Stirling Lions rose to third on the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA ladder after a 3-2 win over Floreat Athena at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
Captain Milorad Vujacic gave the Lions the lead in the 20th minute, along with a second half free kick from David Micevski and a Teeboy Kamara goal in the 73rd.
Lewis McMahon grabbed a second half brace for Floreat, including a penalty, but the visitors couldn’t overtake the Lions.
Stirling coach Rob Milevski said it was good to achieve some consistency despite the nail-biting end to the match.
“It’s lifted our confidence coming against some quality teams in the last few weeks and getting the results,” he said.
“However we let ourselves down in attack in the first half of the match, we should have been a bit more clinical and gone into the break a few more goals up.
“Hopefully we can keep the momentum up against Sorrento next week.”
Stirling led the charge in the first half releasing Kamara numerous times but after latching on to a long ball from a goal-kick, his 15th minute goal was disallowed.
The opening goal came five minutes later from Vujacic who confidently struck the ball past keeper Jason Saldaris.
Saldaris kept the visitors in the match with key saves throughout the half, closing down Kamara on the break and saving a free kick a minute after the opening goal.
But Floreat weren’t without their chances. Declan Hargreaves’ corner kick in the 18th minute found Blair Govan’s head, but was denied by keeper John Perkins.
The Lions doubled their score in the second half with a textbook free kick from David Micevski settling into the bottom right corner of the net in the 65th minute.
Floreat managed to get their first on the scoreboard eleven minutes later with McMahon capitalising on a penalty area scramble.
It was a momentary celebration as a minute later Blamo Qua Qua spotted Saldaris off his line and attempted a lob from the halfway mark, but the keeper scrambled just in time.
Kamara snatched possession back immediately after and finally scored the elusive goal he had been hunting for.
Tension heightened when Floreat won a penalty in the 83rd minute and McMahon converted it, but Stirling rode out the final minutes to seal the win.
Floreat coach Glen Grostate thought his side gave the game away from the very start.
“We weren’t good on the ball, our structure wasn’t right, and to be honest we almost gave them the three goals,” he said.
“We were creative enough to score goals, but every time we scored and gained some momentum we made another mistake.
“But we’re only into the sixth game of the season, so we just have to keep fighting, because we are a good team.”
Stirling Lions 3 (Vujacic 20min, David Micevski 65, Kamara 73)
Floreat Athena 2 (McMahon 76mins, 84)
Saturday April 30, 2016
Local kick-off: 3:00pm
Referee: David Bruce
Assistant Referees: Oliver Allen, Liviu Katona
Stirling Lions: GK John PERKINS, 2. Michael PUGLIESE, 5. Graham DORAN, Milorad VUJACIC (C), 10. Daniel MICEVSKI, 11. David MICEVSKI, 12. Jason RUBIDGE (6. Ben CAMPBELL 84’), 14. David MURPHY, 15. Shane CASSIDY, 16. Lukas DELIMA (4. Blamo QUA QUA 46’), 17. Teeboy KAMARA.
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 3. Jack MCMASTER, 8. William KESSEL.
Yellow cards: Delima 27’, Pugliese 84’, Qua Qua 86’, Murphy 88’.
Red cards: nil
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 3. Blair GOVAN, 5. Bobby WILSON, 6. Clayton ARNEZ (4. Andrew SCALDAFERRO 57’), 8. Jonathan STYNES, 11. Dennis GALAN, 12. Declan HARGREAVES, 14. Ludovic BOI (c), 15. Christopher SALDARIS, 18. Phillip ARNOLD, 19. Lewis MCMAHON.
Substitutes not used: RGK Thomas CHUDY, 13. Aaron DELANY, 20. Kye DOUGLAS, 16. Sam KHANKHALILI.
Yellow cards: Wilson 21’, Arnold 65’, Hargreaves 76’.
Red cards: nil