Canham double lifts Gulls
Report by Tom Smith
A 67th-minute send off was the pivotal moment in an entertaining clash at Percy Doyle Reserve as Sorrento got their inaugural National Premier Leagues season off to a winning start.
New signing Sean Canham marked his debut with two headed goals in a 2-1 win for the home side, earning praise from Gulls co-coach Jamie Harnwell.
“He’s a danger in the box,” Harnwell said. “We’ve just got to make sure he gets good service and he did a couple of times today. I think there’s more to come from him and I’m looking forward to him having a good season.”
Balcatta started the game more comfortable on the ball, causing problems early on and capitalising on some sloppy Sorrento possession to test their defence.
However, it was Sorrento who broke the deadlock with Canham heading home Daryl Platten’s cross on 25 minutes after some neat play down the right wing.
Sorrento’s goal was the kick that Balcatta needed. They immediately began to threaten with sustained pressure that yielded corner after corner and were rewarded on the stroke of half-time with a thunder bolt strike from their captain Adam Tong. It was no more than Balcatta deserved.
But the match turned against them when Balcatta midfielder Kris Gate was sent off for what looked to be a dangerous two-footed challenge. The Gulls immediately capitalised on their numerical advantage, with Canham heading in a cross from the left wing past the hapless Damien Stanoevski.
Despite some late end-to-end football in which both sides could have scored, the Gulls held on for the three points.
Balcatta coach Ramon Falzon was unhappy with the decision to send-off Gate.
“Unfortunately, it decided the game for us,” he said. “Until that point in the second half, I think we dominated and created chances, which unfortunately we didn’t take.”
Sorrento 2 (Canham 25’, 75)
Balcatta 1 (Tong 45’)
Sunday March 9, 2014
Percy Doyle Reserve
Referee: Steve Gregory
Assistants: Mat Cheeseman and Ammar Timmour
Attendance: 350 approx
Sorrento: GK Curtis ASPDEN, 2 Danny CAIN, 3 Alex BRAIN, 4 Sean KILKELLY, 6 Daryl PLATTEN, 7 James A MORGAN, 9 Todd HARNWELL, 11 Scott BULLOCK (20 Jesse FULLER 90+4’), 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 18 Sean CANHAM (13 Steve McDONALD 87’), 21 Mike McGINLAY (8 Brodie MARTIN 61’)
Subs not used: GK James Morgan, 25 Wes PADLEY
Yellow cards: Bullock 54’, Harnwell 62’
Balcatta: GK Damien STANOEVSKI, 4 Kieron STELLARD, 5 Adam TONG (c), 6 Luke RANDAZZO, 9 Carlo COELHO (8 Ben MEREDITH 74’), 10 Marc DE FRANCESH, 12 Matt BROOK, 13 Benny KOVADIO, 14 Kieran COLEWELL, 16 Kris GATE, 18 Gustavo CATARCIONE
Subs not used: 7 Patrick SARA, 17 Alex SULESKI, 19 Matt IZZO, 21, Clint DAVIES
Yellow cards: Stellard 69’
Red cards: Gate 67’