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Otago United

Waikato FC


ASB Premiership - Week 3
Sunday November 7th
Tahuna Park, Dunedin


Jason Hicks 7'



Halftime:  0 - 1                 Referee: Darren Sundborn                               Crowd ~150


Hicks goal hands Waikato FC precious away win

by Rab Smith at Tahuna Park

DUNEDIN - Waikato FC may have had flight problems en route to this match but Jason Hicks defied the aerial setback to lace in an excellent first ever ASB Premiership goal after only seven minutes to give the visitors maximum points in Dunedin today.
Hicks effort was hit from deep, and sailed into the top left corner, leaving new Otago keeper Adam Highfield clawing thin air.
A fine individual effort, stressing simplicity, while the rest of the match produced much over elaborate passing from both sides.
Yet it has to be said that Waikato’s patterned play in the first half had a touch of the Arsenal about it, and similar to the Gunners, coach Willi Gerdsen’s combination got plenty of bodies forward in support.
Otago was slow out of the blocks, starting without near veteran Andy Coburn who was injured, the local side played stop-start football bordering on the mediocre, but with flashes of brilliance from new striker Ant Hancock and midfielder Matt Thomas who tested John Fletcher in Waikato’s goal.
But captain Tim Horner and Tom Sadd provided a stiff central defensive pairing, and both fullbacks Tristan Prattley and Nathan Gunn were steady and confident enough to push forward.
Targetman Phil Ruggles got scant service, and as ambitious passing cost Otago possession, it was the quick feet of Wakato’s Milos Nikolic and Nathan Palmer that threatened to expose the home defemce.
Playing push and run football, Waikato should have gone further ahead, but some last ditch tackles from Paul Seaman ( yellow card ) and the rangy rubber legs of Nathan Knox kept Otago hopes alive.
The second half brought improvement from Otago, but coach Malcolm Fleming -  suspended for a last season transgression, and watching from a fair distance – was irate that his side still kicked away possession and ‘ did things that they didn’t do at training.’
Wakato’s coach Gerdsen was also frustrated with his side’s second half lapse in form, and along with assistant Rod Groves roared instructions from the technical area in contrast to their earlier calmness.
Referee Darren Sundborn made the call of the match after 75 minutes, when a melee in Waikato’s goalmouth produced several blocked close range shots. One hit the underside of the bar and went close to crossing the line. Otago appealed for a Goal.
But on advice from assistant Kenny Evans, play moved on, leaving a simmering frustrated bunch of Otago supporters whose only warmth came from nursing their wrath in the cold windy conditions.
Predictably the one goal margin kept things bubbling, with several subs on, Otago applying grinding pressure, and Waikato looking menacing on the break.
Afterwards, Coach Fleming reckoned none of his players rated a mention in dispatches, and Gerdsen said his policy was ‘ It’s a team game, I do not rate individuals.’
But clearly Waikato’s Hicks stood out with his penchant for shooting at goal amidst a host of over clever passing and pace that may yet augur well for the clubs future.
Despite coach Fleming’s reticence, keeper Highfield made a fine debut for Otago, and without any real match preparation, youngsters such as Hancock, Harley Rodeka, and Tom Connor improved as the match progressed.


Team Sheet

Otago United


Waikato FC

1. Adam Highfield (GK)

1. John Fletcher (GK)

3. Tristan Prattley

5. Natham Strom

4. Matt Thomas (Tom Connor 78)

6. Nick Branch

5. Nathan Gunn

7. Jason Hicks (Manko 74)

6. Tom Sadd

8. Jason McKeown

7. Nathan Knox

10. Daniel Peat (Jones 53)

8. Paul Seaman(Reichwien 65)

11. Nathan Palmer

9. Ant Hancock

12. Jack Beguely

10. Phil Ruggles

14. Joe Bresnahan

16. Harley Rodeka

16. Tewi Te Pou (Mauri Wasi 74)

17. Tim Horner (C)

17 Milos Nikolic



23. Cam Burns (RGK)

2. Maksim Manko (in 74)

12. James Reichwein (in 65)

9. Mark Jones (in 53)

18. Tom Connor (in 78)

22. Alex Carr (RGK)

22. Liam Lockhart

24. Mauri Wasi (in 74)


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play


Wellcome to Tahuna Park for Otago Utd first home game of the 2010-2011 season, A nice turnout by supporters even in the cold breeze and with a look to the sky could be a chance of rain during this game, Many who were here earlier to watch the Youth side take on Manawatu were happy to see the 2 - 1 win and are looking for the older boys to do the same now, the pith is hard under foot and a fast game is expected, kick off has been delayed


The pace is set and with the ball just sliding on the ground and under foot we can see its going to be a fast game


Otago defence is keeping a stong back line to hold off the advances of Waikato


Early corner for Otago, Headed back toward the side by Bresnahan


Otago making another push up side,  Palmer takes a fall and Waikato move up for free kick


Branch with a clearance from Otago's defence helps stop an attack, Grabing by Hancock gives Waikato another free kick just inside otago's half


Free kick goes long into Otago's box and a strike by Hicks puts it past the new keeper Highfield. GOAL


Otago take a quick kick off and puts pressure on Waikato's keeper, but not enough to send a reply


Otago get a free kick well inside Waikato's half, Prattley takes it putting it into Fletcher's 6 yard box and he shows his jumping skills by getting to it high


a light shower can be seen, Otago gain position and move the ball back around the defence


Waikato's defence rush to clear a loose ball in their 18 yard box


Strom comes to rescure after another attack from Otago's Hancock


Thomas gives a nice display to the home fans with a back heal to Gunn


Waikato's pushes forward with a throw in on Otago's goal line but a head and the wind take the ball out before bringing it back into play, Goal kick given


Hancock unable to keep the cross into Waikato's box under control or keep onside with the flag going up


Nikolic takes a run at the Otago goal only to slip on the hard surface that now has a bit of drissle on it


Otago's defence keeping rock hard  to push Waikato off for a corner


Hancock shows he knows how to play by beating 4 waikato players before passing off to Thomas


Free kick for Waikato goes too far as  Nikolic is pulled off side


Yellow card given to Seaman for miss timed tackle


Great run by Ruggles, takes a shot at far post only to have it go wide of the mark


Waikato win another corner, low flying ball is quickly placed on a path up the field


Gunn follows Waikato striker and keeps him off foot, unable to make the shot the ball rolls to Highfield's hands


Edge of 18 gives Waikato the prefect free kick spot, curved into the far post of Otago with a clean follow up and into the net, Flag up for off side


Good passing gets Otago up again to Waikato's goal but  Rodeka is anable to make it to the run wide


Corner given to Otago after Waikato defenderunable to stop it before the line


Reflect from shot on target gives Otago a corner, it goes long and the attacking head puts it over the crossbar


Strike from Waikato troubles Highfield and he jumps to get the ball but isses it as it flys over the goal


Otago get a pushing free kick inside Waikato's half, Waikato make a strong counter attack but not able to budge Otago's defence


Long stike and rebound skips through Palmer's legs as e is left open in Otago's 6 yard box


Long ball is uncatachabe by Pou and puts an end to Waikato's attack


A couple of trippings has angered Waikato's players and the ref calms them and gets game playing again


Otago start building a attack and get it all the way to Waikato's goal only to be saved with the ease of a dive by Fletcher, Otago get corner


Another good strike by Hicks is sent to Otago's far post and just misses giving Otago the goal kick


Horner is warned after language is given about the call for a corner


Waikato back on the attack with a great throw in landing in the center of Otago's box, Horner's head clears it while Waikato regroups for another attack


Clearance by Otago defence gives the ball directly to Strom who sends in a lob onto Otago's far post and quick Otago head puts it out for corner


Flecther makes his first mistake with a run to get a high ball and only just gets enough on it to mess up Otago's striker from putting it away


Waikato build up another attack and the shot goes wide again

45 + 1

1' added time
Waikato start using their defence to move the ball around
Half time called

Half Time

No Changes made
Waikato to Kick off


Good defending by Sadd keeps away an early attack from Waikato


Otago unable to keep up their attack and it fizzes to nothing and Fletcher calmly picks up the ball


Highfield walks the ball up to get as much entra length to try and get Otago attacking


Both teams are making use of their defence players and getting a good set of passes going before moving into the center of the park


Antoher long throw in gets into the box, and it comes out a round kick by Peat puts it square on target, but a dive from Highfield gets a palm to it and makes sure its over rather then in


Otago now unable to get through Waikat's defence
SUB Waikato
OFF: 10 Daniel Peat
ON: 9 Mark Jones


Well struck ball by Hicks is put on target, but again Highfield puts his body between the ball and the net


Otago are strugling to hold together in the center with a one-two breaking down on the second pass


Corner put onto a group of heads in Waikato's box puts the the crowd on their feet as the believe its a goal but the flag up again and off side called to Waikato's joy


Another great attack by Otago is just cut out with Waikato's defence keeping as much pressure on Otago's strikers as they can


Prattley gets the ball wide and slams it hard for the rebound and an Otago throw


Waikato show that not only Otago can make a good attack, getting the ball up but unable to put it away for the ball comming off on an odd angle


Another attack from Waikato this time Otago cuts them out and a bit on touch and go play bounces the ball between each team


Waikato pick up the ball in Otago's box and a strike from Hicks puts it over Otago's crossbar


Otago pushes hard on the far wing to get the ball up only to be running back from Waikato's strong counter attack


OFF: 8 Paul Seaman
ON: 12 James Reichwein


Light shot on goal by Hicks is an easy save for Highfield


A well cleared shot by McKeown saves Waikato form the Otago built attack


Pressure gives Otago a throw in close to Waikato's goal line but Otago aren't able to do anything with it and Waikato counter


Waikato wants the ball up but don't have the man power up the field to get the job done


Otago is back to keeping a strong defence, working to limit Waikato's lead to the single goal


A great save by Fletcher stops another Otago strike.


SUB Waikato
OFF 2 Maksim Manko
ON 16 T.Te Pou
OFF 7 Jason Hicks
ON 24 Mauri Wasi


Otago again on attack can't get the right ball, but win a corner


Horner stops an runnaway of Nikolic
SUB Otago
OFF 4 Matt Thomas
ON 18 Tom Connor


Otago are using the ball well, looking for an opening to get it up an attack


Waikato win a free kick and use it to get players up the field but the long kick is closed down and returned back up to Waikato's half


With a throw in close to Otago's goal line Waikato get it in but a bad run in with Highfield and the ref calls up on it.


Connor gets struck in and ends in the bang up that brings down Palmer, Palmer is walked off and given a quick check


a good chip into Waikato's box isn't enough with Knox unable to turn and control before the keeper is on the ball


Wasi is fast down the wing but can't cross intime to escape the leg of the defence


Safe hands by Highfield hold and keep the high ball from Waikato's corner


To many people in Waikato's box makes it hard to get a foot or head to the ball, it is finally cleared to the half way line as Waikato's defence takes a breath


Fletcher keeps his clean sheet in sight as the closing minutes count down

90 + 1

5 mins extra time shown by 4th offical
Pushing gives Otago a break in their half as the free kick is given

90 + 3

Otago work on keeping the ball away from Waikato as the minutes count down

90 + 4

Offside called and Highfield takes it quickly to give as much pressure as he can to Waikato

90 + 6

Full time called
Otago 0 - Waikato 1