Keegan wants more bite from Lions

Stirling Lions coach Keegan Ashley says it’s “dog eat dog” in the fight to stay in the National Premier Leagues WA.

The Lions host ECU Joondalup on Saturday with only goal difference keeping them out of the bottom three.

They lost 2-1 to Sorrento last week, their fifth successive defeat, and Ashley is banking on the return of three first-team regulars to bring an upturn in their fortune.

“We’ve had a bit of a slump and we’re working hard to get out of it,” Ashley said.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries and suspensions, which hasn’t helped, so we get some key players back now which will help the side. Dean Cummings, Darren O’Riordan and Alex Suleski, they’re three that have regularly featured.

“ECU is always a tough game and they beat us earlier in the season, but you know what, it’s dog eat dog now and we need results.”

Ashley said his team were slow out of the blocks in the loss to Sorrento but that it was their inability to finish that ultimately proved costly.

He said: “The first 25 minutes we were poor but after that we started to dominate but just couldn’t find the back of the net. We’ve created lots and lots of opportunities, just young lads lacking that composure to finish.

“But if a team can get two or three wins in a row that can get you right up.”

ECU’s season is in danger of falling flat and coach Dale McCulloch will want his side to tighten up after they leaked five at home to new league leaders Perth Glory last week.

Glory, who have a two-point cushion at the top with eight matches to play, are at home to Floreat Athena on Sunday, while second-place Bayswater City travel to Armadale as they seek to avoid a third straight loss.

Cockburn City will expect to put pressure on the front two when they play at home to bottom side Joondalup United, while Inglewood in fourth are at Sorrento.

The other fixtures see Subiaco at home to Balcatta and Forrestfield United host Perth SC.

Saturday, June 30
Armadale v Bayswater City (Alfred Skeet Reserve, 3pm)
Cockburn City v Joondalup United (Dalmatinac Park, 3pm)
Stirling Lions v ECU Joondalup (Macedonia Park, 3pm)
Sorrento v Inglewood United (Percy Doyle Reserve, 3pm)
Subiaco v Balcatta (Rosalie Park, 3pm)
Forrestfield United v Perth SC (Wildlife Safari Stadium, 7pm)

Sunday, July 1
Perth Glory v Floreat Athena (Ashfield Arena, 3pm)

Lions roar back for first win

Report by Jayden Lihou

Lions roar back for first win

Report by Jayden Lihou

Stirling Lions notched their first victory of the NPL WA season as they overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Armadale 3-2 on Saturday.

After scoring twice inside 22 minutes with goals from Chris Jackson and Michael Rizidis, Armadale looked in total control at Macedonia Park.

It was a different story in the second half, though, as Steve Sokal scored a brace before David Micevski found the winner.

Stirling coach Keegan Ashley praised his side’s character after the interval as well as the performance of Sokal.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to comeback after going two down,” he said. “In the second-half we started to work harder and execute our tactics better and we got our reward.

“So far we’ve only managed to put a good 45 minutes together, but once we start putting 90 together I think we’ll do fine this season.

“I’m very happy with Steve’s performance, he played very well in the second-half and thoroughly deserved his two goals.”

Armadale got off to a quick start as they took lead in the eighth minute when Jackson curled a free-kick into the top corner.

The visitors lead was soon doubled on 22 minutes with a ball over the top to Rizidis and he volleyed over keeper Lance Alavakis and into the back of the net.

Stirling scored their first of the match in the 56th minute when Sokol worked the ball past Armadale keeper Sam Hutchings after a through ball put him one-on-one.

Sokal was at it again just four minutes later when he poked the ball past the onrushing Hutchings before passing the ball into an empty net.

The comeback was complete 15 minutes later when David Micevski found room outside the box to curl an effort into the back of the net.

Armadale had a golden chance to make it 3-3 when they were awarded a penalty in the 85th minute.

However, Jackson was denied by Alavakis which meant Stirling would secure all three points.

Armadale’s second-half performance prompted coach John O’Reilly to demand that his side play consistently for the duration of the match.

“We showed the best and worst of our abilities today,” he said. “In the second-half we stepped off the pedal and all of a sudden we got caught out and found ourselves losing.

“In the first-half when we were in possession we looked relaxed and moved the ball well but in the second the nerves started to kick in, we gave away possession to easily and we were punished for it.

“Going forward we just need to learn to absorb the pressure when it comes and play the same style of football for 90 minutes.” 

Stirling Lions 3 (Sokol 56 mins, 60, Micevski 74)
Armadale 2 (Jackson 8, Rizidis 22)
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Macedonia Park
Joshua Nixon
Assistant referee: Alexander Best, Joseph Belfiore

Stirling Lions: GK. Lance ALAVAKIS, 2. David MOLINARI, 4. Alex SULESKI, 5. Liam HENDERSON, 6. Dhors CHOL, 7. Dean CUMMINGS (C), 8. Dejan SPASESKI, 10. David MICEVSKI (19. Zane CASELLA 82), 11. Alex TANEVSKI 14. Steve SOKOL, 18. Ben CAMPBELL (12. Matthew CHERRIE 54)
Substitutes not used: 
RGK. Pasquale GIOFFRE, 13. Joey PERKINS, 15. Nathan DE ABREU
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Armadale: GK. Sam HUTCHINGS, 3. Dylan DA SILVA, 4. Nathan COSTELLO (C), 5. David ANNALL, 7. Charlie KENNA, 8. Michael LAWSON (12. Dannie RICHMAN 71), 9. Billy QUINNCROFT (17. James ATKINS 86), 10. Chris JACKSON, 11. Michael RIZIDIS, 15. Ali GHOLAMI (6 Kevin CASTLE 79), 21. Beau RAHIM
Substitutes not used: RGK. Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 14. Jonathan BOGONI
Yellow cards: Da Silva 44, Quinncroft 54, Costello 67
Red cards: Nil




Bayswater dismantle Stirling

Football West News


Bayswater City put four past Stirling Lions in their NPLWA clash at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening leaving them top of the table after round three.

Gian Albano opened the scoring in the 28th minute to give Bayswater the lead before Gustavo Giron-Marulanda made it two from the penalty spot on 37 minutes.

Albano scored his second five minutes later to give Bayswater a 3-0 lead going into the break.

In the second half, Bayswater made sure there was no coming back for Stirling when Luke Salmon struck on 76 minutes who made it four for the away side.

Stirling Lions 0
Basywater City 4 (Albano 28min, 42, Giron-Marulanda 37, Salmon 76)
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Macedonia Park
Kick-off: 5pm
Referee: Nico Hoyle
Assistant Referee: Anthony Walsh, Tom Robinson

Cockburn rally to down Lions

Report by Hinako Shiraishi


Cockburn City produced a storming second-half comeback to see off Stirling Lions 4-2 at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday.

The Lions were well placed at half-time after bossing the opening period and well worth their 2-1 lead. But they succumbed after the break as Cockburn maintained their 100 per cent start to the new NPL season.

Cockburn even had defender Daniel Dols sent off four minutes from time with the score at 3-2, but that didn’t stop them adding a fourth goal.

Cockerels coach Scott Miller admitted his team were second best before the break but also praised their recovery.

“Honestly, Stirling did dominate us in the first half, their movement was fantastic,” Miller said.

“However, after we adjusted a couple of things we dominated the second half. We played a very good team tonight and we got everything we deserved in the end.

“This part of the year is great because you want to try and build some confidence, so that’s what we’ll do.”

Luccas Mello opened the scoring for Cockburn after 24 minutes but Stirling were soon on terms through Alex Tanevski.

And the Lions deservedly nosed ahead in the 32nd minute when Tanevski grabbed his second following a neat pass from Dean Cummings.

But the game turned around completely in the second half. On 56 minutes Cockburn were level through Aden Da Luz and 15 minutes from time they regained the lead when Cameron Edwards struck.

Yet the Lions were thrown a lifeline when Dols, who had earlier been booked, was sent off. But Cockburn wrapped up the points in injury time with a goal from Ryan Pratt.

Stirling coach Keegan Ashley said: “For the next round, we’ll assess ourselves during the week and go from there.”

Cockburn City 4 (Mello 24 min, Da Luz 56, Edwards 75, Pratt 90)
Stirling Lions 2 (Tanevski 28, 32)
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Dalmatinac Park
Kick-off: 7pm
Referee: Michal Jasinski
Assistant Referees: Andre Ferreira, Harry Bolan

Cockburn City: 3. Daniel DOLS 4. Euen GRANT 5. Keiron STALLARD 6. Reuben TRISTAO 7. Luccas MELLO (12. Ryan PRATT 89) 8. Cameron EDWARDS 9. Julian TELES (19. Anthony SKORICH 63) 10. David ARAYA 16. Daniel ROBINSON 17. Jesse LAZZARO 18. Aden DA LUZ 23. Ryan BARKER
Substitutes not used: 1. Luke RADONICH 2. Chris THACKRAY
Yellow cards: Dols 65
Red card: Dols 86

Stirling Lions: 1. Lance ALAVAKIS 2. David MOLINARI 3. Darren O’RIORDAN 4. Alex SULESKI 5. Liam HENDERSON 6. Dhors CHOL 7. Dean CUMMINGS (19. Zane CASELLA 60) 9. Robert PETKOV 11. Alex TANEVSKI 14. Abu DULLEH (12. Matthew CHERRIE 48) 15. Steve SOKOL (18. Ben CAMPBELL 72)
Substitutes not used: 13. David FILIPPOU 20. Pasquale GIOFFRE
Yellow cards: Henderson 42
Red cards: Nil


Inglewood and Stirling share the points

A fiery clash between Inglewood United and Stirling Lions ended in a 2-2 draw at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium in round one of the 2018 NPLWA season.

Stirling Lions coach Keegan Ashley felt his team should have taken home the points.

“I’m disappointed, to a degree,” he said.

“But you know, first game, reasonably happy with the result.

“I think we stopped a little, for the first 20 in the second half. But then when we got going again, we created enough chances to win the game so overall I really can’t fault the boys all that much.”

Stirling went ahead as early as the 3rd minute with a scrappy finish from star forward Robert Petkov, who forced his way through the defence.

The visitors were happy to sit back and counter for the first 20 minutes. Inglewood were made to look uncomfortable in possession and turned the ball over on numerous occasions, leading to a number of chances that fell to Alex Tanevski and David Micevski, who were unlucky not to add to the lead in the first half.

The home side’s first real chance came in the 28th minute when Scott Robertson found himself unmarked at the back post, but his shot was high and wide from close range.

Just before half time, Tanevski was presented with a glorious opportunity, but his shot went just wide.

As the referee blew the whistle for half time, Scott Robertson was sent off for unsportsmanlike behaviour, leaving Inglewood with a man down for the second half.

Despite that, Inglewood came out strong after the break and Ellis Healing scored a sublime free kick to level the proceedings and swing the momentum in favour of the home side.

David Molinari came close for the visitors on several occasions, and his shot cannoned of the cross-bar in the 55th minute. Just five minutes later, his free kick was parried away by Alex Dunn.

Dunn also did well to keep out a great effort from Micevski in the 67th minutebut he could do little about the effort from Tanevski just two minutes later. Tanevski went on a great solo run, muscling his way past the defence, before gliding the ball past Dunn.

Inglewood responded immediately after the restart as David Cyrus levelled the game once more with a powerful header and the near post just four minutes later.

Both teams had the chance to win it in stoppage time as neither was willing to settle for the point, but both failed to capitalise on their chances.

Inglewood assistant coach Contera felt the home side clearly lost 2 points.

“We think it’s two points dropped,” he said.

“We’re obviously happy that we fought back and showed character in the second half and got a point out of it, but our first half display wasn’t good enough today.

“We let ourselves down. We were lucky that we fought in the second half and salvaged a point.”

Inglewood United 2 (Healing 47min, Cyrus 73)

Stirling Lions 2 (Petkov 3min, Tanevski 69)

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium

Kick-off: 7pm

Referee: Stephen Gregory

Inglewood United: 1. GK. Alex DUNN, 2.Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 23.Brian WOODALL, 3.David CYRUS, 11.Ellis HEALING, 14.Hanafi GHAZALI, 8.Jason BARRERA, 7.Kenny KEOGH (C) 4.Scott BLACKMORE, 5.Scott ROBERTSON, 19.Steve BURTON, 10.Ash ROSINDALE, 15. Brian FARRELL, 6.Milorad VUJACIC, 17.Rikki SMITH, 20.Michael COHEN (GK)

Yellow Cards: Cyrus

Red Cards: Robertson

Stirling Lions: 1.Lance ALAVAKIS, 15. Abu DULLEH, 4. Alex SULESKI, 11.Alex TANEVSKI, 18.Ben CAMPBELL, 3.Darren O RIORDAN (C), 2.David MOLINARI, 10.David MICEVSKI, 5.Liam HENDERSON, 12.Matthew CHERRIE, 9.Robert PETKOV, 3.David FILIPPOU, 6.Dhhors CHOL, 20.Pasquale GIOFFRE (GK), 19.Zane CASELLA, 17.Robbie McNEILL

Yellow Cards: Molinari, Casella, Henderson

Red Cards: Nil