Banks earns ECU a vital point

Banks earns ECU a vital point

Posted on July 18, 2015 in 'Reports'

Veteran keeper Andy Banks’ came out of retirement on Saturday and earned ECU Joondalup a vital point after a 1-1 draw with Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve.

The visitors who have dropped into the relegation zone in recent weeks took the lead on the hour through Stuart Montgomery, but skipper James Sammut levelled for the home side ten minutes later. But Banks produced a couple of great saves to give his side a point. “We had a lot of pressure against us in the first half and we really had to get stuck in and dig deep to hold on,” Banks said. “A draw was probably a fair result in the end and after what we’ve been through in recent weeks we’re happy with it.”

Balcatta’s form has been up and down in recent weeks, but they opened brightly and Banks was called into action early. Hanafi Ghezali’s cross picked out Patrick Quinn, whose volley was well saved by the ECU custodian. The home side went close again on ten minutes, Gustavo Catarcione played an inch perfect through ball for Quinn, but Banks stood tall to deny him.

Tommy Amphlett had the first chance for the visitors on the half hour, the striker weaved his way into the area, but his shot was straight at Clint Davies. Father and son, Stuart and Bayley Montgomery were causing problems for the Balcatta defence, along with Joe Smith, but it was the home that went close to the opener on the stroke of half time. Catarcione was a constant threat to the ECU defence and he burst his way into the area and crossed from the bye-line to pick out Sammut, whose first time shot flashed just over the top.

The visitors went close early in the second half, Jon Higgins’ free kick was deflected into the area and in the goalmouth scramble, and Amphlett shot straight at Davies. But on the hour ECU hit the front. Bayley Montgomery found space on the edge of the area and threaded the ball to the back post, where his dad Stuart fired home from close-range.

But their lead lasted for only 10 minutes, Sammut wasn’t closed down and his powerful shot beat Banks, despite the keeper getting a hand to it. Balcatta took a firm grip on the game and youngster Coire McGuigan twice made vital tackles to Holt the lively Catarcione. It was one-way traffic as Balcatta pressed for the winner, Steve Sokol shot deflected off the crossbar, before Zelfy Nazary’s shot was parried away, by man of the match Banks.

Balcatta: GK Clint DAVIES, 2 Hanafi GHEZALI, 3 Kieron STALLARD, 4 Alexsandar SULESKI, 7 James SAMMUT (c), 9 Hasan EL YASSIRI (14 Steve SOKOL 62), 11 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 12 Ross DIAMOND (6 Zelfy NAZARY 70), 17 Kieran COLWELL, 20 Patrick QUINN, 50 Blamo QUAQUA (16 Cameron TEECE 88)
Subs not used: RGK Daniel PASSARELLI, 18 Shazalee RAMLEE
ECU Joondalup: GK Andy BANKS, 2 Ryan LOWRY, 3 Jon HIGGINS (c), 4 Charlie COMYN-PLATT, 5 Cian HIRRELL, 7 Paul MILLER, 8 Joe SMITH, 10 Stuart MONTGOMERY (12 Josh TUCKER 54), 11 Bayley MONTGOMERY (9 Paddy DOYLE 78), 13 Tommy AMPHLETT, 14 Ciore McGUIGAN (15 Kye DOUGLAS 90+2)
Subs not used: RGK Scott WALLIS, 6 Harry BISSETT
Referee: Stuart Muldoon