O’Brien stars as Cockburn edge clear
Report by Tommy Doleman
Harry O’Brien scored twice as Cockburn City beat Subiaco 2-1 to move eight points clear of their rivals in the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA.
With a Westfield FFA Cup tie against Melbourne Knights this midweek, the visitors were stronger in the first half and deservedly led 1-0 at the break.
Subiaco played better in the second half and equalised through Owen Coates before O’Brien struck with six minutes left as the hosts remained at the foot of the table.
The win carried added significance for Cockburn, who remembered the life of club favourite Billy Thorburn with a minute’s silence before kick-off, and coach Scott Miller reflected on an emotional win for the club.
“There’s a lot of boys with their heads in their hands and we’ve just joined together into a little circle,” he said.
“We’ve lost a super gentleman in Billy Thorburn, who has been at Cockburn football club for 50 years, and is the father of my assistant coach.
“That was all the game was about today. We had to win for him because he deserved that send off.”
Miller also praised the character of his side as they rallied to find that important late winner.
“I thought in the first half we were very good, it was as good as we’ve played and one goal was the least we deserved,” he said.
“They opened up in the second half because they had to and they got their goal but we didn’t go into our shell, we responded really well and I’m happy about that.
“We’ve started to get into dangerous territory in the league and we’re not out yet but we’re a lot healthier than we would have been if we didn’t win.
“Now the boys can go and really enjoy the opportunity and the experience over there (in the Westfield FFA Cup on Wednesday).”
Both teams struggled to create chances in a tense opening at Rosalie Park but it was Cockburn who settled first and they took the lead on 23 minutes.
Cameron Edwards swung in a corner from the right as O’Brien peeled away to the back post and planted a firm header inside the post past the goalkeeper.
City had the better of the play leading into the break but struggled to overly work Ryan Montgomery and when they did it came from the width of O’Brien and Aden Da Luz.
Subiaco did improve, though, as James Casserley headed at Luke Radonich before Asher Nelson flashed a shot across goal early in the second period.
Montgomery then did brilliantly to tip an Angel Andres free kick over the bar and the save held more currency as the hosts equalised on 70 minutes.
Cockburn couldn’t deal with a ball into the area, which broke into the path of Coates who slotted past Radonich.
Moments later, Radonich had to be at his best again to beat Michael Lawson’s free kick away but the visitors would have the final say.
Having hit the post moments earlier, O’Brien latched onto a ball over the top and clipped superbly over Montgomery to give Cockburn a memorable win.
Subiaco 1 (Coates 70mins)
Cockburn City 2 (O’Brien 23’, 84’)
Saturday August 6, 2016
Local kick-off: 3:00pm
Referee: Josh Mannella
Subiaco: GK: Ryan MONTGOMERY, 4. Jackson DONGRAY, 5. James CASSERLEY, 6. Michael LAWSON, 9. Ian MCMURRAY, 10. Rory FEELY, 12. Jonas DORLING, 13. Dylan ANDREWS (8. James OLIVER 68’), 14. Stefan HILL, 15. Kieran NUGENT, 16. Asher NELSON (11. Owen COATES 68’)
Substitutes not used: RGK: Michael COHEN, 2. Ross JARMAN, 18. Zachary HARDISTY.
Yellow Cards: Dongray 62’, Casserley 90’
Red Cards: Nil
Cockburn City: GK: Luke RADONICH, 3. Josh KUSAR, 4. Euen GRANT, 6. Reuben TRISTAO, 8. Cameron EDWARDS, 9. Angel ANDRES, 10. David ARAYA (7. Ali GHOLAMI 44’), 11. Harry O’BRIEN (14. Liam MURRAY 86’), 13. Blake ADAMS, 16. Daniel DOLS, 18. Aden DA LUZ.
Substitutes not used: RGK: Ryan BARKER, 17. Jesse LAZZARO
Yellow Cards: Grant 81’
Red Cards: Nil