Rockingham sign off with goalfest

Report by Max Hayden-Evans
 
Rockingham City ended their 2019 league campaign on a high note as they triumphed 6-3 over Floreat Athena on a crazy final day of the season.
 
The shock result and Inglewood's win over Perth Glory meant Athena were denied a second place finish going into the Top Four Cup.
 
Everything was seemingly going to plan for Garrett McDuling’s Athena as they grabbed an early lead courtesy of striker Robert Petkov. who held the ball up well to allow himself the time to shoot low and under Rockingham goalkeeper Cyril Sharrock.
 
Rockingham’s Riley Van Dieken had other plans for the afternoon, however, and soon had his side back on terms after he first drew a penalty in the box and then duly converted from the spot, sending Athena’s Jason Saldaris the wrong way.
 
 

 
Incredibly, seconds later Van Dieken then turned provider for skipper James Harmer who scored to ensure a stunning turnaround.
 
Athena then found themselves put to the sword before half time by a buoyed Rockingham outfit.
 
An excellent solo effort from Van Dieken saw him grab a second goal for the afternoon before Harmer again joined in the fun with his own marauding run and finish down the right-hand side of the pitch.
 
With a 4-1 lead at the break, the match seemed almost run until a second-half rally from Athena showed to their supporters just why they have been one of the NPL’s top sides this season.
 
When Rockingham were penalised for an outstretched arm in the box, Athena captain Dean Evans stood up to convert the spot kick and give his side a glimmer of hope. Substitute Phil Arnold then headed home soon after and suddenly the home side had their fingers on the pulse.
 
A combination of missed chances and some sharp saves from Sharrock ensured Rockingham kept their slender lead before James Millard scored the pick of the afternoon’s goals with a chipped finish over Saldaris.
 
Captain Harmer helped put the icing on the cake when his cross across goal was turned in by Athena’s Ryan Malton.
 
A stoppage time red card to Rockingham’s Mitchell Firth failed to dampen the away side’s spirits.
 
For Floreat, it’s back to the drawing board ahead of the Top Four Cup and a disappointing end to a league season full of positives.

Star player: James Harmer

Floreat Athena 3 (Petkov 6min, Evans pen 55, Arnold 67)
Rockingham City 6 (Van Dieken 11 pen 27, Harmer 11, 32, Millard 83, Malton og 85)

Saturday, August 31, 2019
E&D Litis Stadium
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: Shane Skinner
Assistant referees: Jessica Byrd, Liam Barclay

Floreat Athena: 1. Jason SALDARIS (GK), 3. Tristan COLLI (5. Thomas JEBB 33.), 6. Jesse FULLER, 9. Robert PETKOV, 11. Dennis GALAN, 13. George FESTA (4. Adrian MADASCHI 33.), 14. Ludovic BOI, 16. Ryan MALTON, 17. Dean EVANS (C), 24. Sam THORNILEY (18. Phil ARNOLD 33.), 32. Robert HEADING
Substitutes not used: 23. Jordan BARBAS (RGK), 31. Jacob STUBBERFIELD
Yellow cards: Malton 57
Red cards: Nil

Rockingham City: 1. Cyril SHARROCK (GK), 3. Justis BRADLEY (15. Shaz RAMLEE 70.), 5. Harry COLLINS, 6. Robbie GALVIN, 7. James MILLARD, 9. Sam MCKEARNAN (14. Ryan KENNEDY 78.), 10. James HARMER (C), 11. Riley VAN DIEKEN (8. Jason POTTIER 74.), 12. Lydon HODGKISS, 20. Mitchell FIRTH, 23. Victor BRAUNER
Substitutes not used: 13. Jarrad MORT, 31. L. MORRISON (RGK)
Yellow cards: Hodgkiss 54, Firth 62
Red cards: Firth 90+4



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