Lions claim the points in five-goal thriller
Report by Aidan Shaw
Stirling Lions recorded a memorable 3-2 victory over Joondalup United in a thrilling encounter at Macedonia Park on Saturday in the PS4 NPLWA round 22.
Daniel Micevski’s early goal saw the home side lead at the break, before the two sides traded blows in a second half highlighted by a world class finish from Alex Tanevski.
A combination of ball control, technical prowess and pin point execution make it a strong contender this year’s PS4 NPLWA Goal of the Season.
Tanevski acknowledged his sidelined teammate and 2016 McInerney Ford Gold Medal winner David Micevski for teaching him a few tricks.
“I’ve been practicing them, so I’ve built up some confidence,” he said.
“Dave (Micevski) has taught me a lot, with a few bicycle tricks at training.”
Young Stirling goalkeeper Lance Alavakis also played a crucial role for his side, as he saved Arran Maplestone’s penalty in the dying embers of the match.
Alavakis said it felt euphoric to save the three points for his side and described the moment before the final whistle.
“Before he [Maplestone] put it down, he looked in the corner and I just caught a glimpse of him and my mind was made up,” he said.
Looking to continue their late run of form, Stirling came out of the blocks and opened their account on 11 minutes through Daniel Micevski.
Following some good build up play, Cameron Teece found the winger in space on the right, and he fired low past James Bosdet from the corner of the penalty area.
The visitors played some great football of their own and caused headaches for the home side’s defence, but were unable to capitalise on their opportunities before half time.
Bosdet was solid between the sticks for Joondalup and prevented both Teece and Tanevski from doubling Stirling’s advantage early in the second half.
Joondalup got their equaliser in the 57th minute when Matthew Sparrow found time and space to fire home following a goalmouth scramble.
The home side responded and regained their lead six minutes later, as Teece slotted home with aplomb after being played in by Micevski.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Tanevski sent the crowd into raptures by extending Stirling’s lead and producing a moment for the highlight reels.
Miki Vujacic played a pinpoint ball into the box and found Tanevski, who took it on his chest before sending it into the top corner with an overhead bicycle kick.
Minutes later, Teece missed a point blank opportunity to bury the result, and it nearly proved costly as Joondalup pulled one back through Richard Howles.
The two sides wrestled for momentum in the final ten minutes before Joondalup was given a lifeline deep into injury time when they were awarded a penalty.
Alavakis made the crucial save and Stirling managed to desperately clear their lines before the relief of the final whistle.
Joondalup United coach Nick Jennings said his side had not been getting the rub of the green in recent weeks, but is determined for his side to have a positive finish to their first season in the top flight.
“I thought we created so many chances, but how we managed to score only two, I’ll never know,” he said.
"In the last four games (of the season) we’ve got to look for four victories.
"We don’t want to end the season on a low. We’ve had an okay season, but I’m not happy with our recent form.”
Stirling Lions 3 (Micevski 11min, Teece 62, Tanevski 75)
Joondalup United 2 (Sparrow 57min, Howles 79)
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Referee: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referees: Sorousha Moayer, Tom Robinson
Stirling Lions: GK Lance ALAVAKIS, 2. Michael PUGLIESE, 4. Blamo QUA QUA, 5. Nicholas ASHLEY, 7. Milorad VUJACIC (c), 9. Alex TANEVSKI (14. Lukas DE LIMA 77), 10. Daniel MICEVSKI, 15. Shane CASSIDY, 16. James MATHIANG (6. Robbie MCNEILL 86), 18. Moses KALAU, 19. Cameron TEECE (3. Zane CASELLA 93)
Substitutes not used: RGK Alex DONEV, 12. Nigel SMITH
Yellow cards: Tanevski 60, Alavakis 90, Cassidy 94
Red cards: nil
Joondalup United: GK James BOSDET, 3. Rowdy YATES, 4. Arran MAPLESTONE (c), 7. Matthew SPARROW, 8. Josh WHITMORE, 9. Richard HOWLES, 11. Josh BOOYSEN (25. Luke DOYLE 80), 13. Chris PUGH, 16. Ross EDWARDS, 17. Luke SERRA (6. Guy MCDONALD 61), 23. Jay MARSDEN (15. Sam WYNNE 65)
Substitutes not used: RGK Jacob CAREY,29. Charlie BRIEN
Yellow cards: Whitmore 73
Red cards: nil