ECU hold leaders Perth SC 0-0
Football West News
Perth SC remain on track at the top of the table but they had to dig deep to keep second bottom ECU Joondalup at bay.
In torrential rain and a swirling wind, the home side took the match to the reigning champions who played the final 21 minutes with 10 men after Nicolo Sabatini was sent off.
In the end a goalless draw was a fair result, with neither side doing enough to force the win.
Perth have not lost in the league since May 2018 - a run of 24 matches - and they had the majority of the chances of a keenly fought first half. Paul Zimarino's curling free-kick tested keeper Johnny Perkins. Sabatini shot wide from a narrow angle. And they will feel hard done by after a rare slick move was wrongly called back for offside. The first-time crossfield ball from Kristian Santich in that break was probably the highlight of the afternoon.
Yet it was ECU centre-back Billy Quinncroft who had the clearest opportunity of all but he side-footed over from six yards.
The start to the second half was delayed by almost 20 minutes, with referee Josh Nixon concerned about a pool of water near the touchline. Play eventually resumed and so did the rain.
ECU played to the conditions, testing Perth goalkeeper Francis Soale with a series of hanging set-pieces, while at the other end Zimarino nearly produced a trademark wonder goal but his 25-yard shot cracked the crossbar.
Then Sabatini, who had earlier been cautioned for dissent, was late to the ball and he immediately sank to his knees as Nixon brandished a second yellow card. Moments later Soale was forced into a vital save to thwart Ollie Annis.
Perth's lead at the top is back to seven points, while ECU move a point clear of bottom of the table Stirling.
Star player: Alex Silla (Perth SC)
ECU Joondalup 0
Perth SC 0
Saturday, June 8
ECU Football Stadium
Referee: Josh Nixon
Assistant referees: Sailota Phiri, Adam Hicks
ECU Jondalup: 1. (GK) Johnny PERKINS (c), 3. Nicholas KOEFLER, 4. Henry DURR, 5. Shane CASSIDY, 6. Ollie ANNIS (2. Arran MAPLESTONE 85), 7. Jamal REINERS (11 Jakub SKLENAR 80), 8. Josh WHITMORE, 10. Andy HIGGINS, 12. Billy QUINNCROFT, 13. Tommy AMPHLETT, 14. Ewan FAWCETT
Unused substitutes: 9. Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY, 15. Charlie KENNA, 20. (RGK) George JACKSON
Yellow cards: Quinncroft 22
Red cards: Nil
Perth SC: 1. (GK) Francis SOALE (c), 2. Alex SILLA, 4. Thomas SOUTHGATE, 5 Nicolo SABATINI, 9. Gustavo CATARCIONE (7. Alexsander JOVIC 71), 12. Jordan DE LEO, 14. Kristian SANTICH, 16. Kieran COLWELL, 17. Frank FURFARO (11. Matthew MILENKOVIC 62), 18. Michael DOMFEH, 20. Paul ZIMARINO
Unused substitutes: 6 Harley ORR, 15. Leigh MORGAN, 23. (RGK) Dejan ALEKSIC
Yellow cards: Sabatini 58, Domfeh 77, Colwell 84, Southgate 84
Red cards: Sabatini 69