Joondalup hit back late to earn a point

Joondalup hit back late to earn a point

Posted on July 31, 2015 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup hit back from two goals down with nine minutes remaining to draw 2-2 with Perth Glory at Inglewood Stadium.

The home side looked on course for back-to-back wins, for the first time this season, after a Slobodan Vulin’s penalty and Stefan Valentini strike, either side of half time had given them a two goal lead. But substitute Paddy Doyle pulled one back for the visitors, before Tommy Amphlett stuck late to earn his side a share of the spoils.

ECU coach Dale McCulloch said the character of his young side had shone through. “It’s been a difficult season for us but today I thought the character of my squad was outstanding,” he said. “We changed the formation after half time and we stopped their impact in the game. We gave away a sloppy second goal but we kept pressing and got our rewards in the end.”

The coach was delighted with Amphlett’s all-round contribution. “Many people have said if Tommy isn’t scoring goals he has a quiet game but that’s not right,” McCulloch said.“The work he’s doing coming back the other way is important for us and today he battled back, won tackles, and at the end showed his class with a great finish.”

ECU went close early, Jon Higgins played in Amphlett, whose shot was saved low by Jordan Thurtell. The Glory youngsters hit back and ECU keeper Jamie Serra saved superbly to keep out Dejan Spaseski’s header on the half hour. The ECU custodian was keeping his side in the game, and he reacted well to save Jacob Collard’s free kick moments later. But three minutes before the break the Glory hit the front. Slobodan Vulin converting from the penalty spot after Nikola Talimdzioski was brought down in the area by Kye Douglas.

Both sides had chances early in the second half, Higgins’ header was well saved by Thurtell, before Waliedin Ismail fired straight at Serra. But as ECU looked like they were getting back into the game, the Glory doubled their advantage. Collard’s free kick was headed back to him, and his deep cross from the left picked out the unmarked Valentini at the back post, who fired home.

ECU changed their formation as they looked to get back in the game and Higgins moved forward, and his first time shot was well saved by Thurtell. Then on 81 minutes ECU reduced the margin. The lively Josh Tucker crossed to Higgins, who flicked the ball on to Doyle, who bundled the ball over the line at the second attempt.

It was game on, and four minutes later the visitors levelled. Joe Smith played in Amphlett, and the striker raced into the area and finished clinically past Thurtell. It was a frantic end to the game and both sides had late chances to win it.  Tucker fired wide after cutting inside the penalty area in stoppage time, and with the last kick of the day Collard’s powerful free kick was saved by Serra.

But they both had to settle for a point.  The action still wasn’t over, and after the final whistle Glory midfielder Vulin was shown a second yellow card by the referee and was sent from the field.

Perth Glory: GK Jordan THURTELL, 2 Gian ALBANO (15 Ross MILLARD 85’), 3 Jacob COLLARD (C), 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 Tom KING, 6 Calvin WHITNEY, 7 Waliedin ISMAIL (12 Sean TROUP 78’), 9 Nikola TALIMDZIOSKI, 10 Slobodan VULIN, 11Stefan VALENTINI, 16 Dejan SPASESKI – Subs not used: RGK Jordan FRANKEN, 13 Sam MACKEARAN, 14 Daniel STYNES

ECU Joondalup: GK Jamie SERRA, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Jon HIGGINS (C), 4 Coire McGUIGAN, 5 Kye DOUGLAS, 6 Cian HIRRELL, 7 Paul MILLER, 8 Joe SMITH, 9 Josh TUCKER,  10 Bayley MONTGOMERY (11 Paddy DOYLE 46’), 13 Tommy AMPHLETT – Subs not used: RGK Andy BANKS, 12 Ollie ANNIS, 14 Ronald RIXER, 15 Damien SIMIC

Referee: Ammar Timour