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
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