UWA Nedlands FC 5 - 4 Shamrock Rovers FC

Andrew Xydas plays Bryce Conway through

Andrew Xydas plays Bryce Conway through

A late revival from UWA saw them collect their first win of the season against Shamrock Rovers FC, after their 3-0 half time lead was quickly overturned by Rovers early in the second half.

Both sides headed into the fixture undefeated in their last two league games and were looking to reduce the distance between themselves and the top few sides.

It was UWA who started the stronger side and five minutes had barely passed when Michael Vlasich put the home side 1-0 up. The centre back intercepted a pass and charged down the guts of the field before playing a neat one-two that put him just outside the box. The defender’s shot was nothing short of unstoppable as the ball riffled into the top corner.

Shortly afterwards UWA doubled their lead through Lloyd Prout. Rovers were careless in possession playing it out from the back and Prout was on his toes to capitalise on a poor pass from the Rovers centre back. Prout then made no mistake with the finish as he slotted it past the keeper to make it 2-0.

UWA were playing with confidence and had plenty of opportunities to make it 3-0. Andrew Xydas failed to finish off a smooth passage of passing play, his effort going straight to the keeper from inside the box. Tristan Taylor also had a great chance from a Robbie Black corner, but the fullback steered his effort wide.

UWA extended their lead just before half time courtesy of Alex Kretowicz. Vlasich was to thank for the goal, the centre back played an extraordinary through ball which split the Rover’s defence and left the forward with an easy finish to make it 3-0 at half time.

John O’Reilly had his boys fired up after the interval and they responded almost instantaneously. A free kick on the right wing was met by a close range header from Alan O'Mahoney, leaving goalkeeper Ranjeet Sekhon with no chance and bringing Rover’s back into the game.

UWA were still recovering from the goal when Rovers hit them again to reduce the gap to one goal. Matthew Steffenson failed to deal with a dangerous cross in from the left wing and Will Pender pinched it off his toes and buried it home.

The away side were playing with newfound confidence and their comeback was almost complete when they drew level moments later. A brisk counter attack down the right wing left UWA short at the back and Rovers capitalised. Sahr Konoyami's cross was met by a towering header from Steve Sheridan, who’s late run into the box was left unmarked by the UWA defence.

With the scores tied at 3-3, Shamrock were looking likely to complete their comeback, and surely enough they did. A free kick on half way was played to the corner flag, which was chased down superbly by Pender. A dangerous ball into the box wasn’t held onto by Sekhon and Konoyami was quick to capitalise on the keeper’s spill and make it 4-3 to the away side.

With his side struggling to create going forward, Janssen used all his substitutions and brought on the midfield trio of Richard Olsen, Marc Zagami and Bryce Conway to bring a bit of vigour into the middle of the park.

The substitutions breathed new life into the young UWA side and they begun to start playing the brand of football that saw them 3-0 up in the first half. With the game back in control UWA were beginning to mount pressure upon the Rovers defence. Prout almost found an equaliser after he found himself on the end of a through ball from Xydas; however, Rover’s keeper Yousri Gharsallah was equal to the task.

With ten minutes to go UWA’s pressure was finally rewarded with an equaliser. Conor Devlin and Andrew Xydas were able to carve through the Rovers midfield with quick passing before playing the ball into the feet of Kretowicz. The striker was quick to turn his marker and slotted the ball into the bottom corner to make it 4-4.

Both sides were hungry for a win but it was UWA who stole the three points in the final minutes of the game. Kretowicz finished Rovers off after a touch and finish from a superb cross-field pass from Black.

UWA’s first win of the season sees them climb into the top half of the table into 6th spot, whilst Shamrock slips down to 9th.

UWA will travel to Hartfield Park next weekend where they will look to inflict more pain upon Forrestfield United SC, who sits second from bottom on the ladder.

MATCH STATS

UWA Nedlands FC - 5 (Kretowicz 3, Vlasich, Prout)
Shamrock Rovers FC - 4 (O'Mahoney, Pender, Sheridan, Konoyami)

In other results, the reserves were unable to make it three wins on the day, going down 3-1. Kamando Sikazwe increased his league tally to 5 with a goal from the spot. Vinny Kapur’s 18’s secured their first points of the season with a hard fought 4-3 win.