Rockingham City bounce back to win promotion: soccer league

ROCKINGHAM City has gained promotion to State League Division One for 2016 after holding off Morley-Windmills in the second leg of their promotion/relegation play-off last Friday night.

City held a 2-1 lead going into the tie and fought back from 2-0 down to claim a 2-2 draw on the night and 4-3 aggregate win.

Goals from Brian Crellin and Tony Cain gave Morley a half-time lead, despite City making the running early on.

Striker Shane Boyle, who scored City’s winner in the first leg, fired across goal before Morley’s defence held resolute to deny Alex Grayson from close range.

Morley took the lead when a free kick came back off City’s defensive wall and fell straight to Crellin, who made no mistake firing past Cyril Sharrock in the City goal.

The lead was doubled shortly after when Cain rose unchallenged to head home from another set piece to put Morley further ahead on the night and 3-2 up on aggregate.

In the second half, City stepped up the tempo, playing with more speed and fluidity.

When Blake Sokolowski’s cross was handled by a Morley defender inside the box, Ryan Kennedy slotted the resulting penalty to level the scores on aggregate.

City continued for the goal that would give them the lead in the tie. They didn’t have to wait long, with Morley’s defence struggling to deal with the pace and movement of Boyle and Christian Hogge, who played in Sokolowski.

Boyle, who had continued his run into the box, met Sokolowski’s cross and headed home from 15 yards.

With no change to the scores, City held on to claim promotion and condemn Morley to a season in Division Two.

“The club have come a long way the last couple of years on and off the park and we wanted the football community to sit up and take notice of us,” City coach Rob Crear told Football West after the game.