Jacks back in the Winner’s Circle

Jacks back in the Winner’s Circle

Posted on June 4, 2017 in 'Reports'

The Jacks have moved up to fifth spot on the PS4 National Premier League WA table after a comfortable 4-1 win against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

Teenage striker James Owen opened the scoring early, before Daryl Nicol doubled their lead before the break. Owen added a second after the half time, before Billy Quinncroft pulled one back for the home side, but ECU skipper Gordon Smith sealed the points late.

Click here to listen to Coach Dale McCulloch and striker James Owen’s post-match interviews

Saturday was one of the youngest Jacks starting eleven in a while, and McCulloch was forced into two changes. Midfielder Steven McGarry and Ross Millard were unavailable, meaning Owen and Fraser Garnaut were rewarded for their good form in the under 20’s with a spot in the starting line-up.

The Jacks came out for the game wearing the clubs 25th Anniversary shirt, and kicked off with former skipper Ryan Lowry in the crowd, and they made a perfect start and were ahead on six minutes. Nicol was sent down the left by Sam Pollard, and his low cross picked out Owen, who nicked in front of his marker to score.

Armadale, who beat the Jacks in the reverse game at the ECUI Football Stadium, went close to levelling four minutes later. Nathan Costello’s long ball was flicked on by Anthony Skorich, and Quinncroft’s shot on the run whistled just wide of Fraser Greenwood’s far post.

But on 19 minutes it was the Jacks who doubled their lead, with a stunning individual goal from Nicol. The Scottish speedster picked the ball up on the half way line and raced at the Armadale defence easing past three defenders, before finishing with aplomb past Michael Craggs, and raced off to celebrate with the coaches and supporters.

The home side looked to hit back and the woodwork came to the Jacks’ rescue just before half time, when Jackson Bealey’s cross was met by Quinncroft, whose effort bounced off the post and back into the grateful arms of Greenwood.

Armadale opened brightly after the break and Greenwood produced a stunning save to deny Quinncroft early, before Dylan White fired home the rebound, but the assistants’ flag was up for offside. But their good start came to an end when the Jacks added a third just before the hour. Moon’s superbly weighted ball sent Owen in down the right channel, and the youngster superbly chipped the on-coming keeper to add his second.

Moon and Pollard were running the show in the middle of the park, and Nicol’s pace was causing problems all afternoon for the home defence, and he was in again moments later, but Craggs stood tall to deny him. But the home side were back in it 16 minutes from time, Bealey’s cross picked out Quinncroft, who lost his marker and headed powerfully home.

But their comeback was short lived when the Jacks added a fourth on 81 minutes, to wrap up the three points.  Owen was sent clear down the right again and unselfishly crossed to Smith who made mistake from close-range, for his tenth goal of the season.

Armadale 1 (Quinncroft 74’) v ECU Joondalup 4 (Owen 6’, 57’, Nicol 19’, Smith 81’)

Armadale: GK Michael CRAGGS, 2 Dylan WHITE (19 Beau RAHIM 64’), 3 Jake SARDELIC, 4 Nathan COSTELLO (C), 14 David ANNALL, 15 Jackson BEALEY, 16 Billy QUINNCROFT, 17 James ATKINS (21 Shaydon PASSALACQUA 76’), 18 Milan OGNJENOVIC, 20 Ali GHOLAMI, 25 Anthony SKORICH (7 Charlie KENNA 64’) – Subs not used: RGK Alec RADONICH – Yellow cards: Skorich 54, Bealey 70

ECU Joondalup: GK Fraser GREENWOOD, 3 Fraser GARNAUT, 4 Jack IREDALE, 5 Graham DORAN, 6 Shane PICKERING, 7 Kevin MOON (15 Keylun POLLARD 85’), 8 Sam POLLARD, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH (C) (16 Stefan VRANESEVIC 93’), 12 James OWEN, 18 Cian HIRRELL – Subs not used: RGK Todd HOYLE, 13 Ben JOHNS, 14 Declan HUGHES – Yellow Cards: Moon 25, Smith 72, Doran 83  – Referee: Ton Dowle