Jacks beat Cockburn to keep title hopes alive

Jacks beat Cockburn to keep title hopes alive

Posted on September 27, 2020 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have produced a great performance on Saturday afternoon to beat Cockburn City 3-1 at Dalmatinac Park to keep their 2020 NPLWA title hopes alive.

A second half hat-trick from striker Danny Hodgson sealed the win, while Cockburn scored a late consolation goal from Jesse Lazzaro. (Photos by Debra Massey)

The win moved the Jacks to second on the top six ladder, while the defeat was the first for Cockburn, and dropped them down to third.

So, the title will go down to the wire next week, the Jacks host Sorrento, while new leaders Floreat Athena host Cockburn City, the title will come from them three teams.

“Really pleased with the win, and I thought we played great football to get the 3-0 lead, and we could have a few more today,” Head Coach Kenny Lowe said post-match.

“I was a little disappointed with the last fifteen minutes, when we stopped doing what had got us the lead, and Cockburn got back into the game, but that’s being ultra-critical.

“We’re still in the title race and that’s exciting for our club, and we move on to the local derby against Sorrento next week looking for another three points.”

Hat-trick hero Danny Hodgson said it was good win, and added it’s always nice to score. “It was a great win, Cockburn have been solid throughout the season so we are happy with the win,” he said. “We knew it would be a hard game but we worked on a game plan Tuesday and Thursday to try break them down.

“They applied the pressure and got one back which I think they deserved, but overall a great win and it makes the last game even more interesting.

“It was nice to score another hat-trick, although there weren’t many chances in the first half, so I knew if I got a chance, I’d have to put it away. They had a bad 10 minutes at the start of the second half which ended up with us wrapping the game up.”

Lowe made one change to the side that drew at Gwelup Croatia last week with Harry Evans coming into the starting line-up, with Sami Riak dropping to the bench.

The Jacks were on the front foot early and went close after only four minutes.  Andy Higgins’ ball into the penalty area, found Evans, whose header was straight at Cockburn keeper Luke Radonich.

Moments Riley Warland sent Hodgson down the left channel, he cut inside the area, but his shot whistled the wrong side of the upright.

It was a great start for Lowe’s side and they were in again on nine minutes. Tom Hough won the ball in the middle of the park and found Callum Timmins, who picked out Evans, his shot on the run was saved low by the busy Radonich.

Jacks keeper Johnny Perkins was in the action on 13 minutes, claiming Lazzaro’s deep cross, under pressure from Ali Gholami.

He was called into action again two minutes later, getting down well to deny Sebastian da Silva’s shot from the edge of the box, as the home side started to press.

Moments later a long ball from Cockburn skipper Euen Grant sent de Silva in on goal again, but Shane Cassidy got back with a last-ditch tackle.

The Jacks settled and started to take control. First on Ethan Brooks cut in from the right, but his shot flew over the top, before Cassidy tried an overhead kick after a Higgins corner, but it was blocked and cleared.

They then suffered a blow on 34 minutes when defender Ryan Lowry limped off, he was replaced by Sami Raik.

In first half stoppage time the Jacks almost opened the scoring. Cassidy picked out Evans, who held off his marker, but his shot is saved low by Radonich, the rebound falls back to the striker but he fires just wide of the post, but at the break it was scoreless.

The hosts opened up brightly after the break and Liam Murray’s long-range effort was straight at Perkins. But the Jacks went close on 48 minutes, when a training ground free kick move saw Timmins get free in the box, but his shot was deflected wide.

But sixty seconds later the Jacks hit the front. Timmins picked out Evans, who slipped the ball into the path of Hodgson, who did what Hodgson does best, find the back of the net, to give the Jacks the lead.

It was a perfect start to the second half and four minutes later it got even better, when Hodgson was brought down in the box by Grant and referee Julian Serra had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Hodgson picked up himself up and sent Radonich the wrong way from the resulting penalty to double their advantage.

Cockburn, who were unbeaten in the second phase going into this one, went close to narrowing the margin, when Riley Woodcock picked out Da Silva on the right of the penalty area, but his shot was saved low by the alert Perkins.

But on 59 minutes the Jacks made it 3-0. A quick break saw Timmins send Brooks down the right and his low cross was turned home by Hodgson to complete his hat-trick.

Cockburn looked dangerous going forward and Perkins produced another great save to deny Julian Teles’ header, after he was picked out by Kristian Santich’s free kick. Hodgson was replaced on 69 minutes, and was given a standing ovation from the travelling supporters

The home side posed a threat and Perkins produced another smart save to deny the lively Lazzaro, while Kristian Santich’s follow up shot was deflected wide.

Perkins then then got down well to save Teles’ snap shot, as Cockburn lifted the tempo, and moments later Lazzaro’s curling effort flashed wide of the far post.

But the Jacks had their chances too as the game opened up. Higgins slips a neat ball into the path of Bayley Brown-Montgomery, but his shot on the run is deflected behind for a corner.

Moments later Ben Hinshelwood found Brown-Montgomery, who cut inside his marker, but his low shot crashed off the base of the post and away to safety.

Perkins performance deserved a clean sheet, but in the final minute Cockburn scored. A quick break from Kristian Santich, saw him race clear and squared the ball to Lazzaro who finished neatly past Perkins.

Teles then tried his luck from long-range in stoppage time, but it flew wide and at the final whistle it was the Jacks celebrating the win.

“It was a great performance, we kept the ball really well and we linked up well across the pitch and also in the final 3rd which was pleasing against a well organised Cockburn side,” Jacks striker Harry Evans said.

“It makes it an exciting week with it going down to the last game with a league title still up for grabs.”

In other games on the day, Mark Scanlan’s 18’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by Cockburn, Joe Birch the scorer for the youngsters.

Meanwhile, Rob Mahon’s 20’s are still in the mix for a top four spot, after goals from Nathan Rhodes and Manase Abandelwa gave them a 2-0 win against Cockburn.

Match Details:

Cockburn City: Luke RADONICH, 4 Euen GRANT, 5 Julian TELES, 12 Sebastian DA SILVA, 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Ali GHOLAMI, 19 Liam MURRAY (10 David ARAYA 62’), 21 Jesse LAZZARO, 22 Kristian SANTICH, 23 Riley WOODCOCK, 25 Breckan BAKER – Subs not used: RGK Ben RADONICH, 2 Chris THACKRAY, 3 Daniel DOLS, 24 David DOS SANTOS – Yellow cards: Teles 42’, Daniel Santich 67’

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Luke BODNAR, 4 Riley WARLAND, 5 Ryan LOWRY (6 Sami RIAK 39’), 7 Danny HODGSON (9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY 68’), 8 Tom HOUGH, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Ethan BROOKS (15 Luke RHODES 88’), 12 Callum TIMMINS, 16 Shane CASSIDY, 17 Harry EVANS (14 Ben HINSHELWOOD 68’) – Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD – Yellow cards: Evans 26’, Brown-Montgomery 73’ – Referee: Julian Serra