Gulls too strong for ECU
Report and photo by Peter Simcox
Sorrento bounced back from last week’s heavy loss at Perth with a convincing 2-0 win against ECU Joondalup in the Northern Derby at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday.
The Gulls dominated for most of the game with Scott Witschge scoring goals just before half time and on the hour mark.
The win keeps Sorrento in contention for the title and gives them a huge boost ahead of the State Cup Final next weekend against Western Knights.
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell was pleased with the response from his players after their worst performance of the season at Perth.
“We asked for a reaction from the players before the game and we certainly got it from the first minute,” he said.
“We were compact at the back and when we got the ball out wide we looked very dangerous.
“I thought Reece (Vittiglia) was outstanding and Scott (Witschge) showed his pace out wide and pulled the trigger at the right time.”
Harnwell said the win was perfect preparation for their two massive cup games against the Knights, and the Westfield FFA Cup round of 32 game against Canberra Olympic.
“We have good group of players and with the cup games coming up everyone wants to be involved,” he said.
“These are the games you want to be involved with, and the club wants success, so it’s nice to be around the club at the moment and there is a buzz around the place.”
Witschge, who joined the Gulls from Inglewood last season, said it was a good all-round team performance and it gives them confidence going into the next two cup games.
“We needed to bounce back after last week’s performance, we came out strong and got the right result,” he said.
“We made a few changes, we were buzzing from the first whistle and got our rewards.
“We are now set for the next two cup games and we are really looking forward to it.
“This win has given us some good momentum and we are hoping for two wins.”
It was a wet day up north and both sides took a while to get used to the slippery conditions.
Sorrento was first to go close on 12 minutes when Tim Hill lost his marker on the edge of the penalty area, with his shot well saved by Fraser Greenwood.
The rebound fell to Witschge, whose shot was blocked by Rikki Smith, with the home faithful appealing for handball and a spot kick.
ECU was struggling in the final third, but they did go close on 24 minutes when Steven McGarry headed Ross Millard’s cross just wide.
Sorrento looked more threatening going forward, and they were rewarded on 37 minutes with the lead.
Witschge was sent down the right, cut inside his marker, and finished superbly across Greenwood into the corner of the net.
Sorrento were in again three minutes before half time, after a defence splitting pass from Hill sent Reece Vittiglia clear, but a superb last ditch tackle from Smith denied him.
It was more of the same after half time with Sorrento dominating, as Witschge’s shot on the run flashed wide, before Alex Morgan’s flick was saved low by Greenwood.
The home side’s pressure was rewarded with a second goal on the hour mark.
Witschge eased past Jon Higgins on the right and his curling shot took a slight deflection off a defender before nestling in the back of the net.
Sorrento almost added a third late on when Morgan’s shot was well saved by Greenwood, before Vittiglia pulled his effort wide of the target.
But at the final whistle it was the Gulls celebrating as they look ahead to next week’s Coolridge Cup Final against the Knights.
Sorrento 2 (Witschge 37min, 60)
ECU Joondalup 0
Saturday July 15, 2017
Percy Doyle Reserve
Referee: Michal Jasinski
Assistants: Darren Quinlan, Callum Haddow
Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 6 Darryl PLATTEN (C), 7 Alex MORGAN (2
Jacob SHORE 74’), 11 Tim HILL, 12 Josh TUCKER, 14 Scott WITSCHGE, 15 Brodie MARTIN, 17
Reece VITTIGLIA (3 Daniel PEARCE 91’), 20 Brad MCDONALD, 21 Sam BYLES
Substitutes not used: RGK: Connor CAMPBELL, 13 Steve MCDONALD, 18 Jordan BROWN
Yellow Cards: Tucker 65min
Red Cards: Nil
ECU Joondalup: GK Fraser GREENWOOD, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Shane PICKERING (11 Keylun
POLLARD 72’), 5 Graham DORAN, 6 Rikki SMITH, 7 Jon HIGGINS (C), 8 Declan HUGHES, 9
Daryl NICOL 12 James OWEN (10 Gordon SMITH 59’), 14 Steven MCGARRY, 17 Jack JONES
Substitutes not used: RGK Jordan YOUNG, 15 Ryan MCDARBY, 19 Cian HIRRELL
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil