Cockburn complete season with Floreat win
Report by Kelechi Osunwa
Cockburn City put together a complete performance to see off the season in style with a 2-0 win against Floreat Athena in yesterday’s Playstation 4 National Premier Leagues WA fixture at Dalmatanic Park.
The match seemed like it would follow the script of Cockburn’s season where they have been more than competitive but just seemed to lack the finishing touch with striker Liam Murray guilty of spurning two terrific chances.
But the Cockerels remained persistent and composed and Harry O’Brien was quickest to react to his own shot to take the lead before an unfortunate blunder from Jordan Barbas sealed the win for Cockburn.
Captain Euen Grant was pleased to get the win and a clean-sheet.
“Today was the story of our season (in a nutshell),” he said.
“We dominate teams, we have chances, we miss chances, then we give a bad goal away. We push up for an equaliser but get caught on the counter attack and collapse.
“So it’s finally good today, even though it is the last game of the season to finally have that bit of character and see the game out.”
Cockburn looked the sharper of the two teams, with Floreat still nursing injuries to six first team regulars including last seasons Gold Medal Winner Ludovic Boi, and should have taken the lead on several chances.
Murray would fail to find the target three times in the first half with each chance occurring inside the keepers area.
Young Daniel Dols glided past his marker on the left wing and held his nerve to draw close a second defender before finding Murray who scuffed his effort wide. Murray would then buckle at a header while unmarked at the far post.
Floreat could not find any real rhythm in the first half despite Cockburn’s missed chances giving them a life line and they should have found themselves 1-0 down just before half time.
Harry O’Brien broke through the Floreat line on the left wing and squared a ball across the top of the box to Riley Woodcock. His effort was expertly smothered as Barbas closed down the angle only for the ball to trickle to Murray who pulled his effort wide much to the dismay of the home faithful.
Floreat started the second half the better of the two sides and were unlucky not to take the lead after a sustained period of pressure.
Dean Evans fired a shot over the bar, Jonathan Stynes failed to connect with a far post cross and Clayton Arnez spurned the best chance for the visitors following a terrific one-two with Evans and Phillip Arnold only for Arnez to fire straight at the keeper.
Cockburn then took the lead against the run of play just as Floreat seemed to be turning the screw.
Harry O’Brien combined well with substitute David Araya at the top of the Floreat penalty area and managed to bundle home at the second attempt after Barbas could only parry his initial attempt.
Floreat pushed forward in the last 10 minutes as they looked for an equaliser but found a defence marshalled by Grant in superb form.
The match was finally settled in injury time after an awful moment for young Barbas as he failed to control as pass back with the ball running underneath his legs and past the goal line despite his desperate lunge to save it.
Despite the host of first team regulars missing, stand in captain Robert Gasper made no excuses.
“(We) had difficult conditions but Cockburn played well and they were up for it,” he said.
“We had a couple chances but at the end of the day they were probably the better side.”
Cockburn City 2 Harry O’Brien 74min, OG 90+2
Floreat Athena 0
Dalmatinac Park, Spearwood
Referee: Nico Hoyle
Assistants: Sorousha Moayer and Troy Malatesta
Cockburn City: 18. Aden DE LUZ (10. David ARAYA 45’), 7. Ali GHOLAMI , (2. Joshua KUSER 65’), 15. Blake ADAMS, 16. Daniel DOLS, 4. Euen GRANT, 11. Harry O’BRIEN, 17. Jesse LAZZARO, 14. Liam MURRAY, 6. Reuben TRISTAO, 9. Riley WOODCOCK, 23. Ryan BARKER, 1. Ben RADONICH
Substitutes not used: 8. Cameron EDWARDS, 20. Nathan DE ABREU
Yellow Cards: Reuben Tristao 68’ Liam Murray 81’ Euen Grant 81’
Red Cards: Nil
Floreat Athena: 13. Aaron DELANY (4. Andrew SCALDAFERRO 51’), 3. Blair GOVAN, 33. Cameron YORKE, 15. Christopher SALDARIS, 6. Clayton ARNEZ (12. Nathan SCULLY 83), 17. Dean EVANS, (1. Jason SALDARIS) 8. Jonathan STYNES, 23. Jordan BARBAS, , 18. Phillip ARNOLD, 20. Robert GASPER, 2. Shaun TIMMINS,
Substitutes not used: 16. Sam KHANKHALILI, 19. Kye DOUGLAS
Yellow Cards: Robert Gasper
Red Cards: Nil