SEVENTH placed UWA Nedlands SC will face eighth-placed Canning City SC in the State League Division One competition this weekend.
UWANFC kept their first clean sheet of the season and continued their good form last weekend, overcoming Gosnells City FC 2-0 at Walter Padbury Reserve.
Both sides struggled to orchestrate any rhythm within the opening exchanges, with the gusty conditions not helping either side’s style of play.
The only early sight on goal came from a speculative halfway effort from UWA fullback Robbie Black, but he was unable to hit the target.
That was to be the only sniff of goal UWA would have for quite some time.
Gosnells took the ascendancy and was able to keep the visitors on the back foot for the majority of the half.
Gosnells wingers Wade Farmer and Aaron Coslani were a constant threat going forward and their consistent pressure was almost rewarded on the half-hour mark.
UWA skipper Joshua Marocchi was careless in possession and allowed Coslani to pickpocket him.
Coslani then drove to the by-line before squaring the ball to Scott Pereira directly in front of goal.
However, Pereira took far too long in preparing his shot and allowed Michael Vlasich to block his effort and keep scores level.
Shortly afterwards City had another golden opportunity to take the lead.
A dangerous corner from Dean Apelgren wasn’t dealt with properly and the resultant goal-line scramble lasted several slow seconds as UWA produced block after block to deny Gosnells, before goalkeeper Ranjet Sekhon stood tall to clear the danger.
UWA’s only real opportunity of the half was when Alex Kretowicz made space for himself in the box before firing a dangerous effort on goal, but the Gosnells keeper was quick to react and produced an important save to deny the UWA forward and keep scores level heading into half time.
The second half was to play a completely different tune, as UWA came out much stronger from the first whistle.
Wingers Lloyd Prout and Mordecai Appiah were starting to find space in dangerous areas and suddenly the visitors were looking the more likely to score.
Despite UWA having complete control, it was the home side that thought they had found the opener.
A sumptuous free kick from Apelgren was delivered into the box and a slight touch saw the ball in the back of the net.
Gosnells began to celebrate only to be halted by the assistant referee’s flag for offside.
UWA was quick to react, scoring within the next minute.
Gosnells was dispossessed in the middle of the park and Andrew Xydas sparked a quick counter attack that saw Lloyd Prout thread neatly in on goal, the midfielder kept his cool to finish the one on one and give UWA the lead.
Appiah almost doubled the lead for UWA moments later; Kretowicz broke quickly and delivered the ball to Appiah on the right wing, the young winger beat his man excellently before cutting inside onto his left foot and striking on goal, but unfortunately he dragged his shot wide.
At the other end of the park Gosnells had the chance to strike level when a header was sent goalward from another sensational set piece from Apelgren, but Sekhon produced an even better save low down to his right to keep UWA in the lead.
UWA would double their lead shortly afterwards through Kretowicz.
Gosnell’s thought they dealt with an Andrew Xydas corner sufficiently but Conor Devlin put the ball straight back into the danger area.
Gosnells rallied and cleared once more but the ball only reached the edge of the box were Kretowicz was waiting.
The forward’s powerful first time volley soared into the top right corner of the goal and left the Gosnells’ keeper a spectator to one of the goals of the season.
UWA was able to hold out for the remainder of the game despite the efforts of Gosnell’s captain Sean Taylor and collect the three points.