Evans flying header gives Jacks a point

Evans flying header gives Jacks a point

Posted on September 20, 2020 in 'Reports'

A goal from second half substitute Harry Evans has given ECU Joondalup a 1-1 draw against Gwelup Croatia in round three of the NPLWA top six at Wishart Street.

The home side had taken the lead early through Shubham Mokala, but Evans’ diving header sealed a point and kept the Jacks in the title race. (Photos courtesy of Debra Massey)

Defender Luke Bodnar said they deserved more from the game. “I think we battled well and had chances to win the game, but unfortunately couldn’t put those chances away,” he explained.

“Once we scored, we created enough more chances, and I thought we deserved to come away with a win.”

Riley Warland agreed with his fellow defender, that they deserved the win. “I thought it was a good game of football and dominated for large parts of the game,” he said.

“I definitely think we had our chances to win it and the lads were frustrated we didn’t win, but we did show great character to come back from 1-0 down.”

Kenny Lowe made just the one change to the side that were edged out at Floreat Athena in midweek, with Ethan Brooks coming in for Harry Evans, who dropped to the bench.

It was a lively start for the Jacks and they had the home side on the back foot forcing three early corners, but on four minutes, and against the run of play, Gwelup opened the scoring. A quick break saw Mokala race clear and finished low past Johnny Perkins.

The Jacks looked to hit back immediately and Sami Riak’s curling effort was well saved by Connor Campbell on eight minutes, and moments later former Jacks midfielder Jon Stynes volleyed over the top at the other end.

Then on 13 minutes the Jacks went even closer. Andy Higgins’ neat flick found Riak, who sent Luke Bodnar in down the right channel.

The defender raced into the penalty area, but his shot from the angle hit the side netting, although the Jacks supporters in the crowd thought it had gone in.

Mokala’s pace was causing the Jacks problems, and when a Gwelup long ball caught them out again on the half hour, the speedy striker raced in on goal, but this time blazed over the top.

It was end-to-end football with both sides creating chances. First Callum Timmins’ shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed wide, before Perkins produced a stunning reaction save to deny Mokala moments later.

But in the shadows of half time the Jacks had one last chance to level. Higgins and birthday boy Danny Hodgson combined to send Brooks into the penalty area, but his shot from the angle was well saved by Campbell.

Gwelup were happy to sit back and hit on the counter attack after the break, and they almost doubled their lead on 57 minutes. Ndumba Makeche pass sent Jon Stynes in on goal, but Shane Cassidy got back with a great last-ditch tackle to deny him.

Moments later the Jacks thought they had a penalty when Higgins’ shot on the run hit the arm of a Gwelup defender, but referee Arvin Shanmuganathan waved away their protests.

The Jacks made their first change with Evans coming on for Brooks on 61 minutes, and the midfielder had an immediate impact.

Bodnar ball picked out Hodgson, who sent Timmins racing down the right, his first time cross deflected off former ECU defender Ciaran Salinger and Evans diving header sent the ball past Campbell, much to the delight of the travelling supporters.

But Lowe’s side suffered a blow three minutes later with Ryan Lowry limping off, and he was replaced by Jacks under 20’s skipper Luke Rhodes.

It looked like the Jacks would go on a win it, with Timmins’ shot saved low by the alert Campbell, before Rhodes’ cross was headed goal wards by Gwelup defender Rocco Pizzata, but Campbell saved.

The Jacks needed to be tight at the back, especially after letting the lead slip at Floreat on Wednesday, but Gwelup did the defending for us on 74 minutes, when Declan Hargreaves’ goalbound shot hit Makeche, and away to safety.

The next goal would be vital to the team that scored it and it was the Jacks next to go close. Higgins made space down the left and whipped in a teasing cross to the back post, but Hodgson couldn’t keep his header down.

Moments later the impressive Warland found space on the edge of the penalty area, but Campbell got down well to save the former Fulham academy defenders shot.

Gwelup then thought they had a penalty when Jon Stynes fell in the box after a tangle with Rhodes, but referee Shanmuganathan was well placed to wave away the protests.

It was the Jacks pressing for the winner late. Substitute Bayley Brown-Montgomery shot on the run was saved by Campbell, before Riak and Timmins saw shots flash over the top, but at the final whistle it was both sides sharing the spoils.

The point leaving the Jacks in third on the NPLWA top six ladder, three points adrift of next weeks opponents Cockburn City.

In other results on the day Mark Scanlan’s under 18’s drew 2-2 with goals from Joe Birch and Sam Murphy, while Rob Mahon’s under 20’s four game winning streak came to an end after a 0-1 loss to Gwelup.

Match Details

Gwelup Croatia: GK Connor CAMPBELL, 2 Ciaran SALINGER, 3 Adam FIELDS (23 Kian MCGUIGAN 75’), 5 Blair GOVAN, 6 Declan HARGREAVES (4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO 75’), 8 Jon STYNES, 10 Daniel STYNES (77 Sean MCMANUS 46’), 11 Ndumba MAKECHE (68’), 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 14 Shubham MOKALA, 22 Josh SAMSON – Subs not used: Aidan HOLLOWAY, 15 Owen GOODLIFFE

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Luke BODNAR, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ryan LOWRY (15 Luke RHODES 64’), 6 Sami RIAK, 7 Danny HODGSON (9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 89’), 8 Tom HOUGH, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 12 Callum TIMMINS, 16 Shane CASSIDY, 11 Ethan BROOKS (17 Harry EVANS 61’), – Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD, 14 Ben HINSHELWOOD – Referee: Arvin Shanmuganathan