Ten man ECU go down to Perth

Ten man ECU go down to Perth

Posted on February 6, 2016 in 'Reports'

ECU Joondalup’s QBE Night Series campaign hit a road block on Friday night, when they were beaten 4-2 by Perth SC at Percy Doyle Reserve.

(Right – ECU Joondalup celebrate Shane Pickering’s opening goal) The 19 times Night Series winners scored early through new signing Gustavo Catarcione, but Shane Pickering levelled on eight minutes. Catarcione regained the lead for Perth on the quarter hour and Ayden Dragun made it 3-1, but Josh Booysen pulled one back on the stroke of half time.  The second half was only two minutes old when ECU skipper Ryan Lowry was sent off, and it was backs to the wall for The Jacks.  They were hitting well on the counter attack and created a number of half chances but it was Perth who wrapped up the points in the final minute through Harley Orr.

ECU Coach Dale McCulloch was left disappointed after the game and didn’t mince his words. “Very disappointing tonight, the first half wasn’t good enough, very sluggish, a total opposite of last week, but we have a lot of changes to the team and it’s going to take a little time to gel,” he said. “We didn’t have enough quality on the ball tonight we didn’t play to our systems, so we have to use that as a learning curve to get better. They (Perth) were very disciplined tonight and pressed us high, which is something we pride ourselves on, so we need to back on the training track next week and work on a few things before we take on Armadale next week.”

Midfielder Pickering said it was an uncharacteristic performance from the side. “We were a little all over the place tonight, we just didn’t have enough options coming out and made to many errors,” he said. “It was really hard when Paddy (Ryan Lowry) was sent off, but I thought we put a good shift in second half and could have still taken a point near the end, but it wasn’t to be. We have to be better than that, but look it’s still early days.”

McCulloch brought in Pickering, Josh Tucker and Bayley Brown-Montgomery to the side that beat Balcatta last week, but it was Perth who opened the brighter and they were ahead on five minutes. A poor back pass by Tucker sent Catarcione in on goal, and the striker rounded Dave Keenan to fire home into an empty net. But ECU hit back immediately Jack Oldham’s ball into the box was superbly brought down by Pickering, and he finished with aplomb past Francis Soale.

It was a disjointed start by ECU and they were punished again on 16 minutes. Andreas Theodosiades cut in from the left and fed Catarcione whose shot was deflected past the stranded Keenan. The former Balcatta striker was forced off minutes after scoring, after injuring his hamstring. Perth continued to press and Theodosiades fired over moments later, but ECU looked dangerous on the counter attack. Gordon Smith sent the lively Brown-Montgomery clear on 20 minutes, but Soale stood tall to deny the youngster.

Perth increased their lead on 37 minutes, again after sloppy ECU defending. Dragun was given far too much space on the edge of the penalty area and he cut into the box and slide the ball low past Keenan. But to ECU’s credit they hit back four minutes from half time. There looked little danger from a back pass but Booysen closed keeper Soale down and blocked his attempted clearance. The ball rebounded on to the post, and Booysen raced back to ram the ball home from close-range.

It was an horrendous start to the second half for ECU, and only two minutes in skipper Lowry was sent off by referee Tom Glavovic after a lunge right in front of the dug outs. McCulloch quickly re-organised his troops, as Perth looked to cash in on their numerical advantage. ECU triallist keeper Keenan produced a number of fine saves to keep them in the game. First he superbly denied Orr’s long-range shot, before he touched Thomas Jebb’s shot on to the post moments later. ECU thought they had levelled 75 minutes. Brown-Montgomery made space down the left and crossed to Smith, who fired home, but the assistants’ flag was up for offside.

Perth skipper Clark Keltie was bossing the middle of the park, and they were pressing high, while ECU were hitting on the counter attack. Jordan De Leo shot was well saved by Keenan, while Keltie sent Orr in on goal but the striker fired wide. The ten man ECU were still in the game and went close on 89 minutes. A quick free kick from Steven McGarry caught Perth napping, he found Paul Miller whose cross picked out Oliver Annis, but his shot failed to find the target, and sixty seconds later Perth scored the decisive fourth. Again it was handed to Perth, after sloppy defending, and Keltie pounced and threaded the ball into the path of Orr, who made no mistake from six-yards.

Match Details.

Perth SC 4 (Catarcione 5’, 16. Dragun 37’, Orr 90’)

ECU Joondalup 2 (Pickering 8’, Booysen 41’)

Referee: Tom Glaovic

Assistants: Scott Cairns and Liviu Katona

Perth SC: GK Francis Soale, 2 Rocco Pizzata, 4 Adrian Madaschi, 5 David Evans, 6 Clark Keltie (c), 11 Gustavo Catarcione (9 Harley Orr 23’), 12 Jordan De Leo, 19 Andres Theodosiasdes (7 Frank Furfaro 52’), 20 Ayden Dragun, 21 Thomas Jebb, 22 Oliver Tate – Subs not used: RGK Daniel Passarelli, 13 David Molinari, 15 Elliot Tattersal

Yellow Cards: Evans 27’, Madascji 86’

ECU Joondalup: GK Dave Keenan, 2 Ryan Lowry (c), 3 Josh Tucker, 5 Joesph Jones, 6 Shane Pickering, 7 Jay Marsden (15 Oliver Annis 62’), 8 Jack Oldham (17 Paul Miller 46’), 9 Gordon Smith, 10 Josh Booysen, 11 Bayley Brown-Montgomery, 14 Steven McGarry – Subs not used: RGK Jamie Serra, 12 Daniel Hepworth, 16 Paddy Doyle

Yellow Cards: Marsden 30’ – Red Card: Lowry 47’