Semis still beckon for youngsters despite defeat

A place in the NPL WA Semi-Finals still beckons for the PGFC Academy First Team despite Saturday's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Balcatta FC.

The youngsters were unable to find an answer to a first-half blitz from the hosts at Grindleford Reserve, during which Adam Zimarino, Anthony Topini and Michael Zimarino all found the net.

But Richard Garcia's side could still snag a place in the Finals Series if they manage to beat Perth SC on Saturday and Inglewood United fail to take three points from their clash with Bayswater City, or win by a smaller margin than Glory.

The Academy side had headed into the Balcatta game looking to maintain a four-match unbeaten run and created the best of the early chances when Giordano Colli's dipping free-kick was punched away by Riley Stephenson in the home goal.

Both Michael and Adam Zimarino, however, had also flashed shots across Glory's bows during the opening exchanges and it was the latter who fired his side into the lead in the 25th minute, the forward's shot from the edge taking a deflection off Mason Tatafu which helped propel it beyond Sam Reilly and into the far corner.

Four minutes later Balcatta made it 2-0, this time Topini bending home a free-kick from wide out on the left and on the stroke of half-time, they added a third as Michael Zimarino got in behind and applied a composed finish.

To their credit, Glory battled gamely to force their way back into the contest after the break, Colli placing his shot just wide after a defensive mix-up had left the goal gaping and Aidan Edwards heading wide from a corner, but they were ultimately unable breach a well-organised home defence.

In the day's other games, meanwhile, Glory enjoyed better fortunes as the Under-18s won 2-1 and the Under-20s cruised home 7-0.

All three sides return to action on Saturday against Perth SC at 1620 Capital Stadium, Hartfield Park, with the Under-18s getting things underway at 11am, followed by the Under-20s at 1pm and the First Team at 3pm.

Match Details

Balcatta 3 (A.Zimarino 25', Topini 29', M.Zimarino 45') Perth Glory 0

Half-time: 3-0

Referee: Michal Jasinski

Balcatta FC: 1.Riley STEPHENSON, 2.Joseph MARINO, 3.Carmelo GIUFFRE, 4.Calum O'CONNELL, 5.John KEARNEY (C), 10.Jonathan CORNESS, 11.Michael ZIMARINO (12.Jonathan BOUHLAS 86'), 13.Anthony TOPINI (19.Charlie WATT 90+1'), 14.Adam TONG (15.Luke ALESSANDRINO 90+2'), 16.Adam ZIMARINO, 17.Henry DURR

Substitutes not used: 20.Jake ANGELOVSKI

Yellow Cards: Topini

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Sam REILLY, 2.Mason TATAFU, 3.Nick WALSH, 4.Aidan COYNE, 6.Chris DONNELL (14.Jayden LEADER 53'), 7.Jack PAINTER-ANDREWS (16.Aiki TSUKAMOTO 46'), 8.Aidan EDWARDS, 9.Bryce BAFFORD (17.Hristijan JANKULOSKI 46'), 10.Giordano COLLI, 11.Charlie LEECH (15.Albert FULLARD 72'), 20.Joshua RAWLINS

Substitutes not used: 12.Kade WHITE

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)

#OneGlory