70-yard Sardelic keeps Knights out in front

Western Knights sit pretty at the top of the NPL WA – Men’s competition as they maintained their 100% start with a 4-2 win over Floreat Athena.

Adam Kostrencic’s side came from behind after a goalless opening 45 minutes to ensure they end Round Three two points clear of the rest.

Athena’s defeat means they have won one, drawn one and lost one and are sixth.

Floreat could have taken the lead on 16 minutes at Nash Field but Alex Christodoulakis saw his spot-kick saved by Knights stopper Sam Reilly. At the other end, Kristian Santich’s low effort from distance was helped around the post by Jason Saldaris.

Athena did go in front within three minutes of the second half commencing. Chris Saldaris turned a long free-kick back into a dangerous area with Ben Steele applying the finish.

The lead lasted six minutes, with the equaliser coming in bizarre fashion. Jake Sardelic’s clearance from his own half caught Jason Saldaris off guard in the Floreat goal with the ball bouncing over the goalkeeper and into the net.

Knights then took the lead when Alex Da Rocha pulled back for Albert Luwi to score his first goal of the season, before Santich made it two goals in two games after a classy piece of skill on the byline followed by a composed finish.


Floreat got back in it with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining with Nick Ambrogio timing his run and applying a trademark fashion to net from close range. But the leaders settled and sealed it thanks to substitute Shay Donovan’s first time turn and strike from a throw-in.

Bayswater City are two points off top after a late Jon Stynes double gave them a 2-0 win at Stirling Macedonia.

The first came four minutes from time when the forward broke into the box and headed Sam Mitchinson’s cross beyond Liam Price.

Stynes headed just wide from Joshua Anasmo’s cross moments later, but the substitute wrapped it up 60 seconds from the end after curling home from the edge of the box.

Stirling 0-2 Bayswater City. Photo by FotoEnzo
Jon Stynes, left, scored two late goals to give Bayswater victory at Stirling. Photo by FotoEnzo

Olympic Kingsway sit third with a 2-0 win over Fremantle City giving them a second win of the campaign.

It was an ideal response from David Tough’s side following last week’s heavy loss to Bayswater, as Luke Radonich denied both Liam Murray and Joe Knowles in the opening 20 minutes.

The opener came 27 minutes in when Sasa Njegic cut inside the from the right and rifled home a left-footed drive which was his first league goal for the club.

Freo’s best chance of equalising came early in the second period when in-form Alex McLean was denied one-on-one by Adrian Sinagra.

And with just over an hour played it was 2-0 and three points confirmed when Knowles clipped through for Murray to slide past an onrushing Radonich.

Balcatta Glory Tom McCarthy
Perth Glory celebrate after rescuing a point against Balcatta. Photo by Tom McCarthy

Perth Glory are fourth as Sam Byrne rescued a late 2-2 draw for the youngsters away at Balcatta Etna.

John Walmsley’s side led when Royie Rahimim was slipped through on goal with the striker scoring low across Connor Campbell.

Balcatta hit back with Jonathan Corness getting the final touch from a corner, before a brilliant header from Hasani Sinclair had the hosts 2-1 up at the interval.

But for a third successive week, Etna dropped points from a winning position with Glory’s leveller coming three minutes into added time. It was a beautifully worked team which ended with O’Connor pulling back for former Mandurah forward Byrne to poke home.

Remarkably, Balcatta still almost snatched the win. Ben Hinshelwood brought a fine low save from Liam Coyne, before Raphael Gomba put the ball back in which went right across the goal and struck the far post.

Armadale redStar Cat Bryant
Delight for Armadale following Pieter Jacobsz's stoppage-time leveller against Perth RedStar. Photo bt Cat Bryant Photography

Elsewhere, Pieter Jacobsz scored a 96th minute equaliser as Armadale pegged back champions Perth RedStar in a 1-1 draw.

It seemed like the northern suburbs club would make it back-to-back wins when Theo Leeming pulled across for Joel Chianese to bag his first NPL goal from close range.

But deep in stoppage time Luke Collins sent a long diagonal into the box which was helped on by Lachlan Collins before being turned home by Jacobsz to earn a point and send the home support into celebration.

Round Three began on Thursday night when a first-half blitz ensured Perth SC won their first game of the season 6-0 over Inglewood United.

Perth’s procession began 10 minutes in when they won the ball high up and Toby Snook found Ethan Banks for the latter to wrongfoot Nic Speca.

David Ninkovich had an effort cleared off the line soon after but the Azzurri did make it 2-0 on 27 minutes when Abdul Osman headed in Banks’ corner.

The Azzurri led 2-0 last week before being overhauled by Stirling, but they wouldn’t make the same mistake this time as they put the game to bed before half-time.

Perth Inglewood Rob Lizzi
Abdul Osman scores the first of his brace. Photo by Rob Lizzi

Toby Snook beat the offside trap to run in and open his account for the campaign before Banks cruised to the edge of the area and found the bottom corner for four at the interval.

Osman joined Banks on a brace as the midfielder’s initial strike broke back for him to finish low past the goalkeeper.

Perth had announced at the start of the week that head coach Danny Hay was leaving to take up a position at new A-League side Auckland FC and that his replacement, ex-Perth Glory head coach Kenny Lowe, would not take charge until the middle of April.

Any disruption clearly had no ill-effect on the players as Daniel Faichney beat Speca to a pass forward and slotted in to complete the rout and kickstart Perth's season, while Inglewood sit bottom without a point.

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