Ashfield SC 1 - 0 UWA Nedlands FC

A goal on the hour mark from Ashfield left back Ashley Corker gave the home side all three points in a tight contest in their Round 11 encounter against UWA Nedlands FC.

UWA started off with the majority of the ball possession and a return to their play-style that was absent last weekend. Additionally, the return of influential captain Joshua Marocchi helped to ease the nerves as UWA looked to damage Ashfield early.

UWA had the best opportunity of an even first fifteen minutes courtesy of an Andrew Xydas strike from range, with the midfielder’s attempt forcing the Ashfield keeper into a diving effort.

At the other end Ashfield were looking dangerous from set pieces, with their centre backs squandering several great opportunities from close range.

UWA continued to control the tempo of the game, frustrating the Ashfield players and leading to a string of vicious challenges and several yellow cards being shown.

Despite great midfield linkup from the likes of Alex Kretowicz and Bryce Conway, UWA were restricted to long range efforts by a solid Ashfield back four, with Geordie Papathanassiou and Andrew Xydas both firing several long range attempts well over.

The best chance of the first half fell to Ashfield’s forward from within 6 yards when he was found free at the back post from a low delivery; however, he fluffed his lines and shot straight at UWA shot-stopper Alex Preece.

UWA almost found themselves ahead at the other end courtesy of Simon Baah. The forward nearly broke the deadlock from a headed effort, but the Ashfield keeper was alert to the danger and produced an excellent save to keep scores level heading into the break.

Ashfield begun the second half the stronger side and if it wasn’t for stern defensive plays from Joshua Marocchi and Michael Vlasich they could’ve easily found themselves ahead.

Ashfield’s pressure finally proved too much for UWA and the home side took the lead on the hour mark. A free kick into the box was well defended by UWA; however, nobody reacted to the rebound ahead of Ashfield left back Ashley Corker who fired a low volley into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

UWA rallied and almost drew level courtesy of a Simon Baah header. Andrew Xydas’ corner was well met by the head of Baah, who directed it goalwards. Unfortunately the forward couldn’t keep his effort down and it smashed into the crossbar.

UWA were denied a blatant penalty in the final five minutes when Alex Kretowicz was brought down inside the area as he fired an effort on goal, but the referee waved away the UWA claims.

Ashfield were able to hold out for the remaining time and secured their fifth win of the season to increase the gap between the top five sides and the rest of the league, whilst UWA remain in 7th place.

MATCH STATS
Ashfield SC – 1 (Corker)
UWA Nedlands FC – 0

It will be a tough away trip against league leaders Mandurah City FC next weekend but UWA will look forward to the return of leadership group members Marc Zagami and Conor Devlin to the squad after carrying out their suspensions.

It was an almost day for the rest of the state league sides. The Reserves came back to draw 3-3 in a game where they largely dominated. They led 2-1 at the half way point courtesy of goals to Thomas Moroney and Kamando Sikazwe before trailing 3-2, but Lachlan Thomas came up big to level at the death. 

Meanwhile the 18’s were very unlucky to return home empty handed, going down 1-0 to the second topside.