Jacks bounce back to beat Inglewood

Jacks bounce back to beat Inglewood

Posted on April 2, 2021 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have bounced back from Saturday’s disappointing NPLWA loss against Armadale, with a 2-0 win against Inglewood United at Inglewood Stadium on Thursday evening.

Danny Hodgson gave the Jacks the lead with a twice taken penalty on 32 minutes, before Daryl Nicol scored his first NPL goal since his return to the campus early in the second half to seal the win. (Photos thanks to Fotoenzo)

Jacks’ keeper Johnny Perkins was kept busy late, pulling off some great saves to keep Inglewood out.

“Great win tonight, the lads were challenged after the loss on Saturday, and I thought we showed great resilience to get the win, against a good Inglewood side,” Head Coach Kenny Lowe said.

“I thought we defended very well as a team tonight, and a clean sheet, our first of the season, is very welcoming.

“We had plenty of chances tonight, and I’m really pleased for Daryl (Nicol) to get off the mark on his return to the club.

“It’s a busy period over Easter, with the cup game on Monday, but we’ll get the lads in for recovery over the weekend and get ready for Fremantle City.”

It was a bright opening from the Jacks, and they went close in the first sixty seconds. Jakub Prajza’s ball sent Nicol racing into the penalty area, his shot beat keeper Alex Dunn, but Giovanni Soares got back to clear the ball off the line.

The Jacks continued to press and Nelson Tshongo’s cross on eight minutes found Andy Higgins, but his glancing header was straight at Dunn. The hosts had a penalty shout moments later. Robert Petkov sent Steve Sokol racing clear, Nelson Tshongo got back to delay his run, but the winger played the ball back to Petkov who fell under a challenge from Sami Riak, but referee Stewart Beattie was well placed to wave away the home sides penalty claims.

The hosts thought they had taken the lead on 17 minutes, when Roberto del Borrello cross into the box was superbly volleyed home by Petkov, but the flag was up for offside.

It was the best period of the game for United, and when the Jacks lost possession in the middle of the park Petkov sent Jason Barrera racing clear, but his shot drifted inches past the far post.

There were chances at both ends, as the game opened up. First Andy Higgins’ free kick was headed just wide by Shane Cassidy, while Ajak Riak shot on the run flashed just wide.

But on 32 minutes the Jacks hit the front. Declan Hughes found Chris Harold, and his defence splitting through ball sent Nicol in on goal, he raced into the box and was brought down by Inglewood keeper Alex Dunn, and referee Stewart Beattie pointed straight to the spot, and booked the Inglewood custodian.

Hodgson steps up and converted from the resulting penalty, but the referee spotted some encroachment in the box and the penalty had to be retaken. Hodgson stepped again, and found the opposite corner of the net to give the Jacks the lead.

They almost doubled their lead two minutes later, Hughes’ crossfield pass found the over lapping Nelson Tshongo, his cross into the box finds Nicol at the back post, but his header was well saved by Dunn.

Hughes then close himself, his thunderbolt shot crashed off the woodwork and away to safety, so close for the Jacks midfielder, but at the break the Jacks held a narrow advantage.

But eight minutes into the second half it was 2-0. Prajza’s ball was misjudged by Giovanni Soares and Nicol pounced, beating him to the ball and clearly lobbing the oncoming keeper.

Inglewood looked for an immediate response, Mark Barnett headed over the top on the hour, before Chris Harold’s lob was saved by Dunn at the other end.

The Jacks had led by two against Inglewood in the Night series, only to be pegged back late, but the Jacks skipper Perkins was in no mood to let that happen again.

First on 69 minutes he superbly tipped over Roberto Soares long-range shot over the top, before getting down smartly to save Jamie Murphy’s long-range effort moments later.

He was at it again on 73 minutes, producing another fine save to thwart Murphy again. He was beaten moments later, Murphy getting on the end of a Del Borrello deep cross, but the post came to the rescue of the Jacks custodian.

The Jacks went close to a third late, Harold sending Hodgson down the right, his low shot was well saved by Dunn, but at the final whistle it was Kenny Lowe’s side celebrating three points.

The win was important, but for striker Nicol, it was good to get on the scoresheet for the first time on his return.

“It was a fantastic performance from the team to get us back to winning ways, and I thought we controlled the game for 90 minutes and the score line probably flattered Inglewood,” the striker explained.

“I’m delighted to finally get off the mark for my club, and hope we can put a run of results together now, starting with Monday’s FFA Cup game against Fremantle City.”

Match Details – NPLWA – Week Three

Inglewood United 0 ECU Joondalup 2 (Hodgson 32’ pen, Nicol 53’)

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 Giovanni SOARES, 5 Thiak KUEL, 7 Ajak RIAK (16 Jamie MURPHY 67’), 8 Jason BARRERA (12 Roberto SOARES 58’), 9 Robert PETKOV, 10 Anthony BAFOBUSHA (4 Scott BLACKMORE 76’), 12 Roberto DEL BORRELLO, 14 Steve SOKOL, 17 Mark BARNETT – Sub not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 13 Brodie LANGAN – Yellow Cards: Bafobusha 13’, Dunn 31’, Sokol 64’, Petkov 75’, R. Soares 76’)

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Jeremy TSHONGO, 3 Nelson TSHONGO (15 Luke DAVIS 56’), 4 Declan HUGHES, 6 Sami RIAK, 7 Danny HODGSON (8 Tom HOUGH 86’), 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Chris HAROLD, 12 Jakub PRAJZA, 16 Shane CASSIDY – Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD, 14 Ben RUTTER, 17 Sebastian GOMEZ – Yellow Cards: Cassidy 25’, J. Tshongo 56’, N. Tshongo 75’ – Referee: Stewart BEATTIE