Smith and Nicol give Jacks the points

Smith and Nicol give Jacks the points

Posted on August 18, 2017 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have come home from their long trip to the Securitas Protect Stadium with a hard fought 2-0 win against Mandurah City. A first half goal from the Jacks top goalscorer Daryl Nicol put them ahead at half time, and WA State Captain Gordon Smith made sure of the three points 11 minutes from time. The loss for Mandurah keeps them in the mix for relegation, but with other results on the day going their way they are still in with a fighting chance to avoid the drop.

“The conditions out there today were terrible, so we had to adjust our style and system and to be fair it was an ugly win,” Smith said. “We want to end the season on a high, and we have three games left and want to get all nine points.”

Mandurah were up for this one and opened brightly and Lance Louvie went close early, his effort was saved low by Fraser Greenwood at the second attempt. ECU lifted and went close themselves moments later, Smith’s deflected shot was well saved by Mandurah keeper Cyril Sharrock.

Jeff Bright then had to be alert to clear Nicol’s cross off the line, before Smith headed straight at Sharrock from a Nicol free kick. Steven McGarry then headed just wide of the target as the Jacks pressed, and they made their pressure count with the lead on 34 minutes. McGarry flicked on a throw in, and Nicol’s first time volley from the edge of the box flew past Sharrock via the post.

After the break Jordan Rhodes’ deflected free kick was well save by Greenwood as Mandurah looked for a response, but they were unable to sustain the pressure as conditions worsened. ECU were dangerous on the break and Declan Hughes shot was saved low by Sharrock, before Nicol’s shot whistled wide of the target.

With Kevin Moon, Hughes and McGarry bossing the midfield the Jacks looked dangerous on the counter attack, and they sealed the points on 79 minutes. Nicol raced down the left from inside his own half, before slipping the ball into Smith, who finished clinically past Sharrock.

“It was a difficult game in difficult conditions,” ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said. “We’ve just got to be ugly sometimes and make sure we get the three points. “I thought the first half was 50/50, but we had enough control of that game to deserve the win.” Mandurah’s Doug Hesketh was happy with his side’s application in tough conditions. “We played good football in the first half,” he said. “In the second half we tried to be direct with the wind and it just backfired.”

Mandurah City 0 v ECU Joondalup 2 (Smith 34’, Nicol 79’)

Mandurah City: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 2 Mitchell FIRTH, 3. Jeff BRIGHT, 4 Matt STARES, 5 Thomas STRAKER, 6 Lance LOUVIE, 7 Jack EADES, 9 Joseph O’BRIEN (14 Kevin CASTLE 84’), 10 Jordan RHODES, 11 Ryan FRANCIS, 13 Slade RULE (16 Mark MCLAUGHLIN 67’) – Subs not used: 12 Jack WILD, 17 Bailey MULLINS, 21 Kieran SHAIL

ECU Joondalup: GK Fraser GREENWOOD, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Steven MCGARRY, 5 Graham DORAN, 6 Shane PICKERING, 7 Kevin MOON, 8 Declan HUGHES, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Sam POLLARD, 17 Jack JONES – Sub not used: RGK Jordan YOUNG, 12 James OWEN, 14 Ben HINSHELWOOD, 15 Ryan MCDARBY, 16 Tom HOUGH – Referee: Nico Hoyle