Armadale take third place in QBE Night Series
Football West News
Armadale’s good start under the tutelage of new coach John O’Reilly continued, after they beat Sorrento 2-1 to win the QBE Night Series Third Place play-off at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds started with a bang and were two up after only seven minutes, with goals from James Atkins and Kyle King. Despite Brodie Martin’s penalty early in the second half Armadale hung on for victory.
O’Reilly said his new look side had worked hard and he thought they deserved the win.
“We were good early and we set the standard and I thought our approach was excellent, and they came out sluggish and we punished them,” he said.
“We had a few sore bodies out there tonight. The lads have been working extremely hard in the pre-season and they did again tonight, but I thought we deserved the win.”
The coach was delighted with the way they defended late in the game when Sorrento took a more direct approach. “I thought Nathan (Costello) and Tristian (Taylor) were outstanding,” he said.
“Tristian has come in from the First Division and he’s really stepped up for us. While it’s great to have Nathan back home, he’s got a great engine and work ethic and the pair were solid for us tonight.”
English midfielder Jordan Pavott ran the show in the middle of the park, and the former Swindon Town trainee believes the side is starting to work well. He said the win is important as they go into the new PS4NPLWA season next week.
“We hit them early and scored two good goals, and it was real good battle out there,” he said.
“Obviously we’re happy with the win and it gives us a boost going into the league season next week.
“We’ve been a solid unit all pre-season and have only conceded three goals, so it’s a credit to the boys. This is a brand new team and we’re still learning each other’s ways, and we’re only going to get better.”
Armadale made the best possible start and were ahead in their first real attack. A ball into the penalty area wasn’t dealt, and with the Sorrento players looking for the offside flag that never came, Atkins finished low past James Morgan via the post.
It went from bad to worse for Sorrento, as two minutes later Armadale doubled their advantage. A ball over the top sent King racing clear, and the striker finished clinically past Morgan.
Sorrento looked out of sorts and their best chance fell to Martin mid-way through the first half; his close-range header flashed wide after good work on the right by Danny Jones.
Armadale went close to a third on the stroke of half time. A poor clearance from Morgan went straight to Taylor, who played in King, but the Sorrento custodian made up for his error saving low at his far post.
The Sorrento keeper denied Jackson Bealey early in the second half, the midfielder’s shot superbly tipped over by Morgan at full stretch.
But five minutes in Sorrento got themselves a lifeline. Scott Witschge was brought down in the penalty area by Taylor, and referee Michael Jasinski pointed straight to the spot.
Martin stepped up and sent Michael Cragg the wrong way, and it was game on.
Sorrento were struggling to break down an Armadale defence well led by Nathan Costello, while Pavett was having a good battle in the middle of the park with Martin.
The home side pushed big defender Steve McDonald up front and went more direct and they began to put pressure on the Armadale defence.
On 75 minutes Brad McDonald’s cross found Steve McDonald whose header was well saved by Cragg. Moments late Witschge cut in from the right and held off his marker, but his shot was saved low by Cragg.
It was one-way traffic now with Armadale defending deep and Sorrento almost levelled on 81 minutes. Brad McDonald’s corner picked out Jordan Brown, his powerful header was straight at Cragg who saved, and Armadale prevailed.
Both sides are in action next week when they begin the PS4NPLWA season. Sorrento entertain Balcatta at Percy Doyle Reserveon Friday evening (8.00pm), while Armadale host Perth Glory at Alfred Skeet Reserve (7.00pm).
QBE Night Series Third Place Play off
Armadale 2 (Atkins 5 Mins, King 7)
Sorrento 1 (Martin 50 Mins - pen)
Saturday February 11, 2017
Venue: Percy Doyle Reserve, Duncraig
Referee: Michael Jasinski
ARMADALE: GK Michael CRAGG, 3 Jake SARDELIC, 4 Nathan SMITH (5 Sam LOVELESS 80’), 8 Jordan PAVETT, 9 Kyle KING (12 Josh TUMOE 51’), 10 Milan OGNJENOVIC (11 Dannie RICHMAN 57’), 14 Tristan TAYLOR, 15 Nathan COSTELLO, 16 David ANNALL, 17 James ATKINS, 19 Jackson BEALEY
Substitutes not used: RGK Alec RADONICH, 18 Simon LOPEZ
Yellow Cards: Richman 81’, Tumoe 91’
SORRENTO: GK James MORGAN, 3 Joshua TUCKER (57’), 16 Jackson DONGRAY, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 8 Ryan PEARSON, 11 Timothy HILL, 13 Steve MCDONALD, 14 Scott WITSCHGE, 15 Brodie MARTIN, 18 Jordan BROWN, 20 Brad MCDONALD, 22 Danny JONES (21 Spiro DIMITRIOU 63’)
Substitutes not used: GK Michael WOOLCOTT, 12 Brodie KENNEDY, 19 Jesse OWUOK
Yellow Cards: Nil