Jacks beat Glory in NPLWA Night Series opener

Jacks beat Glory in NPLWA Night Series opener

Posted on February 15, 2021 in 'Reports'

The Jacks have started their 2021 NPLWA Night Series campaign with a hard fought 2-1 win against Perth Glory at Frank Drago Reserve.

In tough conditions the Jacks hit the front on the half hour, with former Glory striker Chris Harold producing a stunning long-range strike.

Glory hit back four minutes before half time through Chris Donnell, but in first half stoppage time Harry Evans curled home a superb free kick from the edge of the box to regain the lead.

Glory pressed after the break, but the Jacks defended stoutly to protect their lead and start the preseason competition with all three points.

“I thought we played well tonight, and the new lads fitted in really well with our structure and it bodes well for the season ahead,” Evans said post-match.

“We should have been a few more up at half time, we created some great chances but failed to take them, and with the preseason being reduced due to the corona virus lockdown we had to dig deep late on to get the result.”

Head Coach Kenny Lowe gave ECU debuts to Harold, Jakub Prajza and Nelson Tshonga, while Daryl Nicol and Declan Hughes were in the starting line up as the pair begin their second stint at the campus.

It was a good start for the Jacks and they went close early. Andy Higgins picked out Nicol, but the Scottish striker was denied by the alert Cameron Cook. Moments later Prajza made space down the right and whipped in a teasing cross for Higgins, but he was unable to find the target.
The best early chance fell to Evans on 15 minutes. He was picked out at the back post by Prajza, who was causing Glory all sorts of problems down the right, but Evans couldn’t keep his header down.

Glory went close themselves five minutes later, the Jacks gave the ball away on the middle of the park and a quick break saw Adam Zimarino race clear, but he blazed over the top.

The lively Nicol was in again moments later as the Jacks continued to dictate terms, but Cook stood tall to deny him. But their pressure was rewarded on 32 minutes, and what a goal it was.

Harold picked the ball up in the middle of the park and raced forward before unleashing an unstoppable long-range shot which flew into the top corner of the net giving Cook no chance.

But nine minutes later Glory found the equaliser. The Jacks failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Donnell who finished low past Perkins.

The Jacks custodian then produced a superb save to thwart Ciaran Bramwell as Glory pressed for a second. But it as the Jacks who finished the half the better. First Higgins found Nicol in the penalty area the strikers speed took him clear of his marker but Cook stood tall to save.

Then in the first minute of stoppage time the Jacks regained their lead. Harold was brought down on the edge of the box and Evans stepped up and curled the resulting free kick up and over the wall and into the corner of the net to send them into the break with a well-deserved lead.

Both sides had early chances after the break, Glory defender Nick Walsh firing over the top from Giordano Colli’s corner, before Harold fired over the top after running onto a Higgins’ through ball.

Fitness began to took its toll late, and Lowe went to his bench as Glory lifted. Harold, Nicol, Hughes and Evans were withdrawn, with Jeremy Tshongo and Sonny O’Shea coming on for their debut for the club, while youngsters Ben Hinshelwood, Sebastian Gomez also came on and all impressed.

It was backs to the wall for the Jacks, as Glory pressed for the equaliser and it looked like they had found it on 66 minutes, but Nelson Tshongo cleared Bramwell’s effort off the line, before Perkins produced a finger tip save to deny them.

Christian Belladonna and Rossi both went close for Glory, before Lewis Tucker’s long-range shot fizzed over the top. Gomez looked lively in the middle of the park and the hard work of Hinshelwood and Rutter gave the Jacks and outlet up front, while at the back, to a man they dug deep to keep Glory at bay as they recorded a first up win in the preseason competition

The Jacks are back on action on Wednesday evening when they meet Gwelup Croatia at Percy Doyle Reserve – 6.30pm kick off.

Match Details

Perth Glory 1 (Donnell 41’) ECU Joondalup 2 (Harold 32’, Evans 45+1’)

Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 2 Tyler VECCHIO (15 Lucas ROSSI 80’), 3 Jacob MUIR, 4 Nick WALSH, 5 Joseph FORDE, 6 Aiki TSUKAMOTO (17 Will FORMSTON 80’), 8 Aidan EDWARDS (14 Andrew MARANTA 59’), 9 Adam ZIMARINO (13 Lewis TUCKER 80’), 10 Giordano COLLI, 11 Ciaran BRAMWELL (7 Christian BELLADONNA 70’), 16 Chris DONNELL – Subs not used: RGK Sam REILLY

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 3 Nelson TSHONGO, 5 Ryan LOWRY, 6 Sami RIAK, 7 Harry EVANS (15 Ben HINSHELWOOD59’), 8 Declan HUGHES (14 Ben RUTTER 73’), 9 Daryl NICOL (13 Sebastian GOMEZ 59’), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Chris HAROLD (4 Jeremy TSHONGO 73’), 12 Jakub PRAJZA, 16 Shane CASSIDY – Subs not used: RGK Sam POLLARD, 17 Oscar MALFIORE, 18 Sonny O’SHEA – Referee: Steven Gregory