Canham double gives Gulls flying start in new comp

Peter Simcox, The West Australian March 9, 2014, 10:07 pm

UPDATE: Sorrento began the new National Premier Leagues WA competition with a 2-1 win against Balcatta at Percy Doyle Reserve today.

Sean Canham gave the home side the lead on 25 minutes, heading home Daryl Platten’s cross, but Balcatta skipper Adam Tong levelled on the stroke of half-time.

The game took a twist on 67 minutes when Balcatta midfielder Kris Gate was sent off, and Sorrento made their advantage count eight minutes later. Again it was Canham on target, the English striker heading home former Perth Glory midfielder Scott Bulloch’s deep cross to give the Gulls the points.

The NPL started with a bang on Saturday afternoon, with Cockburn City's David Araya having the honour of scoring the first goal in the new competition in their 3-3 draw with Joondalup at the ECU Football Stadium.

An own goal from Araya's fellow midfielder Conor Kavanagh’s put Joondalup level, before Devon Gibson regained the lead for the visitors.

A brace either side of half-time from former Perth Glory midfielder Tommy Amphlett put Joondalup in control, but a late striker from Kavanagh gave Cockburn a share of the spoils.

“We had a number of chances we wasted today, I missed a few, but it's early days in the season and I thought we played well in the second half,” said Amphlett.

“I thought on the whole we deserved the three points, but we can take a lot of positives from the game and move forward to next week’s game against Perth Glory.”

The Glory Youth side opened their NPLWA season with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against the Perth Soccer Club at the Intiga Stadium. Lawrence Shuruma gave Glory the lead early, but Friday Zico levelled on the stroke of half-time.

“The boys really stepped up in their first game against the big boys today and we were rapt with the way we knocked the ball around,” said Glory coach Scott Miller.

“Today we had enough possession to create more goal chances, but they are new boys getting used to each other so we’ll work on that.”

In other Saturday games last season’s Champions Bayswater edged out Armadale 1-0 at Frank Drago Reserve, with Danny Dixon on target, while Subiaco began life in the top flight with a 0-0 draw against Stirling Lions at the WA Athletics Stadium.

In the evening game Floreat Athena beat Inglewood United 3-0 at the E&D Litis Stadium. English striker Jamie Eames opened the scoring and Mark Walsh made it 2-0 before the break, with Ludovic Boi added the third in the second half.