Night Series ends for Jacks

Night Series ends for Jacks

Posted on February 24, 2019 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have bowed out of the NPL Night Series after a 1-4 loss against Rockingham City at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday night.

Needing a point to qualify for the Semi-Finals the Jacks opened brightly but were rocked when Lydon Hodgkiss and a double from the lively Riley van Dieken gave City a 3-0 lead at half time.

Half time substitute Luke Palmeteer scored an own goal to increase Rockingham’s lead early in the second half, but it was the big defender who pulled one back on 65 minutes, heading home Andy Higgins’ corner.

Despite hitting the crossbar and going close a number of times it wasn’t to be for Dale McCulloch’s side and it was Rockingham City who moved through to take on Floreat Athena in next weeks Semi-Final.

“We didn’t see that coming,” a disappointed assistant coach David Tough said. “I thought we started really well and were on top, but we gave them the first goal, losing the ball in the middle of the park, but the lad took his chance really well.

“They scored three good goals on the night, two stunners, so well done to them, and we wish them all the best next week in the Semi-Finals.

“We had trained well all week and were ready for the challenge but we looked leggy tonight which was a surprise. We had improved with every game in the competition so to go out like we did tonight was disappointing. But we move on and start to prepare for the season opener against Perth SC next month.”

It was a lively start from the Jacks and they went close to the opener on four minutes. Richard Howles made space down the right and cut the ball back to Joe Knowles, but he fired over the top.

Knowles was a constant threat down the right and he outpaced his marker moments later, but his low cross was well claimed by Rockingham keeper Cyril Sharrock.

Then on ten minutes Ollie Annis raced down the left and his cross-shot was caught by Sharrock under his crossbar.

It was ECU who were dominating, but they handed Rockingham the lead on 23 minutes.

The Jacks gave the ball away in the middle of the park and Hodgkiss raced forward an unleashed a powerful low shot that beat Johnny Perkins via the post.

It was a bitter blow for the Jacks and they looked to hit back immediately and two minutes later Knowles skipped past his marker again and found Howles, whose first-time shot was well saved by Sharrock.

But on 35 minutes it was Rockingham who doubled their lead. Great work down the right by Jason Constable ended with a cross in to the penalty area and van Dieken finished at the back post.

The Jacks went close to reducing the lead moments later, Jakub Sklenar was sent in on goal, but Sharrock stood tall to deny the Czech striker.

Rockingham looked dangerous going forward and they added a third on 40 minutes, and what a cracker it was. Hodgkiss was sent clear, but Perkins produced a great save to deny him, but the rebound fell to Van Dieken, who unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net.

The Jacks could and should have reduced the deficit before the break. First Higgins’ free kick was headed against the near post by Ronald Rixer, before Howles headed inches past the far post, but at the break it was Rockingham in control.

McCulloch changed the formation at the break bringing on Palmateer, and they looked lively going close early. Knowles and Howles combined down the right and Knowles’ low cross was fired wide by Sklenar at the back post.

But it was Rockingham who added a fourth on 56 minutes. Justis Bradley raced clear down the left and his cross was turned into own net by the unfortunate Palmateer.

The Jacks did pull one back on 65 minutes, Higgins’ corner was headed home powerfully by Palmateer at the back post. They went close again when Palmateer fired wide from Higgins’ free kick, before Knowles played in Annis, whose low shot was well saved by Sharrock.

Both sides had late chances. First Van Dieken went close to his hat-trick, wriggling his way into the box, his shot beat Perkins, but Palmateer got back to clear the ball off the line. Moments later Knowles raced past his marker on the right but his shot crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.

ECU Joondalup 1 (Palmateer 65’) Rockingham City 4 (Hodgkiss 23’, Van Dieken 35’, 40’, O’Goal -Palmateer 56’)

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Ronald RIXER (14 Luke PALMATEER 46’), 3 Ollie ANNIS, 5 Shane CASSIDY, 7 Joe KNOWLES, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Richard HOWLES (17 Lukas DE LIMA 64’), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 13 Cian HIRRELL, 16 Henry DURR (12 Tom HOUGH 64’), 18 Jakub SKLENAR – Subs not used: RGK Scott WALLIS, 4 Brad MCDONALD – Yellow Cards: Knowles 38’

Rockingham City: GK Cyril SHARROCK, 2 Jason CONSTABLE (13 Jarred MORT 51’), 3 Justis BRADLEY (9 Sam MCKEARNEN 70’), 4 Mitch FIRTH, 5 Harry COLLINS, 7 James MILLARD, 8 Jason POTTIER, 11 Riley VAN DIEKEN, 12 Lydon HODGKISS, 14 Ryan KENNEDY (6 Jonathan ARAYA 33’), 18 Michael FARMER – Subs not used: RGK Alfie BRINCAT, 10 Shaz RAMLEE – Yellow Cards: Collins 66’ – Referee: Josh Mannella