Soccer: Despotovski nets 4 in Forrestfield United’s 6-1 thumping of ECU Joondalup

Soccer: Despotovski nets 4 in Forrestfield United’s 6-1 thumping of ECU Joondalup

FORRESTFIELD United produced some breathtaking soccer as it smashed ECU Joondalup 6-1 at the ECU Football Stadium in National Premier Leagues (NPL) WA soccer action on Saturday.

Kristian Despotovski, son of Perth Glory great Bobby, was the hero for Forrestfield bagging four goals, while Rhys Loxley and a penalty from Hasani Sinclair completed the win.

Daryl Nicol scored ECU’s consolation goal.

Despotovski said it was a great team performance, and he was happy to do his bit in the win.

“They have some great players going forward but our defensive structure was great today. We are a young squad and we’re only going to get better,” he said.

“Obviously happy with the performance, four goals to myself is a great confidence boost for me, but more important is the three points for the team.”

Forrestfield coach Rod Banjac was delighted with his team’s performance and praised the defence lead by Liam Merigan and Tom Southgate.

“We are a very young squad, but we were fully focused on the job today, and it was great to see them celebrate the win. The group are maturing, and we like this NPL and we want to enrich the competition,” he said.

ECU went into the game with the best defensive record in the league, having conceded only seven goals, but that was blown out of the water.

Despotovski found the back of the net in the 19th minute to give Forrestfield the lead and within half an hour had a second goal after Liam Merigan’s shot was saved by ECU goalkeeper Johnny Perkins and he was quickest to react to score from close range.

The home side looked to hit back before the break but Forrestfield goalkeeper Luke Martino made some important saves to deny Nicol and Cameron Murray.

Despotovski scored his third after the interval to complete an impressive hat trick for the 17-year-old.

With ECU desperate for a goal and having pushed men forward to get back into the game, they were caught out again in the 63rd minute, a quick counter attack cut the ECU defence wide apart, Josh Appleby picked out Sinclair down the right and he crossed to Loxley who made no mistake in scoring.

The home side found the net four minutes later when Nicol scored his 10th goal of the season direct from a free kick after Appleby had fouled him.

However, any hope of a comeback was dashed as a rampant Forrestfield added a fifth after Antoine Lemarie was brought down in the penalty area and Sinclair slotted home the shot.

The icing was put on the cake in stoppage time when Despotovski added his fourth, turning home Sinclair’s cross to complete a memorable day for the visitors.

ECU coach Dale McCulloch said his players had been totally outplayed and outfought.

“We were poor and we have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said.

“Take nothing away from Rod and his side, they were much better on the day and deserved their win. But I’m the coach of this side and I take responsibility for the loss and I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

McCullough and his team get an immediate chance to make amends when they host Balcatta on Wednesday night.

Forrestfield are also at home on the same night, against Subiaco.

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