Rovers Complete Convincing Double Over Joondalup
01 September 2013
Hamersley Rovers 2:1 Joondalup United
A close range finish from Shaun Gibbons and a Ben Ashton header were enough to see of Joondalup for the second time this season at Carine on Sunday.
Hamersley started more brightly than their visitors and were almost ahead with just 4 minutes on the clock, as Asa Nicholson slipped in Gibbons who took one touch and forced a quality save from the goalkeeper from his cheekily dinked effort. The resultant corner saw Ashton rise well to meet a whipped Ricky Andrews cross with a firm header, the big defender disappointed to see his effort go just wide.
Joondalup were just wide themselves on 16 minutes, as their tall Number 3 put his header just past the post from a corner from the left, a chance he perhaps should have made of.
On 27 minutes Matty Emery played through Ryan ‘Razor’ Sochanik, who in turn played the ball out wide to Andrews who played a delightful one-two with Gibbons. Gibbons then slipped in Nicholson who connected well with a right foot volley, which just went wide.
Hamersley were bossing the affair but were behind on 35 minutes after a controversial penalty was awarded following a Joondalup player turning and falling in the box after a slight scramble from a corner. Ian Norgrove guessed the right way but the penalty was struck hard and low and went in off the post.
On 40 minutes Gibbons struck well and forced what looked like a great save from the Joondalup keeper but the referee only pointed for a goal kick, and three minutes later Sochanik played through Michael ‘El Gringo’ Garcia with a delightful slide rule pass, the young striker cleverly taking a quick touch and dinking over the keeper but the effort just cleared the cross bar. The response had again been good from Hamersley but they remained a goal behind as the entered the break.
In the opening minutes of the second half there was a risk of going further behind as a clever chip from a Joondalup striker came back off the woodwork, but Rovers survived that scare and then pulled level on 51 minutes as clever free kick found Dan Scudder on the left who lofted a ball to the far post which was headed back across for Gibbons to finish from close range.
And on 60 minutes Hamersley were ahead, when a short corner from Scudder to Conor Fullard saw the Irishman whip in a delightful ball that Ashton met powerfully with his head and planted into the far side of the goal.
As the skies darkened and the heavy rain came the game entered a lull period of limited chances which Hamersley were content with, as they essentially saw the game out and limited Joondalup to little in the way of chances to get themselves back into the game.
The victory was much deserved by the home side, and after a season of ill-luck and injuries Hamersley will now target the remaining games of the season as opportunities to get themselves back up to the upper reaches of the table where they belong.
Hamersley Rovers Reserves 1:1 Joondalup United Reserves
Controversy reigned in the earlier fixture, as a late chance in which the ball seemingly crossed the line went unseen by the referee, much to the frustration of the hard-working Reserves.
Hamersley had found themselves a goal down in the first half from a breakaway opportunity that saw a Joondalup striker break free and finish from inside the box.
Joondalup enjoyed the greater possession but Hamersley were content to allow the visitors to keep the ball in non-threatening areas and largely snuffed out any real chances from the away team.
After the break Rovers pushed higher lines in an attempt to get themselves back into it and increasingly found themselves with possession in the oppositions half. They were level with 15 minutes remaining after a Stephen Pountney corner found Ian Wright at the far post, who buried his header into the roof of the net.
With minutes remaining, as another Pountney cross beat the keeper at his near post and was pushed into the goal off the crossbar by the flapping No. 1, who then clawed the ball back from deep behind the goal line. As Hamersley players celebrated the referee indicated no goal, and ultimately dismissed the hard-working Stuart Simmons for his earnest appeals.
As the final whistle blew Rovers players left the field feeling robbed of victory, but can look back on the fixture as a game in which they worked hard and with plenty of skill, and will now aim to take this momentum into the next round.
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