ECU sunk by the Dolphins—Report by FW Reporter Andrew Ellis

ECU sunk by the Dolphins—Report by FW Reporter Andrew Ellis

Posted on July 29, 2011 in 'Reports'

Mandurah City have defeated ECU Joondalup by two goals to nil in a entertaining clash at Hyundai Stadium.

Seagulls were circling overhead at Hyundai Stadium, but they may as well have been buzzards, as Mandurah’s Premier League dreams would surely be dead and buried with a loss here. As it was, the Dolphins got the win they needed thanks to strikes from Aaron Dos Santos and Garin Collins.

Both sides looked to attack from the off. First some nervous Mandurah defending led to an ECU corner which an unmarked Dale McCulloch headed narrowly over. Down the other end Rafael Insaurralde tried to chip Andy Banks from 35 yards.

ECU had started impressively and in the 20th minute they drew a fantastic save from Mandurah custodian Phil Straker. Jake Benson-Cooper played the ball forward to Tom Jones. It was not unusual to see Jones in such a position, and although the pass was played short he was able to nick in before Straker.

The Mandurah defense managed to scramble the ball clear, but only as far as Benson-Cooper, whose chipped attempt was clawed away by the backtracking Straker.

The tempo slowed somewhat following a frantic opening quarter of the match, but sparked back into life late on when Insaurralde controlled a high ball and laid it into the path of Dos Santos on the edge of the box. He cut inside and curled it past the despairing Andy Banks to give Mandurah a priceless lead approaching half time.

ECU came out for the second half determined to get back on level terms. A minute had passed when John Higgins worked space for himself on the edge of the box and shot narrowly wide. Two minutes later Higgins was involved again as his cross was headed against the bar by ECU skipper McCulloch.

 

ECU brought on John Thornley in the 57th minute in an attempt to freshen up their attack. His first real involvement came seven minutes later when he bundled Straker into the goal as he was collecting a high ball. Unfortunately for Thornley he was adjudged to have fouled the keeper.

 

Down the other end Andy Banks’ miscalculation almost allowed a tame Michael Grigo effort to squirm in at the near post. Luckily for Banks the shot came back off the post. Mandurah would strike the woodwork again a minute later, as Insuarralde controlled a throw and

volleyed towards goal, his effort skimming the crossbar.

Mandurah had started to take control at this stage, as ECU’s passing was reduced to hit and hope. In the 76thminute Darren Broxton thought he spotted Banks off his line. His chip at-tempt from forty yards sailed wide.

Both teams kept pressing in search of that all-important goal; ECU to get back on level terms, Mandurah to make sure of the points.

Fortunately for the home side, the next goal went their way, Garin Collins timing his run nicely and slotting the ball past Banks. An important three points for Mandurah, but they’ll need more performances like this if they are to avoid relegation.

Mandurah City: GK Phil STRAKER, 2 Ryan TOWNSEND, 6 Ivan ZUVELA, 4 Tom STRAKER, 15 Matt STARES, 7 Darren BROXTON, 12 Billy RICKMAN, 5 Michael GRIGO (3 Mark OSMAN 85′), 9 Aaron DOS SANTOS (19 Seb BELL 55′), 10 Rafael INSAURRALDE (18 Graham MATTHEWS 67′), 8 Garin COLLINS - Substitutes not used: RGK Kenny FTYNOGIANNIS, 13 Zac NEWTON

ECU Joondalup: GK Andy BANKS, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Mark TEBBUT, 16 Chris WHYLIE, 4 Charlie COMYN-PLATT, 8 Scott BLACKMORE (9 John THORNLEY 57′), 6 Scott BUSHBY, 7 John HIGGINS, 11 Tom JONES, 18 Dale McCULLOCH, 10 Jake BENSON-COOPER - Substitutes not used: RGK Brynn HINDLEY, 5 Marc RODGERS, 17 Ryan McDARBY, 12 Lee THOMPSON

Referee –Trent Fleskens