Nicol hat-trick sinks Balcatta

Nicol hat-trick sinks Balcatta

Posted on August 18, 2017 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup returned to the winners circle after a Daryl Nicol inspired 5-2 win against Balcatta at the ECU Football Stadium. The speedy winger bagged two penalties and rounded of his triple with a quality finish, the result sending Balcatta closer to relegation.

Click here to listen to Coach Dale McCulloch and Daryl Nicol post-match interviews

The Jacks dominated early and were ahead on six minutes, after Nicol was brought down by Justin Onek and referee Matthew Southern pointed straight to the spot. Nicol picked himself up to send Domenico Savoldelli the wrong way from the resulting penalty. It was 2-0 on 13 minutes. A corner from Sam Pollard was headed onto the crossbar by Gordon Smith, the rebound falling to Steven McGarry who finished well at the back post. Balcatta then came to life, and ECU keeper Jordan Young produced stunning low save to deny Tom Pellizzari on 22 minutes.

But from the resulting corner they pulled one back. Onek rising highest to head powerfully home from close-range.  Savoldelli was keeping his side in the game, the Balcatta custodian producing a stunning save to thwart Ross Millard on the half hour. The Jacks went close to a third on the stroke of half time, and after a goal mouth scramble Nicol’s snap shot crashed off the post.

Both sides had chances early in the second half, Jon Corness’ volley from the edge of the box was saved by Young, before Pollard shot from a tight angle rattled the post. But it was the Jacks who added a third on 55 minutes, when Smith raced into the box and was brought down by Savoldelli and the referee pointed to the spot, and Nicol converted the penalty. It looked like ECU would run away with it, but on 70 minutes Balcatta were back in the game. Luccas Mello’s corner was headed home by skipper Calum O’Connell.

It was end to end football and Pollard’s shot on the run crashed off the post for the hosts again moments, before Mello’s shot flashed inches wide of the post for the visitors.  But the Jacks restored control with a fourth goal on 77 minutes. Jack Jones’ corner wasn’t dealt with by the Balcatta defence and Pollard pounced to fire home. It soon became 5-2, a clever through ball from Smith sent Nicol racing clear and he finished clinically, to give ECU a comprehensive win.

ECU Joondalup 5 (Nicol 6mins, 55’, 81, McGarry 13’, Sam Pollard 77) v Balcatta 2 (Onek 23’, O’Connell 70’)

ECU Joondalup: GK Jordan YOUNG, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Steven MCGARRY, 5 Graham DORAN, 6 Shane PICKERING, 7 Kevin MOON, 8 Declan HUGHES (16 Tom HOUGH 86’), 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH (c) (15 Ben HINSHELWOOD 88’), 11 Sam POLLARD, 17 Jack JONES – Subs not used: RGK Will PARKES, 11 Keylun POLLARD, 18 Ryan MCDARBY – Yellow Cards: Smith 76’

Balcatta: GK Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 2 Daniel HEPWORTH, 3 Justin ONEK, 4 Calum O’CONNELL (c), 5 Tom PELLIZZARI, 7 Marco CHADINHA, 8 Brody KENNEDY,  9 Luccas MELLO, 10 Jon CORNESS, 12 Brennan BORZECKI (21 Ben MEREDITH 52’), 13 Dejan ANDRIC (18 Ismael BANGURA 68’) –  Subs not used: RGK Luke HUTCHINSON, 14 Rudnei NOGUEIRA – Yellow Cards: Andric 50’ – Referee: Matthew Southern