The FFA Cup offers Joondalup United another welcome break from their league struggles on Wednesday afternoon when they host Forrestfield United at Percy Doyle Reserve.
Joondalup are finding life far tougher in their second season in the National Premier Leagues WA with just a single point from 27 so far – a 1-1 draw against the same opponents earlier this month.
Otherwise it’s been a tale of too many goals conceded and not enough chances taken for Nick Jennings’ side, as their goal difference of -28 from nine matches bears out.
Joondalup at least had success in the previous round of the cup, 1-0 at State League Division One side Fremantle City. But a Preliminary Round Five win over Forrestfield would be a real shot in the arm.
“The only game we’ve won this year is a cup game, so we like the cup,” Jennings said with a hint of good humour. “But yes, it’s a welcome distraction from our awful league season.
“We’ve got a very friendly rivalry with Forrestfield, they’ve followed us through the leagues and we usually have very tight games with them. We’ll have a real go.”
There were promising signs for Jennings and his players last Saturday in the 3-1 derby loss to ECU Joondalup, especially the opening period in which they created a number of chances that they failed snap up. Now they will want to see a return for their endeavour.
Jennings added: “We absolutely battered them for the first half-an-hour and had four or five opportunities to score.
“It’s been the story of our season. We’ve had absolutely no luck, but we also haven’t been clinical in front of goal and have made too many mistakes at the other end.
“You see one point from nine games and a goal difference of -28 and you think we’re a poor side. We are not a poor side but we do lack an out-and-out goalscorer.”
Some positive news for Jennings is the return of captain Matt Sparrow and Sam Wynne to his squad after both served one-match bans.
Forrestfield reached the fifth round with a 3-0 win at South West Phoenix and they have made a decent enough start to their league campaign despite being third from bottom. A win on Saturday against ECU could take them up to eighth.
All of the WA ties take place on Anzac Day and another all-NPL fixture to catch the eye is Bayswater City’s home clash with Floreat, which comes just four days after a Ludovic Boi brace gave Athena a 2-0 win when the sides met in the league.
Wednesday, April 25
Gwelup Croatia v Cockburn City (Croatian Sporting Complex, 2.30pm)
Bayswater City v Floreat Athena (Frank Drago Reserve, 2.30pm)
Balcatta v Armadale (Grindleford Reserve, 2.30pm)
Swan United v Dianella White Eagles (Swan Italian Club, 2.30pm)
Joondalup United v Forrestfield United (Percy Doyle Reserve, 3.15pm)
Subiaco v Stirling Lions (Rosalie Park, 3.15pm)
ECU Joondalup v UWA-Nedlands (ECU Joondalup Football Stadium, 5.30pm)
Sorrento v Perth SC (Percy Doyle Reserve, 5.45pm)