UWA-Nedlands moved away from the State League Division One relegation zone after they produced a good all-round team performance to beat Western Knights 2-0 at UWA Sports Park on Saturday afternoon.
It was a typical derby and it was a feisty first half with the tackles flying in. But after the break the home side found the breakthrough on the hour with Tim Robertson on target, before Lloyd Prout made sure of the points four minutes from time.
UWA head coach Michael Janssen said his side worked hard for each other and got their rewards on the scoreboard.
“It’s been a tough start for us, with some unlucky results, but today was a team effort and I’m really happy with the performance from the boys,” he said.
“We kept our shape well today and cut down their space, and we wanted to see if they had a Plan B, and today they didn’t.
“Our goals were well created and taken and the players will enjoy this – any derby win is special.”
Prout said the win was huge for the club and he was pleased the way they backed up their success at Mandurah City last week.
“I thought it was a classic derby, with the tackles flying in, but we kept to our tactics and I thought we played well and deserved the win,” he said.
“We’ve not been playing as well as we can, but the win last week at Mandurah was important and to back it up today was vital and we’re now starting to hit our straps.”
The Knights went into the game as one of the form teams in the league, unbeaten in their last six, but it was UWA making all the early running and Alex Kretowicz’s shot on the run was saved low by Sam Stone.
Despite the slow start the Knights went close themselves on 22 minutes when Alex Randell’s free-kick was headed over the top by Graham Tough, before Dean Hurley did likewise eight minutes later.
Kretowicz was in again just before half-time. The lively striker eased past his marker but his shot on the run flashed inches wide.
Both sides had early chances after the break. Robertson played in Kretowicz who fired straight at Stone, before Knights striker Jack Rycroft snap shot was saved low by Alex Preece.
The visitors were having the better of the second half and Randell’s in-swinging was punched clear from under his crossbar by the alert Preece.
But UWA always looked dangerous on the break and on 58 minutes they hit the front. Second-half substitute Bryce Conway’s ball into the box picked out Robertson who made no mistake, much to the delight of the home faithful.
The home side looked to kill the game off and Stone had to be alert after Conway was sent clear after great approach work from Kretowicz and Luke Randazzo, but the Knights keeper saved well at his near post.
The visitors went within inches of the equaliser six minutes from time. Rycroft’s cross found substitute Yulis Mao Loko, whose effort beat Preece but crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.
After surviving that dramatic moment, UWA secured all three points two minutes later. Conway found Conor Devlin down the left, he whipped in a teasing cross and Prout lost his marker and volleyed home from six yards.
UWA-Nedlands 2 (Robertson 59min, Prout 86)
Western Knights 0
Saturday June 2
UWA Sports Park
Referee: John Taren
Assistants: Shane Ferguson and Dusan Rudic
UWA-Nedlands: GK Alex PREECE, 4 Lloyd PROUT, 5 Joshua MAROCCHI, 6 Max WELTON, 7 Tim ROBERTSON, 8 Conor DEVLIN, 9 Luke RANDAZZO, 10 Alex KRETOWICZ, 11 Andrew XYDAS (15 Harry HOSKING 92), 12 Brandon NAUDE (2 Bryce CONWAY 46), 13 Thomas MORONEY
Substitues not used: RGK Tim ROSSI, 3 Joe HAYDON, 22 Patrick MORRISON
Yellow cards: Naude 36, Xydas 52
Red cards: Nil
Western Knights: GK Sam STONE, 3 David MURPHY, 5 Graham TOUGH, 8 Alex RANDELL, 9 Dean HURLEY (7 Josh CORTES 68), 10 Brian PATTERSON, 11 Jack RYCROFT, 13 Tom KENNEDY, 16 David CLARK, 17 Ryan SARDI (2 Ben HOWE 67), 18 Dom DE FELICE (15 Yulis MAO LOKO 53)
Substitutes not used: 22 Lewis COOK
Yellow cards: Patterson 43, Tough 45, Kennedy 69, Rycroft 69
Red cards: Nil