Mandurah City will head into Wednesday’s State League Relegation & Promotion Play Off Final second leg with the advantage after a 2-1 win on the road against Swan United in the first leg at Francis Street on Sunday afternoon.
Reece Allan gave the visitors the lead before the break, before Oriel Fernandez doubled their advantage on the hour. But Swan scored a late penalty from Gavin Knight to give them some chance for the second leg at Securitas Protect Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Mandurah Head Coach Alex Grayson, whose side are fighting to stay in Division One, thinks they should already be out of sight after dominating for most of the first half.
“I’m really happy we won the game but we should have put the tie to bed today with the chances we had and we have to learn to not switch off at the back,” he said.
“This tie should have been over with the chances we created in the first half, but it’s happened to us in a number of games this season. We need to be more clinical in the final third.
Swans skipper Aaron Colli under pressure. Photo by Peter Simcox
“We need to maintain our standards for the second leg and take this game as a win, but it should have been more than a win, it should have been game over.”
Swan Head Coach Paul Dundo, aiming for promotion from Division Two, insisted it was only half time in the tie and said he was looking forward to the second leg on Wednesday.
“We started really well and if Brennan (Borzecki) had put that one away early it could have been a different game. We know goals change games,” he said.
“We then handed them two goals from corners, which isn’t like us, but we kept going and we pressed late and got a reward and a lifeline in the tie.
“We’re still in this. We will regroup and hopefully Wednesday night we take our chances. I’ve seen enough today that we can go down their and get a result and I’m confident of my boys’ ability that we will get the job done.”
It was the home side who opened the brighter and they had Mandurah on the back foot. However the first real chance fell to visitors on 10 minutes when skipper Andy Brown tried an audacious shot from his own half after spotting Joey Smith off his line, but the Swan keeper get back to save.
But six minutes later the home side should have hit the front. A great ball by Nick Tatasciore sent John Monterosso racing clear down the right, his low cross picked out the unmarked Borzecki but the youngster blazed over the top.
Mandurah’s Jeff Bright takes on Swan Nick Tatasciore. Photo by Peter Simcox
Then on 22 minutes, and against the run of play, Mandurah hit the front as Allan’s inswinging corner missed everyone and ended in the net, much to the delight of the visiting supporters.
City should have doubled their lead 10 minutes later when a quick counter ended with Mitchell Firth racing clear. His shot beat Smith but the ball crashed off the post and was cleared to safety.
Mandurah were in again moments later. Firth was the supplier this time, sending Fernandez in on goal but Smith stood tall to deny him.
Swan ended the half well and went close to the equaliser themselves when good approach work from Jay Lang and Aaron Colli down the right ended with Colli’s cross picking out Knight, whose goalbound shot was deflected wide.
Mandurah were on the front foot early in the second half and Firth’s header was well saved by Smith. But on the hour their pressure was rewarded with a second. Allan’s corner picked out the unmarked Fernandez and he headed powerfully home.
The visitors should have put the game to bed moments later when a quick counter attack from Andy Brown found Fernandez, but his cross was cleared off the foot of Jeff Bright by the alert Tatasciore.
Swan went for broke and changed their formation and went close on 89 minutes when Jay Lang’s curling free kick was superbly saved by Lachlan Morrison.
But in the fourth minute of stoppage time Swan found themselves a lifeline when Brown hauled down Monterosso in the box and referee Stephen Knight pointed to the spot and booked the Mandurah skipper. Knight stepped up and buried the spot kick to give the Swans some hope in the second leg on Wednesday.
Madurah goalscorer Reece Allan. Photo by Peter Simcox
State League Play Off Final First Leg
Swan United 1 (Knight pen 94min)
Mandurah City 2 (Allan 22, Fernandez 58)
Sunday September 30
Swan Italian Club, Middle Swan
Referee: Stephen Knight
Assistant referees: Simon Hicks, Mitch Barringtom
Fourth official: Martin Hicks
Swan United: GK Joey SMITH, 4 Brennan BORZECKI (14 Marco TRIMBOLI 75’), 5 Chris MARSHALL, 6 Nick TATTSICIORE (3 Dom ANDO 85’), 8 Aaron COLLI, 10 Gavin KNIGHT, 11 John MONTEROSSO, 12 Luke COLLI, 15 Rory MOUTTET, 16 Jay LANG, 17 Tom BLACK (20 James BURNS 70’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Cory HUGO, 7 Jordan ROSSETTO
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
MANDURAH CITY: GK Lochlan MORRISON, 2 Mitchell FIRTH, 3 Jeff BRIGHT, 4 Matthew STARES, 6 Aidan CLARK (11 Joe O’BRIEN 53’), 7 Joshua WARREN, 8 Andy BROWN, 9 Michael DE BELISS (12 Regan DAVIDSON 88’), 10 Cohen AITKEN (5 Dylan URQUHART 75’), 14 Reece ALLAN, 17 Oriol FERNANDEZ
Substitutes not used: RGK Niall DIXON, 16 Jack WILD
Yellow cards: Aitkin 39’, Brown 93
Red cards: Nil