Atkins brace sees Armadale end season on a high
Report by Jayden Lihou
Photo: Jonny Warrington
Armadale have snapped a five match losing streak as they defeated Joondalup United 2-1 in the final round of the PS4 NPLWA season at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday.
An early goal from Josh Booysen put United in front but James Atkins responded with two goals of his own to ensure his side finished their campaign with a victory.
Coach John O’Reilly said the best team won on the day and revealed he is looking forward to bolstering his squad in the pre-season.
“The lads were keen to get a win to finish the season because we have had a few off-results in the last few weeks,” he said.
“The players put in 100 percent today and we created so many chances so we were just unlucky not to win by a bigger margin to be honest.
“Overall I think we have been progressive this season, we have kept our heads up all the way to the end and that was exemplified by today’s win.
“Hopefully we can kick-on now during the pre-season, pick up a couple of new players and strengthen what we have already started to build.”
Joondalup were quick off the blocks and they scored the opener in the third minute as Booysen was allowed time and space to run inside the box before firing a shot home.
Richard Howles had two golden opportunities to extend his side’s lead when he was twice put one-on-one with the keeper, but his first effort was wide of the post and his second hit the side netting.
Armadale responded against the run of play in the 28th minute when Alex Bond picked out Atkins, who found the back of the net.
Atkins was at it again on the 43-minute mark as his deft header from a Jordan Pavett free-kick was enough put The Army in front.
Bond was involved in another Armadale chance in first-half injury time when he whipped a cross towards the far-post to Beau Rahim, but his volley was denied by keeper James Bosdet.
The Joondalup keeper was called into action again in the second-half as he produced a double save to deny two efforts from striker Billy Quinncroft.
The home-side had the opportunity to finish the game off in injury-time when Bond was put one-on-one with the keeper, but Bosdet made a sharp save to ensure the game would end at 2-1.
Joondalup coach Nick Jennings lamented his side’s missed chances in the first-half and admitted he thought his side had underperformed this season.
“If you go by the first 30 minutes, they shouldn’t have been given a sniff, but in the end our keeper has pulled off at least three world class saves so we have been lucky to only lose 2-1,” he said.
“I think this game summed up our season; when we were on top we should have put the game to bed and silly defensive mistakes have crucified us.
“I’m disappointed with the season, it has been a real anti-climax because I think we are definitely a top eight team.
“In the first 14 or 15 games we were on the brink of top four or five so I think we have let ourselves down badly and I put it down to an attitude problem with the players.”
Armadale 2 (Atkins 28min, 43)
Joondalup United 1 (Booysen 3min)
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Alfred Skeet Reserve
Referee: Tom Glavovic
Assistant Referees: Julian Serra, Harry Bolan
Armadale: GK. Alec RADONICH, 3. Jake SARDELIC, 4. Nathan COSTELLO (C), 7. Alex BOND, 8. Jordan PAVETT, 14. David ANNALL, 16. Billy QUINNCROFT, 17. James ATKINS, 19. Beau RAHIM, 20. Ali GHOLAMI, 21. Broden BROWN (25. Anthony SKORICH 60’)
Substitutes not used: 2.Dylan WHITE, 12. Herman ALOGNON, 22. Ryan JAMES
Yellow Cards: Bond 90, Quinncroft 91
Red Cards: Nil
Joondalup United: GK. James BOSDET, 2. Joel LEDSHAM (24. David JAY 68’), 4. Arran MAPLESTONE (C), 7. Matthew SPARROW, 8. Josh WHITMORE, 9. Richard HOWLES, 11. Josh BOOYSEN, 16. Ross EDWARDS, 18. Anthony TAYLOR (22. Charlie BREEN 74’), 20. James BRUCE, 25. Sam WYNNE (6. Guy MCDONALD 58’)
Substitutes not used: 21. Jack NUNN
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil