Round 10: NPL WA from around the Grounds
Perth SC have opened an eight-point gap at the top of the NPL WA following a late winner against Cockburn City and defeats for Perth Glory and Floreat Athena.
The Azzurri seemed in trouble themselves when, following a sluggish first half, they slipped behind to Hasani Sinclair’s header on 54 minutes.
With Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich in outstanding form, Perth were looking at their first defeat of the season.
But as they have done all year, Ramon Falzon’s side found a way. With 20 minutes remaining Cockburn’s Ryan Stevens put through his own net to level the scores. And despite Radonich’s heroics, Michael Milenkovic squeezed home a winner just before the end.
“(The result) shows a lot of character,” Falzon said. “Compared to our recent games our quality wasn’t as good. Not to be at your best, playing against a good football side like Cockburn, and still managing to pinch the three points, that says a lot about the boys.”
Perth Glory will be feeling like they wasted an opportunity to stay in touch after they lost 1-0 at Bayswater City despite the home side playing for most of the match with 10 men.
Jason Mirco had already put Bayswater in front when former Glory A-League player Brent Griffiths was dismissed on 28 minutes.
But Chris Coyne’s team showed commendable spirit to repel Glory, leaving the Bayswater coach full of admiration for his players.
“I’m proud of them,” Coyne said. “I just asked them to take the emotion out of the game. I thought to a man they carried that out and they were magnificent second half.”
The biggest surprise of the season so far occurred at E&D Litis Stadium where Floreat went down 2-1 to bottom of the table Stirling Lions.
Darren O’Riordon struck for Stirling inside four minutes but poor defending allowed Floreat skipper Dean Evans to bring the hosts level.
But Stirling, who had been the busiest NPL team in the transfer window, came again and Gino Hampshire gave Trevor Morgan’s side the win which lifted them level on points with second bottom ECU Joondalup, who went down 1-0 at Balcatta.
Inglewood United moved into second place following their 3-0 victory over Rockingham City. Chok Dau’s double and a Hamza Hina header ensuring Andres Oliveira’s side continue to surpass pre-season expectations.
Another team putting a nice run together are fifth-placed Sorrento, who are just two points off second spot after their 3-2 win away at Armadale.
The game was tied at 2-2 in added-on time when Gulls substitute Cameron Teece turned and shot past Sam Hutchings to secure the three points for Jamie Harnwell’s side, who are at home to Perth SC next Saturday.