Jacks stumble at the Gardens

Jacks stumble at the Gardens

Posted on August 22, 2018 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup magnificent NPL-WA run has come to end after a narrow 2-1 defeat against title chasing Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens.

First half goals from former Jack midfielder Harley Orr and Frank Furfaro put Perth in control at the break, and despite ECU scoring late through Ethan Brooks it was too little too late

The Jacks went into the game unbeaten in their last six games, which had taken them close to a top four spot but defeat on Saturday has dropped them down to sixth, three points out of the finals spots, and will need a win next week against Bayswater City and hope other results go their way to extend their season.

Click here to listen to Coach Dale McCulloch and defender Ross Millard’s post-match interviews

Both sides knew the importance of this match and it was the home side who made the better start. First Niccolò Sabatini cross picked out Tom King, who headed over the top, before Gustavo Catarcione raced clear, but Johnny Perkins stood tall to save.

The Jacks settled and should have hit the front on 10 minutes, Daryl Nicol raced down the left and crossed from the bye-line to Lukas De Lima, who had lost his marker, but the midfielder fired over the top.

The skipper was in again moments later, a long ball from Adam Tong picked out the lively striker, he brought the ball down superbly and raced around the Perth keeper Francis Soale, but the angle was too tight, and he could only fire into the side netting.

But just after the half hour the home side hit the front. Sabatini fell in the area after a challenge from Tong, and referee Adam Fielding had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Orr stepped up, and despite Perkins going the right way, he found the back of the net.

They doubled their lead four minutes later, Paul Zimarino darted into the box, his shot was tipped onto the bar by Perkins, but the rebound fell to Furfaro who made no mistake.

McCulloch made a double change at the break bringing on Brooks and Cameron Murray for De Lima and Tom Hough, as they looked to get back into the game, but it was Perth who went close early, Catarcione shot on the tun was saved by Perkins.

Both sides had chances as the game became more open, and ECU pushed players forward. Tong headed wide on the hour, before Paul Zimarino shot from the edge of the box was tipped over the top by the alert Perkins at full stretch. Perkins was keeping the Jacks in the game, first he superbly saved Furfaro shot before producing another top draw save to deny Zimarino.

The Jacks were dominating late and in the final minute they pulled one back. Brookes was sent clear, and the youngster finished clinically past Soale to set up a tense extra time.

There was five minutes of stoppage time, but with several Perth players down injured, that five minutes soon went, much to the frustration of the ECU Coaches and players, and Perth hung on to claim three valuable points.

The action still wasn’t over, and after the whistle player / assistant coach Steven McGarry was sent off for his protests to the officials regarding the lack of stoppage time.

Match Details

Perth SC 2 (Orr 34’ pen, Furfaro 38’) v ECU Joondalup 1 (Brooks 90’)

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 5 Niccolò SABATINI, 6 Harley ORR, 8 Tom KING, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE (14 Kristian SANTICH 94’), 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC, 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 17 Frank FURFARO (4 Adrian MADASCHI 94’), 20 Paul ZIMARINO – Subs not used: RGK Malek KUC, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 19 Ali NAZARY – Yellow cards: Catarcione 18’, Ambrogio 66, Zimarino 92

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Cian HIRRELL, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Steven MCGARRY, 5 Adam TONG, 7 Tom HOUGH (15 Cameron MURRAY 46’), 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL (C), 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Andy HIGGINS, 13 Lukas DE LIMA (14 Ethan BROOKS 46’) – Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 6 Harry EDWARDS, 12 Ryan MCDARBY, 14 Ethan BROOKS  – Yellow cards: Whitmore 55’ Smith 57, McGarry 59, 94, Tong 77, Nicol 90 – Red cards: McGarry 94’ –  Referee: Adam Fielding