Kingsley SC defeated North Perth United SC 2-1 in a high stakes match between two of the Amateur Premier League’s top three contenders at Chichester Park on Sunday.
It was a clash as bitter as the weather, with nine yellow cards raised throughout the match, including four for Kingsley and five for North Perth.
Kingsley’s Stuart Montgomery was the first to score, with an impressive shot into the top left of the net in the 34th minute.
A penalty shot given to North Perth allowed Mehdi Rabei to even the score in the 73rd minute.
Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich said he thought North Perth were a better side in the second half and applied a lot of pressure.
“We defended well, we threw bodies at the ball and Paul Rainford, our goal keeper, was absolutely superb today,” he said.
Rainford made two decisive saves by diving into the air and knocking shots from Jayden Drummond and David Ashworth over the bar in the 57th and 84th minutes.
“I think the boys built off Rainford today,” Dimitrovich said.
“Every time a shot went over the bar, the boys went back out with confidence.”
Both sides were equal near the end of the game, when a rushed goal from Drummond in the 88th minute won the day for Kingsley.
Dimitrovich said his team knew it was a big game and prepared accordingly.
“North Perth left themselves quite open at the back and we showed a lot of character in the last 45 minutes,” he said.
“We’ve been the best in the fair play award, we’ve only copped seven yellow cards in the season, until today.
“It is a bit out of the blue for us. I thought a couple of the yellow cards were a bit soft, but the referee gave it both ways so we’ll just move onto next week.”
North Perth coach Jason Winter said his side dominated in the first 20 minutes of the match until Montgomery put Kingsley ahead.
“Kingsley came in and took the lead and shaded the rest of the first half and, to be honest, most of the second half,” Winter said.
“We just couldn’t score. We had the equalizer and we just couldn’t get the winner.
“That’s football. There’s still a long way to go in the season and we’re not finished by a long shot, we’re still in the competition.
“We will just have to show our character and bounce back.”
Kingsley SC 2 (Montgomery 34min, 16, Drummond 10, 88)
North Perth United SC 1 (Rabei 73min, 11)
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Referee: Walter Goth
Assistant referees: Stuart Blacker, Tony Joseph
Kingsley SC: 1. Paul RAINFORD, 2. Cathal QUINN, 3. Jamie KANE, 4. Paul BOX, 6. Aaron LICKISS, 7. Lewis FLATT, 8. Tom CANN 9. David MORRIS, 10. Jayden DRUMMOND, 11. Luke ARMSTRONG, 12. Jason MURRAY 14. David ASHWORTH, 16. Stuart MONTGOMERY 18. Steve ROCHE
Substitutes not used: 15. Bailey SALMON, 21. Carl DIGGINS
Yellow cards: Flatt, Armstrong, Montgomery, Drummond
Red cards: nil
North Perth United SC: 2. Darryl GREGORY, 3. Chris WYLIE 4. Nial MURRAY, 5. Sam NICOL, 6. John LOCKHART, 7. Paul URBANSKI, 9. Sean LAHERT, 10. Eamonn KELLY, 11. Mehdi RABEI, 14. James STEEDMAN, 15. Ago MUJIC
Substitutes not used: 12. Ken NAAN, 13. Byron ANDREWS.
Yellow cards: Kelly, Nicol, Murray, Urbanski, Wylie
Red cards: nil