Jacks let it slip against Perth

Jacks let it slip against Perth

Posted on April 9, 2016 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have lost for the first time at home in the PS4 National Premier League WA after 1-2 loss against league leaders Perth SC at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday.

Gordon Smith gave the Jacks the lead after only eight minutes, but they lost keeper David Keenan with a knee injury five minutes later and Tommy Amphlett at half time with an ankle injury. Second half goals to Gustavo Catarcione and debutant Dino Topcagic gave Perth the points.

ECU Coach Dale McCulloch was disappointed with some of the referring decisions but said they need to start taking their chances. “I thought we were comfortable in the first half and deservedly led, but we should have had a penalty late, how the referee didn’t see the late challenge on Tommy (Amphlett) is unbelievable,” he said.

“He was clearly taken out and it should have been a penalty, and if we had scored it would have been a different game. Decisions haven’t gone our way today, hopefully they will even themselves out during the season.”

McCulloch said they take some positives from the game and move on. “We have a good squad and we don’t just concern ourselves with the starting eleven we have players who were on the bench today and in reserves who can do a job for me when called upon,” he said.

“We dealt with the loss of David and Tommy and played some good football and I defiantly thought we deserved something from the game today.”

Skipper Ryan Lowry said they were the better team on the day but they need to be more ruthful in front of goal. “I’m not one to criticize referees but I thought they were below par today, but he have to get on with it and look forward to next week,” he said.

“Decisions cost us today, but we have to take our chances when we have them, we had enough to win it. I’m not bothered about our position at the moment we are building gradually and come the end of the season we will be their or their about.”

The Jacks went into the game unchanged from the side that beat Subiaco last week and buoyed by back-to-back home wins they dominated early. Their early dominance was rewarded with the lead on eight minutes. Steven McGarry’s well timed through ball sent Smith racing clear of his marker, he rounded the keeper and fired home, his third goal in as many matches for the club.

It was one-way traffic and moments later Joseph Jones’ header was cleared off the line. But on 14 minutes ECU suffered a huge blow, losing keeper David Keenan with a bad knee injury, and he was replaced by Scott Wallis. Perth had now settled and began to get in the game, and Wallis was called into action ten minutes later, superbly saving Topcagic snap shot.

Smith was constant threat to the Perth defence. The former Heart of Midlothian striker combined with Tommy Amphlett on 40 minutes to set up McGarry, whose shot flashed wide. Then in stoppage time Smith and McGarry combined to send Amphlett into goal, the former Perth Glory midfielder was caught as he got his shot away, Francis Soale made a telling save, and referee Steven Gregory waved away the home sides protests for a penalty.

Amphlett was replaced at the break by former Perth player Harley Orr.  Soale had to be alert early in the second half pushing Henry Durr’s shot around the post, but the keeper was lucky moments later when he clearly handled the ball outside his area, but the assistant completely missed it even though he was in line with the custodian. But on the hour Perth were handed the equaliser. Lowry slipped to let Catarcione in, and the Brazilian striker drew the keeper before calmly slotting the ball home.

Perth were now dictating terms and Jordan De Leo saw his shot well saved by Wallis, and on 68 minutes they hit the front. A quick counter attack down the right and Perth got in behind the Joondalup defence, and the ball was cut back to Topcagic, and the youngster made no mistake, firing low into the corner of the net. It was nearly three to Perth moments later. Dean Evans’ free kick was parried by Wallis and De Leo’s follow up shot crashed off the post.

ECU weren’t done and Jones played in Smith whose shot crashed off the crossbar with ten minutes, and moments later McGarry’s shot was superbly tipped on to the crossbar by Soale.  Both sides pressed late, but it ended 2-1 to Perth.

The Credentia Construction – ECU Man of the Match – Gordon Smith

ECU Joondalup: GK David Keenan (RGK Scott WALLIS 14’), 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Joseph JONES, 4 Shane PICKERING, 5 Andy HIGGINS, 8 Steven WALMSLEY, 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT (7 Harley ORR 46’), 14 Steven MCGARRY, 18 Henry DURR – Subs not used: 12 Paddy DOYLE, 15 Coire MCGUIGAN, 16 Josh TUCKER – Yellow Cards: Amphlett 38’, Walmsley 68’, McGarry 69’

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 2 David FILIPPOU, 3 Marco SANTALUCIA, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Clark KELTIE, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 10 Nick AMBROGIO (8 Tom KING 67’), 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Dino TOPCAGIC (16 Thomas JEBB 88’), 20 Matthew MILENKOVIC – Sub not used: RGK Daniel PASSARELLI, 21 Ayden DRAGUN – Yellow Cards: Catarcione 29’, Keltie 38’, Topcagic 87’

Referee: Steven Gregory