Jackson treble for goal-barmy Army
Report by Jayden Lihou
Three goals from Chris Jackson helped Armadale to a thumping 5-1 win over Balcatta at Alfred Skeet Reserve in Round 20 of the NPL WA season on Saturday.
The win was Armadale’s third in a row at home and ensured they stayed seventh on the table.
The first two goals came in the opening seven minutes, with Armadale taking the lead through Chris Jackson in the sixth minute and Balcatta equalising immediately through Nicholas Challot.
Jackson scored his second goal shortly before the break and then bagged his third after half-time either side of goals from Michael Rizidis and Ryan Haslett.
Armadale coach John O’Reilly praised his side’s confidence and looked to next week’s Belt Up Cup Final.
“There are still a few areas where we need to tidy up but overall I thought we were exhilarating today,” he said.
“In the last couple of weeks we have been embracing the fact that we have a cup final coming up and now we are feeling ready for it.
“It is the biggest game of our season and possibly the biggest game in the history of our club so we are all looking forward to it.”
O’Reilly also praised the performance of striker Chris Jackson, his side’s "focal point".
“Chris is a very important part of the team as a lot of what we do involves him and today he was very clinical with his finishing,” he said.
The first goal came just after six minutes when Jackson received the ball outside the box before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
The equaliser came less than a minute later when Challot was allowed time on the ball before curling an effort which went in off the post.
Balcatta, who are in the thick of a relegation battle, had a golden opportunity to get in front in the 25th minute when Alex Wild crossed to an open Lawrence Shurama in the box, however Shurama blazed his first-time shot over the bar.
The visitors began to rue that missed opportunity when Armadale took the lead in the 38th minute after a Ali Gholami cross found Jackson, who headed the ball past the keeper.
Armadale then got a third less than a minute after the restart. The ball fell kindly to Rizidis in the box before he found the back of the net with a strike that just crept under the bar.
Balcatta had a good chance to peg one back in the 60th minute when Challot made a run from half-way to the byline before whipping in a low cross to an open Wild. who scuffed his shot.
The decisive blow came from the penalty spot after Balcatta keeper Kyle McDonald committed a foul in the box and Jackson converted the spot-kick to get his third.
Haslett put on the icing on the cake in stoppage time when a through- ball found him in the box and the substitute's powerful shot across goal made it 5-1.
Balcatta coach Goran Stajic wasn’t overly disappointed with his side’s performance and felt the scoreline didn’t reflect the match.
“I think it was a great first-half from our boys but the early goal in the second half really gave them a buffer,” he said.
“We never stopped creating chances but I think the difference in the end was the finishing of Chris Jackson.
“We won’t lose confidence after this result, our boys are so resilient and they know they can beat anyone.”
Armadale 5 (Jackson 6min, 38, 83, Rizidis 46, Haslett 90+2)
Balcatta 1 (Challot 7)
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Alfred Skeet Reserve
Referee: Brendan Skinner
Assistant referees: Anthony Walsh, Harry Bolan
Armadale: GK. Sam HUTCHINGS, 7. Charlie KENNA, 9. Billy QUINNCROFT (C), 10. Chris JACKSON (20. Friday ZICO 87), 11. Michael RIZIDIS (22. Ryan HASLETT 53), 12. Dannie RICHMAN (14. Milan OGNJENOVIC 63), 15. Ali GHOLAMI, 16. Charlie SIMPSON, 17. James ATKINS, 18. Brad GRIEPL, 21. Beau RAHIM
Substitutes not used: RGK. Duncan LENNON-BLACK, 13. Darragh NAGLE
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Balcatta: GK. Kyle MCDONALD, 3. Hayden STEVENS, 6. Kris GATE (23. Bleron MAMUDI 62), 8. Carmelo GIUFFRE, 9. Alex WILD, 10. Jonathon CORNESS (C), 11. Nicholas CHALLOT, 14. Lawrence SHURAMA, 18. Robert DEL BORELLO, 20. Shubham MOKALA (7. Asher NELSON 46), 24. Tom LOGAN (21. Tyler UGLOW 53)
Substitutes not used: RGK. Domenico SALVODELLI, 22. Angel DEJKOVSKI
Yellow cards: Wild 90
Red cards: Nil