Mandurah City notch vital point in draw with Floreat Athena

Mandurah City claimed a vital point to lift them off the foot of the National Premier League WA ladder when they tied nil-all with Floreat Athena over the weekend.

The result is a huge boost to Mandurah as they try to avoid being relegated to the state league.

Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh praised the efforts of his younger players who stepped up in the absence of several key senior players.

“We had a 17-year-old up front, we had a 17-year-old in the back four, we brought two 18-year-olds on and honestly I’m delighted,” he said.

“If we can come to an outfit like this with players like they had on the field today and keep a clean sheet with some of our youngsters, I think we are in good shape.”

Hesketh showed appreciation for the Dolphins’ travelling support who got behind their side all afternoon.

“It’s all done in good spirits and they are desperate for us to stay up too,” he said.

“This will be my last season as head coach, so we are really determined to keep the club in the NPL.”

Both sides had everything to play for going into the match with Floreat needing a win to keep their title hopes alive.

Floreat came out attacking and shuffled their pack in the 25th minute when Phil Arnold replaced Kris Gate.

Two minutes later, Mandurah won a free kick on the edge of the area, but Jason Saldaris saved Jack Eades’ curling effort with ease.

Both sides were lacking in the final third and resorted to long-range efforts before going to the change rooms scoreless.

The second half consisted of an attacking onslaught from Floreat while Mandurah defended deep and looked to hit on the counter.

Floreat had chance after chance to score with Bobby Wilson seeing his header hit the upright two minutes from time.

The result sees Floreat fall five points behind league leaders Inglewood with three games.