Lucky Athena see off plucky Armadale
Report by Daryn McCleave
Floreat Athena captain Lewis McMahon admitted his side was lucky to claim all three points in a 2-0 victory over Armadale at E & D Litis Stadium.
Goals in each half to Blair Govan and McMahon ensured Athena recorded two wins from their opening two games in the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA campaign.
But McMahon was quick to emphasise how fortunate the home team had been to secure victory.
"We had a weakened side out today and I think it showed to be honest," he said.
"We were missing four or five influential players. Full marks to the lads that came in, they did a job, but on another day Armadale could have taken their chances and won the game.
"Dejan (Aleksic) pulled off two fantastic saves to keep us in it. We've got out of jail really."
Athena's absent list included Clayton Arnez, Callum Franz (injured) and Ludovic Boi (away), plus Aryn Williams who served a one match suspension for a red card received during the Westfield FFA Cup defeat to Perth SC.
Armadale were looking to build on an FFA Cup win over Shamrock Rovers with their first points of the season, and had a chance to take the lead inside two minutes, but Nick Crerand sent his shot over the crossbar.
And Athena punished that miss three minutes later when Govan jumped highest to head home Kris Gate's inch perfect cross.
They combined again soon after. This time, visiting goalkeeper Dylan Wilson pushed behind Gate’s effort.
The away side took the game to their hosts after the break, but couldn't find the deserved breakthrough, as Jackson Bealey stung the palms of Aleksic.
Bealey was the main threat for Armadale and he raced away from halfway with only Aleksic to beat. His shot was too close to the stopper though and the chance was gone.
Aleksic then blocked Crerand's effort with his legs before Floreat struck a decisive second blow with 14 minutes left.
McMahon turned smartly on the edge of the area before firing low past Wilson to earn his side scarcely deserved breathing space.
Armadale Assistant Coach Kevin Brophy was pleased with his teams’ performance and was confident the club wouldn’t get relegated.
"This was a game we could have won. We'll strengthen it up, we'll keep plugging away, and we'll get results,” he said.
FLOREAT ATHENA 2 (Govan 5mins, McMahon 76')
Saturday 11 April 2015
E & D Litis Stadium
Referee: Tom GLAVOVIC
FLOREAT ATHENA: 23. (GK) Dejan ALEKSIC, 2. Blair GOVAN, 3. Jack ALLEN, 5. Bobby WILSON, 9. Jason POTTIER, 10. Andrew SCALDAFERRO, 11. Dennis GALAN, 12. Kris GATE, 15. Anthony BAFOBUSHA, 18. Andrew XYDAS, 20. Lewis McMAHON.
SUBSTITUTES NOT USED: 13. Matt FRANKEN, 19. Nathan GROSTATE, 33. Shakeel ALEXANDER
YELLOW CARD: McMahon 77'
ARMADALE: 1. Dylan WILSON, 2. Beau Abdul RAHIM, 4. Reece DAVIS, 5. Sam LOVELESS, 6. Jake SARDELIC, 7. Faustin MACHOCHI, 8. Caleb DIXON, 10. Nick CRERAND, 11. Jackson BEALEY, 14. Mitch CASTRILLI, 18. Dylan EASTOUGH (9. Darren FRANCIS 70').
SUBSTITUTES NOT USED: 20. Jordan HOWELL, 13. Jamal YUSOF, 12. Sam COLE, 3. Ryan JAMES
YELLOW CARDS: Loveless 23' Bealey 50' Sardelic 88'