Jacks hold league leaders

Jacks hold league leaders

Posted on June 15, 2019 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have stalled the Perth SC juggernaut after holding the league leaders to a 0-0 draw at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

In terrible conditions Perth had the better chances in the first half but the game was almost abandoned after puddles of water lay on the pitch, but after some hard work from the home side staff the game continued, and the Jacks should have taken all three points late in the game after Perth winger Niccolò Sabatini was sent off on the hour, but they couldn’t find a way past keeper Francis Soale and a tight Perth defence. (Photo thanks to Football West)

“A great performance form the lads today in hard playing conditions,” ECU assistant Coach David Tough said. “We went into the match with a game plan and the players ticked all the boxes and showed great desire and they all left everything out there, and I thought we had the better chances on the day to win it. But we’ll take a lot of positives from the performance and move on to the derby in the next round at Sorrento.”

Both sides had good chances in a tight first half. First Paul Zimarino’s curling free kick was well held by ECU keeper Johnny Perkins, before Sabatini fired wide from a tight angle. The Jacks also had chances teenager Ewan Fawcett raced past his marker and his low ball was cleared well by a Perth defender, with Tommy Amphlett ready to pounce.

Amphlett went close again moments later, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed over the top. But the best chance of the half fell to the hosts just before the break, Andy Higgins’ set-piece found Billy Quinncroft at the back post, but with the goal at his mercy he blazed over the top.

The start to the second half was delayed for 20 minutes, with referee Josh Nixon concerned about a pool of water near the touchline, but after some hard work from the ECU staff play eventually resumed, but so did the rain.

Perth keeper Francis Soale was the busiest keeper after the break and he got down well to deny ECU new signing Jamal Reiners’ header and Quinncroft’s follow up shot was wide. Moments later Zimarino’s long-range shot beat Perkins, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Jacks custodian, as both sides pressed for the winner.

But on 69 minutes Sabatini was sent off after a late tackle and it was backs to the wall for the visitors and they had Soale to thank for keeping them level when Ollie Annis made a great run into goal, but the Perth custodian stood tall to make a great save to deny him.

The Jacks pressed late looking for the winner but they couldn’t find one and Perth almost nicked all three points late when a free kick fell to Michael Domfeh, but Henry Durr got back with great last-ditch block to deny him.

It wasn’t a good day for the other Jacks teams, the under 18’s losing 0-2, while the under 20’s lost 0-4.

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 3 Nicholas KOEFLER, 4 Henry DURR, 5 Shane CASSIDY, 6 Ollie ANNIS (2 Arran MAPLESTONE 85’), 7 Jamal REINERS (11 Jakub SKLENAR 80’), 8 Josh WHITMORE, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 12 Billy QUINNCROFT, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT, 14 Ewan FAWCETT – Subs not used: RGK George JACKSON, 9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 15 Charlie KENNA

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 2 Alex SILLA, 4 Thomas SOUTHGATE, 5 Niccolò SABATINI, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE (7 Alex JOVIC 71’), 12 Jordan DE LEO, 14 Kristian SANTICH, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 17 Frank FURFARO (11 Matthew MILENKOVIC 62’), 18 Michael DOMFEH, 20 Paul ZIMARINO – Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 6 Harley ORR, 15 Leigh MORGAN – Red cards: Sabatini 69’ – Referee: Josh Nixon