Evans spot on for Jacks

Evans spot on for Jacks

Posted on August 30, 2020 in 'Reports'

The Jacks have strengthened their NPLWA top six chances after a dramatic 2-1 win against Perth SC at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday.

Andy Higgins gave us the lead on the hour, but it looked like Perth had secured a point when Thomas Southgate converted a penalty six minutes from time.

But deep into stoppage time the Jacks deservedly won it, with second half substitute Harry Evans scoring from the spot after a handball on the line by Aleks Jovic, to seal a third straight win for Kenny Lowe’s side.

Click here to listen to midfielder Sami Riak and Head Coach Kenny Lowe’s post-match interviews.

The Jacks made one forced change to the side that beat Gwelup Croatia last week, with youngster Joe Pollard coming in to replace Johnny Perkins between the sticks, while there was also a return to the bench for defender Ross Millard.

This was a vital game for both sides and it was Perth who had the first opportunity, Alex Silla wriggling past his marker on the right, but his shot was saved low at his near post by the alert Pollard.

Pollard was in the action again on 18 minutes, this time saving low from Michael Domfeh’s shot, but the Jacks then started to take control.

Danny Hodgson’s free kick almost gave us the lead four minutes later, but Ryan Montgomery got down well to push it around the post, and from the resulting corner Ryan Lowry headed just wide.

The visitors should have opened the scoring on 27 minutes, when the Jacks gave the ball away in the middle of the park, and Yagoub Mustafa played the Domfeh, but he fired wide.

The Jacks ended the half the better and Riley Warland’s shot flashed just wide, and they thought they had a penalty moments later when Ethan Brooks was brought down in the box by Kieran Colwell, but referee Joshua Nixon was well-placed to wave away the protests.

The best chance of the half fell to the Jacks four minutes before half time. A quick free kick from Riak sent Tommy Amphlett in on goal, but Montgomery stood tall to save.

But Perth hit back and had their best chance moments later, a long ball sent Jayden Gorman clear, Pollard stood tall and the Perth winger delayed his shot and Warland got back to steal the ball.

The Jacks suffered a blow in the shadows of half time with Amphlett going off injured and he was replaced by Luke Bodnar, but at the break it was scoreless.

Brooks went close early in the second half after he was sent clear by Warland, he rounded the keeper but his heavy touch took the ball out before he could get a shot in.

It was one-way traffic as the Jacks peppered the Perth goal, and Higgins’ long-range shot was saved by Montgomery, before the lively Brooks dragged a shot inches past the upright.

But on 58 minutes the Jacks pressure was rewarded with the opener. Warland’s through ball sent Higgins in down the left channel, and he finished well past Montgomery, much to the delight of the home faithful.

Perth keeper Montgomery was keeping his side in the game, he produced a smart save to deny Higgins, before he got down well to thwart Hodgson, as the Jacks went in for the kill.

Brooks then headed wide at the back post after being picked out by Higgins, before Callum Timmins ball into the penalty area found Bodnar, who ghosted in at the back post, but Montgomery produced a stunning reaction save to deny him.

But against the run of play it was Perth who levelled on 84 minutes. There looked little danger when Gorman received the ball but Lowry’s push was spotted by the referee and he had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Southgate stepped up and sent Pollard the wrong way to level the scores.

It was a huge blow to the Jacks and Perth lifted and should have taken the lead moments later, Mustafa’s cross found the unmarked Paul Zimarino, who headed wide with the goal at his mercy. Then Jackson Morgan sent substitute Gustavo Catarcione in on goal, but his shot rolled inches wide of the far post.

But the drama wasn’t over, and on 87 minutes, Timmins sent Riak in on goal, he held off his marker, but his shot crashed off the crossbar, the rebound fell to Bayley-Brown-Montgomery, who was caught high by Silla and it looked like referee had awarded a penalty, but he had given an indirect free kick for a high boot.

From the resulting free kick, Higgins’ effort struck the arm of Jovic on the line and the referee pointed straight to the spot and sent the Perth midfielder off.

It was mayhem, with Perth players chasing the referee to vent their frustration, and the referee booked three Perth players.

It was left to Evans, who had only been on the pitch for four minutes, and he stepped up and sent Montgomery the wrong way to win it, to set off wild celebrations in the stands.

Perth pushed men forward and had one last chance to steal a point in the seventh minute of stoppage time, but Zimarino’s free kick into the box was cleared and the Jacks march on, the win maintaining their fifth spot on the ladder and one win away from a top six spot.

In the other games on the day, Mark Scanlan’s under 18’s fought back to draw 1-1 with Perth SC, with Reginald Saungweme scoring ten minutes from time, while Rob Mahon’s under 20’s were beaten 3-0 by top of the table Perth SC

ECU Joondalup: GK Joe POLLARD, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ryan LOWRY (C), 6 Sami RIAK, 7 Danny HODGSON (3 Ross MILLARD 71’), 8 Tom HOUGH, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Ethan BROOKS (17 Harry EVANS 90’) 12 Callum TIMMINS, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT (18 Luke BODNAR 45+4’), 16 Shane CASSIDY (9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 71’) – Subs not used: 2 Cian HIRRELL – Yellow Cards: Timmins 83

Perth SC: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Alex SILLA, 4 Thomas SOUTHGATE, 7 Aleks JOVIC, 10 Michael DOMFEH (9 Gustavo CATARCIONE 67’), 15 Sasa NJEGIC (8 Paul ZIMARINO 71’), 16 Kieran COLWELL, 18 Jackson MORGAN, 19 Bojan RADINOVIC, 20 Jayden GORMAN, 22 Yagoub MUSTAFA – Subs not used: 6 Nic MACDONALD, 13 Leigh MORGAN – Yellow Cards: Morgan 45+4’, Radinovic 90+2’, Montgomery 90+2’, Catarcione 90+3’ – Red Card: Jovic 90+2’ – Referee: Joshua Nixon