Jayden Lihou NPLWA Round One

Bayswater City survived a second-half scare to defeat Balcatta 4-2 in round one of the NPLWA season at Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday.

The 2017 NPLWA champions were 3-0 up but Balcatta scored two goals in 10 minutes to peg the score back to 3-2.

The away side was unable to complete the comeback, however, as they were reduced to 10 men late in the game and City capitalised soon after, scoring their fourth in stoppage time.

Bayswater coach Chris Coyne was impressed with the team’s performance.

The first game of the season is always difficult,” he said.

We’ve seen that with the results throughout the league in the first round so I’m very pleased with the win today.”

I’ll take the three points today but I won’t let that polish over the performance because we weren’t at our best today. I know it’s still early on but I do want to see an improvement from the boys and we’ll be working hard during the week to make sure we see it.”

The hosts started the game well as they opened the scoring in the 6th minute when a low cross from Jason Mirco found Luka Ninkovic who poked the ball home from close range.

Balcatta captain Calum O’Connell had a chance to level the scores in the 24th minute when his shot from just outside the box thundered off the cross-bar.

The away-side would begin to rue that missed opportunity as Bayswater scored a mere four minutes later when Jake Sardelic found Micro at the back-post who threaded the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle.

Bayswater continued where they left off in the second-half as Todd Howarth scored from a driven free-kick to make it 3-0 in the 53rd minute.

Gustavo Giron Marulanda had a golden opportunity to kill the game off in the 61st minute when he dribbled past the onrushing keeper but his effort was foiled by a block from the last defender.

Balcatta responded with a free-kick goal of their own when Adriano Jelenovic curled the ball into the top-far corner from a wide position with 20 minutes to go.

Anton de Francesch gave his side hope for a grandstand comeback when Jelenovic stole the ball off a defender before laying it off to the substitute who scored in off the post in the 82nd minute.

However, it was not to be for Balcatta as Jonathan Corness was given his marching orders after a second yellow just four minutes later before substitute Tristan Colli finished the game off with a near-post in the 94th minute.

Balcatta coach Goran Stajic said he was proud of how his side performed against the league’s best.

I can’t fault the performance of my boys at all today,” he said. “I think overall Bayswater deserved the win but the 4-2 score-line doesn’t do the boys justice.”

It’s good to know we can compete against the best so we’re are going to come out strong next week, and the weeks after, and try to climb as high as we possibly.”

Bayswater City 4 (Ninkovic 6min, Micro 29, Howarth 53, Colli 94)
Balcatta 2 (Jelenovic 70min, De Francesch 82)
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Frank Drago Reserve
Kick-off: 5:00pm
Referees:  Gregory Birch
Assistant Referees: Michal Jasinski, Walter Ciotti

Bayswater City: GK. Devon SPENCE, 4. Arron MAPLESTONE, 6. Todd HOWARTH,  8. Paul MCCARTHY, 9. Gustavo Giron MARULANDA, 10. Jason MIRCO, 13. Trent KAY (C), 17. Gian ALBANO (21. Riley VAN DIEKEN 67′), 18.Brent GRIFFITHS (23. Andrija JUKIC 90′), 19. Luka NINKOVIC (14. Tristan COLLI 76′), 24. Jake SARDELIC
Substitutes not used: 22. Luke Salmon, 25. Dejan ALEKSIC
Yellow Cards: Howarth 63, Kay 69 
Red Cards: Nil

Balcatta: GK. Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 2. Joseph MARINO, 3. Hayden STEVENS, 4. Calum O’CONNELL (C), 8. Carmelo GIUFFRE, 10. Jonathan CORNESS, 11. Renee ALBA, 14. Vasco DA SILVA (17. Brody KENNEDY 63′), 15. Adriano JELENOVIC, 20. Shubham MOKALA (Scott NEWLAND 72′), 23. Mathew MCROBERTS-OLANSO (12. Anton DE FRANCESCH 55′)
Substitutes not used: 6. Kris GATE, 25. Kyle MCDONALD
Yellow Cards: Corness 46, 86, Jelenovic 73
Red Cards: Corness 86

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