ECU open Night Series with a win – Report by Tommy Doleman

ECU open Night Series with a win – Report by Tommy Doleman

Posted on February 28, 2012 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup kicked off their Night Series 2012 campaign with a 3-1 win over Quinns FC in Saturday’s early kick-off at Percy Doyle Reserve.

Two goals inside three first half minutes gave the premier league side a comfortable buffer, before Aaron Maplestone looked to have finished the contest just after the break.

But to their credit, the newcomers to Saturday football acquitted themselves well throughout, and their consolation strike on the hour mark was no more than they deserved.

It was an open start to the contest, so open, that ECU’s new signing David Foster couldn’t believe his luck when he found himself six yards out with only the keeper to beat, but he blazed over when it looked easier to score.

At the other end, Quinns created their first opportunity when John McNeil forced a smart low save from ECU custodian Andy Banks.

The deadlock was broken on 15 minutes though, when John Higgins struck a sensational free-kick from long-range that kissed the inside of the post on its way in.

Three minutes later, it was 2-0, as Luke Smith timed his run into the penalty area perfectly to fire home after some good work down the right from Robert Croft.

Not to be disheartened by those setbacks, the youthful looking Quinns side continue to press their opponents, worrying their opposition with a series of nervy moments from corners.

But despite their efforts, it was ECU that continued to create the better moments in their attacking third as Croft went close to a third, lifting his effort over the on-rushing goalkeeper but wide of the target.

The Joondalup side had to wait until after the interval to extend their lead through Maplestone who tucked home a rebound from his own shot after a good initial save from Anthony Cochrane.

Six minutes later though, Quinns pulled one back as Banks flapped at George Mills’ corner and O’Neil headed home unmarked from six yards.

In a central midfield role and with ECU controlling the majority of possession, it was no surprise that Higgins continued to be at the fore front of his side’s best moment. Another free kick of his deflected narrowly over off the wall, while a couple of long range efforts were hit well but didn’t test Cochrane.

As heavy legs started to take their toll on the players in their first run out of the season, the excellent Scott Bushby was presented with the chance to make it four but he skewed his effort well wide of the target.

Still, that didn’t matter, as ECU cruised through the rest of second half to record a win that proved to be the perfect start for newly appointed coach Paul Simmonds.

ECU Joondalup: GK: Andy BANKS, 5. Aaron MAPLESTONE (3. Scott BLACKMORE 71′), 8. Scott BUSHBY, 9. Dale MCCULLOCH, 11. John HIGGINS, 17. Liam CHAPMAN, 18. Stuart HARTMANN, 19. Israel TAN, 22. Robert CROFT (13. Shane DOYLE 71′), 23. David FOSTER (Luke SMITH 10′), 25. Rob DRAPER – Substitutes not used: RGK: Ellis Compton 10. Tom JONES

Quinns FC: 1. Anthony COCHRANE, 043. George MILLS (53. John Turnill 74′), 44. Adam BUCKLEY, 46. John MCNEIL (64. Chris BUCKLEY 68′), 47. Louis HUGHES, 48. Sergio COELHO, 56. Brian KERSHAW, 62. Jack NASH, 63. Ryan GREEN, 65. Damian MCGURK, 71. Rudi COETZER (75. Andy ROWE 68′) – Substitutes not used: GK: Jason GALEA, 52. Jamie BLUE

Referee -Michal JASINSKI