The Sorrento Gulls reign at the top of the Football West Ps4 NPL ladder ended with the 2-1 defeat by Floreat at E&D Litis stadium on Saturday. Floreat takes over as leaders with 11 matches played in a 26 match league season.
A sunny afternoon at 28 degrees with no cloud cover and only a mild breeze from the west making it warm for footballers and beautiful for supporters for a 3pm kick off. The surface looked very good. Gulls Captain, Daryl Platten called correctly the toss of the coin by referee, Tom Gavovic and and asked Floreat Captain, Dean Evans to attack the City (southern) end goal.
The visitors had early possession, but Floreat were soon into the contest. Play was delayed at 33 minutes, when a collision of heads by Floreat’s Clayton Arnez and Sorrento’s Alex Morgan had Amez down for several minutes before being replaced by Dennis Galan.
The match came to life early in the second half, when Jackson Morgan fired a long range effort was deflected upwards and the ball lobbed off the top of the crossbar to where Jonathan Stynes was lurking and he shot with Gulls keeper, James Morgan getting a right hand to the low effort but the ball had enough pace to roll over the line at bottom right.
Despite having played second fiddle up until that point, Sorrento responded within minutes to draw level. Jacob Shore’s cross from the left couldn’t be reached by Reece Vittiglia, but found Sean Canham in the box, whose stooping header left Jordan Barbas glued to the ground.
Stynes bagged his second to restore the lead in the 70th minute following a sustained period of attacking pressure. A lengthy goalmouth scramble saw several shots fired, before Stynes pounced and drilled the ball home via the crossbar to send Floreat’s supporters into raptures.
Despite several chances to salvage a point, Sorrento found themselves empty handed and slipping to second at the final whistle.
Stynes said his side battled for each other in a dominant performance, controlling the majority of possession and creating chances on goal. “It feels incredible, and it is even more intensified because it brings us top of the league,” he said. “I’ve been playing well recently but the only thing that has been missing has been the end product, so today I was really focusing on that and I went about it to score two which has been brilliant.” “It is all about working for the team and making sure we all do the hard yards and I think it is working.”
Sorrento’s Steve Neville conceded that the result was a fair reflection of his side’s performance on the day. “They looked far hungrier than us. I think we got what we deserved today, nothing,” he said. “We were very flat, and from a coaching point of view it was not good enough. Today was a complete contrast to what we have done this season.”
Floreat’s Glenn Grostate was delighted with his side’s performance, and praised the efforts of a young playing group with some key senior player out.“What was pleasing for me was the work rate of Stynes and Zelfy, it was just all over the park and you can’t beat big teams in big games unless you play big,” he said. “For us to actually win we had to be at our best and that is probably close to the best I’ve seen us to be honest with you.” “We were pretty poor at Armadale [last week], but that’s football. You’re going to go highs and lows, and this was definitely a high for me. This is one game that I really wanted to win today.”