Football West – NPL Bayswater off top after Cockburn loss

Report by Ryan Borrett

Cockburn City claimed a massive three points as they defeated title rivals Bayswater City 2-1 at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday.

Harry O’Brien scored both goals for Cockburn while Bayswater’s goal came in stoppage time from Luke Salmon, but only after Paul Lloyd had blasted a penalty over the crossbar.

The defeat, Bayswater’s second in succession, means they have lost top spot to Perth Glory, who won their Round 18 match against ECU Joondalup 5-3 as the NPL WA title race intensifies.

Cockburn stay third but they are now only two points behind Bayswater while remaining four points off new leaders Glory.

Cockburn coach Scott Miller said it was crucial his side bounced back after a disappointing run of form in recent weeks.

“It was very important for us to win today,” he said.

“We probably rode our luck a little bit at the start, if I’m honest, I thought they were very good in the first 20 or 25 minutes.

Once we got away with that I thought we came into the game and I thought we were outstanding in transition today, and Harry O’Brien with two great finishes.

Bayswater coach Chris Coyne said his side’s poor form in front of goal cost them the game.

Off the top of my head there was six or seven clear chances today that we should have scored, and obviously Llody missing the penalty as well,” he said.

Credit where credit is due to Cockburn today, but we need to have a hard look at ourselves and buck our ideas up if we have got any ideas of winning the league.

Bayswater started the match the better side and were unlucky to not be ahead early on.

Luka Ninkovic should have found the back of the net in the 23rd minute after getting on the end of Gian Albano’s cut-back but Ninkovic sprayed his shot wide from inside the six-yard box.

The Cockerels defence managed to escape Bayswater’s opening attacking pressure unscathed and in the 27th minute Luccas Mello’s cross found O’Brien at the far post and he volleyed home the opener.

Bayswater then piled the pressure on Cockburn early in the second half but couldn’t find a breakthrough goal.

And the Cockerels turned Bayswater’s high pressing game against them as they launched a counter attack in the 68th minute. Mello played an excellent switching ball to O’Brien, whose powerful shot from the edge of the box found the top left-hand corner to make it 2-0.

Cockburn’s luck took a turn for the worse in the 73rd minute when Bayswater were awarded a penalty after Cockerels goalkeeper Luke Radonich took out Bayswater’s Salmon as he tried to get on the end of a long ball.

Lloyd stepped up but his effort from 12 yards sailed over the bar as Bayswater missed a great chance to get one back.

Cockburn’s defence was finally breached in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Salmon headed in from a corner but the final whistle blew seconds later and the Cockerels took home a huge three points.

Miller said of his side’s title chances: “The last time we spoke about a title run we lost one and drew one so with my group we’re just very focused on each game.”

Bayswater City 1 (Salmon 90+4min)
Cockburn City 2 (O’Brien 27, 68)
Saturday, June 23
Frank Drago Reserve
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: Steven Gregory
Assistant referees: Michal Jasinski, Daniel Cole

Bayswater City: 1. Devon SPENCE, 5. Adam HARRIS (23. Andrija JUKIC 37), 6. Todd HOWARTH, 8. Paul MCCARTHY (4. Arran MAPLESTON 77), 10. Jason MIRCO (22. Luke SALMON 56), 11. Ryan PEARSON, 12. David STOKOE, 13. Trent KAY, 17. Gian ALBANO, 19. Luka NINKOVIC, 26. Paul LLOYD
Substitutes not used: 24. Jake SARDELIC, 25. Luke HUTCHINSON
Yellow cards: Harris 8
Red cards: Nil

Cockburn City: 1. Luke RADONICH, 4. Euen GRANT, 7. Luccas MELLO (12. Ryan PRATT 80), 8. Cameron EDWARDS, 9. Julian TELES, 10. David ARAYA, 11. Harry O’BRIEN, 12. Ryan PRATT, 14. Daniel SANTICH, 16. Daniel ROBINSON, 17. Jesse LAZZARO, 19. Anthony SKORICH (18. Adam ANFUSO 90+1)
Substitutes not used: 13. Blake ADAMS, 23. Ryan BARKER
Yellow cards: Radonich 74, Grant 78
Red cards: Nil

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