ASB Premiership - Week 2
David Farrington Park, Wellington
Saturday 30 October, 2010
Halftime: 0-0 Referee: Nick Waldron Crowd 412
by David Cross at David Farrington Park
Team Wellington will perhaps feel the more satisfied of two teams who battled hard for no real reward at David Farrington Park today.
While the scoreline at 0-0 may not inspire many, the game itself offered excitement for those in attendance, with the undoubted star being returning Team Wellington goalkeeper Phil Imray.
Imray's save of Daniel Koprovcic's 70th minute penalty was the key moment of the game, and underlined a solid performance from the highly rated Wellington keeper.
The home side started with some bad news with both defender Jamie O'Connor and midfield leader Wiremu Patrick ruled out on the day of the match.
In for them came American midfielder Matt Williams and young Waikato defender Tyler Lissette.
Auckland City meanwhile made one change from last weeks side who won their O-League opener with former Team Wellington player Luis Corrales coming in to the line-up for Adam Dickinson.
The game started in the style it was to continue with possession shared and chances to both sides. Early exchanges saw chances fall to Andrew Abba and Adam Thomas at either end with Thomas' chance going straight to Imray in the Team Wellington goal.
The Wellington front three of Solomon Islanders Andrew Abba and Michael Fifii and Morrocan born Hicham Kamri kept the Auckland City defenders on their toes with some quick breaks but they seemed to lack the finish when required.
Similar problems plagued Auckland City with dangerous set pieces from David Mulligan but the final touch just lacked quality. Chances went wide from Berlanga and Edgington before the half time break.
After the half it was 'The Auckland City Show' early with both Koprivcic and Thomas missing some pretty easy chance. Thomas in particular shooting wide of an open goal after Imray was left stranded by the sheer number of Auckland players from a good Luis Corrales break. The one bright spot for Wellington was a Michael Eager chance from a corner that just missed sneaking in at the far post.
Auckland again almost went ahead in the 63rd minute with a freekick given away by Jamie Duncan on the edge of the area. Mulligan's first attempt was deflected wide but Abba picked up a yellow card for charging out of the wall early, and the retake went straight to Phil Imray in the Wellington goal.
Minutes later, the key moment in the game arrived as young Adam Thomas broke down the left and entered the Team Wellington area. Karl Whalen made a challenge that was slightly mis-timed clearly taking Thomas down.
Referee Nick Waldron had no hesitation in awarding a penalty as Thomas was replaced by Stu Kelly. Koprivcic's slightly checked run saw him push the penalty to Imray's left but a great reaction from the Wellington keeper saw him smother it, and the deflection cleared by Jamie Duncan.
The next chance belonged to Team Wellington as Scott Robson put an excellent ball through down the right hand side and Emilliano Tade shot across Auckland City keeper Spoonley. Spoonley did very well to just get a hand to it and send it wide.
When finally Auckland got the ball in the net in the 90th minute from a Stu Kelly header off a lofted Avendano cross it looked like Wellington's efforts had been in vain, but the Assistant Referee correctly had Kelly pegged as offside. From there it was a couple of minutes of sustained pressure from Auckland before Wellington heard the final whistle and collected a much needed point.
Team Wellington midfielder Wiremu Patrick summed it up when he said "I think we're probably the happier side with that result"
"We had to work hard for it, but we gave as good as we got and with a little more confidence in the area we could easily have won that," said Patrick.
"It was gutting to miss out at the last moment but we've given some lads playing locally a chance to play at the next level and they have stepped up. Young Tyler Lissette has come down from Hamilton and been thrown in the deep end and he's been great for us today".
"He's just played 90 minutes at centre back in a game against Auckland City - that is no mean feat, and to keep a clean sheet is great".
Patrick was also effusive in his praise for keeper Imray "It's so good to have a player of the quality of Phil in the side, you almost expect him to pull of saves like that"
Imray himself just had a wry smile "It's what I'm here to do," he said.
Auckland City midfielder David Mulligan wasn't in quite such a cheerful frame of mind "Wellington are always good at keeping possession, we worked hard all week on closing them down, because they are good with the ball. Possession might have been quite even but shot wise we were ahead of them. they would have taken a draw before the game".
"It's frustrating to come all this way and only get a draw"
Mulligan however was pleased for how things look for the club as it looks to continue rebuilding, "We're a pretty young team, Danko, Pritch and I the eldest at 28/29. We're a young team as Wellington are a new team. Give it six months or so you'll see a different kind of display from us, a better display and we'll finish those chances."
He was however pleased to see a fine day in Wellington after two years of enjoying the 'unique' challenges the Wellington environment offers "It's not windy for a change, and it's a nice surface and a nice park. It was raining in Auckland when we left"
Mulligan will get a chance to take a break from the Auckland weather as he leaves this evening for a trial in Singapore for the coming S-League season. Although ASB Premiership sides hoping it gives them a break from his devastating set pieces will be in for a nasty surprise with Mulligan expecting to see out the season with Auckland City before the new S-league season in March 2011.
1. Phil Imray
1. Jacob Spoonley
2. Scott Robson
2. Angel Berlanga
3. Jamie Duncan
3. Ian Hogg
4. Michael Eagar
4. Sam Campbell
15. Matt Williams
5. Phil Edginton
6. Mikey Halikias (off 52)
23. Adam Thomas (off 69)
16. Tyler Lissette
7. James Pritchett (c)
10. Michael Fifii (off 75)
8. Dave Mulligan
11. Andrew Abba
11. Daniel Koprivcic (off 75)
14. Hicham Kamri (off 54)
10. Luis Corrales (off 82)
13. Karl Whalen (c)
17. Adam McGeorge
9. Romain Cornard (on 52)
9. Francisco Avendano(on 82)
12. Emilian Tade (on 54)
13. Alex Feneridis
21. Pomare Te Anau
6. Stu Kelly(on 69)
24. Ryan Cain (on 75)
18. Patrick George (GK)
25. Lance Ramaekers (GK)
19. Daniel Morgan (off 75)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Finally a connection here at Farrington Field. Some biased folks may suggest that XT is a good mobile network. Incidentally, if anyone spots David Mulligan out there could they ask him to give us a wave.
Scambled defence in the Team Wellington area and the pinball falls to Berlanga who fires wide of Imray's left hand upright.
We'll update the squads at the half, sorry for the challenges earlier. Big thanks to Robb Watson and his windrainphoenix Twitter feed for covering us there.
Game has been pretty even with Wellington perhaps having more chances but Auckland's more likely to result in a goal. Wellington on the break very dangerous with Hicham Kamri and the Solomon Island whippet's Abba and Fifii.
Ball bounces in the Team Wellington area but Imray comes to collect. Nice backheel from Koprivcic almost puts Adam thomas through but once again Karl Whalen reads it well. Sustained pressure here from City.
'ickle' Mikey Eager (Npolean Dynamite) get's his name in the book after a couple of first half warnings. Mulligans fee-kick floated it in but Edginton's final touch is easily taken by Imray.
Wellington then break and a superb touch by Kamri is wasted as Abba's cross glances of James Pritchett's shin and out for the throw.
...and that is the half. Good moments from both sides but no goal quite yet.
We've updated the squads and sent our accountant out to count the crowd. Lovely day here at Newtown, the pitch in great nick. team Wellington's youth side won 2-0 over Otago in the curtain raiser at the Te Whaea artificial in Newtown.
If someone doesn't turn up with a hot dog for me soon there will be a nasty incident.
Almost straight from the kick-off Auckland have a chance. Ada McGeorge one of three men facing Phil Imray and he sends it wide. Good run by Luis Corrales made the chance and it really should have been scored.
...and Auckland again. Corrales again on the edge of the area makes spaces and the ball breaks to Mulligan who floats it in to Koprivcic who misses by so much it's almost a throw.
Mikey Halikias being saved for the Datacraft lunchtime football side is replaced by number 9 Romain Cornand.
Yellow for Matt Williams and Tade comes on for Hicham Kamri for Team Wellington.
Wellington corner isn't dealt with and a mis-timed Eager volley almost sneaks in at the far post.
Auckland then break and a great save low to his left from imray denys Koprivcic. Game opening up. The start of the half has mainly been Aucklands with Team Wellingtons defence working hard.
David Mulligan shot deflected for a corner by Karl Whalen. Resultin corner another good set piece by Mulligan but well read by the Wellington defence.
Cornand almost on target for the home side a poor clearnace dropped the ball at his feed on the edge of the area but his snap shot sails just wide.
Auckland then break and Corrales somewhat theatrically hit's the ground giving Set piece specialist Mulligan a chance from 20 yards out. Duncan gets a yellow for the foul.
From the resulting kick Abba earns a yellow for charging out of the wall early. Re-take straight in to Phil Imray's dishplate sized hands.
Adam Thomas is bought down in the area by Karl Whalen who just mistimes his challenge. Referee Waldron points to the spot and Whalen get's Team Wellington's 5th yellow for the day.
Saved by Imray with his feet. Very nice work of the Koprivcic penalty. Meanwhile Stu Kelly comes on for Adam Thomas.
Matt Williams fires over the bar at the other end. Still a close game that could go either way.
Kopricic dispossessed by Whalen and Auckland break. Spoonley makes a save off Abba, Tade then pounces on the rebound but shoots straight in to the arms of Spoonley.
Changes. Koprivcic off for Daniel Morgan for Auckland and Andrew Abba departs for young Ryan Cain.
Game was dying for a while there but Scott Robson wakes it up, beats Daniel Morgan and a great ball down the wing gives Tade a shot across Spoonley that Spoonley just get's a hand to for a corner.
Change for Auckland City. Luis Corrales off for Francisco Avendano. Resulting Corner not convincing.
Game end to end as players tire but no real clear-cut chance for a while.
Stu Kelly has it in the back of the net from a an Avendano cross but he's three feet offside when the ball is played and it is disallowed.
Auckland City corner, Campbell heads straight in to the arms of Imray.
3 minutes of extra time and in the first minute, Avendano breaks and shoots right across the Team Wellington goal.
Wellington can't get out of their half here. Just feels it could go wrong for them. Mulligan shot is deflected on to the top corner of Imrays goal. Rebound scrambled out by Jamie Duncan.
...and that is all. Final score nil-all.