UPDATE: Gwelup Croatia stayed in the hunt for the State League Division One title on Saturday as they secured a 1-0 victory over Morley Windmills at Croatian Sporting Complex.
Bobby Wilson’s 78th minute goal, when he celverly chested home a right-wing cross, was the difference between the two sides and meant Gwelup go into next weekend’s final round level on points with leaders Rockingham City.
However, Rockingham’s 7-1 drubbing of South West Phoenix means their goal difference is now nine better than that of Gwelup.
So if Rockigham beat Fremantle City at home next Saturday then the title and automatic promotion to the NPL WA will be going to Cam Lord and his men, unless Gwelup can then win their “Croatian” derby with Western Knights 24 hours later by double figures.
Gwelup coach Taki Nicolaidis was pleased with his side’s performance against Morley.
“I thought we moved the ball around quite well and I thought we got in behind and created some chances,” he said.
“We worked hard, we defended resolutely and got another clean sheet which is always good.
“At the end of the day I thought we deserved the win.”
The match got off to a relatively slow start, with neither side having a clear-cut chance in the opening 15 minutes.
James Sammut finally had the first opportunity but his volley was off target for the home side.
Morley soon had a chance of their own through Marco Perizzula after some neat passing play, but his eventual effort was straight at goalkeeper Connor Campbell.
As the game opened up Morley cleared one attack off the line, before they went up the other end in the final minutes of the half and almost scored. Ben Wanteea led a counter attack on the wing, but despite outnumbering the defence three to one, Morley could not capitalise on the golden opportunity.
While the relatively tame first half ended scoreless, the second term was far more action packed.
Sammut curled an effort from the edge of the box which flew over as Gwelup began to threatend. The home side were looking dangerous, and Benny Kouakou in particular was terrorising the Morley defence with his skilful dribbling.
A great cross from Kouakou found that man Sammut at the back post, but the home skipper was denied by a great save from keeper Yousri Gharsallah.
But Gwelup Croatia finally got the goal they needed through centre-back Wilson, who chested home from a cross to put his side ahead.
Things went from bad to worse for Morley when substitute Anoa Loic was given his marching orders after a strong sliding challenge, despite seeming to get the ball.
As the match entered injury time, Windmills looked to have equalised through Perizzula but he was adjudged to be offside and the goal was disallowed.
Gwelup Croatia 1 (Wilson 78min)
Morley Windmills 0
Croatian Sporting Complex
Saturday, September 8
Referee: S Hicks
Assistant referees: D Quinlin, I Ashton
Gwelup Croatia: 1. Connor CAMPBELL, 4. Cameron YORK, 5. Bobby WILSON, 6. Brody MARTIN (77. Domenic MANN 65), 7. James SAMMUT, 9. David HEAGNEY, 11. Isaac KOOMSON, 12. Benny KOUAKOU, 14. Victor BRAUWER, 16. Stephen O’LEARY, 28. Kwangmook LIM (41. Nelson TSHONGO 84)
Unused substitutes: 10. Angel ABRAMS, 50. Brian MASHINGALDZE, 98. Riley STEPHENSON
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Morley Windmills: 3. Christian MIRDUDO, 4. Ryan TREALEY (7. Anoa LOIC 65), 5. Marco PERIZZULA, 6. Deng MAWIEN, 8. Boas MTWALE, 9. Ben WANTEEA, 10. Dion BERMAN, 11. Darren FRANCIS, 12. Peresi IRANYVMVILA, 14. Mitch CASTRILLI, 77. Yousri GHARSALLAH
Unused substitutes: 13. Gianni MAMMONE, 15. Luciano COLLI
Yellow cards: Castrilli 58, Perizzula 70, Wanteea 90+3
Red cards: Loic 83