ECU lets it slip late at Balcatta

ECU lets it slip late at Balcatta

Posted on July 19, 2014 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup were leading Balcatta 1-0 deep in to injury time, but Adam Tong equalised to give the home side a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw in week 17 of the National Premier League WA at Grindleford Reserve.

David Foster had given Joondalup the lead early in the second half, and defended well with keeper Andy Banks making a number of fine saves, but the late goal left coach Dale McCulloch frustrated. (Photo by Tom Gordon)

“We had the points in the banks, but we switched off late,” he said. “It seems like I’m saying this every week now but I’m really disappointed today, we defended well and should have come away with the three points, but that’s football I suppose.

“We’ve been in most games over the past month, but we have had some tough luck, in the end there’s not much you can do about it, but we will re-group and move forward and prepare for the visit of Inglewood United in the next round.”

ECU had plenty of possession in the opening ten minutes, and Jon Higgins’ long-range shot whistled inches past the post. The home side went close themselves on 12 minutes. Balcatta striker Benny Kouakou was sent clear, and was one-on-one with ECU custodian Andy Banks, but the keeper stood tall and he shot wide of the target.

Joondalup lost influential midfielder Tommy Amphlett after only 20 minutes; he was replaced by Dejan Spaseski

The visitors went close on the half hour; Jon Higgins’ inviting free kick was only inches away from the head of Spaseski in the penalty area.

The home side ended the half the better and almost took a lead into the break, deep in stoppage time. Kouakou again burst into the box, but Banks saved his low shot well, the rebound fell to Alex Canigila, but his follow up shot crashed off the post and away to safety.

Joondalup made a perfect start to the second half, and they were ahead two minutes in. Danny Dixon found Stuart Montgomery on the right, his cross picked out Foster who headed past Clint Davies.

It was nearly 2-0 ten minutes later, Dixon’s long-range shot flashed wide of the target, before Henry Durr and Dixon combined on the edge of the penalty area, but Dixon couldn’t find the target with his curling shot.

Balcatta were almost level on 77 minutes, but Kouakou’s snap shot was cleared off the line by Ryan Lowry

The home side were pressing late, and their pressure paid off in the second minute of stoppage time, Tong was given far too much room in the penalty area and he thumped the ball past Banks.

It was a bitter blow for Joondalup, but they still had a chance to win it, with substitute Ryan Townsend’s long-range shot well saved by Davies.

“We should have been more clinical with finishing and should have taken much more advantage of the first period, to possibly win the game,” Balcatta assistant Steve Zagami said.

“But we’ve had some changes in our personnel, which has probably influenced our game a little bit. But you can’t fault the endeavour of the guys who are playing.”

Balcatta FC 1 (Adam TONG 92’)

ECU Joondalup 1 (David FOSTER 47’)

Saturday 12 July, 2014

Grindleford Reserve, Balcatta

Referee: Trent Fleskens

Crowd: 200 (approx)

Balcatta: GK Clint DAVIES, 3 Alex SULESKI, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Luke RANDAZZO, (9 Carlo COELHO 56’), 8 David CYRUS, 10 Laurence SHURAMA, 13 Patrick SARA, (7 James SAMMUT 75’), 14 Benny KOUAKOU, 16 Alex CANIGLIA, 17 Kieran COLWELL, 20 Patrick QUINN – Substitutes not used: RGK Damien STANOESVSKI, 12 Matt BROOK, 19 Ben MEREDITH

Yellow cards:  Kieran COLWELL 52’, Patrick QUINN 87’

ECU Joondalup: GK Andy BANKS, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Jon HIGGINS, 4 Charlie COMYN-PLATT, 5 Carl RODGERS, 7 Henry DURR, 8 Stuart MONTGOMERY, (14 William BISSETT 75’), 9 David FOSTER, (15 Ryan TOWNSEND 85’), 10 Andy HIGGINS, 11 Danny DIXON, 13 Tommy AMPHLETT, (12 Dejan SPASESKI 20’) – Substitutes not used: 16. Daniel HEPWORTH, 21. Jamie SERRA.

Yellow cards: Charlie COMYN-PLATT 28’, Carl RODGERS 43’, Stuart MONTGOMERY 62’