Kearney sends Balcatta into Top Four Cup
Report by Kelechi Osunwa
Balcatta claimed the final spot in the Top Four Cup following their win over Stirling. Photo by Annie Green
Balcatta will be playing in the Top Four Cup for the first time since 2014 after a 1-0 win over relegation-bound Stirling Lions at Grindleford Reserve.
The home side needed a victory and for Bayswater City to lose to Cockburn to sneak a top four finish and that is exactly how it played out.
As fate would have it, former Bayswater captain, player of the year and league winner John Kearney had a crucial part to play for Balcatta.
The defender was a pillar in the hosts' backline and he also stepped up to calmly slot home the match-winning penalty following a handball decision against Danny Jones.
Stirling had struggled to create any meaningful chances but had an opportunity when Michael Wantee found himself with time in the box. His shot from a tight angle agonisingly kissed the upright and Grindleford Reserve breathed a sigh of relief
As news that Bayswater were trailing travelled through the ground, Balcatta almost settled the game when Calum O’Connell crashed a header off the crossbar.
Stirling made a late push with some aerial balls into the box but Balcatta held on for finals football and an away trip to Floreat Athena for a knockout tie.
Star player: John Kearney (Balcatta)
Balcatta 1 (Kearney pen 61min)
Stirling Lions 0
Saturday, August 31, 2019
Referee: Adam Fielding
Assistant referees: Jamie West, Simon Hicks
Balcatta: 25. David KEENAN, 2. Joseph MARINO, 3. John KEARNEY, 4. Callum O’CONNELL, 5. Shubham MOKALA, 19. Nicholas CHALLOT (11. Adam ZIMARINO 55), 10. Jonathan CORNESS, 8. Alex WILD (12. Roberto DEL BORRELLO 65), 13. Carmelo GIUFFRE, 16. Alex CASTIELLO, 14. Luke RANDAZZO (22. Calum TIMMINS 39)
Unused substitutes: 25. David Keenan (RGK), 15. Callum STOCKS, 7. Ben PELLIZZARI
Yellow cards: Mokala 70
Red cards: Nil
Stirling Lions: GK 1. Ryan MONTGOMERY, 3. Nelson TSHONGO, 4 David MOLINARI (17. Andrew MARANTA 65), 5 Steven McDONALD, 6 Dhhors CHOL, 7. Yagoub MUSTAFA, 8. Dean CUMMINGS, 10. Danny JONES, 11. Michael WANTEE (18. Joshua ANARMO 79), 12. Renee KISESA, 15. Ajak RIAK (16. Belron MAMUDI 74)
Substitutes not used: 20. Daniel MARQUES, 19. Aleksandar KRUSAROSKI
Yellow cards: Kisesa 17, Mustafa 62, Wantee 75, McDonald 84
Red cards: Nil