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MATCH WRAP: Bayswater shocked as ECU stand alone
Report by Peter Simcox
ECU Joondalup are the last unbeaten team in the National Premier Leagues WA following a dramatic round of matches on the weekend.
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The Jacks inflicted a first loss of the season on Perth Glory, while league leaders and reigning champions Bayswater City also tasted defeat for the first time.
ECU’s 2-1 win over Glory at Ashfield Arena was built on a strong first-half performance which saw them go in ahead at the interval thanks to Gordon Smith’s goal.
Substitute Yacoub Mustafa levelled midway through the second half, before ECU were given the opportunity to retake the lead 11 minutes from time when Glory defender Ollie Annis conceded a penalty after pulling back Daryl Nicol.
Annis was booked for the offence then continued to argue with referee Joshua Nixon, who duly sent him off. None of this affected Nicol, who put away the penalty to ensure ECU ended a frustrating run of three draws in four matches.
“It was a real gutsy effort by the boys today,” said ECU coach Dale McCulloch, whose side stay sixth but are now just a point off third-placed Glory.
“They had some decent players in their side who have played A-League football, but we have a squad of players who are willing to fight for each other and they all stood up today.”
Cockburn City pulled off the result of the weekend with their 1-0 win over Bayswater City at Dalmatinac Park.
Cockburn took the lead in the 20th minute after a poor clearance by Todd Howarth was pounced upon by youngster Daniel Robinson, who broke free to drive a low shot home.
Bayswater will play worse and win this season but coach Chris Coyne was generous in his praise of Scott Miller’s side.
“Scotty and the boys were magnificent were today, so the credit has to go to them. They were hungrier and more committed than us,” Coyne said.
Perth SC moved into second spot and level on points with Bayswater after a routine 3-0 victory over below-par Subiaco at Dorrien Gardens.
Goals from Gustavo Catarcione, Niccolo Sabatini and Richard Howles gave the Sky Blues a fourth successive league win.
“Our aim for today was becoming consistent, putting in another good performance and getting that clean sheet we have been missing this year,” Perth coach Ramon Falzon said.
Joondalup United’s horror start to the season continued as Phil Arnold fired Floreat Athena to a 7-2 win with four goals, while Forrestfield United turned in their best performance of the season as they enjoyed a 4-0 victory over Balcatta.
In the other matches, Jordan Roberts scored twice in Sorrento’s 5-3 defeat of Stirling Lions, and Armadale overcame the dismissal of goalscorer Chris Jackson to draw 1-1 with Inglewood United.