Ashfield SC secured a 1-0 victory at UWA Nedlands as the race for the State League titile and possible promotion to the NPL WA nears its conclusion.
Previously misfiring striker Ismael Bangura was on target for the visitors, scoring his first goal of the season to sink UWA.
The win lifts Ashefield to second, as just two points separates the first five teams in the division.
Ashfield started the match brightly and Paul McCormack had an early chance after cutting in off the left, but his effort flew over the crossbar.
A smart cutback by Bangura gave Gary Hill a gilt-edged opportunity to score, but Hill failed to tap home and Uni were able to clear their lines.
Despite struggling early, UWA found their rhythm and bombarded the visitors’ goal in the middle of the half.
Thomas White had University’s first big chance after getting on the ball in the box, but Ashfield goalkeeper Jacob Carey was able to save without too much difficulty.
Carello had a chance to open the scoring just moments later when he wriggled his way past the Ashfield defence, but the eventual shot was poor and rolled wide of the goal.
The hosts came close again as Ivwananji Simbile laid the ball off Riaz Kelly, but his shot was off target.
At the other end, Jordan Clark’s first-time effort was denied spectacularly by Luke Stonebridge as the keeper tipped the shot onto the cross bar and out.
Ashfield came out firing in the second half and had UWA on the backfoot early.
A poor challenge from Carello earned him a second yellow card, making the hosts’ task even more difficult.
Ashfield continued to pile on pressure, and finally found a breakthrough when Bangura volleyed home in the 79th minute.
Clark’s dominating performance at centre-back meant that UWA never looked like scoring, and Ashfield SC ran out 1-0 winners.
Star player: Jordan Clark (Ashfield SC)
UWA Nedlands 0
Ashfield SC 1 (Bangura 79min)
UWA Sports Park