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Auckland City

Otago United


ASB Premiership - Week 5
Kiwitea Street, Auckland
Sunday 21 November, 2010





Halftime:0-0                 Referee:Mirko Benischke                              Crowd418  

Ten man Otago snatch deserved draw

by Bob Pearce at

AUCKLAND - Otago United buried memories of their 5-0 defeat at Kiwitea St last season with a hard-earned scoreless draw for their first point of the ASB Premiership season.

It was no more than they deserved for a wholehearted effort in difficult conditions as a strong wind frustrated both sides in their efforts to play constructively. Auckland City had won the possession, the corner count and the shots on goal.

But always there seemed to be an Otago defender to make the last -ditch tackle or to block the last pass. 

Only in the last 20 minutes did the Southerners stop competing in the midfield and with time and space to exploit the home team set up a series of chances. But luck and the woodwork were against them and Otago survived.

They had almost taken the lead in the 43rd minute when a freekick by Tristian Prattley was almost headed into his own net by Daniel Morgan. Only a superb diving save by Auckland keeper Jacob Spoonley kept the ball out.

In the 56th minute Prattley drew another fine save from Spoonley and James Pritchett headed the return off the line.

In the 68th minute Otago striker Phil Ruggles limped off with a hamstring injury and Auckland began to dominate the midfield and set up a series of chances.

In the 78th minute Ian Hogg crossed from the left and Adam Dickinson's shot hit the underside of the bar with Highfield beaten but bounced back into play. Moments later Stu Kelly's shot was blocked by Paul Seaman and Morgan's second bite hit the post.

With nine minutes to go Dickinson fastened on to Auckland's 10th corner but a desperate defence blocked his shot from close range.

In the four minutes of time added Otago were reduced to 10 men when Tim Horner was sent off for a second yellow but they held on to preserve the point.
Auckland co-coach Aaron McFarland knew Otago would be prepared to give their all for the cause.

"We dominated possession and created enough goal-scoring opportunities but we were unlucky and not ruthless enough in front of goal," he said. "Otago were disciplined and got players behind the ball and frustrated us.

"There was always the danger that we could have been beaten. I've been in this position and lost 1-0. Otago could have snatched something."

Otago coach Malcolm Fleming was delighted with the way his team stuck to their task.

"We deserved a point today. I thought Nathan Knox in the centre of midfield was outstanding and Paul Seaman did superbly in frustrating Auckland. But everyone contributed and there were bodies getting behind the ball and keeping them out to the end.

"We squeezed them out of their comfort zone for long spells but towards the end we got too defensive and gave them too much space."

In the end the strong cross-wind was the only winner as both teams took the aerial route under pressure and only rarely did it look likely to pay dividends.

Auckland head for Hawke's Bay next week with goals very much on their minds. Their last three ASB Premiership games have produced only one goal and the lack of firepower is starting to be costly.


Team Sheet

Auckland City


Otago United

1 Jacob Spoonley (GK)

1 Adam Highfield (GK)

2 Angel Berlanga

6 Tom Sadd

3 Ian Hogg

7 Nathan Knox

4 Sam Campbell

8 Paul Seaman

6 Stuart Kelly

10 Phil Ruggles(Burgess 68)

7 James Pritchett

11 Andy Coburn

11 Daniel Koprivcic (Thomas 61)

12 James Reichwein

13 Alex Feneridis

17 Tim Horner

14 Adam Dickinson

23 Ant Hancock (Lockhart 91)

17 Adam McGeorge (omi 74)

25 Tom Connor

19 Daniel Morgan (Edginton 85)

26 Tristian Prattley



5 Phil Edginton

9 Aaron Burgess

12 Patrick George (RGK)

21 Liam Lockhart

16 Omi Takayuki

24 Curtis Day

23 Adam Thomas

22 Matt Thomas (RGK)

26 Aaron Bawdekar


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card


Play by Play

0 mins

Fine and sunny at Kiwitea, but heavy overnight rain has left the immaculate surface slippery. Brisk wind across the field.

more 0 mins

Angel Berlanga and Daniel Morgan get starts for Auckland. Mulligan still on injured list.

1 min

Otago kick off  but Auckland quickly on attack and Kelly sets up Koprivcich

3 min

Ruggles lone ranger up front

5 mins

Freekick to Auckland on edge of area. Feneridis shot off wall to keeper

8 mins

Seaman breaks but ball beats everybody for goalkick

11 mins 

Beautiful surface but too much aerial ball by both teams

13 mins

Raid by Otago turned around and McGeorge stopped only at cost of freekick and then corner. Otago clear with difficulty

 17 mins

Ruggles breaks but loses close offside call

18 mins

Knox foiled by Ber.langa and Spoonley

20 mins

Chip from right by Dickinson palmed away by Highfield

26 mins

Seaman thwarted as Otago panic the Auckland defence

28 mins

Otago competing right across the field and Auckland are losing their shape.

30 mins

Assistant referee Anne-Marie Keighley makes good call to stall Otago attack.


31 mins

Prattley freekick from edge of area well held by Spoonley

35 mins

Yellow card for Horner for attack on Dickinson

36 mins

Freekick cleared and Feneridis fires over goal, fence and house last seen heading for the Manukau.

37 mins

Corner to Auckland headed wide by Campbell.

40 mins

Koprivcic but desperate tackle by Horner saves the day

42 mins

Yellow for Dickinson tackle on Prattley

43 mins

 Freekick by Prattley almost headed into his own net by Morgan. Saved by diving Spoonley.

45 mins

One minute to beadded

45 plus one

Halftime 0-0. The wind has been the winner so far with both teams struggling to control the ball and too often resorting to the air.

Second half begins . Early chance for Hogg blocked for corner and then cleared.

47 mins

Freekick to Otago well cleared.

49 mmins

Feneridis chips into penathy area but no problem for Highfield.

56 mins

Knox freekick brilliantly saved by Spoonley, return shot by Ruggles headed off line by Pritchett. Closest yet to a goal. 

58 mins

Dickinson header handled easily by Spoonley

60 mins

Corner to Auckland but Feneridis fires over top.

61 mins

Auckland sub:Thomas on for Koprivcic

64 mins

Auckland continue to press but the final ball slips away thanks to Otago's never say die defence.

67 mins

Seaman gets yellow for backchat after giving away freekick

68 mins

Otago sub Burgess for Ruggles 

69 mins

McGeorge shot just wide.

73 mins

Auckland sub Omi for McGeorge 

76 mins

Kelly free in front of goal but blocked by Knox

78 mins

Hogg crosses from left and Dickinson's shot hits underside of bar and bounces out.

79 mins

All action Kelly shot blocked by Seaman to Morgan who hits post.

81 mins

Ninth corner to Auckland, Dickinson's shot blocked for another corner.

85 mins

Auckland sub: Edginton on for Morgan

90 mins

Yellow for Burgess Four mins to be added.

90 plus one

RED CARD for second yellow sees Horner off after dispute with Hogg who got yellow.

90 plus four

All over and Otago take a point away.