Merigan snatches point for Forrestfield

Report by Max Hayden-Evans

Forrestfield United and Cockburn City played out a 1-1 draw under lights at Wildlife Safari Stadium on Saturday night as a late Liam Merigan strike ensured the points were shared in this NPL WA encounter.

Merigan’s classy outside-of-the-box finish cancelled out Daniel Robinson’s early headed effort and denied Cockburn the chance to come away with a hard-fought win on the road.

Cockburn coach Scott Miller could not hide his frustration at allowing Forrestfield a late equaliser.

“It’s another team let off the hook unfortunately. We have to learn to take our chances, we didn’t put it away and they took their point,” he said.

Forrestfield coach Rod Banjac was more upbeat following the result and pointed to his side’s resolve.

“It was a tough game. I’m disappointed we didn’t get the win as we certainly had enough chances, but it’s a tough competition and we’re acclimatising. At the end of the day, a draw is not a bad result,” he said.

Both sides started the game brightly but it was Cockburn who opened the scoring on nine minutes when Robinson rose unchallenged to head home directly from a corner.

Five minutes later and Forrestfield had their first real opportunity of the game but Hasani Sinclair failed to punish a Cockburn defensive error with his shot on goal blocked just in time.

In a first half filled with chances, City’s Harry O’Brien had what looked a certain goal cleared off the line by United’s Callum Dobbs. He also narrowly failed to double his side’s lead by failing to take several goalscoring chances.

Forrestfield struggled to make the most of their first-half opportunities, too, particularly when Rhys Loxley could only manage to fire the ball directly at Cockburn goalkeeper Luke Radonich after finding himself in a one-on-one situation following a fast break.

Despite the lion’s share of the possession and chances, a second Cockburn goal refused to come. Forrestfield stood firm and continued to turn away dangerous Cockburn set-pieces in a defensive effort that drew praise from Banjac.

“After conceding from a cheap corner, it woke the boys up and from there on they never let go.”

Cockburn’s Miller also showed his admiration for Forrestfield’s fighting efforts, adding: “Second half they defended the set-pieces well and took that element out of our game. They played really well and just kept going, I tip my hat to them.”

Sinclair almost nabbed his side an equaliser when he dragged a shot across the face of goal. But six minutes from time Forrestfield captain Merigan earned his team a point with a low-driven shot beyond the gallant Radonich.

Forrestfield United 1 (Merigan 84min)
Cockburn City 1 (Robinson 9)
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Wildlife Safari Stadium
Kick-off: 7pm
Referee: Tom Glavovic
Assistant referees: Amit Hosany, Daryn McCleave

Forrestfield United: 1. Luke MARTINO (GK), 2. Tom SOUTHGATE, 5. Scott BARKER, 6. Kirsten DESPOTOVSKI, 7. Leslie MARI, 8. Josh APPLEBY, 9. Hasani SINCLAIR, 11. Liam MERIGAN (C), 12. Callum DOBBS (10. Mitchell CROCKER 89), 16. Thomas JEBB (21. Wilbert TSHABANGU 73), 23. Rhys LOXLEY
Substitutes not used: 4. Gerkeler MOO, 18. Benjamin PARRY
Yellow cards: Jebb 66, Mari 88
Red cards: Nil

Cockburn City: 1. Luke RADONICH (GK), 4. Euen GRANT (C), 5. Keiron STALLARD, 6. Reuben TRISTAO, 7. Luccas MELLO, 8. Cameron EDWARDS (10. David ARAYA 45), 11. Harry O’BRIEN, 15. Daniel SANTICH, 16. Daniel ROBINSON, 17. Jesse LAZARRO, 19. Anthony SKORICH (18. Aden DA LUZ 77)
Substitutes not used: 2. Chris THACKRAY, 12. Ryan PRATT, 23. Ryan BARKER (RGK)
Yellow cards: Skorich 61, Stallard 68
Red cards: Nil



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