Joondalup United inflicted a first defeat of the season on league-leading Sorrento during a physical contest at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday.
Richard Howles scored twice in the first half to put Joondalup in pole position but they were made to work hard for their 2-1 win after Reece Vittiglia’s 75th-minute goal.
Joondalup were in front after just 13 minutes when Howles got ahead of Sorrento defenders Jacob Shore and Shaun Kilkelly and squeezed the ball past goalkeeper James Morgan.
While there was a touch of good fortune in his opening goal, Howles’ second was memorable in both its construction and finish as he shrugged off Shore’s challenge and curled the ball home with the outside of his right boot.
Joondalup keeper James Bosdet then produced a remarkable save to deny Billy Quincroft, whose downward header was brilliantly tipped over.
The dismissal of Joondalup defender Rowdy Yates for a second bookable offence seemed likely to tip the tie in Sorrento’s favour and the Gulls’ optimism grew when Vittiglia scored from close-range to make it 2-1.
Quinncroft then received his marching orders when he picked up a second yellow card and, despite a late goal-mouth scramble, Joondalup claimed a victory that kept them in ninth place.
Joondalup coach Nick Jennings felt his side had executed the game plan.
“We got on the front foot early,” he said of Howles’ blistering start. “The plan was to really get after them physically.”
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell was particularly disappointed with his side’s first 45 minutes.
“We didn’t play well in the first half, we defended poorly and passed poorly,” he said. “On the day they were better than us. They deserved the three points.”
Sorrento Football Club 1 (Vittiglia 75’)
Joondalup United 2 (Howles 13’, 31’)
Saturday April 22nd, 2017
Percy Doyle Reserve
Kick off: 3:00pm
Referee: Nico Hoyle
Yellow cards: Kilkelly 12’, Quinncroft 15’, Canham 68’, Shore 82’, Quinncroft 90+1’
Red cards: Quinncroft 90+1’
Yellow cards: Yates 52’, Bosdet 57’, Yates 73’, Sparrow 85’
Red cards: Yates 73’