Lions too strong for Young Jacks

Lions too strong for Young Jacks

Posted on February 26, 2016 in 'Reports'

Stirling Lions maintained their perfect start to the QBE Night series, after a 3-1 win against an undermanned ECU Joondalup at Macedonia Park on Sunday evening.

 

Steve Purton but the Lions ahead on two minutes, but Tommy Amphlett levelled for ECU 12 minutes later. Robert Petkov regained the lead for the Lions before the break and David Micevski wrapped up the points in the second half.

Despite the loss ECU Coach Dale McCulloch was delighted the way the youngsters played “We went into the game with eight first team players unavailable and I thought the lads who came in were outstanding,” he said.

“Yes we would have liked to have won the game, you go into every game wanting to win, but the positives outweigh the negatives.

“I thought young Stef was fantastic on his debut for the first team and it was good for Tommy to get some game time into his legs.

“We’ll now focus on next week’s local derby against Sorrento and end the competition with another good performance.”

With Josh Tucker, Joseph Jones and Coire McGuigan out injured, Joy Marsden, Steven McGarry and Ryan Lowry out injured and Jack Oldham unavailable, McCulloch brought in some of the talented young players in the squad, while Tommy Amphlett started for the first time after overcoming injury.

The home side made a perfect start and they were ahead after only two minutes.  A corner wasn’t cleared and it fell to Steve Purton who curled home off the post. But ECU hit back on the quarter hour. A long clearance from keeper David Keenan wasn’t dealt with and Tommy Amphlett raced on to it fired low past Johnny Perkins.

Perkins then saved well to deny Gordon Smith as ECU pressed, but on 26 minutes Stirling regained the lead. David Micevski sent Robert Petkov clear, and the youngster finished clinically. ECU was giving as good as they got, and Amphlett went close before half time, but his shot crashed off the post and away to safety.

ECU opened up the second half brightly and created some excellent chances. Bayley Montgomery-Brown headed over from close-range, before Perkins denied Smith and Amphlett.

But on the hour Stirling added a third.  Daniel Micevski sent David Micevski down the right, he cut inside the box and fired home, but referee Michal Jasinski had a spotted a foul on the edge of the box and brought play back. David Micevski took the resulting free kick and curled it around the wall giving Keenan no chance.

Still ECU pressed and Shane Pickering’s header at the back post flashed wide, and they constantly got behind the Stirling back line, but the final ball was missing.

Defender Kye Douglas said it was a good performance from the young side. “I thought the boys dug deep right to the last whistle to try get a result, with such a young squad starting there was much to prove that age doesn’t matter if you’re good enough,” he said.

“That was shown by young Stefan Vranesevic who in my eyes was man of the match and showed no fear in his starting debut, overall a lot more positives than negatives to come from the game.”