Academy First Team down Gulls in Regional Round thriller

The PGFC Academy First Team returned to winning ways in dramatic fashion on Saturday, Khoa Ngo scoring a superb, stoppage-time goal to down Sorrento FC 3-2 at Retravision Stadium in Albany.

The annual NPL WA Regional Round clash with the Gulls rarely fails to deliver in terms of excitement and this year’s fixture was no exception, with Glory twice being pegged back before Ngo’s decisive intervention.

Despite being forced to field a much-changed side due to the absence of six players on Joeys duty, the youngsters began brightly and hit the front inside the opening ten minutes as Laat Mathiang capped a strong run by beating Patrick Hughes at his near post.

The Gulls were then handed a way back into the game when an innocuous challenge by Joseph Force on Joe Tweats was deemed worthy of a penalty which Sorrento skipper Dean Cummings calmly tucked away.

Undaunted by that controversial setback, Glory had restored their lead by the half-hour mark as Gulls defender Mark Barnett turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Josh Anasmo.

John Walmsley’s side retained that 2-1 lead until the final minute of regulation time when Clay Gibbs got away down the right and his cut-back was fired home by Cummings.

But just as the win seemed to have been snatched from their grasp, the youngsters responded once again, Ngo brushing off several defenders before curling a low shot into the bottom corner to prompt wild celebrations among the Glory players, staff and supporters.

The win, their fifth of the season, lifts the First Team up to fourth in the table, just three points behind new leaders Stirling Macedonia.

They will return to NPL WA action on Friday (2nd June) when Floreat Athena will provide the opposition at Lark Hill (kick-off at 7pm).

The Under-18s and Under-20s, meanwhile, will also take on Floreat Athena at Lark Hill, with their games taking place on Saturday (3rd June) and getting underway at 9am (18s) and 11am (20s) respectively.

PGFC Academy First Team Line-Up: 1.Luca IOVENE (GK), 2.Joseph FORDE (11.Joel ANASMO 45′), 3.Shade STEWART, 4.Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI (c), 5.Julian KELLY, 6.Danny DOUGLAS, 7.James OVERY (17.Khoa NGO 85′), 8.Laat MATHIANG, 9.Jayden GORMAN, 10.Jaylan PEARMAN, 15.Josh ANASMO (12.Matt GEORGE 61′)

Substitutes not used: 16.Manolo VENERACION, 18.Aiki TSUKAMOTO, 20.Lucas COOK, 50.Liam COYNE (GK)