Glory stunned by ECU fight back
By Bianca Niederberger
Perth Glory’s early-season confidence was short-lived after ECU Joondalup came to life with a dazzling second-half performance to score a 5-1 win in a National Premier Leagues WA clash at the ECU Football Stadium yesterday.
Glory, who had drawn with Perth SC in their season opener last week, appeared to be heading for another good result when former Joondalup player Joe Knowles gave them a first-half lead.
But ECU rallied after the break with two goals from Tommy Amphlett and goalscoring contributions from Lee Jones, David Foster and Jon Stynes.
With many remarking on the uncanny connections between the clubs during the week, the second-half spoke mainly of the disparity between them as ECU Joondalup outmuscled and outplayed their opponents.
Glory had looked spritely initially against their much taller and more experienced opponents and found the breakthrough when Knowles fired home from the edge of the box in the 24th minute.
But it was a different story after the break when ECU sprung into action with three of their five goals coming in a three-minute onslaught. Jones led the second-half blitz and Amphlett scored two goals within minutes of each other to stun Glory.
Disappointed Glory coach Scott Miller said the performance had been unlike his team.
“Three goals in five minutes showed that they (ECU) are playing men’s football and we’re not,” Miller said.
In a game that was scrappy at times, Glory showed plenty of heart with Riley Woodcock, Lawrence Shuruma and Knowles persistent throughout but unable to penetrate the steadfast defence of Ryan Lowry, Charlie Comyn-Platt and Ryan Townsend. Despite the full-time score, Glory keeper Fraser Greenwood showed moments of brilliance to deny ECU a bigger advantage.
ECU coach Dale McCulloch would give away little about his half-time talk but felt, despite his side trailing, the momentum had already been shifting in their favour.
It was not so much a momentum shift as a goal frenzy that quickly put the game out of Glory’s reach.
While the visitors tried to recover, ECU took it to the next level, showing the strength and versatility of their squad, as substitutes Genaveo Human and Foster combined to make it 4-1 with only 10 minutes to play.
Amphlett narrowly missed achieving a hat-trick in the dying minute of the game as his shot hit the bar but Stynes was on hand to mop up and tap the ball in for ECU’s fifth and final goal.
McCulloch said: “We stuck to our game plan. We’d worked on it all week. All the boys are on the same page, and they’re working really hard. I’m happy with the boys and they’re doing well.”
ECU Joondalup 5 (Lee JONES 49’, Tommy AMPHLETT 50’, 51’, David FOSTER 81’, Jon STYNES 90’)
Perth Glory 1 (Joe KNOWLES 24’)
Saturday 15th March, 2014
ECU Sports Centre
Kick Off: 3:00pm
Assistant Referees: T. Chorley, R. Hall
ECU Joondalup: 1. Andy BANKS (gk), 2. Ryan LOWRY, 3. Jon HIGGINS (c), 4. Charlie COMYN-PLATT, 5. Ryan TOWNSEND (12. Genaveo HUMAN 79’), 6. Jon STYNES, 8. Joe SMITH, 10. Andy HIGGINS, 11. Lee JONES (Dave FOSTER 73’), 13. Tommy AMPHLETT, 14. Jake BENSON-COOPER (7. Dave CAINE 65’)
Substitutes not used: 20. Tim Doyle
Yellow cards: Tommy AMPHLETT 41’
Red cards: nil
Perth Glory: 1. Fraser GREENWOOD (gk), 2. Josh TUCKER, 3. Rocco PIZATA (15. Alex CASTIELLO 65’), 4. Jack OLDHAM, 5. Scott ROBERTSON, 6. Blamo QUA QUA (c), 7. Riley WOODCOCK, 8. Cameron Edwards, 9. Joe KNOWLES, 10. Lawrence SHURUMA (Jacob COLLARD 70’), 17. Gian ALBANO
Substitutes not used: 11. Slobodan VULIN, 18. Hanafi GHAZALI, 20. Ryan BARKER
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: nil