Ashfield Soccer Club 4
Western Knights 3
Written by Daniel Bodycoat
The opening game of the Football West Division 1 season saw a fierce competition between Ashfield and Western Knights at Ashfield Reserve.
A mere 10 minutes into the game, a ball was slipped through and delicately placed around the outstretched goalkeeper, after poor defending from the Knights’ two centre backs created the chance for Ashfield who opened the scoring.
Wayward passing from Western Knights allowed Ashfield to dominate the first half but both teams fought to get a stranglehold on the game. Another ball split the defence, the striker skipped around the keeper and coolly slotted it home for Ashfield’s second goal.
Possession broke down just as the Knights were beginning to develop another attack. Their lacklustre passing was punished as the Ashfield striker spun around and immediately curled the ball into the top corner from well outside the box. There seemed to be no way back for Western Knights as the score at the end of the half was 3-0.
However, there were a number of substitutions made by Western Knights to alter the game. One of them would prove to be prolific as a free kick inside the centre circle ended with a powerful header from the substitute Shaun French, which nestled in the back of the net.
The momentum was there for Western Knights to build on and they would capitalize on this energy to close the deficit further and bring the score to 3-2, with new recruit Paul Lloyd scoring his first goal for the Knights.
Once again a Knights free kick proved to be potent. Johny Mirco deftly flicked the ball past the stranded goalkeeper following a scramble in the 6 yard box to complete the comeback and their mediocre first half performance was nearly forgotten.
A number of chances were available to both teams to pinch all 3 points such as Ashfield rattling the post and Western Knights shooting agonizingly wide. The game ultimately fell to Ashfield as slack marking yet again allowed an open Ashfield man to steal game in the final minutes. The game ended with a disappointing 4-3 loss for Western Knights.