NZFC - Semi Final 2nd Leg,
Fred Taylor Park,
Saturday 10 April, 2010
Ryan de Vries 71
Andy Barron 10
Halftime:0-1 Referee:Peter O'Leary Crowd:476
by Bob Pearce at Fred Taylor Park
A back-header by Waitakere striker Brent Fisher with sixty seconds to go ended Team Wellington's hopes and carried the home team into the Grand Final.
The ball looped over goalie James Bannatyne for a 2-1 Waitakere victory on the day and a win on the away goals rule after a 3-2 margin to Wellington in the first leg.
It spelled the end to a remarkable season's comeback by the Wellingtonians that carried them from second-to-bottom to the very edge of finals football with four wins in their last five games.
Waitakere player-coach Neil Emblen had mixed feelings after the heart-stopping ending.
"Obviously I'm delighted by the win but you just feel sorry for the opposition as well," he said. "There are swings and roundabouts in football and we got our slice of luck today."
And how. Waitakere were not at their best in a contest that was cuptie close but didn't really do justice to the immaculate surface at Fred Taylor Park.
Emblen had suggested before the game that the first goal might decide the issue.
He was so nearly right.
In the 10th minute Wellington opened the scoring when Andy Barron drove a freekick on the edge of the penalty area past an unsighted Danny Robinson.
Benjamin Totori weaved his magic, Roy Krishna showed his pace but the Wellington defence, anchored by Adam Birch and Michael Winsauer, managed to close them down before the final shot.
And the more Waitakere tried, the more they lost their shape.
Krishna was off midway through the second spell and his replacement young Ryan de Vries almost immediately raised the home side's hopes.
In the 71st minute Totori split the Wellington defence and De Vries was on hand to score.
But 1-1 was not enough and Waitakere knew it. They poured men forward but to no avail.
They had corners and freekicks but the set pieces that had worked in the first leg were well thwarted by Bannatyne and his men.
A freekick on the edge of the area when Emblen was brought down offered a last-gasp chance but Martin Bullock's strike sailed over the bar.
Three minutes added time was almost up when Jake Butler lobbed a hopeful ball into the Wellington penalty area and Fisher got the touch that steered it over the advancing Bannatyne.
It was hard to disagree with Wellington coach Stu Jacobs when he said he thought his team had deserved to go through.
"Perhaps we should have played it to the corners at the end but tiredness caused the wrong decision," he said.
"I think we deserved to win on what we've done in the last four matches.
"I thought our defence was excellent. Neil talks about his team scoring four goals a game at this ground and we held them to two. Three years ago we were 15 seconds away from getting into the O-League. This time we were a minute away from the final."
Emblen described his team's performance as one of their "worst for a while so it was good to dig out a result. On recent form Wellington are a very good side.
"If we end up going to Dubai, we want to go there as NZFC champions."
Waitakere will meet the winners of the Auckland City v Canterbury United semi on Sunday in the final in a fortnight.
1 Danny Robinson (GK)
1 James Bannatyne (GK)
2 Jason Rowley
2 Adam Birch
4 Tim Myers
3 Jamie Duncan (Fifii 40)
7 Martin Bullock
4 Chris Bale
8 Brent Fisher
5 Michael Winsauer
9 Benjamin Totori
6 Chris Davies
10 Allan Pearce
7 Cole Peverley
11 Neil Sykes(Pelter 80)
9 Greg Draper
12 Roy Krishna(De Vries 65)
13 Karl Whalen
16 Neil Emblen
19 Andy Barron
17 Jake Butler
26 Roddy Brown (Fredrickson 66)
3 Aaron Scott
17 Garry McDermott
19 Dakota Lucas
21 Ben Fredrickson
20 Ryan De Vries
22 Michael Fifii
21 Jack Pelter
24 Jamie McKay
22 Liam Little (RGK)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Aaron Scott on the bench for Waitakere after turning ankle in practice. Brilliantly sunny and warm with not much wind.
pressure by Wellington earns left wing corner.
Another corner as defender clears behind. Wasted
End to end stuff. A real cuptie with pace to fast for skill.
Peverl;ey shoots from long range but doesn't worry Robinson.
Fisher almost gets his head to a cross but ball goes behind.
Totori weaves magic on right but hits cross far too hard.
GOAL! Freekick on edge of area and Barron beats Robinson with curling shot.
Pace has slowed as Wellington fall back and Waitakere regroup
Yellow card Davies for tackle on Krishna
Totori brought down by Winsauer who gets yellow. Freekick edge of area
Bullock freekick off track
Left wing corner to Waitakere, their first. Cleared
Pearce clear on left but miskicks ball
Right wing corner to Waitakere, Sykes finds keeper Bannatyne.
Pearce shot blocked. Waitakere are pressing hard and the fans are getting impatient.
Sub Duncan off Fifii on.
Fifii bicycle kick flies wide. Fond memories of winning goals.
Chris bale cross just eludes Draper.
One minute of time to be added
45 plus one
Corner to Waitaker but no reward. Whistle goes and Wellington are 45 minutes from Grand Final.
No changes at halftime. Waitakere start five at the front as they hunt goals.
Sykes foul gives freekick to Wellington but Bale's kick cleared for counter
Yellow card for Butler for tackle
Fisher ball in Totori heads Bannatyne saves.
left wing corner Waitakere comes to nothing
Totori weaves magic and finds Krishna in clear but Bannatyne smothers shot
Emblen shot touched wide
Sub McDermott for Bale
Third corner in a row for Wellington finally cleared
Wellington under siege but Waitakere can't nail it.
Long range by Butler no problem
De Vries on for Krishna
Wellington sub Fredrickson for Brown.
Draper down injured, no more subs, but plays on
Butler long range goes wide
GOAL! Wellington defence split, Totori cross finds De Vries who makes no mistake 1-1 and its all on
Rare Wellington raid puts Fredrickson in clear but his cross sails too far
Sub Pelter on for Sykes.
Fifii breaks and Barron shoots weakly at goalie
Emblen tumbles on edge of area. Freekick awarded.
Bullock fires wide.
Three extra to be added.
Freekick to Waitakere ends up with goalie
90 plus two
GOAL! Butler lobs hopeful ball in and Fisher dinks header over Bannatyne. Waitakere are through!!
90 plus three
Final whistle and Wellington are gutted.