Ashley Rosindale gave the visitors the lead early, but Murray levelled. Rosindale and Jason Barrera put United in control, before John Migas scored an own goal and Murray added his second to level it up again. It looked like Scott Witschge had won it for United, eight minutes from time, but Murray had the last laugh. It went from bad to worse for United with skipper David Cyrus sent off in stoppage time. “It’s always good to get a hat-trick; I don’t know if I’m ever going to get a hat-trick like that ever again,” Murray said post-game. “We’ve only won three league games all year and today it was another draw but we have to start converting them into three points.”
Inglewood hit the front after only eight minutes, John Migas’ cross was turned home by the sliding Rosindale in the six-yard box. But Cockburn hit back two minutes later. Aden Da Luz picked out Murray on the edge of the penalty, and his curling shot flew into the top corner of the net giving Alex Dunn no chance. But the home sides celebration were short lived with United regaining their lead moments later, a mix up at the back let in Rosindale who rolled the ball into an empty net. United took control and added a third on 35 minutes, Rosindale’s goal bound shot was deflected into the path of Barrera, who finished low past Luke Radonich.
The home side started the second half well and pulled one back on the hour. Cameron Edwards’ free kick deflected off the unfortunate Migas and past a wrong-footed Dunn. It was game on, and it was Cockburn who squared things up with twenty minutes remaining. Da Luz was the provider again, crossing to Murray whose looping header beat Dunn. Cockburn went close to lead moments later, skipper Euen Grant shot from the edge of the penalty area beat Dunn, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Inglewood custodian.
Cockburn were starting to get on top, but it was the visitors who hit the front again eight minutes from time. Second half substitute Witschge, had only been on the pitch for four minutes, firing home low past Radonich and in off the post. It looked like the leaders had prevailed, but in the final minute Cockburn found the equaliser. Murray received the ball on the top of the penalty area, and his quick turn and shot flew past Dunn to complete his hat-trick and set off wild celebrations on and off the pitch. It got worse for Inglewood with Cyrus sent off by referee Josh Mannella deep in stoppage time after receiving a second yellow card.
HIGGINS LEAVES IT LATE FOR ECU
A goal from defender Andy Higgins deep into stoppage time has given ECU Joondalup a thrilling 3-2 win against Stirling Lions at the ECU Football Stadium. The home side were cruising after striker Daryl Nicol bagged a brace either side of half time, but David Micevski and David Sesay levelled. It looked like the points would be shared but Higgins had other ideas curling home a free kick to give the home side the points. “I spoke to the players after the game and said earlier in the season we would have gone on and lost that game, but it showed how far we’ve come within the year,” ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said. ““We spoke at half time about playing the conditions and Andy’s free kick was a great delivery and when it hit the deck it skidded on and there hard conditions to defend in and I was delighted to see it hit the back of the net.”
ECU opened brightly and they were ahead on 17 minutes. A quick free kick from Steven McGarry caught the Lions napping and Nicol superbly curled the ball over John Perkins from the left hand side of the penalty area. David Micevski continued to be a threat for the Lions and his volley flashed over the top on the half hour but it was the home side who ended the half the better. Perkins was alert to save Gordon Smith’s shot on the run after the Scottish striker had been sent clear by Tommy Amphlett’s through ball but at the break the home side lead.
The Lions should have levelled seven minutes into the second half. The lively Teeboy Kamara raced past three ECU defenders before squaring the ball to Jamie Gibson but with the goal at his mercy the striker failed to hit the target. That miss came back to haunt the visitors three minutes later as the home side doubled their lead. The Lions were convinced they had a penalty after hand ball in the ECU box but their protests were waved away by referee Stuart Muldoon and ECU raced clear. Amphlett sending Nicol in down the right, he held off his marker and finished clinically past Perkins.
The Lions were back in the game two minutes later, when they were awarded a penalty after Kamara was brought down in the box by Ryan Lowry. David Micevski stepped up but Lewis Italiano guessed the right way to save but Micevski was the quickest to react to score the rebound. It was the lifeline the Lions were searching for and four minutes later they levelled.
A mix up at the back and ECU failed to clear their lines. The ball fell to Sesay whose shot from the edge of the penalty area flew low past Italiano to level.
It was now the Lions who were dictating terms and Italiano got down well to save David Micevski’s curling shot before the ECU custodian saved low to deny Gibson moments later.
But the home side regained the ascendancy and Gordon Smith was sent in on goal by Steven McGarry on 83 minutes but Perkins stood tall to deny him. The home side continued to press and in stoppage time and they won a free kick wide on the right. Higgins’ curling set-piece flew into the net to seal victory for the home side.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THIRTEEN - REVIEW
Mandurah City bounced back from last week’s defeat at home against UWA-Nedlands, with a hard fought 3-0 win against Western Knights at Nash Field. “It was a really determined performance from the lads,” skipper Jordan Rhodes said. “The depth within our squad was on display and the lads were happy to get back to winning ways and a clean sheet to.” The visitors hit the front when a long throw was flicked on and Oriol Fernandez was on hand to score from close-range. The Dolphins added a second before the break, Jordan Rhodes on hand to score after good work from Oscar Thompson. The Knights pressed after the break but Mandurah sealed the points with a third. Fernandez broke away down the left and squared it to an unmarked Craig tone who had no worries tucking the ball away into the net. “This week’s game was all about the way we would respond after the lost to UWA, and the boys responded in the best possible way,” Mandurah keeper Brad Eiffe said. “It was a good old fashion slog on a water logged Nash Field pitch, but the boys worked for one another and put in a great shift. We now move on and look forward to working hard at training and preparing for a tough battle against Shamrock.”
Joondalup United kept pace with Mandurah after a hard fought 2-1 win against a ten man Forrestfield United at Hartfield Park. “It was a fantastic result and fantastic performance in poor conditions,” Joondalup keeper James Bosdet said. “The scoreline doesn't do us any justice as we was the better side for the majority of the game.” The visitors hit the front on the quarter hour, Josh Booysen sending James Harmer in on goal and he scored past Luke Martino from a tight angle. The home side hit back and were level on 36 minutes. Ben Rogers, who had only been on the pitch for 12 minutes, was picked out by Rhys Loxley’s cross to score past Bosdet. The home side lost midfielder Mitch Crocker just before half time after receiving a second yellow card from referee Anthony Walsh. Joondalup made their numerical advantage count in the second half and they scored the winner 13 minutes from time. Ross Edwards shot was blocked by the centre half but fell kindly back to the defenders feet and finished well from the edge of the penalty area.
In other games Ashfield beat Shamrock Rovers 3-1 at Harold Rossiter Reserve, while UWA-Nedlands drew 1-1 with Rockingham City at the UWA Sports Park. The home side were ahead after a defensive mistake from Rockingham gave UWA an opportunity and Alex Kretowicz finished well. UWA had the opportunity to win it five minutes from time but Kretowicz saw his penalty well saved by Kieran Shail. That miss came back to haunt UWA as Rockingham levelled in the final minute. A free kick was turned into his own net by Matthew Deveraux. “We are disappointed with the goal we conceded because we were in control up until then,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “We then had to dig deep and get ourselves level, satisfied with the point but delighted at the playing group’s attitude and work ethic.” The game between Dianella White Eagles and Canning was called off.
In the final game South West Phoenix won a seven goal thriller after a 4-3 win against Gosnells City at Hay Park. “We are happy with the win and to continue our good home form although it wasn't as comfortable in the end as it looked for most of the game,” Phoenix’s Lee Stewart said. “Fair play to Gosnells for not giving up and they got a couple late goals to push up to the final whistle. We have had a lot of long term injuries and players leave over the course of the season so we have struggled to get a consistent team on the pitch and a few of the lads have been asked to do jobs in unfamiliar positions but I believe we are slowly getting things in place and hopefully we can get on a good run and finish the season on a high.” The home side opened the scoring when Stewart played in Jayden Prosser, and his cross was headed home by Martin Ryan. It was 2-0 when Prosser’s cross shot was turned into his own net by a Gosnells defender. The game looked over when the home side made it 3-0, Fraser Healey was brought down in the box and Carlo Chiellini scored the penalty. Gosnells pulled one back when Jason Pottier cut in from the wing and finishing clinically. But Phoenix regained their three goal lead when Man of the Match Maxwell Ababio played in Stewart who finished well. Gosnells weren’t finished and pulled one back when Dean Aplegren’s free kick flew into the top corner, and Caleb Aquino turned home wade Farmer’s cross late, but they couldn’t find the equaliser.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THIRTEEN - REVIEW
Division Two league leaders continued their march to the title with a 4-0 win against Wanneroo City at Hilton Reserve. “The blustery conditions didn't help either side and it took a moment of class from Danny Clapham to break the deadlock,” Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said. “Wanneroo are a good side and put us under pressure, we were then very fortunate not to be at one all when a free kick from outside our box came off Gareth Hamilton and went in, the linesman flagged but neither side could work out why as it didn't appear any of their players were offside. In the second half our defence led by Stephen O'Leary again kept strong and this allowed us to be a bit more positive and we were able to go on and grab a couple more.” It was the home side who opened the scoring and it was an absolute cracker. Ben Reynolds played in to Danny Clapham from the flank, and Clapham, well outside the box, took a touch to set himself up and curled an unstoppable strike into the top far corner. The home side doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime, Alex Robinson reacted to poke the ball in after Reynolds shot was half cleared. Fremantle went on with it after half time and added a third when Josh Gardner cut in from the wing and was able to get on to a through ball from Sean Browne just before the keeper and lifted the ball over his head. The points were wrapped up with the fourth when Reynolds saw his shot deflected to Robinson who, calmly lifted it over the on-coming keeper.
Joondalup City kept in touch of Fremantle with a hard fought 2-1 win against Quinns FC at the Iluka Sports Complex. City coach Marco Schisano said it was a good win for his side. “I'm delighted with the win. We were 1-0 down at halftime and we had to make two substitutions early to injury. Once again the players showed amazing character to find another gear in the second half and pick up three vital points,” he said. “We beat a great side in terrible conditions. Quinns have signed some superb players recently and beating them will not be easy for anyone.” Quinns were ahead at the break but Joondalup were level when Jamie Stewart scored from the penalty spot, and Stewart won it heading home Danny Allen’s corner. Balga lost ground on the top two after being held to a 1-1 draw against Melville City at Princess Road Reserve. Melville opened the scoring in the 38th minute, a corner curled towards goal, and Denis Fekovic scored an own goal. Balga equalised on the hour, a cross by Nahom Michael found Alen Patarov, who's low shot hit the inside of the bar and went in. In other games Ellenbrook United were beaten 3-1 by Morley Windmills at Arbor Grove Reserve, while the game between Kelmscott Roos and Swan United at Frye Park was called off.
In the final game Kingsway Olympic beat Curtin University 2-0 at Kingsway Reserve. After making a number of changes to the side Kingsway started very brightly creating many chances considering the weather conditions. Both goal came in the first half, first on the quarter hour a long throw from Lee Thomas to the edge of the box found Ryan Frisina, who ran onto the ball and beat the keeper with a shot at his far post. Kingsway were on top and Curtin were struggling to trouble the home side defence and it was 2-0 before the break. Good approach work in midfield by debutant Effy found Craig Hollingsworth on the edge of the box to finish with a low shot that hit the inside of the post. “After the last 3 weeks being on the losing side the boys showed great character to win against a team also having a midsession slump,” Nathan Thorp said.
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND SIXTEEN - PREVIEW
It’s week 16 of the PS4 National Premier League WA, and the two form teams of the competition ECU Joondalup and Stirling Lions meet in the Footballwa Match of the Round at the ECU Football Stadium. Stirling last lost in Round 11, while Joondalup haven’t lost since that round, so Saturday’s game should be a cracker. ECU skipper Ryan Lowry said they were disappointed not to come home with three points at Perth SC last week, but he said they are building momentum. “Realistically it should have been three points for us, as I thought we dominated the game,” he said. “We created some excellent chances and on another day we could have had three or four, but we’ll take the point and move on to Stirling.” Lowry and his fellow defenders have been in outstanding form and have kept five consecutive clean sheets, which is an NPL record, but he said they are expecting a tough challenge against the inform Lions. “It's another good test for us and hopefully we can continue our good form and collect all the spoils,” he said. “Stirling have some dangerous players which we will need to watch, but we also have a lot of quality in our side so will be an entertaining game.” Jayden Drummond will miss again, while Jon Higgins and Kevin Moon will face late fitness tests.
Lions’ keeper John Perkins said they are playing with confidence at the moment and last week’s win against Cockburn continued their good form. “I thought last week we were pretty comfortable throughout and deserved the three points,” he said. “The team has gone out and performed like the coaches have asked of us, and we controlled the pace of the game and kept their chances to a minimum because of it.” Perkins is expecting another tough game, and he said Joondalup have been one of the big improvers this season. “We are expecting a tough game this Saturday, as they (ECU) seemed to have turned a corner, and are producing some convincing wins,” he explained. “If it is like our last encounter it will be a physical game and I’ve no doubt both teams will be aiming for the three points and it should be a good game.” Brodie Martin is back to full fitness and is line for a recall to the starting eleven, but Michael Pugliese is in doubt with injury.
League leaders Inglewood United will look to hold on to top spot, when they make the trip to Dalmatinac Park to take on Cockburn City. United won the top of the table clash with Bayswater City last week, and head into the game in a confident mood, but on the other hand Cockburn City will be looking to bounce back from a loss at Stirling Lions last week. Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich said it was a poor performance. “It was an extremely disappointing result last weekend, we just didn't rock up and Stirling where the much better side and deserved all three points,” he said. “It was even harder to take considering the performance we put in against Bayswater the previous week.” The keeper said Saturday’s game will be huge challenge, but he said they get a number of players back this week. “The table doesn’t lie and Inglewood are there on merit, and it’s going to be another tough game, as they have been in some very good form this season,” he said. “We’re looking forward to playing back home as we have been away the last couple of weeks and hope as a team we can put in a good performance and bring home the three points. We have a few players returning to the squad which will give us a huge boost.” The Cockerels welcome back Harry O’Brien, Angel Andres, Aden de Luz and Liam Murray, but they will be without the suspended Blake Adams, while Kenny Keogh is suspended for the visitors.
Bayswater City have home ground advantage, when they take on Sorrento at Finance 365 Stadium, looking to end a three game winless streak. The Gulls were surprisingly beaten by Perth Glory last week, while the reigning Champions were beaten at Inglewood, so they need to bounce back and turn their home form around after not winning in two games. Striker David Heagney said he was disappointed to lose the game, and not to be involved from the start. “It’s always disappointing to lose any game, especially with it being a fairly big game, but we move on,” he said. “I was also disappointed to not start and be on the bench, but that’s football and I’ll be doing all I can to get my starting place back.” Sorrento arrive after only winning only one of their last six games, but Heagney knows it will be a tough game. “It's very important we get back to basics and get the job done on Saturday,” he said. “Sorrento is always a hard game, and they have some quality players, so we will have to be on our game from the first whistle, but I believe with a good weeks training behind us we can get back to winning ways, and we’re only three points behind the leaders so it’s not desperation times for us, and a win on Saturday will get us going again.”
Perth Glory will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they host Armadale at the Ashfield Arena. The Glory youngsters won 1-0 on the road at Sorrento last week, while Armadale lost by the same scoreline at home to Balcatta. Armadale custodian Alec Radonich said they had chances last week to take something from the game, but they are not getting much luck at the moment. “We were really unlucky with the loss against Balcatta, and we had some good chances towards the end of the game, which if we had taken we could have taken a point, or even of won it,” he explained. “But we’re not getting the rub of the green at the moment, so we hope that turns around sooner rather than later.” Radonich, who has been in outstanding form in recent weeks, said Saturday’s game against the Glory is vital. “Saturday’s game is a real important game of us, and if we play well we should get a result,” he said. “There is only a five point gap between the two teams, and a win will close the gap and with us getting players back from injury we are confident we can.”
Balcatta bounce back from back-to-back defeat with a win at Armadale last week, to climb up the table, and will be looking for another when they host bottom of the table Subiaco AFC at Grindleford Reserve. Subiaco have lost their last four games and are starting to lose ground on the rest of the league, but Balcatta moved up to sixth after last week’s win, and sit only six points out of the top four. Midfielder Jon Corness said it was a battle at Armadale last week, but they were up for it. “It was a vital win for us, and the result we needed after a tough few weeks,” he said. “We had some young lads step up and they performed really well, against a hardworking and resilient Armadale side.” Corness said Saturday’s opponents can’t be taken likely as they are fighting for their NPL survival. “Subiaco can't be underestimated, we left it late to win last time around at their place, so we know we're going to be in for a battle,” he said. “It's tight around the middle of the table, with two other teams on the same points as us, so three points is a must.” In team news for the home side, Alan Carroll is suspended but Cameron Teece returns to the side after missing two games.
The final game of the round is on Sunday, where Floreat Athena entertain Perth SC at the E&D Litis Stadium. Perth were held to a scoreless draw last week against Joondalup, while Floreat won convincingly at Subiaco. Floreat midfielder Dean Evans said it was good to get the win, to continue their good form. “It was a fantastic win for the club, to continue our good form,” he said. “We started like a house on fire which was pleasing and went into the break 3-0 up. The game had been won in the first half so we were very happy to go on with the game and have a convincing 4-0 win.” Evans, who joined Floreat from Perth SC this season, said Saturday is another huge game but one he and the rest of the players are looking forward to. “Sunday is another tough game, and a great opportunity for both clubs to get that little buffer away from each other in the top four race,” he explained. “They (Perth) are a well organised outfit and will be very tough to break down, so we know we will have to be at our best to get the three points. But with both clubs looking to win the game, it should be an entertaining fixture for the neutrals.” In team news Lewis McMahon and Clayton Arnez are suspended, while Jon Stynes is unavailable. Perth welcome back Rocco Pizzata and Adrian Madaschi from suspension, and Clark Keltie is close to full fitness.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND THIRTEEN - PREVIEW
It’s week 13 of the All Flags State League Division One and the Footballwa Match of the Round is the top of the table clash between Forrestfield United and Joondalup United at Hartfield Park. Joondalup won for the first time at home in the league since round six, against Shamrock, and Callum Stocks said it was good to get the monkey off their backs. “To be fair the seven goals flattered us a little bit, apart from the first say 30/35 minutes we weren't anywhere near as good as we can be and we gave away three really cheap goals,” he said. “But we can take away the positives in taking our chances which is what you have to do in this league because it's so strong and anyone can beat anyone, and to win at home is also good for us after losing the last two.” Stocks said the whole club is looking forward to Saturday’s game, and it should be a great game. “We all can’t wait for the game against Forrestfield, and we have a real rivalry with them going back to Division Two a couple of seasons ago,” he explained. “In our opinion they are the best team we've played this season, so it will be a tough test for us at their place.” In team news Stocks said they have a few players missing, but they have a strong squad to cover the losses. “We have a long term injury in Joe stocker and Greg Pellow, who is missing a couple of toes,” he said. “We also have Joel Ledesham who is overseas for the week, and Adam Buckley has left us and gone to Quinns.”
Forrestfield lost for the first time in seven games at Canning last week, and defender Mark Barnett said it was a disappointing defeat. “It was a classic example of 'dominating’ play, yet conceding goals at the same time, which pretty much cancels each other out,” he explained. “I feel we had chances to win the game, however a few slip up’s from us defenders, myself included, also two soft penalties, and it proved too costly. After winning a large number of games in a row, a loss can, at times be of use to teams just to keep you on your toes and to look ahead which is exactly what we will be doing this week.” Barnett said Saturday’s game is huge and they are looking forward to the challenge. “This is without a doubt the biggest game of the season for us, and a chance to take points off each other in a congested top three could prove costly come the end of the season,” he said. “The boys have completely forgotten about the loss at Canning, and we are very focused on our tasks ahead for this week’s blockbuster. Forrestfield are at full strength for the game.
Mandurah City lost for the first time this season in a shock 2-4 home defeat against UWA-Nedlands last week. They will be looking to bounce back this week but face a tough challenge when they visit Nash Field to take on the inform Western Knights. Mandurah defender Ollie McGee missed last week’s loss, but said UWA played well. “It was a disappointing result, our first of the season, “he said. “I watched the game and UWA carried out their jobs well, we weren't at the races and they took full advantage of that, but at 3.2 it could have gone either way, but that’s football.” McGee returns to the squad this week, and he said the Knights have been on a good run of form and is expecting a tight encounter. “I see the Knights have had a few good results in their past few weeks, so we need to be at our best if we want to come away with something on Saturday,” he said. “We’ll go their looking to bounce back and get our season back on track, and we’re confident we can.” McGee returns to the squad along with Oscar Thomas who is back from an ankle injury.
In other games there is a local derby when Shamrock Rovers entertains Ashfield at Harold Rossiter Reserve. Rovers were thrashed at Joondalup last week, while Ashfield were also beaten, at home by Western Knights. Rovers need to start picking up points to keep pace with the other teams at the foot of the table while Ashfield need them to keep in touch with the top four. Fresh of their big win against Forrestfield, Canning City hit the road, when they visit Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles. The Eagles won for the second time for the season last week at Gosnells, and need to keep winning to keep their survival hopes alive. UWA Nedlands return home after their big win at Mandurah when they host Rockingham City at the UWA Sports Park. Rockingham also returned to the winner’s circle with a big win against South West Phoenix, and with only one point separating the sides it should be another tight encounter.
In the final game Gosnells City makes the long trip to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix at Hay Park. Both sides were beaten last week, and are level on points on the table. Gosnells keeper Jack Adams said it was a poor display. “We were all really disappointed with the result last week, we didn't play well at all,” he said. “We made the game hard for ourselves by not creating chances throughout the game, we need to be better than that.” Adams said the squad is ready for a big game against the Phoenix, to make emends for last week’s lackluster performance. “We are all ready for the game against the Phoenix, we’ve trained well this week, and we all know we have a lot to make up for after last week, and we are looking at getting back into form and moving up the table.”
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND THIRTEEN - PREVIEW
The Footballwa Match of the week in the All Flags State League Division Two is the local derby between Joondalup City and Quinns FC at the Iluka Sports Complex. Both sides are coming off 2-0 wins, Quinns beating Balga, and Joondalup coming away from Wanneroo with the win. Quinns midfield Jake Benson-Cooper said last week’s win showed how far they have come in recent weeks. “We’ve improved massively since the start of the season, the result last week was the most important match yet, we want to aim for promotion,” he said. “I doubt Fremantle will drop ten points but you never know, week after week we are improving at the start of the season we were conceding a lot of goals, but we are a lot tighter as a squad now.” Benson-Cooper joined Quinns from NPL side ECU Joondalup this season said they are looking forward to Saturday’s game and is hoping for a better result. “When we last played Joondalup we got pumped, if they think they will be coming up to the paddock for an easy match this time it won’t be, “ he explained. “It’s always a rival playing Joondalup, when we played them last time it was are worst performance of the season so far, we’ve been training hard this week and were ready to get a result.” Quinns go into the game without Craig Tooley and Sam Docherty.
Kelmscott Roos bounced back from a defeat at Morley in week 11, with a hard fought 1-1 draw against Curtin University, and this week they host Swan United at Frye Park. Roos Coach Chris Bates said last week was a good point, but he said they need to be better. “We were very disappointed last week, as we controlled most of the game and had our chances but didn't put them away,” he said. “But all credit to Curtin who got the goal back after we were in front most of the game, but we need to be better.” Swan have lost their last four games and Bates said they are ready for a big game and looking to reverse the score from the first game. “Swan will be difficult to win against this week, as they will be looking to bounce back from their indifferent form,” he said. “But after our defeat last time we played, we will be trying very hard to make amends this week and claim the three points.” The Roos were without four first team regulars last week and Bates said they all return this week and he has a full strength squad this week
In other games Balga host Melville City at Princess Road Reserve. Melville will be looking to continue their good form, after back-to-back wins, including a 7-1 win against Ellenbrook United last week. Balga were upset at Quinns last week to fall four points behind the league leaders and will be looking to bounce back this week. League leaders Fremantle City head home to Hilton Reserve looking to continue their charge to promotion when they host Wanneroo City. Fremantle have scored 12 goals in their last three games, including a 4-0 win at Swan last week, while Wanneroo lost at home to Joondalup. Curtin University hit the road this week when they take on Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. Kingsway were well beaten at Morley last week, while Curtin fought out a 1-1 draw with Kelmscott. Curtin Coach Campbell Ballantyne said the draw was a fair result. “Over the 90 minutes a draw was probably a fair result,” he said. “The first half was not a great performance from either side, “he said. “Seemed to take us going behind to spring us into life, and we really did have enough chances in the last 20 minutes to win the game.” Ballantyne said Saturday’s game is one he’s looking forward to after their first meeting ended 3-3. “Kingsway is a game we have on our list to put right, we blew a 3-0 lead earlier in the season,” he said. “The boys have trained well this week and are very keen to put that right.”
In the final game Morley Windmills make the trip to Arbor Grove Reserve to take on bottom of the table Ellenbrook United. United were thrashed at Melville last week, but the week before they pushed Balga at home, before losing by the odd goal. Morley beat Kingsway last week and Kyle King said it was good team performance. “It was good result for us last week, but personally I was disappointed not to get on the scoresheet, their keeper made some great saves on the day,” he said. “But three points is what we are looking for from each game, on another day we would have been 7-8 goals up in first half so I would say we need to be a bit more clinical.” Morley have only won once on the road this season and King said they need to change that quickly. “We defiantly need to improve our away record, we have made Wotton Reserve a fortress and seem to know how to turn it on at home,” he said. “it will be a big test against bottom side Ellenbrook, but we are not taking them lightly at all, any team can beat any team in this league.”
FEYENOORD SNAP UP JONES
Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones is set to join Feyenoord with the Eredivisie club confirming they have reached an agreement in principle. Jones, who spent the second half of last season in the Netherlands with NEC Nijmegen, will have a medical with Feyenoord today before finalising the contract.
Feyenoord have moved quickly to secure Jones' services after number one goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer ruptured his Achilles tendon. "After Kenneth Vermeer's serious injury we had to act fast, also because (back-up 'keeper) Warner Hahn is out of action for some time too," technical director Martin van Geel said.
"We only have two more fit keepers in Par Hansson and Justin Bijlow, not enough in our view to start a season with lots of league, cup and Europa League matches. That's why we immediately started looking for an experienced goalie, and we found one in Brad. Brad Jones brings a lot of know-how with him."
"Thanks to the half year at NEC he knows the Eredivisie and he also has international experience, due to his Liverpool period among other things. Brad really wants to come to Feyenoord and we are delighted he is coming to strengthen us within such a short space of time."
Jones made 17 appearances for NEC last season to help the club to tenth place in their first campaign back in the Dutch top flight. The 34-year old has enjoyed spells with Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Liverpool and Derby County, amongst others, and made four appearances for Australia.
TONG NOT GETTING CARRIED AWAY (courtesy inglewoodunitedfc.com.au)
His team may be top of the league but defender Adam Tong is keeping everything in perspective as Inglewood United prepares to face a luckless Cockburn City. The Cockerels have done it tough so far this year, taking maximum points on only three occasions from fifteen National Premier Leagues outings to be slumped fourth from bottom.
However, Tong says this weekend's opposition are not to be taken lightly, pointing to FFA Cup run which has taken them all the way through to a final showdown with Floreat Athena as evidence. "This week we will carry on as normal knowing that we can't underestimate any team," Tong commented. "In this league, every team on their day can turn anyone over."
"Cockburn have qualified for the final of the FFA Cup - they beat Stirling Lions and Bayswater City to get there - and that has brought them a lot of attention both locally and nationally. Every Cockburn player is going to be playing for their spot and as a result this week's game will be more difficult for us than last week."
Inglewood moved three points clear on the competition standings with Saturday's 2-1 home triumph over three-time league champions Bayswater. "Getting the win over Bayswater was great for us, it was a big result for the club and gives us a nice lead," Tong commented. "But I'm not getting too excited just yet."
"We still have seven games to go and every one of those is going to be tough with teams fighting for points either to stay up or to challenge for the league and top four. As the season gets closer to the end every player in the squad is going to play a vital part in the challenge for the silverware that Inglewood deserves."
ATHENA TO TEST YOUNG GUNS (courtesy perthsc.com.au)
Perth SC's young guns will be put to the ultimate test on Sunday as they travel to Litis Stadium to take on local rivals Floreat Athena. Floreat are in excellent form at the moment, qualifying for the FFA Cup Round of 32 and putting together a string of league victories to leapfrog Perth SC into fourth place on the PS4NPLWA ladder on goal difference.
While the Azzurri will welcome back defenders Adrian Madaschi and Rocco Pizzata from suspension, one of this season's standout players Tom King will miss the clash as he is heading to Germany for trials. Captain Clark Keltie is still injured, as is Matt Milenkovic. Nick Ambrogio will also miss the match due to suspension.
Coach Ramon Falzon said the match would be a difficult one for his young side. "Floreat have a strong and experienced squad and I think it is not surprising that they are currently in the top four," Falzon said. "They have some outstanding players like Ludo Boi, Kris Gate and many more, so Sunday’s game will surely be a tough one for us. "With our current situation, the game will literally be youngsters vs experience."
Perth SC's depleted squad has provided opportunities for the club's young talent to be exposed to league football, and two debutants last week stepped up to the mark against ECU Joondalup. "I thought our two youngsters last week played really well," Falzon said. "Alex Silla made his debut playing the full 90 minutes. Alex managed to keep Tommy Amphlett quiet for the majority of the game. "Vasco de Silva debuted by playing the last 20 minutes. In the final moments of the game we were under pressure, however Vasco and the entire defensive unit maintained their composure and avoided conceding a late goal."
Falzon said his side's recent performances demonstrated that the club was on the right track, but improvement would be needed to make the top four finals. He said Sunday's clash against Floreat was important, but was not make-or-break in relation to securing a finals spot. "The match is important to keep ourselves within the top four or close to it." Falzon said. "However, there will still be six more games to play after the Floreat game. In total, there are still 21 points up for grabs and we will keep working hard week by week to try and win our upcoming game. "The game is important very simply because there are another three points up for grabs and we want to go to Floreat focused so as to try and come away with all the points."
GARCIA: I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO PLAY ON
Perth Glory veteran Richard Garcia has pulled no punches in revealing his desire to play a third A-League season with his hometown club. The former Socceroos attacker will add coaching responsibilities to his duties this season while he maintains a strong and influential role within the playing group.
"I always really wanted to play on," Garcia said. "You know, Kenny made his feelings clear to me that he wanted me to maybe step the other side of the fence a little bit this year and that's something I had to think about. I'm actually excited about the opportunity to be able to do that you know and hopefully learn off them and progress myself as an up and coming hopefully coach one day."
Garcia spent most of his playing career in England where he chalked up close to 250 times for West Ham United, Leyton Orient, Colchester United and Hull City. He believes the wealth of knowledge and experience he gained overseas, as well as domestically with Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC and Glory, makes him an ideal candidate to pursue a senior coaching career.
"I've got a lot of knowledge and experience within the game," the 34-year old said of his moving into coaching. "I know . I've played under many different coaches so I think I have the qualities to be able to go into that field. It's now about maybe progressing slowly, slowly and I think I'm under the right guy to show me the way."
Irrespective of the change in landscape for the 2010 World Cup player, Garcia is determined to be a force on the pitch for as long as he can. "I want to play but obviously I might not get as much time as the younger guys," he said. "First and foremost I'm here to play, and secondly am to learn off the coaching staff and develop as a coach."
KERR PROVES FITNESS IN TIME FOR RIO
Matilda's star Sam Kerr has won her battle against the clock, proving her fitness to make the final 18-player squad for the Rio Olympics. The enigmatic forward was in doubt due to a long-term foot injury suffered in the W-League season requiring surgery which ruled her out of the Olympic qualifying campaign in February.
While tipped to return to training in time for the Olympics, concerns over Kerr's match fitness and conditioning were held by the Matilda's coaching staff leading into the recent camps and friendlies. She allayed those fears to join a strong squad that includes seven players that helped Australia claim the 2010 Asian Cup.
GLORY OFF TO THE PHILIPPINES
Perth Glory's quest for A-League silverware will begin with a pre-season tour of the Philippines later this month. A ten-day tour will see Glory's 30-man travelling party play three competitive matches - against club side Global FC, a league All-Star team and the Philippines national team - and take part in a wide range of football clinics.
Coach Kenny Lowe said the tour, which came about following an invitation from the Philippines Football Federation, was a perfect start to his team's pre-season campaign. "This is fantastic for all the lads, the coaches and football staff," Lowe said. "It's just the right tonic to get everyone united and focused."
Lowe is particlarlu looking forward to pitting his teams against the Phillipines, who are ranked 116 in the world. "They're not to be taken lightly by any means," he said. "They've got players who compete in the Asian Club Championships and the national boys are all technically gifted. I'm expecting a pretty tough hit out."
Glory's delegation will be welcomed by local football and government officials including Mariano Araneta, President of the Philippines Football Federation and Governor Ryan Luis Singson, Provincial Governor of Ilocos Sur. The team departs on 18 July for Manilla before returning on 27 July.
DE VANNA TO LEAD MATILDA'S AT OLYMPIC GAMES
Eighteen Australian footballers united by the goal of climbing onto the Rio 2016 Olympic podium are heading to Brazil after the final women's squad was announced today. Making their first appearance since the Athens 2004 Games, of which only co-captain Lisa de Vanna remains, the side is full of confidence after a stellar 12 months.
The Matilda's won their first knockout match at a World Cup in 2015 before running through the best Asia had to offer as they qualified undefeated for Rio earlier in the Olympic year. Now, with the belief they can knock off anyone they face in Brazil, the team is ready to make Australian Olympic history.
"We want to win a medal," De Vanna, who finished fifth with the Australian Team at the Athens 2004 Games, said. "Obviously gold is what everyone is fighting for and dreams about but if we come back with any medal it would a massive boost for women's football in Australia."
The side features a host of players lining up in some of the toughest leagues in the world, while the increasing strength of the domestic W-League has provided locally based players the perfect platform for international success. While the team spends the majority of the year playing at different corners of the globe, when this group comes together they are a united force to be reckoned with.
"The coaching staff has a massive influence on the success of the team instilling a sense of family and belief that we go out and play with," continued De Vanna. "Along with the skill of the players in this side, it is what sets this team apart from those of the past."
The Matilda's will be the first Australian team to compete at the 2016 Games when they take on Canada in Sao Paolo on 3 August, two days out from the Opening Ceremony. They will then face world number two Germany in Sao Paolo (6 August) and world number 93 Zimbabwe in Salvador (19 August).
Ausralia's squad for the 2016 Olympic Games is Lydia Williams, Mackenzie Arnold, Clare Polkinghorne, Laura Alleway, Alanna Kennedy, Stephanie Catley, Ellie Carpenter, Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond, Katrina Gorry, Tameka Butt, Caitlin Foord, Chloe Logarzo, Lisa De Vanna, Michelle Heyman, Kyah Simon, Samantha Kerr and Larissa Crummer.
ATHENA ENDS A GOOD WEEK WITH THE POINTS
Floreat Athena moved up to fourth on the PS4 NPLWA table after a dominating 4-0 win against bottom of the table Subiaco at Rosalie Park. Goals to Chris Saldaris, Ludovic Boi and Phil Arnold in the first half put the visitors in total control, before Nathan Scully added a fourth late. It continued a good week for the club, after been drawn to host Hyundai A-league side Melbourne City in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32. “You've got to play off that momentum. That draw is unbelievable getting to play against a big team like that and the boys are buzzing,” Floreat Coach Glen Grostate said post-match. “I thought today our composure, our structure and ball movement was very good, and I'm very happy with the way we played.”
Subiaco were in need of points at the other end of the table, but Floreat showed no mercy and hit the front on 25 minutes, Chris Saldaris’ shot deflected off Subiaco defender Ger Fitzgerald and sending the ball past Ryan Montgomery. It was 2-0 just after the half hour, Boi was given far too much room on the edge of the penalty area and the Floreat skipper finished clinically past Montgomery. The points were all but wrapped up on 38 minutes, with Arnold volleying home from close-range.
The home side improved after the break, but they couldn’t turn their half chances into goals, and Floreat added a fourth five minutes from time, second half substitute Scully scoring to wrap up a convincing win, and the defeat leaves Subiaco’s grip on an NPL spot in jeopardy. Subiaco coach Michael Brazil said they have to stop giving teams a helping hand. “Nothing's changed the last two weeks, teams aren't working hard to beat us, and we’re gifting them goals every week. Until we can eliminate these individual errors, I mean, it's killing us,” he said post-match.
INGLEWOOD WIN TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH
Inglewood United moved three points clear at the top of the table with a 2-1 win against Bayswater City at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday. Brian Woodall and a Mark Pritchard penalty gave the home side the advantage early, and Bayswater could only find a consolation goal in stoppage time. The win gave Taki Nicolaidis’ side a double over the reigning Champions and he said the side deserve a great deal of credit. “Credit to all of them today, everyone played their part and the result was outstanding,” he said post-match. “I think just belief in our playing group that you go out there with a plan and execute it well.”
The visitors were out of the blocks early, and they had Inglewood on the back foot, and the woodwork came to the rescue of the home side on 15 minutes, Lawrence Shuruma’s deflected shot crashed off the crossbar. But six minutes later the home side showed them how to do, Kenny Keogh was fouled on the edge of the box, but referee David Bruce played advantage and Woodall finished low past Devon Spence.
It got better for the home side six minutes later when they doubled their lead, Ashley Rosindale was brought down by Sam Mitchinson and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Pritchard stepped up to score from the resulting penalty. Inglewood were now dominating, and Spence had to be alert to save Woodall’s shot, before the Bayswater custodian saved superbly to deny Josh Pereira just before half time.
Inglewood keeper Alex Dunn was busy early in the second half, producing a great save to thwart substitute David Heagney, before John Migas felled Jason Mirco in the box, but the referee waved away their penalty claims. Inglewood were content to soak up the pressure and hit on the counter attack, but Bayswater could find a way through. They did score a consolation goal in the first minute of stoppage time Reale heading home from a corner, but it was too little too late.
LIONS EASE PAST COCKERELS
Stirling Lions continued their good form with an emphatic 3-0 win against Cockburn City at Macedonia Park on Saturday. A brace from Teeboy Kamara, and another to David Micevski gave Rob Milevski’s side a comfortable win and keep the pressure on the top two. “We knew it was an important game because we knew one of the top two would falter,” Milevski said post-match. “At the start of the season the target was top four football and at the minute we’re in the hunt, looking to win the premiership title, we just have to keep the momentum going. The boys were really good today, it was an excellent performance.”
It was a somber start to proceeding with a minutes silence held for club legend, Ross McGinn, who passed away. On the resumption of play Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich produced a couple of good saves to keep his side in the contest. First he saved well to David Micevski, before doing likewise to thwart Kamara. The pitch was cutting up rather badly and made football difficult for both sides, but Cockburn hit back and went close to the lead on 23 minutes.
Julian Teles and David Arya combined to free Ruben Tristao, but Lions keeper John Perkins was alert to save. That save become more important as sixty seconds later the Lions hit the front, a quick break ended with Kamara who headed home. Cockburn hit straight back and Teles heading inches wide, before Cameron Edwards long-range shot was well saved by the Lions custodian. Both sides had late chances but the Lions led by Kamara’s goal at the break.
But two minutes into the second half the home side doubled their advantage, David Micevski burst into the area and curled home superbly into the corner of the net, giving Radonich no chance. The Cockburn keeper was keeping the scoreline respectable for his side, saving well to deny Daniel Micevski on two occasions.
Before the same player blazed wide after being found at the back post by Luca De Lima. The points were secured six minutes from time, when the Lions added a third. Second half substitute Brodie Martin threaded the ball into the path of Kamara who made no mistake to add his second and wrap up a comfortable win for the home side.
BALCATTA HOLD OFF A FAST FINISHING ARMADALE
Balcatta bounced back from two defeats to earn the three points in a hard fought 1-0 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve. An early strike from Gomo Dukuly proved to be the difference, although Armadale keeper Alec Radonich was in sparkling form to thwart Balcatta, and the visitors had to fight off a spirited Armadale side late in the game to come home with the points. “It was pleasing today to get the three points and hopefully we can start building again,” Balcatta Coach Marc Anthony said post-match. “We’ve definitely been off the ball in the last two or three weeks so it was important for us to get a result here. They beat us in the reverse fixture this year so it was a big game for us just to give us a bit of momentum for the next few weeks.”
The visitors made the perfect start and were ahead after only four minutes. James Gordon through ball sent Dukuly racing clear, and he rounded Radonich and rolled the ball into an empty net. Things went from bad to worse for the home side then they lost veteran defender David Annall to injury eight minutes later. The visitors were on top and went close to a second on the half hour, Jon Corness picked out Hanafi Ghazali, who skipped past his marker, cut inside the box but Radonich stood tall to deny him. The Armadale custodian was at it again just before half time, this time saving well to deny Gordon.
Balcatta started the second half like they ended the first and went close early, Ali Nazari beat the offside trap and raced clear but his shot from the angle was saved low by Radonich. Armadale began to get into the game and their best chance came on the hour. Anthony Skorich was brought down on the edge of the box, and the former Perth Glory striker picked himself up to take the resulting free kick, but Clint Davies was equal to it, saving well.
Armadale were living dangerously and they were almost caught out again when Conor Kavanagh sent Dukuly one-on-one with Radonich again, but again the Armadale custodian saved. Armadale pressed late and went close to the equaliser in stoppage-time. Corness brought down Hassan Karim, and Dannie Richman swung in the free kick which found Jake Sardelic, his goal-bound effort was cleared off the line by Eamon McNelis. It got worse for Richman, who was then showed a second yellow card by referee Josh Mannella and was sent off.
ALL SQUARE AT THE GARDENS
Perth SC and ECU Joondalup have fought out a scoreless draw in their PS4NPLWA clash at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon. The home side had keeper Francis Soale to thank for securing the point, pulling off two stunning saves late in the game to give a young Perth side a valuable point. “It was probably the youngest team I’ve ever played in my time at the club,” Soale said post-match. “Like most teams, every time we play we want to win. But we were missing some experience out there and gave two teenagers their debuts for the first team today, so yes it was a good point for us.”
The visitors, who were on a four game winning streak, dominated early in the game, Gordon Smith firing inches wide in the opening minute, before Daryl Nicol shot flashed inches past the post moments later. Tommy Amphlett and Shane Pickering also had chances, as ECU totally dominated the hosts. But Perth steadied and Tom King’s superb through ball sent Jordan De Leo wide on the left and his shot was saved by Lewis Italiano. Both sides had late chances, Gustavo Catarcione’s volley flew wide of the target before Gordon Smith raced clear again, but King got back with a great last ditch tackle to deny the ECU striker.
Perth opened brightly after halftime with former ECU winger Hayley Orr coming on at the break and they thought they had the lead on 56 minutes. A free kick from Theodosiades was flicked in by Orr at the back post and the Perth players celebrated, but after consulting with his assistant, referee Matthew Southern disallowed the goal for offside. The visitors hit back and Cian Hirrell’s long-range shot fell kindly to Nicol, who raced into the area, but Soale stood tall to save well to deny the Scottish striker.
ECU dominated late and Nicol fired wide at the back post after a quick free kick from Andy Higgins, and moments later Nicol had the opportunity to make emends for his miss when he was sent into goal by Amphlett but again Soale was out quick to save well. It was backs to the wall for Perth and in the final minute ECU went close to the winner. Amphlett finding Annis, whose first time shot was superbly tipped over by Soale. Then in stoppage time Perth almost won it. Catarcione sent Furfaro racing down the right, he outpaced his marker but fired into the side netting and the points were shared.
GLORY FLY HOME WITH THE POINTS FROM GULLS
Perth Glory moved clear of the relegation zone after a 1-0 win against Sorrento in at Percy Doyle Reserve. Glory skipper Joe Knowles scored the only goal of the game early in the second half, but it was a great defensive display from the Glory youngsters, with keeper Nick Feely the hero, making a number of fine saves to deny the Gulls. “The group showed a great deal of character today stayed strong against a tough Sorrento team, and late in the game we needed to scrap, scramble and defended well,” Glory Coach John Gibson said post-match. “The win is long overdue and definitely something the group has deserved after consistently performing well over the course of the season and not being rewarded.”
The visitors were out of the blocks early and Jackson Morgan curling shot was well saved by Sorrento keeper James Morgan. Then Gian Albano raced forward, and wasn’t closed down, his curling shot was heading for the top corner but James Morgan produced a fingertip save to deny him. Sorrento hit back and should have hit the front on the half hour. Gulls midfielder Alex Morgan found space in the penalty area, but with the goal at his mercy he fired over the top.
It was a perfect start to the second half for the Glory and they hit the front seven minutes in. A ball over the top from Jack Iredale sent Knowles clear and the striker fired home superbly from the edge of the penalty area. Sorrento should have levelled moments later, Sean Canham wasn’t picked up in the box, but the striker headed over from six-yards. The home side pressed for the equaliser, and just after the hour Jordon Dodd raced clear but as the midfielder was about to pull the trigger Ross Millard got back with a last gasp tackle.
Sorrento were pressing, but they couldn’t find a way past the new Glory custodian. Feely, who has just signed an A-League contract with the club, denied Alex Morgan again on 72 minutes, before Jackson Morgan cleared the ball from his own line moments later. Feely then saved superbly to thwart Canham’s volley late. Sorrento throw everything late looking for the equaliser but the Glory hung on for three valuable points.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWELVE - REVIEW
In Week 12 of the All Flags Division One, there were a number of surprising results, and league leaders Mandurah City’s first defeat was the major one. The Dolphins hosted UWA-Nedlands at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium and the visitors headed home with a superb 4-2 win. The visitors were ahead on the quarter hour, Robbie Black’s corner was met by Bryce Conway’s who glancing header beat the keeper. UWA doubled their lead five minutes later, Tristan Taylor picked out Thomas Moroney, whose long-range shot flew into the net. It was amazingly 3-0 on the half hour, Moroney and Taylor combined to put Kretowicz in behind the Mandurah defence, and he got to the byline and squared the ball across the goal for Conway to score from 4meters. Mandurah pulled one back five minutes later after Josh Marocchi handled in the area, and Jordon Rhodes converted the penalty. The home side added a second on the hour, Oriol Fernandez headed home from close range. With Mandurah pushing forward looking for the equaliser UWA scored the sealer with 10 minutes remaining. Alex Kretowicz won possession and picked out Andrew Xydas who made no mistake from the edge of the penalty area. “It makes me proud to see how this young team executes the advices on the park,” UWA Coach Michael Jansen said. “Each player is committed and willing to perform like we prefer to play our game. I wish Mandurah all the best and hope that we can continue our development step by step and week by week. We expected a strong game against the league leaders at their ground, and we prepared ourselves for this big challenge. The team performed outstanding in the first 35 minutes and the second half of the game. The lead at halftime was well deserved and we could stand the pressure from Mandurah. In the second half. We were always able to create dangerous situations for their defence in second half. Andrew Xydas goal was decisive and he put the cream on his perfect performance.”
There was another surprise when Canning City ended Forrestfield United’s six game winning streak with a 4-3 win at Burrendah Reserve. Canning, who beat United in the opening game of the season raced to a 2-0 lead. Firstly Callum Roberts latched on to a ball over the top and coolly slotted between the on rushing Luke Martino’s legs. It was 2-0 on the quarter hour, a corner wasn’t cleared, and the ball spilled to the edge of the box and Tom Gibbins drilled home into the bottom corner. But Forrestfield hit back and Jimmy Duncan pulled on back with a volley from a corner, and just before halftime Sani Sinclair levelled with a smart header. Forrestfield then hit the front early in the second half through Jordan Hart, who was played through one-on-one with the keeper and he finished well. But Canning had the chance to level but Joshua Wade missed a penalty. That was forgotten moments later when Canning were awarded another penalty and Simon Elton-Bott sent Martino the wrong way to level. Both sides pressed late, but two minutes from time Canning won it, Roberts racing clear, rounding Martino to score via the post. “It was a great reaction from the disappointment of last week,” Canning Coach Paul Oliver said. “We started very well which we have not done for the majority of the year and gave ourselves a platform to build from. We had two or three moments of lapsed concentration that gifted them a way back into to it but we showed the fight and solidarity that we have in this group go kick on and get the result. This is a tough league and anyone can beat anyone on their day. We have a big four weeks coming up and have to go into every game very well prepared.”
Joondalup United made up ground on the top two with a big 7-3 win against Shamrock Rovers. Lee Jones bagged a hat-trick, Aaron Maplestone two, with Callum Stocks and Ross Edwards scoring the others. Western Knights good form continued with a 2-1 win against Ashfield at the Ashfield Arena. The visitors were ahead on 20 minutes, Kevin Ashwood’s cross picked out Jonty Turner has finished at the back post. It was 2-0 on 35 minutes, Paul Lloyd raced past Ross Diamond and played the ball into the box, and there was a mix up between an Ashfield defender and keeper and Jonty Turner was on hand to tap in. Jay Lang pulled one back for Ashfield late, but it was too little too late. Rockingham City got back in the winners’ circle with a 4-1 win against South West Phoenix. The home side made it 1-0 when Alex Grayson headed home Grant Dickie’s cross, before Christian Hogge lob made it 2-0. The Phoenix pulled one back, Carlo Chiellini scored a back post header from Ryan Francis set piece. But Rockingham added a third when Hogge was brought down in the penalty area and Ryan Kennedy scored the resulting penalty. The icing was but on the cake late with a fourth. Brian Gwataringa’s cross was turned home by Kennedy. “We’re delighted to pick up the points, we rode our luck early on but we haven't had a lot of that recently so we will take it,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. In the final game Dianella White Eagles beat Gosnells City 2-0 at Walter Padbury Reserve.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWELVE - REVIEW
Fremantle City maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 4-0 win against Swan United at the Swan Italian Club. Fremantle hit the front when Danny Clapham won the ball in the middle of the park and slide the ball into the path of Alec Robinson, who finished well. It was 2-0 when Ben Reynolds played in Robinson, whose shot was parried by the keeper, but Robinson was quickest to react to score. Clapham scored the third, after he was found by Anthony Loma on the edge of the box and he curled the ball home. The points were made safe when Daniel Glennon was brought down in the box and Robinson converted from the spot to complete his hat-trick. “Overall it was a solid performance from the lads it was always going to be a scrappy first half at Swan on a difficult pitch, and we knew it wasn't going to be pretty, but we got our two goals early and always looked in control.” Clapham said. “We dominated the second half, but Swan put up a good fight to be fair to them but we just had too much quality out there and I think that was our best performance of the season so far. We knew it was going to take half the season to settle especially with only getting a keeper 5 games in so things are starting to click and the lads are enjoying their football and taking every game as it comes.”
Melville City thrashed bottom of the table Ellenbrook United 7-1. Logan Issac gave the home side lead, heading home Alister Campbell’s in-swinging corner. Sherwin Tucker made it 2-0, curling home from the edge of the box. The home side went on with it after the break with Cameron McClaren scoring a brace, and Rion Robertson, Sabin Shrestha and Louie Granich adding the others. Curtin University and Kelmscott Roos drew 1-1 at Edinburgh Oval. Linden Pywell scored for the visitors while Eddie Tikoft was on target for Curtin. Morley Windmills are starting to hit their straps and ran out 3-1 winners against Kingsway Olympic at Wotton Reserve. Boas Mtwale gave the home side the lead after good work from Kyle King, before Yves Mwila doubled their lead after Igor Novakovic shot was parried. Ryan Frisina pulled one back for Kingsway, but the points were made safe when Ben Wantee played a one-two with King and scored. “The win was a good one and we have built solid foundations playing at home and seem to know how to pick up points, we now need to add the same drive and determination to the away games,” King said. “We were solid throughout defensively, the only bad point to take away was the fact we didn't take more of our chances, but all in all a win is a win and onto next week.”
Joondalup City kept in touch with the leaders with a hard fought 2-0 win against Wanneroo City at Wanneroo Reserve, with Harry Clisby and a penalty from Jamie Stewart. In the final game Quinns FC beat rivals Balga 2-0 at Gumblossom Park. The home side started brightly by having most of the possession in the opening twenty minutes before Balga started to find their rhythm. Balga's Vladimir Naumovski almost scored just before the interval, but his shot hit the inside of the bar. Quinns looked the more confident team in the second half, however Balga had a hand ball appeal in the Quinns penalty boxed turned down by the referee ten minutes into the half. Quinns went ahead in the 60th minute when Jake Benson-Cooper and Adam Buckley combined down the left, Benson-Cooper crossing to Chris Williams who finished from close-range. The second came not long after from a Benson-Cooper ball over the top to Buckley whose shot on the run flew into the corner of the net to give the home side a deserved victory. "A great win for us, all the lads put massive effort in, we said at half time a draw won't do we need to keep moving up the ladder,” Benson-Cooper said. “We’ve been unlucky with results over the last few weeks, luck hasn’t gone our way, and our goal now is to push for promotion."
PS4 NPL-WA ROUND FIFTEEN - PREVIEW
It’s week 15 of the PS4 National Premier League WA and the top two teams Inglewood United and Bayswater City meet in the Footballwa.net Match of the Week. Inglewood leapfrogged Bayswater on the table after their 3-2 win against Perth Glory last week, while Bayswater slipped up at home to Cockburn City. Despite the 1-1 draw Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne was happy with the performance, and he said they will play worse than that and win this season. “It was a good result and we were unlucky not to convert the amount of chances that we created, that said Cockburn fought very hard,” he said. “The last two weeks we have had around 20 clear chances so it is only a matter of time before we convert as the buildup play is good. We also should have been given a stonewall penalty in the last couple of minutes Saturday, how we didn’t get the decision god only knows. It was clear as day there and then and even clearer on the NPL highlights show, but that is done now and we can’t change it.” Coyne said Saturday’s game is a huge test for his side, but he is confident they can get the result. “Yes they beat us early on at our place, and that is never good but we are a much better team now and we have got a lot of the players back that we were missing at the start of the year,” he explained. “They will play a direct style of football and we will be more patient and move them around so it should be an even contest. The biggest positive for Bayswater is that we have played top of the table battles for the last four years, this is new territory for Inglewood, so them going in as favorites at the top of the league means the pressure is on them to win the game. We can just go and play and enjoy the experience and know that we have been in this position and enjoyed the challenge in the past.” In team news Paul McCarthy returns to a full strength squad.
Inglewood Coach Taki Nicolaidis said they were pushed all the way last week by Glory, but they were well worth the win. “It was an important three points for us last week as it not only enabled us to be on equal points with Bayswater, but also build on our confidence,” he said. “It gave us back to back wins after a poor month previously, so we are in good form moving forward.” Nicolaidis said Bayswater have been the benchmark for a number of years, and he is expecting them to bounce back from disappointing results in their last two games. “It’s a top of the table clash so we know it will be a big game, and with the league so tight every game for the remainder of the season will be a cup final,” he said. “Whilst Bayswater haven't picked up maximum points in the last two games, this is probably when they're the most dangerous as they will want to bounce back, and I'm sure Chris (Coyne) will have them ready for Saturday and we will need to be at our very best to beat them.” Inglewood welcome back Scott Blackmore, Calum O'Connell and Jason Barrera to their squad, and they will be at full strength for the game.
Floreat Athena travels Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco looking to keep their good form going. Subiaco were beaten by Joondalup at home last weekend, while Floreat beat Armadale to make it five games without defeat. Athena midfielder Kris Gate said last week’s win was difficult one on a difficult pitch. “Last week’s game wasn’t pretty, but the pitch was heavy and to be honest it was close to being called off,” he explained. “It wasn’t going to be a game to be full of football but we battled hard and got the three points, which at this stage of the season is all we are bothered about.” Gate knows Saturday’s game against the bottom of the table Subiaco is going to be tough. “Everyone is expecting us to go there and win easy,” he said. “But they (Subiaco) are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table and will be a tough opponent, as they always battle and will be looking to upset us.” Ludovic Boi is expected to return to the Floreat starting line-up after missing last week with injury, but they will still be without striker Lewis McMahan due to suspension. Subiaco skipper Kevin White has left the club, due to work commitments, but Ger Fitzgerald will return from suspension.
Sorrento got back into the winner’s circle last week at Balcatta, and they will be looking to continue on with it when they host Perth Glory at Percy Doyle Reserve. The Glory were beaten at league leaders Inglewood United last week, but with relegation a possibility this season, they need to start to pick up points, sooner rather than later. Gulls defender Shaun Kilkelly said it was vital to get the win last week, after a five game run without a win. “Last week’s win was a great result for us, especially after the run we have had, so to score three goals and keep a clean sheet was perfect,” he said. “They (Balcatta) have some decent players and on their day they can produce some good football, but I thought we controlled the game from start to finish and on another day could have had a couple more goals.” Kilkelly, who is in doubt for the game due to injury, said Saturday’s opponents have looked good this season. “Any game in this league is difficult and Saturday will be no different,” he explained. “The Glory has improved a great deal and have a couple of players who have had a taste of the A-League. Last time we played them it was a tough game and we managed to get the win late, and we’ll be looking for a repeat of the result on Saturday. “The Gulls have a trio of players under an injury cloud, Kilkelly, Ryan Pearson and Reece Vittiglia, while Scott Bulloch is unavailable. But Jamie Harnwell has Billy Quinncroft and Daryl Platten up for selection, while the Glory welcome back keeper and skipper Jordan Thurtell, but Scott Robertson is suspended..
Armadale will be desperate for the points in their relegation battle when they host Balcatta at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Both sides were beaten last week, Balcatta at home to Sorrento, while Armadale were beaten at Floreat Athena. Armadale midfielder Ellis Healing said last week’s loss was disappointing but they had chances to get something from the game. “It was a disappointing result, because we created some good chances,” he said. “But ultimately if our finishing and our defending is equally as poor each week as it has been, we will continue to struggle. But I believe we need a bit of luck to get us going in a game for once and hopefully it comes Saturday.” The Reds beat Balcatta in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and Healing said they will be doing all they can to get the same result. “We beat them (Balcatta), earlier in the season, and we’ll be looking for a repeat on Saturday, but we will approach this game as we do any other,” he explained. “We have to keep believing we will get a result in every game we play in and we’ll be doing all we can to get the three points.” In team news for Armadale, Antony Skorich and Danny Hodgson have both been playing while not fully fit but both look set to start on Saturday, but Alex Castiello is suspended while for Balcatta Cameron Teece and Scott Newland and Zelfy Nazary are all suspended.
ECU Joondalup will be looking for five straight wins when they travel to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth SC. Joondalup beat Subiaco last week, while Perth were edged out by Stirling Lions, and Joondalup midfielder Henry Durr said confidence is high and they put in a clinically performance last week. “It was a solid team performance, where everyone had a good game and we played to our strengths, and moved the ball forward quickly, winning first and second balls throughout the game,” he explained. “Another clean sheet was a nice bonus for us, and it’s good for confidence getting on this good run of wins, and we can show the rest of the league what we are capable of.” Durr knows it’s a huge challenge on Saturday, but he is confident if they continue playing how they are they can get a result. “We’re very confident of getting a result on Saturday, if we play to our strengths and keep to our game plan, we feel we can beat anyone in the league,” he explained. “We were very unlucky in the reverse fixture, so everyone will be looking to get the win at the weekend. “ECU will be without Steven McGarry, Jon Higgins and Jayden Drummond, while Kevin Moon is in doubt due to injury. Perth will be hoping to have Clark Keltie back from injury, but they will be without Rocco Pizzata who was sent off last week, Adrian Madaschi who is suspended, while Andreas Theodosiades is struggling with injury.
In the final game it’s a repeat of the FFA Cup Semi-Final when Stirling Lions hosts Cockburn City at Macedonia Park. Cockburn earned a point at Bayswater last week, while Stirling left it late to beat Perth SC, with David Micevski’s stoppage time winner. “We did leave it late,” Micevski said. “I thought we had the better chances in the first half and deservedly went in front at half time, but credit to Perth they came out bright in the second half and drew level via a penalty. After conceding I thought our boys showed great character not to settle for a draw and pushed right up until the last minute to find the winner.” Micevski is expecting another stern test against the Cockerels, as the Lions look to improve their in-different home form. “Cockburn will provide another tough test, especially after they took points off Bayswater last week,” he said. “We had a big result the first time we played Cockburn away winning 7-2, although they beat us 2-1 in the cup semi-final. We'll go into this game full of confidence and try keep the pressure on the top couple sides.” In team news Michael Pugliese is a chance to come back from injury while Blamo Quaqua comes back in from suspension, while for Cockburn Liam Murray is suspended.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION ONE, ROUND TWELVE - PREVIEW
The All Flags State League Division One reaches the half way point of the season, and this week’s Match of the Round takes us to the Ashfield Arena where Ashfield entertain Western Knights. Ashfield held off a determined UWA-Nedlands last week, while the Knight travelled to Joondalup and came home with a 2-1 win. Knights’ winger Paul Lloyd said it was their best performance of the season. “I thought we controlled the game and attacked with pace, we created chances and probably should have scored more,” he said. “We defended well from set pieces really well, dealing with Joondalup’s strong aerial presence, so all in all it was one of our best performances of the season.” Lloyd knows Saturday will be another tough test but they go there with confidence after a five game unbeaten run. “Ashfield is always a tough game, both teams are in decent form, we're going there with confidence after a good win,” he said. “But we know how much of a battle it's going to be and we’re all looking forward to the challenge.” In team news Adriano Jelenkavic is suspended, but Kevin Ashwood and Jeffrey Judge are back in the squad after injuries.
Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said it was good to get back in the winners’ circle but said they wasted a number of good chances. “We didn’t capitalise on early chances in the game and made it hard for ourselves by presenting UWA with a few chances of their own,” he explained. “Overall I’m happy with the three points, but on another day with more clinical finishing the game could have been over at half time. Credit to UWA they never gave up and came at us for the entire 90 minutes, however feel our experience was the difference on the day.” Ashfield and the Knights drew 2-2 in the opening game of the season and Dundo said they always match up well and Saturday’s game will no different. “This weekend game should be a cracker as the past seasons against the Knights have always drawn a good crowd, with usually a very competitive game on display,” he said. “The Knights appear to be far more organised this year under Trim Morgan and their recent results speak for themselves. I’m looking forward to another competitive game on Saturday, and it will be another very competitive game, as each side needs the points to close the gap on the sides above, and also claim bragging rights this season, following our first round draw.” In team news for Ashfield Graham Tough and Alex Stamatiadis are suspended, Steve Kirk and Jay Lang are both unavailable and Ross Diamond is injured.
Canning City recent good form left them last week with a 2-1 loss at Shamrock Rovers and this week they host the league’s in-form side Forrestfield United at Burrendah Reserve. United are the form team of the league, winning their last six games, including last week’s local derby against Gosnells City, while Canning are coming off a disappointing defeat at Shamrock Rovers last week. Canning coach Paul Oliver said it was a poor game on a difficult pitch, and he thought they got what they deserved. “A very ordinary performance all round, and the less said about it the better,” he said. “Neither team showed too much quality on the day, but maybe on another day it may have gone our way. We played the entire second half with 10 men, and too be honest probably better football in that half. Even with 10 men we were the more attacking side, but ultimately didn’t do enough to get anything out of the game.” Canning beat Forrestfield in the opening game of the season, but Oliver said they are a different team from that match. “They (Forrestfield) are a good side, in great form, so it will be a big test for us,” he explained. “I have no doubt they will be well up for it, given the way we won at their place earlier in the season. We will still go into this game very confident of getting a positive result and we look forward to put last week’s disappointment behind us.” Canning welcomes back Ante Jukic and Simon Elton-Bott, while Ethan Leaving is in doubt. They will also be missing the suspended Charlie Parry, while Peter Cartright is also unavailable.
In other games leaders Mandurah City host UWA-Nedlands at the Kelly’s Hot Water Stadium. The Dolphins hold a three point lead at the top of the table, and are still to lose this season and are coming off a win in the local derby against Rockingham last week. On the other hand UWA have lost the last three games, including last week’s defeat at Ashfield, and are still to win on the road this season. Joondalup United will look to bounce back from defeat when they host Shamrock Rovers at Forrest Park. Rovers won for the first time since round two last week with a win against Canning City, but they take on a Joondalup side hurting from last week’s loss against The Knights, which meant they lost ground on Mandurah and were overtaken by Forrestfield. Bottom of the table Dianella White Eagles make the trip to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City. The Eagles were beaten by the Phoenix last week, while Gosnells lost the local derby to Forrestfield. Both sides need a pick up and this will be a tight contest.
In the final game Rockingham City host South West Phoenix at Lark Hill Sportsplex. The Phoenix have moved quietly up to sixth on the table and Tim Slack has then playing some good football, and last week they beat The Eagles, but Rockingham were edged out in a closely fought local derby against Mandurah City, and City Coach Rob Crerar said they had chances to take something from the game. “I was very disappointed not to take something from the game,” he said. “I felt we held our own against the league leaders and with the chances we created should have taken something from the game, but that’s football.” Crerar said Saturday’s opponents have been impressive this season and he said they will be tough. “I’m expecting a really tough game this week, I was really impressed with the Phoenix,” he said. “They have some exceptional individuals and you can see they are starting to creep up the ladder after a slow start, so we need to be on our toes from the first whistle.” In team news Matt Brooks is unavailable, but they regain the services of Alex Grayson and will have Monty Grigo and David Clark pushing for selection after lengthy absences.
ALL FLAGS STATE LEAGUE DIVISION TWO, ROUND TWELVE - PREVIEW
The All Flag State League Division Two Match of the Week takes us to the Swan Valley where Swan United hosts league leaders Fremantle City at the Swan Italian Club. Fremantle are coming off a big win against Curtin University, while Swan lost ground on the league leaders with 3-1 loss against Joondalup City. Swan Coach Matt Debarro said the result could have been different if they took their chances early. “The result was disappointing as it was clear in the first half we outplayed Joondalup and created an abundance of chances, and we should have gone in 2/3 up at the break but yet again we let ourselves down in front of goal,” he said. “But credit to Joondalup there strength at set pieces put them up 2-0 early in the second half, football is a game of chances and they were better at taking there's, but we were the better team everywhere else.” Debarro said this week’s game is important to keep in touch of the top sides. “There is a bit of pressure to get a result on Saturday if we are serious about pushing for a top two spot, but there is even more pressure on them to keep winning,” he said. “Steve and the boys are a good bunch of lads and are a very good team, but so are we and we will be out to play our best and give them a good game, then enjoy a few with them all after in the club.”
Fremantle Coach Steve Plucknett said the win at Curtin was good, but they have played better this season. “Yes it was good to pick up the three points away from home, as Curtin is never an easy place to get a result,” he explained. “I thought our finishing to get five goals was good and the performance solid, but without being spectacular.” Plucknett believes Swan will want to bounce back after losing at home for the first time this season last week. “We face a lot harder opposition on Saturday in Swan, we got off to a good start against them in the first round but that was a long time ago,” he said. “They will be raring to get back to winning ways which I'm sure Matt will have worked on this week. We are expecting a backlash after their loss last week, so it will be important to try and pick up something from the game to try and keep up with Balga and Joondalup City who Mark Rockett and I believe are the standout teams for the league this year. In team news for Fremantle Daniel Glennon and Josh Gardner return to the squad.
Kingsway Olympic will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss at Melville City, when they travel to Wotton Reserve to take on Morley Windmills. Morley won convincingly last week at home against Kelmscott, and they are getting players back from injury and their squad is getting stronger. Only one point separates the sides on the table, and Kingsway’s Wayne Culverwell said they need to improve. “It was just a disappointing performances all round,” he said. “We didn't turn up on the day and Melville wanted it more than we did, we need to improve and it starts this week at Morley.” Kingsway beat Morley in the opening game of the season in an eight goal thriller and Culverwell said it will be nice to get a similar result on Saturday. “This week could see a few changes, especially after last week’s performance, and by all accounts Morley have made a few new signings and players returning from injuries and are one of the form sides of the league,” he said. “It's going to be a tough battle but we need to bounce back after two losses on the spin.”
In other games bottom of the table Ellenbrook United head to the John Connell Reserve to take on Melville City. The home side got back to winning ways last week against Kingsway, while Ellenbrook lost narrowly to Balga, in a much improved performance. Curtin University entertains Kelmscott Roos at Edinburgh Oval. Both sides lost heavily last weekend, and with only three points between them on the table, a win is vital to stay clear of the foot of the table. Quinns host Balga in a local derby at Gumblossom Park. Quinns good form came to an end last week, losing to Wanneroo, while Balga kept the pressure on the league leaders with a hard fought win at Ellenbrook. The middle of the table of tight and a win against their local rivals will give Quinns hope of pushing into the top four, but Balga need the points to stay in the title race, it should be a cracker in the northern suburbs. The final game takes us to Wanneroo Reserve, where Wanneroo City host Joondalup City. Joondalup won well at Swan last week, while Wanneroo’s good form continued with a win at Quinns.
WILSON COMES HOME FOR GLORY
Another Western Australian talent has been added to Perth Glory's 2016/17 line-up following the signing of 19-year old central midfielder Brandon Wilson. Born in Botswana, Wilson has spent the past three years at English Championship club Burnley where he's featured for the Clarets Under-21s and represented Australia at Under-20 level.
Wilson is looking forward to returning to Perth and working with Kenny Lowe, his former National Training Centre coach. "Playing in England was a tremendous opportunity to hone my skills, but being back in WA and working under Kenny is what I need to make that next step and hopefully play first team football" Wilson commented.
"I've known Kenny for many years, he was instrumental in getting me to Burnley and I will never forget what he has done for me. I'm ready to give back to the coach and to this city. Being around Jamal (Reiners) and Mitch (Oxborrow) who I've grown up with, gives me a great sense of drive to do my bit for the boys in what's set to be a big year for the club."
Wilson, who played three years in the National Training Centre, was a member of Leeds United's academy prior to moving to Perth at the age of 10. He becomes the fourteenth West Australian born or raised player contracted to Glory for the 2016/17 A-League season and will be joining his new teammates at training next week.
WOODALL RELISHING DERBY DAY CHALLENGE
Former Dagenham and Redbridge finisher Brian Woodall is determined to mark the special occasion of a derby showdown with Bayswater City by finding the back of the net for Inglewood United. Woodall has fond memories of his two previous meetings with our nearest neighbour having scored in both the Night Series and National Premier Leagues wins earlier this year.
Woodall is hopeful of continuing that scoring run and orchestrating another three points when joint NPL leaders Inglewood and Bayswater go head-to-head at Inglewood Stadium this weekend. "As a striker my job is to score goals and I have to make sure that when chances come my way on Saturday that I make the most of them," 28-year old Woodall said.
"It's a very important game for the club and the league - it's one verses two and games don't come much bigger than that. I'd like to score in every game I play but it doesn't work like that, although I do seem to score in big games. But to be honest, whether I score or not on Saturday doesn't matter, what is important is we get the three points."
Inglewood heads into the fifteenth round of the league in a positive frame of mind following successive wins over Balcatta and Perth Glory. "We're back in winning ways and have a full squad available with players coming back from injury and suspension," commented Woodall. "Bayswater have quality throughout their team so I expect it will be a close and intense game."
"There are only eight rounds left in the season and every game is a final for us. We have a great squad, great coaching and support staff and a great club. We've worked hard to this year to get to where we are, which is the top of the ladder, and will be doing everything to stay there and create history for Inglewood."
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This page was last updated on the 27th June, 2016