Greg Sharland scored a dramatic late penalty as Inglewood United earned a first point of their PlayStation 4 NPL WA campaign in a 1-1 draw with Perth SC.
Sharland, who announced his retirement during the week, stepped up and fired into the roof of the net after David Sesay was tripped in the area.
Perth looked set to open their season with back-to-back wins, as they weathered a late storm from the hosts, after Andreas Theodosaides scored a peach from 20m.
But the final say went to Sharland against his former club and he was elated by the fairytale finish.
“There’s a lot of emotion after that,” he said. “I would have loved to go out with a win today, but I wouldn’t have it any other way really. It was really special out there.
“It’s a good opportunity for the young brigade to come through now and I’m glad to go out like this.”
This was a much-improved performance from Inglewood after last week’s 5-1 defeat to Cockburn with both goalkeepers in fine form throughout.
Ash Rosindale was frustrated twice in five minutes, firstly by a desperate block from Scott Blackmore, before Aleks Vrteski stuck out a hand to save his toe-poke.
But the best chances came just before half time as Alex Dunn smothered from David Micevski one-on-one, before Vrteski was down sharply to palm away Reece Vittiglia’s drive.
The deadlock was broken a minute after the break though, as Theodosaides ran through midfield unchallenged, before blasting brilliantly into the top corner from 20m.
Carlo Coelho came close to adding a second for Perth, when he side-footed onto the post, moments after coming off the bench.
Inglewood could have equalised 15 minutes before time when Abdul Sesay raced clear, but Rocco Pizzata did just enough on the cover and Sesay couldn’t hit the target.
And they got their reward for a sustained spell of pressure, when Sharland capped off a remarkable afternoon with a decisive penalty.
Stirling Lions showed plenty of resilience to beat Sorrento 3-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve.
Sorrento’s Jason Mirco scored a consolation goal in the 51st minute but goals from Daniel Micevski, Brodie Martin and Teeboy Kamara was enough to seal the victory for the Lions.
Floreat Athena began their season with a resounding 3-1 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Glen Grostate’s side did not play last week, but showed their title credentials with an excellent all-round team performance.
An early goal from Cockburn’s Rory Patterson put the home side in front but second half goals to Blair Govan, skipper Ludovic Boi and Kris Gate gave Floreat the victory.
Balcatta recorded a second win from two games but coach Ramon Falzon was disappointed with his team’s second half performance despite a 2-1 win over Subiaco at Grindleford Reserve.
A goal from Subiaco’s Ian McMurray in the 76th minute was not enough to launch a fight-back after going down early to goals from Patrick Quinn and Gustavo Catarcione.
Defending champions Bayswater City continued their solid start to the season after a comfortable 3-1 win at ECU Joondalup.
Hayden Doyle, Todd Howarth and David Heagney all struck in the first half for the visitors, as 10-man ECU scored a consolation goal late on through Tommy Amphlett.
Joe Knowles scored a hat trick as Perth Glory's youthful NPL squad brushed aside Armadale 4-1 at Alfred Skeet Reserve.
Faustino Machochi cancelled out Knowles' opener in the first half, before another two goals from the Glory striker and a goal from Stefan Valentini sealed the win.
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