ROCKINGHAM City’s mid season lull continued on Saturday, conceding two penalties and having two players sent off as it lost to high flying Ashfield 2-0 at Lark Hill.
Missing a couple of first team regulars, manager Rob Crerar had to reshuffle his starting line up, which included a rare first team start for Kieran Shail in place of regular goalkeeper Cyril Sharrock.
Shail was made to work as early as the fourth minute when he did well to save at the near post from a shot from Ashfield’s James Burns.
Rockingham then countered, breaking down the left hand side only for Callum Rothwell’s header to flash just past the post.
Shail was again called into action when he pulled off a point-blank save from Ross Diamond’s shot and when the ball rebounded to Burns, he shot wide of the target when it looked easier to score.
This started a spell of dominance for Ashfield as they produced attack after attack but Burns was guilty of missing several chances to put Ashfield ahead.
Shail was having a busy afternoon in goal, but he could not prevent Ashfield going ahead in the 37th minute.
Reece Frank was judged to have brought down Steve Kirk and after the referee consulted his assistant, a penalty was awarded.
Jay Lang calmly put the spot kick away to give Ashfield the lead.
Just prior to half time, Rockingham had a good opportunity to equalise, but Sean Brady’s shot took a deflection of an Ashfield defender and the ball hit the post and went out for a corner.
Rockingham changed the formation at the start of the second half, when Ryan Kennedy was brought on to replace Blake Sokolowski but Ashfield continued its attacking play.
Shail again produced a great save, this time from a shot by Alex Stamatiadis and Burns once again wasted an opportunity to score as he put his shot wide of the post.
Stamatiadis had another shot but this time blasted the ball over from his long range effort.
This triggered Rockingham into life and Alex Grayson had a great opportunity to get the scores back on level terms but he saw his shot brilliantly saved by Scott Rowe in the Ashfield goal.
Burns then missed another opportunity to score when his shot was again saved by Shail.
A couple of minutes later, the referee awarded Ashfield a second penalty when Burns was brought down in the box.
Before the penalty could be taken, the referee showed Brady a second yellow card , reducing Rockingham to 10 men.
Lang stepped up and sent Shail the wrong way to establish a comfortable 2-0 lead for the visitors.
After the sending off, Rockingham re-shuffled the line up and pressed for a goal to get back in the game but despite the effort, it did not cause the Ashfield defence any problems.
With only five minutes remaining, Alex Grayson received a second yellow and Rockingham were made to play the last few minutes with nine men.
Earlier on in the day, Mitch Morrin’s 85th minute penalty was enough to give Rockingham City Under-18s a 1-0 victory, cementing their place at the top of the ladder, while the reserves played out a very entertain game winning 4-3.
This Saturday, the teams are away to Dianella White Eagles and the next home games are on the 25th June when local rivals Mandurah City are the opponents.