Bayswater extend gap at top
Report by Ryan Borrett
Photo by Jonny Warrington
Luka Ninkovic scored twice for Bayswater City in a 3-0 win over Stirling Lions at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday.
Ninkovic gave the NPL WA leaders the lead early and scored his second just after half-time in a fiery encounter in which Stirling struggled to make an impact.
Bayswater youngster Luke Salmon added a third goal in stoppage time of the second half to compound the Lions' woes who have now lost their last three games.
The win for Bayswater sees them go four points clear at the top of the NPL WA table after Cockburn City drew with Inglewood United in their game at Dalmatinac Park.
Bayswater coach Chris Coyne said his side’s performance wasn’t perfect but he was pleased to take home the three points.
“We started okay obviously getting that early goal but then we seemed to take our foot off the gas a little bit so I was quite frustrated,” he said.
“In saying that we’ve kept another clean sheet, scored three goals and we’re clear at the top of the league, so it’s a good day at the office.”
Ninkovic scored his first of the match in the 10th minute after getting in behind the Stirling defence and firing a low shot that went in off Lions keeper Pasquale Gioffre.
Stirling didn’t drop their heads after conceding early and at half-time it looked like the match could go either way.
However Ninkovic scored his second four minutes after the restart as former Stirling player Moses Kalau used his pace on the left wing before crossing to Ninkovic, who had a simple finish to make it 2-0.
Coyne said of Ninkovic: “Luka’s done really well. Obviously he scored goals, and I just want to see more from him in terms of working for our defenders but he’s a young kid and that’ll come in time.”
The Lions found it difficult to create chances against a very solid Bayswater rearguard and they were not helped by the sending-off of captain Darren O'Riordan in the 83rd minute after a poor challenge.
Young Bayswater striker Salmon came off the bench and scored the third in the 94th minute after Stirling’s defenders failed to clear the ball following a corner and Salmon pounced and smashed home.
Lions coach Keegan Ashley said the goals they conceded were too easy.
“I thought we played reasonably well,” he said.
“Two soft goals, and I thought the third might have been offside but that’s the way it goes.
Bayswater face a significant test in their title challenge next week against Inglewood, while Stirling will look to turn their poor run of form around against Armadale away from home.
Bayswater City 3 (Ninkovic 10min, 49, Salmon 90+4)
Stirling Lions 0
Saturday, June 9
Frank Drago Reserve
Referee: David Bruce
Assistant referees: Peter Kaiser, Jamie West
Bayswater City: 1. Devon SPENCE, 4. Arran MAPLESTONE (11. Ryan PEARSON 68), 5. Adam HARRIS, 8. Paul MCCARTHY, 12. David STOKOE, 13. Trent KAY, 17. Gian ALBANO, 19. Luka NINKOVIC (22. Luke SALMON 61), 24. Jake SARDELIC, 26. Paul LLOYD, 30. Moses KALAU (10. Jason MIRCO 80)
Substitutes not used: Dejan ALEKSIC, 27. Shayden PASALAQUA
Yellow cards: Harris 35, Lloyd 43, Sardelic 72
Red cards: Nil
Stirling Lions: 1. Pasquale GIOFFRE, 2. David MOLINARI (9. Daniel MICEVSKI 68), 3. Darren O RIORDAN, 4. Alex SULESKI, 5. Liam HENDERSON, 7. Dean CUMMINGS, 8. Dejan SPASESKI, 10. David MICEVSKI, 13. David FILLIPOU (14. Steve SOKOL 53), 15. Nathan DE ABREU, 18. Ben CAMPBELL (11. Alex TANEVSKI 53)
Substitutes not used: Nicholas ASHLEY, 20. Lance ALAVAKIS
Yellow cards: Cummings 41, O Riordan 45, Gioffre 68
Red cards: O'Riordan 83