Ash­field win by one in hard-fought match

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Training & Education - Tris­tan Tay­lor

A GOAL on the hour mark from Ash­field left­back Ash­ley Corker gave the home side all three points in a tight 1-0 con­test in their round 11 en­counter against UWA Ned­lands FC on the week­end.

UWA started off with the ma­jor­ity of the ball pos­ses­sion and a re­turn to their style that was ab­sent last week­end.

The re­turn of in­flu­en­tial cap­tain Joshua Maroc­chi helped to ease the nerves as UWA looked to dam­age Ash­field early.

UWA had the best op­por­tu­nity of an even first 15 min­utes cour­tesy of an Andrew Xy­das strike from range, with the mid­fielder’s at­tempt forc­ing the Ash­field keeper into a div­ing ef­fort.

At the other end, Ash­field was look­ing dan­ger­ous from set pieces, with their cen­tre­backs squan­der­ing sev­eral great op­por­tu­ni­ties from close range.

UWA con­tin­ued to con­trol the tempo of the game, frus­trat­ing the Ash­field play­ers and lead­ing to a string of vi­cious chal­lenges and sev­eral yel­low cards be­ing shown.

De­spite great mid­field link-up from the likes of Alex Kre­tow­icz and Bryce Con­way, UWA was restricted to long-range ef­forts by a solid Ash­field back four, with Ge­ordie Pa­p­athanas­siou and Andrew Xy­das both fir­ing sev­eral lon­grange at­tempts well over.

The best chance of the first half fell to Ash­field’s for­ward from within six yards when he was found free at the back post from a low de­liv­ery. How­ever, he fluffed his lines and shot straight at UWA shot-stop­per Alex Preece.

UWA al­most found them­selves ahead at the other end cour­tesy of Si­mon Baah.

The for­ward nearly broke the dead­lock from a header, but the Ash­field keeper was alert to the danger and pro­duced an ex­cel­lent save to keep scores level head­ing into the break.

Ash­field started the sec­ond half the stronger side and if it wasn’t for stern de­fen­sive plays from Maroc­chi and Michael Vla­sich, they could’ve eas­ily found them­selves ahead.

Ash­field’s pres­sure fi­nally proved too much for UWA and the home side took the lead on the hour mark.

A free kick into the box was well de­fended by UWA. How­ever, no­body re­acted to the re­bound ahead of Ash­field left­back Corker who fired a low vol­ley into the bot­tom corner from 20 yards.

UWA ral­lied and al­most drew level cour­tesy of a Si­mon Baah header. Un­for­tu­nately the ball smashed into the cross­bar.

UWA was de­nied a bla­tant penalty in the fi­nal five min­utes when Kre­tow­icz was brought down inside the area as he fired an ef­fort on goal, but the ref­eree waved away the UWA claims.

Ash­field was able to hold out for the re­main­ing time and se­cured their fifth win of the sea­son to in­crease the gap be­tween the top five sides and the rest of the league, while UWA re­mains in seventh place.

It will be a tough away trip against league lead­ers Man­durah City FC this week­end, but UWA will look for­ward to the re­turn of lead­er­ship group mem­bers Marc Zagami and Conor Devlin to the squad af­ter car­ry­ing out their sus­pen­sions.

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