Lions score late to spoil ECU’s party

Lions score late to spoil ECU’s party

Posted on July 28, 2017 in 'Reports'

Striker Alex Tanevski scored a last minute equaliser, to give Stirling Lions a 2-2 draw in the week 3 PS4NPLWA catch-up game at the ECU Football Stadium on Sunday.

The Lions were ahead early with Darren O’Riordan on target, but the hosts levelled before half time through skipper Jon Higgins. It looked like the Jacks had won it when Gordon Smith marked his return to the starting line-up with a goal, but Tanevski had the final word scoring on a quick counter attack to put a damper on the ECU 25th anniversary celebrations.

The Lions arrived into the game after surprising the league leaders Inglewood last week, and they surprised the Jacks in this one, by dominating early, and they were ahead after only eight minutes. A corner from the left wasn’t dealt with by the ECU defence, and O’Riordan’s shot from the edge of the box, flew into the bottom corner of the net.

It should have been 2-0 four minutes later, Mathiang found himself one-on-one with Fraser Greenwood after dink over the top by Mike Vujacic, but the defenders weak shot was straight at the ECU custodian. It was one-way traffic and Tanevski went close again moments later, but his shot on the run was pushed around the post by the alert Greenwood. The hosts started to get into the game, and Gordon Smith shot on the turn was well saved by Perkins, and on 28 minutes they were level, Higgin’s superb curling free kick giving Perkins no chance.

ECU started the brighter after the break, and they thought they had the lead on the hour, a long ball over the top sent Gordon Smith racing clear, and the flag stayed down, and he finished low past Perkins. The goal was allowed, but after the Lions’ player’s protests, referee Tom Glavovic spoke to his assistant and reversed the decision. The home side went close again on 65 minutes. A long clearance from Greenwood sent Gordon Smith racing down the right, he played Nicol in on goal, his shot was superbly saved by Perkins, the rebound falling to Steven McGarry’s whose header bounced off the top of the crossbar.

But two minutes later the home side’s pressure was rewarded with the lead. Higgins’ deep corner picked out Gordon Smith at the back post, and he headed home. Perkins came to his sides rescue again on 72 minutes, saving Nicol’s low cross, but the keeper injured himself in doing so and was replaced by reserve keeper Lance Alavakis. The Lions weren’t out of this one, and skipper Vujacic’s long-range shot was blocked by Greenwood, and Jack Jones was quickest to react to clear the rebound with Tanevski ready to pounce.

It looked like ECU would celebrate their 25th anniversary with a win but the Lions had other ideas. ECU lost possession cheaply in their third final third and a long ball sent Tanevski racing clear down the left, he eased past his marker and finished clinically past Greenwood. Both sides had late chances to win, the best falling to the home side with the final action of the match. Nicol’s deep cross picked out Gordon Smith at the back post, but he could only find the side netting.

Match Details

ECU Joondalup 2 (Higgins 28mins, Gordon Smith 67’) v Stirling Lions 2 (O’Riordan 8’, Tanevski 90’)

ECU Joondalup: GK Fraser GREENWOOD, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Rikki SMITH, 5 Graham DORAN, 7 Kevin MOON, 8 Declan HUGHES, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Gordon SMITH, 13 Jon HIGGINS (C), 14 Steven MCGARRY, 17 Jack JONES – Subs not used: RGK Jordan YOUNG, 6 Shane PICKERING 11 Keylun POLLARD 15 Ryan MCDARBY, 19 Cian HIRRELL – Yellow Cards: Nil

Stirling Lions: GK John PERKINS (RGK Lance ALAVAKIS 73’), 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 7 Miki VUJACIC(C) (4 Blamo QUAQUA 81’), 8 Alex SULESKI, 9 Alex TANEVSKI, 10 Daniel MICEVSKI, 15 Shane CASSIDY, 16 Mathiang MATHIANG, 17 Darren O’RIORDAN, 18 Moses KALAU, 19 Cameron TEECE (12 Jason RUBIDGE 76’) – Subs not used: 6 Robbie MCNEILL, 13 Adam FALCONE – Yellow Cards: Vujacic 29’, Suleski 52’, Tanevski 71’ – Referee: Tom Galvovic