NPL WA Round 15 Wrap

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Round 15 of the WA NPL was Rivalry Round, and the action were befitting of such a round.

Goals (23 in 6 games), upsets (Perth Glory and Balcatta both upset more fancied opponents), comebacks (Floreat’s recovery from an early two-goal deficit) and close contests were all on show.

Meanwhile, Bayswater continued to do what they do best (win), effectively ending Perth SC’s title hopes and simultaneously making it a two-horse race between themselves and Floreat.

Cockburn City 3 (Patterson 12’, 45+1’, 60’)

Armadale 1 (Francis 79’)
Dalmatinac Park
Rory Patterson scored a hattrick as Cockburn comprehensively accounted for Armadale at Dalmatinac Park. The hosts opened the scoring early when a quick throw-in caught Armadale off guard and allowed Julian Teles to square for Patterson to finish. The Northern Irishmen continued to cause the visitors problems, narrowly firing wide before forcing a good save from Luke Radonich, before scoring his second in injury time. Armadale started the second half strongly, with Anthony Skorich and Darren Francis coming close, but Patterson completed his hattrick on the hour mark. Francis grabbed a late consolation from a header, but Cockburn held firm to claim all three points.
ECU Joondalup 1 (B. Montgomery 10’)
Sorrento 3 (Killkelly 19’, B. McDonald 75’, Hirrell 78’ OG)
ECU Joondalup Football Stadium
Sorrento completed a league double over their northern rivals ECU Joondalup with a deserved 3-1 victory. Bayley Montgomery gave the hosts a surprise lead when he swept home Joe Smith’s cross, only for Sean Killkelly’s header to level the game soon after. Sorrento returned from the break the stronger team, substitute Steve Boss and Jack Salter coming closest. However, they had to wait until late in the game to make the breakthrough, when Brad McDonald’s 20-yard strike found the net. The result was sealed three minutes later, when ECU’s Cian Hirrell turned the ball into his own net.
Bayswater City 2 (Giron Marulanda 19’, Howarth 28’)
Perth SC 0
Frank Drago Reserve
Bayswater edged closer to the title with a deserved victory at home to 3rd placed Perth. Gustavo Giron Marulanda continued his recent run of form in front of goal on the 20 minute mark, when he latched on to David Heagney’s through ball and beat Fraser Soale in goals. The Columbian was  part of Bayswater’s second, when he drew a foul outside the box and Todd Howarth curled home the resulting free kick. In an exciting finish to the first half, Marulanda and Danny Dixon came close for the hosts, whilst Nicholas Ambrogio’s lob was inches too high up the other end. Perth had it all to do in the second half and piled numbers forward, allowing City to hit them on the break repeatedly. Mark Pritchard twice drew saves from Bayswater custodian Devon Spence, but the Azzurri were unable to find the net, leaving Bayswater to claim an important three points.
Perth Glory 3 (Talimdzioski 44’, 82’, Vulin 71’)
Subiaco 0
Inglewood Stadium
Nic Talimdzioski continued his rich vein of form with a brace as Perth Glory pulled off a surprise win over Subiaco. In an evenly-contested first half, Glory custodian Jordan Thurtell made a superb one-on-one save to deny Joshua Booysen, before Talimdzioski capitalised on a poor clearance to take the lead for the home side. Subiaco started strongly after the break and thought they had a penalty when Daniel Milne was upended in the box, only for their appeals to fall on deaf ears. The decision proved costly when Slobodan Vulin played a one-two with Tom King before scoring from an acute angle to double Glory’s lead. Talimdzioski’s late finish put paid to any hopes of a Subiaco comeback to seal Perth’s first win since Round 3.
Balcatta 3 (Teece 28’, Sokol 66’, Catarcione 88’)
Inglewood United 1 (Micevski 10’)
Grindleford Reserve
Balcatta claimed their third straight victory over Inglewood with a come-from-behind win in front of their home fans. United midfielder David Micevski took the lead for the away side when he slotted past Clint Davies in goal, only for Cameron Teece to peg Inglewood back with a well-taken header. Both teams created opportunities, Gustavo Catarcione and Scott Witschge coming closest for the hosts and visitors respectively. It took a moment of genius from Balcatta’s Steve Sokol to break the deadlock midway through the second half, when he chested the ball down, evaded two defenders and smashed home a volley. Inglewood piled men forward, but it was in vain, as Catarcione took advantage of an empty net, after ‘keeper Aleks Vrteski ran forward to try and score from a late corner, to stamp out any potential equalizer.
Floreat Athena 4 (Govan 37’, McMahon 45+1’ PEN, Boi 71’, 77’)
Stirling Lions 2 (Micevski 7’, Shuruma 11’)
E & D Litis Stadium
A Ludovic Boi-inspired Floreat came back from two goals down to keep their faint title hopes alive in an exciting derby with Stirling Lions. The home side found themselves facing an uphill battle inside the first 15 minutes, when Daniel Micevski and Laurence Shuruma netted for the Lions. Micevski missed a chance to make it three when he blazed over from Teeboy Kamara’s cutback and the miss proved costly when Blair Govan’s header halved their lead. Athena managed to level before the break, when the referee spotted a handball in the box and captain Lewis McMahon tucked away the penalty. Both teams pressed for a second-half winner, but it was Floreat goalkeeper Fraser Greenwood who made the biggest difference, saving from Kamara before turning away Stirling’s own penalty. Then former-Stirling player Boi took over, calmly rounding the keeper and rolling the ball home with 20 minutes to play, before elegantly chipping the out-rushing ‘keeper Joel Driscoll to complete his brace, along with the comeback. 
Round 16 Fixtures
Balcatta vs Perth SC
Bayswater City vs Cockburn City
Perth Glory vs ECU Joondalup
Stirling Lions vs Armadale
Sorrento vs Inglewood United
Subiaco vs Floreat Athena

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