Inglewood United moved to the National Premier Leagues summit with this afternoon’s gritty 2-1 win over ECU Joondalup at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium. Alex Salmon and Chok Dau were again on target as Inglewood extended their unbeaten run to eleven games and wrestled top spot from Floreat Athena thanks to superior goal difference.
Coach Andy Keogh said it was a real team effort that got Inglewood the points. “Chok’s been great, he scored the goal and put in a good shift, while Hamza (Hina) and Alex were great,” Keogh told nplwa.com.au. “The unsung heroes were Matty (Ntoumenopoulos) and Chilli (Jason Barrera) in the middle of the park and our skipper, David Cyrus, was immense again.”
“It’s a great result for the club. The lads created chances, I thought it was a great game and ECU Joondalup played their part … We are on a good run and taking each game as it comes. The lads are training hard and getting set for the next game and we’ll see what it brings. The lads are enjoying winning, who doesn’t?”
A high tempo game opened with chances at both tends. Hamza Hina’s strike was tipped wide by Fraser Greenwood before Alex Dunn saved Nicol’s low effort. The home side got the breakthrough after 19 minutes, Ashley Rosindale pulling the ball back from the line and into the path of Salmon who finished crisply into the net.
Inglewood’s lead was very nearly doubled when Hina met Salmon’s pass but the teenager’s shot passed narrowly high of the crossbar. A momentary lapse in concentration allowed Joondalup to equalise six minutes from the interval, an unmarked Nicol converting at close-range after being picked out by Ross Millard cross to the far post.
The home defence found themselves working overtime when play resumed for the second half with Nicol carving out a trio of chances. The pressure value was released on 56 minutes when Salmon’s angled shot on the run was parried by Greenwood, the rebound fell to Rosindale who moved it on quickly for Dau to fire in from 13-metres.
Joondalup replied through Steven McGarry whose low effort crashed into the upright. Salmon should have made the game safe with fifteen minutes to go but his casual finish gave Greenwood time to get across and block the shot. Salmon did find the net for a second time only for celebrations to be cut short by an offside flag.
Inglewood United 2 (Alex Salmon 19, Chok Dau 56)
ECU Joondalup 1 (Daryl Nicol 39)
Inglewood United: Alex Dunn, John Migas, David Cyrus, Adam Tong (Scott Blackmore 62), Jason Colli, Matthew Ntoumenopoulos, Jason Barrera, Chok Dau, Hamza Hina (Feisal Zaw 81), Ashley Rosindale (Victor Brauner 76), Alex Salmon
ECU Joondalup: Fraser Greenwood, Ross Millard, Jack Iredale, Graham Doran, Cian Hirrell, Sam Pollard (Fraser Garnaut 79), Kevin Moon, Steve McGarry, Shane Pickering, Daryl Nicol, James Owen (Jon Higgins 69)
Bookings: Migas (22), Colli (90)