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Hawke's Bay United

Waikato FC


ASB Premiership - Week 16
Park Island, Napier
Sunday 6 March, 2011


Andy BEVIN 30'

Milos NIKOLIC 8' 



Halftime:        1-1               Referee:          Mike HESTER          Crowd: 700

Draw leaves Hawke's Bay hopes hanging

by Gordon Glen Watson at Park Island 

Chris McIvor edges past Matteo Ballan. PhotosportNAPIER - Hawke's Bay United's play-off fate remains unknown after they played out a thrill-a-minute 1-1 draw with Waikato FC at a rain-soaked Park Island on Sunday.

Needing a win to advance to the semi-finals, Hawke's Bay United fell behind to a Milos Nikolic goal after just eight minutes.

The home side started the match in a lacklustre fashion but drew level when Andy Bevin fired home a Marama Thompson cross from the right on the half hour mark.

Hawke's Bay United coach Matt Chandler was critical of his side's start.

"The first half we were poor at maintainng possession of the ball. We showed no momentum or continuity. They scored an early goal which has probably been a good thing for us because we've then had to go and win the game," Chandler said.

Two Bay players went into referee Mike Hester's notebook in a patchy first half. Australian age-group player, Scott Gannon, was joined by Tom Biss, who was hauled up for shirt pulling.

Gannon was fortunate to not see a second yellow card when he lifted a boot in a physical challenge on Maksim Manko, referee Mike Hester choosing not to punish the Bay midfielder further.

The second half opened up as Hawke's Bay threw players forward in search of all three points.

Jarrod Smith, Andy Bevin and Chris McIvor all had shots on goal blocked or saved as Waikato FC withstood everything thrown at them.

Waikato FC goalkeeper John Fletcher kept the scores level after he saved a point blank range shot by Bill Robertson following an Andy Bevin corner. The tension among home fans was palpable as the opportunity to edge in front went begging.

With five minutes to go, Milos Nikolic rounded Jonathan Taylor but could only watch as Gillespie saved his goal-bound shot. The game's end-to-end nature continued and in injury time Waikato FC counter attacked with a five on two advantage, only for Gillespie to come to the Bay's rescue again.

Hawke's Bay coach, Matt Chandler, impressed by his team's ability to score late in recent weeks, was philosophical about the result.

"At halftime we said we had to go and try to win the game. We had to really go for it. We did in the last ten minutes. We spent most of the time in their third of the field. We created a lot of chances and probably should've won the game," Chandler said.

"The '5 v 2' situation at the end, ok, Waikato could have scored, but that's how we had to play this game. It didn't matter if we lost. The only result that suited us was a win. So we had to take huge risks. Richard (Gillespie) and Fergus (Neil) were excellent in stopping that situation," he added.

"It's difficult. We don't know the outcome of the game. Few gave us little hope to get seven out of nine points; it was down to us to try and achieve those points. Two fantastic performances away from home; I thought it might just happen today, but it wasn't to be," he said.

Waikato FC coach Willy Gerdsen was happy with his team's end to the season.

"The game could have been 4-4. But for us coming here without seven key players was difficult. It was an important game for Hawke's Bay United but we had a great attitude we played very good football. I am very proud of the whole team. We are in a transition year and we wanted to not finish bottom of the table and we achieved this. It was end to end stuff, very entertaining and we've finished on a high note," Gerdsen said.

Hawke's Bay United captain Jonathan Taylor described a sombre post-match mood among Hawke's Bay's squad.

"The first half performance  was not as good as what we put together away from home. It was disappointing. In the second half we sorted things out, but it wasn't our day. Every ball that broke seemed to end up at their feet. We had a chance to get to the playoffs today but it was'nt to be," Taylor said.

"It's a mixed mood in the team. We don't know whether to be happy or gutted. We wish we knew what was happening but the situation in Christchurch can't be helped. We just have to prepare as if we are in a semi-final," Taylor said, referring to Tuesday's scheduled training session.

Prior to the match, a minute's silence was observed as a mark of respect for those who passed away in the Christchurch earthquake.

Either Hawke's Bay United or Canterbury United will face Waitakere United in the semi-final first leg on 12 or 13 March, 2011.

The second leg is scheduled for the weekend of 26/27 March, 2011 at Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai.


Team Sheet

Hawke's Bay United


Waikato FC

1- Richard GILLESPIE (GK)



2- Maksim MANKO


8- Jason McKEOWN

7- Scott GANNON  (WILSON 70')

15- Nathan STROM

11- Jarrod SMITH

10- Daniel PEAT (WASI 65')

12- Andy BEVIN

11- Nathan PALMER

14- Marama THOMPSON

12- Jack BEGUELY

15- Fergus NEIL

17- Milos NIKOLIC

18- Jonathan TAYLOR (c)


20- Chris McIVOR

23- Matteo BALLAN

21- Tom BISS

25- Matt ROSE



3- Marvin EAKINS

24- Mauri WASI (65')


21- Phil RUGGLES

22- Ryan MARTIN

4- Ryan ZOGHBY

25- Shaun PETA (GK)

6- Nick BRANCH

13- Danny WILSON (70')

22- Drake DANYON (GK)


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

Play by Play


Welcome to Park Island, Napier, as Hawke's Bay United go in search of an historic first ever ASB Premiership play-off berth when they take on Waikato FC. The weather here hasn't matche the enormity of the occasion. The lower half of the central provinces has received an overnight downpour. Park Island is in immaculate condition despite the rain although the surface has an uncharacteristically heavy look about it.

Not much on the line for Waikato FC apart from pride and a shot at a top five finish. That would be a welcome way to finish the season for coach Willy GERDSEN and leave the play-off door slightly ajar for Canterbury United. Canterbury's fixture with Auckland City was postponed as a mark of respect for those affected by the Christchurch earthquake.

If that scenario materialises there will be questions raised over whether Canterbury United regroup. But today is about Hawke's Bay United and a victory for Matt CHANDLER's team will render all speculation irrelevant. Standby for all the minute-by-minute action this afternoon from a rainy Park Island.

I'm joined by Leon BIRNIE in the commentary position today. He's confident the Bay have what it takes to advance to the semi-finals. The feeling amongst locals I've spoken with is that Hawke's Bay can make history here this afternoon. We shall see. We're less than ten minutes away from kick-off.

The main stand here at Park Island has filled to capacity with a few dozen others scattered around uncovered part of the ground. The two teams are led out by referee Mike HESTER.


Referee Mike HESTER gets us underway here with Hawke's Bay in traditional colours of black and white, Waikato FC resplendent in their red, black and yellow combination attacking the scoreboard end of the ground.


Cracking pace to this match already, Hawke's Bay chasing down the ball deep in Waikato FC territory - the home side look hungry, and who can blame them with what's at stake this afternoon.


Milos NIKOLIC takes possession and plays in Nathan PALMER. PALMER's ball holds up in the wet and Nathan STROM has to dig out an improvised pass for Maksim MANKO to deal with.


First opportunity for Hawke's Bay but the ball is safely in John FLETCHER's hands.


Milos NIKOLIC takes on Scott GANNON just over halfway but GANNON and Marama THOMPSON track the Waikato FC striker down and win the ball back.


Milos NIKOLIC is away again but this time Jonathan TAYLOR makes a great tackle to stem the danger. Let's not forget NIKOLIC is chasing some goals for that Golden Boot award today - it's his last chance to add to his tally.


GOAL! - Throughball finds Milos NIKOLIC and Jonathan TAYLOR misjudges the skid of the ball. NIKOLIC is through, he rounds Richard GILLESPIE, and rolls a firm shot into an empty net with Bay defenders converging. 1-0 for Waikato FC! This wasn't in the script!


Marama THOMPSON speeds to the byline on the right hand side and fires in a near post cross. Andy BEVIN slides in but its cleared for a corner.


Corner comes in, Jonathan TAYLOR heads goalwards, BEVIN flicks a header into the six yard box but its cleared for another corner.


Corner earned after BEVIN crosses for Tom BISS. BISS's shot is cleared. Waikato FC look dangerous on the counter attack.


Hawke's Bay force a wonderful save out of John FLETCHER and the crowd here sense their team are knocking on the door.


Milos NIKOLIC shoots from 25 metres but his shot slams into the back of Jonathan TAYLOR. The follow up rockets high over the crossbar.


YELLOW CARD - 7. Scott GANNON goes into the book for a foul. Matteo BALLAN bends in a free-kick from the Bay right back position and it swings beyond to the far post but there are no takers for Waikato FC - that was a quality free kick.


Andy BEVIN weaves some magic for Bay, lays off to Jarrod SMITH, SMITH shoots from distance but FLETCHER saves low to his right.


Jason McKEOWN lofts a pinpoint pass into space for Daniel PEAT and the Waikato FC player earns his team a corner. Marama THOMPSON clears the danger with a firm header.


Hawke's Bay United restart play with a free-kick. Chris GREATHOLDER loses possession and Matte BALLAN begins a new Waikato FC attack.


Jarrod SMITH beats Maksim MANKO, then Nathan STROM and with Chris McIVOR to his left, just fails to put enough on his intended pass and Waikato FC clear the danger.


Cross from Chris McIVOR finds Andy BEVIN but BEVIN's shot doesn't achieve much power but nevertheless forces FLETCHER into a dive. Goal-kick.


The surface has taken plenty of rain and is only now starting to show signs of 'chop' with players taking a fall here and there. Pace has settled somewhat.


Jarrod SMITH opens up Waikato FC, slips a pass in for GREATHOLDER but his first touch should have been a shot - he tried to set himself. Groans from the park Island crowd. That was a big chance spurned.


Maksim MANKO on a rampaging run, he passes to a team-mate, but he runs into the ball and it deflects to GILLESPIE.


Chris GREATHOLDER breaks forward into the penalty area but can't get off a shot on goal - good defending by Waikato FC.


Free-kick on halfway for Waikato FC. Matteo BALLAN looks for NIKOLIC on the edge of the Bay goalbox but Jonathan TAYLOR heads clear.


Maksim MANKO is looking in top form down the left for Waikato FC and Marama THOMPSON has his hands full today. Nathan STROM takes a long throw and MANKO challenges and earns a corner for the visitors.


Matteo BALLAN's corner is short, his second pass looks for Nathan PALMER. Waikato FC have possession. Anxious times for the Bay and the crowd sense it.


GOAL! Marama THOMPSON's perfect cross finds Andy BEVIN unmarked and he lashes the ball home with a superb shot that John FLETCHER had no hope of stopping!


Freekick to Waikato FC on the edge of the Bay area - NIKOLIC and BALLAN stand over it...


NIKOLIC's freekick is a good one but its a yard wide with GILLESPIE at full stretch. He scored a superb one earlier this season against Otago and he wasn't far away with another there.


Marama THOMPSON combines with Scott GANNON. GANNON releases Jarrod SMITH but his cross fizzes across the face of a gaping wide Waikato FC goal - that was close.


Jack BEGUELY is in on goal but his shot is saved comfortably by Richard GILLESPIE. Nice technique.


Matt ROSE tries to cross but Hawke's Bay head clear. Match nicely poised here as both teams probe for an advantage. This is anyone's game based on what we've seen so far.


Chris McIVOR's cross from the left is too close to John FLETCHER and that's an easy take for the Waikato FC custodian.


Jonathan TAYLOR gets tight on Milos NIKOLIC and clears the ball. The crowd is building up here, perhaps six or seven hundred strong now with the stand on the far side filling.


YELLOW CARD 21. Tom BISS grabs a handful of an opponent's shirt and Mike HESTER shows no hesitation in reaching for his cards for the second time this afternoon.


Jarrod SMITH nutmegs an opponent but can't get beyond to effect a cross.


Milos NIKOLIC has looked a class act in this first half. Marama THOMPSON tracks the striker into the corner and tackles him.Long throw-in from Nathan STROM coming up.


Daniel PEAT flicks it on and somehow Bay clear their lines and counter attack through Andy BEVIN. Tom BISS finds Scott GANNON but GANNON's cross floats harmlessly into John FLETCHER's arms.


Daniel PEAT tees up Sam MARGETTS to cross but he's splayed that out for a goal kick under little pressure.


Jonathan TAYLOR links up with BEVIN and charges forward into the Waikato FC penalty area, there's flicks and outstretched legs, the ball breaks to Jarrod SMITH but his shot is blocked desperately. Waikato FC happy to see the ball cleared to safety. TAYLOR opened Waikato FC up a treat there but no end product.


Jarrod SMITH bustles past Jack BEGUELY and heads for the byline, BEGUELY doesn't give up and reels off a crucial flick before SMITH can cross. That's a corner for Hawke's Bay.


Hawke's Bay United 1-1 Waikato FC - Well, referee Mike HESTER brings the first 45 minutes to a close before the corner can be taken. An even first half and the score a fair reflection of the match so far. The Bay probably edge it on half chances. Scott GANNON was a bit lucky to not pick up a second yellow card for a lunge on Maksim MANKO and had he been in another area of the pitch, the referee may have been less lenient. Matt CHANDLER sent his substitutes out of the dugout for a warm-up shortly after that moment.

Former Celtic and Scotland goalkeeper, Jonathon GOULD, says Hawke's Bay started well but got caught with the sucker-punch. "One point may not be enough," he says. We'll have to wait and see how prophetic that proves to be as the teams walk out for the second half.


We're underway again with no changes for either side. A cross comes in from the right but it's just over Jarrod SMITH's head.


Waikato FC on the counter attack but Chris GREATHOLDER intercepts. Matteo BALLAN goes in for a crunching tackle on Chris McIVOR. I heard the clatter from the press box.


Jarrod SMITH breaks fast releases GREATHOLDER but the pass is latched onto by Matt ROSE.


Hawke's Bay are chasing for everything here, but Waikato FC break, BALLAN triues to thread a pass through but its too heavy and GILLESPIE nabs it.


Chris McIVOR breaks into the Waikato FC penalty area but he's surrounded by defenders and the visitors come clear with it. Maksim MANKO plays NIKOLIC who exchanges a one-two with MARGETTS.


YELLOW CARD - 5. Bill ROBERTSON goes into the book for a foul on Daniel PEAT


The freekick was fired into a geo-stationary orbit somewhere over the Southern Hemisphere. That was awful. I'll spare you the identity of the taker.


Bill ROBERTSON makes a vital intercept as Hawke's Bay pour forward. Fergus NEIL crosses, Jarrod SMITH is up for it, but it just skims his head.


Nice pass by GANNON finds NEIL, NEIL lays off for Andy BEVIN but BEVIN's cross is an uncharacteristically poor one.


Daniel PEAT makes a beeline for the Bay box, he whips in a cross but that's shot is high, wide and on its way out of Park Island.


Matteo BALLAN tries a clever chip into space for Nathan PALMER but PALMER can't get there. Andy BEVIN comes forward, drives into the box, lays off to Tom BISS, BISS works his way back inside and lays off for BEVIN. BEVIN's shot is deflected out for a corner. There's a scramble in the box, its cleared, but GANNON has it, lays off for BEVIN and its another corner.


FLETCHER punches clear, Jarrod SMITH shoots, its blocked, Hawke's Bay have another go, but blocked anc cleared again. Daniel PEAT is away on a counter but Richard GILLESPIE kicks clear. End to end at the moment.


Milos NIKOLIC with a daisy-cutter from 25 metres and a regulation save by Richard GILLESPIE. Nice effort from distance.


Chris GREATHOLDER shoots from the edge of the box but it hits the back of Nathan STROM. Jonathan TAYLOR tries to loft SMITH into space behind the right fullback Matt ROSE but he overhits it and its a goalkick.


Milos NIKOLIC tries to improvise a lofted volley over the on-rushing GILLESPIE - right idea, but there was little hope of pulling that off. The cross was a difficult one to master for any player, that's for sure.


Hawke's Bay win a freekick level with the centre circle in their own half. Jonathan TAYLOR stands over it. No sign of any substitutions by either side yet.


Jarrod SMITH lays off for Chris McIVOR but his first touch is a bit heavy and Jack BEGULEY puts his foot through it.


SUBSTITUTION 24. Mauri WASI replaces 10. Daniel PEAT for Waikato FC


Waikato FC corner is cleared by Hawke's Bay United but only after a very 'iffy' attempted clearance that went backwards into the their six yard box.


Chris GREATHOLDER clears the ball but the attack breaks down. Waikato FC launch a counter of their own and NIKOLIC's shot is spilled by GILLESPIE. That was a fierce effort. Coach Willy GERDSEN turns away shouting in disgust -presumably because there was no follow up by a red shirt.


Maksim MANKO floored. Freekick on the edge of the Bay area. Uh-oh, Bay fans. Matteo BALLAN freekick curls around the wall but Richard GILLESPIE makes a brilliant save low to his left.


Sam MARGETTS lays off for Nathan PALMER but his shot is somehow deflected out for a corner.


SUBSTITUTION - 7. Scott GANNON is taken off and is replaced by 13. Danny WILSON for Hawke;s Bay.


YELLOW CARD - 11. Nathan PALMER goes into the book


The corner was mishit but it ended up at Fergus NEIL's feet and he fires over the crossbar.


Fergus NEILfinds Tom BISS and Jason McKEOWN puts in a big tackle. Bay still have it. THOMPSON's cross is cleared, McIVOR picks it up, makes the for byline but he's always struggling as his attempted cross hits the side-netting.


Shot flies wide but the home crowd thinks that's a goal. I can tell you it isn't. It's a cruel optical illusion if you're a Bay supporter.


Mauri WASI picks up a loose ball in midfield and links with Matteo BALLAN. Fergus NEIL wins a tackle and releases Chris GREATHOLDER. Throw-in for Bay deep in Waikato territory.


Jarrod SMITH crossfield pass finds THOMPSON but Sam MARGETTS nicks it off the rangy defender on the edge of the Waikato box. Tom BISS crosses and McIVOR and SMITH both go for it desperately, but its blocked and cleared.


Hawke's Bay need some inspiration here. They're just lacking a bit of creative spark as the fatigue sets in. SMITH links with BISS, BISS passes to THOMPSON, his cross finds SMITH again, he checks onto his right foot but the shot is blocked. Crowd gasps. They've got a corner, though.


Bill ROBERTSON slams a point blank range effort straight into John FLETCHER. Brave save, brave shot.


Chris GREATHOLDER shoots from 25 metres but its wide.


Bill ROBERTSON makes a fifty metre pass to Chris McIVOR but he can't beat his man. Time at a premium for the home side here. The play-offs beckon but they must score to gaurantee that coveted place. The tension is palpable in the Main Stand.


Milos NIKOLIC waltzes past a stranded TAYLOR, shapes to shoot, GILLESPIE sprints off the line and blocks the shot. Hawke's Bay survive. They only just survive. You'd back NIKOLIC every time in this situation.


Chance for Bay but they can't beat FLETCHER.


Mauri WASI is through on goal, defenders nowhere near him...he's offisde. That'll be why. Crowd were on their feet. They want this win. Will they get it..?


Well, the play-off door remains ajar for Canterbury United...if this result stays the same. Jarrod SMITH is floored by Mike HESTER is indifferent. Waikato FC get a freekick and that's as popular as dental work with the home fans.


Andy BEVIN is through, he evades two challenges, Danny WILSON is unmarked to his left, BEVIN shoots and its well over. A pass and WILSON is in. But he's entitled to shoot with nine goals to his name this season. Score remains 1-1.


That's the 90 minutes up. Hawke's Bay plugging away gamely. TAYLOR wide for BEVIN on the right. His cross fizzes into the near post for Danny WILSON and its cleared. SO CLOSE.


TAYLOR forces the corner into the path of ROBERTSON - he shoots but FLETCHER saves. Now the counter and its 5 v 2 in favour of Waikato...


GILLESPIE saves. Bay counter through BEVIN. BEVIN finds SMITH. SMITH is clattered. No freekick!


BEVIN is away again - he takes a heavy touch and falls in the penalty...


Jonathan TAYLOR launches a long ball into the box, Jarrod SMITH goes up for the header but it skims off his head and its a goal kick.


Hawke's Bay 1-1 Waikato FC - That's fulltime here. What a game of football. Not the result the Bay fans wanted but this was gripping entertainment for everyone here and you can't ask for much more than that given the weather conditions resemble mid-winter. Well played both teams and the officials.

The play-off position remains open - Canterbury United can claim it if they win their final match with Auckland City. Hawke's Bay face an anxious wait to see if this draw has been enough to see them advance for the first time in their history to the semi finals.