McMahon hat-trick on return
Report by Jayden Lihou
Lewis McMahon scored three goals in his first game of the year to help Floreat Athena to a 4-3 win against Armadale in round three of the PS4 NPLWA at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday.
A spirited Armadale clawed their way back late in the second half with Alex Salmon scoring his second in the 72nd minute and Jake Sardelic netting in the 78th.
However, Armadale failed to complete the comeback as they squandered big chances in injury time.
McMahon’s hat-trick came after he missed the whole pre-season and his side’s first two games.
“To be honest I’m still miles away from being fit, but I’m absolutely delighted with the three goals,” said McMahon, who also scored three against Armadale at the same venue two seasons ago.
Floreat started the game on the front foot after earning an early penalty for a handball.
McMahon stepped up and fired the ball past Armadale goalkeeper Alfie Brincat to open the scoring.
Armadale had the opportunity to level the score in the 34th minute when Alex Salmon was fouled on the edge of the box.
Goalkeeper Jason Saldaris was up to the task, though, as he made an acrobatic dive to save Ellis Healing’s well-struck free-kick.
McMahon made it 2-0 just before the break after connecting with Dennis Galan’s cross into the box and Floreat continued their momentum into the second half.
Declan Hargreaves fired home from the edge of the box after Brincat failed to clear the danger.
Armadale’s hopes were kept alive when Healing was brought down in the area by Clayton Arnez and Salmon stepped up to convert from the spot to make it 3-1.
Floreat's three-goal advantage was restored when McMahon completed his hat-trick with a clinical free-kick.
But Armadale fired back just four minutes later when an unmarked Salmon tapped home a low cross.
Sardelic ensured a nervous end to the match for the visitors when he made a run inside the box and scored to make it 4-3 in the 78th minute.
Alex Castiello could have earned his side a point deep into injury time but failed to capitalise from a long throw inside the box, shooting over the bar from 12m.
Floreat manager Glen Grostate was satisfied with the team performance despite almost giving up a three-goal lead.
“I thought we were solid in the first half, we were very good going forward but we just had a couple laps in concentration in the very end,” Grostate said.
“Overall, I was very pleased with getting our first three points of the year. Armadale is a hard place to come to and leave with even a point.
“It’s not easy for anyone who comes here, so it’s a great result for us because they are a good team.”
Despite conceding yet another four goals at home, Armadale coach Paul Price was not overly disappointed in his team.
“They had probably only five chances and ended up scoring four goals,” he said. “We certainly had more chances than them, but we didn’t take them.
“The lads kept going to the end. I even thought we could have gotten the draw. They weren’t any better than us.”
The loss is Armadale’s third in a row and leaves them languishing in 11th place with goal difference alone keeping them above last-placed Subiaco.
Armadale 3 (Salmon 57 mins, 72, Sardelic 78)
Floreat Athena 4 (McMahon 3 mins, 42, 68, Hargreaves 53)
Alfred Skeet Reserve
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Referee: David Bruce
Assistants: Shuo Chen and Peter Kaiser
Armadale: GK. Alfie BRINCAT, 2. Alex CASTIELLO, 3. Jake SARDELIC, 4. Jesse FULLER, 5. Sam LOVELESS, 8. Caleb DIXON, 9. Raveshian KUPPUSAMY (16. James ATKINS 54’),10. Alex SALMON, 11. Ellis HEALING, 13. Jackson BEALEY (14. Darren FRANCIS 46’), 15. Nathan SMITH
Substitutes not used: RGK. Alex RADONICH, 7. Banin HASHAM, 14. Darren FRANCIS
Yellow cards: Salmon 31’, Atkins 62’, Loveless 67’
Red cards: nil
Floreat Athena: GK. Jason SALDARIS, 5. Bobby WILSON, 6. Clayton ARNEZ, 10. Kris GATE (4. Andrew SCALDAFERRO 49’), 11. Dennis GALAN, 12. Declan HARGREAVES (2. Jarrod MCNALLY 76’), 13. Aaron DELANY, 14. Ludovic BOI, 15. Christopher SALDARIS, 18. Phillip ARNOLD, 19. Lewis MCMAHON
Substitutes not used: 3. Sam KHANKHALILI, 20. Matthew IZZO, 23. Thomas CHUDY (RGK).
Yellow cards: Arnez 57’, Galan 66’, McMahon 81’
Red cards: nil