ECU Bounce back from Cup loss at Cockburn

ECU Bounce back from Cup loss at Cockburn

Posted on June 13, 2014 in 'Reports'

A Danny Dixon early brace sent ECU Joondalup on their way to a deserved 3-1 win against Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park.

The win lifted the visitors above their hosts in the congested centre of the National Premier Leagues WA table. Dixon’s pace, trickery and clinical finishing outfoxed the Cockerels’ defence in the seventh and ninth minutes to leave the home side chasing the game.

Hopes of a Cockburn comeback were raised when Liam Murray halved the deficit early in the second half but those hopes were dashed as quickly as they arrived when three minutes later ECU skipper John Higgins fired home from distance.

ECU coach Dale McCulloch, whose side were knocked out of the Cool Ridge Cup in last week’s semi-final, was pleased with the response of his players. “That’s in the past – the future is we can start pushing on up the league now,” he said. “We’ve jumped up a couple of spots today and we’re all pleased with that.  “In the past the young lads’ heads might have dropped (after conceding a goal) but to not let them back in and go score the third made it a little bit more comfortable for us, which is pleasing.”

It was the former Bayswater man Dixon who terrorised the Cockburn defence in the opening 45 minutes, his first goal coming in the seventh minute after a mazy run on the left before darting into the box and striking low past Dejan Aleksic.

It was 2-0 90 seconds later. Aleksic was left exposed again as Dixon latched onto a through-ball from Stuart Montgomery, and despite vain appeals for offside from the Cockerels, he rounded the keeper for a simple finish into the empty net.

Dixon was unlucky not to have claimed a hat-trick. He cut inside Devon Gibson on the left, but his curling effort from outside the area whistled the wrong side of the upright.

Montgomery and Dixon combined late in the half, but Montgomery’s lob went inches over the bar.

With Coach Marc Anthony’s half time address still ringing in their ears, Cockburn opened brightly and were back in the game on 51 minutes. Euen Grant made space down the left, his cross wasn’t dealt with by Andy Higgins, and Michael Grigo pulled the ball back to Murray, who fired home from eight-yards.

But Joondalup were not content to defend the game out and added a third, three minutes later. Andy Higgins made up for his error for the goal sending Jon Stynes clear, he played the ball back to Jon Higgins on the edge of the penalty area and the skipper finish low past Aleksic.

Cockburn pressed late in the game and Oscar Thompson fired over the top, with the goal at his mercy, before Andy Banks produced a fingertip save to deny David Araya late on.

Cockburn coach Marc Anthony “gave the boys a roasting at half-time, which they deserved” following a shocking opening 15-20 minutes in which he felt his side “never turned up.”

“We gave away two poor goals (defensively), making it hard for ourselves. We got ourselves back in the game and you think ‘here we go’ but we then give another goal away a couple of minutes later,” Anthony said.

Cockburn City 1 (Murray 51)

ECU Joondalup 3 (Dixon 7, 9, J. Higgins 54)
Dalmatinac Park
Saturday 7th June 2014
Referee: Steve GREGORY
Crowd: 200 approx.

Cockburn City – GK Dejan ALEKSIC, 4 Euen GRANT, 5 Alan CARROLL, 11 Devon GIBSON, 3 Oscar THOMPSON (19 Kim MENG BONG 67′), 9 Eamon McNELIS, 8 David ARAYA, 18 Liam MURRAY, 13 Jesse FULLER (7 Ryan HASLETT 57′), 16 Juran TELES (20 Matt BARLOW 67′), 10 Michael GRIGO
Subs not used: RGK Struan HERD
Yellow cards: Alan CARROLL 38′

ECU Joondalup – GK Andy BANKS, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 John HIGGINS, 4 Charlie COMYN-PLATT, 7 Henry DURR, 8 Joe SMITH, 9 Dave FOSTER (6 Jon STYNES 53′), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Danny DIXON, 14 Jake BENSON-COOPER, 19 Stuart MONTGOMERY (16 Ryan McDARBY 70′).
Subs not used: RGK Ashley MAYNARD-BREWER,  17 Praviz SHIRZADI, 12 Dejan SPASESKI
Yellow cards: None