Jacks hit back for Glory

Jacks hit back for Glory

Posted on May 8, 2016 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have broken a three game losing streak with a hard fought 2-0 win against Perth Glory at the Ashfield Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Gordon Smith gave the Jacks the lead on the quarter hour, but ECU had former Glory keeper Lewis Italiano to thank for keeping their lead, the custodian producing a number of fine saves to thwart the home side. Midfielder Steven McGarry returned to his former club and scored the decisive second goal curling home a superb 20-yard free kick.

Coach Dale McCulloch gave a starting debut to Keylun Pollard and the winger put in a good performance, working well in defence and in attack.

McGarry, who was recognised by the Football Federation of Australia, for his contribution to A-League football last week prior to the Grand Final in Adelaide, said it was good to get to back to winning ways and they had to fight all game. “We were desperate for a win, and we had a game plan coming into today’s game and the boys put in a good performance,” he said.

“We’ve shipped a lot of goals in recent games and the priority today was to be tough to beat and I think we were today. “We worked our socks off and kept our shape well, and it’s great to get the three points and most importantly keep a clean sheet.”

Both sides were desperate for the points and Glory went close in the opening minute. Former ECU striker Joe Knowles’ shot was pushed around a post by the alert Italiano.

ECU lifted and on 14 minutes they opened the scoring. A pass from Joseph Jones picked out Smith, who turned his marker, who slipped in the process, leaving the Scottish striker in on goal, he rounded keeper Jordan Thurtell and fired home.

Then ten minutes later ECU had a penalty claim turned down by referee Tom Glavovic, when Smith was brought down in the area, but the referee waved away their protests.

It was just the start ECU wanted and Thurtell had to be alert on the half hour to stop a second. A long throw from Jones was met by Hayley Orr, whose header was pushed around a post by the Glory custodian.

Glory should have levelled on the stroke of half time. A poor clearance from Italiano only found Daniel Stynes whose shot was well saved by the ECU keeper, the rebound falling kindly to Nikola Talimdzioski, but Italiano recovered superbly to deny the young striker from close-range.

After the break Smith’s long-range shot was saved by Thurtell, but the Glory continued to press and Knowles sent Talimdzioski clear five minutes in, but Italiano stood tall to deny him again.  ECU were compact and hitting on the counter attack with Smith a constant threat but it was Glory having the better chances.

Talimdzioski was denied again by Italiano on 67 minutes, he made space in the box, but his shot on the turn was saved by the ECU custodian. ECU were playing far too deep and the Glory continued to dictate terms and Italiano produced his best save of the day five minutes later. Kosta Petratos’ long-range shot was heading for the top corner but Italiano superbly pushed it around a post at full stretch.

ECU were living dangerously but went close themselves moments later. A cross from Orr caused problems in the penalty area and Scott Robinson’s attempted clearance went inches over his own crossbar, and from the resulting McGarry corner Smith headed just over.

With Glory pushing forward ECU were picking out holes at the back, and they should have doubled their lead when Smith raced clear. He cut inside his marker but there was miscommunication between him and McGarry and the chance was gone.

That was forgotten on 85 minutes. Bayley Brown-Montgomery was brought down 18m from goal and McGarry curled the resulting free kick into the top corner of the net to give ECU Joondalup the three points.

Lewis Italiano’s heroics were rewarded with the Credentia Construction Man of the Match

Perth Glory 0 v ECU Joondalup 2 (Smith 14min, McGarry 85)

Perth Glory: GK Jordan THURTELL, 2 Gian ALBANO, 3 Sean TROUP (12 Ross MILLARD 53), 4 Scott ROBERTSON, 5 Sam MACKEARNAN, 6 Calvin WHITNEY, 7 Daniel STYNES, 8 Jacob MUSTAFA (15 Jack LEECH 81), 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Kosta PETRATOS, 11 Nikola TALIMDZIOSKI (13 Chok DAU 72) – Subs not used: RGK: Riley STEPHENSON, 14 Ben JOHNS – Yellow cards: Robertson 43, Whitney 67

ECU Joondalup: GK Lewis ITALIANO, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Joseph JONES, 4 Shane PICKERING, 5 Andy HIGGINS (15 Cian HIRRELL 67), 8 Steven WALMSLEY, 7 Harley ORR (6 Josh TUCKER 89), 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Keylun POLLARD (9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 67), 14 Steven MCGARRY, 18 Henry DURR – Subs not used: RGK Todd HOYLE – Yellow cards: Nil

Referee: Tom Glavovic