ECU 18’s well beaten by NTC

ECU 18’s well beaten by NTC

Posted on August 28, 2011 in 'Reports'

ECU 1 NTC 7 – 23 AUGUST 2011 – Report by Trevor Chapman

ECU were well beaten in their final game of the season by a strong NTC side who fielded many of their senior squad due to the participation of many of the 94, 95 and 96 squad in the upcoming Korea tournament.   The squad flies out on 25th August.

The NTC boys gave a brilliant display of ‘pass and go’ football and their movement off the ball was the main difference between the two teams.  That and the understanding between their players was a joy to watch, and for much of the first half the ECU boys were chasing shadows, particularly in midfield. The team selection for NTC may have caused a few surprises for the ECU boys who were obviously expecting the NTC U15 squad to take the park. They were also guilty of giving them a little too much respect, as evidenced by one call from the spectator galleries of  ‘Come on ECU, you are playing NTC, not Barcelona.  Get Stuck in!’

By half time NTC were 3-0 up and it was not until the last ten minutes of the half that ECU started to match them for effort, if not skill and organisation. The midfield trio of Durr, Hargreaves and Lyden started to take some control and the defence got much tighter in their marking but too often ECUs options for passes were minimised by some efficient closing down of players by the NTC boys who gave ECU players no time at all on the ball.

In the second half ECU came out in a much more positive frame of mind, and despite conceding another goal quite early in the half ( a screamer from Storm Roux), they still took the game to NTC much more than they did in the first half.  Dixon and McGurk started to get into the game more and the ECU midfield enjoyed good spells of possession.  Liam Chapman gave ECU some hope of a recovery when he scored from the penalty spot in the 55th minute to make it 1-4, and this was followed by some promising attacks from ECU.  However, NTC survived the minor fight back and then turned the pace up a little to score three more goals in the final ten minutes (or four according to my Son) as ECU lost shape and discipline.

This was a great test for the U18 squad, many of whom are still 15 and 16 years of age, and they saw first hand the standard they must attain to make any kind of impact at state level in the performance of the NTC boys.

Well done on a great season ECU.  We still have a chance of finishing top of the league, a definite second place otherwise, and beaten semi finalists in the Cup.  This young side can only get stronger next season. Thank you too to the management team of Willie McNally, Willie Kelly and Dave Paddon.

Well done also to the NTC boys and coach Kenny Lowe on a great performance and good luck to the boys heading off to Korea – especially our former ECU players.

See you all next season!!

TOM DURR QUOTE OF THE WEEK (commenting on the space some of the NTC players were given in the first half):

‘He’s got enough space on this wing to build a car park’.