Skipper spot on for Jacks

Skipper spot on for Jacks

Posted on April 3, 2018 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup won for the first time at home this season with a comprehensive 3-0 win against Stirling Lions in Week Six of the NPLWA at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Jacks skipper Daryl Nicol opened the scoring from the penalty spot on the half hour, before Ross Millard doubled their advantage before half time. The icing was put on the cake in the final minute with Nicol adding his second spot kick to wrap up the points.

Jacks head coach Dale McCulloch was delighted to get the win and maintain their unbeaten start to the season. “Really pleased with the performance today, we’ve worked extremely hard this week and wanted to push on from the win against Glory last week and I thought we did today. We’ve had a couple of draws here so really happy to get a win and a clean sheet,” he said.

“We lost Gordon (Smith) early but we didn’t lose our way and lead well by Daryl (Nicol) we kept our shape well and took our chances, so yes delighted to win and get our first three points at home.”

Nicol said it was good to get off the mark at home. “It was another important three points and a convincing 3-0 win without really getting out of second gear,” he said.

“We’re delighted to get our first home win of the season and keep our current good form going, so we now head to Inglewood in the FFA Cup in a confident mood.”

The Jacks made one change to the side that beat Perth Glory 2-1 last week, with Lukas De Lima replacing Tommy Amphlett and there was good news on the bench with experienced midfielder Steven McGarry returning from injury.

It was a perfect day for football at the campus and both sides had early chances. First Jacks custodian Johnny Perkins got down well to save well from Robert Petrov, before Lukas De Lima fired over the top from close-range for the Jacks.

Moments later Perkins was out bravely to save at the feet of Petrov, the keeper was hurt in the clash but was able to stay on the pitch after assistance from club physio Regan Arrigoni.

But the Jacks began to take control and Smith headed Nicol’s free kick on to the post on 20 minutes, but unfortunately we lost Smith on 27 minutes, the Scottish striker limping off with a bad ankle injury.

Smith was replaced by youngster Cameron Murray and three minutes later we were ahead. Nicol pounced on a poor back pass and raced into the box and was brought down by Lions keeper Lance Alavakis and referee Adam Fielding pointed straight to the spot.

The keeper was booked for the challenge and Nicol kept his nerve and scored from the resulting penalty to give the Jacks the lead.

The Lions thought they had a penalty straight from the kick off. A ball over the top sent Alex Tanevski in on goal, but Perkins was out bravely to safe at his feet and the referee waved away their claims for a penalty.

It was the Jacks on top and there pressure was rewarded with a second goal four minutes from half time. Millard found space out wide and his cross shot caught keeper Alavakis off his line and the ball dipped under the bar and into the net to send us in two to the good at the break.

The second half was a tight affair with both sides having chances. The Lions were pushing forward looking to get into the game and they went close on the hour. Steve Sokol found space following some clever build-up play with David Molinari, but he couldn’t beat Perkins.

The ECU keeper was struggling with the injury he received in the first half, and he was replaced two minutes from time by Jack Nunn, the youngster making his first team debut after his move from Joondalup United in the off-season.

With Stirling throwing players late looking to get back into the game the Jacks raced forward on a quick counter attack and Nicol was brought down in the box and again Fielding pointed to the spot. Again Nicol stepped up and dispatched the resulting penalty to secure the first three points of the season at the Campus.

In other games on the day the Jacks under 18’s went down 1-3 with Harry Blunt on target, while the Under 20’s won 6-3, with Callum Speed and Dylan Leonard scoring doubles, with Roland Rixer and Liam Fyfe scoring the others.

Match Details

ECU Joondalup 3 (Nicol 32’pen, 90’ pen, Millard 41’) Stirling Lions 0

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, (RGK Jack NUNN 88’), 3 Ross MILLARD (4. Steven McGARRY 90’), 5 Andy TONG, 6 Lukas DE LIMA, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Daryl NICOL (c), 10 Gordon SMITH (7 Cameron MURRAY 27’), 11 Andy HIGGINS, 15 Shane CASSIDY, 16 Declan HUGHES, 19 Cian HIRRELL – Subs not used: 12 Ryan MCDARBY, 17 Tom HOUGH – Yellow cards: Hirrell 22’, Whitmore 36’, Hughes 56’, Murray 66’

Stirling Lions: GK Lance ALAVAKIS, 2 David MOLINARI, 4 Alex Suleski, 6 Dhhors CHOL, 7 Dean CUMMINGS (c), 8 Dejan SPASESKI, 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 David MICEVSKI, 11 Alex TANEVSKI, 15 Nathan DE ABREAU, 17 Steve SOKOL – Subs not used: 12 Matthew CHERRIE, 13 Joey PERKINS, 16 Adrian KOLOS, 19 Zane CASELLA – Yellow cards: Petrov 6’, Alavakis 31’ – Referee: Adam Fielding