Joondalup ease past Subiaco
Report and photo by Peter Simcox
ECU Joondalup moved up to seventh on the PS4NPLWA table after a dominant 3-0 win against Subiaco in Week 14 action at Rosalie Park on Saturday.
Gordon Smith bagged a brace, to take his season tally to 11 goals, while new signing Daryl Nicol opened his account as the Jacks made it four straight wins.
It was also their fourth clean sheet in as many games, which was pleasing to keeper Lewis Italiano.
“We’re looking very solid from the backline up and we’re scoring goals early which helps," Italiano said. "The confidence is high at the moment and we’re looking to keep it going.”
Italiano felt ECU were getting stronger each week but needed to maintain the standards set by the coaching staff.
“I had a quiet day today but the back four were outstanding, like they have since I’ve been at the club," he said. "It was an all-round team performance; the midfield three were also fantastic today.
ECU coach Dale McCulloch said confidence was high.
“It was a very good first half and we killed the game off early in the second half with the third, so it continues our good form,” he said.
“We moved the ball around really well today and got into so many good areas. It was a really pleasing performance.”
McCulloch praised the new signings, who he thought had given his side the lift they were looking for.
“At the transfer windows we pinpointed areas where we want to strengthen as a club and we believe we have brought in leaders, who have added to the side, and they have all contributed,” he said.
“We have frequently switched off late in games and conceded goals but today we never. Their experience has lifted that part of our game and that’s why we brought these players to the club.”
ECU should have opened the scoring after only five minutes when a long throw from Cian Hirrell was flicked on by Shane Pickering and Gordon Smith blazed over from 6m.
Subiaco went close five minutes later. Rory Feely was given far too much room on the edge of the box but his shot was saved low by Italiano.
The visitors began to get on top and Nicol’s snap shot was saved low by Ryan Montgomery before Ryan Lowry’s close-range header was straight at the Subiaco custodian.
But on 27 minutes the visitors' pressure was rewarded with the opening goal.
A great run out of his own half by Pickering ended with a through ball to Gordon Smith, and the Scottish striker held off his marker and finished past Montgomery.
Montgomery was keeping his side in the game, firstly saving superbly to deny Nicol on the half hour before saving from Tommy Amphlett.
Subiaco ended the half well and Dylan Andrews’ shot was well blocked by some desperate ECU defending before Kevin White fired wide after good work Andrews.
But in the shadows of half time ECU Joondalup doubled their advantage. Henry Durr played in Nicol and the lively striker finished past Montgomery.
The points were wrapped up 11 minutes into the second half when the visitors added their third.
Pickering picked out Gordon Smith, who rolled the last defender and raced clear to score.
White, who was playing his last game for the club, did his best to lift the home side but his shot on the turn on the hour whistled just wide.
Next week Subiaco have home ground advantage again when they host Floreat Athena at Rosalie Park, while ECU Joondalup travel to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth SC.
ECU Joondalup 3 (G. Smith 27min, 56, Nicol 43)
Saturday June 25, 2016
Venue: Rosalie Park, Shenton Park
Referee: David Bruce
Assistants: Eamon McDonald, Jake Friend
Subiaco: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Ross JARMAN (15 James OLIVER 87’), 3 Banin HASHEM (11 Owen COATES 76’), 5 James CASSERLY, 6 Kevin CASTLE, 7 Jackson DARNELL (4 Jackson DONGRAY 46’), 8 Michael LAWSON, 9 Kevin WHITE, 10 Rory FEELY, 13 Dylan ANDREWS 14 Stefan HILL
Subs not used: GK Hamish ST GEORGE, 18 George TCHAMI
Yellow cards: Nil
ECU Joondalup: GK Lewis ITALIANO, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Rikki SMITH, 4 Cian HIRRELL, 5 Andy HIGGINS, 6 Shane PICKERING (16 Coire MCGUIGAN 92’), 9 Daryl NICOL (19 Paddy DOYLE 80’), 10 Gordon SMITH, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT, 17 Kevin MOON (8 Ollie ANNIS 68’), 18 Henry DURR,
Subs not used: RGK Todd HOYLE, 7 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY
Yellow cards: Amphlett 83