NPLWA: Armadale, ECU Joondalup play out 3-3 draw

Armadale and ECU Joondalup played a 3-3 draw on Saturday. Photo by Peter Simcox.
Armadale and ECU Joondalup played a 3-3 draw on Saturday. Photo by Peter Simcox.

ARMADALE Soccer Club’s run of high-scoring games continues after they recorded a 3-3 draw with ECU Joondalup in round 21 of the NPL WA.

The 6th against 7th match up was always going to be a close affair, especially after Armadale secured the 2-1 away win the last time the teams met in round 8, and the tight, arm-wrestle match did not disappoint.

Armadale got the early ascendancy after the ECU Joondalup keeper gave away a penalty kick 10 minutes before half time, which Ali Gholami duly converted.

Chris Jackson made it 2-0 right after the break when he too converted a penalty after Charlie Kenna was brought down in the box.

ECU Joondalup evened the game up with two goals in the 51st and 66th minute, but Armadale looked to have the upper hand after ECU were reduced to 10-men through a red card to Gordon Smith.

Gholami took advantage in the 85th minute, launching the ball into the back of the net from long range with a goal of the year contender.

But the win disappeared in the final minute of regular time when ECU Joondalup scored off a corner, ensuring the teams would share the points.

Armadale coach John O’Reilly said it had been a good game but he was disappointed they couldn’t hold on to the points.

“We were playing against one of the better teams in the league and when you have the lead you want to hold to it,” he said.

“We’ve been on a good run and yes, disappointing we didn’t get the three points, but it wasn’t meant to be today.”

Gholami said conditions had been tough and the draw was probably a fair result.

“It was a good game. It was disappointing to let it slip late, especially when they went down to 10 men,” he said.

“We’ve been on a good run lately in the league, and it was a scrappy game at times, but a draw was probably a fair result.”

It was the fourth time in five games Armadale had scored three or more goals, putting them in good stead ahead of their FFA Cup round of 32 match against Cairns on August 1.

The draw keeps Armadale 7th on the NPLWA ladder with five rounds to go.

They next take on the 13th placed Subiaco from 3pm July 28 at Rosalie Park, Shenton Park.