ASB Premiership - Week 8
Fred Jones Park, Hamilton
Saturday 11 December, 2010
Milos Nikolic 28'
Sean Lovemore 4'
Halftime: 2-1 Referee: Matt Conger Crowd: 250
by Ian Anderson at Fred Jones Park
Waitakere United stayed perfect in this season's ASB Premiership with a 3-1 victory over Waikato FC in Hamilton today.
The defending champs struck early in both halves to put the pressure on the hosts and while Waikato equalised and had an impressive spell in the first half, the visitors were deserving of their sixth win on the trot to increase their lead at the top of the table.
Waitakere's pace, through the likes of Sean Lovemore, Roy Krishna and Dakota Lucas, always had the home side wary, although Willy Gerdsen's men would have been disappointed with the manner of each goal conceded.
Lovemore, who has appeared in the Wellington Phoenix A side this season, put Waitakere ahead after four minutes when Waikato lost the ball in their own third and coach Neil Emblen later said that was something his side was intent on doing.
"We spoke a lot this week about allowing Waikato to play and then try to pounce on mistakes and put them under pressure high up the pitch and that's how it worked," Emblen said.
"Young Dakota Lucas and Roy Krishna were pressurising their back boys and we managed to nick the ball and Sean got through and scored so it was a real good start for us."
Waikato recovered well however and found their slick passing game coming together yet ironically got their equaliser from a set-piece, when Nathan Strom's long throw was flicked on for Milos Nikolic to head home.
However, their joy was shortlived and Waitakere went forward from the kickoff and Krishna's shot took a wicked deflection to leave John Fletcher with no chance.
"The second goal for us was a lucky goal - it took a big deflection - and that was at the time that Waikato had got back to 1-1," Emblen said.
"They've got something to build on, they've scored against us, it makes them more confident, but with us scoring again instantly it put them again on the back foot.
The visitors took a frim grip on the match just two minutes into the second spell when Krishna was given two much room to wriggle free to the byline down the right and his cross found Allan Pearce, who headed in at the back stick.
"I thought in that second half, when we got a two-goal cushion, we're a real hard side to play against when we're two goals ahead as everyone seems to relax more," Emblen said.
"We're a team that's expected to win every week but when we get a two-goal lead we're quite dangerous on the counter-attack.
"We're lucky, we've got some good young players up in the region and they all want to play. It's difficult to play them all but we've shown today, we've been tested with the squad's resources but they've all come through that test and made it even more difficult for who plays next week."
Lucas, Lovemore, Krishna and fullbacks Ashton Pett and Aaron Scott stood out for the winners, while Jason Hicks was again at the hub of most of the home side's attacking raids, Maksim Manko was dangerous going forwards and Nick Branch and Jack Beguely worked hard at the back.
1 John Fletcher (GK)
1 Danny Robinson (GK)
2 Maksim Manko
3 Aaron Scott
5 Nathan Strom
4 Tim Myers
6 Nick Branch
6 Jack Pelter
7 Jason Hicks
8 Chris Bale (Hobbs 88')
8 Jason McKeown
10 Allan Pearce
11 Nathan Palmer (c) (Heerschap 70')
12 Roy Krishna
12 Jack Beguely
17 Jake Butler (c) (Payne 88')
14 Joe Bresnahan (Jones 70')
19 Dakota Lucas
17 Milos Nikolic
23 Ashton Pett
23 Matteo Ballan (Peat 62')
25 Sean Lovemore (Del Monte 77')
22 Alex Carr (RGK)
9 Luis del Monte (on 77')
9 Mark Jones (on 70')
14 Tim Payne (on 88')
15 Eugene Heerschap (on 70')
16 Neil Emblen
10 Daniel Peat (on 62')
21 Anthony Hobbs (on 88')
18 Alexei Davies-Campbell
22 Liam Little (RGK)
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Play by Play
Welcome to a blustery Fred Jones Park. Overcast conditions this afternoon in comparison to the scorching temperatures a fortnight ago when the hosts beat Youngheart Manawatu 3-0.
No real surprises in the starting line-ups, with Daniel Peat starting on the bench for the hosts in his return from a hamstring injury.
A brief awards ceremony before the opening whistle sees Waikato FC's Jason Hicks receive the Player of the Month award for November with today's opposing boss Neil Emblen picking up the Coach of the Month trophy.
Krishna breaks down the left and his low cross is side-footed over the bar from close range by Lovemore.
Lovemore makes amends as Waikato give the ball away defensively and Lovemore drives low past Fletcher.
Waikato's first real attack see Palmer surprised his side didn't win a corner after sharp play from Manko.
The hosts start to get back into the match, keeping possession better but Waitakere also look sharp going forward. More goals expected.
Nikolic whips in a cross from the right and the diving near post header from Strom, who came up for a free-kick, can't quite hit the target.
Nikolic does well to get around the back and pull a cross back for Hicks but he can't get in under first time and the chance goes.
Some more sharp passing from the hosts sees Beguely break forward and earn a corner which Robinson collects at the second attempt.
Hicks' corner is headed behind - and only just - by Tim Myers.
Strom's long throw is flicked on at the near post and Nikolic nods in from close range for a deserved equaliser.
Horror time for the hosts to concede as Krishna's shot is deflected past Fletcher less than a minute later.
Waitakere have the ball in the net again but the offside flag is up.
Pett plays a neat ball thru to Lovemore and his shot hits the outside of the near post and Fletcher spreads himself at his feet from a tight angle.
Hicks plays a sharp ball inside the defence for Ballan but he can't square it before Beguely beats three defenders inside the box before being blocked.
Lovemore breaks away again with his pace down the right but Fletcher comes out well and blocks with his face.
Palmer in the book for dissent.
Highly entertaining first 45m. The visitors began briskly and went ahead before Waikato bounced back well and equalised but would have been disappointed with conceding a soft second immediately.
Waikato concede an easy goal, with Allan Pearce nodding home a Roy Krishna cross. Waitakere will be content to sit on their lead from here on in
Ballan tries to respond from 25 yards but his shot just curls over the bar
Krishna is given far too much room again, but his shot is deflected out for a corner
A good ball through leads to Nikolic having a chance at goal but the impressive Pett gets a foot in and denies Waikato the chance to get back in the match
Ballan goes into the book for pulling Bale back by his shirt
Hicks blazes over the bar after a sublime passing move
All action here, as Butler also finds himself in the book
Waikato make the first change of the match, as Peat comes on Ballan
A break in the game as Aaron Scott is down recieving treatment
Waikato are throwing everything at it in the quest for points, as Heerschap and Jones come on for Palmer and Bresnahan
Krishna shares a one-two with Pearce but his shot is parried away by Fletcher
Waitakere players need a lesson in free-kicks from David Mulligan, as their umpteenth shot goes into the wall.
Lovemore is played through on goal but his shot is saved by Fletcher
That will be Lovemore's last contribution to the game, as the ever-threatening youngster is replaced by Luis Del Monte
Nathan Strom recieves the most straightforward yellow of the season, as he brings down the charging Dakota Lucas
Krishna has another shot deflected wide, after the ball falls into his path from another atrocious Waitakere free-kick
Jones gives the ball away in the middle and the dangerous Lucas is taken out by Nick Branch who gets a yellow.
Bad play all round, as a defensive mix-up gives Krishna a shot on goal, but he miscues it awfully wide
Into the last five minutes plus stoppages, and Waitakere look at short odds to continue their perfect start to the ASB Premiership season.
Time-wasting subs for Waitakere, as Butler and Bale are replaced by Payne and Hobbs
Three minutes of added time signalled as Lucas's shot goes wide of the right hand post.
Jason McKeown shows shooting is not his forte as his shot on the turn goes over
- Allan Pearce smacks a shot over the bar when he should have done better
Full time is blown with the final score at 3-1, a well deserved win for Waitakere who continue their perfect start, moving to 18 points on the table, while Waikato will be disappointed they couldn't get more from the game. They stay on 7 points and will drop down the table