Forrestfield United have won promotion to the PS4 NPLWA, after drawing 3-3 with Mandurah City at Securitas Stadium in the second leg of the play-offs.
After beating Mandurah 3-0 in the first leg, Forrestfield had the upper hand heading into the tie, but found themselves under threat when the home side were two goals clear with 66 minutes left in the game.
In a hectic clash that involed a red card and two penalties, the Division One runners up came from two goals behind to tie the match.
Mandurah put themselves in with a chance to overcome the three-goal deficit early, with Andrew Brown getting his head to a Jeffrey Bright cross in the 2nd minute to put the home team ahead.
Forrestfield hit back through Hasani Sinclair, who slid in to convert from directly in front of goal, and give Forrestfield an all-important away goal in the 7th minute.
Mandurah’s reliable winger Bright won a penalty for Mandurah in the 19th minute and stepped up, slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Striker Ryan Francis gave the home side a two-goal advantage in the 24th, following up a deflected shot with a volley into the ground that bounced into the net.
Forrestfield composed themselves and came out confidently in the second half.
The critical moment of the game came in the 59th, as substitute Joseph O’Brien pulled down a Forrestfield player in the box while contesting a corner kick, earning his second yellow card, and gifting Forrestfield a penalty.
Sinclair stepped up and slotted the penalty home, putting the tie beyond Mandurah.
All that was left was for Forrestfield to ice the game, and they did so in style, with Benjamin Rogers finding the bottom corner with a long range shot to tie the game up in the 64th.
After the third goal the game was virtually over and it was left to Forrestfield to kill time until they could officially celebrate their ascent to the PS4 NPLWA.
Forrestfield coach Rod Banjac saw this as the culmination of the club’s vision.
“Our focus is to advance ourselves and get better after each game,” he said.
“Now I can say our picture is complete, we are an NPL club, we are representing Kalamunda City and we are looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
Defeated manager Doug Hesketh said Forrestfield have worked hard for their promotion to the PS4 NPLWA.
“They (Forrestfield) can have a go at it now,” he said.
“Two years ago we were in the same position as them, second in the league and we got promoted, so they deserve a shot.”
On top of sealing promotion to the PS4 NPLWA, Forrestfield also win the Ben Nowak Cup, contested between Mandurah and Forrestfield in memory of the former Mandurah and Forrestfield player.
Mandurah City 3 (Brown 2 min, Bright 19, Francis 24)
Forrestfield United 3 (Sinclair 7min, 59, Rogers 64)
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Kick-off: 3:00 pm.
Mandurah City: 21. Kieran SHAIL,2. Oliver MCGEE, 4. Matthew STARES, 5. Aidan CLARK, 6. Lance LOUVIE, 7. Joshua WARREN (12. Joseph O’BRIEN 45), 8. Andrew BROWN (13. Slade RULE 75), 9. Sean TROUP, 10. Daniel DAVIES (16. Kevin CASTLE 75), 11. Ryan FRANCIS
Substitutes Not Used: 14. Mark MCLAUGHLIN.
Yellow cards: Louvie 28, Bright 42, O’Brien 55.
Red Cards: O’Brien 59.
Forrestfield United: 1. Luke MARTINO, 4. Mark BARNETT, 5.Jamie DUNCAN, 6. Matt HAROLD, 8. Mitchell CROCKER (3. Joshua KOTIO), 11. Liam MERIGAN, 12.Hasani SINCLAIR, 13. Scott BARKER, 14. Benjamin ROGERS (7. Trevor LAURE 77), 15. Trent BLEWETT, 23. Rhys LOXLEY (10. Jordan HART 5).
Substitutes Not Used: 21. Leslie MARI, 18. Benjamin PARRY.
Yellow cards: nil.
Red Cards: nil.