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Canterbury United

Waitakere United


ASB Premiership - Semi Final 2nd-leg,
Tulett Park,  Christchurch
Sunday 3 April, 2011

Waitakere United win 6-3 on aggregate


Aaron Clapham (PEN) 31'




Halftime: 1-0                       Referee: Peter O'Leary                               Crowd:280 

Brave Canterbury bow out with win as Waitakere advance

by John Donnachie at Tulett Park, Christchurch

CHRISTCHURCH – Canterbury United’s gallant victory over ASB Premiership Grand Finalists- Waitakere United, put a smile back on the faces of the Christchurch football community at Tulett Park on Sunday.

While the final result merely confirmed Waitakere's passage to another Grand Final, the 1-0 win was especially satisfying for Dragons coach Keith Braithwaite.  He was full of praise for his embattled team after the match.

“I'm really proud of the boys and the effort they put into today since the earthquake. I thought it was a bloody good game of football. They (Waitakere) did not come down to mess around. They wanted to win the game too,” he said.

On another day the red and blacks may well have pulled of the impossible, and scored the four goals they needed to reach the Grand Final. As Braithwaite surmised, they certainly had their chances.

“We needed a bit of luck. A couple of times their keeper fumbled and it fell to one of them rather than one of us. That's what turns games in the end. But they are a top side, and our aim was to beat them-and for us to do that, we are delighted,” he said.

The match started at a frantic pace with both sides going for the jugular.

Canterbury just about shaded it in the early exchanges. But as the match went on the Dragons' began to assert control in the middle of the park. Aaron Clapham started pulling the strings, and the Waitakere rearguard was constantly put under pressure.

 Something had to give, and it did. Dragons striker Russell Kamo collected the ball from ten yards in from the touchline, and then preceded towards the visitors box dribbling past all in front of him. With only Waitakere keeper Andy Ralph to beat, he was uprooted in the six yard box by a Waitakere defender.

Dragons wizard, Aaron Clapham, made no mistake from the spot-kick- with a cheekily lobbed strike straight down the middle of the goal. The home side finished the remainder of the half looking for a second but it was not to be.

In the second half possession was more balanced, as the champions began to regroup. Martin Bullock was clever with his deliveries at set-piece time. While striker Ryan De Vries was very lively, causing the Dragons' rearguard a lot of anxious moments.

He nearly scored on the hour mark. After wriggling clear of the home defence, he was unable to turn is shot goal-ward and it was kicked clear by a waiting Canterbury defender.

The other Waitakere front man Allan Pearce, also had two significant chances. Just as he was about to pull the trigger he was thwarted by the close attentions of Dragons' captain Dan Terris, and then later by the foot of home keeper Tom Batty in the Canterbury goal.

Waitakere keeper Andy Ralph also looked more assured in the second half. He stopped a goal-bound Clapham free-kick and made other timely interventions as he literally became the last line of defence.

But he got nowhere near a superb Joe Murray drive from 25 yards out. Alas, the goal was disallowed for a hand-ball against Dragons striker Andrew Barton.

Barton himself almost scored with 5 minutes to go, but his goal-bound shot was blocked by a sea of white jerseys. That summed up the Dragons' day.

With three minutes to go Waitakere midfielder Chris Bale was sent off for a second bookable offence. Still, it proved academic in the end. Waitakere had done enough in the first leg, although coach Neil Emblen expressed his disappointment with the result and Bale's dismissal afterwards.

“It is nice to get through over two legs with a three goal cushion. But we have not played well today. They were much more focused and aggressive team and got the result they deserved. Our best players today were defenders-that says it all. I thought Jason Rowley and Aaron Scott and also Andy Ralph did well.”

Emblen had hinted during the week he would come on the field if things were not going to plan.

“I came on because I just wanted us to try and retain possession up front. There was no massive panic, I just felt our two upfront looked a bit jaded. [Besides] I wanted to give young Tim Payne a game, so I played upfront on my own, to see the game out and give the lads a boost for the last 20 minutes.”

Clearly, Emblen was disappointed to see Chris Bale sent off. He now misses next week's final.

“It's a big blow for us. He was playing in a foreign position (centre back) today. And he coped well. We were looking at using him there next week against Auckland-now we have lost the option.”

Also doubtful for next week is full-back Tim Myers he rolled his ankle during the game.

Waitakere United will host Auckland City in the ASB Premiership Grand Final on Sunday 10 April, 2011, at Trusts Stadium, kick-off 2pm.

The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sport.


Team Sheet

Canterbury United


Waitakere United

1 Tom Batty

28 Andy Ralph

2 Dan Terris

2 Jason Rowley

3 Nick Wortelboer

3 Aaron Scott

5 Tom Schwarz

4 Timothy Myers

6 Glen Collins (Miles 71')

7 Martin Bullock

7 Aaron Clapham

8 Chris Bale

9 Russell Kamo

10 Allan Pearce

12 Gagame Feni (Faichnie 59')

13 Mike Gwyther  (Emblen 71')

14 Joe Murray

17 Jake Butler (Payne 71')

19 Jeremy Wild (McDermott 83')

19 Dakota Lucas

23 Andrew Barton

20 Ryan de Vries



4 Gareth Rowe

1 Danny Robinson(GK)

10 Sam Miles (in 71')

14 Tim Payne (in 71')

11 Ryan Faichnie  (in 59')

16 Neil Emblen (in 71')

15 Danny Attwell

21 Ant Hobbs

13 Garry McDermott (in 83')

23 Ashton Pett


=yellow card

=2 yellow cards

= red card

Play by Play


Welcome to Tulett Park in Christchurch for today's Semi Final 2nd-leg. The visitors and champions-Waitakere United have a commanding lead from the 1st leg (6-2)and should progress to what would be their 6th Grand Final. But do not write off this Canterbury side.

They have shown great resilience during very difficult and challenging circumstances- on and-off the field recently. Conditions are overcast but fine, with the temperature around 21deg. Team news to follow..

Almost underway.. teams in sheds going over final prep


Andrew Barton almost scores after good move between Kamo and Clapham on the edge of the Waitakere box.  Ralph makes good blocking save


At other end De Vries attempted cross is blocked for a corner.


Allan  Pearce cross finishes with shot from De Vries which is held by Batty.


Great save from Batty from a Martin Bullock free-kick -keeper finger tips away the effort for a corner.

Corner is cleared by Schwarz


Great run and shot from Gagame Feni is pushed round the post by Ralph


All action at the start of this match-both sides going for the jugular


Ralph saves at the feet of Barton inside the 6 yard box-another near opportunity for Canty.


Waitakere not holding back despite taking big lead into match.


Clapham looking lively in the middle. good run and cross causes havoc in visitors box.


Clapham tries snap-shot from 25 yards out just clears Ralph's Bar.


Joe Murray makes good run and cross-but Ralph is there and he smothers the cross


Canty still on top with plenty of possession -just needing some thrust in the last third of the field.


Again another threatening move and cross from Murray finishes with Ralph collecting the ball before the close attentions of Feni.


PENALTY CANTY- Russell Kamo makes a great incisive run into the Waitakere box and before is uprooted inside the 6 yard box.

 GOAL-Clapham scores with the most exquisite chip down the middle


It's all Canty. Free-kick from Clapham goes straight across the goal without no takers.

BOOKING-Waitakere's Chris Bale is booked for challenge on Barton in the middle of the field.


Dangerous cross from Jeremy Wild causes visitors more problems goes out for a corner. Corner from Clapham is saved by Ralph.


Waitakere trying to get back into it.


Canterbury playing some of their best football this season.


Gagame Feni threatening with runs from all over the field. But Aaron Scott makes timely intervention


Corner for Canterbury comes to nothing and the visitors survive again




Canty on attack already. Corner from Clapham is cleared at near post.


Waitakere threaten but De Vries is called up for offside.


 Terris BOOKED For holding onto De vries- Free-kick for Waitakere

Bullock produces another clever delivery which causes panic in Canty defence before Schwarz finally heads clear.

BOOKING Mike Gywther for an innocous challenge on Canty keeper Tom Batty


Delay as Batty recieves attention after that challenge.


 BOOKING Bullock trips Feni in middle of field


Free-kick Canty 25 yards out far side of box. Clapham is so close-brings save out of Ralph at far post-Corner canty-finishes with Jeremy Wild shot which is saved comfortably at near post by Ralph


 BOOKING for Nick Wortelboer. Meanwhile, Substitution for Canty Ryan Faichnie replaces Gagame Feni.


After some concerted pressure in and around box Canty get another corner- Keeper Ralph is fouled following corner. Free-kick Waitakere.


 Corner Waitakere-Bullock's cross is cleared. Canty's Ryan Faichnie BOOKED for slowing down Waitakere free-kick. Meanwhile De Vries shoots over and Gywther almost runs clean through Canty box before Batty intervenes at his feet.


De Vries cross finds Pearce on his own but Batty makes great save with his foot as the striker tries to place his shot into the far corner. Corner kick flies across open goal with no takers.


Barton falls in Waitakere box under a challenge-but no penalty.


SUBS: Canty Sam Miles for Glen Collins

and for Waitakere United: Tim Payne for Dakota Lewis and Neil Emblen for Mike Gywther


De Vries almost nips in to score after wriggling clear of the Canty defence but his effort is cleared inside the 6 yard box


Waitakere coach Emblen is playing up front as the visitors start to use a more direct route of attack


Joe Murray goal is disallowed for hand-ball by Andrew Barton in lead up to his drive from outside the box.


Great defending from Dan Terris does enough to put Waitakere striker alan pearce of -He shoots wide of Batty's near post.


Miles fails to connect to a Barton cross and glances his header wide of goal-good chance

CANTY SUB- Garry McDermott for Jeremy Wild


Time running out for Canty,though there will beconsiderable amount of  injury time


de Vries makes good cross Payne effort is blocked for corner.-nothing comes of it.


Free-kick from half-way line from Wortelboer-Canty brings scramble in visitors goal area - Barton's shot is goalbound but is blocked by a number of white jerseys protecting the goal


RED CARD for Waitakere's Chris Bale for talking back to referee

Meanwhile Miles almost connects to Murray cross.


5 minutes of extra time coming up


Waitakere striker Pearce tries speculative lob from edge of box-just over


Cries for handball as Murray shoots at body of Waitakere defender


It's all over Congrats Waitakere on making Grand Final