Round 1: Fremantle City 3-2 UWA

 CREDIT: GABRIELE MALUGA

CREDIT: GABRIELE MALUGA

It was a frustrating start to uni's 2018 State League season, as Fremantle City fought-back to claim a 3-2 win at Hilton Reserve.

Despite a much-improved performance to the one seen in the NIght Series Final against City, Michael Janssen's men were unable to capitalise on a dominant first-half display.

UWA began the match in great form, dictating play through midfield and causing numerous turnovers of an underfire City defence.

The visitors opened the scoring after 15 minutes, with Conor Devlin finding space in the middle and dispatching a powerful strike from 20-yards off the post and into the net.

Uni were hungry for more, with Alex Kretowicz causing plenty of issues in the final third, but it remained 1-0 deep into the opening 45.

All the momentum came to a crashing halt on the stroke of half-time as the hosts were rewarded a questionable penalty after Chris Holland went down under seemingly no challenge from Tim Robertson inside the area. Fremantle skipper Alec Robinson leveled the ledger despite Rhys McPharlane getting a foot on the spot-kick.

The nature of the penalty seemingly disrupted UWA, as errors began creeping into their game with Fremantle looking to pounce. However, uni managed to hit the front again swiftly after the restart.

Bryce Conway's curling corner forced the Freo keeper into spilling the ball with Marocchi reacting sharpest to volley home from 8-yards.

Just as it looked like uni had regained control of proceedings, City hit back. Adam Blewett's lofted ball to Anthony Lomma resulted in a teasing cross which Holland latched onto to even the scores at 2-2 with half an hour remaining.

Both sides pressed valiantly for a winner, with substitute Lloyd Prout's run in behind and cutback opening up a great chance for Kretowicz just inside the box, but the strike was unable to convert as his first-time effort fell just wide of the post.

With a 2-2 looking the most likely outcome, Fremantle took the lead with just under 10 minutes remaining following a turnover deep in UWA's defensive half. Holland intercepted the back pass and finished to claim all three points for City in a rollercoaster encounter.

The boys will look to bounce back this Saturday in their first home game of the season when they take on Joondalup City.

In other results, it was a pair of strong displayed from the 18's and Reserves as they both recorded character-filled 3-2 victories. Special mention must go to 18's keeper Tim Rossi, who spectacularly scored the winner late in the piece.

 IT WAS A GREAT COMEBACK PERFORMANCE FROM THE RESERVES IN THEIR ENTERTAINING 3-2 WIN - CREDIT: GABRIELE MALUGA

IT WAS A GREAT COMEBACK PERFORMANCE FROM THE RESERVES IN THEIR ENTERTAINING 3-2 WIN - CREDIT: GABRIELE MALUGA



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