Coyne challenges Bayswater to turn the tide
Perth Glory can land a telling blow to Bayswater City’s hopes of back-to-back NPL WA titles when the sides meet at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday.
With seven matches of the season remaining and three points separating leaders Glory and Bayswater in third, it may be too early to say this is a must-win match for last season’s champions.
But Bayswater coach Chris Coyne sees it differently as his team look to avoid a fourth straight loss which would see them fall six points off the top.
“It is a must-win, not for the title but just for our reputation,” he said. “We set high standards and so we can’t be losing four games in a row.”
An added ingredient is that Coyne this season accused Glory of loading their team with A-League players, a comment opposition coach John Gibson brushed aside.
But Coyne last week took aim at his own side after they went down 4-1 at Armadale, saying they played “scared” and that they had to be held accountable.
“When we lost to Inglewood and Cockburn, if we had taken our chances then we maybe deserved something,” he said.
“But against Armadale we were a shambles, probably the worst I’ve seen in the five years I’ve been here. I’m looking for a response and that has to be player-driven. They are an honest group but too many players had an off-day.
“As for what I said about Glory, it’s quite funny because afterwards a lot of people said ‘I agree’.
“But to be fair, it’s not the same group as was playing four or five few weeks ago. But maybe Gibbo will use what I said to add a bit of spice. Either way, it should be a good game.”
Of course, should Baysie win then the two teams will be level on points and the table will take on a completely different complexion.
Glory had their own stutter last Sunday when they allowed lowly Floreat Athena to grab a late equaliser in their match at Ashford Arena.
Before that they had won their previous seven and they currently average exactly three goals a game, making them easily the league’s highest scorers.
Sandwiched between Glory and Bayswater are Cockburn City, who will go top if they win at Perth SC and Glory lose.
The Cockerels were the latest side to make hay against Joondalup United last week, hammering the NPL’s bottom club 7-0. Three points against the fifth-placed Azzurri will be much harder to come by but would set up Scott Miller’s side for a thrilling run-in.
Also in the title race are Inglewood United in fourth. They are only four points from the summit heading into their clash at ECU Joondalup.
The picture at the bottom is even tighter, with four teams on 20 points and two others just a couple of points better off.
Second-bottom Forrestfield get the chance to climb away with a home match against Joondalup on Saturday night, while the “six-pointers” this week see Sorrento host Subiaco and Stirling Lions travel to Floreat.
The other match is between Armadale and Balcatta.
Saturday, July 7
Armadale v Balcatta (Alfred Skeet Reserve, 3pm)
Perth SC v Cockburn City (Dorrien Gardens, 3pm)
Floreat Athena v Stirling Lions (E&D Litis Stadium, 3pm)
ECU Joondalup v Inglewood United (ECU Football Stadium, 3pm)
Bayswater City v Perth Glory (Frank Drago Reserve, 3pm)
Sorrento v Subiaco (Percy Doyle Reserve, 3pm)
Forrestfield United v Joondalup United (Wildlife Safari Park, 7pm)