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YoungHeart Manawatu

Waikato FC


ASB Premiership - Week 9
Memorial Park, Palmerston North
Sunday 19 December, 2010


Michael White 9', 29', 73'
Dale Higham 46'
Jason Hayne 80'

Milos Nikolic 23'
Sam Margetts 86'



Halftime: 2-1                      Referee: M Conger                               Crowd: 150


White Christmas as YoungHeart post first win

by Andrew Bailey at Memorial Park

Michael White (left) celebrates with Nobu IshiInspired by a Michael White hat trick, YoungHeart Manawatu have ended their goal and points drought emphatically with a 5-2 win over Waikato in sometimes torrential conditions in Palmerston North today.

The home side had scored just two goals in six matches prior to the visit of Waikato FC and were sitting bottom of the ladder without a point. While the win won’t be enough to lift Manawatu off the bottom of the table, it will ensure a much improved frame of mind when the ASB Premiership resumes after the Christmas break.

The game kicked off in steady rain, but the conditions didn’t faze the hosts as Michael White gave them the lead after just nine minutes. He was unable to get a clear shot initially, but the ball broke to Hayne in the box, Carr half-saved at his feet and White was first to react to poke the ball home.

Waikato responded immediately with a flurry of half chances. It didn’t take long for the pressure to tell.

Midfielder Matteo Ballan played a lovely reverse ball through to Milos Nikolic in the clear. Nikolic skipped past Borren and levelled the scores.

Manawatu fans might have been feeling they’d seen it all before, but this time their team responded. White did the damage again with a quality first time finish on the half hour mark after Hayne picked him out with a low cross from the right flank.

Waikato’s parity had lasted just six minutes and they were clearly frustrated, but they went into half time behind regardless.

They were soon feeling worse as Manawatu went further ahead in the first minute of the second half. The rain had continued and it contributed to Waikato’s downfall for the third goal. Dale Higham made a good run, anticipated a mistake on a straightforward long ball, got the bounce and skipped into the box where he found the top right corner past Carr.

Waikato needed a way back into the game and they might have got it minutes later when Manawatu centre back Falvey was sent off for a bad tackle on Ballan. He flew in, was never in control of the tackle in the conditions and referee Conger produced a straight red.

Waikato couldn’t get themselves going, however, and Michael White got his hat trick in the 73rd. Hayne was again the provider and White nodded home his dinked cross to seal the points.

White returned the favour seven minutes later, rolling the ball into the path of Hayne. His finish duly found the corner and Manawatu – averaging 0.33 goals a game before today – had five!

The rain was now torrential and Waikato could have been forgiven for wanting to get on the plane home. To their credit Sam Margetts popped up to get Waikato a second goal a few minutes from full time, but the game was already well gone. Hat trick hero White could have another in extra time, but shot wide with just the keeper to beat.

Bob Sova admitted the win will be good for the confidence.

“We’re still bottom, but we created a bit more today than we have the last couple of weeks.”

“We scored first, which I’ve been saying all along is important, and I think that made a big difference. We went into half time up for the first time this year and then scored right after the break – at important times.”

“After that, and the red card, they came at us and we were able to play on the counter a little bit.”

The perfect Christmas present for Manawatu, then, while Willy Gerdson and Waikato have their playoff push momentarily stopped.

Manawatu will hope for a similar home performance against high-flying Wellington when they visit Palmerston North on January 9, while Waikato return home to take on Hawkes Bay, who also shipped five goals this gameweek.


Team Sheet

YoungHeart Manawatu


Waikato FC

1. Matt Borren (GK)

26. Alex Carr (GK)

2. Nobuyoshi Ishi (Steele 88')

2. Maksim Manko

3. Matt Smith

6. Nick Branch

4. Colin Falvey (c)

7. Jason Hicks

6. Matt Kennedy

8. Jason McKeown

7. Jason Hayne

9. Mark Jones

8. Nathan Cooksley

11. Nathan Palmer (c) ( Margetts 50')

9. Michael White

12. Jack Beguely

11. Hamish MacKay

23. Matteo Ballan (Peat 50')

17. Brook Tozer

14. Joe Bresnahan (Wasi 68')

18. Dale Higham

17. Milos Nikolic



5. Josh Chettleburgh

1. John Fletcher (RGK)

25. Jono Steele (on 88')

10. Dan Peat (on 50')

21. Jared Bloor

18. Alexei Davies-Campbell

16. Michael Fraser

20. Sam Margetts (on 50')

19. Ben Wilkes (RGK)

24. Mauri Wasi (on 68')


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

Play by Play

-20' Welcome to a very warm, very wet Palmerston North for YoungHeart's last game before the Christmas break. We had a downpour a couple of hours ago and it's been steadily raining since then.

1' We're underway! Waikato go straight down the right hand flank off the kick off and captain Nathan Palmer is a foot away from putting the visitors ahead but he can't quite reach a dangerous looking cross behind the Manawatu back four.

5' Palmer getting through plenty of work early. Got a cross in this time, but Borren easily gathered. Moments later Palmer looked to be through in the clear but a late offside flag stopped him.

9' YoungHeart ahead! Ended up as a goalmouth scramble but the buildup was good. Michael White poked it home from close range after Carr saved at Hayne's feet but couldn't secure it. Nice little ball from Ishi into White's feet set the scramble in motion and it was White who finished it.

15' Half chance for Waikato as they surged forward after a mishit Borren clearance, but Nikolic dwelt on it too long and by the time Hicks got his strike away Manawatu had bodies in the way.

18' Waikato close again. Nikolic got to a low ball into the box just before Borren, but his touch took him far enough away from goal for the home side to recover. A few Waikato players frustrated at Nikolic for taking too long again, there.

23' Waikato level, and this time Nikolic takes his chance. He timed his run well and Matteo Ballan played a beautifully disguised pass through to him. Manawatu back four opened up and Nikolic was able to skip past Borren on the edge of the area and roll the ball into the open net.

Waikato have been threatening and you'd be hard pressed to argue they didn't deserve their leveler.

29' YoungHeart ahead again! Michael White gets his second. Good finish this time. Higham played Hayne down the line, Hayne got to the byline and his cross was hit sweetly by White from the penalty spot. Carr never moved as the ball flew past him into the right hand corner.

Frustration setting in for Willy Gerdson and Waikato now as they give the ball away again. 

37' Just as I say that Nikolic gets a good look from a few yards outside the box but his strike is straight at Borren and it's comfortable for the Manawatu keeper.

41' Mini break by Manawatu, Ishi finds White on his left foot, but he's off balance and slices well wide. Hayne looked to be free at the far post and trying to find him might have been a better option.

43' Matt Smith picks up a yellow. Jack Beguely is slow to get up.

Halftime here in Palmerston and the home side are ahead. They scored early and managed to get another after Waikato rallied to get the better of the middle period. Looks a good chance for Manawatu to get their first points of the season. I'll be back after the break.

The sides are back out on the pitch. It's not getting any drier here but the pitch still looks to be in decent condition.

46' YoungHeart singing in the rain! Straight forward back to front ball played by YoungHeart but Dale Higham gambles, the Waikato centre halves make a mess of it and Higham is in as the ball skips off the slippery surface. A couple of touches inside the box and a great finish past Carr into the top right corner by Higham.

50' That could change things... Colin Falvey gets a straight red for YoungHeart as he lunges at Matteo Ballan. It looked nasty and out of control and while Falvey's not happy there aren't too many protests.

50' Gerdson makes changes for Waikato. The injured player 23. Matteo Ballan is off for 10. Dan Peat and 11. Nathan Palmer is off for 20. Sam Margetts.

60' Matt Kennedy gets a soft yellow for back heeling the ball a whole yard and a half from the spot where he conceded a free kick.

63' Nick Branch gets a yellow for bringing down a breaking Jason Hayne. Sova is livid the card is only yellow, and in fairness Hayne did look clear though. It's really pelting down now and the foul count is mounting.

70' Wonderful feet from Nikolic! He skips past three YoungHeart players then somehow conspires to thump his finish straight at Borren. It's a good save by the Manawatu keeper but Nikolic should never have given him a chance.

72' Ludicrous weather here in the Manawatu. I can barely see the grandstand across the pitch through the rain.

73' Three for White! And Hayne gets another assist. Hayne takes the ball away from goal, dinks it back into the box and White is on hand to nod home from close range. Manawatu well and truly seal the points.

80' Hayne makes it five! White breaks through, could have taken the shot on himself but rolls it for Hayne who makes no mistake.

83' Mark Jones.

85' Waikato get a chance for some late consolation but Borren makes a good save.

86' Sam Margetts gets one back for Waikato with a few minutes left as the goals continue to flow. Good left foot finish by the substitute.

90' Fourth official indicates we'll be having three minutes extra time.

90' 2. Nobuyoshi Ishi is replaced by 25. Jono Steele for YoungHeart.

94' That's it here in Palmy! YoungHeart get their first points and Waikato suffer a blow to their playoff hopes before the Christmas break. I'll be back soon with a full report.