Floreat Athena have taken home their seventh Night Series title after defeating Subiaco 3-1 at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Saturday night.
Carlo Coehlo opened the scoring 25 minutes into the first half, before Keylun Pollard doubled Floreat’s advantage on 58 minutes.
Subiaco’s David Perich pulled one back on 75 minutes but it wasn’t enough in their first Night Series final, with Ludovic Boi finding the net minutes before the end of the match to seal his side’s victory.
More than 600 people turned out to watch the final, with Floreat captain Dean Evans awarded the Robbie Dunn medal (Best on Ground).
Floreat coach Howard Tweats was impressed with the team’s performance despite the challenges Subiaco presented.
“We’re patient, we defended doggedly and…they did put us under a lot of pressure,” he said. “We could have been battling up hill.”
Tweats is looking forward to the addition of a number of new players to the team ahead of the season.
“We’re eager to get them in and we’re going to have a good run at the league,” he said.
“We’ve probably moved on from where we were last year, we’ve got a little bit more depth and quality so we’re in a good place.”
Evans praised his side for creating chances and winning the title.
“You only need one chance to score and we did, which put us in a good position so it’s a good start for the year but it is only the start.
“We want to have a good year in the league and get some more silverware.”
Subiaco opened the brighter, with Perich’s volley on 10 minutes flashing wide of the target, before Albert Iuwi fired straight at Jason Saldaris.
Moments later, Alex Randell’s cross from the right was flicked towards the goal by Alex Castiello but Saldaris produced a great reflex save to deny him.
Floreat began to take control of the game and went close themselves on 21 minutes as Evans sent Pollard racing down the left. Pollard cut inside his marker but his low shot was well saved by Ryan Montgomery.
Four minutes later Floreat hit the front through Coehlo who fired into the corner of the net, giving Montgomery no chance.
Subiaco almost hit back immediately but Saldaris produced another great save to deny a Perich volley and at the break Floreat held a narrow lead.
Floreat went close to a second two minutes after the restart with Evans’ free kick crashing off the base of the post and the former Perth Glory midfielder fired wide again moments later.
On 58 minutes Floreat’s pressure was rewarded as Subiaco failed to clear their lines and Pollard finished superbly from long-range.
Despite being two-down, Subiaco still pushed forward and Randell’s free kick flashed over the top before Ross Jarman headed over when well placed.
It was a good spell of pressure for Subiaco who reduced the margin on 75 minutes. A long ball was flicked on by Ian McMurray and Asher Nelson picked out Perich who finished clinically from the edge of the box.
Both sides pressed in a frantic final 15 minutes as Calvin Whitney fired wide for Floreat, before Saldaris saved bravely at the feet of Perich in a goalmouth scramble.
But in stoppage time Floreat made sure of the win by adding a third. Second half substitute Mehdi Rabei Gholami passed to Boi, who finished low past Montgomery to seal the win.
Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 4 Alex RANDELL, 6 Jackson DONGRAY, 10 Asher NELSON, 12 Nathan SMITH, 14 Ross JARMAN, 15 Albert IUWI (11 Robert HARDING 72’), 16 Steven PURTON, 17 Alex CASTIELLO, 18 David PERICH (13 Fannuel DAWIT 86’), 19 Ian MCMURRAY
Subs not used: RGK Theo BROWN, 2 Nathan HARDIE, 3 Cherro KABA BAH
Yellow Cards: McMurray 69’
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Juma AWAKA, 4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO, 6 Jess FULLER, 8 Keylun POLLARD, 9 Carlo COEHLO (13 Jamie STREET 86’), 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 11 Dennis GALAN, 14 Ludovic BOI (20 Joseph TWEATS 95’), 17 Dean EVANS (C), 18 Phil ARNOLD (33 Mehdi Rabei GHOLAMI 79’)
Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 12 Ethan KERRIDGE
Yellow Card: Arnold 43’, Boi 55’, Saldaris 76’, Whitney 78’