ECU under 18’s beaten at Lions

ECU under 18’s beaten at Lions

Posted on April 29, 2011 in 'Reports'


A lack lustre performance from the ECU boys and some devastating finishing by Stirling Lions combined to ensure a second defeat of the season for ECU. The boys were very slow off the blocks and one or two never came off them as Stirling took an early two goal lead.  They scored as early as the 5th minute when some slack marking from ECU from a Lions corner allowed Papathanissiou to nip in and score the opener.

ECU responded with a fine passing move down the left wing between Danny Dixon, Gareth Hamilton and Lee James, which resulted in a blocked shot from James.  Dixon and James combined again moments later with Darren Tucker but the move was broken down by the Stirling defence.  From the resulting clearance a long ball from DeLima found Geordie Papathanissiou who drove past Reid Ahrens to make it 2-0.

ECU were soon making a fight back of it when a fine through ball found Lee James, who rounded a defender before striking a fine shot from just inside the box to make it 2-1. A free kick moments later from Dixon was played short to Declan Hargreaves who drove just wide and minutes later the lively Dixon set off on a great run down the left wing but his cross was blocked.

On 37 minutes a corner from Stirling Lions was cleared to the edge of the box and a harmless looking shot somehow got turned into the goal with a neat deflection past Ahrens to make it 3-1 to Stirling.

ECU came out much sharper for the second half and started to make a few tackles and let Stirling know there were going to have a game on.  A fine move down the right involving Hargreaves and Hamilton resulted in a delightful chip from Hamilton which appeared to be going in, but keeper Connor Campbell tipped the ball over with a sublime save.

On 60 minutes Ross Millard came on for Darren Tucker and the confident youngster soon started causing problems for Stirling.  ECU had their best spell as they mounted move after move on the Lions goal.  However some resolute defending and an outstanding performance from keeper Campbell kept ECU at bay.

Stirling always looked lively on the break but the ECU defence were much more determined in the second half and Liam Chapman in particular made a number of crucial interceptions.  Captain Declan Hargreaves started to drive the team on and Cam Burgess, Jack Strachan and Gareth Hamilton started to fire up.

On 80 minutes another long ball clearance from Burgess found Lee James who in turn found Gareth Hamilton with a neat header.  Hamilton drove in a powerful shot but once again Campbell dived to tip the ball to safety.  The more attacks ECU made of course the more gaps they left at the back and it was perhaps no surprise when Stirling scored a fourth goal in the 89th minute when a neat move down the left saw Papathanissiou cut in past Jamie Blue, Chapman and Burgess to drive in a fine goal.

Undoubtedly Stirling deserved their win against a very lacklustre ECU, but the score line perhaps flattered them a little as ECU enjoyed the majority of possession.  They just lacked purpose for too much of the game and hopefully will be fired up for next week’s ‘derby’ with Sorrento.