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Mokala breaks Canning hearts

By Tommy Doleman

Shubham Mokala scored a tremendous free-kick with a minute remaining as Balcatta moved into the last eight of the regional rounds of the FFA Cup with a 2-1 win over Canning City.

The visitors, who sit second bottom in State League Division Two and are winless in the league in 2019, took a surprise lead on 16 minutes when Daniel Bryant’s free-kick took a deflection off the wall and wrong-footed David Keenan to land in the back of the net.

Balcatta equalised nine minutes later as Mokala’s corner was cleared back to him, and his second cross was headed in at the back post by Calum O’Connell.


The home side continued to dominate large periods of the first half but found a determined Canning defence tough to break down, as Eric Cutri saved twice from Alex Wild before Jonathan Hoareau cleared another effort off the line.

Remarkably, City broke towards the end of the half and nearly retook the lead when Ronan Cowley’s cross-shot floated towards goal and bounced back off the bar.

Balcatta were back on the front foot in the second half. Ben Pellizzari forced Cutri into another low save, before scuffing wide from O’Connell’s header across goal under pressure from the goalkeeper.

John Kearney was next to be thwarted by a stunning save from Cutri and it seemed as if Canning would take the NPL side beyond 90 minutes, until Balcatta’s top scorer stepped up late on.

Mokala, who has scored four league goals this season, provided the crucial intervention again as he stepped up and curled a free-kick brilliantly into the top corner from 20 yards.

Canning had a late chance to force extra time but James Drewett’s cross was just out of reach for a diving Curtis’ head, and Balcatta advanced to the next round.

Star player: Shubham Mokala (Balcatta)

Balcatta 2 (O’Connell 25min, Mokala 89)
Canning City 1 (Bryant 16)

Saturday, May 18
Grindleford Reserve
Kick-off: 3pm
Steve Gregory

Balcatta: GK: David KEENAN, 2. Joseph MARINO, 3. John KEARNEY, 4. Calum O’CONNELL, 5. Shubham MOKALA, 7. Alex WILD (30. Michael ZIMARINO 60), 10. Jonathan CORNESS, 12. Robert DEL BORRELLO (29. Adam FALCONE 62), 16. Alex CASTIELLO (11. Callum STOCKS 66), 21. Nicholas CHALLOT, 22. Ben PELLIZZARI
Substitutes not used: RGK: Damien STANOEVSKI, 13. Carmelo GIUFFRE
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Canning City: GK: Eric CUTRI, 3. Shaun MORRISON (2. Steve KANE 64), 4. Oliver DAHLSKOG, 5. Joshua WALLMEAD, 7. Boubo MORNA, 8. James DREWETT, 9. Ronan COWLEY, 10. Ante JUKIC, 13. Jonathan HOAREAU (15. Nicholas LOMMA 80), 14. Zibu MOYO, 16. Daniel BRYANT (12. Suyash VASIST 20)
Substitutes not used:
11. Alistair GOMES, 21. Lachlan HACKETT
Yellow cards: Jukic 31
Red cards: Nil