Ten-man Jacks hit back late for a point

Ten-man Jacks hit back late for a point

Posted on July 28, 2018 in 'Reports'

A goal in the last minute from defender Adam Tong has given a ten-man Jacks a 3-3 draw against Armadale in an action-packed NPL-WA Round 21 game at Alfred Skeet Reserve.

In wet and heavy conditions, the home side were awarded and converted penalties by Ali Gholami and Chris Jackson either side of half time to lead 2-0, but we hit back with Gordan Smith and Daryl Nicol pulling it back to 2-2.  Smith was then sent off and it looked like Gholami had won it with a deflected long-range strike five minutes from time, but Tong had the final word.

Click here to listen to Head Coach Dale McCulloch and skipper Daryl Nicol’s post-match interviews.

McCulloch made two changes to the side that beat Inglewood United last week, in came Lukas De Lima for Tommy Amphlett who was overseas, while Shane Cassidy came in for Kieron Stallard, who had been struggling with injury, but took his place on the bench.

We opened the brighter and they went close to the opener on 20 minutes. Andy Higgins sent Ross Millard down the left, whose low cross was met by Nicol, who beat Sam Hutchings, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Armadale custodian.

But the home side lifted, and Ryan Haslett shot was saved low by Johnny Perkins, before Jackson headed straight at the keeper moments later. But ten minutes before half time Armadale were awarded a penalty in controversial circumstances.

Perkins was trying to clear a ball when Billy Quinncroft stood in front of him and the keeper was adjudged to have fouled the Reds skipper and referee Julian Serra pointed to the spot, much to the disbelieve of the Jacks bench. Gholami stepped up to score from the resulting penalty, despite Perkins getting a hand to it.   

The home side doubled their lead three minutes into the second half with another penalty. The Jacks lost the ball in the middle of the park and Charlie Kenna raced into the box and fell under the challenge of Cassidy, and the referee pointed straight to the spot, and this time Jackson stepped up to score.

McCulloch switched formation and three minutes later they were rewarded with a goal. Steven McGarry’s cross from the left found Smith at the back post and the Scottish striker made no mistake. The rain had abated, but the pitch was very heavy and both sides had half chances as the game became more open, but it was the Jacks who levelled on 66 minutes.

A ball over the top sent Nicol racing down the right and his shot skidded off the wet surface and wrong-footed Hutchings and flew into the bottom corner of the net. The Jacks were now on top and Nicol’s shot from the edge of the box was saved low by the keeper, and moments later Nicol was brought down in the penalty area, and the players were convinced it was a penalty, but the referee waved away their protests.

In the ensuing strong conversation between referee and Jacks players, Smith was shown a straight red card and sent off, much to his amazement.  The Jacks continued to press looking for the winner, and Higgins’ in-swinging corner was scrambled off the line by Hutchings, and Armadale were holding out and hitting well on the counter attack with Jackson and Michael Rizidis a constant threat.

Then on 85 minutes Armadale regained the lead with a contender for ‘Goal of the Season’, Gholami picked the ball up 20 meters from goal and unleashed a stunning long-range shot, which took a slight deflection of Josh Whitmore, and flew into the top corner of the net giving Perkins no chance.

It looked like the winner, but we had other ideas and in the final minute, Higgins’ corner was spilled by Hutchings and Tong was on hand to fire the rebound into the roof of the net. Then in the fourth minute of stoppage time the ten men almost won it. We won a free kick just outside the penalty area and Nicol’s curling shot looked destined for the top corner, but Hutchings produced a stunning save to deny, and give both sides a share of the spoils.

Match Details

Armadale 3 (Gholami 35′ – pen, 85′, Jackson 48’ pen) v ECU Joondalup 3 (Smith 51′, Nicol 66′, Tong 90′)

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 3 Delan DE SILVA, 5 David ANNALL, 7 Charlie KENNA (70), 17 James ATKINS, 9 Billy QUINNCROFT (C), 10 Chris JACKSON, 11Michael RIZIDIS, 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 15 Ali GHOLAMI, 21 Beau RAHIM, 22 Ryan HASLETT (20 Friday ZICO 80) – Subs not used: RGK Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 13 Luke TESTER, 16 Charlie TESTER – Yellow Cards: Rahim 90’, Richman 94’

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Cian HIRRELL, 3 Ross MILLARD (12 Brad MCDONALD 72), 4 Steven MCGARRY, 5 Adam TONG, 9 Daryl NICOL (C), 10 Gordon SMITH, 11 Andy HIGGINS, 16 Lukas DE LIMA (8 Josh WHITMORE 50), 17 Shane CASSIDY, 18 Tom HOUGH (13 Ethan BROOKS 85) – Subs not used: RGK Jack NUNN, 6 Kieron STALLARD – Yellow Cards: Millard 17’, McGarry 36’, Cassidy 47’, Hough 48’, Tong 65’ – Red Cards: Smith 69 – Referee: Julian Serra