Floreat hold on to down Bayswater

Report by Blayne Treadgold

Floreat Athena survived a late surge to beat reigning NPL WA champions Bayswater City 2-1 in an entertaining clash at Litis Stadium.

Goals from Keylun Pollard and Dean Evans were just enough to ensure Garrett McDuling’s side earned a valuable three points as Athena look to avoid a relegation scrap.

Substitute Luka Ninkovic pulled one back for Bayswater, who finished the game with 10 men as they crashed to a sixth straight defeat.

Despite the late scare McDuling was pleased with his side’s performance.

He said: “We’ve been performing well … today we got some players back, we got Ludo (Ludovic Boi) back, we got Hamza (Hina) back.

“It was really about putting what we’ve worked on the last few weeks together.”

Floreat are unbeaten in five games, including four under McDuling, who joked: “We’ve got to stay up … I won’t have a job if we go down.”

He added: “We just need to win as many as we can, we’ve got some big games coming up against teams that are also fighting for their lives … it’s definitely going to be an exciting few weeks ahead.”

It was straight out of the blocks for Floreat as they made headway with multiple chances inside the first 10 minutes.

Boi went close as he tried to place one in the top corner from just outside the box and minutes later Chris Saldaris rattled a shot off the woodwork after Bayswater failed to clear the ball following a Calvin Whitney corner.

It was Whitney’s turn to try to break the deadlock as he stepped inside his defender from the left and thumped a shot at the near post only to have Bayswater keeper Dejan Aleksic send it behind for a corner.

Floreat’s efforts were rewarded minutes later as Athena caught City on the break. Boi supplied a pinpoint cross from the right side and Pollard headed the ball home emphatically.

It was then Bayswater’s turn to rally as they chased an equaliser.

Todd Howarth’s corner on 20 minutes found the head of Trent Kay who narrowly missed the mark, Howarth then tried a free-kick moments later only to see it deflected onto the crossbar.

Athena went close to doubling their lead just before the break with the Bayswater defence producing a goalline clearance after Pollard linked up with Jesse Fuller.

After the break, Athena picked up where they left off and within minutes had doubled the advantage through Evans. Boi was once again the provider as he sent a delightful through ball to Evans, who calmly finished to make it 2-0.

A goalmouth scrap ensued following another Howarth free-kick on 78 minutes with Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris throwing himself on the ball to thwart any Bayswater efforts..

Moses Kalau provided Bayswater with an attacking spark after he replaced Jake Sardelic midway through the second half and the switch paid off for Bayswater coach Chris Coyne.

Kalau beati his man down the left side and slid a brilliant ball to fellow substitute Ninkovic to find the back of the net and keep City in the contest.

Floreat defended gallantly late in the game as Bayswater continued to push for an equaliser.

Tempers rose late in the game with Bayswater’s Brent Griffiths receiving a straight red card for violent conduct in the 90th minute following an altercation with a Floreat player.

Floreat held on for a vital three points as they completed a third win over the champions this season, including one in the FFA Cup.

Floreat Athena 2 (Pollard 14min, Evans 48)
Bayswater City 1 (Ninkovic 82)
Saturday, July 28
E&D Litis Stadium
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: Michal Jasinski
Assistant referees: Julian Serra, Stewart Beattie

Floreat Athena: 1. Jason SALDARIS (GK) 2. Marco SANTA LUCIA, 6. Jesse FULLER, 9. Robert PETKOV (18. Phillip ARNOLD 57) 10. Calvin WHITNEY, 11. Dennis GALAN, 14. Ludovic BOI (13. Hamza HINA 67), 15. Chris SALDARIS, 16. Ryan MALTON, 17. Dean EVANS,  21. Keylun POLLARD (3. Andreas FAZZARI 90)
Substitutes not used: 20. Ahadi ABANDELWA, 23. Jordan BARBAS
Yellow cards: 10. Calvin WHITNEY, 16. Ryan MALTON, 18. Phillip ARNOLD
Red cards: Nil

Bayswater City: 1. Dejan ALEKSIC (GK), 5. Adam HARRIS, 6. Todd HOWARTH, 8. Paul McCARTHY, 
11 Ryan PEARSON (18. Brent GRIFFITHS 70) 12. David STOKOE, 13. Trent KAY, 17. Gian ALBANO, 22. Luke SALMON (19. Luka NINKOVIC 51) 24. Jake SARDELIC (30. Moses KALAU 56) 26. Paul LLOYD
Unused substitutes: 4. Arran MAPLESTONE, 25. Luke HUTCHINSON 
Yellow cards: 19. Luka NINKOVIC, 5. Adam HARRIS
Red cards: 18. Brent GRIFFITHS 

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