City bounce back in thriller

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph Sport - Ai­den Boy­ham

Rock­ing­ham City Foot­ball Club got back to win­ning ways last Satur­day, as they de­feated Ashfield 3-2 in an en­ter­tain­ing clash at Lark Hill in Port Kennedy.

Hav­ing come off the back of a tough 1-0 loss to For­rest­field a week ear­lier, City were keen to show their in­tent and did just that early on.

Rob Cr­erar’s side dom­i­nated the first half-hour, tak­ing the lead just af­ter 15 min­utes when Oriol Fer­nan­dez put home Ryan Kennedy’s cross. City could have been up com- fort­ably at half-time were it not for a com­bi­na­tion of missed chances, good saves by Ashfield’s keeper and the wood­work — and they were made to pay for it when Ashfield equalised just be­fore half-time.

With an in­di­rect free kick awarded af­ter the goal­keeper held on to the ball for too long, Ashfield’s Jamie Ste­wart fired home a de­flected shot off the wall to level the score be­fore the main break.

Af­ter some stern words at half­time from Cr­erar, City looked to re­gain the as­cen­dency in the sec­ond half but Ashfield got a foothold in the game and went 2-1 up af­ter Ste­wart scored again for the visi- tors. Rock­ing­ham changed their for­ma­tion to chase the game and equalised with around 10 min­utes left af­ter Ja­son Pot­tier scored from close range af­ter a great cut back from sub­sti­tute Ravi Kup­pusamy.

With just min­utes re­main­ing, City got the win­ner when Ly­don Hodgkiss rose high­est to head home Blake Sokolowski’s dan­ger­ous free kick.

Cr­erar praised Kennedy and Chris­tian Hogge for their dis­plays dur­ing the win and said it was great to get the vic­tory with the bulk of his play­ers now back from hol­i­day breaks.

“We’ve had those play­ers away and had a tough run and there per­haps have been a few peo­ple with an agenda hop­ing that we lost on the week­end, so it was great to get the win . . . es­pe­cially for the loyal fans that are down there every week,” he said. “It was a pleas­ing win.” Rock­ing­ham have a bye this week­end be­fore they re­turn to ac­tion on Septem­ber 9 against UWA-Ned­lands FC at Lark Hill.

In the mean­time, City’s younger play­ers will be treated to a spe­cial train­ing ses­sion run by former Perth Glory coach Ian Fer­gu­son this week.

Rock­ing­ham City’s Max Snel­son had his af­ter­noon cut short by in­jury in the first half.

Pic­tures: Richard Polden

Rock­ing­ham’s Ly­don Hodgkiss and Ashfield’s Jamie Ste­wart bat­tle for the ball.

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