Harold hat-trick seals third place in Night Series

Harold hat-trick seals third place in Night Series

Posted on March 19, 2021 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup have finished their preparations for the new NPLWA season, which kicks off this weekend, with a hard fought 4-1 win against Armadale in the NPLWA Night Series third place playoff at Dalmatinac Park tonight.  

Sami Riak gave the Jacks the lead early, before Chris Harold doubled the lead on 69 minutes. Armadale hit back moments later with Pieter Jacobsz on target, but two more from Harold sealed the win.

“It’s always nice to score goals and it’s good for us as we prepare for the season,” Harold said post-match. “Games like these are what preseason is all about, getting game time in legs and getting that competitive edge back.

“We were a bit sloppy at times tonight, but we tidied things up at the end and got the result which was pleasing.”

It was a perfect start for the Jacks, and they were ahead after only five minutes. Daryl Nicol’s corner found the unmarked Riak at the back post and the midfielder made no mistake.

Armadale went close themselves moments later, former ECU striker Manase Abandelawa raced clear, but he shot straight at keeper Johnny Perkins.

Armadale keeper Michael Craggs then produced a great save to thwart Niccol, after great work down the right by Jakub Prajza, but at the break Joondalup held the lead.

Craggs was at it again early in the second half getting down well to save Andy Higgins’ shot, before producing a superb reflex save to save Danny Hodgson’s point-blank header.

The Armadale custodian was keeping his side in the game and on the hour, he saved well from Harold’s header. But on 69 minutes Craggs was beaten, Higgins’ cross from the right found Harold, who lost his marker to head home.

But Armadale were back in the contest three minutes later, ECU switched off giving Jacobsz too much space in the middle of the park and he drove forward and finished well past Perkins.

Armadale were now on top and substitute Brian Patterson headed over the top, before Kevin Ashwood’s free kick was saved by Perkins. But Armadale were caught out again seven minutes from time.

Harry Evans effort was saved by Craggs, but Harold was quickest to the rebound to score. The icing was put on the cake on 88 minutes, Evans’ shot was only parried by Craggs and Harold nipped in to secure the match and his hat-trick.

“A good workout and it was pleasing to see some of the younger players come on and perform well,” assistant coach David Tough said.

“We are preparing for our opening league game against Gwelup and Sunday and there was a lot to like about tonight and things to work on in the week, but we are pleased with how we are tracking.”

NPLWA Night Series Third Place Playoff

ECU Joondalup 4 (Riak 5’, Harold 69’, 83’, 88’) Armadale 1 (Jacob 72’)

ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Jeremy TSHONGO, 4 Declan HUGHES (13 Sonny O’SHEA 85’), 5 Ryan LOWRY (3 Luke DAVIS 12’) (16 Danny DOUGLAS 85’), 6 Sami RIAK, 7 Danny HODGSON, 8 Daryl NICOL (17 Harry EVANS 28’), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Chris HAROLD, 12 Jakub PRAJZA (15 Oscar MALFIORE 85’), 16 Shane CASSIDY – Subs not used: RGK Joe POLLARD, 14 Ben HINSHELWOOD

Armadale: GK Michael CRAGGS, 3 Harry QUIGLEY, 11 Chad NILSON (19 Rennie KISESA 45’), 12 Callum MELLOWSHIP, 13 Filippo GIOFFRE, 14 Blake ADAMS (18 Kevin ASHWOOD 56’), 15 Churno BAH (8 Brian PATTERSON 56’), 16 Ryan MCEVOY (6 Joel SANDERSON 56’), 17 Peter JACOBZ, 21 Manase ABANDELAWA, 23 Friday ZICO (4 Nathan COSTELLO 76’) – Subs not used: RGK Yousri GHARSALLAH, 10 Luca SCHMIEDGEN – Referee: David Bruce