Smith spot on as The Jacks edge out Glory

Smith spot on as The Jacks edge out Glory

Posted on August 7, 2016 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup continued their march up the PS4 National Premier League WA table after a late penalty from Gordon Smith gave them a hard fought 1-0 win against Perth Glory in Week 19 at ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Smith converted from the spot after he bundled down in the box, it was the Scottish striker’s 15th goal of the season, but they were made to fight all the way, and keeper Lewis Italiano producing a couple of telling saves to keep them at bay.

Smith said they got away with one and gave credit to the Glory. “I thought Perth Glory were really good today, passed the ball well but credit to our boys for pulling through and getting the win,” he said. “They had an overload in the middle of the park and we couldn’t get our game going but it was nice to score the winner and keep our top four push on track.”

Coach Dale McCulloch echoed his striker’s views but said they had the rub of the green today, which they haven’t had during the season. “It was probably one we got away with today and we won it with a penalty. To be fair we’ve had a few things go against us this season,” he said. “So we’ll take that bit of good fortune but we worked hard and it showed the resolve and character of the players we have. We move on to Bayswater next week.”

Tommy Amphlett missed the game due to suspension, while Henry Durr missed with injury, their places in the starting eleven went to Cian Hirrell and the returning Jayden Drummond. It was a vital game for both sides, at the top and bottom of the table, and Glory almost handed the hosts the lead on eight minutes. Central defender Scott Robertson slip let in Gordon Smith, who raced clear, but Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell stood tall to deny him.

With that early let off, the Glory settled and went close themselves ten minutes later. Alex Tanevski was given far too much room in the middle of the park and his shot on the run was saved low by Italiano. The visitors were controlling the game and Daniel Stynes was a constant threat. Midway through the half he skipped past two ECU defenders but just has he was ready to pull the trigger Shane Pickering got back with a last ditch tackle. ECU ended the half the better and Rikki Smith’s shot was deflected wide before Kevin Moon shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed over the top. Then in final minute a long ball over the top sent Gordon Smith clear, he held off his marker, but his flick was well saved by Thurtell.

The hosts began the second half as they finished the first. Steven McGarry, who was outstanding all afternoon, saw his close-range shot was well saved by Thurtell, before the Glory custodian was out bravely to save at the feet of McGarry again moments later. On the hour the Glory should have hit the front. Great work on the right by Stynes ended with a cut back from the bye-line to Alex Tanevski, whose first time shot was superbly saved by Italiano.

The ECU custodian was at it again 10 minutes later, this time Stynes skipped past two ECU defenders and raced into the area but Italiano was out quick to save. The game was opening up with both sides pressing. Daryl Nicol played in Gordon Smith whose shot whistled over the top before Sam McKearnan shot on the turn flew over the top.

But on 80 minutes the home side hit the front. Gordon Smith took on Ross Millard, and the Glory defender blocked the Scotsman in the area forcing referee Michal Jasinski to point straight to the spot. Smith picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty, despite Thurtell getting a hand to it. It was a bitter blow for the Glory youngsters but they almost earned a point in the final minute. Nikola Talimdzioski’s shot from the edge of the box whistled inches past a post.

It was a great day for the club with both other teams winning their respective games against the Glory.  ECU 18’s continued their good form with a come-from behind 2-1 win against the Glory. Down 1-0 at the break, but  second half goals from skipper Nick Koefler, a stunning volley, before Koefler sent Kieron Craig clear to score the winner. The under 20’s also put in a great performance, also coming from behind to beat the Glory 3-1, with James Owen bagging a second half hat-trick.

Credentia Construction Man of the Match – Steven McGarry

ECU Joondalup 1 (G.Smith 80’ Pen) v Perth Glory 0

ECU Joondalup: GK Lewis ITALIANO, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Rikki SMITH, 4 Steven MCGARRY, 5 Andy HIGGINS, 6 Shane PICKERING (19 Michael MCDOUGALL 58’), 7 Jayden DRUMMOND (15 Fraser GARNAUT 63’), 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Cian HIRRELL, 17 Kevin MOON – Subs not used: RGK Todd HOYLE, 8 Oliver ANNIS, 16 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY – Yellow Card: Lowry 38’

Perth Glory: GK Jordan THURTELL, 2 Gian ALBANO (13 Luke BODNAR 10’), 3 Scott ROBERTSON, 4 Jack IREDALE, 5 Ross MILLARD, 6 Cal WHITNEY, 7 Alex TANEVSKI, 8 Dejan SPASESKI (14 Jackson MORGAN 87’), 9 Nikola TALIMDZIOSKI, 10 Sam MCKEARNAN (15 Sean TROUP 82’), 11 Daniel STYNES – Subs not used: RGK Riley STEPHENSON, 16 Chor DAU – Yellow Card: Iredale 64’, McKearnen 85’

Referee: Michal Jasinski