Round 1 Around the Grounds
Rockingham City’s start to life in the National Premier Leagues WA could not have gone much worse as Balcatta dished out a 4-0 pasting in Round One.
Cam Lord’s team impressed in the pre-season Night Series but they found the real thing a different story at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday.
Three goals in seven minutes either side of the interval proved the undoing of the State League Division One champions.
Gavin Knight and Jonathan Corness scored in quick succession before half time, then Adam Zimarino made it safe early in the second half.
There was also time for Shubham Mokala to highlight his potential with a curling effort which made it 4-0, leaving coach Goran Stajic “super proud” of his young players.
As for Lord, he took the heavy loss on the chin. “We got what we deserved,” he said.
The season kicked off on Friday night with Bayswater City enjoying a 3-0 win at Inglewood United.
A double from Ross Millard and a Daryl Nicol penalty made it a largely comfortable night for Bayswater, for whom Kenny Keogh made his debut against his former club.
Inglewood coach Andres Oliveira, who took over just days before the match, was heartened by his side’s showing in the second half but he knows there is hard work ahead if they are not to struggle.
The loss of firepower through Millard, Nicol and Gordon Smith departing to Bayswater would have rocked most teams, but ECU Joondalup might have unearthed another gem in Jakub Sklenar.
The Czech striker struck twice on his NPL debut on Saturday to earn the Jacks a 2-2 draw against champions Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens.
Niccolo Sabatini put Perth ahead on four minutes and after Sklenar levelled, Paul Zimarino picked up where he left off last season to restore the lead.
Perth had other chances to extend their advantage but failed to take them and they paid the price when Sklenar scored again 14 minutes from the end.
Another side whose poor finishing was costly were Stirling Lions, who crashed 2-0 at home to Armadale.
Lions coach Keegan Ashley said they could have been five up by half time. Instead Armadale weathered the storm and second-half goals from Sam Garces and James Harran gave John O’Reilly’s team the points.
Night Series winners Floreat Athena are now unbeaten in 10 NPL matches following their 2-1 opening round victory over Perth Glory.
All the goals came in the second half, Jonathon Stynes and Robert Petkov scoring for Athena either side of an equaliser by Glory substitute Gomo Dukuly.
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell described his side’s 3-2 home loss to Cockburn City as “a kick up the backside”.
Riley Woodcock (2) and Ashley Rosindale scored the goals for Cockburn, while Cameron Teece and skipper Reece Vittiglia netted for the Gulls.
The NPL WA has reverted to 12 clubs this season, from 14, with one team to be relegated.
Balcatta 4-0 Rockingham City
Floreat Athena 2-1 Perth Glory
Inglewood 0-3 Bayswater City
Perth SC 2-2 ECU Joondalup
Sorrento 2-3 Cockburn City
Stirling Lions 0-2 Armadale