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Wembley break Spirit

Report by Edward Nixon

Wembley Downs secured their first win of the Belt Up Amateur Premier Division season with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Southern Spirit at Butlers Reserve on Sunday.

The reigning champions bounced back from a 2-0 loss to Leeming last weekend to get their title defence rolling.

“It was an excellent performance from everybody. I can’t fault anybody the way we came back,” Wembley coach Sully Sullivan said.

“We’re the defending champions – we’re here to try and win the league.”

In a scrappy opening 20 minutes it was Spirit who looked the more likely to make the breakthrough, with Brandon De Abreau’s free-kick kept out by a diving Niall McCarthy in the Wembley goal.

As the game progressed, Downs started to see more of the ball and broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when captain Jay McDonald got on the end of Ryan Fish’s inswinging set-piece.

Minutes later, the hosts doubled their advantage as forward Nicholas Niveros met a long ball into the box to lob over a rushing John De Souza.

After losing 8-1 to Kwinana United in Round One, you could have forgiven Southern Spirit for thinking they were in for more of the same as Wembley almost added a third on the stroke of half-time when Fish went close.

In the second half, Wembley started brightly and would have extended their lead but for a reflex save from De Souza to keep his side in the contest.

With Spirit throwing bodies forward in hope of getting back in the game, Fish latched on to another long ball and beat the offside trap before rounding De Souza to tap into an empty net.

The goal didn’t come without controversy, however, with the Spirit touchline up in arms that play was allowed to continue with one of their players down injured earlier in the play.

Jason Trepveski’s 90th-minute goal put the icing on the cake for Wembley as they clinched their first points of the campaign.

The result leaves Southern Spirit winless after the first two games of the season and with 12 goals conceded they sit at the bottom of the ladder.

“I’ve been around the game too long. I’m not panicking just yet,” Spirit coach Rob Pagnoni said.

“The boys played very well compared to last week, but unfortunately it didn’t show on the scoreboard.”

It doesn’t get any easier for Pagnoni’s men, as they host Kingsley FC next week. Wembley face a trip to the free-scoring Kwinana United.

Wembley Downs 4 (McDonald 28min, Niveros 36, Fish 71, Trepveski 90)
Southern Spirit 0
Butlers Reserve
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: Julian Serra
Assistant referees: Rob Veroni, George McLean

Wembley Downs: 1. Niall McCARTHY, 2. Dean LEEPEN, 5. Ryan MORRIS, 6. Brian SPRING (11. Will FISHLEIGH, 78), 7. Christian BUIC, 8. Keith ROCKPOND, 10. Ryan FISH, 12. Jason Trepveski, 15. Jay McDONALD, 19. Craig HEBENTON, 20. Nicholas NIVEROS (3. Darragh WRIGHT, 82)
Substitutes not used: 21. Zac WISE
Yellow cards: Hebenton (22)
Red cards: Nil

Southern Spirit:
2. Alpina SHERIFF, 4. Sam ORGAN, 6. Danny ARIAS, 7. Mike CORREA (16. Matt D’ANTONIO, 70), 8. Jacob LEDO, 10. Brandon DE ABREAU, 11. Jordan ANDREWS, 12. Savo BANJAC, 14. Connor SMITH (9. Felim RUGEL, 62), 15. Alen GALIC, 18. John DE SOUZA
Substitutes not used: 1. Nathan D’ANTONIO, 13. Haris KULENBVIC
Yellow cards: Smith (14)
Red cards: Nil