Jacks edged out in FFA Cup Semi-Final thriller

Jacks edged out in FFA Cup Semi-Final thriller

Posted on June 8, 2018 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have bowed out of the 2018 FFA Cup after being beaten 3-2 by Armadale in a thrilling Semi-Final at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Monday evening.

We dominated early but found ourselves behind with Billy Quinncroft heading home. Gordon Smith leveled before half time, and we dominated again after half time but then got hit by a sucker punch when Armadale were awarded a penalty and Nathan Costello converted. (Photo Courtesy of Fotoenzo)

Chris Jackson added a third moments later, but the Jacks rallied and Smith reduced the margin in the final minute and despite pressing in the four minutes of stoppage time they couldn’t find the equaliser.

“We defended really poor tonight and you don’t win matches defending like that,” Jacks Head Coach Dale McCulloch said.

“I thought we dominated in the first half and they had one attack and scored. The same in the second half, dominated early and gave them two goals. This is a huge blow for me and the club but we now have to concentrate on the league to get something out of the season.”

It was a lively opening and Armadale who went close to the lead early, when Ryan Haslett’s low shot was cleared off the line by the alert Cian Hirrell, but the visitors hit back and the lively Daryl Nicol raced down the left, but his shot well saved by Sam Hutchings. Nicol was in again moments later, sent clear by a clever pass from Smith, but Hutchings stood tall deny the Scotsman again.

But on 18 minutes the home side hit the front. David Annall’s cross picked out Quinncroft who lost marker and headed home.  Then six minutes later the visitors levelled. Sam Pollard’s cross was dropped by Hutchings, under pressure from Paddy Doyle, and Smith smashed the rebound home from four meters to send the sides in level at the break.

The visitors dominated early in the second half, Doyle’s effort was well saved by Hutchings, before the Armadale custodian was out bravely to clear off the foot of Smith.  But against the run of play Armadale regained the lead, when Jackson was bundled down in the box and referee Michal Jasinski pointed to the spot.

Costello stepped up and sent Jack Nunn the wrong way from the resulting penalty, much to the delight of the home faithful. They added a third five minutes later, Jackson made a darting run down the right channel and finished with aplomb across Nunn.

ECU pressed, and substitute Adam Tong saw a first time shot well saved by Hutchings, before the Armadale keeper produced the save of the night pushing Smith’s shot on the turn around the post. The Jacks pulled one back in the final minute, Tong’s deep cross was headed home by Smith at the back post.

With four minutes of stoppage time ECU pressed for the winner, but they couldn’t find it and at the final whistle it was the Armadale players and supporters celebrating a famous victory for the club.

Match Details  

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Joshua KUSER, 3 Delan DE SILVA, 4 Nathan COSTELLO (C), 5 David ANNALL (15 Ali GHOLAMI 94’), 7 Charlie KENNA, 9 Billy QUINNCROFT, 10 Chris JACKSON, 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 21 Beau RAHIM, 22 Ryan HASLETT (11 Michael RIZIDIS 82’) – Subs not used: RGK Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 13 Hasan EL YASSIRI

ECU Joondalup: GK Jack NUNN, 2 Cian HIRRELL, 4 Steve MCGARRY, 5 Shane CASSIDY, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Andy HIGGINS, 12 Samuel POLLARD (16 Lukas DE LIMA 82’), 13 Tom HOUGH (17 Adam TONG 70’), 14 Paddy DOYLE (3 Ross MILLARD 62’) – Subs not used: RGK George JACKSON, 18 Declan HUGHES – Referee: Michal Jasinski