Shaky defending costs Armadale

Report by Chris Andrawes

Armadale coach Lee Bamber was left frustrated after poor defending cost his side a 4-2 defeat against Balcatta at Alfred Skeet Reserve in the National Premier Leagues WA on Saturday.

“I’m disappointed that we’ve conceded four today,” Bamber said.

“It didn’t look like we were going to concede four this season and the boys just haven’t defended anywhere near as well as I would’ve expected.”

Balcatta got their first goal in the 29th minute after a one-two between Gustavo Catarcione and Benny Kouakou put the latter Balcatta player through. With just the keeper to beat, he finished with aplomb with a shot that flew into the top corner.

The lead was then doubled shortly before half-time, as Catarcione was given time and space to turn and volley coolly from the edge of the box past Armadale keeper Matthew Gould.

Armadale, however, came out firing in the second half and were quickly level again with two goals from Sam Loveless.

The first came from a rebounded penalty, which Loveless saw saved by Clint Davies, but he responded immediately and placed the ball past the keeper and into the net.

Loveless then doubled Armadale’s score as he put the ball into the top corner with an outstretched toe, following a fizzing cross into the box.

Balcatta coach Ramon Falzon was surprised by Armadale’s strong start to the second half.

“I have to give my congratulations to Armadale because I have never seen Armadale play as well as they have this year,” he said.

“I had my doubts on the penalty, and our keeper saved it, but I think in the second half our approach was a bit relaxed.”

Armadale’s luck quickly changed as Kouakou scored a screamer following a short corner routine, once again leaving Bamber questioning his defenders.

“I’m happy with the response at the start of the second half as the boys showed what they are capable of, but then someone slipped and let Benny in again to get the third one and we’ve let down ourselves a little bit,” Bamber said.

The game was capped off with a second for Catarcione from the penalty spot after Kouakou was taken down in the area with just over 10 minutes to go.

Armadale fought back, but were unable to capitalise as they saw an effort from Luke Bogoni agonisingly rebound off the crossbar.

Falzon felt there was still room for improvement from his side.

“It’s good to finally get some points, although the performance wasn’t as good as when we played Sorrento or Bayswater,” he said. “But we’ll work hard in the coming weeks because we’ve still got a lot to do.

“We need to start combining much better. At the moment we’re making a lot of foolish mistakes up front and missing a lot of chances, or missing that final pass.”

Armadale 2 (Loveless 56’, 60’)
Balcatta 4 (Kouakou 29’, 65’, Catarcione 38’, 78’)
Saturday 22nd March 2014
Alfred Skeet Reserve
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Referee: Trent Fleskens

Armadale: 1. Matthew GOULD, 2. Jackson BEALEY, 3. Luke BOGONI, 4. Billy QUINNCROFT (8. Llewellyn BAKE 72’), 5. Nathan COSTELLO, 7. Faustinho MACHOCHI, 10. Jason BARRERA, 11. Dannie RICHMAN, 12. Alec SOLOMONS, 13. Sam LOVELESS, 14. Mitch CASTRILLI (17. Alex CLARKE 69’)
Substitutes not used: 16. Nicholas TATASCIORE, 19. Raveshlan KUPPUSAMY, 20. Darren HAYWOOD
Yellow cards: Solomons 76’, Richman 84’
Red cards: nil

Balcatta: 1.Clint DAVIES, 2. David CYRUS, 3. Keiron STALLARD, 5. Adam TONG, 6. Luke RANDAZZO, 7. James SAMMUT (20. Matt IZZO 59’), 8. Benny KOUAKOU (19. Marc ZAGAMI 83’), 10. Marc de FRANCHESCH, 11. Gustavo CATARCIONE, 14. Ben MEREDITH, 22. Kieron COLWELL (4. Alex SULLESKI 85’)
Substitutes not used: 2. Damien STANOEVSKI, 12. Matt BROOK
Yellow cards: Meredith 84’
Red cards: nil


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