The Western Knights are into the Round of 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup and the final of the State League Cup after causing a major upset in the WA Round Seven stage of the competition, beating PS4 NPLWA giants Bayswater City 2-1 on Sunday at Finance 365 Stadium.
Brent Griffiths gave the hosts a perfect start scoring early, but Knights’ Adriano Jelenovic levelled before half time.
A last minute penalty from Knights’ skipper Paul Lloyd won the match, setting off wild celebrations from the travelling supporters.
Knights coach Trim Morgan said he is proud of his players and the huge opportunity they now have.
“It’s a super day for the club,” he said.
“A long time coming but the lads were great today, we’ve worked hard since November and they really deserve all the credit.
“It’s wasn’t the best of starts but Adriano got us level, and we worked really hard and got the rewards in the end.
“Adriano has been good for me this season and he causes teams problems and he can finish, and our skipper was outstanding. Paul (Lloyd) has gone to a different level for us this season, but today was a great all round team performance.”
Lloyd said the great team spirit shown in the game got them over the line.
“We know we had a chance, they’ve conceded a few goals in recent games,” he said.
“I thought we were the better team in the first half and the team spirit after the break got us home. It probably was the best team spirit I’ve been involved with in football.
“The penalty was a little nerve-racking with what was riding on it, but I choose my spot and drilled it and luckily it went in.”
The Knights fans were out in force in the stands at kick off, but it was Bayswater who made the perfect start, and were ahead after only two minutes.
Todd Howarth’s set-piece picked out Griffiths, who rose highest to head home from six meters.
It was almost 2-0 moments later, Borbor Sam cutting the ball back to Jack Allen whose shot beat Knights keeper Sam Stone, but was cleared off the line by Harry Hill.
The visitors were shell-shocked but hit back, with Lloyd’s shooting wide of the target, before Jelenovic raced clear on 11 minutes, but Devon Spence was out quick to save.
The Knights’ pressure was rewarded with the equaliser on 20 minutes. Jelenovic was sent down the left with a ball over the top, and he cut inside his marker and superbly curled the ball into the top corner of the net.
It was end-to-end football for the rest of the half, with both sides looking for the lead, but at the break it was all tied up.
It was more of the same after the break, Lloyd’s long-range shot was saved by Spence before Giron-Marulanda raced clear and rounded the keeper, but he took the ball too far and the chance was lost.
Bayswater started to dominate possession with the Knights hitting on the counter attack, but the home side went close to regaining the lead on 68 minutes.
Giron-Marulanda picked out Paul McCarthy on the edge of the penalty area and the midfielder’s shot beat Stone but crashed off the base of the post and away to safety.
Jelenovic then almost caught Spence off his line, but the audacious lob from the half way line drifted inches past the post with the keeper racing back to cover.
Bayswater continued to create the better chances, and Stone produced a stunning save four minutes from time, tipping substitute David Heagney’s header onto the crossbar.
With extra-time looming there was one last drama to unfold, with the Knights winning a penalty.
A ball into the box by John Chalmers found Jelenovic who was brought down, and referee Michal Jasinski pointed straight to the spot.
Lloyd kept his nerve and sent Spence the wrong way from the resulting penalty to win it for the Knights.
Bayswater coach Chris Coyne was disappointed in his team’s result.
“When you’ve got five or six passengers out there, it’s difficult to win games and I’ve tried to protect the players for the last month, but you have got to draw a line in the sand,” he said.
“Whether it’s kids that come in, I need winners out there, I hate losing, so they need to take a serious look at themselves.
“That being said, it takes nothing away from the Knights, I thought they were magnificent today, but our keeper hasn’t had anything to do in the second half except pick the ball out of the net so it was a real disappointing day for the club, we’re better than that.”
Westfield FFA Cup – WA Round Seven
Bayswater City 1 (Griffiths 2 min)
Western Knights 2 (Jelenovic 21min, Lloyd 91’)
Monday June 5, 2017
Finance 365 Stadium
Referee: Michal Jasinski
Assistants: Josh Mannella and Brendon Skinner
Fourth Official: Steven Gregory
Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Jack ALLEN (20 Sam MITCHINSON 32’), 3 Declan HARGREAVES, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY (21 David HEAGNEY 81’), 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA, 10 Jason MIRCO, 11 Devon GIBSON (C), 12 David STOKOE, 17 Borbor SAM, 18 Brent GRIFFITHS (13 Trent KAY 64’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Michael COHEN, 23 Andrija JUKIC
Yellow Cards: Nil
Western Knights: GK Sam STONE, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 3 David MURPHY (17 Kevin ASHWOOD 70’), 4 Graham TOUGH, 6 Ben COULTER, 9 John CHALMERS (7 Ryan HSSLETT 79’), 10 Paul LLOYD (C), 11 Jack RYCROFT, 13 Harry HILL, 15 Adriano JELENOVIC, 18 Josh CORTES (12 Ryan TUCKER 68’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Sam HUTCHINGS, 14 Lee THOELE,
Yellow Cards: Coulter 65’, Southgate 87’