Jacks left to wonder what could have been

Jacks left to wonder what could have been

Posted on July 20, 2016 in 'Reports'

The weather came out on top after the match between ECU Joondalup and Floreat Athena was abandoned just after the hour after rain made the pitch unplayable.

The score at the time was 2-2, and the result will stand after more than half the game was played, but the hotly disputed penalty for the Floreat equaliser was the talk after the game. (Photo courtesy of Michael Italiano)

Goals from Gordon Smith and Tommy Amphlett put the Jacks in charge, but Ludovic Boi reduced the margin before half time. Early in the second half Lewis McMahon levelled with the disputed penalty, but the weather had the final word.

ECU skipper Ryan Lowry said some of the decisions left a lot to be desired. “It was difficult conditions for both teams to play in but I thought we got off to a good start,” he said.

“Credit to Floreat for coming back into the game, but if it was not for some dubious decisions on the referees’ part I think we would have claimed all three points.”

Dale McCulloch echoed his skippers’ thoughts, but said his side are playing well and they are starting to gel nicely. “For the second week running we’ve had a penalty given against us that the other coaching staff and I, and the rest of the crowd didn’t see,” a disappointed McCulloch said.

“It’s frustrating and we hope we start to get some decisions go our way for the rest of the season.

“But credit to the boys, they are in a really good groove and are playing well – it was just a disappointing end to a game like that. We have signed a few new players who have come in and gelled really well.

“They are making the other players work a little harder, so it just picks up the quality all round. We have good work rate, good work ethic, good characters and good players.”

The home side made the perfect start and were ahead after only four minutes, after Gordon Smith was brought down in the box and referee Adam Fielding pointed to the spot. The Scottish striker picked himself up to score the resulting penalty.

Floreat lifted and went close to the equaliser on 28 minutes, but Lewis Italiano pulled off a stunning save to deny McMahon.  That save was vital as in their next attack ECU doubled their lead, Amphlett racing clear and finishing clinically past Jason Saldaris.

The Jacks were convinced they had another penalty when Smith was tapped on the ankle when in on goal, but the referee waved away their protests. Floreat got themselves a lifeline in first half stoppage time, when Boi found space in a goalmouth scramble to fire past Italiano.

Floreat were level in the second minute of the second half, with McMahon celebrated his return from five games suspension and fired home from the penalty spot. Heavy rain continued to fall and flooded the pitch and sixteen minutes later the referee abandoned the match due to unplayable pitch conditions.

Credentia Construction Man of the Match – Shane Pickering

ECU Joondalup 2 (Smith 4’ pen, Amphlett 28’) v Floreat Athena 2 (Boi 45+2’, McMahon 47’ pen)

ECU Joondalup: GK Lewis ITALIANO, 2 Ryan LOWRY (C), 3 Rikki SMITH, 4 Steven McGARRY, 5 Andy HIGGINS, 6 Shane PICKERING, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT, 18 Henry DURR, 17 Kevin MOON – Subs not used: RGK Todd HOYLE, 8 Ollie ANNIS, 15 Coire MCGUIGAN, 16 Keylun POLLARD, 19 Paddy DOYLE

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 5 Bobby WILSON, 6 Clayton ARNEZ, 8 Jonathan STYNES, 10 Kris GATE, 14 Ludovic BOI (C), 11 Dennis GALAN, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Philip ARNOLD 19 Lewis McMAHON, 33 Cameron YORKE – Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 12 Nathan SCULLY, 13 Steve KANTOR, 16 Daniel HEPWORTH, 20 Jordan PARFITT.

Referee: Adam Fielding