Kingsley showed their class to defeat an undermanned Hamersley Rovers 5-0 in the Belt Up Amateur Premier Division at Chichester Park on Sunday.
Hamersley beat Kingsley in the reverse fixture earlier this season but a hat-trick from Jayden Drummond as well as goals to Aaron Lickiss and Nick Lowe ensured that a repeat result was not on the table.
It was a vital win for Kingsley as they look to keep the pressure on North Perth United. The league leaders remain four points ahead after they overcame Wembley Downs 3-0 in their Round 19 match.
Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich was thrilled with the way his Amateur Cup finalists put a busy schedule behind them to claim a “very important” win.
“It was the fifth game in 12 days for the boys,” Dimitrovich said.
“It’s taken its toll on the body and we saw that in probably the first 20 minutes or so, the boys looked a little bit lethargic and then they just kicked into gear.
“Not to be disrespectful to Hamersley but they probably were in second gear all day today.
“The boys do well against teams they’ve lost against, so maybe it’s a mindset thing. But at that time of the year against Hamersley we were all going through a bit of a flat spot as a team and now we’re in a good space, so we hope it continues.”
On next week’s match against North Perth, Dimitrovich added: “That’s the deciding game. You just prepare as normal, you don’t do anything different, you don’t do things you haven’t done in the past.
“It’s just the same routine, down here Tuesday, down here Thursday, we’ll prepare well for them and come next Sunday we’ll be all in.”
It was the perfect start for Kingsley when a Lee Thomas corner found Lickiss unmarked inside the six-yard box and he made no made no mistake with the header.
David Morris almost equalised when the Kingsley defence didn’t clear a long kick from Hamersley keeper Carl Diggins but Morris’ header was off target
Hamersley then made the same mistake again and this time Jesse Higgins had a free header but he couldn’t find the goal either.
Josh Waldock almost doubled the lead as he was sent through one on one with Diggins. Waldock rounded Diggins but the angle became too tight and he couldn’t hit the back of the net.
However, the second goal did come in the 37th minute. Drummond was allowed too much space on the edge of the box and made the Hamersley defence pay with a blistering shot that Diggins couldn’t keep out, despite getting a hand to it.
And Kingsley didn’t slow down after the break when, in the 47th minute, Lowe blasted the ball into the top corner leaving Diggins with no chance.
The fourth goal came in the 59th minute as a long throw from Thomas found Drummond who headed home from close range.
Drummond then completed his hat-trick in the 78th minute from the penalty spot. Diggins could only clear the ball straight into the path of the Kingsley man, who was fouled as he tried to round the keeper. Drummond stepped up to take the penalty and coolly slotted the ball home for his 22nd goal of the season.
Dimitrovich said of Drummond: “He’s been probably one of the best players in the league all year and he’s leading the top goal scorers now. So hopefully he maintains that and with three games to go goes on to win the Golden Boot.”
Hamersley coach Terence Stupple said instability surrounding his squad was no excuse for such a poor result.
“We had 19 players unavailable this week, which was nearly half the squad, so we had to bring in a couple of extra lads from socials and such.
“But the first team starting 11 was still close to our strongest starting 11, so we’d expect to be a little bit more competitive than that.
“Seasons aren’t made on a single game and we’d like to think that we’ve still got three games left in the tank and maybe another point and we’ll be okay and we build again for next year.
“Credit to Kingsley they’re a really good side, they’ve brought in some really good players and Stevie Dima’s got them playing well and that’s why they’re challenging for the league.
“This is my fifth game this season, I’ve just come in to stand in for Brad (Brooks) whose away at the moment and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. This result is a little bit of a knock back but we go again next week.”
Kingsley now turn their attention to the season-defining clash with North Perth while Hamersley will look to get back to winning ways against Jaguar FC.
Kingsley 5 (Lickiss 7min, Drummond 37, 59, 78 pen, Lowe 47)
Hamersley Rovers 0
Sunday, August 26
Referee: Peter Kaiser
Assistant referee: Colin Nelson
Kingsley: 1. Paul Rainford, 15. Cathal Quinn, 4. Aaron Lickiss, 16. Jesse Higgins (3. Bailey Salmon 56), 5. Brett Cutting, 11. Luke Armstrong, 13. Lee Thomas (6. Luke Coltman 60), 7. Stuart Montgomery, 8. Nick Lowe, 9. Sean Johnson (12. Josh Waldock 16), 10. Jayden Drummond
Substitutes not used: 31. Mark Woolley (RGK)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Hamersley: 21. Carl Diggins, 2. Joe Woods, 4. Phil Clarke, 5. Tom Clarke, 6. Steve Mulhair, 15. John McElwee (10. Yeta Mulugeta 56), 8. Dec Peters, 12. Mike Howard, 3. Ricky Andrews, 7. Callum Murphy, 11. Dave Morris
Substitutes not used: 9. Steve Krut, 1. Ian Norgrove, 16. Adam Gil, 14. James Galloughy
Yellow cards: T Clarke 31, Diggins 77
Red cards: Nil