A three-goal first half helped lift Gwelup Croatia to a 4-2 win over Ashfield SC in an entertaining affair at Ashfield Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Division One high-flyers started the match with a bang, Ellis Healing rounding the keeper and missing an open goal before atoning for the miss two minutes later with a well-placed finish beyond Ashfield goalkeeper Paul Rainford.
And the visitors doubled their lead just moments later after David Heagney’s cross was turned into his own goal by Ashfield’s Hayden Lowe.
Two goals up inside 10 minutes, Gwelup refused to take their foot off the gas and were rewarded for their efforts with a third goal. Centre back Graham Tough turned goalscorer when he headed in captain Matt Sparrow’s corner to seemingly put the game to bed before half-time.
Ashfield were not about to lie down, however, and were given a glimmer of hope after Pat Sara converted a penalty in the shadows of half-time after Tough had brought down Albert Amankwaa.
Tough then sent another shiver of dread through the Gwelup side when he gave away another penalty, this time upending Joshua Kotio.
Sara converted again from the spot to put his side within striking distance of their opponents. Gwelup’s nerves were settled when Heagney connected with a sublime Bobby Wilson cross to head the ball into the back of the net and put the game beyond Ashfield’s reach.
Star player: Ellis Healing
Ashfield SC 2 (Sara pen 41min, pen 62)
Gwelup Croatia 4 (Healing 6, Lowe og 8, Tough 33, Heagney 79)
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Referee: S. Skinner
Assistant referees: T. Malatesta, T. Ashton
Ashfield SC: 1. Paul RAINFORD (GK), 2. Matt WORTON, 3. Isaac NEHEMIE, 4. Alex MOTRONI (9. Aaron SIMPSON 71.), 5. Hayden LOWE (10. Ray ADOLPHIS 59.), 7. Abdul ABDELLA, 8. Pat SARA, 11. Evans SHAKEBO, 12. Paul McCORMACK, 15. Albert AMANKWAA, 16. Joshua KOTIO
Substitutes not used: 14. Jon MARTINEZ, 40. Jacob CAREY
Yellow cards: Abdella 39
Red cards: Nil
Gwelup Croatia: 4. Sam WYNNE (6. Brodie MARTIN 59.), 5. Clarke KELTIE, 8. Matthew SPARROW (C), 9. David HEAGNEY, 12. Isaac KOOMSON (2. Ciaran SALINGER 77.), 15. Andrew SCALDAFERRO, 25. Ali GHOLAM (17. Sean CANHAM 84.)I, 30. Graham TOUGH, 77. Ellis HEALING, 88. Bobby WILSON, 98. Riley STEPHENSON (GK)
Substitutes not used: 1. Caelan COOPER (RGK), 33. Nasser BELLO
Yellow cards: Healing 90
Red cards: Nil