UWA Nedlands FC 5 - 3 Dianella White Eagles SC

UWA Nedlands FC got back to winning ways and moved to within a point of the top four with a dominant attacking performance against Dianella White Eagles SC, coming out 5-3 victors in gusty conditions at UWA Sports Park.

UWA were looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Forrestfield United last round, but in their way stood a Dianella outfit hungry to taste victory for the first time this season.

UWA started the stronger side, dominating possession from the first whistle; however, gusty conditions proved difficult to master and they were unable to convert their dominance into clear-cut chances.

UWA finally broke clear twenty minutes in, when Conor Devlin was able to play through Alex Kretowicz into space. The forward slid the ball into the bottom corner to give UWA the lead.

Despite dominating proceedings, UWA found themselves on level terms after some scrappy defending on the edge of the area allowed Dianella forward Chris Rizidis to turn and fire low and hard past UWA keeper Alex Preece to make it 1-1.

Dianella started playing with some newfound intensity and they found themselves 2-1 up when Matt Izzo’s free kick beat Preece from a tight angle.

UWA begun searching for an equaliser and it came from the feet of centre back Michael Vlasich. UWA received a free kick on the edge of the area and Vlasich made use of the wet conditions to perfection, curling his effort into the bottom corner leaving the Dianella keeper with no chance and putting the game back on level terms at half time.

The second half picked up exactly where the first left off. Midfielder Bryce Conway was fouled on the edge of the area and dead ball specialist Vlasich stepped up to take the free kick. The six-man wall wasn’t enough to stop the centre back, as he superbly picked out the top corner and restored UWA’s lead.

It only took moments for UWA to add more misery to Dianella. Devlin picked the ball up in midfield and slotted it through Kretowicz who timed his run excellently. The forward smashed it past the Dianella keeper to make it 4-2.

UWA were playing with confidence and displaying some of their best football to date; crafty passing passages from the midfield were opening Dianella up with ease and on the 75th minute mark UWA scored their fifth of the game. Marc Zagami and Tristan Taylor exchanged some great short passes down the right flank and were able to draw out the Dianella back four. Taylor then played through Kretowicz and the forward did well to hold off his man and blast the ball into the bottom corner.

Bryce Conway almost joined the party minutes later. The midfielder weaved in and out of multiple Dianella defenders before cutting inside from the left flank and curling a sublime effort on goal. Unfortunately his shot couldn’t dip enough in time and rattled the crossbar.

Dianella were able to pull one back in the final minutes as Aleks Miladinovic was poorly marked on the edge of the area and fired a great shot past Preece into the bottom corner. However, it turned out to be no more than a consolation goal as UWA finished 5-3 victors.

Head coach Michael Janssen was pleased with the performance and the team's ability to close out the game. “I’m happy for the team that we kept the 3 points at the Mack,” he expressed. “Just switching off for about 10 minutes in the first half cost us our lead. Sticking to our football and not dropping it down brought us upfront and we deserved the clear win. The way we scored showed our varieties and quality to execute our build-up. For the moment we are happy, but we need to continue and work hard over the coming weeks.”

The win moves Janssen’s men to within one point of third place; conversely, Dianella remain on the bottom of the ladder after their fifth successive loss. UWA will look to push into the top four next week as they face a tough trip down to Bunbury to take on South West Phoenix FC.

UWA Nedlands FC – 5 (Kretowicz 3, Vlasich 2)
Dianella White Eagles FC – 3 (Rizidis, Izzo, Miladinovic)

Chris Beech and Clive Stopper’s reserves outfit got back to winning ways with a convincing 4-0 victory. Sam Holden scored a brace after coming on at half time, while Mordecai Appiah and Tas Mitaros chipped in with one each. Unfortunately the 18’s game had to be rescheduled due to the poor weather.