SORRENTO moved to the top of the National Premier Leagues WA (NPL WA) table after 3-2 win against ECU Joondalup in the northern derby at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was a typical derby game with both sides looking for bragging rights in their first meeting of the season, and the home side were ahead early through Daryl Nicol.
Sorrento hit back with Billy Quinncroft heading home, and the visitors then had to hold on as the home side created a number of chances.
Against the run of play, a stunning long-range shot from Sorrento substitute Alex Morgan gave them the lead and moments later Jack Salter wrapped up the points for his side.
Sam Pollard scored a late consolation goal for the home team.
Sorrento assistant coach Michael Johnson said his team had to earn the points in what was a resolute performance from the opposition.
“We always knew we would be in for a tough game when we came to ECU,” he said.
“It’s a local derby, league positions count for nothing, and fortunately we did enough to get the three points today.
“We had to defend well and our back five have been the foundation for us all season. It took us a while to get going the other way and once we got the second goal I didn’t think we were going to lose it from there.”
Johnson was particularly impressed by Morgan’s contribution.
“Really pleased with the win and the goal from Alex was terrific, he’s had to bide his time on the bench for the last couple of weeks but to come on score a goal like that is fantastic,” he said.
Sorrento skipper Steven McDonald said it was a tough game but it stood firm and got the right result.
“It’s always tough up here, it wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take the three points, ‘smash and grab’ as they say,” he said.
“They pressed us early in the second half, but once we scored the second we took control -and what a strike from Alex! I think we’ll nickname him Pirlo from now on.”
In other matches on Saturday, reigning NPL WA champions Perth SC let go of top spot after grinding out a scoreless draw with Armadale at Dorrien Gardens, while Subiaco made it two wins in a row with 3-0 victory over Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve.
An injury-time penalty handed Perth Glory a win over last-placed Mandurah City at Peelwood Oval and Joondalup United drew 2-2 with Cockburn City at Percy Doyle Reserve.
Yesterday, Floreat moved to third following a 1-1 draw with Bayswater City, while Stirling Lions picked up a vital three points after a 2-0 home victory over Inglewood at Macedonia Park.
NPL WA Round 6 results
Saturday, March 25
Perth SC 0
Armadale SC 0
ECU Joondalup 2 (Nicol 6min, Pollard 95)
Sorrento 3 (Quinncroft 12min, A. Morgan 74, Salter 76)
Subiaco 3 (Perich 24min, Lawson 48, Butshire 76)
Mandurah City 1 (Francis 53min)
Perth Glory 2 (Stynes 70min, Petratos 92)
Joondalup United 2 (Wild 52mins, Howles 90+2)
Cockburn City 2 (Albano 8min, O’Brien 42)
Sunday, March 26
Bayswater City 1 (Marulanda 50min)
Floreat Athena 1 (Canham 38min)
Stirling Lions 2 (Kalau 56min, 67)
Inglewood United 0