Wild wins it for Balcatta
Report by Peter Simcox
Photo by Peter Simcox
A goal from striker Alex Wild was enough to give Balcatta a hard-fought 1-0 win against ECU Joondalup at Grindleford Reserve.
The result ended a four-game winless run for the home side, while only goal difference is keeping ECU off the bottom of the NPL WA table.
Both sides were desperate for a win in this one and it was the visitors who had the first real chance. Tommy Amphlett raced down the right channel and his low shot beat new Balcatta keeper Lewis Italiano but drifted just wide of the far post.
But it was Balcatta who opened the scoring on 23 minutes. A quick break down the right by Ben Pellizzari saw him race past Andy Higgins and his low cross was turned home by Wild.
The hosts should have added a second on the half-hour. John Kearney’s corner picked out the unmarked Antony Topini at the near post but he headed wide of the target.
Moments later they went even closer. Calum O’Connell sent Wild racing down the left, he cut inside the penalty area and his shot crashed off the crossbar, bounced on the line and was cleared away by Shane Cassidy.
ECU brought on new signing Charlie Kenna at half-time but it was Balcatta who almost added to the score as Topini was denied by Jacks keeper Johnny Perkins.
At the other end Kenna’s shot was saved by Italiano, but Balcatta were dangerous on the counter attack and they were almost gifted a second on 73 minutes. Josh Whitmore’s attempted back pass went over the head of Perkins but luckily for the midfielder the ball went into the side netting.
Moments later with his first touch, substitute Gavin Knights’ shot was saved by Perkins.
ECU ended the game the better and Balcatta had Italiano to thank for keeping them level, the best a stunning save to thwart Bayley Brwon-Montgomery with three minutes remaining.
The Jacks had one last chance to salvage a point deep into stoppage time when Lukas de Lima found Brown-Montgomery, but his shot on the turn flashed wide.
Star player: Alex Castiello (Balcatta)
Balcatta 1 (Wild 23min)
ECU Joondalup 0
Saturday, May 25
Kick off: 3:00pm
Referee: Michal Jasinski
Assistant referees: Jamie West, Liviu Katona
Balcatta: GK Lewis ITALIANO, 2 Joseph MARINO, 3 John KEARNEY, 4 Calum O’CONNELL (C), 5 Shubham MOKALA (19 Michael ZIMARINO 90), 7 Ben PELLIZZARI (11 Adam ZIMARINO 65), 8 Alex WILD (9 Gavin KNIGHT 76), 10 Jonathan CORNESS, 12 Roberto DEL BORRELLO, 16 Alex CASTIELLO, 20 Anthony TOPINI
Substitutes not used: RGK David KEENAN, 22 Adam FIELDS
Yellow cards: Del Borrello 26, Wild 57, Adam Zimarino 91, Italiano 93
Red cards: Nil
ECU Joondalup: GK Johnny PERKINS, 2 Arran MAPLESTONE (6 Charlie KENNA 46), 4 Henry DURR, 5 Shane CASSIDY, 8 Josh WHITMORE, 9 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Jakub SKLENAR (3 Kian McGUIGAN 83), 12 Billy QUINNCROFT, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT (7 Lukas DE LIMA 51), 16 Ewen FAWCETT
Substitutes not used: RGK George JACKSON, 15 Tom HOUGH
Yellow cards: Whitmore 12, Amphlett 42, Higgins 70, McGuigan 85
Red cards: Nil