Inglewood braced for huge double-header
Inglewood United face the first of two potentially season-defining matches this weekend as they look to gatecrash the National Premier Leagues WA title race.
On Saturday United travel to second-place Cockburn City, before a home clash with leaders Bayswater City a week on Sunday.
Inglewood are on a run of six wins from seven games and sit eight points off the top with 11 matches to go.
Young defender Alex Ishida-Livings said: "These games will be a real test of our character against two very good opponents.
"We can’t accept anything less than three points from both games if we are to close the gap on the teams above us on the ladder and achieve the goal we set at the start of the season, which is to win the league.”
With head coach Andy Keogh away, Inglewood will have his assistant Andres Oliveira in charge for the second week running. Oliveira took control for last Saturday's 3-0 win at Subiaco.
Cockburn, who enjoyed a fine 3-1 victory at Stirling Lions last time out, will also be desperate for maximum points as they attempt to close a three-point gap on Bayswater, who are at home to Stirling.
Perth Glory, a point behind Cockburn in third, face bottom club Joondalup United at Percy Doyle Reserve, where entry will be free.
Bayswater coach Chris Coyne this week assessed the challenge of Cockburn and Glory as he looked ahead to the remainder of the season.
“We saw the last few years that the team that’s won the league’s come from behind and so we’re just taking each week as it comes and preparing the boys for a tough task every week," he said.
“I’ve been quite outspoken in the fact that Glory have loaded up with professional footballers. They get paid on pro contracts, so it’s no surprise they’re there.
“And Cockburn’s no surprise because (coach) Scott Miller’s excellent at what he does … I think they’ve maybe underachieved the past few years with what they’ve got.”
Armadale, who have had a week to remember after booking a place in the FFA Cup national Round of 32, face Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens, the same venue where they will play Gwelup Croatia in the Belt up. State Cup final on July 14.
The other matches see Balcatta at home to Floreat Athena, Subiaco look to climb out of the relegation zone against ECU Joondalup at Rosalie Park and Forrestfield United host struggling Sorrento at 7pm.
Cockburn City v Inglewood United (Dalmatinac Park, 3pm)
Perth SC v Armadale (Dorrien Gardens, 3pm)
Bayswater City v Stirling Lions (Frank Drago Reserve, 3pm)
Balcatta v Floreat Athena (Grindleford Reserve, 3pm)
Joondalup United v Perth Glory (Percy Doyle Reserve, 3pm)
Subiaco v ECU Joondalup (Rosalie Park, 3pm)
Forrestfield United v Sorrento (Wildlife Safari Park, 7pm)