Soccer: Mandurah claim bragging rights over Rockingham in Liam Dixon Cup first leg


Bruising tackles were aplenty in the first leg of the Liam Dixon Cup.        Pictures: Declan Byrne
The aftermath of
Mandurah City’s late winner against rivals Rockingham City.
Bruising tackles were aplenty in the first leg of the Liam Dixon Cup.        Pictures: Declan Byrne The aftermath of Mandurah City’s late winner against rivals Rockingham City.

MANDURAH City claimed local bragging rights and has one hand on the Liam Dixon Cup after beating Rockingham City 1-0 on Saturday night at Lark Hill.

A late Jordan Rhodes winner was all that was needed for Mandurah as they consolidated top spot on the State League division one table.

The game was an end-to-end affair, with Rockingham employing long balls, which Mandurah dealt with comfortably.

After making a save in the 15th minutes, keeper Brad Eiffe dislocated a finger, but after seeking treatment he played out the rest of the game.

Mandurah continued to link up well across the pitch, but could not crack the resolute Rockingham defence as the sides went to the break at 0-0.

After the break, Rockingham continued to threaten, especially from set pieces, but Mandurah was able to repel the attacks.

However, after a sustained period of attacking, with a throw on the right wing and some quick one-touch passing from John Brookes, Matt Stares and Craig Tone, the ball was cut back across the face of Rockingham’s goal and Rhodes made no mistake, smashing the ball into the top corner.

From there, Mandurah was able to hold on to the 1-0 lead and go three points clear of second-placed Forrestfield United.

Head coach Doug Hesketh was delighted with the spectacle.

“Saturday night was a great advert for soccer in our area, with a fantastic facility set up so well by Rocky City for the local derby, as well as a huge crowd in attendance,” he said.

“I was delighted with the squad’s commitment to stay disciplined and play their own game. Mick (Lyons) and I still believe we are capable of going up another gear, but it’s a credit to the guys, they were excellent.”

Reserves also went the way of Mandurah, running out 4-0 winners, while the U18s went down 1-0.

Next up, Mandurah returns home to face mid-table UWA Nedlands on Saturday at 3pm, while Rockingham will face fellow strugglers South West Phoenix at Lark Hill.