Falzon praise for ruthless Azzurri
Report by Tommy Doleman
Matt Milenkovic scored two late goals as Perth SC beat Belt up. State Cup finalists Armadale 4-0 to move back into the top four of the NPL WA.
Paul Zimarino opened the scoring on 24 minutes before Perth strengthened their control either side of the break, although it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes when they made it safe with three goals.
Harley Orr bagged the Azzurri's other from the penalty spot, while Armadale's bad day saw Charlie Kenna and Billy Quinncroft both receive red cards.
Perth head coach Ramon Falzon was delighted with the ruthless streak his team showed in the home straight.
“In the second half they tried to get something out of the game and pushed their midfield higher, but we created our own chances and to execute those opportunities was very pleasing,” he said.
“We’ve had games where we’ve attacked but the final ball wasn’t good and we’ve missed chances, some of those games we’ve dropped points, but we’ve scored four today, five last week and hopefully that continues.”
Falzon’s work with the younger players coming through the club has been notable in his time with Perth, and hopes they can continue to grow late into the season.
“There’s a few experienced players who haven’t been on the pitch lately, but the youngsters lifted and it was super pleasing to see, because we’ve been working really hard with them over the past two to three years,” he said.
“Hopefully they can keep pushing on and we can keep competing. Teams have dropped points [around us] today, it’s anything goes at this stage and it’s going to be a big few weeks for the five or six teams competing for those [top four] places.
Armadale started brightly but were only able to test Francis Soale from long-range as both teams struggled with their final pass.
Perth gradually grew into the game, though, and took the lead when Jordan De Leo’s deflected cross wrong-footed Sam Hutchings and Zimarino nodded into an empty net from close range.
Rocco Pizzata’s strike from distance whistled past the post before the break as the hosts took a narrow lead into half-time.
In the second half Gustavo Catarcione was flagged for offside, having put the ball in the net, while substitute Friday Zico went close for Armadale when Soale saved his drive low.
But the wheels came off for the Reds in the final 10 minutes after Charlie Kenna was sent off for an off-the-ball incident.
Milenkovic capitalised almost immediately when he squeezed the ball under Hutchings from a tight angle to double Perth’s lead.
Quinncroft was dismissed in stoppage time for a foul which allowed Orr to score from the penalty spot, before Milenkovic tapped home Richard Howles’ cross to round off on a 4-0 win.
Perth SC 4 (Zimarino 24min, Milenkovic 82, 90+4, Orr 90+3 pen)
Saturday, June 9
Referee: Matthew Southern
Assistant referees: Stewart Beattie, Ethan Persse
Perth SC: GK: Francis SOALE, 3. Andreas THEODOSIADES (18. Richard HOWLES 83’), 6. Harley ORR, 7. Aleksander JOVIC, 8. Tom KING, 9. Gustavo CATARCIONE, 11. Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12. Jordan DE LEO, 13. Rocco PIZZATA, 16. Kieran COLWELL (2. Alex SILLA 88’), 20. Paul ZIMARINO
Substitutes not used: RGK: Daniel PASSARELLI, 2. Alex SILLA, 10. Nicholas AMBROGIO, 14. Kristian SANTICH
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Armadale: GK: Sam HUTCHINGS, 2. Joshua KUSER, 3. Delan DE SILVA, 4. Nathan COSTELLO, 5. David ANNALL, 7. Charlie KENNA, 9. Billy QUINNCROFT, 10. Chris JACKSON, 15. Ali GHOLAMI (12 Dannie RICHMAN 69 (Michael RIZIDIS 75)), 21. Beau RAHIM, 22. Ryan HASLETT (20. Friday ZICO 58).
Substitutes not used: RGK: Duncan LENNON-BLACK
Yellow cards: Annall 90
Red cards: Kenna 79, Quinncroft 90
Zimarino 24min, Milenkovic 82, 90+4, Orr 90+3 pen