Gate wary of Bayswater backlash

Bayswater City coach Chris Coyne believed his side was good enough to have wrapped up the National Premier Leagues WA league title sooner than the final regular round of the campaign.

City clinched top spot with a 1-1 draw against Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday, leaving second-placed Perth SC, who drew 1-1 with Cockburn City, two points behind.

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“I think sometimes, in some of our games, we let our complacency get the better of us," Coyne said. "I think, at times we could’ve grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and we shouldn’t have lost some of the games we lost this year.

“Overall, I think with the ability that this group has we could have been a little bit more professional and clinical with the way we went about things, and that’s what we’ll need to do moving forward.”

Although Bayswater will meet Perth in Saturday’s semi-final at Frank Drago Reserve, City have already earned their place in the NPL national finals series by finishing top after WA’s 22-round season.

“Play-offs are like a three game cup final and although we’re immensely proud of winning it last year, I still think of the first past the post, out of the 22 games, are the true champions,” Coyne said.

The winner of the Bayswater-Perth match will advance to the grand final, while the loser will take on the winner of Sunday’s semi-final between Balcatta and Sorrento at Grindleford Reserve.

Both next week’s semi-finals kick-off at 2.30pm.

Perth had gone into the final day of the season with their league title ambitions alive but were on the back foot when Matt Barlow scored for Cockburn.

The door was ajar for Taki Nicolaidis’ side when Reece Vittiglia put Sorrento in front and Perth equalised through Ash Rosindale. But just as Perth were hoping to grab a win that would have handed them the league title, Paul McCarthy equalised against Sorrento to keep Bayswater on top.

In other games, David Micevski scored four goals in Stirling Lions’ 5-2 win over Armadale, a Perth Glory side with several A-League players beat Inglewood United 4-2, ECU Joondalup beat Subiaco 3-0 and Floreat thumped finals-bound Balcatta 4-1.

The West Australian

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