By David Cross / asbpremiership.co.nz
Team Wellington and Otago United meet for the second time this month on Sunday and after last week it promises to be a fixture that no one will leave early.
Otago came home with the proverbial wet sail and two late goals against title contenders Canterbury to notch a derby win while at the same time Team Wellington were busy reversing an even larger deficit to pip Hawkes Bay 3-2.
Otago United coach Malcolm Fleming feels that his side didn’t get the credit they deserved from sections of the media at least.
“I think some of the reporting on last week was a bit unfair. We played well, certainly in the second half,” said Fleming.
“Canterbury scored a good goal off an error of ours but we were always with them and I don't think the result was unfair. Yes, they had a player sent which may have changed things but we weren't out of it before then anyway.”
He’s looking forward to attempting to exact some revenge on a Team Wellington side that had the upper hand last time the sides met and left Dunedin with three points thanks to three unanswered goals.
“It's the second time in a month we've seen Wellington and it didn't go well last time. It was frustrating as we'd been playing well but just didn't turn up for the first 45 and before we knew it we were three down. Sutherland scored a couple of fantastic goals and while we were close to them in the second half you have to wonder how much they were trying.”
“There are no easy games in this league but that was a real lesson that if we're not in it from the start we could be in real trouble. We've got to work hard to make sure our form from the last few weeks continues and then we know we can be in it.”
Menawhile Karl Whalen’s memories of the last meeting are good, but the Team Wellington skipper won’t let that cloud his side’s judgement going in to this weekend.
“We had a great start in Dunedin last time and it was all over by the half. We’ve got to do that again this weekend or they’ll give us a real fight.”
Whalen was also left reflecting on a come from behind effort to collect three points last week.
“Last week was strange. We just struggled to get in to the game from the outset but got together at the half and in the second half we sorted ourselves out and in the end probably deserved the three points we got.”
Again it was the substitutions that had a crucial impact on the match with Hicham Kari, Emiliano Tade and George Barbarouses all key to the final result.
“Some of the subs must be coming close to getting a start but those who are starting aren’t doing anything wrong. Stu and Charlie have a good dilemma with the performances and the depth we have, and seem to have got the balance right with the substitutions having a great impact for us every week.”
“Even those that have yet to make a matchday squad are working hard and keeping the pressure on everyone else.
One thing is for sure that with the late shows from both sides last round its unlikely people will be abandoning this game as settled before the final whistle.
Michael EAGAR is suspended after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season
Team Wellington holds the upperhand in showdowns between the two clubs and includes victory in the only playoff match between the duo. That was a 4-1 win on penalties after a 2-2 draw back in season 2005-06.
Otago United ended a six year wait for a win over Team Wellington away from home when they defeated Stu Jacob's team by 2-0 at Newtown Park last season. Prior to that, Otago United had drawn four matches and lost three without winning any.
ASB Premiership - Week 9
Sunday 19 December, 2010
1- Phil IMRAY (GK)
1- Adam HIGHFIELD (GK)
2- Scott ROBSON
6- Tom SADD
3- Jamie DUNCAN
7- Nathan KNOX
7- Wiremu PATRICK
8- Paul SEAMAN
10- Michael FIFII
10- Phil RUGGLES
12- Emiliano TADE
11- Andy COBURN
13- Karl WHALEN (GK)
12- James REICHWIN
14- Hicham KAMRI
14- Alistair RICKERBY
16- John SUTHERLAND
17- Tim HORNER
17- Matthew WILLIAMS
18- Harley RODEKA
18- Darren CHERITON
21- Liam LOCKART
21- Pomare TE ANAU
22- Cam BURNS (GK)
23- Ryan CAIN
23- Anthony HANCOCK
24- Tyler LISSETTE
25- Tom CONNOR
25- Lance RAMAEKERS (GK)
26- Tristan PRATTLEY