Kenna leaves it late for Jacks

Kenna leaves it late for Jacks

Posted on July 12, 2019 in 'Reports'

A ten-man ECU Joondalup scored a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with Stirling Lions at ECU Joondalup Football Stadium on Saturday in their crucial Round 14 NPL WA clash.

Michael Wantee gave the visitors the lead just after the hour, and the home side were then reduced to ten-men when Billy Quinncroft kicked out at Ajak Riak. It liked the points were heading back to Macedonia Park but second half substitute Charlie Kenna levelled in stoppage time to give both sides a share of the spoils.

“A great effort from the lads today and it showed the great character we have at our club to fight back with ten men to grab a point in stoppage time,” Jacks assistant Coach David Tough said.

“It wasn’t one of best performance of the season but we stayed strong and scored late, we’re really pleased for Charlie, he’s had to bide his time in the side but he finished clinically when he got his chance today.”

It was a lively start from the visitors and they went close on five minutes, Dean Cummings corner wasn’t dealt with and the ball found Wantee eight meters from goal, but his shot was well blocked by Nick Koefler.

Then on ten minutes Ronald Rixer made space down the right and his low cross was only inches away from Jamal Reiners in the penalty area. The Lions were next to threaten Wantee but his low shot was claimed by Perkins, before the Jacks custodian stood tall to deny Jackson Morgan.

Higgins’ set pieces were causing problems for the Lions and on 17 minutes his corner picked out the unmarked Shane Cassidy at the back post but he headed wide. There were chances at both ends as the game opened up, a quick free kick then caught the Jacks napping and Yacoub Mustafa was in on goal, but his low shot flashed the wrong side of the post. Then moments later Reiners’ volley on the turn was wide of the target.

Lions went close again when a free kick on the edge of the box was curled in by David Molinari and Steven McDonald wasn’t picked up at the back post, but he fired wide. They were in again moments later Wantee finding Morgan who couldn’t keep his shot down. It was end-to-end football and Reiners fired over the top from Cassidy’s knock down, before Josh Whitmore’s long-range shot was saved by Ryan Montgomery.

It was a controversial start to the second half when Wantee fell under a challenge of Rixer, and the referee judged it was a well-timed tackle and played on, much to the displeasure of the Lions faithful. The Jacks went close on 64 minutes, Ollie Annis. Hendry Durr and Joe Knowles going close in a goalmouth scramble as the Jacks upped the tempo.

The Lions brought on Riak on 66 minutes and he was involved with the opening goal sixty seconds later. He was sent down the right his cut back was played on by Zdenek Bezdek and Wantee finished low past Perkins. The Jacks were then reduced to ten men when Quinncroft brought down Riak with a crude challenge on the right of the penalty area and referee Julian Serra sent off the big defender.

It looked the Jacks recent good run was coming to an end but Kenna had other ideas. A long clearance from Rixer was played on by Higgins and Joe Knowles played a great through ball to Kenna, who raced in on goal and finished clinically past Montgomery. The Lions should have put the game to bed earlier, but they almost nicked all three points late when Molinari’s shot from the edge of the box flashed inches over the top.

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Ronald RIXER, 3 Nick KOEFLER, 4 Henry DURR, 5 Shane CASSIDY, 6 Ollie ANNIS, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY (7 Joe KNOWLES 58’), 11 Jamal REINERS (16 Charlie KENNA 83’), 12 Billy QUINNCROFT, 10 Andy HIGGINS (13 Lukas De Lima 83’) – Subs not used: RGK George JACKSON, 15 Tom HOUGH – Red cards: Quinncroft 75’
Stirling Lions: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Mile PETKOVSKI, 3 Darren O’RIORDAN, 5 Steven MCDONALD, 4 David MOLINARI, 17 Andrew MARANTA, 8 Dean CUMMINGS (19 Ajak RIAK 66’), 9 Zdenek BEZDEK, 10 Yacoub MUSTAFA, 11 Michael WANTEE, 12 Jackson MORGAN (18 Dhhors CHOL 73’) – Subs not used: 20 Daniel MARQUES, 7 Nelson TSHONGO – Referee: Julian Serra