Jacks draw scratch match with Gwelup Croatia

Jacks draw scratch match with Gwelup Croatia

Posted on June 3, 2016 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup held a practice match against Gwelup Croatia on Tuesday evening as they prepare for Saturday’s PS4 NPLWA clash with Inglewood United.

Coach Dale McCulloch said the 1-1 draw was good, and gave him the opportunity to look at some players who he is looking to bring into the squad. “It was a good workout for the lads, against good opposition, Gwelup have a talented squad and really should be playing Saturday football,” he said. “It was an opportunity for us to try a few things out and we had a number of players’ trialing with us, and I was really pleased the way they went and we are talking to them about joining us to strengthen our squad.”

McCulloch said squad depth is vital as they move forward and he said it’s important to get the right player. “Our depth was tested last week at Cockburn, and unfortunately we failed,” he said. “I spoke to the player group after the game and told them we need to strengthen the squad and to we are looking to bring in five new faces, and what some of them showed me last night they will improve our squad greatly. “We’re in a winning business, and you can’t fall behind the eight ball or you will have your backs to the wall. I’m confident the players we have identified will make us stronger and I’m hoping we can confirm their signings sooner rather than later.”

The game was played at a frantic pace with both team playing a possession based game. Gwelup had the better of the first 15 minutes, and Jacks keeper Lewis Italiano pulled off a couple good saves, the best a great low stop to deny Steve Purton’s curling free kick. ECU came into the game, but chances were few and far between for the rest of the half, but the quality of the football was good. Second half John Higgins came on, and the Jacks took control, but they were caught out on a counter attack on the hour.

Nicolas Tatasciore’s low shot from the right was parried by Italiano into Robbie Phelan’s path, and he did well to sweep home for the lead. ECU were level five minutes later, after Drummond was brought down in the box, and Gordon Smith converted the resulting penalty. The Jacks continued to have the best of the game with Higgins Moon and McGarry running the midfield, but there were no further goals and the game ended 1-1.

ECU Joondalup Starting XI: GK Italiano, Rixer, Lowry, Pickering, Hirrell, Durr, McGarry, Moon, Drummond (Trialist), Smith, Doyle