Academy First Team denied by late leveller

The PGFC Academy First Team were forced to settle for a point in Saturday’s NPL WA clash with Balcatta FC at Grindlfeford Reserve, taking the lead three times before a stoppage-time penalty from the hosts ensured that a thrilling contest would end 3-3.

Josh Anasmo fired home from close range after Charlie Leech’s shot had been parried by home ‘keeper Sebastian Medica to give Glory an early lead, but Hristijan Jankuloski ten minutes later to restore parity.

Shortly before the break, Leech made it 2-1, meeting Ciaran Bramwell’s fine ball in from the right with an emphatic finish, only for Michael Scafetta to again draw Balcatta level early in the second half.

Substitute Tyler Vecchio then looked to have won it for Ruben Zadkovich’s side when he pounced on another parry from Medica to find the net.

But there was to be a further dramatic twist in the tale as deep into stoppage-time, Aidan Coyne was penalised for a push in the box and Amir Ajan held his nerve to convert from the spot.

The result means that the Academy First Team now require a point from next week’s final game of the regular season, against Inglewood United at Crazy Domains Stadium, in order to secure a place in the Top-Four Cup.

ECU Joondalup could, theoretically, claim fourth spot if Glory and Inglewood share the points, but only if they beat Cockburn City and manage to rub out a goal-difference deficit of eight in the process.

In the day’s other games, meanwhile, the Under-20s effectively sealed the league title with a comprehensive 5-1 win.

Chris Coyne’s side now hold a three-point lead, plus a goal-difference advantage of +14, over second-placed Bayswater City  ahead of Saturday’s final round of games.

The Under-18s also picked up three points via a 3-0 victory and could join the Under-20s as league champions if they beat current leaders Inglewood United in next weekend’s head-to-head title shootout.

Saturday’s epic day of high-stakes football will get underway at 11am with the Under-18s, followed by the Under-20s at 1pm and the First Team at 3pm.

Match Details

Balcatta FC 3 (Jankulovski 26′, Scafetta 55′, Ajan (pen) 90+3′) PGFC Academy First Team 3 (Anasmo 16′, Leech 36′, Vecchio 75′)

Half-time: 1-2

Grindleford Reserve

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)