Hamersley Rovers kept Perth Royals at bay to claim a 3-2 victory at JA Lee Reserve in round nine of the Amateur Premier Division on Sunday.
The visitors led 3-0 at the break to hold what seemed to be a match-winning lead in a battle between 10th and 11th place.
The Royals came out strong in the second half to get two goals back, but they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Hamersley Rovers coach Paul Keen had mixed emotions following contrasting performances in each half.
“I was very happy with our first half,” he said.
“We were good going forward and our midfield worked really hard.
“But I’m not too happy with our second half. We were a bit slow out the blocks and were under a lot of pressure.”
Rovers were firmly on top in the first half and opened the scoring when midfielder Mike Howard netted with a well-placed chip over the Perth Royals goalkeeper.
They added a second on 26 minutes from a set-piece, as defender Phil Clarke latched onto Howard’s corner to head in and make it 2-0.
It was 3-0 in the 33rd minute when Hamersley forward Joel Keen ran solo down the right, cut inside and sent his shot into the bottom left corner.
Perth Royals played like a different team after the break and launched a comeback with a much better performance.
Midfielder Danny O’Donovan pulled their first goal back on 64 minutes before Nathan Lloyd set up a thrilling finish 12 minutes later with another strike.
Hamersley put bodies behind the ball as they looked to hang on to their slender advantage and had centre back pairing Billy Wright and Clarke to thank for preserving that lead.
The Royals’ best chance of a late equaliser came from a free kick, but Mark Moore saved well in the Hamersley goal and they held firm to secure an important three points.
Perth Royals 2 (O’Donovan 64min, Lloyd 76)
Hamersley Rovers 3 (Howard 9min, Clarke 26, Keen 33)
Sunday, June 18, 2017
JA Lee Reserve
Referee: Peter Kaiser
Assistant referee: Rob Veroni
Perth Royals: 1. Rob VICKERS, 4. Chris REDMAN, 5. Eamon GLYNN (15. Connor GRANT 72), 6. Alan FAY, 7. Danny O’DONOVAN, 8. Nick CALKIN, 9. Brian LAWLEY (2. Brandon GUEST 45), 10. Alex HOAREAU, 11. Nathan LLYOD, 12. Shane SHELLEY, 14. Trent ARMOUR
Substitutes not used: 3. Troy PANIZZA
Yellow cards: Fay 50’
Red cards: nil
Hamersley Rovers: 1. Mark MOORE, 2. Mark HUNT (7. Gavin BRADY 79), 3. Bryde FREER, 4. Phil CLARKE, 5. Billy WRIGHT, 6. Matty EMERY, 9. Dave HOWELL (14. Steve KRUIT 76), 10. Steve MULHAIR, 11. Shaun GIBBONS, 12. Mike HOWARD, 17. Joel KEEN
Substitutes not used: 13. Callum MURPHY
Yellow cards: Gibbons 62’, Emery 68’
Red cards: nil