Macias treble gives Armadale huge win

Report by Louis Granich 
 
Uriel Macias bagged a spectacular second half hat-trick as Armadale boosted their survival hopes with a 5-1 win at Cockburn City in their Round 19 NPL clash at Dalmatinac Park
 
Both clubs came into this match without a win in their last six games, but it was second-bottom Armadale who looked the more likely to turn around their recent form.
 
After a host of set-pieces, the deadlock was broken on 15 minutes when Nathan Costello played a superb diagonal pass behind Cockburn’s defence to Ali Nazari and the Armadale winger poked the ball past an out-of-position Luke Radonich for the opener.
 
John O’Rielly’s side continued to apply early pressure, winning seven corners in the opening 17 minutes. Their persistence was rewarded further when Josh Kuser played a ball to Costello at the back post. The captain was on hand to provide another assist, this time for the electric Chad Nilson, who headed home Armadale’s second from close range.
 
The Cockerels regained possession after their early setbacks but often struggled with their own final ball. Daniel Santich’s mis hit cross was Cockburn’s best chance to reply before the half-time whistle.
 
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The pattern of play continued after the break as Armadale looked to consolidate their lead and hit the hosts on the counter. The third goal came when substitute Josh Cortes intercepted a stray Cockburn pass in midfield and played in Macias. The American controlled the ball well before hitting a powerful strike into the bottom left corner.
 
If Macias’s first goal was classy, his second was spectacular. Nazari crossed a ball into penalty area that appeared to be behind the striker, but he struck gold with a remarkable scissor kick.
 
With the result all but confirmed, Scott Miller’s second half substitutes combined to score Cockburn’s only goal. Anthony Skorich played a first time pass through for David Araya, who deftly chipped the ball over the onrushing Sam Hutchings.
 
Not to be out done, Macias then raced onto a through ball from Eraste Vyamungu. The import showed great strength and composure to shrug off Ewan Grant before dinking the ball with the outside of his right foot over Radonich, rounding off a spectacular second half hat-trick.
 
With three matches remaining Cockburn have been hauled into a relegation battle despite being top-four contenders for the first half of the season. They are four points off the bottom but their form has collapsed.

Armadale, a point above basement side Stirling Lions, will hope to draw on this victory next weekend when they host reigning champions Perth SC, who can clinch back-to-back titles with a win.
 
Star player: Uriel Macias (Armadale SC)
 
Cockburn City 1 (Araya 81min)
Armadale 5 (Nazary 15, Nilson 18, Macias 67, 71, 88)
 
Cockburn City: 1. Luke RADONICH (GK) 2. Christopher THACKRAY (4. Euen Grant 45) 8. Cameron EDWARDS, 12. Ryan PRATT, 14. Hayden Stevens, 15. Daniel SANTICH, 16. Daniel ROBINSON (10. David ARAYA 76), 18. Adam ANFUSO, 19. Hasani SINCLAIR, 7. Ashley ROSINDALE, 21. Jesse LAZZARO (9. Anthony SKORICH 76)
Substitutes not used: 23. Ben RADONICH
Yellow cards: Rosindale 63
Red cards: Nil
 
Armadale: GK 1. Sam HUTCHINGS, 2. Josh KUSER, 4. Nathan COSTELLO (c), 5. Ali NAZARY, 6. Joel SANDERSON, 8. Michael LAWSON, 9. Uriel MACIAS (Ciaran BYRNE 89), 11. Chad NILSON (7. Joshua CORTES 62) 12. Dannie RICHMAN, 13. Blake ADAMS, 21 Abdul OSMAN (16.Eraste VYAMUNGU 69)
Substitutes not used: 14. Alex Bond, 31 Blake HANSHELL
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil



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