MATCH WRAP: Perth SC snatch title amid final-day drama
Football West News
The National Premier Leagues WA threw up another dramatic final day twist as Perth Soccer Club snatched the championship from Perth Glory.
The Azzurri went into their match away at Joondalup United on Saturday knowing they had to win while also relying on Glory to lose to lowly Subiaco.
Two first-half goals from Paul Zimarino put Perth SC in the driving seat at Percy Doyle Reserve and they saw out the rest of the match in relative comfort, easing to a 2-0 win.
Then it was all about what was happening at Rosalie Park, where a scrambled effort from Adam Carlino less than 15 minutes from time had incredibly put Subiaco in front.
With their game finishing first, the Perth SC players had an anxious five-minute wait on the pitch before news came through that Glory had indeed been beaten and that Ramon Falzon’s side had claimed a second NPL WA title in three seasons.
“It feels brilliant,” Falzon said.
“The boys worked hard all season; we were always chasing, chasing behind all season but we kept believing and pushing.
“Credit to all the boys I’m very proud of them, and it’s good to see them rewarded for the hard work they have put in.”
While it was a day of celebration for Perth SC, Glory were left to reflect on a missed opportunity.
Their young side – they had two 15-year-olds on the pitch at the final whistle on Saturday – have tightened up over the closing stages of the run-in. Last week they were just seconds from lifting the trophy before Cockburn equalised and at Subiaco, with A-League coach Tony Popovic watching on, it came back to haunt them.
Glory’s NPL coach John Gibson said: “We’re deeply disappointed with the performance we put forward today.
“I’ve said we were always going to be facing challenges and today was no exception.
“We’ve had opportunities along the way, it wasn’t just about today it was the previous five or six weeks where we should have potentially locked it up.”
Glory will take on Perth SC in the Top Four Cup next Saturday, while the other two spots were filled by Cockburn City and Bayswater City.
At the other end of the table, Subiaco’s win meant they finished third from bottom. It is now a case of wait-and-see for Ian McMurray’s team.
If Rockingham City win the State League Division One then Subiaco are relegated. However if Rockingham – the only team eligible to go up still in the hunt – finish second then the two clubs will meet in a two-legged play-off to see who will feature in the NPL next year.
Even if Subiaco had not won on Saturday they would have been spared immediate relegation because of Forrestfield’s 8-1 humbling by Stirling Lions, for whom Alex Tanevski scored four. Forrestfield, after one season in the NPL, joined Joondalup United through the trap door.
The race for the Golden Boot finished in a tie between Chris Jackson of Armadale and ECU Joondalup’s Daryl Nicol. Both players finished on 24 goals after scoring for their respective sides on the weekend.
Cockburn City 4-1 Armadale
Floreat Athena 2-1 Sorrento
ECU Joondalup 1-1 Bayswater City
Balcatta 2-1 Inglewood United
Joondalup United 0-2 Perth SC
Subiaco 1-0 Perth Glory
Forrestfield United 1-8 Stirling Lions
Champions: Perth SC
Runners up: Perth Glory
Top Four Cup: Perth SC, Perth Glory, Cockburn City, Bayswater City
Relegated: Forrestfield United, Joondalup United
To be decided: Subiaco will also be relegated if Rockingham City win the State League Division One title.
If Rockingham finish second, they will meet Subiaco in a two-legged play-off to see who is in the NPL WA next season