Dixon stunner wins it for ECU

Dixon stunner wins it for ECU

Posted on March 3, 2015 in 'Reports'

An under strength ECU Joondalup have won their second PS4 NPLWA Night Series game after a hard fought 1-0 win against Armadale at Dalmatinac Park on Sunday evening. 

The only goal of the game came on the half hour through a Danny Dixon stunner, and Coach Dale McCulloch said it was a tight game and his young side did well. “It was a game of two halves with us dominating the first half and I was disappointed we hadn’t put the game to bed,” he said. “Our midfield three of Guy McDonald, Jake Benson-Cooper and Scott Bushby dominated first half combining well, but in the second half was a total different story Armadale used the wind to their advantage to go more direct and really pinned us in our own half. We were lucky to come away with all three points but credit to the players who defended the game out to keep a clean sheet and take away the maximum points.”

The coach believes the squad is getting stronger and most of the first players will be back this week as they lift the intensity toward the opening game of the League season. “There is pressure around the group with 13 players to come back into the training group over the next week including new signing Josh Tucker,” McCulloch said. “We had to play a number of young lads tonight, but we also had a hole at the back with players unavailable, so David Annall had to come out of retirement to play for us and he was great.”

ECU opened brightly and went close to the opener on the quarter hour, Bushby’s long-range shot crashed off the crossbar, the rebound falling to Benson-Cooper, but his header was saved by Dylan Wilson. Moments later Dixon’s free kick whistled inches past the post, but on 30 minutes their pressure was rewarded with the lead. Dixon, who had been a handful all night for the Armadale defence, cut in from the right and fired home a stunning strike from 25-yards, giving Wilson no chance. Bushby saw his shot fly high over the top five minutes later, but Armadale began to get back in the game. On 38 minutes a quick break down the right ended with striker Raveshlan Kuppusamy, whose shot was deflected just wide.

After the break Armadale were looking threatening and on the hour they went close to the leveler. Michael Lawson’s long-range effort beat Jamie Serra, but the post came to the rescue of the ECU custodian. Moments later a defensive lapse let in Faustinho Machocchi in on goal, but with the goal at his mercy he fired wide. There was drama in the last minute, when Jackson Bealey raced into the penalty area and was brought down by Serra, and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Bealey picked himself up to take the resulting penalty, but Serra guessed the right way and saved superbly. The whistle went moments later, and a hard fought three points were ECU’s reward.

ECU Joondalup – GK Jamie Serra, Roland Rixer, David Annall, Carl Rodgers, Rowdy Yates, Danny Dixon, Jake Benson-Cooper, Scott Bushby, Harry Bissett, Guy Macdonald, Stuart Montgomery – SUBS: RGK Ashley Maynard-Brewer, Connor Ready, Jack McMaster, Ollie Annis

Armadale Squad – Jordan Howell (GK), Sam Loveless, Billy Quinncroft, Jackson Bealey, Faustinho Machochi, Dylan Eastough, Reece Davies, Richard Hurlin, Nick Crerand, Dylan Wilson (GK), Jake Sardelic, Ryan James, Caleb Dixon, Kodi  Madeley, Raveshlan Kuppusamy, Viny Esilva, Sam Khankhalili, Elliot Stevenson, Jamal Yusof, Beau Rahim, Michael Lawson, Mitch Castrilli, Darren Francis, Brandon Rahim, Kade McNamara.