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Swan United defeated Morley Windmills 7-4 on aggregate and will now face Murdoch University Melville in the play-off final. Photo by Colin Feilen

Downturn for Windmills as Swan reach play-off final

Report by Kelechi Osunwa

Morley Windmills have been relegated to State League Division Two despite their 4-3 victory over Swan United in the Inter-Divisional Promotion Play-Off Semi Final, Second Leg on Wednesday night.

With Swan leading 4-0 after the first leg, Morley knew they could not afford any slip-ups in the return at Wotton Reserve if they were to have a chance of putting the cat among the pigeons.

However, once Swan struck first through a Jay Lang piledriver after only 16 minutes, that effectively put paid to their hopes as it left Morley needing to score six unanswered goals.

Two minutes later the hole got deeper for the home side when a mixture of poor concentration and fantastic interplay from Swan saw Liam Merrigan burst into the box with the keeper to beat.  The former NPL midfielder kept his composure and fired home to give Swan a 6-0 aggregate lead.

With pride only to play for, Morley rolled up their sleeves and Dion Berman scored twice before half-time to give the home side something to cheer.   The first came after he was played in by strike partner Scott Wrightson and tapped into an empty net, while the second arrived via the penalty spot after he had been fouled in the box.

Just in case Morley were harbouring ambitions of an outlandish turnaround at the break, Swan quickly shut them down when they regained the lead following a sustained spell of pressure. John Monterosso’s lob was cleared off the line before Brennan Borzecki’s near-post header from the resultant corner made it 3-2 on the night.

With a 7-2 aggregate lead, Swan were content to sit back and Morley, who were defiant to the last whistle, kept pushing forward on what the home fans knew would be their last game of the season and last as a Division One side, for one season at least.

Berman got himself a hat-trick when he slotted another penalty past Joe Smith after Igor Novakovic had been been fouled in the box.

And the tireless Yves Mpunga reacted most quickly at the front post to give Morley the lead to at least wrap up a nightmare season with a win.

Swan will face Murdoch University Melville in the two-legged final hoping it’s third time lucky after coming up short in the play-offs the past two seasons including on penalties in the final last year.

The first leg will be at Murdoch University Melville on Wednesday, October 2 and the return at Swan on Saturday, October 5.

Star player: Dion Berman (Morley Windmills)

Morley Windmills 4 (Berman 21min 34 67, Mpunga 78)
Swan United 3 (Lang 16, Merrigan 18, Borzecki 53)
Swan United win 7-4 on aggregate

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Wotton Reserve, Morley
Kick-off: 7pm
Referee: M Hicks
Assistant referees: S Knight, J West
Fourth official: S Beattie

Morley Windmills: 1. Aiden HOLLOWAY, 18. Gab COLLI, 16. Jan URGELA, 8. Boas MTWALE, 17. Igor NOVAKOVIC, 4. Ryan TREACEY, 9. Dion BERMAN, 10. Scott WRIGHTSON (5. Faustin MACHOCHI 60), 3. Matt BROOME, 2. Gianni MAMONE (6. Alex GALIPO 53), 7. Yves MPUNGA
Substitutes not used: 14. Dababa MTWALE, 67. Steve MURDUE, 12. Tom GACCA
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Swan United: 13. Joe SMITH, 4. Luke COLLI, 5. Chris MARSHALL, 16. Jay LANG, 12. Lucas ALLENDER (17. Thomas BLACK 69), 8. Aaron COLLI (3. Domenico ANDO 90), 14. Brennan BORZECKI, 6. Liam MERRIGAN, 10. Brian PATTERSON, 11. John MONTEROSSO, 9. David FOSTER (7. Alen PATAROV 88)
Substitutes not used: 15. Cameron ANDERSON, 18. Oliver RIGLER,
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil