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Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo

Strikers keep something in reserve

Report by Samuel Hays

Leeming Strikers defeated league champions Kingsley 2-1 to lift the Belt Up Amateur Reserves Cup at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Sunday.

Oli Mortensen gave Leeming the lead, yet after the break Golden Boot winner Luke Dove equalised from the spot.

But it was Leeming who claimed the cup for the first time in their history as Brad North scored with 16 minutes remaining.

Leeming stand-in coach Will Kirkpatrick was thrilled with the work rate of his side in the hot conditions and that they came away with silverware after finishing second in the league, three points behind Kingsley.

“The boys battled hard, it was a tough game in tough conditions but at the end of the day we got the result we wanted and that’s the main thing we can celebrate,” Kirkpatrick said.

“We probably weren’t the best team if we’re honest but we did enough, we battled hard and ended up with the win.

“I think it’s pretty important. Everyone we’ve played for six, seven months now and to come and actually take something back after the end of the season, I think it’s a credit to the boys.”

It was Kingsley who had the brighter start as Dove was played through and forced a save out of Leeming keeper Josh Blackman. But Dove got the ball back and squared to Joe Joyce, whose shot struck the post.

Ryan Meyer was then forced to clear the ball off his goal line before Jamie Kane rose highest but couldn’t get his header on target as Kingsley continued to look threatening early on.

But it was Leeming who took the lead against the run of play as Mortensen collected the ball and made a long run into the box before sliding the ball past Kingsley keeper Mark Woolley.

Leeming almost doubled the advantage when Woolley passed the ball straight to Josh Brennan, whose shot was just wide of the post.

Kingsley nearly levelled just before half-time as Oliver Valentine rattled the crossbar with his shot from just outside the box.

Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo

It was not long after the break when Kingsley equalised after Tom Wood brought down Valentine in the box and referee Alex Best pointed to the spot. Dove stepped up and converted the penalty after 50 minutes.

Six minutes later Kingsley were awarded another penalty after Cameron Bishop was fouled and this time Sam Church stepped up but could only send his shot wide.

And they were made to pay as North, Leeming’s top goal scorer, found space on the edge of the box and finished well past Woolley.

Kingsley went close to sending the match into extra-time with a goalbound header cleared off the line and the rebound somehow not ending up in the back of the net.

Brennan could have put the game to bed when his shot hit the crossbar but it wouldn’t matter as Leeming held on to be crowned Amateur Reserves Cup champions.

Kingsley coach David Swales said it was “disappointing” that his side were unable to complete the league and cup double but has no doubts they will go again next year.

“It was probably just a game of missed chances really. First half we had a lot of chances that we probably should’ve put away and unfortunately we missed the penalty, but that’s the way things go sometimes,” Swales said.

“They had a couple of chances and took them and won the game, so well done to them.

“You’ve got to take the positive of winning the league but we would’ve been the first team within Kingsley to have done the double so it would’ve been nice to.

“But we’ll build on it and hopefully it will give us some drive for next year.”

Kingsley have the league’s two top goal scorers in Dove and Jon Maghern and Swales added: “They were pretty isolated at times today, which was probably not as effective as we could have had, but football’s like that so we’ll go away and reflect on it and go again next year.

“I think we’ll keep the core group, we always do because we’re that sort of club. So, I think the core group will stay and we’ll build on it and if any new players come down we’ll see how they fit into the club.”

Leeming Strikers 2 (Mortensen 35min, North 74)
Kingsley 1 (Dove 50)
Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium
Sunday, September 23
Kick-off: 2.30pm
Referee: Alex Best
Assistant referees: Jatin Lodia and Louis Delany

Leeming: 23. Josh Blackman, 2. Ryan Meyer, 4. Tom Wood, 6. Liam Montgomery, 8. Reece Terry, 9. Kieren Witt, 10. Brad North, 11. Oli Mortensen, 15. Josh Brennan, 17. Garrie Mould, 7. James Dixon
Substitutes: 5. Armin Tuka, 1. Zaim Zaini, 14. Mark Townsley, 3. Will Kirkpatrick
Yellow cards:
Montgomery 68
Red cards: Nil

Kingsley: 31. Mark Woolley, 2. Jason Murray, 6. Jamie Kane, 5. Ryan Carr, 4. Paul Box, 8. Sam Church, 10. Jon Maghern, 14. Cameron Bishop, 12. Oliver Valentine, 9. Luke Dove, 7. Joe Joyce
Substitutes: 3. Tim Higgins, 11. Stuart Simmons, 13. Aaron Parsons, 16. Liam Camm, 15. Chris Beck
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil