Heartbreak for ECU youngsters in NPL Grand Final

Heartbreak for ECU youngsters in NPL Grand Final

Posted on September 18, 2014 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup’s under 18’s NPL WA season came to a disappointing end, after a 3-2 defeat against Perth SC in Saturday’s Grand Final at Dorrien Gardens.

Bayley Montgomery-Brown and Ronald Rixer had put ECU two ahead after 48 minutes, but Brody Walker and Alex Silla equalised for Perth, before Adam Carlino won the game in the dying moments. (Right – ECU players celebrate the opening goal – Photo Courtesy of Football West)

ECU coach Danny Stevens said it was devastating to lose after being up 2-0. “We played some great football early on but we put so much energy into it that it was hard to maintain,” he said.

“To be honest, we’d have happily settled for penalties in the end but I felt we deserved to win for the majority of the game.

“The boys have been relentless all year, so we’ll learn from this and we’ll be back next year just like I said last year.”

ECU started strongly with Jake Davies muscling his way into the box but keeper Scott Wallis reacted quickly at the near post. Montgomery-Brown made use of the early pressure when Davies thread a tight pass into the box in the 16th minute for him to fire confidently into the far corner.

Perth settled and pushed for an equaliser towards the end of the first half and they were almost rewarded but Ash Maynard-Brewer parried Cameron Pique’s powerful first-time shot.

ECU pressured early after the break and Conor Tucker worked beyond the defence and passed across to Callum Boshell, who pulled the ball from underneath him and tapped home.

But Perth picked up where they left off in the first half and responded with intent, Maynard-Brewer again proving his worth to keep them at bay – first with a low diving save to block Liam Healey’s strike, then bravely pouncing to dispossess Airmoson Garley.

But captain Walker provided the break-through with a cracking strike from range in the 66th minute.

This gave Perth an extra edge and Alex Silla equalised six minutes from time as he met Healey’s free-kick. Then Perth man of the match Carlino dispossessed captain Coire McGuigan and struck home to top off a perfect comeback for the league runners up.

Perth Coach Richie Abrams said his side had shown character to come back and win. “ECU were determined,” he said. “So to be 2-0 down and come back in the second half the way we did was fantastic.
“It was disappointing that we were punished for two mistakes. But they sat back a lot deeper in the second half and they invited us on and you can’t do that against us because we want to attack.”
PERTH SC 3 (Brody WALKER 66′, Alex SILLA 84′, Adam CARLINO 90+2′)
Venue: Dorrien Gardens
Crowd: 500 approx
Referee: Tom Dowle
Assistant Referees: Alex Best, Shane Skinner, Arvin Shan
PERTH SC: GK Scott WALLIS, 2 Alex SILLA, 3 Joseph MARINO, 5 Brody WALKER (c), 7 Eric BIRIGHITTI, 8 Zach BROWNE (11 Luke GARAS 53′), 9 Adam CARLINO, 10 Cameron PIQUE (13 Michael ZIMARINO 53′), 12 Anthony TOPINI, 15 Liam HEALY, 17 Airmoson GARLEY (14 Joshua CORTES 85′)
Substitutes not used: RGK Alessandro BIRIGHITTI, 4 Daniel HENRY
Yellow cards: Walker 67′
Red cards: Nil
ECU JOONDALUP: GK Ash MAYNARD-BREWER, 2 Richard BUTLER, 3 Bayley MONTGOMERY-BROWN, 4 Coire McGUIGAN (c), 5 Ronald RIXER, 8 Ollie ANNIS, 9 Jake DAVIES (11 Harry GENT 86′), 10 Conor TUCKER, 12 James BRUCE, 14 Callum BOSHELL, 15 Lucas Da LIMA (16 Lee HALLIDAY 46′)
Substitutes not used: 6 Ayden DRAGUN, 13 Bayley YEOMANS
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil