MATCH WRAP: Perth almost there
Football West News
Perth Soccer Club will clinch their third NPL WA title in four seasons on Saturday with victory at second-bottom Armadale.
Ramon Falzon’s side made light work of having top scorer Michael Domfeh suspended on the weekend, easing past Balcatta 3-0 at Dorrien Gardens.
At the same time nearest challengers Floreat Athena were throwing away a 3-0 lead away to Sorrento, a result which sees them seven point adrift with three matches remaining.
Perth were made to wait before making the breakthrough, Harley Orr scoring from the penalty spot three minutes before half-time.
Matt Milenkovic doubled the lead early in the second half, while Paul Zimarino put the icing on the cake near the end.
It looked equally straightforward for Floreat as they took advantage of Sorrento’s poor defending to race into a 3-0 lead.
Two goals in the first 12 minutes from winger Adam Falcone gave Athena the perfect start. And when Robert Petkov tucked away a penalty five minutes after the break, the “as it stands” table would have had Garrett McDuling’s side just three points behind Perth.
But that was as good as it got for the visitors, who were unable to withstand Sorrento’s fightback. Shaun Kilkelly, who had conceded the penalty, made amends with the Gulls’ first before Alex Morgan curled a peach of a goal to set up a grandstand finish.
And the former Sorrento players who were at Percy Doyle Reserve for the 20-year reunion of their 1999 grand final triumph were on their feet with the rest of the crowd when skipper Reece Vittiglia fired in the equaliser eight minutes from time.
Neither side could find the winner, but it was Sorrento who were the happier at the final whistle as they stayed in the hunt for a top-four finish.
The battle to avoid the sole relegation spot could go down to the final day with five teams still in danger of dropping to State League Division One.
Bottom of the table Stirling Lions are one point behind Armadale and ECU Joondalup, while Cockburn City and Rockingham City can also be dragged into it.
Stirling showed plenty of spirit to defeat Bayswater City 2-1, although result of the day saw Armadale hammer Cockburn 5-1 at Dalmatinac Park. Uriel Macias scored a hat-trick for John O’Reilly’s side, but Cockburn must be desperate for the season to end after picking up just one point from their last six games.
Rockingham again showed what a formidable side they are at home, defeating Perth Glory 2-1.