Rockingham City recorded a gutsy 3-2 win over UWA Nedlands in the All Flags State League division one on Saturday, after an action-packed second half that saw four goals scored in twelve minutes.
The visitors led at half time through Oriol Fernandez, but two goals in four minutes to Conor Devlin after the break put UWA ahead.
City responded quickly and scored two goals in quick succession to wrestle back the lead and go on to take all three points to the delight of their manager Rob Crerara.
“I thought we were really good in the first half, we probably should have been out of sight if we had taken our chances,” he said.
“We fell behind 2-1, but we showed great commitment and character and I think we were worthy winners in the end.”
Rockingham started well with Fernandez and Christian Hogge causing problems for the opposition defence.
The hard work paid off on 37 minutes for Fernandez, who got Rockingham on the board when he received a flick-on, shrugged off his marker and slotted the ball past Alex Preece.
UWA had to wait until the second half to equalise as Devlin showed brilliant skill to beat two defenders, switch on to his left foot and beat City goalkeeper Alf Brincat.
Minutes later, referee Alex Best awarded the hosts a penalty, as Brincat brought down Patrick Morrison in the box and Devlin stepped up to give them the advantage.
The home side’s lead was short lived though, as Preece couldn’t hold a shot from distance and Jason Potter pounced on the follow-up to calmly finish for 2-2.
The winning goal was scored in the 69th minute when James Harmer scored from the penalty spot, despite the away side withstanding some late pressure.
UWA Nedlands captain Josh Marocchi was disappointed that his team couldn’t hold on to get a result after leading.
“It was frustrating to go down to a penalty,” he said.
“I think we’ve shown we can mix it with some of the best sides in the competition.
” We’ve lost a couple of close games like this one, games we maybe shouldn’t have lost.”
The win keeps Rockingham within touching distance of the top two ahead of next weekend’s game against Western Knights.
UWA Nedlands 2 (Devlin 57mins, 61pen)
Rockingham City 3 (Fernandez 37mins, Potter 65, Harmer 69pen)
Saturday June 17, 2017
UWA Sports Ground
Referee: Alex Best
Assistant Referees: Julius Mkanadwire, Ali Anwar
UWA-Nedlands: GK. Alex PREECE, 2. Brandon NAUDE (13. Thomas MORONEY 88’), 3. Robbie BLACK, 4. Lloyd PROUT, 5. Joshua MAROCCHI (C), 6. Marc ZAGAMI, 7. Conor DEVLIN, 8. Luke RANDAZZO, 9. Patrick MORRISON, 10. Mordecai KUMA (15. Joe HAYDON 82’), 11. Andrew XYDAS (12. Richard OLSEN 76’)
Substitutes not used: 14. Michael VLASICH, 16. Jie Kai KONG
Yellow Cards: Marrochi
Red Cards: nil
Rockingham City GK. Alf BRINCAT, 2. Jason CONSTABLE, 3. Blake SOKOLOWSKI, 4. Lydon HODGKISS, 5. Max SNELSON, 6. James HARMER, 8. David CLARK, 9. Oriol FERNANDEZ (7. Ryan KENNEDY 90+4’), 10. Jason POTTER, 11. Christian HOGGE (15. Abraham TAONA 79’), 12. Liam HURST
Substitutes not used: 14. Brian GWATIRINGA, 21. Kieran SHAIL
Yellow cards: Brincat, Hogge
Red cards: nil