Armadale push Inglewood all the way in Night Series
Inglewood United are through to the last eight of the Night Series after playing out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Armadale at Alfred Skeet Oval. The visitors raced to a two-goal lead through goals by Ryan Clarke and David Perich only to have Sean Nicholls reduce the deficit in the shadows of half time. Alan Darlington restored parity early in the second half but despite some sustained late pressure the Reds were unable to find a winning goal and therefore bow out of the pre-season tournament. Inglewood will meet the winner of Group C, most likely Bunbury Forum Force, in next week’s quarter-finals.
The game took a while to get going with a tactical opening offering little in the way of goal scoring opportunities. All that changed on 26minutes when Clarke exploded past two challenges to go through and calmly slot past Cyril Sharrock. The lead was doubled twelve minutes later, Clarke crossing from the left to the back post where Brendan Ross headed in the direction of Perich who fired beyond the reach of Sharrock. Armadale showed the game was far from over by pulling a goal back on 45 minutes, David Caine’s fierce free-kick was spilled by youngster Alex Sutton and Nicholls was on hand to knock the ball over the line.
It took Armadale only five minutes of the second period to draw level, Darlington punishing a sloppy mistake in midfield by Jason Colli. Michael Baczynski should have put Inglewood back in front on the hour but his header from a Colli cross was claimed by Sharrock. The Reds goalkeeper remained in the action, tipping Miki Vujacic’s close-range thunderbolt onto the crossbar and then denying Danny Richman one-on-one as holes began to appear in the Armadale rearguard. In a frantic finish Armadale threw everything into finding a late winner but were met by stern resistance from an Inglewood side that had no intention of surrendering their valuable point.