Cockburn stay in hunt for silverware
Report by Jayden Lihou
Photo by Jonny Warrington
Cockburn City have progressed to the Preliminary final of the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup after they defeated Bayswater City 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday.
Cockburn now play new NPL WA champions Perth SC on Tuesday for a spot in the final against Perth Glory at Frank Drago Reserve next Saturday.
Cockerels coach Scott Miller praised the desire shown by his side and is looking forward to the upcoming fixture against Perth.
“I think it’s important that the boys enjoy it. It is the first time we have been in the top four for a long time,” he said
“At one point it looked as though Baysie would get on top of us because they were playing some really nice football but I thought we showed great desire tonight, just like we have done all year.
“We know Perth are a very good team, we had a draw with them in the first round and then they beat us in a close game at their home ground.
“So we will go over there will no worries and have a crack at beating the champions."
Although Bayswater started the game on the front foot, it was the hosts who took the lead in the eighth minute after Ryan Pratt was fouled in the box.
Daniel Robinson stepped up to take the spot-kick and showed composure to give his side an early advantage.
After conceding, Bayswater assumed control of the game and finally equalised in the 40th minute after the ball fell to Andrija Jukic in the box.
Jukic fired a powerful shot across goal which was initially parried by a diving Luke Radonich, however the ball then deflected unkindly off Cockburn's Jesse Lazzaro and into the back of the net.
The home side did not stay behind for long though as they equalised just four minutes later as Harry O'Brien thrashed the ball home through a sea of bodies after a scramble in the box.
After an evenly contested start to the second period Bayswater equalised again when ex-Cockburn player Gian Albano found substitute Luke Salmon with a low cross and he made it 2-2.
Cockburn took the lead for a third time in the 73rd minute when captain Cameron Edwards picked out Robinson in the box to find the bottom corner.
But Bayswater showed their resolve once again as Salmon flicked the ball past Radonich's near post after he was picked out by a low cross.
In the first period of extra time Albano was put through on goal, however his effort was just wide of the post.
Neither side was able to find the decisive goal in the second period which meant it would come down to penalties.
In the shoot-out, both teams converted their first four spot-kicks before Lazzaro put Cockburn 5-4 ahead with a strike down the middle.
Needing to convert to keep Baywater alive, Salmon had his penalty saved by Radonich which handed Cockburn victory.
Bayswater's season is now over. Coach Chris Coyne thought they were the better side but still gave credit to the performance of their opponents.
“I think on the run of the game we deserved to get a result,” he said.
“But that’s taking nothing away from Cockburn because I thought it was a really good game of football.
“I have to give credit to Cockburn, that’s three times they’ve knocked us off this year and I wish them all the best in the prelim final during the week.
“I’m disappointed to finish fourth especially being five points clear at the halfway point (of the leage season) and letting it slip.
“I’m proud of the players though, they are a great group of boys but I expect more from them because I know how good they are.”
Cockburn City 3 (Robinson 8min, 73, O'Brien 44)
Bayswater City 3 (Lazzaro og 40min, Salmon 61, 75)
(Cockburn win 5-4 on penalties)
Saturday, September 1
Referee: David Bruce
Assistant Referees: Matthew Southern, Simon Hicks
Cockburn City: 1. Luke RADONICH (GK), 3. Daniel DOLS, 6. Reuben TRISTAO, 8. Cameron EDWARDS (C), 10. David ARAYA, 11. Harry O'BRIEN, 12. Ryan PRATT, 13. Blake ADAMS, 15. Daniel SANTICH, 16. Daniel ROBINSON (7. Lucas MELLO 87'), 21. Jesse LAZZARO
Substitutes not used: 2. Chris THACKRAY, 14. David DOS SANTOS, 20. Harry COLLINS, 23. Ryan BARKER
Yellow cards: Araya 65, Edwards 82, Adams 99
Red cards: Nil
Bayswater City: 1. Luke HUTCHINSON (GK), 5. Adam HARRIS, 6. Todd HOWARTH, 8. Paul MCCARTHY, 12. David STOKOE (11. Ryan PEARSON 61'), 13. Trent KAY (C), 17. Gian ALBANO, 19. Luka NINKOVIC (22. Luke Salmon 54'), 23. Andrija JUKIC (15. Jordan POKLER 77'), 24. Jake SARDELIC, 26. Paul LLOYD
Substitutes not used: 25. Jacob CAREY, 29. Shayden PASALAQUA
Yellow cards: Howarth7, Lloyd 25, Albano 52, Pearson 66, Pokler 112
Red cards: Nil