NPLWA Round 22 Review

Perth SC completed their league season with a goalless draw against Balcatta before lifting a fourth NPLWA – Men’s title in six years.

It was a low-key way to sign off for the champions and their departing head coach Ramon Falzon, not that it dampened the mood of a celebratory crowd.

Balcatta, who this week announced that interim head coach Michael Johnson was to be made permanent, at times threatened to complete a league double over the Azzurri with Jon Corness and David Cyrus going close with headers.

It was an encouraging performance from Michael Johnson's side who end the season five games unbeaten thanks in part of an excellent performance from goalkeeper Sebastian Medica, who saved superbly from Jayden Gorman, Bojan Radinovic and Michael Domfeh.

For Perth, who clinched the title last week at Rockingham, it was the end of another fabulous campaign. They now turn their attention to the Top Four Cup, before a new era without Falzon steering the ship.

Perth Glory, meanwhile, blitzed Inglewood United with four first-half goals to take the remaining Top Four Cup spot in the final round of the NPLWA – Men’s competition.

A draw would have been good enough for Ruben Zadkovich's side, but Saturday's rampant display set up an elimination semi-final with Sorrento and sounded a warning that the youngsters are not to be taken lightly.

Chris Donnell chose a great moment to net his first for the season as he lashed in a stunning half-volley from distance on 11 minutes.

Six minutes later it was 2-0 as Charlie Leech poked home from a corner and Glory raced three clear after 20 minutes when Ciaran Bramwell arrived to bundle in.

Joshua Anasmo converted Leech's cross to bring up a dozen goals for the season as the 2018 Top Four Cup finalists blew the visitors away and all but confirm their post-season place.

Early in the second half, Steve Sokol registered an 18th goal of 2021 from the penalty spot to ensure he would win the Golden Boot, but that would be the only positive to come from a disappointing day.

Scott Blackmore was shown a second yellow card in four minutes for a firm challenge on Bramwell before skipper Gio Colli added a late fifth to complete the rout.

Glory now travel to Percy Doyle Reserve next week and come up against a Sorrento side, who also enter the post-season in good form after a 4-0 win at 10-man Bayswater City.

The hosts were up against it early on when goalkeeper Nic Speca came off his line and fouled Chris Jackson after 45 seconds and received a red card. The Gulls then netted three times in the first period to cruise to a comfortable victory.

An own goal from Baysie skipper Jack Allen set Jamie Harnwell's side on their way before Gulls defender Jordan Brown powered in a header from a corner for his sixth of the season.

Jordan Roberts acrobatically hooked in a third and Alex Morgan tapped in a fourth after the break as Sorrento go into the Top Four Cup with one defeat in their last eight games.

Sorrento's win wasn't enough to finish second and earn a double chance in the finals, as Floreat rediscovered their goalscoring touch in a 5-1 win over Rockingham City to sew up second spot.

Phil Arnold curled home a stunning opener to give Athena the lead at the interval, but they poured in four second half goals to win a third home game on the bounce.

Nick Ambrogio doubled the lead within a minute of the restart before Chris Saldaris emphatically slammed in his eighth of the season.

Robbie Galvin's first of the campaign from range provided Rockingham with a consolation five minutes from time, but two late goals gave Vas Vujacic's side further momentum ahead of next week's clash at champions Perth.

Rob Harding capped a flowing team goal before Saldaris' late penalty gave Floreat a timely confidence boost as they begin their Top Four Cup defence against Perth SC in a replay of last year's final.

Elsewhere, Cockburn City farewelled Scott Miller in fitting fashion with a 2-0 win over ECU Joondalup to end the head coach’s seven-year stay on a high.

Julian Teles set the hosts on their way with a thumping opener on 11 minutes and Cockburn sealed the result when Samuel Cook fired in his first senior NPL goal.

The youngster and his team-mates ran over and celebrated with Miller in front of the home dugout, which confirmed three points despite Breckan Baker's late red card.

Finally, Angel Andres scored a late equaliser as Armadale finished seventh following a 1-1 draw at Gwelup Croatia.

Jon Stynes scored his 10th of the season at the back post midway through the second half, but the hosts ended their year with a 10th draw as Spanish striker Andres broke the offside trap to finish as the league's third top scorer with 13 goals.

NPLWA Round 22 | Goals Wrap

Bayswater City 0-4 Sorrento
Cockburn City 2-0 ECU Joondalup
Floreat Athena 5-1 Rockingham City
Gwelup Croatia 1-1 Armadale
Perth Glory 5-1 Inglewood United
Perth SC 0-0 Balcatta