ASB Premiership - Week 5
Kiwitea Street, Auckland
Sunday 21 November, 2010
Halftime:0-0 Referee:Mirko Benischke Crowd418
by Bob Pearce at asbpremiership.co.nz
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.
"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.
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
=2 yellow cards
= red card
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.
Otago kick off but Auckland quickly on attack and Kelly sets up Koprivcich
Ruggles lone ranger up front
Freekick to Auckland on edge of area. Feneridis shot off wall to keeper
Seaman breaks but ball beats everybody for goalkick
Beautiful surface but too much aerial ball by both teams
Raid by Otago turned around and McGeorge stopped only at cost of freekick and then corner. Otago clear with difficulty
Ruggles breaks but loses close offside call
Knox foiled by Ber.langa and Spoonley
Chip from right by Dickinson palmed away by Highfield
Seaman thwarted as Otago panic the Auckland defence
Otago competing right across the field and Auckland are losing their shape.
Assistant referee Anne-Marie Keighley makes good call to stall Otago attack.
Prattley freekick from edge of area well held by Spoonley
Yellow card for Horner for attack on Dickinson
Freekick cleared and Feneridis fires over goal, fence and house last seen heading for the Manukau.
Corner to Auckland headed wide by Campbell.
Koprivcic but desperate tackle by Horner saves the day
Yellow for Dickinson tackle on Prattley
Freekick by Prattley almost headed into his own net by Morgan. Saved by diving Spoonley.
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.
Freekick to Otago well cleared.
Feneridis chips into penathy area but no problem for Highfield.
Knox freekick brilliantly saved by Spoonley, return shot by Ruggles headed off line by Pritchett. Closest yet to a goal.
Dickinson header handled easily by Spoonley
Corner to Auckland but Feneridis fires over top.
Auckland sub:Thomas on for Koprivcic
Auckland continue to press but the final ball slips away thanks to Otago's never say die defence.
Seaman gets yellow for backchat after giving away freekick
Otago sub Burgess for Ruggles
McGeorge shot just wide.
Auckland sub Omi for McGeorge
Kelly free in front of goal but blocked by Knox
Hogg crosses from left and Dickinson's shot hits underside of bar and bounces out.
All action Kelly shot blocked by Seaman to Morgan who hits post.
Ninth corner to Auckland, Dickinson's shot blocked for another corner.
Auckland sub: Edginton on for Morgan
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.