Millard gives Jacks the points

Millard gives Jacks the points

Posted on March 9, 2018 in 'Reports'

A goal from ECU Joondalup midfielder Ross Millard has given them a hard fought 1-0 win against Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday evening. Millard struck mid-way through the first half to give them their first win of the season, while Floreat remain winless this season.

Jacks skipper Daryl Nicol said they had to scrap for the points, but it’s good to get on the board this season. “It wasn’t our prettiest performance by any means and we really had to dig deep to get the result against a top side,” he said. “We were very sloppy in possession of the ball but showed great character and game management to realise that and just roll our sleeves up and grind it out.”

Jacks Head Coach Dale McCulloch was happy to get off the mark for the season. “It was a real battle out their tonight, but all the lads stood up, and we’re really happy to get our first win of the season,” McCulloch said.

“We were no way near our best tonight, but we kept our shape well and posed them problems every time we went forward, and could have scored a couple more.”

McCulloch was pleased for Millard, whose goal secured the points, and also praised Declan Hughes who came in for influential midfield Steven McGarry, and his man of the match Josh Whitmore.

“Ross has been great ever since he moved to the Campus, and his finish tonight was great,” he said.

“I thought Josh was outstanding in the middle of the park and was my choice as Man of the Match, while Declan came in tonight for Steven, and again the youngster put in a fantastic shift.

“He was outstanding for me last season, and tonight slotted in well, and it will give me some selection headaches for next week when we host Subiaco.”

After a cagey opening it was the visitors who created the first real opportunity on the quarter hour, Lukas De Lima was picked out in the box, but the youngster blazed over from close range.

Floreat were struggling to create any clear cut chances, and the visitors then thought they had the lead moments later, Declan Hughes’ shot was only parried by Jason Saldaris, and Millard fired home the rebound but the flag was up for offside.

But on 26 minutes the Jacks found the opener. Nicol raced down the flank and whipped in a great cross to Millard at the back post, and the former Perth Glory Youth player, made no mistake, volleying home. Floreat looked to hit back immediately, but Ludovic Boi was denied by a great save from Johnny Perkins.

In the second half ECU Joondalup continued to create the better chances, and Floreat’s keeper Jason Saldaris was a busy man, and he did well to save Nicol’s effort with a sharp save low to his left.

Floreat were throwing everything at the Jacks defence Josh Whitmore was everywhere, the former Joondalup United midfielder was the driving force for the Jacks as they held firm. The Jacks were convinced they had a penalty after Tommy Amphlett was brought down in the box, but referee Nico Hoyle waved away their penalty claims.

Nicol went close to a second late, after some good approach work by Gordon Smith and Amphlett, but Saldaris was down smartly to save. The flying Scotsman went close again in the final moments, a surging run by Nicol, which saw him past four Floreat defenders, before a chip from the edge of the box dropped inches wide of the post, if it had gone in it would have been a contender for Goal of the Season.

Match Details

Floreat Athena 0 ECU Joondalup 1 (Millard 26’)

Referee: Nico Hoyle

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Marco SANTA LUCIA, 3 Edin NILAC, 4 Andrew Scaldaferro, 6 Jessie FULLER, 10 Calvin WHITNEY, 11 Dennis GALAN, 12 Juma AWAKA (5 Jamie STREET), 14 Ludovic BOI, 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Philip ARNOLD – Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 13 Ethan KERDIDGE, 16 Declan HUDSON, 20 James OWEN – Yellow Cards: Boi 33’, Santa Lucia 43’

ECU Joondalup: GK John PERKINS, 3 Ross MILLARD (13 Tommy AMPHLETT 67), 4 Shane CASSIDY, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Lukas DE LIMA, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH (12 Cameron MURRAY 85), 11 Andy HIGGINS, 16 Declan HUGHES, 18 Cian HIRRELL – Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 2 Jack JONES, 15 Liam MURRAY – Yellow Cards: Tong 73’, Smith 75’