Nicol and Smith on target in win at Subiaco

Nicol and Smith on target in win at Subiaco

Posted on June 26, 2016 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup moved up to seventh on the PS4NPLWA table after a dominant 3-0 win against Subiaco in Week 14 action at Rosalie Park.

Gordon Smith bagged a brace, to take his season tally to 11 goals, while new signing Daryl Nicol opened his account, as the Jacks made it four straight wins.

It was also their fourth clean sheet in as many games and keeper Lewis Italiano said they have worked hard to hold it tight at the back. “It’s always nice to have a clean sheet, and that make it four on the trot,” he said. “We’re looking very solid from the backline up, and we’re scoring goals early which helps, the confidence is high at the moment and we’re looking to keep it going.”

Italiano said the side is getting stronger each week, but said they need to maintain the standards set by the coaching staff. “I had a quiet day today, but the back four were outstanding, like they have since I’ve been at the club, and to be fair it was an all-round team performance, the midfield three were also fantastic today,” he said.  “The coaching staff have set the standard they want us to perform week in and week out, and we need to maintain them, especially with some tough games coming up, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said it was a strong team performances, and the confidence in the camp is high. “It was a very good first half and we killed the game off early in the second half with the third, so it continues our good form, and we are playing with confidence at the moment,” he said. “We moved the ball around really well today, and got into so many good areas, it was really pleasing performance.”

McCulloch praised the new signings, who he thought had given his side the lift they were looking for. “At the transfer windows we pinpointed areas where we want to strengthen as a club and we believes we have brought in leaders, who have added to the side, and they have all contributed,” he said. “We have frequently switched off late in games and conceded goals, but today we never, their experience has lifted that part of our game and that’s why we brought these players to the club.”

The rain clouds had cleared at kick off, and both sides wanted the three points, at opposite ends of the table, but ECU should have opened the scoring after only five minutes. A long throw from Cian Hirrell was flicked on by Shane Pickering and Gordon Smith blazed over from six-yards. Subiaco went close themselves five minutes later, Rory Feely was given far too much room on the edge of the box, but his shot was saved low by Italiano.

The Jacks began to get on top and Nicol’s snap shot was saved low by Ryan Montgomery, before Ryan Lowry’s close-range header was straight at the Subiaco custodian. But on 27 minutes their pressure was rewarded with the opening goal. A great run out of his own half by Pickering, ended with a through ball to Gordon Smith, and the Scottish striker held off his marker and finished with aplomb past Montgomery.

Montgomery was keeping his side in the game, firstly saving superbly to deny Nicol on the half hour, before saving low from Tommy Amphlett. Subiaco ended the half well and Dylan Andrews’ shot was well blocked by some desperate ECU defending, before Kevin White fired wide after good work Andrews. But in the shadows of half time The Jacks doubled their advantage. Henry Durr played in Nicol, and the lively striker finished low past Montgomery.

The points were wrapped up 11 minutes into the second half, when the Jacks added their third. Pickering picked out Gordon Smith, who rolled the last defender, and raced clear and finished clinically past Montgomery. White, who was playing his last game for the club, did his best to lift the home side, his shot on the turn on the hour whistled just wide. The game lost its intensity late, although Amphlett’s long-range shot flashed over the top for the visitors, but Subiaco couldn’t find an equaliser with the ECU defence, well led by Lowry and Rikki Smith.

Joint – Credentia Construction Man of the Match – Shane Pickering and Henry Durr

Subiaco 0 v ECU Joondalup 3 (G. Smith 27′, 56, Nicol 43′)

Subiaco AFC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Ross JARMAN (15 James OLIVER 87’), 3 Banin HASHEM (11 Owen COATES 76’), 5 James CASSERLY, 6 Kevin CASTLE, 7 Jackson DARNELL (4 Jackson DONGRAY 46’), 8 Michael LAWSON, 9 Kevin WHITE, 10 Rory FEELY, 13 Dylan ANDREWS 14 Stefan HILL – Subs not used: GK Hamish ST GEORGE, 18 George TCHAMI – Yellow Cards – Nil

ECU Joondalup: GK Lewis ITALIANO, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Rikki SMITH, 4 Cian HIRRELL, 5 Andy HIGGINS, 6 Shane PICKERING (16 Coire MCGUIGAN 92’), 9 Daryl NICOL (19 Paddy DOYLE 80’), 10 Gordon SMITH, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT, 17 Kevin MOON (8 Ollie ANNIS 68’), 18 Henry DURR – Subs not used: RGK Todd HOYLE, 7 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY – Yellow Cards – Amphlett 83