A depleted Curtin University side went down 5-1 to Fremantle City on Saturday Afternoon. Khaled Salhah was outstanding for Curtin and his stunning strike was a deserved reward for his tireless work all over the park. Salhah was well supported by Dilip Thapa, Albert Bucchino and Rory Binnie as well as youthful second half substitute Mahamud Arab but the Uni side were convincingly beaten by a Danny Clapham hat-trick as well as a brace to Robbie Phelan.

Curtin were set a tough task with more than 10 players out of contention through injury, suspension and other commitments and the task got even tougher when City captain Clapham pounced on an error to give the home side an early lead. Curtin then looked to be working their way into the game after a handful of fine saves from custodian Ranjeet Sekhon had kept them in the match only for to Phelan pounce on a loose ball and rocket his shot into the top corner just before the break.

Curtin looked to their youthful bench at the break replacing the hobbling Calum McMulkin with Mahamud Arab, with the young speedster looking dangerous on the wing. Curtin were caught out by the age old saying “play the whistle” as they stopped for a handball that wasn’t given and Clapham volleyed home to score his second.

Curtin looked dangerous on the counter at times but their hearts were broken when Fremantle defended a dangerous Salah free kick well and counter attacked for Phelan to score his second. Curtin only had themselves to blame as a turnover in the back line allowed Clapham to complete his hat-trick.

With only minutes to play in the match Salhah scored a sensational consolation goal for the visitors as he stroked the ball into Glen Sheldons top corner, but it was too little too late as Fremantle ran out convincing 5-1 winners. Curtin next play away to Olympic Kingsway on Saturday afternoon as they look to turn around their fortunes in the second half of the season.

Team: Sekhon, Beven, Binnie, Harvey, Thapa, Coenen (Noor), McMulkin (Arab), Middleton, Salhah, Gerrace (Hogg), Bucchino.
Written by: David Cantoni