Academy First Team battle back to down Rockingham

The PGFC Academy First Team came back from 2-0 down to secure a battling 3-2 win over Rockingham City in Saturday's NPL WA clash at a rainswept SafeRad Stadium.

Ryan Kennedy's penalty and a Christos Vaenas effort took the hosts out to two-goal lead inside the opening 11 minutes, but Bryce Bafford's diving header and close-range finishes from Riley Warland and Aiden Coyne ensured that Glory would claim the points.

The win, the Academy's third of the campaign, moves them up to fifth in the table ahead of Saturday's Regional Round clash with fourth-placed Sorrento in Geraldton.

Ruben Zadkovich's men had headed south looking to build upon a convincing win over Balcatta, but received a rude awakening as bottom-placed City flew out of the blocks and raced into an early two-goal lead.

After Kennedy's penalty found the net via the inside of the post, Vaenas was sent clean through on goal and applied a calm finish.

To their credit, Glory recovered quickly and scored three times inside 14 first-half minutes to turn the game on its head.

Bafford's brave header from a deep cross started the fightback before the hosts failed to deal with a corner and Warland pounced to hammer home the loose ball.

And it was from another corner that Coyne bagged what proved to be the winner, sidefooting in after Nick Sullivan had nodded the ball back across the face of goal from the far post.

There were no further goals in the second half, although there was drama in stoppage-time as Vaenas received his marching orders from referee David Bruce.

In the day's other games, the Under-18s and Under-20s also claimed maximum points courtesy of respective 5-0 and 5-1 victories.

Match Details

Rockingham City 2 (Kennedy (pen) 3', Vaenas 11') Perth Glory 3 (Bafford 28', Warland 33', Coyne 42')

Half-time: 2-3

Referee: David Bruce

Rockingham City: 99.Cyril SHARROCK, 3.Denaudo MURRAY, 4.Dieudonne SUMAIL (5.Afian GIYANTO 58'), 6.Harry BOLAN, 7.Feisal ZAW, 9.Christos VAENAS, 11.Luke COLLINS, 12.Jethro YUMANGE, 14.Ryan KENNEDY (c), 19. Noah WITTSTROM LEA (8.Hamish VAN DIEKEN 52'), 27.Cody HESLOP (20.Dylan ROGERS 65')

Substitutes not used: 1.Bradley STOUT (GK), 21. Joseph MOSS

Yellow Cards: Sharrock, Bolan, Kennedy, Rogers

Red Card: Vaenas

Perth Glory: 30.CameronCOOK (GK), 3.Mason TATAFU (13.Aiden COYNE 12'), 4.Jacob MUIR, 5.Riley WARLAND, 6.Nick SULLIVAN (7.Joseph FORDE 59'), 8.Chris DONNELL, 9.Ciaran BRAMWELL (18,Charlie LEECH 73'), 10.Giordano COLLI (c), 11.Adam ZIMARINO (12.Joshua ANASMO 73'), 17.Bryce BAFFORD, 22,Josh RAWLINS

Substitutes not used: 1.Sam REILLY (GK)

Yellow Cards: Tatafu, Coyne, Bramwell, Zimarino, Rawlins 

Red Cards: None

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)