AN early strike from Gomo Dukuly proved to be the difference as Balcatta defeated Armadale 1-0 at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday.
The victory moves Balcatta to sixth on the ladder, leap-frogging ECU Joondalup and Sorrento.
The visitors scored in the fourth minute of the match when James Gordon played a through-ball to Dukuly on the halfway line.
Dukuly took the ball around Armadale keeper Alec Radonich and finished clinically into an empty net.
Armadale’s early woes continued as defender David Annall was substituted off due to an injury in the 12th minute.
Balcatta had the chance to score again in the 32nd minute when Jonathan Corness found Hanafi Ghazali who made a run inside the box but Radonich was up to the task.
Gordon had the opportunity to get a goal for himself when the ball fell kindly for him but Radonich did well to deny the visitors a second before the break.
Balcatta started the second period just as they had done the first when Ali Nazari ran half the length of the pitch to find himself inside his opponent’s box.
However, Nazari’s shot was on a tight angle and Radonich was able to make a comfortable save.
Armadale finally managed to test Balcatta keeper Clint Davies in the 66th minute after Anthony Skorich was fouled outside the box.
Skorich stepped up and hit it with both power and finesse but Davies was able to prevent the equaliser.
It was déjà vu when Dukuly found himself one-on-one with Radonich thanks to a Conor Kavanagh through-ball.
However, this time it was a rather tame effort from Dukuly which was easily saved by Radonich.
Armadale had an opportunity to snatch a late goal deep into injury-time when Corness fouled substitute Hassan Karim in a good crossing position.
Dannie Richman took the free-kick and it was met by the head of Jake Sardelic whose goal-bound effort was denied on the line by Eamon Mcnelis.
The home side’s disappointment was further compounded when Richman received his second yellow card for a late challenge in the 95th minute of the match.
Armadale coach Paul Price said his team was unlucky but praised the character of his side.
“I thought the keeper and the back four did really well today, it was a brave performance from them,” he said. “But the players gave 100 per cent today and I can’t ask for anything more than that.”