Jacks go down to Sorrento in season opener

Jacks go down to Sorrento in season opener

Posted on March 19, 2016 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have begun their PS4 National Premier League WA season with a 0-2 loss against local rivals Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

Second half goals from Alex Morgan and Sean Canham won it for the Gulls, while Tommy Amphlett and Josh Booysen had the best chances for the Jacks.

“To lose two set pieces was disappointing, especially as we have worked hard on them at training, but we got a little bit sloppy and punished,” a disappointed Coach Dale McCulloch said. “We had a couple of chances in the first half to go in ahead, and in this league to go in at halftime one up makes a lot of difference, but it wasn’t to be today.”

Despite the loss the coach said there were positives to come out of the game. “We take some positives from the performance. I thought Tommy Amphlett and Steven McGarry worked well and Henry Durr and Steven Walmsley, in fact the whole backline were good today. So yes we have a few things to work on, and if you take the two set-pieces out of the game I thought it was quite even, but not on the scoreboard.”

New Scottish striker Gordon Smith was out for the opener, with two yellow cards in the Night Series, which the club were unaware of, but the former Hearts striker had to take his place in the stands at kick off.

McCulloch gave debuts to Steven McGarry, Joseph Jones, McGarry, Harley Orr and David Keenan, while former players Oliie Annis, Henry Durr, Josh Booysen, and Steven Walmsley made their return to the senior side after returning to the club in the pre-season.

The Jacks went close after only two minutes. Durr played Orr in down the right, and he put Amphlett into the box, his low cross beat everyone, and McGarry sliding in at the back post couldn’t get a touch to it.

The home side also went close on 25 minutes, Brad McDonald’s in-swinging corner was cleared off the line by the alert Coire McGuigan.

It was a tight game and Booysen’s shot on the turn flashed wide of the upright. It was the best period of the game for ECU and Jones shot on the run was deflected wide. From the resulting corner McGarry shot flew over the top.

Both sides had late chances. First Jacks keeper David Keenan produced a stunning save seven minutes before half time, reacting superbly to push Steve McDonald’s over the top, before in stoppage time Jones’ header whistled just past the post.

ECU opened well after the break and Amphlett eased past his marker and went one-on-one with Sorrento custodian James Morgan, but the keeper stood tall to deny him.

But on 57 minutes Sorrento hit the front. A corner from the right by Niccolo Sabatini wasn’t held by Keenan and Alex Morgan was on hand to fire home.

Sorrento began to get on top and Brad McDonald cross was headed just wide by Alex Morgan, before Canham was sent clear, but his shot was saved low by Keenan

Put the points were wrapped up in the last minute. Sorrento won a free kick, 20-yards from goal, and Canham stepped up to find the top corner to give them the points.

Sorrento 2 (Alex Morgan 58 mins, Canham 89) ECU Joondalup 0

Ground: Percy Doyle Reserve, Duncraig

Referee: Adam Fielding

Assistants: Hayden Frost and Eamon McDonnell

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 5 Billy QUINNCROFT (9 Sean CANHAM 73), 6 Daryl PLATTEN, 8 Ryan PEARSON, 11 Tim HILL, 13 Steven MCDONALD, 15 Alex MORGAN (25 Todd HARNWELL 82), 16 Niccolo SABATINI, 20 Brad MCDONALD, 21 Jordan DODD – Substitutes not used: RGK Sam HERBISON, 14 Alen PATAROV, 24 Scott HOYLE

Yellow cards: Pearson 13, Alex Morgan 46

ECU Joondalup: GK David KEENAN, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Joseph JONES, 4 Coire MCGUIGAN, 7 Harley ORR (6 Jay MARSDEN 70), 8 Steven WALMSLEY, 10 Ollie ANNIS (12 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 59), 11 Josh BOOYSEN (19 Paddy DOYLE 82), 13 Tommy AMPHLETT, 14 Steven MCGARRY, 18 Henry DURR – Substitutes not used: RGK Scott WALLIS, 15 Jack OLDHAM

Yellow cards: Orr 50, Jones 54, Brown-Montgomery 68, McGarry 82