Hough keeps Jacks in finals mix

Hough keeps Jacks in finals mix

Posted on August 11, 2018 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup’s top four finals hopes are still alive after a hard fought 1-0 win against Forrestfield United at the Wildlife Safari Stadium on a wet Saturday afternoon. Youngster Tom Hough was the scorer of the only goal four minutes into the second half, and despite Forrestfield pressing late, they couldn’t find the equaliser.

Click here to listen to post-match interviews with goal scorer Tom Hough, keeper Johnny Perkins and Head coach Dale McCulloch

It was a massive game for sides, at either ends of the table, and it was the Jacks who made the better start. Nicol’s shot from the angle went wide, before Adam Tong’s long-throw was flicked on by Steven McGarry and it was punched from under his own bar by Martino. Forrestfield went into the game in the relegation zone and needed the points, and they ended the half the better. Rhys Loxley’s shot was deflected wide, then Liam Merigan’s long-range shot flashed over the top, but at the break it was all-square.

But it was the Jacks who opened the scoring four minutes into the second half. Andy Higgins’ in-swinging corner was fired goal wards by McGarry, and Martino produced a good reaction save, but the rebound came to Hough who headed home from close-range. The Jacks then went close to a second on the hour, Higgins’ free kick was only cleared to Cian Hirrell and his first time shot flew wide of the target.

Forrestfield weren’t done with and they went close to the equaliser seven minutes later. Cameron Murray lost possession on the right and Will Tshabangu cross found Loxley at the back post, but his shot was well saved by the alert Johnny Perkins.  It was end-to-end football, as the game opened up, and Jordan Hart’s shot at the back post drifted wide for the home side, before Jamie Duncan got back with a superb last-ditch tackle to deny ECU skipper Nicol at the back post after good approach work from Murray.

Forrestfield were knocking at the door and Duncan’s shot on the run was well saved by Perkins, before Sinclair fired wide moments later. It was one-way traffic as the home side pressed for the equaliser, and they had a huge penalty appeal turned down by referee David Bruce in the final minute of stoppage time. A ball into the penalty area found Tshabangu, who was impeded in the box, but the referee was well placed and waved away their protests, much to the frustration of the Forrestfield players and bench.

In other results on the day the Jacks under 18’s ran out 4-0 winners, while our under 20’s maintain top spot after a 2-2 draw.

Match Details

Forrestfield United 0 ECU Joondalup 1 (Hough 49′)

Forrestfield United: GK Luke MARTINO, 2 Tom SOUTHGATE, 3 Will TSHABANGU, 4 Jamie DUNCAN, 6 Kristian DESPOTOVSKI (7 Josh KOTIO 56’), 8 Mitchell CROCKER (12 Callum DOBBS 92’), 9 Hasani SINCLAIR, 10 Jordan HART, 11 Liam MERIGAN (C), 17 Leslie MARI, 23 Rhys LOXLEY (14 Ben ROGERS 91’) – Subs not used: RGK Ben PARRY, 5 Seded YAGLI

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Cian HIRRELL, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Steven MCGARRY, 5 Adam TONG, 7 Cameron MURRAY (13 Liam MURRAY 92’), 8 Tom HOUGH, 9 Daryl NICOL (C), 10 Brad MCDONALD, 11 Andy HIGGINS, 12 Ethan BROOKS (17 Lukas DE LIMA 58’) – Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 16 Harry EDWARDS, 18 Ronald RIXER – Referee: David Bruce