North Beach blasted their way into the second round of the Belt Up Amateur Cup after a 7-4 win over Carramar Shamrock Rovers at Grandis Park.
Beach started the game very fast with two early goals. Luke Aitken took down a through ball, drove towards the goal and slotted it to the keepers’ left. The second was smashed in by big Luke Wearing to make the score 2-0.
Two minutes later Rovers converted a corner to make it 2-1.
For the next quarter of an hour, the game was back and forth, with both teams creating scoring opportunities.
A brain-fade from the Carramar centre-half saw him go straight through the back of Aitken within the limits of the box, conceding a penalty.
Benny Reynolds stepped up to the spot and calmly put the ball into the bottom right corner, making it 3-1 to the Beach.
At this point, the media team’s camera died, so there are no more pictures of the match, but we caught most of the best moments on tape.
But to add insult to injury, after dealing with the camera’s loss, Carramar scored again within a minute, making it 3-2. No need to worry, though, because a minute after conceding, Beach was at it again.
A fascinating piece of deception by Ross Westwood meant he could get through the midfield and slide the ball to Aitken, who then played the ball low, to Judge, who put it in the bottom right, making it 4-2. Watch the moment below.
The game started to get a bit more physical with some very strong challenges being made.
In the last ten minutes of the half, Judge was replaced by Ali Westwood after the former came off with a knee injury.
Rovers went on a counter-attack with five minutes to go and scored a pretty decent goal making it 4-3 going into half-time.
Three minutes into the second half, a charging run from Ross Westwood found his brother Ali Westwood in front of the goal, who then found Reynolds with a “pass”. Reynolds, as expected, put it away to restore a two-goal lead making it 5-3.
If the game wasn’t exciting enough, Wearing thought he had a second goal from a free-kick scenario but was judged offside by the referee after consulting the line-o. The Sunday League VAR may have a different opinion, however.
Ross Westwood had a great game, and he continued by driving down the left wing while holding off one defender, taking the ball past another and sitting one down with a little tap to his brother Ali Westwood who scored his first goal for the season.
Alec Etheridge came on after the sixth goal replacing Kitson Catalfamo.
Reynolds completed his hat trick with his second penalty kick of the game smashing it to the keeper’s left making it 7-3 with 15 minutes to go.
Aaron Persse made his first-team debut coming on for the last 10 minutes, replacing Michael Rea.
A mix-up at the back saw an own goal by the defenders towards the end, gifting Carramar a consolation goal to make it 7-4 at the full-time whistle.
A very eventful game saw Beach score seven goals, bringing the total to 15 across all competitions so far this year – and only playing three games means that’s an average of five goals per game. These numbers suggest Beach has a very strong goal-scoring squad this year.
On the other end of the pitch, corners remained a focus after conceding yet another easy goal.
However, Beach’s possession play was very strong, comfortable on the ball and with a good range of passing ability, they were on top for most of the game causing problems for the Carramar defence.
Coach Stephen Critchley says the main thing is Beach are into the next round.
“I think we maybe knew we were better than them talent-wise, so [we] didn’t do the basics as well as we can, hence the 3 sloppy goals we conceded first half,” he says.
“As a group, we will work hard to stop that happening again.”
He says the second-half own goal was just a case of bad luck.
“Going forward we were so dangerous all game and with the defensive performance much improved second half we are confident going into Sunday’s first league game.”
Beach play South Perth United at home in round one of the Belt Up Amateur League Division One on April 11. Kick-off is at 3 PM.
Lineup: Hughes, Dean, Wearing, Di Carlo, Felstead, R. Westwood, Judge, Rea, Catalfamo, Aitken, Reynolds
Subs: A. Westwood, Etheridge, Persse
An almost identical starting 11 to the team that played Kingsway in the FFA Cup, however, injury to Kaimon Parker and absence of Seb Brekke saw Michael Rea and Kitson Catalfamo get their first starts of the season.
Aaron Roberts was unable to be named as he was still carrying an injury.
Ali Westwood was called up for the first time this year, and his goal from the bench may see him play many more games for the firsts this season. Likewise, Aaron Persse made his first-team debut from the bench.
A hattrick gifted Benny Reynolds his second Player of the Match award, which is now sponsored by the Bar1 Nightclub in Hillary’s.
Around the grounds
North Beach played two other cup games today, with the Metro Division Three (club’s thirds squad) and Division 5 teams in action for the Metro Cup.
The North Beach thirds played Wembley’s Premier League team in the second round at home, unfortunately losing 2-1.
The Div 5’s, however, are through after beating Perth AFC through penalties, after their player-manager Callum Wood saved three penalties in the shootout.