Jason Stepanovski scored a penalty in the seventh minute of stoppage time to give Men’s State League Division Two leaders Dianella White Eagles a dramatic and hugely important 3-2 win at second-place Kingsley Westside on Saturday.
Stepanovski’s first goal of the season meant Dianella are now six points clear of their nearest rivals in the race for the title and automatic promotion to Division One.
The goal capped a dramatic finale at Chichester Park and completed a double for Dianella over Kingsley.
Cameron Bishop opened the scoring for Kingsley on 10 minutes but the leaders levelled on the half-hour mark with a spot-kick from the league’s top scorer David Heagney.
Stewy Moses’ side took the lead for the first time on 59 minutes through Nikola Talimdzioski and their chances of opening a potentially decisive gap were boosted when Kingsley’s Darren O’Riordan was sent off with two minutes left.
But the hosts made it 2-2 six minutes into stoppage time when Jayden Drummond fired in his sixth of the season for the 10 men.
However, there was to be an even later twist in Saturday’s evening kick-off with a second penalty awarded to the visitors. Stepanovski sent Kingsley goalkeeper the wrong way to spark celebrations between players and supporters as Dianella won a 10th league game this season.
Elsewhere in Division Two, Wanneroo closed the gap on Kingsley to four points with a 2-0 win at Carramar Shamrock Rovers, whose title defence has failed to materialise.
City scored a goal in each half through Ash Corker and Jack Hailstones, while Kieran Harrison's red card meant the hosts’ day went from bad to worse.
Gosnells stayed fourth with Scott Pereira's second-half penalty giving them a 2-1 win at Balga, while Murdoch University Melville moved up to fifth thanks to Alec Robinson's goal in a 1-0 win at Canning City.
Liam McGurk and Callum Speed scored as Joondalup City defeated Curtin University 2-0 and Kelmscott Roos got their first point of the season as they drew 2-2 with Morley Windmills at Frye Park.
In Division One, Western Knights needed a stoppage-time equaliser for the second week in a row as they rescued a late 2-2 draw at Forrestfield United.
Graham Normanton's side started well when Tarek Atta found the bottom corner on 27 minutes before Jack Rycroft volleyed in an equaliser from Ryan Cox's assist.
The home side restored their lead with five minutes left when Laurence Todd arrived to finish Rhys Loxley’s cutback. But Forrestfield could not hold on as Conor Devlin came off the bench to side foot home another Cox cross at the death and earn a share of the spoils.
Quinns capitalised on Knights’ dropped points as they went second with a 6-1 win over Ashfield at Gumblossom Park.
Hermon Michaele was credited with the opener on eight minutes before Ben Hinshelwood scored a 15-minute hat-trick either side of the break, which included two penalties.
The former ECU Joondalup striker now has 11 goals this season, with Kade Fearnall and Bradley Rothwell adding late gloss to the score. Gabriel Riquelme netted for Ashfield.
Leading the league still are Stirling Lions who came from behind to defeat Joondalup United 4-1 at Macedonia Park.
Jay Lang's emphatic spot-kick put the visitors ahead at the interval as United looked to preserve an unbeaten run which had stood since the opening day of the season.
But Stirling are top for a reason as Gavin Knight's headed his 11th of the season before Dhours Chol's strike deflected off Lang to complete the turnaround.
Alex Tanevski ran in to slot a third and Chol got his goal from the penalty spot late on as the leaders stretched their winning streak to eight.
Subiaco moved level with Joondalup United into a share of fourth after a 3-2 win over Mandurah City at Rosalie Park.
Lucas Munoz’s first of the season was cancelled out by a lovely dinked finish from Shane Boyle, but Munoz’s stunning response from the edge of the area quickly restored the hosts’ advantage.
Pete Taylor's side returned serve with Silas Becsi turning home from a corner for 2-2, however Oscar Barry's floated cross dropped in the net on 57 minutes to give Subi a first home win in 2021.
Elsewhere, Samuel Moffatt's hat-trick helped UWA Nedlands moved off the bottom of State League Division One in a 4-0 win over Swan United.
The bottom four sides are now split by one point after 10 games. Moffatt’s first came early with a low strike from distance, before a quickly taken free kick made it two from close range.
His treble was complete when latching onto a long ball 53 minutes in, before Tim Robertson's fourth from six yards sealed UWA's second win of the season.
The day’s final game saw Olympic Kingsway and Fremantle City play out a goalless draw at Kingsway Reserve.
David Tough's side are now unbeaten in four and had the better of the late chances as Josh Whitmore and Paul McCormack were denied by Jordan Barbas.