Uni have continued their fine late season form with a hard-fought 2-1 away win over Ashfield at Ashfield Arena in Round 21.
With the rain descending just as the lads made their way out onto the pitch, the conditions made it difficult for either side to take control in the opening 15 minutes.
However, once the visitors got their bearings, they started to take control of proceedings with great use of the limited width available.
With a half-chance falling to Conor Devlin from close range following Bryce Conway’s corner that nearly snuck in at the near post, it was only a matter of time before UWA opened the scoring.
Ashfield’s resolute defence was eventually broken down by a piece of individual brilliance from Golden Boot leading striker Alex Kretowicz. The forward picked up the ball on the right-hand side, cut inside onto his left and unleashed a fizzing strike from 20-yards that received a slight deflection to take it past the keeper to make it 1-0.
The disparity didn’t last long, with the hosts equalising almost immediately after the restart through Abdul Abudalla. The midfielder was able to hit the back of the net from close-range following a pass across the area to make it 1-1.
Uni, frustrated by their own lapse in concentration, regained control of the encounter following the leveller as they worked to regain the lead before half-time.
They did just that via a brilliant team goal finished off by Conway just moments before the break. Tristan Taylor, Kretowicz and Conway linked up superbly down the right-hand side, with their one-touch passing carving open the Ashfield defence.
Taylor played the ball to Conway inside, with the winger playing a first time ball to Kretowicz in behind the defence and his cross found an on-rushing Conway 12-yards from goal as he headed home into the bottom right corner to leads the boys in green to 2-1 up at half-time.
It was a much tighter affair in the second half, with both sides holding firm defensively after an expansive opening 45 minutes.
UWA maintained control of the contest, with Andrew Xydas working tirelessly in the middle of the park to restrict Ashfield’s possession, as he won countless aerial duels and second balls to keep the game on their terms.
The final 10 minutes saw the home side throw everything at the Uni defence, with long ball after long ball launched into the final third, but Tim Robertson and skipper Josh Marocchi held firm in the final stages as they held on to their narrow advantage and secure their third win on the trot.
The result see’s UWA climb up to 5th place, with a win in the final round of the season against Morley a massive opportunity for the side to finish as high as third.
Elsewhere, the reserves recorded a dramatic 2-1 victory, with Patrick Morrison smashing home a late winner to record their second consecutive victory. The 18’s claimed the league with a game to spare following a 9-0 drubbing of Ashfield to take out the title in fine fashion after a fantastic season under the tutelage of Gerhard Janssen and Kapi Sikazwe.