All square in local derby

All square in local derby

The points were shared in the eastern corridor derby, after Forrestfield United and Armadale fought out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Wildlife Safari Stadium, Hartfield Park on Saturday evening.

In front of another big crowd the hosts hit the front, Hasani Sinclair scoring from the spot and despite dominating possession it was Armadale who levelled, also from the spot, Michael Lawson on target.

“I thought we controlled the game and created a number clear cut chances, but unfortunately we didn’t take them which allowed Armadale to stay in the game,” Forrestfield winger Rhys Loxley said.

“Credit to Armadale, they battled hard and eventually got their goal. However, we will move on from it and take away plenty of positives leading into the game against Sorrento next week and hope that we can go one further and pick up our first 3 points for the season.”

Forrestfield coach Rod Banjac was pleased with his side’s second successive draw as an NPL-WA club and paid credit to the healthy crowd of over 600.

“We feel a little bit unfortunate not to take the three points but that’s what happens when you don’t take your chances in this league,” he said.

“We’ve come a long way in the last five years as a club, and we are showing everyone in this league we can match it with all the clubs, and tonight was a typical derby and we had a great crowd tonight.

“There’s a bit of a buzz around the town and the NPL has gone to another level; this crowd proves it is a good-quality product that we deliver and that’s a credit to everyone involved.”

The home side went close early, Thomas Jebb’s long-range strike flashed inches past the post, before Sinclair side footed over the top when well placed.

Armadale went close themselves moments later when Joshua Kuser won possession on the right and raced into the box, but his low shot was well saved by NPL debutant keeper Ben Parry.

Armadale were dangerous at set pieces and Charlie Kenna’s ball in to the penalty area was flicked goalwards by James Atkins, but fortunately for the home side it was just off target.

It was end-to-end football and the lively Calum Dobbs was becoming a constant threat for the home side and on the half hour he eased past his marker and sent Loxley in to the area, but his low shot was well claimed by Sam Hutchings.

Both sides had late chances, first Atkins saw his header cleared off the line by Forrestfield skipper Liam Merigan, before Dobbs snap shot whistled just wide of the upright for the home side, but at the break it was scoreless.

But the deadlock was broken on the hour, Merigan played in Callum Roberts down the right and he was brought down by David Annall and referee Josh Nixon pointed straight to the spot. Sinclair stepped up, and the American striker sent Hutching the wrong way to give Forrestfield the lead.

Sinclair had another opportunity moments later this time he was picked out at the back post by second half substitute Jordan Hart, but his header failed to find the target. But on 78 minutes Armadale levelled.

Good work on the right by substitute Jonathan Bogoni and Dylan Da Silva ended with a cross into the penalty area and Forrestfield defender Tom Southgate was adjudged to have handled the ball and the referee again awarded a penalty.

Lawson kept his cool to level for the visitors, despite having to retake the penalty after the referee spotted encroachment into the area.

Both sides went for the win, Ali Gholami’s curling free kick was just over the top for the visitors, While Hart got a lucky deflection which sent him in on goal, but with just the keeper to beat he fired wide of the post. But both sides had to settle for a point a piece.

In other games the under 20’s continued their good start to the season with a 2-0 win against Armadale, with a brace from Josh Kotio and another to Danzel Tshuma. “The development squad is improving each week, the results so far have been pleasing but it is not our main focus,” Coach James Coffey said.

“Our display of attaching football has shown that we can compete in this league, our hard work ethic and camaraderie  has proven our strong point as we learn to adapt to this level. The result against Armadale was encouraging signs that the squad is on the right path, but we still must maintain a level head and focus on our development of our game and the minor imperfections.” In the under 18’s Armadale ran out 2-0 winners in the early game.

Match Details

Forrestfield United 1 (Sinclair 63’ Pen)

Armadale SC 1 (Lawson 78’ Pen)

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Wildlife Safari Stadium, Hartfield Park

Referee: Joshua Nixon

Assistant Referees: Walter Ciotti, Mitchell Barrington

Forrestfield United: RGK Benjamin PARRY, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 4 Mark BARNETT, 5 Scott BARKER, 7 Callum ROBERTS (14 Izzy ATTAK 71’), 9 Hasani SINCLAIR, 11 Liam MERIGAN, 12 Callum DOBBS, 16 Thomas JEBB, 17 Jamie DUNCAN (15 Josh APPLEBY 88’), 23 Rhys LOXLEY (10 Jordan HART 46’) – Subs not used: RGK Callum MILLER, 8 Gerler MOO

Armadale SC: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Joshua KUSER, 3 Dylan DA SILVA, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 David ANNALL, 6 Kevin CASTLE (18 Alex BOND 46’), 7 Charlie KENNA, 8 Michael LAWSON, 11 Michael RIZIDIS, 15 Ali GHOLAMI, 17 James ATKINS (14 Jonathan BOGONI 58’) – Subs not used: RGK Struan HERD, 16 Charlie SIMPSON