Jacks go down fighting against Floreat

Jacks go down fighting against Floreat

Posted on May 12, 2019 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have been beaten 0-3 by Floreat Athena in week nine of the NPL WA at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

First half goals from Jon Stynes, Robert Petkov and Phil Arnold did the damage for the visitors and although the Jacks put in a strong second half they couldn’t get back into the game, the loss leaves them 11th on the table, and to make matter worse an injury to Ronald Rixer added to the clubs long injury list.

Head Coach Dale McCulloch once again shuffled the pack with central defender Shane Cassidy suspended, and midfielder Tom Hough dropped back to the heart of the back four with Rixer, Andy Higgins returned to replace the injured Ollie Annis, while Tommy Amphlett returned from suspension.

Floreat arrived at the campus in red hot form and made the break through on seven minutes. Skipper Dean Evans sent Arnold down the right and his low cross was turned home from close-range by Stynes.

The Jacks looked to hit back immediately but Rixer’s header from Kian McGuigan’s corner flashed wide. But Floreat looked dangerous going forward and keeper Johnny Perkins get down well to tip Evans’ shot around the post, before Chris Saldaris headed inches wide

Perkins then saved well from Petkov as Floreat pressed, but there was little the keeper could do when Floreat doubled their lead on 23 minutes. Petkov was sent clear on goal, and he rounded the keeper and fired the ball home.

It was backs to the wall for the Jacks, but they went close to reducing the margin on 27 minutes. Henry Durr found Amphlett on the right, and the speedy winger raced forward and his shot on the run was saved low by Jason Saldaris. But three minutes later Floreat added a third.

Evans played Stynes down the right and his cross found Arnold, whose first shot was superbly saved by Perkins, but Arnold was quickest to react to fire home the rebound. Arnold was in again moments later, but Perkins stood tall to deny him.

The Jacks should have pulled one back late in the half, when McGuigan’s deep cross picked out the unmarked Bayley Brown-Montgomery, but the striker headed wide of the target.

McCulloch made a change at the break bringing on teenager Harry Edwards for Lukas De Lima, but the Jacks then lost Rixer with a foot injury early in the second half, with Nick Kofler replacing him. The Jacks were having their best spell of the game and Brown-Montgomery’s free kick was well saved by Jason Saldaris.

The Jacks had Floreat on the back foot and Jason Saldaris had to be alert to push Amphlett’s shot around the post, before the Floreat keeper got down well to save Andy Higgins’ free kick. Floreat still looked dangerous on the break and went close to a fourth on the hour, Arnold finding Evans on the edge of the box but his shot flew over the top.

Still the Jacks pressed and Jakub Sklenar sent Higgins down the left, and the defender cut inside the box but his shot was well saved by Jason Saldaris. Floreat went close to a fourth late in the game when substitute Adrian Madaschi’s goal bound shot was blocked by his team mate Petkov on the line.

The Jacks have the weekend off next week as it’s the FFA Cup round, and they back in action on May 25 when they make the trip to Grindleford Reserve to take on Balcatta, and McCulloch will be hoping to have a number of his injured players available for the trip.

In other games on the day, Willie McNally’s under 18’s was convincing 7-1 winners against Floreat. Jake Turner gave them the lead but Floreat levelled. But further goals from Will Gallagher 2, Connor McKee 2, Harry Blunt, Oscar Malfiore gave them a comfortable win, and a special mention for Massimo Bresciani, who made his 18’s debut.

Jon Higgins’ under 20’s went down 4-3 to Floreat with the last kick of the match. Lewis Tucker levelled after Floreat had taken and early lead, but the visitors then raced to a 3-1 lead. But a powerful header from Danny O’Shea reduced the deficit, before Dor Jok thought he had earned them a hard-fought point late. But Floreat hit on the counter attack to win with the final kick. Congratulations to Danny Douglas, the 14-year-old midfielder making his under 20’s debut.

Match Details

ECU Joondalup 0 Floreat Athena: 3 (Stynes 7’, Petkov 23’, Arnold 30’)

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 3 Ronald RIXER (2 Nicholas KOFLER 53’), 4 Henry DURR, 7 Lukas DE LIMA (12 Harry EDWARDS 46’), 8 Kian MCGUIGAN, 9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Jakub SKLENAR, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT, 15 Tom HOUGH, 16 Ewen FAWCETT – Subs not used: RGK George JACKSON, 6 Luke RHODES, 17 Ben HINSHELWOOD – Yellow cards: De Lima 40’, Brown-Montgomery 56’, Amphlett 83’

Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 6 Jesse FULLER (4 Adrian MADASCHI 61’), 8 Jon STYNES, 9 Robert PETKOV (2 Marco SANTALUCIA 85’), 11 Dennis GALAN, 15 Chris SALDARIS, 16 Ryan MALTON (3 Tristan COLLI 69’), 17 Dean EVANS, 18 Phillip ARNOLD, 19 Luka NINKOVIC, 21 Nicholas AMBROGIO – Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 26 Jack ANDREWS – Yellow cards: Fuller 55’, Ambrogio 59’ – Referee: Joshua Nixon