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Celeration time for Belt Up Cup winners Floreat Athena. Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo

Arnold the matchwinner as Floreat win Belt Up Cup

Report by Peter Simcox

Floreat Athena are the 2019 Belt Up Cup winners after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Bayswater City at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon.

After a cagey first half, it was Bayswater who hit the front when Daryl Nicol converted a penalty early in the second half.

Dennis Galan then scored a penalty for Floreat to level, before Phil Arnold headed the winner nine minutes from time to set off wild scenes in the big crowd and give Athena their seventh State Cup win.

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Both sides will be action in the FFA Cup Round of 32 next week but first they needed to take care of business on the domestic front first.

Bayswater keeper Devon Lindemann got down well to save Ludovic Bio’s shot, before Floreat defender Adrian Madaschi got a last-ditch clearance to deny Gordon Smith moments later.

Chris Coyne’s side finished the half the better and Jason Mirco’s goal bound shot was deflected wide by some desperate Floreat defending, before Nicol’s shot on the run flashed over the top.

Six minutes after half time Bayswater the scoring. Nicol raced down the right and cut inside the box and he was brought down by Madaschi and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot.

Nicol picked himself and scored the penalty, despite Jason Saldaris going the right way.

Nicol was in again moments later, his pace had caused trouble for the Floreat defence all afternoon, and this time he picked out Mirco, but he couldn’t keep his close-range header down.

Floreat hit back and Jesse Fuller’s long-range shot stung the palms of Lindemann – previously known as Devon Spence –  and on 71 minutes they were level after the referee picked out a foul by Ross Millard on Boi.

It was a decision that didn’t please the Bayswater bench but Galan stepped up finished with a Panenka down the middle of goal to level.

Floreat skipper Dean Evans at the final whistlea. Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo

It was now game on, and Petkov’s shot on the run was saved low by and on 81 minutes Floreat scored the vital second goal.

Dean Evans’ corner was only cleared to Boi on the left of the penalty area, his cross back into the box found Arnold and he lost his marker to head home.

Bayswater changed formation as they chased the game. But with Fuller, Madaschi and Galan all outstanding for the Floreat they kept them at bay.

Floreat almost added a third when Fuller, who won the Stan Lazaridis Medal as player of the match, played a great through ball to Boi but his shot was well saved by Lindemann.

There were four minutes of stoppage time but Bayswater couldn’t find the equaliser. At the final whistle it was Floreat players, coaches and supporters celebrating the win.

Star player: Jesse Fuller

Bayswater City 1 (Nicol pen 51min)
Floreat Athena 2 (Galan pen 71, Arnold 81)

Saturday July 20, 2019 Belt Uo Cup Final
Dorrien Gardens
Referee: Josh Mannella
Assistants: Simon Hicks, Sime Lozic
Fourth Official: Matthew Southern

Bayswater City: GK Devon LINDEMANN, 10 Jason MIRCO (24Jake SARDELIC 76’), 11 Ryan PEARSON, 12 Steve HESKETH, 13 Trent KAY, 17 Daryl NICOL, 18 Brent GRIFFITHS, 19 Gordon SMITH (9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA 78’), 20 Giordano COLLI, 27 Ross MILLARD, 30 Adam TONG (6 Todd HOWARTH 85’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Sam REILLY, 22 Logan RINDELL
Yellow cards: Smith 41’
Red cards: Nil

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 6 Jesse FULLER, 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 Nick AMBROGIO, 11 Dennis GALAN, 13 Chris SALDARIS, 14 Ludovic BOI (32 Robert HARDING 90’), 16 Ryan MALTON (5 Thomas JEBB 80’), 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD (29 Jack PAINTER-ANDREWS 84’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 13 George FESTA
Yellow cards: Malton 42’, Galan 90+3’
Red cards: Nil