Coach sees pos­i­tives in loss

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Sport -

AR­MADALE went down in penal­ties 3-1 on Sun­day, as Man­durah City booked a place in the NPL WA Night Se­ries grand fi­nal.

Ar­madale took a de­served 50th minute lead in the semi-fi­nal at In­gle­wood Sta­dium through Jor­dan Pavett’s clin­i­cal strike. But they were un­able to hold on and sub­sti­tute Craig Tone hooked home the equaliser on 74 min­utes to force the shoot-out.

Jack Eades, Sean Troupe and Matthew Stares all con­verted from the spot for City, while Ar­madale’s luck de­serted them, with Pavett suc­cess­ful be­fore David An­nall struck the bar, Dy­lan White’s ef­fort was saved and Jake Sardelic blazed over to send Hes­keth’s side into a maiden de­cider.

Ar­madale en­joyed the best of the first half and had they brought their shoot­ing boots they could have been out of sight by the in­ter­val. How­ever, Josh Tu­moe (twice), Kyle King and David An­nall all saw good chances go amiss.

At the end of the first half, Man­durah suf­fered a blow when Trent Wood was stretchered off for a knee in­jury that re­quired a trip to hospi­tal via am­bu­lance.

Ar­madale started the sec­ond half brightly, with Sardelic sting­ing the fists of Eif­fle and they de­servedly took the lead thanks to Pavett’s stun­ning opener. The mid­fielder latched on to a Faustinho Ma­chochi pass, after An­nall’s clever step over, be­fore fir­ing home from 25 yards, in off the keeper’s right post.

Pavett and King then forced Eif­fle into smart saves be­fore Man­durah fi­nally threat­ened the Ar­madale goal, with Ryan Fran­cis break­ing for­ward and Tone fir­ing wide.

Buoyed by that at­tack­ing foray, Hes­keth’s men then cap­i­talised on some sloppy play from An­nall, who con­ceded a cor­ner, from which Tone hooked home.

The game burst into life in the clos­ing stages, with Tone al­most com­plet­ing the come­back on 88 min­utes but his header lacked the pace to trou­ble Cragg. On the coun­ter­at­tack, King nearly won it for Ar­madale, but his shot didn’t con­cern Eif­fle, who was quickly out to deny Ma­chochi a short time later.

“It’s time to go back to the train­ing ground for a lit­tle shoot­ing prac­tice,” Ar­madale coach John O’Reilly said.

“There are lots of pos­i­tives to take, not just from this game, but from the last cou­ple and it will be about fine-tun­ing go­ing into the league sea­son.

“I’m not too dis­heart­ened go­ing for­ward, but I’m gut­ted about to­day. It would have been nice to have got to the fi­nal.”

Picture: Fo­toenzo

Sean Troup from Man­durah City, Josh Tu­moe from Ar­madale and Oliver McGee from Man­durah City on Sun­day.

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