Mandurah gain vital away point
Report by Jayden Lihou
Photo by Jonny Warrington
Mandurah City have given their survival hopes a boost with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Armadale in Round 20 of the PS4 NPLWA.
Armadale took the lead on 41 minutes, but Mandurah responded moments later on the stroke of half time.
The point has Mandurah move level on points with Perth Glory and just one point behind Balcatta with coach Doug Hesketh pleased with the performance from his players.
“The way the lads reacted after conceding was sensational, so I have nothing but praise for them,” he said.
“I thought we played very well today and we could have sneaked it in the second half but it was not to be.
“Armadale are a tough nut to crack especially at their home ground, so this is a massive point for us.”
Mandurah created the first clear-cut opportunity on 38 minutes, when Mitchell Firth squared the ball for Joseph O’Brien at the back post and he forced Michael Craggs into a diving save.
Armadale were quick to punish the away side for their missed opportunities as they scored the opener two minutes later.
Billy Quinncroft’s initial effort was spilled by Cyril Sharrock and Anthony Skorich was on hand to tap into the back of the net.
However their joy was short-lived as Mandurah made it 1-1 just before the break.
Ryan Francis drilled a low cross to O’Brien, who was waiting at the far post and made no mistake.
The hosts had a chance to retake the lead on 53 minutes when Skorich stole the ball off a retreating defender but Sharrock was equal to his effort.
Mandurah had a flurry of set pieces in the closing stages, but were unable to capitalise as both sides had to settle for a draw.
Armadale coach John O’Reilly said he was disappointed that his side found it difficult to trouble the opposition goalkeeper.
“Mandurah set up very defensively today and they were very hard to break down,” he said.
“But credit to them because they came here looking to grind out a result and that’s exactly what they did.
“It’s hard to say that we deserved to win today, so unfortunately for us a draw was a fair result in the end.”
Armadale 1 (Skorich 41min)
Mandurah City 1 (O’Brien 45min)
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Alfred Skeet Reserve
Referee: Nico Hoyle
Assistants: Julian Serra, Jatin Lodhia
Armadale: GK. Michael CRAGGS, 3. Jake SARDELIC, 4. Nathan COSTELLO (C), 7. Charlie KENNA, 8. Jordan PAVETT, 14. David ANNALL (15. Jackson BEALEY 55’), 16. Billy QUINNCROFT, 17. James ATKINS (12. Joshua TOMOE 63’), 19. Beau RAHIM, 20. Ali GHOLAMI, 25. Anthony SKORICH (9. Kyle KING 71’)
Substitutes not used: RGK. Alec RADONICH, 2. Dylan WHITE
Yellow Cards: Bealey 63, Kenna 81, Tomoe 90
Red Cards: Nil
Mandurah City: GK. Cyril SHARROCK, 2. Oliver MCGEE, 3. Jeffrey BRIGHT (C), 4. Matthew STARES, 5. Mitchell FIRTH, 6. Joseph O’BRIEN (15. Kevin CASTLE 86’), 7. Lance LOUVIE, 8. Daniel DAVIES, 9. Sean TROUP, 11. Ryan FRANCIS, 12. Shane BOYLE (14. Michael MORRIN 64’)
Substitutes not used: RGK. Kieran SHAIL, 10. Slade RULE, 16. Mark MCLAUGHLIN
Yellow Cards: Boyle 29, Bright 43
Red Cards: Nil