Evans helps Athena get off the mark

Report by Ryan Borrett

Floreat Athena claimed their first win of the NPL WA season as they beat Balcatta 2-0 at E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday night.

After defeats in the opening two rounds Floreat bounced back with a convincing display in which they fully merited the three points.

Goals from Athena captain Dean Evans and striker Philip Arnold settled the match, with the former just pleased they got the job done.

“To be honest, we really needed the three points today,” Evans said.

“It was a bit ugly at times but I’m pleased we got the win.

“Hopefully this can be the game that kickstarts our season, because next week will be tough against Perth.”

Evans’ opening goal on 27 minutes owed a bit to good fortune.

It came after Floreat striker Philip Arnold was fouled on the edge of the box following a rapid breakaway. Evans took the free-kick and his low drive deflected off a Balcatta defender to leave goalkeeper Kyle McDonald stranded.

“I’ll take it, I guess they all count and I did my part to get the win for the boys,” Evans added.

After the goal both teams attempted to use their pace in the wide areas to get in behind, without success.

Balcatta youngsters Shubbham Mokala and Renne Alba looked lively going forward but weren’t presented with enough opportunities to break through a strong Athena backline.

That was the story of the night for the visitors, whose play broke down too often in the final third.

It was a different tale at the other end and Floreat doubled their lead in the 68th minute after early substitute Hamza Hina found space inside the box on the left. He broke past the sliding challenge of Balcatta’s Joseph Marino to square to Arnold, who had a simple tap-in into an open net.

Balcatta came close to getting a goal back two minutes from time from a free-kick swung into the box but Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris made an excellent save.

Floreat Athena 2 (Evans 27 min, Arnold 68)
Balcatta 0
Saturday, March 10, 2018
E&D Litis Stadium
Kick-off: 7pm
Referee: Joshua Nixon
Assistant referees: Harry Bolan, Liviu Katona

Floreat Athena: 1. Jason SALDARIS, 2. Marco SANTA LUCIA, 6. Jessie FULLER, 10. Calvin WHITNEY, 11. Dennis GALAN, 12. Juma AWAKA, 14. Ludovic BOI, 15. Chris SALDARIS, 17. Dean EVANS (5. Jamie STREET 86), 18. Philip ARNOLD (4. Andrew SCALDAFERRO 77), 21. Keylun POLLARD (16. Hamza HINA 27)
Substitutes not used: 13. James OWEN, 23. Jordan BARBAS
Yellow cards: Street 88, Galan 88
Red cards: Nil

Balcatta FC: 2. Jospeh MARINO 3. Hayden STEVENS, 4. Calum O’CONNELL, 5. Tom PELLIZARRI, 7. Mathew MCROBERTS-ORLANSO (9. Dejan ANDRIC 61) 8. Carmelo GIUFFRE, 10. Jonathan CORNESS, 11. Renne ALBA (12. Anton DE FRANCESCH 56), 15. Adriano JELENOVIC, 20. Shubham MOKALA (18. Scott NEWLAND 72) , 25. Kyle MCDONALD
Substitutes not used: 1. Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 17. Brody KENNEDY
Yellow cards: Pellizarri 25, De Francesch 90+1
Red cards: Nil




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