ECU 18’s earn vital three points at Floreat

ECU 18’s earn vital three points at Floreat

Posted on August 19, 2011 in 'Reports'

Floreat 1 v ECU 2 – 13 AUGUST 2011 – Report by Trevor Chapman

A great first half performance and a good result in our final ‘competitive’ match of the season in a game we had to win.  Floreat were sitting third prior to this game with an outside chance of the league title, but in all honesty they never looked like getting a result and in the end, a scoreline of 1-2 flattered them as ECU were clearly the better team on the day.

ECU had possibly their best first half performance of the season and could easily have gone into the break with a four goal cushion.  With Liam Chapman missing on State U19 Schoolboys duty, coach Willie McNally opted for a very positive looking three man defence, with Gareth Hamilton playing the lone centre back alongside full backs Jack Jones and Jack Strachan.  A five man midfield of Liam McGurk, Henry Durr, Jordan Lyden, Aaron Gordon and Danny Dixon supported Declan Hargreaves and Alex Paddon up front.  Paddon and Hargreaves created havoc with their movement throughout the game, causing numerous opportunities for the midfield five to utilise the gaps they created.

Henry Durr was the first to test the Floreat keeper with a sizzling 25m drive which was well saved by Johnstone Walker.  The loose ball came out to the edge of the box and there was Declan Hargreaves to drive the ball goalwards but it was deflected onto the post and away for a corner.

Hargreaves made no such mistake in the 37th minute when a superb lob from 25 metres sailed over Johnstone and into the net to give ECU a 1-0 lead.  Four minutes later, ECU played their best move of the map with a sweeping move from defence into midfield.  The ball was played out to Danny Dixon who beat two Floreat defenders on the left wing before playing in a teasing cross into the Floreat box and there was Jordan Lyden to volley the ball sweetly past a despairing Walker.

Zawadi Tshongo almost made it 3-0 minutes before the break when he got on the end of a delightful Hargreaves free kick from the right wing, but his header went just wide.

If ECU were to be criticised at all in this game, it was for taking their ‘foot off the gas’ a little in the second half and allowing Floreat the chance to get back into the game for brief periods, but they quickly resumed control on each occasion.  In the 67th minute a delightful move down the right flank resulted in a Hargreaves cross to Danny Dixon, with just the keeper to beat, but the ball bobbled just before Dixon made contact and his shot was screwed wide.  Floreat punished ECU for that miss with their next attack and scored an excellent goal on the break to make it 2-1 and increase the anxiety levels of the last 15 minutes.  However, Liam McGurk and Lee James both had excellent chances in the final minutes to put the game beyond the reach of Floreat, and, in truth, ECU were comfortable winners in the end.

Perth are now six points behind ECU with two games in hand – and have a superior goal difference – so are favourites for the title, but anything can happen in football, as we all know!!!

TOM DURR QUOTE OF THE WEEK  (after witnessing what he thought not the brightest piece of play by one of the games participants):

‘If brains were made of chocolate, he would not have enough to fill a Smartie!!!’