Bayswater blow top four finish
By Tommy Doleman
Substitute Ash Rosindale's second half winner gave Cockburn City a 2-1 final day win over Bayswater City, which ended the season of the four time champions.
Defeat for Bayswater, coupled with Balcatta's 1-0 win over Stirling, meant the home side slipped out of the Top Four Cup placings after only needing a draw before kick-off.
Cockburn, meanwhile, ended their season on a high with two wins in their final three games to finish seventh. They had been in contention for the top four at the halfway point of 2019, then faced an outside threat of the drop only three weeks ago.
Cockburn had nothing to fear at Frank Drago Reserve with Bayswater winning only one of seven previous NPL WA meetings between the sides, and they took the lead inside the first 10 minutes.
Cameron Edwards swung in a free kick from the right and Hayden Stevens rose highest to head home unmarked.
Bayswater grew into the occasion as the half wore on as Daryl Nicol rattled the upright and Brent Griffiths' header was cleared off the line, but Cockburn should have doubled their lead before the break.
The hosts' defence was at sixes and sevens as Sinclair rolled across to a wide open David Araya, only for the attacking midfielder to sidefoot tamely at Devon Lindemann.
Both teams had scored in 10 of the previous 12 meetings between the sides in the NPL WA era and that streak continued when Gordon Smith slid in at the back post to restore parity from Ross Millard's cross.
That was enough to put Bayswater in the top four and they were boosted further when the visitors were reduced to 10 men after Daniel Santich picked up a second yellow card for a shirt pull on Daryl Nicol.
But things started to unravel for the home team and City regained the lead when Hasani Sinclair and Rosindale played a one-two with the latter squeezing his shot under Lindemann.
Then Bayswater's Steve Hesketh was shown a straight red card for a stray elbow and Cockburn nearly killed the game off as Ryan Pratt shot straight at Lindemann when it opened up for the winger.
Adam Tong came on as an auxiliary centre forward in the final 10 minutes and twice nearly clawed back an equaliser as he nodded wide with the final touch off Griffiths, before heading over Howarth's corner.
But the hosts ran out of time as Cockburn won for a second consecutive year at Bayswater and skipper Reuben Tristao was chaired off by his team-mates.
And to cap a miserable day for Bayswater, news came through that Perth SC's Michael Domfeh had overtaken Nicol to claim the Golden Boot as the NPL's top scorer.
Star player: Hayden Stevens (Cockburn)
Bayswater City 1 (Smith 50min)
Cockburn City 2 (Stevens 7, Rosindale 72)
Saturday, August 31, 2019
Frank Drago Reserve
Referee: David Bruce
Assistant referees: Matthew Southern, Lawson Rimmer
Bayswater City: GK: Devon LINDEMANN, 6. Todd HOWARTH, 9. Gustavo MARULANDA (3. Jack ALLEN 63), 10. Jason MIRCO (11. Ryan PEARSON 83), 12. Steve HESKETH, 13. Trent KAY (30. Adam TONG 79), 17. Daryl NICOL, 18. Brent GRIFFITHS, 19. Gordon SMITH, 20. Giordano COLLI, 27. Ross MILLARD
Substitutes not used: 14. Sean MCMAUS, 21. Kenny KEOGH
Yellow Cards: Griffiths 90
Red Cards: Hesketh 74
Cockburn City: GK: Luke RADONICH, 4. Euen GRANT, 6. Reuben TRISTAO, 8. Cameron EDWARDS, 10. Daniel ARAYA (7. Ash ROSINDALE 63), 12. Ryan PRATT, 14. Hayden STEVENS, 15. Daniel SANTICH, 18. Adam ANFUSO (3. Daniel DOLS 69), 19. Hasani SINCLAIR (9. Anthony SKORICH 78), 21. Jesse LAZZARO
Substitutes not used: RGK: Ryan BARKER, 20. Jethro YUMANGE
Yellow Cards: Stevens 37, Santich 46
Red Cards: Santich 66