10-man Academy First Team downed by Floreat

The PGFC Academy First Team suffered their first defeat of the NPL WA season on Friday evening, going down 3-1 at home to Floreat Athena.

To their credit, however, the youngsters battled valiantly to stay in the game after losing captain Jacob Muir to a controversial red card with just six minutes on the clock.

Muir received his marching orders when referee Steven Gregory adjudged that he had impeded Bayley Brown-Montgomery on the edge of the box, despite there appearing to be little, if any, contact.

Floreat made their numerical superiority count 13 minutes later, Chris Saldaris finding the net from the penalty spot after Chris Donnell had been penalised for handling a cross.

Aidan Edwards, who was lively throughout, converted a Lucas Rossi cross from close range just before the break to haul Glory back into it, but the visitors restored their lead via a Brown-Montgomery volley early in the second half.

And an unfortunate own-goal from substitute Daniel Walsh 11 minutes from time effectively sealed the home side’s fate.

While naturally disappointed by the outcome, Head Coach Alex Epakis was pleased with the way his young charges responded to the early loss of their skipper.

“The result was not what we wanted,” he said.

“We wanted to test ourselves with a young group against an experienced Floreat side and assess where we, but the early red card made the task extremely difficult.

“However, the performance and ability of the young players to compete despite being down a player was very impressive.

“We showed that we can play with our backs against the wall and still put on a proud performance.

“I’m learning more and more about the players and the group each day and am excited to progress with them over the coming weeks.”

The Academy Under-18s and Under-20s. meanwhile, enjoyed better fortunes as they secured respective 4-1 and 8-0 victories over Floreat on Saturday morning.

All three teams return to NPL WA action on Saturday away at Stirling Macedonia, with the Under-18s getting things underway at 11am, followed by the Under-20s at 1pm and the First Team at 3pm.

Match Details

NPL WA 2022 Season Round 3

PGFC Academy 1 (Edwards 37′) Floreat Athena 3 (C.Saldaris (pen) 19′, Brown-Montgomery 51′. Walsh (o.g.) 79′)

Half-time: 1-1

Crazy Domains Stadium at Hartfield Park

Referee: Steven Gregory

PGFC Academy First Team: 1.Adrian SINAGRA (GK), 3.Jacob MUIR (C), 4.Jacob YOUNG, 5.Lucas COOK, 6.Chris DONNELL, 7.Lucas ROSSI (2.Alex DA ROCHA 74′), 8.Andrew MARANTA (18.Danny DOUGLAS 65′), 9.Joe HOBSON (15.Joel ANASMO 74′), 11.Jayden LEADER (13.Daniel WALSH 37′), 12.Will FORMSTON

Substitutes not used: 12.Christian BELLADONNA, 14.Matthew GEORGE, 16.Keegan GRANT (GK)

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: Muir

Floreat Athena: 1.Jason SALDARIS (GK) (C), 3.Riley WOODCOCK, 5.Ethan MOM, 6.Jesse FULLER, 9.Robert PETKOV, 10.Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11.Dennis GALAN, 15.Chris SALDARIS (2.marco SANTALUCIA 87′), 16.Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 18.Phil ARNOLD (8.Mohammed AL-ZAIDY 80′), 22.Andrew PALMER

Substitutes not used: 13.Jesse ROBERTS, 17.Filip MINIC, 62.Gianluca DE FELICE

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)