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Gwelup sail past Windmills

Report by Alex Vlahos

A blistering first-half display from Gwelup Croatia was the catalyst for a 5-1 demolition of Morley Windmills at Croatian Sporting Complex on Saturday.

Danny Hodgson and Ellis Healing both struck first-half doubles as Gwelup had a third straight State League Division One win all but sewn up by half-time.

Hodgson had his brace within six minutes, both coming on the back of strong midfield link-up play as Morley struggled to find their feet early.

ROUND 13 RESULTS

Gwelup were almost three-up moments later when David Heagney netted from close range after an initial strike from Healing, however it was ruled out for offside.

The home side continued to pepper the Windmills goal, with Heagney causing continuous problems for the visitors’ defence on the right wing while Healing went close with a spectacular volley.

Healing was able to find the net on 35 minutes when he beat his marker on the left touchline before cutting back onto his right foot and curling a delightful strike past Morley keeper Aiden Holloway.

Gwelup completed their first half onslaught with a real team goal, which began from the back and ended with Samuel Wynne finding Heagney,on the right touchline and he crossed for Healing to strike home.

Morley got one back seconds prior to the break when Dion Berman beat Gwelup keeper Riley Stephenson with a strike from outside the 18-yard box.

Earlier this season Morley recovered from 3-1 down at half-time to defeat Gwelup 4-3. This was an even greater task facing Jason Van Rooy’s team but they might have given the home side a few nervous moments if Berman had not wasted a golden opportunity with an open goal beckoning on 77 minutes.

Instead Gwelup wrapped up victory in stoppage time when substitute Sean Canham struck into an empty net after Isaac Koomson’s initial effort had bounced back off the crossbar.

Gwelup Croatia coach Taki Nicolaidis said his side were out to send a message to their Division One rivals on Saturday.

“We were out to make a statement,” Nicolaidis said.

“I thought the intent and desire was there from the outset, scoring in the first couple of minutes and backing it up not long after probably set the tone for the remainder of the game.

“I am very pleased with the result.”

Morley Windmills coach Van Rooy lamented his team’s lacklustre beginning.

“Unfortunately I think the lads were still in the change rooms, we can’t give a quality team a two-goal lead so early on,” Van Rooy said.

Van Rooy said his side expected a tough task each week, but were still hungry to finish the season strongly.

Gwelup now sit top of Division One and face title rivals Western Knights at home next weekend.

Morley remain rooted the bottom of the ladder with just that one win from 12 games. They host Subiaco next Saturday.

Star player: Ellis Healing (Gwelup)

Gwelup Croatia 5 (Hodgson 2min 6, Healing 35 43, Canham 90)
Morley Windmills 1 (Berman 45)

State League Division One
Croatian Sporting Complex
Saturday, June 29
Kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: T Taran 

Gwelup Croatia: 4. Samuel WYNNE, 5. Clark KELTIE, 6. Brodie MARTIN, 8. Matthew SPARROW, 9. David HEAGNEY, 10. Danny HODGSON, 15. Andrew SCALDAFERRO, 30. Graham TOUGH, 77. Ellis HEALING, 88. Bobby WILSON, 98. Riley STEPHENSON (GK)
Substitutes: 1. Caelan COOPER, 12. Isaac KOOMSON, 16. Tyler UGLOW, 17. Sean CANHAM, 25. Ali GHOLAMI

Morley Windmills: 1. Aiden HOLLOWAY (GK), 3. Gianni MAMMONE, 4. Nathan SCULLY, 5. Faustino MACHOCHI, 6. Matthew BROOME, 7. Debaba MTWALE 8. Boas MTWALE, 9. Dion BERMAN, 14. Jacob AQUINO, 15. Ryan TREACY, 17. Gabrielle COLLI
Substitutes: 10. Charlie WHITE, 11. Jordan JUNCO, 20. Nick FEMIN, 40. Alex GALIPO.