Stirling Lions leapfrogged Perth SC into third place on the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues WA table after a late goal from David Micevski gave them a 2-1 win at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday evening.
The fixture was a feature of the inaugural DT38 Foundation Awareness Round, which signalled the start of a nine-week competition encouraging clubs to promote awareness of testicular cancer.
The crowd stood in a minute silence prior to kick off and burst into a moment of applause on 38 minutes in tribute of the WA footballer, Dylan Tombides.
David Micevski gave the Lions the lead early in the first half before Perth suffered another blow with Rocco Pizzata picking up a second yellow in the 75th minute.
But Gustavo Catarcione pulled them back level from the penalty spot just two minutes later before David Micevski scored the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Lions coach Rob Milevski said his side showed great character to hit back late to win it.
“We dominated the first half and deservedly came in at half time with the lead, but we sat a little too deep in the second half and let them back in,” he said.
“But despite conceding the penalty, we pushed a couple more forward and luckily we managed to the get winner, but we did leave it a little late.
“It was a good team performance, Jamie (Gibson) was outstanding up top for us and I thought the back four were terrific, while David (Micevski) scored a couple of quality goals for us, so all in all a great result for us tonight.”
David Micevski said it was a vital to get the three points, after beating Bayswater last week.
“A win was vital to stay in the hunt at the top, so the three points tonight was really important especially after the big win last week,” he said.
“We all worked hard tonight and all put in a good shift. I was real pleased to score the winner, but more important is the three points for the team, and it was nice to get the pass for it from my brother Daniel, we’ve done that move in the park a number of times over the years.”
The visitors dominated early, with Jamie Gibson firing over, before Daniel Micevski’s shot on the run fizzed over the top.
Then on 17 minutes they hit the front. Teeboy Kamara raced clear and was crudely brought down by Perth keeper Francis Soale outside the area, and to the surprise of many he was only shown a yellow card by referee Adam Fielding.
But David Micevski took revenge from the resulting free kick, curling home superbly past Soale to give the Lions a well-deserved lead.
Perth were struggling in the final third, but their best chance of the half came on 37 minutes, Nathan Diaz heading over from Dino Topcagic’s corner.
But in the final minute the Lions almost doubled their advantage. Miki Vujacic’s corner was headed back across goal by Graham Doran, and Daniel Micevski header was well saved by Soale.
Perth began well after half time and Tom King fired over from an early free kick, before Andreas Theodosiades was denied by a superb tackle from David Sesay.
The home side were on top but they suffered a blow on 75 minutes, when Pizzata received a second yellow card from referee Fielding.
But two minutes later the ten men levelled. Catarcione wriggled his way into the penalty area and was brought down by Shane Cassidy and the referee pointed straight to the spot.
The Brazilian striker picked himself up and sent Lions keeper John Perkins the wrong way to level it.
The Lions pressed late looking to make their numerical advantage count, and David Micevski’s free kick from the edge of the penalty flashed agonizingly wide in the 90th minute.
It looked like Perth, with skipper Adrian Madaschi outstanding, would hold out for a share of the spoils but in the fourth minute of stoppage time the Lions won it.
Daniel Micevski threaded a superb through ball for his brother David, who raced in to the box and finished clinically past Soale, to set of wild celebrations on and off the pitch.
Perth SC 1 (Catarcione 78mins)
Stirling Lions 2 (David Micevski 17mins, 94)
Sunday June 26, 2016
Venue: Dorrien Gardens, West Perth
Referee: Adam Fielding
Assistants: Josh Mannella, Simon Hicks
Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 3 Andreas THEODOSIADES (17 Francesco FURFARO 83’), 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 5 Nathan DIAZ, 8 Tom KING, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO (2 David FILIPPOU 46’), 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Dino TOPCAGIC, 16 Thomas JEBB (7 Aleksandar JOVIC 67’)
Subs not used: RGK Daniel PASSARELLI, 15 Hayley ORR
Yellow Cards: Soale 16’, Pizzata 23’, 75’, Madaschi 32’, Topcagic 72’, De Leo 80’, Diaz 88’, Furfaro 90’
Red Cards: Pizzata 75’
Stirling Lions: GK John PERKINS, 3 Lukas DA LIMA (6 Brodie MARTIN 74’), 5 Graham DORAN, 7. Miki VUJACIC, 8 David SESAY, 9 Jamie GIBSON, 10 Daniel MICEVSKI, 11 David MICEVSKI, 15. Shane CASSIDY, 16. Mathiang MATHIANG, 17 Teeboy KAMARA
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 2 Bleron MAMUDI, 12 Benjamin CAMPBELL, 13 William KESSEL
Yellow Cards: Gibson 32’