North Beach have taken three massive points after ending Peel United’s unbeaten run in round five of the Amateur League Division One.
An exciting game at the Beach with those on the side lines buzzing throughout the entire 90-minutes.
From the first whistle, Beach took the game to Peel, a big improvement from the first-half performance last week.
Peel had the most chances early on, but both teams having an even share of possession and engaging in tough physical battles in the middle of the park.
Some decisive saves from goalkeeper Jackson Hughes kept it goalless for the first 25-minutes.
But Beach broke through first after a brilliant through-ball from Seb Brekke split the Peel backline, who tried to trick the referee shouting offside, and found Benny Reynolds, who did what he does best.
Five minutes later, a lapse in concentration saw Beach concede after a ball was put in from the left and an unmarked Peel player took it in his stride and put it past an onrushing Hughes.
There were a few more chances over the next quarter-hour, but no more goals would come with the score locked 1-1 at half-time.
Beach did not need to do much more after the break, they just needed to keep doing what they were doing.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Jackson Hughes pulled off a finger-tip save after a Peel player tried a long-range effort, leading to a corner.
Beach’s corner curse returned, as the ball was not dealt with and ended up being put into a crowd of players, and Peel capitalised to make it 2-1.
A minute later Beach thought they had scored, but somehow the referee called a foul when the Peel keeper missed the ball and it bounced into Ross who thought he scored an equaliser.
Soon after Harry Richings was brought on in place of Kitson Catalfamo to add a bit more fresh pace to the wing-back position.
It did not take long for Beach to go again, and a brilliant ball from Jake Dean was met by Ross Westwood on the full volley to make it 2-2.
Four minutes would pass, and Ross Westwood is on the floor after being fouled. He steps up to take the free-kick, strikes it, and just like that makes it 3-2.
Unfortunately for Ross, the goal was recorded as an own goal. After video review, we can confirm it hit the crossbar and bounced off a Peel defender who could not really do anything about it. Unluckee.
Towards the end of the game, the challenges started flying in as Peel were chasing an equaliser.
Callum Parker, our Men’s Vice President, came on in the last few minutes for Luke Aitken to inject a bit more pace and legs up front to put pressure on Peel.
Beach went on to hold out over the last minutes, with the preseason fitness really showing by sealing a 3-2 win, and also ending Peel’s unbeaten start.
A performance worthy of praise, for the full 90-minutes Beach gave it their all with hard-pressing football forcing Peel to play on the back-foot. Every player on the pitch wanted to win the game, and the energy levels out there reflected that.
Offensively, Seb Brekke, Luke Aitken and Benny Reynolds were a threat to Peel’s backline. The midfield was marshalled by the veteran Kaimon Parker, and Luke Wearing stepped up into the position well. Defensively, Ross Westwood and Kitson Catalfamo played well as wing-backs and provided an offensive threat on the turnaround. James Di Carlo, who earned the Player of the Match award, commanded the back three with Jake Dean and Jacob Felstead covering well either side.
The only issue to be found with the game was the ease at which Peel scored their goals. Yet again, goals conceded from a lapse in concentration caused problems for Beach. But other than that, a very solid performance from the Beach.
Lineup: Hughes, Dean, Di Carlo, Felstead, R. Westwood, K. Parker, Wearing, Catalfamo, Aitken, Reynolds, Brekke
Subs: Richings, C. Parker, Etheridge, Judge, Roberts
Luke Wearing returned to the team after his suspension, and Luke Aitken was able to start this week, so other than that no changes to the team from East Perth. A change in formation saw Beach begin with a 3-5-2, the formation from the dramatic second-half comeback win.
Callum Parker was called up for the first time this season and also got his first minutes of the year. The return of Chris Judge to the bench was a major boost as well, and he should be ready to play in the coming weeks.
Around the grounds
NB Reserves 2-0 Peel United
Joondalup City 6-2 NB 3’s (Metro Nth Div 3)
Olympic Kingsway 4-3 NB Masters (Nth Div 2)
Subiaco 2-1 NB O45’s (North A)
Noranda 4-11 NB 045’s 2 (North C)
NB 1’s 5-1 UWA (Metro Nth Div 1)
Wanneroo City 5-2 NB 2’s (Metro Nth Div 3)