Bowden seals 2-0 victory
Rockingham City boss Charlie Smith praised his side after they downed local rivals Mandurah 2-0 to lift the Liam Dixon Memorial Cup.
Liam Bowden netted a sensational lob over Mandurah keeper Matt Hamnett to seal victory for City in a hotly-contested State League Division 1 contest at Lark Hill.
Both sides finished the game with 10 men. Daniel Macklin and Mandurah’s Michael Grigo both received their marching orders.
“This was an excellent performance from a young team that we’re still developing,” Smith said.
“The final match before I took over as coach was against Mandurah in the Night Series, who walloped us 5-0, so you can see this performance reflects a lot of hard work on the training ground paying off.”
The home side took the lead after an own goal on 27 minutes, but the game remained in the balance at half-time.
Following the red cards, tempers flared between the sides as four more yellow cards were issued and a number of challenges worthy of a booking came flying in thick and fast.
Bowden capped an excellent performance with his team’s second goal in the first of seven injury-time minutes.
Bursting between two Mandurah challenges in the middle of the park, Bowden played a neat one-two with teammate Roy Hissey before lobbing Hamnett from just outside the box, setting off wild celebrations for the hosts.
Mandurah City coach Billy Russell said he was seriously questioning his future at the club after the defeat.
“The biggest thing for me is that it’s been two weeks without a goal and it didn’t look like they wanted it enough today,” he said. “They’ve been looking great in training but when we come to the important moments something’s not clicking.
“To be honest this performance has got me questioning my future with the club, because maybe something drastic like that needs to happen for the penny to drop with these players.”
Rockingham reserves won 3-2, courtesy of a brace from Jake Murray, and the U18s, inspired by Ryan Haslett, won 3-1 against Mandurah.
Rockingham host Dianella White Eagles at Lark Hill on Saturday with 11am, 1pm and 3pm kick-offs.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails