Lions claw back to earn a point
Report by Peter Simcox
Photo by Peter Simcox
Stirling Lions produced a stunning second half comeback to draw 2-2 with ECU Joondalup at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
The visitors went into the break 2-0 up thanks to goals from Jack Iredale and Daryl Nicol, but the Lions hit back through Lukas De Lima and Cameron Teece.
Lions coach Rob Milevski said they changed things up at half-time and thought they should have won it.
“We weren’t happy with the first half, we gave them a couple of goals, but second half we came out all guns blazing, and were unlucky not to get all three points,” he said.
“I thought Cameron (Teece) was good in the second half holding the ball up well, scoring a fantastic goal, and I thought John (Perkins) made some important saves, but it was a great game for the fans with end-to-end football.”
ECU coach Dale McCulloch said after dominating the first half they struggled to hold off the Lions second half blitz.
“We dominated the first half, could have led by more at the break and we told the lads to expect an onslaught. That’s what we got and we didn’t deal with it,” he said.
“We had another young side out here today and they played well again, but they have to learn when that sort of onslaught comes and how to deal with it.
“You really need some senior boys just to stand up and slow the game down when required, but credit to Stirling they came at us hard and got their rewards.”
The home side found themselves behind early as Iredale headed home Sam Pollard’s free-kick after eight minutes.
It was nearly two, six minutes later, when Pollard sent Nicol through but his shot crashed off the post and away to safety.
The visitors looked dangerous every time they went forward and increased their lead on 24 minutes.
Ross Millard raced down the left and whipped in a deep cross from the by-line. James Owen’s header was well saved by Perkins, but Nicol was quickest to react to the rebound, firing home from close-range.
The Lions ended the half well with Daniel Micevski’s shot crashing off the post.
The Lions pulled one back after the break as Moses Kalau sent De Lima through on goal who finished clinically past Greenwood.
The home side struck again and levelled just after the hour mark as Teece fired home from the edge of the box to make it 2-2.
The end-to-end football continued with both sides having chances late including a penalty shout to ECU Joondalup but the scores finished level at full-time.
Stirling Lions 2 (De Lima 52 min, Teece 63)
ECU Joondalup 2 (Iredale 8min, Nicol 24)
Saturday June 10, 2017
Referee: Matthew Southern
Assistant Referees: Eamon Mcdonnell, Shuo Chen
Stirling Lions: GK John PERKINS, 3 Alex SULESKI, 4 Blamo QUAQUA, 7 Miki VUJACIC, 9 Alex TANEVSKI, 10. Daniel MICEVSKI (12 Jason RUBIDGE 86’), 14 Lukas DE LIMA (8 Steve SOKOL 77’), 15 Shane CASSIDY, 16 Mathaing MATHIANG, 18 Moses KALAU, 19 Cameron TEECE (6 Debaba MTWALE 86’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Lance ALAVAKIS, 5 Nicholas ASHLEY
Yellow Cards: Mathiang 61, Vujacic 91, Rubidge 93
Red Cards: nil
ECU Joondalup: GK Fraser GREENWOOD, 2 Cian HIRRELL (14 Declan HUGHES 80’), 3 Fraser GARNAUT, 4 Jack IREDALE, 5 Graham DORAN, 6 Shane PICKERING, 7 Kevin MOON, 8 James OWEN, 9 Daryl NICOL, 10 Sam POLLARD (17 Jack JONES 66’), 11 Ross MILLARD (15 Keylun POLLARD 75’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Todd HOYLE, 12 Ethan KERRIDGE
Yellow Cards: Doran 48, Moon 67
Red Cards: nil