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North Perth leave it late in seven-goal thriller

Report by Jonathon Daly

In a top of the table clash, North Perth United beat Wembley Downs with a last minute goal from Sean Lahert at Woodville Reserve on Sunday.

Wembley came from behind when Ally McDermid and Briony Mariarty scored in the 89th and 91st minutes but couldn’t hold on to the point as Lahert scrambled through a crowded goal to score in the last minute of the match and win it for North Perth.

The win leaves United the only team yet to drop a point and top of the ladder after five rounds of the Amateur Premier League.

United coach Jason Winter said it was a sweet victory for his side after losing to Wembley in the Amateur Night Series final in March.

“We owed them one I think you could say… It is good to win against one of the bigger teams,” Winter said.

It was clear there was a score to settle when North Perth striker Mehdi Rabei sprinted forward to take an uncontested goal in the first minute of the match.

It was soon answered by a goal from Mark King who levelled the scores again after 10 minutes.

Both sides didn’t hold back with Wembley’s Juri Galba and North Perth’s Mehdi Rabei receiving yellow cards for strong tackles.

For the rest of the first half, Wembley’s front men put on pressure, but North Perth goalkeeper Jamie Serra kept them at bay with two great saves in the 14th minute.

Winter’s men came out firing after the half-time team talk putting themselves in front with a header from Lahert in the 65th minute.

Wembley coach Colm Costello said his team made a gutsy effort.

“The lads never let me down… they were 3-1 down and they took the game out of the fire,” he said.

“I thought we deserved to draw, but that’s football.

“Last kick of the game, it scrappy goal but credit to North Perth, they played well.

“These games are always a pressure cooker, and credit to the referee, I think he did well.”

Winter said he thought the side performed brilliantly.

“They all played well together as a team, that’s how we win games,” he said.

“I thought we controlled more in the second half… I knew Wembley were never beaten, they never are and we came back to three all and somehow got the win. I’ll take it.”

North Perth United 4 (Rabei 1min, 67, Lahert 65, 90+4)
Wembley Downs 3 (King 10min, McDermid 89, Mariarty 90+1)
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Woodville Reserve
Referee: N. Hoyle
Assistant referees: D. Rudic

North Perth United: 1. Jamie SERRA, 2. Daryl GREGORY, 3. Chris WITH, 4. Niall MURRAY, 5. Keith MULLINS, 6. Kenneth NAAN, 7. Byron ANDREWS, 9. Sean LAHERT, 11. Mehdi RABEI, 12. Pavi URBANSKI, 13. James STEEDMAN
Substitutes not used: 8. Ago MUJIC, 14. Richard DENDLE, 10. Eamonn KELLY 15. Ryan STEVENSON.
Yellow cards: Rabei
Red cards: nil

Wembley Downs: 1. Niall MCCARTHY, 71. Gary MCCARTHY, 11. Stephen GEOGHEGAN, 9. Mark KING, 6. Ian CLEARY, 16. Gavin WALSH, 30. Blaine SLATER, 13. Anthony JONES, 24. James LANIGAN, 20. Juri GALBA, 18. Briony MARIARTY
Substitutes not used: 31. Ken MCMAHON, 21. Will FISHLEIGH, 7. Felis SIMEOS, 40. Tom PRAGNALL, 2. Ally MCDERMID
Yellow cards: Galba
Red cards: nil