UWA Nedlands Football Club capped off its most successful season in the State League First Division as it finished joint fifth with a spirited 1-0 victory over Ashfield SC on the last match day of the season at the weekend.
Ashfield came into the fixture off the back of a strong victory over reigning champions Mandurah and started the stronger outfit.
Influential midfielder Ash Corker saw a lot of the ball early on and was pulling the strings for the visitors, unfortunately his teammates were not on the same page and they were unable to damage the UWA goal.
However, Ashfield was lucky to be on level terms on the quarter hour mark when Alex Kretowicz hit the post for the home side.
Good midfield work from Conor Devlin and Andrew Xydas put Kretowicz in behind the Ashfield back four.
The striker closed in on goal and struck a powerful effort past the Ashfield keeper only to see the ball rattle the post.
It would not matter as UWA found the lead shortly afterwards through Brandon Naude.
The full back surged down the right hand side and after exchanging a neat one-two, struck a powerful effort on goal from just outside the box which rattled the crossbar and went in over the line.
UWA had a great opportunity to double its lead when Kretowicz found himself one-on-one with the Ashfield keeper for the second time.
This time the Ashfield keeper made himself large and did well to save the forward’s effort.
Ashfield had a string of chances towards the end of the half but strong defensive coverage from UWA captain Josh Marocchi ensured tthe home side went into the break with the lead.
Ashfield started the stronger after the break as it enjoyed a lot more of both the ball and territory.
Brandon Naude experienced a rollercoaster of emotions as the goal scorer saw red on the hour mark for a second bookable offence.
Down to 10 men, UWA was forced to defend for its lives for the next half hour as Ashfield bombarded Ranjeet Sekhon’s 18-yard box.
Despite not seeing much of the ball for the final half hour, UWA was able to hold on.
The win saw UWA finish the season in equal fifth with 32 points, the most in the club’s history.