ECU 18’s prevail in top of the table clash

ECU 18’s prevail in top of the table clash

Posted on July 22, 2011 in 'Reports'

ECU 3 v PERTH 2 – 16 JULY 2011 – Report by Trevor Chapman

This top of the table clash at the University lived up to expectations and was another nail biting game for the local crowd to enjoy. ECU, normally quite slow starters, came out of the gates at full steam and had several early attacks and were rewarded for their early endeavours on five minutes.

A long ball down field looked like it would go through to the keeper unchallenged, but Gonzo Paddon had other ideas.  He set off on what looked like a wasted chase for the ball, but his exceptional speed soon made him favourite for a ball he had no right to get to.  The Perth keeper came out to the edge of the box to challenge but Paddon got to the ball first and the keeper could not help but clash into him.

The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, which was a brave decision so early in the game as technically he should have been dismissed as the last man.  However he remained on the field and Liam Chapman stepped up to coolly slot the spot kick past him to put ECU nerves at rest with a 1-0 lead.

ECU continued to dominate the game, playing some of their most positive football of the season. As the game approached the half hour mark ECU looked very much in control with Perth offering little in attack.  But you underestimate Perth at your peril as they are a team that never give up. On 28 minutes Perth were awarded a free kick about 25 metres out – for a harmless looking challenge in all honesty -and up stepped ECU old-boy Jordan Miller to curl a delightful left foot shot into the top corner with keeper Compton left helpless on his line.

Suddenly the game took on a new perspective and five minutes later, against the run of play, Perth went into a 2-1 lead when a near post corner caught the ECU players flat footed and deflected into the net.

After a few nervous moments suffering shock, ECU started to take the game to Perth again and control the possession, but all they had to show for it was a few long range efforts from Danny Dixon that both went wide.  However, Dixon certainly got his aim right in the 43rd minute when after teasing his way past two defenders on a run down the left flank he cut inside, feinted, and then unleashed an unstoppable 25 metre drive into the top corner for one of the best goals of the season.  As the sides went in at 2-2 the crowd sensed something special for the second half.

However, it was a slow start to the second half with both teams testing the character of the other, rather like watching two chess masters, and whilst there was some good passing across midfield, neither team took it to the next level.  Both defences were very strong and it looked like it would take something special to break the deadlock.  Danny Dixon and Jack Strachan almost provided it in the 55th minute when some patient, intelligent interplay down the left resulted in a delightful cross into the box from Strachan, with both Liam McGurk and Gonzo Paddon agonisingly close to connecting.

Minutes later though ECU got the break their overall play deserved on the day, when a couple of mis-hit crosses and attempted clearances fooled the Perth defence and the ball bobbled across the box before it spun over the keeper.  It was difficult to identify who scored it in the sequence of attempted shots and clearances but Gonzo Paddon turned away to lead the celebrations!!!!

Both teams had chances to score in the dying stages but it was ECU who came away with a deserved 3-2 victory, given their dominance on the day.  ECU now lead the league by three points but Floreat have two games in hand and have to play ECU in August. All augers well for an exciting end to the season!

TOM DURR QUOTE OF THE WEEK: (In the middle of a hot spell from Danny Dixon)

‘He’s got more space than Buck Rogers on that left wing!’