ASB Premiership - Week 14
Centennial Park, Ngaruawahia
Saturday 12 February, 2011
Dan PEAT 26'
Halftime: 1-0 Referee: Michael HESTER Crowd: 150
by Ian Anderson at Centennial Park
The young netminder made of string of spectacular saves as the hosts pipped Canterbury United 1-0 to stay in contention for a place in the top four with two rounds of the regular season remaining.
The most critical save came in the 32nd minute when Russell Kamo was brought down from behind in the box by Waikato defender Ryan Zoghby.
Canterbury and All Whites midfielder Aaron Clapham stepped up to take the spot-kick but Carr had his measure as he sprung sharply to his right and got a solid hand to the well-stuck effort to turn it around the post.
That allowed the hosts to maintain the 1-0 lead they had grabbed five minutes earlier when chief creator Jason Hicks broke free down the left flank and squared the ball for Dan Peat to provide a neat sidefoot finish at the near post past Tom Batty.
Waikato had few chances after that - Canterbury had a host of opportunities denied by Carr in the latter stages of the first half and then dominated possession in the second spell as they desperately sought an equaliser that would have given them a little breathing room in the race for the playoffs.
However, with the recently acquired Phil Edginton
"It was really good to get the win and particularly with a clean sheet," a smiling Carr said shortly after the final whistle.
He was quick to deflect any praise.
"I owe it all to the defence - they hardly let them have any chances and did a great job, especially Phil."
Carr said Waikato now looked forward with relish to next weekend's trip to meet Waitakere United.
"We've really got something to play for in our last two games now."
The hosts worked hard to keep a clean sheet and did a good job restricting Clapham from having a major influence on the outcome.
He did swing in some dangerous dead-balls but the tall Waikato defence coped well and as the match wore on Clapham's prominence faded.
Waikato struggled to hang onto possession in the second spell but kept things tight at the back, while Canterbury's Joe Murray was guilty on a handful of occasions of not doing better with the chances provided.
Matteo Ballan got through a ton of work in midfield for the victors while Hicks was always trying to spark the counter-attack.
26- Alex CARR (GK)
1- Tom BATTY (GK)
2- Maksim MANKO
2- Dan TERRIS (c)
4- Ryan ZOGHBY
4- Gareth ROWE
7- Jason HICKS
5- Tom SCHWARZ
8- Jason McKEOWN
6- Glen COLLINS
10- Dan PEAT (MARGETTS 70')
7- Aaron CLAPHAM
11- Nathan PALMER (c)
9- Russell KAMO
12- Jack BEGUELY (STROM 65')
10- Sam MILES (BARTON 46')
17- Milos NIKOLIC
12- Gagame FENI (WORTELBOER 79')
18- Phil EDGINTON
14- Joe MURRAY (FAICHNIE 79')
23- Matteo BALLAN
19- Jeremy WILD
1- John FLETCHER (GK)
3- Nick WORTELBOER (in 79')
5- Nathan STROM (BEGUELY 65')
11- Ryan FAICHNIE (MURRAY 79')
15- Eugene HEERSCHAP
13- Garry McDERMOTT
20- Sam MARGETTS (PEAT 70')
23- Andrew BARTON (FENI 46')
16- Tewi TE POU
25- Andy PITMAN
=2 yellow cards
= red card
Play by Play
Welcome to Centennial Park, Ngaruawahia, for this Week 14, ASB Premiership clash between two teams chasing down this season's final play-off berth. Its been nearly six years since Waikato FC last graced the knock-out phase of New Zealand's premier football competition - can they halt the progress of last year's Grand Finalists, Canterbury United, on their way to creating their own piece of history? We await the start of this match with baited breath...!
Team news - Aaron CLAPHAM makes the starting line-up despite his recent stint with the Wellington Phoenix at Sydney FC this week. As CLAPHAM didn't take the field, he faces no one month standdown period. Sean LOVEMORE, from Waitakere United, does face a one month standdown as he gained pitch time.
And warm greetings to Waikato FC fan, Karolina Romanek, in Poland, taking in this match in Warsaw with pizza. Amazing, but true. Football really is the global game..!
FIFA World Cup referee, Mike HESTER, gets this game underway as Waikato and Canterbury go in search of a playoff spot.
Canterbury make the early running here with former New Zealand international, Glen COLLINS, bossing the midfield. Aaron CLAPHAM is looking lively for the visitors.
Ryan ZOGHBY hurls a long throw in into the Canterbury United penalty area for Milos NIKOLIC but the golden boot contender's header isn't powerful enough to beat goalkeeper Tom BATTY.
After wearing the brunt of a Canterbury onslaught, Waikato FC start to assert themselves and look tidy with their close passing game starting to create openings. No shots on goal yet for the home side, but promising signs.
GOAL! - Jason HICKS skips down the left and fires in a low cross to the near post and Dan PEAT is at the ready to side foot neatly past Tom BATTY!!! Waikato FC 1-0 Canterbury United - if the game stays this way, Waikato FC will be equal on points with the visitors with two rounds left in the regular season!
PENALTY! Ryan ZOGHBY brings down Russell KAMO and referee Michael HESTER shows no hesitation in awarding the penalty for Canterbury.
YELLOW CARD - Ryan ZOGHBY goes into Michael HESTER's notebook - the Waikato FC defender will have to be careful from now on.
SAVED! Waikato FC goalkeeper, Alex CARR, dives low to his right and parries Aaron CLAPHAM's penalty past the post! The youngster gets it right and Waikato FC still lead..!
Alex CARR spectacularly saves an Aaron CLAPHAM free-kick then regathers himself to deny Joe MURRAY's powerful goal bound header! Is this going to be CARR's day..? Plenty of football left in this entertaining match...!
Russell KAMO sees his header tipped over by the busy Alex CARR - Waikato FC will be pleased to get to halftime with their lead intact. Canterbury knocking on the door here.
HALFTIME: Waikato FC 1-0 Canterbury United - Waikato FC lead 1-0 thanks to Dan PEAT's 26th minute goal and a host of fine saves by Alex CARR, including his one-handed penalty stop from All White's midfielder, Aaron CLAPHAM. If the score stays the same way, we could face a four team playoff logjam with Otago United able to close the gap to just two points and Hawke's Bay in a position to leapfrog everybody to fourth if they can score an upset win over Waitakere later this afternoon.
Referee Michael HESTER restarts this enthralling encounter - strap yourselves in, folks, this could be an exciting next 45 minutes.
YELLOW CARD - Maksim MANKO goes into the book for a mistimed challenge - Joe MURRAY knocks CLAPHAM's free kick over the Waikato FC crossbar.
Dan PEAT shoots over the Canterbury crossbar after being set up by Jason HICKS.
YELLOW CARD - Jeremy WILD joins MANKO and ZOGHBY in the referee's notebook after a late tackle on Phil EDGINTON
SUBSTITUTION - Nathan STROM replaces Jack BEGUELY for Waikato FC. A long throw specialist and a defender - are the hosts shutting up shop?
SUBSTITUTION - Sam MARGETTS replaces goal scorer Dan PEAT for the hosts. MARGETTS carries a goal threat on the counter attack.
Canterbury lay seige to the Waikato FC goal but the home side hold firm.
SUBSTITUTION - Ryan FAICHNIE comes on for Joe MURRAY for the visitors.
SUBSTITUTION - Andrew BARTON replaces Gagame FENI for Canterbury.
Alex CARR saves the day for Waikato FC when he denies Dan TERRIS with his feet.
Fourth official indicates an additional three minutes of time added on. Nervous ending to an entertaining fixture. Is there more drama to come?
Canterbury goalkeeper Tom BATTY comes rushing out to save at the feet of Jason HICKS - score remains 1-0 to Waikato FC.
FULLTIME: Waikato FC 1-0 Canterbury United - A massive victory for Waikato FC and a result that blows the doors off the playoff race. Canterbury remain in fourth place but only on goal difference from a resurgent Waikato. A win for Hawke's Bay over Waitakere will lift them into fourth place, a draw will keep them one point off the pace. If Otago defeat Manawatu tomorrow, they will be two points off fourth place.