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Machochi caps Windmills fightback
Report by Bobby Stamatoski
An added-time winner from Faustin Machochi capped a fantastic second half fightback by Morley Windmills who recovered from 3-1 down to beat Gwelup Croatia 4-3.
In an end-to-end State League Division One encounter at Wotton Reserve, Gwelup went ahead on 12 minutes after a goalkeeping blunder allowed former Olympic Kingsway striker Danny Hodgson to slot the ball into an empty net.
Morley levelled almost instantly through Machochi with a clever header over keeper Riley Stephenson.
Gwelup then went back in front through Sam Wynne, making it three goals in as many minutes.
Gwelup extended their lead with an own goal from Deng Mawieri. And while Machochi was unlucky to not pull one back for the hosts when he hit the bar, Gwelup looked well set for a win in their first match of the season at half time.
How wrong can you be.
It was all Morley Windmills in the second half and in the 67th minute Damien Kalamaris smashed an effort past Stephenson to make it 3-2.
Six minutes later, substitute Sakik Musa lobbed the goalkeeper with his first touch to level proceedings.
And Machochi was the hero of the night as he found himself at the right place at the right time to stab home the winner in stoppage time to complete the comeback.
Windmills coach John Castrili said: “I thought we still played pretty well in the first half. We gave away two very soft goals, actually gifts.
“The boys gathered together at half time and produced something that the club and myself are very proud of at the moment, considering we have only been together for two weeks. Producing something like this is a good sign for the future.”
Gwelup coach Taki Nicolaidis didn’t mince his words.
“Bitterly dissapointed, we were 3-1 up and our guys didn’t work hard enough in the second half,” he said.
“Credit to Morley, who had a greater desire than what we did and they worked harder and took their chances. I thought we were extremely poor in the second half which was unacceptable.
“The substitutes probably didn’t have the impact that I was looking for but at the end of the day we have an experienced group there and tonight was just unacceptable.”
Morley Windmills 4 (Machochi 13min, 90+1, Kalamaris 67, Musa 73)
Gwelup Croatia 3 (Hodgson 12, Wynne 15, Mawieri 36)
Saturday, March 30th, 2019
Kick-off: 6.30 pm
Referee: W Crotty
Assistant referees: A. Muyambe, V. Ravicharder
Morley Windmills: 99 Aiden Hollaways GK, 2 Nicholas Doutch, 6 Deng Mawieri, 4 Paul Murray, 13 Gabriel Nani, (14 Sakik Musa 71) 16 Jan Urgela, 8 Boas Mtwale, 5 Faustin Machochi, 11 Igor Novakovic, 15 Damien Kalamaris, 10 Dion Berman (9 Darren Francis 78)
Substitutes not used: 3 Morad Idris, 1 Evan Polak
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Gwelup Croatia: 1 Riley Stephenson, 2 Ciaran Salinger, 3 Steve Purton, (58 Andrew Scaldaferro 85) 4 Sam Wynne, 5 Emmanuel Kalkpeyeng, 6 Brodie Martin, 8 Matthew Sparrow (C), 9 David Heagney, 10 Danny Hodgson, 12 Isaac Koomson, (7 James Sammut 66) 30 Ellis Healing (17 Sean Canham 82)
Substitutes not used: 28 Caelan Cooper (RGK), 20 Luke Randazzo
Yellow cards: Salinger
Red cards: Nil