A goal five minutes before half-time from Jon Stynes secured Floreat Athena a hard-fought 1-0 win against Balcatta in the regional FFA Cup quarter-finals at Grindleford Reserve on WA Day.
Midfielder Stynes got on the end of deep cross from Phil Arnold to head past David Keenan to send Floreat into their second consecutive semi-final.
Both sides had come of tiring games on Saturday in the NPL WA, but it was the visitors who opened the better and Balcatta had Keenan to thank for keeping them in the tie.
On five minutes he got down well to his left to tip Robert Petkov’s shot around the post. Ten minutes later he was out bravely to save at the feet of Dennis Galan.
The hosts went close themselves after good work on the right by Shubham Mokala ended with a ball into the feet of Adam Zimarino, but his first-time shot whistled inches over the top. Keenan did well again to tip over Petkov’s cross shot, before Jesse Fuller’s shot on the run fizzed just wide of the target.
But the decisive goal came on 40 minutes. Arnold raced down the right and whipped in a great cross to the back post and Stynes lost his marker to head home, to the delight of the travelling supporters.
Balcatta coach Goran Stajic brought on striker Gavin Knight at the break and the home lside ooked far better. Nic Challot’s header was cleared off the line by Galan, while Knight produced an acrobatic overhead kick after being picked out by Callum Stocks but it was straight at Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris.
It was end-to-end football with both sides pushing forward. Petkov fired just wide for Floreat, Balcatta skipper Calum O’Connell’s snap shot was saved low by Saldaris then Knight headed inches past the post.
As the game neared its conclusion and Balcatta pushed men forward, Floreat were catching them on counter attack. Rob Holding had a shot was well saved by Keenan, before Petkov rattled the crossbar. But when the dust settled it was Floreat going through to the next round.
Star player: Robert Petkov (Floreat Athena)
Floreat Athena 1 (Stynes 40min)
Monday, June 3
Referee: Matthew Southern
Assistant referees: Tom Glavovic, Arvin Shanmuganathan
Balcatta: GK David KEENAN, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 John KEARNEY, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 Shubham MOKALA, 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 11 Callum STOCKS (34 Quinn CONNOLLY 79), 12 Roberto DEL BORRELLO, 16 Alex CASTIELLO, 21 Nicholas CHALLOT (13 Carmelo GIUFFRE 66) 23 Adam ZIMARINO (9 Gavin KNIGHT 46)
Substitutes not used: RGK Damien STANOEVSKI, 29 Adam FALCONE
Yellow cards: Kearney 13
Red cards: Nil
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALADRIS, 2 Marco SANTALUCIA, 3 Tristian COLLI (16 Ryan MALTON 81), 6 Jesse FULLER, 8 Jon STYNES, 9 Robert PETKOV, 11 Dennis GALAN, 15 Chris SALDARIS, , 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phil ARNOLD (32 Rob HOLDING 88), 33 Tyler HOLDEN (29 Jack PAINTER-ANDREWS 74)
Substitutes not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, SALDARIS, 31 Jacob STUBBERFIELD
Yellow cards: Colli 18
Red cards: Nil