Perth edge out ECU to take the points

Perth edge out ECU to take the points

Posted on July 17, 2011 in 'Reports'

Perth SC consolidated second spot on the All Flags State League Premier Division ladder with a 2-1 win over ECU Joondalup on a perfect afternoon for football at the Edith Cowen University Arena. (Photo – By Brett Klucznik)

An early David Onoforo strike and a superb free kick from Greg Sharland were enough for Perth to claim all three points against an ECU side that was without Mark Tebbut, Luke Smith and Scott Blackmore through suspension.

The visitors came out of the blocks fast and took a sixth minute lead through David Onoforo. Midfielder Antonio Naglieri was played through and his lob over the onrushing Andy Banks found Onoforo who nodded home from close range.

The first quarter of the game was dominated by Perth, with Onoforo missing two good chances to double the lead as the ECU backline struggled with any balls played in behind them. First he lifted the ball over Banks only to see it land on the roof of the net, before a low drive was stopped by the ECU goalkeeper.

It took 20 minutes for the home side the establish a foothold in the game as Tom Jones tested Devon Spence with a flicked header from John Higgins’ left wing cross. Spence was impressive throughout, with his distribution second to none, and he was called into action again moments later to superbly tip Marc Rodgers’ rasping 25 yard effort over the bar for a corner.

Despite a good spell of pressure, ECU failed to create more clear cut chances in the opening period, and it was Perth who always looked more likely to add to scoreboard with Onoforo, Naglieri and Chris Simpson all trying their luck from outside the area.

In an attempt to freshen up their attack, ECU replaced the ineffective Jordan Withey with Jake Benson-Cooper for the second half and the young winger immediately looked more threatening down the right hand side.

Indeed, it was Benson-Cooper’s in swinging corner which led to his side’s best chance to equalise but Ryan Lowry’s towering header clipped the top of the crossbar and went over.

Almost immediately at the other end Perth came close to grabbing a second when Greg Sharland’s cross found Andreas Oliviera unmarked at the back post but Banks did superbly to keep out the headed effort.

Sharland did eventually make it two on 67 minutes when he struck with an excellent left footed free kick from 25 yards. It was a strike worthy of any occasion with Banks only able to watch the ball sail past him into the top right hand corner of the net.

At this point ECU introduced Andy Brown to partner John Thornley up front with clear instructions to get the ball forward as quickly as possible. However the Perth defence stood tall with Trent Kay particularly impressive throughout.

Substitute Vlad Naumovski should have grabbed a third but somehow blazed over from six yards after Onoforo had worked hard down the left to put in a low cross.

ECU did give themselves a glimmer of hope late on when skipper Dale McCulloch prodded home a scrappy goal from close range but in truth they didn’t deserve anything from the game and Perth were good value for the win.

ECU Joondalup: GK Andy BANKS, 17 Ryan MCDARBY (Charlie COMYN-PLATT 78′), 2 Ryan LOWRY, 5 Marc RODGERS, 16 Chris WYLIE, 7 John HIGGINS, 18 Dale MCCULLOCH, 8 Scott BUSHBY, 10 Jordan WITHEY (Jake BENSON-COOPER 45′), 9 John THORNLEY, 11 Tom JONES (6 Andy BROWN 68′) -┬áSubstitutes not used: GK Bryn HINDLEY, 12 Lee THOMSON

Perth SC: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Trent KAY, 3 Adam BACHILLER, 4 Craig SIMPSON, 6 Shaun KILKELLY, 7 Matt DANSKIN (17 Vlad NAUMOVSKI), 9 David ONOFORO, 10 Andreas OLIVIERA (14 Josh PERIERA 84′), 15 Antonio NAGLIERI, 18 Dom DE FELICE, 23 Greg SHARLAND -┬áSubstitutes not used: GK Jason SOLDARIS, 13 Josh WILKINS 16 Matthew IZZO