New Curtin University Football Club signing Robbie Nicholl saw red in his first game for the club as Rockingham put five passed Mackenzie Ferguson on Saturday. Khaled Salhah scored the only goal for an undermanned Curtin as Alex Grayson scored twice for Rockingham with Ryan Kennedy, Max Snelson and David Clarke also scoring for the visitors.

It was Rockingham keeper Cyril Sharrock who was picking the ball out of the back of his net early on as Salhah rose tallest to powerfully head home a Carlo Chiellini cross after just 4 minutes. Grayson then drew the side’s level just minutes later as he poked home when Curtin thought they had a free kick in the middle of the park for a foul on Chiellini. Ryan Kennedy then gave Rockingham the lead from a dead ball that he put classily into the top corner of Ferguson’s net.

The next 15 minutes were mayhem as Nicholl was sent from the pitch for a second bookable offence and Rockingham put two more away from set pieces as Grayson scored his second and then Snelson got in on the action. Rockingham would a 4-1 lead into the break with Curtin facing a mountain of a task in the second half.

In the second half it was a case of what could have been for the home side as Curtin peppered Sharrock’s goal but to no avail as the Rockingham keeper stood tall on more than one occasion will some help from his defensive line. First it was Nathan Smith who had a chance for Curtin before Salhah saw his header cleared off the line and then Dilip Thapa was unlucky not to score after beating 4 players to find space.

Clarke sealed the 5-1 win for Rockingham as Curtin committed bodies forward in the dying stages of the game bringing on attacking minded substitutes Callum McMulkin and Kristian Beven as well as youngster AJ Doe-Nunneh for his first taste of senior football.

Team: Ferguson, Middleton (Beven), Nicholl, Harvey, Keegan (McMulkin), Bucchino, Matkovic, Salhah (Doe-Nunneh), Chiellini, Thapa, Smith.
Written by: David Cantoni