UWA's fine late season form continued with a convincing 3-1 away win over bottom side Canning City.
It was a dominant performance from start to finish for Michael Janssen’s side, with the win seeing the boys climb up to 5th spot with 24 points, just 6 points adrift of leaders Dianella (ahead on goal difference) and South West Phoenix.
It was all Uni in the opening stages, with Luke Randazzo as energetic and influential as ever on his return to the side following his trip overseas, and it was the winger who opened the scoring the visitors with 27 minutes gone.
Alex Kretowicz opened up the Canning defence with a perfectly weighted through ball for Randazzo, with his first touch allowing him to coolly enter the box and blast an unstoppable shot off the near post and in.
The goal was a welcome relief for the side who had seen chances to Harry Hosking and Patrick Morrison denied by Canning’s goalkeeper early in proceedings.
The hosts almost immediately responded, as some great build up play in midfield and eventual shot by Joe Kelly from the edge of the area forced a great save from Ranjeet Singh at the half hour mark.
Just three minutes later UWA and Randazzo doubled their tally with a composed finish.
A superb ball through by Hosking saw Man-of-the-Match Randazzo pick the ball up just inside the box as he then rounded the keeper to pass into an empty net. His second strike was vital for Uni, with the side bringing a two-goal cushion into the half-time break.
UWA began the second-half with the same intensity and were unlucky to not have added a third swiftly after the restart, with Kretowicz’s close-range finish chalked off after Morrison was judged to have fouled the keeper in the build-up from the corner.
Canning met the challenge well after the controversial moment, with City enjoying their best spell of the encounter in the middle of the second-half, as their midfield began to dictate. They were rewarded on the hour mark after Joe Kelly won a penalty from a Brandon Naude challenge, which he then converted to make it 2-1 with a third of the match still to play.
The spot-kick saw the tension rise amongst Janssen’s team temporarily, but the travelling side were determined to hit back. Kretowicz saw his chance following a mazy run cleared off the line by Joe Correia in the 65th minute.
Just ten minutes later the three points were secured thanks to a simple finish from Morrison. A clever cross to the back stick from Andrew Xydas found Kretowicz in space, with the striker then looping the ball over the keeper to find an unmarked Morrison on the goal line with a free-header into an empty net.
Morrison was denied a brace in the 88th minute, with his clever strike inside the six-yard box again disallowed following some brilliant work from substitute Mordecai Junior.
It ended 3-1 at Burrendah Reserve, with Janssen extremely proud of the squad.
“It was so important for us to continue our form and get the win here today,” he said.
“No matter where they are on the table, Canning are always a tricky side to beat at home and I’m very pleased with how the boys navigated the conditions and finished strongly,” the head coach added.
UWA now turn their focus to a crucial Western Suburbs Derby next weekend as they take on bitter rivals Western Knights at The Mac, with Knights now only three points ahead in the standings.
In other results, the 18's suffered defeat against a high-flying Canning side while Gerhard Janssen's reserves secured a come from behind 4-2 triumph thanks to a top class brace from Richard Olsen.