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Last-minute penalty save secures Ashfield victory

Report by Kane Sutton

A superb penalty stop in the 90th minute by Ashfield goalkeeper Brad Eiffe secured three points for the visitors following a dominant performance against Fremantle City.

Ashfield had looked threatening in attack all game, but a clumsy tackle in the dying seconds saw Fremantle striker Alec Robinson with a chance from the spot.

He struck the ball hard and true, but fortune favoured Eiffe, who picked the right way and parried the ball clear.

Winning coach Matt Wardle felt his team deserved the win given the game’s run of play.

“I thought we deserved the three points. We had all the possession, all the chances in the first half. It could’ve been three, five, six [goals] at half-time.

“We got our goal, we defended well towards the end, and a great save by Brad there with the penalty. It was nothing short of what we deserved.”

Goalkeeping heroics wasn’t reserved for the winning team, though; Fremantle keeper Yousri Gharsallah was outstanding in the first half, saving a number of strong shots on goal to keep his team in it going into half time.

Jay Lang had several well-struck chances in the first half that could have been goals on another day, two strikes from close range in the 18th and 32nd minutes were parried past the post, while Jordan Clark took a chance from outside the box that whistled past the woodwork.

A headed effort by Dan Corbett following a corner just cleared the crossbar, but he was able to capitalise in the second half with a powerful strike into the left corner that proved just beyond Gharsallah’s reach.

City coach Steve Plucknett praised his team’s courage but conceded they needed to be quicker off the mark.

“I think [Ashfield] were the better side in the first half. We got back into it, but inexperience got us again. We’re still learning in division one, coming up from division two”, he said.

Both teams have tough matches next week, fourth-placed Ashfield face Forrestfield in fifth, while seventh-sitting Fremantle take on eighth-placed UWA-Nedlands.

Fremantle City 0
Ashfield 1 (Corbett 63min)
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Hilton Reserve
Referee: Amit Hosany

Fremantle City: 1. Yousri GHARSALLAH, 2. Josh GARDNER, (4. Anthony LOMMA), 7. Liam FARISS, 8. Ryan FRANKCOM, 10. Alec ROBINSON, 11. Ben REYNOLDS, 12. Ben WEST, 13. Lawrence LEWIS, 15. Stephen O’LEARY, (16. Rory KIELY), 18. Sean BROWNE, (19. Jason DE GENNARO), 20. Rhys PLUCKNETT
Substitutes not used: 71. Gianluca DE FELICE
Yellow cards: BROWNE 47, FARISS 53
Red cards: Nil

Ashfield: (2. Gareth LLOYD), 4. Matt WORTON, 5. Nick DAVIES, 9. Jamie STEWART, 10. Jay LANG, 13. Jordan CLARK, (15. Daniel RIVERA), 17. Tim PAGE, 18. Dan CORBETT, 19. Mike KENNY, 21. Brad EIFFE, 23. Tom KENNEDY, 24. Jody THOMSON
Substitutes not used: 8. Deng DUT, 32. Latham ANDERSON, 40. Brendon LINTERN
Yellow cards:  CORBETT 46, CLARK 81, LANG 89
Red cards: Nil