ECU prevail in a thriller at Bayswater (by Michael Barr)

ECU prevail in a thriller at Bayswater (by Michael Barr)

Posted on April 13, 2011 in 'Reports'

A ten-man ECU Joondalup have survived a spirited second half revival to defeat Bayswater City 3-2 at Frank Drago Reserve.

A strong first half performance by the northern suburbs outfit laid the foundation for the win with Jon Higgins and Ian McMurray pitching in with early goals. Gustavo Marulanda scored twice to bring the hosts back into the game, however, the deficit proved to be too great with John Thornley securing victory from the penalty spot. The win lifts Joondalup into second on the Premier League Standings, two points behind pacesetters Balcatta.

The first chance of the afternoon fell to Bayswater captain Damien Catalano whose volley was pushed over the crossbar by Andy Banks. Joondalup soon enough established control and in the 14th minute Higgins worked his magic, bending a superb free kick from 22-metres into the top corner of Gianni Papalia’s net for a one-nil lead. Bayswater responded with a string of unconverted attacks, Cisco Jorquiera forcing a top save from Banks before setting up an unmarked Larry Miller who slammed into the side netting. These misses were compounded in the 31st minute when McMurray latched onto a long ball and dribbled a shot through a sea of legs to bring up the visitors second goal.

The second half saw Bayswater emerge with an aggressive attitude led by Marulanda who, in the space of a few minutes, rattled the upright then had a shot drift just past the target. The game turned on its head in the 61st minute when substitute Ryan McDarby’s exuberant tackle earned him a straight red, leaving Joondalup to play the final half hour with ten men. Bayswater almost took immediate advantage when Joshua Tumoe strolled into space only to drill the ball narrowly wide. The hosts resurgence appeared to be over after Thornley converted a 76th minute penalty onto the bottom corner after the striker was brought down inside the 18-yard the box.

Although three-goals down Bayswater were by no means out and a minute later the gap was back to a single strike, Marulanda gathering possession on the edge of the area before sending a powerful shot past a flat-footed Banks. This breathed new life into the home side and their confidence sky rocketed accordingly. Three later Marulanda again tamed the ball, drive inside the penalty area and this time slotted another goal under the ‘keeper. In a tense finale Catalano came closest to earned Bayswater a share of the points when his curling 86th minute shot struck the post.