PERTH SC will be looking to make up lost ground following its draw with Joondalup United last week when it takes on Cockburn City at Dorrien Gardens tomorrow in the penultimate round of the National Premier Leagues WA (NPL WA).
Perth fell three points behind league leaders Inglewood United, which was far from what young defender Alex Silla had expected.
“Obviously we were really disappointed with the result and we didn’t stick to our game plan which ultimately cost us on the day,” he said.
“It definitely wasn’t our best performance, but I still thought we had enough chances to win it.”
The 19-year-old, who recently played for the WA State team in the Tri Series, said a loss this weekend would put Perth’s hopes of competing in the Top Four Cup in jeopardy.
“Saturday is a must-win game for us,” he said.
“There is still a lot to play for. The season is definitely not over and anything can happen as it did last season.”
Perth snatched the title on the last day of the season in 2016 with a win over Sorrento while previous league leaders Inglewood United were beaten by ECU Joondalup.
Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich was impressed with Inglewood in his side’s 2-0 loss last week and expected another tough match against Perth SC.
“We went into the game after a big (7-0) win against Stirling, so it was a little disappointing to come away empty handed,” he said.
“But I thought they outplayed us on the day and thoroughly deserved the win and they will be hard to beat for the title.
“It’s another huge game and we will have to be at our best to come home with the points, as Perth is playing well. We are looking to put in good performance and finish the season on a high with two wins.”
Inglewood know two wins will give it the title, with Andy Keogh’s side sitting a point clear of Bayswater at the top.
Its first challenge is against Balcatta at Inglewood Stadium but striker Alex Salmon knows it will not be easy with Balcatta fighting for its NPL WA survival.
“Both teams have a lot to play for at different ends of the table, so we know it’s going to be a tough game,” he said.
“With it being our last home league game of the season and with the title in our sights, I’m sure the lads will want to put on a show.
“Nothing has changed in the title race. We have been leading the way for a while and it’s in our hands. The lads and coaching staff have worked hard to get here, and we don’t plan on taking our foot off the gas.”
In other games this weekend, Perth Glory travels north to take on ECU Joondalup at ECU Joondalup Football Stadium, Joondalup United host Floreat Athena at Percy Doyle Reserve and Armadale face Subiaco at Alfred Skeet Reserve.
It is a huge week for Sorrento, with its FFA Cup round of 16 tie against South Melbourne on Wednesday, but first it has an important game against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park to stay in the top four of the NPL WA.
The final game is on Sunday at Frank Drago Reserve where Bayswater City takes on Mandurah City, who are also fighting against the prospect of relegation.
Saturday, August 19
Armadale v Subiaco (Alfred Skeet Reserve, 3pm)
Perth SC v Cockburn City (Dorrien Gardens, 3pm)
ECU Joondalup v Perth Glory (ECU Joondalup Football Stadium, 3pm)
Stirling Lions v Sorrento (Macedonia Park, 3pm)
Joondalup United v Floreat Athena (Percy Doyle Reserve, 3pm)
Inglewood United v Balcatta (Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium, 3pm)
Sunday, August 20
Bayswater City v Mandurah City (Finance 365 Arena, 3pm)