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Leeming claim Amateur Night Series title

Report by Edward Nixon

Leeming Strikers are the 2018 WA Amateur Night Series champions after they defeated Kingsley FC 1-0 at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium in Saturday night’s final.

In a scrappy affair, winger Jay Dost nodded home 25 minutes from time to win Leeming the pre-season cup.

“It’s a cup final – we both wanted to win and no one wanted to lose,” Strikers coach David Palin said.

After a cagey opening 20 minutes, some good fortune almost handed Kingsley the lead when Leeming centre-back Matt Bennion nearly turned the ball into his own net after failing to properly deal with a cross into the box.

Leeming then turned defence into attack when Ben Greaves’ clever flick-on from a goal-kick found full-back Michael Maratea, whose low shot was smartly saved by Kingsley goalkeeper Paul Rainford.

Maratea’s effort on 30 minutes would be the only meaningful shot on target for either side during the first half, and chances remained few and far between after the interval.

And with one goal likely to decide the contest, up stepped Dost. It was always going to be a scrappy goal which broke the deadlock and that’s the only way to describe Dost’s effort as his mistimed header found the back of the net.

The goal opened the game up as Kingsley set out in search of an equaliser, forwards Mark King and Jayden Drummond looking the most dangerous.

With Kingsley throwing men forward, Leeming sensed an opportunity to grab a second. However some alert goalkeeping from Rainford kept his side in the contest.

With almost the last kick of the game, substitute Stuart Montgomery had the opportunity to level the final for Kingsley but he couldn’t keep his half-volley down.

The chance was the last of the game as Leeming held on to record the win and secure their first WA Amateur Night Series title and leave Kingsley coach Steve Dimitrovich disappointed.

“It was a tight, scrappy affair – not very pretty,” Dimitrovich said.

Both teams now turn their focus to Round One of the Amateur Premier Division where Leeming host Wembley Downs SC, while Kingsley travel to take on UWA Nedlands FC in a fortnight.

Kingsley FC 0
Leeming Strikers 1 (Dost 65 mins)
Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium
Saturday 24 March 2018
Kick-off: 5pm
Referee: Anthony Walsh
Assistant referees: Ilija Prentoski, Alex Right

Kingsley: 1. Paul RAINFORD, 2. Cathal QUINN, 3, Lee THOMAS 4. Aaron LICKISS ( 6. Brett CUTTING), 5. Bailey SALMON (20. Stuart MONTGOMERY), 7. Mark KING, 8. Sam CHURCH, 10. Jayden DRUMMOND, 11. Luke ARMSTRONG, 14. David ASHWORTH, 16. Jessie HIGGINS
Substitutes not used: 9. David MORRIS, 15. Jono MCGAHERN, 21. Carl DIGGINS
Yellow cards: Armstrong 81, Cutting 84
Red cards: Nil

Leeming: 1. Jordan JONES, 3. Kudi CHIGWANDA, 4. Matt BENNION, 5. Tom GRANT, 6. Karl GORMAN (18. Michael JENNINGS), 7. Ben GREAVES, 8. Danny MCKENZIE, 9. Jay DOST, 14. Michael MARATEA, 16. Tom WOOD (10. Brad NORTH), 19. David PALIN
Substitutes not used: 2. Lee THOELE, 17. Oli MORTENSEN, 23. Josh BLACKMAN
Yellow cards: Chigwanda 16, Gorman 34
Red cards: Nil