NPL WA round 2: spoils shared by newcomers Joondalup United and Mandurah City

stock image.
stock image.

TOP-flight newcomers Mandurah City and Joondalup United each took home a point in a 1-1 draw in round 2 of the National Premier Leagues WA at Percy Doyle Reserve yesterday afternoon.

A goal two minutes from time from Mandurah City defender Jeff Bright was well-received by Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh, who said his side deserved their first point in the competition.

“We struggled a little early when we went away from our passing game, but once we rectified that I thought we dominated and hit the post and their keeper made a couple of good saves, so we could have won it late,” he said.

“I’m more than happy with a point. Yes I would have liked to have won, but I’m happy with the way we are playing. The only downside is our injury toll which is growing by the week.”

Joondalup coach Nick Jennings felt his side had lost its way a little after taking the lead.

“(It’s) very disappointing to let two points slip so late,” Jennings said.

“We should have closed the game out but we never did and we were punished.

“We are yet to lose this season but we haven’t won, so tonight we have an empty feeling and believe it’s two points lost.”

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Floreat Athena continued its winning start to the season after beating Perth Glory 1-0 at E&D Litis Stadium on a sweltering Saturday night.

Floreat defender Christopher Saldaris claimed all three points for his side with a 67th-minute winner after Glory conceded a corner.

Earlier in the day, Cockburn City and Balcatta drew 0-0 at Dalmatinac Park.

In yesterday’s other matches, Perth disposed of Stirling with Brazilian hotshot Gustavo Catarcione nabbing his third goal in two games, and Armadale claimed a 2-1 victory over ECU Joondalup.

Inglewood coach Taki Nicolaidis was most impressed with Sorrento’s goalkeeper James Morgan, as the home side struck late to earn a 2-2 draw at Inglewood Stadium on last night.

“I’ll be honest and say he’s pulled off the best save I’ve seen in my whole career at this level – outstanding,” he said.

“At the end of the day, he’s got them their point.”

Morgan produced three top-drawer saves but there was little he could do to stop Alex Salmon’s clinical double – a late first-half penalty and a last-minute equaliser – which cancelled out earlier strikes from Sorrento’s Billy Quinncroft and substitute Sean Canham.

NPL WA Round 2 Results

Saturday, February 25
Floreat Athena 1 (Saldaris 67min)
Perth Glory 0

Cockburn City 0
Balcatta 0

Sunday, February 26
Perth SC 2 (Sabatini 8min, Catarcione 65)
Stirling 1 (Micevski 40min)

Armadale 2 (Bealey 12 min, 73)
ECU Joondalup 1 (Smith 84min)

Joondalup United 1 (Howles 60min)
Mandurah City 1 (Bright 88min)

Sorrento 2 (Quinncroft 17min, Canham 70)
Inglewood 2 (Salmon 42min pen, 90)