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Gulls progress on memorable night

Report by Tommy Doleman

Sean Canham scored the winner as Sorrento beat Canberra Olympic 1-0 to become the first NPL side from WA to reach the last 16 of the Westfield FFA Cup.

The Englishman headed home Reece Vittiglia’s cross on eight minutes to give the hosts the lead in a scrappy first half.

Both teams had goals disallowed after the restart, but it was the brilliance of Sorrento goalkeeper James Morgan late on, which helped his side progress.

Gulls top scorer Canham said it was a great feeling to score in such an important game.

“I love scoring in any game, whether it’s at training, a friendly, or in a reserves team game,” he said.

“But tonight when Tigs (Reece Vittiglia) stood it up, I made sure I stretched my whole body to get on the end of it.

“I’m absolutely delighted. It got us off to a perfect start and we know that once we get ahead we’re hard to beat.

“We’ve been looking forward to this game since the draw was made and the boys were magnificent tonight.”

Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell was proud of the team’s response after their surprising loss in the State Cup Final to Western Knights.

“I asked them to stand up and be counted tonight, because on the weekend we walked off the pitch with regrets and I didn’t want us to do that again,” he said.

“I’m really proud. You saw the determination in the last 10 minutes. They were putting their bodies on the line and throwing themselves at everything.

“It’s huge for the club. There are committee members in tears, who have put such a lot of work into getting us to occasions like this, and they deserve it as much as the players.”

The Gulls started strongly and led when Canham attacked Vittiglia’s cross to power his header past Angelo Konstantinou.

Canberra responded with Stephen Domenici forcing Morgan into a save down low, before Nathen Megic fired over when a corner came all the way through to him.

Vittiglia’s volley took a slight deflection and just cleared the bar as Sorrento led after a grinding first 45 minutes.

Both teams remarkably had the ball in the net within a minute of each other only to be denied by the linesman’s flag.

The goalkeepers were also starting to play their part in a more open second half as Morgan saved Nick Bobolas’ deflected shot, before Konstantinou thwarted Pearson minutes later.

Ultimately, it was Morgan that proved to be the hero, as Sorrento sat deeper in the final 15 minutes.

The stopper tipped over Daniel Colbertaldo’s piledriver from range, before scrambling brilliantly to get a glove on substitute Michael John’s curling effort.

Morgan then blocked Domenici’s near post strike with time ticking down as Sorrento held firm to secure a famous win.

Sorrento 1 (Canham 8min)
Canberra Olympic 0
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Percy Doyle Reserve
Kick-off: 6:30pm
Adam Fielding
Assistant Referees: Josh Nixon, Arvin Shanmuganathan
Fourth Official: David Bruce

Sorrento: GK. James MORGAN, 4. Shaun KILKELLY, 6. Darryl PLATTEN, 8. Ryan PEARSON, 9. Sean CANHAM, 11. Tim HILL, 13. Steve MCDONALD, 14. Scott WITSCHGE, 17. Reece VITTIGLIA, 20. Brad MCDONALD, 21. Sam BYLES
Substitutes not used: RGK. Anthony SALPIETRO, 2. Jacob SHORE, 7. Alex MORGAN, 18 Jordan BROWN, 19. Daniel PEARCE
Yellow Cards: Morgan 90+2
Red Cards: nil

Canberra Olympic: GK. Angelo KONSTANTINOU, 2. Tim BOBOLAS, 3. Josh CALABRIA, 4. Daniel COLBERTARDO, 5. Phil YARNOLD (15. Tommy MCLACHLIN 65’), 6. Jeremy HABTEMARIAM (22. Michael JOHN 83’), 10. Stephen DOMENCINI, 11. Michael REEVE (16. Josh GULEVSKI 78’), 12. Rob CATTANACH, 17. Nick BOBOLAS, 23. Nathan MEGIC.
Substitutes not used: RGK. Jack PETTIT, 8. Bernard RENE.
Yellow Cards: T. Bobolas 11, Calabria 43, Yarnold 53, Colbertaldo 89
Red Cards: nil