Knights edge out ECU (by Football West Report James Wragg)

Knights edge out ECU (by Football West Report James Wragg)

Posted on July 8, 2011 in 'Reports'

Western Knights remain third on the table after fending off a gallant ECU Joondalup 2-0 at Nash Field. Stuart Montgomery put the home side in the box seat after the quarter-hour with Ryan Shackleton sealing the result with a stunning finish in the closing stages. It was an engaging contest over the 90 minutes with the Knights making the most of their chances whilst Joondalup were unlucky not to come away something to show for the second half efforts.

The home team hit the ground running with Montgomery getting in behind the defence to volley wide of the target inside 5 minutes. The Knights loyal supporters were asked to wait just another ten minutes before being allowed to celebrate, Montgomery burying into the bottom corner after Mark Tebbutt’s push on Branimir Mikulic led referee Michael Jasinski to point to the penalty spot. Johnny Mirco was close to scoring the Knights a second goal but his vicious strike was pushed out for a corner by Andy Banks.

Marc Rodgers then kept Joondalup in the game when he cleared a goal bound effort by Mirco with Banks already beaten. A rare Joondalup chance on goal came the way of Tommy Jones who skied over the crossbar under pressure after Frazer Siddall fumbled a cross. With Montgomery dictating play for the home side it looked like only a matter of time before the Knights scored again. Mikulic was sent through with only the ‘keeper to beat but Banks was off his line quick to snuff out the danger.

Joondalup displayed a greater composure after the break and Charlie Comyn-Platt went close to bringing the teams level with a hard shot that rose over the crossbar. Stuart Ferguson’s latch ditch tackle prevented John Thornley getting off a shot, while Siddall breathed a sigh of relief when David Annall conceded a corner after his ‘keeper failed to hold a Jordan Withey shot. The visitors frustrations grew as the half progressed and their hopes of taking a point slowly dimmed. Shackleton made the game safe in the 89th minute, the Knights substitute letting free an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 27-metres.

Montgomery had no complaints about his teams’ performance, tipping his hat to youngster Ryan Shackleton. “It was a good game and we’re happy to get the win, especially with ‘Shacky’ getting his first goal for the club and it being a screamer – he didn’t know what to do when it went in,” said Montgomery. “We could have gone into the break more than one-up as we created many chances to score. Credit to Joondalup though, the battled half and made us work for the win after half-time. Hopefully this gives us confidence leading into the State League Cup semi next week against Perth SC.”

Western Knights: GK Frazer SIDDALL, 3 Stuart FERGUSON, 5 David ANNALL, 7 Luka JUKIC (2 Duncan HIND 79′), 8 Daniel TRIM, 10 Stuart MONTGOMERY, 12 Paul COOKE (16 Jamie GREGO 84′), 17 Branimir MIKULIC, 18 Glen THOMAS (13 Ryan SHACKLETON 65′), 22 Johny MIRCO, 15 Ethan LEVITT – Substitutes not used: RGK Thomas DIXON

ECU Joondalup: GK Andy BANKS, 2 Luke SMITH, 5 Marc RODGERS, 6 Mark TEBBUT, 7 John HIGGINS, 4 Charlie COMYN-PLATT, 8 Seb FRANSSAN (17 Ryan McDARBY 69′), 10 Jon STYNES (12 Jordan WITHEY 58′), 3 Chris WHYLIE (14 Ryan LOWRY 73′), 9 John THONRLEY, 11 Tom JONES – Substitutes not used: RGK Brynn HINDLEY, 15 Max POPE

Referee – Michal JASINSKI